“The Man That is Not Learned Shall Say: I Am Not Learned”

W. Cleon Skousen

For Joseph Smith to record the contents of the unsealed portion of the gold plates it was necessary for God to perform a revelatory miracle. To gain some idea of just how uneducated and unskilled the young prophet was at this stage of his development, we have the following rather shocking statement from his wife. She said:

"Joseph Smith [as a young man] ... could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-ordered letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon, and though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired -- was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of the scenes that transpired -- it is marvelous to me, a marvel and a wonder, as much as to anyone else.... My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity. I have not the slightest doubt of it."

Treasures from the Book of Mormon