SPALDING STUDIES LIBRARY -- SPECIAL  COLLECTIONS

Sp. Col. Index   |   Mormon Classics   |   Bookshelf   |   Newspaper Articles   |   History Vault

Jackson, Samuel Macauley (editor)
& Van Pelt, J. R.

(primary writer)
"Mormons" article in:
New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia 1910

  • Vol. VIII  Title Page
  • p. 09   an LDS statement   p. 10   some events in Utah
  • p. 11   a critical statement   p. 12   Book of Mormon
  • p. 13   the Spalding claims   p. 14   Mormon beginnings
  • p. 15   Far West & Nauvoo   p. 16   Brigham Young
  • p. 17   end of polygamy   p. 18   Mormon doctrine
  • p. 19   Reorganized LDS   p. 20   Gentiles / Bibliography
  • p. 21   Bibliography, cont'd


  • Editorial Notes:
    The current work is a revised edition of Philip Schaff, et al., A Religious Encyclopedia... Based on the Real-Encyklopadie of Herzog... published by Funk & Wagnalls between 1882 and 1884. The article on the "Mormons" in that edition was revised and updated (primarily by Dr. J. R. Van Pelt) for the 1903 printing, and then updated again c. 1909 for the current edition, published between 1910 and 1914.

    Van Pelt's article reflects the opinions of secular and Protestant scholars of Mormonism at the beginning of the 20th century. In terms of attributing possible non-Nephite origins for the Book of Mormon, the Van Pelt article incorporates the views of writers as diverse William A. Lynn (a Solomon Spalding claims traditionalist) and I. Woodbridge Riley (who argued for a Joseph Smith psycho-biographical basis and publicized the influence from Ethan Smith's writings). Along with the contemporary publication of rather similar origins explanations in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Schaff-Herzog's hesitant use of the traditional claims marked the end of religious historians' sympathetic citation of Spalding authorship explanations for the Book of Mormon in standard reference works.
     





    THE NEW


    SCHAFF-HERZOG

    ENCYCLOPEDIA


    OF

    RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE

    Editor-in-Chief

    SAMUEL MACAULEY JACKSON, D.D., LL.D.

    Editor-in-Chief

    of

    Supplementary Volumes

    LEFFERTS A. LOETSCHER, Ph.D., D.D.

    Associate Professor of Church History

    Princeton Theological Seminary



    [New York, London]

    [Funk and Wagnalls Company]

    [1910]



     
    9 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Morganatic Marriage
    Mormons

    MORMONS.
    I. Official (Mormon) Statement.
    Joseph Smith; Early Life and Visions (s 1).
    Founding of the Church; First Period (s 2).
    Movement to Utah (s 3).
    The " Utah war " (s 4).
    Doctrines and Organization (s 5).
    Polygamy; Conflicts with the Government (s 6).
    Critical (Non-Mormon) Statement.
    The Founder's Family; Environment in Youth (s 1).
    Translation of the Book of Mormon (s 2).
    Summary of the Book of Mormon ((s 3).
    Its Literary Character (s 4).
    Theories of its Source (s 5).
    The Founder's Character; Opportunism (s 6).
    The New Church; Various Centers (s 7).
    Industrial Development; Opposition (s 8).
    Developing Organization; Missionary Operations (s 9).
    History, 1836-38 (s 10).
    Nauvoo Period; Polygamy; Smith's Death (s 11).
    Brigham Young; Removal to Utah (s 12).
    Defiance of the United States (s 13).
    Suppression of Polygamy; Statehood (Ęs14).
    Late History; Present Status (s 15).
    Doctrinal System (s 16).
    Ordinances in Theory and Practise (s 17).
    Priesthood and Government (s 18).
    III. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    IV. Anti-Mormon Movements.
    To 1869 (s 1)
    From 1889 to the Present (s 2).


    I. Official (Mormon) Statement:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the " Mormon " Church, was organized Apr. 6, 1830, at Fayette, Seneca County, N. Y.

    1. Joseph Smith; Early Life and Visions.

    Joseph Smith, its founder, was born at Sharon, Windsor County, Vt., Dec. 23, 1805, and moved with his parents in 1815 to Palmyra, Wayne County, N. Y., and in 1819 to Manchester, N. Y. In the year 1820 a number of protracted revival meetings were held at that place among the various sects, which resulted in contention among the preachers who sought to influence the new converts to join their respective churches. Some of the members of the Smith family had joined the Presbyterian church, but Joseph, then fourteen years of age, being unable to decide which of these sects was right, held aloof from all, but pondered upon the matter, knowing that all could not be right. One day, while thus reflecting, he opened the Bible at the epistle of James and was deeply impressed with the promise in i. 5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." This passage aroused his earnest attention and deep reflection, until he decided to take it literally. Accordingly he retired to the woods near his father's house and called upon the Lord in fervent prayer; while thus engaged he beheld two glorious personages wrapped in a brilliant light, standing near, but above him in the air. One of them spoke to him, calling him by name, and, pointing to the other, said, " This is my beloved son, hear him." As soon as he was able to speak, Joseph asked this personage which of all the sects of Christendom he should join, and was told to join none of them, for they were all wrong; that the people drew near to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts were far from him. Among other things he was taught that the Gospel of Christ in its power and simplicity was not among men; but that shortly it should be restored again. The vision closed and the youth was left to ponder over the things he had both seen and heard. Three years passed and on the evening of Sept. 21, 1823, after he had retired for the night, he engaged in prayer; while thus calling upon the Lord, the room was filled with light and suddenly a messenger appeared at his bedside clothed in glory beyond description, who called him by name and said he had been sent from the presence of God, that his name
    was Moroni, that God had a work for Joseph to do, and that his name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindred, and tongues. The angel declared that the Gospel in all its fulness was about to be restored, preparatory to the second advent of Messiah, which was near at hand, and that this young man had been chosen as an instrument in the hands of the Lord in bringing about his purposes in the latter days. He was also informed that there was a record written on gold plates giving an account of the former inhabitants of the American continent, and the source from whence they sprang. These plates contained the fulness of the everlasting Gospel as delivered by the Savior to the inhabitants of this continent whom he visited after his resurrection; also there were two stones in silver bows deposited with the record, constituting what is called the Urim and Thummim which God had prepared for the purpose of translating the characters on the record. These stones were fastened to a breastplate. He was permitted to see these things in vision, also the place of deposit in the hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, N. Y. After receiving many visits from the angel, who unfolded to him many of the events about to take place, he received the plates on Sept. 22, 1827. These he subsequently translated through the medium of the Urim and Thummim and "the gift and power of God," which translation was published in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.

    2. Founding of the Church; First Period.

    In 1829 Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the priesthood, which is divine authority, under the hands of Peter, James, and John, and by command of God, on Apr. 6, 1830, they organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with six souls. The next year the church numbered several hundred members and moved to Kirtland, O., and also began to settle in Jackson County, Mo., where, according to their belief, the city Zion was to be built, a holy city with a temple of surpassing splendor, erected for the salvation of the souls of men. In 1833 the Saints who had located in Missouri were driven from Jackson County; they had incurred the ill-will of the original settlers, partly on account of their religion and partly because they were abolitionists from the eastern states. They sought refuge in Clay County, where they were permitted to remain for a short time, but the opposition in creased and they were forced to seek a home in the




     
    Mormons     THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 10

    more thinly settled counties of Daviess and Caldwell, also in that state. In 1839 Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs issued an exterminating order against the Latter-day Saints. Their prophet (Joseph Smith) and leading men were cast in prison and the people, after being forced to deed away their property, were driven from the state. In this destitute condition -- having been robbed and plundered of all they possessed -- they went to Illinois, where in 1839-40, on the site of a previous settlement called Commerce, in Hancock County, they established the city of Nauvoo. The legislature granted them a liberal charter and the city grew rapidly, soon numbering several thousand inhabitants with over 2,000 comfortable homes. A temple was built according to plans their prophet claimed were revealed to him, and the work of salvation for the dead commenced. It is a teaching of the Saints that the Savior visited the spirits in prison, while his body was in the tomb, and taught them the Gospel. For this reason the Latter-day Saints, in their temples, perform by proxy the rites of salvation, such as baptism, in behalf of the dead who die without a knowledge of the Gospel.

    In 1844 a number of discontented parties, who had left the church, issued a paper at Nauvoo called the Expositor, in which the prophet, Joseph Smith, was bitterly assailed. The city council passed an ordinance declaring the printing-office, where this paper was published, a nuisance, and it was destroyed by officers of the law.

