Joseph Smith becoming 'the seer stone'

by | Aug. 31, 2009

What We Believe

Richard Neitzel Holzapfel was amazed at how often Joseph Smith was identified as "the Seer" in John Whitmer's record of the early history of the LDS Church. Whitmer wrote the record from 1831 to 1838. Holzapfel read the book to prepare for a class he was teaching at BYU's Campus Education Week.

"Dozens and dozens of times as (Whitmer) was writing out this faithful history ­ -- commanded (to be kept) by the Lord Jesus himself -- he would say, 'Joseph the Seer said,' or 'the revelation was given to Joseph the Seer,'" Holzapfel said. "It struck me that the early church members knew Joseph in a way in which, maybe, we don't appreciate."

Holzapfel, a professor of church history and doctrine at BYU, told the class at Education Week why Joseph was known as "the Seer" and why his use of a seer stone to receive revelations eventually ended.

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