The Amazinf Disappearing Urim and Thummim

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TheJordan6

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Sep 27, 2003, 11:34:08 AM9/27/03
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Readers,

Below is a link to a depiction of Joseph Smith wearing the garb he claimed to
wear to "translate" the "golden plates," as published in the 1983 LDS
childrens' lesson manual "Doctrine and Covenants Stories":

http://hometown.aol.com/thejordan6/myhomepage/personal.html

As you can see, this depiction follows along Smith's description of the "two
stones in silver bows, fastened to a breastplate" version of events. The
oversize spectacles he is wearing are supposed to be the "Urim and Thummim."

In contrast, here is link to a picture from the September 2003 "New Era"
magazine which also depicts the "Book of Mormon translation:

http://hometown.aol.com/thinkerlds/myhomepage/faith.html

Note that the odd-looking contraption that Smith claimed he wore is not
depicted at all in this new publication. Instead, the image projected is of
Smith "pondering" over the plates, searching for "inspiration," while Oliver
Cowdery transcribes the dictation.

No two stones in silver bows, no breastplate, no giant spectacles, no seer
stone, no hat, and no blanket hung between Smith and Cowdery to prevent Cowdery
from inappropriately viewing the sacred (secret) plates. And look how handsome
and hunky the skinny, sickly Oliver has become, through the miracle of
"artistic license"!

This is a fascinating example of how the LDS Church changes its own history.
This 2003 depiction, as contrasted with the 1983 version, is an obvious attempt
to remove anything that appears weird or occultic from the "Joseph Smith
story," in an effort to distance Smith from the numerous reports of his 1820's
folk-magic/"glass-looking" practice.

But of course, neither of those pictures accurately reflect descriptions of the
"translation process" that numerous eyewitnesses gave of events. Here are some
of those eyewitness descriptions:

"Now the way he translated was he put the urim and thummim into his hat and
Darkned his Eyes than he would take a sentance and it would apper in Brite
Roman Letters. Then he would tell the writer and he would write it. Then that
would go away the next sentance would Come and so on. But if it was not Spelt
rite it would not go away till it was rite, so we see it was marvelous. Thus
was the hol [whole] translated."---Joseph Knight's journal.

"In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at
the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the
stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us."
(History of the RLDS Church, 8 vols. (Independence, Missouri: Herald House,
1951), "Last Testimony of Sister Emma [Smith Bidamon]," 3:356.

"I, as well as all of my father's family, Smith's wife, Oliver Cowdery and
Martin Harris, were present during the translation. . . . He [Joseph Smith] did
not use the plates in translation."
(David Whitmer, as published in the "Kansas City Journal," June 5, 1881, and
reprinted in the RLDS "Journal of History", vol. 8, (1910), pp. 299-300.

In an 1885 interview, Zenas H. Gurley, then the editor of the RLDS Saints
Herald, asked Whitmer if Joseph had used his "Peep stone" to do the
translation. Whitmer replied:
"... he used a stone called a "Seers stone," the "Interpreters" having been
taken away from him because of transgression. The "Interpreters" were taken
from Joseph after he allowed Martin Harris to carry away the 116 pages of Ms
[manuscript] of the Book of Mormon as a punishment, but he was allowed to go on
and translate by use of a "Seers stone" which he had, and which he placed in a
hat into which he buried his face, stating to me and others that the original
character appeared upon parchment and under it the translation in English."

"Martin Harris related an incident that occurred during the time that he wrote
that portion of the translation of the Book of Mormon which he was favored to
write direct from the mouth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said that the
Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as
from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone,
Martin explained the translation as follows: By aid of the seer stone,
sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet and written by Martin and
when finished he would say 'Written,' and if correctly written that sentence
would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly
it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was
engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used."
(Edward Stevenson, "One of the Three Witnesses," reprinted from Deseret News,
30 Nov. 1881 in Millennial Star, 44 (6 Feb. 1882): 86-87.)

In 1879, Michael Morse, Emma Smith's brother-in-law, stated: "When Joseph was
translating the Book of Mormon [I] had occasion more than once to go into his
immediate presence, and saw him engaged at his work of translation. The mode of
procedure consisted in Joseph's placing the Seer Stone in the crown of a hat,
then putting his face into the hat, so as to entirely cover his face, resting
his elbows upon his knees, and then dictating word after word, while the
scribes Emma, John Whitmer, O. Cowdery, or some other wrote it down."
(W.W. Blair interview with Michael Morse, Saints Herald, vol. 26, no. 12 (June
15, 1879), pp. 190-91.)

