From Dan Knudsen: [I work at Timpanogus Temple, and in December of 1997, while doing Italian names one night, a fellow worker mentioned that he had a copy of the original manuscript written by Don Vincent de Francesca to the mission president, from which the 1988 movie "How Rare a Possession" was made. Two of my daughters and I typed it into Word Perfect, hoping to spread it around to those who are interested.]
The Conversion of Don Vincent Di Francesca, After Finding Part Of A Book of Mormon In A Trash Can
[This was typed the past few days (13 pages of a hard-to read copy of the original account, written by him in 1965), by three of us--my daughters Lyssa (14) and Karina (16) and me. (They complained that it was hard to read; to me it was easy because I've been reading Danish parish records for almost 1-1/2 years, where the handwriting keeps changing, just as you get one style figured out!) Then tonight I read it, comparing it with the original, and making quite a few corrections. I have tried to keep his original spelling, phrases and words, taking the liberty only of breaking it into more paragraphs than he did. The entire page was full of print--there were no margins--and sometimes the copy cut off words; hence, "..." was inserted where the word couldn't be determined; a few other words couldn't be made out, and "..." was used again to show that. It's obvious that English was not his first language, but since many of us don't have a real command of the language, that shouldn't really be a problem--mainly it's a curiosity, how he put things together, and formed words we're not used to seeing. He tried to spell phonetically, and realizing that, his spelling makes sense--i.e., series, for serious. A few words I don't know what he intended to say.]
7 Gibilmanna Street, Gratteri, Province of Palermo May 28,1965 Hail true spiritual Israel - Branch of Ephraim - Chosen Brother -
Nice in its own verginal beauty Zion smiles and enamours who feel his mind and hears the sublime faith in the Godhead. The two encounters, in Naples City, both in Spring 1964-1965 and in precise dates, weeks and months of April, are sweet in my memory, and in my isolation in this Eastern limit, the rememberance is a fine comfort to me that I shall live in it in my resurrected condition, in the Millennial Era. "By their works you will know that they are mine." And it is really because the Saints among the Italian Gentiles differ as the light of the Sun with that of the Stars. I interpreting Malachi say; "If Zion in this second coming of the Redeemer should fall, with it should fade the whole human race, and the Supreme Counsil of Heaven, will people the globe with another race of being, who will be more obeying to observe the divine Commandments and laws that do not, the actual generation of stiffneck of today, of three miliards, seven hundred thousand and nine hundren twenty seven observe this last great Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, at the door of the Millennium, and trying to construct the Kingdom of God for the salvation of the past and present souls. The devil, with his malice, has made so much so that the human race be a cat who eats the own little cats, killing the Prophets, Saints and their proper Redeemer on the Cross. This argument gave me reason in a discussion into the saloon of the Establishment of Thermal Waters of Termini Imeres last day, where I have been three weeks to care my infirmity Arthristism. For this motive I answer with delay to your grateful letter of April 20, 1965.
With much pleasure I made an abridgment of my story written in my book of remembrance, in whom is begun a page inherent to the coordinating of the Italian Branch of he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the true kingdom of God on Earth, initiated with the Military Service man Saints under the direction of the Swiss Mission President Russon John Mark, and conducted by Elder-Brothers John Duns, Jr., 1963, and Leavitt Christiansen 1964,1965, both Presidents of the Branch.
Faith is a magic force. The Book of Mormon has been my Missionary in one day of the first fortnight of February 1910-- Religious Curriculum Vitae
(1) I born at 9:00 o'clock, A.M., of September 23, 1888, under the Zodiacal sign "Balance, and the Planet Venus," in the town of Gnatteri, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Kingdom of Italy. Both signs have a potent influence on the studies of Holy Scriptures of all religions of the world. Christian and Heathen. But to cultivate this gift in my mind was the surrounding air where I grew and lived in midst to kins prove to reject the tinsel of translators of Old and New Testament of remote epocs until their days, nothing knowing of the actual Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, because unknown in this Island of Sicily, having the President Lorenzo Snow limited his mission in Switzerland, and the frontier of High Piedmont, North West Italian. By principle they were not fervent bigots except three of them of the XVIII and XIX centuries, who were Priests Preachers Catholic, Apostolic, Roman, Universal Church of Rome. Thus I till the infancy heard erudite discussion on the reformers and schisms in the mentioned Church of Rome.
