For decades, and heavily over the past ten years, Mormon historians, podcasters, and critics have been urging the LDS Church to be more open and honest about Joseph Smith’s use of folk magic and a peep stone/hat in his production of the Book of Mormon text.
On August 4th, 2015 the LDS Church released the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It also released photos of the seer stone that Joseph Smith used as a scryer to search for buried treasure, and that he also placed in a hat to produce the text for the Book of Mormon. (for detailed discussions of Joseph’s use of a seer stone in the Book of Mormon’s creation, see CES Letter, Mormon Think, or D. Michael Quinn’s “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.”
An October 2015 Ensign article is set to appear called “Joseph the Seer” which attempts to explain Joseph’s practice of using a seer stone.
In this episode John Hamer, J. Seawright, Micah Nickolaisen, Jamie Hanis Handy, and Jonathan Streeter join us to analyze these events.