From Ezek. 37:15-17 Mormons claim: (1) the sticks are really scrolls; (2) the stick of Judah is the Bible; (3) the stick of Joseph is the B. of M.; and, (4) the joining of these sticks means the joining of two writings - the Bible and the B. of M.. But the Hebrew word translated "stick" means a piece of wood, not a scroll. The Lord also told Ezekial precisely what to write on the two sticks, and it was not the "Bible" and the "B. of M." He was told to write the words "for Judah" on one stick and "for Joseph" on the other. The Bible speaks of books and scrolls in many verses, such as: Is. 8:1; 34:4; Jer. 36:2; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1-3; Rev. 6:14. It also speaks of sticks in Num. 17:1-8; 15:32; I Kings 17:12. But God never interchanges these words. The people asked in Ezek. 37:18, "Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?" That question is answered in the next few verses, when the Lord declared the two Kingdoms of Israel would be brought together as one nation with one King again. In fact, the entire chapter is a prophecy of the restoration of Israel to her own land after captivity. For LDS to claim a couple of verses are about the B. of M. in the middle of that message would be out of place. Furthermore, it was Ezekial who wrote on both sticks. Did Ezekial write both the Bible and the B. of M.? If not, the Mormon interpretation does not fit this text.
Mormons also claim that Is. 29:1-4 predicts the coming forth of the B. of M. Apostle LeGrand Richards says of v. 4, "Obviously, the only way a dead people could speak 'out of the ground' or 'low out of the dust' would be by the written word, and this people did through the Book of Mormon. Truly it has a familiar spirit for it contains the words of the prophet of God of Israel" (M.W. &W., p. 69). There are 15 Old Testament references to "familiar spirits," and every one of them refer to mediums in witchcraft, including Is. 29:4 (Lev. 20:6; Duet. 18:10-12). If the LDS believe the B. of M. has a "familiar spirit," they are identifying it with witchcraft! But, this text is really talking about the destruction of Ariel or Jerusalem, not about the B. of M.
LDS claim Is. 29:11-12 was fulfilled when Smith received and translated the gold plates. Martin Harris mortgaged his farm to pay for publishing the first edition of the B. of M. Harris desired to verify Smith's translation, so he took a copy of some of the "Reformed Egyptian" characters with Smith's translation to Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia University. LDS claim that Anthon pronounced the translation correct. Part of this event is recorded in the P. of G. P. J.S. History 1:63-65. But, Harris' visit to Anthon was very different from Is. 29:11-12. This text shows: (1) This is a parable and the subject is a vision, not a book. (2) The vision of the prophets of that day had become as meaningless to the people as the words of a book that was sealed. Isaiah was referring to the condition of the people at that time, and not about a book of some future time. (3) According to Harris, the professor said the translation was correct. Anthon could have said this only if he read it. But, Isaiah said the learned man could not read the book because it was sealed! The only way the professor knew the plates were "sealed" was because Harris told him they were. (4) In Isaiah the book went to the learned man first - then to the unlearned. But the Mormon story has the book of gold plates delivered first to the unlearned (Smith) who copied some of the characters with his translation on a piece of paper which was taken to the learned (Anthon). In Isaiah, the same "sealed book" was taken to both the learned man and the unlearned man. But, Anthon did not receive any book - sealed or unsealed! (5) In Isaiah, the book was delivered to the unlearned and he simply said, "I am not learned," and made no effort to read it or translate it. But, Smith claimed he did read the book, even though he was unlearned.
Apostle LeGrand Richards wrote, "Professor Anthon did not realize that he was literally fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah" (M.W. & W., p. 50). But, Anthon did not believe he was fulfilling prophecy, because in a letter to E.D. Howe, a Painsville, Ohio, newspaper editor, he relates the event as a hoax and a scheme to "cheat the farmer [Harris] of his money" (and Harris did lose his money).
Joseph Smith wrote: In the fly-leaf of his "version" appear these words: "The Holy Scriptures, translated and corrected by the spirit of revelation by Joseph Smith, Jr. the seer," 1927 Edition.
Doctrine of Salvation Vol.3:191
Was the Bible Completed by Joseph Smith?
Yes, in 1833 The official Church Historian, Andrew Jenson wrote: "Joseph Smith the Prophet finished the translation of the Bible."
Church Chronology, 1899, p. 9.
According to the D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 324 and 368, and Times and Seasons, Vol. VI, p. 802, Joseph Smith completed a translation of the Bible. Those sources and Andrew Jensen's LDS Church Chronology show that the New Testament was finished February 2, 1833, and the Old Testament on July 2, 1833. In a revelation given on January 10, 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are commanded to "continue the work of translation until it is finished" (D. & C. 73:4). Obviously this was not talking about the B. of M. which was published in 1830. Nor could it be talking about the Book of Abraham Papyrus which Joseph Smith saw for the first time on July 3, 1835 (D.H.C., Vol. II, p. 235). Furthermore, Joseph Smith was commanded by God in D. & C. 124:89 to "publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth" (see also D. & C. 94:10 and 104:58).
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