    3. Movement to Utah.

    Joseph Smith was blamed for maintaining this nuisance, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He declared that if he were taken he would be killed, and therefore, with his elder brother Hyrum and a few faithful friends, crossed the Mississippi River for the purpose of going to the Rocky Mountains. This action created much excitement among some of his followers who declared that in time of danger he was fleeing from the flock. His reply to these was, "If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself." Returning to Nauvoo he submitted to arrest, and with his brother Hyrum was taken to Carthage, the county seat of Hancock. There they were imprisoned. While thus confined and under pledge of protection by the governor, a mob surrounded the jail on June 27, 1844, overpowered the guard and shot to death Joseph and Hyrum Smith and severely wounded John Taylor. After the assassination the twelve apostles, under the leadership of Brigham Young, became the presiding quorum of the church, and by right of their authority assumed control and were sustained by the people. Instead of putting an end to "Mormonism" the assassination of the leaders only increased its membership, and it began to spread with renewed vigor. This caused the enemies of the Latter-day Saints to rage so fiercely that the Saints were again driven from their homes in 1846. Crossing the Mississippi River they made temporary settlements in the territory of Iowa and in the spring of 1847 the advance company of pioneers, under the leadership of Brigham Young, left Winter Quarters on the west side of the Missouri River near the present site of Omaha, for the Salt Lake
    Valley in search of a new home. They arrived at their destination Saturday, July 24, 1847, and decided to make it their permanent place of settlement. This little band remained in the valley for some time, planting, building, surveying, and preparing the foundation of a city. The soil they found parched and barren, save for the salt grass and sage-brush that abounded everywhere; there were no trees excepting the scattering cotton-woods that lined the streams; but here they decided to remain and trust in Providence. The soil was hard and dry, so the pioneers diverted the water of City Creek that it might moisten the ground which had for unknown ages remained in its primitive state. Before the summer was past most of the pioneers left the valley and returned to Winter Quarters to assist the Saints to gather to the Rocky Mountains. That autumn other companies arrived, Salt Lake City grew rapidly, and other settlements were formed until they were scattered over the face of the entire arid region. For a number of years the Saints suffered extremely, being forced to boil raw hides and dig sego and thistle roots for subsistence.

    4. The " Utah War."

    Shortly after the settlement of Salt Lake Valley, the "Mormons" set up the "provisional government of the State of Deseret," and petitioned Congress for admission into the Union. In 1850 the territory of Utah was created and Brigham Young appointed governor. Four years later Col. E. J. Steptoe, of the United States Army, was appointed to succeed him but declined, and Brigham Young was reappointed for a second term. Most of the territorial officers were non-residents and were unfriendly to the "Mormons," which caused considerable friction. Reports were carried to Washington to the effect that the people in the territory were in rebellion, had no respect for law, and had burned the public court records. Influenced by these false reports, and without an investigation, the president of the United States ordered an army to Utah to suppress the "rebellion." This is known in history as " The Utah War," or " Buchanan's blunder." Alfred Cummings, who had been appointed governor to succeed Brigham Young, came with the army. When the Latter-day Saints learned that the army was on the way to suppress a supposed rebellion, their indignation knew no bounds; they were filled with alarm and forebodings of evil. The reports carried to the president they knew to be false and his action unjustifiable. Many times they had been driven and plundered by mobs under the guise of law, therefore they resolved that they would resist what they felt to be an unlawful invasion by a hostile force. When the army approached the borders the "Mormons" harassed it and burned some of the supplies and in this way prevented it from entering the territory before winter set in. The Saints were determined, if forced to flee again, to leave their lands as barren as they had found them, not permitting their oppressors to reap the fruits of their labors. As the army neared the valley, the people moved southward, taking with them a few necessary articles and provisions, leaving guards behind with instructions to burn all dwellings and




     
    11 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    destructible property and lay the country waste, should the army enter the valley with hostile intentions. By the interference of friends, however, the difficulties were adjusted. Governor Cummings entered the valley in advance of the army and was received with due respect and consideration. A few days later, after investigating matters, he sent a truthful report to the president in relation to affairs in Utah. A peace commission was sent and met with President Young and others in June, 1858, and peacefully concluded the unfortunate and unhappy difficulties. The army, under command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, entered Salt Lake Valley June 26, 1858, and camped on the west side of the Jordan River; subsequently it marched to Cedar Valley, about forty miles south of Salt Lake City, and there located Camp Floyd. It remained in Utah until the breaking out of the Civil War.

    In 1877 Brigham Young died and was succeeded in the presidency of the church by John Taylor, who was severely wounded at Carthage when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. President Taylor died in 1887 and was succeeded by Wilford Woodruff, who, in 1890, issued the manifesto prohibiting plural marriages in the church. He died in 1898 and was succeeded by Lorenzo Snow, who died Oct. 10, 1901. Joseph F. Smith, nephew of the prophet Joseph Smith, is the present presiding officer. The membership of the church is about 400,000 and the headquarters are in Salt Lake City.

    5. Doctrines and Organization.

    The "Mormons" believe in the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as three separate personages, infinite and eternal; that men will be punished for their own sins and not suffer the penalty of Adam's transgression; that Christ atoned for original sin and that all mankind, through the atonement of Christ, may be saved by obedience to the principles of his Gospel, of which faith in God, repentance from sin, baptism by immersion for the remission of sin, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, are essential. They believe that little children who die are redeemed without baptism through the blood of Christ which was shed for them, and that men must be called of God and ordained by those who hold authority to officiate in order to preach the Gospel and administer acceptably in its ordinances. The church organization comprises the officers found in the primitive Church, and they believe in the gifts of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, the divine power of healing, and all the gifts and blessings exercised by the Savior and his apostles. They accept the Bible as the word of God, and the Book of Mormon also as the word of God given to the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. They believe that God does now reveal to his people many things as in days of old; that the heavens are not sealed, but that many important things are yet to be revealed pertaining to the kingdom of God; in the literal gathering of Israel; in the restoration of the ten tribes; that Jerusalem will be rebuilt; that Zion shall be established on the American continent, and that the Savior, in the millennium, will reign personally on the earth, which
    shall eventually become a celestial sphere and the eternal abode of the righteous. The president of the church is the supreme authority in all church matters and acts in concert with two counselors, or advisors, forming the presiding quorum of the church. Next to them stand the twelve apostles, then patriarchs, high priests, seventies, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons, all of whom have specific duties to perform and work in harmony with the whole.

    6. Polygamy; Conflicts with the Government.

    At one time the "Mormons" taught and practised the doctrine of plural marriage, holding the doctrine to be entirely Biblical and that the revelation concerning the same was received by Joseph Smith, but was withheld from the body of the church in general and from the world till they were settled in Utah. After 1852 plural marriage was preached and practised openly and most of the leading men were polygamists. In 1862. a law was enacted by Congress against the practise, but little attention was paid to it for many years. In 1884 the supreme court of the United States declared the law against plural marriage constitutional, and more than 1,000 "Mormon" men were convicted and sent to the penitentiary, while others fled or went into hiding. In 1887 Congress disincorporated the church, confiscated its property, with the exception of $50,000, and, finally, in Sept., 1890, after the vast property holdings of the church had been lost, Pres. Wilford Woodruff issued his manifesto against plural marriages and since that time they have not been permitted by the church, though many of the men who entered into these relations before that time have continued to support and care for their families, feeling that these obligations could not be discarded. Statehood was granted to Utah in 1896 and plural marriage was prohibited forever by law in the state. The "Mormons" have four temples erected at a cost of over six millions of dollars. The Salt Lake Tabernacle is 250 feet long, 150 feet wide, 80 feet high, with a wooden roof without any supporting pillars. Its great organ and choral services are among the remarkable features; services are held each sabbath day, and the building will seat comfortably 7,000 souls. JOSEPH F. SMITH, Jr.

    II. Critical (Non-Mormon) Statement: The early history of Mormonism has its center in the person of its founder.

    1. The Founder's Family; Environment in Youth.

    Joseph Smith was the fourth among ten children. His father was a man of unstable, restless disposition. He had no settled occupation, but tried his fortune -- always without success -- at various pursuits, and was a believer in witchcraft. Occasionally he gained money by fortune-telling and selling blessings. The prophet's mother was superior to the father in intelligence and force of will, but not less ignorant, and a firm believer in supernatural visions, apparitions, and dreams, also in cures by faith. Moreover, both the grandfathers of the prophet were much given to religious superstition. These facts are not without significance for the understanding of Smith's personality and activity. After many changes of residence in Vermont




     
    Mormons     THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 12

    and New Hampshire his father removed with the family in 1815 to Palmyra, in Wayne (then a part of Ontario) County, N. Y., and after about four years to a farm near Manchester. Here their reputation was no better. They were considered deficient in honor and veracity, though not as positively malicious. The boys were lazy and roving, several of them could not read. Joseph was unkempt and immoderately lazy. He could read, though not without difficulty, wrote a very imperfect hand, and had a limited understanding of elementary arithmetic. The evolution of such a boy into the prophet and founder of a new religion is a highly interesting psychological problem, which can not be solved without a knowledge of his ancestry, of his mental peculiarities, and of his early environment. Four years after the vision of the plates (see L, s 1 above) he claimed to have been led to the spot and to have received from the angel the golden plates. They were covered with small and beautifully engraved characters in "reformed Egyptian." Joseph received besides a pair of crystals set in silver rings, a sort of supernatural spectacles, the veritable Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament, without which the mysterious writing could not be translated.

