There are 6 thoughts on “A Man That Can Translate and Infinite Goodness: A Response to Recent Reviews”.

  1. Jonathan Neville quotes Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, the first and second Elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kraus does not. Maybe the latter doesn’t know the Church is built on a foundation of Apostles and Prophets, not observers.

  2. It is hard to reconcile the almost incomprehensible effort and sacrifice that went into producing, preserving, protecting, and physically transmitting from generation to generation, the metal plates over a period of 1,000 years (“And after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers.”), the subsequent burial by the last author and retrieval by the translator, along with the “interpretors” (“Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.”), the superhuman effort required of Joseph to protect and possess the plates while in his custody——nay, not hard to reconcile—–impossible to reconcile these facts with a narrative that then dismisses the necessity of the physical plates to bring forth the record because all that was really needed was a peep-stone from a well, and the content would be transmitted mystically to the glowing stone. If only Nephi and Mormon and Moroni had known! I can imagine them when they realized that their precious record to which their lives were devoted (along with an unknowable number of record-keepers reviewed by Mormon in his compilation duties) was really only a prop with the sole purpose of being shown as testimony to the BofM witnesses! Why were the record and interpreters returned to Joseph after the loss of the manuscript if all he needed was a peep- stone? I believe Joseph used the word “translate” correctly. I believe Oliver used the word “translate” correctly. I believe the record-keepers toiled and sacrificed and scratched engravings on real metal plates to preserve a record because it was always intended to be, and became in actual fact, the source of the “translation” we now have as the Book if Mormon.

  3. As supporter and admirer of Jonathon E. Neville’s work, I have a hypothesis to expand upon on Jonathon Neville’s Stone in the Hat (SITH) refutation. This hypothesis might provide some reconciliation between the Translation and transmission academic divide. I postulate that Joseph put the actual Urim and or Thummim into the Hat, made of beaver skin to obey the Commandment of God not to show the Nephite Interpreters. We don’t know how the Nephite Interpreters worked. But it is worth considering, if the Interpreters were within proximity of the Plates the translation process could still work. Consider modern WIFI technology as a possible concept of the link between the Plates and the Interpreters. The communication method from the Interpreters and the Plates, perhaps did not require direct line of sight to work, but more proximity. Respectfully. RLB

    • We address the idea of understanding the interpreters as technology in our next book, Confound the Wise: Restoring Translation to the Restoration.

      • I don’t think I have talked to anyone who has a belief in the BOM that the interpreters weren’t a form of technology, that premise isn’t much of a research question. The real question is what are the parameters by which they worked, and how could at least some of them be explained?

    • I have actually propounded a similar premise on the BOM Archeological FB page a year or so ago. At least one witness to events or there at the time indicates that the interpreters were placed in the hat. I have investigated hat sizes during that era and a large one had an interior brim diameter (not really diameter as not completely circular) of 8 1/2 inches with the interior having dimensions widening even further to the top of the hat. The spectacles were described as being 8 inches wide so they would have fit in their entirety. It is also possible that each stone could be removed from the spectacles and one stone placed in the hat. The stones were not originally in a metal spectacle setting, this was done by the Nephites. The spectacle metal was described as silver in color, the only metal so described that would not have tarnished to black is platinum, and it was only mined in Mesoamerica (or anywhere) during the Nephite time period, not Jaredite. This would explain why the other witnesses honestly asserted that there was a stone in the hat. They just were mistaken as to which one (I know, some did describe it as the brown seer stone so the premise is that they saw it, so doesn’t completely eliminate the conflicting information).

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