LDS church unveils 1st published photos of ‘seer stone’; greater transparency efforts

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church’s push toward transparency about its roots and beliefs took another step forward Tuesday with the first published pictures of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate a story that became the basis of the religion.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Steven E. Snow rests his hand on the third volume of the Joseph Smith papers, which includes the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, during a news conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Steven E. Snow rests his hand on the third volume of the Joseph Smith papers, which includes the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, during a news conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

The new photos peel back another layer of secrecy for a relatively young world religion that has come under scrutiny as its numbers swelled in the Internet age.

The pictures of the smooth, brown, egg-sized rock are part of a new book that also contains photos of the first printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled the photos at a news conference in Salt Lake City.

The religion’s drive in recent years to open its vaults and clarify sensitive beliefs is aimed at filling a void on the Internet for accurate information as curiosity increased while church membership tripled over the last three decades, Mormon scholars said.

Church historian Steven E. Snow acknowledged that dynamic, saying: “The Internet brings both challenge and opportunities. We’re grateful for the opportunity to share much of collection through the use of the Internet.”

The church’s campaign seems aimed at preventing current members from leaving and showing non-Mormons that they aren’t hiding anything, said Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion and the James Bostwick chair of English at the University of Richmond.

Pictures of smooth, brown, egg-sized rocks are shown in the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon following a news conference at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
Pictures of smooth, brown, egg-sized rocks are shown in the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon following a news conference at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

As an American-born religion much younger than most world religions, the origins of Mormonism have come under greater scrutiny and put pressure on the church to prove their stories, Givens said.

“The other churches’ origins are concealed by the mist of history,” Givens said. “Mormonism is the first world religion in which the origins were exposed to public view, to documentation, to journalists and newspaper reporting.”

The pictures in the new book show different angles of a stone that is dark brown with lighter brown swirls. The photos also show a weathered leather pouch where the stone was stored that is believed to be made by one of Joseph Smith’s wives, Emma Smith.

The church has always possessed the stone, which was transported across the country during Mormon pioneers’ trek from Illinois to Utah in the mid-1800s, but it decided to publish the photos now to allow people who prefer visuals to words to better understand the religion’s roots, said Richard Turley, assistant church historian. The stone will remain in the vault.

“The picture brings a kind of tangibility to something that has been previously been talked about just in words,” Turley said. “That helps people connect with the past. We’ve discovered that artifacts and historical sites are a way to give a sense of reality to things that are otherwise somewhat ethereal.”

Mormons believe that 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York. They say that God helped him translate the text using the stone and other tools, which became known as the Book of Mormon.

The manuscript in the new book actually belongs to the Community of Christ, a faith that was created by early Mormons who stayed behind when most members of the religion moved out West to Utah. A Community of Christ leader joined LDS officials at the press event Tuesday in what both said demonstrated the two faiths have moved on from past squabbles.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Steven E. Snow displays the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, during a news conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Steven E. Snow displays the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, during a news conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 4, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

The publication of the pictures of the stone are important because some speculated the stones were buried in the archives and never to be seen, said Richard Bushman, a Mormon historian and emeritus professor at Columbia University. They probably won’t persuade non-believers who don’t buy the story, but they offer another indication the church is moving toward opening up, he said.

The church has been releasing books containing historical documents that shed light on how Smith formed the church. The religion also has issued a series of in-depth articles that explain or clarify some of the more sensitive parts of its history that it once sidestepped, such as the faith’s past ban on black men in the lay clergy and its early history of polygamy.

The church paid a price for its past decisions to stay silent on topics or keep key artifacts in the vault, Bushman said.

“Their faithful members would stumble on information on the Internet. Not having heard about them, they were shocked and disillusioned,” Bushman said. “They felt they had been lied to and got pretty angry.”

