Date: September 06, 2013 07:21PM
. . . as well allowed to be physically seen in order to act as an instrument for growing God's One and Only True Mormon Church--and to keep Joseph Smith from getting killed.
In an article by Bill McKeever entitled, "Did the 11 Witnesses Actually See the Gold Plates?" an important reason is offered for the significance of both the existence, and viewing of the Sword of Laban (along with physical viewing the Urim and Thummim, the Liahona and the Book of Mormon gold plates):
"According to the `History of the Church' (Vol. 1, p. 52), [Joseph] Smith stated:
"'In the course of the work of translation, we ascertained that three special witnesses were to be provided by the Lord, to whom He would grant that they should see the plates from which this work (the Book of Mormon) should be translated; and that these witnesses should bear record of the same, as will be found recorded, [in the] Book of Mormon, p. 581 . . . .
"As a result, he obtained a revelation from the Lord that can be found in `The Doctrine and Covenants' 17.
"'1. Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.
"'2. And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
"'3. And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God;
"'4. And this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work.
"'5. And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., has seen them; for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith.'"
William Horne Dame, in his diary of 14 January 1855 says that he "[a]ttended [a] meeting [and heard] a discourse from W. W. Phelps. He related a story told him by Hyrum Smith which was as follows: Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer went to the hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-feet square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On that trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban's sword [and] Aaron's brestplate."
Wilford Woodruff records in his personal journal that the Sword of Laban, among other artifacts, were phyusically viewed by early Mormon Church leaders:
"President Young said in relation to Joseph Smith returning the Plates of the Book of Mormon that He did not return them to the box from wh[ence] he had received [them]. But he went [into] a cave in the Hill Cumorah with Oliver Cowdry and deposited those plates upon a table or shelf.
"In that room were deposited a large amount of gold plates containing sacred records and when they first visited that room, the sword of Laban was hanging upon the wall and when they last visited it the sword was drawn from the scabbard and [laid] upon a table and a Messenger who was the keeper of the room informed them that that sword would never be returned to its scabbard untill the Kingdom of God was established upon the Earth and until it reigned triumphant over every enemy."
Author Grant Palmer, in his book "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins," further fleshes out that account as follows;
“Hyrum Smith related more about [Oliver Cowdery's Hill Cumorah spelunking] to William W. Phelps, identifying still others who made the excursion to the hill's interior. Phelps recounted: 'Joseph, Hyrum, Cowdery and Whitmer[s] went to the Hill Cumorah. As they were walking up the hill, a door opened and they walked into a room about 16-feet square. In that room was an angel and a trunk. On the trunk lay a Book of Mormon and gold plates, Laban's sword, Aaron's breastplate.'” In this regard, Palmer adds that in another statement, Young mentioned that they saw “'a Messenger' who was the 'keeper of the room' and that they conversed with him.”
Through all the blah-blah, keep in mind that one of the Mormon God's stated reasons for having the faithful physically see the Sword of Laban was to prevent Joseph Smith from being "destroyed."
Uh-huh. Lot of good that did.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2013 07:46PM by steve benson.