Part 8: CES Letter Book of Mormon Translation Questions
by Sarah Allen
This section really only has one question/point in it. There are maybe a few different parts to it, but it’s all basically one question and it’s one that comes up over and over and over and over again throughout the rest of the CES Letter. Honestly, I think this the first of only two major hang-ups—the other is the Book of Abraham—and everything else was just Jeremy Runnells throwing everything he could find at the wall and hoping something else would stick. He seems to have a very real problem with the translation method for the Book of Mormon. Few other issues in the Letter receive as much call-back attention as this one particular issue. I’m talking about, of course, the infamous “rock in the hat.”
Unlike the story I’ve been taught in Sunday School, Priesthood, General Conferences, Seminary, EFY, Ensigns, Church history tour, Missionary Training Center, and BYU…Joseph Smith used a rock in a hat for translating the Book of Mormon.
First of all, Ensigns absolutely should not be on that list, because guess where I first learned about Joseph putting his seer stone in his hat to block out the light? Yep, the Ensign. More on that later, though.
Jeremy doesn’t actually say what he originally believed the translation method was, and that’s a little problematic because people seem to vary on the exact details when you press them. Was there a curtain between Joseph and his scribes? Were the plates on the table beside him, or kept out of view? Did Joseph wear the spectacles with the Nephite Interpreters and basically “read” the translation from plates themselves? Or did he look in them and see the words without looking at the plates through the Interpreters? Did he attach them to the breastplate, or wear them separately? Did he take the Interpreters out of the spectacles, or did he try to wear them the entire time, despite the widely acknowledged fact that they didn’t fit him properly? If he took them out, what did he do with them? Did he hold them in his hands, or place them on top of the plates, or what? Etc.
There are a ton of other questions that Runnells never provides the answers to, but over the years, I’ve met different people who would have answered yes to every one of those questions. Some of those statements conflict, too, so what exactly is the translation method that Jeremy apparently learned in explicit detail from all of the above sources, and why do so many people have a different idea of what it looked like when pressed for the details? It seems that there’s not just simply one translation method that was universally taught in decades past, but several. Everyone’s idea of what the translation actually looked like from the outside is different.
There are various reasons for that. One is that the eyewitness accounts conflict with one another as to the exact method of translation. That makes it difficult to tell which, if any of them, is completely accurate or if they all were accurate at different times. FAIR has many of them collected if you want to read through them all: Accounts from 1829-1835 | Accounts from 1836-1840 | Accounts from 1841-1845 | Accounts from 1846-1900 | Accounts from 1901-2000
Another reason is that we have a lay ministry. Our teachers don’t have formal religious education (unless they’re actual CES employees), and so they can only teach what they already know. If they weren’t taught by someone who knew of the conflicting translation accounts and mentioned them, and they didn’t find the information themselves in their personal studying, chances are good that they never learned about them to begin with. If they didn’t know it, they didn’t know to teach it to future generations.
A third reason is that many of the accounts we know of today were from people who did not come West with the Saints after Joseph’s death. They were accounts by Emma Smith, her family, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris, people who, rightly or wrongly, were looked on with suspicion by many members of the Church and its leadership for a long time. After they each left the Church—or in Emma’s family’s case, never joined it at all—they were no longer considered trustworthy sources by a large segment of the Church. In several cases, such as Oliver, David, and Martin, this is unfortunate because they had lifelong reputations as honest men, and Oliver and Martin did eventually return to the Church before their deaths.
A fourth reason for the confusion is that the early Saints called both the Nephite Interpreters and Joseph’s other stones the “Urim and Thummim.” There was no distinction between them as to which was which, and so it was often unclear exactly which stone(s) was being referred to. This is expounded on in the Gospel Topics essay on the translation:
These two instruments—the interpreters and the seer stone—were apparently interchangeable and worked in much the same way such that, in the course of time, Joseph Smith and his associates often used the term “Urim and Thummim” to refer to the single stone as well as the interpreters. In ancient times, Israelite priests used the Urim and Thummim to assist in receiving divine communications. Although commentators differ on the nature of the instrument, several ancient sources state that the instrument involved stones that lit up or were divinely illumin[at]ed. Latter-day Saints later understood the term “Urim and Thummim” to refer exclusively to the interpreters. Joseph Smith and others, however, seem to have understood the term more as a descriptive category of instruments for obtaining divine revelations and less as the name of a specific instrument.
