Magical Worldview

Magical Worldview

In order to truly understand the Book of Mormon witnesses and the issues with their claims, one must understand the magical worldview of many people in early 19th century New England. These are people who believed in folk magic, divining rods, visions, second sight, peep stones in hats, treasure hunting (money digging or glass looking), and so on.


CES Letter, Page 86

Correct, many credible people held a magical worldview at this time. We can't discredit an entire generation of people because they had an incorrect view on magic.

"Digging for money hid in the earth is a very common thing and in this state it is even considered as honorable and profitable employment"

"One gentleman...digging...ten to twelve years, found a sufficient quantity of money to build him a commodious house.

". . .another...dug up...fifty thousand dollars!"See Palmyra Herald (24 July 1822); cited in Russell Anderson, "The 1826 Trial of Joseph Smith," (2002 FAIR Conference presentation.) Click here: FairMormon link

Money was found "by the help of a mineral stone, (which becomes transparent when placed in a hat and the light excluded by the face of him who looks into it)."

See "Wonderful Discovery," Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, New York] (27 December 1825), page 2, col. 4. Reprinted from the Orleans Advocate of Orleans, New York; cited by Mark Ashurst-McGee, "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet," (Master's Thesis, University of Utah, Logan, Utah, 2000), 170–171. Click here