My parents were Joseph Difranesca and Marianne Di Maria, both born in this town of good while, and married in fresh age.
(2) At February 22, 1892, my mother passed away, leaving orphan her children Josephine, Antonine, Vincent, and we remained in care of her parents: Mary and Antonine DiMaria;
(3) At October 20, 1893, my father re-married in second wedding to Jane Giallombardo, and of this marriage born other two children: Sarah and James;
(4) At September 26, 1895, I started to frequent the first elementary class, State Schools, and so for the years 1896, second, 1897 third, 1898 fourth 1899 fifth,
(5) In all after school of these years, my grandfather Antonine would that I had received private religious teachings of a Salesian Teacher certain Vincent Serio, a cousin of him, who unfold me to read with emphasis the Old and New Testament; and I was so much success in all lessons that he, at the end, provised me with these words: "Thou art blessed!"
(6) At November 3, 1900 I was admitted to frequent the first class gymnasium, belonging to a Gymnasium Lay-Clerical of Cefalu town, where I studied religion till July 2, 1905;
(7) At September 20,1905, my brother Antonine, then resident to New York City, U.S.A., invited me to pass there the Seminary vacation and I, about 17 years, obtained a place in second class on the Steam Ship City of Naples, disembarked at New York Post, at October 12, 1905. At home I the first day, took friendship with a friend of my brother a Methodist Pastor, named Ariel Dibellon, Italian Brandi, Chapel. Soon I became a teacher of that congregation and, for my merit, the Venerable proposed me to frequent the Evangelical Course of both Old and New Testament, at Knox College of New York, where I got my degree of Pastor with great honor, at November 24, 1909;
(8) At February 1910, in a coldest morning of the first fortnight, the keeper of the Italian Chapel brought me a bill of my Elder Collegue Scarillo, which he gave me intelligence that he was sick of influence at bed, and begged me to carry myself to his abode down blow Fifth Avenue to receive instructions about urgent practice of Protonotario to instruct them. So I did, and, while I walked on the right sidewalk in Broadway, towards the Battery, of New York, and properly before the door of the "House of the Mariner," where now is the High Palace of the Singer Machine Company, the strong high breeze of the Wind of Sea, who came from the opened Sea did move the pages of some thing like book, thrown upon a barrel full of ashes, ready to be tombed into the City cleanline car.
The form of the pages and the shape of the bottom of them, where were binded, gave me the idea that it were a religious book and the curiosity pushed me to approach it and taking care to read the press. At first gaze recognized it was a religious book and picked up it, beated it against the trunk of the barrel looked to the frontspice and found it teared, the fury of the wind turned in my hands the pages and I, in haste, could read Alma, Mosiah, Mormon, Moroni, Isaia, Lamanite names that I, in my life, never had heard to name, and be by the haste to go on be by the cold who froze my face, I wrapped the dirted book in the newspaper that I had bought at the Great Post building and continued my walk towards the house of my collegue Scavillo.
There, after words of comfort and took accord what I should do for him, and had the keys of the shelf, greeted him and retook the way of return to home, thinking who might be those strange personas, and as the Prophet Isaia were among them or he were some other Isaia of other religious book, against the Old Testament.
Joined at home 46-48 Oak street, down city, and took off coat and cloves, seated before the wind anxious to know what were in the dirted pages, opened the packet and turning the teared pages and the wholes, got knowledge of the subject religious of the book and, after having read the pages of Isaia, I was convinced that it were a religious book, who talked of things to come as they were come, but unknown the Church who teached publicity such doctrine, by cause existed none name on the cover and the frontpiece, since the pages were striped off.
