The Devil Made Me Restore It: Joseph Smith, the Magic Talisman Man . . .

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>steve benson May 2014</p>\n<p>. . . Goes to His Reward with an Occultic Jupiter Talisman in His Pocket.</p>\n<p>Let\'s review the sources on Smith\'s sorcery:</p>\n<p>\"It is no secret that Smith was infatuated with occultic practices. Durham states, \"All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred.\" Mr. Durham describes this as \"perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like, esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith\"</p>\n<p>(\"No Help for the Widow\'s Son,\" 1980, pg. 22, in Bill McKeever, \"Masonic Influence in the Endowment Ceremony,\" at:http://www.mrm.org/masonic-influence).</p>\n<p>\"In 1974 Dr. Reed Durham, who was director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah and president of the Mormon History Association, made a discovery that was so startling that it caused great consternation among Mormon scholars and officials.</p>\n<p>\"Dr. Durham found that what had previously been identified as the \'Masonic jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith\' was in reality a \'Jupiter talisman.\'</p>\n<p>\"This is a medallion which contains material relating to astrology and magic. Dr. Durham, apparently not realizing the devastating implications of his discovery, announced this important find in his presidential address before the Mormon History Association on April 20, 1974:</p>\n<p>\"\'. . . I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith. . . .</p>\n<p>\"\'All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred. His talisman is in the shape of a silver dollar and is probably made of silver or tin.</p>\n<p>\"\'It is exactly one and nine-sixteenths in diameter, . . . the talisman,. . . originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman.</p>\n<p>\"\'It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter. And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess.</p>\n<p>\"\'Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described.</p>\n<p>\"\'The characters on the talisman are primarily in Hebrew, but there is one inscription in Latin. Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical equivalent and those numerical equivalents make up a magic square. By adding the numbers in this Jupiter Table in any direction . . . the total will be the same. In this case, on the Jupiter Table, 34. . . .</p>\n<p>\"\'There is the one side of the talisman belonging to the Prophet Joseph Smith. You can see the Hebrew characters . . . you see on the margins, at the bottom is the Jupiter sign. . . . The cross at the top represents the spirit of Jupiter, and you will see the path of Jupiter in the orbit of the heavens, and then again the Jupiter sign.</p>\n<p>\"\'I wasn\'t able to find what this was, for--as I said--two months; and finally, in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York.</p>\n<p>\"\'It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seals the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom. . . .</p>\n<p>\"\'To the Egyptians, Jupiter was known as Ammon, but to the Greeks he was Zeus: the ancient sky Father, or Father of the Gods. . . .</p>\n<p>\"\'In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one\'s own way, and all forms of status. And I quote: \"Typically a person born under Jupiter will have the dignity of a natural ruler. . . . He will probably have an impressive manner. . . . In physical appearance, the highly developed Jupiterian is strong, personable, and often handsome. . . . the Jupiterian influence produces a cheerful winning personality, capable of great development.\" . . .</p>\n<p>\"So closely is magic bound up with the stars and astrology that the term astrologer and magician were in ancient times almost synonymous. The purpose of the Table of Jupiter in talismanic magic was to be able to call upon the celestial intelligences, assigned to the particular talisman, to assist one in all endeavors. The names of the deities which we gave to you, who could be invoked by the Table were always written on the talisman or represented by various numbers. Three such names were written on Joseph Smith\'s talisman: Abbah, Father; El Ob, Father is God or God the Father; and Josiphiel, Jehovah speaks for God, the Intelligence of Jupiter.</p>\n<p>\"\'When properly invoked, with Jupiter being very powerful and ruling in the heavens, these intelligences—by the power of ancient magic—guaranteed to the possessor of this talisman the gain of riches, and favor, and power, and love and peace; and to confirm honors, and dignities, and councils.