long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

More on the new book

There have been two principal narratives about Joseph Smith, both supported by historical evidence. 

One narrative sees him as an ignorant, uneducated farm boy who was plucked from obscurity to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another sees him as a clever religious manipulator who composed the Book of Mormon and adopted religious ideas from his surroundings.

People can believe whatever they want, and they can usually find some evidence to confirm their biases. 

I find a third narrative more persuasive and better supported by the evidence. In my view, God prepared Joseph Smith for his future role as translator and prophet. His life-threatening leg infection led Joseph to become a young religious seeker. His pursuit made him well-informed and conversant on religious topics, enabling him to become an active translator of the engravings on the plates.

The "religious seeker" narrative not only accommodates all the available historical evidence, but it also addresses most of the anti-Mormon arguments. For example, when critics complain that the Book of Mormon includes anachronistic 19th century terminology and worldviews, the "religious seeker" narrative responds that as an active translator, Joseph necessarily used his own vocabulary and worldview to render the ancient text into English.

This example illustrates one of the problems with SITH (the stone-in-the-hat narrative). 

Some people ask what difference it makes if Joseph Smith used a seer stone instead of the Urim and Thummim to produce the Book of Mormon.

According to SITH, Joseph merely read words that appeared on a stone he put in a hat. The words were provided by a mysterious incognito supernatural translator (MIST) who, presumably, was translating the engravings on the plates so Joseph didn't need to even consult the plates. Left unanswered is why the MIST used the anachronistic 19th century terminology and worldviews.

The SITH narrative rejects Joseph's explanation that he copied and translated the characters (JS-H 1:62) by claiming that Joseph's efforts failed and he had to resort to reading the words off the stone in the hat. The SITH sayers also say that when Joseph said he "translated" the plates, he didn't mean he actually translated them, but instead he relied on the translation provided by the MIST and simply read it out loud. 

The problems with SITH seem so obvious that it's astonishing to see LDS scholars promote SITH the way they do.  

Additional reasons why it's important to distinguish between the Urim and Thummim and SITH include:

(i) SITH contradicts Joseph and Oliver so it undermines their credibility, 

(ii) SITH eliminates the need for the plates so it undermines the plausibility of the founding narratives, 

(iii) SITH presumes an occult origin, 

(iv) SITH was an early anti-Mormon attack that Joseph and Oliver addressed (asked and answered), so it's foolish for LDS scholars to revive SITH, and 

(v) SITH destroys the historicity of the text (detaching it from the plates). 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

New book: By Means of the Urim and Thummim

My co-author, Jim Lucas, did a podcast interview on Mormonland last week. He discussed our new book titled By Means of the Urim and Thummim: Restoring translation to the restoration.

Link:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2023/01/25/mormon-land-did-joseph-use-seer/?cx_testId=2&cx_testVariant=cx_undefined&cx_artPos=2&cx_experienceId=EXHRRUV81I4V#cxrecs_s

Mormonland is available on podcasts everywhere.


The official release of the book will be later in February, but it is available on Kindle now, here:

https://www.amazon.com/Means-Urim-Thummim-Translation-Restoration-ebook/dp/B0BSWWNJ3H


_____

BTW, we're traveling a lot so I'm not posting very often, but lots of cool things are happening.

Friday, January 20, 2023

BYU Studies, good and bad

I really like the new direction BYU Studies is taking. They offer some wonderful resources, such as these:

They have some materials on the New Testament that are awesome.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/byu-new-testament-commentary/

The current issue introduces the Oracles of God collection from BYUI, which includes official declarations, proclamations, statements, etc. from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/oracles-of-god/

https://archives.byui.edu/s/public/page/oracles-of-god

_____

On the other hand, they have some legacy material that is, let's say, less than wonderful, such as the old M2C-driven Book of Mormon Maps and Charts.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/further-study-sub-ca/the-book-of-mormon/

