Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
J11 [JONES, Dan.] Profion o eirwiredd Llyfr Mormon. (Proofs of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.) [Rhydybont: Printed by John Jones, 1847?].
12 pp. 17.5 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 15.
The contents of this pamphlet appeared in the Prophet of the Jubilee for September 1846 (pp. 63–70) and October 1846 (pp. 95–101). Dan Jones mentions the pamphlet in a letter to Brigham Young dated 21 June 1847; but it is not mentioned at all in Prophet of the Jubilee or in Zion’s Trumpet or in any of the book lists. The entire twelve pages are doctrinal in nature and appear to have been translated into Welsh from a variety of sources. One identified source is Charles Thompson’s 1841 Evidences in proof of the Book of Mormon.
Contrary to custom, no printer or place of publication is given at the end. One is led to wonder if perhaps there was a printed wrapper, discarded when the pamphlet was bound.
Perhaps some will be surprised when I venture to prove from the Scriptures, that such a book as “THE BOOK OF MORMON” has long been promised to be revealed to the world; but in any case, it is obvious to me, that that was to take place; and we shall now endeavor to prove scripturally that it was in this age that it was to be revealed, and that America was the place.
1. We shall prove that the American continent was promised by God to the seed of Joseph, namely the two halves of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh; that is, that God would reveal his mind and his will to them there, as he had given the revelations of our Bible to the Jews, and also that the books which contained those things would be joined together in the latter days.
First, note the blessing given by Jacob to the two sons of Joseph, in Gen. xlviii, 16. “Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” In the same blessing he says of Ephraim, “And his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” If this is connected, it will be seen that Ephraim would be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth. On Joseph’s head, Jacob said (Gen. xlix), “Joseph is a fruitful bough—even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength,” &c. He says again, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”
I ask, who were the fathers of Jacob, and what blessings were promised to them? Abraham and Isaac were his fathers, and the blessing they promised to Jacob was the land of Canaan; no more and no less than God promised to Abraham, namely, “I will give to thee and to thy seed, the land of thy journey [Canaan] as an inheritance forever.” But Joseph’s blessing “prevailed” above the blessing of his fathers; yes, it prevailed as much as the “utmost bound of the everlasting hills” over the land of Canaan. Jacob was in Egypt at this time, and where could one look for the “utmost bound of the everlasting hills” more reasonably than to the Andes, or the rocky mountains of the Continent? The Prophet also says that they would be in the west, “for when the Lord shall roar, then the children of Ephraim shall tremble from the west.” It is obvious from what has been said, that Ephraim was to be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth, and that Joseph was to inherit the widest and most fertile country under the sun, in the west; yes, as far as America. And if one searches the earth from pole to pole, one will not find a multitude of nations, who could possibly have descended from Ephraim, except in America. Although there are different nations in some other countries, yet, they are so mixed, and so different in their origins, that they cannot fulfill the above prophecy; whereas, on the other hand, one can see in America scores of nations, dwelling in a wide country, which contains the abundance of the world, and “bears the blessings of the earth below.” And every historian who has traveled among them, admits that they are of one common origin. One must admit that the American Indians are the remnant of Joseph, or deny this prophecy, as it cannot refer to anyone else.
The next thing we shall prove is that the prophets demonstrated that God would give revelations to Ephraim and Manasseh in America. See Hosea viii, 12. When speaking in the spirit of prophecy, he says, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” Ezekiel also says in chap. 37, not only that Ephraim, as well as Judah, would have a book containing the revelations of God to his prophets, but that these two books would be joined together, when God was about to restore them to possession of their promised rights (ver. 16). “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows; and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes; and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.”
It is known to every historian that the children of Israel were never one nation or kingdom on the mountains of Israel, nor anywhere else, from the time they were divided into two kingdoms under Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat. Yet, the prophet informs us that God will make them one kingdom; yes, in their own country, that is among the mountains of Israel. This will be accomplished by God’s gathering them from all the nations they went to.
This gathering will begin directly after the Lord takes the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and puts it with the stick of Judah, and in his hand they become one stick. Note, on one of these sticks would be written by God’s commandment certain things for Judah, and on the other for Ephraim (for it is called the stick of Ephraim as well as the stick of Joseph). And I ask what things God commanded to be written on them, except those things Hosea said: “I have written to him [Ephraim] the great things of my law,” that is, in order to govern the two branches of the house of Israel. Consequently, they contained prophecies about the things which would befall them in the future, for all the writings which God commanded to be written to every kindred, tongue, and nation, contain that; and so it is reasonable for us to expect that the stick of Joseph or Ephraim would contain “the great things of God’s law,” in order to teach them, govern them, and indicate their destiny to them as to their companions. The stick of Judah contained the great things of his law for Judah (that is, the tribe of Judah). But why are they called sticks, says the reader? I answer that the art of making paper was not known in the days of Ezekiel; consequently, they would have to prepare something else for that purpose. Sometimes they wrote on skins tanned smooth, which they called parchment. Sometimes they used tree bark for that purpose, which they called papyrus; and sometimes they hewed sticks smooth for this purpose. These last were the easiest to prepare; and because of that, God commanded the prophet to prepare two sticks immediately, to show them to the people, to be an example or sign to them that God would join the tribes of Israel, as, and at the time those two books are joined together. This is the reason, I imagine, they are called sticks instead of books.
The most natural question to an eager enquirer is, Where are these oracles to be found? The prophet says the stick of Joseph is already in the possession of the sons of Ephraim, and that God would take it from there, and move it to the stick of Judah, so that they became one in his hand. Although it is not stated where the stick of Judah is, it is mentioned that it is not to be moved like the other, from the place where it is; so I understand that the stick of Judah is already in the possession of the inhabitants of the earth; and since the stick of Ephraim is hidden, God will take it from the place where it is, will bring it into the open, and put it with the stick of Judah. It is not news now to the reader that the Bible is the stick of Judah; for it does not contain the story of any other tribe or people but they, since the said dispersal, except for the history of others in relation to them.
It contains the great things of God written to the tribe of Judah, by prophets and apostles of the house of Judah. It also contains prophecies about future things, which are already in the possession of the world. Now, as we have identified the stick of Judah, let us go on to search out the stick of Joseph, remembering when we find it, that it also must contain great things of the law of God for Ephraim; give the story of this branch of the house of Joseph, written by prophets and apostles descended from Joseph’s loins, as the stick of Judah is from his. Also, it implies that this book would be hidden in the region of the country where the sons of Ephraim dwelt at the time God brought it into the open, for it is taken from the hand of Ephraim; and as the word Ephraim here signifies his descendants who issued from his loins, so “from the hand of” signifies from the possession of, or from the country where the Ephraimites dwell. We have already proved that “Ephraim would be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth,” to the “west” of Jerusalem, “to the utmost bound of the eternal hills,” that is, the continent of America; for if one journeyed to the west of Jerusalem until one found a multitude of nations of the same origin, nothing of the sort would be found until one crossed the Atlantic Ocean, towards the latitude of Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America. Consequently, one would think that the traveler would consider his task at an end when he reached here, and found such a multitude of nations on a continent stretching almost from the northern circle to the southern; and he would say, here are the Ephraimites as the most detailed fulfillment of the prophecies about them; and then the stick [book of law] of Ephraim must be found here in their midst, and no book found anywhere else can answer this detailed description. Well, has such a book as is described been seen, in their possession, by anyone? says the reader. And one would think that if such a book were found in their midst giving the story of their origin and their experiences, that would be incontrovertible proof, and that even the most hardened unbelievers would admit the truth of the one book and the other, for two witnesses are better than one. Thus, let us search more carefully in their midst for such a book, for the prophets spoke the truth; and since these are the Ephraimites, such a thing must be revealed from their midst; and all those who wish to defend the truthfulness of the Bible [which bears witness about the book of Ephraim] should not only rejoice, believing the same when it is found, but endeavor to inform everyone of it. Whosoever despises or rejects [this book] rejects the witness to it [namely the Bible], as lies.
