Joseph translated the characters using spectacles prepared by the Lord.

Jun 1, 1832
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Scribed Verbatim

History, circa Summer 1832, 5, 6, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed August 11, 2021

Joseph Smith, Jr., Frederick G. Williams
Samuel Harrison Smith, Martin Harris, Joseph Smith, Jr.
General Public

[Martin Harris] imediately came to Su[s]quehanna and said the Lord had shown him that he must go to new York City <with> some of the c<h>aracters so we proceeded to coppy some of them and he took his Journy to the Eastern Cittys and to the Learned <saying> read this I pray thee and the learned said I cannot but if he would bring the blates [plates] they would read it but the Lord had fo<r>bid it and he returned to me and gave them to <me to> translate and I said said [I] cannot for I am not learned but the Lord had prepared spectticke spectacles for to read the Book therefore I commenced translating the characters and thus the Prop[h]icy of Is<ia>ah was fulfilled . . . [The] Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowdry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy servant therefore he was desirous to come and write for me and to translate now my wife had writen some for me to translate and also my Brother Samuel H Smith but we had be come reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doors & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me.

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