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Raw Information about the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Original documents and sources


Seer Stones


External Link
Image and Description of the seer stone purchased in Susquehannah County
(Note:  This green seer stone was apparently sold to Joseph Smith by Jack Belcher in the 1820's. After his assassination in 1844 this stone was acquired by Philo Dibble, who later exhibited the stone, death masks and other historical objects on lecture tours which he conducted in Utah Territory. It passed through various heirs and in 1993 was sold for $75,000.

Another common image of this stone is here.)

   The stone which he afterwards used was then in the possession of Jack Belcher, of Gibson, who obtained it while at Salina, N.Y., engaged in drawing salt. Belcher bought it because it was said to be a seeing stone. I have often seen it. It was a green stone, with brown, irregular spots on it. It was a little longer than a goose's egg, and about the same thickness. When he brought it home and covered it with a hat, Belcher's little boy was one of the first to look into the hat, and as he did so he said he saw a candle. The second time he looked in he exclaimed, I've found my hatchet! — (it had been lost two years) — and immediately ran for it to the spot shown him through the stone, and it was there. The boy was soon beset by neighbors far and near to reveal to them hidden things, and he succeeded marvellously. Even the wanderings of a lost child were traced by him — the distracted parents coming to him three times for directions, and in each case finding signs that the child had been in the places he designated, but at last it was found starved to death. Joe Smith . . . bought the stone of Belcher and then began his operations in directing where hidden treasures could be found. His first diggings were near Capt. Buck's saw-mill, at Red Rock; but, because his followers broke the rule of silence, the enchantment removed the deposits.
Full Source
External Link
History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, Emily C. Blackman, pg 577
Stone sold to Joseph Smith by Jack Belcher
James B. Buck
1873
   The stone which he afterwards used was then in the possession of Jack Belcher, of Gibson, who obtained it while at Salina, N.Y., engaged in drawing salt. Belcher bought it because it was said to be "a seeing stone." I have often seen it. It was a green stone, with brown, irregular spots on it. It was a little longer than a goose's egg, and about the same thickness. When he brought it home and covered it with a hat, Belcher's little boy was one of the first to look into the hat, and as he did so he said he saw a candle. The second time he looked in he exclaimed, "I've found my hatchet!" — (it had been lost two years) — and immediately ran for it to the spot shown him through the stone, and it was there. The boy was soon beset by neighbors far and near to reveal to them hidden things, and he succeeded marvellously. Even the wanderings of a lost child were traced by him — the distracted parents coming to him three times for directions, and in each case finding signs that the child had been in the places he designated, but at last it was found starved to death. Joe Smith . . . bought the stone of Belcher and then began his operations in directing where hidden treasures could be found. His first diggings were near Capt. Buck's saw-mill, at Red Rock; but, because his followers broke the rule of silence, "the enchantment removed the deposits."

External Link
Wilford C. Wood Museum, Bountiful, UT
Bidamon Seer Stone in the Wilford Wood Museum
(Note:  After Joseph Smith's death, Emma gave this stone to relatives of her second husband, Lewis Bidamon. It currently resides in the Wilford Wood Museum.)

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Autobiography and Journal of Priddy Meeks
Priddy Meeks discussion with Hyrum Smith, according to his autobiography
Priddy Meeks
1879
   I have seen peepstones as well polished as a fiddle with a nice hole through one end that belonged to the ancients. I asked Brother Smith the use for that hole; he said the same as a watch chain to keep from losing it. He said in time of war the Nephites had the advantage of their enemies by looking in the seerstone which would reveal whatever they wished to know. (I believe a peepstone is of the same piece with the Urim and Thummim, if we understood it.)
(Note:  No image of this document is available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it.)

   I saw Joshua Stafford's peep-stone which looked like white marble and had a hole through the center. Sallie Chase, a Methodist, had one and people would go for her to find lost and hidden or stolen things.
Full Source
External Link
Naked Truths About Mormonism, Vol 1, No 2, pg 1, col 3
Caroline Smith Statement
M. C. R. Smith
25 Mar, 1885
   I saw Joshua Stafford's peep-stone which looked like white marble and had a hole through the center. Sallie Chase, a Methodist, had one and people would go for her to find lost and hidden or stolen things.
(Note:  Mrs. Caroline Smith was the sister of the infamous Mormon, Orrin Porter Rockwell.)

