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Posted by: gayle ( )
Date: May 21, 2012 10:30PM

Someone sent it to me in my e-mail...

Die Boek van Mormon
By John M. Pontius
I was searching through my books in storage a few days ago and
came across a first edition of the Book of Mormon in Afrikaans. I
served a mission in South African from 1971 to 1973. It was an
interesting and challenging experience.
I attended the Stake Conference in Johannesburg on May 14, 1972
when the new translation of the Book of Mormon into Afrikaans (Die
Boek van Mormon) was presented. It was an electric moment. People
wept. Some had waited all of their lifetimes to read the Book of
Mormon in Afrikaans. Many people had learned English for the sole
purpose of reading this scripture. The Spirit was strong among us as
we rejoiced.
Remembering back more than 50 years, I can still remember Professor
Felix Mynhardt [not a member of our church] as he spoke of his
experience in translating that sacred book. I will retell it as best I can
Professor Mynhardt was invited to come to the stand and speak about
his experience in translating the Book of Mormon. He recounted how
he had been given a gift of languages from God from his youth. He
said that he was fluent in many languages, including English,
Afrikaans, Hebrew and Egyptian, as well as many others. He was
presently employed as a language professor. He said he had been
praying that the Lord would give him some task, some divinely
important task, that would justify his having this gift of language from
He said in about 1970 that he had visited with a group of Mormon
leaders, who sought to commission him to translate the Book of
Mormon from English into Afrikaans. He said that he knew of the Book
of Mormon from his religions studies, and his initial reaction was that
he did not want to be involved in translating it.
However, that evening, as he prayed upon his knees, as was his habit,
he said the Spirit of the Lord convicted him. The message was
something on the order of, "You asked me for a great, divinely inspired
task of translation, I sent it to you in the form of translating the Book of
Mormon, and you declined." Professor Mynhardt said he could not
sleep through the night because he knew that translating the Book of
Mormon would get him into trouble with his university, which was
owned and operated by the Dutch Reformed Church. When morning
came he telephoned Elder Clark to inform him that he would begin the
translation immediately.
He stood at the pulpit and described the experience. He said, "I never
begin translating a book at the beginning. Writing style usually
changes through a book, and becomes more consistent toward the
middle. Accordingly, I opened to a random place in the middle of the
Book of Mormon, and began translating." He said, "I was startled by
the obvious fact that the Book of Mormon was not authored in English.
He said, "It became immediately apparent that what I was reading was
a translation into English from some other language. The sentence
structure was wrong for native English. The word choices were wrong,
as were many phrases." He said, "How many times has an Englishman
said or written, ‘And it came to pass?’" We all laughed, and knew he
was right, of course.
He continued, "When I realized this, I knew that I had to find the
original language, and translate it back into the original language, or a
similar language to the original, and then proceed to translate it into
Afrikaans. He listed a half-dozen languages he tried, all of which did
not accommodate the strange sentence structure found in the Book of
Mormon. He said, "I finally tried Egyptian, and to my complete surprise,
I found that the Book of Mormon translated flawlessly into Egyptian,
not modern, but ancient Egyptian. I found that some nouns were
missing from Egyptian, so I added Hebrew nouns where Egyptian did
not provide the word or phrase. I chose Hebrew because both
languages existed in the same place anciently."
"I had no idea at that time why the Book of Mormon was once written
in Egyptian, but I can tell you without any doubt, that this book was at
one point written entirely in Egyptian." I heard him say this over and
over. Then, he said, "Imagine my utter astonishment when I turned to
chapter one, verse one and began my actual translation and came to
verse two, where Nephi describes that he was writing in the language
of the Egyptians, with the learning of the Jews!"
He said, "I knew by the second verse, that this was no ordinary book,
that it was not the writings of Joseph Smith, but that it was of ancient
origin and was in fact scripture. I could have saved myself months of
work if I had just begun at the beginning. Nobody but God, working
through a prophet of God, in this case Nephi, would have included a
statement of the language he was writing in. Consider, how many
documents written in English, include the phrase, "we are writing in
English!" It is unthinkable and absolute proof of the inspired origins of
this book.
He paused, then noted, "I am one of the few people in the world that is
fluent in ancient Egyptian. I am perhaps the only person fluent in
ancient Egyptian who is also fluent in Afrikaans and English. And I
know for a fact, that I am the only person alive who could have
translated this book first into Egyptian, and then into Afrikaans. If your
church ever needs an Egyptian translation of the Book of Mormon, it is
sitting in my office as we speak." We all laughed.
Professor Mynhardt spoke of many other things regarding the
translation of this book, and then said, "I do not know what Joseph
Smith was before he translated this book, and I do not know what he
was afterward, but while he translated this book, he was a prophet of
God! I know he was a prophet! I testify to you that he was a prophet
while he brought forth this book! He could have been nothing else! No
person in 1827 could have done what he did. The science did not
exist. The knowledge of ancient Egyptian did not exist. The knowledge
of these ancient times and ancient peoples did not exist. The Book of
Mormon is scripture. I hope you realize this.
"I will keep promoting this book as scripture for the remainder of my life
– simply because it is scripture, and I know it.
I haven’t studied your doctrine or your history since Joseph Smith. The
only thing I know about the Mormon religion is that you have authentic,
ancient scripture in the Book of Mormon, that your church was begun
by a living and true prophet of God, and that all of the world should
embrace the Book of Mormon as scripture. It simply can’t be denied."

