I had pre­vi­ous­ly been able to con­vince myself that the rea­son we don’t have the gold plates is because Joseph Smith, Jr would have been hunt­ed to an even ear­li­er death if he had kept them. Still, I, and I think every mem­ber, has a secret wish that the Lord would decide it was time to return the gold plates to the Church now that the threat is gone. But I con­vince myself that it unfor­tu­nate­ly wouldn’t real­ly ever hap­pen — since it would, of course, elim­i­nate the need for faith which is essen­tial to sal­va­tion.

So, we don’t have the gold plates as evi­dence of Joseph Smith, Jr’s heav­en­ly call­ing and gifts, but we do have the source mate­r­i­al of anoth­er trans­la­tion of his. If Joseph’s trans­la­tion of the oth­er sources are legit­i­mate, then we should have much more con­fi­dence that he real­ly did trans­late the Book of Mor­mon. The clear­est exam­ple of this is the Book of Abra­ham. There are two oth­er exam­ples where Joseph Smith was pre­sent­ed with what appeared to be ancient texts, and he claimed to know the source and con­tents of the doc­u­ment through rev­e­la­tion. Noth­ing end­ed up in our Stan­dard Works so they are less known than the Book of Abra­ham. They are the Kinder­hook plates and the Greek Psalter. I won’t go into the details of those texts here, but please fol­low the links if you would like to learn about them.

Series Nav­i­ga­tion: My Search for Truth — Wes Trexler« Book of Abra­ham: Fac­sim­i­le 3Con­clu­sion to Why I No Longer Believe »

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