Richard C. Evans
Forty Years in the Mormon Church
(Toronto: self-published 1920)
FORTY YEARS IN THE
WHY I LEFT IT!
BISHOP R. C. EVANS
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Second, many books have been published by those who knew nothing of the inner workings of Mormonism. I have endeavored to give the true history of Mormonism, quoting very largely from their own works, and bringing into prominence the teaching of the Prophets, Seers and Revelators and other leading ministers.
Third, having been ordained to seven different offices in the Mormon Priesthood, from Priest to the Presidency of the church, standing next to Joseph Smith himself in the Highest Council of the church, the world will be interested to read the facts from one who has escaped from the Mormon thraldom.
Fourth, notwithstanding the cruel treatment that has been inflicted upon me by the leaders of the church from the moment they knew that I had determined to warn the world, I have tried to keep my heart from bitterness, but have, in this little volume, endeavored to show that Mormonism is the lying wonder of the Latter Days, with the hope that the honest in heart, now 'under the yoke of bondage will, like tens of thousands before them, make their escape and find peace and joy in the gospel of Christ as revealed in the Bible.
My earnest prayer for the many honest people of the church is, that they will abandon Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Commandments, and all the other fraudulent works of Mormonism and embrace Christ and the gospel as presented in the Word of God.
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The Reorganized "Mormon Church" does not teach or practice polygamy. Their great sin is in denying that Joseph Smith, their prophet, seer and revelator, received revelations commanding the church to enter into that God dishonoring and woman debasing doctrine under pain of eternal damnation, in denying that he taught, practiced and advocated it, privately, while he denied it publicly.
If human evidence is to be relied upon, then this book proves that the leading presidents, apostles, bishops, high priests, including the celebrated "Three Witnesses," as also many of Smith's own relatives declare that he had revelations commanding the church to enter into the practice of polygamy, and tens of thousands certify that they had many wives in consequence of his example and commandments.
When these testimonies were confirmed unto me, then I could no longer believe that God and Christ visited and conversed with Smith, that John the Baptist and Peter, James and John ordained him to the priesthood and that many other heavenly personages visited him, and I finally, under the blessing of God, came out to tell the world the facts.
Feb. 12th, 1920.
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The conference accepted this commendation as from the lips of tile Lord, whereupon the Prophet stated that the Lord had shown him that I should be ordained a Bishop, the Presiding Bishop stated that he had seen me in a blaze of glory acting as Bishop of the church. I believed all this and was the same hour ordained a Bishop and placed in charge of the work in Canada.
I have been careful to make the above statements for two reasons: First, to show that I was in earnest and that the people so regarded me, and that I have been honored with seven different ordinations, going from the lower to the higher rungs of the ladder of Priesthood, an honor that no other man living in Mormonism ever enjoyed, if it is an honor; and second, to show that in all those years I was considered by them, fit for such positions, and if there is any faith left in them concerning their prophet and his revelations, this fact must be admitted by them and thus is disproved the maliciousness and cruelty of their base slanders against me, both from the pulpit and the press, since I left their church and denounced their corruption and superstition, as a fraud.
Receiving Mormonism in my childish ignorance, I followed on with a zeal that was admired by them all, every prominence possible was accorded me and my faith was such for many years that I sacrificed everything in life at the shrine of that monstrous deception, when books and papers were placed in my hands against the church, I was so completely grounded in the faith that while I read, it was only to fit myself to fight
anything that was presented against it, so the years drifted away, I preaching in most every province of the Dominion of Canada, many parts of the United States, and the leading cities of the British Isles.
My First DoubtThe time came in the mercy of God, that evidence was presented to me that gave my faith a shock, it is not the first drop of water that drowns a person, nor the first straw that breaks the camel's back, but drop by drop, the water came upon me, until I found myself overwhelmed by the waves of truth and the last straw broke down my last effort of resistance, and I became convinced that the man Joseph Smith, whom I almost worshipped as God's prophet, seer, revelator, translator, mouthpiece and chief representative on earth, was an adulterer, liar, impostor, deceiver, false prophet and polygamist. This conclusion arrived at, my faith in his revelations found in the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Doctrine and Covenants was shaken, and I began to investigate, until I found all to be a delusion and a snare, his inspired translation of the sacred scriptures I found to be a mess of infidelity, largely borrowed from the criticisms made upon the sacred book by such men as Thomas Pain and others who have wasted talent in finding fault with the Bible, the fruits of Joseph Smith's deception is found in the intrigue, deception and false revelations of the reorganization, and in the concubinage and polygamy of Brigamism, Strangeisms, and other branches of the Mormon church which is a withering blight to the morality of the world, to say nothing of the ethical teaching of pure Christianity.
Joseph Smith was born of superstitious, lazy, shiftless parents, if here is any credence to be placed on human testimony, were I to submit he sworn affidavits of their neighbors as printed in many books, they were just such parents as would produce such a rascal as the combined history of the times and his own works represent him to have been.
Born in 1805, he professed to have been converted in his fifteenth year and when offering his first vocal prayer, under a tree, he tells us that God came from heaven, introduced Christ to him and that Christ told him, "Not to join any church, for the churches were all wrong. The reeds all an abomination and the professors were all corrupt, they who professed to worship in those churches were drawing near God with their lips, while their hearts were far from Him." Ch. His. Vol. 1, page 10.
In a word, Joseph's information from Christ was to the effect that lie world of Christianity was a conglomerated mass of deception and hypocrisy from the priest and parson in the pulpit, to the mother, who in the dimming twilight and evening shadows, called her children to her side to teach them "Gentle Jesus meek and mild," was one huge system of hypocrisy.
His own history shows that this vision did not make any moral change in his life, for while his neighbors charge him with most every sin, he is frank to confess that lie "displayed the corruption of human nature which led him into divers temptations to the gratification of many appetites." Ch. His. Vol. 1, page 12.
History of The Book of Mormon.We are asked to believe that, notwithstanding all this, God sent an angel to him, and repeated his visit three times in one night, and that under instructions of this angel he went to a hill and dug up a "Golden Bible" (for that was the name they gave the book of Mormon), with it the Urim and Thummim, to interpret it with, and some other things. This Golden Bible, or Book of Mormon, is the foundation of the Mormon church. Smith said it was "the keystone of our religion." This book claims to be a history of two distinct peoples who lived upon the continent of America, the Jaredites and Nephites, it covers a period of about twenty-six centuries, the Jaredites came from the Tower of Babel, the Nephites from Jerusalem, the first people became a mighty people and finally fought among themselves until they were destroyed all but one man who was found by the other folk. The second colony became very numerous and they fought till their prophets bid their records (made on gold or brass plates) in a Hill in the State of New York, then this prophet tells us, all the good people are killed and he is alone and he buries the plates and the angel delivers them to Joseph Smith in 1827.
Joseph Smith and his people have contradicted themselves and each other as to the finding and translating this golden Bible, that it is safe to say that no two writers agree regarding the matter. We could, fill a volume but will content ourselves by pointing a few of the hundreds of contradictions regarding the book.
We are requested to believe that God raised up these people to write on those metallic plates, beginning long before Abraham was born, and that the plates were made and filled with their history and they traveled from the Plains of Shinar over the ocean and all over America with their plates, then the other colony found them. The second colony start out with Nephi killing Laban stealing a bundle of metallic plates that gave the history of the world as contained in the five books of Moses and of the books of the prophets down to Jeremiah, this young fellow Nephi kills Laban, steals the plates, steals Laban's clothes, steals his great sword and his breast-plate and makes a prisoner of Laban's servant, then escapes out of Jerusalem and joins his parents and brethren and they through the wilderness and not only drag along with all these brass plates, but in the wilderness they make more plates and engrave upon them their history.
Thus the book of Mormon starts out with lying, deception, robbery, murder and slavery, and the fellow who did all this was but lad, from time to time for many hundreds of years they travel on until they become great nations and fill America with people, they make plates galore until we have tons of plates and finally one named Moroni makes an abridgment of all these plates, and hides them up and then his boy Moroni has a few plates and he writes seventy-seven pages on plates and hides them up in 420 A. D. in a hill in New York State, and in about fifteen hundred years after, he makes the acquaintance of Joseph Smith and shows him the
plates and breast plate of Laban, and the Urim and Thummim and Joseph gets to work to translate them for the salvation of the world, and calls it THE BOOK OF MORMON.
Now let us read the conflicting testimonies concerning the manner of the translation of the plates:
"The Book of Mormon tells us that the interpreters, or Urim and Thummim, were prepared by God for the purpose of translating the book. They are described as being two stones in silver bows and these stones fastened to a breast-plate was the Urim and Thummim. See Book of Mormon, page 29, and Ch. His. Vol.. 1, page, 13. Others describe them as a large pair of spects. The Book of Mormon shows that Jared had them 2230 B. C., then we are told Moses and Aaron had them 1606 B.C., Lehi had them 600 B.C., Moroni had them 420 A. D. and Abraham had them to study the stars. So states the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Abraham, Mill. Star, Vol. 6."
Now while Joseph claims he received these wonderful spectacles for the express purpose of translating the language found on the plates into the English of the Book of Mormon, yet many of his own people show that he had a peep stone which he used in place of the Urim and Thummim. Thus God prepared these stones and preserved them for thousands of years to translate the plates with, and Joseph found a better way.
"Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into his hat and put his face in the hat drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light, and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine, a piece of something resembling parchment would appear and on that would appear the writing, One character at a time would appear and under it was the interpretation in English. Joseph would read off the English to Oliver-when it was written down and repeated to Joseph to see if it was correct, when it would disappear and another character would appear, thus t Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God." Whitmer address, p.30.
"After the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished early in the spring of 1830 Joseph gave the stone to Oliver and told me, as well as others, that he was through with it, and he did not use the stone any more." Whitmer address, p. 32.
"Martin Harris said: "That the Prophet possessed a seer stone which 'he was able to translate with as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone,-by the aid of the seer stone sentences would appear arid were read by the prophet and written by Martin Harris, 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, precisely in the language then used 'Myth' of Manuscript Found, p. 91."
Emma Smith testifies: "In writing for your father, I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us-he had neither manuscript or book to read
from - the plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth which I had given him to fold them in." Tulledge, p. 793.
Joseph and others claim that when he had finished the translation he gave the plates and the Urim and Thummin to the angel who kindly called for them, but this story is contradicted by himself when he claimed to have them in 1835 to translate the Book of Abraham with, see his mother's history, p. 149, Tulledge, p. 30, Mill Star, Vol. 3, p. 49. Now, let us expose all these contradicting and silly falsehoods.
Affidavit of Willard Chase."In the year of 1822, I was engaged in digging a well, I employed Alvin and Joseph Smith to assist me, after digging about twenty feet below the surface of the earth we discovered a singularly appearing stone. I brought it to the top of the well, and as we examined it, Joseph put it in his hat and then hid his face in his hat-the next morning he came to me and wished to obtain the stone he said he could see things through it. I told him I did not wish to part with it, but would lend it to him. He had the stone for about two years. He published that he could see things through it. I ordered him to return it and he did so, but some time after Hyrum came and borrowed it and promised to return it. In 1827, after Joseph had obtained the plates he told me that if it had not been for that stone (which he acknowledged belonged to me) he would not have obtained the plates. In April, 1830, I asked Hyrum for the stone, he told me I could not have it as Joseph used it to translate his Bible with. Harris and. him abused me and I never received the stone." Sworn before, Fred Smith, J. P., Dec. 11th, 1833, Origin of Book of Mormons, by Shook, p. 22-28.
Affidavit of Isaac Hale, Father-in-law of Smith."I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith in Nov., 1825, he was at that time in the employ of some men who were called money diggers, and his occupation was of seeing or pretending to see by means of a stone, placed in his hat over his face, in this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasures. Smith and his father and some other men, all money diggers, boarded at my house. Smith gave the diggers much
encouragement but they left and never paid their board bill -- while I was absent from home Smith ran off with my daughter Emma and married her. Smith stated to me that he had given up what he called glass looking and was now willing to work hard for a living. I took Emma and Joseph in to board with us. While there, he started to translate the plates -- the manner in which he pretended to read and interpret was done the same as when he looked for the money diggers with the stone in his hat and his hat over his face, while the book of plates were at the same time hid in the woods." Affirmed before me, March 20th, 1834, C. Dimon, J. P., Ibid, p. 31-32.
Affidavit of William Stafford."I became acquainted with Joseph Smith and his family in the year 1820. They lived in Palmyra about one mile and a half from my house A great part of their time was devoted to digging for money, I have heard them tell marvelous tales respecting the discovery of money for instance, that at such a place on a certain man's farm there was deposited kegs, barrels and hogsheads of coined silver and gold, bars of gold and golden images, kettles filled with gold and silver, gold candle sticks and swords. Joseph said he could see by placing a stone of singular appearance in his hat in such a manner as to exclude all the light at which time be pretended that he could see things within and under the earth. Joseph came to me one night, told me that his son Joseph bad been looking in his glass, and had seen not many rods from his home, two or three kegs of gold and silver, some feet under the surface of the earth, and that none other than Joseph Sr. and myself could get them. We dug and Joseph went to the house to enquire the cause of our disappointment. He returned and said that Joseph had remained all the time in the house looking it the stone and watching the movements of the evil spirits -- that he saw the spirits come up to the ring that we had dug, and they caused the money to sink - he said that we had made a mistake and that was the reason that the spirits were permitted to sink the money so we could not get it." Given under oath before Judge Th. P. Baldwin, Dec., 1833, Ibid. 28-31.
Affidavit of Z. H. Gurley.We have learned that Joseph Smith secured the Peep Stone, found in the Chase well, with which he went about claiming to find gold and silver by looking through the stone placed in his hat, and with the stone he claims to have discovered the plates, as stated by Chase, and that by the Stone he claims to have translated the Gold plates of the Book of Mormon, and to show you that looking for hidden treasure did not stop when the Book of Mormon was published, it is clearly announced in the church papers and elsewhere that Smith led a party to Salem, Mass., in the year 1836 (long after the church was organized), to hunt for hidden treasures. They failed, but nothing daunted, Joseph had a revelation promising that "all the gold and silver under Salem would be found by them." For full history of this deception read Mill Star, Vol. 51, p. 822; Z. H. Gurley Tract, p. 3.
And to show that the-reorganization is hypocritical in writing history, be it known that the same revelation that came through Julia Gurley stating that young Joseph was the legal successor to his father as president of the church, also directed her father and others to dig for lead ore in Wisconsin. "In the name of God it is here." But it was not there. Then they were commanded to dig "three feet to the north." They failed. Then the word of the Lord came again, "dig fifteen feet to the north." Many of their revelations were on finding lead in Wisconsin, all failed, yet the reorganization published part of these false revelations
that had ruined the Gurley and Newkirk and other families, just because along with the digging, came the statement. that Joseph was to lead the church. They knew when they published the part concerning Joseph, that the other part was not from God, but contained the old spirit of Mormonism, looking for gold and silver until Joseph found the Plates of Gold and made the Book of Mormon out of them.
Apostle Gurley shows clearly how his father was deceived by Joseph Smith and reorganized Mormonism, and while he became an Apostle and one of the most prominent men in the reorganized church, he with his brother and sisters and mother all left the reorganized church it the time that President Jason W. Briggs left and denounced it, with other leading men. Herald, Vol. 1, p. 23. See Apostle Z. H. Gurley Tract, Hist., of Reor. Ch. pp. 1-4.
Now all this twaddle is so foolish that many will be slow to believe it, but, dear reader, it is admitted by the leading people of the Smith church that he had that stone and that he not only used it to translate the book of Mormon with, but that before he was twenty years of age, he hired out to Mr. Stoal to hunt for gold and silver mines, and that Stoal came many miles for him, having heard his marvelous fame abroad. See Hist. of Joseph by his mother, p. 96-97, published by the Reorganized church.
Joseph called the Urim and Thummin a key, just as Mr. Stoal called it and his mother says Joseph kept the Urim and Thummin about his person by which he could in a moment tell whether the plates were in danger-he looked in the Urim and Thummim and saw the plates were safe. Ibid. 107-110.
Now this was not the only stone that was doing wonders. I quote this silly rot from their own books. Hyrum Page, a brother of an Apostle, got a stone through which he received revelations, many of the leading men of the church believed in this stone of Page, including Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer and the Whitmer family, so Joseph had a revelation regarding this Page stone and his revelations, and God told him they were all of the devil and so the Whitmers were reconverted to Joseph's stone, for proof read Reorganized ch. hist., Vol. 1, pages 111-119
Just think, this same Cowdery and Whitmer are the chaps who tell us they saw the breast plate, the Urim and Thummin and plates, and an angel came from heaven and showed them and God spoke from heaven commanding them to bear testimony of the divine translation of the plates. See their testimony on the fly-leaf of every book of Mormon. Yet the Page stone could deceive them and they were led by the devilish revelations that came through it, these men we will see were strong witnesses for Joseph. Then it just seems that the devil with his seer stones were hot after Joseph and his seer stone, a girl by the name Chase got a green stone or glass, and she would direct the mob to where Joseph had the plates secreted, and time after time Joseph just got there in time to save the plates. See Mother Smith's Hist., p. 115.
The Gold Plates
Now we desire to call the reader's attention to another foolish yarn. We are requested to believe that God inspired the Prophets and seers for thousands of years to write these plates so that the people of this generation could be saved by "the words of the Book" and while he had protected them by mighty miracles all along the lapse of centuries and at last had kept them "hid up" from 420 A. D. till 1827, then he sends an angel for Joseph to translate them by use of Urim and Thummim. Yet, listen to Joseph, his mother and others tell how Joseph had the time of his life to keep them, this is one of the stories of Mormonism that beats the Arabian Knights to a frazzle.
The angel is reported to have said to Joseph, "While the plates were in my hands they were safe, but now I give them to you, beware how you took after them." After Joseph took- them from the stone box, in the side of a hill,- he had much trouble to keep them. He first cut the bark off a log, took his knife and cut the center of the tree out, placed the great breast plate, spectacles and plates therein and turned back the bark to cover it over with brush. Then he took them and hid them in a chest. Then he hid them under- his bed so he could feel them through the night, then he buried them under the fire place, then he hid them in a cooper shop, then he hid them in a red morocco box. Once he was traveling with them and had them stowed away in a barrel of beans, then the Lord lent him a hand at another time he was making a trip, and he just handed them to an angel. The day was hot and they saw a poor old fellow tramping along and they offered him a ride, this tramp turned out to be the angel Moroni, who at the end of the hot day's tramp, handed over the plates to Joseph. See Mother Smith's history, pp. 110-149.
