Both of Joe Smith's parents instilled occult beliefs in him. In
an 1829 letter to his nephew "Hiram," Joe Smith Sr.'s brother Jesse
Smith condemned his brother's involvement in the occult and his
using a divining rod (Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon
Documents, SLC, Signature Books, 1996, 1:553).
That same year Joe Smith pressed Oliver Cowdery into service as a scribe for recording Smith's "translation" of the Book of Mormon, Cowdery having introduced himself to Smith as a divining "rodsman." Official RLDS historian Richard P. Howard admitted that Joe Smith had commended Oliver Cowdery's use of a divining rod in seeking buried treasure (Richard P. Howard, Restoration Scriptures: A Study of Their Textual Development, Independence, Mo., 1969, pp. 211-14).
Embarrassed about Joe Smith's condoning divination, Mormons changed Smith's revelation about Oliver Cowdery. "The gift of working with the rod" (Book of Commandments 7:3) became "the gift of Aaron" (Doctrine and Covenants 8:6).
In an affidavit, Peter Ingersoll, a neighbor of the Smiths,
noted Smith Sr.'s odd occultic beliefs,
I was once ploughing near the house of Joseph Smith,
Sen. about noon, he requested me to walk with him a short distance
from his house, for the purpose of seeing whether a mineral rod
would work in my hand, saying at the same time he was confident it
would. . . . When we arrived near the place at which he thought
there was money, he cut a small witch hazle bush and gave me
direction how to hold it. He then went off some rods, and told me
to say to the rod, 'work to the money,' which I did, in an audible
voice. He rebuked me severely for speaking it loud, and said it
must be spoken in a whisper. . . . He then put the stone which I
had given him, into his hat, and stooping forward, he bowed and
made sundry maneuvers, quite similar to those of a stool pigeon. At
length he took down his hat, and being very much exhausted, said,
in a faint voice, 'if you knew what I had seen, you would believe.
. . .' Sen. told me that the best time for digging money, was, in
the heat of summer, when the heat of the sun caused the chests of
money to rise near the top of the ground.' "You notice," said he,
"the large stones on the top of the ground we call them rocks, and
they truly appear so, but they are, in fact, most of them, chests
of money raised by the heat of the sun." (Eber D. Howe,
Mormonism Unvailed, Painesville, OH, 1834, pp.
Most of us greatly appreciate not having a father who believes
that the sun causes chests of money to rise in the earth, who holds
divining sticks and says "work to the money," and who pecks his
head like a pigeon while throwing his arms akimbo in a divination
Lorenzo Saunders recalled Joe Smith Sr.'s odd occult behavior
at "turky [sic] shoots": "Smith Sr. pretend[ed] to enchant their
guns so that they could not kill a turky. . . . He would blow in
the gun and feel around the lock [and] then tell them it was
charmed and they could not kill the turky" (Lorenzo Saunders
interview, Sept. 17, 1884, 2, in fd. 7, box 1,E.L., Kelley papers,
library archives RLDS).
Early Mormon convert Orrin Porter Rockwell reported that Joe
Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, used her dreams to locate
treasure-digging spots (Norman R. Bowen, ed., A Gentile Account
of Life in Utah's Dixie, 1872-73).
Highly mystical and given over to strange dreams, Lucy Smith was
limited in formal education. Those who knew her best said that "she
would look you straight in the eye and weave an unimaginable tale,
and when challenged she would defend her exaggerated statements
without shame." (Allen Harrod, "Who was Joseph Smith?," Watchman
Fellowship, Inc., 1999).
Lucy Smith also used peepstones as a treasure witch. Samantha
Payne said that Joe Smith Sr.'s wife "once came to my mother to get
a stone the children had found, of curious shape. She wanted to use
it as a peepstone" (Samantha Payne manuscript affidavit, June 29,
1881, Ontario County Clerk's Office, Canandaigua, New York,
photocopy in fd. 31, box 149, Marquardt papers, Marriott
John Stafford confirmed Lucy Smith's peeping interest, "My
father Wm. S[tafford] had a stone which some thought they could
look through and old Mrs. S[mith] came there for it but never got
it" (Rodger Anderson, Joseph Smith's New York Reputation
Reexamined, SLC, Signature Books, 1990, p. 172).