Today the church is taking a new approach, by saying, “We can face up to the facts. We don’t have to make the picture prettier than it is,” Bushman said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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43 Comments

  • Hippononymous August 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Hahaha XD Well my faith is bolstered. It’s over everyone. It was a good game. We can all go home now. It was a heck of a ride. #Transparency

  • fun bag August 4, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    “they just simply ‘warshed it'”…? Did they just throw it in the “warshing” machine with the dirty socks or what. I’ve never heard of a document just being “simply warshed”… i thought it was quite a painstaking thing to manually clean a 200 yr old paper document, but i guess i was wrong and you can just “simply warsh it”

    • fun bag August 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      unless he’s talking about “warshing” the rock, but i didn’t catch that…

  • radioviking August 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is plagerized correctly.

    .
    Wow, now the LDS have the leaders dropping another bomb!

    . Truth about Joseph Smith’s polygamy: 14 year olds, married women–over 30 women.

    .
    The Book of Abraham NOT what Joseph Smith said, turns out to be an Egyptian burial papyrus,

    .
    Glad to see the church leaders being forced into transparency– thanks to the power of the Internet in this Information Age! Truth hurts…

  • Simone August 4, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    “Mormons believe that 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York. They say that God helped him translate the text using the stone and other tools, which became known as the Book of Mormon”. Yeah ’cause that doesn’t scream CULT!

    Or this gem:

    “Their faithful members would stumble on information on the Internet. Not having heard about them, they were shocked and disillusioned,”
    “They felt they had been lied to and got pretty angry.” Bushman said.
    “Today the church is taking a new approach, by saying, “We can face up to the facts. We don’t have to make the picture prettier than it is,” Bushman said”.

    So basically what they’re saying is, they lied and got caught and are now trying desperately to save face before they lose any more money.
    Now that this has been revealed, I have a couple more questions maybe someone here can help me out with:
    Why did it take them over 100 years to get o picture of it? Why didn’t they display it in the Salt Lake City Temple visitors center? Why is it, even now, going back into some vault? Why are they just now releasing the “truth” about what they’ve been saying all along? Could it be because members are taking their money and running away in droves? Why would that be? Hm let me think, Oh that’s right, “They felt they had been lied to and got pretty angry”. Gee I wonder why.

  • Real Life August 4, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    I had a pet rock. It never said anything.

    • Free Parking August 5, 2015 at 2:31 am

      Oh you mean the rock in your head.!

  • Roy J August 4, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    The difficulty I have always had with the translation of these plates is with the ideas contained in them. Leaving alone the likelihood of the plates themselves or the history, there are contained in the Book of Mormon complicated doctrinal ideas and race culture that have quite a bit in common with other New American churches, and those doctrinal ideas have a history, and did not exist thousands of years ago. These ideas are difficult to mesh with the Hebraic doctrines of thousands of years ago, and are even more difficult to bring together with doctrines and histories of the early Christian Church. Also interesting is the idea of some kind of white men on the American continent: as an idea it is not necessarily new or even marvelous since, besides the Vikings and any number of possible peoples crossing from the Bering Strait (or even the Pacific) the colonization of America was also known to Aristotle (or at least hinted at): he records the account of a forbidden far western Phoenician colony beyond the Atlantic (this is referrenced by Archishop Kelly in his history of the Mexican revolutions). In my own reading of the Book of Mormon there is a lot doctrinally that I would expect to find in some nascent American Christianity, even down to the accepted use of a King James Bible (which has always been, in my experience, a telltale sign of a Protestant influence at work). I have also found it difficult to understand how a Christian would need something like a stone to translate anything: this has always seemed to me a superaddition of some form of magic to a religion that already has a well documented doctrine on and occurences of miracles. Yes, I am using this article as a chance to air some of the many things I do not understand or find contradictory about the history of the Mormon religion. I understand that not many people will find the study of the doctrinal development of ideas, and especially those of Christianity, interesting or worth serious thought, but I do.

