Church History

1-2 3-11


JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear ye him.


A.  Matthew 16:19>—the foundation, the promise, the authority

1.  Isaiah 28:16; I Peter 2:6-8—precious cornerstone
2.  Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:13-14—the stone which the builders rejected
3.  III Nephi 12:14-22—the church built upon the gospel of Christ –the promise
4.  III Nephi 12:25-35—the gospel of Christ—John 7:16-18
5.  John 15:16—authoritative ministry—I have chosen you
6.  John 20:21-23—authority of Christ—remission of sins—Acts 2:37-39
7.  Luke 10:17—he that heareth you, heareth me

B.  Matthew 28:18-19—the commission and purpose of the church

1.  Ephesians 4:11-16—for the perfecting of the saints
2.  II Corinthians 5:15-21—that we might be made the righteousness of God in him
3.  John 17—Jesus prays for the church—that they may be made perfect in one

“At the moment when Christ died, nothing could have seemed more abjectly weak, more pitifully hopeless, more doomed to extinction and despair, than the church he had founded. It numbered but a handful of weak followers, of whom the boldest had denied him with profanity and the most devoted had forsaken him and fled. They were poor.  They were weak.  They were hopeless. They could not claim a single synagogue or a single sword. How was it that these dull and ignorant men, with their cross of wood conquered kings and armies and overcame the world?” (1)

    Acts 2—Pentecost and the endowment of the Holy Ghost

1.  Persecution
2.  Prosperity
3.  Falling away = the apostasy


  • Foretold

1.  Matthew 13:22-29, 36-45—parable of the wheat and the tares
2.  Matthew 24:5-11—he that remaineth steadfast, and is not overcome—saved
3.  II Thessalonians 2:3-4—there shall come a falling away first—II Nephi 11:106-108, 112
4.  Acts 20:28-30—wolves among the flock
5.  II Timothy 4:3-4—will not endure sound doctrine, turn from the truth
6.  II Peter 2:1-2—false prophets, denying the Lord that bought them
7.  Galatians 1:6-12—removed from Christ unto another gospel
8.  Isaiah 24:5—transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant

B.   Fruit of the apostasy

1.  Amos 8:11-12—famine in the land—of hearing the words of the Lord
2.  indulgences, infant baptism, sprinkling, papal infallibility, worship of Mary, penance, forced confession, closed canon of scripture, forced celibacy,

“At the conclusion of this century (fourth) there remained no more than a mere shadow of the ancient government of the Church.”  (2)


A.  Prophets testified of the great and marvelous work

1.  Isaiah 60:2-4, 21-22—light of the Lord in the midst of darkness, the gathering of the righteous
2.  Isaiah 54;1-10—the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit
3.  Daniel 7:34-35, 44-45 (DC 65)—stone cut out of the mountain without hands
4.  Isaiah 29—the coming forth of the Book of Mormon
5.  I Nephi 3:185-205, 210-216, 220-231—history, progress, and destiny of the Restoration

B.  The hopes of the Reformers

1.  John Wycliffe (1328-1384)—word of God as foundation for belief, translated the Bible to English—1382 “Wycliffe’s Bible”
2.  Martin Luther (1483-1546)—called the church to return to the teachings of the scriptures; translated the Bible into German, promoted justification by faith and salvation by grace as opposed to indulgences and penance; opposed greed and worldliness in the church—95 Theses nailed to the door of the Castle Church; hymns:  Away In A Manger, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
3.  John Calvin (1509-1564)—word of God as basis for church teachings, return to baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments of the church, Jesus Christ the mediator between man and God—justification by faith, men led to Christ by the Holy Spirit
4.  John Robinson (1575-1625)—pastor of pilgrims who traveled on the Mayflower:  “I am very confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy word.”
5.  Roger Willliams (1603-1683)—founded First Baptist Church in America, left Baptist Church to become a “Seeker” . . . believed the ordinances of Christ’s Church had been lost in the Apostasy and could not be restored except by God.  “There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (4)
6.  John Wesley (1703-1791)—theologian in England, Methodist Church founded in response to his teachings; emphasized importance of holiness, sanctification, and repentance; lay preachers spoke in open air; “What could God have done which he hath not done, to convince you that the day is coming, that the time is at hand, when he will arise to maintain his own cause and set up his kingdom over all the earth”  (seventy-first sermon)
7.  Alexander Campbell (1788-1866)—Churches of Christ (Disciples of Christ) originated from his leadership; “But the preparation of a people for the coming of the Lord must be the result of the restoration of the ancient gospel and order of things.” (5)

C.  The foundation, the promise, and the authority to be restored

1.  DC 1:4-5—lay the foundation of this church-the only true and living church
2.  III Nephi 10:1-4—Jesus’ promise regarding the Restoration
3.  DC 1:1-2—this is mine authority; power given to seal, both on earth and in heaven

The commission and purpose of the Restoration

1.  DC 108:11a-d—for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fullness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant . . .


    1. Farrar, Life of Christ, Volume 2.  512, 513.  Quoted in Restoration:  A Study in Prophecy.  Smith, Elbert A.  pg 40.
    2. Mosheim.  Ecclesiastical History.  Book 1.  Part 2.  Chapter 2.  Verse 2.  Quoted in Restoration:  A Study in Prophecy.  Smith, Elbert A.  pg 48.
    3. Smith, Elbert A.  Restoration:  A Studyy in Prophecy.  Chapter 5-6.
    4. Picturesque America.  Page 502
    5. Christ’s Restored Gospel.  Price Publishing Company.  1988.

The Church’s One Foundation

Text: Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900

Music: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1810-1876

       Tune: AURELIA, Meter: 76.76 D

1.            The church’s one foundation

is Jesus Christ her Lord;

she is his new creation

by water and the Word.

From heaven he came and sought her

to be his holy bride;

with his own blood he bought her,

and for her life he died.

2.            Elect from every nation,

yet one o’er all the earth;

her charter of salvation,

one Lord, one faith, one birth;

one holy name she blesses,

partakes one holy food,

and to one hope she presses,

with every grace endued.

3.            Though with a scornful wonder

we see her sore oppressed,

by schisms rent asunder,

by heresies distressed,

yet saints their watch are keeping;

their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

shall be the morn of song.

4.            Mid toil and tribulation,

and tumult of her war,

she waits the consummation

of peace forevermore;

till, with the vision glorious,

her longing eyes are blest,

and the great church victorious

shall be the church at rest.

5.            Yet she on earth hath union

with God the Three in One,

and mystic sweet communion

with those whose rest is won.

O happy ones and holy!

Lord, give us grace that we

like them, the meek and lowly,

on high may dwell with thee.

The following words were given by the Spirit to Bishop Bullard as he was studying on the subject, November, 1911. —Zion’s Ensign

I saw a woman pure and fair,
All clad in glory bright;
A tiara rich bedecked her hair,
Of jewels clear as light.

Her raiment pure as whitest snow,
No sun could spot display,
Her face in radiant glories glow,
Shone bright as noontide ray.

Her form symmetrical and strong,
Erect with conscious power,
Had oft withstood earth’s crushing wrong
Through persecution’s hour.

Her foes, though legion Satan’s band,
Now lay beneath her feet;
Their prince was bound by angel hand,
For sin had met defeat.

No glory could her light outshine,
Her clothing was the sun.
Her smile as clear as moon sublime,
Her triumph, victory won.

I looked, there stood at her right hand,
A King, a Prince, her Lord.
He came from Heaven from glory land,
To be in her adored.

His name is Jesus, she his Bride,
The two at last are one;
He clasps her hand with loving pride,
God’s well beloved Son.

O Angels praise, ye Seraphs sing,
The church is now complete,
Let Saints their Alleluias ring,
With voices loud and sweet.

Heaven’s day has dawned, the feast is spread,
This is Christ’s wedding day;
A pledge in newest wine and bread,
No more to part for aye.



CRB CH CLASS #2—When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?


JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority


A.  Isaiah 60:1-4, 21-22­—Arise, shine; for thy light is come

B.  Luke 18:8—when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

C.  Ether 1:76-79—revelation of Jesus Christ

D.  DC 1:4—that faith might  increase in the earth; everlasting covenant; fullness of my gospel


  1. testimony of Joseph Smith
  2. Questions
  3. Genesis 6:24—preachers of righteousness:  faith was taught unto the children of men
  4. Genesis 15:12; Romans 4:3; Galations 3:6—Abraham believed God = righteousness


A.  DC 108:11a-b—that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed

B.  Psalms 85:8-13—truth shall spring out of the earth; righteousness shall look down from heaven

C.  Genesis 7:69-70—righteousness and truth to sweep the earth as a flood

D.  I Nephi 3:230-231—armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory

RIGHTEOUSNESS: 1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.  2. Applied to God, the perfection or holiness of his nature; exact rectitude; faithfulness.  3. The active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled. Daniel 9.  4. Justice; equity between man and man. Luke 1.  5. The cause of our justification.  (American Dictionary of the English Language.  Webster 1828)

Jeremiah 23:5-6—a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth . . . and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Romans 5:1-2,21—Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.


THE events of the early life of this remarkable man can best be told in his own language, published in Times and Seasons, volume 3:

“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, Joseph Smith, Senior, left the State of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) County, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year. In about four years after my father’s arrival at Palmyra, he moved with his family into Manchester, in the same county of Ontario. His family, consisting of eleven souls; namely: My father, Joseph Smith, my mother, Lucy Smith (whose name, previous to her marriage was Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack), my brothers, Alvin (who is now dead), Hyrum, myself, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos, and my sister, Sophronia, Catharine, and Lucy.

“Sometime in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, 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 multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst 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 Baptists. For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts for 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 everybody ‘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 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 the 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 father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church; namely, my mother Lucy, my brothers Hyrum, Samuel Harrison, and my sister Sophronia.

“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 those parties, though I attended their several meetings as often 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 among 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, the cry and tumult was 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 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? 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 than 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 would never know; for the teachers of religion o£ the different sects understood the same passage so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by all 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 length 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 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 eighteen 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 seized 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 seized 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 my 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 gradually until 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 inquire 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; ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine 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 things 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.                                                            -R.L.D.S. CH VOL 2:pg 6-10


1.  What were the circumstances that caused Joseph “great uneasiness” of mind?

2.  In the midst of confusion and uncertainty what two things did Joseph do that established him upon the rock of truth?

3.  Compare the experience of Joseph in the grove with the experience of the Brother of Jared (when the Lord touched the 16 stones with his finger).

4.  What principle of the doctrine of Christ motivated Joseph to pray?

5.    How is the promise given by Jesus to Peter (Matthew 16:16-20) fulfilled in Joseph’s experience in the grove?

6.  Why was Joseph forbidden to join any of the existing churches?

7.  How is faith the foundation of all righteousness?  (Gen 15:12, Rom 4:3, Rom 5:1)


CRB CH CLASS #3—Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

ISAIAH 60:1-4, 21-22—the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee
DC 1:4— that faith might increase in the earth; everlasting covenant; fullness of my gospel
GENESIS 7:69-70—righteousness and truth shall sweep the earth as a flood
DC 108:11a-b– that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed

December 23, 1805: Joseph Smith born (Sharon, Windsor Co, Vermont)—Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith
1820: Joseph’s experience in the grove—14 years old—Manchester, New York; near Palmyra
September 21, 1823: Joseph repents of his sins, appearance of the angel Moroni, learns of his work
September 22, 1827: Joseph entrusted with the plates (Book of Mormon)—to be translated by the power of God

A. Matthew 4:16—Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
B. Psalms 85—truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
C. III Nephi 10:1-4—if they will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts . . .

A. testimony of Joseph Smith—repentance, ministered to by an angel, learns of his work
B. Questions

III. THERE COMES A RECORD OF GOD’S WILL—counsel of Moroni to Joseph
A. Malachi 3:1-4—But who may abide the day of his coming?
B. Malachi 4:1-6*—he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers
C. Isaiah 11—the rod from the stem of Jesse, growth of Christ’s kingdom—about to be fulfilled
D. Acts 3:22-23— Moses prophesies of Christ (Deut 18:15-19; John 12:49-50; III Nephi 9:60); verse 23 soon to be fulfilled
E. Joel 2:28-32—outpouring of the Spirit of God, wonders shown, deliverance for those that call upon the name of the Lord; deliverance in mount Zion and in Jerusalem—soon to be fulfilled
F. The fullness of the Gentiles is soon to come in. Many other passages of scripture quoted and explained. Great judgments coming upon the earth: famine, sword, pestilence—to come in Joseph’s generation.

*Words quoted by the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith:
Malachi 4:1—“For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, 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.”
Malachi 4:5—“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.”
Malachi 4:6—“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, nad 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.”
“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 until further directed; I had found the testimony of James to be true, that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain and not be upbraided. I continued to pursue my common avocations in life until the twenty-first of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands 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, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored 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 until the room was lighter than at noonday, 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 anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly 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, (FOOTNOTE: This name is given “Moroni” in Doctrine and Covenants 26:2 and 110:20), 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 Savior to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is called the Urim and Thummin, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones 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 it 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: ‘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 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 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 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 until the room was again left dark except just around 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 marveling 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 judgments 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 father’s family) to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade 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 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 father 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 anything. 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 father and tell him of the vision and commandments which I had received.

“I obeyed, I returned back to my father in the field and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied 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. Convenient to the village of Manchester, 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, under a 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 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 until 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 until 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.

1. What happened that made Joseph feel “condemned for his weaknesses and imperfections?

2. What was the motivation that drove Joseph to pray on September 21, 1823?

3. What did the angel tell Joseph about the work that God had for him to do?

4. What prophecies were quoted by Moroni to Joseph?

5. What was the angel’s warning to Joseph regarding his motives in obtaining the plates?

6. What was Joseph given each year for four years when he visited the place where the plates were buried?

7. What promises are given in the word of God to those who repent?



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

September 22, 1827: Joseph receives the plates from Moroni
February 1828: Martin Harris takes copy of characters to Professor Anthon in New York City
April 12, 1828-June 14, 1828: Joseph translates 116 pages, Martin writes, loses manuscript
April 7, 1829: Joseph resumes translation with Oliver Cowdery as scribe
May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist

A. Psalms 85:11—truth shall spring out of the earth; righteousness from heaven
B. Isaiah 29:4,11—her speech shall whisper out of the dust
C. II Nephi 11:83-86—their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit
D. Mormon 4:18-21,28-34—it shall be brought out of the earth, and shine out of darkness
E. DC 2:1—his paths are straight and his course is one eternal round

A. RLDS CH VOL 1 PG 17-18
B. What is Joseph’s charge?
C. What is promised to Joseph?

A. RLDS CH VOL 1 PG 18-20
B. Isaiah 29:11-26
C. How did Martin Harris become associated with Joseph?
D. How did Martin’s experience with Professor Anthon fulfill the words of Isaiah 29:11-26?

B. DC 2
C. Why did Martin request the manuscript (116 pages) from Joseph?
D. How did Martin break the covenant he made to Joseph?
E. Why and how was Joseph rebuked by the Lord?
F. Why had the plates been preserved?

A. DC 3
B. What problem arose as a result of Joseph and Martin’s error?
C. How did the Lord solve the problem?
D. Which portion of the Book of Mormon was contained on the 116 pages?
E. What is promised to those who repent, come unto Christ, and endure to the end?

A. I Nephi 2:99-102
B. Words of Mormon 1:9-11
C. I Nephi 5:221-226
D. How did the Lord prepare for the loss of the 116 pages?
E. What was contained upon “these plates” that Nephi kept by the Lord’s command?

A. Jeremiah 36
B. Alma 17:31, 42-48
C. What happened to the word of the Lord after the king burned the book in the fire?
D. What does the loss and recovery of the words of the book share in common with the loss of the manuscript (116 pages) and preservation of the words of the Lord?
E. What principle of God’s dealings with men is revealed through these events?
D. What is the warning given by the spirit of prophecy through Alma to his son?
E. What is promised to Helaman concerning his charge to keep the sacred records?
F. What attributes of God are revealed in these promises?

THE STORY OF THE CHURCH. Inez Smith Davis. Chapter 7.
Hymn # 403 Book Of Mormon Hid For Ages. Saints’ Hymnal.
Hymn # 413 When Earth In Bondage Long Had Lain. Saints’ Hymnal.
Hymn # 416 We Limit Not The Truth Of God. Saints’ Hymnal.

D. RLDS CH VOL 1 PG 17-18
E. What is Joseph’s charge?
F. What is promised to Joseph?

“At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummin, and the Breastplate. 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 if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he the messenger 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 strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible; but by the wisdom of God they remained safe in my hands until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand, when according to arrangements the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him, and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.

A. RLDS CH VOL 1 PG 18-20
B. Isaiah 29:11-26
C. How did Martin Harris become associated with Joseph?
D. How did Martin’s experience with Professor Anthon fulfill the words of Isaiah 29:11-26?

“The excitement, however, still continued, and rumor with her thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating tales about my father’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 Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehanna County in the State of Pennsylvania. 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 the name of Martin Harris, who came to us and gave me fifty dollars to assist us in our afflictions. Mr. Harris was a resident of Palmyra Township, 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 Pennsylvania, and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters of the plates. I copied 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 wife’s father in the month of December, and the February following.

“Sometime in this month of February the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. 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 New York and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic, and he said that they were the true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of Palmyra 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 Mr. Anthon 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 ministering 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. Mitchill, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.”‘

This testimony was related to hundreds of people before it was written in 1838, as many witnesses now living can testify, and was adhered to, and often reaffirmed without variation, to the time of his death, in June, 1844. Strange though the claims contained in this testimony are, yet it would be stranger still to think he could suffer as he did for the sake of establishing what he knew to be false. There was absolutely no inducement for him to do so. Neither wealth, fame, nor ease came to him as a result of his thus unflinchingly maintaining this unpopular cause. Thoughtful men who choose to believe his work a delusion, are compelled to admit his sincerity.

H. DC 2
I. Why did Martin request the manuscript (116 pages) from Joseph?
J. Why and how was Joseph rebuked by the Lord?
K. Why had the plates been preserved?

MR. HARRIS returned home and arranged his business affairs, then went to Harmony, Pennsylvania, where Joseph was, and began writing for him. He commenced writing about April 12, 1828, and continued until June 14, when he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of foolscap.
He then became very solicitous for permission to show the manuscript to his family and friends. He gained this permission, after much importuning, on conditions that he was to show it to none except his brother, his own wife, his father and mother, and a Mrs. Cobb, a sister to his wife.
He placed himself under solemn covenant to Joseph Smith to observe these conditions, but when he had gained possession of the manuscript, through anxiety and zeal to promulgate the record, or for other reasons, he took the liberty to show it to others, contrary to his obligation. In some way some of his supposed friends got the manuscript from him, and it was never recovered.
For this breach of trust he was rebuked, and he humbled himself in much sorrow and contrition of spirit. Joseph Smith was also rebuked for trusting him, and for repeatedly entreating the Lord for his consent after having been denied.

He lost his gift, the Urim and Thummin, also the plates were taken from him for a time. He was in consequence of this punishment greatly troubled in mind. Finally they were restored to him. He then inquired of the Lord and received a communication and partial direction as to the proper procedure. 1

Chapter 25 
Martin Harris is permitted to take the manuscript home with him 
He loses it — The season of mourning which ensued
Martin Harris, having written some one hundred and sixteen pages for Joseph, asked permission of my son to carry the manuscript home with him, in order to let his wife read it, as he hoped it might have a salutary effect upon her feelings. 
 Joseph was willing to gratify his friend as far as he could consistently, and he inquired of the Lord to know if he might do as Martin Harris had requested, but was refused. With this Mr. Harris was not altogether satisfied, and, at his urgent request, Joseph inquired again, but received a second refusal. Still, Martin Harris persisted as before, and Joseph applied again, but the last answer was not like the two former ones. In this the Lord permitted Martin Harris to take the manuscript home with him, on condition that he would exhibit it to none, save five individuals whom he had mentioned, and who belonged to his own family.
Mr. Harris was delighted with this, and bound himself in a written covenant of the most solemn nature, that he would strictly comply with the injunctions which he had received. Which being done, he took the manuscript and went home. 
 Joseph did not suspect but that his friend would keep his faith, consequently he gave himself no uneasiness with regard to the matter. 
 Shortly after Mr. Harris left, Joseph’s wife became the mother of a son, which, however, remained with her but a short time before it was snatched from her arms by the hand of death. And the mother seemed, for some time, more like sinking with her infant into the mansion of the dead, than remaining with her husband among the living. Her situation was such for two weeks, that Joseph slept not an hour in undisturbed quiet. At the expiration of this time she began to recover, but, as Joseph’s anxiety about her began to subside, another cause of trouble forced itself upon his mind. Mr. Harris had been absent nearly three weeks, and Joseph had received no intelligence whatever from him, which was altogether aside of the arrangement when they separated. But Joseph kept his feelings from his wife, fearing that if she became acquainted with them it might agitate her too much.
In a few days, however, she mentioned the subject herself, and desired her husband to go and get her mother to stay with her, while he should repair to Palmyra, for the purpose of learning the cause of Mr. Harris’s absence as well as silence. At first Joseph objected, but seeing her so cheerful, and so willing to have him leave home, he finally consented.
He set out in the first stage that passed for Palmyra, and, when he was left to himself, he began to contemplate the course which Martin had taken, and the risk which he (Joseph) had run in letting the manuscript go out of his own hands–for it could not be obtained again, in case Martin had lost it through transgression, except by the power of God, which was something Joseph could hardly hope for–and that, by persisting in his eritreaties to the Lord, he had perhaps fallen into transgression, and thereby lost the manuscript.
When, I say, he began to contemplate these things, they troubled his spirit, and his soul was moved with fearful apprehensions. And, although he was now nearly worn out, sleep fled from his eyes, neither had he any desire for food, for he felt that he had done wrong, and how great his condemnation was he did not know.
Only one passenger was in the stage besides himself. This man, observing Joseph’s gloomy appearance, inquired the cause of his affliction, and offered to assist him if his services would be acceptable. Joseph thanked him for his kindness, and mentioned that he had been watching some time with a sick wife and child, that the child had died, and that his wife was still very low; but refrained from giving any further explanation.
Nothing more passed between them on this subject, until Joseph was about leaving the stage; at which time he remarked that he still had twenty miles further to travel on foot that night, it being then about ten o’clock. To this the stranger objected, saying, “I have watched you since you first entered the stage, and I know that you have neither slept nor eaten since that time, and you shall not go on foot twenty miles alone this night; for, if you must go, I will be your company. Now tell me what can be the trouble that makes you thus dispirited?” 
 Joseph replied, about as before–that he had left his wife in so low a state of health, that he feared he should not find her alive when he returned; besides, he had buried his first and only child but a few days previous. This was true, though there was another trouble lying at his heart, which he dared not to mention.
The stranger then observed, “I feel to sympathize with you, and I fear that your constitution, which is evidently not strong, will be inadequate to support you. You will be in danger of falling asleep in the forest, and of meeting with some awful disaster.”
Joseph again thanked the gentleman for his kindness, and, leaving the stage, they proceeded together. When they reached our house it was nearly daylight. The stranger said he was under the necessity of leading Joseph the last four miles by the arm; for nature was too much exhausted to support him any longer, and he would fall asleep as he was walking along, every few minutes, towards the last of this distance.
On entering our house, the stranger remarked that he had brought our son through the forest, because he had insisted on coming; that he was sick, and needed rest, as well as refreshment, and that he ought to have some pepper tea to warm his stomach. After thus directing us, relative to our son, he said that when we had attended to Joseph he would thank us for a little breakfast for himself, as he was in haste to be on his journey again.
When Joseph had taken a little nourishment, according to the directions of the stranger, he requested us to send immediately for Mr. Harris. This we did without delay. And when we had given the stranger his breakfast, we commenced preparing breakfast for the family; and we supposed that Mr. Harris would be there, as soon as it was ready, to eat with us, for he generally came in such haste when he was sent for. At eight o’clock we set the victuals on the table, as we were expecting him every moment. We waited till nine, and he came not till ten, and he was not there–till eleven, still he did not make his appearance. But at half-past twelve we saw him walking with a slow and measured tread towards the house, his eyes fixed thoughtfully upon the ground. On coming to the gate, he stopped, instead of passing through, and got upon the fence, and sat there some time with his hat drawn over his eyes. At length he entered the house. Soon after which we sat down to the table, Mr. Harris with the rest. He took up his knife and fork as if he were going to use them, but immediately dropped them. Hyrum, observing this, said, “Martin, why do you not eat? are you sick?” Upon which Mr. Harris pressed his hands upon his temples, and cried out in a tone of deep anguish, “Oh, I have lost my soul! I have lost my soul!”
Joseph, who had not expressed his fears till now, sprang from the table, exclaiming, “Martin, have you lost that manuscript? Have you broken your oath, and brought down condemnation upon my head, as well as your own?”
“Yes, it is gone,” replied Martin, “and I know not where.”
“Oh, my God!” said Joseph, clinching his hands.
“All ‘is lost! all is lost! What shall I do? I have sinned–it is I who tempted the wrath of God. I should have been satisfied with the first answer which I received from the Lord; for he told me that it was not safe to let the writing go out of my possession.”
He wept and groaned, and walked the floor continually. At length he told Martin to go back and search again.
“No,” said Martin, “it is all in vain; for I have ripped open beds and pillows, and I know it is not there.”
“Then must I,” said Joseph, “return to my wife with such a tale as this? I dare not do it, lest it should kill her at once. And how shall I appear before the Lord ? Of what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the Most High?”
I besought him not to mourn so, for perhaps the Lord would forgive him, after a short season of humiliation and repentance. But what could I say to comfort him, when he saw all the family in the same situation of mind as himself? for sobs and groans, and the most bitter lamentations filled the house. However, Joseph was more distressed than the rest, as he better understood the consequences of disobedience. And he continued pacing back and forth, meantime weeping and grieving, until about sunset, when, by persuasion, he took a little nourishment. 
 The next morning he set out for home. We parted with heavy hearts, for it now appeared that all which we had so fondly anticipated, and which had been the source of so much secret gratification, had in a moment fled, and fled for ever.

Chapter 26
 Martin Harris’ Perfidy
I will now give a sketch of the proceeding of Martin Harris during the time he was absent from Joseph. After leaving Joseph he arrived at home with the manuscript in safety. Soon after he exhibited the manuscript to his wife and family. His wife was so pleased with it that she gave him the privilege of locking it up in her own set of drawers, which was a special favor, for she had never before this allowed him even the privilege of looking into them. After he had shown the manuscript to those who had a right, according to his oath, to see it, he went with his wife to visit one of her relatives, who lived some ten or fifteen miles distant.
After remaining with them a short time, he returned home, but his wife declined accompanying him back. Soon after his return, a very particular friend of his made him a visit, to whom he related all that he knew concerning the record. The man’s curiosity was much excited, and, as might be expected, he earnestly desired to see the manuscript. Martin was so anxious to gratify his friend, that, although it was contrary to his obligation, he went to the drawer to get the manuscript, but the key was gone. He sought for it some time, but could not find it. Resolved, however, to carry his purpose into execution, he picked the lock, and, in so doing, considerably injured his wife’s bureau. He then took out the manuscript, and, after showing it to his friend, he removed it to his own set of drawers, where he could have it at his command. Passing by his oath, he showed it to any good friend that happened to call on him. 
 When Mrs. Harris returned, and discovered the marred state of her bureau, her irascible temper was excited to the utmost pitch, and an intolerable storm ensued, which descended with the greatest violence upon the devoted head of her husband.
Having once made a sacrifice of his conscience, Mr. Harris no longer regarded its scruples; so he continued to exhibit the writings, until a short time before Joseph arrived, to any one whom he regarded as prudent enough to keep the secret, except our family, but we were not allowed to set our eyes upon them.
For a short time previous to Joseph’s arrival, Mr. Harris had been otherwise engaged, and thought but little about the manuscript. When Joseph sent for him, he went immediately to the drawer where he had left it, but, behold it was gone! He asked his wife where it was. She solemnly averred that she did not know anything respecting it. He then made a faithful search throughout the house, as before related.1
The manuscript has never been found; and there is no doubt but Mrs. Harris took it from the drawer, with the view of retaining it, until another translation should be given, then, to alter the original translation, for the purpose of showing a discrepancy between them, and thus make the whole appear to be a deception.
It seemed as though Martin Harris, for his transgression, suffered temporally as well as spiritually. The same day on which the foregoing circumstance took place, a dense fog spread itself over his fields, and blighted his wheat while in the blow, so that he lost about two thirds of his crop, whilst those fields which lay only on the opposite side of the road received no injury whatever. I well remember that day of darkness, both within and without. To us, at least, the heavens seemed clothed with blackness, and the earth shrouded with gloom. I have often said within myself, that if a continual punishment, as severe as that which we experienced on that occasion, were to be inflicted upon the most wicked characters who ever stood upon the footstool of the Almighty–if even their punishment were no greater than that, I should feel to pity their condition.

1. In 1860, when conversing with Martin Harris, at Kirtland, Ohio, in respect to the Book of Mormon and the prophetic mission of Joseph the Martyr, he in reply to direct inquiries, told me that he obtained the one hundred and sixteen pages manuscript of the Book of Mormon from Joseph, and took them to his home, where he read them in the evenings to his family and some friends, and that he put them in his bureau in the parlor, locking both bureau and parlor, putting the keys of each in his pocket, and so retired for the night, after which he never saw them. He seemed to be still conscience-smitten for permitting them to be stolen. He reaffirmed his testimony, in substance, as found in connection with that of O. Cowdery and D. Whitmer, in respect to the divinity of the Book of Mormon. W.W. BLAIR.

A. DC 3
B. What problem arose as a result of Joseph and Martin’s error?
C. How did the Lord solve the problem?
D. Which portion of the Book of Mormon was contained on the 116 pages?
E. What is promised to those who repent, come unto Christ, and endure to the end?

A. I Nephi 2:99-102
B. Words of Mormon 1:9-11
C. I Nephi 5:221-226
D. How did the Lord prepare for the loss of the 116 pages?
E. What was contained upon “these plates” that Nephi kept by the Lord’s command?

G. Jeremiah 36
H. Alma 17:31, 42-48
I. What happened to the word of the Lord after the king burned the book in the fire?
J. What does the loss and recovery of the words of the book share in common with the loss of the manuscript (116 pages) and preservation of the words of the Lord?
K. What principle of God’s dealings with men is revealed through these events?
D. What is the warning given by the spirit of prophecy through Alma to his son?
E. What is promised to Helaman concerning his charge to keep the sacred records?
L. What attributes of God are revealed in these promises?



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 12, 1828-June 14, 1828: Joseph translates 116 pages, Martin writes, loses manuscript
April 7, 1829: Joseph resumes translation with Oliver Cowdery as scribe
May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist
June, 1829: Joseph and Oliver commanded to ordain one another to Melchisedec priesthood pending the vote of the membership

A. Malachi 3:1-3—he shall purify the sons of Levi . . . an offering in righteousness
B. DC 59:2e—an offering in righteousness—a broken heart and a contrite spirit
-(Psalms 51:17; II Nephi 1:72; III Nephi 4:49-50; Moroni 6:2; DC 17:7)
C. Hebrews 12:18-29—For our God is a consuming fire
D. Ephesians 3:7-12—to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ
E. DC 65—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight

A. DC 104:1,10—the power and authority of the Aaronic priesthood
B. DC 83:3-4—the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel
C. Matthew 3:37-38—ministry of John = prepare the people by repentance, baptism by water
D. What event in the lives of Joseph and Oliver lead to the restoration of the priesthood of Aaron?
E. What does this say about the purpose of priesthood?
F. What is the responsibility and authority of the Aaronic priesthood?
G. What two promises are given during the interview with the angel?
H. Under whose direction did the angel profess to act?
I. What did Joseph and Oliver experience immediately following their baptism? What promise found in the word of God is fulfilled by this experience?
J. What change occurred in the minds of Joseph and Oliver following their baptism?

A. DC 104:3, 9—the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church
B. DC 83:3b-c—the key of the mysteries of the kingdom and the knowledge of God
C. Acts 8:12-20—the gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed by the laying on of hands
D. What were the circumstances leading to the restoration of the Melchisedec priesthood?
E. What promise was in the mind of Joseph and Oliver as they petitioned the Lord?
F. How were Joseph and Oliver authorized to ordain one another elders?
G. What were Joseph and Oliver commanded to do prior to ordaining one another?
H. What keys and privileges are given to the Mechisedec priesthood?

The work of translation continued without any other extra-ordinary event transpiring until Friday, May 15, when the Aaronic priesthood was conferred upon them through the instrumentality of John the Baptist. On this point we allow Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to relate the circumstance.
Joseph Smith says:-
“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 ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness,’
He said this Aaronic priesthood had not 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 Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptize me.
“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 Aaronic priesthood, and afterwards 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 Melchisedec, which priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us-and that I should be called the first elder, and he the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, that we were baptized and ordained under the hand of 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 Oliver Cowdery than the Holy Ghost fell upon him and he stood up and prophesied 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 prophesied concerning the rise of the 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 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 the 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 wife’s father’s family, (under Divine Providence,) who had become 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. (RLDS CH VOL 1:34-37)

After the thrilling events related in the last chapter occurred another of the most important events of this dispensation; of elder in the higher or Melchisedec priesthood; which priesthood, according to a subsequent revelation, holds “the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church; to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; to have the heavens opened unto them; to commune with the general assembly and church of the firstborn; and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.”-Doctrine and Covenants 104: 9.
Let us again hear Joseph while he relates this remarkable event:- “Meantime we continued to translate, at intervals, when not necessitated to attend to the numerous inquirers, 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 Rabbis 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, to such as believed. We now became anxious to have that promise realized to us, which the angel that conferred upon us the Aaronic priesthood had given us; viz., that provided we continued faithful we should also have the Melchisedec 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 Mr. Whitmer’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 Savior’s promise; ‘Ask, and you shall receive, 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 Oliver Cowdery to be an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, 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 until 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.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 915. (RLDS CH VOL 1:59-60)

One provision mentioned in the above instruction is of peculiar importance. Notwithstanding the Lord appoints these men to a high and responsible position, he recognizes the rights of the people, and shows no disposition to force upon them a man not indorsed [endorsed] by them. He instructs them not to carry out his direction until they present the same before their brethren for indorsement [endorsement]. Is not this a grand condescension upon the part of God, that having called men to be colaborers he recognizes their right to a voice in the things done? But he is just, and this is justice. This principle, if true, ought to admonish men who aspire to be coworkers “together with God” that it is necessary to work in the same spirit in which he works, and with the same motives to purify and bless mankind; other wise they will not be worthy to retain their standing, and, in harmony with the inexorable laws of justice, must fall. Further; they should be admonished that as God recognizes them, and their rights of voice and vote, they should recognize their brethren. Again; as God permits man the privilege of ratifying his choice, is it not disrespectful for men to select and ordain, without consulting him and obtaining his will? (RLDS CH VOL 1:61-63)

Deuteronomy 10:2
And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou breakest,save the words of the everlasting covenant of the holy priesthood, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
DC 83:4

HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH. Continued. After we had received this revelation he (Oliver Cowdery) stated to me that after he had gone to my father’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 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 being living knew of the thing alluded to 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 mutually agreed to settle it by the Urim and Thummim, and the following is the word which we received. A Revelation given to Joseph Smith, jr. and Oliver Cowdery, in Harmony, Pennsylvania, 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 ye shall ask, what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him, Lord give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desiredst [desirest] this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shall prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people. 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 [desirest] of me that he might bring souls unto me; but thou desiredst [desirest] that thou might speedily come 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 ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation, who dwell on the earth; and I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James: and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come. Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired.

Hence Peter, James, and John could have ordained holding and exercising the power to direct, set in order, arrange, regulate, establish, appoint, decree, enact, or institute, etc. In the absence of any evidence that Peter, James, and John ordained according to Webster’s fourth definition, we are not justified as historians in saying that Joseph and Oliver were so ordained. It is fair to presume that they
were not, for the reason that so important an event certainly would have been mentioned by the parties concerned. It establishes the principle that a command of God is sufficient authority for any man to perform the ordinance of ordination.
It is evident that the inherent right to the priesthood by virtue of their lives being “hid with Christ in God,” was recognized; and because of this they were authorized by command to do the work. (RLDS CH VOL 1: 65-66)



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 12, 1828-June 14, 1828: Joseph translates 116 pages, Martin writes, loses manuscript
April 7, 1829: Joseph resumes translation with Oliver Cowdery as scribe
May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist
June, 1829: Joseph and Oliver commanded to ordain one another to Melchisedec priesthood pending the vote of the membership

A. DC 4 (February 1829)—Joseph Smith, Sr.
B. DC 6 (April 5, 1829)—Oliver Cowdery
C. DC 10 (May 1829)—Hyrum Smith
D. DC 11 (May 1829)—Joseph Knight, Sr.
E. DC 12 (June 1829)—David Whitmer
F. DC 13 (June 1829)—John Whitmer
G. DC 14 (June 1829)—Peter Whitmer, Jr.
A. DC 15 (June 1829)—Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer
B. DC 16 (June 1829)—Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer

1. What condition must be met by those who embark in the service of God in order for them to stand blameless before God at the last day?
2. What is the evidence of one’s calling in the work of God?
3. What four things qualify someone for the work of God?
4. How is the word of God described?
5. What counsel and promise is given to those who would seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion?
6. What one thing does a truly rich person have?
7. What is the greatest of all the gifts of God? What is required in order to obtain that gift?
8. What can one do to guarantee that even earth and hell will not prevail against him?
9. If doubt or fears arise, upon what may we cast our eyes that will remind us of our inheritance?
10. What four things does the Spirit lead us to do that permit us to recognize that we are led by the Spirit of God?
11. What is required to become a son of God?
12. Jesus says he must bring the fullness of his gospel from whom unto whom?
13. John and Peter Whitmer asked the Lord what would of most worth unto them. What did
Jesus tell them?
R.L.D.S. CH VOL 1:41-43
ONE thing which peculiarly impresses the mind of the investigator is that in every emergency some one seemed ready to meet it, and move the work along. To be sure it was a time when men were largely governed by the impulse of the moment, but what seems peculiar is, that notwithstanding the bitter and vindictive opposition, there was always, in time of need, some one moved to stand in the breach, to succor or protect the work struggling for existence. A case in point is mentioned by Joseph Smith about this time. It is well known that Joseph Smith was a very poor man, and it was often a serious question while his time was occupied with spiritual concerns as to where needed sustenance was to come from. While, assisted by Oliver Cowdery, he was bending every energy to forward the work of translation, he was in a very unexpected way supplied. He says:-
“About the same time came an old gentleman to visit us of whose name I wish to make honorable mention; Mr. Joseph Knight, Sen., of Colesville, Broome County, New York, 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 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 which otherwise we must have relinquished for a season. “Being very anxious to know his duty as to this work, I inquired of the Lord for him. 1 Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 884.

Another remarkable instance of the same nature is related by him, as follows:-
“Shortly after commencing to translate, I became acquainted with Mr. Peter Whitmer, of Fayette, Seneca County, New York, and also with some of his family. In the beginning of the month of June his son David Whitmer came to the place where we were residing, and brought with him a two horse wagon, for the purpose of having us accompany him to his father’s place and there remain until 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 awaiting the opportunity, to inquire into these things, we accepted the invitation, and accompanied Mr. Whitmer to his father’s house, and there resided until the translation was finished, and the copyright secured. Upon our arrival, we found Mr. Whitmer’s family very anxious concerning the work, and very friendly towards ourselves. They continued so, boarded and lodged us according to proposal, and John Whitmer, in particular, assisted us very much in writing during the remainder of the work.

“In the meantime, David, John, and Peter Whitmer, Jr., became our zealous friends and assistants in the work,” etc.-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 881, 885.

During this time several revelations were given. 2


JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 12, 1828-June 14, 1828: Joseph translates 116 pages, Martin writes, loses manuscript
April 7, 1829: Joseph resumes translation with Oliver Cowdery as scribe
May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist
June, 1829: Joseph and Oliver commanded to ordain one another to Melchisedec priesthood pending the vote of the membership; Testimony of the three and eight witnesses received


A. DC 15 (June 1829)—Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris
B. Isaiah 29:17-19; II Nephi 11:133-135—three witnesses to see the book
C. Ether 2:2-3—in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established
D. II Nephi 8:4-6—by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word

A. Mormon 4:28-34—faith to remove mountains; prayers on behalf of Joseph Smith
B. Mormon 4:14-21—whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these
C. III Nephi 12:1-5—if they believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them
D. Ether 1:98-106—in the day that the Gentiles exercise faith in Christ, even as the Brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in Christ, then will he manifest unto them the things which the Brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all the revelations of Christ

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen . . . But without faith it is impossible to please him; for the that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. –Hebrews 11:1,6

Faith being the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness . . . is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen, and the principle of action in all intelligent beings. –Lectures On Faith 1:1,9

R.L.D.S. CH VOL 1:41-43
While at Mr. Whitmer’s, engaged in translation, occurred another of the most wonderful and confirming events connected with the introduction of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the work. Joseph was no longer to be the sole witness of the existence of the plates and the correctness of their translation. How joyful must have been his feelings as he realized that the burden which before he had borne alone was now to be shared by others. No wonder that he exclaimed when the wonderful vision had been concluded, Father, Mother, you do not know how happy I am; the Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They have seen an angel, who has testified to them, and they will have to bear witness to the truth of what I have said, for now they know for themselves that I do not go about to deceive the people, and I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear, and it rejoices my soul that I am not any longer to be entirely alone in the world.”-Lucy Smith’s History, p. 147.

