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´╗┐Title: Reminiscences of Joseph the Prophet - And the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
Author: Stevenson, Edward Luther
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Reminiscences of Joseph the Prophet - And the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

(https://mormontextsproject.org/), with thanks to Andy
Hobbs and Shawnee Hawkes.







Of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.





[Image: Edward Stevenson, Born May 1st, 1820, at Gibraltar, Spain.]


In presenting this pamphlet of Reminiscences to the public, the Author
desires to explain the circumstances that induced him to issue it.
While delivering a series of illustrated lectures in the various
tabernacles and public halls throughout the Territory--and which
were repeated on more than 200 different occasions--the Author was
earnestly solicited to publish the lectures, including engravings of
the paintings, in the form in which they now appear.

Having become convinced from the great interest taken in the lectures,
that they were productive of much good, the Author finally determined
to submit the lectures to the public.

The Author having been personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph
Smith, and having been with him in many of his trying experiences,
desires to add his testimony to the truth of the work inaugurated by
him, under instructions from the Almighty, and hopes that the incidents
herein related will induce many to investigate this great and important
work; for he that judgeth without investigation is unwise.

Respectfully, THE AUTHOR.



The Mighty Messenger of the Latter-day Dispensation.--A Brief Record of
a Life fraught with Matchless Heroism, under all manner of Persecution,
Trials, Imprisonment, Hardships and finally Martyrdom.

[Image: Joseph Smith, the Prophet.]

The picture herewith presented is one of the few produced of the
Prophet Joseph Smith. It is here reproduced from one published in
Harper's Pictorial many years ago and now makes its appearance for
the second time. Although it is only a wood cut, there are in it some
true lines and features of the Prophet when he was about the age of
twenty-six. At this early period the science of photography was but
in its infancy and pictures of prominent men were neither so correct
nor plentiful as at the present time. It is, indeed, very proper and
desirable to preserve the best pictures of those who have proven
themselves the benefactors of our country, and more especially so of
him who was chosen and ordained of God to give light and truth and
eternal blessings to mankind.

Of the few likenesses of our martyred Prophet placed before the public,
there has been one presented by his son (Joseph Smith, Jr.), which
purports to be a copy or fac simile of a painting which was evidently
taken when he was quite young. It is a front view and, in some
respects, bears a striking resemblance to the one we present to our
readers, notwithstanding that ours is a side view.

Many efforts have been made to obtain a good portrait, but, it is to be
regretted, without satisfactory results. Brother Nathan T. Porter, of
Centerville, Davis County, Utah, who first saw Joseph Smith in Jackson
County, Mo., in the year 1831, is very much pleased with this picture,
and so also is Aunt Zina D. H. Young, who sees in it many striking
features of the youthful Prophet.

I first saw him in 1834 at Pontiac and the impression made upon my
mind by him at that time causes me now much pleasure in presenting the
picture to his many friends. The love for him, as a true Prophet of
God, was indelibly impressed upon my mind, and has always been with me
from that time, although nearly sixty years have since passed away.

In that same year, 1834, in the midst of many large congregations, the
Prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father
and the Son, and the conversation he had with them. Never before did
I feel such power as was manifested on these occasions, and, although
only a small percentage of those who saw and heard him accepted the
restored Gospel, there was not one who dared to dispute it. Many of
our neighbors were heard to say: "Well, if Mormonism is true, it will
stand; if not true, it will fall." Many of them lived to see it stand
and increase, and while they themselves passed away in death's embrace,
the work continued to flourish and prosper.

The fact that so few received his testimony caused me, for a time, to
greatly marvel. But when I looked back to the period when Jesus and
His chosen Twelve and Seventies labored, with all their might, for the
salvation of a fallen world, even with all manner of signs following
their labors, and saw how few believed in our embraced their testimony
in that day of mighty power, when even the grave was robbed of its
victims and the dead commanded to come forth and live, and that while
the dead lived the living were dead; yea, when I saw and meditated
upon these things, I became somewhat reconciled, and the words of
the Lord, through Jeremiah, recurred to my mind and I was satisfied.
The words were these, "And I will take you one of a city, and two of
a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you pastors
according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and
understanding."--Jer. 3. chap. 14, 15. After these lessons I learned
that while the Gospel was free to every one, yet every one was not free
to receive the Gospel.

While thus speaking of the Prophet's visit to Pontiac, Oakland County,
Michigan (then a Territory), I cannot pass by the predictions which he
then made and which were afterwards literally fulfilled as witnessed by
myself and many others. Joseph said, "If you will obey the Gospel with
honest hearts, I promise you in the name of the Lord, that the gifts as
promised by our Saviour will follow you, and by this you may prove me
to be a true servant of God."

I am, with others, a witness that these gifts did follow many in the
branch of the Church which was raised up in Pontiac. Among them were
Deacon Bent of the Presbyterian Church, who was the first one baptized
(and who afterwards became President of the High Council in Nauvoo).
His daughter Mary was the first one who spoke in tongues in this
branch. Besides Mary Curtis, Joseph Wood, Elijah Fordham and others
also enjoyed that gift. We felt that we were blessed above kings,
rulers and potentates of the earth and truly we were a happy branch of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our souls were full of
joyous thanksgiving, and our songs of gladness rejoiced the heart by
day, dispelled the gloom of night and welcomed the coming morn. Those
only can realize our happiness and delight who sing with the soul and
understanding the beautiful song of Zion:

 We thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, To guide us in these latter days;
 We thank Thee for sending the Gospel To lighten our minds with its

The above named Mary Curtis, who afterwards became Sister Reed, will be
remembered as the lady who spoke in tongues in the Logan Temple about
three years ago, on a fast day, and who, on that same day, after having
completed her day's work in the Temple, went home in the evening and
died. Lyman O. Littlefield, of Logan, as well as myself and my Sister
Mary Stevenson Clark, of Farmington, Davis Co., Utah, witnessed the
speaking in tongues by Mary Curtis in Michigan, sixty years ago, and
also on this occasion in Logan Temple.

These, however, were not the only blessings with which we were favored
in the Pontiac branch, for we enjoyed the presence of the venerable and
venerated father of the Prophet (Joseph Smith, Sen.), the Patriarch of
the whole Church of God on the earth. The writer was one of many who,
under his hands, received choice and rare blessings, when the power of
the Holy Ghost filled the house to such an extent that the tears flowed
down the cheeks of even those who lived and died outside of the pale of
the Church.

Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris were also heard by the
writer to testify that they, in open day, stood in the presence of
the God who ministered unto the Prophet. And indeed there was a power
accompanying these testimonies which was irresistible, and which made
deep and lasting impressions.

Although a mere humble widow's son, I felt proud and blessed of God,
when he honored us by coming under our roof and partaking of our
hospitality. Oh! how my heart swelled with delightful emotions of
heavenly love, as I selected and presented to him some of our choice
apples in exchange for the golden nuggets of celestial truth, which he
bestowed upon us as he partook of the humble but hearty hospitality
of a widow's table! We were proud, indeed, to entertain one who had
conversed with the Father and the Son, and been under the tuition of
an angel from Heaven, and who, under the immediate direction of the
Almighty, had organized the true church on the earth, after the exact
pattern of that organized by God, through Jesus Christ, eighteen
hundred years before.

In parting from under our roof the Prophet expressed a desire to have a
loan of a large English Book of Martyrs which we possessed, promising
to return it to us when he should meet us again in Zion, in the State
of Missouri, which he did, and on returning it he said, "I have, by the
aid of the Urim and Thummim, seen those martyrs, and they were honest,
devoted followers of Christ, according to the light they possessed, and
they will be saved."

For the benefit of those who have not been privileged to meet our
beloved martyred Prophet, I deem it a favor to present the picture,
with the incidents here narrated, for the pleasure and consideration of
all who may peruse them.

Joseph Smith was born December 23rd, 1805, in Sharon, Windsor County,
Vermont. At about the age of eight years, he passed through an ordeal
which gave remarkable evidence of heroic fortitude and indomitable
power of will, under intense bodily suffering. After recovering from a
severe typhus fever, a fever sore affected his leg and threatened him
with the loss of the limb. Under these circumstances, a consultation
of physicians was held, and after making an incision eight inches
in length, and examining the bone, they decided that, if his life
was to be saved, amputation of the member was absolutely necessary.
This operation, however, was so strongly opposed by both parents and
son that the doctors finally concluded to remove the affected parts
of the bone. Accordingly, they called for a strong cord to bind the
lad, and were intending to give him a stimulant; but to all this our
young hero most decidedly objected, saying, "I will not touch one
particle of liquor, neither will I be tied down; but I will have my
father sit on the bed and hold me in his arms, and then I will do
whatever is necessary to have the bone taken out." By drilling into
the bone on each side of the part affected, three pieces of bone
were extracted, the removal being made with a pair of forceps. The
manhood and willpower of this noble youth of eight years, under so
trying an ordeal, foreshadowed the story of his life--a life fraught
with matchless heroism, under all manner of persecution, trials,
imprisonments, hardships and finally martyrdom. The howlings of
murderous mobs, infuriated by infernal legions, the lying slanders of a
vile hireling priesthood, and the base treachery of loathsome traitors,
proved utterly powerless to cause him to swerve a single hair's
breadth from the cause of God and the interests of the downtrodden
and oppressed. To the transgressor and hypocrite he was a fierce lion
in the way, to injured innocence he was a tower of strength, and to
the poor and helpless he was ever a brother and a friend. He lived a
hero of heroes, and a Prophet of Prophets, and to save his brethren
from harm and bloodshed, he dauntlessly went to his death, and died
a Martyr of Martyrs. The world, in its wickedness and crime, may
treat his memory with derision and scorn; but when his defamers are
forgotten, the great and mighty Prophet of God who, under the name of
Joseph Smith, laid down his life for truth and his brethren, shall be
fondly enshrined in the heart of the universe and his life and actions
approved and applauded by the loving lips of eternity.

It has been truly said that "God moves in a mysterious way" in order
to perform His wonders, and the Scriptures lead us to believe that He
often leads us by a "way that we know not of." Seldom, or never, were
these expressions more fully verified than in the removal of the future
Prophet's father from Vermont and his settling in Palmyra in New York
state. Little did the good man dream of the fact, as he wended his
way from his former home, that he was being led by the Lord to the
very place where his son's great work was to be accomplished. Yet such
was certainly the fact. Every step of his journey was guided by the
controlling power and wisdom of God, and, although he knew it not, he
settled just where God wanted him and where He wanted his son, who was
to be like Joseph of old, the saviour of his father's house.

When between the ages of fourteen and fifteen, after earnestly calling
upon God, Joseph had his first vision, as set forth in another chapter.
When he was between seventeen and eighteen years old, he had his second
vision, which is likewise elsewhere described. And when he was between
twenty-one and twenty-two, after having been instructed by a heavenly
messenger for four years, in the year 1827 the golden records were
entrusted to the custody of the youthful Prophet. He had been married
just eight months and four days at this time. In the year 1827, by the
aid of the Urim and Thummim, or interpreters, the history of two lost
nations was translated, the one being the nation of the Jaredites and
the other that of the Nephites. The remnants of the latter of these
nations of the Nephites were the wild Indians of America, who were
first discovered by Columbus in the year 1492.

On the sixth day of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints was organized. And on the twenty-seventh day of June,
1844, the Prophet sealed his testimony with his blood. Joseph Smith
was murdered in Carthage Jail when he was in the prime of his life,
being only thirty-eight years, six months and six days old. It was just
fourteen years, two months and twenty-one days after the Church was
organized. Strange as it may appear, our Lord and Saviour was murdered
when only a few years younger than Joseph, and both were put to death
for the same cause, namely, the establishing of the Church of Christ on
the earth, the one in the former and the one in the latter days.

Dark and solemn was that day when Illinois shed the innocent blood of
the two martyrs, Joseph and Hyrum Smith. They were at the time under
the protection of Governor Thomas Ford, who pledged his sacred honor
for their safety. But the pledge, which was never meant to be kept, was
most shamefully broken, and these two heroic spirits were given up to
a professed Christian mob of merciless demons, and they were cruelly
murdered in cold blood. These great and good men, servants of the Most
High God, of "whom the world was not worthy," were of one heart and one
mind throughout all their life, and in death they were not separated.
They fled together from the murderous mob to their destined home on
high. There, while they bask in the sunshine of eternal peace and love,
they testify by their blood to the horrid cruelties that reign in the
heart of a wicked and apostate world.

There were but four years, ten months and fourteen days between the
ages of these noble martyred brothers, Hyrum being the elder.

