Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Friday, May 12, 2023

Did Joseph Smith really use a seer stone? — The Standard of Truth podcast

The Standard of Truth Podcast The Standard of Truth podcast is hosted by Dr. Gerrit Dirkmaat, associate professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, and Richard LeDuc, a professor in the Masters of Business Creation Program at the University of Utah. In their weekly episodes, they “explore the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the life and teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They examine the original historical sources and provide context for events of the past. They approach the history of the church with faith, expertise, and humor.”

Gerrit Dirkmaat has a PhD in American history and worked on the Joseph Smith Papers Project as a historian and writer. He is, in my estimation, better acquainted with the life and teachings of Joseph Smith than just about any other living historian.

In their most-recent episode, Dirkmaat and LeDuc discussed “a rising trend/movement among Church members [who] adamantly reject that Joseph Smith used seer stones placed into a hat (in order to block out the light) to translate the Book of Mormon.” They politely didn’t name names, but it’s apparent from the context of their discussion that they’re referring to the book Seer Stone v. Urim & Thummim: Book of Mormon Translation on Trial by Hannah and James Stoddard, as well as several books written by Jonathan Neville.

I enthusiastically recommend the Standard of Truth podcast—and this episode in particular—to anyone who’s interested in this topic:
—Mike Parker [‘Peter Pan”]


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