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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.
Monday, November 7, 2022
Misunderstandings which have gone abroad
Some years ago I attended a session on early Church history at BYU Education Week. During hsi presentation on promoting the SITH narrative, the speaker acknowledged that Joseph Smith said the Title Page was "a literal translation taken from the last leaf of the plates."
Then the speaker actually, said, "We don't know how Joseph knew that because he didn't use the plates."
IOW, the speaker thought the SITH narrative was more relevant and authoritative than what Joseph Smith himself said.
This is a common problem for the SITH sayers. But their problem is even worse when we read what Joseph said in context.
Joseph Smith discussed the Title Page "in order to correct a misunderstanding which has gone abroad." The "misunderstanding" was the idea that the Title Page was a modern composition.
That misunderstanding naturally persists among critics because they don't believe Joseph Smith.
But among faithful Latter-day Saints who are SITH sayers, such as Royal Skousen and his followers in the citation cartel, another misunderstanding is "going abroad." They claim that Joseph Smith didn't really translate anything, but instead merely read words off a stone in a hat, which words were generated by the Mysterious Incognito Supernatural Translator (MIST), who inexplicably used Early Modern English.
Let's look at how Joseph dealt with such "misunderstandings."
Mean time our translation drawing to a close, we went to Palmyra, and agreed there <with Mr> Egbert Granden [Grandin] to print and publish it five thousand <copies> for three thousand Dollars, and about this time secured the copy right. I would mention here also in order to correct a misunderstanding, which has gone abroad concerning the title page of the Book of Mormon, that it is not a composition of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation, but that it is a literal translation taken from the last leaf of the plates, on the left hand side of the collection of plates, the language running same as the <all> Hebrew <wr[i]ting> language <in general>. And that no error can henceforth possibly exist I give here the Title so far as it is a translation.