Joseph, on this occasion, voluntarily gave himself up to the strong arm
of the law, for he had ever been willing to be tried by the tribunals
of his country. At this time, our beloved Prophet was impressed with a
sad foreboding somewhat similar to that experienced in Gethsemane by
the Saviour just previous to the crucifixion, when he called upon the
Father and said: "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." The Prophet Joseph said,
while on his way to Carthage, "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter;
but I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of
offence towards God and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it
shall yet be said of me, 'he was murdered in cold blood.'" Elder Bates
Nobles, now living, authorizes me to say that he heard the Prophet
utter those very words. Well, this prophecy of our murdered Prophet
has been often fulfilled in the testimonies of the Saints, both among
themselves and before the world, as well as by the utterances of the
honorable and upright men of all lands, but to its bitter cost, it has
not yet been said by our nation. However, we will watch and wait. "God
is just is all we say."

 "Our Patriarch and Prophet, too, Were massacred. They bled, To seal
 their testimony, They were numbered with the dead."


The Hill Cumorah, where the Plates of the Book of Mormon were Concealed
by Moroni and afterwards Delivered by him to Joseph Smith.--Some
Valuable History Pertaining to this Thrice-named Hill.

A beautiful picture of the Hill Cumorah is presented on the opposite
page. The hill is situated in the northwestern part of New York, about
thirty miles south of Rochester. It is also near the New York Central
Railroad, and only three and a half miles from Palmyra station to the
south, and on the Canandaigua turnpike.

This noted hill has been three times named and by three distinct and
great nations. For particulars concerning its historical importance
we begin our study in the year 1823. At that time there was found in
the side of this historic hill, by an obscure boy, a number of gold
plates. These plates were very ingeniously concealed in a stone box
and, bearing a record and being now translated, supply us with all the
earlier information contained on them.

There is a vast amount of valuable history pertaining to this hill,
which is far more picturesque than the hills which surround it. There
is an extensive valley on the east, as well as one on the west side
of the hill, where the turnpike runs south, passing through the town
of Manchester in the rear of the hill about two miles. Manchester, as
well as the Hill Cumorah, is situated in the township of Manchester.
The most prominent view of the hill is its north front. It extends
south nearly a mile, where it terminates into a more level plateau,
which is occupied as an agricultural district. From the highest point
of the hill, which is the northern end, where the writer has stood a
number of times, is one of the most lovely sights imaginable. To the
east is the New York Central Railroad, about four miles north is a most
lovely town named Palmyra, and two miles northwest is where the father
of Joseph Smith located a farm when the latter was only twelve years
of age. Finally, the whole country surrounding the hill from the most
elevated spot, as far as the natural vision can grasp, is indeed a most
charming scene of farms, orchards, houses, barns and rolling hills,
with occasional forests, and in the proper season, fields of golden
grain, barns well-filled, orchard trees laden with apples, peaches
and pears, with here and there patches of strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, cherries, currants and garden vegetables in variety. All
of these beautiful scenes have engraven upon my mind a picture which
defies the artist's brush to place on canvas.

[Image: The Hill Cumorah.]

The first name given to this hill (and by a lost nation who left the
Tower of Babel 2000 B.C.) was Ramah, as found in their history, page
606, new edition. This history is called the Book of Mormon, and this
portion is written by a historian named Ether.

It was named the second time by an entirely different people, and
called Cumorah, as found on page 559, new edition, of the same book, by
the historian whose name was Mormon.

The third name is Bible Hill, or Mormon Hill, and was given in the year

Having studied the history of these lost nations, I felt very much
inclined to gratify the desires awakened in my bosom to visit the
place. Impelled by these aspiration, I undertook the journey and soon
found myself at a pleasant and commodious hotel in Palmyra.

Early on a summer's morning in the year 1870, after a gentle shower
during the night, with just sufficient rainfall to lay the dust, I
set out to walk to the hill. Never can I forget the lovely scenery of
that lonely but interesting walk down the most excellent Canandaigua
turnpike. Among the objects passed on the way was the former home of
Joseph Smith, and the very old and comely schoolhouse where he learned
some of his early lessons.

Arriving near the object of my morning's walk, I set bout inquiring for
the Hill Cumorah. But not one could I find in all the country round who
could give me the desired information; until one, and the right one
too, who was made to comprehend my mind and wish, said, "Is it Mormon
Hill that you want, or what is more familiarly known among us in this
country as 'Bible Hill,' where old Joe Smith found the Mormon Bible? Is
it this place you wish to find?"

Having answered affirmatively the question, I was not only enabled,
by my friend's direction, to learn the third and last name given to
this hill, but to find myself standing upon the summit of one of the
most interesting objects of my 100,000 miles' travel. It appeared more
like a dream than a stern reality. Could it be possible that here was
the identical spot of ground where stood a being who had lived in
the fourth century, some fourteen hundred and fifty years prior to
my occupying this position? Indeed, it was verily true. But, oh! the
wonderful contrast between the two views, and the changes of scenery
in that time! Now a beautiful landscape: such a one as delights the
vision, until the mind becomes swallowed up and absorbed in deep
reflection. There are beauties of hills and dales, orchards and farms,
lawns and gardens on every side, more especially to the north, east and
west. Just for a moment cast your eye on the engraving, which is the
one of my choice, exhibiting, as it does, a north front, and to my mind
the most lovely view of all. There are differing pictures of this hill,
some real and some imaginary. The one presented is from a painting made
from a photograph which Apostle F. D. Richards had taken while on a
visit to this historic hill and country.

Some cows and other additions have been made to the picture, such as
the carriage conveying the visitors along the roadway by the fence,
to the house, where the owner of the hill and surroundings lives. But
the main features of the hill are true representations of it, so much
so that J. W. Fox, Jr., also Bishop G. H. Taylor, both of whom visited
the place some years before, say it is the best picture of it that they
have ever seen presented.

Brother Edward Hold, of South Jordan Ward had a vision of the hill
(similar to the one the prophet Joseph Smith had), and described it
very minutely before seeing the picture of it. He said, just above
where he saw a portion of the top of the stone box there was a tree,
and upon this point I interrogated him closely, stating that only two
years previous Bishop Black, Brother Andrew Jenson and I had visited
the spot of ground, and there was no tree there; but he insisted that
there was a tree just above the stone box, a clumpy tree, for he saw
one there. It became necessary for an explanation before he should see
the picture.

At the period of discovery of the gold plates, there stood upon the
side of the hill, about fifteen feet above where the stone box had so
long reposed, a lone, solitary, sugar maple tree, and there continued
to grow until twenty-two years ago, just as described by Brother Holt,
who was so highly favored of God as to see the whole scene in a vision
or dream.

What made Brother Holt's vision all the more deeply interesting to me
was that in 1871 I had enjoyed the great privilege and pleasure of
visiting the hill in person, and of seeing the very identical spot of
ground where Mormon concealed the stone box and its precious records
and where Moroni, his son, finished the writing and sealed up these
records. But there was no tree standing there as was described in the
vision, for it had been cut down shortly before and was lying on the
ground, not having as yet been removed. It was a clumpy sort of a
tree, about two feet in diameter. For a long time it had stood there
like a solitary sentinel guarding the sacred spot which contained
the book that was to shape the destinies of thousands upon thousands
of the human race, and people the heavens with the true sons and
daughters of God. I have always regretted the removal of that tree,
for it was a conspicuous mark on the northwest point of the now almost
treeless hill. After satisfying Brother Hold as to the absence of the
tree, which he had seen in his vision, he very readily recognized the
painting as being a correct and accurate representation of the deeply
interesting Hill Cumorah as he had seen it in his vision forty years

Brother Holt, with respect to his vision, stated that he "had retired
to bed, after reading the Book of Mormon, and that he had entertained
some doubts regarding the vision Joseph Smith had of the hill, and of
his finding the stone box containing the plates. But the vision which
he had himself received concerning the matter served to remove every
shadow of a doubt from his mind, for all future time. In the last
chapter, written by Moroni just before closing or sealing up the box,
he engraved upon the plates the following words: "And I seal up these
records, after I have spoken a few words, by way of exhortation, unto
you; behold, I would exhort you, that when ye shall read these things,
if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember
how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the
creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these
things. I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the eternal Father,
in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall
ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,
he will manifest the truth of it unto you." Brother Holt, as well
as hundreds of others, can testify that these words are true and in
consonance with the words of Jesus Christ himself, "Ask and it shall be
given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened
unto you," and also in accordance with the words of James, who says,
"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," but "let him
ask in faith, nothing wavering."

The boy Joseph did not ask in vain, neither will any other person ask
in vain who asks in faith for the word of the Lord faileth not but
endureth forever. My guide who accompanied me on my visit in 1871,
pointed out to me many places of interest, and also entertained me
hospitably at his table, where a number of harvesters had assembled.
The covered carriage represented in the picture is conveying our party
on my second visit to the house in which we all dined together, which
is situated to the left of the painting. The dinner party to me was
highly interesting, and all the more so as we sat conversing about
the things of God right in the shadow of the Hill Cumorah. All spoke
freely, and asked many questions, which I felt it a great pleasure
to answer. They were anxious to hear something of the spread of the
work since the gold plates were discovered in that remarkable hill,
and I very gladly gratified them with a short account of the rise and
progress of this "marvelous work and a wonder," from the day the angel
visited Cumorah and gave the plates to Joseph, the boy-prophet, down to
the present time, when the work has gathered into its cause some two
hundred and fifty thousand Saints, and founded the Territory of Utah
in the west. The conclusion come to by this party of harvesters was
that the subject of our conversation was indeed a "marvellous work and
wonder." Still, like many other time-servers and worldly-wise people,
they felt their spirits weakening within them, and they exclaimed, "But
Mormonism is so very unpopular!"

"Yes," I replied, "it has been so since the Jews and Gentiles murdered
the Chief Shepherd."

Our pleasant entertainment and agreeable conversation here terminated,
after bearing my testimony to the divinity of the restored gospel,
and to the fact that more than fourteen hundred years ago the gold
plates, that contained the same, were sealed up and deposited in this
very hill, destined to come forth and revolutionize the world, in
these latter days. Cordially bidding good-day to my hospitable host, I
proceeded on my way, and found an old gentleman who lived west of the
hill and who was quite agreeable and conversational on the subject of
my visit to Cumorah. He was well-acquainted with some of the history of
the coming forth of the book which was to "speak out of the ground,"
although spiritually, he did not seem to have greatly benefited by this
"marvelous work and a wonder." Still, from him I gleaned some useful
information. He pointed out the spot of ground where the stone box was
placed, near the summit, and on the west side of the point of the hill.
He likewise stated that soon after the rumor so widely spread regarding
"Joe" Smith finding a gold bible, that there was great excitement
throughout the whole country, and that it was about this time the
Rochester Company located and searched for hidden treasure.

Questioning him closely he stated that he had seen some good-sized flat
stones that had rolled down and lay near the bottom of the hill. This
had occurred after the contents of the box had been removed and these
stones were doubtless the ones that formerly composed the box. I felt a
strong desire to see these ancient relics and told him I would be much
pleased to have him inform me where they were to be found. He stated
that they had long since been taken away. He further said that he knew
"Joe" Smith as a "money digger" and a "visionary man" and Martin Harris
as an honest reliable farmer. Joseph in his history says that he worked
in a mine for Mr. Stowel, hunting for hidden treasures, at fourteen
dollars per month, hence his name as a money-digger. I then inquired
if he ever knew Joseph Smith to be convicted of crime. He replied
that he had not known him as having been convicted. The surrounding
scenery, which embraced a young grove of beech, sugar maple, hickory,
oak, bass-wood, etc., covering about five acres of ground, was very
beautiful. The grove is about 200 yards southwest of where the plates
were found. There was a fine, well-cultivated field of grain on the
hillside. My loquacious guide showed me another and much deeper cavity
made on the east side of the hill by the above-named Rochester treasure
seekers, a company of prospectors. They said that science aided by
mineral rods did not lie and that most assuredly there were rich
treasures concealed in the hill, and they were determined to have them.
But with all their science and laborious excavations they failed to get
a glimpse of the coveted treasures and returned to their homes if not
richer, at least it is to be hoped wiser men, for the only results of
their efforts were the holes they left on the hillside. Notwithstanding
this, there are strong and feasible reasons for believing that there is
abundance of treasure hid up in Cumorah, but it is guarded by the hand
of the Lord and none shall ever possess it until made known in the due
time of the Lord. The great and mighty nation of the Jaredites, having
departed from God and shed the blood of the prophets, became divided
into bloodthirsty factions, who waged relentless and merciless wars
against each other for many years; finally, after millions were slain,
they arrayed themselves into two mighty opposing armies and mutually
agreed to give each other four years in which to gather their entire
forces of men, women and children around Ramah, and there make one last
appalling death struggle for victory, but so well were these colossal
armies matched in numbers, valor, fury and hatred that they continued
to fight day after day till both sides were completely destroyed from
the face of the land. One man of all these great and mighty armies
alone remained alive. Ere they begin the dreadful carnage, they made
excavations and hid up in Ramah their immense treasures.

