Diedrich Willers describes how Joseph would use spectacles that he claimed to find next to the plates to translate.

Jun 18, 1830
Diedrich Willers
2nd Hand

Diedrich Willers to Reverend Brethren, June 18, 1830, Diedrich Willers Collection in John W. Welch, "Documents of the Translation of the Book of Mormon" in John W. Welch, ed., Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844, 2nd ed. (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2011), 195

Diedrich Willers
David Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Jr., Diedrich Willers, Reverend Brethern
Reverend Brethern

In the month of July [June 1829], Joseph Smith made his appearance in Seneca County. . . . There a certain David Whitmer claimed to have seen an angel of the Lord, so Smith proceeded to his house, in order to complete the translation of the above work [Book of Mormon] himself. According to the reports, only there could he work—where men who have had association with the other world also reside. . . . The Angel indicated that the Lord destined him to translate these things into English from the ancient language, that under these plates were hidden spectacles, without which he could not translate these plates, that by using these spectacles, he (Smith) would be in a position to read these ancient languages, which he had never studied, and that the Holy Ghost would reveal to him the translation in the English language. Therefore, he (Smith) proceeded to Manchester township, Ontario County, and found everything as described, the plates buried next to the spectacles in the earth, and soon he completed the translation of this work.

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