   He said when he was a lad, he heard of a neighboring girl some three miles from him, who could look into a glass and see anything however hidden from others; that he was seized with a strong desire to see her and her glass; that after much effort he induced his parents to let him visit her. He did so, and was permitted to look in the glass, which was placed in a hat to exclude the light. He was greatly surprised to see but one thing, which was a small stone, a great way off. It soon became luminous, and dazzled his eyes, and after a short time it became as intense as the mid-day sun. He said that the stone was under the roots of a tree or shrub as large as his arm, situated about a mile up a small stream that puts in on the South side of Lake Erie, not far from the Now York and Pennsylvania line. He often had an opportunity to look in the glass, and with the same result. The luminous stone alone attracted his attention. This singular circumstance occupied his mind for some years, when he left his father's house, and with his youthful zeal traveled west in search of this luminous stone.<br>
   ...After traveling some one hundred and fifty miles he found himself at the mouth of the creek. He did not have the glass with him, but he knew its exact location. He borrowed an old ax and a hoe, and repaired to the tree. With some labor and exertion he found the stone, carried it to the creek, washed and wiped it dry, sat down on the bank, placed it in his hat, and discovered that time, place and distance were annihilated; that all intervening obstacles were removed, and that he possessed one of the attributes of Deity, an All-Seeing-Eye...<br>
   On the request of the Court, he exhibited the stone. It was about the size of a small hen' a egg, in the shape of a high-instepped shoe. It was composed of layers of different colors passing diagonally through it. It was very hard and smooth, perhaps by being carried in the pocket.
External Link
Chenango Union, Norwich, NY, May 2, 1877, Vol 30, No. 33
W. D. Purple Account
W. D. Purple
28 Apr, 1877
   He said when he was a lad, he heard of a neighboring girl some three miles from him, who could look into a glass and see anything however hidden from others; that he was seized with a strong desire to see her and her glass; that after much effort he induced his parents to let him visit her. He did so, and was permitted to look in the glass, which was placed in a hat to exclude the light. He was greatly surprised to see but one thing, which was a small stone, a great way off. It soon became luminous, and dazzled his eyes, and after a short time it became as intense as the mid-day sun. He said that the stone was under the roots of a tree or shrub as large as his arm, situated about a mile up a small stream that puts in on the South side of Lake Erie, not far from the Now York and Pennsylvania line. He often had an opportunity to look in the glass, and with the same result. The luminous stone alone attracted his attention. This singular circumstance occupied his mind for some years, when he left his father's house, and with his youthful zeal traveled west in search of this luminous stone.
   ...After traveling some one hundred and fifty miles he found himself at the mouth of the creek. He did not have the glass with him, but he knew its exact location. He borrowed an old ax and a hoe, and repaired to the tree. With some labor and exertion he found the stone, carried it to the creek, washed and wiped it dry, sat down on the bank, placed it in his hat, and discovered that time, place and distance were annihilated; that all intervening obstacles were removed, and that he possessed one of the attributes of Deity, an All-Seeing-Eye...
   On the request of the Court, he exhibited the stone. It was about the size of a small hen' a egg, in the shape of a high-instepped shoe. It was composed of layers of different colors passing diagonally through it. It was very hard and smooth, perhaps by being carried in the pocket.
(Note:  No images of this edition of the Chenango Union are available online. On July 26, 1877, this article was reprinted in the Watkins Express and can be read in its original format here.)

