cksalmon Posted January 5, 2008 Share Posted January 5, 2008 From William Smith on Mormonism:In consequence of his vision, and his havinggolden plates and refusing to show them, a greatpersecution arose against the whole family, andhe was compelled to remove into Pennsylvaniawith the plates, where he translated them bymeans of the Urim and Thummim, (which heobtained with the plates), and the power of God.The manner in which this was done was by lookinginto the Urim and Thummim, which wasplaced in a hat to exclude the light, (the plateslying near by covered up), and reading off thetranslation, which appeared in the stone by thepower of God. He was engaged in this businessas he had opportunity for about two years and ahalf. In the winter of 1829 and thirty, the Book ofMormon, which is the translation of part of theplates he obtained, was published. He then showedthe plates to my father and my brothers Hyrumand Samuel, who were witnesses to the truth ofthe book which was translated from them. I waspermitted to lift them as they laid in a pillow-case;but not to see them, as it was contrary to thecommands he had received. They weighed aboutsixty pounds according to the best of my judgment.What's William on about here? Context: (1) William remained a firm adherent to BoM throughout his life (following his conversion). (2) This statement is not critical, not "anti-Mormon"; it purports to be factual. It derives from the pen of a committed Restorationist (and brother of prophet Joseph Smith). (3) William believed in the God-givenness of BoM. (4) William states that Joseph Smith worked on the translation for 2.5 or so years prior to its publication. (5) Not to put too fine a point on it, but again, William here is not criticizing BoM, but rather defending it. William's account obviously doesn't square with the 60-day time period I've read from the e-pens of BoM apologists here and elsewhere (e.g., Charity on MDB). There's a world of difference between two months and two-and-a-half years, between 60 days and 547 days. What's he talking about here? Assuming William is writing in good faith here (and I don't know a reason not to assume that), he suggests quite a lengthier translational timeline than apologists allow. Citing his old age at the time of publication (1883) won't easily excuse the addition of 480-some days to his BoM translational timeline, I wouldn't think. What is the LDS apologetic response to this. I haven't come across it, if it exists. CKS Link to comment
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