"Every man who lived on the earth," Joseph said to them, "was entitled to a seer stone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make evil use of it."
(Brigham Young's journal, as quoted in Latter-day Millennial Star, 26:118,119)
***I have 4 small stones in my possession, each with rounded holes in them, two about the size of a potato with perfectly round holes in it, and one that looks like a mask, having three holes worn all the way through it. These are commonly called Holey Stones and are used in magical practice.***
Here are some pictures of my personal seerstones:
In 1879, Emma, widow of Joseph Smith, described the process of translating the golden plates thus:
"In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us"
(Emma Bidamon Smith interview, 1879, available in Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, Volume 1, p. 541)
Mormon Historian B.H. Roberts wrote:
“The SEER STONE referred to here was a chocolate-colored, somewhat egg-shaped stone which the Prophet found while digging a well in company with his brother Hyrum, for a Mr. Clark Chase, near Palmyra, N.Y. It possessed the qualities of Urim and Thummim, since by means of it—as described above—as well as by means of the Interpreters found with the Nephite record, Joseph was able to translate the characters engraven on the plates.”
(Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 129)
Here's a picture of Joseph Smith's seerstone:
And another stone he used for translation work:
Orson Pratt, an early church leader, made clear Joseph's use of a seer stone:
"sometimes Joseph used a seer stone when inquiring of the Lord, and receiving revelation"
("Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith,Concluded", Deseret Evening News, 23 Nov, 1878)
Brigham Young tells how Joseph Smith found his seer stone.
Wilford Woodruff, a prophet of the Mormon church, wrote that on 11 September1859, at a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "Preside[n]t Young also said that the seer stone which Joseph Smith first obtained He got in an Iron kettle 25 feet under ground. He saw it while looking in another seers stone which a person had. He went right to the spot & dug & found it" (Wilford Woodruff's journal, 5:382-83).
Joseph Smith's father, relating how Joseph had met a man who looked into a stone and told people where to dig for treasure:
Some years before, he said, his son had happened upon a man who looked into a dark stone and told people where to dig for money and other things. "Joseph requested the privilege of looking into the stone, which he did by putting his face into the hat where the stone was. It proved to be not the right stone for him, but he could see somethings, and among them, he saw the [p.234] stone, and where it was, in which he wished to see."
(Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, Forty Years Ago; Historical Magazine 7, May 1870, 305-306)
Though Brigham young acknowledged Joseph's use of a seer stone, he didn't claim the same talent. John Taylor, addressing a church congregation, made these comments:
"Brigham Young in saying that He did not profess to be a prophet seer& Revelator as Joseph Smith was, was speaking of men being born Natural Prophets &seers. Many have the gift of seeing through seer stones without the Priesthood at all. He had not this gift [of using seer stones] naturally yet He was an Apostle & the President of the Church and Kingdom of God on Earth". (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 5:550).
I thought I would share some common uses of Holey Stones:
A Holey Stone carried in a pocket or worn around the neck on a “natural” cord will safeguard the owner's luck and provide protection from evil, illness, dark witchcraft, hexes, curses and the evil eye.
A Holey Stone nailed beside the outside entrance to a building will keep evil spirits, misfortune, illness, disease, and bad luck from entering through that entrance.
Placing a Holey Stone under a bed will relieve rheumatism, cramps and menstrual discomforts.
Hanging a Holey Stone at the head of a bed or tying it to a bedpost will prevent the Nightmare.
Holey Stones are used for weather magick and when affixed to cords and swung around above the head will dispel rain, rain clouds, wind, and storms.
Holey Stones thrown into the sea, lake, ocean, or river during a particularly vicious storm or thunderstorm will calm the rage and lessen the severity of the storm.
Holey Stones attached to the outside of a building will prevent the building from being struck by lightning.
Hanging a Holey Stone from a tree on the owner's property ensures protection from natural disaster.
Hung above doors and inside homes Holey Stones provide protection for all that live inside from evil, ill fortune, disease, illness, and malevolent witchcraft.
Holey Stones ward off and protect the owner from Night Demons including Nightmare, Succubus or Night Hag.
Holey Stones will bring a person to you, or send them away. They are also used to bring Luck and Wealth to you, or to send it away.
Holey Stones allow wishes to be realized.
Holey Stones hung over a horse's stall will prevent the animal from being Hag Ridden and keep it safe throughout the night.
Holey Stones attached to the entrances of barns and stables will prevent evil from entering such building and will promote safe and trouble free foaling, calving, lambing, and kidding.
Holey Stones are fastened to the bows of boats just below the gunwale to provide protection to the sailors and passengers while out on the water.
Holey Stones prevent evil and dark witches from boarding any watercraft that has the mooring line threaded through the hole in the stone.
Holey Stones provide insight and ensure honesty when held as Pledge Stones.
Holey Stones are symbolic of the Mother of Creation and allow one to see ghosts, non-physical entities and allow visions.
Holey Stones are naturally receptive and enhance psychism.
Holey Stones are used to ensure a healthy pregnancy and ale that is poured through a Holey Stone will relieve labour pains.
