Strang, The Translator
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James translated the most sacred book of Scripture:  The Book of the Law of the Lord.  One of the duties of a Lawgiver is that of a translator.  James wrote, “As a translator, I have brought forth hidden treasures, and re­vealed the old record to all who love the truth, and seek unto it.  The visions of the past and the hidden lore of future ages are laid by the side of present hopes and future knowledge.” (Prophetic Controversy, p. 38)  Among the professed successors of Joseph, James remained the only one to fulfill this duty.

The first translation of ancient records by James was the Voree Record.  It tells of an ancient people, similar to the Nephites and Jaradites, who once lived on this land, “they have fallen in transgression and are not.”

James also translated the single most important book of Scripture:  The Book of the Law of the Lord.  It is mentioned over twenty times in the Bible by name; and over five hundred times as the law of God.  The law of God is the foundation of all other books of Scripture.  It was given to Adam, written on tables of stone to Moses, lost to the Bible, and restored by James.  Only remnants of the law remain in the various books of the Bible.

The prophet Ezekiel foretold of both the Book of Mormon and the Book of the Law.  “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.” (Ezek. 37:19)  Joseph Smith was of the seed of Joseph through Ephraim.  The Book of Mormon was the “stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim.”  James J. Strang was of the tribe of Judah .  The stick of Judah was to be translated after the stick of Joseph.  The Book of the Law is “the stick of Judah .”  When James returns, all of these records will be united and serve to confound the doctrines of man.

CHAPTER FIVE:

JAMES J. STRANG, THE TRANSLATOR.

THE  VOREE  PLATES:
    The Voree Record
   
Testimony of Witness Who Dug Up the Voree Plates.
    Translation of the Plates of Voree
    B. Description of one of the Voree Plates
    Excitement Over the Voree Plates

THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD
    The Ten Commandments
    Order of the Priesthood
    Gospel of Christ
    Love and the Law of God
    Social Order and Polygamy

SEALED RECORD

The Voree Record
Revelation given on September 1, 1845 (Voree Plates)

1. The Angel of the Lord came unto me, James, on the first day of September, in the year eighteen hundred and forty-five, and the light shined about him above the brightness of the sun, and he showed unto me the plates of the sealed record, and he gave into my hands the Urim and Thummim. And out of the light came the voice of the Lord saying, My servant James, in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thee, because I have tried thee and found thee faithful. Behold, my servant James, I am about to bless thee with a great blessing, which shall be to those who love me, an immutable testimony; to those who know me not, a stumbling block; but to those who have known me and have turned their hearts from me, a rock of offence. Yea, let them beware, for shame and destruction walk in their tracks, and their time abideth, but not long.
2. A work shall come forth, and the secrets of the past shalt thou reveal. Yea, by little and little shalt thou reveal it, according to the ability and faithfulness of my church, and of my servant whom I have placed above them. Behold the record which was sealed from my servant Joseph. Unto thee it is reserved. Take heed that thou count it not a light thing, nor exalt thyself lest thou be stricken; for by myself I swear that, as thou servest me faithfully and comest not short, thou shalt unlock the mysteries thereof, which I have kept hid from the world. Yea, as my servants serve me, so shalt thou translate unto them.
3. But in their weakness I have not forgotten them. Go to the place which the Angel of the presence shall show thee, and there shalt thou dig for the record of my people in whose possession thou dwellest. Take with thee faithful witnesses, for in evil will the unfaithful speak of thee, but the faithful and true shall know that they are liars, and shall not stumble for their words.
4. Speak thou unto the Elders of my church, and say unto them, Hear my voice and hearken to my words, for they are true and faithful. Testify, testify unto all the saints. Testify, testify in all the world. He that rejecteth you, him will I reject in the day that I come in my kingdom. Testify, testify unto him who has received my word and turned away. Let him now return unto me and obey and serve his God, lest he be smitten with a curse and his children curse him and his name be blotted out of the Book of Life.
5. Yea, those to whom I have revealed myself, let them hearken unto me now lest they be cast off in the day of my indignation, lest the consuming fire of the day of trial burn them up. Yea, lest the second death make them his prey, and they be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
6. Rejoice, ye holy, for the day of your deliverance is near, and the time of your exaltation is at hand. Faithful and true are my words, dividing the marrow from the bones, and truth from rottenness. He that rejecteth them, will I reject when I come in my kingdom. And while I was yet in the Spirit, the Angel of the Lord took me away to the hill in the east of Walworth, against White River in Voree, and there he showed unto me the record buried under an oak tree as large as the body of a large man; it was enclosed in an earthen casement, and buried in the ground as deep as to a man's waist; and I beheld it as a man can see a light stone in clear water, for I saw it by Urim and Thummim; and I returned the Urim and Thummim to the Angel of the Lord, and he departed out of sight.
(Chronicles of Voree, p. 21; Voree Herald, August, 1846, p. 33)

Rather than dig up the plates himself, James J. Strang solicited the help of local men of renown that were highly respected in the area.  The following is their account.

Testimony of Witness Who Dug Up the Voree Plates.

