Posted: 15 May 2013 02:50 PM PDT
What did it mean in the Book of Commandments to say that Oliver Cowdery had the gift of working with the “rod of nature.” What is the “gift of Aaron?” Are there other examples of physical objects being used to receive revelation? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on January 13, […]This posting includes an audio media file: Download Now.
Martin Tanner did a fairly good job of describing the various objects used by early Mormons and comparing them to similar objects used for such purposes in the Bible.
I am not sure, however, that “catalyst” is the best term to describe their function. Nor is it true that Joseph used anything other than his seerstone to translate the entirety of the Book of Mormon as we have it now.
One might want to add that Brother Brigham used Oliver’s rod to determine the location for the future Salt Lake Temple as soon as he arrived in the Valley, July 28, 1847, in the presence of Wilford Woodruff (see the Journal History for that date).
Main Street in Salt Lake City marks the zero longitude line in the city street grid. It is centered on Ensign Peak, which Brigham Young saw in a vision as a feature of the place where the Saints would settle. Brigham and others hiked up to the top of the peak and planted a small banner in reference to the Isaiah prophecy about gathering to God’s ensign. Temple square is the first ten acre block to the west of Main, with the south boundary of he square forming the zero latitude line in the grid. The SE corner of the square is the grid origin (0,0).