The following is an authentic early Mormon document featuring characters said to be copied from the Book of Mormon plates:


Caractors document

Early Mormon transcript of characters copied from the Book of Mormon plates – the “Caractors document”. See Mormon 9:32-34.


On page 45, of 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 “Caractors document” represents the sample of Book of Mormon characters shown to Professor Anthon.

The following is another early Mormon source claiming to depict characters copied from the Book of Mormon plates:

Broadside Characters

Nauvoo Stick of Joseph Broadside - Copies of 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 Mark Hofmann’s 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:

Fake Anthon Transcript - Micmac Comparison

Above: Wayne N. May, THIS LAND (Volume Three), They Came from the EAST, Copyright 2005, Pg. 45.


Phony Anthon Transcipt

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. (LDS 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 Heartland setting “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:

Nephite Mi'kmaq Comparison

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.


Vincent Coon  וִינְסֶנט כּוּן Copyright 2018


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