Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

I think Dialogue readers might be interested in a recent change at the Church History Building. I was shepherding a group of Young Men from our ward at a youth conference on Temple Square. Several hundred teenagers were present from many wards to participate in a full-day's schedule of events, involving many of the different buildings in the area. We got to a lecture area at the Church History Building, where a professional historian with a doctor's degree discussed with us the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon. On a table was a large white stovepipe hat made out of "bleached beaverskin hair." He began by showing slides of some of the paintings used in the past to illustrate how the translation occurred. He then asked what was wrong with each painting. The first showed Joseph Smith poring over the gold plates. He explained that the plates were not used in the translation. Next he showed a picture of the breastplate and urim and thummim and another of a seer stone, and asked what was wrong with that. Then he called for two volunteers. One sat by the hat, and slowly read a couple of verses from the Book of Mormon that had been placed at the bottom of the hat. …

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