1. On the thirteenth day of September, 1845, we, Aaron Smith, Jirah B. Wheelan, James M. Van Nostrand, and Edward Whitcomb, assembled at the call of James J. Strang, who is by us and many others approved as a Prophet and Seer of God. He proceeded to inform us that it had been revealed to him in a vision that an account of an ancient people was buried in a hill south of White River bridge, near the east line of Walworth County; and leading us to an oak tree about one foot in diameter, told us that we would find it enclosed in a case of rude earthen ware under that tree at the depth of about three feet; requested us to dig it up, and charged us to so examine the ground that we should know we were not imposed upon, and that it had not been buried there since the tree grew. The tree was surrounded by a sward of deeply rooted grass, such as is usually found in the openings, and upon the most critical examination we could not discover any indication that it had ever been cut through or disturbed.
2. We then dug up the tree, and continued to dig to the depth of about three feet, where we found a case of slightly baked clay containing three plates of brass. On one side of one is a landscape view of the south end of Gardner's prairie and the range of hills where they were dug. On another is a man with a crown on his head and a scepter in his hand, above is an eye before an upright line, below the sun and moon surrounded with twelve stars, at the bottom are twelve large stars from three of which pillars arise, and closely interspersed with them are seventy very small stars. The other four sides are very closely covered with what appear to be alphabetic characters, but in a language of which we have no knowledge.
3. The case was found imbedded in indurated clay so closely fitting it that it broke in taking out, and the earth below the soil was so hard as to be dug with difficulty even with a pickax. Over the case was found a flat stone about one foot wide each way and three inches thick, which appeared to have undergone the action of fire, and fell in pieces after a few minutes exposure to the air. The digging extended in the clay about eighteen inches, there being two kinds of earth of different color and appearance above it.
4. We examined as we dug all the way with the utmost care, and we say, with utmost confidence, that no part of the earth through which we dug exhibited any sign or indication that it had been moved or disturbed at any time previous. The roots of the tree stuck down on every side very closely, extending below the case, and closely interwoven with roots from other trees. None of them had been broken or cut away. No clay is found in the country like that of which the case is made.
5. In fine, we found an alphabetic and pictorial record, carefully cased up, buried deep in the earth, covered with a flat stone, with an oak tree one foot in diameter growing over it, with every evidence that the sense can give that it has lain there as long as that tree has been growing. Strang took no part in the digging, but kept entirely away from before the first blow was struck till after the plates were taken out of the case; and the sole inducement to our digging was our faith in his statement as a Prophet of the Lord that a record would thus and there be found.
    AARON SMITH,
    JIRAH B. WHEELAN,
    J. M . VAN NOSTRAND,
    EDWARD WHITCOMB.
(Chronicles of Voree, p. 25; Voree Herald, 1:1:4, January, 1846)

Translation of the Plates of Voree
A. The Record of Rajah Manchou of Vorito

1. My people are no more. The mighty are fallen, and the young slain in battle. Their bones bleached on the plain by the noonday shadow. The houses are leveled to the dust, and in the moat are the walls. They shall be inhabited.
2. I have in the burial served them, and their bones in the Death‑shade, towards the sun's rising, are covered. They sleep with the mighty dead, and they rest with their fathers. They have fallen in transgression and are not, but the elect and faithful there shall dwell.
3. The word hath revealed it. God hath sworn to give an inheritance to his people where transgressors perished. The word of God came to me while I mourned in the Death‑shade, saying, I will avenge me on the destroyer. He shall be driven out. Other strangers shall inhabit thy land. I an ensign there will set up. The escaped of my people there shall dwell when the flock disown the Shepherd and build not on the Rock.
4. The forerunner men shall kill, but a mighty prophet there shall dwell. I will be his strength, and he shall bring forth thy record. Record my words, and bury it in the Hill of Promise.

Voree Plates
B. Description of one of the Voree Plates

1. First, an eye. The symbol of God who is all-seeing: consequently it is called THE ALL-SEEING EYE, and has been used as symbolical of the DEITY in all countries, and in all ages of the world.
2. Second, the figure of a man down to the waist, having a crown resembling a cap, and composed of radiating lines, on his head; and a scepter in his hand. These are symbols of authority, and show him a ruler. As he has the sun, moon, and stars (all the natural lights) below him and only the ALL‑SEEING above him, he is Prophet, Seer, Revelator, Translator, and First President of the Church; governing not by natural light, or mere human wisdom, but by revelation, or the word of God, and derives his authority solely from God, and not in any sense from the actions of men.
3. Third, the sun on the right, and the moon on the left. These represent the two Vice Presidents, or Counsellors in the First Presidency; the two largest natural lights being used as symbols, because they are to assist the First President in wisdom or natural light merely, and not by revelation.
4. Fourth, a cross‑pillar above and resting upon the center large star and under the human figure; two pillars above and resting upon the two upper large stars, and below and between the sun and moon. These represent Coadjutors, assistants or helps, of whom there have been several since the beginning of the Church, appointed by revelation.
5. Fifth, twelve stars, six around the sun, and six around the moon. These represent the High Council of the Church. The division into classes of six each agrees with the established usages in the Church, one half to stand up for the accuser, and the other for the accused. This is not the High Council of a stake.
6. Sixth, twelve large stars, ten of these in two rows at the bottom of the plate, and the other two over them nearly between the sun and moon. They represent the Twelve Apostles. These stars are larger than those which represent the High Council of the Church, because the Apostles have a more important ministry; but are placed below them because they are subject to their discipline, and below the symbols of the First Presidency because they are subject to its directions.
7. Seventh, seventy small stars immediately within the points of the twelve large ones, being six to each, except the center one which has only four. They represent the Seventies, who are subject to the direction of the Twelve Apostles.
8. Eighth, a straight line dropping down before the scepter.
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place."
"Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more."
9. These symbols were all prophetic of the order that should exist in the fullness of times. Thus God, in his goodness to those who lived in days past, has shown them not only the rest which he had in reservation for them, but the perfectness of the means by which he would accomplish it. Probably now we understand it only in part, but in times to come we shall "know as we are known."