   His son Joseph, whom he called the illiterate, when about fourteen years of age, happened to be where a man was looking into a dark stone and telling people, therefrom, where to dig for money and other things. Joseph requested the privilege of looking into the stone, which he did by putting his face into the hat where the stone was. It proved to be not the right stone for him; but he could see some things, and, among them, he saw the stone, and where it was, in which he could see whatever he wished to see. Smith claims and believes that there is a stone of this quality, somewhere, for every one. The place where he saw the stone was not far from their house; and, under pretence of digging a well, they found water and the stone at a depth of twenty or twenty-two feet.
Full Source
External Link
Historical Magazine (second series),Vol 7, Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, pg 306
Report on an 1830 Interview with Joseph Smith, Sr.
Fayette Lapham
May, 1870
   His son Joseph, whom he called the illiterate, when about fourteen years of age, happened to be where a man was looking into a dark stone and telling people, therefrom, where to dig for money and other things. Joseph requested the privilege of looking into the stone, which he did by putting his face into the hat where the stone was. It proved to be not the right stone for him; but he could see some things, and, among them, he saw the stone, and where it was, in which he could see whatever he wished to see. Smith claims and believes that there is a stone of this quality, somewhere, for every one. The place where he saw the stone was not far from their house; and, under pretence of digging a well, they found water and the stone at a depth of twenty or twenty-two feet.

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External Link
Prophet Wilford Woodruff statement during meeting with James E. Talmage, February 22, 1893, LDS archives, as quoted in Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, by D. Michael Quinn, p. 174
Gazalem
James E. Talmage
22 Feb, 1893
   President Woodruff in relation to the seer stone known as ‘Gazalem,’ which was shown of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph to be some thirty feet under ground, and which he obtained by digging under the pretense of excavating for a well, as related in his own history. This remarkable stone was used by the Prophet.
(Note:  No images of this source are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

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Wilford Woodruff’s Journal
Wilford Woodruff's Journal
Wilford Woodruff
11 Sep, 1859
   Presidet Young also said that the seer stone which Joseph Smith first obtained He got in an Iron kettle 25 feet under ground. He saw it while looking in another seers stone which a person had. He went right to the spot & dug & found it.
(Note:  No images of this journal are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   The profession of a water-witch did not bring enough ducats to the Smith family; so the attempt was made to find hidden treasures. Failing in this, the unfolding flower of Mormonism would have been nipped in the bud had not Joe's father and brother been engaged in digging a well upon the premises of Clark Chase in September, 1819. Joseph, Jr., stood idly by with some of the Chase children when a stone resembling a child's foot was thrown from the well. The Chase children claimed the curiosity, as it was considered, but Joe seized and retained it. Afterward, for a series of years, he claimed that by the use of it he was enabled to discover stolen property and to locate the place where treasure was buried.
Full Source
External Link
Lippincott's Magazine 26:152, pg 198
Lippincott's Monthly Magazine
Frederic G. Mather
Aug, 1880
   The profession of a water-witch did not bring enough ducats to the Smith family; so the attempt was made to find hidden treasures. Failing in this, the unfolding flower of Mormonism would have been nipped in the bud had not Joe's father and brother been engaged in digging a well upon the premises of Clark Chase in September, 1819. Joseph, Jr., stood idly by with some of the Chase children when a stone resembling a child's foot was thrown from the well. The Chase children claimed the curiosity, as it was considered, but Joe seized and retained it. Afterward, for a series of years, he claimed that by the use of it he was enabled to discover stolen property and to locate the place where treasure was buried.

