I discovered an electronic copy of the Plates of Brass near the end of 2022, and read it with cautious curiosity. At the time, it contained Sefer Moses 1 through 5, Sefer Melchizedek chapters 1 through 8, and the Visions and Parables of Zenos. I found it to contain a “heretical” combination of very compelling ideas that go against various dogmas that have enslaved humanity for a few thousand years. I also found much of the content to be packed with interesting symbolism that obviously needed to be unpacked at greater depth to truly understand the scope of its teachings. In short, I found the book to be “mysterious”. All my life, I have been taught to avoid getting lost in the mysteries, and instead focus on the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So naturally, I was hesitant to embrace the book.
Yet, the human mind being what it is, my thoughts returned to the book and I found myself repeatedly pondering on the things I read there. Particularly in the writings of Zenos and Melchizedek, but really, the whole book was wondrous and beautiful. So, I decided to use Moroni’s advice, an make it a matter of prayer. My aim was to either set it aside, and resist its influence, or to embrace it and ponder it with greater intention. I fully expected to receive the answer that I should stop reading the book, and that I should take all of the new ideas it teaches, and proactively avoid them. If anything could be considered “the mysteries” then the plates of brass were “the mysteries”. And, the mysteries were dangerous. These were the things that Lehi saw, in his vision, of people wandering off on strange paths away from the tree of life. I was determined to avoid that mistake. And so I prayed.
As I prayed, my prayers shifted from “how do I let this book go” to “should I let this book go” to “should I embrace this book” and once my overall attitude was to ask if the book was the gift of God, and if it was something I should embrace as coming from God, I received a peaceful heartwarming confirmation that it was indeed one of His books, and that it was right to embrace its teachings, ponder the depths of its symbolism, and not fear its mysterious methods of teaching.
Being the incredibly stubborn man that I am, I assumed my answer was merely the longing of my heart for something interesting an exciting, so I needed further witness. Being a bit hard hearted, I was not willing to merely “cast [my] mind upon the night that I cried unto [God] that [I] might know the turn concerning these things.” And ask myself “did [He] not speak peace to [my] mind concerning the matter? What greater witness [could I] have than from God?” No, I pressed harder. I asked for a more direct confirmation, to avoid the very intimidating possibility that I was simply a terrible translator of the message from the Spirit to my heart. I sought to also have a confirmation “in plain English.”
So, I decided to do something that I have seen other people do that has proven useful. I decided to randomly open the scriptures, and read a passage and let God speak to me through its words. I felt at peace with this idea, so I opened up my Book of Mormon, and read starting in the Book of Mosiah chapter 1, verse 3 and continuing through the rest of the chapter (in the Orson Pratt Versing). Which said to me, (in no uncertain terms)… “concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass … were it not for these plates … we must have suffered in ignorance … not knowing the MYSTERIES OF GOD. … were it not for these things … that we might read and understand of his MYSTERIES … we would be like unto our brethren… who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct. … I would that ye should remember that these sayings are TRUE, and that THESE RECORDS ARE TRUE … we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes. … remember to search them diligently that ye may profit thereby.”
You would think that this passage was so direct and undeniable that I would have immediately set aside all hesitancy to fully embrace the Plates of Brass as revealed through David Ferriman. You would be wrong. I am an immensely stubborn person. So I resisted further, and I asked if it would be acceptable to the Lord if I just stuck with the things I already knew to be true, and allowed the plates of brass to be true for anyone else who is interested, but if I could please be excused from embracing them personally. So, I opened up a random passage in my Book of Mormon, hoping for some consolation, certainly there were many passages about simply living the commandments and trusting Jesus, and not worrying about which book(s) to decide to view as scripture. The passage I opened to and pointed at was in the Book of Ether, chapter 4, verse 8, which reads, “And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ, for I am he who speaketh.” I continued reading the rest of this chapter and the following stood out as relevant: “he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. … Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief. … Behold when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you–yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.”
After reading this, I stopped and said to myself … surely what Nephi said in 2nd Nephi, 28:30 are true, “For unto him that receiveth, I will give more; and from them that shall say: We have enough, shall be taken away even that which they have.”
I can, with great confidence, testify that these records are as they claims to be. Even that “in them are the manna to feed Israel, and in them are the coat of many colors preserved unto the seed of our father, Joseph, as given Him by his Father, Jacob.” I leave this testimony of the divine origins of this work and publish that testimony to the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.