The relation of these remarkable events we here present in the words of Joseph Smith:-
“We found the people of Seneca County in general friendly and disposed to inquire 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 Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer, Jr., were baptized in Seneca Lake, the two former by myself, the latter by Oliver Cowdery. From this time forth many became believers, and were baptized, whilst we continued to instruct and persuade as many as applied for information.
“In the 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. . . .
“Almost immediately after we had made this discovery, it occurred to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and the aforementioned Martin Harris (who had come to inquire after our progress in the work) that they would have me inquire 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 teased me so much, that at length I complied, and through the Urim and Thummin, I obtained of the Lord for them the following revelation 3 :-
“Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four; viz.: Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and myself, agreed to retire into the woods, and try to
obtain, by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfillment of the promises given in the revelation; that they should have a view of the plates, etc. We accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to Mr. Whitmer’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 these promises. According to previous arrangements I commenced, by vocal prayer to our heavenly Father, and was followed by each of the rest in succession. We did not yet, however, obtain any answer, or manifestation of the divine favor 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, Martin Harris 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 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 discover the engravings thereon distinctly. He addressed himself to David Whitmer, and said: ‘David, blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps 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 David and Oliver, and went in pursuit of Martin Harris, whom 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 received. We accordingly joined in prayer, and ultimately obtained our desire, 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 heard the same things; whilst at the same moment Martin Harris cried out, apparently in ecstasy of joy, ”Tis enough; mine eyes have beheld,’ and jumping up he shouted, Hosanah, blessing God, and other wise rejoiced exceedingly.
“Having thus, through the mercy of God, obtained these manifestations, it now remained for these three individuals to fulfill 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 documents:-

“‘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 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 shown 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 of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
“Soon after these things had transpired, the following additional testimony was obtained:-

“‘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 shown 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 shown 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.
“‘Christian Whitmer.
“‘Jacob Whitmer.
“‘Peter Whitmer, Jr.
“‘John Whitmer.
“‘Hiram Page
“‘Joseph Smith, Sen.
“‘Hyrum Smith.
“‘Samuel H. Smith.'”
-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 897-899.

The testimony of these witnesses is plain, and of a nature to preclude the possibility of their having been deceived. They could not have been mistaken, hence their testimony is true, or they are liars. What inducement could have been offered them to lie? The cause was unpopular; yes, bitterly and violently persecuted. They had every reason to believe that contumely, persecution, and ostracism would be their portion if they thus publicly espoused this cause. Joseph Smith had neither wealth, emolument, nor positions of honor to offer them.
By some careless writers it has been stated that some of them denied or renounced their testimony in after years, but no authenticated denial or renouncement exists to our knowledge; at least none has been produced, though often publicly demanded. We suppose that this report has obtained through a misunderstanding of their attitude.
It is true that some of them became disaffected during the troublesome times in Missouri, and that differences arose between them and Joseph Smith; but these differences did not occur on account of the Book of Mormon or the testimonies before published. Their contentions arose from other causes, real or supposed, and did not in any sense affect their attitude towards the book.
It is not our province to discuss these differences, or to say which was right, if either. There may have been unwise actions and unwise sayings on both sides; but the fact of their estrangement only makes their former testimony stronger when we reflect that neither party during their differences and contention accused the other of fraud in these testimonies. There were no exposures, no confessions, but all went to their graves unwaveringly maintaining the truth of their testimony. Some strong and perhaps harsh statements were made during this controversy, but this only argues that they were not afraid of retaliation by way of exposure of previous frauds.
Some of these witnesses have left on record no further testimony than that found in the document to which they subscribed in 1829. The three witnesses, whose testimony is most important, have reaffirmed it, however; so also has John Whitmer, the last surviving one of the eight. To each of the writers of this history David Whitmer said, in the presence of witnesses and at his home in Richmond, Missouri, that he attended Oliver Cowdery, who died at Richmond, Missouri, Sunday, March 3, 1850, on his deathbed, and that during his last sickness Oliver admonished him to be faithful to his testimony for it was true. “It is recorded in the American Cyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, that I, David Whitmer, have denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon; and that the other two witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, denied their testimony to that book. I will say once more to all mankind, that I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof. I also testify to the world, that neither Oliver Cowdery or Martin Harris ever at any time denied their testimony. They both died reaffirming the truth of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I was present at the deathbed of Oliver Cowdery, and his last words were, ‘Brother David, be true to your testimony to the Book of Mormon.’ He died here in Richmond, Missouri, on March 3, 1850. Many witnesses yet live in Richmond, who will testify to the truth of these facts, as well as to the good character of Oliver Cowdery.”-David Whitmer’s “Address,” p. 8.4



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 12, 1828-June 14, 1828: Joseph translates 116 pages, Martin writes, loses manuscript
May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist
June, 1829: Joseph and Oliver commanded to ordain one another to Melchisedec priesthood pending the vote of the membership; Testimony of the three and eight witnesses received
April 6, 1830: The Church of Jesus Christ organized at Fayette, New York


A. Daniel 7:13-14, 27—his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away
B. Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45—the stone cut out of the mountain without hands became a great
mountain, and filled the whole earth
C. DC 65—the keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth

A. DC 3:16-17—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church
B. II Nephi 12:77-78—repentance and belief in Jesus required for a covenant relationship
C. Mosiah 11:124-132—this is my church: whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance
D. DC 17—The rise of the church of Christ in these last days . . .
1. command of God to organize the church
2. Joseph’s history, Book of Mormon, nature of God
3. witnesses of the work and words of God
4-6. gospel of Christ
7,20,21. manner of baptism
8-9. duty of apostle/elder
10. duty of priest
11. duty of teacher
12-16. instructions for ordination of elder, priest, teacher, deacon
13. provision for conferences
17. ordination of president of high priesthood, bishop, high councilor, high priest
18-19. duty of members
22-23. instructions/prayers for sacrament
24-25. instructions for dealing with those who transgress
26. instructions for membership transfers

JESUS SPOKE OFTEN of the kingdom of heaven (and the kingdom of God). Daniel said that in the “latter days” the God of heaven was to set up a kingdom on earth that would endure forever. Fondly as earthly rulers may talk about their empires enduring for all time, we know that all political structures of human devising grow old and pass away.
Obviously the kingdom of heaven is that domain over which God and his Son rule. Its subjects are those who do the will of God, have fellowship with his Son, and are guided by the Holy Spirit. The will and commandments of God govern in the lives of his subjects, and those laws of life are embodied in the gospel that Christ came to promulgate to and through his church.
The kingdom of heaven “triumphant” on high is governed perfectly by the will of heaven. The kingdom of heaven, “militant,” projected on earth, may suffer setbacks, delays, reverses; at times it may seem slow and feeble, but in the end it is bound to triumph, because the forces of righteousness and truth are with it. The slow progress of the kingdom on earth is due to the fact that God respects human agency and waits for education, enlightenment, conversion, regeneration, and a voluntary co-operation of oft-times blundering human beings.

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 Savior 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 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 Oliver Cowdery 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 Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and for ever. Amen (DC 17:1).
The set time for the church to reappear arrived. The chosen place was in the chosen land of promise, the land of religious liberty, America. This movement was unlike any other of modern times. The church was organized “by the will and commandments of God” by men “called to be apostles.” We must go back to the days of Christ and the apostles to find a parallel.

RLDS CH VOL 6 PG 76-79
“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 Mr. Whitmer (being six in number) on Tuesday, the sixth day of April, A. D. one thousand eight 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 a unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery 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.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 944, 945.
Thus in a few plain, simple words is chronicled the history of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ, at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, on Tuesday, April 6, 1830, with only six members; a partial organization to be sure, but provision had already been made for a complete organization. Revelation had been given providing for a quorum of apostles, for elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and the duties of each defined. Provision had been made for a president of the high priesthood, bishop, high counselor, high priest, and general church recorder. Provision had been made for local churches; the transferring of membership from one church to another; for the holding of conferences. Instruction was given regarding ordination, the granting of licenses, the instruction of those baptized, the blessing of children, manner of baptism, administering the sacrament, and other essential features of church government. This appears from the fact that the revelation (section 17) was given some time before the organization effected April 6, 1830; for by it, according to the foregoing history, they learned the exact day on which the organization was to take place.

One of our favorite hymns, composed by David H. Smith, has this line, “The pebble has dropped in the water, and the waves circle round with the shock.” The beginning of this work was almost as unnoticed as the dropping of a pebble in the water.
When six very young men met to organize the church, April 6, 1830, the event had no news value. No newspaper gave it so much as a line. Today, if time could be turned back and the scene be re-enacted, the great dailies would have their star reporters there, and the movie magnates would have their cameras there with sound recording machines.
The six charter members were: Joseph Smith, 24 years old; Oliver Cowdery, 23; Hyrum Smith, 29; Peter Whitmer, jr., 20; Samuel H. Smith, 22, and David Whitmer, 25. . .
These six young men were without experience as church builders. There was not in existence a church after which to pattern to develop the church they were to build: with apostles, prophets, bishops, evangelists, elders, deacons, and all the other church officers mentioned in the New Testament. They could only proceed as commanded and in line with the Scriptures as they had them in the Bible and Book of Mormon.
Moreover, this was to be a rather complex organization with many men involved. They were but six. There was no human assurance that they would ever win other converts. But they moved by faith, and “the waves circled out.” Other men were found to complete the organization and to continue its work.

RLDS CH VOL 1 PG 78-79
Joseph continues as follows:-
“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 powers and 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 the last days, as well as according to the order of the church as recorded 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 father and mother were baptized to my great joy and consolation, and about the same time Martin Harris and A. Rockwell.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 12.
Before separating on this memorable sixth of April further revelation was received (DC 19). Soon after instruction was given concerning those who wished to unite with the church on baptisms received in other churches (DC 20).



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

May 15, 1829: Aaronic priesthood conferred upon Joseph and Oliver through John the Baptist
June, 1829: Joseph and Oliver commanded to ordain one another to Melchisedec priesthood pending the vote of the membership; Testimony of the three and eight witnesses received
April 6, 1830: The Church of Jesus Christ organized at Fayette, New York
September 1, 1830: Second conference of the church, Fayette, New York


A. John 15:17-20—if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you
B. Romans 5:1-5—tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience . . .
C. Romans 8:35-39—who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . .
D. Isaiah 50:5—the Lord is near and he justifieth me
E. Proverbs 24:10—If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small
Nehemiah 8:10—the joy of the Lord is your strength

A. DC 25—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.
B. DC 26—instructions for sacrament preparation
C. DC 27—commandments and revelations in the church to be received through Joseph Smith, Jr., he receives them as Moses . . . until I shall appoint another in his stead

A. DC 27:3—Gospel to be preached among the Lamanites
B. I Nephi 4:16—fullness of the gospel of the Messiah from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of Lehi
C. III Nephi 10:1-4—if they will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts . . .

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own his cause, or blush to speak his name. Must I be borne to Paradise on flowery beds of ease? While others fight to win the prize, and sail through stormy seas? Are there no foes for me to face? Must I not stem the flood? Is this vile world a friend to grace, to help me on to God? Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord! I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by thy word. –Saints’ Hymnal # 202

“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 Oliver Cowdery; viz.: Emma Smith, Hezekiah Peck and wife, Joseph Knight and wife, William Stringham and wife, Joseph Knight, Jr., Aaron Culver and wife, Levi Hall, Polly Knight, 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 Mr. Knight (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 Newel Knight.
“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 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, etc., etc. 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. . .
“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. . .
Among many witnesses called up against me was Mr. Josiah Stoal (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? Ans. Yes. Q. Did not he go to you and tell you that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorized him to get the horse from you? Ans. No, he told me no such story. Q. Well; how had he the horse of you? Ans. He bought him of me, as another man would do. Q. Have you had your pay? Ans. 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? Ans. 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? Ans. No, he did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen, he purchased them the same as another man would. . .
Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in Broome County 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, until they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broome County, and which warrant they 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 anything to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broome County, a distance of about fifteen miles, before he allowed me any 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 spat upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying Prophesy, prophesy; and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Savior 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 wife, at home, offering any wished-for security for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. The constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only fare I that night received. . .
“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 of his behavior 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 favor me, and lead me out in safety by 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 wife’s sister’s house, where I found my wife awaiting with much anxiety the issue of those ungodly proceedings; and with her in company next day, arrived in safety at my own house.
Joseph continues as follows:- “Meantime, 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 Colesville, the church there were, as might be expected, very anxious concerning our again visiting them, during which time Sister Knight (wife of Newel Knight) 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 confident that eventually we should come off victorious, if we only continued faithful to him who had called us forth from darkness into the marvelous light of the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 92.

Joseph further writes:- “Shortly after . . . Oliver Cowdery returned to Mr. Whitmer’s, and I began to arrange and copy the revelations which we had received from time to time; in which I was assisted by John Whitmer, 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 Oliver Cowdery, 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: . . . ‘And truly manifested 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 these 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 Mr. Whitmer’s family, where 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 Christian Whitmer at length got convinced that it was reasonable, and according to scripture, and, finally, with his assistance, I succeeded in bringing, not only the Whitmer family, but also Oliver Cowdery, to acknowledge they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance with the rest of the commandments. And thus was their error rooted out, which having its rise in presumption and rash judgment, was the more particularly calculated (when once fairly understood) to teach each and all of 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 that proceedeth forth from his mouth”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 108.
To our great grief, however, we soon found that Satan had been lying in wait to deceive, and seeking whom he might devour. Brother Hiram Page had got in his possession a certain stone, by which he had obtained to certain revelations, concerning the up building of Zion, the order of the church, etc., etc., all of which were entirely at variance with the order of God’s 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, until the conference should meet. Finding, however, that many, (especially the Whitmer family and Oliver Cowdery,) were believing much in the thing set forth by this stone, we thought best to inquire of the Lord, concerning so important a matter.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 117-119.
In answer to this inquiry a revelation was received. 6 It will be seen that in the above revelation provision is made for extending the borders of the church into the western country, the presenting of the record of their fathers to the Lamanites (Indians), and the building of the city of Zion somewhere in the West.
On September 1 the conference before referred to met and the difficulty occasioned by Hiram Page being deceived by a seer stone was adjusted to the satisfaction of all. Of this Joseph writes:- “At length our conference assembled; the subject of the stone mentioned in a previous number, was discussed, and after considerable investigation, Brother Page, 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.
“During the conference, which continued three days, the utmost harmony prevailed, and all things were settled satisfactory to all present, and a desire was manifested by all the saints to go forward and labor with all their powers to spread the great and glorious principles of truth, which had been revealed by our heavenly Father. . . . Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 146, 172.


CRB CH CLASS # 10-11

JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 6, 1830: The Church of Jesus Christ organized at Fayette, New York
September 1, 1830: Second conference of the church, Fayette, New York
October, 1830: Mission west . . . arrive at Kirtland, Ohio
Early 1831: arrive in Missouri (O.C., P.W., Jr., P.P, Z.P.) . . . preach to Delaware tribe

R.L.D.S. CHURCH HISTORY VOL 1, CHAPTER 8, PAGES 128-129, 139-140, 154-155, 178-183

A. DC 27:3,5—(Oliver Cowdery)-preach my gospel to the Lamanites, sound of rejoicing
*location for the holy city—on the borders by the Lamanites (DC 27:3c)
B. DC 29:2—(Peter Whitmer, Jr.)-accompany Oliver, declare my gospel, fear not
C. DC 31—(Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson)-called to the mission, declare my gospel
D. DC 2:6—that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ

A. DC 30:2a—glad tidings of great joy
B. Mosiah 1:94-106, 116, 119-120—glad tidings of great joy
C. Alma 10:18-20,27-30—glad tidings of great joy
D. Luke 2:10-14—good tidings of great joy—peace on earth, goodwill to men

A. I Nephi 4:16-29—the fullness of the gospel to come through the Gentiles to Israel
B. II Nephi 5:29—shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, shall be gathered
C. II Nephi 7:12—covenant: when they believe in Christ, restored to their lands
D. III Nephi 7:28-45—warning to the Gentiles, promise to Israel
E. III Nephi 9:65-72—covenant of the Father: gospel of Christ, gathering
F. I Nephi 3:201-205—blessing available for Gentiles and Israel
G. Ether 1:109-117—invitation: faith, humility, repentance, the work of the Father

I have found the glorious gospel that was taught in former years, with its gifts and blessings all so full and free; And my soul is thrilled with gladness, and banished are my fears, since the precious angel message came to me.
My once blind eyes are open, my sins are washed away, and the kingdom I can very plainly see; No more do fears and doubtings my trusting soul dismay, since the precious angel message came to me.
Now for celestial glory, in the presence of the Lord; I will work and watch and humbly bow the knee; No longer faith but knowledge, in true and sweet accord, has the precious angel message brought to me.
Then praise the Lord, O my soul! Abundant mercy, oh, how free! In joyful song my spirit doth accord, since the precious angel message came to me. –Saints’ Hymnal # 408
PAGES 128-129
THIS mission to the West was one of the most important events in the early history of the church. It resulted in the establishment of the church in Kirtland, Ohio, where some of the most thrilling events of the age transpired, and where yet the Temple stands as a monument to their faithfulness and patient endurance. Here the leading quorums of the church were organized; and here were found some of the men who were destined to become prominent in the church and her councils. Here in Northern Ohio were found, among others who were afterwards identified with the history of the church, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Orson Hyde, Lyman Wight, Luke S. and Lyman E. Johnson, Edward Partridge, and Newel E. Whitney.
The missionaries also proceeded west as far as Independence, Missouri, and into the Territory of Kansas, preaching by the way to many, including some tribes of Indians.
Of this mission Joseph Smith writes:-
“Immediately on receiving this revelation, preparations were made for the journey of the brethren therein designated, to the borders of the Lamanites, and a copy of the revelation was given them. 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 Kirtland, 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 Sidney Rigdon, and a large portion of the church over which he presided.

PAGES 139-140
“At this time, it being in the fall of A. D. 1830, Elders Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery, and Peter Whitmer, called at that town on their way to the western boundary of the State of Missouri, testifying to the truth of the ‘Book of Mormon,’ and that the Lord had raised up a prophet, and restored the priesthood. Previous to this, Elder Parley Pratt had been a preacher in the same church with Elder Rigdon, and resided in the town of Amherst, Lorain County, in that State, and had been sent into the State of New York, on a mission, where he became acquainted with the circumstances of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and was introduced to Joseph Smith, Jr., and others of the Church of Latter Day Saints. After listening to the testimony of the ‘witnesses,’ and reading the ‘Book,’ he became convinced that it was of God, and that the principles which they taught, were the principles of truth. He was then baptized, and shortly after was ordained an elder, and began to preach, and from that time became a strenuous advocate of the truth.
“Believing there were many in the church with whom he had formerly been united, who were honest seekers after truth, induced him, while on his journey to the West, to call upon his friends, and make known the great things which the Lord had brought to pass. The first house at which they called was Elder Rigdon’s; and after the usual salutations, presented him with the Book of Mormon-stating that it was a revelation from God. This being the first time he had ever heard of or seen the Book of Mormon, he felt very much prejudiced at the assertion; and replied that, ‘he had one Bible which he believed was a revelation from God, and with which he pretended to have some acquaintance; but with respect to the book they had presented him he must say that he had considerable doubt.’ Upon which they expressed a desire to investigate the subject, and argue the matter; but he replied, ‘No, young gentlemen, you must not argue with me on the subject; but I will read your book, and see what claim it has upon my faith, and will endeavor to ascertain whether it be a revelation from God or not.’

