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Letter from Benjamin Benson, 12 November 1837

Dear Brother in the Lord, Having reflected on the short  interview we had last evening respecting the dream (or vision as you may  think proper to term it) and as you stated several times that you should like  to have it wrote so that you could take it home with you to Kirtland, I  therefore consent to give a statement in as short <a> manner as I can, without  going into every minute circumstance. To wit.—
In the year 1795, I then being in the Town of Pompey,  County of Onondagua and State of New York; I then being 22 years old; seeing  and viewing the ancient Indian Forts and trates thereof through that part of  the Country; my mind was anxiously led to contemplate and reflect on where  those Indians came from, or from what race of People they sprang from, and often times heard it stated that these Indians were natives of this Continent, and  that they were created and placed here at the creation of the world. Then said  I the Bible cannot be true, part of for it (The Bible) says that all the human  family sprang from Adam &c, and that at the time of the flood, the whole  earth was covered with water, and that all flesh died, except what were in  the ark with Noah, then with things taking place, and I firmly believing  that the Bible was true, my heart’s desire was to God in solemn prayer to  know where and what race of people these Indians sprang from, It was  made known (whether by dream or vision I will leave that for you, to  judge) An angel as I thought came to me and said, Come along with me  and I was immediately on a beast like a horse, and the angel at my left hand  with his feet about the same height that my feet were as I sat on the horse, and  in this position was conveyed to near the place where the record was deposited  and he said stop here, and the angel went about 4 or 5 Rods and took in his  hand a book, and on his return to where I stood, as I thought there were many  stood with me; One said, what book is that? And the answer was, it is a bible,  a bible, the word of God, a record of a people that came from Jerusalem, the fore  fathers of these Indians, And it also contains a record of a people that came from  the Tower of Babel at the time the Lord confounded the language and scattered  the people into all the world, and it the Book Ether; and then with great anx iety of heart I asked if I might have the book, and answer was that it was  not the Lords time then, but it should come, “and you shall see it,” and then  said look, and as I looked, I beheld a man standing as I thought at a distance  of two hundred yards, and the angel said “there is the Man that the Lord hath ap pointed &c, and he is not yet born.[”] I have related it in short, as I have not  time now to give a full detail of all that I had a view of. Yours with respect.
Benjamin Benson
November 12th 1837
Joseph Smith Jr Far West.
N, B At some further time if the Lord will I will be more full if you should  wish it. I shall direct this to you as a letter and you cannot act your Judgement in either  keeping it to yourself or publishing it by making use of my name. [p. 51]
Benjamin Benson, letter, Far West, MO, to JS, Far West, MO, 12 Nov. 1837; handwriting of James Mulholland; in JS Letterbook 2, p. 51; JS Collection, CHL.

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