Let's be accurate - Smith used a hat to block the sunlight or glare as he worked with a stone.
This likely comes from Rick who is a brilliant guy who works as the assistant church historian, my father served as a GA church historian and we went to Palmyra with him and heard him explain this.
I think that the key is that virtually every family in that area. The LDS church has boxes of "seer stones", enough that if you call up and say "I've found the Urim and Thummin!" unless it matched the description of the one used by Joseph Smith (which the church does not have) they aren't even interested in accepting them - this is to the disappointment of a family about every 6 months that calls up thinking that they have the real deal and in most cases asking the history department to pay millions for something that was as common as a candle stick in his day.
Rick's comment to me sounds like he's the source of this article, he said "isn't it amazing that God tends to use things common to us as means for revelation" - so while we look at seer stones as odd, in those days virtually all families who were religious in the area had them.
Do you think that people would have paid him to look for treasure with stones if there wasn't already a local precedent for it? It sounds like a common practice - as was digging for gold in those days, that was a hard living and he worked hard on it. A story of golden plates would have for sure set off a frenzy of searching in that area and would have been huge news, so in a time in which digging for lost treasures was a very common occurrence I have no problem with him earning a living doing this backbreaking work. I also don't think the guy he worked for felt ripped off since Stowell's friend, Issac Hale consented for Joseph to marry his daughter. Smith didn't find any buried treasure, but by all accounts he was an extremely hard worker.
As for the laws, Smith, while clearly not perfect, got called to court 200 times, the one single item of evidence that suggests a conviction is unsubstantiated and is on a document stolen from a historical library which appears to have been altered after it was stolen - by all fair historical accounts he was never convicted of any crimes.
I don't get all wound up about his being called to court over and over - he was a prophet for the Son of Man who was sought to be arrested many times in the NT but simply passed through the crowds to avoid arrest and stoning until it was His time, the He was arrested and tried, found guilty by two systems of two crimes and crucified in innocence. As a Christian I don't exactly assume that all prophets would have to always avoid legal trouble, I have read the NT and you can't point at a single example of a NT prophet who wasn't arrested or tired or killed (except in the case of John from an LDS perspective).
Personally, I have no problem with the way that a hat was used to block sunlight. You know, by the end of translation he wasn't even using the seer stones, they got him started but by the end of it there were no physical tools to help him with revelation.
If you don't mind me asking you a question back - how do you explain the enigma of the Book of Mormon?
I know you don't like it, but you've clearly studied the life of Joseph Smith, you're smart enough to know that it couldn't have come from him, and with the scribe changes it couldn't have come from another - and wordprint analysis shows that emphatically.
You're not dumb enough to cite the View of the Hebrews or "Manuscript lost" (which is a ridiculous attempt since manuscript found turned out to be a joke - it's just explaining things by saying "in some way from some text now lost . . ."). While you could accurately claim that many of the pages could have been copied from the KJV (with a few very interesting correlations to other scrips not available to JS at the time which is another story of evidences for another day) the majority of the book came from something - so what was he translating?
If your willing to talk about the story of these stones, then you are suing an argument based on the veracity of the stone and the hat being used, the hat lends credence to the stones because it would indeed be a very odd addition to make up a supporting story about glare from the sunlight on an event that never happened - so based on your question the hat means that the stones were real and of the stones were real he was translating something - and that something was seen by 11 witnesses and lifted by Emma, out of that group of 12 there was at many times an earnest effort to discredit the church - yet none ever recanted.
So what's your take on this?
EDIT - your take is a forgery based on . . . . [crickets]. That's not really an answer, you just punted the ball. Who forged what? Did Martin Harris do it before he mortgaged his farm and lost all of his money and wife over it? Are you one of those who thinks that Rigdon arrived earlier on the scene despite historical evidence that he had no knowledge of Mormonism until after the fact?
"Some forgery of somekind, somehow" is akin to saying "I don't know" - and with all due respect (and in your case I really mean that because you are polite often and studied on these matters) it is indeed an enigma to you.
It's a forgery that admittedly has more unknowns than knowns in it - yet it's had an uncanny (yet not in an of itself convincing) amount of coincidences in history and other items. 150 years before WordPrint computer analysis is passed off as having a large amount of authors, which in an of itself is amazing, for Smith to have predicted a computer that one day would analyze documents for authorship he'd have to have been a prophet of some type.
Back to the question - I'm seeing a whole lot of replies saying stuff like "it's not like moses's rod would . . .or the arc of the covenant would . . . or a woman touching the helm of Christ's robe could . . ." all these things show indeed that the God of the bible OFTEN used physical symbols or other tangible assets to move His works forward. The same God who wrote on tablets made of stone on Sinai with His finger was shown over and over of being capable of using physical objects to move His purposes forward.
By the way, I like learning so I read that New Era quote you posted. First of all you imply that I'm young (I'm 36) and that these are things you read when you were young, assuming that you could read a magazine like that when you were 12, then you would have had to be 12 or older in 1936, so are you about 90? If so you might have actually been alive to ride Tapirs. Anyway, I read the article and went back a page, in it it describes the stone being placed into the hat to block out light - it doesn't deny that, it detailed it out on the previous page. 36 might be really young in your eyes, but my eyes are good and it didn't deny that.
Again, I see no problem whatsoever on the use of a seer stone. Even if Stowell's nephew accused Smith of something long after the fact, perhaps the most symbolic elements of Christianity is bread and wine/water to represent the blood and body of a Man counted as a sinner and crucified - rather than the death of the Savior degrading the sacrament, it is the sacrifice that all animal sacrifices looked forward towards and all sacraments have looked back on. I don't think that you've got a good argument here.
I do respect you, I just don't find any of this noteworthy. If some were told in the past that there was not hat then some teachers were misinformed, it's clear in the teachings of Trumen Madsen, Rick Turley, Bushman, historical documents, and that New Era article that you think it was hidden on. I have no desire to attack people for failing to teach things nor attack those who didn't learn something, this doesn't have "malicious" written all over it at all. The Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God - all other details would be sub-point in my consideration.
EDIT - a picture of a guy looking in a hat isn't good artwork and it's not how it was always done anyway, many ways of holding the stones where utilized when the stones were used. Did he never take a drink of water during the translation because a painting never shows him stopping for a glass of water?
I don't think it's been whitewashed, it's just that we don't care. To a TBM we don't freak out about the story of a hat, why should we? I often wear a hat doing yard-work to shade my eyes from the sun, and nobody finds that shocking at all.
On your own link as an example of how you think we buried it the very page before it mentions the hat in it's narrative.
You're very worked up over a non-issue - you usually come across as well researched and kind, did you party a bit too hard last night? You generally show more logic and class and dignity than you are showing today.
· 6 years ago