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D&c 17:1 Three Witnesses To Plates Plus


KingZedekiah

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"Behold I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea."

I see the statement at the beginning of the BOM that three witnesses saw the plates. Is there mention any where that they also saw the other items promised. I would think that actually viewing the Urim and Thummin, the Liahona, and Laban's sword would have made for a very strong testimony about truth. Why did they not include testimony that they saw these things along with the plates? Were these objects also taken up to heaven to never be seen again?

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Not more than the plates, seeing how they are the word of God. Besides we still have the other items. In 1843 (I believe) when JS was asked by his brother Hyrum to put the revelation down on paper concerning polygamy, he told JS to use the Urim and Thummin. To which JS replied "I don't need too, I know it by heart", It had been originally revealed to JS in 1833) and he then dictated it on the spot. So apparently only the plates were taken back.

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Not more than the plates, seeing how they are the word of God. Besides we still have the other items. In 1843 (I believe) when JS was asked by his brother Hyrum to put the revelation down on paper concerning polygamy, he told JS to use the Urim and Thummin. To which JS replied "I don't need too, I know it by heart", It had been originally revealed to JS in 1833) and he then dictated it on the spot. So apparently only the plates were taken back.

So does the Church still have the Urim and Thummin? What about Laban's sword and the Liahona?

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the church has at least two seer stones Joseph used in the mysterious vault. the actual U&T was supposedly was taken back by Moroni after the 116 pages were lost, and never returned.. the Book of Mormon, some parts of the D&C and scores of unpublished revelations were all received by Joseph using a seer stone in a hat.. references you read to the U&T after 1829 all refer to these seer stones.

Wilford Woodruff set one of the seer stones on the temple altar in Manti during the dedicatory prayer. it is a fascinating prayer. I will see if I can find the text..

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A very simple overview of the Seer stones can be found on Wikipedia ... here

some more of the details...

"But by the wisdom of God, they [the plates] remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand [the translation]. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight." (History of the Church, vol.1, pp.18-19)

Diary of Hosea Stout

"President Young exhibited the seer's stone with which the Prophet Joseph discovered the plates of the Book of Mormon, to the Regents this evening

"It is said to be a silecious granite dark color almost black with light colored stripes some what resembling petrified poplar or cotton wood bark It was about the size but not the shape of a hen's egg" (On The Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, edited by Junaita Brooks, University of Utah Press, 1994, vol.2, p.593)

Joseph Fielding Smith

"Statements of translations by the Urim and Thummim after that date [1830] are evidently errors. 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, by Joseph Fielding Smith, vol. 3, p.225)

D. Michael Quinn --

After Young's death in 1877, his widow Zina D.H. Young obtained this seer stone at an estate auction of her husband's personal effects. She and her daughter Zina eventually gave it to his successor, John Taylor. In response to a statement by David Whitmer, the Deseret News in 1881 commented that Joseph Smith's seer stone 'remained with the Church and is now in the possession of the President.

In 1882 Apostle Franklin D. Richards examined "the Seer Stone that Oliver Cowdery gave Phineas Young," observing that "the pouch containing it [was] made by Emma [smith]." One of LDS president John Taylor's bodyguards recorded in 1887: "On Sunday last I saw and handled the seer stone that the Prophet Joseph Smith had. It was a dark color, not round on one side. It was shaped like the top of a baby's shoe, one end like the toe of the shoe, and the other round." At the dedication of the Manti temple the next year, Taylor's successor, Wilford Woodruff, wrote: "Before leaving I Consecrated upon the Altar the seers Stone that Joseph Smith found by Revelation some 30 feet under the Earth [and] Carried By him through life."

After Woodruffs death in 1898, his successor Lorenzo Snow, displayed the brown Book of Mormon seer stone to a local bishop of the church. Frederick Kesler wrote in his diary that Snow "showed me the Seerers [sic] Stone that the Prophet Joseph Smith had by which he done some of the Translating of the Book of Mormon with. I handeled [sic] it with my own hands. I felt as though I see & was handling a very Sacred thing. I trust & feel that it will work in his [Lorenzo Snow's] hands as it did in the Prophet Joseph Smiths hands." Kesler added that this stone's "color was mahoganey." Throughout the twentieth century, LDS general authorities and the First Presidency's secretary have said that this seer stone is in the presidency's office (actually in its walk-in-steel vault).