    • fun bag August 5, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Unfortunately Roy, mormons are rarely, if ever, open to honest discussions about their religion. If you even bring up some kind of thoughtful discussion or debate it usually completely shuts them down, and often times they’ll get very angry and then begin to resent the person asking the questions. Mormonism is a religion where the members are taught to obey and never question. Maybe you can find a non-mormon or ex-mormon scholar to help you with your questions…

      • Roy J August 5, 2015 at 11:54 am

        Eh, too true, FUN BAG, too true. That has been my experience as well. The argument that some one or other person of the Trinity is giving specific orders to a prophet to start a new Church that is really the old Church which was swept away in the first one, two, or three centuries A.D. is, incidentally, yet another instance of a doctrinal development that can be traced to Martin Luther as its primary source in the history of Christianity, rather than to the early Christian Church. The idea that the old Church was dead and buried in the first centuries is also a common doctrinal theme the points powerfully to Protestant influence. This sort of inquiry is obviously boring to some, but the development and history of doctrines, though they will remain in large part a matter of faith for most, are not matters that can be known by faith alone. I wish more people would take this sort of study seriously, but well, to each his own. Obviously as well, this is hardly the forum for such a discussion…

        • mrsmith August 6, 2015 at 8:52 am

          Fun bag and Roy, it will be very difficult for you to find the answers you seek no matter who you talk to. Mormon, Ex-Mormon, non-Mormon, jack Mormon it will make no difference. The truth is none of them will have even been alive when the events that you want answers to transpired. You stated that you seek an honest discussion but the problem is that these discussions are never honest. The first request from non-believers is to ask the believer to abandon their beliefs and “have an open mind”. This is not honest. Why is it that a we can not approach these discussions in a manner that allows the believer to continue to believe even after the discussion. This is why members don’t enjoy these honest discussions with you.

          • fun bag August 6, 2015 at 10:12 am

            Well you make a point there. I suppose the believer may have to be open to the idea that there beliefs are false in order to start being receptive to facts and evidence. The discussions I’ve tried to have with hard core believers usually end with something like: “i know it’s true because i feel the holy spirit(warm fuzzies)”, “I know it’s true because it’s true”, or ‘I know it’s true because this or that book says it’s true’. Really is nearly impossible to have the discussion with people so deeply psychologically conditioned to believe a certain thing. I’d think It’d be equally or even more difficult to present facts to muslims about their evil religion. I won’t start on muslimism, but it’s probably the single most evil belief system one will find in modern times…

          • fun bag August 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

            An interesting thing I’ve found over the years is that pretty much everyone I talked to that had left the LDS church and begun to disbelieve did so because of social conflicts within their ward or their own family, really not at all because they found out any certain piece of information. So I figure it was an emotional reaction to the circumstances at the time that caused them to think ‘you know, this really is a bunch of BS’…interesting, really…

          • mrsmith August 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

            The quandary of the human mind is that it must have a base on which to form an opinion. The very nature of a fact is formulated upon an opinion or a belief. To ask one to abandon their belief removes the context of a discussion. You will find that most humans have some degree of tolerance when in a discussion otherwise there would be no discussion. You stated that Islam is evil and yet you arrived at that conclusion solely on your belief that it is evil without the possibility of an alternate opinion. For me to have your definition of an honest discussion, I would have to ask you to abandon your belief that Islam is evil. If you concede to do so then there would be no reason to continue the discussion because you will have agreed with me that Islam is not evil. What we are really needing in our society is more tolerance of alternate views which doesn’t mean that you concede to the alternate view but allow the view to be present and then either agree or disagree. Why is it that we cannot afford this right to believers?

          • fun bag August 6, 2015 at 3:21 pm

            No, certain facts are concrete and agreed on by everyone with a sane mind. I find religious delusions to be a toxic product. The burden of proving a religion true should be placed on the religion and not the nonbeliever. Pray to an imaginary holy ghost and see if I get the warm fuzzies, or an apparition. NO, I say show me a fkg photograph of the thing. Delusion is a dangerous road– usually doesn’t end well. You tell yourself whatever you want to keep believing fairytales. I’ll wait for some real proof of not bother with it…

          • fun bag August 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

            And i wouldn’t have to concede that islam is not evil. I’d just have to be open to the hypothetical and pretend it isn’t for the sake of the discussion. If you try that with a mormon you will either shut them down to discussion or get them angry. And I’ll be fine with any sort of believers when they finally get over being hypocrits…

          • mrsmith August 6, 2015 at 4:34 pm

            Have you seen a photograph of air? By your definition, air does not exist and before anyone (with a sane mind) should believe a chemist, they should see a photograph of air.

