|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
Monday, March 1, 2010
Part IV: Book of Mormon 'divined' without plates;
Book of Abraham hoax damages credibility
Same 'seer stone' Smith allegedly used to find treasure gave him translation
by Maggid ben Yoseif / credentials
© 2010 Jerusalem Torah Voice
Part of my research into the Book of Mormon over the past five years has inquired how Joseph Smith actually translated the golden plates he reportedly received from the angel, Moroni. I was surprised to learn that he never did. They were divined.
Moroni demanded the plates back after the "translation" of the first 116 pages was stolen. The plates were reportedly returned to Smith a few days later (supposedly when Moroni cooled off or Smith repented) but were never seen by anyone but Smith after that until the "translation" was completed and the plates were returned to Moroni, Smith claims. He may have remembered many of the characters he reportedly was able to translate from gazing at the plates. Perhaps he remembered the story line from the stolen pages, as well. But the entire 1830 Book of Mormon was written down by Smith without the plates in front of him. Rather, he would reportedly gaze into a deep hat at a dark "seer" stone, which he reportedly used before his LDS days to locate "hidden treasure." Young Smith apparently was heavily involved in the realm of what would be called "occult." He also spent time in jail for deceiving parties concerning this ability. Where is that seer stone, by the way? On one part of the stone would appear a combination of reformed Egyptian or Hebrew, hieroglyphs or other characters. Below this would appear words in English, which Smith would put on paper. Strictly speaking, this could not be called a translation. If anything, it is a divination, which is another reason the plates should be produced.
Hieroglyphs and 'notakiron'
Hieroglyphs on Egyptian papyri presented to Smith some years after the Book of Mormon was published, turned out to be the story of Abraham in Egypt, Smith claimed. His Book of Abraham, reportedly translated from Egyptian papyri that accompanied a traveling show of mummies, provides a test of Smith's facility with Egyptian hieroglyphs and the means of deciphering them known as "notakiron."
Notakiron breaks the parts of glyphs into picts -- or in the case of reformed Egyptian and Hebrew into strokes -- and each pict or stroke tells its own story. If the "story" is told from breaking the picts or strokes into parts, each part signifying a part of the story, a totally different story would be told than if each pict was read "whole."
For example, B'reshit, (in the beginning) or the first word of the Torah, by Notakiron can be read b'ro'sh'it. If one or more parts of a pict would be interpreted or read out of order -- easy to do with picts -- by the same analogy, B'reshit could be "sh'b't'y'ra" (fear of Shabbat), "b'y't'ra'sh (head of the house), or "b'r'y't'ey'sh" (covenant of fire).
Joseph Smith allegedly used this device when he encountered Egyptian hieroglyphs on his seer stone and in interpreting the Book of Abraham.
Egyptian or Sumerian?
Given the charge to all of Israel to "never return to Egypt" it is curious that Nephi would have chosen reformed Egyptian as the language in which to record his diary. If the link between the Lamanites and Native Americans is sacrosanct, the glyphs may not even be Egyptian. If they existed at all, they are most probably Sumerian.
When I was first given the Book of Mormon to read by Dr. Delynn Hansen of Provo, UT., it arrived in the mail the same week I was given the Book of Hopi to read by Zuni Bear Clan Elder Abe Walkingbear. I read the two together and noted many correlations, which was unusual since 137 years separate the publishing of the two histories with no collaboration between Joseph Smith or any Hopi elders and medicine men.
ABOVE: Illustrations of the Egyptian papyri Joseph Smith translated as his Book of Abraham, or recording the life of Abraham in Egypt. However years later when the Rosetta Stone was discovered allowing correct translation of glyphs, the papyri turned out to be part of a funerary text from the Egyptian Book of Breathing, part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
BELOW: Hopi migrations drawn by Hopi elders.
'River of Laman' correlates with Hopi migrations
The prophesied fate of Laman -- that he should be like the River Laman and continually return to the source of all righteousness -- correlates with the prophesies of the Hopi migrations to the four directions, always returning to their source or origin in the Four Corners area. Both the Book of Mormon and the Book of Hopi relate that "seven clans (cities in the Book of Mormon) of the Hopi (Lamanites) buried their weapons of war and declared a vow of peace." But Haudenosaunee history records a similar Peace Tree which was planted over the weapons of the Six Nations. Recent revelations by the daughter and grandson of the late Hopi Chief Mike Gashwarza at Old Oraibi on Third Mesa indicate the chief was told by his grandfather that part of the Hopi clans came from Jerusalem. (See related article on Hopi documentary which was scheduled to debut in Spring 2010 film festivals).
All of this would seem to confirm much of the setting of the Book of Mormon in the American Southwest. But the language of the Hopi was never Egyptian hieroglyphs. Robert Morningsky proved the connection to ancient Sumeria and possibly Sumerian glyphs, from which many Egyptian glyphs originate. Joseph Smith probably did not know the difference.
