Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The Mad Hatter Translation
Today, December 30, 2013, the LDS Church released the fourth Topic essay, on the Book of Mormon Translation.
Because I am very occupied with my children this holiday season, I'll keep my blog on it brief. I'll step through the claims.
Claim: "As a young man during the 1820s, Joseph Smith, like others in his day, used a seer stone to look for lost objects and buried treasure. As Joseph grew to understand his prophetic calling, he learned that he could use this stone for the higher purpose of translating scripture."
Sure. The seer stone is the 19th century "pet rock". As a young man, he had to have one. All the other guys had them and they all got dates, so Joseph Smith had to get him some seer stones action.
Now, my fellow editors at MormonThink ask this: Why would a common stone "discovered in the ground" have the same prophetic seering abilities as the spectacle urim & thummim which was "“kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord” and “handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages”?
(To get a more complete view on the BOM translation process and the many problems not discussed in the LDS article, read MormonThink's section on Book of Mormon Translation.)
Claim: On Sept 21, 1823, Moroni appeared in his (upper) bedroom.
Joseph shared the room with his brothers, and they did not see Moroni appear. We believe that Joseph, a notorious wrestler, had put his brothers in the sleeper hold each night--a move he perfected and used as an early version of a “roofie” with women later on. (yes, yes, not funny)
Claim: "Joseph Smith did not call for punctuation, such as periods."
Apparently it was Smith’s fear of periods that also led to polygamy. (Bada-dum!)
Claim: "Joseph could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon."
We think that’s actually partly true. He could speak well, but his writing sucked. It especially sucked when he wrote secret love letters to the wives of other men or his young child brides. This phrase, written to 17 year old Sara Ann Whitney comes to mind: “…the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty…”
Safty? Emma must have been one scary bich (sic in Joseph's letters). Anyway, see? Joseph did suck at writin’ even if he got him some seer stones to attract young girls. And it’s also true of the Book of Mormon. His writing was atrocious. The Book of Mormon underwent about 4,000 edits in the subsequent century. (The LDS Church has admitted to some of these edits here.)
Claim: "Joseph placed the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument."
Actually, we’re pretty sure God made Reformed English appear from the Reformed Egytpian written on the plates. Because, if English words appeared, presumably from God, then why did the “most correct of any Book on earth” require about 4,000 corrections? Why did the extended biblical quotes (comprising about 6%) that allegedly came from a 600BC version of the old testament on brass plates and put in by Nephi have the translation errors King James scribes made in the 17th century? Oh wait, the King James scribes also used felt hats to translate the bible.
It has to be the felt hats. As hatters felted them, they used mercuric nitrate to treat the fur of small animals for the manufacture of felt hats. When Joseph put his head into his felt hat for prolonged hours every day for about three months, breathing residual mercury vapors, he grew as mad as a hatter. That’s the origin of the Book of Mormon, with all of its 4,000 errors, its anachronistic phrases and events, misquotes of 17th century scribes and completely misguided assertions about the civilizations in ancient America.
It's the mad hatters translation.