If a book was the most correct book ever, it wouldnt have errors. But things
have been changed many times since Joseph Smith wrote the book. I know recently
the word "principal" was changed to "among" in describing the
native Americans.If the native americans aren't the principal
ancestors, then the book was wrong(at least partially). And if it was the most
correct book, it wouldn be partially wrong.
RE:Joseph Smith Book of Mormon there is potential for error,The KJV/3
Nephi Sermon on the Mount. LDS Scholar Dr. Larson finds 12 examples where JS
copied the 1769 KJV errors.Mt 6:13 KJV and 3Nephi 13:13 Both have
the doxology, For thine is he Kingdom and power and the glory forever amen. The
KJV is based on 9th to 12th century texts. Earlier and better manuscripts do not
contain the doxology. Only One example. “A great portion of 3
Nephi seems to be "borrowed and lifted" from the KJV Bible. Larson
found that 3 Nephi holds exactly the same sort of errors that are unique to
the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph Smith owned.” Stan
Larson, The MS discoveries since the KJV have provided a much better
understanding of the Sermon on the Mount. Greek MS 200 A.D. thru Latin, Syriac,
Coptic and patristic early support, which leads to the original text. These are
earlier and better texts of Matthews Sermon on the Mount. There is unanimity
support by modern scholars, but The BoM never takes us to a verifiable text in
"There is unanimity support.."That doesn't make sense,
sharrona. You must be entirely wrong about everything you have ever written. See? If you can be nitpicky, then so can I.
It is hard for me to see the value or justification ...at the end of the day..in
getting paid by a university for 25 years to produce some trivia about the
original text of the Book Of Mormon. At the end of the day I say..well
that's kind of interesting ...and that's about it. I can see studying
the dead sea scrolls or some other ancient finding because it provides new
knowledge particular to the existing bible but I'm not sure what a study
like this Book Of Mormon one really provides..value wise. Are we really getting
our bang for the buck?
@sharrona: You need to read 2 Nephi 29: Wherefore murmur ye,
because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of
two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like
unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto
another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two
nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove
unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak
forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken
one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet
finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time
henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible
ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that
I have not caused more to be written.The same Spirit that spoke to
the apostles in Old Jerusalem, spoke to the disciples in ancient America.
It is true that the Book of Mormon references no texts for those passages that
are verbatim as they read in the King James Bible. Apologists suggest that
Joseph would have relied on the King James text as being authoritative. That
explanation is at least plausible which is about the only encouraging thing I
can say for it.
This is not scholarly translation on any level, all due respect to my former and
beloved BYU profs- Skousen, Nibley, Madsen, et al.Dr. Hugh Nibley
told me in person that he felt "Joseph would one day be vindicated as a
translator" of authentic documenst. He was unmoved that no academic
institution or non-LDS linguist gave any credence to a single verse of any of
Smith's works. He said he had "a testimony of the Prophet Joseph, and
I work back from that, not the reverse."Congrats to the long
years of study. But just consider the "What if" proposition:What
if the Bible is accurate (as millions of scholars attest) and you don't
need a "restoration"?The problem with sticking to the
restoration defence is that you must have a defective Bible. Mormon theology
does not restore a single textual Biblical priesthood, temple rite, Church
office or position, or lost ritual. Even baptism for the dead was referred by
the Apostle Paul as "they" who practice it, not as "we" who do.
Whichever English ghost supplied the visible script in the lenses needed a
lesson in the Tudor pronouns and verb conjugation.Nominative,
accusative, possessive, predicative/substantiveSINGULARI,me,my,mine;thou,thee,thy,thine;he,him,his,his;she,her,her,hers;PLURALwe,us,our,ours;ye,you,your,yours;they,them,their,theirs.I/we/ye/they think;thou thinkest;he/she thinketh.AV follows this system strictly: thou/thee is
singular and ye/you is plural. With Shakespeare ye/you is used as polite
singular. Current editions of the Book of Mormon still mangle the pronoun
system, not to mention sentence structure in general. --AGF
Why can't the original text be restored and made available for all to
see?How else do we know the manuscript that Joseph Smith produced
was actually a translation of golden plates or of any other medium?Are we supposed to just take his word for it? Why?What about the
Kinderhook Plates? We have those and we know they were a fraud.
@Sharrona"A great portion of 3 Nephi seems to be "borrowed
and lifted" from the KJV Bible. Larson found that 3 Nephi holds exactly the
same sort of errors that are unique to the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph
Smith owned."During the time of Joseph Smith the King James
version of the bible was the most prevalent among the people. It would only make
sense that the translation would be in the words of the King James bible seeing
as it would be many years before these discoveries by scholars brought new
light about the sermon on the mount and as to the earlier texts, those 19th
century people did not have access to them."For my thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.For as
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and
my thoughts than your thoughts." Isa 55:8-9
@ShazandraYou either do not understand the old testament or you do
not understand mormonism if you believe that there is no biblical rite practiced
today in the LDS church.
