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Here are some accounts of this process: Emma Hale Smith, Joseph's wife, was the first person to serve as his scribe.

Here is her testimony as recounted to her son Joseph Smith III: In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.

The Church did not transparently and consistently teach how the translation actually occurred.

Critics believe members have a right to know the actual history of the Church and that the Church was not forthcoming on that history.

The gold plates were either always covered in a cloth, where no one including Joseph could see them or they were not even in the room at the time Joseph was translating.

The seer stone Joseph used was the same stone he found when digging a well with his brother Hyrum on Willard and Mason Chase's property when he was employed as a treasure seeker years before the Book of Mormon plates were retrieved by Joseph.

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In fact, the LDS Church has in their possession the stone that Joseph Smith used.The various scribes were never allowed to see the plates as Joseph was translating.Some illustrations show Joseph with the Urim and Thummim attached to the breastplate as described by Joseph in this 1970s version of the Book of Mormon reader: Another depiction of the Urim and Thummim based on the description by Joseph Smith: This image below was in the Oct 2006 issue of the which shows both Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery at the same table with the plates in full view of both of them, which is not what is generally taught in the Church. The Urim and Thummim was preserved in a stone box, along with the gold plates, for over 1,500 years for the purpose of enabling Joseph to translate the writings on the gold plates.Every year, numerous illustrations in various Church magazines continue to depict this method.