We all know that Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to translate the Book of Mormon—except he didn’t. The Book of Mormon mentions interpreters, but not the Urim and Thummim. It was the Book of Mormon interpreters which were given to Joseph with the plates. When Moroni took back the interpreters after the loss of the 116 manuscript pages, Joseph completed the translation with one of his seer stones. Until after the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Urim and Thummim belonged to the Bible and the Bible only. … Eventually, even Joseph Smith used Urim and Thummim indiscriminately as labels generically representing either the Book of Mormon interpreters or the seer stone used during translation.
The Urim and Thummim were traditionally divinatory rocks, but most importantly, they were biblically acceptable divinatory rocks. … I suspect that the two interpreters made a natural comparison to the two stones, one Urim and one Thummim, from the Bible. Calling the biblical divinatory tools “rocks” instead of Urim and Thummim seems to demean them. The reverse process, calling the interpreters and seer stones Urim and Thummim, places them in a more appropriate religious category where they belong because of the sacred use to which they were put in translating the Book of Mormon.
And a fifth notable reason is that Joseph, after more than a decade of constant ridicule and ill-treatment from the people living in his area, kept a lot of the details of the translation process to himself. He mostly just said that he obtained “the plates and the Urim and Thummim,” and that the translation happened “by the gift and power of God,” and left it at that. He even publicly said once that he didn’t think it “expedient to relate these things” and that “it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.” He didn’t elaborate on it, and a lot of people in the early Church followed his lead. Obviously, accounts of the details emerged, but we don’t have any detailed firsthand accounts of the process from Joseph himself. They’re all from his various scribes and people he lived with, and the vast majority of those accounts come from well after Joseph’s death. Some of those people were telling their stories long before they were ever written down, but the fact remains that early accounts of the translation are contradictory and lacking in detail.
So, why is all of this important? Because it shows that things aren’t always very cut and dry. Is it any wonder that without many firsthand accounts—and existing ones being from people who left the Church and may or may not have been bitter toward Joseph, the Church, and the Book of Mormon—many people were doubtful of their veracity? Especially as things like personal journals were often left behind during the flights from one home to another in the early days of the Church, so they had to reconstruct their memories decades later. As people who knew Joseph personally began to die off, the newer generations really only had stories and traditions that had been passed down over the years. Details of several events were lost or exaggerated, including the translation method itself.
Notably, President Joseph Fielding Smith called the accounts of Joseph using his personal seer stone “hearsay” in his Doctrines of Salvation, and also implied that Joseph’s seer stone was weaker and more inferior than the Nephite Interpreters:
While the statement has been made by some writers that the Prophet Joseph Smith used a seer stone part of the time in his translating of the record, and information points to the fact that he did have in his possession such a stone, yet there is no authentic statement in the history of the Church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose. The reason I give for this conclusion is found in the statement of the Lord to the Brother of Jared as recorded in Ether 3:22-24. These stones, the Urim and Thummim which were given to the Brother of Jared, were preserved for this very purpose of translating the record, both of the Jaredites and the Nephites. Then again the Prophet was impressed by Moroni with the fact that these stones were given for that very purpose. It hardly seems reasonable to suppose that the Prophet would substitute something evidently inferior under these circumstances. It may have been so, but it is so easy for a story of this kind to be circulated due to the fact that the Prophet did possess a seer stone, which he may have used for some other purposes.
This is not the only source that claims they were stronger stones, which I think is super interesting. Joseph Knight recounted a story where Joseph seemed a lot more excited to obtain the Interpreters than he was to receive the plates:
After breakfast Joseph called me in to the other room and he set his foot on the bed and leaned his head on his hand and says, “Well, I am disappointed.” “Well,” say I, “I am sorry.” “Well,” says he, “I am greatly disappointed. It is ten times better than I expected.” Then he went on to tell the length and width and thickness of the plates, and, said he, they appear to be gold. But he seemed to think more of the glasses or the Urim and Thummim than he did of the plates for, says he, “I can see anything. They are marvelous. Now they are written in characters and I want them translated.”
