Authorship of the Book of Mormon
- "Joseph used a peep stone and a hat to translate most of the Book of Mormon." - Terryl Givens
- "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.)
- “The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen tablecloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt of the plates as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book.” (Emma Smith, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, p. 290; spelling modernized.)
- "Joseph Smith... was influenced by nineteenth-century American culture in rendering its message...
It is likely that Joseph Smith expanded the Book of Mormon... Some doctrines in the book's pre-Christian sections are simply too developed and too characteristic of the nineteenth century...
The expansion theory of the Book of Mormon has far-reaching implications... The model of revelation I propose here is that of creative co-participation... What we have therefore is neither an ancient document nor a translation... Joseph Smith imposed an interpretation on the text which was foreign to that ancient text...
The Book of Mormon reflects the influence of Joseph Smith's earliest belief structure... largely derived from... nineteenth-century Protestantism... Later revelations, however, necessitated so much revision... that the assumptions... reflected in the Book of Mormon were largely abandoned..." (Blake T. Ostler [LDS], Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1987, page 66-67)
- "The prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his Book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies--infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstatiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of free masonry, republican government, and the rights of man." -Alexander Campbell, Millennial Harbinger (February 1831)
- "It is interesting that Joseph Smith, Sr., had almost the same dream, according to his wife, who took comfort in comparing the wanderings of her own family with those of 'Father Lehi'." -Hugh Nibley (LDS)
- "In his first chapters Joseph borrowed from his own family traditions. His mother for many years had cherished the details of several of her husband's dreams, and one of these the youth incorporated wholesale into his narrative. Lehi, father of the hero Nephi, was made to have a vision that paralleled the dream of Joseph's father in minute detail... Like Joseph himself, Nephi had two elder brothers, Laman and Lemuel, and three younger, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph." -Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History
- "If… the view be taken that the Book of Mormon is merely of human origin; that a person of Joseph Smith's limitations in experience and education, who was of the vicinage and of the period that produced the book - if it be assumed that he is the author of it, then it could be said there is much internal evidence in the book itself to sustain such a view. In the first place there is a certain lack of perspective in the things the book relates as history that points quite clearly to an undeveloped mind as their origin. The narrative proceeds in characteristic disregard of conditions necessary to its reasonableness, as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency." (B.H. Roberts [LDS], Studies of the Book of Mormon, pg. 251).
- "The way that Smith made his transcripts and translations for Harris was the following. Although in the same room, a thick curtain or blanket was suspended between them, and Smith concealed behind the blanket, pretended to look through his spectacles, or transparent stones, and would then write down or repeat what he saw, which, when repeated aloud, was written down by Harris, who sat on the other side of the suspended blanket. Harris was told that it would arouse the most terrible divine displeasure, if he should attempt to draw near the sacred chest, or look at Smith while engaged in the work of deciphering the mysterious characters. This was Harris' own account of the matter to me." - John A. Clark
- Joseph "evidently translated by use of the seer stone found in Chase's well"
- ". . . the discovery [of the Egyptian papyri in 1967] prompted a reassessment of the Book of Abraham. What was going on while Joseph "translated" the papyri and dictated text to a scribe? Obviously, he was not interpreting the hieroglyphics like an ordinary scholar. As Joseph saw it, he was working by inspiration—that had been clear from the beginning. When he "translated" the Book of Mormon, he did not read from the gold plates; he looked into the crystals of the Urim and Thummim or gazed at the seerstone. The words came by inspiration, not by reading the characters on the plates. By analogy, it seemed likely that the papyri had been an occasion for receiving a revelation rather than a word-for-word interpretation of the hieroglyphs as in ordinary translations. Joseph translated Abraham as he had the characters on the gold plates, by knowing the meaning without actually knowing the plates' language" (Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 192).
When the printer was ready to commence work, [Martin] Harris was notified, and Hyrum Smith brought the first installment of manuscript, of 24 pages, closely written on common foolscap paper-- he had it under his vest, and vest and coat closely buttoned over it. At night [Hyrum] Smith came and got the manuscript, and with the same precaution carried it away. The next morning with the same watchfulness, he brought it again, and at night took it away. This was kept up for several days. The title page was first set up, and after proof was read and corrected, several copies were printed for Harris and his friends. On the second day--[Martin] Harris and [Hyrum] Smith being in the office--I called their attention to a grammatical error, and asked whether I should correct it? [Martin] Harris consulted with [Hyrum] Smith a short time, and turned to me and said, "The Old Testament is ungrammatical, set it as it is written."
After working a few days, I said to [Hyrum] Smith on his handing me the manuscript in the morning, "Mr. [Hyrum] Smith, if you would leave this manuscript with me, I would take it home with me at night and read and punctuate it, and I could get along faster in the daytime, for now I have frequently to stop and read half a page to find how to punctuate it." His reply was, "We are commanded not to leave it." A few mornings after this, when [Hyrum] Smith handed me the manuscript, he said to me, "If you will give your word that this manuscript shall be returned to us when you get through with it, I will leave it with you." I assured Smith that it should be returned all right when I got through with it. For two or three nights I took it home with me and read it, and punctuated it with a lead pencil. This will account for the punctuation marks in pencil, which is referred to in the Mormon Report, an extract from which will be found below.
Martin Harris, Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdery, were very frequent visitors to the office during the printing of the Mormon Bible [Book of Mormon]. The manuscript was supposed to be in the handwriting of [Oliver] Cowdery. Every chapter, if I remember correctly, was one solid paragraph, without a punctuation mark, from beginning to end. http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JHGilbert.html
- ↑ http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/03/interview-terryl-givens-and-richard-bushman-part-ii/
- ↑ John A. Clark, Gleanings by the Way (1842), pp. 222-31. Available online here.
- ↑ http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no105.htm#Urim
- Translation or Divination? (Institute for Religious Research)
- Evidence from the Book of Mormon Manuscript
- Sidney Rigdon: Creating the Book of Mormon, by Craig Criddle
- Questions on the Book of Mormon, its Author and his Work (LDS-Mormon.com)
- Depiction of Translation (Church-published book titled "Children's Stories of the Doctrine & Covenants")
- A Treasured Testament, by Elder Russell M. Nelson - Admits a very non-traditional view of the translation
- Updating the Expansion Theory, by Blake Ostler
- The Story of the Stones and the Hat, by Sam MB
- Did Joseph Smith Use the Bible For the Book of Mormon?, by Kerry A. Shirts