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JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES
Joseph Smith and his Seer Stones or Peep Stones or Magical Rocks.
| It seems like the church is finally admitting to JS and the head in the hat translation method. Russell M Nelson has given a talk about and Daniel C. Peterson has admitted to it.
I assume that now this funny thing is out in the open members will start to accept it and "anti-mormons" will not be able to claim the church is trying to whitewash or cover up real facts.
Where does this leave the Urim and Thummim? Church leaders and Sunday school lessons have taught that the amazing UandT was what JS used to translate.
JS described the UandT as being a breastplate with silver bows and two stones fixed in the bows. This description makes it sound like a breastplate with magical glasses attached to it. We were led to believe JS looked through these stones at the plates to translate the BoM. JS' mother Lucy said the stones resembled two 3 corner diamonds.
Diamonds are clear. We know JS' seer stone is was a round flat stone with holes drilled in it. JS claimed to have found the stone while digging a well. No angelic vistiors bestowed him with this stone. This was the same stone he used to defraud people in his treasure seeking schemes. This is the same type of stone that many superstitious and occultic believing people were wandering around peering into.
What was the point of the UandT if JS used his seer stone? what was the point of the golden plates if they were not present when Smith peeped in his hat?
By admitting to the stone the church creates a new problem of trying to tie that in with the UandT and still make the UandT sound relevent which it sounds like the occultic stone played a role in most of Smith's cons.
I think the church is slowly trying to get members to believe the seer stone and the UandT are the same thing, but they are not.
| From Isaac Hale--(Old Joe's Father in Law)
In a sworn statement in 1834 about ole Joe's Character:
I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this time, was that of a careless young man -- not very well educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father.
Go to www.lds.org, click on "Ensign magazine," find the February 2001
issue, and read the article entitled "Joseph Smith's Susquehanna Years," which
includes the following statements:
ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON: I told them then, that I considered the whole of it a delusion, and advised them to abandon it. The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods!
Joseph Smith Jr. resided near me for some time after this, and I had a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with him, and somewhat acquainted with his associates, and I conscientiously believe from the facts I have detailed, and from many other circumstances, which I do not deem it necessary to relate, that the whole "Book of Mormon" (so called) is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation, and with a design to dupe the credulous and unwary -- and in order that its fabricators may live upon the spoils of those who swallow the deception. ISAAC HALE.
Affirmed to and subscribed before me, March 20th, 1834.
CHARLES DIMON, J. Peace.
"Joseph Comes to the Susquehanna
End quote. As I have written countless times here on ARM, and as another
poster recently wrote to Apologists---Lucy Mack Smith asserted that her son Joseph
Smith claimed to possess supernatural means to discern invisible or buried
items as early as 1825. His alleged powers were the very reason Stowell hired
him to "see" buried treasure.
"Local tradition and folklore surrounding the possible existence of an old
Spanish silver mine created a condition in the 1820s which led to a decided
change for the Hales. An enterprising farmer by the name of Josiah Stowell came
30 miles from his farm in Bainbridge Township, Chenango County, New York,
carrying a purported treasure map and accompanied by a digging crew. The
company took their room and board with the Hale family. On the crew were Joseph
Smith Jr. and his father. Lucy Mack Smith records that Josiah “came for
Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys, by which he
could discern things invisible to the natural eye.” The Smiths had initially
refused Josiah’s invitation in October 1825. However, the reality of the
family’s difficulty in meeting the $100 annual mortgage payment on their farm
and Stowell’s promise of “high wages to those who would dig for him”
finally persuaded them both to join in the venture."
The import of this is that Smith later claimed to have received the "Urim and
Thumim" from the "angel Moroni" in September of 1827---two years after his
"seeing" for Stowell (with its resultant arrest and fraud trial.) That means
that Smith's 1825 "means" couldn't have been the alleged "Urim and Thummim"; it
had to be the "seer stone."
Apologist's efforts center around trying to discredit accounts of Smith's
possession and use of a "seer stone" before he received the alleged "gold
plates," but unfortunately for the Apologist's line of (ahem)"reasoning," the "Ensign"
magazine, February 2001 issue, once again affirms Lucy Mack Smith's story,
making Apologist's attempts to debunk Smith's 1820's "seer stone" use futile.