Holey Stones placed beside the bed of a pregnant woman or kept in a Medicine Bag designed for pregnancy, will enable the woman to see in her dreams, visions of the future of the child she is carrying.
Holey Stones will protect cattle from dark witchcraft and elf shot magick.
Holey Stones will improve eyesight.
Holey Stones provide the ability for the owner to know the animal nature of any person they view through the stone's hole.
Holey Stones are used by wise women to rid ones self of negative energy.
Holey Stones symbolize Opening and are beneficial in conception, pregnancy and birth energy.
Holey Stones represent the Goddess and the Great Mother Goddess's womb.
Holey Stones are hung above chicken coups to protect chickens.
Holey Stones are used for healing and to make Healing Water.
Holey Stones in farming customs are fastened to the side of a plow to draw warmth and good fortune and abundance in harvest.
Holey Stones placed in a coffin or buried with the deceased will provide protection in the afterlife.
Holey Stones allow visits to the Spirit Realm.
***What do you think Joseph Smith used his seer stone for, when he wasn't writing the Book of Mormon?
Isaac Hale, Emma's father, had this to say about his future son-in-law:
I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called "money-diggers;" and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasures. . . . Smith, and his father, with several other "money-diggers" boarded at my house. . . . Young Smith gave the "money-diggers" great encouragement, at first, but when they had arrived in digging, to near the place where he had stated an immense treasure would be found--he said the enchantment was so powerful that he could not see. . . .
After these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at my house, . . . and while I was absent from home, carried off my daughter, into the state of New York, where they were married without my approbation or consent. . . . In a short time they returned . . .
Smith stated to me, that he had given up what he called "glass-looking," and that he expected to work hard for a living. . . . He also made arrangements with my son Alva Hale, to go up to Palmyra, and move his (Smith's) furniture &c. to this place. . . . Soon after this, I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of Plates down with them. . . . The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods! (Affidavit of Isaac Hale, as printed in the Susquehanna Register, May 1, 1834).
Apparently, Isaac didn't think very much of Joseph's "preparatory training" in practicing money digging, using seer stones, or divining rods, or any other treasure seeking activities.
According to the testimony of Emma Smith and David Whitmer, the angel took the Urim and Thummim from Joseph Smith at the time of the loss of the 116 pages. This was in June, 1828, one year before David became involved with the work of translation. David Whitmer could never have been present when the Urim and Thummim were used. All of this he clearly states in his testimony to Brother Traughber:
"With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by his authority, I now state that he does not say that Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim, but by means of one dark colored, opaque stone called a 'Seer Stone,' which was placed in the crown of a hat, into which Joseph put his face, so as to exclude the external light" (Saints' Herald, November 15, 1962, p.16).
One thing that has caused confusion is the fact that the "seer stone" was sometimes called the Urim and Thummim. Bruce R. McConkie, who is now an Apostle in the Church, stated concerning the seer stone: "The Prophet also had a seer stone which was separate and distinct from the Urim and Thummim, and which (speaking loosely) has been called by some a Urim and Thummim" (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p.818).
Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth president of the Mormon church, admitted that the "seer stone" was sometimes called the Urim and Thummim: "The statement has been made that the Urim and Thummim was on the altar in the Manti Temple when that building was dedicated. The Urim and Thummim so spoken of, however, was the seer stone which was in the possession of the Prophet Joseph Smith in early days. This seer stone is now in the possession of the Church" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.225).
The fact that Joseph Smith used a stone, which he placed in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon, has caused a great deal of embarrassment because it so closely resembles crystal gazing. Bruce R. McConkie made this statement: "In imitation of the true order of heaven whereby seers receive revelations from God through a Urim and Thummim, the devil gives his own revelations to some of his followers through peep stones or crystal balls" (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp.565-66).Mormon apologists have a difficult time explaining the fact that Joseph Smith used a "seer stone." Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe asserted: "Some use was made also of the seer stone and occasional mention was made of it. This was a stone found while the Prophet assisted in digging a well for Clark Chase. By divine power this stone was made serviceable to Joseph Smith in the early part of his ministry. There is no evidence that this stone was used in Joseph's sacred work" (Joseph Smith--Seeker After Truth, 1951, p.267). Notice that Apostle Widtsoe states there is "no evidence that this stone was used in Joseph's sacred work," yet on page 260 of the same book Widtsoe states that Joseph did use the stone in his "spiritual work":
Before Joseph received the Urim and Thummim he had a stone, obtained during the digging of a well for Clark Chase. This stone, through the blessing of the Lord, became a seer stone which was used frequently by him in his spiritual work.
The use of the seer stone explains in part the charge against Joseph Smith that he was a "peep stone gazer.". . . The use of the seer stone and the Urim and Thummim was well-known to the people of his time and neighborhood.
Well, now....Armed with some new information about Joseph Smith? How would you reconcile these together with what the Mormons have insisted to be true about Joseph's divine abilities?
Tomorrow's Episode:Joseph Smith's crystal gazing and his magickal Jupiter Talisman.