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Early LDS Newspapers
1834-1869 Articles
(Rigdon, Spalding, Hurlbut, &c.)





1833-1869   |   1870-1899   |   1900-1980



1834 (EMS): Apr  |   1835 (M&A): Apr  |   1835 (M&A): Dec  |   1836 (M&A): Jan
1836 (M&A): Apr  |   1836 (M&A): Jun  |   1837 (M&A): Jan  |   1838 (EJ): Aug
1840 (T&S): Jan  |   1844 (GL): Feb  |   1844 (PO): Jun  |   1844 (TP): Aug
1845 (T&S):  Aug 1  Aug 15  Nov 1
1849 (GH): Jan 4
1849 (FG): Nov 14
1850 (FG): Jan 23
1850 (MS):  Jul 15  Sep 1  Sep 15
1851 (FG): Feb 7  Mar 7
1853 (MS): Jan 8  Jan 15
1853 (DN): Jun 18
1854 (MSV): April
1857 (MS): Jan 24  Jun 13
1859 (MS): Aug 20
1860 (JD): (G.A. Smith '58)
1867 (JD): (G.A. Smith '64)
1868 (DN): Dec 23
1869 (DN): Oct 15



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(transcriber's comments)

 

==> Considerable excitement having prevailed among some of our citizens, of late, in this part of the country, respecting the case in law against Doctor. P. Hurlbut, for a breach of the peace, in threatening the life of brother JOSEPH SMITH JR. and a number of those who doubtless desired that Hurlbut might escape justice, (some whose oaths were sufficient evidence of the feelings of their hearts,) indulged themselves in conjectures, and rumors, raising and spreading them to their own shame, or at least, to the shame of every good citizen who has the smallest regard for truth and righteousness, or peace and harmony in society; and by these means, created considerable feelings on the subject, as far as their influence could extend; trying to excite unfavorable impressions against bro. S. by every foolish report that ignorance could believe, or malice could invent. However, their exertions were in vain; for with all the feelings that they could awaken, (and no exertion was wanting to gain a favorite object,) they could not screan Hurlbut from the punishment due his crime: the evidence was so positive, notwithstanding the great exertion to invalidate the testimony on the part of the State, that they failed in every attempt to save him from the force of the law; and the Court, after a patient hearing of all the witnesses, has holden Hurlbut to bail under bonds of two hundred dollars for his good behavior. This is as it should be -- all idlers who seek to obtain a support from the public, by threatening the lives, and assailing the characters of innocent men, aught to be brought to justice, or be exposed to the view of all, and this may be a proof to such as are disposed, unrighteously, to trample on the rights and privileges of others, that the law in Geauga County, has lost none of its nerves, neither have the Administrators of justice lost their virtue.

It has been really amusing to hear the (would be) ruling ones, spending their opinion on this case, between the time of examination before the Justice's court in Painsville, in January, last, and the trial at the county Court, to which Hurlbut was recognized to appear. One would have supposed, that all the abetters of this fellow were lawyers and judges -- they had the case tried and decided a multitude of times in the way they wished it to be. A very grave judge to the west of this, of the THEE, and THOU, Order, in the greatness of his wisdom and righteousness, embraced every favorable opportunity to impress the public mind, as we were informed as far as his influence would extend, that the Justice's court, held in Painsville, only bound Hurlbut over to the County Court, that the lawyers might have a fair opportunity of ridiculing, and scandalizing, Jo. Smith, as he was pleased to call him. This was doubtless the desire of his own heart, otherwise, he would not have charged the Justices in Painsville with disregarding their oaths so far, as to bind an innocent man over to the court of his country, for trial, for such base purposes. Such have been the moral feelings of some of the religious law characters in our country: persons who are so holy, that they would, (if it were in their power,) lock the kingdom of heaven from such as might, in the time of an invasion of their country, grasp their muskets in her defense, but for some religious principle, which might not agree with their creed, suffer their animosity to rise a degree sufficient to encourage night-mobs, and the threatening of lives. We have reason to hope, however, that their numbers are few in this region.

It is proper that the public should be informed, that this Doctor P. Hurlbut, who has gained so much celebrity of late through our country, (we mean at a distance,) in consequence of his engagements to expose the secrets of "mormonism," as some of our neighbors are pleased to style our faith, is not a physician, as some have supposed who are unacquainted with him; but, as he says, was called Doctor, by his parents, for the reason that he is a seventh son. We have been favored with notices from abroad, that "mormonism," was about to be exposed by this celebrated Doctor, who had learned that the book of mormon "was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman," in this state, "now deceased. It was designed to be published as a romance." This valuable information, it is said, has been obtained by this eminent (would be called) Doctor, from the widow of this celebrated clergyman. We think a preacher of the gospel must be highly "celebrated," to lay aside the calling of God to declare the gospel of salvation to men, to write "Tales." But this valuable information, it is said, was obtained by this celebrated (would be called) Doctor, from the widow of this celebrated clergyman. In another paper it is said to be a "rhapsody." What will it be next? We are of the opinion, that when this (would be) celebrated Doctor, obtains a few hundred dollars more from the citizens in our vicinity, and has been sent on another tour to the east in search of further information, by a (would be) celebrated committee, residing in our country, and has given a few more expositions, and changed the title of his discoveries a few times more, that our friends, at least, such as will see, will be as willing that this (would be) celebrated Doctor, should labor honestly with his own hands for his support, as to gull their hard-earned money from them to ride over our country in stages in the character of a celebrated Doctor, to threaten the lives of peaceable inhabitants, when he discovers that his purposes are sure to fail. We have not, till now, thought this man worthy a notice in our paper, neither would he at this time been noticed by us were it not to undeceive those at a distance who are unacquainted with him and may be deceived in consequence of the above mentioned title, of Doctor. It is but just, that we should say, with regard to those individuals whose names are going the rounds in the public prints, as a committee, who have employed this Hurlbut to expose, the "Origin of the book of mormon," that as citizens, and neighbors, they will be as forward to expose his character, and hold him up to the view of community, in the true light which his crimes merit, as they were first to employ him, and employ a more respectable agent, if they are calculating on success when they engage with the religion and characters of their neighbors. We care not what he, or they preach or publish: we are in no fear that he will overturn the truth: but let him conduct himself in a lawful manner, and hold in a proper estimation the lives, if not the characters of his fellow men, and he is welcome to all the success which his ignorance or wisdom can gain. --

{Editor of the Star.}
 


==> We were informed, just as our paper was going to press, that Mr. CAMPBELL, of the "Millennial Harbinger," had, contrary to the assertions, and assurances of the ruling ones among his followers in Mentor, condescended to notice as "little a thing" as the Star, or the principles it advocates. Whether the blaze of "Millenial" glory has completely put it out, (in his estimation,) we are not able to say, as he has not, in the abundance of his condescension, favored us with a number. Perhaps he has some "misgivings" relative to that part of the subject, but when he has properly adjusted the matter, he may favor us with one. We have, till our last, (which contained nothing on the Millenium,) sent regularly to the "Harbinger," for Exchange but have received none. If Mr. Campbell thinks it too heavy a draft on his purse, as his paper is $2 per ann. and ours one, if he will acquaint us of the fact, we will send him the difference. The Millenium being a subject in which we are so deeply interested, we cannot but have a desire to pay our respects to its "Harbinger" occasionally, and give it a passing notice while it is "going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it." We therefore invite it to pay us a visit, and we will reciprocate its kindness, since it has condescended to notice us!! and we are willing to pay it for its trouble.

If Mr. Campbell really desires, he is at perfect liberty to try any item of our faith which he may think himself competent to disprove, and we will meet him honorably; but let him do it manfully: until then, we shall notice him or not, as we may deem proper, not considering ourselves bound to answer any thing he may say, at least, till he acts the part of a gentleman enough to forward us his articles. In a former attack upon some of the members of the church of the latter day saints, Mr. Campbell acted so unworthy the character of a man, (not to say a servant of Christ, and a reformer,) as to render his effort entirely unworthy our notice, were it not to exhibit it a future day, to show the spirit of this (would be called) great reformer. We shall hold it in reserve, as Mr. Campbell's looking glass, to keep in remembrance the true spirit of his reformation; for to whom could the public look to ascertain this fact, better than to Mr. Campbell himself? surely to none.

When ever Mr. Campbell has a disposition to complain of the abuse of others, let him re-examine one of his Harbingers, Extra, and it will no doubt calm his feelings, and enable him to pursue his calling, thankful, that the worst of his enemies are no worse than himself. As he is the reformer of the last days, and the one who is to introduce the Millenium, if he will examine, he may easily discover, that the worst of his enemies are about as well reformed as himself, and of course, are as well prepared for the Millenium. He has only to get the opinions of the world a little altered, and his Millenium will be here -- so his work is nearly done, and he can soon go to rest. It is well know, that Mr. Campbell made an unwarrantable attack upon the characters of some of the members of this church in its infancy, when they had no source to refute the charges, only by oral investigation; but that day has gone by, and though we have had the misfortune to lose one printing establishment by the lawless acts of a mob, heated up to desperation by a set of professed religionists, we are yet, notwithstanding that, in the providence of God, prepared to mete to him such as he may be disposed to measure to us, asking no favors, under that consideration, other than he feels willing to bestow! -- {Editor of the Star.}

 


TO  THE  PUBLIC.

I feel myself called upon to notice the conduct of ADAMSON, BENTLY, a Campbellite reformer, as I have had to suffer as much from his hand as he could heap upon me, if the information which I have received be correct. He has exhausted nearly all his ingenuity, to do what little he could to injure me and my family, in both character and property. Not contenting himself with injuring my character, thinking, perhaps, that his influence was rather too small to gratify his malicious feelings, he has had recourse to other means; exercising his influence over the mind of an old superannuated man, near eighty years of age, whose mind was so bewildered, that frequently he did not know his own children whom he saw every day; and has actually succeeded in getting him to alter his will, so as to deprive my family of their just dues. This he told me himself!

Some time in the winter of 1832, I was in the township of Weathersfield, Trumbull Co. I was then informed by a number of people, that Mr. Bently had declared publicly, that I dare not meet him and investigate the subject of religion. At the time when I heard it; I disbelieved it; but seeing Mr. Bently some time afterwards, I interrogated him on the subject; he to my astonishment, confessed it was true! I asked him if I were to understand it as a challenge? He said, I had a right to understand it as such. I then informed him, that I held him bound by it. As a man of truth and veracity he had to acknowledge that he was bound to support it, and in case I called on him to support his boast as a challenge, he was bound to meet me. I told him, that I accepted it as a challenge, and I therefore required him to meet me. He agreed he would, and gave his word so to do before a number of persons whose testimonies can be had at any time; but said he could not for some weeks, as some engagements he had would hinder. I was going on a journey, and it was mutually agreed that the meeting should take place immediately after my return. Accordingly, as soon as I returned, I informed him by letter of my return, and that I was now ready to make the necessary arrangements for the proposed investigation; but to my astonishment he entirely declined, and utterly refused, though he had previously pledged his word that he would do it. So the matter stands up to this date. As I am occasionally hearing of his making many boasts what he can do, it is but justice to the public that they should be correctly informed on this matter. When this man is disposed to boast of what he can do, let the public know, that I am ready to meet him on his challenge at any time, and he can yet have an opportunity of displaying his wisdom and intelligence.
                                SIDNEY RIGDON.



 


D E A T H S.

Died in this place on the 4th of this month, NANCY, an infant child of brother PHINEAS H. and sister CLARISSA YOUNG, aged 10 months.

In Florence, on the 15th inst. sister HILAH, wife of brother GIDEON H. CARTER, aged 32 years. Sister CARTER has been declining in health for a length of time. She has been a professor several years, and was among the first who embraced the fulness of the gospel in these last days. Her friends and near relatives, though deeply sensible of her personal worth and virtues, are consoled with the assurance which she left of her acceptance with God; and though they cannot but drop a tear in consequence of their loss, yet they can, with propriety cherish the pleasing reflection, that they will soon meet her in the rest prepared for the saints.

In Warrenton, Virginia, on the 24th of February, last, Mr. OLMSTEAD G. JOHNSON, son of brother JOHN JOHNSON, of this place, aged 24 years.


Note: Olmstead G. Johnson was not a member of the Mormon Church -- which fact may help account for his abbreviated death notice. Had a more prominent member of John Johnson's family died at this time, a proper obituary would no doubt have been inserted into the columns of the Star. Olmstead (sometimes spelled "Olmsted" in Church publications) was born Oct. 20, 1809 in Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. He evidently never married. For what purpose Olmstead had traveled so far away from home, as to die in Fauquier Co., Virginia, is nowhere stated in Mormon historical sources. That place is not too far distant from Washington, D.C., so it is possible that Olmstead had some reason to travel to the nation's capital. This probability is strengthened by the fact that he had recently been out of the country, in Mexico (see Joseph Smith's brief mention of this in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons of Aug. 15, 1844). For speculation on Olmstead's possible ties to the "gentleman from Mexico" who visited his parents' farm in 1832, see note attached to page 115 of Richard S. Van Wagoner's 1994 Sidney Rigdon.


 



Vol. I. No. 7.]                     Kirtland,  Ohio, April, 1835.                  [Whole No. 7.


TROUBLE  IN  THE  WEST.

Our readers are aware, no doubt, that the Baptists, Presbyterians, and others, have been troubled for a long time, because "the Beast," as they are pleased to call the Catholic church, has so much power in the Valley of the Mississippi. We not unfrequently see lengthy letters, said to have been written by persons resident in, or travelling in the Valley. These letters always urge the great necessity of sending more Missionaries to convert the inhabitants of that country, to establish Sabbath schools, Tract societies, &c.

Since some few of the elders of the church of the saints have been laboring in Illinois, these very pious people, seem to be greatly alarmed again, or anew. "The Pioneer," a small semi monthly paper, devoted to the Baptist cause, and printed at "Rock Spring," contains an article, from which, and a few remarks from the Editor, we learn that the cause of truth and the dissemination of correct principles, causes a deep feeling of, not only religious animosity, but a disposition to tread in the foot steps of some others who have been forward in raising an alarm when ever the gospel was introduced in their vicinities.

It is said that the article was written "by a friend of truth," and we design occupying a few lines to show our friends the just claim the author has to this appellation.

He has, no doubt, made himself acquainted with Mr. Campbell's pamphlet of 1831, as his arguments are the same, in general, or similar; with a little addition in some respects.

The writer says: "The probability is that Smith, who had been a book peddler, and was frequently about printing establishments, had procured some old copper plates for engravings, which he showed for golden plates."

This is a new one. We have heard our worthy brother Joseph Smith jr. called almost every thing but a book-peddler. Now, as it is, we can prove, by those who have been personally acquainted with brother Smith from his infancy that this is an absolute falsehood! Will the Editor of the Pioneer inform his "friend of truth" of the fact.

The Pioneer's "friend of truth" has certainly got ahead of Mr. Campbell: He says that the "true origin" of the writing composing the book of Mormon, is from the pen of an eccentric Spaulding, who carried the same to Pittsburgh, but died soon, and that since they have been altered a little, and now appear as the book of Mormon. Mr. Campbell says, that "Smith is its real author, and as ignorant and impudent a knave as ever wrote a book." Will these two gentlemen settle this dispute; for it truly looks pitiful to see this wide disagreement, since they both express so much anxiety.

This "friend of truth" says: "The book states that Christ was born in Jerusalem (p. 240), whereas every child that has read the testament, knows that Christ was born in Bethlehem."

Since this writer has been so kind as to note the page we will look at it: it says, "For behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. -- And behold, he shall be born of Mary AT JERUSALEM, which is the land of our forefathers."

So much for this "friend of truth" on this subject: instead of its saying in Jerusalem, as this man would be glad to make his readers believe, it says "AT JERUSALEM, the LAND of their forefathers." And any man of common sense, cannot but see that this writer had a perfect understanding of the matter, for he says the land of, &c. which is sufficient to show that he meant to be understood, as he said, "at" or in the region of Jerusalem. -- This is enough, however, to show the design of this "friend of truth."

Again, this writer says: "The name of Jesus Christ, was declared to Nephi, 545 years before it was announced to Mary, and she, in true Roman phraseology, is called 'the mother of God.'

Two Items suggest themselves upon the face of this last quotation. The writer makes a great blow that the name of Jesus Christ should be known before the days of the virgin Mary. -- We only ask a few questions on this, and pass on. Was Abel's sacrifice accepted? was life and immortality brought to light through the gospel? -- see 2 Tim. 1:10. Were Enoch and Elijah wafted to the regions of everlasting life and glory, without tasting death? and as life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel, was it by the power, or knowledge of the gospel through which they obtained power over the grave? and if so, could they have understood the gospel and not know in what name it was preached? Did Abraham see the day of Christ, and if so, did he know his name? And finally, were not all the ancients, who were saved, saved through faith on the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world? and is not the Lamb Jesus Christ? But to the other item.

This "friend of truth" says that Mary was "called the mother of God." -- The reader will please turn to the 25th page of the book of Mormon, and read: "And he {the angel} said unto me, behold, the virgin which thou seest is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh."

Now, every man knows, who has read the New Testament, that Mary was called the Lord's mother; and beside we remember to have read a word or two of Paul's writings, where he says: "But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now, the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not." -- See Gal. 1. Here we have it -- the Lord Jesus was born of a woman, had a brother, and yet had no mother according to the flesh!!

Will our readers suffer us to make another quotation from this "friend of truth?

"Christ is represented as having descended and spent some time on the western continent, after having ascended to heaven from Mount Olivet in Judea! This fabulous Mormon story, to say nothing of its impious character is in opposition to the declarations of God, in the New Testament, and places Mormonism in direct hostility with the word of God. See the following scriptures. -- Mark, 16:19 -- John chapter 14: verses 2, 3, 19; -- chapter 16: verses 7,10,17,28: -- chapter 17: verses 4, 11, and 24, Acts 3:20,21. -- (This passage alone overthrows the whole Mormon scheme.) See also Heb. 1:3, 5, chapter 4:14, 6:20 also chapter 9:27 and 28. In this last passage it is affirmed that Christ will come at the day of Judgment, "the SECOND time;" whereas Mormonism affirms that he appeared the second time on the continent of America, and that he will soon come the third time to the Mormons."

For the benefit of our readers we will give the foregoing quotations, entire, as the writer attempts to overthrow the book of Mormon, because it is said that the Savior descended upon this continent, after his crucifixion. -- The first is Mark 16:19. "So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." This does not say that he should not come again, neither does the book of Mormon say that he did not ascend up on high, but that he did.

The next is John 14:2,3,19. "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also."

What, in all this? the reader will be ready to ask. The Pioneer's "friend of truth" must explain it; for we confess we find nothing to disprove the fact that Christ did not show himself to the people upon this continent: beside, there is a promise contained in the above, that if he (Christ) did go and prepare a place for his apostles, he would come again, and received them unto himself.!! To be sure, it says that the world should see him no more, but his apostles should? And what does that prove? It does not prove that others should not also see. And we remember to have read in the 14th chap. of this same book: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." If those who believed on Christ through the apostles, were to be one with them, and the apostles were to see him-that he was to come to them again, of course, they had the same claim, and the same right to claim a view of him.

The next is John 16:7, 10, 17, 28. "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Of righteousness; because I go to my Father and ye see me no more." concerning this last we merely say that we see nothing but what is easy of explanation, when we notice the fact that he did show himself to his apostles after his resurrection, "and was seen of them forty days." But to go on. -- "Then said some of his disciples among themselves, what is this that he saith unto us, a little while, and ye shall not see me: and becouse [because] I go to the Father." This makes it plain that he would be seen again. "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." Nothing objectionable in this.

But not to occupy to much space, we will give the remainder, and make but one comment upon the whole.

John 17:4,11,24. "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. -- And now I am no more in the world, but, Father, keep, through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Father, I will that those also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." Acts 3:20,21. "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Heb. 1:3,5. Also, 4:14.-6:20.-9:27,28.

"Who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son! Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.-Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation."

The times of restitution, spoken of in Acts, the reader will notice is to be applied to the very persons to whom it was spoken, for at the time their sins were to be blotted out. On the remainder we merely say. Christ was seen 40 days after his resurrection. -- See Acts 1:3. 10, 40, 41. Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us who did eat and drink with him, after he rose from the dead. -- The query is, did the apostles see him, or does the historian tell an untruth? 1 Cor. 15: commence with the 3rd and end with the 8th -- we only quote the 6th here. "After that (his resurrection) he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once!" Paul was personally knowing to this fact.

This "friend of truth" would have us believe that Messiah is not to come till the final judgment -- this is a subject so plainly written in the bible that we deem it unnecessary to add any thing on it.

The foregoing remarks are not made because we possess a spirit of hatred against the Pioneer, or his friend of truth -- we only regret that they are unwilling to embrace the truth. We do not admire the spirit by which our opponents' article is written, neither do we deem it to be necessary to expose his simple arguments -- we merely say, that all he has said, and all he can say, against the truth of the book of Mormon, or the gospel preached by the elders of the church of the Latter Day Saints, will be as perfectly unavailing against its progress, as that of the Jews formerly.


Note: The Pioneer's text for the article referred to by Cowdery appeared in about March 1835. Its contents have been reconstructed from a reprint in the Christian Journal of May 28, 1835.


 



Vol. II. No. 3.]                      Kirtland, Ohio, Dec., 1835.                   [Whole No. 15.


{CONTINUED  FROM  PAGE 212.}

To the Elders of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

I have shown unto you, in my last, that there are two Jerusalems spoken of in holy writ, in a manner I think satisfactorily to your minds. At any rate I have given my views upon the subject. I shall now proceed to make some remarks from the sayings of the Savior, recorded in the 13th chapter of his gospel according to St. Matthew, which in my mind affords us as clear an understanding, upon the important subject of the gathering, as any thing recorded in the bible. At the time the Savior spoke these beautiful sayings and parables, contained in the chapter above quoted, we find him seated in a ship, on the account of the multitude that pressed upon him to hear his words, and he commenced teaching them by saying: "Behold a sower went forth to sow, and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprang up because they had no deepness of earth, and when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not root they withered away; and some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choked them; but other, fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold: who hath ears to hear let him hear. And the disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables, (I would remark here, that the "them," made use of, in this interrogation, is a personal pronoun and refers to the multitude,) he answered and said unto them, (that is the disciples,) it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them (that is unbelievers) it is not given, for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, shall be taken away, even that he hath."

We understand from this saying, that those who had previously been looking for a Messiah to come, according to the testimony of the Prophets, and were then, at that time, looking for a Messiah, but had not sufficient light on the account of their unbelief, to discern him to be their Savior; and he being the true Messiah, consequently they must be disappointed and lose even all the knowledge, or have taken away from them, all the light, understanding and faith, which they had upon this subject; therefore he that will not receive the greater light, must have taken away from him, all the light which he hath. And if the light which is in you, become darkness, behold how great is that darkness? Therefore says the Savior, speak I unto them in parables, because they, seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand: and in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esias, which saith: by hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. Now we discover, that the very reasons assigned by this prophet, why they would not receive the Messiah, was, because they did or would not understand; and seeing they did not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross; their ears are dull of hearing; their eyes they have closed, lest at any time, they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted and I should heal them.

But what saith he to his disciples: Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say nnto [unto] you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. We again make a remark here, for we find that the very principles upon which the disciples were accounted blessed, was because they were permitted to see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and the condemnation which rested upon the multitude, which received not his saying, was because they were not willing to see with their eyes and hear with their ears; not because they could not and were not privileged to see, and hear, but because their hearts were full of iniquity and abomination: as your fathers did so do ye. The prophet foreseeing that they would thus harden their hearts plainly declared it; and herein is the condemnation of the world, that light hath come into the world, and men choose darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil: This is so plainly taught by the Savior, that a wayfaring man need not mistake it.

And again hear ye the parable of the sower: Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited by the servants of God, of saying, all is mystery, they are spoken in parables, and, therefore, are not to be understood, it is true they have eyes to see, and see not; but none are so blind as those who will not see: And although the Savior spoke this parable to such characters, yet unto his disciples he expounded it plainly; and we have reason to be truly humble before the God of our fathers, that he hath left these things on record for us, so plain, that, notwithstanding the exertions and combined influence of the priests of Baal, they have not power to blind our eyes and darken our understanding, if we will but open our eyes and read with candor, for a moment. But listen to the explanation of the parable: when any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. Now mark the expression; that which was before sown in his heart; this is he which received seed by the way side; men who have no principle of righteousness in themselves, and whose hearts are full of iniquity, and who have no desire for the principles of truth, do not understand the word of truth, when they hear it. -- The devil taketh away the word of truth out of their hearts, because there is no desire for righteousness in them. But he that received the seed into stony places the same is he that heareth the word and, anon, with joy receiveth it, yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that receiveth the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful: but he that received seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the word and understandeth it which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty. Thus the Savior himself explains unto his disciples the parable, which he put forth and left no mystery or darkness upon the minds of those who firmly believe on his words.

We draw the conclusion then, that the very reason why the multitude, or the world, as they were designated by the Savior, did not receive an explanation upon his parables, was, because of unbelief. To you, he says, (speaking to his disciples) it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: and why? because of the faith and confidence which they had in him. This parable was spoken to demonstrate the effects that are produced by the preaching of the word; and we believe that it has an allusion directly, to the commencement, or the setting up of the kingdom in that age: therefore, we shall continue to trace his sayings concerning this kingdom from that time forth, even unto the end of the world.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, (which parable has an allusion to the setting up of the kingdom, in that age of the world also) the kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept an enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way; but when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also; so the servants of the householder came and said unto him, sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him wilt thou then that we go and gather them up; but he said nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. -- Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles, to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.

  Now we learn by this parable, not only the setting up of the kingdom in the days of the Savior, which is represented by the good seed, which produced fruit, but also the corruptions of the church, which is represented by the tares, which were sown by the enemy, which his disciples would fain have plucked up, or cleansed the church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior; but he, knowing all things, says not so; as much as to say, your views are not correct, the church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat or the church with the tares: therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked; which is not yet fulfilled; as we shall show hereafter, in the Savior's explanation of the parable, which is so plain, that there is no room left for dubiety upon the mind, notwithstanding the cry of the priests, parables, parables! figures, figures! mystery, mystery! all is mystery! but we find no room for doubt here, as the parables were all plainly elucidated.

And again, another parable put he forth unto them, having an allusion to the kingdom which should be set up, just previous or at the time of harvest, which reads as follows: -- The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Now we can discover plainly, that this figure is given to represent the church as it shall come forth in the last days. Behold the kingdom of heaven is likened unto it. Now what is like unto it?

Let us take the book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field; securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time: let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth; yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God-like majesty, until it becomes the greatest of all herbs: and it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth; and righteousness begins to look down from heaven; and God is sending down his powers gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a mustard seed. Behold, then, is not this the kingdom of heaven that is raising its head in the last days, in the majesty of its God; even the church of the Latter day saints, -- like an impenetrable, immovable rock in the midst of the mighty deep, exposed storms and tempests of satan, but has, thus far, remained steadfast and is still braving the mountain waves of opposition, which are driven by the tempestuous winds of sinking crafts, have and are still dashing with tremendous foam, across its triumphing brow, urged onward with redoubled fury by the enemy of righteousness, with his pitchfork of lies, as you will see fairly represented in a cut, contained in Mr. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled?"

And we hope that this adversary of truth will continue to stir up the sink of iniquity, that people may the more readily discern between the righteous and wicked. We also would notice one of the modern sons of Seeva, who would fain have made people believe that he could cast out devils by a certain pamphlet (viz. the "Millennial Harbinger,") that went the rounds through our country, who felt so fully authorized to brand Jo Smith, with the appellation of Elymus the sorcerer, and to say with Paul, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord! We would reply to this gentleman -- Paul we know, and Christ we know, but who are ye? And with the best of feelings, we would say to him, in the language of Paul to those who said they were John's disciples, but had not so much as heard there was a Holy Ghost, to repent and be baptised for the remission of sins by those who have legal authority, and under their hands you shall receive the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures.

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.-Acts ch. 8 v. 17.

And, when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. -- Acts ch. 19 v. 6.

Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. -- Heb. ch, 6 v. 2. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed; and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! -- Rom. ch. 10, v. 14-15.

  But if this man will not take our admonition, but will persist in his wicked course, we hope that he will continue trying to cast out devils, that we may have the clearer proof that the kingdom of satan is divided against itself, and consequently cannot stand: for a kingdom divided against itself, speedily hath an end. If we were disposed to take this gentleman upon his own ground and justly heap upon him that which he so readily and unjustly heaps upon others, we might go farther; we might say that he has wickedly and maliciously lied about, vilified and traduced the characters of innocent men. We might invite the gentleman to a public investigation of these matters; yea, and we do challenge him to an investigation upon any or all principles wherein he feels opposed to us, in public or in private.

We might farther say that, we could introduce him to "Mormonism Unveiled." Also to the right honorable Doct. P. Hurlburt, who is the legitimate author of the same, who is not so much a doctor of physic, as of falsehood, or by name. We could also give him an introduction to the reverend Mr. Howe, the illegitimate author of "Mormonism Unveiled," in order to give currency to the publication, as Mr. Hurlburt, about this time, was bound over to court, for threatening life. He is also an associate of the celebrated Mr. Clapp, who has of late immortalized his name by swearing that he would not believe a Mormon under oath; and by his polite introduction to said Hurlburt's wife, which cost him (as we have been informed) a round sum. Also his son Mathew testified that, the book of Mormon had been proved false an hundred times, by How's book: and also, that he would not believe a Mormon under oath. And also we could mention the reverend Mr. Bentley, who, we believe, has been actively engaged in injuring the character of his brother in-law, viz: Elder S. Rigdon.

Now, the above statements are according to our best information: and we believe them to be true; and this is as fair a sample of the doctrine of Campbellism, as we ask, taking the statements of these gentlemen, and judging them by their fruits. And we might add many more to the black catalogue; even the ringleaders, not of the Nazarenes, for how can any good thing come out of Nazareth, but of the far-famed Mentor mob: all sons and legitimate heirs of the same spirit of Alexander Campbell, and "Mormonism Unveiled," according to the representation in the cut spoken of above.

The above cloud of darkness has long been beating with mountain waves upon the immovable rock of the church of the Latter Day Saints, and notwithstanding all this, the mustard seed is still towering its lofty branches, higher and higher, and extending itself wider and wider, and the chariot wheels of the kingdom are still rolling on, impelled by the mighty arm of Jehovah; and in spite of all opposition will still roll on until his words are all fulfilled.

Our readers will excuse us for deviating from the subject, when they take into consideration the abuses, that have been heaped upon us heretofore, which we have tamely submitted to, until forbearance is no longer required at our hands, having frequently turned both the right and left cheek, we believe it our duty now to stand up in our own defence. With these remarks we shall proceed with the subject of the gathering.

And another parable spake he unto them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. It may be understood that the church of the Latter Day Saints, has taken its rise from a little leaven that was put into three witnesses. Behold, how much this is like the parable: it is fast leavening the lump, and will soon leaven the whole. But let us pass on.

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitudes, in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world: Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house, and his disciples came unto him, saying, declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed is the son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one. Now let our readers mark the expression, the field is the world; the tares are the children of the wicked one: the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world. Let them carefully mark this   expression also, the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. Now men cannot have any possible grounds to say that this is figurative, or that it does not mean what it says; for he is now explaining what he had previously spoken in parables; and according to this language, the end of the world is the destruction of the wicked; the harvest and the end of the world have an allusion directly to the human family in the last days, instead of the earth, as many have imagined, and that which shall precede the coming of the Son of man, and the restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began; and the angels are to have something to do in this great work, for they are the reapers: as therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world; that is, as the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of the truth, these first being delivered over unto the buffetings of satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, as it was with the Jews, they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning: thus being bound up by their creeds and their bands made strong by their priests, are prepared for the fulfilment of the saying of the Savior: The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We understand, that the work of the gathering together of the wheat into barns, or garners, is to take place while the tares are being bound over, and preparing for the day of burning: that after the day of burnings, the righteous shall shine forth like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father: who hath ears to hear let him hear. But to illustrate more clearly upon this gathering, we have another parable. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth and for joy thereof, goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field: for the work after this pattern, see the church of the Latter Day Saints, selling all that they have and gathering themselves together unto a place that they may purchase for an inheritance, that they may be together and bear each other's affliction in the day of calamity.

Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. For the work of this example, see men travelling to find places for Zion, and her stakes or remnants, who when they find the place for Zion, or the pearl of great prices; straightway sell all that they have and buy it.

Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which when it was full they drew to shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, and cast the bad away.-For the work of this pattern, behold the seed of Joseph, spreading forth the gospel net, upon the face of the earth, gathering of every kind, that the good may be saved in vessels prepared for that purpose, and the angels will take care of the bad: so shall it be at the end of the world, the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus saith unto them, have you understood all these things? they say unto him yea Lord: and we say yea Lord, and well might they say yea Lord, for these things are so plain and so glorious, that every Saint in the last days must respond with a hearty amen to them.

Then said he unto them, therefore every scribe which is instructed into the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an house holder; which bringeth forth out of his treasure things that are new and old. For the work of this example, see the book of Mormon, coming forth out of the treasure of the heart; also the covenants given to the Latter Day Saints: also the translation of the bible: thus bringing forth out of the heart, things new and old: thus answering to three measures of meal, undergoing the purifying touch by a revelation of Jesus Christ, and the ministering of angels, who have already commenced this work in the last days, which will answer to the leaven which leavened the whole lump. Amen.

So I close but shall continue the subject in another number.   In the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.   Joseph Smith, jr.


Notes: (forthcoming)

 



Vol. II. No. 4.]                      Kirtland, Ohio, Jan., 1836.                   [Whole No. 16.


For the Messenger and Advocate.

BROTHER WHITMER: --

          A short time since I got the 12th No. of the 4th volume of the Evangelist (as the editor calls its) my attention was particularly arrested with some quotations taken from some paper which by the by is not mentioned; but appears from the editor's remarks on them, that they were written by somebody whom the editor calls "our respected brother Stone;" and he is spoken of as holding a very grave rank among the brethren of that faith. How the brethren of that faith are divided into ranks I am not able to say, but it appears that there is one rank which they call the grave rank, whether it ascends from this into graver gravest, or whether it descends into less grave least grave or some other way, is not for me to say, neither is it a matter of any consequence.

It would seem however that Mr. Scott thinks he [Mr. Stone] has acted injudiciously in publishing his sentiments to the world in the manner in which he did, as it has given great occasion to the Mormons whom Mr. Scott represents as making a great ado about it. How true or false this is, I do not know; -- for my own part, all the ado I have heard about it, is in the Evangelist, and from the pen of the grave Mr. Scott its editor; for of course I conclude that he belongs to the grave rank of that brotherhood as well as Mr. Stone; for from his writings I conclude he thinks himself graver than Mr. Stone; indeed Mr. Scott seems to be too grave to either utter the sentiments of the bible, or to believe them when they are uttered by others. It is the very perfection of a false religion, to make its subjects so grave that they dare not utter the sentiments of the bible nor at all believe them, at least their gravity should be greatly disturbed.

While reading the remarks of Mr. Scott on Mr. Stone's piece, I was led to ask myself, What is the difficulty with Mr. Scott? What has Mr. Stone said which is calculated to so much disturb his feelings as to call forth his public disapprobation? I cannot see that Mr. Stone has done any thing more or less, than to profess belief in the things which are written in the New Testament. Now if he had quoted from the book of Mormon, it would certainly have been but right to give Mr. Scott the privilege of objecting, though it should be the very words which are written in the old and new testament; for transcribing them into the book of Mormon would surely make them untrue; but the words quoted by Mr. Stone are found in the new testament, yes, the new testament, the very book about which Mr. Scott has said so much and written so much and professed to believe with all his heart, and called upon others to believe also.

Mr. Stone has asked, "can we in these last days claim the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit? and answers unhesitatingly yes," and quotes the second chapter of the acts of the apostles as proof. Now that Mr. Scott should take exceptions at this is marvelous, marvelous we say, because who in all the world has said so much about the gospel as preached by Peter on the day of pentecost as Mr. Scott? not one man in this generation: the second chapter of the acts of the apostles has been his theme, and the pentecostean gospel the topic of his conversation, and the substance of his public ministry; and Mr. Stone has done no more, and said no more, than to profess his belief most unhesitatingly in it.

