Pittsburgh, March 15, 1845.
For the Messenger and Advocate
Mr. Editor, -- Having returned a few days since, from a visit to Lake County, Ohio, in obedience to the
request of many of our old acquaintances, in that part of the country, we are inclined to give a brief
sketch of our journey, which occupied a little over three weeks. In consequence of the bad condition of the
roads, we were prevented from arriving as soon as we and our friends expected. In anticipation of our arrival
at Kirtland, an appointment had been made for a meeting in the temple, on Sunday morning, the 16th of Feb.
but the congregatidn had dispersed before our arrival, or a large number of them had dispersed. On our
arrival we were welcomed by hundreds of our old acquaintances, with a warmth of feeling which clearly
manifested that the ties of friendship were not broken. It had been upwards of seven years since we were
in that part of the country, and great changes had taken place during our absence.
An appointment was made immediately on our arrival for meeting at candle light, and notwithstanding the
night was very the roads exceedingly bad, yet the temple was filled. It will seat about nine hundred persons
-- and we addressed a very attentive congregation, and probably as large a one as was ever gathered in that
or any other part of the country, under similar circumstances. We made an appointment for the Tuesday evening
following, and also the Thursday evening. On Tuesday evening again, to our great surprise, the house was
filled. We again addressed the people, and again on the Thursday evening following. On Thursday evening we
gave the history of Nauvoo, and the events that led to the death of the Smiths, which, of course, we traced
to the introduction of the spiritual wife system; for all that know any thing about it, that it was the
introduction of that system which led to the death of the Smiths, and that if that system had not been
introduced, they might have been living men to-day. We had a fair opportunity of setting before a large
congregation the operations of that system, and its effect on the people of Nauvoo; showing that it was
the inlet to all the corruptions which followed. Such as bogus money making, counterfeiting, stealing lying,
perjury, and a train of abominations. We set before the people the plans used by the devotees of this
system to conceal their iniquity from public view -- their lying and perjuries, to ruin the characters of
innocent persons, in order to hide their corruptions from the public eye. The people there had heard of all
these abominations, but were not satisfied, and were very anxious for us to go there, that they might know
the truth of these reports. We think we can say with confidence that the people were all satisfied, and
expressed to us great indignation at a people capable of such enormities.
An unexpected circumstance took place that evening, it was the arrival of brethren William Law and William
E. McLellan, from Hampton, Rock Island County, Illinois. Brother Law addressed the congregation for some
time, setting forth what he knew about the people and the affairs of Nauvoo; some of which were new to us.
He settled the question forever on the public mind, in, relation to the spiritual wife system, and the
abominations concerning it. As Joseph Smith and others had attempted to get him into it,
and in order to do so had made him acquainted with many things about it that we never knew before.
The whole combined put the matter at rest, and the public mind was quieted, and all doubts removed.
The next Sunday we lectured again in the temple to a large audience. The week following we received a request
from the citizens of Painsville, to go there and deliver a lecture in that place, accordingly we went, and
addressed a large and respectable congregation there. During the week we received a message from some of
the citizens of Cleveland, informing us that if we would accept an invitation from the citizens of that
place, and lecture there, we would receive it from some of the most respectable inhabitants; with this
request we were unable to comply.
We continued our lectures in Kirtland, and at the close we organized a church, and Hiram Kellogg was
appointed presiding elder. During our stay there were lectures delivered by Dr. Samuel Bennett, and
brethren Law and McLellan, all of which tended greatly to enlighten and settle the public mind.
We need not say that there were prejudices removed, for we did not find any to remove; the people were open,
and willing to hear, and we received the kindest treatment at the hand of all with whom we had intercourse.
The tongue of slander was still, and the voice of reproach was not heard. We found good feelings, and feel
as if we left the same.
There was some nestling by a little band of spiritual wife folk; they felt as if their darling system of
religious libertinism was rather roughly handled. They had several secret meetings, and passed some
resolutions to be published in the spiritual wife papers at Nauvoo, and Phenias H. Young went his way with
them. John Young, one of their number, expressed himself, as we were informed, in one of their spiritual wife
meetings, to this effect, that he would rather go to hell with that system, than to heaven with the one we
taught. We think, for the honor of truth, his choice was a good one.
Many things which we learned while there, has left little doubt in our mind, that the Lord is working on
the hearts of the people there, by making known to them the things that pertain to salvation, and by
stirring up their minds to investigation.
If we may be at liberty to judge, we think the prospects before the church at Kirtland, are as flattering
as any church we have organized. The deep interest taken in out meetings by many who never belonged to any
church, and the feelings they expressed on the occasion, portends well for the prosperity of the church
there, as also the many in and about that place, who, at former times have belonged and still believe the
doctrines as we do, and who feel a deep interest in their dissemination; but in consequence of what they
believed to be corruptions, having gained so strong a hold on the hearts of many, they stood still; but we
think many, if not all of them, will unite with the church there, and we think the prospect now is, that
Kirtland will not much longer be called a city forsaken, but she will yet be a place of praise.
The change in the town of Kirtland since, the winter of 1838, (the time we left) is not greater than the
change on the feelings of they people. At that time we left Kirtland, under cireumptences calculated to
try the feelings of any person capable of feeling. Public prejudice was running high, and the spirit of
opposition exceedingly bitter, and so violent that our peace was entirely destroyed, but on out return all
was calm -- all was quiet -- all was courtesy and kindness. The hand of friendship was extended, and every
office of kindness was tendered to as to make our visit desirable and our stay pleasant, that any could ask.
We received many solicitations to again visit the place, and many were desirous that we should go there
and spend a part of our time at least, if not make it the home of our family. All of which are under
Pittsburgh, March 15, 1845..
I have been a constant reader of the Messenger Advocate from commencement in this City,
and I have occasionally read the Times and Seasons published in Nauvoo, Ill. There is a very wide difference of
opinion between the conductors of those two papers and their contributors as to the person or persons to whom
the first Authority or first presidency of the church of Christ rightly and legally belongs, since the death of
Joseph Smith. I think enough has been said in your papers, to forever settle the matter in the minds of all
those who desire to know the truth on this subject, for the sake of THE TRUTH. There are
those however who are disposed to cavil and misrepresent, in order to blind the minds of the unsuspecting. -- I
feel disposed to trouble you sir: with a few remarks relative to this subject, giving you some of my history,
and some items connected therewith.
I united with the church of Christ, and was baptized by Hyrum Smith in Jackson co. Mo. August 1831. A few days
thereafter, in conference I was ordained an Elder, and in company with him traveled through to Kirtland, Ohio,
preaching by the way. We reached there on the 18th of October, and on the 25th I attended a conferance in
Orange Township where I first saw Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, &c. During this conferance myself
and nine others were ordained to the High Priesthood. Then I went home with Joseph Smith and spent some weeks
with him. In the spring of 1832 I removed to Jackson Co. Mo. which was then, among us, generally called Zion.
In the fall of '33, I shared largely in the persecutions and injuries which the church sustained in that Co. in
consequence of mob rule. -- In '34 Joseph Smith with, several hundred men arrived in upper Mo., in order
to assist in regaining their rights. Affecting but little, the company was disbanded and many returned to their
homes. In a conference in Clay Co., held on the 8th of July 1834, I was chosen to accompany president Smith to
Ohio, where he then lived. On the 14th day of the month of Feb. '35 a general was called in Kirtland during part
of the revelation given in Fayette N. Y., 1829, relative to the choosing of twelve apostles was taken into
consideration, and it was determined that the time had come for them to be chosen. I acted on that occasion as
one of the secretaries of the confersance, and being chosen, I had to record my own name among the number of
the twelve. On the 27th of the same month, in a conferance, Orson Hyde and myself were chosen to act as the
secretaries of that quorum, and we were required to keep a record of the most important matters touching the
ministry &c. of those Apostles. Now for the bereft of your readers, I wish in quote some items, from this
Apostolic record kept by Hyde and myself. -- During the above council president Smith prophesied that -- if we
would be careful to keep such record, it would be one of the most interesting and important ones ever seen."
During this interview he proposed this question. "What importance is there attached to the callings of the
twelve Apostles, different from the other callings and offices of the church?" After some observations by
others Joseph Smith in his official capacity, gave the following desission [sic], viz:The Twelve are called
to be a traveling high council, (not stationary) to preside over all the churches of the saints, among
the Gentiles, where there is no presidency established. They are to travel and preach among the Gentiles,
until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry -- to unlock
the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and preach the gospel unto every creature. -- This is the
virtue, power and authority of their apostleship, amen." I wish to make one more quotation from the record of
the twelve. Kirtland, May 2, 1835, a grand council of all the presiding authorities of the whole church was
assembled, Joseph Smith in the chair. After the council was opened, he arose and made many observations, and
among them the following. Now I want all your readers who have any doubts respecting the duty, calling,
or power of the twelve to preside to hearken; Joseph Smith's words as authority are often quoted by those who
think the twelve can legally preside in Nauvoo. Listen and I will give you his own words, taken verbatim as he
delivered them, as Elder O. Hyde and myself placed them in the record of the twelve. The original copy of which,
is now in my possession. But now for the sentiment, here it is, "The twelve apostles have no right to go into
Zion, or any of its stakes, where there is a regular high council established, and there undertake to regulate
the matters pertaining thereto: but it is their duty to GO ABROAD and regulate and set in order a11 matters
relative to the different branches of the church." One more sentence he uttered immediately following the above
viz: "No standing high council has authority to go into the churches abroad and regulate the matters thereof,
for this belongs to the twelve."
