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CFR that putting the stone in a hat was the "primary method of translation". And why didn't you mention the other methods Joseph used to translate?

Here are some quotes that I've gathered from eye witnesses who stated that this was the method of translation after the loss of the 116 pages

(this is for you too KevinG :) )  I'd also love to read any other statements from anyone regarding other methods that were used after the 116 pages were lost.  I'll keep searching too.

 

 

 

From Emma:

Quote

Now the first that my husband translated, was translated by use of the Urim and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he [my husband] used a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color.” 

 

If the above is true, then the Book of Mormon we have today was translated entirely from the seer stone.  

 

Here are some statements by eyewitnesses:

Emma:

Quote

"In writing for your father 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."

 

 

 

 

David Whitmer:

Quote

"By fervent prayer and by otherwise humbling himself, the prophet, however, again found favor, and was presented with a strange, oval-shaped, chocolate-colored stone, about the size of an egg, only more flat, which, it was promised should serve the same purpose as the missing urim and thummim. ... With this stone all the present Book of Mormon was translated."

 

 

 

 

David Whitmer again:

Quote

"I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. 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."

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Harris:

Quote

"By aid of the Seer Stone, sentences would appear and were read by the prophet and written by martin, and when finished he would say 'written' and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used."

 

 

Michael Morse (Emma's brother-in-law):

Quote

"When Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon, he, (Morse), had occasion more than once to go into his immediate presence, and saw him engaged at his work of translation. The mode of procedure consisted in Joseph's placing the Seer Stone in the crown of a hat, then putting his face into the hat, so as to entirely cover his face, resting his elbows upon his knees, and then dictating word after word, while the scribes - Emma, John Whitmer, O. Cowdery, or some other wrote it down."

 

 
 
Edited by ALarson
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I don't mock those who struggle. I mock those who continue to sell them the false narrative that the church hid things when they were published in the Friend, Ensign, Institute Manuals, and other official church publications going back decades.

Church resources going back to 1982 that discuss the use of the Hat and Seer Stones in the translation process: http://en.fairmormon...lation_process? along with a citation of a 1960 publication that mentions that method.

According to what fairmormon presents

In the past 100 years the earliest Church publication that most members might recieve to mention the hat is 1974 or 1977.

In the past 50 years the same as above applied.

Past 40 years same as above.

Past 30 years mid 1990s.

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According to what fairmormon presents

In the past 100 years the earliest Church publication that most members might recieve to mention the hat is 1974 or 1977.

In the past 50 years the same as above applied.

Past 40 years same as above.

Past 30 years mid 1990s.

 

It would be interesting to see the age and length of church membership of those who claim they lost their faith over being "lied to" over the stone in hat method of translation.  My guess would be it happened more recently than 1974 for most of them.  

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A problem I see in some of the defense tactics in here:  You cannot say members were too lazy for not knowing because it was always out there, while simultaneously suggesting Church leadership didn't know (e.g former businessmen, lawyers; not historian) and should be excused for not knowing.

 

Here's what I know, at this point:  The Church did publish this information in various forms over the years, but the information never found its way (in any meaningful way) into the main media used to teach the membership masses.  Intentional?  Don't know.  But, it happened.

To answer this question, I think it would be important to describe what you mean by the "the main media" and "membership masses" as they have changed each decade since 1830. As a microcosm:

 

When I joined the Church while in college in 1975 in the eastern USA, in a small branch where I was the only LDS student at the college, my main media was the library, members' libraries, and institute manuals. I read whatever I could get my hands on, having the sense that I needed to catch up. I recognize(d) this as an intellectual pursuit, not a spiritual one, as my testimony was already firm. I continued this quest on my mission, reading everything I could from the mission library. I knew about the stones within six months of joining the Church. I never gave anyone a hard time for not studying Church History as I did; I recognized that testimony was most important; I probably could and should have spent more of my wherewithal on being a better-practicing, more charitable convert.

 

The Church spends 20 years perfecting the canon with the latest technologies available.

