Volume 4 Chapter 30
Emigration of the Saints from England to Nauvoo—The Book of Abraham.
Sunday, January 30, 1842.—I preached at my house morning and evening, concerning the different spirits, their operations, designs, &c.
Monday, 31.—Assisted in appraising the tithings of Saturday with Emma. Received many calls. Read in the Book of Mormon. After dinner visited Brother Chase who was very sick, and in the evening was in council with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and Willard Richards concerning Brother Snyder and the printing office; spent the evening very cheerfully, and retired about ten o'clock.
Tuesday, February 1.—Two large stones, for door sills, for the Nauvoo House, were landed. The following article is from the Millennial Star of this date:
In the midst of the general distress which prevails in this country on account of the want of employment, the high price of provisions, the oppression, priestcraft, and iniquity of the land, it is pleasing to the household of faith to contemplate a country reserved by the Almighty as a sure asylum for the poor and oppressed,—a country every way adapted to their wants and conditions—and still more pleasing to think that thousands of the Saints have already made their escape from this country, and all its abuses and distress, and that they have found a home, where, by persevering industry, they may enjoy all the blessings of liberty, peace and plenty.
It is not yet two years since the Saints in England, in obedience to the command of their heavenly Father, commenced a general plan of emigration to the land of Zion.
They were few in number, generally poor, and had every opposition to encounter, both from a want of means and from the enemies of truth, who circulated every falsehood calculated to hinder or discourage them. Newspapers and tracts were put in circulation, sermons and public speeches were delivered in abundance, to warn the people that Nauvoo was a barren waste on the sea shore—that it was a wild and uninhabited swamp—that it was full of savages, wild beasts and serpents—that all the English Saints who should go there would be immediately sold for slaves by the leaders of the Church—that there was nothing to eat, no water, and no way possible to obtain a living; that all who went there would have their money taken from them, and themselves imprisoned, &c. But notwithstanding all these things, thousands have emigrated from this country, and now find themselves comfortably situated, and in the enjoyment of the comforts of life, and in the midst of society where God is worshiped in the spirit of truth and union, and where nearly all are agreed in religious principles. They all find plenty of employment and good wages, while the expense of living is about one-eighth of what it costs in this country. For instance—beef and pork costs about one penny per pound, flour from 2s to 3s for forty pounds, and Indian meal about one shilling for sixty pounds; butter from 4d to 6d per pound, while milch cows are to be had in plenty for about Σ3 per head, and other things in proportion. Millions on millions of acres of land lie before them unoccupied, with a soil as rich as Eden, and a surface as smooth, clear, and ready for the plough as the park scenery of England.
Instead of a lonely swamp or dense forest filled with savages, wild beasts and serpents, large cities and villages are springing up in their midst, with schools, colleges, and temples. The mingled noise of mechanism, the bustle of trade, the song of devotion, are heard in the distance, while thousands of flocks and herds are seen grazing peacefully on the plains, and the fields and gardens smile with plenty, and the wild red men of the forest are only seen as they come on a friendly visit to the Saints and to learn the way of the Lord.
Several large ships have been chartered by the Saints during the present fall and winter, and have been filled with emigrants, who have gone forth with songs of joy; and some of them have already arrived safely in the promised land, while others are, doubtless, still tossing upon the ocean.
The expense of passage and provisions to New Orleans has, at no time this season, exceeded Σ4, and it is generally as low as three pounds fifteen shillings. This is remarkable when we reflect that each passenger has provisions and water provided in plenty for ten weeks. But it is obtained at this low price by a union of effort among the Saints, and by the faithful and persevering exertions of their agents. For instance they purchase provisions by the quantity, and duty free, and the moment they bid farewell to their native shores they hoist the Flag of Liberty—the Ensign of Zion—the stars and stripes of the American Union; and under its protection they completely and practically nullify the bread tax. They eat free bread, free tea, free sugar, free everything, and thus accomplish a journey of five thousand miles on the same money that is would cost to feed them for the same length of time in England.
Who that has a heart to feel, or a soul to rejoice, will not be glad at so glorious a plan of deliverance? Who will not hail the messengers of the Latter-day Saints as the friends of humanity—the benefactors of mankind.
Thousands have gone, and millions more must go,
The Gentiles as a stream to Zion flow.
Yes, friends, this glorious work has but just commenced; and we now call upon the Saints to come forward with united effort, with persevering exertion, and with union of action, and help yourselves and one another to emigrate to the Land of Promise.
