False Prophecies of Joseph Smith

27 May

Language Problems in the Book of Mormon

This time around we’re looking at the false prophecy of Joseph Smith when he emphatically declared and proclaimed that there were no Greek or Latin words on the plates from where he got the information to produce the Book of Mormon.

TPJS, pg. 299; To the Editor of the Times & Seasons:  Sir:—Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretensions of the self-wise. The error I speak of, is the definition of the word “Mormon.” It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word “mormo.” This is not the case. There was no Greek of Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. On the 523rd page, of the fourth edition, it reads: “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; 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, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”

Is. 18:18-20; 8In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.19In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. 20It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.

We found more than 100 Greek and/or Latin words that were used in the Book of Mormon 7,354 times.  This was another false prophecy.

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3 Responses to “False Prophecies of Joseph Smith”

  1. shematwater June 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Again, not a prophecy, as it does not foretell the future.

    Now, a quick question: Did you find these words in the translation or in the original language of the Gold plates?

    As we know that you do not have access to the original plates it is obvious that you used the translation.

    Considering that there are thousands of words in the English Language that are derived from the Latin and Greek, and some just taken strait from it (such as Christ) it should not be surprising to any intelligent and thoughtful person that in translating Joseph Smith would have used such words.

    So, all you have is proof that Joseph Smith used familiar Greek and Latin words in the translation of the plates, not that such words were actually on the plates.

    • Marty September 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      Why would you need the original plates? The translation should be just fine if the Book of Mormon was translated the way witnesses say it was,….

      “I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 12)

      “Martin [Harris] explained the translation as follows: By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say, ‘Written,’ and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used.”
      (Myth of the Manuscript Found, 1883 edition, p. 91)

      If this is true, then the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon should have been not only exactly as it was given but EXACTLY as God intended it. However, we know God must have been wrong because from 1837 on the Book of Mormon was changed (not just punctuation) quite often.

  2. shematwater September 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm #


    This means nothing. The issue is whether there were Greek or Latin words on the Gold Plates themselves. And the simple fact is that without those plates it is impossible to prove there was. The translation, as your quote from Martin Harris proves, when made in the common language of the day, which was English. As it is well known that English has assimilated words from both Latin and Greek into itself it is not surprising that such words would appear in a translation into that language.

    Your argument is out of place in this topic, and is more useful in a discussion on the reasons for changes in the Book of Mormon. It does not answer anything regarding the presence of Greek or Latin words.

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