SECTION 116

    A journal entry from Joseph Smith Jr., 9 November 1835, originally published in the October Messenger and Advocate, wherein Joseph relates to a visitor the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the book of mormon.

  1. Being wrought up in my mind respecting the subject of religion and looking at the different systems taught the children of men, I knew not who was right or who was wrong and considering it of the first importance that I should be right in matters that involve eternal consequences. Being thus perplexed in mind, I retired to the silent grove and bowed down before the Lord under a realizing sense that he had said (if the Bible be true), Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened, seek and you shall find. And again, If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and upbraids not.
  2. Information was what I most desired at this time, and with a fixed determination to obtain it, I called upon the Lord for the first time, in the place above stated. Or in other words, I made a fruitless attempt to pray; my tongue seemed to be swollen in my mouth so that I could not utter. I heard a noise behind me like some person walking towards me, I strove again to pray, but could not; the noise of walking seemed to draw nearer.
  3. I sprung up on my feet and looked around, but saw no person or thing that was calculated to produce the noise of walking. I kneeled again, my mouth was opened and liberated, I called on the Lord in mighty prayer. A pillar of fire appeared above my head. It presently rested down upon me and filled me with joy unspeakable. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed. Another personage soon appeared like unto the first; he said unto me, Your sins are forgiven you. He testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and I saw many angels in this vision. I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication.






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