Post link 05 August 2015, 13:26
Seen for the first time in a century: Mormon church releases photos of 'seer stone' allegedly used by religion's founder to decode 'Egyptian scripts' that became the Book of Mormon
- The Mormon church for the first time is publishing photos of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate their story
- The pictures of the smooth, brown, egg-sized rock are part of a new book that also displays the first printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon


It’s the religion’s latest step in a push to be more transparent about its history and tenets

By ASSOCIATED PRESS and ALEXANDRA FIELD FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 01:24, 5 August 2015

The Mormon church for the first time is publishing photos of a small sacred stone called 'the seer stone' it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate the story that became the basis of the religion.

The pictures of the smooth, brown, egg-sized rock are part of a new book that also contains photos of the first printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon.
Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled it on Tuesday at a news conference in Salt Lake City.

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Seer stone: A picture of a smooth, brown, egg-sized rock is shown in the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon following a news conference on Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library, in Salt Lake City

Mormons believe that 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York.

They say that God helped him translate the text using the stone and other tools, which became known as the Book of Mormon

WHAT IS THE SEER STONE AND HOW WAS IT USED?

A seer stone was used by some early-nineteenth-century Americans in attempt to gain revelations from God or to find or 'see' buried treasure. In the early 1820s, Joseph Smith was paid to act as a seer in attempts to locate lost items and precious metals in the earth and he was known to be gifted at finding lost objects.

The particular seer stone used to translate text that would become The Book of Mormon was found in 1819 after Joseph Smith borrowed a seer stone from a friend to find another whitish seer stone in an iron kettle 25 feet underground.

Mormons believe that 185 years ago, founder Joseph Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York. They say that God helped him translate the text using his favorite seer stone along with two white 'interpreter' stones he called he Urim and Thummim which were attached to the gold plates.
Smith would translate the text by putting the seer stone into a dark hat. It was said that after doing this he had the divine ability to see the words in English and translate the text.

It’s the religion’s latest step in a push to be more transparent about its history and tenets.
The church’s effort in recent years to be more open about its past was triggered by the religion’s increasing prominence as its membership tripled over the past three decades to 15 million worldwide today.

Questions emerged about the burgeoning faith, with some criticizing it for being secretive about its beliefs and practices.
Mormons believe that 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York. They say that God helped him translate the text using the stone and other tools, which became known as the Book of Mormon.

The pictures in the new book show different angles of a stone that is dark brown with lighter brown swirls, the size and shape of an egg. The photos also show a weathered leather pouch where the stone was stored that is believed to be made by one of Joseph Smith’s wives, Emma Smith.

The church has always possessed the stone, which was transported across the country during Mormon pioneers’ trek from Illinois to Utah in the mid-1800s, but it decided to publish the photos now to allow people who prefer visuals to words to better understand the religion’s roots, said Richard Turley, assistant church historian. The stone will remain in the vault.

Last year Mormon church unvelied treasured artifacts

http://mastakongo.com/english/images/breaking_news/mormon-founder.jpghttp://mastakongo.com/english/images/breaking_news/mormon-founder1.jpg
Thee Mormon church for the first time is publishing photos of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate the story that became the basis of the religion

History: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historian Steven E. Snow displays the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, during a news conference on Tuesday

'The picture brings a kind of tangibility to something that has been previously been talked about just in words,' Turley said.

'That helps people connect with the past. We’ve discovered that artifacts and historical sites are a way to give a sense of reality to things that are otherwise somewhat ethereal.'

The church has been releasing books containing historical documents that shed light on how Smith formed the church.
The religion also has issued a series of in-depth articles that explain or clarify some of the more sensitive parts of its history that it once sidestepped, such as the faith’s past ban on black men in the lay clergy and its early history of polygamy.

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The ubiquitous use of the Internet today, and accompanying searches about the faith’s roots, tenets and beliefs, have also played a factor in the church’s decision to open more of its vault.

'The Internet brings both challenge and opportunities,' said Steve E. Snow, church historian. 'We’re grateful for the opportunity to share much of collection through the use of the Internet.”

Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 20 August 2015, 19:59  

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