The Lord again peopled the land and they too became haughty and lifted
up in the pride of their hearts, renounced God and slew his prophets,
and division, war and bloodshed again filled the land with horror.
Once more were immense hosts arrayed into two great armies, the one
called the Nephites, the other the Lamanites, and strange to say they
also marshalled their forces, and undertook to make one last death
struggle for victory or death. The battle ceased when the Nephites
were destroyed, and again millions lay dead upon the fatal ground. The
Jaredites' Ramah was the Nephites' Cumorah, and their ashes commingle
and repose in death. Ere this last horrid conflict commenced, they,
too, hid their untold treasures in this HIll Cumorah, and it was said
by President Young at Farmington, Davis Co., Utah, June 17, 1877, just
two months and twelve days before his death:

"There were a great many treasures hid up by the Nephites. * * * I
lived right in the country where the plates were found from which
the Book of Mormon was translated, and I know a great many things
pertaining to that country. I believe I will take the liberty to tell
you of another circumstance that will be as marvelous as anything can
be. This is an incident in the life of Oliver Cowdery, but he did not
take the liberty of telling such things in meeting as I take. I tell
these things to you, and I have a motive for doing so. I want to carry
them to the ears of my brethren and sisters, and the children also,
that they may grow to an understanding of some things that seem to
be entirely hidden from the human family. Oliver Cowdery went with
the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not
translate all of the plates: there was a portion of these sealed which
you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got
the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the Hill
Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went
there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was
a large and spacious room. * * * They laid the plates on a table; it
was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a
pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in
this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled
up in the corners and along the walls. * * * I tell you this as coming
not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it. *
* * I relate this to you, and I want you to understand it. I take this
liberty of referring to these things so that they will not be forgotten
and lost.

"Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man
we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some
things, Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader. Now,
you may think I am unwise in publicly telling these things, thinking
perhaps I should preserve them in my own breast; but such is not my
mind. I would like the people called Latter-day Saints to understand
some little things with regard to the workings and dealings of the Lord
with his people here upon the earth."_--Journal of Discourses, Vol. 19,
p. 36._

It was likewise stated to me by David Whitmer in the year 1877 that
Oliver Cowdery told him that the Prophet Joseph and himself had seen
this room and that it was filled with treasure, and on a table therein
were the breastplate and the sword of Laban, as well as the portion of
gold plates not yet translated, and that these plates were bound by
three small gold rings, and would also be translated, as was the first
portion in the days of Joseph. When they are translated much useful
information will be brought to light. But till that day arrives, no
Rochester adventurers shall ever see them or the treasures, although
science and mineral rods testify that they are there. At the proper
time when greed, selfishness and corruption shall cease to reign in the
hearts of the people, these vast hoards of hidden treasure shall be
brought forth to be used for the cause and kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Changing the scene once more another prophet, whose name was
Mormon, stood on the summit of this hill. At that time a great and
fierce battle was fought. After the conclusion of the battle, which
occurred about 1472 years ago, Mormon's grief was expressed on this
heart-rending and doleful scene as found on page 560 of their history
in the Book of Mormon. We will here again refer to the great battle of
the Lamanites and Nephites:

 "And when they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it
 were twenty and four of us, (among whom was my son Moroni) and we
 having survived the dead of our people, did behold on the morrow, * * *
 from the top of the hill Cumorah, the ten thousand of my people who
 were hewn down, being led in the front by me. And we also beheld the
 ten thousand of my people who were led by my son Moroni." (Mormon

And other generals are named who led each their ten thousand until we
reach the enormous number of two hundred and thirty thousand men, with
their wives and children, who were strewn around this most marvelous

 "And their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth,
 * * * to moulder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their
 mother earth. And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain
 of my people, and I cried: O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed
 from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected
 that _Jesus,_ who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if
 ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are
 fallen, and I mourn your loss. O ye fair sons and daughters, ye
 fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it
 that ye could have fallen! But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows
 cannot bring your return. And the day soon cometh that your mortal
 must put on immortality, and these bodies which are now mouldering in
 corruption must soon become incorruptible bodies; and then ye must
 stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to be judged according to
 your works; and if it so be that ye are righteous, then are ye blessed
 with your fathers who have gone before you. O that ye had repented
 before this great destruction had come upon you. But behold, ye are
 gone, and the Father of heaven knoweth your state, and He doeth with
 you according to His justice and mercy."

 Before leaving the prophet Mormon standing on the hill in his
 lamentation, let us still extend the vision over the great
 battlefield, calling to mind that the 230,000 men were all soldiers,
 then were their wives, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, which
 we will multiply by five, making 1,150,000 souls; then extend the
 vision over and around the enemy's camp, and at least double the
 number of slain, increasing the sad scene to the enormous total of
 2,300,000 souls. Only for a moment imagine that we see the camp just
 before that great battle: twenty-three camps each of 10,000, with a
 general at their head, would be required for the 230,000 soldiers.

 While I was standing upon this same spot of ground about three years
 ago, my mind contrasted the various changes of the present with the
 past and I fancied that I could review, as did Mormon, the sad and
 gloomy picture of his time, 1472 years ago.

 The fathers of those who fell around this historic hill came from
 Jerusalem 600 years B.C. They were warned of God to flee from the
 land, because of the terrible calamities that were about to befall the
 inhabitants of that once Holy City, for killing the prophets of God
 and for their wickedness.

 The decrees of God were fulfilled in the destruction of the
 inhabitants of Jerusalem, after they crucified the Saviour and his
 disciples, and became fully ripe in iniquity. But 600 years before
 these disasters, the colony, who were directed by revelation, crossed
 the sea, landing in South America, building up cities, migrating
 northward, and leaving in their tracks northward many cities, temples,
 massive walls, and fortifications, some of which have been discovered
 by Catherwood and Stevens, as well as by many other historians; and
 new discoveries are still being brought to light. Among the many
 remarkable ruined aboriginal cities of the continent of America,
 Palenque is one of the most noted. It is situated on the Rio Chacamas,
 a branch of the great river Usumasinta, on the borders of Yucatan. It
 is in latitude 17 degrees 30 minutes north, longitude 92 degrees 25
 minutes west. In this old city of ruins is a temple--no doubt one of
 the Nephite temples. The picture shows it as restored from the relics
 that are left. It is built of stone and is at the base 310 feet long,
 180 feet deep, and 25 feet high. Ranges of stone steps 30 feet broad
 lead up to it, flanked with gigantic statues nine feet high, carved
 in stone. There are numerous hieroglyphics engraven but considerably

 [Image: Palenque Restored.]

 The Book of Mormon speaks of many temples and cities which were built
 by the people of this time, and no doubt this is one of them in
 ruins. But who is there that is able to tell the story of those mound
 builders, excepting their own revealed history?

 It must be remembered that this last nation, called Nephites, became
 a very numerous people, and their history, which they were commanded
 of the Lord to keep on thin plates of gold, informs us that while
 they lived lives of purity, serving God prayerfully, they prospered

 The precious metals abounded on this new and promised land, so
 beautifully described by the ancient prophet Moses. This man of God,
 just before his death, blessed the children of Israel, and of Joseph,
 he said:

 "Blessed of the Lord be this land, for the precious things of heaven,
 for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the
 precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things
 put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient
 mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for
 the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good
 will of him that dwelt in the bush let the blessing come upon the head
 of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated
 from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock,
 and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push
 the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten
 thousands of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh."

Now, if we can successfully establish this continent of America as
being the land spoken of by Moses--which is verily true--then we shall
find not only those lost nations but the present generation dwelling on
this land abounding in the good things found even in the lasting hills,
and a choice land above all others.

As evidence I will introduce the words of our famed patriarch, Father

 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose
 branches [children] run over the wall [the ocean]. The archers have
 sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him, but his bow abode
 in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands
 of the mighty God of Jacob; from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of
 Israel. Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by
 the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above,
 blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts,
 and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above
 the blessings of my progenitors [Abraham and Isaac, whose land was
 Jerusalem] unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills [Rocky
 Mountains;] they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of
 the head of him that was separate from his brethren [which was Joseph,
 sold by his brethren into Egypt]."

Father Lehi and his son Nephi and others, just before crossing the sea,
or wall of waters, to this choice land of Jacob, searched the records
which were brought from Jerusalem and these are the words which they
found recorded:

 "And my father Lehi also found upon the plates of brass, a genealogy
 of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph,
 yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into
 Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might
 preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with
 famine. And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of
 Egypt, by that same God who had preserved them. And thus my Father,
 Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers."

While Father Lehi and those who were with him encamped on the borders
of the Red Sea, by a command of the Lord the sons of Lehi returned to
Jerusalem and succeeded in bringing Ishmael (a righteous Israelite of
the "tribe of Ephraim") with his five marriageable daughters, to join
the colony. They finally emigrated to America, literally fulfilling
the words of Jacob with regard to Joseph's promised inheritance of the
choice land that was to reach to the everlasting hills. By this new
acquisition, the sons of Lehi were provided with wives, and that, too,
of Ephraimitish blood, making the remnants of their line, who were
discovered in the year 1492 by Christopher Columbus, of the lineage
of Ephraim and Manassah, whose descendants are the American Indians.
Thus are we provided with a history which every one should read and
become acquainted with the origin of the natives of America, and find
an explanation of the ruins found in North, South and Central America.
Their history, translated from the gold plates, is now called the Book
of Mormon. This book also gives a brief account of a previous nation,
which left the Tower of Babel 2,000 years B. C., landing near the Gulf
of California. They were 344 days in crossing the ocean. In process of
time, they emigrated northward and finally became a great nation and

Here follows a few words as recorded in their history on page 571,
chapter first, thirty-third verse:

 "Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some
 others and their families, from the great Tower, at the time the Lord
 confounded the language of the people and swore in his wrath that they
 should be scattered upon all the face of the earth."

In addition to these words we will add the seventh and eighth verses of
the eleventh chapter of Genesis:

 "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they
 may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them
 abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth."

I think America is a pretty large portion of the earth, and comes in
for its share of people. According to the word of the Lord the people
_were_ scattered. Those who wish to follow this colony closely can read
their history as found in the Book of Mormon until they had built up
cities, etc., which have been and are being constantly discovered. In
process of time they numbered about 15,000,000 people and became rich,
wicked and ripe for destruction.

At one time a fierce battle was fought near where Buffalo, N. Y., now
stands, wherein two million were lying strewn upon the earth, slain in
battle and no one to bury them, till the stench drove them southward
to the Hill Ramah, which was called Cumorah by the Nephite race. A
contract was entered into between Kings Coriantumr and Shiz, giving
Coriantumr four years to gather together all who were on the side of
Coriantumr, and all for King Shiz were gathered together unto his camp.
Ether has recorded in the Book of Mormon that:

 "The army of Coriantumr did pitch their tents by the hill Ramah. And
 it was that same hill where my Father Mormon did hide up the records
 unto the Lord, which were sacred. * * * When they were all gathered
 together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and
 their children, both men, women and children being armed with weapons
 of war, having shields, and breast-plates, and head-plates, and being
 clothed after the manner of war, they did march forth one against the
 other to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not, and
 when it was night they were weary, and retired to their camps; and
 after they had retired to their camps, they took up a howling and a
 lamentation for the loss of their people who were slain; their howling
 and lamentation did rend the air exceedingly."

A continuation of this lamentable slaughter, with weeping and howling,
was kept up for six successive days, till only thirty-two of the people
of Shiz and twenty-seven of Coriantumr's were left, and on the seventh
day Coriantumr with his twenty-seven retreated, which gave the opposing
King Shiz fresh courage. He said, "I will slay Coriantumr or perish by
the sword," and indeed his words were fulfilled after a severe battle,
in which all were slain, excepting King Shiz, who had fallen faint and
weak, and Coriantumr, who leaned upon his sword to rest, after which he
smote off the head of Shiz and fell to the ground as if he was dead.
Here the history leaves this, the only survivor of those two mighty
armies, around this historic Hill Cumorah, thus bringing to pass the
words of the prophet Ether, who prophecied to King Coriantumr that
unless he and his people should repent, every one of them should be
slain except himself and he should live to see a strange people possess
the land and be buried by them. Now, in order to verify the prophet's
words, I will refer you to the book of Omni, Book of Mormon, which says:

 "And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he
 dwelt with them for the space of nine moons" (months).

Coriantumr, weak, wounded and alone, had to wend his way about 3,000
miles to Zarahemla, where he remained until his death and was buried by
this strange people.

Thus ended two great nations around this historic hill, in fulfillment
of God's word, as found in the Book of Mormon, page 474:

 "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it
 [and this will apply to all people in every age] shall be free from
 bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven,
 if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ. I
 will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins, but thou shalt not
 sin any more, for ye shall remember that my spirit shall not always
 strive with man; wherefore if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe, ye
 shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord."

This has been fulfilled to the very letter with both nations.


The Angel that had been foretold would "Fly through the midst of
Heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to Preach unto them that Dwell on
the Earth" appears to Joseph Smith.--The Golden Plates are Given into
his Charge.

The memorable twenty-second day of September, 1827, was the day
appointed by the angel Moroni to meet Joseph Smith on the Hill Cumorah.
There he was to receive the gold plates, the breast-plate and the Urim
and Thummim. The accompanying shows Joseph grown to maturity, being no
longer a lad of tender years as when he received his first vision. He
now stands in his noble, dignified manhood, in the twenty-second year
of his age. Before being entrusted with those valuable plates it was
necessary that he should become experienced with regard to such sacred
matters. For more than four years previous to this event he had at
intervals met the angel and been instructed by him. This was during the
important period between boyhood and manhood, when the mind is easily
impressed. During all that time, he had not been permitted to take the
plates away.

The appointed time now having come, we see him receiving the treasure,
as pictured in the engraving. He is holding the book in his hands,
while the breast-plate rests on the edge of the stone box, with the
sword of Laban near by. The angel, holding the Urim and Thummim, is in
the act of delivering it unto Joseph, and while doing so charges him as

 "Now you have got the record into your own hands, and you are but a
 young man: therefore, you will have to be watchful and faithful to
 your trust, or you will be overpowered by wicked men; for they will
 lay every plan and scheme possible to get it away from you; and if you
 do not take heed continually, they will succeed. While it was in my
 hands, I could keep it and no man had power to take it away; but now I
 give it up to you. Beware, and look well to your ways, and you shall
 have power to retain it, until the time for it to be translated."

In 1834 I first listened to this Prophet of God, who related this
vision he had been favored with. The honesty and power of his
expression carried conviction with it.

I will now introduce a few Bible quotations in order to prove that just
such an event as the one represented by the accompanying illustration
was to take place in the latter days. Zechariah in his 2nd chapter says:

 "And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another
 angel went out to meet him.

 "And said unto him, run, speak to this  young man, saying, Jerusalem
 shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men
 and cattle therein."

In order to discover further the mind of God's inspired prophet, we
will turn to his 8th chapter, which reads as follows:

 "Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying,

 "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great
 jealousy. * * *

 "Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the
 midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth.

 "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, there shall yet old men and old women
 dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his
 hand for very age.

 "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing
 in the streets thereof.

 "* * * Behold I will save my people from the east country, and from
 the west country;

 "And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of
 Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

Soon after the message of the angel to the young man Joseph, he, in
obedience to God's command, organized the church. In due time there
were Twelve Apostles, and he appointed two of those Apostles on a
mission to Jerusalem. Upon Mount Olivet, one of the apostles,--Orson
Hyde,--offered a dedicatory prayer unto God, the Eternal Father.

In that prayer he supplicated God to remember his promises made to
Father Abraham concerning this dry and barren land, and Abraham's seed
which should inhabit this thirsty country, and who had wandered as
strangers in a strange land. The land had become barren because of the
sins of those who, in their ignorance, crucified God's Only Begotten
Son, Jesus Christ. He further pleaded:

 "And as Jesus, thy Son, in his sorrowful and trying hours, cried,
 'Lord, forgive them, they know not what they do!' so do thou, O God,
 have mercy on them and let the promises of the prophets come up in
 remembrance before thee. Be pleased, O Father, to send the rains on
 these parched lands; and may the dews fall upon the hills and valleys,
 that the land may again teem with plenty, and cities be built up unto
 the Lord our God."

This is the substance of the supplication of the Apostle who dedicated
the land of Palestine. Since then the way is being prepared with a
railroad from the Mediterranean Sea to Jerusalem; and lo! the time has
come for God's mercy, as foretold by Isaiah, 40th chapter:

 "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye
 comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is
 accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of
 the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

Joel, another of God's ancient prophets, prophecying of future events,
in 2nd chapter, says:

 "Fear not, O land; be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in
 the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately,
 and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and
 the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of
 wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. * * * And ye
 shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord
 your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you, and my people shall
 never be ashamed."

Realizing that the words of the prophets Isaiah and Joel will have a
literal fulfillment, we can readily conceive of the way being thus
prepared for the support of the hosts that are soon to fill the streets
of Jerusalem; for without the early and the latter rains, this land,
for so many generations barren, could not be redeemed. Indeed, the
words of those who crucified the Savior, or who consented to his death,
are brought forcibly to the minds of Christians:

 "His blood be upon us and our children."_--Matt.27:25_

Because of their wicked desires, desolation has rested upon this land
which once flowed with milk and honey. But, thank God! a pardoning time
is being ushered in. The angel spoken of by Zechariah has come with the
glad tidings.

[Image: The Angel Moroni Delivering the Golden Plates to Joseph Smith.]

John, the Revelator, also, was permitted to behold an angel who had a
message to deliver. Who can truthfully say the angel he saw is not the
very one Zechariah said should speak to the young man?

 "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having
 the everlasting gospel [the Book of Mormon says it contains 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."_--Revelation, 14,6-7._

In Zechariah, 2nd chapter, 8th verse, it says:

 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will
 dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be
 joined to the Lord in that day."

What day? The day in which the angel was to speak to the _young_ (not
old) man. In Zion there are now over twenty nationalities who are
joined to the Lord.

Zechariah in the same chapter says:

 "And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land and
 shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord;
 for he is raised up out of his holy habitation."

These things are soon to take place, when the Jews will be gathered.

 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: shout, O daughter of Jerusalem;
 behold thy king cometh unto thee."_--Zec. 9, 9._

He will come this second time, when:

 "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced."_--Zec. 12,10._

Again, this prophet says in chapter 15, 6:

 "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?
 Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of
 my friends."

 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
 and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem."_--Zec. 12, 1._

The same book, 14th chapter, says:

 "His feet shall stand in that day upon the _Mount of Olives_."

It appears sufficiently plain that God has set his hand again the
second time to gather not only the _Jews,_ but the _House_ of Israel.

In Isaiah, 11th chapter, it is clearly stated that there is to be an
ensign to the _people_; to it shall the _gentiles_ seek. And the next
verse says that in that day the Lord will set his hand _again_ the
_second_ time to gather his people.

 "And he shall set up an ensign for the _nations,_ and shall assemble
 the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the
 four corners of the earth."_--Isaiah, 11,12._

We learn more perfectly in the tenth verse that the Gentiles as well as
the Jews are remembered.

Isaiah, 2nd chapter, says:

 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the
 Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains."

Following on we find that two places are distinctly spoken of: _Zion,_
from whence the law of God is to go forth; and the word of the Lord
from JERUSALEM. And as Jesus came to his own (the Jews) first, and to
the Gentiles last, so now the first shall be last and the last shall
be first. And in our day Joseph Smith has been directed by the Lord to
gather the people to Zion, as so vividly portrayed by the prophet who
saw the angel who should run and speak to the young man.

Having introduced these Bible evidences, we shall repeat the testimony
of three witnesses whom God raised up, and who, until their death, were
always true and faithful to their testimony:

 "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 solemness, that an
 angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our
 eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon;
 and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord
 Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are
 true: and it is marvelous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the
 Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be
 obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these
 things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid
 our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the
 judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the
 heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the
 Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.


Notwithstanding every one of these three witnesses withdrew from the
Church in 1838, yet they remained firm in their declarations to the
truth of their testimony. Nine years afterwards Oliver Cowdery returned
to the church and was rebaptized. In 1871 Martin Harris came to Utah,
and he also was rebaptized. David Whitmer, who died at Richmond, Ray
Co., Mo., was the only one of the three who died without rebaptism. He
had resided in that place nearly fifty years, and many leading citizens
of Richmond signed their names, which were published, testifying that
David Whitmer was an honorable citizen whose veracity was unquestioned.

I can testify to the truth of these statements, for I visited him in
1870, also in 1879, and again in 1886. I was acquainted with him in
1833 and also in 1838 when he was disfellowshipped by the Church at
Far West, Mo. It was no secret among those who knew him at his home in
Richmond that he always stood firm to his testimony, as above stated.
The other two witnesses were equally valiant, both while in full
fellowship and after withdrawing from the Church, and I defy the world
to impeach either of those three witnesses.

Joseph Smith could not have accomplished the work entrusted to him
without the aid of the Urim and Thummim. It was therefore provided for
him. Anciently it was used by God's servants--His prophets, seers and
revelators. The language engraven upon the gold plates is Reformed
Egyptian and is spoken of in the Book of Mormon, which says:

 "And now behold, we have written this according to our knowledge
 in the characters which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian,
 being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of
 speech."_--Book of Mormon, p.570, N. E._

And the thirty-fourth verse says:

 "But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and that none
 other people knoweth our language; therefore hath he prepared means
 for the interpretation thereof."

There is still another instance worth mentioning. King Limhi was
in possession of twenty-four gold plates, and desired to have them
translated. Ammon told the king:

 "I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man who can translate the
 records; for he has wherewith that he can look and translate all
 records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God, and the
 things are called interpreters."_--Book of Mormon, p. 30, N. E._

 "And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which
 were fastened into the two rims of a bow. Now these things were
 prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation
 to generation, for the purpose of interpreting language."_--Book of
 Mormon, p. 228, 13-14 v._

 "And whosoever has these things is called Seer, after the manner of
 old times."_--Book of Mormon, p. 228, 16 v._

By the above we learn that the Urim and Thummim or interpreters was
anciently used, and answered the description of those that Joseph is
represented as receiving.

The Prophet's mother was permitted to see and handle them and describes
them thus:

 "I found that they consisted of two smooth, three-cornered diamonds,
 set in glass, and the glasses were set in silver bows which were
 connected with each other in much the same way as old-fashioned

Martin Harris described them just the same, only he said they were
larger than the ordinary spectacles.

Some have marveled at the Lord's choice in selecting one so young and
unlearned as Joseph Smith to perform so great a work. However, the
Lord's ways are not man's ways. For,

 "As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are the Lord's ways
 higher than man's ways."

As an instance we read how the Lord sent the prophet Samuel unto Jesse,
saying he had provided a king among his sons. And how, when Samuel
looked on Eliab, he thought surely the Lord's anointed was before him.
But the Lord said unto Samuel:

 "Look not at his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because
 I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man
 looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

After seven sons of Jesse had been presented, Samuel asked, "Are here
all thy children?" to which Jesse replied, "There remaineth yet the
youngest and behold he keepeth the sheep." And he it was whom the Lord
had chosen should be anointed king. Samuel did the bidding of the Lord,
and we learn that the spirit of God rested upon David, and he became a
man after God's own heart.

In this connection we will not pass by unnoticed God's mighty power in
raising up the great prophet Moses, as a deliverer of His chosen people
from under the hand of Pharoah, the oppressor and king of Egypt. In
this case, His power was manifested in overruling Pharoah's midwives
even unto disobedience of their wicked king in preserving the male
children of the promised seed of Abraham, as found in the 1st chapter
of Exodus:

 "But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt
 commanded them, but saved the men children alive." [That is, the
 Hebrew children, for they were the ones the king sought to destroy.]

 "Therefore, God dealt well with the midwives; and the people
 multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

 "And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made
 them houses.

 "And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, every son that is born
 ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."

Where is the mother that will not join in saying that King Pharoah was
an oppressor, a tyrant and a murderer? Yet God's ways are so kind, good
merciful and wise that we are led to praise His holy name forever. God
raised up a Moses, whose mother kept him hid three months, after which
she put him in an ark of bulrushes, while his sister acted as a spy and
watched over him at a distance. King Pharoah's daughter to her bath
drew near; the babe's cries inclined her heart to the young Hebrew,
the spy was at hand, the real mother was procured, who received pay
for minding her own child. Moses finally became the adopted son of the
king's daughter, whom she named Moses, because she drew him out of the
water, as found in the 2nd chapter of Exodus. The life and history of
Moses is well known to every Bible student, as the deliverer of ancient
Israel, and I ask, is it more marvelous to accept a modern Moses in the
person of Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom God raised up in our day?

Again, if the selection by Jesus of Peter the fisherman to be the chief
apostle had taken place in our day, it would probably have seemed as
surprising as the choosing of Joseph Smith for his work. The fellow
apostles of Peter were all unlearned, except Paul.

It is just as easy for our Lord to accomplish His purposes now through
the agency of unlearned men as it was anciently. God _has_ established
a Church through the agency of this young man, which has caused the
wisdom of the wise to perish.

