Unlike virtually all other recent world scriptures, the book of mormon presents itself as an integrated narrative rather than a series of doctrinal expositions, moral injunctions, or devotional hymns. The urim and thummim was so large that a normal man could only look through one of the glasses at a time. In the book of mormon the prophets ether and mosiah both used devices called urim and thummim to receive revelation for their people. Urim and thummim places the book of mormon translation on trial, presenting the latest research in one of the most comprehensive treatments of the translation process to date providing encouragement for latterday saints who fear they have been betrayed by the translation history. Dear paul, i have been unable to find any definite information on the disposition of the urim and thummim. To enlarge the holy city or the temple court the orders of the king, of a prophet, and of the urim and thummim were necessary sheb. Dear gramps, i would like to know the exact way the prophet joseph translated the book of mormon. Joseph used these stones to help him translate the book of mormon. He said, with the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called urim and thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breast plate. Items do not represent the official views of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints or of book of mormon central. I do not believe, in pretending to translate with urim and thummim when only a small stone was used. Joseph smith translated the book of mormon with the urim. Sariah was likely the first person to hear about her husband prophets visions and dreams which are recorded in the book of mormon written by their descendents. Most biblical scholars over the past few centuries have believed that the urim and thummim was used merely to obtain a yes or no answer, similar to casting lots.
The first prophet of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints the mormon church, joseph smith, claimed that he used the urim and thummim to translate the book of mormon. Mason allred and mark ashurstmcgee discuss historical accounts of the book of mormon translation process, including joseph smith using a seer stone and accounts of joseph smith using urim and thummim. Urim and thummim mormonism, the mormon church, beliefs. The day joseph got the plates and urimm and thummim september 22, 1827 article from.
According to, the urim and thummim is an instrument prepared of god to assist man in obtaining revelation from the lord and in translating languages. At least some of the leadership has always known the true story with respect to how the book of mormon was created. For instance, i read that at first he used a seer stone instead of the urim and thummim which he placed in his hat and buried his face into the hat to block out the light. Description too many cases have been written against mormonism out of impetuosity, and their lack of scholarly. When the jewish exiles were met on their return from babylon by a question which they had no data for answering, they agreed to postpone the settlement of the difficulty till there should rise up a priest with urim and thummim. The book of mormon also tells that only one who is a seer is able to use the urim and thummim mosiah 8. A comparison of european regalia and lds scriptural accounts of oracular objects.
That same urim and thummim was used by joseph smith in translating the book of mormon. The gospel topics essay on book of mormon translation sets out the mclellin narrative instead of the teachings of the prophets. Joseph smith mentioned several times that he translated the book of mormon record through the gift and power of god by means of the urim and thummim, but the term was used ambiguously. I beheld with my eyes and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. It occurs in a list with food items, namely, corn, wheat, barley, neas another book of mormon hapax legomenon, and fruit seeds. When joseph smith had completed the translation of the book of mormon, the angel moroni appeared to him and took the plates into his possession, along with the urim and thummim. The theological and religious teachings of the book of mormon are important in three respects. How exactly did joseph smith translate the book of mormon. In doing so the book has shed light on what has been the cause of faithful saints to remainperish in darkness. They are a chosen people who will fulfill the work of god in the last days in building the new jerusalem, with the gentiles assisting them.
Use of the urim and thummim in translating the book of mormon. Joseph fielding smith, in his doctrines of salvation, 3. Brigham young about the interpreters and the urim and thummim. It is true that following the loss of the 116 pages of manuscript of the book of mormon the urim and thummim were taken from the prophet, but it was only for a few days. It involves identifying urim and thummim with the breastplate of judgment or its jewels. Abraham learned about the universe through the urim and thummim. I wrote with my own pen the entire book of mormon save a few pages as it fell from the lips of the prophet as he translated it by the gift and power of god by means of the urim and thummim, or as it is called by that book, holy interpreters. God provided a urim and thummim to his prophets in ancient times see exodus 28.
The idea that the book of mormon and other revelations by the urim and thummim were received as visions is consistent not only with witness accounts but also with the way the bible and book of mormon portray the revelation of new scripture to ancient seers such. We all know biblical verses can send a wrong meaning when taken out of context, and the book of mormon is no different. Urim and thummim 4 high priest who bore the urim and thummim, so that, at the least, these two, the priest and the breastplate, must be present in such an inquiry. Smith said that after translating the book of mormon, he returned the plates and the urim and thummim to the angel, whom he identified as the resurrected moroni. On the high priests ephod an apronlike garment lay a breastpiece a pouch inlaid with 12 precious stones engraved with the names of the 12 tribes of israel that held the urim and thummim ex. It is an instrument prepared by god through which revelation may be received. The plates, however, were not returned, but instead smith was given by the angel a urim and thummim of another pattern, it being shaped in oval or kidney form. Latterday saints profess that utilization of a urim and thummim. The website also states that the name urim and thummim is hebrew for lights and perfections and that there is more than one urim and thummim, but we are informed that joseph smith had the one used by the brother of jared see. I still envision ethers cavity of a rock as being the same cave in cumorah ramah.
Book of mormon central archive kingship and seer stones. Urim and thummim places the book of mormon translation on trial, presenting the latest research in one of the most comprehensive treatments of the translation process to date providing encouragement for latterday saints who fear they have been betrayed by the translation history taught by. He also received at least six revelations by inquiring of the lord through the urim and thummim. The object allegedly found with the gold plates was not urim and thummim. Joseph smith translated the book of mormon with the urim and thummim, not by a seer stone in a hat. What does the historical record have to say about the urim and thummim. The words urim and thummim did not appear in the book of mormon, early revelations, or early newspaper accounts. Latter day saints believe that smiths urim and thummim were functionally identical to the biblical urim and thummim. He conversed with us in a familiar manner on a variety of subjects, and explained to us the urim and thummim which he found with the plates, called in the book of mormon the interpreters. It book of mormon was translated by the gift and power of god, by an unlearned man, through. The book of mormon has been a hot topic for a long time.
Urim and thummim places the book of mormon translation on trial, presenting the latest research in one of the most comprehensive treatments of the translation process to date providing encouragement for latterday saints who fear they have been betrayed by the translation history taught by the church for over 190 years. Oct 08, 2009 at any rate, it would seem that mosiah didnt have the same type of interpreters as ether did, the ones in the silver bow. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the urim and the thummim. Unlike most articles that seem to manifest so quickly, i intent to discuss evidence in support of this books claims. Objects not specifically described, perhaps stones, placed in the breastplate of the high priest, which he wore when he went into the presence of the lord and by which he ascertained the will of god in any important matter affecting the nation exod. When joseph smith had completed the translation of the book of mormon, the angel moroni appeared to him and took the plates. Seer stone or urim and thummim babylonian 8 pointed star of ishtar is all over the lds payson temple book of mormon warning for our day 61 points about secret combinations. Kolob and the urim and thummim ancient mormon doctrine. We build enduring faith in jesus christ by making the book of mormon accessible. Chicago tribune, december 17, 1885, 3 cited in john welch as the 93rd of 203 translation accounts in his compilation found in opening the heavens.
He had a urim and thummim by which he was enabled to discern all things pertaining to the ark, and its pattern. This earth in its celestial condition will be a urim and thummim, and. What happened to the urim and thummim after the book of mormon. It is here that the urim and thummim is defined as being interpreters. Translating the book of mormon religious studies center. The latterday gospel embraces the liahona, urim and thummim, and the associated seer stones hereinafter, oracular objects. Providing a plausible origin of the book of mormon is becoming an impossibly difficult task for those who claim that joseph drew upon his vast knowledge of books and the bible to fabricate it. Main termsvector search result for urim and thummim 1.
The first reference to urim and thummim in the bible is the description in the book of exodus concerning the high priests vestments. There was no suggestion that joseph, oliver, or anyone else referred to the seer stone as the urim and thummim. The idea is that knowledge that joseph had used a seer stone was not widespread and that any indication given by leaders that it was only the urim and thummim was based on their lack of knowledge. The term urim and thummim was applied to both the nephite interpreters that were recovered with the plates, and joseph smiths own seer stone.
Is there evidence that joseph smith possessed a urim and thummim and breastplate. Feb 06, 20 the translation of the word urim and thummim is lights and wholeness or perfections. In the doctrine and covenants, it states that the urim and thummim smith originally possessed was the same one possessed by the jaredites. In the passage that follows, we read that the lord. Were joseph smiths translation instruments like the. The evil federal reserve to honor lds marriner eccles new deal. This is what we have in the book of mormon about the translation. The three witnesses were given the testimony that joseph jr. The doctrine of urim and thum mim page 3urim and thummim as defined and explained by others commentator definition and explanation 3 smiths bib le dictionary by dr. See section headers for sections 3, 6, 7, 11, 14, and 17 of the doctrine and covenants. The urim and thummim is mentioned in the bible and, with added details about its use and significance, in latterday scriptures. When they were restored to him he again used them in the translation process.
In the book of mormon, the prophets the brother of jared and mosiah both used devices called interpreters to receive revelation for their people. Joseph smith received the urim and thummim for the purpose of translating the reformed egyptian characters written on the gold plates. Urim and thummim definition mormonism research ministry. A treasure hunt for the urim and thummim forms the central plot of the john bellairs novel the revenge of the wizards ghost their apparent desecration by an unknown vandal is a theme in the arthur conan doyle short story the jews breastplate.