          • Simone August 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

            MRSSMITH, It’s pretty obvious that you need to cut back on the Mormon Kool-Aid you’ve been chugging everyday. When I question cult members asking the member to “have an open mind” or to abandon their beliefs, it is a question as to the churches own statements using biblical and historical references. The member gives one of two responses:
            1.) Some BS about a “Modern Prophet” or, more often;
            2.) They get angry, yell; something about how they don’t want to talk any more and stomp off.
            The problem is that cult members have been taught NEVER TO QUESTION what they’re taught because ITS A LIE and the leadership knows it. Unfortunately for the cult leadership, technology has made it possible for everyone to access old documents that make it very clear that, most times, what the cult propaganda says happened isn’t actually what happened at all. Kind of like that Nazi proaganda film called Der Fuehrer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt [The Fuehrer gives the Jews a City]. You can watch an except from it here

          • Simone August 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

            When I question cult members asking the member to “have an open mind” or to abandon their beliefs never enters my mind….***

          • mrsmith August 6, 2015 at 10:45 pm

            Isn’t that the goal Simone? Get them to open their eyes. Get them to stop drinking the Koolaid. Do you not want them turn from their cult ways and see your version of reality? No one is yelling here. I just don’t wish to abandon my beliefs to hear your point. If you wish to discuss anothers belief on an equal playing field, you can’t begin by attacking their credibility.

          • mrsmith August 6, 2015 at 10:49 pm

            By the way, you opened your argument by asking me to “cut back on the Mormon Koolaid”. So much for your argument that you don’t ask people to abandon their beliefs.

          • Simone August 7, 2015 at 10:34 am

            Getting cult members like you to see the reality of what is happening to them is absolutely the goal. As far as my comment goes, I never actually asked you a question nor was any question implied. I was merely pointing out what happens when I do ask members like yourself questions about their beliefs. On the other hand I did get you to admit that mormonism is a cult though, even if it was sarcastically, so I suppose some good came of this thread.

          • fun bag August 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

            angels, demons, ghosts, gods, fairies, magical rocks… How do have a rational discussion about people’s false beliefs and delusions when they’re so deeply hammered into their brains. It really is pointless. Seems to be a matter of just waiting for the delusion to break on it’s own, because discussion doesn’t seem to help it along… hypocrites

          • Roy J August 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm

            MRSMITH,
            Nonsense. I ask nobody to abandon their faith, but, more importantly, I ask equally that nobody abandon their reason. Furthermore, as I have had any number of vigorous discussions regarding these matters wherein both parties agreed that there was about to be a rousing disagreement and act in the manner that befits reasonable, intelligent, and wellmeaning gentleman, I suppose I can only feel sorry that your conversations on these subjects have been so wretched. But really, where there is ample documented history and scholarship to be had on a subject, a person need abandon neither their reason nor their faith: they need only abandon intellectual sloth and the pride of ignorance.

          • Roy J August 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

            As for first principles, well, the existence of nonmaterial beings is the subject of metaphysics, which is argued (usually) from sensory experience. There’s no need for the principles of religious faith in such matters, though there is a need for disputants to agree upon physical principles and to what extent things can be known by the senses. Furthermore, where articles of faith are concerned (as in the study of the development of a doctrinal idea) there is no requirement for faith: what is being considered is an historical inquiry into the integrity and continuity of the doctrine. However, if someone demands faith in the premiss that the early Christian Church died an ignominous death in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd century A.D., well, one can only offer the reply that such was not the case and there is a cataract of evidence supporting the contrary. He who cleaves to such a belief is refusing to the historical Christian scholar the hard-won fruits of his profession, which is the same as telling an wellknown prizefighter he don’t know the first …* thing about boxing…in such an instance I would be the first to forgive the prizefighter for visiting an ample demonstration for the charitable purpose of relieving doubts.
            Ed. ellipsis: …*

          • mrsmith August 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

            I will say this one last thing and then I’m moving on not because I’m running away or because I’m mad or yelling or what ever other words you want to put in my mouth. I know that Joseph Smith was a living prophet. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and it is a true testament of Jesus Christ. God is not dead. These are my beliefs. If you are truthful in what you say, you will not ask me to abandon them to see your point.