The reason I bring this up is because there was an account of a man in Palmyra named Benjamin Saunders who asked Joseph to look into his seer stone when Joseph was a teenager and to tell him the future. Joseph replied that he couldn’t see the future or anything holy. Saunders turned it into a joke about his tattered shirt when recounting it, but it points to Joseph’s mindset. As Brant Gardner explains:
The plates were accompanied by the Nephite Interpreters, which were two stones set in a silver bow. These stones appear to have functioned in a way Joseph understood from his experience with a seer stone. Although he began translation with the Nephite Interpreters, the record indicates that he changed to using his own seer stone. Why put the stone in a hat to translate? That part of the picture is easy. That was how such a stone was used. For Joseph’s community, that aspect was not unusual at all.
Why translate with a stone? The conceptual link in Joseph’s mind would have been that he had been able to see that which was hidden, and the meaning of the script on the plates was certainly hidden to understanding. Nevertheless, this wasn’t a simple transition from seer to translator, even for Joseph. Joseph’s talent was for the mundane, but his gift was for the Holy. Joseph understood the difference between the two when Benjamin Saunders wanted him to see into futurity. Joseph understood that when he was asked to translate, he was being asked to do something very different from what village seers did. He was being asked to do something very different from what learned men did (2 Ne. 27:15-18).
Joseph learned from his community how to operate as a village seer, but he didn’t begin to understand how to be God’s seer until Moroni appeared to him. He did not fully make that transition until the sacred interpreters helped him move from finding lost objects to finding a lost people and lost gospel. Then, having learned to see that which was Holy, Joseph never returned to the mundane functions of the village seer. Eventually, he learned that he could use a seer stone just as well as the Interpreters. Only when he learned to see that which was Holy could he translate–and then it didn’t matter the lens through which he saw.
…[C]onsider the matter from Joseph’s point of view: He’s being called upon to reveal things that are hidden, and to translate an ancient record. Joseph is painfully aware that he cannot do these things. How could Joseph know that he wasn’t going crazy or being delusional? Tying his early prophetic work to something with which he had already had objective success (the use of the seer stone) allowed Joseph to trust both God and himself. The Lord seems to have used Joseph’s preexisting beliefs about how the world worked (including seer stones to reveal hidden things) to help Joseph gain confidence in his own abilities. The Nephite interpreters had been blessed and dedicated for the purpose of translating the Book of Mormon—this would have increased Joseph’s faith, and they did help him receive revelation more effectively, initially. This is what excited Joseph more than even the plates themselves—he was able to do more with the Nephite stones. With time, Joseph was able to translate with his “original” stone—thus, his own ability had increased, because he no longer needed the “stronger” Nephite stones. Eventually, he did not require the “prop” or “crutch” of the stone at all—his faith and experience had grown.
So, as Joseph progressed in faith and ability, he moved from needing the “stronger” Interpreters to his own stone, to no stone at all in order to receive revelation. Heavenly Father used objects Joseph was familiar with in order to teach him how to stand on his own and have confidence in his abilities and talents. Over a period of time, the Lord taught Joseph how to receive revelation and how to recognize it when he did. Eventually, Joseph didn’t need any additional help. Joseph was being trained how to become a prophet, just like we all receive training when we begin a new job.
An article from the Interpreter titled “The Spectacles, the Stone, the Hat, and the Book” by Roger Nicholson is an engaging, well-written, well-researched look at the progression of all of this, the discovery of new sources, the way they were treated with suspicion by members of the 20th century, etc. If you really want to understand the timeline and why things unfolded the way they did, I highly recommend this resource. I may not personally agree with all of the conclusions being drawn, but the research is great.
All of this isn’t to say that everyone disbelieved the seer stone/hat stories, though. Over the past century, Church scholars were finding more and more sources pointing to the same information. Thirdhour traces a lot of that here. It really wasn’t until the creation of the internet that all of these disparate sources were able to be compiled and examined in full, and everyone was able to see exactly how many different sources there actually were containing the same information. That’s really only been in the last 30 years or so, which is why the story is starting to become so much more mainstream. Before that, it just wasn’t as clear as it is today what actually happened during the translation process—and even now, there’s a ton we don’t know about how it actually worked.
In other words, Joseph used the same magic device or “Ouija Board” that he used during his treasure hunting days. He put a rock – called a “peep stone” – in his hat and put his face in the hat to tell his customers the location of buried treasure on their property. He also used this same method for translating the Book of Mormon, while the gold plates were covered, placed in another room, or even buried in the woods. The gold plates were not used for the Book of Mormon we have today.
Do you see the spin? The way Jeremy uses terms like “Ouija Board,” “treasure hunting,” “peep stone,” “magic device,” etc.? He’s using derogatory language to make the translation seem unsavory or off-putting, when it’s really not. The only thing that’s “weird” about it is that it didn’t match his assumptions and what he’d always been taught. The only real differences are that Joseph used his hat to block out the light to make them easier to see, and that sometimes he used the stone he was most comfortable with using. Otherwise, it’s the same. It’s still using seer stones to translate the plates, the same way we all grew up hearing.
In one of the earlier installments of this series, I discussed a FAIR presentation by René Krywult called “Fear Leads to the Dark Side: Navigating the Shallows of (Mis)Information.” In this presentation, he gave tips for dealing with new information, and one of those was to evaluate it and decide whether or not it changed anything about your testimony. That’s exactly what I did when I read that article in the Ensign I mentioned earlier. At the time, that was new information for me and I was a little startled and confused by it all. But as I thought about it, that thought entered my mind: what does it change? And the answer was clear: not much at all. I still believed that the Book of Mormon was an ancient record of real people that was brought forth by the gift and power of God. I still believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God called to restore the Gospel of Christ to the Earth, and that he translated the book through that prophetic power. I still believed that this Church is the true Church of Christ on Earth. All that changed was that I learned new details on what that translation process actually looked like to those who were watching it happen.
That’s what we all need to do, figure out if it changes anything for us. For me, it didn’t. It literally took me about 5 minutes to process the information, evaluate it, decide it didn’t change anything, store it in my memory bank, and move on. For Jeremy Runnells, it was a stumbling block he simply could not move past. And, as stated, he brings it up repeatedly throughout the rest of the Letter, so it’s clearly something that bothers him a great deal. I don’t know why we had two completely opposite reactions to the information, but I suspect it was in large part because I was willing to accept that I’d been wrong in my assumptions and he wasn’t.
As to the point about the plates not being used, that isn’t really true. Joseph clearly spent a lot of time studying the actual plates themselves, since he apparently knew in what direction to read the text, he was familiar with some of the characters on it, he knew that some information came from a particular plate, etc. He was obviously very familiar with them.
Beyond that, they were used to show that the story he was telling about the translation was true. They were a tangible object that people could see and heft, even if they were wrapped up. Emma had to move them around while she cleaned. Martin Harris had them sitting in a box on his lap, and hilariously commented that they were either lead or gold, and Joseph was too poor to afford that much lead. Visitors to the house during the translation process saw them sitting on a table, wrapped in cloth. Emma’s family, even as people famously bitter and skeptical about the Church and about Joseph himself, knew that the plates—or something heavy masquerading as the plates—existed. Local townspeople tried to steal them. People lifted them. People saw them. People touched them. Emma rustled the pages through a cloth. We have tons of accounts of Joseph having a physical object like the plates in his possession during the translation period. That’s what the plates were used for, as evidence to show his story was true.
The two sets of witnesses are complemented by the additional experiences and informal interactions with the plates that others had. These include Alvah Beaman, Josiah Stowell, and Joseph Knight Sr. along with other members of Joseph Smith’s family, such as his wife Emma, his mother Lucy, and his brother and sister, William and Katharine. Although most of these people never actually saw the plates, they can attest that Joseph Smith really did have a tangible object. They felt, lifted, and moved this object around (while covered). They could feel the weight, contours, and shape of the object well enough to discern that it was not blocks of wood or stones. They could lift the individual pages (or plates), hear them make a metallic rustling sound as they moved, and feel that they were bound by three rings.
Their experiences are so straightforward they cannot be easily dismissed. Both Emma and Katharine moved the covered plates around the house as they did daily chores, Josiah Stowell caught a glimpse of their corner as the covering slipped off when Joseph handed them to him, Alvah Beaman heard the metallic clinking of the plates as he helped move them around in the wooden chest, and Martin Harris let them sit, covered, on his knee for some time as he talked with Joseph in the woods while they were preparing to hide the plates from a mob. Others reported finding the stone box in the hill after it had been emptied of its contents. These are mundane, ordinary, even day-to-day experiences. Experiences like these bring a certain tangibility and physicality to the plates that makes them hard to remove from historical reality.
