Sunday, August 09, 2015

Joseph's Seer Stone

The LDS Church published the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon this week.  Along with that printing, the Church revealed pictures of Joseph Smith's seer stone.

There has been much discussion on-line about this seer stone.

Along with releasing pictures of this stone, the Church has pre-published an October 2015 Ensign article called "Joseph the Seer" in the which they discuss the objects Joseph used to "translate" the Book of Mormon.  They article doesn't say anything significantly different than what Bushman and the essay have already stated.  Except there is one curious point to make about this Ensign article: artwork.

Along with many others, I have asked the question why we have not seen any (Church sponsored and in Church publications) artwork depicting Joseph putting the stone and his face in a hat; illustrating the most common way he "translated" the Book of Mormon.  It is not for lack of available artwork.

In the same article ("Joseph the Seer"), the authors seem to begin to answer the question, but then they don't.  The article states, "Over the years, artists have sought to portray the Book of Mormon translation, showing the participants in many settings and poses with different material objects.  Each artistic interpretation is based upon the artist's own views, research and imagination, sometimes aided by input and direction from others."  The article then shows four pieces of artwork, none of which show Joseph with his face in a hat.  And so the question remains.

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