The Light and the Truth
October 4, 2008 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Urim and Thummim were a mystical medium used by ancient Israelites to divine God's will and, according to some interpretations, to distinguish sinners from non-sinners. Todd Walker believes he has found the Urim and Thummim (in a Goodwill Superstore in Nashville, TN). He would like to share this miracle with you. Quicktime trailer
posted by kimdog (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'll watch that movie. You can't make this stuff up and all that. Unless they did, so I'll wait for the final judgment further down thread.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:54 AM on October 4, 2008

Weren't Urim and Thummim also supposedly the rocks Joseph Smith used to help him read the golden plates when he founded Mormonism?
posted by arcticwoman at 10:07 AM on October 4, 2008

He must have dropped them on his way to Utah.
posted by patrick rhett at 10:18 AM on October 4, 2008

Ah, yes, Joseph Smith's magic goggles.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:42 AM on October 4, 2008

Urwen and Thurin
posted by grobstein at 10:48 AM on October 4, 2008

Hey, I've been to that Goodwill! Where's my mystical future-fortelling device? All I got was an awesome antique leather backpack...
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2008

reading the wikipedia article on these things just makes me cringe. were people really that dumb at some point? i just want to believe that people were always up on the game to some degree all the way back in time to UR. history says otherwise, but it hurts to much to think about it.

some dude covered in rocks has a 50/50 die that he rolls that says if you're gonna get it from god? why? why? why?

i wanna look down into that magic cup. and i'm sure those poor slobs really are seeing the dust falling off the feet of the israelites wandering around in ancient kemet. but if this really is the birth of the next great american religion barrack has his work cut out for him.

it's crap like this that makes me think that we are so screwed. fuck it. it's saturday morning in american. i'm gonna drink an entire bottle of robitussin and post like a motherfucker on yer mefi.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:56 AM on October 4, 2008

Uma, Oprah.

Oprah, Uma.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 11:06 AM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]

I don't doubt he believes he's found something miraculous. I'm a TN native, and have know lots of characters who have been "touched by the hand of God" in some interesting way or another. It's those characters that make me miss TN, and keep me from moving back.
posted by kimdog at 11:28 AM on October 4, 2008

She was good in 'Kill Bill'.
posted by popcassady at 11:28 AM on October 4, 2008

The Urim and Thummim are among those weird things you run into when you actually sit down and read the Bible. Where do these fit into Jewish or Christian theology today?
posted by Faze at 11:34 AM on October 4, 2008

Oprah was in Kill Bill?? Was she the black woman?

No, no, it's just no good if you can't say it out loud in the always sounding surprised by something Caribbean accent of a good friend of mine.

or know the context of the time she was astonished to learn that Nicolas Cage dies in Leaving Las Vegas and we couldn't figure out why she was so astonished until she said, "Is it when he jumps out of the plane with all the Elvises?" and we realized she was thinking of Honeymoon in Vegas.
posted by Naberius at 11:37 AM on October 4, 2008

shut up and watch the traïler, skeptics.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:50 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Umlaut and Thummim?
posted by greatgefilte at 11:57 AM on October 4, 2008

Subtle, fleetmouse.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:32 PM on October 4, 2008

This, my friend, was a waste of everyone's time. I'm sorry to be harsh and negative.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:44 PM on October 4, 2008

I have a feeling that this post is somehow related to my radio story that aired this morning on Public Radio International's Studio 360. I know it's bad to link to something you've done but I feel this is one of the instances where it's probably, hopefully ok. I went out, interviewed Todd, met the filmmaker, and looked into the magic cup. But as nice as it was to get a story on the air, nothing quite compares with seeing it show up on the blue -- even if not linked and even if kimdog didn't hear it. But this is a pretty obscure little thing so I'm hoping kimdog did hear it and decided to give the film and Todd some attention. Anyway, here's hoping I tipped someone. It was a thrill to see the post here . . . If anyone's interested there's some back material that doesn't show up in the trailer or even in the film . . .
posted by matthewstopheles at 12:45 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]

Self-links in the comments are ok when relevant and disclosed I believe, fire away.
posted by ghost of a past number at 12:57 PM on October 4, 2008