The LDS newspaper Deseret News published the unchallenged
statement of a Palmyra resident who said that Lucy Mack Smith
"turned many a penny by tracing in the lines of the open palm the
fortunes of the inquirer" (Deseret News, Church Section, May
25, 1940, p. 5).
In what appears to be an offhand remark, Joe Smith's mother
indicated that the Smith family drew magic circles and practiced
ritual magic, but she asserted that their involvement did not
interfere with farm work. In the first draft of her dictated
manuscript history, Lucy Mack Smith stated:
". . . let not my reader suppose that because I shall pursue
another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went at
trying to win the faculty of Abrac[,] drawing Magic circles or
sooth saying to the neglect of all kinds of business [W]e never
during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up
every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we
endeavored to remember the service of & the welfare of our
souls" (Lucy Mack Smith manuscript history, 1845, Vogel,
"Abrac" is an abbreviation of "abracadabra," a magical word used by sorcerers.
Lucy Mack Smith's own father, Solomon Mack, claimed to have
divine visitations. When he was seventy-eight years old, he
collected recollections of these visitations into a booklet he
peddled (William J. Whalen, The Latter-day Saints in the Modern
World, New York: The John Day Company, 1964, p. 23).
Indoctrinated in the occult by his parents, Joe Smith used
implements of ceremonial magic, such as divining rods, peepstones,
a Jupiter talisman, amulets, magic parchments and a dagger with the
sigil of Mars. The Bible strictly forbids divination (Deut. 18:10,
Ezek. 12:24, 13:23, Zech. 10:2, Jer. 27:9, II Kings 17:17), yet
four eyewitnesses reported that the Smiths used divining rods in
the Palmyra area (D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the
Magic World View, Signature Books, SLC, 1998, p. 33). Besides
using a dowsing rod as a water witch, Joe Smith used a peepstone to
tell fortunes. In a December 12, 1833 affidavit, neighbor David
Stafford affirmed Smith's involvement in fortune telling:
"It is well known, that the general employment of the Smith
family was money digging and fortune-telling" (Anderson, p.
In an affidavit, Henry Harris noted Smith's fortune telling:
"Joseph Smith, Jr. the pretended Prophet, used to pretend to tell
fortunes; he had a stone which he used to put in his hat, by means
of which he professed to tell people's fortunes" (Ibid., p.
To learn firsthand about Mormonism, Fayette Lapham traveled to
the Smiths' family residence in 1830, and he interviewed Joe Smith
Sr. He recalled Joe Smith Sr.'s saying that young "Joseph spent
about two years looking into this stone, telling fortunes. . . ."
Christopher M. Stafford, who attended school with some of the
Smith children and who sometimes had meals at the Smiths'
residence, said, "Joe claimed to have revelations and tell
fortunes. He told mine by looking in the palm of my hand and said
among other things that I would not live to be very old."
Christopher Stafford was seventy-six when he recalled Smith's
words. (Anderson, p. 166).
To consult his whitish peepstone about a stolen mare, Joe Smith
charged E. W. Vanderhoof's grandfather 75 cents (E. W. Vanderhoof,
Historical Sketches of Western New York, Buffalo:
Matthews-Northrup Works, 1907, pp. 138-39).
Justice Joel Noble corroborated Smith's occult and illegal
"Jo. Smith (Mormon) came here when about 17-18 y. of age in the
capacity of Glass Looker or fortuneteller.... Jo. engaged the
attention of a few indiv[iduals] Given to the marvelous. Duge for
money, Salt, Iron Oar, Golden Oar, Silver Oar, and almost any
thing, every thing, until Civil authority brought up Jo. standing
(as the boys say) under the Vagrant act. Jo. was condemned. Whisper
came to Jo. "off, off"took Leg Bail.... Jo. was not seen in our
town for 2 Years or more (except in Dark Corners)." (Letter from
Joel K. Noble, presiding judge in one of Smith's 1830 trials;
quoted in David Persuitte, Joseph Smith and the Origins of the
Book of Mormon, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1985, p. 54).