The lecture of the declarations of the witnesses gave me a potent confidence that it were a true book, inherent to the New Testament. Then I descended in the street, entered into the drugstore, bought 20 cents of disnatured alcohol, ascended up in room with cotton wetted of alcohol washed the nastness of all pages and in spare time rea... with true love of intellect, that remainder of pages who gave me light and knowledge of a fresh revelation, who left me charmed to think the source from where came, and destroyed myself as could find the sect who possessed such tenet. The lecture of such pages left in my memory a strong magnet who attracted me to read and re-read twice and twice, and it remained in mind that ... confronted with the Gospel of Meridian Time and found it very fit to tell that it was a fifth Gospel of the Redeemer.
A day I closed the door of my room with key and kneeled with the book in hands, read first the Chapter 10 of the Book of Moroni, and after prayed too the Eternal Father, in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, asked to tell me if that Book were of God and if it were good, true and util to mix the words of it with the four Gospels of Mattew, Mark, Luke, and John in my preaching publicity; and while I was in that pose, to await positive answer, I felt all me body becoming cold and my heart to palpitate, as if it would talk, and a gladness as if I had found something of precious, of extraordinary, who beared sweet consolation and left in my memory supreme joy that human language finds not words to descript it, so much is arcanum.
All was easy without efford to my understand, and more I read its pieces more would read and more I thought of it the more I was impressed that I had received the assurance that God had answered to my prayer in that way, and that that remainder of book was of greatest benefit to me and towards to each and of all who listen its words.
For few days my preaching was stringed of new words of the Book of Mormon and the listeners remained so much amazed who were not satisfacted of my collegues' Sermons, and at high and intellegible voice, asked: "Why they do not preach the sweet arguments who preaches Don Vincent?" This benevolence made me damege, because my collegues over thrown by the indifference of the members who left the chapel while they preached and when I was on the pulpit they listened with pleasure; and were convinced that God talked ... every time, and some talk of the Bible is figurative, and grew the esteem toward me, became angered and begun the obstruction towards me and the remainder book of unknown origin, that they attributed to Satan. Very human misery!
I, an afternoon for the first time, was interrupted in the meeting by the Vice Venerable to be less fancier while I talked of Mary the Virgin and substened the Vision of I Nephi chapter 11:15, 36, that he had shown by an Angel, about 600 years before Christ, he without any shame contradicted that, my assertion were arbitraries, so of Mosiah, Alma, III and IV Nephi, Mormon, Ether, Moroni. This arrogant authority encoraged my collegues and in all my meetings they did heard their weight. These contradictories made me rebel to such indignity and I became disobedient to the discussed warnings and to the observance of the methods of the Sect, and they declaring me not sufferable, denounced me to the Committee of Censure, and it, with fathernal words, counseled me to burn the book of the devil that had brought so much trouble to the harmony of the brothers who loveth me of giant love.
In contradictory to the counsel I replied: "The apostrophe 'devil' given to the book is an opened contempt to the word of God, contained in it, of the Prophet Isaia that I have controlled word by word with our Old Testament and found it precise under every respect, and the Writings, Prophets and words testifies who the book is of God, that we adore and schooling the Christoloin, although it not precises to what Church it belongs but a thing is certain that it talks about the appearance of the Redeemer, after his crucifixion, to a remote people, organized in nation in the continent, and the Redeemer himself organized a church with Apostles and Priesthood like the Church that he organized during his ministry among the Jews in Palestine, and gave commandments and laws. God, in this instant censures you, that say: "We have got a Bible and cannot be any Bible"; and He tells to you openly in bitter rebuke: "O fools you will have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews my ancient covenant people and you thank the jews that they gave you a Bible. Know you not that there are more nations than one? For behold I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall speak unto the other tribes of the House of Israel, which I led away and they shall write it, and I shall also speak unto all nations of the Earth and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and Jews; and it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home into the land of their possessions."