 

Fast-foward 20 years and we're raising our children on the east coast USA. Questions about stones and hats come up from who-knows-where. I can answer them and my children are "inoculated." Fast-foward a few years, son on mission mentions these things in passing, and less-aware peers think he's been reading anti-Mormon literature.

 

The Internet replaced libraries, and church history was exploited to undermine faith. The second generation grows up in the Church more gradually, without the same sense of self-imposed urgency I had to learn the history. As a father, I emphasized the testimony and the doctrine, figuring that if they had an interest in history, they would pursue it as I did. When they had questions, i answered them.

 

Fast forward to today. The essays and online histories, developed over a decade or so with the best technologies and communications available ring a familiar bell to my grown children, raising children of their own.

 

Can you spot the truly effective media in this story, when it took place, and who the real masses are?

Edited by CV75
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Here are some quotes that I've gathered from eye witnesses who stated that this was the method of translation after the loss of the 116 pages

(this is for you too KevinG :) )  I'd also love to read any other statements from anyone regarding other methods that were used after the 116 pages were lost.  I'll keep searching too.

 

 

 

From Emma:

Quote

 

If the above is true, then the Book of Mormon we have today was translated entirely from the seer stone.  

 

Here are some statements by eyewitnesses:

Emma:

Quote

 

 

 

David Whitmer:

Quote

 

 

 

David Whitmer again:

Quote

 

 

 

Martin Harris:

Quote

 

Michael Morse (Emma's brother-in-law):

Quote

 

Thanks...  here is a very comprehensive list of methods of translation including the date of the report, who gave the report, and their orientation towards the church (faithful, neutral, hostile...)

 

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Translation/Method

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To answer this question, I think it would be important to describe what you mean by the "the main media" and "membership masses" as they have changed each decade since 1830. As a microcosm:

 

When I joined the Church while in college in 1975 in the eastern USA, in a small branch where I was the only LDS student at the college, my main media was the library, members' libraries, and institute manuals. I read whatever I could get my hands on, having the sense that I needed to catch up. I recognize(d) this as an intellectual pursuit, not a spiritual one, as my testimony was already firm. I continued this quest on my mission, reading everything I could from the mission library. I knew about the stones within six months of joining the Church. I never gave anyone a hard time for not studying Church History as I did; I recognized that testimony was most important; I probably could and should have spent more of my wherewithal on being a better-practicing, more charitable convert.

 

The Church spends 20 years perfecting the canon with the latest technologies available.

 

Fast-foward 20 years and we're raising our children on the east coast USA. Questions about stones and hats come up from who-knows-where. I can answer them and my children are "inoculated." Fast-foward a few years, son on mission mentions these things in passing, and less-aware peers think he's been reading anti-Mormon literature.

 

The Internet replaced libraries, and church history was exploited to undermine faith. The second generation grows up in the Church more gradually, without the same sense of self-imposed urgency I had to learn the history. As a father, I emphasized the testimony and the doctrine, figuring that if they had an interest in history, they would pursue it as I did. When they had questions, i answered them.

 

Fast forward to today. The essays and online histories, developed over a decade or so with the best technologies and communications available ring a familiar bell to my grown children, raising children of their own.

 

Can you spot the truly effective media in this story, when it took place, and who the real masses are?

 

I think you are clearly the exception to the rule on how the majority of the Church's members get their eduction on Church History (as am I, by the way) and I think your son's experience is indicative of that fact (being accused of getting info from "anti" materials).  I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that the majority of Church membership have relied upon the lesson manuals provided for Sunday School, Priesthood and Relief Society meetings as their primary source(s) for this information.

Edited by ttribe
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It would be interesting to see the age and length of church membership of those who claim they lost their faith over being "lied to" over the stone in hat method of translation.  My guess would be it happened more recently than 1974 for most of them.

I think more members are upset about not being taught the details of how Joseph lived polygamy and polyandry than over the seer stone information. Members may be surprised or even upset to learn about the seer stone or head in the hat translation of the Book of Mormon, but I wonder if they'll leave the church over this? Maybe if they learn he used the same stone to search for buried treasure? I don't know:
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Can you spot the truly effective media in this story, when it took place, and who the real masses are?

