Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Gospel Topics Chapter 3 Duffy Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2021 9:27 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 3 Duffy Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


April 25, 2021 9:27 pm

We continue the review of The LDS Gospel Topics Series published in 2020 by Signature Books, as we look this week at chapter 4 written by John-Charles Duffy titled The “Book of Mormon Translation” Essay in Historical Context. We hope you are enjoying this series of cutting edge issues.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever

One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism.

How was the book of Mormon and translated welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue our examination of a book titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. It was edited by Matthew L. Harris and new old G. Bringhurst and the reason why we feel it's important to look at some of the chapters that are in this book is because the gospel topics essays.

As we've explained throughout the series were written in order to hopefully assuage some of the angst. You might say that some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were having about their history and their theology so the church put together these essays. There were 13 of them originally that were first released towards the end of 2013 and were disseminated incrementally on the church's official website until around the end of 2015 and as we mentioned, though these essays were supposed to help the member who was struggling with some of their Church's history and doctrine. It ended up actually causing some more problems for many Latter Day Saints because now the church through its transparency in these essays were admitting to things that many members had been led to believe were mere lies by enemies of the church will one of those areas certainly has to do with how the book of Mormon was translated in chapter 4 is titled the book of Mormon translation essay in historical context it was written by a man by the name of John Charles Duffy. His bio says what Eric he's an assistant teaching professor in the Department of comparative religion at Miami University in Ohio, where he teaches courses on religion in US history and culture. He received his PhD in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He is a co-author. Mormonism the basics from 2016 and he's published articles on Mormon intellectual and cultural history in several venues. Now a lot of the things that Mr. Duffy is going to bring out in this chapter, you might feel is a bit intimidating. I don't want you to feel that way. We are going to throw out some words that you're probably not familiar with, and I'm sure many Latter Day Saints are not familiar with them either, but it's important to understand one of his strong arguments in this chapter. So let's just dive right into this and when we get to those areas which we are going to will explain a little more fully what he's talking about so that we can have a good understanding of what Mr. Duffy is saying Bill on page 97 he writes this. The essay presented selected statements from Smith and ascribes about the translation process attesting that the golden plates were real tangible artifact and that Smith had translated them by reading English words that appeared on a miraculous interpretive instrument to corroborate these 19th-century claims. The essay drew on work done in the late 20th and early 21st centuries by LDS scholars associated with the foundation for ancient research and Mormon studies known as Farms house at Brigham Young University who argued that the earliest book of Mormon manuscripts display grammatical features characteristic of near Eastern languages evidence that the book of Mormon really is a translation of an ancient text that statement right there is going to build the platform. You might say for what Duffy is going to bring out later on let's explain that the foundation for ancient research and Mormon studies according to footnote number two it says that Farms became part of the Neal a Maxwell Institute for religious scholarship at Brigham Young University in 2013 some farm supporters who did not share the Maxwell institutes Mormon studies emphasis founded the interpreter foundation in 2012.

Know what that tells me, and I admit I am a critic of Mormonism, but it shows me that there are some differences of opinions among the scholars and as you and I were discussing before we started recording Eric. I'm sure that most Latter Day Saints members are completely oblivious to some of the controversies that the scholars within the LDS church are very much aware of Duffy is going to speak of some of those controversies just when it comes to the subject of how the book of Mormon was translated and again if you were to ask most Latter Day Saints. How was the book of Mormon translated let's say before the year 2013.

Most of them wouldn't you agree Eric would say will Joseph Smith had the plates any year Roman Thummim which were the stones that were buried with the plates and through wearing the stones in front of his eyes. He was able to translate the reformed Egyptian into English.

In other words, he's reading the reformed Egyptian and translating it at the same time as he reads it to his scribe word to talk about that in more detail later, but would you agree with that. I would say yes, and I think the church art helped out a lot because, for instance, in February 2001 on the front cover of the inside magazine.

