God often uses ordinary objects to accomplish extraordinary tasks, even miracles! In the Bible, Moses used a big stick to part the Red Sea, and Jesus Christ used mud to restore a blind man’s sight. The power to part the Red Sea or give sight to the blind didn’t come from the stick or from the mud; the power came from God.

The power of God was similarly demonstrated with Joseph Smith, who used “seer stones”—stones believed to transmit revelation. The belief in seer stones was common in the culture of 19th-century Europe and early America, and God enabled Joseph to begin translating ancient records by such means. These records, written in reformed Egyptian, formed a book of scripture known today as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Witnesses to the translation process reported that as Joseph looked at the stones, he could see the translation, which he then dictated to his scribe. As his abilities matured, Joseph no longer needed the aid of the stones to receive revelation for the translation process.

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