Little Bits of History

Inspired Writing

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 26, 2014
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Jr.

March 26, 1830: The Book of Mormon is published. Joseph Smith, Jr. was born in 1805 in Vermont and at age seven suffered a bone infection which left the boy crippled and using crutches for three years. He and his family moved to western New York by 1817. The family moved to Palmyra which was created as Swift’s Landing in 1789. By the time the Smith family moved it had changed names and by 1822 the Erie Canal reached this far. The family’s 100-acre farm was mortgaged after three years of crop failures and a failed business venture by Smith senior.

Between 1817 and 1825 was a period know as the Second Great Awakening and there was an increased religious zeal in the young nation. There were several camp meetings in the area of Palmyra and although the Smith family was divided over religious beliefs, they were willing to let their teen son become involved in the movement. Joseph, his parents, and his grandfather all reported visions and dreams where they believed God was delivering messages to them. While praying in a woods near his house, Joseph received a vision from God which altered the course of his life. He was forgiven all sins and was warned that all churches had “turned aside from the gospel”. He was seventeen when the angel Moroni appeared to him.

He was told that a collection of ancient writings were engraved on golden plates and buried on a nearby hill in what is now Wayne County, New York. These writings described the group of people God led from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere 600 years before Jesus was born. Moroni was the last prophet of this lost tribe and he had buried the plates and God had promised to bring them up in the latter days. Smith was to meet with the angel every year on September 22 to get more instructions. In 1827 he was finally permitted to take the golden plates and translate them into English. To translate them took divine intervention and there are several tales of how this took place.

The title of the book was, according to Smith, taken from the very last of the golden plates which had been secured together in the form of a book by wires. The purpose of the Book of Mormon was to show the lost tribe what their God had done for them as well as proclaim to both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus Christ was the eternal God. The book is actually a series of books, much like the Bible is a series of books. There are six books to the Small Plates of Nephi; three books which are further subdivided in the Contribution of Mormon; and three books in the Additions by Moroni. There were eleven men who testified to seeing the golden plates before they were returned to the angel, Moroni.

The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.

A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven. What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down.

Noah came before the flood. I have come before the fire. – all from Joseph Smith, Jr.

Also on this day: Stella! – In 1911, Tennessee Williams was born.
Cruising Legally – In 1934, Britain began testing drivers.
Dr. Death – In 1999, Dr. Kevorkian was found guilty of second degree murder.
Mother Ship – In 1997, the Heaven’s Gate suicides were discovered.

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