Hey Mormons: Where did Joseph Smith get the Magic Hat and seer stones used in translating the Book of Mormon ?

I always wanted my very own Magic Hat, complete with Seer Stones and Urim + Thumim charms so that I can translate Holy Scriptures. I am pretty sure Joseph Smith must have already had the Magic Hat when the angel Moroni told him where to find the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.

Did he get it as a birthday present from his Parents ?

Was there a Magic Hat shop somewhere in Vermont or New York in the early 1800's ?

The Salem Witch Hunts in that part of the country were in the 1600's and 1700's so that would have really put a dent in demand for Magic Hat people to ply their trade.

Mr. Smith also had the Urim and Thumim and Seer Stones. Did they come with the Magic Hat as a kind of package deal ?


Harris' description concurs with that of David Whitmer, another one of the three witnesses whose testimony appears at the front of the Book of Mormon. Whitmer details exactly how the stone produced the English interpretation. On page 12 of his book An Address to All Believers in Christ, Whitmer wrote,

"I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated

Update 2:

Apparently the Urim and Thumim were in the same box as the "Golden Plates" .

So that leaves only the Magic Hat and Seer Stone that I dont know where they came from.

Update 3:

@Vrej M: MAGIC UNDERWEAR ? Did I read that correctly? It must not be the kind that stops bullets or maybe he had his taken away from him when he was in jail for wrecking that poor guy's printing press. Hmmmmm....

Update 4:

@ Jesus loves u: "NoChristian Church believes in Magic...."

The 3 Wise Guys from the East who came to see Baby Jesus were MAGI (C) from the east somewhere (Probably Persia or India) That's MAGI or Magicians

Aaron had a Magic staff that swallowed Pharoes' Magicians' staffs that turned to snakes. Many Miracles were sometimes considered Magic.

20 Answers

  • Nappa
    Lv 4
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "The Urim and Thummim(which are also in the Bible, by the way) came with the Golden Plates. There was no hat used in the translation, whoever told you this was lying."



    Why would you assume that this explanation of how a portion of the Book of Mormon was translated is a lie? Is it because the idea is so entirely ridiculous, that one could not have possibly claimed to put a rock into a hat, one that wasn't found with the plates or one that wasn't the Urim or Thummim, and put their face against the hat to see a glowing piece of parchment with the translation? Does that appear so ridiculous to you that you would accuse people of lying about this method?

    Seer stones. I'm quite certain the LDS members here are tired of me barging in to put in my two cents about this ridiculous "spiritual technology". And that's really the counter to the rational argument, to apply the notion that these seer stones are somewhat of a technology of a higher power, left behind for centuries so that the people of the 1800s could find them, and claim to be village seers, or see things that are normally unseen to the natural eye. People like Sally Chase, Chauncy Hart, William and Joshua Stafford, and Joseph Smith, and countless others during this time period. One member said the vault is filled with seer stones.

    The rational argument is that there is no technology in these stones. There is nothing spiritual about them. We have come across many claimed seers today, and not one has been verified under a controlled experiment, to prove that they can utilize their seer stones to find anything. Think about all of the people that claimed they had seer stones, you're telling me this technology that was found as commonly as it was in the 1800s no longer works today? Did the batteries run out? If it is a technology of God, why would he allow people to attempt to use them as tools to locate redundant lost items or treasures? If it is a technology of God, why doesn't the current prophet use them regularly? Why don't missionaries use them as some sort of training wheels for receiving revelations? Why doesn't the prophet use them to locate Nephite and Lamanite artifacts? Remember, the prophet has access to the same stones that Joseph Smith used, why aren't they being used as Joseph Smith used them?

    Joseph Smith found his first one while borrowing a neighbor's, and he then used that one to find the one while they were digging a well. Why would Joseph Smith use the seer stone instead of solely the Urim and Thummim to translate the Book of Mormon? Because some in his community claimed him to be a fraud by using seer stones while money digging. In order to squash the claims by the community that he was fraudulent for previously using fake stones, he used them in the translation process to prove that his powers and that his stones were real, that his gift was from God. This reinforced his claims as a seer to people who were on the fence on accepting the claims from critics that he was fraudulent before.

    Mormons believe in these tools as a technology. So prove it. We're not the ones with our hands over our ears, we're the ones waiting for you to show us that your "miracles" are some sort of advanced technologies left by gods. Seems like a waste for these technologies to spend their time rotting away inside of a locked vault.

    Edit: Here's a manner in which the mormons can utilize their seer stones. Instead of traveling door to door running into people that have zero desire to listen to anything said about the Book of Mormon or about mormonism altogether and most likely end up slamming the door in faces; why don't the missionaries use the seer stones to locate the people that are actually sincere in their determination to find truth, that would be willing to listen and read the Book of Mormon, maybe those who are willing to have their lives changed around? Wouldn't that be such a useful way to utilize these technologies that you're telling me about, the ones currently rotting away under secrecy?

    "Nappa mocks the application of faith to the accomplishment of God's purposes."

    How does the utilization of 1800s folk magic comply with using faith for God's purposes? Faith shouldn't be reliant on witnesses of miracles to discover truth, yet your God employs this tactic regularly throughout the Bible and in the application to the translation of your standard works.

    Tell me more about why you're not employing seer stones anymore. If they were clearly used as abundantly as they were in the 1800s, I'm curious as to why all of a sudden they stopped working?

    • McKade6 years agoReport

      Your answer makes me laugh so hard XD if you studied Mormonism more (without your obviously critical eye) you'd have an answer to all your questions. But looking at your answer, I doubt you could loose that.

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Hey Mormons: Where did Joseph Smith get the Magic Hat and seer stones used in translating the Book of Mormon ?