    2. Translation of the Book of Mormon.

    The first person to take an active interest in the Golden Bible was a farmer, Martin Harris, who had been in turn Quaker, Universalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian, but always a dreamer and fanatic, and affirmed that he had visited the moon. Smith needed financial help in order to publish his book, which Harris was ready to grant, if only he could be fully convinced that the book was from God. He wished to see the golden plates; but Smith, with the help of a special revelation, was able to make him content to believe without seeing. The prophet, however, made a copy of some of the letters found on the plates. These "caractors"Harris showed to Prof. Charles Anthon in New York, whose warnings were unable to shake the new disciple's confidence. Harris now became Smith's first amanuensis in the translation of the Golden Bible. When he had written 116 pages, Harris' unbelieving wife destroyed them. Smith doubted whether the sheets had been actually destroyed, and was therefore for some time in embarrassment, until he was instructed by revelation that the translation had fallen into the hands of godless persons, whom Satan had inspired to alter the words. He was therefore directed not to translate again what was lost; he should instead translate from the plates of Nephi, which contained a more detailed account than the book of Lehi, the source of the first translation. Smith now made his wife his amanuensis until the appearance of Oliver Cowdery, who became his first secretary. Cowdery had been a blacksmith, but had acquired a measure of knowledge sufficient to enable him to become a schoolmaster. The work of translating proceeded in the following manner: A curtain was drawn across the room in order to shield the holy document from profane eyes; seated behind the curtain, Smith, with the help of the Urim and Thummim, read from the golden plates to Cowdery, who
    wrote down the translation sentence for sentence. The translation of this, the "Book of Mormon," was begun at Manchester soon after the alleged discovery of the golden plates, continued at Harmony, Pa., and finished at Fayette, N. Y., June, 1829. Before the work was finished, Smith and Cowdery were ordained by heavenly messengers to the Aaronic and Melclusedec priesthood; to the first by John the Baptist, to the latter by the apostles Peter, James, and John. The Aaronic priesthood gave them the authority to preach repentance and faith and to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins. The Melchisedec priesthood gave them the power to impart the Holy Ghost to the baptized through the laying on of hands. This power, the Mormons say, could at that time be imparted only by heavenly messengers; the true Church had utterly ceased to exist upon earth; there was no one who had the Holy Spirit. With Harris' help Smith had the book printed in the year 1830 in an edition of 5,000 copies. As the sale was slow at first, Harris forfeited his property; though within ten years two more editions were published. Prefixed to the book is the sworn statement of Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris that they had seen the plates; moreover, the testimony of eight other men that they had both seen and handled them. The Rev. John Alonzo Clark once put the question to Harris: "Did you see the plates with your natural eyes just as you see the penholder in my hand?" Harris replied: "Well, I did not see them just as I see the penholder, but I saw them with the eye of faith. I saw them as plainly as I see anything whatever about me, although at the time it was covered with a cloth" (Gleanings by the Way, Philadelphia, 1842). A few years later all of the "three" witnesses fell away from Mormonism and declared their previous testimony to be false.

    3. Summary of the Book of Mormon.

    The book of Mormon contains about one-half as much matter as the Old Testament, and in respect of style is a crude imitation of the historical and prophetic books. About one-eighteenth of the book is taken directly from the Bible, about 300 passages, namely, large portions of Isaiah, the entire Sermon on the Mount (according to Matthew), and a few verses from Paul. There are passages also which betray a dependence upon other books, such as the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Methodist Discipline. The work is divided into fifteen books, which purport to have been written by as many different hands, containing a "Sacred History of Ancient America from the Earliest Ages after the Flood to the Beginning of the Fifth Century of the Christian Era." Smith himself has summarized its contents as follows:

    " The history of America is unfolded from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America, in ancient times, has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about 600 before Christ. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle toward the close of the fourth century. The remnant are




     
    13 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    the Indians. This book also tells us that our Savior made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection; that he planted the Gospel here in all its fulness and richness and power and blessing, that the inhabitants had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing as was enjoyed on the Eastern continent; that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions; that the last of their prophets [Mormon] who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, etc., and to hide it in the earth."

    In the last days the Book of Mormon was to come to light, and, being joined with the Bible, was to serve the fulfilment of the thoughts of God. Mormon was accordingly the collector and reviser of the books; his son, Moroni, brought the work to its completion and about the year 420 A.D. hid the plates under the stone on the hill Cumorah.

    4. Its Literary Character.

    Judged as a literary work the Book of Mormon is tedious, utterly devoid of taste, poetic grace, and depth of thought, exhibiting no religious inspiration or moral earnestness. It is full of grammatical blunders and teems with anachronisms. In the matter of doctrine the book -- compared with the later revelations called forth by the exigencies that arose in the course of the system's development -- contains little that is markedly characteristic. It foretells the call of Joseph Smith to be the prophet of the latter day; it is strictly chiliastic, and declares that all gifts, powers, and offices of the apostolic Church are to be found in the true church; it acknowledges the doctrine of the Trinity, rejects infant baptism, and commands baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; it asserts that the Bible is from God, but also that this fact does not exclude further revelations; finally, it contains three passages which, naturally interpreted, must be understood as condemning polygamy.

    5. Theories of Its Source.

    The question of the source of the Book of Mormon is important. For Mormon believers there is, of course, no problem here. The majority of anti-Mormon critics have accepted the so-called Spaulding-Rigdon theory of the origin. Much of the more recent criticism, however, tends to establish the theory of Smith's authorship. The Spaulding-Rigdon theory is, in brief, as follows: About the year 1809 there lived in Conneaut, O., a man named Solomon Spaulding. He had studied at Dartmouth College and had served some years as a Presbyterian minister. Later be took up a secular calling and devoted a part of his time to literary pursuits. Becoming interested in the Indian antiquities in the neighborhood of Conneaut he conceived the idea of a romance about the Indians before the discovery of America, by Columbus. The work which he composed was finished about 1812, and bore the title; "The Manuscript Found." Spaulding availed himself of the well-known fable that the American Indians are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. To make his narrative more piquant he gave it the form of a translation of a manuscript composed by a member of an ancient tribe and recently discovered in an Indian mound. Spaulding took his manuscript to Pittsburg, intending to have it printed there. It lay a
    considerable time in a printing-office, but was never printed. At last it was returned to the author, who at the time was living at Amity, Pa., where in 1816 he died. When the Book of Mormon appeared, Spaulding's widow and others, who had heard him read from his manuscript, declared that the book must have been taken in large part from the unpublished romance, with many theological interpolations. As, however, Spaulding's manuscript could never be found, a direct comparison with the Book of Mormon was impossible. (A manuscript discovered in Honolulu in 1885, which purported to be Spaulding's Indian romance and bears no resemblance to the Book of Mormon, is generally believed to be a forgery.) Beyond these well-established facts the claim is that Sidney Rigdon, who from 1829 on stood in close relation to Smith, may have had access to the Spaulding manuscript when he was employed as a printer in Pittsburg about 1812 and later, and may have made a copy of it and have placed the copy at Smith's disposal. This theory has been rendered fairly plausible by various external and internal evidences; yet the evidences fall far short of proof. Against the theory of Smith's authorship it has been urged that so ignorant a man could not have produced the work. But it may be replied that only an ignorant man could have produced it. In intellectual grasp and force Smith's later (well authenticated) utterances surpass it, but they resemble it in style. The style and contents of the Book of Mormon are such as one might expect from a man of Smith's peculiar nature and surroundings. He possessed a powerful, though prosaic, imagination, and a retentive memory; but his knowledge was slight and his judgment weak. From beginning to end the book exhibits these traits. The author -- perhaps unconsciously -- derived what he said from various and in part mutually opposed sources. Hence the confusion in his theology, which is wanting in consistency. Doctrines of the most various origin are illogically thrown together. Calvinism, Universalism, Methodism, chiliasm, Catholicism, deism, and freemasonry are discussed -- though not by name -- and this in a manner that strikingly corresponds to Smith's relations to these systems. The book is in a measure a mirror of the time, but in a still greater measure a sort of (unconscious) autobiography. At the same time there is no necessity to disallow evidence that the general idea -- and even the framework -- of the book was derived from an external source. The main contention is that what is really characteristic and personal in the book is from Smith himself.

    6. The Founder's Character; Opportunism.

    Was Joseph Smith a deliberate falsifier and conscious impostor? Most non-Mormon writers answer this question with an emphatic affirmative. Some of the most careful investigators, however (especially Stenhouse and Riley), believe that he was in a large measure the victim of his own hallucinations -- that he really believed himself an inspired prophet. That he also practised wilful deception in order to carry out his purposes can hardly be questioned. Had he been a mere impostor, he must have broken




     
    Mormons     THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 14

    down under the storm of persecution that came upon him. Smith had success as a prophet and as the founder of a new religion because the soil was prepared for it. From the beginning the drawing power of Mormonism lay in its claim to possess the gift of prophecy. And as the burden of the prophecy is the promise of material advantage and sensuous enjoyment and glory in the " latter day " and eternally -- and withal offered easy conditions as to repentance and inward renewal -- it is not hard to see how the enthusiasm that first drew followers to Joseph Smith has continued to be the great animating force of Mormonism. Smith began his career as "Peep-stone Joe" and developed into the "prophet, seer, and revealer" of the Latter-day Saints. After attaining to this dignity he was ever ready with a fresh revelation to meet each new emergency. Smith and his successors have been the ideal opportunists. In his prophesyings, however, Smith practised self-restraint: "We never inquire at the hand of God for special revelation only in case of there being no previous revelation to suit the case" (Times and Seasons, V., 753). Revelations were uttered pertaining to almost every conceivable concern except, perhaps, religion proper.