Some Mormons understand that Joe Smith used his peepstone to
swindle only Josiah Stowell. Smith actually defrauded various
people besides Stowell, including Oliver Harper, Jacob Chamberlain
and Mr. Fish. These people lost not only their money in fruitless
treasure digging excursions, but as Smith lured them into the
Biblically forbidden world of divination and ritual magic, they
lost moral character as well.
According to a January 1832 letter from five members of the
judiciary of the postmaster at Canandaigua, NY, Mr. Fish financed
Joe Smith's treasure digging at Manchester (N[athaniel]. W. Howell,
W[alter]. Hubbell, A[nsel]. Eddy, Henry Chapin, Jared Willson, and
Lewis Jenkins to Rev. Ancil Beach, January 1832, copy in Hubbell's
handwriting, fd. 1, box 6, Walter Hubbell Collection, Princeton
University Library, Princeton, NJ).
Smith started working for Jacob Chamberlain about 1820, when,
according to Daniel S. Kendig of Seneca County, NY, "Seneca Falls
and Fayette were visited by an odd-looking boy, clad in tow [i.e.,
hemp] frock and trousers, and barefooted. He hailed from Palmyra,
Wayne County, and made a living by seeking hidden things" (Daniel
S. Kendig statement, in History of Seneca Co., New York,
Philadelphia, Everts, Ensign & Everts, 1876, p. 129).
In 1831, Palmyra residents referred to Chamberlain's former
financial aid to Joe Smith in Waterloo, and they expressed a hope
that the aid had ended ("We have received the following letter from
Palmyra, N.Y.," Painesville Telegraph, Painesville, OH,
March 22, 1831, p. 2).
Before Oliver Harper's murder in May of 1824, Harper hired Joe
Smith as a treasure witch. (Jason Treadwell, a member of Smith's
money digging band, murdered Harper after Smith had urged human
sacrifice to Satan. See the Moroni article.) R. C. Doud said that
in 1822 he was employed with thirteen others by Oliver Harper to
dig for gold under Joe Smith's direction on Joseph McKune's land
and that Joe had begun operations the previous year. The digging
was kept up constantly, with seven digging and seven resting (Emily
C. Blackman, History of Susquehanna County, 1873, pp.
A resident of the area reported that Harper spent on the
treasure quest "$2000 [and] he utterly refused to go any further"
(Ibid., p. 580).
Sally McKune corroborated that Smith "practised [sic] with his
peek-stone" while working for Harper (Mather, Early Days of
Mormonism, p. 199).
After Harper's murder, Josiah Stowell funded Smith's treasure
quests north and south of the Susquehanna River during 1825 and
1826 (Quinn, p. 56).
Joe Smith's mother, in her book Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, acknowledged why Josiah Stowell sought her son's assistance in digging for treasure:
"A short time before the house was completed, a man by the name of Josiah Stoal, came from Chenango county, New York, with the view of getting Joseph to assist him in digging for a silver mine. He came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys, by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye." (Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, Liverpool, England: S. W. Richards, 1853, pp. 91-92; Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, Vol. 1, p. 309).
Magic pentacles were on three of the Smiths' parchments. These
parchments are called "Holiness to the Lord," "Saint Peter bind
them" and "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah." Specific books on the occult
were the source of the "seales of the earth" pentacles.
Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft explains why
inscribing seals of the earth is necessary in a treasure quest,
"but if he desires it, they will engage to bring him the most
pretious [sic] of their Jewels and Riches in twenty four hours;
discovering unto him the way of finding hidden treasures and the
richest mines" (Scot, 1665, pp. 244, 218-19).
Besides Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft, Dr. D. Michael
Quinn, a former BYU history professor, found that another source
for these pentacles is the 1784 edition of A New and Complete
Illustration of the Occult Sciences by Ebenezer Sibly (Quinn,
Reginald Scot writes, "These figures are called the seales of
the earth, without the which no spirit will appeere, except thou
have them with thee."
As the instructions suggest, the
seals were part of a magical ritual for making demons appear.
Magicians use seals of the earth in various occultic rites. For
instance, Lewis Spence's Encyclopedia of Occultism (1960, p.
