ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

How the Book of Mormon was translated

Updated on March 8, 2013
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery translating the Golden Plates
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery translating the Golden Plates | Source

LDS Missionaries teach that Joseph Smith translated the contents of the golden plates by the "power of their god" and show this picture from the "Preach my Gospel" manual they are instructed to use.

Investigators are told that in order to know that the Book of Mormon is true, they must read, ponder, and pray about it. Moroni 10:3-5


A 21st-century reconstruction of the Golden Plates and the Urim and Thummim connected to a breastplate, based on a description given by Joseph Smith's mother.
A 21st-century reconstruction of the Golden Plates and the Urim and Thummim connected to a breastplate, based on a description given by Joseph Smith's mother. | Source

Urim and Thummin

In the LDS "Church History in the Fullness of Times" Student manual as well as Joseph Smith - History 1:62 one is told that Joseph would translate with the help of the Urim and Thummim.

The Urim and Thummim is an ancient instrument or tool that Mormons claim has been prepared by God and was used by Joseph Smith to aid in the translation of the Book of Mormon (see Gospel Topics lds.org).

Emma Smith, the wife of the Mormon prophet, said that Joseph first used the Urim and Thummim, but later used a stone and hat. (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 26).

Professor Anthon tells of Martin Harris' version of the translation through spectacles: "This young man (referring to Smith) was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decyphered "by the gift of God." Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles."

Joseph Smith looking into a hat.
Joseph Smith looking into a hat. | Source

Translation by means of a hat

One of the Book of Mormon witnesses, David Whitmer, tells that Smith would put his face into a hat. In the darkness of the hat Joseph saw one character at a time with the English translation underneath it. (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.) Russel Nelson, a Mormon Apostle, quoted Whitmer in an address given to mission presidents at the Provo, UT Missionary Center on 25 June 1992.

Emma, who also served as Josephs scribe during the translation process, confirmed this way of translation. She said that her husband would put a smooth dark stone in his hat and than lower his face into it to block out all light. (See Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 26.)

Verification of the Golden Plates Hieroglyphics controversial

Martin Harris claimed that Professor Charles Anthon confirmed the correctness of the translation and stated that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic. Harris also said that Professor Anthon gave him a certificate verifying the correctness of the charaters and translation, which the Professor tore up upon learning that the golden plates were given to Joseph by an angel. Read the whole story in LDS Church History 1.

Professor Anthon's story dramatically differs from Martins. He states that he warned Harris about, what to him, looked like a trick or hoax and declined giving him his opinion in writing. The characters presented to Professor Anthon by Martin Harris were: "Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendergiven by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. ... the paper contained any thing else but "Egyptian Hieroglyphics."

Source

Elder Nelson told Mission Presidents in 1992 that the details of the Book of Mormon translation are still not fully known.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)