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: May 21, 2012 10:40PM

Of next-to-no value unless/until he saw the 'Reformed Egyptian characters', of which, of course, there were NONE.

What do I think?

Evidence compared to 'expertise'; they're Not The Same.

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Posted by: wittyname ( )
Date: May 21, 2012 10:46PM

There was a thread about this not too long ago. Someone linked to the guy's blog (where this was originally posted). The author retracted it, apparently events did not occur as he remembered them, or something like that. I wish I had a link to the original post, because there are some gems on that guy's site. He's completely delusional.

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Posted by: gayle ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 08:21AM

that Wittyname is speaking of?

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Posted by: runtu ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 11:15AM

Here's the Ensign account from 1973:

"Bishop Johannes P. Brummer of the Johannesburg Second Ward, one of those who shepherded this valuable and important translation, told of the divine guidance that made its publication possible. He had translated about a third of the Book of Mormon into Afrikaans, but it had been a long, tedious effort, and it was imperative that the translation be completed without further delay so that the building up of the Church in South Africa could progress with greater speed and with every possible advantage. But where could a person be found with the necessary academic excellence and sufficient spirituality to complete such a task?

One day an acquaintance of Bishop Brummer brought his friend, Felix Mynhardt, a language teacher from Pretoria, to meet him. The man not only had a consuming interest in everything related to the scriptures, but he also had been raised in a home with a spiritual atmosphere. His father, the Reverend C. F. Mynhardt, compiled the first concordance of the Afrikaans Bible.

Felix’s facility with languages was phenomenal. When he was a young boy he could read Latin text; at nine, he read Latin and Greek fluently; by sixteen, he had mastered English, Afrikaans, Aramaic, and Hebrew; then he took up other languages—German, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Finally, he gained a reading skill in Chinese.

Bishop Brummer bore testimony of divine intervention in the translation: “I can tell you that I have no doubt about this that when Felix Mynhardt made his appearance in my office on a given day, it was not just a coincidence. He was sent to us by the Lord. This has been confirmed to me on many occasions since then. You might well ask the question whether a man of such academic preeminence and authority would have the necessary humility of spirit to enable him to do work of this nature.”

Felix Mynhardt, a nonmember, provides the answer to that question himself.

During a difficult period in the translation Felix said: “It’s as though darkness seems to settle on my mind when I get down to work so that I just cannot get the translation done. On some occasions I have in absolute despair gone down onto my knees and asked the Lord to help me. I have come to you today to tell you that I think you folks are just not praying for me.”

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Posted by: PapaKen ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 11:45AM

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Posted by: Dances with Cureloms ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 12:30PM

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Posted by: outofthere ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 12:31PM

I wonder what edition of the BOM they gave to Mynhardt, because if it wasn't the original, then the thousands of changes since 1830 would make a reverse translation inaccurate anyway. I much prefer Richard Packham's "Joseph Smith's Language Problems"

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Posted by: Davo ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 03:49PM

perfect answer, kimball. (imho).

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Posted by: Davo ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 04:00PM

Meant for you, outofthere.
(I know, I know, folks.
Wrong placement.)
(Guess I'll eat some worms...)

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 12:53PM

Another person captivated by a story and finds it believable.

