One "tell" of cognitive dissonance is deliberately avoiding the fact that causes cognitive dissonance.
In our day, many LDS apologists promote the idea that Joseph Smith didn't really translate the plates. They say he merely read words that appeared on a stone he put in the hat (the stone-in-the-hat theory, or SITH).
Because Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery directly refuted SITH, the modern apologists simply ignore what Joseph and Oliver said.
That's one way to avoid cognitive dissonance. But is that a viable approach?
A better approach is to accept what Joseph and Oliver taught and assess contrary evidence accordingly.
The history of SITH can be traced to the 1834 book Mormonism Unvailed, which described SITH much like our modern LDS apologists do.
The translation finally commenced. They were found to contain a language not now known upon the earth, which they termed “reformed Egyptian characters.” The plates, therefore, which had been so much talked of, were found to be of no manner of use. After all, the Lord showed and communicated to him [Joseph] every word and letter of the Book. Instead of looking at the characters inscribed upon the plates, the prophet was obliged to resort to the old “peep stone,” which he formerly used in money-digging. This he placed in a hat, or box, into which he also thrust his face. Through the stone he could then discover a single word at a time, which he repeated aloud to his amanuensis, who committed it to paper, when another word would immediately appear, and thus the performance continued to the end of the book. See https://archive.org/details/mormonismunvaile00howe/page/18
Did Joseph and Oliver ever confirm this explanation?
They directly refuted it.
Recall the introduction to the Gospel Topics Essays, which quotes D&C 88:118 and explains that "Seeking “out of the best books” does not mean seeking only one set of opinions, but it does require us to distinguish between reliable sources and unreliable sources."
What more reliable source about the translation could there be than Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?
On three notable occasions post-Mormonism Unvailed, Joseph Smith provided an explanation of the translation that leaves no room for SITH. Because Joseph’s teachings have been omitted from the Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Translation, the Saints books, and the writings of the SITH sayers, few current Latter-day Saints know about these important teachings.
How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?
Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, being dead; and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were, and gave me directions how to obtain them. I obtained them, and the Urim and Thummim with them, by the means of which, I translated the plates; and thus came the Book of Mormon. (Elders’ Journal, July 1838)
With the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called "Urim and Thummim," which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breast plate. Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God. (“Church History,” [aka the Wentworth Letter], Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842)
With the records was found a curious instrument which the ancients called "Urim and Thummim," which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim on a bow fastened to a breast plate. Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record, by the gift and power of God. (“Church History,” [aka the Wentworth Letter], Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842)
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