LaRoy Sunderland (1802-1885)
Mormonism Exposed ...
(First edition: NYC, 1842)
|Note: An earlier LaRoy Sunderland work, his 1838 pamphlet, bears a similar title: Mormonism Exposed and Refuted. Sunderland refers briefly to the content of his 1838 publication on page 22 of the present work. Both of his pamphlets were written partly in response to Parley P. Pratt's 1837 A Voice of Warning. Pratt countered Sunderland with his own Mormonism Unveiled in 1838. Sunderland (or his editorial associates) makes a brief reference to Pratt's pamphlet on page 62 of the present work, but the Methodist preacher does not respond to the Mormon Apostle's apologetics and rhetoric from that tract. By late 1838 Pratt was in jail in Missouri and after that, he apparently lost interest in his verbal battle with Sutherland.|
M O R M O N I S M E X P O S E D.
IN WHICH IS SHOWN
THE MONSTROUS IMPOSTURE,
THE WICKED TENDENCY,
E N O R M O U S D E L U S I O N,
A PROFESSEDLY RELIGIOUS SECT,
"L A T T E R D A Y S A I N T S."
N E W Y O R K:
Printed and Published at the Office of the N. Y. Watchman,
126 Fulton street,
TO THE READER.Do not imagine that Mormonism is a subject too worthless for your attention.
If any other religious sect should be CONVICTED from their own writings of TREASONABLE designs against the government of this nation, would you deem it unworthy of your notice? If the Methodists, or Baptists, or Presbyterians, or Episcopalians should be convicted of forming "secret societies," and binding their members, under the awful penalty of DEATH, to subvert the institutions of this country, would you not do all in your power to make such iniquitous proceedings known?
It is now some eleven years since this singular delusion first began to attract attention in this country. During all this while we have been persuading ourselves that the imposture was too glaring to do any serious mischief. We have trusted to the good sense of the people, as presenting a sufficient barrier against
the spread of notions so silly and so utterly opposed to reason, to scripture, and well known matters of fact. And what has been the result? While we have been sleeping the enemy has scattered his tares among us, and thousands have been duped by this insidious foe. And not only so, but these emissaries have visited Europe, and from the ignorant multitudes of that country, hundreds have already been induced to emigrate to our shores, for the purpose of swelling the ranks of Joseph Smith, who glories in comparing himself to Mohammed, and who has over and over again avowed his DESIGN of spreading his religion by the SWORD!
And who has not heard of the use this Smith and his deluded followers have already made of the SWORD in the state of Missouri? A pamphlet has been printed the present year, by order of the United States' Senate, showing the bloody character of Mormonism, and proving by the testimonies of Mormons themselves, that it is a system of ignorance, blasphemy, falsehood, theft, and MURDER.
From a number of years' acquaintance with this imposition, the writer is fully convinced, that but very few persons have ever embraced
what is called Mormonism, with a knowledge of its true character. Their book of "Doctrines and Covenants" is usually kept out of sight; and, indeed, it is kept from the knowledge of all the Mormons themselves, except the leaders! We know of numbers who have joined them, who never heard of such a book, till they had embraced that delusion. For years we have attempted to beg or buy one of these books in vain. However, we have obtained the reading of a copy long enough to extract a sufficient portion of its contents to show the nature of this wicked system.
As these pages will probably fall into the hands of many, who would be glad of information on these subjects, and as it may promote the object we have in view, we shall first give an account of the origin of Mormonism. Secondly, its distinguishing doctrines, and show that Mormonism is, in itself, treason against the government of God and man.
But, before we proceed, it may be proper to name the authorities on which we base these charges against Mormonism and its authors. They are the following:--
1. "The Book of Mormon; by Joseph Smith, Jr., author and proprietor. Palmyra, printed by E. B. Grandin, for the author, 1836."
2. "Doctrines and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints; carefully selected and compiled from the Revelations of God, by Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Fred. G. Williams, (Presiding Elders of said Church,) Proprietors. Kirtland, Ohio, printed by Williams & Co., 1835."
3. "A Voice of Warning to all People, containing a declaration of the faith and doctrine of the church of the Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons. By P. P. Pratt, minister of the Gospel. New York, printed by W. Sandford, 1837."
The above are books written or published by Mormons themselves.
4. "Document (189) showing the testimony given before the Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, on the trial of Joseph Smith, Jr., and others, for high treason, and other crimes against that state. Printed by order of the United States' Senate, Washington, D.C., 1841."
5. "Mormonism Unveiled, by E. D. Howe, published at Painesville, Ohio, in 1834."
We need not mention our common English Bible in this list, not because we do not appeal to its authority, but because we do not design to enter upon the theological bearings of this subject. How utterly opposed Mormonism is, in some of its claims, to the gospel of Jesus Christ, will be readily seen when these preposterous claims are once viewed in the light of reason and the testimony of God's word.
New York, July 1, 1841.
C H A P T E R I.
In the work entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," we find the testimonies of not less than EIGHTY different persons, all residents of Wayne and Ontario counties, N. Y., which prove, beyond the possibility of doubt, that neither Joseph Smith, Jr., nor either of his witnesses are to be believed, and that Mormonism, from beginning to end, is a base delusion, which does not leave its originators even the credit of honesty or good intentions in its propagation. These witnesses are disinterested, respectable citizens, many of whom have made solemn oath to the following facts, and their characters
are sufficiently vouched for by magistrates of the counties where they live. Among many other things which might be named to the eternal dishonor of the authors of the Mormon delusion, we notice the following:--
That Joseph Smith, Jr., and his family, were, about the time he pretended to have discovered the book of Mormon, known as "fortune tellers" and "money diggers," and that they often had recourse to tricks of juggling for the purpose of finding money which they said was hid in the earth.
That the said Smith, up to that time, and after, was known as a wicked man; that he was a cheat, and a liar, and used profane language; that he was intemperate and quarrelsome.
That his own father-in-law never had any confidence in him, and he was knowing to the manner in which Smith commenced his imposture in getting out what he called the book of Mormon.
That Smith has, himself, confessed the cheat, and so has Martin Harris, one of his principal witnesses. Harris once said, "What if it is a lie? If you will let me alone, I will make money out of it."
That Oliver Cowdery, another of the witnesses
to Smith's book, was not a man of good character before he joined Smith in the cheat of Mormonism.
That Smith and Martin Harris were in the habit of meeting together, often, just before the plates were said to be found, and were familiarly known in the neighborhood by the name of the "Gold Bible Company;" and they were regarded by the community, generally, as a lying, indolent set of fellows, in whom no confidence could be placed; and Joseph Smith, Jr.'s, character for truth was so notoriously bad, that he could not and was not believed when under oath.
The wife of Martin Harris testifies, that he is both a cruel man and a liar, he having beat her and turned her out of his house.
That Smith confessed his object in pretending to find the plates was to make money, saying, "when it is completed, my family will be placed on a level above the generality of mankind."
Such are some of the facts, which are proved beyond the possibility of confutation, by the affidavits of respectable witnesses, persons who were well acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and his associates, both before and since
the pretended discovery of his golden plates. And, perhaps, we cannot better close the investigation of this subject, than by quoting a specimen of those testimonies. It is numerously signed, as will be seen, and by persons well acquainted with the "author and proprietor" of the book of Mormon:
PALMYRA, N. Y., Dec. 4, 1833."We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family for a number of years, while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation in saying that, we consider them destitute of that moral character which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community. They were particularly famous for visionary projects, spent much of their time in digging for money, which they pretended was hid in the earth; and to this day, large excavations may be seen in the earth, not far from their residence, where they used to spend their time in digging for hidden treasures. Joseph Smith, Senior, and his son Joseph, were, in particular, considered entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits.
"Martin Harris was a man who had acquired a handsome property, and in matters of business his word was considered good; but on moral and religious subjects, he was perfectly visionary -- sometimes advocating one sentiment, and sometimes another. And in reference to all with whom we were acquainted, who have embraced Mormonism, from this neighborhood, we are compelled to say, they were very visionary, and most of them destitute of any moral character, and without influence in this community, and this may account why they were permitted to go on with their impositions undisturbed.
"It was not supposed that any of them were possessed of sufficient character, or influence, to make any one believe their book or their sentiments; and we know not of a single individual in this vicinity, that puts the least confidence in their pretended revelations.
Persons thus destitute of moral character, combined to usher into being a book purporting to be of EQUAL authority with the bible. And here is the story which one of its "apostles," professing to act under the infallible inspiration of God, tells of this book:--
"The book of Mormon was found in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, in Ontario County, New York; was translated and published in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty. It contains the history of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph; of whom the Indians are still a remnant; but the principal nation of them having fallen in battle, in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, their prophecies, and their doctrine, which he engraved on plates; and afterwards, being slain, the record fell into the hands of his son, Moroni, who being hunted by his enemies, was directed to deposit the record safely in the earth, with a
promise from God that it should be preserved, and should again be brought to light in the latter days, by means of a Gentile nation, who should possess the land. The deposit was made about the year four hundred and twenty, on a hill then called Cumora, now in Ontario county, where it was preserved in safety, until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels; and translated by INSPIRATION. And the Great Jehovah bore record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the world."-- Voice of War. p. 129.
Of course, they give us no evidence (except their own word) to prove what is here asserted!
I. -- MORMONS PROFESS TO ACT UNDER THE INFALLIBLE INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND TO HAVE< POWER TO WORK MIRACLES.
"Without these gifts [prophecy, miracles, healing, and all other gifts] the saints cannot be perfected; the work of the ministry cannot proceed; the body of Christ cannot be edified." -- Voice of Warning, pp. 118, 119
"And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you; for ye are mine apostles -- therefore, as I said unto mine apostles, I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your word, and is baptized with water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost, and these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils -- heal the sick -- open the eyes of the blind -- unstop the ears of the deaf -- and if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them." -- Doc. and Cov. p. 92.
II. -- MORMONS ARE PLEDGED TO WORK MIRACLES WHEN REQUIRED TO DO SO.
"Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons; and these things ye shall not do except it be required of you, by them who desire it, that the scriptures might be fulfilled."--Doc. and Cov. p. 112.
III. -- MORMONS PROFESS TO HAVE INTERCOURSE WITH THE ANGELS OF GOD, AND AFFIRM THAT THEY FREQUENTLY SEE THEM, AND HAVE MESSAGES FROM GOD THROUGH THEM.
See the account of the origin of the Book of Mormon, before quoted.
IV. -- MORMONS CLAIM TO BE THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH; ALL OTHER CHURCHES ARE OF ANTICHRIST, AND EXPOSED TO GOD'S ETERNAL DISPLEASURE.
"Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant, Joseph Smith, jr., and spake unto him from heaven, and give unto him commandments."
"After having received the record of the Nephites, yea even my servant, Joseph Smith, jr., might have power to translate, through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon; and also to those to whom these commandments
were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, ...... the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." -- Doc. and Cov., p. 76.