That Mr. Scott should take exceptions at this is marvelous, that he should have the afrontery to assert, that he did not believe the ancient gospel, is placing himself in the most awkward attitude in which any human being can be placed; after preaching it with the most untiring perseverance, and indefatigable exertion, and now after all his toil, and labor, openly declare he does not believe it. Mr. Scott has filled the country with his proclaiming to the people and his great zeal to get them baptized for the remission of their sins, assuring them, if they did so, they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, as set forth by the apostle Peter on the day of pentecost; but no sooner does Mr. Stone declare his firm belief   that those who are baptized for the remission of sins have a right to claim the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that because the apostle said so on the day of pentecost, then Mr. Scott demurrs, and declares his unbelief and undertakes to prove, or rather says that Mr. Stone's opinion is founded on mistake. And who does not know that if Mr. Stone's opinion is founded on mistake, he is in good company, for the apostle Peter's was so before; for Mr. Stone founds his belief on the apostle's declaration and that on the notable day of pentecost, that the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, on condition of repentance and baptism for remission of sins, was to them, and their children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

That Mr. Scott should feel disposed to charge Mr. Stone with a want of gravity, because he has thus freely expressed the honest convictions of his mind is rather surprising, more particularly, as he has been such a champion for free investigation, and open and frank declaration. Mr. Scott never found fault with a baptist preacher, or a methodist preacher, for expressing his feelings in the most public manner, particularly, when he was about to leave his former connection and join the one with which he is associated; but change the scale, and it is soon found that Mr. Scott is as unfriendly to free investigation as any other. It is a fact that "as face answereth to face in water so does the heart of man to man." Mr. Scott could cry free investigation; free expression of sentiment; but as soon as he got a few flatterers around himself, he begins to plead their grave station, and manifests grief at such freedom in writing; thus shewing that he is of the same spirit as those whom he condemns.

The conduct of Mr. Scott in this instance reminds of Mr. Campbell, one of the same brotherhood in relation to Mr. Bosworth, also a preacher of the same order. Mr. Bosworth like Mr. Stone was led to inquire, seriously whether or no, we were authorized to claim the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised by Peter on the day of pentecost. At the time his mind was called up to investigate this subject, Mr. Campbell had one of his big meetings in the town of Wadsworth Medina county Ohio, -- as Mr. Bosworth resided in an adjoining town, he concluded that he had a fair opportunity of getting his mind satisfied on the subject, and not being willing to take a hasty step, he goes to the meeting and calls on Mr. Campbell, telling him in a frank manner the honest feelings of his heart, and the difficulties which existed on his mind in relation to the gift of the Holy Spirit; but what was his astonishment, instead of receiving from Mr. Campbell that kind reception which honesty and candor demands, he was told (whether gravely or not gravely I am at present not able to say,) that he ought not to have condescended for one minute to have investigated the subject, and that it was not surprising at all that the brethren should feel hurt at him for attempting to investigate it. So much for the honesty of these gentlemen when they call upon others to investigate the subject of religion.

Investigation is very commendable when it tends to advance their cause, but when it does not, silence is much better. The weakness of their cause is beginning to be discovered, and they soon raise the cry do not investigate, you hold too grave a rank among the brethren, you ought not to do it. And in order to avoid investigation, this brotherhood will condescend to mean low subterfuges, to which a noble minded man would never condescend; no, he would suffer martyrdom first. Witness Mr. Campbell's recommendation of Howe's book, while he knows, as well as every person who reads it, that it is a batch of falsehoods. Mr. Booth the author of a series of letters (which have found their way into that book and forms a principle part of it,) has long since proven to the world that his letters were a bundle of falsehoods; for though he declared that he was willing to appear before any tribunal either human or divine in vindication of the truth of them, yet when called upon to do so, he dare not appear in their defence because he knew his letters were false, and would not bear the test of investigation any more than the religion of the Campbellites, which has to be hid under a refuge of misrepresentation to conceal it from the shafts of truth.

Mr. Bentley's bombast in Wethersfield in Trumbull county in this State, will not be soon forgotten, where he cursed the author of this piece, as the   Indian did the king on the other side of the hill, and declared that he dare not meet him [Mr. Bentley] and investigate the subject of religion; but when he was called upon to support his challenge, and show as much boldness in my presence as he had done when he was fifty miles off, dare not venture, and to hide his shame, indulged himself in slandering my character, because he dare not expose his religion to investigation.

Let me here mention Simonds Rider as another instance of the same kind, he could blow like a porpoise when there was no person to oppose him; -- but when called upon to be as bold in the presence of those whom he envied, as in their absence, he had recourse to the same means of slander and abuse: but to the credit of Simonds, we will say that since that time he has been silent on the subject, in this he has displayed more honesty than some others of his brethren.

No society has been more clearly laid before the public within a short time than the Campbellites, and they have proven themselves to be destitute of candor and honest in their pretentions, they will cry to other sects investigate, it is through investigation that truth is brought to light say they, and then in the most bold manner declare we are ready to receive truth as soon as we can discover it, yet, in the face of all these pretentions, when they are called upon to investigate an item of the religion of the new testament, which they never had reached, that instant they have recourse to all kinds of stratagem to avoid it, and for no other reason, than they are sensible that their system will not bear close examination, and there is no way to keep it in existence, but hide it under the falsehood.

We venture to make the following declaration without fear, and that is, there is not a Campbellite preacher possessing the common intelligence which belongs to men, who dare hazard an investigation before the public, on the subject of the Holy Spirit as set forth in the new testament, and all the way they have to keep their followers, is to hush it into silence. But to return to Mr. Scott and Mr. Stone.

Mr. Scott's pretentions to belief in the ancient gospel is fairly put to the test, he is weighed in the balances and found wanting; Mr. Scott has come out and fairly denied the gift of the Holy Spirit as proclaimed on the day of pentecost, evidently proving that after all his pretentions he is an unbeliever in the ancient gospel; for it is in vain for him to hide himself under the vain subterfuge of modifying the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit into something different from what the apostle did on the day of pentecost, the promise that was made by Peter was one which consisted in prophesying, seeing visions, dreaming dreams &c. and he who does not believe in this promise, is an unbeliever in the ancient gospel, he might as well say that men were not to be baptized until they had received the remission of their sins, and then say that was what was published on the day of pentecost, as to say that the gift of the Spirit did not consist in the power of prophesying, seeing visions, and dreaming dreams, and then say that was what Peter proclaimed on the day of pentecost.

Mr. Scott's observations on Mr. Stone's piece, are too pitiful to come from a man of understanding, and if Mr. Scott were not such, he might be excusable; but being the man he is, he has no cloak for his sin.

He thus replies to Mr. Stone's queries. "The answers to the above extract (referring to the questions he had quoted from Mr. Stone's piece) are all founded upon misapprehension that every one who receives the Holy Spirit must needs be able to work miracles." Why should Mr. Scott have recourse to this vain subterfuge to escape from believing the bible? Is it not plain to the least discerning, that if all did not work miracles who received the Holy Spirit, that some did, and that the Spirit was so distributed in the body, that all the gifts were in it, some had one and some another, no man ever pretended that all must work miracles, or that all did work miracles, and there is nothing said in the quotations which he has made from Mr. Stone's piece, which involves such a conclusion, this attempt of Mr. Scott is a mere stratagem to keep his followers asleep.

To prove that all the saints who received the Holy Spirit did not work miracles, he brings up the case of John the Baptist, a very unhappy case for him; for in shunning Silly he is wrecked on Charybdes.

  What a hue and try, himself, Mr. Campbell, and others, have made about false prophets, and all this, because say they, "God never sent a messenger into the world but he enabled him to prove his mission to be divine by miracles;" but now the case is changed, it answers the purpose of Mr. Scott better to deny this; for if he confesses it, then indeed, his brother Stone involves him in a difficulty out of which he cannot extricate himself, therefore, he is ready to assert or deny, as the case may require, and yet he is an honest man, seeking after truth. Who can believe it?

One would think that from this time forth, Messrs. Campbell, Scott, and company, would be in silence, as they have been driven to the necessity of confessing that he, of whom it was said there was no greater born of a woman, never worked a miracle to prove his mission to be divine.

Mr. Scott could not have found a case in all the books, which more effectually silences him on the subject of the messengers of the Most High proving their mission by miracles, and I hope for time to come, he will act accordingly. No man ever had a more important mission than John the Baptist: it was he who put a period to the Jewish polity: it was he who changed the services of the priesthood from sacrificing to baptizing: he was Messiah's harbinger to announce his advent, on which depended the fate of the Jewish nation, and yet, notwithstanding the vast importance of his mission; for so important was it, that those who rejected his baptism rejected the council of God against themselves, still not one miracles was wrought to prove him to be a messenger of the Most High.

Why then have these men said so much about all the messengers sent of God having proved themselves such by working miracles, when they knew all the time it was not the fact, and at last their brother Stone has compelled them to acknowledge it, and that to their shame too.

Mr. Scott asks again: "Do all christians work miracles? they do not, what is the reason? The writer of the extract who is our beloved brother Stone, is inclined to suspect their faith. But rather than suspect the faith of all the saints who have lived since the days of miracles, and all who now live and especially his own faith, I would much prefer suspecting his reasoning, yet, I do not suspect his faith but his reasonings."

Now, never did any sayings come from any person with a worse grace than these from the pen of Mr. Scott. This is the man who laid the platform of his preaching on the broad heresy of the world, read his proclamation to the people of New Lisbon in 1827 -- but now he has discovered that all is well now he has discovered that all is well in Zion; it is offering indignity to the grave rank of the Campbellites to suspect the faith of all christians since the days of miracles; but is this worse than to do what he has done? he has denounced them all as heretics, and yet now he says he should not call in question the faith of those whom he has called heretics, and called on them to repent. Why should Mr. Scott call on them to repent if their faith is not to be suspected? surely he cannot make them any safer than they are; for all things are possible to them who have faith was one of the Savior's maxims, and who will say it is not a true one, and if true, Mr. Scott may leave them where they are, for he can never place them in a better situation, for he cannot do more than make all things possible to them, and that is the case with them now if their faith is not to be suspected. So strangely inconsistent does a false religion make even men of sense.

Supposing Mr. Scott should prove that there were thousands of saints who never worked miracles. Would this prove that the apostle Peter did not tell the truth on the day of pentecost, when he promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. Did he mean to deceive, as Mr. Scott is inclined to do?

Mr. Stone, if I understand him, is not asking how many or how few worked miracles; but are we authorized in these last days to claim the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised in connection with the gospel, or rather as a part of the gospel published on the day of pentecost, or are we not, he thinks we are, Mr. Scott thinks not.

  Mr. Scott seems willing to believe the ancient gospel, providing he can have the liberty of leaving out what he pleases and explaining the rest to suit himself: as to baptizing for the remission of sins, he has no doubt about that; but then the gift of the Holy Spirit, that must be modified, and explained. Why must that be done? because if he lets it stand, as the apostle proclaimed it, down goes his religion, and all his pretended reformation with it, therefore, it must be explained, not for the truth's sake, but to save his religion from ruin, and his pretended authority to administer in the name of the Lord Jesus from contempt; for let him admit the fact, that the gift of the Holy Spirit is our right as much to day as it ever was, and it will try every man's authority whether it is of God or not; for that gift was never enjoyed, only as it was administered by those who had authority to do so by direct communication from God and by his calling to themselves.

Let Mr. Scott or Mr. Stone either of them believe as firmly as they believe any other item of their religion, that it is our privilege in these last days to have the gift of the Holy Spirit as in days of old, but they will never see it enjoyed until it is administered by the laying on of the hands of those whom God has caused to be ordained unto this power, and let them once try to administer this unto them whom they baptize, and they will find that their ministry is vain; It is indeed administering this gift to the children of men, which puts to the proof who has a right to preach and who has not; but keep this gift out of view, and make it any thing and every thing but what it is, and nothing, and the world is all alike, one man has as much authority as another, and the disciples of one man, are as good as the disciples of another, and one religion as good as another.

The disciples of Ann Lee, Joanah Southcoat, the French Prophets, Jemimah Willkeson, Hull Barton, Matthias, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, or Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian or any other, are all alike, as far as their salvation is concerned one is just as near eternal life as the other. It is the gift of the Holy Ghost as administered by the apostles, by the laying on of hands, which makes the difference, and it is this alone, and the society which has this power are the people of God and those who have not are not.

Sidney Rigdon.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. II. No. 7.]                     Kirtland, Ohio, April, 1836.                  [Whole No. 19.


To the Editor of the Messenger and Advocate.

        DEAR BROTHER: -- Having just returned from a short mission, say about three weeks, in the county of Portage Ohio, I feel disposed to drop you a few lines that you may know something how the cause of truth has prospered in my hands during this short period.

I commenced preaching in the township of Hiram, the place where our beloved brethren, Joseph Smith jr. and Sidney Rigdon were most shamefully beaten, tarred and feathered some three or four years since by the inhabitants of that place and vicinity. Let it here be noted that Hiram stands first on the list of heroes who have waged war against the servants of God with the honorable weapons of clubs, tar and feathers, and you may well suppose that characters thus depraved were not very willing to embrace the truth-yet there are some precious souls in Hiram who have and will own the Savior before men.

After baptizing one in the above place, I went into Mantua and Shalersville where I baptized seven more, also attended meeting in Middlebury, and two more came forward for baptism which was administered by Elder Boosinger.

There is an opportunity of doing much good in those regions, if some faithful laborer would go into that part of the vineyard.

I expect to leave town to-morrow for the purpose of sounding the ram's horn again around Jericho, that her walls may be broken down, but may God bless and spare those who entertain the spies, (or the servants of the Most High.)

The cause of God will roll on in the face of an opposing world, and I cannot but make the expression of the Prophet, saying, "no weapon formed against thee shall prosper." The first weapon raised against the spread of truth, of any consideration in this country, was the wicked and scurrilous pamphlet published by A. Campbell. Next, perhaps, were the letters of E. Booth, and thirdly, Mormonism unveiled written by Mr. E. D Howe, alias. Doct. P. Hulbert.

These were designed severally in their turn for the exposure and overthrow of "Mormonism" as they termed it; but it appears that heaven has not blessed the means which they employed to effect their object, "No weapon raised against it shall prosper."

The writings of the above named persons, I find have no influence in the world at all; for they are not even quoted by opposers, and I believe for no other reason than -- that they are ashamed of them.

The servants of God are declaring boldly the counsel of the Most High, as contained in the book of Mormon, the Scriptures and the book of Covenants -- Many are repenting and coming to baptism that they may obtain the remission of their sins through faith in the name of Christ.

May the Lord pour out his Spirit upon the Elders abroad, and may the angel of thy presence go before them, -- may they be endowed with wisdom and power from on high, to stop the mouths of gainsayers, and to heal the sick, and cast out devils in the name of the Lord.

                I am, Sir, Yours
                    in the Bonds of
                              the new Covenant,
                                                ORSON HYDE
Kirtland, May 4, 1836.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. II. No. 9.]                     Kirtland, Ohio, June, 1836.                  [Whole No. 21.


                Kirtland, June, 1836.

Mr. O. BARR:

Sir -- I have received your last, and I think that it will not be strange to you, that I should be surprized at receiving such a production from your pen.

When a gentleman, gratuitously, gives a challenge to a whole society, and any one of them sees proper to accept it, and replies to him in a respectful manner, it will surely be expected that he will be treated with common courtesy. This, sir, was my expectation; but you must know if it were, that in reading your letter I must have been greatly disappointed; for surely you know, that so far from its being respectful, it is scurrilous. Your plow and drag story, savors of any thing but christian propriety and decorum; but perhaps you designed it to be as the shade in the picture, to make the other parts of your letter appear more brilliant. If this were the case, I think you acted wisely; for it would certainly require the very dregs of vulgarity to have that effect upon your letter.

You, sir, have certainly forgotten that you had written a letter, previously, or if you had not forgotten it, you neglected to read it before you wrote your last; otherwise you never would have written as you have; for you seem to have written about almost every thing, but the subject which you introduced in your first letter, and to which I replied.

Let me invite you to go back and look a little at your first letter. In the second paragraph I read as follows: "How can we know that their communication is a revelation from God? Will their bare assertion satisfy us that God speaks by them? I say no. We must have evidence or we cannot believe. But what evidence will satisfy? Nothing short of a miracle -- (mark this last sentence particularly) -- If a person should say that he had a communication from God, and then to convince us that God did speak by him-should say to a dead man arise-and he should rise up. Or he should command the elements, and they should obey him-the winds should cease to blow, and the waters to flow; these miracles done, would be sufficient evidence that God spoke by him. But these miracles would need to be done publicly, in the presence of friends and foes, that there might be no ground for cavil. And these miracles would need to be continued until the revelation was completed, and no longer."-This is sufficiently plain to show that you make the entire design of miracles to be for the purpose of establishing revelations.

But if there is need of any more proof as to the light in which your first letter presents the subject of miracles, it is found in the following expression. "And if no new revelation is to be made, why should miracles be continued?"

The foregoing leaves the subject without doubt, and it amounts to this: That nothing is to be received as a revelation but what is confirmed by miracles; and those miracles must continue all the time the revelation is giving; and that the design of miracles was to establish revelations and nothing else; for when you say "And if no new revelation is to be given, why should miracles be continued?" You virtually say, that miracles had this alone for its object. To this then in our letter to you, we objected, and said "that a greater mistake could not exist in the mind of man." We say so still; and if we needed any thing to convince us of it, your last letter is sufficient to do it, most effectually.

These assertions of yours we met with fair argument and scripture facts, and we conclude from your last letter that our arguments were unanswerable; seeing you have not been able to touch them.

The first argument was, that God sent messengers into the world who gave revelations to mankind, and by whom God spake, that never confirmed their mission, nor their revelations by miracles. And the second was, that persons wrought miracles who never gave revelations to the world. These facts being established, your whole theory vanishes; for if there were revelations given, and the persons who gave them never established their revelations, nor yet their own mission by miracles, the question is forever settled, that your theory is false. And if there are persons mentioned in the scriptures, who wrought miracles that never gave revelations to the world; then it is a question never to be controverted by honest men, that miracles had some other object besides establishing   revelations; even if it could be proved, that in some instances they were wrought expressly for the purpose of establishing revelations. This is all we ever tried to prove or wanted to prove; for this done, it was enough for our purpose; for it left your theory forever worse than a bubble; either the result of the most consummate ignorance, or foulest corruption.

Now, Sir, you may labor and labor, again and again; you may bring up all the persons mentioned in the bible from Genesis to Revelations, who wrought miracles; and though you should prove that a hundred, or a thousand of them wrought miracles to prove that they were messengers sent of God, and that the revelations which they gave were from God, and when you have done, your theory at last, is as false as satan; and that for the best of all reasons, because there were other messengers sent of God who gave revelations to men, and through whom God spake to the world, who never wrought miracles for any purpose of which we have any account; and a theory which requires us to believe that they did, when we have no such account, is founded upon false principles, and is without foundation in truth.

This, sir, you seemed to be apprized of, and thought to obviate the difficulty by drawing an inference that they all did so. This you did in defiance of the bible, and with an afrontery surely peculiar to yourself; because it is positively said of John the Baptist that he wrought no miracle; see John's gospel, chap. 10, ver. 41; and yet he was a prophet, yea, more than a prophet, and God spake through him, and he was the messenger of the Most High, and yet he wrought no miracle to prove that he was a messenger of God, and that God spake through him; and yet, sir, in the face of this positive declaration you have had the afrontery to say in your letter (drawing your conclusion from premises which you had laid down) that all the messengers of God did work miracles to prove their mission; and their revelations to be of God. And why, I ask, was this foul inference drawn? Because, sir, you saw that unless you could establish it to be so, your whole theory fell to the ground; and rather sir, than renounce a false system after all your pretentions to honesty, you would endeavor in a sly and shameful manner to establish it by drawing an inference in open defiance of the plainest declarations of the bible.

But, sir, this is not all the foul attempt made in your last letter; there is another of equally as bad, if not worse character. I allude to the attempt to make it appear, that the Savior when he said to his apostles, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned: and these signs shall follow them that believe." That the them in that instance, alluded to the apostles themselves. In this attempt, you have put at defiance all grammatical rules, and surely made common sense ashamed. The schoolboy of ten years old can detect you in this senseless attempt. And yet you are an honest man willing to learn the truth!!! O tempora! O mores!! Here we need battalions of exclamation points and interjections without number.

Did you think, sir, that any gentleman who regarded the laws of righteousness and the rules of propriety, would ever condescend to investigate any subject with a man who could descend to such shameful means to support any cause. If you did, sir, you have as little acquaintance with human nature, as you have with the rules of propriety.

Once more upon this subject. You speak of my being elated with my imaginary triumph. This is as foolish and as wicked as some other attempts in your letter. Was there any such appearance in my letter as my being elated with anything? I say there is not the appearance of such a thing; it is an attempt on your part to misrepresent as shamefully as you have done in other cases; no sir, so far from this, you confess in your second letter that mine to you was written in a kind spirit. Who of common sense does not know that there is a great difference between writing in a kind spirit and being elated with an imaginary triumph. But now to the case of Isaiah, about which you made the above false assertion.

You knew most assuredly, if you read my letter with any degree of attention, that I had before me when I wrote, your theory, which required that revelations had to be established by miracles which were wrought in the presence of both friends and foes, and that these miracles must continue until the revelation was closed.

  Now, sir, I say hold -- not quite so fast, sir. How is your theory established by the case of Isaiah? Isaiah commenced prophesying in the reign of Uzziah, and terminated in the reign of Hezekiah-a space occupying a little over an hundred years.

You have shown that in the days of Hezekiah, the sun went back on his dial fifteen degrees; but, sir, where is your theory in all this, that the miracles must needs continue all the time the revelation is given. Was this the case with Isaiah, judge ye? And here let me remark, that it is you, sir, who have been elated with an imaginary triumph; and imaginary one, sure enough.

As I said in my first to you, so say I again: Where is it written that the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, Malachi, and others, were confirmed, as you say I say, sir, there is no such thing written; and if you believed your own theory, you would deny that those writings were revelations from God. But, sir, your conduct manifests clearly that you do not believe your own theory.

Now, sir, all that you have said and quoted, or can say and quote, about the messengers of God working miracles to prove their mission, or revelations, or both to be of God, leaves your theory to be one of the most senseless things that was ever put on paper by a rational being.

As I have had a peep into your grammar, I will look a little into your logic. I find the following sayings in your letter.

Again: "You seem to admire consistency, come then and look at your own. You say "it is impossible for one man to be dependent on another for his knowledge of the way of salvation," and yet you make us dependent on the tradition of men for the idea or knowledge of God." Now sir, this is about on a par with the rest of your letter. I am now looking on the first paper, where I ever saw it written by the pen of a man who pretended to be a man of letters, that our first idea, and our knowledge of a thing was the same thing.

Did I make any person dependent on tradition for his knowledge of God? Most assuredly, sir, I did not. I said we were dependent on man for the first idea we had of the way of salvation and of the existence of a God; but our knowledge was a very different thing, and I must confess that I am no little surprised at you. Is it possible, sir, that you came forward with such great boldness to challenge a whole society to an investigation of the subject of religion, and yet you do not know the difference between a man's first ideas and his actual knowledge of a thing? How do you think, sir, a man is to reason with such a being?

Your ideas of God as a moral governor are about on a par with the rest of your letter, the direct opposite of the bible. What does a man pray for but to obtain the will of God. "Seek and you shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth liberally to all men, and upbraideth not." -- What! a moral governor thus requiring his subjects to seek after his will, and more particularly, when he wants them to serve and obey him; how strange this is! Why not have told them without asking, and have commanded them to obey? Strange or not strange, however, God is just such a moral governor, it matters not how much any person may differ from it.

Once more and I am done -- you take quite exceptions at the apostles definition of the gospel: that it is the power of God unto salvation; but I am not to be accountable for this; for after all you have said it still stands written that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to all them that believe. -- The apostle did not say that it was the power of God to them who did not believe; and this is the reason why it is not the power of God unto your salvation; you do not believe, and the fate of the unbeliever is plainly told by the sacred writers, your works are sufficient evidence that you do not believe. Those who believed what the apostles taught, received the power of God unto salvation. Those who did not believe did not receive that power, and was of course damned.

And seeing you have declared that you are among the number of unbelievers. I warn you in the name of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood conferred on me by the revelation of Jesus Christ, to repent of your sins, and be baptized for the   remission of them, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by laying on of the hands of those who are ordained in these last days unto that power, or you shall be damned; for your great ignorance of the things of God, clearly manifests that you are in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity, and an entire stranger of the gospel of Christ: having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof, from such my master commands me to turn away, as I do from you; believing that if I were to indulge you in writing any more to be published in the papers in this place, I should offend the readers thereof. Seeing that the least discerning cannot help but see, that you are capable of any violation of the rules of investigation and of the most unwarrantable afrontery; and that the fear of God is not before your eyes, for if it were, you would not put at defiance all scripture, all reason, all language, all common sense; for surely your letter is shocking to all.

Before you ever present yourself again as a braggadocio challenging with a high hand, people to investigate with you the subject of religion, I would seriously recommend to you to get some Yankee school master to give you some lessons on english grammar, that you may know that them apostles is not quite according to the rules of grammar, and also get some country girl to give you a few lessons on logic, so that you may be enabled to tell the difference between a man's first ideas and his knowledge.

By way of conclusion I say sir that I feel myself insulted by being brought into contact with such a man and the correspondence between you and I closes. Farewell

SIDNEY RIGDON.        





  Br. O. Cowdery:

Sir -- I have just received the desperate information, that Simons Rider, in consequence of the notice which I have taken of him, is going to prosecute me; and I greatly desire, through the medium of your paper, to plead with him for quarters. For O! I do not want to be sued for the terrible crime of telling the truth about a man.

I know that the truth is a tight fit upon Simons, and I think it is likely that it hurts him some too; as no chastisement for the present is joyous but [grievous], nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who are exercised therewith. And could Simons avoid sueing me, for a little season, perhaps it might have that effect upon him. O Simons! do not sue me if you can any way avoid it!

But if Simons cannot in his patience possess his soul, I think I can put him on a better scheme to ally his feelings, and I think gratify them perhaps more.

  I have an old uncle in the state of Maryland, that was never married, and he possesses a large property. I would say to him, get his brother Adamson Bentley (for he is an animal of his own kidney) and go there; he is now about eighty years of age, & of course it is will-making time, and about the right age for Bentley to prevail on him to make a will that will disinherit a monstrous heretic. I think it is probable there will be no difficulty in engaging Bentley in his service; seeing he has been so successful in his former attempt with old Mr. Brooks, my wife's father, and got his own wife so-well fattened on other people's property. -- He can, no doubt, be engaged again for the same service. Be sure my uncle is not a Campbellite in religion, but a regular Baptist; but that will not make any difference; for Bentley can become all things to all men, that he may gain some.

This course I think may satisfy Simons until his chastisement works out the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and I will escape being sued; and if my family should lose a few thousand dollars, if Bentley's wife only gets it, it is as well; it is all in the family.

Simons would do well also to say to his brother Darwin Atwater, as he has a great deal of labor to carry about and read Howe's book, that he can be favored with the history of old Clapp, his wife's father, to carry with him; so that he can shew the people Campbellism unveiled also.

Yours in great haste, and you may well think, not without some anxiety too.

SIDNEY RIGDON.      


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. III. No. 4.]                      Kirtland, Ohio, Jan., 1837.                   [Whole No. 28.


PERSECUTION.

The spirit of persecution has prevailed in every age of the world, to the great disgrace of the human race, and if there is justice in heaven, to the condemnation of millions; for if the great God proves at last to be the being the Bible represents him to be, millions and tens of millions of the human race will make their bed in hell for persecuting and reviling men on account of their religion. It will be said to them, who required at your hand to judge another man's servant; to his own master he stands or falls.

God has made it the prerogative of every individual under heaven, to have, to believe, and to practice any religion which may seem good unto himself, and to stand not accountable to man, but to God, when such religion does not infringe upon the rights of others. Or, it is his privilege to have no religion at all; and it is not the prerogative of man to call him to an account therefor, nor yet to slander and persecute him for it. If he worship fifty gods, or if he worship none, what is that to his neighbor, so long as he grants to him the privilege of worshiping according to the dictates of his own conscience, or of not worshiping at all, if he choses.

But notwithstanding this just and unalienable right, which the Creator has granted, in common, to all his intelligent creatures, there has not as yet been found a nation, or a people, in any generation which would grant this right to the saints of God, of worshiping as the great God required. Let the nation boast as she might, of her liberties, the excellencies of her institutions, and the perfection of her constitution: the very instant that God began to reveal himself to any portion of the people, that very instant persecution would begin to rage, and those who made the greatest boast of their liberties, would use all their exertions to take away the just rights of others.

All the means that could be resorted to, would be used to prevent men from worshiping according to the dictates of their own conscience, and from serving God according to his law, and his requirements, and yet would boast of their liberties and of their freedom, and how blessed were their privileges. Letting all the world see that if men had privileges, they were not obtained thro' their means.

There is no country, perhaps, in the world, which boasts more of its liberties, than our own; and no people who extol the excellencies of their institutions, as we do. We tell it to the ends of the earth, we proclaim it on the house tops, and we reveal it in the secret places, and send it to the nations afar off, and bid them to come and taste of our liberties; and yet, wonderful to tell, after all our pretensions, a man is not at liberty to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.

This, the saints of the last days have been made to know, in all places where they have made their appearance. It is demonstrated to a certainty, that there is not a State in this UNION, where a man is at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience; neither is there a society in this nation, that will suffer the saints of God to enjoy their rights undisturbed, not even to escape violence and death, after all our boast of liberty and freedom, and the rights of conscience, which, instead of being protected, are infringed. Governors and rulers will refuse to discharge the duties of their offices, notwithstanding they are bound by the solemnities of an oath to do so; but oaths nor anything else can bind men to do their duty, when the rights of the saints are concerned.

In our own vicinity we have a most striking proof of the spirit of persecution in a religious society which made as great a boast of liberty and the blessings of freedom, as any other. I mean the Campbellites. But the very instant the truth made its appearance, they soon let the world see the extent of their liberal feelings, and have left an everlasting testimony, that however they may claim the right of thinking and acting for themselves, they are as unwilling as Catholics, or any others, to grant to others the rights which they claim to themselves.

The shameful and disgraceful house kept by old Clapp, of Mentor, where all men and women were at liberty to come and slander the saints, not even prostitutes excepted, as late revelations have shown: Let it be remembered, that this said old Clapp is a Campbellite deacon, whose house was devoted to defamation, slander, and to crown the whole, ADULTERY! How far the   priests, who frequented his house, have criminated themselves in this last act of impropriety, remains yet to be disclosed; but people have a just right to draw their own conclusion, respecting the character of the priests, from the company they keep, and the character of the house they frequent.

Adamson Bentley, of will-making memory, was one of the loungers about the pious old deacon's house. Now had he have gone there to have reproved his wickedness, and to have purged his house of harlots, then, indeed, his visits might have done him honor; but when it was to be a partner in his slanders, he is entitled to a full share of the disgrace of his house. Indeed, Mary, the wife of Adamson, has been trying to palliate the old man's crimes, by telling how he was tempted, and that the temptation was too strong for him to bear. O Mary!! You had better found some better excuse for your good old deacon, at whose house you have had the blessed privilege of slandering the saints so shamefully, than this; for it does not tell very well, for a pious, good old soul to have, and to keep, females about his house, whose characters are so loose. This is that Mary who has been so well dealt by in old Mr. Brooks' will, as to get a double portion of the estate: one portion left directly to herself, and another to come to her through her mother, Mrs. Holmes, now of Indiana; while the old man's children are left, some of them, without; and others, a small portion, to be given them when there companions die: in the mean time, the executors, with Bentley at their head, to have the use of the property until then.

One of the executors is also, like old Clapp, a Campbellite deacon. I mean Richard Brooks, who, with his wife Rachel, united with the before mentioned kidney in slandering and vilifying the saints of the last days, and kept a house devoted to slander, for years; notwithstanding the very persons whom they were slandering, were at that very time, and at this, hiding the shame of their family, which if exposed, must bring them to open disgrace.

One of the great cries of this horde of iniquity against the saints, was, that they were trying to get people's property into their hands, and to cheat them out of their just rights. Now, for the sincerity of this plea, as made by this band of persecutors, it is only necessary to let the public know, that this Adamson Bentley used his priestly influence, to help old Mr. Brooks make his will, by which the old man's children were cheated out of their just rights, and his wife (who is an illegitimate child in the family, and of course her very existence a disgrace to them) either directly, or indirectly, got as much of the estate as two of them, yea, a great deal more.

This shews how much this man Bentley cared about other people's rights. If there were any difficulty, it was because he could not have the fingering of the property himself. -- Another proof of his high regard for justice is, that he has, by a piece of legerdemain, kept his property out of his creditors' hands, by getting it put into the hands of his son, thereby depriving his creditors of their just dues.

Of course, then, gentle reader, after this man Bentley has given such high proof of his deep anxiety for the rights of others, he would, certainly, use his greatest influence to guard the world against being cheated by the saints.

It will be hard to persuade us, or any other persons who are acquainted with the circumstances, that nine-tenths of all the lies put in circulation against the saints, did not originate with the before mentioned gang.

That the public may have some faint idea of what the saints have had to bear from them, it will only be necessary to tell them that when this brood could do nothing else to injure the saints, they actually sent their children, from thirteen years old and upwards, to their houses, to sauce and scandalize them. I speak this from experience: never was my house so abused and scandalized, by any human beings, since I kept a house, as it was by a gang of these creatures' children, sent from Richard Brooks', in Warren, and Adamson Bentley's. I am now convinced, and always shall be, that there are no children on earth who would act as basely as they did, unless they were put up to it, and encouraged in it, by their parents. And then to finish the matter, after they went away, they hatched up and told some of the basest lies, that could be invented by human beings;   and when I complained to Adamson Bently of their conduct, he tantalized me, and justified the children in what they did; though he knew that they had told base lies. And what adds to this whole matter is, that these children were members in the Campbellite church; Adamson Bentley was their preacher, and Richard Brooks deacon: truly as priest, so people. Not only this once, but at different times, I have been insulted, and so has my house, by children from these hordes of impudence and ill breeding, and dens of slander.

Had this band of persecuting Campbellites, came out like men, and attacked the religion of the saints, and conducted themselves with common decency, then there would have been no reason to say why do you so? nor would any have found fault: but instead of this, to think to put down the truth by shamefully slandering, villifying and abusing the saints of the Most High, is so great an outrage upon all common decency, as to subject them to the scorn of every well wisher to society; more particularly, since they have fallen in the pit which they had dug for others.

It is a fact, kind reader, whether you can believe it or not, that the said old Clapp, with his two pious sons, one of them a Campbellite priest, the other the most pious man of the whole kidney, did actually go and swear, before a justice of the peace, that they would not believe any of the saints under oath; when there was not one out of fifty of them, whose names they had ever heard, nor of whom they had the most distant knowledge; and knew nothing about them, still they were ready to swear, without the most distant knowledge of them, that they would not believe them under oath. If this does not amount to false swearing, in the sight of the great Jehovah, I must confess I do not know what does.

There is perhaps no people now living, who have said more about the rights of conscience, than this brood of persecuting Campbellites: it has formed a part of all their public performances; they have called upon people every where, to think and act for themselves, as their just right, to call no man master on earth, nor any father; but take the bible and think and act for themselves. But, gentle reader, pause, and marvel!!! It is one thing for a people to pretend to liberality, and it is quite a different thing for them to be so in feelings. Have we not all the evidence that can be given, that these pretensions are the basest hypocrisy? What have the saints done to enrage the malice, and excite the wrath of this gang of persecuting Campbellites? O! they have taken the liberty of thinking and acting for themselves, they have chosen to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences.

This is their great crime, this is what has set the bristles of Campbellism all on end; this indeed, YES, THIS, has armed their piety with vengeance, and their tongues with lies: INDEED, gentle reader, it is this and nothing else but this, that has made Campbellism shew its teeth. This is the great crime of which the saints have been guilty, and for which Campbellism has poured out its acrimony.

One thing has been done by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; it has puked the Campbellites effectually, no emetic could do half so well. -- Lobelia is not a circumstance to it -- it has searched for the nethermost corner of their stomachs, and found it, and exposed the secret feelings of their heart. Never more, then, let Campbellism boast of liberty of conscience, no more let it boast of freedom of thought, or of human rights.

Let the advocates of that faith, from henceforth tell the truth. Let them declare to the world, that they can have full liberty to think and act for themselves, providing they do not think and act in opposition to Campbellism; for if they do, they will destroy them if they can, and then they will tell the truth.

The Book of Mormon, then, has revealed the secrets of Campbellism, and unfolded the end of the system. Every eye may see, and every heart understand; for the public may depend upon it, that the vomit which it has received, is too severe for it; it has spewed itself to death, and in a very short time it will have fled the Lake shore, to appear no more forever.

While we thus ponder upon the passing events, we are forcibly reminded of what the historian Luke tells us, in the Acts of the Apostles, about Herod; he says, "God smote him, the worms eat him; but the word of God grew and multiplied." So say we of Campbellism:  

God has smitten it, lying and harlots have wasted it; but the word of God grows and multiplies.

We are well aware that we have written in great plainness; but we are also satisfied that we were called upon to do so, it is a duty we owe to ourselves and family, as well as to the saints in general, and also to the public, to let them know the source from whence such infernal lies as have been put in circulation, have emanated and also what kind of characters were employed in putting them in circulation.

