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Brigham H. Roberts
Defense of the Faith... I
(SLC: Deseret News, 1907)
  • Contents   Volume II
  • 013   Spalding claims
  • 250   Book of Mormon
  • 255   Translation
  • 315   A Brief Debate
  • 365   Spalding claims

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • 1888 Contributor  |  1903 YMMIA Manual  |  1904 YMMIA Manual  |  1904 Imp. Era
    1905 YMMIA Manual  |  1906 Imp. Era  |  1908 Am. Hist. Mag.  |  1909 New Witnesses

    (Note: Incomplete footnotes and punctuation for this text will be corrected in a forthcoming update)



    iii  General Foreword

    001  Part I. Position and Defense.

      005  I. Mormonism: Foreword

      024  II. the Relationship Church to Christian Sects: the Doctrine of Two Churches Only.

      039  III. Some Recent Literature on Mormonism.

      081  IV. A Brief Defense of the Mormon People.

      109  V. Which of the Sects Has Opposed Mormonism Most?

      119  VI. "How."

      143  VII. Relations of Church and State: Religious Liberty in America.

      171  VIII. "Conditions in Utah." 1905.

    250  Part II. Book of Mormon Controversial questions.

      255  I. The Manner of Translating the Book of Mormon.

      313  II. A Brief Debate on the Book of Mormon.

      371  III. "The Fifth Gospel."

      401  IV. Mormon Views of America.

    443  Part III. Historical and Doctrinal Papers.

      445  I. The Lord's Day.

      461  II. Anglican Orders -- Decision of Leo XIII Considered -- The Protestant Dilemma.

      477  III. Reformation or Revolution?

      499  IV. Revelation and Inspiration.


    [ iii ]


    Fifteen years ago, in announcing what was then a list of prospective books, the writer declared his intention to publish a "Scrap Book," promising that it should be a choice selection of his miscellaneous writings, and mentioned as among the probable articles, Corianton, a Book of Mormon story; Mariam, a story of Zarahemla; Spirit Promptings, etc., etc., all which are here recalled as foreshadowing the author's intention at that time. About then, however, the writer's energies began to be devoted more exclusively to doctrinal and historical themes, and one circumstance after another arose which called him to the defense of the Mormon faith and the Mormon people, so that the character of his literary efforts were turned away from the line of purpose fiction work he had proposed to himself. But the scrap-book, nevertheless, became a possibility through the multiplication of the defensive articles, though its character would be changed, owing the change in the writer's line of work. Through the years have elapsed since the "Scrap Book" idea was first entertained as a depository of the author's miscellaneous writings, a great mass of material in the form of

    iv                             GENERAL  FOREWORD.                            

    discourses and papers, contributed to magazines and newspapers has accumulated and it is from this mass of materials that following collection of articles has been chosen; and as there is still much material on hand, and the end of the writer's work is not yet in sight, he has ventured to call this Volume I, indicating by that the probability that other volumes in time will follow, if the writer is not mistaken in his judgment as to the demand for such publications.


    [ 1 ]

    Part I.

    Position and Defense.

    [ 3 ]



    [ 5 ]


    The following paper was prepared by the writer for presentation at the Parliament of Religions, held at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not invited to participate in the proceedings of that Parliament, although Mormonism is the most distinctively American religious movement yet developed in our country; and as such the position and doctrine of the Church should have been of special interest in such a gathering as the Parliament purported to be. Learning that the Church would not be invited to the Parliament, under a sense of duty to make known the faith and message to the world, her presiding authorities sought opportunity for a hearing from the Parliament platform. After much solicitation and persistent urging as to the right of the Church to a hearing in such a gathering, a reluctant consent was finally given for a presentation of the following paper. But after this consent was given, a very unworthy effort was made by the President and chairman of the Parliament to side-track the paper by asking the representative of the Church to read it in one of the auxiliary departments of the Parliament, -- namely, the Scientific Department, which meetings were held in a room capable of accommodating about fifty hearers, and presided over by Mr. Mervin Marie Snell. In response to that suggestion the writer, who had the honor to the representative of the Church to the Parliament, replied that such a hearing as could be had in Hall III Department of the Parliament) was not the kind

    6                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of hearing the Mormon Church had asked for or could accept. She had asked to speak from the same platform from which the great religious faiths had spoken -- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism -- from the platform of Columbus Hall, where her position and principles could be compared and contrasted with the viewpoint and doctrines of other religions, by the enlightened thought of the age. The officers in charge of the Parliament, however, refused to change the terms on which a hearing could be obtained for Mormonism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had the distinction of being refused a hearing in the World's Parliament of Religions.


    [ 7 ]



    One of the most instructive as well as the most important religious movements of the nineteenth century is the rise of what the world has learned to call "Mormonism." In an age which believed that God's voice would no more be heard giving revelation; that said the volume of scripture was completed and forever closed; that declared angels would no more visit the earth to communicate the divine will; and that sedulously taught that all miracles had ceased -- the world beholds a religion arising based upon these forces that men had been taught to believe had forever become inactive. True, it has met with many obstacles in consequence of making these rejected stones of ancient Christianity the chief corner stones of its structure; but notwithstanding the fierceness of the opposition it has aroused, it is now so firmly established that it claims the respectful attention of the world.

    New religions, when struggling for existence in the face of adversity, with few followers and no influence, may expect to be treated with silent contempt by the supposedly orthodox; but when a religion has fought its way through all opposition to a position of influence, and counts within its pale hundreds of thousands of sincere and intelligent followers, it gives proof that its doctrines contain some measure of truth at least, and by reason of that fact, has a claim upon the respect and thoughtful consideration of mankind.

    Such is the position of "Mormonism." Sixty-three

    8                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    years ago [a] the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized with but six members, in the State of New York. That organization was effected in a log room not more than fourteen feet square, by men who made no pretensions to ecclesiastical scholarship, but claimed to be directed by divine revelation. It could but be expected that the great Christian sects, by which the new church was surrounded, and that considered themselves strongly entrenched behind a fullness of religious truth -- would scoff at the pretensions of these men. But when, after a lapse of sixty-three years, the work having so humble an origin is still in existence with a membership of over three hundred thousand, it is time the scoffing ceased and earnest attention be given to its pretensions, especially when account is taken of its history between the two points indicated -- its origin and present standing.

    Within that period it has fallen to the lot of the "Mormon" Church to make more history than any other religious denomination of modern times. Ridicule has laughed at it; Satire has mocked it; Bigotry has refused to hear its defense; Hatred has slandered it; Intolerance has armed the red, right hind of persecution against it; the Government of the United States has seized upon and escheated its property; Mob Violence has opposed its promulgation by murdering its missionaries and driving its devotees from city to city, from county to county, from state to state; and the Civil Authorities refusing the protection guaranteed alike in state and national constitutions, at last permitted those who accepted its faith to be exiled from their native country.

    "Mormonism," however, has survived not only the

    [a] This was written in 1893.

                                      MORMONISM.                                   9

    violence which murdered its prophets, burned the houses of the Saints, laid waste their fields and destroyed their temples, but also an exodus which, for the distance covered and the dangers encountered, has not a parallel in ancient or modern history. Its followers settling in a desert land a thousand miles from the frontiers of civilization, like drilled cohorts made war upon the sterile elements of the inter-Rocky Mountain region, and like magic there sprang into existence, as the result of their Untiring efforts and divine blessing, cities, towns, hamlets; temples, churches, schoolhouses; peaceful homes surrounded by fruitful fields and gardens and orchards, which, with the peace and good order everywhere prevailing, challenge the admiration of all who become acquainted with the Saints and the land they inhabit.

    Meantime, the Elders of the Church, full of sublime faith and trust in God, without purse or scrip, have visited nearly all the nations of the earth and have preached the gospel to them. Not, perhaps, with that nice skill and polish which refined education in renowned institutions of learning may give, but in the power and demonstration of God's Holy Spirit; and nearly every nation under the whole heaven has given to the new faith some of its sons and daughters. By reason of this missionary work "Mormonism" is becoming recognized in the earth as one of the potent religious forces of the age, and as such claims the right to be heard in this Parliament, in giving expression to its faith and distinguishing characteristics.

    "Mormonism," like all religions which have any hold either upon the intelligence or affections of men, has, as its foundation principle, faith in God, the Creator of heaven and earth and the Power by which they are sustained. But

    10                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    "Mormonism" not only believes in this fundamental truth of all religions, but it has another belief equal unto it, viz., that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and who through the atonement made by him on Calvary, is the Savior of the world. These two personages and the Holy Ghost, that divine Spirit which bears, record of God and operates throughout the universe as his witness and agent, constitute the God-head -- the Holy Trinity, the Grand Presidency of heaven and earth. In attributes, in purpose, in will, these three are one; perfectly united in mind and action.

    To this great Presidency, "Mormonism" teaches that man owes praise, adoration, and as best of all worship -- obedience; for submission of the mind and the will to God, is alone true worship. Such a result as this can only be obtained through faith, for he who cometh thus to God must believe that he is. But the evidences of God's existence are so overwhelming that none shall be able to find an excuse for unbelief. Such evidences are to be found in the works of God as seen in the works of nature. The orderly procession of the seasons proclaim it; and when man uplifts his eyes from earth to the dome of heaven stretched above him, he beholds, like the Psalmist, the evidences of God's existence and of his majesty and glory. The unbroken line of testimony of prophets and righteous men as recorded it, the Jewish Scriptures, both in the old and New Testament, bear witness of it. But to this testimony, the common inheritance of all Christendom, "Mormonism" adds special evidences of its own. It has prophets, who, through righteousness and faith, coupled with the grace of God, have stood in his presence, heard his voice, and beheld in part, his glory. They bear record that God lives, and that Jesus is

                                      MORMONISM.                                   11

    the Christ; and that testimony, like the ancient prophets, they have sealed with their blood.

    To the volume of Jewish scripture "Mormonism" adds a volume equal in bulk and equal in importance to the New Testament -- the Book of Mormon. This book is an abridgement of more extensive records kept by the ancient-inhabitants of the western hemisphere, the existence of which was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith by the ministry of an angel and translated by him into the English language by means of the Urim and Thummim hidden with the golden plates upon which the record was engraven.

    From this new volume of scripture we learn that the mercies and favors of God are not confined to the inhabitants of the eastern hemisphere; but he of whom it is said that he is "no respecter of persons," had regard for the races of men who inhabited the western half of the world. He raised up wise men and prophets among them to whom he revealed his will, made known his purposes concerning the creation of man, and taught him the way of life. Previous to the coming of the Son of God in the flesh, their prophets taught this ancient people as Isaiah, Jeremiah and others taught the Jews, to look forward to the coming of Messiah, to make an atonement for the sins of the world. And when Jesus had completed his mission to the Jews in Palestine, in fulfillment of his own prophecy which says, "I lay down my life for the sheep; and other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd," -- in fulfillment of this, I say, he visited the land of America, revealed himself to the people, taught the same divine truths which warmed the hearts and purified the lives of men of good will in Palestine; gave them the same ordinances of

    12                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    salvation; and organized the church in their midst for their instruction in righteousness.

    Of these things their poets sang, their prophets wrote; and when, through wickedness, anarchy overthrew their civilization, righteous men hid away their records that in the last days they might come forth and be united with the testimony of prophets and men of God who had lived in other lands; to the end that the evidences of God's existence, the Messiahship of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the gospel might be so increased that unbelief would have no excuse for its infidelity; and that they who scoff at faith might be reproved and learn to believe.

    One thing has occurred to me while in attendance at this Parliament which has raised in importance the humble part allotted to me in it; and that is, while we have heard from this platform voices from all nations and races of men -- voices from Asia, from Europe, from Africa and the islands of the sea; we have had voices from the dead religions and the living religions, and they have united in saying that in all these lands and in all ages God has not left himself without witnesses among them, but has raised up prophets among them who taught them at least some measure of the truth -- perhaps all they could accept and incorporate in their lives. But where is the voice to tell us that God remembered the races and nations which flourished for ages throughout this whole western hemisphere before Europeans discovered it? Races that had attained a high state of civilization, too, as proclaimed by the ruins of their temples and cities. Are we to suppose that they were without God while all the rest of mankind found him? Perish the thought. If no other voice is to be heard proclaiming that God was just and merciful to these races, and that he revealed

                                      MORMONISM.                                   13

    himself to them -- then let the pleasing task be mine, and here in this august presence I proclaim the revelation of their record which bears witness of God's goodness to them; and that record is the Book of Mormon.

    A word further in regard to that book. Men have usually satisfied themselves as to its origin by accepting that flimsiest of all theories that it was the production of one Rev. Solomon Spaulding, who wrote it as a romance. This theory of its origin, without any investigation, has generally satisfied those who have heard it. In 1886, however, the long lost manuscript of the Rev. Mr. Spaulding unexpectedly came to light, has been identified beyond the peradventure of a doubt, and is now in the possession of President James H. Fairchild of Oberlin College, Ohio, or rather is in the museum of that institution for the inspection of all. It has been published by the Church, every word of it, with even the erasures made by its author so far as they can be deciphered, and lo there is not an incident, not a circumstance, not a proper name either of place or person, nor any similarity of construction or purpose common to the Book of Mormon and Mr. Spaulding's production. President Fairchild himself says that whatever theory shall be put forth for the origin of the Book of Mormon, the Spaulding theory must be abandoned.

    By accepting the records of the ancient peoples of America the "Mormons" have double the amount of evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the gospel that other people possess; and since faith must ever have its foundation in evidence, the enlarged evidences accepted by "Mormons" must account for that mightier faith which both their sufferings and their works proclaim they possess.

    In "Mormon" theology the atonement of Jesus Christ

    14                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    redeems all mankind from the consequences of Adam's transgression, irrespective of their belief or unbelief, their obedience or their disobedience, their righteousness or their unrighteousness. It is manifestly evident that the "Fall of Adam" was essential to the accomplishment of the divine purposes of God in the earth-life of man; which earth-life was designed for man's progress in that eternal existence which unquestionably is his. But being a necessity from the nature of things, an essential to the production of those conditions which would place man in a state of probation, in which he might gain those experiences, demonstrate that fidelity, and acquire the strength that shall make him both worthy of, and able to bear, that eternal weight of glory designed of God for those able to overcome the evils of earth-life -- its temptations and sins -- the "Fall of Adam," I say, being necessary to bring to pass the conditions of this earth probation for man, it is but just that there should be some means of free and universal redemption from the effects of it. For while man, may be held accountable for his personal conduct under given conditions that do not take from him his freedom, nor the power to will and to do what is required, he may not in justice be held accountable for the existence of necessary conditions that establish the state of probation under which he consents to work. Free and universal redemption, therefore, is provided for man from those effects that result from necessity; and hence the Church teaches that "men will be punished for their own Sins and not for Adam's transgressions." [e]

    But quite apart from the transgression of Adam is man's individual violations of the laws of righteousness --


                                      MORMONISM.                                   15

    violations of the laws of God in which man's agency is exercised; for he sins at times willfully and wantonly; knowing the right, he dares to do wrong. Here justice has a claim upon him and may demand the payment of the penalty to the uttermost. But the mercy of God as well as his justice is active, and offers redemption from the consequences of individual transgressions on the condition of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    These laws are not intricate, baffling the understanding. The ordinances are neither numerous nor difficult of performance; but in the plan of man's salvation, as in all other works of Deity, simplicity marks its outlines and efficiency justifies its adoption. The laws and ordinances referred to have not for their chief object the propitiation of the anger of God as the old Pagan ordinances of religion had; but on the contrary, by their nature and operation, they affect the character of man, and are calculated to so purify and exalt his nature as to prepare him to dwell in endless felicity in the presence and companionship of his Maker.

    Of necessity Faith in God and in this plan of salvation is of first importance, and must be an active principle in the mind, for without it men would consider themselves under no obligation to yield obedience to any ordinance whatsoever. The reason the infidel does not repent, or perform any other act of obedience, is because he has or pretends to have no faith in the existence of God. As from the rising sun there beams those rays of light which streak the heavens with glory, so from faith spring those acts of obedience required in the gospel of Jesus Christ. First among these acts is repentance, which consists not alone in deep and heartfelt sorrow for sin, but coupled with it must be a firm determination

    16                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of amendment of Conduct. It must be a godly sorrow working a reformation of life. Following repentance comes baptism in water by which men take on them the name of Christ, through which ordinance also they receive, when it is preceded by faith and true repentance, forgiveness of sins. But even after a remission of sins, such is the weakness of human nature that man is not able to stand by his own strength, he needs divine aid: hence, God has ordained that through the ordinance of confirmation by the laying on of hands, the Holy Ghost shall be imparted unto man as a comforter and guide, and by giving heed to his voice man shall overcome the old inclinations to evil, and at last so purify and sanctify himself that he will be worthy to dwell in the presence of his God.

    As a further means of grace, the Church of Jesus Christ recognizes the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, by which men may frequently renew their covenant with God and witness to each other that they are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, gratefully remember the atonement he has made for them, express a willingness to keep his commandments, and by doing so draw to themselves a constant renewal of the Spirit of God.

    Few and simple as these ordinances are, the Church teaches that in order to be of effect they must be administered by divine authority. No man can take the honor upon himself to administer in things pertaining to God. He must be called by direct revelation from God, or be by a divinely authorized power. Here is where "Mormonism" comes in conflict with all Christendom. Men even the early centuries of the Christian era having the laws, changed the ordinances, broke the covenant, and lost divine authority to administer the Gospel

                                      MORMONISM.                                   17

    of Jesus Christ -- though the letter of the Gospel remained in part with the world in the writings of the ancient Apostles -- there arose a necessity for the re-opening of the heavens and a restoration of that priesthood which alone can administer the ordinances of salvation.

    That is the significance of the revelations of God and the visitation of angels to Joseph Smith. To him was revealed anew the gospel, to him was committed a new dispensation of it, and angels bestowed upon him the apostleship, the fullness of all priesthood which God gives to man in the earth, and by its power Joseph Smith and those to whom he transmitted authority preached the gospel. By the power of that priesthood they organized the Church of Christ never more to be destroyed; sustained and upheld by that power the Church has outlived all the opposition arrayed against it, and stands today planted impregnably upon the eternal foundations of truth.

    But notwithstanding the absence of the gospel and the authority to administer its ordinances, the children of God living through those dark ages will not be deprived of its saving powers. That must be a very contracted view of the great plan of human redemption which would confine its operations to the brief span of man's existence in this life. "Mormonism" holds no such view. On the contrary, it teaches that the gospel is everlasting; that it walks beside man throughout eternity; and means for its application to him have been provided by the mercy of God. It may be that "Mormonism" does not stand alone in this broad conception of the application of the gospel to our race; but while others are speculating as to whether it is possible or not for man to attain unto repentance and forgiveness of sins in his future existence, "Mormonism" is erecting temples

    18                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to the name of the Most High, and within their sacred walls the Saints are vicariously performing the ordinances of salvation for those who have passed from the earth when the gospel and authority to administer it were not among the children of men. Such is the conception that Mormonism holds and teaches of the gospel of Jesus Christ and its application to mankind; and surely one may see in this conception the fullness of that glorious scripture which says: God, our Savior, would have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2: 3, 4.)

    If asked what the distinguishing characteristics of "Mormonism" are, I should answer:

    The acceptance of Jesus Christ as the full and complete revelation of God to man, in person and in attributes; that as Jesus was and is, -- for to us he still lives, a resurrected, glorified man -- so is God, the Father -- a perfected man. This is only saying that as "the Son is, so also is the Father."

    The belief that the spirit of man is in very deed the child of God -- his offspring; that men in reality are brothers to Jesus Christ, and to each other.

    A more pronounced faith than is possessed by other people in the imminence of God in the world and in men, through the medium of the divine spirit.

    A positive belief in present and continuous revelation.

    A broader conception of God's treatment of men in the matter of revealing himself and his purposes to them.

    Acknowledging an inspired priesthood, authorized to direct the affairs of, and instruct the Church.

    The possession of a living faith which lays hold of all the promises made in the gospel of Jesus Christ; personal

                                      MORMONISM.                                   19

    communion with God through the Holy Spirit, and enjoyment of all the spiritual gifts and graces granted to the saints in any age of the world.

    If asked what special benefits "Mormonism" has conferred upon mankind, my answer would be: 1st. That it presents to the world the fullness of the gospel, with the authority to administer its ordinances; that through obedience to it men may attain unto all those gifts, graces and powers known to the ancient saints. It assures them that God in his relationship to men, is the same today as he was nineteen centuries ago, that the gospel is the same now as it ever was, and all spiritual graces and powers that man ever attained to he may possess today. 2nd. That in the testimony of modern prophets and saints the evidences of God's existence and the truth of the gospel are so enlarged that the unbelief which today distresses the religious world and limits the extension of Christianity would be swept away. 3rd. That in the Book of Mormon there is evidence of the authorship of the Jewish scripture of which Christendom in the face of modern criticism -- commonly called the "Higher Criticism" -- stands much in need. That criticism, as is well known, is not directed so much to textual errors which may have found their way into the great collection of sacred books, as it is to utterly destroy, the authorship and, all idea of the divine inspiration of them. This modern criticism has decided that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, and indeed, the authorship not only of the Pentateuch but of nearly all the prophets and even the books of the New Testament is unsettled in the minds of many. The Book of Mormon gives an account of a colony of Israelites that left Palestine six hundred years before Christ, which

    20                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    colony carried with it a copy of the law of Moses and the writings of the Prophets down to the days of Jeremiah. These scriptures they preserved with great care, handing them down from generation to generation, and from them both they and their descendants learned of the hand dealings of God with his children in ancient times. When the civilization of these people on the Western Hemisphere was overthrown, and their records in order to preserve them were hidden by righteous men, the truths which their fathers had learned from them were preserved -- though somewhat distorted -- in their traditions. Thus is accounted for the knowledge of the creation, the flood, the coming of the Messiah, which Europeans found among the races inhabiting America at the time of its discovery. Portions of the ancient Jewish Scriptures which these colonists brought with them to America were transcribed into the Book of Mormon, and there they stand in the translations that have been made of it to testify not only to the existence of the writings of Moses and the other prophets at least six hundred years before Christ, but to testify also that the records which have come down to us from the Jews are substantially correct. More important as confirming the accuracy and inspiration of the Jewish Scriptures, more potent to silence the new forms of unbelief which have arisen in modern times, more powerful to confirm the faith of believers in God's word is this new volume of scripture -- the voice of nations of people who sought and found God -- than all the newly deciphered hieroglyphics of Egypt, or the still more recent evidences that come from the ancient cities of Assyria: and for this reason we make bold to invite the attention of our Christian brethren to the consideration of this New Witness for God.

                                      MORMONISM.                                   21

    Besides preaching the Gospel for the salvation of men, "Mormonism" has an especial mission, viz: to prepare the earth for the coming and reign of Messiah. This mission authorizes the servants of God to warn mankind of the judgments which shall precede that appearing, and to call upon all men to repent of their sins, that they may escape the threatened calamities. This preparatory work includes the gathering together of the dispersed tribes of Israel and placing them in possession of the lands which God, by covenant, gave to their fathers. It contemplates the erection of a great city upon this continent of America to be called "Zion," the abode of the pure in heart, from whence the law of God shall go forth to all the world. It contemplates the restoration of the Jews to the city of their forefathers, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, from whence shall go forth the word of the Lord.

    Then shall the earth rest from its wickedness, as all the prophets have predicted; then shall peace and truth and righteousness spread over all the world, and all the tribes and kindreds of men shall know how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

    Splendid as this consummation is, "Mormonism," instructed by divine wisdom, looks even beyond it, and contemplates the time when this earth shall receive even a fuller redemption, and become a celestial sphere, the abode of resurrected, celestial beings forever, who shall dwell always in the presence of God.

    In conclusion, let me say that "Mormonism" accepts and includes within its boundary-lines all truth. It is progressive and is destined to become the religion of the age. Within it is scope for all the intelligence that shall flow unto it. "Within its atmosphere is room for every intellectual

    22                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    wing." It does not, as some have supposed, thrive best where ignorance is most profound, nor does it depend upon superstition and ignorance for its existence and perpetuity. It possesses within itself principles of native strength that will enable it to weather every storm, outlive all hatred born of ignorance and prejudice; and it will yet prove itself to be what indeed it is, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto Salvation to all those who believe and obey it, the Church of Jesus Christ.

    [ 24 ]



    [ 25 ]


    The following is an address delivered at the seventy-sixth Annual Conference of the Church, held at Salt Lake City, in April, 1906.

    The remarks consider two very important statements in our authoritative books. The first one is found in the Pearl of Great Price, where the prophet Joseph states what the answer to his question was, when asking the Lord which of the sects was the true Church, and which he should join. Of that incident he said:

    "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt:"

    The second statement is in the Book of Mormon, where the declaration is made that,

    "There are, save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is' the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God, belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth."

    The first of these statements, it is claimed, not only "unchurches all Christians," but proclaims the universal corruption of individual Christians. The second statement is generally supposed to stigmatize the Church of Rome as the church of the devil. Both these questions are considered in the article which follows.

    26                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        


    The Relationship of the Church to the Christian Sects:
    the Doctrine of Two Churches Only.

    Among the things important for the Saints of God .to understand, among the things important for the world to understand respecting the Latter-day Saints, is the relationship that we sustain to the religious world; and I do not know that there is anything to which I could devote the few minutes at my disposal to better advantage than in pointing out that relationship, if I can obtain, through your faith and mine, the liberty that comes from the possession of the Spirit of the Lord.

    The first revelation that the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph Smith had a bearing upon this subject. You remember that the Prophet went to the Lord to ascertain which of all the sects of religion was his church, desiring, of course, to unite himself with that church which the Lord would designate as his. In reply to that question the Lord, in substance, said that all the sects were wrong; that he did not acknowledge them as his church ;"their creeds were an abomination in his sight; those professors were all corrupt;" [a]


                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                27

    and the Prophet was told that he must join none of them, but was promised that in due time he would be used as God's instrument in the establishment of the Church of Christ in the earth.

    Because of this great revelation, by which the errors of ages were swept aside and the ground cleared for the re-establishment of the Church of Christ among men, it has placed us, in a way, in an attitude of antagonism to the religious world. We have been resisted to some extent because of this attitude of antagonism; and it is quite possible that we ourselves have not understood the true relationship in which we stand to the religious world, by more or less of misapprehension respecting this great revelation. I rejoice in the plainness and emphasis of this revelation, because from it I am made to realize that there is a very important reason for the existence of the work with which we are identified. I am glad to know that "Mormonism" did not come into existence because its founders chanced to disagree with prevailing notions about the form or object


    28                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of baptism; that it did not come into existence through a disagreement as to the character of the government of the Church. From the revelation referred to I learn that "Mormonism" came into existence because there was an absolute necessity for a new dispensation of the gospel, a re-establishment of the Church of Christ among men. The gospel had been corrupted; its ordinances had been changed; its laws transgressed its truths so far lost to the children of men that it rendered this new dispensation of the gospel of Christ -- miscalled "Mormonism" -- necessary. I say that I rejoice in the fact that "Mormonism" came into the world, and exists in the world today, because the world stood and stands in sore need of it. But does this re-establishment of the Church of Christ, this new dispensation of the gospel, which we have received, make our relationship to the children of men one of unfriendliness? I answer, No. On the contrary our relationship to men is one of absolute friendliness, and we are anxious to do the world good. We ought to understand that. We do understand it. And it is important that the world should understand it, that they may come to regard us in our true light, as friends of humanity, and not enemies.

    If you will look through some of the revelations given in the early history of the church, you will find that from time to time the Lord was under the necessity of correcting the ideas of the brethren respecting their attitude towards religious world. The Lord said to Martin Harris, by of correction:

    "Thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among people that thou shalt be permitted to see. And thou shalt

                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                29

    do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers. And of tenets thou shall not talk, but thou shall declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sin by baptism and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost."

    The Prophet also from time to time found it necessary to correct the Elders of the Church in respect of their attacks upon other churches. At Kirtland, in 1836, when many of the Elders were upon the eve of taking their departure for their fields of labor, he instructed them as follows:

    "While waiting [for the Sacrament] I made the following remarks: The time that we were required to tarry in Kirtland to be endowed would be fulfilled in a few days, and then the Elders would go forth, and each stand for himself . . . . to go in all meekness, in sobriety, and preach Christ and him crucified; not to contend with others on account of their faith or systems of religion, but pursue a steady course. This I delivered by way of commandment; and all who observe it not, will pull down persecution upon their heads, while those who do, shall always be filled with the Holy Ghost; this I pronounced as a prophesy." [b]

    In other words, because the Lord has opened the heavens and has given a new dispensation of the gospel, it does not follow that his servants or his people are to be contentious; that they are to make war upon other people for holding different views respecting religion. Hence this caution to the Elders of the Church that they should not contend against other churches, make war upon their tenets, or revile even the revilers.

    At an earlier date still, the Lord had said to Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer:

    "If you have not faith, hope and charity, you can do nothing. Contend against no church, save it be the


    30                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    church of the devil. Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness." [c]

    "The church of the devil" here alluded to, I understand to mean not any particular church among men, or any one sect of religion, but something larger than that -- something that includes within its boundaries all evil wherever it may be found; as well in schools of philosophy as in Christian sects; as well in systems of ethics as in systems of religion -- something that includes the whole empire of Satan -- what I shall call "The Kingdom of Evil."

    This descriptive phrase, "the church of the devil," is also used in the Book of Mormon; and while in attendance at a conference in one of the border stakes of Zion, a question was propounded to me in relation to its meaning. The passage occurs in the writings of the first Nephi. An angel of the Lord is represented as saying to Nephi, "Behold, there are save two churches only: the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil." The question submitted to me was, "Is the Catholic church the church here referred to -- the church of the devil?.... Well," said I, in answer, "I would not like to take that position, because it would leave me with a lot of churches on my hands that I might not then be able to classify." So far as the Catholic church is concerned, I believe that there is just as much truth, nay, personally I believe it has retained even more truth than other divisions of so-called Christendom; and there is just as much virtue in the Roman Catholic church as there is in Protestant Christendom; and I am sure there is more strength.

    I would not like; therefore, to designate the Catholic church as the church of the devil. Neither would I like to


                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                31

    designate any one or all of the various divisions and subdivisions of Protestant Christendom combined as such church; nor the Greek Catholic church; nor the Buddhist sects; nor the followers of Confucius; nor the followers of Mohammed; nor would I like to designate even the societies formed by deists and atheists as constituting the church of the devil. The Book of Mormon text ought to be read in connection with its context -- with the chapter that precedes it and the remaining portions of the. Chapter in which the expression is found -- then, I think, those who study it in that manner will be forced to the conclusion that the prophet here has in mind no particular church, no particular division of Christendom, but he has in mind, as just stated, the whole empire of Satan; and perhaps the thought of the passage would be more nearly expressed if we use the term "the Kingdom of Evil" as Constituting the church of the devil, in proof of which I submit the following passage from the Book of Mormon -- covering both the text and the context on the subject:

    1. And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks;

    2. And if they harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father [Lehi; an Israelite]; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land for ever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded;

    3. And that great pit which hath been digged for them, by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell; yea, that great pit which hath been

    32                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    digged for the destruction of men, shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end;

    4. For behold, this is according to the captivity of the devil, and also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him.

    5. And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying, Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent, it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard, that whoso repenteth not, must perish;

    6. Therefore, wo, be unto the Gentiles, if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God;

    7. For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvellous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other; either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds, unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

    8. And it came to pass that when the angel had spoken these words, he said unto me, Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel? I said unto him, Yea. And it came to pass that he said unto me, look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose foundation is the devil. And he said unto me, behold there are, save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God, belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.

    47. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and

                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                33

    she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

    48. And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

    49. And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.

    50. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who Were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

    51. And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon the great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth, and as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying, Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things:

    17. And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people, who are of the house of Israel.

    34                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    I understand the injunction to Oliver Cowdery to "contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil," to mean that he should contend against evil, against untruth, against all combinations of wicked men. They constitute the church of the devil, the kingdom of evil, a federation of unrighteousness; and the servants of God have a right to contend against that which is evil, let it appear where it will, in Catholic or in Protestant Christendom, among the philosophical societies of deists and atheists, and even within the Church of Christ, if, unhappily, it should make its appearance there. But, let it be understood, we are not brought necessarily into antagonism with the various sects of Christianity as such. So far as they have retained fragments of Christian truth -- and each of them has some measure of truth -- that far they are acceptable unto the Lord; and it would be poor policy for us to contend against them without discrimination. Wherever we find truth, whether it exists in complete form or only in fragments, we recognize that truth as part of that sacred whole of which the Church of Jesus Christ is the custodian; and I repeat that our relationship to the religious world is not one that calls for the denunciation of sectarian churches as composing the church of the devil. All that makes for untruth, for unrighteousness constitutes the kingdom of evil -- the church of the devil. All that makes for truth, for righteousness, is of God; it constitutes the kingdom of righteousness -- the empire of Jehovah; and, in a certain sense at least, constitutes the Church of Christ. With the latter -- the kingdom of righteousness -- we have no warfare. On the contrary both the spirit of the Lord's commandments to his servants and the dictates of right reason would suggest that we seek to enlarge this kingdom of righteousness both by recognizing such truths as it possesses

                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                35

    and seeking the friendship and co-operation of the righteous men and women who constitute its membership.

    Running parallel with these thoughts, I may be pardoned if I call your attention to a remark I made in one of these general conferences some time ago, to the effect that when misrepresentations are made of us, or of our faith, or when persecution arises against us, it must not embitter our minds, or make us feel hateful toward our fellowmen, or lead us to regard the whole world as our enemies. We must keep the sweetness of our own disposition. The language of the Savior wherein he says, "Marvel not if the world hate you: it hated me before it hated you, if you were of the world, the world would love its own," etc., I contended then and believe now that the truth of that declaration will be more plainly seen if we read it in this way: "Marvel not if the worldly hate you." If the ungodly, if those who make and love a lie -- if such classes as these hate you, marvel not; for they were the classes that hated the Christ and the light and truth that he brought into the world, because their deeds were evil, and his light and truth were a reproof to their evil ways. And as we say concerning the "Kingdom of Evil," so we say with reference to those who hate the truth and make war upon the righteous, they are not of any one cult, or confined to any one sect or division of the religious world, but, unhappily, are found here and there among all classes of people, among all Christian sects, among all religions and sects of philosophy. We ought to rightly divide, not only the word of truth, but the wicked and the ungodly from those who in common with us are seeking to know God and to keep his commandments. And there are millions who are hungering and thirsting for that knowledge; and we from time to time shall find them and lead

    36                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    them into God's temple of truth, where they shall be satisfied at the feast that the Lord is preparing for all those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

    The purpose of the Lord in instituting his Church in the earth is very beautifully set forth in one of the revelations in the D&C, as follows:

    "If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my Church among them. Now I do not say this to destroy my Church, but I say this to build up my Church. Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my Church need not fear for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments, but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of devil; yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center."

    From this it very clearly appears that the purpose of God in the introduction of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times was not to destroy any truth that existed in the world, but to add to that truth, to increase it, and to draw together all truth and develop it into a beautiful system which men may rest contented, knowing God and their relationship to him, knowing of the future and their relation to that future.

    We should present our message to the world in spirit of peace, charity and longsuffering; and avoid contention; for as our Book of Mormon tells us, he that the spirit of contention is not of God. I would the world could understand the unselfishness of our motives in presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to them; if they could only know that our only desire was that they should come to a knowledge of the great principles of truth that are so comforting

                   THE  RELATIONSHIP  OF  THE  CHURCH.                37

    to us; that we desire their repentance and acceptance of the fulness of the truth, only that they might find favor with God, and share in our hopes of that eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began -- if our fellowmen could be made to understand that this is our only purpose, it seems to me that many of the barriers that now separate us from our fellowmen would be broken down, and we would be able to reach the hearts of the people. I believe that as time passes and we become wiser in the methods of work we adopt, we will do that more and more, causing not only hundreds of thousands but millions of our Father's children to partake of those great blessings that the Gospel has brought to us. To make known these truths and cause the children of men to participate in the blessings that we ourselves enjoy, we yearly send hundreds of our Elders to the various nations of the earth. They sacrifice the pleasant associations of home, the society of wives and children, parents and friends; they sacrifice professional advantages and business opportunities; and sometimes sacrifice health and even life itself to proclaim to the world the truth which God has made known to us -- enduring the world's reproach and contumely, because the world does not understand them nor their message; and there is still need, of the prayer on our part, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." For the benefit of those who have passed away from the earth without a knowledge of the great truths and saving power of the gospel of Christ, we rear costly temples, whose spires pierce the skies of our beloved Utah; and within them at great sacrifice of time and means, the saints of God assemble to apply the principles and ordinances of the everlasting gospel to those who have passed away without the privilege of accepting

    38                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    them while upon the earth. A more completely unselfish work than this does not exist among men. On every hand the work of God bears the stamp of unselfishness upon it. Our Book of Mormon says: "The laborers in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money, they shall perish." So through all the communications of God to his people shines the glorious principle of absolute unselfishness. Not only is it to be found in the words of our books, but a like testimony is written in the works of the Latter-day Saints -- in their actions. Everywhere unselfishness abounds in the Church of Christ, both in theory and practice. Now, if we can only get the people of the world to understand this fact of unselfishness -- this very genius of Mormonism -- if they could be made to know that Mormonism is here to do good, to raise mankind from the low levels on which men are content to walk to the higher planes where God would have them walk, that they might have sweet fellowship with God, much of our difficulty in preaching the gospel would disappear. May the Lord hasten the day when the world shall know the Saints and the work of God better.

    [ 39 ]



    [ 40 ]


    The following brief discussion of Mr. I. Woodbridge Riley's work, is an address delivered at the Seventy-fourth Semi-Annual Conference of the Church, held in Salt Lake City, Oct. 5, 1903. Mr. Riley's book of 446 pages is a well written thesis on the "Founder of Mormonism," and was published in 1902. It is a psychological study of Joseph Smith the Prophet. The purpose of the work is set forth in the author's preface, as follows:

    "The aim of this work is to examine Joseph Smith's character and achievements from the standpoint of recent psychology. Sectarians and phrenologists, spiritualists and mesmerists have variously interpreted his more or less abnormal performances, -- it remains for the psychologist to have a try at them."

    The work also has an introductory preface by Professor George Trumbull Ladd, of Yale University, in which Mr. Riley's essay is very highly praised. Indeed, the work was offered to the Philosophical Faculty of Yale University as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and before this the matter of the essay had been utilized in 1898 for a Master of Arts thesis, under the title of "Metaphysics of Mormonism," so that from these circumstances we may venture the remark that Mr. Riley's book is of a highly scientific character, at least in its literary structure, and has already attracted some considerable notice in the world.

    [ 42 ]



    Some of you perhaps are aware of the fact that I have been giving some attention of late to the literature on Mormonism; not only that which we ourselves publish, but that also which is Published by others. The publications on Mormonism during the last five years, I believe, are more numerous than in any twenty years previous to that time. The last five years have witnessed an awakening of thought upon our religion. More, and ever more attention is being given to it. More newspaper articles, more magazine articles, more volumes -- some of them quite pretentious -- have been written on Mormonism than ever before, and indicate the universal interest taken in the subject. The books and magazine articles have been written from various standpoints, some of them in the old spirit of bitterness, and some of them are intended to be written in a spirit of fairness. Yet I marvel at their author's ideas of fairness. One work, written by a noted professor, pretending to be an impartial history, and issued by one of the first publishing houses in the United States, with the view, evidently, of establishing a standard history of Mormonism, gives full credence to everything that has been said against us, but the author frequently cautions his readers against quotations he makes from our own works -- and yet that book is put forth as an impartial history of Mormonism! Some have attempted to write from a philosophical standpoint, but with the result that they plainly manifest that they have not yet reached foundation principles

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   43

    upon which they can satisfactorily account for Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and the great work he accomplished. When I see men shifting their grounds, and advancing first one theory and then, another to account for Mormonism, and there is confusion among them, uncertainty, indecision -- I know that the citadel of our mighty faith is secure from harm from their attacks; that Mormonism cannot fall a victim to their philosophies or their arguments.

    Let me, for a little while, draw your attention to at least one of the so-called philosophical solutions of Mormonism, a scientific accounting for Joseph Smith. The work I allude to was offered to Yale University as a thesis upon which the author hoped to secure, and I think he did secure, the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He candidly confesses that it is an effort to account for Joseph Smith upon some other hypothesis than that he was a conscious fraud, bent on deceiving mankind. When an intelligent man makes such an announcement as that, I know, and you know, that the theories heretofore advanced to account for Joseph Smith, are unsatisfactory; that they are efforts which have failed. The theory that Joseph Smith was a conscious fraud, an imposter, has fallen to the ground. The charges frequently made and persistently urged that Mormonism had its origin in deception and conscious fraud have failed of their purpose. The floods of falsehood with which some men have sought to overwhelm Mormonism have not accomplished the end proposed. The Latter-day Saints, after more than three-quarters of a century of existence, stand above all the floods of falsehood that have been belched out against them. The work of God has not broken down, it has survived; and the Saints smilingly pity those who would make use of such contemptible means with which to combat the

    44                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    truth of Almighty God. Now, however, we are to be treated philosophically. And the philosophy that is advanced is, unconscious hallucination in the mind of Joseph Smith; partly unconscious and partly conscious possession of hypnotic power, by which the minds of those around him were dominated and made to see things which in reality had no existence; and while the Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and others testify of visions and voices from God honestly enough, still as a matter of fact those revelations had really no objective existence, but were mental hallucinations. And as for Joseph Smith, he was deceived by epileptic conditions.

    The author I am considering is at great pains to trace the ancestry of the Prophet, pointing out their mental peculiarities and supposed defects, leading up to the conclusion that these defects of mind in his ancestors culminated in epilepsy in Joseph Smith. And hence, we have as the explanation of Mormonism, epileptic fits in its Prophet, whose hallucinations are honestly mistaken for inspired visions, with partly conscious and partly unconscious hypnotic power over others! And this theory is presented seriously to one of the first institutions of learning in America as a rational explanation of how Mormonism came into existence!

    Ernest Renan, the French philosopher, when considering a similar hypothesis to account for the Lord Jesus Christ, overthrew all that kind of sophistry with this simple statement:

    "It has never been given to the mere aberrations of the human mind to result in the establishment of permanent institutions that influence any considerable number of people."

    In other words, the dreams and hallucinations of the epileptic end in mere dreams and hallucinations; they never

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   45

    crystalize into great systems of philosophy or into rational religious institutions. They never crystalize into great organizations capable of perpetuating that philosophy and that religion in the world. No matter how nearly genius may be allied to madness, it must remain genius and not degenerate to madness if it exercises any permanent influence over the minds of men.

    It is a pleasure to find one's conclusions sustained by men of recognized ability in any line of work on which they have specialized, and in respect of which they are regarded as authorities. In such manner I find the views, above set forth sustained by one eminent in the domain of nervous diseases and psychiatry, Charles L. Dana, the writer of text books on the foregoing subject, text books used in all the great colleges and universities of our country, that give attention to the subject. Following is his definition of paranoia, a disease closely allied to that to which Mr. Riley assumes Joseph Smith was subject. [f]

    "Paranoia is a chronic psychosis characterized by the development gradually and soon after maturity of systematized delusions without other serious disturbances of the mind, and without much tendency to dementia. * * * With some the symatized idea takes a religious turn, and the patient thinks he has some divine mission or has received some inspiration from God; or the idea may take a devotional turn and the patient become an acetic. It is not, however, to be assumed that all promoters of new religions and novel social ideas are paranoics. Many of these are simply the natural developments, ignorance and a somewhat emotional and unbalanced temperament. The characteristic of the paranoic is that his work is ineffective, his influence brief


    46                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    and trivial, his ideas really too absurd and impractical for even ignorant men to receive. I do not class successful prophets and organizers like Joseph Smith, or great apostles of social reforms like Rousseau as paranoics. Insane minds are not creative, but are weak, and lack persistence in purpose or powers of execution." [g]

    *   *   *   *   *

    "A certain rather small percentage of epileptics become either demented or insane. True epilepsy is not compatible with extraordinary intellectual endowments. Caesar, Napoleon, Peter the Great, and other geniuses may have had some symptomatic fits, but not idiopathic epilepsy. [h]

    There is much glamor of sophistry, which may be taken for profound reason and argument, in the work to which I am calling your attention. But one word answers this "philosophical accounting for our Prophet. The work accomplished by him, the institutions he founded, destroy the whole fabric of premises and argument on which this theory is based. Great as was the Prophet Joseph Smith -- and he was great; to him more than to any other man of modern times was it given to look deep into the things that are; to comprehend the heavens and the laws that obtain there; to understand the earth, its history, and its mission. He looked into the deep things of God -- always, be it remembered, by the inspiration of God -- and out of the rich treasure of divine knowledge he brought forth things both new and old for the instruction of our race, the like of which, in some respects, had not been known in previous dispensations. Hence I repeat that Joseph Smith was great; but great as he was,



                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   47

    rising up and towering far above him is the work that he accomplished through divine guidance; that work is infinitely greater than the prophet -- greater than all the prophets connected with it. Its consistency, its permanency, its power, its institutions, contradict the hallucination theory advanced to account for its origin.

    Let us look at this work for a moment. If one could but draw it clearly in outline, and present it in its originality and greatness, it would be its own witness of its divinity, for in all things it transcends the mere wit of man. Take the Church organization for illustration; and look at it with reference to its being an assemblage of means to the accomplishment of an end. As I understand the Church of Christ, its mission is two-fold; first, it is to proclaim the truth; second, it is to perfect those who receive the truth. I think these two things cover, in a general way, the entire mission of the Church. Is its organization Competent to attain those two mighty ends? Let us see; and first as to the proclamation of the truth -- the work really of the foreign ministry. What provision has God made for that? He has in his Church, first of all Twelve Special Witnesses, the Twelve Apostles, who were chosen in the first instance, by the Three Special Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. I remark in passing that there is a peculiar fitness in the Twelve Apostles -- the Twelve Special Witnesses being chosen by those who had been made Witnesses for God by the great vision and revelation he had given them concerning the absolute truth and correctness of the Book of Mormon. Upon these Twelve Apostles rests the responsibility of being witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ in all the world. That is their special, peculiar calling. You can see, however, if you take into account the extent of their field of labor -- for it encompasses

    48                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the whole round world -- that twelve men would not be adequate to meet all the requirements of the foreign ministry. God knew this, and hence he called into existence other special witnesses, to labor under the direction of these Twelve, they holding the keys to open the door of the gospel to all the nations of the earth; for all must hear it, from the greatest to the least.

    The Twelve, I say, hold the keys of this foreign ministry; and hence whenever there has been an opening of the door of the gospel to a foreign nation, one or more of these men holding the keys have been sent to do it. It was for this reason that Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve Apostles, was sent to Great Britain in 1837, to open the door of the gospel in that land; why Elder John Taylor was sent to France and Germany; why Elder Lorenzo Snow was sent to Italy and Switzerland; why Erastus Snow was sent to the Scandinavian countries; why Parley P. Pratt went to Chili and opened the door of the gospel to the South American republics; why, more recently, Elder Heber J. Grant was sent to Japan to open a mission. The Twelve, then, hold the keys of this ministry, and upon them devolves this responsibility of opening the door of salvation to the nations. But after them, other witnesses are chosen. These are the seventy apostles, or special witnesses, the assistants of the Twelve; under whose directions they labor. At first, two quorums of Seventy only were organized; but with the promise of the Prophet that as the work should expand other quorums would be organized, not only till seven times seven quorums should be brought into existence, but until seventy times seven; "aye," said he, "until there shall be a hundred and forty and four thousand seventies chosen, if the work of the ministry shall require it." So we have continued organizing quorums of Seventy, to labor in the foreign ministry,

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   49

    until now we have one hundred and forty-three quorums in the Church -- a body of nearly ten thousand men. They are special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world, and when their numbers are considered, together with the privilege we have of increasing them, you can see that ample provision is made, in this respect, for the work of the foreign ministry.

    But now let us consider their organization for a moment. Sixty-three members with seven presidents, when the quorum is complete, constitute a quorum. Suppose you were to send an entire quorum of Seventy bodily into the world -- I hope that will be done some day -- you could break that quorum into groups of ten. You could send with each group a president. It should be remembered here that these presidents are equal in authority. The council of a quorum of Seventy is made up of seven presidents, not one president and six counselors -- but seven presidents, equal in authority. For the sake of order in administration, however, the right of initiative and presidency in the council is recognized as being vested in the senior member by ordination, not of age. And this principle is observed not only in the case of the first or senior president, but all down the line in the First Council, and in all quorum councils of the Seventies. By this simple arrangement all confusion as to the right of presidency is obviated; for no sooner does the council of a quorum, or any part thereof, meet, in any part of the world than each president knows at once upon whom the responsibility of initiative rests. But to return to the groups of ten into which the quorum can be divided, with a president for each group. You could break each group of ten into five pairs, and scatter them out among the people, to bear effectual witness of the truth of the gospel under the provision

    50                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of the law of the gospel; for it is the law of the gospel, one may say, for the Elders to travel two and two, mainly for the reason, I suppose, that God has declared that he would establish, his word in the mouth of two or three witnesses; and it is good when bearing testimony to the world that there should be the legal number of witnesses provided for in the law of God. Moreover, there is a very much needed companionship and sympathy provided for when the Elders travel two and two; and they are a protection one to the other. You could scatter these groups of ten in one or more states or countries; and they could occasionally meet in group conferences, exchange experiences, give advice and counsel; after which refreshing they could again divide into pairs, scatter and so continue their ministry. Occasionally the seven groups of the quorum could be brought together in general quorum conference, to take counsel for making their ministry more and ever more effectual: to readjust methods; to plan new campaigns; to strengthen each other by a mutual exchange of experiences and sympathy; and do whatever else their combined wisdom, helped by the inspiration of the Lord, would suggest as right and proper to do in the furtherance of their high aim in bringing to pass the salvation of men. Such are the possibilities of a quorum of Seventy. It may become a veritable flying column of witnesses for God, sweeping the earth with the testimony of Jesus, and calling the inhabitants of the earth unto repentance! Can you think of this beautiful arrangement for the foreign ministry as having its origin in the alleged epileptic hallucinations of a man? Such a conception is palpably absurd, and utterly revolting to reason.

    Turn now for a moment to the home ministry of the Church, and what have you? You have your stake organization,

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   51

    with its Presidency of three presiding High Priests, aided in their counsels and labors by the High Council of the stake, consisting of twelve High Priests. This council also constitutes a judicial body for the settlement of difficulties that may not be satisfactorily adjusted in the Bishop's courts. It is, however, an ecclesiastical court of original as well as of appellate jurisdiction. You have a Bishopric in the respective wards of the Church, constituting the local presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood, with quorums of Priests, Teachers and Deacons to aid them in the work of their ministry. The Deacons take care of the house of the Lord, and are to be assistants to the Teachers when occasion requires. The Teachers are the watchmen upon the towers of Zion, and it is their business to see that there is no iniquity in the Church -- no backbiting, no faultfinding, and that the members attend to their religious duties. The Priests' duty is to visit the homes of the people and instruct them in the gospel. Where they have sons or daughters who will not be amenable to the instructions of parents, the priests with very great propriety could be invited to meet with and teach them the sublime truths of the gospel. In addition to these officers of the wards and the stakes, there is in each stake a quorum of High Priests, and one or more quorums of Elders. These constitute the standing ministry in the stakes of Zion, and are authorized to teach the gospel, to warn all men against evil, and to invite and persuade all men to come unto Christ. These are the provisions made for the home ministry, in the Church organization proper. Time will not admit reference to the auxiliary organizations -- the Sabbath schools, Improvement associations, Relief societies, Primary societies, and Religion

    52                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    classes. But from the fireside of the people to the public assembly of worship; from the cradle to the grave, every provision is made for carrying on the work of the ministry, at home, instructing the Saints in the things of God, inviting all to come unto Christ; the object of the Church being to lift to higher, and ever higher levels the lives of the Saints of God, until they shall become perfect men and women in Christ Jesus the Lord. Such are the arrangements, in brief, for the home ministry.

    Notwithstanding the clear distinction between the foreign ministry and the home ministry, the lines that separate them may be crossed on occasion. You remember how Paul compares the Church of Christ to the body of a man, and insists that every member and every organ is necessary to the perfect working of that organism; that the head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of thee; neither can the feet say to the head, I have no need of thee; nor the hand to the eye, I have no need of thee; all the members of the body, he argues, are necessary. Now, what would you think of a body that possessed a right hand and left hand, yet the right hand would not at need come to the help of the left hand; or the left hand refuse to come to the aid of the right hand? You expect the two hands and arms of a man's body to help each other, under the direction of the intelligence of the mind. And so in the Church of Christ: the home ministry and the foreign ministry cross the line of separation as occasion requires, and come to the assistance of one another in accomplishing the purposes of God. Sometimes the officers who are particularly charged with the foreign ministry help at home; the home ministry sometimes help in the foreign ministry; but all work harmoniously together.

    Rising above both these great divisions of the Priesthood, the home ministry and the foreign ministry, stands,

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   53

    as the keystone in the arch, the Presidency of the Church, having control over both departments, and directing the work of God in all the world. No branch of the Church, however remote, is beyond their oversight. No Elder, let him be traveling where he will, is outside the pale of their authority. Talk of catholicity being one of the marks of the true Church of Christ, as our Catholic friends sometimes do, they shall find here in the Church of Christ a catholicity equal at least to their own claims. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church universal; and the President of the Church holds universal jurisdiction. Moreover, as Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church he is the source through which God speaks, not only to this people, not only to the Church of Christ, but to all the inhabitants of the earth, and God will hold them accountable for the use they make of the words he shall speak through his appointed mouthpiece. Do not think that this man's authority is limited to this Church alone. All the inhabitants of the earth are children of God, and he will deliver his word unto them through his prophet. I rather like the idea that all the inhabitants of the earth belong to us -- they are God's children, though some of them are in rebellion and will not heed the commandments of their Father just now. But here in the Church of Christ is the center of ecclesiastical government. Here shine forth those rays of light that will grow brighter and brighter until all the inhabitants of the earth are enlightened by them.

    Now, what do you think of this effort of philosophy, as set forth by Mr. Riley, to account for Mormonism? How insipid, how foolish, how inadequate are the theories of men to account for the organization of this

    54                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Church! The Church is its own witness! As the stars, "singing ever as they shine, proclaim the hand that made them is divine," so, too, this work, -- the restored latter-day gospel -- the Church of Christ -- proclaims that it has a divine origin, and that there is in it a divine power working out the purposes of God. Then let the imitators go on. Let them choose "apostles," if they want to -- and some of them have them; let them have "seventies," if they want to, and some of them have them; let them accept this doctrine and that doctrine until they shall have the complete organization and the complete doctrine in form, if they want to; but there is one thing they never can get, worlds without end, and that is the spirit of this work, which gives it life and power. This work will always be distinguished from the works of men, in that there will be imminent in it the Spirit of God working his sovereign will. And that is something they cannot imitate.

    My brethren and sisters, I rejoice in the truth. I rejoice in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It satisfies me completely. It responds to the hungering of my spirit. It meets the demands also of my intellectual nature. And as I see the growth of intelligence among men, an increase of scientific knowledge, a broader understanding of the universe, a comprehension of the extent and grandeur of the works of God, I see in Mormonism that which rises up to meet this enlarged knowledge of men. Mormonism teaches man that he is a child of God; it tells him that he has in him divine elements that partake of the nature of God; that after the resurrection he will live forever; and that he may go on from one degree of excellence unto another until he shall attain unto something that is truly great, worthy of a God to give, and worthy of a son of God to receive.

                      "THE  FOUNDER  OF  MORMONISM."                   55

    I rejoice in these truths. They cannot be accounted for by any theory that refers their origin to hallucinations of an epileptic's mind: They are too substantial, too grand, too rational, too sublime, too soul inspiring, to have any such contemptible origin. Their own intrinsic value -- their own self evident truth -- the institution to which they are committed as to a sacred depository for the benefit of mankind -- The Church -- all this proclaims their divine origin.

    NOTE. At the close of the above remarks, President Joseph F. Smith arose and said:

    "While I realize, as you all do, doubtless, that it may be wholly unnecessary for me to say what I am going to say, yet I feel prompted to say it, and let it go for what it is worth. I have been delighted with the most excellent discourse that we have listened to; but I desire to say that it is a wonderful revelation to the Latter-day Saints, and especially to those who were familiar with the Prophet Joseph Smith, to learn in these latter days that he was an epileptic! I will simply remark, God be praised, that there are so many still living who knew the Prophet Joseph well, and who are in a position to bear testimony, to the truth that no such condition [as that suggested in Mr. Riley's hypothesis] ever existed in the man. He was never troubled with epilepsy. Of course, this may be unnecessary to say, after this fallacious, foolish, nonsensical theory -- this "fried froth" -- gotten up by vain philosophers to account for something they would like to destroy from off the face of the earth, but are impotent to do it.

    [ 56 ]


    "The Mormon Prophet," is by Lily Dougall, author of "The Mermaid," "The Zeitgeist," "The Madonna of a Day," "Beggars All," etc. The review of the book which follows was written at the request of the editor of the "New York Times Saturday Review," and appeared in that paper, impression of September 23, 1899.

    [ 57 ]



    It was expected that sooner or later some attempt would be made to explain Joseph Smith, the "Mormon Prophet." Such was his character, such the importance of the religion he founded, so remarkable and thrilling the history of his people, that he could not be ignored. Already of biographies there have been many, some written from the side of sympathy and belief in his prophetic calling; more from the standpoint of the polemic contemner. Even fiction before now has found incidents in his career and elements in his character that promised material for its purpose. But the fiction in the main has been "sorry stuff," utterly contemptible from its distortion of facts and sickening in its childish efforts to deny the Mormon leader or his people any honesty of purpose, uprightness of intention, or praise for what they have achieved. The latest work of Miss Lily Dougall, "The Mormon Prophet," however, does not belong to that class of fiction. Here, at least, we have a strong, clear-cut, purpose story, lofty in tone; its incidents easily within the lines of probability, and singularly free from the vulgarity of nearly all the writers of fiction who have made their work at any point touch Mormonism. It is an honest effort to account for Joseph Smith and his work; and, I may add, without depreciating any one worthy of consideration, that it enjoys the distinction of being about the first honest effort in the department of fiction to account for the Mormon Prophet. This, it must be explained, is not

    58                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    said in approval of the entire book or its purpose, but is said of the story as unobjectionable fiction and the honesty of effort upon the part of the authoress to solve what must have been to her, and what is to the world, a difficult problem.

    That Miss Dougall writes from intimate acquaintance with the early history of the Mormons is apparent on every page; that she has followed the order of events, all acquainted with the history of our people well know; and if, as she explains in her preface, she has taken "necessary liberty with incidents," those that she has used have not been violently wrested, and those invented have not been much out of harmony with the facts of history.

    The point at which her work is vulnerable is the point of view from which she treats her subject. In studying the character and achievements of Joseph Smith, she was evidently not ready to accept him as a prophet truly inspired of God, nor could she accept the theory of "conscious invention" as a reasonable explanation of his life's work; for, had that been the source of his efforts in rounding a religion, "it would not have left sufficient power to carry him through persecution, in which his life hung in the balance and his cause appeared to be lost ;" nor could she believe "that the class of earnest men who constituted the rank and file of his early following would have been so long deceived by a deliberate hypocrite." "It appears to me," she explains "more likely that Smith was genuinely deluded by the automatic freaks of a vigorous but undisciplined brain, and that yielding to these, he became confirmed in the hysterical perament which always adds to delusion self-deception, and to self-deception, half-conscious fraud." She calls to

                            "THE  MORMON  PROPHET."                         59

    aid of her theory -- and with marked skill, be it said -- the inclination of the times toward superstition. "In his day," she remarks, "it was necessary to reject a marvel or admit its spiritual significance; granting the honest delusion as to his vision and his book, his only choice lay between counting himself the sport of devils or the agent of heaven; an optimistic temperament cast the die."

    This is Miss Dougall's point of view in the treatment of her subject, and it is utterly untenable. The facts in which Mormonism had its origin are of such a character that they cannot be resolved into delusion or mistake. Either they were truth or conscious, Simon-pure invention. It is not possible to place the matter on middle ground. Joseph Smith was either a true prophet or a conscious fraud or villain. Had his religion found its origin in the visions of his own mind, without any connection with material objects, as was the case with Emanuel Sweedenborg, then there would have been room for Miss Dougall's theory; but the facts in which Mormonism had its origin had to do with quite a different order of things. The ancient record of America, revealed to Joseph Smith by an angel, and which was finally given into his keeping to translate, was no visionary book -- no mere creation of an overwrought brain but actual substance, sensible to touch as to sight, consisting of golden plates, with length, breadth, and thickness. Each plate was about seven by eight inches in dimension, and somewhat thinner than common tin; the whole bound together by rings made a volume some six inches in thickness. These plates Joseph Smith claimed to have handled, and during the time they were in his possession -- some two years -- he frequently removed them from place to place in the most matter-of-fact way. Others saw and handled them, also, not only the

    60                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    three men to whom the angel Moroni exhibited them, and whose testimony accompanies every Book of Mormon published, but eight other men, whose testimony is also published in every Book of Mormon, testify that Joseph Smith showed the plates to them; that they saw and handled them, and examined the characters engraven thereon. It cannot be said that Joseph Smith and these men were self-deceived in such things; not even the "automatic freaks of a vigorous but undisciplined brain," could delude itself in such matters. The Book of Mormon plates had an existence, and Joseph Smith and others who testified to the fact saw and handled them, or they were conscious frauds and lied and conspired to deceive.

    So with many other manifestations which the claims to have received. Many of them consisted of and conversations with resurrected personages -- men of flesh and bone -- who laid their hands upon the head of Joseph Smith and others who were with him. There was no chance for self-delusion or mistake to enter into such transactions, and no theory based upon the idea of Joseph Smith being "confirmed in the hysterical temperament" can explain away these stubborn facts, however well intentioned or skillfully worked out.

    It is to be regretted that Miss Dougall has not extended her studies of Mormonism beyond the Nauvoo period; had she done so she would have escaped some errors that now appear in her work, such as treating seriously the story of the Danite organization, which never had any existence by reason of any sanction given it by Church authorities. Nor would she have assumed so largely the ignorance of early converts of Mormonism, upon which she depends strongly for the working out of her theory concerning

                            "THE  MORMON  PROPHET."                         61

    Joseph Smith's character. Here in Utah, in the past, we have had with us very many of those early converts to Mormonism; some of them are still with us, and could Miss Dougall have met them she would have found them people of rather superior intelligence and character, and not at all the ignorant and superstitious persons they are generally supposed to have been. Nor would she have committed the blunder of saying that Mormons revered but one prophet. While it is doubtless true that Joseph Smith will always hold a pre-eminence among the prophets in the Church, yet the Mormons believe that all the men who have succeeded him in the Presidency of the Church have held the same keys of authority, possessed the same rights, and exercised the same prophetic powers that were exercised by him.

    In conclusion, let me say, it has been suggested that certain "claims made for the early followers of Joseph Smith were later repudiated by members of the sect." That is not true, so far as the Church is concerned. What individual members scattered over the country formerly occupied by the Saints, but over whom the Church has no jurisdiction -- what they may have repudiated of Joseph Smith's early or even later teachings we cannot, of course, say; but for the Church, it can be said that not one of the early claims or teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith has ever been repudiated, nor is there any institution or doctrine of the Church, which did not arise from his teachings; for all of which he is morally responsible. Such changes as have taken place are but the natural developments of that which he founded.

    [ 62 ]


    This review of Mr. Harry Leon Wilson's book was submitted to several eastern papers for publication, but was not accepted by any of them. The refusal of the article by the several eastern publications to which it was submitted illustrates in a way the difficulties which the Mormon people have now for a long time met with in correcting the misrepresentations made of them, and from which they have suffered so much. Here was a book of no small pretentious the work of a popular author, pretending to deal with the historical facts and character of a great people much in the public eye, and very much maligned and seriously misrepresented by the writer of "The Lions." Yet no correction of this misrepresentation would be allowed by the publications to which this review was submitted. Mr. Wilson's book had a wide circulation, and every consideration of fairness demanded that the people suffering from its falsehoods should be heard if they asked for that hearing and presented their case in a proper spirit, and in a literary style suitable for such a controversy. Of the suitableness of the article I shall leave the reader to judge. After being rejected by eastern papers, it was finally published in the Deseret Evening News of October 5th, 1903.

    [ 63 ]



    I have just read the "Lions of the Lord," by Harry Leon Wilson. An extended friendly review of it in a leading Utah paper volunteers the statement that "Mr. Wilson gained his principal information during a few weeks' visit in Salt Lake last fall, and some time spent over the Schroeder Mormon library, now in Iowa." No one can doubt the accuracy of the statement; the treatment of the theme bears every evidence of the author's hasty and shallow thought upon the subject with which he attempts to deal. But he "spent some time over the Schroeder Mormon library;" yes, and what is more, he was undoubtedly "coached" by Mr. Schroeder while at work in the library; for the salacious fiction which that "gentleman" of unsavory reputation in Utah used to serve up to the delectation of the readers of his "Lucifer's Lantern" is altogether too evident in Mr. Wilson's book, and justly entitled him to recognition as collaborator with Mr. Wilson in its production.

    Since inadvertently the source of the author's inspiration and information is disclosed, a word respecting Mr. Schroeder, the should-be-recognized collaborator of Mr. Wilson, becomes necessary in this review. Mr. Schroeder is known to fame in Utah first as a lawyer who stands under the recorded public censure of the Supreme Court of the state of Utah for unprofessional conduct, as is witnessed in the tenth volume of the Utah Reports of the Supreme Court of the state. Secondly he is known locally as the collector of a library on Mormonism, in which prominence and preference is given to anti-Mormon works redolent of that putridity so delectable to men of debased natures and perverted tastes. Thirdly, and perhaps most prominently, he is known as the author, proprietor, and publisher of "Lucifer's Lantern,"

    64                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    that may be described as an intermittent periodical-now some time since happily defunct -- most worthy of its title and its author. It is into such hands Mr. Wilson unfortunately fell, and by such a person he was evidently "coached," in his study of Mormonism.

    The evidence of all this, apart from the inadvertent admission of the friendly Utah reviewer, is to be found in the identity of the sewer-stench that attaches to the work of both; in the use of the same materials; and the adoption of similar methods. As for instance: A somewhat eccentric writer in the early days of the Mormon Church characterized a number of the prominent Church leaders under what was to him descriptive titles, such as Brigham Young, "Lion of the Lord;" Wilford Woodruff, "Banner of the Gospel;" John Taylor, "Champion of Liberty." This evidently appealed to the erratic and fantastical intellect of Mr. Schroeder, and led him to adopt as the title of his intermittent, and now defunct anti-Mormon periodical, "Lucifer's Lantern;" and on the title page of the last number of the "Lantern" he gratuitously invents for Lorenzo Snow, then President of the Mormon Church, the descriptive title -- as he supposes -- "Boss of Jehovah's Buckler." Now, Mr. Wilson having his attention directed to the descriptive title of early leading Mormon Elders invented by the aforesaid eccentric, though friendly writer, conceived the idea of making the chief character of his story of the number of those who had received such titles, and hence confers upon "Joel Rae," the character in his book about whom he centers all the horrors of his gruesome tale, the blasphemous title -- "Lute of the Holy Ghost!" Or was it Mr. Schroeder; for one dreads to think that a man of the order of talents of Mr. Wilson could stoop to the low blasphemy of such a performance; while it is altogether in accordance both with the principles and practice

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       65

    of his should-be-acknowledged Collaborator, Mr. Shroeder; for blatant atheism was and is the latter's pride and boast; and he was wont, as we have seen by his use of it in "Lucifer's Lantern," to ascribe fanciful titles to leading Mormons.

    A word, in headlines, as to the story itself; that it is possessed of dramatic force, and literary merit will go without saying when it is known that its author is also the author of "The Spenders." That it deals with elements capable of being so combined as to produce the most intense human interest will be conceded when I say that it treats of religious fanaticism -- the faith -- "fanatic faith," that
    "Once wedded fast
    To some dear idol,
    Hugs it to the last;"
    of love -- the theme of the ages, the one theme ever old and ever new -- the theme perennial; with human passions and ambitions, the desire for that most deceitful end of all human ambitions -- the desire for sanctity while living, and a reputation for holiness when dead. These the elements of the story; and now the incidents:

    Joel Rae, "bred in the word and the truth" of Mormonism, if not born in it, returns to Nauvoo from a mission just upon the time that the last remnant of the Saints have departed from that ill-fated city. He finds that the home of his parents in the outskirts of Nauvoo has been destroyed by mobs; and that his aged father and mother were driven into Nauvoo, where they are for the time under the protection of an apostate family; that his fiancÚ, with her family, has turned from the faith, and she is only awaiting his arrival to ascertain if he will join her in her apostasy. This he refuses to do, and with his parents prepares to follow his

    66                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    expatriated people in their great westward movement. While being ferried over the Mississippi, the aged father of young Rae -- the son not being present -- is pitched into the river by ruffian hands and is drowned; his aged mother dies from the shock of the horrible murder; and young Rae, made desperate by those events, becomes a "Son of Dan," a supposed secret society of the blood and thunder order, oath-bound to "support the First Presidency of the Church of, Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in all things, right or wrong!" He forms one of the band of pioneers which Brigham Young led to the Salt Lake valley in 1847, and gives numerous evidences of increasing fanaticism, much to the delight of the Mormon leaders, which delight is here and there expressed in silly, blasphemous sentences of which the following is a fair sample: "When that young man [Rae] gets all her up with the Holy Ghost, the Angel of the Lord just has to give down!" In the new home of the Saints young Rae does his full share of both manual and spiritual labor. In the latter he succeeded too well since he preached better, worked more seeming miracles, and prophesied more than the other "Lions of the Lord." Brigham declares him "soul proud," and sends him to the Missouri river in 1857 to bring in the handcart companies, in which expedition he witnesses enough distress and misery to humble the most "soul proud" man alive, since the sufferings of the handcart companies from cold, famine and over toil is the result of his own bad judgment in starting late in the season. Arriving in Salt Lake, however, his fanatical preaching starts a "reformation," i.e., an outburst of wild fanaticism attended upon by murders, and voluntary submissions to secret executions, to atone for the commission of the more heinous sins. Rae's fanaticism makes him a participant in the Mountain Meadows massacre in which it falls to his lot

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       67

    to kill the young militia captain -- Grimway -- who had assisted Rae to leave Nauvoo, and who subsequently married the woman to whom Rae was betrothed. She, too, was with the emigrants attacked at Mountain Meadows, and Rae, after killing her husband, saw her murdered and scalped by an Indian. From the number of emigrants doomed to death Rae rescued a white-haired boy and the little daughter of his one-time betrothed wife, Prudence Carson. The boy he leaves at Hamblin's ranch, whence he escapes, swearing vengeance against Rae, whom he saw kill the father of the little girl -- Prudence Grimway. The girl Prudence -- named after her mother -- Rae leaves at a neighboring ranch, claiming her as his own child, for whom he will later return. Haunted by the memories of the awful slaughter of the gentile emigrants at Mountain Meadows, he goes north, actively participates in the resistance to the United States' army under Albert Sidney Johnston, then entering Utah, but is disgusted with the final submission of Brigham Young to United States authority, and takes up his abode in a new settlement far to the south of Salt Lake City, and not far from the Mountain Meadows. Here his life of penance begins. In a spirit of self-sacrifice he marries a woman with but one hand, and a disfigured face. The hand she lost by having it frozen while pushing a hand cart in the belated company Rae had led to Utah years before. He also married another woman -- a poor half-starved, cast off wife of a prominent Mormon Bishop; and later still, another wife, a shallow-witted, talkative creature who is a cross indeed to the "man of many sorrows." He takes under his protection also a poor imbecile man, the victim of a horrible, and unnameable mutilation; and a woman who had gone insane because her husband married another wife. The wives, to his honor be it said, were such in name only. This collection of the woebegone,

    68                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    with the child Prudence added, make up the Rae household. The girl Prudence becomes beautiful, of course, and is much sought by men of middle life already possessed of many wives, no less a personage than Brigham Young being among the number; and it is represented that the latter "suitor" had but to send word in advance to the foster father of his intention to marry the girl on his next journey south, in order to close the matrimonial incident, except the formal word-ceremony, and taking away the bride! But Miss Prudence had visited Salt Lake, and while there witnessed the performance at the theater of "Romeo and Juliet," which is sufficient to give her ideas of love and matrimony all her own. The balcony scene much impressed her; and ever afterwards became her ideal of expressed love. A few years of dreaming on the part of the maiden, and a few years of silent suffering on the part of Joel Rae, now the "little man of sorrows," then the lad of the Meadows, Ruel Follett, who escaped from Hamblin's ranch swearing vengeance on Rae and two other participants in the massacre, returns, seeking his revenge. He is now a young man, handsome, brave, strong, aggressive. But he is baffled in his mission of retribution. Two of the murderers he seeks are already dead some time since, and Rae is so pitifully weak and distraught by the haunting memories of that awful butchery that young Follett cannot find the heart to kill him; besides there is Prudence, who loves the "little man of sorrows" with true filial affection. The upshot of it all is that young Follett leaves to time the duty of taking off Rae -- an event that cannot he long deferred, since the little man is fast hastening to the end of his earthly career; and meantime Follett insidiously woos Prudence, and wins her love; while she makes an unsuccessful effort to convert him to Mormonism. In all their readings, and conversations upon the Book of Mormon and other subjects connected

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       69

    with the Mormon religion, Follett is given an easy victory over the poor girl by the employment of covert sneers, slightly concealed sarcasms and tender ridicule. Meantime Joel Rae has lost his faith in Mormonism; he discovers that polygamy is wrong; the Saints abandoned of God; and on the occasion of Brigham Young paying his annual visit to the settlement where Rae lives, he tells the prophet and the people his discoveries. Anticipating the vengeance of the "Sons of Dan," Rae flies to the cross and cairn of stones erected on the site of the Mountain Meadows massacre, that he may die -- according to orthodox dramatic canons -- at the place where his awful crime was committed. He is followed by Prudence and young Follett, who come up to him at the cross erected by Gentile hands on the site of the massacre, where, in company with two Indians, they watched him peacefully pass away in a rather protracted death scene, to the accompaniment of an Indian tom-tom drum, and notwithstanding one of the fedmen waves before his eyes the yellow scalp-lock which years before he had seen reeking with blood snatched from the head of the woman he loved. Young Follett and Prudence, as soon as the "little man of sorrows" is buried, leave for the east with a passing wagon train, and having been married by Rae a few minutes before his death, the reader is left to infer that they "lived happily ever after," in some eastern city, far, far away from fanatical Mormons, and their wickedness, where only monogamous marriages obtain, and conjugal happiness is never disturbed by the haunting fears of marital infidelities, or polygamy, simultaneous or consecutive.

