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116 Lost Pages


   and it came to pass that after we had translated 116 pages that he desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spake unto him (Martin) the word of the Lord and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Palmire Wayne County & State of N York and he brake the covenent which he made before the Lord and the Lord suffered the writings to fall into the hands of wicked men and Martin was Chastened for his transgression and I also was chastened also for my transgression for asking the Lord the third time wherefore the Plates was taken from me by the power of God and I was not able to obtain them for a season and it came to pass afte much humility and affliction of Soul I obtained them again
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa Summer 1832, pgs 5-6
1832 Account
Joseph Smith, Jr.
1832
   and it came to pass that after we had translated 116 pages that he desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spake unto him (Martin) the word of the Lord and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Palmire Wayne County & State of N York and he brake the covenent which he made before the Lord and the Lord suffered the writings to fall into the hands of wicked men and Martin was Chastened for his transgression and I also was chastened also for my transgression for asking the Lord the third time wherefore the Plates was taken from me by the power of God and I was not able to obtain them for a season and it came to pass afte much humility and affliction of Soul I obtained them again

   Mr Harris having returned from this tour he left me and went home to Palmyra, arranged his affairs, and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, Eighteen hundred and twenty eight, and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we continued untill the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper. Some time after Mr Harris had began to write for me, he began to tease me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented but insisted that I should enquire once more. after After much solicitation I again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother. Preserved Harris, his own wife, his father, and his mother, and a Mrs Cobb a sister to his wife. In accordance with this last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me in the most solemn manner that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He did so. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings and went his way.<br>
   Notwithstanding however the great restrictions which he had been laid under, and the solemnity of the covenant which he had made with me, he did shew them to others and by stratagem they got them away from him, and they never have been recovered nor obtained back again untill this day.<br>
   In the mean time while Martin Harris was gone with the writings, I went to visit my father’s family at Manchester. I continued there for a short season and then returned to my place in Pensylvania. Immediately after my return home I was walking out a little distance, when Behold the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummin again (for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting Martin Harris take the writings which he lost by transgression) and I enquired of the Lord through them and obtained the folowing revelation.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], pgs 11-12
1838 Account
Joseph Smith, Jr.
1838
   Mr Harris having returned from this tour he left me and went home to Palmyra, arranged his affairs, and returned again to my house about the twelfth of April, Eighteen hundred and twenty eight, and commenced writing for me while I translated from the plates, which we continued untill the fourteenth of June following, by which time he had written one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript on foolscap paper. Some time after Mr Harris had began to write for me, he began to tease me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and shew them, and desired of me that I would enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin if he might not do so. I did enquire, and the answer was that he must not. However he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should enquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented but insisted that I should enquire once more. after After much solicitation I again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions, which were, that he shew them only to his brother. Preserved Harris, his own wife, his father, and his mother, and a Mrs Cobb a sister to his wife. In accordance with this last answer I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me in the most solemn manner that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He did so. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings and went his way.
   Notwithstanding however the great restrictions which he had been laid under, and the solemnity of the covenant which he had made with me, he did shew them to others and by stratagem they got them away from him, and they never have been recovered nor obtained back again untill this day.
   In the mean time while Martin Harris was gone with the writings, I went to visit my father’s family at Manchester. I continued there for a short season and then returned to my place in Pensylvania. Immediately after my return home I was walking out a little distance, when Behold the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummin again (for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting Martin Harris take the writings which he lost by transgression) and I enquired of the Lord through them and obtained the folowing revelation.

