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The (Mormon) Book - How Rare a Possession - LDS - Part 1/5

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Uploaded on Jun 4, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Zsvm... is a video describing how to learn more about the Mormon Church.

An Italian Protestant minister in the early 1900s gives up his ministry for a book without a name. Twenty years later he discovers An Italian Protestant minister in the early 1900s gives up his ministry for a book without a name. Twenty years later he discovers it is the Book of Mormon

The story that follows is Brother Francesca's account of his remarkable conversion. A letter that Brother Francesca wrote to Avard Fairbanks. The letter, currently in the Church archives, is the only known account by the author, in English, of his forty-year struggle to join the Church.


As I think back to the events in my life leading to a cold morning in New York City in February 1910, I cannot escape the feeling that God had been mindful of my existence. That morning the caretaker of the Italian chapel delivered a note to me from the pastor. He was ill in bed and wished me to come to his house, as he had important matters to discuss regarding the affairs of the parish.

As I walked down Broadway, the strong wind from the open sea moved the pages of a book lying on a barrel full of ashes. The form of the pages and the binding gave me the idea that it was a religious book. Curiosity pushed me to approach it. I picked it up and beat it against the barrel to knock off the ashes. It was printed in the English idiom, but when I looked to the frontispiece, I found it was torn away.

The fury of the wind turned the pages, and I hastily read Alma, Mosiah, Mormon, Moroni, Isaiah, Lamanites-except for Isaiah, all were names I had never before heard. I wrapped the book in a newspaper I had bought nearby and continued my walk toward the pastor's house.

After a few words of comfort there, I took accord of what I should do for him. On the way home, I wondered who the people with the strange names might be. And who was this Isaiah? Was he the one in the Bible or some other Isaiah?

At home, I seated myself before the window, anxious to know what was printed in the book. As I turned the torn pages and read the words of Isaiah, I was convinced that it was a religious book that talked of things to come. But unknown was the name of the church that taught such doctrine, because the cover and frontispiece had been stripped off. The declaration of the witnesses gave me confidence that it was a true book.

I then bought twenty cents' worth of denatured alcohol and some cotton at the neighborhood drugstore and began cleaning the pages. For several hours I read the remainder of the pages, which gave me light and knowledge and left me charmed to think of the source from which this fresh revelation had come. I read and reread, twice and twice again, and I found it fit to say that the book was a fifth gospel of the Redeemer.

At the end of the day, I locked the door of my room, knelt with the book in my hands, and read chapter ten of the book of Moroni. I prayed to God, the Eternal Father, in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, to tell me if the book were of God, if it were good and true, and if I should mix its words with the words of the four gospels in my preaching.

I felt my body become cold as the wind from the sea. Then my heart began to palpitate, and a feeling of gladness, as of finding something precious and extraordinary, bore consolation to my soul and left me with a joy that human language cannot find words to describe. I had received the assurance that God had answered my prayer and that the book was of greatest benefit to me and to all who would listen to its words. ....

On February 13, 1949, 1 sent a letter to Elder Widtsoe at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Elder Widtsoe answered my letter October 3, 1950, explaining that he had been in Norway. I sent him a long letter in reply in which I asked him to help me to be quickly baptized, because I felt that I had proven myself to be a faithful son and servant of God, observing the laws and commandments of his kingdom. Elder Widtsoe asked President Samuel E. Bringhurst of the Swiss-Austrian Mission to go to Sicily to baptize me.

On January 18, 1951, President Bringhurst arrived on the island and baptized me at Imerese. Apparently, this was the first baptism performed in Sicily.

On April 28, 1956, I entered the temple at Bern and received my endowment. At last, to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father! I felt that God's promise had been fully fulfilled-the day had come indeed when the book would be no more unknown to me and I would be able to enjoy the effects of my faith.

Brother Francesca died 18 November 1966 at Gesta Gratten (Palermo), Italy. Before his death, he was able to do the temple work for many of his ancestors.

To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon, visit http://www.mormon.org

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