Joseph Smith's brother William also testified to the "face in the hat" version:
"The manner in which this was done was by looking into the Urim and Thummim,
which was placed in a hat to exclude the light, (the plates lying near by
covered up), and reading off the translation, which appeared in the stone by
the power of God" ("A New Witness for Christ in America," Francis W. Kirkham,
2:417.)

"The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret was the same manner as
when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, while the book
of plates were at the same time hid in the woods."---Isaac Hale (Emma Smith's
father's) affidavit, 1834.

LDS scholar Stephen Ricks concurred with these witnesses' "seer stone" version
of the "translation":

"According to most accounts, the seer stone was used during all stages of the
translation of the Book of Mormon, both before and after the loss of the first
116 manuscript pages. Edward Stevenson reported that Martin Harris (who served
as Joseph's scribe between April and June of 1828) testified to him that "the
Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as
from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he used the seer stone."
("The Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon")

And the modern LDS apostle Russell M. Nelson also admitted to the "seer stone
in the hat" version of the "translation":

"The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully
known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote:
'Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat,
drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness
the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment
would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would
appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would
read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when
it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct,
then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would
appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God,
and not by any power of man.' ” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers
in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887.)
---"A Treasured Testament," By Elder Russell M. Nelson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Adapted from an address given 25 June
1992 at a seminar for new mission presidents, Missionary Training Center,
Provo, Utah.

I find it fascinating that while all these witnesses and scholars told of the
"seer stone in the hat" version of the "translation process," the LDS Church
declines to depict that description in artwork in its publications. Perhaps
they don't want readers to get the idea that Joseph Smith was "talking through
his hat."

Randy J.


Goner

unread,
Sep 27, 2003, 12:00:50 PM9/27/03
to
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 9:34:08 -0600, TheJordan6 wrote
(in message <20030927113408...@mb-m26.aol.com>):

> Readers,
>
> Below is a link to a depiction of Joseph Smith wearing the garb he claimed to
> wear to "translate" the "golden plates," as published in the 1983 LDS
> childrens' lesson manual "Doctrine and Covenants Stories":
>
> http://hometown.aol.com/thejordan6/myhomepage/personal.html
>
> As you can see, this depiction follows along Smith's description of the "two
> stones in silver bows, fastened to a breastplate" version of events. The
> oversize spectacles he is wearing are supposed to be the "Urim and Thummim."
>
> In contrast, here is link to a picture from the September 2003 "New Era"
> magazine which also depicts the "Book of Mormon translation:
>
> http://hometown.aol.com/thinkerlds/myhomepage/faith.html


(snip)


> I find it fascinating that while all these witnesses and scholars told of the
> "seer stone in the hat" version of the "translation process," the LDS Church
> declines to depict that description in artwork in its publications. Perhaps
> they don't want readers to get the idea that Joseph Smith was "talking
> through
> his hat."
>
> Randy J.


The frauds need to perpetuate their fraud. To honestly depict what happened
would scare away too many suckers.

BTW, nice to see you finally posting something of substance, LOL


--
Cheers,
don marchant

dangerous1.com
I was only joking..... Really

Scott Marquardt

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Sep 27, 2003, 12:08:17 PM9/27/03
to
TheJordan6 wrote:

I'm also fascinated by how often the depictions of Joseph are just inept.
Here's what he actually looked like:
http://snurl.com/2hl4

And here's how he's depicted (the links you offered, of course, don't even
come close):

http://snurl.com/2hl5
(the Nicolas Cage look)

http://snurl.com/2hl7
(the Fabio with a haircut look -- compare with http://snurl.com/2hl8)

http://snurl.com/2hla
(the Napoleon look)

http://snurl.com/2hlb
(the "why the heck would anyone glue hair on a drawing" look)

http://snurl.com/2hlc
(the entrepreneur look)

http://snurl.com/2hld
(the bug-eyed look from Smith's Blue Period)

http://snurl.com/2hlh
(the Anthony Hopkins look)

http://snurl.com/2hlj
(rendered from a description given by Emma Hale Smith)

- Scott

TheJordan6

unread,
Sep 27, 2003, 7:04:30 PM9/27/03
to
>From: Scott Marquardt do...@doot.com
>Date: 9/27/2003 11:08 AM Central Daylight Time
>Message-id: <l4cbnvcl0t9nldngr...@4ax.com>

That one could also be called the young Burt Lancaster look.