The twelve at Nauvoo certainly never consult their own record, but if they ever do read it, they cannot believe
it. For if the they did they never would, having no more than apostolic authority, try to regulate the afairs
of Zion in the stake at Nauvno. They must and do know that they are acting out of their place -- above their
If after they pretended to cut off presidents Law and Rigdon, who with Joseph Smith constituted the first
presidency, they had gone to work and appointed three of their own number and ordained them to the first
presidency, "by revelation," then filled up their vacancies in their own quorum, and in that attitude presented
themselves before the church and the world, there would have been some semblance of the time authority and
church government that is presented in the pattern in the book of Covenants. But as they now present themselves
at the head -- TWELVE HEADED they violate the order in the book of Covenats. They go contrary
to Joseph Smith's own instructions, as recorded in their record of their own proceedings.
What conclusion according to the above must we form concerning them, and all those who adhere to them?
It is inevitable. They are fallen! are fallen!! And brethren you need not wonder if they have or do "become
the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
From the day that the church was first organized with the various presiding authorities, up to this day, I
have always considered that according to the book of covenants, that church could not exist without a first
Presidency, and that that first Presidency was the head of the church. So the twelveiets understand it. But
the tug of war is, how many individuals compose that presidency or head? I will here venture an assertion,
that no intelligent man or woman who ever belonged to that church during Joseph Smith's lifetime ever thought,
that, that quorum, of first presidency or head could have more than three individuals in it at a time. Now if
it is true that when we cut the head off from the natural body -- the body dies. Just so true it is that that
part of the church who set aside the head or first presidency, consisting of three through whom the Lord said,
"he would give his oricles to his church," must inevitably die. The head contains the brain, which is said to
be the seat of the mind. It also is the seat of the senses. -- Take away the head, and then sensation and
intelligence is gone.
Brethren do any of you wish to be members in a body or church, which has neither intelligence nor sensation? I
can say I do not. If the twelve at Nauvoo had authority to set aside the first presedincy, consisting of three
and become head themselves, then they should have placed a quorum of three or some other number below them,
in order that there might be the same number of quorums in the church. But that would not mend the matter, and
I can not see how can help the out of the difficulty into which they have voluntarily plunged themselves, by
their own free will. They have rejected the first presidency, and have (Pharisee hike) assumed Moses seat for
themselves. The question to my mind is clear that no church is the church of Christ according to the pattern
given in the book Covenants Sec. 3 unless it has a quorum of three -- and only three, as a first
presidency. Any part or branch of that church assuming a different form of government, or placing themselves
under a different set of authorities is not the church of Christ, is not addressed by any revelation in that
book. The revelations, directions, and promises contained there, were given to a church who were under the
immediate presidency or presiding authority of THREE. Hence I said they of Nauvoo were fallen. And as they did
not like to retain God in their knoweledge, he has given them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things
which are not convenient. "God has given them up unto vile affections." As president S. Rigdon's claims to the
first presidency have been so ably set forth in the Messenger and Advocate, I will now only add a few things
farther on that subject.
He became personally acquainted with Jos. Smith in December 1830, and from that to this, has sustained a very
different the church of Christ from any other man in it. Joseph had translated the book of Mormon by the gift
of inspiration from God, had done a good work in that; and also in organizing the church; and being only a
youth and the Lord knowing the many temptations to which he would be subject, and also knowing the experience,
and the integrity of Elder Rigdon's heart said to him in a revelation, cov. sec. II, par. 4."I have sent forth
the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph: and in weakness have I blessed him, and I have given
unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which shall come from this
time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead, (not
twelve others,) wherefore watch over him that his faith fail not." "Watch over him." I ask, watch over
whom? Who received the command? the important command, to be the Lord's watcher? and that too over the Lord's
prophet. I answer, the man to whom the Lord said "now I give unto thee a commandment that thou shalt baptize by
water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as by the apostles of old."
And of whom it is said in the book of Covenants page 408, speaking of Sidney Rigdon, "he shall LIFT up his voice
again on the mountains and be a spokesman before my face." Here are some of the greatest promises and
privileges ever delivered to man, since the world began -- "A SPOKESMAN BEFORE MY FACE." Watch over him that
his faith fail,not, lest he fall!! But if (Joseph) transgress and fall another will I plant in his stead.
Much more might be said on this subject, but I will here introduce some important queries. What man now living
has had the most extensive knowledge and experience in the church of Christ, since the year 1830? -- The year
of its birth. Who is it that has presided jointly -- shall I say equally with Joseph Smith, in all its councils,
in all its general assemblies? Who wrote the most revelations at the seer's mouth? Who had a vision of the
glories of the eternal world, and of the sore torments of the wicked, and gazed upon them jointly with Joseph
Smith? Who sat day after day, month after month, and year after year, and assisted in translating the old
scriptures by the power of inspiration, and by that labor accumulated a fund of intelligence concerning the
things of God, surpassing any man now living? Who is it, on whom the Lord suffered the heavy hand of affliction
to fall and abide for years in Nauvoo, that he might neither loose his priesthood, nor yet go into those
abominations for which the Lord caused the overthrow or downfall of that man who, if he had
been faithful, would have stood at the head of the kingdom of God Almighty, when Jesus made his second
appearance? And finally, who is it to whom the Lord has opened the heavens and shown the pattern upon which
his kingdom should be organized; and the principles by which it must be governed, in order to be prepared for
the events that are coming on earth, and in order to bring in everlasting righteousness. To fill the world
with peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost? Yes, who is it that with every power and faculty of his soul, publicly
and privately, opposes every species of iniquity, usurpation and violation of the laws of God and man, in
the church or kingdom of God, and who recommends to the saints by all his teachings, and by his daily examples
to work righteousness, and righteousness only, in order to be redeemed? I answer distinctly and emphatically
that man is President Sidney Rigdon. I feel my interest identified with his, and I feel also to stand by him
in all righteousness before God, while he stands as a man of God to plead with the world.
W. E. McLELLIN.
No circumstance has occured since the days of the advent of Jesus Christ, more remarkable in its character,
than the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. More than fourteen years have elapsed since this singular
record first emerged from its hiding place, divulging the secrets of generations long since gathered to
their fathers, and proclaiming the commencement of a series of stupendous events, affecting intimately every
nation, kindred, tongue, and people, under the whole heaven.
Although there is no kind or degree of evidence wanting, which is usually admitted sufficient to establish
the truth of any record of whatever kind; indeed we venture to say, it possesses characteristics peculiarly
its own, which indelibly stamp upon its pages, the impression of eternal truth; yet it has hitherto failed
to excite that deep and general interest, which the intrinsic importance of its contents demand. We are not
at a lose to determine why it is so. This may be aptly styled the artificial age. The opinions, the manners,
the pursuits, nay even the religion is made for show; men dare not think without a preceptor; it would indeed
be at the eminent hazard of the thousand and one diverse systems of truth, should men once get it into their
heads that they were permitted to exercise a little thought. An unnatural morbid sentiment prevails, which
effectually blocks up the avenues, to the most valuable and exalted field of human investigation; in the
attainment of that intelligence, which can only satisfy and fill the aching void, of the immortal spirit that
is in man. "The Bible contains all that is necessary for our salvation." The canon of scripture is full."
These are the maxims of a race of zealous religionists, who propose to evangelize the world, and bring about
the devoutly to be desired condition of things, when all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest.
We do not impugn their motives; but we altogether disallow the adequacy of their proposed plan of accomplishing
the object. The means are not equal to the end. Is it not a fact that sects and parties are multiplying
annually, amongst Christians; we mean those who profess to believe sincerely in the divine authenticity of
the Bible, and that it contains all that is necessary for salvation. In the name of all that is reasonable,
then, we ask, how is it possible that men shall all see "eye to eye," by the full canon of Scripture contained
in the. Bible? Solve me this problem.
It is because we believe that all scripture given by inspiration of God it profitable, and because we receive the testimony of the Bible as verily true, we reject the anti-Christian and absurd notion, that the cannon of scripture is complete. At least thirty inspired records are mentioned in the Bible; which are now not known to be extant! So that if the Bible contains all that is necessary to salvation, these were superorgatory works of inspiration, and Peter did not understand the matter when he declared they were all profitable. Those who hold the maxim that the canon of scripture is complete in the Bible, also hold another maxim equal in absurdity with it, and a palpable contradiction in itself to the other two. The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice. The Bible contains all that is necessary for salvation, and if nothing is to be believed that is not found in the Bible, how came either of these erroneous dogmas into existence? Certainly neither of them are found in the Bible. So far from it, the whole genius and spirit of that inspired record, is diametrically opposed to the imposition of such a moral incubus. If there is any principle taught in the Bible, it is that God never had a people existing on the earth, whom he acknowledged, that he did not reveal himself to them, made known to them his will, and poured upon them the spirit of inspiration. It is a virtual rejection of the Bible, to say that it contains all that is necessary to the salvation of man. It is in effect saying that the Bible is unworthy our credence. Amos deplares, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets." Solomon says, "Where there is no vision the people perish!" David says, "Truth shall spring out of the earth." John, in his sublime history of future events, shown him by the angel says, "I saw another angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell upon earth; to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." The Bible, in short, contains a string of prophecies and promises, with regard to a future glorious epoch in the history of the human family, when God shall reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth; and it is by that means alone that the knowledge of God can ever cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.
