Introducing the "seer stone"; revealed for the first time by the Mormon Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes Joseph Smith put the egg-shaped, brown rock inside a hat to help him translate gold plates he found in New York state almost 200 years ago.

That allowed him to write the Book of Mormon, which was finished in 1829 but mostly destroyed by water damage later that century.

The release of the "seer stone" pictures comes as the Mormon Church tries to make every document made by Smith or his scribes available to the public.

Salt Lake Temple, Utah (Picture: AP)

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