Translating the Book of Mormon w/ Hats & Stones
“A Treasured Testament”, Ensign, July 1993, pg 61; “The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote: “Joseph Smith 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. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.)” – Russell M. Nelson
Galatians 1:8-9; “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Well we have quite the problem here.
If Joseph wasn’t looking at the plates then he wasn’t actually translating them.
If this is how it was done according to David Whitmer (one of the three original witnesses), then why are there so many testimonies from people like Emma Smith and others who testified he translated the Book of Mormon from the plates? Emma testified she’d sit on one side of a curtain or blanket that hung between her and Joseph while he translated and she acted as the scribe.
Did he get the text for the Book of Mormon by placing a hat around his face and if so, why did he need the plates at all? Why didn’t God just give him the story via the illuminating hat?
Another problem is found in the stone he put in his hat. According to numerous testimonies it was opaque in color. How did he see through it to receive the message?
Furthermore, the whole story of Joseph Smith translating Reformed Egyptian on golden or brass plates means nothing because that’s not how it was done. So much for anyone ever finding them and having the ability to prove the Book of Mormon actually existed.
Good job Joe. The totality of this story will never cease to amaze me.