    I have been at the pains to give this rather full synopsis of the story, that my readers may be witnesses of the fact that Mr. Wilson has certainly massed enough of gruesome materials to furnish to repletion several chambers of horrors.

    70                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Far be it from me to suggest that so prominent an author has stopped to the methods of yellow-backed, ten-cent novelists of a quarter of a century ago, in the matter at least of the quality and mass of incidents to be woven into story. This glance at the incidents of the story also reveals the opportunity they will afford the author for gathering into one view the bigotry, ignorance, weakness, fanaticism, and wickedness of individual Mormons, all to be interwoven with the mockery, sarcasm, ridicule, ribaldry, innuendo and insults of their enemies.

    And now, as to the treatment of the theme. The author of the "Lions of the Lord" in his opening chapter -- the prettiest piece of descriptive writing in the book has drawn heavily upon, if he has not actually plagiarized from, the lecture of the late General Thomas L. Kane, of Philadelphia, delivered before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, on March 26, 1850. Mr. Wilson heads his first chapter "The Dead City," meaning Nauvoo after the departure of the last of the Mormons. Mr. Kane opens his Lecture under the caption "The Deserted City," meaning Nauvoo after the departure of the last of the Mormons. Mr. Wilson makes his hero, Joel Rae, enter the "dead city" in "September." Mr. Kane enters "the deserted city" late in the "autumn." Mr. Wilson's hero "from a skiff in mid-river" views the temple on the hill top; presently "landing at the wharf, he was stunned by the hush of the streets." Mr. Kane "procured a skiff," and rowing across the river, "landed at the chief wharf of the city. No one met me there. I looked and saw no one. I could hear no one move, though the quiet everywhere was such that I could hear the flies buzz."

    The closeness with which Mr. Wilson follows Mr. Kane's beautifully descriptive passages, however, will best be seen and appreciated when placed in parallel paragraphs, as follows:

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       71

    Mr. Wilson.
    "The Dead City."

    "The city without life lay handsomely along a river in the early sunlight of a September morning .....From the half-circle around which the broad river bent its moody current, the neat houses, set in cool green gardens, were terraced up the high hill, and from the summit of this a stately marble temple, glittering of newness, towered far above them in placid benediction.

    Mr. Kane.
    "The Deserted City."

    "Half encircled by the bend of the river, a beautiful city lay glittering in the fresh [autumn] morning sun; its bright new dwellings, set in cool green gardens, ranging up around a stately dome shaped hill which was crowned by a noble marble edifice, whose high tapering spire was radiant with white and gold."

    Mr. Wilson.
    "The Dead City."

    "Mile after mile the streets lay silent, along the river front, up to the hilltop, and beyond into the level ....And when they had run their length, and the outlying fields were reached, there, too, the same brooding spell-and the land stretched away in the hush and haze."

    Mr. Kane.
    "The Deserted City."

    "The city appeared to cover several miles; and beyond it, in the background, there rolled off a fair country, checquered by the careful lines of fruitful husbandry."

    Mr. Wilson
    "The Dead City."

    "The yellow grain, heavy-headed with richness, lay beaten down and rotting, for there were no reapers. The city, it seemed, had died calmly, painlessly, drowsily, as if overcome by sleep."

    Mr. Kane.
    "The Deserted City."

    "Fields upon fields of heavy headed yellow grain lay rotting ungathered upon the ground. No one was at hand to take in their rich harvest. As far as the eye could reach, they stretched away, they sleeping, too, in the hazy air of autumn."

    72                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Mr. Wilson
    "The Dead City."

    'He started wonderingly up a street that led from the [i] waterside.... He was now passing empty workshops, hesitating door after door with ever mounting alarm.... Growing bolder, he tried some of the doors and found them to yield.... He passed an empty rode walk, the hemp strewn about, as if the workers had left hurriedly. He peered curiously at idle looms and deserted spinning wheels -- deserted apparently but the instant before he came... He entered a carpenter's shop. On the bench was an unfinished door, a plane where it had been shoved half the length of its edge, the fresh pine shaving still curling over the side.... He turned into a baker's shop and saw freshly chopped kindling piled against the oven, and dough actually on the kneading tray. In a tanner's vat he found fresh bark. In a blacksmith's shod he entered next the fire was out, but there was coal headed beside the forge, with the ladling pool and the crooked water horn, and on the anvil was a horseshoe that had cooled before it was finished."

    Mr. Kane.
    "The Deserted City."

    "I walked through the solitary streets.... I went about unchecked. I went into empty workshops, ropewalks and smithies.

    The spinner's wheel was idle; the carpenter had gone from his work bench and shavings, his unfinished sash and casing.

    Fresh bark was in the tanner's vat, and the fresh chopped lightwood stood piled against the baker's oven.

    The blacksmith shop was cold, but his coal heap, and lading pool, and crooked water horn were all there as if he had just gone off for a holiday."

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       73

    Mr. Wilson
    "The Dead City."

    "He entered one of the gardens, clinking the gate-latch loudly after him, but no one challenged. He drew a drink from the Well with its loud rattling chain and clumsy water-bucket, but no one called. At the door of the house he pounded, and at last flung it open with all the noise he could make. Still his hungry ears fed on nothing but sinister echoes, and barren husks of his clamour. There was no curt voice of a man, no quick questioning tread of a woman. There were dead white ashes on the hearth, and the silence was grimly kept by the dumb household gods."

    Mr. Kane.
    "The Deserted City."

    "If I went into the gardens, linking the wicket latch after me, to pull the marigolds, heart's ease and lady slippers and draw a drink with the water-sodden bucket and its noisy chain, or kocked off with my stick the tall headed dahlias and sunflowers, hunting over the beds for cucumbers and love-apples; no one called out to me from any open window, or dog sprang forward to bark alarm. I could have supposed the people hidden in their houses. but the doors were unfastened; and when at last I timidly entered them, I found dead ashes white upon the hearth, and had to tread a-tip-toe as if walking down the aisles of a country church."

    Mr. Wilson certainly has a remarkably similar taste to that of Colonel Kane for flowers and gardens. Young Rae meets Prudence in the gardens -- now observe:

    Mr. Wilson.

    "He ran to her -- over beds of marigolds, heart's ease and lady slippers, through a row of drowsy looking heavy headed dahlias, and passed other withering flowers, all but choked out by the rank garden growths of late summer.

    Mr. Kane.

    "If I went into the gardens... to pull the marigolds, heart's ease and lady slippers... or knock off the tall, heavy headed dahlias and the sunflowers, hunting over the beds for cucumbers and love-apples -- no one called out to me."

    74                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    After Mr. Wilson had followed General Kane in the matter of flowers so closely, one marvels that he did not go with him as far as the "sunflowers and love-apples ;" but General Kane was hunting "over beds of cucumbers," and perhaps the author of the "Lions of the Lord" found that his taste for vegetables did not run so closely with the General's in the vegetable line as in the matter of flowers. But seriously, does not the code of ethics in literature require that our rising young author should either have the grace to put these descriptive passages in quotation marks, or else frankly give the source whence he draws the prettiest bits of description in his much-vaunted book? In the event of the work reaching a second edition, I suggest that he adopt the whole of General Kane's description of "The Deserted City," for his opening chapter; for beautiful as his own is, it but shines with a borrowed light, and when compared with the General's it appears to great disadvantage.

    A word as to the purpose of the "Lions of the Lord;" for Mr. Wilson's performance must be classified with the "purpose novel." Undoubtedly there is such a thing as instructive fiction, and the "purpose novel" has its place as one of the agencies which contribute to the enlightenment of humanity. But if it takes hold of our respect it must be, in harmony with the truth -- though fiction, it must speak truly; and keep within the probabilities of the subject in hand. Or, to slightly paraphrase an utterance in Mr. Wilson's preface, if the writer now and again has to divine certain things that do not show -- yet must be -- surely this must not be less than truth. For a writer of "purpose fiction" to do other than this is to make himself as much liable to censure as the historian who would pervert the truth which he is in honor bound to state whether it fits in with his personal theories

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       75

    or not. In his preface, Mr. Wilson informs us that he designed to make a tale from his observations of western life in Salt Lake and Utah; but in his search for things on which to found his fiction he was so dismayed by facts so much more thrilling than any fiction he might have imagined, that he turned from his first purpose in order "to try to tell what had really been." "In this story then," says he, "the things that are strangest have most truth. The make-believe is hardly more than a cement to join the queerly wrought stones of fact that were found ready." Hence we are to be turned from considering his work as fiction in order to regard it as truth.

    It is exactly at this point that I arraign Mr. Wilson before the bar of public opinion, and tell him that what he represents as true I denounce as false; and this quite apart from any books from which he has paraphrased much of the matter he weaves into his story. The trouble is that the sources whence he makes his deductions are as untrue in their statements as his paraphrases of them are. Mr. Wilson is as one who walks through some splendid orchard and gathers here and there the worm-eaten, frost-bitten, wind-blasted, growth-stunted and rotten fruit, which in spite of the best of care is to be found in every orchard; bringing this to us he says: "This is the fruit of yonder orchard; you see how worthless it is; an orchard growing such fruit is ready for the burning." Whereas, the fact may be that there are tons and tons of beautiful, luscious fruit, as pleasing to the eye as it would be agreeable to the palate, remaining in the orchard to which he does not call our attention at all. Would not such a representation of the orchard be an untruth, notwithstanding his blighted specimens were gathered from its trees? If he presents to us the blighted specimens of fruit

    76                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    from the orchard, is he not in truth and in honor bound also to call our attention to the rich harvest of splendid fruit that still remains ungathered before he asks us to pass judgment on the orchard? I am not so blind in my admiration of the Mormon people, or so bigoted in my devotion to the Mormon faith as to think that there are no individuals in that Church chargeable with fanaticism, folly, intemperate speech and wickedness; nor am I blind to the fact that some in their over-zeal have lacked judgment; and that in times of excitement, under stress of special provocation, even Mormon leaders have given utterance to ideas that are indefensible. But I have yet to learn that it is just in a writer of history or of "purpose fiction," that "must speak truly," to make a collection of these things and represent them as of the essence of that faith against which said writer draws an indictment.

    "No one would measure the belief of Christians," says a truly great writer, "by certain statements in the Fathers, nor judge the moral principles of Roman Catholics by prurient quotations from the casuists; nor yet estimate Luther-ans by the utterances and deeds of the early successors of Luther, nor Calvanists by the burning of Servitus. In such cases the general standpoint of the times has to taken into account." (Edeshiem's Life and Times of Messiah, preface, p. 8.)

    A long time ago the great Edmund Burke, in his defense of the rashness expressed in both speech and action some of our patriots of the American Revolution period, said: "It is not fair to judge of the temper or the disposition of any man or set of men when they are composed and at rest from their conduct or their expressions in a state of disturbance and irritation." The justice of Burke's assertion has

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       77

    never been questioned, and without any wresting whatsoever it may be applied to Mormon leaders who sometimes spoke and acted under the recollection of rank injustice perpetrated against themselves and their people; or rebuke rising evils against which their souls revolted.

    Mr. Wilson's book is a false indictment against Mormonism, and against the leading characters of the Mormon Church. The speeches he represents as falling from their lips, could never be recognized in the utterances of Mormons, either among the leaders, or the rank and file. The blasphemous phraseology was never heard in Mormon camps or pulpits. Such expressions as "When that young man gets all her up with the Holy Ghost, the angel of the Lord just has to give down;" or "Lord, what won't Brother Brigham do when the Holy Ghost gets a strangle-holt on him?" are blasphemies utterly impossible to the Mormon mind. Such expressions as the following, represented as coming from Brigham Young: "The Lute of the Holy Ghost will now say a word of farewell from our pioneers to those who must stay behind," is equally impossible; and so are many other speeches which he puts into the mouths of leading characters of the Mormon Church. Even this blasphemous phrase-name given to Joel Rae -- "Lute of the Holy Ghost" -- is not original with Mr. Wilson. It was a cognomen given to Ephraem Syrus, "the greatest man," says Andrew D. White, author of "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom," -- "the greatest man of the old Syrian Church, widely known as the "Lute of the Holy Ghost." [i]

    The most serious injustice Mr. Wilson does the Mormon


    78                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    people, however, the thing in which he most departs from the facts established, not only by history but by the decisions of the United States courts in Utah, is in that he makes the awful crime of the massacre of emigrants at Mountain Meadows, in 1857, the crime of the Mormon Church. Over and over again in fact he makes that charge, and represents his chief character, "Joel Rae," as seeking to take upon himself the sins of the "Church" for committing that crime; and in one place represents him as saying: "For fifteen years I have lain in hell for the work this Church did at Mountain Meadows." To bear false witness against one's neighbor even in matters that may be trivial, is a contemptible crime; but when in bearing false witness the charge is that of murder, wholesale murder, and that under circumstances the most revolting and horrible, the crime then of bearing false witness rises above the merely contemptible, and to be seen in its true enormity, must be regarded as bearing a due proportion to the crime charged. That is, next to being guilty of the crime itself must be the crime of falsely charging it to the innocent. I care nothing for the fact that the predecessors of Mr. Wilson, in works of fiction on the West have made similar charges. He will not be justified in following their evil example. A man of his standing in the world of letters, starting out to "try to tell what had really been," to write fiction that must speak "no less than truth" -- he was under obligations both to himself and the people to whom his message should go, to investigate all the facts, and speak truly in harmony with them in every case.

    It is not necessary here to enter into any argument or even produce the evidence that the Mormon Church was in no wise responsible, in no wise connected with the awful

                          "THE  LIONS  OF  THE  LORD."                       79

    butchery at Mountain Meadows. The evidence of these things appear upon the very surface of our history in Utah, and also in decisions of United States judges who would only have been too happy to have implicated the Mormon Church officials in that awful crime if it had been possible. In fact they tried to so fix the responsibility, and failed. But it is enough here to tell Mr. Wilson, that he has Committed an act of injustice for which I would not like to stand responsible at the judgment bar of God; I am confident that he will be driven to the necessity of choosing between these alternatives: either that he has consciously spoken contrary to truth in the matter; or else he has given merely surface consideration to one side of the subject only which he represents himself as having considered profoundly; in either event Mr. Wilson has assumed a most serious responsibility.

    [ 81 ]



    [ 83 ]


    In the year 1903, Mr. L. C. Bateman, one of the editors of the "Lewiston (Maine) Journal" visited Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah. He formed a favorable impression of the Mormon people, and their progress in all that makes for civilization. The result of his observations while in Utah Mr. Bateman published in his paper, the "Lewiston (Maine) Journal." This article attracted the attention of the Deseret News, which made some favorable comment upon its general fairness. Observing this, a non-Mormon resident of Salt Lake City wrote the "Journal," protesting against the letter published by its editorial staff correspondent, saying that such treatment of the "Mormon question" was harmful in that it gave encouragement to Mormonism. The communication of "M" was sent to this writer -- who met Mr. Bateman, during his visit to Utah -- with the request that he make answer to it, which he did under the title "A Brief Defense of the Mormon People," which was published in the "Journal." Of the success of this answer Mr. Bateman, the editor of the "Journal," wrote as follows:

    LEWISTON, MAINE, Oct. 4, 1903.    
    My Dear Mr. Roberts:

    Permit me to congratulate you on the magnificent and overwhelming reply that you made to my critic "M," from Salt Lake. It is one of the finest and most crushing things that we have printed for years. I could easily have replied to "M" myself, and made him an object of ridicule, but I thought it would be better to have the reply come from a Mormon. My original article neither endorsed nor condemned.

    84                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    I merely told facts and the truth as I saw them. And I personally am an agnostic. It is only from that class that you can get justice.

    This article of yours will create a profound impression all over New England. It is so complete and conclusive that I anticipate nothing more from the "jaundiced" "M." I send you copy of Journal.
                    Yours cordially,
                                 L. C. BATEMAN.

    [ 85 ]



    To Editors of the Lewiston Journal:

    The Deseret News of Salt Lake City, which is the official organ of the Mormon priesthood, in its issue of Aug. 6th, contains an editorial expressing its great satisfaction over the recent eulogistic article in the Journal, on the merits of the Mormons and their peculiar system, by the Journal's representative, Mr. L. C. Bateman.

    Having lived in Utah for over twenty-five years, striving with other law-abiding citizens to establish here the same American ideas which are accepted as fundamental in the other states of the Union, I have had ample opportunity to study the Mormon system and its fruits. And I am prepared to say that, while I have never had anything but the utmost good will for the masses of the Mormon people, I am forced to join with other careful students in declaring that from a social, civil, and moral standpoint, no language is strong enough to set forth the evil fruits of the Mormon system.

    Based on polygamy, how could the system be otherwise than rotten? Its central idea of government being that of priesthood rule, how could it be otherwise than anti-American? Having been founded and organized by a man as corrupt and immoral as the multiplied testimony of Joseph Smith's acquaintances and neighbors proves that he was, how could it be otherwise than mischievous and immoral in its tendencies and results? On the part of loyal Americans who have studied the Mormon system here on the ground

    86                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    for years, there is no difference of opinion about the inherent badness of the system and of its fruits, although many, unduly influenced by what they consider business policy, are reluctant to say much about it.

    Some fifteen years ago, Mr. James Barclay, a member of the English Parliament, spent three days in Salt Lake City studying Mormonism. He surrendered himself to the control of the Mormon leaders. He was dined at the Amelia Palace, at that time the residence of the Mormon president, and attended other receptions in his honor at prominent Mormon residences. He saw everything through Mormon spectacles. When he went back to London, he published in the popular Nineteenth Century Magazine, a most glowing eulogy of the Mormon system. The Mormon leaders had been so successful with their hospitality scheme, that the Hon. Mr. Barclay had nothing but praise for those who were pushing forward their law-defying system of polygamy and nothing but condemnation for those who were trying to enforce the righteous laws of the land against it.

    The Journal's representative seems to have seen things much as the Hon. Mr. Barclay. However, that may be, the Mormons have palmed off upon him, as they did on Mr. Barclay, those old yarns about their changing the barren desert of this valley into a blooming garden, and about "the persecutions" from which they have suffered in Utah. The first of these old chestnuts was laid on the shelf years ago here in the west, because there is no truth in it. There never was any barren desert in this valley, for it has always been one of the best-watered, most easily cultivated and productive valleys west of the Mississippi. The Mormons raised bountiful crops of grain the very first year of their arrival. The difficulty of securing a crop here in this fertile

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               87

    valley with its mild and equable climate, was very small in comparison with the difficulties encountered by the first settlers of New England along the bleak Atlantic shore. Furthermore, what a mercy it would have been to our whole country if Utah had remained unsettled for another twenty-five years, if then it could have ben occupied by law-abiding Americans in sympathy with American civilization, such men as have built up the noble states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

    The Journal's representative says: "But even here they were not safe from the persecutions of their enemies." That fictitious yarn has been worked off on many a foreigner. But we did not suppose it possible to catch an American news-paperman with such a bare hook as that. The Mormons had this territory almost exclusively to themselves for about twenty-five years, and did practically as they pleased from 1847 until 1882, when the first Edmunds Law called them to a halt. The terrible "persecutions" complained of consist simply in this and nothing more, namely, that the Mormons were asked, and after some thirty-five years were required, to obey just the same laws which all other people and other religious bodies have always obeyed in this country. But the Mormon leaders have left nothing undone to make the people under them believe, and all outsiders whom they could influence, that the enforcement of these righteous laws which are obeyed by the American people generally, was "Persecution."

    But here is another paragraph from the article under discussion, which shows that the Journal's correspondent was as completely imposed upon as was the Hon. Mr. Barclay. He says, as quoted by the Deseret News:

    "The only charge that can be laid at their doors today

    88                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    is that they refuse to desert their wives that they married in good faith (!) And they are right. To turn these women out of doors to subsist at the hands of charity would be a vastly worse crime in the eyes of God and decent-minded men than to make the provision for them that they are now doing."

    The law-breaking polygamists could not have stated their case more satisfactorily to themselves. But what is the matter with the Journal's representative? Of course, he knows that polygamy is an atrocious crime in this country, and has been so considered since our government was founded. Why, then, does he talk about committing the crime of polygamy "in good faith?" As well talk about committing the crime of bank robbing "in good faith." Indeed, it would not be difficult to show that bank-robbery, bad as it is, does less harm to society than polygamy.

    Furthermore none of the opponents of polygamy have ever asked that plural wives should be "turned out of doors," Nobody has objected to having plural wives and their children kindly provided for by the men who placed them in their unlawful position. But the law-abiding citizens of Utah and the Federal Government also make a wide distinction between providing for these plural wives and their children, and providing these same plural wives with children. The whole difficulty grows out of the fact that the men who were living with plural wives before Utah became a State still persist in maintaining the old polygamous relations with these women, and that, too, in the face of the solemn pledges to the United States government that if granted amnesty and statehood they would forthwith abandon all polygamous relations of every kind. Over ten years have passed since amnesty was granted by the government on the above condition, and yet all over the State men are living in polygamy

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               89

    the same as before statehood. The president of the Mormon Church, with his five wives, encourages these law-breakers by his example, and then tries to belittle the offense by claiming that the number of men living in polygamy is quite small, not over 756. The Deseret News at first denied that there are any such cases, but was forced to admit that it was mistaken. It then tried to belittle the matter by claiming that there were only 1,543 such cases! Suppose someone should argue that Maine is a good moral State because it contains only 1,543 bank robbers! Of course the News naturally underestimates the number.

    In the closing paragraph of the article in the Journal occurs the following statement: "Common justice and common honesty, however, require him (the writer) to say that aside from the one peculiar feature of polygamy, he fails to see wherein the Mormon religion, is not just as pure as the different forms to which we are accustomed in the East."

    No one who is acquainted with the fundamental doctrines of Mormonism and with the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion would make any such sweeping and misleading statement as that.

    Mormonism holds and teaches the heathen doctrine of polytheism, the doctrine of many gods. (Pratt's Key to Theology, Chap. vi.) It teaches that Adam is God "and the only God with whom we have to do." (Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, Vol. I, page 50.) It makes belief in the alleged divine mission and authority of that most immoral and wicked man, Joseph Smith, a fundamental doctrine of its religious system (Brigham Young in Millennial Star Vol. V, p. 118.)

    It teaches that the coarse and vulgar men who make

    90                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    up the Mormon priesthood must be obeyed by the people because they possess divine authority, and that those who reject the commands of this bogus priesthood reject God. (Elder Roberts' New Witness for God, p. 187.) It teaches that Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the world, was a polygamist, and many other horrible doctrines which are utterly repugnant to the pure and lofty morality of the Christian religion. The Mormons have lived in five different states, namely, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Utah. If their system is as pure morally and as patriotic as it is claimed to be, how does it happen that their sojourn in each of those states was characterized by continued and increasing conflict with the established government and laws of those states and of the United States, while the great Christian denominations lived in peace and harmony under those same laws? The Mormon Church will enjoy similar peace and harmony whenever its priesthood ceases to interfere with civil affairs, and sets the example of obeying the laws of the land as loyally as they have always been obeyed by the great Christian denominations generally.   M.
    Salt Lake City, Aug. 19, 1903.

    [ 91 ]



    To Editors of Lewiston, Maine, Journal: --

    An old Spanish proverb has it that "A lie will travel a league, while Truth is getting on his boots." Truth, however, has this advantage over his nimble-footed opponent, viz., his boots once on he runs and is not weary, he walks and faints not; and at the last he wins. The progress of Truth, in other words, is irresistible and overwhelming, and his triumph over falsehood is as inevitable as the decrees of fate.

    In no instance in human experience are the above truths more clearly demonstrated than in the history of Mormonism. From the beginning of its existence falsehood in the form of misrepresentation and malicious slander has been in the field against it. Early and late and viciously the liars of this world have sought to overwhelm it as with a flood. Meantime, however, Truth has not been idle. Steadily and gloriously Mormonism and the people who have accepted it have lived down the misrepresentations of their traducers, and today stand proudly erect, unmoved by the efforts which falsehood has made to destroy them. This failure of falsehood to destroy the object at which it has leveled its heaviest ordnance is naturally aggravating to those who have employed it; and very naturally they show that annoyance. As an instance of this fact I refer to your Salt Lake correspondent "M," whose communication under the title "Eastern Eulogy of Mormons' System," appeared

    92                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    in your issue of September 6th. "M" is somewhat grieved, not to say indignant, that the Journal's representative, Mr. L. C. Bateman, should have spoken a word of praise for the Mormons and for what they have achieved by their faith, industry and frugality, and informs the Journal that what he calls Mr. Bateman's eulogistic article called forth an editorial in the Deseret News, the official organ of the Mormon priesthood, expressing great satisfaction on the appearance of the aforesaid article. But what's to be done? Men of intelligence come to Utah; they are cosmopolitan, they understand human affairs and human nature; and many of them -- among them evidently your representative, whose article is the cause of "M's" displeasure -- are men accustomed to collecting evidence, sifting it on the spot, and forming their own conclusions. They find that the facts they see and investigate do not warrant the misrepresentations they have heard concerning Mormonism and the Mormons. They say that in their communications to the press, in magazine articles, and sometimes in books. They are honest enough to tell the truth as they find it; and refuse to look at facts -- the things which are -- through the jaundiced eyes of a bigoted sectarian priest, or through the eyes of a disappointed, and very likely disgruntled, scurvy politician. Then they are abused by those to whose interests it is to keep up a false impression concerning Mormonism and the Mormons, or whose malice is gratified by misrepresenting them. Then it is charged that they have been imposed upon by representations of "the wily Mormon leaders;" or they have been "wined and dined," and hoodwinked; or else they have sold their talents to the Mormon "priesthood for money." Only let a man, whatever his intelligence or character, or national standing, from President Eliot of Harvard

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               93

    to your representative -- only let him pursue his investigations of Mormonism and Mormons beyond the lurid tales of hack drivers, bent on gratifying the morbid love in human nature for the unusual and the horrible; or let him push his inquiry beyond sectarian interpretation of the Mormon faith, and sectarian misrepresentation of the Mormon people, and he is doomed to be catalogued as a weak dupe, or a paid agent of the Mormon Church.

    But however annoying it may be to Mormon traducers, the day is gone by when their fulminations can be accepted as sober truth. Mormonism is no longer isolated from the world. It is in daily contact with the great stream of travel which crosses the continent, in which stream is to be found some of the first and greatest characters of our own country and of the world; not merely the seekers of pleasure, or the restless curious; but educators, literati, public lecturers, editors, scientists, and statesmen. Attracted by the wonderful things they have heard of Utah and the Mormons, they stop to inquire, they meet with unexpected conditions, with facts undreamed of, they investigate, are convinced that the world has been misled in the impressions it has formed concerning the Mormon faith and the Mormon people; and thus they become witnesses against the traducers of that maligned people. Our traducers may not like this, but it is true. They have made lies their refuge, and under falsehood have they hid themselves; but their bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. This much in general. Now to be more specific; and especially to cover in the evidence I quote the silly attempt of your Salt Lake correspondent "M" to deny credit to the Mormons for having redeemed a desert and given a wilderness to civilization.

    94                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Your correspondent refers to the credit accorded the Mormons for this as "an old chestnut" which has been laid on the shelf years ago here in the West, because there is no truth in it! "There never was any barren desert," he says, "in this valley, for it has always been one of the best watered, most easily cultivated and productive valleys west of the Mississippi!" It is rather an unfortunate circumstance that a man who claims to have been a careful student of Mormonism and who has lived for over twenty-five years in Utah, should include in his criticism of the Journal's representative's article an untruth so palpable, a falsehood so easy of refutation, a statement which so bluntly comes in contact with the common knowledge of all the people of the United States. How the Salt Lake Valley was regarded by the pioneers who came into it in 1847 may be learned from the following quotation from their utterances:

    "My mother was heart-broken because there were no trees to be seen. I do not remember a tree that could be called a tree." Statement of Clara Decker Young, one of the women of the first pioneer company. (Bancroft's History of Utah, page 261.)

    "The ground was so dry that they found it necessary to irrigate it before plowing, some plows having been broken." (Ibid.)

    Their first impressions of the valley, Lorenzo Young says, were most disheartening. But for the two or three cottonwood trees, not a green thing was in sight. And Brigham speaks almost pathetically of the destruction of the willows and wild roses growing on the banks of City Creek, destroyed because the channels must be changed, and leaving nothing to vary the scenery but rugged mountains, the sage brush and the sunflower. The ground was covered

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               95

    with millions of black crickets which the Indians were harvesting for their winter food. (Ibid, page 262.)

    "When we arrived in this valley we found it a barren desert, and a barren desert it was. We saw no mark of the white man. We found a few naked Indians who would eat a pint of roasted crickets for their dinner." (Statement of Wilford Woodruff, "Utah Pioneers," page 24.)

    The late Apostle Erastus Snow, who, with Orson Pratt, was the first man of the pioneers to enter the valley, in a discourse during the celebration of the thirty-third anniversary of the entrance of the pioneers into the Salt Lake valley, says:

    "And when the Pioneers found it [this valley], it was well nigh purified by the lapse of time and the desolation of ages, and the wickedness of its ancient inhabitants was well nigh obliterated, though the curse of barrenness and desolation still existed. I remarked yesterday, on looking at the decorations of this building, that to make the work complete that part which so truthfully represents this desert land in 1847, the sagebrush and the other growth of the desert should be besprinkled with black crickets, and, perched in some prominent position, some gulls looking down eagerly upon them; which would remind us of those early days when the Pioneers and early settlers grappled with the difficulties of the desert land; when the untamed savage was scarcely an enemy or a hindrance in our pathway compared with the destructive winged insects, the crickets and grasshoppers which would come in myriads to devour the tender crops. For the first two seasons it seemed as though the crickets and grasshoppers would consume every green thing, and after they had commenced their depredations to such an extent that to all human appearance the last vestige of the products of the field and garden would be eaten up, large flocks of gulls came to the relief of the farmer, lighting down upon the fields and covering them as with a white sheet, and they fell to devouring the insects.

    96                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    When they had filled and gorged their stomachs, they would vomit them up and then fill themselves again, and again vomit, and thus they ate and devoured until the fields were cleared of those destructive insects, and the crops saved. * * * * Many doubted, as to whether we could subsist our colonies in this country at all, and whether grain would mature. James Bridger, the well-known mountaineer, who had inter-married with the Snakes [Indians], and had a trading post which still bears his name, Fort Bridger, when he met President Brigham Young at the Pioneer camp on the Big Sandy, about the last of June, and learned our destination to be the valley of the Great Salt Lake, he gave us a general outline and description of this country over which he had roamed with the Indians in his hunting and trapping excursions, and expressed grave doubts whether corn could be produced at all in these mountains, he having made experiments in many places with a few seeds, which had failed to mature. So sanguine was he that it could not be done that he proffered to give a thousand dollars for the first ear of corn raised in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, or the valley of the Utah outlet, as he termed it, meaning the valley between Utah lake and Salt Lake. President Young replied to him, 'Wait a little and we will show you.'" (The Utah Pioneers, pages 41-43.)

    Nor is the fact of Salt Lake valley's desolation witnessed by the testimony of Mormons alone. Howard Stand-bury, Captain of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, U. S. Army, in 1852, says:

    "One of the most unpleasant characteristics of the whole country, is the entire absence of trees from the landscape. The weary traveler plods along, exposed to the full blaze of one eternal sunshine, day after day, and week after week, his eye resting upon naught but interminable plains, bold and naked hills, or bold and rugged mountains; the shady grove, the babbling brook, the dense and solemn forest are things unknown here; and should he by chance light

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               97

    upon some solitary cotton-wood, or pitch his tent amid some stunted willows, the opportunity is hailed with joy, as one of unusual good fortune. The studding, therefore, of this beautiful city [referring to Salt Lake City] with noble trees, will render it, by contrast with the surrounding regions, a second 'Diamond of the Desert.'" (Stansbury's Report, page 129. )

    Again, Lieutenant J. W. Gunnison of the Topographical Engineers, writing in 1853, said:

    "It [the Salt Lake Valley] is isolated from habitable grounds; having inhospitable tracts to the North and South, and the untimbered slope of the Rocky Mountains, nearly a thousand miles wide, on the east, and nearly a thousand miles of arid salt deserts on the west, broken up by frequent ridges of sterile mountains. The Great Basin is * * * over four thousand feet above the ocean.* * * It is a desert in character. * * * In the interior, fresh water becomes scarce, for these hills do not collect sufficient snow in winter * * * * to water the plains; and the consequence follows that these tracts are parched and arid, and frequently so impregnated with alkali as to make them unfit for vegetable life. * * * The land around Salt Lake is flat, and rises imperceptibly on the south and west, * * and is a soft and sandy barren, irreclaimable for agricultural purposes. On the north the tract is narrow, and the springs bursting out near the surface of the water, the grounds cannot be irrigated. ("The Mormons," by J. W. Gunnison, pages 14, 15, 16.)

    These descriptions of Utah. Valley warrant Utah's Historian, Bishop Orson F. Whitney, in giving the splendid pen picture he writes of the valley on the arrival of the Pioneers, in saying:

    "It was no Garden of Hesperides upon which the Pioneers gazed that memorable morning of July 24, 1847.

    98                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Aside from its scenic splendor, which was indeed glorious, magnificent, there was little to invite and much to repel in the prospect presented to their view. A broad and barren plain, hemmed in by mountains, blistering in the rays of the midsummer sun. No waving fields, no swaying forests, no verdant meadows to rest and refresh the weary eye, but on all sides a seemingly interminable waste of sagebrush, be-spangled with sunflowers -- the paradise of the lizard, the cricket and the rattle snake. Less than half way across the baked and burning valley, dividing it in twain -- as if the vast bowl, in the intense heat of the Master Potter's fires, in process of formation had cracked asunder -- a narrow river, turbid and shallow, from south to north in many a serpentine curve, sweeps on its sinuous way. Beyond, a broad lake, the river's goal, dotted with mountain islands; its briny waters shimmering in the sunlight like a silver shield. From the mountains, snow-capped, seamy and craggy, lifting their kingly heads to be crowned by the golden sun, flow limpid, laughing streams, cold and crystal clear, leaping, dashing, foaming, flashing, from rock to glen, from peak to plain. But the fresh canyon streams are far and few, and the arid waste they water, glistening with beds of salt and soda pools of deadly alkali, scarcely allowing them to reach the river, but midway well nigh swallows and absorbs them in the thirsty sands. These, the oak-brush, the squaw-berry, and other scant growths, with here and there a tree casting its lone shadow on hill or in valley; a wire-grass swamp, a few acres of withered bunch-grass, and the lazily waving willows and wild-rose bushes, fringing the distant streams, the only green thing visible. Silence and desolation reign. A silence unbroken, save by the cricket's ceaseless chirp, the roar of the mountain torrent or the whir and twitter of the passing bird. A desolation of centuries, where earth seems heaven-forsaken, where Hermit Nature, watching, waiting, weeps and worships God amid eternal solitudes." (History of Utah, Vol. I., pages 325-6.)

    The Mormons whom your Salt Lake Correspondent admits had the territory of Utah almost exclusively to themselves

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               99

    for about twenty-five years, converted the desert wilderness described in the foregoing quotations into a fruitful land, and redeemed it from savagery to civilization. By the creation of an irrigation system they demonstrated that the desert lands of the intermountain region could be converted into fruitful fields, and thus became Pioneers, not alone of Utah, but of the entire intermountain region, and became founders of modern irrigation farming, which now is developing into a great national movement, that looks to the reclamation of an extent of country beside which the extent of ancient empires becomes insignificant; and happy millions will yet partake of the blessings first disclosed as possible by the example in irrigation set by the Mormon people. And all such silly falsehoods and misrepresentations as those uttered by your jaundice-minded correspondent, can never rob them of the high honor accorded them by the nation for the part they have performed in so great and notable and far reaching enterprises.

    Your correspondent represents himself as having lived in Utah for over twenty-five years; and also as having had ample opportunity to study the "Mormon system" and its fruits, and then says:

    "I am forced to join with other careful students in declaring that from a social, civil and moral standpoint, no language is strong enough to set forth the evil fruits of the "Mormon system." Based on polygamy, how could the system be otherwise than rotten? Its central idea of government being that of priesthood rule, how could it be otherwise than anti-American ? Having been founded and organized by a man as corrupt and immoral as the multiplied statements of Joseph Smith's acquaintances and neighbors prove that he was, how could it be otherwise than mischievous and immoral in its tendencies and results?

    100                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Really, after thinking of a man living in Utah for twenty-five years with exceptional opportunities to study the "Mormon system," one becomes quite disheartened when he witnesses such an exhibition of stupidity in apprehending, or a willingness to misrepresent as is exhibited in the foregoing quotation. First, if your correspondent had intelligence to understand the most simple proposition, he never would have made the statement that Mormonism is based on polygamy. Mormonism existed ten years and had spread through nearly all the states of the American Union, into Canada and Great Britain, before plural marriage was ever introduced into the Church. And notwithstanding that under the requirements of the laws of the land, the Church has discontinued the authorization of plural marriages, Mormonism still survives -- much to the chagrin of such characters as your correspondent, and the Mormon Church was never more alive or prosperous than it is today. The doctrine of the rightfulness of plural marriage is in every sense but an incident in the "Mormon system" rather than a basic principle. Salvation in the Mormon religion is not made to depend upon a plurality of wives. On the contrary it teaches that either man or woman can be saved without marriage at all. That those in monogamous marriage relations may be saved, but it also is a fact that it has taught that men with a plurality of wives, if they have taken them under the sanction of God's law -- a law which existed in the days of the Bible patriarchs as well as in these last days by special dispensation through Joseph Smith -- may also be saved. Mormonism does teach, however, that marriage is essential to man's exaltation and progress in his saved condition, and that special blessings doubtless attended those who entered into plural marriage relations within the conditions and limitations referred

                  A  BRIEF  DEFENSE  OF  THE  MORMONS.               101

    to a moment since, but to regard plural marriages as the basis of Mormonism is not only ridiculous but an absolute misrepresentation of our faith.

    Equally absurd and untrue is your correspondent's second implied charge, viz., that the central idea of Mormon government is priesthood rule, therefore "how could it be otherwise than anti-American?" The gentleman leaves us in the mists here. What does he mean ? Is it anti-American to have priesthood rule in an ecclesiastical institution -- in a Church ? What kind of rule would he have but that of a priesthood rule in such organizations? If it is anti-American to have priesthood rule in a church organization, then every church in the land is anti-American. But if the gentleman protests that this is not what he meant, but that he meant priesthood rule in civil government, then I must say to him that there is no ecclesiastical institution in all our land that in its doctrines more clearly recognizes the separation of the Church from the State than does the Mormon Church. In proof of which I quote on that head the following from an authoritative work on the doctrine of the Mormon Church:

    "We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul. * * * * We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered, and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges,

    102                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    and the individual rights of its members as citizens, denied." (D&C, Section 134.)

    Again, in a revelation given as early as 1831, the Lord said to the Church:

    "Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the Church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth."

    That is, the revelations received were given for the government of the Church, not for the laws of the state; to instruct the saints in their religious duties and privileges, not to interfere with them in the exercise of their civil rights, nor to dictate to them in their political actions. This doctrine has been affirmed over and over again by the present officials of the Mormon Church. And as for the exercise of "priesthood rule" in practice in political affairs, in all good conscience and form both observation and experience: I can say that there is less of it chargeable to the Mormon Church officials than to ministers of any other denominations whatsoever in our land. And no other people of our land have suffered so much from mingling religious influence in political affairs, as have the Mormon people. Nearly every Legislative enactment, either state or national, has been the direct result of the exercise of sectarian ministerial influence upon legislators, state and national, as also have been nearly all the acts of mob violence perpetrated against the same people which resulted in their expulsion from Missouri and Illinois.

    Your correspondent says that the multiplied statements of Joseph Smith's acquaintances and neighbors prove that he was was immoral and corrupt, and that since Mormonism has such an origin he wants to know "how it could be otherwise than mischievous and immoral in its tendencies and resuits."

                      EULOGY  OF  MORMONS'  SYSTEM.                  103

    Your correspondent here assumes that Joseph Smith was immoral and corrupt, and hence his system can be none other than mischievous and evil in its tendencies. "But," it will be said, "his premise rests upon the alleged testimony of Joseph Smith's acquaintances and neighbors." What acquaintances and neighbors? Of course if you eliminate from this list all those who knew Joseph Smith best, his friends and followers, who so far believed in him and his honor and integrity as a man and prophet of God that they sacrificed their own good name, together with property and all earthly prospects in accepting the doctrine he taught, and then rely alone for a description of his character upon the testimony of his persecutors and revilers led on by bigoted priests who hounded him through fourteen years of his troubled life, until they succeeded in bringing about his murder in cold blood at Carthage, Illinois, why, of course; I suppose that such testimony could be said to prove that he was immoral and corrupt. But under such methods of proving things how would the immaculate life and character of the Son of God himself stand before the world? Jesus would be proved to be a wine-bibber, an associate of sinners and publicans, one who went about the country in the companionship of women of questionable character, an imposter who was so in league with Satan that he cast out devils by the power of Beelzebub, an agitator disturbing the peace, a leader of seditions, a perverter of laws and customs, and who at the last was fittingly crucified between two thieves after being condemned under due forms of law, and who attracted to him a following that could be regarded as the off-scourings of despised Galilee, and who were so vile as to steal his dead body from the tomb by night, and then put in circulation the story that he had risen bodily from

    104                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the dead! From such a basis as this, all of which can be established "by the multiplied testimony" of the Savior's "acquaintances and neighbors," we could, with your correspondent exclaim,"how could the system"emanating from such a founder "be otherwise than mischievous and immoral in its tendencies and results?"

    It would be easy to prove that from the beginning of Mormonism until now there are many men of wide reputation, men of national repute and high character, who have testified of the purity of life and honorable conduct of Joseph Smith and the general honesty and high moral character of his following. But it is impossible to quote such testimony because of the necessary limits of this communication, and it is not necessary because the premise from which your correspondent starts is utterly untenable and foolish.

    Your correspondent scoffs at the idea that Mormons married their plural wives in good faith, and that it would now be a crime to abandon them, and declares that your representative could as well have talked about "committing the crime of bank robbing in good faith." The gentleman rushes a little too quickly to his conclusion. Things he puts in comparison are altogether unlike. It is a truth to begin with that the Mormon people accepted the doctrine of plural marriage as a revelation and commandment from God; and they did marry their wives under what they considered divine sanction, in good faith, believing that they were protected in the practice of a religious principle by the constitution of their country, which specifically prohibited the passage of laws "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Furthermore, this doctrine was sanctioned by the practice of the Bible patriarchs, whom the Son of God himself upheld in his teaching

                      EULOGY  OF  MORMONS'  SYSTEM.                  105

    as the very favorites of heaven, whom God had made his own especial witnesses of the truths he would teach mankind. It was well on to half a century before the Supreme Court of the United States had finally decided at all points the constitutionality of the several acts of Congress against the exercise of this religious doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, during which time a whole generation had lived in the practice of it, believing absolutely in its righteousness, in its divinity in fact, and it is not difficult to understand how men under such circumstances married their wives in good faith.

    Moreover, when this matter was finally settled by the adoption of our State Constitution, the enabling act passed by Congress only demanded on this subject of polygamy that the constitutional convention should provide by ordinance "irrevocably without the consent of the United States and the people of said state, * * * * that no inhabitant of said state should be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship: provided that polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited." It will be observed that there is no demand made in this for the abandonment of plural marriage relations already established under the Mormon doctrine of plural marriage. Nothing is required on that head, but that for the future there shall be a prohibition of "polygamous marriages." The action of the constitutional convention was in harmony with this demand of the people of the United States, and the ordinance in our state constitution was adopted in such form and spirit that while future polygamous or plural marriages, were forever prohibited, it contemplated leaving undisturbed the already existing plural marriage relations. Under these circumstances I do not hesitate to say that for Mormon men

    106                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to abandon the wives they had taken in good faith, who had been induced to accept that relationship under religious persuasion and conviction, would be both cowardly and criminal in the eyes of God and all good and respectable men.

    Your correspondent undertakes to make much of the fact that

    "The Mormons have lived in five different states. * * * * If their system is as pure morally and as patriotic as it is claimed to be, how does it happen that their sojourn in each of these states was characterized by continued and increased conflict with the established government and laws of these states and of the United States while the great Christian denominations live in peace and harmony under those same laws?"

    The gentleman would have shown better judgment than to have propounded such a question as that. The Latter-day Saints suffered persecution in both New York and Ohio, they were driven several times from their homes in Missouri, and finally driven in a body -- some twelve thousand in number -- from that state into Illinois, and later between twenty and thirty thousand of them were driven from the state of Illinois. The gentleman should remember that this all happened before plural marriage was practiced in the Church [except in Nauvoo, where, in the last years of his life, it was introduced by the prophet, but it was known but, by a few, and was neither the cause of his martyrdom nor of the subsequent expulsion of his people]; and Mormons may defy not only your correspondent but the whole world to instance any case where they were persecuted or driven from their homes or murdered (as scores of them were) for violation of the laws of the land in those states. And there is yet to arise within these states or in the United States, however

                      EULOGY  OF  MORMONS'  SYSTEM.                  107

    much he may despise the Mormons and their faith, an apologist who is bold enough to undertake the justification of those states in their treatment of the Mormons, save only, perhaps, your correspondent, and he only by cowardly imputation and innuendo.

    Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 26, 1903.

    [ 109 ]



    [ 111 ]


    This is a question frequently asked, but I do not remember that an answer has been ever before put in print It would be easy to record the names of the ministers and the Christian sects to which they belonged who began the agitation in Missouri which resulted in such disgraceful scenes of mob-violence, robbery and murder, and the final expulsion of from twelve to fifteen thousand people from their homes and the state. It would only be a matter of time and space to set down the names of the ministers and the sects they represented, who began and continued that abominable campaign of slander and falsehood which terminated in the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the expulsion of more than twenty thousand Latter-day Saints from the confines of the United States. But is it worth while? Is it not enough to say that so-called ministers of the gospel quite generally took the leading part in this opposition. They headed bands of men who burned the homes of our people; they sat on drumhead militia court-martials to try Joseph Smith, and condemned him to be shot in the public square at Far West; it was a sectarian minister who led the mob that murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage prison; it was a somewhat noted preacher who led the mob forces against Nauvoo and expelled the aged, the weak and helpless from that city after the great bulk of the Mormon people had departed into the western wilderness in search of new homes. So we might continue all down the line of our experience. The mobbings in the southern states have quite generally been led by so-called ministers of the gospel; as also all the unfriendly agitation

    112                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    in Utah and elsewhere. But it isn't worth while to dwell too long in our thought on these matters, or to take them too seriously. God has a reward that will be ample for all those who have suffered martyrdom in his cause, and those who have assailed it he doubtless will remember in his own time and way, and we need not wish them any harm, and we do not. If we could affect them in any way it would be to mitigate their difficulties. For a man to carry with him through eternity the recollection of an injustice he has inflicted upon the innocent; to be compelled always to remember a murder committed, must of itself be a terrible punishment. So I say if we could affect the persecutors of the Saints in any way it would be to mitigate their sufferings, not to increase them. We will try not to remember the wrongs of Missouri; and will try to forget the fate of Nauvoo. We will remember only that in those troublous days there were noble men, and women too, who befriended our people and who did what they could to make light their burdens and ease their sorrows -- God bless them!

    [ 113 ]

    Which of the Sects Have Opposed Mormonism Most?

    SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, Aug. 8, 1903.    
    D. A. Holcomb, Esq., Dunlap, Iowa.

    DEAR SIR: -- Your letter of the 21st ult., addressed to President Joseph F. Smith and Counselors, asking "which one of the religious societies has opposed the faith and doctrine of the Church the most," etc., has been handed to me by President Smith, with a request that I answer your questions.

    In the first place I call your attention to the fact that it is not a matter of astonishment or of any great amount of anxiety to us that the churches of this world oppose the Church of Christ. It has become a matter of course from our point of view, and really under the circumstances we do not see how it could be otherwise, for the first word of the Lord to Joseph Smith was to the effect that the churches of the world were all wrong, that is, in error; that their professors of religion drew near to the Lord with their lips while their hearts were far from him; that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men, and Joseph Smith was commanded to join none of them, for God did not acknowledge them as his Church or kingdom. After such a declaration the good will of sectarian Christendom was naturally out of the question, yet, of course, the truth had to be told. The theological rubbish that had accumulated for ages had to be swept away that the rocks of truth might be made bare for the erection of that structure, the Temple of God -- the Church of Christ.

    As to which of the several churches has been most opposed to the faith and doctrines of the Church it would be

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    difficult to say definitely, except to say that up to the present time the Catholic Church has not manifested any hostility' in any way as an organization. A few individual Catholic prelates have had their fling at us, but I think they have not passed resolutions against our organization, chiefly for the reason, as I think, that we have done but little work as yet in Catholic countries; and then, too, it is quite possible that the Catholic clergy count us as one among the many protestant sects, and think us no worse than the rest of what they consider the "separated brethren." As for the Protestant brood, you may take the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Campbellites, and Josephites as the most active of our opponents, judging from the fulminations they reel off against us in the form of resolutions and petitions to Congress asking that we be "suppressed" or "crushed." It would be difficult to say which of these is the most opposed. I think I am safe in saying they are all about equally bitter, but thank the Lord there is no proportion between their bitterness and their power to do us injury. The rest of the Protestant sects give us but little trouble, at least in any formal way, and the opposition expressed in frantic resolutions by those I have named merely serve to make matters interesting and keep Mormonism well to the fore in public attention; and as for "annoyance" -- well, it is hardly worth while being annoyed. Have you not read the golden words, "We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth?" and that other saying, equally comforting to those who are called upon to face the wrath of men for the kingdom of heaven's sake, "Surely the wrath of men shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain?" So we are very comfortable, thank you, and not worried and not "annoyed" and not hurt by the opposition of men. We have the truth and rejoice in it, and intend to make it known just as far as

                        WHICH  HAVE  OPPOSED  MOST.                     115

    it is possible for us to proclaim it, In our view those who oppose it, pass resolutions against our faith and ourselves, are but God's advertising agents, to present to the attention of the world the thing which he has planted in the earth; and we amuse ourselves sometimes by thinking what a surprised lot of fellows those sanctimonious divines who "resolute" against us with such vigor will be when they wake up and discover that they have helped instead of hindered God's work; but as for being "annoyed" -- pshaw!

    Very truly yours.
                       B. H. ROBERTS.

    *   *   *   *   *

    Looking through an old scrap book the other day, I found in it a clipping from the "Newark (New Jersey) News," containing a letter from Salt Lake City, by J. Martin Miller, which describes in a very admirable way the attitude of a Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Bishop toward the Mormon people, and as their attitude is one of fairness I take pleasure in recording the evidence of it here. Mr. Miller's letter to the "Newark News" was written about two months before my letter to Mr. Holcomb -- in June, 1903:


    "I found a very prominent former Newarker, in the person of Rabbi Louis G. Reynolds, of the Synagogue B'nai Israel here [in Salt Lake City]. He was rabbi of the Oheb Shalom Synagogue, Newark, from 1892 to 1896.

    "There is a Jewish population of about 500 in Salt Lake City," said Rabbi Reynolds? "Aside from that particular feature of their creed, polygamy, I think the Mormons are a very good people. Everything indicates that polygamy is dying out and that the Church means to obey the law. Aside

    116                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    from polygamy, I am of the opinion that in morals the Mormons will average higher than the Gentiles who live here. The records show that the Mormons furnish a very small quota of the vice of the city. As a rule, they are a temperate people. 'If Senator Smoot is unseated, would the influence of the Mormons in the state and the nation be diminished?' I inquired. 'Not in the least; it would make them feel their persecution more than now and cause them to have less faith in the fairness of the government. They know the government cannot be fooled to any great extent and that polygamy must go. Now that the tendency on the part of the Mormons is to abandon polygamy, the purposes of the government in making better Americans of the Mormon people than they are now will be better subserved by allowing the influential men among the Mormons to help the government bring about the desired end. I say this with Senator Smoot in mind, and in view of the believed fact among every class in Utah that he is not a polygamist. He is one of the most level-headed business men in Utah, and is exceedingly popular with all classes. Polygamy was deeply rooted. The people for the most part were born in it. Why humiliate these innocent victims by persecuting them unnecessarily when they show an inclination to rid themselves and the county of the blot? The United States is a conciliatory and humane government. I was born in Russia and can appreciate this government. It is the kind of a government that begets loyalty in its subjects. Will these erring Children of Utah, who in all probability are not now contracting any new polygamous marriages, be better citizens if they are hounded and misrepresented by agitators, or if they are fairly but firmly dealt with by the government and given a reasonable chance to prove their good intentions and their good citizenship? There is a very

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    strong element throughout the county that takes absolutely no stock in this ecclesiastical warfare that is being made from Salt Lake City against the Mormons. It has been plainly demonstrated very recently in the case of one minister here who carried on a bitter crusade, that was worse than a waste of energy, that such methods are re-active in the extreme."


    "That veteran old priest, Bishop Scanlan, who has charge of all of Utah and the eastern half of Nevada for the Catholic church, has visited every remote corner of Utah during the 30 years he has been here. 'I have found the Mormon people a gentle and kindly disposed people. I have never been insulted once. I have been obliged to visit places where there are no hotels and wherever I have stopped at private houses the people have always felt offended if I offered to pay them for the keep of myself and my horse.' 'Have you ever felt the need of a revolver?' I asked. 'I never owned one in my life.' Pointing up to the crucifix, the bishop said: 'That is the only weapon I have ever carried. The Catholic church has 10,000 communicants in Utah at the present time.' I do not see your name, bishop, on protests and other papers that some of the ministers here are active in circulating. 'No, I never join in anything of that kind. My mission here is not to make war among the Mormon people, or any other people, but rather to be the bearer of the message of peace and good will toward all men. If there is any law to be enforced, I leave that for my government to do."

    [ 119 ]



    [ 121 ]


    The subject treated under this title, "How," is an address delivered in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle on Sunday, May 31, 1903, in one of the sessions of the Young Men's and Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations Annual Conferences. The associations are auxiliary organizations in the Church of the Latter-day Saints for the improvement of the youth. In May of the above year, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church was appointed to convene in Los Angeles. A large number of ministers of this persuasion from eastern states made it a point to pass through Salt Lake City en route for Los Angeles, and the Ministerial Association of Utah, an organization comprised of Protestant ministers of all the Evangelical Churches in the State, made it their business to call the attention of such visiting ministers to the "Mormon Question," and invited their co-operation against the Mormon Church. As preliminary to this action on their part they published two pamphlets, one under the title, "Claims of Mormons to be Considered Seriously." This pamphlet pretended to give a brief history of the origin of the Mormon Church, and declared that the Prophet Joseph Smith was considered by his neighbors to be a character who was "low, unworthy, of bad repute in general, and that he was especially unworthy of confidence." It was a re-hash of the silly stories that sprang up in western New York and that are utterly unreliable, and which, while the Prophet lived in New York, could never be established against him, though every possible effort to do so was made.

    The second pamphlet was entitled "Temple Mormonism." The chief purpose of this pamphlet was evidently to

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    prove that Mormonism was an oath-bound secret organization, "for the encouragement and protection of polygamous living." These pamphlets were distributed to the one thousand Presbyterian ministers who are said to have passed through Salt Lake at that time. It was the intention also to have them presented to the Presbyterian Assembly in Los Angeles, and I believe they were so presented. Later they were to be presented to the Baptist Convention to be held that year in Buffalo, New York; also to the Congregational Conference at Portland, Oregon, and then to the W. C. T. U., to the Y. M. C. A. and W. C. A. conventions of that year; and finally to the Inter-Denominational Association of Women. Whatever became of the presentation of these pamphlets to the respective organizations other than the Presbyterian Assembly, I do not know; but their presentation to the gathered Presbyterian ministers at Los Angels doubtless had the desired effect, for it resulted in some very heated speeches upon the subject of Mormonism, more especially in one delivered by Dr. Charles L. Thompson of New York, secretary of the Assembly, who, in the course of a speech widely heralded through the secular press of the country, said -- and this was the report of the speech according to the dispatches -- of Mormonism:

    "'It is not to be educated, not to be civilized, not to be reformed -- it must be crushed. No other organization is so, perfect as the Mormon Church except the German Army. This describes Mormonism. Its empty promises deceive. Relentlessly it fastens its victims in its loathsome glue. It has one vulnerable point. It is not to be reformed. It is to be crushed. Dr. Richard L. Ely has declared that there is nothing comparable to its system except the German Army, * * * * Beware the Octopus. There is one moment in which to seize it, says Victor Hugo. It is when it thrusts forth its head. It has done it. Its high priest claims a senator's

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    chair in Washington. Now is the time to strike. Perhaps to miss it now is to be lost."

    Commenting on this speech, the dispatches said:

    "No speaker who has thus far appeared before the Presbyterian General Assembly has aroused so much enthusiasm as Dr. Chas. L. Thompson. His references to Mormonism were especially bitter, and brought Out great applause from his audience."

    It is this speech that is commented upon in the remarks which follow.


    My Brethren and Sisters -- I arise this afternoon to announce a great disappointment. By reference to your printed programs you will see that President Joseph F. Smith was chosen to make an address this afternoon, but he insists upon my taking his place. I tried to dissuade him from making the change, but he insisted upon it, and as he has the final word in such matters, I respond cheerfully to his request, and ask you, as soon as possible, to banish the remembrance of your disappointment and assist me by your faith and prayers, that what I may say may be fitting to this occasion, and prompted by the Spirit of the Lord.

    I think I shall venture to take a text, but not from the Bible. My text will be one that I have made "out of my own head." Perhaps that will account for its being so brief. It consists of one word only, and that one word is, "How?"

    Away back in 1832, on the occasion of a number of elders being assembled in Kirtland, desiring to know the will of the Lord concerning themselves, and in what manner they should spend their time pending the commencement of a conference

    124                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    which had been called, the Lord said through his Prophet:
    "I give unto you a commandment, that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom; teach ye diligently, and my grace shall attend you, that ye may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of countries and kingdoms, that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you." [j]
    From this you will observe that the elders of the Church were commanded to enter a very extensive field in search of knowledge. Indeed, I cannot think of anything pertaining to things that lie within the scope or power of man's investigation that is not included within this commandment to search for knowledge. Among other things, you will observe that the elders-are to make themselves acquainted with "things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; with things which are at home, and things which are abroad." I see in that a commandment to keep informed as to current events; and, in my opinion, this commandment can be made to apply not only to the elders in Ohio, to whom it was directly given, but to all those who may be called upon to perform a similar labor, that of representing the work of God to the inhabitants of the earth. That


                                            HOW.                                         125

    responsibility rests upon the young men who hold the priesthood in the Church today, and hence, this commandment applies to them. It applies to the members of the Mutual Improvement Associations; for one of the chief objects in view, when the organization of Improvement Associations was effected, was the preparation of our young men to become exponents of the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially as revealed in the dispensation of that gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. No knowledge can be of more importance to the young man who expects to engage in this work than the knowledge of current events, and prevailing ideas in the world on religion; especially those current events which have a more or less direct relation to the great work of the last days -- to Mormonism, in other words.

    Of late, there have been a number of important things taking place that have a direct relation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, among which is the passing of resolutions antagonistic to Mormonism, by the Presbyterian General Assembly, convened during the past week in Los Angeles, California. The ministers of the Presbyterian Church met in solemn conclave to consider the interests of their own church, and, incidentally, I suppose, to look a little after the welfare of ours. One proposition before those assembled divines was very extraordinary. So extraordinary, in fact, that it may be considered astonishing. It was nothing more nor less than a plan to "crush Mormonism." I think we are interested in a proposition of that kind. Intensely interested; and hence my text of one word, "How ?" That is, how is the "Crushing of Mormonism" to be effected? What means are to be invoked? What process followed? Fortunately for us, who naturally have so much anxiety respecting the matter, one of the speakers before the Presbyterian assembly brought forward a plan through

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    which the "Crushing" is to be accomplished. This was Doctor -- that is, Doctor of Divinity, you will understand -- Charles L. Thompson, of New York. We are informed by the dispatches which reported in part "his great discourse," that he was the speaker who aroused the most enthusiasm in the assembly, and that his references to Mormonism were "especially bitter," and brought out great applause from his audience. He is reported to have said that "Mormonism is not to be educated, not to be civilized, not to be reformed. It must be crushed." This the climax of what is called his "great discourse;" surely it must have been a great discourse to have such a climax as that, and to receive such applause from such a body of divines!

    But how do you suppose the crushing is to be accomplished? Now listen! The Revelation Mr. Thompson compares the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to a great octopus. The octopus, as you know, is an animal very difficult to kill; but the gentleman remembered that Victor Hugo, in his "Toilers of the Sea," had said that even the octopus had a vulnerable point. "There is one moment in which to seize it -- it is when it thrusts forth its head. Then is the time to strike." The reverend gentleman then concludes that the Mormon octopus has thrust forth its head. "Its high priest," said he, "claims a senator's chair in Washington. Now is the time to strike. Perhaps to miss it now, is to be lost."

    Wonderful wisdom! worthy of a great divine! a mighty climax to a great sermon! Seriously, however, a most perfect example of an anti-climax; "a most lame and impotent conclusion," more ridiculous than the fable of the mountain laboring, to bring forth a mouse! If my voice could reach the reverend gentleman, I would inform him that there is not even the charm of novelty in what he recommended. We

                                            HOW.                                         127

    have heard something like this before. Why, within my own recollection, I can remember something like that having been proposed as a means of crushing Mormonism. Way down deep in the innermost recesses of my sub-consciousness, I have a recollection of suggestions made in like spirit, about the year 1898. This Doctor of Divinity's thundering fulmination against Mormonism, when I hear him pronounce it, has something familiar about it. In fact it has all the monotony of the refrain of some old familiar song. Much was said about an octopus, too, and about it thrusting forth its head, at the time to which I refer, 1898. Then its "High Priest," it was said, claimed a seat in the lower house of Congress, when a certain gentleman by the name of Roberts was elected to Congress from the State of Utah. They said, then, that the octopus was putting forth its head; then was the time to strike; to fail then would be to be lost; so they induced the House of Representatives to strike, by excluding the gentleman from the seat to which he had been legally elected, and for which he possessed, as was admitted, every constitutional qualification. But I have never heard that the achievement, which was accomplished at the cost of an outrageous violation of the constitution of our country, affected the Mormon Church. What effect did that illegal act of Congress have on Mormonism? About as much effect as a mosquito alighting on the' moon would have on that sphere. The "Mormon" octopus survived that awful blow! And even the gentleman who was denied his seat, I am informed, survived also; and I have not heard that his shadow has grown less because of that experience. And should the agitation against Senator Reed Smoot result in his expulsion from the Senate of the United States -- thing which is as unlikely as it is unjust -- I verily believe that Mormonism would survive even that blow. The trouble with

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    our reverend friends is, that they persist in mistaking always the head of the octopus, and hence never strike it.

    It is not my purpose to discuss the issues raised between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and this Los Angeles Presbyterian Assembly, in a spirit of retaliation. I do not intend to answer railing with railing, nor do I wish to revile those by whom we are reviled. I understand the law of the gospel of Christ to be that we should not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Besides, patience is one of Mormonism's chief virtues. But all this does not mean that we shall not have an appreciation of our own rights and liberties under the constitution and institutions of our country; nor does it prevent us from pointing out the unjust conduct of our assailants; nor debar us from making protest, in proper spirit, against their proposed invasions of our rights; nor blind us to the absurdity of their plans for our destruction. But we will not abuse our traducers, nor revile them because they revile us. Thank God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occupies a position so exalted that it may smile at the efforts of men who propose to "crush" it. Especially by such means as those proposed by the Reverend Doctor Thompson. The resolutions of the Presbyterian Assembly, at Los Angeles, its fulminations against the Church of Christ, are all shafts that fall broken and harmless at the feet of the people of God. There is one passage of Byron's "Childe Harold" with which I have always been deeply impressed, as setting forth the dignity and exaltation of God in his relation to those who doubt the reality of his revelations, seek to prove them myths, and blaspheme his name. It is where the poet refers to the character and works of Voltaire and Gibbon. Concluding his reflections upon these two really great men, he says:

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    They were gigantic minds, and their steep aim
    Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
    Thoughts which should call down thunder, and the flame
    Of heaven, again assailed, if heaven the while
    On man and man's research could deign do more than smile.
    In like exalted station stands the Church of Christ today. The Bride, the Lamb's Wife, has no fear of her enemies. She stands too near the Bridegroom, too near his glorious coming, too near the holy, visible union with him, which is to be eternal, to fear the vain ravings of modern priests of Baal.

    Let us examine more thoroughly, however, the proposition of this Reverend Doctor Thompson, and find out, if we can, how the Christian gentleman really proposes to proceed with his crushing process. Be it remembered he lays down the doctrine that "Mormonism is not to be educated, not to be civilized, not to be reformed!" Then how will he proceed? He decides to eliminate educational methods, civilizing methods, and reform methods. After eliminating these, what method has he left for crushing Mormonism? None but force -- brute force; and force in the last analysis means either mobs or armies. Can it be that a body of "divines," "ministers of Jesus Christ," living in the twentieth century of the Christian era, are ready to recommend the throwing aside of all legitimate methods of dealing with a body of people supposed to be in error on matters of religion, and leave it to be justly inferred that they favor the employment of force to accomplish that which only love and goodwill toward men should undertake? Have we been correctly informed by the dispatches which say that the man who recommended such procedure is the one who was most applauded by the assembled ministers of

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    Jesus Christ? Can it be that we are living in an age that boasts of its Christian civilization? Or, "by some devilish cantrip slight," have we been carried back to the dark ages, when the rack, and thumbscrews, and gibbets, were the agencies through which men's theological opinions and religious principles were corrected? The ages when reluctant victims were dragged to the foot of the altar, and made to burn incense at orthodox shrines, though the heart abhorred and disclaimed the sacrilegious act of the hand?

    For the instruction of those who would favor the abandonment of what are recognized as Christian and civilized methods of dealing with those supposed to entertain erroneous religious principles, let us see what effect physical force and persecution has had upon Mormonism in the past. From the commencement, those who have been engaged in God's work in these last days have suffered violence, and it will be well to ascertain the results of these methods. From the first announcement Joseph Smith made of a revelation from God, until now, there has not been lacking those who have favored the crushing of Mormonism. They attempted to beat down the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith by force of ridicule, at first, and slander and misrepresentation. When the Nephite record, the Book of Mormon, was placed in his hands for translation, mobs frequently attempted to wrest that sacred record from his custody. Failing in that, they tried to prevent it from being printed, and even so far succeeded in frightening Mr. Grandin, of Palmyra, who had engaged to publish it, that he at one time suspended work upon it. When that difficulty was overcome, and the book was finally printed, then mass meetings were held and resolutions passed in the vicinity, urging the people not to purchase the Book of Mormon or to read it; but, in spite of these efforts, the first edition of the Book of Mormon was disposed of and

                                            HOW.                                         131

    read by the people. When the Church was organized, the rage of its opponents increased, and persecution after persecution followed each other in rapid succession in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and hundreds perished in the unholy warfare waged against the Church of Christ Finally, the opposition concentrated its hatred upon the earthly head of the Church -- the Prophet Joseph Smith. Time and time again was he hailed before judges, and, singularly enough, was always acquitted; up to the day of his death at the hands of a mob, he was never condemned by the courts of his country. His enemies were forced to the conclusion, and they said it, and they acted it: "The law cannot reach this man; powder and ball must."

    Actuated by the same spirit of hatred that was rampant in this very Presbyterian Assembly at Los Angeles, mob forces of western Illinois came to the conclusion that Mormonism was not to be educated, not to be civilized, not to be reformed, "it must be crushed;" and they flattered themselves that, if this master spirit of Mormonism, Joseph Smith could only be crushed, then there would be an end to Mormonism; for it was supposed that this man was then the head of the "octopus" -- its vulnerable point. This must be struck, to miss it would be to lose! So they struck; cruelly, murderously struck. But what of the effect on Mormonism? Did the "octopus" die? No. There was momentary confusion, it is true; and profound sorrow. It could not be otherwise. But Mormonism did not die. It survived that truly awful shock. The fact is that the work which the Prophet Joseph Smith did, under divine guidance, was greater than the man; good, great, and necessary as he was to that which, under God, he wrought, yet, as the heavens stand above and are higher than the earth, so the work of God which Joseph Smith brought forth, stands above and

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    is higher, and greater, and more enduring than he. Hence, it did not fail when he fell a martyr by the old well-curb at Carthage jail. It not only survived, but gained somewhat of strength from the blood of its chief martyr. It was some time a Christian aphorism, that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church. It proved to be so in this case; and after the first moment of confusion was passed, those in whose hearts the spirit of hatred had been fostered, discovered that they had, as some of them said, "scorched, not killed," the "octopus." Presently, they saw arising from the body what they took to be another head, Brigham Young. He dealt with the problems that arose before his people in a spirit most masterful, and with ability most astonishing. He conducted an exodus the most wonderful of modern times, and safely planted his people a thousand miles beyond the frontiers of the United States, where he laid the foundation of our present commonwealth of Utah, and incidentally made possible the settlement of the whole intermountain region of the United States. The desire to strike this head, in many quarters, was quite as ardent as it had been to strike Joseph Smith; but, happily, he was beyond reach. From a distance, however, the sectarian harpies, who were the predecessors of the Presbyterian divines assembled at Los Angeles, croaked in chorus, "only wait till the head of this 'octopus,' Brigham Young, dies, and then Mormonism will succumb by reason of disintegrating forces, for it cannot be that the system will produce another genius such as this wonderful man." In the course of time, the wing of the angel of Death struck this most shining mark, Brigham Young; but Mormonism lived on. Not only lived, but extended its borders, deepened its foundations, and, year by year, has grown more terrible to the distorted

                                            HOW.                                         133

    vision of sectarian priests, alike jealous of its success and fearful of its influence upon their crumbling creeds.

    Since the death of Brigham Young, I do not remember that anyone has accredited the ruling force in Mormonism to any individual leader. Of late, its enemies have been speaking of the genius and power of the Mormon Church organization. Mr. Thompson himself quotes Dr. Richard T. Ely as declaring "there is nothing comparable to the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, except the German army." A declaration of that sort is encouraging. It indicates growth. It is no longer some individual leader that is the secret of Mormon success. It is the institution itself. That is what we have been telling our opponents right along, and it is gratifying to observe that they are beginning to understand that it is an institution, and not an individual, with which they have to deal; an organization, not a man. I am not quite satisfied, however with the comparison that is made of it to the German army. I think the German army is not comparable at all with the perfection in strength, and in all that makes for excellence, in the Church of Christ, as a means to an end, but I have not time to discuss that here.

    I see by the headlines of the daily press of our city that a "Declaration of War" is made between the Presbyterians and the Mormons. I wonder sometimes what kind of a Rip Van Winkle sleep the writers of dispatch headlines, and Presbyterians as well, have been indulging in all these years, when they say that a declaration of war has just been made. That declaration was made over eighty years ago, when the Lord Almighty revealed himself in person to Joseph Smith, and in answer to his inquiry, "Which of all these contending sects are right, and which shall I join," he was told that God acknowledged none of them as his church or kingdom;

    134                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    That they drew near to God with their lips, while their hearts were far removed from him; that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men; that they had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof; that their creeds were an abomination in his sight.

