The scribe would then read the sentence written, and if any mistakes had been made, the characters would remain visible to Smith until corrected, when they would fade from sight to be replaced by another line. When in this condition he would go out and pray, and when he became sufficiently humble before God, lie could then proceed with the translation. Martin said that after continued translation they would become weary and would go down to the river and exercise in throwing stones out on the river, etc. That is, the Prophet Joseph Smith looked into the "Interpreters" or "Seer Stone," saw there by the power of God and the gift of God to him, the ancient Nephite characters, and by bending every power of his mind to know the meaning thereof, the interpretation wrought out in his mind by this effort -- by studying it out in his mind, to use the Lord's phrase -- was reflected in the sacred instrument, there to remain until correctly written by the scribe History of the Church Vol.
That is, the Prophet Joseph Smith looked into the "Interpreters" or "Seer Stone," saw there by the power of God and the gift of God to him, the ancient Nephite characters, and by bending every power of his mind to know the meaning thereof, the interpretation wrought out in his mind by this effort -- by studying it out in his mind, to use the Lord's phrase -- was reflected in the sacred instrument, there to remain until correctly written by the scribe With the Nephite record was deposited a curious instrument, consisting of two transparent stones, set in the rim of a bow, somewhat resembling spectacles, but larger, called by the ancient Hebrews "Urim and Thummim," but by the Nephites "Interpreters. I repeat, then, that the translation of the Book of Mormon by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," was not merely a mechanical process, but required the utmost concentration of mental and spiritual force possessed by the prophet, in order to exercise the gift of translation through the means of the sacred instruments provided for that work. While so doing on one occasion, Martin found a stone very much resembling the one used for translating, and on resuming their labors of translation Martin put in place [of the Seer Stone] the stone that he had found. It should not be supposed, however, that this translation, though accomplished by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," as stated above, was merely a mechanical procedure; that no faith, or mental or spiritual effort was required on the prophet's part; that the instruments did all, while he who used them did nothing but look and repeat mechanically what he saw there reflected. Now, behold, this is the Spirit of revelation; behold this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. Martin Harris's description of the manner of translating while he was the amanuensis of the Prophet is as follows: Much surprised Joseph exclaimed: So much in the way of reflection; now as to the facts referred to. Now we see how very strict the Lord is, and how he requires the heart of man to be just right in his sight before he can receive revelation from him. He could not translate a single syllable. He said that the Prophet remained silent unusually and intently gazing in darkness, no trace of the usual sentence appearing. Blakeslee, of Gallen, Michigan, under date of September 15th, , David Whitmer said of Joseph Smith and the necessity of his humility and faithfulness while translating the Book of Mormon: Relative to the manner of translating the Book of Mormon the prophet himself has said but little. He did not see the plates in translation, but would hold the interpreters to his eyes and cover his face with a hat, excluding all light, and before his eyes would appear what seemed to be parchment on which would appear the characters of the plates in a line at the top, and immediately below would appear the translation in English, which Smith would read to his scribe, who wrote it down exactly as it fell from his lips. History of the Church Vol. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God and not by any power of man. In the course of the work of translation Oliver Cowdery desired the gift of translation to be conferred upon him, and God promised to grant it to him in the following terms: Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. He was a religious and straight-forward man. Oliver and I went up stairs and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation, but he could not do anything. Bishop Reuben Miller, who was present at the meeting, reported Cowdery's remarks. He told us that his mind dwelt too much on earthly things, and various causes would make him incapable of proceeding with the translation. He went down stairs, out into the orchard, and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour -- came back to the house, and asked Emma's forgiveness and then came up stairs where we were and then the translation went on all right. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English.
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