   July one Thousand Eight hundred & Twenty Eight Given to Joseph the Seer after he had lost certan writings which he had Translated by the gift & Power of God<br>
   Saying the works & designs & the Purposes of God cannot be frustrated neither can they come to naught for God doth not wak in crooked Paths neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left neither doth vary from that which he hath said therefore his paths are strait & his course is one eternal round Remember Remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated but the works of men for although a man may have many Revelations & have power to do many Mighty works yet if he boast in his own strength & Sets at naught the councils of God & follows after the dictates of his will & carnal desires he must fall to the Earth & incur the vengence of a Just God upon him behold you have been intrusted with those things but strict was your commandment & Remember  also the Promises which were made to you if you transgressed them & behold how oft you have transgressed the Laws of God & have gone on in the Persuasions of men for behold you should not have feared men more then God although men set at naught the councils of God & dispise his words yet you should have been faithful & he would have extended his arm & supported you against all the firey darts of the advisary & he would have been with you in evry time of trouble behold thou art Joseph & thou wast chosen to do  the work of the Lord but because of transgression thou mayest fall but remember God is merciful therefore repent of that which thou hast done & he will only cause thee to be afflicted for a season & thou art still chosen & will & will again be called to the work & except Thou do this thou shalt be delivered up & become as other men & have no more gift & when thou deliveredst up that Which that which God had given thee right to Translate thou deliveredest up that which was Sacred into the hands  of a wicked man who has Set at naught the Councils of God & hath broken the most Sacred promises which was made before God & hath depended upon his own Judgement & boasted in his own arm wisdom & this is the reason that thou hast lost thy Privileges for a Season for thou hast suffered that the council of thy directors to be trampeled upon from the begining for as the knowledge of a Saveiour hath come to the world so shall the knowledge of my People the Nephities & the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites come to the Lamanites knowledge of the Lamanites & the Lamanites & the Ishmaelites which dwindeled in unbelief because of the iniquities of their Fathers who hath been suffered to destroy their Brethren because of their iniquities & their Abominations & for this very Purpose are these Plates prepared which contain these Records that the Promises of the Lord might be fulfilled which he made to his People & that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their Fathers & that they may know the Promises of the Lord that they may believe the Gospel & rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ & that they might be glorified through faith in his name & that they might repent & be Saved Amen Received in Harmony Susquehannah Penn
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3], pgs 1-2
1828 Revelation
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Jul, 1828
   July one Thousand Eight hundred & Twenty Eight Given to Joseph the Seer after he had lost certan writings which he had Translated by the gift & Power of God
   Saying the works & designs & the Purposes of God cannot be frustrated neither can they come to naught for God doth not wak in crooked Paths neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left neither doth vary from that which he hath said therefore his paths are strait & his course is one eternal round Remember Remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated but the works of men for although a man may have many Revelations & have power to do many Mighty works yet if he boast in his own strength & Sets at naught the councils of God & follows after the dictates of his will & carnal desires he must fall to the Earth & incur the vengence of a Just God upon him behold you have been intrusted with those things but strict was your commandment & Remember also the Promises which were made to you if you transgressed them & behold how oft you have transgressed the Laws of God & have gone on in the Persuasions of men for behold you should not have feared men more then God although men set at naught the councils of God & dispise his words yet you should have been faithful & he would have extended his arm & supported you against all the firey darts of the advisary & he would have been with you in evry time of trouble behold thou art Joseph & thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord but because of transgression thou mayest fall but remember God is merciful therefore repent of that which thou hast done & he will only cause thee to be afflicted for a season & thou art still chosen & will & will again be called to the work & except Thou do this thou shalt be delivered up & become as other men & have no more gift & when thou deliveredst up that Which that which God had given thee right to Translate thou deliveredest up that which was Sacred into the hands of a wicked man who has Set at naught the Councils of God & hath broken the most Sacred promises which was made before God & hath depended upon his own Judgement & boasted in his own arm wisdom & this is the reason that thou hast lost thy Privileges for a Season for thou hast suffered that the council of thy directors to be trampeled upon from the begining for as the knowledge of a Saveiour hath come to the world so shall the knowledge of my People the Nephities & the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites come to the Lamanites knowledge of the Lamanites & the Lamanites & the Ishmaelites which dwindeled in unbelief because of the iniquities of their Fathers who hath been suffered to destroy their Brethren because of their iniquities & their Abominations & for this very Purpose are these Plates prepared which contain these Records that the Promises of the Lord might be fulfilled which he made to his People & that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their Fathers & that they may know the Promises of the Lord that they may believe the Gospel & rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ & that they might be glorified through faith in his name & that they might repent & be Saved Amen Received in Harmony Susquehannah Penn
(Note:  This manuscript formed what is known today as Doctrine and Covenants, Section 3, which can be read here.)

   About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them.
Full Source
External Link
Mormonism Unvailed, E.D. Howe, pg 264
Isaac Hale Statement
Isaac Hale, witnessed by Charles Dimon
20 Mar, 1834
   About this time, Martin Harris made his appearance upon the stage; and Smith began to interpret the characters or hieroglyphics which he said were engraven upon the plates, while Harris wrote down the interpretation. It was said, that Harris wrote down one hundred and sixteen pages, and lost them.

   Mrs. McKune relates the particulars of an incident which took place early in 1828. Martin Harris had advanced so much money to Smith that his wife came from Palmyra in great alarm to arrest the destruction of property and to reclaim her husband if possible. Harris showed her the sacred writings, already nearly completed, as an inducement for her to hold her peace. She found where the manuscript was concealed, and at once secured it. When asked to return it she replied, Joe Smith may peek for it. This he attempted to do, but accused her of unfairly removing the manuscript whenever the attendants had almost reached it. After waiting a little time, she produced a portion of the roll and declared Smith to be a fraud. The remainder of the manuscript she retained, and finally burned it, with the remark, If it cannot be found there will be an end to the partnership between Joe Smith and my husband. Joe never undertook to use his wonderful spectacles for a second translation of the matter in the missing manuscript: he feared that Mrs. Harris might produce a totally different Bible consisting of his first translation.
External Link
Lippincott's Magazine 26:152, pg 202
Sally McKune Account
Sally McKune
Aug, 1880
   Mrs. McKune relates the particulars of an incident which took place early in 1828. Martin Harris had advanced so much money to Smith that his wife came from Palmyra in great alarm to arrest the destruction of property and to reclaim her husband if possible. Harris showed her the sacred writings, already nearly completed, as an inducement for her to hold her peace. She found where the manuscript was concealed, and at once secured it. When asked to return it she replied, "Joe Smith may peek for it." This he attempted to do, but accused her of unfairly removing the manuscript whenever the attendants had almost reached it. After waiting a little time, she produced a portion of the roll and declared Smith to be a fraud. The remainder of the manuscript she retained, and finally burned it, with the remark, "If it cannot be found there will be an end to the partnership between Joe Smith and my husband." Joe never undertook to use his wonderful spectacles for a second translation of the matter in the missing manuscript: he feared that Mrs. Harris might produce a totally different Bible consisting of his first translation.

