1831

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Noah Packard's Conversion Story

 

My father never joined any church although he prayed daily in his family. My mother belonged to the Congregational Church.

In the year 1831 a rumor was in circulation that a gold Bible had been dug out of the earth; and hearing the preachers of the day rail out against it, I believed the words of the Savior were about to be fulfilled in regard to false prophets and teachers arising in the last days, who, if it were possible would deceive the very elect. In the fall of this same year a man by the name of William Jolly and family moved into the neighborhood; who I was informed, were believers in the gold Bible. I felt in my heart to pity them, and told my wife we would go and make them a visit; accordingly as soon as they commenced conversation on the subject of religion, quoting the words of the Savior in regard to false prophets and teachers in the last days; on hearing this, Mrs. Jolly went and placed a stand in the middle of the floor and put a candle and a large family Bible upon it and said, "Now to the law and testimony." When she immediately turned to the passages of scripture I had quoted and read them, and applied them to the sects long extinct upon the earth, which I could not refute. I immediately commenced searching the Bible and found that in the last days God would set His hand the second time to gather Israel from all the earth.

About this time Mrs. Jolly presented the Book of Mormon to me and asked me if I would read it; I told her I would, and took it and carried it home and placing the book against my forehead asked secretly the Lord if that work was His, He would make it manifest to me. I then opened the book and commenced reading aloud that my wife might also hear it. We read it through and I commenced reading it the second time and the Lord poured out His spirit upon me and the scriptures were opened to our understanding, and we were convinced that the Book of Mormon was a true record of the Aborigines of America containing the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ which was to come forth at the time of the restitution of the house of Israel.

Accordingly I and my wife were baptized in the town of Parkman by Parley P. Pratt and were confirmed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under his hands and Hyrum Smith's hands, the day I am unable to state, but think it was between the first and fifth of June 1832. Between this time and January following I went to Kirtland and was ordained a priest under the hands of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and Sidney Rigdon.