That collection includes Cumorah in southern Mexico.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/further-study-chart/159-plausible-locations-of-the-final-battles/

(click to enlarge)



As well as the overall M2C model.

https://byustudies.byu.edu/further-study-chart/160-plausible-locations-in-mesoamerica-for-book-of-mormon-places/


(click to enlarge)

Maybe someday BYU Studies will rethink these charts, or decide to publish multiple working faithful hypotheses instead of insisting on M2C exlusively.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Joseph Smith's "key" to understanding


There is a lot of unnecessary confusion about the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Joseph explained that he had a key: 

I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire what was the question which drew out the answer from Jesus, or caused Jesus to utter the parable...

To ascertain its meaning we must dig up the root, & ascertain who it was that drew the saying out of Jesus.


Applying that principle, we should ask what prompted Joseph and Oliver to make the statements they made about the translation. Both of them emphasized that Joseph used the Nephite interpreters that came with the plates

Why would they emphasize that? 

The answer should be obvious.

Joseph and Oliver were familiar with the claim made by the 1834 book Mormonism Unvailed that Joseph used a "peep stone" to produce the Book of Mormon. That book claimed Joseph didn't use the plates but instead read words off the stone in the hat (SITH). That rumor persisted enough that Joseph and Oliver clarified the point.

By emphasizing that Joseph used the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates, they refuted claims that Joseph used SITH to produce the Book of Mormon.

They never once stated, suggested, or implied that Joseph used a stone he found in a well or anywhere else.

Example:

the Book of Mormon had come forth as an “ensign to the nations,” containing an account of the gospel in much plainness, being translated by the gift and power of God by the use of the Urim and Thummim, that had come forth with the plates that contain the record.


For whatever reasons, many modern LDS scholars/historians now claim that Joseph Smith did not use the Nephite interpreters or the plates to produce the Book of Mormon. Acknowledging what Joseph and Oliver claimed, they rationalize that the term "Urim and Thummim" referred to both the interpreters and the seer stone he found in a well.

Not even the SITH-sayers at the Interpreter, Book of Mormon Central, or FAIRLDS claim that the stone in the hat (SITH), which Joseph found while digging a well years before he obtained the plates, "had come forth with the plates."






Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Mary and Robert D. Hales

The Church News reports that Mary Hales passed away.

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders/2023/1/15/23556769/sister-mary-hales-obituary-wife-of-elder-robert-d-hales

She and Elder Hales were awesome. I visited them at their home in 2017 a few months before he passed away. His health had deteriorated, but he had a positive attitude and plenty of vitality.

We reminisced about the first time we met years earlier in Germany. He told me an interesting anecdote and told me to use it the next time I spoke in Sacrament meeting, which I did.

He gave some wonderful General Conference addresses. Here's a good example.


Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets

Elder Robert D. Hales Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Personal revelation is the way we know for ourselves the most important truths of our existence.

_____

As we begin the concluding session of this historic conference, I join you in expressing gratitude for the privilege of sustaining President Henry B. Eyring as a counselor in the First Presidency, Elder Quentin L. Cook in the Quorum of the Twelve, and Elder Walter F. Gonz├ílez in the seven Presidents of the Seventy. I offer them my love and support and testify that they are called of God by a living prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, “according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy.”

The events of these past two days teach us the need for revelation in the Lord’s work and personal revelation in our own lives. Personal revelation is the way we know for ourselves the most important truths of our existence: the living reality of God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ; the truthfulness of the restored gospel; and God’s purpose and direction for us.

Much of what I know about personal revelation I have learned from the examples of the prophets, both ancient and modern. This afternoon I would like to share a few of these personal examples and pray that they will inspire each of us to seek the blessings of personal revelation in our own lives.

