Translation of the Characters Document
Book of Mormon news: "Golden Plates" image yields new translation
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Book of Mormon News: Mathematical and cryptologic techniques reveal amazing patterns in characters that Joseph Smith copied from the golden plates. Prominent character sequences appear to be numbers that match important Book of Mormon dates.
For almost 200 years, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have claimed that the scrap of paper shown above contains characters from the ancient “Golden Plates” from which the modern Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith. Although those plates were seen by 12 eyewitnesses who testified of their reality over and over again to the ends of their lives, Smith never showed them to anybody else, and they were never seen again after he declared that he was obligated to return them to an angel named “Moroni”. The plates were never subjected to examination by modern science, and doubters have assumed all along that the characters shown above were nothing more than the random imaginings of a charlatan.
However, in 2015, a Book of Mormon enthusiast who also happens to be an engineer and linguist has proposed a set of glyph definitions and a corresponding set of guidelines that, when applied to the characters shown above, yield a surprising number of dates that correspond precisely with important events and calendars from the Book of Mormon. For example, according to this set of proposed keys, the last three characters above (from the lower left-hand corner) translate to “384”. The significance of this number can hardly be overstated, since, according to the Book of Mormon itself, Mormon died in 385 AD, and ancient Christians in America had begun numbering years from the birth of Christ nine years after they saw the heavenly signs associated with the first Christmas. Thus the year 384 would have been the last whose summary he could inscribe onto the golden plates according to his established pattern as a historian.
Jerry D. Grover Jr. is a civil engineer who is passionate about the Book of Mormon as factual history. He also speaks several languages and has worked as a translator. His passions have led him to study the document illustrated above (which he has named the “Caractors Document” with reference to the title penned by John Whitmer when he copied them from a long-lost original).
Grover’s approach is comprehensive. Starting with his interpretation of several strings of ancient Mesoamerican numbers and working outward from there through identification of calendar systems and the names of Book of Mormon kings, prophets and tribes from the decoded time periods, his work has resulted in the free publication of an impressive, scholarly, 238-page book in which he proposes a translation of the entire document, yielding two paragraphs and an additional, long block listing prophecies and related events with their associated dates and calendars.
The entire, scholarly publication is available as a free download here:
Update: Two small spelling errors have been identified in this video clip. Here is a link to an updated version in which those errors are corrected: