History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

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Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil disposed and designing persons in relation to the rise and progress of the Church of Latter day Saints, all of which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a church, and its progress in the world; I have been induced to write this history so as to disabuse the publick mind, and put all enquirers after truth into possession of the facts as they have transpired in relation both to myself and the Church as far as I have such facts in possession.
In this history I will present the various events in relation to this Church in truth and righteousness as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now the eighth year since the organization of said Church.
I was born in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and five, on the twenty third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, State of Vermont. My father left the State of and moved to , Ontario, (now Wayne) County, in the State of New York when I was in my tenth year.
In about four years after my ’s arrival at , he moved with his family into in the same County of Ontario. His family consisting of eleven souls, namely, My Father , My Mother whose name previous to her marriage was Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack, my brothers (who is now dead) , Myself, , , , and my Sisters , and .
Sometime in the second year after our removal to , there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodist, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country, indeed the whole district of Country seemed affected by it and great [p. [1]] multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division among the people, Some Crying, “Lo here” and some Lo there. Some were contending for the Methodist faith, Some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist; for notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great Zeal manifested by the respective Clergy who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling in order to have every body converted as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased[.] Yet when the Converts began to file off some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the Priests and the Converts were mere pretence more pretended than real, for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued; Priest contending against priest, and convert against convert so that all their good feelings one for another (if they ever had any) were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.
I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith and four of them joined that Church, Namely, My Mother , My Brothers , , and my Sister .
During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness, but though my feelings were deep and often pungent, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties though I attended their several meetings as occasion would permit. But in process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them, but so great was the confusion and strife amongst the different denominations that it was impossible for a person young as I was and so unacquainted with men and things to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.
My mind at different times was greatly excited for the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all their powers of either reason or sophistry to prove their errors, or at least to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally Zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.
In the midst of this war of words, and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself, what is to be done? Who of all these parties are right? Or are they all wrong together? and if any one of them be right which is it? And how shall I know it?
While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, First Chapter and fifth verse which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.[”] Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man that this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did, for how to act I did not know and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had [I] would never know, for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same [p. 2] passage of Scripture so differently as <to> destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion or else I must do as James directs, that is, Ask of God. I at last came to the determination to ask of God, concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally and not upbraid, I might venture. So in accordance with this my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful clear day early in the spring of Eightteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had <made> such an attempt, for amidst all <my> anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
After I had retired into the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God, I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was <siezed> upon by some power which entirely overcame me and <had> such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had siezed upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction, not to an imaginary ruin but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world who had such a marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being. Just at this moment of great alarm I saw a pillar <of> light exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun, which descended gracefully gradually untill it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages (whose brightness and glory defy all description) standing above me in the air. One of <them> spake unto me calling me by name and said (pointing to the other) “This is my beloved Son, Hear him.”
My object in going to enquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner therefore did I get possession of myself so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right, (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the Personage who addressed me said that all their Creeds were an abomination in his sight, that those professors were all corrupt, that “they draw near to me to with their lips but their hearts are far from me, They teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of Godliness but they deny the power thereof.” He again forbade me to join with any of them and many other thing[s] did he say unto me which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again I found myself lying on <my> back looking up into Heaven. Some few days after I had this vision I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist Preachers who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement and conversing with him on the subject of religion I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behaviour, he treated my communication not only lightly but with great contempt, saying it was all of the Devil, that there was no such thing as visions or revelations in these days, that all such things had ceased with the [p. 3] 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 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 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 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 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 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] and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavoured in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me) I was left to all kinds of temptations, and mingling <with> all kinds of society I frequently <fell> into many foolish errors and displayed the weakness of youth and the corruption of human nature which I am sorry to say led me into divers temptations to the gratification of many appetites offensive in the sight of God. In consequence of these things I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when on the evening of the above mentioned twenty first of september, after I had retired to my bed for the night I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me that I might know of my state and standing before him. For I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation as I had previously had one. While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase untill the room was lighter than at noonday and <when> immediately a personage <appeared> at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond any<thing> earthly I had ever seen, nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedinly white and brilliant, His hands were naked and his arms also a little above the wrist. So also were his feet naked as were his legs a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe as it was open so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Nephi. That God had a work for me to do, and that my <name> should be had for good and evil among all nations kindreds and tongues. or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it as delivered by the Saviour to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows and these put into a breast plate which constituted what is called the Urim & Thummin deposited with the plates, and that was what constituted seers in ancient or former times and that God <had> prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. After telling me these things he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old testament, he first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as reads in our books he quoted it thus, “For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud <yea> and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble, for <they> that cometh shall burn them saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” And again he quoted the fifth verse thus, “Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” He also quoted the next verse differently, [p. 5] “And he shall plant in the hearts of the Children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers, if it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” In addition to these quotations he quoted the Eleventh Chapter of Isaiah saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty second and twenty third verses precisely as they stand in our new testament, He said that that prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.
He also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the twenty eighth to the last verse. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled but was soon to be. And he further stated the fullness of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. Again he told me that when I got those plates of which he had spoken (for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled) I should not show <them> to any person, neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummin only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them, If I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.
After this conversation communication I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so untill the room was again left dark except just round him, when instantly I saw as it were a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely disappeared and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
I lay musing on the singularity of the scene and marvelling greatly at what had been told me by this extraordinary messenger, when in the midst of my meditation I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside. He commenced and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit without the least variation which having done, he informed me of great judgements which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence, and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation: Having related these things he again ascended as he had done before.
By this time so deep were the impressions made on my mind that sleep had fled from my eyes and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard:
But what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before and added a caution to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my ’s family) to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich, This he forbid me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive but that of building his kingdom, otherwise I could not get them. After this third visit he again ascended up into heaven as before and I was again left to ponder on the [p. 6] strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crew, and I found that day was approaching so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night. I shortly after arose from my bed, and as usual went to the necessary labors of the day, but in attempting to labor as at other times, I found my strength so exhausted as rendered me entirely unable. My who was laboring along <with> me discovered something to be wrong with me and told me to go home. I started with the intention of going to the house, but in attempting to cross the fence out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me and I fell helpless on the ground and for a time was quite unconscious of any thing. The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me calling me by name. I looked up and beheld the same messenger—standing over my head surrounded by light as before. He then again related unto me all that he had related to me the previous night, and commanded me to go to my and tell him of the vision and commandments which I had received.
I obeyed. I returned back to my in the field and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replyed to me, that it was of God, and to go and do as commanded by the messenger. I left the field and went to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited, and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.<*> Under a stound stone of considerable size, lay the plates deposited in a stone box, This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all round was covered with earth. Having removed the earth off the edge of the stone, and obtained a lever which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up, I looked in and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummin and the Breastplate as stated by the messenger The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement, in the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them. I made an attempt to take them out but was forbidden by the messenger and was again informed that the time <for> bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would untill four years from that time, but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so untill the time should come for obtaining the plates. Accordingly as I had been commanded I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.
As my ’s worldly circumstances were very, <limited> we were under the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring by days works and otherwise as we could get opportunity[.] sometimes we were at home and some times abroad and by continued labor were enabled to get a comfortable maintenance.
In the year Eighteen hundred and twenty four my s family met with a great affliction by the death of my eldest brother . In the month of October Eighteen hundred and twenty five I hired with an old Gentleman, by name of [p. 7]
<<*>Convenient to the little village of , Ontario County, New York, Stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood, On the west side of this hill not far from the top>
who lived in , State of New York. He had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in , Susquahanah [Susquehanna] County, State of Pensylvania, and had previous to my hiring with him been digging in order if possible to discover the mine. After I went to live with <him> he took me among the rest of his hands to dig for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent story of my having been a money digger.
During the time that I was thus employed I was put to board with a Mr of that place, ’Twas there that I first saw my wife, (his daughter) . On the eighteenth of January Eighteen hundred and twenty seven we were married while yet I was employed in the service of . Owing to my still continuing to assert that I had seen a vision, persecution still followed me, and so much was my ’s excited, that he was greatly opposed to our being married, in so much that he would not suffer us to be married at his house, I was therefore under the necessity of taking her elsewhere, so we went, and were married at the house of <Squire Tarbill [Zechariah Tarble]. in South Bainbridge. Chenango County. New York>. Immediately after my marriage I left s, and went to my ’s and farmed with him that season.
At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummin and the breastplate, In <On> the twenty second day of September, One thousand Eight hundred and twenty seven, having went as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge that I should be responsible for them. That if I should let them go carelessly or <through> any neglect of mine I should be cut off, but that if I would use all my endeavours to preserve them untill <he> (the messenger) called should call for them, they should be protected.
I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them, for no sooner was it known that I had them than the most strenious exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be resorted invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continualy to get them from me if possible but by the wisdom of God they remained safe in my hands untill I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand, when according to arrangement the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him and he has them in his charge untill this day, being the Second day of May, One thousand Eight hundred and thirty eight.
The excitement however still continued, and rumour with her thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating tales about my ’s family and about myself. If I were to relate a thousandth part of them it would fill up volumes. The persecution however became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of leaving and going with my <to> Susquahanah County in the State of Pensyllvania. While preparing to start (being very poor and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that we would ever be otherwise) in the midst of our afflictions we found a friend in a Gentleman by name of , who came to us and gave me fifty dollars [p. 8] to assist us in our affliction, was a resident of Wayne County in the State of New York and a farmer of respectability. By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in , and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters of all the plates. I copyed a considerable number of them and by means of the Urim and Thummin I translated some of them which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my ’s in the month of December, and the February following. Some time in this month of February the aforementioned Mr came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off of the plates and started with them to the City of . For what took place relative to him and the characters I refer to his own account of the circumstances as he related them to me after his return which was as follows. “I went to the City of and presented the Characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian.
I then shewed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldeak, Assyriac, and Arabac, and he said that they were true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of that they were true characters and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct.
I took the Certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when called me back and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an Angel of God had revealed it unto him. He then said to me, let me see that certificate, I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it [to] him when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministring of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him, he would translate them.<*> <I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them, he replied “I cannot read a sealed book”.> I left him and went to Dr Mitchel [Samuel Mitchill] who sanctioned what had said respecting both the Characters and the translation.”
having returned from this tour he left me and went home to , arranged his affairs, and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, Eighteen hundred and twenty eight, and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we continued untill the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen <pages> of manuscript on foolscap paper.
Some time after had began to write for me, he began to tease me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented but insisted that I should enquire once more. after After much solicitation I again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother. , his own wife [], his father [Nathan Harris], and his mother [Rhoda Lapham Harris], and a Mrs [Mary (Polly) Harris] Cobb a sister to his . In accordance with this last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me [p. 9] in the most solemn manner that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He did so. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings and went his way.
Notwithstanding however the great restrictions which he had been laid under, and the solemnity of the covenant which he had made with me, he did shew them to others and by stratagem they got them away from him, and they never have been recovered nor obtained back again untill this day.
In the mean time while was gone with the writings, I went to visit my ’s family at . I continued there for a short season and then returned to my place in . Immediately after my return home I was walking out a little distance, when Behold the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummin again (for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting take the writings which he lost by transgression) and I enquired of the Lord through them and obtained the folowing revelation.
Revelation to Joseph Smyth jr, given July 1828 concerning certain manuscripts on the first part of the book of Mormon which had been taken from the possession of .
The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God, cannot be frustrated neither can they come to nought, for God doth not walk in crooked: <paths:> neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said: therefore his paths are strait and his course is one eternal round.
Remember remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men: for although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet, if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at nought the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will, and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.
Behold, you have been entrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember, also, the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them; and behold how oft you have transgressed the commandments and laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men: for behold you should not have feared man more than God, although men set at nought the councils of God, and despise his words, yet you should have been faithful and he would have extended his arm, and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.
Behold thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall, but remember God is merciful: therefore repent of that which thou hast done, which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen and art again called to the work: except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.
And when thou deliveredst up that which God <gave> thee sight and power to translate, thou deliveredst up that which was sacred, into the hands of a wicked man, who has set at nought the counsels of God, and has broken the most sacred promises, which were made before God, and depended upon his own judgment, [p. 10]
Nevertheless my work shall go forth, for, inasmuch as the knowledge of a Saviour has come unto the world, through the testimony of the jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Saviour come <un>to my people; and to the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers; and this testimony shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquities of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their unbelief iniquities and their abominations: and for this very purpose are these plates preserved which contain these records, that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people; and that the Lamanites might come to a knowledge of their fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they might believe the gospel, and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name; and that through their repentance they might be saved:
After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates, and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again, but in a few days they were returned to me.<***> <when I enquired of the Lord, and the Lord said thus unto me> <***>
I did not however go immediately to translating, but went to laboring with my hands upon a small farm which I had purchased of my ’s , in order to provide for my family. In the month of February, Eighteen hundred and twenty nine my came to visit us at which time I received the following revelation for him.
Revelation to given February 1829.
Now, behold, a marvellous work is about to come forth among the children of men, therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that you serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that you may stand blameless before God at the last day: therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work, for behold the field is white already to harvest, and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perish not, but bringeth salvation to his soul, and faith, hope, and charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualifies him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, Godliness, charity, humility, diligence.— Ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
The following I applied for at the request of the aforementioned and obtained.
Revelation given March, 1829.
Behold I say unto you, that as my servant has desired a witness at my hand, that you, my servant Joseph Smith Jr., have got the plates of which you have testified and borne record that you <have> received of me: and now behold, this shall you say unto him, He who spake unto you, said unto you, I the Lord am God, and gave <have given> these things unto you my servant Joseph Smith Jr. and <have> commanded you that you shall stand as a witness of these things, and I have caused you that you should enter into a cove [p. 11]
<*** Revelation given to Joseph Smith Jr May 1829 informing him of the alteration of the manuscript of the forepart of the Book of Mormon.
1 Now, behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given <unto> you to translate, by the means of the Urim and Thummin, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them; and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened; nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again, therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun: do not run faster, or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate, but be diligent unto the end: pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, and that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan, that do uphold his work. Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you. And for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold wicked men have taken them from you: therefore, you have delivered them up: yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold Satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and behold I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary to from that which you translated and caused to be written; and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he might destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
2 Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again, and then behold they say, and think in their hearts, we will see if God has given him power to translate, if so he will also give him power again; and if God giveth him power again [p. [1]]
3 Verily, verily I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts he stirrith them up to iniquity against that which is good, and their hearts are corrupt and full of wickedness and abominations, and they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil: therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God, but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgement; yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work, yea, he saith unto them, deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them and leadeth them along, untill he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
4 Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lyeth to decieve because he supposeth that another lieth to decieve, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
5 Now behold they altered those words, because Satan saith unto them, He hath deceived you: and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
6 Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words.
For behold, if you should bring forth the same words, they will say, that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself: and behold they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation; that the work may not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I shew unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, shew it not unto the world untill you have accomplished the work of translation.
7 Marvel not that I said unto you here is wisdom, show it not unto the [p. [2]]
8 And now verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi: yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
9 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account therefore you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi down even till you come to the reign of King Benjamin, or untill you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained, and behold you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not that suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
10 Behold they have only got a part, or an abridgement of the account of Nephi. Behold there are many writings things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel, therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And behold all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy Phrophets, yea and also my disciples desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea, and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them, that they might preach in their days might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites, because of their dissensions.
