Strike 3

Sneaky, unlawful, suspicious acts led to the so-called “divine” appearances and writing of the “Sealed Portion” that flowed from a heart that contradicts everything a holy work of God should have.

I had become disillusioned with the Church because of the great hypocrisy that I experienced being involved with and working for its leaders.

My investigations led me to many parts of the headquarters of the Church where no lay member had access.

I was able to obtain the personal notes and thoughts of some very prominent leaders. (SP, p. iii)

The doubting heart, the sneaking around church offices, and the rumaging through the personal effects of its leaders led to a supposed meeting of divine messengers in the temple:

There is a room on the upper floors of the Temple where only the Twelve Apostles meet. When I entered this room…

I then proceeded to ask what it was that I could do to improve my doubts of the veracity of the Church. I had no sooner arranged these thoughts in my head, than I found it impossible to speak any of the words that I attempted. At that moment, a tremendously bright light began to fill the room.

I became very frightened, not knowing if I was to be reprimanded or killed for what I had thought.

Before I could think another thought, a personage appeared before me who I immediately recognized as the Prophet Joseph Smith. (I recognized him not only by how he looked, as I was familiar with the descriptions given of him by the Church, but something inside of me assured me that it was truly him.)

I didn’t have the slightest idea how to react. I simply knelt there astonished. He smiled the kindest smile I had ever seen and said the following to me:

“Christopher, do not be afraid, for it is I, Joseph, whom you have been taught to honor as a prophet of God.”

I guess he could perceive my doubts of his presence, because he reached out his hand, lifted me up, and placed me in one of the chairs that was in the room. He told me that the Lord was well aware of me and that I demonstrated the faith and strength of few men. He told me that I would perform a tremendous work for my fellowmen if I remained faithful to the commandments which he was about to give to me. At that moment, my grandfather appeared from within the light that still filled the whole room with its brilliance. (SP, p. iv)


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