I offer, below, some notes about suggestions that Joseph Smith had help in the composition of a fraudulent nineteenth-century Book of Mormon:
Although there have long been speculations about a helper or conspiracy of helpers, no primary historical source indicates that any other person assisted Joseph Smith in the composition of the Book of Mormon. Likewise,
There are no primary sources which suggest that prior to the fall of 1827 Joseph Smith possessed metal plates, a Urim and Thummim, a script containing characters that appeared like ancient writing, nor a manuscript containing a religious history of ancient America. Nor are there any primary sources which indicate that before or during these eighteen months Joseph Smith was composing (by writing and rewriting) a history or studying scholarly publications that might have aided him in writing about the past.
Suggestions to the contrary have about them the air of desperation.
Here, for example, are the comments of Dr. John Stafford, given in a March 1881 interview with E. L. and William H. Kelley:
“If young Smith was as illiterate as you say, Doctor, how do you account for the Book of Mormon?”
“Well, I can’t; except that Sidney Rigdon was connected with them.”
“What makes you think he was connected with them?”
‘Because I can’t account for the Book of Mormon any other way.”
“Was Rigdon ever around there before the Book of Mormon was published?”
“No, not as we could ever find out.”
“Well, you have been looking out for the facts a long time, have you not, Doctor?”
“Yes, I have been thinking and hearing about it for the last fifty years, and lived right among all their old neighbors there most of the time.”
“And no one has ever been able to trace the acquaintance of Rigdon and Smith, until after the Book of Mormon was published, and Rigdon was proselyted by Parley P. Pratt, in Ohio?”
 Backman, Eyewitness Accounts, 58.
 Andrus and Andrus, They Knew the Prophet, 5.
In this context, it’s probably worthwhile mentioning a report of remarks made in New York City on 12 March 1905 by Sidney’s son John W. Rigdon. Fred J. Pack and Sadie Grant Pack, who were there, provided a summary that was published in the April 1905 issue of the Improvement Era. Here’s an extract from their account:
In the early sixties, [he gave the year] I went to Idaho and thence to Salt Lake City. Eliza R. Snow and others tried to induce me to join the Church, but I did not, and came home to the east rather poorly impressed with the Utah people. I determined to ascertain from my father whether he knew anything in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon other than had been made public, and if such were unfavorable to the Church I should make it known. My father was then in his last years, and I found him as firm as ever in declaring that he himself had nothing whatever to do in writing the book, and that Joseph Smith received it from an angel. On his dying bed he made the same declaration to a Methodist minister.
I myself well remember when Parley P. Pratt brought the book to my father’s house, and presented it to him, and I also know that this was the first time that my father ever saw it. My sister, some nine years older than I, testified to me a few months ago that she also remembers when the book was first seen by our father. My mother has also told me that father had nothing whatever to do with the writing of the book, and that she positively knew that he had never seen it until Parley P. Pratt came to our home with it. These testimonies have clung to me ever since, and I could not forget them.
Ultimately, John W. Rigdon joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the summer of 1904, being baptized in the Hudson River.
Incidentally, my wife and I enjoyed attending a conference of the Vista California Stake this morning. The visiting General Authority and concluding speaker at the stake conference was Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Council of the Twelve.
Posted from Oceanside, California