In this way we shall not only bring about the deliverance of tens of thousands, who must otherwise suffer in this country, but we shall add to the strength of Zion, and help to rear her cities and temples—"to make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord," while the young men and the middle aged will serve to increase her legions—to strengthen her bulwarks—that the enemies of law and order who have sought her destruction, may stand afar off and tremble, and her banner become terrible to the wicked.
Ye children of Zion, once more we say, in the name of Israel's God, arise, break off your shackles, loose yourselves from the bands of your neck, and go forth to inherit the earth, and to build up waste places of many generations.
All who would go before September next, should go in the early part of March, as it is as late as is advisable to venture by way of New Orleans, on account of the extreme heat of summer; and to go by New York or Quebec, will be double the expense. Experience has taught us that an emigrant can go from Liverpool to New Orleans, and from thence 1,500 miles up the river to Nauvoo for something like Σ5 per head, including all provisions and expenses; while by way of New York or Quebec it will cost from ten to thirteen pounds; and besides there is another consideration, and that is, goods will cost but a trifle for freight up the Mississippi on a steamer, while the expense would be immense the other way.
Therefore the Saints will please take notice, that after the 10th of March next, emigration had better entirely cease, till about the 20th of September following. If thousands should wish to go between this time and the 10th of March, they have only to furnish us with their names and about Σ4 per head (children under fourteen years half price), and we will provide them passage and provisions, for the voyage, and return the overplus, if any, at Liverpool.
We would again urge upon emigrants the important fact that if they make known to us their intentions, and send their money and names some weeks beforehand, it will be a great convenience, and save confusion, trouble and expense. All applications should be addressed to Messrs. Pratt and Fielding, 36 Chapel street, Liverpool, or to the Star office, 47 Oxford street, Manchester.
We do not wish to confine the benefit of our emigration plan to the Saints, but are willing to grant all industrious, honest, and well-disposed persons who may apply to us the same information and assistance as emigrants to the western states, there being abundant room for more than a hundred millions of inhabitants.
Death of Laura Phelps.
Wednesday, 2.—Sister Laura Phelps, wife of Morris Phelps, died, aged 36 years. She was driven from Jackson county in 1833, was in the persecution of Missouri, in 1838, and went from Iowa to Missouri to assist in liberating her husband, and was left in the prison yard when he made his escape, willing to suffer all the abuses a savage horde could inflict upon her to set her companion free from the grasp of his murderous enemies. Her rest is glorious.
I spent the day in council with Dr. Isaac Galland and Calvin A. Warren, Esq.
Thursday, 3.—In council with Calvin A. Warren, Esq., concerning a settlement with the estate of Oliver Granger, and delivered him the necessary papers.
Elder Woodruff took the superintendence of the printing office, and Elder Taylor the editorial department of the Times and Seasons; and he commenced by taking an inventory of the establishment this day.
Friday, 4.—Instructed that an invoice of Dr. Galland's scrip be made.
Debates in Nauvoo.
Closed a contract with Ebenezer Robinson for the printing office on the corner of Bain and Water streets, also the paper fixtures, bookbindery, and stereotype foundry, by proxy, namely, Willard Richards, cost between 7,000 and 8,000 dollars. In the evening attended a debate. At this time debates were held weekly, and entered into by men of the first talents in the city, young and old, for the purpose of eliciting truth, acquiring knowledge, and improving in public speaking.
Vindication of Daniel Wood.
Saturday, 5.—Elder Daniel Wood, who had been silenced by Presidents Smith and Young, on a complaint for teaching false doctrine, came before the High Council at Nauvoo, and proved that he had not taught false doctrine, but had been complained of by those who had prejudice and hardness against him, and was restored to his former standing in the Church.
This being Tithing Day, upwards of $1,000 worth of property was received.
The ship Hope sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with 270 Saints.
Sunday, 6.—Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball went to La Harpe to hold a two-days meeting.
From this time I was engaged in counseling the brethren and attending to the common vocations of life and my calling, reading the Book of Mormon, &c.
Thursday, 10.—I was sick and kept my bed.
The war continues to rage between England and China.
Friday, 11.—I was convalescent, and walked twice to the store.
Saturday, 12.—An ordinance regulating weights and measures was passed, also an ordinance regulating auctions, by the city council which I attended. During the sitting of the council the subject of our chartered rights was discussed.
