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9 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2009 - 10:37AM #31
Posts: 6,091

Oh good I thought we had lost you.

I’ll tackle the "hat thing"

Our historical writers have been very careful not to attack any of the 12 witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Somehow they feel if one attacks or finds any fault with what they say it leaves their original statements open for doubt. Well I don’t agree and I’m going to take David Whitmer to task, slightly.

Joseph never explained how he did the translating except to say that he was given a Urim and Thummim by which he could see great things. He described them as two transparent stones placed somehow in a breast work.

While there are a lot of people who saw the plates there is only one person who actually saw Joseph do the translating, Oliver Cowdery. He even tried to do a little translating himself. He said Joseph would place these translators over the top of the plates look into them and the words would come to him. Being that he is the only person who saw the process I think it is the story we should accept.

57 years after the Book of Mormon was published David Whitmer who was very bitter about other things which had happened set out to describe how he thought the translating was done. He is the one who tells the story of the hat and seer stone.

The seer stone was given to Joseph some time between his first visit with the Angel Moroni and receiving the plates. Seer stones are mentioned in the Bible and they are like the Urim and Thummim. We believe that each of us will receive one at some point, it is the white stone spoken of in Rev 2:17.

There is some evidence that Joseph misused his stone and went out seeking treasure with it. In D&C 3 he is given a tongue lashing by the Lord and is told he has gone after the persuasions of men setting aside the counsel of God “and suffered the counsel of thy director to be trampled upon.” After this sever chastisement he told Martin Harris that he would never seek treasures again.


David Whitmer said that Joseph placed the stone in his hat and the passages of the Book of Mormon would come to him. The hat was dark and would block out the light making it easier to read the stone. I believe he got some historical facts confused. About the same time the Book of Mormon was being published our Book of Moses was also being reveled. There was no written plates or physical thing from which Joseph translated, it came to him through pure revelation and I believe through his seer stone. Whitmer probably saw that process and may have even been part of it. He probably just assumed that was how the Book of Mormon was also translated. I don’t fault him, he wasn’t lying just misinformed.

Hope that clears things up for ya.

Wise men still seek him.
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