Have you heard about the Brazil Plates? The late Dr. John Pratt is going to tell us more about them!
GT: Okay, so, tell us about the Brazilian group. How did you get associated with them?
John: Somebody in April of 2019, a friend sends me a link and says, “Hey, a guy in Brazil claims that the Angel Moroni visited him, gave him the golden plates. He’s translated them and it just came out on March 26, 2019.
GT: That’s an interesting date.
John: Yeah. Then, I perked up. I had looked at Chris Nemelka’s book that came out in 2005. I had looked at–I try to be open to all. I mean, let’s look at this. So, [the book] cost a whole $5. It’s a 200-page book. It was on Amazon. It was five bucks. Obviously, nobody was making any money on this. That’s the cost of printing. So, I buy one and read it. I believe it.
GT: This is the sealed portion.
John: It was called the Sealed Book of Mormon, and it’s the translation. The story behind it is that this man in Brazil had Angel Moroni appear to him. Well, first, [there were] several angels. Angel Raphael came to him first and told him the long-term thing. Then, Angel Moroni comes and spends years with him and three witnesses, teaching them what they need to know, before he’s actually given the plates, the urim and thummin, and the sword of Laban. So, here’s a man–if you open the book–here’s a man. And his first question was, by the way, “Why me?” If you read all through the Bible, every prophet first question: “Why me?” Anyway, his name is Mauricio Berger, a German name and he’s of German descent. [There are a] lot of Germans in southern Brazil. He said, “Why not somebody in in the United States? He was LDS, a member of the LDS Church. The answer was, “Nobody in the United States is worthy to do it,” which is quite a statement. Anyway, he translates. He is given the urim and thummim, those interpreter stones.
GT: Not a seer stone.
John: Not one seer stone. He’s given the ones in…
GT: The same ones as Joseph Smith.
John: The same ones as Joseph Smith used.
GT: The spectacles and the breastplate.
John: Well, to my knowledge, he didn’t get the breastplate. At some point, I think Joseph disconnected them from the breastplate, because they were set up to where the breastplate, which would hold something, which would hold them in front of your eyes, like a pair of glasses. There were better ways to do that all that paraphernalia.
John: I’m saying the whole stack is six inches tall. It used to be two thirds of it was sealed, and the top 1/3 was both the book of Lehi that was lost and the Book of Mormon that we have. Well, there’s about a sixth, that takes it down to half. The bottom half is totally sealed with two big rivets through the whole thing, like a nail with head on both sides, so shut. But there were 42 plates that Mauricio was allowed to unseal in the presence of the three witnesses and the eight witnesses. So, there’s 12 people that saw that being unsealed. Of those 42 plates, he has translated the first 19 into this book called The Sealed Book. Now, it’s called The Sealed Book instead of just The Sealed Book of Mormon, because of litigation with the LDS Church that has copyrighted Mormon’s name.
GT: I thought we weren’t Mormons anymore.
John: They’ve copyrighted that name.
GT: The Book of Mormon is a copyrighted name?
John: No, the name Mormon is a copyrighted name. What if they copyrighted the name John, or Jeff or something? I mean, I don’t think their church is going to win the litigation. But, it turns out–anyway, so the name has been changed to just The Sealed Book, but It’s only 19 plates that he’s translated. There’s going to be another 23 plates that he’s still going to translate. I will be one of the witnesses of the next part that comes out of the 23 plates. There’s a different set of plates.
GT: Oh, so there’s a sequel coming.
John: There’s a sequel. But it doesn’t come until we’ve learned to live by what’s in the first part. So, at some point I’d like to explain–I am explaining about two plates. Now, I’d like to explain kind of what’s in them and why people should read them.
Check the video to see what John had to say about the plates!
In a previous conversation with Dr. Casey Griffiths, Casey said that a South American group used a Hofmann forgery to authenticate the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon. The late Dr. John Pratt pushes back on that charge, and we’ll talk about the Brazilian golden plates.
GT: That’s a great place, because I wanted to go there too. Because Casey Griffiths in my recent interview said somebody asked for proof, and a copy of the Hofmann forgery was provided as proof, basically.