    Such, in substance, was God's first message to the world through his great modern prophet. It is in the nature of a declaration of war, not upon the Presbyterians, however; nor upon Methodists; nor Catholics; nor upon men at all; but upon error; upon false creeds; upon false religions; upon hypocricies clothed in religious garb, -- a declaration of war upon all untruth, and it is useless to hope for peace with the sectarian Christian sects, when Mormonism bears in its hands such a message as this. It is a harsh message, but a true one; we are not responsible for it. We do not pretend to have sat in judgment upon the creeds of men. No man has the right to sit in judgment upon the creed of another. Joseph Smith did not sit in judgment upon the creeds of Christendom. On the contrary, he confessed his inability to do so. His youth, his inexperience, his lack of judgment, all proclaim him unfitted for such an office. The fact that he inquired of God for wisdom to know which of the sects he should regard as the very Church of Christ was self-confessed inability to judge in the matter. Hence, Joseph Smith did not pass judgment upon the sects of Christendom; but God did. He was competent to judge. He formulated the decision which it became Joseph Smith's duty to announce, and which it is now the Church's duty to continue proclaiming. The message, I repeat, is a bold one; but in the very boldness and greatness of such a declaration, we may see something of the Divine Majesty. It became necessary to sweep aside the rubbish of theological dogma, and doctrines which had accumulated through the ages, and make bare the rocks

                                            HOW.                                         135

    of truth, on which to lay anew the foundations of the work of God. Singularly enough, our Presbyterian friends, especially, seem to be rendering us valuable assistance in the work of confirming as true the message of God to the world, whereof we, with them, are made witnesses. We willing witnesses, they reluctant ones; we conscious witnesses, they unconscious ones; we witnesses of good will, they of strife. What I mean is this: the Lord declared that sectarian creeds were an abomination unto him; and of all abominable creeds, I know of none quite so abominable as this same Presbyterian creed. So abominable is it -- so against all sense of even human conception of justice and mercy, that the Presbyterian Assembly at Los Angeles was found devoting its best efforts to reform it. But that very effort to reform it proclaims its errancy, and, I take the liberty of adding, its abomination also. While we cannot enter into anything like a detailed examination of that creed, allow me to call your attention to one or two points in it which clearly brings it within the descriptive term used by the Lord in the revelation to Joseph Smith. That is, sectarian creeds are an abomination in his sight. Take the following sections from chapter III of their creed on "God's Eternal Decrees:"

    Section III. -- By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.

    Section IV. -- These angels and men, thus predestined and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

    Section V. -- Those of mankind that are predestined unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love,

    136                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto, and all to the praise of his glorious grace."

    I call attention especially to the fact that those elected to salvation owe that election to God's mere free grace and love, without any foresight, on the part of God, of their faith or good works or perseverance in either of them. The election is an act of the arbitrary will of God. In fact, the Presbyterians' own explanation of this part of the creed is: Election to salvation "is not conditioned upon foreseen faith or good works or perseverance, but that in each case it rests upon sovereign grace and personal love according to the secret counsel of his [God's] will." No wonder that Raban, Bishop of Mayence, when writing to Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, when this same doctrine was rising in the church, said: "To what purpose shall I labor in the service of God? If I and predestined to death, I shall never escape from it; and if I am predestined to life, even though I do wickedly, I shall, no doubt, arrive at eternal rest!"

    The rank absurdity of this doctrine was justly satirized by Bums in the opening stanza of his "Holy Willie's Prayer:"
    "O, Thou who in the heavens dost dwell,
    Who, as it pleaseth best thysel',
    Sends one to heaven and ten to hell
    Ah for thy glory,
    An' no for ony guid or ill
    They've done afore thee."
    In application of this principle of election and reprobation to mankind, those who founded it had to meet the difficult problems as to how it would affect that very great portion

                                            HOW.                                         137

    of mankind who died in infancy; and, however heartless the men of those times may appear to us of modern days, it must be said of them that they had at least the courage of their convictions; and they said in Chapter X of the creed:

    Section III. -- Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

    The very use of the expression "elect infants" implied that there were infants not elect, whose fate, in all reason, under this creed, would be the same as that of adults, who were not of the elect; and hence, the popular understanding that the Presbyterian creed implied the damnation of infants; and it should be remembered, in this connection, that the Presbyterian idea of damnation is an ever-lasting punishment in hell from which there is no hope of deliverance. This implication as to infants was not denied, for a long time, by those who accepted the creed; but, being oppressed with the apparent injustice of the damnation of innocent babes because not among the elect, Presbyterians began to offer the explanation, early in our last century, that they believed all infants dying in infancy were elect; and such has been the agitation upon that question, both within and without the Presbyterian church, that at last the assembly at Los Angeles, authorized to speak for the Presbyterian church, declares, in effect, that their belief is that all infants dying in infancy are of the elect. This is certainly very gracious on their part. It makes one feel a little more easy regarding the fate of innocent babes, now that we know that children dying in infancy, according to the reformed Presbyterian creed, are among the elect! Still we cannot but deplore the fact that

    138                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    many thousands of mothers, within the membership of the Presbyterian church, even, have mourned their innocent babes dying in infancy as among the probably eternally lost; but it is refreshing to see the indication of progress even among our Presbyterian friends, and it is to be hoped that the light will continue to grow in their minds, until they shall not only see the impropriety of leaving the salvation of infants dying in infancy, in doubt, but shall correct, also, this other abominable part of their creed respecting election in general. The amendment of the creed respecting the fate of infants helps it but a very little. The damnation of a good man, because he is not of the elect, is just as outrageous as the damnation of an innocent babe. In some respects of the case, it is even worse. Here, we will say, is a man who throughout his life has made every effort to realize, in his living, the lofty ideal of possessing "clean hands and a pure heart;" who entertains only aspirations that are noble, and performs deeds only that are honorable; who in the relationships of life, as son, brother, husband, father, and citizen, discharges, with reasonable fidelity, all his duties in these relations, and, as nearly as man can while under the effects of the fall and pestered with human inclinations to perversity, leads what is recognized as a virtuous life. Yet, if not of the elect, this man is doomed eternally, and his struggling for the attainment of his lofty ideals and his noble life, avail him nothing in the way of warding off damnation; because, forsooth, he is not of the elect, and hence must perish everlastingly. That such conclusion is forced upon those accepting the Presbyterian creed, is evidenced from chapter X, Section IV of that creed:

    Section IV. -- Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, [i.e., awakened aspirations for

                                            HOW.                                         139

    righteousness] yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved, much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested."

    That is to say, however righteous or honorable men may be, and though they accept, as far as in them lies the power, the Christian faith, yet, if not among the elect, their doom is sealed, and that doom is everlasting damnation from the comfortable presence of God! I suggest that our friends consider their creed again, and pass a resolution that all such men as the supposed righteous man just now described are, of the elect, as well as infants dying in infancy.

    Equally necessary is it that they should reform their creed with reference to the fate of the heathen. For, in the application of the principle laid down in the section of the creed last quoted is relegated to eternal damnation all "men not professing the Christian religion." In explaining the application of this section of the creed to such persons, in an authoritative work on Presbyterianism, ("Commentary of the Confession of Faith with Questions for Theological Students and Bible Classes," by the Revelation A. A. Hodge, D. D.,) it is said:

    The heathen in mass, with no single definite and .unquestionable exception on record, are evidently strangers to God, and going down to death in an unsaved condition. The presumed possibility of being saved without a knowledge of Christ remains, after eighteen hundred years, a possibility illustrated by no example.

    When it is remembered that of the population of the earth at present, after two thousand years of Christianity,

    140                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    less than one-third of the population of the world is even nominally Christian, while more than two-thirds are outside of any form of Christianity whatsoever; and when it is further remembered that in past ages the proportion of Christians to the population of the world has been very much less than this; and when it is further remembered that, in Presbyterian ideas of the gospel, there are no means by which the gospel may be applied except in this present life, and those who fail to receive the gospel here are eternally lost, we are not much surprised at the infidel who draws the conclusion, when contemplating the doctrines of this abominable creed, that, if this creed be true, then God, when he created the human race, was but creating, in the main, fuel for the flames of hell out of human souls! Is it any wonder, if other creeds of divided Christendom contain similar doctrines, or other doctrines which as flagrantly violate every conception of the relative claims of mercy and justice, that God declared the creeds of men an abomination in his sight? I told you in the beginning of my remarks that I would not have time to examine even this one creed in detail, but could only point out one or two items that would tend to demonstrate the truth of the Lord's revelation to Joseph Smith respecting the abomination of the creeds of men; and, having done this, I must stop, as our time has expired. But I cannot close these remarks in any other than in a hopeful spirit. I say again, it is encouraging to see our Presbyterian friends amending their creed; and I sincerely trust that the light which has apparently begun to dawn upon their minds will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day; until they will not only change their creed respecting the fate of infants, but will go on adding line upon line and precept upon precept, here and there eliminating that which is so glaringly abominable, until at last they shall be so accustomed to the

                                            HOW.                                         141

    light of truth that they will be able to look upon the fullness thereof as it is revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days, through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

    The Lord bless you, and also the Presbyterians, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

    [ 143 ]



    [ 145 ]


    The writer was asked to speak upon "The Relations of the Church to the State" at a "Silver Banquet" given at the Knutsford Hotel in May, 1895. The Utah State Constitutional Convention had recently adjourned; and a very widely attended Convention in the interest of the free and unlimited coinage of silver by the government of the United States had just come to a close; the banquet at which the writer's remarks were made was given in honor of the members of that Convention.

    There were present, among many other notable guests, Governor Rickards, of Montana, Ex-Governor Alva Adams, of Colorado, Senator Clark of Wyoming, Governor McConnell of Idaho, Ex-Congressman Bartine of Nevada, General Thomas J. Clunie of California, General Penrose, then in command at Fort Douglas, Utah, Governor Prince of New Mexico, Hon. Wharton Barker of Pennsylvania. Among the gentlemen of note from Utah were Governor Caleb B. West, Mayor Baskin, then Congressman, afterwards Senator, Joseph L. Rawlins, and Judge C. C. Goodwin, toast-master.

    The question of the relations of the Church and the State had lung been debated in Utah, and now that Utah was upon the eve of beginning her career as a sovereign state in the American Union, the subject was of considerable interest, locally, largely because it had been very generally charged that in Utah there was grave danger, if not of a union of Church and State, then of state domination by the Mormon Church, and doubtless the subject and speaker were chosen for these reasons.

    146                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        


    "The Relation of the Church to the State."

    The speaker was introduced by Judge Goodwin, ToastMaster, who said:

    "The committee that prepared this programroe, having an idea that something would be needed to bring men back to sober thoughts, after Governor McConnell's speech, ["Is There Any Light?" was Governor McConnell's subject] made the next sentiment, "Church and State," and they put down as the speaker Utah's most eloquent son. It gives me extreme pleasure to introduce to you the Hon. B. H. Roberts.

    Mr. Roberts spoke as follows:

    Honorable Toast-Master and Gentlemen -- I think for the first time in my life I appreciate the feelings of the young shepherd, David, when Israel's proud king placed upon him his own plated armor; gave him a shield and a great spear with which to fight Goliath. David said: "I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them." He appeared before his antagonist in the simple garb of the shepherd, with his sling and a few smooth stones. And so, after the very flattering introduction that has been given me by the honorable toast-master of the evening, I feel myself unworthy to bear the honored title that he has given me. I disclaim it altogether and say in simple truth, I am not an orator, I am not eloquent, but, as you all know, "a plain, blunt man," capable only of speaking those things that you already know. I therefore most humbly beg to disclaim the proud place that the introduction of the toast-master would assign me.

                              CHURCH  AND  STATE.                          147

    When I was informed that I would be expected to speak upon this staid, and I may say threadbare subject, "Church and State," it appeared to me that the committee who had arranged this programme had gone somewhat out of the way in selecting such a subject; but I defer to their judgment and am willing to say it is all right, but ask that you gentlemen of the banquet will not hold me responsible for inviting your "sober" consideration to such a theme in the midst of such temptations to be otherwise than sober.

    There are three relations which the church and the state may sustain to each other. First, the state may dominate the church; second, the church may dominate the state; and, third, church and state may occupy separate spheres, and be absolutely divorced the one from the other. Those who argue for the rightfulness of the first relationship will tell you that the state is not within the church, but the church is within the state; they will tell you that it is the state which rules the land, that wages war, that levies taxes and governs at least the external destinies of the citizen, and that whenever the religious creeds cease to be individual and result in associations, those organizations come within the proper cognizance and authority of the state; and that the state has a right to draw the lines of ecclesiastical policy, and to fix the constitution of the church as knowing what is best for the general society.

    Those who contend for the second relationship -- that the church should dictate to the state -- argue that the church, as the representative of the divine authority, is also the superior authority; that indeed the state itself is but an outgrowth of that superior authority; that as the moon but reflects the light of the sun, so the state borrows whatsoever of authority it possesses from the spiritual authority -- the church. Furthermore, they insist that in the mater of chronological

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    order itself, the church antedates the state; it is the first society, primitive and eternal, and hence has the true sovereignty; that the state is properly but the instrument of the church to execute the divine decrees.

    Those who contend that the church and state should exist separately, recognize the great truth that the church and the state have independent and different spheres. There is no proper connection between the two, and no necessity exists for interference one with the other. They contend that the church should exist unnoticed by the state; that religious creeds should approximate or separate according to the inclinations of the church members.

    Mankind by the test of experience, has learned the relative value of these several relationships which may exist between the church and the state, and now, in the light of that experience, let me consider the virtues and vices of each. For the purpose of illustration I need go no further back than the time when Constantine became the patron of the Christian religion and elevated the sect from the condition of a persecuted society to the state religion of the great empire. He invited the Christian ministers to his court, gave them a seat at his table in the palace, loaded them with honors and riches, but was careful himself to draw the line of ecclesiastical policy and pattern the church organization very much after the constitution of the civil government of Rome. As a reward for these favors the ministry of the church stood in humble attitude at the foot of the throne. They overlooked the shortcomings of their great patron, guilty of putting to death without just cause a wife, a son, and in violation of his plighted faith, his brother-in law.

    There is another period in church history where the state becomes the patron of the church and dominated it.

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    That occurred during the great "reformation" of the sixteenth century when Henry VIII, displeased because the pope of Rome refused to sever the bond of marriage between himself and the faithful Catherine of Aragon, took affairs ecclesiastical within his own realm into his own hands and founded a state church. In this period of history we find repeated just what was done in the case of Constantine. Notwithstanding the cruelties, the debauchees and the murders of Henry the ministers of Christ still awarded to him the title, "Defender of the Faith."

    I mention these circumstances because they exhibit the vice of the state dominating a church. That vice consists in this, that such a relationship bridles the tongues of God's ministers, who are commanded to reprove sin in high places and demand the same moral standard of the prince that is demanded of the pauper. Whenever the ministry of a church stands in dread of the temporal power, when by it they may be unfrocked, it will be a rare thing indeed to find men of sufficient moral courage to be true to the divine commandment in preaching and executing the word of God; hence the mischief of state domination of the church.

    One of the wise men of the east, Aesop, tells the story of a camel who in the midst of a terrible storm on the desert, begged his Arabian master to allow him the privilege of putting his head within the tent out of the storm. The indulgent master granted his request, but no sooner did the camel get his head into the tern than he crowded in his shoulders also, and then the whole huge bulk of his body, and, turning about, he kicked his master out of the tent into the storm. So did the Christian ecclesiastical power with the civil power in the Roman empire. Papal Rome rose upon the ruins of pagan Rome, and for centuries ruled the nations with a rod

    150                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of iron. The evils growing out of the church dictating the state are to be read in that period of darkness which covered our earth from the fifth to the sixteenth centuries.

    It is not necessary for me in detail to point out those evils. It will be sufficient if I call your attention in a general way to the vice arising from this relationship. That vice consists in this -- that such a relationship between church and state tends to debase and weaken the ministry of Christ. All ministers of the gospel are not equal to the virtue of their great Master. When the evil prince of this world stood before the Lamb of God and, with a master hand, drew aside the curtain which covered the glory of the nations and pointed to them in all their splendor and wealth, and said, "All these will I give thee, only fall down and worship me ;" the divine man could look the tempter in the face and say: "Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." The ministers of the church today are not tempted to this extent. The arch-enemy of men's souls knows too well that it is not necessary. From the back door of the parsonage our ministers may see enough to seduce them from the work of the Divine Master; yea, so much of the yellow gold of this earth as may be clutched thus in the hand may sometimes be sufficient for their seduction.

    When you make it possible for the state to dominate the church, such is the glamor and sheen of temporal power that men are willing and do forget the glories of eternity that they may revel in the pleasures and powers of this world for a season. Hence it becomes necessary to preserve the integrity of God's ministry that you separate the church so far from the state as to make the dictation of the latter by the former impossible, and thus lessen

                              CHURCH  AND  STATE.                          151

    the temptation of the ministry to neglect the things of heaven in order to dabble in the affairs of state.

    I have already said that those who contend for the separation of church and state recognize separate spheres for those two powers to operate in. This idea, I may say, had its second birth in the great revolution of the sixteenth century, sometimes called the "Reformation." John Calvin was a leader in that doctrine in his day. John Knox followed him, and there was a hot contest in the old world for the maintenance of this doc-trine-not for the good of the state so much as for the good of the church -- for these champions held that in order for the ministers of God to perform well and faithfully their duties they must be removed from fear of interference of kings and potentates.

    But the most interesting period of the struggle for the separation of church and state is to be found in the history of the founding of our own great nation. After the war of the American revolution the statesmen of that period were confronted with the work of forming a government for our country. There were men who contended that God ought to be put in the Constitution, and an establishment of religion instituted. But the revolutionary fathers looked over the whole land and found that the people were divided beyond the hope of union into one great and united church; and that to make a state church out of any one of the sects would be an act of injustice to all the rest -- a thing they were unwilling to perpetrate; and they solved the problem by crystallizing this doctrine of separation of church and state in that declaration written in the constitution of our land, which says:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    152                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    And thus we travel the circle of human experience and come back at last to stand face to face with the grand doctrine taught by the great founder of the Christian church, who, on the occasion of men seeking to embroil him in a conflict with the civil powers of this world, said:

    "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are God's."

    That declaration, falling from the lips of him who spoke as never man spake, and that declaration in the American constitution, have as their source the same inspiration.

    In years that are past, in the hearts of many, there existed a fear that here in Utah we should be confronted with this question of the relation of church and state; and to state it frankly I may say that the fear that there would be a violation of this American principle respecting the separation of church and state has been one of the causes which has delayed so long the act of justice to the people of Utah -- her admission into the American Union.

    I want to say to these honored guests of ours, so soon to separate from us and go back to their homes, that you may tell your people that here in Utah we have solved the problem; and that which we have written in our state constitution, and which we mean to keep inviolate, is in harmony with what is written in the great national Constitution of our country.

    There is one phase of this question which I think sometimes is not sufficiently considered; and that is that it is not always the fault of the church that there is a union of church and state or ecclesiastical interference in political and civil affairs. There are politicians and political parties who are not above fawning and crawling at the feet of ecclesiastical influence. Somehow or other the calamities attendant

                              CHURCH  AND  STATE.                          153

    upon ecclesiastical interference in politics never appear to them until that influence is exercised in behalf of the "other fellow" or the other political party. Let our politicians stand erect, let our political parties resent ecclesiastical influence when exerted in their behalf as they would resent it when exercised against them, and I promise you that in the new state of Utah we shall have no, difficulty growing out of ecclesiastical domination of our political affairs.

    You are extremely patient with me in these rather extended remarks of mine, but I am done with my subject proper. If, however, you will still be patient with me, there are a few words that I wish to say to the gentlemen who constitute the Silver Convention, that has now so happily, and as I believe so effectually, accomplished the purposes for which it was convened. I know not, gentlemen, whether ever before you have felt the inspiration that comes from contemplation of a missionary enterprise; but it seems to me that if a cause righteous and just is necessary to give true inspiration to men, then, indeed, how that inspiration ought to shine forth from you in word and in action. To labor in the interests of the toiling masses is worthy of laudable Ambition's highest aspirations.

    And now may I not say for you, though but a layman, and looking upon you and your work from the ranks of the people, may I not invoke the power divine for you, saying, What in them is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support; that to the height of this great argument they may assert the patriotism of their intentions, and justify the demand that we all make, that silver shall be restored to its place in the monetary system of the United States.

    Judge Goodwin (toast-master) -- A few of you who read the Bible (laughter) will remember that when David

    154                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    said that the work set before him was too great for him to . perform, he still had the sling under his sheepskin, with which he slew Goliath, and when my friend, in his native and honest modesty, said that too much had been perhaps expected of him, I knew he had the sling.

    [ 155 ]


    The following remarks were prepared for a Jefferson dinner, at the Commercial Club rooms in Salt Lake City, in April, 1907; and afterwards published in the Salt Lake Herald, of May 14th.

    The question of the relations of church and state, or rather the question of the domination of the state by the church, was still agitated in Utah. The Mormon Church at its Annual Conference in April of the above year had issued an "Address to the World" in which its attitude on the question was once more stated, and stated with greater clearness and emphasis than ever before.

    It was in the expectation that some reference would be made to this local question that the subject of the following address was selected. In order that the attitude of the Mormon Church with reference to the relations of the church and the state may be present to the readers' mind, while considering the following paper. I quote that part of the aforesaid Address upon the subject:

    "In answer to the charge of disloyalty, founded upon alleged secret obligations against our government, we declare to all men that there is nothing treasonable or disloyal in any ordinance, ceremony, or ritual of the Church.

    "The overthrow of earthly governments; the union of church and state; domination of the state by the church; ecclesiastical interference with the political freedom and rights of the citizen, -- all such things are contrary to the principles and policy of the Church, and directly at variance with the oft-repeated declarations of its chief presiding authorities and of the Church itself, speaking through its general conferences. The doctrine of the Church on the subject of government, stands as follows:

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    "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law."

    Such is our acknowledgment of duty to civil governments. Again:

    "We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and that such as will administer law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people (if a republic), or the will of the sovereign."

    "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government; whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

    With reference to the laws of the Church, it is expressly said:

    "Be subject to the powers that be until he comes whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.

    "'Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the Church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth."

    That is to say, no law or rule enacted, or revelation received by the Church, has been promulgated for the State. Such laws and revelations as have been given are solely for the government of the Church.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds to the doctrine of the separation of church and state; the non-interference of church authority in political matters; and the absolute freedom and independence of the individual in the performance of his political duties. If, at any time, there has been conduct at variance with this doctrine, it has been in violation of the well settled principles and policy of the Church.

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    We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:

    The absolute separation of church and state;

    No domination of the state by the church;

    No church interference with the functions of the state;

    No state interference with the functions of the church, or with the free exercise of religion;

    The absolute freedom of the individual from the domination of ecclesiastical authority in political affairs;

    The equality of all churches before the law.

    The reaffirmation of this doctrine and policy, however, is predicated upon the express understanding that politics in the states where our people reside, shall be conducted as in other parts of the Union; that there shall be no interference by the State with the Church, nor with the free exercise of religion. Should political parties make war upon the Church, or menace the civil, political, or religious rights of its members as such, -- against a policy of that kind, by any political party of set of men whatsoever, we assert the inherent right of self-preservation for the Church, and her right and duty to call upon her children, and upon all who love justice, and. desire the perpetuation of religious liberty, to come to her and to stand with her until the danger shall have passed. And this, openly, submitting the justice of our cause to the enlightened judgment of our fellow men, should such an issue unhappily arise. We desire to live in peace and confidence with our fellow citizens of all political parties and of all religions.

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    Jefferson's Contribution to Religious Liberty in America.

    On the plain headstone that marks the grave of Thomas Jefferson, after his name are these words:

    of the Declaration of
    The Statute of Virginia
    For Religious Freedom, and
    Father of the University of Virginia.

    This inscription Mr. Jefferson himself wrote out. It evidently indicates what he regarded as the three most worthy achievements of his life; and when it is seen that next to being the author of the Declaration of American Independence, he prides himself on being the author of this "Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom," your committee may be pardoned, I think, for placing on the program for this evening the subject I am all too briefly to discuss -- Jefferson's contribution to religious freedom in America.

    Men in their less serious moods may jest as they please at religion, but after all it is the most serious business of life. No really great mind is dead to its influence. And at some time or other in their experience, men who are great of soul seek to understand the truths religion teaches, and seldom are they disappointed in her lessons. Disappointed,

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      159

    indeed, would we have been had Jefferson taken no interest in so great a subject: one which so nearly concerns human happiness, and so 'largely affects' the peace and well being of society. Both the texture of Jefferson's mind and his environment, however, were such as to make the subject one of profound interest to him. When he appeared at William and Mary college at 17 years of age, we are told that he possessed the three essential qualities of the successful student, namely, "perfect health, good habits and an inquiring mind. "Fortunately for him, Dr. William Small was professor of mathematics in the college, and for a time he also filled the chair of philosophy. In his capacity of teacher and outside college companion of Jefferson, Professor Small doubtless did much that influenced the development of the future statesman's mind. He is described as a man of enlightened understanding, but it is also said that he was "not too orthodox in his opinions." But that is a circumstance scarcely to be regretted when the orthodoxy of that day is taken into account, for I am inclined to think that the further one was removed from that orthodoxy the nearer he might be to God.

    There are two acts in the life of Jefferson to which I shall allude, and which I think will sufficiently demonstrate the profound interest he had in the subject of religion. The first is the writing of a letter to his nephew, Peter Cart, on the subject of that young man's religious studies. He urges him to a thorough and candid investigation of the subject of religion without regard to consequences. If young Carr's investigation ended in the conviction that there was no God, Jefferson was of opinion that his young relative would still find incentives to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness of its practice, and in the love of others it would procure for him. If on the other hand he should find reason to believe

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    there is a God, a consciousness that he was acting under the divine approval -- and I think the idea which follows has never been sufficiently emphasized -- the fact of that divine approval would be "a vast additional incitement"' to the practice of virtue. If he should find that Jesus was also a God, the student would derive comfort by the belief in his aid and love. Reason was the only oracle given him of heaven, and he was not responsible for the "rightness" of his decision, but he would be responsible for the "uprightness" of it.

    The other incident alluded to is Jefferson's complication of the four-fold text of the "Life and Morals of Jesus," consisting of selected texts from the four evangelists. I more by "four-fold compilation" that he cut the passages respectively from Greek, Latin, French and English copies of the New Testament. For the "teachings of Jesus" he selected "only those passages whose style and spirit proved them genuine, and his own." This compilation was his own effort to "knock down the artificial scaffolding reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus." And of the teaching of Jesus thus set forth, he said:

    "A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

    I am not claiming that the Christianity of Jefferson was orthodox. His correspondence with Dr. Priestly, and his open admiration for the teaching of Dr. Charming fix the nature of his belief in the founder of Christianity. I refer to these matters merely to show that to the mind of this remarkable man religion was a subject of profound interest and respect; and also to suggest that it was really the religious nature of the man that prompted the part he took

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      161

    in securing religious freedom in the commonwealth of Virginia, and through that circumstance, with another to be mentioned later, aided mightily in securing religious freedom in America.

    Chiefly upon New England has been fixed the odium of religious intolerance in our country; but human nature in the eighteenth century was pretty much of the same sort of stuff throughout the British colonies; at least the difference was not so very great between New England and Virginia so far as it found expression in religious intolerance; for if in New England the people could be fined, whipped or put in the stocks for not going to church -- in Virginia they could be punished for going to the wrong one, while Baptists, Presbyterians and Quakers were compelled to pay tithes to a church they did not attend. If in New England the people could be compelled to stay awake and refrain from smiling while in church, no matter how tedious or ridiculous the sermons were -- in Virginia justices of the peace were committing Quakers to the pillory for keeping their hats on in church. If in Massachusetts, at one time it was a capital offense to celebrate mass -- in Virginia heresy was punishable by burning at the stake. If in Massachusetts the Church of England services could not be performed, nor baptism administered by immersion, nor a company of men pray with their hats on -- in Virginia denial of the doctrine of the Trinity was punishable by three years imprisonment, and Unitarians were legally deprived of the custody of their children on the ground that people holding to the belief in the unity of God were unfit to be intrusted with the rearing of their own children! If in New England the spirit of religious intolerance was more severe -- in Virginia it endured longer; for while in the former place the fight for religious freedom was won by the

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    middle of the eighteenth century, it was not until nearly the close of that century that it was won in the latter. Religious freedom was not established in Virginia until the final adoption, in 1786, of Jefferson's statute for that purpose. The statute was presented in the house of burgesses in 1776, and the main clause was as follows:

    "No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, ministry, or place whatsoever; nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods; nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion; and the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

    Such an enactment as is here proposed seems now so reasonable to us, so commonplace in its justice, that we marvel that it was not unanimously and immediately passed by the house of burgesses. But after twenty-five days of debate, which Jefferson himself characterized as "desperate contests," the utmost of achievement at that time was the repeal of the statute which imposed penalties for going to the wrong church and compelling dissenters to pay tithes. Not until nine years more had passed -- years of bitterness and strife and noble effort on the part of Jefferson and his liberal associates, could Virginia be brought to a settlement of her religious problems by the adoption of the foregoing proposed enactment.

    This statute, so far as in him lay the power, Jefferson tried to make a sort of English bill of rights. At least I judge so from the nature of one of the paragraphs of the statute, and which is well worth the trouble to read.

    "And though we well know that this assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only,

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      163

    have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with power equal to our own, and that, therefore, to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind; and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right."

    Of course, as Mr. Jefferson himself realized, the state legislature could not bind succeeding legislatures from altering or amending this statute, but undoubtedly there was a moral force that went with what was there set down in the statute. At any rate the passing of this act was a final settlement of the question. Never since those days has it been disturbed, and finally those principles were adopted in every state of the American union.

    The principle upon which Jefferson acted in securing religious freedom in Virginia -- though expressed in language used some years after the conflict in Virginia had closed -- is set forth as follows:

    "It behooves every man who values liberty-of conscience for himself to resist invasions of it in the case of others, or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own."

    The arguments by which Jefferson sustained the justice of the Virginia statute, though commonplace to us now, are worth repeating in part, since occasional reference to fundamental principles is beneficial. Opinion, he declared to be something with which government had nothing to do; government was no more competent to prescribe beliefs than medicine, and constraint made hypocrites, not converts. Error alone needed support of government; truth

    164                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    could stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion, and you make fallible men, governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons, your inquisitors, and even if desirable, uniformity is unattainable.

    "Millions of innocent men, women and children," he said, "since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people; that these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion; that ours is but one of that thousand; that if there be but one right, and ours that one, we would wish to see the nine hundred and ninety-nine wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it, while we refuse it ourselves."

    Jefferson's contribution to religious freedom in America was not limited to the drafting and finally securing the passage of the Virginia statute on the subject. Although it must be admitted that his further contribution to religious freedom in America resulted from indirect, rather than from direct means. After the war of independence closed, and the founders of the great republic met in convention to form a more perfect union and a more efficient government, this principle of religious freedom was finally included among the provisions of that constitution, under which we have now had one hundred and twenty years of national life. It expressly provides that

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      165

    "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

    Also that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    Jefferson was in France during the formation of the Constitution, and therefore could have had but little to do directly with its formation, but it must be remembered that some years before -- 1776 -- he had written what will always be regarded as the preface to our Constitution, namely, the immortal Declaration of Independence. When in that instrument Jefferson declared as self-evident truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with an inalienable right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness; and that to secure these rights governments were instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed -- he set in order the foundation principles of all our liberties, religious as well as civil. After the adoption of that declaration and its maintenance by a successful appeal to the dreadful arbitrament of war, it was inevitable that the religious liberties now secured by constitutional provision in every state of the union, and in the national constitution as well, should come. That Jefferson contributed to this general result more, perhaps, than any other American statesman, as well as being the leading factor in the establishment of religious freedom in Virginia, will not be disputed.

    This American religious liberty which sets the church free from the interference of the civil authority, carries with it as a corollary the freedom of the state from the interference of ecclesiastical authority -- it results in the absolute separation of the church and the state. Great as religious

    166                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    freedom is, and in my estimation above all price, yet the other half of our American system -- the freedom of the state from ecclesiastical domination, is of equal value, and equally necessary to our peace and the security of both church and state. It is claimed by high authority that one-half of the wars of Europe and half the troubles that have vexed European states from the early centuries of the Christian era down to the nineteenth century, have arisen from theological differences or from the rival claims of church and state. Thank God, the United States under the national Constitution has no part in such a record as that! The comparative peace and freedom from religious strife that has obtained in our own country, through more than a century of religious freedom, vindicates the wisdom of our system, which has led to the happiest results. A few years ago -- 1891 -- these results were described by a gentleman of commanding influence, both in literature and in the civil affairs of his own country, and who now holds the exalted station of British ambassador to our government at Washington, Mr. James Bryce. Listen to his words:

    "There are no quarrels of churches and sects. Judah does not vex Ephraim, nor Ephraim envy Judah. No established church looks down scornfully upon dissenters from the height of its titles and endowments, and talks of them as hindrances in the way of its work. No dissenters pursue an established church in a spirit of watchful jealousy, nor agitate for its overthrow. One is not offended by the contrast between the theory and the practice of a religion of peace, between professions of universal affection in pulpit addresses and forms of prayer, and the acrimony of clerical controversialists. Still less, of course, is there that sharp opposition and antagonism of Christians and anti-Christians

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      167

    which lacerates the private as well as public life of France. Rivalry between sects appears only in the innocent form of the planting of new churches and raising of funds for missionary objects, while most of the Protestant denominations, including the four most numerous, constantly fraternize in charitable work. Between Roman Catholics and Protestants there is little hostility, and sometimes co-operation for a philanthropic purpose. The skeptic is no longer under a social ban, and discussions on the essentials of Christianity and of theism are conducted with good temper. There is not a country in the world where Frederick the Great's principle, that everyone should be allowed to go to heaven in his own way, is so fully applied. This sense of religious peace as well as religious freedom all around one, is soothing to the weary European, and contributes not a little to sweeten the lives of ordinary people."

    I am aware, ladies and gentlemen, that I am trespassing on your valuable time, but bear with me while I make brief reference to local conditions. It may be said that in Utah we have not participated in this peace and tranquility described as characteristic of America by Mr. Bryce. That here there has been to some extent church domination of the state; ecclesiastical interference in civil affairs; and I am not prepared to make unqualified denial of those charges. But I do feel free to say that it is my conviction that we have entered upon a period in our experience in Utah, when we shall fully participate in the general peace that results from the American doctrine of religious and political freedom, and the separation of church and state. The recent authoritative utterances of the dominant Church in Utah is the fact on which I base this hope of mine. Full acquiescence in this American system of the relations of church and state are set forth in that utterance with greater emphasis than ever before. It commits the dominant Church irrevocably to the doctrine of "non-interference of church authority

    168                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    in political matters; the absolute freedom and independence of the individual in the performance of his political duties." And then it makes this emphatic declaration that "if at any time there has been conduct at variance with this doctrine, it has been in violation of the well settled principles and policy of the Church." Of course I know there are those who doubt the good faith of this late official utterance of the Church, but it is preposterous to assume that this religious organization would dare, before the world and its own people, to enter upon such a system of deliberate deception and hypocrisy as it would be involved in if its late official utterance be not honest.

    But even if it were conceivable that duplicity was the deliberate intention of the church or its chief authorities, I should still be hopeful of the outcome, and that the outcome would be hastened by this last official utterance. And these are my reasons: The questions of religious freedom, and the relations of church and state are settled once for all in this country. The right of the individual to be politically free is erystalized into accomplished fact; and so dear to the individual is that right, so jealously is it guarded by the political community as a condition fundamental to the preservation of the American spirit of manhood, and national well-being that it stands absolutely in no danger of being sacrificed, either to the cunning of priests or the influence of a church, however powerful. If the dominant Church, so emphatically committed to the support of this American system, should attempt to play double -- it would, and could only, mean ruin and disruption to the Church. As an organization it might survive every opposing force, but it could not survive the double dealing in which it would be involved if its last official utterance on the subject of non-interference in politics is not put forth in good faith. Should

                          JEFFERSON'S  CONTRIBUTION.                      169

    its leaders chicane in this matter it would mean severest censure of public opinion; bitterness and resentment and rebellion in its own membership; loss of respect and influence of all kinds, both in the Church and in the state; in a word, such a course would spell disaster. Intelligent men must know these things; and, giving the Church leaders, and the Church membership credit for at least ordinary intelligence, one must believe them honest as to what they have committed themselves to in their last official utterance. And by an honest adherence to the principles in that utterance, I feel confident that in Utah we shall share in the tranquility which in respect to these questions obtains everywhere else in America.

    [ 171 ]




    [ 173 ]


    This speech of Senator Kearns' on "Conditions in Utah", created widespread interest at the time it was read in the Senate House, viz., on the 28th of February, 1905. It was quite universally commented upon by the press of the country, and generally to the disparagement of Utah, and the Mormon people. The consensus of opinion expressed in the newspapers who took for granted the statements of the speech as representing the facts in the case, are clearly set forth in an Editorial of the "New York Globe."

    "The Mormon church has broken both the letter and the spirit of the contract into which it entered when the Territory was admitted as a state. Polygamous cohabitation exists with the implied sanction of the church, and the hierarchy has become a huge political machine whose purpose is to control Utah for its own purposes, and, what is more ominious, the adjacent States and Territories. Never in Brigham Young's time was Mormonism more of a political and moral menace than it is today."

    This conclusion might be quite logical, if the statements of Senator Kearns were true. All I ask is that after reading the speech of the Senator, the reader will suspend his judgment of the case until he shall have read the answer to it.

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    Speech of the Hon. Thomas Kearns in the Senate of
    the United States. [k]

    The President pro tempore. The Chair lays before the Senate the resolution submitted by the Senator from Idaho [Mr. Dubois], which will be read.

    The Secretary read the resolution submitted yesterday by Mr. Dubois, as follows:

    Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be, and it is hereby, authorized and instructed to prepare and report to the Senate within thirty days after the beginning of the next session of Congress a joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress proposing to the several States amendments to the Constitution of the United States which shall provide, in substance, for the prohibition and punishment of polygamous marriages and plural cohabitation contracted or practiced within the United States and in every place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and which shall, in substance, also require all persons taking office under the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of any State, to take and subscribe an oath that he or she is not, and will not be, a member or adherent of any organization whatever the laws, rules, or nature of which organization require him or her to disregard his or her duty to support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the several States.

    Mr. Kearns. Mr. President, I will not permit this occasion to pass without saying, with brevity and such clearness as I can command, what it seems to me should be said by a Senator, under these circumstances, before leaving public


                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             175

    life. Something is due to the State which has honored me; something is due to the record which I have endeavored to maintain honorably before the world and something, by way of information, is due to the Senate and the country.

    Utah, the newest of the States, to me the best beloved of all the States, appears to be the only one concerning which there is a serious conflict. I was not born in Utah, but I have spent all the years of my manhood there, and I love the commonwealth and its people. In what I say there is malice toward none, and I hope to make it just to all. If the present day does not accept my statements and appreciate my motives, I can only trust that time will prove more gentle and that in the future those who care to revert to these remarks will know that they are animated purely by a hope to bring about a better understanding between Utah and this great nation.

    Utah was admitted to statehood after, and because of, a long series of pledges exacted from the Mormon leaders, the like of which had never before been known in American history. Except for those pledges, the sentiment of the United States would never have assented to Utah's admission. Except for the belief on the part of Congress and the country that the extraordinary power which abides in that State would maintain these pledges, Utah would not have been admitted. There is every reason to believe that the President who signed the bill would have vetoed it if he had not been convinced that the pledges made would be kept.


    As a citizen of the State and a witness to the events and words which constitute those pledges, as a Senator of the United States, I give my word of honor to you that I believed that these pledges consisted of the following propositions:

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    First. That the Mormon leaders would live within the laws pertaining to plural marriage and the continued plural marriage relation, and that they would enforce this obligation upon all of their followers, under penalty of disfellowship.

    Second. That the leaders of the Mormon Church Would no longer exercise political sway, and that their followers would be free and would exercise their freedom in politics, in business, and in social affairs.

    As a citizen and a Senator I give my word of honor to you that I believed that these pledges would be kept in the spirit in which Congress and the country accepted them, and that there would never be any violation, evasion, denial, or equivocation concerning them.

    I appeal to such members of this body as were in either House of Congress during the years 1890 to 1896, if it was not their belief at that time that the foregoing were the pledges and that they would be kept; and I respectfully insist that every Senator here who was a member of either House at that time would have refused to vote for Utah's admission unless he had firmly believed as I have stated.

    1. Utah secured her statehood by a solemn compact made by the Mormon leaders in behalf of themselves and their people.

    2. That compact has been broken willfully and frequently.

    3. No apostle of the Mormon Church has publicly protested against that violation.

    I know the gravity of the utterances that I have just made. I know what are the probable consequences to myself. But I have pondered long and earnestly upon the subject and have come to the conclusion that duty to the innocent

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             177

    people of my State and that obligation to the Senate and the country require that I shall clearly define my attitude.


    This is no quarrel with religion. This is no assault upon any man's faith. This is rather the reverence toward the inherent right of all men to believe as they please, which separates religious faith from irreligious practice. The Mormon people have a system of their own, somewhat complex, and gathered from the mysticisms of all the ages. It does not appeal to most men; but in its purely theological domain it is theirs, and I respect it as their religion and them as its believers.

    The trouble arises now, as it has frequently arisen in the past, from the fact that some of the accidental leaders of the movement since the first zealot founder have sought to make of this religion not only a system of morals, sometimes quite original in themselves, but also a system of social relation, a system of finance, a system of commerce, and a system of politics.


    I dismiss the religion with my profound respect; if it can comfort them, I would not, if I could, disturb it. Coming to the social aspect of the society, it is apparent that the great founder sought first to establish equality among men, and then to draw from those equal ranks a special class, who were permitted to practice polygamy and to whom special privileges were accorded in their association with the consecrated temples and the administration of mystic ordinances therein. The polygamous group, or cult as it may be called, soon became the ruling factor in the organization; and it may be observed that ever since the founding of the church almost every man of prominence in the community has belonged

    178                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to this order. It was so in the time of the martyrs, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were killed at Carthage jail in Illinois, and both of whom were polygamists, although it was denied at the time. There were living until recently, and perhaps there are living now, women who testified that they were married in polygamy to one or the other of these two men, Joseph having the larger number. It has been so ever since and is so today, that nearly every man of the governing class has been or is a polygamist.

    Brigham Young succeeded Joseph Smith, and he set up a kind of kingly rulership, not unbecoming to a man of his vast empire-building power. The Mormons have been taught to revere Joseph Smith as a direct prophet from God. He saw the face of the All Father. He held communion with the Son. The Holy Ghost was his constant companion. He settled every question, however trivial, by revelation from Almighty God. But Brigham was different. While claiming a divine right of leadership, he worked out his great mission by palpable and material means. I do not know that he ever pretended to have received a revelation from the time that he left Nauvoo until he reached the shores of the Dead Sea, nor through all the thirty years of his leadership there. He seemed to regard his people as children who had to be led through their serious calamities by holding out to them the glittering thought of divine guardianship. So firmly did Brigham establish the social order in Utah that all of the people were equal, except the governing body. This may be said to consist of the president and his two counsellors, they three constituting the first presidency; the twelve apostles; the presiding bishopric, consisting of three men, the chief bishops of the church but much lower in rank than the apostles; the seven presidents of seventies, who are, under the apostles, the subordinate head of the missionary service

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    of the church; and the presiding patriarch. These altogether constitute a body of twenty-six men. There are local authorities in the different stakes of Zion, as they are called, corresponding to counties in a State, but with these it is not necessary to deal.

    Practically all of these men under Brigham Young were polygamists. They constituted what one of their number once called the "elite class" of the community. To attain this rank one usually had to show ability, and attaining the rank he was quite certain to enter into or extend his already existing plural-marriage relations. These rulers were looked upon with great reverence. Brigham Young, besides being a prophet of God, as they believed, had led them through the greatest march of the ages. His nod became almost superhuman in its significance. His frown was as terrible to them as the wrath of. God. He upheld all the members of the polygamistic and governing class by his favoritism toward them. He supremely, and they subordinately, ruled the community as if they were a king and a house of peers, with no house of commons. Not elsewhere in the United States, and not in any foreign country where civilization dwells, has there been such a complete mastery of man over modern men. The subordinates and the mass would perform the slightest will of Brigham Young. When he was not present the mass would perform the will of any of the subordinates speaking in his name. Below this privileged class stood the common mass. It had its various gradations of title, but, with the exception of rare instances of personal power, there was equality in the mass. For instance, as business was a part of their system, the local religious authority in some remote part might be the business subordinate of some other man of less ecclesiastical rank, with the result that this peculiar intermingling kept them all practically

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    upon one level of social order; and the man who made adobes under the hot sun of the desert through all the week might still be the religious superior of the richest man in the local community, and they met on terms of equality and friendship. Their children might intermarry, the difference in wealth being countervailed by a difference in ecclesiastical authority.

    It was a strange social system, this, with Brigham Young and his Coterie of advisers, to the number of twenty-six, standing at the head, self-perpetuating, the chief being able to select constantly to fill the ranks as they might be depleted by death; and all these ruling over one solid mass of equal caste who thought that the rulers were animated by divine revelation, holding the right to govern in all things on earth and with authority extending into heaven.

    So firmly intrenched was their social system that when Brigham Young passed away his various successors who came in time to his place by accident of seniority of service found ample opportunity without difficulty to perpetuate this system and to maintain their social autocracy. As the matter has appeared so fully before the country, I will not speak further of the method of succession, but will merely call to your minds that after Brigham Young came John Taylor, then Wilford Woodruff, then Lorenzo Snow, then Joseph F. Smith, the present ruler.

    Under these several men the social autocracy has had its varying fortunes, but at the present time it is probably at as high a point as it ever reached under the original Joseph or under Brigham Young. The president of the church, Joseph F. Smith, affects a regal state. His home consists of a series of villas, rather handsome in design, and surrounded by such ample grounds as to afford sufficient exclusiveness. In addition to this he has an official residence of historic

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             181

    character near to the office which he occupies as president. When he travels he is usually accompanied by a train of friends, who are really servitors. When he attends social functions he appears like a ruler among his subjects. And in this respect I am not speaking of Mormon associations alone, for there are many Gentiles in and out of Utah who seem to take delight in paying this extraordinary deference.

    If I have seemed to speak at length upon this mere social phase it has not been without a definite purpose. I want you to know how this religion, claiming to recognize and secure the equality of men, immediately established and has maintained for the mass of its adherents that social equality, but has elevated a class of its rulers to regal authority and splendor. Understanding how the chief among them has the dignity of a monarch in their social relations, you will better understand the business and political autocracy which he has been able to establish.

    In all this social system each apostle has his great part. He is inseparable from it. He wields now, as does a minister at court, such part of the power as the monarch may permit him to enjoy, and it is his hope and expectation that he will outlive those who are his seniors in rank in order that he may become the ruler.

    Therefore, if there be evil in this social relation as I have portrayed it, every apostle is responsible for a part of that evil. They enjoy the honors of the social class; they help to exert the tyranny over the subjugated mass. Those of you who do me the honor to follow my remarks will realize how close is the relation between the apostles and the president, and that the apostle is a responsible part of the governing power. While I may speak of the president of the church segregated from his associates and as the monarch, it must be understood constantly that he maintains his

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    power by the support of the apostles, who keep the mass in order and in subjugation to his will, expressed through them.


    Whatever may have been its origin or excuse, the business power of the president of the church and of the select class which he admits into business relations with him is now a practical monopoly, or is rapidly becoming a monopoly, of everything that he touches. I want to call your attention to the extraordinary list of worldly concerns in which this spiritual leader holds official position. The situation is more amazing when you are advised that this man came to his presidency purely by accident, namely, the death of his seniors in rank; that he had never known any business ability, and that he comes to the presidency and the directorship of the various corporations solely because he is president of the church. He is already reputed to be a wealthy man, and his statement would seem to indicate that he has large holdings in the various corporations with which he is associated, although previous to his accession to the presidency of the church he made a kind of proud boast among his people of his poverty.

    He conducts railways, street-car lines, power and light companies, coal mines, salt works, sugar factories, shoe factories, mercantile houses, drug stores, newspapers, magazines, theaters, and almost every conceivable kind of business, and in all of these, inasmuch as he is the dominant factor by virtue of his being the prophet of God, he asserts indisputable sway. It is considered an evidence of deference to him, and good standing in the church, for his hundreds of thousands of followers to patronize exclusively the institutions which he controls.

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    And this fact alone, without any business ability on his part, but with capable subordinate guidance for his enterprises, insures their success, and danger and possible ruin for every competitive enterprise. Independent of these business concerns, he is in receipt of an income like unto that which a royal family derives from a national treasury. One-tenth of all the annual earnings of all the Mormons in all the world flows to him. These funds amount to the sum of $1,600,000 annually, or 5 per cent upon $32,000,000, which is one-quarter of the entire taxable wealth of the State of Utah. It is the same as if he owned, individually, in addition to all his visible enterprises, one-quarter of all the wealth of the State and derived from it 5 per cent of income without taxation and without discount. The hopelessness of contending in a business way with this autocrat must be perfectly apparent to your minds. The original purpose of this vast tithe, as often stated by speakers for the church, was the maintenance of the poor, the building of meetinghouses, etc. Today the tithes are transmuted, in the localities where they are paid, into cash, and they flow into the treasury of the head of the church. No account is made, or ever has been made, of these tithes. The president expends them according to his own will and pleasure, and with no examination of his accounts, except by those few men whom he selects for that purpose and whom he rewards for their zeal and secrecy. Shortly after the settlement of the Mormon Church property question with the United States the church issued a series of bonds, amounting approximately to $1,000,000, which were taken by financial institutions. This was probably to wipe out a debt which had accumulated during a long period of controversy with the nation. But since, and including the year 1897, which was about the time of the issue of the bonds, approximately $9,000,000 have

    184                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    been paid as tithes. If any of the bonds are still outstanding, it is manifestly because the president of the church desires for reasons of his own to have an existing indebtedness.

    It will astound you to know that every dollar of United States money paid to any servant of the Government who is a Mormon is tithed for the benefit of this monarch. Out of every $1,000 thus paid he gets $100 to swell his grandeur. This is also true of money paid out of the public treasury of the State of Utah to Mormon officials. But what is worst of all, the monarch dips into the sacred public school fund and extracts from every Mormon teacher one-tenth of his or her earnings and uses it for his unaccounted purposes; and, by means of these purposes and the power which they constitute, he defies the laws of his State, the sentiment of his country, and is waging war of nullification on the public school system, so dear to the American people. No right-thinking man will oppose any person as a servant of the nation or the State or as a teacher in the public schools on account of religious faith. As I have before remarked, this is no war upon the religion of the Mormons; and I am only calling attention to the monstrous manner in which this monarch invades all the provinces of human life and endeavors to secure his rapacious ends.

    In all this there is no thought on my part of opposition to voluntary gifts by individuals for religious purposes or matters connected legitimately with religion. My comment and criticism are against the tyranny which misuses a sacred name to extract from individuals the moneys which they ought not to spare from family needs, and which they do not wish to spare; my comment and criticism relate to the power of a monarch whose tyranny is so effective as that not even the moneys paid by the Government are considered the property of the Government's servant until after this

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             185

    monarch shall have seized his arbitrary tribute, with or without the willing assent of the victim, so that the monarch may engage the more extensively in commercial affairs, which are not a part of either religion or charity.

    With an income of 5 per cent upon one-quarter of the entire assessed valuation of the State of Utah today, how long will it take this monarch, with his constantly increasing demands for revenue, to so absorb the productive power that he shall be receiving an income of 5 per cent upon one-half the property, and then upon all of the property of the State? This is worse than the farming of taxes under the old French Kings. Will Congress allow this awful calamity to continue?

    The view which the people of the United States entertained on this subject forty years ago was shown by the act of Congress in 1862, in which a provision, directed particularly against the Mormon Church, declared that no church in a Territory of the United States should have in excess of $50,000 of wealth outside of the property used for purposes of worship. It is evident that as early as that time the pernicious effects of a system which used the name of God and the authority of religion to dominate in commerce and finance were fully recognized.

    This immense tithing fund is gathered directly from Mormons, but the burden falls in some degree upon Gentiles also. Gentiles are in business and suffer by competition with the tithe-supported business enterprises. Gentiles are large employers of Mormon labor; and as that labor must pay one-tenth of its earnings to support competitive concerns, the Gentile employer must pay, indirectly at least, the tithe which may be utilized to compete with, and even ruin, him in business.

    And in return it should be noted that Mormon institutions

    186                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    do not employ Gentiles except in rare cases of necessity. The reason is obvious: Gentiles do not take as kindly to the tithing system as do the Mormons.

    The Mormon citizen of Utah has additional disadvantages. After paying one-tenth of all his earnings as a tithe offering, he is called upon to erect and maintain the meetinghouses and other edifices of the church; he is called upon to donate to the poor fund in his ward, through his local Bishop; he is called upon to sustain the Women's Relief Society, whose purpose is to care for the poor and to minister to the sick; he is called upon to pay his share of the expense for the 2,500 missionaries of the church who are constantly kept in the field without drawing upon the general funds of the church. When all this is done, it is found that, in defiance of the old and deserved boast of the predecessors of the present president, there are some Mormons in the poorhouses of Utah, and these are sustained by the public taxes derived from the Gentiles and Mormons alike.

    Broadly speaking, the Gentiles compose 35 per cent of the population and pay one-half of the taxes of Utah. In the long run they carry their share of all these great charges.

    The almost unbearable community burden which is thus inflicted must be visible to your minds without argument from me.

    Let it be sufficient on this point for me to say that all the property of Utah is made to contribute to the grandeur of the president of the church, and that at his instance any industry, any institution, within the State, could be destroyed except the mining and smelting industry. Even this industry his personal and church organ has attacked with a threat of extermination by the courts, or by additional legislation, if the smelters do not meet the view expressed by the church organ.

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    Mr. President, I ask to have read at this point an editorial from the Deseret Evening News of October 31, 1904, which I send to the desk.

    The President pro tempore. The Secretary will read as requested.

    The Secretary read as follows:


    (Organ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day. Saints.)

                 SALT LAKE CITY, October 31, 1904.


    The people of Salt Lake City are waking up to the realization of the trouble of which our cousins out in the country are complaining. The sulphurous fumes which have been tasted by many folks here, particularly late at night, are not only those of a partisan nature emanating from the smokestacks of the slanderers and maligners, but are treats bestowed upon our citizens by the smelters, and are samples of the goods, or rather evils, which farmers and horticulturists have been burdened with so long. Complaints have come to us from some of the best people of the city, of different faiths and parties, that the air has been laden with sulphurous fumes that can not only be felt in the throat, but tasted in the mouth, and they rest upon the city at night, appearing like a thin fog.

    The fact is this smelter smoke will have to go; there is no mistake about that. If the smelters can not consume it, they will have to close up. This fair county must not be devastated and this city must not be rendered unhealthful by any such a nuisance as that which has been borne with now for a long time. The evasive policy that has been pursued, the tantalizing treatment toward the farmers who have vainly sought for redress, the destruction that has come upon vegetation and upon live stock, and now the choking fumes that reach this city all demand some practical remedy in place of the shilly-shally of the past.

    188                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    The Deseret News has counseled peace, consideration for the smelter people in the difficulties that they have to meet, favor toward a valuable industry that should be encouraged on proper lines, and arbitration instead-of litigation. But it really seems now as though an aggressive policy will have to be pursued, or ruin will come to the agricultural pursuits of Salt Lake County, while the city will not escape from the ravages of the smelter fiend. If the companies that control those works will not or can not dispose of the poisonous metallic fumes that pour out of their smokestacks, the fires will have to be banked and the nuisance suppressed. We do not believe the latter is the necessary alternative. We are of opinion that the evil can be disposed of, and we are sure that efforts ought to be made to effect it without further delay.

    It looks as if the courts will have to be appealed to to obtain compensation or damages already inflicted. Also that they will have to be applied to for injunctions against the continuance of the cause of the trouble. We think there is law enough now to proceed under. But if that is not the case, then legislation must be had to fully cover the ground. Litigation will have to come first, legislation afterwards. However that may be, temporizing with the evil will not do. Patience has ceased to be a virtue in this matter. The conviction is fastening itself upon the public mind that no active steps are intended by the responsible parties, but simply a policy of delay. They must be taught that this will not answer the purpose, and that the injured people will not be fooled in that way. The smelter smoke must go. And it must not go in the old way.

    The proposition to put the matter in the hands of experts chosen by the complainants is not to be seriously considered. The onus is upon the smelter men; they are the offenders, and they must take the steps necessary to remove the cause of complaint, and also reimburse those who have been injured. We do not ask anything unreasonable. We join with those of our citizens who intend that this beautiful part of our lovely State shall not be laid waste, even if the only cure is the suppression of the destroying cause. This

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    may as well be understood first as last. Unless practical measures are adopted to abate the evil, active proceedings will have to be taken and pushed to the utmost to remove entirely the root and branch and trunk and body of this tree of destruction. The people affected are deeply in earnest, and they certainly mean business.

    Mr. Kearns. Mr. President, I must not burden you with too many details, but in order for you to see how complete is the business power of this man I will cite you to one case. The Great Salt Lake is estimated to contain 14,000,000,000 tons of salt. Probably salt can be made cheaper on the shores of this lake than anywhere else in the world. Nearly all its shore line is adaptable for salt gardens. The president of the church is interested in a large salt monopoly which has gathered in the various smaller enterprises. He is president of a railroad which runs from the salt gardens to Salt Lake City, connecting there with trunk lines. It costs to manufacture the salt and place it on board the cars 75 cents per ton. He receives for it $5 and $6 per ton. His company and its subsidiary corporation are probably capitalized at three-quarters of a million dollars, and upon this large sum he is able to pay dividends of 8 or 10 per cent.

    Not long since two men, who for many years had been tithe payers and loyal members of the church, undertook to establish a salt garden along the line of a trunk railway. One of them was a large dealer in salt, and proposed to extend his trade by making the salt and reaching territory prohibited to him by the church price of salt; the other was the owner of the land upon which it was proposed to establish the salt garden. These men formed a corporation, put in pumping stations and flumes, and the corporation became indebted to one of the financial institutions over which the church exercises considerable influence. Then the president of the

    190                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    church sent for them. There is scarcely an instance on record where a message of this kind failed of its purpose. These men went to meet the prophet, seer, and revelator of God, as they supposed, but he had laid aside his robes of sanctity for the moment and he was a plain, unadorned, aggressive, if not an able, business man. He first denounced them for interfering with a business which he had made' peculiarly his own; and, when they protested that they had no intention to interfere with his trade, but were seeking new markets, he declared in a voice of thunderous passion that if they did not cease with their projected enterprise, he would crush them. They escaped from his presence feeling like courtiers repulsed from the foot of a king's throne, and then surveyed their enterprise. If they stopped, they would lose all the money invested and their enterprise would possibly be sold out to their creditors; if they went on and invested more money, the president had the power, as he had threatened, to crush them. Not only could he ruin their enterprise, but he could ostracize them socially and could make of them marked and shunned men in the community where they had always been respected.

    Is there menace in this system? To me it seems like a great danger to all the people who are now affected, and therefore of great danger to the people of the United States, because the power of this monarchy within the Republic is constantly extending. If it be an evil, every apostle is in part responsible for this tyrannical course. He helped to elect the president; he does the president's bidding, and shares in the advantages of that tyranny.

    I did not call the social system a violation of the pledges to the country, but I do affirm that the business tyranny of Mormon leaders is an express violation of the covenant made, for they do not leave their followers free in

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    secular affairs. They tyrannize over them, and their tyranny spreads even to the Gentiles. In all this I charge that every apostle is a party to the wrong and to the violation. Although I speak of the president of the church as the leader, the monarch in fact, every apostle is one of his ministers, one of his creators, and also one of his creatures, and possibly his successor; and the whole system depends upon the manner in which the apostles and the other leaders shall support the chief leader. As no apostle has ever protested against this system, but has, by every means in his power, encouraged it, he can not escape his share of the responsibility for it. It is an evil; they aid it. It is a violation of the pledge upon which statehood was granted; they profit by it.


    I pass now to the political aspect of this hierarchy, as some call it, but this monarchy as I choose to term it.

    I have previously called your attention to the social and business powers, monopolies, autocracies, exercised by the leaders. Through these channels of social and business relations they can spread the knowledge of their political desires without appearing obtrusively in politics. When the end of their desire is accomplished, they affect to wash their hands of all responsibility by denying that they engaged in political activities. Superficial persons, and those desiring to accept this argument, are convinced by it. But never, in the palmy days of Brigham Young, was there a more complete political tyranny than is exercised by the present president of the Mormon Church and his apostles, who are merely awaiting the time when by the death of their seniors in rank they may become president, and select some other man to hold the apostleship in their place -- as they now hold it in behalf of the ruling monarch.

    192                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    In this statement I merely call your attention to what a perfect system of ecclesiastical government is maintained by these presidents and apostles; and I do not need to more than indicate to you what a wondrous aid their ecclesiastical government can be, and is, in accomplishing their political purposes.

    Parties are nothing to these leaders, except as parties may be used by them. So long as there is Republican administration and Congress, they will lead their followers to support Republican tickets; but if, by any chance, the Democratic party should control this Government, with a prospect of continuance in power, you would see a gradual veering around under the direction of the Mormon leaders. When Republicans are in power the Republican leaders of the Mormon people are in evidence and the Democratic leaders are in retirement. If the Democracy were in power, the Republican leaders of the Mormon people would go into retirement and Democrats would appear in their places. No man can be elected to either House of Congress against their wish. I will not trespass upon your patience long enough to recite the innumerable circumstances that prove this assertion, but will merely refer to enough instances to illustrate the method. In 1897, at the session of the legislature which was to elect a Senator, and which was composed of Democrats and three Republicans, Moses Thatcher was the favored candidate of the Democracy in the State. He had been an apostle of the Mormon Church, but had been deposed because he was out of harmony with the leaders. The Hon. Joseph L. Rawlins was a rival candidate, but not strongly so at first. He was encouraged by the church leaders in every way; and finally, when his strength had been advanced sufficiently to need but one vote, a Mormon Republican was promptly moved over into the Democratic column

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             193

    and he was elected by the joint assembly. I do not charge that Hon. Joseph L. Rawlins, who occupied a seat with distinguished honor in this great body for six years, had any improper bargain with the church, or any knowledge of the secret methods by which his election was being compassed; but he was elected under the direction of the leaders of the church because they desired to defeat and further humiliate a deposed apostle.

    I will not ignore my own case. During nearly three years I have waited this great hour of justice in which I could answer the malignant falsehood and abuse which has been heaped upon a man who is dead and can not answer, and upon myself, a living man willing to wait the time for answer. Lorenzo Snow, a very aged man, was president of the church when I was elected to the Senate. He had reached that advanced time of life, being over eighty, when men abide largely in the thoughts of their youth. He was my friend in that distant way which sometimes exists without close acquaintanceship, our friendship (if I may term it such) having arisen from the events attendant upon Utah's struggle for statehood. For some reason he did not oppose my election to the Senate. Every other candidate for the place had sought his favor; it came to me without price or solicitation on my part. The friends and mouthpieces of some of the present leaders have been base enough to charge that I bought the Senatorship from Lorenzo Snow, president of their own church. Here and now I denounce the calumny against that old man, whose unsought and unbought favor came to me in that contest. That I ever paid him one dollar of money, or asked him to influence legislators of his faith, is as cruel a falsehood as ever came from human lips. So far as I am concerned he held his power with clean hands, and I would protect the memory of this dead man against all

    194                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the abuse and misrepresentation which might be heaped upon him by those who were his adherents during life, but who now attack his fame in order that they may pay the greater deference to the present king.

    You must know that in that day we were but five years old as a State. Our political conditions were and had been greatly unsettled. The purpose of the church to rule in politics had not yet been made so manifest and determined. Lorenzo Snow held his office for a brief time -- about two years. What he did in that office pertaining to my election I here and now distinctly assume as my burden, for no man shall with impunity use his hatred of me to defame Lorenzo Snow and dishonor his memory to his living and loving descendants.

    As for myself, I am willing to take the Senate and the country into my confidence, and make a part of the eternal records of the Senate, for such of my friends as may care to read, the vindication of my course to my posterity. I had an ambition, and not an improper one, to sit in the Senate of the United States. My competitors had longer experience in politics and may have understood more of the peculiar situation in the State. They sought what is known as church influence. I sought to obtain this place by purely political means. I was elected. After all their trickery my opponents were defeated, and to some extent by the very means which they had basely invoked. I have served with you four years, and have sought in a modest way to make a creditable record here. I have learned something of the grandeur and dignity of the Senate, something of its ideals, which I could not know before coming here. I say to you, my fellow Senators, that this place of power is infinitely more magnificent than I dreamed when I first thought of occupying a seat here. But were it thrice as great as I now know it to be, and

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             195

    were I back in that old time of struggle in Utah, when I was seeking for this honor, I would not permit the volunteered friendship of President Snow to bestow upon me, even as an innocent recipient, one atom of the church monarch's favor. My ideals have grown with my term of service in this body, and I believe that the man who would render here the highest service to his country must be careful to attain to this place by the purest civic path that mortal feet can tread.

    I have said enough to indicate that for my own part I never countenanced, nor knowingly condoned, the intrusion of the church monarchy into secular affairs. And I have said enough to those who know me to prove for all time that, so far as I am concerned, my election here was as honorable as that of any man who sits in this chamber; and yet I have said enough that all men may know that rather than have a dead man's memory defamed on my account, I will make his cause my own and will fight for the honor which he is not on earth to defend. This will not suit the friends and mouthpieces of the present rulers, but I have no desire to satisfy or conciliate them; and in leaving this part of the question, I avenge President Snow sufficiently by saying that these men did not dare to offend his desire nor dispute his will while he was living, and only grew brave when they could cry: "Lorenzo, the king, is dead! Long live Joseph, the king!"

    As a Senator I have sought to fulfill my duty to the people of this country. I am about to retire from this place of dignity. No man can retain this seat from Utah and retain his self-respect after he discovers the methods by which his election is procured and the objects which the church monarchy intends to achieve. Some of my critics will say that I relinquished that which I could not hold. I will not pause to discuss that point further than to say that if I had chosen to adopt the policy with the present monarch of the

    196                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    church, which his friends and mouthpieces say I did adopt with the king who is dead, it might have been possible to retain this place of honor with dishonor.

    Every apostle is a part of this terrible power, which can make and unmake at its mysterious will and pleasure. Early in 1902 warning had been publicly uttered in the State against the continued manifestation of church power in politics. The period of unsettled conditions during which I was elected had ended and we had opportunity to see the manner in which the church monarch was resuming his forbidden sway; and we had occasion to know the indignant feelings entertained by the people of the United States when they contemplated the flagrant breaking of the pledge given to the country to secure the admission of Utah. I myself, after conference with distinguished men at Washington, journeyed to Utah and presented a solemn protest and warning to the leaders of the church against the dangerous exercise of their political power. I did it to repay a debt which I owed to Utah, and not for any selfish reason. I knew that from the day I uttered that warning the leaders of the Mormon Church would hate and pursue me for the purpose of wreaking their vengeance. But as the consequences of their misconduct, their pledge breaking would fall upon all of the people of the State, upon the innocent more severely than upon the guilty, I felt that I must assert my love and gratitude to the State, even though my warning should lead to my own destruction by these autocrats. If there had been one desire in my heart to effect a conjunction with this church monarchy, if I had been willing to retain office as its gift, I would not have taken this step, for I knew its consequences. I began in that hour my effort to restore to the people of Utah the safety and the political freedom which

                                KEARNS'  SPEECH.                             197

    are their right, and I shall continue it while I live until the fight is won.

    The disdain with which that message was received was final proof of the contempt in which that church monarchy holds the Senate and the people of the United States, and of the disregard in which the church monarchy holds the pledges which it made in order to obtain the power of statehood.

    They do not need to utter explicit instructions in order to assert their demand. The methods of conveying information of their desire are numerous and sufficiently effective, as is proved by results. To show how completely all ordinary political conditions, as they obtain elsewhere in the United States, are without account in Utah, I have but to cite you to the fact that after the recent election, which gave 57 members out of 63 on joint ballot to the Republican party, and when the question of my successor became a matter of great anxiety to numerous aspirants for this place, the discussion was not concerning the fitness of candidates, nor the political popularity of the various gentlemen who composed that waiting list, nor the pledges of the legislators, but was limited to the question as to who could stand best with the church monarchy; as to whom it would like to use in this position; as to who would make for the extension of its ambitions and power in the United States.


    And now I come to a subject concerning which the people of the United States are greatly aroused. It is known that there have been plural marriages among the Mormon people, by the sanction of high authorities in this church monarchy, since the solemn promise was made to the country that plural marriages should end. It is well known that the

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    plural marriage relations have been continued defiantly, according to the will and pleasure of those who had formerly violated the law, and for whose obedience to law the church monarchy pledged the faith and honor of its leaders and followers alike in order to obtain statehood. The pledge was made repeatedly, as stated in an earlier part of these remarks, that all of the Mormon people would come within the law. They have not done so. The church monarch is known to be living in defiance of the laws of God and man, and in defiance of the covenant made with the country, upon which amnesty by the President, and statehood by the President and the Congress, were granted.

    I charge that every apostle is in large part responsible for this condition, so deplorable in its effects upon the people of Utah and so antagonistic to the institutions of this country. Every apostle is directed by the law-breaking church monarch. Every apostle teaches by example and precept to the Mormon people that this church monarch is a prophet of God, to offend or criticise whom is a sin in the sight of the Almighty. Every apostle helps to appoint to office and sustain the seven presidents of seventies, who are below them in dignity, and they are directly responsible for them and their method of life.

    It is quite evident that the church monarchy is endeavoring to re-establish the rule of a polygamous class over the mass of the Mormon people. Of the apostles not practicing polygamy there is at most only three or four men constituting the quorum of which this could be truthfully said. Special reasons may exist in some particular case why a man in this class has not entered into such relation.


    Briefly reviewing the matters which I have offered here,

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    and the logical deductions therefrom, I maintain the following propositions:

    We set aside the religion of the Mormon people as sacred from assault.

    Outside of religion the Mormons as a community are ruled by a special privileged class, constituting what I call the church monarchy.

    This monarchy pledged the country that there would be no more violations of law and no more defiance of the sentiment of the United States regarding polygamy and the plural marriage relation.

    This monarchy pledged the United States that it would refrain from controlling its subjects in secular affairs.

    Every member of this monarchy is responsible for the system of government and for the acts of the monarchy, since (as shown in the cases of the deposed apostle, Moses Thatcher, and others) the man who is not in accord with the system is dropped from the ruling class.

    This monarchy sets up a regal social order within this Republic.

    This monarchy monopolizes the business of one commonwealth and is rapidly reaching into others.

    This monarchy takes practically all the surplus product of the toil of its subjects for its own purpose, and makes no account to anyone on earth of its immense secret fund.

    This monarchy rules all politics in Utah, and is rapidly extending its dominion into other States and Territories.

    This monarchy permits its favorites to enter into polygamy and to maintain polygamous relations, and it protects them from prosecution by its political power.

    Lately no effort has been made to punish any of these people by the local law. On the contrary, the ruling monarch has continued to grow in power, wealth, and importance.

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    He sits upon innumerable boards of directors, among others that of the Union Pacific Railway, where he joins upon terms of fraternity with the great financial and transportation magnates of the United States, who hold him in their councils because his power to benefit or to injure their possessions must be taken into account.

    I charge that no apostle has ever protested publicly against the continuation of this sovereign authority over the Mormon kingdom.

    Within a few months past the last apostle elected to the quorum was a polygamist -- Charles W. Penrose -- and his law-breaking career is well known. Previous to 1889 Penrose was living publicly with three wives. Under false pretenses to President Cleveland he obtained amnesty for his past offenses. He represented that he had but two wives, and that he married his second wife in 1862, while it was generally known that he took a third wife just prior to 1888. He promised to obey the law in the future, and to urge others to do so; yet after that amnesty, obtained by concealing his third marriage from President Cleveland, he continued living with his three wives. His action in this matter has been notorious. He has publicly defended this kind of law-breaking on the false pretense that there was a tacit understanding with the American Congress and people, when Utah was admitted, that these polygamists might continue to live as they had been living.

    And it was this traitor to his country's laws, this unrepentant knave and cheat of the nation's mercy, this defamer of Congress and the people, that was elected to the apostleship to help govern the church, and through the church the State.

    Is it not demonstrated that Utah is an abnormal State? Our problem is vast and complex. I have endeavored to

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    simplify it so that the Senate and the country may readily grasp the questions at issue.


    Will this great body, will the Government of the United States, go on unheedingly while this church monarchy multiplies its purposes and multiplies its power? Has the nation so little regard for its own dignity and the safety of its institutions and its people that it will permit a church monarch like Joseph F. Smith to defy the laws of the country, and to override the law and to overrule the administrators of the law in his own State of Utah?

    What shall the Americans of that Commonwealth do if the people of the United States do not heed their cry?

    The vast majority of the Mormon people are law-abiding, industrious, sober, and thrifty. They make good citizens in every respect except as they are dominated by this monarchy, which speaks to them in the name of God and governs them in the spirit of Mammon. Any remedy for existing evils which would injure the mass of the Mormon people would be most deplorable. I believe that they would loosen the chains which they wear if it were possible. I think that many of them pay blood-money tithes simply to avoid social ostracism and business destruction. I believe that many of them do the political will of the church monarch because they are led to believe that the safety of the church monarchy is necessary in order that the mass may preserve the right to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. The church monopoly, by its various agencies is usually able to uprear the injured and innocent mass of the Mormon people as a barrier to protect the members of that monarchy from public vengeance.

    It is the duty of this great body -- the Senate of

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    the United States -- to serve notice on this church monarch and his apostles that they must live within the law; that the nation is supreme; that the institutions of his country must prevail throughout the land; and that the compact upon which statehood was granted must be preserved inviolate.

    May heaven grant that this may be effective and that the church monarchy in Utah may be taught that it must relinquish its grasp.

    I would not, for my life, that injury should come to the innocent mass of the people of Utah; I would not that any right of theirs should be lost, but that the right of all should be preserved to all.

    If the Senate will apply this remedy and the alien monarchy still proves defiant, it will be for others than myself to suggest a course of action consistent with the dignity of the country.

