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´╗┐Title: An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions - And of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records
Author: Pratt, Orson
Language: English
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similar early books of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints.



AN INTERESTING ACCOUNT OF SEVERAL REMARKABLE VISIONS,
AND OF THE LATE DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT AMERICAN RECORDS.

By O. PRATT, MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL.

THIRD AMERICAN EDITION.

NEW-YORK:
JOSEPH W. HARRISON, PRINTER,
No. 465 PEARL-STREET. 1842.


TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

This edition was based off scans of the above-noted edition,
available at Archive.org. The original uses some slightly odd English
orthography--for example, unusual comma placement and an instance of
using 'was' where 'were' appears to be correct. In such cases, the
original has been maintained. Obvious printer's errors (intructed for
instructed, brethern for brethren, and perhaps three similar errors)
and some unmatched quotation marks have been corrected as seemed
reasonable. Email tomnysetvold@gmail.com with corrections or to
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


FACTS IN RELATION TO THE LATE DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT AMERICAN RECORDS.

Mr. Joseph Smith, jun. who made the following important discovery,
was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, Vermont, on the 23d
December, a. d. 1805. When ten years old, his parents, with their
family, moved to Palmyra, New-York; in the vicinity of which he
resided for about eleven years, the latter part in the town of
Manchester. Cultivating the earth for a livelihood was his
occupation, in which he employed the most of his time. His advantages
for acquiring literary knowledge, were exceedingly small; hence, his
education was limited to a slight acquaintance with two or three of
the common branches of learning. He could read without much
difficulty, and write a very imperfect hand; and had a very limited
understanding of the ground rules of arithmetic. These were his
highest and only attainments; while the rest of those branches, so
universally taught in the common schools, throughout the United
States, were entirely unknown to him. When somewhere about fourteen
or fifteen years old, he began seriously to reflect upon the
necessity of being prepared for a future state of existence; but how,
or in what way, to prepare himself, was a question, as yet,
undetermined in his own mind. He perceived that it was a question of
infinite importance, and that the salvation of his soul depended upon
a correct understanding of the same. He saw, that if he understood
not the way, it would be impossible to walk in it, except by chance;
and the thought of resting his hopes of eternal life upon chance, or
uncertainties, was more than he could endure. If he went to the
religious denominations to seek information, each one pointed to its
particular tenets, saying--"This is the way, walk ye in it;" while,
at the same time, the doctrines of each were in many respects, in
direct opposition to one another, It also occurred to his mind that
God was the author of but one doctrine, and therefore could
acknowledge but one denomination as his church, and that such
denomination must be a people, who believe and teach that one
doctrine, (whatever it may be,) and build upon the same. He then
reflected upon the immense number of doctrines, now in the world,
which had given rise to many hundreds of different denominations. The
great question to be decided in his mind, was--if any one of these
denominations be the Church of Christ, which one is it? Until he
could become satisfied in relation to this question, he could not
rest contented. To trust to the decisions of fallible man, and build
his hopes upon the same, without any certainty, and knowledge of his
own, would not satisfy the anxious desires that pervaded his breast.
To decide, without any positive and definite evidence, on which he
could rely, upon a subject involving the future welfare of his soul,
was revolting to his feelings. The only alternative, that seemed to
be left him, was to read the Scriptures, and endeavor to follow their
directions. He, accordingly commenced perusing the sacred pages of
the Bible, with sincerity, believing the things that he read. His
mind soon caught hold of the following passage;--"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."--James i. 5. From this
promise he learned, that it was the privilege of all men to ask God
for wisdom, with the sure and certain expectation of receiving
liberally; without being upbraided for so doing. This was cheering
information to him; tidings that gave him great joy. It was like a
light shining forth in a dark place, to guide him to the path in
which he should walk. He now saw that if he inquired of God, there
was not only a possibility, but a probability; yea, more, a
certainty, that he should obtain a knowledge, which, of all the
doctrines, was the doctrine of Christ; and, which, of all the
churches, was the church of Christ. He therefore, retired to a secret
place in a grove, but a short distance from his father's house, and
knelt down, and began to call upon the Lord. At first, he was
severely tempted by the powers of darkness, which endeavored to
overcome him; but he continued to seek for deliverance, until
darkness gave way from his mind; and he was enabled to pray in
fervency of the spirit, and in faith. And while thus pouring out his
soul, anxiously desiring an answer from God, he, at length, saw a
very bright and glorious light in the heavens above; which, at first,
seemed to be at a considerable distance. He continued praying, while
the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him; and as it
drew nearer, it increased in brightness and magnitude, so that, by
the time that it reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness,
for some distance around was illuminated in a most glorious and
brilliant manner. He expected to have seen the leaves and boughs of
the trees consumed, as soon as the light came in contact with them;
but, perceiving that it did not produce that effect, he was
encouraged with the hope of being able to endure its presence. It
continued descending slowly, until it rested upon the earth, and he
was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came upon him, it
produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system; and
immediately, his mind was caught away, from the natural objects with
which he was surrounded; and he was enwrapped in a heavenly vision,
and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in
their features or likeness. He was informed that his sins were
forgiven, He was also informed upon the subjects, which had for some
time previously agitated his mind, viz.--that all the religious
denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines; and
consequently, that none of them was acknowledged of God, as his
church and kingdom. And he was expressly commanded to go not after
them; and he received a promise that the true doctrine--the fulness
of the gospel, should, at some future time, be made known to him;
after which, the vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of
calmness and peace, indescribable. Some time after having received
this glorious manifestation, being young, he was again entangled in
the vanities of the world, of which he afterwards sincerely and truly
repented.

And it pleased God, on the evening of the 21st of September, a. d.
1823, to again hear his prayers. For he had retired to rest, as
usual, only that his mind was drawn out in fervent prayer, and his
soul was filled with the most earnest desire, "to commune with some
kind messenger, who could communicate to him the desired information
of his acceptance with God," and also unfold the principles of the
doctrine of Christ, according to the promise which he had received in
the former vision. While he thus continued to pour out his desires
before the Father of all good, endeavouring to exercise faith in his
precious promises; "on a sudden, a light, like that of day, only of a
purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the
room. Indeed, the first sight was as though the house was filled with
consuming fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must
naturally be expected, occasioned a shock or sensation visible to the
extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness
and serenity of mind, and an overwhelming rapture of joy, that
surpassed understanding, and, in a moment, a personage stood before
him."

