Joseph Smith Seer Stones: David Defeats Goliath 

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

The story of David and Goliath is a quintessential example of someone overcoming the odds to triumph in the name of goodness. We often focus on their disparity in size; David was a small shepherd boy while Goliath was a giant. But this story is also remarkable because of David’s strategy. Goliath shows how intimidating he is by an impressive description of his armor. “He had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was 5,000 shekels of brass. He had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders, and the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spearhead weighed 600 shekels of iron.”

On the other hand, when David tried to don traditional armor, it was ill-fitting for his smaller frame. “Saul armed David with his armor, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head also; he armed him with a coat of mail, and David girded his sword upon his armor, and he is said to go; but he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, ‘I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them.’ And David put them off him.”

So everything about David is supposed to highlight how underwhelming and unprepared he is for such a challenge. Yet the irony is that only someone like David could have defeated someone so well-armed as Goliath. With this lavish description of Goliath’s armor, the only place he could have been vulnerable was his forehead, and that was exactly where David would strike.

The armies put their trust in their defensive armor, but David put his trust in the Lord. “Thou comest to me with a sword and with a spear and with a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.”

Sure enough, David used his sling and his skills as a shepherd to hit Goliath right in the forehead and cause his demise. It wasn’t David’s size, his strength, or his armor that defeated Goliath, but rather it was embracing his own strengths to serve the Lord. This is similar to the Seer Stones, as God gave them to joseph and through his faith eh was able to use them. 

The prophet Alma taught that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” In David’s case, a small and simple stone was able to defeat the entire army of the Philistines. The Lord used the small and simple 14-year-old farmer Joseph Smith to restore the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Joseph Smith wasn’t a wise elder of religion; he wasn’t well-educated. But God used this simple boy to bring about a marvelous work. The translation of the Book of Mormon came from small and simple means. Joseph Smith used stones just like David as revelatory devices, this time to receive the translation of the Book of Mormon. He used the Nephite interpreters and also likely his own seer stone that he had learned to use in his youth. Some may see this method as strange or unusual, but the Lord was able to take Joseph Smith’s experience with revelatory stones and use it to bring forth the Book of Mormon as the keystone of our religion.

There’s a lot about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that may seem unconventional or simple. As members of the church in an increasingly hostile and polarizing world, it can sometimes seem like we’re facing a Goliath of our own. The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ are often at odds with the values of the world. In the United States of America, our members make up a very small minority of religious believers amidst a large ocean of ideologies. Yet, despite feeling outmanned and unarmed, we can place our confidence in a God who works through small and simple means.

Some of the greatest miracles of the gospel are yet to happen if we use our unique and underestimated gifts to bless the kingdom. People with any number of talents, experiences, and perspectives can contribute to building Zion in our day. Whether you have talents in music, sports, communication, or performance, or if you have gifts in being kind, compassionate, and empathetic, the Lord can use all our small and simple means to bring about great and marvelous miracles.

By Todd Noall, Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Mr. Kevin Prince, Source Expert

Kevin Prince is a religious scholar and host of the Gospel Learning Youtube channel. His channel has garnered over 41,000 subscribers and accumulated over 4.5 million views. Mr. Prince also created the Gospel Learning App, a reliable platform where individuals seeking truth can access trustworthy answers to religious questions from top educators worldwide.

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