Mormonism stands or falls on two questions.  Was Joseph Smith a genuine prophet of God?  Was the revelation he received sent by the Lord Almighty?

The answers are no and no. Joseph Smith was a treasure-seeking fraud. Therefore Mormonism is a grand deception. The tale of  how the Book of Mormon came into existence is an elaborate hoax.

The former treasure-hunter used his hat and magic rocks to translate the Book of Mormon

According to Smith’s account, and also according to the book’s narrative [i], the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as “reformed Egyptian” engraved on golden plates.  If the ancient Nephites and Lamanites were in fact Hebrews who settled in America, why then did they refuse to write their stories in their own language?  The pagan language of Egypt – Israel’s arch enemy – is chosen as the preferred tongue to chronicle their histories.  Strange it is that the ancient “Hebrews” wrote sacred scriptures in “reformed Egyptian” but not in their own language.

In March 1830 Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon after he translated the words from golden plates using magical stones.  It is quite amazing that an uneducated man – a former treasure hunter – would be granted the ability to translate “reformed Egyptian” into the linguistic style of King James English prose; yet, it is more astonishing that the Lord would refuse to grant this Mormon prophet the ability to translate the Bible from its original languages.  

It is, therefore, not an extraordinary achievement that Smith had translated the “reformed Egyptian” Book of Mormon to the outdated King James English, which, by the way, was not even the colloquial speech of his time [ii] — it is assumed Smith borrowed King James terminology in order to add weight to his own work. It would have been truly remarkable had Smith translated the Hebrew and Greek texts into the so-called “proper translation” he had always yearned for, but never achieved.  “Proper translation” is meant to indicate that the Bible would be changed to agree with Joseph Smith’s newly invented religion. But reading the original manuscripts in their given language would have given Smith the credibility and edge  he needed, that is to say he would have attained the credentials, such as the Apostle Paul had, to debate the clergy by arguing his points from Hebrew and Greek texts.  But Smith cleverly chose to use “reformed Egyptian” to make his claims, a language apparently known only to him.  Smith had a fool-proof translation method: he used the bottom of his hat gazing at special stones.  If this sounds like demonic activity, it is.

Pepper-box pistol used by Joseph Smith during his jail break

From June 1830 to July 1833, Joseph Smith embarked on his next mission: translate the Bible into English using, ironically, an English King James Bible!  Think about this: Smith translated the English Bible into English.  Why not use the original languages?  Apparently Hebrew and Greek texts were available in New York and other areas he had lived and visited.  Smith could have obtained Hebrew and Greek Bibles from the many clergy he encountered during his travels. But Smith was not interested in translation precision.  His goal was to distort the Bible by changing its meaning in order to harmonize the Holy Scripture with the false doctrines he was inventing at the time.

Alas! Smith died in a gunfight before he could finish his English-to-English Bible “translation.” Although he considered the Joseph Smith Translation the “branch of his calling,” the Lord had other things in mind for him – such as death!  Joseph Smith, inventor of Mormonism, lived by the gun and he died by the gun.


[i] The Book of Mormon / Mormon 9:32: “… And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech…”

[ii]  A question that has not been discussed at great length is why Smith would choose King James English instead of American English.

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  1. shematwater September 22, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

    Joseph Smith used the English Bible because it was a generally accurate translation of the available Hebrew and Greek text. He “translated” it not from the actual existing texts, but through divine revelation from the original intent of the authors. It was not a translation in the usual sense, but more an inspired correction of the available text.

    As to Hebrew and Greek, he did learn these languages, and how to translate them, as well as Latin and German, as he used all these language translations in his sermons during the last few years of his life.

    As to “Reformed Egyptian” read Mormon 9: 32-33 “32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, ACCORDING TO OUR MANNER OF SPEECH. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN IN HEBREW; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.”
    There is eveidence that the Israelites used Egyptian characters but Hebrew Grammer in making certain records, which is what seems to be suggested by the phrase “according to our manner of speech.” We also have the explanation that there was not enough room on the plates for them to write in Hebrew, as Hebrew takes more space. It is all very logical. As to writing in Egyptian at all, where does it forbid them from doing so? Or are we just applying the customs of the Old World to the New World?


