Translating the Book of Mormon

An Address to All Believers in Christ, pg 12; “I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph 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.” – Martin Harris


Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg 210; “Little is known about the translation process itself. Few details can be gleaned from comments made by Joseph’s scribes and close associates. Only Joseph Smith knew the actual process, and he declined to describe it in public. At a Church conference in 1831, Hyrum Smith invited the Prophet to explain more fully how the Book of Mormon came forth. Joseph Smith responded that “it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; and…it was not expedient for him to relate these things” (HC 1:220).”

How very, very sad. While the Church goes about making excuses or worse yet, covering up for Joseph Smith’s translation process, the vast majority of LDS people truly believe Smith was given the supernatural ability to discern the meaning of each engraving upon those plates.  Many are unaware that the things he did were a form of divination.

I went through four years of LDS seminary and countless Sacrament and Sunday school meetings not to mention all the years of MIA, roadshows, etc., and I’d never heard of this story until after I left the Church.

Much to the chagrin of many Mormons today, we’re not providing this information to bash the Mormon people, nor to gain some sort of notoriety; rather it’s because of our love for them. After all these years of doing this, I still feel heaviness in the pit of my stomach whenever I post truths like these. 

Unfortunately, Smith was a charlatan of the worst kind. He didn’t just convince people to hand over money in the name of the Lord, but their very souls.

The truth of the matter is that you can read about the process of translating the Bible from many reputable objective sources. One of my favorite sites is the online exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls you can access here