Preach My Gospel: Ch. 3: What Should I Study And Teach?: Lesson 1: The Restoration of The Gospel Of Jesus Christ: Full Scriptures

Preach My Gospel: Ch. 3: What Should I Study And Teach?: Lesson 1: The Restoration of The Gospel Of Jesus Christ: Full Scriptures

Lesson 1: The Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Doctrine and Covenants 20:37  37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father

Alma 18:24–40 and 22:4–23  24 And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

25 And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.

26 And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?

27 And he said, Yea.

28 And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?

29 And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens.

30 And Ammon said unto him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels.

31 And king Lamoni said: Is it above the earth?

32 And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.

33 And king Lamoni said: I believe all these things which thou hast spoken. Art thou sent from God?

34 Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true;

35 And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

36 Now when Ammon had said these words, he began at the creation of the world, and also the creation of Adam, and told him all the things concerning the fall of man, and rehearsed and laid before him the records and the holy scriptures of the people, which had been spoken by the prophets, even down to the time that their father, Lehi, left Jerusalem.

37 And he also rehearsed unto them (for it was unto the king and to his servants) all the journeyings of their fathers in the wilderness, and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst, and their travail, and so forth.

38 And he also rehearsed unto them concerning the rebellions of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, yea, all their rebellions did he relate unto them; and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem down to the present time.

39 But this is not all; for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world; and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and all the works of the Lord did he make known unto them.

40 And it came to pass that after he had said all these things, and expounded them to the king, that the king believed all his words.

And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way; he has gone to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.

Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.

And also, what is this that Ammon said—If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?

And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And the king said: I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe.

And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he said: Behold, assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God.

And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?

10 And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?

11 And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.

12 And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king—how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because of transgression, man had fallen.

13 And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.

14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.

15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.

17 And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

19 And it came to pass that his servants ran and told the queen all that had happened unto the king. And she came in unto the king; and when she saw him lay as if he were dead, and also Aaron and his brethren standing as though they had been the cause of his fall, she was angry with them, and commanded that her servants, or the servants of the king, should take them and slay them.

20 Now the servants had seen the cause of the king’s fall, therefore they durst not lay their hands on Aaron and his brethren; and they pled with the queen saying: Why commandest thou that we should slay these men, when behold one of them is mightier than us all? Therefore we shall fall before them.

21 Now when the queen saw the fear of the servants she also began to fear exceedingly, lest there should some evil come upon her. And she commanded her servants that they should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.

22 Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him: Stand. And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.

23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.

  • What is the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ?
  • 1 Nephi 17:36  36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
  • 2 Nephi 9:6  For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
  • Mosiah 4:9  Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
  • 3 Nephi 12:48  48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
  • 3 Nephi 14:9–11  Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?
  •  10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
  •  11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
  • 3 Nephi 27:13–22  13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
  •  14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
  •  15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
  •  16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
  •  17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
  •  18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
  •  19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
  •  20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
  •  21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
  •  22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
  • D&C 38:1–3  Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made;
  •  The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes;
  •  I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me.
  • D&C 130:22  22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
  • Moses 1:39  39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
  • Matthew 5:48  48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
  • John 3:16–17  16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  •  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
  • Acts 17:27–29  27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
  •  28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
  •  29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
  • Romans 8:16  16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  • Hebrews 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
  • 1 John 4:7–9  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
  •  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
  •  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
  • John 3:16–17  16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  •  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The Gospel Blesses Families

D&C 49:15–16  15 And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.

16 Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation;

D&C 68:25  25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

Genesis 18:19  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Deuteronomy 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation

2 Nephi 31:21  21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

  • Prophets
  • Jacob 4:4, 6  For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.
  •  Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
  • Mosiah 8:13–18  13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that 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, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
  •  14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
  •  15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
  •  16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
  •  17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
  •  18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
  • Acts 10:34–43  34 ¶Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
  •  35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
  •  36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
  •  37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judæa, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
  •  38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
  •  39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
  •  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
  •  41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
  •  42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
  •  43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
  • Amos 3:7  Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
  • Dispensations
  • D&C 136:36–38  36 For they killed the prophets, and them that were sent unto them; and they have shed innocent blood, which crieth from the ground against them.
  •  37 Therefore, marvel not at these things, for ye are not yet pure; ye can not yet bear my glory; but ye shall behold it if ye are faithful in keeping all my words that I have given you, from the days of Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Jesus and his apostles, and from Jesus and his apostles to Joseph Smith, whom I did call upon by mine angels, my ministering servants, and by mine own voice out of the heavens, to bring forth my work;
  •  38 Which foundation he did lay, and was faithful; and I took him to myself.
  • Moses 5:4–12, 55–59  And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
  •  And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
  •  And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
  •  And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
  •  Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
  •  And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
  •  10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
  •  11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
  •  12 And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
  •  55 And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.
  •  56 And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made;
  •  57 For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world.
  •  58 And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  •  59 And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.
  • Moses 8:19–30  19 And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.
  •  20 And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words;
  •  21 And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto men of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah.
  •  22 And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually.
  •  23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words;
  •  24 Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.
  •  25 And it repented Noah, and his heart was pained that the Lord had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at the heart.
  •  26 And the Lord said: I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Noah that I have created them, and that I have made them; and he hath called upon me; for they have sought his life.
  •  27 And thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
  •  28 The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence.
  •  29 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.
  •  30 And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.
  • Bible Dictionary, “Dispensations” A dispensation of the gospel is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on the earth who bears the holy priesthood and the keys, and who has a divine commission to dispense the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. When this occurs, the gospel is revealed anew so that people of that dispensation do not have to depend basically on past dispensations for knowledge of the plan of salvation. There have been many gospel dispensations since the beginning. The Bible suggests at least one dispensation identified with Adam, another with Enoch, another with Noah, and so on with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus with His Apostles in the meridian of time. Paul writes of “the dispensation of the fulness of times” in which the Lord will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Eph. 1:10). The fulness of times is the final dispensation and began with the revelation of the gospel to Joseph Smith. It is a dispensation of restoration and of fulfillment of the Lord’s plans and purposes since the world began. There are also things reserved for the fulness of times that have not been revealed previously (D&C 121:26–32; 124:41). It is a glorious time, the time in which we live today (see Acts 3:19–21; D&C 27:13; 110:11–16; 112:14–32; 128:18–21; 136:37–40).
  • In addition there were dispensations of the gospel among the Nephites, the Jaredites, and the Lost Tribes of Israel. Melchizedek could also be included, as well as John the Baptist, since they truly held the priesthood and taught the word of the Lord to the people and were unique in their time. There are many other prophets who have had the priesthood and a knowledge of the gospel. Perhaps if more were revealed to us, we would learn that they too should be spoken of as having a dispensation. These could include, among others, Abel, Esaias, Gad, Jeremy, Elihu, Caleb, Jethro, Zenock, and Zenos. See JST Gen. 14:25–40 (Appendix); 1 Ne. 19:10–12; Alma 13:14–19; 33:3–17; D&C 84:6–16; HC 3:386–89; 4:208–9.
  • The plan of salvation, which is older than the earth, has been revealed and taught in every dispensation beginning with Adam and is the same in every age of the world. However, each of the dispensations has been unique in some way. For example, Adam opened the way of the earth; Noah preserved a portion of mankind through the Flood; Jesus wrought the Atonement and Resurrection; and through Joseph Smith the foundation was laid for a culmination of the purposes of God on the earth.
  • Although the Bible contains historical information pertaining to the ancient prophets and patriarchs, it is latter-day revelation that makes it clear that the leaders of former dispensations had the gospel of Jesus Christ and that certifies to the divine calling, ordination, and high intelligence of those early brethren (D&C 84:6–16, 26–28; 107:41–57; Moses 6:3–6, 45–46).