Hey, matthewstopheles... my boyfriend sent me the link the to the trailer this morning, but didn't mention where it came from. I just called him up, and he did hear it on Studio 360. Sorry, I didn't probe further, because I think your interview is a great compendium to the story.
posted by kimdog at 1:02 PM on October 4, 2008

I heard that story today, matthewstopheles, and assumed the post was inspired by it as well. I'm glad for the post, as I might otherwise have forgotten to check out the trailer.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:05 PM on October 4, 2008

No worries Kimdog! I'm glad to see Todd getting some attention. Or I think I'm glad. Hmmm . . . in a public forum I hesitate to speculate at length about the motives behind this little curiosity. But I will add the interesting side note that I heard about Todd through filmmaker Jacob Young, who directed the classic documentary "Dancing Outlaw," about mountain clog dancer Jesco White. Jacob's involvement with this film is limited, but he's one more link to the socio-economic class people such as Todd inhabit, a group that's kind of been abandoned by the country at large. . . As the filmmaker says in my interview, "they need something to believe in."
posted by matthewstopheles at 1:13 PM on October 4, 2008

Oh, I'm quite familiar with Jesco White. I grew up in rural East TN and that documentary was passed from person to person on a ratty, dubbed VHS tape in the very early 90's (in fact, I still have a copy). My mom's best friend dressed up like Jesco, and shot a video of herself dancing on the train tracks for Halloween that year (she called it "Jeannieco"). In a certain sense, folks like Jesco and Todd are folk heros. Like I said... I find the phenomena both fascinating and disconcerting as I try to reconcile the sense of my own "roots". Evangelical zeal scares me in general.
posted by kimdog at 1:29 PM on October 4, 2008

I first head of these in "The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost" by John Bellairs, but had forgotten the spelling so it was difficult to find anything on them. Thanks for the post!
posted by Snyder at 1:31 PM on October 4, 2008

I know that since I'm a lesbiana I see this everywhere, but did anyone else notice that this sacred object looked a whole lot like lady parts? (which neither hurts nor helps their claim, but it is...interesting.)
posted by pomegranate at 1:44 PM on October 4, 2008

There is no way he could have found the Urim and Thummim. We know from his personal history that Joseph Smith returned it to the angel Moroni after using it to translate the Book of Mormon. For real. Really.
posted by Crotalus at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2008

Hey, I've been to that Goodwill!

I gave them a lot of stuff when I moved out of Nashville, and I was half hoping that the Urim & Thummim was a tchotchke I'd forgotten about. Alas, no.

This reminds me of Jesco White, too, kimdog. That same VHS tape was passed around among my family's friends.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:54 PM on October 4, 2008

Urim and Thummim are represented on Yale's coat of arms. (LUX ET VERITAS.) Ten to one the stones are now drink coasters in the Skull and Bones clubhouse.

I first head of these in "The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost" by John Bellairs...

Which one was Wizard's Ghost? Was it a Johnny Dixon book, or an Anthony Monday?
posted by Iridic at 3:28 PM on October 4, 2008

It takes dedication. It takes a death
And only God can allow it...
And you couldn't do it if you're not the seed of God.
And so the path through the great corridors
These are corridors unto his perfection:
That is which the prophet and the Urim and Thummim has penetrated.
That through this great sea of blackness
That I penetrated through these corridors
And I went through that last segment
Where I went through these dark serpentines...

posted by kid ichorous at 4:48 PM on October 4, 2008

reading the wikipedia article on these things just makes me cringe. were people really that dumb at some point?

You realize you could save this comment and repost it every 100yrs or so, right?

The real thread is what's the list of things today that will look that way later?
posted by rokusan at 7:48 AM on October 5, 2008

Which one was Wizard's Ghost? Was it a Johnny Dixon book, or an Anthony Monday?

A Johnny Dixon book, and Bellairsia confirms it. Don't remember much else beyond that, tho.
posted by Snyder at 10:57 PM on October 7, 2008

« Older lions and other wildlife from the African bush   |   What Are You Doing Here? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments