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Interview, 21 August 1843, extract

“. . . The Lord does reveal  himself to me. I know it. He revealed him self to me first when I was about fourteen years  old, a mere boy. I will tell you about it. There  was a reformation among the different religious  denominations in the neighborhood where I  lived, and I became serious, and was desirous  to know what Church to join. While think ing of this matter, I opened the Testament pro miscuously on these words, in James, ‘Ask of  the Lord who giveth to all men liberally and up braideth not.’ I just determined I’d ask him.  I immediately went out into the woods where  my father had a clearing, and went to the  stump where I had stuck my axe when I had  quit work, and I kneeled down, and prayed,  saying, ‘O Lord, what Church shall I join.’  Directly I saw a light, and then a glorious per sonage in the light, and then another person age, and the first personage said to the second,  “Behold my beloved Son, hear him.” I then,  addressed this second person, saying, “O Lord,  what Church shall I join.” He replied, “don’t  join any of them, they are all corrupt.” The  vision then vanished, and when I come to my self, I was sprawling on my back; and it was  sometime before my strength returned. When I  went home and told the people that I had a re velation, and that all the churches were cor rupt, they persecuted me, and they have per secuted me ever since. They thought to put  me down, but they hav’nt succeeded, and they  can’t do it. When I have proved that I am  right, and get all the world subdued under me,  I think I shall deserve something. . . .” [p. [3]]
Interview, JS by David Nye White, Nauvoo, IL, 21 Aug. 1843; in David Nye White, “The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, &c.” Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 15 Sept. 1843, p. [3]; photocopy at CHL.