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The Urim and Thummim was preserved in a stone box, along with the gold plates, for over 1,500 years for the purpose of enabling Joseph to translate the writings on the gold plates.
In addition to the pictorial depictions of the translating process, there are several written accounts that lead devout LDS members to the belief that Joseph Smith only used the Urim and Thummim for the translation process.
The impression given is that the dictation process involved Joseph's direct visual contact with the plates.
In some depictions there was a blanket between Joseph and the scribe.
They also believe it is important they teach the actual history to investigators before joining the Church.
The 2015 public disclosures made by the Church in the news and October does not relieve the Church from its failure to provide this information for the first 180 years of its existence.
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Introduction LDS member beliefs Problem summary Joseph's comments Treasure seeker Urim and Thummim Angel takes Urim and Thummim Seer stone found the plates?