Query, why could not the Lord have taken care of these plates a little ' longer, and save Joseph all this fighting with the devil's seer stones, that were bound to destroy them, but there is one time that the devil beat both Joseph and his helpers. Just think, God had preserved these plates so that their contents would come forth in this generation, but the Devil fooled them badly in that. After God had inspired Joseph to translate 116 pages (this was a large part of the book), and God had inspired Martin Harris to write the translation, the devil put it in the heart of Harris to ask Joseph for the 116 pages and he gave them to him. Mrs. Harris knew that her husband was being duped out of his money (for it was he that put up the money to get the fraud published) and she took the sacred 116 pages (preserved by the Almighty for a thousand centuries) and BURNED THEM, and they never were able to secure the sacred truths revealed but like the druggist, God gave Joseph a "Just as Good," and so the Lord gave Harris a good setting out and then he was accepted and permitted to spend his money to print the book.
It is said that Joseph, just a lad, got the plates and when taking them home, he ran three miles, knocked down three men who tried to get the plates, knocked his thumb out of joint, and he made this run of three miles, whipped these three men, while he had a big breast plate that Mrs. Smith said was worth more than five hundred dollars, all the gold plates
and the sacred Urim and Thummim and the sword of Laban under his arm. He could carry hundreds of pounds of gold plates and breast plates and all the other stuff. To believe that is to believe some story. Mother Smith's history, p. 111. Can you beat it?
One writer speaking of the size and weight of the plates, to say nothing of the breast plate, says "It would require 2,000 pages of foolscap to contain it, one page of plates to one page of foolscap-that would be a pile of plates over four feet high, if we reduce it by half it would be a pile over two feet high. If gold it would weigh seven hundred and fifty pounds, if brass about two hundred and fifty pounds. Joseph and others say they were of gold, the book itself says in many places, brass, but just think from 750 to 250 pounds weight, to have a fellow hit you with a gun and then you knock him and two others down and run three miles with all this under your arm, surely Mormonism is a marvelous work and a wonder.
Translation Perfect.We call the reader's attention to another point regarding the Book of Mormon that will bury it by its own weight. The preface of the book says "The interpretation of the book is by the gift of God." If God inspired Smith to interpret the book by the sacred instruments provided by the Almighty, as stated several times over in the book, then there can be no mistakes in the book. The testimony of the three witnesses, found in the front of every Book of Mormon, says, speaking of the translation of the plates, "And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for His voice hath declared it unto us." Here again it is shown that God inspired the interpretation.
We have already shown by the testimony of David Whitmer, Martin Harris, Emma Smith and others, that Joseph Smith would put the God appointed interpreters into his hat, close out all light, save the divine effulgence, and there the words would appear by a miracle, and if the writer made any mistake, God was there to correct it by refusing to take the words from the stone till the correction was made. There were no difficulties as to the human work, the translation appeared on the Urim and Thummim, or the Seer stone, or parchment, sentence by sentence and as soon as one was correctly transcribed the next would appear, and so every word was given by the direct power of the Almighty, and for one to say "if there are mistakes, they are the mistakes of men" is simply to deny the divine authenticity of the translation. God was the translator directly and to deny that is to deny every claim made by the book itself. This being true, what shall we say when it is admitted by the leaders of every faction of the Mormon church, that there are several thousand mistakes in the book, and that the translation given to the world in 1830 was corrected in thousands of places in the next edition in 1837, and so the corrections continued until one writer points out two thousand changes in the Book and when later corrections are counted up, there is found to be many thousands more.
From the statements made by God, the Angel, Smith, Cowdery, Harris, Whitmer and others, if true, God gave every part of the translation. If that be true, then there should be no mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation. If such mistakes appear by the thousands, then we are requested to believe that God was responsible for the mistakes, for we are repeatedly informed by Smith and the others that every word was placed on the seer stone by inspiration. The everlasting argument made in favor of the Book of Mormon as against the Bible is that the Bible has been translated by uninspired men and they have taken out much that God inspired the prophets and apostles to put in and that these wicked sons of an apostate church have put in many things that the Lord did not inspire the true servants to write. Mormon literature is full of that kind of talk. If then, God gave every sentence, every word by a direct revelation on the seer stone, we remark His work would he perfect, but when we turn to the Book of Mormon and find thousands of mistakes in spelling, punctuation-and grammar, we are-forced to the conclusion that God is not the author of this literary monstrosity, and therefore we must look to Smith, Rigdon or some one else upon whom must be placed the blame.
In this short paper we will content ourselves with representing a few points of interest regarding punctuations, spelling, grammar and ask the reader for an honest verdict as to whether the Book of Mormon is the product of Divinity or the miserable production of Impostor Joseph Smith and his confederates in a monstrous deception.
Maj. J. H. Gilbert, who printed the first edition of the Book of Mormon, makes the following statement: "There was not a punctuation mark of any kind from beginning to end of manuscript, sentences were not commenced with capitals. We were not allowed to correct any grammatical errors." This gentleman lived to be a very old man and all through life he bore this same testimony. I quote his statement from a letter written by him under date of Feb. 27, 1884, B. K. Debate, p. 392.
He further states in the same letter:
"If Mr. Whitmer claims that he has the manuscript that I used in setting up the Mormon Bible, and that it is punctuated, and the sentences begin with capitals, I say it has been altered since it left my hands, or that he has not got the original."
We may perhaps clear the way here by stating that the church history shows that Oliver Cowdery wrote a second copy of the manuscript and perhaps the one copy has punctuations and capitals, but not the original, and we may easily see why the printer was not permitted to make any changes, as the claim then and now is, that the whole Book was the direct production of Divine inspiration. It was written by miracle, preserved by miracle, revealed to Smith by miracle, translated by miracle. Smith or Cowdery's mental peculiarities and style could not appear in the Book of Mormon, they had no more to do with the words, style, truth, literary characters of the Book of Mormon than a speaking trumpet or phonograph have with what man utters through them., The only opportunity there is for a human error in the
Book of Mormon, is in typographical errors, but there can be none of these for it was proof read by inspired men, and those men testify that the voice of God declared to them that the translation was accomplished by the power of God and that the work is true, with these matters fairly presented it now devolves upon the reader to decide that all important question, is the Book of Mormon of divine authenticity?" The new covenant "given by the direct inspiration of God for the salvation of a ruined world." Or is it the production of Joseph Smith and his comrades in deception and blasphemy?
In this short paper I shall not attempt to record the many thousand of changes that have been made since the first edition was published, but direct the reader's attention to such works as that published by a brilliant. scholar, once a member of the Mormon church, by the name of Lamoni Call, of Bountiful, Utah. His work is entitled "Two Thousand Changes in the Book of Mormon." The reader will notice his name "Lamoni," and the name of the city he resides in "Bountiful," are both names taken from the Book of Mormon, so this scholar ought to know what he is writing about. That Mr. Call has not misrepresented the facts I call your attention to the report of a committee selected by the Reorganized church to examine and compare the many different editions of the Book of Mormon with the Manuscript of the book, then in the possession of one of the three witnesses, David Whitmer. This committee was presided over by Joseph Smith, president of the Reorganized church and son of the founder of the church. Their report is recorded in the Herald for Aug. 23rd, 1884. The report practically admits all that Mr. Call and others have said as to incorrect spelling and horrible grammar and thousands of changes, they publish a great number of instances and add, "The alterations are too numerous to publish in detail.." Yet they do publish a great many hundreds of them and occupy ten columns over nine feet of solid matter in their published report. Did God make these mistakes or are they the blunders of Joseph Smith and his confederates in deception?
Many Parts Taken From The Bible and Other BooksA careful examination of the Book of Mormon will reveal to the Bible student that there are thirty-eight pages in the Book of Mormon that is found in the Bible, whole sentences of Paul's writings, six hundred years before Paul wrote a word, whole chapters of the Old Testament are quoted and complete sentences from the New Testament giving the exact language hundreds of years before the one who uttered it lived. One writer states that "by actual count the plagiarisms from the New Testament of paragraphs, phrases and sentences are over 500, the quotations of phrases amount to hundreds. There are over ten in each page of Rigdon's sermon against Infant Baptism, pages 330-341. Whole chapters are quoted, Isaiah 11, 14, 21, 48, 50, 52, 54; Malachi 3; Matthew 5, 6, 7; 2 Corinthians 13. Braden Kelley debate, page 153.
Not only have they stolen the religious portion of the Book of Mormon from the Bible, but they have quoted the great English poet, Shakespeare,
as also from Pope's Essays on Man, The Westminster Confession of Faith, and other leading authors of the last few hundred years, thus showing beyond a doubt that the fraud was written by someone living in these latter times and not by the hands of prophets and seers residing in America hundreds and thousands of years ago, some of them, before the time of Abraham.
Before leaving this part of the examination I wish to say that Joseph Smith claimed that God had inspired him to translate the Bible, both the old and new testament. He did so, and has made thousands of corrections, taking out hundreds of verses and placing in hundreds. In this way he has given us a new Bible by inspiration, they claim to believe in the Bible as held by all Christians. This is a false position for the bible given them by Joseph Smith is published and used by the Mormons in this city. I have one in my possession and have traveled with some of their apostles that have no other Bible but the Smith one.