The Savior’s Earthly Ministry

John 3:16–17  16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

2 Nephi 31:13–21  13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

  • Articles of Faith 1:5  We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  • Matthew 10:1–10  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
  •  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
  •  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphæus, and Lebbæus, whose surname was Thaddæus;
  •  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
  •  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
  •  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  •  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  •  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
  •  Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
  •  10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
  • Luke 6:13  13 ¶And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
  • John 15:16 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
  • Hebrews 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
  • Bible Dictionary, “Miracles,” 732–33 An important element in the work of Jesus Christ, being not only divine acts, but forming also a part of the divine teaching. Christianity is founded on the greatest of all miracles, the Resurrection of our Lord. If that be admitted, other miracles cease to be improbable. Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher. They were intended to be a proof to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ (Matt. 11:4–5; John 2:11; 10:25; 20:30–31). Many of them were also symbolic, teaching such divine truths as the result of sin and the cure of sin; the value of faith; the curse of impurity; and the law of love. The miracles of healing also show how the law of love is to deal with the actual facts of life. Miracles were and are a response to faith and its best encouragement. They were never wrought without prayer, felt need, and faith.
  • It is important to notice the different names by which miracles are described. They are called signs, as being visible tokens of an invisible power; they are powers or mighty works, because they are the acts of One who is almighty; they are simply works, or the natural results of the Messiah’s presence among men; they are wonders, marvels, because of the effect produced on those who saw them. The following miracles are found in one Gospel only:
  • Matthew. (1) The curing of two blind men (9:27–31); (2) the casting out of a devil from the dumb man (9:32–34); (3) a piece of money in the fish’s mouth (17:24–27).
  • Mark. (1) The healing of a deaf and dumb man (7:31–37); (2) the restoration of the sight of the blind man at Bethsaida (8:22–26).
  • Luke. (1) The draught of fishes (5:4–11); (2) the raising of the widow’s son (7:11–16); (3) the healing of the woman with a spirit of infirmity (13:11–17); (4) the healing of the man afflicted with dropsy (14:1–6); (5) the cleansing of the 10 lepers (17:12–19); (6) the healing of Malchus (22:50–51).
  • John. (1) Water made wine (2:1–11); (2) the healing of the nobleman’s son (4:46–54); (3) the healing of the impotent man at Bethesda (5:1–16); (4) the restoration of sight to the man blind from birth (John 9); (5) the raising of Lazarus (11:1–45); (6) the net full of fishes (21:1–24).
  • Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If miracles cease it is because faith has ceased. See Mark 6:5–6; Morm. 9:10–20; Ether 12:12.
  • Matthew 27:35  35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
  • Mark 15:25  25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
  • Bible Dictionary, “Atonement,” 617 The word describes the setting “at one” of those who have been estranged and denotes the reconciliation of man to God. Sin is the cause of the estrangement, and therefore the purpose of atonement is to correct or overcome the consequences of sin. From the time of Adam to the death of Jesus Christ, true believers were instructed to offer animal sacrifices to the Lord. These sacrifices were symbolic of the forthcoming death of Jesus Christ and were done by faith in Him (Moses 5:5–8).
  • Jesus Christ, as the Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, was the only one capable of making an atonement for mankind. By His selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed, His divine Sonship, His sinless life, the shedding of His blood in the garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross and subsequent bodily resurrection from the grave, He made a perfect atonement for all mankind. All are covered unconditionally as pertaining to the Fall of Adam. Hence, all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies because of Jesus’ Atonement. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22), and all little children are innocent at birth. The Atonement is conditional, however, so far as each person’s individual sins are concerned, and touches every one to the degree that he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, and obeys the gospel. The services of the Day of Atonement foreshadowed the atoning work of Christ (Lev. 4; 23:26–32; Heb. 9). The scriptures point out that no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would be satisfactory if it were not for the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:1–9; 2 Ne. 9:5–24; Mosiah 13:27–32).
  • Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3:4); it is a refusal on men’s part to submit to the law of God (Rom. 8:7). By transgression man loses control over his own will and becomes the slave of sin (Rom. 7:14) and so incurs the penalty of spiritual death, which is alienation from God (Rom. 6:23). The Atonement of Jesus Christ redeems all mankind from the Fall of Adam and causes all to be answerable for their own manner of life. This means of atonement is provided by the Father (John 3:16–17) and is offered in the life and person of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:19). See also Fasts; Sacrifices.
  • The Great Apostasy
  • 1 Nephi 13 Chapter 13
  • Nephi sees in vision the church of the devil set up among the Gentiles, the discovery and colonizing of America, the loss of many plain and precious parts of the Bible, the resultant state of gentile apostasy, the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of latter-day scripture, and the building up of Zion. About 600–592 B.C.
  •  And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.
  •  And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.
  •  And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.
  •  And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.
  •  And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.
  •  And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.
  •  And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.
  •  And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.
  •  And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.
  •  10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.
  •  11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.
  •  12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.
  •  13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.
  •  14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.
  •  15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.
  •  16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.
  •  17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.
  •  18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.
  •  19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.
  •  20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.
  •  21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?
  •  22 And I said unto him: I know not.
  •  23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.
  •  24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.
  •  25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
  •  26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
  •  27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.
  •  28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
  •  29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
  •  30 Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.
  •  31 Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.
  •  32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.
  •  33 Wherefore saith the Lamb of God: I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.
  •  34 And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.
  •  35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.
  •  36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.
  •  37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.
  •  38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.
  •  39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.
  •  40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.
  •  41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.
  •  42 And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.
  • 2 Nephi 26:20–21  20 And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.
  •  21 And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.
  • 2 Nephi 28 Chapter 28