11 Now this is not all, their faith in their prayers were, that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land, and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel, in this land, might have eternal life; yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongues or people, they may be.
12 And now behold according to their faith in their prayers, will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
13 And for this cause have I said, if this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my Church among them. Now I do not say <*> [p. [3]]
14 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the son of God: I came unto my own and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I am he who said, other sheep have I which are not of this fold, unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
15 And I will shew unto this people, that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob: and I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name, yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered unto them, and behold they shall not deny that which you have recieved, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine: yea, and the only doctrine which is in me; and this I do, that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention: yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention, concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures, and do not understand them: therefore I will unfold unto them this great mystery, for behold I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts: yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
16 Behold this is my doctrine: whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my Church: whosoever declareth more or less than this the same is not of me, but is against me: therefore, he is not of my Church.
17 And now behold whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
18 And now remember the words of him, who is the life and the light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen. [4 lines blank] [p. [4]]
nant with me that you should not shew them except to those persons to whom I command you; and you have no power over them except I grant it unto you. And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you, and I have commanded you that you pretend to no other gift untill my purposes is fulfilled in you this; for I will grant unto you no other gift untill it is finished.
Verily I say unto you, that wo shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth if they will not hearken unto my words: for hereafter you shall be ordained and go forth and deliver my words unto the children of men, Behold if they will not believe my words, they would not believe you, my servant Joseph, if it were possible that you could show them all these things which I have committed unto you. O this unbelieving and stiffnecked generation mine anger is kindled against is kindled a them.
Behold, verily I say unto you I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; but this generation shall have my word through you; and in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants whom I shall call and ordain, unto whom I shall show these things: and they shall go forth with my words that are given through you, yea, they shall know of a surety that these things are true: for from heaven will I declare it unto them: I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are; and to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony, among this generation, in this, the beginning of the rising up, and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. And the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word; and behold whosoever believeth on my words them will I visit with the manifestation of my spirit, and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the spirit.
And you must wait yet a little while; for ye are not yet ordained—and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against them: for a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to <be> poured out, from time to time, if they repent not, untill the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away, and utterly consumed <destroyed> by the brightness of my coming. Behold, I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.
And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and yield to the persuasions of men no more; and that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith I have commanded you, and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain.
And now again I speak unto you my servant Joseph, concerning the man that desires the witness: Behold I say unto him he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me: but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see. And then he shall say unto the people of this generation, behold I have seen the things which the Lord has shewn to Joseph Smith jr. and I [p. 12]
And if this be the case, behold I say unto thee Joseph, when thou hast translated a few more pages thou shalt stop for a season, even untill I command thee again, then thou mayest translate again. And except thou do this, behold, thou shalt have no more gift, and I will take away the things which I have entrusted with you <thee>. And now because I foresee the lying in wait to destroy thee: yea I foresee that if my servant , humbleth not himself, and receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression; and there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee <from> off the face of the earth: and for this cause that thy days may be prolonged, I have given unto thee the<se> commandments; yea, for this cause I have said, stop and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee; and if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
On the fifth day of Aprile Eighteen hundred and twenty nine came to my house, untill when I had never seen him. He stated to me that having been teaching school in the neighborhood where my resided, and my being one of those who sent to the school, he had went to board for a season at my ’s house, and while there the family related to him the circumstance of my having received the plates, and accordingly he had came to make enquiries of me.
Two days after the arrival of (being the seventh of April) I commenced to translate the book of Mormon and he commenced to write for me, which having continued for some time I enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin and obtained the following revelation.
Revelation given April 1829, to and Joseph Smith Jr..
A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men: behold I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to dividing asunder of the joints to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore give heed unto my words.
Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God: yea who [p. 13]
Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sac[r]ed and cometh from above: and if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous: therefore thou <shalt> exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, convince them of the error of their ways. Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those of who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things. If thou wilt do good, yea and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.
Verily verily I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done, for thou hast enquired of me, and behold as often as thou hast enquired, thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
Behold thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind and now I tell thee these things, that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth; yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God, that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart: I tell thee these things as a witness unto thee, that the words or the work which thou hast been writing is true.
Therefore be diligent, stand by my servant Joseph faithfully in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be, for the word’s sake. Admonish him in his faults and also receive admonition of him. Be patient; be sober; be temperate: have patience, faith, hope and charity.
Behold thou art , and I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore, treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.
Behold I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto my own and my own received me not.— I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
Verily, verily I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things; did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? And now behold you have received a witness, for if I have told you things which no man knoweth, have you not received a witness? And behold I grant unto you a gift, if you desire of me, to translate even as my servant Joseph.
Verily, verily I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of [p. 14]
And now behold I give unto you, and also unto my servant Joseph the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry: and in the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall every word be established.
Verily, verily I say unto you, if they reject my words, and this part of my gospel and ministry, blessed are ye, for they can do no more unto you than unto me; and if they do unto you even as they have done unto me, blessed are ye, for you shall dwell with me in glory: but if they reject not my words, which <shall> be established by the testimony which shall be given, blessed are they; and then shall ye have joy in the fruit of your labours.
Verily, verily I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or there three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold there will I be in the midst of them, even so am I in the midst of you. Fear not to do good my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap: therefore if ye sow good, ye shall also reap good for your reward:
Therefore fear not little flock, do good, let earth and hell combine against, <you> for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold I do not condemn you, go your ways and sin no more: perform with soberness the work which I have commanded; <you> look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not: behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet: be faithful; keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
After we had received this revelation he () stated to me that after he had gone to my ’s to board, and after the family communicated to him concerning my having got the plates, that one night after he had retired to bed, he called upon the Lord to know if these things were so, and that the Lord had manifested to him that they were true, but that he had kept the circumstance entirely secret, and had mentioned it to no being, so that after this revelation having been given, he knew that the work was true, because that no mortal being living knew of the thing alluded in the revelation but God and himself.
During the month of April I continued to translate, and he to write with little cessation, during which time we received several revelations. A difference of opinion arising between us about the account of John the Apostle, mentioned in the new testament, John, twenty first chapter and twenty second verse, whether he died, or whether he continued; We we mutually agreed to settle <it> by the Urim and Thummin, and the following is the word which we received.
A Revelation given to Joseph Smith jr, and in Pensylvania April 1829. when they desired to know whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried on earth.—
Translated from parchment, written and hid up by himself.
And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him, Lord, give me power over [p. 15]
And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desiredst of me that he might bring souls unto me; but thou desiredst that thou might speedily come into my kingdom unto me in my kingdom. I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire, but my beloved has desired, that he might do more, or a greater work, yet among men than what he has before done; yea he has undertaken a greater work; therefore, I will make him as flaming fire and a ministring angel: he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth; and I will make thee a <to> minister for him and for thy brother James: and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry untill I come.
Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which you have desired.
Whilst continuing the work of translation during this <the> month of April; became exceedingly anxious to have the power to translate bestowed upon him and in relation to this desire the folowing revelations were obtained.
Revelation given April 1829.
, verily, verily I say unto you that assuredly as the Lord liveth who is your God and your Redeemer, even so sure shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall recieve a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which were ancient which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken, by the manifestation of my spirit; yea, behold I will tell you in your mind and in in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you, and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now behold this is the Spirit of Revelation: behold this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the red sea on dry ground: therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction.
O remember these words, and keep my commandments.— Remember this is your gift. Now this is not all your <thy> gift: for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron: behold it has told you many things: behold there is no other power save the power of God, that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you; therefore, doubt not, for it is the gift of God, and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works; and no power shall be able to take it away from out of your hands: for it is the work of God. And therefore whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it: remember, that without faith you can do nothing. Therefore ask in faith. Trifle not in <with> these things: do not ask for that which you ought not ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and [p. 16]
Revelation given to , April 1829.
Behold I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant Joseph Smith jr even so I would that I you should continue untill you have finished this record, which I have intrusted unto him: and then behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.
Be patient my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should translate at this present time. Behold, the work which you are called to do, is to write for my servant Joseph; and behold it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you. Do not murmur my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.
Behold you have not understood, you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but behold I say unto you, that you must study it in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you: therefore, you shall feel that it is right; but if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong: therefore you cannot write that which is sacred, save it be given you from me.
Now if you had known this, you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now. Behold it was expedient when you commenced but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now: for do you not behold that I have given unto my servant Joseph sufficient strength, whereby it is made up? and neither of you have I condemned.
Do this thing which I have commanded you, and you shall prosper. Be faithful and yield to no temptation. Stand fast in the work wherein wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
We still continued the <work of> translation, when in the ensuing month (May, Eighteen hundred and twenty nine) we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins as we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed praying and calling upon the Lord, a Messenger from heaven, descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying unto us; “Upon you my fellow servants in the name of Messiah I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministring of angels and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and this shall never be taken again from the earth, untill the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” He said this Aaronic priesthood had not [p. 17] the power of laying on of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on <us> hereafter and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize , and afterward that he should baptize me. and that I should be called the first elder of the Church and he the second.
Accordingly we went and were baptized, I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me, after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronick priesthood, and afterward he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded.
The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this priesthood upon us said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the new Testament, and that he acted under the direction <of> Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedeck, whi[c]h priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us. <And that I should be called the first Elder of the Church and he the second.>
It was on the fifteenth day of May, Eighteen hundred and twenty nine that we were baptized; under and ordained under the hand of that <the> Messenger.
Immediately upon our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father.
No sooner had I baptized than the Holy Ghost fell upon him and he stood up and prophecied many things which should shortly come to pass: And again so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the Spirit of Prophecy, when standing up I prophecied concerning the rise of this church, and many other things connected with the Church and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our Salvation.
Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the Scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before <had> thought of.
In the meantime we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of our having been baptized, and having received this priesthood; owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood. We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to time, and this too by professors of religion, and their intentions of mobbing us, were only counteracted by the influence of my ’s ’s family (under Divine Providence) who had became very friendly to me and were opposed to mobs; and were willing that I should be allowed to continue the work of translation without interruption: And therefore offered and promised us protection from all unlawful proceedings as far as in them lay.
After a few days however, feeling it to be our duty, we commenced to reason out of the scriptures, with our acquaintences and friends, as we happened to meet with them. About this time my brother, cam came [p. 18] to visit us. We informed him of what the Lord was about to do for the children of men; and to reason with him out of the Bible: We also showed him that part of the work which we had translated, and labored to persuade him concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ which was now about to be revealed in it’s fulness.
He was not however very easily persuaded of these things, but after much enquiry and explanation, he retired to the woods, in order that by secret and fervent prayer he might obtain of a merciful God, wisdom to enable him to judge for himself: The result was that he obtained revelation for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of our assertions to him and on the [blank] day of that same month in which we had been baptized and ordained; baptized him, And he returned to his ’s house greatly glorifying and praising God, being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Not many days afterwards, my brother came to us to enquire concerning these things, when at his earnest request, I enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin, and received for him the following
Revelation given to , at , Susquehanah [Susquehanna] County, Pensylvania. May 1829.
1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men: behold I am God and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore, give heed unto my word.
2 Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God; yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God: therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
3 Now as you have asked, behold I say unto you keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion. Seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and behold the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich; behold he that hath eternal life is rich.
4 Verily, verily I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so shall it be done unto you; and, if you desire you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.
5 Behold thou hast a gift, or thou shalt have a gift if thou wilt desire of me in faith with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee: for behold it is I that speaketh: behold I am the light which shineth in the darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee.
6 And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, put your [p. 19]
7 Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart <unto> you of my spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy, and then shall you know, or by this shall ye know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
8 Behold I command you, that you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach untill you are called: wait a little longer, untill you shall receive <have> my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine; and then behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith; shall it be done unto you.
9 Keep my commandments; hold your peace; appeal unto my spirit: yea, cleave unto me with all your heart, that you may assist in bringing to light those things of which have been spoken: yea, the translation of my work: be patient untill you shall accomplish it.
10 Behold this is your work, to keep my commandments: yea, with all your might, mind and strength: seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, it you shall have my Spirit, and my word: yea the power of God, unto the convincing of men: but now hold your peace; study my word, which hath gone forth among the children of men; and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men; or that which is now translating; yea, untill you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation; and then shall all things be added thereunto.
11 Behold thou art ; my son, seek the kingdom of God, and all things shall be added according to that which is just. Build upon my rock, which is my gospel; deny not the spirit of revelation, nor the spirit of prophecy, for wo unto him that denieth these things: therefore treasure up in your hearts untill the time which is in my wisdom, that you shall go forth: behold I speak unto all who have good desires, and have thrust in their sickles to reap.
12 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the son of God: I am the life and the light of the world: I am the same who came unto my own, and my own received me not: but verily, verily I say unto you, that as many as receiveth me, them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen.
About the same time came an old Gentleman to visit us, of whose name I wish to make honorable mention; Mr of , Broom[e] County, Penn; who having heard of the manner in which we were occupying our time, very kindly and considerately brought us, a quantity of provisions, in order that we might not be interrupted in the work of translation, by the want of such necessaries of life: and I would just [p. 20] mention here (as in duty bound) that he several times brought us supplies (a distance of at least thirty miles) which enabled us to continue the work when otherwise we must have relinquished it for a season. Being very anxious to know his duty as to this work, I enquired of the Lord for him, and obtained as follows.
Revelation given to at Susquehanah County, Pennsylvania. May 1829.
1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men: behold I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore give heed unto my word.
2 Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God: yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God: therefore knock if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you knock it shall be opened unto you.
3 Now as you have asked, behold I say unto you, keep my commandments and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.
4 Behold I speak unto you, and also to all those who have desires to bring forth and establish this work, and no one can assist in this work, except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be intrusted to his care.
5 Behold I am the light and the light <life> of the world, that speaketh these words: therefore, give heed with your might, and then you are called.
Shortly after commencing to translate, I became acquainted with Mr of , Seneca County New York, and also with some of his family. In the beginning of the month of June, his son, came to the place where we were residing, and brought with him a two horse waggon, for the purpose of having us accompany him to his ’s place and there remain untill we should finish the work. He proposed that we should have our board free of charge, and the assistance of one of his brothers to write for me, as also his own assistance when convenient.
Having much need of such timely aid in an undertaking so arduous, and being informed that the people of the neighborhood were anxiously the awaiting the opportunity to enquire into these things; we accepted the invitation and accompanied to his ’s house, and there resided [p. 21] untill the translation was finished, and the copyright secured.
Upon our arrival, we found ’s family very anxious concerning the work, and very friendly towards ourselves. They continued so, boarded and lodged us according to proposal, and , in particular, assisted us very much in writing during the remainder of the work.
In the meantime, , , and became our zealous friends and assistants in the work; And being anxious to know their respective duties, and having desired with much earnestness that I should enquire of the Lord concerning them, I did so, through the means of the Urim and Thummin and obtained for them in succession the folowing Revelations.
Revelation given to , at , Seneca County New York. June 1829.
1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men: behold I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore give heed unto my word.
2 Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God: yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God: therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
3 Seek to establish bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things, and if you keep my commandments, and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life; which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
4 And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see; and also, that you may declare repentance unto this generation.
5 Behold I am Jesus Christ the son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a light which cannot be hid in darkness: wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel. And behold thou art , and thou art called to assist: which thing if ye do, and are faithful ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward. Amen.