V. -- MORMONS SAY THAT GOD HAS SENT DOWN FROM HEAVEN A CITY CALLED THE "NEW JERUSALEM," AND LOCATED IT IN THE WESTERN BOUNDARIES OF MISSOURI, WHERE HE REQUIRES ALL HIS FOLLOWERS TO GO, UNDER THE PAIN OF HIS WRATH.
And, it is a fundamental principle with them, that if they cannot buy the land, they are to obtain it by the sword.
"America is a chosen land of the Lord, above every other land; it is the place of the New Jerusalem, which has come down from God out of heaven, upon the earth." -- Voice of War. p. 179.
"This is the will of God concerning his saints, that they shall assemble themselves together unto the land of Zion. Behold the land of Zion, I the Lord holdeth it in my own hands; notwithstanding, I, the Lord, rendereth unto Caesar the things which are Cæsar's. Wherefore, I, the Lord, willeth that you shall purchase, the lands, that you may have advantage over the world, that you may have claim of the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger; for Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger against yon, and to the shedding of blood. Wherefore the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase, or by blood; otherwise there is none inheritance for you."--Doc. and Cov. p. 143.
"A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, jr., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted up their voices on high, . . . for the gathering of his saints to stand on Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem; which shall be built, beginning at the Temple Lot, appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of Missouri."--Ib. p. 88.
"And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem which should come down out of heaven, and the Holy Sanctuary of the Lord." -- Book of Mormon, p. 566.
VI. -- MORMONS AFFIRM, THAT THEIR BOOKS WERE WRITTEN, AND THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS TRANSLATED BY THE INSPIRATION OF GOD; AND THAT THEY ARE OF EQUAL AUTHORITY WITH THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
The book called "Doctrines and Covenants," it seems, received the approbation of the Mormon General Assembly, August 17, 1835. -- Twelve Mormons bear the following testimony to his divine authority:--
"We, therefore, feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of mankind, ..... that the Lord hath borne record to our souls, through the Holy Ghost shed forth upon us, that these commandments were given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for all men, and are verily true." -- Doc.and Cov. p. 256.
"They shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and what they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be SCRIPTURE " -- Ib. p. 148.
VII. -- MORMONS PRETEND TO HAVE POWER TO GIVE THE HOLY GHOST TO THOSE ON WHOM THEY LAY THEIR HANDS FOR THIS PURPOSE.
"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant, Sidney Rigdon, ..... I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize with water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, EVEN as the Apostles of old." -- Doc. and Cov. p. 116.
VIII. -- MORMONISM THREATENS ALL WHO REJECT IT, WITH ETERNAL DAMNATION. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, they who believe not on your word, and are not baptized by water, in my name, for the remission of sins, &c,. -- SHALL BE DAMNED. And this revelation unto you, and commandment, is in force from this very hour, upon ALL THE WORLD." -- Doc. and Cov. p. 92.
IX. -- MORMONISM MOST WICKEDLY ASSUMES TO ALTER THE CONDITIONS OF FORGIVENESS AND SALVATION.
"And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned." -- Book of Mormon, p. 478.
"Behold, I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children needeth baptism, is in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity: for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell."--Ib. p. 582.
The curse of God is denounced upon all who reject the nonsense contained in the book of Mormon:--
"And he that shall deny these things let him be accursed." -- Ib. p. 546.
"Therefore, all who receive the priesthood receive the oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be renounced; but whoso breaketh this covenant, after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come." -- Doc. and Cov. p. 91.
"And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the book of Mormon."--Ib. p. 91.
"He that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come." -- Ib. p. 121.
X. -- MORMONISM DEMANDS MONEY AS THE CONDITION OF DISCIPLESHIP, UNDER THE PENALTY OF ETERNAL DAMNATION.
"Whoso receiveth you, receiveth me, and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you MONEY -- and he who doeth not these things is not my disciple." Doc. and Cov. p. 93.
Here it will, be seen that giving money to the Mormon leaders, is a condition of discipleship, and all who are not Mormon disciples are doomed to hell!
XI. -- ONE GRAND DESIGN OF MORMONISM IS, TO FILL THE POCKETS OF ITS ADVOCATES WITH MONEY.
"It must needs be that ye save all the money that ye can, and that ye gain all ye can in righteousness." Doc. and Cov. p. 191.
"It is wisdom in me, that my servant Martin Harris should be an example unto the church, in laying his moneys before the bishop of the church. And also this is a law unto every man that cometh unto this land, to receive an inheritance; and he shall do with his moneys according as the law directs." Ib. p. 138.
From the next extract, which is addressed to one Titus Billings, the grand object of Mormonism appears in full view:--
"And let all the moneys which can be spared; it mattereth not unto me whether it be little or much, be sent up unto the land of Zion, unto those I have appointed to receive it." Ib. p. 143.
Here it is again. Money, money, money:--
"And let all those (preachers) who have no families, who receive moneys, send it up unto the bishop of Zion, or unto the bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations, and the printing thereof, and establishing Zion."
No "revelations" can be brought forth without money. The "New Jerusalem" cannot come down from heaven without money. Here it is again:--
"Behold, this is my will, obtaining moneys even as I have directed." Ib. p. 133-4.
"He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion, shall receive an inheritance in this world. And his work shall follow him. And also a reward in the world to come." Ib. p. 144.
And we must believe that the foregoing language is from the mouth of the infinite God, under the penalty of eternal damnation!
Look, also, to the following, said to be the words of the Most High:--
"I command that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truths of the word of God." Ib. p. 175.
"Impart a portion of thy property; yea, even part of thy lands, and all save the support of thy family." Ib. p. 176.
The next extract is not only important, as it plainly shows the true Mormon solicitude about money, but it reveals an important fact with regard to Oliver Cowdery, one of the eleven witnesses upon whose ipse dixit we are commanded to believe the Book of Mormon:--
"Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, for my servant Oliver Cowdery's sake. It is not wisdom in me that he should be entrusted with the commandments and the moneys, which he shall carry up unto the land of Zion, except one go with him who is true and faithful. Wherefore, I, the Lord, willeth that my servant, John Whitmar, shall go with my servant, Oliver Cowdery." Ib. p. 138.
Does the reader still doubt as to the grand design of Smith and his associates? Read the following:--
"It is meet that my servant, Joseph Smith, jun., should have a house built in which to live and translate. And, again, it is meet that my servant, Sidney Rigdon, should live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments." -- Ib. p. 189.
And from the following it will be seen, that Jo. Smith excuses himself from work, and has
provided himself with "WHATSOEVER he needeth." And this regulation is not only to last while he lives, but he is to hold his office in the world to come!
"Provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever he needeth." Ib. p. 126.
"And in temporal labor thou (Smith) shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling." Ib. p. 112.
"Verily, I say unto you (Joseph Smith, jr.) the keys of the kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in this world, neither in the world to come." Ib. p. 114.
Nor is this all. A new "revelation" has recently "come forth" from this impostor, in which he not only makes provision for himself during life, but, also, for his family connections after him, forever!! This revelation is dated January 19, 1841, and has appeared in the papers of the day. It orders the building of a boarding house.
"And now, I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house, which I commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers; let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have places therein from generation to generation. For this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall also be put upon the heads of his posterity after him, and as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph, in thee and in thy seed shall the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
"Therefore, let my servant Joseph, and his seed after him, have place in that house from generation to generation for ever and ever, saith the Lord, and let the name of that house he called the Nauvoo House."
A Presbyterian clergyman, from the neighborhood of Smith's residence, informs us that
the impostor walks with a golden headed cane, and dresses in the finest style. A distinguished member of the sect informed him that Smith was now possessed of more than $100,000. How much further could fanaticism go?
We now commence our quotations from the Congressional Document before referred to:
"John Whitmar, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith:--
"I also conversed with Mr. J. Smith, jr., on this subject. I told him I wished to allay the (then) excitement, as far as I could do it. He said the excitement was very high, and he did not know what would allay it; but remarked, he would give me his opinion, which was, that if I would put my property into the hands of the bishop and high council, to be disposed of according to the laws of the church, he thought that would allay it, and the church after a while might have confidence in me." Cong. Doc. No. 189, p. 33.
XII. -- MORMONISM AUTHORIZES THEFT.
"Behold it is said in my laws, or forbidden to get in debt to thine enemies; but, behold, it is not said, at any time, that the Lord should not take when he please, and pay as seemeth him good: wherefore, as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand, and whatsoever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord's business, and he hath sent you to provide for his saints," &c. Doc. and Cov. p. 147.
A Mormon has only to imagine himself an agent of God, and, according to the above precept, he may steal or commit any other crime, and fancy himself doing the will of God all the while. And these very things the Mormons have done. Most of our readers have probably heard of the Mormon war, which
raged in Missouri in 1838. And it is a remarkable fact, that the editor of the New York Watchman, while exposing this great delusion through the columns of that paper, a year before, showed the tendency of Mormonism to that very state of things; and the reader will see, in the sequel, that Mormonism is directly calculated to produce insurrection and bloodshed.
That they have been persecuted, we admit as quite probable. This is much to be regretted, as nothing could increase that fanaticism more than to persecute its advocates.
The following account of one of the battles is from a western paper, printed in Jefferson City, Mo., and quoted in the New York Sun, of November 20, 1838:--
"ELKHORN, October 30, 1838."On Thursday, the 25th instant, about the dawn of day, a party of Mormons, about 200 strong, attacked Captain Bogart's company, consisting of about 40 men, on the line dividing Ray and Caldwell counties. On the approach of the Mormons, the sentry fired and gave the alarm. The former advanced within 35 paces, formed a line, and received orders 'in the name of Lazarus, the apostles, and Jesus Christ our Lord, to fire,' which was followed by a simultaneous charge, accompanied by demoniac and hideous yells of 'fight for liberty! -- charge, boys! -- charge! -- kill the d--d rascals,' &c. Bogart, at the head of his gallant band, levelled his gun and echoed the command; 'Boys, let them have it!' The struggle was short and desperate. The Mormons were armed with one gun, two long pistols, a butcher's knife, &c., and rushed to the charge, in which many of our men came in collision with them and parried their swords, &c., with their guns, and knocked them down. They pursued the charge
about 600 yards. Our loss was one killed and three wounded; two of the latter were left for dead on the ground. The loss of the Mormons was 19 or 20 killed and wounded; five or six of the latter are yet living. They took one prisoner, carried him to within three miles of Far West, where they had him put to death.
"The country is in the highest state of excitement; there are about 2500 troops within a day's march of Far West. They are pouring in from all quarters, and we expect, in a day or two, that that town will be laid waste. We are looking for the Governor with more troops. I have this moment been informed that the Mormons are making every preparation for a general battle. In the engagement on the 25th, they took about $1,500 worth of horses, &c."
The Congressional document before mentioned contains testimony which frequently alludes to this battle. This testimony was given before the Honorable Austin A. King, judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, in the state of Missouri, at the court house in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, begun November 12, 1838. The defendants were Joseph Smith, Jr., the head Mormon leader, Hiram Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Amasa Lyman, Lyman Wright, George W. Robinson, and about fifty other Mormons, who appear to have been the ringleaders in this war.