Speaking on the corruption of the Christian churches, the revelation of Smith, found in the Book of Mormon says: "For behold they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious and also many covenants of the Lord have been taken away, and all this have they done that they might pervert the way of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men." This hypocrisy in his revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in which he is commanded to translate the scriptures. See Book of Mormon, I Nephi, 3, 40; D. C. 42, 15, 6, 12, 90, 12.
Now the folly of it all is that while Smith condemns the King James translation of the Bible, and corrects thousands of its mistakes in his new Bible, when we take up the Book of Mormon (printed before his new bible), the same mistranslations of King James' translation are found by the dozens, in the Book of Mormon. Question, if as stated by the Mormon church, "the whore of the Whole earth, the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches combined" have changed the Bible in order to deceive the people, why did God, when giving the Book of Mormon word by word to Joseph Smith, stand in with the "whore of all the earth" in presenting their mistakes to Joseph Smith as found in King James' translation of the Bible? Can we ask for greater proof to show that God had nothing to do with the Book of Mormon, but that Joseph Smith and his confederates in the deception, knew no other Bible to quote from than the King James and they quoted that as the words of God, and then Joseph and Rigdon, a few years later, forgot the trap they had set for themselves and professed to correct and translate by inspiration the Bible, and in their attempt to expose the Christian Bible they destroyed the faith of many of their followers in the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
Notwithstanding all these blunders, we are told by the Reorganized church authorities "No book ever came before the race of mankind with such an august message as the Book of Mormon." Saints Herald, Nov. 6th, 1918. To this agrees the great Apostle Pratt. "The Book of Mormon
claims to be a divinely inspired record-it professes to be revealed to the present generation for the salvation of all who will receive it, and for the overthrow and damnation of all nations who reject it - the nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it." Divinity of Book of Mormon, p. 1.
Early History of America.There is one other claim made for the Book of Mormon, one that has deceived thousands of people, which I wish to expose before I show the real true history of the Book of Mormon. It is this: That the Book of Mormon gave to the world the first account or history of the early settlers of America, that the fact that America was once a civilized part of the world, and that the inhabitants built large cities and all that was unknown till revealed by God in the great revelation known as the Book of Mormon. This delusion has been circulated by their books and preachers all over the country, and it is false. That I once believed that and taught it and sent my sermons out by the thousands is quite true, but thank God, the darkness and superstition is fled away and I am disillusionized, but to the proofs.
"The fact is that there were a considerable number of works on science and travel and adventure published in the English language before 1830 which contained descriptions of the ruined cities of Mexico, Central America and Peru-the following are the names of a number of works in the English language before 1830, describing the antiquities of Central America and Mexico. They are either quoted from or referred to in the writings of Bancroft, Prescott and other later writers:-
"Conquest of Mexico, De Solis, London, 1735; History of America, Herrera, London, 1740; History of America, Robertson, London, 1777; Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America, Barton, Philadelphia, 1797 Account of the Settlement of Honduras, Henderson, London, 1812; Re; searches, Humboldt, London, 1814; Researches in America, McColoch, Baltimore, 1817; Spanish America, Bonneycastle, London, 1818; Travels in North America, Bingley, London, 1821; Description of an Ancient City, Del Rio, London, 1822; Six Months' Residence in Mexico, Pollock, London, 1823; History of Guatemala, Juarros, London, 1824; History on Mexico, Mill, London, 1824; Notes of Mexico, Poinsett, London, 1825; Mexico Illustrated, Beaufoy, London, 1828; Mexico in 1827, Ward, 1828.
"We might continue the list but will be content to say the American Antiquarian Society was organized in Worcester, Mass., 1812, and the American continent was well known then. 'North American Indians' was published in London by the celebrated Adair in 1775 and such men as Hunter, Barton, Colden, Loskiel, Stoddard and Charlevoix, wrote more or less extensively on the subject of antiquities and Indian life before 1830." Cumorah Revisited Shook, pp. 133-134.
The celebrated Josiah Priest wrote a work entitled "The wonders of Nature and Providence." It was copyrighted by him June 2, 1824, in
the office of R. R. Lansing, clerk of the district of northern New York and printed in Rochester, N. Y. in 1824. Will the reader remember that the Book of Mormon was copyrighted by Joseph Smith in the same office by the same R. R. Lansing, June 10th, 1829, and printed in Palmyra, N. Y. just twenty miles from Rochester in 1830.
This book of Josiah Priest quotes from many of the authors I have named above, and it is beyond all question that the writers of the Book of Mormon had opportunity to study many of these books and hence the positions taken in the Book of Mormon agree with many of those books. For instance, it has been known from the conquest of Mexico by Cortez, that there were three civilizations in Mexico; it has been known since the conquest of Peru by Pizarro that there had been three or more civilizations there; Baron Humboldt visited America and described the Ruins of Central America in his book published in both England and America in 1806. But why take time and space to prove further that the, claim as made by Mormons that the Book of Mormon gave the first real history of these things, is a monstrous falsehood. We leave this part believing that none but those who are prejudiced by their priestcraft and superstitions will attempt to refuse the position I have taken.
The Spaulding Story, or Manuscript FoundI shall be as brief as possible in giving the real origin of the Book of Mormon. The reader can read the complete story from the Encyclopedias and history of the times, but I shall content myself in giving a brief outline of the matter which will show beyond doubt that the claim made for the Book of Mormon is fraudulent.
Solomon Spaulding was born in 1761, preached for a time and leaving the ministry he became an infidel, kept tavern for a time and when his health failed, he started to write a novel on the early inhabitants of America. He was a great reader and had studied many of the works that I have had occasion to make reference to in this paper.
He wrote one entitled the "Manuscript Story." Later he wrote others, one of which was called "Manuscript Found." This first work called the "Manuscript Story," was set aside and in time was discovered and was loaned to Hulbert, who gave it to Howe to prepare for publication to prove it was the foundation for the Book of Mormon. They soon discovered that it was not the right one. This manuscript became lost with a host of other papers of the office, in time the office and contents changed hands and many years after was discovered, the Mormons heard that it had been located and rushed for it, and obtained a copy and printed it to show that it was not the original of the Book of Mormon. This they think they have done, but the cat is out of the bag when we discover that there were two or more manuscripts written by Spaulding, the one they run down as the Manuscript Story, and the one that was the real foundation of the Book of Mormon was "The Manuscript Found." They have confused these two stories till the superficial reader has them as one and the same manuscript. I know that, for I both believed it and preached it myself, My writings prove that, but when I was made to
understand that the Manuscript Found was the real foundation of the Book of Mormon, I could see how easily people could be mistaken in taking the "Manuscript Story" for the "Manuscript Found." Knowing this, the Mormons have made the most of it to their eternal discredit.
The clear statements made by Spaulding, his wife, his daughter, his partner in business and many others who knew him well and read the Manuscript Found are in evidence, that he wrote the Manuscript, placed it in the printing office for publication, he died in 1816 and that Sydney Rigdon, who was in turn a farmer, preacher for the Baptists, Disciples and Mormons, was well acquainted with a printer who either loaned him the "Manuscript Found" or gave him opportunity to steal it. That Rigdon had the Manuscript and spent much of his time in reading it and intended "to make a great thing out of it some day," is proved by his wife and several preachers with whom he conversed. That he made secret visits to Joseph Smith during the time Smith was arranging to spring his Book of Mormon on the world is a well attested fact. That he let P. P. Pratt into the secret, and had Pratt go to the Mormons and profess conversion, and then come to Rigdon and profess to present to him the Book of Mormon for the first time, and that Rigdon in a few days was baptized and knew from God the Book of Mormon was true, is all too well known to need reiteration here. I will content myself by presenting for the reader the testimony of those who knew, and if there is any credence to. be given to human testimony, then it is well sustained that the book of Mormon is a fraud stolen from the Spaulding Manuscript Found, and that Rigdon and Smith placed the religious part of it, stealing that from the King James translation of the Bible, which book they afterwards assailed With all the infidelity within them by setting it aside for their own translation of the Bible.
I will now present to you the sworn statement of Solomon Spaulding's wife, his brother, his sister-in-law, his partner in business and a number of other neighbors who heard him read the Manuscript Found, and the reader will note that this combination of evidence is as good a description of the Book of Mormon as any Mormon could give today: Braden and Kelly debate, pages 35-42.
Mr. Spaulding's brother John: -- "It was a historical romance of the first settlers of America, and endeavored to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the Ten Lost Tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea until they arrived in America under the command of Lehi and Nephi. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites, the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps which caused the mounds, so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were all brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of Northern and Southern America. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced almost every sentence with, "And it came to pass," or "Now it came to pass."
Solomon Spaulding's Sister-in-law: -- "I was at the house of Solomon Spaulding shortly before he left Conneaut. He was then writing a historical novel founded on the first settlers of America. He presented them as an enlightened and war-like people. He had for many years contended that the aborigines of America were the descendants of some of the Lost Tribes of Israel; and this idea he carried out in the book in question. The lapse of time which has intervened prevents my recollecting but a few of the leading incidents of his writings, but the names Lehi and Nephi are yet fresh in my memory, as being the principal heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their journey by land and by sea, till they arrived in America, after which disputes arose between the chiefs which caused them to separate into bands, one of which was called Lamanites, the other Nephites. Between these there were recounted tremendous battles which frequently covered the ground with slain and these being buried in large heaps was the cause of the many mounds in the country. Some of these people he represents as being very large."