@Shazandra"The problem with sticking to the restoration defence
is that you must have a defective Bible." So why is it that the
earliest New Testament manuscripts can only be dated to the third Century
A.D.?Where are the complete earlier manuscripts that compose the
books of the NT? Do we have the all intact letters of the apostles that make up
a large portion of the NT? And what about the four gospels do the originals of
those exist someplace? Fragments of manuscripts only provide evidence to
support authenticity of just a part of a specific book in the NT not the entire
@ Chris BI'm not understanding your arguement. It says
"The most correct book". It didn't say it is the one and only true
book with zero errors. There is also a disclaimer that if there are errors,
that they are of men and to not judge the book by those few simple spelling or
punctuation errors, but instead read, ponder and pray and talk to God about the
book whether it is true or not.If you ever take time to read the
book. Several authors make such statements in being careful how you judge them
and to ignore the weakness of their writing, but, look and understand and pray
about the content that they are giving you.
Re: Chris BI was about to respond, but Liberal Ted said it best.
I'll only add that I think what Joseph Smith would have been referring to
was the "principles" the Book of Mormon teaches make it the most
Shazandra,"....The problem with sticking to the restoration
defence is that you must have a defective Bible. Mormon theology does not
restore a single textual Biblical priesthood, temple rite, Church office or
position, or lost ritual....."_____________________________For those who see differences in how sacred writ is interpreted as the norm,
no amount of defects in the Bible will ever matter. For those who see the Bible
as inerrant scripture, the very idea of defects in the text is incomprehensible.
@Patriot.Well said. 25 years to produce inductive circles of
justification at a university of any kind is not academic to say the very least.
I mean the end outcome would be the same regardless of the parameters of study
because the objective is to have the answer needed for the university and the
church. Therefore we have the conclusion before the premis form is ever created.
Inductive logic at its' very worst.
@Liberal Ted,"There is also a disclaimer that if there are
errors, that they are of men and to not judge the book by those few simple
spelling or punctuation errors"Sorry, doensn't hold.The American Indians are either the principal ancestors of the people in
the Book of Mormon or they are not.Are they or are they not?They are the principal ancestors or not?Whether they are
principal ancestors or simply "among" is not just a punctuation change.
The words "principal" and "among" are not equal and
have different meanings. They are not simply differnences in spelling in
punctuations.You can't claim the book is the most correct book,
and then claim "oh that part doesn't count" when things are
corrected.Either it was the most correct book and still is, or it
wasn't(and still isnt).
I'm not LDS but I have read the Book of Mormon. Does the Church believe it
was translated from an ancient text? Do they believe that the actual words were
given to Joseph Smith or the ideas which he translated into words? It seems as
far as the Book of Abraham is concerned they are backing off of that idea - at
least that is my impression.
@ Shazandra - if a concept was completely lost from the Bible, how would the
Bible expert know that it was lost? The Bible expert wouldn't, unless
he/she was informed by the author of the Bible or by another authoritative
source.you are right that Paul says "they" in reference to
the practice of baptisms for the dead, but his reference did not denigrate the
practice. Rather he referenced the practice as SUPPORT for the reality of the
resurrection. If he thought those who practiced baptisms for the dead were
errant or apostate, I doubt he would have referenced them for support for the
concept he was trying to emphasize.The Bible helped inspire Joseph
Smith to attempt to receive personal revelation regarding a question that is not
clearly answered in the Bible. Speaking to God and Jesus Christ in person was a
far quicker way for Joseph Smith to learn about God than studying the Bible was.
@Chris BThe statement of "principal ancestors" was in the
introduction to the Book of Mormon. It was introduced in 1981 I believe. Joseph
Smith made the statement of the Book of Mormon being the "most correct"
book. He obviously was not referring to the phrase "principle ancestors"
since that phrase came decades later. So, his statement is for the correctness
of the text of the book, NOT the introduction page. That said, his
statement refers to the correctness of the book in applying its teachings in our
lives, in addition to the text. His statement does NOT guarantee absolute
perfection. His statement does NOT say that there will never be a correction.
Even the Book of Mormon's title page says "if there are faults they are
the mistakes of men". And also in the book in Mormon 8:17 it says "And
if there be faults they be the faults of a man." Given this, we should
expect some corrections. Especially if those corrections are mainly so that WE
understand better, or as our understanding increases over time (such as with the
understanding of the origins of the Lamanites and American Indians.)
Chris B,The entire section containing the words "principal"
vs. "among" was not written by Joseph Smith. It's in the
introduction to the Book of Mormon, which I believe was written by Bruce R.
McConkie in the 1979 edition. So I actually would claim that "oh that part
doesn't count" since it wasn't in the original when Joseph Smith
made the statement.