This testimony was given by about thirty persons, most of whom were Mormons, and it demonstrates most fully the bloody and thievish character of this most wretched of all fanaticisms.
The following extracts will show the
insidious manner in which Smith teaches his followers to steal. One of the principal witnesses was a prominent Mormon leader, by the name of Samuel Avard. Speaking of an address delivered at a certain time by Jo. Smith, Jr., he says:--
"In the address he [Smith] related an anecdote about a captain who applied to a Dutchman to purchase potatoes, who refused to sell. The captain then charged his company several different times not to touch the Dutchman's potatoes. In the morning the Dutchman had not a potatoe left in his patch." Cong. Doc., 189, p. 2.
"Reed Peck, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:-- One day before the last expedition to Daviess, I heard Joseph Smith, jr. in a speech say, in reference to stealing, that in a general way, he did not approve of it; BUT, that on one occasion our Saviour and his disciples STOLE corn in passing through the corn fields." Ib. p. 18.
"John Corrill, a [Mormon] witness, produced, sworn, and examined in behalf of the state, deposeth and saith:-- On Sunday Joseph Smith jr. in his discourse, spoke of persons taking [!] at some times, what at other times it would be wrong to take." Ib. p. 13.
In the next extracts we have the practice of this doctrine:--
"Andrew J. Job, a witness for the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith: After I left Diahmon, I went to my step-mother's, and made efforts to get out of the county. After the Mormons surrendered at Diahmon to the militia, I went with my step-mother to Diahmon, to hunt for her property, which had been left at the house when she moved, and which was missing on her return--such as beds, bed clothing, knives and forks, a trunk, &c. On examination, we found at the house of Lyman Wright, and upon his bedstead, a feather bed, which I knew to be one left by her at the time she fled from the Mormons. I knew the bed from its appearance; the tick was striped and pieced at the end, and the stripes of the piece turned crosswise; also,
we found in Wright's house a set of knives and forks, which I know were the same left at her house as above stated. My step-mother left her residence, (within two miles of Diahmon,) where she left the above articles, on Wednesday before I was taken prisoner, which was on the Sunday night after; and when at Diahmon, the night I was a prisoner, I slept on that same bed, as I believed it to be, at one Sloan's, as I understood his name to be." Ib. p. 28.
"George W. Worthington, a witness in behalf of the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith--
"I thought it best then for me to put out, seeing they were burning. It alarmed me, and I fixed, and did start, that evening, leaving something like $700 worth of property in my house. After I left, my house was burnt, and the property gone. Since then I have seen some of my property in a vacant house in Diahmon; some in a storehouse; some in a house said to be Bishop Knight's; all in Diahmon. These articles consisted of a clock, two glass jars, a box coat, a paper of screws, some paints, a canister of turpentine, and some planes, chisels, squares, &c. These were found since the surrender of arms in Diahmon, by the Mormons. I saw a number of articles also in Diahmon, at the time I was seeking after my property, which, I believe, were taken from Strolling's store, consisting of a leghorn bonnet, a castor, screw and hinges, or butts, which I knew belonged to Strolling. I saw a number of articles which had been concealed under ground, consisting of pots, ovens, and skillets; among them a pot belonging to myself." Ib. p. 34.
The above are sufficient to fix the charge of theft against Mormonism as a system.
XIII. -- MORMONS CHARGE THEIR LEADERS WITH THE CRIMES OF THEFT, LYING, CHEATING, COUNTERFEITING, SLANDER, AND OTHER INFAMOUS CRIMES.
Dr. Avard, the Mormon teacher before alluded to, when under examination, produced a document, signed by eighty-four Mormons, in which they charge a number of the leaders directly with theft, and in a manner which
leaves no room to doubt the truth of what is stated. The following are extracts. It is addressed "To Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, John Whitmar, W. W. Phelps, and Lyman E. Johnson," and dated,
"FAR WEST, June, 1838."After Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for stealing, and the stolen property found in the house of William W. Phelps; in which nefarious transaction, John Whitmar had also participated. Oliver Cowdery stole the property, conveyed it to John Whitmar, and John Whitmar to William W. Phelps; and then the officers of law found it. While, in the hands of ail officer, and under arrest for this vile transaction, and, if possible, to hide your shame from the world, like criminals (which indeed you were), you appealed to our beloved presidents, Joseph Smith, jr. and Sidney Rigdon, men whose characters you had endeavored to destroy by every artifice you could invent, not even the basest lying excepted.
"As we design this paper to be published to the world, we will give an epitome of your scandalous conduct and treachery for the last two years. We wish to remind you, that Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmar were among the principal of those who were the means of gathering us to this place, (Far West,) by their testimony which they gave concerning the plates of the book of Mormon, that they were shown to them by an angel, which testimony we believe, now, as much as before you had so scandalously disgraced it. The saints in Kirtland, having elected Oliver Cowdery to be a justice of the peace, he used the power of that office to take their most sacred rights from them, and that contrary to law. He supported a parcel of blacklegs, and disturbing the worship of the saints. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, and Lyman E. Johnson, united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of their property, by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent, using the influence of the vilest persecutions, to bring vexatious law suits, villainous prosecutions, and even stealing not excepted.
"During the full career of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmar's bogus [counterfeit] money business, it got abroad into the world that they were engaged in it, and several gentlemen were preparing to commence a prosecution against Cowdery;
he, finding it out, took with him Lyman E. Johnson, and fled to Far West, with their families, Cowdery stealing property, and bringing it with him, which has been, within a few weeks past, obtained by the owner, by means of a search warrant; and he was saved from the penitentiary by the influence of two influential men of the place. He also brought notes with him, upon which he had received pay, and made an attempt to sell them to Mr. Arthur, of Clay county. And Lyman E. Johnson, on his arrival, reported that he had a note for one thousand dollars, against a principal man of the church; when it was a palpable falsehood, and he had no such thing; and he did it for the purpose of injuring his character.
"Neither were you content with slandering and vilifying here, but you kept up a continual correspondence with your gang of marauders in Kirtland, encouraging them to go on with their iniquity, which they did to perfection, by swearing falsely to injure the character and property of innocent men; stealing, cheating, lying; instituting vexatious lawsuits; selling bogus [bad] money, and also, stones and sand for bogus: in which nefarious business, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, and Lyman E. Johnson, were engaged while you were there. Since your arrival here, you have commenced a general system of that same kind of conduct in this place. You set up a nasty, dirty pettifogger's office, pretending to be judges of the law, when it is a notorious fact, that you are profoundly ignorant of it, and of every other thing which is calculated to do mankind good, [of course, then, they were ignorant of the 'plates' which they said an angel had 'made known' to them] or if you know it, you take good care never to practise it."
"And, in order to bring yourselves into notice, you began to interfere with all the business of the place, trying to destroy the character of our merchants, and bringing their creditors upon them, and break them up. In addition to this, you stirred up men of weak minds to prosecute one another, for the vile purpose of getting a fee for pettifogging from one of them. You have also been threatening continually to enter into a general system of prosecuting, determined, as you said, to pick a flaw in the titles of those who have bought city lots and built upon them -- not that you can do any thing but cause vexatious lawsuits.
"And, amongst the most monstrous of all your abominations, we have evidence (which, when called upon, we can produce,) that letters sent to the post office in this place have been opened, read, and destroyed, and the persons to whom they were sent never obtained them; thus ruining the
business of the place. We have evidence of a very strong character, that I you are at this time engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs, as some of those characters have lately visited our city from Kirtland, and told what they had come for; and we know, assuredly, that if we suffer you to continue, we may expect, and that speedily, to find a general system of stealing, counterfeiting, cheating, and burning property, as in Kirtland -- for so are your associates carrying on there at this time; and that, encouraged by you, by means of letters you send continually to them; and, to crown the whole, you have had the audacity to threaten us, that, if we offered to disturb you, you would get up a mob from Clay and Ray counties. For the insult, if nothing else, and your threatening to shoot us if we offered to molest you, we will put you from the county of Caldwell: so help us God."
"The above was signed by some 84 Mormons." Cong. Doc. No. 189, p. 6, 7, 8.
Such, then, is the account which Mormons give of one another, and such are the men who profess to have "seen and hefted" the golden plates, and who command us to believe that they are inspired, and empowered to work miracles! And this Oliver Cowdery, here charged with such infamous conduct by his own disciples, is announced in the book of Doctrines and Covenants, (page 77,) as an "apostle," and the "second elder" of the Mormon church!!
XIV. -- MORMONISM AUTHORIZES THE CRIME OF ROBBERY AND PLUNDER.
From the testimony of Sampson Avard, before referred to:--
"Smith said, on some occasions, that one should chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight; that he considered
the United States rotten. He compared the Mormon church to the little stone spoken of by the Prophet Daniel; and the dissenters first, and the state next, was part of the image that should be destroyed by this little stone. The council was called on to vote the measures of Smith; which they did unanimously. On the next day Captain Patten (who was called by the prophet Captain Fearnaught) took command of about one hundred armed men, and told them that he had a job for them to do, and that the work of the Lord was rolling on, and they must be united. He then led the troops to Gallatin, saying he was going to attack the mob there. He made a rush into Gallatin, dispersed the few men there, and took the goods out of Strolling's store, and carried them to Diahmon, and I afterwards saw the storehouse on fire. When we returned to Diahmon, the goods were deposited in the Lord's storehouse, under the care of Bishop Vincent Knight. Orders were strictly given that all the goods should he deposited in the Lord's storehouse. No individuals were to appropriate any thing to themselves until a general distribution should be made. Joseph Smith, Jr., was at Adam on Diahmon, giving directions about things in general connected with the war. When Patten returned from Gallatin to Adam on Diahmon, the goods were divided or apportioned out among those engaged; and these affairs were conducted under the superintendence of the first presidency. A part of the goods were brought to Far West. On On their arrival, under the care of Captain Fearnaught, President Rigdon shouted three hosannahs to the victors. On the day Patten went to Gallatin, Colonel Wright went to Millport, as I understood. I saw a great many cattle, beds, furniture, &c., brought into our camp by the Mormons. After we returned to Far West, the troops were constantly kept in motion, and there was a council held at the house of President Rigdon, to determine who should be chiefs." Cong. Doc. No. 189, p. 3, 4.
"George M. Hinkle, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith:--
"There was much mysterious conversation in camps, as to plundering and house burning; so much so, that I had my own notions about it; and, on one occasion, I spoke to Mr. Smith, Jr., in the house, and told him that this course of burning houses and plundering, by the Mormon troops, would ruin us; that it could not be kept hid, and would bring the force of the state upon us; that houses would be searched, and stolen property found. Smith replied to me, in a pretty rough manner, to keep still; that I should say nothing about
it; that it would discourage the men; and he would not suffer me to say any thing about it.
"I saw a great deal of plunder and bee stands brought into camp; and I saw many persons, for many days, taking the honey out of them; I understood this property and plunder were placed into the hands of the Bishop at Diahmon, named Vincent Knight, to be divided out among them, as their wants might require.
"There were a number of horses and cattle drove in; also, hogs hauled in dead with the hair on; but whose they were, I know not. They were generally called consecrated property. I think it was the day Gallatin was attacked. I saw Colonel Wright start off with troops, as was said, to Millport; all this seemed to be done under the inspection of Joseph Smith, Jr. I saw Wright, when he returned; the troops from Gallatin returned about the same time; and I heard Smith find fault with Wright for not being as resolute as to serve Millport as they had served Gallatin; this was remarked to me alone." Ib. p. 21, 22.
"Allen Rathbun, a witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:-- "On the day before the battle with Bogart, I was in Far West; and early in the morning Daniel Carn, one of the defendants here, asked me to help him grease his wagon. I did so, and asked him where he was going. He said he was going out to Raglin's, in Daviess county; that there were about forty bee stands there that they were going for. Directly after, I was down in Morrison's store, in Far West. There was a company of ten or a dozen men there, with two or three wagons. I heard Mr. Huntingdon ask for brimstone. Some of the company said they had two pounds. Huntingdon said that would do. Mr. Hunter, of the defendants, here gave the word of command, and they marched off. Mr. Daniel Carn was in the wagon with them. Late that evening I saw Mr. Carn's wagon at his grocery down in Far West. I saw Carn and Huntingdon unloading it. The wagon was loaded with one bee gum, and household stuff; consisting of beds, or bed clothes, kinder tied up; also, there were onions in the wagon. Mr. Carn that evening remarked that there would be in that evening a considerable number of sheep and cattle; and further remarked, that it looked to him sometimes, that it was not right [!] to take plunder, but that it was according to the directions of Joseph Smith, jr., and that was the reason why he did it. The next morning I saw a considerable number of sheep on the square, in Far West, near about one hundred."-- Ib. p. 26.
XV. -- MORMONISM ENJOINS SECRECY WITH REGARD TO ITS REAL DESIGNS, UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH.
"And now I say unto you, keep these things from going abroad unto the world, until it is expedient in me, that ye may accomplish this, work, &c., -- in the eyes of your enemies, that they may not know your work until ye have accomplished the thing which I commanded you." -- Doc. and Cov., p. 132.
XVI. -- MORMONISM SANCTIONS SECRET SOCIETIES, AND ASSUMES THE RIGHT TO INFLICT THE PENALTY OF DEATH UPON SUCH AS REFUSE TO COMPLY WITH THE DICTATES OF ITS LEADERS.
"Sampson Avard, a witness, produced, sworn, and examined, in behalf of the state, deposeth and saith:-- That about four months since, a band called the Daughters of Zion, (since called the Danite band,) was formed of the members of the Mormon church, the original object of which was to drive from the county of Caldwell all those who dissented from the Mormon church; in which they succeeded admirably, and to the satisfaction of all concerned. I consider Joseph Smith, jr., as the prime mover and organizer of this band. The officers of the band, according to their grades, were brought before him, at a school house, together with Hiram Smith and Sidney Rigdon; the three composing the first presidency of the whole church. It was stated by Joseph Smith, jr., that it was necessary this band should be bound together by a covenant, that those who revealed the secrets of the society should be PUT TO DEATH. The covenant taken by all the Danite band was as follows, to wit:-- They declared, holding up their right hand, 'In the name of Jesus Christ, the son of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to conceal and never to reveal the secret purposes of this society, called the Daughters of Zion. Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture.'"-- Cong. Doc. 189, p. 1, 2.
"John Cleminson, a [Mormon] witness, produced, sworn, and examined, for the state, deposeth and saith:-- Some time in June I attended two or three Danite meetings; and it was taught there as a part of the duty of the band, that they should support the presidency in ALL their designs, right or wrong; that WHATEVER they said was to be obeyed, and whoever opposed the presidency in what they said or desired
done, should be expelled from the county, or have their lives taken.
"Dr. Avard further taught as a part of their obligation, that if any one betrayed the secret designs of the society, they should be killed and laid aside, and nothing said about it."-- Ib. p. 15.
Some of the language used in the book of Mormon proves that book to have been written, or put into its present shape, since 1827, as it quotes much of the language used about that time concerning Freemasonry; and hence it denounces "secret societies," "oaths," &c. But by this testimony it is proved that the Mormons have their "secret societies," and we believe they have them in New York, Philadelphia, and most of the places where they have made converts to their delusion.
XVII. -- MORMONISM, COMPELS ITS VICTIMS TO A COURSE OF IRRELIGION AND CRIME, UNDER THE PENALTY OF DEATH.
From the testimony of Dr. Avard:--
"Joseph Smith, jr., the Sunday before the late disturbances in Daviess, at a church meeting, gave notice, that he wished the whole county collected on the next day, at Far West. He declared that all who did not take up arms in defence of the Mormons of Daviess, should be considered as tories, and should take their exit from the country." Cong. Doc., 189, p. 2.
In the paper signed by eighty four Mormons, and addressed to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, John Whitmar, Wm. W. Phelps, and Lyman E. Johnson, we have the following:--
"There are no threats from you--no fear of losing our lives by you, or by any thing you can say or do, will restrain us; for out of the county you shall go, and no power shall save you. And you shall have three days after you receive this communication to you, including twenty four hours in each day, for you to depart with your families peaceably; which you may do undisturbed by any person; but in that time, if you do not depart, we will use the means in our power to cause you to depart; for go you shall." Ib. p. 6.
"Morris Phelps, a [Mormon] witness, produced, sworn, and examined for the state, deposeth and saith:--That Parley P. Pratt was in the battle with Bogart. Darwin Chase was one of the expedition, but not in the battle. Lyman Gibbs was in the battle; thinks Benjamin Jones was in the battle. Norman Shearer was also, and wounded. I was called upon by Charles C. Rich, to go down to Crooked river, to help relieve some Mormon prisoners, who, it was said, had been taken by a mob. I first refused to go; but, being threatened with force, I consented to go. Rigdon, in speaking of dissenters, who were unwilling to fight mobs, said that they ought to be pitched upon their horses with pitchforks and bayonets, and forced into the front of the battle, and their property confiscated to the use of the army." Ib., p. 12..
From the testimony of John Corrill:--
"President Rigdon, in a speech, said, that those who were unwilling to go into the war, ought to be put upon their horses with guns and bayonets, and forced into the front of the war. No persons were suffered to leave the country in those extreme times." Ib., p. 13.
From the testimony of John Cleminson:--
"On the Monday prior to the last Daviess expedition, I heard Mr. Rigdon say that those who had heretofore been backward in taking up arms in defending themselves ought to, or should, be put upon their horses with bayonets and pitchforks; and Smith said, forced into the front of the battle; and that the property of those who would not go into the war should be consecrated to the use of those who did. Mr. Smith said their beef, corn, and potatoes they would take.
"I went in the expedition to Daviess in which Gallatin was burnt, as I felt myself compelled to go from the regulations which had been made." Ib. p. 16.
From the testimony of Reed Peck:--
"Such men as would oppose things undertaken, as being unlawful, and such as they feared was a violation the law, I have heard Smith and Rigdon, in their public addresses, denominate, 'O don't men.' These I understood to be those who were denominated, also, dissenters; and in reference to men who were hanging back, and did not wish to engage in their expeditions, they were called traitors; and referring to such, as I understood, Mr. Rigdon proposed that blood should first begin to flow at Far West, [that is, that these men should be put to death!] The proposition was then made and carried unanimously, that those who thus hung back should be pitched upon their horses and made to go, and placed in the front of the army.
"I heard Dr. Avard say, that it was a regulation of that society [Danite band] that no one should speak against them, or hear any one else do it with impunity." Ib., p. 18.
"Burr Riggs, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:--Joseph Smith jr., said there were certain men using their influence against the proceedings of the presidency, and if they were suffered to go on, they would do great injury. And Smith told Robinson, that the first man he heard speaking against the presidency, and against their proceedings, he must tie him up and give him thirty nine lashes; and it that would not do, give him thirty-nine more, until he was sorry for what he had said; and Robinson said he would do it."
"While the last expedition was going on in Daviess, there was a meeting in Far West, in which Mr. Sidney Rigdon presided. There were present about 60 or 100 men; a guard was put around the house, and one was placed at the door. Mr. Rigdon said that the last man had run away from Far West that was agoing to; that the next man who started, he should be pursued and brought back, dead or alive. He further said that on man had slipped his wind yesterday, and had been thrown aside into the brush for the buzzards to pick, and the first man that lisped it should die." Ib., p. 29, 30.
"John Whitmar, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith:--Mr. Smith said, that any person who spoke or acted against the presidency or the church, should leave the country, or die." Ib. p. 33.
"Benjamin Slade, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith: -- I was in
a meeting in a school house in Far West, while the Mormon troops were in Diahmon, in the last expedition. After the assembly had got into the house, a guard was placed at the door. Mr. Rigdon got up, and in a speech, said, that the time had now come, in which every man must take his part in this war; and that they had been running away, and leaving Caldwell county, and that the last man had now left the county, that should be suffered to do so. A formal vote, by way of resolution, of covenant, was put--that, if any man attempted to leave the county, any one of the company then present was to KILL him, and say nothing about it, and throw him into the brush. When this was put to vote I heard no one vote against it. Rigdon then called for the negative vote, and said he wanted to see if any one dared to vote against it. There was no negative vote." Ib., p. 37.
"Addison F. Green, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:-- I heard Sidney Rigdon, (speaking of those, who would attempt to leave the county at that time) say, 'it was the duty of any present, if they saw such movements, to stop the men,' and if they persisted in going, he said something about sending them to the other world to tell their hellish news, or something like this."--Ib. p. 38.
XVIII. -- MORMONISM ASSUMES THE PREROGATIVES OF GOD OVER THE CONSCIENCES OF MEN.
We have already shown that it impiously institutes new conditions of forgiveness and salvation; and from the following it will be seen that there is no blasphemous assumption too horrible for this wretched delusion to impose upon its victims.
From the testimony of Sampson Avard, and we have seen that no man among the Mormons could know, better than he, what it is:--
"The prophet, Joseph Smith, jr., together with his two counsellors, Hiram Smith and Sidney Rigdon, were considered as the SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH; and the Danite
band feel themselves as much bound to obey them as to obey the SUPREME GOD."-- Cong. Doc., No. 189, p. 2.
Their book of Doctrines and Covenants asserts that, "The saints [Mormons] shall be filled with the glory of Christ, and be EQUAL with him."
XIX. -- MORMONISM AUTHORIZES AND SANCTIONS PHYSICAL RESISTANCE TO THE LAWS OF THE LAND.
The following shows how they justify mob violence:--
"We believe that all men are, justified in defending themselves, their friends and property, and the government, [!] from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigencies, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws."--Doc. and Cov. p. 253.
From the testimony of Reed Peck:--
"I heard Joseph Smith, jr., in a public address, say, that he had a reverence for the constitution of the United States, and of this state, but as for the laws of this state he did not intend to regard them, nor care any thing about them, as they were made by lawyers and blacklegs."--Cong. Doc. 189, p. 20.
