Urim and Thummim

Urim and Thummim are often translated from the ancient Hebrew as “revelation and truth” or occasionally “light and perfection”. This process of divination was used to determine God’s will in regards to a problem or disagreement. He Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints claim that Umim and Thummim translated many ancient documents, including the Book of Mormon. However, this is wildly different from the original used by the ancient Hebrews.

According to Hebrew traditions, God’s holy name was written on a piece of parchment before being slipped under the Urim and Thummim of the high priest’s breastplate. This caused the breastplate to glow, whereupon it was able to transmit messages between God and his Children.

The breastplate consisted of 12 brightly colored stones. Both the stones and their colors were important for the high priest to perform his duties as an oracle. While some believe that THE Urim and Thummim were crystals, others disagree.

In the Hebrew alphabet, the word Urim begins with the letter aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Thummim begins with tav, the final letter of the alphabet. Some believe that divination using Urim and Thummim provided a yes/no answer, or were used with other letters to determine the response from the Oracle. There is some evidence that the two were used to provide yes or no answers. Evidence also proves that this was used as an ordeal, one that could establish the guilt or innocence of the accused.

An 1893 engraving of Joseph Smith receiving the Golden Plates and the Urim and Thummim from the angel Moroni. The sword of Laban is shown at the bottom. Courtesy Wikipedia.