PAGES 154-155 (Parley P. Pratt)
These testimonies are also corroborated by Parley P. Pratt in his autobiography:-
“It was now October, 1830. A revelation had been given through the mouth of this Prophet, Seer, and Translator, in which Elders Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Ziba Peterson, and myself were appointed to go into the wilderness, through the Western States, and to the Indian Territory. Making arrangements for my wife in the family of the Whitmers, we took leave of our friends and the church late in October, and started on foot.
“After traveling for some days we called on an Indian nation at or near Buffalo; and spent part of a day with them, instructing them in the knowledge of the record of their forefathers. We were kindly received, and much interest was manifested by them on hearing this news. We made a present of two copies of the Book of Mormon to certain of them who could read, and repaired to Buffalo. Thence we continued our journey, for about two hundred miles, and at length called on Mr. Rigdon, my former friend and instructor, in the Reformed Baptist Society. He received us cordially and entertained us with hospitality.
“We soon presented him with a Book of Mormon, and related to him the history of the same. He was much interested, and promised a thorough perusal of the book. “We tarried in this region for some time, and devoted our time to the ministry, and visiting from house to house.
“At length Mr. Rigdon and many others became convinced that they had no authority to minister in the ordinances of God; and that they had not been legally baptized and ordained. They therefore, came forward and were baptized by us, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
“The news of our coming was soon noised abroad, and the news of the discovery of the Book of Mormon and the marvelous events connected with it. The interest and excitement now became general in Kirtland, and in all the region round about. The people thronged us night and day, insomuch that we had no time for rest or retirement. Meetings were convened in different neighborhoods, and multitudes came together soliciting our attendance; while thousands flocked about us daily; some to be taught, some for curiosity, some to obey the gospel, and some to dispute or resist it.
“In two or three weeks from our arrival in the neighborhood with the news, we had baptized one hundred and twenty seven souls, and this number soon increased to one thousand. The disciples were filled with joy and gladness, while rage and lying was abundantly manifested by gainsayers; faith was strong, joy was great, and persecution heavy. “We proceeded to ordain Sidney Rigdon, Isaac Morley, John Murdock, Lyman Wight, Edward Partridge, and many others to the ministry; and, leaving them to take care of the churches and to minister the gospel, we took leave of the saints and continued our journey.”- Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 49, 50.

PAGES 178-183 (Parley P. Pratt)
While these scenes were being enacted in Kirtland, the word was being preached in other parts, and many were obedient to the message. An extract from P. P. Pratt’s account of their mission among the Indians may prove interesting. In his autobiography he writes:-
“In the beginning of 1831 we renewed our journey; and, passing through St. Louis and St. Charles, we traveled on foot for three hundred miles through vast prairies and through trackless wilds of snow-no beaten road; houses few and far between; and the bleak northwest wind always blowing in our faces with a keenness which would almost take the skin off the face. We traveled for whole days, from morning till night, without a house or fire, wading in snow to the knees at every step, and the cold so intense that the snow did not melt on the south side of the houses, even in the midday sun, for nearly six weeks. We carried on our backs our changes of clothing, several books, and corn bread and raw pork. We often eat [ate] our frozen bread and pork by the way, when the bread would be so frozen that we could not bite or penetrate any part of it but the outside crust.
“After much fatigue and some suffering we all arrived in Independence, in the county of Jackson, on the extreme western frontiers of Missouri, and of the United States.
“This was about fifteen hundred miles from where we started, and we had performed most of the journey on foot, through a wilderness country, in the worst season of the year, occupying about four months, during which we had preached the gospel to tens of thousands of Gentiles and two nations of Indians; baptizing, confirming, and organizing many hundreds of people into churches of Latter Day Saints.
“This was the first mission performed by the elders of the church in any of the States west of New York, and we were the first members of the same which were ever on this frontier. “Two of our number now commenced work as tailors in the village of Independence, while the others crossed the frontier line and commenced a mission among the Lamanites, or Indians.
“Passing through the tribe of Shawnees we tarried one night with them, and the next day crossed the Kansas River and entered among the Delawares. We immediately inquired for the residence of the principal chief, and were soon introduced to an aged and venerable looking man, who had long stood at the head of the Delawares, and been looked up to as the Great Grandfather, or Sachem of ten nations or tribes.
“He was seated on a sofa of furs, skins, and blankets, before a fire in the center of his lodge; which was a comfortable cabin, consisting of two large rooms. His wives were neatly dressed, partly in calicoes and partly in skins; and wore a vast amount of silver ornaments. As we entered his cabin he took us by the hand with a hearty welcome, and then motioned us to be seated on a pleasant seat of blankets, or robes. His wives, at his bidding, set before us a tin pan full of beans and corn boiled up together, which proved to be good eating; although three of us made use alternately of the same wooden spoon.
“There was an interpreter present and through him we commenced to make known our errand, and to tell him of the Book of Mormon. We asked him to call the council of his nation together and give us a hearing in full. He promised to consider on it till next day, in the meantime recommending us to a certain Mr. Pool for entertainment; this was their blacksmith, employed by government.
“The man entertained us kindly and comfortably. Next morning we again called on Mr. Anderson, the old chief, and explained to him something of the Book. He was at first unwilling to call his council; made several excuses, and finally refused; as he had ever been opposed to the introduction of missionaries among his tribe.
“We continued the conversation a little longer, till he at last began to understand the nature of the Book. He then changed his mind; became suddenly interested, and requested us to proceed no further with our conversation till he could call a council. He despatched a messenger, and in about an hour had some forty men collected around us in his lodge, who, after shaking us by the hand, were seated in silence; and in a grave and dignified manner awaited the announcement of what we had to offer. The chief then requested us to proceed; or rather, begin where we began before, and to complete our communication. Elder Cowdery then commenced as follows:-
“‘Aged chief and Venerable Council of the Delaware nation; we are glad of this opportunity to address you as our red brethren and friends. We have traveled a long distance from towards the rising sun to bring you glad news; we have traveled the wilderness, crossed the deep and wide rivers, and waded in the deep snows, and in the face of the storms of winter, to communicate to you great knowledge which has lately come to our ears and hearts; and which will do the red man good as well as the pale face.
“‘Once the red men were many; they occupied the country from sea to sea-from the rising to the setting sun; the whole land was theirs; the Great Spirit gave it to them, and no pale faces dwelt among them. But now they are few in numbers; their possessions are small, and the pale faces are many.
“‘Thousands of moons ago, when the red men’s forefathers dwelt in peace and possessed this whole land, the Great Spirit talked with them, and revealed His law and His will, and much knowledge to their wise men and prophets. This they wrote in a Book; together with their history, and the things which should befall their children in the latter days.
“‘This Book was written on plates of gold, and handed down from father to son for many ages and generations. It was then that the people prospered, and were strong and mighty; they cultivated the earth; built buildings and cities, and abounded in all good things, as the pale faces now do.
“‘But they became wicked; they killed one another and shed much blood; they killed their prophets and wise men, and sought to destroy the Book. The Great Spirit became angry, and would speak to them no more; they had no more good and wise dreams; no more visions; no more angels sent among them by the Great Spirit; and the Lord commanded Mormon and Moroni, their last wise men and prophets, to hide the Book in the earth, that it might be preserved in safety, and be found and made known in the latter day to the pale faces who should possess the land; that they might again make it known to the red man; in order to restore them to the knowledge of the will of the Great Spirit and to His favor. And if the red man would then receive this Book and learn the things written in it, and do according thereunto, they should be restored to all their rights and privileges; should cease to fight and kill one another; should become one people; cultivate the earth in peace, in common with the pale faces, who were willing to believe and obey the same book, and be good men and live in peace.
“‘Then should the red men become great, and have plenty to eat and good clothes to wear, and should be in favor with the Great Spirit and be his children, while he would be their Great Father, and talk with them, and raise up prophets and wise and good men amongst them again, who should teach them many things.
“‘This Book, which contained these things, was hid in the earth by Moroni, in a hill called by him, Cumorah, which hill is now in the State of New York, near the village of Palmyra, in Ontario County.
“‘In that neighborhood there lived a young man named Joseph Smith, who prayed to the Great Spirit much, in order that he might know the truth; and the Great Spirit sent an angel to him, and told him where this Book was hid by Moroni; and commanded him to go and get it. He accordingly went to the place, and dug in the earth, and found the Book written on golden plates. But it was written in the language of the forefathers of the red man; therefore this young man, being a pale face, could not understand it; but the angel told him and showed
him, and gave him knowledge of the language, and how to interpret the Book. So he interpreted it into the language of the pale faces, and wrote it on paper, and caused it to be printed, and published thousands of copies of it among them; and then sent us to the red men to bring some copies of it to them, and to tell them this news. So we have now come from him., and here is a copy of the Book, which we now present to our red friend, the chief of the Delawares, and which we hope he will cause to be read and known among his tribe; it will do them good.’
“We then presented him with a Book of Mormon. There was a pause in the council, and some conversation in their own tongue, after which the chief made the following reply:-
“‘We feel truly thankful to our white friends who have come so far, and been at such pains to tell us good news, and especially this new news concerning the Book of our forefathers; it makes us glad in here’-placing his hand on his heart.
“‘It is now winter, we are new settlers in this place; the snow is deep, our cattle and horses are dying, our wigwams are poor; we have much to do in the spring-to build houses, and fence and make farms; but we will build a council house, and meet together, and you shall read to us and teach us more concerning the Book of our fathers and the will of the Great Spirit.’
“We again lodged at Mr. Pool’s, told him of the Book, had a very pleasant interview with him, and he became a believer and advocate for the Book, and served as an interpreter. We continued for several days to instruct the old chief and many of his tribe. The interest became more and more intense on their part, from day to day, until at length nearly the whole tribe began to feel a spirit of inquiry and excitement on the subject. We found several among them who could read, and to them we gave copies of the Book, explaining to them that it was the Book of their forefathers. Some began to rejoice exceedingly, and took great pains to tell the news to others, in their own language.
“The excitement now reached the frontier settlements in Missouri, and stirred up the jealousy and envy of the Indian agents and sectarian missionaries to that degree that we were soon ordered out of the Indian country as disturbers of the peace; and even threatened with the military in case of non-compliance.
“We accordingly departed from the Indian country, and came over the line, and commenced laboring in Jackson County, Missouri, among the whites. We were well received, and listened to by many; and some were baptized and added to the church.
“Thus ended our first Indian Mission, in which we had preached the gospel in its fullness, and distributed the record of their forefathers among three tribes, viz.: the Catteraugus Indians, near Buffalo, New York, the Wyandots of Ohio, and the Delawares west of Missouri.

“We trust that at some future day, when the servants of God go forth in power to the remnant of Joseph, some precious seed will be found growing in their hearts, which was sown by us in that early day.”-Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 54-61.



JOHN 1:1-5, 16—In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son.
MATTHEW 3:45-46—This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
MATTHEW 16:16-20—the foundation, the promise, the authority

April 6, 1830: The Church of Jesus Christ organized at Fayette, New York
September 1, 1830: Second conference of the church, Fayette, New York
October, 1830: Mission west . . . arrive at Kirtland, Ohio
Early 1831: arrive in Missouri (O.C., P.W., Jr., P.P, Z.P.) . . . preach to Delaware tribe


A. DC 32—(Ezra Thayre, Northrop Sweet)-repent and prepare ye the way of the Lord
B. DC 33—(Orson Pratt)-cry repentance, preparing the way of the Lord
C. DC 34—(Sidney Rigdon)-that they may become the sons of God, even one in me . . .
D. DC 35—(Edward Partridge)-preach the everlasting gospel, crying repentance
E. DC 36—prophecy of Enoch—promise of Zion, return of Christ in the last days
F. DC 37—(Joseph and Sidney)-stop translating I.V. . . gathering to Ohio
G. DC 38—covenant of Christ with the latter days saints

A. R.L.D.S. CH 1:139-141—Sidney Rigdon is presented with the Book of Mormon
B. Moroni 10:3-7—by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things
C. II Timothy 3:16-17—all scripture given by inspiration of God . . .

A. R.L.D.S. CH 1:141-142—obeying the truth
B. Matthew 6:24—no man can serve two masters
C. Matthew 10:32-34—warhe who loseth his life for my sake shall find it
D. Matthew 16:25-30—forsake the world and save your souls
E. Philippians 3:7-15—what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ

A. R.L.D.S. CH 1:159-165—beginning the Inspired Version of the Bible
B. DC 22:24—words of God revealed to Moses to be had again among the children of men
C. R.L.D.S. CH 1:165—summary of events 1830

God is marshalling his army for the rescue of his truth . . . You can hear his mighty summons in the thunder of his word . . . For the order is forever to be ready at a word . . . We have all for life enlisted in the army of the Lord . . . Let us not be weary, comrades! Let us faint not by the way! Though the night be long and dreary soon will dawn millenium’s day. Let us keep the campfires blazing, let us sound abroad his word; There are glorious victories coming for the army of the Lord. –Saints’ Hymnal # 205
R.L.D.S. CH VOL 1, PAGE 139-141
“At this time, it being in the fall of A. D. 1830, Elders Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery, and Peter Whitmer, called at that town on their way to the western boundary of the State of Missouri, testifying to the truth of the ‘Book of Mormon,’ and that the Lord had raised up a prophet, and restored the priesthood. Previous to this, Elder Parley Pratt had been a preacher in the same church with Elder Rigdon, and resided in the town of Amherst, Lorain County, in that State, and had been sent into the State of New York, on a mission, where he became acquainted with the circumstances of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and was introduced to Joseph Smith, Jr., and others of the Church of Latter Day Saints. After listening to the testimony of the ‘witnesses,’ and reading the ‘Book,’ he became convinced that it was of God, and that the principles which they taught, were the principles of truth. He was then baptized, and shortly after was ordained an elder, and began to preach, and from that time became a strenuous advocate of the truth.
“Believing there were many in the church with whom he had formerly been united, who were honest seekers after truth, induced him, while on his journey to the West, to call upon his friends, and make known the great things which the Lord had brought to pass. The first house at which they called was Elder Rigdon’s; and after the usual salutations, presented him with the Book of Mormon-stating that it was a revelation from God. This being the first time he had ever heard of or seen the Book of Mormon, he felt very much prejudiced at the assertion; and replied that, ‘he had one Bible which he believed was a revelation from God, and with which he pretended to have some acquaintance; but with respect to the book they had presented him he must say that he had considerable doubt.’ Upon which they expressed a desire to investigate the subject, and argue the matter; but he replied, ‘No, young gentlemen, you must not argue with me on the subject; but I will read your book, and see what claim it has upon my faith, and will endeavor to ascertain whether it be a revelation from God or not.’ After some further conversation on the subject, they expressed a desire to lay the subject before the people, and requested the privilege of preaching in Elder Rigdon’s church, to which he readily consented. The appointment was accordingly published, and a large and respectable congregation assembled. Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt severally addressed the meeting. At the conclusion, Elder Rigdon arose and stated to the congregation that the information they had that evening received was of an extra-ordinary character, and certainly demanded their most serious consideration: and as the apostle advised his brethren ‘to prove all things, and hold fast that which is good,’ so he would exhort his brethren to do likewise, and give the matter a careful investigation; and not turn against it, without being fully convinced of its being an imposition, lest they should, possibly, resist the truth.
“This was, indeed, generous on the part of Elder Rigdon, and gave evidence of his entire freedom from any sectarian bias; but allowing his mind full scope to range, untrammeled, through the scriptures, embracing every principle of truth, and rejecting error, under whatever guise it should appear. He was perfectly willing to allow his members the same privilege. Having received great light on the Scriptures, he felt desirous to receive more, from whatever quarter it should come. This was his prevailing characteristic; and if any sentiment was advanced by anyone, that was new, or tended to throw light on the Scriptures, or the dealings of God with the children of men, it was always gladly received, and treasured up in his mind. After the meeting broke up, the brethren returned home with Elder Rigdon, and conversed upon the important things which they had proclaimed. He informed them that he should read the Book of Mormon, give it a full investigation, and then would frankly tell them his mind and feelings on the subject-told them they were welcome to abide at his house until he had opportunity of reading it.
“About two miles from Elder Rigdon’s, at the town of Kirtland, were a number of the members of his church, who lived together, and had all things common-from which circumstance has arisen the idea that this was the case with the Church of Jesus Christ-to which place they immediately repaired, and proclaimed the gospel to them, with some considerable success; for their testimony was received by many of the people, and seventeen came forward in obedience to the gospel.
“While thus engaged, they visited Elder Rigdon occasionally, and found him very earnestly engaged in reading the ‘Book of Mormon,’-praying to the Lord for direction, and meditating on the things he heard and read; and after a fortnight from the time the book was put in his hands, he was fully convinced of the truth of the work, by a revelation from Jesus Christ, which was made known to him in a remarkable manner, so that he could exclaim ‘flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, but my Father which is in heaven.’

R.L.D.S. CH VOL 1, PAGE 141-142
“Being now fully satisfied in his own mind of the truth of the work, and the necessity of obedience thereto, he informed his wife of the same, and was happy to find that she was not only diligently investigating the subject, but was believing with all her heart, and was desirous of obeying the truth, which, undoubtedly, was a great satisfaction to his mind.
“The consequence of obeying the truth, and embracing a system of religion so unpopular as that of the Church of Jesus Christ, presented itself in the strongest possible light.
“At present, the honors and applause of the world were showered down upon him, his wants were abundantly supplied, and were anticipated. He was respected by the entire community, and his name was a tower of strength. His counsel was sought for, respected and esteemed. But if he should unite with the Church of Christ, his prospects of wealth and affluence would vanish; his family dependent upon him for support must necessarily share his humiliation and poverty. He was aware that his character and his reputation must suffer in the estimation of the community.
“Aware of all these things, there must have been feelings of no ordinary kind, agitate his bosom at that particular crisis; but yet they did not deter him from the path of duty. He had formerly made a sacrifice for truth and conscience’ sake, and had been sustained; consequently, he felt great confidence in the Lord, believing that if he pursued the path of duty, no good thing would be withheld from him.
“Although he felt great confidence in the Lord, yet he felt it a trial of some magnitude, when he avowed his determination to his beloved companion, who had before shared in his poverty, and who had cheerfully struggled through it without murmuring or repining. He informed her what the consequences would undoubtedly be respecting their worldly circumstances if they obeyed the gospel; and then said: ‘my dear, you have once followed me into poverty, are you again willing to do the same?’ She then said: ‘I have weighed the matter, I have contemplated on the circumstances in which we may be placed; I have counted the cost, and I am perfectly satisfied to follow you; it is my desire to do the will of God, come life or come death.’ Accordingly, they were both baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ; and, together with those who had been previously admitted to baptism, made a little branch in this section of Ohio, of about twenty members, whom the brethren, bound for the borders of the Lamanites, after adding to their number one of their converts, Dr. Frederick G. Williams, bade an affectionate farewell, and went on their way rejoicing.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 172, 177, 178, 193, 194, 209, 210, 289, 290, 305.

R.L.D.S. VOL 1 CHAPTER 9 PAGES 159-165
We have omitted to mention that about June, 1830, Joseph, as directed by inspiration, began a translation of the Jewish Scriptures, which work he did by the Spirit of revelation. The necessity for this was clearly shown by the revelation of June, 1830. (Doctrine and Covenants, section 22.) According to this revelation the Lord said unto Moses, “In a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught, and take many of them from the book which you shall write, behold, I will raise up another like unto you, and they shall be had again among the children of men,” etc. The purpose of this revision was doubtless to restore these things. Joseph had been engaged at this work as opportunity offered, and when Sidney Rigdon came, he rendered Joseph valuable assistance. It was while engaged in this work in December, 1830, that they received by revelation an extract from the Prophecy of Enoch. 4 The circumstances attending the receiving of this revelation are described by Joseph as follows:-
“It may be well to observe here that the Lord greatly encouraged and strengthened the faith of his little flock, which had embraced the fullness of the everlasting gospel, as revealed to them in the Book of Mormon, by giving some
more extended information upon the Scriptures, a translation of which had already commenced.
” Much conjecture and conversation frequently occurred among the saints concerning the books mentioned, and referred to in various places in the Old and New Testaments, which were now nowhere to be found. The common remark was, they were lost books; but it seems the apostolic churches had some of these writings, as Jude mentions or quotes the prophecy of Enoch, the seventh from Adam. To the joy of the flock, which in all, from Colesville to Canandaigua, New York, numbered about seventy members, did the Lord reveal the following doings of olden times, from the prophecy of Enoch.”-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 336.
In December, 1830, there was also a revelation given directing them to translate no more until they had removed to Ohio. 5 Thus ended the eventful year of 1830.

This year had seen the Book of Mormon given to the world, the church organized, several branches built up in New York and Pennsylvania, the work firmly planted in Ohio, where many influential men had been added to the faith, and its adherents in the Western Reserve numbering its hundreds; and as the closing hours of the year were passing away five zealous missionaries were pushing their work farther west among both the Indians and the whites. The translation of the Bible had also been begun and many important revelations had been given. The Melchisedec priesthood had been restored and many glorious blessings, including the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, enjoyed.

Joseph says: “The year [1831] opened with a prospect great and glorious for the welfare of the kingdom.”

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