Parley P. Pratt, Mormonism Unvailed (New York: O. Pratt and E. Fordham, 1838), 41; Times and Seasons, vol. 4, no. 18, 1 August 1843, 290. At first Sidney Rigdon expressed “considerable doubt” about the claims made for the divine origin of the Book of Mormon but was finally convinced of it when he received “a revelation from Jesus Christ, which was made known to him in a remarkable manner”.
This revelation is described in an early newspaper account. Rigdon decided that “he must ‘receive a testimony from God.’ In order to [obtain] this, he labored as he was directed by his Preceptor, almost incessantly and earnestly in praying, till at length, his mind was wrapped up in a vision; and to use his own language, ‘to my astonishment I saw the different orders of professing Christians passing before my eyes, with their hearts exposed to view, and they were as corrupt as corruption itself. That society to which I belonged also passed before my eyes, and to my astonishment, it was as corrupt as the others. Last of all that little man who brought me the Book of Mormon, passed before my eyes with his heart open, and it was as pure as an angel: and this was a testimony from God, that the Book of Mormon was a divine revelation'” (Ohio Star, 8 December 1831).