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|Title||KnoWhy #145 - Why Was a Stone Used as an Aid in Translating the Book of Mormon? (Alma 37:23)|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Corporate Authors||Book of Mormon Central Staff|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Place Published||Springville, UT|
|Keywords||Alma the Younger; Gazelem; Helaman (Son of Alma); Joseph Smith; Prophet; Seer; Seerstone; Translation|
A somewhat perplexing reference to Gazelem, the name of an individual using a stone prepared by God, is found in Alma 37. Similarly, Joseph Smith used both the Nephite Interpreters and his individual seer stone in the translation of the Book of Mormon. The practice of using stones or glass to receive divine revelation is found in many cultures, including among the ancient Israelites and Maya. Mormon theology allows for the Lord to communicate to His children through culturally embedded methods. Though we may ultimately never fully understand the nature of the Book of Mormon’s translation, Joseph repeatedly testified that he translated the plates by the gift and power of God.
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