843) gives directions on how to cause a corpse to talk (really
demons talking from the corpse). The magician is to wear two seals
of the earth which he has inscribed on virgin parchment. He is to
wear the tetragrammaton (a symbol in the upper center of the
parchment graphic below), and he is to hold a Hebrew Bible. In the
rite Spence describes, demons howl, shriek and screech, just as
they did during Smith's visit with the demon Moroni. They also can
cause physical harm. (Smith describes being struck and knocked down
during his visit to the Manchester hill.) Scot and Sibly are the
only known sources for these Seals. The Smiths' parchments use
Sibly as a source for the symbols.
Besides the Smiths' satanic earth pentacle, there are other
types of planetary pentacles. For instance, The Greater Key of
Solomon gives the following instructions on constructing a Mars
"The seventh and Last Pentacle of Mars.Write thou this upon
Virgin Parchment Paper with the blood of a bat, in the day and hour
of Mars; and uncover it within the Circle, invoking the Demons
whose Names are therein written; and thou shalt immediately see
hail and tempest." (The Greater Key of Solomon, p. 68).
The parchments show "precise
knowledge of directions for ritual magic" (Quinn, p. 104). All
three parchments had applications in a prime interest of the Smith
family: the treasure quest. The graphic to the right is the Smiths'
"Saint Peter Bind Them" parchment. At the lower center of this
parchment is a symbol of Pah-li-Pah. If invoked correctly, the
demon spirit called Pah-li-Pah would materialize and help find
treasure for the owner of the parchment. Scot and Sibly are the
only known sources for Pah-li-Pah (Ibid., Figs. 68-71). On page
1094 of Sibly's New and Complete Illustration of the Occult
Sciences, Sibly describes Pah-li-Pah as "one of the celestial
powers." Pah-li-Pah is the second of seven angels of ceremonial
magic. The reverse side of the "Saint Peter Bind Them" parchment
has a complex symbol for Nal-gah, the third angel of ceremonial
magic (Sibly, pp. 1093-95). Nal-gah is associated with those
"assaulted by evil spirits or witches" (Ibid., p. 1094).
The Smiths' parchments were
specifically used to invoke preternatural visitations. To the right
is a graphic reproduction of the Smiths' "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" parchment.
At the lower right of this parchment is a symbol for "Jubanladace,"
the first of seven angels of ceremonial magic. In his treasure
quests, Joe Smith used the symbol to invoke the demon Jubanladace.
The symbol is a jumble of a crescent moon, crooked lines and three
crosses. One cross is right-side up, another is upside down, and a
third is sideways. The parchment also has a pentagram and a "Seals
of the Earth" pentacle used in satanic ceremonies. The Smiths'
source for Jubanladace is Scot's Discourse Concerning Devils and
Spirits (Quinn, p. 110; Scot, p. 43). The central disk of the
"Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" parchment has four Maltese crosses and
a Latin phrase as suggested by Reginald Scot (Scot, 1665, p.
Just before Scot gives the section with the symbol for
Jubanladace, there is the sentence, "When Treasure hath been hid,
or any secret thing hath been committed by the party; there is a
magical cause of something attracting the starry spirit back again,
to the manifestation of that thing. Upon which, the following
Chapters do insist more largely and particularly" (Scot, pp.
- All the people in Ephesus, Jews and Greeks, learned about this.
They all began to have great respect for God. And the people gave
great honor to the name of the Lord Jesus.
- Many of the believers began to confess and tell all the bad
things they had done.
- Some of the believers had used magic. These believers brought
their magic books and burned them before everyone. Those books were
worth about 50,000 silver coins.
- This is how the word of the Lord was influencing more and more
people in a powerful way.
As the believers of Ephesus accepted Christ, they burned their
books on magic. Millions of LDS would not be headed for the
blackness and burn pain of hell if the Smiths had not disobeyed
God's word by using magic parchments, a Jupiter talisman, a dagger,
etc., that were inscribed according to books on magic.
Dr. D. Michael Quinn, Masonic expert Art deHoyos and Mormonism
authorities the Tanners have written about the Smiths' three
magical parchments. (Quinn, pp. 98-135; Arturo deHoyos, The
Masonic Emblem and Parchments Of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, N.p.,
1982, 4-22, copy in fd 14, box 19, David J. Buerger papers,
Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, J. Willard
Marriott Library, University of Utah, SLC; Jerald and Sandra
Tanner, "Mormonism and Magic," SLC Messenger 49, Dec. 1982,
1-3; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism, Magic, and
Masonry, SLC: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1983, pp. 6-9).