The story of Joseph Smith's first vision is a very simple and beautiful
one. It will be remembered he was but a boy fourteen years of age when
this event occurred. He had been, previously, in a disturbed state of
mind concerning religion. In the neighborhood where he dwelt there
had been great excitement, on account of a religious revival. At the
meetings he attended he learned that the various sects were very much
opposed to each other. In the midst of this tumult and war of words and
opinions, Joseph felt grieved and asked himself, "What is to be done?
Who of all these are right? And how shall I know?"

One day Joseph read in the first chapter of James as follows:

 "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."

Using Joseph's own words, he said:

 "Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart
 of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with
 great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again
 and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did.
 * * * Unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never
 know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood
 the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all
 confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible. At
 length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness
 and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of
 God. * * * So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of
 God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning
 of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred
 and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such
 an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the
 attempt to pray vocally. After I had retired to the place where I had
 previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself
 alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart
 to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by
 some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing
 influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak.
 Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as
 if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to
 call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had
 seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into
 despair and abandon myself to destruction--not to an imaginary ruin,
 but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had
 such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being--just at
 this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my
 head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until
 it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered
 from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I
 saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,
 standing above me in the air. One of them spoke unto me, calling me by
 name and said, pointing to the other, 'This is my beloved Son, hear

 "My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all
 the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner,
 therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak,
 than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which
 of all the sects was right--for at this time it had never entered
 into my heart that all were wrong--and which I should join. I was
 answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong;
 and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were
 an abomination in his sight. * * 'They teach for doctrine the
 commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the
 power thereof.' He again forbade me to join any of them; and many
 other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.

 "Some time afterwards the vision was made known to a Methodist
 preacher, who treated it with contempt, saying it was all from the
 devil; that there was no such thing as visions or revelations in these
 days; that all such things had ceased with the Apostles, and that
 there never would be any more of them."

The ministers and others persecuted him, which caused him deep sorrow,
although an obscure boy, and under the necessity of obtaining a scanty
maintenance by his daily labor. But, strange to say, he became very
prominent and conspicuous, and evil was spoken of him continually.
Nevertheless, he had seen a vision, and, like Paul before King Agrippa,
related the account of the vision he had, when he "saw a light and
heard a voice." Still, there were a few who believed him. Some said
he was dishonest; others said he was mad; and he (like Joseph) was
ridiculed and reviled; but all this did not destroy the reality of his
vision. He had seen a vision--he knew he had--and all the persecution
under heaven could not make it otherwise. Joseph Smith said:

 "I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God?
 or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen?
 for I had seen a vision. I knew it. I knew that God knew it; and I
 could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so
 doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation."

For over three years Joseph continued his labors daily until the 21st
of September, 1823. After retiring to his bed in quite a serious mood,
he shortly betook himself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God
for a manifestation of his standing before Him. While thus engaged he
received the following vision, using his own words:

 "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light
 appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was
 lighter than at noonday, when a personage appeared at my bed-side;
 he had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness, * * * his hands
 were naked, and his arms also a little above the wrist, * * * his head
 and neck were also bare. * * * his whole person was glorious beyond
 description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was
 exceedingly light, but no so very bright as immediately around his
 person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon
 left me.

 "He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent
 from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that
 God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good
 and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; or that it should
 be both good and evil spoken of among all people. * * * While he
 was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to
 my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited,
 and that so clearly and distinctly, that I knew the place again when
 I visited it. After this communication, I saw the light in the room
 begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been
 speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again
 left dark, except just around him, when instantly I saw, as it were, a
 conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely
 disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly
 light had made its appearance."

This vision was repeated three times during the night, and the
angel each time instructed him of great events, such as famine,
war, pestilence and grievous judgments, which were to come in this
generation. He also reminded him that his name should be known for good
and evil, and that wicked men would seek to destroy him, which was
literally fulfilled.

In 1517, Mexico, then unknown to the world, though teeming with its
millions of Lamanites, was discovered by Cortez; and the gold plates
that Joseph Smith received contain their history, which I advise all
men to read.

Furthermore, the angel said that the fulness of the everlasting
gospel was contained in the record that was about to be delivered to
him, which was the same as that taught by the Savior to the ancient
inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Thus comes unto us knowledge unveiling the mystery surrounding the
American Indians which has puzzled the most profound historians of our
age to explain. For all this useful knowledge we are indebted to God,
the giver of all good.

Although the Prophet was manifestly unlearned at this time, as evinced
by the spelling written by him over the seven lines of characters,
shown in another place in this pamphlet, he afterwards became
proficient as a scholar, and studied the classic languages at the
School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. This school was established,
by command of the Lord, for the purpose of educating the Elders and
others in the history of nations, countries and people; thus laying up
treasures of knowledge and useful information.

The Prophet, however, was not dependent upon scholastic learning, for
God revealed to him line upon line, here a little and there a little,
enabling him to become efficient in organizing the Church in its
perfect order; so much so, that the learned theologians and others of
the present day are adopting many of the doctrines revealed to him.

The description of the breast-pate, as given by the mother of Joseph,
is very interesting. She was favored with handling it, but it was
covered with a thin muslin cloth, through which she could see the
glittering gold. It was concave on one side and convex on the other.
It would extend from the neck downwards as far as the center of the
stomach of a man of extraordinary size. Attached to it were four straps
of the same material, for the purpose of fastening it to the breast;
two of these ran back so as to fasten over the shoulders, and the other
two were designed to fasten to the waist. Mother Smith said the straps
were the width of her two fingers, for she measured them. They had
holes in the ends for convenience in fastening. Although the Urim and
Thummim and breast-plate go together, it was not necessary for them
always to remain attached to each other. Mother Lucy Smith also saw and
handled the interpreters, and described them as "two diamonds set in
silver bows, much like old-fashioned spectacles, only much larger." She
also said that the breast plate was worth more than $500.

Soon after Joseph received the plates and other articles, the angel
left him to manage the work entrusted to him, which responsibility
he felt very seriously. He first concealed the secret treasure in a
secluded place, excepting the Urim and Thummim, which he kept with
him. Soon after Joseph arrived at home he explained to his parents the
necessity of keeping the sacred relics under lock and key, and until
such time as proper precaution was taken, he had hidden them away
securely. Then said the mother:

"Order a chest at once."

"But we have not a dollar in the house to pay for it," said Joseph.

"God will provide, my son," said the confidential mother. "Go, promise
part cash and part trade," which was done, and the same day Mrs. Wells,
of Macedon, gave Joseph work at digging a well, promising cash for the
work. The mother reminded the son of the Lord's providence, so soon

While Joseph was working for Mrs. Wells, to supply their daily wants
and to pay for the chest in which the plates were to be secured, a mob
of twelve men, headed by Mr. Willard Chase, a Methodist class leader,
and a certain conjurer whose special business was to divine the hiding
place of the gold plates, were heard to say:

"We will have that gold Bible in spite of all the devils in hell."

Father Smith, knowing that the plates were secreted away from home,
felt deep anxiety concerning their safety, and he induced Emma, the
Prophet's wife, who was living with the family, to go on horseback to
give warning to Joseph of the intentions of the mob. From an impression
Joseph had, he looked with the Urim and Thummim, which he had with
him, after which, meeting his wife with a smile, he informed her that
the plans of the mob would prove futile; that the plates were safe.
However, he returned home with his wife, and in the evening, after
procuring the chest, Joseph started for the plates, but as he was
returning home with them, he was waylaid and attacked three times, but
he finally escaped, although bruised and weary, bringing the plates
home in safety.

This was one of his first lessons and a fulfillment of the angel's
words to him.

Not long after this first experience, the Prophet was warned of a
second attempt to rob him of the treasure.

On this occasion he remembered the angel's charge in regard to using
every precaution, and the promise that if he was prayerful and careful
he should not lose them. A stone of the old-fashioned hearth was
removed and the plates and the breast-plate were concealed in a cavity
under the hearth. The stone had just been replaced, when a large armed
mob came rushing uproariously around the house. The door was thrown
open and were in the house, Joseph at their head, rushed out, when the
mob fled without their booty. A third attempt to obtain the plates was
also unsuccessfully made. This time the treasures were hid in some flax
in the loft of a cooper shop, and an empty box was hidden under the
floor. It was said that a young woman, aided by a peepstone, pointed
out the cooper shop as the repository of the "Gold Bible." During the
night the place was rummaged, the floor torn up and the box broken
to pieces. This was another experience, but the treasures were still
safely preserved. It was manifested to the Prophet that a facsimile
of characters must be copied and sent to the most learned professors
of the country, and that Martin Harris should be the bearer of them.
Before the Prophet could accomplish this desired object, however, he
was compelled to seek peace in Pennsylvania, for the whole country
around seemed determined to give Joseph no peace whatever. While the
servant of God was on his way from his father's house, to seek a
peaceful retreat, he was stopped on the highway twice by a mob of fifty
men, but as the necessary precaution had been observed by hiding the
plates in a barrel of beans, again they were preserved.

The trying scenes which this young man had to pass through, having been
compelled to leave his home and country by reason of the persecutions
heaped upon him in his young married life, were of a heart-rending
character, besides the labor of translating the Book of Mormon, and
organizing the Church, which he was instructed to do. It became all the
more difficult to perform this great work because new revelation came
so much in contact with the traditions of the different religious sects
of the day, each one differing from the other, yet each one claiming
to be the right Church. Just imagine this unlearned youth, possessing
no funds only as he earned them by his daily labor, under these
circumstances, with increasing responsibilities of family, and home.
Without God's aid it would border on insanity to entertain a faint
hope of success in so stupendous an undertaking. Had it not been that
the Lord had promised to help him, his heart would have failed him by
the way. But there was encouragement found in the words of the prophet
Isaiah, 29th chapter, where the prophet, speaking of the very time and
condition surrounding the youth, used these words:

"Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this
people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their
wise men shall perish ... They also that erred in spirit shall come to
understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (Isaiah
29:14, 24)

Tens of thousands have proven those words to be true. I was personally
favored with many conversations with the three witnesses whom God
raised up, one of whom was Martin Harris, a near neighbor of Joseph
Smith. In 1871, while I was emigrating Martin Harris from Kirkland,
Ohio, during our journey of over 2,000 miles, he related many little
incidents which occurred in those early times.

One of the incidents that interested me most was when, on a certain
occasion, Martin's neighbors prevailed upon him to drink some wine with
them with the evident intention of getting him to deny his testimony
to the Book of Mormon. Martin drank but little, while his neighbors
partook more freely. When they were in high glee they asked him if he
really believed that he saw the angel of which he had testified.

"No," said Martin, "I do not believe it."

"Now," said they, "we know you are an honest man."

"Stop a moment," said Martin, "and properly understand me. My reason
for not believing it is that knowledge surpasses belief. Gentlemen, it
was in open day when I saw the angel and I testify to you that I know
my testimony is true. I do not believe it is true; I know it is."

The reader can imagine the chagrin that his neighbors felt at this
unexpected outcome of their efforts to entrap him.

Martin told me that, knowing the indigent circumstances of the Prophet,
he felt it was his duty to aid in the great work by giving Joseph fifty
dollars to help advance the Lord's work. This occurred just prior to
Joseph's leaving Manchester for Harmony, Penn. The Lord raised tip a
friend in time of need. The Lord remembered Martin for the timely aid,
although it was many days afterwards. Martin also stated that he had
hired Joseph to work for him on his farm many times and paid him fifty
cents per day, which was the usual price paid for hired help at that
time. He also said that he had hoed corn with Joseph often, and that
the latter was a good hand to work.

The Prophet found a short season of rest with his father-in-law at
Harmony, Penn., where he succeeded in copying the seven lines of
characters, which, by a previous arrangement, were taken to Professor
Anthon, of New York, as explained in the next chapter.

Soon after Martin Harris returned from New York, he commenced to write
for the Prophet while he translated from the gold plates. Martin often
related to the writer the mode of translation. He said that the Prophet
possessed a seer stone as well as the Urim and Thummim, by means of
which he could translate the characters. On one occasion Martin placed
in a hat a stone very much like the Prophet's seer stone, and after
the Prophet had looked an unusual length of time, he raised his head,
saying, "Martin, what in the world is the matter? all is dark as
Egypt." Martin smiled, and confessed. Joseph said, "Martin, why did you
do this?" Martin answered: "To stop the mouths of fools, who tell me
you know all this by heart, and are deceiving me."