Revelation given to , at , Seneca County, New York, June 1829.
1 Hearken my servant , and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer, for behold I speak unto you with sharpness and with power, for mine arm is over all the earth, and I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone: for many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of most worth unto you.
2 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given [p. 22]
3 And now behold I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth to unto you, will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
Revelation given to at , Seneca County, New York. June 1829.
1 Hearken my servant , and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer, for behold I speak unto you with sharpness and with power, for mine arm is over all the earth, and I will tell <thee> that which no man knoweth save thee <me> and thee alone: for many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you
2 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you according to my commandments:
3 And now behold I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you, will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
We found the people of in general friendly and disposed to enquire into the truth of these strange matters which now began to be noised abroad: Many opened their houses to us in order that we might have an opportunity of meeting with our friends for the purposes of instruction and explanation. We met with many from time to time, who were willing to hear us, and wishful to find out the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and apparently willing to obey the Gospel when once fairly convinced and satisfied in their own minds; and in this same month of June, my brother , , and were baptized, <in Seneca lake> the two former by myself; the latter by
From this time forth many became believers, and were baptized, whilst we continued to instruct and persuade as many as <applied> for information.
In th[e] course of the work of translation, we ascertained that three special witnesses were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant, that they should see the plates from which this work (the Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witnesses should bear record of the same; as will be found, recorded, Book of Mormon First edition Page [blank] and second edition Page [blank].
Almost immediately after we had made this discovery, it occurred to , , and the aforementioned (who had came to enquire after our progress in the work) that they would have me enquire of the Lord, to know if they might not obtain of him to be these three special witnesses; and finally they became so very solicitous, and teazed me so much, that at length <I> complied, and through the Urim and Thummin, I obtained of the Lord for them the folowing Revelation. [p. 23]
Revelation to , , and , at , Seneca County, New York, June 1829. Given previous to their viewing the plates containing the Book of Mormon.
1 Behold I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummin which were given to the brother of Jared on the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the red sea; and it is by <your> faith that you shall obtain a view of them; even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
2 And after that you have obtained faith and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them by the power of God; and this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith jr, may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work. And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith Jr has seen them, for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith: and he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.
3 Wherefore you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him; and if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you: and you shall be lifted up at the last day.— And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring my righteous purposes unto the children of men. A[men.]
Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four, viz , , and myself, agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfilment of the promises given in this revelation; that they should have a view of the pl[a]t[es] &c[,] we accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to ’s [house], to which we retired, and having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God to bestow upon us a realization of those promises. According to previous arrangement, I commenced by vocal prayer to our Heavenly Father and was folowed by each of the rest in succession; we did not yet however obtain any answer or manifestation of the divine favour in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on and praying fervently to God in rotation; but with the same result as before. Upon this our second failure, proposed that he would withdraw himself from us, believing as he expressed himself that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining what we wished for: He accordingly withdrew from us, and we knelt down again, and had not been [p. 24] many minutes engaged in prayer when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness, and behold, an angel stood before us; in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of: he turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly: He addressed himself to , and said, , blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps all his commandments:” when immediately afterwards we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying “These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God; the translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear”.—
I now left and , and went in pursuit of , who I found at a considerable distance fervently engaged in prayer; he soon told me however that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord, and earnestly requested me, to join him in prayer, that he also might realize the same blessings which we had just recieved: we accordingly joined in prayer, and ultimately obtained our desires, for before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view; at least it was again to me, and I once more beheld, and seen, and heard the same things; whilst at the same moment, cried out, apparently in an ecstasy of Joy “’Tis enough, ’tis enough; mine eyes have beheld, mine eyes have beheld”, and jumping up he shouted, Hosanna, blessing God; and otherwise rejoiced exceedingly. Having thus through the mercy of God, obtained these glorious manifestations, it now remained for these three individuals to fulfil the commandment which they had received, viz: to bear record of these things; in order to accomplish which, they drew up and subscribed the following document.
The Testimony of Three Witnesses.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we through the grace of God the Father, and our lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which has hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety, that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shewn unto us by the power of God and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from Heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes, nevertheless, the voice [p. 25]
Soon after these things had transpired the following additional tes[t]imony was obtained.
And also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith Jr, the translator of this work has shewn unto us, the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands: and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shewn unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world, that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
Mean time we continued to translate, at intervals, when not necessitated to attend to the numerous enquirers, that now began to visit us; some for the sake of finding the truth, others for the purpose of putting hard questions, and trying to confound us, among the latter class, were several learned Priests <who> generally came for the purpose of disputation: However the Lord continued to pour out upon us his Holy Spirit, and as often as we had need, he gave us in that moment what to say; so that although unlearned, and inexperienced in religious controversies, yet were we able to confound those learned Rabbi’s of the day, whilst at the same time, we were enabled to convince the honest in heart, that we had obtained (through the mercy of God) to the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, so that almost daily we administered the ordinance of Baptism for the remission of sins, so [to] such as believed.
We now became anxious to have that promise realized to us, which the Angel that conferred upon us the Aaronick Priesthood [p. 26] had given us, viz: that provided we continued faithful; we should also have the Melchesidec Priesthood, which holds the authority of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We had for some time made this matter a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the Chamber of ’s house in order more particularly to seek of the Lord what we now so earnestly desired: and here to our unspeakable satisfaction did we realize the truth of the Saviour’s promise; “Ask, and you shall recieve, seek, and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you;” for we had not long been engaged in solemn and fervent prayer, when the word of the Lord, came unto us in the Chamber, commanding us; that I should ordain to be an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, accordin and then <to> ordain others as it should be made known unto us, from time to time: we were however commanded to defer this our ordination untill, such times, as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding to ordain each other, and have them decide by vote whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers, or not, when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them, afterward proceed to ordain each other according to commandment, then call out such men as the Spirit should dictate, and ordain them, and then attend to the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, upon all those whom we had previously baptized; doing all things in the name of the Lord.
The following commandment will further illustrate the nature of our calling to this Priesthood as well as that of others who were yet to be sought after.
Revelation to Joseph Smith Jr, , and , making known the calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also instructions relative to building up the Church of Christ, according to the fulness of the gospel: Given in , Seneca County New York, June 1829.
1 Now behold, because of the thing which you, my servant, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words: behold I have manifested unto you by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true: wherefore you know that they are true; and if you know that they are true, behold I have given unto a you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written, for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my Church, my gospel and my rock; wherefore if you shall build up my Church upon the foundation of my gospel and my [p. 27]
2 Behold the world is ripening in iniquity, and it must needs be, that the children of men are stirred up unto repentance, both the Gentiles, and also the house of Israel: wherefore, as thou hast been baptized by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith Jr—according to that which I have commanded him, he hath fulfilled the thing which I commanded him. And now marvel not that I have called him to my mine own purpose; which purpose is known in me: wherefore if he shall be diligent in keeping my commandments, he shall be blessed unto eternal life, and his name is Joseph.
3 And now , I speak unto you, and also unto by the way of commandment: for behold I command all men every where to repent, and I speak unto you, even as unto Paul mine apostle, for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called. Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God: for behold the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh: wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in his soul that repenteth.— Wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it <so> be that you should labour all your days, in crying repentance to this people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father.
4 And now if your joy will be great with one soul, that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy, if you should bring many souls unto me? Behold you have my gospel before you, and my rock and my salvation: ask the Father in my name in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost which manifesteth all things which is expedient unto the Children of men. And if you have not faith, hope and charity, you can do nothing. Contend against no church, save it be the Church of the devil. Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent, and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Behold, Jesus Christ is the name <which is> given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved: wherefore all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day: wherefore if they know not the name by which they are called, they can not have place in the kingdom of my Father.
5 And now behold there are others who are called to declare my gospel both unto Gentile, and unto Jew: yea, even twelve: and the twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name, with full purpose of heart: and the twelve are they, who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart: and if they desire to take upon them my name [p. 28]
6 And now behold I give unto you, , and also unto you , that you shall search out the twelve who shall have the desires of which I have spoken; and by their desires and their works you shall know them: and when you have found them you shall shew these things unto them. And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name: and you must preach unto all the world saying you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ: for all men must repent, and be baptized; and not only men, but women, and children who have arriven to the years of accountability.
7 And now, after that you have received this, you must keep my commandments in all things: and by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance: and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father: wherefore the blessings which I give unto you, are above all things. And after <that> you have received this, if you keep not my commandments, you cannot be saved in the kingdom of my Father.
Behold I Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, and your Redeemer by the power of my spirit have spoken it. Amen.
In this manner did the Lord continue to give us instructions from time to time, concerning our <the> duties which now devolved upon us, and among many other things of the kind, we obtained of him the folowing, by the Spirit of Prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to his will and commandment, we should proceed to organize to organize his Church once again, here upon the earth. [p. 29]
1 The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being One thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established, agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April: which commandments were given to Joseph Smith Jr who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first Elder of this Church: and to , who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ; to be the second elder of this Church, and ordained under his hand: and this according to the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again [in] the vanities of the world; but after repenting, and humbling himself, sincerely, through faith God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness; and gave unto him commandments, which inspired him, and gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and to the Jews also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared <un>to the world by them, proving to the world that the holy Scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men, and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God, yesterday, today, and for ever.— Amen.
3 Therefore having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall here hereafter come to a knowledge of this work; and those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their condemnation, for the Lord God has spoken it; and we the elders of the Church, have read <heard> and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
4 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth and all things which are in them, and that he created man male and female: after his own image, and in his own likeness created he them, and gave unto them commandments, that they should love and serve him the only true and living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship: but by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.
5 Wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him; he suffered temptations but gave no [p. 30]
6 And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is just and true: and we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights; minds, and strength: but there is a possibility that man may fall from grace, and depart from the living God. Therefore let the Church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptations; yea, and even let those who are sanctified, take heed also.— And we know that these things are true, and according to the revelations of John, neither adding to, nor diminishing from the prophecy of his book, the holy scriptures, or the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, the voice of God, or the ministering of Angels: And the Lord God has spoken it; and honor, power, and glory, be rendered to his holy name, both now and ever. Amen.
7 And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism. All those who humble themselves before God and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of <all> their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
8 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, <deacons,> and members of the church of Christ. An apostle is an elder, and it is his duty to baptize, and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and to administer bread and wine—the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ—and to confirm those who are baptized into the Church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures; and to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; and to confirm the Church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving [p. 31]
9 The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.
10 The priests duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties: and he may also ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons—and he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present, but when there is an elder present, he is only to preach, teach expound, exhort, and baptize, and visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally, and in secret, and attend to all family duties. In all these duties the priest is to assist the elder if occasion requires.
11 The teacher’s duty is to watch over the Church always, and be with, and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other; neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; and see that each member <the church> meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty—and he is to take the lead of all meetings in the absence of the elder or priest—and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons if occasion requires: but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament or lay on hands; they are however to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come to Christ.
12 Every Elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, is to be ordained according to the gifts and calling of God unto him: and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one that ordains him.
13 The several elders composing this Church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time, as said conferences shall direct or appoint: and said conferences are to do whatever Church business is necessary to be done at the time.
14 The elders are to receive their licences from other elders by vote of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.
15 Each priest teacher or deacon, who is ordained by a priest, may take a certificate from him at the time, which certificate when presented to an elder shall entitle him to a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duties of his calling—or he may receive it from a conference.
16 No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church; but the presiding elders, travelling bishops, high counsellors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the Church, that a vote may be called.
17 Every president of the high priesthood, (or presiding elder) bishop, high counsellor, and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council or general conference,
18 The duties <duty> of the members after they are received by [p. 32]
19 The Elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders: so that all things may be done in order. And the members shall manifest before the Church, and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conversation, that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures—walking in holiness before the Lord.
20 Every member of the Church <of Christ> having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.
21 No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.
22 Baptism is to be administered in the following manner, unto all those who repent: The person who is called of God, and has authority of Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having authority of been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth out <again> out of the water.
23 It is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus: and the elder or priest shall administer it: and after this manner shall he administer it: he shall kneel with the church, and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son, and witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them Amen.
24 The manner of administering the wine: He shall take cup also, and say, O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, and that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
25 Any member of the Church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
26 It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the Church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the Church; with a list of the names of the several members [p. 33]
27 All members removing from the church where they reside, if going to a church where they are not known, may take a letter certifying that they are regular members and in good standing: which certificate may be signed by any elder or priest, if the person member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the elder or priest, or it may be signed by the teachers, or deacons of the church.
Mean time our translation drawing to a close, we went to , Wayne County, N. Y: Secured the Copyright; and agreed with Mr to print five thousand Copies, for the sum of three thousand dollars.
I wish also to mention here, that the Title Page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated; and not by any means the language of the whole running same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that, said Title Page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation. Therefore, in order to correct an error which generally exists concerning it, I give below that part of the Title Page of the English Version of the Book of Mormon, which is a genuine and literal translation of the Title Page of the Original Book of Mormon, as recorded on the plates.
Book of Mormon
An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates, Taken from the plates of Nephi.
Wherefore it is an abridgement of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile: written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.
Written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof: sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
An abridgement taken from the book of Ether, also; which is a record of the people of Jared; who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people when they [p. 34]
(The remainder <(of the Title page)> is of course, modern)
A commandment of God and not of man to , given ( New York, March, 1830) by him who is eternal.
1 I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord: yea, even I am the <He>, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world: I having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father concerning me: having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself: retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world, and the last great day of judgement, which I shall pass upon the inhabitants thereof, judging every man according to his works, and the deeds which he hath done. And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I God am endless: wherefore, I revoke not the judgements which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth: yea, to those who are found on my left hand; nevertheless it is not written, that there shall be no end to this torment; but it is written endless torment
2 Again, it is written eternal damnation: wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory: wherefore I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you, to know even as my apostles. I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest. For behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it? for behold I am endless, and the punishment which is given at <from> my hand is endless punishment, for endless is my name: wherefore
Eternal punishment)Endless punishment
is God’s punishment:)is God’s punishment:
wherefore I command you to repent, and keep the commandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith Jr, in my name: and it is by my almighty power that you have received them: therefore I command you to repent, repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore: how sore you know not! how exquisite you know not! yea, how hard to bear ye know not! For behold, I God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer, if they [p. 35]
3 And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Nor seek thy neighbor’s life. And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God, which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant: that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.
4 And again I command thee, that thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart: yea, before the world, as well as in secret; in public as well as in private. And thou shalt declare glad tidings: yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see. And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers. And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior and remission of sins of by baptism and by fire; yea, even the Holy Ghost.
5 Behold this is a great, and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter: for this shall suffice for thy daily walk even unto the end of thy life. And misery thou shalt receive, if thou wilt slight these counsels; yea, even destruction of thyself and property. Impart a portion of thy property; yea, even part of thy lands and all save the support of thy family. Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage. Leave thy house and home, except when thou shalt desire to see thy family. And Speak freely to all; yea, preach, exhort, declare the truth, even with a loud voice; with a sound of rejoicing, crying hosanna! hosanna! blessed be the name of the Lord God.
6 Pray always and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing: yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of the earth, and corruptibleness to the extent thereof. Behold, canst thou read this without rejoicing and lifting up thy heart for gladness: or canst thou run about longer as a blind guide, or canst thou be meek and humble and meek, and conduct thyself wisely before me; yea, come unto me thy Saviour.
