Book Review: Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones (2016) At a church conference on October 25–26, 1831, the topic of the translation of the Book of Mormon arose and Joseph Smith was pressed to furnish the details pertaining thereto. According to the minutes taken at the conference, “Br. Joseph Smith jr. said that it was not intended to tell … Read more

Why Were the Gold Plates Necessary?

I am now roughly halfway through From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon. It is excellent. I’ve found many nice little nuggets I could blog about. For example, Michael MacKay and Gerrit Dirkmaat note the irony that Joseph Smith’s earliest antagonists (those who knew him the best) were … Read more

Book Notice: “From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon”

The Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University and Deseret Book have co-published a new book titled From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon. I have picked up a copy just today, and have been able to quickly skim through the contents of the book. Co-authored by Michael Hubbard … Read more

More Conspiracies! More Plots!

The Church’s devious attempts to suppress the naked truth of Joseph Smith’s fraud and deception continues unabated. For example, next month’s New Era includes an article by David A. Edwards titled “True or False.” “If you’ve ever taken a test with true-or-false questions, you know it’s sometimes hard to spot a falsehood,” begins Edwards. “Likewise, … Read more

Once Again: Joseph Smith, Richard Dawkins, and the Language of Translation

The King James Bible: the greatest monument of English literature or a work of charlatanry? [This is another follow-up post to these posts here, here and here. This blog post has been reposted at the Interpreter blog here.] At the risk of overkilling this topic, I want to return to Richard Dawkins’ arguments against the … Read more

Archaic Hebrew in the Old Testament (And What It Means for the Book of Mormon)

One of the Lachish ostraca (7th century BCE), written in paleo-Hebrew script. Some time ago I posted a blog entry at Interpreter on the atheist polemicist Richard Dawkins’ argument that the Book of Mormon is a fraud because Joseph Smith rendered his translation into Jacobean English. Dawkins’ argument is (and I’m not making this up) … Read more

Mormonism and Magic

Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam! My good friend Brandon Habermeyer has an interesting blog post on the relationship between Mormonism and magic. I actually agree with a lot of what Brandon has highlighted in his blog post. I am also pleased that this is a question that has been explored by numerous Mormon historians. I myself remember reading D. … Read more