The great trouble with most of us is that we do not apply the teachings of the Gospel to ourselves. we do not examine ourselves and find out wherein we are failing. "Knowledge without practice is like a glass eye--all for show and nothing for use." If I were to lose one of my eyes I certainly would buy a glass eye immediately. I think if I lost them both I would buy a couple glass eyes. But I would prefer to look that much better than if I had none whatever. But there is nothing truer than the fact that it is words that count. Faith without works is dead, like the body without spirit. We all know that the body is of no value when the spirit leaves it. It is only a question of short time when we must bury it. We could not keep it. It is what we do and not what we say that counts. It is absolute obedience to the lord and the desire to know what the Lord wants us to do and to know.
The book, that the Committee counsels from talks of a church, who the missed pages, do not let know where it is, very different of the Catholic Church, of whom the Methodist made shism. And it's better instead of burning the book that we practice what is into it, and certainly it gives us more light and knowledge in all our works and teachings to others. I, frankly talking, do not burn the book, because fear God, having asked to him if it is true, and my prayer was answered affirmatively, positively, without shade of doubt, that I feel again in my both heart and mind and whole body in this same instant, in which defend his cause against you all, neither I permit to burn it, being my testimony truer. And, since you in to pronounce the sentence to burn that reminder of pages of a book of being a origined by the "devil," I tell you that is proper the "devil" who suggest you to permit in your decision, under form of a fatherly to bring you in perdition like Judas Iscariot who sold the Redeemer for thirty pennies.
I do not do it, I do not give you this pleasure. It is, in this instant discusses before the thrown of God, and encourage me to tell you, face to face, that your eyes are of glass and are near to God with worse but far with love him with the potence of your bodies, minds, and hearts; and, with the words of the Redeemer, "You are sepulchres paint of white!" It was at the spark of fire to the powder into a gun. The Committee got up and cried at mi of voice: "It is enough! We intimate to you do not offend our authority in discipline college. That book, who oppressed you must be burned, or will procure you series (ed., serious) displeasures!"
My reply: I repeat do not burn the book! I do not accept your fatherly! You want a perfidy! And want it proper of me. After obtained a divine confirm of the truth of the book I prefer to go out of the congregation rather who burning the book!"
(9) At April 25, 1914, this heavy conflict had is epilgue before the Council of Peace of the Sect, and I was invited at a conciliation. But the subject of the judgement was not being changed, and the Vice Venerable started the interrogatory with affable manners, believing that my unreducibility were being provoked by the sharp ways of the members of the Committee Discipline. And he spoke with much benevolence: "It is our love, my dearest, who pretends to save you from sure perdition then, this morning, we one thing must do every offence to forgive. You know our love for you that have made of all the possible to help you in and out of the college, and we were always being glad of your prompt assiduity in all abodes and we always will do it with highest pleasure of truer elder brothers, but you must remember that our principal Rule is the obedience blind, respectful, and absolute. You must be more that persuaded convinced that that we do in this matter is for your good, and the truth is our long suffer your preaching the quachery of that remainder book thrown in tomb, bury unschooled and unvalued from who possessed it. Then, you must be noble as ever are being to burn that vessel of falsehoods, that has beared betterness to our love of brothers of the Good Shepherd."
My reply: "The talking of the Committee was not grate to me by the sole fact of proposing drastically to burn the book without a serene examine of what said Isaia and the Resurrect Redeemer who instituted surely a Church in a nation of this continent, who existed in that epoc, who spoke of him to come as if he were come, neither grate is unto me you talking, because if are changed the musicians the music is always the same, namely to destroy the book with fire, without an examination of its contained. Down... Down... such perilous counsel, because if I burn the Book offend the Godhead of which is argument in the declarations of the witnesses of the book, who was written on plates of brass and old and they seen have such plates; and, I that have had the positive assurence that what contains the book is truer, burning it I become a disdained soul by the Godhead to which prayed to give light and knowledge unto me on the contained of it, and will be a slave, forweare and fugitive before the face of God, as Judah Iscariot. Then, down...! down...! down...! such perileous counsel...! I obeyish the divine councel to keep holy the remainder of the unknown book, who knows, if a day it might be propitious unto me, unto you, and other people salvation"
The Vice Venerable: "Your proud spirit evil agree with us; and you know well to insult us with the salvation of an unknown book, well, answer to this last warning: repent or not of your stubborness!!"