Amen. [p. 36]
Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still continued to bear testimony, and give information, as far as we had opportunity; and also made known to our brethren, that we had received commandment to organize the Church And accordingly we met together for that purpose, at the house of the above mentioned (being six in number) on Tuesday the sixth day of April, AD One thousand, eight hundred and thirty.
Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father we proceeded, (according to previous commandment) to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the Kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church according to said commandment which we had received. To these they consented by an unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon and ordained him an Elder of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” after which he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be confirmed members of the Church of Christ. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree. Some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord and rejoiced exceedingly.
Whilst yet together I received the following commandment.
Revelation to Joseph Smith Jr, Given at , Seneca Co N Y. April 6th 1830.
1 Behold there shall be a record kept among you, and in it, thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the Church through the will of the Father God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ; being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith; which church was organized and established, in the year of <y>our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April.
2 Wherefore, meaning the Church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words, and commandments, which he shall give unto you, as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me: for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith; for by doing these things, the gates of hell shall not prevail against thee you: yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you; and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.—
For thus saith the Lord God, him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for your good; and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard: yea, his weeping for Zion <I> have I seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn <for her> no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins [p. 37]
3 For behold I will bless all those that <who> labour in my vineyard, with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given through me, by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world; yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart. Wherefore, it behooveth me, that he should be ordained by you, , mine apostle; this being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this Church of Christ, bearing my name; and the first preacher of this Church, unto the Church, and before the world; yea, before the Gentiles: yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo, to the Jews also. Amen.
We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the Priesthood, according as the Spirit manifested unto us; and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the mercies <powers &> the blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually, members of, and acknowledged of God, “The Church of Jesus Christ,” organized in accordance with commandments and revelations, given by him to ourselves, in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded of in the New Testament.
Several persons who had attended the above meeting, and got convinced of the truth, came forward shortly after, and were received into the church, among the rest My own and were baptized to my great joy and consolation, and about the same time and a [blank] Rockwell.
Revelation to the Church of Christ, which was established in these last days, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty: Given <at> New York, April 1830, in consequence of some desiring to unite with the Church without re-baptism, who had previously been baptized.
1 Behold I say unto you, that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing, and this is a new and an everlasting covenant; even that which was from the beginning.— Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times, it availeth not him nothing; for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works; for it is because of your dead works, that I have caused this last covenant, and this church to be built up unto me; even as in days of old. Wherefore enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to cou[n]sel your God. Amen.
The following persons being anxious to know of the Lord what might be their respective duties, in relation to this work, I enquired of the Lord and received for them the following——
Revelation to , , , [p. 38]
1 Behold I speak unto you, , a few words. Behold thou art blessed, and art under no condemnation. But beware of pride, lest thou shouldst enter into temptation. Make known thy calling unto the Church, and also before the world; and thy heart shall be opened to preach the truth from henceforth and for ever. Amen.
2 Behold I speak unto you a few words: for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy heart is opened, and thy tongue loosed; and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore thy duty is unto the church forever; and this because of thy family. Amen.
3 Behold I speak a few words unto you : for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church. And thou art not as yet called to preach before the world. Amen.
4 Behold I speak a few words unto you, : for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling also is to exhortation, and to strengthen the Church. And this is thy duty from henceforth and forever. Amen.
5 Behold I manifest unto you , by these words, that you must take up your cross, in the which you must pray vocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places.— And behold it is your duty to unite with the true Church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the Laborer. Amen.
On Sunday April 11th 1830, preached the first public discourse, that was delivered by any <of> our number. Our meeting was held by previous appointment at the house of , , large numbers of people attended, and the same day the following were baptized; Viz: , Kathrine [Catherine Whitmer] Page, , Anne [Schott] Whitmer[,] , Elizabeth [Schott] Whitmer, and on the 18th D[itt]o , , , , Richard B. Peterson and , all by in Seneca Lake.
During this month of april I went on a visit to the residence of Mr , of , Broom[e] Co N.Y. with whom and his family I had been previously acquainted, and of whose name I have above mentioned, as having been so kind and thoughtful towards us, while translating the book of Mormon. and his family were Universalists, but were willing to reason with me upon <my> religious views, and were as usual friendly and hospitable. We held several meetings in the neighbourhood, we had many friends, and some enemies. Our meetings were well attended, and many began to pray fervently [p. 39] to Almighty God, that He would give them wisdom to understand the truth.
Amongst those who attended our meetings regularly, was son to . He and I had now many and serious conversations on the important subject of man’s eternal salvation: we had got into the habit of praying much at our meetings and had said that he would try and take up his cross, and pray vocally during meeting; but when we again met together, he rather excused himself; I tryed to prevail upon him, making use of the figure, supposing that he should get into a mudhole would he not try and help himself out, and that we were willing now to help him out of the mudhole, he replied that provided he had got into a mudhole through carelessness, he would rather wait and get out him self, than have others to help him, and so he would wait untill he should get into the woods by himself, and there he would pray. Accordingly he deferred praying untill next morning, when he retired into the woods, where (according to his own accoount afterwards) he made several attempts to pray, but could scarcely do so, feeling that he had not done his duty, but that he should have prayed in the presence of others. He began to feel uneasy, and continued to feel worse both in mind and body, untill, upon reaching his own house, his appearance was such as to alarm his wife very much. He requested her to go and bring me to him. I went and found him suffering very much in his mind, and his body acted upon in a very strange manner. His visage and limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance possible to imagine; and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment and tossed about most fearfully. His situation was soon made known to his neighbours and relatives, and in a short time as many as eight or nine grown persons had got together to witness the scene. After he had thus suffered for a time, I succeeded in getting hold <of> him by the hand, when almost immediately he spoke to me, and with great earnestness requested of me, that I should cast the Devil out of him, saying that he knew he was in him, and that he also knew that I could cast him out. I replied “If you know that I can, it shall be done” and then almost unconsciously I rebuked the devil, and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart from him; when immediately spoke out and said that he saw the devil leave him and vanish from his sight. This was the first miracle which was done in this Church, and it or by any member of it, and it was done, not by man nor by the power of man, but it was done by God, and by the power of Godliness: Therefore let the honour and the praise, the dominion and the glory be ascribed to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for ever and ever Amen.
The scene was now entirely changed for as soon as the devil had departed from our friend, his countenance became natural, his distortions of body ceased, and almost immediately the Spirit of the Lord descended upon him, and the visions of eternity were opened to his view. He afterwards related his experience as follows.
“I now began to feel a most pleasing sensation resting upon me, and immed [p. 40]iately the visions of heaven were opened to my view. I felt myself attracted upward and remained for some time enwrapt in contemplation in so much that I knew not what was going on in the room. By and by I felt some weight pressing upon my shoulder and the side of my head; which served to recall me to a sense of my situation, and I found that the Spirit of the Lord had actually caught me up off the floor, and that my shoulder and head were pressing against the beams.”
All this was witnessed by many, to their great astonishment and satisfaction when thy <they> saw the devil thus cast out; and the power of God and his holy spirit thus made manifest. So soon as consciousness returned, his bodily weakness was such that we were obliged to lay him upon his bed, and wait upon him for some time. As may be expected, such a scene as this contributed much to make believers of those who witnessed it, and finally, the greater part of them became members of the Church.
Soon after this occurrence I returned to , Seneca County. The Book of Mormon (“The Stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim”) had now been published for some time, and as the ancient Prophet had predicted of it; “It was accounted as a strange thing.” No small stir was created by its appearance; great opposition, <and> much persecution followed the believers of its authenticity; but it had now come to pass that, Truth had sprung out of the earth; and Righteousness had looked down from Heaven, so we feared not our opponents, knowing that we had both Truth and righteousness on our side; that we had both the Father and the Son, because we had the doctrines of Christ and abided in them; and therefore <we> continued to preach and to give information to all who were willing to hear.
During the last week in May the above mentioned came to visit us, at and was baptized by .
On the first day of June 1830, we held our first conference as an conference as an organized Church. Our numbers were about thirty, beside whom, many assembled with us, who were either believers or anxious to learn.
Having opened by singing and prayer, we partook together of the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, we then called proceeded to confirm several who had lately been baptized; after which we called out and ordained severals to the various offices of the Priesthood. Much exhortation and instruction was given; and the Holy Ghost was poured out upon us in a miraculous manner many of our number prophecied, whilst others had the Heavens opened to their view, and were so over come that we had to lay them on beds, or other convenient places: Among the rest was Brother who had to be placed on a bed, being unable to help himself. By his own account of the transaction, He could not understand why we should lay him on the bed, <as> he felt no sensibility of weakness. He felt his heart filled with love, with glory and pleasure [p. 41] unspeakable, and could discern all that was going on in the room, when all of a sudden a vision of futurity burst upon him. He saw there represented, the great work which through my instrumentality was yet to be accomplished. He saw Heaven opened and beheld the Lord Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of the majesty on high, and had it made plain to his understanding that the time would come whe[n] he would be admitted into his presence to enjoy his society for ever and ever. When their bodily strength was restored to these brethren, they shouted “hosannas to God and the lamb” and rehearsed the glorious things which they had seen and felt, whilst they were yet in the Spirit.
Such scenes as these were calculated to inspire our hearts with joy unspeakable, and fill us with awe and reverence for that Almighty Being, by whose grace we had been called to be instrumental in bringing about for the children of men, the enjoyment of such glorious blessings as were now at this time poured out upon us. To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things, as observed by the holy Apostles of old; To realize the importance and solemnity of such proceedings, and to witness and feel with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestations of the powers of the Priesthood; the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost; and the goodness and condescension of a merciful God, unto such as obey the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within us, sensations of rapturous gratitude, and inspire <us> with fresh zeal and energy, in the cause of truth.
Shortly after this conference baptized the following persons in Seneca lake. viz: John Poorman, , —and , , , , —Peter [Orrin Porter?] Rockwell— and .
Immediately after conference, I returned to my own house, and from thence (accompanied by my , , and ) journeyed again on a visit to ’s of , Broom Co. We found a number in the neighborhood still believing and now anxious to be baptized.
We appointed a meeting for the Sabbath, and on the afternoon of Saturday we erected a dam across a stream of water which was convenient, for the purpose of there attending to the ordinance, but during the night a mob collected, and tore down our dam which hindered us of attending to the baptism on the sabbath.
We afterward found out that this mob had been instigated to this act of molestation, by certain Sectarian Priests of the neighborhood, who began to consider their craft in danger, and took this plan to stop the progress of the truth, and the sequel will show how determinedly they prosecuted their opposition, as well as to how little purpose in the end.
The Sabbath arrived and we held our meeting, preached, and others of us bore testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of repen [p. 42]tance, baptism for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost &c &c, amongst our audience were those who had torn down our dam and who seemed wishful to give us trouble, but did not untill after the meeting was dismissed, when they immediately commenced talking to those whom they considered our friends, to try to turn them against us and our doctrines.
Amongst the many present at this meeting was one sister to the of . The Revd Mr [John] Shearer, a divine of the presbyterian faith, who had considered himself her pastor, came to understand that she was likely to believe our doctrine, and had a short <time> previous to this, our meeting, came to labor with her, but having spent some time with her without being able to persuade her against us, he endeavored to have her leave her s house, and go with him to her father’s, who lived at a distance of at least [blank] miles off: For this purpose he had recourse to stratagem; he told her that one of her brothers was waiting at a certain place, wishful to have her go home with him; he succeeded thus to get her a little distance from the house when, seeing that her brother was not in waiting for her, She refused to go any further with him; upon which he got hold of her by the arm to force her along; but her , was soon with them; and the two women were too many for him and he was forced to sneak off without his errand, after all his labor and ingenuity. Nothing daunted however he went to her Father, represented to him something or other, which induced the Old Gentleman to give him a power of Attorney, which, as soon as our meeting was over, on the above named sunday evening, he immediately served upon her and carried her off to her father’s residence, by open violence, against her will. All his labor was in vain however, for the said , in a short time afterwards, was baptized and confirmed, a member of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”
However, early on Monday morning we were on the alert, and before our enemies were aware we had repaired the dam, and proceeded to baptize, when the following thirteen persons were baptized under the hands of viz: , and wife, and —William Stringham and wife— Aarron [Aaron] Culver and wife—Levi Hale [Hall]— and Julia Stringham.—
Before the baptism was entirely finished, the mob began again to collect, and shortly after we had retired, they amounted to about fifty men. They surrounded the house of (where we had retired to) raging with anger and apparently wishful to commit violence upon us. Some asked us questions, others threatened us, so that we thought it wisdom to leave and go to the house of .
There also they followed us, and it was only by the exercise of great prudence on our part, and reliance on our heavenly Father that they were kept [p. 43] from laying violent hands upon us, and so long as they chose to stay, we were obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with insults and threatenings without number.
We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for the purpose of attending to the confirmation of those who had been the same morning baptized; the time appointed had arrived, and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise, I was visited by a constable, and arrested by him on a warrant, on charge of being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, &c &c. The Constable informed me (soon after I had been arrested) that the plan of those who had got out the warrant, was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him.
I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from ’s house, the waggon in which we had set out; was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the Constable; but to their great disappointment—he gave the horse the whip and drove me out of their reach.
Whilst driving along pretty quickly, one of the waggon wheels came off, which left us, once more, very nearly surrounded by them, as they had came on, in close pursuit; however we now managed to get the wheel on again and, again left them behind us.
He drove on to the Town of South Bainbridge Chenango County, where he lodged me for the time being, in an upper room of a Tavern, and in order that all might be right with himself and with me also, he slept during the night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side, whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room, he having declared that if we were interrupted unlawfully, that he would fight for me, and defend me as far as in his power.
On the day following a court was convened for the purpose of investigating those charges which had been preferred against me, A great excitement prevailed on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of which will come out in the sequel.
In the mean time, my friend, , had repaired to two of his neighbours viz: and Esqrs, (respectable farmers; men renowned for their integrity, and well versed in the laws of their country,) and retained them on my behalf during my trial.
At <length> the trial commenced amidst a multitude of spectators who in general evinced a belief that I was guilty of all that had been reported concerning me, and of course were very zealous, that I should be punished according to my crimes. Among many witnesses call<ed> up against me, was Mr (of whom I have made mention, as having worked for him some time) and examined to the following effect.—
Q—Did not the prisoner Joseph Smith have a horse of you?
Ansr Yes.
Q—Did not he go to you and tell you, that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorised him to get [p. 44] the horse from you?
Ansr No, he told me no such story.
Q—Well; How did had he the horse of you?
Ansr He bought him of me, as another man would do.
Q— Have you had your pay?
Ansr That is not your business.
The question being again put, the witness replied, “I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay—for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr, and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms”.——
Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined—
Q—Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr had a yoke of oxen of you?
Ansr Yes.
Q—Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them?
Ansr No, He did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen; he purchased them, same as another man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that two young women (daughters to ) with whom I had at times kept company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them which might be made a pretext against me. The young Ladies arrived and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general but particularly as to my behaviour towards them both in publick and private, when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a pretext on their account.—
Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in were brought forward; but these, my lawyers would not here admit of against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors managed to detain the court, untill they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from , and which warrant the[y] served upon me, at the very moment in which I had been acquitted by this court.
The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner arrested me, than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any thing to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to , a distance of about fifteen miles before he allowed me any thing <kind> of food whatever.