What then is the Book of Mormon? It is a true record of a branch of the house of Israel -- of the inhabitants of this continent; to whom the Savior personally appeared and administered, after fulfilling his work at Jerusalem. Know ye not how he told the Jews, "other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring in;" at this time, "that there may be one fold and one shepherd." You will observe it was a branch of the house of Israel to which he there refers, for he distinctly says, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The Redeemer's mission, then, had respect to another branch of the house of Israel, not of the Jewish fold. The Book of Mormon relates, what that mission was, and how it was accomplished. It is an additional evidence of the truth of the gospel, or God's plan of saving men, in contradistinction to all the systems invented by men or devils. To the honest inquirer after truth, it is therefore of greater value than the riches of the whole world. It is surrounded by a thousand testimonies of its truth, and the best of all is, it leads those who follow its direction to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world;" to the fountain of all wisdom and knowledge, that they may drink deep of the waters of life, and be satisfied; that they henceforth live "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners."
We shall revert to this subject again.
TO THE SISTERS OF THE CHURCH OF
...The Psalmist says, 103:62, the Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
Psalm 89:142, Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne. From the above quotations we understand,
first, the God, in his character, is unchangeable; which brings me to this conclusion, that the gospel that
was preached unto Abraham, as spoken of by Paul. Gal. 3, was the same that is preached by those having
authority in the present age of the world. The believing and practising of which will save a man in the kingdom
of God. And, in the second place, we learn that he executeth judgment for all the oppressed. I now ask if it
is not a system of oppression to lead a man, standing at the head of a family of interesting children, into a
covenant to obey every revelation or every order coming from a certain source, asking no questions, and in a
few days after, one of his daughters to be demanded as a wife for a married man, and not a question to
be asked by the father. I have come to this conclusion, that every thing coming in the shape of a commandment
or revelation, purporting to come from God, whether given by the mouth of man, woman, or child, and which in
itself is in the least caculated to sever the bonds of affection, which bind man to his fellow-man -- husband
to wife, parents to children, and which in itself is calculated to sap the foundation of that union which
binds and cements the family circle together, and which in its nature must have a tendency to create jealousy,
envy, strife and fraud, and to bring anarchy and confusion upon a body of people. Such a revelation, I say in my
opinion, is not from God, or God has not revealed himself in his true character in former revelations, and to
prove this position shall be the burden of this subject. Truth being my object, I shall appeal to the law and
to the testimony in that day when our first parents came forth from the hands of their creator, he made use of
the following strong but beautiful language. See Gen. 2:24, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his
mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. Now, it is very evident from this
saying of the Lord, that he did not even admit of the possibility of a subsequent command being given, which
would have a tendency to sever that union. We will also listen to the, teachings of Brother Paul Upon this
subject for a low moments -- Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved, the church, and gave himself
for it -- Eph. 5:30, and in the 31 verse repeats the word of the Lord as contained in Gen. Again in Paul's first
letter to Corinth, 7:2, Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every Woman
have her own husband. 3d verse, Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence. What is this Paul says?
Husbands (in the plural) love your wives, not husband (in the singular). But to place this isubject beyond all
possibility of controversy, he says, and let EVERY woman have her OWN husband. Now, says the polygamist, Paul
did not see down through the dark vista of time, the good things that were in reserve for us. No, the delightful
state of things never entered the head of little Paul, notwithatanding he ascended into the third heavens, and
saw things which were unlawfull for him to speak. Ah, says little Snow, Paul was a granny! Yes, echoes W. W.
Phelps, and so is Sidney. What! Brother Sidney had a view of the third heavens (See Doc. and Cov. page 346) and
yet it did not enter your head, no more than it did brother Paul's, that a man should have from ten to five
hundred women, married or not married to them. Why, Paul, you must have made mistake, some how or other, when
you said, let every woman have her own husband. Query, Could a woman have her own husband if he was held as
common stock by five or ten women?
JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS,
THIS EPISTLE IS PARTICULARLY DIRECTED.
Sisters, did you ever think of this? Would not this be a co-partnership concern, to all intents and purposes?
I will now quote from Doctrine and Covenants, page 148: Thou shalt not lie. He that lieth and will not repent
shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and, shalt cleave unto her and none else; and
he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit. And if he
repent not shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that commits adultery, and repenteth not,
shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery, and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and
doth it no more, thou shalt forgive. But if he doth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.