My reply: No. Other more that your authority might do it is to excommunicate me?" The first judge: "I nothing more: it is enough the Counsil of Peace has been too forbearing with your critical words!" My reply with the Book of Mormon opened in hands: "Praise to God, the Eternal Father, and glory to the Son Jesus Christ and to the Holy Ghost of the book, and it is safe. Holy Trinity give me force to conserve spotless the grace that I have received to know the truth divine contained in this remainder of pages of book. I shall be faithful to all that it has illumined my mind to add upon to that that I knew of both Old and New Testament, and give me the opportunity to be associated to the people to whom belongs the book. Ah! what joy that day that I shall depart of such Church and to know its philosophy, who certainly is superior to this that I have learned till today. Oh! what sh... me will be the day in which the composings this Counsel of peace will know the truth and before the eyes of the memory of each member will be present the judgment of today who, with a stroke of pen to cancel my spotless past by preaching the truth that they want not to ponder and look for finding the source where it is the Master of faithful people who have seen the Redeemer Jesus Christ resurrected."
I here concealed because the Vice Venerable read the Decision took by the Council of Peace against me and I, at high head with the book contested in hands, listened the words who justified my remontion of my degree of Paster and every right and privilege in the Sect of the Good Shepherd. Ended the lecture told me if I had something to tell and my answer was: "As you have judged me today, you will be judged by the Master the day in which you will see his lightening face and he will ask reason of this iniquitous sentence. And raising in high the Book of Mormon cried: God, Eternal Father, defend thy right against the stubborness of this high assembly of judge!" Then the Vice Venerable, saw in that act, of that act feared, and cried with voice of debased man: "Enough! enough! with your false Theoghony! Be gone! begone!" And I went way with fresh courage to have defended my cause and that of the Book of Mormon, consisting in remainder of pages of an unknown book.
(10) At May 15, 1914, the Supreme Synod examined a list of member subscribers and all my disobediences called me to be judicious to abandon that infedel book and repent, being the Synod of good intention to pardon my stubborness, and, at my negative answer: "that I have not born to beat the hard illustrious doors, make but free shall run the kingdom of the death, neither richnesses nor honors with fraud and vileness the vendicater century cheapen will not see me." Thus confirmed the Decision, classed me habitual and incorregible rebel against the ordinances of the religious sect and pronounced definitively my distance from the body of the Church, with the loss of all the ordinances and becoming a simple lay;
(11) At November 27, 1914, the Italian consulate of New York called me at the Arms with my class of Levy of Troops 1888, and I embarked for Italy on the Steam Ship "Earl White Hand," disembarked at the Port of Naples, and was incorpored in the 127th Regiment Infantry at Florence City, in quality of simple soldier, and effective at the 10th Company; and after past to the Company Command;
(12) At May 24, 1915, I was put into movement and sent to the Front of actions of combat, in trench at Pava, Zagora, Zagoni, and followed all the folly of the attacks, day and night, of the Regiment, living hours of alarm of death, and every sort of suffering of war in trench and camp;
(13) At August 5, 1916, I was denounciated by the Catholic Apostolic Roman Chaplain of the Regiment to the Colonnel Commander of defeatism, for I had related the history of the people of Ammon which refused to fight and buried the Arms as a testimony that they had never used them; and if the Lamanites were come against the Lamanites which refused to take up the arms and destroy them they shall go to God and be saved;
(14) At August 6, 1916, the Colonnel ordered that I were escorted to his place and the Commander of the Company took me with the Book of Mormon and presented both Book of Mormon and me to the Colonnel, which heard my justification, invited me to state the Chapter 24 of the Book of Alma. I did it before his simultaneous presence, and he examined with agrimoneous precon... the contained and other subtil questions, how I were in possess of such remainder of book without name and the scope why Is it in English tongue, anima- versioned by the Chaplain of my different religion, and being himself a bigot descendent of family of Saint Alphonsu of the Liquoris, of Naples, cadinal of the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman, Church, who written and published "Book of Eternal Maxims," not much convinced of my assert, with low preconceit, punished me with ten days of imprisonment under a tent, to bread and water, with distrust of relating not more the history of degraded people that are the American Red Skins.