   In September, 1819, a curious stone was found in the digging of a well upon the premises of Mr. Clark Chase, near Palmyra.  This stone attracted particular notice on account of its peculiar shape, resembling that of a child's foot.  It was of a whitish, glassy appearance, though opaque, resembling quartz.  Joseph Smith, Sr., and his elder sons Alvin and Hyrum, did the chief labor of this well-digging, and Joseph, Jr., who had been a frequenter in the progress of the work, as an idle looker-on and lounger, manifested a special fancy for this geological curiosity; and he carried it home with him, though this act of plunder was against the strenuous protestations of Mr. Chase's children, who claimed to be its rightful owners.<br>
   Joseph kept this stone, and ever afterward refused its restoration to the claimants.  Very soon the pretension transpired that he could see wonderful things by its aid.  This idea was rapidly enlarged upon from day to day, and in a short time his spiritual endowment was so developed that he asserted the gift and power (with the stone at his eyes) of revealing both things existing and things to come.
Full Source
External Link
Origin, rise, and progress of Mormonism : biography of its founders and history of its church : personal remembrances and historical collections hitherto unwritten ..., pg 19
Pomeroy Tucker's View
Pomeroy Tucker
1867
   In September, 1819, a curious stone was found in the digging of a well upon the premises of Mr. Clark Chase, near Palmyra. This stone attracted particular notice on account of its peculiar shape, resembling that of a child's foot. It was of a whitish, glassy appearance, though opaque, resembling quartz. Joseph Smith, Sr., and his elder sons Alvin and Hyrum, did the chief labor of this well-digging, and Joseph, Jr., who had been a frequenter in the progress of the work, as an idle looker-on and lounger, manifested a special fancy for this geological curiosity; and he carried it home with him, though this act of plunder was against the strenuous protestations of Mr. Chase's children, who claimed to be its rightful owners.
   Joseph kept this stone, and ever afterward refused its restoration to the claimants. Very soon the pretension transpired that he could see wonderful things by its aid. This idea was rapidly enlarged upon from day to day, and in a short time his spiritual endowment was so developed that he asserted the gift and power (with the stone at his eyes) of revealing both things existing and things to come.

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External Link
Lorenzo Saunders, Interviewed by E. L. Kelley, 12 November 1884, pgs 8-9, E. L. Kelley Papers,
Lorenzo Saunders Interview
Lorenzo Saunders
12 Nov, 1884
   Willard Chase claimed his sister Sally had a peep stone. The Lord bless you I have seen her peep stone a hundred times; It was a little bit of a stone & it was green & she would hold it before light. After I left there, it was thirty years ago:--after I left there I can not tell you whether the peep stone was used or not... as I told Jo. Smith when he dug one out of a well on Chases Farm in the Shape of a baby's foot. They dug that hole for money. Chase's & Smiths altogether was digging it. I knew all about the stone; Edmund Chase told me all about it, He lives here now, this side of Kalamazoo. He is a man older than I am. his name is Edmund Chase.