  2. Nicholas Voss September 22, 2010 at 11:05 AM #

    Shem –
    Everything you said above are lies. There is NO EVIDENCE that Joe Smith knew any Hebrew or Greek. If he did he would have translated the Bible from the original languages. Joe Smith was a treasure hunting fraud and mormonism is a hoax.

    How do sleep at night spreading so much deceit?

    Everything you said is characterized by misstatement, inexcusable omissions, rabid prejudice, personal animosities toward Christianity, blatant errors of fact, scholastic ignorance, gross neglect of diligent study, an astounding egotism, and an undisguised contempt for historic Christianity and God’s people.

    If your response weren’t so sad, it would be laughable.

    Stay tuned for my next article on your insidious cult. Today is an important day in mormon history.


  3. shematwater September 23, 2010 at 5:11 PM #

    Nothing I said has any error in it, and yes Joseph Smith did learn all the languages I reference. The explanation of the Reformed Egyptian is perfectly reasonable, as is the translation of the Bible.

    QUESTION?: Why would Joseph Smith translate from the available Hebrew and Greek if that is also in error?

    You fail to display any ability to atually reason anything out, but are stuck spewing hatred and insults as an attempt to disguise your total lack of intelligence. If you call yourself a Christian you have been lieing for while.

    If you care to have a civilized conversation I am more than willing. However, if hatred is all you have to offer, with not even an attempt at logical reasoning, I have better things to do.


  4. Nicholas Voss September 23, 2010 at 5:32 PM #

    Hey Shem –
    It’s been nice knowing you. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You called on us, remember?

    Joe Smith did not know Hebrew or Greek or Latin or “reformed Egyptian.” You are believing lies and are spreading lies.

    Mormonism is a grand hoax. There was no mormonism before 1830. All clear now?


  5. shematwater September 25, 2010 at 10:26 AM #


    If you would care to actually give evidence for any of what you say you might actually sound intelligent. However, simply making a statement means nothing.

    I can see that you are not really interested in the truth, or in proof of any kind. All you want it to rant about something, so have fun.


  6. Nicholas Voss September 25, 2010 at 12:22 PM #

    Hey Shem –
    I have been getting a lot of positive comments on my LDS blog series. The only one who cannot see the evidence presented is you. You need to take off your LDS glasses so that you’ll have eyes to see. Joe Smith wore the same glasses when he “translated” the BoM from so-called “reformed Egyptian.” He was good at creating fairy tales for gullible people like you to follow. He and Brigham made a good living at it.

    I will be writing a lot more on Mormon heresies.

    Coming soon: Baptism for the dead

    We do not need Joseph Smith. Jesus is our Prophet, Messiah, High Priest, and King!

    Abandon your idolatrous ways and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from your sins. He is alive! He is the Redeemer! He will forgive you. Do not delay in being wise.

    There was no Mormonism before 1830. Got it?


  7. paffa hall January 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM #

    Oh I hate to break up this little love spat the two of you are having. I spent some time taking a gander at the sample lettering that Joe Smith had given for interpretation by a college professor Mr. Anthon. Now these are just sample letters and not at all in any coherent order just sample letters from the texts he was translating, or attempting to translate. phonesian and rune are the closes proximates of the letters I have been able to match up. Interesting thing of late is that there have been similer Rune artifacts around upper state NY and along the coast of California and even as far down as Chile. I am dubious as to the translation but I have no doubt as to the finds themselves. If we could ever get our hands on the actual plates they would shed alot of light on how many “discovered ” America before Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. After having spent the summer in Belize and Mexico and studying the ancient rock and city dwellings that have been uncovered and looking I have noticed some similarities in the structure of the writings and dwellings, boats, fish hooks, and utinsels used by migrating groups of pre -columbian indians and south American Indians and Islanders of the pacific. The datings of all of them are several thousand years before Christ so that they could been here duing that time as well. But hey Mormons are very nice people and most well behaved.. And didn’t Jesus say “you will know my deciples by the fruits they bear”


  8. paffa hall January 26, 2011 at 10:38 PM #

    I have read many a good book. Sci-Fi and fantasy. Its hard to beleive that this unlettered farm boy had such blow out talent in the imagination department. Reading the book of Mormon were it not for its “scripture” feel would have made an amazing mini series. He should have stuck with creative writing instead of getting on the religious bandwagon of his time. Lord knows there were plenty on that wagon churning the mud of religion during his day. Given the time period there was a new church on every block practically hollering about New age religion. Most of America’s Bible thumping Charismatics got their start around 1830 and just a bit sooner and some a bit later. I am sure a few hundred years from now we will have more of the same kind of religious overhawls once the present scene gets to stale or out of fashion. Being a history student and a student of archeaology time changes everything. Remember that. Man survives and changes in time dispite himself.


  9. musicgirljen September 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM #

    Jumping in a bit late, but… I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for eleven years (and technically am still on its records, although I requested removal three years ago), and am now Christian. So I am blessed now to have both perspectives. Nicholas, I completely agree with your opinion on the LDS Church and The Book of Mormon… but Shem had a point in calling you out for not even trying to present any logical arguments in the comments section or have a reasonable discussion. Instead, you jumped straight to vehement insults. You can’t turn a Mormon (or indeed, anyone!) by anger and force. You’ve got to win them over with logic and love.


  10. Nicholas Voss September 1, 2011 at 6:52 AM #

    Thanks for your insights musicgirl.


  11. Ezra M. November 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM #

    Well, I have a response for those who think Mormonism is good and gospel.
    The first is this–If we had nothing but the New Testament to go by, and we didn’t have the Old Testament, could we go to heaven? I believe the answer is yes. Therefore what is the Book of Mormon needed for?
    Second–archeologists (Christian and secular both) have found arrowheads from battles from the Old Testament. They’ve found battle sites. They have the maps of the Old and New Testaments that have located the place where Christ was crucified. They’ve found Bethlehem and Jerusalem…lots of other places. But where is the place that the Jaradites lived? Where is the golden plates? If we were to take the maps of the Book of Mormon, they wouldn’t be accurate.
    Finally, did Joseph Smith ever perform miracles? Jesus did, and so did the apostles, the disciples. Miracles are one way to test if someone is from God or not. It’s not the only way to test, but it is one of the ways. I don’t recall reading anywhere about Joseph Smith doing miracles.


  12. Ezra M. November 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    Oops. Forgot my final thorn with the accuracy of Book of Mormon. Alma 7:10 states that Jesus was born in Jerusalem, and that’s wrong. Matthew and Isaiah both say his birthplace was in Bethlehem.


    • Priscilla Williams July 16, 2015 at 11:07 PM #

      just got an interest in the BoM due to having mormons over. They say it is set at first before the Babylonian invasion and give the date as the first year of Zedekiah which was during the invasion Zedekiah was the third vassal king and set up by Babylon after they took the previous one to Babylon for going against them.
      So Lehi and family did not notice an invading army take over their home city twice!!!!
      I call that a BIG mistake.


  13. Brandon November 22, 2015 at 2:23 PM #

    My only words to you and anyone else who reads this is there is fallacy with pretty much every statement this guy has made. If you would actually read the Book of Mormon it would answer every point that he criticized Joseph Smith for. There is opposition in this world and always will be. There is right and wrong; good and bad, there is no middle ground in anything. All good things come from God. And all bad, unrighteousness, and wrong things of the devil. So if the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help you gain faith in Christ, and it doesn’t ever mention the name of Joseph Smith in the written texts. Why would Satan inspire Joseph Smith to write a book to bring someone closer to Christ, and praying always that temptation and the devil will have no power of you. That makes no sense. Christ himself taught in his ministry about a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, even so if the devil and his kingdom is divided against itself how can it stand. The book was inspired by God and it is a miracle that Joseph Smith could translate it, because without God inspiring him to do it and giving him the ability it couldn’t have been done. No wicked man could write such a book as this, and no good man would write it unless it was true and inspired by God. Everything in the Book of Mormon supports the Bible. They together are the word of God, and I wish to remind you Wo unto those who shall fight against Zion in the last days, for they shall perish. It does not matter what argument you bring against the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, or any other foolish remark you make about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is the Lords Kingdom once again established on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the messiah, and this gospel shall roll forth through all the earth until it has visited every nation, sounded in every ear, and visited every climb, until the purposes of God shall all be fulfilled and the great Jehovah shall say it is enough. Praise be forever and ever to the most high God, for he is mindful and merciful unto all His children.


    • Nicholas Voss November 23, 2015 at 4:44 PM #

      Joseph Smith is dead. Jesus is alive. Christians do not need Joseph Smith.




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