</p>\n<p>\"\'Talismatic magic further declared that any one who worked skillfully with this Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female (\"Mormon Miscellaneous,\" published by David C. Martin, vol. 1, no. 1, October 1975, pp.14-15).\'</p>\n<p>\"Reed Durham was severely criticized by Mormon scholars and officials for giving this speech. He was even called in by Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball, and finally found it necessary to issue a letter in which he reaffirmed his faith in Joseph Smith and said that he was sorry for the \'concerns, and misunderstandings\' that the speech had caused.</p>\n<p>\"We feel that Dr. Durham\'s identification of Joseph Smith\'s talisman is one of the most significant discoveries in Mormon history and that he should be commended for his research.</p>\n<p>\"That Joseph Smith would own such a magic talisman fits very well with the evidence from his 1826 trial. W. D. Purple, who was an eye-witness to the trial, claimed it was reported that Smith said certain talismanic influences were needed to recover a box of treasure:</p>\n<p>\"\'Mr. Thompson, an employee of Mr. Stowell, was the next witness. . . . Smith had told the Deacon that very many years before a band of robbers had buried on his flat a box of treasure, and as it was very valuable they had by a sacrifice placed a charm over it to protect it, so that it could not be obtained except by faith, accompanied by certain talismanic influences. . . . the box of treasure was struck by the shovel, on which they redoubled their energies, but it gradually receded from their grasp. One of the men placed his hand upon the box, but it gradually sunk from his reach. . . . Mr. Stowell went to his flock and selected a fine vigorous lamb, and resolved to sacrifice it to the demon spirit who guarded the coveted treasure ... but the treasure still receded from their grasp, and it was never obtained (\"The Chenango Union,\" Norwich, N.Y., May 3, 1877, as cited in \"A New Witness For Christ In America,\" vol. 2, pp.366-67).\'</p>\n<p>\"Dr. Durham was unable to determine just when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, but the fact that he was recommending \'certain talismanic influences\' around the time of the 1826 trial is certainly interesting.</p>\n<p>\"The Jupiter talisman is probably the type of talisman a money digger would be interested in because it was supposed to bring its possessor \'the gain of riches, and favor, and power.\'</p>\n<p>\"Regardless of when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, we do know that he possessed it up to the time of his death.</p>\n<p>\"He must have felt that it was very important because the Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett reveals that \'This piece was in Joseph Smith\'s pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Jail\' (\"The Wilford C. Wood Collection,\" 1972, vol. 1, p.173).</p>\n<p>\"Wesley P. Walters says that \'Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the Wood collection, stated in his accompanying affidavit: \"Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet\'s widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet\'s intimate possessions\' (Charles E. Bidamon Affidavit. Wood Coll. #7-J-b-21).\"</p>\n<p>(Jerald and Sandra Tanner, \"Joseph Smith and Money-digging,\" Chapter 4, in \"The Changing World of Mormonism,\" at:http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech4.htm)</p>\n<p>\"Before the medallion was properly identified, it was known as the \'Masonic Jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith.\' In the shape of a silver dollar, the piece measures exactly 1-9/16 inches in diameter and is probably made of silver or tin (see photo). A copy of the Jupiter talisman can be seen in Francis Barrett\'s occultic book \"The Magus,\" p. 174. . . .</p>\n<p>\"Apparently, nobody really knew what Joseph Smith\'s \'Masonic Jewel\' was before April 20, 1974. It was on that day that Dr. Reed Durham presented his discovery in his address before the Mormon History Association.</p>\n<p>\"As President of the Association and Director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, Dr. Durham probably had their full attention when he spoke:</p>\n<p>\"\'. . . I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith. . . . All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred.\'</p>\n<p>\"After describing the medallion, Dr. Durham then added, \"\\\'. . . [the talisman] originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman. It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter.\'</p>\n<p>\"Dr. Durham was correct. The table, also called the Kamea, can be depicted in either English numbers (as shown in the talisman found in The Magus) or in Hebrew (as used by Smith). According to Barrett, the table \'. . . consists of a square drawn into itself; it contains sixteen particular numbers, and in every line and diameter four, making thirty-four; the sum of all is one hundred and thirty-six. There are over it divine names, with an intelligence to that which is good, and a spirit to bad; and out of it is drawn the character of Jupiter and the spirits thereof; if this is engraven on a plate of silver, with Jupiter being powerful and ruling in the heavens, it conduces to gain riches and favor, love, peace and concord, and to appease enemies, and to confirm honors, dignities, and counsels.\'</p>\n<p>\"Mormon History Association President Durham admitted, \'. . . in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess. Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described. . . . In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one\'s own way, and all forms of status . . . Talismatic magic further declared that anyone who worked skillfully with the Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female.\'</p>\n<p>\"Dr. Durham did not determine just when Smith obtained his talisman, but states that its description was discovered \". . . in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York [where Joseph Smith grew up]. It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seal the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom.\'</p>\n<p>\"The fact that the talisman was on Joseph\'s person at the time of his death has been absolutely established. Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett tells us, \'This piece was in Joseph Smith\'s pocket when he was martyred at Carthage jail.\'</p>\n<p>\"According to the Charles E. Bidamon affidavit (who sold the talisman to the Wood collection), \'Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet\'s widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet\'s intimate possessions. . . . I certify that I have many times heard her say. when being interviewed. and showing the piece. That it was in the prophet\'s pocket when he was martyred at Carthage, Ill.\'</p>\n<p>\"Even though Dr. Durham was a very influential Mormon Historian, his honesty regarding the truth behind Joseph Smith\'s magic talisman must be applauded. It caused him a great deal of difficulty with the Mormon hierarchy, however. . . . \"</p>\n<p>(Larry Hall, \"Joseph Smith\'s Magick Talisman,\" at: <a href=\"http://digimob.forumotion.net/t465-joseph-s-magick-talisman\" title=\"http://digimob.forumotion.net/t465-joseph-s-magick-talisman\">http://digimob.forumotion.net/t465-joseph-s-magick-talisman</a>)</p>\n<p>\"Dr. Reed Durham, former president of the Mormon History Association, and Professor of Religion at the University of Utah, in a 1974 lecture revealed that at the time of his death Joseph Smith was wearing what was formerly thought to have been a \'Masonic jewel\' was actually a \'Jupiter talisman.\'</p>\n<p>\"This proves that Joseph Smith was engaged in occult practices until the end of his life in 1844.</p>\n<p>\"A talisman is an object engraved with astrological signs believed to have possessed power to avert evil and bring good luck. Such pieces are clearly identified with occult magic. This lecture, although true, brought the wrath of then President Spencer W. Kimbell down upon Dr. Durham. The talisman is currently kept in the LDS Archives.\" (Allen Harrod, \"Who Was Joseph Smith,\" at <a href=\"http://www.watchman.org/lds/whoisjose\" title=\"http://www.watchman.org/lds/whoisjose\">http://www.watchman.org/lds/whoisjose</a>...</p>\n<p>\"Mormon author D. Michael Quinn writes that Joseph Smith had at the time of his death, \'. . . a silver Jupiter medallion constructed according to the instructions for making \"Magic Seals, or Talismans,\" in Barrett\'s 1801 \'The Magus\' (Quinn, \'Early Mormonism and the Magic World View,\' p.66).\"</p>\n<p>(James Walker, \"Enemies of the Cross,\" at: <a href=\"http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/apl/jw/jw-071.txt\" title=\"http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/apl/jw/jw-071.txt\">http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/apl/jw/jw-071.txt</a>)</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1490335500, expire = 1490421900, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:9201d8077ddfe043dc008b3d460a7f3e' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