Again, on page 264: Verily I say unto you, as have said before, he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her;
or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the spirit, but shalt deny the faith, and
shall fear. Wherefore I the Lord have said, that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever
loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorceror, shall have their part in that lake which burneth
with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Verily I say, that they shall net have part in the first
On page 174 there is a principle laid down well worthy our consideration. And if he or she shall LIE, he or
she shall be delivered up unto the LAW OF THE LAND.
On page 262, the Lord, in speaking to Martin Harris, says as follows: -- And again I command thee, that thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. But, says the objector, this revetation was binding upon him only to whom
it was given. To this I reply, what is binding upon one, as a rule of faith,is binding upon another.
We will now review what we have above written. It would appear that the liar shall be cast out if he repents
not. And it is also very evident that a man, according to the word of the Lord, is bound to love his wife --
not wives -- with all his heart, and if he ever looked upon another woman to lust after her, shall deny the
faith, and shall not have the spirit. Here I anticipate an objection, which is this, the twelve at Nanvoo,
and their adherents do not look upon the marriage contract as being binding, except the ceremony is performed
by one posseesing the sealing power. To this objection I, answer -- Why then did God give the commandment so
far back as the year 1831, for the sealing power was not then given, and why did he say he that committeth
adultery the second time shall not be forgiven. And even him that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall
not have the spirit. Ah, say those men, with eyes full of adultery, it does not mean what it says, or, at any
rate, we are a royal priesthood -- a chosen generation; it is for us to offer up spiritual sacrifices; for
unto us pertaineth the blessings, and the promises, and beside all this is committed unto us the fullness of
that priesthood. So that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven. So that if R. should take a notion to
H.'s wife in his absence, all that is necessary to be done is to be sealed. No harm done, no adultery committed;
only taking a little the advantage of rights of priesthood. And after R. has gone the round of dissipation
with H's wife, she is afterwards turned over to S. and thus the poor silly woman becomes the actual dupe to
two designing men, under the sanctimonious garb of rights of the royal priesthood. H. by and by finds out
the trick which was played off upon him in his absence, by his two faithless friends. His dignity becomes
offended, (and well it might) refuses to live with his wife, but to be even with his companions in iniquity,
takes to, himself three more wives. Kind reader, be not startled at the above recital of facts, I received the
account from one who said he was acquainted with the facts. But to return to our subject, we quote again from
Doc. and Cov. page 174 -- And if he or she shall lie, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land.
And on page 334 -- Therefore I, the Lord, justifieth you and your brethren of my church, in befriending that
law, which is the constitutional law of the land. And as pertaining to laws of man, whatsoever is more or less
than these cometh of evil.
What is this the Lord has been saying? Answer, We are to befriend, or in other words to sustain the laws of
the land. Question. Am acting in accordance with the laws of the land, by committing adultery. Am I not
committing adultery if I have a wife, and have a carnal connection with another woman or women? And by so
doing am I not violating the laws of the land? The Lord makes use of still stronger language than the above,
and is more to the purpose. Doc. and Cov. page 194 -- For he that keepeth the laws of God has no need to
break the laws of the land. Wherefore be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns, whose right it is
to reign. I would now ask those pretended friends of the law of God, if they really believe the above
quotations to be the word of God? If you answer in the affirmative, I would further ask, by what authority
do you make the word of God of none effect, by practising polygamy, and that in its worst forms, and lying
by the wholesale to cover up your deeds of darkness?
In the Book ofMormon, page 133, the Lord speaking by Jacob saith, Wherefore I the Lord God will not suffer
that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren hear me, and hearken to the word of
the Lord, for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none;
for I the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me. Thus saith
the Lord of Hosts. And on the 132 page, in speaking of David and Solomon, makes the following declaration,
Behold, thus saith the Lord, this people begin to wax in iniquity: they understand not the scriptures, for
they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning
David and Solomon his son. Behold David and Solomon truly had any wives and concubines, which thing was
abominable before me, saith the Lord.
What is this he saith? Why, a man shall have but one wife, and concubines none, for this reason -- and
its one of the best of reasons -- he delighteth in the chastity of woman. What do we gather from this? Why,
we learn one important fact at least; if a man has ten wives, nine of the ten are unchaste women. Moreover,
if it was an abomination in the sight of the Lord for David and Solomon to have more than one wife, it was
and is an abomination in his sight for others to have more than one. Hold, not so fast, say our friends in
the west, do you not see that the Lord speaks this to the descendants of Joseph, upon this continent in that
age of the world? And not only so, if you will read a little further you will hear the Lord say, by the mouth
of his servant Jacob, "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my
people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things."
