Sunday, September 16, 2007

Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Today I was reading in 1 Chr. 29:29 which reads:

"Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer"

In this verse the word "seer" is used twice but in the original they were actually separate words. In reference to Samuel the original Hebrew word was "ro-eh". In reference to Gad the word was "Chozeh". The word "Chozeh" could also be translated as "gazer", meaning someone who gazed into mystical stones in order to reveal hidden things.
see Sidney B. Sperry, Spirit of the Old Testament p.120

The First Presidency, and Quorum of the Twelve all hold the title as prophets, seers and revelators. Perhaps the title "seer" could refer to the utilization of a Urim and Thummim.

Joseph Smith possessed at least two Urim and Thummim, one of which was the small, brown seer stone. The other one, which he received with the Gold Plates, consisted of two transparent stones set in a bow which were attached to the breastplate (Interestingly, during Old Testament times the Urim and Thummim was kept in a pouch behind the breastplate of the high priest [see Ex. 28:30].). see Comprehensive History of the Church (CHC) 1:128-29

The fate of the Urim and Thummim received with the plates is uncertain. However, we do know that as of the late 19th century (many decades after the death of Joseph Smith) the Church still had possession of the seer stone. Wilford Woodruff consecrated it on the alter of the Manti Temple at its dedication in 1888. see CHC 6:230

Therefore, it seems likely that the Apostles of the Church possess at least one Urim and Thummim and currently use it in their roles as seers.