Lucy Mack Smith to Solomon Mack, 6 Jan 1831:
Waterloo, January 6, 1831.
Dear Brother and Sister:
Although we are at a great distance from each other and have not had the pleasure of seeing each other for many years, yet I feel a great anxiety in your welfare, and especially for the welfare of your souls; and you yourselves must know that it is a thing of greatest importance to be prepared to meet our God in peace, for it is not long before He is to make His appearance on the earth with all the hosts of heaven to take vengeance on the wicked and they that know not God. By searching the prophecies contained in the Old Testament we find it there prophesied that God will set His hand the second time to recover His people the house of Israel. He has now commenced this work; He hath sent forth a revelation in these last days, and this revelation is called the Book of Mormon. It contains the fullness of the Gospel to the Gentiles, and is sent forth to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things God hath done for their fathers; that they may know of the covenants of the Lord and that they are not cast of forever; and also of the convincing of both Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God and manifests Himself unto all nations.
It also contains the history of a people which were led out of Jerusalem six hundred years before the coming of Christ in the flesh. God seeing the wickedness of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, He sent out a prophet named Lehi and commanded him to declare unto the people that unless they repented of their sins that the city would be destroyed, but they would not hear him, but sought to take away his life, therefore the Lord commanded him to take his family, together with another man named Ishmael, and his family, and flee out of the city, and they were led by the hand of the Lord on to this continent and they became very numerous and were a people highly favored of the Lord; but there arose contentions among them and the more wicked part of them being led by one of the sons of Lehi named Laman, arose up in rebellion against their brethren, and would not keep the commandments of God, therefore he sent a curse upon them and caused a dark skin to come over them, and from Laman our Indians have descended. The more righteous part of them were led by another of the sons of Lehi named Nephi, he being a prophet of the Lord. I cannot give you much insight into these things, but I write this that when you have an opportunity of receiving one of the books that you may not reject it for God has pronounced a curse upon all those who have a chance to receive it and will not, for by it they will be judged at the last day.
There are many in these parts who profess to know God and to be His humble followers, but when this thing is offered them they say we have Bible enough and want no more; but such are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity and understand not the Bible which they love, for all the holy prophets spoke plainly of the gathering of the house of Israel and of the coming forth of this work, and God says He will give us line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; there are more nations than one, and if God would not reveal himself alike unto all nations he would be partial. We need not suppose that we have all His words in our Bible, neither need we think that because He has spoken once He cannot speak again.
Perhaps you will inquire how this revelation came forth. It has been hidden up in the earth fourteen hundred years, and was placed there by Moroni, one of the Nephites; it was engraven upon plates which have the appearance of gold. He being a prophet of the Lord, and seeing the wickedness of the people and knowing that they must be destroyed, and also knowing that if the plates fell into the hands of the Lamanites that they would destroy them, for they sought to destroy all sacred writings, therefore he hid them up in the earth, having obtained a promise of the Lord that they should come forth in His own due time unto the world; and I feel to thank my God that He hath spared my life to see this day.
Joseph, after repenting of his sins and humbling himself before God, was visited by an holy angel whose countenance was as lightning and whose garments were white above all whiteness, who gave unto him commandments which inspired him from on high; and who gave unto him, by the means of which was before prepared, that he should translate this book. And by reading this our eyes are opened that we can see the situation in which the world now stands; that the eyes of the whole world are blinded; that the churches have all become corrupted, yea every church upon the face of the earth; that the gospel of Christ is nowhere preached. This is the situation which the world is now in, and you can judge for yourselves if we did not need something more than the wisdom of man to show us the right way.
God, seeing our situation, had compassion upon us, and has sent us this revelation that the stumbling block might be removed, that whosoever would might enter. He now established His Church upon the earth as it was in the days of the apostles. He has now made a new and everlasting covenant, and all that will hear His voice and enter, He says they shall be gathered together into a land of promise, and He Himself will come and reign on earth with them a thousand years. He is now sending forth His servants to prune His vineyard for the last time, and woe be unto them that will not hear them. There are many who think hard when we tell them that the churches have all become corrupted, but the Lord hath spoke it, and who can deny His words? They are all lifted up in the pride of their hearts and think more of adorning their fine sanctuaries than they do of the poor and needy. The priests are going about preaching for money, and teaching false doctrines and leading men down to destruction by crying peace, peace, when the Lord Himself hath not spoken it.
When our Savior was upon the earth He sent forth His disciples and commanded them to preach His gospel, and these signs He said should follow them that believed: in my name they shall do many wonderful works; they shall cast out devils; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Now where can we find these signs following them that call themselves preachers of the gospel, and why do they not follow? It surely must be because they do not believe and do not teach the true doctrine of Christ, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever and changeth not.
We read that at the day of Pentecost people being pricked in their hearts began to cry, saying, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” and Peter being filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up and said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.” Now this promise was not to them alone, for he goes on to say, this “promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call;” therefore, the promise extends unto us if we will obey His commands. Peter did not tell them to go away and mourn over their sins weeks and months, and receive a remission of them and then come and be baptized, but he told them first to repent and be baptized, and the promise was that they should receive a remission of their sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost; and this is the gospel of Christ, and His church is established in this place and also in Ohio; there have been three hundred added to the Church in Ohio within a few weeks, and there are some added to this Church almost daily. The work is spreading very fast.
I must now close my letter by entreating you as one that feels for your souls to seek an interest in Christ, and when you have an opportunity to receive this work do not reject it, but read it and examine for yourselves. I will now bid you farewell, and I want some of you to come here or write immediately for we expect to go away to the Ohio early in the spring. If you write this winter you may direct your letters to Waterloo, Seneca County. I want you to think seriously of these things, for they are the truths of the living God.
Please to accept this from your sister, Lucy Smith.
Letter from Sally Parker, neighbor of Lucy Mack Smith, to John Kempton, 8/26/1838:
Lucy Mack Smith: A neighbor of Lucy Mack Smith reported: “I lived by [Hyrum Smith’s] Mother [Lucy Mack Smith, in Kirtland] and she was one of the finest of women, always helping those that stood in need. She told me the whole story. The plates were in the house and sometimes in the woods for eight months on account of people trying to get them. They had to hide them once. They hid them under the hearth. They took up the brick and put them in and put the brick back. The old lady told me this herself with tears in her eyes and they run down her cheeks too. She put her hand upon her stomach and said she, ‘O the peace of God that rested upon us all that time.’ She said it was a heaven below. I asked her if she saw the plates. She said no, it was not for her to see them, but she hefted and handled them and I believed all she said for I lived by her eight months and she was one of the best of women.”
— Letter from Sally Parker, neighbor of Lucy Mack Smith, to John Kempton, 8/26/1838
On another occasion, Lucy Mack Smith stated the following:
“I trembled so with fear, lest all might be lost in consequence of some failure in keeping the commandments of God, that I was under the necessity of leaving the room in order to conceal my feelings. Joseph saw this, and said, ‘Do not be uneasy mother, all is right—see here, I have got a key.’
“I knew not what he meant, but took the article of which he spoke into my hands, and, upon examination, found that it consisted of two smooth three-cornered diamonds set in glass, and the glasses were set in silver bows, which were connected with each other in much the same way as old fashioned spectacles. He took them again and left me, but said nothing respecting the Record.”