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« Joseph Smith: Prophet | The Kinderhook Plates »

Joseph Smith: Translator

Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon is his translation of reformed Egyptian. He also gave a prophecy of himself that he was a translator:
Doctrine and Covenants I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator, a revelator, a seer, and prophet.
Doctrine and Covenants 124:125

Although Joseph's notoriety is from the Book of Mormon, he also claimed to translate other works including:
Work Result Comment
Book of Mormon
We are unable to directly examine Joseph's translation of reformed Egyptian, as according to him an angel kept the gold plates after his translation was completed.
  • However, we can examine the characters Joseph copied allegedly from the plates for Martin Harris.
  • Since the Book of Mormon claims to be an ancient text we can examine if it truly reflects antiquity.
  • Since the Book of Mormon claims to be a historical record we can examine if archaeology confirms it.
Kinderhook Plates
Joseph "translated" a portion of brass plates that were later revealed to be a hoax.
Book of Abraham
Joseph's "translation" of Egyptian papyri which he claimed to be the writings of Abraham are demonstrated to be common funerary documents.