 

 (Revelations of James J. Strang, Wingfield Watson)

Excitement Over the Voree Plates

One can only imagine the excitement the discovery and translation of these plates caused upon the people of the local area.  James kept the plates open for public inspection during his whole life.  The follow is an account given by him in a letter to Mrs. Corey; and found in the pamphlet The Prophetic Controversy, page 35.  A copy of this tract is found in the section Mormon Books.

These occurrences waked up the whole country to a high state of excitement, and several thousand persons came to examine the ground and the plates, and inquire after the occurrence. The whole country was filled with the fame of the occurrence, and numerous newspaper notices of the matter were given to the public.  Among them was the following in the Southport (now Kenosha) Telegraph, edited, by C. Latham Sholes, a man of distinguished talent and unblemished character, who has several times since then represented Kenosha in one or the other House of the Wisconsin Legislature, and held the office of State Printer and Secretary of State:

"Our curiosity was sufficiently excited to induce us to make ourselves more fully acquainted with the circumstances and facts.  For this end we visited the gentleman alluded to as Seer or Prophet.  We were cordially received, the plates were shown us, and we examined the spot from which they purported to have been taken.
"The prophet appears to us a very intelligent man, devoid of anything like enthusiasm; and, so far as we could judge, honest and earnest in all he said.  The men who subscribe the statement (of which the foregoing is an extract) are said to be among the most honest and intelligent in the neighborhood and, taking it altogether, it is something to stagger ordinary credulity.
"The popular opinion will doubtless call it a humbug.  So should we from the natural impulse of our mind.  But when the testimony appears in opposition to such impulse, we are content to have no opinion about it."

This transaction presented the world with the strongest evidence ever put into its possession in favor of Mormonism.  Had all who have a name to be Saints but made half the effort to push its con­sequence before the public, that they have to discredit it, there can be no doubt that the Church would now have embraced hundreds of thousands in its bosom, who, as it is, are ignorant of the gospel, and believe not on prophets.  Never before, since the world began, did the people act a policy so suicidal as the Mormon attempt to discredit this testimony; an attempt which has succeeded only so far as to do mischief; the end will never be accomplished.  The most that skeptics can say is, that though the evidence is unanswerable, they will let it alone, and have no opinion on the subject.

For you readily perceive that whatever inducement I may have had to commit a fraud in the premises, there was no opportunity whatever.  In order to succeed in a fraud, I must have deceived suc­cessfully four men, deeply interested in the bona fides of the trans­action, whose facilities of observing the truth were such that decep­tion was simply impossible.  The circumstances and their characters were such that their veracity has never been questioned.  And all the facts were open to public criticism.                                                                                                           

These plates I translated.  As to the accuracy of the translation the world and the Saints know just what I have told them, and what God has revealed to them.  That is all they know of the plates which Joseph translated.  God made him a witness of the work, and the world must take the translation on his testimony.  So he made me a witness after Joseph's death, and has vouchsafed me proper evidence of this calling, and the world will have to take this translation on my testimony.

This being the proper rule of testimony, I have not thought fit to go behind it; but it may not be improper to say that the accuracy of the translation has been tested to their satisfaction by a body of learned men, acquainted with the modern discoveries shedding light on the lost Levantine languages.  And the result satisfied them that this record was written in a language bearing a common relation to all the languages spoken in the earliest ages in the Levant, and that the translation was genuine.

It would be too tedious to relate the process by which these tests were made, and they might not be well understood, except by men of profound learning; but they were made by those who wished to make a case against me, and the result was clearly in my favor, and so acknowledged without the slightest hesitation.

All the facts surrounding this matter were so clear and indisput­able, and the results derivable therefrom so significant of my calling, that Brighamites were for a long time at a loss on which side to make their attack.  It finally came, not upon the veracity of my wit­nesses and testimony, but upon the divine authority of the record.  Orson Hyde first took ground in the following beautiful "fruit of his saintly spirit":

"James J. Strang, successor of Sidney Rigdon, Judas Iscariot, Cain & Co., Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his most Gracious Majesty, Lucifer the L, assisted by his Allied Contemporary advisers, John C. Bennett, William Smith, G. J. Adams and John E. Page, Secretaries of Legation, have all acknowledged, taught and declared that the plates said to be found in the earth by Strang, in a supernatural way, were so very rusty and de­faced by time, that they could not be deciphered without undergoing some chemical process, being scoured up," etc.--(Millennial Star, Vol. viii, p. 123.)

