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“Latter Day Saints,” 1844

Lord. While fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enrapt in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light, which eclipsed the sun at noonday. They told me that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom. And I was expressly commanded to “go not after them,” at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.
On the evening of the 21st September, A. D. 1823, while I was praying unto God and endeavouring to exercise faith in the precious promises of scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room; indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire. The appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body. In a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled; that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in all its fulness to be preached in power, unto all nations, that a people might be prepared for the millennial reign.
I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of his purposes in this glorious dispensation.
I was informed also concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came;—a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me. I was also told where there was deposited some plates, on which was engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things. After having received many visits from the angels of God, unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the 22d of September, A. D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into my hands.
These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and [p. 405]
Lord. While fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken  away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was en rapt in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who  exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded  with a brilliant light, which eclipsed the sun at noonday.6

JS identified these two personages as God the Father and Jesus Christ. (JS History, vol. A-1, 3; see also JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 2; JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835; and JS, “Church History,” 706–707.  


They told  me that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect  doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his  church and kingdom. And I was expressly commanded to “go not  after them,”7

See Luke 17:23.  


at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of  the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.
On the evening of the 21st September, A. D. 1823, while I was  praying unto God and endeavouring to exercise faith in the precious  promises of scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a  far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the  room; indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with  consuming fire. The appearance produced a shock that affected the  whole body. In a moment a personage stood before me surrounded  with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already sur rounded.8

JS also recounted this experience in JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 3; JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835; JS History, vol. A-1, 4; and JS, “Church History,” 707. He previously identified the messenger as Moroni. ([JS], Editorial, Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 42–44.)  


This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God,  sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made  with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled; that the preparatory  work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to com mence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in all its fulness to  be preached in power, unto all nations, that a people might be prepared  for the millennial reign.
I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands  of God to bring about some of his purposes in this glorious dispensa tion.
I was informed also concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this  country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came;—a  brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments,  of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being  finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me.  I was also told where there was deposited some plates, on which  was engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets  that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three  times the same night and unfolded the same things. After having  received many visits from the angels of God, unfolding the majesty  and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the  morning of the 22d of September, A. D. 1827, the angel of the Lord  delivered the records into my hands.
These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance  of gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and [p. 405]
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JS, “Latter Day Saints,” pp. 404–410 in Israel Daniel Rupp

10 July 1803–31 May 1878. Bookseller, editor, historian, insurance agent, teacher, translator. Born in East Pennsboro (later in Hampden), Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Rupp and Christina Boeshor. Member of Reformed faith. Moved to Allen, Cumberland...

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(ed.), He Pasa Ekklesia [The whole church]. An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States. Containing Authentic Accounts of Their Rise, Progress, Statistics and Doctrines. Written Expressly for the Work by Eminent Theological Professors, Ministers, and Lay-Members, of the Respective Denominations. Projected, Compiled and Arranged by I. Daniel Rupp, of Lancaster, Pa. Author of “Der Maertyrer Geschichte,” Etc. Etc.; Philadelphia: James Y. Humphreys; Harrisburg, PA: Clyde and Williams; printed by C. Sherman; 1844; i–viii, 9–734 pp. The copy used for transcription is held at CHL; includes redactions and archival marking.
The history is the twenty-second of forty-three chapters in the volume. It comprises seven pages that measure 9⅛ x 5⅝ inches (23 x 14 cm) within a book measuring 9½ x 6½ x 2 inches (24 x 17 x 5 cm). The copy used for transcription has apparently been in continuous church custody since its purchase in 1905.1

This copy was purchased 21 June 1905 from a Salt Lake City bookstore for the Church Historian’s Office. The lower right corner of the inside front cover bears a sticker of the bookstore, “Shepard Book Company”, and the upper left corner bears a sticker of the “Historian’s Office Library”. Several “Historian’s Office” stamps are found throughout the book, including on the first page of the essay on the Latter-day Saints. A notation on the recto of the blank leaf preceding the title page indicates the day of purchase and a library number, “3493”, written in ink and later erased. “3493” corresponds to an entry made sometime after 1930 in an early Church Historian’s Office catalog book. (“Library Record,” book no. 3493.)  


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