    7. The New Church; Various Centers.

    The formal founding of the new sect took place Apr. 6, 1830, in Fayette, N. Y. At that time it numbered some seventy adherents. Its official name was fixed somewhat later. By revelation Smith took the title of " seer, translator, prophet, apostle of Jesus Christ, and elder of the church." He began a vigorous propaganda. Every convert was baptized -- no previous baptism was recognized. Among the first notable converts were Pratt (author of The Voice of Warning) and Sidney Rigdon, the chief figure in early Mormon history after Smith himself. As he found too little faith in the neighborhood of his home, Smith in 1831 removed with many of the "Saints" to Kirtland, O., whither Rigdon had already preceded him. The object in view was to find the land of promise, to establish therein a theocracy with the prophet as God's mouthpiece and vicegerent, and to build up a new city of Zion in preparation for the glory of the latter day. To realize this object four successive attempts were made in as many places: at Kirtland, O.; Far West (now Independence), Mo.; Nauvoo, Ill., and finally in Utah. In the first three places extraordinary temporary success was followed by so fierce and determined opposition on the part of the surrounding "Gentiles" that the saints could make no effectual resistance. That in Utah they have beeln able not only to hold their ground, but also to prosper greatly is to be ascribed to prior possession and isolation, together with an improved organization and a saner leadership. The successive settlements of the Mormons represent, in general; stages not only of outward progress but also of inner development. At Kirtland the new sect met with immediate and striking success: its missionaries displayed immense zeal and churches were founded in Ohio, PennAylvania, New York, Indiana, and Illinois. Within a few months after the
    removal to Kirtland the number of the Mormons grew to at least 1,200 souls. Here Sidney Rigdon became prominent. He had assimilated some of the ideas of Fourier, the French collectivist. Following a special revelation of February, in 1831, the Kirtland saints began to organise communal business ventures, in which, for a time, they met with success.

    8. Industrial Development; Opposition.

    The opposition, however, of the "unbelievers" about them caused Smith to turn his eyes toward the Western bounds of civilization, in order to find there a place where he might without hindrance fully carry out his views. In the autumn of 1831 he founded a colony in Jackson County, Mo. A revelation had declared that here was the promised land and the place for the city of Zion. Large tracts of land were bought; the town of Far West, or Zion, was founded, where the city of Independence now lies; a monthly and a weekly paper for the propagation of the new faith were established; and all the affairs of the colony were carried on with admirable zeal and vigor. Nevertheless, although continuing to regard Far West as the destined site for the city of Zion, Smith made Kirtland for an indefinite time the chief seat of the saints. Thither he returned in 1832. He now thrust the communion into various perilous business ventures, all under the control of the church and without adequate financial foundation. In the summer of 1833 a temple was built at the cost of $40,000, and although most of the Saints gave one-seventh of their time to its construction, a debt of from $15,000 to $20,000 was left upon it. Very early the non-Mormons in the region about Kirtland began to show a bitter hostility toward the new sect. Their opposition had its root partly in religious differences and partly in their indignation at Smith's domination in financial affairs that concerned the public at large. In May, 1832, a mob broke into the prophet's house, brought him into a neighboring field and tarred and feathered him. Rigdon suffered the same disgrace. Nothing daunted, however, Smith on the following day preached and baptized three converts, and afterward continued to prosecute his various undertakings with energy.

    9. Developing Organization; Missionary Operations.

    In 1834 Smith organized the first high council of the church with himself, Rigdon, and Williams as the first presidency. In associating these men with himself in the highest office Smith did not make them in any sense equal with himself. They were his counselors, but both in prophesying and in ruling he was to be unconditionally supreme. In 1835 a further step in the development of the hierarchy was taken in the founding of the body of the twelve apostles. One of the twelve was Brigham Young, who became Smith's successor in the presidency. Young had become a Mormon about the end of 1832 and had already rendered important service in the church by suppressing dissensions due to the prophet's growing profligacy. In 1836 the constitution was further developed by the establishment of a more general council for each district of the church




     
    15 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    (at that time Kirtland and Zion), called the " quorum of seventy." The various councils came to be called " quorums" -- the first presidency, the twelve, the seventy. In 1837 the apostles Hyde and Kimball were sent as missionaries to England and South Wales, where they worked with remarkable suecess, especially among the laboring classes. After three years' labor they could count 4,019 Mormons in England alone. The report for June, 1851, gave a total of 30,747 adherents in the United Kingdom and further declared: "Within the last fourteen years more than 50,000 have been baptized in England, of whom nearly 17,000 have emigrated to Zion."

    10. History, 1836-38.

    The year 1836 was marked by the apostasy of some of the pillars of the church at Kirtland. The "three witnesses" (Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris) to the Book of Mormon were excommunicated along with other " dissenters." There is evidence that while the Saints were yet in Kirtland polygamy began to be practised by some of the leaders. Whether Smith privately sanctioned or condoned these practises is not quite certain. His ostensible efforts at their suppression lacked the vigor that generally characterized his actions. In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (1835) he declared: "Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband." In obedience to a revelation Smith in 1836 established a bank at Kirtland, which about the beginning of 1838 became insolvent. Judicial procedure against the prophet and others was begun. At this moment, however, Smith and Rigdon in obedience to a revelation went to Missouri. The colony there had been having troublous times since 1834, when the prophet had removed various difficulties. Now, however, internal dissensions became serious, while the Gentiles' opposition grew increasingly fierce. From the beginning the people of Missouri had resented the attitude of the Mormons as expressed (for example) in a passage in the Book of Commandments (1833) calling that state the "land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies." Already border-ruffianism had been manifested against the Mormons. A popular demand for the removal of the Mormons was met with temporizing on their part, and, as the governor's attempt to call out the militia to protect them was futile, a mob drove at least 1,500 of them northward across the Missouri River. These settled chiefly in Clay, Caldwell, and Daviess counties. Negotiations for pecuniary redress proved fruitless; for conviction for violence committed against a Mormon could not be had in Jackson county. While the Mormons had been guilty of various offenses, non-Mormons were disposed to lay upon them the blame for any depredations when the authors were unknown, and so the Mormons suffered beyond their deserts. Notwithstanding, the town of Far West itself was, until 1838, materially prosperous and on fairly good terms with the neighboring Gentiles. About this time, however, the presidency was charged with
    misappropriating trust funds, and several prominent leaders forsook the church. About the same time there was formed an organization later called the Danite Band or the "Avenging Angels." Its members were bound by blood oaths to obey any behest of the church against property or life. In the same year also the tithing system was established, which ever since has been so important for Mormonism.

    11. Nauvoo Period; Polygamy; Smith's Death.

    The climax of the civil strife in Missouri seems to have been occasioned largely by a sermon of Rigdon's on July 4, 1838, which predicted a war of extermination between Saints and Gentiles. Upon complaint to the governor that the Mormons in Caldwell and Daviess counties resisted the execution of justice, a regiment of militia was called out; but the soldiery for the most part disbanded. Nevertheless there were serious conflicts between the Mormons and the Gentiles, which culminated in the massacre of twenty Mormons at Hawn's Mill. In the autumn the state authorities demanded the expulsion of the Mormons, except the leaders, who were to be held for trial. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were imprisoned at Liberty, but on the way to trial effected their escape, probably by bribery. The two brothers rode to Quincy, Ill. To this state most of the Mormons, to the number of about 15,000, had already fled. The prophet bought large tracts of land in Hancock County and beyond the Mississippi in Iowa. On the eastern bank of the river the Mormons began to build a city to which by revelation the name Nauvoo was given. The Mormon propaganda was meanwhile vigorously at work in the United States and abroad, and (1840-43) converts flocked to Nauvoo to the estimated number of 3,758. Smith procured from the state legislature a charter for the city which made it almost independent of state control. The prophet now organized a military body under the name of the Nauvoo legion, himself assuming the command with the title of general. In Apr., 1841, the foundation of a new temple was laid; it was dedicated May 1, 1846. Smith began now to take interest in state and national politics. He appealed to President Van Buren for help to recover losses of property in Missouri; but as neither the president nor Congress would take action, and as Clay and Calhoun, presidential aspirants, gave non-committal answers to his inquiries concerning their attitude toward the Mormons' claims, he announced himself in the organ of the church a candidate for the presidency of the United States. As Smith's power increased, his profligacy also grew. In order to quiet the indignation of his wife the prophet in 1843 imparted to a select few a revelation which permitted himself and (with his sanction) others to have more than one wife. This revelation was openly promulgated first in 1852 by Brigham Young. In Nauvoo the polygamous practises occasioned serious dissensions. A Dr. Foster and two others started an independent newspaper, called the Expositor.< Its first -- and only -- number condemned various church practises and doctrines including that of the plurality of wives. At Smith's behest the




     
    Mormons     THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 16

    press and property of the Expositor were destroyed and Foster was expelled from the city. Aroused to indignation by the revelation of the state of things in Nauvoo and perhaps no less by various mysterious depredations in the surrounding country, the people of bordering counties raised forces for a proposed war against the Mormons. The prophet with several others planned to flee, but upon Governor Ford's promise of protection he surrendered himself at Carthage June 24, 1844, but on the night of June 27 a band of disguised ruffians broke into the jail and shot to death the prophet and his brother Hyrum.