To the tail of this sweeping falsehood Mr. Hyde has hung on the words, "as we have been credibly informed," in a vain effort to cheat the Almighty out of that law which says, "thou shah not bear false witness."
On this falsehood concerning the plates, Mr. Hyde quotes from the Book of Mormon (Alma, Ch. xvii., p. 349, Eng. ed.) to show that the plates are not a divine record.  If the facts were with him, the argument would be conclusive.
But no such facts existed in reference to the plates, and Mr. Hyde had not had any such information concerning them.

He was then but three months from Philadelphia, where his whole congregation and thousands of others had examined the plates, and received prompt answers to such inquiries as they thought proper to make.
The delegation of American Elders who accompanied him to England, had met the matter in all the cities of Pittsburgh, Phila­delphia, New York and Boston, in each of which places they and the public had seen the plates, and examined them to their hearts content.

Not one of them was ever informed that the plates had been rusty, or defaced in any way whatever.  Had any one been disposed to tell such a story, it was impossible.  The plates themselves gave the lie to it.  The minutest tool marks, and the slightest scratches of the material used in polishing them, were visible.  They are yet, and stand as the unerring witness that the plates have undergone no corrosion.

Hyde says these statements were resorted to, "to prove the great antiquity" of the plates.  The reason is as false as the assertion.  The antiquity of the plates rested on the indubitable testimony (never met nor attempted to be met by apostate or gentile) that an oak tree as large as a man's body has grown over the plates since they were deposited, and that the region of country had been unvisited by and unknown to civilized men till since the institution of Mormonism.

THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD

The Book of the Law was given to Adam.  The second law recorded in the Bible, before the physical creation of Adam is, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:2) 

This was not the only law given through Adam.  He was given that part of the Book of the Law that pertains to men of every generation.  Where there is no law, there can be no accounting for transgression of the law, “13 sin is not imputed when there is no law… 15 for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom. 4:15 )  We know that Cain fell under condemnation for not obeying the law on the feast of first fruits.  When he killed his brother Able, he violated the law “thou shalt not kill;” and fell under a terrible curse of the law.

Some have thought that Jesus changed the law; and through His blood offered a new law—a new covenant.  “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5)

The Apostle John also taught that the law of God was given to man in the beginning.  “5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.  This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” (2 John 1)

A new gospel has been professed among the preachers of modern Babylon , “salvation by faith alone.”  The supporters of this doctrine offer two passages of Scripture in their defense for changing the gospel.  “5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)… 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2)  They fail to realize that Paul was addressing saints of God that had already obeyed the gospel; and not unbelievers.  Against this the whole Bible stands as a witness of their error.  No man can be saved while in the flesh.  “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20)  “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matt. 10:22)

Jesus preached the true gospel.  “5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God .” (John 3)  Peter made it very clear what was required before a man could have hope of salvation.  “37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2)

When men divided into those who obeyed the gospel and those who followed their own will, the obedient were called the sons of God and the rest, the sons of men.  “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Gen. 6:2)  Saints of God are also known as sons of God throughout the Bible.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)  Only through obedience to the gospel can a person become a son of God.  The gospel being a major part of the law of God, it had to be preached from Adam to Abraham. “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) 

There are two principles related to the spiritual law of God:  (1) it was given to the first man and was to last for a thousand generations, and (2) as it is a perfect law, it can never change.  “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.” (1 Chron. 16:15) Only the temporal, added law of Moses, was given for a time.  It was a punishment to Israel for their transgression at Mt. Sinai ; and was to remain until fulfilled by Jesus.

Righteousness is submitting one’s will to that of God, loving only the Father as GOD, honoring Jesus as our Savior, and living according to God’s law.  Adam, Abel, and Noah could not have been righteous men without having the Book of the Law.  It was evidently lost to Israel during the four hundred years of captivity in Egypt .  Moses restored the law, written by the finger of God.  Abridged, public copies, of the law were made for use among the people.

“10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law… 24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” (Deut. 31)

In about 640 BC, during the reign of King Josiah, the Book of the Law was discovered after it had been lost. “9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD. 10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book.  And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.” (2 Kings 22)

There was still a copy of the Book of the Law about 440 BC.  “1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel . 2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law… 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah 8)

The law was still understood in the days of Jesus.  He constantly referred to the law; and was obedient to every part of the law.  “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14)  It was lost by the time Constantine compiled the Bible.

In 600 BC, a Prophet of God, by the name of Lehi, was instructed by the Lord to depart Jerusalem .  Together, with his family, he brought a copy of the Book of the Law on his journey to a promised land--the land of Zion —the isles of the sea.  The northern isle is North America .

Lehi’s sons were commanded to go to the house of Laban and get the record of the Jews.  Among these books was the Book of the Law.  “14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. 15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law. 16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 4)

After the people arrived in Central America , they divided into two groups: the Nephites and the Lamanites.  The Nephites were generally obedient to the law of God.  The Lamanites turned from the will of God; and were cursed with a darkened skin.  The Lamanites were the early descendants of the Native Americans.

When the Nephites also became transgressors of the law, they were totally destroyed by their enemies, the Lamanites, in 421 AD.  The last of their people, Moroni , buried their sacred books on a hill in what is now New York State.  The evil works of the Lamanites caused them to be sorely punished under the hands of the white man.

In 1827, Joseph Smith was instructed by the Lord to recover the books; and translate an abridgement of the thousand year history of the Nephites.  The first edition of the book was published in 1830.  It is called the Book of Mormon.

These records also included the Book of the Law; which Joseph was not permitted to translate; because of disobedience of the people.  It is from these plates that James translated The Book of the Law of the Lord.  He wrote, “But of all the lost books the most important was the Book of the Law of the Lord. This was kept in the ark of the covenant, and was held too sacred to go into the hands of strangers. When the Septuagint translation was made, the Book of the Law was kept back, and the Book lost to the Jewish nation in the time that they were subject to foreign powers. The various books in the Pentateuch, containing abstracts of some of the laws, have been read instead of it, until even the existence of the book has come to be a matter of doubt.

“It is from an authorized copy of that book, written on metallic plates long previous to the Babylonish captivity, that this translation is made. And being made by the same spirit by which the words were originally dictated, it is beyond doubt as perfect as the language will admit of.  The utmost pains has been taken to make the execution of it in all respects what it should be, and the editor flatters himself that no error has crept into the body of the work, and none of importance into the notes. That a little ambiguity may exist in some places, by means of the ambiguous or double import of words, is not doubted. Until a perfect language exists, it is not possible that it should be otherwise.” (Book of the Law, p. VIII)

“22. The Commandments, as here given, were translated by the Prophet James, from the plates which were taken by Nephi from Laban, in Jerusalem, (B. of M. 1st Nephi i,) and brought to America, in the time of Zedekiah, King of Judah; and are the substance of the two tables, written by the finger of God in the days of Moses.

“23 Though the exact words of the two tables were never written in any book, (Josephus’ Ant. B. iii, ch. v, 4,) except that kept in the most holy place, the substance was carefully written out by the inspired Prophets, and to the paraphrases so prepared, all transcribers of repute made their copies conform.

“24. Subsequent to the Babylonish captivity, the Jews were without the Divine Tables, and the literal copy of the Law which belonged to the Sanctuary.  They had only the copies used by the Prophets.  These have long since been lost.” (Book of the Law, p. 43)

The law of God requires the testimony of at least two witnesses to establish a fact.  “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matt. 18:16) James was commanded to show the plates to competent witnesses.  The testimony of seven witnesses is included in the Book of the Law.  “BE it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, to whom this Book of the Law of the Lord shall come, that James J. Strang has the plates of the ancient Book of the Law of the Lord given to Moses, from which he translated this law, and has shown them to us. We examined them with our eyes, and handled them with our hands. The engravings are beautiful antique workmanship, bearing a striking resemblance to the ancient oriental languages; and those from which the laws in this book were translated are eighteen in number, about seven inches and three-eights wide, by nine inches long, occasionally embellished with beautiful pictures.

“And we testify unto you all that the everlasting kingdom of God is established, in which this law shall be kept, till it brings in rest and everlasting righteousness to all the faithful.

“SAMUEL GRAHAM,
   
SAMUEL P. BACON,
   
WARREN POST,
   
PHINEAS WRIGHT,
   
ALBERT N. HOSMER,
   
EBENEZER PAGE,
   
JEHIEL SAVAGE.”

The first edition of 200 copies was published in 1851; and contained 80 pages.  Only a couple copies of this edition remain.  A second edition of 336 pages was printed in 1856; but James was martyred before it could be bound.  The unbound copies were carried by the saints with them; when they were driven from Beaver Island .  The first signature of 16 pages, containing introductory information, was evidently lost.  Subsequent reprints have used the introductory pages from the first edition. It also contains a couple hundred pages of notes by James.

All of the 47 chapters of the book were translated from the plates; except:  (1) Chapter II, The True God, “written by the prophet James, by inspiration of God;” (2) Chapter XII, Baptism for the Dead,  “a revelation from Jesus Christ, given to James J. Strang, Aug. 9th, 1849;” (3) the first six sections of Chapter XX, Calling of a King, “written by the prophet James, by inspiration of God, and the nine following sections are the words of the angel of God when he conferred upon James J. Strang the prophetic authority, and made him the chief shepherd of the flock of God on earth;” (4) Chapter XXXV, Establishment of the Law, “a revelation given Feb., 1851;” (5) Chapter XL, Feasts, “a revelation given Feb. 1851, except the first two sections;” and (6) the first three sections of Chapter XLI, Inheritances, “a revelation from God, given to James J. Strang, July 8th, 1850.”

The Book of the Law contains the everlasting covenant and principles that reveal God’s will toward man, man’s duty to God, and man’s responsibility toward his fellow man and his environment.  Other laws have been given through Prophets of God for the specific guidance of each generation.  It contains:

(1) the Constitution of God’s law; which is the Ten Commandments,
    (2) a correct knowledge of God and Jesus Christ,
    (3) the gospel of Christ,
    (4) the order of the house of God,
    (5) laws governing the social and environmental responsibilities of man for his temporal and spiritual guidance, and
    (6) a couple hundred pages of notes by James giving, as the standard expounder of the law, give interpretations of the law of God.

  The Ten Commandments

  The most glaring evidence that the Book of the Law is truly a divine work is the uniformity of all these subjects with the teachings of all God’s holy prophets.  Nowhere else in modern Christianity are all these truths to be found.  The first chapter in the Book of the Law provides the Ten Commandments; as they were given to Moses.

1) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.
    2) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    3) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

4) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
    5) Honour thy father and thy mother.
    6) Thou shalt not kill.
    7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8) Thou shalt not steal.
    9) Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    10) Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's inheritance.

  The greatest law given to man is circumcision of the heart.  “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt. 22)

When Constantine made Christianity the state religion, he adopted the doctrines and mysteries of Babylon into his new Catholic Church.  Among those changes was adoption of the Trinity in place of the true and living God of Israel, turning Jesus into a demi-god like those of Rome , usurping the authority of God, and changing the Sabbath to the “venerable day of the sun.”

The Book of the Law, and the teachings of James, restored a true knowledge of all these most important subjects.  Without a true knowledge of God and Jesus, none can inherit eternal life.  “3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17)

The second chapter in the Book of the Law addresses “The True God.”  This chapter was added to the 1856 Edition by inspiration of God.  Additional information on this subject is included in the chapter, James the Teacher.  James proved beyond controversy that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not the god of Constantine; and all of the Christian sects that adopted the Trinity.  Consider the source.  "In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolise that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day.  In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, 'To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?"  (The Two Babylons, pp. 16, 17)

The fourth law begins, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Book of the Law, p. 24)  Sectarian Christian churches around the world still attempt to use the nine commandments found in the Old Testament (Ex. 20; Deut. 5); dividing them as they see fit to make ten.  The problem with this practice is that although the fourth commandment was lost to the Bible; it was still a part of Scripture in the days of Jesus.  “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22)

It is obvious that sectarian Christian churches fail in identifying the Constitution of God’s law.  It is likewise a great testimony for James and the Book of the Law that the Ten Commandments are given in their true form.

Another of the Ten Commandments that we find in its true context is the Sabbath.  The third law in the Book of the Law begins, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” (Book of the Law, p. 22)

Joseph Smith was given a special dispensation to use Sunday in observance of the Sabbath.  This practice continued until the translation of the Book of the Law.  The Book of the Law specifically identifies the seventh day as the Sabbath.  This departure from previous teachings reveals that God’s work was not finished by Joseph.  The stick of Judah , the Book of the Law, noted by Ezekiel had to be revealed after the stick of Joseph, the Book of Mormon (Ezek. 37:19).

The Sabbath was instituted by God before the physical creation of Adam, “2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2)

It was given as a sign and a perpetual covenant between God and His people.  “13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you… 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31)

Some have thought Jesus changed this law; but, this is an ignorant error.  Jesus obeyed the Sabbath.  “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5)

Others have contended that the Apostles changed it.  The seventh day Sabbath was honored by Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Christians.  It was changed by an unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor, Constantine , to “the venerable day of the sun.”  This was simply one of the many pagan doctrines and traditions which Constantine brought into the Christian church.  “As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that supreme deity would have been associated with the sun, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping of ‘sun day,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 183)

James wrote in his notes on the Sabbath, “7. The very language of this Commandment, seems to pre-sage the propensity of man to change the Sabbath; remember the Sabbath day; and God, foreseeing what wicked men would do, has placed on his chosen a special injunction that they keep that day in all their generations for a perpetual covenant; (Ex. xxxi, 13-17;) and awful penalties are denounced against those who abolish it.”  The Sabbath is also addressed in the Book of the Law, Chapter 40: Feasts.

A most significant teaching in the Book of the Law is the necessity of an organized priesthood having divine authority from God.  Additional information is available in the chapter, James the Teacher.  Not even Jesus was exempt from this law. He was ordained under the hands of the Father.  “4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.” (Heb. 5)

  Order of the Priesthood

  The organization of the priesthood in the Book of the Law is identical with that of Jesus.  These officers are required “for the perfecting of the saints” and “for the work of the ministry.”  They are to remain in the Church of Christ “till we all come in the unity of the faith.”  “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists [High Priests]; and some, pastors [Elders] and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4)

The Bible records Jesus calling and ordaining the Twelve Apostles.  “14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.”  This calling and ordination gave them divine authority to preach the gospel and have their ordinances (baptism of water and the Spirit) recorded in heaven.  “19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16)

High Priests are often known as Evangelists.  “It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers [High Priests], as they shall be designated unto them by revelation.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 107:39) James wrote, “they who are faithful in the calling, have the gift of prophecy.  Hence High Priests are frequently spoken of under the name of Prophets.” (Book of the Law, p. 225)

This is the first rank in succession below that of Apostle.  The recognized ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, noted, “Of those that flourished in these times, Quadratus is said to have been distinguished for his prophetical gifts.  There were many others. Also, noted in these times, who held the first rank in the apostolic succession.”  (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, Chapter XXXVII, p. 123)

Jesus also called and ordained Elders.  Seventy of these, who were traveling preachers of the gospel, comprise a quorum.  Jesus sent out several quorums of Elders.  “1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (Luke 10)  Others stood as Pastors over the various branches of the church.  “23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (Acts 14)

These same officers of the kingdom are identified in the Book of the Law; and were administered under James.  Only the latter day saints have claimed to have Apostles, Prophets, High Priests, and Elders called and ordained by the will of God.  “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain… whosever is not chosen of him, the same is a usurper, and unholy.” (Book of the Law, p. 20)  “1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” (John 10)

The Book of the Law included many chapters on the will of God concerning the behavior of men towards his fellow.  There is a chapter on Oaths.  James wrote, “1. It is profaning the name of God to swear vain oaths, such as are not appointed in the Law, or are not necessary to justice. The oath was appointed of God for great occasions, and not to be made a light thing of by familiar use.” (Book of the Law, p. 88)  It includes the law of God on blessings, curses, prayer, thanksgiving, monuments, blessing of infants, marriage, healing, and absolution.

  Gospel of Christ

The Book of the Law includes the law of God on the gospel of Christ; and entry into the kingdom of heaven.  “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God .” (John 3:5)  It includes chapters on baptism, baptism for the dead, confirmation, and the Eucharist.  “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (John 6:53)  Jesus will soon return, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:8)  This subject is covered in depth in the chapter James, The Teacher.

  Love and the Law of God

  Jesus taught the law of God is based on love (Matt. 22).  Love of God and man forms the foundation for all other laws.  James wrote, “6. Though God has founded his government in love, and made that the chief sanction of his law, we are not allowed for one moment to imagine that he will not punish sin, or that he will look upon it with any degree of allowance.

“7. For in the same breath he tells us that he is a jealous God, visiting iniquity on all that hate him; not as some have said, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their innocent posterity; but upon their children who abide in their sins.” (Book of the Law, p. 19)

This eternal love permeates all of the relationships between God and man; and between men.  In the kingdom of heaven, marriage and the family are sealed for eternity.  Heathen marriages, performed by men who do not hold divine authority, are only “until death do us part.”  Two unique characteristics of the law of God, found in the Book of the Law, are: (1) that love is a required element in marriage; and (2) that spiritual marriage among believers is for eternity.  “When thou takest a wife, thou shalt take such a one as thou lovest, and who loveth thee, and whom thou mayest lawfully marry… by him shall ye be joined in marriage, that she may be thine in life, thine in the resurrection, and thine in life everlasting; and that the children which she beareth thee, may be with thee in the everlasting kingdom.” (Book of the Law, p. 159)

This same principle is taught in the Bible.  Abraham and his seed were promised the land of Canaan .  This was never realized during his mortal life.  When Jesus returns and resurrects the saints of God, Abraham and his seed will inherit that land with their wives and children; even as Judah and Israel in the days of Solomon.  “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine [tribe] and under his fig tree [family], from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.” (1 Kings 4:25 )  “2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.” (Micah 4)

  Social Order and Polygamy

  The Book of the Law restored the original law on social order.  This included polygamy.  Nothing can be more obvious in the Bible than God ordained and sanctioned polygamous marriages.  The twelve tribes of Israel were the offspring of such marriages.  The major kings in Israel had numerous wives.  The progenitors of Jesus were polygamists.

James was opposed to polygamy; until he translated that part of the Book of the Law.  L. D. Hickey, an Apostle under James, stated that James first learned of the legality of polygamy while translating the Book of the Law.  He stated that James was very upset and would not translate for some time (Temple Lot Testimony, pp. 408, 409).

Polygamy under James was closely controlled.  It was dependant on the ability of the husband to provide for his wives and children; and to protect their rights.  5. Thou shalt not take unto thee a multitude of wives disproportioned to thy inheritance, and thy substance:  nor shalt thou take wives to vex those thou hast; neither shalt thou put away one to take another.” (Book of the Law, p. 314)  An extensive discourse by James on the subject is found in the Book of the Law in the chapter “Household Relations.”

The inclusion of the law to love one’s neighbor, the original law on the Sabbath, the law on eternal marriage, the law on the order of the priesthood, the law on polygamy, and the law on social order provides a significant testimony of the truth of the Book of the Law and the true calling of James, as a prophet of God.  Many of the teachings found in the Book of the Law are found nowhere else in the Christian world.

When Jesus returns, all people in the world will be judged by the Book of the Law.  The law will come forth out of Zion -- North America .  Mountains mean kingdoms in Biblical symbolic language.  “2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light [law] of the LORD.” (Isa. 2; Micah 4:1, 2)

Wingfield Watson in his correspondence of August 15, 1877 with Henry A. Chaney offered one of the best testimonies to the Book of the Law; and therefore, to James J. Strang.  “This book, so far as my knowledge or reading goes, is in itself unique; both as regards its general construction, or plan and the nature of its contents. To the sincere student, and true lover of the Scriptures, it opens many mysteries, and gives the why and the wherefore, for many of its sayings, and doings, which cannot be learned from any other Book existing.”

