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What exactly were the Nephite translators? – by Mormon Times

Those latter-day saints who enjoy the historical side of the scriptures, especially how the Book of Mormon plays into the Restoration, will enjoy the most recent addition in a series of articles on Mormon Times by Michael R. Ash. In today’s article, Brother Ash discussed the correlation between the Urim and Thummim, the Nephite “interpreters,” and the translation of the Gold Plates.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery  translating the Book of MormonAs we learn in the book of Ether, Mahonri Moriancumer, more commonly known as ‘the brother of Jared, was instructed to seal up the record along with two stones to be used as interpreters in the future. As Brother Ash writes, “These interpreters eventually ended up in the hands of Mosiah the younger, who used them to translate the Jaredite record — the Book of Ether.”

The article goes on to discuss how towards the end of translating the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and David Whitmer asked Joseph Smith to ask the Lord if they could be the three witnesses that the Book of Mormon mentions. As is recorded in D&C 17:1, the Lord replied:

Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.

Brother Ash mentions how the terms Urim and Thummim do not appear in the Book of Mormon at all, and proceeds to describe the processes and procedures that Joseph Smith underwent in translating the Book of Mormon.

Each article in the series builds off the previous and leads the reader to ponder on what the upcoming post will entail. Today’s article concluded by asking, if the Three Witnesses were promised that they would see all the items mentioned in D&C 17:1, what did they end up seeing besides the Gold Plates?

Read the full article here.

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