How could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon if he was “ignorant” and a man of “limited education”?
The full details of Joseph Smith’s education are not completely known, but the best estimates are that he had the possibility to have up to seven years formal schooling. It is unlikely that Joseph had seven years as he said that his family duties deprived him and his brothers the benefit of an education.
Irrespective of the number of years of schooling he had, we know that he was considered to be uneducated and ignorant by those favorable to him and by critics:
His wife Emma said Joseph “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, it is marvelous to me, ‘a marvel and a wonder,’ as much so as to any one else.” (Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, p. 290)
He was said to have “but little expression of countenance, other than that of dullness; his mental powers appear to be extremely limited, and from the small opportunity he had had in school, he made little or no proficiency. We have never been able to learn that any of the family were ever noted for much else than ignorance and stupidity.” by Obediah Dogberry (Francis Kirkham, New Witness for Christ in America, 2:64)
Critic of Joseph Smith, Eber D. Howe, said he believed “it to be a fact” that “the common advantages of education were denied to [Joseph Smith], or that they were much neglected.” (Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 12)