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Thread: The TRANSLATION process

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    So, which was it?

    Urim and Thummim?
    Seer Stones?
    Face in a hat?
    Lighted letters, and character by character comparison / checks and balances?

    This is the way Mormons like to portray the process on their website and in various publications:

    Attachment 499

    But this may be a more accurate portrayal, by other accounts:

    Attachment 500

    I remember on "old Tweb" having a discussion with one of the Tweb Mormons who got pretty upset that I posted the picture of Smith with "face in hat", because he apparently didn't know that was one of the ACTUAL accounts in Mormon History. He thought I made that up just to be disrespectful to Smith.

    So, which was it? What was the REAL "translation" method of the alleged golden plates?
    What exactly is the problem? Are you upset that an artist made a picture of one moment in time over a translation process and did not draw a picture of something else? Its well documented in LDS sources that Joseph used the Nephite intepreters before the loss of the 116 pages and used the seer stone afterwards with the hat. Does it bother me that Joseph put his face in a hat? No. I am worried more about the product than the little details of how the product came to pass. Plus it adds to the narrative. How exactly could Joseph Smith dictate from a KJV when his face is in a hat?
    Last edited by carbon dioxide; 05-11-2014 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #12
    God, family, chicken! Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon dioxide View Post
    What exactly is the problem? Are you upset that an artist made a picture of one moment in time over a translation process and did not draw a picture of something else?
    4 completely different depictions of the supposed same event lends heavily to it being a lie.


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  3. #13
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    Keep in mind that what is called the "Urim and Thummin" by LDS in the translation process is NOT the Old Testament Urim and Thummin but is called such because it is similar in some ways. The Book of Mormon speaks of a Nephite version of a seer stone

    Alma 37:23-25: "And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations. And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying: I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land."

    The text speaks of a second item called Nephite interpreters.

    Mosiah 8:13-14, 28:13-16: "Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.... And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow. Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people; And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times."

    What is called Gazelem was not with the plates but the Nephite interpreters were. Martin Harris described them as follows:

    "...about two inches in diameter, perfectly round, and about five-eighths of an inch thick at the centre ... They were joined by a round bar of diver, about three-eights of an inch in diameter, and about four inches long, which with the two stones, would make eight inches" (Joel Tiffany, Tiffany's Monthly (June 1859): p. 165–166).

    LDS often refer to the translation of the Book of Mormon by the "Urim and Thummin" and this term was used for BOTH. Joseph Smith mother called the seer stone as the Urim and Thummin when speaking of Joseph carrying it in his pocket. The Nephite interpreters were too big to be carried in a pocket so it would have to have reference to the seer stone. The size of the Nephite interpreters made it difficult for him to use.

    Following the loss of the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon by Martin Harris, Joseph Smith lost the Nephite Interpreters as discussed in D&C 10:1-4. When Joseph Smith was allowed to start the translation of the Book of Mormon again following the loss of the 116 pages, apparently he did not get the Nephite Intepreters back but used the seer stone instead. David Whitmer who became involved with the translation of the Book of Mormon after the loss of the 116 pages held the view of the following:

    "With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by his authority, I now state that he does not say that Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim; but by means of one dark colored, opaque stone, called a 'Seer Stone,' which was placed in the crown of a hat, into which Joseph put his face, so as to exclude the external light. Then, a spiritual light would shine forth, and parchment would appear before Joseph, upon which was a line of characters from the plates, and under it, the translation in English; at least, so Joseph said." (Saints' Herald 26 (15 November 1879): p. 341)

    This statement is generally correct from David Whitmer's perspective in terms of the device used was well as the use of the hat though I disagree with this statement on the methodology of how the translation occurred. David Whitmer was not around at the time Joseph used the Nephite interpreters so he was not a witness to it. Once the Nephite interpreters where taken away with the loss of the 116 pages, Joseph used the seer stone exclusively.

    So both artist depictions can be correct especially if they are from different time periods.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon dioxide View Post
    Keep in mind that what is called the "Urim and Thummin" by LDS in the translation process is NOT the Old Testament Urim and Thummin but is called such because it is similar in some ways. The Book of Mormon speaks of a Nephite version of a seer stone

    Alma 37:23-25: "And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations. And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying: I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land."

    The text speaks of a second item called Nephite interpreters.

    Mosiah 8:13-14, 28:13-16: "Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.... And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow. Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people; And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times."

    What is called Gazelem was not with the plates but the Nephite interpreters were. Martin Harris described them as follows:

    "...about two inches in diameter, perfectly round, and about five-eighths of an inch thick at the centre ... They were joined by a round bar of diver, about three-eights of an inch in diameter, and about four inches long, which with the two stones, would make eight inches" (Joel Tiffany, Tiffany's Monthly (June 1859): p. 165–166).

    LDS often refer to the translation of the Book of Mormon by the "Urim and Thummin" and this term was used for BOTH. Joseph Smith mother called the seer stone as the Urim and Thummin when speaking of Joseph carrying it in his pocket. The Nephite interpreters were too big to be carried in a pocket so it would have to have reference to the seer stone. The size of the Nephite interpreters made it difficult for him to use.

