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If there be graduation from the lower to the higher spheres, there must, to render the situation consistent, be graduation within the degrees to the highest point of exaltation. The divine fiat, expressed in the quotation from section 131, is against it. If the barrier applies to two classes within the celestial degree, it certainly must also be applicable to all beneath them. The subject is of such a character that one break in the line of progressive climbing through one degree of glory to another is fatal to the theory that the inhabitants of the lower are transferable to the higher degrees.
Were all the Unsealed Records of the Book of Mormon Trans
A stake president asks the ERA the following question, sent to him by a class teacher in his stake:
“What is meant by the unsealed portion of the plates of the Book of Mormon, being delivered to the angel?” The enquirer then adds: “It is generally supposed that all the unsealed portions were translated, but it seems they were not, from reading on page 73, History of Joseph Smith.”
The question is answered by Elder Matthias F. Cowley in these quotations and comments:
Let us first give a description of the plates as found in Orson Pratt's Works:*
These records were engraved on plates, which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven to eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed.
The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found a curious instrument, called by the ancients
*Remarkable Visions, page 6.
the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient times by persons called Seers. It was an instrument, by the use of which they received revelation of things distant, or of things past or future.
Respecting the Urim and Thummim, it was also used in the translation of records, and was thus employed by the Prophet Joseph in translating the Book of Mormon. The sealed part of the record, the Prophet was informed was not to be translated and published to the world, at that time, but if the people who should receive the unsealed portion were faithful to the things contained therein, they should receive, in the due time of the Lord, the contents of the sealed record. The Savior said to the Jews: "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke xii, 2.) After obtaining the plates, Joseph the Prophet copied a few characters and sent them by Martin Harris to Professor Anthon, who certified that they were genuine Egyptian. Then he asked Martin Harris to bring him the plates, and he would translate them. When the latter informed him that he could not do that, and that a portion of them were sealed, Professor Anthon answered with a jeer of contempt that he could not read “a sealed book" and thus, unwittingly, the learned man fulfilled the words found in Isaiah xxix.
After the Prophet had translated the unsealed plates and made ready the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, he returned the plates to the librarian and custodian of those sacred recordsthe angel Moroni. Concerning this the Prophet Joseph writes:
At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the 22nd day of September, 1827, having gone 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. I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said, that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them; for no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exer
tions were used to get them from me; every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose; the persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible; but, by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. 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, being the 2nd day of May, 1838.*
Thus was returned to the angel Moroni, all the plates, sealed and unsealed, which had been entrusted to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
No other conclusion than that all the unsealed portions were translated can be drawn from the quotation above referred to (Cannon's Life of Joseph Smith). It reads:
After the work of translation was ended, Joseph recommitted his charge to the care of the angel of the record; and Moroni received it back into his keeping, to bring forth the yet unsealed portions of it only when God shall so decree.
It is self-evident that the words, "the yet unsealed portions” have reference to the portions that were sealed.
Hurry not only spoils work, but spoils life, also.—Lubbock.
"Truth and justice are no protection against malice. Envy is blind to all objects save other men's happiness."
Say what you will of the coldness and selfishness of men, at the last we long for companionship and the fellowship of our kind. We are lost children, and when alone and the darkness begins to gather, we long for the close relationship of the brothers and sisters we knew in our childhood, and cry for the gentle arms that once rocked us to sleep. Men are home-sick amid this sad, mad rush for wealth, and place and power. The calm of the country invites and we would fain do with less things, and go back to simplicity, and rest our tired heads in the lap of mother nature.-Elbert Hubbard.
*Pearl of Great Price, pp. 67, 68.
IN LIGHTER MOOD.
Vain man tells his wife just how the government should settle the canal question, and has to hire a laborer to map out a drain through his back yard.
“I see the Boers won another victory. British forces were surprised
“That's funny. I should think they'd be used to it by this time.”— Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.
Once upon a time a cat who prided herself on her wit and wisdom was prowling about the barn in search of food and saw a tail protruding from a hole.
"There is the conclusion of a rat," she said.
Then she crept stealthily toward it until within striking distance, when she made a jump and reached it with her claws. Alas! it was not the appendage of a rat, but the tail of a snake, who immediately turned and gave her a mortal bite.
Moral-It is dangerous to jump at conclusions.
Ethel-If ten men were to ask you to marry them, what would that
Amy-What would it be?
“The late editor's wife is something of a humorist.”
"Yes. Took a line from his original salutatory and placed it on his tombstone.”
“What was it?"
EVENTS OF THE MONTH.
BY THOMAS HULL, GENERAL SECRETARY OF Y. M. M. I. A.
LOCAL-January 15—A suit was today begun to test the State Fish and Game Law...... Moses Thatcher, and a party of Chicago business men, left yesterday for Old Mexico, with a view to purchasing 7,000 acres of land in the State of Oaxaca, for the raising of sugar and rubber ........ New appraisers have been appointed in the Peery estate, consisting of Robert A. Moyes, Lee Gibson, and Joseph Parry...............16—The police committee of the City Council, refuse to concur in the Mayor's request for the removal of Chief Hilton...............M. and S. Krotki, of Richfield, go into liquidation, assets, $22,000, liabilities, $24,000.. The local office of special agent of the Rio Grande Western has been abolished, and will be transferred to Denver.......... .E. Mumford, Dan Harrington, and D. Musser, appraised the value of President Snow's estate at $15,401.38..........17—It is announced that the Oregon Short Line will extend its Tintic lines........ 18-The articles of incorporation of the Commercial Club were adopted............19—Major Egan will be detached from duty at Fort Douglas and go to the Philippines..... A movement is set on foot in Salt Lake, towards enacting state law against cigarettes............ An attempt is made to quarantine Mayor William Glassman of Ogden, who exposed himself to small-pox in ordering the discharge of a victim in the city pest house...........Henry Golden, born England, Morch 27, 1831, died in Nephi............20—The San Pedro railroad elected directors: W. A. Clark, R. C. Kerrens, J. Ross Clark, T. E. Gibbon, T. F. Miller, F. K. Rule, W. S. McCornick, Thomas Kearns, Reed Smoot, E. W. Clark, Perry S. Heath and Ross W. Smith.........D. P. Felt was re-elected president of the Utah Press Association.........21– Work on the Ogden-Lucin cut-off is to begin at once........ liminary examination of Peter Mortensen began before Judge Neilsen.... Dr. J. Henry Barrows of the Oberlin, Ohio, College spoke in Salt Lake.... 22—Benjamin B. Haywood was nominated for U. S. Marshal for Utah,
..... The pre