BOM Lost Pages Found - 1876
The Salt Lake Daily Tribune – August 26, 1876
BOOK OF MORMON.
Let There Be Rejoicing Among the Faithful in Zion.
The Lost Pages of Smith's Bible
Found Among the Ruins of Palmyra.
The Gospel Restored, and Lehi Turns Up at Last.
Readers of Mormon history are aware of the fact
that just before the Mormon Bible was printed, in 1830, one hundred and
sixteen pages of the sacred manuscript were made away with by Mrs. Harris,
wife of Martin the Witness, in consequence of which loss the Bible makers were
at their wits' ends, and the printing of the book delayed several months.
It was supposed by Smith and Cowdery that the missing pages had been handed over by Mrs. Harris to some one who might produce them to the confusion of Joseph, in case he should attempt to replace them. Smith did not reproduce the stolen pages, (a thing easily accomplished had he been possessed of the plates and ability to translate them,) but published a card giving his reasons for not re-translating. This card of explanation was printed in the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and is, of itself, conclusive evidence of imposture; indeed the explanation was worse than the loss of the manuscript, and is now omitted by Brigham and the Bible venders at Plano. The possible reappearance of the missing sheets was a cause of much anxiety to Joseph for some months; and their coming to light at this late day will be a matter of transporting astonishment to all the Saints who hunger and thirst after Cumorah's hillside mysteries. The following will explain itself.
After leaving Cumorah's sacred summit we wended our way to the old, rackety, tumble-down building, to which, we were assured, Harris was in the habit of going alone, during the inception of the new ism, wherein, also, Mrs. Harris was occasionally seen during the absence of her husband. "This is the place," said Havens, "the very place where old Martin and Joe used to inspire each other with chances to gull the town and clear a thousand or two. Here, too, old Mrs. Harris used to saunter in and out inquiringly, and just as like as not she chucked those sacred pages into some of these cracks here. I say, Jenkins, give us a lift there on that slab, while I stir up a rat's nest -- that's a mysterious looking aperture." So said, and done; when, lo! amid the rubbish of rotten wood, leaves and cob webs, a dingy, torn copy of the Wayne Sentinel, bits of paper scribbled, but illegible, and by the shades of Nephi, a roll of manuscript!
"Go for it, Jenkins," aid Havens excitedly; and I went for it. The outside pages were tender with age, and like short cake fell to pieces in unrolling. "Give me a chance at that," said Jenkins; "if there's anything I'm specially qualified for it is in deciphering' old document’s. I hope this is a batch of Joe's love letters or Harris's adventure with the Devil. Go to -- let's at it." On examination this old roll of paper seemed to have neither beginning or end; it commenced without a commencement and quit with dim obscurity. There were neither capitals nor periods and but for the frequent recurrence of And it came to pass," the first ten pages would have been wholly illegible. The following pages told the rather uncertain story of one Lehi and his attempt to teach a Sunday school class by the story method. Here it is --- as it were.
"---- And now for the more
instruction part of my hearers, and insomuch as the place that now knows me will
know me no more for ever (Selah) and as my father did observe to say a remark to
me of the bounden duty of ____ to bear testimony of my own knowledge concerning
that of which hath been spoken.
I, Lehi, the seventh son of the seventh son, all of whom were males now speech to ye, before I go to that bourne from whence no traveler e'er returns, upon the much wickedness of ye Sodomites, which was of much badness, and worse and more so. And it came to pass, as my father were wont to say, so I saith to ye. (And did not Zoram bear like chronology to his progenitors?) Thus endeth the eleventh year of Coriantum[r] and Shiz. The Lamanites were driven out of the land; and the Ammonihahites from Ammonihah, who lived a time after their fathers existed before them, these all were destroyed; yea, and every living soul did cease to be alive; and it came to pass, because of much desolation the land was desolate. (For did not Annulek say, it is very lonely!) And their carcasses were mangled by canines, which are dogs; and their carcasses, of which hath been spoken, were scattered up on the face of the earth; and they were covered with a shallow burial, and there was not much earth upon their bodies, for behold it was quite thin. An it came to pass, Sodom did stand up and speak, and he did say a remark with his mouth, and I saith the same to ye; did he not say, 'I am monarch of all I survey' -- because of this desolateness; but it is not good for man to be alone, and moreover, for as much more, Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do, I will pass by the land of Shiz and Shux and Borax, and like the busy bee that doth improve each shining hour, so I will -- yea verily.
