I remember something about Moroni confiscating the "spectacles" and then not returning them when JS ability to translate was restored. I am not sure if that was from historical sources or just apologetic interpretation. An interesting possibility nevertheless.Rob4Hope wrote:Bushman says the BofM is more or less an enigma: the accounts of Martin Harris visit to the literary people and Charles Anton are mixed; the story of the push for people to steal the plates makes sense though because of the gold digging; but how the whole thing transpired with the Urim and Thummin is confusiong--at the beginning with the lost 116 pages he used the Urim and Thumin and had a curtain between him and Harris? Was he looking at the plates then, or something else?....Bushman is not clear on these details, and why Joseph would then go back to sticking his head in a hat and looking at that other stone makes little sense: why would he do that if he could breath more freely and just look through the spectacles? I would think that having your head stuck down into a hat for hours and hours would get a little uncomfortable after a while.
Rob4Hope wrote:It appears they used divining rods during this time, and Oliver Cowdry, according to Quinn, had one and that is what JS said was "a gift from God"...
I rationalize this. We still believe in an unseen world. We believe in spirits that help us and spirits to hinder us. We are told not to mess with Ouija boards and séances not because they do not work but because they might work too well and tap into malevolent forces.nibbler wrote:What's the difference between a Ouija board and the Liahona? What about that brass serpent? What about Moses' staff?
I understand that in earlier times Mormons would apply the consecrated oil to the afflicted part of the body - or even drink it as though the oil itself had a magical property. More recently we have been counseled to apply the oil only to the top of the head. Even the temple anointings have now gone to this "just the head" method. We tend to understand more (in our day) that the anointing and blessing of health are more metaphorical and spiritual (something of an offering of support and best wishes) and yet we still expect miraculous and supernatural recoveries.
In the day of JS, they might use a divining rod to help find water. Today we pray to help find lost car keys.
In the day of JS, they might use a talisman of protection. Today, before a long car trip, my family takes a moment to pray for a safe journey.
Essentially, what I am saying is that some of the outward forms have changed but we still believe in the same basic principles.