Firesides/28 November 2010 - Sweden/16

Table of Contents

Response to questions about the Kinderhook plates

1: BoM translation2: Polygamy and Polyandry3: Polygamy forced?4: Book of Abraham5: "Lying for Lord"6: Mark Hofmann7: Blood atonement8: First Vision9: Sanitized history10: "Not all truth is useful"11: Angelic affidavits12: Blacks and priesthood13: Temple concerns14: Evidence of Vikings15: Adam-God16: Kinderhook

The attendees of The "Swedish Rescue" fireside ask the following question:

It’s the same thing with Kinderhook Plates where Joseph said yes this is good thing. But it’s a fraud.

  • Question: Did Joseph translate the fraudulent Kinderhook Plates?
    Answer: No translation of the plates exists, apart from the initial "portion."

If you walk through all of the evidence from the time the Kinderhook Plates were discovered, down to the time they take them to Nauvoo, to the time they had the editorial published in the Times and Seasons, to the time that broadside published in the Nauvoo Neighbor newspaper, to the time that Wilbur Fugate one of the proponents of that fraud, made his statement, there’s clear evidence that Joseph wanted to translate them and never did. Why didn’t he? I think because they were a fraud. Wilbur Fugate, the man who helped to perpetrate this fraud, said explicitly that they wanted Joseph Smith to translate it. Joseph Smith said he would not translate it until they sent it to the Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, France, and England. So he never did translate it.

—Brother Turley's answer to this question at the Sweden fireside.
  • Question: Did Church leaders believe for many years that the Kinderhook Plates were legitimate?
    Answer: Yes

The plates were lost and there was no way to determine their authenticity. The Church believed that they were genuine until one plate was rediscovered and proven to be a fraud.

  • Question: Was William Clayton's journal entry stating that Pres. Joseph had "translated a portion" of the Kinderhook plates correct?
    Answer: Yes

Joseph attempted to translate one of the characters on the plates by matching it to a similar character on the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (GAEL), a document that was produced in the same timeframe as the Book of Abraham. It is from the GAEL that he derived the "descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh" meaning.

  • Question: Did Joseph attempt to translate the Kinderhook Plates by revelation?
    Answer: No

Joseph's initial attempt at translation was done using non-revelatory means. He proceeded no further, as Brother Turley mentioned. Since the plates were an attempt to trick Joseph Smith, why did the conspirators never crow that they had fooled him? Quite simply, because they hadn't.

This data was introduced by Don Bradley at the 2011 FAIR Conference.

Kinderhook.plates.don.bradley.description.jpg |extlink= |extsubject=‘President Joseph Has Translated a Portion’: Solving the Mystery of the Kinderhook Plates |extpublication=, 2011 FAIR Conference Proceedings |extauthor=Don Bradley |extsummary=The most complete and up-to-date analysis of the history of the Kinderhook plates episode.