 

Nice!  I once continued a conversation with a very hostile anti-mormon (not just a doubter this guy was consigning me to hell) because I knew the guy in the seat behind us on the train was listening.  I didn't answer the questions for the hostile man, I answered them for the man listening in.

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Thanks...  here is a very comprehensive list of methods of translation including the date of the report, who gave the report, and their orientation towards the church (faithful, neutral, hostile...)

 

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Translation/Method

Yes, I've read all of those.  Are there any that you are specifically referring to that apply to the translation method after the 116 pages were lost?  If you can point them out to me, I'm very interested in reading them again.  Thanks!

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I think more members are upset about not being taught the details of how Joseph lived polygamy and polyandry than over the seer stone information. Members may be surprised or even upset to learn about the seer stone or head in the hat translation of the Book of Mormon, but I wonder if they'll leave the church over this? Maybe if they learn he used the same stone to search for buried treasure? I don't know:

 

Many of those details are not clearly recorded, and in fact some of them were not debunked or verified until the Joseph Smith Papers came out.  Again I refer people to Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling for a very even handed treatment of polygamy and Joseph, using sources not available or even known until compiled until recently.  And if anyone interprets "not compiled" as being hidden on purpose remember we're still finding Mozart compositions in libraries as recently as the late 20th century.

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Yes, I've read all of those.  Are there any that you are specifically referring to that apply to the translation method after the 116 pages were lost?  If you can point them out to me, I'm very interested in reading them again.  Thanks!

 

This one eyewitness account seems to indicate differences in reports:

 

Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery (eyewitness)

"I cheerfully certify that I was familiar with the manner of Joseph Smith's translating the book of Mormon. He translated the most of it at my Father's house. And I often sat by and saw and heard them translate and write for hours together. Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribe while he was translating. He would place the director in his hat, and then place his [face in his] hat, so as to exclude the light, and then [read] to his scribe the words as they appeared before him."

  • Scribe: Unknown
  • Curtain: Denied that a curtain had been used.
  • Instrument: A "director"
  • Method: Hat.

Editorial comment: Where this may tell us more than it says is the specific statement that "Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribe while he was translating." The statement made by Elizabeth virtually requires that there be a story in current circulation that there was a curtain, and that this statement was made to counter that story. This indicates that among the Saints there may have been two versions circulating and that there was no clear understanding about which was the accurate picture. Therefore, Elizabeth wanted to clarify the account based on her experience.

I staid in Richmond two days and nights. I had a great deal of talk with widow Cowdry, and her amiable daughter. She is married to a Dr Johnson, but has no children. She gave me a certificate, And this is the copy. "Richmond, Ray Co., Mo. Feb 15, 1870--I cheerfully certify that I was familiar with the manner of Joseph Smith's translating the book of Mormon. He translated the most of it at my Father's house. And I often sat by and saw and heard them translate and write for hours together. Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribe while he was translating. He would place the director in his hat, and then place his face in his hat, so as to exclude the light, and then [read the words?] as they appeared before him:

  • Scribe: Unknown
  • Curtain: Not mentioned
  • Instrument: A "director"
  • Method: Hat.
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So, you agree with the witness statements above?  That the method of translation after the 116 pages was the use of the seer stone in the hat? (Just clarifying).

 

I was teasing I hadn't read them all and couldn't draw a conclusion.

 

I'm looking for something I read once that said after using the translation devices Joseph was later able to translate without them.

 

If I find it I will share it.

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Interestingly enough for those who believe the Church was in the practice of hiding the stone in the hat theory...  As far back as 1887 David Whitmer was sharing it with the world.

 

AN ADDRESS

TO

ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST.

BY

A WITNESS TO THE DIVINE AUTHENTICITY

OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.

DAVID WHITMER,

RICHMOND, MISSOURI.

1887

 

God gave to an unlearned boy, Joseph Smith, the gift to translate it by the means of a STONE. See the following passages concerning the ”Urim and Thummin," being the same means and one by which the Ancients received the word of the Lord.[17]

I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. 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.

