Search (www.salemthoughts.com)


Zion/


Testimonies of the Witnesses to the Book of Mormon Plates

Given March 31, 2018 at the Colbern Road church

David Gilmore

My name is David Gilmore. The importance of what we are sharing about is not lost on me.
I have never in my life wanted nor do I want now to do anything other than to recommend to you Jesus Christ, him crucified and resurrected as our Savior.

I want to bear my testimony of how that Spirit that I have come to know in my life, for record of this work to me. I’m not one who is given often to spiritual manifestations. I have never spoken to God as I speak to men. I’ve never seen His words across the sky or heard his audible voice.

As I prepared to go on this trip, after having been invited, and sought some counsel of some very important people in my life, as to how to discern the Spirit of God. I wanted Him to provide that for me. I wanted Him to provide something, whether this work be true or false whether I would know without a doubt. And to me it would be that writing in the sky, that voice that I needed to hear.

I went down with great concerns. And any questions that I’ve heard since I’ve been back are not ones that’s unique to the person asking me, because I have thought the same things, I have wondered same things. I don’t think anyone’s questions are wrong.

As I went down, from the minute the plane hit the ground and even enroute, I begin asking whether that spirit I’ve known in my life is the Holy Spirit would testify of the validity of this work, and it did not come. Now I’ve known in my life that I did not have the ability to conjure that Spirit of force it into my life or demand it whenever I want it. But that was consistent in my time down there as I listened and tried to absorb, and take everything in.

As we were in Mauricio’s apartment on Sunday afternoon, we didn’t really have an agenda the whole weekend. But we were told that the plates were on their way, they weren’t there yet. We engaged in some worship and preparation. And it was during those prayers that I began to reach the point of exasperation as I had not yet felt the present of that Holy Spirit on this trip. And as I begin to focus those prayers on my proper place before God, that rightful humility that he calls us to, yet very, very self-centered. I hope that is received in the right way. I was concerned about what I was going to receive because I knew so many of my friends and family would want to know when I came home. And in the midst of that prayer, my mind was drawn to those I care about. I realized that my heart broke then. My prayer and my offering in that worship service was that if it is the work of God, it’s not for our consumption. It’s not for me. But it’s for the salvation of the world; it’s a gift for all.
At that moment was the first time I felt that stirring within my heart. And the plates were brought before us. We were given time to inspect them as we wished. We were not manipulated in any way. At this moment or any other time during the weekend.

I can’t say that that selfsame spirit continued during that time, but I was so interested in the details. But the spirit bore witness to me in power when we moved through the sealed plates and came to a plate that none of us knew was there. But that image, which we have now referred to as the “Cover of the Sealed Portion.” We are creating new terminology as we go along. It depicted that return of God’s heavenly city back upon the earth. That is where my testimony in its fullness was received.
I am so glad we are here on the weekend that we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for those disciples, the three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection. I can imagine that the emotions would have ranged from total faith that he would come as he said and conquer death and the grave, to maybe a hope, to a mere belief, to skepticism, to completely writing it off. And it could have been anywhere in that continuum. But the important thing we will celebrate tomorrow is that the grave was empty. And THAT was the testimony. And His disciples went forth with power because God provided. He provided in His own time.

So, while we don’t control the days, we certainly control our preparation. We control how we act. And the way we relate with one another. And I did not know these men well if at all before this trip. But I have found a desire to be with them. And that’s the testimony I want to bear today.

Kelvin Henson

Good afternoon, my name is Kelvin Henson.

I too would like to just take a moment and acknowledge our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the season that we have to celebrate his death and his resurrection. And it’s because of Him that we are all here today. And it’s because of Him that we get to live our wonderful lives and worship together. This is the Lord, and so that’s why I want to say hosanna to God, and the Lamb, let glory be unto them forever and ever. Amen.

I want to thank each one of you for coming out, and I want to give a special thank you to Colbern Road for opening their church for this informational meeting. And that’s what it is. It’s just an informational meeting. We’re not here to tell any of you what to believe. It’s just simply to share our testimony and ask that you approach the Lord with the things that you hear today.

And so, I was told I have 10 minutes to share. I’m not going to take that 10 minutes, because I shared my testimony at Zarahemla Restoration Branch. And that’s uploaded on their website. And I also have a written testimony that will soon be uploaded to the second invitation website. And so I invite you to go and listen to the testimony I shared at Zarahemla, and also read the one that I wrote and I invite you to do that.

So, I’m not, I’m not going to take the time to share my personal testimony today. But I do want to say that I did see the plates in Brazil. And I was there when the first part of the sealed portion was first opened. And I want to testify to each one of you that I felt the Spirit of the Lord working in Brazil. It’s working – He’s working with the people down there. And I want to testify that to you.

And so I just want to ask each and every one of you – consider the message that we were told to bring, the message of humility and repentance. And I ask each and every one of you to take the things you hear tonight, and go to the Lord in prayer about them. And the Lord in the scriptures, the Lord asks us to exercise our faith. And so I asked each one of you to do that. To exercise your faith, and I don’t mean to exercise your faith by just blindly believing the things that you hear today. But I ask that you exercise your faith by taking the things you hear today, in prayer to the Lord. Because his truth is going to come, and if you seek after his truth, he will give it to you.