   The next Spring Came Martin Harris Down to pennsylvany to write for him and he wrote 116 pages of the first part of the Book of Mormon and about this time Martin wanted to go home a Bout some Buisness and he wanted to take the writings with him But Joseph put him of but he urged him By fair promises that he would be Careful and he would Return it again but he Being free with it some person go hold of it and Cept it so that he never Could obtain it again there fore Joseph Lost his privilige for a while but after Repenting he again received the privelage of translating again as in Book of Covenants page 163
External Link
Joseph Knight reminiscences, Church History Library, pg 6
Joseph Knight Account
Joseph Knight
1833-1847
   The next Spring Came Martin Harris Down to pennsylvany to write for him and he wrote 116 pages of the first part of the Book of Mormon and about this time Martin wanted to go home a Bout some Buisness and he wanted to take the writings with him But Joseph put him of but he urged him By fair promises that he would be Careful and he would Return it again but he Being free with it some person go hold of it and Cept it so that he never Could obtain it again there fore Joseph Lost his privilige for a while but after Repenting he again received the privelage of translating again as in Book of Covenants page 163

   Mr Harris remained with my son and wrote dilligently untill he had transcribed nearly 116 pages of the record when it became necessary for him to return home— he now began to requested Joseph to permit him to look upon the plates for he desired a further witness that of their work that he might be better able to give a reason for The hope that was within of seeing great things come to pass in the last days— Joseph was very partial to Mr Harris on account of the friendship which he had manifested in an hour when there seemed to be no earthly freind to succoror or to sympathize.<br>
   Under these circumstances Joseph felt a great desire to gratify the man’s feelings as far as it was justifiable to do so accordingly he enquired at the hand of the Lord concerning the Matter when he received a revelation which is contained in the book of doctrine and covenants Sec 33....<br>
   This discouraged Mr Harris from saying much more about the plates but he insisted upon taking that which he had writen home with him that he might show his family what he had been employed in during his abscence from them he also hoped that it might have a salutary effect upon his wifes feelings to read what was writen— Joseph for a long time resisted every entreaty of this kind at last however he begged the priviledge of obliging Mr Harris by allowing his last request this priviledge was given with the condition that my son was responsible for their safety. This my son was willing to do as he could not conceive it possible for so kind a friend to betray the trust reposed in him. but there is no doubt of this indulgence being given to Joseph in order to show him by another lesson of bitter experiance how vain are all human calculations— and also to learn him not to put his trust in man nor make flesh his arm Mr Harris now took the most solemn oath that he would not show the manuscript to any save 5 individuals who belonged his household for the hoped that it might be the means of carrying the truth home to their hearts and affecting a union of sentiment animated him very much. & his anxious desires were now gratified as to the means which he wished to make use of as an instrument to effect this much wished for object. Accordingly he was now fully prepared to set out for home which he did carrying with him 116 pages of the record in manuscript this was in july...<br>
   I feel so uneasy said she that I cannot and rest and shall not be at rest ease untill I know something about what Mr Harris is doing with it do you not think it would be advisable for you to go and enquire into the reason of his not writing or sending any word back to you since he  left us— Joseph begged her to be quiet and not worry herself as he could not leave her just then as he should not dare to be absent from her only even one hour while her situation was so precarious—. I will said Emma send for my Mother and She shall stay with me while you are gone After much persuasion he concluded to leave his wife in the care of her Mother for a few days and set out on the before mentioned journey.<br>
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 78-79, 81-82
Lucy Smith's Account Leading up to the Loss of the Manuscript
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   Mr Harris remained with my son and wrote dilligently untill he had transcribed nearly 116 pages of the record when it became necessary for him to return home— he now began to requested Joseph to permit him to look upon the plates for he desired a further witness that of their work that he might be better able to give a reason for The hope that was within of seeing great things come to pass in the last days— Joseph was very partial to Mr Harris on account of the friendship which he had manifested in an hour when there seemed to be no earthly freind to succoror or to sympathize.
   Under these circumstances Joseph felt a great desire to gratify the man’s feelings as far as it was justifiable to do so accordingly he enquired at the hand of the Lord concerning the Matter when he received a revelation which is contained in the book of doctrine and covenants Sec 33....
   This discouraged Mr Harris from saying much more about the plates but he insisted upon taking that which he had writen home with him that he might show his family what he had been employed in during his abscence from them he also hoped that it might have a salutary effect upon his wifes feelings to read what was writen— Joseph for a long time resisted every entreaty of this kind at last however he begged the priviledge of obliging Mr Harris by allowing his last request this priviledge was given with the condition that my son was responsible for their safety. This my son was willing to do as he could not conceive it possible for so kind a friend to betray the trust reposed in him. but there is no doubt of this indulgence being given to Joseph in order to show him by another lesson of bitter experiance how vain are all human calculations— and also to learn him not to put his trust in man nor make flesh his arm Mr Harris now took the most solemn oath that he would not show the manuscript to any save 5 individuals who belonged his household for the hoped that it might be the means of carrying the truth home to their hearts and affecting a union of sentiment animated him very much. & his anxious desires were now gratified as to the means which he wished to make use of as an instrument to effect this much wished for object. Accordingly he was now fully prepared to set out for home which he did carrying with him 116 pages of the record in manuscript this was in july...
   I feel so uneasy said she that I cannot and rest and shall not be at rest ease untill I know something about what Mr Harris is doing with it do you not think it would be advisable for you to go and enquire into the reason of his not writing or sending any word back to you since he left us— Joseph begged her to be quiet and not worry herself as he could not leave her just then as he should not dare to be absent from her only even one hour while her situation was so precarious—. I will said Emma send for my Mother and She shall stay with me while you are gone After much persuasion he concluded to leave his wife in the care of her Mother for a few days and set out on the before mentioned journey.
(Note:  This quote comes from Lucy's original manuscript transcribed in 1844-1845 by Martha Jane and Howard Coray. In 1845 the Corays produced an altered copy which can be read in full here. This altered manuscript was used in the 1853 publication by Orson Pratt in England under the title "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his Progenitors for many Generations" which can be read in full here.)

