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The Aaronic Priesthood Restored

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 03, 2013

From William A. Morton, From Plowboy to Prophet: Being a Short History of Joseph Smith, for Children. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1912.

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The Aaronic Priesthood Restored

Joseph felt sorry at losing the help of Martin Harris. He had now no one to write for him. he prayed to the Lord to send some one to assist him. His prayer was answered; the help came.

One Sabbath evening a young man named Oliver Cowdery called at the home of Mr. Hale, and enquired for Joseph. he was introduced to the Prophet. He told Joseph he had just come from Manchester, where he had been teaching school. He had heard that Joseph had been visited by heavenly Beings, and had prayed to the Lord to know if the report were true. He received a testimony that Joseph had been called of God to do a great work, and was also told that he had been chosen to assist the Prophet.

Oliver said he would be glad to write for Joseph. His offer was accepted, and two days later Joseph again began the work of translating, Oliver writing for him.

One day in May, 1829, they came to a passage in the sacred record which caused them to stop and think seriously. It spoke of baptism for the remission of sins. Joseph and Oliver had not been baptized. What were they to do?

After talking the matter over for some time, they decided to pray to the Lord about it. They went to the woods, and there they asked the Lord to make plain to them the meaning of baptism for the remission of sins.

In answer to their prayer, a heavenly messenger appeared before them. He told them he was John the Baptist, the same who had baptized the Savior, and that he had been sent by the Apostles Peter, James and John to them. Placing his hands upon the heads of Joseph and Oliver, he uttered these words:

“Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”

He then told Joseph and Oliver to go down to the water and baptize each other. After giving them other instructions, he was taken up in the midst of a pillar of light.

Joseph and Oliver then went to the river and were baptized. Joseph baptized Oliver and then Oliver baptized Joseph. The power of God rested upon them, and by the gift of prophecy Joseph foretold of the establishment of the Church of Christ upon the earth in these last days.

With hearts filled with thanksgiving and gladness they returned to their work of translation.

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