Mormon apologists have attempted to assert that the reports of Smith's 1820's
"peep-stoning" and money-digging were the inventions of "anti-Mormons," but
seeing as how the LDS church's own official magazine affirms the practice,
those attempts are meaningless.
The "Ensign" article also states:
"Isaac Hale said that Stowell and his men arrived at his home in November 1825.
Their dig located up Flat Brook beneath Oquago Mountain was short lived,
reported by Isaac to have ended about 17 November. 6".....
For the origin of the quotes from Isaac Hale, the notes in the
article refer the reader to his notarized affidavit of March 1834, which was
published in the "Susquehanna Register" on May 1, 1834. Hale's affidavit was
requested by, and published in Eber D. Howe's "Mormonism Unvailed" later in
"At last Joseph summoned sufficient courage to request the hand of Emma in
marriage. Isaac Hale was adamant in his refusal, saying that Joseph “was a
stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve. 8".....
"Isaac Hale reported that while he was absent from home Joseph “carried off
my daughter, into the state of New York, where they were married without my
approbation or consent. 9"
The import of this information is that numerous Mormon apologists have attempted to discredit Howe's entire "Mormonism
Unvailed" on the assertion that the affidavits included therein were recorded
by Philastus Hurlbut, and because he had an alleged "axe to grind", he either
embellished the testimonies or invented them out of whole cloth.
But the "Ensign" magazine's use of Hale's affidavit as a credible source in a
recent article upsets the applecart of those Mormons, including Woody, who seek
to discredit Howe and/or Hurlbut. Obviously, Mormon apologists cannot honestly
dismiss "Mormonism Unvailed," while the LDS church's official magazine is
quoting from it as though it were credible!
The "Ensign" article further states:
"From Manchester, Emma wrote to her father in Harmony asking “whether she
could take her property, consisting of clothing, furniture, cows.” Isaac
responded that “her property was safe, and at her disposal.” 11 Peter
Ingersoll, a neighbor of the Smiths, was hired to take them to Pennsylvania in
his wagon during August 1827. Peter said that as they drove into the yard,
Father Hale came out in an agitated state and amidst a “flood of tears”
confronted Joseph for having “carried away” his daughter."
I've posted the following numerous times on ARM, but for the
benefit of newbies, it bears repeating: Although many Mormon apologists seek
to discredit "Mormonism Unvailed" because of Hurlbut, in fact Hurlbut only
interviewed Palmyra/Manchester acquaintances of Smith. He did not go to the
Harmony/Bainbridge area, so therefore he could not have invented or "corrupted"
the affidavits of Isaac Hale or other Harmony area testators. However, one of
Hurlbut's Palmyra witnesses was Peter Ingersoll, quoted above in the "Ensign"
magazine. Once again, Mormon apologists cannot honestly cast out Hurlbut's
Palmyra testators as "incredible", while the LDS Church's own official monthly
magazine is simultaneously QUOTING from them, as credible historical sources!
Of course, the "Ensign's" quotes from Hale and Ingersoll are severely redacted,
using only a few snippets to keep the story running. The "Ensign" does not
recount the portions of their testimonies where they tell of Smith's
"peep-stoning" and money-digging; of Ingersoll's claim that Smith filled a
cloth bag with white sand from a creek to make locals think that it contained
the "golden plates"; that Isaac Hale affirmed that Smith had admitted that his
"peep-stoning" powers were all a fraud, and that he promised to give it up and
get an honest job; or Hale's assertion that Smith's method of "translating the
gold plates" was the exact same process that he had previously used to "look
for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his face buried in the
hat, while the book of plates were hidden in the woods!"
Various Mormons on ARM have quoted from publications of Mormon apologists such
as Hugh Nibley, John Wise, Francis W. Kirkham, and Joseph Fielding Smith, all
intended to debunk reports of Smith's pre-1827 "peep-stoning" and
money-digging, and assassinate the characters of those who so reported.
But now we have the "Ensign" in the year 2001, quoting from the very documents
that Mormon apologists since the days of Joseph Smith have attempted to
Those who wish to read the uncensored, unedited, notarized affidavits of Hale,
Ingersoll, and numerous other 1820's acquaintances of Joseph Smith may find
them in "Mormonism Unvailed", at Bill Williams' website www.concordance.com.
