South Park Mormon: Book of Mormon Translation
1. The Book of Mormon “tells of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming here in America” – TRUE / FALSE
Mormons believe that after His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ came and visited the people in America. However, Mormons do not consider this to be Jesus’ Second Coming, which they believe will still occur in the future.
Though some people find it hard to believe that Jesus would visit America, the Lord answers this concern in the Book of Mormon:
“Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?” [2 Nephi 29]
2. Joseph Smith wanted to “translate the plates and publish it in a book for the whole world to read” – TRUE
This is exactly what has happened. More than 150 million copies of the Book of Mormon have now been published in 100+ languages. The Book of Mormon is being read by people of every nation, kindred and tongue all around the world. Have you read the Book of Mormon? You can request a free copy today.
3. Joseph Smith used seer stones to translate the Book of Mormon – TRUE
Few details about the translation process are available, so it requires piecing together quotes from a few of the witnesses and scribes. We do know that Joseph Smith used the seer stones to translate. Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle in the Mormon Church, said in 1993: “The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights.” He then shared a quote from David Whitmer who said,
“Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the intepretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.”
While some people may find this to be an unusual method of translation, it is important to remember that the Lord does things in His own way.
Consider when in Numbers, many of the Israelites were bitten by serpents. The Lord told Moses to make a brass serpent and put it on a staff. Then Moses promised the Israelites that if they would look at the staff, they would be healed. Doesn’t this seem like an unusual way of healing? Because of this unique method, it’s recorded in Alma 33:20 that “there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them.”
Whether or not you consider this translation method of the Book of Mormon to be unusual, it does not change the fact that it occurred by the gift and power of God. Before discounting the Book of Mormon, consider whether you could be compared to the Israelites who would not look at the brass serpent because they thought the serpent wouldn’t heal them!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
CONCLUSION: This part of the South Park episode is relatively accurate. However, it again puts things in a certain context or light in order to get laughs, which leads to it not being entirely accurate.