I’ve just added a new page on the Anthon Transcript, a much-contested document that sits right at the heart of the Mormon Church’s founding story.
What I find interesting is that even though this is a topic that has been raked over meticulously for nearly two centuries, it is even today hard to be sure what was going on back then. All the same, even though we don’t know for sure what Martin Harris actually showed to Professor Anthon in 1828, it now – thanks to the chance 2012 discovery by Grindael of an 1884 photograph – seems highly unlikely that this was the ‘Caractors’ fragment that David Whitmer later claimed it was.
As always with historical ciphers, better evidence would surely improve the quality of the debate, as the discovery of the 2012 photograph clearly demonstrates: but what kind of better evidence could any kind of systematic search reveal here? What do we know we don’t know?