The objects that Joseph Smith supposedly found and translated which gave the Book of Mormon. Very few people were ever allowed to "see" the plates, and a number that had said they saw them had recanted later in life.

He translated them by staring into a hat containing seer stones that he had previously used to find buried treasure.

Saige: Ok, this is a little too much. I don't know of any account that states the Joseph Smith used the Urim and Thummim previously to find buried treasure. Joseph Smith's father was involved to some degree in treasure hunting (supposedly a common practive of farmers in the area), and young Joseph helped him with this. He was acquitted of any wrongdoing in connection with being a "glass looker", which is a general term. It didn't mean he was tried for using seer stones. Even the validity of this trial ever happenning is very questionable. But, if you think something is evil you'll pretty much believe any crazy thing you hear about it. A similar claim to this one is that when Joseph was murdered a "jupiter talisman" was found in his pocket. It seems that this occult object was one of Joseph's favorite baubles. Of course, this story was told almost a century after Joseph's death by someone who wasn't even alive when Joseph died.

The golden plates were translated by Smith using two clear stones and an apparatus for holding them. He dictated the words to another person who wrote them down. The plates were found by Smith after recieving guidance from an angel.

It's interesting to note that the Gold Plates represent a cut down edited version of the records kept by the descendent's of Nephi, compiled by Mormon. There are supposedly a great deal of other plates still hidden that may someday also be uncovered and translated.

If you really want to know if the book produced from this effort is true you should read it and ask God. The Book of Mormon is truely an amazing and complicated work even if Joseph wasn't really a Prophet of God.

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