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External Link
Naked Truths About Mormonism, Vol 1, No 1, pg 2, col 4
Sarah Anderick Statement
Sarah Fowler Anderick
24 Jun, 1887
   Williard Chase, a Methodist who lived about two miles from uncle's, while digging a well, found a gray smooth stone about the size and shape of an egg. Sallie, Williard's sister, also a Methodist, told me several times that young Jo Smith, who became the Mormon prophet, often came to inquire of her where to dig for treasures. She told me she would place the stone in a hat and hold it to her face, and claimed things would be brought to her view. Sallie let me have it several times, but I never could see anything in or through it. I heard that Jo obtained it and called it a peep-stone, which he used in the place of the witch hazel.
(Note:  No images of this source are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   In the year 1822, I was engaged in digging a well.  I employed Alvin and Joseph Smith to assist me; the latter of whom is now known as the Mormon prophet.  After digging about twenty feet below the surface of the earth, we discovered a singularly appearing stone, which excited my curiosity.  I brought it to the top of the well, and as we were examining it, Joseph put it into his hat, and then his face into the top of his hat.  It has been said by Smith, that he brought the stone from the well; but this is false.  There was no one in the well but myself.  The next morning he came to me, and wished to obtain the stone, alledging that he could see in it; but I told him I did not wish to part with it on account of its being a curiosity, but would lend it.  After obtaining the stone, he began to publish abroad what wonders he could discover by looking in it, and made so much disturbance among the credulous part of community, that I ordered the stone to be returned to me again.  He had it in his possession about two years.-I believe, some time in 1825, Hiram Smith (brother of Joseph Smith) came to me, and wished to borrow the same stone, alledging that they wanted to accomplish some business of importance, which could not very well be done without the aid of the stone.  I told him it was of no particular worth to me, but merely wished to keep it as a curiosity, and if he would pledge me his word and honor, that I should have it when called for, he might take it; which he did and took the stone.  I thought I could rely on his word at this time, as he had made a profession of religion.  But in this I was disappointed, for he disregarded both his word and honor.<br>
   In the fall of 1826, a friend called upon me and wished to see that stone, about which so much had been said; and I told him if he would go with me to Smith's, (a distance of about half a mile) he might see it.  But to my surprise, on going to Smith's, and asking him for the stone, he said, you cannot have it; I told him it belonged to me, repeated to him the promise he made me, at the time of obtaining the stone: upon which he faced me with a malignant look and said, I don't care who in the Devil it belongs to, you shall not have it.
Full Source
External Link
Mormonism Unvailed, E.D. Howe, pgs 240-241
Testimony of Willard Chase
Willard Chase, witnessed by Fred'k Smith
11 Dec, 1833
   In the year 1822, I was engaged in digging a well. I employed Alvin and Joseph Smith to assist me; the latter of whom is now known as the Mormon prophet. After digging about twenty feet below the surface of the earth, we discovered a singularly appearing stone, which excited my curiosity. I brought it to the top of the well, and as we were examining it, Joseph put it into his hat, and then his face into the top of his hat. It has been said by Smith, that he brought the stone from the well; but this is false. There was no one in the well but myself. The next morning he came to me, and wished to obtain the stone, alledging that he could see in it; but I told him I did not wish to part with it on account of its being a curiosity, but would lend it. After obtaining the stone, he began to publish abroad what wonders he could discover by looking in it, and made so much disturbance among the credulous part of community, that I ordered the stone to be returned to me again. He had it in his possession about two years.-I believe, some time in 1825, Hiram Smith (brother of Joseph Smith) came to me, and wished to borrow the same stone, alledging that they wanted to accomplish some business of importance, which could not very well be done without the aid of the stone. I told him it was of no particular worth to me, but merely wished to keep it as a curiosity, and if he would pledge me his word and honor, that I should have it when called for, he might take it; which he did and took the stone. I thought I could rely on his word at this time, as he had made a profession of religion. But in this I was disappointed, for he disregarded both his word and honor.
   In the fall of 1826, a friend called upon me and wished to see that stone, about which so much had been said; and I told him if he would go with me to Smith's, (a distance of about half a mile) he might see it. But to my surprise, on going to Smith's, and asking him for the stone, he said, "you cannot have it;" I told him it belonged to me, repeated to him the promise he made me, at the time of obtaining the stone: upon which he faced me with a malignant look and said, "I don't care who in the Devil it belongs to, you shall not have it."

   Mr. Harris says... Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase, twenty-four feet from the surface. In this stone he could see many things to my certain knowledge. It was by means of this stone he first discovered these plates.
   In the first place, he told me of this stone, and proposed to bind it on his eyes, and run a race with me in the woods. A few days after this, I was at the house of his father in Manchester, two miles south of Palmyra village, and was picking my teeth with a pin while sitting on the bars. The pin caught in my teeth, and dropped from my fingers into shavings and straw. I jumped from the bars and looked for it. Joseph and Northrop Sweet also did the same. We could not find it. I then took Joseph on surprise, and said to him—I said, 'Take your stone.' I had never seen it, and did not know that he had it with him. He had it in his pocket. He took it and placed it in his hat—the old white hat—and placed his face in his hat. I watched him closely to see that he did not look one side; he reached out his hand beyond me on the right, and moved a little stick, and there I saw the pin, which he picked up and gave to me. I know he did not look out of the hat until after he had picked up the pin.<br>
   Joseph had had this stone for some time.
Full Source
External Link
Mormonism—No. II, Tiffany's Monthly, 5(4), Joel Tiffany, pp. 162–63
Martin Harris, According to Joel Tiffany
Joel Tiffany
Aug, 1859
   Mr. Harris says... "Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase, twenty-four feet from the surface. In this stone he could see many things to my certain knowledge. It was by means of this stone he first discovered these plates.    In the first place, he told me of this stone, and proposed to bind it on his eyes, and run a race with me in the woods. A few days after this, I was at the house of his father in Manchester, two miles south of Palmyra village, and was picking my teeth with a pin while sitting on the bars. The pin caught in my teeth, and dropped from my fingers into shavings and straw. I jumped from the bars and looked for it. Joseph and Northrop Sweet also did the same. We could not find it. I then took Joseph on surprise, and said to him—I said, 'Take your stone.' I had never seen it, and did not know that he had it with him. He had it in his pocket. He took it and placed it in his hat—the old white hat—and placed his face in his hat. I watched him closely to see that he did not look one side; he reached out his hand beyond me on the right, and moved a little stick, and there I saw the pin, which he picked up and gave to me. I know he did not look out of the hat until after he had picked up the pin.
   Joseph had had this stone for some time."