  • Many false churches will be built up in the last days—They will teach false, vain, and foolish doctrines—Apostasy will abound because of false teachers—The devil will rage in the hearts of men—He will teach all manner of false doctrines. About 559–545 B.C.
  •  And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.
  •  And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.
  •  For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—
  •  And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.
  •  And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;
  •  Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.
  •  Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
  •  And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
  •  Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
  •  10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
  •  11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.
  •  12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.
  •  13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.
  •  14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
  •  15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
  •  16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.
  •  17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
  •  18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.
  •  19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
  •  20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
  •  21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
  •  22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
  •  23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
  •  24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
  •  25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
  •  26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
  •  27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
  •  28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
  •  29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
  •  30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
  •  31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  •  32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
  • 4 Nephi 1:27  27 And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.
  • D&C 86:1–3  Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:
  •  Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;
  •  And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.
  • Matthew 24:9–11  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
  •  10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
  •  11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
  • Mark 12:1–9  And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
  •  And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
  •  And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
  •  And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
  •  And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
  •  Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
  •  But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
  •  And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
  •  What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
  • Acts 3:19–21  19 ¶Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
  •  20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
  •  21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
  • Acts 20:28–30  28 ¶Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
  •  29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
  •  30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
  • Galatians 1:6–9  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
  •  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
  •  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
  •  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 (JST verses 2, 3, 7–9)  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
  •  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
  •  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
  •  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
  •  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
  •  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
  •  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
  •  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
  •  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
  •  10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  •  11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
  •  12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
  • JST, 2 Thessalonians 2:7–9.
  • Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:7–9
  •  7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, and he it is who now worketh, and Christ suffereth him to work, until the time is fulfilled that he shall be taken out of the way.
  •  8 And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
  •  9 Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders,
  • 1 Timothy 4:1–3  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
  •  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
  •  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
  • 2 Timothy 4:3–4  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
  •  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
  • 2 Peter 2:1–2  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
  •  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
  • Amos 8:11–12  11 ¶Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
  •  12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
  • Topical Guide, “Apostasy of the Early Christian Church” Apostasy of the Early Christian Church
  • changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant: Isa. 24:5 .
  • this people draw near me with their mouth: Isa. 29:13 .
  • darkness shall cover the earth: Isa. 60:2 .
  • a famine … of hearing the words of the Lord: Amos 8:11 .
  • his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat: Matt. 13:25 .
  • saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many: Matt. 24:5 .
  • shall arise false Christs, and false prophets: Matt. 24:24 .
  • his disciples went back, and walked no more with him: John 6:66 .
  • shall grievous wolves enter in among you: Acts 20:29 .
  • there be divisions among you: 1 Cor. 11:18 .
  • I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him: Gal. 1:6 .
  • who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey: Gal. 3:1 .
  • shall not come, except there come a falling away first: 2 Thes. 2:3 .
  • some having swerved have turned aside: 1 Tim. 1:6 .
  • giving heed to seducing spirits: 1 Tim. 4:1 .
  • all they which are in Asia be turned away from me: 2 Tim. 1:15 .
  • Who concerning the truth have erred: 2 Tim. 2:18 .
  • Having a form of godliness, but denying the power: 2 Tim. 3:5 .
  • turn away their ears from the truth … unto fables: 2 Tim. 4:4 .
  • profess that they know God; but in works they deny him: Titus 1:16 .
  • From whence come wars and fightings among you: James 4:1 .
  • false prophets also among the people: 2 Pet. 2:1 .
  • being led away with the error of the wicked: 2 Pet. 3:17 .
  • now are there many antichrists: 1 Jn. 2:18 .
  • many false prophets are gone out into the world: 1 Jn. 4:1 .
  • certain men crept in … denying the only Lord God: Jude 1:4 .
  • which say they are apostles, and are not: Rev. 2:2 .
  • thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot: Rev. 3:16 .
  • to make war with the saints: Rev. 13:7 .
  • formation of that great and abominable church: 1 Ne. 13:26 .
  • the Gentiles … have stumbled: 2 Ne. 26:20 .
  • Gentiles … will be drunken with iniquity: 2 Ne. 27:1 .
  • transfigured the holy word of God: Morm. 8:33 .
  • strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant: D&C 1:15 .
  • Satan … soweth the tares: D&C 86:3 .
  • darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people: D&C 112:23 .
  • they were all wrong; … their hearts are far from me: JS—H 1:19 .
  • See also Matt. 24:11 ; Rom. 11:21 ; 1 Cor. 1:11 ; 1 Cor. 3:3 ; Col. 2:22 ; 1 Tim. 1:19 ; Titus 1:10 ; 2 Pet. 2:22 ; 3 Jn. 1:9 ; Rev. 2:5 ; 1 Ne. 11:34
  • True to the Faith, “Apostasy,” pages 13–14 Apostasy
  • True to the Faith, (2004), 13–14
  • When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel, they are in a state of apostasy.
  • Periods of general apostasy have occurred throughout the history of the world. After times of righteousness, people have often turned to wickedness. One example is the Great Apostasy, which occurred after the Savior established His Church. After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread wickedness, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth.
  • During the Great Apostasy, people were without divine direction from living prophets. Many churches were established, but they did not have priesthood power to lead people to the true knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Parts of the holy scriptures were corrupted or lost, and no one had the authority to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost or perform other priesthood ordinances. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fulness of the gospel.
  • We now live in a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. But unlike the Church in times past, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be overcome by general apostasy. The scriptures teach that the Church will never again be destroyed (see D&C 138:44; see also Daniel 2:44).
  • Although there will not be another general apostasy from the truth, we must each guard against personal apostasy. You can safeguard yourself against personal apostasy by keeping your covenants, obeying the commandments, following Church leaders, partaking of the sacrament, and constantly strengthening your testimony through daily scripture study, prayer, and service.
  • Additional references: Isaiah 24:5; Amos 8:11–12; Matthew 24:4–14; Acts 20:28–30; 2 Timothy 3:1–5, 14–15; 4:3–4; 1 Nephi 13:24–29; Mormon 1:13–14; D&C 1:15–17; Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19
  • See also Church Administration; Priesthood; Restoration of the Gospel
  • Our Search for Happiness, pages 23–32
  • Jesus the Christ, chapter 40, “The Long Night of Apostasy”  For over seventeen hundred years on the eastern hemisphere, and for more than fourteen centuries on the western, there appears to have been silence between the heavens and the earth.a Of direct revelation from God to man during this long interval, we have no authentic record. As already shown, the period of apostolic ministry on the eastern continent probably terminated before the dawn of the second century of the Christian era. The passing of the apostles was followed by the rapid development of a universal apostasy as had been foreseen and predicted.b
  • In the accomplishment of this great falling away, external and internal causes cooperated. Among the disintegrating forces acting from without, the most effective was the persistent persecution to which the saints were subjected, incident to both Judaistic and pagan opposition. Vast numbers who had professed membership and many who had been officers in the ministry deserted the Church; while a few were stimulated to greater zeal under the scourge of persecution. The general effect of opposition from the outside—of external causes of decline in faith and works considered as a whole—was the defection of individuals, resulting in a widespread apostasy from the Church. But immeasurably more serious was the result of internal dissension, schism and disruption, whereby an absolute apostasy of the Church from the way and word of God was brought about.
  • Judaism was the earliest oppressor of Christianity, and became the instigator and abettor of the succeeding atrocities incident to pagan persecution. Open and vigorous hostility of the Roman powers against the Christian Church became general during the reign of Nero, (beginning about A.D. 64), and continued with occasional respites of a few months or even years at a time to the close of Diocletian’s reign (about A.D. 305). The inhuman cruelty and savage barbarity to which were subjected those who dared profess the name of Christ during these centuries of heathen domination are matters of accepted history.c When Constantine the Great came to the throne in the first quarter of the fourth century, a radical change was inaugurated in the attitude of the state toward the church. The emperor straightway made the so-called Christianity of the time the religion of his realm; and zealous devotion to the church became the surest recommendation to imperial favor. But the church was already in great measure an apostate institution and even in crude outline of organization and service bore but remote resemblance to the Church of Jesus Christ, founded by the Savior and builded through the instrumentality of the apostles. Whatever vestiges of genuine Christianity may have possibly survived in the church before, were buried beyond the sight of man by the abuses that followed the elevation of the churchly organization to secular favor through the decree of Constantine. The emperor, even though unbaptized, made himself the head of the church, and priestly office was more sought after than military rank or state preferment. The spirit of apostasy, by which the church had become permeated before Constantine threw about it the mantle of imperial protection and emblazoned it with the insignia of state, now was roused to increased activity as the leaven of Satan’s own culture flourished under the conditions most favorable for such fungoid growth.
  • The bishop of Rome had already asserted supremacy over his fellows in the episcopate; but when the emperor made Byzantium his capital, and renamed it in his own honor, Constantinople, the bishop of that city claimed equality with the Roman pontiff. The claim was contested; the ensuing dissension divided the church; and the disruption has persisted until the present day, as is evidenced by the existing distinction between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Catholic churches.
  • The Roman pontiff exercised secular as well as spiritual authority; and in the eleventh century arrogated to himself the title of Pope, signifying Father, in the sense of paternal ruler in all things. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the temporal authority of the pope was superior to that of kings and emperors; and the Roman church became the despotic potentate of nations, and an autocrat above all secular states. Yet this church, reeking with the stench of worldly ambition and lust of dominance, audaciously claimed to be the Church established by Him who affirmed: “My kingdom is not of this world.” The arrogant assumptions of the Church of Rome were not less extravagant in spiritual than in secular administration. In her loudly asserted control over the spiritual destinies of the souls of men, she blasphemously pretended to forgive or retain individual sins, and to inflict or remit penalties both on earth and beyond the grave. She sold permission to commit sin and bartered for gold charters of indulgent forgiveness for sins already done. Her pope, proclaiming himself the vicar of God, sat in state to judge as God Himself; and by such blasphemy fulfilled the prophecy of Paul following his warning in relation to the awful conditions antecedent to the second coming of the Christ: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”d
  • In her unrestrained abandon to the license of arrogated authority, the Church of Rome hesitated not to transgress the law of God, change the ordinances essential to salvation, and ruthlessly break the everlasting covenant, thereby defiling the earth even as Isaiah had foretold.e She altered the ordinance of baptism, destroying its symbolism and associating with it imitations of pagan rites; she corrupted the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and befouled the doctrine thereof by the vagary of transubstantiation;f she assumed to apply the merits of the righteous to the forgiveness of the sinner in the unscriptural and wholly repellent dogma of supererogation; she promoted idolatry in most seductive and pernicious forms; she penalized the study of the holy scriptures by the people at large; she enjoined an unnatural state of celibacy upon her clergy; she revelled in unholy union with the theories and sophistries of men, and so adulterated the simple doctrines of the gospel of Christ as to produce a creed rank with superstition and heresy; she promulgated such perverted doctrines regarding the human body as to make the divinely formed tabernacle of flesh appear as a thing fit only to be tortured and contemned; she proclaimed it an act of virtue insuring rich reward to lie and deceive if thereby her own interests might be subserved; and she so thoroughly departed from the original plan of Church organization as to make of herself a spectacle of ornate display, fabricated by the caprice of man.g
  • The most important of the internal causes by which the apostasy of the Primitive Church was brought about may be thus summarized: (1) The corrupting of the simple doctrines of the gospel of Christ by admixture with so-called philosophic systems. (2) Unauthorized additions to the prescribed rites of the Church and the introduction of vital alterations in essential ordinances. (3) Unauthorized changes in Church organization and government.h
  • Under the tyrannous repression incident to usurped and unrighteous domination by the Roman church, civilization was retarded and for centuries was practically halted in its course. The period of retrogression is known in history as the Dark Ages. The fifteenth century witnessed the movement known as the Renaissance or Revival of Learning; there was a general significantly rapid awakening among men, and a determined effort to shake off the stupor of indolence and ignorance was manifest throughout the civilized world. By historians and philosophers the revival has been regarded as an unconscious and spontaneous prompting of the “spirit of the times”; it was a development predetermined in the Mind of God to illumine the benighted minds of men in preparation for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was appointed to be accomplished some centuries later.i
  • With the renewal of intellectual activity and effort in material betterment, there came, as a natural and inevitable accompaniment, protest and revolt against the ecclesiastical tyranny of the age. The Albigenses in France had risen in insurrection against churchly despotism during the thirteenth century; and in the fourteenth, John Wickliffe of Oxford University had boldly denounced the corruption of the Roman church and clergy, and particularly the restrictions imposed by the papal hierarchy on the popular study of the scriptures. Wickliffe gave to the world a version of the Holy Bible in English. These manifestations of independent belief and action the papal church sought to repress and punish by force. The Albigenses had been subjected to inhuman cruelties and unrestrained slaughter. Wickliffe was the subject of severe and persistent persecution; and though he died in his bed the vindictiveness of the Roman church was unsated until she had caused his body to be exhumed and burned and the ashes scattered abroad. John Huss and Jerome of Prague were prominent on the continent of Europe in agitation against papal despotism, and both fell martyrs to the cause. Though the church had become apostate to the core, there were not lacking men brave of heart and righteous of soul, ready to give their lives to the furtherance of spiritual emancipation.
  • A notable revolt against the papacy occurred in the sixteenth century, and is known as the Reformation. This movement was begun in 1517 by Martin Luther, a German monk; and it spread so rapidly as soon to involve the whole domain of popedom. Formal protests against the despotism of the papal church were formulated by the representatives of certain German principalities and other delegates at a diet or general council held at Spires A.D. 1529; and the reformers were thenceforth known as Protestants. An independent church was proposed by John, Elector of Saxony, a constitution for which was prepared at his instance by Luther and his colleague, Melanchthon. The Protestants were discordant. Being devoid of divine authority to guide them in matters of church organization and doctrine, they followed the diverse ways of men, and were rent within while assailed from without. The Roman church, confronted by determined opponents, hesitated at no extreme of cruelty. The court of the Inquisition, which had been established in the latter part of the fifteenth century under the infamously sacrilegious name of the “Holy Office,” became intoxicated with the lust of barbarous cruelty in the century of the Reformation, and inflicted indescribable tortures on persons secretly accused of heresy.
  • In the early stages of the Reformation instigated by Luther, the king of England, Henry VIII, declared himself a supporter of the pope, and was rewarded by a papal bestowal of the distinguishing title “Defender of the Faith.” Within a few years, this same British sovereign was excommunicated from the Roman church, because of impatient disregard of the pope’s authority in the matter of Henry’s desire to divorce Queen Catherine so that he could marry one of her maids. The British parliament, in 1534, passed the Act of Supremacy, by which the nation was declared free from all allegiance to papal authority. By Act of Parliament the king was made the head of the church within his own dominions. Thus was born the Church of England, a direct result of the licentious amours of a debauched and infamous king. With blasphemous indifference to the absence of divine commission, with no semblance of priestly succession, an adulterous sovereign created a church, provided therein a “priesthood” of his own, and proclaimed himself supreme administrator in all matters spiritual.
  • With the conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism in Great Britain the student of history is familiar. Suffice it here to say that the mutual hatred of the two contending sects, the zeal of their respective adherents, their professed love of God and devotion to Christ’s service, were chiefly signalized by the sword, the ax, and the stake. Revelling in the realization of at least a partial emancipation from the tyranny of priestcraft, men and nations debauched their newly acquired liberty of thought, speech, and action, in a riot of abhorrent excess. The mis-called Age of Reason, and the atheistical abominations culminating in the French Revolution stand as ineffaceable testimony of what man may become when glorying in his denial of God.
  • Is it to be wondered at, that from the sixteenth century onward, churches of man’s contriving have multiplied with phenomenal rapidity? Churches and churchly organizations professing Christianity as their creed have come to be numbered by hundreds. On every side is heard in this day, “Lo, here is Christ” or “Lo, there.” There are sects named from the circumstances of their origin—as the Church of England; others after their famous founders or promoters—as Lutheran, Calvinist, Wesleyan; some are known by peculiarities of doctrine or plan of administration—as Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregationalist; but down to the third decade of the nineteenth century there was no church on earth affirming name or title as the Church of Jesus Christ. The only organization called a church existing at that time and venturing to assert claim to authority by succession was the Catholic church, which for centuries had been apostate and wholly bereft of divine authority or recognition. If the “mother church” be without a valid priesthood, and devoid of spiritual power, how can her offspring derive from her the right to officiate in the things of God? Who would dare to affirm that man can originate a priesthood which God is bound to honor and acknowledge? Granted that men may and do create among themselves societies, associations, sects, and even “churches” if they choose so to designate their organizations; granted that they may prescribe rules, formulate laws, and devise plans of operation, discipline, and government, and that all such laws, rules, and schemes of administration are binding upon those who assume membership—granted all these rights and powers—whence can such human institutions derive the authority of the Holy Priesthood, without which there can be no Church of Christ?j
  • The apostate condition of Christendom has been frankly admitted by many eminent and conscientious representatives of the several churches, and by churches as institutions. Even the Church of England acknowledges the awful fact in her official declaration of degeneracy, as set forth in the “Homily Against Peril of Idolatry,” in these words:
  • “So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom—an horrible and most dreadful thing to think—have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested of God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more.”k
  • Let it not be concluded that through the night of the universal apostasy, long and dark as it was, God had forgotten the world. Mankind had not been left wholly to itself. The Spirit of God was operative so far as the unbelief of men permitted. John the apostle, and the Three Nephite disciples,l were ministering among men, though unknown. But through the centuries of spiritual darkness men lived and died without the administration of a contemporary apostle, prophet, elder, bishop, priest, teacher, or deacon. Whatever of the form of Godliness existed in the churches of human establishment was destitute of divine power. The time foreseen by the inspired apostle had fully come—mankind in general refused to endure sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, did they heap to themselves teachers, after their own lusts, and verily had they turned away their ears from the truth to follow after fables.m The first quarter of the nineteenth century witnessed the cumulative fulfilment of the conditions predicted through the prophet Amos: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”n
  • Throughout the period of apostasy the windows of heaven had been shut toward the world, so as to preclude all direct revelation from God, and particularly any personal ministration or theophany of the Christ. Mankind had ceased to know God; and had invested the utterances of prophets and apostles of old, who had known Him, with a pall of mystery and fancy, so that the True and the Living God was no longer believed to exist; but in His place the sectaries had tried to conceive of an incomprehensible being, devoid of “body, parts, or passions,” an immaterial nothing.o
  • But it had been determined in the councils of heaven, that after many centuries of benighted ignorance the world should be illumined anew by the light of truth. Through the operation of the genius of intelligence, which is the Spirit of Truth, the soul of the race had been undergoing a preparation, like unto the deep plowing of a field, for the planting of the gospel afresh. The principle of the mariner’s compass was revealed by the Spirit; the material embodiment thereof was invented by man; and by its aid the unknown oceans were explored. Toward the end of the fifteenth century Columbus was led by the inspiration of God to the discovery of the New World, whereon dwelt the degenerate posterity of Lehi, a dark-skinned remnant of the house of Israel—the American Indians. In due time the good ships Mayflower and Speedwell brought to the western world the Pilgrim Fathers, as the vanguard of a host escaping from exile and seeking a new home wherein they could worship according to the dictates of their consciences. The coming of Columbus and the later immigration of the Puritan Pilgrims had been predicted nearly six hundred years before Christ; their respective missions had been as truly appointed unto them as has been the sending of any prophet with a message to deliver and a work to do.p The war between the American Colonies and the Mother Country, and the victorious issue thereof in the emancipation of the American nation once and forever from monarchial rule, had been foretold as further steps in the preparation for the restoration of the gospel. Time was allowed for the establishment of a stable government, for the raising up of men chosen and inspired to frame and promulgate the Constitution of the United States, which promises to every man a full measure of political and religious freedom. It was not meet that the precious seed of the restored gospel be thrown upon unplowed soil, hardened by intolerance, and fit to produce only thorns of bigotry and rank weeds of mental and spiritual serfdom. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the embodiment of liberty; it is the truth that shall make free every man and every nation who will accept and obey its precepts.
  • At the appointed time, the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus the Christ appeared to man upon the earth, and inaugurated the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.
  • Notes to Chapter 40
  • 1. Cessation of Revelation on the Western Hemisphere.—“The eastern world had lost this knowledge of the Lord earlier than the western hemisphere. Upon the land of North America, four hundred years after the birth of our Savior and Master, there stood at least one man who knew the Lord God Almighty as a distinct personality, a Being capable of communicating Himself to man. That man was Moroni, the son of Mormon, whose testimony abides now and must abide through all the ages to come.”—George Q. Cannon, Life of Joseph Smith, p. 21. See Moroni 10:27–34.
  • 2. Results of the Great Apostasy Divinely Overruled for Eventual Good.—The thoughtful student cannot fail to see in the progress of the great apostasy and its results the existence of an overruling power operating toward eventual good, however mysterious its methods. The heartrending persecutions to which the saints were subjected in the early centuries of our era, the anguish, the torture, the bloodshed incurred in defense of the testimony of Christ, the rise of an apostate church, blighting the intellect and leading captive the souls of men—all these dread conditions were foreknown to the Lord. While we cannot say or believe that such exhibitions of human depravity and blasphemy of heart were in accordance with the divine will, certainly God willed to permit full scope to the free agency of man, in the exercise of which agency some won the martyr’s crown, and others filled the flagon of their iniquity to overflowing. Not less marked is the divine permission in the revolts and rebellions, in the revolutions and reformations, that developed in opposition to the darkening influence of the apostate church. Wickliffe and Huss, Luther and Melanchthon, Zwingli and Calvin, Henry VIII in his arrogant assumption of priestly authority, John Knox in Scotland, Roger Williams in America—these and a host of others builded better than they knew, in that their efforts laid in part the foundation of the structure of religious freedom and liberty of conscience—and this in preparation for the restoration of the gospel as had been divinely predicted.—The Great Apostasy, 10:19, 20.
  • 3. Declaration of a General Apostasy by the Church of England.—The Book of Homilies, from which the quotation given in the text is taken, was published about the middle of the sixteenth century. The official proclamation of a universal apostasy was made prominently current, for the Homilies were “appointed to be read in churches” in lieu of sermons under certain conditions. In the statement cited, the Church of England solemnly avers that a state of apostasy affecting all ages, sects, and degrees throughout whole Christendom, had prevailed for eight hundred years prior to the establishment of the church making the declaration. That this affirmation remains effective today, as both confession and profession of the Church of England, appears from the fact that the homily “Against Peril of Idolatry” and certain other homilies are specifically ratified and endorsed, and withal prescribed “to be read in Churches by the Ministers diligently and distinctly that they may be understanded of the people.” See “Articles of Religion” xxxv, in current issues of Church of England, Book of Common Prayer.
  • 4. The “Creed of Athanasius.”—At the Council of Nice, convoked by the emperor, Constantine, A.D. 325, a formal statement of belief concerning the Godhead was adopted. Later a modification was issued, known as the “Creed of Athanasius,” and though the authorship is questioned, the creed has a place in the ritual of some of the Protestant churches. No more conclusive evidence that men had ceased to know God need be adduced than the Athanasian Creed. As confessed by the Church of England in this day, and as published in the official ritual (see Prayer Book) “The Creed of Saint Athanasius” is this: “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible: and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty: and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods: but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord.” Then follows this strange confession of what is at once required by “Christian verity,” and forbidden by the “Catholick Religion”: “For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity: to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholick Religion: to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.”
  • 5. The Mission of Columbus and Its Results.—Unto Nephi, son of Lehi, was shown the future of his people, including the degeneracy of a branch thereof, afterward known as Lamanites and in modern times as American Indians. The coming of a man from among the Gentiles, across the deep waters, was revealed in such plainness as to positively identify that man with Columbus; and the coming of other Gentiles to this land, out of captivity, is equally explicit. The revelation is thus recorded by Nephi to whom it was given: “And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren. And it came to pass that the angel said unto me, Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.” (1 Nephi 13:10–13). The establishment of a great Gentile nation on the American continent, the subjugation of the Lamanites or Indians, the war between the newly established nation and Great Britain, or “their mother Gentiles,” and the victorious outcome of that struggle for independence, are set forth with equal clearness in the same chapter.
  • Ephesians 2:19–20; 4:11–14
  • Matthew 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
  • 1 Nephi 11:32–34  32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
  •  33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.
  •  34 And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord.
  • 2 Nephi 27:5  For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.
  • Isaiah 24:5  The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
  • 1 Nephi 13:26–40  26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
  •  27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.
  •  28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
  •  29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
  •  30 Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.
  •  31 Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.
  •  32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.
  •  33 Wherefore saith the Lamb of God: I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.
  •  34 And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.
  •  35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.
  •  36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.
  •  37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.
  •  38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.
  •  39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.
  •  40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.
  • Joseph Smith—History 1:19  19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
  • 3 John 1:9–10  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
  •  10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
  • 2 Timothy 4:3–4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
  •  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
  • D&C 123:12  12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
  • For more information on the reformers, see the following sources in the missionary library: James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 692–703; M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 26–32.
  • Alma 29:8  For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.
  • The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith—History 1:18  18 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.

