long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

SITH and Visions in a Seer Stone

Nearly two years ago, I noted a book titled Visions in a Seer Stone by William L. Davis. I recommend that people read it because Davis relies on the same SITH accounts that our LDS apologists do. Like the citation cartel, Davis argues that Joseph Smith didn't really translate anything.

I completely disagree. I think Joseph and Oliver told the truth about the translation.

To be clear, I think Joseph translated the engravings on the plates and did not merely read words that appeared on a stone in a hat, or in a vision:

 41 Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained;
45 Behold, there are many things engraven upon the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work.
(Doctrine and Covenants 10:41–45)

But our modern LDS scholars reject that. They insist that Joseph never really translated the plates. 

Their SITH narrative is the foundation for the claims made by William Davis, John Dehlin, CES Letter, etc.

Davis' argument that the Book of Mormon is a performance by Joseph Smith is one of the inevitable conclusions people reach when they accept the SITH narrative. 

Scholars who teach SITH, including those who publish in the Interpreter and other citation cartel venues, reject the claim by Joseph and Oliver that Joseph translated the engravings on the plates by means of the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates.

For another example, see my post about the SITH exhibits at the Priesthood Restoration Site in what was once called Harmony, Pennsylvania.

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