The book of Mormon - PDF - (1921) by Joseph Smith

The book of Mormon 

The book of Mormon
Joseph Smith

Excerpt from the book's introduction:

The Book of Mormon comprises fifteen main parts or divisions, known, with one exception, as books, each designated by the name of its principal author. 

Of these, the first six books, namely, First Nephi, second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, and Omni, are translations from the corresponding sections of the Smaller Plates of Nephi. Between the books of Omni and Mosiah, we find The Words of Mormon, connecting the record of Nephi, as engraved on the Smaller Plates, with Mormon's abridgment of the Larger Plates for the periods following. 

The Words of Mormon constitute a brief explanation of the preceding portions of the record, and a preface to the parts following. The body of the Book, from Mosiah to Mormon, chapter 7, inclusive, is the translation of Mormon's abridgment of the Plates of Nephi. 

The latter part of the Book of Mormon, from the beginning of Mormon, chapter 8, to the end of the volume, was engraved by Mormon's son, Moroni, who first proceeded to finish the record of his father's life, and then made an abridgment of the Jaredite record, as the Book of Ether, Later he added the parts known to us as the Book of Moroni. 

The period covered by Book of Mormon annals extends from B. C. 600 to A. D. 421, In or about the latter year, Moroni, the last of the Nephite historians, sealed the sacred record, and hid it up unto the Lord, to be brought forth in the latter days, as predicted by the voice of God through his ancient prophets. In A, D. 1827, this same Moroni, then a resurrected personage, delivered the engraved plates to Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith, through whom, by the gift and power of God, the ancient Scripture, known as The Book of Mormon, has been brought forth and translated into the English tongue, made a personal and circumstantial record of the matter. He affirmed that during the night of September 21, 1823, he sought the Lord in fervent prayer, having previously received a Divine manifestation of transcendent import. 

His account follows: "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. "He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrists; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. 

His head and neck were also bare. 1 could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open,- so that I could see into his bosom. "Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. 

When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me. "He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Moroni: that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. 

He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants; "Also, that there were two stones in silver bows — and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim — deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted Seers in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. 

Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he had spoken — for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled — I should not show them to any person; neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be .commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed. 
While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it "After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so, until the room was again left dark, except just around him, when instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended until he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance. "I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in the midst of my meditation, 1 suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside. 

He commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit, without the least variation; which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things, he again ascended as he had done before. "By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that sleep had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard. But what was my surprise wh^n again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or re- peat over again to me the same things as before; and added caution to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father's family), to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. 

This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building His kingdom; otherwise, I could not get them. "After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced; when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.

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