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A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

Seer Stones

Tuesday, we’re talking about seer stones, the instruments Mormons believe Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. Last week, the LDS Church published a photo of one stone, likening it to Biblical objects that helped people “communicate spiritually.” Historians Matthew Bowman and Benjamin Park join us to explain how these types of objects were used in early 19th century America (it wasn’t just the Mormons). We’ll also ask what role these stones played in the development of Mormonism and what they tell us about the idea of revelation.

Read the article Joseph the Seer, Ensign Magazine, October 2015


Matthew Bowman teaches history at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He specializes in 19th century American Christianity, and is the author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith [Indiebound|Amazon]

Benjamin Park is a Postdoctoral Fellow in History at the University of Missouri. He studies religion and intellectual history of the early American republic.