“The Old and New Testaments, both show that between the people and the Almighty, there were always men chosen by him to lead the people, that among these different officers, there were various degrees of authority; that these different officers were amenable to, and subject to each other, according to the office held, or the authority exercised; but that all were the servants of the people, and that the greatest were servants of all the rest.

“This Book of the Law shows that the priesthood of the New, and Old Testament times, are one, and the same; and outside of this Book, there is not another on the earth, that will show the order of this priesthood, or show the true relationship of any one of these officers to the one above or below it.”

“The Old and New Testaments, both show that between the people and the Almighty, there were always men chosen by him to lead the people, that among these different officers, there were various degrees of authority; that these different officers were amenable to, and subject to each other, according to the office held, or the authority exercised; but that all were the servants of the people, and that the greatest were servants of all the rest.

“This Book of the Law shows that the priesthood of the New, and Old Testament times, are one, and the same; and outside of this Book, there is not another on the earth, that will show the order of this priesthood, or show the true relationship of any one of these officers to the one above or below it.”

“In this work there are many other things that might be said to concern only the secular affairs of the people.  But God’s law recognizes no difference, and never did, between what is now called the secular, and spiritual affairs of his people. The whole object of God’s law, both in the past and in the present, is the happiness of man upon the principle of obedience to it; and whatever maintains, and supports life, peace, prosperity, happiness and enjoyment here, will be necessary throughout all ages to support the same things, as we understand it. In other words, we look upon the Law and the commandments of God, as laid down in all the divine writings, as an external series of causes that ever produce the same most excellent effects, by obedience to them. That as the transgression of these great and glorious rules, has ever cursed, corrupted, degraded, and ruined mankind, so obedience to them has ever blessed, and will ever bless, perfect, exalt and preserve the human race. Accordingly, when ‘the rest of God,’ or that ‘Milleniel reign of peace,’ which so many are looking for at the present time, is finally ushered in upon the earth, it will be only the successful establishment of the divine law every where over it; which often in the past has been sought, but as often failed through the rebellion and corruptions of man. We are unable to conceive how perfect peace, and universal happiness, can ever be arrived at only in obedience to a perfect law, or rule of action. Such only are those rules that have emanated from God.”

“These rules that could help people to establish this perfect peace is contained in a little book entitled ‘The Book of the Law of the Lord.’ It is a sad fact, though, that this book that has so much to offer has been appreciated by only a few.” (Strang MSS, Yale University Library, Book IV, Sec. II, p. 80, 84-86)

In 2000, I republished the Book of the Law.  This reproduction was page for page, line for line, and word for word according to the original 1856 Edition.  It is available either on 100% rag paper and leather bound, or on 25% rag paper with regular hard back binding.

SEALED RECORD

  There is a promise of a future translation for James in the Revelation of James on September 1, 1845 . "Behold the record which was sealed from my servant Joseph. Unto thee it is reserved. Take heed that thou count it not a light thing, nor exalt thyself lest thou be stricken; for by myself I swear that, as thou servest me faithfully and comest not short, thou shalt unlock the mysteries thereof, which I have kept hid from the world. Yea, as my servants serve me, so shalt thou translate unto them."

This "sealed" record is yet to be revealed.  Our late Bro. Lloyd Flanders wrote, “James J. Strang was shown the plates of the Sealed Record: but HE RECEIVED ONLY the Urim and Thummim: given him to see the 3 Voree Plates under an Oak Tree—but he did NOT receive the Plates of the Sealed Record—then or any other time—but he received the promise (par 2) that he would receive it IF the saints and himself were faithful to the degree that the Order of Enoch could be set up among them. This failed at Voree—and the Kingdom with a Perpetual Inheritance System was set up in it’s stead on Beaver Island .  Such a condition of Complete Unity existed in Jerusalem and among the Nephites for some time—and was tried as a United Order under both Joseph and James.”

“Some of our ‘Tracts’ carry the idea that the Book of the Law was translated from the Plates of Laban—as part of the ‘Plates Sealed from Joseph Smith’ or part of the ‘Book of Mormon Plates’ which is not true. Nephi mentioned the Sealed Book—and he was much closer to the days of the Deluge and Jaredite Settling in America than Mormon or Moroni ! The Inspired Version—Isaiah Chap. 29—is headed ‘God’s judgment upon Jerusalem—The Sealed Book’—which in part refers to the Book of Mormon—and in Part the ‘Sealed Record’ of Ether.”

The sealed record was a part of the golden plates of which the Book of Mormon was a part.  “These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin.  They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole.  The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed.” (History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 537)  The Book of the Law was translated from plates that were “about seven inches and three-eights wide, by nine inches long.” (Book of the Law, Testimony)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO CHAPTER SIX:

JAMES J. STRANG, THE TEACHER