    In the meantime we of Utah who have no sympathy with the-now clearly defined purpose of this church monopoly will wage our battle for individual freedom, to lift the State to a proud position in the sisterhood, to preserve the compact which was made with the country, believing that behind the brave citizens in Utah who are warring against this alien monarchy stands the sentiment and power of eighty two millions of our fellow-citizens.

    [ 203 ]



    This speech was delivered in the Provo Tabernacle on the evening of March 14, 1905, in the presence of upwards of two thousand five hundred people, and the report of it was taken by Mr. Arthur Winter. When the speech was first published in full in the Deseret Evening News of March 25, 1905, the following explanatory note preceded it by the writer:

    A report of this speech in a local paper [the Salt Lake Tribune] contained many verbal inaccuracies and crudities which in many cases were the reporter's, not mine. It is too much to expect that extemporaneous speech will be free from verbal and rhetorical errors, and I do not claim that the speech as delivered at Provo was free from such defects. In the speech as here reported by Mr. Arthur Winter, some of these crudities have been eliminated so far as they could be and still retain the structure and spirit of what was said. One item has been added: a passage relating to the alleged threats against Gentile industries in the State of Utah.

    Concerning the criticisms that have been made of this speech-one of which extended through seven columns of as vapid and flaccid an aggregation of words, words, words as it has ever been my lot to wade through -- I only care to notice one, that is the alleged harshness of some of my utterances. The conclusion is reached that some of my words were unbecoming both my calling and the place in which they were delivered. In answer I only wish to say that the

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    propriety of one's expressions is governed very largely by the task one has before him. Even the Son of God, when he had occasion to denounce falsehood and reprove deceivers, no longer used the gentle tones by which he comforted the sorrowful or encouraged those bowed down in weakness; but he used language suited to the task before him. To the scribes and Pharisees, who were hounding himself and his friends to their death, and as a preliminary to that purpose were seeking to embitter the minds of the populace, he said:

    "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the Prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the Prophets. Fill ye up, then, the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

    I think I have not gone beyond this worthy example in anything I have said in this speech; and for the sacredness of the building in which my remarks were made, I in no way feel that there was a desecration, since when the task before one is to defend the innocent against misrepresentation, and denounce calumniators, then "all place a temple, and all seasons summer."

    [ 205 ]



    Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: On the 28th day of February, last, the then senior senator from the State of Utah delivered an address in the senate chamber of the United States, in which an attack was made upon the Mormon Church and against the best interests of the State of Utah. The speech was cunningly planned and adroitly phrased; and with the prestige of a senator of the United States behind it, among the masses of the people of the United States, uninformed of the true conditions existing in Utah, its effect will be misleading and mischievous. It is because of these opinions that I have formed of the speech that I think it a proper subject for this occasion, that our own people, at least, should be put upon their guard against the mischievous effects of this deliverance.

    I regret extremely that the speech was not answered upon the floor of the senate of the United States. The gentleman upon whom that duty properly rested may have had good and sufficient reasons for remaining silent. It is not for me to say. But when I think of the serious charges that are made, and the cunning with which those charges, false though they be, are sustained, I can conceive of no combination of circumstances that would justify the now senior senator from Utah for being silent on that occasion. The suggestion of friends may be a good thing to listen to sometimes; but occasions can arise -- and this, in my judgment, was one of them -- when the call of duty should lead

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    one to reject the counsel of well-meaning but perhaps ill-in-formed friends, and the cold calculations of over caution. It might be possible, of course, that a reply such as one might desire to make, could not be made on the spur of the moment; but ten minutes devoted to denouncing the falsehoods of that speech, and the unmasking of the man who uttered it, would have had a beneficial effect upon the public mind, and would have been more effective than any reply that can now be made. Anything that may be said from this platform, or any other in Utah, or anything that may be said in the future upon the floor of the senate chamber, will not have the effect that an emphatic denial of the charges would have had while the gentleman who made them was still a senator of the United States. [k] That opportunity, however, is lost. All that may be done, here in Utah, at least, is to point out to our youth the untruthfulness of these charges, and disclose the sophistry by which an attempt is made to sustain them. I account myself fortunate in having an opportunity to undertake such a task before this magnificent assembly.


    Before proceeding to the speech itself, I want to say a word or two in relation to its authorship. It will go without saying that the ex-senator who stands responsible for it is not its author. Those of us who chance to be acquainted

    [k] For Senator Smoot...

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            207

    with the dullness of his mind and the density of his ignorance know very well that his mind never conceived the speech; nor did he fashion the polished and falsely eloquent sentences devoted to so bad a cause. Those of us who served with him in the Constitutional convention of this state painfully remembering the very few occasions on which he sought to express himself upon the floor of that convention hall, can never believe for a moment that he is the author of the speech. Those who were present in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on the occasion when the President of the United States honored that city and the state with his presence, and who saw this now ex-senator when he addressed that assembly, with hands thrust deep into his pockets, with stomach thrown forward, and head thrown back, and in nasal tones only becoming a retired pugilist -- and heard him say in the opening sentence of his speech, "We Americans ain't born to nuthin', but we git there just the same" (Laughter); and who had no better taste than to make the visit of the chief executive of this nation to our state the occasion of a partisan harangue, know very well that he is not the author of this senate speech. He is only the author of this speech in the sense that he has adopted it. This speech is his only in the sense that he bought it. I shall not undertake to describe all the contempt I feel for a man who occupies the high station of a senator of the United States, and who consents to repeat, parrot-like, the bought phrases fashioned by another mind. Jewelry in a swine's snout is as nothing to this.


    I glory in that pride, which would prefer to stand in tatters, though the biting winds of winter might nip one,

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    rather than to be dressed in the cast-off clothing or the borrowed furs of a prince; so also I would glory in silence rather than to arise in my place in so august a body as the United States senate and repeat as mine the speech conceived and written by another, though its eloquence rivalled that of a Pitt, a Chatham or a Webster. Indeed the more eloquent the speech the deeper must be the embarrassment -- the shame. But here I pause, though I had the language of a Solomon or a Shakespeare I should never be able to express my contempt for the senator who would consent to appear clothed in the borrowed or bought fabric of another's rhetoric. We may dismiss the ex-senator right here, so far as thinking that he had anything to do with this speech more than the reading of it.

    I wish now to say a word in regard to the spirit in which I propose to discuss this speech. I believe in the amenities of debate. There is nothing quite so joyous as to witness a debate when the differences discussed are honest differences, when opponents are honorable and talented men. I think I may be pardoned, altogether excused, in fact, from any exhibition of egotism, if I say that I take some pride in the reputation I think I have in this state for fairness in debate, and respectful treatment of my opponents. But the amenities of debate do not require me to say that my opponent's statements are true when I know them to be false; or that his argument is good and sound when I know it to be the merest sophistry; or that his motives are patriotic when I know them to be selfish and revengeful. Therefore, when I meet and have to deal with such a speech as the one before me, it is not to be expected that I shall handle it with gloves, and I promise you I shall not.

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            209


    I now come to the speech itself; my reply will follow the order of the topics set forth in the speech, with very slight exceptions; and by reason of following the order of topics laid down in the speech, I come first of all to the consideration of the pledges under which Utah obtained statehood -- the compact between the State of Utah and the United States.

    Of that long conflict that raged in Utah from early days down to the year 1890 I need not speak. You are familiar with its history. You know that the foundation facts of that controversy are these: that the Latter-day Saints believed a revelation had been given in which was made known, first of all, the eternity of the marriage covenant, with the permission and I may say injunction, under certain circumstances, for good men to have a plurality of wives. You know of the successive enactments of Congress, made at the demand of sectarian clamor throughout the United States against this practice. You know how these successive acts brought to bear hardships upon the Church, until at last we were relieved from the responsibility and obligation of maintaining in practice that plural marriage system, by the issuance of the Manifesto by President Wilford Woodruff in 1890. You know upon that step being taken, that the bitterness of feeling that had hitherto existed subsided; and there began to be manifested a desire that the old Church and anti-Church political parties should be disbanded, and that here in Utah, as in the other states of the Union, the people should divide according to their political convictions to one or the other of the great national political parties. These movements finally resulted in the passage of an Enabling Act, authorizing the election

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    of a Constitutional convention for the purpose of framing a state government. This convention met in the spring of 1895, and was the instrument through which so far as the people of Utah are concerned, the compact between the State of Utah and the United States was made.

    When it is necessary to establish what a given compact is, instead of calling to mind this man's opinion, and that man's opinion of it, why not go to the compact itself, and after considering it give it a fair interpretation? That is the method of treatment that I have proposed to myself, and consequently I am going to that compact. The Enabling act contained this clause, which was the crystalized demand of the people of the United States upon the people of Utah:

    "And said convention shall provide by ordinance, irrevocable, without the consent of the United States and the people of said state:

    "First, that perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secure, and that no inhabitant of said state shall be molested in person on account of his or her mode of religious worship; provided that polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited."

    That is what the people of the United States demanded of the people of Utah through the voice of the national Congress -- nothing more than that, nothing less than that. Polygamous or plural marriages are to be forever prohibited. That is the demand of the people of the United States.

    That being the demand, what was the response to it on the part of the people of Utah, speaking through the Constitutional convention? This was the response:


    "The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of the state:

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    "First, perfect toleration of religious sentiment is guaranteed. No inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; but polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited."

    You will observe that the convention incorporated in this provision the very language of the Enabling act.

    That was the demand, and that the response to the demand. But it was not all of the response. There was something more. After this declaration had been made, towards the conclusion of the work of the convention, when that part of the Constitution called the "Schedule" was introduced (and by the way, in order that you may understand that I have clear knowledge of these matters from personal participation in them, I may say that I was a member of the committee on "Schedule"), Mr. Varian, a member from Salt Lake county, called the attention of the convention to the fact that while we had made this declaration against "polygamous or plural marriages," he held, and very rightly, too, that it was not self-operating, and provided no penalties for its violation; but was merely a declaration, and he doubted if it would be sufficient to meet the expectations of the people of the United States. He therefore recommended a certain course now to be described. You perhaps will remember that our territorial Legislature of 1892 enacted what was virtually the Edmunds-Tucker law. They followed very closely the congressional enactment. Now, said Mr. Varian, in substance, your Legislature enacted practically the law of Congress against these offenses; that being the case, it expresses the willingness of your legislators to meet the demands of the country on this subject. Therefore, let us take so much of this territorial enactment as defines "polygamy, or plural

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    marriage," and provides for the punishment thereof, and make it a provision in this Constitution, operating without any further legislation. Then the people of the United States will know that you mean really to prohibit "polygamous or plural marriages" against which you make your declaration in the ordinance. In pursuance of this proposition he introduced this resolution:

    "The act of the governor and Legislative Assembly of the territory of Utah, entitled, 'An act to punish polygamy and other kindred offenses,' approved Feb. 4, A. D. 1892, in so far as the same defines and imposes penalties for polygamy, is hereby declared to be in force in the State of Utah."

    Mr. Varian was of the opinion that since this territorial enactment invaded the field already occupied by congressional enactment it was void, and that when Utah became a state the territorial law would not be in force in the state, and of course the congressional enactments applicable to the territory would cease to be operative upon the attainment of statehood; hence he thought it necessary to make this constitutional provision against "polygamous or plural marriages." But the part of the territorial law relating to polygamous living or "unlawful cohabitation" -- to use the phrase of the law itself -- was not made part of the Constitution of this state. And why? Because the demand made by the people of the United States did not reach to that condition. The demand was only: "provided polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited." There were other lawyers in the constitutional convention who contested Mr. Varian's opinion, and insisted that this law of the territory would be operative in the state, and therefore there was no need of adopting his amendment; whereupon a protracted

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    and earnest debate took place, in the course of which it was pointed out to Mr. Varian that he had cut this old territorial law in two; he had taken the part that defined and prohibited "polygamy or plural marriages" and made it part of the Constitution, but he had left out the part of the law relating to unlawful cohabitation, and the effect of such action by implication would be to repeal that part of the territorial law defining and punishing unlawful cohabitation. In the course of the argument made on that point in the convention the following took place:

    Mr. Evans (Weber) -- I would like to ask you [Mr. Varian] a question. The gentleman will agree with me that your [his] amendment will repeal the other kindred offenses in that statute?"
      Mr. Varian [answering Mr. Evans] -- No; there is nothing to repeal. If you want the other kindred offenses [dealt with], my answer is, prohibit them by law under penalties. * * * *

    Mr. Evans (Weber) -- I would like to ask one question. Suppose the act of 1892 were valid? (i.e., the territorial law dealing with polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, polygamous living, is referred to) --
      Mr. Varian -- If the law were valid I should not then introduce

    Mr. Evans (Weber) -- Wouldn't it then repeal everything except the polygamy?
      Mr. Varian -- If the law were valid it might repeal by implication, although repeals by implication are not favored. [m]

    Mr. Varian's resolution was adopted and became part of the Constitution, so that in the matter of compact between Utah and the United States on the subject of polygamy [i.e., polygamous marrying] our response went

    [m] Constitutional...

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    even beyond the demand of the people of the United States as voiced in the Enabling act authorizing us to establish a state government, in that we not only adopted the very language of the enabling act, but accepted the definition of polygamy and provided the punishment, prescribed for that offense by Congress; but no demand was made and no action was taken respecting unlawful cohabitation; nor did it in any manner enter into Utah's compact with the United States. [n]

    Now, understand me, I am not taking the ground that unlawful cohabitation -- "polygamous living" -- as it has come to be called -- is not now contrary to the law in Utah. That it is under the ban of the law is known to every one. But it became so because our state Legislature, after the constitutional convention had settled this vexed question upon the terms here pointed out -- our state Legislature

    [n] Mr. Varian...

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            215

    (and why I have never yet understood) proceeded to unsettle what had been settled in that convention, picked up the part of the old territorial law that had been discarded by the convention and enacted it with the rest of the code prepared by the special code commission.

    Hence unlawful cohabitation is under the ban by our state enactment; and I am not arguing that polygamous living is not against the law, and am not attempting to justify any one in the violation of that law. I am now merely pointing out the fact that in our compact with the government of the United States disruption of marital relations coming down to us out of the past constituted no part of that compact. The terms of the compact are here in the Enabling act and in the Constitution, and may be read and known of all men.

    That compact was not made between the Mormon Church leaders, as claimed by Mr. Kearns' adopted speech, and the United States government, but between the people of the United States acting through Congress and the chief executive of the nation, and the people of Utah, acting through their representatives in the Constitutional convention. Utah's Constitutional convention Sought earnestly to meet the demands made upon our people by the nation. The chief executive of the nation by accepting the Constitution we had formed and proclaiming Utah's admission into the Union, said we had succeeded in meeting those demands. To undertake now to read into that compact something that was not demanded by the Enabling act, and not conceded by the convention, that is not expressly found in its terms, and not fairly to be implied from them, is infamous. Yet that is what is constantly sought to be done, and we have all sorts of extravagant claims made as to what the Mormon Church leaders pledged in order to obtain statehood -- the

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    compact they made with the nation, and how the Mormon Church has broken it, but never a word do we hear as to the compact itself. The Mormon Church leaders made no pledges to obtain statehood, except as in common with all the people of the state they accepted and ratified the compact implied in the Enabling act and the provision in the Utah Constitution forever prohibiting polygamous or plural marriages and providing penalties for that offense. The Mormon Church officials pleaded for amnesty for their people, it is true, but amelioration of the hard conditions which a cruel enforcement of the law imposed, not statehood, was the object of their petition.

    The foregoing, then, was the compact between the State of Utah and the United States. The question now is, Has it been violated by the State of Utah or by the United States. Certainly not by the latter; and I affirm, with absolute confidence that the affirmation cannot be successfully contradicted, that the compact has not been violated by the State, or the people of Utah. On the contrary, I hold that the compact, such as it was, has been absolutely fulfilled. In this opinion I am sustained by the views of a very distinguished member of the House of Representatives, who discussed the subject somewhat at length on the floor of the House when the Roberts case was considered by that body. It was urged in the report of the special committee which investigated the right of the Representative from Utah to his seat in the House, that "this election as a Representative is an explicit and offensive violation of the 'understanding' by which Utah was admitted as a state."

    This "understanding" and the "compact" were discussed on the floor of the House by Representative Littlefield (of Maine) in the following language:

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            217

    "I would like to enquire of the majority where they find the authority for the proposition that the United States government can go into the question of an 'understanding' that existed before a State was admitted into this Union, and then, having found it, exercise this domiciliary, supervisory, disciplinary power over the State. Where does it exist ? What is it indicated by? Is it oral? They do not undertake to suggest it is in the Enabling act, although they refer to it. But is it an oral 'understanding' that exists between the States and the general government by reason of this 'general welfare' power? I assume that they invoke it under this 'general welfare' proposition. Think of it! an 'understanding' which is based on -- what? A compact or a contract? I had supposed it was too late at this stage of the history of the republic, in these times of peace, to invoke the proposition of a contract existing between the States and the general government. I knew that the theory of a contract was the parent of the infamous heresy, and I have believed that it was wiped out in blood from 1861 to 1865. More than five hundred thousand of the best, truest, most heroic and bravest men that ever met on the field of battle -- the blue and the grey, brethren all -- rendered up their lives that that infamous proposition should be blotted out, and blotted out forever. Let the dead past bury its dead. I submit that under these circumstances it ill becomes this House to undertake, in the interest if you please of civilization, to invoke anew the proposition of a contract existing between a State and the United States.

    Discussing the question of "compact" further, Mr. Littlefield said:

    "Compact is synonymous with contract. The idea of a compact or contract is not predicable upon the relations that exist between the State and the general government. They do not stand in the position of contracting parties. The condition upon which Utah was to become a State was fully performed when she became a State. The Enabling act authorized the President to determine when the condition was

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    performed. He discharged that duty, found that the condition was complied with, and that condition no longer exists.

    "What did Congress require by the Enabling act? Simply that said convention shall provide by ordinance irrevocable, etc., and the convention did in terms what it was required to do. It was a condition upon the performance of which by the convention the admission of Utah depended. Its purpose accomplished, its office is gone, and as a condition it ceases to exist. No power was reserved in the Enabling act, nor can any be found in the Constitution of the United States, authorizing Congress, not to say the House of Representatives alone, to discipline the people in or the State of Utah, because the crime of polygamy or unlawful cohabitation has not been exterminated in Utah. Where is the warrant to be found for the exercise of this disciplinary, supervisory power. This theory is apparently evolved for the purposes of this case, is entirely without precedent, and has not even the conjecture or dream of any writer to stand upon."

    With Mr. Littlefield, then, I say, that so far from the compact between Utah and the United States having been violated, it has been fulfilled. Utah has made no effort to repeal the Constitutional provision forever prohibiting polygamous or plural marriages. On the contrary, her State Legislature has even re-enacted the part of the old Congressional and Territorial law that had been ignored by the Constitutional convention, defining and punishing polygamous living -- that is, "unlawful cohabitation."


    Passing from the matter of the compact which the speech to which I am replying falsely charges over and over again that we have violated, I come to the accusation and false charges made against the Mormon Church. Whoever constructed this speech made the central idea

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    of it, the existence of a "monarchy" and a "monarch" in the State of Utah. The "monarchy" is the Mormon Church; the "monarch" is the President of that Church. In order that you may know I am not mistaken, I shall read to you a quotation from the speech on this point:

    "Under these several men (the Church Presidents) the social autocracy has had its varying fortunes, but at the present time it is probably at as high a point as it ever reached under the original Joseph or under Brigham Young. * * * I want you to know that this religion, claiming to recognize and secure the equality of men immediately established and has maintained for the mass of its adherents that social equality, but has elevated a class of its rulers to regal authority and splendor * * * the chief among them has the dignity of a monarch. * * * In all this social system each Apostle has his great part. He is inseparable from it. He wields now, as does the minister at court, such part of power as the monarch may permit him to enjoy, and it is his hope and expectation that he will outlive those who are his seniors in rank in order that he may become the ruler."

    There is much more to the same effect, but this is enough to show you that the existence of both a "monarchy" and a "monarch" are charged as existing in the Church organization and in its president.

    I wish to call your attention to the fact that this is mere assumption. There is no "monarchy" and there is no "monarch" in the Mormon Church. It is a fundamental, constitutional, and I might say institutional principle in the Church that all things in the Church shall be done by common consent of the Church; (Doc. & Cov. sec. xxvi) and so long as that remains the great underlying principle of the government -- and largely even of administrative functions,-of the Church of Jesus Christ, I ask you where the principle of monarchy can come in? Furthermore it is expressly

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    provided that no officer of the Church can occupy a place in any of the general or local quorums of the Church, only as he is sustained and accepted by the members of the several divisions of the Church named. (Doc. & Cov. sec. xx: 65.) Moreover, elections, which give the opportunity to get rid of undesirable officers, are more frequent in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, than in any other system of ecclesiastical government known to men. Will you tell me how a monarchy can exist in the face of these fundamental truths? I would like to see some explanation of that.

    Again, the President of the Church is no "monarch." Yet let me read to you how he is described in Mr. Kearns' adopted speech:

    "Under these several men [successive Presidents of the Church] the social autocracy has had its varying fortunes, but at the present time it is probably at as high a point as it every reached under the original Joseph or under Brigham Young. The President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, affects a regal state. His home consists of a series of villas, rather handsome in design, and surrounded by such ample grounds as to afford sufficient exclusiveness. In addition to this he has an official residence of historic character near to the office which he occupies as President. When he travels he is usually accompanied by a train of friends, who are really servitors. When he attends social functions he appears like a ruler among his subjects."

    Can any of you recognize President Joseph F. Smith in that description? I cannot boast of an extremely intimate acquaintance with President Smith's domestic life, or his financial status; but it has been my good fortune to know him personally some 30 years. I know something of the severe economy and frugality which he practices. I know his homes are but cottages, without the grandeur here given

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    them. I know that his family lives in economy and frugality, and that every tree, evergreen, shrub, or flowering plant, or plat of grass about any one of his cottage homes was planted by his own hands or the labor of his sons and wives. I do know that. And though he does now occupy an historic building, owned, not by Joseph F. Smith, but by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is more for the convenience of the people and those who have business with him that he dwells there than because of any "regal" or extravagant tastes that he himself possesses, and in that "official residence" he lives the simplest of lives. I know at least seven of his sons who have arrived at manhood's estate, and I know that they live by daily toil, as my sons and your sons do, as the sons of all the common people do, and occupying no very exalted positions in the industrial or business world, although they are capable, honest and hard working young men. One of them has assisted me in my office work as stenographer for three years. Don't you think if President Smith really affected this "regal state," "lorded" it over the people as he is here represented as doing, and lived in this "series of villas of sufficient exclusiveness" that he would undertake to elevate these sons of his and all his family above this toil in which they are engaged?

    The description presents a false picture. I brand it as such. It represents rather the style and state in which the writer of Mr. Kearns' speech would live if he possessed the opportunities he believes President Smith possesses, rather than the manner of President Smith's living. Especially as to the villas of "sufficient exclusiveness."

    Again, while President Smith, as we believe, has received a divine appointment to the station he holds, he is dependent for his continuance in that office, as he was dependent

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    for his elevation to it, upon the votes of the people. He is subject to the laws of the Church, as much so as you or I; and a special provision is made in the laws of God for a tribunal before which, for acts of irregularity and unrighteousness, he can be called to account, testimony taken against him, and if his offenses are of sufficiently serious a nature he may be dismissed from his high office, and excommunicated from the Church; and the revelation which provides these arrangements concerning him says that the decision of the court in question is the end of controversy in his case. I know that some men, in their over-zeal to exalt the office of President of the Church have advanced extravagant ideas upon the subject such as saying that no complaint must be made of those occupying that position; that the people must go on performing their daily duties without question, and then if the President should do wrong, God would look after him. Such teachings have now and then been heard; but I call your attention to the fact that the Church Of God is greater than any one man within that Church, however exalted his station may be; that the Lord has provided means by which the Church can correct every man within it, and can dismiss the unworthy from power. That right is resident in the Church of Christ; and the Church don't have to wait till God kills off unworthy servants before a wrong can be righted. The power exists within the Church to correct any evil, of whatever name or nature, that may arise within it, and that without disrupting the Church, or creating anarchy, but all things are to be done in order, and as God has appointed them. I could give you references to the D&C covering all these points, but it is a matter of such common knowledge among you that it is not necessary.

    Again, the decisions of the First Presidency of the

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    Church are not final in relation to matters of administration and government in the Church, if such decisions are made in unrighteousness, but from such decisions of the First Presidency appeals lie to the general assembly of all the quorums of the Priesthood, which constitute the highest spiritual authority in the Church, that is, all the quorums of the Priesthood are greater than any one quorum, even though it should be the First Presidency. (Doc. and Cov. sec. 107). Neither "monarchy" nor "monarch" can exist where these principles are recognized, as they are recognized in the Church.


    The Church government rests purely and solely upon moral authority. Let me explain. Authority is represented in government as of two kinds. Our writers on government tell us that one is "effective authority" and the other is "moral authority." You see effective authority operative in the various governments of man, in kingdoms, empires and republics; their authority rests on force, on compulsion. But moral authority rests on persuasion, not upon compulsion or force. "The action of God," says one, "upon man is moral and moral only. By constituting man free, he has refused to exercise effective authority over him, and an ecclesiastic or politic society claiming divine authority must exercise moral authority only; for the moment it exercises compulsion it ceases to represent God and resolves itself into effective authority which is human, all human, and not at all divine," (Baring-Gold). The government of the Church of Latter-day Saints is such a moral government as is here described. It rests on moral authority only. I read to you from one of the revelations:

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    "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    "By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile."

    This is the spirit of the authority underlying this ecclesiastical institution that is described as a "monarchy!"

    Having laid the foundation for his argument in this assumption of the existence of a "monarchy" and a "monarch," the author of Mr. Kearns' speech weaves around it all sorts of fallacies, a few of which I shall examine. It is charged that the Church is a business corporation rather than a Church, and is establishing a monopoly in business, and threatens, as some gigantic trust might threaten, the industries of this intermountain region. This is not true. It is true that the Church has invested some of its means in various corporations and enterprises. In so doing it has manifested, as I think, profound wisdom. It has long been regarded as a wise policy in establishing endowments for charitable purposes to invest the original donations given by the generously inclined, and use only the interest upon them for the charitable purpose, and thus place the charity upon a basis sure to prolong its life of usefulness. I say that is a policy of good sense, and good judgment; and that is what is done and no more than that when the Trustee-in-Trust of the Mormon Church invests Mormon Church tithes in business enterprises. But the Church holdings in the various corporations where the investments are made are not sufficient to dominate those institutions or to establish them as trusts in the industrial affairs of the state. Charitable, educational and missionary work are the purposes to which the revenue of the Church is directly devoted. In proof of this let me call your attention to the work in

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    which the Church is engaged, and in which our tithes are consumed.

    We teach, as you all know, the principle of gathering to our people. Wherever the gospel is preached the cry goes with it, "Come out of Babylon, oh ye, my people, that ye partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues." And inasmuch as there is a gathering, must there not also be made some provision to care for the people who come to us? Must we not provide some way for them to gain a foothold in the land if they are to become inhabitants of Zion? Most assuredly; and so part of our tithe funds go into colonizing enterprises that provide a means of obtaining homes for the people. This is done not only in the interests of those who come to us from afar, but in the interests also of those who grow up in our own old centers of population and find the need of enlarged opportunities.

    The Church has to sustain publication houses in various parts of the world, and they are maintained, in part, by the general funds of the Church.

    We have churches to build in all the wards and stakes of Zion; and while I know, as you know, that part of that expense is met by the people, outside of their tithing, part of it is also met by appropriation from the general funds of the Church.

    Temples have been built, and not only built, but maintained. We have four of these magnificent structures now in the State of Utah, and others are in contemplation in other lands where our people are settled.

    We have a missionary system to support; and while it is true the missionary meets his own expenses largely, yet the Church from its general funds provides for his return to his home and here and there assistance is rendered where it becomes absolutely necessary.

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    The Church has its employees to pay; while there is no organization in the world where so much of free labor is given to it -- especially in the matter of its preaching ministry -- as in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church does of course require all the time and talent of some of its servants, and When that is the case it necessarily has to remunerate them for their services.

    A Church school system has been founded and must be maintained; and this is a much larger enterprise than many suppose it to be. We sustain, and chiefly from the general funds of the Church, the Brigham Young university, Provo, Utah; the Latter-day Saints' University, Salt Lake City, Utah; the Brigham Young college, Logan, Utah; the Weber Stake academy, Ogden, Utah; the Juarez Stake academy, Juarez, Mexico; the Snow academy, Ephraim, Utah; the Ricks academy, Rexburg, Ida.; The Thatcher academy, Thatcher, Ariz.; the Fielding academy, Paris, Idaho; the Cassia Stake Academy, Oakley, Idaho; the Emery Stake academy, Castle Dale, Utah; the St. Johns Stake academy, St. Johns, Arizona; the Snowflake Stake academy, Snowflake, Arizona; the Uintah Stake academy, Vernal, Utah; the Beaver Branch B. Y. University, Beaver, Utah.

    If you suppose that this school system does not make large drafts upon the general funds of the Church paid in by you and all of us, you are very much mistaken.

    Again, the Church has erected a magnificent hospital in Salt Lake City, the best in the west, and that chiefly from the general funds of the Church, and it will have to be maintained and doubtless enlarged in the same way.

    In addition to all this there is the maintenance of the poor, who are always with us, and who are always welcomed into the Church of Christ, though the maintenance

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    and care of them always has been and is now a heavy draft upon the resources of the Church, but it is borne cheerfully since the love and care of the Church for the poor is one of the evidences of her divinity. When men came to the Son of God anciently and demanded to know "Art thou the Messiah, or must we look for another?" Jesus said, "Go and tell those who sent you that the sick are healed, that the blind see, that the lame walk;" and then, I think most glorious of all, he said, "And to the poor the Gospel is preached." And so in this dispensation of the fulness of times, one of the signs of the work's divinity is that it has preached the gospel to the poor, has gathered them from the nations of the earth, has tried to teach them how to sustain themselves, but where that has been out of their power the Church has nourished and supported them from its tithes and its free-will fast offerings, so that the cry of the- poor does not reach the ears of the God of Sabbaoth from the midst of the saints.

    After the author of this Kearns' adopted speech had recalled the fact that Mormons looked upon this part of their work with pride, he says that in some of the institutions established by the state for the maintenance of the poor, notwithstanding Mormon pride in care of their poor, there are some Mormon poor in those institutions. Well, what of it? Have not the Mormons as well as other citizens a right to such assistance? It is conceded even in the speech under consideration that the Mormons pay half the taxes (and they pay much more than half) out of which the infirmaries with other state institutions are sustained. But notwithstanding there may be some few Mormons in these state institutions, it still remains true that the Mormon Church does much for the poor, and that this charitable work is a heavy draft upon her revenues.

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    It is falsely represented in this speech that the tithes of the Church are the personal income of the Trustee-in-Trust of the Church.

    I know there are many here who, when I make that announcement, will doubtless think, surely Mr. Roberts must be mistaken; a charge so absurd as that would certainly not be made on the floor of the United States senate. But I will read you the charge:

    "Independent of these business concerns, he [President Smith] is in receipt of an income like unto that which a royal family derives from a national treasury. One-tenth of all the annual earnings of all the Mormons in the world flows to him. These funds amount to the sum of $1,600,000 annually, or 5 per cent upon $32,000,000, which is one-quar-ter of the entire taxable wealth of the State of Utah. It is the same as if he owned, individually, in addition to all his visible enterprises, one-quarter of the wealth of the state, and derived from it 5 per cent of income without taxation and without discount. * * * With an income of 5 per cent upon one-quarter of the entire assessed valuation of the State of Utah today, how long will it take this monarch, with his constantly increasing demands for revenue, to absorb the productive power so their he shall be receiving an income of 5 per cent upon one-half the property, and then upon all of the property of the state? This is worse than the farming taxes under the old French kings. Will Congress allow this awful calamity to continue?"

    I say that a meaner falsehood could not be uttered than is uttered in those sentences. And it was not done in ignorance. It was done with the intent to deceive the people of the United States, to awaken their bitterness against the great majority of the people in this state, and to represent the Mormons as subservient to a monarch, to a tyrant living in grandeur and upon the profits of their earnings, and was intended

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    to work mischief towards the people of this state. I need not deny the falsehood -- you all know the charge to be untrue -- that the funds which flow into the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust are but trust funds. Not one dollar belongs to him personally. These funds are used for the various purposes that we have just been considering.

    Again, this speech falsely represents that the "government money" is tithed. I shall have to read the passage from the speech in which the charge occurs in order to get you to believe that, I know. So here it is:

    "It will astound you to know that every dollar of United States money paid to any servant of the government who is a Mormon is tithed for the benefit of this monarch. Out of every $1,000 thus paid he gets $100 to swell his grandeur. This is also true of money paid out of the public treasury of the State of Utah to Mormon officials."

    Nor is the end yet:

    "But what is worst of all, the monarch dips into the sacred public school fund and extracts from every Mormon teacher one-tenth of his or her earnings and uses it for his unaccounted purposes; and, by means of these purposes and the power which they constitute, he defies the laws of his state, the sentiment of his country, and is waging war of nullification on the public school system, so dear to the American people."

    And that is not all:

    "In all this there is no thought on my part of opposition to voluntary gifts by individuals for religious purposes or matters connected legitimately with religion. My comment and criticism are against the tyranny which misuses a sacred name to extract from individuals the moneys which they ought not to spare from family needs, and which they do not wish to spare."

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    Then tell me why they spare it? That is my question. The tithes that are paid by Mormons are voluntary donations to carry on the work of the Church, and the Church possesses no power by which it can coerce man, woman or child to the payment of tithes. Will you tell me when a man was ever excommunicated solely because he did not pay his tithes. Is there any such case?

    But to proceed with the proof that this speech charges that government money is tithed:

    "My comment and criticism relate to the power of a monarch whose tyranny is so effective as that not even the moneys paid by the government are considered the property of the government's servant until after this monarch shall have seized his arbitrary tribute, with or without the willing assent of the victim, so that the monarch may engage the more extensively in commercial affairs, which are not a part of either religion or charity."

    Can straight-out lying or any other description of lying whatsoever beat this? Not from the regions of the lowest hell can come a spirit more damned in falsehood than the author of this speech, and a senator of the United States sank lower than the author of the falsehood by repeating it from his place in the senate chamber.

    One man works for the government; another teaches school. When such employes receive money for the Compensation of their services that money, of course, belongs to them. They own it. It is not government money. The farmer who digs and delves in the earth for his compensation, and who by virtue of his toil and going into partnership with nature -- with the soil and the rain and the sunshine -- produces his crop and sells it in the market, and holds the cash in his hand -- I say that money is no more completely the farmer's than is the money earned by the

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    government employee and the school teacher, theirs. It will go without saying that the school teacher and the government employee have just as much right to devote a portion of their income in the work of the church of their choice as has the farmer to contribute from his income to a like purpose. This part of the speech is an infamous appeal to the prejudices of the people of the United States, and is based on falsehood absolutely.

    I might, if it would not take too long, enter into those paragraphs of the speech which by wonderful twisting and turning undertake to make it appear that the Gentiles also are made to bear the burden of this tithing system -- this alleged "ecclesiastical tax, levied upon the people of the state," but it would require too long a discussion, and so I shall pass it. Besides it is a proposition too absurd for serious consideration.


    These several clauses of the speech just considered indicate better than any others that I have found, the probable authorship of the speech; and I want to talk about that just five minutes.

    The man who can utter such bald-faced falsehoods as these is the kind of man who could believe with the Republicans at one time that the foreign importer of goods paid our tariff taxes, and then later could join with the Democrats and conclude, after all, that it must be the consumer who pays the tax.

    [l] In the paragraphs...

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    Such a person as wrote that speech could be one who, sent from a Democratic convention, held in one of the states, to the national Democratic convention, could enthusiastically wire back from the far east that he was well pleased with the Democratic platform and nominee, that the thing for Democrats to do was to "get together and stay together," and then could come home and, hearing the chink of silver, interpret it as a call to him to assist in the organization of a new party that should work for the defeat of the Democratic nominee and the Democratic policies.

    The kind of man who wrote that speech could perform any inconsistency in the most consistent manner. I warrant you that he is one who could eat his cake and yet have it; who could let go and hold on at the same time; he could run with the hare and yet bark with the hounds; if he were only a physical, equestrian acrobat, as he is a mental acrobat, he could perform a feat up to the present time regarded as impossible -- that is, he could ride at the same time two horses going in opposite directions, whereas it has been quite universally held that if a man rides more than one horse at a time the horses must go in the same direction.

    The author of that speech is like one of old, who, however, shall be nameless, because his name is never mentioned in polite society, he can, I warrant you, "quote Scripture to his purpose, aye, and clothe his naked villainy with old odd ends stolen out of holy writ, and seem a saint when most he plays the devil."

    The author of that speech might be one who in the hour of his greatest need when on trial, in a way, before the people of the community where he dwelt, would solicit -- or have solicited for him -- and receive the assistance of a powerful

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    friend in whom the people had confidence; a friend who hoped for his future, and who believed at the time, this possible author of the speech in question was being unfairly dealt with, and hence gave him a certificate which rehabilitated his reputation, and saved him from condemnation by the people; and after receiving such magnanimous treatment, dealt out to him in a spirit of mercy and generosity, this possible author could turn and smite the hand that blessed him, and bark, cur-like, at the heels of the one who did him the greatest kindness? Such an one as this might have written the speech which Senator Kearns adopted and took to the senate chamber of the United States for its christening.


    It is falsely alleged in this Kearns adopted speech that the Mormon Church is a menace to Gentile industries in the state excepting mining and smelting, and even these, it charges, are threatened with extermination on certain conditions:

    "Let it be sufficient on this point for me to say that all the property of Utah is made to contribute to the grandeur of the president of the Church, and that at his instance any industry, any institution within the state, could be destroyed, except the mining and smelting industry. Even this industry his personal and Church organ has attacked with a threat of extermination by the courts, or by additional legislation, if the smelters do not meet the view expressed by the Church organ."

    The charge that the smelters are threatened with extermination by the courts is refuted by the very article from

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    the Deseret News the senator quotes in support of this supposed threat. The facts briefly stated are these: In the south end of Salt Lake valley, near to Salt Lake City, are a number of smelters that daily belch out volumes of smoke and deadly fumes which are injuring the interests of the farmers in that locality, and threaten in time to desolate the southern suburbs of Salt Lake City. The demand is that this evil shall be remedied, or else, of course, that the cause of the difficulty be removed, and now the proposition in the News Which is not at all what Senator Kearns' adopted speech makes it out to be:

    "The Deseret News has counseled peace, consideration for the smelter people in the difficulties that they have to meet, favor toward a valuable industry that should be encouraged on proper lines, and arbitration instead of litigation. But it really seems now as though an aggressive policy will have to be pursued, or ruin will come to the agricultural pursuits of Salt Lake county, while the city will not escape from the ravages of the smelter fiend. If the companies that control those works will not or can not dispose of the poisonous metallic fumes that pour out of their smokestacks, the fires will have to be banked and the nuisance suppressed. We do not believe the latter is the necessary alternative. We are of opinion that the evil can be disposed of, and we are sure that efforts ought to be made to effect it without further delay."

    The other part of the senator's assertion on this point of the Mormon Church being a menace to Gentile industry I really would not consider were it not for the fact that others are taking up the refrain and publishing such pipe dreams as this:

    "But if this is the purpose [i.e. to drive out the Gentiles], several things ought to be kept in mind. The first one is that most of the wealth of Utah has been created by Gentiles. The Saints were not opulent when the Gentiles

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    came in force to Utah. Except for the money that the Gentiles have paid the Saints for labor and supplies, the Saints would not be very opulent now; again, if something like a holy war is meditated against Gentiles, they will neither lay down now nor run away. It would not take much of a crusade to cause the Gentiles of Salt Lake to light their homes with coal oil, to walk rather than ride on the street cars, to trade only with Gentile merchants, to employ only Gentile help -- in short to closely imitate what the Saints are doing by them now. Do the chiefs of the Church desire to precipitate this state of affairs?"

    I should think not. We may have had our differences with our Gentile neighbors and friends, but we should be exceedingly sorry to part with them. No, indeed; we would rather see them increase than diminish; ride in street-cars than see them walk; and burn electric lights rather than tallow dips, or coal oil.

    But to be serious, isolation for Mormonism is neither possible nor desirable. Here in Utah and the intermountain west our faith must teach its doctrines, and here our people so exemplify its principles that those who come in contact with them shall yet respect both the religion and those who accept it, and practice it. Mormons have no disposition at all to be unfriendly to Gentiles; and in refutation of the charge that Mormons are unfriendly towards Gentile industries and business, I call your attention to the fact that in the great and varied mercantile business of our state, in our commerce, in the banking business, in mining and smelting, our Gentile friends have become wonderfully prosperous, a condition that could not have been realized under circumstances described in Mr. Kearns' adopted speech. There has been formed no opposition against Gentiles looking to their injury; and I feel safe in saying there will be none.

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    Now I come to the most interesting part of the speech, that which most becomes the now ex-senator to make. It is more worthy of himself. You observe I said the "ex-senator;" thank the Lord for the "ex!"

    It is charged in the speech that the Mormon Church is in politics. I read you the passage:

    "Through these channels of social and business relations they [the Mormon leaders] can spread the knowledge of their political desires without appearing obtrusively in politics. When the end of their desire is accomplished they affect to wash their hands of all responsibility by denying that they engaged in political activities. Superficial persons, and those desiring to accept this argument, are convinced by it. But never, in the palmy days of Brigham Young, was there a more complete political tyranny than is exercised by the present president of the Mormon Church and his apostles. * * * Parties are nothing to these men except as parties may be used by them. So long as there is a Republican administration and Congress, they will lead their followers to support Republican tickets; but if by any chance the Democratic party should control this government with a prospect of continuance in power, you would see a gradual veering around under the direction of the Mormon leaders. When Republicans are in power the Republican leaders of the Mormon people are in evidence and the Democratic leaders are in retirement."

    I plead not guilty to the charge of Mormon Democrats being in retirement -- speaking for one Democrat, at least;and I know my own case is paralleled by many other cases of leading Mormon Democrats; we are never in retirement. We are always in evidence, much to the disgust, perhaps, of some people; nevertheless, when the drum sounds the war spirit is on, and we are in the fight; and expect to be in the fights of the future. I shall leave our Republican friends

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            237

    to plead their own case, knowing very well their ability to do so.


    The ex-senator very courageously declared that he would not pass by his own case; and I am glad he did not, because there are some very interesting items in it that I shall be pleased to consider, and it constitutes him a very picturesque figure for at least one brief moment. First of all, I want to call your attention to the fact that this man admits that he was elected to the senate by Church influence.

    He claims a sort of a "far off" kind of friendship with President Snow. It certainly must have been very "far off," I can't make out the affinities on which it was based. It certainly did not arise out of any similarity of tastes, or anything in the compatibility of temperament between the two men, for the poles are not farther apart than the natures of these men. This is what the ex-senator says concerning his election:

    "For some reason he [President Snow] did not oppose my election to the senate. Every other candidate for the place had sought his favor; it came to me without price or solicitation on my part. The friends and mouthpieces of some of the present leaders have been mean enough to charge that I bought the senatorship from Lorenzo Snow, President of their own Church. Here and now I denounce the calumny against that old man, whose unsought and unbought favor came to me in that contest. * * * I was elected. After all their trickery my opponents were defeated, and to some extent by the very means which they had basely invoked."

    There is more of it, but this is enough, I think, to constitute the admission that Mr. Kearns was elected, according

    238                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to his view of it, by Church influence. Either to affirm or deny this claim is not my purpose. But mark further what Mr. Kearns says:

    "No man can retain his seat from Utah and retain his self respect after he discovers the methods by which his election is procured and the object which the Church monarchy intends to achieve."

    Then I put to him this question: "Why did you for four long years in dishonor retain the seat that came to you by these -- according to your description -- dishonorable methods?" The gentleman's speech comes four years too late to have any grace in it. If the next day after his election, knowing then as thoroughly as he knows now, the means and methods by which he secured that election -- if at that time he had published to the people of Utah and to the people of the United States something like this:

    "I discover that I have been elected by the influence of the Mormon Church leaders. That influence was unsought by me, but I cannot afford to accept a seat in the senate of the United States procured by methods so injurious to the state, so disturbing to our peace. I therefore lay down the honor that this Legislature would put upon me; for if I go to the senate of the United States I must go unfettered by such obligations as would be implied by my accepting this position given me under such circumstances." If, I say, the gentleman four years ago had taken a position of that kind all men would have had some respect for him, and for his denunciation of the exercise of Church influence in political affairs. But after sitting in the high place of honor for four long years, enjoying the benefits of Church influence, then in the last days of his senatorial term to stand up and repudiate the means by which he says he was helped into

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            239

    that high station -- it all comes with very poor grace from him, and places his wrath against the exercise of Church influence in politics under strong suspicion of hypocrisy. He stands as one who has received stolen goods, and with great generosity to himself appropriated these goods to his own use; they directly or indirectly clothed him, perhaps, and fed him, or ministered to his vanity; then after thoroughly exhausting the stolen goods and the proceeds from them, he arises in a spirit of lofty morality and denounces the means -- if not the thieves -- by which they were brought to him. What would be your thought of such an one?

    What excuse does the now ex-senator make for thus appropriating the high honors of a senatorship that came to him by reason of his election by Church influence? This is what he offers as his excuse:

    "I have served with you four years, and have sought in a modest way to make a credible record here. I have learned something of the grandeur and dignity of the senate, something of its ideals, which I could not know before coming here. I say to you, my fellow senators, that this place of power is infinitely more magnificent than I dreamed when I first thought of occupying a seat here. But were it thrice as great as I now know it to be, and were I back in that old time of struggle in Utah, when I was seeking for this honor, I would not permit the volunteered friendship of President Snow to bestow upon me, even as an innocent recipient, one atom of the Church monarch's favor."

    A little later in the speech he also says:

    "My ideals have grown with my term of service in this body, and I believe that the man who would render here the highest service to his country must be careful to attain to this place by the purest civic path that mortal feet can tread."

    240                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    I am happy to learn that this gentleman's ideals have grown. There was much need of such a growth, surely. But what a lofty morality breathes through these sentences! It is very impressive in view of what I am going to call your attention to presently. I want to reveal to you the character of this man. I will read again:

    "No man can retain his seat from Utah and retain his self-respect, after he discovers the methods by which his election is procured and the objects which the Church monarch intends to achieve."

    Mark that! And yet Mr. Kearns managed to retain his seat for four long years, after he had learned by what means it had come to him; and allowed his self-respect, meantime, to take care of itself. I suggest also that had his term of office extended four years longer -- notwithstanding what he has learned about the honor and dignity of a United States senatorship, he would doubtless have continued to hold on to his "honors," through those four long, troubled years of "dishonor." I would like to know what development of ideas between the time of his election and the expiration of his term of office was possible concerning the mischief of Church interference in politics that could so wonderfully open the eyes of this ex-senator to the iniquity of the methods by which his election was procured? Why, from away back in territorial days, for forty-five years, this question of the relation of Church and state has been debated in Utah, and we have learned every lesson it seems to me there is to learn on the subject; and yet, after the long controversy, it took four years in the senate of the United States for this man to discover the wondrous iniquity of receiving Church influence in an election to the senate of the United States! But I have observed

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            241

    in several other of our experiences in the State of Utah that for some mysterious reason politicians never can see the mischief there is in the use of Church influence unless they can't get it, Or they suspect it is being used for the interests of "the other fellow."

    But to return to our ex-senator. He says:

    "No man can retain this seat from Utah and retain his self-respect after he discovers the methods by which his election is procured and the objects which the Church monarchy intends to achieve. Some of my critics will say that I relinquish that which I could not hold. I will not pause to discuss that point further than to say that if I had chosen to adopt the policy with the present monarch of the Church which his friends and mouthpieces say I did adopt with the king who is dead, it might have been possible to retain this place of honor with dishonor."

    You have seen Mr. Kearns -- this semblance of a man that in nothing resembles a senator -- rise in his place and attitudinize to fit the phrases of his adopted speech before the gaze of this great nation while he denounced the use of Church influence in politics; and now you hear him say that if he had only adopted the methods charged against him in obtaining his first election with the present "Church monarch," he might have retained this honorable seat in the senate "with dishonor." Would he solicit Church influence? the influence of the President of the Church, for his re-election? Certainly not! Such a thing never entered his politically pious mind! Yet, knowing full well the seriousness of the charge I make, I say to this great audience and would say it to the people of the United States if my voice could reach them, and that upon my word of honor, that this man, ex-Senator Kearns, notwithstanding all his lofty utterances,

    242                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    both directly and indirectly, too, sought that very influence for re-election which now he affects to scorn. He, by personal application to President Joseph F. Smith, sought it in the City of Washington, when President Smith was there to testify before the Senate committee on privileges and elections. He sought for that influence in Salt Lake City, sought it personally of the President of the Church, and received the grand reply, "We are not in politics." He sought Church influence indirectly, through what was intended to be the good offices of a fellow senator, whose influence rests upon the same basis as his own, the influence of wealth. Not only once did he thus seek it, but on several occasions. Yet he stands in his place in the Senate and declares that "No man can retain this seat from Utah and retain his self-respect after he discovers the rothods by which his election is procured and the objects which the Church monarch intends to achieve!" Still, while in possession of all the knowledge he has now as to the methods and objects of the Mormon Church leaders, Mr. Kearns sought that influence which he says even to be the innocent recipient of would be dishonor!

    In what light does this man now stand before the people of this state and of the United States? To say that his course was one of lying and hypocrisy would but faintly describe it; but these terms, weak as they are, may be thrust into the very throat of him, "as deep as to the lungs." Let him pluck them out if he can!

    Not only did Mr. Kearns seek Church influence in order to encompass his own re-election, but the Tribune war made upon the Mormon Church was begun and carried forward in his interests; in the hope that the present leaders of the Church could be frightened into supporting him for re-election. I thank God that he found those whom he could not frighten; whatever else comes of it, I thank the Lord for that.

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            243


    In concluding his adopted speech the ex-senator suggests a remedy for all our Utah ills; and of course there is none of us who would question his ability to tell the senate just what ought to be done to a state that will no longer have Mr. Kearns for its senator.

    The recommendation in substance is this:

    Notice must be served upon the Church leaders that they must live within the law. That notice was received a long time ago; and the Mormon Church leaders not only received the notice, but acquiesced in it, too. Prest. Wilford Woodruff received an inspired word that relieved the Church of the burden of maintaining in practice a principle which before then had been regarded as a duty to maintain, in practice as well as in faith. Thus the way was opened for the Mormon leaders to make a concession to the sentiment of the people of the United States, and to the laws of Congress. It is realized by the Mormon leaders also that even if they could they cannot with profit nor to the advantage of the community treat with defiance those laws of the state which prohibit polygamous living. But while that is the case, those involved in that system of marriage which was taught as a divine institution for more than a generation in Utah, have the common rights that belong to those who enjoy the privileges of our free institutions, including home rule, and the administration of the law according to the sentiments of the people where they reside, just as they have the right to be tried by juries of the vicinage where it is alleged the laws are broken. If that local, popular sentiment shall decide that it would be against public policy and the welfare of a large class of the community to rigidly enforce those laws, then I say they are entitled to that clemency. It is for that very reason that

    244                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    home rule in government is so precious a boon, and so necessary to the preservation of the liberties of the people. It is not just that those involved in the Mormon marriage system shall be put in jeopardy of fines and imprisonment by a contemptible spotter and spy, merely an employee of the lowest sensational paper in the United States, the very worst-of yellow journals. They have a right to be free from that kind of oppression, and to be subject to the law as administered in harmony with the American spirit of law administration.


    Some one will say, however, that there are violators of the law in Utah; and that, too, in relation to new marriages since the issuance of the Manifesto, and since the admission of the state into the Union. If that be true, if all that is claimed in relation to it be true, (but that is not admitted,) then why not execute the law against those who have violated it, and who have broken, so far as they are concerned, the pledge that was given by the state on this subject? Why not prosecute them, and not attempt to do what Edmund Burke a long time ago declared he knew not the method of, namely, to draw an indictment against, an entire people? In other states are not the laws violated? And who is held responsible for that violation? The whole community who are not parties to the violation 'of the law? No; the absurdity of that appears upon the face of it. Why should the people of Utah be judged by a standard different from that by which would be judged the people of Ohio, or the people of Pennsylvania, or the people of Montana? From the first Utah has suffered from this kind of treatment. Every murder that was committed in the community

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            245

    in early days was charged to the "Mormon" Church. When there was a hanging in Montana, or a throat cutting in Nevada, or a lynching bee in Wyoming, the parties concerned were the ones indicted and compelled to bear the burden of their awful crime; but if such a thing happened in Utah, the "Mormon" Church must be involved. And so now in these alleged violations of the law concerning polygamous marriages, the Church is made a party to the transgressions of individuals.

    I say that the State of Utah has kept the compact that she made-with the-people of the United States. When she said as she did say in her Constitution that polygamous or plural marriages shall forever be prohibited and provided for the punishment of such crimes, the State of Utah could not guarantee that every one would obey the law, any more than the inhabitants of Arizona, when they say through the law that horse thieves shall be imprisoned, can engage that a horse shall never again be stolen in that territory, and no horse thief ever escape. What they do mean to say is that if such a crime is committed, and the parties are arraigned under the processes of the law, they shall meet the just penalty of their acts under the law. That is alt they are pledged to do. And so I say concerning those in Utah who may violate the laws, they are amenable to the laws of the state, and if brought before the courts, and the evidence is sufficient, there can be no doubt but they will be punished. But those who are accused of crime have a right to the protection of the forms and processes of the law; and they can not be "hailed before a judge and cast into prison merely because sensational charges are made against them in sensational anti-Mormon newspapers; or because Madames Rumor and Neighborhood Gossip say they are guilty as charged.

    246                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Let the men guilty of violation of the law bear their own burdens.

    The people of Utah have neither lot nor part in their offense; and it is an infamy, the like of which is not matched elsewhere in our nation, to attempt to throw the responsibility of their wrong doing upon the great mass of the citizens of Utah, upon the state, or upon the Mormon Church, when they are not parties to their crimes. So long as there is no attempt to change or annul the compact that the people of Utah entered into with the people of the United States, which compact is found consummated in the Constitution of our state, as demanded by the terms of the Enabling act, and so long as no effort is made to shield those who violate the law, so long the people of Utah are keeping their pledges.

    Now a few words in conclusion. We find ourselves a very cosmopolitan community in Utah, gathered from all parts of the world, of all sects and persuasions in religion, of all parties in politics, engaged in all of the common avocations of life, from cultivating the soil to delving in the bowels of the earth for its precious ores, its coals and its oils. We inhabit a state the industries of which are varied and profitable; and if it were not for this apparently irrepressible conflict concerning social and religious matters, we might by united effort make of this old "Dead Sea State" a very live and splendid commonwealth, where hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens besides those now on the ground, could find homes where they would enjoy more cloudless days during a year than in any other state of the Union; homes where they might cultivate soil the most fruitful in our great country; homes where they might enjoy an atmosphere that thrills the human system like glorious wine, giving life,

                               ANSWER  TO  KEARNS.                            247

    health and vitality to men. We might rear here a splendid manhood and womanhood, and have peace and contentment, and show the world how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. All this is possible, notwithstanding our varied religious faiths and our various political convictions. And it does seem to me that the time has come when the wise and conservative citizens of our state of all religions and of all political parties should take counsel together and see if this glorious result to which I have pointed cannot be attained; for when knaves conspire, wise men should counsel together.

    A while ago I told you that isolation for the Mormon people is both impossible and undesirable. The idea of the withdrawal of our Gentile population is nonsense, and not upon the program. It is equally true that the Latter-day Saints, come what may, will not surrender their religious faith. That cannot be done. Our Gentile friends must learn to tolerate us, notwithstanding what they may regard as the absurdity of our religious belief. On the other hand, Mormons recognize their amenability to the laws of the state, and we say to them -- at least I utter it as my personal conviction -- that Mormons hold themselves amenable to the laws of the state, and if their friends and neighbors in the vicinity where they respectively reside are offended at their conduct, taking generously into account the past from which some of our obligations (I will not say troubles) come, why then there is nothing for it but submission to the law as interpreted by the courts and by the people in the vicinity where we reside. I say, under these conditions, our Gentile friends must learn to tolerate us, as we are willing to tolerate them. The great bulk of our Gentile friends

    248                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    came to these mountain valleys because of the financial prospects 'they saw here spread out before them. They came here to establish homes, to enjoy the climate, to regain health, in some instances, and to possess with their fellow citizens, though Mormons, a goodly land. They are not interested in Mormon polemics. They care not a fig, in the main, for the Mormon religion. Then why not say to those who are a disturbing element and making false charges not only against the Mormons but against the state false charges which we have been considering here tonight, in the speech of the man who was, unhappily, a United States senator from Utah, and whose personal newspaper day after day vomits the bitterness Of hate against the greater part of the community -- why not say to these disturbing elements, as God says to the sea, "Hither to' shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed ?"

    If Mormons and Gentiles in their treatment of each other will adopt this spirit, and such a course as is here suggested is pursued, there is a glorious future for Utah; and I am not at all despondent. It is my faith that as a commonwealth we shall attain to the high destiny that we have-held in our hopes for our beloved Utah. I believe that wise counsels will at last prevail. I believe the time will come when our citizens will dwell together in peace and unity. That is my fixed faith, and what little I may be able to do I intend shall be done for the accomplishment of so desirable an object.

    With all my heart I thank you for this splendid hearing. [m]

    [m] Throughout the...


    [ 250 ]

    Part II.

    Book of Mormon Controversial Questions.

    [ 252 ]



    [ 253 ]


    Of late years the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated is a subject that has been much discussed. Through a misconception, as I think, in relation to the part taken in the work of translation by the Urim-Thummim, it is charged by anti-Mormon writers from first to last, that the verbal errors and errors in grammar which occur in the translation must be assigned to the Lord a thing unthinkable. The popular understanding among the Latter-day Saints of the manner in which the translation was wrought out by means of Urim-Thummim has been such as to attribute the errors of the translation to equivalent errors in the Nephite original, which, it is held, were brought over literally and arbitrarily into the English translation a thing most absurd. In view of these conditions the question arises, can such an explanation of the manner of translating the book be given as not to attribute either directly or indirectly these verbal and grammatical errors to the Lord, or to their existence in the original record from which the translation was made; and at the same time preserve as true and not inconsistent with reason, the statements that have been made, respecting the manner of the translation, by Martin Harris and David Whitmer, two of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. The writer is of the opinion that this may be done, and it is to such a task that the following papers are devoted.

    I am not unmindful of the fact that this subject is treated in the Young Men's Manuals of 1903-1906; but

    254                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    here the subject is more fully considered, and in a manner quite distinct since some of the papers are controversial and have a value quite apart from the mere affirmative treatment in the Manuals.

    I may be pardoned for urging these papers on the attention of the ministry of the Church, especially the foreign ministry, since I believe that the theory here advanced concerning the translation of the Nephite record is the only one at the same time tenable and in accordance with the statements made by those who, after the Prophet Joseph Smith, had the best opportunity of knowing in what manner Urim-Thummim aided in the marvelous work. The value of the Manual theory of translation will appear in the brief discussion on the Book of Mormon which appears in this series of papers.

    [ 255 ]


    BOOK  OF  MORMON. [p]

    Relative to the manner of translating the Book of Mormon the prophet himself has said but little. "Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God," [q] is the most extended published statement made by him upon the subject. Of the Urim and Thummim he says: "With the record was found a curious instrument which the ancients called a 'Urim and Thummim,' which consisted of two transparent stones set in a rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate." [r]

    Oliver Cowdery, one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and the prophet's chief amanuensis, says of the work of translation at which he assisted: "I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages), as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'Holy Interpreters.' [s] This is all he has left on record on the manner of translating the book. [t]

    [p] From the Y.M.M.I.A. Manual (Senior), 1905-6.

    [q] Wentworth letter, Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 118.

    [r] Wentworth letter, Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 118.

    [s] Book of Mosiah, viii: 13.

    [t] The above statement was made by Oliver Cowdery at a special conference held at Kanesville, Iowa, Oct. 21, 1848. It was first published in the Deseret News of April 13, 1859: Bishop Reuben Miller, who was present at the meeting, reported Cowdery's remarks.

    256                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    David Whitmer, another of the Three Witnesses, is more specific on this subject. After describing the means the prophet employed to exclude the light from the "Seer Stone," he says: "In the darkness the Spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God and not by any power of man." [u]

    There will appear between this statement of David Whitmer's and what is said both by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery a seeming contradiction. Joseph and Oliver both say the translation was done by means of the Urim and Thummim, which is described by Joseph as being "two transparent stones set in a rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate;" while David Whitmer says that the translation was made by means of a "Seer Stone." The apparent contradiction is cleared up, however, by a statement made by Martin Harris, another of the Three Witnesses. He said that the prophet possessed a "Seer Stone," by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then [i.e., at the time Harris was acting as his scribe] used the Seer Stone. * * * * Martin said further

    [u] From "An Address to all Believers in Christ," by David Whitmer, "A Witness to the Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon," published at Richmond, Missouri, 1887, p. 12.

                          MANNER  OF  TRANSLATING.                      257

    that the Seer Stone differed in appearance entirely from the Urim and Thummim that was obtained with the plates, which were two clear stones set in two rims, very much resembling spectacles, only they were larger. [v]

    The "Seer Stone" referred to here was a chocolate colored, somewhat egg-shaped stone which the prophet found while digging a well in company with his brother Hyrum. [w] It possessed some of the qualities of a Urim and Thummim since by means of it as described above as well as by means of the "Interpreters" found with the Nephite record, Joseph was able to translate the characters engraven on the plates. [x]

    Another account of the manner of translating the record, purporting to have been given by David Whitmer, and published in the Kansas City Journal of June 5, 1881, says:

    '"He [meaning Joseph Smith] had two small stones of a chocolate color, nearly egg-shape, and perfectly smooth, but not transparent, called interpreters, which were given him with the plates. He did not see the plates in translation, but would hold the interpreters to his eyes and cover his face with' a hat, excluding all light, and before his eyes would appear what seemed to be parchment on which would appear the characters of the plates in a line at the top, and immediately below would appear the translation in English, which Smith would read to his scribe, who wrote it down exactly as it fell from his lips. The scribe would then read the sentence written, and if any mistakes had been made, the characters would remain visible to Smith

    [v] Harris's Statement to Edward Stevenson, Mill. Star, Vol. XLIV., p. 87. [see also: Deseret News Dec. 28, 1881]

    [w] Cannon's Life of Joseph Smith, p. 56.

    [x] Nearly all the Anti-Mormon works dealing with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon speak of the "Seer Stone" and reiterate the falsehood that the Prophet stole it from the children of Willard Chase, for whom Joseph and Hyrum were digging a well.

    258                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    until corrected, when they would fade from sight to be replaced by another line."

    "It is evident that there are inaccuracies in the above statement, due doubtless, to the carelessness of the reporter of the Journal, who has confused what Mr. Whitmer said of the Seer Stone and the Urim and Thummim. If he meant to describe the Urim and Thummim or "Interpreters" given to Joseph Smith with the plates -- as seems to be the case-then the reporter is wrong in saying that they were chocolate color and not transparent; for the "Interpreters" given to the prophet with the plates, as we have seen by his own description; were "two transparent stones." If the reporter meant to describe the "Seer Stone" -- which is not likely -- he would be right in saying it was of a chocolate color, and egg-shaped, but wrong in saying there were two such stones.

    Martin Harris' description of the manner of translating while he was the amanuensis of the prophet is as follows:

    "By aid of the Seer Stone, sentences would appear and were, read by the prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say 'written' and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but: if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used." [y]

    On one occasion Harris sought to test the genuineness of the prophet's procedure in the matter of translation, as follows:

    "Martin said that after continued translation they would become weary and would go down to the river and

    [y] Statement of Martin Harris, to Edward Stevenson, Mill. Star, Vol. XXIV., pp. 86, 87.

                          MANNER  OF  TRANSLATING.                      259

    exercise in throwing stones out on the river, etc. While so doing on one occasion. Martin found a stone very much resembling the one used for translating, and on resuming their labors of translation Martin put in place [of the Seer Stone] the stone that he had found. He said that the prophet remained silent unusually and intently gazing in darkness, no trace of the usual sentence appearing. Much surprised, Joseph exclaimed: 'Martin! what is the matter? all is as dark as Egypt.' Martin's countenance betrayed him, and the prophet asked Martin why he had done so. Martin said, to stop the mouths of fools, who had told him that the prophet had learned those sentences and was merely repeating them." [z]

    The sum of the whole matter, then, concerning the manner of translating the sacred record of the Nephites, according to the testimony of the only witnesses competent to testify in the matter, is: With the Nephite record was deposited a curious instrument, consisting of two transparent stones, set in the rim of a bow, somewhat resembling spectacles, but larger, called by the ancient Hebrews "Urim and Thummim," but by the Nephites "Interpreters." In addition to these "Interpreters" the prophet Joseph had a "Seer Stone," possessed of similar qualities to the Urim and Thummim; that the prophet sometimes used one and sometimes the other of these sacred instruments in the work of translation; that whether the "Interpreters" or the "Seer Stone" was used the Nephite characters with the English interpretation appeared in the sacred instrument; that the prophet would pronounce the English translation to his scribe, which when correctly written would disappear, and the other characters with their interpretation take their place, and so on until the work was completed.

    [z] Harris's Statement to Edward Stevenson, Mill. Star, Vol. XLIV., pp. 78, 79; 86, 87.

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    It should not be supposed, however, that this translation, though accomplished by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," as stated above, was merely a mechanical process; that no faith, or mental or spiritual effort was required on the prophet's part; that the instruments did all, while he who used them did nothing but look and repeat mechanically what he saw, as one might look into a mirror, and say what objects in the room he saw reflected there. Much has been written upon this manner of translating the Nephite record, by those who have opposed the Book of Mormon, and chiefly in a sneering way. On the manner of translation they have bottomed much of -- not their argument, but their ridicule -- against the record; and as in another part of this volume I am to meet what they consider their argument, and what I know to be their ridicule, I consider here a few other facts connected with the manner of translating the Book of Mormon, which are extremely important, as they furnish a basis upon which can be successfully answered all the objections that are urged, based on the manner in which the translation was accomplished, and also as to errors in grammar, the use of modern words, western New York phrases, and other defects of language which it is admitted are to be found in the Book of Mormon, especially in the first edition.

    I repeat, then, that the translation of the Book of Mormon by means of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," was not merely a mechanical process, but required the utmost concentration of mental and spiritual force possessed by the prophet, in order to exercise the gift of translation through the means of the sacred instruments provided for that work. Fortunately we have the most perfect evidence of the fact, though it could be inferred, from the general truth that God sets no premium upon mental and spiritual laziness; for

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    whatever means God may have provided to assist man to arrive at the truth, He has always made it necessary for man to couple with those means his utmost endeavor of mind and heart. So much in the way of reflection; now as to the facts referred to.

    In his "Address to All Believers in Christ," David Whitmer says:

    "At times when Brother Joseph would attempt to translate he would look into the hat in which the stone was placed, he found he was spiritually blind and could not translate. He told us that his mind dwelt too much on earthly things, and various causes would make him incapable of proceeding with the translation. When in this condition he would go out and pray, and when he became sufficiently humble before God, he could then proceed with the translation. Now we see how very strict the Lord is, and how he requires the heart of man to be just right in his sight before he can receive revelation from him." [a]

    In a statement to Wm. H. Kelley, G. A. Blakeslee, of Gallen, Michigan, under date of September 15th, 1882, David Whitmer said of Joseph Smith and the necessity of his humility and faithfulness while translating the Book of Mormon:

    "He was a religious and straightforward man. He had to be; for he was illiterate and he could do nothing of himself. He had to trust in God. He could not translate unless he was humble and possessed the right feelings towards everyone. To illustrate so you can see. One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and I went up stairs and Joseph came up soon after to

    [a] Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 30.

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    continue the translation, but he could not do anything. He could not translate a single syllable. He went down stairs, out into the orchard, and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour -- came back to the house, asked Emma's forgiveness and then came up stairs where we were and then the translation went on all right. He could do nothing save he was humble and faithful." [b]

    The manner of translation is so far described by David Whitmer and Martin Harris, who received their information necessarily from Joseph Smith, and doubtless it is substantially correct, except in so far as their statements may have created the impression that the translation was a mere mechanical process; and this is certainly corrected in part at least by what David Whitmer has said relative to the frame of mind Joseph must be in before he could translate. But we have more important evidence to consider on this subject of translation than these statements of David Whitmer. In the course of the work of translation Oliver Cowdery desired the gift of translation to be conferred upon him, and God promised to grant it to him in the following terms:

    "Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken by the manifestation of my spirit. Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart, Now, behold, this is the Spirit of revelation; behold this is

    [b] Braden and Kelley Debate on Divine Origin of Book of Mormon, p. 186. The above debate took place in 1884, several years before the death of David Whitmer, and the statement from which the above is taken was quoted in full.

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    the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. * * * * Ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred, and according to your faith shall it be unto you." [c]

    In attempting to exercise this gift of translation, however, Oliver Cowdery failed; and in a revelation upon the subject the Lord explained the cause of his failure to translate:

    "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it [i. e, the gift of translation] unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me; but, behold. I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right; but if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore you cannot write that which is sacred Save it be given you from me." [d]

    While this is not a description of the manner in which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, it is, nevertheless, the Lord's description of how another man was to exercise the gift of translation; and doubtless it describes the manner in which Joseph Smith did exercise it, and the manner in which he translated the Book of Mormon. That is, the Prophet Joseph Smith looked into the "interpreters" or "Seer Stone," saw there by the power of God and the gift to him, the ancient Nephite characters, and by bending every power of his mind to know the meaning thereof, the

    [c] Doc. & Cov., Sec. viii.

    [d] Doc. & Cov., Sec. ix.

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    interpretation wrought out in his mind by his effort -- by studying it out in his mind, to use the Lord's phrase -- was reflected in the sacred instrument there to remain until correctly written by the scribe.

    In further proof that translation was not a merely mechanical process with the Prophet Joseph, I call attention to the evident thought and study he bestowed upon the work of translating the rolls of papyrus found with the Egyptian mummies, purchased by the Saints in Kirtland, of Michael H. Chandler, about the 6th of July, 1835. "Soon after this," says the prophet, "with W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt," [e] etc. Speaking in his history of the latter part of July, he says: "The remainder of this month I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language." [f] In his journal entry for November 26, 1835, is the following: "Spent the day in translating the Egyptian characters from the papyrus, though suffering with a severe cold." [g] Under date of December 16th, this: "I exhibited and explained the Egyptian characters to them [Elders M'Lellin and Young], and explained many things concerning the dealings of God with the ancients, and the formation of the planetary system." [h] Thus he continued from time to time to work upon this translation, which was not published until 1842, in the "Times and Seasons," beginning in number nine of volume three. It should be remembered





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    in connection with this "preparing an alphabet" and "arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language" that the prophet still had in his possession the "Seer Stone" (or at least Oliver Cowdery had it, for on completing the translation of the Book of Mormon the prophet gave the Seer Stone into Oliver Cowdery's keeping, (David Whitmer's Address to All Believers, p. 32), which he had used sometimes in the translation of the Book of Mormon, yet it seems from the circumstances named that he had to bend all the energies of his intellectual powers to obtain a translation of the Egyptian characters.

    There can be no doubt either but what the interpretation thus obtained was expressed in such language as the prophet could command, in such phraseology as he was master of and common to the time and locality where he lived; modified, of course, by the application of that phraseology to facts and ideas in the Nephite Scriptures he was translating -- ideas new to him in many respects, and above the ordinary level of the prophet's thinking; and also the phraseology was superior to that he ordinarily used, because of the inspiration of God that was upon him.

    This view of the translation of the Nephite record accounts for the fact that the Book of Mormon, though a translation of an ancient record, is, nevertheless, given in English idiom of the period and locality in which the prophet lived; and in the faulty English, moreover, both as to composition, phraseology, and grammar, of a person of Joseph Smith's limited education; and also accounts for the sameness of phraseology and literary style which runs through the whole volume.

    Nor are we without authority of high standing in these views for the verbal style of inspired writers. In "The Annotated Bible," published by the "Religious Tract Society,"

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    London, 1859, the following occurs in relation to the explanation of the words "prophet" and "prophecy:"

    "That the prophets were more than foretellers of things future is apparent from their history as well as from their writings. It must also be remembered that, although prophecy contains many very circumstantial allusions to particular facts and individuals, yet these are referred to chiefly on account of their relation to those great, general principles with which it has to do. Prophecy is God's voice, speaking to us respecting that great struggle which has been and is going on in this world between good and evil.

    "The divine communications were made to the prophets in divers manners; God seems sometimes to have spoken to them in audible voice; occasionally appearing in human form. At other times he employed the ministry of angels, or made known his purposes by dreams. But he most frequently revealed his truth to the prophets by producing that supernatural state of the sentient, intellectual, and moral faculties which the Scriptures call 'vision.' Hence prophetic announcements are often called 'visions,' i.e. things seen; and the prophets themselves are called 'seers.'

    "Although the visions which the prophet beheld and the predictions of the future which he announced were wholly announced by the divine Spirit, yet the form of the communication, the imagery in which it is clothed, the illustrations by which it is cleared up and impressed, the symbols employed to bring it more graphically before the mind -- in short, all that may be considered as its garb and dress, depends upon the education, habits, association, feelings and the whole mental, intellectual and spiritual character of the prophet. Hence the style of some is purer, more sententious, more ornate, or more sublime than others."

