Latter- Day Visions
Vision of a Great Battle – September 22, 1827
Both Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball saw in vision, the same night, a few miles apart, a great battle taking place. This was on the night of September 27, 1827 – the same night Moroni directed Joseph Smith to uncover the golden plates. It is said of that night the war of good versus evil had begun. Below is that account written by Vilate Kimball, wife of Heber C. Kimball:
On the night of the 22nd of September, 1827, while living in the town of Mendon, after we retired to bed, John P. Green, who was then a traveling Reformed Methodist preacher, living within one hundred steps of our house, came and called my husband to come out and see the sight in the heavens. Heber awoke me, and Sister Fanny Young (sister of Brigham), who was living with us, and we all went out-of- doors.
It was one of the most beautiful starlight nights so clear we could see to pick up a pin. We looked to the eastern horizon, and beheld a white smoke arise towards the heavens. As it ascended, it formed into a belt, and made a noise like the rushing wind, and continued southwest, forming a regular bow, dipping in the western horizon.
After the bow had formed, it began to widen out, growing transparent, of a bluish cast. It grew wide enough to contain twelve men abreast. In this bow an army moved, commencing from the east and marching to the west. They continued moving until they reached the western horizon. They moved in platoons, and walked so close the rear ranks trod in the steps of their file leaders, until the whole bow was literally crowded with soldiers.
We could distinctly see the muskets, bayonets and knapsacks of the men, who wore caps and feathers like those used by the American soldiers in the last war with Great Britain. We also saw their officers with their swords and equipage, and heard the clashing and jingling of their instruments of war, and could discern the form and features of the men. The most profound order existed throughout the entire army. When the foremost man stepped, every man stepped at the same time. We could hear their steps.
When the front rank reached the western horizon, a battle ensued, as we could hear the report of the arms, and the rush.
None can judge of our feelings as we beheld this army of spirits as plainly as ever armies of men were seen in the flesh. Every hair of our heads seemed alive.
We gazed upon this scenery for hours, until it began to disappear.
After we became acquainted with Mormonism, we learned that this took place the same evening that Joseph Smith received the records of the Book of Mormon from the angel Moroni, who had held those records in his possession.
Father Young, and John P. Green’s wife (Brigham’s sister Rhoda), were also witnesses of this marvelous scene. Frightened at what we saw, I said, Father Young, what does all this mean? He answered, “Why it is one of the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.”
The next night a similar scene was beheld in the west, by the neighbors, representing armies of men engaged in battle.
After our gathering to Kirtland the Church was in a state of poverty and distress. It appeared almost impossible that the commandment to build the temple could be fulfilled, the revelation requiring it to be erected by a certain period.
The enemies were raging, threatening destruction upon the Saints; the brethren were under guard night and day to preserve the prophet’s life, and the mobs in Missouri were driving our people from Jackson County.