About 1982 one of Brigham Young's descendants was allowed to see this seer stone in the First Presidency's office. Mary Brown Firmage Woodward afterwards stated: "The stone was not chocolate brown but rather the color of brown sugar. It was 3-4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and had a hump in the middle which made it perhaps 2 inches thick at the thickest point. It was fiat on the bottom and had three black, concentric circles on the top 1/2 inch. Below the circles were many small black circles. The stone was not transparent." The First Presidency's secretary told her that the presidency's vault contained two additional seer stones. (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, by D. Michael Quinn, Signature Books, Revised ed. 1998, pp.242-243)

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A very simple overview of the Seer stones can be found on Wikipedia ... here

some more of the details...

"But by the wisdom of God, they [the plates] remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand [the translation]. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight." (History of the Church, vol.1, pp.18-19)

Diary of Hosea Stout

"President Young exhibited the seer's stone with which the Prophet Joseph discovered the plates of the Book of Mormon, to the Regents this evening

"It is said to be a silecious granite dark color almost black with light colored stripes some what resembling petrified poplar or cotton wood bark It was about the size but not the shape of a hen's egg" (On The Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, edited by Junaita Brooks, University of Utah Press, 1994, vol.2, p.593)

Joseph Fielding Smith

"Statements of translations by the Urim and Thummim after that date [1830] are evidently errors. 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, by Joseph Fielding Smith, vol. 3, p.225)

D. Michael Quinn --

After Young's death in 1877, his widow Zina D.H. Young obtained this seer stone at an estate auction of her husband's personal effects. She and her daughter Zina eventually gave it to his successor, John Taylor. In response to a statement by David Whitmer, the Deseret News in 1881 commented that Joseph Smith's seer stone 'remained with the Church and is now in the possession of the President.

In 1882 Apostle Franklin D. Richards examined "the Seer Stone that Oliver Cowdery gave Phineas Young," observing that "the pouch containing it [was] made by Emma [smith]." One of LDS president John Taylor's bodyguards recorded in 1887: "On Sunday last I saw and handled the seer stone that the Prophet Joseph Smith had. It was a dark color, not round on one side. It was shaped like the top of a baby's shoe, one end like the toe of the shoe, and the other round." At the dedication of the Manti temple the next year, Taylor's successor, Wilford Woodruff, wrote: "Before leaving I Consecrated upon the Altar the seers Stone that Joseph Smith found by Revelation some 30 feet under the Earth [and] Carried By him through life."

After Woodruffs death in 1898, his successor Lorenzo Snow, displayed the brown Book of Mormon seer stone to a local bishop of the church. Frederick Kesler wrote in his diary that Snow "showed me the Seerers [sic] Stone that the Prophet Joseph Smith had by which he done some of the Translating of the Book of Mormon with. I handeled [sic] it with my own hands. I felt as though I see & was handling a very Sacred thing. I trust & feel that it will work in his [Lorenzo Snow's] hands as it did in the Prophet Joseph Smiths hands." Kesler added that this stone's "color was mahoganey." Throughout the twentieth century, LDS general authorities and the First Presidency's secretary have said that this seer stone is in the presidency's office (actually in its walk-in-steel vault).

About 1982 one of Brigham Young's descendants was allowed to see this seer stone in the First Presidency's office. Mary Brown Firmage Woodward afterwards stated: "The stone was not chocolate brown but rather the color of brown sugar. It was 3-4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and had a hump in the middle which made it perhaps 2 inches thick at the thickest point. It was fiat on the bottom and had three black, concentric circles on the top 1/2 inch. Below the circles were many small black circles. The stone was not transparent." The First Presidency's secretary told her that the presidency's vault contained two additional seer stones. (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, by D. Michael Quinn, Signature Books, Revised ed. 1998, pp.242-243)

Interesting stuff, indeed.

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I see the statement at the beginning of the BOM that three witnesses saw the plates. Is there mention any where that they also saw the other items promised. I would think that actually viewing the Urim and Thummin, the Liahona, and Laban's sword would have made for a very strong testimony about truth. Why did they not include testimony that they saw these things along with the plates? Were these objects also taken up to heaven to never be seen again?

There are plenty of statements affirming that the Three Witnesses saw those objects. I suggest, as a starting point, Richard Lloyd Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses. And, if you can find it, Lyndon Cook's David Whitmer Interviews.

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