Urim and Thummim - the First Computer
With all regards to Charles Babbage, known as the first person to design a "computer," Joseph Smith actually described and used the world's first computer. Over the years, the Urim and Thummim has been scoffed at, yet the descriptions of this tool would lead any thoughtful person to agree that this is, indeed, a description of a computer that we have yet to develop-much on the level of the "holo-deck" in the Star Trek series.
The main description of the Lord's computer is found in D&C 130, with more description given in the Book of Mormon (known there as 'Interpreters').
6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
The angels mentioned are celestial angels, for they dwell in God's presence. The 'planet' or place where God resides is a Urim and Thummim (U&T). It is like a 'sea of glass and fire' and perhaps works on the principles of truth and light. Let's see how it works:
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ's.
The celestialized earth will reveal to us the order of lower things. This includes the laws and principles of the Terrestrial and Telestial orders. Imagine peering into such a U&T and seeing all the information one needs to know concerning the lower worlds. In the Book of Mormon, Ammon tells us that it is a Seer that uses a U&T in this life, and not anyone can peer into it, for that person may look for things he/she should not. Kind of sounds like the World Wide Web, doesn't it? One can seek all kinds of information, but must use caution not to seek things that don't uplift us and give us knowledge of the things of God.
10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.
Here we see that all celestial beings receive a Urim and Thummim. It becomes the device used to learn all things concerning the 'higher order of kingdoms,' or the laws and principles and truths of the Celestial Kingdom.
That white stone given to each person, is a personal learning device, for it only works for the person knowing the new name or key word. In computer jargon today, we call it a computer password. Such a password keeps those that shouldn't be in our system, off of it. It allows for privacy and for each person to personalize their own computer to their own needs.
How does this system work? I imagine we get a glimpse of how it works with the great revelations which Nephi, Moses and other prophets have received. Often taken to a high mountain, where things are revealed to them of things past, present and future. It seems as though they are physically there to observe the actual event (whether it is the birth of Christ or the creation of the world), kind of like what one experiences in Virtual Reality or perhaps in the futuristic holo-decks of Star Trek Next Generation.
So, something that couldn't be imagined in Joseph Smith's day, WAS imagined and in the 21st Century seems within reach...