@Shazandra"Congrats to the long years of study. But just consider the
"What if" proposition:What if the Bible is accurate (as millions
of scholars attest) and you don't need a "restoration"?"Which version is the accurate version?@Chris B
@Chris BRead the Book of Mormon carefully. Desire sincerely to know
of its truth. Have faith. Pray to get the answer from God Almighty of its
truthfulness. Study its teachings. Be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy
Ghost. Continue to read, ponder, study and pray about the Book of Mormon
throughout your life. Watch as time goes on as it changes your life and you grow
undeniably closer to God and have His power in your life.Then you
will understand why Joseph Smith made the statement that the Book of Mormon is
the "most correct book".
Chris B: The change from "principal" to "among" is not part of
the original text that Joseph Smith translated, but is part of the introduction
to the Book of Mormon. The present introduction was not even written at the
time it was translated and its subsequent printing. I believe the current was
written in the late 1900's, at which time the Church leaders believed that
the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians. Recent DNA
studies tend to indicate that there may have been other peoples besides the
Lamanites, that were also ancestors of the American Indians - thus the
Introduction of the Book of Mormon wording was changed to accomodate that
possibility, for clarification purposes.The Title Page of the Book
of Mormon, written by Mormon as part of the original record, was given to Joseph
Smith to translate, and was translated as part of the Book of Mormon
translation. In this new printing of the Book of Mormon, one can
identify what is the actual translation and what has been added as
clarification. The actual translation is printed in "New Times Roman",
and that which is not the actual translation, is printed in italics.
Chris B, Others have responded to your "principle ancestors"
issue. In addition to what they say, did you read the article? The whole point
is to show how easy it is for a scribe or printer to err and make an unintended
change. Skousen's goal has been to understand the details of how the text
has changed from its "original" form (at least as it came from the lips
of Joseph Smith) to the originally published version. Understanding
this process is interesting and believers can benefit from knowing where these
changes have been made. But our faith in the "correctness" of the book
has nothing to do with grammatical, spelling, or punctuation changes. On a broader note, any of the non-LDS believers who want to gang up on
imperfections with the Book of Mormon should never, ever, under any
circumstances read higher biblical criticism. We wouldn't want you to have
a double standard about scrutinizing your divine texts, now would we?
Skousen has invested thousands of hours in the text-critical labour of philology
over the earliest documents of BOM translation and drawn interesting conclusions
about the mechanics of textual development. As a fellow philologist i am
impressed by the immensity of his labour. But the side of the work in which
Joseph used crystalline devices, peeping stones, and scrying powers (as he had
done as a young man in other activities unrelated to the Book of Mormon) also
calls for critical thinking. The top hat and seer stones in its shadowed depths
were never in physical contact with the purported writing materials; the
credulousness of the faithful over this matter has always surprised me.
"The problem with sticking to the restoration defence is that you must have
a defective Bible."In no way does 'restoration' imply
a 'replacement' of the Bible. If anything, the Book of Mormon
compliments and adds a bit to the teachings of the Bible. The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members believe that the Bible
contains the word of God. The "Restoration" in 1830 was NOT due to the
Bible. Rather, it was due to the then-existent religions that, over centuries,
lost the practices and doctrines of the church established by Jesus Christ.
Hence, the need for a restoration of the authority, priesthood, doctrine,
ordinances and practices of the true church of God. There was no need for a
replacement of the Bible itself. Granted, Joseph Smith provided
inspired translations of portions of the Bible, indicating that the Bible is
defective. As it turns out, the Bible IS defective to some degree. Anyone with a
bit of knowledge of the Hebrew culture and language can identify those defects
with just a bit of effort. So, don't claim it's just a mormon thing
when we say the Bible was translated perfectly over the millennia.
@TimBehrend: The BoM was translated via the Urim and Thummim ONLY.
The KJV records their existence in 7 separate verses, as shown below. The top
hat and separate stones you mention were fabrications and false rumors
Reformed Egyptian is such a beautiful language.
It's a wonderful book. A miracle.A first century writing
translated by a 19th century man into a 15th century language.
RE: zoar63 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my
ways, saith the” LORD”. For as the heavens are higher than the
earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your
thoughts."( Isa 55:8-9).Can you explain JS thoughts on the JST
non-translation of Genesis? “LORD”[all capitals] in the KJV is
rendered Lord in the Inspired Version(JST), Per Dr. Robert Matthews.LORD,3068 yeh-ho-vaw' (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish
national name of God:-- (KJV) Translation Count , Total: 6519. Genesis = 141.Lord, 136 Adonay , my lord. of men, of God. (KJV) Translation count
,Total : 434. Gen= 8.RE:dhsalum (3NephiA.D.34,KJV, doxology)"
Early on in the Roman Catholic Liturgy, the Lord's Prayer was concluded
with a doxology ,For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for
ever and ever”. But was not part of the original Greek Scriptural
text and consequently is*Not included in most modern Bible translations. *There
is unanimity support.Mormon Apostles need to create create a new
translation or at least update footnotes on lower criticism.
