See – Seer – Seem – Seek

Jan 23
See Seek Seed Seem

While reading about Enoch this past week, I noticed something. The Lord tells Enoch in Moses 6:35, “…Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them, and thou shalt see. And he did so.”

In essence, the Lord said, put earth, or the world, in your eyes, and then wash away the world to let your spiritual eyes see. Become a seer.

I went to reference Mosiah 8:13-17 where Ammon the explorer tells King Limhi that King Benjamin is a seer and has a Urim and Thummim to translate the ancient records they had found.

I decided to look up seer in the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary to see what other entries were there. After opening Study Helps in Scripture Notes, I started to type “seer” and after only typing “see,” as it filtered the words I happened to notice the word “seem.”


I immediately noticed that “see” was the root of “seem.” My mind started going on this idea that seem is just a mental seeing. We imagine up something that “seems” to be.

I clicked into the Topical Guide entry for seem and the first verse was to Genesis 29:20. I opened it and clicked the link to open the verse in the Blue Letter Bible site to read the Hebrew meaning.

The Hebrew word for “seemed” is “ayin.”


It is most often translated eye (495x), then sight (216x), then seem (19x). Other words it is translated as are color, fountain, well, face, pleased, presence, displeased, before, conceit, and think.

Strong’s primary definition is a literal or figurative eye, by analogy, a fountain (as the eye of the landscape).

It reminds me of Lehi’s visionary experience where he used the word, “methought” which seems a lot like seems.


The word for seer in Hebrew is “ra-a.”


It is most commonly translated as “see” (879x), look (104x), behold, shew, appear, consider, seer, spy, etc… It literally or figuratively means to see. A seer is a see-r, like a hearer, is a hear-er.

The first use of this word in the Bible is in Genesis 1:4 which starts, “And God saw the light, that it was good…” In Genesis 1:9 is it used again when God commands “…let the dry land appear” or be made visible to the eye.

As I’m typing this I also see the word “seed” and “seek” in the list of words in the topical guide.


The Hebrew word for seed is “zera.”


It’s almost exclusively translated as seed, but implies seed in fruit, the ground, or seed in procreation.

What is a seed? An idea, something that contains a pattern within itself, posterity… Do we see-d our mind with good ideas? Alma told us to experiment on the word and likened it to a seed (Alma 32) and to let that faith grow into a tree. He asked us if we could “look forward with an eye of faith” and “view” (see) our own resurrection (Alma 5:15)? He asked if we could “imagine” (mental seeing) hearing the voice of the Lord (Alma 5:16) speaking to us. “Can we look up” and “can ye think” in Alma 5:18-20.

From the Lectures on Faith, 7th lecture, 3rd paragraph, we read:

  1. Let us here offer some explanation in relation to faith, that our meaning may be clearly comprehended. We ask, then, what are we to understand by a man’s working by faith? We answer, we understand that when a man works by faith he works by mental exertion instead of physical force. It is by words, instead of exerting his physical powers, with which every being works when he works by faith. God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” Joshua spake, and the great lights which God had created stood still. Elijah commanded, and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain: he again commanded and the heavens gave forth rain. All this was done by faith. And the Savior says, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, say to this mountain, ‘Remove,’ and it will remove; or say to that sycamine tree, ‘Be ye plucked up, and planted in the midst of the sea,’ and it shall obey you.” Faith, then, works by words; and with these its mightiest works have been, and will be, performed.

If a mustard seed can exercise faith and understand and hold the pattern of what it may become from the divinely implanted DNA in those tiny cells, how much more can we do with the creativity God has endowed us with? It’s truly a matter of choosing to exercise faith and take the time to mentally exert ourselves through focused effort and create something in our mind’s eye. Seeing that see-d of an idea, seeing the accomplishment of the desired goal before it happens (Ether 12:19), feeling the joy of its completion in our soul, and then asking for the Lord’s help in bringing it about, is powerful and rare faith.

Should we not see-k for these experiences?

What do you desire? Gifts of the Spirit? To bring souls to Christ? To learn a language? To see visions? To be redeemed from the fall?

Do we take the time in our mind to imagine and see the gifts of the Spirit operating in our lives and ask God to bring them about? Perhaps it’s time we devoted ourselves to the experiment upon the word that promises these blessings. President Nelson said the Lord loves effort, and exertion is definitely a word that implies effort.


About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.

  • Brian says:

    I really do think that obtaining special insights is a form of Urim and Thummim. There are many objects that act as Urim and Thummim such as Interpreters (given by the Lord to Brother of Jared and passed thru the generations and conferred to Lehi and his descendants and finally gifted to Joseph Smith), the Liahona, the White Stone in the Hand (mentioned in Book of Revelation), the Ephod held in the breastplate of the Levite High Priest, the transfiguration of the Earth after the Millennium, etc.

    Was there a special mineral in the clay for anointing Enoch’s eyes? Did he get transfigured? There are several warnings in the scriptures for people to take care in making use of various Urim and Thummim.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Thanks for sharing that Brian. I think those objects are all used as a medium of focusing our mind until our mind becomes completely attuned to revelation. Joseph used instruments to translate and receive revelation, but later didn’t need them. He had arrived at a point of communion where those were unnecessary. That said, I think he carried his seer stone with him throughout his life so perhaps it was a useful tool in certain circumstances.
      The scriptures are similar. We focus our mind and record the thoughts and impressions that come to us as we study and search out a topic. Dallin Oaks said this: “We do not overstate the point when we say that the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation.” (January 1995 Ensign magazine article, “Scripture Reading and Revelation.”)
      Then there is this interesting statement:
      “–27– I met with the Twelve at Brother Joseph’s. He conversed with us in a familiar manner on a variety of subjects, and explained to us the Urim and Thummim which he found with the plates, called in the Book of Mormon the Interpreters. He said that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seerstone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make an evil use of it; he showed us his seerstone.” (Brigham Young (1801-1877)Autobiography (1801-1844) in Manuscript History of Brigham Young Source: Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968). (

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