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Joseph SMith's Jupiter Talisman


thews

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I've been reading about the Jupiter Talisman owned by Joseph Smith, and there are reports that claim it wasn't his. While straw man arguments need to attack the source of the argument attempting to discredit it, the basis for claiming the Jupiter Talisman didn't belong to Joseph Smith seems to center on an inventory of what was on his person at the time of death, and the medalion is missing from that list. As is the case of many arguments I've heard, focusing on what isn't while ignoring what is, is a foundatiopn for a very weak argument. My only objective here is to establish the truth... did the Jupiter Talisman belong to Joseph Smith? Points to ponder:

http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_joesephsmith_section4.html

The famous speech by Dr. Reed Durham who made the discovery...

"In 1974, Dr. Reed Durham . . . made a discovery that was so startling that it caused great consternation among Mormon scholars and officials.

"Dr. Durham found that what had previously been identified as the 'Masonic jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith' was in reality a 'Jupiter talisman.'

"This is a medallion which contains material relating to astrology and magic. Dr. Durham, apparently not realizing the devastating implications of his discovery, announced this important find in his presidential address before the Mormon History Association on April 20, 1974:

"'. . . I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically-oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith. . . .

"'All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred. His talisman is in the shape of a silver dollar and is probably made of silver or tin.

"'It is exactly one and nine-sixteenths in diameter, . . . the talisman,. . . originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman.

"'It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter. And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess.

"'I wasn't able to find what this was, for--as I said--two months; and finally, in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York.

"'It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seals the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom. . . .

"'To the Egyptians, Jupiter was known as Ammon, but to the Greeks he was Zeus: the ancient sky Father, or Father of the Gods. . . .

And this should be considered when attempting to give weight to what Dr. Durham said after the fact.

". . . Durham was severely criticized by Mormon scholars and officials for giving this speech. He was even called in by Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball, and finally found it necessary to issue a letter in which he reaffirmed his faith in Joseph Smith and said that he was sorry for the 'concerns, and misunderstandings' that the speech had caused."

Indeed, the Tanners cite Richard Steven Marshall's claim that in an interview on 11 April 1977, Durham told him, "I had to write that. They wanted me to bear my testimony. I hadn't done that in my talk. They had me do that so people would know where I stood."

A piece of the puzzle which adds great weight to whetehr or not the Jupiter Talisman did belong to Joseph Smith, would include his brother Hyram's practices(his knife etc.), and Brighamn Young's bloodstone.

"The Occult Origins of Mormonism," containing photographs and drawings of early Mormon occultic artificats possessed by high Mormon leaders, including Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, Brigahm Young and Wilford Woodruff, at: http://www.calvaryslc.org/Portals/3/powerpoint/um/OccultOriginsofMormonism.ppt)

And to this was the evidence against Joseph Smith when he was brought to trial for "glass-looking" and quoted as saying "talismananic influences"

"That Joseph Smith would own such a magic talisman fits very well with the evidence from his 1826 trial. W. D. Purple, who was an eye-witness to the trial, claimed it was reported that Smith said certain talismanic influences were needed to recover a box of treasure:

"'Mr. Thompson, an employee of Mr. Stowell, was the next witness. . . . Smith had told the Deacon that very many years before a band of robbers had buried on his flat a box of treasure, and as it was very valuable they had by a sacrifice placed a charm over it to protect it, so that it could not be obtained except by faith, accompanied by certain talismanic influences. . . . the box of treasure was struck by the shovel, on which they redoubled their energies, but it gradually receded from their grasp. One of the men placed his hand upon the box, but it gradually sunk from his reach. . . . Mr. Stowell went to his flock and selected a fine vigorous lamb, and resolved to sacrifice it to the demon spirit who guarded the coveted treasure . . . but the treasure still receded from their grasp, and it was never obtained.'

And another LDS source confirms it did belong to Joseph Smith. Note also that all other items in the Wood collection did belong to Joseph Smith.

"He must have felt that it was very important because the Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett reveals that 'This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Jail'

And Emma herself said it belonged to Joseph Smith

"Wesley P. Walters says that 'Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the [William C.] Wood collection [Wood was a Mormon collector who acquired the relic from Bidamon], stated in his accompanying affidavit:

"

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The talisman might have belonged to Joseph. If he owned a lucky rabbit's foot or something like that I wouldn't feel horrified. Would you?

Anyway, despite your attempt at documenting its provenance by relying wholly on anti-Mormon websites you did not point out that there is only one source of evidence that claims Joseph Smith owned the Jupiter Talisman: the late claim of Charles Bidamon. There are problems with this recollection as Reed Durham (whom you quote) later stated:

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When all the evidence is weighed, and as we know in the times back then it was common for people to believe in such things, why is it such a big deal to just admith the Jupiter Talisman did belong to Joseph Smith?

Who cares whether it was his or not?

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And Emma herself said it belonged to Joseph Smith

"Wesley P. Walters says that 'Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the [William C.] Wood collection [Wood was a Mormon collector who acquired the relic from Bidamon], stated in his accompanying affidavit:

"

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Who cares whether it was his or not?

Agreed. Even if it was his it "proves" nothing. I have a little clock shaped like Buddha at home. What does this tell you, other than that I am awesome?

But as I noted, it can't be proven to be his, and the evidence leans in the opposite direction.

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The talisman might have belonged to Joseph. If he owned a lucky rabbit's foot or something like that I wouldn't feel horrified. Would you?

