In the midst of this trouble the Lord sent aid again. A man named Joseph Knight came to them with provisions, and soon after Joseph was visited by a young man named David Whitmer, who came to invite them to his father’s house in Fayette, Seneca county, New York. This invitation was gladly accepted, and Joseph and Oliver went back with him.
At the Whitmers’ they lived and labored in peace until the work was completed. David, John, and Peter, sons of Peter Whitmer, Sen., helped all they could, and soon the book was ready to be printed. Martin Harris also helped Joseph in getting out the work. The first edition of five thousand copies was printed in Palmyra, in 1830. Since then the book has been printed in many languages and read by many thousands of people. It is called the book of Mormon. The next chapter will tell you why it is so called, and a little of what it contains.
Topics.—1. Joseph’s visits to Cumorah. 2. Joseph in Pennsylvania. 3. Description of the plates and Urim and Thummim. 4. The translation.
Questions and Review.—1. Where is the hill Cumorah? 2. What did Joseph find there? 3. Why did not Joseph carry away the plates the first time? 4. How many visits did he make to Cumorah? 5. Where did Joseph go to work? 6. Whom did he marry? 7. When did Joseph get the plates? 8. Describe the plates. 9. What was the Urim and Thummim? 10. Who first helped Joseph to translate? 11. Who was Oliver Cowdery? 12. What help did the Whitmers give Joseph? 13. When was the Book of Mormon published?
The book of Mormon.
You will all be interested in knowing what was written on the plates which the prophet Joseph Smith received from the angel Moroni, so in this chapter I will tell you very briefly. Some time you will want to read the whole book, which of course is the better way.
You have read in your histories and geographies that ruins of great cities have been found in many places in America, showing that at one time there were people here more civilized than the Indians. The writings on these plates told the history of these peoples.
Six hundred years before Christ was born, there lived in the city of Jerusalem a prophet by the name of Lehi. He had at that time four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord told Lehi that because of the wickedness of the city, it would soon be destroyed, and if he wished to be saved he must take his family and travel into the wilderness. This Lehi did. They went south-eastward until they got to the sea where they built a ship in which to cross to a promised land. While camping in the wilderness Lehi sent his sons back to Jerusalem to get some records of their forefathers, and it was through the faithfulness of Nephi that this was done.
After many days of sailing, they at last landed on the west coast of South America in what is now called Chili.