Father Sanford Porter, while living in Jackson County, Mo., in 1832,
Was desirous to know how the Prophet translated the characters which
were engraven on the gold plates, and made it a matter of prayer. While
the Prophet was receiving a revelation in Jackson County, Missouri,
Father Porter was present in the room and while observing that the
Prophet would speak a sentence to be written by a scribe engaged for
that purpose, the scribe would say, "It is written," and if written
correctly the sentence before the Prophet would disappear and another
sentence would appear likewise, but if not written correctly by the
scribe the sentence would remain, and after the necessary correction
had been made, the sentence would disappear.

Many years ago Father Porter related to me that it was shown unto
him, that by the aid of the Urim and Thummim the Prophet could see a
sentence as if in gold letters, which he would read, and when it was
written another sentence would appear. Martin Harris stated to me
as above that when he had written the sentence that was presented,
if written correctly it would disappear and another sentence would
appear, and so continue. At the conclusion of the revelation Joseph was
receiving, Father Porter said that the Prophet remarked that he had
never found such great faith as was manifested in that house on that

The writer is satisfied that there never was a greater prophet, seer
and revelator on this earth than Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God.


The Seven Lines of Characters that were translated by Joseph Smith are
taken by Martin Harris to Prof. Anthon, fulfilling the words of the
Prophet Isaiah, 29th chapter: "Read this, I pray thee, but he says, I
cannot, for it is sealed."

The seven lines of characters presented in the accompanying engraving
were copied by the hand of Joseph Smith in Harmony, Pennsylvania, in
the year 1827, he then being in the twenty-second year of his age. They
were copied from a book of gold plates which he found hidden in a stone
box, the box being nicely jointed together and set in cement. The six
slabs of stone forming the box were so dressed that they were smooth
and square on the inside, but rough on the outside. Indeed, they were
so rough that the capstone, which was crowning, looked something like
a cobblestone, for at the time of being found a small portion was laid
bare and protruded from the hill side. No one, unless in possession
of the knowledge of what was therein contained, would have paid any
attention to the stone in passing.

Most certainly, it was very ingeniously constructed and hidden in a
very choice spot of ground. It was first found in the spring of 1823,
and the young man who found it was only in the seventeenth year of
his age. He was too young and inexperienced at that time to receive
so valuable a treasure, for it must be in weight about forty pounds
or more of pure gold, and in sheets that were very thin like unto
thin sheets of tin plate; and they were covered with engravings of
a very curious workmanship, showing great skill by those who were
the engravers. There were several different persons who did the
work of engraving. The plates contained a history which reached out
over a period of a thousand years, beginning 600 B. C., and continuing
until 420 AD. The history had necessarily to be very brief, and when
translated was called the Book of Mormon--that is, the portion which
was translated, for there is a portion yet held in reserve, which was
sealed with three extra rings, and which will yet, in the due time of
the Lord, be revealed and translated.

All these plates were fastened together with three great rings, so
that each plate could be turned over in the same manner as if hinged
together. So we are led to see that these people were very skilled,
and were also careful in preserving their history. That history brings
to light who the people were that left so many ruined cities, towers,
temples and other relics, many of which are found with hieroglyphics of
a similar character to the seven lines presented. The Book of Mormon,
translated from those plates, makes a book of 623 pages, and is at
the present time printed in about fifteen different languages. In the
box with the gold plates was a breast-plate made of gold and valued
at about five hundred dollars. Attached to this breast-plate was a
Urim and Thummim or interpreters. The latter was in form like unto
an old-fashioned pair of spectacles, two clear stones set in rims of
silver. I have conversed with Martin Harris, who handled them, and he
said he had placed them as he would a pair of spectacles, but they were
too large for him, as if they had been made for a larger race of people
than the present generation.

This Urim and Thummim was similar to what we read of in the Bible of
olden times and which only belonged to seers, revelators and prophets.
These were hidden with the book, to help the one to whom they should be
entrusted to translate them correctly.

The hill from whence those plates were taken is fully described in
another chapter.

I will vouch for the correctness of the characters, as I have compared
them with the original copy, which is still in existence, intact,
just as it was when Martin Harris, as a messenger, took it with the
translation Joseph Smith had made, to Professor Anthon of New York.
The copy here presented was traced from the original copy, and this
engraving, made by Mr. John Held, of Salt Lake City, is an exact
reproduction of it.

In the year 1871 I was favored with the privilege of bringing Martin
Harris from Kirtland, Ohio, to Utah. While on our journey, I had many
opportunities of conversing with him upon this subject, as well as
upon many other incidents which occurred at the early period of the
translation. Soon after presenting the seven lines of characters to
Professor Anthon, be (Martin Harris) aided the young Prophet by acting
as scribe during a portion of the translation. The learned Professor
Anthon, after having the lines of characters presented to him, examined
them carefully, and gave a certificate stating that they were Egyptian
characters and had been correctly translated. Mr. Harris, with the
certificate, started to leave, but when he had advanced as far as the
door, the Professor called to him, asking where he obtained those
plates. Harris replied:

"In a hill near Palmyra, New York."

"Then bring the book to me and I will translate the plates for you."

"I can not do so," said Martin, "for a part of them is sealed."

"Then," replied Mr. Anthon, "I cannot read a sealed book," upon which
he recalled the certificate and tore it up.

Martin Harris said to me, "At that time I was not aware that the
Prophet Isaiah, in the twenty-ninth chapter of his writings, had
predicted that those exact words would be uttered and the prophecy thus
fulfilled by Prof. Anthon. For the better information of the reader
we will refer to the book of Isaiah, beginning at the 11th and 12th
verses, which reads as follows:

 "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that
 is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this,
 I pray thee: and he said, I cannot, for it is sealed. And the book [not
 the words or seven lines of characters] is delivered to him that is not
 learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

It is well known that Joseph Smith was not learned, and claimed to
be only a farmer's boy without the opportunities for a scholastic
education; for he had, as Peter the fisherman, to work for his living.

Permit me to offer some striking evidence to show that the Prophet was
not learned, by the word directly over the lines of characters. How
natural it would be for a boy unlearned to leave out the silent h and
further to substitute the o for the e, as it is written by his own
hand, thus--Caractors. This I offer as evidence of the fulfillment of
Isaiah's words, 29th chapter and 12th verse, "I am not learned."

Well, indeed, may the prophet say in the same chapter:

"Cry ye out, and cry; they are drunken, but not with wine; they
stagger, but not with strong drink."

I ask what kind of drunkenness can this mean, unless as really inferred
by Isaiah's own words: "For the Lord hath poured out upon you the
spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your
rulers, the seers hath he covered."

At the time the book came forth there were upon the earth no prophets
or seers to guide the people. There had been prophets from the time of
Adam to Moses and from Moses to Jesus Christ, John the Revelator being
the last prophet of that time, 96 AD.

And the Book came forth and a new prophet arose after that long period,
and at a time when people were drunken with confusion regarding the
true religious light, for there were about six hundred different
religious sects staggering against each other, each one claiming to be
the true church that Christ established, with one lord, one faith, one
baptism, and one God and Father of all.

Every Bible student should know that Jesus placed in his church: first,
twelve apostles, then seventies, elders, pastors, teachers, gifts and
blessings for the perfecting of the saints. After the apostasy from
the Church of Christ, the mother of harlots made all nations drunken
with the wine of her fornication, divided up into fragments, without
prophets, seers or revelators. It was in this condition, as the
prophets have foretold, when the boy Prophet began so marvelous a work,
and which cost him his life to establish.


The Prophet Joseph and others Sentenced to be Shot on the Public Square
at Far West, in the Presence of their Friends.--The Execution Deferred,
and the Prisoners afterwards sent to Liberty Jail.

The Liberty Jail, which is fast going into ruins, is situated in the
city of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri. It is inland three miles from
the Missouri River and about ten miles from Independence in Jackson
County, and Independence is eleven miles from Kansas City of the same

There are many reasons why this jail should become conspicuous and
be preserved in history, but the principal one is that there Joseph
Smith, the Prophet, in the fall of 1838 and spring of 1839, at the
time of Governor L. W. Boggs' exterminating war against the Mormons,
was most unjustly and wickedly imprisoned. In 1838, the Prophet and
others were betrayed into the hands of the Missouri mob by Colonel
George M. Hinkle, the mob being headed by General Samuel D. Lucas. The
prisoners were tried under martial law and sentenced to be shot on
the following day on the public square in Far West, in the presence
of a multitude of the followers of "Joe" Smith, as they chose to call
him. This was intended, no doubt, as a sample of Missouri charity,
sympathy and humanity, and as a lesson for Mormons for daring to
believe as conscience dictated, and for exercising as American freemen
the privileges guaranteed by a Constitution believed to be inspired.
The writer speaks for himself, as one for whom he had deep sentiments
of regard, as a true Prophet, who was sent of God to re-establish the
fullness of the everlasting gospel.

But God overruled the horrible edict that the Prophet and his
companions should be shot on the public square on the following day at
8 o'clock a.m. This was on the 31st of October, 1838. General Doniphan
denounced the proposed act as "cold-blooded murder," threatening to
withdraw his brigade from the scene of the intended massacre.

This turned the tide of events and Lucas and his murderous colleagues
began to hesitate and finally to reconsider their action. That General
Lucas was acting under Governor Lilburn W. Boggs' orders is evident by
the utterances made unto us who were compelled to assemble together
on the public square at Far West, where we were harangued by General
Clark at considerable length. The speech was very abusive, as can be
learned by reading it farther on in this pamphlet. Before introducing
the speech we will state a number of interesting facts which occurred
about that time. There was in existence the Fifty-third Regiment of
Missouri Militia, under the command of Col. George M. Hinkle, who held
a commission signed by the Governor of the state.

There was times of trouble when it became necessary for Colonel Hinkle
to call out the militia, consequently our movements were in accordance
with the laws of Missouri. On the 30th of October, 1838, Neil Gillam
was at the head of a mob who were disguised as wild Indians. They were
painted, and Gillam himself was arrayed as an Indian chief. The mob
had been burning houses and driving the Mormons' stock away from their
owners, taking prisoners, etc. Colonel Hinkle ordered out a company
of militia, about 150 in number, to endeavor to learn the intentions
of Gillam and others, who were camping on Log Creek, near Far West. I
was one of those under Col. Hinkle, and we all were on horseback. We
soon learned that their intentions were hostile. A flag of truce in the
hands of Charles C. Rich was shot at during the day, and our company
was cut off from Far West by a line of battle being formed between us
and our homes. Colonel Hinkle returned from the front of our line with
his military coat off, saying that there were hardly enough of us to
allow a mouthful apiece for the numerous hosts before us. He seemed
excited and fearfully frightened, and for this and other reasons I have
always believed this accounted for his conduct on that occasion. We
retreated fifteen miles (instead of five miles, from where we were),
to Far West, arriving about the time the troops were nearing the city.
They were marching with red flags, which were interspersed and mixed
up with Gillam's command of painted faces. Our company coming into Far
West on the gallop, created quite a sensation, as we were mistaken
for the enemy coming in from two different points. We, however, soon
proved ourselves to be friends, and were just in time to extend the
line already formed in defense of the city. Our adversaries were in
the ratio of about ten to one of us, which looked rather serious for a
little handful of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

The Prophet came along after our arrival and said:

"Fear them not; God is for us, and there are more for us than there
are against us [meaning the hosts of heaven were on our side.] God
and liberty is the watchword," said Joseph. "Fear them not, for their
hearts are cold as cucumbers."

Night was fast approaching, and flags of truce were passing between
the two lines, by which we learned that this formidable army was sent
out by Governor Boggs with orders to exterminate us. It was finally
concluded not to murder us that night, so the army withdrew until the
next morning, when they intended to make a final end of Mormonism.
They camped for the night on Goose Creek, one mile away from the city.
Thus ended one of the most eventful days of our lives. It fell to my
lot to stand guard that night, and the worst confusion and disorder
ever witnessed by human beings existed in the enemy's camp. This, with
unearthly yelling and howling, produced a real pandemonium very much
resembling my idea of hell. A sort of breast-work was constructed
during the night, made principally of wagons, house logs, etc. A dark
and dreary night was that. On the following day, October 31st, we
were preparing to meet death, if necessary, rather than surrender our
religion to a mob. We trusted in the Lord, however, and a better way
was prepared. Colonel Hinkle had been communicating with the enemy
during the day, and in the afternoon Joseph Smith and others passed
over the breast-works near where I and others were on duty. Colonel
Hinkle lead the party to meet the enemy, where he betrayed them into
their hands. This treachery on his part turned out for the best, for
God suffers offences to come, as in the case of Judas, "but woe to him
by whom they come."