Henry Lake, Solomon Spaulding's business partner, testifies: -- "Solomon Spaulding frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the "Manuscript Found," and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings and became well acquainted with their contents. The Book represented the American Indians, as being the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and gave an account of their having left Jerusalem and of their contentions and wars which were many and great. I -remember telling Mr. Spaulding that so frequent use of the words "And it came to pass," "Now it came to pass" rendered the book ridiculous."
Aaron Wright testifies: -- "One day when I was at the home of Solomon Spaulding he showed and read to me a history be was writing of the Lost Tribes of Israel, purporting that they were the first settlers of America and that the Indians were their descendants. He traced their journey-from Jerusalem to America. He told me his object was to account for the fortifications, etc., that were to be found in this country and said that in time it would be fully believed by all except learned men and historians."
Oliver Smith testifies: -- "Solomon Spaulding boarded at my house six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing a historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of this country. He said he intended to trace their journey from Jerusalem by land and sea till their arrival in America, and give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, laws and contentions. In this way he would give a satisfactory account of all of the old mounds so common in this country. Nephi and Lehi were, by him, represented as the leading characters, when they first started for America. Their main object was to escape the judgments which they supposed were coming on the old world."
Nahum Howard testifies: -- "In conversation with Solomon Spaulding I expressed my surprise that we had no account of the people once in this country, who erected the old forts, mounds, etc. He told me he was writing a history of that people."
Artemus Cunningham testifies: -- "Solomon Spaulding described to me his book. He said it was a fabulous or romantic history of the first inhabitants of this country and it purported to be a record found buried in the earth or in a cave. He had adopted the ancient scriptural style of writing. He then read from his manuscript. I remember the name of Nephi, who appeared to be the principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase "I, Nephi" I remember as though it were yesterday. He attempted to account for the numerous antiquities which are found upon the continent."
John N. Miller testifies: -- "I perused Spaulding's manuscript as I had leisure, more particularly the one he called his "Manuscript Found." It purported to be a history of the first settlers of America. He brought them off from Jerusalem, under their leaders, detailing their travels by land and sea."
Mrs. Spaulding testifies: -- "Mr. Spaulding conceived the idea of writing a history of the long lost race that produced these antiquities. Their extreme antiquity led him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament was the oldest book in the world, he imitated its style, as much as possible. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear Portions read, and a great interest in the book was excited among them, It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nations and to have been recovered from the earth. The neighbors would often ask how Mr. Spaulding progressed in deciphering the manuscript, and when he had a sufficient portion prepared be would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people and could easily be recognized by them."
Mr. Spaulding's daughter: -- "My father read the manuscript I had seen him writing to the neighbors and to a clergyman, a friend of his who came to visit him. Some of the names he mentioned while reading to the people, I have never forgotten. They are as fresh in my memory as though I had-heard them but yesterday. They are Mormon, Moroni, Lamanite and Nephi, etc."
Joseph Miller testifies: -- "Mr. Spaulding seemed to take great delight in reading from his manuscript written on foolscap. I heard him read most if not all of it, and had frequent conversations with him about it. Some time ago I heard most of the Book of Mormon read. On hearing read the account of the battle between the Amlicites (Book of Alma, Chapter 11) in which the soldiers of one army placed a red mark on their foreheads to distinguish them from their enemies. It seemed to reproduce in my mind not only the narrative but the very words as they had been imprinted on my mind by reading Spaulding's manuscript."
Ruddick McKee testifies: -- "I was a boarder at Spaulding's tavern in Amity, Pa., in the fall of 1814. I recollect quite well Mr. Spaulding spending much time in writing on sheets of paper torn from an old book, what purported to be a veritable history of the nations or tribes that inhabited Canaan. He called it "Lost Manuscript" or some such name. I was struck with the minuteness of its details and apparent sincerity and truthfulness of the author. I have an indistinct recollection of the passage referred to by Mr. Miller, about the Amlicites making a cross with red paint in their foreheads to distinguish them from their enemies in the confusion of battle."
Mr. Abner Jackson testifies: -- "Spaulding frequently read his MS. to the neighbors and commented on it as be progressed. He wrote it in Bible style, "And it came to pass" occurred so often that some called him "Old come to pass." The names Mormon, Moroni, Nephi, Nephite, Laman, Lamanite, etc., were in it. The closing scene was at Cumorah where all the righteous were slain."
Rev. John Winter, M. D., testifies: -- "In 1822-3 Rigdon took out of his desk in his study a large manuscript stating that it was a Bible romance purporting to be a history of the American Indians. That it was written by one Spaulding, a Presbyterian preacher whose health had failed and who had taken it to the printers to see if it would pay to publish it. And that he (Rigdon) had borrowed it from the printer as a curiosity."
James Jeffries testifies: -- "Forty years ago I was in business in St. Louis. The Mormons then had their temple in Nauvoo, Ill. I had business transactions with them. I knew Sydney Rigdon, he acted as general manager of the business of the Mormons (with me). Rigdon told me several times, in his conversation with me, that there was in the printing office with which he was connected in Ohio, a manuscript of the Rev. Spaulding, tracing the origin of the Indians from the lost tribes of Israel. This manuscript was in the office several years. He was familiar with it. Spaulding wanted it published but had not the means to pay for printing. He (Rigdon) and Joseph Smith used to look over the manuscript and read it on Sundays. Rigdon said Smith took the manuscript and said, "I'll print it," and went off to Palmyra, N. Y."
From the above testimonies we think we have proven that Solomon Spaulding's Manuscript Found was the real foundation of the Book of Mormon. They have beyond doubt shown that the features found in the Book of Mormon and the Manuscript Found, both as to plot, names of the leading actors, and names of places are absolutely the same. We now present briefly, the following features found in the Book of Mormon and the Manuscript Found, being in complete harmony, as stated in those two books and nowhere else as follows:-
"(1) The plot of the Manuscript Found as witnesses describe it was just what Mormons give when describing the Book of Mormon. (2) It purported to be a veritable history of the aborigines of America. So does the Book of Mormon. (3) It attempted to account for the antiquities of America by giving an account of their construction. So does
the Book of Mormon. (4) It assumed that Israelites were the aborigines of America and ancestors of the Indians. So does the Book of Mormon, (5) It said the Israelites left Jerusalem, so does the Book of Mormon. (6) They left to escape divine judgments about to fall on their people. So does the Book of Mormon. (7) That they journeyed through and from Southern Asia, by land and sea, so does the Book 'of Mormon. (8) Their leaders were Nephi and Lehi, so does the Book of Mormon. (9) One Laban was murdered to obtain records. So declares the Book of Mormon. (10) They quarreled and divided into two nations, called Nephites and Lamanites. So says the Book of Mormon. (11) There were terrible wars between the two nations and the parties into which they divided with awful slaughter. So declares the Book of Mormon. (12) They buried their dead after these slaughters in great heaps, that caused the mounds. So declares the Book of Mormon. (13) In two. instances the end of these wars was the total annihilation of all but one who escaped to make record of the final catastrophe. So declares the Book of Mormon. (14) These sole survivors finished the record of the people and buried it. So declares the Book of Mormon. (15) The Manuscript Found gave an historical account of the civilization, laws, customs, arts and sciences of those people. So does the Book of Mormon. (16) One party of these people were the ancestors of our American Indians. So declares the Book of Mormon. (17) The names Nephi, Lehi, Laban, Lamon, Nephite, Lamanite, Mormon, Moroni, Amlicite, Zarahemla, etc. were in the Manuscript Found, so they are in the Book of Mormon. (18) The use and characteristics of these names in the Manuscript Found were precisely the same as in the Book of Mormon. (19) The Manuscript Found was written in scriptural style -- that is, the style of King James' Version. So is the Book of Mormon. (20) "Now it came to pass" Occurred too frequently as to render the language ridiculous. Such is true of the Book of Mormon. (21) This ridiculous peculiarity got for the author of the Manuscript Found, the nickname of "Old Came to Pass." The Book of Mormon is just such a book. (22) The original from which the story was translated was taken from the earth. The same is claimed by the Book of Mormon. (23) One party of emigrants landed near the Isthmus of Panama and migrated across the continent in a northeastern direction. So declares the Book of Mormon. (24) The land near the Isthmus was called the land of Zarahemla. So declares the Book of Mormon. (25) In a battle between the Amlicites and Lamanites, one party marked their foreheads with a red cross to distinguish them from their enemies. So declares the Book of Mormon. (26) The destruction of the nation exterminated took place near a hill called Cumorah. So declares the Book of Mormon. (27) The Manuscript Found could have been used as a fraud, an imitation of the Bible, a pretended revelation. The Book of Mormon is just such a fraud. Now then, the reader must do one of the two things, believe that Solomon Spaulding, during a period of from fourteen to twenty-two years before the Book of Mormon appeared, by a miracle wrote a romance that contained these twenty-seven great features of the Book of Mormon -- features that no
other book except the Manuscript Found and the Book of Mormon ever contained in common, or that Rigdon or someone else stole the manuscript of the Manuscript Found and remodeled it into the Book of Mormon." Deb. B. K.
