http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/ ... c363a3295d
[quote=ttribe] on 06 April 2010 - 04:07 PM, said:
Ahhh, but they are "magic rocks" fastened in a bow attached to a breastplate. Naturally, that makes them much more acceptable than ones sitting in the bottom of a hat. [/quote]
As with any debate there are facts used to formulate an opinion. Let’s pick some facts from FairMormon:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon ... /1829-1835
Hostile news account 11 August 1829
and after penetrating “mother earth” a short distance, the [Golden] Bible was found, together with a huge pair of spectacles! He had been directed, however, not to let any mortal being examine them, “under no less penalty” than instant death! They were therefore nicely wrapped up and excluded from the “vulgar gaze of poor wicked mortals!” It was said that the leaves of the bible were plates of gold, about 8 inches long, 6 wide, and one eighth of an inch thick, on which were engraved characters or hyeroglyphics. By placing the spectacles in a hat, and looking into it, Smith could (he said so, at least,) interpret these characters.
• Scribe: Not specified
• Curtain: Not specified
• Instrument: "Spectacles" (i.e., Nephite interpreters)
• Method: Spectacles in hat
Note in the reference above how the spectacles were used by placing them into a hat... they were not used as glasses like the Mormon websites portray falsely, as referenced here:
And another eyewitness account by Martin Harris from the same FairMormon link:
Martin Harris (eyewitness), paraphrased in the The Gem 5 September 1829
“In the autumn of 1827 a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, in Ontario County, said that he had been visited by the spirit of the Almighty in a dream, and informed that in a certain hill in that town was deposited a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of divine origin. He states that after the third visit from the same spirit in a dream he proceeded to the spot, removed earth, and there found the bible, together with a large pair of spectacles. He had also been directed to let no mortal see them under the penalty of immediate death, which injunction he steadfastly adheres to. The treasure consisted of a number of gold plates, about 8 inches long, 6 wide, and one eighth of an inch thick, on which were engraved hieroglyphics. By placing the spectacles in a hat and looking into it, Smith interprets the characters into the English language
Hostile news account circa May 1830
A fellow by the name of Joseph Smith, who resides in the upper part of Susquehanna county, has been, for the last two years we are told, employed in dedicating as he says, by inspiration, a new bible. He pretended that he had been entrusted by God with a golden bible which had been always hidden from the world. Smith would put his face into a hat in which he had a white stone, and pretend to read from it, while his coadjutor transcribed
Note the specific use of “white stone” in the above, and the header of “hostile news account” to bias the reader in discounting it as a lie. It’s only “hostile” if it paints Joseph Smith in a bad light, but these accounts all say the same thing... and that's only Seer stones were used in a hat.
So what do we know about how the spectacles looked? Here’s a great source from a first-hand account:
Professor Anthon's Two Letters
The first letter: to Eber D. Howe on February 17, 1834
(from Howe's Mormonism Unvailed pp. 270-272)
New York, Feb. 17, 1834.
Dear Sir -- I received this morning your favor of the 9th instant, and lose no time in making a reply. The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics" is perfectly false. Some years ago, a plain, and apparently simple-hearted farmer, called upon me with a note from Dr. Mitchell of our city, now deceased, requesting me to decypher, if possible, a paper, which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. M. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax.
When I asked the person, who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can now recollect, the following account: A "gold book," consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair of "gold spectacles"! These spectacles were so large, that, if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned towards one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decyphered "by the gift of God." Everything, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the "golden book," the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles.
So we know the spectacles were too large to fit a human’s face, but they could fit into a stove-pipe hat. But what were these spectacles made of? Were they in fact the Urim Thummim? Consider this as previously quoted from FairMormon:
Did Joseph lose the seer stone(s) and/or the Urim and Thummim?
Following the loss of the 116 pages, the Lord told Joseph:
1 NOW, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them.
2 And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.
3 Nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again; therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun.
4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end. (D&C 10:1-4)
If you believe what the D&C says in 10:1, then the “spectacles” were in fact two seer stones wired together. What we know for a fact is that the Mormon church portrays the translation of the Book of Mormon as done with spectacles, but we know for a fact that is not true and they were in fact the Seer Stones Joseph Smith found before he wrote the Book of Mormon ...the same stones he used to find buried treasure for hire... this is an absolute fact and you are being intentionally deceived by Wiki Wonka’s response that they had anything to do with Urim and Thummim, because they were only seer stones and nothing else.