    12. Brigham Young; Removal to Utah.

    The tragic end of the prophet turned to the advantage of the Mormons. It placed on him the halo of martyrdom, while the leadership fell into the hands of a man who was his superior as an organizer and ruler, though inferior to him as prophet and religious enthusiast. There were several rival candidates for the office of first prophet and president. Rigdon was easily disposed of and even excommunicated. Other candidates, besides Young, were Strang and the prophet's son, Joseph Smith, 3d. Strang loudly proclaimed that he had received a revelation that he should be Smith's successor. Upon Young's election he withdrew with his followers and settled in Wisconsin, where in 1856 he was shot as the result of a quarrel with two members of his sect. The "Young Josephites," largely holding aloof from Brigham Young, founded in 1852 -- in a more definite way in 1860 -- the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Joseph Smith, 3d, at the head (see below, III.). Brigham Young (b. in Whitingham, Vt., June 1, 1801; d. in Salt Lake City Aug. 29, 1877) was the logical successor of Smith. Although originally only an ordinary carpenter he proved himself to be a man of very extraordinary talents. His leadership was cordially accepted by the great majority of the Saints. In 1845 the legislature of Illinois found it necessary to withdraw the charter of the city of Nauvoo. This condition, coupled with the unabated hostility of the surrounding non-Mormons, led the Saints to the determination to emigrate far beyond the borders of civilization. The Valley of the Great Salt Lake was finally fixed upon. The exodus began in 1846 and before the close of 1848 the whole body of Young's adherents had crossed the plains except a few left at the Missouri as forwarding agents for Mormon emigrants. In Sept., 1846, the Mormons that had not already departed were forcibly expelled from Illinois by a general uprising. The migration to Utah was a stupendous undertaking, affording Young a supreme opportunity for the development and display of his talents as organizer and leader, so that he entered upon his administration in Utah with the prestige of a signal triumph. He reached his destination July 24, 1847. Immediately the founding of Salt Lake City was begun. A fund was established for the assistance of Mormon emigrants, who, coming from Great Britain, Sweden, and Norway, and in less numbers from Germany, Switzerland, and France, in the years 1848-51 reached the number of 6,331,
    and in the years 1852-55 from Great Britain alone 9,925.

    13. Defiance of the United States.

    The design of Brigham Young was to build up a state which, both economically and politically, should be as nearly independent as possible. The economic success of the Mormon community was due in part to his skilful, though despotic, management, but also in no small measure to the inflow of money brought by the California gold-seekers and, at a later period, to the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. In their political designs the Mormons were less fortunate. When, in 1848, the region within which their settlements lay became United States territory, Young quickly decided that he wanted statehood for his colony, not territorial rule by the federal authorities. A "provisional" government was set up for the "State of Deseret," whose boundaries were set so wide as to include most of the territory acquired by the United States from Mexico. In 1849 a constitution was prepared and a delegate sent to Washington with a petition for admission into the Union. Congress, however, refused to recognize the new state and ignored the name Deseret. In 1850 it organized a territorial government for the smaller region occupied by the Mormon settlements and gave the new territory the name Utah. The president appointed Brigham Young governor; also district judges were appointed by the federal government. But Young's tactics were so aggressive that the federal officers were soon compelled to withdraw. As Young's term of office drew to a close President Pierce purposed to appoint a non-Mormon in his stead. He offered the place to Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe, then in Utah with a small military force. But Young's attitude was so threatening that Steptoe dared not accept the office. In a message to Congress in 1857 Buchanan declared that "there no longer remained any government in Utah but the despotism of Brigham Young." "To restore the supremacy of the constitution and laws within its limits" the president appointed a new governor Alfred Cumming) and other federal officers, and sent them to their posts accompanied by a military force of 2,500 men "for their protection and to aid as a posse comitatus in case of need in the execution of the laws." That a collision was imminent between Mormondom and the federal government was clear to all who understood the state of affairs in Utah and the principles and policy of Young. Polygamy flourished as an avowed doctrine of the church. Young had acquired an almost incredible power as dictator. He was a mighty force for order according to his system, but the means which he employed were often atrocious. In order to accomplish a much-needed "reformation" he instituted a veritable reign of terror, and there were not a few "church-inspired murders." It was natural, therefore, that when Young heard of the coming of the federal officers and troops, his attitude should be boldly defiant. He publicly announced the news of the coming "invasion," and declared he would "ask no odds of Uncle Sam or the devil." He called the Saints to arms. They harassed the federal




     
    17 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    troops in various ways, and by cutting off their base of supplies effectually crippled them, compelling them to retire into winter quarters. The year 1857 witnessed the most frightful act of violence in the history of the Mormons -- the massacre of 150 non-Mormon emigrants at Mountain Meadows by a band of Mormons and Indians under the lead of Bishop John D. Lee. Not until twenty years later could Lee be seized for his crime, tried, condemned, and executed. Early in 1858 Young procured from President Buchanan a free pardon for all the Mormon leaders, and peace was declared. The last of the federal troops were withdrawn in 1860. It is certain, however, that Young never intended real submission to the federal government. The more or less open Mormon defiance continued until in 1890 the church reluctantly "traded polygamy for Statehood."

    14. Suppression of Polygamy; Statehood.

    The fight of the United States government against polygamy in the territories began with the Morrill bill of 1860 (enacted 1862). The measure was ineffective because the conviction of a polygamist could not be had from Mormon juries. The Cullom bill of 1869 (which failed of passage in the Senate) was opposed by Delegate Hooper of Utah on the ground that the Mormons' doctrine of marriage, being an essential part of their religious faith, was entitled to full protection under the constitution. Presidents, one after another, recommended to Congress a more vigorous procedure against the Mormons. In a message in 1880 President Hayes declared: "Polygamy can only be suppressed by taking away the political power of the sect which encourages and sustains it." Recommendations of Garfield and of Arthur in 1881 led to the enactment in 1882 of the "Edmunds Law," improved 1887 ("Edmunds- Tucker Law"), which provided that no polygamist might vote in any territory or hold office under the United States. The attitude of the Mormon church toward the law is manifest from An Epistle of the First Presidency to the ofcers and members of the church, Oct. 6, 1885:

    "The war is openly and undisguisedly made upon our religion. To induce men to repudiate that, to violate its precepts, and break its solemn covenants, every inducement is given.... We did not reveal celestial marriage. We can not withdraw or renounce it. God revealed it, and he has promised to maintain it and to bless those who obey it."

    Prosecutions under the Edmunds Law began in 1884; convictions for polygamy or unlawful cohabitation (mostly the latter) numbered 3 in 1884, 39 in 1885, 112 in 1886, 214 in 1887, and 100 in 1888. Among the provisions of the act of 1887 was one that dissolved the corporation of the Mormon church. In 1890 the United States supreme court affirmed a decision of a lower court confiscating the property of the Mormon church, and declaring that church to be an organized rebellion. In the same year Congress passed an act disposing of the church lands for the benefit of the school fund. After the admission of Utah as a state Congress restored the property. Perceiving the futility of further resistance President Woodruff, Sept. 25, 1890, issued a proclamation (not a revelation!) in which he declared that his " advice to the Latter-Day
    Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land." It was no recession from the principle of polygamy, only a necessary concession to the force of public law. By the concession in the matter of polygamy the chief obstacle to statehood for Utah was removed. Its admission finally took place in Jan., 1906. The political difficulties of the Mormons have led the church so far to modify its political creed as to declare that the Saints "form not a rival power as against the Union, but an apostolic ministry to it, and their political gospel is state rights and self-government."

    15. Late History; Present Status.

    Brigham Young died leaving an estate of $2,000,000 to be divided among his seventeen wives -- he had had twenty-five wives all told -- and fifty-six children. After his death the twelve apostles with John Taylor at their head exercised the chief authority until Taylor's election to the presidency in 1880 with George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith as counselors. In like manner after Taylor's death in 1887 the twelve again ruled until the election of Wilford Woodruff to the presidency in 1889. Upon his death in 1898 Lorenzo Snow was made president. All of these were acknowledged polygamists. As successor to Snow (d. 1901) Joseph F. Smith, son of the martyr patriarch, Hyrum Smith, was chosen president. Though these were all able men, no one of his successors has been comparable to Brigham Young. Although rough and uncultured, he possessed enormous physical and mental energy and all the qualifications of a great popular leader. To him even more than to Joseph Smith Mormondom owes its coherence and persistence. He received revelations when he needed them -- and many of the most offensive doctrines of Mormonism were promulgated by him -- yet he was far more an organizer than a prophet. The "Utah" Mormons numbered in 1909 about 350,000 members (baptized believers) in the United States. Considerably more than one half of these are found in Utah, though there is probably not a state or territory in the Union without some of them, while in all the states and territories bordering on Utah, especially in Idaho and Arizona, they have gained a firm foothold and make themselves felt politically. There are at least 15,000 Mormons in Europe (chiefly in Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and Belgium). A considerable number is in Canada and a few are to be found in each of a score of other countries in various quarters of the globe. Their propaganda, which suffered a check by the promulgation of the doctrine of polygamy in 1852, has been vigorous and fairly successful since Woodruff's manifesto advising the Saints to contract no marriage forbidden by law.