   When the first direction was complied with Joseph requested us to send with all possible speed for Martin Harris we did so and after the stranger left (whose name we never knew) we prepared breakfast as soon as we could conveiniently for Martin always came in such haste when sent for that we supposed he would be there and ready to take breakfast before with us before we could be ready to eat— & it was now near 6 oclock at and he lived 3 miles distant. At 8 oclock we sat the victuals on the table as we as we were looking for him every moment, we waited till 9 and he came not  till 10 and he was not there till 11 still he did not make his appearance at ½ past 12 we saw him walking with a slow and measured tread toward the house his eyes fixed thoughtfully upon the ground  when he came to the gate he did not open it but got upon the fence and sat some time with his hat at the drawn over his eyes— at last he entered the house after we sat down and were ready to commence eating Martin too with the rest— he took up his knife and fork as if to use them but dropped them from his hands Hyrum said Martin why do you not eat are you sick Martin pressed his hands upon his temples and cried out in a tone of anguish Oh! I have lost my soul I have lost my soul. Joseph who had smothered his fears till now sprang from the table exclaiming Oh! Martin have you lost that manuscript! have you broken your oath and brought down condemnation upon my head as well as your own yes replied Martin it is gone and I know not where— Oh! My God My God said Joseph clenching his hands together all is lost is lost what shall I do I have sinned it is me that tempted the wrath God by asking him to that which I had no right to do ask as I was differently instructed by the angel— and he wept to like and groaned walking the floor continualy at last he told martin to go back to his house and search again— No said Mr Harris it is all in vain for I have looked in every place in the  house I have even ripped open beds and pillows and I know it is not there Then must I said Joseph return to my wife with such a tale as this I dare not do it least I should kill her at once and how shall I appear before the Lord of what rebuke am I not worthy from the the Angel of the most high I be sought him not to mourn so that it might be that the Lord would forgive him after a short season of humiliation and repentance on his part, but what could I say to comfort him when he saw the family all in the same state of mind that he was nothing could be more affecting than the appearance which we presented sobs and groans and the most bitter lamentations filled the house Joseph particularly was more distressed than the rest for he knew definitely and by sorrowful experience the consequence of the what would seem to others to be a very trifling neglect of duty he continued walking the floor and forwards and weeping and grieving like a tender infant untill about sunset we persuaded him to take a little nourishment. aft the next morning he went home we parted with heavy hearts for it seemed as though all our fond anticipations which we had fed upon which had been the source of so much secret gratification to us all was in moment fled and fled forever.<br>
   I will now return and trace Martin Harris and give a sketch of his proceedings through the fortnight’s time that had brought to pass a train of circumstances that had swept over us like a the simoon blast— and seared our bright hopes in the tender bud ere we were granted the priviledge beholding even the opening leaf.<br>
   When he arrived at home he was not slow to exhibit the manuscript to his wife and family thus far he was under no condemnation his wife seemed highly pleased with what she heard and entered into the spirit of it so much that she gave her husband the priviledge of locking it up in a set of drawers which she had never permited him to look into after he had shown the transcript to those who were priviledged to see it by his oath he laid it aside and went with Mrs H to visit a relative of her’s who lived miles distant, and as his wife declined returning with him he left her with her friends and went home alone— shortly after he got there a very particular friend made him a visit to whom he related all he knew concerning the record The man’s curiosity was much excited and he earnestly desired to see the transcript Martin was anxious to gratify his friend although it was contrary to his obligation, but when he went to seek for it he found that key could not be found but  he soon resolved to carry his design into execution and to do this he picked the lock and in so doing he injured  his lady’s beaureau considerably he now removed the manuscript to his own set off drawers here he had the it at his command and passing by his oath he showed them any good friend that happened to call on him when Mrs Harris returned and beheld the marred and injured state of her beaureau her irracible temper knew no bounds and an intolerable storm ensued throughout the house which descended with greatest force upon the head of the devoted husband, and when Joseph arrived peace was not yet restored and because of this she was accused of having taken the transcript by Stealth and secreted it for when Joseph sent for him he went immediately to his drawer— but the manuscript was gone— he asked his wife where it was— she solemnly averred that she did not know anything about it whatever— not regarding what she said he went through the house and made a faithful search, but it was more vain than Esau’s seeking his blessing
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 85-88
Lucy Smith's Account of Martin Harris Breaking the News