In August of 1985, a photo of one of the Smiths' magic
parchments appeared on the front page of the local section in Salt
Lake City's largest newspaper ("Symposium Examines Smith's
Involvement in Magic," Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Aug. 1985,
The Smith family parchments were handed down through the
provenance of Hyrum Smith's relatives. A 1963 authorized biography
of Hyrum Smith identified the magical parchments as his "Emblematic
parchments" (Pearson Corbett, Hyrum Smith, Patriarch, SLC,
Deseret Book, 1963, p. 453). Eldred G. Smith, whose
great-great-grandfather was Hyrum Smith, admitted that the chain of
ownership for the parchments began with Joe Smith, Sr (Quinn, p.
103). In 1969, Hyrum F. Smith's daughter recalled the provenance of
the parchments as passing from Joe Smith's brother to patriarchs in
the family (Evaline Smith Haws to Robert Haws, 11 November 1969,
Archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, SLC).
The parchments were identified as part of Hyrum Smith's
possessions (Daniel Spenser, Orson Spencer, and Stephen Markham,
"Inventory & Appraisement of the personal property of Hiram
[sic] Smith (deceased) August 14th & 15th 1844," signed 26 Aug.
1844, LDS Archives). Although Hyrum Smith's family handed down the
parchments, the "Holiness to the Lord" parchment has both markings
and internal dating specific to Joe Smith, Jr. For instance, there
are a large astrological sign for Jupiterthe ruling planet of Joe
Smith's birth yearand astrological signs identifying September
1823, the date of Smith's visit with Moroni (Quinn, p. 104).
Besides the circles on parchments and the blood circles to
Satan, Joe Smith also drew circles on the dirt as a part of money
Milo Bell said that "they would make a circle and Jo Smith
claimed if they threw any dirt over the circle the money chest
would leave" (Anderson, p. 65).
Palmyra neighbors of the Smiths noted that the Smiths drew magic
circles (Christian Register, Boston MA, September 24, 1831,
typescript, fd. 4, Dale Morgan Collection, Library, Utah State
Historical Society, Salt Lake City).
In a speech before the Utah History Association, Dr. Reed Durham, who was
director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah
and president of the Mormon History Association, gave details of
Joe Smith's longtime use of a Jupiter talisman.
Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett said about Joe Smith's Jupiter
talisman, "This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was
martyred at Carthage Jail" (The Wilford C. Wood Collection,
1972, vol. 1, page 173).
Mormon writer D. Michael Quinn noted that Joe Smith's Jupiter
talisman was constructed according to instructions in Francis
Barrett's 1801 edition of The Magus (Quinn, p. 40). On pages
143-44 of volume one are instructions for making the silver
Joe Smith's widow, Emma Smith Bidamon, said that the Jupiter
talisman was one of his intimate possessions. (Charles E. Bidamon
Affidavit. Wood Coll. #7-J-b-21). She also claimed that Joe Smith
made the talisman himself. LDS historian Joseph Fielding Smith, who
was an apostle at the time, examined the items Bidamon sold to Wood
and "pronounced them authentic" (Quinn, p. 89).
"When properly invoked, with Jupiter being very powerful and
ruling in the heavens, these intelligencesby the power of ancient
magicguaranteed to the possessor of this talisman the gain of
riches, and favor, and power, and love and peace; and to confirm
honors, and dignities, and councils. Talismatic magic further
declared that anyone who worked skillfully with this Jupiter Table
would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to
the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother,
relative, or even any female" (Mormon Miscellaneous,
published by David C. Martin, vol. 1, No. 1, October 1975, pp.
Bainbridge physician William D. Purple, who took notes at Joe Smith's 1826 peepstone trial,
noted testimony about Smith's claiming that "talismanic influences"
were needed to recover a box of treasure (William D. Purple,
"Joseph Smith the Originator of Mormonism: Historical Reminiscences
of the town of Afton," Chenango Union, Norwich, NY, May 2,
1877, p. 3).
