Joseph’s First Seer Stone

Joseph’s First Seer Stone

In the neighborhood of Palmyra, the most notable seer was Sally Chase, who reportedly had a stone that allowed her to see hidden objects. Joseph Smith Jr. visited Sally and asked to look into her stone. When Joseph put her stone in a hat and gazed into it, he claimed that he was able to see a white stone “a hundred and fifty miles away buried under a tree” and knew that this white stone was his own seer stone. Practitioners of folk magic, such as Joseph and his family, believed that “that there is a [seer] stone of this quality, somewhere, for every one.” When he dug the white stone up, it became Joseph’s first seer stone and would have been used for Joseph’s earliest treasure hunting days Joseph then used this white seer stone to locate the famous brown seer stone used to translate the Book of Mormon. After completion of the Book of Mormon, Joseph gave his brown seer stone to Oliver Cowdery, and he began to use this white seer stone again, specifically for translation of the papyrus that would become the Book of Abraham. Eyewitness accounts state that this looks like a baby’s foot, wider on one side than the other. The stone is in the LDS Church’s possession in Utah but the Church has never made images of the stone publicly available.


Another artist’s rendition of the white seer stone. Image copyright 2016, Deseret Book.

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