The LDS Church is slowly releasing a series of books, called ‘Saints,’ about the history of the Mormon church. Today we talk about chapter 5 of the first book.
In this chapter, a few pivotal events happen (okay let’s be honest, pivotal events seem to be happening in ALL the chapters of the book… but this one has some of the most notable events).
First, Joseph Smith meets Martin Harris, a wealthy, respected man from Palmyra. He wanted to help in the translation process of the Book of Mormon and was willing to give up all that he had, assuming it was “of God,” something he prayed about and knew was true. Martin Harris would eventually contribute a significant amount of money to the Church and help Joseph translate much of the Book of Mormon.
The second notable event involved a scholar named Charles Anthon. Anthon was a young professor of Latin and Greek at Columbia College. Martin took a copy of characters from the plates to Anthon in NYC, hoping he could verify the Egyptian. Anthon said that though he wasn’t totally well versed in Egyptian, the characters were accurate to his knowledge. He even gave Martin a certificate as verification of the authenticity. However, as Martin was leaving, Anthon called him back to ask how Joseph Smith had found the gold plates. He told him of the angel of God that visited Joseph. Immediately after, Anthon took the certificate and tore it apart. But Martin didn’t need a paper to know that the characters were accurate.
The last part of the chapter explains the losing of the manuscripts. Martin Harris’s wife was very persistent for proof of the gold plates, considering the amount of time and money Martin had dedicated to this new religion. So Martin asked Joseph who prayed to God. God said no twice but when Joseph asked a third time, the answer was yes. Martin took the transcripts to his wife but ended up losing them.
What have you learned from these stories of Mormon history? Let us know in the comments below!
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