FOUNDING PROPHET: STRIKE ONE – Magic, Deception, and Jail …
Joseph Smith, Junior is not only acknowledged and respected by the LDS faithful as a true prophet of God, he is also revered as no other man – second only to Jesus Christ. The following account of his dealings is now accepted by church leaders as being accurate:
Beginning in his teens, Joseph Smith gained local notoriety for his ability to locate hidden treasure underground by placing a small, opaque stone into a top-hat and then burying his face inside of the hat. The stone would then illuminate, and young Joseph would have a form of x-ray sight into locations where money and precious metals were located. Not only was this skill unfruitful in supplying money for his own well being, there is no record of a single successful excavation of treasure based on using this technique. As word of his deception traveled, he was eventually jailed and convicted of fraud in 1826; the first of several arrests.
The final arrest, in 1844, sparked a gunfight in his jail cell, which ultimately cost him his life – despite his use of a firearm.
Ironically, the year of his first conviction (1826) was the same moment the future Mormon leader claimed to have located the existence of golden plates with the help of an angel. This treasure (now unavailable) would ultimately be translated into ‘The Book of Mormon’ by utilizing this same stone and top-hat.