    Also the Reverend Joseph Armitage Robinson, D. D. Dean of Westminster and Chaplain of King Edward VII of England, respecting the manner in which the message of the Old Testament was received and communicated to man, as late as 1905, said:

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    "The message of the Old Testament was not written by the divine hand, nor dictated by an outward compulsion; it was planted in the hearts of men, and made to grow in a fruitful soil. And then they were required to express it in their own language, after their natural methods, and in accordance with the stage of knowledge which their time had reached. Their human faculties were purified and quickened by the divine Spirit; but they spoke to their time in the language of their time; they spoke a spiritual message, accommodated to the experience of their age, a message of faith in God, and of righteousness as demanded by a righteous God." [i]

    Because a writer or speaker is under the inspiration of God it does not follow that in giving expression to what the Lord puts into his heart he will always do so in grammatical terms, any more than the orthography of an inspired writer will always be accurate. We have many illustrations of this fact among the inspired men that we have known in the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days. Those of us who have listened to the utterances of Prophets and Apostles cannot doubt of their inspiration, and at the same time some of those who have been most inspired have been inaccurate in the use of our English language. The same seems true of the ancient Apostles also. The writer of the Acts, at the conclusion of a synopsis of a discourse which he ascribes to Peter, says, "Now, when they [the Jews] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, [j] they marvelled." The commentators upon this passage say that the listening Jews perceived that Peter and John were uninstructed in the learning of the Jewish schools, and were of the common sort of men,



    268                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    untrained in teaching. [k] And again, "Their language and arguments prove that they were untaught in the Rabbinical learning of the Jewish schools." [l] But in what way could the Jews have discerned the ignorance and absence of learning in Peter and John except through the imperfections of their language? And yet those imperfections in language may not be urged in evidence of the absence of inspiration in the two apostles. Surely with God it must be that the matter is of more consequence than the form in which it is expressed; the thought of more moment than the word; it is the spirit that giveth life, not the letter. "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord." [m]

    The view of the manner of translating the Book of Mormon here set forth furnishes the basis of justification for those verbal changes and grammatical corrections which have been made since the first edition issued from the press; and would furnish justification for making many more verbal and grammatical corrections in the book: for if, as here set forth, the meaning of the Nephite characters was given to Joseph Smith in such faulty English as he, an uneducated man, could command, while every detail and shade of thought should be strictly preserved, there can be no reasonable ground for objection to the correction of mere verbal errors and grammatical construction. There can be no reasonable doubt that had Joseph Smith been a finished English scholar and the facts and ideas represented by the Nephite characters upon the plates had been given him by inspiration of God through the Urim and Thummim, those ideas would have been. expressed in correct English; but as he was not




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    a finished English scholar, he had to give expression to those facts and ideas in such language as he could command, and that was faulty English, which the prophet himself and those who have succeeded him as custodians of the word of God have had and now have a perfect right to correct.


    Accounting For Evident Transcriptions of Bible Passages
    in the Translation of the Nephite Record.

    It is objected to the Book of Mormon that there are found in it whole chapters, besides many minor quotations from King James's English translation of the Bible. Since these chapters and passages in some cases follow the "authorized English version" verbatim, and closely resemble it in others; and as it is well known that in translating from one language into another almost infinite variety of expression is possible, the question arises, how is it that Joseph Smith, in translating from the Nephite plates by divine assistance, follows so closely an independent translation made in the ordinary way, by dint of scholarship and patient labor, and by diligent comparison of former translations.

    Nearly all the Anti-Mormon writers raise this objection, though perhaps John Hyde, [n] 1857, makes the most of it. Following him the Revelation M. T. Lamb, [o] 1887, and last, but not least, Linn, [p] 1902.

    This objection was most carefully and intelligently stated recently (October 22, 1903), by Mr. H. Chamberlain, of Spencer, Iowa, U. S. A., in a letter of inquiry on the




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    subject to President Joseph F. Smith, of Salt Lake City, in the course of which he said:

    "I find that Christ in quoting to the people on this side of the water, the third and fourth chapters of Malachi, quotes, according to the Book of Mormon, in the identical text of King James' version, not missing a word. I find chapters of Isaiah quoted practically in the same way. I find that in many instances, in his talks with the people, and to his disciples here, he used the identical language of King James' version, not omitting the words supplied by the translators. Now, I know that no two parties will take the same manuscript and make translations of a matter contained therein, and the language of the two translators be alike; indeed, the language employed by the two parties will widely differ. These translations are from different manuscripts, and from different languages, and still it appears in the Book of Mormon as King James' translation. I can conceive of no other way in which such a coincidence could have occurred, within the range of human experience, except where one writing is copied from another, and then it takes the utmost care to get them exactly alike, word for word, and letter for letter as this is. * * * * * Now, what I want to know is, how do you as a Church account for these things appearing in the Book of Mormon in the identical language of King James' version, when we know his version is faulty, and the same translators could not have made it twice alike themselves? Did Joseph copy it from the Bible, or did the Lord adopt this identical language in revealing it to Joseph?" [q]

    This communication was referred to the writer by President Smith for an answer, from which I quote:

    The difficulty which you point out of course has been recognized by believers in the Book of Mormon, but I do "not know that I can say that the Church as yet has settled


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    upon any explanation which could be regarded as an authoritative view on the subject. Each one has been left to settle the matter upon the lines which seem most reasonable to him; as a matter of fact, though our opponents have frequently called attention to the difficulty in question, it has not occasioned any particular anxiety in the minds of our own people. Accepting the overwhelming evidences that exist for the truth of the Book of Mormon, we have regarded that difficulty, with some others, as of minor importance which would in time be satisfactorily settled. Still, I realize the reasonableness of the objection that may be urged against the Book of Mormon from the point of view from which you present it, and realize that it constitutes a real difficulty, and one, too, in which we have no word from the Prophet Joseph Smith, or those who were immediately associated with him in bringing forth the Nephite record, to aid us in a solution of the matter. We are left, therefore, very largely to conjecture, based on the facts in the case, which facts are most tersely put in your esteemed communication;viz.:

    First. It is a fact that a number of passages in the Book of Mormon, verses and whole chapters, run closely parallel in matter and phraseology with passages in Isaiah, Malachi and some parts of the New Testament.

    Second. It is a fact that no two persons will take the same manuscript and make translations from one language into another, and the language of the two translations be alike.

    Third. It is a fact that the translations of the words of Isaiah, of Malachi, and the words of the Savior, in the Book of Mormon, are generally supposed to be independent translations from different manuscripts or records and from different languages.

    Then, of course, comes your question: how can the strange fact be accounted for, viz., that the 'translation in the Book of Mormon Corresponding to Isaiah, Malachi and the words of the Savior, are in the language of King James' translation?

    Of course, you will remember that according to the

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    Book of Mormon, the Nephite colony carried with them to America so much Of the Old Testament as was in existence at the time of their departure from Jerusalem (600 years B.C.). The prophecy of Malachi, chapters 3 and 4, quoted in the Book of Mormon, was supplied by the Savior, and that the Nephites engraved portions of these scriptures in their records, and this both in the Hebrew, and what the Nephites called the reformed Egyptian. I simply mention this in passing, that you may remember afresh how these passages came to be in the Nephite record, and that you may remember that the Nephites had the Jewish scriptures in much the same form as they were to be found in Judea, 600 B.C. When the Savior came to the western world and appeared to the Nephites, he had the same message to present to them that he had presented in Palestine; the same ordinances of the gospel to establish, a similar church organization to found, and the same ethical principles to teach. The manner of the Savior's teaching would doubtless lead him to present these great truths in the same forms of expression he had used in teaching the Jews, so that in substance what he had taught as his doctrines in Judea he would repeat in America. This is mentioned also, by the way, that it may appear reasonable to you that in a general manner the Savior must have taught the people in the western hemisphere substantially the same things that he taught the people in Palestine. With this remembered, I think we find a solution of the difficulty you present in the following way: When Joseph Smith saw that the Nephite record was quoting the prophecies of Isaiah, of Malachi, or the words of the Savior, he took the English Bible and compared these passages as far as they paralleled each other, and finding that in substance, in thought, they were alike, he adopted our English translation; and hence, we have the sameness to which you refer.

    It should be understood also, in this connection, that while Joseph Smith obtained the facts and ideas from the Nephite characters through the inspiration of God, he was left to express those facts and ideas, in the main, in such language as he could command; and when he found that

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    parts of the Nephite record closely paralleled passages in the Bible, and being conscious that the language of our English Bible was superior to his own, he adopted it, except for those differences indicated in the Nephite original which here and there make the Book of Mormon passages superior in sense and clearness. Of course, I recognize the fact that this is but a conjecture; but I believe it to be a reasonable one; and indeed the only one which satisfactorily disposes of the difficulty you point out.

    Such was the answer made to Mr. Chamberlain's inquiries, and as the reader will doubtless be interested to know how this answer was received by this intelligent, un-prejudiced gentleman, I quote the following from his letter in response to the explanation. [r]

    "Of course, I realize that if the Book of Mormon was not just what it purported to be, the whole fabric [of Mormonism] must fall to the ground, so far as being an inspired religion, and would then only be worth what good one could get out of it as the best organization or controlled religion on earth; * * * * upon studying the Book of Mormon, I, of course, found these portions of King James' version of our Bible, and judging it by the applied law of human experience, as we lawyers learn to judge everything, I could account for it in no other way, than that Joseph Smith copied it therefrom, and I am free to say that your reasons for his so doing are not only probable, but the only solution that can be given. * * * * * I believe and think that your suggestion is the only theory upon which it is possible to advocate its divine character. It seems to me that God, so far as I know, has never supplied man with what he already possessed, and Joseph Smith already had language with which to express his ideas, and all that was required in addition from God was, that he furnish him with the


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    thought, and then let him express it in his own language. I never could for a moment believe that God is interested in placing his approval on King James' translators' style of translating, nor upon the composition of the English language therein adopted. I do not see wherein your theory. detracts in any manner from the value of the Book of Mormon, as an inspired work acknowledged by God as authentic, nor makes more impracticable the manner of its introduction."


    [ 275 ]


    Answers to Questions Respecting the Manual Theory of
    Translating the Book of Mormon.


    A number of questions from their correspondents have been submitted to the writer, by the Editors of the Era respecting the manner of translating the Book of Mormon, as set forth in the Senior Manual for 1905-6.

    In one communication, a president of an association, an aid in a M. I. A. Stake Board, and a bishop's counselor, join in saying:

    We are not able to harmonize the theory of translation presented in our Manual with the testimony of the Three Witnesses, especially Harris and Whitmer. We are not able either to harmonize the theory of the Manual with the following passages of scripture regarding the interpreters: Ether 3: 22-25; Mosiah 8: 13-18; Mosiah 28: 11-15; D&C, Section 130: 8-10.

    To answer the matter in the above quotation, it is necessary to ask: What is the Manual theory of translating the Nephite record? It is a theory based upon the only statement made by the Prophet Joseph Smith on the subject, viz., "Through the medium of Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God;" [s] and the Lord's


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    own description of the manner of translating in general by means of Urim and Thummim, contained in his revelation to Oliver Cowdery in the D&C, sections viii and ix.

    That is the only theory the Manual has upon the subject. The foregoing quotation from the prophet is all he has said with reference to the manner of the translation, and we could wish that all other persons, necessarily less informed upon the subject than the prophet himself, had been content to leave the matter where he left it. In this, however; they did not follow his wise example; but must needs undertake to describe the manner of the translation; and, from such description has arisen the idea that the Urim and Thummim did all, in the work of the translation, the prophet, nothing; except to read to his amanuensis what he saw reflected in the seer-stone or Urim and Thummim, which the instruments, and not the prophet, had translated. The men responsible for those statements, on which said theory rests, are David Whitmer and Martin Harris. The former says:

    A piece of Something resembling parchment did appear, (i.e., in Urim and Thummim), and on that appeared the writing, one character at a time would appear, and under it was the translation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Brother Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and then it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct; then it would disappear and another character with the translation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man. [t]

    We have no statement at first hand from Martin Harris at all, only the statement of another, Edward Stevenson, as


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    to what he heard Martin say was the manner of translation. This was as follows:

    "By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear, and were read by the prophet, and written by Martin, and when finished he would say "written," and if correctly written that sentence would disappear, and another appear in its place; but if not written correctly, it remained until corrected so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates precisely in the language then used. [u]

    These statements have led to the assumption of the theory, I repeat, that the Urim and Thummim did the translating, not Joseph the Seer. Accordingly, it is held that the translation was a mechanical, arbitrary, transliteration; a word for word bringing over from the Nephite language into the English language, a literal interpretation of the record. The prophet, therefore, it is urged, was in no way responsible for the language of the translation, it was not his, but the divine instrument's, and if there are errors of grammar, or faults of diction, (modern words for which in the nature of things there could be no exact equivalents in an ancient language) New England localisms, modern phrases from the English translation of Hebrew scripture, and other sources -- all these must have been in the original Nephite record, say the advocates of this theory, and are arbitrarily brought over into the English language.

    This theory of translation led opponents of the Book of Mormon and some who were not opponents of it, but sincere investigators of its claims -- to suggest certain difficulties involved in such a theory of translation.

    First. The impossibility of such a thing as a word-for-word


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    bringing over from one language into another. Such a procedure could only result in producing an unintelligible jargon -- a fact well known by those who are at all acquainted with translation.

    Second. The fact that the language of the English translation of the Nephite record is in the English idiom, and diction of the period and locality when and where the translation took place, and is evidently but little influenced by any attempt to follow the idiom of an ancient language.

    Third. The fact that such errors in grammar and diction as occur in the translation are just such errors as might reasonably be looked for in the work of one unlearned in the English language.

    From this data the following argument proceeds: It is impossible that the alleged translation, whether by divine or human media, could be a word-for-word bringing over from the Nephite language into the English; and if the translation is not such a word-for-word bringing over affair, then it cannot be claimed that the Nephite original is responsible for verbal inaccuracies and grammatical errors. If the Book of Mormon is a real translation instead of a word-for-word bringing over from one language into another, and it is insisted that the divine instrument, Urim and Thummim, did all, and the prophet nothing -- at least nothing more than to read off the translation made by Urim and Thummim -- then the divine instrument is responsible for such errors in grammar and diction as did occur. But this is to assign responsibility for errors in language to a divine instrumentality, which amounts to assigning such errors to God. But that is unthinkable, not to say blasphemous. Also, if it be contended that the language of the Book of Mormon, word for word, and letter for letter, was given to the prophet by direct inspiration of God, acting upon his mind, then again

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             279

    God is made responsible for the language errors in the Book of Mormon -- a thing unthinkable.

    Rather than ascribe these errors to Deity, either through direct or indirect means, men will reject the claims of the Book of Mormon; and, since the verbal errors in the Book of Mormon are such as one ignorant of the English language would make, the temptation is strong, in the minds of those not yet converted to its truth, to assign to the Book of Mormon an altogether human origin.

    In the presence of these considerations, it is but natural to ask, "Is there no way by which such a conclusion may be avoided?" Most assuredly. Set aside the theory based upon the statements made by David Whitmer and Martin Harris, (mark you, I say the theory based on these statements, not necessarily the statements themselves) and accept the more reasonable theory based upon what the Lord has said upon the subject in sections viii and ix of the D&C, where, in describing how Oliver Cowdery might translate by means of Urim and Thummim, the Lord said:

    "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost which shall come upon you, and it shall dwell in your heart."

    Then, Oliver only having partially succeeded, and that to a very limited extent, in his effort to translate, the Lord, in explaining his failure, said:

    "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it [i.e., the power to translate] unto you, when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right; but if it be not right,

    280                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong."

    This is the Lord's description of how Oliver Cowdery could have translated with the aid of Urim and Thummim (see context of the revelation quoted), and it is undoubtedly the manner in which Joseph Smith did translate the Book of Mormon through the medium of Urim and Thummim. This description of the translation destroys the theory that Urim and Thummim did everything, and the seer nothing; that the work of translating was merely a mechanical process of looking at a supplied interpretation, in English, and reading it off to an amanuensis. This description in the D&C implies great mental effort; of working out the translation in the mind, and securing the witness of the Spirit that the translation is correct. In all this, Urim and Thummim are helpful. They are an aid doubtless to concentration of mind. They may have held at the time just the characters to be translated at the moment, and excluded all others; the translation thought out in the seer's mind may also have been reflected in the interpreters and held there until recorded by the amanuensis, all of which would be incalculably helpful. But since the translation is thought out in the mind of the seer, it must be thought out in such thought-signs as are at his command, expressed in such speech-forms as he is master of; for, man thinks, and can only think coherently, in language; and, necessarily, in such language as he knows. If his knowledge of the language in which he thinks and speaks is imperfect, his diction and grammar will be defective. That errors of grammar and faults in diction do exist in the Book of Mormon (and more especially and abundantly in the first edition) must be conceded; and what is more, while some of the errors may be

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             281

    referred to inefficient proof-reading, such as is to be expected in a country printing establishment, yet such is the nature of the errors in question, and so interwoven are they throughout the diction of the book, that they may not be disposed of by saying they result from inefficient proofreading, or referring them to the mischievous disposition of the "typos," or the unfriendliness of the publishing house. The errors are constitutional in their character; they are of the web and woof of the style, and not such errors as may be classed as typographical. Indeed the first edition of the Book of Mormon is singularly free from typographical errors.

    In the presence of these facts, only one solution to the difficulties presents itself, and that is the solution suggested in the Manual, viz., that the translator is responsible for the verbal and grammatical errors, in the translation; as it is said of the original Nephite record, so let us say of the translation of that record, "If there be faults, they are the faults of man;" not of God, either mediately or immediately. Nor does this solution of the difficulties presented cast any reflections upon Joseph the Seer. It was no fault of his that his knowledge in the English language was so imperfect. His imperfect knowledge was due entirely to his limited opportunity to acquire such knowledge; to environment, not at all to neglect of opportunities or to mental laziness.

    But it is objected that this theory unsettles former conceptions of the part taken by Urim and Thummim, in the work of translation. It upsets somewhat the marvelous that has been associated with the translation of the Nephite record. "Shall we understand," writes with some feeling one objector, "that Urim and Thummim are not what they hitherto purported to be?" and cites somewhat indefinitely the testimony of the Three Witnesses; refers, but not definitely,

    282                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to the History of the Church, and to a sermon by Brigham Young; also to the following passages in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants: Mosiah 28:11-15; Ether 3: 22-25; Mosiah, 8:13-19; D&C, section 130. We assure this writer and other correspondents of the Era that there is no conflict between the Manual theory of translation and these passages of scripture. The strongest passage cited as suggesting a conflict is Mosiah 28:13-16, as follows:

    "And now he translated them (i.e., the Jaredite records) by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow.

    "Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; * * * * And whosoever has these things, is called seer, after the manner of old times."

    Emphasizing and insisting upon a rigid construction of the words, "Now these things were handed down * * * for the purpose of interpreting languages," may seem to fix the power of interpretation in the divine instruments, not in the seer; but when these words are considered in connection with all that one may learn upon the subject, we know better than to insist upon a severely rigid construction. It should be observed in the opening sentence of the very passage quoted that these words occur:

    "And he [Mosiah] translated them [the Jaredite records] by means of those two stones, which were fastened to two rims of a bow.

    In other words, Mosiah, the seer, did the translating, aided by Urim and Thummim; it was not the Urim and Thummim that did it, aided by Mosiah.

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    Moreover, the theory that the interpreters did the translating, not the seer aided by them, is in conflict with the Lord's description of translation by means of Urim and Thummim; and if old conceptions respecting the part performed by Urim and Thummim are in conflict with God's description of translation, then the sooner we are rid of such Conceptions the better.

    "We are not able," say some of these objectors, "to harmonize the theory of translation, presented in our Manual, with the testimony of the Three Witnesses." The testimony of the Three Witnesses respecting the translation of the record, mentioned in the foregoing, is simply this: "We also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us."

    This goes no further than the Prophet's description, already quoted. The only thing Oliver Cowdery ever said, outside of the official testimony of the Three Witnesses, was:

    "I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated by the gift and power of God, by the means of Urim and Thummim."

    This is all that he has said on the subject, and that is in harmony, it will be observed with what the Prophet Joseph Smith said, and at no point contradicts the view of translation set forth in the Manual.

    There remains, however, the statement of Whitmer and Harris, and it is claimed that the Manual theory of translation cannot be harmonized with what they have said. If that were true, and the Manual theory is more in harmony with what God has said upon the subject than what they have said, then all the worse for their theory -- "yea, let God be true but every man a liar!" And, by the way, in passing, I

    284                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    want to ask those who stand up so stoutly for the vindication of what Messrs. Whitmer and Harris have chanced to say on the subject of translation -- What about the Lord's description of the same thing in the Doctrine and Covenants? Are they not interested in vindicating that description? I care very little, comparatively, for what Messrs. Whitmer and Harris have said about the subject. I care everything for what the Lord has said about it. Whence did the two witnesses in question obtain such knowledge as they had about the manner of translation? Undoubtedly, from the Prophet Joseph; for they claim no revelation from the Lord upon the subject. And this knowledge they did not announce until in the later years of their lives; nothing was said about it, by them, until long after the death of the Prophet. They doubtless have given their recollection of what the Prophet had told them about the manner of translating; but experience and observation both teach us that there may be a wide difference between what is really said to men, and their recollection of it -- their impressions about it; especially when that recollection or impression is not formulated into written statement until long years afterwards.

    At the same time, it is proper to say, as the Manual suggests, that there is no necessary conflict between the statements of these two Witnesses and the Manual theory of translation. They say the Nephite characters, to be translated, appeared in Urim and Thummim. We say that may be true, or the Prophet may have looked through the interpreters -- since they were transparent stones - - and thus have seen the characters. They say the interpretation appeared in English, under the Nephite characters in Urim and Thummim; we say, if so, then that interpretation, after being wrought out in the Prophet's mind, was reflected into Urim and Thummim

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             285

    and held visible there until written. The English interpretation was a reflex from the Prophet's mind. (And may it not be that the peculiar quality of the Urim and Thummim was to reflect thought, especially God-given or inspired thought, as other substances reflect objects?) All this is possible, and is not in conflict with what either the Prophet or Oliver Cowdery said upon the subject; nor in conflict with the Lord's description of translation. But to insist that the translation of the Book of Mormon was an arbitrary piece of mechanical work, wrought out by transparent stones rather .than in the inspired mind of the Prophet, is in conflict with the Lord's description of translation, and all the reasonable conclusions that may be drawn from the known facts in the case. This theory -- the Manual theory -- accept-ed, accounting for errors in grammar and faulty diction, as pointed out in chapter vii, Part I of Manual, and in chapter xlvii of the Manual, Part III, is easy.

    It is asked, however, "Shall we understand that Urim and Thummim are not what they have hitherto purported to be?" By no means; if by "purported to be," is meant what the seers, Mosiah of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith said of them. The former said of them that "he translated by means of them" -- i.e., they were an aid to him in translating. Joseph the seer said that "through the medium" of Urim and Thummim, he translated the Nephite record -- i.e., they were an aid to him in the work of translation. But if by "purported to be" is meant that the Urim and Thummim did the mental work of translating -- that the instrument did everything, and the Prophet nothing, except to read off what the instrument interpreted -- then the sooner that theory is abandoned the better; there is nothing in the word of God, or right reason, to warrant it; it is utterly untenable, and affords no rational explanation of the difficulties arising from

    286                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the existence of verbal and grammatical errors in the translation of the Nephite record.

    But the question is asked, "Why bring these matters up at all?" "I seriously question the expediency of any theory, beyond the facts that are definitely known and attested, to explain the details of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon," says one Era correspondent. So say we all. I wish Messrs. Whitmer and Harris, and those who have worked out theories based upon their statements, had left the whole matter where the Prophet Joseph left it; but this they failed to do. Then opponents took up the question, and insisted that the theory of translation, hitherto commonly accepted, requires us to charge all the faults in diction and errors in grammar to the Lord; and also urge that we have no right, under this theory of translation, to change a single word of the translation, and some Latter-day Saints take the same view.

    The correspondent last quoted also says: "It is enough for me to know that the Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith, by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim." The present writer might join in that simple, bigoted refrain, and say "for me, too." But what of those for whom it is not enough? What of the many young men in the Church who hear the objections urged by the opponents of the Book of Mormon, based upon the hitherto popular conception of the manner in which the translation was accomplished -- what of them? What of the earnest inquirers, in the world, whose knowledge of languages, and of translation, teaches them that the hitherto popular conception of the translation of the Book of Mormon is an absurdity, not to say an impossibility -- what of them? What of the elders in the mission field who are constantly coming in contact with these questions involved in

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             287

    the manner of translating the Book of Mormon, and are asking -- as they have been asking for years -- for some rational explanation of these matters -- what of them? It is not enough, in the presence of the controversies that have arisen out of Messrs. Whitmer and Harris's unfortunate partial explanations, to say that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and that is enough for one to know.

    It is not a question involving merely the wisdom or unwisdom of setting up a "theory" of the manner in which the translation of the Book of Mormon was accomplished. A "theory" already existed, based upon the statements of Messrs. Whitmer and Harris, which, as generally understood, was untenable. This had to be corrected; and the truth, so far as possible, ascertained and expounded. It was not the desire to create a new theory respecting the translation of the Book of Mormon that prompted the writer of the Manual to advance such explanations as are there made. Indeed, the theory set forth in the Manual did not originate with him. The difficulties involved in the hitherto commonly accepted theory of translation have long been recognized by Book of Mormon students; and often have been the subject of conversation between this writer and Elder George Reynolds, President Anthon H. Lund, members of the Manual committee, and others; and this writer by no means regards himself as the originator of what is sometimes called the new theory of the Book of Mormon translation.

    Meantime, the fact should be recognized by the Latter-day Saints that the Book of Mormon of necessity must submit to every test, to literary criticism, as well as to every other class of criticism; for our age is above all things critical, and especially critical of sacred literature, and we may not hope that the Book of Mormon will escape closest scrutiny;

    288                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    neither, indeed, is it desirable that it should escape. It is given to the world as a revelation from God. It is a volume of American scripture. Men have a right to test it by the keenest criticism, and to pass severest judgment upon it, and we who accept it as a revelation from God have every reason to believe that it will endure every test; and the more thoroughly it is investigated, the greater shall be its ultimate triumph. Here it is in the world; let the world make the most of it, or the least of it. It is and will remain true. But it will not do for those who believe it to suppose that they can dismiss objections to this American volume Of scripture by the assumption of a lofty air of superiority, and a declaration as to what is enough for us or anybody else to know. The Book of Mormon is presented to the world for its acceptance; and the Latter-day Saints are anxious that their fellow men should believe it. If objections are made to it, to the manner of its translation, with the rest, these objections should be patiently investigated, and the most reasonable explanations possible, given. This is what, in an unpretentious way, is attempted in the Manual. The position there taken is intended to be not destructive, but constructive; not iconoclastic, but conservative; not negative, but positive; and the writer is of opinion that time will vindicate the correctness of the views therein set forth.


    I find it necessary to refer again to the matter of a "literal translation" -- a word-for-word bringing over from one language into another, a thing which is practically impossible, if sense is to be expressed. Reference is again made to this subject because it seems to be the most stubborn obstacle in the way of the acceptance of the "Manual theory."

    [ 289 ]

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    Since writing the fore part of this article, a so-called "literal translation" of the Greek New Testament has fallen into my hands, extracts from which I think will help to illustrate the point at issue. It should be remembered in what is to follow, that this "literal translation" is only approximately so. The publishers themselves say, "We give the Greek text with an interlinear translation as literal as may be to be useful." To show that the "literal translation" is not and cannot be literal, it is only necessary to call attention to a few facts which the publishers of the Greek text and its translation themselves call attention to; namely, The word "master" is used in the authorized version (our common English version) to translate six different Greek words, all bearing different shades of meaning. The word "judgment" stands for eight different Greek words in the original. Of particles, "be" represents twelve different words; "but," eleven;; "for," eighteen; "in," fifteen; "of," thirteen; and "on," nine; and so with many other words. Where these facts obtain, to talk of "literal translation" is to talk of literal nonsense. Still, this so-called "literal translation" will be of assistance to us in this investigation, and I hope also somewhat convincing for the contention made here, and in the Manual, respecting the nature of the translation of the Book of Mormon.

    I give on the foregoing page the photograph of an entire page from the Greek New Testament. It will be observed that the Greek is given, and under each Greek word an English equivalent, "as literal as may be to be useful." Remember, not absolutely literal; and in the margin is the translation of our common English version.

    Now, for purposes of comparison, I give Paul's account of himself before King Agrippa from the so-called Greek "literal translation," and Nephi's account of himself taken from the Book of Mormon.

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             291


    And Agrippa to Paul said, it is allowed thee for thyself to speak. Then Paul made a defense, stretching out the hand: Concerning all of which I am accused by Jews, King Agrippa, I esteem myself happy being about to make defense before thee today, especially acquainted being thou of all the among Jews customs and also questions; wherefore I beseech thee patiently to hear me. The then manner of life my from youth, which from commencement was among my nation in Jerusalem, know all the Jews, who before knew me from the first, if they would bear witness that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now for hope of thee to the Father's promise made by God, I stand being judged, to which our twelve tribes intently night and day serving hope to arrive; concerning which hope I am accused, O King Agrippa, by the Jews. Why incredible is it judged by you if God dead raises? I indeed therefore thought in myself to the name of Jesus the Nazarine I ought many things contrary to do.


    I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days -- nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my day; yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews, and the language of the Egyptians. And I know that the record which I make, is true; and I make it according to my knowledge. For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, (my father Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days;) and in that same year there came many prophets prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.

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    In order that it may be seen that the difference between even an approximately "literal translation," and the translation of the Book of Mormon, holds good in other forms of composition as well as personal narrative, I place the following doctrinal explanations before the reader for purpose of comparison:


    For better, doing good, if wills the will of God, to suffer, than doing evil; because indeed Christ once for sins suffered, just for unjust, that us he might bring to God; having been put to death in flesh, but made alive by the spirit, in which also to the imprisoned spirits having gone he preached, disobeyed sometimes, when once was waiting the of God long suffering in the days of Noe, being prepared ark, into which few, that is eight souls, were saved through water, which also us figure now saves baptism, not of flesh a putting away Of filth, but of a conscience good demand towards God, by resurrection of Jesus Christ who is at right hand of God, gone into heaven, having been subjected to him, angels, authorities and powers.


    And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen; but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the, same state [in] which they were, after they were created; and they must have remained forever and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore, they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh-in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.

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    This will doubtless be sufficient to show the difference between a somewhat "literal translation" and one which is evidently not a "literal," or word-for-word bringing over from one language into another. The difference between the two things as indicated here is very great. Still not so great as it would be if we were in possession of a real "literal translation." One other thing also should be remembered; namely, that however sharp the difference is between a somewhat "literal translation" of the Greek and the translation of the Book of Mormon, a "literal translation" from the Nephite reformed Egyptian language would undoubtedly indicate a still sharper difference, for the reason that our English idiom undoubtedly conforms more readily to the Greek than it would to the Nephite language; so that, great as the differences are in the foregoing illustrations, they would be still more sharply defined if the Book of Mormon were a word-for-word bringing over from the Nephite language into the English -- if such a thing were possible. Enough, however, is here apparent to make it plain that the Book of Mormon is not a "literal translation" from the Nephite language, that is, in the sense of being brought over word for word and letter for letter from the Nephite into the English. The translation of the Book of Mormon is English in idiom, and the idiom of the time and locality where it was produced, as all must know who read it, and especially those who have read the first edition of it. It having been determined, then, that the translation of the Book of Mormon is in English idiom, the question remains, Whose is it? The Urim and Thummim's, the Lord's, or is it Joseph Smith's? And who is responsible for its palpable errors? The Lord, or man? With that question in mind, read the following few sample passages from among many that might be quoted of like

    294                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    character from the first edition. Speaking of Urim and Thummim the following occurs:

    "And the things are called interpreters; and no man can look in them, except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he had not ought, and he should perish; * * * but a seer can know of things Which has past, and also of things which is to come * * * and hidden things shall come to light, and things which is not known shall be made known by them." (Page 173.)

    "Blessed are they who humbleth themselves without being compelled to be humble." (Page 314.)

    "Little children doth have words given unto them many times which doth confound the wise and the learned. (Page 315.)

    "But they had fell into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God." (Page 310.)

    "Have mercy on me, who art in the gall of bitterness and art encircled about by the everlasting chains of death." (Page 325.)

    "I have always retained in remembrance their captivity, yea, and ye also had ought to retain in remembrance, as I have their captivity; * * * for ye had ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye had ought to know also that inasmuch as ye shall not keep the commandments of God, ye shall be cut off from his presence. ( Page 326. )

    "Behold I say unto you, that it is him that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world." (Page 333.)

    My son, do not risk one more offense against your God* * * which ye hath hitherto risked to commit sin; * * * for that which ye doth send out shall return unto you again." (Page 337.)

    "And thus ended the record of Alma, which was wrote upon the plates of Nephi. (Page 347.)

    "And this shall be your language in them days: But behold your days of probation is past."

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    Are these flagrant errors in grammar chargeable to the Lord? To say so is to invite ridicule. The thoughts, the doctrines, are well enough; but the awkward, ungrammatical expression of the thoughts is, doubtless, the result of the translator's imperfect knowledge of the English language, [v] for which lack of knowledge he is not one whit blameable, since his lack of education was due entirely to his want of opportunity for acquiring learning. And, moreover, the errors are just such errors as one circumstanced as the translator was, would make. Again, I say for the translation, what Moroni says for the original Nephite record: "If there be errors, they are the errors of man," not God's errors. Let us rid ourselves of the reproach of charging error, even though it be of forms of expression, unto God, in whom and in whose ways there are no errors at all.

    One correspondent to the Era, after making some objections to the "Manual theory" of the translation of the Book of Mormon, closes his communication with the following post script:

    [v] Of course...

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    "P. S. -- We don't think the writer of the Manual should answer this. Give us better authority.

    It Would have pleased the writer of the Manual had the Editor of the Era thought proper to have referred these questions concerning the translation of the Book of Mormon to someone else -- to better authority -- and there are many better authorities; but the Editors have seen proper to refer the questions to the Manual writer, and they have received such consideration as he is able to give them, within the compass of this article. Since the questions were referred to him, however, the Deseret News editorially has taken up the subject, and I am very pleased with the opportunity of presenting to this post script writer the better authority for which he longs; but he may be disappointed in the fact that the News writer sees this matter of translation substantially in the same light in which it was presented by the Manual:


    "We have received from one of the wards in Idaho the following question, which we are requested to answer through the columns of the Deseret News. As it does not relate to any local matter which would come under the immediate jurisdiction of the ward or stake authorities, and is a subject that is receiving much attention just now, we will respond to the desire of our friend on this matter, as we are able. The question asked is as follows:

    "'Did Joseph Smith the Prophet, in translating the Book of Mormon, use his own language in translating the book into the English language, or did he use what appeared to him in the Urim and Thummim as the interpretation of the Nephite characters, and would it pass away before it was correctly written?'

    "We are of the opinion that the Manual for 1905-1906,

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    prepared as a guide to the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association in the study of the Book of Mormon, will give a sufficient answer. But there is some conflict of opinion, in consequence of statements purporting to have been made by David Whitmer and Martin Harris, concerning the manner in which the Prophet Joseph obtained the interpretation of the characters inscribed upon the metallic plates, which were in "reformed Egyptian" hieroglyphics. The idea conveyed by those statements was that when the Prophet Joseph looked into the Urim and Thummim he saw the characters that were on the plates, and underneath them their meaning in the English language, and that when reading them to the scribe who wrote for him, the line would not disappear and another take its place unless it was copied correctly.

    The history of the Prophet Joseph Smith, prepared from his diary, does not afford that information, nor do we know of anything authentic as coming from him which gives a description or explanation of the manner of translation of the Nephite record. One thing, however, is very clear to us, and that is, that whether in prophecy or preaching or translating, the man inspired of God is not simply a talking machine, but one who is divinely impressed and enlightened, and whose understanding is quickened and enlarged, but who still possesses all his faculties and the free agency which God has given to all mankind.

    If all that was necessary for the Seer was to look into the instrument given to him as an aid in the work of translation, there would have been no real necessity for his possession of the plates, which he had to guard with such care. And if every word in English was supplied to him in the way supposed, it is not likely that any errors either in grammar or composition would be seen. We have not the slightest doubt that with the aid of those stones, and by the gift and power of God, Joseph was able to read the characters on the plates and understand their full significance, and that he expressed that in the ordinary language to which he was accustomed and according to his knowledge in the use of it, just as a person who translates anything from an ancient or modern language, the understanding of which he obtains

    298                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    by the ordinary means, and who would give it in English, according to the usual phraseology to which he was accustomed.

    "The prophets of old who spoke and wrote 'as moved upon by the Holy Ghost,' though inspired by the same spirit, expressed that which was given to them in their own way and with those distinctive peculiarities they each possessed. They were not acted upon against their own will, or as automatons. As Paul has it, 'The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.' Any one who has enjoyed the spirit of revelation, either in prophecy, in testimony, in preaching, in interpretation of tongues, or in other spiritual gifts, knows what it is to receive light and truth by the power of God, which he speaks in his own language and in his own manner-and style. He who has not been thus inspired, may not be able to understand how the meaning of the characters on the plates was made clear to the translator so that he could express it in his own language.

    "But the important fact in this important matter is, that Joseph Smith really received these ancient records, containing much of the history of this continent and an account of the dealings of God with the early inhabitants thereof; that he translated them into the English language; and that, according to the testimony of the three witnesses -- Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris -- the voice of the Lord declared that they were translated "by the gift and power of God," and therefore they were translated correctly. As to the exact modus operandi, there is nothing on record that we know of as coming from the Prophet himself.

    "The great truth remains, that we have the Book of Mormon, written in simple language, and that such imperfections as may be found in it are, as it declares itself, 'the mistakes of men,' and these are simply errors of language, of such small importance that the meaning is not obscured, but whoever reads may also understand. It gives a plain and succinct account of the manner in which this continent was peopled in early times, shows the origin of the present tribes of so-called Indians, unfolds the purposes of the Almighty concerning this hemisphere, expounds the principles

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             299

    of the everlasting gospel, by obedience to which mankind may be saved, and testifies that Jesus of Nazareth was in very deed the Son of the Eternal God and the Redeemer of the world. These great truths are invaluable, and the question concerning the exact manner of the translation of the Book is comparatively of little moment. -- Deseret Evening News, January 31, 1906.

    I think it proper at this point, also, to say, by way of personal explanation, and perhaps to some extent by way of defense against unkind criticisms that have been made of the writer of the Manual, because of the theory of translation therein advanced -- I think it proper to say, I repeat, that the present writer did not upon his own responsibility, and without consultation with those somewhat the guardians of these matters, set forth the theory of the Manual on the translation of the Book of Mormon. Chapter VII of the Manual, the one setting forth the Manual theory of translation, was submitted to the First Presidency, and several of the Apostles met together to consider the chapter, and to listen to the reasons which, in the writer's opinion, demanded that such an explanation of the translation should be given. After listening to Chapter VII, and hearing the reasons for making such explanations therein contained, it was moved and carried that such chapter be published in the Manual, and it was published accordingly.

    This statement is not made with a view of making the First Presidency and the Twelve, who were present and voted upon the subject, responsible for the ideas advanced; the motion then taken carried with it no such consequences. It meant only that the brethren then consulted were willing that the present writer should publish those views in the Young Men's Manual; but primarily he, the writer, stands responsible for the views there expressed -- a responsibility,

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    by the way, which he is very willing to carry; but he is anxious to have the Latter-day Saints understand, and especially the young men in Israel, that in setting forth the Manual theory of translating .the Book of Mormon, the writer was not seeking to gratify his personal vanity by advancing some novel theory, and pushing it to the front regardless of the opinions of others, or the general interests of the work. The same correspondent also says:

    "The theory of the Manual is having a bad effect upon our best Book of Mormon students."

    With all due respect to the gentleman's opinion, I desire to say to him that he is entirely mistaken. The "Manual theory" of translation is having no such effect; but, on the contrary, Book of Mormon students everywhere are rejoicing in the fact that the "Manual theory" of translation gives them a rational defense against the criticisms that are urged against the faulty language of the English translation of that book. Many errors, verbal and grammatical, have already been eliminated in the later English editions, and there is no valid reason why everyone of those that remain should not be eliminated, since it is the thought, the facts of the book, that one should be concerned in preserving, not the forms in which they happen to be cast. There is no good reason why we should not have just as good a Book of Mormon in the English language as they now have in the French, the German, the Swedish and the Danish, and (since the recent revision of it) in the Hawaiian; for in these translations, it has not been thought necessary to perpetuate the English errors; nor do I believe it necessary to perpetuate them in our English editions. By making merely verbal changes, and changes in grammatical construction, without changing the shade of a single idea or statement,

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             301

    changes that could be legitimately authorized by the President of the Church -- who is the recognized law giver in Israel, and guardian of the written word -- the Book of Mormon could be made a classic in English, and the present writer hopes that he will live to see those verbal and grammatical changes authorized.



    April 28, 1906.    
    President B. H. Roberts, Salt Lake City:

    DEAR BROTHER: -- As a subscriber to the Era I have also received the Manual from year to year, and I have perused them with much interest. I have carefully studied the lessons or chapters pertaining to the translation of the Book of Mormon, and have read your articles, published in the recent numbers of the Era, written as a defense of your theory of translation as set forth in the Manual.

    It is not my intention to enter into any controversy with you in relation to this theory, this would be presumptuous on my part. Neither do I want to criticize, but inasmuch as we have no sure authority, no word left us from the Prophet, neither anything revealed putting this matter beyond a doubt, the field is open for theorizing. I would readily accept your theory with just one amendment, and to propose that amendment I write you these lines. While reading one of your articles, a thought was suggested to me like this: May it not have been that the Prophet did see, as related, through the Urim and Thummim the translation of each sentence from the plates into the English language, but in a so-called word for work or literal translation; and from this odd rendering, it became his task to put the sentence into readable English? Taking this view of it, we can account

    302                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    for how the language of the Book of Mormon is in part modern and in part decidedly ancient. The Prophet having used partly the words as they appeared, and, in order to put it into proper form, used or supplied words of his own. This will account for all errors, and place the responsibility for them where it must belong, with man and not with God. It would give due importance and credit to the sacred instruments, and would leave ample scope for the Prophet to exercise his own mental powers. It would make the statements of Martin Harris and David Whitmer in relation to the translation substantially correct, and it would also be in perfect harmony with what the Lord made known to Oliver Cowdery in relation to the mode of translation.

    I don't know, of course, what objections you may see to this idea, but shall be pleased, if you are not too busy to do so, if you will write me a line in relation to it.
                     With kind regards, your brother, ________


    SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, June 1, 1906.    
    DEAR BROTHER: -- Your esteemed favor of April 28th duly to hand, and contents read with pleasure; but have not found opportunity to write you on the subject of your letter until now. The solution you suggest as to difficulties involved in the alleged manner of translating the Book of Mormon have been urged upon my attention by others, but, unfortunately, not always in the clear and temperate spirit of your communication. I have several letters before me now asking if the supposition you suggest is not tenable, and would it not relieve us of whatever remains of difficulties, after accepting the chief ideas advanced in the Manual theory of translation. I have had a number of conversations with others on the same subject, and it may interest you to know that one of the prominent professors in one of

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             303

    our principal Church institutions of learning very earnestly entertains the same theory.

    Your theory is so clearly and completely stated in your letter that it need not be restated by me. All you ask is my opinion of it.

    Frankly, then, in the first place, I cannot see that it helps us out of our difficulties at all. In the second place, it still involves us in the absurdity of supposing some kind of intellectual or mental force in the transparent stones of the Urim and Thummim. And in the third place, all the supposed harmonizing effect of your suggestion is already found in the Manual theory of translation.

    Of course, however, the whole point at issue in my consideration of your suggestion, is the probability of its being true; for if we can but get at the truth of the matter for once, all other considerations, in time will take care of themselves, -- the difficulties in which it might seemingly involve us, the harmonizing of all seeming inconsistencies, all seeming conflict of testimonies of the uncritical persons who were honored of God in bringing forth the work, etc. So now, as to the probability of the truth of your suggestion.

    First, I must demur somewhat to your remark that we have nothing "revealed putting this matter beyond a doubt;" I am rather inclined to think we have. The more I think of the Lord's revelation to Oliver Cowdery describing the manner in which he might have exercised the gift of translation by means of Urim and Thummim, had his faith not failed him (Doc. and Cov., secs. viii, ix), the more I am convinced that we have the Lord's description of the manner in which translation by means of Urim and Thummim is accomplished. That is the word of the Lord, to which all theories must conform, whatever becomes of merely human testimonies. Now with this as the premise, I hold that it is clear that the power which stands between the Nephite

    304                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    characters seen through the Urim and Thummim, and the English translation of these, is the inspired mind of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and not any intellectual or mental power in the transparent stones of the divine instrument. To suppose that Urim and Thummim, by some means, and necessarily it must have been intellectual means, some mental process, made a transliteration from the Nephite characters in exact though awkward and often meaningless English equivalents, which Joseph Smith constructs into his unlearned, yet plainly understood English, (your theory) is to transcend all human experience and knowledge which God has revealed, and lands us back into the midst of all the difficulties from which we are trying to escape. To explain:

    It nowhere appears from anything which man has discovered, or that God has revealed, that there is any substance, from street mud to radium, from a mountain to an atom, or an electron, aside from mind, that possesses intellectual or mental force, the only force conceivable as translating the thought crystalized in the symbols of one language, into thought crystalized into the symbols of another language -- intellectual or mental force alone, I say, must be supposed to be capable of doing such work as that. If the Urim and Thummim possessed that intellectual power it must have been conferred upon it of God, and under that supposition, we are brought face to face again with all our old difficulties, chief of which is the question: If God created such an instrument, and conferred upon it the power to give a transliteration of the Nephite characters, how is it that he did not give it the power to translate the meaning into reasonable and readable, not to say perfect English, at first hand, and relieve us of the awkward supposition that the instrument possessed the mental power to make the literal translation of words from the Nephite language into another -- and which

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             305

    Joseph Smith was left to construct into imperfect English? What would be gained by the adoption of this cumbersome and, pardon me, I think, untenable theory ? And again, what occasion for it, when we have the more simple and reasonable theory of the Manual which is in accord with what God has revealed upon the subject, and not necessarily contradictory of what Messrs. Whitmer and Harris have said upon the subject? In order that this may appear, I restate the Manual theory: The Prophet saw the Nephite characters in the Urim and Thummim; through strenuous mental effort, the exercise of faith and the operation of the inspiration of God upon his mind, he obtained the thought represented by the Nephite characters, understood them in the Nephite characters, understood them in the Nephite language, and then expressed the understanding, the thought, in such language as he was master of; which language, as his mind by mental processes arranged it, was reflected and held to his vision in Urim and Thummim until written by his amanuensis. That leaves all the factors involved in the work of translation in their true relation: The Urim and Thummim an aid to the Prophet in the work, yet not necessarily, and contrary to human experience and knowledge revealed of God, endowed with intellectual power; the mind of the Prophet, touched through his faith by the inspiration of God, the chief factor; the testimony of Messrs. Harris and Whitmer that both Nephite characters and the English translation appeared in the Urim and Thummim, undisturbed and unimpaired.

    That I believe to be the truth of the matter, so far as it may be ascertained, and the certainty of it grows apace. The compromise suggestion you make -- you recognize the fact, of course, that it is purely conjecture -- I do not think can stand, but it indicates an advancement from the old untenable

    306                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    theory. That old theory cannot be successfully maintained; that is, the Urim and Thummim did the translating, the Prophet, nothing beyond repeating what he saw reflected in that instrument; that God directly or indirectly is responsible for the verbal and grammatical errors of translation. To advance such a theory before intelligent and educated people is to unnecessarily invite ridicule, and make of those who advocate it candidates for contempt.

    Since receiving your letter I have received a communication from Ann Arbor, Michigan, written by Brother Francis W. Kirkham, of Provo, the body of which is as follows:

    "A paper on 'Mormonism' was recently read before the seminary class in American History at this university. The writer was very fair, and I believe tried to be impartial. In the paper the manner of the interpretation of the Book of Mormon as described by Martin Harris was brought to its only logical conclusion. Our professor stopped the reader and asked if 'Joseph Smith had made the statement which seemed so incredulous.'

    "'I am not sure,' was the reply, 'yet this appears to be the Mormon explanation of the manner of interpretation.'

    "Later I gave copies of the last Manual to both our professor and my fellow classmate. Both myself and another Mormon boy who listened to the paper, heartily wished that the correspondents you found it necessary to answer in the last two numbers of the Era had been seated in the room. We believe a cure would have been the result."

    Desiring something more in detail on this circumstance, Edward H. Anderson, assistant Editor of the Era, wrote to Elder Kirkham for further particulars. Following is the body of the letter received in reply to this request:

    "The paper was on Mormonism. In discussing

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             307

    the Book of Mormon, the reader followed largely the argument of Mr. Frank Pierce in a number of the American Archaeologist. [I can get the exact reference when I return to Ann Arbor.] I did not read the article in full, but it quoted from the writings of Martin Harris, and others. Mr. Pierce claimed he gave the Mormon account of the interpretation of the golden plates, which is, he said, that Joseph Smith, Jr., saw the exact words he was to write in the transparent stone spectacles and that the words would not disappear until the scribe had written them exactly as the Lord had given them. Mr. Pierce also gave the testimony of the printer of the original edition of the Book of Mormon in which he testified that the 'Smiths' would not allow him to change the manuscript in the least, although he was aware of its crudeness.

    "When the reader of the paper had made the above assertions concerning the interpretation of the Book of Mormon, our professor spoke up and said: 'Are you sure Joseph Smith said this was the manner of the interpretation?' 'No,' was the reply, I am not sure.' 'Well,' continued our professor, 'It is very important that we know, for, if Joseph Smith did make the assertions you speak of, there seems to me but one logical conclusion, either the Lord intentionally made all the mistakes of the first edition and colored the writings with the provincialisms of New York state, or, that the Lord was unable to speak correctly or use other than the phrases and mannerisms of the locality in which Joseph Smith lived."

    "I wrote to Elder B. H. Roberts the letter because we regret it, because we realize that the Martin Harris theory of the interpretation is contrary to common sense and reason."

    It is no use resisting the matter, the old theory must be abandoned. It could only come into existence and remain so long and now be clung to by some so tenaciously because our fathers and our people in the past and now were and

    308                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    are uncritical. [r] They have been and are now -- and to their honor be it said -- more concerned with the fact of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon and the great work it introduced than to the modus operandi of its translation. Overwhelmed by a divine testimony of its truth they have paid little attention to the precise manner by which it was brought forth. It is doubtful if the Prophet Joseph himself was conscious of the mental and spiritual processes of translation. It was not his part in the great work to distinguish all the minutae of the process by which the word of God came to him. It was his higher and nobler part to feel and know the word of God in his own soul; to receive that word through the aids and means provided of God, and to proclaim that word of God to the world, leaving to others the less important task of expounding it, unifying its parts, harmonizing it with previous revelations, proving it true, analyzing it, defending it when assailed. And in the process of attending to the part of the work of God the Prophet left to us, we meet with the necessity of explaining the manner of translating the Book of Mormon, so far as it can be ascertained, in order to defend the book from assaults made upon it by mocking unbelievers. One could wish that our own people would approach the consideration of the matter with less feeling and more reason than they do; for the whole effort on the part of those who put forth the Manual theory of translation is merely to ascertain the truth respecting the matter, and with the view of finding a basis from which the work may be successfully defended and advocated.

    These latter reflections bring to mind some observations

    [r] "It is no use...

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             309

    I remember to have read some time ago in the philosophical works of John Fiske respecting two classes of disciples or partisans in the world of religious and philosophical opinion, which I think with profit may be reproduced here. By the way, I see the passage I refer to occurs in the introduction to Fiske's Work, written by Josiah Boyce, and is as follows:

    "Disciples and partisans, in the world of religious and philosophical opinion, are of two sorts. There are, first, the disciples pure and simple, -- people who fall under the spell of a person or a doctrine, and whose whole intellectual life thenceforth consists in their partisanship. They expound, and defend, and ward off foes, and live and die faithful to the one formula. Such disciples may be indispensable at first in helping a new teaching to get a nonular hearing, but in the long run they rather hinder than help the wholesome growth of the very ideas that they defend: for great ideas live by growing, and a doctrine that has merely to be preached, over and over, in the same terms, cannot possibly be the whole truth. No man ought to be merely a faithful disciple of any other man. Yes, no man ought to be a mere disciple even of himself. We live spiritually by outliving our formulas, and by thus enriching our sense of their deeper meaning. Now the disciples of the first sort do not live in this larger and more spiritual sense. They repeat. And true life is never mere repetition.

    On the other hand, there are disciples of a second sort. They are men who have been attracted to a new doctrine by the fact that it gave expression, in a novel way, to some large and deep interest which had already grown up in themselves, and which had already come, more or less independently, to their own consciousness. They thus bring to the new teaching, from the first, their own personal contribution. The truth that they gain is changed as it enters their souls. The seed that the sower strews upon their fields springs up in their soil, and bears fruit, -- thirty, sixty, an hundred fold. They return to their master his own with

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    usury. Such men are the disciples that it is worth while for a master to have. Disciples of the first sort often become, as Schopenhauer said, mere magnifying mirrors wherein one sees enlarged, all the defects of a doctrine. Disciples of the second sort co-operate in the works of the Spirit; and even if they always remain rather disciples than originators, they help to lead the thought that they accept to a truer expression. They force it beyond its earlier and cruder stages of development."

    I believe Mormonism affords opportunity for disciples of the second sort; nay, that its crying need is for such disciples. It calls for thoughtful disciples who will not be content with merely repeating some of its truths, but will develop its truths; and enlarge it by that development. Not half -- not one-hundredth part -- not a thousandth part of that which Joseph Smith revealed to the Church has yet been unfolded, either to the Church or to the world. The work of the expounder has scarcely begun. The Prophet planted by teaching the germ-truths of the great dispensation of the fulness of times. The watering and the weeding is going on, and God is giving the increase, and will give it more abundantly in the future as more intelligent discipleship shall obtain. The disciples of Mormonism, growing discontented with the necessarily primitive methods which have hitherto prevailed in sustaining the doctrine, will yet take profounder and broader views of the great doctrines committed to the Church; and, departing from mere repetition, will cast them in new formulas; co-operating in the works of the Spirit, until "they help to give to the truth received a more forceful expression, and carry it beyond the earlier and cruder stages of its development." Another has said:

    "The ultimate Truth, no doubt, is one; but Truth as it enters the world through human lips is always involved in

                                MANUAL  THEORY.                             311

    temporary forms, which subsequent experience. enlarges or corrects. No historic religion, therefore, can ever claim finality; and the work of religious founders is not so much to create systems of thought as to impart those impulses of moral endeavor and spiritual affection which the Christian sums up under the term "life." [s]

    You see once having got started, I have gone beyond the inquiries of your letter, though I hope not unprofitably so. And, by the way, since there are a number who are inclined to the view of the manner of translation suggested by you, is there any objection in your mind, to publishing this correspondence as a part of the very interesting consideration now being given to the subject of which it treats? [t]
                 Very truly yours,
                           B. H. ROBERTS.




    [ 313 ]



    [ 315 ]


    The following brief discussion on the Book of Mormon, while very limited in its scope, will doubtless be of interest as illustrating the manner in which answer can be made to objections urged against the American scriptures on the ground of imperfections in grammar, modern phraseology, New York localisms, apparent transcripts from King James' translation from the Bible, etc. Also the discussion may indicate how helpless one would be in defending the Book of Mormon from such criticism as is made in "M's" papers, in the absence of such a theory of translation as is set forth in the Young Men's Improvement Manual and in the series of papers preceding this brief discussion.

    The writer disclaims having issued a "challenge to the world," or to anybody in it, to debate the question of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon in his remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on the 8th of November, 1903, or at any other time. The remarks on that occasion merely dealt with what the writer considers a prophetic page in the Book of Mormon, page 122 of the current edition, and which is as follows:


    "2. For behold, I say unto you, That as many of the Gentiles as will repent, are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent, shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none, save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

    "3. And now, I would prophecy somewhat more concerning

    316                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

    "4. And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

    "5. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

    "6. And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.

    "7. And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered, also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ, shall also become a delightsome people.

    "8. And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

    "9. And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity, for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked;

    "10. For the time speedily cometh, that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people; and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.

    "11. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

    "12. And then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the. (End of Page)

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    Here on this one page are at least five very striking prophecies:

    1. Many shall believe the Book of Mormon: a thing which seemed most improbable when the book was in course of publication.

    2. They will carry it to the Lamanites -- American Indians;

    3. The Lamanites by that means will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, come to a knowledge of their fathers, will rejoice in the truth, and finally become a delightsome people;

    4. The Jews, after the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, will begin to believe in Christ, and begin to gather to the lands of their fathers -- Palestine.

    5. The work of the Lord on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon will begin among all nations, in order to bring to pass the restoration of Israel in the earth. [u]

    In the discourse which treated of this "prophetic page" the writer expressed the opinion that these prophecies and their direct and remarkable fulfillment could not be accounted for on any other hypothesis than that the writer of them was inspired of God. And this was construed into the "Challenge to the World" referred to in the following papers. If the writer's remarks could fairly be considered as a challenge, then surely these prophecies and the question of their fulfillment should have been the main subject of discussion; but consideration of them forms scarcely any part of the debate which follows, they are almost ignored, and quite other questions are the subject of the debate; for which however, the writer is in no way responsible.

    [u] These peophecies...

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    (Salt Lake City Tribune, Nov. 22, 1903.)

    Editor Tribune: -- According to the newspaper reports, Elder B. H. Roberts, in his Tabernacle address Sunday, November 8th, threw out a sweeping challenge to the world to show that the Book of Mormon is not of divine origin and authority.

    Since Elder Roberts, on the occasion above referred to, confined his attention mainly to the writings of the alleged Prophet Nephi, we will do the same. Now the following are some of the difficulties Elder Roberts will have to explain before he can make any headway toward setting aside the intelligent belief of the American people generally that the Book of Mormon in general and the books of Nephi in particular are fictitious books:


    1. The alleged Prophet Nephi claims to have lived and written between 500 and 600 B.C. For he tells us in chapter 1 and 10 of the first book that his father was living in Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, which reign began not far from 600 B.C. This professed prophet Nephi pretends to give a summary of the records made by his father Lehi, about that date, and also "an account of my proceedings in my days." Now the first difficulty for Elder Roberts to remove is this: How could a

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    writer, claiming to live at that time, make repeated quotations from the writings of Christ's Apostles, who were not born until nearly 600 years after the time when Nephi wrote? Yet this pretended prophet Nephi quotes passage after passage from the writings of Christ's apostles Matthew and John and Paul, and also from the writings of the evangelist Luke, and from the words of the Apostle Peter, which Christian writers were born about the beginning of the Christian era. Just take two or three examples of Nephi's quotations, made at least 500 years before the writers were born from whom he quotes: In I Nephi x:8, we read these words, so familiar to English Bible readers: "Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." This is a direct quotation from the gospel of John 1:26-7, and also from Matthew 3:1.

    On the same page in Nephi are several quotations from the writings of Paul, in the 11th of Romans, about the olive tree, and the "branches broken off," with others "grafted in." In I Nephi iii:20 we find the expression, "which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets * * * since the world began." These are the words of Peter as recorded by Luke in Acts iii:21. The above is an illustration of the way in which this alleged Prophet Nephi quotes from the writers of the New Testament. This is fraud No. 1, exposing the false claims of Nephi, who pretends to write between 500 and 600 years B.C. and yet quotes from the New Testament writers who were not born until over 500 years later. The Old Testament prophets were genuine. They did, by the help of God, foretell many important future events. But none of them pretended to be able,

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    either by the help of God, or their own agility, to quote passage after passage from writings that did not exist, and from authors that had not been born. It remained for the favorite prophet of Elder B. H. Roberts, the robust and agile Nephi, to perform this feat, beyond the reach of God's genuine prophets.


    2. This alleged Prophet Nephi, pretending to write between 500 and 600 B.C., actually quotes from Shakespeare! This beats the genuine prophets of the Old Testament even worse than before, and shows that, on a prophetic long jump, this elastic Nephi could easily take the cake. In II Nephi i:14, he is writing down the words of his father Lehi, and represents him as saying, "hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent gave, from whence no traveler can return."

    Every reader of Shakespeare will recognize the last phrase as taken, in substance, from a sentence in Hamlet's soliloquy. This great Prophet Nephi (writing, be it remembered, between 500 and 600 B.C.) had probably loaned his copy of Shakespeare to a neighbor and attempted to quote from memory, getting about as near the original as the average Mormon prophet generally does, for example, when attempting to quote the scriptures from memory. Here is fraud No. 2 perpetrated by this pretended prophet Nephi, from which Elder Roberts must vindicate his hero, or else leave us to conclude, as facts seem to show, that the writer of these books of Nephi was quite a modern deceiver.

    3. This brings us to another serious difficulty which we ask Elder Roberts to elucidate before we can accept his theory that Nephi was a prophet of God, and that the book of Mormon is a divine revelation. This alleged Prophet

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    Nephi, professing to write between 500 and 600 B.C., quotes many long passages from a book which did not come into existence until the seventeenth century of the Christian era. We refer to the King James English version of the Bible, which was first published in 1611 A. D. Now, perhaps Elder Roberts can tell us how this fellow Nephi, pretending to write in the sixth century before Christ, could quote hundreds of passages, about three hundred, from the New Testament alone, and whole chapters from our English version of the Bible, which did not come into existence for more than 2000 years after he wrote!

    This stuffed Prophet Nephi gives himself completely away in the very first chapter, and shows that he is a very modern writer by using such well-known expressions as these from our English Bible: "Pillar of fire," Exodus xiv: 24; "Filled with the spirit," Ephesians v: 18; "Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty," Revelation xv: 3. These hundreds of passages, and these whole chapters. in II Nephi and elsewhere, from our English Bible, be it observed, are quoted not from the original, which would not help the! matter, for the original of the New Testament did not exist; but they are quoted from the English translation of 1611, mistakes and all, even to the filling in of the peculiar gaps in the way suggested by the English translators.

    Now, these hundreds of verbatim quotations, and these whole chapters from our English Bible, which claim to be quoted over 2000 years before it was written, should make it quite clear, even to the average mind, that this pretended Nephi instead of being an ancient prophet was a very modern one, a pious deceiver and falsifier, living about 1829 of our era. But, perhaps, Elder Roberts can explain it all, and show us how this modern deceiver in the nineteenth century was an ancient prophet of God 600. B.C.

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    4. This alleged Prophet Nephi gives himself away even worse in the 31st chapter of the second book by forgetting that he was pretending to write in the sixth century before Christ and treating the baptism of Christ as actual history, which it really was. He not only refers to it in the past tense, but actually indulges in a regular camp-meeting exhortation to the "brethren," exhorting them, in accordance with the revival style of 1828, to "repent of their sins," and "follow their Lord and Savior down into the water," promising that after that they shall have "the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."

    This is deception No. 4, and shows that Sidney Rigdon Nephi, in 1828, forgetting that he was an ancient prophet living six centuries before Christ, broke loose in his regular old camp-meeting style, and just "whooped up" the brethren, without his deceiver's mask. Nephi, a divinely inspired prophet of God! Holy Moses, preserve us! If Nephi, with the above record, or the godless fellow who personated him, deserves honor as a prophet, then great injustice was done to Boss Tweed in not electing him President of the American Bible Society. For clearly he had more religion than this alleged Prophet Nephi with his conscienceless deception in connection with sacred things.

    Come, Brother Roberts, if you can't back up that other alleged prophet, Joseph Smith, with something more substantial, something less imaginary and fictitious than these pretended prophetic writings of Nephi, from which we have been quoting, then you better drop Nephi as a prophet and fall back on Coriantumr, Shiz or Robinson Crusoe.

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    WHAT  IS  NEW  IN  IT?

    5. If the Book of Mormon, as Elder Roberts claims, is a revelation from God, what moral or religious truth does it reveal which we did not know before? Not one item. If Elder Roberts will point me to one solitary item of moral or spiritual truth in the whole Book of Mormon which it did not take, directly or indirectly, from the Bible, I will present him with a five-dollar Stetson hat. I know it cannot be done, for it has been attempted in vain again and again. What sense is there in calling the Book of Mormon a revelation from God, when it took from the Bible the only moral truth it contains, and is shown on its face to be a counterfeit book?

    Now, a few words about the pretended prophecies of the wonderful Nephi, which Elder Roberts claims have been fulfilled. Here is the way in which prophecies are made and fulfilled in the Book of Mormon: It either takes the historic record in the New Testament, using the very words of Scripture, tries to push this history back hundreds of years and then falsely claims it to be prophetic; or else it deliberately appropriates the genuine prophecies of the Old Testament. Then, after mutilating these prophecies more or less, with its peculiar Sidney Rigdon phraseology and most abominable grammar, it attempts to palm off these prophecies as original! The prophecy about the restoration of the Jews to their own land, which Elder Roberts quotes from second Nephi, and thinks is so wonderful, is simply a case of downright plagiarism. The conversion of the Jews and their restoration to their own land is repeatedly foretold by the Old Testament prophets, in such passages as Jeremiah xxx:3; Ezekiel xxxvii:21; Amos ix:15, and others. Yet the writer of this book of Nephi does not hesitate to take

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    these prophecies from the Bible, modify their language, and then try to palm them off as his own.

    As for the two pretended prophecies referred to by Mr. Roberts, in II Nephi xxx:3, that "Many shall believe the words which are written," and that "They shall carry them forth to the remnant of our seed," the first is not a prophecy at all, but the simple statement of a well-known historical fact, yet perverted by the attempt to make it bolster up this modern book. In saying that it is the statement of a historical fact, we mean this: The Book of Mormon, as shown above, is made up of hundreds upon hundreds of Bible phrases and verses, and many whole chapters taken from our English Bible. As a matter of course, these Bible quotations which form such a large per cent of the Book of Mormon, are accepted and believed by the 400 millions who make up Christendom.

    The other passage Mr. Roberts misreads and misinterprets by making "the remnant of our seed" refer to the Lamanites. Then he assumes, without one item of proof, that the Lamanites are the same as our Indians. According to Nephi, the Lamanites were the descendants of his brother Laman, and were consequently Jews, for Laman was a Jew. Now Ridpath, the American historian, in the second paragraph of his history of the United States, sums up the evidence concerning the connection between the Indians and the Jews in this one sentence: "The notion that the Indians are descendants of the Israelites is absurd."

    Furthermore, the writer of the book of Nephi jumbles up his own history and contradicts himself in appearing to make "the remnant of our seed" refer to the Lamanites, as in Nephi xxx:6. Nephi writes as a Jew, and his seed or the "remnant" of it, will inevitably be Jews and Nephites, and not Lamanites. The latter descended from Laman and

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    not from Nephi, and hence could not be the "remnant" of Nephi.

    But what is the use of talking seriously about the Nephites and the Lamanites when no such people ever existed in this country except in the wild imagination of the writer of a piece of fictitious stuff, out of which this Book of Mormon was manufactured. The Nephites and Lamanites never had one whir more reality than the peculiar inhabitants of the famous island of Lilliput, as described by that model Mormon historian, Lemuel Gulliver, whom Dean Swift portrays.


    Abundant proof has been given above that the Book of Mormon is not an ancient, but a .very modern book, and not only a modern book, but a modern imposition by pretending to be an ancient book and revelation from God, when it reveals nothing in the way of moral truth which it did not steal from the Bible.

    We are sorry to see a man of Mr. Roberts' ability fooling away his time and thought in the useless attempt to bolster up as a divine revelation that which the intelligent reading millions of the American people are persuaded is fabrication. If the fact that 200,000 people, more or less, believe in the Book of Mormon, proves that a false book is a true one, then Mrs. Eddy's book far outranks the Book of Mormon in merit, for her 'book has a million supporters. But Mr. Roberts is correct in one statement, namely: that if the Book of Mormon is a false book, then it would follow that "the great prophet of the Latter-day movement is a fraud." Well, if there is any one fact which is generally accepted and believed by the reading, thinking millions of

    326                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    this country, without regard to party or creed, it is that Joseph Smith was not a prophet. And they believe this because of the abundant and varied evidence in regard to his life and conduct.

    If Mr. Roberts is really in earnest in desiring to know the actual origin of the Book of Mormon, the character of the men who manufactured it and the kind of pretenders they were, socially and morally, let him read the first eleven chapters of the "Origin and Progress of Mormonism," by that well-informed and reliable historian, Pomeroy Tucker of Palmyra, New York. He was well acquainted with Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and other Mormon leaders of that early time, and was for a dozen years near neighbor to the founder of Mormonism and all his family. Mr. Tucker was the editor and proprietor of the Wayne Sentinel, on whose press the first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed, Mr. Tucker himself correcting the proof sheets. His book was published by D. Appleton & Co., New York, in 1867. Mr. Tucker sets forth the character of the false prophet and those associated with the latter at that time from personal acquaintance and knowledge, and his book has been generally accepted as thoroughly honest and reliable.


    Now if Mr. Roberts can read the facts as set forth in Mr. Tucker's book, which have been confirmed by scores of reliable witnesses also acquainted with the facts, and still stand up in public and declare it to be his belief that Nephi was a prophet of God and the Book of Mormon is a revelation from God, he will force the general public to conclude rather that he is not a sincere man, or else that his peculiar

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    training prevents him from distinguishing between true reasoning and false, between facts and fiction, between honesty and fraud, between true revelation and that which is counterfeit. Because the facts in Mr. Tucker's book, confirmed by scores of witnesses of worthy character, have been amply sufficient to convince the reading, thinking, truth-loving millions of the American people generally that the Book of Mormon is fiction in pretending that a part of it was written 2400 and the rest 1500 years ago, when the proof that it is a modern book is shown on almost every page. The facts in Mr. Tucker's book have also convinced the American people generally that the alleged prophet was not a prophet.

    The above has been written with entire good will, in the interests of truth and historic facts. And when Mr. Roberts squarely meets the above difficulties, contradictions and absurdities in the Book of Mormon, not by wordy evasion and logical hair-splitting, however ingenious, but in a way that shall be satisfactory not only to his own mind but also to intelligent, reasoning, truth-loving minds generally, then perhaps he will be entitled to issue another sweeping challenge in behalf of a book which the American people generally, without regard to party or creed, believe to be a fabrication.   M.
    Salt Lake City, November 18, 1903.

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    (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 29, 1903.)

    Editor Tribune: -- If any words of mine in the remarks made in the Tabernacle on the 8th of November could be construed into a "challenge" to a public discussion of the Book of Mormon -- as the writers of headlines on some of the morning papers seem to think they could be -- when the challenge was accepted, the courtesy of debate would certainly require that the acceptance of the challenge should be otherwise than from ambush. I mean that I am entitled to know the name of my opponent, that I may judge somewhat of his character and standing. And why should the gentleman remain in cog? Is he ashamed to be known as engaging in such a discussion? Or is it a precaution he takes so that if his argument does not rise to the expectation of his friends, he may remain unknown behind the mystery of a single initial. If the first supposition be true, it is a difficulty he could easily have avoided; if the second suggestion be the true reason for his remaining unknown, he is to be commended for his cunning. I need say nothing of his courage.

    When on Saturday my attention was called to the editorial announcement that the alleged "challenge" had been accepted, and an article against the Book of Mormon would appear in The Tribune's Sunday issue, I remarked to a friend that I thought I could write an answer to the much-heralded

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    article without seeing it; and when on Sunday I read the Unknown's production I felt I had not been over-confident in the assertion, so closely has he followed in the well-beaten, not to say worn out, path of anti-Mormon argument. What a world of trouble Alexander Campbell would have saved many inferior disputants had he only stereotyped the objections he urged against the Book of Mormon in 1831! They then could have pointed to his utterances and said: "Them's my arguments." For from the days of Mr. Campbell until now, anti-Mormon geniuses have but rehashed the great man's arguments, with a uniform decadence in their strength, in proportion to the distance in time from which they are removed from him who first fashioned them. But now to the Unknown's "arguments."


    1. The Unknown states the fact that Nephi wrote between 600 and 500 B.C. and then presents what he calls the first difficulty that I am to overcome. "How can a writer," he asks, "claiming to live at that time make repeated quotations from the writings of Christ's Apostles who were not born until 600 years after the time when Nephi wrote? He then charges that Nephi quotes "passage after passage" from the writings of Christ's apostles, Matthew, John, Paul, Luke, Peter, etc.; and gives what he calls just "two or three examples" of such quotations. The gentleman very much overstates the difficulty he presents, by making it appear that the alleged quotations are very numerous, when the fact is that the two or three cases he cites virtually exhaust the alleged quoted passages so far as the New Testament is concerned. In order that your readers may see how flimsy

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    the charge here made is, I set down the quotations in question. (a) Nephi, describing his father's vision of the future coming of the Messiah, says: "And he spake also concerning a prophet who should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord; yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing." To make this appear as a plagiarism from the New Testament the Unknown puts together two passages: (1) "I baptize with water; but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who, coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose," (John i:26, 27). (2) "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea" (Matthew iii,) Of course, the story of the man who said he could prove that the Bible commanded every one to hang himself may be commonplace; but it illustrates the methods of the Unknown in making out his case of plagiarism. The proof was supplied in this way: He quoted the passage, "and Judas went out and hanged himself." Then from another passage, from another book, he quoted these words, "Go thou and do likewise." It must be remembered that the Nephites carried with them into the wilderness the Jewish scriptures, and Lehi was doubtless familiar with the prediction of Isaiah concerning this same prophet that should go before our Lord to prepare the way before him, translated in our English version as follows: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert an highway for our God." (Isaiah xl:3.) Is it more remarkable that the Lord should reveal to Lehi what the voice in the wilderness

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    should cry than that he should reveal it to Isaiah? With reference to the Unknown's charge that on the same page quoted above, Nephi makes "several quotations from the writings of Paul in the xi. of Romans, about the 'olive tree,' and the 'branches broken off, with others grafted in,'" etc., the gentleman, if acquainted with the prophets of Israel ought to know that this simile is not original with Paul; but that the ancient prophets used it in illustration of Israel and the judgments that should come upon the people. Moreover, in addition to our books of Jewish scriptures the Nephites had some of the writings of the other prophets of Israel, notably the book of Zenos, in which was given at great length this simile of the tame olive tree and the branches being broken off and others grafted in, etc., from which book, unquestionably, Nephi obtained his ideas.


