Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Cannot Read a Sealed Book

Image result for Martin Harris and Professor Anton
Martin Harris and Professor Anthon
We know shortly after the translation process began on the Book of Mormon that Martin Harris asked Joseph if he could take some of the characters from the Book of Mormon to “learned” men in New York City. We know that Martin visited Professor Charles Anthon. We also know that Professor Anthon signed a note indicating that the characters were genuine and that the translation was accurate, however, we also know that he asked for the note back and destroyed it when he discovered that Joseph Smith received the record from an angel. When he asked Martin to bring the Gold Plates to him, Martin replied that a portion were sealed. Professor Anthon then stated, “I cannot read a sealed book.” What other individual signed a note indicating that Joseph’s translation of a few characters to what would eventually become the Pearl of Great Price, was accurate?

a.      Professor Anthon

b.      Michael H. Chandler

c.       Josiah Quincy

d.      Antonio Lebolo

Yesterday’s answer:

(D)   He would baptize his father’s household

The following experience is related by Wilford Woodruff:

   When Father Joseph Smith gave me my patriarchal blessing, among the many wonderful things of my life, he promised me that I should bring my father’s household into the kingdom of God, and I felt that if I ever obtained the blessing, the time had come for me to perform it.

   By the help of God, I preached the gospel faithfully to my father’s household and to all that were with him, as well as to my other relatives, and I had appointed a meeting on Sunday, the 1st of July, at my father’s home.

   My Father was believing my testimony, as were all in his household, but upon this occasion the devil was determined to hinder the fulfillment of the promise of the patriarch unto me.

   It seemed as though Lucifer, the son of the morning, had gathered together the hosts of hell and exerted his powers upon us all. Distress overwhelmed the whole household, and all were tempted to reject the work. And it seemed as though the same power would devour me. I had to take to my bed for an hour before the time of meeting. I there prayed unto the Lord with my whole soul for deliverance, for I knew the power of the devil was exercised to hinder me from accomplishing what God had promised me.

   The Lord heard my prayer and answered my petition, and when the hour of meeting had come I arose from my bed, and could sing and shout for joy to think I had been delivered from the power of the evil one.

   Filled with the power of God, I stood up in the midst of the congregation and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ unto the people in great plainness.

   At the close of the meeting we assembled on the banks of the Farmington River, “because there was much water there,” and I led six of my friends into the river and baptized them for the remission of their sins.

   All of my father’s household were included in this number, according to the promise of the Patriarch. They were all relatives except Dwight Webster, who was a Methodist class-leader and was boarding with my father’s family.

   I organized the small number of nine persons, eight of whom were my relatives, into a branch of the Church, and ordained Dwight Webster to the office of a Priest and administered the sacrament unto them.

   It was truly a day of joy to my soul. My father, step-mother and sister were among the number baptized. I afterwards added a number of relatives. I felt that this days’ work alone amply repaid me for all my labor in the ministry.

   Who can comprehend the joy, the glory, the happiness and consolation that an Elder of Israel feels in being an instrument in the hands of God of bringing his father, mother, sister, brother, or any of the posterity of Adam through the door that enters into life and salvation? No man can, unless he has experienced these things, and possesses the testimony of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of Almighty God.

Leaves of My Journal, Preston Nibley comp., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 59-61.

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