steve benson May 2014

. . . Goes to His Reward with an Occultic Jupiter Talisman in His Pocket.

Let's review the sources on Smith's sorcery:

"It is no secret that Smith was infatuated with occultic practices. Durham states, "All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred." Mr. Durham describes this as "perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like, esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith"

("No Help for the Widow's Son," 1980, pg. 22, in Bill McKeever, "Masonic Influence in the Endowment Ceremony," at:http://www.mrm.org/masonic-influence).

"In 1974 Dr. Reed Durham, who was director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah and president of the Mormon History Association, made a discovery that was so startling that it caused great consternation among Mormon scholars and officials.

"Dr. Durham found that what had previously been identified as the 'Masonic jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith' was in reality a 'Jupiter talisman.'

"This is a medallion which contains material relating to astrology and magic. Dr. Durham, apparently not realizing the devastating implications of his discovery, announced this important find in his presidential address before the Mormon History Association on April 20, 1974:

"'. . . I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith. . . .

"'All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred. His talisman is in the shape of a silver dollar and is probably made of silver or tin.

"'It is exactly one and nine-sixteenths in diameter, . . . the talisman,. . . originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman.

"'It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter. And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess.

"'Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described.

"'The characters on the talisman are primarily in Hebrew, but there is one inscription in Latin. Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical equivalent and those numerical equivalents make up a magic square. By adding the numbers in this Jupiter Table in any direction . . . the total will be the same. In this case, on the Jupiter Table, 34. . . .

"'There is the one side of the talisman belonging to the Prophet Joseph Smith. You can see the Hebrew characters . . . you see on the margins, at the bottom is the Jupiter sign. . . . The cross at the top represents the spirit of Jupiter, and you will see the path of Jupiter in the orbit of the heavens, and then again the Jupiter sign.

"'I wasn't able to find what this was, for--as I said--two months; and finally, in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York.

"'It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seals the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom. . . .

"'To the Egyptians, Jupiter was known as Ammon, but to the Greeks he was Zeus: the ancient sky Father, or Father of the Gods. . . .

"'In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one's own way, and all forms of status. And I quote: "Typically a person born under Jupiter will have the dignity of a natural ruler. . . . He will probably have an impressive manner. . . . In physical appearance, the highly developed Jupiterian is strong, personable, and often handsome. . . . the Jupiterian influence produces a cheerful winning personality, capable of great development." . . .

"So closely is magic bound up with the stars and astrology that the term astrologer and magician were in ancient times almost synonymous. The purpose of the Table of Jupiter in talismanic magic was to be able to call upon the celestial intelligences, assigned to the particular talisman, to assist one in all endeavors. The names of the deities which we gave to you, who could be invoked by the Table were always written on the talisman or represented by various numbers. Three such names were written on Joseph Smith's talisman: Abbah, Father; El Ob, Father is God or God the Father; and Josiphiel, Jehovah speaks for God, the Intelligence of Jupiter.

"'When properly invoked, with Jupiter being very powerful and ruling in the heavens, these intelligences—by the power of ancient magic—guaranteed to the possessor of this talisman the gain of riches, and favor, and power, and love and peace; and to confirm honors, and dignities, and councils.

"'Talismatic magic further declared that any one who worked skillfully with this Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female ("Mormon Miscellaneous," published by David C. Martin, vol. 1, no. 1, October 1975, pp.14-15).'

"Reed Durham was severely criticized by Mormon scholars and officials for giving this speech. He was even called in by Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball, and finally found it necessary to issue a letter in which he reaffirmed his faith in Joseph Smith and said that he was sorry for the 'concerns, and misunderstandings' that the speech had caused.

"We feel that Dr. Durham's identification of Joseph Smith's talisman is one of the most significant discoveries in Mormon history and that he should be commended for his research.

"That Joseph Smith would own such a magic talisman fits very well with the evidence from his 1826 trial. W. D. Purple, who was an eye-witness to the trial, claimed it was reported that Smith said certain talismanic influences were needed to recover a box of treasure:

"'Mr. Thompson, an employee of Mr. Stowell, was the next witness. . . . Smith had told the Deacon that very many years before a band of robbers had buried on his flat a box of treasure, and as it was very valuable they had by a sacrifice placed a charm over it to protect it, so that it could not be obtained except by faith, accompanied by certain talismanic influences. . . . the box of treasure was struck by the shovel, on which they redoubled their energies, but it gradually receded from their grasp. One of the men placed his hand upon the box, but it gradually sunk from his reach. . . . Mr. Stowell went to his flock and selected a fine vigorous lamb, and resolved to sacrifice it to the demon spirit who guarded the coveted treasure ... but the treasure still receded from their grasp, and it was never obtained ("The Chenango Union," Norwich, N.Y., May 3, 1877, as cited in "A New Witness For Christ In America," vol. 2, pp.366-67).'

"Dr. Durham was unable to determine just when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, but the fact that he was recommending 'certain talismanic influences' around the time of the 1826 trial is certainly interesting.

"The Jupiter talisman is probably the type of talisman a money digger would be interested in because it was supposed to bring its possessor 'the gain of riches, and favor, and power.'

"Regardless of when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, we do know that he possessed it up to the time of his death.

