Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

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Spicy McHaggis
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Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Spicy McHaggis » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:09 pm

I don't recall ever hearing of any other person to have claimed to use seer stones. A quick google search only turns up LDS references. Was there any mention of them in the bible? If so, how were they used?

JS claims they were used for two purposes: translating the plates and hunting for treasure. We have no source material to determine if they worked as translators but we do know they never found treasure.

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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by LSOF » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:24 pm

Joseph's use of a seer stone comes from a tradition called scrying, which is essentially looking at pretty rocks to try and divine the future.
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Corsair
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Corsair » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:37 pm

Technically, a crazy gypsy lady with a crystal ball in a weird Romanian carnival is modelling Joseph Smith better than subsequent LDS prophets. I suspect that Brigham Young tried using a seer stone but there is no record that anything actually happened with those attempts.

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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Alas2.0 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:57 pm

Similar things are mentioned in the Bible. They did things like draw lots, go to sooth sayers, (called a prophetess) used the urem & Thummin, (white and black rocks with markings on them, possibly the origin of taro cards according to some Bible experts)

So, yeah the Bible was full of superstitious people who thought God controlled who got the short straw, which way the rocks shook out of the cup, and controlled which taro cards came up.

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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by moksha » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:54 pm

Alas2.0 wrote:Similar things are mentioned in the Bible.
I think in both the Book of Milton and the Book of Bradley, mention is made of a Magic 8-ball, which was a technically more advanced version of the Urim and Thummin Yes/No Breastplate.

I understand that many years later this same brass breastplate was melted down and reforged into a pair of curious goggles. That was a lot of brass.
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Not Buying It
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Not Buying It » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:56 am

Hiram Page did. D&C 28 is Joseph Smith smacking Hiram Page down so he doesn't have a rival for revealing things using magic rocks. "My magic rock is better than your magic rock". How did I ever believe this nonsense?
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by nibbler » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:44 am

Not Buying It wrote:Hiram Page did. D&C 28 is Joseph Smith smacking Hiram Page down so he doesn't have a rival for revealing things using magic rocks. "My magic rock is better than your magic rock". How did I ever believe this nonsense?
Back in the day I was completely unaware of JS's seer stone and anyone teaching me lessons in church appeared to be unaware as well. For many people the Hiram Page story became "look at that idiot, thinking he can get revelations from god out of a rock."

Of course that one backfired.

Yeah, it really is a story about silencing the competition, not a commentary on the plausibility of receiving revelations from rocks.
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Hagoth
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:20 am

From Quinn's Early Mormonism and the Magic World View:
A popular tradition in English folk magic was that Adam, Abraham and other Old Testament patriarchs also possessed "Angellical Stones." Writers insisted that modern people could also obtain such a stone that provides " Apparition of Angells, and gives a power of conversing with them, by Dreams and Revelations." An equally common view held that by using the biblical Urim and Thummim, "the Priest had his Visions in the Stone of the Breast-plate." (p. 40)
In Essex, Vermont, for example, a local treasure-seer in 1824 "carried in his hat the mystical stone in which he could see the precise locality and enormous quantitiy of the of the concealed precious metals..." (p. 40)
an academic journal noted in 1863 that divination by "seeing glasses" or seer stones "is quite common at the present day and by persons of good education." (p.40)
At Rose, 24.8 miles northeast of Palmyra, the local minister's son ("eighteen years of age and of good habits") had a "large, peculiar stone" with which this young man led a group of diggers in search of treasure.
At Rochester, twenty-two miles northwest from Palmyra, two local seers surfaced briefly. About 1815 the eighteen-year-old son of a British immigrant named Smith found "a round stone the size of a man's fist." For a time he guided Rochester's residents in search of buried treasure, "after adjusting the stone in his hat." About a decade later, a young man named Zimri Allen "came into possession of a small transparent stone, which he called a 'diamond': it was also termed a 'looking-glass,' 'magic-stone' and 'seer -stone' by others." He used this stone to look for treasure...when looking into his seer stone on one occasion, he said: "I am going down the vista of Time...I behold the red men as intruders in the land, expelling a race of men of exceedingly large stature, whom we would call gaints." (p. 41)
Quinn then goes on to list a number of other Palmyra area people, some of them friends and neighbors of the Smiths who owned, used and believed in the power of seer stones.

I find the bolded text above (my bolding) especially interesting because it demonstrates the common belief at the time that there had been another race of ancient people that had been wiped out by the Indians, and that you could learn their history by staring at a rock in a hat!
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by wtfluff » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:43 am

Joseph and his seer stone(s). Hiram page, and his magic rock. Oliver Cowdery and his divining rod. (Rod of Aaron.) Magic "Nephite Spectacles"? It all hearkens back to folk magic.

It's all over in the Bible too: As mentioned where it talks about "Urim and Thummim(s)." Even Moses and Aaron turning turning their "staffs" into snakes: It's a magic trick. In Exodus 7 Aaron even proves that his "magic" is more powerful than the "Egyptian sorcerers and magicians" when his staff devours the staffs of the "less powerful" magicians.

Oh Ho Ho It's Magic!!!
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by 2bizE » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:31 am

Apparently, back in the day, everyone was using one of these stones. The essay even talks about this.