In the afternoon, plead in an action of slander before the mayor, in behalf of the city against Lyman O. Littlefield, and obtained judgment of $500 bonds to keep the peace.
Sunday, 13—In council with the mayor, Brother Hyrum and Elder Willard Richards, and visited Samuel Bennett (who was sick) in company with William Law and wife.
Monday, 14.—Spent the day at my office, transacting a variety of business, and continued to do the same from day to day till the 17th.
Thursday, 17.—I attended a special session of the city council, when an ordinance was passed authorizing and regulating marriages in the city of Nauvoo.
Letter of Alfred Cordon to Joseph Smith—Reporting Affairs in England.
Hanley, Stafford County, England, February 17, 1842.
President Joseph Smith:—The work in which we are engaged rolls on in this lands and in spite of all its enemies, moves onward in majesty and power; there are many who devote all their time and talent in endeavoring to overthrow it; but I discover that they can "do nothing against the truth but for the truth." Many tracts have been published against us, containing all manner of lies, but in the end good will be the result. "He that knoweth God, heareth us." Some of the tools of Satan are doing more in spreading the truth than we are able to do; one in particular, a Mr. Brindley, is publishing a periodical showing the "errors and blasphemies" of "Mormonism;" and in order to do this, he publishes many of the revelations of God given to us, and through this means, the testimony is visiting the mansions of the high and mighty ones—the "reverends, right reverends" and all the noble champions of sectarians receive them as a precious morsel; and they are read with much interest; whereas, if we had sent them, they would have been spurned from their dwellings, and would not have been considered worth reading.
The state of this country is very awful, and is, according to prospects, on the eve of a mighty revolution; all confidence is gone between master and man, and men are afraid of each other; peace is fast removing from this land; in the course of the last few days, in many parts of this isle, they have been burning the effigy of the great men of this nation—poverty, distress and starvation abound on every hand. The groans, and tears and wretchedness of the thousands of people are enough to rend the hearts of demons; many of the Saints are suffering much through hunger and nakedness; many with large families can scarcely get bread and water enough to hold the spirit in the tabernacle; many, very many, are out of employment, and cannot get work to do, and others that do work hard fourteen or fifteen hours per day, can scarcely earn enough to enable them to live upon the earth. Surely there is need of deliverance in Zion, and I am ready to exclaim, thanks be to Thy name, O Lord, for remembering Thy covenants! and that the "set time to favor Zion has come," and that He has chosen the west for a refuge for His people.
Wishing you all success, I remain, yours in the new and everlasting covenant.
Confidence in the Nauvoo Charter.
Friday, 18.—I attended an adjourned city council, and spoke at considerable length in committee of the whole on the great privileges of the Nauvoo Charter, and especially on the registry of deeds for Nauvoo, and prophesied in the name of the Lord God, that Judge Douglas and no other judge of the Circuit Court will ever set aside a law of the city council, establishing a registry of deeds in the city of Nauvoo.
Saturday, 19.—I was engaged in the Recorder's Office (in the first story of the Brick Store), on the tithings, and in council in my office with Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and others.
A severe shock of an earthquake threw down all the parapets, bastions, and guard houses constructed by Sir Robert Sale, and demolished a third part of the town of Jellalabad, India.
Sunday, 20.—I attended the meeting on the hill. About this time the ship John Cummins sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with Saints. The Tremont sailed on the 12th of January with 143 passengers, mostly Saints. The expenses of passage from Liverpool to New Orleans averages from Σ3, 15s to Σ4, including provisions.
Monday, 21.—I was visiting in the city in the morning, and transacting a variety of business at the office in the afternoon and evening.
Announcement of the Trustee in Trust for the Church Respecting Work on the Temple.
To The Brethren In Nauvoo City: Greeting—It is highly important for the forwarding of the Temple, that an equal distribution of labor should be made in relation to time; as a superabundance of hands one week, and none the next, tends to retard the progress of the work: therefore every brother is requested to be particular to labor on the day set apart for the same, in his ward; and to remember that he that sows sparingly, shall also reap sparingly, so that if the brethren want a plentiful harvest, they will do well to be at the place of labor in good season in the morning, bringing all necessary tools, according to their occupation, and those who have teams bring them also, unless otherwise advised by the Temple Committee. Should any one be detained from his labor by unavoidable circumstances on the day appointed, let him labor the next day, or the first day possible.
N.B—The captains of the respective wards are particularly requested to be at the place of labor on their respective days, and keep an accurate account of each man's work, and be ready to exhibit a list of the same when called for.
The heart of the Trustee is daily made to rejoice in the good feelings of the brethren, made manifest in their exertion to carry forward the work of the Lord, and rear His Temple; and it is hoped that neither planting, sowing, or reaping will hereafter be made to interfere with the regulations hinted at above.
Joseph Smith, Trustee in Trust.
An Additional Word from the Twelve.
Recorders Office Febr. 21, 1842.
We would also say to all the churches, that inasmuch as they want the blessings of God and angels, as also of the Church of Jesus Christ, and wish to see it spread and prosper through the world, and Zion built up and truth and righteousness prevail,—let all the different branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all the world, call meetings in their respective places and tithe themselves and send up to this place to the Trustee in Trust, so that his hands may be loosed, and the Temple go on, and other works be done, such as the new translation of the Bible, and the record of Father Abraham published to the world.
Beloved brethren, we as the messengers of the Lord feel to call upon you to help roll on the mighty work, it is our duty so to do, and it is your reasonable service—and the Lord will bless you in so doing.
We subscribe ourselves your humble servants, and standard bearers to the world.
Brigham Young, President,
Willard Richards, Clerk of the Twelve.
Tuesday, 22.—Attended to a variety of business as usual.
Wednesday, 23.—Settled with and paid Brother Chase, and assisted in the counting room in settling with Ebenezer Robinson, visiting the printing office, and gave Reuben Hedlock instruction concerning the cut for the altar and gods in the Records of Abraham, as designed for the Times and Seasons.
Thursday, 24.—Engaged in council with the brethren, attended to business at the general office. In the afternoon explained the records of Abraham to the recorder. Sisters Marinda, Mary, and others present to hear the explanations.
Letter of the Prophet's to an Unknown Brother on Tithing.
Nauvoo, Feb. 24, 1842.
Beloved Brother—Yours of the 24th ult. is received, in relation to certain tithings of your neighborhood being transferred to your account, which you hold against the Church to the amount of $305, including $150 of your own.
There are no receipts issued for property received on tithing; but an entry is made in the Book of the Law of the Lord, and parties living at a distance notified of the same.
If the parties named will pay you the sum specified in your letter, and you will endorse the same, 1.e. $305, on the obligation you hold against the Church, and give me notice accordingly, with a schedule of individuals' names and payments, the same shall be entered to their credit on tithing. Yours, &c.
Willard Richards, Scribe.
Friday, 25.—Engaged in counseling and general business.
Saturday, 26.—At the recorder's office engaged in the tithing, and at the court at the office of the Patriarch.
Sunday, 27.—Engaged in counseling the Saints.
Monday, 28.—I offered a settlement to Father Snow by Jenkins' notes, which he declined, choosing to take land in Ramus; paid Brother Robert Pierce $2,700, the balance due him for a farm Dr. Galland bought of Brother Pierce in Brandywine Township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, for $5,000, namely a deed for lot 2, block 94, $1,100, and lot 1, block 95, $800, and lot 4, block 78, $806, the remainder having been previously paid. The bond was cancelled and given up, and Brother Pierce expressed his satisfaction of the whole, in the Times and Seasons, as follows—
Note of Robert Pierce—Expressing Satisfaction at Financial Settlement.
Nauvoo, Feb. 28, 1842.
President Joseph Smith.
Dear Sir—I feel anxious to express my feelings concerning the business transactions between the Church and myself; as it is well known to many, that Dr. Galland, as agent for the Church, purchased my farm while I was living in Brandywine Township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, and many supposed, or pretended to suppose, I would get nothing in return; but I wish to say to all my old friends and enemies in Pennsylvania, through the medium of the Times and Seasons, that I have received my pay in full from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through yourself, sir, as their trustee in trust, according to the original contract; and that from my acquaintance with yourself, and those brethren who are assisting you in the great and increasing business of the Church, I have the fullest confidence in all the transactions of the Church, and I request those papers in Philadelphia, who published concerning my sale and loss, with such bitter lamentations, to publish this also.
I am, sir, your brother and well-wisher,
Thursday, March 1, 1842.—During the forenoon I was at my office and the printing office, correcting the first plate or cut of the records of Father Abraham, prepared by Reuben Hedlock, for the Times and Seasons, and in council in my office, in the afternoon; and in the evening with the Twelve and their wives at Elder Woodruff's, at which time I explained many important principles in relation to progressive improvement in the scale of intelligent existence.
