In this episode, Sarah, Jennifer, and Zach discuss mentions of the seer stones throughout history. Throughout this 6 part series, Me, My Shelf, & I will tackle and refute claims about the seer stones head-on using facts from the historical narrative.

(00:00) Introduction
(5:44) Richard Bushman Statement
(6:11) Overview
(8:16) Gerrit Dirkmaat Interview
(35:39) Mark Ashurst-McGee Interview
(01:12:34) Conclusion

Gerrit Dirkmaat is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from the University of Colorado in 2010, where he studied nineteenth-century American expansionism and foreign relations. He worked as a historian and writer for the Church History Department from 2010 to 2014 with the Joseph Smith Papers Project. He is the coauthor, along with Michael Hubbard MacKay, of the award-winning book From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon, published by the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book in 2015. In 2023, they published another book on the topic: Let’s Talk About the Translation of the Book of Mormon. In addition to books, Gerrit is also the author of dozens of academic articles. He currently serves as the editor of the academic journal Latter-day Saint Historical Studies published by the Ensign Peak Foundation. Since 2021 he has hosted and produced a weekly Church history podcast: Standard of Truth. It examines Church history questions and sources. He and his wife, Angela, have four children.

Mark Ashurst-McGee is a senior historian in the Church History Department and the senior research and review editor for the Joseph Smith Papers, where he also serves as a specialist in document analysis and documentary editing methodology. He holds a PhD in history from Arizona State University and has trained at the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. He has coedited several volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers and is also coeditor of Foundational Texts of Mormonism: Examining Major Early Sources (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is also the author of several articles on Joseph Smith and early Latter-day Saint history published in scholarly journals and popular venues.


Sarah Allen is a senior researcher with FAIR, and the 2022 recipient of the John Taylor: Defender of the Faith Award. By profession, she works in mortgage compliance and is a freelance copyeditor. An avid reader, she loves studying the Gospel and the history of the restored Church. After watching some of her friends lose their testimonies, she became interested in helping others through their faith crises. That’s when she began sharing what she’d learned through her studies. She is a co-moderator the LDS subreddit on Reddit and the author of a multi-part series rebutting the CES Letter. She’s grateful to those at FAIR who have given her the opportunity to share her testimony with a wider audience.

Jennifer Roach earned a Master of Divinity from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and a Master of Counseling from Argosy University. Before her conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she was an ordained minister in the Anglican church. Her own experience of sexual abuse from a pastor during her teen years led her to care deeply about issues of abuse in faith communities.

Zachary Wright was born in American Fork, UT.  He served his mission speaking Spanish in North Carolina and the Dominican Republic.  He currently attends BYU studying psychology, but loves writing, and studying LDS theology and history.  His biggest desire is to help other people bring them closer to each other, and ultimately bring people closer to God.

The post Me, My Shelf, & I – Episode 5 – Seer Stones: Did the Church Lie? appeared first on FAIR.

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