Parley P. (Parley Parker) Pratt.

A voice of warning and instruction to all people: or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints online

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In the centre of this plain is situated the largest
of the structures which has been as yet discovered
among these ruins. It stands on a mound, or
pyramid, twenty yards high, which is sixty feet,
or nearly four rods, in perpendicular altitude,
which gives a lofty and beautiful majesty, as if
it were a temple suspended in the sky. This is
surrounded by other edifices, namely, five to the
northward, four to the southward, one to the
south-west, and three to the eastward, fourteen
in all.

" In all directions the fragments of other fallen
buildings are seen extending along the mountain,
that stretches east and west either way from these
buildings, as if it were the great temple of wor-
ship, or their government-house, around which
they built their city, and where dwelt their kings
and officers of state. At this place was found a
subterranean stone aqueduct, of great solidity and
durability, which in its course passes beneath the
largest building."

Let it be understood, this city of Otolum, the
ruins of which are so immense, is in North, not
in South, America, in the same latitude with the
island of Jamaica, which is about eighteen
degrees north of the equator, being on the highest
ground between the northern end of the Caribbean


Sea and the Pacific Ocean, where the continent
narrows towards the Isthmus of Darien, and is
about eight hundred miles south of New Orleans.

The discovery of these ruins, and also of many
others, equally wonderful, in the same country,
is just commencing to arouse the attention of the
schools of Europe, who hitherto have denied
that America could boast of her antiquities. But
these immense ruing are now being explored
under the direction of scientific persons, a history
of which, in detail, will doubtless, be forth-
coming in due time ; two volumes of which, in
manuscript, we are informed, have already been
written, and cannot but be received with enthu-
siasm by Americans.

A gentleman who was living near the town of
Cincinnati, in 1826, on the upper level, had oc-
casion to sink a well for his accommodation ; he
persevered in digging to the depth of eighty feet,
without finding water, but, still persisting in the
attempt, his workmen found themselves obstruct-
ed by a substance, which resisted their labour,
though evidently not stone. They cleared the
surface and sides from the earth bedded around it,
when there appeared the stump of a tree, three
feet in diameter, and two feet high, which had
been cut down with an axe. The blows of the
axe were yet visible. It was nearly of the colour
and apparent character of coal, but had not the
friable and fusible quality of that substance. Ten
feet below the water sprang up, and the well is
now in constant supply and high repute.


In Morse's Universal Geography, first volume,
p. 14:2, the discovery of the stump is corroborated :
" In digging a well in Cincinnati, the stump of
a tree was found in a sound state, ninety feet
below the surface; and in digging another well,
at the same place, another stump was found, at
ninety-four feet below the surface, which had
evident marks of the axe ; and on its top there
appeared as if some iron tool had been consumed
by rust. 1 '

We might fill a volume with accounts of
American antiquities, all going to show that this
country has been inhabited by a people who pos-
sessed a knowledge of the arts and sciences,
who built cities, cultivated the earth, and who
were in possession of a written language. But
the things which we have here introduced are
abundantly sufficient for our purpose. If a few
characters in Hebrew have been found in the
earth in America, written on parchment, then it
is just as easy to admit that a whole volume has
been found in the earth in America, written on
plates in Egyptian characters. The astonishing
facts of the stumps found eighty or ninety feet
under ground at Cincinnatti, and similar disco-
veries in many other parts of North and South
America, such as buried cities, and other antiqui-
ties all go to prove that there has been a mighty
convulsion and revolution, not only of nations,
but of nature ; and such a convulsion as is no-
where else so reasonably accounted for, as in the
following extraordinary and wonderful account of


events which transpired in this country, during
the crucifixion of Messiah, which we extract from
the Book of Mormon, Nephi v. 2-11.

" And it came to pass, in the thirty and fourth
year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the
month, there arose a great storm, such an one as
never had been known in all the land: and there
was also a great and terrible tempest ; and there
w&s terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake
the whole earth, as if it were about to divide
asunder : and there were exceeding sharp light-
nings, such as never had been known in all the
land. And the city of Zarahernla did take fire ;
and the city of Moroni did sink into the depths
of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were
drowned ; and the earth was carried up upon the
city of Moronihah, that, in the place of the city
thereof, there became a great mountain ; and
there was a great and terrible destruction in the
land southward. But, behold, there was a more
great and terrible destruction in the land north-
ward; for, behold, the whole face of the land
was changed, because of the tempest, and the
whirlwinds, and the thunderings, and the light-
nings, and the exceeding great quaking of the
whole earth ; and the highways were broken up,
and the level roads were spoiled, and many
smooth places became rough, and many great and
notable cities were sunk, and many were burned,
and many were shook till the buildings thereof
had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof
were slain, and the places were left desolate ;


and thore were some cities which remained, but
the damage thereof was exceeding great ; and
there were many in them who were slain, and
there were some who were carried away in the
whirlwind, and whither they went no man know-
eth, save they know that they were carried
away : and thus the face of the whole earth be-
came deformed, because of the tempests, and the
thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking
of the earth. And, behold, the rocks were rent
in twain ; they were broken up upon the face of
the whole earth, insomuch that they were found
in broken fragments, and in seams, and in cracks,
upon the face of the land.

