Over the past several decades. credible Mormon-themed scholarship has determined beyond any reasonable doubt that Joseph Smith’s claim have special powers to “translate” ancient languages was not true, and that Joseph often relied on plagiarism to produce his “revelations.” Up until recently, at least three clear instances of false translation by Joseph Smith were widely known: the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, and the Kinderhook Plates.
In the summer of 2015, something truly remarkable happened. A BYU undergraduate, along with her professor, discovered a fourth example of false translation, and yet another example of plagiarism on the part of Joseph Smith – this time in the canonized “Joseph Smith Translation” of the Holy Bible (found in modern LDS scripture)
Join me and scholar Haley Wilson Lemmón today as we discuss this groundbreaking research she conducted at BYU, along side professor Thomas A. Wayment — as together they discovered literally hundreds of instances where Joseph Smith plagiarized portions of the Joseph Smith “Translation” of the Bible directly from Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary.
Today’s story includes:
- Haley’s early years growing up as a highly devout Mormon girl and young woman who struggled significantly with undiagnosed religious anxiety (possibly scrupulosity).
- Haley’s LDS mission to Panama.
- Haley’s discovery of Joseph Smith’s plagiarism, as she was working as a BYU undergraduate research assistant under Dr. Thomas A. Wayment.
- Haley’s deep struggle with her Mormon faith once she began studying the authenticity of Mormon scripture and other truth claims.
- Haley’s troubling brush with the BYU Honor Code Office, which almost resulted in her being expelled from BYU.
- How Haley’s name was almost removed from the publishing of her research with Dr. Wayment.
- How BYU apologists attempted to get Haley kicked out of her graduate program at Notre Dame, after she graduated from BYU.
- A review of Haley’s current views on LDS Church truth claims.
As a part of this interview, we will be discussing in-depth the article/chapter “A Recently Recovered Source: The Use of Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary in Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation” that she co-authored with Thomas A. Wayment, which recently appeared in the newly released book “Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity,” edited by Michael MacKay, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Brian M. Hauglid.