He took me to a tavern, and gathered in a number of men, who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying prophesy, prophesy, and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Saviour of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time not far distant from my own house, I wished to be allowed the privilege of spending the night with my at home, offering any wished for security, for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. the The Constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only fare I that night received.
At length we retired to bed; the constable [p. 45] made me lie next the wall; He then laid himself down by me, and put his arm around me; and upon my moving in the least, would clench me fast, fearing that I intended to escape from him: And in this (not very agreeable) manner did we pass the night.—
Next day I was brought before the Magistrate’s Court of [blank], , and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends and lawyers were again at my side, my former persecutors were arrayed against me. Many witnesses were again called forward and examined; some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had appeared against me the day previous; they contradicted themselves so plainly, that the Court would not admit their testimony. Others were called who shewed by their zeal, that they were willing enough to prove something against me; but all they could do, was to tell somethings which some body else had told them. In this “frivolous and vexatious” manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when finally was called up, and examined by Lawyer , who had been especially sent for on this occasion. One Lawyer Burch, also was on the side of the prosecution; but seemed to <be> a more zealous Presbyterian, and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by any one professing the power of Godliness; and not “denying the power thereof.”
So soon as had been sworn, proceeded to interrogate him as follows.
Q—Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr cast the devil out of you?
Ansr No sir.
Q—Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you?
Ansr Yes Sir.
Q And did he not cast Q—And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done?
Ansr Yes Sir.
Q And did not he cast him out of you?
Ansr No Sir it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God on the occasion; He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ.
Q, And are you sure that it was the devil?
Ansr Yes Sir.
Q Did you see him, after he was cast out of you?
Ansr Yes Sir I saw him.
Q Pray, what did he look like?—
(Here one of my lawyers, informed the that he need not answer the question,) The replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question first, and you answer me. Viz: Do you, , understand the things of the Spirit? No (answered ) I do not pretend to such big things. Well then (replied ,) it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it, were I to tell you of it.
The Lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture.
now addressed the court, and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character and bring me in guilty of the charges which had been brought against me; among other things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger, and in this manner proceeded, in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. [p. 46] and followed on my behalf. They held forth in true colours, the nature of the prosecution; the malignancy of intention, and the apparent disposition to persecute their client, rather than to afford him justice. They took up the different arguments which had been brought by the lawyers for the prosecution and having shewed their utter futility and misapplication; then proceeded to scrutinise the evidence which had been adduced, and each in his turn, thanked God that He had been engaged in so good a cause, as that of defending a man whose character stood so well the test of such a strict investigation. In fact, these men, (although not regular lawyers) were upon this occasion able to put to silence their opponents, and convince the court that I was innocent.
They spoke like men inspired of God, whilst those who were arrayed against me, trembled under the sound of their voices, and quailed before them like criminals before a bar of justice.
The majority of the assembled multitude had now began to find that nothing could be sustained against me: even the Constable who arrested <me,> and treated me so badly—now came and apologized to me, and asked my forgiveness <for> of his behaviour towards me; and so far was he changed that he informed me that the mob were determined, that if the Court acquitted me; that they would have me, and rail ride me, and tar and feather me; and further, that he was willing to favour me, and lead me out in safety by another <a private> way.
The Court finding the charges against me, not sustained, I was accordingly acquitted, to the great satisfaction of my friends, and vexation of my enemies, who were still determined upon molesting me, but through the instrumentality of my new friend, the Constable; I was enabled to escape them, and make my way in safety to my s sister’s house, where I found my awaiting with much anxiety the issue of these <those> ungodly proceedings: and with her in company next day arrived in safety at my own house.
After a few days however, I again returned to , in company with , for the purpose of confirming those whom we had thus been forced to abandon for a time. We had scarcely arrived at ’s when the mob was seen collecting together to oppose us, and we considered it wisdom to leave for home, which we did, without even waiting for any refreshment. Our enemies pursued us, and it was oftentimes as much as we could do to elude them; however we managed to get home, after having travelled all night, except a short time, during which we were forced to rest ourselve[s] under a large tree by the way side, sleeping and watching alternately. And thus were we persecuted on account of our religious faith—in a country, the constitution of which, guarantees to every man the indefeasible right, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and by men too, who were professors [p. 47] of religion, and who were not backward to maintain this privilege for themselves; though they thus wantonly could deny it to us.
For instance Cyrus McMaster a Presbyterian of high standing in his church was one of the chief instigators of these persecutions, and he at one time told me personally, that he considered me guilty without judge or jury.
The celebrated , also a presbyterian, was another instigator to those deeds of outrage: Whilst a young man named , of the same religious faith swore out the first warrant against me. I could mention many others also, but for brevity’s sake, will make these suffice for the present.
Mean time, notwithstanding all the rage of our enemies, still we had much consolation, and many things occurred to strengthen our faith, and cheer our hearts.
After our return from , the church there, were, as might be expected, very anxious concerning our again visiting them, during which time, , (wife to ) had a dream, which enabled her to say that we would visit them that day, which really came to pass, for a few hours afterwards we arrived, and thus was our faith much strengthened, concerning dreams and visions in the last days, foretold by the ancient Prophet Joel: And although we, this time, were forced to seek safety from our enemies by flight, yet did we feel confidence that eventualy we should come off victorious, if we only continued faithful to Him who had called us forth from darkness, into the marvellous light of the Everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Shortly after our return home, we received the following commandments.
Revelation given to Joseph Smith Jr, and , Given at , Pennsylvania, July, 1830.
1 Behold thou wast called and chosen to write the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry; and I have lifted thee up, out of thy afflictions, and have counselled thee, that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies, and thou hast been delivered from the powers of Satan, and from darkness! Nevertheless, thou art not excusable in thy transgressions; nevertheless, go thy way, and sin no more.
2 Magnify thine office; and after thou hast sowed thy fields, and secured them, go speedily unto the Church which is in , and , and they shall support thee; and I will bless them both spiritually and temporally; but if they receive thee not, I will send upon them a cursing instead of a blessing.
3 And thou shalt continue <in> calling upon God in my name, and writing the things which shall be given thee by the comforter, and expounding all scriptures unto the church, and it shall be given thee in the very moment, what thou shalt speak and write; and they shall hear it, or I will send unto them a cursing instead of a blessing:
4 For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion. And in this thou shalt have strength. Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many: but endure them, [p. 48]
5 And thy brother shall continue in bearing my name before the world; and also to the church. And he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause; and lo I am with him to the end. In me he shall have glory, and not of himself, whether in weakness or in strength, whether in bonds or free: And at all times and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the sound <voice> of a trump, both day and night. and I will give unto him strength, such as is not known among men.
6 Require not miracles, except I shall command you; except casting out devils, healing the sick; and against poisonous serpents; and against deadly poisons; and these things ye shall not do, except it be required of you, by them who desire it, that the scriptures might be fulfilled, for ye shall do according to that which is written. And in whatsoever place ye shall enter, and they receive you not, in my name, ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing, by casting off the dust of your feet against them as a testimony, and cleansing your feet by the way side.
7 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall lay their hands upon you by violence, ye shall command to be smitten in my name, and behold I will smite them according to your words, in mine own due time. And whosoever shall go to law with thee shall be cursed by the law. And thou shalt take no purse, no scrip, neither staves, neither two coats, for the Church shall give unto thee in the very hour, what thou needest for food, and for raiment and for shoes, and for money, and for scrip: For thou art called to prune my vineyard with a mighty pruning, yea, even for the last time. Yea, and also, all those whom thou hast ordained. And they shall do even according to this pattern. Amen.
Revelation given at , Penn. July 1830.
1 Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, my daughter, for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom. A revelation I give unto you concerning my will, and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve your <thy> life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion. Behold thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee, and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come.
2 And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant Joseph Smith Jr. thy husband, in his afflictions with consoling words, in the spirit [p. 49]
3 And verily I say unto thee, that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better. And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred Hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my Church: for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart: yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me. And it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.— Wherefore lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.
4 Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride. Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him. Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come. And verily, verily I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.
Revelation to Joseph Smith Jr. and , given at , Penn, July 1830.
1 Behold, I say unto you, that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the Church at ; and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required, untill after you shall go to the west, to hold the next conference, and then it shall be made known what you shall do. And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.
Shortly after we had received the above revelations, returned to , and I began to arrange and copy the revelations which we had received from time to time; in which I was assisted by , who now resided with me.
Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me, by my Heavenly Father; I received a letter from —the contents of which, gave me both sorrow and uneasiness. Not having that letter <now> in my possession, I cannot, of course give it here in full, but merely an extract of the most prominent parts, which I can yet, and expect long to remember.
He wrote to inform me, that he had discovered an error in one of the commandments, Book [p. 50] of “Doctrine and Covenants” Sect, 2nd Par. 7th “and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins”
The above quotation he said was erroneous, and added; “I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us.”
I immediately wrote to him in reply, in which I asked him, by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter, or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from Almighty God. In a few days afterwards I visited him and ’s family, when I found the family in general of his opinion concerning the words above quoted; and it was not without both labor and perseverance that I could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject; however , at length got convinced that it was reasonable and according to scripture, and finally, with his assistance I succeeded of <in> bringing not only the Whitmer family, but also also to acknowledge that they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance of the rest of the commandment. And thus was this error rooted out, which having its rise in presumption and rash judgement, was the more particularly calculated (when one once fairly understood) to teach each and all of the us the necessity of humility, and meekness before the Lord, that he might teach us of his ways; that we might walk in his paths, and live by every word which proceedeth forth from his mouth.
Early in the month of August, and his wife paid us a visit, at my place at , Penn; and as neither his nor had been as yet confirmed, and it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before he and his should leave us.—
In order to prepare for this; I set out to go to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone but <only> a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation; the first paragraph of which was written at this time, and the remainder in the September following.
Revelation given at Penn, August 1830.
1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God and your redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For behold I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what you shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins: wherefore a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies: wherefore you shall partake of none, except it is made new among you, yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.
2 Behold this is wis [p. 51]
3 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry: and of the same things which I revealed unto them: unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last days times; and for the fulness of times, in which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in Heaven and which are on earth: and also with all those whom my father hath given me out of the world: wherefore lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all ye may be able to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth; having on the breast plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful untill I come, and ye shall be caught up that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.
In obedience to the above commandment we prepared some wine of our own make, and held our meeting, consisting only of five viz: and , myself and my , and . We partook together of the sacrament, after which we confirmed these two sisters into the church, and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out [p. 52] upon us, we praised the Lord God, and rejoiced exceedingly.
About this time a spirit of persecution began <again> to manifest itself against us in the neighborhood where I now resided, which was commenced by a man of the methodist persuasion, who professed to be a minister of God, and whose name was [blank]. This man came to understand, that my and his family had promised us protection, and were friendly; and enquiring into the work, and knowing that if he could get him turned against me, my friends in that place would be but few, he accordingly went to visit my , and told him falsehoods concerning me, of the most shameful nature, which turned the Old gentleman and his family so much against us, that they would no longer promise us protection, nor believe our doctrines.
Towards the latter end of August I (in company with and , and my brother ) visited the church at , N.Y. Well knowing the determined hostilities <hostility> of our enemies in that quarter, and also knowing that it was our duty to visit the church, we had called upon our Heavenly Father in mighty prayer, that he would grant us an opportunity of meeting with them; that he would blind the eyes of our enemies, so that they would not know us, and that we might on this occasion return unmolested.—
Our prayers were not in vain, for, when within a little distance of place, we encountered a large company at work upon the public road, among <whom> were several of our most bitter enemies. They looked earnestly at us, but not knowing us, we passed on with out interruption.
We that evening assembled the church, and confirmed them, partook of the sacrament, and held a happy meeting, having much reason to rejoice in the God of our salvation, and sing Hosannas to his holy name.
Next morning we set out on our return home, and although our enemies had offered a reward of five dollars, to any one who would give them information of our arrival, yet did we get clear out of the neighborhood, without the least annoyance, and arrived at home in safety.— Some few days afterwards however, came to my place, and from him we learnt that very shortly after our departure the mob had came to know of our having been there, when they immediately collected together, and had threatened the brethren and very much annoyed them during all that day.
Mean time had came, with his waggon, prepared to move my family, &c, &c, to , N Y. having heard of the persecutions which had been got up against us at , Penn, had invited <us> to go and live with him; and during the last week of August we arrived at , amidst the congratulations of our brethren and friends.
To our great grief however, we soon found that Satan had been lying in wait to deceive, and seeking whom he might devour. Brother [p. 53] had got in his possession, a certain stone, by which he had obtained to certain revelations, concerning the upbuilding of Zion, the order of the Church &c &c, all of which were entirely at variance with the order of Gods house, as laid down in the new Testament, as well as in our late revelations.
As a conference meeting had been appointed for the first day of September, I thought it wisdom not to do much more than to converse with the brethren on the subject, untill the conference should meet. Finding however that many (especially the Whitmer family and ) were believing much in the things set forth by this stone, we thought best to enquire of the Lord concerning so important a matter, and before conference convened, we received the following,
Revelation to , Given at , N,Y, September 1830.
1 Behold I say unto thee, , that it shall be given unto thee, that thou shalt be heard by the church, in all things whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given.
2 But behold, verily, verily I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church, excepting my servant Joseph Smith Jr, for he receiveth them even as Moses; and thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations, with power and authority unto the church. And if thou art led at any time by the comforter to speak or teach, or at all times by the way of commandment unto the church, thou mayest do it. But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom: And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the Church; for I have given him the keys of the mysteries and the revelations which are sealed, untill I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.
3 And now, behold I say unto you, that you shall go unto the Lamanites, and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive their <thy> teachings, thou shalt cause my church to be established among them, and thou shalt have revelations but write them not by way of commandment. And now behold I say unto you, that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold I say unto you, that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites.
4 Thou shalt not leave this place until after conference, and my servant Joseph shall be appointed to preside over the conference by the voice of it, and what he saith to thee, thou shalt tell. And again, thou shalt take thy brother between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me, and that Satan deceiveth him: for behold these things have not been appointed unto him: neither shall any thing be appointed unto any of this church, contrary to the church covenants, for all things must [p. 54]
5 And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites. And it shall be given thee from the time that thou shalt go, untill the time that thou shalt return, what thou shalt do. And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.
Revelation given in the presence of six elders, in , N,Y. September 1830.
Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I, AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice, and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore you receive these things: but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you.
2 Verily I say unto you, that you are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump: lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; and ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice, and harden not their hearts: wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father, that they shall be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things, against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked: for the hour is nigh, and the day soon at hand, when the earth is ripe: and all the proud, and all <they> that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and I will burn them up, saith the lord of hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth: for the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass; for I will reveal myself from heaven with power, and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.
3 And again, verily, verily I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, [p. 55]
4 But behold, I say unto you, that before this great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and there shall be greater signs in heaven above, and in the earth beneath; and there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men: and there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth: and it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent: for the cup of mine indignation is full; for behold my blood will <shall> not cleanse them, if they hear me not.
5 Wherefore I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them, and their tongues shall be stayed, that they shall not utter against me, and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets: and it shall come to pass, that the beasts of the forests, and the fowls of the air, shall devour them up: and that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekeil the prophet, which spoke of these things, which have not come to pass, but surely must, as I live, for abomination shall not reign.
6 And again, verily, verily I say unto you, that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; and the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed, and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, for all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof, both men and beasts: the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost for it is the workmanship of mine hand.
