Question: Did Joseph Smith use his seer stone to view the location of the gold plates in the Hill Cumorah?

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Question: Did Joseph Smith use his seer stone to view the location of the gold plates in the Hill Cumorah?

There is an account which indicates that this may have happened

Joseph's seer stone may even have played a role in the location of the plates and the Nephite interpreters themselves. There is considerable evidence that the location of the plates and Nephite interpreters were revealed to Joseph via his second, white seer stone. In 1859, Martin Harris recalled that "Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase...It was by means of this stone he first discovered the plates."[1]

Some critics have sought to create a contradiction here, since Joseph's history reported that Moroni revealed the plates to him (JS-H 1:34-35,42). This is an example of a false dichotomy: Moroni could easily have told Joseph about the plates and interpreters. The vision to Joseph may well have then come through the seer stone, as some of the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (e.g., Section X) would later be revealed. One account from Henry Harris in Eber D. Howe's anti-Mormon book Mormonism Unvailed matches this theory well:

I had a conversation with [Joseph], and asked him where he found them [the plates] and how he come to know where they were. he said he had a revelation from God that told him they were hid in a certain hill and he looked in his [seer] stone and saw them in the place of deposit.[2]

Notes

  1. Mormonism—II," Tiffany's Monthly (June 1859): 163, see also 169; cited in Ashurst-McGee (2000), 286.
  2. Henry Harris, statement in E.D. Howe Mormonism Unvailed (1833), 252; cited in Ashurst-McGee (2000), 290.