Notwithstanding the brightness of the light which previously
illuminated the room, "yet there seemed to be an additional glory
surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an
increased degree of brilliancy, of which he was in the midst; and
though his countenance was as lightning, yet it was of a pleasing,
innocent, and glorious appearance; so much so, that every fear was
banished from the heart, and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul."

"The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of
men in this age; his garments was perfectly white, and had the
appearance of being without seam."

This glorious being declared himself to be an Angel of God, sent
forth, by commandment, to communicate to him that his sins were
forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and also, to bring the
joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel
concerning their posterity, was at hand to be fulfilled; that the
great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah, was
speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel, in
its fulness, to be preached in power to all nations, that a people
might be prepared with faith and righteousness, for the Millennial
reign of universal peace and joy.

He was informed, that he was called and chosen to be an instrument in
the hands of God, to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in
this glorious dispensation. It was also made manifest to him, that
the "American Indians" were a remnant of Israel; that when they first
emigrated to America, they were an enlightened people, possessing a
knowledge of the true God, enjoying his favor, and peculiar blessings
from his hand; that the prophets, and inspired writers among them,
were required to keep a sacred history of the most important events
transpiring among them; which history was handed down for many
generations, till at length they fell into great wickedness; the most
part of them were destroyed, and the records, (by commandment of God,
to one of the last prophets among them,) were safely deposited, to
preserve them from the hands of the wicked, who sought to destroy
them. He was informed, that these records contained many sacred
revelations pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom, as well as
prophecies relating to the great events of the last days; and that to
fulfil his promises to the ancients, who wrote the records, and to
accomplish his purposes, in the restitution of their children, &c.
they were to come forth to the knowledge of the people. If faithful,
he was to be the instrument, who should be thus highly favored in
bringing these sacred things to light; at the same time, being
expressly informed, that it must be done with an eye single to the
glory of God, that no one could be entrusted with those sacred
writings, who should endeavor to aggrandize himself, by converting
sacred things to unrighteous and speculative purposes. After giving
him many instructions concerning things past and to come, which would
be foreign to our purpose to mention here, he disappeared, and the
light and glory of God withdrew, leaving his mind in perfect peace,
while a calmness and serenity indescribable pervaded the soul. But,
before morning, the vision was twice renewed, instructing him
further, and still further, concerning the great work of God, about
to be performed on the earth. In the morning he went out to his
labour as usual; but soon the vision was renewed--the Angel again
appeared; and having been informed by the previous visions of the
night, concerning the place where those records were deposited, he
was instructed to go immediately and view them.

Accordingly, he repaired to the place, a brief description of which
shall be given, in the words of a gentleman, by the name of Oliver
Cowdery, who has visited the spot.

"As you go on the mail-road from Palmyra, Wayne county, to
Canandaigua, Ontario county, New-York, before arriving at the little
village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles
from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the
road.--Why I say large, is because it is as large, perhaps, as any in
that country."

"The north end rises quite suddenly until it assumes a level with the
more southerly extremity; and I think I may say, an elevation higher
than at the south, a short distance, say half or three-fourths of a
mile. As you pass towards Canandaigua, it lessens gradually, until
the surface assumes its common level, or is broken by other smaller
hills or ridges, water-courses and ravines. I think I am justified in
saying, that this is the highest hill for some distance round, and I
am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain
on the north, must attract the notice of the traveller as he passes
by."--"The north end," which has been described as rising suddenly
from the plain, forms "a promontory without timber, but covered with
grass. As you pass to the south, you soon come to scattering timber,
the surface having been cleared by art or wind, and a short distance
further left, you are surrounded with the common forest of the
country. It is necessary to observe, that even the part cleared, was
only occupied for pasturage; its steep ascent, and narrow summit not
admitting the plough of the husbandman, with any degree of ease or
profit. It was at the second mentioned place, where the record was
found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill, not far from the
top down its side; and when myself visited the place in the year
1830, there were several trees standing--enough to cause a shade in
summer, but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with
grass--which was also the case when the record was first found."