And I want to remind you, that if you remember to when the church was first restored, there were many people who did not receive a confirmation until they first read the newly published Book of Mormon for themselves. And that might be the case here, I don’t know. But I encourage you, as you pray, and as you fast, that you don’t become discouraged if you don’t receive the confirmation right away. But that ye diligent and continue to seek. The Lord wants us to continue to come to him. And so, I asked that that you would do that in the coming months.

May the Lord bless each one of you as you seek for his truth

Gary Metzger

My name is Gary Metzger.
And I too want to thank the Lord for His goodness, His kindness, His mercy, and the love that you all have for the truth. And your desire to share in this worship together. And I too would like to share that I went to Brazil with without any decisions. I had many doubts: the condition of the plates, the interpretation of Second Nephi, photos, every kind of a question that all you have in your mind that you thought. I had the same questions.

But in my heart, I’d already been working in Brazil for over 10 years. I’ve made four or five trips to Brazil. I was already in contact with the people I was already in contact with the people at the very same time is these things began to develop. There were a number of people that were interested in the gospel. And I began making more contacts with them. So, at the same time I felt duty bound to investigate. And I was working on my Portuguese to be able to speak in the language of the people. And I wasn’t sure about even going to hear the presentation that was made October 29. But there was an elder that called me on Tuesday before that time. And said that he dreamed about me and that the Lord has spoken to him and told me I should be there. I went to that presentation it was that night after the very first evening. And if you’ve listened to the presentation, I also made a question to Bob and Joseph at that night. After the presentation, brother Joseph came to me that night and said would you be willing to go to Brazil. And at that moment I had to give them at least some sort of answer, so I said yes I would consider that. And I didn’t hear from him for 6 weeks, and during those 6 weeks I was wondering, and up and down and all those questions.

But I want to share with you now the things that the I found. While I was there, the testimony the Spirit of God that came to me. The first event that I’d like to share about was Sunday morning. We arrived on Saturday afternoon. So on Sunday morning, on the 4th of March, we were in worship together and one of the ladies, it’s actually Mauricio’s cousin (her name is Cassiani Victoria), and she had experience with the Holy Spirit. She saw a light in the sanctuary, and her heart was on fire, and she felt the peace of the Lord and wept quite profusely and extended her arms up in praise. And after that service I know she set the table and I believe she shared with Mauricio and brother Bob is that correct? About the desire to make a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, that she felt called to Him. I heard about that and I share with Cassiani and her husband Nelson about 45 minutes later that same day. And I heard that she had had that experience.

So the next day on Monday I wanted to follow up on that with her. So I took Mauricio’s Book of Mormon in Portuguese, and I began to open it up and to share from the Book of Mormon with her. And I want to testify that his Book of Mormon is very well marked, very underlined. He has studied that that book. He loves the lord Jesus Christ and he loves his work. And during that time of sharing with Cassiani, I was going through Mosiah 9 and 2 Nephi 13 about the covenant of baptism. And all of a sudden, she looks at me and she says, “I feel like there’s something happening something moving was within me, like I’m pregnant.” And I said, “Are you?” I didn’t know. And she said, “No, no, I’m not pregnant.” And I can see this look of confusion in her mind, what going on with her body, so I instantly went into prayer and I started praying about 15 seconds or so into the prayer I started thinking, “Where’s she feeling that?” And then it entered into my mind, she’s not in pain. She’s being born again; she’s receiving the Spirit of God. And I looked up my prayer and I asked her, “Are you feeling the fire of the Holy Spirit of God?” and she says, “Yes,” and she, “it’s all over me.” She held out her arm, “Feel.” So it was very real for her. The experience that she was having with the Spirit of God, her desire to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Earlier that the Sunday morning, before going back to Sunday, that was a Monday conversation. But on Sunday at the end of service, a brother named Valdeci, who was in charge of our morning worship and afterwards he turned to our brother Joseph F. Smith and said, “Do you have words to bring?” And Joseph was seated behind me and he stood up and he put his hand on my left shoulder said, “Interpret for me into Portuguese.” And he began to speak to an individual whose name is Wagner in the congregation that he had received of the Lord that he had a call to the office of elder. And as I was translating into Portuguese the power of the Holy Spirit came over me in such quantity that I was weeping before he was finished. Because I could feel that the word of the Lord was being delivered. And then another of our members a stood up and bore testimony of that. I won’t mention his name, I’ll let him do that if he wishes. But he confirmed that. And it was a testimony to me that the Lord is working with these men. That was one of 3 witnesses that that had the angel appeared to him and show him the plates. These are the individuals we’re talking about in Brazil. That I can testify that those men are disciples of Jesus Christ, that the lord is calling them into the work.

