“The point at issue is not that Father Lehi, the Jew, could read and understand Egyptian, though this is surprising enough…No, the big question is how the scripture of the Jews (official or otherwise) came to be written in Egyptian…If I were to suggest what I think to be the most insistent problem for the Book of Mormon scholarship, I should unquestionably name this one: account for the Egyptian language on the Plates of Brass, and the Brass Plates themselves.”
~J.N. Washburn, Mormon scholar, The Contents, Structure, and Authorship of the Book of Mormon, page 81~
Though most of this quote is agreeable, a glaring error can be attributed to the fact that the author believes that Egyptian, or a derivative of it, was etched onto gold or brass plates. A claim which is easily dismissed because of the lack of evidence. This alone, makes any attempt to make sense of the previous sentences futile. Nevertheless, in the first few words, the author makes a candid admission that the use of Egyptian by Lehi is not completely out of the question, however unlikely; padding his personal convictions and those of his readers with a false sense of security in LDS dogma. He then makes a critical observation, which is supported by far more evidence than the acceptance of the unlikely. Finally, as noted above, the “most insistent problem” is a conviction that any form of Egyptian (‘Reformed’ does not exist) could be found of brass or gold plates. The world outside of Mormondom understands the need for evidence to support the fairytale speculation of Joseph Smith…there is simply no strong argument to support the nefarious nature of this man, who was convicted of fraud in 1826; the exact moment he claims to have been in heavenly conversations about the location and existence of the plates.