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Jonathan Neville

A Man That Can Translate

A Man That Can Translate

Joseph Smith and the Nephite Interpreters

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Just like King Mosiah in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 8:13), Joseph Smith, Jr., was "a man that can translate."

Since at least 1834, people have debated whether Joseph (i) translated the plates with the Urim and Thummim (the Nephite interpreters) that came with the plates, or (ii) read the words that appeared on a seer stone he found in a well. Critics and apologists have advocated various theories.

In our day, critics and even faithful Latter-day Saint scholars question whether Joseph actually translated anything at all. They question whether he even used the plates.

This book proposes a new explanation that supports and corroborates what Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery said all along.

A detailed analysis of existing statements and other historical evidence, including details from the original manuscript and the printer's manuscript, provide answers to these questions, among others:

  • How much of the abridged record did Joseph translate before Oliver Cowdery arrived in Harmony in April 1829?
  • Did Joseph use the Urim and Thummim, the stone in the hat, or both?
  • Why did Emma Smith, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris relate accounts of the translation that contradicted what Joseph and Oliver always taught?
  • What does the language of the Book of Mormon tell us about the translation?

Praise for the book

"The best book on the translation process of the Book of Mormon that I've ever read."—Reader

"Finally, the accounts of the translation can be reconciled in a way that confirms what Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery always taught."—Reader

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