As none of these Indians, from what has been seen, can read, it could hardly be expected that there would be many books in their midst now, but that does not prove that they did not possess books at one time, and were able to read them and write them, any more than the complete fall of Babylon, and the great cities of Egypt and other places, together with the utter decline of their inhabitants, prove that they were not in their time the main academies or Thebes of the world. And like many of those, the American Indian now can only refer the traveler for an answer to his questions to the most magnificent ruins of the largest, most exquisitely crafted, and strongly defended cities ever seen in the world. These remains speak clearly and perpetually, in many ways, of the skill of their fathers, and show the complete decline which has overtaken their children. Recent travelers admit that the old cities, the great and numerous temples, the enormous columns, the high walls, the strong defenses, and the fortified cities, prove that they are not only as old, but of similar arts as those of the Egyptians, when in the height of their pomp and power. As to who made them, when, and what is their history, none of the travelers among them has found a satisfactory answer to these questions, and the answers one gets from the uncivilized inhabitants themselves is the tradition taught from father to son, and they are remarkable for imprinting the strangest things which were in their midst on the memories of the young children. I found it interesting to see the old grey-haired men sitting by their Wigwam, and the little boys of the fourth generation sitting on their knees, to be taught their history, especially their wars, the story of the braves of their own family, and the traditional tales of their prophets, whom they call their Medicine man. This instills in the children love for their own tribe, causing them to imitate them in bravery; and not infrequently jealousy is fostered toward another tribe through such teaching, from their boyhood. The task of the elders is to teach the young ones the traditions taught to them by their forefathers, while the active men hunt, the heroes fight, and the young lads and lasses are at their games, and learning to shoot with a bow, wield the war club and the tomahawk the fastest, which they do with great skill to the sound of their musical instruments, their cymbals, and a number of pipes. They have a kind of dance before going to war, and another kind after returning, if they are victorious, as well as several methods for their domestic entertainment. When they are about to attack their enemies, they have a habit of shouting in unison as loudly and as terribly as they can, in order to embolden each other, and terrify their enemies; and it is not unlikely that they have followed this practice for ages, for it is “similar to the roar of the children of Israel when they were victorious.” But not to be too long, let us pass over the numerous facts which throughout the country prove their antiquity, and we shall give a description of the cities and mounds, &c., in another issue.
But to have the account of the Register, namely, the “stick of Ephraim” in their midst, I beg for the reader’s unbiased attention on the following accounts, which were published to the world a few years ago, by unbiased men of the highest character, which prove that the tradition among the various tribes throughout the continent was quite similar to one another concerning the remarkable book under scrutiny.
Mr. Boudinot gives us the following account of the Indians that he visited:—”There is tradition among their chiefs that their forefathers had a book quite similar to the book that the white people have now [the Bible], and that they were a happy, civilized, and successful people. They also say that their fathers had wisdom and miraculous powers from ‘the Great Spirit,’ through which they were able to foretell future things, and to have rule over the destiny of nations; this knowledge they passed on to their children, on the condition that they would be obedient to the holy laws that that book contained; and through that they received great blessings and deliverance, until they became a blessed people; but they said that those powers had been lost from their midst for a long time by then.”
Col. James Smith writes in the account of his journey, when he was taken into their midst,—”They have a tradition that angels, or inhabitants of heaven, as they call them, visited their forefathers frequently when they first settled on the continent, and would speak with them, teaching them how to pray to the Great Spirit; and there are many other things that they no longer have knowledge of.”
Mr. Boudinot, in his observations about their journey, said,—”Their language, in its roots, its sentence construction, and its special composition, shows all the characteristics of Hebrew; and what is even more remarkable, and worthy of special consideration, is that it contains the majority of the peculiarities of that language, especially in the aspects that differentiate it from other languages. I heard a tradition from an old man of the Stockbridge tribe, that their forefathers had a Holy Book, which was passed down from generation to generation, and was finally buried in the earth, and that ever since then they have been trampled under the feet of their enemies; but that those oracles were to be restored to them, and at that time they would have supremacy over their enemies, possession of their country, and enjoyment of their earlier rights and privileges.” After relating many traditions similar to the above, Mr. Boudinot observes, “Can any man, after reading the account of these Indian traditions, which are to be had among tribes of these different nations, from the west to the east, and from the north to the south, completely separate from each other, written by separate historians of high knowledge and character, have the best advantages, in different places, and at different times, with no possibility of any association with each other; can anyone, I say again, disbelieve their witness, thinking that all this originates from an accident, or intent to deceive, while no one would gain anything from that?”