We have hinted at some things which are brutal in the extreme, and found no where but among the most beastly of the human race; yet it is a fact, that they are found among the Clapp Campbellites, (for such we will call them, to distinguish them from others of the same society, who are not identified with their iniquities.) And we know that the most distant allusion to them, is calculated to offend the delicate ear; notwithstanding this, we feel ourselves bound to bring them to view, as we want other generations to read the history of our persecutions, and our children, and our children's children to know of our persecutions and of the characters by whom their fathers were persecuted.

And as our periodical is intended for a book, to be bound, and handed down from generation to generation, among our children, it is the proper place to publish such things.

Having said so much, we take our leave for the present.

SIDNEY RIGDON.           


Note 1: The "Mary" that Sidney Rigdon speaks of is his sister-in-law, Mary Brooks Bentley (1785-aft.1837) the sister of Phoebe Brooks Rigdon (1800-1886). They were the daughters of Jeremiah Brooks (1754-1834) and Dorcas Smith (1759-1838). One Ohio source (A. G. Kent in an 1878 letter to James T. Cobb) implies that Phoebe was an adopted or foster child in the Brooks family. It is possible that she was actually a niece of Dorcas, rather than her daughter.

Note 2: According to Richard S. Van Waggoner's Adamson Bentley "had convinced his wealthy father-in-law, Jeremiah Brooks, to disinherit Phebe Rigdon because of her conversion to Mormonism." Sidney Rigdon,(Salt Lake City: Signature, 1994) p. 164. Brooks' will, however, merely stipulates that Phoebe's share of the inheritance would be set aside until after the death of her husband, Sidney Rigdon, whom Brooks rightly distrusted to manage the money properly. Sidney made it his hobby to complain about Bentley's role in the changing of the Brooks will -- see the April 1834 Evening & Morning Star and the June 1836 Messenger & Advocate.

Note 3: Rigdon speaks of the Brooks clan "hiding the shame of their family, which if exposed, must bring them to open disgrace." This "shame" is obviously not the alleged illegitimate birth of Dorcas Smith Brooks, since Rigdon admits that openly, as though it were not much of a secret. More likely the "shame" spoken of here is the story behind the birth of Rigdon's own wife, Phoebe.


 
see also: 1838 Parley P. Pratt pamphlet




Vol I. No. 4.]                           Far West, Mo., Aug., 1838.                         [Whole No. 4.


"Argument to argument where I find it;
Ridicule to ridicule; and scorn to scorn."

We are not in the habit of noticing the many libellous publications which are abroad in the world, designed to injure our character. We generally let the authors and publishers of lies, take their own course, relying at all times on the righteousness of our cause and the integrity of our course in the sight of God, our heavenly father, and feel disposed at the present time to pursue this as our general course. Indeed we have felt to pity the poor priests and their satellites, seeing they had no better weapons to work with than lies, a great majority of which they made themselves, but some were catered for them by men of like passions with themselves.

We have always been assured of this, that if they had any better weapons to have used against us, they would have used them, but as they have not, it would surely be wrong to deprive them of the best resort they have. And we feel the more willing to do this, inasmuch as we have no fear of their efforts doing any injury. They have been employed at it, for eight years, making and publishing all kinds of lies, till one would be ready to think, that the very prince of devils himself, had by this time got wearied, and would certainly be ready, to sneak back to his smutty kennel, and there seek repose. But instead of this, at the appearance of every new liar, not only the prince himself, but all the flunkies that fly at his knell, whether in the flesh or out of the flesh, take new courage, and put forth new efforts; and it would seem that they really believe, that by the assistance of a few more liars, they will be able to dethrone Jehovah, and upset his kingdom; and with Satan at their head, establish an empire that shall forever defy the Son of God, and so completely destroy the Zion of the last days, that he never will come down and reign, in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously.

Poor simpletons! They do not know that he who sits in the heavens is laughing at them, that he has them in derision, and that after he has let them foam out their own shame, and completely work out their own damnation, that he will speak to them in his wrath and vex them in his displeasure; and that when his wrath is but a little kindled, they will perish!

If we did not know, that the people of this generation love lies more than the truth, or at least a great many of them, it would be a matter of some astonishment to us to see with what eagerness, they give audience to every hypocrite and iniquitous wretch, we detect in his wickedness, and bring to an account. It matters not how scandalous is his conduct, the priests and all their coadjutors rally around them, the very instant they are excluded from the church and listen with most intense interest to their lies; and soon, the papers are filled with their lies and abomination. But such is the piteous situation of the priests of all denominations, for there are no exceptions to be made; for to say the best of them, they have pleasure in lies, but in the truth they have no pleasure, neither have they any part.

Within the last six months, they have been making one of their greatest efforts. The church in accordance with her laws, excluded from her fellowship a set of creatures whose behavior would have disgraced a heathen temple, and as might have been expected, they had recourse to the foulest lying and basest slander, in order to hide their iniquity. This served as a favorable opportunity, to the persecuting priests and their adherents. They gathered round them in swarms, like the flies round Esop's fox, and opened both their eyes and ears, to enjoy a good feast of lies, which pleased them more abundantly than any other sound could, except the voice of Beelzebub the prince of the whole brood; his voice would doubtless have been more delightful to them than an angel of light, to the ear of a prophet of the living God.

All these pious soul's papers were put into requisition, and this gang of liars, thieves, and drunkards were called upon immediately to write their lies on paper, and let them print them; so that all the world might have as great a feast of lies, as they had. -- Accordingly to work they all went with one accord. And after this mighty mountain of bustle and human folly had filled its full time of gestation. -- Behold! and lo! it brought forth a mouse!! From the bowels of Mr. Warren Parrish; and the priest's papers have flown abroad to tell the world of it.

No animal we presume has been produced in the last century, which caused more agony, pain, and groaning than this wonder of modern times; for during the time of gestation, and a long time before the birth thereof, he kept up such an unusual groaning and grunting, that all the devils whelps in Geauga and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio, were running together to hear what was about to come forth from the womb of Granny Parrish. He had made such an awful fuss about what was conceived in him, that night after night and day after day, he poured out his agony before all living, as they saw proper to assemble. For a rational being to have looked at him, and heard him groan and grunt and see him sweat and struggle, would have supposed that his womb was as much swollen, as was Rebecca's when the angel told her, that there were two nations there.

In all this grunting business, he was aided by Leonard Rich who, however, was generally so drunk, that he had to support himself by something to keep him from falling down; but then it was all for conscience sake. Also a pair of young blacklegs, one of them a Massachusetts shoemaker by the name of John F. Boynton, a man notorious for nothing but ignorance, ill breeding and impudence. And the other by the name of Luke Johnson, whose notoriety consisted, if information be correct, in stealing a barrel of flour from his father and other acts of a similar kind.

Thus aided, mamma Parrish made a monstrous effort to bring forth. And when the full time of gestation was come, the wonder came forth, and the priests who were in waiting, seized the animal at its birth, rolled it up in their papers and sent it abroad to the world; But Rich, Boynton, and Johnson in the character of mid-wives, waited around the bed of mamma Parrish to get away the after birth; but awful to relate! They no sooner got it away than mamma expired; and the poor bantling was left on the hands of the priests, to protect and nurse it without any other friend. A short time after the delivery of granny Parrish, a little ignorant blockhead, by the name of Stephen Burnet, whose heart was so set on money, that he would at any time sell his soul for fifty dollars; and then think he had made an excellent bargain; and who had got wearied of the restraints of religion and could not bear to have his purse taxed, hearing of the delivery of granny Parrish, ran to Kirtland, got into the temple and tried withal his powers to bring forth something, nobody knows what, nor did he know himself; but he thought as granny Parrish had been fruitful, so must he: but after some terrible gruntings, and finding nothing coming but an abortion, rose up in his anger, proclaimed all revelation lies, and ran home to his daddy with all his might, not leaving even an egg, behind, and there sat down, and rejoiced in the great victory he had obtained, over the great God and all the holy angels, how he had discovered them liars and impostors.

There was also a kind of secondary attendant, that waited upon this granny of modern libels, whose name is Sylvester Smith. In his character there is something notorious, and that is, that at a certain time in Kirtland, he signed a libel, in order to avoid the punishment due to his crimes. That libel can be forth coming at any time, when called for. And in so doing, has disqualified himself for taking an oath before any court of justice in the United States.

Thus armed and attended, this modern libeler has gone forth to the assistance of the priests, to help them fight against the great God and against his work. How successful they will be, future events will determine.

A few words on the history of this priests helpmate may not be amiss.

He went into Kirtland Ohio some few years since to live, and hired his boarding in the house of one Zerah Cole; he had not however been there but a short time until Mr. Cole began to make a grievous complaint, about his taking unlawful freedom with his (Cole's) wife. Parrish was, accordingly, brought to an account, before the authorities of the church, for his crime. The fact was established, that such unlawful conduct had actually taken place between (Parrish and Cole's wife.) -- Parrish finding he could not escape, confessed, pleaded for forgiveness like a criminal at the bar, promising in the most solemn manner that if the church would forgive him, he never would do so again, and he was accordingly forgiven.

For some considerable time, there were no outbreakings with him, at least, that was known; but a train of circumstances, began at last to fix guilt on his head, in another point of light. He had the handling of large sums of money, and it was soon discovered, that after the money was counted and laid away, and come to be used and counted again, that there was always a part of it missing; this being the case repeatedly, and those who owned it, knowing that there was no other person but Parrish who had access to it, suspicion of necessity fixed itself on him. At last, the matter went to such lengths, that a search warrant was called for, to search his trunk. The warrant was demanded at the office of F. G. Williams Esq. but he refused to grant it, some difficulty arose on account of it.

The warrant, however, was at last obtained, but too late, for the trunk in question was taken out of the way, and could not be found, but as to his guilt, little doubt can be entertained by any person, acquainted with the circumstances.

After this affair, Parrish began to discover that there was great iniquity in the church, particularly in the editor of this paper, and began to make a public excitement about it, but in a short time, he had an opportunity of proving to the world the truth of his assertion. A poor persecuting booby, by the name of Grandison Newel, and who in fact was scarcely a grade above the beast that perish, went and swore out a state's warrant against the editor of this paper, saying that he was afraid of his life. In so doing, he swore a palpable lie and everybody knew it, and so did the court and decided accordingly.

One of the witnesses called in behalf of Mr. Newel, was Warren Parrish. Newel had no doubt but great things would be proven by Parrish. -- When the day of trial, however, came, Parrish was not forth coming. Newel's council demanded an attachment to bring him forth with and accordingly, Parrish was brought. But, behold, the disappointment when Parrish was called! Instead of fulfilling Newel's expectation, when asked by the lawyers, "Do you know of anything in the character or conduct of Mr. Smith, which is unworthy of his profession as a man of God," the answer was, "I do not." The countenance of Newel fell, and if he had possessed one grain of human feelings, would went off with shame, but of this, there is about as much in him as in other beast[s].

In giving the answer Parrish did, he has given the lie, to all he has said, both before the since, and his letter that is now going the rounds in the priest's papers, is an outrageous pack of lies, or else he took a false oath at Painesville; and take it which way you will, and the priests have but a feeble helpmate in granny Parrish.

The truth is, at the time Parrish was called on to give testimony in Painesville, he had not gotten his nerves so strengthened as to take a false oath, and though he could lie most insufferably, still he had some fear about swearing lies. But no doubt, if he were called upon now, he would swear lies as fast as tell them; since he denies all revelation, all angels, all spirit, &c. and has taken the liar Sylvester Smith by the hand, and become his companion.

Some time after Parrish had given in his testimony at Painesville, he began again to rail, the church would hear it no longer and cut him off; he plead[ed] with them to receive him back again; and in order to get back, he confessed all he had said to be false, asked forgiveness for it, and by much pleading and confession and promising reformation, was received back again.

Thus once under oath, and another time voluntarily, for sake of getting back into the church, he confessed himself, that all that he had said, and all that he had written were falsehoods; for his letter that is going the rounds in the papers, is no more than a reiteration of what he had before declared, and denied himself. This is the poor pitiful resort then, of the priests, in order to stop the progress of the truth.

But this is not all concerning mamma Parrish. The next business we find him in, is robbing the Kirtland Bank of twenty five thousand dollars at one time and large sums at others, the managers had in the meantime, appointed him as Cashier and F. G. Williams as President, and they managed the institution with a witness. Parrish stole the paper out of the institution, and went to buying bogus or counterfeit coin with it, becoming a partner with the Tinker's creek blacklegs and in company with Julias Granger, in buying different kinds of property with it, and devoting it to his own use and soon entirely destroyed the institution.

He was aided by his former associates to take his paper, and go and buy bogus with it from the Tinker's creek black legs and on the way coming home, they would waylay Parrish and his gang and rob them, so they would lose the bogus money; at last Parrish sold his horse and carriage for bogus money, and behold, when he came home and opened his box of bogus, it was sand and stones. -- Parrish was somewhat chagrined at this, so he gets out a state's warrant, takes his coadjutor, Luke Johnson, and off to Tinker's creek they go, Johnson as constable. The pretended object was, to take the man who had them, the horse and carriage, one for stealing them, and the others as stolen property. Coming to the place where they were, Johnson takes after the man and drives him into a barn. Parrish in the mean time, takes the horse and carriage, and clears to Kirtland with it, and when Johnson had pretendedly tried to take the man, until he supposed Parrish had got off with the horse and carriage, he ceased the pursuit and went home.

For this, Parrish was taken by the sheriff of Cuyahoga county, his hands bound behind his back, and held in custody until he paid two hundred dollars, and if he had not paid it, he would have stood a chance for the work house.

Thus O ye priests, what a blessed company of associates you have got, to help you on the work of persecution. You aught to rejoice greatly at the venerable addition which you have added to your numbers. No doubt they are men as much after your own hearts, as ever David was after the heart of God. And you, Mr. Sunderland in particular, you have no doubt in Warren Parrish an help meet after your own image and your own likeness. Congratulate yourself greatly in having obtained a man after your heart to help you to lie and persecute.

O ye priests, but you are a heaven born race; and that all the world may well know by the company you keep. You have got Warren Parrish for your associate; a man notorious for lying, for adultery, for stealing, for swindling, and for villainy of all kinds, but for nothing else. Are you not happily yoked together with believers, precisely of your own character? surely you are, since it is company of your own choosing.

For our parts, we shall consider it an honor, to be belied and persecuted by such debauchees, in it we will rejoice as long as we have breath, knowing if these men speak well of us, that we are not doing the will of God. For the friendship of such, is enmity against God, and the friendship of God, is enmity to such.

And then, O ye priests, we leave you with your holy company, until it shall be said to you all, "Depart ye workers of iniquity, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

There is another character who has figured somewhat in the affairs of granny Parrish, Doctor W. A. Cowdery. This poor pitiful beggar came to Kirtland a few years since, with a large family, nearly naked and destitute. It was really painful to see this pious Doctor's (for such he professed to be) rags flying when he walked the streets. He was taken in by us in this pitiful condition and we put him into the printing office and gave him enormous wages, not because he could earn it, or because we needed his service, but merely out of pity. We knew the man's incompetency all the time, and his ignorance and inability to fill any place in the literary world, with credit to himself or to his employers. But notwithstanding all this, out of pure compassion, we gave him a place and afterwards hired him to edit the paper in that place, and gave him double as much as he could have gotten anywhere else. The subscribers, many at least, complained to us of his inability to edit the paper, and there was much dissatisfaction about it, but still we retained him in our employ, merely that he might not have to be supported as a pauper.

By our means, he got himself and family decently clothed and got supplied with all the comforts of life, and it was nothing more nor less than supporting himself and family as paupers; for his services were actually not worth one cent to us, but on the contrary, was an injury. The owners of the establishment could have done all the work which he did themselves, just as well without him as with him. In reality, it was a piece of pauperism.

But now, reader, mark the sequel. It is a fact of public notoriety that as soon as he found himself and family in possession of decent apparel, he began to use all his influence to our injury, both in his savings and doings.

We have often heard it remarked by slave holders that you should not make a negro equal with you or he would try to walk over you. We have found the saying verified in this pious Doctor, for truly this niggardly spirit manifested itself in all its meanness; even in his writings (and they were very mean at best) he threw out foul insinuations, which no man who had one particle of noble feeling would have condescended to. But such was the conduct of this master of meanness. Nor was this niggardly course confined to himself, but his sons also were found engaged in the same mean business.

His sons, in violation of every sacred obligation were found among the number of granny Parrish's men, using all the[ir] influence (which however was nothing, but they were none the less guilty for that, for if it had been ever so great it would have been used) to destroy the benefactors of their family who raised their family from rags, poverty, and wretchedness. One thing we have learned that there are negroes who we[ar] white skins as well as those who wear black ones.

Granny Parrish had a few others who acted as lackies, such as Martin Harris, Joseph Coe, Cyrus P. Smalling, etc. but they are so far beneath contempt that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make.

Having said so much, we leave this hopeful company in the new bond of union which they have formed with the priests. While they were held under restraints by the church and had to behave with a degree of propriety, at least, the priests manifested the greatest opposition to them. But no sooner were they excluded from the fellowship of the church and gave loose to all kind of abominations, swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drinking with every species of debauchery, then the priests began to extol them to the heavens for their piety and virtue and made friends with them, and called them the finest fellows in the world.

Is it any wonder then, that we say of the priests of modern days, that they are of satan's own making and are of their father the devil. Nay verily nay; for no being but a scandalous sycophant, and base hypocrite would say other ways. As it was with Doctor Philastes Hurlburt, so it is with these creatures. While Hurlburt was held in bounds by the church and made to behave himself, he was denounced by the priests as one of the worst of men, but no sooner was he excluded from the church for adultery, than instantly he became one of the finest men in the world. Old deacon Clapp of Mentor ran and took him; and his family into the house with himself, and so exceedingly was he pleased with him, that purely out of respect to him, he went to bed to his wife. This great kindness and respect Hurlburt did not feel just so well about but the pious old deacon gave him a hundred dollars and a yoke of oxen, and all was well again.

This is the Hurlburt, that was author of a book which bears the name of E. D. Howe, but it was this said Hurlburt that was the author of it; but after the affair of Hurlburt's wife and the pious old deacon, the persecutors thought it better to put some other name as author to their book than Hurlburt, so E. D. Howe substituted his name. The change however was not much better. Asahel Howe, one of E. D.'s brothers who was said to be the likeliest of the family, served apprenticeship in the work house in Ohio for robbing the post office. And yet notwithstanding all this, all the pious priests of all denominations were found following in the wake of these mortals.

Hurlburt and the Howes are among the basest of mankind, and known to be such and yet the priests and their coadjutors hail them as their best friends and publish their lies, speaking of them in the highest terms. And after all this, they want us to say, that they are pious souls and good saints. Can we believe it? Surely men of common sense will not ask us to do it.

Good men love to associate with good men; and bad men with bad ones, and when we see men making friends with drunkards, thieves, liars, and swindlers, shall we call them saints? If we were to do it, we might be justly charged with "partaking of their evil deeds."

Therefore until we have more evidence than we have now, we shall always think when we see men associating with scoundrels, that they themselves are scoundrels. And there we shall leave them for the present, firmly believing that when the day of decision has come that we shall see all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day, with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 
No 1839 articles on these subjects printed by the Mormons, but see these sources:

1839 Sidney Rigdon letter in Quincy Whig
1839 Alexander Badlam letter in Quincy Whig
  1840 Benjamin Winchester pamphlet





Vol. I. No. 3.]                           Commerce, Ill., Jan., 1840.                         [Whole No. 3.

 

... In this No. will be seen an article which we copy from the New York "Era," signed P. P. Pratt; it's in contradiction to the foolish simple priest fabricated tale that has been going the rounds, charging Sidney Rigdon with the crime of making the Book of Mormon, out of the romantic writings of one Solomon Spaulding &c. We can mingle our testimony with that of Elder Pratt's, we concur in his statement; we can assure the public that from our own personal knowledge, Elder Pratt has given a plain statement of facts.

We also subjoin the copy of a letter written by one Mr. Haven from Mass. to his daughter in Quincy, Ill. which shows to a demonstration, that Mrs. Davidson did not write the letter, and that it was written, signed and circulated without her knowledge. Consequently it was got up by priests, upon her credit; the reason for getting it up, we think is obvious, for fair arguments, & every other means had failed to put down the truth, and this was the last resort; this having failed, we think both priests and people will hereafter sit in silence upon this subject...

 

THE  MORMONITES.

To the Editor of the New Era:

Sir: In your paper of the 25th inst. there is an article copied from the Boston Recorder, Headed "Mormon Bible," and signed "Matilda Davidson," which, justice to our society and to the public requires me to answer and I trust that a sense of justice will induce you sir, to give your readers both sides of the question.

I am one of the society who believe the "Book of Mormon," and as such I am assailed in the statement professing to come from Matilda Davidson.

In the first place there is no such book in existence as the "Mormon Bible." The Mormons, as they are vulgarly called, believe in the same Bible that all Cristendom professes to believe in, viz: the common version of the Old and New Testament. The Book of Mormon is not entitled a Bible, except by those who misrepresent it. It is entitled the "Book of Mormon."

The religious sect alluded to in your paper, are there accused of knavery and superstition. Now we are not sensible of being guilty of knavery, and we do not know wherein we are superstitious, but very much desire to know, in order that we may reform. If some good minister or editor will condescend to particulars, and point out our superstitions we will take it as a great kindness, for we are the declared enemies to knavery and superstition.

If a firm belief in the Gospel of a crusified and risen Redeemer, as manifested to all nations, and as recorded in their sacred books, amount to superstition, than we are superstitious. If preaching that system to others and calling them to repentance, is superstition, then we are superstitious. If refusing to fellowship the modern systems of sectarianism which are contrary to the pure doctrines of the Bible, be superstition, then we are superstitious, for we hereby declare our withdrawal from all the mysticism, priestcraft and superstitions, and from all the creeds, doctrines, commandments, traditions and precepts of men, as far as they are contrary to the ancient faith and doctrine of the Saints; and we hereby bear our testimony against them.

We do not believe that God ever instituted more than one religious system under the same dispensation, therefore we do not admit that two different sects can possibly be right. -- The churches of Jesus Christ, in any age or country, must be all built upon the same faith, the same baptism, the same Lord, the same holy spirit, which would guide them in all truth, and consequently from all error and superstition. The Book of Mormon has never been placed by us in the place of the sacred scriptures, but, as before said, the sacred scriptures stand in their own place, and the Book of Mormon abundantly corroborates and bears testimony of the truth of the bible. -- Indeed there is no society, within our knowledge, whose members adhere more closely to the Bible than ours. -- For proof of this we appeal to the multitudes who attend our religious meetings in this city and in all other places.

The piece in your paper states that "Sidney Rigdon was connected in the printing office of Mr. Patterson," (in Pittsburg) and that "this is a fact well known in that region," and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript (Romance) and to copy it if he chose." This statement is utterly and entirely false. Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly, or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection. Now the person or persons who fabricated that falsehood would do well to repent, and become persons of truth and veracity before they express such acute sensibility concerning the religious pretensions of others. The statement that Mr. Rigdon is one of the founders of the said religious sect is also incorrect.

The sect was founded in the state of New York while Mr. Rigdon resided in Ohio, several hundred miles distant. Mr. Rigdon embraced the doctrine through my instrumentality. I first presented the Book of Mormon to him. I stood upon the bank of the stream while he was baptized, and assisted to officiate in his ordination, and I myself was unacquainted with the system until some months after its organization, which was on the sixth of April, 1830, and I embraced it in September following.

The piece further states that "a woman preacher appointed a meeting at New Salem, Ohio, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon." Now it is a fact well known, that we have not had a female preacher in our connection, for we do not believe in a female priesthood. It further says that the excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Doctor Philastus Hurlburt, one of their members, to repair to Spaulding's widow, and obtain from her the original manuscript of the romance, &c. But the statement does not say whether he obtained the manuscript, but still leaves the impression that he did, and that it was compared with the Book of Mormon. Now whoever will read the work got up by said Hurlburt entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," will find that he there states that the said manuscript of Spaulding's romance was lost and could no where be found. But the widow is here made to say that it is carefully preserved. Here seems to be some knavery or crooked work; and no wonder, for this said Hurlburt is one of the most notorious rascals in the western country. He was first cut off from our society for an attempt at seduction and crime, and secondly he was laid under bonds in Geauga county, Ohio, for threatening to murder Joseph Smith, Jr., after which he laid a deep design of the Spaulding romance imposition, in which he has been backed by evil and designing men in different parts of the country, and sometimes by those who do not wish to do wrong, but who are ignorant on the subject. Now what but falsehood could be expected from such a person? -- Now if there is such a manuscript in existence, let it come forward at once, and not be kept in the dark. Again, if the public will be patient, they will doubtless find that the piece signed "Matilda Davidson" (Spaulding's widow) is a base fabrication by Priest Storrs of Holliston, Mass., in order to save his craft, after losing the deacon of his church, and several of its most pious and intelligent members, who left his society to embrace what they considered to be truth. At any rate, a judge of literary productions, who can swallow that piece of writing as the production of a woman in private life, can be made to believe that the Book of Mormon is a romance. For the one is as much like a romance as the other is like a woman's composition.

The production, signed Matilda Davidson, is evidently the work of a man accustomed to public address, and the Book of Mormon I know to be true, and the Spaulding story, as far as the origin of the Book of Mormon is connected with it, I know to be false.

I now leave the subject with a candid public, with a sincere desire, that those who have been deluded with such vain and foolish lies, may be undeceived.

Editors, who have given publicity to the Spaulding story, will do an act of justice by giving publicity to the foregoing.
                                                          P. P. PRATT.
N. Y. Nov. 27, 1839.

 



{From the Quincy Whig.}

A  CUNNING  DEVICE  DETECTED.

It will be recollected that a few months since an article appeared in several of the papers, purporting to give an account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. How far the writer of that piece has effected his purposes, or what his purposes were in pursuing the course he has, I shall not attempt to say at this time, but shall call upon every candid man to judge in this matter for himself, and shall content myself by presenting before the public the other side of the question in the form of a letter, as follows:

Copy of a letter written by Mr. John Haven of Holliston, Middlesex co. Massachusetts, to his daughter Elizabeth Haven of Quincy, Adams co., Illinois.

Your brother Jesse passed through Monson where he saw Mrs. Davidson and her daughter, Mrs. McKinistry, and also Dr. Ely and spent several hours with them, during which time he asked them the following questions, viz:

Did you, Mrs. Davidson, write a letter to John Storrs, giving an account of the origin of the Book of Mormon? Ans: I did not. Did you sign your name to it? Ans: I did not, neither did I ever see the letter until I saw it in the Boston Recorder, the letter was never brought to me to sign. Ques. What agency had you in having this letter sent to Mr. Storrs? Ans: D. R. Austin came to my house and asked me some questions, took some minutes on paper, and from these minutes wrote that letter. Question. Is what is written in the letter true? Ans: In the main it is. -- Ques. Have you read the book of Mormon? Ans. I have read some in it; Ques. Does Mr. Spauldings manuscript, and the Book of Mormon agree? I think some few of the names are alike. -- Ques. Does the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people? Ans: An Idolatrous people. Ques. Where is the manuscript. Ans: Dr. P. Hurlburt came here and took it, said he would get it printed, and let me have one-half the profits. Ques. Has Dr. P. Hurlburt got the manuscript printed? Ans: I received a letter stating it did not read as they expected, and they should not print it. Ques. How large is Mr. Spaulding's manuscript? Ans: about one third as large as the Book of Mormon. Ques. To Mrs. McKenestry, how old was you when your father wrote the manuscript? Ans: About five years of age. Ques. Did you ever read the manuscript? Ans: When I was about twelve years old, I used to read it for diversion. Ques. Did the manuscript describe an Idolatrous or a religious people. Ans. An Idolatrous people. Ques. -- Does the manuscript and the Book of Mormon agree? Ans: I think some of the names agree. Ques. Are you certain that some of the names agree? Ans: I am not. Ques. Have you ever read any in the Book of Mormon? Ans: I have not. Ques. Was your name attached to that letter which was sent to Mr. John Storrs by your order? Ans: No, I never meant that my name should be there.
You see by the above questions and answers, that Mr. Austin, in his great zeal, to destroy the Latter Day Saints, has asked Mrs. Davidson a few questions, then wrote a letter to Mr. Storrs, in his own language. I do not say that the above questions and answers, were given in the form that I have written them, but these questions were asked, and these answers given. Mrs. Davidson is about seventy years of age, and somewhat broke. This may certify that I am personally acquainted with Mr. Havens, his son and daughter, and am satisfied they are person of truth. I have also read Mr. Haven's letter to his Daughter, which has induced me to copy it for publication, and I further say, the above is a correct copy of Mr. Havens letter.     A. BADLAM.


Notes: (forthcoming)
    


There were no relevant 1841-43 LDS newspaper articles, but
George J. Adams 1841 pamphlet refuted the Spalding claims.
 



Vol. I. ]                                     February, 1844.                                    [ No. 2.


==> Having resided in Pittsburgh from the eighth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-two, until the eighth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, we had a sufficient opportunity to make ourself acquainted with all the particulars concerning one Mr. Solomon Spaulding, of whom it is said, that he wrote a romance, from which it is asserted, originated the Book of Mormon. We have duly examined the whole matter, and exposed the story to the righteous contempt of a candid public, in a pamphlet, entitled "The Spaulding Story."

Price ten cents per single copy, or six dollars per hundred.


Note 1: LDS Apostle John E. Page published the first issue of The Gospel Light at Pittsburgh in June 1843. It is likely that his "Spaulding Story" pamphlet was issued from the same press in Pittsburgh in that same month. The Feb. 1844 issue of The Gospel Light, advertising that 1843 pamphlet, may have been printed in Philadelphia, however. The final issue of the paper was published at Pittsburgh in the latter part of May, 1844. The Gospel Light was replaced in June of 1844 by the larger-sized People's Organ, a paper that lasted only three issues.

Note 2: John E. Page's series of articles written in Pennsylvania in defence of Mormonism began with his May 28, 1842 letter to the Pittsburgh Morning Chronicle. Page did not specifically address the Solomon Spalding authorship claims until he published an article in the Chronicle on July 2, 1842. The Apostle continued his attack on the Spalding claims with three more articles, published in the same paper on July 4th, July 8th, and July 12th. The last two of these articles merely reproduced pp. 5-8 and pp. 11-12 of Elder Benjamin Winchester's Origin of the Spaulding Story. It must have occurred to Page, during the summer of 1842, that Winchester's 1840 pamphlet was an inadequate defence against local charges saying that Sidney Rigdon had once obtained a Spalding manuscript in Pittsburgh and later turned that story into the Book of Mormon. By mid-1843 Page had completed his own anti-Spalding pamphlet, drawing new material from G. J. Adams' 1841 Plain Facts shewing the origin of the Spaulding Story and from his own investigations in and around Pittsburgh.

Note 3: Although John E. Page reportedly interviewed the Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr. prior to publishing his 1843 attack on the Spalding claims, the Apostle makes no use of any facts obtained from that interview in his pamphlet. Rather, he prints statements taken from local Mormons Carvil Rigdon (Sidney's brother) and Peter Boyer (Sidney's brother-in-law) dated Jan. 27, 1843. Elder William Small dates Page's unpublished interview with Patterson to about the year 1841, but the Page-Patterson encounter more than likely occurred a few months after the publication of Rev. Samuel Williams' Mormonism Exposed at Pittsburgh on May 4, 1842.


 



Vol. 1 No. 2.                            Pittsburgh, June 29, 1844.                          Price 2 cts.


For the People's Organ.                

Elder Sidney Rigdon Arrived.

This morning, June the 27th, on board the steamer "REVENUE," Elder Rigdon in company with Elder Ebenezer Robinson; designs to make a permanent residence in this city (Pittsburgh) for this season at least. Elder Rigdon will visit his friends the coming week in the country; and on the first Sabbath of July next, the 7th day of the month, his friends and old acquaintance, together with the public at large, can avail themselves of the opportunity of hearing Mr. Rigdon for themselves. The "Post" and other papers have been active in giving currency to an error relative to the origin of the Book of Mormon as being but the product of one "SOLOMON SPAULDING," of this city. Mr. Rigdon is the man who, it is said, obtained the manuscript of S. Spaulding, and from which it is said he made the "Book of Mormon." We hope that Rev. S. Williams will now come out and sustain, if possible, what he published in a pamphlet in the spring of 1842, concerning this matter; or, by remaining silent on the subject, prove to the honest part of this city that he only took advantage of the absence of Mr. Rigdon to wickedly slander his (Rigdon's) character, in order to save from utter ruin a rickety bantling of a system of religion that has nothing better than falsehood and misrepresentation to sustain it. Rally your forces, Rev. Williams, for you are certainly in danger of being showed up in dark colors relative to what you set forth in your pamphlet.

I presume none will dispute that Elder Rigdon is amply able to speak for himself concerning this matter. Some no doubt will say it is not worth your while to go and hear him; but those that do will evince to sensible men that they feel that their speculating craft is in danger -- for truth and its advocates have nothing to fear, for truth is like oil, it will rise on the top in the end, and no mistake. Elder Rigdon's character is too well known as an orator and a gentleman of intelligence to need any puffing to command public attention in any place whatever.     JOHN E. PAGE.


Note 1: The Peoples' Organ was an LDS paper designed to be published in support of Joseph Smith's campaign for the U. S. Presidency during the summer of 1844. It was edited by Apostle John E. Page and was the successor to his Gospel Light, published in Pittsburgh during 1843.

Note 2: When Sidney Rigdon moved from Nauvoo to Pittsburgh in 1844, he was, no doubt, aware that he was entering a media battlefield in which the local press delighted in attacking the Mormons. Throughout the early 1840s various Pittsburgh and Philadelphia newspapers continually printed articles questioning and debunking the Saints' own explanations for the origin of Mormonism and its sacred writ. Stories of Rigdon's probable earlier association with Pittsburgh publishing notables Robert and Joseph Patterson, Silas Engles, and Jonathan H. Lambdin had been freely bandied about in the city for several years. Rigdon must have returned to his old home ready to defend himself against the then current charges saying that he had purloined in Pittsburgh a story written by Solomon Spalding and that he had subsequently turned that story into the basis for the Book of Mormon.


 



Wm. Smith.     Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the Prophets -- Amos, 3:7.     Editor.

Vol. 1 No. 16.                            New-York, August 31, 1844.                          3 cts.


Joe Smith and the Devil.

This dialogue we copy from the New York Herald, and as it contains much truth enforced in a pleasing manner, we think no apology is needed for its insertion. It is a well written article and will pay any one for the time consumed in its perusal.



(From the New York Herald.)

Joe Smith and the Devil.
A DIALOGUE.
_________

... Smith. -- But, Mr. Devil, why, with all these other advantages on your side do you resort to such mean, weak and silly fabrications as the Spaulding Story. You profess to be a gentlemen, a christian and a clergyman, and you ought, for your own sake, and for the sake of your cause, to keep up outward appearances of honor and fairness. And now, Mr. Devil, tell the truth for once; you know perfectly well that your Spaulding story, in which you represent me as an impostor, in connection with Sidney Rigdon, and that we were engaged in palming Solomon Spaulding's romance upon the world as the Book of Mormon, is a lie, a base fabrication, without a shadow of truth and you know that I found the Original Records of the Nephites, and I translated and published the Book of Mormon from them, without ever having heard of the existence of Spaulding, or his romance, or of Sidney Rigdon either. Now, Mr. Devil, this was a mean, disgraceful and underhanded trick in you, and one of which you have reason to be ashamed.

Devil. -- Well, Mr. Smith, to be candid, I acknowledge that what you say is true, and that it was not the most honorable cause in the world. But it was you who commenced the war, by publishing that terrible book which we readily recognized as a complete expose of all our false and corrupt christianity not even keeping back that fact that we had continued during the dark ages to rob the Scriptures of their plainness, and we feel the utmost alarm and excitement, and without much reflection, in the height of passion, we called a hasty council of the Clergy and Editors, and other rascals in Painesville, Ohio, and thinking that almost any means was lawful in war, we invented the Spaulding Story, and fathered it upon the poor printer, Howe of Painesville, although Dr. Hulbert (thanks to my aid) was its real author. But Mr. Smith, mark one thing; we had not a face so hard nor a conscience so abandoned as to publish this Spaulding story at the first as a positive fact; we only published it as a conjecture, a mere probability, and this you know we had a right to do; without once thinking of the amount of evil it would eventually accomplish. But, Sir, it was some of my unfortunate clergymen, who more reckless, hardened, and unprincipled than myself, have ventured to add to each edition of this story, till at last, without my aid or consent, they have set it down for a positive fact that Solomon Spaulding, Sidney Rigdon, and yourself, have made up the Book of Mormon out of a romance. Now, Mr. Smith, I am glad of this interview with you, as it gives me the opportunity of clearing up my character. I acknowledge with shame that I was guilty of a mean act in helping to hatch up and publish the Spaulding Story as a probability, and that I associated with rascals far beneath my dignity either as a sovereign prince or a religious minister, or even as an old honorable and experienced Devil, and for this I beg your pardon. But really I must deny the charge of having assisted in making the addition which has appeared in the later editions of that story, in which my power probabilities and mean conjectures are set down for positive facts. No. Mr. Smith, I had no hand in a trick so low and mean; I despise it as the work of priests and editors alone, without my aid or suggestion, and I don't believe that even the meanest young devils in our dominion would have stooped to such an act.

