The Book of Mormon as Terma, and Joseph Smith as Tertön

6 thoughts on “The Book of Mormon as Terma, and Joseph Smith as Tertön”

  1. That’s a really cool parallel.

    Even so, you can probably guess where I stand on the Book of Mormon. The more I study it, the more I become convinced that it is *exactly* what it claims to be–even to the point of it being rather mundane. No doubt, the process of translation was miraculous–and there were heavenly beings involved and so forth. But the supernatural elements of the process never lessened the reality of the cold, hard, palpable aspects of the experience.

    You’re probably already aware of Jerry Grover’s translation of the “Caractors document.” It’s really quite stunning–and he did it using some rather mundane tools from his kit: Linguistics and Math. Here’s a link:


    1. Jerry’s “translation” does not seem to be a translation at all, but a mishmash of supposedly many different unrelated languages and numbers into something he thinks is abstractly related to the Book of Mormon (his “translation” clearly isn’t directly found *in* the BoM text at all). I don’t think we’d be able to find an Egyptologist that would touch it with a ten foot poll. His “translation” seems to me to be a great example of Ramsey Theory, which is essentially our human propensity for finding patterns in noise, or seeing intentional meaning where there is none:


  2. If Joseph envisioned within his mind the Book of Mormon text are you likewise suggesting that the text is not historical? Furthermore, what doesn’t make sense in this theory is your assumption / rationale behind Joseph’s mystic interpretations – if this is true than the Book of Mormon is nothing more than a fairy tale dreamed up by Joseph through a deep state of meditation and oneness. I used to read all the time and found your posts to be in accord with the teachings and doctrines of the time. However, this substantially deviates from the Bryce Hammond I once knew. I’m not sure what this post is attempting accomplish or establish but, it does not possess the familiar ring that once echoed through your posts, words, and thoughts.


    1. Thanks for your comment. It inspired me to write another post about the historical nature of the Book of Mormon, here:

      Yes, my thoughts now are not the same as when I wrote at I believe they have evolved, and matured substantially. I see a depth to the temple experience that I never dreamed of back then. But it doesn’t mean that it all accords perfectly with the modern-day teachings of the LDS Church. I think the Church has unfortunately lost much of the meaning of these things, as most institutions do over time. I’m interested in Truth about God and the Divine, first and foremost, and knowing this directly. I revere God more than man.

      The purpose of the post, and my new one, is attempting to establish that Joseph Smith was a real prophet-mystic, and that the Book of Mormon was inspired by God as One in Joseph, but in a way that eliminates a lot of erroneous superstition and supernaturalism that accompanies much of modern Mormonism.


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