From these traditions, it is seen that these people in the early times had a “Sacred Book,” or a holy one, containing sacred laws [or great things of God’s law], written to them by their forefathers, under the miraculous influence of the Spirit of God, through which they prophesied. We are told that this book has been handed down from father to son, until it was hidden in the earth, but not to stay there forever, rather to be fully brought forth at the time God saw fit, as a great blessing, and to be the means of gathering them back to possess their land. And is this not in total agreement with that which Ezekiel prophesied with respect to the “stick of Joseph?” namely, that God would take it from the place it was hidden among the Ephraimites, and that he would put it with the stick of Judah, namely the Bible, and then he would take the children of Israel from among all the nations where they had gone, and gather them to their own country.
The prophet Jeremiah says clearly about this last gathering to their country, chap. xxxi, 8,—”Behold, I will bring them [his people Israel] from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn,” namely the gathering or the final restoration to their country which God promised to their fathers. Thus it is reasonable to expect that God would begin the work in their midst. In verse 18, it says—”I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.” How similar this is to the moaning of the Ephraimites at the present time, according to the previous traditions, is it not? and the next verse shows that the various denominations will work in vain, trying to get the American Indians to repent and obey their ways, and their sectarian creeds; for, “Surely after that I was turned, I repented [and not before that]; and after that I was instructed [that that book had been brought forth], I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even counfounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth;” namely the deterioration because of their disobedience to that “sacred book” which had been hidden from them in the earth. Yet, it will be restored to them, for the next verse explains that,—”Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.” We see that the mercy is to begin from the Lord’s side—not by sending missionaries to preach “the stick of Judah” to them, but by restoring to them their own stick, the “sacred book” that was hidden from them, according to their own expectation. No wonder then that the thousands, if not the millions, of pounds that have been spent on missionaries to preach to them has been but a loss; worse still, they have hardened the few who may have believed them and bound them [although, of the thousands that heard them, I have yet to see a single one who believed them] tighter with religious bonds, making them less ready to receive their “sacred book” when God reveals it to them.
By now we have no doubt found Ephraim in “hosts of nations in the middle of the earth,” “to the west of Jerusalem,” together with many traditions in their midst, and we have determined that the stick of Joseph, “the sacred book” their forefathers had, was hidden in the earth in some corner of their country; and not only that, but they testify also that they expect it to be restored back to their possession, and that it will be instrumental in giving them knowledge of the dealings of God with their fathers, and that they will return to their proper understanding and privileges. And now, reader, could the Book of Mormon be that stick of Ephraim? Why could it not be? Truly, it is very similar to the description. It was found in the land of Ephraim; it contains great things of God’s law to Ephraim, written under the miraculous influence of God to the prophets and apostles that came from his tribes. It has been hidden in the earth for hundreds of years, and in these latter days it has been brought forth by the power of God. It has been put with the stick of Judah, namely the Bible; and behold, the two have become one stick in his hand. They are one with respect to their Author and their origin—one in purpose—one in doctrine—composed under the influences, and through the direction of the same Spirit—and they are one in the hand of the appointed servants of God, being preached throughout the world, and it is remarkable how they agree in everything! And anyone who professes to believe the Bible, and at the same time denies the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, must be doing that without the base of scripture or logic. No studious man will think less of it because it was found in America, for it is seen that that is proof of its truthfulness. It would not be possible to fulfill the prophecies had it been found anywhere else. Neither judge it without reading it, nor according to the erroneous stories that are told about it by its enemies; for that is what such people said about the Bible in its turn, and thus the majority says about it now. But that does not prove it deceitful any more than such witnesses prove the Book of Mormon deceitful.
It is evident that our Bible, and almost every one of the prophets, show that a book like the Book of Mormon would appear, as recently as our age; and if the Book of Mormon is not that book, keep searching for it until you find it, or else deny the book that testifies about it; but I prefer to believe the one and the other.
Again, listen to the testimony of the Psalmist about this gathering, and the way it would begin, in Psalm lxxxv,—”Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” What causes this is—”Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give [to Israel] that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” David has foreseen that God’s wrath would turn away from Jacob, that they would be restored, and that the glory of God would shine upon them; and this is how the work will start—”Truth shall spring out of the earth,” &c. In another place, David says that God’s law is what he means by truth—”Thy law is the truth.” It is even clearer in Psalm cli—”Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.” Christ confirms this too—”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The law, word, and commandments of God are truth. Then David says—”Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness [knowledge and power to administer the law] shall look down from heaven,” and shall go before the face of Israel, to set its feet on the way of righteousness.
I think every man will admit the consistency there is among all these witnesses, proving that the stick of Ephraim [The Book of Mormon] is to be taken from the earth. Let us hear the testimony of Isaiah on this too, chap. xlv—”Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” It is seen in chap. xxix, that the book is to come from the earth, ver. 1—”Woe,” and at the side of the page more reasonably also, “O Ariel, Ariel!” Ver. 4—”And thou [Ariel, which signifies light, or the lion of God] shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” “Ariel, the city where David dwelt,” signifies that the people from there will possess the light of the Spirit of God, and will be brought down low into the dust. “And thy voice shall be out of the ground,” which is not possible, unless their words have been written and hidden in the earth, and revealed afterwards; then it could be, because people could read and understand them, as it is said—”And thy voice shall be out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” By now I think we have plenty of proofs that the stick of Joseph is to be taken from the earth, in the country where Ephraim dwells; that the American Indians are the seed of Ephraim; and that God would put the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah together.
Next, we shall prove that this is the ensign he will set up for the nations [as Isaiah says], when God sends out his servants, because heaven drops down justice, that is it gives the right and the power to administer the laws of righteousness. See Isaiah, chap. xi, 12—”And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Some commentators tell us that this prophecy refers to the time of Christ’s first coming, and the proof they offer is ver. 1—”And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of its roots.” One need only read the chapter without bias to see that the prophet was not referring to the first coming, but to the second coming of Christ, otherwise what can be understood by ver. 4—”And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked”? It is said that it is in his second coming that he will do this, namely, “When he comes on the clouds of heaven, with all his holy angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If his first coming is meant, how can this be reconciled with ver. 6—”The wolf also shall dwell with the Lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;” &c., when the enmity of all the beasts of the forest, birds of the air, and fish of the sea shall depart? That has not yet been accomplished, by a long way. But they say that that is not to be understood literally; it must be inspired, to show men of those tendencies. Well, that only leads to even worse difficulties; for men have not become so either. Ver. 9 shows when this prophecy will be fulfilled—”They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” What is to be made of this, I wonder, if this is a reference to his first coming? It is strange how stubborn some men are about their crooked paths, and their own beliefs; for they prefer to distort the words of God than to change their view on an old subject. But it is obvious that the prophet was referring, yes, was saying in clear words, that it was in the latter days that this would be fulfilled—”When the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people,” then “he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel [were they not dispersed at his first coming?] and gather together [at this time] the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Ver. 13—”The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off.” But at that time Judah was cut off by his adversaries, namely the Romans. “Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim,” at this time, “but they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west.” Read also chap. xlix, to prove more clearly this thorough restoration, and the way it will be started. Here the prophet shows the glory of the work of the latter days, and its unusual success (ver. 22).
The statement in question, whether or not God will set up a standard to the people when this wondrous restoration begins, is now beyond any question. It is also evident that the sign he will give is when the stick of Judah is joined to the stick of Ephraim, namely the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and they “would become one in his hand.” And how shall this be a sign to the people, unless they see them, and understand what they are? or as Paul says, “And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” And I ask, who shall send them but God? And how he shall send them without revealing that to them, I cannot imagine; and it is not possible for any man to answer either, for that is impossible. Then it is seen who are not servants of God, according to their own admission; for “their own mouth condemneth them, and their own lips testify against them;” and so we leave the deniers of revelation to plead their mission in the face of impossibility. But the scriptures show that God would send servants to show this sign, to the Gentiles first, and then to the Jews, and “declare his glory among them,” and after the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, “then all Israel shall be saved,” as Paul says.