Smith. -- Well I must give your majesty some credit for once at least, if what you say is true, but how can you justify your conduct in dishonoring yourself so far as to stoop to the level of the hireling clergy and their followers, in still making use of this humbug story (which you affect to despise), in order to still blind the eyes of the people in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon?

Devil. -- O! Mr. Smith, it does take so readily among the pious of all sects that it seems a pity to spoil the fun, and I cannot resist the temptation of carrying out the joke, now it is so well rooted in their minds. And you can't think how we devils shake our sides with laughter when we get up in the gallery in some fine church, put on our long face, and assist in singing and in the devout responses; this done, the Spaulding Story is gravely told from the pulpit, while the pious old clergyman wears a face as long as that of Balaam's beast. All is swallowed down for solid truth by the gaping multitude, while we hang our heads behind the screen and laugh and wink at each other in silence, as anything overheard would disturb their worship, and as bad as I am, I never wish to disturb those popular modes of worship, which decency requires us to respect. So, you see, Mr. Smith, we have our fun to ourselves at your expense; but after all we do not mean any hurt by it, although I must acknowledge, upon the whole, it serves our purpose....


Note: In Chapter 42 of his posthumously published Autobiography, Apostle Parley P. Pratt writes: "In the spring [of 1844] I went to Boston as a missionary... Visiting North Bridge, a short distance from Boston, and having a day's leisure, I wrote a dialogue entitled 'Joe Smith and the Devil,' which was afterwards published in the New York Herald, and in various papers in America and Europe. It was finally published and republished in pamphlet form, and had a wide circulation; few persons knowing or mistrusting who was the author." Thus it appears that Pratt wrote his "Joe Smith and the Devil" satire in April or may of 1844 and saw it published in the New York Herald prior to his hearing of Smith's death at Nauvoo a few weeks later.


 




Vol. 6 No. 14.                   Nauvoo, Ill., Aug. 1, 1845.                 Whole No. 122.


[p. 976]

HISTORY  OF  JOSEPH  SMITH.
(Continued.)


On the 22nd, the presidency of the High Priesthood wrote from Kirtland to the brethren in Christ Jesus, scattered from Zion, scattered abroad from the land of their inheritance:--

Greeting:
We your companions in tribulation, embrace the present opportunity of sending you this token of our love and good will, assuring you that our bowels are filled with compassion, and that our prayers are daily ascending to God in the name of Jesus Christ in your behalf.

We have just received intelligence from you through the medium of Brother Elliott, of Chagrin, making enquiries concerning the course which you are to pursue. In addition to the knowledge contained in the above on this subject, we say if it is not the duty of the Governor to call our and keep a standing force in Jackson county to protect you on you lands, (which it appears, must be done, as we understand the mob are determined to massacre you if the Governor takes you back upon your lands and leaves you unprotected;) it will become your duty to petition the Governor, to petition the President to send a force there to protect you, when you are reinstated.

The Governor proposed to take you back to your lands whenever you are ready to go, (if we understand correctly,) but cannot keep up any army to guard you; and while the hostile feelings of the people of Jackson county remain unabated, probably you dare not go back to be left unguarded. Therefore, in your petition to the Governor, set all these things forth in their proper light, and pray him to notify the President of your situation, and also petition the President yourselves, according to the direction of the Lord. We have petitioned Gov. Dunklin in your behalf, and enclosed it in a printed revelation, the same of this, which we now send to you. The petition was signed by some thing like sixty brethren, and mailed for Jefferson City, one week ago, and he will probably receive it two weeks before you receive this.

We also calculate to send a petition and this revelation to the President forthwith, in your behalf, and then we will act the part of the poor widow to perfection, if possible, and let our rulers read their destiny if they do not lend a helping hand. We exhort you to prosecute and try every lawful means to bring the mob to justice, as fast as circumstances will permit. -- With regard to your tarrying in Clay county, we cannot say; you must be governed by circumstances; perhaps you will have to hire out, and take farms to cultivate, to obtain bread until the Lord delivers.

We sent you a fifty dollar, United States note some time ago, if you have received it, please acknowledge he receipt of it, to us, that we may be satisfied you received it. We shall do all that is in our power to assist you in every way we can. We know your situation is a trying one, but be patient and not murmur against the Lord, and you shall see that all these things shall turn to your greatest good.

Enquire of Elder Marsh and find out the entire secret of mixing and compounding lead and antimony, so as to make type metal, and write us concerning it. Joseph has sent you another fifty dollar note, making in all one hundred dollars; write us concerning it. There is a prospect of the eastern churches doing something pretty handsome towards the deliverance of Zion, in the course of a year, if Zion is not delivered otherwise.

Though the Lord said this affliction came upon you because of your sins, polluting your inheritances, &c., yet there is an exception of some, namely, the heads of Zion, for the Lord said your brethren in Zion began to repent, and the angels rejoice over them, &c. You will also see an exception at the top of the second column of this revelation: therefore, this affliction came upon the church to chasten those in transgression, and prepare the hearts of those who had repented, for an endowment form the Lord.

We shall not be able to send you any more money at present, unless the Lord puts it into our hands unexpectedly. There is not quite so much danger of a mob upon us as there has been. The hand of the Lord has thus far been stretched out to protect us. Doctor P. Hurlbut an apostate elder from this church, has been to the state of New York, and gathered up all the ridiculous stories that could be invented, and some affidavits respecting the character of Joseph, and the Smith family, and exhibited them to numerous congregations in Chagrin, Kirtland, Mentor, and Painesville, and fired the minds of the people with much indignation, against Joseph and the church.

Hurlbut also made many harsh threats, &c., that he would take the life of Joseph, if he could not destroy Mormonism without. Bro.
[p. 977]
Joseph took him with a peace warrant and after three days trial, and investigating the merits of our religion, in the town of Painesville, by able attorneys on both sides, he was bound over to the county court. Thus his influence was pretty much destroyed, and since the trial the spirit of hostility seems to be broken down in a good degree, but how long it will continue so, we cannot say.

You purchased you inheritances with money therefore, behold you are blessed; you have not purchased your lands by the shedding of blood, consequently you do not come under the censure of this commandment, which says "if by blood lo your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be driven from city to city;" give yourelves no uneasiness on this account.

Farewell in the bonds of the new covenant, and partakers in tribulation.

Signed,               ORSON HYDE,
  Clerk of the Presidency of the church.
 
On the evening of the 28th. Brothers, Oliver, Frederick, and myself, being agreed, bowed before the Lord, and united in prayer, that God would continue to deliver me, and my brethren from Doctor Hurlbut, that he may not prevail against us in the law suit that is pending; and also, that God would soften the hearts of E. Smith, J. Jones, Loud, and Lyman, also, Mr. Beardsley, that they might obey the gospel, or, if they would not repent, that the Lord would send faithful saints, to purchase their farms, that this stake may be strengthened, and its borders enlarged, O lord, grant it for Christ's sake: Amen....


Notes: (forthcoming)


 




Vol. 6 No. 15.                      Nauvoo, Ill., Aug. 15, 1845.                 Whole No. 123.


[p. 992]

HISTORY  OF  JOSEPH  SMITH.
____________________

CONTINUED.

At a council of the high priest and elders at my house, in Kirtland on the evening of the 12th of February, I remarked, that I should endeavor to set before the council the dignity of the office which had been conferred on me by the ministering of the angel of God, by his own voice, and by the voice of this church that I had never set before any council in all the order of it, which it ought to be conducted, which, perhaps has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.

And I continued and said, no man is capable of judging a matter, in council, unless his own heart is pure, and that we frequently are so filled with prejudice, or have a beam in our own eye, that we are not capable of passing right decisions, &c.

But to return to the subject of order: in ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least; until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or by the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained, which has not been observed in this church to the present. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the President could spend his time, the members could also: but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one's mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else, &c.

Our acts are rendered, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow beings, they may be there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express, &c. Ask yourselves, brethren, how much you have exercised yourselves in prayer since you heard of this council; and if you are now prepared to sit in council upon the soul of your brother?

I then gave a relation of my situation at the time I obtained the record, the persecutions I met with, &c., and prophecied [prophesied] that I would stand and shine like the sun in the firmament, when my enemies and the gainsayers of my testimony shall be put down and cut off, and their names blotted out from among men.

The council proceeded to investigate certain charges presented by Elder Rigdon against Martin Harris, one was, that he told A. C. Russell, Esq. that Joseph drank too much liquor when he was translating the Book of Mormon, and that he wrestled with many men and threw them, &c.; and that he (Harris) exalted himself above Joseph, in that he said, "Brother Joseph knew not the contents of the Book of Mormon, until it was translated, but that he, himself knew all about it before it was translated."

Brother Harris said he did not tell Esq. Russell that Brother Joseph drank too much liquor while translating the Book of Mormon, but this thing occurred previous to the translating of the book; he confessed that his mind was darkened, and that he had said many things inadvertantly [inadvertently], calculated to wound the feelings of his brethren, and promised to do better. The council forgave him, with much good advice.

Brother Rich was called in question for transgressing the word of wisdom, and for selling the revelations at an extortionary price, while he was journeying east with father Lyons. Brother Rich confessed, and the council forgave him upon his promising to do better and reform his life.

                 ORSON HYDE, Clerk.


    Liberty, Clay county, Mo., Feb. 13, 1844.

A. Leonard Esq; Dear Sir:

I received a line from Wm. Pratt, who called on you a few weeks since, to enquire if your service could be secured in the prosecution of claims for damages by our church against the citizens of Jackson county, and by his letter it appears that you are willing to engage. So far as I have conversed with the principal leaders of our church, they are desirous to secure your services, which also meets the approbation of our counsel in this county, viz: Messrs. Reese, Doniphan, Atchison and Wood.

I write this a few moments before closing the mail, and have not time to state particulars, as to the extent of the suits, &c., but believe that four or five suits have been brought by Phelps & Co., for the destruction of the printing office &c., &c., and by Partridge and others for personal abuse, &c. I understand that at the next Monday term of the circuit court, petition will be made for a change of venue in Jackson county, and I suppose no case can be tried before next June or October term. If it is expedient some one of our people will call on you
 

[p. 993]
in a few days, and during the interim, wish you to drop a line if convenient.

We have this day received a communication from the Governor of the 4th inst. in which he states, that he is of opinion that a military guard will be necessary, to protect the state witnesses and officers of the court, and to assist in the execution of its orders, while sitting in Jackson county.

By this mail I write to Mr. Reese, enclosing him an order on the captain of the "Liberty Blues," requiring the captain to comply with the requisition of the circuit attorney, in protecting the court and officers, and executing their precepts and orders during the progress of these trials.

The foregoing relates to a court of enquiry into criminal matters, to be held in Jackson county, next Monday week.

  Very respectfully, your ob't s'v't,
                        ALGERNON S. GILBERT.


Minutes of the organization of the High Council of the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kirtland, February 17, 1834.

This day a general council of twenty-four high priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith, jr. by revelation, and proceeded to organize the high council of the church of Christ, which was to consist of twelve high priests, and one or three presidents, as the case might require. This high council was appointed by revelation for the purpose of settling important difficulties, which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop's council, to the satisfaction of the parties.

Joseph Smith, jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, were acknowledged presidents by the voice of the council; and Joseph Smith, senior, John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith, and Luke Johnson, high priests, were chosen to be a standing council for the church, by the unanimous voice of the council. The above named counsellors were then asked whether they accepted their appointments, and whether they would act in that office according to the law of heaven; to which they all answered, that they accepted their appointments, and would fill their offices according to the grace of God bestowed upon them.

The number composing the council, who voted in the name and for the church in appointing the above named counsellors, were forty three, as follows: nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen members.

Voted, that the high council cannot have power to act without seven of the above named counsellors, or their regularly appointed successors are present. These seven shall have power to appoint other high priest, whom they may consider worthy and capable, to act in the place of absent counsellors.

Voted, that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removal from office for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church government, of any one of the above named counsellors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president or presidents, and sanctioned by the voice of a general council of high priests, convened for that purpose, to act in the name of the church.

The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged, in his administration by the voice of the church; and it is according to the dignity of his office, that he should preside over the council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner as he himself was appointed; and in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case that he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.

Whenever an high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve counsellors [counselors] to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who, of the twelve, shall speak first, commencing with number one; and so in succession to number twelve.

Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve counsellors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the counsellors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written. But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six: but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. -- The accused, in all cases, has a right to one half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice; and the counsellors appointed to speak before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice. Those counsellors who draw even numbers, that is, two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve, are the individuals who are to stand up in the behalf of the accused, and prevent insult or injustice.

In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a privilege of speaking for themselves, before the council, after the evidences are heard:
 

[p. 994]
and the counsellors who are appointed to speak on the case, have finished their remarks. After the evidences are heard, the counsellors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve counsellors to sanction the same by their vote. But should the remaining counsellors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleading impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing, and if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly: but if no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same.

In cases of difficulty respecting doctrine, or principle, (if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council,) the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.

The high priests, when abroad, have power to call and organize a council after the manner of the foregoing, to settle difficulties when the parties, or either of them, shall request it: and the said council of high priests shall have power to appoint one of their own number, to preside over such council for the time being. It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony accompanying their decision, to the high council of the seat of the first presidency of the church. -- Should the parties, or either of them, be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the first presidency of the church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall then be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.

This council of high priests abroad, is only to be called on the most difficult cases of church matters: and no common or ordinary case is to be sufficient to call such council. -- The travelling or located high priest abroad, have power to say whether it is necessary to call such a council or not.

There is a distinction between the high council of travellinghigh priest abroad, and the travelling high council composed of the twelve apostles, in their decisions: From the decision of the former there can be an appeal, but from the decision of the latter there cannot. The latter can only be called in question by the general authorities of the church in case of transgression.

Resolved, that the president, or presidents of the seat of the first presidency of the church, shall have power to determine whether any such case, as may be appealed, is justly entitled to a re-hearing, after examining the appeal and the evidences and statements accompanying it.

The twelve counsellorsthen proceeded to cast lots, or ballot, to ascertain who should speak first, and the following was the result; namely: --

Oliver Cowdery, No. 1
Joseph Coe " 2
Samuel H. Smith " 3
Luke Johnson " 4
John S. Carter " 5
Sylvester Smith " 6
John Johnson, No. 7
Orson Hyde " 8
Jared Carter " 9
Joseph Smith, sen. " 10
John Smith " 11
Martin Harris " 12

After prayer the conference adjourned.
              OLIVER COWDERY,
              ORSON HYDE,  l Clerks.


On the 18th, I reviewed and corrected the minutes of the organization of the high council: and onn the l9th of February, the council assembled, according to adjournment, from the 17th, when the revised minutes were presented and read to the council: I urged the necessity of prayer, that the spirit might be given, that the things of the spirit might be judged thereby, because the carnal mind cannot discern the things of God, &c. The minutes were read three times, and unanimously adopted and received for a form and constitution of the high council of the church of Christ hereafter; with this provision, that if the president should hereafter discover any lack in the same, he should be privileged to fill it up.

The number present, who received the above-named documents, was twenty six high priests, eighteen elders, three oriests, one teacher, and fourteen private members, making in all sixty two.

After giving such instruction as the spirit dictated, I laid my hands severally upon the heads of the two assistant presidents, and blessed them, that they might have wisdom to magnify their offices, and power over all the power of the adversary.

I also laid my hands upon the twelve councillors, and commanded a blessing to rest upon them, that they might have wisdom and power to counsel in righteousness, upon all subjects that might be laid before them. I also prayed that they might be delivered from those evils to which they were most exposed, and that their lives might be prolonged on the earth.

My father Joseph then laid his hands upon my head, and said, "Joseph, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessings of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest hold
 

[p. 995]
the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, until the coming of the Lord. Amen."

He also laid hands upon the head of his son Samuel, and said, "Samuel, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessing of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest remain a Priest of the Most High God, and like Samuel of old, hear His voice, saying, Samuel, Samuel. Amen."

John Johnson, also, laid his hand upon the head of his son Luke, and said, "My Father in heaven, I ask thee to bless this my son, according to the blessings of his forefathers; that he may be strengthened in his ministry, according to his holy calling. Amen."

I then gave the assistant presidents a solemn charge to do their duty in righteousness, and in the fear of God; I also charged the twelve councillors in a similar manner, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

We all raised our hands to heaven in token of the everlasting covenant, and the Lord blessed us with his Spirit. I then declared the council organized according to the ancient order, and also according to the mind of the Lord.

The following complaint was then presented before the council, by a high priest:

                              Kirtland, February 19th, 1834.

To the President of the High Council of the Church of Christ:

The following charges I prefer against Elder Curtis Hodges, Sen., of this Church: First, an error in spirit; Secondly, an error in address or communication, which was in loud speaking, and a want of clearness in articulation which was calculated to do injury to the cause of God; and also, of contending or persisting that that was a good or proper spirit which actuated him thus to speak, -- all of which I consider unbecoming an elder in this Church, and request a hearing before the high council.

(Signed)       EZRA THAYER.
Elder Hodges plead "not guilty" of the above charges.

Father Lyons was called on to substantiate the above charges, and his testimony was pointed against Brother Hodges. Brother Story testified that Elder Hodges talked so loud at a prayer meeting that the neighbors came out to see if some one was not hurt. At another meeting, he said that Elder Thayer rebuked him for his error, but he did not receive the rebuke; that he raised his voice so high that he could not articulate so as to be understood; and that his teaching brought a damp upon the meeting, and was not edifying. Brother E. Babbitt was then called upon, who testified that Elder Hodges was guilty of hallowing so loud that in a measure he lost his voice, and uttered but little else distinctly, "Glory to heaven's king." His testimony was pointed against brother Hodges, and Brother T. Wait testified much the same.

Counsellor O. Cowdery stood up on the part of the accuser, and opened the case handsomely and clearly.

Counsellor J. Coe stood up on the part of the accused, but could say but a few words.

The accuser and accused then spoke for themselves, after which, the President arose and laid open the case still more plain, and gave his decision, which was, that the charges in the declaration had been fairly sustained by good witnesses; also, that Elder Hodges ought to have confessed when rebuked by Elder Thayer; also, if he had the spirit of the Lord at the meetings, where he hallooed, he must have abused it, and grieved it away. All the council agreed with the decision.

Elder Hodges then rose and said, he then saw his wrong, but never saw it before, and appeared to feel thankful that he saw it. He said he had learned more during this trial, than he had since he came into the church -- confessed freely his error, and said he would attend to overcoming that evil, the Lord being his helper. The council forgave him and adjourned to the evening of the 20th.

ORSON HYDE,
OLIVER COWDERY, Clerks.



Notes: (forthcoming)


 




Vol. 6, No. 16.                    Nauvoo, Ill., Nov. 1, 1845.                  Whole No. 124.


[p. 1022]

HISTORY  OF  JOSEPH  SMITH.
____________________

CONTINUED.

(under construction)              



Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Vol. III. No. 42.]                     Voree, Wis., Jan. 4, 1849.                 [Whole No. 106.


[p. 230]

EXTRACT OF A LETTER TO THE PRINTER OF
THE
GOSPEL HERALD.

            Ashtabula, Ohio, Nov. 19th, 1848.

Mr. Cooper, -- Sir: -- *   *   *   *  I think that you will some day wake up to an understanding of your situation, for I think that you have more mind than to remain blind forever. -- For your benefit I will give you a short history of Mormonism. I will commence with the golden Bible. It was written in Erie, Pa., as a romance with regard to the ten lost tribes of Israel. From Erie it was sent to Pittsburgh in manuscript to be printed, where Rigdon, the great Apostle of "Mormonism," was at work as a journeyman printer, whole stole the manuscript, and with "Jo Smith" commenced one of the greatest systems of fraud and humbug ever got up. Jo Smith learned the manuscript off by heart, and then got a piece of glass and called it the philosopher's stone, with which he would read from the plates, which he found when the Devil kicked him six feet on end. And as for Jo Smith, he was known to be one of the greatest villains in the western part of the State of New York.

As I was saying, he read them to a gaping crowd, and every word was taken down as an oracle from God. Yes, the offspring of the imagination of a man, who died before his work could be printed, was read as the word of God! what profanity! From whence do they derive their order? From Jo Smith, I suppose. But ambition and fanaticism will carry some men a great ways. They want to be called Apostle, and want to mislead ignorant and foolish people, and especially when they have got money. That is what they want. And among them is that great Apostle Strang. I will not call him a fool, for he is not one. But his talents ought to be put to a better use than carrying on a system of fraud and deception, excelled only by Mohammed. *   *   *   JOHN GIFFORD.

==> The foregoing letter, written to the printer of the Herald by an old acquaintance, we publish just as set off to the assertions of M. Smith. The only differences we can see in them is that Mr. Gifford probably supposes what he says is true, just as some future fool who repeats Wm.'s tales may think them true. The story of Joseph getting a piece of glass and calling it the philosopher's stone is doubtless an attempt at the use of the Urim and Thummim. All that is said of the dead man's manuscript, is probably a vague reiteration of the Spaulding story. Mr. Gifford very likely does not know that Sidney Rigdon never was a printer. -- Nor that at the time the Spaulding manuscript was in Pittsburgh, Rigdon was a boy on his father's farm. We presume he would not like to know any such fact. Otherwise we would send him the evidence to his heart's content.

By the way, "Jo Smith" must have been full as smart to learn the whole Book of Mormon by heart as Strang was in endeavoring to make converts by fraudulent miracles, and at the same time teaching that all miracles were cheats. Pray, who would be converted by a miracle, if the doer said it was a fraud? And why should a "gaping crowd" think a man's words were an oracle from God, merely because he looked in a glass when he spoke them? Strange that no man can tell a lie, but he sticks up a signboard to show its falsity. We are pleased to see prophet Strang ranked with the prophets, even in calumny, and are not a whit displeased that Mr. Gifford, after repeating stale falsehoods on Joseph, should call him hard names also. If, like the assembly at Ottawa, Wm.'s eastern audiences should require him to begin his Mormon expose with "Old Jo" or return the money, they doubtless could hear something of more prophets than one. However this may be, all who know him know that, rather than fail of a favorite undertaking, he would justify any iniquity under Joseph's cloak.


Note 1: John Gifford's recollection of a story about "the ten lost tribes of Israel" having been written in Erie County, PA corresponds closely with the testimony of Daniel Tyler. In 1878, Tyler (like Gifford, an early resident of the area where PA and OH meet on the Lake Erie shore) speaks of "A superannuated Presbyterian preacher" having "written a romance... pretending that the ten tribes" came to ancient America. Tyler also mentions his neighbor in Erie, County, PA: "Erastus Rudd, in whose house much of the romance was formerly written..." (Daniel Tyler, "The Spauldin' Story," Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Jan. 16, 1878. It appears that both Gifford and Tyler were heirs to a local tradition that the Rev. Solomon Spalding wrote a story about the "ten lost tribes of Israel," perhaps partly in New Salem, Ashtabula, OH, but mostly in the adjacent Erie Co., PA.

Note 2: For other newspapers edited or published by James J. Strang, see the links index near the top of the web-page devoted to his Voree Herald, etc.


 



By O. Hyde.                   Kanesville, Nov. 14, 1849.                 Vol. I. No. 21.


Rigdon's Confession.

After Sidney Rigdon was rejected by the Church as its leader, he then, in all the bitterness and wrath of a demon, began to publish against the Church the most barefaced falsehoods and the most slanderous reproaches.

His articles would be headed, something like the following: "Horrid Disclosures," -- "Abominable Corruption," -- "High-handed Wickedness," -- "Murder," -- "Treason," -- "Indians," -- "Conspiracy to overthrow the Government," &c., &c.

He charged us with every crime that he thought might awaken the strongest prejudices against us, and create a little sympathy for himself. He appealed to the worst passions of men, and sought to fire their indignation to an extent that would insure our destruction. But we have lived it through so far, and shall be able, by the blessing of God, to endure yet longer.

Mr. Rigdon failed to accomplish his undertaking after all his pretended visions and revelations against us. He run into the most wild and criminal extravagances when he began to despair of success, if we can believe one half what has been told us by his own followers. When his affairs became so desperate that he could not stand by them any longer, he said to Mr. Price, then one of his followers in Pittsburgh, as he (Rigdon,) was about going into retirement with Robinson, his son-in-law: "If any ask to know where I am gone, tell them I am gone to Hell on a thousand years' mission."

If Mr. Rigdon has been frank enough to make this confession, the proof of which we have, what must be the encouragement of those that are pursuing just such a course, and for the very same object: Namely, the government or presidency of the Church? But one may say that Rigdon was not the heir by birth, and consequently had no just right: But sons cannot always succeed to supreme power, particularly when they seek it in an unlawful way, and for unholy purposes. Lucifer was a son of the Father and brother to Jesus Christ; but was thrust down to hell for indulging an unlawful ambition; and though he is cast out, he comes not to contend for his rights, which by birth and standing, he claims are his; when the poor devil has no rights, only to have his bosom tormented with an accusing spirit, and burning with the fire of contention and indignation that consumes him away till he looks like a stolen mummy.

It is not a little amusing to see with what untiring perseverance these pretended, and self styled presidents of the church operate, to convince the "United States" that the Mormons are laying some secret plan for overthrowing the nation. When our country was at war and in difficulty, what part did these self-styled prophets and presidents take to help the nation? Were they collecting the people and inspiring, by their patriotic speeches, a martial spirit in them to march forth into the field in the defence of our nation's honor? No! They were meanly traducing us who were doing all we could to raise men for the public service in Mexico. We not only used our influence to accomplish this; but turned out our eatables and property to sustain women and children that were left by their husbands and fathers. We are free to own that we are resolved to oppose mobocracy, and shall do our best to overthrow any unlawful combination that may arise against us. But whoever says that we are secretly combined against the Constitutional Government of our country, is a liar and the truth is not in him. He shall follow the track of Mr. Rigdon and remain where he is said to be gone, till those whom he slanders are disposed to turn the key and let him out. "Whomsoever sins ye retain, they are retained." The testimony of Joseph Smith, when living, was, "The true priesthood is with the body, and not with the fragments." "Let all things be done by common consent among you." See Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph's testimony to individuals is, "The body of the church is the place for the Saints to gather to,"

Satan himself can contend for a legitimate priesthood with equal propriety of those who have been excluded from the church; and excommunicated members from this church stand in precisely the same relation to us as Satan does to the church celestial.


Note 1: This article was almost certainly written by the Editor of the Frontier Guardian, LDS Apostle Orson Hyde. He here accuses former LDS First Presidency member, Elder Sidney Rigdon, of having attacked the Mormon apostolic leadership at Nauvoo with the "most slanderous reproaches." Apostle Hyde further claims that Rigdon had "charged us with every crime that he thought might awaken the strongest prejudices against us." Hyde's 1849 claims in reference to Rigdon's previous "wild and criminal extravagances," conform closely to statements published in the Nov. 7, 1844 and Nov. 16, 1844 issues of the LDS New York City newspaper, The Prophet. In the latter article, it is reported of Rigdon, "that while in Missouri, he stood up and cursed God to his face and pronounced Mormonism to be a delusion." It is certainly believable, that under such extraordinary circumstances, Sidney Rigdon might have told a St. Louis acquaintance, like James Jefferies, that Mormonism was a "delusion" based upon pseudo-scriptures originally authored by Solomon Spalding.

Note 2: For other atricles from the Frontier Guardian see the first issue and subsequent links.




 


By O. Hyde.                  Kanesville, Jan. 23, 1850.                Vol. I. No. 26.


We have just received a new paper, published at Greencastle, Pa. We will write its name; but we are not without our fears that we might break our jaw if we should attempt to pronounce it. It is not exactly the fever and ague, though it produces a chill when we think of its Editor who was Mr. Rigdon's right hand man until Mr. R.'s virtue set him crazy. But the name! Coacontague -- No! "Conococheague Herald." We have tried to pronounce it until our tongue feels like a cork screw. But our devil has just explained the whole affair. He says it is the grand key word that Rigdon introduced in his memorable sermon from these words: "Ye shall see as ye are seen, and know as ye are known." delivered near Chambersburg. The Herald is published by Ebenezer Robinson & Co., and is of the milk and water order, if we have translated its head correctly.


Note: About 150 of Sidney Rigdon's followers moved to the region of Greencastle, Antrim twp., Franklin Co., Pa in 1849 and established there a farming and manufacturing community. The Conococheague Herald (first issue published on Sept. 19, 1849) was owned and operated by Elder Ebenezer Robinson and was probably printed upon the same press that had previously issued forth Rigdon's Messenger and Advocate at Pittsburgh. Robinson's paper was the precursor to the modern Echo-Pilot published at Greencastle.


 




HE THAT HATH AN EAR. LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH
UNTO THE CHURCHES. -- Rev. ii. 7.



No. 14. -- Vol. XII.                          July  15, 1850.                         One Penny.


[p. 209]

REMARKS  ON  THE  BOOK  OF  MORMON.

BY  WM.  GIBSON.

As our faith in the Book of Mormon as a record of the ancient inhabitants of America, written by commandment of God. revealed by the ministration of an angel and translated by the gift and power of God, is looked upon by this generation as a proof of the extreme folly and ignorance of the Latter-day Saints in general, I shall give a few reasons for believing that the coming forth of such a record is perfectly consistent with reason, scripture, and the character of God.

I shall commence by quoting the testimony of the apostle Paul. Acts xvii. 24, "God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needeth any thing; seeing He giveth to all life and breath and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." From this passage we learn that wherever we find men upon the face of the earth, that they are all of one blood...

(under construction)




Notes: (forthcoming)


 




HE THAT HATH AN EAR. LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH
UNTO THE CHURCHES. -- Rev. ii. 7.



No. 18. -- Vol. XI.                          September  1, 1851.                         One Penny.


[p. 261]

REMARKS  ON  THE  BOOK  OF  MORMON.

BY  ELDER  WILLIAM  GIBSON.
(Continued from page 228)


I shall now turn to the late discoveries in America, by Stephens and others, and also to the traditions of the Indians themselves, as corroborative evidence of the truth of what has been already advanced, and of other things contained in the Book of Mormon.

[p. 262]
The following is from a work on the origin of the American Indians, by a. Colton, published by him in London, in the year 1833: -- " They assert that a book was once in the possession of their ancestors, and along with this recognition they have traditions that the Great Spirit used to foretell t;o their fathers future events, that he controlled nature in their favour, that angels once talked with them, that all the Indian tribes descended from one man, who had twelve sons; that this man was a notable and renowned prince, having great dominions; and that the Indians, his posterity, will yet recover the same dominion and influence; they believe by tradition, that the spirit of prophecy and miraculous interposition once enjoyed by their ancestors will yet be restored to them, and that they shall yet recover the book, all of which has been so long lost."

Here then is Ephraim at the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, where his seed has become a multitude of nations; here shut out for ages from the rest of mankind, he has been as a wild ass, alone by himself; and here God has revealed unto him the great things of his law, " but they have been counted as a strange thing."

How beautiful and plain the prophecies of the Bible are, and how exactly fulfilled, if we believe in the Book of Mormon; and how dark and mysterious must many of them for ever be to those who reject it. If it takes two witnesses to establish a thing, then here we have them, the one giving the prophecies, and the other their fulfilment.

Before the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the American Indians were looked upon by men in general, with the exception of a very few writers, to be a race of savages, who being shut out from the rest of the civilised world, had continued from age to age without a knowledge of the arts and sciences, without any means of transmitting to posterity their history as a people except by tradition, and there before when the Book of Mormon was first published, declaring that the American Indians were a remnant of Israel, of the seed of Joseph; that they had once been of civilised people, that the arts and sciences had flourished among them; that they once had a knowledge of the true and living God; that they had built great and mighty cities, and even gave the location where some of these cities once stood. that they used to engrave their records on plates of gold or brass, and thus hand down their history to posterity, and that the language they used in writing was called by them the reformed Egyptian, and known to no other people; the wise men laughed at these absurdities, as they called them, and wondered that any could be found foolish enough to believe them. But time rolls on, and at length Mr. Stephens astonishes the world by publishing his discoveries of the ruins of large and mighty cities, magnificent temples, and statues, covered with hieroglyphics; some of them found on the very location pointed out years before in the Book of Mormon as the place where great and mighty cities once stood. Hear the remarks of Mr. Stephens, on viewing the ruins of Copan "We sat down on the very edge of the wall and I strove in vain to penetrate the mystery by which we were surrounded. Who were the people who built the city? In the ruins of Egypt, even in the long lost Petra, the stranger knows the story of the people whose vestiges are around him. America, says historians, was peopled by savages, but savages never reared these structures -- savages never carved these stones. We asked the Indians who made them and their dull answer was, Quien sabe, (who knows)? There were no associations connected with the place, none of those stirring recollections which hallow Rome, Athens, and 'the world's great mistress on the Egyptian plain.' But architecture, sculpture, and painting, all the arts which embellish life, had flourished in this overgrown forest, orators, warriors, and statesmen, beauty, ambition, and glory, had lived and passed away, and none knew that such things had been, or could tell of their past existence. Books, the records of knowledge, are silent on this theme, the city was desolate." How fitly does the words of Isaiah in his 29th chapter apply to them, "And thou shalt be brought down and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust." The history of that people lies inscribed on these fallen ruins, it speaks to men from the ground, and whispers from the dust, but none can understand it till the sealed book comes forth, to declare their origin, their history, and their fall.

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The Book of Mormon is the history of that people. In the second European edition, which is the one I will use on this occasion, page 515, we are told that the ancient inhabitants of America used to engrave their records on plates, and that the language they used in doing so was called by them the reformed Egyptian, and that it was known to no other people.

Let us now look at the testimony of some recent discoveries, corroborative of these two things; first, then for proof that the ancient inhabitants of America did engrave their records on plates. Read the following testimony of the discovery of other plates by people not one of whom belonged to the church of Latter-day Saints, about sixteen years after those discovered by Joseph Smith.

"To the editor of the Times and Seasons. -- We, citizens of Kinderhook, whose names are annexed, do certify and declare, that on the 23d of April, 1843, while excavating a large mound in the vicinity, Mr. R. Wiley took from said mound six brass plates, of a bell-shape, covered with ancient characters. Said plates were very much oxydated. The bands and rings on said plates moldered into dust on a slight pressure. The above described plates we have handed to Mr. Sharp, for the purpose of having them taken to Nauvoo.

"ROBERT WILEY, GEORGE DICKENSON, W. LONGNECKER. G. W. F. WARD, J. R. SHARP, IRA S. CURTIS, FAYETTE GRUBB, W. P. HARRIS, W. FUGATE."

The Quincy Whig, after recording this discovery, remarks, "The plates above alluded to, were exhibited in this city last week, and are now, we understand, in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The public curiosity is greatly excited, and if Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent, than any man now living."

Again, we find their ancient monuments covered with hieroglyphics. Is it then an unreasonable thing to believe that a people who could engrave their history on monuments, won't do the same on plates of gold or brass, seeing the discoveries made, show us they knew the use of various metals with which the country abounds? certainly not; the unreasonableness would lie in believing the contrary; thus we see that subsequent discoveries have corroborated this part of the testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Again, the language they used in engraving was said to be the Egyptian, altered by them, and called the reformed Egyptian, and that no other people knew it. I well remember some ten years ago the Rev. C. J. Kennedy, in Scotland, using this as one of his strongest arguments to prove the Book of Mormon false, that it was said to have been engraved in Egyptian characters, but recent discoveries have proved this would-be wise man wrong.

I take the following from the Edinburgh Evening Courant, of October 16th, 1848, in an article on the discoveries in America, the writer says: -- "We shall here simply remark, that whoever looks at the able drawings of Stephens's book on Central America, will perceive them to be covered with Egyptian hieroglyphics and Hamyaratic letters, such as those lately discovered in Southern Arabia, and at once perceive that the figures and lineaments are those of superior Asiatic nations."

Again, we see the testimony of the Book of Mormon is true, for men are forced to own these hieroglyphics are Egyptian, yet still no man can read them.

No, their language is lost, their cities are desolate, -- their prophets -- their rulers -- their seers, are gone, and the vision, the history of all is a sealed book, the words of which are delivered to the learned, but he cannot read them; he saith it is sealed, and the book is delivered to the unlearned, saying, read this, I pray thee, but he saith I am not learned, wherefore the Lord had to do a marvellous work, and a wonder in making the unlearned to understand and read the words of the book, and thus make the wisdom of the wise to perish, and the understanding of the prudent to be bid. How beautifully does the testimony of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and discoveries now making agree together.