You have a picture of Joseph Smith and his finger is on the plates as he's reading off of those plates and so I think that's how most Latter Day Saints understood the translation process and the things that were me talking about such a seer stones and other things like that were not really popular. I would say for many Latter Day Saints and you mentioned the seer stone in it that gets mentioned in the very next paragraph on page 98. He writes many observers were surprised by the essay's acknowledgment that Smith used two different instruments to translate the book of Mormon number one a spectacles like pair of stones called the year. Roman Thummim, which was buried with the gold plates and number two and oval-shaped seer stone which Smith had discovered in years prior to translate in the book of Mormon quote to look for lost objects and buried treasure." The seer stone that is talking about was found while Joseph Smith was digging the well with his brother Hiram so we had this very early, around the early 1820s and as Duffy admits he uses it to look for lost objects and buried treasure that was one reason why Joseph Smith was hired by a man by the name of Josias stole Joseph Smith was known to be a money digger and because he was known to be a money digger. Josias stole hires him to look for a silver mine now Joseph Smith in his testimony found in the pearl of great price actually lies about that whole scenario. He says that as a result of looking for the silver mine. That's when he got the reputation of being a money digger.

That's not true in the Joseph Smith papers prove this.

According to the Joseph Smith papers. It shows that Joseph Smith was already known to be a money digger and that's why Josias stole hired him. He mentions the spectacles like Paris stones called the year. Roman Thummim the German Thummim may sound familiar, because that's a phrase that we read in the Old Testament they were stones that were found on the high priest breastplate, and I have to admit is a 21st-century Western Christian. It sounds kind of strange to me how these things operated as far as we know it gave yes and no answers but one thing we do know, never do we find in the Old Testament that the euro and Thummim was ever used for translation purposes. And that's exactly what Joseph Smith tells us these stones were used for bringing forth the book of Mormon. But when it talks about this oval-shaped seer stone as he admits this is where the controversy arises because we have had numerous conversation over the years, again prior to 2013 when we would bring up this seer stone and hat that Joseph Smith used to bring forth the book of Mormon translation.

Many Latter Day Saints who were more familiar with the picture of Joseph Smith running his finger across gold plates, such as on that cover the inside magazine, they would say that we were making this up and that was not true so that idea was not commonly held, even though we will admit it's not as if the LDS church leadership completely hid that part of its history because that's not true either bill. I like to revisit those two instruments mentioned here on page 98, the first being the airmen Thummim. While the question is how did Lehigh or whoever got it. That left Jerusalem in 587 somewhere in that time. How did they ever get possession of these stones because there was apparently only one set and it would've been owned by the high priest, so that's never explained in the book of Mormon how that would've happened and then second with the with the seer stone itself. This is a magic stone at what point would you say that it's okay to use a magic stone in using that for the interpretation of Scripture. It doesn't seem like that would be something that God would have been tended to have happened.

You raise an excellent point and this is something that's always befuddled me. You might say it's interesting how before 2013 when the church comes out with these essays that really do have their stamp of official reality because the church leadership told the members that are supposed to know within these essays, and so they supported the essays even though they are anonymously written why I don't know. I'm sure the church has its reasons but the church has back this up. It's interesting to me that prior to 2013. Many Latter Day Saints that we spoke with on this issue who found the seer stone in the hat to be on offensive story I would guarantee you today. Eric probably would have no problems with it and that's what I find fascinating with Latter Day Saints. You bring up something in their history. They find it to be offensive accuse you of making it up or taking it out of context. But then when you show them the church supporting what you just said or what I just said they go oh I guess we do believe that is if there's no problem now and that's the value of the gospel topics essays as we have mentioned in the last couple of weeks because what you have here is a gold mine for apologists like us that were able to use this information and say this is on the church's official website they're admitting for instance that Joseph Smith had between 30 and 40 wives. A lot of Latter Day Saints didn't know that before those essays were published a lot of Latter Day Saints didn't know that the book of Abraham is a spiritual translation and not a literal translation so these are the things that bring great value and why were spending so much time talking about a book called the LDS gospel topics series because this is what it's all about to be able to understand what is truth and Latter Day Saints don't always know everything about.

It's their history and I think you're absolutely correct in that Eric that these are really what we call the gold mine of information. If a person is serious about sharing your faith with Latter Day Saints and order to do that you have to at some point start talking about what Mormons are supposed to believe. I don't know how you can escape that yes we should give them the gospel, there's no doubt about that but at the same time. Remember they already have a belief system in place that needs to be replaced and you're going to have to touch the subject at some point in the conversation. The essays are very good at helping us in that area. Tomorrow were going to talk more about why the seer stone was so controversial.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint since it was first released back in 2009 the book in their own words a collection of Mormon quotations. This helped many Christians better understand what Mormon leaders and manuals have taught regarding the Mormon faith compiled by Mormonism research ministries Bill McKeever, the new, enlarged and expanded edition comes with the CD that includes a searchable PDF version of the book in their own words is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore located right there in Salt Lake City for order it directly online MRM.org


Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime