Remember the New Covenant, Even the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon - Introduction and Witnesses Lesson
Languages and Translations:
Bring in some copies of the Book of Mormon - 1830 edition, Japanese Edition, etc.
Discuss what makes these versions different - what makes our church different from other churches?
What are some of the things that differentiates this church from other churches:
|Book of Mormon||Modern Day Prophets||Pearl of Great Price||Doctrine and Covenants|
|Holy Ghost||Doctrine of Resurrection||Plan of Salvation||Existence before we were born|
|Our Divine Nature||Our Relationship with God and Jesus||Priesthood Authority||Temple Worship|
|Salvation for the dead||Ordinance - Covenants||Eternal Marriage||State of soul after death|
Almost all of these difference/doctrines have come through the prophet
Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man...
The name of Joseph Smith will be spoken both good and evil among all people
Today we will speak of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon - its characteristics and importance!
The appearance of Moroni
27 After first vision he continued on with his life - suffering severe persecution at the hands of all men
28 Suffered severe persecutions from those who should have been his friends - fell into diverse temptations
29 I often felt condemned for my weaknesses and follies - prayed for forgiveness and state before God
30 While praying - light appeared in room continued to increase - brighter than noon day - personage appeared
32 His whole person was glorious beyond description - countenance like lightening - afraid
33 Called me by name - messenger from God - work for me to do - known for good and evil
34 Book deposited written upon gold plates - account of former inhabitants of this continent - fullness of Gospel in it
35 two stones in silver bows - breastplate - urim and thummim - use makes one a seer
36-39 Quoted scripture from Malachi, Coming of the Lord is Nigh at hand
40-41 Quoted other scripture from New Testament - Day of the Lord Nigh at hand
42 When I get the plates and interpreters show them to no one - or be destroyed
43 Light gathered around him - conduit opened up into heaven - ascended
44-47 Pondering on what this means - it all occurs again - three times
What did Joseph Learn from this vision/manifestation?
He had a work that was to be done - translation of a book
There are other Celestial beings beside God and his son Jesus Christ - who have bodies and look like us
There were a group of people on America who wrote scripture - that had fullness of Gospel in it
The Urim and Thummim and what they are used for
Satan - would attempt to destroy him because of his poor condition in this world
The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is Nigh and at the door!
The Lord remembers - supports - and fulfills the words of his prophets!
The Lord understands the weakness of man - and forgives it!
The Lord repeats his commands so weak men can remember - and not forget!
Is this a complete account of the vision? No! (vs 41)
There were many other passages of scripture, and other explanations that were given but not written in this account.
This is a common occurrence - often times we do not get full accounts of what takes place. Things are often hidden from the world, and even the church.
The very next day - the angel comes again!
48 The next day he arose and went to work - but was so exhausted to be totally unable to work - can't even climb a fence
49 Wakes up - sees same angel - repeats yet again all that happened last night - Commanded to tell Father
50 I obeyed and told my father in the field - he replied it was of God - and to go and do as commanded of God
52 Using a lever - I lifted the stone - and saw the plates and Urim and Thummim and other things
53 I made an attempt to take them out - but was forbidden - the time had not yet arrived - return a year from now
54 I went again and again at the end of each year - found the same angel there and was taught from him
What do we learn from this experience of Joseph?
Why was he so exhausted?
Was it just one night without sleep?Moses 1:9-10 When left unto himself he fell to the earth for the space of many hours - exhausted!
Why didn't Joseph Get the Plates?(remember the warning he was originally given - about getting the plates for riches? also it wasn't the right time yet.)
GOD knows the beginning from the end!
Recovery of the Plates
Ensign Jan 2001 - Protecting the Plates Andrew H Hedges.
No account exists detailing everything that transpired that night at the Hill Cumorah. From Joseph Smith’s own record, we know that Moroni met Joseph there and delivered the plates with the warning “that I should be responsible for them,” wrote the Prophet, “that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, … they should be protected” (JS—H 1:59). The Prophet’s mother, no doubt getting her information from Joseph, recorded Moroni’s words in greater detail:
“Now you have got the record into your own hands, and you are but a man, therefore you will have to be watchful and faithful to your trust, or you will be overpowered by wicked men, for they will lay every plan and scheme that is possible to get them away from you. And if you do not take heed continually, they will succeed. While they were in my hands I could keep them, and no man had power to take them away, but now I give them up to you. Beware, and look well to your ways, and you shall have power to retain them until the time for them to be translated.”
After receiving the plates at the hill, the Prophet hid them nearby in a hollow birch log whose tough bark had resisted the forces of decay better than the wood itself. Cutting a hole in the bark and peeling it back, he placed the plates in the cavity of the log thus exposed, then replaced the bark and “laid across the log in several places some old stuff that happened to lie near, in order to conceal, as much as possible, the place in which they were deposited.” 9 All this was apparently done in the absence of Emma, who presumably was waiting in the wagon nearby.
Emma and Joseph Go out together at night to get them: Sep 2015 Joseph Smith In Harmony - Elder Steven E Snow
The retrieval of the plates:
Ensign Jan 2001 - Protecting the Plates Andrew H Hedges.
The Prophet Joseph Smith apparently went to retrieve the plates immediately after arranging for the chest with Hyrum. Considering all that had already transpired that day, it must have been well after noon by the time Joseph removed the plates from their hiding place in the log. Once they were out of the log, Joseph wrapped them in his linen frock and started for home along the Canandaigua road, the record tucked under his arm. Leaving the road after “a short distance” for the safety of the woods, he eventually came to a “large windfall” where several trees had blown down. His mother wrote:
“As he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him to the ground, and then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further, he was attacked again in precisely the same way. He soon brought this one down also and ran on again, but before he got home, he was accosted the third time with a severe stroke with a gun.”
Joseph struck this third and final attacker with such force that he dislocated his own thumb. He continued running, “being closely pursued until he came near his father’s house,” at which time his assailants, “for fear of being detected,” broke off the chase. Reaching a fence corner, he “threw himself down … to recover his breath,” then rose and continued running until he reached the house.
His mother and sister Catharine (or Katharine) were there when he came in. He “entered the house running,” the plates “clasped to his side with his left hand and arm, … his right hand … badly bruised from knocking down at least three men who had leaped at him from behind bushes or fences as he ran.” “Panting for breath,” the Prophet reportedly allowed Catharine to take the plates from him.
After regaining his strength, the Prophet asked his mother to have his father, Joseph Knight, and Josiah Stowell go in pursuit of his attackers, and also to have Hyrum bring the chest. Hyrum, as it turned out, had indeed located an appropriate chest but had neither emptied it of its contents nor remembered his appointment with Joseph. Having been reminded of his duty by Don Carlos, Hyrum quickly dumped the contents of the chest on the floor and left to find Joseph, the chest on his shoulder. His house guests—two of his wife’s sisters—were convinced by his sudden actions that he was “positively crazy.” After Hyrum arrived, Joseph immediately locked up the record and, after a further rest on the bed, met with his father and the others who had returned after an unsuccessful search for his assailants. Joseph told them all that had happened, then asked his father to put his dislocated thumb back into place.
The use of Sorcery to find the plates
Hel 13:31 - curseth your riches that they become slippery
Hell 13:33-37 - we are surrounded by demons - our riches are slippery
Mormon 2:10 - no man could keep their property - magic art and witchcraft in the land
Ensign Jan 2001 - Protecting the Plates Andrew H Hedges.
Word of the plates’ existence might have gotten out through a more sinister source. According to Joseph Knight Sr., one Samuel Lawrence in the neighborhood was a “Seer” (seer) who had been “to the hill and knew about the things in the hill and … was trying to obtain them.” Joseph Smith apparently was concerned enough about Lawrence that on 21 September, “near night,” he sent his father to Lawrence’s house “to see if there was any signs of his [Lawrence’s] going away that night.” Joseph reportedly told his father “to stay till near Dark and if he saw any signs of his going you till [tell] him if I find him there [at the Hill Cumorah] I will thrash the stumps with him.” Lawrence, fortunately for himself, chose to stay home that night. If Knight’s account is accurate, it could be that Lawrence and perhaps others had learned of the plates’ existence through information from adversarial sources.
It was probably shortly after this that Samuel Lawrence made yet another attempt to get the plates. Joseph Knight recorded that Lawrence and one Beeman, “a grate Rodsman,” showed up at the Smith home, wanting to talk with Joseph Smith. Joseph took them into the west room (the room in which the plates were hidden), where they “Proposed to go shares with him and tried every way to Bargain with him But Could not.” Beeman then reportedly “took out his Rods and hild [held] them up and they pointed Dow[n] to the hearth where they ware [were] hid,” at the same time exclaiming that he had found them. Knight did not record what happened next, but it is probably safe to assume that Joseph breathed a sigh of relief once the two men left the house empty-handed.
Accounts vary as to what Joseph did next, but it seems that he hid the plates, still housed in the same box, under the floor of a cooper’s shop located just across the road. After a “short time,” Joseph dug them up yet again, removed the plates from their box, reburied the box, and hid the plates—now wrapped in some clothing—in “a quantity of flax” being stored in the shop’s loft. The decoy worked. Following Sally Chase’s directions, the mob that night tore up the floor of the cooper’s shop and smashed the wooden box, but left the plates undisturbed in the loft a few feet above their heads.
Notice the multiple movements- Move them once - they are found by the evil powers - move them quickly again without notice and their safety is maintained!
JSH 1:59 If you should let them go carelessly or with any neglect you shall loose them!
Subjects and Topics - Ore Analysis of the Gold Plates
Weight/Color/Composition - Issues with amount of plates etc. covered in 1927! nothing new here :)
Improvement Era April 1923 - Page 541 even shows a sample of a page in Hebrew!
Improvement Era April 1923 - Page 544-545 discussion concerning weight of the plates (basic weight of plates between 50-75 lbs)
Improvement Era April 1927 - Page 526
David Whitmer, in an interview in the Kansas City Journal, said of the plates shortly before his death:
"They appeared to be of gold, about six by nine inches in size, about as thick as parchment, a great many in number, and bound together like the leaves of a book by massive rings passing through the edges."
Language of the Plates
The Translation of the Book of Mormon - Look toward bottom of lesson - discursion of translation methods and process. This section has a lot of additional reference images and other information concerning the translation of the Book of Mormon, the use of Seer Stones, the Urim and Thummim, etc.
The reaction - to the Book
The Key stone of our Religion - Ezra Taft Benson, Oct 1986
Section 84:57 - Remember the New Covenant
The Prophetic Nature of this event - where it puts us concerning the coming of Jesus Christ
See events 1-3a of the Last Days Chronology