I shall now take a look at some other things recorded in the Book of Mormon. In page 46 we are told that the ancient inhabitants of America were acquainted with the writings of Moses and the prophets, for Nephi says: -- "And I did read

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many things unto them, which were written in the Book of Moses, but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer, I did read unto them that which is written by the prophet Isaiah;" these writings we are told in the 11th page were taken with them from the land of Jerusalem, and contained the five Books of Moses, and the writings of the prophets, till the days of Zedekiah. Compare this with the following. Mr. C. Colton in the work already referred to, speaking of their sacrifices, says: -- "On certain occasions the victim must not only be white, but a single coloured hair, or a blemish or any sort would be sufficient to condemn it." He also says that while they sing and dance around the sacrifice, the Hebrew sacred name of Je-ho-vah can be plainly distinguished, and they have also the Hebrew A-la-heem. in substantial forms, applicable to the Great Spirit, and in their sacred songs Ha-le-lu-jah is often heard as perfectly as in any Christian choir; they have also a sacred vessel or Ark of the Covenant, which is employed on some occasions, and is regarded with the most religious veneration.

In the discourse of M. M. Noah on the evidence of the American Indians being descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, published in New York, in 1837, we find him quoting among others the following authors. Mr. Adair, who after giving a number of Hebrew words in use among them says: -- "The Indians have their prophets, and high priests, the same as the Jews had, not hastily selected; but chosen with caution from the most wise and discreet, and they ordain their high priests by anointing, and have a most holy place in their sanctuaries, like the Holy of Holies in the temple. The Archimagus or high priest, wears, in resemblance to the ancient breastplate, a white conch shell, ornamented so as to resemble the precious stones on the Urim, and instead of the golden plate worn by the Levite on his forehead, the Indian binds his brows with a wreath of swan's feathers, and wears a tuft of white feathers which he calls Yatira. The Indians have their Ark, which they invariably carry to battle with them, well guarded. It is also worthy of notice, that they never place the Ark on the ground, -- n hilly ground where large stones are plenty, they rest it thereon, but on level prairies, on short logs, where they also seat themselves." This statement of Mr. Adair in relation to the Ark is corroborated by several travellers. Major Long, a more recent traveller, in his expedition to the Rocky Mountains, says in relation to the Ark, "It is placed upon a stand, and is never suffered to touch the earth. No person dare open all the coverings. Tradition informs them that curiosity induced three different persons to examine the mysterious shell, who were immediately punished for their profanation by instant blindness." This, then, is corroborative testimony that the Indians were acquainted with the law of Moses, and to show that they had also some knowledge of the New Testament, I quote the following from a work printed in London 200 years ago, by one Matthew Costerden, entitled Christianographic -- "It seemeth that the Americans had some knowledge of Christ before the coming of the Spaniards. Francis Lopez de Comora writes, that the people honoured the cross. I read also in Postel that a certain Quezel Covatsian, clothed with a white garment, covered with red crosses, preached the fear of one God, and that there should be a retribution of everlasting punishment and reward after this life."

Comora in his history of the Indians, describing the conference of Nicaragua with Gil Gonzales, introduces this chief as putting a variety of questions to the Spaniards. He inquired if the Christians were acquainted with the great deluge which had swallowed up the earth, men, and animals? Whether the earth was to be revolutionized or the firmament to remove, what was the honour due to the triune God, where souls go after death, and what would be their occupation?

The next thing I shall notice is that the Book of Mormon gives an account of the two distinct races of people who inhabited the American continent; the first a people who came from the Tower of Babel, and the other a part of the seed of Jacob, who came from Jerusalem, in the days of Zedekiah, king of Judah. M. Noah, in his discourse on the origin of the American Indians, after endeavouring to prove the present Indians descendants of Israel, declares that some of the ancient ruins there must be the work of another people, he says: -- "But, who were the Tultequans and Azeteques, the founders of this empire in America; who built the pyramids of Cholula and city of Palenque? Not the Jews.

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Here we have a most singular diversion, from the path on which we originally set out, (that was to prove the Indians Israelites); another extraordinary discovery marked too, by events no less extraordinary than amazing." Here again, the testimony of the Book of Mormon is corroborated.

In the Book of Mormon, from page 503 to 509, we have an account of a wicked and idolatrous race, who sacrificed women and children unto their idols, and of the destruction by them of a nation, en masse, from the earth by war.

In corroboration of this I will give an extract from the New York Sun, of June 8th, 1848. "Yucatan is the grave of a great nation, that has mysteriously passed away, and left behind no history. Every forest embosoms the remains of vast temples, sculptured over with the symbols of a lost creed, and noble cities whose stately palaces and causeways attest in their mournful abandonment the colossal grandeur of their builders; they are the gigantic tombs of an illustrious race; but they bear neither name nor epitaph; the conscious stricken awe of an with which the Indian avoids them, as he relates the confused tradition of a whole people extinguished in blood and fire by his forefathers, a ferocious and cannibal race, delighting in human sacrifices, are all that even conjecture can say of the manner in which the ancient occupants of Yucatan were blotted, en masse, from the page of existence."

In the Book of Mormon, page 501, we find that the place where the cities stood, and where this people were exterminated, is said to be the narrow pass that led to the land southward, (or that divides North and South America); now look to your maps and you will find Yucatan where the ruins of these cities still are found, and where according to this extract from the New York Sun, Indian tradition still confirms the truth of the Book of Mormon, on the 346th page of the Book of Mormon, we find an account of their manner of fortifying their cities. "And it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites, for he caused that they should commence digging up heaps of earth, round about all the cities throughout all the land possessed by the Nephites." By reading the next page, you will find that the cities here spoken of as being thus fortified, were in North America.

I shall now give an extract from a work on American antiquities, by Josiah Priest, who, in speaking of these mounds, quotes the testimony of Mr. Br[a]ckenridge, who says, "These tumuli, as well as the fortifications, are to be found at the junction of all the rivers along the Mississippi, in the most eligible positions for towns, and in the most extensive bodies of fertile land; their number exceeds, perhaps, three thousand; the smallest not less than twenty feet in height, and three hundred in circumference." At the base, he says, further, "I am perfectly satisfied that cities similar to those of ancient Mexico, of several hundred thousand, have existed in this western country." Thus another part of the Book of Mormon is corroborated.

In page 141, of the Book of Mormon, we read of a portion of the Nephites, (who were white), leaving their brethren, and going away by themselves, so that they were not destroyed, when the rest fell by the hands of the red men, the Lamanites.

In an extract from the American Sun, of November 26, 1846, we are told that a work has been recently published, in which there is a full account of a race of white savages, called Munchees, who are said to be actually in existence, in a valley among the Sierra los Mimbres. Here, again, it is confirmed. The reader will perceive that a great number of these discoveries have been made and published after the Book of Mormon was in print; and every discovery that is made in another proof of its truth; and not one discovery has been made that contradicts a single statement that it contains; it agrees with them; it agrees with tradition; it agrees with reason; it agrees with the Bible; its prophecies are fulfilling; its doctrines are pure; and thousands can testify that the Book of Mormon is true.

For the benefit of the Saints, I may say, that they will find many of the foregoing extracts more fully given in some of the former volumes of the Millennial Star.

(To be continued.)



Notes: (forthcoming)


 




HE THAT HATH AN EAR. LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH
UNTO THE CHURCHES. -- Rev. ii. 7.



No. 18. -- Vol. XII.                          September  15, 1851.                         One Penny.


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REMARKS  ON  THE  BOOK  OF  MORMON.

BY  ELDER  WILLIAM  GIBSON.

(Concluded from our last)

I shall now take up a few of the most popular objections urged against it by some of its greatest opponents: first, as to its origin.

Mr. Heys, Wesleyan minister, Isle of Man, gives the following account of it: -- He says it was written in Harmony township, Susquehanna County, Pennslyvania, by Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, from the mouth of Joseph Smith, as he sat with his hat on his face, and a stone in his hat, while the plates were hid away in the woods. The Rev. Richard Livesey in his book, intitled Mormonism exposed, says it was written in Conneaut, Ohio, by one Solomon Spaulding, as a religious novel, and afterwards altered by Sidney Rigdon, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Messrs. Chambers, of Edinburgh, in a tract published by them, on religious impostors, on the authoruty of the Athenaeum, says, that Joseph Smith was a man scarcely capable of inventing or writing even the ravings of the Book of Mormon, but the Rev. Solomon Spaulding having left his ministry, and entered into business in Cherry Vale, New York, became bankrupt there in the year 1809; and to relieve himself from his distresses, he wrote a novel, connecting the sepulchral mounds of North America with the lost ten tribes of Israel, supposed by some to have peopled that continent, and intending to to name [it] the "Manuscript Found," he wrote it in the style of the old Hebrew compositions. The work was taken to a printer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; but the author dying before it could be published, the printer lent the manuscript to Sidney Rigdon, who, in connection with Joseph Smith, palmed it on the world as a New Revelation.

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Again, in a pamphlet by John Thomas, M. D., intitled "a Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Dispersion of the Mormons," page 1, we are told that Mr. Spaulding never intended to publish his work; that he did not send it to a printer for that purpose: that he wrote it for his own amusement, and so from Sidney Rigdon's having anything to do with the bringing out of the Book of Mormon, he was then in connection with Mr. A. Campbell, and did not join the Latter-day Saints till the Book of Mormon had been in print, and the society established some considerable time, but Mr. Spaulding having lent his manuscript to a friend, it fell into hands of a bookseller in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who either wrote a copy of it, or retained the original manuscript, and having found that Joseph Smith was a fit tool, being of a soft semi-daft or impressionable nature, he was made to pretend that an angel had appeared to him, and revealed the existence and whereabouts of the plates from which the Book of Mormon was said to be translated.

Again, in a book by Mr. A. Campbell, the same gentleman Mr. Thomas speaks of, intitled "An Analysis of the internal and external Evidences of the Book of Mormon." He says, page 18, "If I could swear to any man's voice, face, or person, assuming different names, I could swear that this book was written by one man: and as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man and is called the author on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single moment but that he is the sole author and proprietor of it." Here, then, we have the testimony of two Methodist parsons, of Mr. Campbell, the leader of a religious society, of Dr. Thomas, a man of high standing in the religious world, of the Athenaeum, a publication that I believe is the organ of a religious society, and of a work from such men as the Messrs. Chambers of Edinburgh, all giving us what they say is the origin of the Book of Mormon; and as we cannot expect that lies will come from such a source, or that men will bear false witness against their neighbors, it is no wonder that the Latter-day Saints are despised and the Book of Mormon considered a fable by those who do not investigate for themselves, but take it for granted that it must be so, for the parson says it. But I will now compare these various statements, and then we shall see what amount of credit can be given to the testimony of even such holy and pious men when their craft is in danger.

First, then, as to where it was written, Mr. Heys says it was written in Harmony township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania; the Rev. Richard Livesey says it was written in Conneaut, Ohio; while Messrs. Chambers and the Athenaeum gives us to understand that it was written in Cherry Valley New York.

Next, by whom it was written.

Mr. Heys says it was written by Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, from the mouth of Joseph Smith. Mr. Livesey contradicts him, and says it was written by Sidney Rigdon, from a novel by one Solomon Spaulding. Dr. Thomas declares they are both wrong. for it was written or stolen by a bookseller, in Pittsburgh, and that Sidney Rigdon had no connection with Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints till some time after it was printed. The Rev. Alex. Campbell makes them all three wrong; he says it is the work of an ignorant man, of course that could not apply to a parson, and we are told that Solomon Spaulding was one, and as Joseph Smith was ignorant, he is ready to swear that he is the sole author and proprietor of it; while Chambers and the Athenaeum declare that Joseph Smith was incapable of writing the ravings of the Book of Mormon.

Again, I ask, what are we to believe? Would such testimony be received in any court of justice as evidence upon which any man should be condemned? Certainly not. Then why is Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon condemned upon it? I suppose it will be for the same reason that Jesus Christ and the New Testament were condemned by the Jews, viz., the priests and holy men would have it so.

I shall next look at the objections raised against the contents of the Book.

First, it is ungrammatical in its construction. I grant it, but does that prove it false? it only proves that those who wrote it were unlearned men. Suppose, for instance, that some one had written the words of Peter and John, just as they uttered them at the beautiful gate of the Temple, as recorded in Acts iv. 13, would they have been according to grammatical rules? Surely not; for we are told that

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their hearers perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men. If they had clothed their ideas in words fitly chosen, and according to grammatical rules, how could their ignorance and want of learning have been perceived? or if Peter and John had written the same words to the people which were uttered by them, would the writing have been grammatical? Certainly not; and yet it would have been scripture, for they were inspired men. The Spirit of God gives the ideas, and allows men to clothe them in the language with which they are most familiar; and thus their testimony has been to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. Is the Bible grammatical? if not, after all the labour bestowed on its translation what would it have been if the words of the ploughmen, shepherds, and fishermen that compose it, were recorded, just as they were uttered by them? and yet they would have been scripture.

I shall next look at some objections brought against the historical part of it. One portion often objected to is the account of the death of Laban by Nephi. The Book of Mormon says that Nephi was constrained by the Spirit to cut off the head of Laban, and this is looked upon by many as a strong proof against it, because (as they say) it would make God to sanction murder. If those who say so, ever read their Bibles, they surely do not believe what they read, or perhaps they have forgotten what the Bible contains; I will therefore refresh their memories by quoting a few instances recorded in the Bible, where men have been put to death with the approbation of God. In Numbers xxv. 7, 8, we find that Phineas the priest took his javelin and thrust it through a man and woman,, and killed them both, and for so doing the Lord blessed him and his seed for ever. In Judges iv. 15, we are told that the Lord raised up a deliverer for Israel, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite; and how did he do it? We are informed that he made a dagger with two edges, a cubit long; he then went to the king of Moab, and told him that the Lord had sent him with a message unto him, and when the king caused his attendants to go out that he might hear the message in private, he thrust the dagger into his bowels and killed him. In 1 Samuel xv. 33, we read that Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, after Saul had spared the life of Agag, king of Amalek, took Agag, and hewed him in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

In 1 Kings xviii. 40, it is written that Elijah said take the Prophets of Baal, let not one of them escape; and they took them and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. These are only a few instances recorded in the Bible of men being killed with the approbation of God and if one proves the Book of Mormon a fiction, what will so many prove the Bible to be? men who reason thus, to be consistent, ought to deny them both, and come boldly forward and declare their infidelity.

Another great objection to the Book of Mormon is the account it gives of a director or compass that they had to guide them on their journey. Mr. Alexander Campbell, in his book before referred to, page 17, says, "The mariner's compass was only known in Europe about 300 years ago, but Nephi knew all about steamboats and the compass 2400 years ago." Now in what part of his Book of Mormon he finds anything said about steam-boats I know not, but one thing I do know, it is not in the one believed in by the Latter-day Saints; and if men are to be judged now by the same rules as that by which Christ judged the pious Pharisees in his day, then Mr. Campbell and others like him, may find out their relationship by reading John viii 44.

But as to the compass, Mr. Campbell says that Nephi knew all about the compass 2400 years ago. But in this he is contradicted by Chambers and the Athenaeum; when speaking of this compass, they say, that the writer (Nephi) evidently misunderstood the use of a compass altogether; while Dr. Thomas, in his book already quoted, page 4, says, "It was a sort of wheel made to roll on before them of itself, as their guide in the way they were to go," Now as it was the same compass they had on board the ship, it would have to run before them on the water also. Thus you have the testimony of Mr. Campbell, the Athenaeum; and Dr. Thomas, and you can take your choice. If you believe Mr. Campbell, then you will believe that Nephi knew all about the mariner's compass 2400 years ago; if you believe the Athenaeum; you will believe that he knew nothing about it, but

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misunderstood the use of the compass altogether; while if you believe Dr. Thomas, you will believe that the compass they had was no more like the mariner's compass than three honest men are like three contemptible promulgators of falsehood: for he says it was a sort of wheel that ran before them, but where he got such an idea from I know not, unless it came from the same fruitful source from which he got. the rest of the falsehoods with which his book is filled, and from which Mr. Campbell got his statement of the steam-boats. I would advise them to claim kindred, for the works of their Father they will do; for when they utter such falsehoods, they speak of their own; they are lies, and they the fathers of them.

I shall now give the account of it from the Book of Mormon, page 314. "And now my son, I have somewhat to say, concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball or director, for our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it: and, behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship ~ and, behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course that they should travel in the wilderness, and it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way that they should go, behold it was done: therefore, they had this miracle and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God."

Is this any thing like the mariner's compass? or is it like a sort of wheel that ran before them of itself? Poor creatures, you need our pity more than our anger.

But, again, it is said by objectors, if we believe this account we must believe that God made or prepared this ball or compass, and that is rather too much for us to do. Why, my friends, should it be too much if you can believe the Bible?

Does it not say in Gen. iii. 21, that God made or prepared coats of skin for Adam and Eve? (I wonder who skinned the animals)? and in Exodus xxxii. 16, we read of God's hewing two tables of stone, and then engraving the law upon them, and I think the man who can believe the one statement has little cause to reject the other, because it says the compass was the work of God.

The next objection to which I will advert, is the account given in the Book of Mormon of the barges with a hole in the top and another in the bottom. This part has always been held up to derision, and our enemies have made the most of it for this purpose.

The Book of Mormon says, they were tight like unto a dish, and from this it is declared that they were in the form of a dish; and I well remember hearing the Rev. C. J. Kennedy read this passage, and then compare them to a saucer with a hole in the bottom, and ask the audience could such a vessel swim? but how a boat the length of a tree and peaked at the ends, could be like a saucer, he forgot to say. Any unprejudiced man who reads the account of them in the Book of Mormon. will see that it was not in regard to their form that they are said to be like a dish, but in regard to their tightness, and we are told in the 526th page, that they were tight, like the Ark of Noah and as for a hole in the top and bottom, it must be evident to every one that both would be needed for air and cleanliness on such a voyage; and in reading the account, you will find that the Lord showed them how to prevent the water from coming in upon them, although the way it was done is not recorded; yet seeing it is declared that it was done, I would ask my wise friends is there any thing impossible or even very strange in the idea? True, if the hole in the bottom had to be stopped with a plug, like a beer barrel, as some wise men would have it, it would be rather strange for them what use could be made of it, except in case of the boat overturning, and even then it would need to be somewhat larger than the bung-hole of a beer-barrel to do much good. But I would ask, do you think that a good shipbuilder would think it an impossible thing to build a boat so tight that no water could get in, and then leave a hole in the top, so constructed, that it could be opened and shut at the pleasure of those within, and have another hole in some part of the bottom, and by means of such a simple thing as a hollow cylinder or pipe, or some such thing of either wood or iron carried to a certain height, according to the depth of water the vessel drew, prevent the water from coming in, and yet make it serve for the purpose of cleanliness.

(To be Continued.)


Note 1: This installment of Elder Gibson's series on the Book of Mormon was reprinted in the March 7, 1851 issue of Orson Hyde's Frontier Guardian. Subsequent installments were featured in the Millennial Star on Oct. 1, and Oct. 15, 1850

Note 2: Richard Livesey's An exposure of Mormonism was first published at Wrexham, UK, in 1838; by W. Bayley. John Thomas' Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Dispersion of the Mormons was published in London in 1849. Rev. Robert Heys' Address to the Members of the Wesleyan Societies... on the Subject of Mormonism, was published at Douglass, UK in 1840. Robert Chambers published a 32 page booklet, entitled History of the Mormons, at Edinburgh in 1853 -- see also 1853-54 issues of The Edinburgh Review and Littell's Living Age, for July 15, 1854. Robert and his brother apparently also published "Chambers' Repository of Tracts" in Edinburgh during the late 1840s, some of which addressed the topic of Mormonism. The Athenaeum was published in London throughout the 1840s and 1850s.

Note 3: Although Gibson addresses the topics of the Spalding authorship claims and the reported involvement of Sidney Rigdon in the production of the Book of Mormon, he offers no substantial rebuttal of allegations linking Rigdon to Spalding's writings. His differentiation of claims stating that Spalding wrote a manuscript while living in Cherry Valley, New York or at Conneaut, Ohio is fruitless quibbling, as Spalding could well have begun writing in the former location and continued that work after having moved to the latter place.




 


By O. Hyde.                    Kanesville, Fri.,  Feb.  7, 1851.                  Vol. III. No. 1.


"The Spaulding Story."

We are a little surprised to see this old, dead and buried fable resurrected again, and going the rounds of the papers. Well it reminds us of the return of the Sow that was washed to her wollowing in the mire again. The world, or at least the enemies of Mormonism or truth, are certainly hard up for a "weapon" before they would use such a flimsey self-evident falsehood as D. P. Hulbart's misconception of truth, to screen their sacerdotal position, even if Judge Campbell should say that the Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the author of the Book of Mormon, and we think that they must have considered well the words of the "Preacher" viz: that there is nothing new under the Sun. We consider Spulding's edition too old to be worth revising, and too rediculous to receive attention; but read the following from the New England Puritan, and the answer of Justitia" in the New York Tribune.

Author of the Mormon Bible.

The New England Puritan states that [at] a public meeting lately held in Cherry Valley Judge Campbell said:

"Rev. Solomon Spaulding, one of the earliest preceptors of the Academy of Cherry Valley, was the actual composer of most of what is known as the Mormon Bible. He wrote it during a period of delicate health to beguile some of his weary hours, and also with a design to offer it for publication as a romance. Dr. Robert Campbell, late of Cherry Valley, and foster father of the first Mrs. Grant, of the Nestorian mission, calling some years since upon Mr. Spaulding, had the manuscript of this notable book to be shown to him, and was also informed by Mr. Spaulding that he had hopes of reaping some pecuniary advantage from it for himself and family. Mr. Spaulding has been dead for some years, though it is believed that his wife is still living in the United States. How it passed from the possession of his family into the hands of Joe Smith it is probable that Mrs. Spaulding could tell."

Authorship of the Book of Mormon.

SCHENECTADY, Monday, Nov. 25, 1850.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE:

In your paper of the 19th inst., my attention was drawn to an article headed "Author of the Mormon Bible," wherein it is stated a certain Judge Campbell asserted at a recent public meeting, at Cherry Valley, that the Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the actual composer of most of what is known as the Mormon Bible, and that he (Mr. S.) wrote it intending to publish it as a romance. A Dr. Robert Campbell is stated to have seen this celebrated manuscript. Mr. Spaulding has been dead many years, but how it got into the hands of Joe Smith the writer of said article knoweth not, but it is probable Mrs. S. can tell. Now, Mr. Editor, I am very averse to public writing or speaking, but being a humble member of that much calumniated and grossly persecuted community, I cannot suffer the above erroneous statement to pass current in spite of its endorsement by Revs. Drs. Judges, and high sounding titles, without endeavoring to throw a little more light upon the subject than the author of the assertion is capable of doing.

In the first place I would say that the term Mormon Bible, in the sense used, is inappropriate, and proceeds from the ignorance or prejudice of the speaker or writer. The Bible of the Mormons is that in common use, containing the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in which they fully and sincerely believe, as any person who has had any conversation with them or at all examined their doctrines, must be quite convinced of; that they are more consistent in the belief thereof might be also asserted. But herein they differ from the professors, they do not regard them as all the revelation of God to man, or that revelation is necessarily confined to bye-gone days.

As regards the Book of Mormon, they look upon it as a written revelation to another portion of the House of Israel on this continent, and equally worthy of our belief as the Bible with which it fully coincides in the expression of doctrinal truth. So much for that part of the subject which may dispel in some measure a very popular error.

As regards the main subject in hand, the Authorship of the Book of Mormon, there are various conflicting statements, and all backed by very reverend and respectable authority, and each asserted with equal force. First and foremost, it is attributed to the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, from whose possession as MSS. was obtained by some unknown process, and subsequently converted into the aforesaid Book. Again another report or affidavit, asserts that Joseph Smith was the author, and that he translated the plates, when they were in the woods, and he in the house, same as when he looked for the money diggers with a stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, and Oliver Cowdery acted as Secretary or Scribe. Here is an evident contradiction, but the latter statement is so extensively absurd as to deserve no attention. The former is more plausible. But facts and dates are stubborn things, and these will completely demolish the whole affair. The story was started by an infamous character named D. P. Hulburt, who was cut off from the Church for immoral conduct, and whose disappointed ambition prompted him to a wrongful retaliation. He heard of this romance entitled "The Manuscript Found," and thinking it would suit his malicious purpose, obtained it from Mrs. Davison (widow of Mr. Spaulding) to get it out of the way, under pretence of having it published, and so destroy the Book of Mormon, promising to pay her half the proceeds arising from the sale thereof. He then writes her that the Manuscript does not read as he expected, and he should not print it. Hulburt finding little or no affinity between the writings to cover his retreat, endeavors to make out that Sidney Rigdon, during a temporary stay in Pittsburgh, where Mrs. S. formerly lived, obtained the Manuscript, but there the dates disagree. Mr. R. did not live in Pittsburgh until 1822, and resided there until 1826. Mr. Spaulding wrote his romance in 1812, in New Salem, Ohio; removed to Pittsburgh, according to Hulburt's statement, the same year, and thence to Amity in 1814.

Mrs. Davieson says, in the "Origin of Mormonism," published by La Roy Sunderland, "At length the MSS. was returned to its author and we removed to Amity. The MSS. then fell into my hands and was carefully preserved." -- so that the only time Mr. R. could possibly have obtained it was between the years 1812 and 1814, for since that time it has been carefully kept by Mrs. D. until delivered to Hulburt. Mr. Rigdon was then a mere lad, far distant and engaged at home in agricultural pursuits, and moreover the Book of Mormon was not published until after an interval of eighteen or tweny years. Thus we see the publishers of the Book of Mormon had not the benefit of the Reverend novel writer's production, and it remains with Mrs. Davieson or Mr. Hulburt to bring it to light. They have or should have it between them -- bring it forth, publish it to the world as the Book of Mormon is published, and let us see the indetity of the two publications, or let the advocates of the imposture forever hold their peace, and invent a story that is more consistent and plausible.

Now, Mr. Editor, the imposition is transparent. The story is long since exploded, and will not bear investigation, and as my only object and aim is to expose a popular error, operating adversely to our community, against whom calumny and falsehood have been too generally disseminated by the pulpit and press, which have eventuated in hostile acts of bloodshed, arson and expatriation, I trust your natural feeling of justice and benevolence will permit the insertion of this statement in reference to the former published article.   Very truly, Yours,
                                                                        JUSTITIA.



Note: The Robert Campbell piece was reprinted from the New England Puritan into the Nov. 19, 1850 issue of the New York Daily Tribune and was responded to by "Justitia" in that same New York paper on Dec. 6, 1850




 


By O. Hyde.                     Kanesville, Fri.,  Mar.  7, 1851.                   Vol. III. No. 3.


From the Millennial Star.

Remarks on the Book of Mormon.
_______

BY WILLIAM GIBSON.
_______

(from Sept. 15, '50 issue of The Millennial Star)


Notes (forthcoming)




 



HE THAT HATH AN EAR. LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH
UNTO THE CHURCHES. -- Rev. ii. 7.



No. 2. -- Vol. XV.                          January  8, 1853.                         One Penny.


[p. 17]

HISTORY  OF  JOSEPH  SMITH.

(Continued from page 14.)

On the 18th, I reviewed and corrected the minutes of the organization of the High Council.

On the l9th of February, the Council assembled, according to adjournment, from the 17th, (O. Cowdery and Orson Hyde, Clerks,) when the revised minutes were presented and read to the Council. I urged the necessity of prayer, that the Spirit might be given, that the things of the Spirit might be judged thereby, because the carnal mind cannot discern the things of God, &c. The minutes were read three times, and unanimously adopted and received for a form and constitution of the High Council of the Church of Christ hereafter; with this provision, that if the President should hereafter discover any lack in the same, he should be privileged to fill it up.

The number present, who received the above-named documents, was twenty-six High Priests, eighteen Elders, three Priests, one Teacher, and fourteen private members, making in all sixty-two.

After giving such instruction as the Spirit dictated, I laid my hands severally upon the heads of the two assistant Presidents, and blessed them, that they might have wisdom to magnify their offices, and power over all the power of the adversary.

I also laid my hands upon the twelve Councillors, and commanded a blessing to rest upon them, that they might have wisdom and power to counsel in righteousness, upon all subjects that might be laid before them. I also prayed that they might be delivered from those evils to which they were most exposed, and that their lives might be prolonged on the earth.

My father Joseph then laid his hands upon my head, and said, "Joseph, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessings of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest hold the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, until the coming of the Lord. Amen."

He also laid hands upon the head of his son Samuel, and said, "Samuel, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessing of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest remain a Priest of the Most High God, and like Samuel of old, hear His voice, saying, Samuel, Samuel. Amen."

John Johnson, also, laid his hand upon the head of his son Luke, and said, "My Father in heaven, I ask thee to bless this my son, according to the blessings of his forefathers; that he may be strengthened in his ministry, according to his holy calling. Amen."

I then gave the assistant Presidents a solemn charge to do their duty in righteousness, and in the fear of God; I also charged the twelve Councillors in a similar manner, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

We all raised our hands to heaven in token of the everlasting covenant, and the Lord blessed us with his Spirit. I then declared the Council organized according to the ancient order, and also according to the mind of the Lord.

 

[p. 18]
The following complaint was then presented before the Council, by a High Priest: --

                              Kirtland, February 19th, 1834.

To the President of the High Council of the Church of Christ.

The following charges I prefer against Elder Curtis Hodges, sen., of this Church:-- First, an error in spirit; secondly, an error in address or communication, which was in loud speaking, and a want of clearness in articulation which was calculated to do injury to the cause of God; and also, of contending or persisting that that was a good or proper spirit which actuated him thus to speak, -- all of which I consider unbecoming an Elder in this Church, and request a hearing before the High Council.

(Signed)       EZRA THAYER.
Elder Hodges plead "not guilty" of the above charges.

Father Lyons was called on to substantiate the above charges, and his testimony was pointed against Brother Hodges. Brother Story testified that Elder Hodges talked so loud at a prayer meeting that the neighbors came out to see if some one was not hurt. At another meeting, he said that Elder Thayer rebuked him for his error, but he did not receive the rebuke; that he raised his voice so high that he could not articulate so as to be understood; and that his teaching brought a damp upon the meeting, and was not edifying. Brother E. Babbitt was then called upon, who testified that Elder Hodges was guilty of hallowing so loud that in a measure he lost his voice, and uttered but little else distinctly, "Glory to heaven's king." His testimony was pointed against brother Hodges, and Brother T. Wait testified much the same.

Counsellor O. Cowdery stood up on the part of the accuser, and opened the case handsomely and clearly.

Counsellor J. Coe stood up on the part of the accused, but could say but a few words.

The accuser and accused then spoke for themselves, after which, the President arose and laid open the case still more plain, and gave his decision, which was, that the charges in the declaration had been fairly sustained by good witnesses; also, that Elder Hodges ought to have confessed when rebuked by Elder Thayer; also, if he had the spirit of the Lord at the meetings, where he hallooed, he must have abused it, and grieved it away. All the council agreed with the decision.

Elder Hodges then rose and said, he then saw his wrong, but never saw it before, and appeared to feel thankful that he saw it. He said he had learned more during this trial, than he had since he came into the Church; confessed freely his error, and said he would attend to overcoming that evil, the Lord being his helper.

The Council forgave him and adjourned to the evening of the 20th.

This day, also, the brethren in Clay county, Missouri, wrote as follows: --

                         Liberty, Febryary 19, 1834.
To the Hon. Judge, John F. Ryland, Judge of the Fifth Circuit, Missouri.

Sir, -- Learning that a court of inquiry is to be held in Jackson county, at the next regular term of the circuit court for the county; or that some kind of legal proceedings is to commence for the purpose of obtaining the facts, as far as can be, or bringing to punishment the guilty in that county.

We, therefore pray your honour to avail yourself of every means in your power to execute the law and make it honourable; and believing that the testimony of some of the members of our Church will be important, and deeming it unsafe to risk our persons in that county without a guard, we request that the order from the Executive, already transmitted, may be put in force.

Respectfully, &c.
EDWARD PARTRIDGE.
A. S. GILBERT.
W. W. PHELPS.
JOHN CORRILL.
JOHN WHITMER.
Another request similar to the above was sent, same date, to Amos Reese, Circuit Attorney.

They also wrote the Judge Advocate, as follows:--

                        Liberty, February 19, 1834.

George Woodward, Judge Advocate, in the case of the State of Missouri, versus Colonel Thomas Pitcher.

Sir: -- The undersigned request of you, if it be consistent with custom and law, an official copy of the proceedings recorded by you, in the above stated case, for the purpose of preservation, as an important link in the history of our unfortunate society.

         Respectfully,

               W. W. PHELPS,
               EDWARD PARTRIDGE,
               ALGERNON S. GILBERT.
Kirtland, February 20th, 1834. The High Council met this evening to determine concerning the elders going out to preach,

 

[p. 19]
&c. The president opened the council by prayer.

At a Church meeting held in Pennsylvania, Erie county, and Springfield township, by Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson, High Priests, some of the members of that Church refused to partake of the Sacrament, because the Elder administering it did not observe the words of wisdom to obey them. Elder Johnson argued that they were justified in so doing, because the Elder was in transgression. Elder Pratt argued that the Church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an Elder, so long as he retained his office or license. Voted that six counsellors should speak upon the subject.

The Council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the Word of Wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding an office in the Church, after having it sufficiently taught him?

Counsellors, Samuel H. Smith, Luke Johnson, John S. Carter, Sylvester Smith, John Johnson, and Orson Hyde, were called to speak upon the case then before the Council. After the counsellors had spoken, the President proceeded to give a decision: --

That no official member in this Church is worthy to hold an office, after having the words of wisdom properly taught to him, and he, the official member neglecting to comply with or obey them; which decision the council confirmed by vote.

The President then asked if there were any elders present, who would go to Canada, and preach the Gospel to that people; for they have written a number of letters for help. And the whole Council felt as though the spirit required the Elders to go there. It was, therefore, decided by the council that Lyman Johnson and Milton Holmes should travel together into Canada. It was also decided that Jared Carter and Phineas Young travel together, if they can arrange their affairs at home so as to be liberated.

It was also decided that Elder Oliver Granger should travel eastward as soon as his circumstances will permit, and that he should travel alone on account of his age; it was also decided that Elder Martin Harris, should travel alone whenever he travels; that Elders John S. Carter and Jesse Smith travel east together as soon as they can. The Council also decided that Elder Brigham Young should travel alone it being his own choice: decided also that James Durfee and Edward Marvin, should travel together eastward; also, that Sidney Rigdon and John P. Green, go to Strongsville: also, that Orson Pratt and Harrison Sagers travel together for the time being; and that there should be a general conference held in Saco, in the State of Maine, on the 13th day of June, 1834.

It was furthermore voted, that Elder Orson Hyde accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt, go east to obtain donations for Zion, and means to redeem the farm on which the house of the Lord stands.

The Church and Council then prayed with uplifted hands that they might be prospered in their mission.

ORSON HYDE,
OLIVER COWDERY, Clerks.

I Abigail Leonard, depose and say that on the night of the 20th of February, 1834, in the county of Jackson, and State of Missouri, a company of men, armed with whips and guns, about fifty or sixty in number, came to the house of my husband; among them was John Youngs, Mr. Yocum, Mr. Cantrell, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Noland. Five of the number entered the house, among them was John Youngs. They ordered my husband to leave the house, threatening to shoot him if he did not. He not complying with their desires, one of the five took a chair and struck him upon the head, knocking him down, and then dragging him out of the house; I in the mean time, begging of them to spare his life, when one of the number called to the others telling them to take me into the house, for I would "overpower every devil of them." Three of the company then approached me, and presenting their guns, declared with an oath, if I did not go in, they would blow me through. While this was transpiring Mr. Patterson jumped upon my husband with his heels; my husband then got up, they stripped his clothes all from him excepting his pantaloons, then five or six attacked him with whips and gunsticks, and whipped him till he could not stand but fell to the ground. I then went to them, and took their whips from them; I then called for Mrs. Bruce who lived in the same house with us, to come out and help me to carry my husband into the house. When carried in he was very much lacerated and bruised, and unable to lie upon a bed, and was also unable to work for a number of months. Also, at the same time and place, Mr. Josiah Sumner was taken from the house and came in very bloody and bruised from whipping.
(Signed)      ABIGAIL LEONARD.


I received the following:--

Revelation, given, February 24, 1834.

Verily I say unto you my friends, behold I will give unto you a revelation and commandment, that you may know how to act in the discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and redemption of your brethren,

 
[p. 20]
who have been scattered on the land of Zion; being driven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies; on whom I will pour out my wrath without measure in mine own time; for I have suffered them thus far, that they might fill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full; and that those who call themselves after my name might be chastened for a little season with a sore and grievous chastisement, because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.