Full Source
External Link
Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon
Images of the stone given by Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery
The Joseph Smith Papers
Aug 4, 2015
(Note:  According to the description in the Ensign, "The stone pictured here has long been associated with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon translation... This stone passed from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery and then to the Church through Brigham Young and others."

These images were published in Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon as part of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, described here.)

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Wilford Woodruff’s Journal
Dedication of the Manti temple
Wilford Woodruff
18 May, 1888
   Before leaving I consecrated upon the altar the seer stone that Joseph Smith found by revelation some 30 feet under the Earth carried by him through life.
(Note:  No images of this statement from Wilford Woodruff's journal are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

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Doctrines of Salvation,Vol. 3, p. 225
Joseph Fielding Smith
Joseph Fielding Smith
1 Mar, 1959
   We have been taught since the days of the Prophet that the Urim and Thummim were returned with the plates to the angel. We have not record of the Prophet having the Urim and Thummim after the organization of the Church. Statements of translations by the Urim and Thummim after that date 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.
(Note:  No images of this copyrighted material are available online. This book may be purchased from various sources.)

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Letter from Emma Bidamon to Emma S. Pilgrim, March 27, 1870
Emma's Description in a letter to Mrs. Charles Pilgrim
Emma Smith Bidamon
27 Mar, 1876
   Now the first that my husband translated was translated by the use of the Urim and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he used a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color.
(Note:  No image of this letter is available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it.)

   By fervent prayer and by otherwise humbling himself, the prophet however, again found favor, and was presented with a strange, oval-shaped, chocolate-colored stone, about the size of an egg, only more flat, which, it was promised would serve the same purpose as the missing Urim and Thummim (the latter was a pair of transparent stones set in a bow-shaped frame and very much resembled a pair of spectacles). With this stone all of the present Book of Mormon was translated. It is the only one of these relics which is not in the possession of the Whitmers. For years Oliver Cowdery surrounded it with care and solicitude, but at his death, old Phineas Young, a brother of Brigham Young, and an old-time and once intimate friend of the Cowdery family, came out from Salt Lake City, and during his visit he contrived to get the stone from its hiding place, through a little deceptive sophistry, expended upon the grief-stricken widow. When he returned to Utah he carried it in triumph to the apostles of Brigham Young's lion house.
External Link
The Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL, 17 Oct, 1886, Vol 15, No 207, pg 17
David Whitmer description
David Whitmer
17 Oct, 1886
   By fervent prayer and by otherwise humbling himself, the prophet however, again found favor, and was presented with a strange, oval-shaped, chocolate-colored stone, about the size of an egg, only more flat, which, it was promised would serve the same purpose as the missing Urim and Thummim (the latter was a pair of transparent stones set in a bow-shaped frame and very much resembled a pair of spectacles). With this stone all of the present Book of Mormon was translated. It is the only one of these relics which is not in the possession of the Whitmers. For years Oliver Cowdery surrounded it with care and solicitude, but at his death, old Phineas Young, a brother of Brigham Young, and an old-time and once intimate friend of the Cowdery family, came out from Salt Lake City, and during his visit he contrived to get the stone from its hiding place, through a little deceptive sophistry, expended upon the grief-stricken widow. When he returned to Utah he carried it in triumph to the apostles of Brigham Young's "lion house."

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Brigham Young's own story in his own words, compiled by Lee Nelson, pg 47
Brigham Young's Journal
Brigham Young
27 Dec, 1841
   I met with the Twelve at Brother Joseph's. 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. He said that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seerstone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make an evil use of it; he showed us his seerstone.
(Note:  No image of the original journal appears to be available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it.)