(15) At June 20, 1919, I was discharged and returned into the States of the Union. There I met an old friend Mike Savaco, Pastor of the Methodist Church, who knew my preceeding history, and touched of my ill usage of ...; praizing straight familiarty among the members of the Synod, and much esteem of me, frankly interceded in my favor to be admitted in congregation as lay-brother, and after made steps for a serene reconciliation.
It was very hard, but, at the end, came with absolute specification of experiment that I should follow my protector in abroad mission. So I was at Auckland, New Zealand Dominion Road, No, 253; At Sidney, Australia, No. 3 Crown Street, where I found Italian emigration who made series (ed., serious) question about the gospel translated in editions of Catholic and Protestant translators among whom Deadatus, son of Saint Augustin, a high father of the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church. They were unsatisfacted by the answers of Mike Savaco, and he with anger let them to grumble, and positively revolved the questions unto me. I, on possess of the truth convinced them but they would know where I had learned such teachings and, of consequence, I spoke of the Book of Mormon. It was sweet for them but very bitter for my collegue, which almost every day he grumbled with me, but I felt in my mind and heart a strong will to preach the truth divine. Mike, for zeal till the scruple, in his reports denounced me "Mormon," with the Motto "The wolf loses the hair but not the vice," and again the Synod put in vigour the Decision May 15, 1914, and I was forever out of the Sect.
(16) At May 18, 1930, while I made an analysis of a piece of French cloth not remembered the significance of a pulley invented by a French Inventor and tried to find it in the French Dictionary in my possess, and while I seeked it turning the pages of the letter M, were under my eyes the "Words Mormon Sect. Then, for curiosity, read the whole specification with vivid attention and in the supposition that it were inherent to the remainder of pages of the Book that I possessed, I wrote upon a piece of cartoon on the table "Mormons Sector kegs d'una religion inventee in Amerigue vers 1830. Provo Universitie" and translated in English compared them with the scriptured of the Book, without name, and at May 29, 1930, thought to write to the Magnific President of University of Provo, to ask information about a remainder of Book who talks of Nephi, Alma, Mormon, Isaia, Lamanites, etc., and, ... he gave me intelligence that he had passed my letter to the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, alias Mormon, and he certainly will give precise information that, that Book without name in your possess belongs to this Church;
(17) At June 16, 1930, the President of the Church of Latter-day Saints of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, Heber Jeddy Grant, answered my letter, sending a copy of the Book of Mormon, in Italian language translated by President Lorenzo Snow, in 1854, while he was a Missionary in Switzerland, and yet telling that he had informed too the President of European Missions in Liverpool, England, "That he in that day was in vacation at Salt Lake City. He, few days late written me from Liverpool and sent me the Gospel message; (1) Apostle John Andrew Widtsoe;
(18) At June 5, 1932, Apostle John Andrew Widtsoe came to Naples to baptize me, but a revolution between Fascists and anti Fascists in this Island did deny by the Police of the Great Police Station of Palermo, to go to Naples, and I remained to be baptized to wait other chance, like Moses in attention of the promised land;
(19) At September 22, 1934, I started the correspondence with Apostle Joseph F. Merril, successor in the Presidence to Apostle John Andrew Widtsoe, for being baptized but it was impossible to be done, for both Presidents of France Mission, D. I. Lang and Francis Salzer of Swiss-German Mission; and also for me, that I was called to the arms by the African-Etiopean War. At my return Apostle Joseph F. Merril, in 1936, put my name in the list of Millennial Star, bu being in continue contact with the Church, and it was sent unto me till 1940, and it was stopped by the War II of this nation;
(20) On January 14, 1937, after Apostle Joseph F. Merril, I started corresponding with Apostle Richard R. Lyman; with President Hugh B. Brown, who came to Rome to baptize me, but the letter of invite to me to go to Rome was delivered with delay the day which the President and family let Rome to re-enter in Zion, by cause of War II, and all missionaries fleed way in Zion and I rested without hope to be baptized.