And it came to pass as Sodom and his two wives and his three sons and their four wives essayed to go into the south country, they were attacked by the Yanks and Modocs and Busharecs. And Sodom said to his hosts (for by this time their children were big.) "The question now is -- to be or not to be; we are surrounded by bloodthirsty savages, whose souls are not regarded in Bozrah. They care not for the inalienable rights of man among whom are life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness." And it came to pass that he did exhort them with many other fine oratories, insomuch that they were swollen with valor, and Damscopus did nail the flag to the mast, and they did fall upon their enemies and did smote them hip and thigh from sunrise until the going down thereof, and they did slew forty-two hundred thousand, and when morning came there were a good many dead, yea, verily, those who had died the day before!
Behold, is this not engraven on the plates? Verily, Selah!
And it came to pass, yet,
so, as, thereby, neither; and Sodom went to, and did, and built a city and
called it after himself, Sodom, which is, as it was, a city named after himself.
And it came to pass that Sodom and his two wives and his three sons and their four wives and their much relatives, insomuch they were forasmuch more so, did, yea, verily, they didst, as hath been spoken, and married and did live up to their privileges and did take unto themselves wives, all of which they chose, and the daughters of men were fair to look upon. Selah! And they said, 'e plurbus unum,' and they ceased to bear testimony, and the desert did cease to blossom as the rose, and the Lord poured hot shot upon the town of Sodom because of their intercourse with the Gentiles and their admiration for a certain vile sheet, a Tribune, as it were, after a sort. So it came to pass, verily thus saith I, it came to pass Sodom was no more, it was not and became as it had not been, according to the sayings of the prophet who declareth in Zion, nux comica!
And it came to pass that, the spindle did turn whithersoever it turned, and Lot did get out of, go away and leave Sodom, with but one long, lingering look behind. And it came to pass, the Angel of the Lord, thus saith the Angel of the Lord, get thee out, Lot, and thy two daughters. And so it came to pass they did go, and did get, and go from the ashes of Sodom. And, lo! it did seem to Lot that he was alone in an inhospitable place, and there was not a woman, nor any wife to him and he could not live up to his privileges, for Lot was of the genus Mormon. And he did say to the girls, with that speech wherewith he did say unto them, "Bring me to the pleasure of my fathers, and of the valley Tan whereof ye have a wherewithal, let me have the solace of five several delights." And as he said, so did the girls, and things became so-so.
And Lot knew the woman after a certain sort and did say in his heart, Heaven and earth, and they did conceive and the mother of Moab became the mother of the Moabites and Ammon the mother of the Ammonites, which are to this day.
And it came to pass that this became thus -- thusly, according to the words of Alma. As the mothers of Moab and Ammon were sisters, the boys were each other's uncles! Quotha; and as the children of the same father, are brother and sister, Moab was his own uncle.
And now furthermore, as Moab and Ammon were children by the same parent, they were brothers and sisters, and being at the same time children of sisters, they were also cousins! So Moab was not only his own uncle, but cousin and uncle to Ammon, who being child to the same father, was brother to his mother!
And now, forasmuch as the father of a mother is a grandfather, and as Lot was both father to Ammon and Ammon's mother, father and grandfather were one and the same man, consequently Lot was his own father. according to the most excellent doctrines and peophecies of Mormon, the relative of I, Lehi!
And it came to pass --
* * * * * *
Beyond this the manuscript is illegible. But it is plain enough that the story is that spirited away by Mrs. Harris in 1827-8-9. The facts, like those in the Mormon Bible, are important; the names are easily recognized, and the composition is characteristic. Beyond a doubt Havens and Jenkins have discovered the missing pages of the Book of Mormon, and we shall look expectantly for a new edition containing this addition to the revelations of Palmyra Joseph!
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