Interestingly Joseph Smith once said: " The best way to obtain truth and
wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain
divine teaching" (TPJS, p. 191). Applying that teaching to this Book of
Mormon correctness discussion is pretty simple. I see the Book of Mormon not as
an end in itself for authenticity but as the means of supporting God's
authenticity. Yes there were commas, etc. added to this book but that
won't change it's fundamental role as a 2nd witness for Christ.I also like what Joseph Smith stated: "Could you gaze into heaven
five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was
written on the subject" (TPJS, p. 324). My belief is that he did just that
as he translated the Book of Mormon. He did the best he could given the feeble
nature of written and spoken language to express the word of God as expresed by
God's prophets. Other prophets like Isaiah were no different in their
efforts in expressing God's word. And in "my book" they succeeded
in inspiring many to seek and follow God.
One must take the Book of Mormon on faith. It is by faith that a true answer is
received. One must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. One must believe
that he will answer your prayer. One must study and ponder the contents of the
Book of Mormon and then ask with sincere heart, nothing wavering to obtain a
firm testimony of the Book of Mormon from the Holy Ghost.We can
debate all about the most correct book, how it was translated and where it took
place but until one is really willing to take it to our Heavenly Father to
obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, all else is just about looking for a
sign it is true.Too many people try to prove its truth versus
letting it prove its truth. Every time I read the Book of Mormon I gain
something new and profound from it. I read and ponder the book consistently.
I'm not perfect and neither is the Book of Mormon. Neither is the Bible
for that matter. They are written by prophets who have weaknesses just as you
Perhaps it should be remembered that translating from one language to another
and keeping the true meaning intact is not the same as taking apart a table and
restaining it and putting it back into the same, fully-functioning table. If a
"pomme" is French for apple, and "pomme de terre" is French for
potato, but literally translates to "apple of the earth", as a simple
example, what does my friend in France offer her family at dinner as a side
dish, if she speaks English, but not much French? We hope, do we not, that she
does not translate literally, and offer the apple of the earth in her dessert,
while frying up the pomme with steak as a meal with the salad. While this is a
bit absurd, of course, my point is that the difficulty, even with divine help,
for a young man in the 1830s to translate the kind of book he didn't often
read, followed by mechanical typesetting, had to result in errors, well-meaning
though they may be. Let those who are without mistakes give the first Fail! It
sha'n't be I.
Something I believe to be quite plausible is regarding how Moroni attests to the
record being written in reformed Egyptian. He says that if there were room
enough on the plates, they could have written in unaltered Hebrew and then the
the record would have no imperfections. This then, begs the question of how much
more difficult it was for Joseph to translate a record probably with many
spelling errors in the first place from the original scribes.
Chris B.,Like many other things, you are talking about things that
you really don't understand. The full quote from Joseph Smith is:"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any
book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to
God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." History of the
Church, 4:461Now, in context, do you think that Joseph was actually
talking about spelling? Or grammar? Or a preface that someone would write 150
years in the future? No. Joseph was talking about using the book as a guide to
get back to God. The Book talks about Jesus Christ, faith, repentance, baptism,
The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, resurrection, forgiveness, pride, comforting
those who stand in need of comfort, Jesus Christ, priesthood, prayer, grace,
becoming holy, Jesus Christ, temples, scriptures, the gross sin of war,
sacrifice, covenants and enduring in good. Oh yeah, it talks alot about Jesus
Christ. Don't take what others say about it to be true. You talk alot
about BYU and Mormons, but your comments betray that you really don't know
a thing about us.
Skousen's "scholarship" sheds little light on the question of
whether or not the Book of Mormon is an actual "translation." I have
always considred it a remarkable work, but as with most religion one is taking
someone else's "word for it."
Fools mock, but they shall mourn -- Ether 12:26
Joseph wrote his history in the Pearl of Great Price, found in Joseph Smith
History 33-36: 33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a
messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni;
that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and
evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good
and evil spoken of among all people.My Comment: So true... as seen by the
critical comments posted here and elsewhere, now and during Joseph's
life. 34 He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates,
giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source
from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel
was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;Comment: "FORMER INHABITANTS" I believe equals the Nephites who were
destroyed - the Lamanites did not keep (write) the record included on the Gold
Plates that Joseph translated, but they are the remnant of the original
settlement of Lehi's family. to be continued...
A number of LDS scholars have highlighted in their research the fact that the
seer stone Joseph used was the same one he used for scrying, and that typically
he did not use a seer stone found with the plates. I remember learning that
Joseph placed his seer stone into his hat and read the text off the stone. To
what degree does Skousen discuss this?