Anyway, despite your attempt at documenting its provenance by relying wholly on anti-Mormon websites you did not point out that there is only one source of evidence that claims Joseph Smith owned the Jupiter Talisman: the late claim of Charles Bidamon. There are problems with this recollection as Reed Durham (whom you quote) later stated:

Bidamon was the son of Emma's second husband, and he waited fifty-eight years after Emma

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Almost forgot: it wasn't listed as being in Joseph's personal effects when he was killed. This severely calls into question his possession of the item.

The big issue here is the claim that was given that it was with him when he died, IIRC, correct? And if that claim is wrong, then the claim it was connected to---that it was his possession---needs confirmation from another independent source which is lacking.

I think another major problem is that it ended up in Bidamon's hands and not one of JS's descendants. At the very least, that draws into question his claim that it was "highly prized" and thus the rest of his claims need to have independent verification of some sort before relying on them.

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(Thews -- If you want, just look at the bolded portion of this post... the rest is me being, well... me)

What ever "straw man" arguments exist (like saying that Emma said it was his, with no qualifying statements :crazy: ), I think it is pretty cool if it was his (probably belonged to Catherine though... that heretic fellow-Jupiterian sister).

Now, the Mars Dagger on the other hand... ;)

PS.

And the Ensign verified the Talisman belonged to Joseph Smith.

Do you mind hooking up a link to the Ensign article (or just give me the title/author, I can probably find it off that)?

Wonder if BCSpace will think this makes it doctrine... :P

-Phylactery Stu

Setting New Records for Emoticon Use

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Do you mind hooking up a link to the Ensign article (or just give me the title/author, I can probably find it off that)?

Good luck to thews with that one. He might want to rub his rabbit's foot quite vigorously before setting out.

I used to have a blue rabbit's foot, but it must not have been very lucky since I lost it. At the time I didn't realize just how unlucky it was for the rabbbit thinking it was fake, but I was quite young at that time.

It's really quite gruesome, I much rather have a Jupiter Talisman.

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The talisman might have belonged to Joseph. If he owned a lucky rabbit's foot or something like that I wouldn't feel horrified. Would you?

They are very different things. The question I asked was whether or not you people claimed he didn't own it.

Anyway, despite your attempt at documenting its provenance by relying wholly on anti-Mormon websites you did not point out that there is only one source of evidence that claims Joseph Smith owned the Jupiter Talisman: the late claim of Charles Bidamon. There are problems with this recollection as Reed Durham (whom you quote) later stated:

Bidamon was the son of Emma's second husband, and he waited fifty-eight years after Emma

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Good luck to thews with that one. He might want to rub his rabbit's foot quite vigorously before setting out.

I used to have a blue rabbit's foot, but it must not have been very lucky since I lost it. At the time I didn't realize just how unlucky it was for the rabbbit thinking it was fake, but I was quite young at that time.

It's really quite gruesome, I much rather have a Jupiter Talisman.

I asked the question. Since I don't have a collection of Ensigns to pull from, can you attest that it never was presented in the Ensign? I haven't looked on the web, but if I can't find it I'll retract the Ensign comment, though the source of this whole thing is from an LDS scholar.

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I asked the question. Since I don't have a collection of Ensigns to pull from, can you attest that it never was presented in the Ensign? I haven't looked on the web, but if I can't find it I'll retract the Ensign comment, though the source of this whole thing is from an LDS scholar.

You don't need a collection of Ensigns, just the title and/or author of the article that you said contains that comment. I can find it from there.

Or you could provide the direct quote from the LDS scholar, or the citation (i.e. in what publication his comment was in) that says it is referenced in the Ensign, and I imagine, like any scholar, he provides the information in a footnote.

Thanks.

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I'm just quoting the facts, and there is more than one.

More than one. I'm not sure what that means.

For the record, pointing out what isn't is a weak argument, when there are more than one source who claim what is, including a Mormon historian.

Actually, pointing out what "isn't" is the key to the whole discussion. There "isn't" sufficient evidence, and there is primary counter evidence and a motive for Bidamon to have made the story up. Who cares what any Mormon historian said about it if analyzing the primary evidence leads to a different conclusion? Again, your star Mormon historian witness admitted the claim was faulty.

Regarding what you deem "anti" vs. factual, if it's factual information it's factual regardless of where the data come from. You can find it on many websites, but this one had it all packaged together to make cutting and pasting easier.

Your website is full of half-truths, bizarre conspiracy theories, hyperbole, hate, and other nonsense.

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I'm just quoting the facts, and there is more than one.

I think loap's point was that whatever it was you were quoting-it wasn't 'the facts' since there aren't any.

I don't think it matters either way-why people try to make it a big deal is beyond me.

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I asked the question. Since I don't have a collection of Ensigns to pull from, can you attest that it never was presented in the Ensign? I haven't looked on the web, but if I can't find it I'll retract the Ensign comment, though the source of this whole thing is from an LDS scholar.

Hey folks, I have it on good authority that thews is actually Paris Hilton. This was discovered in an issue of Time magazine. But since I don't have a collection of Time to pull from, can you attest that it never was presented in Time?

:P

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Hey folks, I have it on good authority that thews is actually Paris Hilton. This was discovered in an issue of Time magazine. But since I don't have a collection of Time to pull from, can you attest that it never was presented in Time?

:P

Your high fives aside, good job!!

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