"How far below the surface these records were (anciently) placed, I
am unable to say: but from the fact that they have been some fourteen
hundred years buried, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep,
one is ready to conclude, that they were some feet below, as the
earth would naturally wear, more or less, in that length of time. But
they, being placed towards the top of the hill, the ground would not
remove as much as at two-thirds, perhaps. Another circumstance would
prevent a wearing of the earth; in all probability, as soon as timber
had time to grow, the hill was covered, and the roots of the same
would hold the surface. However, on this point, I shall leave every
man to draw his own conclusion, and form his own speculation." But
suffice to say, a hole of sufficient depth was dug. At the bottom of
this was laid a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being
smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into
this cement, at the four edges of the stone, were placed erect four
others; _their_ bottom edges resting _in_ the cement, at the outer
edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect,
formed a box; the corners, or where the edges of the four came in
contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without
was prevented from entering. It is to be observed, also, that the
inner surfaces of the four erect or side stones, were smooth. This
box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate, such as was used
by the ancients, to defend the chest, &c., from the arrows and
weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the
breastplate, arose three small pillars, composed of the same
description of cement used on the edges; and "upon these three
pillars were placed the records."--"This box, containing the records,
was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat, and
the upper crowning." When it was first visited by Mr. Smith on the
morning of the 22d of September, 1823, "a part of the crowning stone
was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the
soil and grass," from which circumstance it may be seen, "that
however deep this box might have been placed at first, the time had
been sufficient to wear the earth, so that it was easily discovered,
when Once directed, and yet, not enough to make a perceivable
difference to the passer-by."--After arriving at the repository, a
little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the
box, and a light pry, brought to his natural vision, its contents.
While viewing and contemplating this sacred treasure with wonder and
astonishment, behold! the Angel of the Lord, who had previously
visited him, again stood in his presence, and his soul was again
enlightened as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the
Holy Spirit, and the heavens were opened, and the glory of the Lord
shone round about and rested upon him. While he thus stood gazing and
admiring, the Angel said, "Look!" And as he thus spake, he beheld the
Prince of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of
associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger
said, "All this is shown, the good and the evil, the holy and impure,
the glory of God, and the power of darkness, that you may know
hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or overcome by that
wicked one. Behold, whatsoever enticeth and leadeth to good and to do
good, is of God, and whatsoever doth not, is of that wicked one. It
is he that filleth the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness,
and blaspheme God; and you may learn from henceforth, that his ways
are to destruction, but the way of holiness is peace and rest. You
cannot at this time obtain this record, for the commandment of God is
strict, and if ever these sacred things are obtained, they must be by
prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited
here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of
this world; they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of
the knowledge which they contain, they are of no worth among the
children of men, only for their knowledge. On them is contained the
fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people
on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God,
it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it,
and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the fold of their
Redeemer by obeying it also. Those who kept the commandments of the
Lord on this land, desired this at his hand, and through the prayer
of faith obtained the promise, that if their descendants should
transgress and fall away, a record should be kept, and in the last
days come to their children. These things are sacred, and must be
kept so, for the promise of the Lord concerning them must be
fulfilled. No man can obtain them if his heart is impure, because
they contain that which is sacred." * * * "By them will the Lord
work a great and marvellous work; the wisdom of the wise shall become
as nought, and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid, and
because the power of God shall be displayed, those who profess to
know the truth, but walk in deceit, shall tremble with anger; but
with signs and with wonders, with gifts and with healings, with the
manifestations of the power of God, and with the Holy Ghost, shall
the hearts of the faithful be comforted. You have now beheld the
power of God manifested, and the power of Satan; you see that there
is nothing desirable in the works of darkness; that they cannot bring
happiness; that those who are overcome therewith are miserable;
while, on the other hand, the righteous are blessed with a place in
the kingdom of God, where joy unspeakable surrounds them. There they
rest beyond the power of the enemy of truth, where no evil can
disturb them. The glory of God crowns them, and they continually
feast upon his goodness, and enjoy his smiles. Behold, notwithstanding
you have seen this great display of power, by which you may ever
be able to detect the evil one, yet I give unto you another sign,
and when it comes to pass then know that the Lord is God, and that
he will fulfil his purposes, and that the knowledge which this record
contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people
under the whole heaven. This is the sign; when these things begin to
be known, that is, when it is known that the Lord has shown you
these things, the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow.
They will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation; and
also will seek to take your life; but remember this, if you are
faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments
of the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth;
for in due time he will give you a commandment to come and take
them. When they are interpreted, the Lord will give the holy
priesthood to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this gospel and
baptize by water, and after that they shall have power to give the
Holy Ghost by the laying on of their hands. Then will persecution
rage more and more; for the iniquities of men shall be revealed, and
those who are not built upon the Rock will seek to overthrow the
church; but it will increase the more opposed, and spread farther and
farther, increasing in knowledge till they shall be sanctified, and
receive an inheritance where the glory of God will rest upon them;
and when this takes place, and all things are prepared, the ten
tribes of Israel will be revealed in the north country, whither they
have been for a long season; and when this is fulfilled will be
brought to pass that saying of the prophet,--"and the Redeemer shall
come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob,
saith the Lord." But, notwithstanding the workers of iniquity shall
seek your destruction, the arm of the Lord will be extended, and you
will be borne off conqueror if you keep all his commandments. Your
name shall be known among the nations, for the work which the Lord
will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to rejoice and
the wicked to rage; with the one it shall be had in honour, and with
the other in reproach; yet, with these it shall be a terror, because
of the great and marvellous work which shall follow the coming forth
of this fulness of the gospel. Now, go thy way, remembering what the
Lord has done for thee, and be diligent in keeping his commandments,
and he will deliver thee from temptations and all the arts and
devices of the wicked one. Forget not to pray, that thy mind may
become strong, that when he shall manifest unto thee, thou mayest
have power to escape the evil, and obtain these precious things."

We here remark, that the above quotation is an extract from a letter
written by Elder Oliver Cowdery, which was published in one of the
numbers of the "Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate."

Although many more instructions were given by the mouth of the angel
to Mr. Smith, which we do not write in this book, yet the most
important items are contained in the foregoing relation. During the
period of the four following years, he frequently received
instruction from the mouth of the heavenly messenger. And on the
morning of September 22, a. d., 1827 the angel of the Lord delivered
the records into his hands.

These records were engraved on plates, which had the appearance of
gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and
length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on
both sides with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound
together in a volume, as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one
edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was
something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed.
The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and
beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of
antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of
engraving. With the records was found "a curious instrument, called
by the ancients the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two
transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow.
This was in use, in ancient times, by persons called seers. It was an
instrument, by the use of which, they received revelations of things
distant, or of things past or future."

In the mean time, the inhabitants of that vicinity, having been
informed that Mr. Smith had seen heavenly visions, and that he had
discovered sacred records, began to ridicule and mock at those
things. And after having obtained the records, while proceeding home
through the wilderness and fields, he was waylaid by two ruffians,
who had secreted themselves for the purpose of robbing him of the
same. One of them struck him with a club before he perceived them;
but being a strong man, and large in stature, with great exertion he
cleared himself from them, and ran towards home, being closely
pursued until he came near his father's house, when his pursuers, for
fear of being detected, turned and fled.

Soon the news of his discoveries spread abroad throughout all those
parts. False reports, misrepresentations, and base slanders, flew, as
if upon the wings of the wind in every direction. The house was
frequently beset by mobs and evil-designing persons. Several times he
was shot at, and very narrowly escaped. Every device was used to get
the plates away from him. And being continually in danger of his
life, from a gang of abandoned wretches, he at length concluded to
leave the place, and go to Pennsylvania; and, accordingly, packed up
his goods, putting the plates into a barrel of beans, and proceeded
upon his journey. He had not gone far, before he was overtaken by an
officer with a search-warrant, who flattered himself with the idea,
that he should surely obtain the plates; after searching very
diligently, he was sadly disappointed at not finding them. Mr. Smith
then drove on, but before he got to his journey's end, he was again
overtaken by an officer on the same business, and after ransacking
the waggon very carefully, he went his way, as much chagrined as the
first, at not being able to discover the object of his research.
Without any further molestation, he pursued his journey until he came
to the northern part of Pennsylvania, near the Susquehannah river, in
which part his father-in-law resided.

Having provided himself with a home, he commenced translating the
record, by the gift and power of God, thro' the means of the Urim and
Thummim; and being a poor writer, he was under the necessity of
employing a scribe, to write the translation as it came from his
mouth.

