History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Immediately upon 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 than the Holy Ghost fell upon him and he stood up and prophecied 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 prophecied concerning the rise of this Church and many other things connected with the Church of Christ and with this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our Salvation. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the mean time however we were forced to keep <​secret​> these things entirely secret in our own bosoms, viz: the circumstances of our having been baptized and having received this aaronic priesthood. And this on account of <​owing to​> a spirit of persecution who which had been <​already​> manifested itself in the neighborhood, for some time previous. We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to time and this too by professors of religion, and their intentions of mobbing us, were only counteracted by the influence of my ’s ’s family, <​(under Divine Providence)​> who had became very friendly to me and were opposed to mobs, and were willing that I should be allowed to continue the work of translating <​translation​> without interruption: And therefore offered and promised us protection from all unlawful proceedings, as far as in them lay. After a few days however feeling it to be our duty we commenced to reason, out of the scriptures, with our acquaintances and friends, as we happened to meet with them. About this time my brother came to visit us. We soon informed him of what the Lord was [p. [1]] about to do for the Children of men, And to reason with him out of the Bible, we also showed him the <​that​> part of the work which we had translated, and laboured to persuade him concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ which was now about to be revealed in its fullness. He however was not very easily persuaded of these things, but after much enquiry and explanation he retired to the woods, in order that by secret and fervent prayer he might obtain of a merciful God, wisdom to enable him to judge for himself: The result was that he obtained revelation for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of our assertions to him, and on the [blank] day of that same month in which we had been baptized and ordained, baptized him, and he returned to his ’s house greatly glorifying and praising God, being filled with the Holy Spirit. Not many days afterwards, my brother came to us to enquire concerning these things when upon <​at​> his earnest request, I enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin, and received for him the folowing.
Revelation given to , at Susquehanah County, Pensylvania May, 1829.
Book of Covenants page 167
About the same time, with my brother came an old Gentleman to visit us. of whose name I wish to make honorable mention; Mr of , Broom County, Pen, who having heard of the manner in which we were occupying our time, very kindly and considerately brought us, a quantity of provisions, in order that we might not be interrupted in the work <​of translation​> by the want of such necessaries of life. And I would just mention [p. [2]] here (as in duty bound) that he several times afterwards brought us supplies, (a distance of <​at​> least thirty miles) which enabled us to continue the work, when otherwise we must have relinquished it for a season. Being very anxious to know his duty, as to this work, I enquired of the Lord for him, and obtained as follows.
Revelation given to at , Susquehanah County Pensylvania May 1829.
Book of Covenants Page 167 169
Shortly after my having commenced <​commencing​> to translate, I became acquainted with the f Mr of <​​> Seneca County, New York and also with <​some of​> his family. In the beginning of the month of June, his Son came to the place where we were residing, <​and brought​> with <​him​> a two horse waggon, for the purpose, of prevailing upon <​having​> us to accompany him to his ’s place, <​and there remain untill we finished the work​> He proposed that we should go have our board free of charge, and the assistance of one of his brothers to write for me, as also his own assistance when it might answer. Having much need of such timely aid in such an undertaking so arduous, and being informed that the people in the neighborhood were anxiously waiting to g the opportunity to enquire into these things. We consented accepted the invitation, and accompanied to his ’s house, and there remained <​resided​> untill the translation was finished, and the copy right secured. Upon our arrival, we found ’s family very anxious concerning the work, and very friendly towards ourselves. They continued so, boarded and lodged us according to the proposal, and , in particular, assisted [p. [3]] us very much in writing &c during the remainder of the work. The family in in the mean time however , and became very zealous in the cause <​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 enquire of the Lord concerning them I did so through the means of the Urim and Thummin and obtained for them the following revelations, in succession.——
3 revelations, Book of Covenants Page 169
We found the people in general of <​of​> Seneca Co. in general, friendly, and disposed to enquire in to 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 their friends for the purpose of instruction, and explanation. We met with many willing to hear us, and wishful to find out the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and apparently willing to obey the truth <​Gospel​> when once, fairly convinced and satisfied in their own minds; and in this same month (June) of June, My Brother , and and were baptized, the two former by myself, and the latter by . From this time forth, many became believers, and were baptized whilst we continued to instruct and persuade as many as expressed desires applied for information, In the course of the work of translation, <​we​> became we ascertained that this <​three​> <​work​> especial witness[es] were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant, that they should have a see the plates from which this work, (The Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witness[es] should bear testimony of the same publickly to record of the same [p. [4]] as will be found recorded Book of Mormon Page [blank] second Edition and Page [blank] first edition——
almost So soon as we had made this discovery, it <​almost immediately​> occurred to, and the aforementioned who had came to see us, and make enquiry how we got along with our work— <​of translation;​> that they would have me enquire of the Lord, to know if they might not obtain of him to be allowed to be these three witnesses and at length <​finally​> they became so very solicitous, and teazed me so much almost without intermission for some time, that I at length complied, and through the Urim and Thummim I obtained <​of the Lord​> for them the folowing
Revelation to &c, Book Covenants Page 171
Not many days after the above revelation was given, we four, viz; , <​​> and myself, agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by faithful, and fervent and humble prayer, the fulfillment of the promises given in the this revelation (that they should have a view of the plates &c,) we accordingly made choice of a retired piece of woods convenient, to Fat[her] ’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. It was deci had been arranged by us pre according to previous arrangement, I commenced by vocal prayer to our Heavenly Father, and in succ and was followed by each of the other three <​rest​> in succession, we however did not yet receive any answer or manifestation of the divine favour in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on and praying fervently to God in regular rotation. but with the same <​unbeneficial​> result as before. Upon our again failing, proposed that he should withdraw himself from us believing, as he expressed himself, that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining the object [p. [5]] of our desires at that time. He accordingly withdrew from us, and we k[n]elt 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 to God to <​for these those to​> have a view of. he turned over the plates one by one so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly, He addressed himself to , and said unto him , blessed is God <​The Lord​>, and all those who <​he that​> keep<​s​> his commandments”. When immediately afterwards 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 to you to bear record of the truth thereof, <​what you now see & hear​> Immediately afterwards I <​now​> left these two, , and , and went in pursuit of , whom 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 of me, to join him in prayer, to the intention that he also might realize the same blessings, which we had just received. we now joined in prayer, and 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 heard​> the same things. Whilst at the same moment, cried out apparently in an extasy of Joy, “’tis enough. ’tis enough mine eyes have beheld, mine eyes have beheld”, and jumping up he shouted Hosanna, and blessed God, and otherwise rejoiced excceedingly. Having thus, through the mercy of God, obtained to these glorious manifestations, it now remain [p. [6]]ed for those three individuals to fulfill the commandment which they had received to bear record of these things, in order to accomplish which they drew up and subscribed their names to the folowing document.
The Testimony of three witnesses.
Soon after these things had transpired the following testimony was obtained from those whose names are subscribed thereto.
“And also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses”
During all this time however <​Mean time​> we continued to translate, <​at intervals​> when we were not necessitated to attend to the <​numerous​> enquiries enquirers of the numbers 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. We had several Among these latter class <​weree​> several learned Priests, to visit us, generally for the purpose of disputation. however the Lords 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 these learned Rabbi’s of the day, whilst at the same time we were enabled, to convince the honest in heart, that we had obtained to the true <​&​> everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, so that almost daily we administered the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins to such as believed. We now became anxious to have that promise which conferred upon <​realized to​> us, which the angel had that conferred upon us the Aaronick Priesthood upon us. had given us, viz, that provided we continued faithful, the we should also have the Melchesidec Priesthood, which holds the authority of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost [p. [7]] we had for some time made this a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the Chamber of ’s house in order more particularly to seek of the Lord information, and if possible obtain what we now so earnestly desired. We had not been long After some time spent in solemn and fervent prayer, the Word of the Lord came unto us, in the Chamber, commanding us, that I should ordain to be an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, and that after having been thus ordained, we should proceed to ordain others to the same office, according as it should be made known to us, from time to time, We also commanding us, that as soon as practicable we should call together all those who had already been baptized by us, to bless bread, and break it with them, also to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them doing all these things in the name of the Lord, but to defer our own ordination untill we had called the Chur together our brethren and had their sanction, and been accepted by them as their teachers, after which we were commanded to proceed to ordain each other and then call out such men as the spirit should dictate unto us, and ordain them, and then attend to the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost,
The following commandment will further illustrate the nature of our calling to this Priesthood as well as others who were yet to be sought after.
Revelation Page 172
We continued to receive instruction concerning our duties from time to time, and among the many things the folowing directions, fixing the time of our anticipated meeting together <​for the purpose of being organized​> were given by the Spirit of prophecy & revelation
Section 2nd [p. [8]]
Mean time our translation drawing to a close, we went to , and agreed there <​with Mr​> to print and publish it five thousand <​copies​> for three thousand Dollars, and about this time secured the copy right. I would mention here also in order to correct a misunderstanding, which has gone abroad concerning the title page of the Book of Mormon, that it is not a composition of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation, but that it is a literal translation taken from the last leaf of the plates, on the left hand side of the collection of plates, the language running same as the <​all​> Hebrew <​wr[i]ting​> language <​in general​>. And that no error can henceforth possibly exist I give here the Title so far as it is a translation.
Title page—
Revelation page 174
<​Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still continued to bear testimony, and preach to such as would hear as far as we had opportunity. And <​We​> made known also to the <​those​> members who had already been baptized, that we had received commandment to organize the Church: and according to accordingly <​we​> met to together, <​(being about 30 <​six​> in number) besides a number who were beleiving—met with us​> on Tuesday the Sixth day of Aprile in the year of our A.D. A thousand & One thousand, Eight hundred and thirty, and proceeded, as follows, <​at the house of the above mentioned s——​>​>
