Comments about ‘BYU professor discusses Book of Mormon translation’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Cedar Hills, UT

re:Weber State Graduate

No 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

Tu Ne Cede Malis
Phoenix, AZ

Anytime your response to someone's question about religion is to say "God works in mysterious way" then you have lost the argument.

layton, UT

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.

Lehi, UT

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.

Sanpete, UT


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.

Westland, MI


"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.

Grants Pass, OR

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Pheonix, AZ

"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.

Bakersfield, CA

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.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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?

Houston, TX

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.

sandy, ut

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.

Provo, UT

Shazandra: The Journal of Discources i snot nor has it ever been a teaching tool

The Scientist
Provo, UT

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.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments