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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
1 1. The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God, cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to nought, for God doth not walk in crooked paths; neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; therefore his paths are straight and his course is one eternal round.
2. Remember, remember, that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men; for although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet, if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at nought the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will, and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.
3. Behold, you have been intrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember, also, the promises which were made unto you, if you did not transgress them; and, behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men: for, behold, you should not have feared man more than God, although men set at nought the counsels of God, and despise his words, yet you should have been faithful and he would have extended his arm, and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.
4. Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall, but remember God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done, which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work; except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.
5. And when thou deliveredst up that which God had given thee sight and power to translate, thou deliveredst up that which was sacred, into the hands of a wicked man, who has set at nought the counsels of God and has broken the most sacred promises, which were made before God and has depended upon his own judgment, and boasted in his own wisdom, and this is the reason that thou hast lost thy privileges for a season, for thou hast suffered the counsel of thy director to be trampled upon from the beginning.
6. Nevertheless, my work shall go forth, for, inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people, and the Nephites, and the Jacobites, and the Josephites, and the Zoramites, through the testimony of their fathers; and this testimony shall come to the knowledge of the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to destroy their brethren the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations; and for this very purpose are these plates preserved which contain these records, that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to his people; and that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their
Then the Urim and Thummin and plates were again taken from him, and after a time again restored. A further revelation was then received giving instruction how to proceed in the emergency. 2 The objector has sought to make capital out of the policy adopted in this revelation; viz., to abandon the record from which the one hundred and sixteen pages were translated, and the substituting of another and a fuller account. The claim is made that this was frustrating the purposes of God-that he attempted to bring forth one record and being hindered by the designs of men he was compelled to substitute another. It is answered that it was the evident design of God to give
fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.
21. Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate, by the means of the Urim and Thummin, into the hands of a wicked man, you have, lost them; and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened; nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again, therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun. Do not run faster, or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end; pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan, that do uphold his work. Behold, they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you. And for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold, wicked men have taken them from you; therefore, you have delivered them up; yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And, behold, Satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and, behold, I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written; and on this wise the Devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
2. Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for, behold, he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again; and then, behold, they say and think in their hearts, We will see if God has given him power to translate, if so, he will also give him power again; and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate again, or in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold, we have the same with us, and we have altered them; therefore, they will not
to the world the record that was finally given, and that the other was intrusted to Joseph Smith that he might practically learn the lesson not to trust in man; and further, that he might learn how sacred was the trust reposed in him.
Whatever may have been the purpose in this, however, it is not without its parallel, hence Bible believers cannot consistently find fault. It is related in the thirty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah that a prophecy of Jeremiah's was burned by King Jehoiakim, and that it was not only restored, but as in
agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power; therefore, we will destroy him, also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
3. Verily, verily I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good, and their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations, and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God, but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment; yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work; yea, he saith unto them, Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth seeking to destroy the souls of men.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, Woe be unto him that lieth to deceive, because he supposes that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
5. Now, behold, they have altered those words, because Satan saith unto them, He hath deceived you; and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
6. Behold, I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for, behold, they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself; and, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation- but, behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
7. Marvel not that I said unto you, Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said, Show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot
the other case, it was made more full. Here is the account:-
"Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king, of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words."-Jer. 36: 32.
The pecuniary circumstances of Joseph Smith would not
always tell the wicked from the righteous; therefore, I say unto you Hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
8. And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi; yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
9. And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account, therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of King Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil.
10. Behold, they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold, there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And, behold, all the remainder of this work, does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers, should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea, and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also, all that had become Lamanites, because of their dissensions.
11. Now this is not all, their faith in their prayers was, that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land; and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel, in this land, might have eternal life; yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people, they may be.
12. And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers, will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
13. And for this cause have I said, If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them. Now I do not say this to destroy my church, but I say this to build up my church; therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit
permit him to engage in the work of translation immediately. He says:-
"I did not however go immediately to translating, but went to laboring with my hands upon a small farm which I purchased of my wife's father, in order to provide for my family. In the month of February, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, my father came to visit us, at which time I received the following revelation for him." 3
the kingdom of heaven; but it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments, but build up churches unto themselves, to get gain; yea, and all those that do wickedly, and build up the kingdom of the Devil; yea, verily, verily I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.
14. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto my own, and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I am he who said, Other sheep have I which are not of this fold, unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
15. And I will show unto this people, that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob; and I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name; yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel, which was ministered unto them, and behold they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine; yea, and the only doctrine which is in me; and this I do, that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention, concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures, and do not understand them; therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery; for, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts; yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
16. Behold, this is my doctrine: Whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church; whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore, he is not of my church.
