"A . . . marvel of the translation process is that although he was intensely involved in translating an ancient record, the Prophet Joseph himself was clearly unschooled in things ancient. For example, early in the work he came across words concerning a wall around Jerusalem and asked Emma if the city indeed had walls. She affirmed what Joseph simply hadn't known. (See E. C. Briggs, "Interview with David Whitmer," Saints' Herald, 21 June 1884, 396.)"He knew nothing, either, of the literary form called chiasmus, which appears in the Bible at various places and, significantly, also appears in the Book of Mormon. . . .". . . We marvel that the Prophet Joseph Smith worked completely without referring to any other sources. None of the 12 people who either participated or merely observed mentioned Joseph's having any reference materials present. . . . Since the Prophet dictated openly, these individuals would have been aware of any suspicious behavior or procedures. Emma was emphatic on this very point: 'He had neither manuscript nor book to read from, [and] if he had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me' ("Last Testimony of Sister Emma," 289, 290)."Thus the Book of Mormon came through, but not from, Joseph Smith!"
Neal A. Maxwell,, "By the Gift and Power of God," Ensign, Jan. 1997, 36
Topics: Book of Mormon
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