One of the most sacred relics in the Book of Mormon is the Liahona, a compass-like object that Lehi found outside his tent while leaving Jerusalem. The details of this object are not described very well in the Book of Mormon. Historian Don Bradley has uncovered records that give more details about this mysterious object.
Don: In Gladden Bishop’s description, he says that around the outside side of the Liahona, and it’s still difficult for me to picture exactly, what it was supposed to look like, but it sounds like he’s talking about a face like maybe a compass face. There are 24 diagrams or symbols around that central circle. So the pointers can point to these symbols. He doesn’t go into detail about how the Liahona functions, but picture it as having these symbols along the outside of a circle, and then having two spindles on it. Suppose that Lehi and his family want to go get food or suppose that they’re going to be led to get food, how will they know what the Liahona is pointing them to? How will they know if it’s pointing them to the promised land or to food or to water or to some other necessity? Well, the pictures around that central circle could be pictures telling what it’s pointing to. So one pointer could point to a picture of wild game, and then another pointer points the direction, so that the function of the two spindles would be, it points them to something and also tells them what it’s pointing them to.
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