Bible Dictionary: Urim & Thummim

By: Guy Templeton
March 6, 2014

The LDS Bible Dictionary says for Urim & Thummim

“Hebrew term that means ‘Lights and Perfections.’….Using a Urim and Thummim is the special prerogative of a seer, and it would seem reasonable that such instruments were used from the time of Adam.  However, the earliest mention is in connection with the brother of Jared (Ether 3:21-28).  Abraham used a Urim and Thummim (Abr. 3:1-4), as did Aaron and the priests of Israel, and also the prophets among the Nephites (Omni 1:20-21; Mosiah 8:13-19; 21:-26-28; 28:11-20; Ether 4:1-7).  There is more than one Urim and Thummim, but we are informed that Joseph Smith had the one used by the brother of Jared (Ether 3:22-28; D&C 10:1; 17:1)”

If we sustain the Twelve and “prophets, seers, and revelators”, why do you think the Urim and Thummim hasn’t been used since the days of Joseph Smith?  Would it be more accurate to simply call them “prophets and revelators” and not seers?

Tags: , ,

9 Responses to Bible Dictionary: Urim & Thummim

  1. Howard on March 6, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    The U&T are not required to see visions but since you asked it would be more accurate to call them by the title of their calling since revelation has not been added to the canon since 1978 and by description that was group inspiration. We have not enjoyed “thus saith the Lord” revelation in a long time. There is a huge difference, revelation is more God than man, inspiration is more man than God and group inspiration is more men than God. The role of revelator is to reveal but we don’t enjoy much of that unless you believe younger missionaries is the most important message God has for humankind today! If their calling is prophet, seer, and revelator there is little evidence of them magnifying that calling in recent times. However there is ample evidence of inspiration at all levels of church callings. So I view them as inspired leaders within their stewardships as anyone fulfilling a church calling but they have a greater stewardship. Prophet, seer, and revelator appears to be an honorary title they began using in the 1950s.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  2. JimD on March 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    If the current LDS first presidency *did* on occasion use the Chase seer stone, or one of the other stones of Joseph Smith that are now in the Church’s possession–

    –Would they publicly admit to it?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  3. Anon on March 7, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Sustaining someone in their calling does not ensure that they will be successful in their attempt (or that they will even try).
    I most inclined to believe that they are not trying to see . Every other possibility I find more troubling.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  4. The Other Clark on March 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    I’m pretty sure that if we sustain them as seers, they meet the scriptural definition listed in the OP. We just don’t hear about it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  5. Mormon Heretic on March 7, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Why don’t we hear about it? Isn’t that putting your candle under a bushel?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  6. Trev on March 8, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    “I’m pretty sure that if we sustain them as seers, they meet the scriptural definition listed in the OP. We just don’t hear about it.”

    I sustain them; therefore they meet the scriptural definition even if I never find out about it? That makes no sense to me. Am I reading it wrong?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  7. Bob on March 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Why not also have a post about the magic 8-ball. Doesn’t seem a lot different than the U & T.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  8. Douglas on March 13, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Timothy Mouse: Da magic feather was just a gag! You can fly, Dumbo, you CAN fly!!”

    I’m assuming that the U&T weren’t some technological device or had some Priesthood power associated with them. If that’s the case, then they were just props so Joseph Smith could learn to translate. In time, his spiritual gifts took over and the “glass stones” were no longer needed.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  9. jpv on March 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Spencer W. Kimball said that the U&T (seer stones) were currently used: “Urim and Thummim, carried down through the ages by the prophets, even in the hands of our own modern-day prophet” April Session of ’62 conference:.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Subscribe without commenting

Archives

%d bloggers like this: