My Coming Out pt3 – Translation
Ability to Translate
Joseph claimed to find the urim and thummim in the pit with the golden plates, and that they would allow for the translation of the plates. Many members are taught that Joseph wore the urim and thummim, read the golden plates, and dictated the translation to his chief scribe Oliver Cowdery. The church has never printed a depiction of Joseph wearing these “stones, fastened to a breastplate,” and in fact one of its own “Three Witnesses,” David Whitmer, described how Joseph would actually translate the plates.
Mr. Whitmer describes how Joseph 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.” Joseph would look through the stone, see the translation of the characters on the golden plates, and dictate the meanings to his scribe. (sounds so similar to his seer stone that he testified about in his trial in 1826) This account of the translation of the golden plates is the account that is portrayed in the pictures printed by the church in its many publications, Why is this not the story that is told to investigators? There is one account that the plates weren’t even in the same room as Joseph and Oliver. So what, you may say, it doesn’t matter how he did it, he did it. I say, why the blatant fraud? Teach what actually (might have) happened.
Joseph Smith claims to have translated an Egyptian papyri scroll; he purchased using the funds from families in the community, from a traveling mummy show. He claimed the scroll contained the writing of Abraham, in the ancient language of Reformed Egyptian. In addition to the text three facsimiles, or pictures, were translated. Of course no such language has ever been reported by credible Egyptologists. The scroll, after being apparently lost in the great Chicago fire, was found, studied, and contained none of the “translations” reported by Joseph Smith. The Egyptian language had only been cracked using the Rosetta Stone a few years prior to Smith finding, buying, and translating the scroll so no other translations or critiques of his translation could have been made in his day. Today, anyone can go to the internet or a library to get a basic Egyptology guide and make the translation themselves and none would come up with a translation with any similarities to Smith’s.
Word spread of Smith’s ability to translate ancient languages and so six more plates were brought to him to be translated. He found they were the history of a descendant of Ham through the line of the Pharaoh. The only problem with the translation of these plates is that Wilbur Fugate and two of his friends admitted to forging the plates themselves. They made the plates to test the validity of the claims of the purported prophet and seer. Obviously they found him to be a fake, though some LDS members still hold the translation of the Kinderhook Plates to be true.
I have attached pictures which contain a depiction of the facsimiles, the translation by Joseph Smith, and the current Egyptologist’s translation.
Posted on April 2, 2013, in Christianity, Coming Out, Mormon-isms and tagged atheism, atheist, book of mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, evidence, faith, faithless, free, free thinker, free thinking, free thought, freethought, LDS, Mormon, open. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.