          • fun bag August 9, 2015 at 8:13 pm

            Just say upfront that you’re not willing to have an honest dialogue about your religion. Have you even studied mormonism in depth at all, or do you just blindly believe everything you’re told in church? That’s what I’ve found about most all mormons, is that in the end the only thing they have to back up their religion is that warm fuzzy feeling. That doesn’t do it for us nonbelievers, comprende?

          • fun bag August 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm

            And no one said “god is dead”… what nonsense are you on about, MRSMITH??…

          • Roy J August 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm

            MRSMITH,
            Well, I can respect your desire to witness to your faith. I am afraid that I never post with that intention, I am always seeking a vigorous discussion and debate. In such discussions I have never felt either that someone expected me to dispense with my religious principles, nor did I ever find that I had somehow lost them at the end. But, of course, I’m Catholic; the entire history and philosophy of Western civilization belongs to me…XD

        • Roy J August 11, 2015 at 7:27 pm

          Some rather excellent points on this otherwise dead horse: http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/response-to-a-mormon-critic

  • htown August 5, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Bushman still doesn’t get the point of why people are angry. Face the facts, and be the first to disclose, rather than the last.

    So what, here is a picture…

    Why not disclose that The Book Of Mormon was “Authored” not “translated” as stated on the cover page of the original manuscript and printing.

    The seer stone was used, not the Urim and Thummim to create most of the BOM according to one of the three Witnesses, David Whitmer, and Joseph’s mother Lucy Mack Smith.

    This was done by putting the stone in a hat, then burying his face in a hat so no light could come in, then speaking the words that were then transcribed.

    Just tell it like it was, quite trying to “Wash History” and just be straight with everyone, before, rather than after the facts come out.

    “Their faithful members would stumble on information on the Internet. Not having heard about them, they were shocked and disillusioned,” Bushman said. “They felt they had been lied to and got pretty angry.”

    Today the church is taking a new approach, by saying, “We can face up to the facts. We don’t have to make the picture prettier than it is,” Bushman said.

    • fun bag August 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

      If they opened up the content of the vault’s historical documents to the public I think the evidence there would make the whole religion look like a complete sham, so I don’t think they’ll ever do it. I think even a lot of LDS inc’s top dogs don’t even believe the religion themselves, and view the members as a bunch of sheep to be ruled over. It’s more of a business arrangement than anything. The worst part about it is that the ‘deprogramming phase’ and leaving the religion can be extremely hard on the member psychologically, often times splitting families apart. The whole thing is very destructive really…

  • KarenS August 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    As a long-time convert to the LDS faith I have always been curious about the idea that the LDS Church is a “business arrangement” or “for profit”. Sure, the LDS church owns land, ranches, buildings, etc. but they are always used to promote helping others. The top leaders live in modest homes and are very humble people. The rest of the leaders are volunteers and receive no monetary compensation. The Bishop’s storehouses are incredible in the amount of goods that are shipped worldwide to help people in all countries as well as right here. I’ve seen the shipping containers that actually become housing during natural disasters. Maybe the LDS church should brag more about their humanitarian activities but then, it isn’t what the church is all about. They just do it.

    I’ve had many intelligent discussions with both members and non-members and we have been respectful of each other’s beliefs. I have problems with some non-doctrinal beliefs like most people in any other religion but, fundamentally, I’ve seen firsthand how trying to live my religion helps me, my family, and my interactions with all people.

    As we used to say in the 60’s, “Peace”.

    • 42214 August 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Well said. I’m not a fan of organized religion but I respect what you said.

    • radioviking August 5, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      I love the acts of kindness given by any religion! Amen!

