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Today's Theme is found in the INTRODUCTION to the Book of Mormon and is entitled: THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.
BE IT KNOWN unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
OLIVER COWDERY, DAVID WHITMER, MARTIN HARRIS
|Joseph Smith Has Received the Golden Plates from the Angel Moroni -by Kenneth Riley|
In this painting the Angel, Moroni, has just delivered the Golden Plates, on which was recorded the Book of Mormon in Egyptian characters, to Joseph Smith.
William E. McLellin was a member of the first Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He joined the church in 1831 and was excommunicated in 1838. His notebook was recently found by Brent F. Ashworth who wants to publish it.
The following comes from his once long-lost notebook. In a section titled, “The Testimony of Men.” he says the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who said they saw an angel, “either told the truth or they willfully lied. How shall we tell which, how shall we know?”
Then McLellin recounts a story of meeting two of the witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, in July 1833 in Missouri. McLellin and the two were in danger of their lives from anti-Mormon mobs.
“I said to them, 'Brethren, I never have seen an open vision in my life, but you men say you have, and therefore you positively know. Now, you know that our lives are in danger every hour, if the mob can only catch us. Tell me, in the fear of God is that Book of Mormon true?” Cowdery looked at me with solemnity depicted in his face and said: “Brother William, God sent his holy angel to declare the truth of the translation of it to us, and therefore we know. And though the mob kill us, yet we must die declaring its truth.' David said: 'Oliver has told you the solemn truth, for we could not be deceived. I most truly declare to you its truth!'Said I: ''Boys, I believe you. I can see no object for you to tell me falsehood now, when our lives are endangered.'”
Now I suggest that each of you readers read (and listen) to this Book of Mormon passage of scripture:
III Nephi 22: 1-17 (See Isaiah 54: 1-17)
Our savior, Jesus Christ, in this beautiful, tender expression of love for this group of Nephites and their descendants who were to live in our day (We are the Gentiles of whom He speaks), using the words of His holy prophet Isaiah, who He quotes very often, our Savior reassures them in this chapter of His love for them and their descendants of our day. A special example of this is in verse 17.
III Nephi 22:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (clarification added)(Through the brass plates that Lehi's sons obtained in Jerusalem and which they brought with them to their promised land, they had access to the writings of Isaiah who lived before Lehi's day.)
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