The unintiated might be interested to read the parts that the "Ensign" would
And in the future, when any other Mormon on ARM writes that Hurlbut
and/or Howe's work isn't to be trusted, I'll simply remind them that the
"Ensign" magazine thinks they are.
| Click the image for a larger version
This photograph, reproduced in Tanner, Mormonism-Shadow or Reality, is the bill of Justice Albert Neely, showing costs involved in several trials in 1826, including that of "Joseph Smith the Glass Looker." (The double "S" in "glass" appears likea "P", as also in the word "Assault" in some of the other trials.) This bill shows that the published court record is authentic. The record for Joseph Smith reads: "Same vs Joseph Smith The Glass Looker March 20, 1826 / Misdemeanor / To my fees in examination of above cause $2.68."
| Ever wondered how to get the love of any female? The answer is simple: get yourself a Juptier Talisman. Joe seemed to think it worked.
Here's an interesting video relating to Joe's Jupiter Talisman. There's more detail below, for those who wish to explore subject this further.
"When properly invoked, with Jupiter being very powerful and ruling in the heavens, these intelligences - by the power of ancient magic - guaranteed to the possessor of this talisman the gain of riches, and favors, and power, and love, and peace; and to confirm honors, and dignities, and councils. Talismatic magic further declared that any one who worked skillfully with this Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female."
Source: Dr. Reed C. Durham Jr., "Is There No Help For The Widow's Son?", President's Address given at The Mormon History Association Convention, Nauvoo Hotel, Nauvoo, Illinois, 20 April, 1974. "Is There No Help For The Widow's Son?"
"And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess."
Source: As above
Note: At the time of his speach, Reed C. Durham was the Director of the L.D.S. Institute of Religion at the University of Utah.
See also: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/chang...
| Question: When Joseph Smith used his seer stones to find buried treasure and the needle in the haystack for Martin Harris, was he being guided by God?
The following source material is from Fair Mormon and LDS.org.
It's here where Fair Mormon admits Joseph Smith was known as the "Village seer" before the Book of
Mormon was written. Joseph as the village seer.
And here was have information from Fair Mormon regarding how Martin Harris told a story where Joseph
Brant Gardner clarifies the role that Joseph and his stone played within the community of Palmyra,
Young Joseph Smith was a member of a specialized sub-community with ties to these very old and very respected practices, though by the early 1800s they were respected only by a marginalized segment of society. He exhibited a talent parallel to others in similar communities. Even in Palmyra he was not unique. In D. Michael Quinn's words: "Until the Book of Mormon thrust young Smith into prominence, Palmyra's most notable seer was Sally Chase, who used a greenish-colored stone. William Stafford also had a seer stone, and Joshua Stafford had a 'peepstone which looked like white marble and had a hole through the center.'"  Richard Bushman adds Chauncy Hart, and an unnamed man in Susquehanna County, both of whom had stones with which they found lost objects.  [1
During his tenure as a "village seer," Joseph acquired several seer stones. Joseph first used a neighbor's seer stone (probably that belonging to Palmyra seer Sally Chase, on the balance of historical evidence, though there are other possibilities) to discover the location of a brown, baby's foot-shaped stone. The vision of this stone likely occurred in about 1819-1820, and he obtained his first seer stone in about 1821-1822
Smith finds a needle in a haystack using his magical rock.
Ok, so now that we know Joseph Smith, the Village seer, used his magical seer stone to find buried treasure and a needle in a haystack, and was known throughout the village for being a hirer seer, as was his father who taught him to use the magic rocks.
How were the stone(s) involved in the translation of the Book of Mormon?
Martin Harris recounted that Joseph could find lost objects with the second, white stone:
I was at the house of his father in Manchester, two miles south of Palmyra village, and was picking my teeth with a pin while sitting on the bars. The pin caught in my teeth and dropped from my fingers into shavings and straw. I jumped from the bars and looked for it. Joseph and Northrop Sweet also did the same. We could not find it. I then took Joseph on surprise, and said to him--I said, "Take your stone." I had never seen it, and did not know that he had it with him. He had it in his pocket. He took it and placed it in his hat--the old white hat--and placed his face in his hat. I watched him closely to see that he did not look to one side; he reached out his hand beyond me on the right, and moved a little stick and there I saw the pin, which he picked up and gave to me. I know he did not look out of the hat until after he had picked up the pin.
