Early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the ability to translate was one of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament.
Church founder Joseph Smith said he translated the faith’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, “by the gift and power of God” from ancient writings found on gold plates.
So, if Smith used this gift to translate the Book of Mormon, as he asserted, how might he have done it? Was there more to this mystical process? What role might a so-called seer stone have played? And what should members and outsiders alike keep in mind when considering the birthing of this global religion’s foundational text?
Latter-day Saint physician Samuel Brown, a religious historian and author of the recently released “Joseph Smith’s Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism," addresses those questions and more on this week’s podcast.