I commenced publishing my translations of the Book of Abraham in the Times and Seasons as follows—
Fig. 1. The Angel of the Lord.
Fig. 2. Abraham fastened upon an altar.
Fig. 3. The idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice.
Fig. 4. The altar for sacrifice by the idolatrous priests, standing before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and Pharaoh.
Fig. 5. The idolatrous god of Elkenah.
Fig. 6. The idolatrous god of Libnah.
Fig. 7. The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.
Fig. 8. The idolatrous god of Korash.
Fig. 9. The idolatrous god of Pharaoh.
Fig. 10. Abraham in Egypt.
Fig. 11. Designed to represent the pillars of heaven, as understood by the Egyptians.
Fig. 12. Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem.
Fig. 1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.
Fig. 2. Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar, which he had built unto the Lord.
Fig. 3. Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority; with a crown of eternal light upon his head; representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.
Fig. 4. Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
Fig. 5. Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob.
Fig. 6. Represents this earth in its four quarters.
Fig. 7. Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.
Fig. 8. Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.
Fig. 9. Ought not to be revealed at the present time.
Fig. 10. Also.
Fig. 11. Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.
Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, will be given in the own due time of the Lord.
The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time.
Fig. 1. Abraham sitting upon Pharaoh's throne, by the politeness of the king, with a crown upon his head, representing the Priesthood, as emblematical of the grand Presidency in Heaven; with the scepter of justice and judgment in his hand.
Fig. 2. King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head.
Fig. 3. Signifies Abraham in Egypt as given also in Figure 10 of Facsimile No. 1.
Fig. 4. Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand.
Fig. 5. Shulem, one of the king's principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand.
Fig. 6. Olimlah, a slave belonging to the prince.
Abraham is reasoning upon the principles of Astronomy, in the king's court.
Fac-Simile From The Book of Abraham-No 3.
The Book Of Abraham. 1
Translated from the Papyrus, by Joseph Smith. 2
A Translation of some Ancient Records that have fallen into our hands, from the Catacombs of Egypt, purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand upon papyrus.
In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my father, I Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence, and finding there was greater happiness, and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace; and desiring to receive instructions and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers; it was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundations of the earth, to the present time, even the right of the first born, or the first man, who is Adam, our first Father, through the fathers, unto me.
2. I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers, concerning the seed. My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice; for their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto their dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavored to take away my life by the hand of the priest of Elkenah—the priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.
3. Now at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women and children. And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the Sun. Even the thank-offering of a child did the priest of Pharaoh offer upon this altar, which stood by the hill called Potiphar's hill, at the head of the plain of Olishem. Now, this priest had offered upon the altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent, directly from the loins of Ham. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship gods of wood, or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.
4. And it came to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins, upon this altar; and that you may have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record. It was made after the form of a bedstead, such as was had among the Chaldeans, and it stood before the gods of Elkenah, Libna, Mahmackrah, Korash, and also a god like unto that of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. That you may have an understanding of these gods, I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning, which manner of the figures is called by the Chaldeans Rahleenos, which signifies hieroglyphics.
5. And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God; and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with a vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands, and his voice was unto me, Abraham! Abraham! behold my name is JEHOVAH, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father's house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land that thou knowest not of, and this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham my son, to take away thy life. Behold I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father; and my power shall be over thee; as it was with Noah so shall it be with thee, but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth for ever, for I am thy God.
6. Behold Potiphar's Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea; and the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh, which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood. Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.
7. The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which, in the Chaldean, signifies Egypt, which signifies, that which is forbidden. When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterwards settled her sons in it: and thus from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal. Pharaoh being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.
8. Now Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry; but I shall endeavor hereafter to delineate the chronology, running back from myself to the beginning of the creation, for the records have come into my hands which I hold unto this present time.
9. Now, after the priest of Elkenah was smitten, that he died, there came a fulfillment of those things which were said unto me concerning the land of Chaldea, that there should be a famine in the land. Accordingly a famine prevailed throughout all the land of Chaldea, and my father was sorely tormented because of the famine, and he repented of the evil which he had determined against me, to take away my life. But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands, therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.