    16. Doctrinal System.

    The first principle of Mormonism is belief in a present and progressive revelation. According to their official statement, their religion : "consists of doctrines, commandments, ordinances, and rites revealed from God to the present age." The conception of revelation is apocalyptic. From time to time noteworthy changes have taken place in their doctrine, and others can come




     
    Mormons     THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 18

    at any time. It is true only in the vaguest sense that the church's creed, belief, aims, and purposes have remained the same. The Mormons, acknowledge as the word of God the Bible "in so far as it is correctly translated," the Book of Mormon; and the revelations contained in Doctrine aced Covenants and in later publications. So far as the Bible is concerned, Joseph Smith and his successors have taken such liberties with its meaning, and even with its text, that it can not be said to have any authority for a Mormon. The Book of Mormon, so important historically, is not comparable, in doctrinal significance, with the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. In the year 1842 Joseph Smith published a short outline of Mormon belief. In it the doctrine of the Trinity was acknowledged, while punishment of the race for Adam's fall was denied. Through Christ's propitiatory sacrifice salvation is possible for all men, on condition of obedience to the ordinances of the Gospel. These are: faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins; the laying on of hands for the receiving of the Holy Ghost. The true church must have the same institutions and the same spiritual gifts as the Apostolic Church. There is taught further the gathering together of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes. Zion will be built somewhere on the American continent and Christ will rule in person upon the earth, which will be renewed to paradisiacal glory. All men should be in possession of religious liberty. Obedience and reverence should be accorded to kings and all in authority. A pure, honest, chaste, and beneficent life is a holy duty. This, however, affords only a faint notion of what Mormonism was then, to say nothing of its later manifestations. Its doctrine of God, for example, is widely different from that of the Christian Church. The Mormon conception of deity rather resembles that of Buddhism. From it a system of anthropomorphisms has been developed, which far exceeds that of any Christian sect in any age. The Mormons teach that nothing is created, everything is begotten. The supreme God (himself brought forth in some way by eternal, self-moving, and intelligent matter) begot other gods. All have bodies, parts, and passions, for "man is made in the image of God." A chief occupation of these gods is to produce souls for the bodies begotten in this and other worlds. The sex idea runs through the whole Mormon conception of the universe. Each world has its own god; ours is none other than Adam -- who gradually attained his present glory. "He is the only God with whom we have to do." All gods are in a progressive development, and all Saints will advance to the dignity of gods. Justification by faith as taught by Evangelical churches is a "destructive doctrine." Submission and obedience to the commandments of the church is the essential thing in faith. Baptism, through which sins are washed away, is unconditionally necessary to salvation. Infant baptism is a "solemn mockery," for little children have no sins to repent of and are not under the curse of Adam. An essential feature of the Mormon system is the doctrine and practise of baptism for the dead. As the true Church was extinct upon earth since shortly after the days of the apostles until Joseph Smith, no baptism in all that time was valid. Saints, however, may be baptized for the dead and thus insure the salvation of the latter. The most notorious of the Mormon doctrines is that of celestial marriage, or marriage unto eternity. All marriages entered into without divine sanction, such as is given only to the Saints, are dissolved by death. Those, on the other hand, who wed in accordance with the true Gospel are married for eternity. If a wife thus sealed precedes her husband in death, he may in like manner marry another, and, if the second should die, a third, and so on. In the resurrection all are to be his. Moreover, inasmuch as in eternity a man may have many wives, so may he even in this world, and at one time, if God and his Church sanction it. As many women as God thus gives a man are his and his alone, and cohabitation with them is right and holy. In its behalf the Mormons claim that this doctrine strongly tends to exclude adultery and prostitution.

    17. Ordinances in Theory and Practise.

    In close relation to the doctrinal system stand the church commandments, ordinances, and public worship. Only believers are baptized, and that by immersion, and it is followed immediately by the laying-on of hands. The celebration of the Lord's Supper takes place every Sunday. By special revelation the use of fermented wine was forbidden; now even the unfermented juice of the grape gives place to water. The Saints have certain secret rites or mysteries, the most important of which are those connected with the marriage ceremony, known as going through the Endowment House. In Salt Lake City all secret rites are now performed in the temple. No non-Mormon may enter the temple, whereas access to the great tabernacle is free to all. Public worship consists of song, prayer, sermon, celebration of the Lord's Supper, and sometimes the dispensing of blessings by a patriarch. In the tabernacle at Salt Lake the music is excellent and impressive. Generally two persons preach in a single service. The sermons are for the most part mere harangues, usually without a text, and a mixture of the religious and the secular. Everything, however, is manifestly adapted to the end in view. Regarded as an organism Mormonism strives to realize the ideal of a pure theocracy based on prophetism and mediated by a hierarchy. In its beginnings a free prophetism ruled; but as it was perceived what confusion must arise if every man were his own prophet, there early developed a great hierarchical system. While every member of the church may enjoy the blessings of divine communion and revelations for his own comfort and guidance, revelations affecting the whole church are given only through the president, although his counselors may share illumination with him. The priesthood is of two orders: the Aaronic (charged with secular affairs) and the Melchisedec (charged with spiritual affairs). The latter is the higher and may overrule the former. Every worthy adult male member has a place in one or the other of these orders. There is no salaried preaching class. It is expected of each member that he will serve in any work to which he may be assigned, at




     
    19 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    home or abroad. About 2,000 missionaries are constantly at work, the personnel being largely changed every two or four years. Each mission is under the presidency of an elder and has the necessary minor officers. The missionaries travel and labor by twos or in larger groups. In the making of proselytes the more offensive (esoteric) doctrines of Mormonism are passed over without mention; stress is laid on the doctrine of a progressive, present-day revelation and the (materialistic) glories promised to the Saints.

    18. Priesthood and Government.

    The ranks of the Melchisedec priesthood are the following: (1) The council of the first presidency, consisting of three men, in office and dignity equal to Peter, James, and John. One of these is church president, chosen in a general assembly, and the others are his counselors. These may be against him in counsels but never in final decisions. For the whole church the president is prophet, seer, and revelator, and his authority is absolute. (2) The twelve apostles, or extraordinary witnesses of the name of Christ in the whole world. In the interval between the death of a president and the election of his successor the twelve exercise the highest authority in the church. (3) Presidents of the quorums of seventy; (4) patriarchs; (5) high priests. The Aaronic priesthood includes: (1) bishops, who have charge of the gathering of the tithes and the care of the poor; (2) priests; (3) teachers; (4) deacons. Territorially the church is divided into "stakes of Zion" and the stakes again into wards. The stakes of Zion are so called in distinction from Zion proper, which is in Jackson County, Mo., whither also the Saints are to assemble themselves at last to receive the returning Christ. In North America there are some fifty of these stakes, twenty-one of them in Utah. Each stake has an organization which copies that of the entire church. For each stake also there is a presiding bishop and for each ward a bishop. The bishops are assisted by under officers. By means of this elaborate yet well-balanced system the church maintains a most effective oversight of its affairs. The social and economic aspects of Mormonism have ever been interesting and are in part worthy of praise. The rigorous system has been successful in restraining many vices and in producing a high general state of material well-being, while the lawless subjectivism of its prophetism, which opened the gate to polygamy and other vicious doctrines and practises, has wrought untold harm to its people. Separating itself from the Christian Church and (as far as practicable) from the larger civil and social community, Mormonism is necessarily deficient in many of the best elements of modern culture. It has, however, combined into one the religious and the social element more successfully than any other movement of modern times.
              J. R. VAN PELT.

    III. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:  This body claims to be the church of that name that was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N. Y., Apr. 6, 1830, and subsequently located at Kirtland, O. This contention is disputed by the Utah body of Latter-day Saints.
    The disruption occurred in 1844, the main body having meantime removed from Kirtland to Missouri, thence to Nauvoo, Ill. (see I.-II., above); the smaller body was reorganized near Beloit, Wis. At the first conference of the latter, in 1852, the leadership of Brigham Young was disowned. The Reorganized Church has never favored polygamy, but has borne testimony against it. It accepts three books as of divine origin: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants -- the last as a guide in church government, the Book of Mormon as a history of the inhabitants of America, for 2,400 years, closing 400 A.D., and the Bible as the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. The faith of the church is that of the epitome, made by Joseph Smith in 1842 (ut sup.) and enlarged somewhat since. Articles were inserted after polygamy became a tenet of the faith of the Utah branch, declaring for monogamy and against the doctrine of plural wives.

    The system of polity is similar to that of the Utah branch, consisting of the presidency, embracing when full, three men, the apostolate, the quorums of seventy, and priests or pastors, teachers, deacons, and bishops -- the last-named conducting the business affairs of the church.

    The headquarters of the church, which were in Plano, Ill., for nearly twenty years, were removed in 1881 to Lamoni, Ia., where they now are. There are in Lamoni a publishing house, a college, and two homes for the aged. The church carries on missionary work in the United States, Canada, Australia., Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, Mexico, and the Sandwich and Society Islands. It reports in the United States alone 49,500 members, 560 churches, and 1,200 ministers. It is slowly increasing in membership.

    The president of the church is Joseph Smith, son of the first president. He has held this office since 1860. He lives in Independence, Mo.; his associates are Frederick M. Smith, Independence, Mo., and Richard Evans, Toronto, Canada. The president of the quorum of the twelve apostles is William H. Kelley, Lamoni, Ia.; and Heman C. Smith, of the same place, is second in order of appointment, and is also historian of the church.
              H. K. CARROLL, IV.

    Anti-Mormon Movements:
    1. To 1869.


