Last year the Church released photos of Joseph Smith’s brown seer stone. But did you know he also had a white seer stone that might have been even more important to him?
Palmyra resident Pomeroy Tucker, who worked on the publication of the Book of Mormon, remembered that Joseph Smith’s seer stone had a “whitish, glassy appearance, though opaque, resembling quartz” in his 1867 book. Other late sources claiming to have interviewed early Palmyrans reflected Tucker’s description of the stone, making it difficult to know if they were original observations or mimicking his more informed, publicly declared opinion. Nevertheless, they stated that Joseph Smith used a white stone.
Unlike his brown stone, Joseph Smith did not give his white stone away. In fact, the Nauvoo Apostles remember him showing them his seer stone, and they imply that he may have been using it in some way. Joseph showed Wilford Woodruff his white stone in 1841, years before Woodruff ever saw the brown stone (which was presumably in Oliver Cowdery’s possession until 1850). During that time, Joseph had been working on the Book of Abraham and preparing the Nauvoo Temple endowment. On 27 December 1841, Wilford Woodruff wrote that Joseph showed him his seer stone at a meeting with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. From the fall of 1841 to the summer of 1842, Wilford Woodruff called Joseph Smith “Joseph the seer” in his journal numerous times.