The Church has started work on an official church Edition of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and this shouldbe completed bythe start of teh Summer.
The work on the Bible is still on going with the Prophet wroking very hard with an assistant to do what the Lord has instucted with the Insoired version oft eh Bible. Look out for the completed edition by the end of the year.
This year is a very special time for the church because we have the opportunity to study the Book of Mormon in Sunday school. In doing this we not only get a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon and all the wonder and truth it holds but we also gain a greater understanding the prophet Joseph Smith and also who we are and why we are here. In the modern restoration today and in this church we hold the Prophet Joseph Smith in high regard not because he was an extraordinary man although he was but because he is a Prophet of God and he brought forth one of the greatest books in history The Book of Mormon. We are now standing and building on the foundation laid by Brother Joseph Smith we are rebuilding what was once torn down and in doing so we hold before the world not only the Book of Mormon but also new revealed scripture in the Book of Jeraneck, we need not be afraid and shamed to do this for we know that Joseph was and is a Prophet of God and that he did translate from ancient lost plates of Gold, that we have had the same privilege and that we are like unto him. My brothers and sisters let us go forth with renewed vigour to take these two wonderful records to the world and bring light and knowledge to a dark and dreary lost people who are crying out to be saved from themselves and the eternal darkness that awaits them if they do not heed our words. I bless you with the Lords guidance in the coming week ahead until we meet again in fellowship and love.
Joseph Smith and the Gold Plates
Joseph Smith, the first Prophet and founder of the Church tells us that the Book of Mormon was translated from golden plates shown to him by a heavenly messenger on September 21, 1823.
"While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor...When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni. That God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindred’s, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is among them called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 753)
The time soon came for The Prophet Joseph to see the plates and to experience the beauty of being given a record that has been lost to the world, this is what he says concerning that moment.
"Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario Co. New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated on any in the neighbor hood; on the west side of this hill not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates deposited in a stone box: this stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all round was covered with earth. Having removed the earth and obtained a lever which I got fixed under the edge of the stone and with a little exertion raised it up, I looked in and there indeed I beheld the plates, the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement; in the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them. I made an attempt to take them out but was forbidden by the messenger and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would until four years from that time." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 771)
After many times of being able to go to the hill and see the plates the time came for the Prophet to be given the plates and to take them. Here the Prophet Joseph describes receiving the plates and the gravity if the situation.
At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, and Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate; on the 22nd day of September, 1827, having went as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me, with this charge that I should be responsible for them: that if I should let them go carelessly or through any neglect of mine I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he the messenger should call for them, they should be protected...by the wisdom of God they remained safe in my hands until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hands when according to arrangements the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him and he has them in his charge until this day." (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 772)
Here Josephs mother Lucy describes the effort that Joseph had to make to get the plates back home safely.
After removing the plates from the stone box, Joseph hid them in a birch log until preparations could be made at home for the plates. Then he went to retrieve them. "The plates were secreted about three miles from home...Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home." After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be safer to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house." (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, pp. 107- 108)