Early Mormon transcript of characters
copied from the Book of Mormon plates – the
See Mormon 9:32-34.
On page 45,
They Came from the EAST, author and lecturer Wayne N. May features the
early Mormon document shown above. Wayne tells the reader that this transcript
of characters is the renowned “Anthon Transcript copied by Joseph Smith, Jr. from The Book of Mormon plates and delivered to Professor Charles Anthon by Martin Harris.” Actually, it is not certain that the
represents the sample of Book of Mormon
characters shown to
The following is
another early Mormon source claiming to depict characters copied from the
Book of Mormon plates:
Nauvoo Stick of Joseph Broadside -
Book of Mormon Characters.
Along with showing the historically recognized “Caractors document”, Wayne
May presents to the public an alleged comparison between what he calls the “the Anthon facsimile” and Native North American “Micmac”
symbols. In Wayne’s words the
following two columns of characters (shown below on the left) represent, “the Anthon facsimile compared with characters (hieroglyphics) used by the Micmac Indians of Canada and
upstate New York.” The problem with Wayne May’s published comparison is that it draws from
counterfeit “Anthon Transcript”, and not from the early LDS “Caractors document”.
Compare the characters (I have circled) appearing in May’s They Came from the EAST,
with the characters of Hofmann’s work:
Above: Wayne N. May, THIS LAND
(Volume Three), They Came from the EAST,
Copyright 2005, Pg. 45.
Hofmann’s Anthon Transcript Forgery published in the
LDS Church Ensign magazine.
Now see if you can find identical matches in the
early Mormon samples of Nephite character
presented at the beginning of this article. They aren’t there – not
identical matches at least! Why? Its because the three circled “Anthon facsimile” characters that May presents
for comparison, are hand copied from
Mark Hofmann’s fraud. Identical characters do not appear in the
legitimate early Mormon sources. Hofmann fooled a lot of
authorities in and out of the Church! Hofmann cunningly simulated characters from the early Mormon sources, perhaps even
deliberately including some Micmac (Mi’kmaq) lookalikes in his forgery. Apparently, Hofmann
formatted his fake to fit alleged descriptions of the “scroll” presented by Martin Harris to Professor Anthon.
See descriptions in Charles Anthon’s letter to E. D. Howe.
If you examine Wayne May’s published comparison, and the other character
sources carefully, you will see that all seventeen alleged “Anthon” characters
correlate directly with Hoffman’s fake. The early Mormon “Caractors”
transcript, which Wayne shows above on the same page, is not the primary source of May’s
published Micmac comparison. He chose the wrong source to compare.
I have recognized Wayne May for
his meaningful contributions to Book of Mormon studies. I
personally like Wayne May. He and Rod Meldrum, et al., have tried to turn
folks’ attention to many of the same statements made by the Prophet Joseph
Smith which I have advocated. I support this effort, even though I think the Heartland model
endeavor promoted by Rod and Wayne, is entangled in some of the same kind of follies as
“Book of Mormon geography” businesses he opposes - businesses
built on spurious Central American, or South American
geographies. The exaggerated Heartland geography can be repented of, but
its advocates must be willing to sacrifice the
dubious and fake,
and better attend to the details of more authoritative sources like LDS Scripture, and
verifiable statements made by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
See Distances in the Book of Mormon’s American Setting -
near scriptural Cumorah.
Doctrine and Covenants 128:20)
The show is not more important than the facts! The show doesn't have to go on when its wrong! I have found time and time again that I cannot let
“evidence” (propaganda) go un-scrutinized. When I saw there was a problem with the “Micmac” comparison that Wayne published, I didn’t want to promote it.
So I obtained a copy of MI’KMAQ HIEROGLYPHIC PRAYERS – READINGS IN NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST INDIGENOUS SCRIPT, edited and translated by David L. Schmidt and Murdena Marshall
(1995, 2006), and did my own investigation. I compared Mi’kmaq characters with Nephite
characters from legitimate early Mormon sources. Here are some similarities
that I found:
Though not credited, Wayne May's exciting 2017 presentation:
Book of Mormon Geography in North America features my work.
W. Vincent Coon, CHOICE ABOVE ALL OTHER LANDS - Book of Mormon Covenant Lands According to the Best Sources, Chapter 6,
Pg. 178, Copyright 2008.
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