Many latter day saints believe that the urim and thummim of joseph smith and the book of mormon were the functional equivalent of the urim and thummim mentioned in the old testament. The objects were placed on a breastplate, which bore the names of the twelve tribes of israel, that was worn over the heart of the high priest 2 when he went before the lord ex. The church teaches that the book of mormon was translated by the gift and power of god using the urim and thummim. Urim and thummim literally lights and perfections, a means of divination employed by the ancient hebrews 1. Although the use of urim and thummim is now pervasive among church members, it is not the correct designation for the instruments used in the translation of the book of mormon. Smith reportedly told orson pratt that the lord gave him the urim and thummim when he was an inexperienced translator but that as he grew in experience, he no longer needed such. If ether hid up his stuff there, it makes sense that mormon would have access to them. The urim and thummim of the book of mormon is again mentioned in the days of mosiah, when he used them to translate the plates of ether. Both instruments were used in the translation process. When it comes to the origin of the book of mormon, there are two possibilities. Archaeological and historical evidence urim and thummim.
Sariah was the wife of the prophet lehi who lived about 600 b. Interestingly, while the urim and thummim are called interpreters, alma 37. Urim and thummim a device used to translate and receive revelation. The reason for the demise of the urim and thummim is not explicitly given. In the old testament, a urim and thummim are mentioned multiple times. Book of mormontranslationurim and thummim fairmormon. Day after day i continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the urim and thummim, or, as the nephites would have said, interpreters, the history, or record, called the book of mormon. The eyeglasses that were supposedly big enough to fit a nine foot tall giant with a huge head were called the nephite interpr. Today, revisionist church historians have embraced mclellins disbelief in these teachings. Term urim and thummim not used until 1833 it is notable that the term urim and thummim is not found in the book of mormon and was never used by joseph smith with reference to producing the book of mormon until after 1833.
Is there evidence that joseph smith possessed a urim and. The symbol of urim and thummim in the alchemist from. Urim and thummim the church of jesus christ of latterday saints. All contemporary accounts referred to the interpreters moroni put in the stone box as the urim and thummim. Seer stone or urim and thummim book of mormon speaks. That theatre is slow exiting due to the configuration of the stairs, so youll have to add about 1520 minutes to get out of the building unless you are right at the back and jump up immediately to get to the front of the pack. First, its doctrine often agrees with traditional christian beliefs in sometimes surprising ways and at other times undermines the bible and traditional christianity. The theology of the book of mormon an introduction to the. Joseph smith used both the nephite interpreters and his own seer stone during the translation process, yet we only hear of the urim and thummim being used. Urim and thummim bakers evangelical dictionary of biblical. Since the urim and thummim, in whatever way they functioned, were a physical means of revelation, it appears that god was taking his people away from the easy certainty inherent in a mechanical means of revelation to the more consistent use of prophecy and the word alone.
An ancient instrument or tool prepared by god and used by joseph smith to aid in the translation of the book of mormon. What did the interpreters urim and thummim look like. There are several chapters of isaiah in the book of mormon, all dealing with the scattering and regathering of israel. What happened to the urim and thummim after the book of. Examples of deliberate deception regarding the book of. The prophet joseph smith said, i told the brethren that the book of mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to god by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book joseph smith, history of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints, 7 vols. In understanding the book of mormon, hardy offers the first comprehensive analysis of the works narrative structure in its 180 year history. Presumably, in mormon belief, no qualification other than gods selection and ordination is necessary for an item to become a urim and thummim. The feast of trumpets and joseph smith urim, thummim. The book of mormon gives the covenants of the lord through christ. Joseph smith used it in translating the book of mormon and in obtaining other revelations. The addition of the information about the urim and thummim is in the 1835 edition of the doctrine and covenants, and that meaning was firmly entrenched by that time. The lxx, however, rendered, you shall put upon the oracle of judgment the urim and thummim.
The urim and thummim are also afforded some value as artifacts in some modern fiction. Everyone who read the book understood these were two competing explanations of the translation of the book of mormon. As i explained in a previous and related post, the expression urim and thummim is never used in the book of mormon. Do mormons know what happened to the urim and thummim which. Described by joseph smith as two stones in silver bowsfastened to a breastplate joseph smithhistory 1. Nov 26, 2011 before writing or teaching about the book of mormon, it is essential to read itall of it, straight through, in order to see the information in context. Joseph smith described the nephite interpreters which, over time, came to be known as the urim and thummim 1 as two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.
Urim and thummim are fortunetelling stones that melchizedek gives to santiago. Was the urim and thummim taken from joseph smith when the 116. Urim and thummim encyclopedia of the bible bible gateway. Seer stones and the translation of the book of mormon. Hiram page is an example in mormon history of someone attempting to use seer stones without the permission of the lord doctrine and covenants 28. The stones are black and white, with their colors representing yes and no answers to questionsso melchizedek tells santiago that he must only ask objective questions of the stones. And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of god might be fulfilled. What happened to the urim and thummim that joseph smith used to translate the book of mormon. Some natives of the book of mormon, or remnants, descend from israel.496 930 1004 260 485 389 1134 1177 1354 33 1405 727 141 1507 817 1137 1104 413 63 1341 1072 7 1320 1073 1057 486 971 841 630 284 933