Getting to know Mauricio a little bit more, he had an experience earlier in his life. A spiritual experience when he was shown the Kirtland temple. And he heard the people sing. What song do you suppose he heard? “The Spirit of God,”  Thank you very much. Now you have to understand the Portuguese is native tongue and English is almost not there. And as we were sharing together, we sang that hymn. And I watched him very carefully and he was singing that song from memory in English. He knows the words of The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning, because he’d heard it years ago, and it had so penetrated his soul that he had written and drawn a picture of the Kirtland temple many many many times he told us. It was so impressed upon his heart his mind and I know to sing a song by memory from other languages is not easy unless you really know – know the words. He had had that experience.

I also want to testify that before we saw the plates on Sunday as brother David mentioned, that we went into a season of prayer. We all prayed, all 8 of us poured out our hearts to the Lord. And then we entered into a season of song. And we sang campfire songs. Because I testified to the brethren before I left, that I wasn’t going to go into that experience until I knew that I had invited the spirit of God and that we had worshipped His holy name and that we’d offer ourselves to him in sacrifice and praise. So we entered that time of worship and we sang, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.” I just want you to understand that that moved our brother Mauricio and in great detail, which we are going to sing a little bit later. Because he asked us to sing it again. And again. And we sang it 4 times that day as people came in. Because of the words of the song which is very simple the gospel of Jesus Christ was very dear to him.

So my experience with the testimony of the plates, I will simply state that as we had read in our witness that I beheld them, I saw them, and exactly as brother David when that plate that covers the remaining part of the sealed portion which I estimate at about 3 inches tall. It’s a – that’s a God given plate. And I also received my witness of that by the Spirit of God.
I had many questions and one of the times I was a there on Sunday evening one of the brethren from the United States texted me and said, “What about the Peter, James and John, is that the names of the 3 individuals that that that he saw on the mountain 2008?” And I want you to understand that there were 8 of us and all 8 of us slept in the 3 bedrooms that these people lived in. So they all slept in the living room together. And Mauricio’s cousin’s husband had supplied many things for us for their treat. And he actually slept in a tent on the outside on the patio so the family was altogether. So after we received the text about midnight, I just walked into the living room and I said, “Mauricio, you remember the experience you had on Monte Aguro in 2008/2009? We have some confusion in our mind about who were those individuals?” And he just said well okay as he reviewed the experience and he started talking to his family trying to member together went when it was and the names if they remember the names as a family were talking about that and it was a very natural conversation and you have to understand that Mauricio’s apartment that he’s that he’s been and is of great security. We understand the difficulties, if someone professes to have those kinds of things. So they have a huge iron gate, that blocks the entrance. Now we’re talking about that and Mauricio said that one Sunday evening as 8 or 10 of them were worshipping together there was a knock at the door on his side at their apartment. He opened the door and he thought it was Peter and so he said, “Hi Peter.” And he said, no my name’s not Peter, and he gave his name, and he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, give a blessing to this home.” And he proceeded with the other 2 individuals to teach about the importance of the Lord’s day and keeping it holy. And that you could not live in Zion unless you were doing that. And they’d come back months later the same 3 and taught the importance of the sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ, of worshipping at His table together. And then the 9 year old says,
“But Daddy don’t remember how strange it was because they were able to knock on the door of our apartment but they couldn’t have gotten through the iron gate.” She recognized that the Lord had done something for these individuals to enter into their home that evening. So time and time again we bore witness and we understood that the hand the Lord was there, with these individuals, working with them.

One more thing I’d like to share. And that is a part of my and brother Tyler’s testimony. But since he is going after me, I’ll share my part first. That we stayed up the first night we were there, Saturday night, till about quarter to one. And of course, that’s not wisdom. But we did that because we were so desirous of asking him questions and we’re talking. What I’m trying to say though was the next day as Tyler shared with myself and with Mauricio of how he felt in the next morning because our brother Sam Gould gets up early in the morning. So, Tyler didn’t sleep very much that that night. And what I want to share is Tyler confessed that because of that, he didn’t experience what he desired to experience. And he was sharing with me about that and I felt an overwhelming presence of the Lord that he desired Tyler to have an additional experience which I will let him share about. I just want to confirm to you that the Spirit the Lord was with us, it moved us, it taught us, it testified of some things that we see and that we saw are the lord Jesus Christ and his work.

Thank You.

Tyler Crowell

My name is Tyler Crowell and I welcome you in the name of Jesus Christ with a great desire to receive you in the Spirit of God because I know that it is his Spirit that draws us here today and it is His Spirit that calls to us and the mighty things that are going to come forth on the earth. And He is preparing a people. He is preparing you for that time that is before us. And He is working in mighty ways to bring to pass and fulfill His scriptures so that you can be participants in the things which are to come so that you can receive of the blessings, because of the things that are going to be poured out by the Lord upon the earth.

And I want you to know that if you turn to Jesus Christ, you can be in the hollow of His hand. You can have that protection from Him. Remember that he said that the ones that the Father had given him, no one would be able to pluck them out of His hand. And so now it is very important for us to turn to him, to repent with all our hearts and come to Him and be saved, receive his salvation. We need to learn to walk in the Spirit by faith. We need to learn to hear his voice. We need to learn to walk with him every day. We can be a strength to each other, to support one another in that. In that, we can build that kingdom in our midst.