>http://snurl.com/2hla
>(the Napoleon look)
>
>http://snurl.com/2hlb
>(the "why the heck would anyone glue hair on a drawing" look)
>
>http://snurl.com/2hlc
>(the entrepreneur look)
>
>http://snurl.com/2hld
>(the bug-eyed look from Smith's Blue Period)
>
>http://snurl.com/2hlh
>(the Anthony Hopkins look)
>
>http://snurl.com/2hlj
>(rendered from a description given by Emma Hale Smith)
>
>- Scott

You missed one.

http://www.astro.utoronto.ca/~reid/faculty/neumann.html

Randy J.

TheJordan6

unread,
Sep 27, 2003, 8:50:07 PM9/27/03
to
>From: Goner Go...@Dangerous1.com
>Date: 9/27/2003 11:00 AM Central Daylight Time
>Message-id: <0001HW.BB9B1052...@news.CIS.DFN.de>

As the saying goes, "A system gotten up in lies must be sustained by lies."

>BTW, nice to see you finally posting something of substance, LOL
>
>
>--
>Cheers,
>don marchant

Gee, I hope this one satisfied Jason Hardy's high standards.

Randy J.

GRaleigh345

unread,
Sep 27, 2003, 9:41:14 PM9/27/03
to
>thejo...@aol.com (TheJordan6)

wrote:

>
>Readers,
>
>Below is a link to a depiction of Joseph Smith wearing the garb he claimed to
>wear to "translate" the "golden plates," as published in the 1983 LDS
>childrens' lesson manual "Doctrine and Covenants Stories":
>
>http://hometown.aol.com/thejordan6/myhomepage/personal.html
>
>As you can see, this depiction follows along Smith's description of the "two
>stones in silver bows, fastened to a breastplate" version of events. The
>oversize spectacles he is wearing are supposed to be the "Urim and Thummim."

Unfortunately for the church, Randy, Professor Anthon quoted Martin Harris
as reporting that the "spectacles" were so large that a modern man could only
look through one lens at a time. Even the picture you show is not accurate.

>
>In contrast, here is link to a picture from the September 2003 "New Era"
>magazine which also depicts the "Book of Mormon translation:
>
>http://hometown.aol.com/thinkerlds/myhomepage/faith.html
>
>Note that the odd-looking contraption that Smith claimed he wore is not
>depicted at all in this new publication. Instead, the image projected is of
>Smith "pondering" over the plates, searching for "inspiration," while Oliver
>Cowdery transcribes the dictation.
>
>No two stones in silver bows, no breastplate, no giant spectacles, no seer
>stone, no hat, and no blanket hung between Smith and Cowdery to prevent
>Cowdery
>from inappropriately viewing the sacred (secret) plates. And look how
>handsome
>and hunky the skinny, sickly Oliver has become, through the miracle of
>"artistic license"!

Hey, you should have seen what the real Bonnie Parker looked like, as
opposed to Faye Dunaway.


>
>I find it fascinating that while all these witnesses and scholars told of the
>"seer stone in the hat" version of the "translation process," the LDS Church
>declines to depict that description in artwork in its publications. Perhaps
>they don't want readers to get the idea that Joseph Smith was "talking
>through
>his hat."

The problem with the seer stone story, Randy, is that it indicates that
Joseph "fell from grace," and lost the nephite interpreters forever. The
"interpreters" as far as I can tell were really nothing more than fancy
jeweler's glasses for reading inscriptions on polished metal. If one lacks or
has lost the spiritual gift of comprehending unknown tongues, being able to
adequately peruse the plates would be useless, anyway.

What we ended up with was Joseph looking at what amounted to an online
interlinear translation and merely dictating the English words he saw there--a
purely mechanical process.

By the time the prophet got to the Inspired Version, he did not use the
seer stone any more. It would appear that, contrary to the LDS, RLDS, and
Communitarian claims, this did not indicate that Joseph was growing in
spiritual power. It actually signifies that, if he really had spiritual powers
bestowed on him, these powers were declining fairly quickly, and fairly
steadily.

Since the original revelations of the Book of Commandments state that
Joseph would be granted "no other gift" than the ability to translate the Book
of Mormon, this decline in spiritual abilities makes complete sense.

It appears that Joseph got some kind of a spiritual RNA factor shot into
him that wore off, leaving him completely at liberty to drink, carouse, and
engage in questionable business deals like any other human being when he is
laid off from a completed job contract.

Regards,
Raleigh

Christianity isn't an "ism." "Isms" are counterproductive to Christianity, be
they Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Calvinism, Unitarianism, or whatnot. The
only "ism" that is a legitimate part of Christianity is baptism.

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