Urim and Thummim - Encyclopedia Volume - Catholic Encyclopedia - Catholic Online
Urim and Thummim were believed to be used during the biblical ages. The stones of Urim and Thummim helps people get though the yes or no questions that. Prophets in the Bible, had and used the Urim and Thummim, to receive revelation . . and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. The Urim and Thummim (urim v'tumim) refer to a single piece of parchment which had God's ineffable name inscribed on it (the Tetragrammaton). It was placed.
Smith later referred to this object as the Urim and Thummim. InSmith said that the angel Moroniwho had told him about the golden plates, also told him about the Urim and Thummim, "two stones in silver bows" fastened to a breastplate, and the angel intimated that they had been prepared by God to aid in the translation of the plates. Only Oliver Cowdery is claimed to have attempted to use them to receive his own revelation.
Although Urim and Thummim itself is emblazoned across the open book pictured on the Yale University coat of armsLux et Veritas appears below on a banner.
Thomas Mann has elaborated greatly on the definition of this term in Joseph the Provider, the fourth book of his tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers. One of the stones is black, which is said to signify yes, and the other is white, said to signify no; a significance applicable when the stones are asked an appropriate question and drawn from a bag.
The king himself had removed the stones from his shining golden breastplate.
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Now the way he translated was he put the Urim and Thummim into his hat and darkened his eyes, then he would take a sentence and it would appear in bright Roman letters, then he would tell the writer and he would write it. Then that would go away, the next sentence would come, and so on.
But if it was not spelled right it would not go away till it was right, so we see it was marvelous. Thus was the whole translated. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized for readability. Original spelling is as follows: The book of Mormon, as a revelation from God, possesses some advantage over the old scripture: It is ten times better than I expected. Now they are written in characters and I want them translated. Spelling has been modernized and formatted for readability.
Original spelling and formatting is as follows: Then he went on to tell the length and width and thickness of the plates[,] and[,] said he[,] they appear to be Gold But he seamed to think more of the glasses or the urim and thummem then [than] he Did of the Plates for[,] says he[,] I can see any thing[.
The Prophet received some early revelations through the use of these seer stones. Joseph saw this and followed me. He took them again and left me, but did not tell me anything of the record…. That of which I spoke, which Joseph termed a key, was indeed nothing more nor less than a Urim and Thummim by which the angel manifested those things to him that were shown him in vision; by which also he could at any time ascertain the approach of danger, either to himself or the record, and for this cause he kept these things constantly about his person.
History of Joseph Smith, Revised and Enhanced, p. They resemble two large bright diamonds set in a bow like a pair of spectacles. My son puts these over his eyes when he reads unknown languages, and they enable him to interpret them in English. A pocket was prepared in the breastplate on the left side, immediately over the heart. This instrument could, however, be detached from the breastplate when away from home, but Joseph always used it in connection with the breastplate when translating, as it permitted him to have both hands free to touch the plates.
Sometimes Joseph Smith resorted to the plan of covering his eyes with a hat to exclude the light in part to prevent eye strain.
Urim and Thummim
Saints Herald, March 9,p. The reason of this was that Aaron was appointed to be a judge among the children of Israel, occupying a similar place among that people that the President of the Bishopric occupies in the Church.
The judgment of man is naturally very weak and imperfect, and inasmuch as Aaron was required to judge the people of God, it was of the utmost importance that all his decisions should be given in righteousness, that there should be no imperfections connected with them, and for that reason the Lord gave express instructions to Aaron, through his brother Moses, to have a  breastplate.
Abraham had the Urim and Thummim by which he received revelations of the heavenly bodies, as he has recorded in the Book of Abraham. Aaron also had the Urim and Thummim, and these were, evidently from the reading of the Bible, handed down among the priests of Aaron from generation to generation.
These were separate and distinct from the Urim and Thummim had by Abraham and in Israel in the days of Aaron. The account of this set, in part, is as follows: And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write. For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write….
Write these things and seal them up; and I will show them in mine own due time unto the children of men. In the absence of other ancient clues, however, it is not safe to reject even the guesses of the Jews of the second temple in favor of our own.
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We do not even know the meaning of the word choshen, so confidently translated "pouch" or "receptacle" by opponents of the older view, without any basis whatever. On the other hand the theory of identification was widespread. Even Philo leans toward it in his De Monarchia, although in his Vita Mosis iii he seems to have in mind two small symbols representing Light and Truth embroidered on the cloth of the choshen or hung round the neck of the high priest, similar to the Egyptian symbol of justice.
The view most generally held today is that the Urim and Thummim were two sacred lots, one indicating an affirmative or favorable answer, the other a negative or unfavorable answer Michaelis, Ewald, Wellhausen, Robertson Smith, Driver, G. The chief support of this view is found, not in the Massoretic Text, but in the reconstruction by Wellhausen and Driver of 1Sa Efforts have been made to support the view that the Urim and Thummim themselves were sacred lots on the basis of analogous customs among other peoples e.
It must be borne in mind, however, that whatever the lot-theory has to recommend it, it is inconsistent not only with the post-Biblical traditions, but also with the Biblical data. For those who are not inclined to give much weight to the passages connecting the Urim and Thummim with the high priest's apparel Ex Still, if we are to think of two lots, one called and possibly marked "Urim" and the other "Thummim," it is difficult to get any meaning from the statement 1Sa A more serious difficulty arises from the fact that the answers ascribed to the Urim and Thummim are not always the equivalent of "yes" or "no" compare Jg 1: If we turn to etymology for assistance, we are not only on uncertain ground, but when Babylonian and other foreign words are brought in to bolster up a theory abput anything so little understood as the Urim and Thummim, we are on dangerous ground.