New Light on Mormonism
1: Contents | 2. Chapters 1-7 | 2. Chapters 8-12 | 4. Chapters: 13 14 Appendix Index
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The "doctrines" of Mormonism -- Analysis of the Mormon faith -- Hierarchical organization -- The "Book of Mormon" -- Church polity -- The faith of the Latter-Day Saints -- Their modes of worship.
THE Mormons are almost incredibly materialistic in their doctrines. Their idea of the Godhead is taken from Buddhistic principles. While they profess to believe in the Trinity, they say God was once a man, who has advanced in intelligence and power; that now He may be called perfect; that He has still the form and figure of a man; He has even legs, from His appearance to Abraham, though He has the advantage over His creature that He can move up and down the earth without moving them.
Christ is the offspring of the "material" union, on the plains of Palestine, of God and the Virgin Mary -- the latter being duly married after betrothal by the Angel Gabriel. Yet He is believed to have had a previous existence, and to have made the universe out of "unformed chaotic matter as old as God," and His worship is enjoined as Lord of all. The Paraclete is also material. There is, however, an older Trinity, that of Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael, which is Adam. Adam is declared to be the "god" of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ the "god" of Joseph Smith, and Joseph Smith the "god" of this generation. Any Mormon by faith
obedience, and holiness may rise into a Deity, and peopling, and ruling a world forever.
The second article of Mormon faith affirms that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions.
The third article States that through the atonement of Christ all mankind can be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the (Mormon) gospel.
The fourth article affirms the ordinances to be: 1st, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, repentance; 3d, baptism (which takes place at eight years of age; they also baptize for the dead); 4th, imposition of hands by the gift of the Holy Spirit; 5th, the Lord's Supper administered kneeling (in which water is used instead of wine in the sacrament, which is taken every week).
The sixth article is, that the same organization exists now that existed in the Primitive church.
The seventh, that miraculous gifts -- discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelations, visions, healing, tongues, etc. -- have not ceased.
The eighth, that the word of God is recorded in the "Book of Mormon," the Bible, and all other good books.
The ninth article expresses the belief in all God has revealed, is revealing, or will reveal.
The tenth article affirms the literal gathering of Israel, the restoration of the ten tribes (the American Indians), the establishment of the new Zion on the Western Continent, the millennial reign of Christ on earth, and the transformation of earth into Paradise.
The eleventh article maintains the literal resurrection of the body to flesh and bones, but not blood, "the principle of mortality" (according to Smith).
The twelfth asserts the absolute liberty of private judgment in matters of religion.
The thirteenth declares it to be the duty of the Saints to be" subject to the powers that be," whether monarchical or republican.
The fourteenth is, "We believe in being honest, chaste, temperate, benevolent, virtuous, and upright; in doing good to all men, and that an idle or lazy person cannot be a Christian, or have salvation." *
ANALYSIS OF MORMONISM.The "Book of Mormon" is a plagiarism of "Manuscript Found," written by Solomon Spaulding. The Mormon religion is a parody on the old Hebrew faith, in common with Methodism, Millerism, Catholicism, Mohammedanism, spiced with doctrines of the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal Churches, as well as with the peculiar religious ideas of the Quakers and Shakers. The constant effort to imitate Hebraic customs and laws all through Mormonism is wearisome, nothing being formulated without some allusion to Biblical history.
Its originators and leaders have, many of them, been men of great natural intelligence, force, and persuasive eloquence, It is eminently a proselyting religion, and its greatest numbers of converts have come from the old world.
The commonly accepted idea of Mormonism is, that it is an institution based upon polygamy; but it was years after Mormonism was established before this system was more than whispered among the "Latter-Day Saints;" and if this enormous blot were wiped out from their history
* The articles of faith have been reduced to thirteen in number in the more recent history of Mormonism, but which of the number has been expunged the writer cannot learn.
and their faith, the essential attributes of Mormonism would remain. As an organization, Mormonism is complete. It reaches every condition and position in life, and controls every action from the cradle to the grave, being a combination of military rule and Jesuitical penetration and perseverance.
The rapid increase of Mormonism is due, in part, to its main recognition of the truths of the Bible, its congeniality to every shade of erratic religious character; to the lofty pretensions of its priesthood, and the knowledge that, without previous study, a blacksmith may become a bishop or an apostle.
For the superstitious it has miracles, ecstasies, visions, and revelations, astonishing legends respecting the early inhabitants of America and the wonderful story of Christ's coming to this country after His resurrection.
For the lovers of prophecy there is promised the New Jerusalem, an actual reign of the Saints, and an equality with the Redeemer.
Another attraction is its congeniality with the wild views of religion as produced by the preaching of certain schismatical bodies, and its holding itself up as the only sanctuary to which men may flee for the solution of their doubts and the hope of an eternal harmony; with the fact that there is no strict standard of morals in connection with Mormonism, and its being an open asylum for the refuse of all other persuasions -- the excommunicated, the despised, or endangered;
The gross see charms in its sensual paradise, and listen eagerly to the announcement that a conversation with their spiritual ruler or a journey on a mission, while facing a frowning world, will immediately clear them from all their iniquities.
Sidney Rigdon said: "'The Book of Mormon' is to
govern the Millennial Church;" but whatever may have been its uses to the "Saints" in the beginning of their career, it has had little to do with their practices for many years, save as a text-book.
The great success of the Mormon missionaries, both here and in foreign countries, has been gained through their promises to the ignorant, the superstitious, and the poor of a home and certain support.
Labor has always been dignified among the Mormons, every man, woman, and child, from the highest to the lowest, having his or her task to perform.
Natural quickness of mind and shrewdness have ever been valued by them, but culture has never been indispensable for promotion. Faith and blind obedience have been requisite, but education although prized, has not been material to the ambitious Mormon.
As a people, the Mormons are chargeable with the gravest crimes; but these have been perpetrated by the few, while many of them have been and are devoted to what they believe to be the truth; contrasts are drawn by their preachers between "the unworldly lives of the Saints and the evil practices of the Gentiles," and pertinent examples are given of aberrations from rectitude of men intrusted with the making of our laws, or those who minister at the altars of divine worship, until they regard themselves as clothed with the resplendent robes of righteousness.
In ten years from the origin of Mormonism its devotees numbered thousands, and Joseph Smith announced that it was to be the religious faith of the Western Continent. To-day Mormonism numbers its hundreds of thousands, its organizations extend over every part of the globe, and the most careless observer of the times must realize that this institution has become one of the gravest
and most difficult religious, social, and political problems of the day. The Mormons have made four "Hegiras" since they left Palmyra. There are indications that at no distant day they must enter upon a fifth pilgrimage; the question is, what portion of the earth will next be selected as their " Zion"?
HIERARCHICAL ORGANIZATION.Mormonism is a pure theocracy; its priesthood, who rule in matters temporal and ecclesiastical, are divided into various orders. The highest is the First Presidency, elected by the whole body of the church, and possessing supreme authority. The second office in point of dignity is that of Patriarch, whose chief duty is to administer blessings.
The third in order is The Twelve, who ordain all other officers, priests, teachers, and deacons; they baptize, administer the sacraments, and take the lead in meetings.
Next comes the Seventies, who are under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, and are the great propagandists, missionaries, and preachers. The fifth order is that of High Priests, whose duty lies in officiating in all the offices of the church, when no higher authority is present.
After these come the Bishops, who are overseers of the church in secular matters, the support of "literary concerns," house-visiting, and the settlement of private grievances.
The seventh in order are the Elders, who conduct meetings, and have a general surveillance over the priests. The lowest orders are Teachers and Deacons, who simply assist the other orders.
The whole priesthood is divided into two classes -- the
Melchisedec and Aaronic. To the first belong the offices of apostle, seventy, patriarch, high-priest, and elder; to the second those of bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon. The latter can only be held by "literal" descendants of Aaron, who are pointed out by special revelation.
THE "BOOK OF MORMON."The "Book of Mormon" is a collection of sixteen separate or distinct books, professing to be written at different periods by different prophets. Its style is in imitation of the Bible, incorporating three hundred passages from it without acknowledgment, but often quoted by the Mormons as specimens of their book, and Hebrew, Greek, Biblical, and Latin names are introduced.
The first book professes to be written by Nephi, a Jew, the son of Lehi, who dwelt at Jerusalem in the days of King Jedekiah, [sic] 600 B. C. In obedience to a command of the Lord, who appeared to him in a dream, he went into the wilderness of Arabia and dwelt there a long time with his family. At length, under divine instruction, he, with his family, set out in search of a promised land, and after travelling nearly eastward for eight years they reached the ocean. Here they built a ship, and, guided by a compass, sailed to America.
The "Book of Mormon" itself gives no indication of the part of the Continent on which they landed; but through subsequent Mormon revelations, it is declared to have been Chili.
Of this company who arrived in America were Lehi and his wife and four sons -- Taman, [sic] Lemuel, Sam and Nephi, and their four wives; and Toran, [sic] a servant, and his wife -- in all eight adult men and eight women. Two infant sons were born to Lehi on the journey through
the wilderness -- Jacob and Joseph. In America they found beasts of every kind in the forests, including the cow, the ox, the ass, the horse, and the goat. Lehi died immediately after his arrival in America, and discussions speedily arose between Nephi and his elder brothers, Laman and Lemuel; and separating from them Nephi moved into the wilderness accompanied by Sam amid Toran [sic] and their families, the boys, Jacob and Joseph, and such of the women and children as agreed with them. Laman and Lemuel and their families, as a punishment for rebellion against Nephi, whom the Lord had appointed to be their ruler, were cursed by the Lord, and they and all their posterity were condemned to have dark skins and to become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, which sought out the wilderness for beasts of prey. This is the origin of the American Indians, whom the Mormons profess to believe are of the Jewish race. Nephi died fifty years after his arrival in America, and his people continued to be called Nephites and to be governed by kings bearing the name of Nephi for many generations.
The record of their history was continued on golden plates by Jacob, the brother of Nephi, Enos, the son of Jacob, Jarom, the son of Enos, Arum, [sic] the son of Joram, and finally by Mormon, whose name is given to a single book as well as to a whole volume, and who, many hundred years after Christ, transmitted to his son Moroni the plates containing the writings of the authors mentioned, as well as those of Mosiah, Teniff, [sic] Alma, Helamon, [sic] Nephi the second, and Nephi the third.
These books are narratives of transactions in North and South America, chiefly of wars between the Nephites and Lamanites, or red men, and of revolutions in the land Tarahenila, [sic] a country near the Isthmus of Darien, where
there was a great city. A supernatural light, which lasted three days and three nights, informed the inhabitants of America of the birth of Christ, and later a terrible earthquake announced the crucifixion of Christ at Jerusalem; and three days after the Lord Himself appeared, descending out of heaven into the chief city of the Nephites, in the sight of the people, to whom he exhibited His wounded side and the prints of the nails in His hands and feet.
He remained with them forty days, teaching them the principles of Christianity, and founding that faith. These Christians of the new world, unlike those of the old world, immediately adopted the Christian era for their chronological computations, and in agreement with the record in the four following centuries, the wars between them and the heathen Lamanites continued to rage with great destruction to the Christians, whose populous and civilized cities, extending throughout North America, were gradually captured and destroyed.
In the year 384 the Christians made a final stand at Cummorah in western New York, where in a great battle two hundred and thirty thousand of them were slain; Moroni, one of the survivors, after wandering as a fugitive until A. D. 420, sealed up the golden plates on which all these events and circumstances were written, and hid them in the hill, where they were found by Joseph Smith.
One of the books of the collection gives an account of an earlier settlement of America than that of Lehi, by a colony from the Tower of Babel, soon after the deluge, which was led by Jared, and which in time became a great nation, but which was destroyed for their sins before the arrival of the colony from Jerusalem.
The "Book of Mormon" appeared first in Palmyra,
in 1830, in England in 1841, in Paris in 1852. Versions have been printed in German, Italian, Danish, Welsh, and Hawaiian. There is a copy in the British Museum, in the Astor Library in New York, and other noted public libraries throughout the United States.
CHURCH POLITY.The acknowledged president of the church of the Latter-Day Saints holds the keys of the kingdom -- "that is, heaven." Without his permission none can be saved. He is an acknowledged "revelator," and is acknowledged by the church to be the supreme pontiff of the world, with both temporal and spiritual jurisdiction, and as such is entitled to the implicit personal and unquestioned obedience of all Mormons.
The next order of the church is the Twelve Apostles, usually called the "Twelve." The members of this order are subject to do duty as missionaries.
The following in order, in point of dignity, is the president of the Seventies, and each seventy has a president. These presidents form an administrative council over the subject of missions and preaching and all matters connected with the propagandism of the church, subject to the approval of the head of the church.
There is another body, called a Quorum of Seventy, having in theory seventy members. They form the bone and muscle of missionary labor, and have no reference to rank in the church as apostle or a High Priest, as either may be a member of a quorum. These are the outside working bees of the central hive, and go into all the world to preach the gospel without purse or scrip, returning frequently loaded with money, and escorting many converts.
Each Mormon preserves its secret archives, a complete record of the genealogy of each of its members, as also of the official acts of each. This organization has a certain resemblance to the celebrated order of Jesuits. The first in rank in this order is the high-priest, second the apostles, third the elders, and last and lowest the simple priest.
All true male Mormons are priests; it is necessary for their salvation. Women are sealed (married) to some priest, either for time "or eternity;" in the latter case they are not required to reside together, the ceremony being a saving grace merely, they having no souls of their own, and amounting to nothing of themselves alone.
The Mormons' use of the terms "exaltation" and" salvation" are thus defined: "A male Mormon, outside of the priesthood, may be saved by favor of the President, as also may a Gentile to be used as a servant."
"Exaltation" means having a kingdom in the next world, emoluments, and power, with numbers of wives and servants in his possession in this belonging to him in the other.
For a woman to marry an apostle or high-priest is a great honor, while to be the wife of the Prophet or First Presidency is the highest possible dignity to which a woman can aspire. Coercion is seldom used to effect marriages; but a woman must marry some one, and "the man of her choice" is not at liberty to refuse her, the women as frequently making the first proposition of this kind, in agreement with Mormon etiquette.
A Mormon with but one wife would hardly be admitted to "good society," and few men have the moral courage to appear in public with less than two. Men of "position" appear on state occasions with numerous wives -- the more the better. All Gentiles are to be the
servants of the "Saints" in the world to come and after the second coming of Christ, which is expected soon.
The city of Salt Lake is divided into twenty-four wards, each of which has a governing officer called a bishop, who is also an informer to the high powers. They hear and determine upon civil or religious complaints, and inquire into the temporal and spiritual condition of each member of their ward in domiciliary visits each week; and all persons found to be disaffected as to word or doctrine are reported to the First President.
All "Gentiles" are watched and reported of in the same manner. The bishops also collect the tithing. The intermediate tribunal between the bishops and First President is the high Council, composed of fifteen men chosen among the high-priests, twelve of whom act as jurors, who decide the case in hand by vote, the remaining three acting as judges, passing sentence, fixing damages, costs, etc. An appeal can be made from this council to the First President; but from him there is no appeal.
Each bishop has assistant teachers who catechise the children and people, and report all heresies. The different orders of the priesthood, and the quorum of the Seventies, are not elective, but permanent orders of the church; but all the other officers are elective, from the First President down to the teachers, twice a year -- in April and in October. These elections are made by the whole body of the people, and are called "conferences," during which anybody is at liberty to prefer charges against any officer, from the highest to the lowest. There are other organized bodies within the Mormon Church polity, which are of a secret character, such as the band of Danites and the Endowment Rooms.
The highest test of faith as a body is the placing of
the entire church property in the bands of the first officers.
The cheerful payment of the "tithing" is regarded as a test of orthodoxy, and consists in the giving by every male member of every tenth day of his time in labor upon the public works (or the pay of a substitute for the same) and a tenth of his income.
THE FAITH OF THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS.We believe in God, the eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions.
We believe that, through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may he saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
We believe that these ordinances are: 1st, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2d, repentance; 3d, baptism by the remission of sins; 4th, laying on of hands by the gift of the Holy Spirit; 5th, the Lord's Supper.
We believe that men must be called of God by inspiration and by laying on of hands from those who are duly commissioned to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive church -- viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. We believe in the powers and gifts of the everlasting gospel -- viz., the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, vision, healing, and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, fatherly love, etc. We believe the Word of God recorded in the "Book of Mormon," and in all other good books.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will reveal many more great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God and Messiah's second coming.
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the ten tribes; that Zion will be established on the Western Continent; that Christ will reign personally on the earth a thousand years, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.
We believe in the literal resurrection of the body, and that the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are expired.
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, unmolested, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how and where they may.
We believe in being subject to queens, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.
We believe in being honest, true, temperate, benevolent, virtuous, and upright, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul, we "believe all things." Everything lowly, virtuous, praiseworthy, and of good report we seek after, looking forward "to the recompense of reward." But an idle or lazy person cannot be a Christian, neither have salvation. He is a drone, and destined to be stung to death and tumbled out of the hive.
THEIR MODE OF WORSHIP.Their mode of conducting worship is to assemble at a particular hour, and the senior priest then indicates order by asking a blessing on the congregation and exercises,
when a hymn from their own collection is sung, prayer made extempore, and another hymn sung, followed by a sermon from some one previously appointed to preach, which is usually continued by exhortations and remarks from those who feel moved to speak.
Then notices of the arrangement for tithe, labor for the ensuing week, and information on all secular matters interesting to them in a church capacity are read by the clerk of the council, and the congregation is dismissed by benediction. While the congregation is assembling and departing from the house, it is usual to have marches, waltzes, anthems, and the most brilliant music performed by a good band, to drive away all sombre feeling and to prepare the mind for exciting and eloquent preaching.
The Josephites -- Epitome of the faith and doctrines of the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -- David Whitmer -- The debate at Kirtland, Ohio, in 1884, concerning the "Book of Mormon" -- The revelation on celestial marriage given to Joseph Smith in 1843.
THE branch of Mormons calling themselves "Josephites" and "Latter-Day Saints of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ" number twenty thousand at the present time. Their spiritual leader is Joseph Smith, Jr. He is the son of Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet, and Emma, "the elect." Until within two years he has resided at Plano, Ill., but has removed to Laomi, [sic] Decatur Co., Iowa, where he edits two journals in the interests of his followers, called respectively Zion's Hope and Saints' Herald. He is a man of ability, is well educated, and a law-abiding citizen, as the Josephites are generally considered to be in their residence in several States of the Union, principally in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, but scattered throughout New England and the Middle States. When Brigham Young led the great body of Mormons to Utah, a few remained in the neighborhood of Nauvoo, and others, and in greater numbers, in Iowa. These were disaffected spirits, who would not yield to the rule of Brigham, and who naturally clustered about the young Joseph as the successor to the Prophet. The distinction between the Utah Mormons and the Josephites is, that the latter profess to be bitterly opposed to polygamy. In other particulars their creed
bears a remarkable resemblance to that of the Mormons, although the Josephites contend that the Utah Mormons have departed from the original faith, and no longer live in agreement to its doctrines; that they are treasonable to the government, full of wiles and treachery, and a stain and blot on the history of our country. Brigham Young was the very consummation of evil, in their estimation, and his followers in office not a whit better. There is, in short, a deadly enmity between the Saints of Zion and the Josephites; yet both profess to believe the "Book of Mormon" divine, and that Joseph was "called of God to do the work, however he may have been led away in his latter years." This "led away" is a convenient expression to cover the multitude of sins in the Prophet's career toward its close. Joseph was fond of Emma, but his affections wandered to younger and fairer saints during the residence of the Mormons in Ohio, and he there began to talk of "celestial marriage," to the surprise, and it is affirmed, "horror" of some of the brethren. His "revelation" on this subject, he said, was given to him at Nauvoo, July 12th, 1843. The Prophet's sons and his legal wife, Emma, have declared since his death that polygamy is a stain put upon his memory by Brigham Young and his followers.
Some attempts have been made (according to the written observations of several chroniclers of Mormonism) to heal the breach between the Utah Saints and the Josephites, which have only ended in a more open and active enmity on the part of either. Elder Smith attends the conferences, which are held quarterly or annually at some one of the appointed colonies of Josephites, where his preaching inspires his adherents, and makes new converts of those who gather through curiosity to see the show. The next great conference will be at Independence,
Mo., beginning the 6th of April, 1885. Independence is closely connected with the early history of Mormonism. Josephite conferences have been held in Boston (where the Saints have had a place of worship for twelve or fourteen years), sometimes at Providence, Rhode Island, and at Dennisport, Cape Cod, where they have a flourishing colony.
David Whitmer, one of the original "witnesses," is still living at Richmond, Mo. He was asked not long ago if his testimony was the same now as it was originally published, regarding "the plates and the angel" -- alluding to the golden plates and the angel Moroni, at the time "the word" was given to Joseph. "He rose to his feet, stretched out his hands, and said: 'These handled the plates, these eyes saw the angel. these ears heard the voice -- I know it was of God.'" wrote one of the inquirers.
Whitmer has what he calls the original translation of the golden plates in transcript. The Josephites state that the Utah Mormons sent a delegation, headed by Orley Pratt, to purchase it; and that when Whitmer declined to part with it Pratt reminded him of his poverty and the large sum he was willing, as a representative of his church, to pay for this coveted possession, and that he replied: "You have not money enough in Utah to purchase it." One of the most notable events among the Josephites was the recent debate at Kirtland, Ohio, concerning the "Book of Mormon." It lasted ten or twelve days. The discussion was carried on between Elder E. L. Kelly, of Kirtland, and Clark Braden, a Campbellite preacher of Minnesota, who has since published his arguments against the verity of the book. Mr. Kelly has also had his points of defence printed for circulation among the Josephites. The debate was an exhaustive
one, apparently, every published article of the slightest importance on the subject being under the examination of the two men, both of whom are considered exceptionally intelligent. Whatever the present result of this controversy may be, its ultimate influence may lead to a still more serious inquiry into the Mormon delusion.
In the January number of a small monthly published at Laomi, [sic] Iowa, there is an editorial to prove that Joseph the Seer, predicted that if Brigham Young ever became the head of the church, he "would lead it to hell." There is also a letter in the same number, which is interesting in connection with the evidence that Smith was a polygamist, as follows:
"San Bernardino, California,
December 31, 1883.
"Mrs. Mary Ralph, being duly sworn, deposes and says: I lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, close to the house of Joseph Smith, just across the road, some time. I also was present at a public meeting, and heard the Prophet Joseph Smith say while preaching, 'Here is Brother Brigham; if he ever leads this church, he will lead it to hell;' and I believe he was a true prophet of God. I was well acquainted with the two Partridge girls and the two Walker girls and their two brothers, William and Lorin Walker; they were orphans, and all lived in the family of Joseph Smith; but I never knew they were any of them his wives; but I saw Susy Walker in 1847, and she had a young baby in her arms; she told me she had been sealed to Joseph for eternity and to Heber C. Kimball for time, and Brother Heber was acting proxy for Brother Joseph. Dianthy Farr, daughter of Aaron Farr, told me she was sealed in the same way, and William Clayton was acting proxy for Brother Joseph with her. The first I ever heard of the proxy and sealing business was in 1846. Bathsheba Smith, wife of George A., told me of it then.
"Sworn to before me, this 31st day of December, 1883, W. J. Curtis, Notary Public in and for San Bernardino County, State of California."
An article in the same paper, headed "Constitutional Law," is by "President Joseph Smith." After giving an extract from the editorial columns of the Deseret news of December 5th, 1884, he makes the following comments:
THE PERSECUTIONS IN ARIZONA."Another conviction has been obtained in Howard's Court in Arizona, for polygamy. Peter J. Christofferson is the victim. The evidence, it is stated, was as incomplete as in the case of Mr. Tenney. A despatch to the San Francisco Chronicle says: 'The Mormons threaten vengeance against the court.' That, of course, is a falsehood. The Prescott press despatcher has taken a leaf out of his Salt Lake confrere's book. The 'Mormons' will naturally feel indignant at the course pursued, in committing without bail, pending an appeal, prisoners who have been convicted on hearsay. But they will neither threaten nor injure the court.
"Submission to the law is and has been one of the characteristics of the Latter-Day Saints, and they have not changed their principles nor their policy by moving over the line into another territory. Their non-obedience to the anti-polygamy enactments is well known to spring from their belief in the invalidity of those statutes, and it is acknowledged that with those exceptions the 'Mormons are exemplary in their submission to the laws of the land.
"Whatever opposition may proceed from our friends in Arizona to the verdicts of juries and the rulings of courts, no matter how unjust and arbitrary they may be, will be taken on legal grounds and pursued by lawful measures. Such proceedings as have been inaugurated may give temporary comfort to bigots, but patience is a 'Mormon' virtue, and 'the end is not yet.'"
He says there are three points in the foregoing editorial worth a notice: 1, persecution in Arizona; 2, constitutional law; 3, submission to law. With an elaborate argument on these points, he adds:
"The church from 1830 to 1844 was law-abiding. Its utterances in theory, principle, dogma, faith, and practice were in keeping with the teaching of the Constitution. It was the claim of the elders that the discovery of America was foreseen and provided for by God, as
the founding of a government to be the asylum for the oppressed of all nations. It was the belief of the leaders and the people that the struggle for independence was the baptism of the tree of Liberty in fire and blood, without which it could never flourish. it was taught as a heritage of the covenant made with Abraham, that the men who framed and wrote the Declaration and the Constitution were raised up by the Almighty for that purpose. Christ so stated it in His declarations to the church in the restoration of the gospel. Love of country was held and enjoined from father to son. This was enforced as a sacred duty, and more binding on the Saints because of the wondrous manifestations of God's providence, watch, care, and determination concerning the land, and the people who should live upon it. The church felt this. Joseph Smith boasted that he was a 'Green Mountain boy;' for in those Vermont hills patriots were born and raised. Obedience to law -- the laws of the land -- was a duty and a cardinal virtue. The laws of the States in which the church originated and appointed for the stakes of Zion were under the Constitution. They were good and sufficient for the establishment awl continuation of the church until the Prophet and Patriarch were slain. There was up to that time no church tenet or practice that required a Saint to break or defy or evade the law of the land; and yet everywhere the Elders went or Saints settled there were laws forbidding more than one companion in wedlock.
"The Utah fragment sought a soil on which to develop the folly of Solomon and David anew -- a land where the crime and abomination of the people to whom Jacob ministered the rebuke of God might be again re-enacted."
The close of the article is as follows:
"The law of 1862, prohibiting polygamy in Utah and other territories, passed by Congress, has been declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. Each successive enactment of Congress, had in respect to the same crime, has been but supplementary or auxiliary to that law, providing safeguards against those who have proposed to evade the law because 'they believed it to be invalid.' The Acts of Congress, under which the men 'persecuted' in Arizona were arrested, tried, and convicted, have been but enabling clauses of the same law in harmony with the first.
"The judge, under whose administration these men were tried, is the proper one to interpret the language of the Constitution in respect to his own court, which declares that 'the judges in every State
shall be bound thereby (by the Constitution and all laws passed under it), anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.'
"No Legislature of any State of the United States, nor any assembly of any territory belonging to the United States, has a right to enact provisions which make nugatory or inoperative the Constitution or the laws of the United States, made under it. Neither the State of Iowa nor the (state of Deseret) territory of Utah can rightfully pass and enforce enactments which estop the action of the courts of the United States from punishing men who have refused obedience to the laws declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court, or who have violated statutes passed by Congress in pursuance of the general provisions of the Constitution, approved by the Supreme Court. The laws of the United States passed into being and operation upon territory belonging to the States per se. That which is a crime in the States, by virtue of the United States law is a crime in the territories of the States. Not until territories merge into States are they relieved of such disabilities as are imposed by the special and direct jurisdiction of the United States.
"What the (state of Deseret) Utah Territory could not do as a Territory, she could not authorize the Church of Jesus Christ to do. Hence, marriage being a civil contract, according to the declaration of the church, founded under God under the divinely authorized provisions of the Constitution of the United States, while that church was within States whose laws were monogamic, and before the establishment of such territory of Utah, it must remain a civil contract still in all and every territory belonging to the United States, nor was it in the power of the Territorial Assembly to so endow the church in Utah by an incorporating charter with the right to violate the general rules of the States as to remove the right to regulate the domestic relations of husband and wife, parents and children from the province of Congress and the United States courts, And not until Utah shall be admitted as a State of the Union, with an express provision in its constitution providing for the practice of plural or polygamic marriage, can it become lawful, or the laws against it become invalid.
"Should Utah be admitted as a State without such express provision in its constitution at its admission, we believe that the Legislature could not then legalize polygamy, neither by direct enactment nor by the roundabout method adopted by the Legislature of Deseret, and approved by the Utah Territorial Assembly, by charter to the church, allowing it to control the marriage relations.
"Whether Congress may lawfully admit Utah with such a clause in the Constitution permitting plural marriage either as a civil contract or as a church sacrament we do not discuss, as such contingency is of doubtful occurrence. But it may be pertinent to say that bigamy or polygamy (plural marriage), being a crime in all other States of the Union, should Utah be admitted with such a clause in its constitution, ' full faith and credit ' could not be given such ' public acts ' in the other States. for persons plurally married in Utah could not legally live in those States."
From this quotation it will be seen how strongly the leader of the Josephites denounces the Utah Mormons and polygamy. He is still, however, a Mormon, teaching Mormon doctrines, the divine origin of the "Book of Mormon," and that Joseph Smith, his father, was a prophet. While the Josephites have not increased as rapidly as the Utah Mormons during the thirty odd years since the division in the church, or since Brigham Young led all save a remnant of the Saints to Deseret, it is astonishing to find this second body of "the chosen people" so numerous, and with places of worship in old New England towns. The attention of the civilized world has been startled into activity, regarding the Mormons of Utah, by their atrocities, by their plurality of wives, and acts of defiance toward the government, while very little has been known or written of the Josephites, who have meantime been increasing in numbers and wealth, and outwardly, at least, respecting the Federal law. They have also joined the great mass of people in throwing stones at their former neighbors and friends, forgetting how thin the material is of which their own habitation is made. A number of the Josephites are intelligent and fairly educated; these are the leaders of the mass, half-educated, credulous, and often illiterate men and women, with crude notions as to right and
wrong, and ready to adopt a religious belief that is eloquently and persuasively preached in their hearing.
The following are extracts from a letter printed in the Boston Evening Transcript of June 7th, 1884. It is headed, "Down on the Cape -- A Colony of Latter-Day Saints at Dennisport, Mass."
"Released from the vehicle, and standing in the porch of the hotel, we ventured to inquire of John in what part of Harwich the Mormon Colony is located.
"'Wa'll, now you've got me,' he replied. 'I guess you mean the "Latter-Day Saints." We don't call 'em Mormons down here.'
"'I suppose so. Will you answer some questions I may ask you of them?'
"'Sartain sure; but I won't tell a lie about them if I go under. They live right down to Dennisport, about a mile from here, and I'll take you down there after dinner.'
'West Harwich is a clean, lively little town, with good accommodations for summer boarders at moderate prices. This was quickly learned, and we started to see the 'Saints,' whose houses occupy two long streets, or roads, down to the Port. These dwellings are comfortable in appearance, and have gardens about them. A moderate-sized building, larger than the houses, we were told, 'is the place where the Saints have their meetings.'
"Our driver was true to his principle of reticence concerning the Mormons, but excused it with the promise to find Captain Howes, one of the most prominent of the 'Saints,' who would tell us all we wanted to know; and, suiting the action to the word, he drove on to the wharf and called out to an amphibious-looking individual sitting in a boat that was close to the deck:
"'Captain, here's some folks from ever so far; they want to see you.'
"The captain stared, and so did the dozen or so fishermen loitering about and talking of the morning's catch of three thousand mackerel that was to be sent to Boston; but after a moment he called out that he would come ashore. The sea was slightly ruffled with an east wind, but was of that deep blue that artists love to picture, and away out were the fishing-smacks coming into port with their burdens. We had turned and been driven under shelter by the time 'the captain' made his appearance, and closer observation proved him to
be a hardy specimen of his peculiar calling: tall, lithe, keen-eyed, and of a rather intelligent visage. 'Yes,' said he, as if he had hastily made up his mind what to say, 'I am perfectly willing to talk of my religion. We are Mormons of the kind called 'Josephites;" we are the true" Latter-Day Saints;" 'we do not believe in plurality --'
"'You mean polygamy?'
"'Yes, that is what I mean. When the Mormons separated, at the time of Joseph Smith's death, some of them went off to their destruction with Brigham Young; but we don't countenance them. Joseph Smith, Jr., of PIano, Ill., is our leader --'
"'And his father, Joe Smith --'
"'We believe his father was a true prophet. We believe in immersion as the true baptism, because Christ was baptized in the river Jordan; we believe that no one will he eternally lost, although they have to suffer for their sins, and we think Christ is coming in person to reign over us.'
"'How about your form of worship?'
"'Well, we have a Bible that Elder Pratt translated -- it's like the King James Bible, only it explains things a good deal, makes them clear; we sing and have prayer-meetings and a Sunday-school and Sunday services, just like other people.'
"'You have a good many religions mixed up in one.'
"'Yes; the best of all of them put together.'
"'And the" Book of Mormon"?'
"'Well, that is a history of Mormon that Smith found written on some gold plates.'
"'Who wrote it?'
"'I don't know.'
"He went then on to state that he had always resided at Dennisport; that he was converted by an elder, a Mormon missionary, and that Joe Smith, Jr., had attended one of their conferences, two of which are held in Ocean Hall at West Harwich each year; that these meetings are largely attended by Mormons resident in New England, who are colonized in several places-at Fall River, Providence, Boston, and elsewhere.
"'I wish I had time to talk more of our people,' concluded the fisherman; 'but you must go and see our elder,' and he turned away with a little twinkle in his gray eyes.
"The elder was ill, or forewarned of our coming, and we did not see him; but from a less cautious person we gathered some significant statements respecting the ' Saints.' While they profess not to believe in 'plurality,' they act in numerous cases upon the principle of
'affinity.' Marriages among them have in this way been frequently broken and resumed. One woman went to Utah, was gone twenty years, and returned to her old marital relations. Our informer, when we expressed surprise at this and other statements of a like character, said:
"'Why, it's right enough; people can't help liking each ether if they are married.'
"The conferences this person mentioned as most enjoyable occasions, with 'good speaking from real smart men,' and a general attendance of the people in the neighborhood, some of whom, it is said, are generally made converts, It was impossible to learn just how many Mormons there were at Dennisport -- really a part of West Harwich -- but there are more than fifty of their dwellings, and over one hundred residents in them may fairly be estimated.
"The children of this colony attend the free school with the other children of Harwich, and there is a general tolerance of the 'Saints,' old and young, by the residents in the vicinity in a business, if not in a social, way. An intelligent man, born and brought up on the cape, in speaking of them, said: 'These Mormons are industrious, and behave very well; but, of course, they've got some black sheep among them, like any other body of religious people.' Another said in excuse for one of the 'Saints' who departed from the colony with an 'affinity,' 'Why, he came back and lives here now.'"
A Mormon elder, in speaking of this letter, remarked that the Captain Howes alluded to is a man who is much esteemed by his brethren. The statements made by several unprejudiced residents of Harwich regarding their neighbors of Dennisport show that there is an obliquity of vision in regard to the moral code among these fishermen, which comes either from lack of principle or defective training. The Mormon of Utah is a polygamist if he has the means to be so; it is a precept of his faith; the followers of Joseph the Second can have but one wife and an "affinity." It must, however, be added, that indisputably many of the Josephites lead peaceable, innocent, and inoffensive lives. This may be said of the greater proportion of them probably. The women have few of the trials of their sisters in Utah; the men are
toilers on the sea and land. They rejoice in their religions faith. It is pitiful that it has no better foundation than to have been stolen from an old romance.
EPITOME OF THE FAITH AND DOCTRINES OF THE REORGANIZED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS."We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. Matt. 28: 19. 1 John 1: 3. St. John 11: 26. " We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. Ecc. 12: 14. Matt. 16: 27. 1 Cor. 8: 18. Rev. 20: 12-15. " We believe that through the atonement of Christ all men may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. 1 Cor. 15: 8. 2 Tim. 1: 10. Rom. 8: 1-6. " We believe that these ordinances are:
"(1st) Faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Heb. 11: 6. 1 Peter 1: 21. 1 Tim. 4: 10. John 3: 16, 18, 36. Mark 11: 22. John 14: 1.
"(2d) Repentance. Matt. 3: 2, 8, 11 Luke 13: 3; 24: 47. Ezek. 18: 30. Mark 1: 5, 15. Acts 2: 38. Romans 2: 4. 2 Cor. 7: 10.
"(3d) Baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins. Matt. 3: 13-15. Mark 1:4, 5. Luke 8:8. John 8: 5. Acts 2:38; 22:16; 2:41; 8:12, 37, 38. Mark 16:16. Col. 2:12. Romans 6: 4, 5. John 3: 23. Acts 8: 38, 39.
"(4th) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Deut. 34:9. John 20:21, 22. Acts 8:17:19: 6. 1 Tim. 4:14. Acts 9: 17. 1 Cor. 12: 3. Acts 19: 1-6.
"(5th) We believe in the Resurrection of the Body; that the dead in Christ will rise first, and the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are expired. Job 19: 25, 26. Dan. 12:2. 1 Cor. 15: 42. 1 Thess. 4:16. Rev. 20: 6. Acts 17: 31. Phil. 3: 21. John 11: 24. Isaiah 26: 19. Ps. 17: 15.
"(6th) We believe in the doctrine of Eternal Judgment., which provides that men shall be judged, rewarded, or punished according to the degree of good or evil they shall have done. Rev. 20: 12. Ecc. 3: 17. Matt. 16: 27. 2 Cor. 5: 10. 2 Peter 2:4, 13, 17.
"We believe that a man must be Called of God, and ordained by
the Laying on of Hands of those who are in authority, to entitle him to preach the Gospel, and Administer in the Ordinances thereof. Heb. 5:1, 5, 6, 8. Acts 1:24, 25; 14:23. Eph. 4:11. John 15:16.
"We believe in the same kind of organization that existed in the primitive church -- viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. 1 Cor. 12:28. Matt. 10:12. Acts 6:4. Eph. 4: 11; 2:20. Titus l:5.
"We believe that in the Bible is contained the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. We believe that the canon of Scripture is not full, but that God, by His Spirit, will continue to reveal His word to man until the end of time. Job 32: 8. Hebrews 13: 8. Proverbs 29:18. Amos 3: 7. Jeremiah 23: 4; 31: 31, 34; 33: 6. Psalms 85: 10, 11. Luke 17: 26. Rev. 14: 6, 7; 19: 10.
"We believe in the powers and gifts of the everlasting gospel -- viz., the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love, etc. 1 Cor. 12: 1-11; 14: 26. John 14: 24. Acts 2: 8. Matt. 28: 19, 20. Mark 16:16.
"We believe that Marriage is ordained of God; and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman, except in eases where the contract of marriage is broken by death or transgression. Genesis 2: 18, 21-24; 7:1, 7, 13. Proverbs 5: 15-21. Malachi 2: 14, 15. Matt. 19: 4-6. 1 Cor. 7: 2. Hebrews 13: 4.
"We believe that the doctrines of a plurality and a community of wives are heresies, and are opposed to the law of God. Gen. 4: 19, 23, 24; 7: 9; 22: 2, in connection Gal. 4th and 5th chapters. Gen. 21:8-10. Mal. 2: 14, 15. Matt. 19: 3-9.
"We believe that the religion of Jesus Christ, as taught in the New Testament Scriptures, will, if its precepts are accepted and obeyed, make men and women better in the domestic circle, and better citizens of town, county, and State, and consequently better fitted for the change which cometh at death.
"We believe that men should worship God in 'Spirit and in truth;' and that such worship does not require a violation of the constitutional law of the land. John 4: 21-24. Doctrine and Covenants, sect. 58, par. 5.
"We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
Please understand that the Reorganized Church * of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in no way connected with Salt Lake Mormons. That polygamy never was and never can be a doctrine or practice among those who follow the teachings of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Hear what the "Book of Mormon" says on polygamy: "Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord; for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none, for I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women," etc.
Polygamy originated with the leaders of the Utah Church, and that church has departed from the faith of the pure gospel system, as taught by the church of Christ, both of former and latter days, and the Utah Church has clearly fulfilled the prophecy of Paul, 1 Tim. 4:1, and Jer. 17:5, 6.
The Reorganized Church has done more to put down polygamy than any other denomination on the face of the earth.
(Any history of Mormonism would be incomplete without a copy of the "Revelation," which has played so important a part in the development of the church. It has been copied for the benefit of the historical student.)
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.A revelation on the patriarchal order of marriage, or plurality of wives, given to Joseph Smith, the seer, in Nauvoo, July 12th, 1843.
"I. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, My servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
* From a Josephite newspaper.
From Stenhouse's "Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 176.
as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines; Behold! and lo, I am the Lord, thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter; Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world; and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
"II. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the Keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
"III. Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was! I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord; and everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God; for whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
"IV. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world; therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
"V. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the holy spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power -- then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
"V. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the holy spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the Keys of this Priesthood; and it shall be said unto them --Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths -- then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
"VII. Then shall they be Gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be God[']s, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
"VIII. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory; for straight is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. This is eternal lives, to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law. Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the death; and many there are that go in there at, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
"IX. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the holy spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood -- yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, but shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
"X. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
"XI. I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
"XII. Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins -- from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph -- which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand
upon the seashore ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein He glorifieth Himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
"XIII God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
"XIV. Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but Gods. David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
"XV. David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
"XVI. I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word; and as ye have asked concerning adultery -- verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with
another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many, for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.
"XVII And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
"XVIII. And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
"XIX. And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven; for I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
"XX. Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice, and let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph, that he shall be made ruler over many things,
for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
"XXI. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and land, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespass; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I; the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
"XXII. And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
"XXIII. Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the Keys of the power of this Priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
"XXIV. And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood; if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth according to my commandment, and to fulfil
the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
"XXV. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my Priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen."
Elder W. W. Phelps said, in Salt Lake Tabernacle, in 1862, that while Joseph was translating the "Book of Abraham" in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835, from the papyrus found with the Egyptian mummies, the Prophet became impressed with the idea that polygamy would yet become an institution in the Mormon Church. Brigham Young was present, and was much annoyed at the statement made by Phelps; but it is highly probable that it was the real secret which was then divulged. There cannot be a doubt that Joseph went into polygamy at a venture.
The following extract is from the pen of an unknown reviewer of a bound volume of "The True Latter-Day Saints Herald" -- sold with other books relating to Mormonism -- the ten years' gatherings of Charles L. Woodward, in New York, January 19th, 1880.
"'The True Latter-Day Saints Herald.' Vols. 1-22, 8vo. Vols. 1-16, bound in 3 vols. sheep. Vols. 17-22 unbound, uncut. Cincinnati, O., and Plano, Ill., 1860-1875, $40.
"This is the organ of Joseph Smith, the son of the Prophet, who trading on antipolygamy, is said to have a following of not less than thirty thousand fools, known as 'Young Josephites.' Nothing better proves the truth of the old saying that 'a lie well stuck to is as good as the truth,' than the success of Joseph II. in making people believe that his father did not promote the polygamy 'revelation.' Knowing full well that even to-day there are women in Utah known by hundreds still living to have been Joe's 'plurals,' but relying upon the fact that the witnesses have told so many lies that they cannot be believed, even when they speak the truth, he calls for the progeny, with an air that settles it. Fortunately -- all fortunately -- Joe did have no little prophets by his numerous polygamous wives. Only by religious lunatics would this fact be accepted as disproof of marriage, whether one or one hundred. The cry. 'Show us the progeny,' seems to be regarded by Joseph II, and his addle-brained adherents as a soedollager. Joseph I. never dared openly practice nor advocate polygamy. Nor did any of the Mormons until they were safe beyond the white settlements."
A P P E N D I X.
[From Scribner's Monthly, August, 1880.]
So much has been published that is erroneous concerning the "Manuscript Found," written by my father, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, and its supposed connection with the book, called the Mormon Bible, I have willingly consented to make the following statement regarding it, repeating all that I remember personally of this manuscript, and all that is of importance which my mother related to me in connection with it, at the same time affirming that I am in tolerable health and vigor, and that my memory, in common with elderly people, is clearer in regard to the events of my earlier years, rather than those of my maturer life.
During the war of 1812, I was residing with my parents in a little town in Ohio called Conneaut. I was then in my sixth year. My father was in business there, and I remember his iron foundry and the men he had at work, but that he remained at home most of the time and was reading and writing a great deal. He frequently wrote little stories, which he read to me. There were some round mounds of earth near our house which greatly interested him, and he said a tree on the top of one of them was a thousand years old. He set some of his men to work digging into one of these mounds, and I vividly remember how excited he became when he heard that they had exhumed some human bones, portions of gigantic skeletons, and various relics. He talked with my mother of these discoveries in the mound, and was writing every day as the work progressed. Afterward he read the manuscript which I had seen him writing, to the neighbors and to a clergyman, a friend of his, who came to see him.
Some of the names that he mentioned while reading to these people I have never forgotten. They are as fresh to me today as though I heard them yesterday. They were "Mormon, Maroni, Lamenite, Nephi."
We removed from Conneaut to Pittsburgh while I was still very young, but every circumstance of this removal is distinct in my memory. In that city my father had an intimate friend named Patterson, and I frequently visited Mr. Patterson's library with him, and heard my father talk about books with him. In 1816 my father died at Amity, Pennsylvania, and directly after his death my mother and myself went to visit at the residence of my mother's brother William H. Sabine, at Onondaga Valley, Onondaga County, New York. Mr. Sabine was a lawyer of distinction and wealth, and greatly respected. We carried all our personal effects with us, and one of these was an old trunk, in which my mother had placed all my father's writings which had been preserved. I perfectly remember the appearance of this trunk, and of looking at its contents. There were sermons and other papers, and I saw a manuscript, about an inch thick, closely written, tied with some of the stories my father had written for me, one of which he called, "The Frogs of Wyndham." On the outside of this manuscript were written the words, "Manuscript Found." I did not read it, but looked through it and had it in my hands many times, and saw the names I had heard at Conneaut, when my father read it to his friends. I was about eleven years of age at this time.