Joseph's mother also indicated that Joseph was sought out by some, including Josiah Stoal, to use the stone to find hidden valuables. He came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye.
There is considerable evidence that the location of the plates and Nephite interpreters (Urim and Thummim) were revealed to Joseph via his second, white seer stone. In 1859, Martin Harris recalled that "Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase...It was by means of this stone he first discovered the plates."
Here we have Fair’s admission that the plates themselves were found using Joseph Smith’s magical rocks.
I had a conversation with [Joseph], and asked him where he found them [the plates] and how he come to know where they were. he said he had a revelation from God that told him they were hid in a certain hill and he looked in his [seer] stone and saw them in the place of deposit."
Did Joseph lose the seer stone(s) and/or the Urim and Thummim?
Following the loss of the 116 pages, the Lord told Joseph:
Ok, so we know Joseph Smith was the village seer and was arrested for it, and also used the same stone to translate the book of Mormon as it is today.
Regarding where the magical seer stones are today, the Mormon church has them locked up.
1 NOW, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto
you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them.
2 And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.
3 Nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again; therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun.
4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end. (DandC 10:1-4)
Thus, "it" (Joseph's gift) was restored to him, but there is no indication that the Nephite interpreters (Urim and Thummim) were also returned, Joseph having also lost "them." That is, after repenting, Joseph would recover his seer stones, but apparently not the Urim and Thummim. Some Church sources have seen this as the point at which Joseph received the seer stone for the first time, but this is likely incorrect:
As a chastisement for this carelessness [loss of the 116 pages], the Urim and Thummim was taken from Smith. But by humbling himself, he again found favor with the Lord and was presented a strange oval-shaped, chocolate colored stone, about the size of an egg, but more flat which it was promised should answer the same purpose. With this stone all the present book was translated.
Joseph's second (white) stone is also in the possession of the LDS First Presidency
From LDS.org on Gensis 50:33: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp...
1. The great latter-day Joseph
Some good info on Joseph Smith's brown seer stone here: http://theseerstone.blogspot.com/2009...
The Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 50:2438 contains prophecies that Joseph made about one of his descendants who would become a “choice seer.” The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi restated these prophecies in 2 Nephi 3:515. The descendant referred to in these prophecies is the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Discuss how the following prophecies made by Joseph of Egypt were fulfilled in the life of Joseph Smith:
a. One of Joseph’s descendants would be a “choice seer” (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:26; 2 Nephi 3:6).
b. This seer would be greatly respected by the other descendants of Joseph (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:27; 2 Nephi 3:7).
c. He would teach them of the covenants that God had made with their ancestors (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:28; 2 Nephi 3:7).
d. He would be obedient to God (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:28; 2 Nephi 3:8).
e. He would be a great prophet, like Moses (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:29; 2 Nephi 3:9).
f. He would be the means for bringing forth new scripture (the Book of Mormon) that would support and work with existing scripture (the Bible) (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:3031; 2 Nephi 3:1112).
g. Although he would be weak, the Lord would make him strong (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:32; 2 Nephi 3:13).
h. Both he and his father would be named Joseph (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:33; 2 Nephi 3:15).
Interesting stuff here about Joseph Smith's seer stones: http://www.lds-mormon.com/seerstn.sht...
Looking in Sally Chase's glass, he saw the stone a hundred and fifty miles away, buried under a tree. "It soon became luminous, and dazzled his eyes, and after a short time it became as intense as the mid-day sun." Digging up the stone after an arduous journey, Smith related that he "placed it in his hat, and discovered that time, place, and distance were annihilated; that all intervening obstacles were removed, and that he possessed one of the attributes of Deity, an All-Seeing Eye." If the stone that gave Joseph the "second sight," perhaps bordering on the divine powers of the hermetic magus, this sight was put to mundane purposes. Pomeroy Tucker wrote that Joseph used the stone for fortune-telling and divining for stolen property; Martin Harris described Joseph's divining for a lost pin in a pile of wooden shavings, with the stone and his face buried in "an old white hat." William Stafford recounted going with the Smiths to dig for "two or three kegs of gold and silver" near their farmhouse;while Joseph Sr. laid out the ritual circles of hazel sticks and the central steel rod, muttered appropriate incantations, and "enjoined" the crew to silence, Joseph Jr. remained in the house, "looking in his stone and watching the motions of the evil spirit." [152-3] (Quotations from Martin Harris interview, originally published in Tiffany's Monthy V, May 1859, reprinted in Francis W. Kirkham, ed., A New Witness for Christ in America: The Book of Mormon, rev.ed., 2:377; and from William Stafford affidavit, in Anderson, Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reexamined, 144. Also see W.D. Purple's reminiscences, Norwich Chenango Union, May 3, 1877, republished in Walker, ed., Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism, 333-4; Tucker, Mormonism, 20; and Walker, ed., Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism, 233)
From Pomeroy Tucker on Joe Smith: http://solomonspalding.com/docs1/1867...
