Joseph Smith Seer Stones: Why Was a Stone Used as an Aid in Translating the Book of Mormon?

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Alma told his son Helaman that God prepared his servant “Gazelem, a stone,” for an important work. in the Book of Mormon, Alma states a prophecy, which reads, “And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness,” (Alma 37:23). 

Because this is the only time Gazelem is mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the important reference has raised some questions. Is Gazelem a person? Or is Gazelem the stone? Or, a seer stone?

Interpreting this as a prophecy adds yet another layer to the debate—could Gazelem be a prophetic reference to Joseph Smith?

The fact that Joseph Smith used a seer stone and the Urim and Thummim in translating makes for a clear connection because it connects Joseph’s divine gift and inspired work of translation with those practices from ancient times. 

Either way, Alma’s prophecy about Gazelem teaches us that God worked the same in ancient times as he does in Latter-days to accomplish his work.
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Fact checked by Mr. Kevin Prince, Source Expert

Kevin Prince is a religious scholar and the YouTube host of the Gospel Learning YouTube Channel. With over 41,000 subscribers and 4.5 million views, his channel has become a significant platform for exploring religious topics. Additionally, Mr. Prince is the creator of the Gospel Learning App, a reliable resource that provides trustworthy answers to religious questions, drawing from insights shared by some of the world’s best teachers.


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