But I didn’t come to preach to you. I came to share my testimony, and I started to write it out. I’ve got one line, so I’ll read that.

I want to share with you and place in you so you will know the richness of the Spirit that was there with us in Brazil and the love we have for our brothers and sisters there which I know are your brothers and sisters also because I know if you experienced what we did, you would feel the same way we do.

And I share that because when I returned from Brazil, the testimony that was radiating in me was the scripture from Moroni chapter 7 that says a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water, and a good fountain cannot bring forth bitter water. And so I knew. And in that passage it says you can know as clear as the daylight is from the dark night, what is of God. And so I brought back with me the testimony of all the fruit of the Spirit and all the manifestations and gifts of the Spirit that were present among us. And I knew. It was like being at a reunion. You think of the best reunions you’ve been to, and you can take the cream of the crop of those experiences off the top and pack it into two days. That’s what we had there. Blessings poured out to us from the Lord.

And I know he is no respecter of persons. And I have been on a journey since last October when I heard this. It took me several weeks to get over the shock of what I heard. I kept saying, “Could this be true? Could the Lord be working among us?” Because we’re kind of in this position where we look back at the wonderful things that the Lord has done in generations before us and we look forward for Zion with that hope. And yet, we are looking at a day where God will be able to move among us in a mighty way, and beginning right now.

And so that good fruit when we were there, it’s kind of typical of the breakfast we had. We had these beautifully colored fruit, Papaya and Mango; beautiful orange, and beautiful yellow, vibrant colors. They were sweet and they were delicious and they were juicy. And those fruits on our plates were a typifying of the love in the hearts of the saints that was there. And so that is why I say that I wish I could share with you and take you there with us in that experience and how beautiful it was and how the Lord poured out His Spirit among us.

And so, I want to tell you a little bit. I can’t begin to tell you in ten minutes of my testimony and my journey, but I can tell you that I heard on October 30th for the first time the testimony of our brothers Joseph and Bob. And I was in awe. And I listened to that. I was home early from work and when my son got off the bus and came in the house, I sat him down in the living room and I said, “I’m ready to sell our house and live in a tent if we can have the opportunity to live in this holy city, to live in this New Jerusalem, this Zion.” Because the things of this world, are no long of any value to me. And I will trade them all to have that opportunity.

And that night I had a dream and my house was full of people that had come to hear. They wanted to know. And I know that there is a great hungering and a thirsting in the land to be fed, to drink from that living stream, that pure fountain of good water. And I know that is what the Lord is offering us now.

And the Lord took me on a journey. And I experienced things that I have never experienced before in my life. Like David said, I had never had a vision, I’ve had never had the Lord’s audible voice speak to me. I’ve looked all my life for the things in the sky. I thought, “wouldn’t that be wonderful, to hear his voice, to have a vision.” But that wasn’t a gift I ever received until these last few months. And the Lord was giving me help because when I heard that news something happened to me and it was like I was taken from a sound sleep laying down to being wide awake and there was a trumpet blasting in my ear. The Lord began to work with me and I felt a power I’d never felt before.

And I wrestled, as Dave said, with all those questions, with all those uncertainties. I learned how we fill our minds with the gaps. It was mentioned that tomorrow we are going to remember in a special way the resurrection of the Lord. And I remembered that those first witnesses to His resurrection came and brought the good news to the first hearers, and the first hearers didn’t believe it. They said, “It’s just your emotion. You’re getting carried away with your imagination. You want to believe it so badly, that it’s true.” And so those first witnesses, the women, I can’t imagine what they might have felt. But the men, the first hearers, they got their opportunity too, to see Jesus and to know, and then they were sent out into the world to testify of that truth, and my how the story changes.

And this is what I want to say to you, to finish my testimony today, that I was convinced by the power of God in a way that I never could have imagined. I had all those thoughts stacked up and all that uncertainty in my mind. And I had no solution for it. And I brought it to the Lord. And I couldn’t have imagined the reply He gave. I can’t even describe it to you. I can’t even begin to try. I’ll try someday. I know that the Spirit of God is there. But I thought about, “What was that?” And the only words I could bring to it, and I’ll try to explain to you. Because I was in a predicament. I had a problem. I felt like I was being called to be a witness. And with all those testimonies I’d had, the visions I’d had, the experiences I’d had in the last few months. I felt like, that’s edifying for me, Lord. But of what benefit is any of that to the people who are going to hear, because they have heard so many and they are weary of these claims. And I said, “I don’t feel like I have what I need.”
And then on March 20th, Tuesday morning, the only words I can give you, is that the power and dominion and authority of the presence of God was opened to me. And in that power and in that presence and in that authority and that dominion, all the thoughts of the human mind, all the interpretations, the arguments, all the opinions, all the reasoning was brought in to significance, and was brought into subjection. And it existed in an entirely different realm. Because what I stood before was; I don’t want to use human words, because I know those words are thrown around so carelessly. And yet I realize that the Lord had answered.