10. Now, the Lord God caused the famine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran, my brother died, but Terah, my father, yet lived in the land of Ur of the Chaldees. And it came to pass that I, Abraham, took Sarai to wife, and Nehor, my brother, took Milcah to wife, who were the daughters of Haran. Now the Lord said unto me, Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father's house unto a land that I will show thee. Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and I took Lot, my brother's son, and his wife, and Sarai, my wife, and also my father followed after me, unto the land which we denominated Haran. And the famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there, as there were many flocks in Haran; and my father turned again unto his idolatry, therefore he continued in Haran.
11. But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother's son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me, arise, and take Lot with thee, for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister, to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice, for I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven, the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains depart hence, and behold they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly. My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning, therefore, my hand shall be over thee, and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure; and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood), and in thy seed (that is thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12. Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart, thy servant has sought thee earnestly, now I have found thee. Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace. So I, Abraham, departed as the Lord had said unto me, and Lot with me, and I, Abraham, was sixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran. And I took Sarai, whom I took to wife when I was in Ur in Chaldea, and Lot, my brother's son, and all our substance that we had gathered, and the souls that we had won in Haran, and came forth in the way to the land of Canaan, and dwelt in tents, as we came on our way; therefore, eternity was our covering, and our rock, and our salvation, as we journeyed from Haran by the way of Jershon, to come to the land of Canaan.
13. Now I, Abraham, built an altar in the land of Jershon, and made an offering unto the Lord, and prayed that the famine might be turned away from my father's house, that they might not perish; and then we passed from Jershon through the land, unto the place of Sechem. It was situated in the plains of Moreh, and we had already come into the borders of the land of the Canaanites, and I offered sacrifice there in the plains of Moreh, and called on the Lord devoutly, because we had already come into the land of this idolatrous nation.
14. And the Lord appeared unto me in answer to my prayers, and said unto me, unto thy seed will I give this land. And I, Abraham arose from the place of the altar which I had built unto the Lord, and removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched my tent there; Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east; and there I built another altar unto the Lord, and called again upon the name of the Lord.
15. And I, Abraham, journeyed, going on still towards the south; and there was a continuation of a famine in the land, and I, Abraham, concluded to go down into Egypt, to sojourn there, for the famine became very grievous. And it came to pass when I was come near to enter into Egypt, the Lord said unto me, behold Sarai, thy wife, is a very fair woman to look upon, therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see her they will say, she is his wife; and they will kill you, but they will save her alive: therefore, see that ye do on this wise, let her say unto the Egyptians she is thy sister, and thy soul shall live. And it came to pass that I, Abraham, told Sarai, my wife, all that the Lord had said unto me; therefore, say unto them, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee.
16. And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees; and I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God: and there were many great ones which were near unto it: and the Lord said unto me, these are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me; for I am the Lord thy God. I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof, that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after His manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest; this is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.
17. And the Lord said unto me, the planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above, or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order, because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months and of years. And the Lord said unto me, Now Abraham, these two facts exist, behold thine eyes see it; it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning, and the set time, yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light, which is set to rule the day, and the set time of the lesser light, which is set to rule the night.
18. Now the set time of the lesser light, is a longer time as to its reckoning than the reckoning of the time of the earth upon which thou standest; and where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them; that is, there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still; and thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord's time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And it is given unto thee to know the set time of all the stars, that are set to give light, until thou come near unto the throne of God.
19. Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord face to face, as one man talketh with another; and He told me of the works which His hands had made; and he said unto me, My son, my son, (and His hand was stretched out,) behold, I will show you all these. And be put His hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which His hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof; and He said unto me this is Shinehah which is the sun. And He said unto me, Kokob, which is star. And He said unto me, Olea, which is the moon. And He said unto me, Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights which were in the firmament of heaven. And it was in the night time when the Lord spake these words unto me: I will multiply thee and thy seed after thee, like unto these; and if thou canst count the number of sands so shall be the number of thy seeds.
20. And the Lord said unto me, Abraham, I show these things unto thee, before ye go into Egypt, that ye may declare all these words. If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them; therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me; now if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet, or a star may exist above it, (and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in His heart to do, but what He will do it;) howbeit that He made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning, they existed before; they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum or eternal.
21. And the Lord said unto me, these two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other, there shall be another more intelligent than they: I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all. The Lord thy God sent His angel to deliver thee from the hands of the priest of Elkenah. I dwell in the midst of them all; I, now, therefore, have come down unto thee, to deliver unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
22. Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones, and God saw these souls that they were good, and He stood in the midst of them, and He said, These I will make my rulers; for He stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and He said unto me, Abraham, thou art one of them, thou wast chosen before thou wast born. And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with Him, We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; and they who keep their first estate, shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate, shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
23. And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. and another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate, and at that day many followed after him. And then the Lord said: Let us go down; and they went down at the beginning, and they (that is, the Gods), organized and formed the heavens and the earth. And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate; because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters.