    The Unknown charges that Nephi quoted from the words of Peter, which I give here, followed by the passage from Nephi. Peter: "Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Nephi: "Behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers; and also that we may preserve unto them the words which have bene spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto the present time." The omissions that are made in order to bring words together to establish the charge of plagiarism, will exhibit to what straits the Unknown is driven to make out his case.

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    One other thing the Unknown seems to have overlooked, viz., that the Book of Mormon is a translation of the ideas and prophecies of men deriving their knowledge concerning the Messiah and things associated with his life either from the old Jewish scriptures, which were in their possession, or from the revelations of God direct to them; and that the translator, Joseph Smith, being more or less familiar with New Testament and Old Testament expressions, in making the translation, at times used Bible phraseology in representing ideas akin to those found in Jewish scriptures. See also my remarks under heading No. 3, where this defense is more fully stated.


    2. The Unknown fairly revels in the thought that he has Lehi quoting Shakespeare many generations before our great English poet was born; and indulges in the sarcasms which Campbell and more than a score of anti-Mormon writers have indulged in who have mimicked his phraseology. Now the fact is there are two passages in Job which could easily have supplied both Shakespeare and Lehi with the idea of that country "from whose bourn no traveler returns." That this may appear I give the passages from Shakespeare, Job and Lehi. It should be remembered always that the Nephites had the Jewish scriptures with them, including the book of Job; hence Lehi could have obtained his idea from the same source whence Shakespeare obtained his.

    Shakespeare: "That undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns."

    Job: "Let me alone that I may take comfort a little, before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of

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    darkness and the shadow of death." (Job x:20, 21.) "When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return." (Job xvi:22.)

    Lehi: "Hear the words of a parent whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave from whence no traveler can return."

    It will be observed that the passage from the Book of Mormon follows Job more closely than it does Shakespeare both in thought and diction; and this for the reason, doubtless, that Lehi had been impressed with Job's idea of going to the land whence he would not return, and Joseph Smith, being familiar with Job, and very likely not familiar with Shakespeare, when he came to Lehi's thought, expressed it nearly in Job's phraseology.


    3. The Unknown asks me again how it is that Nephi, living in the sixth century B.C., can quote numerous passages, about "three hundred from the New Testament alone, and whole chapters from our English version of the Bible, which did not come into existence for more than 2,000 years after he wrote." When the Unknown says that there are three hundred quotations from the New Testament alone in the writings of Nephi, if he meant that, he simply makes a colossal misrepresentation, for there is no such number of passages in Nephi from the New Testament alone, nor, in fact, in the whole Book of Mormon. But as I think he must have meant this assertion to apply to the whole Book of Mormon, I will take no advantage of his misstatement as to confining that number to Nephi, but will meet the larger question as to all these passages in the Book of Mormon which parallel passages in both the Old and New Testament.

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    Because Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the inspiration of God and the aid of the Urim and Thummim, it is generally supposed that this translation occasioned the Prophet no mental or spiritual effort, that it was purely mechanical; in fact, that the instrument did all and the Prophet nothing, than which a greater mistake could not be made. All the circumstances connected with the work of translation clearly prove that it caused the Prophet the utmost exertion, mental and spiritual., of which he was capable, and that while he obtained the facts and ideas from the Nephite characters, he was left to express those ideas in such language as he was master of. This, it is conceded, was faulty; hence here and there verbal defects in the English translation of the Nephite record. Now when the Prophet perceived from the Nephite records that Isaiah was being quoted; or when the Savior was represented as giving instructions in doctrine and moral precepts of the same general character as those given in Judea, Joseph Smith undoubtedly turned to those parts of the Bible where he found a translation substantially correct, of those things which were referred to in the Nephite records, and adopted so much of that translation as expressed the truths common to both records; and since our English version of the Jewish scriptures was the one the Prophet used in such instances, we have the Bible phraseology of which the Unknown complains, and of which this, in the judgment of the writer, is the adequate explanation to all of that class of his objections.

    4. What the Unknown describes as Nephi giving himself away is based on my unknown friend's inability to comprehend a very simple fact. He says that in the 31st chapter of the second book of Nephi, the writer, forgetting that he was pretending to write in the sixth century B.C., treats

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    the baptism of Christ as actual history. That is, he holds, the writer changes from prophecy to narrative. The fact is that some time previous to this (see I Nephi, chapter 11) the baptism of Jesus had been shown in vision to Nephi, hence to him had become as an accomplished fact, after which, according to this chapter quoted by the Unknown, the voice of the Son of God (then a pre-existent Spirit) came unto Nephi, saying "He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me (i.e., in vision) do." Now Nephi, with this in mind, points out to his brothers in the next verse how, by following their Lord and Savior down into the water, "according to his word" (i.e., given previously in Nephi's vision) promises them that they shall then receive the Holy Ghost. All of which considerations demonstrate that the gentleman has not understood the chapter over which he grows vulgarly hilarious by such expressions as "whooped up," "Holy Moses, preserve us !" and his reference to "Boss Tweed."


    5. The next charge of the Unknown is that the Book of Mormon makes known no moral or religious truth, no "not one item," and then the gentleman resorts to a thing which to say the least of it looks strangely out of place in a discussion of this description, and reminds one of the methods of a low order of politicians, who, when unable to maintain their part of a controversy by reason, arrogantly offer a bet, usually at large odds, that their side will prevail; and if the wager for any cause be not taken, with turkey-cock pride they strut about, as if they had demonstrated the truth of their contention. Now I do not know what our Unknown

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    friend would regard as a spiritual or moral truth, but here is at least one that I commend to his consideration: "Fools mock, but they shall mourn." It is quite original to the Book of Mormon, as are the other quotations which follow, but I will not trouble the gentleman for his hat, even though it be a Stetson, as up to date I have been able to clothe my own head without an effort to win wagers or prizes. Whoever the Unknown may be it stands out pretty clearly from his article that he is not familiar with great moral and religious questions.

    He seems not to be aware that the Jews for many ages have been asking this same question of the Christian, i.e., they demand to know what moral and religious truth Jesus taught the world that was not already taught by Jewish rabbis; and no later than in the October number of the Open Court, a famous rabbi parallels the choicest moral aphorisms of Christ's teachings with quotations from the Talmud; while there has not arisen within the last two centuries an anti-Christian disputant, but who makes the same claims in behalf of the moral and spiritual teachings of Buddha; and not only do they claim that Christ's moral truths were borrowed from more ancient teachers, but that the principal events of his life also, from his birth of a virgin to his resurrection as a God, were stolen from myths concerning Old World heroes and teachings. When Messiah came to the New World, he had the same announcements to make concerning himself, and his relations to the world; the same ethical and spiritual doctrines to teach; and as he had been accustomed to state these doctrines in brief, aphoristic sentences while in Judea, it is not strange that the same things were given to the Nephites, in their language, much in the same order; which Joseph Smith, observing, and finding these truths substantially stated in our English Bible, adopted, where he could do so consistently, the language of that book.

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    Still there are certain statements of moral and spiritual ideas that the Unknown will find it difficult to parallel from the Bible, a few examples of which I here give: "Wickedness never was happiness." "The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." "I give unto men weaknesses that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me." Then let the gentleman take into consideration the exclusiveness of the Jews, and of the Christians also, for matter of that, and then contemplate the following passage which breathes such a spirit of universal charity and joins the hands of all the great moral teachers among all nations into one splendid brotherhood: 'The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true." Then let the Unknown parallel from the Bible the following great spiritual truth from the Book of Mormon: "Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy." A sentence which tells, as it is told nowhere else, the purpose of man's existence. The limits of this article preclude the mention of historical and doctrinal truths which the Book of Mormon makes known to the world. Also, consideration of the gentleman's efforts to explain away the existence and force of the prophecies in the Book of Mormon to which I alluded in my Tabernacle discourse, and which may be found at page 122 of the current edition of the Book of Mormon. I esteem what he has there said of so little importance that I shall pass it without comment as its weakness and inaccuracy will be apparent to all who read it. Indeed

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    at this point the gentleman makes it quite clear that he is not familiar with the book he attempts to criticise. In trying to make it appear that Nephi "jumbles up his own history and contradicts himself" the Unknown astonishes us with the statement that Nephi was a Jew, and learnedly tells us that his seed or the remnant of it will inevitably be Jews and Nephites and not Lamanites, and hence the prophecies concerning the Lamanites could not apply to the remnant of Nephi's seed. As a matter of fact Lehi, and hence all of his sons, were of the tribe of Manasseh, and Nephi was speaking with reference to both his own and his brother Laman's descendants of whom the Indians are the remnant. When I reached this part of the gentleman's production I thought I was not only entitled to know who it was I was to meet in discussion, but also to have an opponent who at least was acquainted with the subject.

    AS  TO  "SORROW."

    A word as to the "sorrow" which the gentleman experiences when he sees a man of my "ability" (shades of flattery, leave us!) "fooling away his time and thought in the useless attempt to bolster up as a divine revelation that which the intelligent millions of the American people are persuaded is fabrication!" What a jewel was lost to the anti-Christians of the first or second century by the Unknown being born in the nineteenth, instead of the first century! What an eloquent appeal he could have made, for instance, to the misguided Paul, who wasted his thought and time in an effort (I will not say useless one) to bolster up such a delusion as the Christian religion was at that time thought to be! A delusion which the intelligent millions of civilized Rome regarded as the vilest of all deceptions.

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    Again, how ostentatiously the Unknown could have said to Paul, if the latter was really in earnest to know the character of the men who originated this Christian delusion, that he could learn it from some of the historical facts and the accepted rumors current at that time about Messiah and his immediate followers. From such sources he could have learned that Christ was a blasphemer, a disturber of the peace, a menace to the authority of Rome, the consort of vile Galilean peasants, an associate and sympathizer with women of questionable reputation, and who, at last, for the peace and good order of the community in which he lived, was duly crucified between two thieves. He was buried and his sepulcher guarded, but his vile associates bribed the soldier guards, stole his body, and then gave it out that he was risen from the dead; and on these falsehoods arose the fabric known as the Christian church! There would be no resisting such an appeal as this if only some one had arisen with the intelligence to have advanced it. Undoubtedly Paul would have ceased his labors, and perhaps Christianity itself would not have survived such an attack, and hence many anti-Christians may regret that this Unknown gentleman did not live in the period when his services would have been so effective. But since the Unknown, through no fault of his, however, missed his opportunity in that age, he exerts his abilities in this, and appealingly says to me, if I would know the real "truth about the Book of Mormon, and the character of the men who manufactured it," I should read the "'Origin and Progress of Mormonism,' by that well-informed and reliable historian, Pomroy Tucker!" Shades of primer days, not to say days of the bib and rattle! After nearly a century of existence, despite the efforts of its enemies to destroy it, after surviving as Mormonism has all the floods of falsehood and absurdity hurled upon it, are we now to turn

    340                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    back to what Pomroy Tucker has said in order to get the exact truth" concerning Mormonism and the character of the men who brought it forth? I must inform the Unknown, whatever he may think of me, that I must suppose myself utterly incorrigible, for I have read Pomroy Tucker years ago, and also recently, and if he will call on me I will point out to him several score of other anti-Mormon writers I have read, of like ilk with Tucker, and yet I am not reclaimed. Deliberately and proudly, I take my stand with the people whom these writers have maligned, and whose doctrines and history they misrepresent, and announce my absolute faith -- notwithstanding even the argument of the Unknown-in the divinity of the Book of Mormon. Respectfully,   B. H. ROBERTS.
    Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 27, 1903.


    [ 341 ]



    (Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 6, 1903.)

    Editor Tribune: -- In reply to my article in The Tribune of November 22nd, pointing out, in response to his public challenge, some of the great difficulties in the way of accepting Nephi as an ancient prophet of God, and the Book of Mormon as an ancient revelation from God, Elder Roberts begins by finding fault with me for not writing over my full signature. But the reasons he intimates for my not doing so prove altogether too much, and hence, by a logical maxim, prove nothing. For they would prove that those great and high-minded statesmen, Alexander Hamilton, Chief Justice John Jay, and James Madison, acted an unworthy part, and were lacking in courage because, for wise reasons, they conducted those masterly discussions which made up The Federalist, over an assumed name.

    Then the sarcasms about the rehashing by more recent writers, of Alexander Campbell's arguments against the Book of Mormon, are "wasted on the desert air," so far as I am concerned, for I have never seen any article or treatise by Campbell on the subject. It would be quite easy to retort and say that if it were not for the writings of Orson Pratt, the more recent defenders of the Book of Mormon would be without ammunition. But that style of arguing amounts to nothing.

    342                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Elder Roberts' defense seems to raise new difficulties without really settling any, although it is ingenious and skillful. On general principles, there is no reason why I should not accept the writings of Nephi and the Book of Mormon as readily as my opponent, if they were true. But the reason why I do not, is because of the extent and variety of the evidence against them, only a few points of which can be discussed in a newspaper article. Since my main object is to establish truth, I wish to treat Elder Roberts and his argument in a fair and candid way.

    Let us come now to the main proposition, which is twofold: Elder Roberts affirms that Nephi was a prophet of God, living and writing about 600 B.C.; and that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation.

    The evidence compels me to deny both of these propositions and to declare that neither of them is true. Now let us try to find some common ground on which we can stand. As such ground, I offer these two propositions in reference to books in general, which seem to me self-evident:

    First, any book which professes to have been written in ancient times, and yet quotes from authors not born until centuries after, is a spurious book.

    Second, any book which professes to be a divine revelation to the people of the present time, and yet reveals nothing, which it did not appropriate from some other book or source of knowledge already in the possession of the people, is a spurious book.

    I use the term "revelation" in its ordinary sense, as referring to divine truth. These are two propositions which I think people of all creeds can stand upon, for I think they contain nothing which is not self-evident. The differences of opinion will begin when we come to apply these two fundamental principles. Still, it is my opponent's

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    privilege to dissent from these propositions, if he thinks they are not self-evident. But I think that careful, reasoning people generally, will accept them. Anyhow, I take my stand upon them and proceed to apply them.


    1. As to the alleged Prophet Nephi. If it can be clearly shown that he quoted passage after passage from the New Testament writers, who were not born for centuries after he claims to have written, then the first fundamental principle is violated, and we have demonstrative evidence that Nephi was simply a pretender, and his writings are spurious

    In my former article I referred specially to three direct quotations by Nephi, from the New Testament writers, taken from Acts iii:21, John i:26-27, and Romans xi:17-24, and found in I Nephi iii:20, x:8, and x:12-14. I also, under discussion of the third point, referred to two other quotations from Ephesians v: 18, and Revelations xv:3. It did not seem necessary to quote other passages, for I deemed these sufficient to establish the point.

    The words in Nephi x:8, "For there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose" is a clear plagiarism from John i:26-27, which reads: "But there standeth one among you, whom ye know not, He it is who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose."

    The first part of Nephi x:8, is: "Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight." This is quoted from Matthew iii:3. The reference of Elder Roberts to Isaiah x:3, from which the thinks Nephi might have quoted,

    344                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    instead of from Matthew, is irrelevant, because, while the two passages are somewhat similar, the phraseology is different, and the careless Nephi failed to help my opponent out of the difficulty, for he quotes from Matthew and not from Isaiah, demonstrating what a smart fellow he was by quoting from an author that hadn't been born!

    So Elder Roberts' reference to the fact that the olive tree is used figuratively by some of the Old Testament prophets is irrelevant, because Nephi quotes Paul's exact phrases, and does not quote from the prophets. Now, in reference to these quotations by Nephi from the New Testament writers, Elder Roberts says: "The gentleman very much overstates the difficulty he presents, by making it appear that the alleged quotations are very numerous, when the fact is that the two of three cases he cites virtually exhaust the alleged quoted passages so far as the New Testament is concerned."

    I am not a little Surprised at such a statement, as Elder Roberts rather prides" himself on his knowledge of the Book Of Mormon, and in his article, near the close of his discussion of the fifth point, laments that he is obliged to carry On this discussion with an opponent who does not seem to be much acquainted with the subject. Well, my friend, I don't boast about my knowledge or superiority to other men; I don't assume "to know it all." But I think I know enough about the Book of Mormon to prevent me from making any such careless and utterly inaccurate statements as the above, "that the two or three cases he cites virtually exhaust the alleged quoted passages." Verily, I begin to wonder whether my friend has ever read the books of Nephi through! If he will now follow me for a little, perhaps he may learn something new about them. Let us see whether "two or three passages exhaust the quotations." In my

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    former article I referred to five quotations from the New Testament writers. Let us go on with the count:

    6. In Nephi v:18, the expression, "all nations, kindreds, tongues and people," is from Revelations xiv:6.

    7. In Nephi x:17, the words, "by the power of the Holy Ghost," are from Romans xv:13.

    8. "For he is the same, yesterday, today and forever," in Nephi x:18, is taken from Hebrews xiii:8.

    9. The words,"caught away in the Spirit of the Lord," are from Acts viii:39.

    10. In Nephi xi:21, "Behold the Lamb of God," is from John i:36.

    11. In Nephi xi:27, the words, "and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost came down out of heaven, and abode upon him in the form of a dove," are taken from Matthew iii:16, and from John i:32.

    12. In Nephi xi:35, the strange expression, "the twelve apostles of the Lamb," is taken from the only place in the world where it originated, Revelation xxi:14.

    13. In Nephi xi:22, the words, "Yea, it is the love of God which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men," are taken from Romans v:5.

    14. In Nephi xii:11, "And the angel said unto me, These are made white in the blood of the Lamb," is from Revelations vii:14.

    15. In Nephi xiv:1, the repeated expressions, "mother of abominations" and "mother of harlots," are taken from Revelation xvii:5.

    These fifteen quotations have been taken from the first fourteen chapters of I Nephi, leaving eight chapters more in this book and thirty-three chapters in II Nephi for other quotations. I have jotted down on the fly-leaf of my copy

    346                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of the Book of Mormon forty-four different quotations from the New Testament writers by this alleged prophet. These quotations are largely in the Sidney Rigdon-Nephi style of inaccuracy. Nephi is just about as inaccurate in quoting scripture as in quoting Shakespeare. Then a large per cent of the language in the books of Nephi is a mere paraphrase, and often a parody, of the language of the New Testament. I have quoted nothing from III Nephi, whose thirty chapters and sixty-eight pages are largely in the direct language of the New Testament, three whole chapters being quoted, although the New Testament was not written for fifty years afterward. I have not quoted from this book, for I understood Elder Roberts to be referring to the first two books.

    The explanation of Elder Roberts that Nephi had a vision of Christ some fifty years before, which made Christ real to him, is no explanation of the fact that there are eight quotations from three New Testament writers in Nephi ii:31st chapter.


    2. Concerning Nephi's quotation from Shakespeare, Elder Roberts thinks he has found a way of escape for Nephi from this fatal blunder. He cites a passage from Job from which he thinks Nephi might have quoted, for he says "the Nephites had the Jewish Scriptures with them, including the book of Job." But now observe that this suggested escape for this ancient prophet is out of the Nephite frying-pan into the Lamanite fire. For Shakespeare died in 1616, and the King James English version of the Bible was published in 1611. Now, so far as the argument against the ancient Nephite is concerned, what difference does it make whether he quoted from Shakespeare or our English version

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    of Job, which is the one Elder Roberts alludes to, and which is the only one containing any resemblance either to the passage in Nephi or in Shakespeare. The only way, therefore, to lift Nephi out of this fatal situation is for Elder Roberts to show that he had, in addition to the Jewish Scriptures, a copy of our English Bible with him back there in the wilderness 600 B.C., or else a copy of Shakespeare. Or else let Mr. Roberts agree with me, according to the evidence, that Mr. Nephi was simply a very modern gentleman from New York or Pennsylvania, having in his possession both the Bible and Shakespeare, and then the difficulty is solved.


    Now we come to the second proposition which is, that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation to the people of the present time. A large part of what has been said in proof of the spurious character of the books of Nephi applies to the Book of Mormon as a whole. But there are overwhelming special difficulties in the way of accepting it as a new and divine revelation, only three or four of which I can now briefly touch upon.

    1. The book claims that the plates, from which it was translated by Joseph Smith, were sealed up and hidden in the hill of Cumorah, New York, about 400 A. D. No one upon this continent ever saw these plates prepared by Mormon except himself and his son, Moroni. They were prepared specially' for the people of our time, in this country. After being hidden about 1400 years Joseph Smith claims that the angel Moroni came and disclosed them to him. And the wonderful revelation contained in the plates, about "the restoration to the earth of the everlasting gospel," Elder Roberts says Joseph Smith translated "by means of the inspiration

    348                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of God and the aid of Urim and Thummim." And, behold, when we come to read this wonderful new revelation and this new everlasting gospel which it discloses, we find that it is simply a feeble and diluted imitation of the Bible revelation and the gospel which had already been in the possession of the Christian people of this country for over two hundred years, and in the possession of their ancestors for over twelve hundred years.

    If this duplicate, pretended revelation had been brought out among the benighted people of China or India, or some other heathen country who were without these Bible teachings, it would not have been such a complete "give away." But, with a great flourish of trumpets, to give to the Christian people of this country a weak and poor copy of the revelation and the gospel whose bright and radiant original had been in their possession for hundreds of years, Seems to me so absurd, and so transparent as a deceiving scheme, I do not wonder that the overwhelming majority of intelligent people utterly reject it. And just because this book, while so loftily pretending to be a new and divine revelation, reveals absolutely nothing which the people did not have before in much better form, how can we avoid concluding that it is a counterfeit book? I will attend presently to the specimens of new truth which Elder Roberts finds in it.

    2. There are at least twelve persons, worthy and reliable so far as I can discover, who testify that the substance of this Book of Mormon, with all its queer names of places and persons, its strange history, its battles and slaughters, its continual imitation of Bible phraseology, they had heard read several years prior to the publication of this book, from a religious romance. It was in this romance that the Nephites and Lamanites originated, and also the pretended ancient books of Nephi, Alma, Mosiah, Mormon and the

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    rest. I can find no-proof whatever that the above peoples and books ever existed except in the imagination of the writer of the religious romance. And I have never been able to see why the testimony of the above twelve witnesses, who had nothing to gain by their testimony, should be arbitrarily brushed aside, and the testimony of the eleven interested witnesses, who declare that they saw and "hefted" the plates, should be gulped down at one swallow. Even if they did see the plates, that proves absolutely nothing essential to the case. They were all ignorant men, and knew nothing about what was written on the plates. Other men saw the famous Kinderhook plates, but what of it?

    3. The Book of Mormon, though sealed up and hidden away about 400 A.D., is filled up, from beginning to end, with the phraseology of our English Bible. Not only that, it contains hundreds upon hundreds of the exact phrases and sentences, and about twenty whole chapters from our English Bible which was not published for about twelve hundred years after the Book was hidden away. In my former article, I intended to state that there are in the Book of Mormon about 300 quotations from the New Testament, and I am obliged to Elder Roberts for interpreting my meaning in that way, for I did not intend to say that the two books of Nephi contain so many quotations.


    Now we come to a vital point. I asked Elder Roberts to explain how the above quotations could possibly have been made if the Book of Mormon is honest in its claim of being an ancient book. And here is his explanation:

    "Because Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the inspiration of God and the aid of Urim and

    350                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Thummim, it is generally supposed that this translation occasioned the prophet no mental or spiritual effort, that it was purely mechanical; in fact, that the instrument did all and the prophet nothing, than which a greater mistake could not be made. * * * Now when the prophet perceived from the Nephite records that Isaiah was being quoted, or when the Savior was represented as giving instructions in doctrine and moral precepts of the same general character as those given in Judea, Joseph Smith undoubtedly turned to those parts of the Bible where he found a translation, substantially correct, of those things which were referred to in the Nephite records, and adopted so much of that translation as expressed the truths common to both records."

    Now, it seems to me that the above defense and explanation of Elder Roberts are fatal to his position and that of the defenders of the book generally, that it is a thoroughly accurate translation of the Nephite plates, "by means of the inspiration of God and the aid of Urim and Thummim." And it seems fatal for two reasons:

    First -- This defense places Mr. Roberts in opposition to his own witnesses. For two of the famous "three witnesses" wholly differ from Mr. Roberts as to the method of translating the plates, and point out that Joseph Smith had nothing whatever to do except simply to read the English sentences as they appeared in translation. Martin Harris says:

    "By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the prophet and written by Martin, and when finished, he would say 'written,' and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place; but if not correctly written it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates."

    Here is the testimony also of David Whitmer, another

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    of the three witnesses. After stating that Joseph put the seer stone into a hat, he says: "A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the translation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it were correct, then it would disappear and another character with the interpretation would appear."

    Nothing is said by these witnesses about any Urim and Thummim. That was evidently an afterthought. Nothing is said about any great mental and spiritual effort on Joseph's part.

    Second -- The above defense seems to me fatal to Elder Roberts' position, because if Joseph Smith turned aside to quote from our English Bible, as Elder Roberts admits that he did, then what was to prevent him from putting into the Book of Mormon, when it suited him, quotations from other English books, from Shakespeare, from books on geography and history? What prevented him from putting into the Book of Mormon the peculiar and well-known views of Sidney Rigdon, with which the book is saturated? What prevented him from putting in his own views? Undoubtedly, that is just what he did, for the book gives abundant evidence of being a modern compilation, and the evidence that it is an ancient book utterly fails. The statement and admission of Elder Roberts give us all the light we need as to its modern origin and spurious character.

    Just a few words now as to the specimens of new truth from the Book of Mormon, of which Elder Roberts presented six:

    First -- "Fools mock, but they shall mourn." I see nothing

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    new about that. Everybody mourns sooner or later, and fools with the rest. In Proverbs xiv:9, we read: "Fools make a mock of sin."

    Second -- "Wickedness never was happiness." I think the prophet Isaiah expresses this idea far better when he says in lvii:21, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

    Third -- "The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth." Certainly that is not new truth. The very fact that God gives us commandments implies that the way will be open for us to keep them. Perhaps it was suggested by I Corinthians x:13.

    Fourth -- "I give unto men weaknesses that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me." This idea seems to have been appropriated from II Corinthians xii:9: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

    Fifth -- "The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word." I do not quote the rest of this verse, for I think this first statement is not true. Many nations are in the darkness of heathendom and do not teach the word of God.

    Sixth -- "Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy." I think both statements in that sentence are wholly untrue. Adam fell because he disobeyed God and became a sinner. Two-thirds of the human race are in heathenish darkness, sufferers from cruelty, want, oppression and idolatry and without joy.

    In conclusion, I am sorry to spoil my opponent's concluding paragraph, for I admit that it is well written. But it seems to me illogical, for in expressing his regret that I

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    could not have lived in the days of Paul, so that those opposed to Paul and the Christians might have availed themselves of my suggestions, he has to class me with the anti-Christians. In this he is illogical, for I do not belong to that class. Suppose that I should express regret that he did not live in the eighteenth century, so as to help the infidels of that day in their contest with Bishop Butler and the other great Christian scholars of that time. My supposition would be illogical, for my opponent does not belong to the infidel class. Now, I have tried to treat my opponent and his arguments with fairness and in a kindly way. I certainly have nothing but good will toward him and to all who are sincere in their opinions. Unless some new phase of the subject should come up I see no reason why I should continue the discussion any further.   M.
    Salt Lake City, Dec. 4, 1903.

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    Editor Tribune: -- The most impressive thing in the second communication of the Unknown "M" is its very striking difference of spirit as compared with the first. His arrogance, if not his confidence, seems to have left him, and he writes in a spirit more in harmony with the nature of the subject. I congratulate him upon the improvement. When a book which is sacred to tens of thousand of intelligent people, and which is accepted by them as a revelation from God, is to be criticised, a decent regard for propriety requires that it should be discussed in a respectful manner, and all the more so if the critic regards those who accept the book as deceived, and would lead them from their delusion.

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    In this connection also I desire to say a word on an incidental matter on which the Unknown lays some stress, viz., that "the reading, thinking, truth-loving millions of this country" have come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is fiction. This carries with it the idea that these "millions" have examined the Book of Mormon and intelligently judged it to be fiction -- an impression most erroneous, for out of the ninety millions of the people of our country it is safe to say not more than two or three millions have ever read the Book of Mormon, this in the most superficial manner, and with their minds prejudiced by the misrepresentations made concerning it. In fact, because of these misrepresentations, contempt has preceded examination, a circumstance which keeps men ignorant of the Book of Mormon. This much to remind the reader that there is no force in the appeal of the Unknown to the supposed condemnation of the Book of Mormon by "the reading, thinking, truth-loving millions of this country."


    At this point the gentleman proceeds with a show of orderly argument to lay down what he considers two self-evident canons of criticism on which he takes his stand in repeating his objections to the Book of Mormon: The first of these he states in the following terms: "Any book which professes to have been written in ancient times and yet quotes from authors not born until centuries after, is a spurious book." This canon of criticism, however serviceable when applied to books in general, can in no sense be made to do service against the Book of Mormon. When he formulated his canon of criticism, as throughout the discussion, the Unknown fails to recognize the fact that while the Book of Mormon is an ancient book, it is largely a prophetic book; and the strongest complaint that can be made against it along the line of the Unknown's criticism is that some of its prophecies are here and there translated in phraseology somewhat similar to that of writers living subsequent to the period in which it was written. In explanation of this fact I have urged that the translator, Joseph Smith, being acquainted with the New Testament writings, and his diction influenced by the phraseology of those writers, sometimes expressed the thoughts and predictions of the ancient writers in New Testament phrases. So that the question at issue at this point of the discussion is, first, whether the ancient writers

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    in the Book of Mormon could have been acquainted with the events, to them then future, found in the Book of Mormon, and is the theory reasonable that in translating their statement of these events Joseph Smith's diction would be influenced by the phraseology of the New Testament? In dealing with the question of the New Testament phraseology in the Book of Mormon it is Joseph Smith that the Unknown has to deal with, not Nephi; with the translator, not with the original writer. A distinction which he persistently refuses to recognize.


    And now as to the point whether the writers of the Book of Mormon could be acquainted with the events, ideas and doctrines which Joseph Smith translated here and there in New Testament phraseology. The Unknown appears ignorant of the great truth that prophecy is but history reversed. He forgets that known unto God are all his works and words from the beginning to the end, and that he has at various times made known future events in the clearest manner to his prophets who, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, have recorded them. The Prophet Isaiah, 150 years before the birth of Cyrus, foretold that celebrated ruler's name; declared that he should subdue kingdoms, including Babylon, set free the people of God, held in bondage there and rebuild the House of the Lord at Jerusalem. And all this as clearly as the historians could write it after the events themselves took place. To Daniel he revealed the rise, fill and succession of the leading empires and nations of the world, even to the time of the establishment of God's kingdom in power to hold universal sway in the later days, an event not yet fulfilled. To the prophets of Israel nearly

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    every important event in the life of the Savior was made known, and that, too, in the language of accomplished fact -- a complaint often made against the prophecies of the Book of Mormon. They foretold that he would be born of a virgin; that his name would signify "God with us;" that Bethlehem would be the place of his birth; that he would sojourn in Egypt with his parents; that he would reside in Nazareth, for "he shall be called a Nazarene;" that a messenger would prepare the way before him; that he should ride in triumph into Jerusalem upon a colt, the foal of an ass; that he would be afflicted and despised; that he would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that he would be despised and rejected of men; that men would turn their faces from him to his affliction; that he would be esteemed as stricken and smitten of God; that he would be wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of men would be laid upon him, and by his stripes would they be healed; that upon him would God lay the iniquity of us all; that for the transgressions of God's people would he be stricken; that he would be oppressed and afflicted, yet open not his mouth; that as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so would he be silent before his judges; that he would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver; that men would divide his raiment and cast lots for his vesture; that they would give him gall and vinegar to drink; that not a bone of him should be broken; that he should be taken from prison and from judgment, and be cut out of the land of the living; that he would make his grave with the wicked and the rich in his death; but notwithstanding this he should not see corruption (i.e., his body decay), and that on the third day following his death he should rise triumphant from the grave. All this and much more was foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets concerning the Messiah [and most of

    358                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    it told in the language of accomplished fact.] This is prophetic history. In like manner to the Nephites his prophetic history was made known, and is found in the Book of Mormon in some instances in greater plainness than in the Old Testament, because the Nephite scriptures have not passed through the hands of an Aristobulus, a Philo and other rabbis, who by interpretation or elimination have taken away some of the plain and precious parts of the Jewish scriptures. Surely if the Lord revealed to the Jewish prophets these leading events in the history of the Savior ages before the Messiah's birth, it ought not to be thought a strange thing (especially by those who believe in the fact of revelation) if God imparted the same knowledge to the Nephite prophets. In fact it is but reasonable to suppose that if God gave them revelations at all he would do so upon this very subject.


    There remains to be considered under this head only this question. Is it a fatal objection to the Book of Mormon because Joseph Smith, finding the prophetic history of the Savior in the Nephite record, translated it in phraseology here and there found in the New Testament? Or in the language of accomplished fact. My contention is that it cannot be considered a fatal objection, or even a serious difficulty, especially when one considers upon what slight similarity the Unknown seizes to make good his objection. For example, where he tries to make it appear that I was in error when saying that the several passages he had already quoted practically exhausted the instances of New Testament phraseology in the writings of Nephi, he gave us such cases as these:

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 359

    Nephi -- Lehi prophesied that "these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people who were of his seed."

    Revelations -- An angel should bring forth the gospel to be preached "to every nation and kindred and tongue and people."

    Nephi -- For he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    Hebrews -- Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.

    Nephi -- I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.

    Acts -- The Spirit of the Lord caught Philip that the eunuch saw him no more.

    "In Nephi xiv:1," says the Unknown, "the repeated expression "mother of abominations" and "mother of harlots" are taken from Revelations xvi:5." I here quote Nephi, xiv:1: "And it shall come to pass that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks." After reading it I wondered where the Unknown found in it his "mother of abominations" and the "mother of harlots." Of course, the gentleman may have given the wrong reference, and I will not press his errors too hard upon him, but how ridiculous to urge the rejection of the Book of Mormon on so flimsy an argument, even if he should find somewhere else his "mother of abominations" or his "mother of harlots."


    Passing over some intervening matter in order to consider this whole question of translation together, I next refer

    360                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    to what the Unknown says under the heading, "A Vital Point." I accounted for the imperfections of the language of the Book of Mormon on the ground that while the translator obtained his ideas from the Nephite record, he was left to express that thought in such language as he was master of, and as he was uneducated, that language was here and there faulty, and I accounted for the existence of some passages of the Bible in the Book of Mormon by saying that where Joseph Smith found in the Nephite records quotations from Jewish scriptures which the Nephites had with them or when the teachings of Messiah in their order followed his teachings to be found in the New Testament, Joseph Smith adopted, when he could do so consistently, the language of our English Bible. This the Unknown considers is "vital," and he holds that these quotations would not be found in this translation of the Nephite record if the Book of Mormon is honest in its claim of being an ancient book. He urges that if Joseph Smith could thus incorporate these quoted passages, then there is nothing to hinder him putting into the Book of Mormon, when it suited him, quotations from other English books, from Shakespeare, from books of geography and history, and the peculiar views of Sidney Rigdon, with which the book is saturated, or his own views; and this, he claims, is just what he did. Well, of course, there is nothing that would prevent Joseph Smith from following a course of this kind if he was the unmitigated impostor and scoundrel that the Unknown tries to make him appear to be, but that is just what Joseph Smith was not; and hence his own honesty and integrity prevented his putting in quotations from the Bible or any other book except just what the facts and statements in the Nephite records justified him in adopting. And as for the views of Sidney Rigdon being incorporated in it, that is impossible,

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 361

    since it is a well-established, incontrovertible, historical fact that Sidney Rigdon never saw either Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon until six months after the book had been published.


    The Unknown thinks I run counter to the statement of Martin Harris and David Whitmer as to the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated, as he claims that in their testimony there is nothing said about Urim and Thummim, and nothing is said about "any great, mental and spiritual effort on Joseph's part" in obtaining the translation. True, there is nothing in the statement of Whitmer and Harris quoted by the Unknown to that effect, but there abounds in the historical incidents connected with the coming forth of the Book plenty of evidence that the translation was not mechanical, and in the very book of David Whitmer's, quoted by the Unknown, it is stated that the prophet had to be in a very exalted mental and spiritual state of mind before he could exercise his gift of translation. But we have a better description of the manner of translation than that given by Whitmer or Harris. In the course of translation Oliver Cowdery became desirous to translate, and in a revelation the Lord promised him that power.

    "Yea, behold I will tell you (i.e., the interpretation) in your mind, and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you, and which shall dwell in your heart." Oliver made the attempt to translate and failed; whereupon the Lord in a subsequent revelation gave this as the reason of his failure: "Behold you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it (i.e., the translation) unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me; but

    362                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right, but if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me." (Doc. and Cov., Sections 8 and 9.)

    This is the Lord's description of how Oliver could have translated had he persevered, and beyond question it is the manner in which Joseph Smith did translate. This is sufficient to establish the fact that the Unknown is speaking upon a subject with which he has but a very slight acquaintance, and further I may not enter into it here, because of the necessary limits of this article.


    Having disposed of the question relating to translation, I take up the Unknown's second canon of criticism, which he states in these terms:

    "Any book which professes to be a divine revelation to the people of the present time, and yet reveals nothing which it does not appropriate from some other book or sources of knowledge already in the possession of the people, is a spurious book."

    The Book of Mormon reveals the fact that there existed two great civilizations on the American continent. The first was established by a colony which left the valley of the Euphrates in very ancient times, established themselves in the North American continent, and in time grew to be a

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 363

    great nation far advanced in civilization. This race passed through all the vicissitudes incident to national existence; periods of prosperity, times of disaster; periods of great righteousness, when prophets with their divine message influenced the people to keep the commandments of God, followed by long periods of moral and spiritual depression, and ultimately succumbed to the fate which overtakes all nations that depart from truth and righteousness. The second civilization resulted from two colonies which came from Judea; one led by Lehi, landing in South America; the other colony was led by Mulek, who escaped from Palestine after the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. This colony landed in North America. These colonies subsequently united and formed one great nation. This nation, like others, followed the beaten track of the history of other nations. In periods of righteousness they advanced in civilization. They had their prophets, philosophers, statesmen, patriots, traitors, and passed through all the experiences incident to national existence. Their history is the poet's moral of all human tales:
    "'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past:
    First freedom, and then glory -- when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption -- barbarism at last;
    And history with all her volumes vast hath but one page!"

    After he had completed his ministry in Judea, the resurrected Messiah appeared among the Nephites, in fulfillment of his promise to their fathers by the prophets. He announced his divinity, taught them the gospel, conferred divine authority upon certain men whom He chose among them, authorized the establishment of the Church for their instruction and development in righteousness.

    364                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    He taught them every moral truth which He had imparted to those living on the eastern hemisphere. He fulfilled all the prophecies relating to him up to this point in the Jewish scriptures, which their fathers had carried with them from Jerusalem. He assured them of the reality of life beyond the grave, and, in a word, planted here the whole system of truth which makes for the salvation of men, and is called the fulness of the everlasting gospel. The Book of Mormon gives a voice to the ruined cities and half buried monuments upon this land of America. It confirms all the revealed truths made known in the Jewish scriptures. In sustaining the truth, inspiration and authenticity of the Bible, the Book of Mormon is more valuable than a thousand Rosetta Stones; it is superior to all the clay tablet libraries found in old Babylon and Egypt; it is the voice of sleeping nations speaking as from the dust of ages, bearing witness to the existence of God, the divinity of Messiah, and to the truth of the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation. It vindicates the justice of God in that it reveals the fact that he did not leave untold millions of people to perish on this western hemisphere without the knowledge of God and the means of salvation. It banishes from the minds of men that narrow, sectarian dogma of an apostate Christendom which undertakes to limit the word of God to the few books contained in the Bible. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon contradicts that equally erroneous sectarian notion that God had ceased to give revelations to men and had spoken for the last time to his children. And yet in the presence of this array of great facts and truths which the Book of Mormon makes known, and which are made known nowhere else (and the half has not been told here), men of the order of intellect of this Unknown critic stand chattering like parrots about there being

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 365

    nothing new or of value in the Book of Mormon, and seek to cast discredit upon it by their carping criticisms upon the defects of the language in which it is translated, and because its translator has couched some of its glorious truths in the New Testament phraseology familiar to him. How puerile all such criticism seems, and how refreshing it is to hear God saying, "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully, for what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord," (Jeremiah xxiii:28). The letter still killeth. It is the spirit that giveth life.


    In the background of the Unknown's discussion one may see the influence of what is called the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, and in his second communication he indirectly refers to it by saying that "there are at least twelve persons, worthy and reliable so far as I can discover, who testify that the substance of this Book of Mormon, with all its queer names of places and persons, its strange history, its battles and slaughters, its continual imitation of Bible phraseology, they had heard several years prior to the publication of this book, from a religious romance (The Spaulding Story). It was in this romance that the Nephites and Lamanites originated, and also the pretended ancient books of Nephi, Alma, Mosiah and Mormon," etc. And later the gentleman says that he cannot see why the testimony of these twelve witnesses should not be received, etc. In all this the gentleman shows what a "back number" he is in the mater of controversy relating to the Book of Mormon. He seems not aware of the fact that Spaulding's manuscript has been found and published now these several years, and is safely lodged in

    366                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the library of Oberlin College, Ohio. There appears upon this manuscript the endorsement of Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, John N. Miller and D. P. Hurlburt (who, by the way, are among the twelve witnesses to whom "M" alludes) as being the very manuscript from which they affirmed that the Book of Mormon had been written. And now comes L. L. Rice, an anti-slavery editor, for many year state printer of Columbus, Ohio, who says: "Two things are true concerning this manuscript. * * * * * First, it is a genuine writing of Solomon Spaulding, and second, it is not the original of the Book of Mormon. * * * * It is unlikely that any one who wrote so elaborate a work as the Mormon Bible (Book of Mormon) would spend his time in getting up so shallow a story as this." While President James H. Fairchild of Oberlin College says over his own signature: "Mr. Rice, myself and others compared it (the Spaulding manuscript) with the Book of Mormon, and could detect no resemblance between the two in general or in detail. There seems to be no name or incident common to the two. * * * * * Some other explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon must be found." The truth of President Fairchild's statement can be verified by any one who will compare the two.


    The Unknown has certainly plunged into the fog respecting his alleged connection between Nephi and Shakespeare, and by some sort of mental contortion utterly inexplicable, has arrived at the conclusion that we must suppose that Nephi had a copy of our English Bible as well as the Jewish scriptures, and also a copy of Shakespeare, in order

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 367

    to account for the passage in the Book of Mormon which he alleges is a quotation from the English poet. I must come to the rescue of the Unknown in this matter: I begin to have some degree of commiseration for him in his mental struggle to comprehend even this very simple matter. Attend, then: Lehi lived in Judea in the seventh and sixth century, B.C. He was acquainted with the Hebrew scriptures, including the book of Job, and when he departed from Jerusalem for the western world his colony took with them those same scriptures. Through them he became familiar in the Hebrew with Job's -- "Let me alone, that I may take comfort a little before I go whence I shall not return." Also Job's -- "When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return." When Lehi's own hour of departure hence had come, impressed with this solemn thought of Job's, he gave expression to it in Hebrew. The saying was recorded by his son Nephi in the Egyptian characters employed by him in making his record. Observe that we have traced these ideas of the "land whence I shall not return" into the Nephite records without the aid of the English Bible or Shakespeare. When Joseph Smith came to this thought in Nephi, the thought, mark you, he translated it into the English, and being familiar with the book of Job, his translation followed somewhat the phraseology of Job in our English version. Shakespeare nowhere appears in all this, and if he did, if Joseph Smith had expressed this old Hebrew and Nephite thought in Shakespeare's exact phraseology instead of that of our English version of Job, it would have been no valid objection to the Book of Mormon, for Shakespeare died in 1616, and the English version of the Bible was published in 1611, only five years before the poet's death! Are we to infer from this that "M" thinks Shakespeare had no English Bible from which to paraphrase

    368                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    this passage? If so -- and I can see nothing else in his reference to these dates -- then I would inform the gentleman that as there were brave men before Agamenon, so were there English Bibles before the 1611 edition; Wycliff's English Bible, 1380-1384; Tyndale's English translation, 1530; Miles Coverdale's English translation, 1535, dedicated to Henry VIII, and for a time issued under the royal sanction. From any of these versions Shakespeare could have paraphrased Job's words.

    The Unknown seems somewhat distressed in his efforts to account for the few original and moral religious truths, I quoted him from the Book of Mormon. Especially "Fools mock, but they shall mourn." He "sees nothing new in that," since in Proverbs it is said "fools make a mock of sin." True, but it appears from the context where the Book of Mormon passage occurs that the particular "fools" the writer had in mind were those who mocked at righteousness and truth, and hence he predicts that they shall come to grief; while Solomon's "fools" mock at sin, and the consequences are not stated, at least not in that passage. I trust, however, the Unknown will not worry over much. The star of hope may yet appear above life's horizon for him. The javelin-like sentence, "Fools mock, but they shall mourn," is' immediately followed by "My grace is sufficient for the meek;" and it appears to me if this discussion continues through a few more papers, and there should continue to be manifested as much difference between each succeeding communication of "M's" as there is between the arrogance of his first letter and the humility of his second, in time I am sure he would be prepared to enter a contest even with Moses for the distinction of being the meekest of men.

    As to the rest that "M" says of these matters, the limits of this writing preclude further comment. Neither is it necessary,

                                    BRIEF  DEBATE.                                 369

    for it is all as shallow, not to say as silly, as what he says upon the passage here criticised.


    Just a word in conclusion, not to the Unknown, but to the readers of these papers. I would have them remember that in this discussion the evidence that can be marshaled to sustain the truth of the Book of Mormon has not yet been presented. The manner in which the discussion began made this impossible. There was before the reader no evidence on the positive side concerning the Book of Mormon when the discussion began, and the paper of Unknown was on the negative side of the question. A proper discussion of the Book of Mormon would require that we who affirm its divine origin should have the opportunity of presenting the affirmative evidence, followed by an argument against that evidence, with answer and rejoinder to follow. All of which, of course, are in no way a complaint as to the present opportunities presented to the writer by The Tribune, as to him has been extended equal opportunity and courtesy with his opponent, for which I desire to express my appreciation. I am satisfied with this discussion, but merely desire to call attention to the enforced limits of its scope. Respectfully yours,   B.H. ROBERTS.


    [ 371 ]



    [ 373 ]


    The occasion which gave rise to the following discourse, delivered in the Granite Stake Tabernacle, Sunday evening, May 29th, 1904, is sufficiently explained in the body of the text. The discourse deals only with one of three of Revelation Paden's discourses delivered against the Book of Mormon, and that the third -- "Gospels Apocryphal and Real." Of that discourse nothing here need be said, as a full synopsis of it is given in the text of the answer to it. But there may be some curiosity to know something of the other discourses of Mr. Paden's against the III Nephi -- the "Fifth Gospel." In the first discourse a general charge of plagiarism from the Bible was made, the claim being that material for the most valuable parts was to be found in the Gospel or Revelation of St. John, in the Psalms, and in the Gospel according to St. Matthew. "His general conclusion was," according to the published synopsis of the discourse -- furnished by Dr. Paden to the press quoted-"that there was nothing in the book to indicate that it was inspired, except as it was plagiarized from the Bible."

    In Dr. Paden's second discourse the charge of plagiarism was emphasized and amplified; and the further charges made that the book lacked in "local color." "We find almost nothing," he said, "which would fit with a tropical climate; in fact the general description would better coincide with Pennsylvania or New York. * * * * The whole attempt to account for the vagaries of Nephite geography,

    374                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    or its seeming disagreement or failure to connect with tropical South America, is an exposition of the weakness of the claim made by the Book of Nephi and the whole Book of Mormon to be a trustworthy document. Indeed the whole history and make-up of the story seems to indicate a determination to put its claims beyond the touch of realistic teaching."

    I mention here these points in the discourses of Dr. Paden, in order to direct the reader's attention to the fact that these with other objections urged by this gentleman in the discourses referred to, are considered, in part, in preceding papers of this book, and at length in my treatise on the Book of Mormon in the Young Men's Manual for 1905-6, and will also be found in "New Witnesses for God," Vol. II, soon to issue from the press; and for the reason that they are considered in those works they are not reviewed here.

    [ 375 ]


    During the month of March of the present year a sectarian minister of high standing in our community preached several discourses in Salt Lake City -- three, I think -- against the third book of Nephi, contained in the Book of Mormon. This third Nephi the reverend gentleman has happily called the "Fifth Gospel." I am sorry that descriptive term did not occur to me, or to some other Elder in Israel. Had I coined the title I should have been very proud of it, for I think it a most fortunate one. Of course, the other four gospels are contained in our Hebrew scriptures. They are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We speak of them as the four gospels. And this reverend gentleman refers to III Nephi as the "Fifth Gospel." I call it the "American Gospel," for I so regard it. Of course, after stating the title the gentleman then questions the book's right to it. The subject of his three discourses is the consideration of the question whether this Nephite book is worthy to be classed at all with the four gospels of the Hebrew scriptures. He decides the question on the negative.

    I shall not attempt in the remarks I make tonight to deal with all three of the gentleman's discourses. I shall content myself with alluding to one, and that the third, called "Gospels, Apocryphal and Real." A word of explanation about the term "apocryphal gospels." During the

    376                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    first and second centuries of the Christian era there was a world of myth and legend that grew out of the history of the Savior. The four gospels leave undescribed, as you know, his infancy and youth. Between the time his earthly guardians took up their residence at Nazareth in his infancy to the time when he commenced his public ministry -- in all that period we get but one glimpse of him, that was when he was twelve years of age, and then we learn of him being in the temple disputing with the doctors -- doctors of philosophy and doctors of theology -- both asking and answering questions. What sober history failed to record fable and legend sought to supply, hence we have a collection of books called the Apocryphal New Testament, that deals with him and his sojourn in Egypt and in his childhood days called the Gospel of the Infancy, two books; the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, a number of epistles -- about fifteen or twenty books, all told. They are so extravagant in statement, so wonder-creating in their nature, that they are generally discredited by Christians and called "apocryphal" books about Jesus and the early days of Christianity. Our reverend friend classes the "Fifth Gospel" with this order of apocryphal books, and says that it deserves no higher rank than those books to which I have here briefly alluded.

    I shall at this point read to you the synopsis of the reverend gentleman's discourse; and while the synopsis cannot be so satisfactory as the whole discourse would be, still I think likely he has mentioned his chief objections to the book in the synopsis, as I am informed that he himself prepared it for the public press; so that what I quote is his own representation of the discourse, and doubtless contains all the points he scored against our III Nephi.

                                  "FIFTH  GOSPEL."                               377


    "'Gospels Apocryphal and Real,' was the title of Dr. William M. Paden's sermon last night. It was in a way a continuation of his sermons on the book of Nephi, and again a large congregation assembled to hear him. He first gave an account of the apocryphal gospels of the infancy, Nicodemus, the birth of the virgin, and others. These he compared and classed with the gospel according to Nephi, which he had explained and dealt with the two preceding Sundays. Much in these so-called gospels anyone could quote or gather from the real gospels; the greater part of the rest of the matter, of the rest that is not [so] copied, anyone could write. After this Dr. Paden went on to speak of the manner in which our real gospels added something of real worth to the pictures of Christ. Thus Matthew improved on Mark, Luke on Matthew and Mark, and John on them all. Does III Nephi add anything worth while to the picture? he asked. Luke gives us the story of the prodigal, John the story of the good Samaritan. Matthew has given us many parables. What does Nephi add which deserves to be classed with such revelations? How does it come that this so-called fifth gospel gives us no new parables? One real, original parable of the class that is found in the gospel according to Matthew would give it the necessary standing. One grand new chapter like the 15th of Luke, or the 3rd of John, would be as great a surprise in this gospel according to Nephi as a Psalm like the 23rd would be in the early part of the Book of Mormon.

    "Concerning the authenticity of the would-be fifth gospel, Dr. Paden made use of a very appropriate and telling simile. He said the question is not where do men say they got it, but, is it gold? These four nuggets, (i.e., the four Hebrew gospels), are gold. If your supposed nugget is not, it matters little where you got it; your father and grandfather may have been mistaken -- you must submit to the gold test."

    378                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        


    You will observe that the primary consideration in the reverend gentleman's discourse is, Does III Nephi add anything to the picture of Christ? Is our Christian knowledge increased by it? It is that question that I propose to consider.

    To begin with, I answer the question in the affirmative, and most emphatically say, Yes, III Nephi does add something to the pictures of Christ, and does add something to our testimony of Christian knowledge. I marvel that the gentleman should have propounded such a question in the face of the facts which stand out so prominently in III Nephi. I should have thought that one great truth, that is announced in III Nephi, would have arrested his attention, namely, the one truth that Jesus appeared in this western world and so ministered to a people that two great continents, to be filled subsequently with nations of people, might come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and of the gospel of salvation which he taught, -- I should have thought that one fact would have been a complete answer to the gentleman's inquiry. The fact that the justice and mercy of God in our conception are broadened by this great truth adds considerable to our Christian treasury of knowledge. For instead of God's mercy and the labors of his Son being confined to the eastern hemisphere, we learn from this Fifth Gospel that God sent his Son on a special mission to those inhabiting this western world, and that he presented to them the same great truths upon which his gospel is based that he had presented to those of the eastern world; and that, moreover, while here he gave the Nephites the information that his labors in Judea and among them were not all the labors he was required to perform in the interest

                                    "FIFTH  GOSPEL."                                 379

    of humanity and their salvation, but that he must make his way to the lost tribes of Israel and declare himself and his message also to them. Thus the horizon of Christ's mission and labor is enlarged beyond anything that can be learned from the four gospels, and the knowledge can only be found in the Fifth Gospel -- the third book of Nephi.

    That, however, is too general a view of the subject to be content with. I propose getting into closer quarters with this matter, and enquiring into it in some detail. First let me call your attention to the conditions existing at the opening of this Fifth Gospel. It opens with the ninety-first year of the reign of the Judges -- a time which corresponds to our year one of the Christian era. At that time the Nephites everywhere were more or less expectant of the birth of the Son of God, for the Lord had not left himself without witnesses among the ancient inhabitants of this great land, but as in Judea, he raised up prophets who foretold the coming of Messiah and the conditions that would attend upon his birth into the world. Some five years before the opening of this period we are to consider, a Lamanite prophet appeared among the Nephites and prophesied in a marvelous manner concerning events nearing the doors of the people, declaring that within five years from the time he spoke there should be given a sign unto the people of this western world that Messiah had been born. That sign should be the continuance of the light of day through two days and a night; that though the sun should sink as usual beyond the western horizon the light of day should still continue through all the time of night; the sun should rise again on the morrow according to his order, and they should know that there had been this strange phenomenon of continuous light, notwithstanding the absence of the sun; and a new star should appear also.

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    Does that add anything to the picture in the career of Messiah? Is it nothing that the inhabitants of the western world should see in the heavens a most beautiful sign that Jesus had been born, and by that sign, in the fulfillment of the prediction that had been made by the prophets, they should receive from God a testimony that his Son had come into the world to bring to pass the redemption of the race? I think it adds a beautiful picture in the life of Jesus Christ, and one on which the four gospels are silent.

    This same prophet predicted also the signs that should attend upon Messiah's death; for through prophesy the Nephites had been made acquainted with the fact that though Jesus was the Son of God, yet must he die and be buried in order that he might by that act meet the just claims of inexorable law under which mankind were banished from the presence of God and made subject to death. This Lamanite prophet, Samuel, declared that during the time that the Son of God should be immolated upon the cross this western hemisphere should be mightily shaken by the throes of physical nature; that great valleys should undergo upheaval and be thrown into mountains; that many high places and mountains should be shaken down; that many parts of the land should sink and the sea cover them; that-some cities would thus be destroyed; in other cases great mountains of earth should cover wicked cities from the sight of God; and thus should there be upheaval, cataclysm, earthquakes and tempests, fierce and vivid lightnings, and all the elements should give witness that the Son of God was undergoing the pains of death. Moreover, that this period of cataclysms and changes in the earth should be followed by three days of intense and complete darkness, until men should be unable to see, being deprived of the light of the sun so precious to man and so necessary to life.

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    Both these events -- the signs of Messiah's birth and the signs of his death -- were given as foretold.

    I pause again to ask this reverend gentleman if the signs of Messiah's death on this continent do not add something to the picture of Christ's life.

    In passing, let me call your attention to this fact also: I think I see something very beautiful and appropriate in these marvelous signs. I think it is fitting that he who is described in the four gospels as well as in the fifth as the "Light and Life of the world," should have his entrance into earth life proclaimed by a night in which there should be no darkness, and that a new star for a season should appear in the heavens, to be a witness to the people that "the life and light" which was to bring life and light to mankind had indeed come into the world. And equally appropriate is it that when he who is described as the Life and Light of the world is laid low in death, the world should have the testimony of light eclipsed. I see a beautiful appropriateness in these signs, and in them I see added pictures in the life and career of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    One other thing -- which, however, I can only throw in sight -- is this: The traditions held by the native American races prove the fact that something like this described in the Book of Mormon-these cataclysms and the darkness which followed -- was vividly remembered by the ancients and is apparent in the traditions of the native Americans. For example, Mr. Bancroft, the great compiler of native traditions and myths, after speaking concerning native traditions about the flood, creation, the building of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of tongues and the dispersion of mankind, and of a certain revision that took place in the native calendar, says:

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    "One hundred and sixteen years after this regulation or invention of the Toltec calendar, the sun and moon were eclipsed, the earth shook, and the rocks were rent asunder, and many other things and signs happened. This was in the year Ce Calli, which, the chronology being reduced to our system, proves to be the same date that Christ our Lord suffered" -- 33 A. D.

    Again, speaking of a certain division made in the Quiche kingdom, Bancroft, quoting from the History of Guatemala by the native author, Juarros, says:

    "This division was made when three suns were seen, which has caused some to think that it took place on the day of the birth of our Redeemer, a day on which, it is commonly believed that such a meteor was seen."

    The day when three suns appeared would doubtless figuratively and very clearly express the time when they had two days and one night of continuous light on the continent.

    Again, Nadaillac, in his Prehistoric America, after speaking of certain creation and flood traditions, adds:

    "Other traditions allude to convulsions of nature, to inundations, profound disturbances, to terrible deluges in the midst of which mountains and volcanoes suddenly rose up."

    I now turn to a passage I shall read to you from III Nephi, describing the appearance of Jesus on this land. After these cataclysms had taken place a company of men, women and children in the land Bountiful, numbering some 2,500 souls, were assembled together near a temple that had escaped destruction, and they were speaking of the great events of the recent past and the change that was apparent in the whole face of the land. As they were speaking of these signs that had been given of Messiah's birth and death,

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    and conversing concerning Messiah himself, they heard a voice. What was said they could not at first determine, and whence the voice came they could not tell. It grew, however, more and still more distinct, until at last, they heard the voice say:

    "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye him."

    "And it came to pass as they understood, they cast their eyes up again towards heaven and behold, they saw a man descending out of heaven: and he was clothed in a white robe, and he came down and stood in the midst of them, and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

    "And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

    "Behold, I am Jesus, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world:

    "And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

    "And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, the whole multitude fell to the earth, for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven."

    This reverend gentleman, whom I am reviewing, complains that III Nephi, or the Fifth Gospel, adds no new parable to the collection of parables we have in the four gospels. But can any man read this simple yet sublime account of Messiah appearing to the inhabitants of this western world, and then say the Fifth Gospel

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    adds nothing to the treasury of Christian knowledge? Is there, I ask you, any parable, or any hundred parables, that could be given that would be equal to these grand revelations concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and his mission to this western hemisphere?

    Complaint is also made that in his subsequent teachings Messiah merely repeated the ideas, and for that matter the words of his sermon on the mount; so wanting in originality, claim those who object to the Book of Mormon, were the authors of the book that they could not trust themselves to give Jesus the opportunity of preaching an original discourse to the inhabitants of this western part of the world. I ask these Christian objectors to consider just this: Suppose the Book of Mormon were not in existence at all; suppose that we begin to reflect on the empires and nations which beyond all question did occupy this land of America in ancient times, and were civilized, intelligent people -- God's children; suppose that it began to occur to some of our Christian friends that it would have been a grand idea if the Son of God had come and made proclamation of the gospel to a people who were destined to be for so many centuries separated from the eastern hemisphere, where the gospel had been planted. Now then, suppose these conditions, and suppose further that Jesus came here, what would be the nature of his mission? What should he first do? What truth do these Christian critics hold to be the most important truth to mankind? Would it not be the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world, the one who is to bring life and immortality to light through the Gospel? Would not that be the most important thing to have declared? I believe all Christians must necessarily say yes. Well, that is just what happened. The voice of God broke the stillness of this western world, and

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    said to a company of people, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Then Jesus stands forth and declares himself and his mission. The most important truth that the Christian mind, at least, can conceive! The Fifth Gospel starts with that sublime, important truth. Then after that, what would be the next most important thing? Would it not be to teach man his moral duty? His relationship to God and to the Savior having been fixed by the first revelation, what next? Why, the ethics of the gospel of Christ, the moral law, which is to take the place of the old law, Christian principles for right living. And so Messiah starts out with the same doctrines that he taught upon the mount. Now, there are not wanting respectable Christian authorities for the assertion that that discourse called the sermon on the mount was not a single discourse, but that into it was crowded from the recollection of the Apostles all the great ethical truths that Jesus had taught from time to time, and that here they are grouped together and appear as one discourse. Moreover, the Savior declared to the Nephites while he was yet with them that these truths which he had been teaching them were the same that he had taught in Judea. "Behold," said he, in the course of his explanations, "ye have heard the things which I have taught before I ascended unto my Father."

    But in answer to these complaints that the Book of Mormon adds nothing new to the treasury of our Christian knowledge, I want to show you, though I shall have to do it briefly, that the Book of Mormon version of these ethical doctrines of Jesus Christ does throw some additional light upon this sermon on the mount.

    Right here I must complain just a little of the gentleman, notwithstanding I believe he intended to be fair.

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    Speaking of this version of the sermon on the mount in the Book of Mormon, I think he sneeringly asserts that there is "one new beatitude added." And that is, the first verse in the Savior's discourse to the Nephites opens with this statement -- which was given to the multitude after he had chosen twelve special disciples to be teachers of his gospel:

    "Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants."

    The gentleman says that is a new beatitude. Well, is there any proper complaint to be made against that? Suppose Jesus had said to a multitude in Judea, when he presented the Twelve Apostles before them, since he was going to bestow upon them, not only divine authority to act in his name, but was going to accompany them always by the presence of his Spirit -- would it have been out of place or an improper "beatitude" if he had said to the multitude, "Blessed are ye if ye shall hearken unto the words that these Twelve shall say unto you"? It is scarcely becoming in a Christian minister to make light of God's request of a multitude that they shall have respect unto the teachings of his servants, and tells them that they shall be blessed if they hearken unto them.

    But to continue. The first beatitude as given in Matthew is as follows:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    A very beautiful, terse expression, and no doubt true. But in III Nephi it stands thus:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

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    It is not enough for men to be poor in spirit. Not on that hinges salvation. A man can be poor in spirit and still fail of salvation. But "Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    I think that throws a little light upon the sermon on the mount that is worthy the consideration of this Christian clergyman.

    Another expression in the sermon on the mount in our English version of the New Testament, is:

    "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."

    Filled with what? Well, the Book of Mormon version of it is:

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost."

    That is more definite, is it not?

    But now I come to a more important point, where more light, and light that is very necessary, is added to this sermon on the mount. I commence reading from Matthew vi:24.

    "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

    "Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    That is a passage of scripture against which infidels have leveled their sarcasms ever since it was written. They have denounced it as instruction utterly impractical; as false in theory, as it would be impossible in practice; and as giving

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    the evidence that Jesus was a mere idle dreamer, not a practical reformer. For, say they, this doctrine of taking no thought of the morrow, and taking no thought respecting food and raiment, if applied to the world's affairs, would turn the wheels of progress backward, and plunge the world into a state of barbarism. There could be no civilization under such conditions, they argue; and man would go back to the condition of the savage. I have never heard a Christian argument against that assault that has been an answer to it. But I find the key to the situation in this Book of Mormon version of the passage. It throws a flood of light upon this matter that makes the defense of the doctrine of Christ not only possible but easy. The Book of Mormon tells me that those words were not addressed to the multitude, nor are they to be followed by all the members of the Church, nor by the people of the world generally. Jesus confined that instruction in America to twelve men whom he chose from among his disciples, and especially commissioned to go and preach the gospel; and to so completely dedicate themselves unto the Lord that they would give no thought to temporal things, but put heart and soul into the work of their ministry, and their Father in heaven, who knew they had need of food and raiment, would open up the way for them, to obtain such things as they needed, even as he clothed the lilies or cared for the birds of the air. Thus limited, that doctrine is all right, is it not? And as Jesus turned from the multitude to deliver this doctrine especially adapted to the Twelve here in America, so, doubtless, if we had the fullness of the truth as delivered in Judea I believe he would be represented as confining those remarks unto the men whom he had specially called into the ministry in that land.

    So I say the Fifth Gospel places in our hands the means

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    of meeting the scoffs of the unbeliever, and vindicates the doctrines of Jesus Christ as reasonable now that we have the word of the Lord rightly divided.

    I cannot leave this passage without calling your attention to the closing sentence of the sixth chapter of Matthew: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." In III Nephi it stands: "Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof." In the first instance you note that the evil is made sufficient for the day. The fifth gospel has it that the day is made sufficient for the evil. Don't you think that is better? Three learned commentators say of that sentence, as it stands in Matthew: "An admirable practical maxim, better rendered in our version (King James' translation) than in any other, not excepting the preceding English ones. Every day brings its own cares, and to anticipate is only to double them." If they can thus speak in high praise of the saying of the Savior as it stands' in Matthew, how much more reason they would have for praising it as it is found in III Nephi.

    I will now read to you a passage which Elder Francis M. Lyman read at one of the public meetings of our recent general conference, and which first suggested to me the thought of taking up this reverend gentleman's discourse for the purpose of showing, at least to our young people, that there was something in the Fifth Gospel worth while considering; that it adds something to our Christian knowledge. Jesus giving instruction to the Nephite disciples, says:

    "Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them; behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.

    "And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name:

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    "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    "And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water."

    If we had only been so fortunate as to have had such an explicit statement as this in our four gospels, or in one of them, what a world of contention would have been avoided, what a world of Christian persecution of Christians would have been avoided, and what unity and harmony there would have been upon a great Christian ordinance upon which Christians are now unhappily divided. Aside from this statement and the revelations that God has given in these days, there is nothing that definitely instructs the world on the subject of how baptism shall be administered. Jesus came to the disciples after his resurrection and said to them, "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Of course, for some two or three hundred years we have the custom of the Saints as an interpretation of the manner of baptism, and that is, they were immersed; but since Jesus had not specified the manner in which the ordinance was to be administered, men began to wonder after awhile if baptism could not be performed in some other way than immersion, and so they adopted the method of sprinkling, or of pouring the water on the person. And from that departure from the true gospel grew up the varied methods of baptism as we have them today. The Greeks still immerse, and they immerse three times -- once in the name of the Father, once in the name of the Son, and once in the name of the Holy Spirit. We have an American sect who hit upon what I suppose they consider a happy thought, and that is, that baptism must not only be thrice performed, but that the candidate

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    must be pushed face downward into the water; for, say they, would you have people going into the kingdom backwards? Of the Protestant sects, some sprinkle and some pour water on the candidate; and one prominent minister, the late Henry Ward Beecher, reduced the ordinance to the mere act of moistening the hand and placing it upon the brow of the candidate, and called that baptism! The great Catholic Church, backed by its "tradition" and its scholarship, insists that sprinkling is a proper method of baptism. And so the world is divided on this great ordinance, which all confess is the visible sign of entrance into the fold of Christ -- part of our birth into the kingdom of God.

    What parable, what dozen parables, could be so precious in their importance to the Christian world as this explicit statement of how the ordinance of baptism shall be administered, if they would but accept it!

    In addition to this doctrine of baptism you will find (though I shall not take time to point it out at length on this occasion) in the Fifth Gospel instructions given by the Savior on the subject of the Sacrament and the purposes for which it was given, which afterwards were crystalized in the prayer of consecration of the emblems, and because they are so crystalized, and therefore briefer, I shall read that instruction to you as it is found in the prayer. The prophet is explaining how the Sacrament was administered after the people received this institution from Jesus:

    "And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying:

    "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in the remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to

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    take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them. Amen."

    If the four gospels had contained the instructions of Jesus Christ on this subject as found in the Fifth Gospel, and finally crystalized those instructions into this beautiful and .appropriate prayer of consecration, the Christian world would have escaped one of its bitterest religious controversies, and the Roman Catholic church today would not ask men to be so untrue to their intellectual consciousness as to believe that the wafer which they place upon the tongue of the communicant is the actual body and the actual blood of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the Protestant world would not be divided and subdivided, upon this question, but they would have instruction which would enable them to properly hold the great atonement of Jesus Christ in true and objective remembrance in the Sacrament.

    I undertake to say now that there cannot be produced from the literature of the world, sacred or profane, a prayer that is the equal of this prayer of consecration, excepting only the Lord's prayer. With that exception, this prayer, for completeness, for a succession of solemn thoughts, fitly spoken, and crystalized into a form from which you can take nothing and to which you can add nothing without marring it, stands alone; and it adds something to our Christian knowledge. It is an important item of Christian instruction and doctrine, and one that the world much needs; you will find its scattered rays in the Fifth Gospel, in the form I have quoted it, it is given by Moroni.

    Now, I must pass on hurriedly. There is a singular

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    passage of scripture in John, the 10th chapter and 16th verse, which rather puzzles expounders of the scripture.

    "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

    Ask the Christian ministers to explain this passage, and they always answer that Jesus had in mind the Gentiles. If so, how do you harmonize this fact, which I now point out to you, with that statement, namely: Jesus was once passing through a crowded street and a woman of Canaan, of race upon whom the displeasure of God had fallen in very ancient times, -- perhaps their spirits warranted just the conditions that they came into this world to meet. This woman, of this race, came to Jesus, asking that he would heal her child, but he heeded her not. Her importuning attracted unpleasant attention, and so the Apostles said to him, "Master, send her away; for she troubleth us." He said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Therefore, when he said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice," he had reference to some branch of the house of Israel, and not to the Gentiles; for as he explains, I think, in this Fifth Gospel, the Gentiles should receive the gospel through the ministrations of the Holy Spirit in his servants, and not by his personal ministry to them. His personal ministry was confined to the house of Israel. In this Fifth Gospel we learn that Jesus told the Nephites that they were the people he had in mind when he uttered this singular scripture we are considering; but his disciples in Judea understood him not; and because of stiffneckedness and unbelief Jesus was commanded of the Father to say no more to them upon the subject.

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    Do not these facts throw some light upon our knowledge of Christian truth?

    Moreover, in this same connection, Jesus informed his Nephite auditors that not only would he minister to them, but so soon as he was through with his ministrations to them, behold, he would go to the lost tribes of the house of Israel and minister to them also. He spoke as follows:

    "And verily, verily, I say unto you, that I have other sheep, which are not of this land; neither of the land of Jerusalem; neither in any part of that land round about, whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father, that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep that there may be one fold, and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me, and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write, shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth, because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then I will gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel."

    Again, in his discourse on this occasion, Jesus takes up the matter of the Gentiles, who in time should come to this land and take possession of it for the falling away of the Nephites was predicted, and the fact of the coming of the

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    Gentile races to this land was made known to the Nephite people. The Lord Jesus took occasion to say that the Gentiles should be greatly blessed upon this land, and should be fortified against all other nations; and if they would not reject the gospel that should be brought forth amongst them, great would be the blessings of the Lord upon the Gentiles; that they should be numbered with the house of Israel, and should assist in building up the New Jerusalem upon this continent. I quote these several important passages:

    "And blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witnesses unto them, of me and of the Father. * * * * But if the Gentiles will repent, and return unto me, saith the Lord, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; * * * And behold, this people (descendants of the Nephites addressed) will I establish in this land unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you. Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet, and who will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. But if they will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance. And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall

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    they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst."