      .
      But imagine being 14 year old Fanny Alger or Bishop Partridge’s 15 year old daughter being asked to marry Joseph Smith or else an angel with a flaming sword will destroy him and her family will not be ensured a place in the Celestial kingdom (not to mention Joseph Smith’s polygamous wives who were already married— one woman, Zina, was already married to one of his apostles!).

      .
      Even though these women (most of the 30 plus! women he married- illegally as “spirit wives”- reported by the LDS Church) felt sick about it BUT wanted to go to the Celestial kingdom so much they were willing to follow him. Hmmmm. Shouldn’t things from God bring a “good feeling ” according to LDS doctrine?

      .
      Plus! I thought sexual relations with underage girls was called pedophila. And sex with other men’s wives was called adultery?

      . Yes, I’m glad the church is working to focus on Jesus Christ more these days, but there are historical issues that can not be overlooked! Let us be honest.

      .
      If you want to read more about Joseph Smith’s polygamy look up “plural marriage in Nauvoo” on LDS . Org.

      I’m not making this up! There’s a whole lot more AND a lot more issues to see in relation to Joseph Smith. Look it up!

      .
      Just imagine a man asking your daughter or niece or 14 year old neighbor girl to do that. What do you feel God would have a spiritual leader do? Be honest.

    • mr.washington August 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      The top leaders live in modest homes? Ummmm no have you ever seen any? These con men live in massive homes and even have vacation homes. They are freaking millionares. They might have a small house for show but many of them live in million dollar houses.

      • fun bag August 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm

        Well ya know what they say, if ya aint livin’ in a 20,000 sq ft mansion then u aint livin’ like Jesus. Amen 🙂

  • fun bag August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I respect the fact that everyone has the right to believe in whatever fairytale they want to. It’s the lies, and the hypocrisy, the intolerance, and the trying to force their belief system on others that i think a lot of folks find unacceptable. Then if they don’t convert and buy into the fairytale they are ostracized by the “mormon community”. As far as all this world charity, I’ll believe it when i see it. As far as the top leadership of LDS inc., you might just be surprised at how much wealth those men have accumulated. As a private corporation they don’t have to disclose such info. Anyways, don’t really see any discussion to be had on this– just wanted to post some thoughts. Don’t have anything really against members themselves, just the organization. peace 🙂

  • anybody home August 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Definitely true about trying to leave the Mormon church. It can, and did for me, take many years before I was “released” and even then it came after several phone calls to me warning that I was making a bad mistake. It was more like trying to leave bondage than leave a church.

  • An actual Independent August 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    What’s the big deal? Whenever I have questions about, say, the meaning of life, I just put a rock in a hat and bury my face in there until I find the answers.

    • izzymuse August 6, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Ya, I put a smiley face on my seer stone. Now it’s all good! ?

  • anybody home August 6, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Hey, I found a seer shell! I put it in a hat and it told me to move to the beach. Happy every day.

  • Chris March 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    This has been a very one sided discussion from what I’ve read. So I will through my thoughts out there. Joseph Smith was a human being just like all of us, with a desire to know why. Everyone wants to know why. His community was buzzing with religion when he was a boy and he was searching for the right church, but he didn’t want to go to any church, he wanted to go to the one true church. -Imagine how this would be today, I bet you couldn’t count how many church’s exist now- So read James 1: 5 in the Bible. Ask to know what is right, then seek it out. Seek truth by study and prayer. Go to work! You can’t be lazy and look for the easy way out of this. I feel like our world is becoming more and more lazy, wanted to know the answers to all the tests right now. Instant food, instant heating, instant knowledge on the internet… Sorry, getting to know the truths of God take time. Joseph Smith pondered for a long time; He studied the scriptures, went to meetings as much as his schedule allowed him, and he came to the conclusion that he had to ask God if he was ever going to know the truth. We, as human beings have opinions, but God knows all things; we can trust in him; we can ask him to know what the truth is. He will answer, but it will be in his time. God works in mysterious ways, these seer stones were prepared a long time ago to allow ancient societies to read different languages, to learn from others. I believe in all of this. I believe in God. I believe he answers prayers.

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