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Upon the release of the two latest books in The Joseph Smith Papers series, the LDS church has blessed us with official photos of the ‘seer stone’ used by Smith in his unsuccessful treasure hunting adventures as well as his novel The Book of Mormon. One local blog described it as “an artifact considered sacred by members of the Mormon faith” – which must be taken with a grain of salt, since in reality, it’s been a thorn and embarrassment to them until now. Utah Mormons are abuzz because of the church’s new-found transparency, while skeptics view this as additional fuel toward the imminent collapse of the religion.