17. And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my Rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against him.
18. And now, remember the words of him who is the life and the light of the world your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen.
31. Now, behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men, therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day; therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work, for, behold, the field is white already to harvest, and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perish not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; and faith, hope, charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualifies him for the work.
2. Remember, faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly
In March, 1829, at the request of Martin Harris Joseph inquired and received the will of the Lord concerning him. 4
Joseph Smith's history, published in Times and Seasons , volume 3, page 832, states that Oliver Cowdery came to his house Wednesday, April 15, 1829, and on the 17th they resumed the work of translation, Oliver Cowdery acting as scribe for Joseph. (Oliver Cowdery gives the date of his arrival as Sunday, April 5, and
kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall opened unto you. Amen.
4l. Behold, I say unto you, that as my servant Martin Harris has desired a witness at my hand, that you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jr. have got the plates of which you have testified and bore record that you have received of me; and now, behold, this shall you say unto him: He who spake unto you said unto you, I, the Lord, am God and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and have commanded you that you should stand as a witness of these things, and I have caused you that you should enter a covenant with me, that you should not show them except to those persons to whom I command you; and you have no power over them except I grant it unto you. And you have a gift to translate the plates, and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you. and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.
2. Verily, I say unto you, that woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth if they will not hearken unto my words; for hereafter you shall be ordained and go forth and deliver my words unto the children of men. and deliver my words unto the children of men. Behold, if they will not believe my words, they would not believe you, my servant Joseph, if it were possible that you could show them all these things which I have committed unto you. O, this unbelieving an stiff-necked generation, mine anger is kindled against them!
3. Behold, verily, I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have intrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; but this generation shall have my word through you; and in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain, unto whom I will show these things; and they shall go forth with my words that are given through you; yea, they shall know of a surety that these things are true; for from heaven will I declare it unto them; I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are; and to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony, among this generation, in this, the beginning of the rising up, and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness; clear as the moon and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. And the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word; and, behold, whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit, and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit. And you must wait yet a little while, for ye are not yet ordained; and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation, if they harden their hearts against them; for a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out, from time to time, if they repent not, until the
the date of their beginning their work as Tuesday, the 7th. See Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1, p. 14. )
They received a revelation about this time. 5 This seems to be an intimate trust for so short an acquaintance; but each claims to have had spiritual instruction before they met
earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away, and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming. Behold, I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.
4. And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and yield to the persuasions of men no more; and that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith I have commanded you, and if you do this, behold, I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain.
5. And now again I speak unto you, my servant Joseph, concerning the man that desires the witness: Behold, I say unto him, he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me, but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see. And then he shall say unto the people of this generation, Behold, I have seen the things which the Lord has shown unto Joseph Smith, Jr., and I know of a surety that they are true, for I have seen them; for they have been shown unto me by the power of God and not of man. And I, the Lord, command him, my servant Martin Harris, that he shall say no more unto them concerning these things, except he shall say, I have seen them, and they have been shown unto me by the power of God, and these are the words which he shall say; but if he deny this he will break the covenant which he has before covenanted with me, and behold he is condemned. And now, except he humble him self and acknowledge unto me the things that he has done which are wrong, and covenant with me that he will keep my commandments, and exercise faith in me, behold, I say unto him, he shall have no such views; for I will grant unto him no views of the things of which I have spoken. And if this be the case, I command you, my servant Joseph, that you shall say unto him, that he shall do no more, nor trouble me any more concerning this matter.
6. And if this be the case, behold, I say unto thee, Joseph, When thou hast translated a few more pages thou shalt stop for a season, even until I command thee again; then thou mayest translate again. And except thou do this, behold, thou shalt have no more gift, and I will take away the things which I have intrusted with thee. And now, because I foresee the lying in wait to destroy thee; yea, I foresee that if my servant Martin Harris humbleth not himself, and receive a witness from my hand, that he will fall into transgression; and there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee from off the face of the earth; and for this cause, that thy days may be prolonged, I have given unto thee these commandments; yea, for this cause I have said, Stop and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee; and if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
51. A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men: behold, I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick
regarding the work in which they were jointly to engage. Oliver Cowdery boarded at Joseph Smith's father's in Manchester, New York, while teaching school in the neighborhood, and Lucy Smith (Joseph's mother) in her history says of him, that shortly after receiving information concerning the plates "he told Mr. Smith that he was highly delighted with what he had heard, that he had
and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore, give heed unto my words.