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Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 01:26PM

First off, I have found no other confirmation of even the existence of Mr. Mynhardt other than the Ensign article, which is good enough confirmation of his existence, but doesn't corroborate the story at all. Other than the Ensign article, the only other reference to Mr. Mynhardt that exists on the web is this single story told by a TBM.

It feels false, and here's the main reason why. What ever became of Mr. Mynhardt? If this story is true, then he most certainly would have become mormon. If he didn't, then there are some serious problems with the story. If he did, then we should have heard something about him. From his lack of appearance anywhere else, I tend to believe that he never became mormon, which leads me to believe that this story is mere sensationalism told after Mr. Mynhardt passed away and could no longer defend himself. However, I do believe that he existed, translated the Book of Mormon, and may have even spoken before a group of saints among which may have been the fellow who recounted the story. There's no way he said the things he was reported of saying, though.

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Posted by: Davo ( )
Date: May 22, 2012 04:22PM

The main problem I have with the whole thing is:
Whatever happened to the sitting "Prophet, Seer, Revelator and
Translator" in this scenerio?

I'm wondering why the prophet at the time saw fit to contract the job out to unholy gentiles rather than keep it "in-house"--since translating is his JOB!!

If the sitting prophet felt he couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't do the job, methinks the GA's should consider striking the words "Seer, Revelator and Translator" from the title.
Wouldn't leaving the title as is be a form of false advertising?

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Posted by: imaworkinonit ( )
Date: February 03, 2016 10:06PM

This account reads just like any other story that I hear on the internet and immediately check on

I can find very little evidence that the man existed, except in LDS folklore, and I did see a possible reference to him on a genealogy website. The only mention of his life or scholarship is by Mormons, attempting to bolster their faith.

Knowing what I know now about the anachronisms in the B of M, and the B of A fraudulent translation, this is utter B.S. If Mormons REALLY believed the B of M, why would they be falling all over themselves because some guy NOBODY has heard of told them what they wanted to hear? And he's dead, surely, if he was born in 1912, as my search showed. Why don't they listen to scholars when they tell them the B of A translation is bogus? They are grasping at any straws they can grasp.

BTW, for TBM lurkers, why don't you take a copy of the Anthon Transcript, the the B of A fascimiles to a living egyptian scholar, if you are looking for an academic to verify JS's translation ability? Oh wait, there is one already published:

You might find this interesting:

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Posted by: Patrick Bristow ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 12:10AM

This all happened a long time ago so the memory is a little fuzzy.
Johan Brummer was my Bishop and the founder of the largest private university in south Africa. I was at the meeting when he and Professor Mynhardt spoke and can only remember a few of the details. Some of what was said I do remember and matches what was said above. However the perfect fit into Egyption escapes me.
The good Professor never did become a Mormon.
The Brummer family went on to translate the temple ceremony into Africans.
Johan Brummer's daughter in law Judy Brummer later translated the Book of Mormon into Xhosa and she tells of spiritual experiences during the translation. She happens to now live in Provo.
Johan Brummer moved to Australia and to the best of my knowledge is still alive. His wife Lillian passed away a few years back.
I am no longer a member of the Mormon Church but the Brummer family are the salt of the earth and I will always remember them with fondness and love.

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Posted by: kolobian ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 01:25AM

I couldn't be more convinced if the entire Whitmer family testified to it...

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 01:58AM

"Brevity is the soul of wit."

- Shakespeare

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 02:34AM

As long as Mynhardt used the long standing and well proven rock-in-the-hat method for translation and not the exaggerated U&T; then most TBMs are ok with his work.

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Posted by: jdawg333 ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 08:46AM

I can't accept that he came to the conclusion that the book was written in Hebrew-Egyptian by translating it backwards. Couldn't you use any two languages so that you can explain things that don't fit in one? Why would you keep the sentence structure of the original language? The first lesson in translation is that you have to transform the sentence into an idea and then represent the idea in the way typical of the language you are translating into. The book of mormon certainly has some awkward wording, but I attribute that to the author, not the supposed original language.

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Posted by: bondo ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 09:51AM

God said a strong delusion would come upon the earth in the last days

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 06:15PM

I tried hard to find *some* record of this guy -- and couldn't. Not anywhere but in mormon stories.

Notice they didn't mention anything about the huge parts of the BoM plagiarized from the new testament English translation done in the 1600s NOT being "originally in Egyptian." How about that. :)

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Posted by: AmIDarkNow? ( )
Date: February 04, 2016 07:54PM

Slide this right next to all the "Three Nephites" stories.

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