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Interestingly enough for those who believe the Church was in the practice of hiding the stone in the hat theory...  As far back as 1887 David Whitmer was sharing it with the world.

 

AN ADDRESS

TO

ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST.

BY

A WITNESS TO THE DIVINE AUTHENTICITY

OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.

DAVID WHITMER,

RICHMOND, MISSOURI.

1887

 

God gave to an unlearned boy, Joseph Smith, the gift to translate it by the means of a STONE. See the following passages concerning the ”Urim and Thummin," being the same means and one by which the Ancients received the word of the Lord.[17]

I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. 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.

 

 

I believe David Whitmer was disaffected at that point. He was not speaking for the church. 

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I am very pleased the church is being more transparent regarding issues of our past by releasing the essay on BoM translation as well as the information about the seer stone. But I have a question I really need answered.

 

WHY did the church purposely promulgate a false narrative about the BoM translation?

It's a simple question.

 

It seems clear the church has been aware for quite some time that the Hat/stone method was the primary method of translation. We have a smattering of Ensign articles over the last 40 years proving church leadership was aware, yet they continued teaching the "traditional" narrative in Sunday School, Missionary discussions, CES curriculum, and certainly in the art they approved and often commissioned. WHY would they take that approach? Why?

 

When I consider this issue along with the well documented deceptions regarding the practice of polygamy I have to wonder how many more lies have been told and how I can trust the church to be honest.

 

I want this to be a very focused discussion about WHY the church leadership would purposely deceive. Please help me understand WHY. Thanks.

 

In addition to the answer I gave in post #6 on page 1, I thought I should add this...

 

Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith discounts the reports of Joseph using a seer stone (rather than the U&T) as "hearsay".  He cites Ether 3:22-24 as a reason why Joseph had to have used the "U&T" rather than a seer stone.  (page 226)

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Here are some quotes that I've gathered from eye witnesses who stated that this was the method of translation after the loss of the 116 pages

(this is for you too KevinG :) )  I'd also love to read any other statements from anyone regarding other methods that were used after the 116 pages were lost.  I'll keep searching too.

 

 

 

From Emma:

Quote

 

If the above is true, then the Book of Mormon we have today was translated entirely from the seer stone.  

 

Here are some statements by eyewitnesses:

Emma:

Quote

 

 

 

David Whitmer:

Quote

 

 

 

David Whitmer again:

Quote

 

 

 

Martin Harris:

Quote

 

Michael Morse (Emma's brother-in-law):

Quote

 

All of these quotes exclude the person who was the primary witness of the translation of the book of mormon, Oliver Cowdrey. They do not even contain hearsay from him

 

How could any of the statements be considered reliable as the only way of translation unless they contain statements from him.

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All of these quotes exclude the person who was the primary witness of the translation of the book of mormon, Oliver Cowdrey. They do not even contain hearsay from him

 

How could any of the statements be considered reliable as the only way of translation unless they contain statements from him.

 

Are there any statements from Oliver Cowdrey on the translation method for the post-116 pages time period?  Not trying to be snarky; I truly can't remember any.

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Are there any statements from Oliver Cowdrey on the translation method for the post-116 pages time period?  Not trying to be snarky; I truly can't remember any.

 

There is the statement in the Pearl of Great Price, which isn't very detailed, but it does say he translated by the urim and thummin. 

 

I don't doubt the other statements when used as what they (David whitmer, emma etc saw).  I just don't find their statements reliable when it comes to their conclusions about what they saw being the only way, when they were not involved in the process day after day. 

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All of these quotes exclude the person who was the primary witness of the translation of the book of mormon, Oliver Cowdrey. They do not even contain hearsay from him

How could any of the statements be considered reliable as the only way of translation unless they contain statements from him.

You do know who Emma Smith and David Whitmer were, correct? Are you saying they're not reliable witnesses? Edited by JulieM
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Because if we didn't give people like you something innocuous to complain about endlessly you might complain about something important and actually cause harm.

Checkmate.

Hmmm...I was called a smart elek (sp) once on this board...I guess when we don't have answers for someone..we come up with stuff like this.  I am guilty of it and so are you IMO.

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