Why I Joined the Mormon Church
Milo was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1833. In 1860, while serving a mission in England, Milo wrote an article for the church newspaper the Millennial Star entitled “Twenty-eight Years Experience Among the Latter-day Saints.” What follows is an excerpt from that article.
[I] was residing in Huron County, Ohio, when the world was startled by the strange news that the Lord had, by the ministration of a holy angel, revealed that there was a record of the earlier inhabitants of the vast continent of America about to be brought forth for the benefit of mankind. I was then living on the banks of the Vermillion river, where extensive forts had once had once been filled with human beings, whose only history known to man were their mouldering mounds of bones and their ancient fortifications, which now lie in ruins.
How often, O how often have I, whilst digging out their bones and examining their skulls, wished that they would speak and let me know their origin! In consequence of my peculiar feelings, I was prepared to the subject of the new discovery.
Early in the spring of 1832, I had the privilege of seeing a man that was acquainted with Joseph Smith, who, it was said, had taken from the earth the plates that contained the history of that people whose history I was so anxious to know. He had with him the Book of Mormon, which he said had been translated from the plates by Joseph Smith. He also informed me that Joseph Smith had organized a Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that he was an Elder of that Church.
From him I obtained the Book of Mormon. On reading this history, I found, to my great satisfaction and joy, that which I had so long desired. But then a question of much importance was before me, which was this: If the history was true, then was the doctrinal part also true? This was indeed a question of importance. How to demonstrate it I did not know.
I had read in the New Testament Scriptures, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” I also found that Christ had said that if any one would obey his doctrine, he should know for himself. Consequently, after comparing the doctrinal part of the Book of Mormon with the doctrines of the New Testament Scriptures, I found that they very well harmonized. It is true that in consequence of the many councils and synods that have given the Jewish Scriptures their own rendering, they have left out some of the plain and precious parts; but in the main they agree. Finding this out did not give me the knowledge that I desired. The question was, How shall I get the much-desired information?
“Obey” was the word of the Elder, who said that he was authorized to declare that I should get the “Holy Spirit” by doing so, by which I could testify of the truth as well as himself. But I was afraid of being led astray or deceived. However, after much prayer and fasting, I went into the water with as humble a heart as I has power to possess, asking the Lord to help me in the days of my much anxiety to know the truth; and, to my unspeakable joy, the Lord in his infinite goodness gave me that assurance, which has remained with me from that day to this; for which I feel truly thankful.