History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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apostles and that there never would be any more of them. I soon found however  that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors  of religion and was the cause of great persecution which continued to increase and though  I was an obscure boy only between fourteen and fifteen years of age <or thereabouts,> and my circumstances  in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, Yet men of high standing  would take notice sufficiently to excite the public mind against me and create a hot per secution, and this was common <among> all the sects: all united to persecute me. It has often caused  me serious reflection both then and since, how very strange it was that an obscure  boy of a little over fourteen years of age and one too who was doomed to the necessity of  obtaining a scanty maintainance by his daily labor should be thought a character of  sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects  of the day so as to create in them a spirit of the bitterest persecution and reviling. But  strange or not, so it was, and was often cause of great sorrow to myself. However it was  nevertheless a fact, that I had had a Vision. I have thought since that I felt much like  as Paul did when he made his defence before King Aggrippa and related the account of the  Vision he had when the saw a light and heard a voice, but still there were but few who  beleived him, some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad, and he was ridiculed  and reviled, But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision he  knew he had, and <all> the persecution under Heaven could not make it otherwise, and  though they should persecute him unto death Yet he knew and would know to his latest  breath that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him and all  the world could not make him think or believe otherwise. So it was with me, I had  actualy seen a light and in the midst of that light I saw two personages, and they did  in reality speak <un>to me, or one of them did, And though I was hated and persecuted for saying  that I had seen a vision, Yet it was true and while they were persecuting me reviling me  and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my  heart, why persecute <me> for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision, “and who am  I that I can withstand God” Or why does the world think to make me deny what I have  actually seen, for I had seen a vision, I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and  I could not deny it, neither dare I do it, at least I knew that by so doing <I> would offend  God and come under condemnation. I had now got my mind satisfied so  far as the sectarian world was concerned, that it was not my duty to join with any of  them, but continue as I was untill further directed, for I had found the testimony of  James to be true, that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain and  not be upbraided. I continued to pursue my common avocations in life untill the twenty  first of September, One thousand Eight hundred and twenty three, all the time suffering severe  persecution at the hand of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious because I con tinued to affirm that I <had> seen a Vision. During the space of time which intervened  between the time I had the vision and the year Eighteen hundred and twenty three, (having  been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years and  persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends, and to have treated me kindly [p. 4]
apostles and that there never would be any more of them. I soon found however that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion and was the cause of great persecution which continued to increase and though I was an obscure boy only between fourteen and fifteen years of age or thereabouts, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, Yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me and create a hot persecution, and this was common among all the sects: all united to persecute me. It has often caused me serious reflection both then and since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy of a little over fourteen years of age and one too who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintainance by his daily labor should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day so as to create in them a spirit of the bitterest persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and was often cause of great sorrow to myself. However it was nevertheless a fact, that I had had a Vision. I have thought since that I felt much like Paul when he made his defence before King Aggrippa and related the account of the Vision he had when he saw a light and heard a voice, but still there were but few who beleived him, some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad, and he was ridiculed and reviled, But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision he knew he had, and all the persecution under Heaven could not make it otherwise, and though they should persecute him unto death Yet he knew and would know to his latest breath that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise. So it was with me, I had actualy seen a light and in the midst of that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak unto me, or one of them did, And though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, Yet it was true and while they were persecuting me reviling me and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart, why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision, “and who am I that I can withstand God” Or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen, for I had seen a vision, I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dare I do it, at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God and come under condemnation. I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was concerned, that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but continue as I was untill further directed, I had found the testimony of James to be true, that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain and not be upbraided. I continued to pursue my common avocations in life untill the twenty first of September, One thousand Eight hundred and twenty three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hand of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious because I continued to affirm that I had seen a Vision. During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year Eighteen hundred and twenty three, (having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends, and to have treated me kindly [p. 4]
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