Ephesians 4:5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Joseph Smith—History 1:8, 10  During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

James 1:5  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.

Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17  16 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.

17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Joseph Smith—History 1:19  19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

  • 2 Nephi 3 Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. About 588–570 B.C.
  •  And now I speak unto you, Joseph, my last-born. Thou wast born in the wilderness of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee.
  •  And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.
  •  And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed.
  •  For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.
  •  Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.
  •  For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
  •  Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
  •  And I will give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work.
  •  And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel.
  •  10 And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt.
  •  11 But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
  •  12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
  •  13 And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.
  •  14 And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise;
  •  15 And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.
  •  16 Yea, thus prophesied Joseph: I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed forever.
  •  17 And the Lord hath said: I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much, for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a spokesman for him.
  •  18 And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it.
  •  19 And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith.
  •  20 And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.
  •  21 Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.
  •  22 And now, behold, my son Joseph, after this manner did my father of old prophesy.
  •  23 Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.
  •  24 And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.
  •  25 And now, blessed art thou, Joseph. Behold, thou art little; wherefore hearken unto the words of thy brother, Nephi, and it shall be done unto thee even according to the words which I have spoken. Remember the words of thy dying father. Amen.
  • D&C 112:30  30 For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times,
  • Ephesians 1:10  10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
  • Brochure, The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith
  • Which Church Is Right?
  • The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, (1999), 1–2
  • Joseph Smith was born in 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. At the time this narrative begins, he was 14 years old, living with his family in New York, and earnestly considering which church to join. The following is Joseph’s experience, written in his own words.
  • During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness. … I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?
  • While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
  • While deciding which church to join, Joseph turned to the Bible for guidance. There he read, “Ask of God.”
  • Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, 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. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
  • Joseph Smith’s First Vision
  • The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, (1999), 2–3
  • 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 spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
  • My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
  • I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
  • He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home.
  • Persecution
  • The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, (1999), 3–4
  • Joseph obeyed God and did not join any existing church. As he told people what he had seen and heard, he began experiencing opposition and persecution.
  • I soon found … that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.
  • It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
  • However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
  • So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.
  • I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was concerned—that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but to continue as I was until further directed. I had found the testimony of James to be true—that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain, and not be upbraided.
  • I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the twenty-first of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision.
  • During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature.
  • Moroni’s Visit
  • Persecution continued as Joseph refused to deny that he had seen God. On September 21, 1823, after retiring to bed, Joseph prayed to know his standing before the Lord. The angel Moroni appeared to him.
  • On the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.
  • 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 immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
  • He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom.
  • Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.
  • He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was 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.
  • In A.D. 421 the prophet Moroni buried sacred records of his people in the Hill Cumorah. Returning later as a resurrected being, he told Joseph Smith about the ancient record, which contains the fulness of the gospel as delivered by the Savior to ancient inhabitants of the American continent. That record is the Book of Mormon.
  • He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;
  • Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted “seers” in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.
  • After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus:
  • “For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
  • And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
  • He also quoted the next verse differently: “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”
  • In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.
  • He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.
  • Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he had spoken—for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled—I should not show them to any person; neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.
  • After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark, except just around him; when, instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
  • I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.
  • He commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit, without the least variation; which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things, he again ascended as he had done before.
  • By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that sleep had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard. But what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before; and added a caution to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father’s family), to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building his kingdom; otherwise I could not get them.
  • After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced; when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me for the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.
  • I shortly after arose from my bed, and, as usual, went to the necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work as at other times, I found my strength so exhausted as to render me entirely unable. My father, who was laboring along with me, discovered something to be wrong with me, and told me to go home. I started with the intention of going to the house; but, in attempting to cross the fence out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of anything.
  • The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me, calling me by name. I looked up, and beheld the same messenger standing over my head, surrounded by light as before. He then again related unto me all that he had related to me the previous night, and commanded me to go to my father and tell him of the vision and commandments which I had received.
  • I obeyed; I returned to my father in the field, and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me that it was of God, and told me to go and do as commanded by the messenger. I left the field, and went to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited; and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.
  • The Sacred Record
  • Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.
  • Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.
  • Moroni returned once a year for four years and further instructed the young prophet. After those four years, Joseph received the plates and began translating the Book of Mormon.
  • I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.
  • Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.
  • As my father’s worldly circumstances were very limited, we were under the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring out by day’s work and otherwise, as we could get opportunity. Sometimes we were at home, and sometimes abroad, and by continuous labor were enabled to get a comfortable maintenance.
  • Joseph worked a number of jobs and provided a comfortable living for his family. In 1825 he took a job in Chenango County, New York. There he met Emma Hale, whom he married on January 18, 1827.
  • At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.
  • I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight. …
  • On the 5th day of April, 1829, Oliver Cowdery came to my house, until which time I had never seen him. He stated to me that having been teaching school in the neighborhood where my father resided, and my father being one of those who sent to the school, he went to board for a season at his house, and while there the family related to him the circumstances of my having received the plates, and accordingly he had come to make inquiries of me.
  • Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the 7th of April) I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon, and he began to write for me.
  • In April 1829 Joseph Smith, with Oliver Cowdery as scribe, began to translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God. After Joseph finished, other people were privileged to see the gold plates. These witnesses have also recorded their testimonies, for “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1).
  • On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box.
  • The Priesthood Restored
  • We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:
  • “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
  • He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.
  • Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me—after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood—for so we were commanded.
  • The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.
  • Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. on April 6, 1830. Close to 60 people witnessed as 6 men met the requirements of New York to establish a new religious society.
