In another post, Moksha said:
moksha wrote: ↑Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:52 amThey've never looked this up in the Bible, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, or Wikipedia.
The first thing they would learn is that the the ancient Urim and Thummim in the Bible are not spectacles. They appear to be more like a pair of dice that produced a binary yes/no answer. Samuel gives us a users guide on how to make a request via the sacred stones, “If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim” (Samuel 14:41). So, heads Urim, tales Thummim. Old Testament scholar Cornelius Van Dam describes it this way: “In order to receive the revelation, the high priest took the diamonds [diamond dice engraved with names, i.e. the Urim and Thummim] and cast on a table or preferably the ark. From the way they were arranged after being cast, the high priest could deduce the answer according to traditional rules known to the high priest.” (Van Dam, The Urim and Thummim: A Means of Revelation in Ancient Israel.)
In a way, Joseph was just casting dice all the time. But not in the same way. The description in Samuel sounds more like the way Heber C. Kimball received revelation with his divining rod. How did he do that? Did he have some sort of Ouija board arrangement? I think he probably just asked yes/no questions, and watched to see if the rod twitched, the way you used it to find water. So if he asked, "should I marry seven more teenagers and have their boyfriends run out of town?, and the rod twitched, he could proclaim "God commanded me through revelation to marry all of the girls on this list and have their boyfriends sent on missions to Death Valley." Or whatever.
And that leads me to wondering how Oliver used his "rod of nature" (no snickering on the back row!) to attempt to translate. Did he just grip it and use it as a revelation antenna? Did he say whatever came into his head and then wait for the rod to confirm/deny if he was heading in the right direction?
And finally... when do you think was that last time a president of the church attempted to talk to God through a magic toy? Do you think they give the seer stone a whirl once in a while, just in case it might actually work? I love the mental image of Russell Nelson kneeling in front of a rock in the Holy o' holies waiting for it to talk to him. Maybe with that masonic sword they used to hang on the door, thinking it's really the sword of Laban.
Tangent: why are dowsing rods pretty good at finding water but not gold? Because if water is under your field it's everywhere under your field because it is found in the water table, rather than in nuggets and veins. And if don't find water when you drill the water witch will say, "keep drilling," until you finally reach the water table. If you think about it, that's more of less the way Joseph handled treasure digging, except he had the added option of telling you that a ghost moved it at the last moment.