Joseph's translation shows remarkable consistency

After Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages of Book of Mormon translation he was released from his duty as Joseph's scribe. For a time, Joseph's wife Emma took over the task. Later in life, Emma said that during episodes of dictation she sat across from Joseph -- with nothing between them -- while Joseph received revelation as she wrote down the words.

She specifically noted that Joseph did not have any manuscripts or books from which to read. The hat in which Joseph looked to see the seer stone would have been dark and only inches from his face; which means that he would not have been able to read any concealed scraps of notes inside of the hat either. When interviewed by her son, Emma said:

"My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity -- I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he could at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. ...It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible" (Saints' Herald 26 [1879]:290).

Due to the demands of everyday life -- from providing sustenance to making meals -- little progress was made during Emma's tenure as scribe. A new scribe was needed. Eventually, Oliver Cowdery appeared on the scene and the translation charged full speed ahead.

Read the rest of this story at
Comments and feedback can be sent to