This is the final chapter in my discussion of controversial topics within the church. This week we’re attacking the confusion that surrounds the keystone of our religion. The adversary (and those seeking the destruction of our faith), know that if you can discredit The Book of Mormon, you can…
It’s a shame that you use the image you did to place a picture in our minds of how the translation took place, when you later include a description of how the translation really took place. The idea that the image uses to plant into your mind is false. It’s a work of fiction to make the whole situation seem more “normal”.
Joseph Smith’s Education
The young man, however, had very little formal education and was incapable of writing a book on his own, let alone translating an ancient book written from an unknown language, known in the Book of Mormon as ‘reformed Egyptian’.
Classical misinformation that has been spread by the church since the death of Joseph Smith.
The idea that Joseph Smith received very little formal education? Well that is sort of true. He had three years of formal education, which compared to us now, would be classed as little. However, back in them days compared to others, it was a fair amount.
The way this is worded though by adding that he was ”incapable of writing a book on his own" is utter nonsenses.
I think it is important just to note that when Joseph Smith “translated” the Book of Mormon, he was no longer a 14 year old boy. He was 23 (if my memory serves me correct). Does this make any difference? Well… yes. A hell of a lot I believe. Before going into any details of why though, I just want to point out a few little facts really quickly that I think most members are completely unaware of:
- Joseph Smith Sr - Teacher.
- Hyrum Smith - Teacher.
- It’s also believed that one of his sisters may have been a teacher at some point during JS’ early life.
Joseph Smith had a LOT of home schooling by his parents, and siblings. His mother once said that he was schooled in “reading, writing, and the ground rules of arithmetic”.
At age 20, he attended high school in Harmony, PA. This is why it’s important to realise that Joseph Smith was not the same 14 year old boy who received these visits from the angel Moroni. Joseph Smith was an educated man. Especially when it came to the Bible.
Joseph Smith attended church regularly, and studied the Bible for years and years. He had a job at one church where he’d discuss and argue various topics of the Bible. He knew the Bible well. This is a quote from him that his Mother recalled “I can take my Bible, and go into the woods, and learn more in two hours, than you can learn at meetings in two years, if you should go all the time.”
The Book of Mormon
This manuscript corroborates Joseph Smith’s statements that the manuscript was written within a short time frame and that it was dictated from another language
Partly true. From viewing what is left of the original first transcription that the various scribes Joseph Smith used, and from sources of the people who witnessed the “translation” process, it’s fair to say that the manuscript was written within a short time frame. This idea often then makes people of the church think “How Joseph Smith have possibly made up this story in such a short tie frame?!”. There’s huge flaw with this way of thinking though.
This assumes that Joseph Smith made up the story whilst it was being written. This idea of course, is false. He had years and years to think of the story in advance. The moment he went into the woods to pray, up until the moment he started “translating” the Book of Mormon. There was a spanner thrown into the works of the process, with Martin Harrison loosing the 116 pages. This disrupted the story telling, and Joseph Smith stopped “translating” for a long time.
- Joseph Smith had years worth of time to think the story up
- He was very well educated in the Bible
- He had an amazing imagination
- The Book of Mormon heavily copies from the Bible
- The Book of Mormon also includes stories,or so-called visions that his father used to have
- The Book of Mormon contains themes and ideas that were often spoken about during the teenage years of Joseph Smith
If you take out all these copied visions, ideas, stories, and the plagiarized bible accounts, we end up with a much, much smaller Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith had access to books, newspapers, and libraries. With so much of the Book of Mormon already coming from outside sources, filling in the middle parts and “bulking it out” wouldn’t have been that hard at all. - Especially with the amount of time he would have had to work on the story in his mind.
For example, it includes errors that suggest the scribe heard words incorrectly rather than misread words copied from another manuscript.
Correct. The scribe was only writing down what Joseph Smith had memorised from other stories.
Green Eggs and Ham
In addition, some grammatical constructions that are more characteristic of Near Eastern languages than English appear in the original manuscript, suggesting that the base language of the translation was not English.”
It may suggest such an idea, but is not proof. There is a story called “Green eggs and ham”. As far as I understand, it’s a very simple Children book, written in the 1960’s (ish). When you choose to have an idea about a story, you can ready many things into it. When reading the Book of Mormon as a translated work from Hebrew written in am Egyptian-like language, you can find such things as chiasmus in. The Bible, and other Hebrew work is often full of them. What is interesting though is that if you were to hold a similar, incorrect view of the story “Green Eggs and Ham”, you will find that this story is almost a work of art. Rather then me explaining it inn real detail to make my point here, I’ll just link you to a 3 page PDF document that clearly explains what I’m about: https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V33N04_173.pdf
So what I’m really getting at here is that if you want to read ideas into the book of Mormon to back up the idea it is of Hebrew / Egyptian descendant, you can find it. Just as you could in a story book that was wrote in the 1960’s.
I could go through the rest of the essays that you quoted from, but I think I’ve made my point. The LDS church uses half-truths, brilliant images, and misinformation to paint a FALSE image of what Joseph Smith was really like, and how the Book of Mormon came into being.
Joseph Smith was a well educated individual. Sure, he wasn’t formally educated at schools like we are now, but he was educated. Because he was educated the way he was, it is more then likely that things such as his grammar were not tip top. Although I attended school, high school, college and university, I taught myself a lot of things, including the things that I studied at college and university. My grammar is terrible. My spelling is terrible, and well, my English all together is terrible. I am however, educated.
Even a lack of education does not mean that a person is unintelligent. There have been a number of fantastic authors who were not very well educated. Some of the most important, and achieved business men and women had bad education. Some even had none. Education != Intelligence.
Joseph Smith was more then able to write the Book of Mormon in the time frame he did, with the resources he had. This of course does not mean he did make it all up. I certainly believe he did, and the evidence is most definitely there to support such an idea.
If you are going to make posts to clear up confusion, and to set the record straight to combat “The adversary” from attacking your religion, I’d suggest that first: you don’t take what the church says as fact. And secondly, do your own research into how things really were.
There are many non members, and ex-members who use false ideas, and false information to attack the church with. This is not much of a problem. The main problem for your church is the members believing in false ideas, and throwing them around as fact. The members right at the top of your church are doing it, members within your ward / branch will be doing it, the people who write these essays you are quoting form are doing it, and you are doing it.
This sort of blind faith in what ever the church says is true is destroying your religion. It’s so easy for people outside of your church to see though this common misinformation and lies, and see the real truth. at Members like yourself have no idea at all, and all you can do is spew out the same garbage that you have been taught yourself.
Thanks for the reblog! You make some rational points, (I knew posting that painting was a bad idea. However my selection was sparse) however I have learned that arguing on the internet is pointless. We will have to agree to disagree.
I would like to counter your argument that I have “blind faith.” After reading my posts you’ve made false assumptions about my character. You think that for me to believe what I do I must either be A. mentally deranged, or B. ignorant. You fail to accept a third option that I am a normal individual with a rational mind, and an open heart. I actually question a lot of things the leaders of my church do. I have questioned everything I believe. But I always turn to the God of the Universe for answers, instead of the internet. I have prayed earnestly for knowledge and truth, and I have found it. Not by research, but through prayer and meditation. This is the foundation of my testimony, not a fan-girl obsession you think I have. This is a gamble I’m willing to make, I put my trust in the Lord.