Author of ‘Joseph Smith's Seer Stones’ to Speak at WSU

OGDEN, Utah – The Weber Historical Society Lecture Series will explore the role of the seer stones in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a presentation from author and history professor Michael MacKay, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in Weber State University’s Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.

MacKay will discuss his book “Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones,” which tracks the purpose and practice of the seer stones. He will also explain the complex history of the stones and lead a discussion about their historical purposes and how they were used by the LDS church.

“Joseph Smith’s seer stones may seem like fantasy to the twenty-first-century mind, but these rocks exhibit the twists and contours of religious experience,” MacKay said. “Their journey through the hands and pockets of early LDS prophets and especially their pose for a twenty-first-century photographer, link generations of varied notions of religious practice.”

Joseph Smith is believed to have used the seer stones in translating the Book of Mormon and receiving revelations. The stones are currently stored in the LDS presidency’s vault in Salt Lake City.

MacKay is a former editor of the Joseph Smith Papers, a digital collection of LDS documents, and a current associate professor of church history at Brigham Young University. He was also the lead historian for the “Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Volume 1” and the author of several books, including “Sacred Space: Exploring the Birthplace of Mormonism.”

MacKay earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of York in York, England, and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Weber State University.

“Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones” has been listed on Deseret Book’s best sellers list, and received numerous reviews from LDS publications. MacKay co-wrote the book with Nicholas Frederick, who also teaches at BYU.

The lecture is an opportunity for people interested in religion or LDS church history to learn more about the famous artifacts.

The free presentation is sponsored by the WSU Alumni Association, the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, the Department of History, Stewart Library and the Weber Historical Society.

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Eric Swedin, WSU history professor
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Shaylee Stevens, Office of Marketing & Communications
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