    Following the loss of the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon by Martin Harris, Joseph Smith lost the Nephite Interpreters as discussed in D&C 10:1-4. When Joseph Smith was allowed to start the translation of the Book of Mormon again following the loss of the 116 pages, apparently he did not get the Nephite Intepreters back but used the seer stone instead. David Whitmer who became involved with the translation of the Book of Mormon after the loss of the 116 pages held the view of the following:

    "With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by his authority, I now state that he does not say that Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim; but by means of one dark colored, opaque stone, called a 'Seer Stone,' which was placed in the crown of a hat, into which Joseph put his face, so as to exclude the external light. Then, a spiritual light would shine forth, and parchment would appear before Joseph, upon which was a line of characters from the plates, and under it, the translation in English; at least, so Joseph said." (Saints' Herald 26 (15 November 1879): p. 341)

    This statement is generally correct from David Whitmer's perspective in terms of the device used was well as the use of the hat though I disagree with this statement on the methodology of how the translation occurred. David Whitmer was not around at the time Joseph used the Nephite interpreters so he was not a witness to it. Once the Nephite interpreters where taken away with the loss of the 116 pages, Joseph used the seer stone exclusively.

    So both artist depictions can be correct especially if they are from different time periods.
    That's one of the stories. There are 3 more. And they contradict these statements.


    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals --- Manya the Holy Szin --- The Quintara Marathon ---

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common --- Stephen R. Donaldson ---

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon dioxide View Post
    Keep in mind that what is called the "Urim and Thummin" by LDS in the translation process is NOT the Old Testament Urim and Thummin but is called such because it is similar in some ways. The Book of Mormon speaks of a Nephite version of a seer stone.
    As with many other things, Smith made it up as he went along, and I think he forgot what he told to some, then other stories conflicted. It's not just about the "translation process" -- it's about MANY aspects of Smith's "prophetage".
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    That's one of the stories. There are 3 more. And they contradict these statements.
    Some people are reporting "hearsay" rather than first hand knowledge. Joseph was the only one who had first hand knowledge of the translation process.

    However, the point you miss is this:

    There was translation in different places with different scribes and different conditions. And we would suspect a progression when gaining experience. Then you come in and say that this must mean that there were "contradictions"?

    That is a baseless accusation.

    -7up

  7. #17
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    No, HERE's the problem....

    Why in the world God provide the Urim and Thummim if Smith was just going to use the same seer stone he used for scamming neighbors? OR, why would Smith use the same process he did for "glass looking" when God supposedly provided the Urim and Thummim.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    His brother said they were the same thing.
    They were the same thing or perhaps they worked in the same way. Reports say that the bow and breastplate with the Urim and Thummim were uncomfortable to work with; they caused Joseph eye strain, etc. which is one of the reason why he had to exclude light by using a hat or a curtain. Some suggest that he removed a stone from the bow and breast plate apparatus for convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    So, you ignore the quote from Emma, wife who actually WAS a scribe, on what was happening in favor of your own opinion which is held to save Joseph Smith's bacon?
    I am not ignoring Emma's account. Everybody who worked with Joseph claimed that he could see things in a miraculous way. (Like seeing what she was writing when it would seem impossible.) That does not imply that Joseph did not have to study out the translation in his mind. It was still Joseph's translation, and Joseph would not continue until the scribe had written what he had envisioned or rendered as the translation. Accounts do testify that it took human effort in order to translate the plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    .... I think he forgot what he told to some, then other stories conflicted. It's not just about the "translation process" -- it's about MANY aspects of Smith's "prophetage".
    Joseph himself does not appear to discuss the translation process. It is OTHER people who gave these reports.

    -7up
    Last edited by seven7up; 05-13-2014 at 11:16 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by seven7up View Post
    Joseph himself does not appear to discuss the translation process. It is OTHER people who gave these reports.

    -7up
    I'm not sure that's entirely true, but he DID dupe MANY people, and told conflicting stories that were repeated, and/or acted very inconsistently, and that was reported.
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  9. #19
    tWebber
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    Why would the Urim and Thummim poses the same powers as a stone he found and during the trial explained it as having the below powers. I don't get this. He finds a stone that has the exact same powers as what he finds later that was from biblical times. How does that make sense?

    “With some labor and exertion he found the stone, carried it to the creek, washed and wiped it dry, sat down on the bank, placed it in his hat, and discovered that time, place and distance were annihilated; that all intervening obstacles were removed, and that he possessed one of the attributes of Deity, an All-Seeing-Eye.” (Purple account, Joseph Smith Testimony, 1826 trial)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalInkling View Post
    Why would the Urim and Thummim poses the same powers as a stone he found and during the trial explained it as having the below powers. I don't get this. He finds a stone that has the exact same powers as what he finds later that was from biblical times. How does that make sense?

    “With some labor and exertion he found the stone, carried it to the creek, washed and wiped it dry, sat down on the bank, placed it in his hat, and discovered that time, place and distance were annihilated; that all intervening obstacles were removed, and that he possessed one of the attributes of Deity, an All-Seeing-Eye.” (Purple account, Joseph Smith Testimony, 1826 trial)
    Because he was not just a liar, he was a BAD liar.
    I have called you my friends.... Jesus
    Jn 15:15

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