In the mean time, a few of the original characters were accurately
transcribed, and translated by Mr. Smith, which, with the
translation, were taken by a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris,
to the city of New-York, where they were presented to a learned
gentleman, by the name of Anthon, who professed to be extensively
acquainted with many languages, both ancient and modern. He examined
them; but was unable to decipher them correctly; but he presumed that
if the original records could be brought, he could assist in
translating them.

But to return. Mr. Smith continued the work of translation, as his
pecuniary circumstances would permit, until he finished the unsealed
part of the records. The part translated is entitled the "Book of
Mormon," which contains nearly as much reading as the Old Testament.

In this important and most interesting book, we can read the history
of ancient America, from its early settlement by a colony who came
from the tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages, to the
beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. By these records
we are informed, that America, in ancient times, has been inhabited by
two distinct races of people. The first, or more ancient race, came
directly from the great tower, being called Jaredites. The second
race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred
years before Christ, being Israelites, principally the descendants of
Joseph. The first nation, or Jaredites, were destroyed about the time
that the Israelites came from Jerusalem who succeeded them in the
inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race,
fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remaining
remnant, having dwindled into an uncivilized state, still continue to
inhabit the land, although divided into a 'multitude of nations,' and
are called by Europeans, the "American Indians."

We learn from this very ancient history, that at the confusion of
languages, when the Lord scattered the people upon all the face of
the earth, the Jaredites being a righteous people, obtained favour in
the sight of the Lord, and were not confounded. And because of their
righteousness, the Lord miraculously led them from the tower to the
great ocean, where they were commanded to build vessels, in which
they were marvellously brought across the great deep to the shores of
North America.

And the Lord God promised to give them America, which was a very
choice land in his sight, for an inheritance. And He swore unto them
in his wrath, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from
that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only
God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should
come upon them, and they were fully ripened in iniquity. Moreover he
promised to make them a great and powerful nation, so that there
should be no greater nation upon all the face of the earth.

Accordingly, in process of time, they became a very numerous and
powerful people, occupying principally North America; building large
cities in all quarters of the land; being a civilized and enlightened
nation. Agriculture and machinery were carried on to a great extent.
Commercial and manufacturing business flourished on every hand; yet
in consequence of wickedness, they were often visited with terrible
judgments. Many prophets were raised up among them from generation to
generation, who testified against the wickedness of the people, and
prophesied of judgments and calamities which awaited them, if they
did not repent, &c. Sometimes they were visited by pestilence and
plagues, and sometimes by famine and war, until at length (having
occupied the land some fifteen or sixteen hundred years,) their
wickedness became so great that the Lord threatened, by the mouth of
his prophets, to utterly destroy them from the face of the land. But
they gave no heed to these warnings; therefore the word of the Lord
was fulfilled; and they were entirely destroyed; leaving their
houses, their cities, and their land desolate; and their sacred
records also, which were kept on gold plates, were left by one of
their last prophets, whose name was Ether, in such a situation, that
they were discovered by the remnant of Joseph, who soon afterwards
were brought from Jerusalem to inherit the land.

This remnant of Joseph were also led in a miraculous manner from
Jerusalem, in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah.
They were first led to the eastern borders of the Red Sea; then they
journeyed for some time along the borders thereof, nearly in a
south-east direction; after which they altered their course nearly
eastward, until they came to the great waters, where, by the
commandment of God, they built a vessel, in which they were safely
brought across the great Pacific Ocean, and landed upon the western
coast of South America.

In the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, at the time the Jews
were carried away captive into Babylon, another remnant were brought
out of Jerusalem, some of whom were descendants of Judah. They landed
in North America, soon after which they emigrated, into the northern
parts of South America, at which place they were discovered by the
remnant of Joseph, something like four hundred years after.

From these ancient records, we learn that this remnant of Joseph,
soon after they landed, separated themselves into two distinct
nations. This division was caused by a certain portion of them being
greatly persecuted, because of their righteousness, by the remainder.
The persecuted nation emigrated towards the northern parts of South
America, leaving the wicked nation in possession of the middle and
southern parts of the same. The former were called Nephites, being
led by a prophet whose name was Nephi. The latter were called
Lamanites, being led by a very wicked man, whose name was Laman. The
Nephites had in their possession a copy of the Holy Scriptures, viz.
the five books of Moses, and the prophecies of the holy prophets,
down to Jeremiah, in whose days they left Jerusalem. These scriptures
were engraved on plates of brass, in the Egyptian language. They
themselves also made plates, soon after their landing, on which they
began to engrave their own history, prophecies, visions, and
revelations. All these sacred records were kept by holy and righteous
men, who were inspired by the Holy Ghost; and were carefully
preserved and handed down from generation to generation.

And the Lord gave unto them the whole continent, for a land of
promise, and promised, that they, and their children after them,
should inherit it, on condition of their obedience to his
commandments; but if they were disobedient, they should be cut off
from his presence. And the Nephites began to prosper in the land,
according to their righteousness, and multiplied and spread forth to
the east, west, and north; building large villages, cities,
synagogues, and temples, together with forts, towers, and
fortifications, to defend themselves against their enemies. And they
cultivated the earth, and raised various kinds of grain in abundance.
They also raised numerous flocks of domestic animals, and became a
very wealthy people; having in abundance gold, silver, copper, tin,
iron, &c. Arts and sciences flourished to a great extent. Various
kinds of machinery were in use. Cloths of various kinds were
manufactured. Swords, scimitars, axes, and various implements of war
were made, together with head-shields, arm-shields, and breastplates,
to defend themselves in battle with their enemies. And in the days of
their righteousness, they were a civilized, enlightened, and happy
people.

But, on the other hand, the Lamanites, because of the hardness of
their hearts, brought down many judgments upon their own heads;
nevertheless, they were not destroyed as a nation; but the Lord God
sent forth a curse upon them, and they became a dark, loathsome, and
filthy people. Before their rebellion, they were white and
exceedingly fair, like the Nephites; but the Lord God cursed them in
their complexions, and they were changed to a dark color, and they
became a wild, savage, and ferocious people; being great enemies to
the Nephites, whom they sought by every means to destroy, and many
times came against them, with their numerous hosts to battle, but
were repulsed and driven back to their own possession, not, however,
generally speaking, without great loss on both sides; for tens of
thousands were very frequently slain, after which they were piled
together in great heaps upon the face of the ground, and covered with
a shallow covering of earth, which will satisfactorily account for
those ancient mounds filled with human bones, so numerous at the
present day, both in North and South America.

The second colony, which left Jerusalem eleven years after the
remnant of Joseph left that city, landed in North America, and
emigrated from thence, to the northern parts of South America; and
about four hundred years after, they were discovered by the Nephites,
as we stated in the foregoing.

They were called the people of Zarahemla. They had been perplexed
with many wars among themselves; and having brought no records with
them, their language had become corrupted, and they denied the being
of God; and at the time they were discovered by the Nephites they
were very numerous, and only in a partial state of civilization; but
the Nephites united with them, and taught them the Holy Scriptures,
and they were restored to civilization, and became one nation with
them. And in process of time, the Nephites began to build ships near
the Isthmus of Darien, and launch them forth into the western ocean,
in which great numbers sailed a great distance to the northward, and
began to colonize North America. Other colonies emigrated by land,
and in a few centuries the whole continent became peopled. North
America at that time, was almost entirely destitute of timber, it
having been cut off by the more ancient race, who came from the great
tower, at the confusion of languages; but the Nephites became very
skilful in building houses of cement; also much timber was carried by
the way of shipping from South to North America. They also planted
groves and began to raise timber, that in time their wants might be
supplied. Large cities were built in various parts of the continent,
both among the Lamanites and Nephites. The law of Moses was observed
by the latter. Numerous prophets were raised up from time to time
throughout their generations. Many records, both historical and
prophetical, which were of great size, were kept among them; some on
plates of gold and other metals, and some on other materials. The
sacred records, also of the more ancient race who had been destroyed,
were found by them. These were engraved on plates of gold. They
translated them into their own language, by the gift and power of
God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim. They contained an
historical account from the creation down to the Tower of Babel, and
from that time down until they were destroyed, comprising a period of
about thirty-four hundred, or thirty-five hundred years. They also
contained many prophecies, great and marvellous, reaching forward to
the final end and consummation of all things, and the creation of the
new heaven and new earth.

The prophets also among the Nephites prophesied of great things. They
opened the secrets of futurity--saw the coming of Messiah in the
flesh--prophesied of the blessings to come upon their descendants in
the latter times--made known the history of unborn generations--
unfolded the great events of ages to come--viewed the power, glory,
and majesty of Messiah's second advent--beheld the establishment of
the kingdom of peace--gazed upon the glories of the day of
righteousness--saw creation redeemed from the curse, and all the
righteous filled with songs of everlasting joy.

The Nephites knew of the birth and crucifixion of Christ, by certain
celestial and terrestrial phenomena, which, at those times, were
shown forth in fulfilment of the predictions of many of their
prophets. Notwithstanding the many blessings with which they had been
blessed, they had fallen into great wickedness, and had cast out the
saints and the prophets, and stoned and killed them. Therefore, at
the time of the crucifixion of Christ, they were visited in great
judgment. Thick darkness covered the whole continent. The earth was
terribly convulsed. The rocks were rent into broken fragments, and
afterwards found in seams and cracks upon all the face of the land.
Mountains were sunk into valleys, and valleys raised into mountains.
The highways and level roads were broken up and spoiled. Many cities
were laid in ruins. Others were buried up in the depths of the earth,
and mountains occupied their place. While others were sunk, and
waters came up in their stead, and others still were burned by fire
from heaven.

Thus, the predictions of their prophets were fulfilled upon their
heads. Thus, the more wicked part, both of the Nephites and Lamanites
were destroyed. Thus, the Almighty executed vengeance and fury upon
them, that the blood of the saints and prophets might no longer cry
from the ground against them.

Those who survived these terrible judgments, were favoured with the
personal ministry of Christ. For after He arose from the
dead--finished his ministry at Jerusalem, and ascended to heaven, he
descended in the presence of the Nephites, who were assembled round
about their temples in the northern parts of South America He
exhibited to them his wounded hands, side, and feet--commanded the
law of Moses to be abolished--introduced and established the Gospel
in its stead--chose twelve disciples from among them to administer
the same--instituted the sacrament--prayed for and blessed their
little children--healed their sick, blind, lame, deaf, and those who
were afflicted in any way--raised a man from the dead--showed forth
his power in their midst--expounded the scriptures which had been
given from the beginning down to that time, and made known unto them
all things which should take place down until He should come in his
glory, and from that time down to the end, when all people, nations,
and languages shall stand before God to be judged, and the heaven,
and the earth should pass away, and there should be a new heaven and
new earth. These teachings of Jesus were engraved upon plates, some
of which are contained in the book of Mormon; but the greater part
are not revealed in that book, but are hereafter to be made manifest
to the saints.

After Jesus had finished ministering unto them, he ascended into
heaven; and the twelve disciples whom he had chosen, went forth upon
all the face of the land, preaching the gospel; baptizing those who
repented, for the remission of sins, after which they laid their
hands upon them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Mighty
miracles were wrought by them, and also by many of the church. The
Nephites and Lamanites were all converted unto the Lord, both in
South and North America; and they dwelt in righteousness above three
hundred years; but towards the close of the fourth century of the
Christian era, they had so far apostatized from God, that he suffered
great judgments to fall upon them. The Lamanites, at that time, dwelt
in South America, and the Nephites in North America.

A great and terrible war commenced between them, which lasted for
many years, and resulted in the complete overthrow and destruction of
the Nephites. This war commenced at the Isthmus of Darien, and was
very destructive to both nations for many years. At length, the
Nephites were driven before their enemies, a great distance to the
North, and North-east; and having gathered their whole nation
together, both men women, and children, they encamped on and round
about the hill Cumorah, where the records were found, which is in the
State of New-York, about two hundred miles west of the city of
Albany. Here they were met by the numerous hosts of the Lamanites,
and were slain, and hewn down, and slaughtered, both male and
female--the aged, middle-aged, and children. Hundreds of thousands
were slain on both sides; and the nation of the Nephites were
destroyed, excepting a few who had deserted over to the Lamanites,
and a few who escaped into the south country, and a few who fell
wounded, and were left by the Lamanites on the field of battle for
dead, among whom were Mormon and his son Moroni, who were righteous
men.