It is needless for me to say more, as it is a subject well understood by all those who are at all acquainted
with the contents of the Book of Mormon, that the system of having more wives or concubines than one, as
practised by the authorities standing at the head of the APOSTATE church at Nauvoo, is predicated upon the
word of the Lord to Jacob, as above quoted. And that there has been a revelation given to the church, or part
of said church, we readily admit. According to this revelation every high priest is entitle[d] to the modest
number of ten wives. Furthermore it is a principle of exaltation. Now, that the sealing power has
been committed to certain men in the church supposing we admit, yet in order to make that principle effectual
and valid to the sight of heaven, it must he done in accordance with the economy or laws, of God. For instance,
supposing that in the month of March, 1844, Joseph Smith, by virtue of the power vested in him, delegated the
sealing power to B. Young, H. C. Kimball, and others; on the 27th June following Joseph Smith is called upon
to yield up his spirit into the hands of him Who gave it. Now, as the church of Jesus Christ is organized
with prophets and apostles, for there must needs be a first presidency according to the order of the kingdom.
Sidney Rigdon, according th the Book of Covenants, being the legitimate (and the only one) spokesman before
the face of the Lord, to lead his people, but is not acknowledged in his place and standing by Young and
Kimball, they placing themselves at the head. Now, with these facts before us (for I believe them to be such)
I would ask, in the name of the Lord, what is their sealing power worth? As God lives! and as my soul lives,
under these circumstances, I would not give the balance of two blue beans for it, fur that very moment they,
by their folly and wickedness, rejected the Lord's prophet, that very moment God rejected them with all the
powers he had delegated unto them, "so mote it be."
We will now turn our attention to an investigation of the merits of the above revelation. It is a fact
undenied by the leaders of the above system, that that revelation was given for the ostensible purpose of
raisins up seed unto the Lord.
The writer of this article was a resident of the city of Nauvoo [one] year, and during that time I never heard
of more than three or four births having taken place there for which no fathers could be found. I then
believed, in the honesty of my heart, that these were similar cases to many others that take place in all
other cities. I think it very likely, however that a certain Mrs. T. living some forty miles from Nauvoo,
may be able to throw a little light upon the above subject, for it has been told me by those who say that
they had it from her own mouth, that she has had as many as sixteen girls at one time at her house, for the
purpose of procuring abortion. I ask, in the name of humanity, is this the way to raise up seed unto the
Lord? To say nothing about the number who are guilty before God of a certain sin, for which the Lord slew
a certain individual for, in a former age of the world, recorded in Gen. 38:8-10.
There is a certain feature embodied in that revelation, to which I invite the attention of every honest man
and woman. It is this: -- David did not sin in the case of Uriah, save in the death of Uriah. And Hyrum Smith
did say -- this I can prove from the beat testimony -- that Solomon did not sin in having many wives and
concubines, but that his sin consisted in worshipping their heathen Gods.
What does all this go to prove? In the first place it proves that God never gave that revelation, because it
carries a lie upon its face to begin with, or the words of Jacob, as contained in the Book of Mormon, page 133,
are not the words of God, because he has declared emphatically that God was displeased with David and Solomon,
and that these things were an abomination in his sight. Secondly, I contend that if the revelation was really
from God, and they believed it to have been given by him for the purpose of raising up seed, there would no
violent nor artificial means be made use of, for the purpose of thwarting nature in her course. If thesisters
of this church would read the Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants more than they do, and withal
be prayerful and humble before the Lord, they would find less time to listen to the teachings of these men,
who have beyond all manner of doubt, made a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.
John says, Hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments; and be that saith I know him, and
keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. In the New York Prophet, under date
Feb 22, there is an article over
the signature of P. P. Pratt, at which I wish to take a glance. Now, I would like to talk a little to brother
P. for be is my father in the gospel. Brother P. do be honest, and tell us candidly, are you wrongfully
accused of practising palygamy? Have, or hare I not written the truth, as set forth in this article, in the
presence of that God who will judge the world in righteousness? Do you not know that I have stated facts in
this letter to which you are knowing? Did you not teach the system of polygamy in Salem, Mass. and John E.