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   When the first direction was complied with Joseph requested us to send with all possible speed for Martin Harris we did so and after the stranger left (whose name we never knew) we prepared breakfast as soon as we could conveiniently for Martin always came in such haste when sent for that we supposed he would be there and ready to take breakfast before with us before we could be ready to eat— & it was now near 6 oclock at and he lived 3 miles distant. At 8 oclock we sat the victuals on the table as we as we were looking for him every moment, we waited till 9 and he came not till 10 and he was not there till 11 still he did not make his appearance at ½ past 12 we saw him walking with a slow and measured tread toward the house his eyes fixed thoughtfully upon the ground when he came to the gate he did not open it but got upon the fence and sat some time with his hat at the drawn over his eyes— at last he entered the house after we sat down and were ready to commence eating Martin too with the rest— he took up his knife and fork as if to use them but dropped them from his hands Hyrum said Martin why do you not eat are you sick Martin pressed his hands upon his temples and cried out in a tone of anguish Oh! I have lost my soul I have lost my soul. Joseph who had smothered his fears till now sprang from the table exclaiming Oh! Martin have you lost that manuscript! have you broken your oath and brought down condemnation upon my head as well as your own yes replied Martin it is gone and I know not where— Oh! My God My God said Joseph clenching his hands together all is lost is lost what shall I do I have sinned it is me that tempted the wrath God by asking him to that which I had no right to do ask as I was differently instructed by the angel— and he wept to like and groaned walking the floor continualy at last he told martin to go back to his house and search again— No said Mr Harris it is all in vain for I have looked in every place in the house I have even ripped open beds and pillows and I know it is not there Then must I said Joseph return to my wife with such a tale as this I dare not do it least I should kill her at once and how shall I appear before the Lord of what rebuke am I not worthy from the the Angel of the most high I be sought him not to mourn so that it might be that the Lord would forgive him after a short season of humiliation and repentance on his part, but what could I say to comfort him when he saw the family all in the same state of mind that he was nothing could be more affecting than the appearance which we presented sobs and groans and the most bitter lamentations filled the house Joseph particularly was more distressed than the rest for he knew definitely and by sorrowful experience the consequence of the what would seem to others to be a very trifling neglect of duty he continued walking the floor and forwards and weeping and grieving like a tender infant untill about sunset we persuaded him to take a little nourishment. aft the next morning he went home we parted with heavy hearts for it seemed as though all our fond anticipations which we had fed upon which had been the source of so much secret gratification to us all was in moment fled and fled forever.
   I will now return and trace Martin Harris and give a sketch of his proceedings through the fortnight’s time that had brought to pass a train of circumstances that had swept over us like a the simoon blast— and seared our bright hopes in the tender bud ere we were granted the priviledge beholding even the opening leaf.
   When he arrived at home he was not slow to exhibit the manuscript to his wife and family thus far he was under no condemnation his wife seemed highly pleased with what she heard and entered into the spirit of it so much that she gave her husband the priviledge of locking it up in a set of drawers which she had never permited him to look into after he had shown the transcript to those who were priviledged to see it by his oath he laid it aside and went with Mrs H to visit a relative of her’s who lived miles distant, and as his wife declined returning with him he left her with her friends and went home alone— shortly after he got there a very particular friend made him a visit to whom he related all he knew concerning the record The man’s curiosity was much excited and he earnestly desired to see the transcript Martin was anxious to gratify his friend although it was contrary to his obligation, but when he went to seek for it he found that key could not be found but he soon resolved to carry his design into execution and to do this he picked the lock and in so doing he injured his lady’s beaureau considerably he now removed the manuscript to his own set off drawers here he had the it at his command and passing by his oath he showed them any good friend that happened to call on him when Mrs Harris returned and beheld the marred and injured state of her beaureau her irracible temper knew no bounds and an intolerable storm ensued throughout the house which descended with greatest force upon the head of the devoted husband, and when Joseph arrived peace was not yet restored and because of this she was accused of having taken the transcript by Stealth and secreted it for when Joseph sent for him he went immediately to his drawer— but the manuscript was gone— he asked his wife where it was— she solemnly averred that she did not know anything about it whatever— not regarding what she said he went through the house and made a faithful search, but it was more vain than Esau’s seeking his blessing
(Note:  This quote comes from Lucy's original manuscript transcribed in 1844-1845 by Martha Jane and Howard Coray. In 1845 the Corays produced an altered copy which can be read in full here. This altered manuscript was used in the 1853 publication by Orson Pratt in England under the title "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his Progenitors for many Generations" which can be read in full here.)

   As might have been anticipated, Harris's wife became exceedingly annoyed and disgusted with what she called her husband's craziness. She foresaw, as she thought, that if he incurred the printing liability, as he had avowed to her his purpose of doing, the event would be the ruin of herself and family. Thus exercised, she contrived, in her husband's sleep, to steal from him the particular source of her disturbance, and burned the manuscript to ashes. For years she kept the incendiarism a profound secret to herself, even until after the book was published. Smith and Harris held her accountable for the theft, but supposed she had handed the manuscript to some evil-designing persons to be used somehow in injuring their cause. A feud was thus produced between the husband and wife, which was never reconciled.<br>
   Great consternation now pervaded the Mormon circles. The reappearance of the mysterious stranger at Smith's was again the subject of inquiry and conjecture by observers, from whom was withheld all explanation of his identity or purpose. It was not at first an easy task to convince the prophet of the entire innocency of his trusted friend Harris in the matter of this calamitous event, though mutual confidence and friendship were ultimately restored. The great trouble was, the lost translations could not be replaced, or at least such apparently was the difficulty. It might be supposed that, with his golden plates and spectacles before him, and with the benefit of the divine aid as he claimed, the prophet could easily have supplied a duplicate; and so he doubtless would have done had he really been the translator or original author of the composition. To explain his inability to reproduce the missing pages, he said he had received a revelation of the Lord's displeasure for his imprudence in placing them in Harris's hands, and on this account forbidding his rewriting the same; and another reason for this interdiction was, that his enemies had obtained possession of the manuscripts, and altered them with a view of confounding him and embarrassing his great work of enlightenment and salvation! He and Harris were undoubtedly led to suppose that the lost manuscripts remained in existence, and might somehow be used for the object assigned.
Full Source
External Link
Origin, rise, and progress of Mormonism : biography of its founders and history of its church : personal remembrances and historical collections hitherto unwritten ..., pgs 45-47
Pomeroy Tucker's Account
Pomeroy Tucker
1867
   As might have been anticipated, Harris's wife became exceedingly annoyed and disgusted with what she called her husband's "craziness." She foresaw, as she thought, that if he incurred the printing liability, as he had avowed to her his purpose of doing, the event would be the ruin of herself and family. Thus exercised, she contrived, in her husband's sleep, to steal from him the particular source of her disturbance, and burned the manuscript to ashes. For years she kept the incendiarism a profound secret to herself, even until after the book was published. Smith and Harris held her accountable for the theft, but supposed she had handed the manuscript to some "evil-designing persons" to be used somehow in injuring their cause. A feud was thus produced between the husband and wife, which was never reconciled.
   Great consternation now pervaded the Mormon circles. The reappearance of the mysterious stranger at Smith's was again the subject of inquiry and conjecture by observers, from whom was withheld all explanation of his identity or purpose. It was not at first an easy task to convince the prophet of the entire innocency of his trusted friend Harris in the matter of this calamitous event, though mutual confidence and friendship were ultimately restored. The great trouble was, the lost translations could not be replaced, or at least such apparently was the difficulty. It might be supposed that, with his golden plates and spectacles before him, and with the benefit of the divine aid as he claimed, the prophet could easily have supplied a duplicate; and so he doubtless would have done had he really been the translator or original author of the composition. To explain his inability to reproduce the missing pages, he said he had received a revelation of the Lord's displeasure for his imprudence in placing them in Harris's hands, and on this account forbidding his rewriting the same; and another reason for this interdiction was, that his enemies had obtained possession of the manuscripts, and altered them with a view of "confounding him" and embarrassing his great work of enlightenment and salvation! He and Harris were undoubtedly led to suppose that the lost manuscripts remained in existence, and might somehow be used for the object assigned.

   The wife of Harris was a rank infidel and heretic, touching the whole thing and decidedly opposed to her husband's participation in it. With sacrilegious hands she seized over an hundred of the manuscript pages of the new revelation, and burned or secreted them. It was agreed by the Smith family, Cowdery and Harris, not to transcribe these again, but to let so much of the new revelation drop out, as the evil spirit would get up a story that the second translation did not agree with the first. A very ingenious method, surely, of guarding against the possibility that Mrs. Harris had preserved the manuscript with which they might be confronted, should they attempt an imitation of their own miserable patchwork.
External Link
History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase, 215-16
Orasmus Turner Account
Orasmus Turner
Jun, 1851
   The wife of Harris was a rank infidel and heretic, touching the whole thing and decidedly opposed to her husband's participation in it. With sacrilegious hands she seized over an hundred of the manuscript pages of the new revelation, and burned or secreted them. It was agreed by the Smith family, Cowdery and Harris, not to transcribe these again, but to let so much of the new revelation drop out, as the "evil spirit would get up a story that the second translation did not agree with the first." A very ingenious method, surely, of guarding against the possibility that Mrs. Harris had preserved the manuscript with which they might be confronted, should they attempt an imitation of their own miserable patchwork.

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External Link
Naked Truths About Mormonism, Vol 1, No 1, pg 2, col 6
William Hine Account
William Riley Hine
Jan, 1888
   Martin's wife cooked for them, and one day while they were at dinner she put one hundred and sixteen pages, the first part they had translated, in her dress bosom and went out. They soon missed the one hundred and sixteen pages and followed her into the road and demanded them of her. She refused, and said if it was the Lord's work you can translate them again, and I will follow you to the ends of the earth.
   Dr. Seymour came along and she gave them to him to read, and told him not to let them go. Dr. Seymour lived one and a half miles from me. He read most of it to me when my daughter Irene was born; he read them to his patients about the country. It was a description of the mounds about the country and similar to the "Book of Mormon." I doubt if the one hundred and sixteen pages were included in the "Book of Mormon." After I came to Kirtland, in conversation with Martin Harris, he has many times admitted to me that this statement about his wife and the one hundred and sixteen pages, as above stated, is true.
(Note:  No images of this source are available online. Please contact me if you have any information.)

   I heard Martin Harris say that the first part of the Book of Mormon was stolen and that he thought his wife took it and it was not printed in the Book of Mormon.
External Link
Naked Truths About Mormonism, Vol 1, No 2, pg 1, col 3
Caroline Smith Account
M. C. R. Smith
25 Mar, 1885
   I heard Martin Harris say that the first part of the "Book of Mormon" was stolen and that he thought his wife took it and it was not printed in the "Book of Mormon."
(Note:  Mrs. Caroline Smith was the sister of the infamous Mormon, Orrin Porter Rockwell.)

   NOW, behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up so many writings, which you had power to translate, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them, and you also lost your gift at the same time, nevertheless it has been restored unto you again: therefore, see that you are faithful and go on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work as you have begun. Do not run faster than you have strength and means provided to translate, but be diligent unto the end, that you may come off conquerer; yea, that you may conquer satan, and those that do uphold his work.<br>
   2 Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, and for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold they have taken them from you: therefore, you have delivered them up; yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold, satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and behold I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written; and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.<br>
   3 Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God; for behold they say in their hearts, We will see if God has given him power to translate, if so, he will also give him power again; and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate again, or in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold we have the same with us, and we have altered them: Therefore, they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power: therefore, we will destroy him, and also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.<br>
   4 Verily, verily I say unto you, that satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to do iniquity against that which is good, that he may lead their souls to destruction, and thus he has laid a cunning plan to destroy the work of God; yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work; yea, he saith unto them, Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth  them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to  catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking  to destroy the souls of men.<br>
   5 Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to decieve, because he supposeth that another lieth to decieve, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.<br>
   6 Now, behold they have altered those words, because satan saith unto them, He hath decieved you, and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to tempt the Lord their God.<br>
   7 Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold, they shall not lie any more against those words; for behold, if you should bring forth the same words, they would say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted your words; and behold they would publish this, and satan would harden the hearts of the people, to stir them up to anger against you, that they might not believe my words: thus satan would overpower this generation, that the work might not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work.<br>
   8 Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.<br>
   9 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi; yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.<br>
   10 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things, which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account: therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.<br>
   11 Behold they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel: therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And behold, all the remainder of this work, does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets; yea, and also my disciples desired in their prayers, should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea, and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them, that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also, all that had become Lamanites, because of their dissensions.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10], pgs 1-4
May 1829 Revelation
Joseph Smith Jr.
May, 1829
   NOW, behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up so many writings, which you had power to translate, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them, and you also lost your gift at the same time, nevertheless it has been restored unto you again: therefore, see that you are faithful and go on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work as you have begun. Do not run faster than you have strength and means provided to translate, but be diligent unto the end, that you may come off conquerer; yea, that you may conquer satan, and those that do uphold his work.
   2 Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, and for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold they have taken them from you: therefore, you have delivered them up; yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold, satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and behold I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written; and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
   3 Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God; for behold they say in their hearts, We will see if God has given him power to translate, if so, he will also give him power again; and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate again, or in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold we have the same with us, and we have altered them: Therefore, they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power: therefore, we will destroy him, and also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
   4 Verily, verily I say unto you, that satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to do iniquity against that which is good, that he may lead their souls to destruction, and thus he has laid a cunning plan to destroy the work of God; yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work; yea, he saith unto them, Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
   5 Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to decieve, because he supposeth that another lieth to decieve, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
   6 Now, behold they have altered those words, because satan saith unto them, He hath decieved you, and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to tempt the Lord their God.
   7 Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold, they shall not lie any more against those words; for behold, if you should bring forth the same words, they would say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted your words; and behold they would publish this, and satan would harden the hearts of the people, to stir them up to anger against you, that they might not believe my words: thus satan would overpower this generation, that the work might not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work.
   8 Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
   9 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi; yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
   10 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things, which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account: therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
   11 Behold they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel: therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And behold, all the remainder of this work, does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets; yea, and also my disciples desired in their prayers, should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea, and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them, that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also, all that had become Lamanites, because of their dissensions.
(Note:  This revelation was later canonized by the LDS church and exists today as D&C 10:1-48)

   but I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days-Behold I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after that I have abridged the record of my father, then will I make an account of mine own life.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Book of Mormon, 1830, pg 7
Nephi's Abridgment
Book of Mormon
1830
   but I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days-Behold I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after that I have abridged the record of my father, then will I make an account of mine own life.

   And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written: for after that I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of which Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the Prophets, from Jacob, down to the reign of this king Benjamin; and also, many of the words of Nephi.  And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied concerning us down to this day, has been fulfilled; and as many as go beyond this day, must surely come to pass; wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write a hundredth part of the things of my people.<br>
   But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophecyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.  And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the spirit of the Lord which is in me.  And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which is to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Book of Mormon, 1830, pgs 157-58
Words of Mormon
Book of Mormon
1830
   And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written: for after that I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of which Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the Prophets, from Jacob, down to the reign of this king Benjamin; and also, many of the words of Nephi. And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied concerning us down to this day, has been fulfilled; and as many as go beyond this day, must surely come to pass; wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write a hundredth part of the things of my people.
   But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophecyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which is to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

   To the Reader——<br>
   As many fals reports have been sirculated respecting this work & also many unlawful measures taken by evil desineing persons to destroy me also the work I would inform you that I translated by the gift & power of God & caused to be written one hundred & sixteen pages the which I took from the Book of Lehi which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi by the hand of Mormon which said account some person or persons have stolen & kept from me notwithstanding my utmost exersion to recover it again & being commanded of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God by altering the records that they did read conterary from that which I translated & caused to be written & if I should bring forth the same words again or in other words if I should translate the same over again they would publish that which they had stolen & Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation that they might not receive this work but behold the Lord said unto me I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing therefore thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi untill you ye come to that which ye have translated which ye have retained & behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi & thus I will confound those who have altered my words I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work yea I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater then the cunning of the Devil wherefore to be obediant unto the commandments of God I have through his grace & mercy accomplished that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Preface to Book of Mormon, circa August 1829
1829 Preface to the Book of Mormon
Joseph Smith Jr.
Aug, 1829
   To the Reader——
   As many fals reports have been sirculated respecting this work & also many unlawful measures taken by evil desineing persons to destroy me also the work I would inform you that I translated by the gift & power of God & caused to be written one hundred & sixteen pages the which I took from the Book of Lehi which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi by the hand of Mormon which said account some person or persons have stolen & kept from me notwithstanding my utmost exersion to recover it again & being commanded of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God by altering the records that they did read conterary from that which I translated & caused to be written & if I should bring forth the same words again or in other words if I should translate the same over again they would publish that which they had stolen & Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation that they might not receive this work but behold the Lord said unto me I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing therefore thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi untill you ye come to that which ye have translated which ye have retained & behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi & thus I will confound those who have altered my words I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work yea I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater then the cunning of the Devil wherefore to be obediant unto the commandments of God I have through his grace & mercy accomplished that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing

   After thus translating a number of plates, Harris wanted to return to Palmyra, taking a part of the writings with hint; but the Lord objected, for fear that Harris would show them to unbelievers, who would make sport and derision of them. But Harris finally obtained leave to take them, on condition that he should let no one see them, except those who believed in them; in this he was indiscreet, and showed them to some one that he ought not to. When he next went to his drawer to get them, behold! they were not there; the Lord had taken them away.<br>
   Joseph and Harris returned to Harmony, and found the plates missing—the Lord had taken them also. Then Joseph put on the spectacles, and saw where the Lord had hid them, among the rocks, in the mountains. Though not allowed to get them, he could, by the help of the spectacles, read them where they were, as well as if they were before him. They were directed not to re-translate the part already gone over, for fear the new work would not correspond, in every particular, with the old; their enemies might take advantage of that circumstance, and condemn the whole. But they could begin where they left off, and translate until they were directed to stop; for, in consequence of their indiscretion, they would not be allowed to translate the whole, at present. At some future time, they would be allowed to translate the whole; and then their translation, the gold plates, the gold hilt, ball and pointers could all be circulated together, each a witness of the others.
Full Source
External Link
Historical Magazine (second series),Vol 7, Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, pg 308
Interview with Joseph Smith Sr.
Fayette Lapham
May, 1870
   After thus translating a number of plates, Harris wanted to return to Palmyra, taking a part of the writings with hint; but the Lord objected, for fear that Harris would show them to unbelievers, who would make sport and derision of them. But Harris finally obtained leave to take them, on condition that he should let no one see them, except those who believed in them; in this he was indiscreet, and showed them to some one that he ought not to. When he next went to his drawer to get them, behold! they were not there; the Lord had taken them away.
   Joseph and Harris returned to Harmony, and found the plates missing—the Lord had taken them also. Then Joseph put on the spectacles, and saw where the Lord had hid them, among the rocks, in the mountains. Though not allowed to get them, he could, by the help of the spectacles, read them where they were, as well as if they were before him. They were directed not to re-translate the part already gone over, for fear the new work would not correspond, in every particular, with the old; their enemies might take advantage of that circumstance, and condemn the whole. But they could begin where they left off, and translate until they were directed to stop; for, in consequence of their indiscretion, they would not be allowed to translate the whole, at present. At some future time, they would be allowed to translate the whole; and then their translation, the gold plates, the gold hilt, ball and pointers could all be circulated together, each a witness of the others.

kimballthenom@yahoo.com