On the following day, November 1st, 1838, we were marched into a hollow
square just outside of the city, where we delivered up about 630 guns,
grounded our arms, and advanced to the center of the square, where the
small arms and swords were left in a pile. The late Bishop McRae gave
six cuts with his sword and a pointer in the ground and left his sword
sticking there. We were left without the means of self-defense and at
the mercy of a conscienceless set of ignorant, prejudiced people, many
of whom, like St. Paul before his conversion, acted as if they were
doing God's service in destroying property and abusing the Mormons. My
widowed mother's house was plundered and my sister, now living here in
Utah, had her clothes taken from her in open day, leaving her destitute
of her necessary apparel.

General Wilson, who was one of the mobbers in Jackson County, was in
company with Joseph Smith soon after he was condemned to be shot.
Joseph asked General Wilson what he had done that he should be treated
with such indignity, stating that he had always been a supporter of the
Constitution and of good government. Wilson's reply was:

"I know it, and that is the reason I want to kill you, or have you

Subsequently this same Wilson said to P. P. Pratt and others:

"We Jackson County boys know how it is, and therefore have not the
extreme hatred and prejudice which characterizes the rest of the
troops. We know perfectly well from the beginning that the Mormons
have not been the aggressors at all. As it began in 1833 in Jackson
County, Mo., so it has been ever since.... We mob you without law;
the authorities refuse to protect you according to law, you then are
compelled to protect yourselves, and we act upon the prejudices of
the public, who join our forces and the whole is legalized for your
destruction and our gain ... When we drove you from Jackson County
we burned 203 of your houses, plundered your goods, destroyed your
press, type and paper, books, office and all--tarred and feathered old
Bishop Partridge--as exemplary an old man as you can find anywhere. We
shot down some of your men, and if any of you returned the fire, we
imprisoned you and had you on trial for murder. D--d shrewdly done,
gentlemen; and I came d--d near kicking the bucket myself; for on
one occasion while we were tearing down houses, driving families and
destroying and plundering goods, some of you good folks put a ball
through my son's body, and another through the arm of my clerk, and a
third pierced my shirt collar and marked my neck. No blame, gentlemen;
we deserved it, and let a set of men serve me as your community have
been served, and I'll be d--d if I would not fight till I died."

Most certainly this was an honest confession, and I can certify to
nearly all of his acknowledgments, for I have been driven from my home
and robbed of my hard-earned property more than once. There are many
others besides General Wilson who have acknowledged to the same things,
for I have personally heard them.

When the brethren were being hurried away, as prisoners, from their
homes, P. P. Pratt says:

"I went to General Moses Wilson in tears, and stated the circumstances
of my sick, heart-broken, destitute family, in terms which would have
moved any heart that had a latent spark of humanity yet remaining, but
I was only answered with an exultant laugh and a taunt of reproach by
this hardened murderer. Halting at the door of Hyrum Smith, I heard
the sobs and groans of his wife at Hyrum's parting. She was then near
confinement and needed more than ever the comfort and consolation of a
husband's presence. As we returned to the wagon we witnessed the sad,
parting of Sidney Rigdon and his family, and in the same wagon was
Joseph Smith, while his aged father and mother came up overwhelmed with
tears, and took each of the prisoners by the hand with a silence of
grief too great for utterance.

Little encouragement was left to those grief-stricken parents, for they
knew so well that they were in the hands of a mob who had snatched and
dragged them away as if they were murderers. Fresh to their minds was
recalled a scene that took place in earlier days, when, close to their
own thresholds, a demon in human form, in the dark hour of the night,
had fired at their son, just barely missing him. There were fifty-six
citizens thus dragged away from their homes, without any earthly hope
of deliverance, only as in God they put their trust. Judge King said to
H. C. Kimball:

"Joe Smith is not fit to live."

For further light concerning the good or evil wishes of this great mob
of Missourians, we will now return to the public square to hear the
abusive words of General Clark. Addressing the Mormons he said:

"It now devolves upon you to fulfill a treaty that you have entered

"1st.--Your leading men be given up to be tried according to the law.
This you have already complied with.

"2nd.--That you deliver up your arms. This has been attended to [which
we did, surrounded by the mob, some of whom I heard say, 'Now we have
got their arms, it is as good as death to them.']

"3rd.--That you sign over your properties to defray the expenses of the
war. This you have also done.

"4th.--That you leave the state forthwith. And whatever may be your
feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence, it is nothing to
me. General Lucas (whose military rank is equal to mine) has made this
treaty with you, and I approve of it. I should have done the same. I am
determined to see it executed. The character of this state has suffered
almost beyond redemption. And we deem it as an act of justice to
restore her character to its former standing among the states by every
proper means. The orders of the Governor to me were, that you should
be exterminated, and not allowed to remain in the state. And had not
your leaders been given up, and the terms of the treaty complied with,
before this time you and your families would have been destroyed and
your houses in ashes.

"There is a discretionary power vested in my hands, which, considering
your circumstances, I shall exercise for a season. You are indebted to
me for this clemency. I do not say you shall go now, but you must not
think if staying here another season or of putting in crops; for, if
you do, the citizens will be upon you. If I am called here again in
case of non-compliance of a treaty made, do not think that I shall do
as I have done now. You need not expect any mercy, but extermination.
For I am determined the Governor's orders shall be executed.

"As for your leaders, do not think, do not imagine for a moment, do not
let it enter into your minds, that they shall be delivered and restored
to you again for their fate is fixed, their die is cast. Their doom is
sealed. I am sorry, very sorry, gentlemen, to see so many intelligent
men found in this situation. Oh! if I could invoke the Great Spirit,
the unknown God--[I suppose without body, parts or passions]--to
rest upon and deliver you from that awful chain of superstition, and
liberate you from those fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound,
that you no longer do homage to a man! My advice is that you become
as other citizens, let by a recurrence of these events you bring upon
yourselves irretrievable ruin."

It vividly recurs to my mind that at the closing of General Clark's
hard talk, G. M. Hinkle also spoke to the large body of Saints, saying:

"I would advise you all to do as I have done, for I have got my hand
out of the lion's mouth, and I intend to keep it out hereafter."

It may not be out of place to relate a statement made to me by E. B.
Tripp, who authorizes me to use his name, regarding George M. Hinkle,
whose hand he said was out of the lion's mouth (taking his own word for
it.) Elder. E. B. Tripp says:

"In 1852, I lived in Wapelo, Louisa Co., Iowa G. M. Hinkle, a stranger
to me, came into my drug store. He introduced himself to me, saying:
'This is Mr. Tripp, I understand. I hear that you are going to Utah,
and I would like to have a private talk with you. I am the man who
betrayed Joseph Smith and others into the hands of the mob in Missouri.
I am a miserable man, and scarce know what to do with myself. I would
be willing to lay down my life if this would atone for the sin I
committed. What can I do, Mr. Tripp, for I know Mormonism is true?"

This is the substance of the conversation as reported by Brother Tripp,
who save him some good advice before he parted with him. Thomas B.
Marsh, one of the Twelve Apostles, apostatized during this dark hour
of Missouri persecution. I saw him and heard him speak then, and also
when he came to Utah and was rebaptized. I heard him confess with deep
regret, saying:

"Look at my trembling limbs and see the fate of an apostate, for I am
a wreck, but Mormonism is true, and I advise you not to do as I have
done, in my apostasy."

Gen. John C. Bennett, who once flourished in Nauvoo, apostatized
because of his iniquities. He died in Polk City, Iowa, a miserable
wreck, debased and degraded. When I was in Iowa on a mission I learned
of a party who once had a rope around his neck and over a limb. At that
time he barely escaped being hung up like a dog.

Prior to Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and others, being marched to Liberty
jail, General Lucas allowed the prisoners to see for a few moments, in
the presence of their guards, their weeping wives and children. Most of
them were not permitted to speak, being merely allowed to look at them
before being hurried away.

Mary Fielding Smith, wife of Hyrum Smith, a few days after his painful
parting from her husband, became a mother. The favored child thus born
amidst those warlike scenes is today known as Joseph Fielding Smith,
Counselor to the First Presidency.

The brethren were taken to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri,
to be murdered by those who only a few years before drove the Saints
from the country, murdering some, tarring and feathering others, and
expelling the remainder without color of law. Notwithstanding this, on
Sunday, November 4th, 1838, the Prophet preached to many who gathered
around them. The officers, finding that the people's feelings were
softened into tears of sympathy, had them removed to Richmond, where
they were chained down as felons and then removed to Liberty jail.

In September, 1888, in company with Elder Andrew Jenson and
Bishop Black, of Deseret, I visited this place, also Far West and
Adam-Ondi-Ahman. This trip brought vividly before me many sayings of
the Prophet, more particularly of his speaking of the Garden of Eden,
which he said was situated at Independence, which is only about ten
miles to the northwest of Liberty jai. The Prophet said it had been
manifested unto him that here was where our Father Adam was placed,
and where his home was until his fall, when he was driven out into the
dreary world, and from thence he took his departure northeast about
seventy miles, to where a stake of Zion was located, and it was named
Adam-Ondi-Ahman by revelation. This knowledge makes this land, which is
good and greatly blessed, all the more attractive to the Saints, and
creates a desire to cherish not only the memory of the land, but this
loathsome jail as well, which is now going to ruins.

The Bible tells us about the Garden of Eden, and why not locate it
here in this goodly land as well as any other part of the earth? Many
changes have taken place since Adam's time, as, for instance, the great
deluge and the division of the earth in the days of Peleg. Again, at
the crucifixion, when the solid rocks were rent, mountains cast up,
and great convulsions took place on the face of the whole earth. All
of these events would naturally tend to make it difficult to locate
the Garden without revelation, and this is how I became informed on
this subject. I was with the Prophet Joseph Smith sixty miles northeast
of Liberty jail in 1838, less than one year before he was imprisoned
there. We were standing with others on the hill Adam-Ondi-Ahman. The
Prophet said, pointing to a mound of stones:

"There is where Father Adam built an altar when he was driven from the
Garden of Eden and offered up sacrifice unto the Lord."

He further said that the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence,
the center stake of Zion. I thought it a great privilege to be at that
time with the Prophet, and to hear his words regarding the mound and
pile of rocks laid up at so early a period of the world's history.

Three years ago I visited the same altar with deep interest, and also
the spot of ground where the Prophet received the revelation, wherein
Adam-Ondi-Ahman is named as the place where Adam shall come to visit
his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel
the Prophet. Doc. and Cov., Sec. 115, page 415. The Prophet said that
this Michael is Adam.

I quote the following from the revelation:

"Is there not room enough upon the mountains of Adam-Ondi-Ahman ... the
land where Adam dwelt? ... Therefore come up hither to the land of my
people, even Zion."--Doc. and Cov., sec. 117, v. 8

Having lived and worked at the tin business in sight of this dungeon
where the Prophet was so unjustly imprisoned and suffered so much, this
knowledge of the country was welcome news to me. On one occasion, as
I was informed by the late Bishop Alexander McRae, who was imprisoned
in this same jail, and as he substantially related to me, five of the
prisoners, viz: Joseph Smith, Hyrum, his brother, Caleb Baldwin, Lyman
Wight, Sidney Rigdon and Bishop McRae were taking supper together. All
but Brother McRae partook of tea, as they were glad to get anything to
sustain life. Soon afterwards five of the inmates were taken sick and
some of them were blind for three days, after which they were afflicted
with sore eyes for a long time. Bishop McRae escaped this affliction
as he did not partake of the tea. All of the six prisoners agreed that
poison had been put in the tea, but how and by whom was unknown to them.

While the prisoners were confined in this jail, young Joseph Smith and
Emma, his mother, visited their husband and father. It was at this time
that Joseph's son, now the leader of the Reorganized church, claims
to have received a blessing under the hands of his father. Joseph F.
Smith, with his mother, visited his father in this same jail, and
although but an infant, received a blessing under his hands. Owing to
the delicate state of her health, Joseph F.'s mother had to be taken
on a bed in a carriage, to see, perhaps for the last time, her husband
as a prisoner for the gospel's sake. The meeting and parting on that
occasion must have been heartrending under the circumstances. Very few
can now realize such days as those of the imprisonment at Liberty jail.

From the day that Joseph Smith received the plates at the hands of
Moroni, the angel, until his incarceration in Liberty jail, his life
was one of persecution, trial and imprisonment, so much so that on one
occasion Joseph was led to pray:

"O God! where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy
hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye--yea,
thy pure eye--behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people,
and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
Yea O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful
oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened towards them, and
they bowels be moved with compassion towards them? O Lord God Almighty,
maker of the heaven and earth, and seas, and all things that in them
are, and who controlleth and subjecteth the devil and the dark and
benighted dominion of Sheol! Stretched forth thy hand; let think eye
pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be
covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and
thy bowels moved with compassion towards us. * * * Remember thy suffering
Saints, O our God."

