After Smith's murder in 1844, the seer stone went to Cowdery, then to his widow, then to Brigham Young's brother, then to Young himself, who was Smith's successor in the Utah church. After Young died, one of his wives, Zina D. H. Young, donated it to the LDS Church.
Members have known about the stone for years, Turley said. Historian B.H. Roberts wrote about it in his "Comprehensive History of the Church." The church's official magazine, The Ensign, had an article about the stone in 1974.
But almost no one had seen an actual photo of it.
Now the seer stone's image will be on display at the LDS visitors' center opening soon in Harmony, Pa., and in the nearly completed makeover of the LDS Church History Museum in downtown Salt Lake City.