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Mormon Discussion: 310: Translate, You Keep using that Word

Today on Mormon Discussion we take a collective look at Joseph Smith Productions via Translation
– The Kinderhook plates
– The Book of Abraham
– The Book of Moses
– The Inspired Translation of the Bible
– The Book of Mormon

Once we see that in every case the production is not what the Church claimed it was, we are left to redefine translation and to make space for less than historic relationship between us and the sacred texts of our faith.


5 thoughts on “Mormon Discussion: 310: Translate, You Keep using that Word”

  1. Bill – this is compelling info and very useful. I was trying to figure out what the source was for the scholar comments you were reading when talking about the Book of Moses so I can go through it. Listened a couple times to that section – did I miss it? Could you provide a reference or a link?

  2. LOVED the ending! You are obviously referencing the LDS position that cursing with black skin is God’s intent. Morally its not justifiable, and contradicts theology in all kinds of way.

    Before 1978, if a young black child died before 8 years old, was that child saved in heaven or sent to hell because of the “curse of Cain”? No one ever answered that question for me….it was always: “We will have to wait until the next life to get answers for some questions.”


    Nice pod-cast Bill. I enjoyed it.

  3. Once again, nicely done.
    I like it when it’s hard to disagree with you even when I try very hard to do so. Very compelling logic.

    Although when you contrast that with Gina’s podcast with Andrew Bolton:

    In that podcast he mentions that are experiences are shaped by what we believe is plausible, and that the human experience suffers somewhat when we cease to have faith in angels and miracles. When tapping into such ideas are no longer credible we stop sensing these areas for belief and informing our perspectives.

    Are we better off for it or by it (having atheist or agnostic perspectives)? Or Does having a theistic/Gnostic mindset provide a richer a better life experience.

    In the end, as we make space over this 10-20 year period I wonder how we can take such perspectives and present them in a positive light in Sunday school. The next practical conclusion seems to be let’s all make up our own theology that works best for us. Hopefully we don’t end up creating a God model after our own convenience.

  4. Deanna Kessler-Drinkard

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Bill Reel, for a superb podcast with your spot-on insight!!!
    Mormonism: The perfect proverbial perpetuation of the Biblical myth–of manmade construct; divinely inspired. –Deanna ✨

  5. Bill, why did you not include the revelation/translation of D&C Section 7 in your list? At least the introduction to that section describes it as a translation of a parchment made by John the Revelator. The intro is most likely based on some information said about that section in the History of the Church or another source that I don’t know. I also bring this up since I’ve seen it cited by apologists as a source for establishing a position that the meaning of “translation” can include revealing information about a document that JS doesn’t actually possess.

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