But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour, unto the counsel which I, the Lord, their God, shall give unto them.

Behold, they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour; and by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet; and the earth is given unto the Saints, to possess it forever and ever.

But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them; for they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviours of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviours of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.

But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren, which have been scattered, shall return to the land of their inheritances and build up the waste places of Zion; for after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing.

Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren; your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren; even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down; nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances, they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances.

Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel and of the seed of Abraham; and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched out arm; and as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be; therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers, mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence; but I say unto you, mine angel shall go before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.

Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Baurak Ale is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spoke in the parable which I have given unto you.

Therefore, let my servant Baurak Ale say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged, gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with monies that have been consecrated unto me; and let all the Churches send up wise men, with their monies, and purchase lands even as I have commanded them; and inasmuch as mine enemies come against you to drive you from my goodly land, which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion; even from your own lands after these testimonies, which ye have brought before me, against them, ye shall curse them; and whomsoever ye curse, I will curse; and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies; and my presence shall be with you, even in avenging me of mine enemies, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

Let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake; for whoso layeth down his life for my sake, shall find it again. And whoso is not willing to lay down his life for my sake, is not my disciple. It is my will that my servant Sidney Rigdon shall lift up his voice in the congregations, in the eastern countries, in preparing the Churches to keep the commandments which I have given unto them, concerning the restoration and redemption of Zion. It is my will that my servant Parley P. Pratt, and my servant Lyman Wight should not return to the land of their brethren, until they have obtained companies to go up unto the land of Zion, by tens, or by twenties, or by fifties, or by an hundred, until they have obtained to the number of five hundred of the strength of my house. Behold, this is my will; ask and you shall receive, but men do not always do my will; therefore, if you cannot obtain five hundred, seek diligently that peradventure you may obtain three hundred; and if ye cannot obtain three hundred seek diligently that peradventure ye may obtain one hundred. But verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall not go up unto the land of Zion, until you have obtained one hundred of the strength of my house, to go up with you unto the land of Zion. Therefore, as I said unto you, ask and ye shall receive; pray earnestly that peradventure my servant Baurak Ale may go with you and preside in the midst of the people, and organize my kingdom upon my

 
[p. 21]
consecrated land; and establish the children of Zion, upon the laws and commandments which have been, and which shall be given, unto you.

All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence faithfulness, and prayers of faith. Let my servant Parley P. Pratt journey with my servant Joseph Smith jun. Let my servant Lyman Wight, journey with my servant Sidney Rigdon. Let my servant Hyrum Smith, journey with my servant Frederick G. Williams. Let my servant Orson Hyde, journey with my servant Orson Pratt; withersoever my servant Joseph Smith, jun., shall counsel them in obtaining the fulfilment of these commandments, which I have given unto you, and leave the residue in my hands Even so. Amen.

Wednesday, February 26th, I started from home to obtain volunteers for Zion, in compliance with the foregoing revelation, and the 27th stayed at Brother Roundy's

To show the feelings of a certain portion of the public, at this period I copy the following from the February Number of the Evening and Morning Star, page 271:--

We copy the following article from the North Star, printed in Danville, Vermont, by E. Eaton:-

"We have received the first number of the Mormon 'Morning and Evening Star' {the Evening and Morning Star} resuscitated in Kirtland, Ohio. It is the same assuming, mysterious publication of its original."
While the press, (and many of the public,) was breathing the spirit of bitterness against the work of God I received letters from many of our friends which gave us occasion for rejoicing, amongst them, I extract from Brother M. C. Nickerson's letter, of December 20th, 1833.--
Your labors in Canada have been the beginning of a good work; there are thirty-four members attached to the Church at Mount Pleasant, all of whom appear to live up to their profession, five of whom have spoken in tongues, and three sing in tongues; and we live at the top of the mountains!

Also from Saco, Maine:--

                 January 20, 1834.
Brethren in the Lord, -- I have baptized about forty in this section, and there are more convinced of the truth, but are still lingering on the threshold of the Church, and I think the Lord will gather some of them into His kingdom. Brother E. M. Green laboured with me from the 16th of January, 1833, till the October following; while we were together we baptized about one hundred and thirty. Brethren, pray for me, that I may have words of wisdom, and a door of utterance to declare the whole counsel of God, and rightly divide the world in due season; for my determination is, with the stick of Joseph in one hand, and the stick of Judah in the other, to labour diligently in the world, that my skirts may be clear from the blood of all men, and I stand acquitted before the bar of God.
              I am yours in Christ,
       (Signed)          JOHN F. BOYNTON.

Thus while the press was mourning, the work prospering, the saints rejoicing in the east, troubles changed and multiplied in the west, as may be seen by the following letter written: --

                            Clay County, Missouri, Feb. 27, 1834.

Dear Brethren, -- The times are so big with events, and the anxiety of every body so great to watch them, that I feel somewhat impressed to write oftener than I have done, in order to give you more of the "strange acts," of this region. I have just returned from Independence, the seat of war in the west. About a dozen of our brethren among whom were Bishop Partridge, Elder Corrill and myself, were subpoenaed in behalf of the state; and on the 23rd of February, about twelve o'clock, we were on the bank opposite Everett's Ferry, where we found Captain Atchison's company of "Liberty Blues" near fifty rank and file, ready to guard us into Jackson county. The soldiers were well armed with United States' muskets, bayonets fixed, &c., and to me the scene was "passing strange," and long to be remembered; the martial law in force to guard the civil. About twenty-five men crossed over to effect a landing in safety, and when they came near the warehouse, they fired six or eight guns, though the enemy had not gathered to witness the landing.

After we were all across, and waiting for the baggage wagon, it was thought most advisable to encamp in the woods, and the witnesses with half the company, marched nearly a mile towards Independence, to build night fires, as we were without tents, and the weather cold enough to snow a little. While on the way the Quarter-master, and others, that had gone on ahead to prepare quarters in town, sent an express back, which was not of the most pacific appearance. Capt. Atchison continued the express to Col. Allan for the two hundred drafted militia, and also to Liberty for more ammunition; and the night passed off in warlike style; with the sentinels marching

 
[p. 22]
silently at a proper distance from the watch fires.

Early in the morning, we marched strongly guarded by the troops to the seat of war, and quartered in the block house, formerly the tavern stand of S. Flournay; after breakfast, we were visited by the District Attorney Mr. Reese, and the Attorney General Mr. Wells. From them we learned that all hopes of Criminal prosecutions were at an end. Mr. Wells had been sent by the Governor to investigate, as far as possible, the Jackson outrage; but the bold front of the mob, bound even unto death (as I have heard.) was not to be penetrated by civil law, or awed by executive influence. Shortly after, Captain Atchison informed me that he had just received an order from the Judge, that his company's service was no longer wanted in Jackson county; and we were marched out of town to the tune of Yankee-doodle, in quick time, and soon returned to our camp without the loss of any lives. (This order was issued by the court, apparently, on account of the speedy gathering of the old mob, or citizens of Jackson county, and their assuming such a boisterous and mobocratic appearance,) In fact much credit is due to Captain Atchison for his gallantry and hospitality, and I think I can say of the officers and company, that their conduct as soldiers and men, is highly reputable; so much so, knowing as I do the fatal result had the militia come, or not come, I can add that the Captain's safe return, refreshed my mind with Xenophon's safe retreat of the ten thousand. Thus ends all hope of "redress," even with a guard ordered by the Governor, for the protection of the court and witnesses.

Before a crop is harvested, it becomes ripe of itself. The dreadful deeds now done in Jackson county, with impunity, must bring matters to a focus shortly. Within two or three weeks past, some of the most savage acts ever witnessed, have been committed by these bitter branches. Old Father Lindsey, whose locks have been whitened by the blast of nearly seventy winters, had his house thrown down, after he was driven from it; his goods, corn &c. piled together and fire put to it, but fortunately after the mob retired, his son extinguished it.

The mob has quit whipping, and now beat with clubs. Lyman Leonard, one of the number that returned from Van Buren, had two chairs broken to splinters about him and was then dragged out of doors, and beat with clubs till he was supposed to be dead; but he is yet alive. Josiah Sumner and Barnet Cole were severely beat at the same time. The mob have commenced burning houses, stacks, &c., and we shall not think it out of their power by any means, to proceed to murder any of our people that shall try to live in that county, or, perhaps, only go there.

Such scenes as are transpiring around us, are calculated to arouse feelings and passions in all, and to strengthen the faith and fortify the hearts of the Saints for great things. Our Saviour laid down his life for our sakes and shall we, who profess to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God -- shall we, the servants of the Lord of the vineyard, who are called and chosen to prune it for the last time -- shall we, yea verily, we, who are enlightened by the wisdom of heaven -- shall we fear to do as much for Jesus as he did for us. No; we will obey the voice of the spirit, that God may overcome the world.
         I am a servant &c.
                   W. W. PHELPS.

We continued our journey. and, on the 28th February staid at a stranger's, who entertained us very kindly; and on the first of March arrived at Brother Lewis'; and on the 2nd, which was the Sabbath, Brother Parley preached, and I preached in the evening; we had a good meeting. There is a small Church in this place, which seems strong in the faith. O may God keep them in the faith, and save them and lead them to Zion.

March 3rd, we intended to start on our journey east, but concluded to tarry another day. O may God bless us with the gift of utterance to accomplish the journey and the errand on which we are sent, and return safe to the land of Kirtland, and find my family all well. O Lord bless my little children with health and long life, to do good in their generation for Christ's sake. Amen.

After, leaving Kirtland we had passed through Thompson, Springfield, Elk creek, Erie, Westfield, Livonia, Silver creek, Perrysburgh, Collins, China, Warsaw, Genesee, Centreville, Catlin, and Spafford before we arrived at Westfield.

On the 4th instant. we continued our journey from Westfield, accompanied by Elder Gould, and after a ride of thirty-three miles arrived at Villanova, and tarried all night with a Brother McBride.

The next morning, March 5th we went to Brother Nickerson's, and found him and his household full of faith and of the Holy Spirit

We called the Church together, and related unto them what had happened to our brethren in Zion, and opened to them the prophecies and revelations concerning

 

[p. 23]
the order of the gathering to Zion, and the means of her redemption; and I prophesied to them, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon them, and with all readiness, the young and middle aged volunteered for Zion. The same evening we held two meetings, three or four miles distant from each other.

March 6th. We held another meeting at brother Nickersons. The few unbelievers that attended were outrageous, and the meeting ended in complete confusion.

March 7th. We proceeded on our journey accompanied by brother Nickerson, leaving brothers Gould and Matthews to prepare and gather up the companies, in the Churches in that region, and meet us in Ohio, ready for Zion on the first of May. We arrived after dark, at Elliotville, the county seat of Cataraugus, and tried for lodgings at every tavern in the place; it being court time we found no room; but were obliged to ride on in the dark, through mud and rain, and found shelter, after travelling about one mile, for which we paid more than tavern fare.

On the 8th, we arrived at Palmersville, at the house of Elder McGown, where we were invited to go to Esquire Walker's to spend the evening. We found them very friendly and somewhat believing, and tarried all night.

Sunday 9th, we preached in a school house, and had great attention. We found a few disciples who were firm in the faith; and, after meeting, found many believing and could hardly get away from them, and appointed a meeting in Freedom for Monday the 10th, and staid at Mr. Cowdery's, where we were blessed with a fullness of temporal and spiritual blessings, even all we needed or were worthy to receive.

Monday. Met our appointment, and preached to a great congregation; and at evening, preached again to a crowded assembly, an overflowing house. After meeting I proposed if any wished to obey, and would make it manifest, we would stay and administer at another meeting, the next day.

Tuesday 11th, fulfilled our appointment, and baptized Heman Hyde, after which we rode nine miles and put up at Stuart's tavern.

Wednesday 12th, we arrived at father Bosley's, after a ride of thirty six-miles.

Thursday 13th, I preached.

Friday 14th, at father Beman's.

March 15th, while at father Beman's, Elders Rigdon and Wight arrived, much to the joy of their souls, and the saints in Livonia.

Sunday 16th, Elder Rigdon preached to a very large congregation in Geneseo. Elder Pratt preached in the afternoon of Monday the 17th.

There was also the same day, March 17th, a conference of Elders, at Avon, Lingston county, New York, at the house of Alvah Beman, which I attended. there were present also Sidney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Orson Pratt, and Orson Hyde, High Priests, and six Elders. I stated that the object of the Conference was to obtain young men and middle aged to go and assist in the redemption of Zion, according to the commandment; and for the Church to gather up their riches, and send them to purchase lands according to the commandment of the Lord; also to devise means, or obtain money for the relief of the brethren in Kirtland, say two thousand dollars, which sum would deliver the church in Kirtland from debt; and also, determine the course which the several companies shall pursue, or the manner they shall journey when they shall leave this place.

It was voted by the Council that fathers Bosley and Nickerson, Elder McWithey, and brother R. Orton, should exert themselves to obtain two thousand dollars, for the present relief in Kirtland. They all agreed to do what they could to obtain it, firmly believing it could be accomplished by the first of April. It was also decided that Elder Orson Hyde should tarry and preach in the regions round about, till the money should be obtained and carry it with him to Kirtland, accompanied by Elders Rigdon and Wight. Elders John Murdock and Orson Pratt were appointed to journey to Kirtland, preaching by the way; and Elders Parley P. Pratt, and Henry Brown, to visit the Churches in Black River country, and obtain all the means they could to help Zion.

Tuesday, March 16th. Tarried at father Bosley's through the day.

On the 19th commenced my journey for Kirtland, and staid this night at brother Withey's tavern.

 

[p. 24]
20th; continued our journey, dined at brother Joseph Holbrooks, and at night tried three times to procure lodgings in the name of disciples, but could not succeed. After night had commenced we found a man, in China, named Reuben Wilson, who would keep us for money; thus we learn there is more places for money, than for the disciples of Jesus, or the Lamb of God.

March 21st, we came to a man named Starks, six miles east of Springville, and on the 22nd arrived at brother Vinson Knight's, in Perrysburgh, Cataraugus county. On the 23rd we arrived at Father Nickerson's, in Perrysburgh, where we held a meeting &c. On the 24th, I was not able to start, but felt determined to go the next morning. 25th, journeyed from father Nickerson's, to Father Lewis, in Westfield, accompanied by father Nickerson. On the 26th, continued our journey to Elk Creek, and staid with Elder Hunt. The 27th, I came to Springfield where I found Elder Rigdon, who had come on by a different route; and we arrived that night within sixteen miles of Painesville, and arrived home at Kirtland, on the 28th of March, finding my family all well, and the Lord be praised for this blessing. The 29th, remained at home and had great joy with my family. Sunday the 30th, was at home except going to hear Elder Rigdon preach.

Monday, March 31st, I went to Chardon to attend the court, in the case against Dr. P. Hulbert, &c. This day, also, Ira I. Willis, a young man who had been in the Church for some time, and who was driven from Jackson county into Clay, returned thither to look for a stray cow; and while at the House of Esquire Manship's, a Justice of the Peace (where he had called with Bro. John Follet, to prove his title to the cow,) was caught by that unhung land-pirate and inhuman monster, Moses Wilson, and whipped in a most cruel and savage manner, while surrounded by some half dozen of the old mobbers. This was an unpardonable act; all that know Mr. Willis can bear testimony that he is a young man, honest peaceable and unoffending, working righteousness and molesting no one. May God reward Moses Wilson according to his works.

April 1st, 1834. This day at Brother Rider's, in Chardon. The court has not brought forward Hulbert's trial yet, and we were engaged in issuing suboenas for witnesses. My soul delighteth in the law of the Lord, for He forgiveth my sins, and will confound mine enemies.

The Lord shall destroy him who has lifted his heel against me, even that wicked man, Dr. P. Hulbert: He will deliver him to the fowls of heaven, and his bones shall be cast to the blasts of the wind, for he lifted his arm against the Almighty, therefore the Lord shall destroy him.

Wednesday the 2nd, and Thursday the 3rd, attended the Court. Hulbert was on trial for threatening my life. Friday morning, I returned home; and in the evening attended Council, of which the following are the minutes: --

                            Kirtland, April 4th 1834.
This evening a Council of High Priests assembled at the house of President Joseph Smith, jun., to reconsider the case of brother George F. James. President Joseph Smith jun, presiding.

Brother George said that he had often promised to take up his cross and magnify his calling, but had failed, and had ought to have written to the President ere this time, and given him the information that his pecuniary affairs called his attention at home, which prevented his fulfilling the promise he made to president Joseph in going out to proclaim the gospel, and he sincerely asked pardon of the Lord, and of his brethren, and particularly of Brother Joseph. He also said he was willing to ask the forgiveness of this church. He said that relative to certain charges, which were that he "had not attended meetings," and had treated lightly some of the weak" &c.; that he had attended meetings, generally; and as for speaking or treating lightly any brother because of his weakness, was foreign from his mind, and was that which he had never done, nor could ever find such principles in his bosom. President Joseph said he had no hardness; he only wished brother George to consider this as a chastisement, and that the council were bound to notice his conduct heretofore; but now if Bro. George was willing to walk according to the new covenant, he should have his hand of fellowship. The council then expressed their satisfaction at Bro. George's confession.
(Signed)       OLIVER COWDERY, Clerk.

Saturday, March 5th; I went to Chardon, as a witness for father Johnson, and returned in the evening. Mr. Russell, the State's Attorney, for Portage county, called on me. He appeared in a gentlemanly manner, and treated me with great respect.

 

[p. 25]
April 7th. Bishop Whitney, Elders Frederick G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, Heber C. Kimball, and myself met in the Council room, and bowed down before the Lord, and prayed that He would furnish the means to deliver the Firm from debt, that they might be set at liberty; also that I might prevail against the wicked man, Hulbert, and that he might be put to shame.

The Presidency wrote Elder Orson Hyde, who yet remained in the State of New York, as follows:--

                         Kirtland, April 7, 1834.
Dear Bro Orson:-- We received yours of the 31st ultimo, in due course of mail, and were much grieved on learning that you were not like to succeed according to our expectations. Myself, brothers Newel, Frederick and Oliver, retired to the translating room, where prayer was wont to be made, and unbosomed our feelings before God; and cannot but exercise faith yet that you, in the miraculous providence of God will succeed in obtaining help. The fact is, unless we can obtain help, I myself cannot go to Zion, and if I do not go, it will be impossible to get my brethren in Kirtland, any of them, to go; and if we do not go, it is in vain for our eastern brethren to think of going up to better themselves by obtaining so goodly a land, (which now can be obtained for one dollar and a quarter per acre,) and stand against that wicked mob; for unless they do the will of God, God will not help them, and if God does not help them, all is vain.

Now the fact is, this is the head of the Church, and the life of the body, and those able men, as members of the body, God has appointed to be hands to administer to the necessities of the body. Now if a man's hand refuses to administer to the necessities of his body, it must perish of hunger; and if the body perish, all the members perish with it; and if the head fails, the whole body is sickened, the heart faints, and the body dies, the spirit takes its exit, and the carcase carcass remains to be devoured by worms.

Now Brother Orson, if this Church, which is assaying to be the Church of Christ, will not help us, when they can do it without sacrifice, with those blessings which God has bestowed upon them. I prophecy -- I speak the truth, I lie not, God shall take away their talent and give it to those who have no talent, and shall prevent them from ever obtaining a place of refuge, or an inheritance upon the land of Zion; therefore they may tarry, for they might as well be overtaken where they are, as to incur the displeasure of God and fall under His wrath by the way side, as to fall into the hands of a merciless mob, where there is no God to deliver, as salt that has lost its savour, and thenceforth good for nothing, but to be trodden under foot of men.

We therefore adjure you to beseech them, in the name of the Lord, by the Son of God, to lend us a helping hand; and if all this will not soften their hearts, to administer to our necessity for Zion's sake, turn your back upon them and return speedily to Kirtland, and the blood of Zion be upon their heads, even as upon the heads of her enemies, and let their recompence be as the recompence of her enemies, for thus shall it come to pass saith the Lord of Hosts, who has the cattle upon a thousand hills, who has put forth His Almighty hand to bring to pass his strange act; and what man shall put forth his hand to steady the ark of God, or be found turning a deaf ear to the voice of his servant, God shall speak in due time, and all will be declared, Amen.
        Your Brethren in the New Covenant,
               JOSEPH SMITH, jun,
               F. G. WILLIAMS,
               OLIVER COWDERY.

(To be continued.)



Notes: (forthcoming)


 




HE THAT HATH AN EAR. LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES. -- Rev. ii. 7.


No. 3. -- Vol. XV.                          January  15, 1853.                         One Penny.


[p. 35]

HISTORY  OF  JOSEPH  SMITH.

(Continued from page. 25.)

April 9th. After an impartial trial the Court decided that Dr. P. Hulbert be bound over, under two hundred dollar bonds, to keep the peace for six months, and pay the cost, which amounted to near three hundred dollars, all of which was in answer to our prayers, for which I thank my Heavenly Father.

On the 10th, had a Council of the United Order, in which it was agreed that the Order should be dissolved, and each one have his stewardship set off to him...

(under construction)



Notes: (forthcoming)


 



Truth  and  Liberty.

Vol. 3.                         Salt Lake City, June 18, 1853.                        No. 15.



MORMONS.


To the Editor of the Voice in the Wilderness.

Sir, -- As you have commenced using the columns of your paper against the people called Latter Day Saints, or Mormons... Why did you... turn directly for refuge to that long ago exploded falsehood of the "Spaulding Forgery?" Do you not know that the Book of Mormon was received as a divinely inspired record by hundreds in the city of Pittsburgh long after the Spaulding fable was trumpeted from both press and pulpit? Do you not know that Sidney Rigdon was appointed by Joseph Smith, in 1844, to take charge of the congregation of Latter Day Saints in that city, and that he did so both before and after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, and that he is still residing near there? If you do not, Sir, I do. I know that one of the largest congregations that we ever had in America was in the city of Pittsburgh, and when Sidney Rigdon went there in 1844, he went in the character of a Mormon preacher, and an advocate of the Book of Mormon, as a record of eternal truth; and there, or near there, he remains, I presume, to this day. Why did not the preachers of the different religious societies located in that city, (who were losing more or less of their members by the preaching of our Elders,) go to that Mr. Patterson and his workmen, referred to in the Spaulding fable, (who, it is said, were well acquainted with the "notorious fact," that said Rigdon had copied a reverend gentleman's romance and converted it into the Book of Mormon,) and obtain from them a statement to that effect, and confront Mr. Rigdon, there and then, face to face? When you have answered that question, we will ask a few more...
                                  I am Sir,
                                           Yours respectfully,
                                                    C. W. WANDELL.


Note 1: For more of this particular letter, see the on-line Deseret News excerpt for June 18, 1853.

Note 2: Elder Charles W. Wandell's argument against the Spalding claims -- that the Mormons built up a large congregation in Pittsburgh, etc. -- is not a strong one. At least one Baptist minister (Rev. Williams, in 1842) did "go to that Mr. Patterson... and obtain... a statement." Rigdon evidently never showed up for the projected 1844 public discussion of the Spalding claims in Pittsburgh, and when he did return, he and his introverted Mormon splinter group were not in the habit of debating doctrinal matters in public. By 1853 Rigdon was living in western New York and the few remaining Mormons in Pittsburgh were in no way "one of the largest congregations" of that peculiar people.


Note 3: For more early articles from the Deseret News, see the Utah newspapers page.


 


THE
LATTER-DAY SAINTS'
MILLENNIAL STAR

AND
Monthly Visitor.



Vol. I.                           Madras,  India,  April 1854.                           No. 1.



JOSEPH SMITH, AN ASSASSIN.
_____

We feel it our duty in this issue to take notice of three Tracts which are being liberally distributed in Madras, and Suburbs, by authority of the Religious Tract Society here....

It appears to us that the author, after having collected all the lies, and misrepresentations that have been published against God's work in these last days, was ashamed of his own doings, and afraid of the merited infamy and disgrace which an exposure would justly entitle him to, and consequently withheld his name. For instance, the author says in Tract No. 600, entitled "Is Mormonism True or Not," on page 7, that Joseph Smith prophesied that Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri, his old enemy, should die within one year, and that he hired one of his "Danite band" to fulfil his own prophecy by murdering him, and because of this a mob was so exasperated against Smith that they broke into prison and shot him: and on page 21, the author adds, "the prophet's barefaced iniquity in this matter was not allowed to pass unnoticed by the authorities, for he was apprehended on the charge of conspiring against the life of the ex-governor of Missouri, when he was shot as before related."

Now for the facts of the case. The prophet Joseph Smith never was apprehended for murdering the ex-governor of Missouri, neither was the ex-governor of Missouri referred to, or any other, ever assassinated by him or his associates. We have living witnesses in this Presidency who saw Governor Boggs, the official alluded to, in California in 1847, three years after the martyrdom of the prophet. And in 1852, when we were in California, ex-governor Boggs was living in that state, and for aught we know he is still prospering in his golden speculations. Any person really desiring to know and satisfy themselves may write to California anf ascertain the facts.

Now, how is it that a religious body of men can be accessory to the circulation of such barefaced falsehoods as the above? How is it that they will sanction and distribute such libels among the people as gospel truths, and as a part of their duty as christian ministers? Is it not because their craft is in danger, and that they would rather believe and circulate a lie than the truth. Common honesty and a humane regard for the character of our fellow-man, would doctate a careful investigation, before engaging in an enterprise to calumniate, and circulate such gross and criminal charges against an honest, upright and innocent man.

The other allegations and charges or immorality against the character of Joseph Smith with which the Tracts abound are as utterly untrue as the case in question; but we have referred to this particular charge because we have the living witnesses on hand to prove the truth of what we have said....


Note: It appears that the LDS editors here conclude that Joseph Smith, Jr. was "an honest, upright and innocent man," merely because ex-Governor Boggs survived the assassination attempt made against him -- none of their "living witnesses" bear any quoteable testimony in this regard and the details surrounding Smith's being charged and apprehended on a warrant from Missouri (initiated by Boggs himself, after recovering from his wounds) are conveniently left unstated. Also left unexamined are the old allegations professed by top Mormon leaders (such as William Law, George Robinson, John C. Bennett, etc.) saying that Joseph Smith attempted to murder them. It therefore comes as no surprise that Joseph's reported involvement in the plot to assassinate Grandison Newell, at Kirtland, is likewise ignored in this LDS article.


 




He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. -- Jesus Christ.

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
her plagues. --
A Voice from Heaven.


No. 4., Vol. XIX.                          January  24, 1857.                         One Penny.


[p. 49]

THE  "SPAULDING  STORY"  REFUTED  FROM  ITSELF.

BY ELDER ELIAS L. T. HARRISON.


After six and twenty years of unceasing efforts to find reasons for resisting Joseph Smith's statements of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon, the only account which the religious world at large are united in giving as its origin, is that commonly entitled the "Spaulding Story," which, in effect, is about as follows: -- In 1812 a certain "Rev." Mr. Spaulding wrote a novel; Joseph Smith or one of his associates, by some means which they cannot divine, obtained possession of the manuscript, or a copy of it. The Book of Mormon, say they, is that novel, published with the addition merely of a few religious exhortations and views, peculiar to "Mormonism," about America, which is styled the "religious matter" of the Book; so that according to "believers" in the Spaulding story, strip the Book of Mormon of its religious or doctrinal statements, and any one who has a fancy may peruse what this "Rev." Mr. Spaulding wrote, at their leisure.

With scarcely a solitary exception the religious world, including ministers, "anti-Mormon" lecturers, and editors, of all grades, are committed in this tale; they are agreed respecting its main points. If it is true "Mormonism" is a cheat; if it is false, then modern Christianity fights not for God, or God cares very little for His champions not to have furnished them with better weapons at such a crisis, when, if they are true, a "wide spreading delusion" is marching over the globe, "conquering and to conquer."

Assuming for the sake of argument that Spaulding did write a work, the case stands thus -- the Book of Mormon claims to have been translated from ancient records, by the gift and power of God, is charged with being merely a copy of this novel, the contents of which are said to be known; for by the resemblance, it is asserted, the discovery of the "fraud" was made manifest. The Book of Mormon is present for inspection, and abundant testimonies, as to the contents of the work of which it is charged with being a copy, are also at hand, so that we can compare the two, and judge of the similarity for ourselves, for if it was by the immense likeness between the two books, that the enemies of "Mormonism" made their discovery -- and of course they did not discover it was "a forgery," except by the likeness -- surely with the contents of Mr. Spaulding's work, certified on oath, in one hand, and the Book of Mormon in the other; we shall discover their resemblance to each other as well as themselves.

For be it remembered, according to the upholders of the "Spaulding story," the similarity between the two books is not in a few items, the Book of Mormon
 

[p. 50]
is not charged merely with containing a few straggling ideas or notions, somewhat like Mr. Spaulding's work, and with being on that account open to suspicion and doubt as to the originality or newness of the ideas it produced. The opponents of "Mormonism" have gone the "whole hog;" a partial similarity would not have sufficiently proved the Book of Mormon "an imposition;" therefore, say they, "that book is Mr. Spaulding's 'identical work,' wholly and solely, only in company with some religious matter inserted by Joseph Smith or one of his associates,"

The following quotations from "anti-Mormon" writers will fully prove that it is on this ground they charge the Book of Mormon with "piracy from Spaulding's work," and "imposture" in consequence.

The Rev. Edmund Clay (1) shall first receive attention; after saying that Spaulding's MS. "contained the story now embodied in the Book of Mormon," he adds, "Solomon Spaulding's widow, brother and six other persons well acquainted with Spaulding's writing, immediately recognized, in the Book of Mormon, the same historical matter and names as composed the romance." They affirm that, with the exception of the religious matter, it is copied almost word for word from Spaulding's manuscript.

A work, professing to be written by a "Cambridge Clergyman," is the next witness on this matter. We are informed at p. 8 of that work, that "the Book of Mormon is based upon an historical romance or tale, written by a Mr. Solomon Spaulding. This romance was written in 1812, and {mark it} is similar in all its leading features to the historical portions of the Book of Mormon," and "that it was made subservient to the purpose of a vile imposition is as certain as that the Book of Mormon exists."

This is strong language indeed, but we proceed to quote Mr. R. Clarke, author of "Mormonism Unmasked;" who at p. 28 of the work assures us "that the work of Mr. Spaulding unquestionably forms the entire ground-work of the Book of Mormon."

But the Rev. E. Boteler Chalmers, Jun., B. A., is even more explicit; (2) he wishes it to be understood that "the historical part {of the Book of Mormon} was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants of New Salem as the IDENTICAL work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had all been so interested, {only 20} years before."

And to wind up these testimonies and show at once that the Book of Mormon, according to its opponents, contains Mr. Spaulding's work entire and complete, the Rev. S. Simpson, B. A., of Kennsington. (3) testifies that "upon comparing his {Spaulding's} manuscript with the Book of Mormon, it was found that the alteration consisted chiefly of passages from the Old and New Testaments, clumsily in-wrought into the original text."

The Book of Mormon then, say the above ministers, was not translated by the power of God from ancient records, because the friends of Spaulding discovered it was "copied almost word for word;" is "similar in all its leading features;" was "grounded entirely;" is "based upon," and "identical" with Mr. Spaulding's work, and so little altered by Joseph Smith, that though twenty years had elapsed since Mr. Spaulding had read his manuscript to them in 1812, "the older inhabitants of New Salem immediately recognized in the Book of Mormon the same historical matter and names as he wrote at that time."

Now the "historical matter" of the Book of Mormon, it is well known, describes the peopling of ancient America by a couple of small families of the tribe of Joseph, and traces the present Indians back to them; shows their gradual development into two nations; their wars, springing principally from religious differences among their ancestors; the belief and expectation entertained by one nation, until his appearance, of the coming of Christ; his visit to America, after they had been settled there six hundred years, and the information he then gave the fathers of the present Indians, of the existence of the ten lost tribes in some part distant from that continent. It also describes the peopling of America by a previous race, who were swept off before these children of Joseph were led there.

Having stated what the Book of Mormon really is, we haste to show what were the
 

[p. 51]
HISTORICAL CONTENTS of the SPAULDING NOVEL, Its "resemblance" to the above history it will be seen is perfectly startling!

1st. We give the testimony of Spaulding's wife's according to the Rev. S. Boteler Chalmer, Jun., who presents it as follows: -- (4)

"At this time {1812} an opinion was prevalent that the American Indians were the lost ten tribes, and among others Spaulding warmly espoused it. Being fond of history and antiquities, the idea occurred to him of writing a pretended history of these ten tribes; how they migrated to America, and are now Indians."

2nd. We give the testimony of SPAULDING'S PARTNER. Mr. Henry Lake, who, according to Lieut. Gunnison, gives a clear idea of the work. (5)

"Mr. Henry Lake affirms -- I formed a co-partnership with Solomon Spaulding, he frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, and which he entitled the 'manuscript found.' which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings. This book represented the American Indians as the lost tribes,"

3rd. SPAULDING'S BROTHER testified precisely the same, Lieut. Gunnison being witness, hear him, "The same in effect {as Mr. Henry Lake's}, is the evidence of the brother of Spaulding, all this is confirmed by a half dozen other gentlemen, and by the widow and daughter of the author of 'manuscript found.'"

Lest some fear should exist, that the testimony of these relatives and friends of Spaulding has suffered the least distortion or misrepresentation, the following testimony is extracted from writers against "Mormonism;" they will show that the literary as well as the religious opponents of "Mormonism," are quite satisfied that Spaulding's novel was a history, pretending to show how the ten lost tribes of Israel colonized ancient America. Our fourth testimony will be from a work entitled, A Country Clergyman's Warning to his parishioners. (6) At p. 3 of which we read, "In certain parts of America there are curious mounds of earth, among other guesses about these mounds, some people took up a notion that the ten tribes of Israel had formerly come over to America, and that these mounds were the remains of their cities and habitations. Solomon Spaulding having heard of this talk about the Israelites having come to America, thought he would amuse himself by writing a story about it, and Sidney Rigdon, afterwards a partner of Joseph Smith, got a sight of Mr. Spaulding's book, and copied out the greater part unknown to anybody."

5th. Lieut. Gunnison's own opinion shall be added, at p. 93 of his work we are told that:

"A romance, to show the manner of peopling America by some Jews and the lost ten tribes of Israel; the wars and economy of living among their descendants, and the division into tribes as they were found in our Indians at the discovery by Columbus, is known to have been written by the late Rev, Mr. Spaulding, at Conneaut, Ohio,":

And now, as a 6th and last testimony, we notice a History of the Mormons, by Messrs. Chambers, of Edinburgh, on p. 9 (7) they inform us that,

"In the year 1809, a man of the name of Solomon Spaulding, having his attention attracted by the notion, which at that time excited some interest and discussion, that the North American Indians were the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it struck him that the idea might be turned to account as the ground-work of a religious novel, he accordingly set about a work of that description, and completed it. One thing is clear, that the manuscript was freely used as material in the composition of the Book of Mormon." Again Messrs. Chambers say, "John Spaulding declared upon oath that his brother's book was a historical romance, relating to the first settlers in America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians were descendants of the Jews, or the lost ten tribes."

These statements prove the point in question, but as much more evidence as the reader wants, of the same kind, can be had from almost any work against "Mormonism."

How the "ten lost tribes," then, migrated
 

[p. 52]
to America and are now Indians, was the subject of Spaulding's work. How they did not migrate to America, but went somewhere else, and never saw the Indians; and how a people who never heard of them for 600 years occupied America in their stead, is the subject of the Book of Mormon. What a "similarity in the leading features." And yet that one book was made up from the other "is as certain as that the Book of Mormon exists," a "Cambridge Clergyman" says so, and although reason is outraged by the supposition it must be true, or else what use is there in being a Cambridge Clergyman?

One hardly knows which to wonder at most, the perfectly staggering ignorance or recklessness of the clergy aforesaid, or the wonderful powers of a "recognition" of the ":older inhabitants of New Salem." those men of strong memories, who could discover the "identical" novel of Mr. Spaulding in a work that annihilates his theory, explodes it entirely, and is at variance with it from first to last. Doubtless if one had presented to them a work pretending to prove that the Jews never inhabited Palestine, they would have "recognized immediately" that it was "copied almost word for word" from the Bible, which proves they resided there for ages. It is consoling anyhow to think, that should they have failed through lack of vision, Messrs. Clay, Chalmers, Simpson, and those very discerning "Cambridge" and "country" Clergymen, could have taken up the sight where they left off, and seen the rest for them: on the well known principle by which in America two men and a boy can see exactly twice and a half as far as a single man.

Leaving these "far-sighted" gentlemen to their own "discoveries," the only part in the whole of the 600 pages of the Book of Mormon, that treats of the ten lost tribes, is presented as follows; they are the words of Jesus addressed to the descendants of Joseph in America, who now, the first time for six centuries, hear tidings of these "lost tribes." 2nd European edition, p. 465.

