The Book of Mormon Comes Forth

6 Episodes

The Book of Mormon is the single most foundational document in the Latter-day Saint movement. And the story of its discovery and translation is drenched with the astonishing and the miraculous. In this series Scott and Casey do a deep dive into the coming forth and translation of this singular text. 

Art Credit: Anthony Sweat


Episode 1

Joseph Smith's "Second Vision" and the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

About three and a half years after his “first vision,” Joseph Smith experienced his “second vision.” It occurred on the evening of the 21st of September 1823 in Palmyra, New York, when Joseph was only seventeen years old. In this vision he met a stunning angelic messenger named Moroni who delivered an even more stunning message: that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was soon to …

49 Min

Episode 2

Joseph Smith's Creative Efforts to Outsource the Book of Mormon Translation

After four years of waiting, learning, and personal refinement, 21 year old Joseph Smith was finally entrusted by the angel Moroni with the ancient record that for centuries had lain in waiting in a stone box embedded in a hill near his home. Recalling this time years later, Joseph said that almost as soon as he had received the plates “the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be …

49 Min

Episode 3

Translating the Book of Mormon with Stones in a Hat?​

If we had video footage of the translation process of The Book of Mormon, what would we see? What would we actually watch Joseph Smith do during a translation session? Now, of course, we don’t have such video footage, but we do have perhaps the next best thing: multiple eyewitness accounts of those who saw the process up close, firsthand. And what they said they saw was a decidedly nonsecular, nonacademic, one-of-a-kind …

51 Min

Episode 4

If Not a Supernatural Translation, Then What? Examining the Other BM Translation Theories​

What would you say if somebody told you that a 23-year-old farm boy dictated to a scribe a sacred text of 531 pages while looking down at stones placed in the bottom of his hat? And what would you think if they then told you that this book was dictated and written in one pass from beginning to end in approximately 60 days without any punctuation and with little to no revising? And what if they then showed you countless examples of how …

53 Min

Episode 5

What is the Best External Evidence for the Book of Mormon?​

Aside from the text of the Book of Mormon itself, and a personal witness from God’s Spirit, what is the best evidence for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? Different people might answer this question in different ways, but in today’s episode of Church History Matters, Casey and I propose that the very best external evidence for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is the collective testimony of the …

52 Min

Episode 6

Q+R! Tackling Tough Book of Mormon Translation Questions​

The more carefully one studies the production process of the Book of Mormon, the more interesting the questions become. For example, since Joseph Smith never could read the original base language engraven on the plates, what did he mean when he said he “translated” the Book of Mormon, and was his translation best characterized as a “tight” translation, a “loose” translation, or something else entirely? And if …

51 Min