Joseph the Translator
Today I came across an article in the LDS Meridian Magazine that was so full of errors – okay, lies – that I found it astounding the Church would try to pull off what they’re proposing this time. While their propaganda is nothing new it’s always surprising to me how they continue to spin the same story with new graphics or an added great feat of Joseph.
The article, Joseph the Translator, is about the exceptional quality of Smith’s divine work in translating scripture. It was written by Jeffrey Marsh who is a curriculum writer for LDS seminaries and the Church Educational System. He helped to prepare the latest Gospel Doctrine courses as well.
The article listed several arguments in favor of Joseph being the only person able to fulfill this special role so I thought it’d behoove us to look at those claims individually to determine whether or not these things are truth.
“The Savior declared that our generation would receive the word of the Lord through Joseph, not by or from him”.
The first thing that came to mind is John 14:16-17 when Jesus told His disciples that He would never leave nor desert them.
Why would Jesus lie to us and them if this wasn’t the way it’d always be?
Why didn’t He tell the disciples at that time a “choice seer” by the name of Joseph would come along to restore everything because God’s power wouldn’t be sufficient?
“The writing of scripture, let alone the restoration of scripture, was simply beyond Joseph’s native abilities. (Emma’s letter: -Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder,’ as much so as to anyone else.”
This is a wonder all right and for a couple of reasons. One, Joseph had a lot of help so he wasn’t doing this all on his own. His first scribe, Martin Harris, lost the first 116 pages he “translated”. Because he thought someone could use the new translation against him to compare the two, he said that God told him not to retranslate those pages.
The next scribe, Oliver Cowdery, helped him write the BoM by sitting on the other side of a curtain or partition while Joseph looked into a hat with his “seer stone” placed inside of it. The seer stones came from the bottom of a well belonging to Josiah Stowell. Smith found it while digging for treasure on Stowell’s property. The plates were never used in the translation of the Book of Mormon.
Cowdery & Smith worked on the Book of Mormon from April 1829 when they met each other, to its publication in 1830.
The Church has shared little bits of these things in past Ensign articles, but they’ve never shown pictures of Joseph sticking his head in a hat – July 1993 and September 1977. When/if the Church talks about the translation process they use images of Smith sitting in front of a set of golden plates.
“As Elder LeGrand P. Richards noted, “The Prophet Joseph Smith brought us the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and many other writings. As far as our records show, he has given us more revealed truth than any prophet who has ever lived upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said: ‘And not to the bringing forth my word only, … but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.’”
The Bible distinctly and clearly says that His word is the means by which people are convicted, not anything else. If Joseph was the means by which people believe in God then why did he attack the body of Christ, not to mention God’s word and God Himself?
Hebrews 4:12; “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
If Joseph’s words are what will make people believe then why hasn’t that happened yet and what in the world happened to the Holy Spirit? Where did He go?
“The obvious evidence of Joseph’s gift to translate is the Book of Mormon (originally engraved on metal plates in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphs). The year Moroni delivered these plates to Joseph, ancient Egyptian was a dead language to the world. The Rosetta Stone had only recently been discovered in Egypt, but it took French scholars seven years to decode the Egyptian hieroglyphs on it…While they were working to translate one page from Egyptian, the Prophet Joseph translated and produced an entire book over 500 pages long. They took over twenty years to confidently translate one page, but Joseph zipped through his translation in only two months.”
What does the Rosetta Stone have to do with Joseph’s imaginary plates?
These so-called golden plates were supposedly written in “Reformed Egyptian”, not Ancient Egyptian.
Why is the Church degrading the people involved with decoding the Ancient Egyptian language?
What purpose does this serve other than to confuse the Mormon people and pit them against anyone who doesn’t believe their story?
“Furthermore, Emma Smith said of the inspired process, ‘After meals, or after interruptions, [Joseph] would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him.’…Usually, one who has been dictating and has been interrupted, must resume by inquiring ‘Now, where were we?’ Not so with the Prophet!”
If we’re to take Emma at her word then why did she repeatedly lie about her husband being a polygamist? See denial listed in D&C 101 when the leadership of the Church and Relief Society wrote a lengthy notice for their newspaper publicly denying polygamy was practiced by the Church. This used to be part of their scripture until they yanked it in 1876.
And why doesn’t the Church speak of Emma in glowing terms other than to use little things she supposedly said when they want to cast Joseph in a favorable light? Emma testified to the fact she never saw the plates and that her husband never practiced polygamy. (See The Saints’ Herald, October 1, 1879, pg 290)
Why would you believe anything she had to say about Joseph and/or Mormonism when she couldn’t tell the truth about those things?
And last but not least, the Meridian Magazine article told readers how Joseph miraculously rewrote the Bible in three short years, as compared to the 50 scholars who took seven years to come up with the KJV.
“Almost immediately following the organization of the Church, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to begin an inspired revision of the King James Bible. He spent three years going through every book in the Bible. Many important scriptural gems were restored as a direct result of the Joseph Smith Translation.”
Again – why must the Church go out of its way to throw jabs at everyone? Why can’t they just come out with their ideas or plans and leave it at that? Why must they always deny the power of God and try to humiliate others?
We’re praying again! Pray for those who read these lies will see the discrepancies and outright lies the Church is trying to push onto members. The way they’ve bragged about the superhuman ways of Joseph Smith should be a red flag alone.
With Love in Christ;
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