After we had been at my uncle's for some time, my mother left me there and went to her father's house at Pomfret, Connecticut, but did not take her furniture nor the old trunk of manuscripts with her. In 1820 she married Mr. Davison, of Hartwicks, a village near Cooperstown, New York, and sent for the things she had left at Onondaga Valley, and I remember that the old trunk, with its contents, reached her in safety. In 1828, I was married to Dr. A. McKinstry of Hampden County, Massachusetts, and went there, to reside. Very soon after my mother joined me there, and was with me most of the time until her death in 1844. We heard, not long after she came to live with me -- I do not remember just how long -- something of Mormonism, and the report that it had been taken from my father's "Manuscript Found": and then came to us direct an account of the Mormon meeting at Conneaut, Ohio, and that, on one occasion, when the Mormon Bible was read there in public, my father's brother, John Spaulding, Mr. Lake and many other persons who were present, at once recognized its similarity to the "Manuscript Found," which they had heard read years before by my father in the same
town. There was a great deal of talk and a great deal published at this time about Mormonism all over the country. I believe it was in 1834 that a man named Hurlburt came to my house at Monson to see my mother, who told us that he had been sent by a committee to procure the "Manuscript Found" written by the Reverend Solomon Spaulding, so as to compare it with the Mormon Bible. He presented a letter to my mother from my uncle, William H. Sabine, of Onondaga Valley, in which he requested her to loan this manuscript to Hurlburt, as he (my uncle) was desirous "to uproot" (as he expressed it) "this Mormon fraud." Hurlburt represented that he had been a convert to Mormonism, but had given it up, and through the "Manuscript Found," wished to expose its wickedness.
My mother was careful to have me with her in all the conversations she had with Hurlburt, who spent a day at my house. She did not like his appearance and mistrusted his motives, but having great respect for her brother's wishes and opinions, she reluctantly consented to his request. The old trunk, containing the desired "Manuscript Found," she had placed in the care of Mr. Jerome Clark of Hartwicks, when she came to Monson, intending to send for it. On the repeated promise of Hurlburt to return the manuscript to us, she gave him a letter to Mr. Clark to open the trunk and deliver it to him.
We afterwards heard that he had received it from Mr. Clark, at Hartwicks, but from that time we have never had it in our possession, and I have no present knowledge of its existence, Hurlburt never returning it or answering letters requesting him to do so. Two years ago, I heard he was still living in Ohio, and with my consent he was asked for the "Manuscript Found." He made no response although we have evidence that he received the letter containing the request.
So far I have stated facts within my own knowledge. My mother mentioned many other circumstances to me in connection with this subject which are interesting, of my father's literary tastes, his fine education and peculiar temperament. She stated to me that she had heard the manuscript alluded to read by my father, was familiar with its contents, and she deeply regretted that her husband, as she believed, had innocently been the means of furnishing matter for a religious delusion. She said that my father loaned this "Manuscript Found" to Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, and that when he returned it to my father, he said: "Polish it up, finish it, and you will make money out of it." My mother confirmed my remembrances of my father's fondness for history, and told me of his frequent conversations regarding a theory which he had of a prehistoric race which had inhabited this continent, etc., all showing that his mind
dwelt on this subject. The "Manuscript Found," she said, was a romance written in Biblical style, and that while she heard it read, she had no special admiration for it more than other romances he wrote and read to her.
We never, either of us, ever saw, or in any way communicated with the Mormons, save Hurlburt as above described; and while we have no personal knowledge that the Mormon Bible was taken from the "Manuscript Found," there were many evidences to us that it was, and that Hurlburt and the others at the time thought so. A convincing proof to us of this belief was that my uncle, William H. Sabine, had undoubtedly read the manuscript while it was in his house, and his faith that its production would show to the world that the Mormon Bible had been taken from it, or was the same with slight alterations. I have frequently answered questions which have been asked by different persons regarding the "Manuscript Found," but until now have never made a statement at length for publication.
(Signed) M. S. McKinstry.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3rd day of April, A. D. 1880, at the city of Washington, D. C.
Charles Walter, Notary Public.
Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson:
I rec. yours of the 1st of Feb., contents duly noted you state you wished to get all the information in my possession in regard to Solomon Spaulding. I knew the man very well, was intimately acquainted often heard him read from what he called his MS., he came to our house and wanted me to go with him and bail him for 50 Dollars as he needed the money and while on the road he told some of his history, he said while living in Ohio he lost his health and in looking over the Country where he lived he discovered some mounds, they appeared to be the work of an ancient race of people and he concluded he would write their history or a fictitious novel of the people that built the mounds, after living there, he told me he moved to Pittsburg and while there he applied to Mr. Patterson to have his novel printed for the purpose as he stated to help him take care of his family. Patterson said he, Patterson would publish it, if he, Spaulding, would write a title page. He told me he kept a little store in Pittsburg, he then moved to Amity, leaving a coppy of the
manuscript in Patterson's hands, after being at Amity some time he went back to Pittsburg, took his title page, he called it the lost manuscript found, when he went to Pittsburg the manuscript could not be found, he said there was or had been a man by the name of Sidney Rigdon had stole it, Spaulding did not die at my house as you have it but died at a house he had rented in Amity and kept as a Public house or tavern, he was a man fully six feet high rather stooped forward a little of sober visage, very reserved in conversation and very candid apparently in all his dealings and I think a very good man, it used to be very common at that day for to gather in at the Public house in the evenings and often Mr. Spaulding would read from his MS, to entertain us. I had the Book of Mormon in my house for about six months for the purpose of comparing it with my recollection of the 'Lost Manuscript found,' and I unhesitatingly say that a great part of the historical part of the Book of Mormon is identical with the MS. and I fully believe that the MS. is the foundation of the whole concern.
TEN MILE, Washington Co. Pa.
To Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson.
In the year 1818 I was principal of the Onondaga Valley Academy, and resided in the house of William H. Sabine, Esq. I remember Mrs. Spaulding, Mr. Sabine's sister, perfectly, and of hearing her and the family talk of a manuscript in their possession which her husband, the Rev. Mr. Spaulding, had written somewhere in the West. I did not read the manuscript, but its substance was so often mentioned, and the peculiarity of the story, that years afterward, when the Mormon Bible was published, I procured a copy, and at once recognized the resemblance between it and Mrs. Spaulding's account of "The Manuscript Found." I remember also to have heard Mr. Sabine talk of the romance, and that he and Mrs. Spaulding said it had been written in the leisure hours of an invalid, who read it to his neighbors for their amusement.
Mrs. Spaulding believed that Sidney Rigdon had copied the manuscript while it was in Patterson's printing office, in Pittsburg.
She spoke of it with regret. I never saw her after her marriage to Mr. Davison, of Hartwick. Ann Treadwell Redfield.
After preaching three or four years, he gave it up, removed to Cherry Valley, N. Y., and commenced the mercantile business in company with his brother Josiah. In a few years he failed in business, and removed to Conneaut, Ohio, in 1809. The year following, I removed to Ohio, and found him engaged in building a forge. I made him a visit three years after; and found he had failed, and considerably involved in debt. He then told me had he been writing a book, which he hoped to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled "Manuscript Found," of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of Americans, [sic] endeavoring to show that the American Indians descended from the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Levi [sic]. They afterward had contentions and quarrels, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the "Book of Mormon," and to my great surprise I find nearly the same historical matter, names, so, as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with "And it came to pass," or "Now it came to pass," the same as in the "Book of Mormon;"
and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr. I am unable to determine. JOHN SPAULDING.
I left the State of New York, late in the year 1810, and arrived at this place, about the 1st of January following. Soon after my arrival, I formed a copartnership with Solomon Spaulding, for the purpose of rebuilding a forge which he had commenced a year or two before. He very frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the "Manuscript Found," which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with its contents. He wished me to assist him in getting it printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet with a ready sale. This book represented the American Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great. One time, when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointed out to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct; but by referring to the "Book of Mormon," I find to my surprise, it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket, and carried it home, and thought no more of it. About a week after my wife found the book in my coat pocket as it hung up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She had not read twenty minutes before I was astonished to find the same passages in it that Spaulding had read to me more, than twenty years before from his "Manuscript Found." Since that I have more fully examined the said Golden Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of it is principally, if not wholly taken from the "Manuscript Found." I well recollect telling Mr. Spaulding, that the so frequent use of the words, "And it came to pass," "Now it came to pass," rendered it ridiculous.
Spaulding left here in 1812, and I furnished him with the means to carry him to Pittsburg, where he said he would get the book printed and pay me. But I never heard any more from him or his writings, till I saw them in the "Book of Mormon."
(Signed) HENRY LAKE.
Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson.
Dear Madam: Your letters of December 13th and 16th came to hand yesterday. I remember very well that Mrs. Davison spent a winter at my father's house, nearly, if not quite, fifty years ago. I think she left our house in the spring or summer after to go to Massachusetts. Some time after (perhaps one or two years) she wrote to my father to sell her effects, consisting of an old bureau, feather bed, and linen, and remit to her the proceeds, which he did. The old trunk still remained in the garret when I sold the farm, and was given away, to whom I do not remember. It was an old rickety, moth-eaten hair trunk, and entirely worthless. There was nothing whatever in it. My wife remembers that Mrs. Davison gave her the manuscript to read during her stay with us, and that she read a part of it and returned it to Mrs. D.; also that Mrs. Davison told her that it was written by Mr. Spaulding as a pastime to while away the days of sickness. My father died January 7th, 1884; my mother about thirty years since. Regretting that I cannot give you a more satisfactory answer, I remain respectfully yours,
SECOND LETTER.Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson.
Dear Madam: Yours of January 10th received. My wife does not remember the words Mormon, Maroni, etc., nor anything else of the contents of the manuscript in question. She remembers perfectly that it looked soiled and worn on the outside. She thought it rather dry reading, and after reading a few pages laid it aside. She remembers perfectly what Mrs. Davison said about it as being the origin of the Mormon Bible, and she thought it would die out in a few years. My wife (then Miss Brace) came to our house on a visit in 1831, and it was at that time Mrs. Davison was there. Mrs. Davison left our house to go to her (adopted) daughter's in Munson in the spring of that year (1831). Mr. Sabine was an uncle of my mother's. I do not remember of Mr. Hurlburt being at our house at any time, or of his sending for the manuscript.
Sonoma, California, January 24, 1881. George Clark
Norwalk, Ohio, November 15, 1880.
To all whom it may concern: In the year eighteen hundred and thirty-four (1834) I went from Geauga Co., Ohio, to Munson, Hampden Co., Mass., where I found Mrs. Davison, late widow of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, late of Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. Of her I obtained a manuscript, supposing it to be the manuscript of the romance written by the said Solomon Spaulding, called "The Manuscript Found," which was reported to he the foundation of the "Book of Mormon." I did not examine the manuscript until I got home, when, upon examination, I found it to contain nothing of the kind, but being a manuscript upon an entirely different subject. This manuscript I left with E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio, now Lake Co., Ohio, with the understanding that when he had examined it he should return it to the widow. Said Howe says the manuscript was destroyed by fire, and further the deponent saith not.
(Signed) D. P. Hurlburt.
DEAR EVANGELIST: As is pretty widely known, this remarkably active and pretty town is connected with the early history of Mormonism. It was here that Joseph Smith, Jr., the first Prophet of
the "Church of the Latter-day Saints," lived when he was a dull-eyed, flaxen-haired boy, and long after he had entered upon his "mission" and received "the golden plates," whereon was written "the new faith." This story seems but a legend to those little interested in or acquainted with the facts -- one that has grown into present proportions by the accretions of many years. But not so. A little way up the main street, or rather in a side street leading from the principal thoroughfare of the town, resides John H. Gilbert (usually called Major Gilbert), a venerable, well-preserved man of eighty odd years, who in his youth was actively employed in the type setting and presswork incident to the issue of the first edition of the "Book of Mormon." He allowed the writer to handle a copy of this edition, which he has carefully preserved. His description of the manuscript of the book, brought to him by "Hyrum (as the Smiths spelled the name), brother of Joseph, is very interesting. The major got up from his chair, and taking a leaf or two of the book (unbound), he showed me how these early Mormons guarded their precious "translations" under their coats from a curious and unbelieving community, day by day, as they brought it, a few pages at a time, to be printed. The spelling and grammar were defective; and as for punctuation, there was none. The major pointed out these rather uninspired defects to the scribes employed by the Prophet, and he assures us that they kindly allowed him to make the necessary alterations, only, however, after they had become convinced of the necessity of something approaching literary accuracy -- a matter not at all apparent to them.
A large number of modern Mormons have visited Major Gilbert, to whom he has related these and other recollections of their "Golden Bible." It would seem that they must leave him wiser if not better men, if they at all credit his very clear and positive statements, his memory and judgment being as yet untouched by age.
Mr. Seth W. Chapman owns the former home of the Smiths, and the land they cultivated after their fashion. It is two or three miles out of Palmyra, and at the present time is very attractive in its vernal beauty. The portion of the present farmhouse which was once the humble dwelling of Joseph, Sr., and his numerous family is composed of a single room of fair dimensions, over a cellar, with two small garret rooms above. Later, and after the sons and daughters were grown, a small bedroom was added to the main apartment. Here the Smiths lived for twelve years, making baskets and brooms, and raising vegetables, when they were not peddling beer and gingerbread at general trainings, or robbing hen-roosts or clothes-lines, or
engaged in some other nocturnal calling. It has been said that the Prophet Joseph once returned from Nauvoo to view the place where he had dwelt before he became rich and famous, and where he had taken his first lessons in craft and dissimulation; but this report rests on no sufficient basis. The present race of Mormons frequently visit the Chapman farm -- the room above described, and the held now so beautifully green, where "the diggers," as they were called, consisting of a band of genuine vagabonds, with Joe as their leader, turned up the soil to find gold. Only the day previous to the visit of the writer, James H. Hart, a Mormon from Bloomington, Idaho, had inspected the premises. He circulated a pamphlet in the interest of the "Saints" and their peculiar institution, polygamy, during his stay in Palmyra. Mr. Cannon, son of the well-known Mormon of that name, has also recently visited the early abiding-place of Joseph and his brethren.
The spot where the famous "Peek Stone" was discovered on the property of Clark Chase, in the year 1819, is now marked by gray slab, which stands close to a well -- the well which was being dug when this white stone, in the shape of a child's foot, was turned up, and appropriated by the future "seer." The tradition is that Joseph ran home across lots, some two miles, to show his mother this new possession, which was like most, if not all, of his later possessions, unlawfully gained; and that from this date he saw wonders through the "Peeker," it being employed by himself, and perhaps others in the neighborhood, to find any or everything they desired. The slight elevation where Clark Chase resided, and for whom the well was excavated, is now bare of any tenement, the former dwelling having been either burned or torn down a long time ago. Just beyond the well, a quarter of a mile or so, is the "Miner Farm," on which is shown a cave, or excavation, that was used by Smith and his close followers while engaged in deciphering the golden plates. It was originally boarded in, but is in a dilapidated condition at present. The same family own this farm now that owned it in Joe Smith's time. The elder members have passed away, but the present occupants are quite familiar with the events.
"Hill Cummorah," a conical elevation several hundred feet in height, and which, in its isolation and peculiar shape, bears a certain resemblance to an extinct volcano, is also of special interest. Just where Joseph found the box containing the golden plates is not known; but it was somewhere near the dizzy top of this hill, that an angel was standing over him while he examined the contents. An old picture represents him as kneeling on the steep incline of the hill,
the wind blowing his long hair out in all directions, his eyes big with surprise, and the placid, winged creature above him in a cloud, but not so dense as to prevent a good view of the future Prophet eagerly taking his credentials (which had been buried some fourteen hundred years) from the cemented chest -- the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim (or spectacles), and the golden plates. Out of the cloud are zigzags of lightning playing around the angel and Joseph, which neither appears to notice.
The "Hill Cummorah" is three miles from where Joseph lived when this remarkable incident occurred, and his return to his domicile must have been a weary journey, after the excitement consequent upon such a distinction. The true Mormon of to-day venerates this locality as a sacred spot, and travels from afar to see its quiet but not remarkable beauty.
The farm owned by Martin Harris, the man who mortgaged his property to print the "Book of Mormon," is in an opposite direction to the "Hill" from Palmyra. A niece of Mrs. Harris resides in the town, and gives interesting remembrances of what she heard in her youth of the Mormons. It is but just to say that this lady has a more exalted estimation of the character of her relative than the world in general.
Sidney Rigdon, the real instigator and brains of the original Mormon swindle -- the man who read and copied the romance called "Manuscript Found," written by the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, at Conneaut, Ohio, in 1812 -- is well remembered by a few of the older residents of Palmya. It was Rigdon who preached the first Mormon sermon in the third story of a building, in what is now called Exchange Row. He introduced himself as the "Messenger of God," to the very few people who attended this meeting, telling them that the Bible and the "Book of Mormon" should be equally precious to the true Christian. His "sermon" was not agreeable to those who heard it, or the Palmyrians in general, and he did not repeat it, nor did any other "Saint" give a regular discourse there afterward. He might have fared worse if his audience had been acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's romance, which he had plagiarized so freely, and copied verbatim in many instances, in the "Book" which he introduced to them.
Dear Sir: Although I was the principal typesetter of the first Mormon Bible, I had no acquaintance with any of the originators of this great humbug, except Martin Harris. Jo. Smith I never saw but once. If you see fit to pay me a visit I shall be very glad to meet you and will show you a copy of the original edition of the Mormon Bible in sheets as I folded them from the press, besides a great number of articles cut from newspapers.
I am in my seventy-ninth year and in good health.
J. H. Gilbert.
Hon. Diedrich Villers, Jr., VARICK.
(Varick) Fayette P. O., Seneca Co., N. Y., January 19, 1882.
Dear Madam: Your letter of the 7th inst, came duly to hand, I inclose a few recollections and traditions of Mormonism in Seneca County, with a copy of a letter, which may be of some service to you. At my great age (eighty-four years) I can remember but little of events which transpired over fifty years ago, and as the neighborhood in which Smith conducted his operations was some eight or nine miles from my residence, I was not even at that time much conversant with the facts. There is yet living in this county (besides Mr. Shiley, to whom I refer), a member of the Schott family, closely related to some of that family who became apostates to Mormonism.
(Signed) Diedrich Villers.
Rev. Diedrich Viller's Statement.
Recollections of the Mormons in Seneca Co., N. Y.I infer that you desire information as to the early history of Mormonism in Seneca Co., N. Y., more than fifty years ago, when the present powerful Mormon organization was in its infancy, and its doctrines advocated hereabouts by Joseph Smith and other adventurers.
I will give you such data as occurs to me. As it is always right to give to every one his due, I may say that polygamy was unheard of in connection with Mormonism in those days, and its introduction was left to a later day -- by Latter-Day Saints.
When I came to Seneca County as pastor of a number of congregations of the (German) Reformed Church, in April, 1821, I found among the members of a remote congregation, Zion's Church (afterward known as Jerusalem Church), in West Fayette, a plain, unassuming farmer of the name Peter Whitmer, a native of Pennsylvania, of the class of settlers known as Pennsylvania Germans. He was a quiet, unpretending, and apparently honest, candid, and simple-minded man. On the fifth day of April, 1822, at my first confirmation services of a class after instruction in the Heidelberg Catechism I find among the names of the thirty-eight young persons then confirmed by me those of John Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, and Jacob Whitmer. My recollection is, that I baptized one or more of the Whitmer family as adults, according to the custom of the Reformed Church.
I may state here, that I never met or had any acquaintance with Joseph Smith, Hiram Page, Cowdrey, or Sidney Rigdon, nor, in fact, with any of the persons connected with them, except the Whitmers and the Jolly family. I am informed by Mr. Jacob Shiley an old gentleman, aged seventy-nine years, now a resident of Fayette (who fifty or more years ago occupied a farm adjoining the residence of the Whitmers and Jollys), that the five persons of the name Whitmer whose names appear in the "Testimony of three witnesses" and the "Testimony of eight witnesses," appearing at the end of the Mormon Bible, to wit: the three above-named, Christian, John, and Jacob Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer, Jr., and David Whitmer were all sons of Peter Whitmer, Sr.
Hiram Page, who is described to me as an itinerant botanic or root doctor, married a daughter of Peter Whitmer. It was said at the time of the marriage of Page to Miss Whitmer, that her father was opposed to the marriage until convinced by Page that Miss Whitmer was consumptive, and that he (Page), by the extraction of a certain tooth, the location of which he alone knew, could effect a cure. As there was doubtless a previous understanding between Page and the young lady, the pretended cure was reputed to have been effected through Page's agency, and the marriage took place.
One of the sons of Mr. Whitmer (as I am informed by Mr. Shiley) married a Miss Jolly, whose mother, the wife of William Jolly, of West Fayette, was a baptized convert to Mormonism, and with her husband removed with the Mormons to Ohio. Mr. Jolly, however (as Mr. Shiley informs me), declined to contribute the proceeds of the sale of his property to the common stock of Mormonism, and eventually withdrew from them, and died in Ohio, near Cleveland.
Two other sons of Mr. Whitmer (as Mr. Shiley informs me) married ladies of the name Schott, of West Fayette, near Waterloo, one of whom is said to have returned to Seneca County upon the death of her husband.
My informant (Mr. Shiley) says that he has attended the services held at the houses of Peter Whitmer and William Jolly, and heard, among others who spoke (or preached), Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Hiram Page. The baptisms were performed by immersion in Thomas' Creek and Kendig Creek, in the town of Fayette. Mr. Jacob Shiley and his brother George Shiley, also still living in West Fayette, were present, and witnessed the immersion in baptism of Mrs. William Jolly. When it became known to me that Peter Whitmer and his family were becoming the dupes of Smith and his co-workers, I called upon Mr. Whitmer, in order to remonstrate with him and to warn him of the errors and delusions and the false doctrines promulgated by these men. My conversation, however, apparently made no impression upon him, his only reply to my arguments being the repeated quotation in the German language of the words: "Jesus Christ, yesterday, to-day, and forever."
As an illustration, to show how easily the Whitmers were duped, it is related, that by some contrivance of Smith and his associates a wooden image or representation was placed in a tree in a field where one of Whitmer's sons was engaged in ploughing, and that when interrogated as to whether he had not seen an angel, he answered in the affirmative. "Then," said Smith, "this is the place where the 'Book of Mormon' most be completed, since the angel has already appeared eleven times, and it has been revealed to me that at the place of the twelfth appearing of the angel, the book must be completed." Hence Whitmers', in West Fayette, became the resort of Smith and his fellow-impostors during the progress of this work.
As for a time a number of persons besides the Whitmers were inclined to favor the Mormons, I preached a sermon in Zion's (Jerusalem) Church on June 13th, 1830, from the text, Galatians 1:8. So far as I know, no other persons in that vicinity except the Whitmers, the Jolly family, and several members of the Schott family became adherents.
A history of Seneca Co., N. Y., published in 1870 by Everts, Ensign & Everts, Philadelphia, Penn., contains some reference to Mormonism, from the recollection of Hon. Daniel S. Kendig, still living at Waterloo, who was born in Fayette in 1802, and lived there in the early years of his life. French's New York Gazetteer, published by R. Pearsall Smith, at Syracuse, New York, in 1800, also
contained some data concerning Mormonism, and states that the first Mormon society was formed in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, in 1830. In this gazetteer Martin Harris is reported to have mortgaged his farm to defray the expense of printing the Mormon Bible. It was generally reported hereabouts, however, that Peter Whitmer had become surety for paying the cost of printing this Bible, and it may be difficult now to ascertain the exact facts in regard thereto; but as Smith was engaged in preparing the Bible for publication at Whitmer's house, it is probable that Whitmer also became involved in the expense of publication.
It is conceded, I think, that when Mr. Whitmer disposed of his property in this county he contributed what remained to the Mormon fund, and followed the fortunes of Mormonism. The edition printed of the "Book of Mormon" was, I am told, three thousand copies.
I have a copy of the "Book of Mormon," by "Joseph Smith, Jr., Author and Proprietor," bearing the imprint, "Palmyra. Printed by E. B. Grandin for the Author, 1830." This is doubtless one of the original copies.