"He must have felt that it was very important because the Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett reveals that 'This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Jail' ("The Wilford C. Wood Collection," 1972, vol. 1, p.173).

"Wesley P. Walters says that 'Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the Wood collection, stated in his accompanying affidavit: "Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet's widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet's intimate possessions' (Charles E. Bidamon Affidavit. Wood Coll. #7-J-b-21)."

(Jerald and Sandra Tanner, "Joseph Smith and Money-digging," Chapter 4, in "The Changing World of Mormonism," at:http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech4.htm)

"Before the medallion was properly identified, it was known as the 'Masonic Jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith.' In the shape of a silver dollar, the piece measures exactly 1-9/16 inches in diameter and is probably made of silver or tin (see photo). A copy of the Jupiter talisman can be seen in Francis Barrett's occultic book "The Magus," p. 174. . . .

"Apparently, nobody really knew what Joseph Smith's 'Masonic Jewel' was before April 20, 1974. It was on that day that Dr. Reed Durham presented his discovery in his address before the Mormon History Association.

"As President of the Association and Director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, Dr. Durham probably had their full attention when he spoke:

"'. . . I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith. . . . All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred.'

"After describing the medallion, Dr. Durham then added, "\'. . . [the talisman] originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman. It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter.'

"Dr. Durham was correct. The table, also called the Kamea, can be depicted in either English numbers (as shown in the talisman found in The Magus) or in Hebrew (as used by Smith). According to Barrett, the table '. . . consists of a square drawn into itself; it contains sixteen particular numbers, and in every line and diameter four, making thirty-four; the sum of all is one hundred and thirty-six. There are over it divine names, with an intelligence to that which is good, and a spirit to bad; and out of it is drawn the character of Jupiter and the spirits thereof; if this is engraven on a plate of silver, with Jupiter being powerful and ruling in the heavens, it conduces to gain riches and favor, love, peace and concord, and to appease enemies, and to confirm honors, dignities, and counsels.'

"Mormon History Association President Durham admitted, '. . . in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess. Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described. . . . In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one's own way, and all forms of status . . . Talismatic magic further declared that anyone who worked skillfully with the Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female.'

"Dr. Durham did not determine just when Smith obtained his talisman, but states that its description was discovered ". . . in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York [where Joseph Smith grew up]. It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seal the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom.'

"The fact that the talisman was on Joseph's person at the time of his death has been absolutely established. Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett tells us, 'This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage jail.'

"According to the Charles E. Bidamon affidavit (who sold the talisman to the Wood collection), 'Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet's widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet's intimate possessions. . . . I certify that I have many times heard her say. when being interviewed. and showing the piece. That it was in the prophet's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage, Ill.'

"Even though Dr. Durham was a very influential Mormon Historian, his honesty regarding the truth behind Joseph Smith's magic talisman must be applauded. It caused him a great deal of difficulty with the Mormon hierarchy, however. . . . "

(Larry Hall, "Joseph Smith's Magick Talisman," at: http://digimob.forumotion.net/t465-joseph-s-magick-talisman)

"Dr. Reed Durham, former president of the Mormon History Association, and Professor of Religion at the University of Utah, in a 1974 lecture revealed that at the time of his death Joseph Smith was wearing what was formerly thought to have been a 'Masonic jewel' was actually a 'Jupiter talisman.'

"This proves that Joseph Smith was engaged in occult practices until the end of his life in 1844.

"A talisman is an object engraved with astrological signs believed to have possessed power to avert evil and bring good luck. Such pieces are clearly identified with occult magic. This lecture, although true, brought the wrath of then President Spencer W. Kimbell down upon Dr. Durham. The talisman is currently kept in the LDS Archives." (Allen Harrod, "Who Was Joseph Smith," at http://www.watchman.org/lds/whoisjose...

"Mormon author D. Michael Quinn writes that Joseph Smith had at the time of his death, '. . . a silver Jupiter medallion constructed according to the instructions for making "Magic Seals, or Talismans," in Barrett's 1801 'The Magus' (Quinn, 'Early Mormonism and the Magic World View,' p.66)."

(James Walker, "Enemies of the Cross," at: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/apl/jw/jw-071.txt)

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"