The most glittering sights revealed to the mortal vision of the young impostor in the manner stated were hidden treasures of great value, including enormous deposits of gold and silver sealed in earthen pots or iron chests, and buried in the earth in the immediate vicinity of the place where he stood. These discoveries finally became too dazzling for his eyes in daylight, and he had to shade his vision by looking at the stone in his hat! Of course but few persons were sufficiently stolid to listen to these silly pretensions, for they were only of a piece with Joe's habitual extravagances of assertion. Yet he may have had believers.
Wikipedia on Scrying: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrying
Scrying (also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and more rarely for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious.
From FairMormon: http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith...
During his tenure as a "village seer," Joseph acquired several seer stones. Joseph first used a neighbor's seer stone (probably that belonging to Palmyra seer Sally Chase, on the balance of historical evidence, though there are other possibilities) to discover the location of a brown, baby's foot-shaped stone. The vision of this stone likely occurred in about 18191820, and he obtained his first seer stone in about 18211822.
And this: http://www.janishutchinson.com/joeocc...
Joseph then used this first stone to find a second stone (a white one).
Joseph Smith, long before golden plates complicated his position as a local seer, appears to have functioned just as Sally Chase did. Quinn reports that: "E. W. Vanderhoof [writing in 1905] remembered that his Dutch grandfather once paid Smith seventy-five cents to look into his 'whitish, glossy, and opaque' stone to locate a stolen mare. The grandfather soon 'recovered his beast, which Joe said was somewhere on the lake shore and [was] about to be run over to Canada.' Vanderhoof groused that 'anybody could have told him that, as it was invariably the way a horse thief would take to dispose of a stolen animal in those days.'"13 While Vanderhoof reported a positive result of the consultation, it is interesting that his statement includes a qualifier that has the same intent as those added by the Saunders' brothers. By the end of the century, one wouldn't want to actually credit a village seer when describing their activities. Nevertheless, it isn't the effectiveness that is important–it is the nature of the consultation. Sally Chase's clients consulted her to find things which were lost, and Joseph Smith had at least one client who did the same.
Joseph’s Use of Peep Stones and Divining Rods
I believe all Joseph Smith ever found with his magical rocks was a horse.
Joseph learned to how to use “peep stones” from his father. Joseph Smith, Sr., placing them in a hat, would receive revelation on buried treasure locations. Known as a “money-digger,” he hired out to locate these caches. An affidavit by David Stafford confirmed that “the general employment of the Smith family was money digging and fortune telling.”
Joseph, therefore, naturally followed in his father’s footsteps. Even long before he claimed to find the gold plates of the Book of Mormon through his peep stone, he was finding buried treasure and deciphering ancient writings. In one instance, according to William R. Hein, he gazed into his stone, and:
He saw Captain Kidd sailing on the Susquehanna River during a freshet, and that he buried two pots of gold and silver. He claimed he saw writing cut on the rocks in an unknown language telling where Kidd buried it, and he translated it through his peep-stone
| I've been thinking about the whole process whereby JS allegedly translated the Book of Mormon. Treasure digging was very common folk magic in the early 1800s. It usually consisted of two parts: Someone to find the treasure (the seer) and people to dig for it. While JS denied ever digging for treasure (technically true), Quinn does an amazing job proving that JS acted as the seer for the better part of 7-8 years leading up to the gold plates. Meaning, that JS was the seer who used his seer stones to look for treasure. He was the one who directed people to do the digging, even though he never actually did any physical digging, himself.
According to treasure seeking folk lore, a seer puts a seer stone into something like a hat. Face then goes into the hat, so as to block out all of the light, and the location of the treasure is supposed to appear. Sounds batshit weird to us in the 21st century, but this was common in the early 1800s. JS was actually a sought after seer for these treasure seeking expeditions.
