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Did Joseph Smith Use The Urim And Thummim? (RESOLVED!)

The Lord provided a set of seer stones (which were formerly used by Nephite prophets) along with the plates. The term Nephite interpreters can alternatively refer to the stones themselves or the stones in conjunction with their associated paraphernalia (holding rim and breastplate) 😉 Some time after the translation, early saints noticed similarities with the seer stones and related paraphernalia used by High Priests in the Old Testament and began to use the term Urim and Thummim interchangeably with the Nephite interpreters and Joseph’s other seer stones as well 🙌 The now popular use of the term Urim and Thummim has unfortunately obscured the fact that all such devices belong in the same class of consecrated revelatory aids and that more than one were used in the translation 🙌 [1]
Most biblical scholars over the past few centuries have believed that the Urim and Thummim was “used merely to obtain a yes or no answer, similar to casting lots.” Yet Van Dam has argued that there “was something very lively and direct” about the Urim and Thummim’s revelatory process and that “rophetic inspiration is the only revelatory means that is known that can adequately account for the complexity and subtlety of some of the answers received.” Similarly, Joseph Smith was able to receive detailed revelations from the Lord through the Nephite interpreters. Several early revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received in this manner. (we truly thank Lenton Flood for their insights). [2]
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From Moroni in 1827. Latter-day Saints should not be surprised to learn that prior to being engaged specifically in the work of the Lord—that is, prior to beginning the work of the translation of the plates—the youthful Joseph apparently recognized that God had given him visionary powers enabling him to see supernatural visions in a wide variety of areas. Between 1822 and 1827, he successfully obtained an unspecified number of visions by means of the seer stone. He even gained a reputation for such activities, which may explain why men such as Josiah Stowell, who lived more than one hundred miles away, near South Bainbridge, New York, sought out Joseph Smith and employed him to locate buried treasure in fall 1825.2 (emended by Al Gant on July 2, 2021) [3]
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The Urim and Thummim consists of two seer stones or interpreters used by selected prophets throughout the ages. In ancient Israel the stones were part of the breastplate worn by the high priest of the Aaronic Priesthood. According to, the Urim and Thummim is “an instrument prepared of God to assist man in obtaining revelation from the Lord and in translating languages.” The website also states that the name Urim and Thummim is Hebrew for “lights and perfections” and that “there is more than one Urim and Thummim, but we are informed that Joseph Smith had the one used by the brother of Jared” (See D&C 17:1). (last revised 11 days ago by Antowan Hernandez from Port Harcourt, Nigeria) [4]
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As per the experts from, the Urim and Thummim is mentioned in the Bible and, with added details about its use and significance, in latter-day scriptures. It is an instrument prepared by God through which revelation may be received. Abraham learnt about the universe through the Urim and Thummim (Abr. 3:1-4). The Prophet Joseph Smith “through the medium of the Urim and Thummim…translated the by the gift and power of God” (HC 4:537; D&C 10:1; JS-H 1:62). Servants of God who are allowed to use the Urim and Thummim have been known as seers (Mosiah 8:13), among whom were Abraham, Moses, the brother of Jared, Mosiah 2, Alma 1, Helaman 1, Moroni 2, and Joseph Smith. (edited by Laguana Mayfield on March 25, 2020) [5] goes on to mention how “As soon as the 116 pages of manuscript had been lost through the carelessness of Martin Harris, the Urim and Thummim was taken from the Prophet. The sacred instrument was restored after a short time, and the Revelation in Section 3, especially rebuking Martin Harris, was received. Then both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were removed for a few days. It was necessary that the young Prophet should learn the lesson that he was entirely dependent on the Lord. When they were restored, he received the Revelation in Section 10, containing instructions to himself with regard to the’s had losing lost portion of the manuscript” (Smith and Sjodahl, DCC, p. 49.) (thanks a ton to Meisha Nix for their most recent revision). [6] gives additional information. A device used to translate and receive revelation. In the Old Testament, the high priest of Israel used a device by this name to discern God’s will for Israel. The Book of Mormon gives an account of an ancient prophet, Mosiah, who translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones” attached to “the two rims of a bow.” JS later recounted that he’s havingad finding such a device deposited with the gold plates, which he described as “spectacles,” or “two stones in silver bows,” and which he used to translate the plates. JS and other church members began referring to the instrument as the Urim and Thummim by 1832. The term was also applied to seer stones JS said he used to translate and to receive some of his early revelations. In April 1843, JS taught that the earth in its perfected state would become a Urim and Thummim where all things “will be manifest to those who dwell on it” and that those prepared for the celestial kingdom would receive their own Urim and Thummim. See also “.” (last modified 1 day ago by Latorie Watt from Maiduguri, Nigeria) [7]

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Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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