As a young regional representative, I was assigned to assist Elder Marion G. Romney in reorganizing a stake. During the long, quiet ride to the conference, our conversation turned to the spiritual dimensions of our assignment. Elder Romney taught me about how the Lord blesses us with revelation. “Robert,” he said, “I have learned that when we are on the Lord’s errand, we have His blessings to accomplish whatever we are asked to do.” Elder Romney further explained that we would arrive in the distant city, kneel in prayer, interview priesthood holders, kneel in prayer again, and the Holy Ghost would reveal to us the person whom the Lord had chosen to be the new stake president. He promised me it would be one of the great spiritual experiences of my life, and it was.

Each of us has been sent to earth by our Heavenly Father to merit eternal life: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” How do we know the Father and the Son for ourselves? By personal revelation. Personal revelation is the way Heavenly Father helps us know Him and His Son, learn and live the gospel, endure to the end in righteousness, and qualify for eternal life—to return back into Their presence.

You may ask, “How do we seek personal revelation?” Paul counseled the Saints to rely on the Spirit rather than the wisdom of the world. To obtain that Spirit, we begin with prayer. President Lorenzo Snow had studied the gospel for several years before joining the Church. But he did not receive a witness until two or three weeks after his baptism when he retired in secret prayer. “The Spirit of God descended upon me,” he said. “O, the joy and happiness I felt, [for] I then received a perfect knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and of the restoration of the holy Priesthood, and the fulness of the Gospel.”

I have learned that prayer provides a firm foundation for personal revelation. But more is required. While still a regional representative, I had the opportunity to learn from another Apostle, Elder Boyd K. Packer. We were assigned to reorganize a stake and began by kneeling in prayer together. After interviewing priesthood leaders and having prayer, Elder Packer suggested that we walk around the building together. As we walked, he demonstrated a vital principle of seeking personal revelation—the principle the Lord taught Oliver Cowdery: “Behold, … you must study it out in your mind.” We pondered our assignment, counseled together, and listened to the voice of the Spirit. When we went back, we prayed and studied further, and then we were prepared to receive revelation.

Revelation comes on the Lord’s timetable, which often means we must move forward in faith, even though we haven’t received all the answers we desire. As a General Authority, I was assigned to help reorganize a stake presidency under the direction of Elder Ezra Taft Benson. After praying, interviewing, studying, and praying again, Elder Benson asked if I knew who the new president would be. I said I had not received that inspiration yet. He looked at me for a long time and replied he hadn’t either. However, we were inspired to ask three worthy priesthood holders to speak in the Saturday evening session of conference. Moments after the third speaker began, the Spirit prompted me that he should be the new stake president. I looked over at President Benson and saw tears streaming down his face. Revelation had been given to both of us—but only by continuing to seek our Heavenly Father’s will as we moved forward in faith.

Early in my Church service, Elder Harold B. Lee taught this lesson when he came to organize a new stake in the district where we were living. Elder Lee asked me, as a newly sustained bishop, if I would join him at a press conference. There, an intense young reporter challenged Elder Lee. He said to him, “You call yourself a prophet. When was the last time you had revelation, and what was it about?” Elder Lee paused, looked directly at him, and responded in a sweet way, “It was yesterday afternoon about three o’clock. We were praying about who should be called as the president of the new stake, and it was made known to us who that individual should be.” The reporter’s heart changed. I will never forget the Spirit that came into that room as Elder Lee bore his powerful witness of revelation that can be received by those faithfully seeking to do the Lord’s will.

As faithful children, youth, parents, teachers, and leaders, we may receive personal revelation more frequently than we realize. The more we receive and acknowledge personal revelation, the more our testimonies grow. As a bishop, my testimony grew each time I received revelation to extend callings to ward members. That testimony has been strengthened each time I witness General Authorities and officers, Area Seventies, and stake presidents called or given new assignments. More importantly, I am strengthened by the personal revelations I receive in my role as a son of God, a husband, and a father. I am so thankful for the guidance and direction of the Spirit in our home as we seek for direction in family matters.