24. And they (the Gods), said; Let there be light, and there was light. And they, the Gods, comprehended the light for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided from the darkness, and the Gods called the light day, and the darkness they called night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning of that which they called day and night.
25. And the Gods also said: Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and it shall divide the waters from the waters. And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse, from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so, even as they ordered. And the Gods called the expanse heaven. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and this was the second time that they called night and day.
26. And the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the earth come up dry, and it was so, as they ordered; and the Gods pronounced the dry land earth and the gathering together of the waters, pronounced they great waters: and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. And the Gods said: Let us prepare the earth to bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth its own likeness upon the earth; and it was so, even as they ordered. And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass from its own seed, and the herb to bring forth herb from its own seed, yielding seed after his kind, and the earth to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same, in itself after his kind; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. And it came to pass that they numbered the days: from the evening until the morning they called night. And it came to pass from the morning until the evening they called day; and it was the third time.
27. And the Gods organized the lights in the expanse of the heavens, and caused them to divide the day from the night; and organized them to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years and organized them to be for lights in the expanse of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And the Gods organized the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, with the lesser light they set the stars, also; and the Gods set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to cause to divide the light from the darkness. And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered, until they obeyed. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that it was night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that it was day; and it was the fourth time.
28. And the Gods said, Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl that they may fly above the earth, in the open expanse of heaven, And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind; and the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good. And the Gods said, We will bless them and cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, or great waters; and cause the fowl to multiply in the earth. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and it was the fifth time.
29. And the Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so as they had said. And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey. And the Gods took counsel among themselves, and said: Let us go down, and form man in our image, after our likeness, and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing, that creepeth upon the earth. So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods, to form they him male and female, to form they them; and the Gods said We will bless them. And the Gods said, We will cause them to be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And the Gods said, Behold, we will give them every herb bearing seed that shall come upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which shall have fruit upon it, yea the fruit of the tree, yielding seed to them we will give it, it shall be for their meat; and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, behold we will give them life, and also we will give to them every green herb for meat, and all these things shall be thus organized. And the Gods said, We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day, and they numbered the sixth time.
30. And thus we will finish the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them. And the Gods said among themselves, On the seventh time, we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled. And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works, which they, the Gods, counseled among themselves to form, and sanctified it. And thus were their decisions, at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth. And the Gods came down and formed these, the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed, in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens, according to all that which they had said, concerning every plant of the field, before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field, before it grew; for the Gods had not caused it to rain upon the earth, when they counseled to do them; and had not formed a man to till the ground; but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit, that is the man's spirit, and put it into him, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
31. And the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden, and there they put the man, whose spirit they had put into the body, which they had formed. And out of the ground made the Gods to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There was a river running out of Eden, to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads. And the Gods took the man and put him in the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it; and the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet, the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.
32. And the Gods said, Let us make an helpmeet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an helpmeet for him. And the Gods caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and they took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof, and of the rib which the Gods had taken from man, formed they a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said this was bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, now she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man; therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. And out of the ground the Gods formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them, and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of the air, to every beast of the field; and for Adam, there was found an helpmeet for him.
2. The Book of Abraham was first published in the Times and Seasons in two numbers, Vol. 3, Nos. 9 and 10, March 1 and March 15, 1842, respectively. In this form it was copied into the Prophet's history with the several historical items which occurred between the dates of the publication of the two parts, and in this form is found in the Millennial Star, Vol. 19, pp. 100-103 and 164-168; but it is now thought proper to publish the Book of Abraham entire without dividing it into two articles, as in the above named periodicals.
It is important to note also that the Book of Abraham was published in the Times and Seasons when the Prophet was responsible editor of the periodical (he announces his editorial responsibility in No. 9 of Vol. 3, p. 710). Attention is called to this fact, in passing, because it is contended on the part of some, that the doctrine of the plurality of divine personages, as now understood by the Church, was not a doctrine taught by Joseph Smith; whereas it is a doctrine of the Book of Abraham, as will be seen by reference to it, published by him in a periodical of which he was the responsible editor; and, moreover, the Book of Abraham was often referred to by the Prophet in approving terms.