Criticism of Mormonism/Books/An Insider's View of Mormon Origins/Use of sources/Citation abuse: "Copying" becomes "translation"

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Citation abuse in An Insider's View of Mormon Origins: "Copying" becomes "translation"

A FAIR Analysis of: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, a work by author: Grant Palmer

Citation abuse in An Insider's View of Mormon Origins: "Copying" becomes "translation"

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, page 148-149

  • The book makes the following claim in an attempt to prove that the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was derived from The Golden Pot:

Later in the evening, Anselmus receives a second vision. This time he learns that Archivarius Lindhorst, whom he encountered earlier (pp. 5, 19,35), is the archivist of a vast library containing Atlantean books and treasures. He also possesses "a number of manuscripts, partly Arabic, Coptic, and some of them in strange characters, which do not belong to any known tongue. These he [Lindhorst] wishes to have copied [and translated] properly, and for this purpose he requires a man who can draw with the pen, and to transfer these marks to parchment, in Indian ink, with the highest exactness and fidelity. This work is to be carried out in a separate chamber of his house, under his own supervision ... he will pay his copyist a speziesthaler, or specie-dollar daily, and promises a handsome present" (pp. 10-11). (emphasis added)

The References

  • The Golden Pot

The Problems

Here's what the author uses as a comparison from Joseph's 1838 account:

The being "said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do ... He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates ... Also that there were two stones ... deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were ... for the purpose of translating the book" (1838, vv. 33-35). (emphasis added)

In his attempt to show a correlation between a passage from The Golden Pot and the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith, the author actually adds the words "and translated" to a phrase about copying manuscripts. The story related in The Golden Pot does not talk about translation at all.[1]


  1. Louis Midgley, "Prying into Palmer (Review of: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins)," FARMS Review 15/2 (2003): 365–410. off-site