Which brings us to the real thing that's had me thinking for the past few weeks. By near unanimous account, JS translated the Book of Mormon by dropping his treasure seeking seer stone into a hat, putting his face into said hat so as to block out all of the light, and the hidden translation allegedly appeared. Nobody ever saw the gold plates being used; what was claimed to be the plates were always wrapped in a cloth, set to the side. Hell, nobody ever actually physically saw the plates.
What really blows my mind is that, among LDS scholars, they speak freely about this whole seer stone/face in hat thing like it's ok. They downplay or even outright deny any connection with treasure seeking, even though it's completely disingenuous to do so. They've even gone so far as to claim that JS treasure seeking seer stone was really the Urim and Thummim. Seriously? So, JS had the Urim and Thummim for years prior to the Book of Mormon, and took it for test runs looking for hidden treasure?
I can see why they don't teach this in Primary, or even in Gospel Doctrine. I mean, here's how class would go:
Joseph Smith, being inspired of God, would translate the Book of Mormon day after day by putting his treasure seeking seer stone into a hat. He would then put his face into the hat, so as to completely block out all of the light. In the darkness, the seer stone would reveal to Joseph Smith a parchment, upon which was written the English translation for the Book of Mormon. The plates retrieved from the Hill Cumorah were always wrapped in cloth, either placed to the side, or hidden out of sight. For reasons known only unto the Lord, Joseph Smith never actually had to use the plates during the translation process.
There would then be a visual aid, and possibly a short movie clip to demonstrate the translation process. I'm fairly certain that investigators would call bullshit. Primary kids would bring this table talk home, and parents would call bullshit. Adult retetion would drop off, and the church would be winnowed down to a group of people who seriously believed that using a rock in a hat to translate scripture was A-ok.
But wait! It gets better. The Mormons today are led by leaders who not only know about, but privately acknowledge, teach, discuss, and believe this colossal load of bull manure. It really, really makes me wonder whether Spencer W. Kimball consulted his rock in hat to receive the relevation reversing the ban on the priesthood. Or whether Gordon Hinckley was friends with his pet rock and hat when he decided that women should only wear one pair of earrings. Maybe--just maybe--they all pool their rocks and hats, and start off super-secret/sacred Quorum meetings by putting their faces into their respective hats to get in tune with the Holy Ghost.
And if you can get that mental image into your head, you can begin to seriously appreciate how completely and utterly screwed up the whole idea is.
"...Sometimes called a “peep-stone” or a “glass,” seer-stones were usually a unique or peculiar-looking rock. The seer, sometimes derogatorily referred to as a “wizard,” would often place the stone in his or her hat in order to exclude the light. In the stone, they could then see the location of buried treasure (the same technique was also used to find lost objects, see far away places, tell fortunes, etc., just like the different forms of scrying in England). Seers were often youth, and could be either male or female."
"The earliest account of the use of a seer-stone comes from Hartwick, New York, in 1806, when a seer led treasure-hunts “by looking into his dark hat, having [his] stone in the crown. Chronologically the next two earliest accounts both come from western New York from c. 1812-1815. In one case, a girl possessed a “magic stone” which, when she “put [the] stone into a hat, and placing her face in front so as entirely to exclude the light
she could see the whole world and what was there going on. The second from Rochester, NY, was a seer named Smith (unrelated to Joseph Smith) who used a seer-stone to locate buried treasure and predict enemy movements in the War of 1812."
"Obviously the most famous treasure-seer from western New York was Joseph Smith. Joseph obtained his first seer-stone in the vicinity of Palmyra, New York, around 1820, shortly after the family moved there from Vermont. Many of the Smiths’ neighbors used seer-stones as well. In fact, most of our documentation of seer-stones is from the area around Palmyra, which demonstrate their enormous popularity in that region during the 1820s. It was so common-place that, according to one resident, Lucy Mack Smith actually came to her house and asked if she could borrow their “peep-stone,” as if asking for a cup of sugar...."
"...Many decades later in 1888, Wilford Woodruff consecrated Joseph Smith’s seer-stone on the altar of the Manti, Utah temple. That same reverence for Joseph Smith’s use of seer-stones would then be shared by Mormons around the world well into the twenty-first century."
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