7 But behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael mine Archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth; yea, even all; and the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father: wherefore I will say unto them, depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
8 And now behold I say unto you, never at any time, have I declared from mine own mouth, that they should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power; but remember, that all my judgements are not given unto men: and as the words are <have> gone forth out of my mouth, even so shall they be [p. 56]
9 Wherefore, verily I say unto you, that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal, neither any man, nor the children of men: neither Adam your father, whom I created: behold I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural, nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.
10 And it came to pass, that Adam being tempted of the devil, for behold the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me saying, give me thy power Give me thine honor, which is my power: and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency: and they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels; and behold there is a place prepared for them, from the beginning, which place is hell: and it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.
11 Wherefore, it came to pass, that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook the forbidden fruit, and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation. Wherefore I the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out of <from> the garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression: wherein he became spiritually dead: which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say, Depart ye cursed.
12 But behold I say unto you, that I the Lord God gave unto Adam, and unto his seed, that they should not die unto as to the temporal death, untill I the Lord God should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine only begotten son: and thus I the the Lord God appoint unto man, the days of his probation; that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe, and they that believe not, unto eternal damnation, for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not, for they love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil, and they receive their wages of him whom they list to obey.
13. But behold I say unto you, that [p. 57]
14 And again I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent, and he that hath no understanding, it remaineth in me to do according as it is written. And now I declare no more unto you at this time. Amen.
At length, our conference assembled; the subject of the stone above mentioned, was discussed, and after considerable investigation, , as well as the whole church who were present, renounced the said stone, and all things connected therewith, much to our mutual satisfaction and happiness. We now partook of the sacrament, confirmed, and ordained many, and attended to a great variety of Church business on that and the following day; during which time we had much of the power of God manifested amongst us; the Holy Ghost came upon us, and filled us with joy unspeakable; and peace, and faith, and hope, and charity abounded in our midst. Before we separated we obtained the following,
Revelation to , and given at , New York, September, 1830.
1 Behold I say unto you, , that you have feared man, and not relied on me for strength, as you ought: but your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but you have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded: wherefore you are left to enquire for yourself at my hand, and ponder upon the things which you have received. And your home shall be at your ’s house, untill I give unto you further commandments. And you shall attend to the ministry in the Church, and before the world, and in the regions round about. Amen.
2 Behold I say unto you, , that you shall take your journey with your brother , for the time has come, that it is expedient in me, that you shall open your mouth to declare my gospel: therefore, fear not but give heed unto the words and advice of your , which he shall give you.— And be you afflicted in <all> his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer, and faith for his and your deliverance: for I have given unto him power, to build up my church among the Lamanites: and none have I appointed to be his counsellor, over him, in the church, concerning church matters, except it is his [p. 58]
3 Behold I say unto you, my servant , that thou shalt commence from this time forth to proclaim my gospel, as with the voice of a trump. And your labour shall be at your brother ’, and in that region round about yea, wherever you can be heard, untill I command you to go from hence. And your whole labor shall be in Zion, with all your soul, from henceforth; yea, you shall ever open your mouth in my cause, not fearing what man can do, for I am with you. Amen.
Revelation to , given at , September 1830.
1 , my son, blessed are you because of your faith in my work. Behold you have had many afflictions on account of your family: nevertheless I will bless you, and your family: yea, your little ones, and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth, and be one with you in my church.
2 Lift up your heart and rejoice for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed; and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation. You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant Joseph Smith Jr. You shall begin to preach from this time forth; yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned: therefore thrust in your sickle with all your soul; and your sins are forgiven you; and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore your family shall live.
3 Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them: yea, I will open the hearts of the people and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand; and you shall strengthen them and prepare them against the time when they shall be gathered. Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.
4 Behold I say unto you, that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you. Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do, and whither you shall go. Pray always, lest you enter into temptation, and lose your reward. Be faithful unto the end and, lo, I am with you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the will of the Father. Amen. [3 lines blank] [p. 59]
During this Conference which continued three days the utmost harmony prevailed and all things were settled satisfactory to all present, and a desire was manifest by all the saints to go forward and labor with all their power to spread the great and glorious principles of truth which had been revealed by our heavenly father. A number were baptized during the conference and the work of the Lord spread and prevailed.
At this time a great desire was manifest by several of the Elders respecting the remnants of the house of Joseph—the Lamanites residing in the west, knowing that the purposes of God were great to that people and hoping that the time had come when the promises of the Almighty in regard to that people were about to be accomplished, and that they would receive the gospel and enjoy its blessings. The desire being so great that it was agreed upon we should enquire of the Lord respecting the propriety of sending som of the Elders among them, which we accordingly did and received the following revelation
Revelation to and given Octr. 1830
1 And now concerning my servant behold I say unto him that as I live I will <that he shall> declare my gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart and that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants and into the wilderness among the Lamanites; and also shall go with them, and I myself will go with them and be in their midst: and I am their advocate with the Father and nothing shall prevail. And they shall give heed to that which is written and pretend to no other revelations and they shall pray allways that I may unfold them to their understanding; and they shall give heed unto these words and trifle not and I will bless them. Amen.
Immediately on the receipt of receiving this revelation preparations were made for the journey of the brethren therin designated to the boarders of the Lamanites and a copy of the revelation was given them: [p. 60]
Having got ready for their journey they bade adieu to their Brethren and friends and commenced their journey, preaching by the way and leaving a sealing testimony behind them lifting up their voice like a trump in the different villages through which they passed. They continued their journey until they came to Ohio, where they tarried some time there being quite a number in that place who believed their testimony and came forward and obeyed the gospel among the number was Elder and a large portion of the Church over which he presided.
As there has been a great rumor and many false statements have been given to the world respecting s’ connexion with the church of Jesus Christ, it [is] necessary that <a> correct account of the same be given so, that the public mind may be disabused on the subject. I shall therefore proceed to give a brief history of his life drawn from Authentic sources, as also, an account of his connexion with the Church of Christ. [p. 61]


  1. new scribe logo James Mulholland handwriting begins.  
  2. 1 A later redaction here by Willard Richards points to “Note A,” which he penned by December 1842 on pages 131–132 of the manuscript book. The note describes JS’s contraction of typhoid fever as a child, a leg infection that ensued, and the operation he underwent to remove pieces of the bone. The note also recounts the difficult journey JS made with his mother and siblings to join his father, who had relocated to Palmyra, New York.  
  3. 2 A later redaction here by Willard Richards points to “Note E page 2. adenda.” The relevant note is actually note C, which was written in the handwriting of Charles Wandell in the “Addenda” section following page 553 of the manuscript book. The note provides birth information for JS’s paternal ancestors.  
  4. 3 Joseph Smith Sr. left Vermont in late summer or early fall 1816, when JS was ten years old. The rest of the Smith family joined him in Palmyra in early 1817, shortly after JS turned eleven. (Palmyra, NY, Record of Highway Taxes, 1817, Copies of Old Village Records, 1793–1867, microfilm 812,869, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 3, [3]–[6]; JS History, vol. A-1, 131–132.)  
  5. 4 Lucy Mack Smith stated that two years after they arrived in Palmyra, or by 1819, the Smiths settled on the Palmyra side of the Palmyra-Farmington township line and began clearing land for a farm on the Farmington side. The eastern part of Farmington, which included the Smith farm, was divided off and became Manchester Township in 1822. The Smiths did not actually move across the township line onto their Manchester farm until they completed their frame house in late 1825. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 3, [7]–[8]; Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 32–34; Porter, “Study of the Origins,” 38–43, 76–77.)  
  6. 5 Methodists held camp meetings at Palmyra in June 1818 and at Oaks Corners, near Vienna and within six miles of Palmyra, in July 1819. (Latimer, Three Brothers, 12; Peck, Early Methodism, 502; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 128–130.)  
  7. 6 TEXT: The right edge of the page is damaged, obscuring end punctuation.  
  8. 7 Lucy Mack Smith and three of her children, Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel, attended the Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra. Lucy wrote that their affiliation began following the death of son Alvin in November 1823, or near the end of JS’s eighteenth year. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 4, [7]–[8]; see also “Records of the Session of the Presbyterian Church in Palmyra,” 10 Mar. 1830.)  
  9. 8 In his circa summer 1832 history, JS recounted that by the time of his vision he had already concluded that the world lay in apostasy and that “there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament.” (JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 2.)  
  10. 9 JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 3, indicates that this event occurred “in the 16th year of my age,” or 1821.  
  11. 10 See Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:9; and 2 Timothy 3:5.  
  12. 11 TEXT: “thing[edge worn]”.  
  13. 12 For JS’s other accounts of this vision of Deity, see JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 3; JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835; JS, “Church History,” 706–707; and JS, “Latter Day Saints,” 404–405.  
  14. 13 A later redaction here by Willard Richards points to note “B,” which he penned on pages 132–133 of the manuscript book on 2 December 1842. The note describes JS’s interaction with his mother following the vision, when he told her, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” (Richards, Journal, 2 Dec. 1842.)  
  15. 14 In an 1834 account, Oliver Cowdery mentioned Methodist preacher George Lane in connection with religious excitement in Palmyra and vicinity in “the 15th year” of JS’s life. Cowdery subsequently revised the dating to “the 17th” year. Although there is no recorded statement from JS mentioning Lane specifically, the latter’s assignments and travels between July 1819 and July 1825 placed him in close enough proximity to Palmyra and Manchester that he would have had numerous opportunities for contact with JS. (Oliver Cowdery, “Letter III,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1834, 1:42; Oliver Cowdery, “Letter IV,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1835, 1:78 [; Porter, “Reverend George Lane,” 328–339.)  
  16. 15 See Acts 26:12–18.  
  17. 16 See Acts 11:17.  
  18. 17 A later redaction here by Willard Richards points to “Note C,” which he penned on page 133 of the manuscript book on 2 December 1842. The note explains that JS’s sins were of a minor nature. This insertion was written after the Times and Seasons began publishing JS’s history in March 1842 and does not appear in that publication. (Richards, Journal, 2 Dec. 1842.)  
  19. 18 A later redaction in the hand of Albert Carrington changed “Nephi” to “Moroni” and noted that the original attribution was a “clerical error.” Carrington probably made the note in 1871, at a time when he was Church Historian and Recorder. He and others at the Historian’s Office were assigned by Brigham Young to investigate the difference of the name of the angel in this source compared with other sources.a Early sources often did not name the angelic visitor, but sources naming Moroni include Oliver Cowdery’s historical letter published in the April 1835 LDS Messenger and Advocate; an expanded version of a circa August 1830 revelation, as published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants; and a JS editorial published in the Elders’ Journal in July 1838.b The present history is the earliest extant source to name Nephi as the messenger, and subsequent publications based on this history perpetuated the attribution during JS’s lifetime.c  (aVogel, History of Joseph Smith, 1:xxxiv, 12n21.bOliver Cowdery, “Letter VI,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Apr. 1835, 1:112; Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 50:2, 1835 ed. [D&C 27:5]; [JS], Editorial, Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 42–44.cSee “History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons, 15 Apr. 1842, 3:753–754; and “History of Joseph Smith,” LDS Millennial Star, Aug. 1842, 3:53–54. For JS’s other accounts of this experience, see JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 4; JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835; JS, “Church History,” 707; and JS, “Latter Days Saints,” 405.)
  20. 19 See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 172–173, 546 [Mosiah 8:13–17; Ether 4:5], where the instrument is referred to as “interpreters.”  
  21. 20 See Romans 11:25; see also Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 15:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 45:28].  
  22. 21 In 1835, Oliver Cowdery wrote that JS was “sensibly shocked” each time he attempted to remove the plates from their repository. (Oliver Cowdery, “Letter VIII,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1835, 2:198; see also Knight, Reminiscences, 1; and Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 5, [5].)  
  23. 22 Alvin Smith died 19 November 1823. (Morgan, Cemetery Records, Palmyra, Wayne, New York, 2; Patriarchal Blessings, 1:1; Joseph Smith Sr., “To the Public,” Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, NY], 29 Sept. 1824, [3].)  
  24. 23 TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed this insertion on a loose slip of paper, which was pinned to this page of the manuscript. On the opposite side of the slip he made another asterisk and wrote, “I mentioned to President Smith that I considered it necessary that an explanation of the place where the box was deposited would be required in order that the history be satisfactory. J, M,”.  
  25. 24 According to Oliver Cowdery, Stowell hoped to discover a substantial quantity of coins said to have been minted by Spaniards from ore they had mined in the vicinity and left in a “subterraneous vault.” (Oliver Cowdery, “Letter VIII,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1835, 2:201.)  
  26. 25 JS acknowledged receiving wages of fourteen dollars per month from Stowell for his assistance in treasure seeking. Additionally, JS and his father purportedly were parties to a contract regarding shares in the distribution of any valuables they found.a Several of JS’s neighbors recounted his participation in treasure-seeking activities between 1823 and 1826 in locations ranging from the Palmyra-Manchester area to Harmony.b  (a[JS], Editorial, Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 42–44; Isaac Hale et al., Agreement, Harmony, PA, 1 Nov. 1825, in “An Interesting Document,” Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 23 Apr. 1880, [4].bTrial proceedings, Bainbridge, NY, 20 Mar. 1826, State of New York v. JS, [J.P. Ct. 1826], in “The Original Prophet,” Fraser’s Magazine, Feb. 1873, 229–230; “Mormonism—No. II,” Tiffany’s Monthly, July 1859, 164; see also Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 48–52.)
  27. 26 Isaac Hale wrote later that he told JS his reasons for refusing to consent to the marriage, “some of which were, that he was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not approve,” apparently referring to JS’s involvement with treasure seeking. (Isaac Hale, Affidavit, 20 Mar. 1834, in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 263.)  
  28. 27 Porter, “Study of the Origins,” 75, 86n40.  
  29. 28 Lucy Mack Smith related that JS hid the plates in the woods the day he obtained them and that a few days later, after retrieving them from their hiding place, he was attacked three times while carrying them home. Subsequently, she wrote, two more unsuccessful attempts were made to take the plates from the Smith property in Manchester. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 5, [6], [12]; bk. 6, [2].)  
  30. 29 JS worked on the initial composition of this text in late April and early May 1838, and James Mulholland incorporated the 1838 work into Draft 2 in 1839. (See JS, Journal, 30 Apr.4 May 1838.)  
  31. 30 Lucy Mack Smith indicated that in response to a request from JS and Emma Smith to the Hales, Emma’s brother Alva Hale came to Manchester to help the couple move to Harmony, Pennsylvania. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 6, [6].)  
  32. 31 According to Lucy Mack Smith, JS asked her to approach Harris for financial assistance to enable JS to continue translation work. JS was preparing to move to Harmony when Harris met him and Alva Hale at a “public house” and gave him a bag of silver valued at fifty dollars “to do the Lords work with.” In a later interview, Harris was quoted as saying that he encouraged JS to move to Harmony, paid JS’s debts, and “furnished him money for his journey.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 6, [3], [6]; “Mormonism—No. II,” Tiffany’s Monthly, Aug. 1859, 170.)  
  33. 32 Although this account does not indicate why Harris took the sample to New York City, other narratives suggest that his errand was to explore the possibilities for obtaining a translation and that JS began translating only after Harris returned without finding a translator. (Knight, Reminiscences, 3; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 6, [7]; JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 6.)  
