Joseph Smith's Seer Stone Photos Released

The LDS Church has always been in possession of the seer stone Joseph Smith claimed to use while translating the Book of Mormon. However, they are just now publishing the information and photographs in an effort to become more transparent.

Does this conflict with the Bible regarding sorcery?

What about the belief depicted in paintings that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon while seated at a table instead of looking into a hat with a seer stone?

There’s a few things in the Bible that would be regarded as sorcery if they weren’t given to the Israelites by God: the Urim and Thummim seemed to be a manner of casting lots, the potion given to women suspected of adultery… however, there’s nothing at all like the way JS Jr. received “revelation” from plates, using a stone in a hat, with the plates not even present some times.

Any mineralogy types know what kind of rock that is? It’d be interesting to see how it bears on the “limited geography” models. For instance, if it’s something common to New York but not found in Central America…

It looks like unpolished Jasper stone

Joseph Smith had previously been charged with fraud in New York for charging people money to search for buried treasure using seeing stones.

According to a court record dated March 20, 1826, Smith was described as a “glass-looker,” a common scam in which the glass looker claimed to have the ability to find buried treasure (for a fee, of course). Obviously, many Mormons have tried to deny that Smith had anything to do with glass looking or money digging. Joseph F. Smith, Mormonism’s sixth president, concluded that such a title was used by enemies to injure the prophet’s credibility. He wrote:

"He was called a 'money digger,' and many other contemptuous things. If you will look at his history, and at the character of his parents, and surroundings, and consider the object of his life, you can discover how much consistency there was in the charges brought against him. All this was done to injure him. He was neither old nor a 'money digger,' nor an impostor, nor in any manner deserving of the epithets which they applied to him."

The problem with Smith’s conclusion is that Joseph Smith admitted to being a money digger in an interview printed in the “Elders’ Journal” (v.1, num.2, pp.28,29). (See also The Documentary History of the Church 3:29, and the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg.120.)

It seems apparent that the Book of Mormon was, in fact, brought about using an occultic method. If so many witnesses testify to Smith’s use of a hat and a magical rock, why don’t Mormon books and periodicals, for the sake of accuracy, emphasize the fact? Why do the pictures of Smith translating from the plates–as shown in the January 1997 Ensign–have him deep in thought rather than looking into a hat?

So, this whole time, it was just a Cadbury Creme Egg? :shrug:

The Church must be true!! :eek:

quick, someone give me a hat to place my creme egg into. We’re going hunting! :cool:

Be careful. I got an infraction for making fun of other religions.


This seems like a problem for Mormons to defend, not only because it has no connection with the Old Testament Urim and Thummim, but because it contradicts what JS said it was:

Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, said that he used interpreters in order to translate the Book of Mormon from the golden plates. The interpreters he described as a pair of stones, fastened to a breastplate joined in a form similar to that of a large pair of spectacles. Smith later referred to this object as the Urim and Thummim. In 1823, Smith said that the angel Moroni, who had told him about the golden plates, also told him about the Urim and Thummim, “two stones in silver bows” fastened to a breastplate, and the angel intimated that they had been prepared by God to aid in the translation of the plates.[26] Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, described these Urim and Thummim as being like “two smooth three-cornered diamonds.”

Any mineralogy types know what kind of rock that is? It’d be interesting to see how it bears on the “limited geography” models. For instance, if it’s something common to New York but not found in Central America…

Great question.

I have seen that picture, where he is sitting at a table. This must be very disconcerting for many faithful Mormons.

Thanks for the reminder to stay charitable, Tim!

I would think this news must make many Mormons feel confused and I wouldn’t want to scare them away from CAF if they happened to come here to read our thread.

Thank you for warning me. I will respectfully decline, though.

I say ‘what the heck’ when I post, generally. If I can be moderated for calling a priest that doesn’t believe in evangelism a coward, then I can be moderated for anything. People will call my religion a religion of hatred and imperialism, but don’t get so much as a slap on the wrist. The moderators don’t even try to be consistent.

