Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
Joseph Smith’s scribes all testified that he had never so much as glanced at the gold plates during his entire “translation” of the Book of Mormon, for fear of being struck dead. But it would have been utterly ridiculous for God to have sent an angel to hand the engraved gold plates over to him with instructions to translate them, and then to have told him that if he so much as looked at them he would die. He would not permit anyone else to see them either, not even the so-called witnesses. They saw them in a vision, by faith. Most of the translating was done in David Whitmer’s home. And he describes, in detail, the method used:
“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 under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal [sic] 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.” (An Address to All Believers in Christ page 12.)
Joseph’s wife, Emma, was the first to serve as his scribe. And in a note to their son, Joseph Smith III, she stated:
“I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.” (History of the RLDS Church, 8 volumes, Independence, Missouri: Herald House, 1951, Last Testimony of Sister Emma, 3:356.)
Emma’s father, Isaac Hale, signed the following affidavit:
“The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with a stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods.” (Mormonism Unvailed, Eber D. Howe, Painesville, 1834, Chapter 17, Kindle Edition.)
The LDS has done its utmost to perpetuate his deception. Their illustrations of him translating the Book of Mormon invariably show him examining the gold plates on a table directly in front of him. This gives the false impression that he translated the Book of Mormon directly from the engravings on the gold plates.
During Joseph’s lifetime several folk made a fair amount of money from writing books on the supposed early inhabitants of the Americas. He decided that he would do the same, hence the Book of Mormon. After he’d completed it, he tried to sell the copyright in Canada. But he was unsuccessful. So he obtained financial backing from Martin Harris, and had the first edition printed featuring his name as the author (c/f Quest for Refuge, Marvin S. Hill, pages 20-21). But it didn’t sell. (A copy of the first edition should be in the LDS archives.)
At that stage he founded the LDS church. And the Book of Mormon was the red herring that enabled him to do so. He claimed that it contained the fullness of the everlasting gospel, and was another witness of Jesus Christ.
The following articles have relevance to what we have been discussing:
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