Credibility, integrity issues over falsified 'Book of Abraham'
We say this because of a much more serious problem that has arisen with the Book of Abraham, which casts serious doubt on Smith's credibility and integrity as well as his facility interpreting glyphs. The writing he had interpreted as the story of Abraham in Egypt, Egyptologists today dispute. Rather, the Egyptologists are unanimous that Smith's "Book of Abraham", is actually a "funerary text from the Book of Breathings," part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. At the time of Smith's alleged translation, the Rosetta stone enabling the correct translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs had not been found. Today we know that the entire Book of Abraham and also words attributed to Joseph in Egypt, which Smith claimed were on other papryi, are bogus.
Suspicion of plagiarism
B.H. Roberts defended the Mormon faith all of his life. In 1979 and again in 1981, his adult grandchildren donated his papers to the University of Utah intending them to be published. These included two internal Mormon documents authored by Roberts, that had not been intended for public consumption: "The Book of Mormon Difficulties" and "The Book of Mormon Study." The latter concluded that Smith "probably borrowed not only specific ideas but also the very framework of the Book of Mormon from Ethan Smith's, View of the Hebrews."
"…Such 'common knowledge' existed throughout New England and New York in relation to American Indian origins and cultures; and the prevailing ideas respecting the American Indians throughout the regions named were favorable to the notion that they were of Hebrew origin…" Roberts wrote. "All these notions were interwoven in the 'common knowledge' of New England and New York, in the early decades of the nineteenth century, respecting the Indian race of America. And with the existence of such a body of knowledge, or that which was accepted as 'knowledge,' and a person of vivid and constructive imaginative power in contact with it, there is little room for doubt but that it might be possible for Joseph Smith to construct a theory of origin for his Book of Mormon in harmony with these prevailing notions, and more especially since this 'common knowledge' is set forth in almost handbook form in the little work of Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews, and published from eight to five years before the Book of Mormon was published. "The question to be considered here, then, is: did such 'common knowledge,' supplemented by Ethan Smith's book respecting theories of 'origin,' and of 'history' obtain in the vicinity where Joseph Smith spent his early youth and manhood, and was he a person of sufficiently vivid and creative imagination as to produce such a work as the Book of Mormon from such materials? It will appear in what is to follow that such 'common knowledge' did exist in New England; that Joseph Smith was in contact with it; that one book, at least, with which he was most likely acquainted, could well have furnished structural outlines for the Book of Mormon; and that Joseph Smith was possessed of such creative imaginative powers as would make it quite within the lines of possibility that the Book of Mormon could have been produced in that way."
Spirits of prophets are subject to prophets
Mindful of the adage by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians that spirits of prophets are subject to other prophets (or confirmations), (I. Cor 14:32), the "prophet" Joseph Smith if not "checked," would not be immune from interjecting his personal theology and Christology in the book ... even under prophetic inspiration ... gazing into a hat ... at a reputed "seer" stone. The New Testament calls for a minimum of two but prefers three confirmations of every word received by a prophet.
It is also no minor concern that the book does not promote the remembrance of Jerusalem or the Temple in Jerusalem and instead promotes a New Jerusalem and a New Temple, which Joseph Smith later declared would be in Independence, Mo. From whence came confirmations of this insight? And if it was confirmed, surely the LDS Church realizes that since the end of the 400-year failed experiment called "Manifest Destiny" and the restoration of the spiritual sovereignty of Native Americans, that it will be Native Americans to build it and run it! ... if it's to be built at all. (Kevin Costner's DVD series, "500 Nations" is evidence of how and why Manifest Destiny failed -- 500 broken treaties.)
Hopi Purifications and the prophecy of Jeremiah
The problem that must be resolved with a "New Jerusalem" anywhere in the Americas, is the Hopi Purifications. The Hopi foretell great destruction and judgments as does the prophet Jeremiah: "A full end to all the nations to which the House of Israel was scattered." Should the LDS Church be promoting an "alternative Jerusalem" in a nation that is destined to be brought to an end?
Joseph Smith imposed a bogus translation with his Book of Abraham. He added to the words of Grandfather and Moses. One of the chief defenders of the Mormon faith had doubts that the theme of the Book of Mormon was not plagiarized. In these instances, Smith may have played loose with the facts. This means his other works become suspect, including and especially the contents of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, for much of which he has claimed Divine inspiration. Given his occult history and use of a "seer stone" to locate buried treasure and his prosecution for fraud in connection with these activities, it should alarm followers of the Book of Mormon that the same "seer stone" was used to "divine" the text of the book.
Forget Smith, 'Show me the plates'
While the basic truth of Hebrew origins of Native American tribes may ultimately be the case, the theme was first proposed by Ethan Smith not Joseph Smith Jr. Perhaps, there were details about this link, which Joseph Smith divined. For instance, Ethan Smith does not make the link to the House of Joseph as does Joseph Smith. But the Torah prohibition against divination was violated by Smith. Further, the proximity of the story of the Peacemaker indicates he must have known about the messiah figure born of a virgin who had lived within 15 miles of his front door. It seems likely that Joseph Smith discovered ancient and possibly sacred Native writings, which he used for his own purposes to establish a religion with no thought of the value of these plates to Native Americans. Forget the scoundrel, Joseph Smith. The plates have yet to be properly translated. Show me the plates.
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