And now I have a new predicament, and that is: How can I describe that experience which I had? And so the Lord’s helping me with that, just as he will help you because he is no respecter of persons. He’ll answer when you come to him in faith.
I feel like I was that guy in the scriptures who was out plowing his field, minding his own business, and the Lord called him. I feel like that guy who was who was… like the men who were mending their nets on the shore and they heard a voice that would forever change their life.

And saints, I want to tell you it’s true. Yes, it is true. And so we need to prepare ourselves now for what is coming and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is in His name I bring you this testimony. Amen

Samuel Gould

I would also like to great you In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And bear my testimony.

I’m from the Temple-Lot, so I heard about the work in Brazil back in, quite a few years ago. And when I heard about it there was a vision that was brought back to my mind about when I was working with Joe in the Unity Committee work among the restoration folks. And that was brought back to my mind. I asked because, we were not able to send anybody and I’d asked that the contact information to be given to me that I might go on my own accord. And take my brother with me. That opportunity was not given; they did not give me the information.

Joe came to me last April, and had a letter from that same person. And he read that to me and that vision of Zion and the restoration came back flooding into my soul. When he got back he gives me a call. He told me about it and I tried to find out everything that I could.

And then just after New Year’s, I went into a 40 day fast that lasted through Valentine ’s Day. And during that period of time there was a lot of things that took place. And it was a journey, trying to understand everything. I’d been given lots of signs and things of that nature but in the human mind that can sort them a lot of different ways.

And then I was asked to go down. And I went to the lord, and I asked the lord why me? Why would you want me to go? And the Lord showed me a dream that night 3 times, where I stood and bore witness to the truth when there’s been so much easier just to fold, and let things fall where they may. I knew why he had selected me.

Well during that period of time I had the courage to ask God to show me, how he sees me that I might prepare myself that I could do His work. And he showed me an example in a dream. I thought I answered that situation pretty good. The Lord let me know if that is the sum total of the humility that you draw from you’ll be unprofitable to me. You’ve got to dig down deeper in that well of humility; the fountain of all righteousness, the fountain of all hope and love. Yeah the lord showed me a number of things they did not like.

I did not want to go down there without being invited because that’s one of our rules in the Temple-Lot church, you don’t go down to disturb some other local without being invited first, and I hadn’t been invited. I talked to Tyler about that, I talked to my wife about it, and I prayed about it. And that morning, as I open my eye, and I get up early. As I opened my eye, there was a vision of this man. His face beaming with great joy waving me down, he didn’t say anything.

The Lord gave me 10 things that I should look for; because I didn’t know what questions to ask. I mean I think I’m pretty well educated and things of that nature, but I didn’t know what was the appropriate things to ask. So I asked God, “What questions should I ask.” And one of those is that it needs to be a confirmation of what I’d seen in that in that vision when I was working with the Unity Committee. In that dream, I saw the Lord’s heritage, in all the individual groups and factions and fractions spread out circumferentially around Mount Zion at the foothills. And it broke my heart, because I knew we needed to be at the summit. The destruction is coming. When we need to prepare we need to have that place is safety, that covert from the storm. And I was walking up that mountain and there were others behind me or with me. And there was an angel of the lord that was leading us. And when we got up to where the building was there was Joe with an angel. He was ready to go to work he was facing us he’d gone before us. And the angel of the Lord gave us an instrument to take down those walls. I looked at mine and down at the end a factor and there was this bright brilliant light they came shining back towards me, it would permeate the soul of man. Then I understood that to be pure testimony. And so if this was of God, I would have to come back with pure testimony that it is His work.

There are a lot of other things that I prayed about and I was shown that the book that was coming forth was a book of books it was not just one book, It was a book of books just like the book of Mormon is a book of books. There were things like that that the Lord showed me. I’m not going to go through all 10 of them. But there was going to be some real examination took place and the fact I brought some special tools jeweler eye glasses and lights and you know I’m going to take a look at this thing. I didn’t go down there too see an angel.

I went down there to assess the physical evidence that was there. And I needed to know for instance that Mauricio had the Interpreters. And so the first night we were there, he brings out the Interpreters. And I started going through that list of things that the lord had given me to verify and one of those was, the Lord placed in my mind that Mauricio had to prove that he could use the Interpreters and in so doing he needed to interpret the title page of the Book of Mormon. And when I brought that out he got emotional and he said I have done that. And he gave us some information concerning that. And he said when he finished that, the plates separated that part that he was to interpret released itself from the rest of that book. That was pretty powerful. So then I had to ask. In my dream I saw it was a book of books. And he showed us that, that it was a book of books. It had to be the record of the Nephites. I needed to see that, the record of the Nephites.