For all of us, our personal revelations reflect the pattern of revelation received by prophets, as recounted in the scriptures. Adam and Eve called upon the name of the Lord and received personal revelation, including knowledge of the Savior. Enoch, Abraham, and Moses sought for the welfare of their people and were given marvelous revelations recorded in the Pearl of Great Price. Elijah’s personal revelation came through the still, small voice; Daniel’s came in a dream. Peter’s personal revelation gave him a testimony that Jesus is the Christ. Lehi and Nephi received revelations about the Savior and the plan of salvation, and virtually all of the Bible and Book of Mormon prophets received revelations to warn, teach, strengthen, and comfort them and their people. After much prayer in the temple, President Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation on the priesthood. And after praying about providing temple blessings to more members of the Church, President Hinckley received revelation about the building of smaller temples.

Prophets receive personal revelations to help them in their own lives and in directing the earthly affairs of the Church. Our responsibility is to seek personal revelations for ourselves and for the responsibilities the Lord has given us.

These past weeks President Hinckley has been seeking revelation about the callings that would be announced in this conference. About a month ago in our Thursday temple meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, I listened as President Hinckley offered a simple, sincere prayer for spiritual guidance. The answer to his heartfelt prayer has now been presented to all of us.

Do we see the pattern of revelation in the lives of prophets? Are the threads of that pattern also woven through our lives?

We know that the pattern centers on the Atonement. We receive the blessings of the Atonement when we repent of our sins and keep the commandments. This we covenanted to do when we were baptized, and we renew that covenant each week as we partake of the sacrament. As we continue in righteousness, we qualify ourselves to say with Samuel, “Speak, [Lord]; for thy servant heareth.” And the Lord answers, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

We prepare to receive personal revelation as the prophets do, by studying the scriptures, fasting, praying, and building faith. Faith is the key. Remember Joseph’s preparation for the First Vision:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. …

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”

By unwavering faith, we learn for ourselves that “it is by faith that miracles are wrought.”

Generally, those miracles will not be physical demonstrations of God’s power—parting of the Red Sea, raising of the dead, breaking down prison walls, or the appearance of heavenly messengers. By design, most miracles are spiritual demonstrations of God’s power—tender mercies gently bestowed through impressions, ideas, feelings of assurance, solutions to problems, strength to meet challenges, and comfort to bear disappointments and sorrow.

These miracles come to us as we endure what the scriptures call a “trial of [our] faith.” Sometimes that trial is the time it takes before an answer is received. When President David O. McKay was a young man herding cattle, he sought a witness, but it did not come until many years later while serving his mission in Scotland. He wrote, “It was a manifestation for which as a doubting youth I had secretly prayed … on hillside and in meadow. It was an assurance to me that sincere prayer is answered ‘sometime, somewhere.’”

The answer may be “Not now—be patient and wait.”

I testify that on the hillside or the meadow, in the grove or closet, now or in the eternities to come, the Savior’s words to each of us will be fulfilled: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” While we are commanded not to seek after signs, we are commanded to “seek … earnestly the best gifts.” These gifts include the Holy Ghost and personal revelation. That revelation will come “line upon line, precept upon precept,” as the Savior said, and “unto him that receiveth [the Lord] will give more.”

As we go forth from this conference, I call upon each of us to seek more and receive more of the Spirit of God. The Savior prayed that His disciples in the New World would receive that Spirit. Then, as an example to all of us, He departed from His disciples and in prayer thanked His Heavenly Father for bestowing it. Let us follow His example and pray for the Spirit of God, giving thanks for its marvelous blessings in our lives.

I bear my special witness that Jesus Christ lives and leads His Church through a living prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. I know—I know—that President Hinckley leads this Church by revelation. In the words of Alma, “Behold, I say unto you [these things] are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days. … And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me … ; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.”