  • The Book of Mormon, first printed in 1830, is currently being published in more than 80 languages worldwide.
  • This is the simple, direct testimony of Joseph Smith, giving some of the events that led to the Restoration of the gospel and the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • For a more complete account of Joseph Smith’s story, see Joseph Smith—History in the Pearl of Great Price or History of the Church, 1:2–79.
  • The Teachings of Christ
  • The teachings of Jesus Christ in the Bible have long been a source of inspiration for mankind. There are additional teachings of the Savior in a companion volume of scripture—the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. They will bring you lasting peace and happiness by providing inspired direction in your life.
  • Obtain your free copy of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
  • D&C 35:17; 135:3 17 And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him;  Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!
  • D&C 13; 27:12 An extract from Joseph Smith’s history recounting the ordination of the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time this higher priesthood would be conferred upon them. (See section 27:7–8, 12.)
  • The keys and powers of the Aaronic Priesthood are set forth.
  •  Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
  •  12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;
  • The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
  • Title page of the Book of Mormon An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi
  • Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
  • An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
  • TRANSLATED BY JOSEPH SMITH, Jun.
  • Introduction to the Book of Mormon, paragraphs 1–7 The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
  • The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.
  • The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.
  • After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the Hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.
  • In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto Him and obey the laws and ordinances of His gospel may be saved.
  • Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
  • In addition to Joseph Smith, the Lord provided for eleven others to see the gold plates for themselves and to be special witnesses of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. Their written testimonies are included herewith as “The Testimony of Three Witnesses” and “The Testimony of Eight Witnesses.”
  • D&C 1:17–23  17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
  •  18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—
  •  19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
  •  20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
  •  21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
  •  22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
  •  23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
  • D&C 20:5–12  After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world;
  •  But after repenting, and humbling himself sincerely, through faith, God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness;
  •  And gave unto him commandments which inspired him;
  •  And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon;
  •  Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also;
  •  10 Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them—
  •  11 Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old;
  •  12 Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.
  • Joseph Smith—History 1:27–64  27 I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the twenty-first of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision.
  •  28 During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery temperament.
  •  29 In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.
  •  30 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 immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
  •  31 He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom.
  •  32 Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.
  •  33 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.
  •  34 He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;
  •  35 Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted “seers” in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.
  •  36 After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus:
  •  37 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
  •  38 And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
  •  39 He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
  •  40 In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.
  •  41 He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.
  •  42 Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he had spoken—for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled—I should not show them to any person; neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.
  •  43 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 till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
  •  44 I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.
  •  45 He commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit, without the least variation; which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things, he again ascended as he had done before.
  •  46 By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that sleep had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard. But what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before; and added a caution to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father’s family), to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building his kingdom; otherwise I could not get them.
  •  47 After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced; when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me for the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.
  •  48 I shortly after arose from my bed, and, as usual, went to the necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work as at other times, I found my strength so exhausted as to render me entirely unable. My father, who was laboring along with me, discovered something to be wrong with me, and told me to go home. I started with the intention of going to the house; but, in attempting to cross the fence out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of anything.
  •  49 The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me, calling me by name. I looked up, and beheld the same messenger standing over my head, surrounded by light as before. He then again related unto me all that he had related to me the previous night, and commanded me to go to my father and tell him of the vision and commandments which I had received.
  •  50 I obeyed; I returned to my father in the field, and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me that it was of God, and told me to go and do as commanded by the messenger. I left the field, and went to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited; and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.
  •  51 Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.
  •  52 Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.
  •  53 I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.
  •  54 Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.
  • Joseph Smith marries Emma Hale—He receives the gold plates from Moroni and translates some of the characters—Martin Harris shows the characters and translation to Professor Anthon, who says, “I cannot read a sealed book.” (Verses 55–65.)
  •  55 As my father’s worldly circumstances were very limited, we were under the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring out by day’s work and otherwise, as we could get opportunity. Sometimes we were at home, and sometimes abroad, and by continuous labor were enabled to get a comfortable maintenance.
  •  56 In the year 1823 my father’s family met with a great affliction by the death of my eldest brother, Alvin. In the month of October, 1825, I hired with an old gentleman by the name of Josiah Stoal, who lived in Chenango county, State of New York. He had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony, Susquehanna county, State of Pennsylvania; and had, previous to my hiring to him, been digging, in order, if possible, to discover the mine. After I went to live with him, he took me, with the rest of his hands, to dig for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month, without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent story of my having been a money-digger.
  •  57 During the time that I was thus employed, I was put to board with a Mr. Isaac Hale, of that place; it was there I first saw my wife (his daughter), Emma Hale. On the 18th of January, 1827, we were married, while I was yet employed in the service of Mr. Stoal.
  •  58 Owing to my continuing to assert that I had seen a vision, persecution still followed me, and my wife’s father’s family were very much opposed to our being married. I was, therefore, under the necessity of taking her elsewhere; so we went and were married at the house of Squire Tarbill, in South Bainbridge, Chenango county, New York. Immediately after my marriage, I left Mr. Stoal’s, and went to my father’s, and farmed with him that season.
  •  59 At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.
  •  60 I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.
  •  61 The excitement, however, still continued, and rumor with her thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating falsehoods about my father’s family, and about myself. If I were to relate a thousandth part of them, it would fill up volumes. The persecution, however, became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of leaving Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehanna county, in the State of Pennsylvania. While preparing to start—being very poor, and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that we would ever be otherwise—in the midst of our afflictions we found a friend in a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, who came to us and gave me fifty dollars to assist us on our journey. Mr. Harris was a resident of Palmyra township, Wayne county, in the State of New York, and a farmer of respectability.
  •  62 By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife’s father, in the month of December, and the February following.
  •  63 Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:
  •  64 “I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.
  • Pray to Know the Truth through the Holy Ghost
  • Moroni 10:3–5  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, and ponder it in your hearts.
  •  And when 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, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  •  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
  • Alma 5:45–46  45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
  •  46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.
  • D&C 8:2–3  Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
  •  Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
  • John 14:26  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
  • Introduction to the Book of Mormon, paragraphs 1, 8–9 We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
  • Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.
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