"Behold, this {America} is the land of your {the children of Joseph} inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandments that I should tell unto your brethren, at Jerusalem, concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land  *  *  *  *  I have other sheep {ten lost tribes} which are not of this land; neither of the land of Jerusalem; neither in any parts of that land round about, whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak, are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father, that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold, and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you to write these sayings, after I am gone; that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes they know not of, that these sayings shall be manifested unto the Gentiles."  *  *  *  *  Page 467. "Now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them."

These words are asserted by the Book of Mormon to have been spoken by Jesus in ancient America; they are perfectly consistent and harmonize with every previous idea contained in the volume. They manifestly declare that to visit the "lost tribes," Jesus found it necessary to go from that continent. Certainly a most curious volume Mr. Spaulding's work, beautifully describing how the ten tribes flourished in America, must have been with this same bit of historical matter in it. Combine the two histories as we must if we believe the Spaulding story, and the Spaulding novel must have been the rather perplexing history of ten tribes who lived over 600 years in America, before they heard anything about themselves; and then they learned the startling news that they did not live where they did, for to pay them a visit Jesus had to "go" from the land where they resided. Truly we may say, of him who can believe the Spaulding story after a simple investigation, that "Mormonism" will not lose much if he always believes the same.

Again we repeat, that the point in this argument may be kept before the mind, if
 

[p. 53]
the Book of Mormon was based or "grounded entirely," upon a history showing how the ten tribes migrated to America, and are now Indians -- the Book of Mormon is at hand -- therefore point out the part of the book that "shows" how they migrated to America. Pray produce the part that "shows" they "are now Indians;" and this, of course, our opponents ought to be able easily to do, or Spaulding's friends are liars, for they declared, or our enemies have made them declare, which is more likely, that they could see such a history "immediately." They either did see it, or they did not. If they did, where is it? If they did not, how did they know it? If Joseph Smith so altered the Spaulding MS. that none of its original features remain, then Spaulding's friends have testified falsely, in declaring that they "recognized perfectly" his original work; and secondly, Joseph Smith could have found no use for a work that he must have had to alter, till there was left no more of the original than there was of the boy's penknife which had had three new handles and six new blades.

All children above eight years of age -- those who are Cambridge and country Clergymen, of course excepted -- will perceive, that these two books starting with entirely different and opposing theories must have been different all the way through, and that under no circumstance could one have been fabricated from the other. But we will suppose a case for illustration.

Suppose that when the little band of "Puritan Fathers," who were Englishmen, emigrated to America and colonized that continent, they had kept a perfect history of the incidents of their voyage, showing how they landed, and spread from state to state, until they numbered millions as at present. And suppose that this history should not have been published until 1830, and soon after it came to light, or in 1833, a wife, daughter, and some six friends, of a deceased gentleman named Spaulding, should assert that it was no more nor less than a copy of an old novel, that their friend and relative had written "pretending to show," how America was colonized by ten whole counties of England being swept clean of their inhabitants, who were transported across the ocean to America. Would not that man be either very dishonest, or intensely silly, who should declare these books "similar in all their leading features?" or that such a history could have been fabricated from such a novel?

Well, the idea of the Book of Mormon being "founded" on Spaulding's novel is even more ridiculous, for not only does it, as in the case of the above supposed books, differ vastly as to numbers, but it puts its descendants of two small families of Joseph, where Mr. Spaulding put his ten tribes; and sends the ten tribes, where Mr. Spaulding never imagined there were tribes at all.

The idea of its being, as the Cambridge clergyman says, >"based" upon Spaulding's novel, is something similar to a man in America affirming that his cottage was "based" upon the "identical" foundation laid for St. Paul's Cathedral, London. The size and difference of country being no object.

Our opponents being completely driven from their charges of "similarity," as a last effort may exclaim, "Well, at least you will admit that Joseph might have gained the bare idea of the Indians being Israelites from Spaulding's work, supposing he had seen it." No, we will not admit that, for what use would the idea have been to him in composing the Book of Mormon which shows they are not the Israelites that Mr. Spaulding and the public had all along supposed them to be? About as wise as the writer of a tract published by the Religious Tract Society, (No. 599) who, endeavouring to show how Joseph Smith "might" have gained an idea how to compose the Book of Mormon, says, Joseph Smith "might have known something of the opinion that had been spread in America before his time, about the lost ten tribes, and the American Indians being the same." Clever notion! an intelligent reason certainly. For supposing, that if he had, it would have greatly assisted him to forge the Book of Mormon, which proves they are nothing of the sort. Surely if the wisdom of the wise has not perished, it has come to be so much like folly, that we cannot tell the difference.

We have examined the "leading features," and they blast the "Spaulding Story," and prove it as grossly silly as it is wicked. Let us examine still further, and we shall see that even if Joseph did get possession of Spaulding's novel, and had it by his side, he could not have transferred
 

[p. 54]
a solitary item of even the mere detail of that work to compose the pages of the Book of Mormon for the following reason: --

There is not an event described in the whole of the book, which does not spring naturally from, and belong to, the idea, that America was peopled by two small families of the tribe of Joseph, who came there in a certain way, and from the peculiar circumstances attending whose transit from Jerusalem to America, arose all the following movements and events therein narrated. Therefore, as Spaulding's work did not contain such a theory as that upon which the Book of Mormon is based, it could not have narrated circumstances, that alone could grow from such a theory. This will be still further evident from the following comparison with the probable detail of the Spaulding work.

Spaulding's "pretended history," how Ten Great Tribes of Israel were induced to leave Assyria and cross a mighty ocean, the methods of conveyance to the sea shore, the description of the leaders they required, and the incidents of the journey peculiar to such hosts, could have furnished no material for the Book of Mormon's description, of how one man, being warned in vision, to avoid the destruction of Jerusalem, fled with his family into the wilderness, and getting only another family to accompany him, journeyed solitary and alone to the sea shore.

So Spaulding's "history," of how such vast multitudes crossed the deep, the fleet of ships they required, their method of building them, and the events that would result from the passage of such an armament over the sea, could not be transferred to compose the history, of how one man, Nephi, constructed a ship in solitude, and with only his father's family and another, crossed the ocean, during which passage, as in all that occurred since they left Jerusalem, the events described are peculiar to their isolated position.

Continuing the comparison, Spaulding's description of how ten tribes would have swallowed up a large country, and thus be nations from their beginning, must have been anything but of use to compose a book that describes how these two little families separated and spread by degrees, until they became, after many generations, a multitude in the midst of the earth.

And so, through all the story, different events must have risen from so different an origin. The Book of Mormon, therefore, not only could have not have been "based" upon, but it could not have been even aided by such a work as Spaulding's is said "on oath" to have been.

One thing more must be noticed, and it will still more expose the folly of this "Spaulding Story," and would alone suffice to explode it, leaving the contradiction in historical statements between the two works out of the question.

It is always affirmed that the "religious matter" of the Book of Mormon was not copied from Spaulding's work. Particular attention is called to this, because great stress is laid upon its being like it, except the religious matter." Now, as every circumstance that is narrated in the whole of the "historical part" of the Book of Mormon is connected with, and springs from, the "religious matter" which was not in the Spaulding work, by excepting the religious matter from the charge of piracy, they have excepted the whole book.

Only fancy the Book of Kings being a copy of another work, "excepting its religious matter!" The religious matter is the bone and sinew of that book, and the historical part is the flesh built upon it. By examining the "historical part" of the Book of Mormon, it will be clear that its religious and historical matter are inseparably united.

To show this, let us briefly review, commencing with the beginning of that book.

Lehi being warned in a vision that the Jews meant to kill him because of his prophecies, fled from Jerusalem with his family. Out of which religious matter" grows all the events of a journey through the wilderness, and over an ocean, through the whole of which, the "religious matter," or fresh, dreams, visions, and exhortations, influence their course, and give rise to every event described.

After landing in America, one part gives heed to certain revelations or religious matter, the other part neglects, and despises them, and losing the favour of the Lord in consequence, become hardened and murderous in their feelings towards the rest. They instill this hatred to these religious matters into their children. And thus comes a whole series of "historical" events, occupying half of the book at least, in the shape of murders, wars, stratagems, and sieges, and cities, and fortifications, built and destroyed --
 

[p. 55]
lands taken and reconquered. All as much belonging to the peculiar religious matter of the Book of Mormon, as a man's five fingers belong to the rest of his hand.

Again, Prophets came and laid before the people "religious" principles; the way they treated and rejected these men, furnishes a large portion of the "historical part." All their sufferings or prosperity being traced to their rejection or acceptance of this "religious matter." Once more, Prophets were sent to prophesy respecting the coming of Christ, and his visit to America, most of them rejected again, and then followed the "history," in descriptions of earthquakes, cities burnt by fire, others engulphed, and some drowned in the depths of the sea. Excepting the history of a previous race, inhabiting America, who, came from the Tower of Babel, which certainly, no one will suppose was founded on Spaulding's History of the Ten Tribes, the rest of the Book of Mormon is devoted to describing the gradual decay and destruction of a great nation, an event that flowed from no less a "religious matter" than the visit of Christ and rejection of his teachings! Who can separate the religious and the historical matter here? Either Spaulding's novel contained the "theory" of Lehi's dreams and visions, the rise of Prophets in America, and visit of Christ to that continent which is denied, or it did not contain any of the Book of Mormon, the balance being only a description of events that sprung from those facts.

The very art that led the fabricators of the Spaulding story so carefully to assert that the historical part of the Book of Mormon only was copied from Spaulding's manuscript, clearly exposes the whole cheat, as we have seen there could have been no Book of Mormon "historical part," nor anything else, had these religious facts been excepted.

The investigation of the "Spaulding story" completed, let us review.

We found it grounded on the alleged similarity between the two works. That position has been overthrown, by proving out of the mouths of our opponents a total and complete dis-similarity and contradiction. Probably (?) that was what they meant, only by mistake they left out the "dis." We have also seen that no portion of Spaulding's "detail" could have been used, because a history of the transit of at least ten thousand people from Assyria (8) could never have been worked into the history of the emigration of scarcely a dozen from Jerusalem. One book professed to be the "manuscript found," the other found on plates of gold. One to have been found in Conneaut, Ohio, (9) the other in the State of New York. One to have traced the division of the ten tribes into the "Indian tribes, as found by Columbus," the other closes by leaving the descendants of Joseph one nation, after the battle of Cumorah, And then to complete the whole, and put on the capstone of folly, the originators of the "Spaulding Story," knowing that they could not, with a single chance of being believed, ascribe to Spaulding -- a Presbyterian preacher! -- the idea of a long line of Prophets, and the ministry of Jesus Christ in America, have owned that such parts of the Book of Mormon had no connection with his work. And thus -- could they even now, falsify themselves, and prove the Ten tribes were not the subject of the Novel -- there would still be enough left to easily refute them. For those religious ideas run like a silver vein through the whole Book of Mormon, which would be no more like what it now is without them, than Mr. Spaulding would have resembled himself, after all his bones and sinews had been extracted.

And further still, if Joseph Smith did make use of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, it must have been for one of two reasons, either because he was not able to write a history for himself, or that he might save himself labour. On the one hand, he could not have done so, because of inability. For any one that could have so cleverly altered a history of ten tribes, that it now reads a distinct and constant history of two families of Joseph, certainly could have made such a history for himself, in the first instance, had he wanted one. And, on the other hand, he could not have done it to save himself trouble, for so to alter a history from the beginning to end, until it contradicted all it had previously said, and became a harmonious history of another people, could save no man trouble. Therefore, if Joseph Smith, supposing he was an impostor, ran the risk of detection, by copying another man's work, he ran that risk without a single
 

[p. 56]
motive, except it was the privilege of toiling for nothing, or the pleasure of being exposed, when by writing it himself, he need have no risk at all.

To close, the Spaulding Story is a triumph for "Mormonism." Had it been proved true, the ministers of the day would have a collateral proof that they are true servants of God, manifested in the fact that they were able to scatter to the winds the pretensions of a book that charged them with apostacy and error.

But it indeed substantiates its charges against them, to find that they fail so miserably, in endeavoring to prove the earthly origin of a work, that rebukes them in the name of the Lord.

We have also a testimony of great force in favour of the Divinity of the Book of Mormon, seeing that after twenty-five years of efforts by its enemies, to upset its claims to a divine origin, the only way by which they are agreed to account for its existence vanishes at a touch.

------------------
(1) "Tracts on Mormonism," No. 3, p. 9.
(2) "Mormonism a delusion," by the Rev. E. B. Chalmers, p. 20.
(3) "Mormonism its history, doctrine, &c., by the Rev. S. Simpson, p. 28.
(4) "Mormonism a delusion," by Chalmers, p. 19.
(5) History of the Mormons, by Lieut. Gunnison, p. 93.
(6) Published by Wartheim and Macintosh, Paternoster Row.
(7) Chambers' Repository of Tracts, No. 53.
(8) "Assyria," See Country Clergyman's work, page 6.
(9) See Gunnison, page 93.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 




He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. -- Jesus Christ.

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
her plagues. --
A Voice from Heaven.


No. 24.                                   June 13, 1857.                                   Vol. XIX.

[pp. 380-82]

INCONSISTENCY  OF  ANTI-MORMONS.
BY ELDER B. SNOW.

Reader, did you ever see a locomotive upon a railway attached to a heavy train puffing and snorting, emitting volumes of steam and smoke its, wheels revolving with great rapidity, but withal making no headway, while every effort began and ended in noise? If so, you have seen a picture to my conception of the efforts of a man who has pledged his support to a bad cause...

I have been led into this train of thought by perusing several Anti-Mormon publications, most of which were, as usual anonymous, for the best of all reasons, the authors were ashamed to father such monstrosities. Among the number which I have lately read, there is, however one exception to this general rule; but had the author been half as bright as he evidently supposes himself to be, he would have withheld his name and saved his credit. I allude to a tract bearing the significant title, The Book of Mormon examined and its claims to be a Revelation from God, proved to be false, by John Haynes.

It is not my purpose to enter into a review of this work, for it would be spending time to a very poor purpose, inasmuch as I have no fears of any influence from it except such as shall tend to the advantage of truth whenever read by thinking people...

Let us examine one specimen of Mr. Haynes honesty and consistency. He loudly complains that the Book of Mormon abounds with inconsistencies; but strange is it indeed, that a man of his self-supposed calibre, could not write one short tract without committing himself in a far greater inconsistency than any which he complains of in that book. He says, "Still the question is often put, 'How came the book (of Mormon) into Smith's hands?' To answer this, I have only to refer the reader to the following extract from a letter of a Mrs. Davidson, &c." Then follows an extract from said letter as is follows -- "I was married in early life to a Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth college, who was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness of history." He then recites tesone one of the old tales, and winds up with Mrs. Davidson, with the following extract from her letter -- "The excitement in New Salem was so great, that at a public meeting of the inhabitants on the subject, they deputed Dr. P. Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place, and obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds, and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. The comparison was found correct, with the exception of a few pious expressions and extracts from the Sacred Scriptures, and construed into a new Bible, to palm it upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine."

This, then, is Mr. Haynes' answer to the question how came the Book into Smith's possession?

This is what he expects us to believe. Very well; it appears, then, that the whole Book of Mormon was written by Mr. Spaulding, "a graduate of Dartmouth College who was distinguished distinguished for a lively imagination," and by the inspired writers of the "Sacred Scriptures," with the exception "of a few pious expressions!"

From such authors we must necessarily be prepared, and reasonably expect to meet a very fine and finished production, one that shall be in every way worthy of a high rank in literature. At least we expect if there should be anything bungling about it, it would only occur among those "few pious expressions," which have no accredited authorship.

Mr. Haynes, however, after expatiating largely upon what he calls the "internal evidence" against the book, endeavouring to show contradictions and inconsistencies, seems to have forgotten himself, and gravely sums up his arguments thus. "Again the general inaccuracies, bad grammar, and great blunders, both of the book and style render, it the meanest and most contemptible in the English language; it is very unlike a book of God. Listen to a few of the expressions with which it abounds." Here he quotes some specimens. "These," he continues, "with many more expressions which might be collected present on their very face, the most evident marks of ignorance, knavery, and dishonesty!" "Oh, tell it not in Gath!" Here is consistency! Now, Mrs. Davidson, what do you think of your college-educated husband, "distinguished for a lively imagination?"

You should, most assuredly, have sent him for a few months, at least, to Mr. Haynes, to have received a finish to his college education, that he be might not have disgraced himself and his profession by putting forth a book of "general inaccuracies, bad grammar, the meanest and most contemptible in the English language." ecollect "the comparison was found correct with the exception of a few pious expressions," and extracts from the Sacred Scriptures."

A few pious expressions cannot impart to a book of that size a "general" character for "inaccuracies, bad grammar, and great blunders!" Neither can a few pious expressions make the "Book and style" which "render it the meanest and most contemptible in the English language." Nor yet can a few pious expressions compose that vast number of "expressions with which it abounds."

The truth is, Mr. Haynes in his great zeal to oppose the truth, has run himself into a dilemma. Which horn will he take? His arguments, like the irishman's Kilkenny cats, "ate each other up!" ...


Note 1: Elder Snow's "inconsistency" argument, in answer to claims that Solomon Spalding's writings comprise a portion of the Book of Mormon, is more than a little disingenious. It was not Mr. Haynes fault, that Spalding's widow was quoted as saying that "an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible." Hayne's general acceptance of the Spalding authorship claims need not account for each and every word attributed to the widow. Elsewhere, the Mormon leaders argued that the 1839 Davison statement was not even her actual letter -- and, to a certain degree, that conclusion is a true one. The 1839 statement's text was given in a letter composed by a clergyman, taken from notes garnered by yet another clergyman who had interviewed the widow. The lady signed those notes, certifying their accuracy; but of the published letter, she qualified her endorsement of its contents, by saying that "in the main," those contents agreed with the information she had supplied. Thus, where the widow is quoted as saying "a few pious expressions," her words may have been something else, such as, "some pious expressions." The 1839 Davison statement does not quantify the amount of "extracts from the sacred Scriptures" that were said to have been inserted into her husband's "historical romance," nor exactly how much of the Spalding holograph she supplied was compared and contrasted with the published Book of Mormon text. The widow repeated allegations sent to her by an unspecified Ohio correspondent, and she, in turn, gave an interview to a third party, who turned his notes over to a fourth party, to compile the information thus supplied into a text for publication. Certainly Mr. Haynes cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of small details in such a fourth-hand report.

Note 2: A close examination of historical sources indicates that D. P. Hurlbut was already on his way to locate and publish facts harmful to the top Mormon leaders, when he stopped at Conneaut in 1833. He was not so much "deputed" by residents there, to "obtain... the original manuscript" in order to compare it with "the Mormon Bible," as he was endorsed by those residents to carry out a mission already set in motion by his associates in the Kirtland region of Ohio. Early testimony indicates that D. P. Hurlbut probably did not initially stop back in Conneaut, to exhibit the Spalding writings he obtained during his 1833 excursion, but, instead, took those writings directly to Mentor, Ohio. There, early in 1834, they were reportedly examined by interested persons and discovered to be "the basis of the Mormon Bible." The unidentified person who relayed these findings to Spalding's widow may or may not have provided her with details of what percentage of the Book of Mormon text was evidently based upon her husband's writings. Elder Snow, however, makes no attempt to search out and examine any such bothersome information. For him, it is enough to know that Spalding was a college graduate and that the Book of Mormon text abounds in examples of poor writing. The extant writings of Solomon Spalding provide evidence that, while oddly imaginative and sardonic, Spalding was anything but a careful writer. His fictional ideas are complicated and innovative, but his prose constructions are shallow, stitled and amateurish. His sentences literally cry out for massive editing and amplification. It would be no wonder, that an even more amateurish editor might have amplified one of his stories into a text every bit as ungrammatical and ungainly as that found throughout the Book of Mormon.



 




He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. -- Jesus Christ.

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
her plagues. --
A Voice from Heaven.


No. 34., Vol. XXI.                          August  20, 1859.                         One Penny.


[p. 544]

(Article title missing from top of clipping -- it quotes the
Apr. 13, 1859 Deseret News, Vol. 42: pp. 353-360)


"Friends and Brethren, -- My name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery. In the early history of this Church I stood identified with her, and one in her councils. True it is that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance; not because I was better than the rest of mankind was I called; but, to fulfill the purposes of God. He called me to a high and holy calling. I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph, as he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands, the gold plates from which it was translated. I also saw with my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy Interpreters.' That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the prophet. It contains the everlasting gospel, and came forth to the children of men in fulfillment of the revelations of John, where he says he saw an angel come with the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It contains principles of salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God on high. Brother Hyde has just said that it is very important that we keep and walk in the true channel, in order to avoid the sand-bars. This is true. The channel is here. The holy Priesthood is here. I was present with Joseph when an holy angel from God came down from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain upon the earth while the earth stands. I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred by holy angels from on high. This Priesthood we then conferred on each other, by the will and commandment of God. This Priesthood, as was then declared, is also to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This holy Priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and is just as good and valid as though God had done it in person. I laid my hands upon that man -- yes, I laid my right hand upon his head (pointing to Brother Hyde), and I conferred upon him this Priesthood, and he holds that Priesthood now. He was also called through me, by the prayer of faith, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ..."


Note: This "last statement" of Oliver Cowdery was taken from Elder Reuben Miller's Journal, entry for Oct. 21, 1848; original in LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.


 





[Vol. VII: 1860, p. 111]

Divine Origin of Mormonism.
Doings and Sayings of Early Opposers and Apostates.


Remarks by Elder GEORGE A. SMITH made in the Tabernacle,
Great Salt Lake City, January 10, 1858.

Reported By G. D. Watt



The Lord says, "For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways."

The address we have listened to this afternoon is directly calculated to inspire our minds with a full fruition of the truth of these sentiments. If the religious nations of the world had been consulted in establishing a new religion with the intention of superseding all other sects and denominations, they would have selected a grave council of the wisest, most most learned, and pious men they could find, -- learned in theology, in philosophy, in law, and in every department of science. Yet we are told that the Saviour, when he visited the earth, selected as his ministers and messengers fishermen and other individuals from the lower orders of the people -- men with but little learning, and less reputation, to proclaim the Gospel, testify of the truth, and be witnesses of his advent into the world -- of his miracles and resurrection from the dead. So it was in the present generation.

When the Lord commenced his work, he neglected to call upon Campbell, Scott, Clarke, Doddridge, or any other celebrated divine. He passed over his Holiness the Pope, and the Bishops that were presiding with so much dignity, splendour, and authority over the different portions of the Christian Church. He passed over the learned institutions of the day, and went into a field and laid his hand on the head of Joseph Smith, a ploughboy, -- upon one who cultivated the earth, and had scarcely education enough to read his Bible, -- whom he inspired, appointing him to translate the Book of Mormon, and authorizing him to proclaim the Gospel and administer the plan of salvation.

Ere long, this young man became the scoff, the by-word, and hiss of all the learned Christians on the earth. But the Lord said, "My ways are not as your ways, nor my thoughts as your thoughts."

When the early Elders of this Church began to preach the first principles of the Gospel, how oft have we heard the question asked -- Why did not the Lord call upon some learned man -- upon the presidents of theological seminaries, or ripen some of our learned missionaries? Why, if this work be true, did he call upon a person so low -- so uneducated -- so foolish? This inquiry was made in every direction by hundreds and by thousands, and was laid down by them as a sufficient reason for rejecting the Book of Mormon and the testimony of the servants of God.

In a very short time a literary war commenced. The newspapers announced to the world that an impostor had arisen that an impostor had been
 
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palmed upon them, a false religion had been proclaimed, and that an ignorant, stupid, lazy, good-for-nothing set of fellows were pretending to preach a new religion. Thurlow Weed was the first to commence the literary war through the press, under the head of "Blasphemy."

This proclamation has been often reiterated up to the present time. Pulpit orators announced to their congregations that three weeks would be sufficient to dispel the whole delusion. Three weeks passed away, and the word of God was still preached. Then pulpit proclaimers announced that a year would terminate the delusion.

Editors published their false statements, one of which, no doubt, will be remembered -- a pretended miracle of walking on the water. It was said that the Prophets placed planks two or three inches under the surface of the water, and walked on them, to convince the multitude of the truth of his doctrine: but just as all were convinced, and the Prophet was about to step on shore, some rogues pulled out the plank, and he fell into the water, and was drowned.

What next? "This printing lies about Mormonism -- this blackguarding, and preaching falsehoods about it, don't stop it: we must apply something that will." They applied a suit of tar and feathers to the Prophet, and other abuses, but with no better success than attended their former efforts to stop the progress of "Mormonism." In fact, the Prophet had not more than got the tar fairly washed off him, before he had to go into the water to baptize.

There is a class of personages who have acted a conspicuous part in opposition to the progress of the work of the Lord in the last days, who are never to be forgotten. The first members of the Church, it will be recollected, came from almost every religious denomination; and if they had never belonged to any religions sect, they had more or less of their prejudices.

I recollect when I first began to discern the operation of the spirit of apostacy. A small company of us started for Zion. One of the company (Norman A. Brown) lost a horse. This man had been baptized for the remission of sins, rejoiced in the light of truth, and started to gather with the Saints; but his horse died. "Now," said he, "is it possible that this is the work of God? If this had been the work of God, my horse would not have died when I was going to Zion." He apostatized, fought against the work of God, and died a miserable, lingering, and unhappy death; and all because of so great a trial as the loss of a horse.

Joseph H. Wakefield, who baptized me, after having apostatized from the Church, announced to the astonished world the fact that, while he was a guest in the house of Joseph Smith, he had absolutely seen the Prophet come down from the room where he was engaged in translating the word of God, and actually go to playing with the children! This convinced him that the Prophet was not a man of God, and that the work was false, which, to me and hundreds of others, he had testified that he knew came from God. He afterwards headed a mob meeting, and took the lead in, bringing about a persecution against the Saints in Kirtland and the regions round about.

One of the first apostates that published against this work was Ezra Booth. He published nine letters in the Ohio Star, published at Ravenna, Portage county, in which he used all the arguments and made all the false statements he could; and it was generally believed by our enemies, at the time, that the apostacy and revelations of Ezra Booth would put an utter end
 
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to "Mormonism." But the wheel rolled along unabated in its progress.

Ezra Booth had been a Methodist preacher; but on a visit to Joseph Smith, he had become convinced of the truth of the work of the Lord by witnessing a miracle. Mrs. Johnson, an aged lady, had for several years been afflicted with rheumatism, and for more than a year had not been able to raise her arm at all. She was healed by the administration of the laying on of hands by the Prophet, and was enabled immediately to raise her hand to her head, comb her hair, or do anything she wished. This convinced him it was the power of God. He went to preaching the truth, but found, instead of living on the fat of the land, as he did among his Methodist brethren, that he had to labour and toil for the good of Zion, trusting in God, and in the great day of accounts receive his reward; so he apostatized.

The next publication which made a prominent show in the world was a book entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," written by Doctor P. Hurlburt. In consequence of improper conduct among females, he was expelled from the Church. He confessed his wickedness to the Council. I was present, and heard him. He promised before God, angels, and men that he would from that time forth live his religion and preserve his integrity, if they would only forgive him. He wept like a child, and prayed and begged to be forgiven. The Council forgave him; but Joseph told him, "You are not honest in this confession."

A few days afterwards he published his renunciation of the work, assigning as a reason, that he deceived that Council, and made them believe his was an honest confession, when he only confessed to see whether the Council had power to discern his spirit. Joseph, however, told him at the time that he was not honest in his confession.

He went to work and got up the "Spaulding story" -- that famous yarn about the "Manuscript Found." When about to publish this lying fabrication, in several of his exciting speeches having threatened the life of Joseph Smith, he was required to give bonds, by the authorities of Ohio, to keep the peace. In consequence of this, the name of E. D. Howe was substituted as the author, who published it.

Hurlburt was cracked up in the world as a scientific man -- as an M.D.; but he happened to be the seventh son, and was called Doctor by his parents. It was his given name -- not the title of his profession.

The public press heralded forth many encomiums on the book. Mr. Howe agreed to give Hurlburt four hundred copies for the manuscript.

Hurlburt took his subscription list and went from house to house for names, until he had got subscribers for the four hundred copies, which were to be delivered as soon as they were printed and bound, at one dollar per copy.

Howe refused to deliver Hurlburt the four hundred copies until he managed to get his eye on Hurlburt's subscription list, which he copied, delivered the books, took the money, and then gave Hurlburt his four hundred copies. He thereby swindled Hurlburt out of his manuscript, and he had to sell his books at from ten to twenty cents each, or anything he could get; and great numbers were never sold.

There is one thing in relation to publications against "Mormonism:" No apostate has ever made his fortune by them; for, if he would tell the truth, that would be no mystery; and when they tell falsehoods, the spirit of lying makes them tell such big lies,
 
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and so many of them, that their work goes into discredit.

I think the first church attempted to be established in opposition to "Mormonism" was that established by Wycam Clark, in Kirtland. He was baptized about the same time as Sidney Rigdon, and, in company with Northrop Sweet and four others, seceded from this Church, and said they could carry the whole world with them by preaching "Mormon" principles. They had two or three meetings; but the society would never have been known in the world, had not a few of us remembered the circumstance and told of it.

Another species of apostacy took place in the neighbourhood of the forge in Kirtland. A man named Hoten seceded from the Church, renounced the Book of Mormon and the Prophet, and established himself under the name of the Independent Church. A man named Montague was appointed bishop. This church got to number about ten members. They pretended, under the order of the New Testament, to have all things common. In a few weeks the bishop, who had charge of the temporal things, made a charge on the president for visiting his pork barrel, and the president charged the bishop with visiting his wife, and that broke up the society.

I shall not undertake to detail all of this species of character that have arisen; but there was another by the name of Hawley. He was attacked by a spirit of revelation, somewhere in the State of New York, while he was ploughing; and it took him in such a hurry that he had not time to put on his boots, but travelled barefoot to Kirtland, some six hundred miles distant, to warn Joseph that he was a fallen Prophet; that God had cut Joseph off, and placed in his stead a man by the name of Noah; and the reason Joseph was cut off was, he had suffered the men to wear cushions on their coat sleeves, and the women to wear caps. He went through the streets of Kirtland with a dismal howl, crying, "Woe, woe to the people." On one occasion, about midnight, Brigham Young went out, and took with him a cowhide, and said to Hawley, "If you don't quit annoying the people with your noise, I will cowhide you;" upon which he concluded he had suffered persecution enough for his master's sake, and shut up his noise.

I believe, if you will take the whole circle of the history of apostates from this Church, that in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred you will find that the spirit of adultery or covetousness was the original cause.

There was a man named John Smith came into the Church, and was somewhat prominent in the State of Indiana. He preached some little, and was considered quite zealous; but he said he had proved that the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was not true; "For it says," said he, "that if a man shall commit adultery, and not repent of it, he shall lose the Spirit of God, and shall deny the faith. Now, I have done it, and have not denied the faith; and so I have proved that the revelation in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants is not from God." The spirit of blindness had so taken possession of him that he could not see that when he was proclaiming that the revelations were not true, he was denying the faith. That spirit has such an effect over the human mind as totally to blind them in relation to their own acts and the spirit that governs them.

After the organization of the Twelve Apostles, and the so far finishing of the Kirtland Temple as to hold a solemn assembly and confer the Kirtland endowment therein, the spirit of apostacy became more general, and the shock that was given to the
 
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Church became more severe than on any previous occasion.

The Church had increased in numbers, and the Elders had extended their labours accordingly; but the apostacy commenced in high places. One of the First Presidency, several of the Twelve Apostles, High Council, Presidents of Seventies, the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, Presidents of Far West, and a number of others standing high in the Church were all carried away in this apostacy; and they thought there was enough of them to establish a pure religion that would become universal.

This attempted organization was under the direction of Warren Parrish, who had been a Travelling Elder in the Church, and who sustained a high reputation in the Southern States as an eloquent preacher, and had for a short time been employed by Joseph as a clerk. He undertook to organize those elements into a church, and I was told by them that all the talented men among the Elders were ready to join them.

They named, for instance, Lyman Johnson, John F. Boyington, William E. McLellan, Hazen Aldrich, Sylvester Smith, Joseph Coe, Orson Johnson, W. A. Cowdery, M. F. Cowdery, and others, amounting to something like thirty, who bad been prominent Elders in the Church.

They were going to renounce the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and take the "Mormon" doctrines to overthrow all the religions in the world, and unite all the Christian churches in one general band, and they to be its great leaders.

What success did this great apostacy meet with? Brother Kimball, when on a mission in 1844, (this apostacy took place in 1837-8,) while crossing Fox River on the ferry, encountered Warren Parrish. He was a grave-looking man -- a straight-jacketed fellow, dressed in black, with a white handkerchief around his neck. Says he, "Elder Kimball, will you have the goodness not to say to the people here that I ever was a Mormon. I am a Baptist minister. I am preaching at that meetinghouse for a salary of $500 a year. If they find out I have been a Mormon, it would hurt my influence very much indeed."

Where was the big church he had tried to build up? He had tried pleading law; that failed: peddling bogus money, and that failed, like his big church speculation. And where was the origin of this?

I recollect waking up late one evening when I was quite a young man, and hearing my father and one of the brethren talk. Being a little disposed to listen, I learned that there had been considerable of a difficulty between Parrish and one of the brethren. This was when he was in good standing in the Church. He had been too kind with the brother's wife. Then I learned the commencement of his apostacy.

You may go to every one of these men -- I care not which one; you cannot put your finger on any one of these thirty men but what you will find that the spirit of adultery or covetousness had got possession of their hearts; and when it did, the Spirit of the Lord left them. They had not sense enough to repent and put away their iniquity, but suffered themselves to be overthrown with the spirit of darkness; and they have gone to hell, and there they may lift up their eyes, asking for some relief or benefit from those they once tried to destroy; but if they get the privilege of waiting on a servant to those who have kept the laws of heaven, they will be exceedingly thankful and fortunate.

At the breaking up of Far West there was another Prophet appeared. Isaac Russell undertook to lead the
 
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Saints into the wilderness. He gathered some twenty followers.

The reason why he apostatized was, the commandment required the Twelve Apostles to take their leave of the Saints on the foundation of the Temple on the twenty-sixth day of April, and it could not be fulfilled because those men were all driven away; but it happened that the Twelve went to that spot, and twenty or thirty Saints recommenced the foundation on the day appointed, held a Conference, and cut oft Russell and his followers. He used his influence over a few individuals until they scattered and wasted away.

In Nauvoo we had another shower of dust around the Prophet. There was a man by the name of William Law, who was a Counsellor to Joseph Smith, and a man of great gravity. He preached a great deal on the stand in Nauvoo, and told the people they must be punctual and pay their debts; and he repeated it over and over again. Sunday after Sunday he preached punctuality, PUNCTUALITY, PUNCTUALITY.

I was then on a mission in England; but when I got home, I would hear, Sunday after Sunday, these addresses. Thinks I, this is a very righteous fellow; it will be perfectly safe to deal with him; and everybody thought so.

The first time I suspected but what he was as straight as a loon's leg -- at least in relation to his trading, was one day in his mill. Brother Willard Richards and myself met Bishop Smoot, and he offered to bet a barrel of salt that the Doctor was heavier than I was. We went into Law's mill to be weighed. I was weighed on the scales where he weighed wheat into the mill.

To my surprise, I did not weigh as much by twelve pounds as usual. I thought this was a curiosity. I saw there was another pair of scales on the other side of the mill where they weighed out flour. I weighed the Doctor twice, and he weighed me twice on both scales; and I found that if I had been a bag of flour, I should have weighed twelve pounds too much; and, if I had been a bag of wheat, I should not have weighed enough by twelve pounds.

The Doctor and myself soon discovered that the gain by this villainous fraud would supply the mill with wood and hands to tend it. Brother Joseph and I saw brother Law come out of his house one day, and brother Joseph said to me, referring to Law, "George, do you know that there is the meanest man in this town?"

"Yes," I said, "I know he is, but did not know you thought so."

"How did you find it out?"

He has two sets of weights in his mill. He also told me something about Law's visit to certain disreputable houses in St. Louis, and gave me to understand that he knew something about Law's hypocrisy and dishonesty in dealing, as well as myself.

I only tell this circumstance because he pulled the leading string in putting Joseph Smith to death. When he comes forth, he may expect to find his white robe dyed in the blood of innocence, and he may expect in all time to come to have that stigma upon him.

The spirit of hypocrisy, covetousness, adultery, and corruption also laid the foundation for Law's destruction.

When a man professes a great deal of sanctity -- a great deal of holiness and piety, -- when he can scarcely speak without a pious groan, he is to be suspected; for such hypocrisy is in itself the most cursed corruption that can exist.