Jeremiah proves this even more clearly in chap. xvi, 14—”Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” One more witness to prove that God would send servants to carry his ensign unto all the people, so that no one may be left in doubt, and that is Isaiah xviii, 3—”All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.” An ensign is the banner of an army, ship, or nation, by which it is recognized from afar. It is essential that there be officers in every government, authorized to act in their various functions under this ensign. The officers who carry the ensign are called by various names; sometimes cornets, sometimes ensigns, and standard bearers. When Isaiah says that “God will set up his ensign to the nations, and will set a sign to the people,” it is evident that it refers to his work in going to make some thing other than what existed before, and that there would be inscribed on that thing certain symbols, through the seeing and understanding of which the people would know that those who bore and defended this ensign were officers in the kingdom of God. This ensign would be a sign to the people that those soldiers who bore it had been sent from God, to declare his glory in their midst, to fish and hunt the children of Israel from the mountains, the hills, and the holes of the rocks, and gather them back to their country. Through these fishers and hunters will he assemble the outcasts of Israel [that is, the ten tribes], and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
We could bring more testimonies similar to the previous ones, but we have brought enough already to prove the following statements incontrovertible:—
1. We have proved that the “stick of Ephraim” contained great things of God’s law to Ephraim.
2. That the seed of Ephraim is in America. We have also proved from the scriptures, not only that that “sacred book” was hidden in the earth, but that it would be revealed again through the power of God in America, when God would make “their seed known among the nations.” And who of all the historians of the world could say that the American Indians are the seed of Ephraim, unless God had revealed it?
3. That the work which would be done as recently as our age would be this, “for in the latter days you shall understand this.” Also, that it would be the beginning of the restoration of the tribes of Israel to their country.
4. That it was by joining these two sticks or books together, that God would set up his ensign to the nations, and that this is the sign he gives to the people that the great and glorious work of the latter days is about to begin.
5. That God will use men to carry this ensign, by preaching the contents of the books, and by men believing and obeying them.
I ask, What unbiased man can believe, in the face of such a host of truthful witnesses, and of indisputable proofs, that the BOOK OF MORMON is not the “stick of Ephraim,” and “this sacred book?”—that this is not the “ensign,” and the “sign” which were referred to? And what man who believes the prophets, and allows reason, and admits facts as sufficient proofs, can deny that the Latter-day Saints, who have been sent by a dispensation from God, and bear this ensign to the people, through every affliction, scorn, and persecution, are these “fishers and hunters,” who “declare his glory among the Gentiles,” and who will be instruments in the hand of God to gather the dispersed of Judah, and assemble the outcasts of Israel from the four corners of the earth?
Whoever doubts these remarkable facts any longer, would doubt if someone arose from the dead to relate them to him! And it is probably to this work that the prophet is referring when he says—”Behold I work a work among this people, saith the Lord; and although men declare the thing to them, even so they will not believe.” Referring to this Isaiah says—”Behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Therefore, dear reader, beware lest you be carried away with the current to oppose it before you know what you are doing. But of what use is the Book of Mormon if it were true? say the opposers. I answer, that it is a great task to describe all its usefulness; but I shall note some of its virtues:—
1. It contains historical information about a large part of the world, which was previously hidden from the other part.
2. It reveals the origin of the American Indians, something unknown to the world for ages.
3. It contains important prophecies, which will be fulfilled in this age, and are consequently relevant to everyone who dwells on the earth.
4. It sheds a great deal of light and clarity on those doctrines about which there is so much difference of opinion among religious believers.
5. It deals a mortal blow to atheism, because it is in many ways incontrovertible evidence of the divinity of the holy scriptures, as the scriptures also bear witness to its truth. And for the testimony of living witnesses to its truthfulness, I refer the reader to the testimony of the eleven already published, who testify that it was translated through the power of God: we also refer to the thousands who have obeyed the teaching it contains, who have received knowledge from the truthful God. May the great works of God in our midst bear witness to its truthfulness; and if that is not satisfactory, there are abundant proofs in itself; or else, if you are not satisfied after that, gentle reader, “come and see” if it is true, obey the teaching it contains, and thus you like others shall end the argument forever, to your endless benefit and joy, by receiving the fulfillment of its valuable promises.