I add this at the end of this discussion, only to say that the Book of Mormon
is, just what Joseph Smith said it is. No one will force anyone to believe it
is, or isn't the Word of God. This is something everyone has to find out
Continued...JS History35 Also, that there were two stones in silver
bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is
called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession
and use of these stones were what constituted “seers” in ancient or
former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the
book. 36 After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the
prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of
Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy,
though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles.... My
Comment: the KJV of the Bible Joseph used had some "errors" or
"non-perfect translation" than what should have been written in English
in Malachi. Does this discount the book of Malachi - No. Does the
"variation" that Moroni provides to Joseph discount the Bible's
authenticity - No. Does Moroni's variation help us better understand the
intent - yes: ...Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our
books, he quoted it thus: please go to JS History verse 37 to see
Several have covered the most correct book concept. From supposed KJV errors to
correct use of Jacobean English pronouns, etc, I reassert that the doctrine in
the book is what is correct. And, affirm that -if there be errors- (& many
of those posting here have brought out some of those errors), then indeed, as
warned in the BofM itself, they are the - errors of men. Humans do make errors.
But again, we shouldn't be so eager to jettison the baby with the bath
water!The claimed divine source of the Book of Mormon, IMO, has a
tremendous quantity and quality of evidence behind it. From Lucy Mack
Smith's biographical account of how young Joseph taught and entertained his
parents and siblings, recounting to them many aspects of Nephite and Lamanite
life, to then excommunicated William Smith affirming the veracity of the Book of
Mormon, relying on the trustworthiness of Joseph, his brother himself - even
though William and Joseph were often at odds with each other, are some important
starting points. Add to that the unique and insightful doctrinal discourses,
from King Benjamin speech to Alma the Younger's incredible
justice/mercy/atonement explanation, these affirm divine sources.
As time goes on the world will eventually accept the Book of Mormon as an
ancient text whether they accept the church or not. They will want to study the
Hebrew terms in the original text that have been taken out. Skousens name will
be the first word in all of these future studies. Anyone who says this
doesn't matter is myopic. Aside from the text, how Joseph produced it is
significant because its an absolute miracle. That book is very complex, very
full of intricate Christian doctrine. For an uneducated man to use NO reference
materials, cover his face with a hat, and dictate that book in 70 days time is a
miracle. God gave him the words which he read off. And those who think God would
speak in perfect English need to read more scripture.
Lledrav - He didn't dictate the entire book in 70 days. Now just what do
you think he was doing in those several months at a time inbetween supposed
translation? There was no translation, the scribes and witnesses confirm that
the plates weren't even used during translation... He was looking in a hat
and then the words would appear. How is that translation? Translation is looking
at one character and translating it and writing down the translation. This was
not the case. He looked in a hat and the text appeared. He didn't even need
the plates to be present since he wasn't looking at them. It isn't
For me it all comes down to the translation process. It doesn'tmake sense.
Joseph had the Urim and thummim to translate at first. Then God took them away
because of Joseph's transgression but still allowed him to translate using
a magic stone and looking into a hat. It simply doesn't make sense, and
when something doesn't make sense it usually isn't true.
re: Liberal Ted on 3/7**I'm not understanding your arguement.
It says "The most correct book". It didn't say it is the one and
only true book with zero errors. **Yet, it needs occasional updates,
revisions, etc... How comically ironic?PA Gardener 3/7**Interestingly Joseph Smith once said: " The best way to obtain truth and
wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain
divine teaching**So, I want to learn Physics? I don't need to
open a textbook; I pray?I'd have better luck getting tutored by
@Chris B:"If a book was the most correct book ever, it wouldn't
have errors."'MOST correct' doesn't mean no
errors.@Michigander:"The BoM was translated via the Urim
and Thummim ONLY."There must-a been maybe several copies of the
Urim & Thummim... since a set was found with the Plates at Cumorah. And how
did Smith know what he saw with the plates was, in fact, a Urim & Thummim?
The Bible does not clarify the purpose of a Urim & Thummim.@Diligent Dave:"From Lucy Mack Smith's biographical account of
how young Joseph taught and entertained his parents and siblings..."Where did Joseph Smith get the detail of the life of ancient Americans
his mom referenced in her writing? It's not in the BoM.@Lledrav"... and dictate that book in 70 days time is a
miracle."Could-a been as much as 3 years and 70 days. Smith
tells us he was required to visit Cumorah each year for 3 years before he could
get the Plates. Why? He might have used the 3 years to put the work together
and then claim it was done in just 70 days to enhance authenticity.
If I understand what Skousen said, the BoM is a revelation (in English), and not
a translation from the original languages. Interesting concept.