Revelation Page 177——
Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father <​and the meeting Ch brethren & sisters having by a unamious vote, accepted us as &c​> I proceeded to lay my hands upon —and ordained him an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, & brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present, to confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and that they might receive the Holy Ghost, when immediately the Holy Ghost was poured out upon <​us all​> the whole community <​to a greter or less degree.​> in a <​very​> miraculous manner. <​ baptized this evening 6th April & Sister Rockwell 2 or 3 days afterwards​> Some [p. [9]] prophecied, many spoke with new tongues, and <​several​> of our number were <​so​> completely overpowered for a time, that we were obliged to lay them upon beds &c &c, and when bodily sensibility was restored to them they shouted Hosannas to God and the Lamb— & declared that the Heavens had been opened unto them, <​especialy ​> that they had seen Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and many other great and glorious things. Either at this time or very shortly after<​war[d]​> the following were (with others) called to the priesthood & ordained <​to​> the respective offices, according as the Spirit made it manifest, viz , , , , .
We afterwards called out and ordained Several <​some others​> of the brethren to the respective offices of the Priesthood, according as the Spirit made manifest unto us. <​Revelation​> As may reasonably <​be​> expected, such scenes as these were calculated, to inspire our hearts with Joy unspeakable, at the same time that we felt ourselves almost over whelmed, with awe and reverence for that Almighty Being, by whose grace we had been called to be instrumental in bringing about for the children of men, the enjoyment of such glorious blessings, as were now at this time poured out upon us. To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things which were was observed by the Holy Apostles of old, To realize the importance and solemtily [solemnity] of the above mentioned proceedings, and to witness <​& feel​> with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestions of the powers of the Priesthood; the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost, which we had often read of as things and the goodness and grace of a merciful God, unto such as obey the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within use [us] sensations of rapturous gratitude, which may be felt, but cannot be described. After a considerable time spent in such <​a​> happy manner, we dismissed; with the pleasing knowledge, that we now individually were members of— and had been acknowledged of God, The organized Church of Jesus Christ, organized in [p. [10]] accordance with commandments and revelations, given by him to ourselves, in these last days; as well as according to the order of the Church of Christ, as found recorded in the New Testament.
Severals persons who attended this meeting, but who had <​not​> as yet been baptized, came forward shortly after, and were received into the church having on that occasion got entirely convinced of the truth of the work. <​Among th[e] rest , & ​>
Revelation page 176—& Revelation 178
On Sunday April 11th 1830, preached at <​Mr.​> <​we held a public meeting by appointment at​> ’s [blank] Seneca Co. NY—, When preached the first <​real​> public sermon, which was deliverd by any Elder <​member​> of our Church, we had a crowded audience, And the same day he baptized the following persons viz: , , Anne [Schott] Whitmer, , & and Mary Page, And on the 18th of said month , —Richd. B. Peterson, and .
<​Conference Jun 1rst​> June 10th 1830 baptized John Poorman, and , , , , and , The last eleven were all baptized in Seneca lake——
During this month of June <​April​>, I went in company with <​on a visit​> to the residence of Mr —of —Broom Co. N.Y with whom I had been formerly well acquainted, as well as with his family and in the Neighborhood generally— & his family were Universalists—but were as usual glad to see us <​me​> and very friendly and willing to reason on the subject of religion, We held several meetings in the neighborhood, we had many friends and some enemies—our meetings were well <​attended​> however, and many began to pray fervently to Almighty God to give them wisdom to understand the truth; Among those who attended our meetings regularly, was , son to , He and I had frequent conversations on this important subject of the plan of man’s eternal salvation, we had got into the habit of praying much at our meetings [p. [11]] And had promised me on a certain day, that he would that evening take up his cross and pray vocally in the meeting the same evening— The evening came, and the meeting was held, but when it came to s was asked to pray, he begged to be excused. I tryed to prevail upon him and encourage him to pray, <​when​> he brought up as figure the following, “Suppose that a man travelling along the road, sho he replied that when he got out in the woods by himself he should there take up his cross. I endeavored to persuade him that where so many were there, ready & willing to assist him there was the place for him to pray—and that for my part I would & could help him by my faith, provided he would only, make an attempt to pray. He now brought up the follow[ing] figure, Suppose I should be traveling along the road & through carelessness get into a mudhole and a number of men came along, it is natural to expect, that I should be so much ashamed that I would rather wait untill they would go past & then try to get out myself.— To this I replied that provided he should get into a situation of the kind, And that it was most likely he would require help, but that no person would help him out of a mud hole, unless he would show a willingness to Assist himself also. All arguments were however useless, he deferred praying untill next morning—when he then retired into the woods, where according to his own account afterwards he made several attempts to pray, but could scarcely do so, feeling as he said, that he had not done his duty, but that he should have taken up his cross in the presence of others, he began to feel uneasy and felt worse both in mind and body, untill upon reaching his house, his appearance was such as to alarm his very much—he requested her to go and bring me to him, I went and found him suffering very much in his mind, and his body acted upon in a most strange manner, His visage and limbs distorted & twisted into every possible shape and appearances, and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment and tossed about most fearfully. his situation was soon made known to his neighbors and relatives and in a short time as many as eight or nine grown persons had got together to witness the scene. After he had thus suffered for some time, I succeeded in getting hold of him by the hand, when almost immediately he was able to speak, and requested with great earnestness that I should cast the Devil out of him, that [p. [12]] he knew that he was in him, and that he also knew that I could cast him out, I replied “If you know that I can, it shall be done”. And almost unconsciously I commanded rebuked the Devil, in and commanded him to leave him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart from him. When immediately spoke out and said that he saw the Devil leave him and vanish from his sight— <​This was the first miracle wrought in this Church​> The scene was now entirely changed, for very <​as​> soon as the Devil, had departed, from this our friend his countenance became natural, his distortions of body ceased, and almost immediately the Spirit of God descended upon him, to such a degree that the visions of eternity were opened to his view and he beheld great and glorious things—he afterward related his experience of this as follow, “I now began to feel a most pleasing sensation resting upon me, and immediately the visions of Heaven were opened to my view I felt <​myself​> attracted towards <​upwards​> it, and remained for some time enwrapt in the <​in​> contemplation in so much that I knew not what was going on in the room, but by and by I felt some weight pressing upon my shoulder and the side of my head, which served to recall my me to a sense of my situation And I found that the Spirit of the Lord had actually lifted me off the floor, and that I had removed the floor of the Chamber above, and that my shoulder & head were pressing against the beams”
All this was witnessed by many to their great astonishment, and satisfaction when the[y] Saw the Devil thus Cast out of a human being and the power of God and His Holy Spirit thus made manifest.
As So soon as consciousness returned, his bodily weakness was such that we were obliged to put him to bed, and wait upon him some time. As may be expected such a scene as this contributed much to make believers of those who witnessed it, and the greater part finally became members of the Church.
I soon after returned to Seneca Co—and as the Book of Mormon had now been for some time published, we found quite enough to occupy our time, No small stir was created by its appearance great opposition, much persecution, to those who believed in its authenticity was generally the case—but on the other hand, many were friendly and anxious to hear so that we continued to preach and give information as far as in our power, On the day in which the Church [p. [13]] was organized, we had agreed to hold a conference of the Church the first day of June following— [blank] About <​During​> the last week of May the above mentioned came to visit us at and was baptized by <​​>.
On the First day of June the Church met in Conference according to appointment made on the day of our organization. Our numbers being now about thirty, many however attended who were either believing or wishful to hear. Having opened by singing and prayer, we partook together of the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We then <​called out &​> ordained Severals to the various offices in the Church, and proceeded to confirm a number who had been lately baptized,— The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us in a miraculous manner, many of our number prophecied, others had the heavens opened to their view, whilst several were so overcome that we had to lay them on beds, &c. Amongst the rest, was the afore mentioned <​Brother​> , who was overcome, and laid on a bed because he was unable to help himself—according to his own relation of his experience, He could not understand why we laid him on the bed, he felt <​no sensibility of weakness​> strong, his heart <​was​> filled with Love, Glory & pleasure unspeakable, and could (as he thought) discern all that was going on in the room, when all of a sudden, a vision of futurity burst upon him, He saw there <​represented​> the great work which through my instrumentality was yet to be accomplished, He saw Heaven opened and beheld the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting [at] the right hand of the Majesty on high, and had it made plain to his understanding that the time would come when he should be admitted into his presence to enjoy his society for ever and ever, When their bodily strength returned to them, they shouted Hosannas to God, and the Lamb, & rehearsed the glorious things which they had seen and felt, whilst yet in the spirit. (Comments) upon the whole we had a [blank lines] [p. [14]]
[1/4 page blank]
About this time baptized the following viz: John Poorman, , —and , and in Seneca Lake.
Immediately after the conference, I <​returned to my own house & from thence​> (in company with my ) —<​&​> ) returned journeyed <​again​> on a visit to We found a number in the neighborhood still believing and now anxious, to be baptized, accordingly we appointed a meeting on the <​next​> Sabbath day, intending to attend to the ordinance. On the afternoon previous, we had erected a dam across a stream in order to form a place for baptism, but during the night a mob collected (at the instigation of sectarian Priests of the neighborhood) and tore away our dam, which hindered our intentions of baptizing those who wished at this time, We however held our meeting, preached, & many of us bore record & testimony to the truth of the book of Mormon, the doctrine of repentance &c Amongst our Audience were those who had torn down our dam the night previous, & seemed wishful to give us trouble, but did not untill after our meeting had been dismissed, when they immediately commenced talking to those who they considered our friends—<​to try to turn them against us and our doctrines.​> [p. [15]]
<​And​> a young woman, <​named ​> a sister in law to was forcibly taken upon a power of attorney, and <​forcibly​> carried out of the neighborhood because her relations understood her to be in the way of believing our doctrine. Early however on Monday morning we wer on the alert, and got together quite early in the before our enemies were awar[e] we soon repaired the dam, and proceeded to baptize—when the following thirteen persons were baptized for the remission of their sins under the hands of . Viz:
, & wife, & & & , , <​&​> .