" And it came to pass that when the thunder-
ings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the
tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease
for, behold they did last for about the space of
three hours; and it was said by some that the
time was greater; nevertheless all these great
and terrible things were done in about the space
of three hours; and then, behold, there was dark-
ness upon the face of the land.

" And it came to pass that there was a thick
darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch
that the inhabitants thereof, who had not fallen,
could feel the vapour of darkness ; and there
could be no light because of the darkness, neither
candles, neither torches ; neither could there be
fire kindled with their fine and exceeding dry
wood, so that there could not be any light at all;
ind there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor


glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the
stars, for so great were the mists of darkness
which were upon the face of the land.

" And it came to pass, that it did last for the
space of three days, that there was no light seen;
and there was great mourning, and howling, and
weeping among all the people continually ; yea,
great were the groanings of the people, because
of the darkness and the great destruction which
had come upon them. And in one place they
were heard to cry, saying, O that we had repented
before this great and terrible day, and then would
our brethren have been spared, and they would
not have been burned in that great city Zarahemla.
And in another place they were heard to cry and
mourn, saying, O that we had repented before
this great and terrible day, and had not killed
and stoned the prophets, and cast them out ; then
would our mothers, and our fair daughters, and
our children have been spared, and not have been
buried up in that great city Moronihah ; and thus
were the howl ings of the people great and terrible.

" And it came to pass that there was a voice
heard among all the inhabitants of the earth upon
all the face of this land, crying, Wo, wo, wo,
unto this people ; wo unto the inhabitants of the
whole earth, except they shall repent ; for the
devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of
the slain of the fnlr sons arid daughters of my
people ; and it is because of their iniquity and
abominations that they are fallen. Behold, that
great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and


the inhabitants thereof. And behold, that great
city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depth
of the sea. and the inhabitants thereof to be
drowned. And behold, that great city Moronihah
have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants
thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abomi-
nations from before my face, that the blood of
the prophets and the saints shall not come any
more unto me against them. And behold the
city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the
inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths
of the earth; yea, and the city of Onihah and the
inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and
the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem
and the inhabitants thereof, and waters have I
caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide
their wickedness and abominations from before
my face, that the blood of the prophets and the
saints shall not come up any more unto me against
them. And behold the city of Gadiandi, and the
city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the
city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be
sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places
thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried
up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wick-
edness and abominations from before my face,
that the blood of the prophets and the saints should
not come up any more unto me against them.
And behold that great city Jacobugath, which
was inhabited by the people of the king of Jacob,
have I caused to be burned with fire, because of
their sins and their wickedness, which was above


all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of
their secret murders and combinations; for it
was they that did destroy the peace of my people
and the government of the land : therefore I did
cause them to be burned, to destroy them from
before my face, that the blood of the prophets
and the saints should not come up unto me any
more against them. And behold the city of
Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad,
and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be
burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof,
because of their wickedness in casting out the
prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to
declare unto them concerning their wickedness
and their abominations; and because they did cast
them all out, that there were no righteous among
them, I did send down fire and destroy them, that
their wickedness and abominations might be hid
from before my face, that the blood of the prophets
and the saints whom I sent among them might
not cry unto me from the ground against them ;
and many great destructions have I caused to
come upon this land and upon this people, because
of their wickedness and their abominations

"0 all ye that are spared, because ye were
more righteous than they, will ye not now
return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be
converted, that I may heal you ? Yea, verily, I
say unto you, if ye will come unto me, ye shall
have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is
extended towards you, and whosoever will come,
kim will I receive ; and Messed are those who


come unto me. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the
Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth,
Rnd all things that in them are. I was with the
Father from the beginning^ I am in the Father,
and the Father in me: and in me hath the Father
glorified his name. I came unto my own, and
my own received me not. And the Scriptures
concerning my coming are fulfilled. And as many
as have received me. to them have I given to
become the sons of God ; and even so will I to
as many as shall believe on my name, for, behold,
by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law
of Moses fulfilled. I am the light and the life of
the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the begin-
ning and the end. And ye shall offer up unto me
no more the shedding of blood : yea, your sacri-
fices and your burnt-offerings shall be done away,
for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your
burnt-offerings : and ye shall offer, for a sacrifice
unto me, a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart
and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire
and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites,
because of their faith in me, at the time of their
conversion, were baptized with fire and with the
Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. Behold, I have
come unto the world to bring redemption unto
the world, to sav^ the world from sin; therefore
whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little
child, him will I receive; for of such is the king-
dom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down
my life, and have taken it up again : therefore


repent and come unto me, ye ends of the earth,
and be saved.

" And now, behold, it came to pass that all the
people of the land did hear these sayings, and
did witness of it. And after these sayings, there
was silence in the land for the space of many
hours : for so great was the astonishment of the
people that they did cease lamenting and howling
for the loss of their kindred which had been slain:
therefore there was silence in all the land for the
space of many hours.

" And it came to pass, that there came a voice
again unto the people, and all the people did hear,
and did witness of it, saying, ye people of these
great cities which have fallen, who are descend-
ants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel,
how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings, and have nourished
you. And again, how oft would I have gathered
you, as a hen gatheretli her chickens under her
wings ; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel,
who have fallen ; yea, O ye people of the house
of Israel ; ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that
have fallen : yea, how oft would I have gathered
you, as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye
would not. O ye house of Israel, whom I have
spared, how oft will I gather you, as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will
repent and return unto me with full purpose of
heart. But if not, O house of Israel, the places
of your dwellings shall become desolate, until the
time of the fulfilling of the covenant to your


"And now it came to pass, that after the
people had heard these words, behold they began
to weep and howl again, because of the loss of
their kindred sin I friends. And it came to p:iss
that thus did the three days pass away. And it
was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed
from off the face of the land, and the earth did
cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend,
and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the
tumultuous noises did pass away, and the earth
did cleave together again, that it stood ; and the
mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of
the people who were spared alive did cease, and
their mourning was turned into joy, and their
lamentations into praise and thanksgiving unto
the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer. And
thus far wore the Scriptures fulfilled, which had
been spoken by the prophets."

Here, then, is an account which shows clearly
and definitely how and when the American anti-
quities became buried; how the stumps of trees
were placed eighty or ninety feet under ground :
how cities were sunk and overwhelmed ; how
mountains fell and valleys rose ; how the rocks
were rent, and how the whole face of the conti-
nent became altered and deformed. We now
close this subject by saying to all the people, If
you wish information on the antiquities of
America ; if you wish historical, prophetical, or
doctrinal information of the highest importance,
read carefully the Book of Mormon.




THIS is one of the most important subjects upon
which the human mind can contemplate ; and
one, perhaps, as little understood in the present
age, as any other now lying over the face of pro-
phecy. But however neglected at the present
time, it was once the ground-work of the faith,
hope, and joy of the Saints. It was a correct
understanding of this subject, and firm belief in
it, that influenced all their movements. Their
minds once fastening upon it, they could not be
shaken from their purposes ; their faith was firm,
their joy constant, and their hope like an anchor
to the soul, both sure and steadfast, reaching to
that within the veil. It was this that enabled
them to rejoice in the midst of tribulation, perse-
cution, sword and flame ; and in view of this
they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, and
gladly wandered as strangers and pilgrims on the
earth. For they sought a country, a city, and
an inheritance that none but a Saint ever thought
of, understood, or even hoped for.

Now, we can never understand precisely what
is meant by restoration, unless we understand
what is lost or taken awav ; for instance, when


we offer to restore anything to a man, it is as
much as to say he once possessed it, but had lost
it, and we propose to replace, or put him in pos-
session of, that which he once had ; therefore,
when a Prophet speaks of the restoration of all
things, he means that all things have undergone
a change, and are to be again restored to their
primitive order, even as they first existed.

First, then, it becomes necessary for us to take
a view of creation, as it rolled in purity from the
hand of its Creator; and if we can discover the
true state in which it then existed, and under-
stand the changes that have taken place since,
then we shall be able to understand what is to be
restored ; and thus, our minds being prepared,
we shall be looking for the very things which will
come, and shall be in no danger of lifting our
puny arm in ignorance, to oppose the things of

First, then, we will take a view of the earth,
as to its surface, local situation, and productions.

When God had created the heavens and the
earth, and separated the light from the darkness,
His next great command was to the waters, Gen.
i. 9. " And God said, Let the waters under the
heaven be gathered together into nne flirt, ^vft4
let the dry land appearj_and it was so." From
this we learn a marvellous fact, which very few
have ever realized or believed in this benighted
age: we learn that the waters, which are now
divided into oceans, seas, and lakes, were then all
gathered together into one vast ocean ; and con-


sequently, that the land which is now torn
asunder, and divided into continents and islands
almost innumerable, was then one vast continent
or body, not separated as it now is.

Second, we hear the Lord God pronounce the
earth, as well as every thing else, very good.
From this we learn that there were neither deserts,
barren places, stagnant swamps, rough, broken,
rugged hills ; nor vast mountains, covered with
eternal snow ; and no part of it was located in
the frigid zone, so as to render its climate dreary
and unproductive, subject to eternal frost, or
everlasting chains of ice

Where no sweet flowers the dreary landscape cheer,
Nor plenteous harvests crown the passing year;

but the whole earth was probably one vast plain,
or interspersed with gently rising hills, and sloping
vales, well calculated for cultivation ; while its
climate was delightfully varied, with the moderate
changes of heat and cold, of wet and dry, which
only tended to crown the varied year with the
greater variety of productions, all for the good of
man, animal, fowl, or creeping thing; while from
the flowery plain, or spicy grove, sweet odours
were wafted on every breeze ; and all the vast
creation of animated beings breathed nought but
health, and peace, and joy.

Next, we learn from Gen. i. 29, 30, " And
Goil said, Behold, I have given you every herb
bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the
earth, nnd every tree, in which is the fruit of a


tree, yielding seed ; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every
fowl of the, and to everything that creepeth
upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given
every green herb f >r meat: and it was so." From
these verses we learn, that the earth yielded
neither noxious weeds nor poisonous plants, nor
useless thorns and thistles ; indeed everything
that grew was just calculated for the food of man,
beast, fowl, and creeping thing: and their food
was all vegetable. Flesh and blood were never
sacrificed, to glut their souls or gratify their
appetites ; the beasts of the earth were all in
perfect harmony with each other ; the lion ate
straw like the ox, the wolf dwelt with the lamb,
the leopard lay down with the kid, the cow and
bear fed together in the same pasture, while
their young ones reposed, in perfect security,
under the shade of the same trees ; all was peace
and harmony, and nothing to hurt nor disturb,
in all the holy mountain.

And to crown the whole, we behold man, created
in the image of God, and exalted in dignity and
power, having dominion over all the vast creation
of animated beings which swarmed through the
earth, while at the same time, he inhabited a
beautiful and well-watered garden, in the midst
of which stood the tree of life, to which he had
free access; while he stood in the presence of his
Maker, conversed with Him face to face, and
gazed upon His glory, without a dimming veil
between. reader, contemplate, for a moment


this beautiful creation, clothed with peace and
plenty; the earth teeming with harmless animals,
rejoicing over all the plain ; the air swarming with
delightful birds, whose never-ceasing notes filled
the air with varied melody ; and all in subjection
to their rightful sovereign, who rejoiced over
them ; while in a delightful garden, the capital
of creation, man was seated on the throne of this
vast empire, swaying his sceptre over all the earth
with undisputed right; while legions of angela
encamped round about him, and joined their glad
voices, in grateful songs of praise, and shouts of
joy ; neither sigh nor groan was heard through-
out the vast expanse ; neither were there sorrow,
tears, pain, weeping, sickness, nor death ; neither
contentions, wars, nor bloodshed; but peace
crowned the seasons as they rolled, and life, joy,
and love reigned over all God's works. But, Oh,
how changed the scene.

It now becomes my painful duty, to trace some
of the important changes which have taken place,
and the causes which have conspired to reduce
the earth and its inhabitants to their present

First, man fell from his standing before God,
by giving heed to temptation; and this fall
affected the whole creation, as well as man, and
caused various changes to take place ; he was
banished from the presence of his Creator, and a
veil was drawn between them, and man was
driven from the Garden of Eden to till the earth,
which was then cursed for his sake, and should


begin to bring forth thorns and thistles ; and with
the sweat of his face he should earn his bread,
ind in sorrow eat of it all the days of his life,
and finally return to dust. But as to Eve, her
curse was a groat multiplicity of sorrow and con-
ception ; and between her seed and the seed of
the serpent there was to be a constant enmity, it
should bruise the serpent's head, and the serpent
should bruise his heel.

Now, reader, contemplate the change. This
scene, which was so beautiful a little before, had

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Online LibraryParley P. (Parley Parker) PrattA voice of warning and instruction to all people: or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints → online text (page 9 of 13)