The silver talisman was constructed according to instructions for making "magic seals, or talismans." On one side are the
astrological symbol of the planet Jupiter, the magic seal of Jupiter, and the magic sigil of the Intelligence of Jupiter. On the other side are the astrological symbol for Jupiter, the magic number of Jupiter (136), a magic number square for Jupiter, the Hebrew name "Johphiel" as the Intelligence of Jupiter, and the Hebrew name "El Ab," a "divine" name reserved for Jupiter in magic (Francis Barrett, The Magus, 1801, p. 143, 146). Magic ritual goes along with the construction of talisman pieces. For instance, witches teach that one's shadow should not cross the talisman when one is making it. There is a satanic "Golden Dawn" consecration ceremony for a Jupiter talisman. In the ceremony, an occult Priestess holds the chalice aloft and mutters a prescribed rite.
Dr. Quinn quotes that Barrett does not deal with astrology as
many people think of it (casting horoscopes, etc.), but "instead
Barrett describes the nature of the various planetary forces and
tells how they can be harnessed by the use of talismans and charms"
(Quinn, p. 413n). Barrett's astrology was more involved in
convoking demon intelligences to influence the user and others.
As further evidence of Joe Smith's use of Barrett's The
Magus, Smith gave a "revelation" that the sign to reorganize
the church would be when he saw "two crescent moons with their
backs together" (Rupert Fletcher and Daisy Whiting Fletcher,
Alpheus Cutler and the Church of Jesus Christ, Independence,
MO, The Church of Jesus Christ, 1974, p. 47).
The back-to-back crescent moons symbol is on the third page of
illustrations after page 144 in Francis Barrett's The Magus
(London: Lackington, Allen, 1801).
William Stafford recalled the Smiths' belief that treasure
digging success "depended in a great measure on the state of the
moon" (Anderson, p. 144).
Reginald Scot specified, "And in the composition of any Circle
for Magical feats, the fittest time is the brightest Moon-light"
(Reginald Scot, Discovery of Witchcraft, 1665, p. 215).
According to folk magic, one should do nothing without the
assistance of the Moon (Agrippa, Three Books of Occult
Philosophy, 1651, p. 279; Francis Barrett, Magus,
According to various early Nauvoo Mormons, the only thing that
Joe Smith really believed in was astrology (Quinn, p. 73). God
forbids observing astrology. In the Bible, astrologers are mocked
(Daniel 1:20, 2:27, 4:7, 5:7). Astrologers will be burned with fire
(Isaiah 47:13-14). The Bible expressly condemns magic and sorcery
(Exodus 22:18, Lev. 19:26-31, 20:6, Deut. 18:9-12, 1 Sam. 15:23,
28:7-11, 2 Kings 9:22, 17:17, 21:6, 23:24, Isaiah 8:19, 29:4,
47:8-12, Jer. 27:9, Mic. 5:12, Zech. 10:2, Mal. 3:5, Acts 8:11,
13:6, 16:16-18, Gal. 5:20, Rev. 18:23, 21:8). As Christians, we are
to trust in God, not in sorcery, magic, amulets, talismanic
influences, wizardry, astrology and divination.
Mormonism authorities Jerald and Sandra Tanner note:
mounting evidence of Joseph Smith's involvement in magic, members
of the Mormon Church are faced with a very weighty decisioni.e.,
can they accept as a prophet a man who was involved in occult
practices at the very time he was supposed to have been receiving
revelations from God? From the standpoint of the Bible, the
question can only be answered no. As one former follower of Joseph
Smith expressed it, a person must 'come out from the company of
Joseph the sorcerer.'" (Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism,
Magic and Masonry, 2nd ed., Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Salt Lake
City, 1988, p. 55)
Former Mormon David McCament concurs:
"What troubled me most about his disregard for the Bible was his involvement with the occult. Using a seer stone like a crystal ball, he sought buried treasure and was later arrested as "Joseph Smith the Glass Looker." He condoned divination, he used enchantments, attempted communication with the dead and even wore a Jupiter talisman (a highly occultic object) at the time of his death. I found copious evidence directly linking Joseph Smith to occult beliefs and activities in spite of many clear Biblical warnings against such practices. Nothing disturbed me more about his life. It is a matter of history, though the Church has attempted to hide it in its records."
(David A. McCament, "A WAY WHICH SEEMETH RIGHT: My Experience in Mormonism")