Mormon had made an abridgment, from the records, of his forefathers,
upon plates, which abridgment he entitled the "Book of Mormon," and,
(being commanded of God,) he hid up in the hill Cumorah, all the
sacred records of his forefathers which were in his possession,
except the abridgment called the "Book of Mormon," which he gave to
his son Moroni to finish. Moroni survived his nation a few years, and
continued the writings, in which he informs us, that the Lamanites
hunted those few Nephites who escaped the great and tremendous battle
of Cumorah, until they were all destroyed, excepting those who were
mingled with the Lamanites, and that he was left alone, and kept
himself hid, for they sought to destroy every Nephite who would not
deny Christ. He furthermore states, that the Lamanites were at war
one with another, and that the whole face of the land was one
continual scene of murdering, robbing, and plundering. He continued
the history until the four hundred and twentieth year of the
Christian era; when, (by the commandment of God,) he hid up the
records in the hill Cumorah, where they remained concealed, until by
the ministry of an angel they were discovered to Mr. Smith, who, by
the gift and power of God, translated them into the English language,
by the means of the Urim and Thummim, as stated in the foregoing.

After the book was translated, the Lord raised up witnesses to bear
testimony to the nations of its truth, who, at the close of the
volume, send forth their testimony, which reads as follows:

   TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.

   Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto
   whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the
   Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain
   this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of
   the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who
   came from the tower of which 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 behold and bear record
   that these things are true; and it is marvellous in our eyes,
   nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear
   record of it; wherefore, to be obedient to 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 honour be to the
   Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

   OLIVER COWDERY,
   DAVID WHITMER,
   MARTIN HARRIS.

   AND ALSO THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES.

   Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto
   whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of
   this work, has 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.

Also, in the year 1829, Mr. Smith and Mr. Cowdery, having learned the
correct mode of baptism, from the teachings of the Saviour to the
ancient Nephites, as recorded in the "Book of Mormon," had a desire
to be baptized; but knowing that no one had authority to administer
that sacred ordinance in any denomination, they were at a loss to
know how the authority was to be restored, and while calling upon the
Lord with a desire to be informed upon the subject, a holy angel
appeared--stood before them--laid his hands upon their heads--ordained
them--and commanded them to baptize each other, which they accordingly
did.

In the year 1830, a large edition of the "Book of Mormon" first
appeared in print. And as some began to peruse its sacred pages, the
spirit of the Lord bore record to them that it was true, and they
were obedient to its requirements, by coming forth, humbly repenting
before the Lord, and being immersed in water, for the remission of
sins, after which, by the commandment of God, hands were laid upon
them in the name of the Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

And on the sixth of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and thirty, the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints," was organized, in the town of Manchester, Ontario County,
State of New-York. Some few were called and ordained by the spirit of
revelation and prophecy, and began to preach and bear testimony, as
the spirit gave them utterance; and although they were the weak
things of the earth, yet they were strengthened by the Holy Ghost,
and gave forth their testimony in great power, by which means many
were brought to repentance, and came forward with broken hearts and
contrite spirits, and were immersed in water confessing their sins,
and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; and
saw visions and prophesied. Devils were cast out, and the sick were
healed by the prayer of faith, and laying on of hands. Thus was the
word confirmed unto the faithful by signs following. Thus the Lord
raised up witnesses, to bear testimony of his name, and lay the
foundation of his kingdom in the last days. And thus the hearts of
the saints were comforted, and filled with great joy.

In the foregoing, we have related the most important facts concerning
the visions and the ministry of the angel to Mr. Smith; the discovery
of the records; their translation into the English language, and the
witnesses raised up to bear testimony of the same: we have also
stated when, and by whom they were written; that they contain the
history of nearly one half of the globe, from the earliest ages after
the flood, until the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian
era; that this history is interspersed with many important
prophecies, which unfold the great events of the last days, and that
in it also is recorded the gospel in its fulness and plainness, as it
was revealed by the personal ministry of Christ to the ancient
Nephites, We have also given an account of the restoration of the
authority in these days, to administer in the ordinances of the
gospel; and of the time of the organization of the church; and of the
blessings poured out upon the same while yet in its infancy.

We now proceed to give a sketch of the faith and doctrine of this
Church.

First, we believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus
Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, who bears record of them, the same
throughout all ages and for ever.

We believe that all mankind by the transgression of their first
parents, and not by their own sins, were brought under the curse and
penalty of that transgression, which consigned them to an eternal
banishment from the presence of God, and their bodies to an endless
sleep in the dust, never more to rise, and their spirits to endless
misery under the power of Satan; and that, in this awful condition,
they were utterly lost and fallen, and had no power of their own to
extricate themselves therefrom.

We believe, that through the sufferings, death and atonement of Jesus
Christ, all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and
fully redeemed, both body and spirit, from the endless banishment and
curse to which they were consigned, by Adam's transgression, and that
this universal salvation and redemption of the whole human family
from the endless penalty of the original sin, is effected, without
any conditions whatsoever on their part; that is, that they are not
required to believe, or repent, or be baptized, or do any thing else,
in order to be redeemed from that penalty; for whether they believe
or disbelieve, whether they repent or remain impenitent, whether they
are baptized or unbaptized, whether they keep the commandments or
break them, whether they are righteous or unrighteous, it will make
no difference in relation to their redemption, both soul and body,
from the penalty of Adam's transgression. The most righteous man that
ever lived on the earth, and the most wicked wretch of the whole
human family, were both placed under the same curse, without any
transgression or agency of their own, and they both, alike, will be
redeemed from that curse, without any agency or conditions on their
part. Paul says, Rom. v. 28, "Therefore, as by the offence of one,
judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so, by the
righteousness of one, the free gift came upon ALL men unto the
justification of life." This is the reason why ALL men are redeemed
from the grave. This is the reason that the spirits of all men are
restored to their bodies. This is the reason that all men are
redeemed from their first banishment, and restored into the presence
of God, and this is the reason that the Saviour said, John xii. 32,
"If I be lifted up from the earth I will, draw ALL men unto me."
After this full, complete and universal redemption, restoration and
salvation of the whole of Adam's race, through the atonement of Jesus
Christ, without faith, repentance, baptism or any other works, then
all and every one of them, will enjoy eternal life and happiness,
never more to be banished from the presence of God, IF _they
themselves have committed no sin_: for the penalty of the original
sin can have no more power over them at all, for Jesus hath destroyed
its power--broken the bands of the first death--obtained the victory
over the grave,--delivered all its captives, and restored them from
their first banishment into the presence of his Father, hence eternal
life will then be theirs, IF _they themselves are not found
transgressors of some law_.