The Prophet loved the Saints, and he knew of their extreme suffering,
and their moving through mud and rain, in poverty, leaving their homes
and all behind them, while he, with his brethren, was in a dungeon
liable to be poisoned at any time. They knew their lives were not safe
in such a mobocratic state as was Missouri then. However, Joseph had
consolation, dark as it appeared, for he promised his brethren that not
one of their lives should be lost. In the midst of their cries unto the
Lord, he was answered thus:

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversary and thine afflictions
shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God
shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thou
art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither
charge thee with transgression, as they did Job. * * * Wo unto all those
that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder, and testify against
them, saith the Lord of Hosts. A generation of vipers shall not escape
the damnation of hell. * * * Let thy bowels also be full of charity
towards all men and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish
thy thoughts unceasingly. Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the
presence of God, and the doctrine of the Priesthood shall distill upon
thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant
companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and
truth, and they dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without
compulsory means it shall flow unto thee for ever and ever."

When I looked upon the Liberty jail in 1834, again in 1838-39, and
for the last time in 1888, in the last stages of decay (it being 54
years from the time I first saw it), my soul was moved upon with deep
emotion, for thoughts of the past crowded upon my mind. Indeed, I felt
almost bewildered, and as if in a dream. It was only four years and
nine months after the Prophet left this dungeon that he was murdered,
dying as a martyr in Carthage jail, Hancock County, Illinois, on the
memorable 27th of June, 1844.

Elder Jenson, Bishop Black and myself obtained a photograph of the jail
as a relic, from which the engraving illustrating this article has been
taken. The jail was built about 1830, of hewn oak logs, and was only 14
by 14-1/2 feet in the clear. Soon after a stone wall two feet thick was
added, leaving a space of twelve inches between the logs and the stone
wall, which was filled in with loose stones, thus making a wall four
feet thick.

In order to show how particular the Prophet was regarding revelations
which he received from the Lord, I will relate an incident which
occurred in Liberty jail. While the Prophet was receiving a revelation,
the late Bishop Alexander McRae was writing as Joseph received it. Upon
this occasion Brother McRae suggested a slight change in the wording of
the revelation, when Joseph sternly asked:

"Do you know who you are writing for?"

Brother McRae, who at once discovered his mistake, begged the Prophet's
pardon for undertaking to correct the word of the Lord.

In March, 1839, and less than one month before leaving the jail, Joseph
received the word of the Lord, as follows:

"The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall
have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee, while the pure
in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek
council, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.
And thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of
traitors. And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble,
into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor, and but for a small
moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thy enemies
than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall
stand by thee forever and ever. If thou art called to pass through
tribulation; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in
perils by land or by sea; if thou are accused of all manner of false
accusations; if thy enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the
society of thy father and mother, and brethren and sisters; and if,
with a drawn sword, thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife
and of thine offspring, and thine elder son (Joseph), although but 6
years of age, ... and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies
prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb; and if thou
should be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the
sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if
the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine
enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to
hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell gape open the
mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall
give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath
descended below them all; art thou greater than he? Therefore hold on
thy way, and the Priesthood shall remain with thee, for their bounds
are set and they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall
not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God
shall be with you for ever and every."


The Assassination of Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage,
Hancock Co., Ill., June 27, 1844, while under the pledged protection of
the Governor of the State.

The engraving presented on another page is a true representation of
the jail at Carthage, Illinois, wherein Joseph Smith, revered by
the "Mormon" people as a prophet of God, and his brother Hyrum were
foully murdered in 1844. A sketch of the building was made by the late
Robert Campbell soon after the massacre, from which the illustration
accompanying this sketch was made.

The mob of eighty men, whose faces were painted black, were under the
direction of the notorious Captain Williams, who is represented in the
picture as standing just back of the four men who are shooting the
Prophet as he is lying partially stunned against the well curb. The
Captain is directing the murder, as is to be seen in the engraving.
Farther to the right is Captain Smith, with his company of Carthage
Greys, who were entrusted with the care and custody of the prisoners
under the pledge of the Governor of the state for their safety.

In the afternoon of the day of the murder, the mob were concealed
in the woods about three-quarters of a mile northwest of the jail,
where they had previously marched. The front of the jail is to the
south. Communication for some time was kept up between the mob and
the Carthage Greys by couriers, until a perfect understanding was
effected between the two mobs, for by this mutual understanding the
State troops had become identified with the murder. The diabolical plot
was so arranged that the troops had their guns loaded only with blank
cartridges. From the situation of affairs, the disbanding of the troops
at Carthage (except those treacherous Greys), and the Governor being
at the same time in Nauvoo disarming the Nauvoo Legion, looks like a
very deep plot for the murder of those two innocent prisoners. What
makes it still more apparent that the State was guilty of this foul
deed, is the fact that not one of those who were immediately connected
with the murder were ever convicted, while many of them roamed at
large, although well known to the community as having taken part in the
murder, some even boasting of having participated in the vile act. One
man in particular, who lived in what was known as Morley's settlement,
near Carthage, openly claimed to have helped in the massacre.

While I was in St. George about two years ago I read from a record book
the following:

"Mr. Meradis Perry, a near neighbor of ours, was one of the mob who
killed Joseph Smith. He came home from Carthage sick and begged my
father to kill him; 'for,' said he, 'I can neither eat nor sleep. When
I close my eyes I can see Joseph Smith before me; I am a miserable
man.' My father told him that he was in the hands of the Lord, and he
would deal with him as seemed good onto himself; that Joseph was a true
prophet sent of God, and his blood, with that of his brother, would
cry from Carthage jail against his murderers as did Able's against his
slayer. My father, James Bellows, lived near Morley's settlement."

The daughter of Jas. Bellows, who has the record named, vouches for the
above, having seen the mobber. She says he was a miserable human being.

The mob came from the woods, entered the stairway door, crowded
upstairs, and commenced pressing in the door where the prisoners were
confined. They were unable to open the door for a while, when shots
were fired through the door. All was commotion and confusion. A ball
passing through the door pierced Hyrum Smith on the side of his nose
just below the eye, when he fell prostrate on the floor, exclaiming: "I
am a dead man."

The Prophet thought that by leaping from the window of the upper story
would attract the attention of the rabble and thus save the lives of
his friends. Willard Richards is to be seen looking from the window of
the prison upon the heart-rending scene without being able to render
the Prophet of God any assistance in his dying moments.

It is possible that while the martyr was holding on to the window sill
he received some of his wounds, before falling to the ground. As he
reached the ground he cried out: "O Lord, my God!"

Each received four balls. John Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the
Twelve Apostles, were the only ones in the room at the time besides
the two martyrs. John Taylor was wounded severely with four balls, but
after much suffering he recovered, and lived a life of usefulness, and
finally presided over the Church, until his death. Willard Richards
escaped without a hole in his robe, and died in peace in his Utah home
many years after.

Thus two of the most noble sons of God have sealed their testimony with
their blood, and henceforth are numbered with those whom John saw under
the altar,--"the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and
for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice,
saying: How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge
our blood on them that live on the earth? And white robes were given
every one of them: and it was said unto them, that they should rest for
a little season, until their fellow servants and their brethren, that
should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."

As Jesus our Saviour was crucified and his disciples martyred, and not
one of their murderers ever brought to justice (only as God punished
them), so has it been in this enlightened age of the world with
assassins who have been equally guilty.

The picture, although a sad one, is a true representation of the
tragedy, and will never be forgotten by those who once behold it. Hyrum
Smith was 44 years old in February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was Only 38
in December, 1843. They were martyred on the 27th of June, 1844. The
late President John Taylor's watch was struck with a bullet while in
his pocket, and stopped between 4 and 5 o'clock.

I first saw Joseph Smith in 1844 at my mother's house. It was late
in the spring season. I also heard him bear his testimony many times
with a power that was not gainsaid by those who heard him testify with
regard to the visions which he had been favored with. Some of his
hearers said:

"Well, if it is true it will stand."

When I heard the three witnesses testify to the coming forth of the
Book of Mormon, and that they had in open daylight both seen and
heard the voice of the angel, I knew their testimony was true. My
first impression of Joseph nearly sixty years ago was that he was a
true prophet, and I formed a love for him which increased with our
acquaintance. I was with him in the state of Missouri during those
trying scenes until his imprisonment in Liberty jail, and subsequently
in Illinois, and with the bereaved family and thousands of Latter-day
Saints shed a tear over his remains as he lay silently in death's
embrace. I took a last look at him in the Nauvoo Mansion in June, 1844.

Joseph Bates Nobles stated to me that he was with the Prophet when he
was going voluntarily to give himself up to the pretended requirements
of the law, on which occasion he said:

"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's
morning; I have a conscience void of offence towards God and towards
all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me--'He was
murdered in cold blood.'"

Hyrum also knew of their doom, for on the morning just before leaving
for the murderous prison he turned down the leaf of the fifth chapter
of the Book of Ether, which reads as follows:

"And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give
unto the gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it came to
pass that the Lord said unto me, if they have not charity, it mattereth
not unto you, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments are
clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness, thou shalt be made
strong, even to the sitting down in the place which I have prepared
in the mansions of my father. And now I----bid farewell unto the
gentiles; yea, and also until my brethren whom, I love, [and all who
knew him well knew of his mercy and benevolence], until we shall meet
before the judgment seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my
garments are not spotted with your blood."

They were innocent of crime, as had been proven many, many times.
It was a conspiracy of "traitors and wicked men," and their blood,
as I saw it on the floor of Carthage jail in 1844, soon after their
martyrdom, and again in 1888, is still there as a witness against the

The jail is now transformed into a comfortable private residence, and
is occupied by Mrs. Elizabeth Mathews Browning, her husband having
deeded it to her. Many years ago the county sold the premises to Mr.
B. F. Patterson, subsequently he sold it to Mr. Jas. M. Browning, who
in turn deeded it to his wife. While being shown around the premises,
in its varied parts, by Mrs. Browning, we came to where the well
curb once stood, which is now substituted by a bed of lilies of the
valley, being assured that the spot will ever be held in remembrance.
The house has an addition of an east wing, and the rude fence has been
remodeled into a nice picket fence. Just prior to leaving Carthage, the
kind lady of the house took us up stairs, where the mob entered. We
saw the bullet hole through the door. Although repaired somewhat, we
saw where the bullet went that killed Hyrum. Other bullet marks were
also visible. Although the floor was carpeted, we were assured by Mrs.
Browning that the blood stain still remains, and cannot be washed away.

At the time of the Prophet's martyrdom, many marveled why Joseph was
taken away from the Church; but since that time we have learned that
it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to them by whom they
come. God suffered his Son Jesus to be crucified. It was necessary
to accomplish certain ends. Many have marveled because of his death,
but it was needful that he should seal his testimony with his blood,
that he might be honored and the wicked be condemned. When Mr. O.
H. Browning, pleading for the Prophet, gave a recitation of what he
himself had seen at Quincy, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi
River (when the Saints were expelled from Missouri), so sad were the
scenes depicted that the spectators were moved into tears. Judge
Douglass himself and most of the officers wept. In conclusion, Mr.
Browning said:

"Great God! have I not seen it? Yes, my eyes have beheld the
blood-stained traces of innocent women and children in the drear
winter, who have traveled hundreds of miles barefoot, through frost
and snow, to seek refuge from their savage pursuers. 'Twas a scene
of horror sufficient to elicit sympathy from an adamantine heart.
And shall this unfortunate man, whom their fury has seen proper to
select for sacrifice, be driven into such a savage land and none dare
to enlist in the cause of justice? If there was no other voice under
heaven ever to be heard in this cause, gladly would I stand alone
and proudly spend my last breath in defense of an oppressed American

Judge Douglass dismissed Joseph on the 10th of June, 1841. Again in
May, 1843, he was kidnapped in Dixon, Ill., but before his enemies
succeeded in dragging him over the line into Missouri, he obtained the
aid of three lawyers, who finally secured his release on habeas corpus.
While in custody, Mr. Reynolds of Missouri several times cocked his
pistol on Joseph, threatening to shoot. The latter bared his breast,

"Shoot away! I have endured so much I am weary of life; kill me, if you

After repeated failures to have him executed in a legal way, his
enemies said:

"If we cannot reach him by law, powder and ball shall," which was at
last fulfilled at the well-curb at Carthage jail.

"Our Patriarch and Prophet, too, Were massacred; they bled To seal
their testimony,--They were numbered with the dead, Ah, tell me, are
they sleeping? Me thinks I hear them say, 'Death's icy chains are
bursting, 'Tis the Resurrection day!'

* * * * * * * * * *

"Oh, wretched murd'rers, fierce for human blood!
You've slain the Prophets of the living God,
Who've borne oppression from their early youth,
To plant on earth the principles of truth."

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Reminiscences of Joseph the Prophet - And the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon" ***

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