As a closing thought to this brief history of Mormonism, I wish to bring the four first great and prominent men of Mormonism before you in the light of their own statements regarding each other.
Joseph Smith professed that he has seen God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, face to face, also talked to such Angels as John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Nephi, Moroni, and others. That, as a result of his conversation with those sacred beings, he denounced all Christianity as the "whore of the whole earth, the Mother of abominations, the church of the Devil," and was inspired to organize the only true church upon the face of the whole earth, bring forth the Book of Mormon which contains the fullness of the gospel for the salvation of the world and translate the Old and New testament, so as to expose the corruption of the Bible as adopted by the churches.
Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, testify to the truth of all the above claims made by Joseph Smith, and tell us that the voice of God bade them bear witness to the world regarding all this, and that angels appeared to them from time to time in support of it all.
It would require a book to publish all the statements made by these men affirming the above positions, so I will give the reader the opportunity to consult the different books in which these statements are made, I affirm I have the books, all accepted by the church. Book of Mormon, Church History, Vol. 1, Inspired Translation of the Bible by Joseph Smith and Doctrine and Covenants, Revelations of Smith.
Witnesses Leave the Church.Now it so happens that the three witnesses above named all parted with Smith denounced him as about everything that was bad and left the church in a few years after they had organized it.
Oliver Cowdery says Smith held over him a mysterious power and deceived him-that he tried to destroy his reputation and his life-that he was a false prophet -- that he made a tool of him -- that the voice of the angel who claimed to be John the Baptist, was strikingly similar with the voice of Sidney Rigdon (this is a mild way of letting the cat out of the bag, that the angel John the Baptist who conferred the Priesthood upon him and Smith, was none other than Rigdon) -- that this Rigdon influenced Smith into the formation of a secret band to commit murder.
Cowdery testifies that the Lord revealed himself in person to him and commanded him to leave the church and to denounce the wickedness of Smith, he declared that he can prove that Smith had a band organized to inflict death upon apostates and that he fled to save his life.
This statement was published by Oliver Cowdery in Norton, Ohio, in 1839. See the True Origin of Polygamy by Shook, pp. 49-54.
David Whitmer testifies, left the church in a few years, denied that -- "The church was organized April 6th, 1830 -- agrees with Cowdery that the secret band of murderers was organized in 1838. He says he left the church in 1838, and all of the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who were living, left the church with their families (save the Smiths). The church went deeper and deeper into wickedness. Joseph had a revelation telling Cowdery and others to go to Toronto, Canada, and they would sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. They went, but could not get a buyer. That proved to them and others that Smith was false -- says "I have as much evidence to believe that Brother Joseph received the revelation on polygamy and gave it to the church as I have to believe that such a man as George Washington ever lived." He clearly shows that the leaders of the Reorganization admitted it and that they are now lying out of it and in this they are playing the hypocrite. See Origin of Polygamy, p. 41 by Shook, Whitmer's address, p. 26-38.
Martin Harris, the last of the three witnesses, left the church and denounced it in both America and England. This is sometimes denied but the history of the church proves it beyond doubt. Ibid. p. 44.
Now what has Joseph Smith and the church authorities to say of these three witnesses that they wish us to believe talked with God and conversed with angels. They tell us that Whitmer was so highly favored of God that three angels were sent to spread plaster of Paris on his land, so that he could go with his team of horses and give Joseph Smith a ride. This story is published by the Reorganized church, see Mother Smith's history, pp. 144-145.
Just as soon as these three men discovered they had been fooled by Smith, they denounced him and then all that the pen and tongue of hatred and slander could write or articulate was not vile enough to circulate about these men, in proof of which I submit the following: --
Joseph Smith: -- "About this time there were several persons living in Far West, who were cut off the church, these characters were studiously engaged in circulating false and slanderous reports against the saints to 'stir up our enemies to drive us from our homes, and enjoy the spoils together. They are as follows: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and others." Joseph Smith in Times and Seasons, Vol. 1, p. 80.
Hyrum Smith, Joseph's brother states that: -- "While I was away from home persons came to my home, ransacked it, carried off money and other valuables, among those who treated me thus I cannot help making particular mention of Lyman Cowdery, who in connection with his brother Oliver Cowdery, took from me a great many things and to cap the climax of his iniquity he compelled my father (by threatening to bring a mob upon him), to deed over to him or his brother Oliver, 160 acres of land, to pay a note which he said I had given to Oliver for $165 - the note was a forgery. Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 22-23.
Rigdon and 84 others swear that Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were guilty of theft and counterfeiting, and says they were blacklegs of the deepest dye." Ibid. Vol. 1, pages 82-84.
There is a report published by the authority of the United States government, and presented in the district court before judge King, in which 84 leading Mormons state that Oliver Cowdery is charged with stealing, lying, perjury, counterfeiting, and being leader of a gang of blacklegs, congressional document 189, A. D. 1841.
Joseph, writing to the press regarding Whitmer, says: -- "Poor Phelps, who professes to be much of a prophet, has no other dumb beast to ride but David Whitmer, or to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel, but this ass (not being of the same kind as Balaam's), therefore notwithstanding the Angel appeared unto him, yet he cannot sufficiently penetrate his understanding but that he (Whitmer) brays out cursings instead of blessings, poor ass, who ever lives will see him and his rider perish like those who perish in the gainsaying of Noah." B. K. D. p. 173.
Joseph wrote of the third witness: -- "Martin Harris is so far beneath contempt that a notice of him would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make. The church exerted some restraint upon him, but now he has given loose to all kinds of abominations-lying, cheating, swindling with all kinds of debauchery." Elders Journal, Aug. 1838, p. 49, B. K. D., p. 173.
We could write a book of many pages were we inclined to make report of all the evidence these four leaders have published against each other. We think the above is sufficient to prove beyond a doubt, that their testimony is from such a source that God will never condemn any person for refusing to accept it. If Smith tells a hundredth part of the truth about the three witnesses they were three scoundrels, and as such we should not be expected that such characters would be the comrades of angels and blessed with personal conversations with God and Christ, therefore we are justified in refusing to believe their testimony.
On the other hand, if they tell one hundredth part of the truth about Smith, he was a false prophet, a murderer in his heart, a liar of the deepest dye, and the author of the infamous revelation on polygamy and concubinage, and that he not only taught and practiced these abominations, but that as a result of his life of shame he has prostituted hundreds of thousands of his followers, who have lived in these unhallowed conditions a whole life time and went down to death despised by all who love God and clean respectable conduct.
In this short treatise, I have endeavored to give you the result of my studies and trust that the reader may be benefitted by the efforts I have made to bring the facts to the public.
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Churches All WrongThey believe that God came all the way from heaven to introduce Christ to Joseph the very first time that Joseph ever condescended to offer a prayer vocally, and that Christ stood over him while Smith reclined under a tree, and told him that all the sects or churches were wrong, that he must join none of them, that the creeds were all an abomination in his sight, and those professors were all corrupt; they were just giving God lip-service, while their hearts were far from him. In other words, the membership of the Christian church, both member and parson, were a parcel of hypocrites. Church History, Vol. 1, Page 9.
Joseph Smith was informed that the church combined was the church of the Devil, the Mother of abominations; that they had taken many parts away from the Bible, and added much to it, in order to deceive the nations, and that God had now come to appoint Joseph Smith to translate the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and restore hundreds of verses that the great and abominable church had left out, and take out hundreds of verses that "The Mother of Harlots and her daughters" had put in. Hence, Joseph Smith gave us a new Bible. For proof of the above read Preface of Smith's Bible, also Doc. and Cov., 42-15; 42-5; 90-12; 6-12; 34-5. Pratt on Bible, page 19.
They believe 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." Book of Mormon, I Nephi, e, 220-223.
They believe that Joseph Smith was directed to a certain place on a hill in the State of New York, where an Angel delivered to him a record taken from a stone box. This record, we are told by them, was translated by J. Smith, and was furnished to the world under the title of "The Book of Mormon." This is said to be a sacred scripture belonging to the people who lived upon the continent of America many hundreds of years before the great Columbus discovered it; that it contains the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, the Everlasting Covenant, and those who refuse to believe in this book will be damned. Evidence of Bible and Book of Mormon, compared, Page 5,8. D. C. 1-5.
They teach that God so directed that J. Smith obtained several mummies imported from Egypt. Inside the wrappings of one mummy was found a history of the world as written by the hand of Abraham. This is a very valuable book, older than any part of the Bible, and is called the "Book of Abraham." This, they say, God inspired Joseph Smith to translate by use of the Urim and Thummim, see Millennial Star, Vol. 3, July 1, 1842. Pearl of Great Price, pages 48-76. Church History, Vol. 1, pages 568-569. Saint's Herald, Vol. 1, pub. 1860.
Book of AbrahamJoseph Smith published the "Book of Abraham," and with it several illustrations of the Egyptian documents, years past, and at last several world-renowned scholars examined these characters and illustrations, and have showed conclusively that J. Smith again played the base impostor, in that his purported translations are a complete fraud from beginning to end. The Editor of the Saints' Herald, a nephew of J. Smith, wrote at length regarding these exposes. Our space forbids us to follow at great length, but we wish to puncture one glaring false statement, in that he makes claim that if J. Smith's translation of the "Book of Abraham" is proved false, it does not injure his claim to translate the Book of Mormon, as the Book of Mormon was translated by a divine gift through the Urim and Thummim, while there is no claim of divine help in the translation of the "Book of Abraham," and he triumphantly affirms: "Certainly the Urim and Thummim was not used." It is both painful and disgusting to follow some members of the Smith family in their deceptive efforts to hide the awful trickery of their relative, Joseph Smith. Listen, now, for another Mormon lie exposed by their own paper, published during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith: "We have much pleasure this month in being able to give an illustration and extract from the Book of Abraham, a book of higher antiquity than any portion of the Bible. Singular. is the providence by which this ancient record fell into the hands of the servant of the Lord, Joseph Smith.