   Jo Smith told me there was a peep-stone for me and many others if we could only find them.
Full Source
External Link
Naked Truths About Mormonism, Vol 1, No 2, pg 1, col 1
Christopher Stafford Statement
Christopher M. Stafford
23 Mar, 1885
   Jo Smith told me there was a peep-stone for me and many others if we could only find them.

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Hosea Stout diary in Juanita Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier: The Diaries of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, v. 2, p. 593
Brigham Young with seer stone in 1856
Hosea Stout
25 Feb, 1856
   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
(Note:  No image of this diary or document appears to be available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it.)

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Samuel Bateman diary, Lee Library
Samuel Bateman diary
Samuel Bateman
17 Aug, 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
(Note:  No images of this diary are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   After the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished, early in the spring of 1830, before April 6th, Joseph gave the stone to Oliver Cowdery and told me as well as the rest that he was through with it, and he did not use the stone any more.
Full Source
External Link
An Address To All Believers in Christ, 1887, pg 32
Stone Given to Oliver Cowdery
David Whitmer
1887
   After the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished, early in the spring of 1830, before April 6th, Joseph gave the stone to Oliver Cowdery and told me as well as the rest that he was through with it, and he did not use the stone any more.

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Salt Lake City, Council Meeting, LJA 9-13-4, 149-150; BYC, The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 2010, Vol. 2, Pg. 1004
Brigham Young 1855 Council Meeting
Brigham Young
30 Sep, 1855
   Oliver sent me Joseph's first seer stone; Oliver always kept it until he sent it to me - the second seer stone Dr. Williams had - the third one was a very large - and Joseph found two small ones on the beach in Nauvoo - a little larger than a black walnut without the shock on - Joseph said there is a stone for every person on the earth - I don't know that I have ever had a desire to have one.
(Note:  No image of the original is available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it.)

   William Smith, brother of Mrs. McIntosh, is a very interesting personage to converse with... He remembers of seeing the peeping stone which Joe put in his hat and pretended to discover money by so doing. The stone was similar to the speckled stones which are still to be found along the river shore.
External Link
The Montrose Democrat, June 29, 1905, pg 5
Hallstead Herald Recollection
The Montrose Democrat
Jun 29, 1905
   William Smith, brother of Mrs. McIntosh, is a very interesting personage to converse with... He remembers of seeing the "peeping stone" which Joe put in his hat and pretended to discover money by so doing. The stone was similar to the speckled stones which are still to be found along the river shore.
(Note:  The William Smith mentioned in this article is not to be confused with William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith.)

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Mary Brown Firmage interview with Richard S. Van Wagoner, 11 Aug 1986. Van Wagoner papers, Marriott Library
Mary Woodward Interview
Mary Brown Firmage Woodward
11 Aug, 1986
   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 think at the thickest point. It was flat on the bottom and had three black, concentric circles on the top ½ inch. Below the circles were many small black circles. The stone was not transparent.
(Note:  Please contact me if you have any information regarding this interview.)

