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Why Use A Seer Stone?


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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

Edited by SmileyMcGee
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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

It's an IPad. Just does not have an on or off button, no software, no computer chips and needs no power source. :-)

But putting flippancy aside I do not know. I don't know off the top of my head of anything similar at least inte Bible.

Edited by Teancum
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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

Not sure why...but we know from the Bible, Revelation (Book of) there will come a time when we all shall receive a "new name and a white stone" (sound familiar) and the earth with become a great "seer stone". So it must serve a purpose. It may be a small thing and a simple thing but this is how God works left. My 2 cents anyway. Look it up...don't just read me and embraces or dismiss.
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It does seem strange with the verses you quoted above from the NT. 

Bushman gives a valid opinion on why he thought Joseph used the seer stones.  I have never heard a scholar take the position that Joseph translated ONLY in one fashion.  Am I wrong on this or did Joseph use several methods? 

 

In my mind I see a progression of tools until nothing is needed or required.  However, my opinion and $2.50 will get you a cup of....orange juice. 

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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

Not ever having used one, I can surmise that in the contexts in which its use is accepted as valid, it helps the user focus his attention. In the case of a prophet, this attention helps him become receptive to revelation. The prophet that uses one may not be aware of how it works, and may attribute unwarranted properties to the stone, but that is besides the point that he gets results from using it with faith in God.

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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

 

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

D&C 130:

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;

11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

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Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

D&C 130:

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;

11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

I know the references but they don't explain any of the reasons for there use...assuming the stones referenced in Revelation aren't just metaphor Edited by SmileyMcGee
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Not sure why...but we know from the Bible, Revelation (Book of) there will come a time when we all shall receive a "new name and a white stone" (sound familiar) and the earth with become a great "seer stone". So it must serve a purpose. It may be a small thing and a simple thing but this is how God works left. My 2 cents anyway. Look it up...don't just read me and embraces or dismiss.

It's how you keep connected, like the internet but universal to  your Celestial family.

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I know the references but they don't explain any of the reasons for there use...assuming the stones referenced in Revelation aren't just metaphor

 

We know the reasons.  Because that is one of the prescribed way revelation is gained, both in this life and in the life to come.

That's like asking why we need to be dipped in a large quantity of water to have our sins remitted.  God can forgive us our sins anyway.

Or why we need to kneel across an altar in front of someone holding sealing keys to make our marriages eternal?  Can't God just let us stay married anyway?

 

The reason for the use of a seerstone/urim and thummim is because that is one of the ways light and truth are transmitted.  Not the only way of course, but one of the ways.  Some things just are and always have been and always will be.  Nothing about them is changeable.  They preceded God, God revealed them to man, and they will exist long after God has moved to higher levels (and hopefully taken his kingdoms with him).

 

Seerstones are an earthy version of something used by Celestial society.  Just as so many other things on earth represent things of eternity.  Eternal patterns.

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We know the reasons. Because that is one of the prescribed way revelation is gained, both in this life and in the life to come.

That's like asking why we need to be dipped in a large quantity of water to have our sins remitted. God can forgive us our sins anyway.

Or why we need to kneel across an altar in front of someone holding sealing keys to make our marriages eternal? Can't God just let us stay married anyway?

The reason for the use of a seerstone/urim and thummim is because that is one of the ways light and truth are transmitted. Not the only way of course, but one of the ways. Some things just are and always have been and always will be. Nothing about them is changeable. They preceded God, God revealed them to man, and they will exist long after God has moved to higher levels (and hopefully taken his kingdoms with him).

Seerstones are an earthy version of something used by Celestial society. Just as so many other things on earth represent things of eternity. Eternal patterns.

So...it's dogma

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So...it's dogma

 

Dogma - definition:

a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

 

If that's the word you choose.  Mormonism as a whole is a dogma.Most religion is dogma.  Doesn't make it false.

If seerstones are one element of Mormon dogma so be it.

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It's an IPad. Just does not have an on or off button, no software, no computer chips and needs no power source. :-)

Actually, Joseph's seer-stone is a crystalline virtual-state transducer with a light-emitting diode (LED) display, i.e., a semi-conductor which emits visible electromagnetic radiation in response to stimulating voltage -- by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

But putting flippancy aside I do not know. I don't know off the top of my head of anything similar at least inte Bible.