Before we had yet finished the baptism of these, the same mob began again to collect together, and shortly after we had done and retired to the house of , the mob had amounted to about fifty men. They surrounded the House, raging with anger, and apparently wishful to commit violence upon us, some of them asked questions, others threatened us, and annoyed us so much that we thought it wisdom to leave and go to the house of . They followed us there also, and it was with great persevereance and prudence that we were enabled to keep them in bounds untill we succeeded in Confirming those who had been baptized, Some <​Numbers​> of the brethren had to constantly keep the door and keep them in talk, <​&​> answer their various and unprofitable questions, so long as they were inclined to stay. I talked to them considerable, but in general to no purpose. We had appointed a meeting on the evening of the same day, for the purpose of confirmations, the time appointed had arrived and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise I was visited by a constable, and arrested by him, on <​a​> warrant on a charge of being a disorderly person, of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, and various other such like charges. The constable informed me soon after he had arrested me that the plan of those who had got out this warrant, was to get me into the hands of the mob who were now lying in ambust [ambush] for me [p. [16]] but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different kind of person, from what had been represented to him. We got into <​had​> a waggon to travel in and he I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from ’s house the waggon was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the constable, but to their great disappointment—he gave the horse the whip, and left them far behind— and drove me out of their reach, however whilst we were driving pretty quickly along one of our wheels came off, which left us very nearly once more in their power, as they were in close pursuit, however we managed to get the wheel on again and once more left them behind, he drove on to <​a town​> what which was then called south Bainbridge, <​in Chenango Co​> where he lodged me for the time being in an upper room in a Tavern there, and in order that all might be right with me, and himself also, he slept all during the night, with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side whilst I occupied a bed, which was [in] the room. have declared that if we were interrupted, he would fight for me and defend me as far as in his power.
A court was here convened on the [blank] day of [blank] for the purpose of investigating those charges which had been preferred against me. A great excitement prevailed, on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of which will come out in the sequel. In the mean time we as soon as Mr had heard of my arrest, he immediately repaired to two of his neighbours respectable farmers <​viz: Esq. & men​>, renowned for their integrity and well-versed in the laws of their country, and retained them on my behalf on the coming trial. At length the trial commenced amidst a multitude of spectators who in general evinced a belief of that I was guilty, of all that had been hatched reported concerning me. and of course were very zealous that I should be punished, according to my crimes— <​among many witnesses​> Mr , (of whom I have heretofore spoken) was called up and examined <​questioned​>, <​nearly​> as follows, Did not the prisener Joseph Smith have a horse of you? Ansr Yes, Did <​not​> he go to you and tell you, that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorized him to get the horse from you. Answer No, he told me no such story [p. [17]] Well! How how had he the horse of you? <​Ans​> He bought him of me, as another man would do. Q. Have you had your pay? Ansr That is not your business. The question being again put, the replied, I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay—for I am <​well​> acquainted with him and know him to be an honest man, and if he wishes—I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms. Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined. Question, Has not Joseph Smith, the prisoner had a yoke of oxen of you, Ansr Yes, Did he not <​obtain them by​> tell<​ing​> you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them? Ansr No, he did <​not​> mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen, he purchased them, same as another and man would? After a few more such attempts, the court was adjourned untill [blank] <​detained for a time​> in order that two you young women <​(daughters to )​> might be sent for, with whom I had <​often​> kept <​often​> company; in order if possible to elicit something for from them that might be made a pretext against me. The court again sat, and the <​young​> Ladies were <​separately​> examined touching my Character, Conduct, and in general, but particulcarliy as to my behaviour towards them, both in public and in private. When they both bore such testimony in my favor as left my enemies with out a pretext on their account. Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which <​were alleged to have​> had taken place in were brought forward, but which my lawyers would not admit of being here brought against me. In order therefore that I should if possible be made [to] appear guilty of something. The Court was detained over untill a warrant was obtained from . and served upon me just immediately after I had been acquitted and set at liberty by this court. The Constable who served this warrant, had no sooner done so than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although, I had been kept all the day in court with out any thing to eat since the morning yet he hurried me off to , a distance of about 15 miles we before he allowed me time <​to​> eat anything. [p. [18]]
<​about this time we were over against my own house, I wished to be allowed to go to home for the night <​offering security for safety—​> but would not [illegible].​> He then took me to a Tavern, and gathered in a number of men who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying to me, prophesy prophesy, and in many <​others​> ways did the[y] insult me. I applied for some thing to eat, The constable ordered me some crusts of bread and some water which was the only fare I that night received; and I at length got some respite from my persecutors, being furnished with a bed in the second story of the house, At length the constable and I retired to bed, he made me lie next the wall, and he lay down beside me, and lest I might escape, he <​and​> put his arms around me, and upon my moving in the least, would clench me fast, fearing I intended to escape from him. Burch, a lawyer for the prosecution
Next day I was brought before the Magis<​trates​> Court of , and put upon my trial. My former, faithful friends and lawyers were again at my side, my former persecutors were again arrayed against me. Among the latter was one a zealous professor and advocate of the presbyterian creed,) who had made himself conspicuous against me; and had been all along <​both​> during the former and present trial. Many witnesses were again called up forward and examined. Some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had appeared against me on the former trial, they condradicted themselves, so plainly that the court would not admit their testimony, and after using Others were called who proved <​showed​> by their zeal that they were willing enough to prove something against me, but all they could do, was to prove tell somethings which some body else had told them, in this frivolous and vexatious manner did they proceed for a considerable [p. [19]] time, when finally, was called up for <​and​> examined by , (who was a Presbyterian, <​and who had been specially sent for on this occasion—​> and had shown great zeal, lest the people should be deluded by me, and false doctrines propagated in the neighborhood.) to the following effect. What is your name? Ansr . Did the prisoner Joseph Smith, Cast the Devil out of you? <​Ansr​> No Sir— Why have not you had the Devil cast out of you? Ansr Yes Sir. And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done! Ansr Yes Sir. And did not he cast him out of you? Ansr No Sir, it was done by the power of God, and he was Joseph Smith was the instrument made use of on the occasion, He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ. And are you sure that it was the Devil? Ansr Yes Sir. Did you see him after he was cast out of you? Ansr Yes sir, I saw him— Pray, what <​did​> he look like? (Here one of my lawyers, informed the that he need not answer the question) The replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it provided I be allowed to ask you one question first, and you answer me. Viz: Do you profess understand the things of the Spirit? Ans No I do not pretend to such big things. Well then said , ’Twould be of no use to tell you, what the Devil looked like. for it was a Spiritual sight, and of course you would <​not​> understand it, were I to tell you of it. The dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the assembled audience <​multitude​> proclaimed his discomfiture.
now addressed the Court, and in a long & violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character, and bring me out guilty of the charges which had been brought against me, among other things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger and in this manner proceeded in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. My Lawyers followed in my behalf and followed in my behalf, they showed [p. [20]] they held forth in its true colors, the nature of the prosecution, the malignancy of intention, and apparent disposition to persecute their client, rather than to afford him justice. They took up the different arguments which had been brought by the Lawyers for the prosecution and having shewed their utter futility & misapplication. then to h proceeded to scrutinize the evidence which had been adduced, and <​each​> in his turn, thanked God that He had been engaged in so good a cause as that of defending the Character <​cause​> of a man, whose character stood the so well the test of such an scrutinizing enquiry. In fact these men (although not regular lawyers) were upon this occasion enabled to put to silence these their opponents—and convince the court that I was innocent. They spoke like men inspired of God, whilst their lawyers who were arrayed against me, trembled under their sound of their voice, and quailed before them like criminals before a bar of Justice. The majority of the all who had attended, had now began to see find that nothing could be sustained against me. Even the Constable who had arrested me and who had treated me so badly—now came and apologized to me, and asked my forgiveness of his behaviour towards me. And so far was he changed that he informed me, that the mob were determined; that if the court acquitted me, that they would have me, and rail ride me and tar & feather me, and further told me that he was willing to favor me so, that he would lead me out in safety by a private way.
The court finding the charges against me not sustained I was acquitted to the great satisfaction of my friends and vexation of my enemies; who were now once more set for me, but through the instrumentality of my new friend the Constable I was enabled to escape them, and make my way in safety to my ’s sister’s house. where I found my —with whom I next day returned to my own house.
After some few days however, and myself again returned to for the purpose of confirming those whom we had [p. [21]] thus been forced to abandon for a time. We had scarcely however arrived at when the mob was seen collecting together to oppose us, and we considered it wisdom to leave for home, which we did without having waited even to refresh ourselves, by something to eat. Four enemies pursued us, and it was often times as much as we could do to elude them, however we managed to get home, after having traveled all night, except a short time which we were forced to rest ourselves under a large tree by the way side, sleeping and watching alternately. And thus were we persecuted on account of <​our​> religious faith—in a country the constitution of which guarantees to every man the indefeasable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. And by men too who were professors of religion, and who were not backward to maintain this right for themselves, though they thus wantonly could deny <​it to​> us. the same privilege
<​for instance on[e] , a presbyterian of high standing in his church, was one of the chief instigators of these persecutions, and told me personally <​named​> that he believed me culpable with out Judge or Jury. The celebrated <​, also presbyterian​> was another instigater of the business. And a young man <​named &​> of the same <​religious​> Faith swore out the first warrant against me,​>
now came to live with me and write for me. [blank lines]
Revelation Page 111 & Page 178 & Page 179
Notwithstanding however all the rage of our enemies, still we had much conselation, and many things occurred to strengthen our faith, and cheer our hearts amidst our trials, and persecutions. After we had returned home after our trial, the church at , were, as might be expected, very anxious concerning our again visiting them, during which time, , (wife to had a dream which enabled her to say that we would soon visit them that day, which really came to pass, for a few hours after she had told her dream we arrived and thus was our faith much strengthened, concerning the things of the last days mentioned by the Prophet Joel. of dreams & visions—
After our return to my <​own​> house as above mentioned, we received the following Revelations,,, Rev page 111— page 179 page 178—
<​Shortly afterwards, returned to ’s, house <​and​> (who was now living with me) and my self began to arrange & copy the revelations and commandments which we had received from time​> [p. [22]] Septer 1rst we met in general conference of the Church—at s , <to time from our Heavenly Father, which engaged our attention for some time. Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me by my great Creator I received a letter from the contents of which gave me both sorrow and uneasiness. Not having that letter now in my possession I cannot of course give it here <​in​> full but merely an extract, of the most prominent part, which I can yet; and expect long to remember. It was as follows. to the effect that, he had discovered an error, in one of the commandments,,, see book of Covenants Section 2nd paragraph 7th “and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their Sins” the above quotation he said was erroneous, And <​added I​> commanded me you in the name of God, To erase those words from that commandment, “that no priestcraft be amongst us”.
I immediately wrote to him in reply, in which I asked him, by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from the Almighty God.
I shortly after paid him a visit when I found that he had persuaded and most of the family that the above was an error— And it was with great difficulty, and much labour that I prevailed with any of them to reason calmly on the subject, however at length got convinced that it was reasonable and according to scripture and finally with his assistance I succeeded <​in​> bringing not only all the Whitmer family but also himself to acknowledge that they had been in error <​&​> that the above quotation was in accordance with the rest of the commandment.> Early in the month of August and his paid us a visit at our place in . Neither his nor had been as yet confirmed, and it was proposed that we should <​have sacrament together &​> confirm them; before & his should leave us. and that we
In order to prepare for these things I set out—to go to procure some wine for our the occasion. I had however gone but a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and had the following revelation. the first paragraph of which was written at this time, & the remainder in Sept[emb]er following Page 179— [p. [23]]
agreeable to this revelation we prepared some wine of our own make, and <​and​> held our meeting which consisted only of five; viz: & myself & and . We partook together of the sacrament after which we confirmed the two sisters into the Church, and spent the ev[eni]ng in a glorious manner, The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us and we praised God & rejoiced exceedingly.
About this time a bitter <​spirit​> of persecution began to <​be​> manifested towards us in the neighborhood where I resided—
<​and was commenced & originated by a man who of the Methodist persuasion, who professed to be a minister of God. He came to understand that my was friendly and enquiring earnestly into the work, and knowing that if he could <​get​> him and his family turned against me, my friends in that place would be few, accordingly he went to him and told him falsehoods of the most shameful nature which turned them entirely against me, insomuch that he would not so much as visit us or give us any more protection &c &c—​>
Towards the latter end of August, I (in company with & , and my brother ) visited the Church at , N.Y. Well knowing the determined hostility of our enemies in that quarter and also knowing that it was our duty to visit the Church <​we​> had called upon our Heavenly Father in mighty prayer, that he would grant us an opportunity of meeting with the Church t[h]ere them, that he would blind the eyes of our enemies so that they would not know us, on this occasion, & that we might <​on​> this time <​occasion​> escape <​return​> unmolested.
Our prayers were not in vain, for on <​when​> Saturday afternoon <​within a little​> distance of ’s place, we encountered a large company working at the public road, among whom were many of our most bitter enemies they looked earnestly at us, but not knowing us, thn left us our course clear a◊◊◊◊ arrived <​we passed on without interruption.​> We that evening assembled the Church, and confirmed them, partook of the Sacrament, and held a happy meeting, having much reason to rejoice in the God of our Salvation and sing Hosannas to his holy name. Next morning we set out on our return home, and although our enemies had offered a reward of five dollars, to any one who would let them know of the arrival of Joe Smith, yet did we get clear out of the Neighborhood without the least annoyance. and without our enemies having heard of our arrival <​visit​> at all, and arrived at home in safety.
Some few days afterwards however came to my place when we learnt from him, that very shortly after our departure the mob had heard of our having been there, when the[y] immediately collected together and had threatened the brethren and very much annoyed <​them​> during all that day, Meantime had came prepared <​with his waggon​> to move me and my , out of this neighborhood to N.Y. [p. [24]] having invited us to go and live with him, on account of the great persecution which had <​been​> got up against us, at Pa We arrived at , during the last week of august, amidst the congratulations of our brethren and friends.
To our great grief however we found that Satan had been, lying in wait to deceive, and seeking whom he might devour. Brother had got in his possession a certain stone <​by​> which he obtained to certain revelations concerning the upbuilding of Zion the order of the Church and so forth, but which were entirely at variance with the order of Gods House, as it is laid down both in ancient and our modern <​in the​> scriptures. <​and our own late revelations.​>
As a conference meeting had been appointed for the 1rst September I did <​thought it wisdom​> not <​to​> do much more than converse with the brethren on the subject untill the conference was <​should be​> held. Finding however that many of the brethren (especialy the Whitmer family and ) were believing much in the things which were set forth by the <​this​> stone, a few of us got together and succeeded in obtaining the following revelations, which gave us much information on that & other subjects connected with our respective duties.
Rev page 181— and page 112
Conference at length assembled, the subject of the Stone &c was brought up, and after considerable discussion, reasoning &c and investigation agreed to renounce the stone & its author, and the brethren unanimously agreed to renounce them also
We now partook of sacrament—confirmed and ordained many, and attended to a great variety of Church business—during <​on,​> that and the following day. During which time we had much of the power of God manifested, The Holy Ghost poured out upon <​us​> and obtained the following revelations—page 182 & page 183 [p. [25]] [11 pages blank] [p. [26]]
[blank] [p. [27]]
[blank] [p. [28]]
[blank] [p. [29]]
[blank] [p. [30]]
[blank] [p. [31]]
[blank] [p. [32]]
[blank] [p. [33]]
[blank] [p. [34]]
[blank] [p. [35]]
[p. [36]]


  1. 1

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed an embellished circle around this reference, presumably to indicate the intent to supply text from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  

  2. 2

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed an embellished circle around this reference, presumably to indicate the intent to supply text from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  

  3. 3

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed a partial embellished circle around this reference, presumably to indicate the intent to supply text from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  

  4. 4

    TEXT: “was deci” was canceled when initially inscribed and then canceled a second time with the rest of the passage.  

  5. 5

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed this revelation reference and left blank lines to be filled in later. He subsequently inserted the next paragraph, which flowed beyond the reserved space and into the space he left after “Revelation Page 177”. It is unknown exactly where the insertion ends and the original inscription after “Revelation Page 177” recommences.  

  6. 6

    That is, Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 46, 1835 ed. [D&C 21], copied into drafts 2 and 3.  

    Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835. Also available in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).

  7. 7

    TEXT: This insertion by James Mulholland runs along the bottom of pages 9 and 10 of Draft 1, with the page break occurring between “April” and “Mother”.  

  8. 8

    TEXT: “several” written over “some” and then canceled with the rest of the passage.  

  9. 9

    TEXT: Horizontal lines inserted here and after “cannot be described” separate the two enclosed sentences from the remainder of the text. This marked passage appears at a later point in Draft 2, where it was used to describe the June 1830 church conference.  

  10. 10

    TEXT: It is possible that James Mulholland originally inscribed “Revelation page 176—& Revelation 178 | On Sunday April 11th 1830, Oliver Cowdery preached at Whitmer’s” and then left a large blank space to be filled in later, as he had done on page 9 of Draft 2. If that is the case, then the rest of this paragraph was a later insertion.  

  11. 11

    TEXT: Possibly an ink blot rather than a cancellation.  

  12. 12

    TEXT: This blank space may indicate that James Mulholland intended to add more narrative at a later time. In Draft 2, a paragraph at this point was taken from earlier in Draft 1. A small scrap of paper affixed to the top right corner of this page of Draft 1 is inscribed in Mulholland’s hand as follows: “[page torn]ag 112 N 2 | [page torn] & 181 No 1”. These numbers correspond to the page numbers of, respectively, sections 29 and 28 in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. These revelations both date to September 1830, providing evidence that Mulholland organized the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (which often appear out of chronological order) into a chronological sequence before putting them into the history.  

  13. 13

    TEXT: Possibly an ink blot rather than a cancellation.  

  14. 14

    TEXT: The following inscription appears at the top of page 19 of Draft 1, in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams: “Scriptures on Covenants | Genesis | IX Section 20.4. and 21 Par 28th Par | X Section 12 Paragraph, [blank] | XI Section 5th Paragraph [blank] 8 Par. 9th [blank] Par 10th Par [blank] 11th Par.” This list was composed circa July 1833 as part of an index to JS’s Bible revision. The indexing project was discontinued and this gathering of pages was later repurposed for the present history draft. In preparation for the history, the fold of the gathering was inverted so that what had been the first page of the gathering (including this list of scriptures) became page 19 in the center of the gathering.  

  15. 15

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed an embellished circle around “Burch, a lawyer for the prosecution”. Elsewhere in this document, circling around words indicated the intent to supply information from an additional source, such as the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  

  16. 16

    TEXT: “the Magistrates” possibly inserted over a blank space in the original inscription.  

  17. 17

    TEXT: “against” written over “in” and then canceled with the rest of the passage.  

  18. 18

    TEXT: There appear to be two layers of cancellation. The first revised the sentence to read, “Mr Seymour had made himself conspicuous against me, during the former trial”; then the entire passage was canceled.  

  19. 19

    TEXT: As he did elsewhere in the manuscript, James Mulholland left blank lines here, which he filled in later with the insertion that follows.  

  20. 20

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed an embellished circle around this reference, presumably to indicate the intent to supply text from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. These two sentences were originally inscribed before the paragraph inserted above them, serving as a placeholder as Mulholland left spaces in the manuscript to be filled in later.  

  21. 21

    TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed this revelation reference and left a blank space to be filled in later. He subsequently inserted the text that follows, which flowed beyond the reserved space and into the space he left after the canceled sentence at the top of page 23 of Draft 1. It is unclear exactly where the insertion ends and the original inscription recommences after the canceled passage.  

  22. 22

    TEXT: The exact point at which this long insertion ends is unknown.  

  23. 23

    TEXT: James Mulholland apparently inscribed the beginning of this paragraph and left a blank space, which he filled in later with the following insertion.