What is the Urim and Thummim? Theologians and Intellectuals both have no idea. Yet it continues to be a major thing when it comes to history. In Hebrew the term Urim means ‘light’ and Thummim means ‘perfection’. To most this means nothing, but to me it makes a lot of sense. Here is yet another central and very important item in religion where the meaning has been conveniently lost. The so called great authorities on Judaic and Christian religions have had no clue what the Urim and Thummim really were. The Urim and Thummim is still around. Hiding in plain sight.
The Urim and Thummim is connected to divination and in particular cleromancy. It is alway used to to reveal the will of god. Im not going to go in all the texts about the Urim and Thummim because they are just plain boring. It is all about using these striped or marked stones to see if someone is a sinner, asking god a question, or any other kind of decision one wanted god to decide for them. These religions all came out of Egypt and the Pharoah was known as god or the representation of god, but the Pharaoh wasn’t about to deal with trivial things from the masses. That was the job of his priests.
In the Mormon religion Joseph Smith was said to use a pair of stones that he called spectacles. It is described as two stones in silver bows fastened to a breast plate. Here in lies one of the answers to what they really are. When people hear a breastplate they think of the Roman style chest protector. The Urim and Thummim originated in Egypt and in ancient Egypt a breastplate was better known as a Pectoral and was a brooch. The Pectoral was a collar or necklace with brooch type jewelry hanging from it and was worn by the wealthy in Ancient Egypt, including priests. The brooch plate lied upon the breast or chest. The Urim and Thummim were two stones tied to this Pectoral or inside the Pectoral.
Joseph Smith’s mother describes the Urim and Thummim as “two smooth three cornered diamonds”. Other descriptions of them say they had stripes or markings. There is some confusion that the Urim and Thummim were rods. The beginnings of Islam took the Urim and Thummim as rods and they would draw rods out of a container to see what gods will was. It is called rhabdomancy. Ralph Ellis even shows in his book how the Urim and Thummim were probably the crook and flail because of their relationship to rods, but he admits he does not have a definitive answer.
The answer to this whole conundrum is the Urim and Thummim were dice. You heard me right, they were dice. Every priest who carried these dice had a rod or wand. The priests would put the rods down in the area they were throwing the dice. This kept the dice from rolling off the table or just rolling too far. They would put their wands in whatever the sacred shape was for the god they were asking a question too. The stripes and markings described on the Urim and Thummim were the markings or numbers on the dice. These dice and rods have been found in Pharaoh and priests tombs gong as far back as 2000 BCE. The most recent dice found from ancient Egypt was a twenty sided die with Greek letters from the 2nd century BCE.
A roll of a dice delivered a message from the divine. It was used to make decisions in more things than historians are willing to admit. Ancient people were trusting the dice to make decisions on spitting inheritances, created laws, if someone was guilty, etc. Not much was out of bounds. Unless the dice rolled over the rods or wands. If priests were playing craps, it was gods will. I found myself wandering if these throwing dice sessions were as simple as the game of craps or more complicated like the game of Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe the answer will come to me later.
Ancient Rome was the first place to make throwing the dice a spectacle. This was the code Joseph Smith was using when he said he used spectacles. It is all for people with eyes to see and ears to hear. Rome knew dice could be rigged and the priests were very good at cheating. So they passed laws about the legalities of throwing dice. One law stated that if you allowed gambling in your house, you could not press charges if you were assaulted or swindled. Rome would throw dice to Fortuna the goddess of luck and fortune. This is where the term lady luck comes from.
Now that you know the truth of the Urim and Thummim realize they used the dice to make decision on translations. Do we tell the truth or lie about this translation? I guess god wants people to worship these books full of lies! The religious texts are full of lies and propaganda. To the ancient priests the answers given by the dice were full of light and perfection because it was gods will. When in actuality Urim and Thummim is just a term for modern gambling. Today we just gamble with money and not the decisions of everything in life. Sometimes when I have a tuff decision to make, I get a pair of dice out and let lady luck be my guide.