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James W. Lucas | Jonathan Neville

By Means of the Urim & Thummim

By Means of the Urim & Thummim

Restoring Translation to the Restoration

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The authors use recent discoveries and new analyses to explore the many controversies surrounding this question. Was Joseph Smith a near-illiterate who read words off of a stone in a hat, or did he translate engravings from ancient plates? By Means of the Urim & Thummim sheds new light on these important questions.

Drawing on modern translation scholarship and technology, the authors propose an innovative model for the translation process which corroborates and supports what Joseph and Oliver said from the beginning; i.e. that Joseph Smith actually translated the text using the Nephite interpreters. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the miracle of translation that brought us the Book of Mormon.

Praise for the book

Lucas and Neville's By Means of the Urim & Thummim is a substantial contribution to the translation debates that have roiled Book of Mormon scholarship for the past twenty years. It is conservative in that it restores the preeminent role of the Urim and Thummim in the translation process and virtually erases the seer stone from the story. It also proposes a translation theory of its own that preserves the importance of the Urim and Thummim and yet accounts for the presence of language from Joseph Smith's world. All readers who take the translation debates seriously must reckon with this book.

Richard Lyman Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

Lawyers James W. Lucas and Jonathan E. Neville convincingly offer new approaches to the evidence, explore previously overlooked evidence, and propose a new model for the translation process which corroborates and supports what Joseph affirmed that he, "by the gift and power of God, ... translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics."

Richard Dilworth Rust, Professor Emeritus of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Two celebrated authors attempt to solve the question of the Book of Mormon translation process—Urim and Thummim or seer stone. I recommend a thorough examination of their scholarly work and academic approach to this important question.

Susan Easton Black, Emeritus Professor, Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University

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