"At each of these stages, from Joseph Smith reading it off all the way, to
setting the type, there is potential for error," Skousen said."Skousen forgets to consider that what we know about the translation process
suggest that error prevention was built into the process and should have
minimized the chance of error in translation to near zero. David Whitmer's
account of the process (one of the most detailed) says that after the scribe had
written what was read from the seer stone, that it was read back to Joseph and
that the next english line of text would not appear on the stone until it was
correct. So the same gift and power of God used to translate helped avoid errors
in the manuscript.Also it should be noted that most historians think
that the BoM as we have it today was translated by using the seer stone placed
in a hat method— and that the spectacles — later called the
Urim & Thummim— was used for the lost 116 pages but likely not in
translating the book we now have.
Patriot:Royal Skousen is not being paid just to study the Book of
Mormon. He is a professor of linguistics whose primary responsibility at the
university is to teach students. His research into language helps qualify him to
do this and keeps him current in his field. His Book of Mormon studies will have
far-reaching effects over the years, well beyond his impact in the classroom. If
you look at the research of most university professors, it is easy to wonder why
on earth any university or foundation would ever fund such stuff. But,
collectively, this material adds to our understanding of our world, even
attaching tiny microphones to corn stalks to try to determine the stress caused
on plants by pollution.
Neanderthal asked me, "Where did Joseph Smith get the detail of the life of
ancient Americans his mom referenced in her writing? It's not in the
BoM."Correct, it is not. One must suppose he got it during his
annual preparation to receive the gold plates during visits he had with Moroni,
and apparently many other of the other ancient American prophets, who tutored
him (in September of each year). It also appears he was shown, probably at those
times, in vision, the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, in action, much as
Nephi, Isaiah, and John the Revelator were shown both the past and the future,
in vision.This points, IMO, to the divince source of the Book of
Mormon. Without such visits, visions, etc, he would not know what he conveyed to
his parents and siblings. Certainly, as Joseph's mother put it, such family
home gatherings were, given the subject matter presented, singular in nature.
For what other family could have been engaged in similar activity?@mdp That the translation into English was shown to him doesn't mean it
was a translation.@Brahma Bull - Joseph Smith used seemingly
ordinary stones also while translating with Martin Harris.
NeanderthalPheonix, AZIt's your lucky day; I'm gonna
educate you a wee bit. Why do you think JS dictated? Because he didn't
know how to write. And you're saying he wrote it all down and dictated
from copy in hand? Why do you think the lost MS was a disaster? If he'd
had copy in hand he could have easily dictated it again. Why do you think
Cowdery copied it all in the Printer's MS? They didn't want a repeat
of the lost MS disaster.The same sort of reasoning or lack thereof
is what allows the Spa(u)lding conspiracy theorists to invent nonsense--there
was no previous copy; it was dictated from scratch.--AGF
The BoM is a religious book -- nothing more, nothing less. Those who choose to
accept its veracity do so as a matter of faith, not through any demonstrable
evidence of antiquity since the plates are not available for examination by
scholars.Trying to "prove" BoM antiquity is simply a waste
of time and only panders to those who have trouble reconciling the lack of
evidence with their faith. The book does have value, but mostly to those who
believe in its teachings and by those who willingly accept the claim of
authenticity made by Joseph Smith himself.The trouble begins when
one boldly demands that others also accept its authenticity, without any
corroborating evidence, based upon supernatural confirmation alone.
The purpose of a critic is to find fault and point out errors and weaknesses but
with that as the goal they will never discover the spiritual teachings found in
the Book of Mormon that can enlighten their understanding of Book’s
purpose which is that it is a second witness for Jesus Christ. Their
preconceptions will prevent them from doing so This is what Joseph
Smith was referring to when he said, "I told the brethren that the Book of
Mormon was the most correct book on earth, and the keystone of our religion and
a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other
@mdp:"If I understand what Skousen said, the BoM is a revelation (in
English), and not a translation from the original languages.The Book
of Abraham seems to be of similar construct.
re:Kent C. DeForrestI understand he is a professor at the Y in
religion however this study of his seems to be very redundant and really brings
no new knowledge about the Book of Mormon. Delving into the verbiage of the
original translation for 25 years and comparing it to the current Book Of Mormon
is just so much trivia and nothing more and hardly justifies any money by the
university. If he wants to do this on his own time at his home as a hobby
perhaps then ok ... knock yourself out... but for the university to fund this
sort of thing is ridiculous and wasteful. How much time at the university did he
spend on this...that he is getting paid for? Is there a new course going to be
taught based on his findings? As I said - a study of the Dead Sea Scrolls or
something similar is very interesting and important because it represents new
learning and potentially new scripture or at least enlightenment of existing
scripture in the bible and is the sort of thing a highly compensated professor
should be spending his time doing.
re:AlfredActually the Book of Mormon is a translation
"aided" by inspiration and revelation. Joseph was indeed translating
actual characters as professor Charles Anthon verified. The Book Of Mormon -
unlike the bible - was translated by a prophet with prophetic gifts as a seer -
whereas the bible was interpreted and debated over by monks and others who were
not entitled to the same spiritual gifts and thus all the errors of
mistranslation in the various versions of the bible.
