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By the Hand of MormonThe American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion$
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Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138184

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513818X.001.0001

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“A Seer Shall the Lord My God Raise Up”: The Prophet and the Plates

“A Seer Shall the Lord My God Raise Up”: The Prophet and the Plates

Chapter:
(p.8) One “A Seer Shall the Lord My God Raise Up”: The Prophet and the Plates
Source:
By the Hand of Mormon
Author(s):

Terryl L. Givens (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019513818X.003.0002

Joseph Smith was a young seeker in an age of religious awakening. He claimed he was visited by God and Christ in response to his spiritual quest for truth as a 14 year old, but his religious career began in earnest when he asserted he was the divinely appointed translator of sacred records delivered to him by an angel of God named Moroni seven years later. Assisted – in the face of growing opposition – by family, friends, and a well‐to‐do farmer, Martin Harris, Smith produced a translation from gold plates attested by 11 witnesses using Urim and Thummim (a seer stone and/or sacred “interpreters”). The concrete tangibility of the plates and accompanying holy relics, and the alleged historicity of the history he translated, made his claims especially audacious and resistant to dismissal as a subjective religious experience.

Keywords:   gold plates, interpreters, Martin Harris, Moroni, seer stone, Joseph Smith, Urim and Thummim

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