"The other instrument, which Joseph Smith discovered in the ground years before he retrieved the gold plates, was a small oval stone, or “seer stone.”18 As a young man during the 1820s, Joseph Smith, like others in his day, used a seer stone to look for lost objects and buried treasure.19 As Joseph grew to understand his prophetic calling, he learned that he could use this stone for the higher purpose of translating scripture."
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Korihor » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:42 am

Not Buying It wrote:Hiram Page did. D&C 28 is Joseph Smith smacking Hiram Page down so he doesn't have a rival for revealing things using magic rocks. "My magic rock is better than your magic rock". How did I ever believe this nonsense?
I had to go read that for myself.

Check out verse 11. The word "stone" is annotated with footnote b. - TG Sorcery / Superstitions.

Not to mention the whole chapter talks about preaching to the Lamanites.
Reading can severely damage your ignorance.

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Mormorrisey » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:23 am

Are you kidding? According to Dieter Utchdorf, we still use seer stones today!
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I guess instead of hearing the masculine voice of the Holy Ghost, one gets the sweet sultry tones of another - I think her name is Siri?
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by nibbler » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:46 am

This quote slipped my mind earlier, but everyone is to have a seer stone:
RSR wrote:In 1841, Joseph showed his other, whitish stone to the Council of the Twelve in Nauvoo and told them, Brigham Young reported, “that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness.”
Which may be what is referred to in D&C 130:10-11:
Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:01 am

I think for Pres. Uchtdorf's analogy to be viable I would have to be able to make a phone call to him from a rock that I found in a well.

If I did make such a call do you think he would believe that I was calling him from a rock?
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by moksha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:20 pm

nibbler wrote:This quote slipped my mind earlier, but everyone is to have a seer stone:
RSR wrote:In 1841, Joseph showed his other, whitish stone to the Council of the Twelve in Nauvoo and told them, Brigham Young reported, “that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness.”
Too bad the ceremony of the second anointing is wrapped in so much secrecy, but that seems like an excellent time to pass out initiate stones to those newest recipients. I assume each new apostle receives a 33rd degree stone upon joining the Quorum as their token for becoming a prophet, seer, and revelator.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by moksha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:26 pm

Hagoth wrote:I think for Pres. Uchtdorf's analogy to be viable I would have to be able to make a phone call to him from a rock that I found in a well.
Make sure you get the exact digital stone number from directory assistance first. It is one thing to call the Church offices, but you need to also know the mineralogy extension number.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by LSOF » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:31 am

The Faithful Origins and Ontology League weighs in on the issue of the seer stone:

"Anti-Mormons often use perceived errors in the early editions of the Book of Mormon to make Joseph Smith appear as a false prophet. But new evidence indicates that the fault was not with him, but rather with the stone he used.

"It is well-documented that the brown seer stone used by the Prophet Joseph gave false revelations on at least one occasion, in the incident of his trying to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. If the stone gave false revelation once, it could give false revelation at other times. This offers a plausible, yet faith-promoting, explanation for the errors in early editions of the Book of Mormon. As the Prophet's media improved, errors were gradually eliminated.

"Further, we learn from the Annals of Kolob that Satan had interfered with the seer stone, installing a 'back-door' that allowed him to interpolate false revelations.

"Finally, the model of stone (iStone 3G) was notorious for garbling its output, often producing grammatically incorrect English. Later models of seer stone have had this issue fixed (Annals of Kolob 31:117). In particular, the iStone 5S gets our hearty endorsement."
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John G.
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by John G. » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:34 am

Korihor wrote:
Not Buying It wrote:Hiram Page did. D&C 28 is Joseph Smith smacking Hiram Page down so he doesn't have a rival for revealing things using magic rocks. "My magic rock is better than your magic rock". How did I ever believe this nonsense?
I had to go read that for myself.

Check out verse 11. The word "stone" is annotated with footnote b. - TG Sorcery / Superstitions.

Not to mention the whole chapter talks about preaching to the Lamanites.

I also just looked up and read D&C 28. Never previously heard or learned about this section before. I guess it was like 3 Nephi 8 and is part of the scriptures that they like to skip over in Sunday school and seminary. It probably would have raised too many uncomfortable questions about the use of a stone to receive communications from the supernatural.

When I was growing up in the 80's the Lamanite referrences wouldn't have seem unusual because then everyone "knew" that the American Indians were the direct descendants of the lamanites. Nowadays, the lamanite references probably should raise an issue for the younger generation.

I guess I'll file this under, "I learn something new every day!"
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John G.
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by John G. » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:51 am

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"If your children are taught untruths on evolution in the public schools or even in our Church schools, provide them with a copy of President Joseph Fielding Smith's excellent rebuttal in his book Man, His Origin and Destiny."

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Hagoth
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Re: Was JS the only person who claimed to use seer stones?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:29 am

nibbler wrote:This quote slipped my mind earlier, but everyone is to have a seer stone:
RSR wrote:In 1841, Joseph showed his other, whitish stone to the Council of the Twelve in Nauvoo and told them, Brigham Young reported, “that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness.”
Yeah, you can have one but don't get caught using it. Joseph challenged Hiram Page's right to use his seer stone and it was taken away from him and "ground to powder."

Just imagine what would happen if some rural Utah stake president started speaking in stake conference with his face pressed into a hat so he could read revelation off his rock.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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