This is only a small sampling of the many accounts that exist from the various witnesses. While it is easy to scrutinize and dismiss these testimonies now, for those living in the vicinity of Palmyra at the time, it was much harder to ignore. As a pair of historians who work for the Joseph Smith Papers Project explain, “Joseph’s initial problems with enemies in 1827 were precisely because they were certain that he had in fact obtained some golden treasure from the hill.”
While Joseph may not have physically read the translation from the plates, they were certainly used during the translation process. They were a physical evidence that what he was saying was true.
Since learning this disturbing new information and feeling betrayed, I have been attacked and gaslighted by revisionist Mormon apologists claiming that it’s my fault and the fault of anyone else for not knowing this. “The information was there all along,” they say. “You should’ve known this,” they claim.
Again, I don’t see how this information is supposed to be “disturbing.” As Michael Ash says, “For Mormons who think the seer stone in the hat is strange compared to a translation through the Nephite Interpreters, one might ask: Why is a translation through a stone outside of a hat (the Nephite Interpreters) acceptable, while a translation through a stone inside of a hat (the seer stone) is unusual? It should be obvious that if someone finds the one normal and the other odd, that such a perspective is based on nothing more than pre-conceived assumptions.”
Using the Interpreter seer stones is just fine and perfectly believable, but using his personal seer stone is suddenly crazy talk that’s too much to handle? It’s suddenly “disturbing,” while the story of the translation had been inspiring before? Why? I legitimately don’t understand that point of view.
Anyway, on to his larger point. I’m not sure if that’s actually the way it went down in real life or if Jeremy is exaggerating the way he’s prone to do, but assuming he’s being honest, no, I don’t necessarily think he should have known the information. After all, every single thing we know was brand new information to us at some point. But I do think he could have known it. It truly was there all along, and I know it was because I personally found it about two decades before the CES Letter was ever written.
I poked around for a few minutes online and couldn’t find anything pointing to how old Jeremy Runnells currently is, but just guessing, I think I’m probably at least a few years older than he is. In any event, I was a teenager during the ‘90s. The internet was still in its infancy back then, and didn’t really start to become fully mainstream and in everyone’s home until the late 1990s/early 2000s, so I didn’t rely on the internet to teach me those things inside the Letter. I found most of them inside books and Church magazines.
I said above that the first time I learned about the “stone in the hat” was in the Ensign. When I was 12 years old, I picked up my parents’ copy of the magazine and read an article by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson titled “A Treasured Testament,” where he quoted David Whitmer talking about the hat. Jeremy claims in another paragraph that this was an “obscure” talk no one was aware of. However, it was given to more than 100 mission presidents who were told to disseminate the information to their missionaries, and it was then published in the Ensign, the largest, most widely read Church publication we have. If the Church was attempting to hide that information, they weren’t doing a very good job of it. That was also not the first time that information had been published in the Ensign, and it’d also been published in the Friend. It was published in the old Improvement Era, the forerunner to the Ensign. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote about it in the second edition of Mormon Doctrine. President Neal A. Maxwell wrote about it. B.H. Roberts wrote about it. It was available information, and it was being published by the Church and several prominent leaders.
Again, I’m not saying that Jeremy or anyone else should have found that information. I understand it was shocking for a lot of people who weren’t exposed to it as early as I was. I really do get that, so I’m not pointing fingers at anyone or laying blame for it. But I am saying that they could have found it.
Also, note the use of the common phrase that ex-members love to throw out and use inaccurately, “gaslighted.” This word comes up several times in this section, and it’s used incorrectly each time. “Gaslighting” is a term meaning that someone is using lies and manipulation to purposely make someone else doubt their own past experiences and is designed specifically to make them think they’re going crazy. It is not pointing out the very real fact that this information was available with some extra studying outside of Sunday School.
The Church later admitted these facts in its October 2015 Ensign, where they include a photograph of the actual rock that Joseph Smith used to place in his hat for the Book of Mormon translation.
And here we have more spin, claiming that the Church is finally “admitting” to the things they’d been publishing in their official publications for decades.