    I always wanted my very own Magic Hat, complete with Seer Stones and Urim + Thumim charms so that I can translate Holy Scriptures. I am pretty sure Joseph Smith must have already had the Magic Hat when the angel Moroni told him where to find the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was...

    Source(s): hey mormons joseph smith magic hat seer stones translating book mormon: https://shortly.im/Ac9CP
  • 7 years ago

    The hat was just a hat. The seer stones are a different matter.

    “Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted ‘seers’ in ancient or former times..."

    (Angel Moroni's explanation of the seer stones, as he appeared to Joseph Smith the first time)

    That's quite an assertion. No where in the Bible does it tell us that a seer was someone with seer stones. Was Moroni mistaken? It is certainly true that the Mayans believed in seer stones, or "vision crystals", as they called them. Mayan priests were sometimes buried with such crystals. Joseph Smith's mother described the Urim and Thumin as looking like large diamonds - two crystals. If the Mayan were influenced by the Nephites, then Moroni's assertion is completely plausible. What about the Bible? Are seer stones ever mentioned? According to Hugh Nibley, they are. Peter was a nickname that came from the Greek Cephas, which came from the Aramaic Kefas, which interpreted is a little green seer stone. Jesus gave this moniker to Simon after Simon had told him and the apostles that God had revealed to him that Jesus was the Son of God. Of course, no where is it mentioned that Jesus or any of the apostles actually had such a stone, but the reference is interesting, none-the-less. Is the rock upon which Christ will build his church a seer stone? Having a church without revelation or a living prophet seems pointless, as it would quickly become corrupted by the imaginations of men. Doctrines in the Christian churches have been like fashions, going in and out of style. The idea that God would direct his true church through revelation is very compelling.

    At this point all of the atheists are probably humming with hands over their ears. They hate the idea that we might not be the oldest and smartest remnants of the human race. If they don't know about it, then it must not be real. ;-)

  • niraj
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Joseph Smith Hat

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  • 7 years ago

    You seem to really be fascinated with magic, are you a video game fanatic, or do you enjoy the entertainment of David Copperfield? Let me give you a piece of advice, the actuality of magic is simply not knowing the full details of what is before our eyes.

    Who knows he may have used several hats, maybe a blanket, or a sheet to shield the sun from his work. I often have to pull the curtains across the windows when trying to use my Ipad. Should we now consider the curtains to be a form of "magic", ohhhhhh. Wow there is magic everywhere... Maybe if I smoked some of that stuff I might see magic all around me too...

    Good thing I'm not the current Prophet because I would be ridiculed for seeking for buried treasure with my metal detector when I was a kid... ohhhh magical devices....

  • 7 years ago

    In Joseph's day, there was a kind of "folk magic" where they saw things such as seer stones and dowsing rods as scientific. Neither they, nor we, consider Joseph's seer stones to be magic.

    There is nothing special, let alone magical, about the hat. Joseph Smith just used his own hat. He could have used anything, though, it was only used to block out the light.

    As I said before, a belief in seer stones was common in Joseph's day. Joseph Smith used a neighbor's seer stone to find his first seer stone, a brown one. He later used this one to find his second seer stone, a white one.

    The Nephite interpreters were in the stone box where Joseph Smith found the metal plates. The term "Urim and Thummim" usually refer to these Nephite interpreters, but sometimes it was also applied to the seer stones themselves.

  • rac
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Nappa mocks the application of faith to the accomplishment of God's purposes.

    The hat was a common hat that Joseph used every day. The seer stone was different than the Urim and Thummim and why he didn't use the Urim and Thummim all the time, preferring the more compact seer stone and hat, I don't know and can't say. Where the stone came from, I don't know. Quite frankly, I don't really care where it came from or how it worked. What matters is that the text was revealed to him and the scripture came to fruition. The work was inspired, pure and simple.

    Nappa, using faith to find good investigators is a common practice, but we don't employ seer stones. We pray and "listen" for the spirit to point us in the right direction, to whom we should speak. We are not always in tune with the spirit to feel His directions but the method is real.

    Source(s): my LDS opinion
  • 7 years ago

    I don't know anything about a magic hat or anything magic. We don't believe in magic. The Urim and Thummim came with the plates. There is some who say he would use a hat to make sure that the seer stones were still working. But, if he did use such a hat, there was nothing magic about it.

  • Neerp
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    The "three wise men" were not magicians, we don't even know if there were three of them. They are commonly believed to be rulers or kings from some eastern nation(s), and even that is based on a verse in Psalms that talks about all of the kings falling down before Christ. "Magi" is derived from a word describing a certain caste, and has nothing to do with magic. Magicians? Pulleeaassee

    Aaron's staff wasn't magical. Magic is merely how the ignorant man describes he does not or can not understand.

    Interesting world view you have, you know? I'm just sayin....

  • 7 years ago

    I respond to these sorts of questions mainly to read answers like Rrosskopf's. The entertainment value is huge. I notice that Rrosskopf can't even bring himself to admit that there actually was a "seerstone" and it was different from the Urim & Thumim. the seerstone was a smooth, brown egg-shaped stone Joseph found while digging a well. The LDS church still owns this stone. It used to sit on the altar of the Manti temple. They've probably moved it into "the vault" though because they realized how hokey it was.

    Most Mormons have no idea that there was a seerstone and a hat involved. That's not the "official story" that the church teaches in Sunday School. Now...why would the church be sharing "official history" that isn't really what happened???

  • ?
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    Why don't you try attending a Mormon church? I have and they are very good people and strong in their convictions. I myself am not a Mormon, but I am part of the Restored Latter-Day Saints after Josheph Smith's son decided to stay in the East instead of following Brigham Young. Did you know Josheph Smith and his brother Hiram knew they were going to be martyrs? They fought for what they believed in and were killed as a result. Sad that you are mocking such a passionate people.

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