In some instances this divine interpreter and revelatory device, the Urim and Thummim, has been handed down from generation to generation; in others apparently it has been used for specific purposes and then returned to the heavenly messenger from whence it came. Scriptural references verify its use by prophets in both the Old World and the New. We have no way of knowing how many different Urim and Thummim may have been used at various times.
“Two Stones… Fastened into the Two Rims of a Bow”When Moroni told Joseph Smith of the responsibility that would be his in translating the Book of Mormon, he explained that secreted with the plates upon which the book was written Joseph would find two transparent stones in silver bows fastened to a breastplate. Moroni said that these stones were what the ancients called the Urim and Thummim and that their use constituted one a “seer.” (Joseph Smith History 1:35; HC 4:537.) “The things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.” (Mosiah 8:13.)