The record is now in course of TRANSLATION BY THE MEANS OF THE URIM AND THUMMIM, and proves to be a record written partly by the father of the. faithful, Abraham, and finished by Joseph when in Egypt." The Latter Day Saint Millennial Star, Vol. 3, p. 45-47, July 1st, 1842. When Pres. E. A. Smith wrote the false statement in Herald for October 20th, 1915, he had doubtless felt sure the statement
printed above in 1842, could not be found to expose him. Shame.
Hence the world is requested to believe, under the penalty of damnation, that God has inspired Joseph Smith as his prophet and mouthpiece to this generation, to organize the true church of Christ, Translate a new Bible, The Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Doctrine and Covenants, as also to expose the Christian churches as being a mass of hypocrisy, and to save us from such. He has inspired Joseph to organize "The only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth with which I, the Lord, am well pleased." D. C. 1-5, 1 Nephi 3-220-223.
Smith Vile, Yet True (So-Called) ProphetHere we present the two sides of this momentous question, if the first position be true, can we accept the second position as true. Some of the leading men of the Mormon Church, including Joseph Smith, the son of the man in question (and because he was his son he was made President of one branch of the Mormon Church), says, when speaking on this part of the matter which we are considering "While I do not accept the proofs offered by you that my father was a pluralist or polygamist, as conclusive, I repeat that whether he was or was not, the gospel of Christ, as it was taught by Christ, and as recommitted through Joseph Smith, is complete and sufficient for the salvation of man, nor is it essential to the validity of that gospel that my father be proved to be a polygamist, or that I be compelled to believe that he was." -- Joseph Smith's fourth letter to L. O. Littlefield, p. 4.
"I am frank to say, however, that if all you allege in your letter to me, namely, that Joseph Smith sanctioned polygamy, that the Order of Enoch is a wicked organization, are true, I do not see how that justified your action in withdrawing from the church." -- Letter of H. C. Smith, church historian, in reply to R. C. Evans, August 1, 1918.
Brigham Young is reported to have said: "I don't care if the prophet Joseph acted like the devil. He brought forth a doctrine that will save us. He may have got drunk every day of his life, slept with his neighbor's wife every night -- I never embrace any man in my faith." -- Braden and Kelley Debate, p. 98. "I have many times, in this stand, dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can. We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character that you can mention. We can pick out Elders in Israel right here who can beat the world at any game. We can beat them because we have men here that live in the light of the Lord, that have the holy priesthood and hold the keys of the kingdom of God, but you may go through all the sectarian world, and you cannot find a man capable of opening the door of the kingdom of God to admit others in. We can do that. We are not to be beat." -- Journal of Discourses, Vol 4, p.77
Now, I have taken some space to give you the facts as I find them in the books of the church, both the Utah and Reorganized Church, and both from the Prophet and his son, and Brigham and other leading lights of both factions, so it cannot be said that I am unfair. We may be wrong,
but we have concluded that if Joseph Smith was guilty as charged, then it has much to do with our accepting his testimony. Jesus said: "Beware of false prophets. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?" Matt. 7, 15-21.
Now, we betake ourselves to examine the evidence as to his character. His friends say his death was like that of the Saviour, As Christ said, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," so Joseph said, "O, Lord, my God." Some say that his words, as above given, were not like the Master, but were part of a signal of distress, uttered by a secret society, of which he had once been a member, but which he had disgraced. However, they claim he said he was "Going as a lamb to the slaughter," and they write of him as having shed his blood to seal the Book of Mormon, which was the covenant given for the salvation of the world, and hence they sing of him as follows:
"Hail to the prophet, ascended to heaven,
Joseph Smith escaped from Ohio charged with many sins. He escaped from Missouri charged with treason and other crimes. He was at the time of his death charged with treason against the State of Illinois, and other crimes, and his last act was to kill two men and shoot the arm off a third, and he tried to kill others, but his pistol missed fire, and he jumped out of the window, and they caught him and shot him. -- Journal of History, October, 191.8; p. 410-416.
Paul informs us in I Timothy, 2, 5: "For there is one God and ONE MEDIATOR between God and man, the Man, Jesus Christ." The teaching of the Mormon church is, that Joseph Smith has gone to heaven to assist Christ in this work. See the above hymn, "Pleading with God in behalf of his brethren." The Bible plainly teaches that Christ shed His blood to seal the Covenant by which man may be saved, but J. Smith again comes to the rescue, and we are told that J. Smith shed his blood to bring forth the Book of Mormon, for the salvation of a ruined world. D. C. 113. Shall we place J. Smith and his Book of Mormon on a par with Christ and the Bible. Is the blood of Christ sufficient? Will His pleadings prevail or do we require J. Smith to go to heaven to help Him as a mediator?
The current history of the times says that the Smith family bore an unsavory reputation. "He was a lazy, drinking, fellow; loose in his habits in every way," the family were a pack of liars, too low to associate with. Joseph and his father wandered over the country with a peep stone and a witch hazel rod, pretending to find waterways and lost treasures, buried gold, and finally Joseph claimed to find the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, and while he says God protected the Urim and Thummim for the purpose of translating the Book of Mormon, at times he says he used those spectacles, and at other times it is said he discarded them and used the peep stone. No man living can make the leading
Mormon statements agree on the Urim and Thummim and peep stone story. Here is a blank contradiction. Let the reader look up the notes , Braden Kelley Debate, p. 47, 119; Chambers Ency. Art Mormonism; Ency. Britt. Art Mormonism; Two Thousand Changes in the Book of Mormon, by Lamoni Call, p. 18-25; Myth of the Manuscript Found, p. 71-83.
The revelations say he must translate with the Urim and Thummim. Some say he did. And such persons as Joseph's wife and David Whitmer are strong on the point that Joseph used the Seer stone, while he put the peep stone in his hat, shut out all light, while the plates layed? covered up on the table or somewhere else. Question is, why not have left the plates in the Hill if he could translate them without looking at them? Why did the Lord carry the Urim and Thummim back and forth over the, ocean, as the Book of Mormon claims, when Joseph could get along with the translation without them?
The history shows they were given to Jared's brother about 2230 B.C., carried back over ocean and given to Moses and Aaron about 1406 B.C., then carried back to America and given to 600 B.C and "hid up" till 1827, when the Lord gave them to Joseph to do the translating with, yet he set them aside and did the trick with the peep stone (see David Whittmer's address, pages 12-30-31-32, 37, 42, 56; Joseph The Prophet, page 793-794; Myth of Manuscript Found, page 20; H. A. Stebbins, Herald, Dec. 30, 1908; Mosiah, page 1-2-3; Mormon, page 200, D. C., 3-.1, 15-1). The peep stone is said to have been found when digging a well and Joseph took it. -- Braden Kelley debate, page 47.
With all this History of silly contradictions which are impossible of belief, and with all the statements as to his character, are we compelled under pain of damnation to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of the Lord and all his self-contradicting books as the word of God?
Was Joseph Smith Immoral?My next position is that if it be true that Joseph Smith was guilty of gross immorality all through his life, and that he was the originator of that abomination, Mormon polygamy, and the author of that blasphemy entitled "A Revelation in Regard to Celestial Marriage," that has been the ruination of thousands of men and has broken the hearts of thousands of women, blasting the peace, joy, happiness and virtue of tens of thousands, then I say, if there is any credence to be given to the test made by Jesus Christ, "By their fruits ye shall know them," Matt. 7, the Smith claim to be a prophet, seer, revelator, God's mouthpiece and the translator of the Book of Mormon, and Book of Abraham and all his other revelations, must fall to the ground, and that it is not true that all those living in this generation will be damned if they reject him and his claims, and now to the history.
Passing over the general history of his lewdness, as presented in many of the leading histories of the world, we will try and be as careful as possible to give reference for all we state; it is recorded that
"Dr. McIntyre, family physician of the Smiths in Manchester, N. Y., declared that the house of Joseph Smith, Sen., was a perfect brothel."
"Eza Pierce, Samantha Payne and other school-mates of the Smiths testify that Smith was lewd, and so were the family."
"Levi Lewis testifies that while Smith was pretending to translate the plates, he tried to seduce Eliza Winters, declaring that adultery was no sin."
"Eli Johnson led a mob against Smith for being intimate with his sister, Marinda, who afterwards married Orson Hyde. Brigham Young twitted Hyde with this fact, and Hyde put away his wife."
"Fanny Brewer testifies that Smith had serious trouble in Kirtland arising from his seducing an orphan girl."
"Mr. Moreton told his daughter and her husband that Emma Smith detected Joseph in adultery with a girl by the name of Knight, and that Joseph confessed the crime to the officers of the church."
"Dr. John Stafford testified he was a school-mate of Smith's and that he (Smith) was a great admirer of Mohammed and the Koran, and that polygamy was right and that nature and the Bible taught it."
