Part 15 (June 1829)

  1. Shortly after commencing to translate, I became acquainted with Mr. Peter Whitmer [Sr.] of Fayette, Seneca County, New York; and also with some of his family. In the beginning of the month of June, his son David Whitmer came to the place where we were residing, and brought with him a two-horse wagon, for the purpose of having us accompany him to his father’s place and there remain until we should finish the work. He proposed that we should have our board free of charge and the assistance of one of his brothers to write for me, as also his own assistance when convenient. Having much need of such timely aid in an undertaking so arduous, and being informed that the people of the neighborhood were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to inquire into these things, we accepted the invitation and accompanied Mr. Whitmer to his father’s house, and there resided until the translation was finished and the copyright secured.
  2. Upon our arrival, we found Mr. Whitmer’s family very anxious concerning the work and very friendly towards ourselves. They continued so, boarded and lodged us according to proposal, and John Whitmer in particular assisted us very much in writing during the remainder of the work. In the meantime, David, John, and Peter Whitmer Jr. became our zealous friends and assistants in the work, and being anxious to know their respective duties, and having desired with much earnestness that I should inquire of the Lord concerning them, I did so, through the means of the Urim and Thummim, and obtained for them in succession the following revelations:
  3. Revelation given to David Whitmer at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, June 1829.

  4. A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men. Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow. Therefore, give heed unto my word.
  5. Behold, the field is white already to harvest. Therefore, whoso desires to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God. Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God. Therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive; if you will knock, it shall be opened unto you.
  6. Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things, and if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
  7. And it shall come to pass that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the holy ghost, which gives utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see, and also that you may declare repentance unto this generation.
  8. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who created the heavens and the earth, a light which cannot be hid in darkness. Wherefore, I must bring forth the fullness of my gospel from the gentiles unto the house of Israel. And behold, you are David and you are called to assist, which thing if you do and are faithful, you shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward. Amen.
  9. Revelation given to John Whitmer at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, June 1829.

  10. Hearken my servant John, and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer, for behold, I speak unto you with sharpness and with power, for mine arm is over all the earth. And I will tell you that which no man knows, save me and you alone: for many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of most worth unto you.
  11. Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you, according to my commandments. And now behold, I say unto you that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
  12. Revelation given to Peter Whitmer Jr at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, June 1829.

  13. Hearken my servant Peter, and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer, for behold, I speak unto you with sharpness and with power, for mine arm is over all the earth. And I will tell you that which no man knows, save me and you alone: for many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.
  14. Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you, according to my commandments. And now behold, I say unto you that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
  15. We found the people of Seneca County, in general, friendly and disposed to inquire into the truth of these strange matters which now began to be noised abroad. Many opened their houses to us, in order that we might have an opportunity of meeting with our friends for the purposes of instruction and explanation. We met with many from time to time who were willing to hear us, and wishful to find out the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and apparently willing to obey the gospel when once fairly convinced and satisfied in their own minds. And in this same month of June my brother Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer Jr. were baptized in Seneca Lake; the two former by myself, the latter by Oliver Cowdery. From this time forth, many became believers and were baptized, while we continued to instruct and persuade as many as applied for information.
  16. In the course of the work of translation, we ascertained that three special witnesses were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant that they should see the plates from which this work (the Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witnesses should bear record of the same, as will be found recorded: Book of Mormon, first edition, page[s 110, 548 (2 Nephi 11:19, Ether 2:1)] and second edition, page[s 118, 577–578]. Almost immediately after we had made this discovery, it occurred to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and the aforementioned Martin Harris (who had came to inquire after our progress in the work), that they would have me inquire of the Lord to know if they might not obtain of him to be these three special witnesses. And finally they became so very solicitous, and teased me so much, that at length I complied; and through the Urim and Thummim I obtained of the Lord for them the following revelation:
  17. Revelation to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, June 1829. Given previous to their viewing the plates containing the Book of Mormon.

  18. Behold, I say unto you that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim which were given to the brother of Jared on the mount when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the marvelous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness on the borders of the Red Sea. And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
  19. And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them by the power of God. And this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith Jr. may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work. And you shall testify that you have seen them even as my servant Joseph Smith Jr. has seen them, for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith. And he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God lives, it is true. Wherefore, you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him. And if you do these last commandments of mine which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, for my grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring my righteous purposes unto the children of men. Amen.
  20. Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four, namely Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and myself, agreed to retire into the woods and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer the fulfillment of the promises given in this revelation: that they should have a view of the plates, etc. We accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to Mr. Whitmer’s house to which we retired, and having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith to Almighty God, to bestow upon us a realization of those promises.
  21. According to previous arrangement, I commenced by vocal prayer to our Heavenly Father, and was followed by each of the rest in succession. We did not yet, however, obtain any answer or manifestation of the divine favor in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer, each calling on and praying fervently to God in rotation, but with the same result as before. Upon this our second failure, Martin Harris proposed that he would withdraw himself from us, believing as he expressed himself that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining what we wished for. He accordingly withdrew from us and we knelt down again, and had not been many minutes engaged in prayer when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness. And behold, an angel stood before us. In his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of. He turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them and discern the engravings thereon distinctly. He addressed himself to David Whitmer and said, David, blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps his commandments; when immediately afterward, we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying, These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.
  22. I now left David and Oliver and went in pursuit of Martin Harris, who I found at a considerable distance, fervently engaged in prayer. He soon told me, however, that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord, and earnestly requested me to join him in prayer, that he also might realize the same blessings which we had just received. We accordingly joined in prayer and ultimately obtained our desires. For before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view — at least it was again to me, and I once more beheld, and seen, and heard the same things — while at the same moment Martin Harris cried out, apparently in an ecstasy of joy, ’Tis enough, ’tis enough! Mine eyes have beheld, mine eyes have beheld! And jumping up he shouted, Hosanna! — blessing God, and otherwise rejoiced exceedingly.
  23. Having thus, through the mercy of God, obtained these glorious manifestations, it now remained for these three individuals to fulfill the commandment which they had received, namely, to bear record of these things, in order to accomplish which, they drew up and subscribed the following document:
  24. The Testimony of Three Witnesses.
    [See the Book of Mormon]
  25. Soon after these things had transpired, the following additional testimony was obtained:
  26. And also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.
    [See the Book of Mormon]
  27. Meantime we continued to translate at intervals when not necessitated to attend to the numerous inquirers that now began to visit us — some for the sake of finding the truth, others for the purpose of putting hard questions and trying to confound us. Among the latter class were several learned priests who generally came for the purpose of disputation. However, the Lord continued to pour out upon us his holy spirit, and as often as we had need he gave us in that moment what to say, so that, although unlearned and inexperienced in religious controversies, yet were we able to confound those learned rabbis of the day, while at the same time we were enabled to convince the honest in heart that we had obtained (through the mercy of God) to the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, so that almost daily we administered the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins to such as believed.
  28. We now became anxious to have that promise realized to us which the angel that conferred upon us the Aaronic priesthood had given us, namely that, provided we continued faithful, we should also have the Melchizedek priesthood, which holds the authority of the laying on of hands for the gift of the holy ghost. We had for some time made this matter a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the chamber of Mr. Whitmer’s house in order more particularly to seek of the Lord what we now so earnestly desired.
  29. And here, to our unspeakable satisfaction, did we realize the truth of the Savior’s promise: Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For we had not long been engaged in solemn and fervent prayer when the word of the Lord came unto us in the chamber, commanding us that I should ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an elder in the church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, and then to ordain others as it should be made known unto us from time to time. We were, however, commanded to defer this, our ordination, until such times as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together; when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding to ordain each other and have them decide by vote whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers or not; when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them; afterward proceed to ordain each other according to commandment, then call out such men as the spirit should dictate and ordain them, and then attend to the laying on of hands for the gift of the holy ghost upon all those whom we had previously baptized, doing all things in the name of the Lord.
  30. The following commandment will further illustrate the nature of our calling to this priesthood, as well as that of others who were yet to be sought after:
  31. Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, making known the calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also instructions relative to building up the church of Christ according to the fullness of the gospel. Given in Fayette, Seneca County, New York, June 1829.

  32. Now behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:
  33. Behold, I have manifested unto you by my spirit in many instances that the things which you have written are true; wherefore, you know that they are true. And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment that you rely upon the things which are written, for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock. Wherefore, if you shall build up my church upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
  34. Behold, the world is ripening in iniquity and it must needs be that the children of men are stirred up unto repentance, both the gentiles and also the house of Israel. Wherefore, as you have been baptized by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith Jr., according to that which I have commanded him, he hath fulfilled the thing which I commanded him. And now marvel not that I have called him unto my own purpose, which purpose is known in me. Wherefore, if he shall be diligent in keeping my commandments, he shall be blessed unto eternal life, and his name is Joseph.
  35. And now Oliver Cowdery, I speak unto you and also unto David Whitmer by the way of commandment. For behold, I command all men everywhere to repent, and I speak unto you even as unto Paul mine apostle, for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called.
  36. Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, for behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore, he suffered the pain of all men that all men might repent and come unto him. And he has risen again from the dead that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repents. Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father? And now if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me in the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me?
  37. Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation. Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the holy ghost, which manifests all things which is expedient unto the children of men. And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing.
  38. Contend against no church save it be the church of the Devil. Take upon you the name of Christ and speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Behold, Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved. Wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day. Wherefore, if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father.
  39. And now behold, there are others who are called to declare my gospel both unto gentile and unto Jew, yea, even twelve. And the twelve shall be my disciples and they shall take upon them my name, and the twelve are they who shall desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart. And if they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature. And they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name according to that which is written. And you have that which is written before you; wherefore, you must perform it according to the words which are written.
  40. And now I speak unto the twelve: Behold, my grace is sufficient for you. You must walk uprightly before me and sin not. And behold, you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers to declare my gospel according to the power of the holy ghost which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God unto men. And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it. These words are not of men, nor of man, but of me. Wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man, for it is my voice which speaks them unto you, for they are given by my spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another. And save it were by my power, you could not have them; wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice and know my words.
  41. And now behold, I give unto you, Oliver Cowdery, and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the twelve who shall have the desires of which I have spoken, and by their desires and their works you shall know them. And when you have found them you shall show these things unto them, and you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name, and you must preach unto the world, saying, You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women and children who have arrived to the years of accountability.
  42. And now after that you have received this, you must keep my commandments in all things. And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father.
  43. Wherefore, the blessings which I give unto you are above all things. And after you have received this, if you keep not my commandments, you cannot be saved in the kingdom of my Father. Behold, I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, and your Redeemer, by the power of my spirit, have spoken it. Amen.

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