Law gathered around him a few followers, organized a church, and set himself up for a prophet, went out
 
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from Nauvoo, joined the mob, and led the van.

In 1843, when Joseph was taken prisoner in the county of Lee, on a demand from the Governor of Missouri. William Law turned out and attempted to release him. While near Oquaka, and supposing that Joseph had been smuggled to the river side, and that he was about to be carried to the Mississippi, and put on board the steamer, and hurried away to Missouri, says he, "They will carry him on board of a boat and get him over the river; and if the Prophet is carried to Missouri and killed, property in Nauvoo will fall to one-half its present value." His anxiety was about the price of property going down. A few minutes after, when he met Joseph, he went up, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. He loved him tenderly as long as he kept the price of property up.

After the death of Joseph, a number of men appeared, professing to be revelators. The most noted of them, I believe, was James J. Strang. He gathered a few followers around him, and established himself first at Voree, Wisconsin; then he removed to Beaver Island, Lake Michigan. He remained there some length of time; and finally, in some disturbance got up there, he was murdered. His followers clung together longer than any of the other apostates. They were able to publish a monthly paper, about half the size of the Deseret News, printed in large type and coarsely leaded, in which they advocated James J. Strang as a prophet.

Charles Thompson, Francis Gladden Bishop, G. J. Adams, and others arose, until prophets for awhile were at a discount. But all these vanished into thin air; their names were forgotten, and their pretensions are unknown, unless some of us happen to think and tell of them.

Oliver Cowdery said to the people, when he came to Pottawotamie and requested to be restored to the Church, "Follow the Twelve: they are the men with whom the Priesthood rests. If you follow the main channel of the stream, you will go right; but if you run into a bayou, you will find yourselves among snags."

You may trace the course of all those characters, and you will find that hypocrisy and adultery have been the leading-strings to lead them astray. It is of the utmost importance that every Latter-day Saint thoroughly and carefully tread his own path, correct his own conduct, regulate his own life, banish from his heart the spirit of wickedness and corruption, and see to it that his intentions, desires, and actions are pure in the sight of God, -- that he covets not that which belongs to his neighbour; for our actions are between us and our God: with him we have to account, and his Spirit will not dwell in unholy temples.

Then let us keep ourselves pure before Him, live the principles that we have espoused, and be prepared for the great day when we shall stand upon Mount Zion, where none will stand only those who have clean hands and pure hearts.

May God bless us. Amen.


Note: First published in the Deseret News of Jan. 20, 1858.


 





[Vol. XI: 1867, p. 1]

Historical Discourse.

Delivered by Elder GEORGE A. SMITH in the Tabernacle,
Ogden City, on Tuesday, November 15, 1864.

Reported By G. D. Watt




When the Lord appeared to Joseph Smith and manifested unto him a knowledge pertaining to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the work of the last days, Satan came also with his power and tempted Joseph. It is written in the book of Job, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them." In the very commencement of this Work, the Prophet Joseph Smith was called upon to contend face to face with the powers of darkness by spiritual manifestations, and open visions, as well as with men in the flesh, stirred up by the same spirit of the adversary to edge up his way and destroy him from the earth, and annihilate the work which he was about to commence. He thus describes the incident:

"In the spring of 1820, after I had retired into the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power, which entirely overcame me, and had such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But -- exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction, not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who has such a marvellous power as I had never before felt in any being -- just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.
 
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When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other -- 'This is my beloved son, hear him.'"

It was also peculiar in the history of the age, that just at the time that God was revealing unto his servant Joseph to raise up men to bear testimony of the principles of the Gospel in its fulness and simplicity, Satan was at work stirring up the hearts of the children of men to a species of religious excitement. There were in many parts of the country strange manifestations, great camp and other protracted meetings were assembled together to worship under the various orders denominated Methodists, Campbelites, Presbyterians, Baptists, Unitarians, etc., among whom were manifested the development of a spirit which deprived men of their strength; they would faint away, or, they would manifest a variety of contortions of countenance. There was introduced into the Western States a phenomenon called the jerks; persons under the influence of religious fanaticism would jerk seemingly enough to tear them to pieces.

When the Church was organized, persons came into it bringing along some of these enthusiastic notions individuals who professed to have revelations on every subject, and who were ready to banish every moral principle under the guidance of false spirits. Joseph the Prophet had also to learn by experience, and to teach the Elders and the early members of the Church, how they should judge of the manifestation of spirits. (Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 17, Par. 7.)

"Wherefore it shall come to pass, that if you behold a spirit manifested that you cannot understand, and you receive not that spirit, ye shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus, and if he give not unto you that spirit, that you may know that it is not of God: and it shall be given unto you power over that spirit, and you shall proclaim against that spirit with a loud voice, that it is not of God; not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome; neither with boasting, nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith," and refers to Hiram Page who began to get revelations through the medium of a black stone, certain characters appearing on that stone which he wrote down. Notes concerning false revelations, apostacies.

Joseph Smith in his history wrote thus:

"To our great grief, however, we soon found that Satan had been lying in wait to deceive, and seeking whom he might devour. Brother Hyrum Page had got in his possession a certain stone, by which he had obtained revelations concerning the up-building of Zion, the order of the Church, &c., &c., all of which were entirely at variance with the order of God's house, as laid down in the New Testament, as well as our late revelations. As a Conference had been appointed for the first day of September, I thought it wisdom not to do much more than to converse with the brethren on the subject, until the Conference should meet. Finding, however, that many, especially the Whitmer family and Oliver Cowdery, were believing much in the things set forth by this stone, we thought best to inquire of the Lord concerning so important a matter; and before Conference convened, we received the revelation to Oliver Cowdery given at Fayette, New York, September, 1830, in the 4th paragraph of which the Lord says:

 
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"And again, thou shalt take thy brother, Hyrum Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me, and that Satan deceived him; for, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this Church contrary to the Church covenants, for all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the Church, by the prayer of faith."
Joseph's history continues:

"At length our Conference assembled. The subject of the stone previously mentioned, was discussed, and after considerable investigation, brother Page, as well as the whole Church who were present, renounced the said stone, and all things connected therewith, much to our mutual satisfaction and happiness."
Some of the Elders journeyed to the westward from the state of New York, and built up Branches in the State of Ohio. Elders Oliver Cowdery and P. P. Pratt visited Sidney Rigdon who resided in Mentor, Geauga county, and was famous in that country as a reformed Baptist minister, more familiarly known as Campbelites. He had preached the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins, the regular Baptist church having a different, view of the subject, for they considered "baptism as an outward sign of an inward grace," and that in order to be a candidate for baptism he must have received a change of heart, changed from a heart of stone to one of flesh; he was required to go into the congregation and formally renounce the world, the flesh and the devil, having given evidence that he was a new creature and was prepared for baptism.

But the Reformed Baptists held the doctrine which I believe was first preached in Ohio, by Sidney Rigdon, that a man must reform, that repentance was simply a reformation, and the moment that repentance was resolved upon, the candidate was ready for baptism; and so far their notion appeared to be an improvement upon the general idea entertained, and consonant with the Bible view of it, as it was laid down by the Savior and his Apostles. But here they stopped, and did not administer the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and what was further, they contended there was no need of it, that it was all done away, and that the written word was all the spirit there was.

When the Elders waited on Sidney Rigdon and presented to him the Book of Mormon, teaching him the principle of laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, he received it, as did several hundred members of his church, and members of other churches in that vicinity, who were baptized in a few weeks. In a few days Elders Oliver Cowdery, P. P. Pratt and Ziba Patterson, passed on westward, as their mission directed them to the western boundaries of the State of Missouri. Sidney Rigdon took a journey to the east, as did Edward Partridge for the purpose of visiting the Prophet, and these strange spirits of which we have already spoken, began to manifest themselves in the churches and Branches which had been built up.

There was at this time in Kirtland, a society that had undertaken to have a community of property; it has sometimes been dennminated the Morley family, as there was a number of them located on a farm owned by Captain Isaac Morley. These persons had been baptized, but had not vet been instructed in relation to their duties. A false spirit entered into them, developing their singular, extravagant and wild ideas.
 
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They had a meeting at the farm, and among them was a negro known generally as Black Pete, who became a revelator. Others also manifested wonderful developments; they could see angels, and letters would come down from heaven, they said, and they would be put through wonderful unnatural distortions. Finally on one occasion, Black Pete got sight of one of those revelations carried by a black angel, he started after it, and ran off a steep wash bank twenty-five feet high, passed through a tree top into the Chagrin river beneath. He came out with a few scratches, and his ardor somewhat cooled.

Joseph Smith came to Kirtland, and taught that people in relation to their error. He showed them that the Spirit of God did not bind men nor make them insane, and that the power of the adversary which had been manifested in many instances was visible even from that cause, for persons under its influence became helpless, and were bound hand and foot as in chains, being as immovable as a stick of timber. When Joseph came to instruct these Saints in relation to the true Spirit, and the manner of determining the one from the other, in a short time a number of those who had been influenced by those foul manifestations, apostatized. Among the number was Wycom Clark; he got a revelation that he was to be the prophet -- that he was the true revelator; and himself, Northrop Sweet and four other individuals retired from the Church, and organized the "Pure Church of Christ," as they called it, composed of six members, and commenced having meetings, and preaching, but that was the extent of the growth of this early schism. John Noah, another of this class, assumed to be a prophet, and in consequence thereof was expelled from the church.

Among the early baptisms in Northern Ohio, was a Methodist minister by the name of Ezra Booth. He was present when the Elders first received the ordination of the High Priesthood. They met together in June, 1831, in a log school house in Kirtland, a room about eighteen feet by twenty. While they were there, the manifestation of the power of God being on Joseph, he set apart some of the Elders to the High Priesthood. Ezra Booth was bound, and his countenance was distorted, and numbers of the brethren looked at him, and thought it was a wonderful manifestation of the power of God, but to their astonishment, Joseph carne forward and rebuked the foul spirit, and commanded it to depart, in consequence of which Booth was relieved, and many of the brethren were greatly tried at such a singular treatment by the prophet of these wonderful manifestations of power.

Others had visions. Lyman Wight bore testimony that he saw the face of the Savior.

The Priesthood was conferred on a number of Elders, and thirty were selected to take a mission to the western boundaries of Missouri, and travel and preach two and two by the way, travelling without purse or scrip. They did so, building up churches. Joseph was required to travel by water, or at a more rapid rate to reach there, to meet the brethren and hold a Conference in the land of Zion. It was only a short time after the return from this mission, that Ezra Booth apostatized as did Jacob Scott, Symons Rider, Eli Johnson and a number of others. The spirit of apostacy was little known, but when these men apostatized they became more violent, more
 
[p. 5]
cruel, and manifested a greater spirit of persecution than any other enemies. What seemed singular, Ezra Booth had been brought into the Church through the manifestation of a miracle. The wife of Father John Johnson had been afflicted with the rheumatism, so as to be unable to raise her arm and hand for two years. Her husband had believed the work, and she also was believing. She went to Joseph Smith the Prophet to have him administer to her, Booth accompanied them, for he was well acquainted with the family, and the condition of Mrs. Johnson. When the Elders laid their hands upon her, she was instantly healed, so that she could use her arm and hand as well as ever she could previously. Booth knew this to be an instantaneous cure, and soon after witnessing this miracle, he was baptized, and ordained an Elder. He having formerly been a Methodist minister, commenced preaching the Gospel without purse or scrip, and he did so until he found, (using a common expression,) it did not pay. Under these circumstances he apostatized. While he was in apostacy he searched his cranium for some means to justify himself and published a series of lying letters in the Ohio Star, a paper printed in Revenna. These nine letters had been republished several times as evidence against "Mormonism;" and his apostacy culminated in collecting a mob who tarred and feathered Joseph Smith, and inflicted upon his family the loss of one of its number at Hyrum, Portage county, Ohio. Joseph Smith was occupying the room of a house brother Johnson was living in, at the same time; it was a two story building, had steps in front. The mob surrounded the house, the twins being afflicted with measles, Joseph was lying upon a trundle bed with one of them. The mob rushed in, gathered up Joseph while in his bed, took him out in his night clothes, and carried him out on to the top of the steps. Joseph got a foot at liberty and kicked one of the men, and knocked him down off the steps, and the print of his head and shoulders were visible on the ground in the morning. Warren Waste, who was the strongest man in the western reserve considered himself perfectly able to handle Joseph alone, but when they got hold of him, Waste cried out, "do not let him touch the ground, or he will run over the whole of us." Waste suggested in carrying him to cross his legs, for they said that would make it easier for the Prophet, but that was done in consequence of the severe pain it would give to the small of the back. He was daubed with tar, leathered and choked, and aquafortis poured into his mouth. Dr. Dennison had been employed to perform a surgical opperation, but he declined when the time came to operate. The liquid they poured into his mouth was so powerful, that it killed the grass where some of it had been scattered on the ground. Joseph is reported by the mob to have said, be merciful, when they told him to call upon his God for mercy. They immediately, as he began to pray, heard an alarm which made them think they were about to be surprised, and left suddenly. Sidney Rigdon, who resided near by, had been dragged by the heels out of his bed at the same time, and his body stripped and a coat of tar and feathers applied. The next morning he was crazy, his head greatly inflamed and lacerated. Joseph found his way in from the light of the house, the mob having abandoned him. While he was engaged in getting off the tar by the application of grease, soap and other materials, Philemon Duzette, the father of our celebrated drummer,
 
[p. 6]
came there, and seeing the Prophet in this condition, took it as an evidence of the truth of "Mormonism," and was baptized. These circumstances exposed the life of the child, the measles struck in and caused its death, and the whole of this persecution was got up through the influence of those apostates; and it made it necessary to keep up a constant watch lest some violence should be repeated. Luke Johnson informed us that Warren Waste was afterwards a cripple, rendered so by weakness in the small of the back, and Dr. Dennison died in the Ohio Penitentiary where he was incarcerated for procuring an abortion, which caused death; Joseph soon after located in Kirtland. In Kirtland there were manifestations of evil spirits in high places, which might have been considered more dangerous than the manifestations in the early establishment of the Church.

Sidney Rigdon, on one occasion got up to preach, and commenced by saying that the Church and kingdom was rent from them and given to another people. Joseph was absent, when he came home he found Sidney almost like a mad man. He labored with him and with the Church, and finally succeeded in convincing him that he was under the influence of a false spirit. A man from the State of New York by the name of Hawley, stated that while he was working in his field, barefoot, the word of the Lord came to him, saying that he should start on the instant, and not stop to put on his shoes. He came six hundred miles to Kirtland, and went to Joseph with the message that he had suffered John Noah, a prophet of God, to be cut off from the Church, and that consequently he had lost his office; and he had also suffered the women to wear caps, and the men he allowed to wear cushions on their shoulders, and for these heinous sins he was cut oft, and this man had come six hundred miles barefooted to bear the terrible message. You might suppose such an adventurer coming among us would be regarded as a madman by all, but at that time several men were ready to listen to him; a Bishop's Council was assembled and an investigation had. During the investigation, the subject of women wearing caps and veils and having their heads covered was canvassed, and the Bible ransacked by Oliver Cowdery and others. When the man was expelled from the Church for giving way to the power of false spirits, he rose up in a most solemn manner, and proclaimed to the Council that they had chosen darkness instead of light. This man went through the streets of Kirtland in the night crying in a most doleful voice, woe, woe to this people. I understand that brother Brigham, hearing this nonsense and noise in the street, jumped up out of his bed in the night, took with him a cow hide whip into the street, and told that noisy person if he did not stop his noise he would certainly cowhide him, which caused him to cease to annoy the inhabitants with his folly.

Another prophet arose by the name of Hoton, he had his head quarters at the forge in Kirtland. He was the president, and a man named Montague was appointed Bishop. They resolved to live precisely in accordance with the principles, as they understood them, spoken of soon after the day of Pentecost, for they had all things common. Their number increased to ten, and they called themselves "the independent Church." Persons who had apostatized from the Latter-day Saints could be admitted into their party upon the terms of entering the room, shaking hands with every member and consecrating their property.
 
[p. 7]
This church lasted some two or three months, when a difficulty occurred between the President and the Bishop. The Bishop accused the President of being too familiar with his meat barrel; the President, in turn, accused the Bishop of being too intimate with his sheets. The result was, a split took place between the two chief authorities, and the organization ceased to exist.

There was a prevalent spirit all through the early history of this Church, which prompted the Elders to suppose that they knew more than the Prophet. Elders would tell you that the prophet was going wrong, men who thought they knew all about this work thirty or forty years some of them before the Lord revealed it, tried "to steady the ark." The Church was constantly afflicted with such a class of men.

I remember well in Zion's Camp, Levi W. Hancock made a fife, from a joint of sweet elder, Sylvester Smith marched his company to the music of that fife. That fife may be considered almost the introduction of martial music among the "Mormons." A dog came out and barked, when Sylvester Smith was going to kill the dog. Joseph said he was a good watch dog, Sylvester became wrathy and threatened; finally Joseph reproved him sharply, showing him that such a spirit would not conquer or control the human family, that he must get rid of it, and predicted that if he did not get rid of it, the day would come when a dog would gnaw his flesh, and he not have the power to resist it. Some months after the return to Kirtland, Sylvester Smith preferred a charge against Joseph the Prophet, for having prophecied lies in the name of the Lord, and undertook to substantiate that charge on the ground that the Prophet had said a dog should bite him, if he did not get rid of that spirit, when he had not power to resist. They were three days and parts of nights, with the High Council in Kirtland, in investigating this charge; one person spoke three hours in behalf of the Prophet. Sylvester published a confession which can be seen in the Church History, acknowledging his fault.

The Church in Kirtland were few in number compared with the inhabitants of the city of Ogden. We had High Council upon High Council, Bishop's trial upon Bishop's trial; and labor and toil constantly to settle difficulties and get our minds instructed in principle and doctrine, and in the power that we had to contend with. I remember very well the organization of the High Council, at Kirtland as a permanent institution, there had been several Councils of twelve High Priests called for special cases, but they organized it permanently on 17th Feb. 1834. On the 19th, the first case that was brought up was that of Elder Curtis Hedge, sen., who while speaking in meeting had gone into a Methodist spasm, shouting and screaming in such a manner as caused one of the Elders to rebuke him. Brother Hedge was brought before the Council for so doing. A great deal of instruction was imparted to the people, who were assembled in a room sixteen feet by eighteen. The decision was, that the charges in the declaration had been fairly sustained by good witnesses, that Elder Hedge ought to have confessed when rebuked by Elder Ezra Thayer; also if he had the spirit of the Lord at the meetings where he halloed, he must have abused it and grieved it away, and all the Council agreed with the decision. The report of this case is in Millennial Star, Vol. 15, page 18, and well worthy of perusal.

In relation to the manifestation of the spirit and a man exercising it,
 
[p. 8]
he may be guilty of error of manner as well as error in matter, and these principles in this way were gradually introduced into the minds of the brethren, the Elders being instructed all the while now and then, when falling out by the way-side.

The first Council I ever attended where the Prophet was present was at the trial of Doctor P. Hurlburt. This occured in June, 1833. He had been cut off from the Church by the Bishop's Council, and a Council of twelve High Priests, was organized to try the case on appeal. Hurlburt did not deny the charge, but begged to be forgiven, made every promise that a man could make that he would from that day live a virtuous life. Finally the Council accepted of his confession, and agreed that he might on public confession be restored to the Church again.

It was at the same Council that Daniel Copley, a timid young man, who had been ordained a Priest, and required to go and preach the Gospel, was called to an account for not going on his mission. The young man said he was too weak to attempt to preach, and the Council cut him off the Church. I wonder what our missionaries now would think of so rigid a discipline as was given at that time thirty one years ago, under the immediate supervision of the Prophet.

As soon as this Council had made this decision upon Hurlburt, Joseph arose, and said to the Council, he is not honest, and what he has promised he will not fulfil; what he has confessed are not the thoughts and intents of his heart, and time will prove it. Hurlburt stated to the Branch in Thompson, Ohio, that he had deceived Joseph Smith's God or the spirit by which he is actuated, I have proved that Council has no wisdom, I told them I was sorry I confessed and they believed it to be an honest confession, I deceived the whole of them and made them restore me to the Church. Hurlburt was the author of that work known by the name of "Mormonism Unveiled." Booth's letters were reprinted by Hurlburt, who is the author of "The Spaulding story," a book which he intended to publish; and in delivering lectures he had said he would wash his hands in Joseph Smith's blood. He was taken before the court and required to give bonds to keep the peace towards all men, and especially towards Joseph Smith. These circumstances had some influence, and his frends arranged that he should not publish the book, but put it into the hands of E. D. Howe, who resided in Painsville, Ohio. He agreed that he would give Hurlburt four hundred copies of the first printed and bound, for the manuscript. Hurlburt went round and got subscribers, to pay him when the book should be delivered, one dollar each for the four hundred. Howe got the books printed and refused to furnish Hurlburt with his share, until by a piece of legerdemain he got hold of his subscription list and got the four hundred dollars, and then he let him have the books. When Hurlburt went to supply his subscribers he found they had already been served. The Spaulding story in that country was considered so ridiculous, that the books could with difficulty be sold at any price; but it has now found its way into the scientific journals of the great world as a true history of the origin of the Book of Mormon, when it is very well known that no statement on this earth could be more incorrect or more untrue. Let "Mormonism" be true or false, the Spaulding story from beginning to end is an unmitigated falsehood.

Solomon Spaulding was a Presbyterian minister; he entered into the iron trade in Conneaut,
 
[p. 9]
Ohio, but failing in business he took a notion to write a novel; he wrote a book called the Manuscript Found, he took his work to Pittsburg, to a man by the name of Patterson to get it printed, but he failed and never printed it. It was pretended that it fell into the hands of Sidney Rigdon, and that he converted it into the Book of Mormon, and induced Joseph Smith to publish it; whereas it is very well known that there had no connection ever existed between these parties. In the first place, Spaulding never wrote any such work; in the next place, Spaulding never had anything to do with Patterson, and Sidney Rigdon and him were perfect strangers to each other. The first knowledge that Sidney Rigdon had of Joseph Smith was when Parley P. Pratt met him in Ohio, and presented him a printed copy of the Book of Mormon; yet all this has found its way into scientific literature, and you will find it even in the North British Review. Hurlburt's failure to destroy "Mormonism" was so complete, understanding that he was hacked by influential men in Mentor and vicinity, that it ended in their disgrace and discomfiture, and this was so complete, that the story in that country was hardly ever spoken of afterwards. Yet the Spaulding story lives among those who make lies their refuge, and under falsehood hide themselves.

The word of the Lord given in September 1831 -- see Book of Covenants, Sec. 21, Par. 4 -- to make Kirtland a strong hold for the space of five years, gave rise to a new development in the feelings and sentiments of the Saints. The Prophet said, purchase lands in the vicinity of Kirtland; men were induced to buy farms, and to go to work and build houses, to quarry rock, and haul them on the ground, to build a Temple. We were not then supplied with reporters and clerks as we are now, and many of the books that were kept have been wrested from the hands of the Church by apostates. The foundation of the Kirtland Temple was laid in 1833, and there is scarcely a scrap of history relating to it to be found, not even the names of the twenty-four Elders in their order who laid the foundation of it. When the Temple was completed there was a great manifestation of power. The brethren gathered together to its dedication. We considered it a very large building. Some nine hundred and sixty could be seated, and there would be room for a few to stand, the congregation was swelled to a little over a thousand persons at the time of the dedication. It was a trial of faith. The Elders from every part of the country had come together. The finishing of the Temple had involved a debt of many thousands, and we all came together to the dedication. The congregation was so large that we could not all get in; and when the house was full, then, of course, the doors were closed, and no more admitted. This caused Elder Frazier Eaton, who had paid seven hundred dollars towards building the house, to apostatize, because he did not get there early enough to the meeting. When the dedication prayer was read by Joseph, it was read from a printed copy. This was a great trial of faith to many. "How can it be that the prophet should read a prayer?" What an awful trial it was, for the Prophet to read a prayer! The service of the dedication being over, it was repeated again on the next day, to accommodate these who had not been able to get in on the first day, and all those who had been there on the first day, excepting the authorities, being required to remain outside, till these who could rot get in the day before were seated; the result of this
 
[p. 10]
arrangement was two days dedication.

The question has often arisen among us, why it is that we do not see more angels, have more visions, that we do not see greater and more manifestations of power. Any of the brethren that were there could have heard testimonies of manifestations in abundance.

On the first day of the dedication, President Frederick G. Williams, one of the Council of the Prophet, and who occupied the upper pulpit, bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it. That evening there was a collection of Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, etc., amounting to four hundred and sixteen, gathered in the house; there were great manifestations of power, such as speaking in tongues, seeing visions, administration of angels. Many individuals bore testimony that they saw angels, and David Whitmer bore testimony that, he saw three angels passing up the south aisle, and there came a shock on the house like the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and almost every man in the house arose, and hundreds of them were speaking in tongues, prophecying or declaring visions, almost with one voice.

The question arises, where are those men? a number of them who manifested the greatest gifts, and had the greatest manifestations have fallen out by the way side, you look around among us and they are not here. Many who received the knowledge of the things of God by the power of his spirit, and sought not after signs and wonders, and when the spirit rested upon them seemed to produce no visible demonstration, you look around among the Saints in the valleys of the mountains, and you find they are here with us bearing on high the standard of Zion, or have descended into honorable graves. But where you find men who have turned away, and have got terribly afflicted with self conceit, you will find those, who, on that occasion and similar occasions, received great and powerful manifestations, and when the spirit came on them it seemed to distort the countenance, and caused them to make tremendous efforts in some instances. Sylvester Smith bore testimony of seeing the hosts of heaven and the horsemen. In his exertion and excitement it seemed as though he would jump through the ceiling.

Brother Cannon in speaking on the subject this morning referred to the old adage, soon ripe, soon rotten. God has laid the foundation of his kingdom never to be destroyed, and it appears wisdom in him to develop gradually power and glory and strength. I have always heard it suggested that as the spirit of "Mormonism" gathered together the seed of Abraham -- mostly the sons of Abraham that are mixed among the nations; that the Holy Spirit falling upon men, who are not of the pure blood, who had the predominance of other blood in their veins, that the manifestation is greater, and when great manifestations fall on men, great trials immediately follow.

I have been conversant with early Elders, and I am satisfied that a large number of them fell from their positions in the kingdom of God because they yielded to the spirit of adultery; this was the cause of their destruction. There was an Elder named John Smith who lived in Indiana, who was quite popular in that part of the country as a preacher. He apostatized, but he did not know it. In talking about his faith and how firm it was, he said, I have proven
 
[p. 11]
the revelation given to Joseph Smith untrue, which says if a man shall commit adultery he shall lose the spirit of God, and deny the faith. I have proven that not to be true, for I have violated that commandment and have not denied the faith. He was so blind that he could not see through the darkness that the spirit of adultery had placed upon his head, the great apostacy which seemed to shake the Church, and tried men's souls.

Some time after the finishing of the Temple, the brethren under the direction of the Prophet had established a bank in Kirtland, the paper to be redeemed by specie, and secured by real estate. The directors of that bank were members of the Church, and they were determined to sustain the credit of that money. The question has some times been asked, how much has that bank failed for; it did not fail for a single dollar, and yet when it failed there was perhaps a hundred thousand dollars of the bank paper out in circulation. Warren Parrish was the teller of the bank, and a number of other men who apostatized were officers. They took out of its vault, unknown to the President or cashier, a hundred thousand dollars, and sent their agents around among the brethren to purchase their farms, wagons, cattle, horses and every thing they could get hold of. The brethren would gather up this money and put it into the bank, and those traitors would steal it and send it out to buy again, and they continued to do so until the plot was discovered and payment stopped. It was the cursed apostates -- their stealing and robberies, and their infernal villainies that prevented that bank being conducted as the Prophet designed. If they had followed the counsel of Joseph, there is not a doubt but that it would have been the leading bank in Ohio, probably of the nation. It was founded upon safe principles, and would have been a safe and lasting institution. Parrish and his coadjutors professed to have discovered that Joseph was not a Prophet, and commenced making a noise about it, and went so far as to organize about thirty of the Elders, into a new church called the Parrish party, many of them had been a long time in the church. That may be considered the time that tried men's souls; for a man that would stand up in the streets and say he was Joseph's friend, could not get a greater compliment than being called a lick skillet.

Joseph had few friends; but among the leading Elders of the Church, in Kirtland the High Council, one of the members of the first Presidency, some of the seven Presidents of the seventies, and a great many others were so darkened that they went astray in every direction. They boasted of the talent at their command, and what they would do. Their plan was to take the doctrines of the Church, such as repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, throw aside the Book of Mormon, the Prophet and Priesthood, and go and unite the whole Christian world under these doctrines. Where are they to-day? Like a rope of sand that has vanished to the four winds of heaven. Many of them have already in dust and ashes lamented their fate, they have never been able to prosper in any business, or take a leading part in any capacity. This is the result of that apostacy; and yet it was so great that Joseph himself and his friends had to flee from Kirtland. There was a council there when President Young, Brother Brigham as we called him, spoke in favor of Joseph, and Jacob Bump who had been a long time a Pugilist before he came into the Church, said "how on

[p.12] earth can I keep my hands off this man," Brigham said, lay them on if it will do you any good. The voice seemingly of an individual, was absolutely necessary to say that Joseph had a single friend. You look at times of danger, moral and physical, and you will find that the spirit of determination and strong will in the breast of a single man may save a most terrible panic and disaster. By management it was proved that Joseph had friends, and when he had gone to the state of Missouri, having fled from Kirtland, he was met with coldness by men who were in authority there. All this was the result of apostacy. The public funds were held in their own name, and another battle had there to be fought, not perhaps as severe, but at the same time there was a constant pressure seemed to be necessary to give strength to the growing kingdom; yet the revelations were that the kingdom should continue to prevail. The very fact of the promise of its continuing to prevail, signifies that it should have something more or less severe to prevail against. God has been with this people and has guided them, and dictated them, and is continuing to do so up to the present moment, and will continue so to do until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.

May we be prepared to fulfil our share in this great work, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Note: First published in the Deseret News of Dec. 21, 1864.


 



Truth  and  Liberty.

Vol. XVII.                         Salt Lake City, December 23, 1868.                        No. 46.



DISCOURSE.

By President GEORGE A SMITH
Delivered in the Old Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Nov. 15th 1868.

REPORTED  BY  DAVID  W.  EVANS.


...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on the 6th of April, 1830 with six members who had received baptism through the administration of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, the first elders of the Church...

It was no sooner noised abroad that Joseph Smith was preaching the gospel in its purity and administering its ordinances than a howl went up from all the world that he was an impostor, an ignorant fellow a man without education, and the Book of Mormon was denounced as ungrammatical. An argument was raised that if it had been translated by the gift and power of God it would have been strictly grammatical. Now so far as grammer is concerned we have King James Bible before us which was translated two hundred and fifty years ago by a large number of the most learned men that could be found in Great Britain, and it was put into the best language of that time; but since that day the English language has undergone so many changes and improvements that societies have been formed in various countries for the express purpose of re-translating the Bible so as to make it in accordance with the modern usages of our language. When the Lord reveals anything to men He reveals it in language that accords with their own. If any of you were to converse with an angel and you used strictly grammatical language he would do the same. But if you used two negatives in a sentence the heavenly messenger would use language to correspond with your understanding, and this very objection to the Book of Mormon is an evidence in its favor

It has been claimed that a Presbyterian minister, named Solomon Spaulding, wrote the Book of Mormon; but the very language and style of the book are abundant evidence that it never was written by any learned man, and that it never was written by a man who designed to make a romance or novel. It is very well known to hundreds and thousands that this statement in relation to Solomon Spaulding is entirely false, and that no such man ever had any acquaintance with Joseph Smith. It is also known to hundreds that the Book of Mormon was written by Oliver Cowdery, word for word as dictated by Joseph Smith, and that the original copy of that work was in Cowdery's handwriting....

Elder Parley P. Pratt before receiving the gospel, was a minister of the Reformed Baptist or Campbellite Church in Ohio. This sect had a brick meeting house in Mentor, Geauga, now Lake Co. The people who owned this house had prided themselves on their great liberality, they would give everybody a chance to preach. Bro. Pratt, wishing to preach to them went there but found the door shut against him. and the congregation assembled outside. He preached on the door step. Quite a number of his his former Christian brethren had gone to a neighboring grocery and qualified the inner man with something stimulating, and having supplied themselves with eggs, and procured a drum and fife they marched backwards and forwards in front of the speaker, throwing their eggs at him until their supply, -- five dozen -- was exhausted. Elder Pratt kept on preaching and bearing testimony of the truth of the gospel. Among those present who seemed to enjoy the scene was a Campbellite, a grave looking deacon, to whom a young man, a stranger who happened to be present said, "Is this the way you worship God in this country?" Oh, no Sir!" answered the deacon, "that man is a 'Mormon,' and we do not intend that he shall preach here." "He appears very cool," remarked the stranger. "Yes," said the deacon, "he is used to it, he has been in such scrapes before" ...


Notes: (forthcoming)


 



T R U T H   A N D   L I B E R T Y.

Vol. II.                         Salt Lake City, October 15, 1869.                        No. 277.


BOOK OF MORMON -- ABSURD THEORY.


A Col. J. W. Howard contemplates, it seems, delivering at an early date, a lecture to the people of Omaha, on the origin of the Book of Mormon. A late number of the Omaha Herald contains some extracts from the proposed lecture.

He starts out with the idea that, laying aside all speculation, it is clear that the brain work necessary for the starting and establishing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the work of some one else other than Joseph Smith; because he was an unlettered man, entirely incapable, according to concurrent history, of producing what is to-day known as the Book of Mormon. His theory is that the Book of Mormon had its origin in the speculations of Mackintosh, who published a work on the North American Indians, in which he assumed that they were descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Shortly after the appearance of this work "one Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a local preacher of some repute," commenced the preparation of several speculative papers on the same theory. It is evident to Howard, he says, that Spaulding got his cue from this work of Mackintosh's, and that being of a lazy, indolent nature, and not being able to find any written evidence to corroborate the theory which he was framing, he fell back on his imagination, and prepared in manuscript the tale, which, according to Howard, was afterwards told by Joseph Smith.

The opponents of the Book of Mormon in the past have styled it a crude, ungrammatical work, written in imitation of the Bible, but evidently compiled by an illiterate man. But Howard discovers in it passages of the choicest morality and some of the finest sentiments taught. It is clearly evident to his mind from what he has seen, he says, of the writings of Joseph Smith, and of Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon, whom he calls Joseph's attesting witnesses -- betraying thereby his utter ignorance of the book the origin of which he attempts to account for -- that beither one nor all of them combined the requisite amount of ability necessary to produce the Book of Mormon.

Is there any connection between Howard's discovery of the beauties in the Book of Mormon and the advocacy of that Book -- as quoted by the late telegraphic dispatches -- by our distinguished Vice President? The Book of Mormon must be increasing in value in the estimation of the world when two such distinguished men as the Vice President and Col. J. W. Howard condescend to notice it, one by quoting from it to prove the Latter-day Saints are not orthodox and the other to describe the choice morality and fine sentiments which it teaches!

This Spaulding story has been so often exploded by our people that it seems almost like a waste of time to allude to it here; but the Omaha Herald should know better than to call such ideas as Howard advances concerning its origin a plausible theory.

We freely admit all that he says about the choice morality and fine sentiments contained in the Book. They cannot be surpassed; but an unprejudiced person who will read the Book will readily perceive that the story about Spaulding writing it as a work of fiction is balderdash. The Book of Mormon does not convey the idea that the North American Indians are descended from the lost tribes of Israel, and when Mr. Howard makes such an assertion, he betrays his utter ignorance of the subject which he professes to discuss. One portion of the Book gives an account of two families which were of Israel; another portion is a record of the settling of a few families in America at a time long anterior to the birth of Israel.

His assumptions that the Book of Mormon was not the work of Joseph Smith, but of some nan -- Spaulding for instance -- of superior education and ability, as ostensibly based on the idea that Joseph Smith was illiterate. If this should be admitted, to whom shall the authorship of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants be attributed, a work which no one has ever presumed to doubt as emanating from or through Joseph Smith? Its morality is as pure, its sentiments as exalted and godlike, its language as elevated and choice, as any contained in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. What will Mr. Howard do for a Spaulding to carry out his theory in this case? Carry out his theory of Joseph's inability, and an author would have to be found for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Such theories serve to amuse would-be great men, pseudo-philosophers and people who are anxious to believe everything that is evil about Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints; but they do not satisfy thinking, reasoning men who are familiar with the subject under discussion.

To our mind it always seemed to require more blind credulity to adopt such theories as these of Howard's, than to adopt the testimony that the Book of Mormon is a true record, and that Joseph Smith was divinely inspired to translate it and to reveal the revelations contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

In this connection we have not alluded to the important fact that many people are yet living who know that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery engaged for years in the translation of the Book of Mormon.


Notes: (forthcoming)


 
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