"Joseph Smith restored the LDS Church in the early 1800s"Joseph Smith did not "restore" the LDS Church in the early
1800's. He "founded" the LDS church in the 1800's.
The way I would explain it to investigadores on my mission was this. This is the
last verse in the book of John."And there are also many other
things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
written. Amen."If all the books of the world could not contain
all the things that Jesus did, how do you claim the Bible has it all? People would often ask me where it mentioned Joseph Smith in the Bible. If he
was a true prophet, it would say his name. I would say: where did it mention
Jesus by name in the Old Testament? Where did it say Mary? Where did Moses talk
about Isaiah? Where did Adam talk about Jeremiah? The Bible is a
great book. But my firm testimony is that the Book Of Mormon adds more than
what we already have. Why are you complaining? Where does it say in the Bible
that there can't be more?
re:Weber State GraduateNo one "boldly demands" that anyone
accept the truth of the Book of Mormon. Actually quite the opposite is true.
There is an "invitation" to read, to ponder and to pray about this book
of scripture and to do so with an open mind and heart. Nothing more. The truth
will come via the Holy Ghost ...again to the open minded and honest in heart
...as do all the teachings of Savior in the New Testament. To discover the truth
of spiritual things one must be willing to experiment in the "spiritual
laboratory" and comply with all the rules governing that realm the same as
does any scientist when attempting to discover scientific fact from theory in
the physical realm. See Moroni 10:3-5
Anytime your response to someone's question about religion is to say
"God works in mysterious way" then you have lost the argument.
RE: TOO,where does it mentioned J S in the Bible.*That seer… his
name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall be after the name of his
father. ( Gen 50:33 JST)? * Joseph Smith Jr.,” Joseph son of Jacob,
prophesied of the future mission of the Prophet JS twenty-four hundred years
before the LDS prophet was born…(50:33 JST ).(Religious truth defined by J
Fielding S (p.256-257) *JS, prophecy about himself. NOT found in Greek LXX or
Dead Sea Scrolls.@ where did it mention Jesus by name in the O.T.?
Jesus Christ this is the only name …(Gen 6:53 JST) RE: Red
Headed Stranger,John 9:2 ,the apostles ask about the male born blind. "Did
he or his parents sin?" How could someone be punished for sin from birth
unless that person first existed before birth?The Rabbis had developed the
principle that “There is no death without sin, and there is no suffering
without iniquity, they were even capable of thinking a child could sin in the
womb or that the soul might have sinned in a preexistent state. Jesus plainly
contradicts these beliefs.
Witness after witness of the translation process spoke of Joseph seeing the
words in seer stone/hat/translator and then having them transcribed. Some even
go as far to say that the words would not disappear until they had transcribed
them correctly. How then were there so many grammatical errors if JS was seeing
the words and having them transcribed directly?Why would God use an
antiquated form of English such as King James English in the BoM? It simply
doesn't make any sense.
Sharrona,I don't think you understood the point of my post. I
am a member. I said those were the arguments people would use on my mission
that I would face. I know the scriptures exist in the JST, but that holds
no H2O when you use the JST with a person who already believes we're
"adding" to the Bible.I would teach that last verse in John.
Then I would mention those questions when they would ask me where it said
Joseph Smith in the Bible--where does it mention Christ in the OT, etc. You
can't use a JST in the Bible to teach a person who thinks Mormons are a
cult--it adds to their point.
@Neanderthal:"And how did Smith know what he saw with the plates
was, in fact, a Urim & Thummim?"Because that is what Joseph
Smith said the Angel Moroni instructed him that they were on the night of
Sep.21, 1823 [see Joseph Smith--History 1:35]. That is why JS knew EXACTLY what
they were and what they would be used for.
I know the Book of Mormon is true and is scripture to us for our day! I know
this because I asked God the Father of us all. The spirit I felt is undeniable
and has sustained me through many trials in this life. The books about the Book
of Mormon are interesting but do not change the meaning and purpose of the book
which is to bring us to Christ. I am sure there were some errors of type and
content but the principles taught are the same in spite of any small errors.
Let's not split hairs with God's work.
@Bill in Nebraska"One must study and ponder the contents of the Book
of Mormon and then ask with sincere heart, nothing wavering to obtain a firm
testimony of the Book of Mormon from the Holy Ghost."Why ask God
for the belief that it's true when you should be asking IF it is true? If
you're going into a prayer with a pre-determined answer you are looking
for, you're generally going to get that result.