John: Okay, let me review the Hofmann thing and then the answer. So, by the way, I have not studied this in detail. I read a certain paper and I’ll tell you my source, a man named Ian Cackler, is the man in Missouri who really wanted to know for himself about this Hofmann issue. He did detailed research and I will now summarize [it,] as best I understood. I read it to prepare for this. I had seen the plates. I knew it was true. So, I didn’t care about– I knew the Hofmann stuff, but I just thought, “Yeah, people are always…” I didn’t study it. Now, my main source is this one paper, so I’m quoting that. But, it made a lot of sense to me and he has all the references in there where you check it. I will send you the paper. I’ll email you the paper where you can provide it for any of your viewers that want to look at it. But, basically, well as you saw on your program, he showed the one main picture.
John: There’s one main picture that is always shown that is believed to be Martin Harris’s copying of the characters. The man you were interviewing pointed out that that actually was not Martin Harris’, that was John Whitmer’s.
GT: The Caracters document is what you’re talking about.
John: The Caracters document, that has the word character, at the top, spelled without the H. That was actually from John Whitmer. So, the complaint, the proposed fraud, saying that, “Ah, the Brazilian guy has just copied the Hofmann forgery.” There just wasn’t enough research done there. What they had was, they had that Caracters document that had some characters on it. They compared that to what Mauricio, apparently, provided at one time, and I don’t even have that myself. Not only were those characters on it, but some other characters were on it. Then, you look at the Hofmann forgeries, and those other characters are on the other Hofmann forgery. So they said, “Aha, he just copied the Hofmann forgery. That’s the whole [argument.]
GT: So, let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. So, you’re saying that this document that was sent to Missouri was a combination of the Caracters document as well as the Hofmann forgery? Is that what you’re saying?
John: No, I’m not. I’ll say it again. I’m saying that the characters–I just have to change it a little bit, and then it’ll be true, you were very close. The characters that Mauricio provided, some of which were on the Caracters document, and others were on the Hofmann forgery. So, people assumed that Hofmann used the real characters and just made up some other characters, and then that, “Oh, Mauricio is using those made-up characters. So, that would prove that he copied the Hofmann. But Hofmann was a much better forger than that. He didn’t just make up characters.
John: As the man you interviewed before said, there’s at least four sets of papers that had characters on them, known: the Charles Anthon one, the John Whitmer one, he had–I think he said three or four. There’s three or four original sources. Hofmann knew about all of those sources. So, in other words, the characters that Hofmann used were mostly correct. They’re real characters and Mauricio knew about, not only the ones on the Caracters document, but some of those. So, now, how do you know whether Mauricio copied Hofmann or whether they both made copies of the real thing. Here’s the answer. Hofmann confessed at the end on how he did it. I think what he did was really clever. He said, “Look.” He knows. He has these four documents. He’s taking characters off of, and he’s going to produce his forgery. He’s going to want to make it convincing that his was actually more authentic than the other ones. So, he says that he added some little extra seraphs. You know what seraphs are: the little extra things that aren’t part of the letter, sans seraph and seraph.
What do you think of his explanation?
I looked up the book on Amazon, and the comments stated that there are several records of Nemelka admiting he created the whole thing as an experiment on fanaticism and for money. I didn’t pursue it further to confirm.
The Amazon description of the book made no sense to me. The claims it made were more comical than enticing.
Also the comments go back to 2015, but the interviewee said the book was published in 2019…?
Different book. There is another one called “sealed Book of Mormon” published in 2019 by Berger.
18 years ago I was a missionary in southern Brazil, and as we worked our way through lists of inactive members we knocked on Mauricio’s door. We visited many times, and heard his life story, which even back then was full of dreams and visions. I recognized that his religious experience was very different than mine; he seemed to belong to a religion that was like reading stories of Joseph Smith era miracles, dreams and visions, while I inhabited a more modern, “burning in your bosom” brand of Mormonism. To this day, I vividly remember the evening we bumped into him on a bus, and he was clearly bursting with excitement. As we stood on this bouncing city bus he told us about his spiritual experience that day. I was uncertain of what to make of his story, which included the angel Moroni, childhood dreams and aliens, so I asked him what he thought it meant. “It means I’ll be going to church,” was his reply. I believe the next Sunday his family were the first ones at the church. They may have been there waiting for the bishop to get there to unlock the doors. For the next month, they were there every week, and then I went home. It’s been fascinating to listen to this interview and look at his website and to know the person behind all of this, even if it was for just a few months many years ago.
Poor Dr. Pratt,
He is like so many of us, me included who want there to be an absolute truth. However, we cannot demonstrate it or find it here in mortal life. I feel for the guy. I hope he has found peace in death. I hope I do one day I do as well. God bless him.