So now we know Joseph Smith talked to stones. I read some where a long time ago that Joseph’s own father testified that he had mental problems as a child. Prayers for all. God Bless, Memaw

From th article:

In a recent essay, the LDS Church explained how Smith, according to some accounts, used the seer stone. He peered into a hat, to block out exterior light, and “read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument.”

“As a young man during the 1820s, Joseph Smith, like others in his day, used a seer stone to look for lost objects and buried treasure,” the essay said. “As Joseph grew to understand his prophetic calling, he learned that he could use this stone for the higher purpose of translating scripture.”

Like others in his day? Was this so common for people to do? At least the Mormon church is admitting he was a treasure hunter.

… yeah, but sorcery actively involves demons. Obviously, being commanded by God to do something makes it clear that the action itself, by its accomplishment, will not endanger a person spiritually. Therefore, it’s perfectly legitimate to see God require a religious rite that, outside of His promised protection, would be absolutely forbidden due to its great dangers, and which would therefore be sinful to engage in without His permission. A great, modern-day example of this is a solemn exorcism. God gives protection to His priests, when they have faculties from a bishop, to perform a solemn exorcism. But if YOU were to attempt that same solemn exorcism on a possessed person, you might find yourself getting thrashed or worse.

Furthermore, it’s pretty clear, considering his gross errors, that Joseph Smith was not actually commanded by God do much of anything, and certainly not to use “seer stones.” In fact, his dabbling with such things may very well have exposed him to demonic influence, which brings us back to why such things are forbidden in the first place. :slight_smile:

One of the strangest things mentioned in the article is that he used the SAME stone for treasure seeking as he did for receiving revelation from God.

How can one explain this?

O_Lumen, I didn’t want to give the impression I was denigrating the gifts God had given the Jews; your comments are entirely correct about the perils of occult activity. I merely meant that, given that we accept such things as being oracles of God, we ought to refrain from outright mockery of LDS claims in this regard. I do think we ought to be extremely dubious of Joseph Smith, jr.

There is a lot to be said regarding the repetitive nature of the BoM, possible plagiarism, etc. I also find it interesting that at first JS jr. used the “urim and thummim”, which appeared to be two seer stones bound together, but later went back to his brown seer stone. The article even mentions this!

I had forgotten the details, though, so in regards to the composition of the stone with an eye toward disproving the limited geography model, it’s useless. What I really want to see are the so-called urim and thummim. If they’re from New York… Well, it may be the end of the LDS.

I have to wonder if LDS Church leaders are trying to get their members to leave. Regurgitating these anti-Mormon lies about rocks in a hat. :rolleyes:

As for the stone, it looks like tiger’s eye to me, but I’m not a rock collector.

I wonder why they have been so secretive about it up until now and not revealed it. Why now?

They are releasing the information, along with JS being married to teenagers and other men’s wives, in an effort to be “transparent” which I take to mean “do damage control for things people are reading on the Internet”.

The PR spin is incredible. It seems to me this stuff is being written for the older Mormons so they can argue with the younger tech-savvy ones how JS was doing what every other young American was doing in his day, treasure seeking using seer stones.

This article from the Ensign is written in that sing-songy fashion that is like nails on a chalkboard :D:

What I find most interesting is that they used the REAL picture of Smith, not the blonde football player one, in the article.

I really don’t see this religion being able to hold on much longer to their belief in JS as a prophet and the BoM being a historical account. I think the focus will be on family. Heck, even scouting might need to be revamped.

The Internet is causing a lot of trouble because many Mormons are finding out the truth about Joseph Smith. If they showcase the seer stone like a historic relic, they can try to take the attention away from the fact that he also was a treasure seeker.

The moderators actions often are not revealed. Can you tell me how many fraction I have? You have no idea if what you state is true which it isn’t because there is not way to know what the moderators do.

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