The price of the Mormon Bible when issued was said to have been fixed in the first instance at $1.50 or $1.75 per copy; as the sale at that price was very slow, the price was reduced from time to time by Smith, under instructions from "the angel of the Lord," until at last copies wore offered, I have been told, as low as fifty cents per copy, and even as low as twenty-five cents each.
There is yet living at Palmyra, N. Y., an octogenarian, Mr. J. H. Gilbert, who set type upon the original edition of the Mormon Bible.
(I have taken the liberty of copying for your confidential information a portion of a letter written by him to my son, Diedrich Villers, Jr., who has taken considerable interest in collecting early local history; and should you wish to use any of the facts therein contained, he will doubtless grant permission, should you write to him stating generally that you advised that he possess certain information as to Mormonism.)
to the appearance of the "Book of Mormon," Rigdon was in the habit of spending weeks away from his home, going no one knew where; and that he often appeared very preoccupied, and would indulge in dreamy, imaginative talks, which puzzled those who listened. When the "Book of Mormon" appeared, and Rigdon joined in the advocacy of the new religion, the suspicion was at once aroused that he was one of the framers of the new doctrines, and probably was not ignorant of the authorship of the "Book of Mormon."
(Published in the New York Evangelist, December 23, 1880.)
The writer had been visiting in the vicinity of Cleveland, and had heard much of the democratic style of living of General Garfield, but was quite unprepared for the reality. Having a letter of introduction for the occasion, and another in my possession, written for me for another purpose by Dr. Henry M. Field, who is a personal friend of General Garfield, the way was made easy to follow a natural desire to see the incoming President at his own home, as well as to see Mrs. Garfield.
Mentor is a very small village, twenty miles east of Cleveland; and quite at the west end of its one long street is the plain frame house; painted white, which is destined to he known in the history of our country. It is two stories high, irregular in shape, but has a comfortable, substantial appearance. Like most farm-houses, it is near the road, for convenience, and possibly for cheerfulness. Driving toward it from the station, the contrast between this unpretentious, simple home and that of Washington, at Mount Vernon, was very marked. It was very cold and snowing, and the question from the driver did not seem impertinent, "how long will you be here?" as we reached the side steps of the piazza. The reply, "It is impossible for me to say; possibly I shall not remain at all," was met with, "Oh, yes, you will; for the General is at home, and they are very hospitable."
A servant maid ushered me into a square corridor heated by a large stove, where the furniture made it apparent that it is a kind of general reception-room or office. A tall Dutch clock is in one corner, which looks as though it might he an heirloom, and with its loud ticking keeps me company until a gentleman entered, whom the writer instantly recognized, from his resemblance to his pictures, as General Garfield. Let me pause to say that he is a far handsomer man than his photographs represent him, they failing, as all photographs do, to catch his genial, pleasant expression. His height is rather above the medium, figure good, rather inclined to stoutness; his hair brown and full, eyes blue, complexion clear and fair, and his features regular. He is, in short, one of those persons we call good-looking, without knowing exactly why, as it is the whole appearance that impresses one favorably. After cordial greetings, and the letters referred to had been read, the General went up-stairs and called his wife "to come down, as they had visitors."
The parlor opening to the right from the corridor is a large square room, with an open fireplace, and two long windows. The wood-work is oak, varnished, which makes a pretty contrast with the white walls. The mantel is of oak, and has two shelves above it, which are filled with vases and plaques. To one side of the fireplace is an open cabinet, also of oak, that is filled with artistic effects and books. The door is covered with matting, over which large Turkey rugs are laid. There is a piano, low easy-chairs, window draperies, plenty of books, some good pictures, and an entire air of refinement and tastefulness, without the slightest attempt at luxury. Between the windows is a little picture of some purple pansies enclosed in a gilt frame, on which is written or painted a verse from Whittier. It is the recent gift of a Bay State girl. This apartment is one of those living-rooms which at once gives a visitor the impression that joyful, contented hours are passed in it; that children's voices have echoed within its walls, and bedtime stories have been told beside the hearth; that books have been read by the shaded lamp, and music has added its charms to the home scene. A second room opens from this parlor, a pretty room, all in blue, where beside the east window is a low rocking-chair, having a cover made of dainty patchwork. It is the bed-chamber of the mother of the President elect, who shall be introduced to the reader later on.
Mrs. Garfield at once responded to her husband's request, and came down to welcome the two chance visitors -- the writer and a member of Congress, on his way to Washington from San Francisco. An invitation was immediately given to remain to dinner, and soon
after our outer garments were removed a bell was rung in the hall. The General led the way to the dining-room -- a bright, cheerful room with an open fire. The table was long, and as though set for several persons, and the table-service was plain, but tasteful -- white porcelain, flowered with green. Oak cabinets with glass doors, on either side of the fireplace, displayed an abundance of handsome dishes, glassware, and silver.
Mrs. Garfield sat at one end of the long table, and the General at the other, Two elderly ladies came in, who seated themselves one on either side of the General, whom he introduced to us as "My mother and my aunt, Mrs. -----." The elder Mrs. Garfield is a sweet-faced old lady, who resembles her distinguished son, and showing in every look her pride in his success. She is contented to be an elderly person, wearing a cap, and otherwise evincing her excellent sense in not attempting to appear young by the accessories of the toilet. Major Swain, the General's private secretary ; Mr. ------, the telegraph operator (who resides at the house); and a neighbor whom they called "Doctor," with the guests mentioned, made up the number at table -- nine in all.
The dinner, which was plain, substantial, and well cooked, once under way (the host and hostess helping every one), the General at once opened a very pleasant conversation, and told anecdotes with infinite zest. The Western gentleman spoke of some recent political annoyances in San Francisco, the Chinese, the Rev. Starr King's career in that city, etc.; but the General led the talk back to some incidents nearer home; told us that his farm of one hundred and sixty acres was settled by the Mormon of whom he purchased it; that Mentor was the first place where the Mormons gathered in Ohio, and that the wonderful temple they built at Kirtland is only two or three miles from his house. He told us something of Joe Smith, and of Rigdon (a Mormon preacher), of whom his wife's father took lessons in Latin and Greek. The General and Mrs. Garfield both distinctly remembered this man who abjured his faith in Joe Smith and became a wandering expounder of the doctrines of the Disciples, or Campbellites. They had heard him preach, and considered him a man of ability and good education. He informed us also that a good many Mormons still reside in that neighborhood -- believers in the "Book of Mormon," but not in polygamy. Some of these people are very old, but have a full remembrance of the early excitement in regard to Mormonism and Joe Smith's departure for "pastures new" in the far West.
After dessert, with tea and coffee, but no wine, we returned to the
parlor. The Doctor reminded the General that the next day would be his birthday, and asked Mrs. Garfield, senior, how old he would be. She turned toward her son with a beaming smile, and responded, "He will be forty-nine years old."
"Not thirty-nine as some people say, mother?" laughingly asked the General.
"I think I ought to know," she replied, with some dignity.
"Yes, yes," said the Doctor; "sure you should know." He then chatted a little, said something about eating two dinners, having his at home at noon, and not being accustomed to such fashionable hours (between one and two o'clock), and made his familiar adieu, being evidently an intimate of the family. The Western gentleman also soon took his departure; said he had stopped to pay his respects to the General and Mrs. Garfield, and must catch the next train for the East. The door was ajar into "mother's room," and the old lady came in to bring some papers she had been reading, asking Mrs. Garfield, junior, how she liked one or two articles she pointed out. The General sat down in a low seat by one of the windows, and while chatting was interrupted once or twice by his clerk bearing telegrams for his inspection.
Until now I hare written nothing especial of Mrs. Garfield, the lady of the White House for the next four years. She seems slightly careworn; is of medium height and slender figure; has dark, wavy, brown hair; small, regular features, and dark eyes. She is evidently intelligent, well read, and a decided character. I could readily believe all I had heard as to her care for her five children, her supervision of their studies and personal wants. She is a dignified woman, kindly, cordial, and utterly void of the airs and graces of a fashionable-society woman, which she might have become in her long residence in Washington. I could believe, too, in what is said of the domestic life in this household, the happy relations between husband and wife, and the beautiful respect and honor shown to the venerable mother of the President-elect. Mrs. Garfield is more reticent than the General -- quieter, less free in conversation, but pleasing. That she is a sensible woman was proved by a trifling circumstance. She had on a simple morning dress, for which she did not once apologize. She came down from her chamber when called, and did not wait to make a toilet, which was also proof of her excellent breeding.
The writer wishes she could remember all the talk of the hour -- of the joking remark of the General that his wife resembles a caricature in an illustrated paper, where she is represented as ready to sweep some
feminine politicians out of her parlor, who are teasing the new President for office. This was all the better, that the lady in question will not have her picture taken by ambitions photographers. The General told, too, of an aged man in his vicinity, Mr. E. D. Howe, who was the first publisher of the Cleveland Herald, in 1819, and sold it himself, riding on horseback to deliver it; and much beside of interest.
But it was growing darker, and snowing still, and the writer suddenly remembered the driver (who had so confidently predicted a prolonged visit), and the necessary departure by the afternoon train. Accompanied to the door by both the host and hostess, the General ran ahead, and catching up a broom lying on the piazza, brushed aside the snowflakes with the abandon of a boy. I could not but remark laughingly, "I never expected a President of the United States to sweep the steps for me; so I fancy some politicians will feel the influence of your broom, sir." He waved the broom slightly as he replied, " Possibly," and "Good-by."
And so this (to me) memorable visit to Mentor was over, and something in the past to recall with pleasure; and in dwelling upon it afterward in my journey, and upon the testimony of all those whom I met in Ohio who have a personal acquaintance with the General and Mrs. Garfield, I could come to but one conclusion as to the result of the recent Presidential election -- a favorable conclusion, as you may imagine.
I may add that I heard that the older Mrs. Garfield is to go to Washington with the General; and she will be, it is said, the first mother of a President who has resided at the Whitehouse.
Mrs. E. E. Dickinson.
New York, December 10, 1880.
I am sixty-nine years of age, and have lived all my life in Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. My father, Henry Lake, was partner with Solomon Spaulding in 1811 and 1812, in a forge in Conneaut (then Salem). About 1834, when I was about twenty-three years of
age, I remember that there was a great excitement concerning Mormonism in Conneaut. My father read the "Book of Mormon," or heard it read, and was familiar with its contents, and he told me it was unquestionably derived from a manuscript written by his former partner, Solomon Spaulding, called "Manuscript Found; or, the Lost Tribes." I believe my father, about this time, made an affidavit to the same effect, which was published. Since 1834 I have conversed with Aaron Wright, John N. Miller, and Nathan Howard, old residents here, now deceased, all of whom lived here in 1811 and 1812, and who had heard Spaulding's manuscript read, and they told me they believed the "Book of Mormon" was derived from Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." Some or all these persons made affidavits to this effect, which were published in a book called "Mormonism Unveiled, edited by E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio.
Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, December 23, 1880.
I have resided in the neighborhood of Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. sixty-six years. During all that period I have known Hiram Lake, whose statement [given above], dated December 23d, 1880, I have read. This statement I believe to be true. I was acquainted with Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, John N. Miller, and Nathan Howard, the persons named in Hiram Lake's statement, and about 1834-35, the time of the excitement concerning Mormonism, I heard them all say that the Book of Mormon" was undoubtedly taken from a manuscript written by Solomon Spaulding, which they had heard Spaulding read in 1811 or 1812, called "The Manuscript Found; or, the Lost Tribes."
L ORIN G OULD .
No. 15.Monroe. December 18, 1880.
Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson:
Your letter of the 6th inst. is received, but I fear I shall be unable to give you any new information on the subject of your inquiry. My father settled in Vermont when a young man, where he remained until 1823, when he came to this country. I was then seventeen years of age. His brother John was living here, the first and only one of his father's family whom I ever saw. Uncle Solomon left Salem (as it was then called) [in] 1814, and died about two years after. When the Mormon Bible was published some of his acquaintances recognized in it much which they were quite sure they had heard
him read in his "Manuscript Found." In Henry Howe's "History of Ohio," page 285, is an article taken from a work published by E. D. Howe, called a "History of Mormonism," in which he gives what evidence he could gather, that the historical part of the "Book of Mormon" was written by Solomon Spaulding. He gives the testimony of Uncle John Spaulding and Mr. Henry Lake.
In our "Spaulding Memorial" is a letter to the publisher from Uncle Josiah Spaulding, who visited his brother, and gives what recollections he had of his writings. But perhaps you have the book or have seen it; if not, and you wish to do so, I think you can obtain it by sending to Rev. Samuel J. Spaulding, Newburyport, Mass.
These are all the sources of knowledge I have of my uncle's writing's, and doubtless you have as much or more. There will probably never be an new light gained on the subject, as all his associates have passed away.
Mrs. Urania Haviland.
South Ridge, Ashtabula County, Ohio.
D. P. Hurlburt.
DEAR SIR: Just received your line, calling my attention to an article in Scribner, on the origin of that old Mormon Bible. Hardly a year passes by that I do not receive more or less inquiries, some of which seem to reflect on your honesty in regard to the manuscript obtained from that wonderful old trunk, that was all explained truthfully in the book I published, as I then believed, and have ever since, that Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" was never found or received by you; I have no manner of doubt, but altogether a different manuscript on a very different subject. It was in my possession till after the publication of "Mormonism Unveiled," and then disappeared and lost, I suppose, by fire. I suppose this is all I need say on that subject. I was glad to hear that you are still in the form. I am now eighty-two years old, enjoying very good health. Hoping never to hear any more about that old Mormon imposition,
Yours very truly,
E. D. Howe.
I visited Mrs. Matilda (Spaulding) Davison at Munson, Mass., in 1834, and never saw her afterward. I then received from her a manuscript of her husband's, which I did not read, but brought home with me, and immediately gave it to Mr. E. D. Howe, of Painseville, Ohio, who was then engaged in preparing his book -- "Mormonism Unvailed." I do not know whether or not the document I received from Mrs. Davison was Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," as I never read it entire, and it convinced me that it was not the Spaulding manuscript; but whatever it was, Mr. Howe received it under the condition on which I took it from Mrs. Davison -- to compare it with the "Book of Mormon," and then return it to her. I never received any other manuscript of Spaulding's from Mrs. Davison, or any one else. Of that manuscript I made no other use than to give it, with all my other documents connected with Mormonism, to Mr. Howe. I did not destroy the manuscript nor dispose of it to Joe Smith, or to any other person. No promise was made by me to Mrs. Davison that she should receive any portion of the profits arising from the publication of the manuscript, if it should be published. All the affidavits procured by me for Mr. Howe's book, including all those from Palmyra, N. Y., were certainly genuine.
D. P. Hurlburt.
In 1825, when I was publishing the Rochester Telegraph, a man introduced himself to me as Joseph Smith, of Palmyra, New York, whose object, he said, was to get a book published. He then stated he had been guided by a vision to a spot he described, where, in a cavern, he found what he called a Golden Bible. It consisted of a tablet, which he placed in his hat, and from which he proceeded to read the first chapter of the "Book of Mormon."
I listened until I became weary of what seemed to me an incomprehensible jargon. I then told him I was only publishing a newspaper, and that he would have to go to a book publisher, suggesting a friend who was in the business. A few days afterward Smith called again, bringing a substantial farmer with him named Harris.
Smith renewed his request that I should print his book, adding that it was a divine revelation, and that he would be accepted by the world as a prophet. Supposing that I had doubts as to his being able to pay for the publishing, Mr. Harris, who was a convert, offered to be his security for payment. Meantime, I had discovered that Smith was a shrewd, scheming fellow who passed his time in taverns and stores in Palmyra, without business, and apparently without visible means of support. He seemed about thirty years of age, was compactly built, about five feet eight inches in height, had regular features, and would impress one favorably in conversation. His book was afterward published in Palmyra. I knew the publisher, but cannot at this moment remember his name. The first Mormon newspaper was published at Canandaigua, New York, by a man named Phelps, who accompanied Smith as an apostle to Illinois, where the first Mormon city, Nauvoo, was started.
(Signed) Thurlow Weed.
Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson.
Dear Madam: Your interesting paper in Scribner, entitled "The Book of Mormon," has recalled the following anecdote to my mind, related by my aunt, Mrs. Orill Fuller, who was converted to the Mormon faith in the first days, and emigrated from this State to join the Mormon congregation, located, I think, at Kirtland, Ohio.
It appears that a certificate or affidavit, signed by the three witnesses -- David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris -- was appended to the "Book of Mormon" to this effect: "We, the undersigned.
have seen and hefted the book of plates." Arrived at her destination, my aunt became acquainted with David Whitmer, who lived there; and wishing to be edified by the account of a reliable eye-witness concerning the appearance and peculiarities of the wonderful plates, she took early opportunity to converse with him on the subject, when, to her amazement, the veracious Whitmer assured her that he never had seen them.
"Suppose," said he, "that you had a friend whose character was such that you knew it was impossible that he could lie; then if he described a city to you which you had never seen, could you not, by the eye of faith see the city just as he described it?" She answered that, however that might be, the certificate attached to the Mormon Bible had given rise to the belief that the three witnesses had actually seen and handled the book of plates
Thereupon he went on to relate the bottom facts, which formed the basis of his faith, to this effect: That he went into the woods after some maple sap, and having filled two large pails, he set out to return home. The pails of sap were so heavy that he was obliged to stop and rest at short intervals, and the sharp roots and stubs hurt his bare feet so badly that he had great difficulty in getting along at all. So sitting alone in the woods, he fell to thinking of Smith and of the plates he claimed to have found, and finally, to ease his doubts, he knelt and prayed that if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and the plates a genuine revelation from God, that the sap might be made lighter as a token thereof. The prayer being ended, he arose, and lifted the sap, which now had apparently no weight whatever, and he went the remaining distance -- I think a half mile -- without setting it down once, getting over the ground easier than if empty-handed.
Whether Cowdery and Harris had such convincing proof, I do not know. I believe I read in the Latter-Day Saints Herald, that an angel appeared to them, holding the book of plates in his hands. My aunt's family did not remain at Kirtland long; they seceded and went to Michigan, under the leadership of James G. Strong [sic]; if I remember rightly, renounced Mormonism some time after, and are now living somewhere in the West. David Whitmer is still living, though very aged. These details, perhaps unimportant in themselves, derive a possible significance in connection with Mrs. McKinstry's narrative, showing how miracles and visions were, of necessity, substituted for ocular demonstration of the existence of the plates. You are at liberty to make any use of these statements that you choose, and I remain,
Yours truly, E. S. Gilbert.
When Solomon Spalding first came to this place, he purchased a tract of land, surveyed it out, and commenced selling it. While in this business, he boarded at my house six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing an historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of this country. He said he intended to trace their journey by land and sea, till their arrival in America, give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, wars, and contentions. In this way, he would give a satisfactory account of all of the old mounds, so common to this country. During the time he was at my house he read one hundred or more pages to me; Nephi and Levi [sic.] were by him represented as leading characters, etc. When the "Book of Mormon" came in the neighborhood, I heard the historical part of it related, I at once said it was the writing of Solomon Spalding.
No. 22.Rev. N. C. Lewis, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Susquehanna Co., Penn, in 1834, made a sworn statement to the effect that he had "been acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., for some time; being a relative of his wife's, and residing near him, have frequent opportunities of conversation with him. He is not a man of veracity, and his general character in this part of the country is that of an impostor, hypocrite, and liar."
No. 23.Randolph, N. Y., November 9, 1881.
Ellen E. Dickinson:
Dear Madam: I have read with interest your letters on the "Book of Mormon," in the October number of Scribner's Monthly, and take the liberty to offer another source of information. There was living three years ago, near the town of Gilroy, Santa Clara Co., California, a Mrs. Monroe, who claims that Joe Smith was living in her father's house when he discovered the golden plates on which the "Book of Mormon" was inscribed, and that the translation was made then. I do not remember very much of her story, not being interested in the matter at that time; but I am certain you can obtain some very interesting particulars, if you can reach her.
I am very truly yours,
Alice Grey Cowan.
The Indians of Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and Dakota found ready market with Mormon agents for government horses, and any stolen, so that at one time thirty branded horses, fully recognized, were found in Salt Lake City, in Mormon stables, within two weeks after they had been stolen by Indians. The same was true of clothing and other supplies, which were not carried to the tribes by the plunderers, but sold to the Mormons by systematic arrangement. This was one reason why the Mormons themselves were rarely disturbed by Indians. They excited the Indians against the building of the railroad and of forts and settlements, thus to preserve their isolation as long as possible. By systematic false swearing they covered their agents, and by presents and supply of arms and powder fomented Indian hostilities for years.
No. 26.The following letter from Rev. W. H. Rice, of Addison, Steuben Co., N. Y., tells its own story. There is a possibility that L. L. Rice of Honolulu, S. I., may have a Spaulding manuscript in his possession; but unquestionably it is not the original "Manuscript Found," from which the "Book of Mormon" was constructed, as all the evidence given in these pages will show. Author
Addison, N. Y., February 21, 1885.
Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson:
Yours of the 18th is received. When my father went to Honolulu, he took some documents which had not been examined for many years. A few months since he began to look them over, and found one marked "Conneaut Story." He found it to be a story in Scripture narrative style, purporting to be written by Rev. Solomon Spaulding. It must have been unnoticed in his hands forty-five years or more, and he writes me that he has no recollection as to its origin or how it came into his possession. His age is eighty-four. It has been examined by all the best scholars in Honolulu, including Rev. Dr. Hyde, Judge McCully of the Supreme Court, and none of them has expressed a doubt that it is an original manuscript from the pen of Solomon Spaulding. It is similar in style to the "Book of Mormon," but not identical with it in any part. It is signed by several "witnesses." all of whom, as I have learned, actual residents of Conneaut or its vicinity -- now all dead. Hurlburt is, I believe, one of the names. This is the substance of all I know about it. I should think there could be no doubt that Mr. Spaulding wrote it; but whether he also wrote other stories in similar style is an important question.
W. H. RICE.
the nineteenth century which has obtained any reputation. As an evidence of this, a gentleman was in search of a copy for a great many years, and always unsuccessful, until a copy came into his possession by accident in New York, among a lot of old school books, which, by the by, in external appearance it strongly resembles.
The following is an exact copy of the title-page of this book:
"The Book of Mormon. An account written by the hand of Mormon from plates taken from the plates of Nephi. Wherefore it is an abridgment of the Record of the people of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites which are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also [of] the spirit of Prophesy and of Revelation, written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile[s]; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God; an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether. Also, which is a Record of the people of Jared which were scattered at the time, the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were building a tower to get to Heaven: which is to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers, and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting Himself unto all nations. And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not
the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ
By Joseph Smith, Junior,
Author and Proprietor.
Printed by E. D. Grandin,
for the Author.
Camp Douglas is situated on a hill overlooking the city. It is occupied by several regiments of Federal troops, under command of United States officers. While the troops are a nominal safeguard to the Gentiles of Salt Lake Valley, they would be quite inadequate in number to protect them in case of a conflict between the Mormons and Gentiles.
The Rev. Joseph Cook predicts a civil war in Utah within a few years; in fact, at almost any time, as a natural sequence to the events now transpiring among the Saints. He affirms that every male Mormon is trained and ready for the conflict. He also asserts that Mormonism without polygamy is so dread an evil, that it should be exterminated at any cost. Every Mormon he considers a sworn enemy to the Federal Government, and that Mormonism is a political as well as spiritual hierarchy, and without immediate and stringent measures are used, in a few years the Mormon leaders will rule every State west of the Mississippi.
I N D E X.
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