I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhoook...I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.
Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax.
Church historians continued to insist on the authenticity of the Kinderhook Plates until 1980 when an examination conducted by the Chicago Historical Society, possessor of one plate, proved it was a nineteenth-century creation.
JOSEPH SMITH'S TRANSLATION
THE HOAX UNCOVERED
"I insert facsimiles of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.” – Joseph Smith, Jr.
The plates turned out to be a hoax. Metallurgical tests revealed the plates to be of late 19th century construction. In addition, the script was created using a 19th- century chemical etch process. In August, 1981 LDS Ensign Magazine conceded: “Kinderhook plates bought to Joseph Smith appear to be a 19th-century hoax."
- The plates were named after the town in which they were found - Kinderhook, IL. A farmer claimed he dug the plates out of a mound. They took the plates to Joseph Smith for examination and he translated a portion.
- Not only did Joseph not discern the fraud, he added to the fraud by “translating” the fake plates. The LDS Church now concedes it’s a hoax. What does this tell us about Joseph Smith’s gift of translation?
Book of Abraham
As outlined in the “Book of Abraham” section, Joseph Smith got everything wrong about the papyri, the facsimiles, the names, the gods, the scene context, the fact that the papyri and facsimiles were first century C.E. funerary text, who was male, who was female, etc. It’s gibberish.
There is not one single non-LDS Egyptologist who supports Joseph’s Book of Abraham, its claims, or Joseph’s translations. Even LDS Egyptologists acknowledge there are serious problems with the Book of Abraham and Joseph’s claims.
Joseph Smith made a claim that he could translate ancient documents. This is a testable claim. Joseph failed the test with the Book of Abraham. He failed the test with the Kinderhook Plates.
With this modus operandi and track record, how can I be expected to believe that Joseph translated the keystone Book of Mormon? And that he translated with a rock in a hat?
That the gold plates that ancient prophets went through all that time and effort of making, engraving, compiling, abridging, preserving, hiding, and transporting were useless? Moroni’s 5,000 mile journey lugging the gold plates from Mesoamerica (if you believe the unofficial apologists) all the way to New York to bury the plates, then come back as a resurrected angel, and instruct Joseph for 4 years only for Joseph to translate instead using just a...rock in a hat?
A rock he found digging in his neighbor’s property in 1822 and which he later used for treasure hunting – a year before Moroni appeared in his bedroom and 5 years before he got the gold plates and Urim and Thummim?
Joseph Smith claimed to have translated three ancient records. The Book of Abraham: proven a fraud. The Kinderhook Plates: found to be a hoax. The Book of Mormon: the only one of the three for which we do not have the original. I’m sure he was only wrong on two out of three.