There was a simple little thing that I didn’t even know why the lord made me write it down but I was supposed to see where the rings were fused or joined together and how that was done. Turned out that joint was behind the sealed portion that had released itself and for me to be able to examine it, Mauricio went and he took the pins out and we turned the pages. And everybody was there, this most somber time. Mauricio and Joni and others who were there they were just is engaged in looking and examining those pages as we were. They had a beautiful luster about them. Turning the pages, and when I saw that last page come up and the cover of the sealed portion; when I saw that plate, it gave me the hope of Zion. It was as if I could see Christ himself come down out of heaven and rest on that page where there was a little figure of a shepherd on the edge. I know it wasn’t Him but I know it was His presence; because I’ve been in the presence of Jesus Christ before.
And it was the promise that he was making that if we do our part that He will come. The promise of the restoration was what was made and renewed in my heart. And I have loved Zion and I have yearned for Zion all my life. But there never was a greater fulfillment than Christ’s promise. As he descended with his power giving that promise that was given to the early saints in the days of Joseph Smith and I know that these things are true.

I held the plates. We all held the plates. And I’m holding them. And they took pictures of me I got a somber look on my face because I’m feeling it and you know they ask me how much the paper plates weighed and stuff like that and they were heavy but as I was contemplating that, the weight to those plates went away. And the knowledge came from God that these are the very plates that Joseph Smith brought the Book of Mormon forth from. That knowledge, and in the picture you see me just break out with the big joyful smile. That is good news it’s not anything you’ll ever get from an inspection device. It’s what you get from the Lord God. The Lord God is in it.

That Sunday morning when Joe still stood up and Gary interpreted. I heard Joe’s speak with the power and authority of God. The freedom of speech he’s never had before the certainty of his words has never reverberated in my body greater. I know that the Lord God was using him in that moment. And I stood and I bore testimony of it. I could not be silent on that point.
When I bore the testimony of that vision of Zion, before that I told of Joni it turned out it was Joni who was in my vision. He greeted us at the airport. This made my heart leap that here is the person I saw on that dream greeting us at the airport and waving at us. The very same individual that I’d never laid eyes on before. He was there. It gave me great joy to see that. Well in our meet and greet meeting I bore testimony to that and I bore testimony of the vision that I had. And both Joni when I was speaking and also Mauricio were very emotional when I was talking about that. As soon as I was done they hastened towards me, and Joni said, “I heard every word you said I didn’t need the interpreter.” And Mauricio bore the same testimony. That they heard what I said, they didn’t need the interpreter. And you might think well that’s odd I didn’t think anything of it, because, you know, somebody comes up, you know, they’re happy and things of that nature and I didn’t think much of it then.

Later I pigeon holed brother Mauricio because I wanted to know about the sword. Because that first image of the sword was not an Israelite sword. It was not the sword of Laban. And I couldn’t get Gary or Nelson or anybody over there to help me but as I was trying to explain that that I really wanted to talk to him about something. He said, “I understood stand what you said.” And when he said that in Portuguese I heard what he said in English. We had a long discussion about that sword and how it was cleaned up and all the things associated with that sword. And it was under the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. That happened 3 times while we were there, where the gift of tongues was given so that this barrier between English and Portuguese went away.

I want you to know that I was thinking about that Sunday morning and musing about and Gary heard me. I said something about that well maybe the only thing that I’ve said or done through this whole period was what was carried by the Holy Spirit in tongues and those other things I said were really not that important. You know what Gary told me? And the spirit of God settled right down on me when he did. He said, “God wants you to know this is His work. God wants you to know that.”
And I bear my testimony before man and God, this is His work. And I ask for you to seek repentance and to seek a testimony for the Lord has a work to do. Zion will be a reality. That is my joy. Thank You.

Brad Gault

My names Brad Gault

That’s a little tough act to follow, isn’t it. It’s also tough to be on this end of the table versus that end of the table. Because much of what I’ve made a few notes her to share with you has already been shared. Because we were together. And so many of the things you’ve already heard expressed, many of us experienced together.

The testimony of tongues that you just heard brother Sam speak about, I was actually sitting at the kitchen table, and I had my laptop open because I was writing and recording and trying to get all my thoughts recorded on that laptop of the things we’d experienced. And I saw the conversation happening in front of me across the table. And Mauricio was weeping, because he could understand the conversation that was happening. So, I just want to bear witnesses, that I watched that happen across the table.

I can hardly introduce myself in ten minutes, so I had to make a few notes and I will refer to these from time to time so I can stay ahead of the red flashing light on the back wall.

I want to begin by telling you that the entire experience for me, from the time we met on Thursday evening, we flew on a Friday. We met on Thursday evening, all of us together, and many of our members of our families joined with us on that Thursday evening. And we had communion together. We shared in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. Cause, this is His work. This isn’t about us. This is about Him. We shared in a communion service together and we had opportunity there to be set apart, hands laid on our head that the Lord would bless us in this effort.

And from that evening, until we landed back in the airport, I think it was David, and Kelvin and Samuel and myself flew back together. And we put our arms around each other and right in the middle of the Kansas City airport, we had prayer together. And I will tell you that I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to walk away from my brothers there. Because from that Thursday evening, until we put our arms around each other and had prayer in the airport, was a spiritual experience, every moment and minute of the time that we were together.

There were manifestations of the spirit unlike I have seen in such a condensed amount of time ever in my life’s experience in the church. And I was going to share some of them, but you’ve heard about tongues, you heard about Cassian, you head about Joseph. There are just so many things that I could have also said, I witnessed, I saw, I beheld. I was there. And there was the presence of the Lord’s spirit there every minute and every moment of the way.

And it was in the crucible of the presence of God’s spirit that we then had the privilege of beholding the plates. Gary shared a little bit about how we prepared for that. And we’re going to “Sing Alleluia” together here in a little bit. That song was so precious to us there and I’ll just share again, we had sung that and the Spirit of God just came over us when we sang it. Because that song is about Him. And that He’s going to come again. That’s the last verse that we sang In that hymn. And when Joni had arrived there on Sunday afternoon, having the plates. They were in a backpack. We couldn’t see them yet, in fact they were locked in this backpack. Mauricio said, “Sing it again.” And we did. And Joni hadn’t been there the whole time. He just lifted his hands. I couldn’t tell what he was saying in Portuguese, but the spirit was just, it was just an incredible outpouring of the spirit that was there.

Regarding the plates themselves, I need to tell you just briefly a little bit about myself. I hate to do that a little bit, but it’s important, it’s important for me in relationship to my testimony of what I saw there. I labored in corporate America for 35 plus years. I don’t recommend anyone ever do that for a career. Last 20 years I have been management, senior management. And when you are in those positions you go through these awful team building exercises when you do that. I see some smiles on your face, you know what I am talking about. And many of those experiences you are subjected to all of this psychoanalysis that they like to do. They like to figure out who you are. You know some of the instrumentation that they use to do that. I don’t know how many times in 35 years I’ve been through those things. One thing that’s very, very consistent that shows up that I know very much about myself. I’ve known it about myself from the time that I was very, very young. And all that instrumentation shows that, that I have a very, very inordinately high detail orientation. To the point that I am almost obsessive compulsive with orderliness and neatness. And I see my wife over hear smiling and laughing, she knows. And it’s almost, well it’s both a blessing and a curse I would say probably.

All my life, without even trying, I see things that others don’t see. I can’t explain that to you, it’s just who I am. You know I could probably walk out of here and explain detail about what went on here today that many of you probably couldn’t remember. It’s just a characteristic of who I am. I actually worried a little bit about this trip because of knowing who I am. In fact Kelvin was over about a week before we left, we were in my living room visiting and I kind of laughingly said to Kelvin, “You know what my greatest fear is?” My greatest fear is that I will be turning a page and I will see “made in China.” I didn’t mean that literally, but I meant that my detail orientation, there would be something very obvious to me. That would appear, or that I would see, or that others perhaps wouldn’t see that would be so obvious to me that these were not what they claimed to be.

So I actually had like Sam did, Sam had a list of ten things. I had some things, I didn’t want to share them with people. They were things that were in my mind that I in particular wanted to look for when those plates were presented to me.

I will share just one for the interest of time. You might remember when Joseph and Bob came back in October and you saw, maybe some of you have seen their testimony. One of the things that Joseph said was the plates were smooth. I actually had an email from someone a few days after that and said, “I reject that testimony on the basis that Joseph said the plates were smooth.” I said, “Well I have to figure this out.” Were the plates smooth or were they not smooth. And I will tell you, the engravings on those plates are beautiful. They are fine, they are finely engraved. I can’t begin to, they are exquisite. You know I was explaining to Kelvin while we were sitting there examining all this, it was just amazing how when the light hit them in a particular way, the characters were just incredibly beautiful to see. But if you ran your finger across them, you can feel them, very finely. They’re there. They are engraved in those plates very finely engraved. It was one thing that I looked for. That was the detail that I needed to know, that I needed to understand.

The rings were another one. Sam told you about the rings. I won’t go into that because he told you about them. And there were other things that were there.

I simple want to bear testimony to you that I saw nothing that would give me any pause for concern to say these were anything other than the very plates of Mormon. And that’s the fundamental testimony that I want to bear with you this afternoon.

There is one other thing I want to share with you about myself here. I love this work. And I love the Lord’s people, more than I can even find words to express. And I’ve come to know the certainty in my live, that I can’t even begin to express to you in words. That Jesus Christ is my Savior. And all that the word of God tells us and teaches us about Him is true. And that word of God tells us that He’s coming again. And I want to bear witness to you that there will be a way prepared for Him to come again. And we have see the very beginnings of that way that will be prepared for His coming again.

So I want to testify to you, that nothing that I saw, nothing that I held in my hands would even in the slightest way suggest to me that these were anything but the very plates of Moroni. And the spirit that was there, the manifestations that we beheld just bore witness to all of us that God’s hand was in all that we saw and all that we did and all that we beheld. And I bear that witness to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

Bob Moore

Good afternoon my name is Bob Moore. I want to thank all of you for coming on an afternoon. I want to thank the Coburn Road restoration branch for making their church available for our testimonies.

I want to confess that I have some particular issues that are questions in my mind that I've retained as questions and proceeded in faith on those things that we believe. And one thing that I never understood was why in the Book of Mormon it said that the prophecies of Ether would explain the revelations given to John on the Isle of Patmos. I’ve accepted that, but there are just nagging questions that I have.

I want my testimony that I want to bear this afternoon regards that concern that I carried and I bear it in the name of my Savior our Savior Jesus Christ knowing that I'm accountable for what I say.

I want to tell you that when we open the sealed portion that Mauricio will translate and turned the pages, we were all filled with wonder, including the men that were there the four men three witnesses in Mauricio. And when we looked at the last page, when the last page was turned over, they kind of stuck together because of just being compressed for such a long time, when they turned the last page and we saw the cover of the sealed book. I marveled because I knew at that time that everything this church has taught, that the restoration has taught, is true and it's recorded in the image of that plate that for 1500 years has been sealed.

It depicts the heavenly city descending and coming to Jesus standing in the middle with His shepherd’s staff. And I was overcome again, with the power of the Holy Spirit, with that testimony. And that’s the testimony I want to share here. It’s all true!

And the time for Christ to come and redeem Zion and stand in the midst of His people is near at hand. And as a people, we’re not yet prepared. And He so dearly wants us to be one.

Joseph Fredrick Smith

My name is Joseph F. Smith, in case you don’t know. Most of you know me. You’ve heard all the good speakers, now you are stuck with me. I am also grateful for your attendance here, grateful for the opportunity to meet in this beautiful cathedral. I think it is just beautiful.

 One of the chores that was given to both Bob Moore and myself as we left the first time  (when we left Brazil) was that we were to select six more witnesses. Bob said to me, “You are the chief witness, so you select some.” I said, I will select three and you select, well he said, “you just go ahead”. I was to select six witnesses to go.   I had a list of names that we had gathered of ones that we thought would be good.  The thing that puzzled me was I thought about some of these older brethren in the priesthood, they would be good, but what about some of these young people, too?   I did a little talking with the Lord and I picked out three young people and three old people or older people. I am not going to say old, because I’ll get in trouble here. Older people, I’ll put it that way. One of the older people that I chose didn’t want to go, so I had to get an alternate. I want to testify to you this afternoon, that I am really proud of all these boys and these men that went down. We ended up with 2 older people and 4 younger people. And I’m proud of these young ones. They really did good. Some of them went down there with a little bit of skepticism, but once they got in where the plates were, that disappeared pretty fast. 

 I thought of myself when we first went down there and I first handled the plates.  I thought of the joy I had, knowing that my great grandfather had turned those same pages.  But that dwindled away a little bit because I got to thinking about the work that Mormon did in putting together some of these books, and consolidating some of this information and the work of Moroni, how he protected these things.  I began to think about how great it was to be there and to touch the work of God’s hands.  I thought of the woman in the book of Matthew, that had the issue for 18 years, who came up behind Christ and touched the hem of His garment.   I thought about that because for many, many years the Lord has been silent, His hand has not been seen, He has not taken a hand in the effort of bringing forth Zion. He’s been quiet, and here I touched the evidence of his work today in my time.

On the second visit down it increased my faith, yes it did.  The room that they used when they showed the plates was a very crowded, very small room with a bed in there and some chests. When Mauricio lifted that last plate (of the previously sealed portion) that brother Bob was talking about you ought to have seen these guys – Wow! And I thought, I can’t even get in there to see what’s going on. I had to sit back and wait till they got through and when they got through I finally got to see it.  I then I saw why they were so excited.

Brothers and sisters, I can testify to you today. You know for many years you were just Reorganites to me, but you’ve become brothers and sisters. I love you, and I bear this testimony. This work is a work of God and He is going to accomplish His work with or without us. And it is up to us to be a part of it. For so many years, brothers and sisters, for so many years we’ve struggled.  Twenty-one years ago I received a message from the Lord.  The message was that I was to go to the Restoration saints and to tell them that the Lord had opened a window of opportunity for them to lay aside their differences, find common ground, and build up the Kingdom of God. And for 21 years I have maintained that same message. During that period of time, I’ve had many wonderful meetings with many of you and I’ve come to know a lot of you. But we have struggled through many years of darkness, through many years of contention, confusion, and division …to the point that the ol’ ship of Zion is tattered and torn.   We struggle to see through the darkness that surrounds us.

 I ended a sermon last Sunday with a little statement.   I used to get up real early in the morning as a young boy growing up because I had chores to do before I went to school.   I would always notice that in the Eastern sky there would begin to be a little light show, and a little more, and a little more light, and as that light came up out of the Eastern sky, it pushed back the darkness of the night until finally it heralded the arrival of Earth’s sun. We don’t think too much about that but we see it many times. The work in Brazil, is like that light that is rising up out of the East and it is going to push back that darkness that we have struggled for 185 years to overcome. That light is going to keep pushing back and pushing back and pushing back and it’s going to herald the coming of the Son of God!     God Bless