FAIR Issues 30: Joseph’s translation shows remarkable consistency

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The entire Book of Mormon was translated in a span of 65 to 75 days. As Joseph translated, he did not have any manuscripts or books from which to read. After spending hours dictating the translation, Joseph would take a break for a meal or other interruption, then pick up the translation where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. If Joseph was dictating fiction and never had past portions read back to him, how did he keep things straight and consistent for nearly six hundred pages without forgetting at least some of the details?

We stand in awe at how this relatively uneducated young man could produce a work that not only teaches eternal doctrinal principles but also weaves many tales of war, politics, migrations, and geography. Not only are the records of these events consistent, but they often match what we now know about ancient societies in the Near East and early Americas.

The full text of this article can be found at Deseret News online.

Brother Ash is author of the book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt, as well as the book, of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith. Both books are available for purchase online through the FAIR Bookstore.

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5 thoughts on “FAIR Issues 30: Joseph’s translation shows remarkable consistency

  1. Pingback: 26 November 2011 | MormonVoices

  2. Steve Dalton

    Great reminder whenever we have doubts. Joseph simply could not have written a book of the grandeur and scale of the Book of Mormon by his own hand. I am so grateful for the Bookof Mormon!


  3. Frank Bisti

    While I personally do not doubt the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, you (and the church) continue to misstate its origins.

    In all that I have read about it (considerable, but not extensive) the process describes that the plates were most often covered by a cloth.

    I think a more accurate description of the process is that Joseph used the seer stone placed in his hat to “receive” the translation from God. He did little actual translation himself. Therefore, to the point of your article, God had to remember where he left off, not Joseph.

  4. JT

    These examples are extraordinary given the testimonial evidence.

    Are there any other examples along these lines?

    I would greatly appreciate a reference to an article that elaborates on this aspect of the Book of Mormon if one exists. I recently read Terryl Givens’s and Grant Hardy’s books and either I missed these examples or they did not include them. They seem to suport the cases both make for the Book of Mormon being remarkably coherent, complex, and self-consistent.



  5. Theodore Brandley

    Good research and good article, Mike Ash!

    The Book of Mormon itself is filled with evidence of its authenticity and that it came from God. Those who read it and follow the admonition of Moroni (Moroni 10:4) with “real intent,” will come to know that it is true. The major difference between Mormons and everyone else in the world is that Mormons know that The Book of Mormon is true. Isaiah wrote:

    Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. (Isaiah 41:15)

    The Book of Mormon is a “new sharp threshing instrument” for the harvest of the Last Days.

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