“Of All Things,” New Era, Sept. 2003, 42
President Hinckley can’t be there as a friend to every new member. But you can be there for at least one. All it takes is to feel something of what they feel and something of what the Savior feels for them.
(Ensign, May 2002, 26)
—Elder Henry B. Eyring
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
After four years of preparation, Joseph Smith went to the Hill Cumorah one evening in September to retrieve the gold plates. With the gold plates in his possession, Joseph could now begin the important process of translating the Book of Mormon.
How much do you know about the translation and original publication of the Book of Mormon?
Joseph Smith first received the gold plates in the month of September. Do you know what day and year?
21 September 1822
22 September 1823
22 September 1827
Although Joseph Smith had the gold plates for well over a year, he did not work on the translation of the Book of Mormon every day. About how many days did it take him to translate the Book of Mormon?
In the year 1830, the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon were published. Do you know in what month?
How much did this original publishing cost?
There were a number of people who were scribes for Joseph Smith at different times. Who helped Joseph finish translating the largest section of the Book of Mormon?
If we would avoid adopting the evils of the world, we must prepare a course which will daily feed our minds with and call them back to the things of the Spirit. I know of no better way to do this than by reading the Book of Mormon” (A Witness and a Warning, 1998, 76).
—President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)
The Young Women in the Visalia Fourth Ward, Visalia California Stake, are into family history. They have learned how to find their own family names and to prepare those names for the temple. They are also fortunate to be close to the Fresno Temple, which they can attend once a month and where they can be baptized for their ancestors and the ancestors of others in their ward.
One year, the girls decided to keep a record of the people they were baptized for, so they made a chart with one face representing every person baptized. Now, with over 400 faces on it, their chart is a good reminder to them of what a difference each one of us can make if we participate in family history and temple work.
During September 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith could not openly meet with the Saints because of persecution. But on 1 September 1842, the Prophet addressed the Saints in a letter. This letter is now section 127 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and it contains important directions on baptism for the dead:
“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord;
“That in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven” (D&C 127:6–7).
The early Saints were excited to be able to be baptized for those in their family who had passed on. These instructions from the Prophet helped them keep accurate records and ensure that every individual was baptized. Recording the names of the people who have been baptized is still an important part of temple work today.
General conference is just around the corner, and it is a great time to learn leadership lessons from Church leaders.
Use the month of September to pray and study topics in the gospel that you would like to improve in, areas that will improve your own leadership skills. Such topics may include patience, charity, faith, and obedience.
When general conference comes, you will be well prepared to listen carefully. You will be able to learn from the examples of our leaders and from their counsel.