    Joseph Smith once said with emphasis and apparent pride: "Mormonism is at war with every craft and creed of Christendom." That statement has had abundant verification in every period of Mormon history. But in Nauvoo and afterward in Utah there were many but futile attempts to reform Mormonism from within. The advent of the United States army into Utah, the opening of mines, and the inflow of "Gentiles" afforded protection and gave promise of help from without. Three powerful forces of Christian civilization were invoked: the press, the pulpit, and the school. The first paper published was The Valley Tan, issued in 1858 from the camp. The Salt Lake Vedette followed, then The Utah Magazine, afterward The Tribune, and others in subsequent years. Some young men of literary tastes organized a "literary and musical society," which maintained




     
    Mormons
    Morris
        THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG 20

    a struggling existence. In 1865 they invited the Rev. Norman McLeod, an army chaplain and Congregational minister, to the city. He instituted services in a hall in Main Street. A Sunday-school was organized in the city and another at the camp, and Dr. John King Robinson, surgeon in the army, became superintendent. The literary society, with help from California, erected Independence Hall, a commodious adobe building for religious and literary purposes. The next year McLeod went east to solicit funds. In his absence Dr. Robinson was treacherously murdered. McLeod was advised by friends not to return to Utah, as his life was in danger. But Major Charles H. Hempsted, United States district attorney, maintained the Sunday-school. Early in 1867 Warren Hussey and two Episcopalian ladies, Mrs. Dr. Hamilton and Mrs. Oliver Durant, requested Bishop Tuttle of Montana to send a clergyman. He sent Rev. Messrs. Thomas W. Haskins and George W. Foote. In May they instituted the first permanent Christian service in Salt Lake City. Major Hempsted gave into their hands the Sunday-school with an enrolment of fifty. Responding to a crying need for school facilities, they, in July, opened St. Mark's grammar-school. An Episcopal church of fifteen communicants was constituted that summer. A much-needed hospital was provided, the first in Utah. In years following this, denomination established churches and schools in five other towns, and a second church, St. Paul's, in Salt Lake City. On the removal of Bishop Tuttle to Salt Lake City in 1869, St. Mark's became the cathedral. Subsequently Rowland Hall, a boarding and day-school for girls, was opened. The Episcopalians now have property in Utah worth about $400,000.

    2. From 1869 to the Present.

    In 1869 two Presbyterian ministers, Sheldon Jackson (q.v.) and Melanchthon Hughes, held the first religious service in Corinne and instituted regular work. A church of nine members was organized July 14, 1870. In 1864 the Rev. Henry Kendall, secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, while en route to California, preached in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. He found in the city Presbyterians eager for church privileges, but not until 1871 was their request granted. Rev. Josiah Welch arrived in Judy of that year, and instituted regular services in a room above a livery stable. Out of this beginning grew the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. In 1875 Rev. D. J. McMillan arrived and instituted an aggressive policy. Within six years he established 40 missions and schools, from St. George in the extreme south of Utah, to Malad, Idaho, the northern part of the Mormon realm. At present the Presbyterians have 27 ministers, 27 churches, 1,819 communicants, 1 college, 4 academies (boarding and day-schools), 13 day-schools, 1,402 scholars, and property amounting to $650,000. Since the establishment of a public-school system in Utah the denominations have discontinued many of their parochial and mission schools. In 1870 the Rev. G. M. Peirce, a Methodist minister, arrived in Salt Lake City, at once began work, and soon established a church. In 1876 he launched
    The Rocky Mountain Christian Advocate, the first Protestant religious paper in Utah. This denomination extended its church and school work into many parts of Utah. It now has 23 ministers in charge of 27 churches, with 1,550 members, 35 Sunday- schools with 2,530 scholars, and church and manse property worth $222,100.

    In 1873 Rev. Father Scanlan of the Roman Catholic Church was sent to Salt Lake City. Three years previously Rev. Father Kelley from Nevada visited the city and purchased a plot of land for church purposes, but held no service. Father Scanlan established St. Mary's Church, and in course of time twelve other parishes and forty missions, in 1875 St. Mary's Academy, in 1881 Holy Cross Hospital, in 1886 All Hallows College, and later Kearns St. Ann's Orphanage. Schools were opened in five other towns. Father Scanlan is now bishop, and St. Mary's is his cathedral, with a new building costing $350,000. In 1874 the Congregationalists returned and organized a church in Independence Hall, with Rev. Walter M. Barrows as pastor. In 1878 Hammond Hall and later two other academies and five mission schools in other parts were opened. At present the Congregationalists have 10 churches with 1,327 members and 10 Sunday-schools with an enrolment of 1,260.

    In 1881 Rev. Dwight Spencer, superintendent of Baptist missions, reached Salt Lake City, and organized a church which has grown and multiplied. That denomination has now 10 ministers and 10 churches, with 1,000 members. In 1882 the Lutheran Church entered Utah. They have pursued a conservative policy and accomplished substantial results. The Josephites (non-polygamous Mormons) established several churches and have quietly served those Mormons who repudiate polygamy and the divine right of Brigham Young and his followers. The Jews from the first have done their part well. They have helped all the Christian churches and maintained several synagogues. The Y. M. C. A. has acquired property worth $240,000; it has 1,365 members, 1,013 of whom are members of Protestant churches; 585 are in educational classes, and 311 in Bible classes.
              D. J. MCMILLAN.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY: From the Mormon standpoint: Book of Mormon, 1st ed., Palmyra, N. Y., 1830, current publication in revised form at Salt Lake City; Joseph Smith, Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Kirtland, Ohio, 1835; The Pearl of Great Price, Salt Lake City, 1891 and current (selections from Joseph Smith's writings); various works of B. H. Roberts, currently published at Salt Lake City, e. g., The Gospel, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, New Witness for God, Defence of the Faith and of the Saints; P. P. Pratt, A Voice of Warning to All Nations, Kirtland, 1838; Thompson, Evidences in Proof of the "Book of Mormon," Batavia, 1841; Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith and his Progenitors, Liverpool 1853, Plano, Ill., 1880 (by the prophet's mother); E. W. Tullidge, Life of Joseph the Prophet, Plano, 1880; idem, Hist. of Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City, 1886; J. E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, ib. 1899; Joseph Smith 3d, and H. C. Smith. Hist. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Lamoni Ia., 1901; B. H. Roberts, Mormon Doctrine of Deity, Salt Lake City, 1903; L. A. Wilson, Outlines of Mormon Philosophy, ib. 1905; J. H. Evans, One Hundred Years of Mormonism, 1806-1906, ib. 1906.
    From the historical, critical, or anti-Mormon point of view: W. A. Linn, Story of the Mormons, from the Date of their Origin to...1901, New York, 1902 (detailed); H. H. Bancroft, Hist. of the Pacific States, vol. xxi.,




     
    21 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA     Mormons

    Utah, San Francisco, 1889; E. D. Howe, Mormonism Unveiled, Painesville, Ohio, 1834; D. P. Kidder, Mormonism and Mormons; historical View of the Rise and Progress of the... Latter-Day Saints, New York, 1853; B. G. Ferris, Utah and the Mormons, ib. 1854; J. W. Gunnison, The Mormons, Philadelphia, 1856; J. Hyde, Jr., Mormonism; its Leaders and Designs, New York, 1857 (by an ex-Mormon); P. Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, ib. 1867; J. H. Beadle, Life in Utah; or, the Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism, Philadelphia, 1870; idem, Polygamy; or, the Mysteries... of Mormonism, Fulton, Ky., 1904; M. Busch, Geschichte der Mormonen nebet Darstellung ihres Glaubens, Leipsic, 1870; F. H. Ludlow, Heart of the Continent; with an Examination of the Mormon Principle, New York, 1870; T. B. H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints, ib. 1873; R. von Sehlagintweit, Die Mormonen... von ihrer Entetehung bis auf die Gegenwart, Cologne, 1878; J. H. Kennedy, Early Days of Mormonism, New York, 1888; T. Gregg, The Prophet of Palmyra, Mormonism; together with a complete Hist. of the Mormon Era, ib. 1890; W. H. Thomas, Mormon Saints, London, 1890; M. T. Lamb, The Mormons and their Bible, Philadelphia, 1901; I. W. Riley, The Founder of Mormonism, New York, 1902; N. L. Nelson, Scientific Aspects of Mormonism, ib. 1904; Mrs. J. F. Willing, On American Soil; or, Mormonism the Mohammedanism of the West, Louisville, 1906; E. V. Fohlin, Salt Lake City, Past and Present - A Narrative of its History and Romance, its People and Cultures, its Industry and Commerce, Salt Lake City, 1909. A considerable body of magazine literature is indicated in Richardson, Encyclopaedia, pp . 748-749.

    MORNING LECTURES: The name usually given to a series of sermons published under the title Morning Exercises at Cripplegate, St.-Giles-in the-Fields and in Southwark, being divers Sermons preached A.D. 1669-1689, by several Ministers of the Gospel in or near London, 8 vols., London; republished, ed. J. Nichols, 6 vols., London, 1844. The occasion is thus given by D. Neal (Hist. of the Puritans, i. 424, New York, 1863): " The opening of the war [between parliament and King Charles I.] gave rise to an exercise of prayer, and exhortation to repentance, for an hour every morning in the week. Most of the citizens of London having some near relation or friend in the army of the Earl of Essex, so many bills were sent up to the pulpit every Lord's Day for their preservation, that the minister had neither time to read them, nor to recommend their cases to God in prayer: it was therefore agreed, by some London divines, to separate an hour for this purpose every morning, one-half to be spent in prayer, and the other in a suitable exhortation to the people." These serv ices were held in various churches consecutively, and, after the end of the war, were continued, until the Revolution, in a modified form, the sermons taking up points of practical divinity. The collection of sermons is regarded as "one of the best compends of theology in the English language."