@AGF:"Why do you think JS dictated? Because he didn't know how to
write."Was he truant? No. He certainly could read else how did
he come across James 1:5?"And you're saying he wrote it all
down and dictated from copy in hand?"Could be. He may have had
3 years or more. By the way, per the JS history, scribes didn't view the
plates during translation due to a curtain draped between them and JS."Why do you think the lost MS was a disaster? If he'd had copy in
hand he could have easily dictated it again."Yes, but the
enemies who had the lost MS could still have printed out a modified/changed
version to thwart the work."Why do you think Cowdery copied it
all in the Printer's MS? They didn't want a repeat of the lost MS
disaster.Interesting situation... that the 116 pages was a duplicate
(Lehi Plates vs. Small Plates of Nephi) to head off an eventual lost MS problem
2,500 years later.
Oi vey... 'My people perish for lack of knowledge'... Opinions are
great, discussion and debate are lovely. Most prefer to remain in the realm of
reality while engaged thusly. Go to your source documents, stop offering what
you "think" Joseph meant. Ask those of us who grew up in the Church,
who faithfully attended seminary/institute/Church universities, and then who
taught for years from church curricula what our experiences were.Consider these points and go to reputable academic sources about Biblical
manuscripts (mss), textual criticism, hermaneutics. 1- Sheer ignorance
re the translation process in 2013 is inexcusable. No LDS here has stated it
accurately yet.2- No non-LDS institution of any kind authenticates any of
JS's translations, creations, aspirations.3- Ask your Prophet to
settle these debates: He claims direct access. End of problem.4- We
know what was repeated and taught by every successor about BoM accuracy. Get
out your Church History volumes.5- Stop devaluing the Journal of
Discourses when they contradict current doctrines, but quote it when you
agree.6- Ditto for the Bible. Take a position and remain true. Ditto
for the JST.
alt134: It is not an IF. You must ask that it be true. That is how the truth
comes out. If you are asking IF it be true then you have doubt that that it may
not be true and the truth will not come forth.There is no if in this
at all. No SHAZANDRA/OF THE CROSS; You tell us how it was translated, since
you seem to know so much. No matter what we say we are going to be wrong.
Truth is you have no idea except with what you have read yourself.The Journal of Discourses for the most were reprints of talks given. These
were given by others and not actual writings of the Presidents of the Church.
But then again you all ready know that.
@Neanderthal"but the enemies who had the lost MS could still have
printed out a modified/changed version to thwart the work."There
is no evidence that anyone has the lost MS, no reason why they couldn't
have gone through with this conspiracy theory anyway if someone did have it (you
just need to do a bit more work/changing that's all), and honestly, it just
sounds like a convenient excuse to explain away having a different translation
than the first one. This is one of the biggest sticking points for me in the
category of "if all of this was a hoax... this is totally a good way to go
about handling this issue". Speaking of the word if...@Bill in
Nebraska"If you are asking IF it be true then you have doubt that that
it may not be true and the truth will not come forth."So I have
to believe it's true for me to receive a belief that it is true? Still
seems like circular logic to me. If I didn't have any doubt why would I be
asking in the first place?
I is far easier to believe that the Book of Mormon is literally true than it is
to believe that the Mormon church has any validity whatsoever should the Book of
Mormon be untrue. Since there is no proof either way, one either chooses to
believe or chooses not to believe. The apologists in the restored priesthood
seem to be looking for a way to develop a third choice -- but their efforts are
as futile as trying to trisect an angle. After all, the ability to believe and
not to believe at the same time would create mental instability that would put a
fanatic to shame.
Bill - so just to get this straight... you have to believe it is true with no
doubt before you ask god in prayer that it is true?? yeah that sounds logical.
If that is the case you wouldn't need to ask in the first place. Many have
asked and received a different answer than you. you aren't better then
these people, you just got a different answer because you had it in your mind
already. Boy, you can talk yourself into anything Bill.
Shazandra: The Journal of Discources i snot nor has it ever been a teaching
History is replete with people who produced copious works, amazing
accomplishments, and large followings. If these demonstrate anything, it is that
human kind has always struggled with gullibility, and living up to its rational
endowments - NOT that there is some supernatural being behind every work or
event we have trouble explaining.Lack of formal education in Joseph
Smith's day says nothing about his intelligence or capabilities, nor does
it rule out his plagiarizing, paraphrasing, borrowing liberally, and
collaborating with others who did have formal education. As such, there is
nothing inexplicable about there being "ancient-appearing" literary
forms, linguistic patterns, and references in Joseph's writing.What IS puzzling is why there should be so much of the 19th century in
Joseph's "translations"? It is a lazy and wholly inadequate
explanation to simply dismiss such anachronisms with "it was a revelation
AND a translation"!The more science progresses, the more
anachronistic and contrived Joseph Smith's legacy becomes. It makes for an
increasingly bad fit with everything else we are coming to know about the
universe. And the parlor tricks (Moroni's Challenge) are less and less
persuasive to more and more rational people of all ages.