Lesson 13 of this year’s Gospel Doctrine manual reviews some of the most important contributions of Joseph Smith—the scriptures he brought forth. Through Joseph Smith we have not only the Book of Mormon, but also the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the inspired version of the Bible. In addition, Joseph Smith provided important clarifications of doctrine upon which much of Mormon doctrine is founded. The following poem addresses Smith’s inspired writings.
As near as I can tell, Samuel Brown was an early Church member born in New Hampshire in 1801. He and his wife joined the Church before 1834, and he participated in Zion’s Camp. Eventually he settled in Missouri and suffered there before moving on to Nauvoo, where he wrote this poem. By 1849, Brown was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and in 1853 he made the trek to Utah. After living in the Salt Lake Valley for a time, Brown moved to Payson, where he died in 1882. As far as I know this is his only published poem.
By Samuel Brown
- Revelations now coming forth,
- Are sublime and eternal truth;
- In them Jehovah’s voice proclaims,
- This is my church, enroll your names.
- The word of wisdom’s a sure guide
- To all who do the same abide;
- Its promises are very great.
- Though I the same need not relate.
- Enbalmed records, plates of gold,
- Glorious things to us unfold;
- Though sealed up they long have been,
- To give us light they now begin.
- Long since to Daniel God did say,
- “Seal up the book and go thy way:
- For many shall be purified,
- By sacrifice they shall be tried.”
- A noble man of ancient birth
- Beheld the same spring from the earth;
- And many more in visions saw
- The books which now contain the law.
- Judah’s writing and Joseph’s too,
- Each testifies the other’s true;
- They teach the same when searched thro’.
- Believe them both, we’re bound to do.
- The Lord hath said “I’ll make them one,
- As I command let it be done;
- For a short work I now will make,
- And Israel from the heathen take.”
- “To their own lands on mountains high,
- I’ll bring them with a watchful eye;
- To them the kingdom I’ll restore
- And be their king forever more.
- The book of Jasher has been found,
- And many more hid in the ground;
- All these, with Enoch’s book, unfold
- And spread true light from pole to pole.
- Those things are true we testify,
- And all who do with them comply,
- Will in eternity rejoice,
- That they have made so wise a choice
Times and Seasons, 15 May 1841
More interesting than the quality of the poetry is his mention of the Book of Jasher and the Book of Enoch, both of which were popular at the time this poem was written. While Enoch dates to the 1st century BC, Jasher was a hoax perpetrated by a London printer.