Truman Coe writes how Joseph used a transparent stone known as the Urim and Thummim to translate the BOM.

Aug 25, 1836
News (traditional)
Truman Coe

Truman Coe, "Mormonism," Cincinnati Journal and Western Luminary, August 25, 1836: [1]

Cincinnati Journal and Western Luminary
Truman Coe, Joseph Smith, Jr.
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Smith had previously been noted among his acquaintances as a kind of juggler, and had been employed in digging after money. He was believed by the ignorant to possess the power of second sight, by looking through a certain stone in his possession. He relates that when he was 17 years of age, while seeking after the Lord he had a nocturnal vision, and a wonderful display of celestial glory. An angel descended and warned him that God was about to make an astonishing revelation to the world, and then directed him to go to such a place, and after prying up a stone he should find a number of plates of the color of gold inscribed with hieroglyphics, and under them a breastplate, and under that a transparent stone or stones which was the Urim and Thummim mentioned by Moses . . . The manner of translation was as wonderful as the discovery. By putting his finger on one of the characters and imploring divine aid, then looking through the Urim and Thummim, he would see the import written in plain English on a screen placed before him. After delivering this to his emanuensi, he would again proceed in the same manner and obtain the meaning of the next character, and so on till he came to a part of the plates which were sealed up, and there he was commanded to desist; and he says he has a promise from God that in due time he will enable him to translate the remainder.

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