In accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to
the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear
day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first
time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties
I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go,
having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and
began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done
so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame
me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue
so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed
to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the
power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when
I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction--not
to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen
world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any
being--just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly
over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually
until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which
held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose
brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.
One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the
other--"This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the
sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore,
did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked
the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects
was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all
were wrong)--and which I should join.
I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."
He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did
he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself
again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the
light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree,
I went home.