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Saints excerpt: For this pastor, accepting the Book of Mormon meant losing his job

_In February 2018, the Church started publishing a four-volume history of the Church titled "_Saints: The Story of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

The first six chapters of Volume 1 are now available. The four volumes will be published in 14 langauges in book form (available at store.lds.org), online at saints.lds.org, and in the Gospel Library app for mobile devices.

The history is not a reference work, but a narrative based on well-researched facts. Every detail and every line of dialogue is supported by historical sources, according to a Church News article when the first chapter was released in February.

Read an excerpt titled, "Conversion of Sidney and Phebe Rigdon":

In the fall, thirty-eight-year-old Sidney Rigdon listened politely as Parley Pratt and his three companions testified of a new work of scripture, the Book of Mormon. But Sidney was not interested. For years, he had exhorted people in and around the village of Kirtland, Ohio, to read the Bible and return to the principles of the New Testament church. The Bible had always guided his life, he told the missionaries, and it was enough.

“You brought the truth to me,” Parley reminded Sidney. “I now ask you as a friend to read this for my sake."

“You must not argue with me on the subject,” Sidney insisted. “But I will read your book and see what claim it has upon my faith."

Parley asked Sidney if they could preach to his congregation. Although he was skeptical of their message, Sidney gave them permission.

After the missionaries left, Sidney read parts of the book and found he could not dismiss it. By the time Parley and Oliver preached to his congregation, he had no desire to warn anyone against the book. When he rose to speak at the end of the meeting, he quoted the Bible.

“Prove all things,” he said, “and hold fast that which is good."

But Sidney remained uncertain about what to do. Accepting the Book of Mormon would mean losing his employment as a pastor. He had a good congregation, and they provided him, his wife, Phebe, and their six children with a comfortable life. Some people in the congregation were even building a home for them. Could he really ask his family to walk away from the comfort they enjoyed?

Sidney prayed until a sense of peace rested over him. He knew the Book of Mormon was true. “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me,” he exclaimed, “but my Father which is in heaven."

Sidney shared his feelings with Phebe. “My dear,” he said, “you have once followed me into poverty. Are you again willing to do the same?”

“I have counted the cost,” she replied. “It is my desire to do the will of God, come life or come death."

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