In late 1829 or early 1830 insufficient funding held up the first printing of the Book of Mormon. Martin Harris was trying to sell his farm to raise the needed capital, but was not having immediate success. At the urging of friends, Joseph Smith sought direction from God. Placing his trusty seer stone in a hat, Joseph looked in and received a revelation that instructed him to send representatives to Canada; there they would sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon and return with enough money to publish the book in the United States.
According to Mormon Apostle and Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer,
“Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father’s house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada. Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: ‘Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.’ So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord. This was a lesson for our benefit and we should have profited by it in future more than we did…” (An Address to All Believers in Christ, 31)
Brigham Young once made this sage observation in relation to another matter:
“A man that will be fooled by the Devil—a man that has not sense to discern between steel grey mixed and iron grey mixed when one is dyed with logwood and the other with indigo, may be deceived again.” (A Book of Mormons, 185)
David Whitmer would probably agree for he offered readers this sound counsel:
“Remember this matter brethren; it is very important…Now is it wisdom to put your trust in Joseph Smith and believe all his revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants to be of God? Every one who does not desire to be of Paul, or of Apollos, or of Joseph, but desires to be of Christ will say that it is not wisdom to put our trust in him and believe his revelations as if from God’s own mouth!” (ibid.)
And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name.
I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them.
They are prophesying to you a lying vision,
worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.”