John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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The simple story as related by others was this. Sometime in A. D.  1825, as nearly as I can recollect, Smith was informed by an angel,  that there was a valuable record concealed in the earth, and the time  had now arrived for it to be brought forth and published to the world.  After being warned several times, he went to the spot and found the  record engraved on leaves or plates of gold, fastened together by rings  passing through one edge of all the leaves, on which they would turn  as you opened them. The plates, as near as I can remember, were  said to be about six by eight inches square, and very thin. This Book  was carefully enclosed in a stone box, provided for that purpose, which  Smith broke open. After he obtained the plates, and before he left  the place, he began to contemplate the vast riches that he would ac quire by their means. While thus thinking and contemplating upon  the subject, the Angel hid the plates from his view, and chastised him  for his wickedness in acting contrary to the commandment; for the  Angel had informed him that it was for the bringing about of God’s  purposes in the salvation of his people, that the Lord gave him access  to the plates; but as he thought to become rich and aggrandize himself,  therefore he should not obtain the plates any more till he repented of  his folly. A year or more elapsed before he obtained the plates again,  which I think he did in A. D. 1827; after which, through much diffi culty, on account of persecution and poverty, he translated it by de grees, with the assistance of and others, who wrote  as he dictated. If I remember right, the language in which it was  written on the plates, was the reformed Egyptian. And ,  who contributed much towards the publication of the Book, drew off  several of the characters on paper, took them to the learned in , to see if they could be translated, but was requested to bring  them the plates, which Smith was forbidden to do of the Lord, but was  commanded to translate them himself, which he did, by the help of  what he calls the Urim and Thummim, two stones set in a bow, and  furnished by an Angel for that purpose.
After finishing the translation, the plates and stones of Urim and  Thummin were again taken and concealed by the Angel for a wise  purpose, and the translation published to the world in the winter of A.  D. 1829 and ’30.
In the course of the translation, these plates were shown to eleven  persons, by the special command of God: three of whom had it mani fested and shown to them by an Angel from Heaven, who declared the  truth of the Book, and the other eight saw the plates and handled them;  and all were commanded to bear testimony to the world, of the truth  of what they had seen and handled, which they did, and published their  testimony in the end of the Book.
On the sixth day of April, A. D. 1830, they organized the first  church in the State of , consisting of six members only.
This tale, simple as it is, formed a new subject of contemplation  for me. As to the preservation of the record, if the plates were pure  gold, of course they would remain pure any length of time, and as to  the language, it might as well be reformed Egyptian as any other lan guage, if it had to be translated by the power of God.
I searched the Scriptures again to see if God had ever concealed or [p. 12]
The simple story as related by others was this. Sometime in A. D. 1825, as nearly as I can recollect, Smith was informed by an angel, that there was a valuable record concealed in the earth, and the time had now arrived for it to be brought forth and published to the world. After being warned several times, he went to the spot and found the record engraved on leaves or plates of gold, fastened together by rings passing through one edge of all the leaves, on which they would turn as you opened them. The plates, as near as I can remember, were said to be about six by eight inches square, and very thin. This Book was carefully enclosed in a stone box, provided for that purpose, which Smith broke open. After he obtained the plates, and before he left the place, he began to contemplate the vast riches that he would acquire by their means. While thus thinking and contemplating upon the subject, the Angel hid the plates from his view, and chastised him for his wickedness in acting contrary to the commandment; for the Angel had informed him that it was for the bringing about of God’s purposes in the salvation of his people, that the Lord gave him access to the plates; but as he thought to become rich and aggrandize himself, therefore he should not obtain the plates any more till he repented of his folly. A year or more elapsed before he obtained the plates again, which I think he did in A. D. 1827; after which, through much difficulty, on account of persecution and poverty, he translated it by degrees, with the assistance of and others, who wrote as he dictated. If I remember right, the language in which it was written on the plates, was the reformed Egyptian. And , who contributed much towards the publication of the Book, drew off several of the characters on paper, took them to the learned in , to see if they could be translated, but was requested to bring them the plates, which Smith was forbidden to do of the Lord, but was commanded to translate them himself, which he did, by the help of what he calls the Urim and Thummim, two stones set in a bow, and furnished by an Angel for that purpose.
After finishing the translation, the plates and stones of Urim and Thummin were again taken and concealed by the Angel for a wise purpose, and the translation published to the world in the winter of A. D. 1829 and ’30.
In the course of the translation, these plates were shown to eleven persons, by the special command of God: three of whom had it manifested and shown to them by an Angel from Heaven, who declared the truth of the Book, and the other eight saw the plates and handled them; and all were commanded to bear testimony to the world, of the truth of what they had seen and handled, which they did, and published their testimony in the end of the Book.
On the sixth day of April, A. D. 1830, they organized the first church in the State of , consisting of six members only.
This tale, simple as it is, formed a new subject of contemplation for me. As to the preservation of the record, if the plates were pure gold, of course they would remain pure any length of time, and as to the language, it might as well be reformed Egyptian as any other language, if it had to be translated by the power of God.
I searched the Scriptures again to see if God had ever concealed or [p. 12]
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