In his Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I:129, B. H. Roberts explained the matter this way:

 

The seer stone referred to here was a chocolate-colored, somewhat egg-shaped stone which the Prophet found while digging a well in company with his brother Hyrum, . . .  It possessed the qualities of Urim and Thummim, since by means of it--as described above--as well as by means of the Interpreters found with the Nephite record, Joseph was able to translate the characters engraven on the plates.

 

As H. G. May noted, the pre-Islamic bethels or Baetyls were sacred oracle-stones, apparently symbols of the two goddesses, 'al-Lat (Lotta) and 'al-ʿUzza, and were administered by priests (kahin) and priestesses (kahina) – or battle-maidens.   The most holy object in Islam is, of course, the Black Stone ('al-Hajar 'al'aswad, said to have been given to Abraham by Gabriel/Jabril) housed in the Great Mosque (Temple) of Mekkah, on the southeast corner of the small stone building therein called the Ka'abah (the other stone there is seldom mentioned).  Moreover, J. L. Burckhardt described it as oval in shape, about seven inches in diameter, black as coal, with flecs of colored crystals and red feldspar, and bordered by a protective band of silver about a foot wide.  In many cases, the stones are identified as meteoric or volcanic in origin -- as in the Islamic instance.  Pliny the Elder, for example, sees the Greek baitulos (Latin baetulos) as a kind of ceraunia (Latin ceraunion, Greek keraunion, "thunderbolt"; cerauniae, "mushrooms"), saying

 

 

. . . among the bright colourless stones there is also the one called ceraunia. . . .  Sotacus distinguishes also two other varieties of the stone, a black and a red, resembling axe-heads.  According to him, those among them that are black and round are supernatural objects; and he states that thanks to them cities and fleets are attacked and overcome, their name being baetulos, while the elongated stones are ceraunias.  These writers distinguish yet another kind (of ceraunias) which is quite rare.  According to them the Magi hunt for it zealously because it is found only in a place that has been struck by a thunderbolt (fulmine).

 

So also does Damascius tell us that the baitulos is a meteoric stone, sacred because it fell from heaven.  This reminds one very much of Jacob's celebration of revelation at "the gate of heaven" by anointing his pillow-stone at Beth-El, "House-of-God [Temple]," with oil (Gen 28:11-22).  Was this the right thing for him to do, from the orthodox point of view (cf. Lev 26:1, Hos 3:4, 10:1)?  After all, the stone constituted an altar, angels were ascending and descending on the stairway, and God certainly remembered it as a blessed event (Gen 31:13).

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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I've had this discussion before...  It is part of the human experience to use objects to focus our thoughts and concentration aids.  It does not surprise me at all that God could prompt Joseph to use a latent talent for a higher purpose, that he used at one time for personal reasons.  I sometimes wonder if the temptation Joseph had to repent of was wanting to take the plates (treasure) he found to provide materially for his family, rather than save it up to translate for the restoration of the Gospel.

 

The object itself is not as important as its function.  Just as the picture of Christ noticing a sparrow above my desk does not contain any magical properties, but it does help me remember my Savior throughout my workday.  We kneel to pray not because the ground gives us magical properties through our knees, but to humble ourselves and put our-self in a reverent and receptive place when communing with God.

 

Joseph did indeed use many techniques to try to receive revelation and scripture during the translation process.  If I were in a crowded house with lots of children, and trying to translate I might too have stuck my head down in a hat and pulled it past my ears, to be able to focus on the message I was to receive.  

 

It is easy to mock things that we are removed from.  

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Do a search for "rock" in all of scriptures.

Christ himself is referred to as our Rock and seers and revelators were often and still are referred to as rocks, themselves, too, including Peter and the revelations he received.

Rocks are common, and revelations from God are or should be, too. And if it helps you any you can also go out and about to find yourself a rock to hold onto as you receive revelations from God. Find yourself a nice pretty tock, as something that will help you feel good/God.

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Do a search for "rock" in all of scriptures.

Christ himself is referred to as our Rock and seers and revelators were often and still are referred to as rocks, themselves, too, including Peter and the revelations he received.

Rocks are common, and revelations from God are or should be, too. And if it helps you any you can also go out and about to find yourself a rock to hold onto as you receive revelations from God. Find yourself a nice pretty tock, as something that will help you feel good/God.

 

Can they be shaped into a rosary or made of a gold ingot shaped into a cross?

