How did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon?
Joseph Smith had only three years of formal education, yet the Book of Mormon is a complex and articulate work. He did not have the knowledge necessary to have written the book himself. The only explanation is that Joseph Smith used the power of God to translate the Book of Mormon from the gold plates he received from the angel Moroni. Contained with the plates were the Urim and Thummim, ancient seer stones that Joseph Smith used in the translation of the plates. Although not explained in the Bible the Urim and Thummim are mentioned in the following references. (Ex. 28:30; Lev. 8:8; Num. 27:21; Deut. 33:8; 1 Sam. 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65) The translation was not a simple task. Joseph Smith was required to concentrate and have faith. The actual details of how the gold plates were translated are not known, but his scribes give information about the process. While he was translating Joseph Smith would sit with the plates and verbally give the translation. Some witnesses say that the
- If the evidence for the Book of Mormon means that the unschooled farm boy Joseph Smith could not have written it, why couldn demons have inspired him to write it?
- How could Joseph Smith make up dozens of names in the Book of Mormon that would later be shown to be authentic ancient Semitic names?
- Didn Joseph Smith just borrow Book of Mormon names from the Bible?