We believe that all mankind, in their infant state are incapable of
knowing good and evil, and of obeying or disobeying a law, and that,
therefore, there is no law given to them, and that where there is no
law, there is no transgression; hence they are innocent, and if they
should all die in their infant state, they would enjoy eternal life,
not being transgressors themselves, neither accountable for Adam's
sin.

We believe that all mankind, in consequence of the fall, after they
grow up from their infant state, and come to the years of
understanding, know good and evil, and are capable of obeying and
disobeying a law, and that a law is given against doing evil, and
that the penalty affixed is a second banishment from the presence of
God, both body and spirit, _after_ they have been redeemed from the
FIRST _banishment_ and restored into his presence.

We believe that the penalty of this second law can have no effect
upon persons who have not had the privilege, in this life, of
becoming acquainted therewith; for although the light that is in them
teaches them good and evil, yet that light does not teach them the
law against doing evil, nor the penalty thereof. And although they
have done things worthy of many stripes, yet the law cannot be
brought to bear against them, and its penalty be inflicted, because
they can plead ignorance thereof. Therefore they will be judged, not
by the revealed law which they have been ignorant of, but by the law
of their conscience, the penalty thereof being a few stripes.

We believe that all who have done evil, having a knowledge of the
law, or afterwards, in this life, coming to the knowledge thereof,
are under its penalty, which is not inflicted in this world, but in
the world to come. Therefore, such, in this world, are prisoners,
shut up under the sentence of the law, awaiting, with awful fear, for
the time of judgment, when the penalty shall be inflicted, consigning
them to a _second banishment_ from the presence of their Redeemer,
who had redeemed them from the penalty of the FIRST law. But,
enquires the sinner, is there no way for my escape? Is my case
hopeless? Can I not devise some way by which I can extricate myself
from the penalty of this SECOND _law_, and escape this SECOND
_banishment_? The answer is, if thou canst hide thyself from the
all-searching eye of an Omnipresent God, that he shall not find thee,
or if thou canst prevail with him to deny justice its claim, or if
thou canst clothe thyself with power, and contend with the Almighty,
and prevent him from executing the sentence of the law, then thou
canst escape. If thou canst cause repentance, or baptism in water, or
any of thine own works, to _atone_ for the least of thy
transgressions, then thou canst deliver thyself from the awful
penalty that awaits thee. But, be assured, O sinner, that thou canst
not devise any way of thine own to escape, nor do any thing that will
_atone_ for thy sins. Therefore, thy case is hopeless, unless God
hath devised some way for thy deliverance; but do not let despair
seize upon thee; for though thou art under the sentence of a broken
law, and hast no power to atone for thy sins, and redeem thyself
therefrom, yet there is hope in thy case; for he, who gave the law,
has devised a way for thy deliverance. That same Jesus, who hath
atoned for the original sin, and will redeem all mankind from the
penalty thereof, hath also atoned for thy sins, and offereth
salvation and deliverance to thee, on certain conditions to be
complied with on thy part.

We believe that the first condition to be complied with on the part
of sinners, is, to _believe_ in God, and in the sufferings and death
of his Son Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of the whole world,
and in his resurrection and ascension on high, to appear in the
presence of his Father, to make intercessions for the children of
men, and in the Holy Ghost, which is given to all who obey the gospel.

That the second condition is, to _repent_, that is, all who believe,
according to the first condition, are required to come humbly before
God, and confess their sins with a broken heart and contrite spirit,
and turn away from them, and cease from all their _evil deeds_ and
make restitution to all whom they have in any way injured, as far as
it is in their power.

That the third condition is, to be _baptized_ by immersion in water,
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, _for remission of
sins_; and that this ordinance is to be administered by one who is
called and authorized of Jesus Christ to baptize, otherwise it is
illegal and of no advantage, and not accepted by him; and that it is
to be administered only to those persons, who believe and repent,
according to the two preceding conditions.

And that the fourth condition is, to receive the _laying on of
hands_, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost;
and that this ordinance is to be administered by the apostles or
elders, whom the Lord Jesus hath called and authorized to lay on
hands, otherwise it is of no advantage, being illegal in the sight of
God; and that it is to be administered only to those persons who
believe, repent, and are baptized into this church, according to the
three preceding conditions. These are the first conditions of the
gospel. All who comply with them receive forgiveness of sins, and are
made partakers of the Holy Ghost. Through these conditions, they
become the adopted sons and daughters of God. Through this process,
they are born again, first of water, and then of the spirit, and
become children of the kingdom--heirs of God---saints of the most
High--the church of the first-born--the elect people, and heirs to a
celestial inheritance, eternal in the presence of God. After
complying with these principles, their names are enrolled in the book
of the names of the righteous.

They are then required to be humble, to be meek and lowly in heart,
to watch and pray, to deal justly; and inasmuch as they have the
riches of this world, to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked,
according to the dictates of wisdom and prudence; to comfort the
afflicted, to bind up the broken-hearted, and to do all the good that
is in their power; and besides all these things, they are required to
meet together as often as circumstances will admit, and partake of
bread and wine, in remembrance of the broken body, and shed blood of
the Lord Jesus; and, in short, to continue faithful to the end, in
all the duties enjoined upon them by the word and spirit of Christ.

"It is the duty and privilege of the saints thus organized upon the
everlasting gospel, to believe in and enjoy, all the gifts, powers,
and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit. Such, for instance, as
the gifts of revelation, prophecy, visions, the ministry of angels
healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, the
working of miracles, and, in short, all the gifts as mentioned in
Scripture, or as enjoyed, by the ancient saints." We believe that
inspired apostles and prophets, together with all the officers as
mentioned in the new Testament, are necessary to be in the church in
these days.

We believe that there has been a general and awful apostacy from the
religion of the New Testament, so that all the known world have been
left for centuries without the Church of Christ among them; without a
priesthood authorized of God to administer ordinances; that every one
of the churches has perverted the gospel; some in one way, and some
in another. For instance, almost every church has done away
"_immersion for remission of sins_." Those few who have practised it
for remission of sins, have done away the ordinance of the "_laying
on of hands_," upon baptized believers for the gift of the Holy
Ghost. Again, the few who have practised this last ordinance, have
perverted the first, or have done away the ancient gifts, powers, and
blessings, which flow from the Holy Spirit, or have said to inspired
apostles and prophets, we have no need of you in the body in these
days. Those few, again, who have believed in and contended for the
miraculous gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit, have perverted the
ordinances, or done them away. Thus all the churches preach false
doctrines and pervert the gospel, and instead of having authority
from God to administer its ordinances, they are under the curse of
God for perverting it. Paul says, Gal. i, 8, "Though we, or an angel
from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you, let him be accursed."