    All this is contained in the Fifth Gospel. It contains, you will see, these promises of deep and mighty import to the Gentile races, a promise that they might become as fathers and mothers to the house of Israel, and so great should be their reward and blessing that they should be completely identified with the Israel of God upon this land, and join in building up Zion -- that Zion from which Isaiah declared the law should go forth in the last days, while the word of the Lord should go forth from Jerusalem; indicating the two capitals on the earth, one in the eastern and one in the western hemisphere. But if, on the other hand, the Gentiles should reject the gospel of Christ and no longer honor the God of this land, who is declared to be Jesus Christ, then the hand of God would be upon them, and that in judgment; and that, proud, great and strong as they are, yet should they be humbled.

    So that this Fifth Gospel deals not only with the past, but it deals with the present and with the future, and sounds this note of warning to the Gentile nations upon the promised land of America. Notwithstanding the strength and pride and power of these nations in these days of their glory, the Fifth Gospel warns them that they hold their proud stations upon the condition of their faithfulness to God and their receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is worthy of God to reveal the conditions upon which the nations of the western world in pride of place may hold their stations among the nations of the earth; and it is a matter worthy the consideration of these nations to give heed to such a warning. Let no nation think itself beyond the power of

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    God; for it is not. Imperial Rome was as confident of her ability to perpetuate her power as any nation of the western world is today; and he who would have dared to suggest that Rome could be humbled, and pass away as a dream of the night, would doubtless have been thought wanting in patriotism; yet Rome was humbled. The half-naked hordes from the woods and plains of Germany reveled in the palaces of the Caesars. Romans in their pride were wont to say of the Coliseum in which Christians had suffered martyrdom at the hands of brute men and brute beasts, merely to grace a Roman holiday: "While stands the Coliseum, Rome stands, when falls the Coliseum, Rome falls; when Rome, the world!" The Coliseum stands in ruins. Rome, as an empire, is only a name held in memory by history. But the world fell not when Rome fell; and as it has been in the past, so, too, it may be in the future. If God's conditions are not complied with, then as a potsherd will he break that nation that rises up in proud rebellion against him. This is God's earth. It is his by right of proprietorship, for he created it; and by various means is he and not man guiding its destinies. Those who hold power and authority in it hold it in trust from him, and only in trust; and the nation that is unfaithful to that trust must account to God for it. Hence I conclude that this warning that comes from the Fifth Gospel, is important; it announces a mighty, a solemn truth, an awful warning, to which ministers of any faith, and the nations addressed, will do well to take heed.

    Now, a word in conclusion about the "gold test" that our ministerial friend proposes to apply to the Fifth Gospel. I think the gentleman puts that forth for a special reason, and that in doing so he exhibits a weakness on his part. He says "The question is not, where do men say they get it, but, is it gold." Well, but it is also important to know where men

    398                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    got it, and we can establish that so far beyond all question, and can sustain it by testimony that has not only not been impeached, but is unimpeachable. The question: "Where do men say they got it" is important. The "how" and the "where" men got it is part of the evidence of its truth, which this gentleman dodges by saying that it does not matter where the Fifth Gospel came from. But having just hinted at the importance of this matter of where and how it came, I will set all that aside and declare my willingness as one of the believers in the Book of Mormon to see it submitted -- as perforce it must be -- to the "assay test." Is it gold? Are these important truths we have been considering this evening, wherein the welfare of half the world is concerned, gold or dross? Is the light which it throws upon the word of God contained in the Four Gospels, of importance? Is the fact that Jesus visited this western world and announced the saving power of his gospel in such a manner that millions would come to the knowledge of salvation a golden truth? Is the solemn warning to the Gentile nations inhabiting the western world worth while considering? May it not be golden, especially if heeded? I shall leave you to answer that. But I want to suggest an improvement on the gentleman's simile -- this "assay test" of his. Although he praises it so highly himself in the synopsis he gave to the papers of his discourse, I think it could be improved. The question is not so much as to whether in the Four Gospels or in the Fifth, all is gold, but is there gold in them. I do not think the Four Gospels are without alloy. In other words I do not think the Four Gospels are perfect. I believe there are imperfections in them, in forms of expression and in the fact that they do not convey all that Jesus both taught and did; at best they are fragmentary. St. John informs us in his gospel that if all

                                    "FIFTH  GOSPEL."                                 399

    the things that Jesus had done and taught were written, the world itself would hardly contain the books. We have not the full reports of Messiah's discourses. The full and absolute pure word of God just as it fell from the lips of the Savior, is not in the Four Gospels. For the most part we have but the recollections of the evangelists of what Jesus both said and did. Only those who read the Greek -- and unfortunately they are very few -- may read even the Four Gospels in the language in which the Apostles wrote them. But we have translations of these records, and each time they are translated a dilution takes place. The force of what is said becomes in the translation somewhat abated as all know who are acquainted with original records which they may compare with translations. So with this Book of Nephi that comes to us in an abridged form. It is not the original book of Nephi; it is Mormon's abridgement of that book. He has condensed it, and in doing so has doubtless given us less perfect accounts of Christ's mission to the Nephites than would he found in the original Book of Nephi, the real Fifth Gospel. That is to say, we have not all the surrounding circumstances or all the utterances of the Savior, or of the men it represents as speaking. Then we have not even Mormon's original abridgement of Nephi's book, but the Prophet Joseph's translation of Mormon's abridgement, and that, it is admitted, in .his imperfect English. So that the whole Five Gospels are fragmentary and tainted with imperfections and limitations as all things are that pass through human hands; but containing, nevertheless, God's precious truths; and some of these are found in the Fifth Gospel as well as in the four Hebrew Gospels; and to me the truths of the Fifth or Nephite Gospel are as precious and important as are those of the Four Gospels.

    [ 401 ]



    [ 403 ]


    The Book of Mormon teaches that the two American continents are a promised land, consecrated to righteousness and to liberty, and especially dedicated to the seed of the Patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob, of Bible fame, and to the Gentile races, who shall in the last days be gathered to the land as well as the descendants of Joseph. When the Jaredite colony was directed to take its departure from the valley of the Euphrates, the Lord promised to go before them and direct them to "a land which is choice above all the land of the earth." After beginning the journey the Lord would not permit them to stop short of that land of promise; "but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people; and he [the Lord] had sworn unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time hence forth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them.... Behold this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ."

    This colony of Jaredites was brought to the north continent of the Western hemisphere to north America.

    So, too, when the Lord was leading from Jerusalem the colony of Lehi he promised them that inasmuch as they

    404                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    would keep his commandments he would lead them to a land of promise, "to a land which he had prepared for them, a land which is choice above all other lands."

    After arriving upon this land of promise, (and their colony landed in South America), the Prophet Lehi said to his sons:

    "Notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever; and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land, save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound, cursed shall be the land for their sakes; but unto the righteous it shall be blessed for ever.... But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles; And I will fortify this land against all other nations; and he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God; for he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the King of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them for ever, that hear my words.... Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God."

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    405

    Moreover, the Book of Mormon represents this land of America as the place of a "Holy City" to be called "New Jerusalem," that shall be built upon "this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type; for as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph, that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he should perish not; wherefore the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built [established] upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come, when the earth shall pass away. And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old, save the old have passed away, and all things have become new." (Ether xiii.)

    These quotations indicate the views Mormons necessarily hold respecting the land of America; to them it is a land of promise, a sacred land, dedicated to righteousness, and to liberty, therefore to free institutions which alone may preserve the liberties and the rights of men.

    This belief in the sacredness of the land, this knowledge of the divine purposes concerning it, coupled with the fact that Mormons believe that God inspired the founders of the now great and dominating nation, the United States, to establish the Constitution under which the government of the United States subsists and which guarantees both religious and civil liberty to all its people; the belief also that the Lord has given unto it an unparalleled national prosperity and power to enforce the divine decrees concerning this land -- all this lays the foundation for purest patriotism, for

    406                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    unwavering loyalty to these free institutions and to the power that guarantees their perpetuity, the government of the United States.

    The first article under this title was written for the "Contributor," Vol. X, No. 7, May, 1899: The second is a discourse delivered in the Salt Lake tabernacle, Sunday afternoon, March 24, 1907. Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    407



    In the April number of the Century, 1899, is a well-written and profusely illustrated article on the Inauguration of Washington, by Clarence Winthrop Bowen. Among the illustrations is a facsimile of the page of the Bible on which Washington laid his hand while taking the oath of office, and it is to this that I wish specially to call attention.

    It was Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, one of the committee of five appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, who administered the oath of office to Washington. "Just before the oath was to be administered," says Mr. Bowen, "it was discovered that no Bible was in Federal Hall. Luckily Livingston, a Grand Master of Free Masons, knew that there was one at St. John's Lodge in the City Assembly Room near by -- St. John's Lodge was the third oldest lodge in the United States, by the way -- and a messenger was dispatched to borrow the Bible.

    In further describing the solemn ceremonies of that occasion the Century article says:

    "Secretary Otis of the Senate held before him (Washington) a red velvet cushion, upon which rested the open Bible of St. John's Lodge. 'You do solemnly swear,' said Livingston, 'that you will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of your

    408                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' 'I do solemnly swear,' said Washington, 'that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' He then bowed his head and kissed the sacred book, and with the deepest feeling uttered the words, 'So help me God!"

    The page of the Bible which Washington kissed, and on which his hand rested while taking the oath, is indicated in the Bible of St. John's Lodge by the leaf being turned down. A copper plate engraving is on the opposite page, illustrating the blessings of Zebulun and Issachar, as pronounced upon them by the Patriarch Jacob in Genesis xlix, thirteenth and fourteenth verses respectively. The page on which Washington's hand rested contains part of chapter forty-nine of Genesis, beginning with the thirteenth

    verse; and also part of the fiftieth chapter down to verse eight, inclusive. The particular thing which struck me as being a remarkable circumstance is that the page indicated contains the blessing of Jacob upon the head of his favorite son, Joseph, which reads as follows:

    "22. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall.

    "23. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him.

    "24. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd the stone of Israel). "25. Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

    "26. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    409

    the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

    To the Latter-day Saints the blessing of Joseph has a particular significance, for the reason that they, more than any other people, are familiar with his descendants, and the blessing promised them in which also they hope to participate. The Book of Mormon is a history, chiefly, of the descendants of Joseph; and in the mighty nations which have peopled the American continent, the Latter-day Saints see, in part, the fulfillment of the great blessings pronounced upon his head.

    The brass plates which were taken by the colony of Lehi from Jerusalem, and which they brought with them to America, contained a genealogy and from that Lehi learned he was a descendant of Joseph. Nephi describes the matter thus:

    "And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass, a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew he was a descendant of Joseph; yea even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine." -- I Nephi v: 14.

    In the early wanderings of the above named colony, before it had left the wilderness of Arabia for America, the Lord in speaking with Nephi, said to him:

    "Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart. And in as much as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even

    410                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    a land which I have prepared for you, yea a land, which is choice above all other lands." -- I Nephi ii:19, 20.

    Even after this time the land to which this colony was being led, and upon which it finally located, was spoken of among them as the land of promise. When the Messiah appeared among the descendants of this colony in America, which he did after his resurrection and shortly after he left his disciples in Jerusalem, he referred to these people being descendants of Joseph and also to this land of promise which they had received. He chose twelve apostles on the continent of America as he had chosen a like number in Judea to be special witnesses for him, and in a conversation he had with them he said:

    "Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph, and behold, this is the land [America] of your inheritance; and the father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem....

    This much did the father command me, that I should tell unto them: that other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd ....

    And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said other sheep I have who are not of this fold," etc. -- III Nephi xv:11-22.

    Nothing can be clearer than that the family of Lehi and his posterity, which grew into a mighty people, a great nation upon the continent of America, were descendants of Joseph, the son of Jacob. And now let us consider this fact in connection with the blessing pronounced upon the head of Joseph by his father Jacob; but before doing so I wish to call attention to the blessing which Moses also pronounced

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    411

    upon the descendants of Joseph just previous to his death; it is recorded in Deuteronomy, chapter xxxiii.

    "And of Joseph he said: Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that croucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains and for the precious things of the everlasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush, let the blessing come upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

    It will be observed both in this blessing pronounced upon Joseph by Moses and in the one given him of Jacob, that special stress is laid upon the excellent character of the/and to be inhabited by Joseph. Jacob said his own blessings had prevailed (i.e., were more extended, more excellent) above the blessings of his progenitors, unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills -- his inheritance was to be more extended than that given to his progenitors, and all those blessings he gave unto Joseph, and his land was to be blessed with the blessings of heaven and earth; with blessings of the breast and of the womb. While Moses tells us that his land shall be blessed with the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, with the precious things of the everlasting hills, with the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof. All this leads us to believe that the land to be inhabited by the descendants of Joseph is to be a rich, fruitful and therefore a choice land; more excellent than that given to his brethren.

    Now look, I pray you, upon the continent of America, north and south. Consider its varied climate, embracing as it does the torrid zone near the center of it, and then

    412                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    extending to the frigid zones north and south. Think of its vast wealth and variety of fruits and flowers, grains and vegetables; the bread fruits, figs, limes, oranges, bananas, pine apples, dates, rice, maize and other fruits and vegetables of the tropics too numerous to enumerate; and with them remember the hardier fruits and grains and vegetation of the colder climates. Call to mind the mighty forests, inhabited by an infinite variety of birds and beasts. Remember its extensive plains, the llanos of the South and the great rolling prairies and plains of the North, capable of sustaining innumerable herds of sheep and cattle and horses. Forget not the precious things of the chief mountains, the wealth of the everlasting hills -- the gold, the silver, the lead, the copper, the iron, the inexhaustible coal fields, the underground petroleum lakes, the precious stones. Think of the great rivers that afford easy entrance into the interior of this mighty continent -- the great high-ways of commerce; view from the mountain tops the splendid harbors which abound along the shores; remember the fruitful seas surrounding these blessed continents, and, as all these things are called to mind, tell me, is not the land of Joseph blessed with the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof? With the precious fruits brought forth by the sun and the precious things of the everlasting hills, and with the precious things of the deep?

    But not only were the descendants of Joseph to be blessed with a goodly land, and an abundance of the good and precious things of the earth, but they were to be blessed also with the "precious things of heaven;" according-to Moses, and according to Jacob, Joseph was to be helped by the God of his fathers, who would bless him with the "blessings of heaven above." What may more appropriately be regarded as "blessings of heaven above," the "precious

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    413

    things of heaven," than the revelations of God, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely nothing! And according to the Book of Mormon the descendants of Joseph on the continent of America had both. They carried with them from Jerusalem the writings of Moses and the prophets whom the Lord raised up to Israel up to the time of their departure for America. Furthermore, the Lord sent prophets among them to teach them the way of truth, to admonish them of their sins, to warn them of approaching calamity when their iniquity required the chastening hand of Almighty God to correct it, that peradventure some would repent. Then after his resurrection the Son of God came among them, taught them the fulness of the gospel and organized his Church in their midst -- truly then the descendants of Joseph were blessed with the "precious things of heaven," and they preserved the words of their prophets and teachings of the Messiah in their records; and these things, in part, have come to us in the Book of Mormon.

    Again, the family of Lehi was but a part and a very small part of the descendants of Joseph; the greater number of his descendants remained in Judea until, in connection with the ten tribes, and forming a part of that body of people, they were led away. But when Lehi and his colony left Jerusalem and planted themselves in America, the figure used by Jacob in blessing Joseph, was completed -- Joseph was indeed "a fruitful bough by a well whose branches ran over the wall." And though the great nations which sprang into existence on the American continent, consisting in the main of his posterity, have been destroyed, and broken up, until nothing is left of them but a few wandering tribes and the ruins of their once grand civilization -- still many millions of them have been very faithful to the Lord and

    414                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    his truth in the days of their probation, and have doubtless died with a lively hope of a glorious resurrection.

    Thus in very many particulars the blessing of Joseph has been realized by his posterity upon the land given to them of the Lord -- the continent of America -- both north and south. And if any one should doubt the truth of what is here stated; if he should regard the Book of Mormon as being untrue, and insist that the aborigines of America are not the descendants of Joseph, then we may ask when, where, and in what way have the blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph been fulfilled. But what seems singular in connection with these

    promises made to Joseph and the account of their partial fulfilment in a portion of his posterity inhabiting America is, that after the nations, composed largely of his descendants, had been destroyed and other peoples from Europe -- among whom, however, were also large numbers of the descendants of Joseph through the loins of Ephraim [u] had taken possession of the land, at the formal inauguration of that government whose mission it is to control the destiny of the great continent of America -- the land of Joseph -- the very first executive chosen for that nation, when being sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of this land which God had inspired men to frame, he placed his hand upon the very page of the Bible containing the blessing pronounced upon the head of Joseph by the Patriarch Jacob, and kissed it in token that he swore by God's holy word that he would preserve inviolate the constitution which God prepared for this land! [v]

    [u] The great...

    [v] It is well...

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    415

    Will men call this merely coincidence? Strange coincidence indeed it is, if that be all that it is. Observe that the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis is near the very first leaves of the Bible, and in laying the book open upon a velvet cushion for the use of one about to make solemn oath upon it, it would naturally be parted near the middle of the volume and not parted at the first few leaves.

    Let others believe all this to be coincidence if they choose, but for my own part there is too much that is significant to assign it to that class of phenomena so conveniently disposed of by calling them coincidents. And I believe that the men who opened the old Masonic Bible at the page containing the blessing of Joseph were unwittingly guided by the powers of heaven, and that the act heralded an era big with promise for the descendants of Joseph -- the establishment of a government under which they would eventually attain to the full enjoyment of all that was pronounced upon their great progenitor by the inspired patriarchs, Jacob and Moses.

    as a divine act....

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    Between the fore part of September and the closing days of the month of December of last year, it was my privilege to travel in all about 11,000 miles, chiefly within the confines of the United States. I crossed the state of Nevada twice, and zigzagged back and forth through the territory of Arizona, through parts of Texas and the northern part of Mexico, making in that journey something over 3,000 miles, chiefly within what is known as the arid region of America; and really, during that time, I was almost ready to conclude that the whole of America must be "arid region," so vast it was. Shortly after this it was my privilege to go down the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains en route for the Atlantic sea board, and of course came in contact with more "arid region." In the eastern part of Colorado, however, and in central Nebraska we began to go into a region of our country that is fertile, where field joins field, and where there is one perpetual succession of cornfields, meadows, pastures, gardens and orchards, with here and there prosperous railroad towns and farming villages. We rode a whole day through such a country; and when we retired to rest we knew that the express train would all night long be plunging through just such fertile lands as we had looked upon during the day, and all the

    [w] Discourse...

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    417

    next day it would be the same -- and then some. This fertile section of the country was so vast that we forgot the arid region, and were ready to declare that the whole of America must be fertile. Then in eastern Ohio we began entering the manufacturing region of our country, and thence eastward through the whole extent of Pennsylvania, where we were seldom out of sight of the smoke stacks and furnaces of manufacturing establishments, and as we would cross the rivers or run parallel with them we could see acres and acres of coal barges and other craft of inland commerce, while the scream of the locomotives, the whistle of the factories, and ringing of bells were constantly in one's ears. So extensive was this manufacturing region that we began to think that the whole of America must be given up to manufactures. Everywhere we went there were evidences of prosperity in the land. Our journey extended not only through the central eastern states, but up into New England, up into Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and thence down the Atlantic seaboard as far as Florida; thence northward and westward through the southern states; and, as I say, everywhere we found prosperity abounding. We people in the west -- living in the midst of a world of really undeveloped resources, where life is strenuous, and where the increase of wealth is so great -- are apt to think that our section of the Union has a greater prosperity than other parts of it; but great as our own prosperity in the west is, I assure you it is not greater than the prosperity to be found in other parts of our country.

    I desire to call your attention to some of the features of a marvelous prosperity that now exists in the United States. Perhaps the truest criterion of the real prosperity of a nation such as ours, can best be ascertained by taking

    418                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    into account the prosperity of the agricultural interests of the country. If in that industry our people are prosperous you may rest assured that all other branches of industry are prosperous. From a very valuable collection of statistics published by Mr. Richard H. Edmonds, the editor of "The Manufacturers' Record," Baltimore, I quote the following facts:

    In 1870 the value of farm property within the United States amounted to 8,900 millions of dollars." Of course, all that those figures convey to your mind or to mine is simply the thought that it represents an exceedingly great value; for we have not yet learned to think in billions. In the year 1905 the 8,900 millions had increased to over 26,000 millions of value. The number of people engaged in agriculture in 1870 was 5,992,000; but in 1905 the number engaged in that industry had increased to 11,500,000 people. The value of farm products in 1870 amounted to 1,958 millions, while in 1906 it had increased to more than 7,000 millions. The value of agricultural products, per capita, of the entire population, will interest you, and aid you to appreciate the great increase of prosperity that has been made in this industry: In 1870 the value of the agricultural products, per capita, was $50, but in 1906 it had advanced to $82 per capita.

    In Louisiana and Texas alone there are over 600,000 acres of land that are annually given to rice culture with irrigation, resulting in this: that whereas these lands, now so fruitful, 25 years ago were only worth from 25 to 50 cents per acre; their value is now from $50 to $75 and even $100 per acre. This wonderful transformation in values has arisen through adopting a system of irrigation, chiefly by tapping underground streams and bringing them to the surface. Nor is this the only means of redeeming the

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    419

    land. In many parts of the south we found that large areas of swamp lands were being systematically drained, and by this system of drainage the valuation of these lands is increased as much as the Texas lands are' by irrigation. Needless to say that this reclamation of lands has greatly increased the prosperity of the south.

    There are other things that might be noted indicating the increasing prosperity of our country. Take for instance the item of railroads: In 1830 there were but 23 miles of railroad in the United States. In the year 1906, however, there are -- of main lines -- more than 223,000 miles; and if you take into account the double tracking and spur lines the mileage is increased by 90,000 miles, making the total mileage of railroads in the United States 313,000 miles, constructed since 1830. In the matter of coal and iron the United States outstrips the world. Expert examination discloses the fact that the coal fields within the United States cover an area of 356,000 square miles, as against 10,000 square miles in Great Britain; 1,800 square miles in Germany, and 51,000 square miles for all of Europe. The single state of West Virginia, as also Kentucky, has more than 50 per cent more coal area than Great Britain. What is true of coal is equally true of our wealth in iron. The United States produces more than half of all the iron product of the world. The same is true as to steel. You may judge of the advancement in these industries by the following figures: In 1880 the product of steel was 1,247,000 tons, whereas in 1905 it amounted to more than 20,000 millions of tons. In the matter of cotton the United States produces 80 per cent of all the cotton in the world. The annual output of that product amounts to 2,000 millions of dollars per annum, a value greater than the output of all the gold and silver mines of the world annually. Petroleum:

    420                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    In 1860 there were produced only 500,000 barrels, whereas in the year 1905 there were produced over 134,000,000 of barrels.

    Now as to population: Our present population is said to be about 85,000,000 of people. If the influx of population shall continue at its present ratio, by the middle of the twentieth century there will be upwards of 200,000,000 of people within the United States. "The boys and the younger men of today," suggests Mr. Edmunds, "will be active business men of that period." Commenting on the ability of the United States to support that and even a much larger population, our authority says:

    "In area the United States covers 3,000,000 square miles, with an average of less than 26 persons to the mile. Settled as densely as France, we could accommodate 570,000,000 people; as densely as Great Britain and Ireland, we would have over 1,000,000,000 people. Or compare our capabilities with the density of population in such states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, or all New England. In Pennsylvania the average number of people to the square mile in 1900 was 140. At this average for the whole country we should have a population of 420,000,000 -- certainly Pennsylvania is not overcrowded. Ohio has 102 people to the square mile, and New England an average of 90. On the basis of Ohio's average the United States would have over 300,000,000, and on the New England average 270,000,000 people. So great is the extent of our agricultural land that with the continued improvement in farming methods now going on, with the reclamation of our overflowed lands, and the extension of irrigation in regions formerly regarded as forever doomed to the cactus and sage brush, with the development of scientific forestry, too long neglected, but still capable of saving our timber reserves and protecting the sources of our rivers, we can so build up our farming interests as to provide an ample food supply for as great a multitude as the future seems sure to give us.

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    421

    With resources for the creation of industries, the development of mining, the extension of railroads, and the enlargement of trade and commerce at home and abroad, we are abundantly blessed. Nature has lavished her riches upon this country as upon no other, as far as human knowledge has yet discovered."

    I have hastened over the items, reading hurriedly, because I did not wish to weary you with details; but the author from whom I quote these statements suggests that we ought to remember that while we are justly proud of the progress made by the United States, yet in considering the future and in contemplating the almost limitless potentialities of our own country, as compared with the past, "we must remember that Mexico and South America, and Canada are running rivalry with us in the expansion of industry;" and I would add with resources second only, perhaps, to our own.

    By this time you are asking yourselves the question, I fancy, what interest have these considerations of the resources and the prosperity of America for an audience assembled upon the Sabbath day to worship God and to be instructed more especially in relation to spiritual matters? I desire as best I may to show you what connection there is between what I have said and the purpose for which you have assembled on this occasion. We are here, as was suggested in the prayer offered at the opening of our services, to have our faith in God's great latter-day work strengthened, and the chief desire I have in my heart, is to think and speak along lines that will tend to increase our faith.

    The journey through the land of America just referred to, resulted in my having a higher appreciation of the land of my adoption than I have ever before entertained.

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    Her majestic rivers, her magnificent mountain ranges, her fertile valleys, and even her desert wastes, seem dearer to me than ever before; and this not alone on account of the evidences of her prosperity which could be seen on every hand; not on account alone of contemplating her free institutions, or the patriotism of her people, and the general prevalence of peace and justice that obtain in the land -- not alone for these things (though not inconsiderable in themselves) did we find our love for America increased. Part of that increased regard was occasioned by our reflections upon the destiny of .America; upon the decrees of God respecting the land, and the relationship which the Latter-day Saints sustain to these western continents, their mission upon them -- this had something to do with increasing our regard for America.

    And now, by what, perhaps, you will consider indirect means, let me call your attention to some things which perhaps have not always been understood in their fulness even by the Latter-day Saints, in respect to this great, this choice land of America. You will easily remember, when I refer to him, that great character of the Old Testament scriptures, Joseph, the son of Jacob, one of the noblest characters of either sacred or profane history. In his boyhood the Lord by inspired dreams indicated to him a prominence in Israel. One dream pictured himself and brethren in the harvest field, setting up sheaves, and as he set his sheaf on end the sheaves of his brethren bowed in obeisance to his sheaf. He told the dream to his brethren, and they said: "Shalt thou indeed reign over us?" And they were angry with him. Again the lad dreamed, and he saw that the sun and the moon and 11 stars did obeisance to him, and he told the dream unto his father. "What," said the aged patriarch, "shall I and thy mother and thy brethren

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    423

    indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" Notwithstanding his evident vexation the old patriarch was wise enough to observe that there was inspiration in this dream of the lad's. In course of time, as you know, Joseph was sold into bondage and was taken to Egypt, and there through a pathway of sorrow and trial the Lord led him to great eminence in the nation of Egypt, made him indeed the savior of Egypt, for by inspired dreams he was forewarned of the famine and was able to provide for it, so that while there was distress and famine in every other country, there was corn in Egypt. In due time his brothers came to purchase the corn and bowed down in the presence of Joseph, and doubtless, in part, but only in part, the dream of his boyhood days was fulfilled. In time, too, his father came into Egypt and conferred upon him a father's blessing. Jacob also blessed the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, conferring great and mighty blessings upon them, and claiming them as his own. And when Jacob came to bless his son, Joseph, in connection with the rest of the tribes of Israel, he gave him a blessing that excels the blessings of the other princes in the house of Israel. Listen to it:

    "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well: whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him and shot at him, and hated him: but his-bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made-strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb: the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting-hills: They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

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    When Moses bestowed his blessings upon the tribes of Israel, he, too, pronounced a special blessing upon the head of Joseph. Mark it:

    "Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that croucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth, and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush; let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the first-lings of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of the unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."

    I have said on other occasions, and I repeat it here, that the blessing pronounced upon Joseph by both Jacob and Moses, not only exceeds the blessing of any other one of the princes of Israel, but it is greater than all the other blessings upon the princes of Israel combined. In the first place a double portion is given to him in Israel, two tribes to represent him instead of one. His two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were made the heads of tribes, Ephraim being given the greater prominence, and receiving the rights of the first born. When Joseph saw the intent of the patriarch to confer the greater blessing upon his younger son he sought to stay it, and called the attention of his father to the fact that Manasseh was the elder son. The patriarch replied: "'I know it, my son;" and referring to Manasseh, he said: "He shall also become a people, and he also shall be great, but his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations .... and he

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    425

    set Ephraim before Manasseh." Indeed Jacob that day bestowed the birthright of Israel upon Ephraim in place of Reuben, his firstborn son; and that is why subsequent prophets were wont to represent God as saying, "I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my first born." Let me tell you how that came about. Reuben, Jacob's eldest son, defiled his father's wife Bilhah, and for that awful crime lost his station in Israel as the first born. And now the writer of First Chronicles:

    "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright (i.e. after Reuben). For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's."

    Ephraim received that birthright as already stated, and the blessings and rights thereof are his.

    Now let us consider these great blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph, and I pray you remember how particularly the extent and grandeur of the land of Joseph are described in these blessings.

    The blessings of Jacob had "prevailed above," (i.e. exceeded) the blessings of his progenitors, "unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills;" and these greater blessings the patriarch declared should be "on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren." Joseph was to be as a fruitful bough whose branches run over the wall, indicating a largeness and fruitfulness that would exceed the other tribes in Israel. Moses is more explicit as to the character of the land Joseph should possess: "Blessed of the Lord be his land for the precious things of heaven" -- is reference here made to the revelations

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    of God that shall be given on the land of Joseph, does it contemplate a knowledge of the gospel of Christ that shall be had on the land in "the precious things of heaven" for which the land shall be noted? Again "Blessed of the Lord be his land... for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun;... for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, and for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush," that is, for the good will of God who appeared unto Moses in the burning bush, this allusion is obvious; so that Joseph's land is to be under God's good will in addition to all the natural advantages it is to possess. Joseph, too, is to be the power that shall "push the people together to the ends of the earth;" a declaration which, when considered in connection with the many promises of God that he who scattered Israel will gather him again, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock, "For I, the Lord, am a Father to Israel and Ephraim is my first born" -- a declaration I say which is significant of prominence for Joseph in the work of the gathering of Israel in the last days.

    And now I submit to you the question: Where is the evidence of the fulfilment of these great promises of God to Joseph ? The world seems to have lost sight of this chief prince in Israel, this man holding the birthright. Where is that land of his described by Moses and Jacob, so far more extensive and richer in resources than old Canaan -- to reach which perhaps Joseph's branches run over the wall? Where in the history of the world is the account of the fulfilment of the blessings pronounced upon Joseph by his father?

    All the tribes of Israel, save Judah only, are lost to the knowledge of the world, and Judah is known chiefly for the things that he has suffered, and not for the realization of

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    427

    those blessings that were pronounced upon him by his father. Can it be that those special blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph by the Lord have failed? Have the promises of Jehovah gone for naught? Well, so far as any knowledge the world has to the contrary these promises of God to this patriarch have failed. But it happens that the Latter-day Saints know that those promises have not failed. They have been fulfilled in part, and what remains will be gloriously fulfilled. Your choir, this afternoon sang:
    "An angel from on high
    The long, long silence broke;
    Descending from the sky these
    Gracious words he spoke:
    Lo! in Cumorah's lonely hill

    A sacred record lies concealed.

    "It speaks of Joseph's seed,
    And makes the remnant known
    Of nations long since dead

    Who once had dwelt alone.
    The fulness of the gospel, too,
    Its pages will reveal to view."
    The hymn has reference, of course, to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the knowledge it reveals to the world concerning America and the nations that have inhabited it. Her ancient inhabitants in part sprang from a colony of Israelites who left Jerusalem about six hundred years B.C. That colony was made up of the descendants of Joseph. One family, Ishmael's, being the descendants of Ephraim, and the family of Lehi being of the tribe of Manasseh. Here in America this colony -- descend-ants of the Patriarch Joseph -- grew into kingdoms, republics, and empires, taking possession of this goodly land of America and occupying it both in the south continent and

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    in the north continent. Their kingdoms and empires rivaled in greatness and in civilization some of the contemporary empires and kingdoms of the old world. Here flourished cities that evidently equaled in extent and grandeur Nineveh and Tyre and Sidon. From Joseph's seed in America there came a race of statesmen, warriors, and prophets rivaling the statesmen and warriors and prophets of the old world contemporary with them. Here the tribe of Joseph enjoyed not only the blessings of the earth, the boundless resources of his promised land, the continents of America, but here, too, his descendants received the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were favored, after Messiah's resurrection, with a personal visitation from the Son of God himself, who taught them the gospel, gave to them a church organization, deposited the revealed truth of God with it, and gave that Church commandment to teach the gospel, and perfect the lives of those who received it. Then followed the golden age of America, reference to which is frequently made in the native traditions. For 200 years a reign of righteousness prevailed, during which time there was a rich harvest of souls unto God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The land was blessed "with the precious things of heaven," truly.

    Because of the things, then, that befell the descendants of Joseph in this promised land of America, which things are made known in our Book of Mormon, the Latter-day Saints, at least, know that the promises of the Lord to the house of Joseph have not failed -- and a hundredth part of their fulfilment I have not been able even to indicate. And but for the partial fulfilment of God's promises to Joseph in the land of America, the world would be compelled to admit that the promises, the blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph had failed; for surely nowhere else in the world

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    have they been fulfilled. They were promises that could not have been fulfilled in a corner, they are too large for that. I call upon the Bible scholarship of the world to tell us where these great promises of God to Joseph have been kept -- so far as the wheels of time have brought their fulfilment due -- if not in America. And if it shall be contended that the time for Joseph to realize his promises has not yet arrived -- for the failure of them, since they were given under inspiration of God, is unthinkable -- then where can they be fulfilled save in America? What land so well corresponds to that described both by Jacob and Moses as the inheritance of Joseph? And what events in history, what movements among the people of the earth, outside of those with which the Latter-day Saints are connected, give promise of the fulfilment of Joseph's blessings?

    The blessings of Joseph, however, even with all that has been made known through the Book of Mormon, have been realized only in part. Much remains to be fulfilled. There is in store yet much more glory, much more honor, for this branch of the house of Israel, this tribe which holds the right to lead in the gathering, and in the salvation of Israel, in whom is lodged the right and the power to "push the people (Israel) together to the ends of the earth -- and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh."

    Allow me to call your attention to a singular circumstance. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in our day, and is being preached in all the world; for its message is not confined to America. It is said in the scripture that predicts its restoration by an angel, in the. hour of God's judgment -- that it is to be preached to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people (Revelation xiv: 6, 7); to Gentile and Jew, to bond and free -- all are to

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    have this gospel proclaimed to them in the due time of the Lord; but the dispensation of the fulness of times is a period when the blessings of God shall especially turn upon the house of Israel. So that while there is a message in the restored gospel for all mankind, there is something special in it for the house of Israel. It is the gathering dispensation of the gospel, in which "all things will be gathered together in one," even in Christ. This gospel, then, is proclaimed to all the nations of the earth, and what happens? Its message fell upon the ears of our fathers and mothers; some were in this nation, some in that. It was the case of taking one of a city and two of a family out of which to form a people. They were not convinced of the truth by eloquence or argument, or logic, but there was something in the very sound of the gospel congenial to the souls of our fathers as soon as they heard it, and they responded to its message; they laid hold of its principles by a spiritual power, and they loved them better than they loved the honors and applause of the world. When they heard the gospel proclaimed it had in it a familiar sound like the refrain of some only half-forgotten song. It was congenial to their souls. Was it not an unconscious awakening of spirit-recollections; the recurrence to the soul of principles familiar to it in the pre-existent estate, when the spirit dwelt with the heavenly Father in the mansions of the blessed? The thought may be illustrated by an incident that occurred in one of the early frontier wars between the Indians and the British settlers of our country. In 1764, after several years of intermittent border warfare, Colonel Boquet was sent from Fort Pitt, against the Indian tribes located in the Ohio valley, with instructions to bring them to terms. The British commander pitilessly pursued the Indians to their very homes, refusing to listen to parleys until the spirit of the native tribes was subdued and

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    431

    they were ready to accept such terms as he chose to dictate. One of these terms was that all the whites held captive by the Indians should be brought in and surrendered. This was acceded to, and some three hundred captives were brought to the British encampment. It was a pathetic scene which attended this event. Some of the captives had been held for years by the Indians, some of them as long as nine years. Those who had been captured in their childhood had forgotten the very language of their race. One instance is related of a mother who recognized her child among the captives surrendered to Colonel Boquet, but the child gave no sign of recognizing the mother, and in tears she complained to the colonel that the daughter she had so often sung to sleep in her arms had forgotten her. "Sing the song to her that you used to sing when she was a child," said the commander. She did so, and "with a passionate flood of tears" the daughter rushed to the mother's arms. So it was with the proclamation of the gospel to our fathers. God was merely having sung to them again the songs of the home in heaven, in the preaching of the gospel. It stirred in their souls half recollections of by-gone ages, and with tears of joy at those awakened soul-recollections they sought again their Father's house, the Church of Christ. Our fathers loved the gospel, I say, more than their station in society, or the approval of their kindred; and hence they cast in their lot with a despised people. For the most part they remained true to that awakening which came to their souls through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They gathered out from the nations of the earth, and came to the land of Zion. And now something peculiar happens. The patriarchs of the Church place their hands upon the heads of these people, and under the inspiration of God, earnestly sought, these men -- in the exercise of their holy office -- pronounce those

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    who are thus gathered to be, not only of the house of Israel, but, in the main, as belonging to the tribe of Ephraim. There is something beautifully fitting in this circumstance; something that goes a long way towards establishing its truth. Certainly the tribe to whom is given the right of the first born should be gathered first. To the first born is given the work of gathering the people from the nations of the earth; he holds the keys of authority and power in the ordinances of the gospel, especially as pertaining to the patriarchal order, and hence he is gathered first. Where? To the land of Joseph, to the promised inheritance of that patriarch and his seed, to the land of Zion, here to raise the standard of Israel, the ensign of peace to the world, through the proclamation of the gospel of peace. Here in this chosen land Joseph, through Ephraim, erects the temples of his God, and calls all Israel to come and participate in the blessings that are being restored to his father's house.

    In one of the revelations in our Doctrine and Covenants (sec. 123) we are assured that Israel in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, "And their prophets shall hear his voice and shall no longer stay themselves. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim; and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the Everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessings upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows."

    Thus the tribe on which was bestowed the birthright in Israel, is being gathered to the land promised him of God,

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    433

    to the land, choice above all other lands in the earth, to the land of Joseph. And here stands Joseph in the midst of his temples in that promised land, waiting to bestow blessings upon the other tribes of Israel. Joseph's dreams of the sheaves of his brethren doing obeisance to his sheaf: and the sun and the moon and the eleven stars making obeisance to him shall have, here in his own promised land -- in these two American continents -- a larger fulfilment than they did in Egypt, when his brothers bowed before Joseph, ruler of Egypt. For here in the land of Joseph shall his tribe of Ephraim, holding the birthright in Israel, stand to receive the gathering tribes of his father's house, and they shall "fall down" before Joseph -- do "obeisance to him," in the language of the dreams; but not that they may be humiliated, or oppressed, but that they may be "crowned with glory, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim, and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy." God does not humiliate in order to oppress; such humility as he requires is that he may exalt. Joseph's brethren in their blind jealousy of him mistook the meaning of his dreams. Those dreams while they were a prophecy of Joseph's prominence in Israel, also were a prophecy of saving and blessing unto Israel, not of tyrannical domination or usurpation of the rights of the other brothers or tribes; and as Joseph's mission in Egypt resulted in preserving Israel "a posterity in the earth," and of saving the lives of his father's household, "by a great deliverance;" (Genesis xlv: 5, 7), so his mission in the last days, in his own land of Zion, shall culminate in a much larger way in the salvation of Israel.


    While there are especial blessings for the tribes of Joseph on the land of Zion, let us not lose sight of the fact that

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    others, too, have rights and promises in relation to it. Let not the seed of Joseph cultivate any spirit of exclusiveness in respect of the land of Zion. He especially is in the world for the world's good. He must endure contact with the world, with the Gentile world as well as with Israel. He, in some way, seems to be the link between the Gentiles and Israel. When the Lord made known unto Lehi that this land of America should be his, as an inheritance, it being the land that had been promised by Jacob and Moses unto Joseph and his seed, the Lord, after describing how he would make of the Gentiles nursing fathers and mothers unto Israel, and how the Gentiles would bless Israel upon this land, then he says (referring to North and South America):

    "This land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land who shall rise up unto the Gentiles; and I will fortify this land against all other nations, and he that fighteth against Zion [this whole land of America] shall perish, saith God; and he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish. Wherefore I will consecrate this land unto thy [Lehi's] seed and they [the Gentiles] who shall be numbered among thy seed forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God, unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon, that they shall worship me, saith God."

    The foregoing are the promises of the Lord unto the descendants of Joseph and unto the Gentiles who shall be united with them in the possession of the land of America.

    Jesus also, during his ministry among the Nephites, after his resurrection, made some remarkable promises and predictions respecting the prosperity and freedom and power of the Gentiles in the land of America on condition of their

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    righteousness, and their obedience to the "God of the land," who is declared to be Jesus Christ. They equally with the house of Joseph on the conditions named, are promised an inheritance in the goodly land; and lot and part in the building of an holy city upon it, to be called Zion, a new Jerusalem, where the righteousness of God shall abound, and from which light and truth shall emanate to bless the world. These things are testified of at length in the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of the Third Nephi; also in the writings of Moroni in the Book of Ether, where a rather solemn warning is given to the Gentiles respecting the decrees of God concerning this land of Joseph -- this land of promise unto the Gentiles as well as unto the descendants of Joseph. Moroni, in speaking of America, says:

    "This is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that possesses it shall serve God, or he shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off. Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ. And this cometh unto you O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God,

    that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness comes, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you, as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done."


    Did our own great Webster catch something of this old Nephite inspiration when, speaking something like twenty-two years after the first publication of the Book of Mormon (Feb. 22, 1852, to be precise -- and before the New York

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    Historical Society) -- he said, in his own matchless eloquence:

    "Unborn ages and visions of glory crowd upon my soul, the realization of all which, however, is in the hands and good pleasure of Almighty God; but, under his divine blessing, it will be dependent on the character and the virtues of ourselves, and of our posterity. If classical history has been found to be, is now, and shall continue to be, the concomitant of free institutions, and of popular eloquence, what a field is opening to us for another Herodotus, another Thucydides, and another Livy!

    "And let me say, gentlemen, that if we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion -- if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect his commandments -- if we and they shall maintain just, moral sentiments, and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life -- we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one thing -- that, while our country furnishing materials for a thousand masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibbon. It will have no Decline and Fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper.

    "But if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with' the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity. Should that catastrophe happen, let it have no history! Let the horrible narrative never be written! Let its fate be like that of the lost books of Livy, which no human eye shall ever read; or the missing pleiad, of which no man can ever know more than that it is lost, and lost forever!"

    And now, I invite your attention to the remarks I made in the commencement of this discourse -- to the prosperity of

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    the land, embracing both North and South America, to the extent and grandeur of it, and I ask you, does it not fulfil better than any other part of the earth, better than any other continent or continents -- does it not better answer the description of Moses and of Jacob, when they described the land that should be the inheritance of the great Patriarch Joseph, than any other land does? Most assuredly.


    When the Book of Mormon was revealed and it became known that the Americas were precious lands of promise, and that God had such a high destiny for the two continents as is described in the Book of Mormon, that among other things America was the place where the Zion of God should be built in the last days, the brethren in those early days very naturally became anxious to know where the city of Zion would be located. After much striving for the knowledge, the place of Zion was at last revealed to them. The Lord indicated the place for the commencement of the building of Zion, and the place for the temple upon which the glory of God should rest by day and by night. This place was declared to be near Independence, Jackson county, Missouri. The site for the temple and the land around about was dedicated under the supervision of the prophet, and the Saints in the eastern states were commanded to gather to this place. They did so, and lived there some three years when their enemies rose up against them and expelled them from the land under circumstances of great cruelty and hardship. The Saints, who had been driven from their homes, accounted themselves exiles from Zion, and there was much disappointment in Israel because, apparently, the promises of God had failed them; for they looked forward to an unbroken possession

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    of the land, notwithstanding the word of the Lord to the contrary. (See Introduction to Volume III of the History of the Church, pp. xxxii-xxxix.) Shortly after this, three years later, a still further removal was made into the counties of northern Missouri, and finally, as you know, the entire Church was expelled from the state of Missouri and had to take refuge in Illinois. The prophet with his usual activity began the establishment of stakes of Zion in Illinois, especially at Nauvoo and vicinity. Meantime the Saints were questioning much concerning Zion, and the privilege of dwelling therein. At the April conference, preceding his martyrdom, the prophet alluded to these disappointments, and he spoke of Zion at considerable length. I want to read to you his words on that occasion. The Saints had too narrow a conception of Zion, and of the purpose of God with reference to her; and hence the prophet, in the course of his remarks, said:

    "You know there has been a great discussion in relation to Zion, where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it, but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself, from north to south, and is described by the prophets who declared that it is Zion, where the mountain of the Lord shall be, and it shall be in the center of the land. I have received instructions from the Lord that from henceforth wherever the elders of Israel shall build up churches and branches unto the Lord, throughout the states [having reference to the United States, of course] there shall be a stake of Zion. In the great cities, as Boston, New York, etc., there shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation, and I reserved it to the last, and designed it to be understood that this work shall commence after the washings and anointings, and endowments have been performed here [i.e., in Nauvoo]."

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    At the same conference Hyrum Smith, brother of the prophet, said:

    "The gathering will continue here [i. e., Nauvoo] until the temple is so far finished that the elders can get their endowments; and after that the gathering will be from the nations to North and South America, which is the land of Zion. The gathering from the old countries will always be to headquarters."

    Shortly after this President Brigham Young, then of the Twelve Apostles, addressing himself to Reuben Headlock, president of the British mission, said:

    "A word with you privately. Brother Joseph said last conference that Zion included North and South America, and after the temple is done (completed), and the elders endowed, they could spread abroad and build up cities all over the United States, but at present we are not to preach this doctrine; nay, hold your tongue."

    The martyrdom of the prophet and the exodus to the mountains consequent upon that martyrdom made it impossible to carry out this policy of building up stakes of Zion in Boston, New York and other eastern cities. The Church, found that it had all it could do in establishing itself in these valleys of the Rocky mountains, where it might fulfil the predictions of the prophet of this dispensation, to the effect that the Saints would become a great and powerful people in the midst of the Rocky mountains. Sometimes, however, I have wondered if we have not too much set our hearts upon these valleys, upon this state of Utah and these surrounding states; and if -- like the Saints in the earlier history of the Church, when inhabiting Jackson county, we have not limited our conceptions of Zion by lines that are altogether too narrow. Last fall, as I journeyed through the eastern states,

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    through New England, and in the south, and realizing that in the southern states there are more than 10,000 of our people, and in the Eastern States mission more than 3,000, and in the Northern States mission a still-greater number than in the Eastern States, I wondered if it would not be possible to establish stakes of Zion in the eastern and southern states as well as in Canada, in Mexico, in Oregon, in Arizona, or Colorado. Would it not be just as legitimate to establish stakes of Zion in South Carolina, in Florida, in Vermont or New York, as it is to establish stakes of Zion in these other places I have named? The whole land of America, the two great continents, is Zion, the land of Joseph; and I believe that the elements are forming, that God is so tempering the minds of men, so making them receptive of the truth, that by a strong, intelligent proclamation of the gospel, that God has entrusted to His Church, it may become possible for stakes of Zion to be established all over this land. I feel the truth of that. I believe the time has come, not only for an industrial expansion in America, a mighty increase in material prosperity, but a corresponding increase in spiritual life. In other words an era has dawned upon us favorable to the establishment of Zion. Let us not, I pray you, confine our feelings and views respecting Zion to limits that are too narrow for the genius Of this great work of God. If anyone has supposed that the prosperity and success of this work called Mormonism depends upon the Latter-day Saints retaining political control of Salt Lake or any other city; of this state of Utah or any other state, or group of states, his views do not rise to meet the grandeur of God's great Latter-day work. Our work is to preach the gospel; and to so preach it that its principles will leaven the whole mass of modern religious and philosophical thought; to so preach it that it shall influence the

                        MORMON  VIEWS  OF  AMERICA.                    441

    lives of men in all the world. No petty, political scheme can be said to be any part of the great Later-day work which God has established in the earth. That work is broad as eternity; it is deep as the love of God, and concerns the salvation of all the children of men. Our religion is in the earth to benefit and bless and uplift mankind. Our Church is not the Church of Jesus Christ for the United States, or for American. It is truly the catholic (i.e., the universal) Church, the Church of the whole world; but, as I have already urged throughout this discourse, the Latter-day Saints hold a peculiar relationship to America, being mainly of the seed of Joseph, through the loins of Ephraim, and having a special mission as to this land, and to the other tribes of Israel. And now if the Saints would only lift their eyes from the ground, and look northward and southward and eastward and westward and realize that these two continents of America, by the promise of God, are the inheritance of Joseph, the sons of Joseph, the children of Ephraim, they would be, so imbued with the spirit of their great ancestor that they would take possession of their inheritance in the name of God, by the proclamation of their principles. They would make a conquest of the land of Zion. Amen.


    [ 443 ]


    Historical and Doctrinal Papers.


    [ 445 ]




    [ 447 ]


    It may be thought by some that the following papers scarcely come properly under the title "The Defense of the Faith and the Saints," and yet in a way they do. The article on "The Lord's Day" is a justification or defense of the practice of worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the seventh. The article on "Anglican Orders" is a setting forth and a justification of the attitude of the Church of Latter-day Saints in respect of divine authority. While the historical article, "Reformation or Revolution" is a defense of the position of the Church respecting the character of the great sixteenth century movement to the effect that it was a revolution, not a reformation, at least not in the sense that it restored primitive Christianity, and therefore there was a necessity for the subsequent movement known as Mormonism, involving, as it does, the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The article, "Revelation and Inspiration," is a defense of the Church against some imputations put upon her because of the testimony of some of the high Church officials before the United States Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections, in the case of Reed Smoot. Thus, I think, all these articles, while not so directly connected with the "Defense of the Faith and the Saints" as the articles that have preceded them, they will, nevertheless, sufficiently come within what the title of this book suggests as to warrant their being published here.


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    THE  LORD'S  DAY. [x]

    A justification for the regarding the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath, or "The Lord's Day."

    From Elder George W. Crockwell, laboring in Sioux City, Iowa, we recently received a letter in which occurs the following:

    "There are a great many Seventh-day Adventists in this city, and in talking on the gospel with them I have been unable to confute their arguments, to my satisfaction, against our worshiping on the first day of the week. In reading the scriptures I find only the following passages that in any way refer to the matter, but they are not conclusive: John 20:19-26; Acts 2:1; Acts 20:6, 7; I Corinthians 16:1, 2; Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:27, 28; Luke 6:5; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15. Any information you may give me will be thankfully received; and allow me to suggest that a tract covering this question would undoubtedly be of material assistance to Elders laboring in sections of the country containing Adventists."

    Seventh-day Adventists constitute a religious sect whose chief characteristics are that they believe in the personal and glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the holy day of worship appointed of God is the seventh day of the week instead of the first. Hence their name -- Seventh-day Adventists.

    Owing to the fact that modern Christians deny the continuation



                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               449

    of revelation after the days of the apostles, and as they cannot point to any direct revelation, or positive apostolic institution in the New Testament by which the first day of the week was substituted for the old Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day, which Jesus during his lifetime honored by observing, the Adventists have other Christians at somewhat of a disadvantage in this controversy. The Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, need not be embarrassed by the arguments of Adventists, since the Church of Christ in this last dispensation has the warrant of God's word, by direct revelation, for keeping holy the Lord's day, that is, the first day of the week, as a day Of public worship and thanksgiving, a holy Sabbath unto the Lord. It is not our intention, however, to avoid a discussion of the question by thus placing it on entirely new ground, and making the success of the issue depend upon one's ability to make it clear that God has given such a revelation, although that is a position that can be consistently taken by our Elders. But we desire to point out the evidence we have (1) from the New Testament, and (2) from the practice of the early Christian church, for observing the first day of the week as a day of public worship, sanctified and set apart as the Lord's day. By doing so we shall be able to show at least that there is a very strong probability that the change from the seventh to the first day of the week was made by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, after his resurrection; that it was perpetuated by his apostles and the early Christian church; and then, in conclusion, shall cite the revelation referred to which, to the Latter-day Saints, changes this "probability" into fact and confirms with divine sanction our custom of worshiping on the first day of the week. By pursuing this course we shall draw the strong probability to be derived from the scriptures and the practice of the early


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    church to the support of the revelation referred to, while the revelation, as already indicated, will transform the "probability" of the New Testament scriptures into positive fact.

    We begin with the arguments to be derived from the New Testament:

    It is related in John's gospel that on "the first day of the week," Mary Magdalene, early in the morning, met the Lord Jesus, after his resurrection, and conversed with him. This she told the disciples. "Then the same evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in their midst and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. * * * As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (John xx:19-23).

    Thomas, of the Twelve, was not present at this meeting nor would he believe the account delivered to him of it by his fellow apostles, but declared he must see the print of the nails in the Master's hands, and thrust his hands into his sides before he could believe. And alter eight days," which of course brings us to the first day of the week, "again his disciples were within and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the door being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, peace be unto you" (John xx: 26). He then dispelled the doubts of Thomas, and did many other things which are not written.

    Let this much be held in mind from the above: Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week and appeared to his disciples when they were assembled together. Then, "after eight days," which brings us again to the first


                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               451

    day of the week, his disciples were again assembled, and he appeared unto them. We have no account of his appearing to any one in the interval, a significant fact; and one which makes it easy to believe that the second meeting on the first day of the week was appointed by the Lord himself, and since all that he did on this and other occasions was not written (John xx: 30 and Ch. xxi:25), it is not impossible, nor even improbable, that he then sanctified this day, and appointed it as a holy day, to be observed as sacred by his followers. This view is sustained by the continued practice of the apostles in meeting on the first day of the week.

    It is a significant fact that the day of Pentecost, upon which day the apostles received their spiritual endowment by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, "that year fell on the first day of the week." [y] "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place" (Acts ii: 1). They received the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, and publicly preached the gospel and administered baptism. This assembling together on the first day of the week was doubtless in continuation of that new order of things with respect to the Sabbath which Jesus had ordained.

    Many years after Pentecost, in giving the account of Paul's journey from Philippi to Troas, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles says that the journey was accomplished in five days; and at Troas the apostolic party abode seven days; "and upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight" (Acts xx:4-7).

    Again: Paul sends the following instructions to the

    [y] See Smith's Dictionary...


    452                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Saints at Corinth -- and it is to be Seen from the passage itself that he had given the same instructions to the churches of Galatia: "Now, concerning the collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings [i.e., collections] when I come" (One - Corinthians xvi: 1,2).

    These passages prove very clearly that the custom of meeting together for acts of public worship and the preaching of the gospel was firmly established in apostolic times, and since that is the case it doubtless was ordered by Messiah's own appointment. Surely the apostles would not presume to establish such an order of things without divine sanction. Within the life time of the last of the apostles, too, this Christian Sabbath had received its name -- "the Lord's Day." John's statement -- "I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day, and heard behind me a great voice," etc., can have reference to no other thing than the fact that on the first day of the week which had come to be known by them as "the Lord's Day," John was in the spirit. "The general consent, both of Christian antiquity and modern divines, has referred it to be the weekly festival of our Lord's resurrection, and identified it with 'the first day of the week,' on which he rose; with the patristical 'eighth day,' or day which is both the first and the eighth; in fact with the 'Solis Dies' or 'Sunday,' of every age of the church." [z]

    Following is the argument of a very respectable authority upon these New Testament passages, and it seems to us decidedly strong:

    "As the death of Christ made 'atonement for sin and symbolized the death of his church to the world, so did his resurrection mark the beginning of a new spiritual life, or, in the words of Paul, 'a new creation in Christ Jesus.' This

    [z] See Smith's Dictionary...


                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               453

    new creation was the higher renewal of that first one which sin had marred; and therefore we find the disciples, from that very day, celebrating the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath, the Lord's day, on which he met for worship and fellowship. These assemblies began on that very evening when the risen Lord entered the chamber where the eleven apostles had met with doors shut for fear of the Jews, saluted them with the blessing of peace, showed them his wounded body, and ate bread with them; and then breathing his spirit upon them he repeated their commission, to preach the gospel to every creature, and to baptize all believers, conferred on them the power to work miracles, and gave them the authority of remitting and retaining sins. Such was the first meeting of the apostolic church on the first Lord's day. And after eight days again his disciples were within, the doors being shut as before, when Jesus stood again in their midst, with the salutation of 'peace,' and satisfied the doubts of Thomas, with the tangible proof of his resurrection." [a]

    The same authority continues the argument in a foot note thus:

    "The meetings of the disciples on each eighth day have the more force as an argument from the very fact of their being only incidentally recorded. The correspondence of the interval with the week, and the distinction of the day from the old Sabbath, are facts which admit of no other explanation; and all doubt is removed by Paul's plain allusion to the meetings of the disciples on the first day of the week, and by the testimony of the heathen as well as Christian writers to the practice from the earliest age of the church. John, in mentioning the day as a season of spiritual ecstasy, in which Christ appeared to him and showed him the worship of the heavenly temple, expressly calls it by the name which it has always borne in the church, 'the Lord's Day.'" [b]

    These arguments may be further strengthened by the following considerations: When the Jews were stickling for a very strict observance of the old Sabbath, Jesus, with

    [a] Students'...

    [b] The Students'...


    454                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    some spirit, replied that "the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." And furthermore gave them to understand that "the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath," (Mark ii: 27, 28). It follows then that since Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, it would clearly be within the province of his authority to change the old Mosaic institution of the Sabbath if he so elected. Paul in his day said: "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things have become new" (Two - Corinthians v: 17). Again in his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle represents Christ as "having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances." And again in his letter to the Colossians:

    "And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that war against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. * * * Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come" (Colossians ii:13-17).

    From this it is clear that many things in the law of Moses being fulfilled in Christ were done away, or changed to conform to the law of the gospel; and to say the very least of the argument set forth up to this point, it is very probable that the Sabbath was among those things so changed.

    Turn we now to the argument to be derived from the custom of the primitive church:

    Next to the New Testament writers Clement of Rome, a companion of the apostles, is most relied upon as stating correctly early Christian practices, and in his epistle to the Corinthians, speaking of things commanded of Christ, he says:


                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               455

    "Now the offerings and ministrations he commanded to be performed with care, and not to be done rashly or in disorder, but at fixed times and seasons. And when and by whom he would have them performed he himself fixed by his supreme will: that all things being done with piety according to his pleasure might be acceptable to his will. They therefore that make their offerings at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed; for while they follow the instructions of the Master they cannot go wrong." [c]

    From this it, appears that Jesus himself did fix set "times and seasons" for "offerings and ministrations," as well also by "whom" as "when" they should be performed, and that, too, according to "his supreme will." This represents the Lord as having arranged matters in the church -- including "times and seasons" for "offerings and administrations" -- more definitely than any of the New Testament writers credit him with doing. Is it unreasonable to think that among these was the transition from the Jewish Sabbath to the Lord's Day?

    In the Epistle of Barnabas, written in the early part of the second century, it is said by that writer, speaking of the Christian custom as pertaining to the Sabbath: "We keep the eighth day unto gladness, in the which Jesus also rose from the dead, and after that he had been manifested, ascended into heaven." (Epist. Barnabas, Ch. 15.)

    The younger Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, in describing the custom of the Christians to his friend, Trajan, the Roman emperor, says:

    "They were accustomed on a stated day to meet before daylight, and repeat among themselves a hymn to Christ as to a God, and to bind themselves by an oath with an obligation of not committing any wickedness; * * * after which it was their custom to separate and to meet again at a

    [c] Clement's ...


    456                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    promiscuous, harmless, meal [the Sacrament?] from which last practice they desisted, after the publication of my edict." [d]

    It is only claimed for this passage that it proves that the Christians had a stated day on which they met for the worship of God, and the renewal of religious covenants; and doubtless that stated day was the eighth day of the week mentioned by Barnabas, and which corresponds with the "first day" of the week mentioned by the New Testament writers.

    Justin Martyr, one of the most learned and highly esteemed of the apostolic fathers, is very clear upon this subject. He says, writing in the first half of the second century, almost within shouting distance of the inspired apostles:

    "In all our obligations we bless the Maker of all things, through his son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost, and on the day which is called Sunday, there is an assembly in the same place of all who live in cities or in country districts; and the records of the apostles, or the writings of the prophets, are read as long as we have time. Then the reader concludes, and the president verbally instructs and exhorts us to the imitation of those excellent things. Then we all arise together and offer up our prayers. And, as I said before, when we have concluded our prayer, bread is brought and wine and water, and the president in like manner offers up prayers and thanksgiving with all his strength, and the people give their assent by saying, amen. * * * But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God when he changed the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead: for the day before that of Saturn he was crucified, and on the day after it, which is Sunday, he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them these things which we have given to you also for your consideration" (I Apology, Ch. 67).

    [d] Pliny's letter ...


                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               457

    We have not the space to further examine the testimony of the fathers, nor is it necessary. Sufficient has been quoted to show that in that age immediately succeeding the apostles, the practice, which seems to have begun even under the immediate supervision of the Lord himself, was firmly established in the early church.. The learned writer in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Revelation James Augustus Hessev, who there treats this subject, says:

    "The result of our examination of the principal writers of the two centuries after the death of St. John are as follows: The Lord's day (a name which has now come out more prominently; and is connected more explicitly with our Lord's resurrection than before) existed during these two centuries as part and parcel of apostolical, and so of scriptural Christianity. * * * Our design does not necessarily lead us to do more than to state facts; but if the facts be allowed to speak for themselves, they indicate that the Lord's day is a purely Christian institution, sanctioned by . apostolic practice, mentioned in apostolic writings, and so possessed of whatever divine authority all apostolic ordinances and doctrines (which are not obviously temporary, or were not abrogated by the apostles themselves) can be supposed to possess" (Vol. II, p. 1679).

    Yet after all this is admitted, and the strength of the argument is very great in my judgment, it must still be confessed that it falls somewhat short of being absolutely conclusive. It cannot be made out clearly and positively that Jesus or the apostles by direct, official action authorized the observance of the first day of the week as a day of public worship, dedicated to the service of God, and designed to take the place of the Jewish Sabbath. The most that can be claimed for the evidence here adduced -- and it is the strongest if not all that can be marshalled in support of the proposition is that it is probable that such a change was instituted.


    458                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Revelation Baden Powel, professor of geometry at Oxford University, states the case as it stands most truly. He says:

    "To those Christians who look to the written word as the sole authority for anything claiming apostolic or divine sanction, it becomes peculiarly important to observe that the New Testament evidence of the observance of the Lord's day amounts merely to the recorded fact that the disciples did assemble on the first day of the week, and the probable application of the designation of the Lord's day to that day." [e]

    That Catholics regard what is written in the New Testament as insufficient to justify them in the observance of the first day of the week instead of the seventh is evident from the fact that they appeal to the tradition of the church or "the unwritten word of God" in justification of their practice, and upbraid Protestants for their rejection of the authority of tradition, which alone, in their view, justifies the change from the seventh to the first. The author of the Catholic work, "End of Religious Controversy," after citing the scripture commanding the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath, then says:

    "Yet with all this weight of scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath or seventh day holy, Protestants of all denominations make this a profane day, and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, or Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None whatever, except the unwritten word, or tradition of the Catholic church; which declares that the Apostles made the change in honor of Christ's resurrection and the descent of the Holy Ghost on that day of the week" (End of Religious Controversy, letter 11).

    It is this element of uncertainty in the evidence, and the consequent inconclusiveness in the argument that those who contend for the seventh day as the Sabbath of the Lord take



                                  THE  LORD'S  DAY.                               459

    advantage of; but, as stated in the beginning, the Latter-day Saints need not share the embarrassment that other Christians generally feel over the question, for the Lord has set the matter at rest by a revelation in the last days to his church. In a revelation to his servant Joseph Smith, given in August, 1831, he said:

    "Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; for verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High. Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; but remember that on this the Lord's day thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren and unto the Lord. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or in other words that thy joy may be full" (Doc. & Cov. Sec. xlix:8-13).

    This is in clear allusion .to the first day of the week; and thus the matter is set at rest. The observance of the "Lord's day" as the day sacred to the worship of Almighty God, so far as the Latter-day Saints are concerned, does not rest upon the "probability" that it was of divine or apostolic institution, as is the case with Protestant Christendom; nor does it rest upon the "tradition" of the church that it was of apostolic institution, as is the case with the Catholic church; but the observance of that day comes to the Church of Christ by direct appointment of the Lord by revelation to the head of the church in this dispensation; and that revelation transforms the "probability," that the first day of the week was substituted for the old Jewish Sabbath, into a certainty.


    460                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    In conclusion, let us ask our young Latter-day Saints to observe with what solemnity God hath dedicated this day, and set it apart for the worship of the Lord; and how strictly he hath prohibited other occupation than this on that day; and so much as our "certainty" outstrips the "probability" of other Christians that the "Lord's day" is the proper day for public worship, so let our strict observance of it outstrip theirs. [*]

    [*] At the Seventy-seventh...

    [ 461 ]




    [ 463 ]



    A Consideration of the Question of Divine Authority.

    Preliminary Statement.

    In the month of June, 1896, something of a sensation was created in England in respect of an expressed desire for a closer union between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. The desire was voiced in the form of a statement by Mr. William Ewart Gladstone, communicated through the Archbishop of York. The question of unity among the Christian churches had been agitated in several quarters in that year, and the Pope had addressed a letter to the English people in fact appealing to them to return to the Church of Rome, and it is said a movement "having for its purpose the same general result, had been going on for some time among clergymen and laymen who belonged to one section of the Anglican church." Lord Halifax, who was the chairman of a great Anglican organization, under the title of the English Church Union, had been prominent in this movement, and had several interviews with the Pope and his counselors, seeking "to ascertain how far Rome on the one hand and the English church on the other were willing to advance toward a basis of union. One of the questions which came up for discussion was that of the validity of Anglican orders; that is, whether Rome would or could recognize the right of an Anglican clergyman to seek, as such, admission to the clerical order in the Roman church,

    [e] This article...


    464                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    if any change of opinion should lead him that way." And thus the question of the validity of Anglican orders became a subject of formal investigation by the authorities at the Vatican.

    Mr. Gladstone's position upon the subject is best stated by himself:

    "The one controversy which, according to my deep conviction, overshadows and, in the last resort, absorbs all others, is the controversy between Faith and Unbelief.... This historical transmission of the truth by a visible church with an ordained constitution is a matter of profound importance, according to the belief and practice of fully three-fourths of Christendom. In these three-fourths I include the Anglican churches, which are probably required in order to make them up. It is surely better for the Roman and also the Oriental [Greek] church to find the churches of the Anglican succession standing side by side with them in the assertion of what they deem an important Christian principle than to be obliged to regard them as mere pretenders in this belief and pro tanto reduce the cloud of witnesses' willing and desirous to testify on behalf of the principle.... I may add that my political life has brought me much into contact with those independent religious communities which supply an important religious factor in the religious life of Great Britain, and which, speaking generally, while they decline to own the authority, either of the Roman or the National Church, yet still allow to what they know as the established religion no inconsiderable hold upon their sympathies. In conclusion, it is not for me to say what will be the upshot of the proceedings now in progress at Rome. But be their issue what it may, there is, in my view, no room for doubt as to the attitude which has been taken by the actual head of the Roman Catholic church in regard to them. It seems to me an attitude in the largest sense paternal, and while it will probably stand among the latest recollections of my lifetime, it will ever be cherished with cordial sentiments of reverence, of gratitude, and of high appreciation." (Story of Gladstone's Life, (McCarthy) pp. 414-416.)


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            465

    This attitude of the great English Statesman brought upon his head a storm of indignation, not to say anathema from nonconforming churches, and in reply to one of those ministers, he said:

    "The Church of Rome recognizes as valid (when regularly performed) baptism conferred in your communion and ours. By this acknowledgment I think that Christianity is strengthened in face of non-Christians. For baptism read orders (for the purpose of the argument), and the same proposition applies, though unhappily in this case only to us, not to you. No harm that I can see is done to any one else. The settlement of this matter is a thing of the likelihood of which I cannot even form an opinion. But I honor the Pope in the matter, as it is my duty to honor every man who acts as best he can with the spirit of courage, truth and love." (The Life of Gladstone, p. 419).

    The first response from Rome to Mr. Gladstone's letter contained nothing decisive and final upon the subject of the Anglican orders, though his holiness made it clear that on the part of Rome there could be no compromise of religion or principles, and later in the year he issued the decision which is the subject of the following paper, in which his holiness held that Anglican orders were "absolutely invalid." The consequences of which decision are discussed in the paper following.

    Pope Leo's Decision on Anglican Orders.

    The decision of Pope Leo XIII in respect to the invalidity of Anglican Orders, appears to be creating not only a very great amount of discussion through the columns of the religious press but also considerable ill-feeling. The "Religious Telescope" for example, published at Dayton, Ohio, in its issue of the 14th of October, 1896, under the caption "Absolutely Invalid," says:

    "This is the decision of Pope Leo XIII respecting all ordinations under the Anglican rule. After a long study


    466                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of the subject he has confirmed the decision of his predecessors in regard to this matter. His decision sets aside all ordinations outside of the Roman Catholic Church as absolutely invalid.

    "So there we have it: all ministers of the Lutheran, the Episcopal, the Baptist, the Presbyterian, the Methodist, in short, all Protestant churches -- are posing under false ordination vows! So his holiness declares! And is he not infallible? Is it not impossible for him to make a mistake? Is he not the successor of St. Peter -- Christ's vicegerent on earth? Does he not hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven? Does not that aged, decrepit old man, Leo XIII, now in his dotage, have the power to bind and to loose -- to admit into or shut out from heaven whomsoever he will? Does any Protestant minister or layman doubt this? Perish the thought! How will this august decision handed down from the Vatican affect the ministry of the Protestant churches? In our judgment only about as sensibly as a puff of the Pope's breath would have affected the St. Louis cyclone when in the height of its fury.

    "They will go right on preaching the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ in demonstration of the spirit and power of the Lord Jesus, as heretofore, leaving the pope and his liberty-destroying church polity and superstitions to work out their own destruction by demonstrating their disastrous effects on human progress as they have done and are still doing in Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, and in every Roman Catholic dominated country in the world."

    This is scarcely the spirit in which one would expect to see a subject of so grave importance treated. Sarcasm and ridicule doubtless have their place even in polemics, but it is only as they may be incidentally used that they can be of force. One could no more think of succeeding in an argument on a serious question by using them exclusively, than he would think of making a hearty meal on condiments alone.


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            467

    That the subject of the Apostolic letter of Leo XIII is a serious one, no one will deny. That it calls for earnest thought and not sarcasm and ridicule, admits of no doubt. It involves the question of divine authority in the Protestant ministry and churches; and, for that matter, the divine authority of the church of Rome itself. For, if the alleged successor of St. Peter, by a method of reasoning satisfactory to himself and his council, arrives at what the Protestants of this generation will regard as a startling conclusion, viz., that their ministry and churches are without divine authority, the Protestants will reply in kind. They will revive the charges brought against the church of Rome during the revolt from the pope's authority in that wonderful sixteenth century revolution miscalled the "Reformation." They will proclaim him the Anti-Christ of New Testament scripture; charge upon the church of Rome complete apostasy from primitive Christianity; and accuse all those continuing in communion with her as being idolaters and pagans. Such a rejoinder on the part of the Protestants is inevitable, since it is only on the ground that the church of Rome was become a corrupt church, in complete apostasy and dispossessed of divine authority, that the so-called "Reformation" of the sixteenth century, or the existence of Protestant churches today can be justified.

    Why is the unity of the Christian churches broken? Why does there exist a Roman Catholic church and numerous Protestant churches? Because the Protestants of the sixteenth century believed that the church of Rome was in a state of apostasy from true Christianity, and hence they came out from her dominion; revolted against and rejected her authority, while the church of Rome, on her part, regarded the Protestants of the same century as heretics, as renegade children, apostates. That there has been no change


    468                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    in the attitude of the respective parties to this great controversy since one first denounced the other as "an heretic," and the other replied with the charge of "anti-Christ," is emphasized by this latest utterance of the bishop of Rome, in which he declares that "ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been and are absolutely null and utterly void."

    This question of possessing divine authority goes right down to the foundations of Christianity, No one will attempt to say that a man has a right to act in the name of Jesus Christ without authority from him to do so. If it required direct authority from God to handle the sacred utensils of God's sanctuary in the wilderness, and to care for the Ark of the Covenant, and for touching these things without authority, one was smitten with death (see Numbers chapter iv, and Samuel vi: 3); if it required divine authority to burn incense before the altar in the temple of God at Jerusalem, and for usurping the priest's office and attempting without divine authority to burn incense one was cursed of God with leprosy, even though a king (II Chronicles xxvi); if it required divine authority to cast out devils, and certain ones in attempting to cast them out without having authority to so command them, were leaped upon by the evil spirits and prevailed against (Acts xix); if, I say, it required divine authority to do these several things, how reasonable it is to conclude that it will more abundantly require divine appointment, or delegated power from God to make proclamation of the gospel and administer its ordinances. As the sacraments of the Christian religion are of infinitely more importance than the handling of sacred utensils, touching the Ark of the Covenant, burning incense or casting out devils, so, too, it is to be expected that God will be all the more


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            469

    careful to entrust their administration only to those having a divine commission.