The successor to President Hugh B. Brown was President Andrew K. Anastasion, in London and after the declaration of War II of this nation remained cut out of news of The Church, but always faithful fellower and ... preacher of the Gospel of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times everywhere, being in possess of the Standard Books of the Church that I translated in my idiom and sent the important Chapters by Post to persons of my acquantance with the corded greeting, "Good day: "The Morning Breaks-Johovah Speaks-of the immortal Hymn of Apostle Parley p. Pratt;
(21) On February 13, 1949, I started again the correspondence with Apostle Jahn Andrew Widlse at 47 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, by cause that Thursday London Mission did not answer to my letter, and he answered on October 3, 1956, because absent in Norway and I in reply sent him a long letter with positive details, in which asked him to help me to be quickly baptized.
(22) On November 13, 1950, he answered unto me that he had written to President Samuel E. Bringhurst of the Swiss-Austrian Mission if he could come down in Sicily and baptizing me.
(23) On November 28, 1950, I started correspondence with President Samuel E. Bringhurst and, on January 18, 1951, he came in this Island and baptized me in the Thermal Waters of Termini Imerese, Province of Palermo, Sicily, South Italy, at the presence of Matron Lenora K..., Relief Society of the Mission; wife of the President;
(24) On April 16, 1954, I started the correspondence with President William Franz Perschon, successor of President Bringhurst, and through him, at April 28, 1956, into the Celestial Room of the Temple of Zollikofen Bern, Switzerland, received the endowments of the Celestial Kingdom where found the President Samuel E. Bringhurst, what President of the Temple, and came assigned to the 2nd Elders' Quorum of Zurich. Both Presidents are my progenitors terrestrial and spiritual, for having consolidated my eternal salvation, and to see again the faces of the Holy Godhead, and that of the Celestial God Mother, who begetted me in spirit and brought up me in the first eternal.
(25) This first step in the Temple was followed of other steps for Temple work for my ancestry, and for this held active correspondence with successors President Mission. At September 29, 1956, with President Jesse R. Curtis; at October 12, 1959, with President William S. Erekson; at February 29, 1964, with President John Mark Russon; who were all splendid with me in exceptional manners; at cause of the ... raids of the aerial fleets and fights of Armies of the Allied Military Government Occupied Territory of this ... of War II; who brought desolation, poverty, misery, destruction moral and material, and atrocious unhappiness in every rank of citizens, of which, since twenty years, that it is over, one can see, at bare eye, the terriblest traces of the ruins in cities and countries.
