After Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages of Book of Mormon translation he was released from his duty as Joseph's scribe. For a time, Joseph's wife Emma took over the task. Later in life, Emma said that during episodes of dictation she sat across from Joseph — with nothing between them — while Joseph received revelation as she wrote down the words. She specifically noted that Joseph did not have any manuscripts or books from which to read. The hat in which Joseph looked to see the seer stone would have been dark and only inches from his face; which means that he would not have been able to read any concealed scraps of notes inside of the hat either. When interviewed by her son, Emma said:"My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity — I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he could at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. ...It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible" (Saints' Herald 26 [1879]:290). Due to the demands of everyday life — from providing sustenance to making meals — little progress was made during Emma's tenure as scribe. A new scribe was needed. Eventually, Oliver Cowdery appeared on the scene and the translation charged full speed ahead. When historians examine the timeline for the translation process, it becomes evident that the entire Book of Mormon — over a quarter million words and nearly six hundred pages in the 1830 edition — was translated in a span of 65 to 75 days. That's an average of about seven to eight pages a day or over three thousand words a day. This means that 1 Nephi was likely translated in about one week and King Benjamin's discourse in about a day and a half. This is amazing even if we thought the book was a work of fiction. When we recognize the complexity, consistency, depth, and profundity that we find in the Book of Mormon, it can only be described as miraculous. Emma said when Joseph first began translating, he could "neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter; let alone ... a book like the Book of Mormon," yet the profound teachings in this book have changed the lives of millions.As for complexity and depth, we stand in awe at how this relatively uneducated young man could produce a work that not only teaches eternal doctrinal principles but also weaves many tales of war, politics, migrations, and geography. Not only are the records of these events consistent, but (as we will discuss in future issues) they often match what we now know about ancient societies in the Near East and early Americas.For now, let's look briefly at the consistency we find in this marvelous work. If Joseph was dictating fiction and never had past portions read back to him, how did he keep things straight and consistent for nearly six hundred pages without forgetting at least some of the details?In Alma 36:22, for example, Alma compares the joy he felt during his conversion to Lehi's vision when Lehi "saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God." These 21 words in Alma 36 are quoted verbatim from Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 1:8 (319 pages earlier in the first edition). How many readers of this Mormon Times series could quote 21 words from my previous issue without looking? In 1 Nephi 19:11-12, Nephi recorded the prophecy of Zenos concerning the destruction that would come upon the wicked. Zenos listed 10 calamities, including lightning, fire, vapor of darkness, and more. These same 10 calamities are shown to have occurred preceding the visitation of Christ in 3 Nephi 8:6-23 (420 pages later in the original edition). Lastly, in Mosiah 2:13, King Benjamin listed five legal prohibitions: murder, plunder, theft, adultery, and any manner of wickedness. These same exact five prohibitions are found seven other times in the Book of Mormon as part of Nephite formulaic law.