Testimony of John Whitmar:--
"Mr. Smith said he did not intend in future to have any process served on him, and the officer who attempted it should die; that any person who spoke or acted against the presidency or the church, should leave the country or die; that he would suffer no such to remain there; that they should lose their head. George W. Harris, who was there present, observed, 'the head of their influence, I suppose.' Smith replied, yes, he would so modify it. Mr. Rigdon then got up, and spoke in connection with what Mr. Smith had been saying; and in speaking of the head of their influence, he said that he meant that ball on their shoulders, called the head, and that they should be followed to the ends of the
earth. Mr. Rigdon further remarked, that he should suffer no process of law to be served on him hereafter.
"Some time in June, after Mr. Rigdon had preached his 'salt sermon,' I held conversations with several Mormons on the subject of that sermon, and the excitement produced by the course and conduct of the presidency. Among others, I conversed with Alanson Ripley. I spoke of the supremacy of the laws of the land, and the necessity of, at all times, being governed by them. He replied, that as to the technical niceties of the law of the land, he did not intend to regard them; that the kingdom spoken of by the prophet Daniel had been set up, and that it was necessary every kingdom should be governed by its own laws. I also conversed with George W. Robinson, on the same subject, who answered, (when I spoke of being governed by the laws and their supremacy,) 'when God spoke he must be obeyed, whether his word came in contact with the laws of the land or not: and that, as the kingdom spoken of by Daniel had been set up, its laws must be obeyed.' I told him I thought it was contrary to the laws of the land to drive men from their homes; to which he replied, such things had been done of old, and that the gatherings of the saints must continue, and that dissenters could not live among them in peace."--Ib. p. 33.
"Timothy Lewis, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:-- I was at Diahmon during the last expedition to Daviess county. I remained in the place during the time the Mormon troops were there. I was on none of their scouting parties, but saw a great deal of property and plunder brought in, which was said to be consecrated property by those who brought it in, as well as by others. Those who were active in plundering, said they intended to consecrate all the property in Daviess county, and take the county to themselves. They said there was no law in this state, but that a law was about to be established by a higher power, to be given by revelation."--Ib. p. 38.
XX. -- THE MORMON LEADERS DESIGN TO ASSUME A POSITION OF INDEPENDENCE ABOVE THE AUTHORITIES OF THIS NATION.
Testimony of Sampson Avard:--
"In the above referred to council, Mr. Smith spoke of the grievances we had suffered in Jackson, Clay, Kirtland, and other places; declared that we must, in future, stand up for
our rights as citizens of the United States, and as saints of the most high God; and that it was the will of God we should do so; that we should be free and independent, and that as the State of Missouri, and the United States, would not protect it, it was high time that we should be up, as the saints of the most high God, and protect ourselves, and take the kingdom. Lyman Wright observed, that before the winter was over, he thought we would be in St. Louis, and take it. Smith charged them that they should be united in supporting each other.
"In connection with the grand scheme of the prophet, his preachers and apostles were instructed to preach and instruct their followers (who are estimated in Europe and America at about 40,000) that it was their duty to come up to the State called Far West, and to possess the kingdom; that it was the will of God they should do so, and that the Lord would give them power to possess the kingdom."-- Con. Doc. 189, p. 3, 6.
XXI. -- THE MORMON LEADERS HOLD THAT THEY, OR THEIR SECT, ARE JUSTLY ENTITLED TO THE TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL DOMINION OF THESE UNITED STATES, AND THAT IF THEY CANNOT OTHERWISE OBTAIN THIS DOMINION THEY ARE TO GAIN IT BY THE SWORD.
"Wherefore the land of Zion shall not be obtained, but by purchase or by blood."--Doc. and Cov. p. 143.
It is added, in connection with the above, "as ye are forbidden to shed blood." But how the Mormons are forbidden to shed blood we shall see in the sequel.
"For behold, verily I say unto you, the Lord willeth that the disciples and the children of men should open their hearts even to purchase this whole region of country, as soon as time will permit. Behold, here is wisdom, let them do this, lest they receive none inheritance, save it be the shedding of blood."-- Ib. p. 139.
The following is designed to signify the UTTER DESTRUCTION of this nation, except it submits
to Mormonism. By the Gentiles, he means the people of these United States:--
"A remnant of the house of Jacob [as he calls our American Indians] shall be among the Gentiles; yea, in the midst of them, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if be go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles, except they repent: for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down thy strong holds," &c.-- Voice of War. p. 188.
"And the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, [the Mormons] neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, [Mormons] shall be CUT OFF from among the people -- for they have broken mine everlasting covenant." -- Doc. and Cov. p. 76.
"Everlasting covenant" broken!
"Therefore having so great witnesses, [Jo. Smith and Oliver Cowdery] by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work--but those who harden their hearts in unbelief and reject it shall turn to their own condemnation," &c. -- Ib. p. 78.
"Wo, I say again, unto that house, or that village, or city that rejecteth you, [Mormons] or your words, or your testimony of me."-- Ib. p. 93.
"Let the bishop go unto the city of New York, and also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the DESOLATION and UTTER ABOLISHMENT which awaits them if they do reject these things," [Mormonism.] -- Ib. p. 95.
"Verily I say unto you [Mormons,] that in time, ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you; and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come."-- Ib. p. 119.
"Assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now in the hand of your enemies."-- Ib. p. 194.
"Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies, throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come and possess the land."-- Ib. p. 238.
The above extracts are from the Mormon Creed. The following, from the evidence given in the Congressional Document, show what that creed is when carried out in practice.
This John Corrill, whose testimony follows, is frequently mentioned in the Mormon book of Doctrines and Covenants, (see pages 136 and 193,) as a fellow laborer with them:--
"John Corrill, witness for the state, produced, sworn, examined, deposeth, and saith--The Mormon church has been represented as being the little stone spoken of by Daniel, which should roll on and CRUSH ALL opposition to it, and ==> ultimately should be established as a TEMPORAL as well as a spiritual kingdom. These things were to be carried on through the instrumentality of the Danite band, as far as FORCE was necessary; [can any one who reads this believe that the Mormons merely acted in self defence, in the late civil war in Missouri?] if necessary, they being organized into bands of tens, fifties, &c., ready for WAR. The teachings of that society led them to prohibit the talkings of any persons against the presidency [Smith and others], so much so that it was dangerous for any man to set up opposition to any thing that might be set on foot, and I became afraid to speak my own mind. I objected to the course of Dr. Avard, in reference to the Danite band. I rather thought Joseph Smith, jr., upheld him, and would not allow any objections to him. They were greatly incensed against certain persons in Caldwell and Daviess, and said they intended to RID the counties of them and of the mob, in the course of that week."
"After the [Mormon] troops got to Diahmon, in all about four or five hundred men, I heard Lyman Wright addressing a portion of the men who were there, (perhaps eight or ten,) that the earth was the Lord's and the fulness thereof, with the cattle upon a thousand hills, &c.; that the saints of the Lord [Mormons] had the same privilege or rights. After that, or perhaps the next day, I saw a drove of some four or
five cattle pass along, and asked what cattle these were, and was answered that they were a drove of buffalo; others observed they were cattle a Methodist priest had consecrated. Joseph Smith, Jr., Hiram Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wright, George W. Robertson, Caleb Baldwin, Alanson Ripley, George W. Harris, George Grant, Darwin Chase, Alexander McRay, Edward Partridge, Joseph W. Younger, and probably James W. Rowlins, were in the expedition that went to Daviess county, at the time that Gallatin was burnt." Cong. doc. 189, p. 2, 14.
The testimony of Burr Riggs:--
"Two or three days before the surrender of the Mormons to the the militia at Far West, I heard Joseph Smith, Jr., say, that the SWORD was now unsheathed, and should not be again sheathed until he could go through the United States, and live in any county he pleased, peaceably." Ib. p. 29.
"Wyatt Cravens, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:--
"In the last, or, in some public meeting, Joseph Smith, Jr., said: if the people would let us alone, we would preach the gospel to them, in peace; but if they came to molest us, we would ESTABLISH OUR RELIGION BY THE SWORD; and that he would become to this generation a second MAHOMET." Ib. p. 12.
"George M. Hinkle, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:--
"I have heard Joseph Smith, Jr., say, that he believed Mahomet was a good man; that the Koran was not a true thing, but that the world belied Mahomet as they had belied him, and that Mahomet was a true prophet. [A good man writing a book which is full of falsehood!]
"The general teachings of the presidency were, that the kingdom they were setting up, ==> was a TEMPORAL as well as a spiritual kingdom; that it was the little stone spoken of by Daniel. Until lately the teachings of the church appeared to be peaceable, and that the kingdom was to be set up peaceably; but lately a different idea has been advanced,--that the time had come when this kingdom was to be set up by FORCIBLE means, if necessary. It was taught, that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles [people of the United States and the world] were to be consecrated to the true Israel [Mormons.] This thing of TAKING PROPERTY, was considered a fulfilment of the above prophecy. The preachers who were sent out to preach their doctrines,
were instructed to direct their converts to come up to Zion, -- meaning this upper part of Missouri.
"I heard Lyman Wright say, that the sword had now been drawn, and should not be sheathed until he had marched to De Witt, in Carroll county, into Jackson county, and into many other places in the state, and swore that he was able to accomplish it.
"At the time Joseph Smith, Jr., and myself were under guard at Far West, he manifested a great disposition to converse about our difficulties, and said he had heard I had turned against him; and proposed to me the idea of hanging together, and not testifying against each other, and if we suffer, all suffer together." Ib. p. 21-24.
Testimony of James C. Owens:--
"He [Jo. Smith, Jr.] further stated that they pretended to come out as militia, but that they were all a d--d set of mobs. He stated, at that, or some other time, that, as they had commenced consecrating in Daviess county, that he intended to have the surrounding counties consecrated to him; that the time had come when the riches of the Gentiles should be consecrated to the saints," [Mormons.] Ib. p. 14.
"Jesse Kelly, a witness produced, sworn, and examined, deposeth and saith:--
"The [Mormon] captain asked us if we belonged to the mob, and we replied not; he then said that we had better join them, [the Mormons,] and come into Diahmon for protection; I replied that I would consider of that; the captain then said, if we did not wish to fight them, [the Mormons] we must leave the state; 'for we intend,' said he, 'after we get possession of Daviess, to take Livingston, and after that, keep on, till we take possession of the whole state.'" Ib. p. 31.
Let the reader ponder the foregoing testimonies, and then ask himself what religious fanaticism may not do to accomplish its designs? What has it not done for Mahometanism?
XXII. -- MORMONS ARE PLEDGED TO HELP EACH OTHER, RIGHT OR WRONG, AGAINST THE RIGHTEOUS ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS OF THE LAND.
Testimony of Sampson Avard:--
"Instruction was given by Joseph Smith, Jr., that if any of them [the Danite band] should get into difficulty, the rest should help him out, and that they should stand by each other, RIGHT OR WRONG." Cong. Doc. No. 189, p. 2.
Testimony of John Corrill:--
"I took exceptions only to the teachings as to the duties of that [Danite] society, wherein it was said, if one brother got into difficulty, it was the duty of the rest to help him out, right or wrong." Ib. p. 12.
Testimony of John Cleminson:--
"I attended two or three Danite meetings, and it was thought there, as a part of the duty of the band, that they should support the presidency in all their designs, right or wrong." Ib. p. 15.
Testimony of Reed Peck:--
George W. Robertson and Philo Dibble invited me to a Danite meeting. I went; and the only speaker was Dr. Avard, who explained the object of the meeting, and said that we were to be governed by the presidency, and do whatever they required, and uphold them; that we were not to judge for ourselves, whether it were right or wrong; that God had raised up a prophet who would judge for us, and that it was proper we should stand by each other in all cases, and gave us an example:--'If we found one of the Danites in difficulty, in Ray or Clay for instance, we should rescue him, if we had to do with his adversary, as Moses did with the Egyptian, put him in the sand. It made no difference whether the Danite was to blame or not; they would pack to Far West and there be taken care of." Ib. p. 17.
XXIII. -- MORMONISM AUTHORIZES AND APPROVES THE HORRID CRIME OF ASSASSINATION.
"---- Nevertheless, thine enemy is in thine hand, and if thou reward him according to his works, thou art justified;
if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hand, and thou art justified." Doc. and Cov. p. 218.
Testimony of Wyatt Cravens:--
"After getting into the prairie, Wright halted the company. He, Pratt, and four others, rode off a piece, and conferred together, and then returned to the company, and called out some captain, and ordered him to call out ten of his braves. ... I then thought the man who had not returned, had been placed around the fence to kill me; but I was determined to do the best I could to make my escape. In passing on, I discovered my direction would lead me to where I thought the man was placed, and I took off to the right, and immediately I was ordered to stop, by some person, whom I recognized to be the man of the guard, who left with the captain of the guard, and did not return. I fled, and turned my head to look, and saw the man with his gun in a shooting position; and shortly after, while running, I was shot by him; and I made my way to Ray county. Parley P. Pratt was in the battle." Cong. Doc., No. 189, p. 11.
Testimony of Reed Peck:--
"I think it was the last of June, or first of July last, that I heard Dr. Avard say, that he had just returned from a council with the presidency, in which council Jared Carter was broken of his office by Captain Gene, of the Danite band, for having spoken against Sidney Rigdon, one of the presidency, it being a regulation of that society that no one should speak against them, or hear any one else do it with impunity. In that council Avard said, an arrangement was made to dispose of dissenters, to wit: that all the head officers of the Danite band should have a list of the dissenters, both here and in Kirtland; 'and,' said he, 'I will tell you how I will do then. When I meet one damning the presidency, I can damn them as well as he; and if he wanted to drink, he would get a bowl of brandy, and get him half drunk, and, taking him by the arm, he would take him to the woods or brush, and,' said he, 'he would-- [the language is not fit to be printed] -- in a minute, and put them under the sod.'"
"And Mr. Rigdon said, in the same sermon, that he would assist to erect a gallows on the square and hang them all. Joseph Smith, Jr., was present, and followed Mr. Rigdon, after he had made the above declaration, and said he did not wish to do any thing unlawful. He then spoke of the fate of
Judas, and said that Peter had hung him, (Judas,) and said that he approved of Mr. Rigdon's sermon, and called it a good sermon." Ib. p. 20, 21.
"Benjamin Slade, a [Mormon] witness for the state, produced, sworn and examined, deposeth and saith:-- I was in a meeting in the school house in Far West, while the Mormon troops were in Diahmon, in the last expedition. After the assembly had got into the house, a guard was placed at the door. Mr. Rigdon got up, and, in a speech, said that the time had now come in which every man must take his part in this war; and that they had been running away, and leaving Caldwell county, and that the last man had now left the county that would be allowed to do so. A formal vote, by way of resolution, or covenant, was put, -- that, if any man attempted to leave the county, any one of the company then present was TO KILL him, and say nothing about it, and throw him into the brush. When this was put to the vote, I heard no one vote against it. Rigdon then called for the negative vote, and said he wanted to see if any one DARED to vote against it. There was no negative vote. I heard Mr. Rigdon say that, ==> 'yesterday a man had slipped his wind, and was thrown into the brush;' and, said he, 'THE MAN THAT LISPS IT SHALL DIE.'"-- Ib. p. 37.
Testimony of W. W. Phelps:--
"Mr. Rigdon then commenced making covenants with uplifted hands. The first was, that if any man attempted to move out of the county, or pack their things for that purpose, that any man then in the house, seeing this, without saying anything to any other person, SHOULD KILL HIM, and haul him into the brush; and that all the burial he should have, should be in a turkey buzzard's ------, [not fit to be printed,] so that nothing of him should be left but his bones. That measure was carried in form of a covenant with uplifted hands. After the vote had passed, he said, now see if any one DARE vote against it, and called for the negative vote, and there was none. The next covenant, that, if any persons from the surrounding country came into their town, walking about, no odds who he might be--any one of that meeting should KILL HIM, and throw him aside into the brush. The third covenant was, 'CONCEAL ALL THESE THINGS.' Mr. Rigdon then observed, that the kingdom of heaven had no secrets, that yesterday a man slipped his wind, and was dragged into the hazel brush; and, said he, 'THE MAN THAT LISPS IT SHALL DIE.'"-- Ib. p. 46.
"John Cleminson, a [Mormon] witness, produced, sworn, and examined, in behalf of the state, deposeth and saith:--Some time in June I attended two or three Danite meetings, and it was taught there, as a part of the duty of the band, that they should support the presidency in all their designs, right or wrong; that WHATEVER they said was to be OBEYED, and whoever opposed the presidency, in what they said or desired done, should be expelled from the county, or HAVE THEIR LIVES TAKEN. The three composing the presidency were at one of these meetings; and, to satisfy the people, Dr. Avard called on Joseph Smith, Jr., who gave them a pledge, that if they led them into a difficulty, he would give them his head for a foot ball, and that it was the will of God these things should be so. The teacher and active agent of the society was Dr. Avard, and his teachings were approved of by the presidency. Dr. Avard taught, as a part of their obligation, that if any one betrayed the SECRET DESIGNS of the society, THEY SHOULD be KILLED, and laid aside, and nothing said about it." Ib. p. 15.
"Reed Peck, a witness, produced, sworn, and examined, on behalf of the state, deposeth and saith:--A short time after Cowdery and the Whitmars left Far West, (some time in June,) George W. Robertson and Philo Dibble invited me to a Danite meeting. I went, and the only speaker was Dr. Avard, who explained the object of the meeting, and said that its object was, that we might be perfectly organized to defend ourselves against mobs; that we were all to be governed by the presidency, and do WHATEVER they required, and uphold them; that WE WERE NOT TO JUDGE FOR OURSELVES, whether it were right or wrong; that God had raised up a prophet who would judge for us; and that it was proper we should stand by each other, in all cases: and he gave us an example; if we found one of the Danites in difficulty, in Ray or Clay, for instance, we should rescue him, if we had to do with his adversary as Moses did with the Egyptian, put him in the sand. It made no difference whether the Danite was to blame or not; they would pack to Far West, and be taken care of." Ib. p. 17.
"I heard Avard, on one occasion, say, that the Danites were to consecrate their surplus property, and to come in by tens to do so; and if they lied about it, he said Peter killed Ananias and Sapphira, and that would be an example for us."-- Ib. p. 15.
And, in view of the foregoing testimony,
let it be remembered, that these fanatics are now among the Indians of our western wilds, teaching them the bloody and treasonable doctrines already described; and their warlike movements are sufficient to show the dangerous tendency of this great delusion.
It was proved on the trial of Joseph Smith, for high treason, that he had repeatedly declared that he "would become a second Mahomet" to the world! A western paper, published at Galena, says:--
"From what we hear and read, we should judge that great excitement prevailed among the other inhabitants of Hancock county and vicinity, in relation to this sect. We should exceedingly regret to see the exciting scenes of Missouri re-enacted in this state, but we consider such as not among the impossibilities. What appears to excite particular aversion or alarm, is the organization of what is called the Nauvoo Legion, who muster every few days, 'all harnessed for war.' Their neighbors, unskilled in the mysteries of the golden plates, fear they are to be driven out, as were the Hittites, Jebusites, &c. from the land of Canaan of old, and that Smith does not place as much faith in the efficiency of ram's horns, in tearing down the walls of the Gentiles, as in shooting-irons and ball-cartridges."
Read the following from the Mormon paper, published at Nauvoo, Illinois, June 1, 1841:--
Head Quarters, Nauvoo Legion, City of
Nauvoo, Ill., May 25, A. D.,1841.
"The 1st Company, (Riflemen,) 1st Battalion, 2d Regiment, 2d Cohort, will be attached to the escort contemplated
in the general orders of the 4th inst., for the 3d of July next.
"In forming the Legion, the Adjutant will observe the rank of companies as follows, to wit:--
"1st Cohort -- the flying artillery first, the lancers next, the riflemen next, visiting companies of dragoons next, the lancers and cavalry next, the dragoons. 2d Cohort -- the artillery first, the lancers next, the riflemen next, the light infantry next, and the infantry next -- visiting companies in their appropriate places, on the right of the troops of their own grade; the ranking company of the 1st cohort will be formed on the right of said cohort, -- and the ranking company of the 2d cohort will be formed on the left of said cohort -- the next on the left of the right, the next on the right of the left, and so on to the centre. The escort will be formed on the right of the forces.
JOSEPH SMITH, Lieut. General.John C. Bennett, Maj. General."
Long before the Mormon war, we confidently predicted that result, from the teachings of this sect; and we may feel and manifest as much contempt as we please against this rank delusion; it will cause more bloodshed in this country than it has yet been the occasion of. For, what will not religious fanaticism do, united with the SWORD, as in the case of Mohammed?
The following extract is from a correspondent of the Boston Recorder, under date of April 6, 1841, giving an account of the laying of the corner stones of the great Mormon Temple in Nauvoo:--
"After some show of reviewing, the presentation of a banner by some ladies, &c., the whole 'Nauvoo Legion' advanced up the hill, accompanied by an immense procession. They were commanded by the Quarter Master General of
Illinois, who, in his new capacity of a Mormon convert, doubtless considers it his highest military distinction to head this motley herd, even under the direction and authority of such a man as Smith. The latter presented the appearance of a prophet, militant, being dressed in elegant military costume, riding a fine horse, and surrounded by quite a respectable staff, besides a life-guard of twelve men, mounted, dressed in white, and armed with rifles, pistols, and knives -- a necessary retinue for a Prophet who is an outlaw, having been demanded by the Governor of Missouri, as a criminal; a demand which his guard have promised with an oath to resist, even unto blood. I obtained a position just outside of the line of sentries established around the consecrated enclosure, from which I could see and hear all that passed--and a most imposing scene it was, though with a touch of the ludicrous. Here, on a lone bluff in the wild west, were fifteen military companies, under an ecclesiastical organization, with an assembly of spectators variously estimated at from five thousand to eight thousand; and in the centre, surrounded by bayonets, was an ill-made, ill bred man, decked in military garb -- an indicted criminal under the laws of Missouri, honored and guarded, and swelling with ill concealed pride as the inspired organ of the Divine commands, and the grand centre of all this strange pageant! -- alas, for poor human nature. I had never before so well conceived the possibility of the Mohammedan, Swedenborgian, or any other prophetic delusion. Certainly no false prophet or dreamer ever had shallower pretences to go upon, or a smaller capital in the trade of delusion, than this man; and yet he boasts of a train of dupes, amounting to between fifty and a hundred thousand. Probably even the smaller number is much above the truth; but it is undeniable that some in Europe, as great numbers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and even New England, have been led captives in this triumph of stupid imposture. I say stupid, for so far as the ostensible leader is concerned, this epithet is not rendered inappropriate by whatever of low cunning he possesses. I am inclined to the opinion that Rigdon, who delivered the address on this occasion, is now in reality the master spirit of the humbug, and that he, rather than Smith, is the inspirer of the oracles which, for 'purposes of state,' the latter promulgates as the breathing of his own afflatus."
XXIV. -- SOME OF SMITH'S MOST INTIMATE FRIENDS RENOUNCE HIM AS AN IMPOSTOR.
We have now before us a pamphlet, written by Mr. W. Harris, a renouncing Mormon, we believe, which discloses deeds of darkness, of which Smith has been guilty, enough to stamp his character with the deepest infamy. Mr. Harris gives the names of a number who have not only renounced Mormonism, but, for doing so, have been denounced by Smith as "beneath contempt." Here are some of them:--
"Warren Parrish was one of the first seventy elders of the Mormon church. Leonard Rich, and Sylvester Smith, were two of the seven presidents of the seventy elders. John F. Boynton and Luke Johnson were of the twelve apostles. Stephen Burnett was an elder. Zerah Cole was one of the seventy elders. Frederick Williams, one of the presidency of the church. Martin Harris, a high priest, and a witness to the book of Mormon. Cyrus Smalling, one of the seventy elders, and Doct. Warren A. Cowdery, a presiding high priest. Here then, by Smith's own showing, a great number of the highest officers of the church, selected by himself, were a pack of scoundrels."-- p. 43.
We know of numbers who have renounced this wicked imposture. Mr. R. Shurragar, of this city, is one. Mr S. not only believes Mormonism to be a lie, but he knows that some who advocate it are deceiving the people with their eyes wide eyes wide open.
XXV. -- THE SPIRIT OF MORMONISM IS A SPIRIT OF MURDER AND BLOODSHED.
Of this fact the foregoing testimonies must satisfy the most incredulous. But we add one more. It is an extract from a speech delivered at "Far West," July 4, 1838, (before the disturbances took place which drove them from Missouri,) by Sidney Rigdon:--
"We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all men, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. The man, or the set of men, who attempts it, does it at the expense of their lives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us: For we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed. Remember it, then, all men. * * * * No man shall be at liberty to come into our streets, to threaten us with mobs, for if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place, neither shall he be at liberty to vilify and slander any of us, for suffer it we will not, in this place. We therefore take all men to record this day, as did our fathers. And we pledge this day to one another, our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honors, to be delivered from the persecutions which we have had to endure, for the last nine years, or nearly that. Neither will we indulge any man, or set of men, in instituting vexatious law suits against us, to cheat us out of our just rights; if they attempt it, we say wo be unto them. We this day, then, proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and a determination, that can never be broken.--No Never! NO NEVER!! NO NEVER!!!"-- p. 45.
XXVI. -- THE MORMON LEADERS ARE GUILTY OF DOWNRIGHT SWINDLING
The following facts are from the pamphlet before referred to, entitled "Mormonism Portrayed:"--
"In 1835, Smith, Rigdon, and others, formed a mercantile house, and purchased goods in Cleveland and in Buffalo, to a very large amount, on a credit of six months. In the fall, other houses were formed, and goods purchased in the eastern cities to a still greater amount. A great part of the goods of these houses went to pay the workmen on the Temple, and many were sold on credit, so that when the notes became due, the houses were not able to meet them. Smith, Rigdon and Co. then attempted to borrow money, by issuing their notes payable at different periods after date. This expedient not being effectual, the idea of a bank suggested itself. Accordingly in 1837, the far famed Kirtland Bank was put into operation, without charter.
"This institution, by which so many have been swindled, was formed after the following manner: Subscribers for stock were allowed to pay the amount of their subscriptions in town lots, at five or six times their real value -- others paid in personal property, at a high valuation; and some paid the cash. When the notes were first issued, they were current in the vicinity, and Smith took advantage of their credit, to pay off with them, the debts he and his brethren had contracted in the neighborhood for land, &c. The eastern creditors, however, refused to take them. This led to the expedient of exchanging them for the notes of other banks. Accordingly, the elders were sent off into the country to barter off Kirtland money, which they did with great zeal, and continued the operation until the notes were not worth twelve and a half cents to the dollar. As might have been expected, this institution, after a few months, exploded, involving Smith and his brethren in inextricable difficulties. The consequence was, that he and most of the members of the church set off in the spring of 1838, for Far West, Mo., being pursued by their creditors, but to no effect."-- p. 31.
"As regards the pecuniary transactions of the Mormons, since they have been in Illinois.--Smith still uses his power for his own benefit. His present operations are to purchase land at a low rate, lay it off into town lots, and sell them at a high price to his followers. Thus, lots that scarcely cost him a dollar, are frequently sold for a thousand. He has made several towns in this manner, both in Iowa and in Illinois."-- p. 36.
XXVII. -- JOSEPH SMITH, JR., AND OTHER MORMONS, ARE NOTORIOUSLY PROFANE.
"James C. Owens, a [Mormon] witness, produced, sworn, and examined, in behalf of the state, deposeth and saith:-- In the morning of the day that the militia arrived at Far West, I heard Joseph Smith, Jr., in a speech to the Mormon troops, say, that they were a d----d set, and God should d----n them, so help him Jesus Christ; that he meant to go on then, as he had begun, and take his own course, and KILL and DESTROY, and told the men to fight like angels; that heretofore he had told them to fight like devils, but now he told them to fight like angels, that angels could whip devils. -- He swore considerably, and observed that they might think that he was swearing, [!] but that God Almighty would not take notice of him in cursing such a d----d set as they were."-- Cong. Doc. No. 189, p. 14.
Testimony of George M. Hinkle:--
"The morning that I marched out of Far West; to meet the militia to confer with them, as above referred to, Joseph Smith, Jr., made a speech to the troops who were called together, in which he said:--That the troops which were gathering through the country were a d----d mob. That the whole State was a mob set; and that, if they came to fight him, he would play hell with their apple carts.
"While in Daviess, on the last expedition, I mentioned the great difficulties the course they were pursuing would likely get them into; the reply was, by a number of them, that, as the citizens had all fled, there would be none to prove it by but themselves, and they could swear as they pleased in the matter. These, I believe, were of the Danite order. And I understood from them that they could swear each other clear, if it should become necessary."-- Ib. p. 24.
XXVIII. -- MORMONISM IS A BASE IMPOSTURE, DIRECTLY OPPOSED TO THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
"Whosoever shall lay their hands upon you by violence, ye shall command to be smitten in my name; and behold, I will smite them, according to your words, in mine own due time."--Doc. and Cov. p. 112.
And this impious blasphemy is put into the
mouth of God! And will any believer in the christian scriptures say, that such daring wickedness as this should not be exposed and rebuked?
The book of Mormon institutes new conditions of salvation:--
"And whoso believeth not in me and is not baptized, shall be damned.--Ib. p. 478.
"Behold, I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children needeth baptism, is in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell."-- Ib. p. 582.
The curse of God is denounced upon all who reject the nonsense contained in the book of Mormon:--
"And he, that shall deny these things let him be accursed."-- Ib. p. 546.
"He that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come."--Ib. p. 121.
"If thine enemy trespass against thee the fourth time, thou shalt NOT forgive him."--Ib. p. 219.
"Confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you, both in public and in private."--Ib. p. 225.
It would be foreign to our purpose to attempt an exhibition of any considerable proportion of the egregious blunders, contradictions of facts in philosophy and scripture, which abound in the book of Mormon, and the Doctrines and Covenants. In the latter, for instance, it is said, page 142:--
"The day of transfiguration shall come, when the earth shall be transfigured!"
"The measure of man, according, to his creation before the world was."-- Ib. p. 192.
"Enoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained, under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty-five, and Adam blessed him, and he saw the Lord; and he walked with him, and was before his face continually, and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated."-- Ib. p. 85.
The Bible (Gen. iv. 23,) gives a very different account of Enoch's age, as any one may see.
The New Testament commands us not to resist evil, (Matt. v. 39.) The book of Mormon commands directly the reverse:--
"Let us resist evil; and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let US RESIST THEM WITH OUR SWORDS."-- Ib. p. 399.
XXIX. -- ANOTHER DISTINGUISHING FEATURE OF MORMONISM IS, THE IGNORANCE AND BLASPHEMY DISPLAYED IN THE WRITINGS OF ITS ADVOCATES.
Take the following as specimens:--
"Behold, I, God, have suffered this for all, that they might not suffer if they will repent; but if they will not, they must suffer even as I; which sufferings caused me, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore."-- Ib. p. 175.
What impious blasphemy, to attribute such language to the lips of the infinite God! And,
indeed, it would be difficult to find one passage, in any of their writings, that we have seen, which conveys any thing, like good sense, to say nothing of the gross violations of grammar, which abound in them. Look at the following:--
"He (Christ) is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power by which it was made. As also, he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power by which it was made. As also, the light of the stars," &c. "And the earth, also," &c.-- Ib. p. 100.
"Through the redemption which is made for you, is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body is the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul."--Ib.
"And the saints shall be filled with glory, (Christ's,) and be equal with him."
Such is some of the nonsense and blasphemy of Mormonism. Look, also, at the following, which, like the above, we are told, is the language of God himself!
"And, again, verily, I say unto you, let my servant Sidney Gilbert plant himself in this place, and establish a store, that he may sell goods without fraud; that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the saints." "And let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, obtain a license, (behold here is wisdom, and whoso readeth let him understand,) that he may send goods in unto the people, even by whom he will, as clerks, employed in his service, and thus provide for my saints."
"Let my servant, William W. Phelps, be planted in this place, and established as a printer unto the church; and let all the world receive his writings, (behold here is wisdom); let him obtain all be can obtain in righteousness, for the good of the saints. And let my servant, Oliver Cowdery, assist him," "to copy, and to correct, and to select, that it may be right before me."--Ib. p. 154-5.