We believe that there are a few sincere, honest, and humble persons,
who are striving to do according to the best of their understanding;
but, in many respects, they err in doctrine, because of false
teachers and the precepts of men, and that they will receive the
fulness of the gospel with gladness, as soon as they hear it.

The gospel in the "Book of Mormon," is the same as that in the New
Testament, and is revealed in great plainness, so that no one that
reads it can misunderstand its principles. It has been revealed by
the angel, to be preached as a witness to all nations, first to the
Gentiles, and then to the Jews, then cometh the downfall of Babylon.
Thus fulfilling the vision of John, which he beheld on the Isle of
Patmos, Rev. xiv, 6, 7, 8, "And I saw," says John, "another angel fly
in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto
them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and
tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give
glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him
that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
waters. And there followed another angel, saying Babylon is fallen,
is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Many revelations and prophecies have been given to this church since
its rise, which have been printed and sent forth to the world. They
also contain the gospel in great plainness, and instructions of
infinite importance to the saints. They also unfold the great events
that await this generation; the terrible judgments to be poured forth
upon the wicked, and the blessings and glories to be given to the
righteous. We believe that God will continue to give revelations by
visions, by the ministry of angels, and by the inspiration of the
Holy Ghost, until the saints are guided into all truth, that is,
until they come in possession of all the truth there is in existence,
and are made perfect in knowledge. So long, therefore, as they are
ignorant of any thing past, present, or to come, so long, we believe
they will enjoy the gift of revelation. And when in their immortal
and perfect state--when they enjoy the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ--when they are made perfect in one, and become
like their Saviour, then they will be in possession of all knowledge,
wisdom, and intelligence: then all things will be theirs, whether
principalities or powers, thrones or dominions; and, in short, then
they will be filled with all the fulness of God. And what more can
they learn? What more can they know? What more can they enjoy? Then
they will no longer need revelation.

We believe that wherever the people enjoy the religion of the New
Testament, there they enjoy visions, revelations, the ministry of
angels, &c. And that wherever these blessings cease to be enjoyed,
there they also cease to enjoy the religion of the New Testament.

We believe that God has raised up this church, in order to prepare a
people for his second coming in the clouds of heaven, in power, and
great glory; and that then the saints who are asleep in their graves
will be raised, and reign with him on earth a thousand years.

We believe that the nations are fast ripening in wickedness, and that
judgments, fearful, and terrible, speedily await them. For the signs
of the times clearly betoken a general and universal convulsion. The
ripening of the harvest--the decay of vegetables--the withering
leaves, never indicated more clearly the approaching winter, than the
signs of the times betoken approaching judgment. The awful apostacy
of the Christian World--the great corruptions that pervade all
governments, and the alarming wickedness of the present generation,
have engraved UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT, RUIN, and OVERTHROW upon all the
kingdoms of this world. A dreadful storm is gathering in every
region, find will, ere long, break forth with inconceivable fury upon
this guilty generation. Already the fearful tempest begins to rage.
The calm repose of ages is disturbed. Ancient and powerful monarchies
which have stood the test of centuries, unmoved and unaltered, are
now fast crumbling to ruin. Kingdoms are in terrible commotion,
divided among themselves, and each distracted with internal broils,
disorder, and confusion. The fountains of the nations seem to be
broken up. The whole frame work of government is loosened and torn
asunder. Every nation is alarmed and in consternation. Fearful
forebodings have seized upon Politicians and Statesman, Kings and
Rulers. All are perplexed with dreadful anxieties, looking after
those things which are coming on the earth.

In the midst of all these commotions, just as every government seems
to be on the very eve of crumbling to pieces, and just as a thick
cloud of judgment seems to hang frightfully over all nations, ready
to burst with awful fury upon their guilty heads--a voice of mercy
is heard. An angel is sent forth from the eternal worlds. Truth
springs forth from the earth clothed with her native simplicity and
beauty. Messengers are called of God, and sent forth with a
proclamation to all people, requiring them to repent and obey the
same. A way of safety for the meek of the earth is clearly pointed
out. The kingdom of God is re-organized upon the earth, which alone
will stand secure and triumphant in the midst of the dissolution of
all earthly governments.

Thus, dear reader, we have laid before you a brief narrative of some
of the most important things transpiring in this generation--things
most firmly believed by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints--things which have already been embraced by many tens of
thousands in our own native country. Thousands also among other
nations are rejoicing in these tidings, having received this message
with gladness. Never were mankind visited with a more important
message than the one which has now saluted the ears of mortals. It is
a message that deeply concerns all people, and calls for their most
candid and sincere investigation. It is a message from the great
Jehovah committed into the hands of mortals by holy angels sent forth
from his presence. It is a message that will speedily penetrate the
darkest corners of the earth, and enter into the palaces of Kings,
while proud and haughty monarchs shall tremble at its power. It is a
message which unveils the secrets of futurity, and draws aside the
curtains which hide the destinies of all countries and governments.

By the proclamation of this message, Judah shall be gathered from
their long dispersion--the tribes of Israel be restored, with power
and glory to their own lands--the remnant of Joseph, or the American
Indians, become civilized and enlightened, and the Millennial reign
of universal peace and joy be ushered in.

And we now bear testimony to all, both small and great, that the Lord
of Hosts hath sent us with a message of glad tidings--the everlasting
gospel, to cry repentance to the nations, and prepare the way of his
second coming. Therefore, _repent_, O ye nations, both Gentiles and
Jews, and cease from all your _evil deeds_, and come forth with
broken hearts and contrite spirits, and be _baptized_ in water, in
the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by the _laying on of
the hands_ of the Apostles, or Elders of this church; and signs shall
follow them that believe, and if they continue faithful to the end,
they shall be saved. But woe unto them who hearken not to the message
which God has now sent, for the day of vengeance and burning is at
hand, and they shall not escape. Therefore, REMEMBER, O reader, and
_perish not_!





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