Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Be Honest With Yourself: Read It … Test It

Be Honest With Yourself: Read It … Test It

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 07, 2011

(See here for background)

From 1961 —

Read it … Test it!

This is a young man reading an all-time “best seller.” It is not an ordinary task, for the pages of the book are of gold; and the reader, unschooled in languages, must translate as he reads. This he does with Divine help.

To people without faith, the story of Joseph Smith and the “gold plates” might once have seemed incredible. All previously reported ancient records, it was claimed, had been inscribed on papyrus, on clay, or on stone – but none had been written on metal.

Now, in more than sixty different locations, archaeologists have discovered ancient records engraved upon plates of gold, silver, copper and brass. Some of these records have been laid away in stone boxes, just as the Book of Mormon plates were buried.

And what wonderful assurance these plates must have been to Joseph! Here was substance. Here were plates he was to lift, leaves he would turn, inscriptions he would examine for three long, eventful years. Here was proof in hand, tangible, lasting proof to back up the words of heavenly messengers. How could any honest, truth-seeking soul not believe the words of this straightforward frontier farm boy? Happily, those who knew him best and loved him most believed and trusted: father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, children. So did many others who heard him tell his story with simple but earnest conviction.

And so, too, have millions of others who have since heard his story.

Joseph knew and told the truth; the plates were real, their message true. And you can read and test them, too, if you “… ask with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ (for) He will manifest the truth of it unto you …




  1. The discovery of metal plates with inscriptions seems to have been the big thing among the LDS during the 1960s. I remember my first copy of the BofM (mid-1970s)had pictures of other metal plates that had been found. I also remember (if memory serves) a big replica of some of these other plates on display in the old visitors’ center in SLC.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 7, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  2. I do have a little trouble with the translation process depicted in the picture. Shouldn’t Joseph be looking at a seer stone in a hat instead?

    Comment by Steve C. — September 7, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  3. This is one of the weaker entries in the series, I think. By the time they shifted from “Be Honest With Yourself” to “Know the Truth,” they also shifted from positive reasons to live the standards of the Church to more heavy handed apologia and doctrinal proselytizing. This one is a good example of that, no?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 7, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  4. I quite like the simplicity of “Read it…test it.”
    Of course, Moroni was a bit more eloquent.

    Comment by middle-aged Mormon Man — September 7, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  5. I’ve seen an illustration almost like this a hundred times, but I’ve never seen this one before. One similar to this was in my missionary flipchart back in the Carter administration. But the usual picture has an open engraved plate where the paper is, and a paper under where Joseph has his pen. Also, it shows him transcribing characters instead of writing English text. I wonder which is the original. This one looks a little odd because it looks like he’s about to write on the table while using his left forefinger to mark a line in nonexistent text.

    Comment by Left Field — September 7, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

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