   In 1965, my professor James Clayton at the University of Utah in history, he says why don't you join us?  We're having a seminar on mormon stuff, and Leonard Arrington, who used to be our church historian, is organizing it, and it was, like, six weeks, guest speaker.  Well the last speaker was Earl Olson.  He was at the time assistant church historian.  Leonard Arrington was not yet our church historian.  And, right at the end he says Earl, how about going down to the archives and maybe you could open the First Presidency's vault and we could see some artifacts.  He says okay.<br>
   So thirteen of us went down and I think most of them are dead.  I was about the youngest guy in that session, and I didn't know the significance of it at the time, but he brought out some handwriting of Joseph Smith, some of his hair, and three seer stones that belonged to Joseph Smith.<br>
   One of them was a little white stone, about like that, and it was shaped like a baby's foot, and for years I thought what does that mean?  Well you know when you stamp a baby's foot on a blessing book, or a baby book, it's kind of narrow at one end and then as it gets up to the toes it gets wider, and that's what it looked like - a white stone, small, about the size of a baby foot, and shaped like a baby's foot.<br>
   And then there was another stone that looked like milk chocolate.  It was the size of a softball, about like that.  And it's like someone had molded mud and had dried mud in a ditch or nearly dried and put it together, and you could still see the finger marks to mold that stone that had become extremely hard.  In fact I tried to, you know, test the end of one of the, and it was, I couldn't even break it, not that I was trying, but it was just solid rock, and it had a handle on it so you could carry it.  They had molded the stone and then added a little cup-like saucer handle on it so you could carry the thing around.  That was another seer stone of Joseph Smith's.<br>
   And then of course the third one was the one he used for the complete translation of the Book of Mormon, the one we have today - very significant stone - almost black with white streaks in it, bigger than a chicken's egg, smaller than a turkey egg, about like that.  He found it in a well in Clark Chase's property, which is very close to the Smith family, and of course being curious I got right up to it, and I couldn't see a thing in it.<br>
   But I didn't know how significant that was.  I had just graduated from the University of Utah in history, and I'd seen all three stones, and come to find out that's almost unheard of.  There's just no one.  And so I thought wow because I didn't think that much of it at the time.  I thought everybody got to see that.<br>
   So when I did my book <i>Insider's View</i> I tried to get a picture of it.  There are no pictures of that stone.  Joseph Smith does not mention that he used that stone in the official history of the church.  I suggested they may want to take a picture in case the stone disappeared, at least they'd have a picture.  That argument went nowhere.  But that stone helps you understand early mormonism, and if you don't understand their mindset, you really don't understand early mormonism.
External Link
Exmormon Foundation 2012 Conference
Grant Palmer description of seer stones in church vault
Grant Palmer
20 Oct, 2012
   In 1965, my professor James Clayton at the University of Utah in history, he says "why don't you join us? We're having a seminar on mormon stuff, and Leonard Arrington," who used to be our church historian, "is organizing it," and it was, like, six weeks, guest speaker. Well the last speaker was Earl Olson. He was at the time assistant church historian. Leonard Arrington was not yet our church historian. And, right at the end he says "Earl, how about going down to the archives and maybe you could open the First Presidency's vault and we could see some artifacts." He says "okay."
   So thirteen of us went down and I think most of them are dead. I was about the youngest guy in that session, and I didn't know the significance of it at the time, but he brought out some handwriting of Joseph Smith, some of his hair, and three seer stones that belonged to Joseph Smith.
   One of them was a little white stone, about like that, and it was shaped like a baby's foot, and for years I thought "what does that mean?" Well you know when you stamp a baby's foot on a blessing book, or a baby book, it's kind of narrow at one end and then as it gets up to the toes it gets wider, and that's what it looked like - a white stone, small, about the size of a baby foot, and shaped like a baby's foot.
   And then there was another stone that looked like milk chocolate. It was the size of a softball, about like that. And it's like someone had molded mud and had dried mud in a ditch or nearly dried and put it together, and you could still see the finger marks to mold that stone that had become extremely hard. In fact I tried to, you know, test the end of one of the, and it was, I couldn't even break it, not that I was trying, but it was just solid rock, and it had a handle on it so you could carry it. They had molded the stone and then added a little cup-like saucer handle on it so you could carry the thing around. That was another seer stone of Joseph Smith's.
   And then of course the third one was the one he used for the complete translation of the Book of Mormon, the one we have today - very significant stone - almost black with white streaks in it, bigger than a chicken's egg, smaller than a turkey egg, about like that. He found it in a well in Clark Chase's property, which is very close to the Smith family, and of course being curious I got right up to it, and I couldn't see a thing in it.
   But I didn't know how significant that was. I had just graduated from the University of Utah in history, and I'd seen all three stones, and come to find out that's almost unheard of. There's just no one. And so I thought "wow" because I didn't think that much of it at the time. I thought everybody got to see that.
   So when I did my book Insider's View I tried to get a picture of it. There are no pictures of that stone. Joseph Smith does not mention that he used that stone in the official history of the church. I suggested they may want to take a picture in case the stone disappeared, at least they'd have a picture. That argument went nowhere. But that stone helps you understand early mormonism, and if you don't understand their mindset, you really don't understand early mormonism.

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