  34. 33 The origin of the Harris account quoted here is unknown. In none of the earlier accounts of this episode was there an indication that Harris took a copy of JS’s translation of the characters to Anthon or Mitchill. Journalist James Gordon Bennett produced the earliest known written account of what Harris said about his trip to New York. According to Bennett, Harris told lawyer Charles Butler that Anthon “said that he did not know what language they were” and referred Harris to Mitchill. The latter “compared them with other hieroglyphics—thought them very curious—and they were the characters of a nation now extinct which he named.” Harris then revisited Anthon, “who put some questions to him and got angry with Harris.”a According to two later accounts by Anthon, Mitchill referred Harris to Anthon, who concluded that the story of the gold plates was “a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money” and declined to give Harris a written statement.b  (aArrington, “James Gordon Bennett’s 1831 Report on ‘the Mormonites,’”355; see also [James Gordon Bennett], “Mormon Religion—Clerical Ambition—Western New York—The Mormonites Gone to Ohio,” Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer [New York City], 1 Sept. 1831 [2]; and Bennett, “Read This I Pray Thee,” 212–216. bCharles Anthon, New York, to Eber D. Howe, Painesville, OH, 17 Feb. 1834, in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 270–272; Charles Anthon, New York, to Thomas Winthrop Coit, New Rochelle, NY, 3 Apr. 1841, in Clark, Gleanings by the Way, 233–238.)
  35. 34 Emma Smith later stated that she also served as a scribe for the translation of the Book of Mormon, as did her brother Reuben Hale. Their inscriptions were likely included in this earliest manuscript, along with Harris’s. (Joseph Smith III, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, 289–290.)  
  36. 35 Lucy Mack Smith said that Harris “bound himself in a written covenant of the most solemn nature.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 127.)  
  37. 36 In his preface to the first edition of the Book of Mormon, JS wrote: “I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon; which said account, some person or persons have stolen and kept from me, notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again.” (Preface to Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., iii.)  
  38. 37 According to Lucy Mack Smith’s account, JS traveled from Harmony to Manchester to ascertain why Harris had not returned to Harmony or communicated with JS after an absence of “nearly three weeks.” JS returned to Harmony after learning that Harris lost the Book of Mormon manuscript. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 127.)  
  39. 38 Revelation, July 1828, in Doctrine and Covenants 30, 1835 ed. [D&C 3]. James Mulholland copied this revelation—and all revelations he inscribed in Draft 2 of the history—from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  
  40. 39 TEXT: The previous four sets of brackets supply text obscured by residue from adhesive wafers. Text supplied based on the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  
  41. 40 TEXT: The asterisks key to a four-page insertion attached by six adhesive wafers to the top of page 11 of Draft 2. The insertion is in the handwriting of James Mulholland and contains a copy of Revelation, ca. Apr. 1829, in Doctrine and Covenants 36, 1835 ed. [D&C 10]. At the top of the first page of the insertion, Mulholland noted where in the manuscript this text was to be inserted: “N.B. This Revelation will read, after the interlined words in page 11 & line 17th—.” The text, which he copied from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, includes numerous changes in wording from earlier versions of the revelation. Mulholland’s insertion of the revelation at this point and his contextualization of its receipt—an explanation apparently composed under the direction of JS—contradict the May 1829 dating of the revelation given in both the 1833 Book of Commandments and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and repeated here. Since the first two pages of the revelation are missing from the earliest extant copy of the revelation, in Revelation Book 1, it is impossible to know what specific date may have been listed in that source, but it was situated among revelations dated April 1829 and the index of Revelation Book 1 gives the year as 1829. Although the brief explanation that Mulholland penned in the history suggests that the revelation originated in summer 1828, content analysis suggests that at least some of the material originated in about April 1829. (Doctrine and Covenants 36, 1835 ed.; Book of Commandments 9; Revelation Book 1, pp. 11–12, [207] [D&C 10].)  
  42. 41 JS purchased about thirteen acres of land in Harmony, Pennsylvania, from Isaac Hale. (Isaac Hale to JS, Agreement, Harmony, PA, 6 Apr. 1829, JS Collection, CHL; Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, Indenture, 25 Aug. 1830, JS Collection, CHL.)  
  43. 42 Revelation, Feb. 1829, in Doctrine and Covenants 31, 1835 ed. [D&C 4].  
  44. 43 Revelation, Mar. 1829, in Doctrine and Covenants 32, 1835 ed. [D&C 5].  
  45. 44 TEXT: Possibly “tongue,”. The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants has “tongue”.  
  46. 45 TEXT: The text on the fourth page of the insertion is upside down relative to the text on the third page. The asterisks at the bottom of page 3 and the top of page 4 were likely intended to indicate continuity.  
  47. 46 TEXT: This is the final page of the long insertion.  
  48. 47 The Book of Mormon referred to three future witnesses who were to see the plates. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110, 548 [2 Nephi 27:12; Ether 5:2–4].)  
  49. 48 JS’s siblings Katharine, Don Carlos, and Lucy Smith were probably among the 107 pupils who were enrolled in the Joint District 11 school in Manchester, where Cowdery taught. (See Report to New York common schools superintendent, 1 July 1829, microfilm, Manchester, NY, Public School Records, 1828–1915, BYU.)  
  50. 49 Revelation, Apr. 1829–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 8, 1835 ed. [D&C 6].  
  51. 50 Account of John, Apr. 1829–C, in Doctrine and Covenants 33, 1835 ed. [D&C 7].  
  52. 51 Revelation, Apr. 1829–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 34, 1835 ed. [D&C 8].  
  53. 52 An earlier version of this revelation specified this as “the gift of working with the sprout rod.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 13.)  
  54. 53 Revelation, Apr. 1829–D, in Doctrine and Covenants 35, 1835 ed. [D&C 9].  
  55. 54 Oliver Cowdery indicated specifically that the impetus for seeking further information about baptism was the translation of “the account given of the savior’s ministry to the remnant of the seed of Jacob, upon this continent.” This account, found in the Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 472–510 [3 Nephi 9–28], includes several passages concerning baptism. (Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:15.)  
  56. 55 The earliest known account of this event, written by Oliver Cowdery, gives the angel’s statement thus: “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon the earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” (Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:16; see also Malachi 3:3.)  
  57. 56 Use of the term “Aaronic priesthood” in an 1829 context is anachronistic. The term first appears in JS’s written record in a document dated circa April 1835. An earlier revelation of September 1832 referred to “the lesser priesthood which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his Sons.” (Instruction on Priesthood, ca. Apr. 1835, in Doctrine and Covenants 3:1, 2, 8, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:1, 6, 13–14]; Revelation, 22 and 23 Sept. 1832, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 150–151 [D&C 84:30].)  
  58. 57 Lucy Mack Smith indicated that a revelation through the Urim and Thummim commanded JS and Cowdery “to repair to the water, and attend to the ordinance of baptism,” which they then did. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 144.)  
  59. 58 The Book of Mormon and JS’s revision of Genesis chapter 14 stated that Melchizedek was a high priest, but the earliest record of JS using Melchizedek’s name as a title for a higher priesthood is dated February 1832. (Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in Revelation Book 2, p. 5 [D&C 76:57]; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 260 [Alma 13:14–18]; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 33–34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:18, 27–28].)  
  60. 59 Oliver Cowdery’s report of these events was copied into JS’s 1834–1836 history.  
  61. 60 This blank was later filled by the insertion “twenty fifth” in what appears to be the handwriting of Thomas Bullock, who began clerking in JS’s office 16 June 1844 and was Willard Richards’s main scribe for JS’s history in 1845. Lucy Mack Smith indicated that Samuel Smith accompanied Oliver Cowdery on his initial trip to Harmony and that Samuel was baptized the same day that JS and Oliver Cowdery “received authority to baptize.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 8, [3]–[4]; see also Jessee, “Writing of Joseph Smith’s History,” 456–458.)  
  62. 61 Revelation, May 1829–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 37, 1835 ed. [D&C 11].  
  63. 62 The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants here includes, “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation.” James Mulholland apparently missed this sentence when copying the revelation into the history. (Doctrine and Covenants 37:4, 1835 ed. [D&C 11:9].)  
  64. 63 Actually New York.  
  65. 64 Knight recalled that he bought and provided to JS “a Barral of Mackrel and some lined paper for writing[,] … nine or ten Bushels of grain and five or six Bushels taters and a pound of tea.” (Knight, Reminiscences, 6.)  
  66. 65 Revelation, May 1829–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 38, 1835 ed. [D&C 12].  
  67. 66 JS probably became acquainted with the Whitmer family through his parents, who visited the Whitmers before visiting JS in Harmony in the fall of 1828, and through Oliver Cowdery, with whom David Whitmer visited while on “a business trip to Palmyra” in 1828. David Whitmer later wrote that Cowdery wrote him three letters from Harmony in April and May 1829, the third “telling me to come down into Pennsylvania and bring him and Joseph to my father’s house, giving as a reason therefore that they had received a commandment from God to that effect.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 151; “Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, [1].)  
  68. 67 David Whitmer recalled later that Christian Whitmer and Emma Smith were scribes for the Book of Mormon at Fayette, in addition to Oliver Cowdery, who inscribed most of the extant text (about a fourth of the original manuscript). Based on an analysis of the extant manuscript, John Whitmer also served as scribe for several pages. Additionally, unidentified handwriting in the manuscript may be that of Martin Harris. It is not known whether other scribes helped with the nonextant portion of the original manuscript. (James H. Hart, “About the Book of Mormon,” Deseret News, 9 Apr. 1884, 190; see also Skousen, Original Manuscript, 13–14; and Jessee, “Original Book of Mormon Manuscript,” 272–278.)  
  69. 68 Revelation, June 1829–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 39, 1835 ed. [D&C 14].  
  70. 69 Revelation, June 1829–C, in Doctrine and Covenants 40, 1835 ed. [D&C 15].  
  71. 70 Revelation, June 1829–D, in Doctrine and Covenants 41, 1835 ed. [D&C 16].  
  72. 71 The Reverend Diedrich Willers reported from Fayette that by June 1830 the “Mormonites” had baptized Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, and members of the German Reformed Church in that vicinity, amounting to perhaps “at least 100 persons.” (Diedrich Willers, Fayette, NY, to L. Mayer and D. Young, York, PA, 18 June 1830, in Quinn, “First Months of Mormonism,” 331.)  
  73. 72 See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110–111, 548; and Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 118, 577–578 [2 Nephi 27:12–14; Ether 5:2–4].  
  74. 73 Revelation, June 1829–E, in Doctrine and Covenants 42, 1835 ed. [D&C 17].  
  75. 74 TEXT: “A[page torn]”. Missing text supplied based on the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  
  76. 75 TEXT: “pl[page torn]t[page torn] &c[page torn]”. Missing text supplied based on Draft 1.  
  77. 76 TEXT: Page torn. Missing text supplied based on Draft 1.  
  78. 77 The earliest copy of the testimony that follows is found in the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. Cowdery likely was the author of the statement, given his writing abilities and similarities between the document and Cowdery’s 1829 correspondence to JS and Hyrum Smith. The copies of the “Testimony of Three Witnesses” and the “Testimony of Eight Witnesses” that follow match the versions in the second edition of the Book of Mormon. (Book of Mormon, Printer’s Manuscript, 463–464, CCLA; “Testimony of Three Witnesses” and “Testimony of Eight Witnesses,” in Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., [620]–[621]; see also JS Letterbook 1, pp. 4–9.)  
  79. 78 See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 539 [Ether 1:33].  
  80. 79 David Whitmer told several interviewers in the 1870s and 1880s that he saw additional items on this occasion. Most of these later accounts listed the gold plates, the interpreters or Urim and Thummim, the sword of Laban, the “directors,” and additional records; in some Whitmer also mentioned the breastplate. (See, for example, “Interview with David Whitmer,” Deseret News, 21 Aug. 1878, 461; “Mormonism,” Kansas City [MO] Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, [1]; and “Letter from Elder W. H. Kelley,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Mar. 1882, 66–69; compare Revelation, June 1829–E, in Doctrine and Covenants 42:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 17:1].)  
  81. 80 David Whitmer recalled that about seventy individuals had been baptized by 6 April 1830. (Whitmer, Address to All Believers in Christ, 33.)  
  82. 81 See Matthew 7:7; compare Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 484, 509 [3 Nephi 14:7, 27:29].  
  83. 82 Revelation, June 1829–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 43, 1835 ed. [D&C 18].  
  84. 83 JS and Oliver Cowdery. (Revelation Book 1, p. 52.)  
  85. 84 Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 2, 1835 ed. [D&C 20]. This document is titled “Church Articles & Covenants” in Revelation Book 1, which indicates that it was “received in Fayette Seneca County New York April 10th. 1830.” Its placement at this point in the history narrative, and the statement here that it designated the day on which the church was to be organized, apparently contradict the 10 April 1830 dating. (Revelation Book 1, p. 52; see also the first volume of the Documents series for additional analysis.  
  86. 85 The church was possibly organized as an unincorporated religious society—a “voluntary association of individuals or families . . . united for the purpose of having a common place of worship, and to provide a proper teacher to instruct them . . . and to administer the ordinances of the church”—and not as a religious corporation. (Tyler, American Ecclesiastical Law, 54; see also “Society,” in Bouvier, Law Dictionary, 2:515; Stott, “Legal Insights into the Organization of the Church in 1830,” 122–132; and An Act to Provide for the Incorporation of Religious Societies [5 Apr. 1813], Laws of the State of New-York [1813], vol. 2, pp. 212–219.)  
  87. 86 The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the source for this copy of the Articles and Covenants, has “calling.” (Doctrine and Covenants 2:8, 1835 ed. [D&C 20:38].)  
  88. 87 The copyright was obtained 11 June 1829. (Copyright for Book of Mormon, retained copy, CHL.)  
  89. 88 According to Pomeroy Tucker, editor of the Wayne Sentinel (which Grandin printed), Grandin initially declined to publish the Book of Mormon but was persuaded after book printer Elihu F. Marshall of Rochester agreed to do so. Martin Harris mortgaged his farm to guarantee payment. (Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 51–53; Martin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Indenture, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  
  90. 89 The following copy of the title page matches the title page of the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon.  
  91. 90 TEXT: The title is written in larger script, each line of text taking up two lines of the page.  
  92. 91 Revelation, Mar. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed. [D&C 19]. The index to the earliest compilation of revelations lists the year for this “Revelation to Martin” as 1829. The 1833 Book of Commandments gives a date of March 1830, which was used in all subsequent official publications and which is probably erroneous. In both the Book of Commandments and the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the March 1830 date was put in parentheses, suggesting the editors were uncertain about the date. (Revelation Book 1, p. [207]; Book of Commandments 16; Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed.; see also discussion of this revelation in the first volume of the Documents series.)  
  93. 92 Omitted word supplied from Doctrine and Covenants 44:2, 1835 ed. [D&C 19:18].  
  94. 93 The first pages of the manuscript were delivered to printer E. B. Grandin in August or early September 1829. Copies of the book were offered for sale 26 March 1830. (John H. Gilbert, Palmyra, NY, to James T. Cobb, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 10 Feb. 1879, in Theodore Schroeder, Papers; John H. Gilbert, Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, photocopy, CHL; “The Book of Mormon,” Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, NY], 26 Mar. 1830, [3].)  