That each of us may receive that Spirit, obtain the blessings of personal revelation, and know for ourselves that these things are true is my heartfelt prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Notes

1. Alma 8:24.

2. John 17:3.

3. See 1 Corinthians 2:11–16.

4. Quoted in Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow (1884), 8.

5. D&C 9:8.

6. See Moses 5:4–11.

7. See Genesis 18:23–33; Exodus 3:1–3; 32:31–33; Moses 1:1–2, 24; 6:26–37; 7:2–4; Abraham 1:1–2, 15–19.

8. See 1 Kings 19:11–12.

9. See Daniel 2:16–20.

10. See Matthew 16:15–17.

11. See 1 Nephi 2:16; 11:1–2; for additional examples, see Mosiah 3:1–4; Alma 43:23; Helaman 7–8; 10:2–4; 3 Nephi 1:10–13; Mormon 8:34–35; Ether 3:1–6, 13–14, 25.

12. See “Letter of the First Presidency Regarding Revelation on the Priesthood,” Tambuli, July 1978, 31; “Revelation on Priesthood Accepted, Church Officers Sustained,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 16.

13. See “Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 49.

14. See Acts 9; Mosiah 27; Alma 36.

15. 1 Samuel 3:10.

16. Matthew 13:16.

17. James 1:5–6.

18. Moroni 7:37.

19. Ether 12:6.

20. Quoted in Francis M. Gibbons, David O. McKay: Apostle to the World, Prophet of God (1986), 50.

21. Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9; see also 3 Nephi 14:7.

22. D&C 46:8.

23. 2 Nephi 28:30.

24. See 3 Nephi 19:19–23.

25. Alma 5:46.

(2007, October, Robert D. Hales, ‘Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets,’ Ensign, November 2007, ¶ 1–Notes, ¶ 25)


Monday, January 16, 2023

Baby steps at Book of Mormon Central

Some people think I should be satisfied now that Book of Mormon Central (BMC) has replaced their M2C logo with the generic starburst.

I agree it's a big step in the right direction. For years I've been saying that I am eager to work with and support BMC, that 80-90% of their content is great, that everyone who works there is an awesome Latter-day Saint, etc. But the twin narratives of M2C and SITH detract so deeply from the message of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration that their overall work remains tainted despite the new logo.

By now, it is obvious to everyone that BMC spending millions of dollars to promote M2C is not just wasteful, but destructive--exactly as Joseph Fielding Smith warned us decades ago when he said this theory would cause members of the Church to become confused and disturbed in their faith. The realization of that warning is all around us.

Nevertheless, at first glance, we can hope the new BMC logo marks a change in direction (at least a baby step) toward more honest and inclusive scholarship.

Here is the old M2C logo (originated at FARMS, then used by the Maxwell Institute, then used by BMC), which symbolized the way M2C narrative poisoning permeated much of LDS scholarship. 


The new sunburst logo, although generic, is a much better look for many reasons.


It's an ideal logo for "multiple working hypotheses" in case the people at BMC ever decide to adopt an intellectually honest approach to Book of Mormon historicity/geography.

Even the Tyler and Taylor show now features the new logo.


However...

Changing the logo is a superficial rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic because BMC continues to teach and promote M2C (and SITH). 

For example, it's awesome that they've retroactively replaced the M2C logo on their old videos, including the one in which they explain the BYU fantasy map they use to teach the Book of Mormon. 

BYU fantasy map

But notice: they still teach M2C.

And despite the new logo, they continue to mislead English-speaking audiences (and donors) by claiming neutrality while their Spanish-language page overtly and explicitly teaches M2C.


The very first "Kno-Why" featured on the Spanish-language site is a translation of the deplorable "No-wise 489" about Cumorah. We discussed this one before.


So long as BMC continues to promote M2C exclusively, it is not a serious academic endeavor. 

But when it teaches one thing to Spanish-speakers, while presenting a completely different editorial policy of neutrality to English-speakers, it is not even an honest academic endeavor--despite an improved logo.


