“Ever ready to share his conviction”

“Ever ready to share his conviction” June 19, 2020


Woman (in Africa?) reads scriptures
Photographic image from LDS.org


A very slight little essay (by me) has appeared today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:


“A Note in Favor of Rereading Great Works, Including the Scriptures”

Abstract: When I was young, I learned an important lesson that has stayed with me through my life. This lesson has led me, on many occasions, to reread great works by great authors. The scriptures are no exceptions, and rereading them can be beneficial to any reader.




From Susan Easton Black and Larry C. Porter, Martin Harris: Uncompromising Witness of the Book of Mormon (Provo: BYU Studies, 2018):


Ever ready to share his conviction of the early stages of the Restoration, Martin called on the offices of the Rochester Daily American at Rochester, New York, on November 15, 1849.  The following day, that newspaper reported his reminiscences of taking dictation from Joseph Smith and enumerated the translation process of the Book of Mormon.  He again confirmed that he had mortgaged his farm to raise funds for the publication of the volume.  Martin also made it clear that “he no longer goes with the Mormons” and that “he abandoned them fifteen years ago, when they assumed the appellation of ‘Latter Day Saints.'”  The editor also informed the public that “Mr. H. is exceedingly familiar with the Scripture[s], and discourses theology in his peculiar way, with the fluency and zeal of a devotee.”  (363)


On to 1850:


One might imagine Martin a happy man, for he had a loving family, tangible assets, and continued association with his friends in the [offshoot] Church of Christ.  Nevertheless, he was disquieted and angry over the turn of events locally and over his perceptions of the treatment he had received at the hands of Brigham Young and the Twelve Apostles.  Still, he remained a consistent sentinel of his core belief — that both the Book of Mormon and his experience with the angel were valid — and he was fully ready to vouchsafe that testimony to any person who inquired after him.  (364)


At this juncture, Elder James W. Bay, a Mormon missionary en route to England from Utah . . . called to see Martin at Kirtland on November 23, 1850.  He recorded Martin’s having testified to him that the Book of Mormon was true “for he saw the plates and knew for himself.”  Bay stated that he “staid at Martins all night had quite a talk with him he thought that the 12 was [w]rong but I told him that he was [w]rong and he had better come up to the valley and see for himself.”  (366)




Here are some interesting things that you might have missed:


Updates on DNA and the Book of Mormon”


“King Noah as “Wicked King” Archetype”


“From Kings to Judges: Learning from the Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon”




And here are some recent items on the Neville-Neville Land blog:


“Please define “a lot””


“Jonathan Neville continues to dismiss the First Presidency’s counsel”



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