  95. 94 Variant lists of the six organizers, relying on information from David Whitmer, Brigham Young, and Joseph Knight Jr., provide a total of eleven names, including JS, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith, Samuel Smith, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Sr., Peter Whitmer Jr., Christian Whitmer, and Orrin Porter Rockwell. More than six individuals attended the organizational meeting; David Whitmer recalled that “about 50 members & the 6 Elders were present.” (Anderson, “Who Were the Six?,” 44–45; Stevenson, Journal, 2 Jan. 1887.)  
  96. 95 The commandment to which this refers may be “the word of the Lord” that came “in the Chamber” in the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. (JS History, vol. A-1, 27.)  
  97. 96 Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 46, 1835 ed. [D&C 21].  
  98. 97 Thomas Bullock later filled in the blank space with “Orrin Porter,” but Draft 1 noted Orrin Porter Rockwell’s baptism as occurring after the June 1830 church conference.  
  99. 98 Revelation, 16 Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 47, 1835 ed. [D&C 22].  
  100. 99 Revelations, Apr. 1830–A through E, in Doctrine and Covenants 45, 1835 ed. [D&C 23].  
  101. 100 Nothing further is known about this person. Early in the twentieth century, a redaction to the Journal History of the Church’s entry for 18 April 1830 changed the name from Richard B. Peterson to Ziba Peterson, but no primary source supports this change. (Historical Department, Journal History of the Church, 18 Apr. 1830.)  
  102. 101 See JS History, vol. A-1, 20–21.  
  103. 102 In July 1839 Newel Knight assisted JS with the dictation of the history. Knight’s recollections as an eyewitness may have contributed to the narrative recorded here. (JS, Journal, 4–5 July 1839.)  
  104. 103 See Ezekiel 37:19; and Hosea 8:12.  
  105. 104 Lucy Mack Smith described persecution of her husband, Joseph Smith Sr., and of her son Samuel in response to publication of the Book of Mormon, and she implied that concerted efforts by neighbors to collect debts allegedly owed by her son Hyrum were not based on purely financial motives. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 179–184.)  
  106. 105 See Psalm 85:11.  
  107. 106 TEXT: After reaching the end of the line at “our first”, James Mulholland mistakenly inscribed “conference as an” at the beginning of the same line, in the space created by the paragraph indention. He then canceled the three words and continued the inscription on the next line.  
  108. 107 Minute Book 2 recorded the date as 9 June 1830 and the place as Fayette, Seneca County, New York. (Minute Book 2, 9 June 1830.)  
  109. 108 At Harmony, Pennsylvania.  
  110. 109 Sarah (Sally) Coburn Knight.  
  111. 110 John Shearer served as pastor for the Sanford and Colesville Presbyterian churches from 1830 to 1831 with funding from the American Home Missionary Society. Shearer reported Emily Coburn’s defection from the Presbyterian church to the society’s New York office. (Hotchkin, History of the Purchase and Settlement of Western New York, 303; John Shearer, Colesville, NY, to Absalom Peters, New York City, NY, 18 Nov. 1830, in American Home Missionary Society Papers.)  
  112. 111 Amariah Coburn.  
  113. 112 Emily Coburn’s later account of these events varied from JS’s history on numerous details. According to Coburn, prior to her extended visit with Sally and Newel Knight at Colesville, she had been living at the home of her brother Esick Lyon Coburn at Sanford, about twelve miles from Colesville. An unnamed messenger found Emily among the congregation assembled at the home of Newel Knight and told her that her brother was waiting nearby to talk with her. During Coburn’s conversation with her brother, Shearer joined them and attempted to take her to her uncle, who was apparently waiting to escort her back to Sanford. After her father, who was living at Guilford, Chenango County, New York, signed a power of attorney, Coburn was returned to the home of her brother Esick at Sanford. In autumn 1830 Newel and Sally Knight obtained permission from Coburn’s parents to take her home to Colesville for another visit. Within a week of her arrival there, Coburn was baptized and confirmed. (Austin, Life among the Mormons, 30–31, 40–46, 57.)  
  114. 113 The women mentioned are, respectively, Martha Long Peck, Polly Peck Knight, Esther Knight Stringham, and Esther Peck Culver. These baptisms were performed on 28 June 1830 in a stream that flowed from Pickerel Pond, on the farm of Joseph Knight Sr., to the Susquehanna River. Anna Knight DeMille may also have been baptized at this time. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 2:124–125; Porter, “Colesville Branch and the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon,” 372–373.)  
  115. 114 The constable was Ebenezer Hatch. Although the formal charge was for being a “disorderly person,” Joseph Knight Sr. wrote that the charge was “pertending to see under ground.” One of the legal definitions of “disorderly person” was someone “pretending to tell . . . where lost or stolen goods may be found.” The charges resembled those filed earlier against JS in a court proceeding in March 1826. (Trial bill, 1 June 1830, People v. JS [J.P. Ct. 1830], Chenango County Courthouse, Norwich, NY; Ebenezer Hatch, Bill of services, 4 July 1830, Chenango County Historical Society, Norwich, NY; Knight, Reminiscences, 8; Of Disorderly Persons, Revised Statutes of the State of New-York [1827–1828], 1:638, part 1, chap. 20, title 5, sec. 1; see also Madsen, “Joseph Smith’s 1826 Trial,” 91–95.)  
  116. 115 It is not known whether any transcript of the South Bainbridge or Colesville trial was available to those compiling JS’s history in Illinois. The only known trial report that predates the history was published in 1832 and does not include details found here. (See “Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114.)  
  117. 116 JS purchased the horse from Josiah Stowell in October 1829. (JS, Harmony, PA, to Oliver Cowdery, 22 Oct. 1829, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 9.)  
  118. 117 John Reed, counsel for JS, later recalled that the hearing at South Bainbridge began at about ten o’clock in the morning and concluded at about midnight with an acquittal, but that JS was arrested again and within a half hour was being transported to Colesville. (“Some of the Remarks of John S. Reed,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1844, 5:549–552.)  
  119. 118 This was in Colesville. According to a report apparently copied from the docket book of Joel K. Noble, who heard the case as one of three justices of the peace sitting as a court of special sessions, JS was charged with “a breach of the peace, against the good people of the state of New York, by looking through a certain stone to find hid treasures, &c.” Noble recalled that the trial occupied twenty-three hours. (“Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114; Joel K. Noble, Bainbridge, NY, to Jonathan B. Turner, Jacksonville, NY, 8 Mar. 1842, in Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, 4:106–111.)  
  120. 119 See 2 Timothy 3:5.  
  121. 120 Regarding the exorcism of Newel Knight, see JS History, vol. A-1, 41.  
  122. 121 According to a report apparently originating with the justice of the peace who heard the case, JS “was discharged; he had not looked in the glass for two years to find money, &c.,—hence it was outlawed.”a JS had participated in treasure seeking on behalf of Josiah Stowell in late 1825.b The New York statute relating to misdemeanors or “public offences” such as the charges against JS required that legal actions “be commenced within two years after the offence shall have been committed, and not after.”c  (a“Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114.bJS History, vol. A-1, 7.cOf the Time of Commencing Actions for Penalties and Forfeitures, Revised Statutes of the State of New-York [1827–1828], 2:297, part 3, chap. 4, title 2, art. 3, sec. 29.)
  123. 122 Probably the home of Benjamin and Elizabeth Hale Wasson, in Colesville Township, Broome County, New York. (1825 New York Census, Colesville, Broome Co., NY, [8], microfilm 806,800, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; 1830 U.S. Census, Broome Co., NY, 33.)  
  124. 123 TEXT: Revision of “these” to “those” in unidentified handwriting, possibly that of James Mulholland.  
  125. 124 That is, the warrant that resulted in JS’s trial at South Bainbridge. The fact that Benton wrote a letter nine months later to a Universalist periodical in Utica, New York, discussing legal proceedings against JS suggests that Benton may have been a Universalist rather than a Presbyterian. (“Mormonites,” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, 9 Apr. 1831, 120.)  
  126. 125 William W. Phelps later inserted at this point what he labeled a “revelation to Joseph Smith Jun. given June 1830.” The text he inserted corresponds with the first two and a half pages of JS’s manuscript revision of the Old Testament. (See Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 1–3 [Moses 1].)  
  127. 126 See Joel 2:28–29.  
  128. 127 Revelation, July 1830–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 9, 1835 ed. [D&C 24].  
  129. 128 Revelation, July 1830–C, in Doctrine and Covenants 48, 1835 ed. [D&C 25].  
  130. 129 Revelation, July 1830–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 49, 1835 ed. [D&C 26].  
  131. 130 Minutes of the 9 June 1830 church conference indicate that the next conference was to convene 26 September 1830 at Fayette. (Minute Book 2, 9 June 1830.)  
  132. 131 The reference points to the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants; the wording in this passage is the same in the earlier copies of the “articles and covenants.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 55; Book of Commandments 24:30; “The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1832, [1]; “The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1833, [97] [D&C 20:37].)  
  133. 132 Cowdery was present at the 9 June 1830 conference at Fayette at which the church’s foundational “articles and covenants” were read by JS and were unanimously approved by the congregation. The document JS read included the passage to which Cowdery took exception in his letter. The account given here suggests that Cowdery did not raise his concern until later, apparently while examining an early copy of the document. Cowdery had recorded in about June 1829 a document titled “Articles of the Church of Christ,” which he described in its introduction as a “commandment from God unto Oliver how he should build up his Church & the manner thereof.” The requirement for baptismal candidates that Cowdery objected to in the 10 April 1830 document was not among the requirements listed in Cowdery’s earlier “articles.” (Minute Book 2, 9 June 1830; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 52–58 [D&C 20]; Oliver Cowdery, Articles of the Church of Christ, ca. June 1829, CHL.)  
  134. 133 In the Book of Mormon account, baptismal candidates “were not baptized, save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 576 [Moroni 6:1].)  
  135. 134 Sarah (Sally) Coburn Knight.  
  136. 135 Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 50, 1835 ed. [D&C 27].  
  137. 136 The rest of this revelation is an expansion as first published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The earlier versions of the revelation instead have a much shorter conclusion: “and with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world: Wherefore lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins and be faithful until I come:— even so. Amen.” (Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830, in Book of Commandments 28:6–7.)  
  138. 137 That is, the Book of Mormon.  
  139. 138 According to the account given earlier in this history, John the Baptist conferred “the priesthood of Aaron” upon JS and Oliver Cowdery on 15 May 1829. (JS History, vol. A-1, 17–18.)  
  140. 139 See Malachi 4:5–6.  
  141. 140 The informant to whom JS referred was likely Nathaniel Lewis, brother-in-law of Isaac Hale and uncle of Emma Smith. Lewis, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, wrote in 1834 that JS was “not a man of truth and veracity” and that “his general character in this part of the country, is that of an impostor, hypocrite and liar.” An accompanying statement by Lewis’s son Levi asserted that JS and Martin Harris had said adultery was not a crime and that “Harris said he did not blame Smith for his (Smith’s) attempt to seduce Eliza Winters,” a friend of Emma Smith. Such allegations may have been passed along to Isaac Hale, leading him to withdraw his support of JS. (Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 266–269.)  
  142. 141 Newel Knight wrote that Page “had quite a roll of papers full of these revelations.” (Knight, Autobiography, 146.)  
  143. 142 The conference was appointed for 26 September and was in fact convened on that date. (Minute Book 2, 9 June and 26 Sept. 1830.)  
  144. 143 Revelation, Sept. 1830–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 51, 1835 ed. [D&C 28].  
  145. 144 In the Book of Mormon, Jesus prophesied that if “the Gentiles” would repent, he would “establish [his] church among them,” and they would help “the rem[n]ant of Jacob; and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.” The mention of “the city” in the revelation copied here, without any introduction of the context, suggests that the revelation was responding to an ongoing conversation about the New Jerusalem. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 500–501 [3 Nephi 21:14, 22–23].)  
  146. 145 Revelation, Sept. 1830–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 10, 1835 ed. [D&C 29].  
  147. 146 TEXT: “mine” written over “my hol[y]” and then canceled.  
  148. 147 According to a copy of the conference minutes, “Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointed by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” (Minute Book 2, 26 Sept. 1830.)  
  149. 148 Minute Book 2 documents only one day of conference meetings; a subsequent entry in the present history indicates that the conference “continued three days.” (Minute Book 2, 26 Sept. 1830; JS History, vol. A–1, 60.)  
  150. 149 Revelation, Sept. 1830–C through E, in Doctrine and Covenants 52, 1835 ed. [D&C 30].  
  151. 150 Likely a reference to members of the Whitmer’s family espousing the revelations of Hiram Page. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 55.)  
  152. 151 TEXT: “I” possibly a later insertion.  
  153. 152 Revelation, Sept. 1830–F, in Doctrine and Covenants 53, 1835 ed. [D&C 31].  
  154. new scribe logo James Mulholland handwriting ends; Robert B. Thompson begins.  
  155. 153 Revelation, Oct. 1830–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 54, 1835 ed. [D&C 32].  
  156. 154 Accounts by three of the participants, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, and Peter Whitmer Jr., mention preaching at only one location between Fayette, New York, and Mentor, Ohio—in the vicinity of Buffalo, New York, to the Cattaraugus band of the Seneca Indians. However, John Corrill’s account of his own initial encounter with the missionaries shortly before they reached Mentor indicated that they shared their message more broadly. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to “beloved brethren,” 12 Nov. 1830, in Knight, Autobiography, 207–210; “History of Parley P. Pratt,” 1, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; Pratt, Autobiography, 49; Whitmer, Journal, Dec. 1831, [1]; Corrill, Brief History, [7].)  
  157. 155Kirtland” was later corrected—probably in the handwriting of Willard Richards—to “Mentor.” As JS’s history subsequently indicated, Sidney Rigdon was the first person the missionaries contacted in Mentor. Parley P. Pratt, a recent convert to Mormonism, had joined a congregation of Reformed Baptists in 1829 in Ohio as a result of preaching by Rigdon, who had been his “friend and instructor.” After proselytizing at Mentor, the missionaries soon continued on to Kirtland. (JS History, vol. A-1, 67, 72–74; Pratt, Autobiography, 31–32, 49.)  
  158. 156 Following the publication of the Book of Mormon in March 1830, JS’s critics began to suggest alternative explanations for its production. Most influential was Eber D. Howe’s 1834 compilation of anti-Mormon material, Mormonism Unvailed. Howe presented a theory advanced by Doctor Philastus Hurlbut that sometime before Rigdon publicly staged his acceptance of Mormonism, he discovered a manuscript in a print shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, written by Solomon Spaulding. The manuscript, titled “Manuscript Found,” was a historical romance that cast the first settlers of America as descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, discovered by a Roman ship blown off course. Spaulding died in 1816 and his manuscript was left with a printer who never published it. Hurlbut argued that after Rigdon discovered the work, he went on to work secretly with JS to create the Book of Mormon based on the story. Solomon Spaulding’s original manuscript was discovered in 1884; a transcript may be found in Kent P. Jackson, ed., Manuscript Found: The Complete Original “Spaulding Manuscript” (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996). (See also Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chap. 19; and Jackson, Manuscript Found, ix–xi, xiv–xvi.)  
  159. 157 In the original manuscript volume, the handwriting of Robert B. Thompson continues for thirteen more pages, giving a brief biography of Sidney Rigdon. The remainder of the volume is in the handwriting of William W. Phelps and Willard Richards, carrying the narrative up through 30 August 1834.