By Delbert D. Smith

Copyright 1966

Delbert D. Smith
Lamoni Iowa

Paragon Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 346 Mount Ayr, IA 50854

This document explores the credibility of the account given by Joseph Smith, Jr. regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon. The original was written by Delbert D. Smith and is available in hardcopy for $2.00 from him. The HyperText version was edited by Ronald K. Smith with permission.



This booklet explores the credibility of the account given by Joseph Smith, Jr. regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon. His claim is that he received a set of metal plates which he translated by the gift and power of God with the aid of the instruments which the Angel Moroni called the "Urim and Thummim." Writers of the Book of Mormon refer to the Urim and Thummim as "Interpreters" because their purpose is to assist prophetic persons to translate unknown languages. They are described as "two stones which were fastened into the rims of a bow".

Scriptures used in this work are published by Herald Publishing House, Independence, Missouri.

  1. The 1971 edition of The Inspired Version Of The Holy Scriptures
  2. The 1971 edition of the Book of Mormon
  3. The 1970 edition of the Doctrine And Covenants

A simplified form of documentation is used in the body of this work to speed the reading for those who may not be interested in checking the sources which have been consulted. For those readers who want to do more extensive research the complete references will be given in alphabetical order at the end of the text.

An example is as follows. The text reference will read:

Times and Seasons 3:753.
The more complete reference will read:
Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Illinois,1842-1846.
Some references will be followed by the word "also" and an additional reference such as
"also RLDS History 4:26".

The listing of additional secondary sources is for the convenience of the reader who does not have the original sources readily available. For this specific suggestion of including the more readily available secondary sources I thank the late Chris B. Hartshorn.

I want also to thank Frank Evan Fry for transferring material from my former pamphlet onto a computer which has greatly aided the production of this book.

It is important for researchers who seek for truth to distinguish carefully between primary and secondary sources. Researchers who rate rumors, hearsay, and despots on an equal basis with eye witnesses are usually led to false conclusions. The material is treated in two parts. This is done to clarify the differences between Primary and Secondary sources.

In part one we will examine the testimony of early primary sources and the very early secondary sources.

In part two we examine testimony from many later secondary sources even though some are lacking in credibility.

Part 1: Eyewitness and Early Secondary Accounts
Last Update: November 29, 1996
Ronald K. Smith
Graceland College
Lamoni, IA 50140