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Can they be shaped into a rosary or made of a gold ingot shaped into a cross?

Sure. You know they can be. But let's not neglect to think that the point of using rocks is or should be to get revelations from our Rock of revelation. And there is no need to spend any money to buy such a rock since any tock you can find will work just as well.
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Is there any teaching anywhere that explains how a seer stone aids in the revelatory process? How and/or why would it be better than God just speaking to one's mind? It seems seer stones were once all the rage but now superfluous to the revelatory process...

 

We need to remember that time frame of the seer stone. It was used because for those present it was believeable. It cemented their faith. Likewise for the head in the hat when using the stone. It showed the people present that the process was real and not faked. Many people believed in such things as they did with treasure hunting. I can no better way to speak faith than by using a seer stone.

 

It would not fly today because people have moved beyond such things and it would not be believeable.

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We need to remember that time frame of the seer stone. It was used because for those present it was believeable. It cemented their faith. Likewise for the head in the hat when using the stone. It showed the people present that the process was real and not faked. Many people believed in such things as they did with treasure hunting. I can no better way to speak faith than by using a seer stone.

 

It would not fly today because people have moved beyond such things and it would not be believeable.

 

Uh, hate to break it to you, but other than a few of the other local superstitious farmers and country yokels, seer stones and their use were largely derided even in Joseph Smith's day.  That's why the seer stone was quickly erased from Church history from the Kirtland-era an onward.  

 

There were even laws against their use not because people thought they worked, but because lawmakers were pretty sure that seer stones didn't work and that people who paid others for their use were being duped.

 

The spin on this is just crazy.  Seer stones were like the Ouija Board of Joseph Smith's day.  If President Monson stood up and said he had received a revelation through a Ouija Board, everyone would be like "What the heck?!"  Or maybe you would say "President Monson used the Ouija Board because it is believable; it cements our faith.  It shows us that the process is real and not faked.  There is no better way to speak to our faith than by using a Ouija Board."

 

But either way, it's disingenuous to pretend that the use of a Seer Stone was ever accepted as legitimate beyond a fringe group of friends and family.

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Uh, hate to break it to you, but other than a few of the other local superstitious farmers and country yokels, seer stones and their use were largely derided even in Joseph Smith's day.  That's why the seer stone was quickly erased from Church history from the Kirtland-era an onward.  

 

There were even laws against their use not because people thought they worked, but because lawmakers were pretty sure that seer stones didn't work and that people who paid others for their use were being duped.

 

The spin on this is just crazy.  Seer stones were like the Ouija Board of Joseph Smith's day.  If President Monson stood up and said he had received a revelation through a Ouija Board, everyone would be like "What the heck?!"  Or maybe you would say "President Monson used the Ouija Board because it is believable; it cements our faith.  It shows us that the process is real and not faked.  There is no better way to speak to our faith than by using a Ouija Board."

 

But either way, it's disingenuous to pretend that the use of a Seer Stone was ever accepted as legitimate beyond a fringe group of friends and family.

 

Divine!

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Uh, hate to break it to you, but other than a few of the other local superstitious farmers and country yokels, seer stones and their use were largely derided even in Joseph Smith's day.  That's why the seer stone was quickly erased from Church history from the Kirtland-era an onward.  

 

Actually, on a different thread, I showed that the seerstone was a basic part of the translation process. There were articles about it in the ensign. So, it was not erased. And we do know that the witnesses to the book of mormon certainly believed in seer stones. A couple of them even attempted to use it. They failed. And I don't believe that people were laughing at it during joseph's time. And the stone was saved by the church and I am also sure that joseph showed the stone to quite a few people. Nothing to be ashamed of. Such was the time in which he lived.

 

Why do you continue to use the church hid its usage? Or attempted to erase it? Should I go back to the other thread and link where it was mentioned in the ensign? I do believe that critics need to be honest and stop attempting to mislead people as you have just done.

 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1997/01/by-the-gift-and-power-of-god?lang=eng

 

I see no erasure in this link. Now will this force you to change your MO? Maybe not. You will again repeat the erasure part. I have more links from the ensign.

 

Here is the seer stome and the head in the hat:

 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/07/a-treasured-testament?lang=eng

 

My point has been simple. The church at some time stopped relating it in its periodicals. And it was a mistake. But now they are catching up with lost time.

Edited by why me
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