2. Behold, the field is white already to harvest therefore, whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God: yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God; therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
3. Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion: seek not for riches but for wisdom; and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, Even as you desire of me, so shall it be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Say nothing but repentance unto this generation keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.
5. Behold, thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above: and if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore, thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, convince them of the error of their ways. Make not thy gift known unto any, save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things. If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.
6. Verily, verily I say unto thee, Blessed art thou for what thou hast done, for thou hast inquired of me, and, behold, as often as thou hast inquired, thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
7. Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me, and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things, that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth; yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God, that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart. I tell thee these things as a witness unto thee, that the words or the work which thou hast been writing is true.
8. Therefore be diligent, stand by my servant Joseph faithfully in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be, for the word's sake. Admonish him in his faults and also receive admonition of him. Be patient; be sober; e temperate: have patience, faith, hope, and charity.
9, Behold, thou art Oliver, and I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore, treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love
been in a deep study upon the subject all day, and that it was impressed upon his mind, that he should yet have the privilege of writing for Joseph." (See p. 136)
Further he says; "I have made it a subject of prayer, and firmly believe it is the will of the Lord that I should go."-Ibid. p. 137.
Of Joseph she says: "Joseph had been so hurried with his secular affairs, that he could not proceed with his spiritual concerns so fast as was necessary for the speedy completion of the work; there was also another disadvantage
10. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto my own and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
11. Verily, verily I say unto you, If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things; did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? And now, behold, you have received a witness, for if I have told you things which no man knoweth, have you not received a witness? And, behold, I grant unto you a gift, if you desire of me, to translate even as my servant Joseph.
12. Verily, verily I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people and now I command you that if you have good desires, a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in heaven, then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity.
13. And now, behold, I give unto you, and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry and in the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall every word be established.
14. Verily, verily I say unto you, If they reject my words, and this part of my gospel and ministry, blessed are ye, for they can do no more unto you than unto me; and if they do unto you, even as they have done unto me, blessed are ye, for you shall dwell with me in glory: but if they reject not my words, which shall be established by the testimony which shall be given, blessed are they; and then shall ye have joy in the fruit of your labors.
15. Verily, verily I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, Where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them: even so am I in the midst of you. Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap: therefore, if ye sow good, ye shall also reap good for your reward:
16. Therefore fear not, little flock, do good, let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my Rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you, go your ways and sin no more: perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you; look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not: behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful; keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
under which he labored, his wife had so much of her time taken up with the care of her house, that she could write for him but a small portion of the time. On account of these embarrassments, Joseph called upon the Lord, three days prior to the arrival of Samuel and Oliver, to send him a scribe, according to the promise of the angel; and he was informed that the same should be forthcoming in a few days. Accordingly, when Mr. Cowdery told him the business that he had come upon, Joseph was not at all surprised."-Pp. 138, 139.
During the month of April the translation continued with little delay. Of this experience Oliver Cowdery says:-
"These were days never to be forgotten-to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the Urim and Thummin, or, as the Nephites would have said, 'Interpreters,' the history, or record, called 'The Book of Mormon."'-Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1, p. 14.
From the amount of work accomplished we think it probable that the date of commencement given by Oliver Cowdery; viz., April 7, is correct.
The point as to the day they commenced we do not, however, consider a material one, as the error is probably typographical. We give both simply because there is a discrepancy, and we wish to give the reader the benefit of it, that he may form his own conclusions.
"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 Thummin."
This was the occasion of the receiving of a revelation. 6
6 1. 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
Two other revelations were also given during April. 7
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,
and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me, Verily, verily I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shall prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
2. And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desiredst of me that he might bring souls unto me; but thou desiredst that thou might speedily come 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.
3. Verily I say unto you, Ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired.
71. Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so sure shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of the old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken, by the manifestation of my Spirit; yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you, and which shall dwell in your heart.
2. Now, behold, this is the Spirit of revelation; behold, this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground; therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it and blessed art thou for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you, and bring your soul to destruction.
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,'
3. O, remember these words, and keep my commandments! Remember this is your gift. Now this is not all thy gift, for you have another gift which is the gift of Aaron; behold, it has told you many things; behold, there is no other power save the power of God that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you; therefore doubt not, for it is the gift of God, and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works, and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands, for it is the work of God. And, therefore, whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it; remember, that without faith you can do nothing. Therefore, ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not; ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you. Behold, it is I that have spoken it; and I am the same who spake unto you from the beginning. Amen.
1. Behold, I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., even so I would that you should continue until you have finished this record, which I have intrusted unto him; and then, behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.
2. Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you translate at this present time. Behold, the work which you are called to do is to write for my servant Joseph; and, behold, it is because that you did not continue to as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I taken have away this privilege from you. Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner
3. Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right; but if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred, save it be given from me.
4. Now, if you had known this, you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now. Behold, it was expedient when you commenced, but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now; for, do you not behold that I have given unto my servant Joseph sufficient strength, whereby it is made up, and neither have I condemned?
5. Do this thing which I have commanded you, and you shall prosper. Be faithful, and yield to no temptation. Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
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.
"After a few days, however, feeling it to be our duty, we commenced to reason out of the Scriptures, with our acquaintances and friends, as we happened to meet with them. About this time my brother Samuel H. Smith came to visit us. We informed him of what the Lord was about to do for the children of men; and to reason with him out of the Bible. We also showed him that part of the work which we had translated, and labored to persuade him concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ which was now about to be revealed in its fullness. He was not, however, very easily persuaded of these things, but after much inquiry and explanation, he retired to the woods, in order that by secret and fervent prayer he might obtain of a merciful God, wisdom to enable him to judge for himself. The result was that he obtained revelations for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of our assertions to him, and on the fifteenth day of that same month in which we had been baptized and ordained, Oliver Cowdery baptized him; and he returned to his father's house greatly glorifying and praising God, being filled with the Holy Spirit."-Times and Seasons, vol. 8, pp. 865, 866.
Oliver Cowdery says:-
"This was not long desired before it was realized. The Lord, who is rich in mercy, and ever willing to answer the consistent prayer of the humble, after we had called upon him in a fervent manner, aside from the abodes of men, condescended to manifest to us his will. On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace
to us, while the vail was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance! What joy! What wonder! What amazement! While the world was racked and distracted-while millions were groping as the blind for the wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld-our ears heard. As in the 'blaze of day;' yes, more-above the glitter of the May sunbeam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature! Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the center, and his words, 'I am thy fellow servant,' dispelled every fear. We listened-we gazed-we admired! 'Twas the voice of the angel from glory-'twas a message from the Most High! and as we heard we rejoiced, while his love enkindled upon our souls, and we were rapt in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? Nowhere: uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever!
"But, dear brother, think, further think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the holy priesthood, as he said, 'Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!'
"I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, cannot begin to clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage. No; nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they were delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Man may deceive his fellow-man; deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the
grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into significance, and blots it forever from the mind! The assurance that we were in the presence of an angel; the certainty that we heard the voice of Jesus, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me, past description, and I shall ever look upon this expression of the Savior's goodness with wonder and thanksgiving while I am permitted to tarry, and in those mansions where perfection dwells and sin never comes, I hope to adore in that day which shall never cease!"-Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1, pages 15, 16.
The testimony of Oliver Cowdery, graphic and beautiful as it is, does not go as far with the history of the events as does Joseph Smith's, but it is gratifying to note such complete harmony in these two accounts of this, one of the most important epochs in the history of the latter-day work.
With the accounts of these two men,-the leading actors in the introduction of the work,-we leave this matter, as no words of ours would add to the clearness or importance of the wonderful transactions here presented.
About this time a revelation was given to Hyrum Smith. 8
8 1. A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my word.
2. Behold, the field is white already to harvest, therefore, whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God; yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God; therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive; if you will knock, it shall be opened unto you.
3. Now as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion. Seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich; behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, Even as you desire of me, so shall it be done unto you; and, if you desire you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.
5. Behold thou hast a gift, or thou shalt have a gift if thou wilt desire of me in faith, with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus
Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee; for, behold, it is I that speaketh; behold, I am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee.
6. And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously, and this is my Spirit.
7. Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy, and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
8. Behold, I command you, that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called: wait a little longer until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine; and then, behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith, shall it be done unto you.
9. Keep my commandments; hold your peace; appeal unto my Spirit; yea, cleave unto me with all your heart, that you may assist in bringing to light those things of which have been spoken; yea, the translation of my work; be patient until you shall accomplish it.
10. Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments; yea, with all your might, mind, and strength; seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit, and my word; yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men; but now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men, or that which is now translating; yea, until you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation; and then shall all things be added thereunto.
11. Behold, thou art Hyrum, my son; seek the kingdom of God, and all things shall be added according to that which is just. Build upon my rock, which is my gospel; deny not the Spirit of revelation, nor the Spirit of prophecy, for woe unto him that denieth these things; therefore, treasure up in your hearts until the time which is in my wisdom that you shall go forth: behold, I speak unto all who have good desires, and have thrust in their sickles to reap.
12. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world. I am the same who came unto my own, and my own received me not; but verily, verily I say unto you, that as many as receiveth me, them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen.
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