The last thing I wanted to touch on was the art. Runnells puts two image collages together, one of traditional translation art and one of how he claims it “actually happened.” However, those images aren’t fully accurate, either. The staircase and curtain are wrong, according to most sources, the clothing isn’t always era-appropriate, and in one of them, the hat appears to be made of straw and not the beaver skin it was reported to be. These are minor quibbles, to be sure. But then, aren’t all art-related concerns minor issues?
We’ve all seen book covers where the characters on the front look nothing like their descriptions inside, or where a character looks different on screen than on the page. In the Harry Potter movies, for example, Harry has flat brown hair and blue eyes, while the character is supposed to have spiky black hair and green eyes. This is something that is hammered home repeatedly throughout every single book and is in fact a large plot point, as he’s supposed to look like his father but his eyes are supposed to look like his mother’s, both of which have great significance the deeper you wade into the story. We’re also all familiar with movie/television adaptions of books or stories “based on real life events” that end up bearing little resemblance to the source material.
The point is that art is subjective. Artists are telling a story and trying to evoke emotions. They are not taking photographs of things as they actually happened. Trying to learn history through art is not wise, as most people understand. Just Google “nativity art” and you’ll see many different styles with people of different races and settings, all purporting to be the nativity scene. All are wildly different, and many are historically inaccurate to say the least. For example, check out this one by Salvador Dali. Can anyone look at that image and honestly say, “Yes, that’s an accurate depiction of exactly what the nativity looked like”? Of course not.
Popular Latter-day Saint painter Greg Olsen is no different. I took a tour of his studio once and he told us that one of his common techniques is to take photographs of one of his ward members dressed up like the Savior, and to paint using those pictures as a guide. He’s not painting the Savior as he thinks He actually looked, he’s painting his neighbor.
In doing research on this topic, I interviewed a handful of well-known and talented Latter-day Saint artists and asked them various questions regarding the responsibility of an artist to paint historical reality. Almost unanimously, they said the artist carries no responsibility to do so.
… When I asked Walter Rane about creating an image of the translation with Joseph looking into a hat, he surprised me by telling me that…:
At least twice I have been approached by the Church to do that scene [Joseph translating using the hat]. I get into it. When I do the drawings I think, “This is going to look really strange to people.” Culturally from our vantage point 200 years later it just looks odd. It probably won’t communicate what the Church wants to communicate. Instead of a person being inspired to translate ancient records it will just be, “What’s going on there?” It will divert people’s attention. In both of those cases I remember being interested and intrigued when the commission was changed (often they [the Church] will just throw out ideas that disappear, not deliberately) but I thought just maybe I should still do it [the image of Joseph translating using the hat]. But some things just don’t work visually. It’s true of a lot of stories in the scriptures. That’s why we see some of the same things being done over and over and not others; some just don’t work visually.
In my interview with J. Kirk Richards, when I asked him how he would approach the translation of the Book of Mormon image, he said to me, “It would be hard for me to paint a painting with Joseph with his head in a hat. We would have no sense of the vision of what is happening inside.”
… Many of my own sketches for this book project didn’t look right or feel right in terms of the marvelous work and wonder of the Book of Mormon. I joked that some of my sketches with Joseph in the hat should have been called “The Sick of Joseph” because he looks like he is vomiting into the hat. When multiple people unfamiliar with our history saw my sketches, they asked me if Joseph was ill. It didn’t communicate anything about inspiration, visions, revelations, miracles, translation, or the like—just stomach sickness.
The reason so much of our art about the translation process isn’t accurate even to the story we grew up hearing is because accuracy simply doesn’t work the way the artist intends it to work. That’s why we get pictures of the Nephites wearing Roman armor and Samuel the Lamanite standing on top of a 50-ft brick wall, neither of which are accurate in the slightest to the Book of Mormon descriptions. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not intended to be a hyper-realistic photograph. It’s art. It’s meant to be symbolic. It’s meant to evoke feelings. It’s not meant to be a literal representation of something exactly as it happened.
Sources in this entry:
Sarah Allen is brand new in her affiliation with FAIR. By profession, she works in mortgage compliance and is a freelance copyeditor. A voracious reader, she loves studying the Gospel and the history of the restored Church. After watching some of her lose their testimonies, she became interested in helping others through their faith crises and began sharing what she learned through her studies. She’s grateful to those at FAIR who have given her the opportunity to share her testimony with a wider audience.