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Over the last decade the Mormon Church has officially admitted that Joseph Smith and his family believed in and practiced treasure-seeking using folk magic and occult methods. However, many people overlook how these illegal and disreputable practices are closely related to the stories that Joseph would tell later, including the creation of the Book of Mormon. In this episode, Mike from LDS Discussions talks to us about Joseph Smith’s treasure digging and how it relates to the Book of Mormon story and the Church as a whole.

LDS Discussions Essay: Treasure Digging

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  1. Lisa April 14, 2022 at 11:41 am - Reply

    This was SO incredibly informative. Please keep it going!!! I’ve seen LDS discussions on IG and it’s hard for me to get through it all but this format is far more conducive to learning for me, at least. Thank you Matt for your hardwood and please do many many more episodes!

  2. Jan April 14, 2022 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    I’ve learned about the treasure digging before. But Mike made WHY the connection is important so clear. Reward when you die. Just keep them believing you have power/authority. Never have to produce.

  3. VFanRJ April 14, 2022 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I didn’t learn about JS’s seerstone until on my mission in 1980 listening to a Truman Madsen talk. I had grown up on a diet of pictures of JS looking at the plates, never seeing a single picture of his face in his hat. I also read about accusations of JS using the stone and scrying method for treasure seeking, but the people I trusted most aggressively denied these allegations as true, calling them “viscous lies.”

    It would be decades later before learning that JS obtained his seerstone while digging a well. It’s in this context that the claim of Interpreters make no sense.

    For me the Church’s 2015 admission that these “vicious lies” of treasure seeking were actually true was earth shattering for me. What new discovering had the Church made to bring this admission to the forefront? None, in fact that had JS’s rock the whole time. The Church simply realized that lying about JS’s scrying for treasure was futile. That seeking hide the fact that scrying method to read BoM words on a rock was futile. The information age had made the Church’s disinformation ineffective.

    I bring my story up to emphasize the importance of shows like this, and it’s why I’m a monthly donor to Mormon Stories.

  4. Gabriel Carling April 18, 2022 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    You guys, the infertility friend story at the end of this episode really got me in the feels. I went through the same thing after my infertility diagnosis. Why would god not want me to have kids? If our purpose on earth is to bring children into the faith, why would god make me this way or let this happen? It’s so unfair! How is it that some rando crack addict can have several children but somehow I’m not good enough?!?! It was and is a very very hard journey and this whole mindset comes from, of all things, treasure digging?? Fertility is a slippery treasure, boys, and Jo Smo ruined my family. Thank you for everything you do.

  5. Vanessa April 26, 2022 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Absolutely loved this episode! I really appreciated how he approached the topic. I had several “ah-hah” moments even though this is a topic I have studied. Please bring Mike back for more conversations!

  6. Sara Anderson April 27, 2022 at 10:18 am - Reply

    You asked and I’m answering. This episode was fantastic. I appreciate all the work LDS Discussions has put into his research and the prospect of literally starting from the slippery treasure-digging ground up is perfect. Can’t wait for the rest and to have this indispensable library when it is complete. Thank you John, Renaldo, Jen and company for all you do to keep us informed and afloat. So much love.

  7. Nancy Neville April 29, 2022 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Regarding blame reversal, my great-great grandfather, a faithful Mormon, wrote in his journal that he gave a blessing to a sick daughter, but he didn’t “have enough faith” to heal her and she died. When someone gets better, it’s due to the power of the priesthood, but when they are not it’s the fault of the individual giving the blessing. So sad and harmful.

  8. Michelle Price May 6, 2022 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Fascinating information! I’ve already watched the next two episodes and it was so interesting that I needed to find the very first episode. This is going to be a great series! Thanks Mike, and thanks John for all your fine work on Mormon Stories.

  9. Robin Netto February 24, 2023 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    I have been inactive for 40 years yet just found Mormon Stories about 2 weeks ago at 71. It has been so profoundly helpful in uncovering the hurt, sadness, joy, and understanding of what I did not know, that I did not know. I listened for over 100 hours then decided to go back to the beginning to have a firm foundation to stand on. It is helpful to hundreds of different ways people and chosen to walk away and the joy or pain of it all. What a difference you are making in the face of ex-communication, feeling weary, death threats, and your own personal satisfaction in pursuing a vision. I am honored to step on this path and contribute as much as I can, to tell others, and to raise awareness in a loving way. SHOCK: Sacrament prayer is part of a “magical” beginning. Drop the Mic!!!!!!

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