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Devout LDS members believe this account, despite the recording of the event in Joseph Smith's official Note: LDS faithful supported this version until 2011, when apologists advanced a new theory.This more recent explanation maintains that Joseph did indeed start a translation of the Kinderhook Plates—after he noticed a similarity between one of the symbols on the Kinderhook Plates and a symbol that appeared in his "Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language" (which was made while translating the Egytpian papyrii for the Book of Abraham).Apologists explain that Joseph's interpretation of the Kinderhook Plate inscriptions was merely the result of a "secular translation" attempt, not a "spiritual" or inspired translation.During the Civil War, the Kinderhook Plates were apparently lost. Wilford Poulson, a faculty member at Brigham Young University, discovered one of the original plates in the Chicago Historical Society Museum; however, it was mislabeled as an original gold plate of the the plate was confirmed to be “plate no.I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found.He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth…” Joseph's account of the Kinderhook Plates was significant because the messages inscribed on the ancient artifacts validated the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. In 1980, scientists determined that one of the original Kinderhook plates was manufactured in modern times.After this information was released, most LDS defenders claimed that Joseph Smith did not utter the words recorded in Church documents.
Their discovery, and drawings of the six plates, appeared in the I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook...Primary sources from the time show that Wilbur Fugate tricked Joseph into "translating" forged items.The meaningless symbols inscribed on the plates were deciphered by Joseph to opportunistically reinforce the Book of Mormon.An LDS elder present when they excavated the mound suggested taking the unusual plates to Joseph Smith to see if he could translate what looked like ancient writing.After examining the plates, Joseph Smith said the engravings were similar to those on the gold plates of the Book of Mormon.