(26) At June 15, 1961, I revealed to the President of the 2nd Elders Quorum of Zurich, Alfred Grand, the desire to want going Temple to make Temple Work for dead of my ancestry, and he generously helped me to make the trip; and I was doubly blessed; Temple work for my parents and the parents of my mother; and, at July 8, 1961, at the baptismal Font near Zurich, I enjoyed the blessing of God to be chosen by the little sister, eight years old, Christine Ruth Wolf, to impose the hands together at present Elders, and pronounced the subline form of the Great Priesthood of Melchizedk upon her head for the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirm she what member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;
(27) At August 18, 1962, since July 20, 1961, that Assistent Apostles Elder Drye organized the Stake of Zion in Germany, was instituted a third Elders Quorum in Zollikofen Bern, and the President Quorum, Jacob Ritter, took accord with President Mission William S. Erekson, President District Robert Albert Simond, and President of the Temple Walter Trauffer, to convoke the Elders composing it, about 105 members and he, knowing my long distance and my subtil economy sent me the ticket and brotherly lodge me in his house for the durability of the Session , in which I made Temple work for dead;
(28) At October 3, 1964, President John Mark Russon, that had met me at Naples, to the annual conference April 24, 25, 1964, Branch Servicemen, heard my prayer to want returning to the Temple to make work for dead of my grandmother and grandfather, parents of my father, and he, knowing my scarce savings by cause of my sickness, sent me the amount of the ticket and so I completed my work for dead, leaving till now sixty-four friends--Italians, Frenches, Germans, Finnies, Englishes, in Spirits World, that I believe all of their have accepted the Gospel and I am the sole Italian Saint written in the Record of the Temple of Salt Lake City, Zion of Latter-day Saints;
(29) Re-epilogue: Do not remain me now who the grateful task of expressing my eternal gratitude to the Magnific President of the University of Provo(16); to the President of the Church, Elder Heber Jeddy Grant (17); Apostles: Elder John Andrew Widtsoe (18); Elder Joseph F. Merril (19); Elder Richard R. Lyman (20); President France Mission Elder D. J. Lang (19); Presidents Swiss-Austrian Mission, Elder Samuel E. Bringham (23); Elder William Franz Perschon (24); Elder Jesse R. Curtis (25); Elder William S. Erekson (25); Elder John Mark Russon (25-28); President 2nd Quorum of Elders Alfred Graiin (26); President 3rd Quorum Zollito Fen Bern, Elder Jacob Ritter (24); President District Elder Robert Albert Simond (27); Presidents Temple, Elder Samuel E. Bringhurst (23); Elder Walter Trauffer (27); that all in various ways have contributed to the realization of my Salvation into the Kingdom of God of the last Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. And of more I think of it, the more I am impressed that the great benefit to me became by the magic force of an unshakable faith to believe the doctrine of the Pre-earth life.
My fanatic sectarians judges believed that our life-birth here is the beginning of life for us, otherwise, they would have believed the remainder of the Book of Mormon, that I tenaciously postiled in my preaching. They supposed the notion that man had such a prior existence was heathen and as such rejected it as un-Christian in origin and fact. They never understood John 7:5, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the World was." There is undoubtedly a pre-earth life. "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" The man could not have sinned before he was born unless he lived in prior state of existence--which implies that the Apostles believed in prior life. There is undoubtedly a pre-earth life state here for Jesus and, since Jesus is represented as our brother it implies that all men had a similar pre-earth life.
At death this spirit, still able to exercise the same three powers, goes into a world of spirits, after which it resumes its former body, now changed to suit the new demands. Through all these changers which are only temporary the spirit of man persists. In essence it is the same personality whether unembodied, embodied, disembodied, or re-embodied. Here, truly, is a real immortality--an immortality that is worthy of God. Amen.
Chosen Brother President Leavitt: You can see what I have toiled hard for finding salvation in the Kingdom of God of whom spoke me a remainder of pages of a book without frontspice, in a time in which the Church was unknown in New York, that, since twenty years, I could identify them to belong at a divine book, denomined "Book of Mormon," edition Pratt 1879. It is true divine Gospel and the above abridgment witnesses my strongest faith, until I was boy, in a pre-earth life.
I pray you warm to let copy it integrally into the History Record of the Italian District, so the future converts can learn openly that the man does not live of sole bread, but also lives of the work of God, revealed in all the epocs from Adam, and, since he nineteenth century, through the medium of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My desire is to greet John, Paul and you personally, but since this cannot be, please know that I keep dearest remembrance of you three in my Book of Remembrance and, with this line of leave, I send my appreciation and love. To each and all of you and families I clasp hands across the Tirrenian sea in true brotherhood, and I am,
Don Vincent De Francesca.