"To copy, and to correct, and to select, that, it may be right before me!" And, yet, though the book of Mormon professes to have been written by divine inspiration, it is full of blunders and contradictions, and in this respect, it is not equaled by any other book we ever read.
As the reader may not have an opportunity of examining any of the Mormon books, for himself, we will here present a few more extracts from the "Doctrines and Covenants," that he may have a full view of the sublime mysteries of Mormonism. Instance the following:--
Revelation given April, 1829, to Oliver Cowdery:-- "Behold you have not understood; you have supposed that I must give it" (the translation of the golden plates) "unto you, when you take no thought, save it were to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; that you must ask me if it be right; and if it is right, I will cause your bosom shall burn within you; then you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right, you shall not have such feelings; but then shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget those things which are wrong." Ib. p. 162.
"Behold I command you" (Hiram Smith,) "that you need not suppose you are called to preach until you are called." [!!] Ib. p. 168.
Look at the following, said to be the word of God, and of equal authority with the holy scriptures!
"Verily, I say unto you, let my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, take their journey, as soon as preparations can be made to leave their homes, and journey to the land of Missouri." Ib. p. 193.
"I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desireth, to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive the blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with an upright heart in all things." Ib. sec. 72.
"All grain is good for the food of man, and also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit when in the ground or above the ground. Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls, and for swine, and for all beasts of the field; and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks; and all other grain." Ib. p. 208.
It is said those men have commenced a new translation of our common Bible, hence the following:--
"It is my will that you should haste to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion." Ib. p. 213.
From the following, it seems Smith and Rigdon have become wiser than any of the prophets or apostles of God:--
"We, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the spirit on the 16th of February, in the year of the Lord, 1832, by the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened, and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God; even those things which were from the beginning, before the world was." Ib. p. 226.
The book of Mormon, they tell us, was written and translated by inspiration of God! And, of course, they were inspired when carrying it through the press. But this inspiration was not sufficient to save them from some of the veriest blunders and Jonathanisms, like the following:--
"Bearing down against the church, p. 221. All manner of good homely cloth, p. 234. Were placed in most dangerous circumstances, p. 375. Sent forth to preach among the people, &c. p. 362. [This is the first time we ever knew that God revealed his will by a '&c.'] Somewhat, p. 375. It supposeth me, p. 378. Rations, p. 380. Because of the numeriority of their forces, p. 382. The enormity of our numbers, p. 387. Are a marching, p. 389. It mattereth not, p. 399. The Lord spake and sayeth, p. 7. Dwindle in unbelief, p. 22. One eternal round, p. 23. I saw rumors of wars, p. 28. Make bellowses, p. 43. Having been waxed stronger in battle, p. 247. I am a man of no small reputation among all those who know me, p. 248. As I was a journeying, p. 249. The foundation is beginning to be laid, p. 251. The scriptures are before you; if ye will arrest them, it shall be to your own destruction, p. 260. The walls were rent in twain, p. 264. As he was a going forth, p. 270. He found Mulaki a preaching, p. 254. Becometh worse than as though they had never known these things, p. 293. My heart is brim with joy, p. 296. A tremendous battle, p. 321. Neither Lamanites, nor no manner of ites, p. 515. One continual sound of murder, p. 532. He that eatheth this bread, eatheth of my body to their soul, p. 496. 1 will make thy hoops brass, p. 497. And he was in a clowd, p. 541. Never has man come before me, with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it so, ye could not have seen my finger, p. 544. Did moulten out of a rock, [!!!] p. 543."
The following are a few of the plagiarisms observable in this book; and no one but an ignoramus would think of denying, that they are bungling attempts to imitate the scripture style:--
"The cold and silent grave from which no traveller can return," p. 61.
"O! wretched man that I am, p. 500. Sins which doth so easily beset me, p. 70. I know in whom I have believed, p. 70. Days of probation, p. 81. To be carnally minded is death, p. 82. Wars and rumors of wars, p. 104. Carnal, selfish, devilish, p. 189. Resurrection of endless damnation, p. 189. One faith and one baptism, p. 193. Born of the spirit, p. 214. Must be born again, p. 214. Gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity, p. 214. The driven snow, p. 4. O,
Jesus, thou son of God, have mercy on me, p. 315. Whosoever will come may come, and partake of the waters of life freely, p. 339. For behold, to one is given, by the Spirit, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another that he may teach the word of knowledge, &c., p. 586. [Compare 1 Cor. xii. 7, 13.] Stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free, p. 393. Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, p. 17. By faith on the Son of God, p. 23. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, p. 23. They are they which shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, p. 27. Pervert the right ways of the Lord, p. 30. How beautiful upon the mountains, p. 31. Did breathe out much threatenings, p. 49. Their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, p. 256."
The book of Doctrines and Covenants is filled with these miserable attempts to imitate the scripture style, and from hundreds of others we select the following vulgarisms, as a matter of curiosity, coming, as they do, from a book professedly written under divine inspiration:--
"Let him take with him he that is weak." Doc. and Cov. p. 94.
"The earth rolls upon her wings." Ib. p. 102.
"And the stars shall become exceeding angry." Ib. p. 105.
"He [the angel] shall sound his trump both long and loud." Ib. p. 105, 113, 127.
"Let not all be spokesmen at once." Ib. p. 107.
"Art thou a brother or brethren?" Ib. p. 108.
"All eternity is pained." Ib. p. 118.
"And from thence whomsoever I shall go forth among all nations." Ib. p. 119.
"And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her, and thee alone." Ib. p. 125.
"I the Lord asketh you this question." Ib. p. 134.
"That thy fasting may be perfect; or, in other words, that thy joy may be full. Verily, this is fasting and prayer; or, in other words, rejoicing and prayer." Ib. p. 140.
"Revelations," "in other words," are of frequent occurrence in this book.
"I the Lord willeth." Ib. p. 143.
"Verily, I say, for this once, I have forgiven your sins." Ib. p. 145.
"I the Lord justifieth you--I the Lord God maketh you free." Ib. p. 216, 217.
"I the Lord chasteneth him." Ib. p. 221.
"For behold, and lo." Ib. p. 232.
"Saith son of Ahman; or, in other words, Alphus; or, in other words, Omegus; even Jesus Christ your Lord." Ib. p. 234.
"It is expedient in me." Ib. p. 234, and many other places.
"All they shall be comforted--all they shall be crowned." Ib. p. 235.
"And they should gotten together." Ib. p. 236.
"And his servant went and done all things whatsoever, &c." Ib. p. 238.
"Shine-love-house." Ib. p. 242.
And what is the sense of the following:--
"That ye go to make use of the stewardship which I have appointed unto you, exclusive of the sacred things, for the purpose of shine-love these sacred things." Ib. p. 244.
XXX. -- MORMONS CONTEMPLATE A COMBINATION WITH THE AMERICAN INDIANS FOR THE SUBVERSION OF THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF THIS COUNTRY.
Our space, will not admit the testimony which we have at command in proof of this assertion. We are told that various methods have been adopted by Mormons for the purpose of corrupting the minds of different Indian tribes, and enlisting them against the government of the United States.
Besides visiting them in the professed character of Missionaries, it is said they have proposed intermarriages with them, and with
some success. The following is from Mr. Harris' pamphlet, before referred to:--
Voice of Warning, by Parley P. Pratt, one of the Twelve Apostles, page 186, "The Government of the United States has been engaged, for upwards of seven years, in gathering the remnant of Joseph (the Indians) to the very place where they will finally build a New Jerusalem; a city of Zion; with the acquisition of the believing Gentiles, who will gather with them from all the nations of the earth; and this gathering is clearly predicted in the Book of, Mormon, and other revelations; and the place before appointed, and the time set for its fulfilment; and except the Gentiles repent of all their abominations and embrace the same Covenant, (namely, the Book of Mormon,) and come into the same place of gathering, they will soon be destroyed from off the face of the land: as it is written by Isaiah, 'the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish. Yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.'" It is further stated in the same work, that the Indians shall be gathered, and that they, in connection with the Mormons, shall be amongst the Gentiles as "a young lion among the flock of sheep, and none can deliver;" and that the Gentiles (all anti-Mormons) shall be "as a thing long since passed away, and the remembrance of it almost gone from the earth."
But to cap the climax, read the following:--"All who will not hearken to the Book of Mormon, shall be cut off from among the people; and that too, in the day it comes forth to the Gentiles and is rejected by them." And not only does this page set the time for the overthrow of our Government, and all other Gentile Governments on the AMERICAN CONTINENT, but the way and means of this utter destruction are clearly foretold; namely, the remnant of Jacob (or Indians) will go through among the Gentiles and tear them in pieces like a lion among the flocks of sheep. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. This destruction includes an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our cities, forts, and strong holds--an entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the Covenant, and are numbered with Israel!!! "And I will state, as a prophecy, that there will not be an unbelieving Gentile on the face of this continent fifty years hence; and if they are not greatly scourged and in a great measure overthrown within five or ten years from this date, (1838,) then the Book of Mormon will have proved itself false." This last quotation comes from Pratt's "Mormonism Unvailed, or Truth Vindicated;"
a work, by the way, so popular among them that it has already passed through several editions. Comment is unnecessary here; the fact stands proved, clearly and incontrovertibly proved, that they contemplate nothing less than the butchery! murder!! and entire annihilation!!! of all who will not subscribe to their ridiculous teachings. And what adds injury to insult is this: that they raise a long and loud cry of "PERSECUTION," when people are only defending themselves against their unlawful aggressions. In conclusion, permit me to ask my countrymen whether they are prepared to allow these "wolves in sheep's clothing" to impose upon them by the false cry of peace, when it is evident that they have only "religion on their tongues," at the same time "holding a dagger in their hands, and murder in their hearts."
The time was when we supposed Mormonism too great an absurdity to be received by any person of common sense, who believed the Bible. But we know no system of error was ever broached too monstrous to be believed, by some one. All the impostures ever concocted, have, in their time, had their advocates. And no system of fanaticism, in any previous age, has combined so many fatal errors as this Mormonism, which has been delineated in these extracts. Here you have it as plain as language can make it, that Mormonism authorizes and approves the most horrid crimes which it is possible for any one to perpetrate. Deception, lying, fraud, theft, plunder, arson, treason, and murder, are among the crimes which have characterized this miserable delusion.
And will it be said that these deluded creatures
committed these dreadful crimes in self defence? Treason, theft, and murder in self defence! What kind of religion is that which leads its votaries to perpetrate such crimes under the pretence that he is doing it in self defence? The truth is, Mormons believe that the whole of this country belongs, of right, to them; and they are training their followers, and preparing them to obtain possession of the country, either by "purchase or by blood." We may laugh at these as idle pretensions, and persuade ourselves that they cannot amount to any thing. So the good people of the west thought; but we now see that Mormonism has actually involved one portion of our land in all the horrors of a civil war. And what it has done in Missouri it will do in other places, just as soon as it can find a sufficient number, silly enough to yield their hearts and property to its unreasonable, unscriptural, and wicked claims.
LaRoy Sunderland (1802-1885)
LaRoy Sunderland's 1842 Pamphlet