_____

As always, we plead with BMC to change course by accommodating multiple faithful working hypotheses about Book of Mormon translation and geography, including hypotheses that validate and corroborate the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah.





Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Joseph Smith Papers overview


There's a nice article about the Joseph Smith Papers here:

https://www.thechurchnews.com/history/2022/9/27/23354978/joseph-smith-papers-project-history-2023

I encourage everyone to use the Joseph Smith Papers when they study Church history. But you need to do so carefully, because the editorial content is agenda-driven.

It's similar to using non-LDS Bible commentaries that offer interpretations without the context of the Restoration. The actual documents and historical context can be helpful to understanding the Bible, but we have to recognize editorial spin and manipulation, driven by the agenda of the authors.

It's quite bizarre that the Joseph Smith Papers promotes certain agendas instead of simply reporting accurate history, but the problem is evident to anyone who looks.

Excerpt:

The Joseph Smith Papers team is already seeing a significant amount of web traffic. The website reported more than 3.5 million page views and nearly 900,000 unique visitors last year as Latter-day Saints studied Doctrine and Covenants with the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum.

There's an ironic comment in the article, however:

  • Not only have the papers enhanced the overall study of Latter-day Saint history for members and scholars, they have also become a symbol of transparency for Church history, redacting nothing and hitting topics such as plural marriage, the Book of Abraham, Book of Mormon translation and more. Scholars and critics now have a ready resource they need to take seriously in order for their writings of Latter-day Saint history to be taken seriously, Rogers said.

Even if the editors did not redact anything from the original documents, they definitely have redacted important things from their commentaries. 

If the editors of the Joseph Smith Papers actually sought transparency about Church history, they would point out that Joseph and Oliver (i) always said Joseph translated with the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates, and (ii) never once said or implied that Joseph used the stone-in-the-hat (SITH) to produce the Book of Mormon.

For example, in the Introduction to Revelations and Translations: Volume 5, Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, the editors wrote this:

When mentioning the translation process, Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that he had translated the Book of Mormon “by the gift and power of God.”8

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-revelations-and-translations-volume-5

While that's technically accurate, it's misleading by omission (redaction) because Joseph (and Oliver) also said Joseph translated the plates by means of the Urim and Thummim which came with the plates. But no reader of the Joseph Smith Papers editorial content would know that, just as no reader of the Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Translation would know that.

They're trying to redact the Urim and Thummim right out of Church history.

Note 8 says this:

JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835. Joseph Smith consistently described the translation this way throughout his life. Three individuals who acted as witnesses to the plates described Smith’s work similarly. (See, for example, Preface to Book of Mormon, ca. Aug. 1829JS, Kirtland, OH, to Noah C. Saxton, Rochester, NY, 4 Jan. 1833JS, “Church History,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:707; and Testimony of Three Witnesses, in Book of Mormon, Printer’s Manuscript, ca. Aug. 1829–ca. Jan. 1830, pp. 463–464.)  

First, it's fun that they cite the relatively obscure journal entry instead of the Q&A in the Elders' Journal (which isn't even included in the footnote). We wonder why. 

The journal entry cited, Journal, 9-11 Nov. 1835, includes this comment about the translation. 

 I obtained them, and translated them into the english language; by the gift and power of God and have been preaching it ever since.

If that's the only part of the journal people read, they don't see any mention of the Urim and Thummim, just as the JSP editors claimed. 

But a few pages earlier, the same entry provides this context.

also that the Urim and Thumim, was hid up with the record, and that God would give me power to translate it, with the assistance of this instrument

I've discussed how editorial bias has infected the Joseph Smith Papers here:

https://www.academia.edu/67756647/Agenda_driven_editorial_content_in_the_Joseph_Smith_Papers

[NOTE: there's a typo in there. "The editors don’t explain why they omit the Urim and Thummim when they mention the translation process, but the omission [reflects] the widespread belief among modern LDS scholars that Joseph did not use the Urim and Thummim."]