Page was called upon, to settle it, when there? to say nothing about how much the Sundial has taught and
practised it himself, according to his own confession? Keep mum, John, you are in the occupancy of a glass
house. And now, brother Parley, as to bogus making, I would ask you one or two questions. Can you tell me
what that powerful press, with a long lever, is intended for, or to what use it has been appropriated, in
the room in the N. W. corner of Theodore Turley's brewery and gun-smith shop, in Nauvoo? And what use that
crucible was put to, standing on a small furnace in one corner of said room? I once made free to ask Mr. T.
to what use that lever was put, and he said it was to "mash" fingers and toes under. But, to he candid, if
I did not know better, I should think it was to mash (make) heads under. And just now I would like to ask
brother Turley a question. Pray where did you get that five dollar counterfeit bill from which you passed
upon me about three days before I left Nauvoo? Can you answer that question, Brother Turley? Now, brother
Parley, I wish you would take little time, and answer some of my questions, but I pray do not all it all
foul and malicious falsehoods, for we that do know better will not believe you. There is one
declaration of brother P.'s worthy) of notice. He says those that publish and those that patronize the
Messenger and Advocate, their object is to procure the murder of all the men, women, and children of the
saints! Stop, not so fast, brother Parley, do you not know that I have three daughters in that devoted city,
Nauvoo, so that I am satisfied in my own mind, that the above charge is as destitute of truth as it is void
of common sense. Not but that brother P. is a man possessed of good common sense, but he makes a wrong use
of it sometimes. For instance, you have essayed to take hold of the rudder of the ship, instead of being
employed in trimming her! Don't forget the rocking boat, brother Parley! And do you really aim at innocence,
virtue, and truth? if this be the truth, why then do you teach one set of principles in public and teach
different principles in private, and practice them too? You KNOW, as God lives, this is TRUTH!
You further say, if the Saints at Pittsburgh had any sense of law or justice left, to say nothing of mercy
or humanity, they would prove the saints guilty, and only destroy them according to law.
I would ask you another question, Did you know tha tbrother German, formerly of New York, has been driven to
insanity in consequence of his wife Susan having left him? Did you know that I saw said Susan leave Cincinnati,
on my way to this place in Nov. last, in company with G. J. Adams, for Nauvoo? Did you know that I occupied
said Adams' berth on board the steauler the two nights I remained in Cincinnati; but where he slept I did not
SEE? Question, Did or did not your quorum send a man out to preach after the high council at Nauvoo had cut
him off from the church, upon his own confession, and the testimony of a young woman from Jersey, formerly
from New York, she having the fruit of their illicit intercourse in her arms at the time? This man is now
considered to be in good standing among you, and is now, I believe, preaching in the east, and is since married
to another woman, but refused to marry the object of his deception. She said that he had promise to marry her.
This was Sparks! Does not the Book of Covenants expressly say, that all contracts of marriage shall be held
sacred and inviolate? Your own family told me of a young woman that was set completely beside herself in
consequence of a disappointment of the above nature; but out of respect to the young woman I do not give her
name. The man, who is a high priest, is still in good standing in the church! Such fellows should be treated
with contempt by every, honest man and woman.
In conclusion, I would say, that whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are honest, and whatsoever
things are in accordance with the pure principles of eternal truth, let all these be held up in broad relief,
for the examination of all mankind, for truth will bear its own weight. The principles of eternal truth
require not the covering of falsehood to sustain them. And that man who resorts to stratagem and falsehood
for the purpose of imposing his principles upon virtuous females, loading astray the honest and unsuspecting
into bye paths and forbidden paths, bringing ruin and disgrace upon whole families. These are they that are
sons of Belial. They may talk about their sealing power, and the fullness of the priesthood being committed
unto them, and their having women sealed up to them, (the apostles) for the purpose of exalting them to
kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
SISTERS! I tell you, as God lives, your sealings are calculated to bind the fetters of darkness upon you, and
to bring you down to the chambers of death! I call upon you therefore, in the name of the Lord, to break asunder
from the bands that bind you, to this system of things. Believe their teachings no longer, and frown such men
from your society. For those are they that cannot become saviours upon Mount Zion! These are they that cannot
be numbered with the one hundred and forty and fourr thousand, these are they that cannot stand to see the
Savior come, these are they that cannot of have part in the first resurrection, these are they that must suffer
the torments of hell. I therefore exhort every honest man, woman, and child to come out from among them. I,
also, in the name of the God of my fathers, call upon the husband of my daughter, Wm. Pitt, in the city of
Nauvoo, to come out of her, and bring with him his wife and my other two daughters, and God will bless you,
for the Lord, not me, has spoken this word, In a word I call upon all my eastern friends, living in and about
Nauvoo, to come out of her. Among those that stand foremost of my friends, are John Wollf and family, and
Albert Gregory and family, L. R. Foster, and Dr. John Bernhisel.
After the close of the conference in this city, I hope to visit my old friends in the city of New. York, if
advisable. And I pray my heavenly father to bless the saints, and preserve them from the power of those who
are seeking your eternal destruction.
I remain yours, &c.
J. GIBSON DIVINE.
Pittsburgh, March 24, 1845.