    To say, as the bishop of Rome does say, that the "ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been and are absolutely null and utterly void," is, of course, to deny to the English clergy divine authority. To deny them divine authority by saying that their orders are and have been null and void, is to say that their administration of the Christian sacraments through all the years that have elapsed since the church in England revolted against the authority of the pope, have been useless. And if Rome denies the validity of the church of England orders, it may be taken for granted that she will deny the validity of the orders of all other churches separated from her; for of all the churches separated from the Roman See the church of England has most nearly conformed to, or what would be more accurate to say, departed the least from the ritual of the old church. In plain terms the church of Rome holds all churches that have separated from her, and all churches that have sprung into existence from the churches so separated, as being without authority from God, and regards their ministry as a disorderly crowd.

    I know there are a class of Protestant churchmen, who seek to satisfy themselves on this question of divine authority by claiming that it has come down to them on lines independent of the church of Rome. But, unfortunately for this contention the church of England herself and the other Protestants cut off not only the source of divine authority that might be claimed as coming from the church of Rome, but also every other source from which that authority could spring. In her great homily on the "Perils of Idolatry" the church of England says: "Laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and degrees have been drowned


    470                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    in abominable idolatry most detested by God and damnable to man, for eight hundred years and more (Perils of Idolatry, p. 3). By making this charge against all Christendom one is unable to see how the Church of England can make any claim whatsoever of divine authority; for, if all Christendom was plunged into this awful abyss of apostasy for eight hundred years and more, no divine authority survived that period.

    Nor is the Church of England the only Protestant authority which makes this charge of universal apostasy from primitive Christianity. John Wesley, in making an explanation of the cessation of scriptural gifts among Christians, says:

    "It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit [speaking of I Corinthians xii] were common in the church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian; and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby heaped riches and power and honor upon Christians in general, but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they (the spiritual gifts) almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind were found. The cause of this was not (as has been supposed) because there was no more occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake, not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christians. The real cause of it was that the love of many, almost all, Christians so-called was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of man when he came to examine his church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church -- because the Christians were turned heathens again and only had a dead form left" (Wesley's Works, Vol. vii, sermon 89, pp. 26, 27).


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            471

    If the Christians were turned heathen again, and only had a dead, form of religion left, like the other heathens, it will be extremely difficult for the followers of Mr. Wesley, and those who have received whatsoever of authority they possess from him, to point out just where their divine authority came from since their great leader proclaims this entire corruption of the Christian church. If on the one hand the Catholic church denies to Protestant Christendom the possession of divine authority, and if, on the other hand, Protestants declare the universal corruption and apostasy of mediaeval Christianity in order to justify the religious revolution of the sixteenth century, and their own existence as so-called reformed churches, then there is no possible channel through which they can claim that divine authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel has come down to them; unless they shall claim that the heavens have again been opened and a new dispensation of the gospel, including as it would, divine authority, has been committed to them. Not one of all the Protestant sects claims that such a new revelation has been given, and as every other source from which divine authority could come is cut off by them, there is left but one conclusion to come to and that is that they are without divine authority, and hence their administrations of the Christian sacraments are vain.

    The position of the Catholic church is more logically consistent than that of Protestants; for she insists that there has been an unbroken line of authority and divine mission through the succession of her bishops, and more especially-through the succession of the bishops of Rome from St. Peter to Leo XIII. But the church of Rome is asking us to believe too much when she demands that we shall believe that God's authority has come down to modern times through the corrupted line of the Catholic priesthood. One


    472                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    has only to become acquainted with the melancholy history of the Roman popes to be convinced of the impossibility of God acknowledging them as the line down which he has transmitted the power to speak and act in his name. One need only contrast the spirit of humility which characterized the Apostles and Elders of the Church of Christ with the worldly pride, ambition and wickedness of the popes of Rome, to see how far the latter have departed from the standard of character established by the lives of the former, and one need only contrast the beautiful simplicity of the principles and ordinances of the early Christian church, as described in the New Testament, with the cannon-law and the elaborate ceremonial of the Catholic church to see how wide a departure has been made from the religion given to the world by the great peasant teacher of Judea.

    The fact is, this controversy precipitated on the religious world by the decision of Pope Leo XIII, in respect to Anglican Orders, brings us face to face with the great truth prophesied of in holy scripture, to-wit: The universal apostasy from the Christian religion. Men have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the covenant of the gospel of Christ (Isaiah xxiv: 4-6). Of themselves men have arisen speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them (Acts xx: 28-30). The time came when men would no longer endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts heaped teachers to themselves having itching ears, and those teachers have turned their ears away from the truth unto fables (II Timothy iv). False teachers arose among the people who privily brought in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and many have followed their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth has been evil spoken of (II Peter ii). The great falling away predicted by the Apostle of the Gentiles which was to precede


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            473

    the glorious coming of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, has come to pass. That man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God, (II Thess. ii) has had and is having his rule and reign in the earth, and men have been made to bow down to him and may continue to be compelled to bow down to him until, as predicted in holy writ, the Lord shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming. The New Testament scripture are replete with predictions of this great apostasy from the Christian religion, and one may see in the facts of ecclesiastical history, that the whole Christian world, "laity and clergy," to use again the language of the Church of England, "learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and degrees have been drowned in abominable idolatry, most detested by God and damnable to man." The actual changes, also, wrought in the Christian religion by the additions to and corruption of its ordinances make it clear that men have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant of the religion of Jesus Christ.

    Under these circumstances the only way that divine authority can be restored to the earth is by God re-opening the heavens and giving a new dispensation of the gospel to the children of men, including as it would divine authority to preach its doctrines and administer its ordinances. Great and urgent as the necessity for such a new dispensation of the gospel is, men need not look to either the Catholic church or the Protestant sects for such a proclamation. The former, in addition to claiming that there has been an unbroken line of divine authority through its priesthood, rejects the idea of revelation subsequent to the alleged closing of the


    474                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    New Testament canon of scripture. The latter, though declaring the apostate condition of mediaeval Christendom, not only make no claim that the gospel of Jesus Christ, including divine authority, was restored by revelation to the leaders of the sixteenth century "Reformation," but also spurn the idea that there has been or can be any revelation subsequent to what they term the closing of the New Testament canon of scripture.

    Out of all the religious teachers of modern times there is but one who has had the boldness to claim the restoration of divine authority and a dispensation of the gospel by means of a new revelation from God; and that is the first Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith. He claimed to have received revelation from God; the visitation of angels, who conferred upon him a holy Priesthood, a divine commission, by virtue of which he was appointed to preach the Gospel and re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ on earth. If this man's pretensions to such divine appointment are scoffed at, it is no more than was accorded the pretensions of Apostles and Prophets of God in former dispensations. If he is derided for his humble origin, and the lowly station from which he was called to the work of God, so, too, were the ancient Apostles and Prophets, and even the Son of God himself. If this message has been very generally rejected and he himself was despised of men, persecuted, hated, and at last slain for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, what is all this but the same treatment that has been accorded to the accredited servants of God in nearly all ages of the world? If his followers have suffered ridicule, oppression and persecution, what is this but the same fate that has overtaken the Saints of God in nearly all ages of the world? All this will not affect the truth or untruth of his statements any more than


                                ANGLICAN  ORDERS.                            475

    like treatment affected the truth or untruth of the claims of other inspired servants of God. The truth is that the claims of Joseph Smith, in view of the great Christian controversy that has been going on for centuries, and just now emphasized by the recent decision of Pope Leo XIII, respecting Anglican Orders, and the discussion it has provoked, are more consistent than the claims of any of the Protestant reformers. For the great apostate condition of Christendom in mediaeval times being a reality, the only way there could be a restoration of that which was lost by that apostasy would be by a new dispensation of the gospel being committed to men by means of a new revelation; and herein is the strength of the position of Joseph Smith, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which, under God's direction he organized.

    [ 477 ]




    [ 479 ]



    A study of the great sixteenth century movement led by Martin Luther and others.

    The theme announced deals with a period of-history and with events great in their importance to modern civilization. The reason why I am called to discuss this great movement of the sixteenth century, called the "Reformation," grows out of what I have published upon the subject in the "Outlines of Ecclesiastical History." That great movement which many historians call the "Reformation," and which is generally accepted, at least by Protestant Christendom, as such, I have called in the work named a "revolution," and I am asked to state the reasons I have for considering that movement a revolution, rather than a reformation. I wish to say, however, that my affirmation that it was a "revolution" was carefully qualified. This is my statement:

    "It is absurd to say that the revolution of the sixteenth century was a reformation, if by that it is meant that it re-established the primitive doctrines of Christianity, purified the morals of the people, or gave birth to a better ecclesiastical government, it did no such thing."

    That is my statement, but it is sufficiently direct, notwithstanding the qualification, to make it come in direct antagonism with what the friends of, the sixteenth century movement claim for it.

    [f] A discourse...


    480                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Milner, the great writer of church history, says:

    "The Reformation is a work which well deserves its name, because it builded up as well as pulled down, and presented the church with a new fabric as well as demolished the old."

    As a matter of fact, it did not do what Dr. Milner here claims for it. It is quite evident that it did not destroy "the old fabric," by which he means the Roman Catholic church, for that church is still in existence today. It stands foursquare to all the winds that blow upon it, and today has a wider influence than it possessed when the "Reformers" first assailed it; for what it lost in northern Europe it certainly has regained in the New World.

    Dr. D'Aubigne says:

    "The Reformation was quite the opposite of a revolt, it was the establishment of the principles of primitive Christianity; it is a regenerative movement with respect to all that was destined to revive a conservative movement as regards all that will exist forever."

    It was this claim made for the "Reformation" that led me into that investigation of the subject which resulted in the conclusion that the "Reformation," so-called, did not re-establish primitive Christianity.

    M. Guizot, in his History of Civilization, says:

    "The friends and partizans of the Reformation have endeavored to account for it by the desire of effectually reforming the abuses of the church. They have represented it as a redress of religious grievances, as an enterprise conceived and executed with the sole design of re-constituting the church in its primitive purity."

    M. Guizot does not allow that claim.


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   481

    It seems to me a problem easy of solution as to whether this revolution of the sixteenth century restored primitive Christianity or not; and the method by which that solution can be attained would be by comparing the doctrines of Protestant Christendom with the doctrines of primitive Christianity. Protestants, you must understand, claim that in consequence of gross abuses which entered the church in the early centuries of its existence, the spirit of the gospel was departed from, the church government was corrupted, and by engrafting upon Christianity pagan rites, pagan ceremonies and pagan philosophy, the fair face of Christianity was defaced by these innovations. It is claimed by Protestants that the movement led by Martin Luther, Melancthon and Zwingle, and after them by Calvin, Knox and others, got rid of the pagan rites and ceremonies fastened upon Christianity and restored it to its primitive forms and to its primitive simplicity and purity. The way to prove whether that be true or false is to compare the teachings of Protestantism with primitive Christianity.

    I shall not take occasion to enter into a consideration of primitive Christianity in any great detail for, I take it, that this audience is well informed upon that subject, and only a general and brief review of the leading features of primitive Christianity will be necessary for the comparison I propose.

    Primitive Christianity taught first, faith in God, as all wise, all powerful, all merciful; who by the power of his intelligence created the earth and the heavens. It taught faith in Jesus Christ, as the son of God who became the Savior of mankind; in whom was embodied all the attributes of his father, who possessed the same power with his Father, in whom the fulness of the godhead dwelt bodily, and who was the express image and likeness of his Father -- in other words


    482                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    was "God manifested in the flesh," that men might approach him and become acquainted with Deity by becoming acquainted with him. Primitive Christianity taught also the existence of the Holy Ghost, and that these three constituted one grand presidency or God-head, to whom all shall submit in humble reverence, as the great governing, controlling power of our world. Primitive Christianity taught that man by disobedience to the commandments of God, became fallen, lost; and that to vindicate the transgressed law of almighty God, an infinite sacrifice must be made; by which the law of God would be vindicated and mercy have claim upon those who live under the transgression of the law. Primitive Christianity taught that Jesus Christ made this infinite atonement, and that by him and through him life and immortality was brought to light, and that men were released from the consequences of Adam's transgression through the atonement of Jesus Christ; that, "as in Adam, all die, so in Christ should all be made alive," the atonement being as broad as the transgression which brought death into the world.

    Primitive Christianity taught also that in consequence of this redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ, he became the "law-giver" to the children of men; and that in order to have applied to them the atonement of Jesus Christ, so that it results, not only in a redemption from the transgression of Adam, but also in a pardon for their individual sins. It makes perfect and absolute obedience to Jesus Christ the condition of this salvation. That this obedience is demanded by the gospel is evident from the whole tenor of the New Testament. When Jesus Christ was closing that beautiful discourse to his disciples on the mount, he said:

    "Whosoever heareth these saying of mine and doeth them not, is like unto a man that builds his house upon the


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   483

    sands, and when the floods come and the winds beat upon that house, it fails, and great is the fall thereof. But whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, is like unto the man who builds his house upon a rock; then when the rains descend and the winds beat upon that house, it falls not, because it is founded on the rock."

    Paul, in speaking of this subject, says that "Jesus being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him." When Jesus himself commissioned his Apostles to go and preach the gospel, he commanded them to go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever he had commanded them.

    From all these Scriptures, then, I gather this one great truth, that "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe and obey it."

    It is equally clear that the conditions of salvation, as outlined in the gospel, are that men must have faith in God, faith in Jesus Christ, faith in the Holy Ghost, faith in the gospel. Not because God has arbitrarily fixed faith as one of the conditions of salvation, but because from the very nature of things, faith is the first principle of the gospel, because it is the incentive to all action and the foundation of all righteousness. If men possess no faith in the gospel, it follows as the night follows the day, that they will not obey it. Why is it that the atheists or the infidels do not obey the gospel? Simply for the reason that they do not believe in God; they do not believe in Christ; they do not believe the gospel, hence they refuse to repent or do any other act that is required in the gospel. It is, therefore, because of the nature of things that faith is one of the conditions of salvation. And hence the Apostle said: "He that cometh to God must believe that he is," that is, that he exists.


    484                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    Repentance also is one of the conditions of salvation. This principle of primitive Christianity has been more or less misunderstood by being interpreted to mean "do penance," imitating, to some extent at least, the barbarians who imagined that by inflicting wounds upon themselves, by cutting and slashing themselves with knives or by submitting to other tortures, they might propitiate the anger of Deity, as if God could have delight in the physical suffering or the mental anguish of his children! The beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ required not this; but it did require heartfelt sorrow for sin accompanied by a fixed determination and an actual amendment of conduct -- turning away from transgression. The spirit of repentance was embodied in this remark: "Let him that stole steal no more."

    Primitive Christianity taught also that men, by baptism, could receive a remission of their sins, their past transgressions could be blotted out, the record made clean. It taught baptism for the remission of sins, but recognizing that man, by his own strength, is unequal to the task of subduing himself and bringing his will into subjection to the righteous will of God, it brought to him the strength of the Almighty in the gift of the Holy Ghost; that man, through the strength of God, being added to his own strength, might, "overcome the flesh, the world and the, devil." This power he received through the ordinance of laying on of hands. The Christian was thus 'equipped for the battle for righteousness. The warfare was not over with obedience to these ordinances, it was just begun. By obedience to the ordinances I have named men did not become full grown men in Christ Jesus. They were then only "born" the church, they were but babes, and now must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, learning "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   485

    a little," going on "from faith to faith, until the perfect day;... adding to their faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity." And thus by these steps Christianity in its primitive forms led men towards God.

    In order to promulgate this gospel, the church was organized. It was organized with Apostles, with Prophets, with Seventies and Bishops, with Pastors, Teachers and Deacons. This organization was given to edify the Saints, to bring about a unity of faith and a knowledge of the Son of God. It was designed to continue until the Saints were perfected in their faith, and had arrived "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

    I should also say that primitive Christianity brought to those who received it many precious and outward manifestations of the Holy Ghost. When occasion required, they were able to speak in tongues, exercise the gift of prophecy, receive revelation, have inspired dreams, interpret tongues, heal the sick. Through it they enjoyed the gift of the discernment of spirits, wisdom, knowledge, faith. These are the gifts, these the powers, these the graces which attended upon primitive Christianity.

    And now the question before us is, Did the revolution of the sixteenth century which brought into existence Protestant Christianity restore to the children of men this primitive Christianity, as it is described in the New Testament? It would be a task requiring too much time to consider the whole twenty-eight articles of the Augsburgh Confession -- the formal expression of what Protestant Christianity was in the days of its first founders. Nor indeed is it necessary in order to arrive at a just conclusion upon the question proposed. The consideration of a few leading items will be


    486                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    sufficient to establish the fact beyond the power of successful contradiction, that the sixteenth century revolution did not restore primitive Christianity.

    In regard to the teachings of Protestant Christendom in respect of God, it is sufficient to say it accepts the Niceane creed, instead of the doctrine of the New Testament. It is written in the scripture that man was created in God's likeness; and if man was created in God's likeness then God must be in the form of man. Instead of coming to the world with that primitive Christian truth, emphasized as it was in primitive Christianity by the fact that Jesus Christ was pointed to as being the express image of his Father's person, Protestant Christendom clings to the old error of the Catholic church, that God is an incorporeal, that is an immaterial substance; a being without body -- i.e., without materiality -- without parts, without passions -- accepting rather the theory of pagan philosophers than the plain statements of primitive Christianity. [*] Instead of teaching that the Father was a personage, the Son another personage, and the Holy Ghost another, each as distinct as any three personages on earth, and one only in moral and spiritual attributes, in power -- constituting one Presidency or Godhead -- they came with the doctrine that these three personages are merged into but one personage, and yet they remain three distinct personages!

    Instead of teaching that man must be absolutely obedient to the gospel in order to obtain salvation, Protestants taught that faith alone without works, is sufficient for salvation. And this was the chief corner stone of Protestant theology; the point at which the Roman Catholic church and the Protestant church was most widely separated.

    [*] See the writer's...


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   487

    The Catholic church, recognizing the operation of God's grace upon man, and also the power of will in man, came to the reasonable conclusion that man had it within their power to be obedient to the commandments of God, and that obedience united with the grace of God was the means of obtaining salvation; that man worked out his salvation both by faith and works. Protestants, however, regarding only those spiritual influences which operate upon man, came to the conclusion that the grace of God alone saved man, and that without any act on his part.

    That I may convince you that I am not mistaken in what I say I will read to you some of the sayings of Luther upon this subject. "The excellent, invaluable and sole preparation for grace is the eternal election and predestination of God." This doctrine stands in marked contrast with the teaching of primitive Christianity. I hold that the New Testament scriptures teach in great plainness that God would have all the children of men to be saved, and is willing that none should be lost. But according to the teachings of Martin Luther, and the great body of Protestant Christendom, they would have us believe that there is a part of the great family of God predestined to eternal damnation; and, do what they will, they cannot be saved. Their die is cast, their doom is sealed. They are reprobate, cast out from the affections and love of God. They stand not within the pale of salvation. But the gospel of primitive Christianity was a voice of glad tidings to all men, saying that they could be saved through faith and obedience. I read again from the words of Luther: "On the side of man there is nothing that goes before grace, unless it be impotency, and even rebellion. We do not become righteous by doing what is righteous; but having become righteous, we do what is righteous." "Since the fall of man free will is


    488                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    but an idle word, and every man does walk, and still sins mortally." "A man who imagines to arrive at grace by doing all that he is able to do, adds sin to sin, and is doubly guilty." "That man is not justified who performs many works, but he who without works has much faith in Christ." "What gives peace to our conscience is this -- By faith our sins are no longer ours but Christ's, on whom God has laid them all; and on the other hand, all Christ's righteousness belongs to us, to whom God has given it." D'Aubigne says: "The point which the reformer has most at heart (referring to Luther) in all his labors, contests and dangers was the doctrine of justification by faith alone." This is the great Protestant doctrine, that by the act of faith all the righteousness of Jesus Christ is set down to our credit, and all our transgressions, all our sins, are placed upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, who carries them triumphantly away; and when we shall stand before the bar of God, we shall be judged, not according to the works we have done in this life, not according to the "deeds done in the body," as primitive Christianity taught, but we shall be judged by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, all of which will be credited to us by our act of faith. I could almost wish it were true, this doctrine! Salvation would seem so much more sure. But it is repulsive to reason, absurd to the understanding, and contrary to the teachings of primitive Christianity.

    In these doctrinal respects, then, the Protestant movement did not bring back Christianity. Did it bring it back in any other respect? Did it restore the spiritual gifts so characteristic of primitive Christianity? Did it bring back the gift of prophecy, and of revelation; of speaking in tongues, and interpreting them? Did it bring back the power So heal the sick by the laying on of hands and the anointing with oil? Did it bring back the gift of faith, of knowledge,


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   489

    of wisdom, of discernment of spirits? No, it made no claim to these powers, but sought out excuses for the absence of them, and pleaded that they were no longer needed; that they were given in the beginning merely for the purpose of giving Christianity a start in the world and attesting its divine origin by the manifestation of miraculous gifts among its followers. No, the revolution of the sixteenth century did not bring back these gifts and graces of primitive Christianity.

    Did it restore the primitive organization of the church? Did it give to the church Prophets, Seventies, Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, with the divine gifts and graces attendant upon these offices in the church in primitive times, including divine inspiration? Did they make of the church a means, a channel of divine communication between the church and her Lord? No. On the contrary, Protestant Christianity has taught from the days of Luther till now, that Prophets and Apostles were no longer needed in the Church of Christ. It did not restore the primitive Christian church organization; nor did it even restore the plain, simple first principles of the gospel, faith in the true God, repentance from sin, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. It did not restore the principle of revelation -- Christianity's vital breath -- the working force of the primitive Christian church -- the link that united her with God and made it possible for her to exist in actual spiritual life. On all these matters the utmost confusion exists among Protestants, but in no sect can these simple principles of primitive Christianity be found in their fulness and in the order in which they are taught in the New Testament. Even from this imperfect and rather hasty consideration of the question I think you will find no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the


    490                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    sixteenth century movement did not restore primitive Christianity, and hence was not a reformation in that sense.

    What the movement in the sixteenth century really was may be best learned by considering what it did. And now you must indulge me while I take a brief retrospect of history.

    When that stupendous fabric, the western division of the Roman empire, crumbled to pieces, in the later part of the fifth century, a reign of darkness followed its downfall. The barbarian hosts from the north, like the successive waves of the ocean, beating upon some decaying cliff, repeatedly rushed upon the old Roman civilization, until by sheer force of persistence in attack, they destroyed the great fabric of government which fills so large a space in the world's history. And when it fell, the enlightenment and civilization it had sustained in western Europe went with it. In the centuries that followed there arose that great spiritual hierarchy, known as the Roman Catholic Church, the head of which was recognized in the pope of Rome. The barbarian tribes which overthrew western Rome, in the days of their paganism, had given unwonted veneration to their Druid priests and to the chief Druid they had accorded the power of a god. Hence it was easy for them to accept the idea that the chief bishop of the Christian church was God's vicegerent on earth, and to honor him as they would honor God was equally free from difficulty. The Roman pontiffs were not the men to refuse to take advantage of that superstition. They fostered it, and drew to themselves all the honor which before time the pagans had accorded to the chief priests in paganism. Hence it happens that the popes of Rome were able to draw to themselves all the power that was needed to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and with


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   491

    impunity they planted their feet upon the necks of temporal monarchs.

    When the eastern division of the great empire fell before the repeated attacks of the Turks; and that part of the old Roman political fabric went to pieces, instead of darkness following its fall, it was an event which brought light at least to western Europe; for when the eastern Romans fled before their successful enemies, and came to western Europe, they brought in their hands the literature of ancient Greece, and the works of the ancient masters were translated into the European languages. About that time, too, the art of printing had been invented, so that this rich treasury of knowledge, locked up hitherto in the Greek language, was translated into the European languages, and through this marvelous invention of printing was brought within the reach of the people. The influence of that literature upon western minds was marvelous. They not only admired the beauty and the grace of the diction, and enjoyed the legends and stories that were translated for them, but they, too, began to feel aspirations to reach the same high intellectual development that the Greeks themselves had enjoyed; and wherever there is a love for intellectual development, the key is turned to the progress of a people. It proved to be so in this case.

    Not only did the influence of ancient Greek literature operate to bring about the enlightenment of Europe, but other things co-operated to stir the stagnant life of western nations. Vasco de Gama had discovered a new route to India by way of the Cape of Good Hope. Christopher Columbus had plowed his way through the western sea, and had discovered America. These two great events had a marvelous effect upon the life of Europe. Commerce was immediately enlarged. The comforts of life were multiplied and


    492                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    became more common. They were placed within the reach of the common people. A general restlessness took possession of the people. These two great events that I have named were preceded by other influences that were calculated to enlarge the liberties of the people of Europe. In the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, occurred those remarkable movements in Europe called the Crusades -- religious war, waged for the purpose of recovering the holy land from the hands of the infidels as the Turks were called. It was a movement which originated in the fact that Christian pilgrims going to visit the birthplace of Messiah, and the sepulchre where he was supposed to have lain, were insulted and abused by the Turks, and this so incensed some of the Christians that an agitation started against the "barbarians" in the holy land. A religious fanatic, Peter the Hermit, a Catholic monk, went through Europe preaching the crusade, and aroused the people against Turkish abuse of the Christians. The agitation attracted the attention and at last enlisted the sympathy of the pope and a number of the crowned heads of Europe, and everywhere the cry was heard "God wills it," and the people of Europe sprang to arms to invade the east, and rescue the holy sepulchre from the infidels. It was a marvelous undertaking. Wave after wave of an invading host from Europe surged upon the east without avail, especially so long as the invaders were but mobs of men, women and children, illy prepared to undertake a campaign against so brave and hardy a people as the Saracens. Finally, however, these movements became great military undertakings, and the east and the west met in sharp and deadly conflict.

    One of the many results of the crusades was to enlarge the liberty of the common people of Europe. You must understand that a very peculiar state of society existed in those times a state of society growing out of a preceding era of


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   493

    conquests. When barbarian kings invaded a country and conquered it, they held to the opinion that the title to all the land that was subdued inhered in the sovereign who had made the conquest. He became the proprietor of the land won by the valor of his armies, and claimed the right to parcel it out as he saw proper to his followers. The larger divisions were called baronies, and they were subdivided by the barons to their subordinates and so on down to the common people. But those to whom the lands were thus parceled out held them upon the condition that they would contribute a certain number of men for military service, for a given time each year, and also a certain amount of means annually. Thus grew up the feudal tenure of land, as it was called. It finally degenerated almost into a system of slavery, at least for the common people who cultivated the lands. The barons held in complete subjugation their vassals; and in turn the barons themselves were oppressed by the kings. But when the kings and barons undertook the fitting out of expeditions for the holy land, they had to dispose of some of their lands for that purpose. In some instances lands were sold outright to their vassals. The king also began to accord to cities and towns certain political privileges, on the condition that they would furnish means for carrying on the crusades; and by these political privileges the liberties of the inhabitants of cities became enlarged. Thus, all Europe was in a state of fermentation; a restless activity had taken possession of all classes of society; and where activity abounds liberty is either enjoyed or is not far off. Rolling water cannot long remain impure, nor can an active people long remain in a state of slavery.

    In the meantime kings as well as scholars had become weary of the domination of the old spiritual authority of the church. Scholars longed to settle matters of history


    494                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    and the facts of science by means of investigation and reason rather than by the voice of ecclesiastical authority as ignorant as it was deceptive; and kings became tired of holding barren scepters in their hands -- and such their scepters were so long as the spiritual authority of the priests was looked upon as superior to that of the king, and the popes, under a variety of pretenses, could invade their realms and tax their people. There was, therefore, at least in the northern nations of Europe, a very general desire for a change of some kind, and consequently when Martin Luther began preaching against the indulgences issued by Pope Leo X, and hawked about the country by John Tetzel, -- when there was a spirit bold enough to say to the pope, "Thou doest wrong," there were found multitudes to applaud the act. Martin Luther, in the commencement of his work, did not by any means contemplate the overthrow of the Roman Catholic church. He thought to eliminate some few of its abuses. He himself remarked that he was astonished when he found that the pope was not with him in his contention against Tetzel. But the agitation once set on foot, other differences arose on points of doctrine, especially upon the question of grace already considered. The breach grew wider and wider until at last it was too broad to be bridged over.

    When the theological discussion had reached the acute stage, there were princes that were only too glad to take advantage of the agitation to wrest from their own necks the yoke of bondage that had been placed there by the Roman pontiffs. In that agitation they saw their opportunity to be kings indeed, as well as king in name; and hence Luther and his associates found themselves assisted by the princes and kings of northern Europe.

    In order to show you that I am not mistaken in these


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   495

    views, I will read to you one or two extracts from works on that subject. My first is from Schiller's "Thirty Years' War in Germany." On page 7 he says:

    "The Reformation is undoubtedly owing in a great measure to the invincible power of truth, or of opinions which were held as such. The abuses in the old church, the absurdity of many of its doctrines, the extravagance of its inquisition, necessarily revolted the tempers of men already half-won with the promise of a better light, and favorably disposed them towards the new doctrines. The charm of independence, the rich plunder of monastic institutions, made the Reformation attractive to the eyes of princes, and tended not a little to strengthen their inward convictions. Nothing but political considerations would have driven them to espouse it. Had not Charles V, in the intoxication of success, made an attempt on the independence of the German states, a Protestant league would scarcely have rushed to arms in defense of freedom of belief. * * * Princes fought in self-defense or for aggrandizement, while religious enthusiasm recruited their armies and opened to them the treasures of their subjects. Of the multitude who flocked to their standards, such as were not lured by the hope of plunder, imagined they were fighting for the truth, while in fact they were shedding their blood for the personal objects of their princes."

    The Protestant historian, Moshiem, with whom David Hume agrees, admits that several of the principal agents in this revolution were actuated more by the impulse of passion and views of interest than by a zeal for true religion (Maclaine's Moshiem, vol. iv, p. 135). He had before that acknowledged that King Gustavus introduced Lutheranism into Sweden in opposition to the clergy and bishops, not only as agreeable to the genius and spirit of the gospel, but also as favorable to the temporal state and political constitution of the Swedish dominions. He adds that Christian, who introduced


    496                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the reformation into Denmark, was animated by no other motives than those of ambition and avarice. Grotius, another Protestant, testifies that it was sedition and violence which gave birth to the "Reformation" in his own country -- Holland. The same was the case in France, Geneva and Scotland.

    M. Guizot says:

    "In my opinion the reformation neither was an accident, the result of some casual circumstances, or some personal interests, nor arose from unmingled views of religious improvement, the fruit of Utopian humanity and truth. It had a more powerful cause than all these; a general cause to which all the others were subordinate. It was a vast effort made by the human mind to achieve its freedom; it was a new-born desire which it felt to think and judge, freely and independently, of facts and opinions which, till then, Europe received, or was considered bound to receive from the hands of authority. It was a great endeavor to emancipate human reason, and to call things by their right names; it was an insurrection of the human mind against the absolute power of spiritual order. Such, in my opinion, was the true character and leading principle of the reformation. * * * Not only was this the result of the reformation, but it was content with this result. Whenever this was obtained no other was sought for; so entirely was it the very foundation of the event, its primitive and fundamental character! * * * I repeat it; whenever the reformation attained this object, it accommodated itself to every form of government and to every situation. (Hist. Civilization, pp. 224-8.)

    Webster defines a revolution to be the act of renouncing the authority of a government; a revolt successfully or completely accomplished, a fundamental change in political organization, or, I will add, in religious organization; and in the light of the facts I have brought to your attention I think this most nearly describes that great movement of


                      REFORMATION  OR  REVOLUTION?                   497

    the sixteenth century led by Luther and the German princes. But while I do not concede to it the dignity of a reformation, I would not have you think therefore that I look upon the revolution as unimportant. Indeed, I regard it as one of the greatest events that has happened since the founding of Christianity itself; and the results accomplished by it are far reaching and of vast importance to us.

    The struggle began at first in an effort to obtain intellectual freedom. It next included within the objects it designed to accomplish religious freedom, and finally added to these two, civil liberty. A struggle for intellectual, religious and civil liberty must ever be a grand thing, and this was what the revolution of the sixteenth century contended for. Not all at once. It came to it by degrees. Not obtaining all it demanded at the first, but working gradually towards it; and finally it was successful. Not always because of its efforts, but sometimes in spite of its efforts. For there is no sadder truth in all history than this, that those who nobly struggled against the oppression of the Catholic church, and demanded religious liberty for themselves, fell into the error of being intolerant, and were not willing to accord to others the very liberty that they demanded. Hence you have a few sad pages of history filled with accounts of persecution for opinion's sake on the part of the reformers themselves. This is sad, but the principle of liberty was afoot, and neither the mistakes of its friends nor the opposition of its foes could long successfully oppose it. It went on from victory to victory, until it grew and blossomed into the present religious, intellectual and civil freedom that the nations of Europe and America enjoy. This great movement led by brave men was the dawn before the coming of a greater day. You have seen the dawn break over our eastern mountains. You know how the blackness gradually turns to grey, and


    498                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    how the grey brightens before the approaching sun, until the whole heavens become golden; and you know how still richer becomes that light when the sun in its fulness is seen above the mountain tops. So it was with this struggle in the sixteenth century. God then began a great work. The first grey streaks Were appearing above the hill-tops. The Lord was about to inaugurate a great work, "a marvelous work and a wonder." He was about to bring full and complete religious liberty to the children of men, and not only full and complete religious liberty, but a fulness of religious truth, even the fulness of the everlasting gospel. He began that work, the great dispensation of the last days in that struggle of the sixteenth century, and the light has been constantly growing brighter, until now the sun has fully risen in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the new dispensation of it revealed to that great modern Prophet Joseph Smith. We who accept the new dispensation, strike hands with the noble revolutionists of the sixteenth century, and acknowledge them as brethren in the same great cause.

    [ 499 ]




    [ 501 ]



    A correction of some misapprehensions that arose concerning Mormon views on the subject of Revelation and Inspiration during the hearings had in the "Smoot Case" before the United States Committee on Privileges and Elections, 1903-1907.

    My brethren and sisters, Plato, in his Timeus, represents the philosopher Socrates as urging one about to begin a discourse on the nature and origin of the universe to invoke the favor of the gods, to which Critias, who is the one selected to deliver the discourse, replies that all men who are right minded always seek the favor of the gods upon their enterprises, and then he proceeds to pray that his efforts may be agreeable to the gods and intelligible to those who are to listen.

    On this present occasion it is not my purpose to undertake the discussion of a subject either so lofty or so difficult as that which the Greek had proposed to himself, and yet as I stand before you for the purpose of addressing you, involuntarily, I am happy to say, my heart is uplifted to God in prayer that what I have to present on this occasion shall meet with the favor of God, and at the same time be intelligible and faith-promoting.

    I presume that all of us are more or less conscious of

    [g] A discourse...


    502                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    the fact that the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have been undergoing a very crucial test of late, Many principles fundamental to our faith have been the subject of investigation by one of the leading committees of the senate of the United States -- the committee on privileges and elections -- a committee than which I doubt if there is another superior to it in point of ability within the whole range of the senate committees. It is composed of men who frequently have to determine questions of law as well as of fact, and in consequence of that its members are chosen from among the most distinguished lawyers of the senate; they are men of learning and wide experience, adroit in questions of logic, and capable of pursuing to ultimate analysis any question that may be presented for their consideration. It is such a body of men before whom many of the doctrines of Christ have been presented, discussed and thoroughly analyzed. [h]

    This the character of the committee conducting the investigation. The Elders of the Church who have been called upon to state some of the principles of our faith and place interpretations upon them before the committee, have

    [h] The committee...


                      REVELATION  AND  INSPIRATION.                   503

    been taken somewhat at a disadvantage. They have been called upon to answer on the spur of the moment, without having opportunity to prepare their replies or weigh their words, Their answers have been purely extemporaneous. Many of the questions have been sprung upon them in the way of surprise; and those adroit inquisitors (I do not use that term' in its evil sense), the senate committee, have purposely led them through a labyrinth of questions in the hope finally of surprising them into some inconsistency. Yet on the whole I think the Church has reason to congratulate herself upon the presentation of her doctrines even under these circumstances; and it is not difficult to believe that the brethren were sustained in their answers by a spirit beyond their wisdom; that God blessed them in the trial through which they passed.

    It would be surprising, however, if in the course of so long an investigation, taken part in by so many, if the opposition did not at times gain some seeming advantage; if by some quip or quirk they did not make inconsistencies appear in the answers of the brethren. I want to illustrate this and call the attention of the young people to some of these circumstances, for I have discovered, incidentally, that some of the catch-phrases that have been coined during this investigation are having more or less influence on the minds of our youth.

    For example, during the investigation referred to, the question of our belief in revelation was brought up. It is a matter of common knowledge among you, of course, that we believe in revelation from God to man. We believe that the Lord has revealed himself in the day in which we live; that a dispensation of the gospel has been given unto prophets in this age of the world; that divine communication between the earth and the heavens has been restored; that a channel


    504                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    of communication has been permanently established by and through which the mind and the will of God may be made known to men. This truth, so commonplace with us, seems a matter of seven days' wonder to the senate committee in question. In the course of investigating this subject of revelation the idea was developed that a law revealed from God, before it became binding upon the Church, was submitted to the people in conference and they voted to accept or reject it. Then this question was asked:

    "Suppose a revelation is given to the Church, and the Church in conference assembled rejects it by vote, what remains? Does it go for nothing?"

    To which answer was made, in substance, that if the people rejected it, it would go for nothing for them -- that is, so far as the people were concerned.

    Then the questioning continues:

    "Senator -- Then according to your faith the Lord submits his decrees to the judgment of the people, and does not desire them to be obeyed by anybody unless the people approve?

    "Elder -- He desires them to be obeyed by everybody, but he lets everybody do just as they please. * * * * *

    "Senator -- You would, then, as I understand you, please to follow the people, and not the Lord, under those circumstances. Is that true ?

    "Elder -- The Lord has so ordered that when he appoints men, as be did do in the revelations here [the revelations that had been under discussion], and named the Apostles and the other general authorities of the Church, he commanded that they be presented to the Church and sustained or rejected, and whenever the Church has rejected any man he has stepped aside.

    "Senator -- A sort of veto power over the Lord! (Laughter)."


                      REVELATION  AND  INSPIRATION.                   505

    This last remark is one of the catchy phrases which some of the youth of Israel are permitting themselves to be pleased with. "A veto power on God!" We want to investigate that presently, and I think we will be able to discover that it is smart rather than profound.

    Again, when the subject of the Manifesto (meaning that instrument through which plural marriages were discontinued in the Church) was under discussion, one of the brethren chanced to remark that he assisted in framing the document for publication; whereupon this colloquy took place:

    "Senator -- I understand this Manifesto was inspired.
      "Elder -- Yes.

    "Senator -- That is your understanding of it?
      "Elder -- My answer was that it was inspired.

    "Senator -- And when it was handed to you it was an inspiration, as you understand, from on high, was it not?
      "Elder -- Yes.

    "Senator -- What business had you to change it?
      "Elder -- We did not change the meaning.

    "Senator -- You have just stated you changed it.
      "Elder -- Not the sense, sir. I did not say we changed the sense.

    "Senator -- But you changed the phraseology?
      "Elder -- We simply put it in shape for publication, corrected possibly the grammar, and wrote it so that --

    "Senator -- You mean to say that in an inspired communication from the Almighty the grammar was bad, was it? You corrected the grammar of the Almighty, did you?"

    Another "smart" saying which apparently appeals to the humor of some of our youth; and here and there you may hear now and then something said, in an irreverent manner, too, about the absurdity of correcting the Almighty's grammar.

    One other item: One of the Elders, pursued in the investigation


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    by one of the most adroit of the senators, finds it necessary to make a correction of one of his statements, whereupon this follows:

    "Senator -- Have you had any revelation or commandment in regard to the testimony you should give in this case?
      "Elder -- No, sir.

    "Senator -- There is no inspiration of that or any part of it ?
      "Elder -- As to the testimony I should give here?

    "Senator -- As to the testimony you have given or are to give.
      "Elder -- No; I do not know that I have, particularly -- I came here to answer the questions of the committee.

    "Senator -- But I want to know whether you are answering them under the direction of the Lord, according to your belief, or merely in your human and uninspired capacity?
      "Elder -- I believe I shall answer the questions that are asked me here as the Spirit of the Lord directs me, and truthfully.

    "Senator -- Do you mean to say that the Spirit of the Lord directs you in your answers here?
      "Elder -- I believe so.

    "Senator -- You believe so?
      "Elder -- Yes, sir.

    "Senator -- Then in your belief, did the Spirit of the Lord direct you to make the answer which you just took back and said was a mistake?

    "(A pause and silence.) Well, if you cannot answer it I will not press it."

    Previously this senator had said to the Elder: "Do you not think that in this hearing it behooves you to be a little careful of your answers so that in so important a matter you do not have to take back in two or three minutes what you have said?"

    This is spoken of, according to reports that reach me, as a severe reproof administered by a "worldling" to one


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    who believed himself to be an inspired man, and more or less of comment is made upon this circumstance, as upon the others I have named.

    Now, this brings before you, not all that is said, but some few things that are said with reference to the investigation before the senate committee; and I think they touch questions of considerable interest on the subject of revelation. It is this subject I propose to consider, especially the effect these several incidents of the investigation have upon the subject of revelation. Let us now return and consider these questions one by one.

    To begin with, let us have an understanding about revelation itself. As I understand it, "revelation is the name of that act by which God makes communication to men. Inspiration in the name of that influence, that divine influence, which operates upon the minds of men under which they may be said to receive divine guidance." The inspiration may be strong or it may be weak. It may be so overpowering in its character that the person for the time being loses largely his own individuality and becomes the mouthpiece of God, the organ through which the Divine speaks to the children of men. There exists all degrees of inspiration, from human intelligence and wisdom slightly influenced up to that fulness of inspiration of which I have spoken. Revelations may be made from God to man in various ways. They may be made by God in his own proper person, speaking for himself. On such occasions I take it that the revelation would be most perfect. I know of no more beautiful or complete illustration of such a perfect revelation than that great revelation with which the dispensation of the fulness of times began, when God the Father and Jesus the Christ, stood revealed in the presence of Joseph Smith, when every veil was removed, and the glory of God extended throughout the forest


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    in which the Prophet had prayed; when he heard the Father speak to him as one friend speaks to another, saying: "Joseph, this is my beloved Son; hear him." Then followed a conversation with this second divine personage, to whom he was thus so perfectly introduced, and from whom he received the light and knowledge that laid the foundations of this great latter-day work. There was no imperfection whatsoever in that revelation; it was complete, overwhelming, and one of the most remarkable revelations that God has deigned to give to the children of men. Revelations may be made, and have been made, by the visitation of angels, such as when Moroni came and revealed the existence of the Nephite record, the American volume of scripture, the Book of Mormon; and who afterwards from time to time, met with the Prophet of the last dispensation and gave him knowledge and information as to the manner in which the Church should be organized, and how its affairs should be conducted. Then again, revelations may come through the operations of the Holy Spirit upon the mind of man as when the Prophet Joseph took Urim and Thummim and with them, and by their aid, under the influence of Holy Spirit, translated the Book of Mormon into the English language. In a similar manner the Lord influences the minds of his servants when preaching the gospel, and thus delivers his word to the Church and to the world.

    Through all these various means God speaks, and it is our good fortune to be his witnesses, that he speaks in these various ways as well today as in ancient times.

    After giving many manifestations, and communicating much of his mind and will to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Lord said to him, finally, with reference to the of the Church, that he must call together in a meeting several persons who had been baptized and submit the question


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    to them as to whether or not they were willing that he and Oliver Cowdery should proceed to organize the Church of Christ, and if they would accept them as their spiritual leaders and teachers in the things of God.

    I marvel at the condescension of God in this, and well may the world marvel at his condescension in thus submitting a question of this character to those who were to participate in it. But when I come to analyze it and to comprehend it, I understand that God here recognizes a great truth; recognizes also the dignity of his children, and gives recognition to their rights and liberties in the premises. Mark you, when it comes to bestowing his power upon men, when he was selecting his prophets, he chose whom he would. That was a matter between himself and them. Hence he gave the apostleship to Joseph Smith, to Oliver Cowdery, and to David Whitmer, independently of anyone. But when these men were to effect an organization and exercise that power and authority upon others, then it must be with the consent of the others concerned, and not otherwise. This is the great principle that the Lord respected in the very inception of the great latter-day work, and which he still recognizes in the government of his Church -- the principle of common consent.

    In this connection allow me for a moment to call your attention to the very beautiful title of our Church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," it is called. Some might think the first half of the title, "The Church of Jesus Christ," would be sufficient. So, indeed, it is, in a way. It is the Christ's Church -- his by the price of his sacrifice. It is his as the depository of his truth. It is the institution he has called into existence, and unto which he has given the mission of proclaiming the truth, and, in addition to that the mission of perfecting the


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    lives of those who accept the truth. But it is not only "The Church of Jesus Christ;" it is "The Church of the Latter-day Saints, also. It is our Church, because we accept it, because we enter it of our own volition; it is therefore the Church of our choice. God has conferred upon his Church and our Church the right of being governed by common consent of the members thereof. It is this that astonishes our friends in Washington. They have been led to believe, by misrepresentation, that this organization called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is an ironclad institution, a powerful tyranny, to whose authority there are no metes or bounds; in which there are no checks or balances of authority; an ecclesiastical hierarchy that dominates the people and destroys individual liberty. Suddenly they are confronted with the fact that, so far from being a tyrannical institution, not only the officers but the very revelations of God are submitted to the people for their acceptance! They then turn upon us and say: Then you presume to have a "Veto power on God!"

    Now, let us consider this matter for a few moments. But before doing so I call your attention to an utterance made in our own midst, less excusable than the "smart" utterances of these astute senators, because they doubtless are prompted in their remarks by ignorance of the subject; but what I am about to read to you is not the utterance of an ignorant mind, but rather that of a perverted one, because the writer knows better. Listen to this from a local daily paper:

    "According to the testimony given by high ecclesiastics at Washington, a revelation from God is not binding upon humanity until after it is voted upon and accepted by the Mormon people in conference. What an astounding complexity, and what a narrow bigotry are here presented! As


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    taught by Mormon theology, there is but one man on the earth at a time who is authorized to receive and pronounce the will of God. That man is the president of the Mormon Church. He receives a revelation containing commands, to the children of men, obedience to which commands entitles the individuals to celestial glory, and disobedience to which commands consigns the individual to the loss of glory in the hereafter. That revelation, however, is not in force until some ten or twelve thousand people in the big Tabernacle at Salt Lake City have voted affirmatively upon it, and then it becomes a law for the fifteen hundred millions of human being upon the face of the earth. In other words, sacrilegious as it seems, this doctrine assumes that God don't know his own mind; in still other words, his determinations are subject to revision by ten thousand human creatures, who constitute a kind of supreme court, whose conclusions are binding not only upon themselves, but upon hundreds of millions of human beings who never heard of the man through whom the law was promulgated, nor of the supreme court that sustained it, nor of the law itself. If the Mormon conference approves God's words, the one billion five hundred million other human creatures are saved by it or damned by it, as the case may be; and if the Mormon conference rejects it, the one billion five hundred millions of other human creatures are not subject to it in any way, as it is not a valid command from God Almighty. It is not God then who holds the power of condemnation or of salvation; but it is the Mormon conference which saves or damns the world of humanity at the whim of that conference. Could absurdity go farther?"

    I think not! Absurdity can scarcely go beyond that representation of the matter. It is scarcely necessary for me to say to you that this presentation of the subject is not true. And yet I have positive knowledge that such a vain utterance as this has its influence among some of the youth of the Church! No; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrogates to herself no such powers as are here


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    charged. On the contrary, the following appears in the Book of Mormon, with reference to God's course in making known his mind and will to the children of men:

    "I [the Lord] command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in all the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to his works, according to that which is written. For behold, I will speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I will also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I will also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it."

    Then the Lord proceeds to tell how in the dispensation of the fulness of times he will bring together and unite in testimony the words that he has spoken to these various peoples and nations.

    Again, it is written in the same book:

    "Behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true."

    This is the Mormon theory of God's revelation to the children of men. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men; and is one of God's instrumentalities for making known the truth yet he is not limited to that institution for such purposes, God wise men and neither in time nor place, raises up prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend; not always giving a fulness of truth such as may be found in the fulness of the gospel


                      REVELATION  AND  INSPIRATION.                   513

    of Jesus Christ; but always giving that measure of truth that the people are prepared to receive. "Mormonism holds, then, that all the great teachers are servants of God; among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God's children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them. Hence it is not obnoxious to Mormonism to regard Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and moralist, as a servant of God, inspired to a certain degree by him to teach those great moral maxims which have governed those millions of God's children for lo! these many centuries. It is willing to regard Gautama, Buddha as an inspired servant of God, teaching a measure of the truth, at least giving to these people that twilight of truth by which they may somewhat see their way. So with the Arabian prophet, that wild spirit that turned the Arabians from worshiping idols to a conception of the Creator of heaven and earth that was more excellent than their previous conception of Deity. And so the sages of Greece and of Rome. So the reformers of early Protestant times. Wherever God finds a soul sufficiently enlightened and pure; one with whom his Spirit can communicate, lo! he makes of him a teacher of mend While the path of sensuality and darkness may be that which most men tread, a few, to paraphrase the words of a moral philosopher of high standing, have been led along the upward path; a few in all countries and generations have been wisdom seekers, or seekers of God. They have been so because the Divine Word of Wisdom has looked upon them, choosing them for the knowledge and service of himself.

    In the presence of such a magnificent conception of God's hand dealings with his children in the matter of imparting divine truth to them as this, is it not infamous for a man -- one who poses, too, as knowing something of Mormonism --


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    to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as being so narrow and bigoted as to believe that they legislate in their conferences in all spiritual matters for the whole world; that all mankind must wait upon their action for a revelation of God's truth; that God's word is given or withheld from mankind by their vote; that they have constituted themselves a sort of supreme court to determine what is or what is not God's word for the one thousand five hundred millions of souls inhabiting the earth! In concluding his utterance the editorial writer in question closed the passage I quoted with the question, "Could absurdity go further?' I will close mine with the question, Can infamy go farther than his misrepresentation of the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in respect to revelation?

    While it is held by the Church, nay, taught by the very revelations of God themselves, that there is but one man at a revelations time who is entitled to receive revelations for the government and guidance of the Church -- and this in order to prevent confusion and conflict -- still it is nowhere held that this man is the only instrumentality through which God may communicate his mind and will to the world. It is merely a law operative within the Church itself and does not at all concern the world outside the Church organization.

    When the Church votes upon the acceptance of any revelation, whether it is one respecting doctrine or the appointment of officers, it acts for itself alone. Its vote in no way concerns, either for their praise or their censure, the people outside of the Church. It is merely the exercise of a right conferred upon the Church in the very inception of its organization; for it is part of the law itself, that no rule or law shall be binding on the Church, and no officer shall hold position in the Church, but upon its own free consent. This


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    is no new doctrine. It is in strict harmony with God's moral government of the world. What moral law may not men in their individual capacity reject? From the beginning God's law stood. "Thou shalt not kill." Yet Cain killed Abel and from that day to the present many men have violated this, God's law. And so with every law, whether given directly of God, or through his servants the prophets. Man is by the nature of him a free moral agent; and that agency of his involves the liberty of violating the laws of God as well as the liberty of respecting them. He is free to accept righteousness and attain heaven. He is equally free to follow after wickedness and go to hell if he so elects, though he must not complain if he finds not there the joys and comforts of heaven. Agency or freedom that would mean less than this would mean nothing. It would be neither freedom nor agency. What men may do in their individual capacity the Church may do in its organized capacity with, of course, similar results to the institution; for if the time should come that the Church in the exercise of those rights and that freedom which God in the beginning bestowed upon her should persistently reject his word and his servants until she became corrupted, God would repudiate and disown her as his Church, just as he would reject and condemn a wicked man. Thank God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so far, has received those revelations and those doctrines proposed to her as divine law by the Prophet of God; and also, in the main, those men whom a divine inspiration has suggested as her officers.

    An incident in the history of ancient Israel illustrates this doctrine of liberty enjoyed by the people of, God in their corporate capacity. From Moses to Samuel the children of Israel had been governed by a succession of judges, inspired men, appointed of God to be rulers or rather public


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    servants in Israel, which government of inspired men appointed of God constituted a divine order of government, so that it may be said that the people were governed of God. Finally, however, during the administration of government by the judge, the prophet Samuel, the people grew weary of this form of government and clamored for a king. They were ambitious of being like other people by whom they were surrounded. They longed for the worldly pomp and circumstance and glamor of a kingdom. Samuel, the stern old prophet, zealous for his God, withstood their demands, until at last the Lord spoke and said to him: "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them ..... Now, therefore, hearken unto their voice; howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them." (Samuel viii.) Samuel followed the directions of the Lord, and pointed out to the people the disasters which would befall them if they adhered to their insistence for a king. All to no purpose, however, a king they would have. God respected their right to have the kind of government they desired, though it involved a rejection of himself "a veto upon God!" Had not the grave and fair minded senator of Massachusetts -- now unhappily departed this life since coining the phrase here criticised -- momentarily forgotten this very celebrated incident in the history of ancient Israel, or if he had taken time to think one moment upon the great principles underlying God's moral government of the world, I feel reasonably satisfied that he would never have fashioned that irreverent phrase, "veto power on God," certainly not to win the laughter and applause of those who were present at its birth, or of those who, ape-like, repeat his unhappy phrase.


                      REVELATION  AND  INSPIRATION.                   517

    But I must not overlook another point involved in that part of the testimony here being considered. Suppose a law is promulgated before the Latter-day Saints -- a revealed principle of truth is submitted for their acceptance -- and then, in the exercise of that liberty, which God has conferred upon his Church, they reject it. The question is then asked, "What remains?"

    Why, the truth remains! The action of the Church has not affected that in the least. It is just as true as if the Church had accepted it. Our acceptance or rejection does not make or mar the truth; it simply determines our own relationship to that truth. If we reject the truth, the truth still remains. And, moreover, it is my own faith that a people who would reject the truth revealed of God to them would make no progress until they repented and accepted the rejected truth. The truth remains -- that is the answer to the senator's question. Human conduct does not affect the truth. As one of our own poets has said:
    "Though the heavens depart, and the earth's fountains burst,
    Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,

    Eternal, unchanged, evermore!"

    Taking up now the other question -- that of correcting the Almighty's grammar.
    In defining what I understand revelation to be, and the manner in which it may be communicated, I have already stated that when we have a communication made directly from the Lord himself there is no imperfection whatever in that revelation. But when the Almighty uses a man as an instrument through whom to communicate divine wisdom, the manner in which that revelation is imparted to men may receive a certain human coloring from the prophet through


    518                         DEFENSE  OF  THE  FAITH.                        

    whom it comes. We know this to be true, because we have the words of different prophets before us by which we may test the matter. We know, for instance, that the message delivered to Israel through the Prophet Isaiah possesses different characteristics from the message delivered through Jeremiah, or through Ezekiel, or through Amos. It seems that the inspiration of the Lord need not necessarily destroy the personal characteristics of the man making the communication to his fellowmen.

    To illustrate what I mean: I remember one of my old teachers calling the attention of our class to the fact, and demonstrating it, that a ray of white light was not so simple a thing as we might think it to be. When you see a white ray of sunlight streaming through some window or other aperture into a dark room, you might think that the bar of white light consists simply of one white ray. But the teacher referred to took a prism and caused such a ray of light to fall upon that prism, and upon a dark screen opposite we discovered that the rays of light composing the white ray were separated into various colors -- blue, orange, red, green and the various other colors of the several rays that entered into and made the white ray; and as he went on using one prism after another for this illustration, I discovered that the sharpness and clearness with which the separation of these several rays were made depended somewhat upon the clearness and purity of the prism through which the light passed. And so in after years it occurred to me that this might be used to illustrate how the white ray of God's inspiration falling upon different men would receive different expressions through them, according to the characteristics of those men. So it is that Isaiah preserves his identity, Amos his, Ezekiel his, and so on with the prophets of our own day. I suppose if the Lord had revealed the existence

                      REVELATION  AND  INSPIRATION.                   519

    of the Book of Mormon to a man who had a perfect knowledge of the English language, a grammarian, and perfect in literary attainments, then no doubt we would have had a translation of the Book of Mormon without fault or blemish so far as the grammar is concerned; but it pleased God in his wisdom to appoint that mission to one who was not learned in the English language, whose use of the English language was ungrammatical, through failing of opportunity to obtain the necessary instruction in his youthful days, and consequently we find errors in grammar in the translation of the Book of Mormon, such as this: "Whoredoms is an abomination to the Lord." Marvelous, is it not? Ungrammatical -- a plural subject and a singular verb! But what of the truth? You are not in doubt about that, are you? Does it make the truth any more real or forcible to use grammatical terms in which to express it? Whoredoms are an abomination to the Lord? Well, what is the essential thing in a revelation? The essential thing is the truth that it conveys; and it matters not whether you say whoredoms is an abomination or whoredoms are an abomination to the Lord. The truth remains that whoredoms are abhorrent to God, and that is the main thing. Again, in the D&C you find this language: "The Spirit and the body is the soul of man, and the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul." Again a plural subject and a singular verb. But what boots it? The great thing that mankind is concerned to know is the truth conveyed, that the soul of man is composed of spirit and body, and that it is the purpose of the redemption to save and unite spirit and body in one individual, to exist through time and through all eternity. To still further illustrate, and to show you the flimsiness of this "smart" saying to which we are coming in a moment: Old Baron Swedenborg was regarded as a mystic.


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    He was a learned man, but his lips were not attuned to the perfect pronunciation of the English language. Occasionally he spoke in English, but it was always broken. He delighted apparently to contemplate the prophets of old Israel and the prophets of the New Testament. In speaking of them the old man used to say in most solemn earnestness, "De vurld vas not worty of dem," and the audience sometimes laughed; but neither the laughter of the audience, nor the imperfection of pronunciation of the English words detracted from the solemn truth that the old man uttered. And so any imperfection in mere utterance of a truth amounts to little or nothing. "He that hath my word," saith the Lord, "let him speak my word faithfully. For what is the chaff to the wheat?"

    Now, would it do any harm to take Swedenborg's broken English and make it smooth by pronouncing it with perfect accent. "They were prophets of whom the world was not worthy?" It does not hurt the truth, to so change the expression of it, does it? Would it hurt the truth, the expression of it, to say "the spirit and the body are the soul of man?" Or "whoredoms are an abomination to the Lord?" Why, no. So in this Manifesto issued by President Woodruff. What if there were imperfect, or ungrammatical sentences in it? What does the world care about that in the last analysis of it? The great thing in the instrument was, and the great truth that the Lord made known to the soul of Wilford Woodruff was that it was necessary for the preservation of the Church, and the uninterrupted progress of her work that plural marriages should be discontinued. Now, any expression containing that truth was all that was necessary. And so there is nothing of weight in the phrase "correcting the grammar of the Almighty." We do not correct his grammar. Perhaps the brethren made slight corrections


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    in the grammar of Wilford Woodruff. The grammar may be the prophet's' the idea, the truth, is God's.

    "Now, the third point; the one about men being constantly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; so constantly under his inspiration that all they say or do is an inspiration of God, that all their answers to questions are in the nature of revelation.

    Is there anything in the Mormon doctrine that makes it necessary to believe that of men, even of high officials in the Church? No, there is not. We know that they do not always speak under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit; for some men high in authority, aye Apostles, have preached discourses for which they were finally excommunicated from the Church. They were not inspired in those instances, were they? Evidently not. When you come to think of human weaknesses and imperfections, and how difficult it is for men living under the effects of the Fall, and borne down with inherited tendencies also -- when you think how extremely difficult it is for even the best of men to rise above these things and walk in the sunlight of. God's inspiration, in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, I think it is expecting too much to claim that every utterance is a divine inspiration. Men are exercised by a variety of emotions. Passions, selfish interests, prejudices, traditions, bear in upon the souls of men and tend to break up and mar the inspiration of the Spirit of God in them. Blessed is the man who can rise above the human weaknesses and imperfections once in a while and commune with God; and blessed are the people among whom he dwells; because if he can do that he will return to them from such communing so strengthened and helped that he will be an inspiration to all who touch the sphere of his influence. I say happy is the man who once in awhile can ascend to these spiritual


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    heights and commune with God. It is about as much as you can expect of men. But some of you perhaps will be calling to mind a certain revelation in which this passage occurs:

    "Behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who are ordained unto this Priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth;

    "And this is an ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

    "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

    True, every word of it; and the word of these men, when spoken under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is indeed the word of God. But oh! how frequently it is the case that men fail to connect with the divine influence and are unable to call it down into their souls to speak forth the words of life! I have already drawn your attention to the fact that the servants of God who minister to us are not always equal to this task; but there are times when you and I have listened to the words of the servants of God, when the white light of God's inspiration rested upon them, and we needed no man to tell us that they spoke by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, that we were being taught of God. But that is not always the case with respect of the preaching we hear. The Lord has revealed this truth also:

    "Verily I say unto you, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."

    Speaking broadly, we may say there are three classes


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    of intelligences that should be recognized. First of all, the Divine Intelligence, that which comes directly or indirectly from the presence of God through his Spirit. Then there is in every man an intelligent entity, the "Ego," our scientists call it, I think; an entity without beginning and without end, according to the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith; a self-existent entity that has intelligence, self-consciousness, will, and other forces, in and of itself. You need not doubt that; it is a self-evident truth. Look inward, investigate your own spirit, and you shall find it true. I need not call your attention in the way of argument to the fact that even wicked men possess this human intelligence. We know they do, and it is sometimes very perverse; also very cunning, and not infrequently very powerful; and yet we know that such wicked persons are so far removed in their walk and conversation from God that the Spirit of the Lord is not with them. Then whence the source of their power and their intelligence? It is native to them; and is self-existent, indestructible. Then again, there is the influence of the adversary of men's souls, he who seeks the destruction of men; he who would pull men down to his level in rebellion against God. He has influence in the world, and men are sometimes dominated by his thoughts, his motives, and are led into darkness and sin through his power. When Lucifer rebelled against the King of kings in heaven, he lost not existence; his intelligence was not destroyed; neither indeed could it or he be annihilated; he remains to this day, and is still pursuing his evil course.

    These are the intelligences with whom we come in contact, with whom we have to deal; and I take it to be one of the most important considerations that we make ourselves competent to distinguish between the promptings of our own human intelligence, to know when it is the Spirit of the


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    Lord that prompts, and when it is the adversary of men's souls who approaches us and whispers his counsels in our ears.

    Meantime we should recognize the fact that we do many things of our own uninspired intelligence for the issues of which we ourselves are responsible.

    Moreover, we ourselves should seek to do good things; for the power is in us to do good, if we will but set about it, even as the Lord has indicated in this revelation I have read on that subject. Many of our actions -- shall I say nearly all our ordinary actions? -- are prompted by this native intelligence. We take account of this and of that, and from the data before us we make up our judgment and act upon the probabilities involved. That is the ordinary work-a-day guide by which we walk. Then, of course, for the performance of extraordinary duties, for the accomplishment of high purposes, the soul, conscious of its own limitations, reaches out for help; deep calls to deep; the infinite in man seeks union with the infinite in God, and, on occasion, and when necessary for the achievement of God's purposes, we have reason to believe that the Lord deigns to communicate his mind and will unto men. But the Lord evidently proposes that man shall act here largely upon his own intelligence, exercise his own agency, and develop the powers, intelligent and moral, that are within him. That is why men are here in this earth-probation. While I believe the Lord will help men at need, I think it improper to assign every word and every act of theirs to an inspiration from the Lord; for if that were true, we would have to acknowledge ourselves as being wholly taken possession of by the Lord, and not permitted to go to the right or to the left, but as he guided us. Needless to say that in that event there would be no error in judgment, no blunders made. Where would human agency or


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    human intelligence exist in the one case or be developed in the other under such circumstances? They would not exist. Hence I think it a reasonable conclusion to say that constant, never-varying inspiration is not a factor in the administration of the affairs even of the Church; not even good men, no, not though they be prophets or other high officials of the Church, are at all times and in all things inspired of God. It is only occasionally and at need that God comes to their aid.

    Upon this subject I want to read what I think was a very wise admission once made by Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet, and father of President Joseph F. Smith. After the Prophet Joseph was compelled to flee from his enemies in Kirtland, Ohio, to Far West, Missouri, the word of the Lord was given to the effect that the honest in heart in Kirtland should gather at Far West; whereupon a number of expedients were suggested, or means by which the Saints should make the journey. The High Council and Brother Hyrum Smith conceived the plan of moving the Saints by the water course, by the Ohio, the Missouri and Grand rivers, since those streams were navigable; but the plan proposed by them failed. Then the Seventies took up-the mat-ter-the First Council of Seventies -- and their proposition was to organize a company that should go overland to Missouri, by team and on foot. They developed their plans, and Hyrum Smith in the course of some remarks made at one of their meetings, is represented as having said that:

    "What he had done in reference to chartering a steamboat for the purpose of removing the Church as a body, he had done according to his own judgment, without reference to the testimony of the Spirit of God; that he had recommended that course and had advised the High Council and High Priests to adopt that measure, acting solely upon his own wisdom; for it has seemed to him that the whole body of the


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    Church in Kirtland could be removed with less expense in the way he had proposed than in any other. He said further that the Saints had to act oftentimes upon their own responsibility, without any reference to the testimony of the Spirit of God, in relation to temporal affairs; that he had so acted that the plan of going by water was approved by him, and that the failure of the scheme was evidence in his mind that God did not approve of it." (The foregoing is from the minutes of the said meeting.)

    I think this utterance of the Patriarch-Prophet of the Church gives voice to the common sense view of inspiration, its operations upon me, and affairs of the Church. It is vain for men to claim divine inspiration for every move that is made in Church affairs. God makes no mistakes. He never errs in judgment. Whatever he does is done in perfect wisdom, and the final result either of a single act or a series of acts is always his vindication. So that whatsoever of unwisdom appears in the policy of his Church; whatsoever of defect appears in the administration of her affairs, are not assignable to God, nor are they the result of the operation of his inspiration upon the minds of men. Such unwisdom in policy, such defects in administration are referable alone to men, whose knowledge is limited, whose foresight, when unhelped by divine inspiration, is imperfect, whose wisdom when backed by no other intelligence than that native to their own spirits is halting, and whose judgment is burdened with many a defect. Men are responsible for such blundering as may take place in the management of this divine institution we call the Church of Christ.

    That there have been unwise things done in the Church by good men, men susceptible at times to the inspiration of the Spirit of God, we may not question. Many instances in the history of the Church through three quarters of a century prove it, and it would be a solecism to say that God was


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    the author of those unwise, not to say positively foolish, things that have been done. For these things men must stand responsible, not God.

    It is well nigh as dangerous to claim too much for the inspiration of God in the affairs of men as it is to claim too little. By the first men are led into superstition, and into blasphemously accrediting their own imperfect actions, their blunders, and possibly even their sins to God; and by the second they are apt to altogether eliminate the influence of God from human affairs; I pause in doubt as to which extreme would be the worse.

    After these remarks I can hear some in their hearts ask, "How, then, shall we attain to certainty? How are we to know when men speak and act under divine inspiration, and when by their own unaided human intelligence? When God gave the world inspired apostles and prophets and had established a divine institution for the instruction and guidance of men, we had fondly hoped that at last doubt and uncertainty had been driven out of the minds of those who placed themselves under the tutorship of such instructors and such a divine institution as the Church of Christ; and that now we were placed in a position where an unerring finality might be attained on all questions involving human affairs and human conduct." So indeed, good friends, you have, in the Church of Christ, a means of attaining finality in regard to all those questions that concern your salvation. There is and can be no questioning or doubting concerning the essential principles of the gospel of Christ taught by his Church. Here we stand on the solid rock, not on shifting sands. We can and do know the truth with reference to the matters that concern our salvation; and God in the dispensation of the fulness of times, wherein he has decreed the completion of his work with reference to the salvation of


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    men and the redemption of the earth will never permit man's imperfections and unwisdom to thwart the accomplishment of his great purposes. In these things we stand absolutely secure. But with reference to matters involving merely questions of administration and policy in the Church; matters that do not involve the great and central truths of the gospel -- these afford a margin wherein all the human imperfections and limitations of man, even of prophets and apostles, may be displayed; that they, in common with the membership of the Church, may exercise their freedom and agency, and, of course, stand responsible, blamable or praise-able, according as they acquit themselves well or ill in discharging those duties which devolve upon them. In this connection let me say that it should not be matter of surprise to any one that unwise things have been both said and done by some of the best men in the Church. On the contrary, it is matter of congratulation to the Church that so little unwisdom has been manifested by our brethren upon whom God has laid the heavy burdens of so great a work.

    As to the matter of attaining certainty in human affairs, that is not to be expected. Is it indeed desirable? "Know ye not that we walk by faith and not by sight?" is the language of Paul to the Saints in his day. By which token I infer that we are placed in this earth-probation to pass through just such experiences as those to which we seem born heirs. Is it not in part the meaning of life that we are here under just such-conditions as prevail in order that we may learn the value of better things? Is not this very doubt of ours concerning the finality of things -- finality which ever seems to elude our grasp -- the means of our education? What mere automatons would we become if we found truth machine-made and limited, that is to say, finite, instead of being as we now find it, infinite and elusive, and


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    attainable only as we beat it out on the anvil of our own experiences? Yet so far as men may be furnished with the means of attaining to certainty concerning the class of things of which we are speaking, the Saints of God are supplied with that means. Their obedience to the gospel brings to them the possession of the Holy Ghost, and it is Mormon doctrine that "by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things." (Moroni.) This Spirit takes of the things of God and makes them known to men. By his testimony we may know that the Lord is God, that Jesus is the Christ, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. By him bearing witness to our spirits we can recognize the truth, and know when men speak of themselves and when they speak as moved upon by the Holy Spirit. But even with the possession of this Spirit to guide us into all truth, I pray you, nevertheless, not to look for finality in things, for you will look in vain. Intelligence, purity, truth, will always remain with us relative terms and also relative qualities. Ascend to what heights you may, ever beyond you will be other heights in respect of these things, and ever as you ascend more heights will appear, and it is doubtful if we shall ever attain the absolute in respect of these qualities. [*]

    [*] Since the above discourse was delivered...


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    Our joy will be the joy of approximating them, of attaining unto ever increasing excellence, without attaining the absolute. It will be the joy of eternal progress. Something too much of this. Let me hasten to a word in conclusion. I would like to come very near to you, if you will permit it, in a heart to heart talk.

    I would like to stand in the relationship of an elder brother to you young men and young women of Israel for a few moments; as a brother whose opportunities in the matter of investigating Mormonism have been rather exceptional, on account of the lines of work I have followed. The books I have written have led me into a very close investigation of original documents respecting Mormonism. Very much of the private correspondence between President Brigham Young and President John Taylor happened to pass through my hands, while engaged in writing the biography of the latter. I have had the opportunity of consulting the private journals kept by these and other leading brethren of the Church, in which I have read utterances they never expected to see daylight. Documents wherein they recorded the secret things of their hearts, and their convictions concerning the work of God. I gathered much comfort, and have been strengthened in my own faith by finding these men perfectly honest in thought and word respecting the work of God. Their most private utterances were in perfect harmony with the things which they proclaimed publicly. In this respect I have found them pure gold. I speak of this not to boast, but in order that I may remind you of the simple fact that I have had these exceptional opportunities of investigating Mormonism, not from public utterances alone, but from behind the scenes, so to

    no finality in religious ideas...


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    speak, where the skeletons would have appeared if were skeletons in existence. And now, in the presence of these facts, and this opportunity afforded me, I want to say to you, my young brethren and sisters, that God has spoken in this age in which we live. He has revealed himself to the children of men, and has communicated a message to the world in what is called Mormonism. The book of Mormon is true. The great revelations that underlie this latter day work are true. The revelations concerning the nature of God and man, in the D&C, the revelations out of which has grown this organization which we call the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, are verities.

    Now, following this testimony, I want to warn you against speaking lightly or slightingly of sacred things, or of the servants of God. In nothing, perhaps, can you more offend God or grieve his Spirit. Have nothing to do, I pray you, with "smart" quips against the truth, however respectable their origin, or however popular or catchy their phraseology. I pray you give them no lodgment in your hearts. Remember we live under the law of God. -- Speak no evil of mine anointed; do my prophets no harm. And remember always that whatever the weaknesses and the imperfections of men may be, whatever weaknesses they may have manifested before the Church in the past, or may manifest before it in the future (for the end is not yet), their weaknesses and imperfections affect not the truth that God has revealed. The Lord will vindicate his truth, and at the last it will be found that
    "'Tis no avail to bargain, sneer, and nod,
    And shrug the shoulder for reply to God."
    Remember also that ridicule is not argument; that a sneer, though it may not be susceptible of an answer, is no

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    refutation of the truth; that though profane ribaldry may provoke a passing merriment, the profaner's "laugh is a poor exchange for Deity offended." I therefore admonish you, as a friend and brother, to stand aloof from all these things. Hold as sacred the truths of God; and hold in highest esteem, as indeed you may, those whom God has appointed to be his prophets, apostles and servants.

    ( THE  END. )


    Transcriber's Comments

    Brigham H. Roberts (1857-1933)

    B. H. Roberts’ “Defense of the Faith...”

    (under construction)

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    last revised: Apr. 27, 2009