    MORONE, mo-ro-ne, GIOVANNI DE: Italian cardinal; b. at Milan Jan. 25, 1509; d. in Rome Dec. 1, 1580. He studied law at Padua, but entered the ecclesiastical life, and as early as 1529, for services rendered by his father, he was appointed by Clement VII. to the bishopric of Modena. Paul III., on ascending the papal throne in 1535, despatched the young bishop as nuncio to the duke of Milan, then to Germany, whence Vergerio had just returned. His chief task and commission was to promote, both with King Ferdinand and also in Hungary and elsewhere, the cause of the proposed
    council at Mantua; to dissipate the opposition that had been roused against the choice of that place; and to inform the Curia concerning everything that bore upon ecclesiastical questions (the records of this nunciature were published with annotations by W. Friedensburg, Gotha, 1892). Morone was once more sent across the Alps (1540), this time to the conference in session at Spires. Though he was likewise present at Regensburg in 1541, yet the controlling part there fell to Cardinal Gasparo Contarini (q.v.). Morone, who in the mean time had become a cardinal, returned to Modena in 1542, where he now found serious heresies at work, especially among the members of the local Academy of the Grillenzoni. It had become habitual to read Sommario delta Sacra Scrittura ("Summary of Sacred Scripture"), while Protestant views obtained on various doctrines. After somewhat protracted proceedings, those under examination signed certain articles whereby they signified their orthodoxy. Morone himself belonged to the circle of people who valued highly the little book, "Of the Benefit of Christ's Death" (see ITALY, THE REFORMATION IN, s 7), a point subsequently brought forward in the trial that was instituted against him on the charge of heresy. For neither the important services which Morone had rendered the Curia during his nunciatures nor those which he had rendered as one of the legates at the Council of Trent could shield him from the mistrust of the fanatical Paul IV. (q.v.). The pope included Morone, along with two other bishops and Cardinal Pole (q.v.), under a writ of indictment (June, 1557); and, once committed to prison in the Castle of San Angelo, Morone was obliged to linger there till after the pope's death (1559). Pius IV., in whose election the cardinal, liberated after the pope's death, had taken part, declared him innocent and quashed the trial, and when the Council of Trent reopened, the pope designated Cardinal Morone as one of its presidents. This experienced diplomat was employed also by Gregory XIII., who despatched him to Genoa, and in 1576 to Regensburg as envoy to Maximilian II. Morone spent his closing years at Rome, where he had been appointed dean of the College of Cardinals. He rests in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. &nmbsp;   K. BENRATH.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Vita by N. Bernabei, Modena, 1885; C. Cant, in Atti dell' 1atituto Lombardo, 1866; F. Selopis, in Sennees et travaux de 1'academie des sciences morales et politiques, compto-rendu, xc. 29-48, 321-359, xci. 49-82, Paris, 1869-70; Ranks, Popes, i. 106, 122, 256-265, iii., nos. 22, 23, 39; KL, viii. 1929-30; and J. G. Schellhorn, Amaenilates literartae, xii. 537-586, 14 vols., Leipsic, 1725-1731.

    MORONITES. See CELESTINES.

    MORRIS, EDWARD DAFYDD: Presbyterian; b. at Utica, N. Y., Oct. 31, 1825. He was graduated from Yale College (A.B., 1849) and Auburn Theological Seminary (1852). He was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Auburn, N. Y. (1852-55), and of the Second Presbyterian Church, Columbus, O. (1855-67); professor of church history in Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati (1867-74), and of theology in the same institution (1874-97). He was moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly at Cleveland, O., in 1875, and in








     

    McDannald, A. H.
    (editor)

    "Book of Mormon" article in:
    Encyclopedia Americana 1948



  • Vol. III  Title Page

  • p. 232   "Book of Mormon"

  • Transcriber's Comments










  • THE
    ENCYCLOPEDIA


    AMERICANA



    EDITOR  IN  CHIEF

    A. H. McDannald, B.L.





    In Thirty Volumes [   ] 1948 Edition



    AMERICANA CORPORATION * NEW YORK * CHICAGO





     

    232


    BOOK OF MORMON. A work first published by Joseph Smith in 1830 and alleged to be the English translation of an ancient record, embodying the history and more particularly the religious beliefs and practices, of the aboriginal peoples of the American continent. The period covered by the main history is approximately 1,000 years, beginning with 600 B.C., in which year a small company of Israelites left Jerusalem by Divine direction, under the leadership of the prophet Lehi. These people reached the Arabian shore, where they constructed a vessel in which they crossed the waters to the Western continent. The colony developed into two opposing nations, Nephites and Lamanites, named after their respective chieftains, Nephi and Laman. The Nephites cultivated the arts of civilization and kept a written history which was engraved by a succession of scribes on thin plates of gold. The Lamanites led a nomadic life, depended for subsistence mainly upon war and the chase, and in time degenerated into the dark-skinned race of which the American Indians are said to be the descendants. The Nephites were exterminated by their Lamanite foes about 400 A.D.

    The voluminous Nephite records were abridged and summarized by Mormon, one of the later prophets, who gave the abridgment his own name: hence the title "Book of Mormon." The original classification into distinct books, each designated by the name of its principal author, was preserved by Mormon in his shorter history; and the modern version appears as a compilation of 15 such books. Mormon's son, Moroni, survived the destruction of his people long enough to continue the record left by his father, with which he incorporated the 'Book of Esther,' [sic - Ether?] which appears as an abridged history of a colony that had been miraculously brought to America from the Tower of Babel soon after the dispersion. Moroni deposited the records together with certain other articles of sacred import in a stone box, and this he buried in a hill near Palmyra, Wayne County, in the State of New York, which hill is called in the text Cumorah.

    Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, the official designation of which is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," solemnly affirmed that in September 1823 the existence of the records was made known to him by an angelic visitant, who announced himself as Moroni, the last historian and prophet of the extinct Nephite nation, and that four years later Moroni delivered to him the plates of gold with the commission to translate certain portions, for which labor he had been qualified through the gift and power of
     


    233


    God. With the plates were two stones, set in the ends of a bow of metal; these, as Moroni explained, were the Urim and Thummim; and Joseph Smith averred that by their aid he was enabled to translate the ancient characters into English. The 'Book of Mormon' comprises 623 pages, averaging 425 words to the page. From the English version translations have been made into 15 tongues.

    Among the many assumptions advanced in purported explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon and in hostile denunciation of Joseph Smith's avowal, the most generally known is the Spaulding story. This represented the Book of Mormon as an adapted version of a romance written by Solomon Spaulding, a clergyman of Amity, Pa. The claim has been thoroughly disproved. The original manuscript of the Spaulding romance is preserved in the library of Oberlin College, Ohio, where it was deposited by the president of that institution, James W. [sic - H.?] Fairchild, who published an attestation of its genuineness and a statement to the effect that no assumption of its relationship to the 'Book of Mormon' is tenable. See MORMONS; SMITH, JOSEPH.


     

    Note 1: It is not unlikely that the editor and/or writers employed by the Encyclopedia Americana made some attempt at consulting with officials of the LDS Church in Utah, before the above article was finalized. The article differs from many other reference book entries of the first half of the 20th century in its decidely neutral stance respecting Mormon origins -- no mention is made that Joseph Smith, Jr. or one of his early associates might have compiled the Book of Mormon. Instead, the Americana explanation goes only so far as to discredit "thoroughly" the possibility of Solomon Spalding's involvement with the writing of that book's text. In this explanation of things, the implicit message put forth is that there was only one American pseudo-history ever written by Spalding, and the Oberlin document is that "genuine" story, beyond all doubt. This is the exact same message circulated by The RLDS and LDS churches, since they published their respective transcriptions of the Oberlin story in 1885 and 1886. In the case of the RLDS, at least, their leaders made a concerted effort to distribute donation copies of their publication far and wide -- and it is probable that the LDS edition was likewise put into the hands of innumerable writers, journalists and editors. Thus, it is quite possible that the Americana article relied only indirectly on Fairchild's earliest statements, as published in the institutional propaganda accompanying the RLDS version of the transcription. If this were the case, Fairchild's subsequent statements on the subject (in which he distanced himself from any conclusion that Spalding wrote only one manuscript and thus could not have contributed to the Book of Mormon text) would have naturally been overlooked and omitted by the Encyclopedia Americana staff.

    Note 2: Besides being in close compliance with the post-1884 RLDS/LDS "party line" interpreting Fairchild's views, the Americana article's conclusions also either echo or compliment those of Fawn M. Brodie, whose 1945 biography of Joseph Smith, Jr. was obviously consulted by the Americana writers for their 1948 articles on "Mormons" and "Joseph Smith," (if not also for the "Book of Mormon" piece as well). Brodie's book was widely publicized and evidently well distributed to print media journalists and editors.



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