Unused plates

QUOTE: “The first that my husband translated, was translated by the use of the Urim and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he used a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color.” -Emma Smith Bidamon, in a letter to Emma Pilgrim, 27 March 1870, published in Early Mormon Documents vol. 1 p. 532. [source]

GOSPEL TOPIC: “Joseph placed either the interpreters or the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument. … Joseph’s wife Emma explained that she ‘frequently wrote day after day’ at a small table in their house in Harmony, Pennsylvania. She described Joseph ‘sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.'” -Book of Mormon Translation, Gospel Topics section of LDS.org. [source]

COMMENTARY: I really don’t understand why Moroni went to all the trouble of getting the plates and interpreters to Joseph Smith if all Joseph needed to produce the Book of Mormon was a hat and a peepstone. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.

2 Responses

  1. The Urim and Thummin and seer stone were used because Joseph was not yet ready to trust his own spiritual abilities. He eventually was able to translate without these aids, but they were available for him to start the work while he was still learning.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I suppose your assertion could be true, but it leads inexorably to other questions. 1. What did Joseph translate without the use of the seer stone, and how has that translation been verified as correct? 2. What has prevented subsequent “prophets, seers, and revelators” from translating, since they not only had the stone but presumably also learned that the stone wasn’t necessary? 3. Does God allow those of us who have not yet learned to trust in our own revelatory power to have and use our own seer stones?

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