"W. W. Phelps stated that while Smith was translating the Book of Abraham he declared that polygamy would yet be a practice of the Saints." Braden-Kelley Debate, page 202.
PolygamyTurning from these scattered testimonies, running through the early years of Smith's life, we now come to the more public time of his life. Joseph F. Smith, a relative of the original Joseph, and standing high in the councils of the Mormon church, speaking of the revelation as written on polygamy, July 12th, 1843, says: "This, however, was not the time this principle was first known to the Prophet Joseph Smith, for as early as 1831 the Lord revealed the principle of celestial and plural marriage to him, and he taught it to others." Origin of Plural Marriage, by Joseph F. Smith, page 92.
This same Apostle of the church, speaking of the marriage of "Aunt Lucy Walker," Smith Kimbal, to Joseph Smith, May 1st, 1843, says: "The strong point which he attempts to make is the fact that Lucy was married to the Prophet Joseph Smith on May 1st, 1843, while the revelation on plural marriage was dated July 12th, 1843. No one knew better than she did that the REVELATION WAS GIVEN AS FAR BACK AS 1834, and was first reduced to writing in 1843." Discussion between Joseph F. Smith and R. C. Evans, page 69. The statements of Joseph F. Smith agree with that made by Martin Harris and others that polygamy or spiritual wifery was taught and practiced by Joseph in Kirtland in the early thirties.
Some affirm that the revelation given through Joseph Smith, April 6th, 1830, known as Section 19, Doc. and Cov., is the first foundation for polygamy. It says: "Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give
heed unto all his words and commandments, which he shall give unto you, as he receiveth them -- for his words ye shall receive, as if from mine mouth in all patience and faith."
Here, you have it; think not that all the membership of the church were wicked people; many loved God and tried to serve him, and regarded Smith as the mouthpiece of God, arid when the revelation on polygamy came, their faith was so strong that they, with broken hearts, bowed in submission to the foul mandate.
Now, we come to a little matter that has caused me trouble with the son of Joseph Smith, at the time thousands of my sermons on polygamy were burned by his order, because I inadvertently convicted his father. Here it is: Brigham Young was in England. He had a manifestation on polygamy. "Speaking on polygamy he said: While we were in England (in 1839 or 1840, I think), the Lord manifested to me by visions, and his spirit, things that I did not understand. When I returned home, and Joseph revealed those things unto me, then I understood the reflections, which were upon my mind while in England. This was in 1841. The revelation was given in 1843, but the doctrine was revealed before this." Desert News, July 1, 1874.
Now, will the reader note this point: Brigham confessed that he had some spiritual manifestation in England on polygamy. He comes home and tells it to Joseph. Then Joseph tells him he had revelations on the same matter, and in time it was written and given to the church. But just a moment, dear reader, what think you? After Brigham Young had his revelation on polygamy, and Joseph Smith had his, and they talked the matter over as Brigham says, then we are asked to believe that the Lord spoke through Joseph to Brigham Young and made him the president of the Twelve Apostles, and gave him "the keys to open the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send my word to every creature," Doc. and Cov., 107-40.
Joseph F. Smith states that Orson Pratt testified that Lyman Johnson told him that Joseph Smith had a revelation on polygamy as early as 1831. Pratt makes the above statement in his sermon "Does the Bible Sanction Polygamy," p. 140. This is in keeping with the Elders' Journal, edited by Joseph Smith, No. 2, page 38, published in Kirtland. November, 1837, where Joseph in an editorial says we were asked daily and hourly by all classes of persons while we were traveling, "Do Mormons believe in having more wives than one?" Martin Harris told J. M. Atwater, Mr. Chapp and others that polygamy was taught and practiced by Smith and others, in Kirtland. B. K. D. p. 202
Some writers on the question say they could print scores of affidavits of old Mormons that prove Joseph Smith practiced spiritual wifery and polygamy from 1830 to his death, and it is admitted in the Doctrine and Covenants that their conduct was of such a character that in 1834 they were compelled to make the following statement: "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife and one woman but one husband." D. C., 111-4. Three points
we wish to notice here. This statement does not call polygamy a crime but fornication. If they meant polygamy they would have said crimes of fornication and polygamy, but, reader, notice the wording, "With the CRIME of fornication, and polygamy," again, "One man should have ONE WIFE." It does not say he should have only one, or but one, but when it comes to the woman, "one woman but one husband." Who cannot see the deception in this statement?
Mormon Excuse For Lying About Polygamy in Early Years of The Church.When the following questions were propounded, the following answers were given, much was said, we give but a brief, yet true report:
Q. -- "Have not the Latter Day Saints denied that a plurality of wives existed in their midst, when such was actually the case?"
A. -- "Doubtless some have because they did not know that such was the case."
Q. -- "Have not some Elders of the Latter Day Saints denied that polygamy was practised, when at the same time they positively knew that it was?"
A. -- "That is a personal question, and must be answered accordingly. I have not, neither have I heard any other Elder."
Q. -- "The question may arise in your mind -- If a plurality of wives has been prevalent in the church so long, why have not the Elders publicly preached the doctrine?"
A. --"The answer is very plain, BECAUSE NEITHER THE BODY OF THE SAINTS NOR CHRISTENDOM WERE PREPARED FOR IT -- Neither is it wisdom in the Elders to publish all knowledge the moment it is revealed to them. Your little child asks you various questions respecting its origin, or its course when it shall arrive at maturity, and makes most amusing remarks on the subject, you sit and smile at it, YOU DO NOT TELL IT THE TRUTH ABOUT THESE THINGS -- but you consider it proper and wise to EVADE its interrogations, or to refuse to answer them. It is just so in God's dealings -- with His church, and if God acts so, His servants, to be like him, must do so too. By reading the Doctrine and Covenants, 20, 16x36, 6-7, you will learn that many things were to be withheld from the saints and the world, and only to be revealed at a fitting time and season. If the doctrine of POLYGAMY had been publicly preached by the Elders when the church was in its infancy, and when the saints were comparatively ignorant and weak in the faith, it is probable that very few indeed would have been able to endure." Elder John Jaques, "Polygamy," Mill Star, Vol. 15. p. 165.
Doctor John C. Bennett had a career that was at once most spectacular and gorgeous; baptized in 1840, he helped draft the bill for the incorporation of the city of Nauvoo. He was elected first mayor of the city, chancellor of the Nauvoo University, major-general of the Nauvoo legion. In his patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph,
he was given the holy priesthood, was to have visions and dreams and the mysteries of God were to be given to him in dreams and visions, have power to heal the sick, cause the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, dumb to speak, be like Paul, and to become a patriarch. He also received a splendid revelation from the Lord through Joseph the prophet, D. and C., 107-6, and then the Lord made him one of the first presidency of the whole church until Rigdon's health should be restored. -- Times and Seasons, Vol. 2, page 387.
Well, after this Bennett started to expose Smith, claiming he was guilty of adultery, that he seduced a number of single and married females; he tried to seduce Nancy Rigdon. The story of Miss Rigdon is one of the most foul in history. The girl refused to submit and told Bennett and her parents and brother. I have before me the sworn statement of John W. Rigdon, brother of the girl and son of Sidney Rigdon. Time and space is too precious to relate it all, but we leave the horrid matter by saying that Rigdon and Smith quarreled over it and Smith soon had Rigdon out of harm's way, sending him to Pittsburg, where Rigdon lived till after the death of Smith.
Rigdon was Joseph Smith's strongest man -- his first counselor -- but he left the church and published a work in 1844, denouncing Smith in the broadest terms of unspeakable wickedness. He declares that, "The leaders of the church were monsters in human form; that Joseph was cut off for his transgression, that Joseph Smith departed from the living God, and like David and Solomon he contracted a whoring spirit and that the Lord smote him off from the earth." He says he loved Joseph, but when he found that he was teaching the unholy spiritual wife doctrine secretly and denying it openly, he was compelled to lose faith in him and denounce him. -- Messenger and Advocate, Vols. -- 1 and 2. Many pages are covered with his denunciations of Smith and his polygamist villains. Here as a concluding statement we give the following from the second volume of the Messenger and Advocate: "This system of polygamy was introduced by the Smiths some time before their death, and was the thing which put them in the power of their enemies and was the immediate cause of their death." -- Vol. 2, page 475.
William Law was baptized near Toronto and soon went to Nauvoo. He was brilliant and wealthy, and soon Joseph had him place his money in property which Joseph had to sell. Joseph had a revelation from the Lord making Law his counselor in the first presidency of the church. He was to cast out devils and raise the dead and do many wonderful works. -- D. and C., 107, 30.
William Law became convinced that Smith was an impostor and tells us in a sworn statement that Hyrum Smith, brother of the prophet Joseph read the revelation on polygamy before the high council, and then gave it to him to take home and read to his wife. Law read it to his wife, then took it to Joseph, and Joseph bore testimony that he had received it from the Lord. Law collected several of the leading men of the church, who with him had become disgusted with Smith's vile life, such men as Wilson Law, Charles Irvins, F. M. Higbee, C. L. Higbee, Robert Foster
and Charles Foster; and they bought press and type and printed a weekly paper. In this first issue several of them exposed the revelation regarding adultery, polygamy and concubinage given to Smith July 12th, 1843, and many other vile actions on the part of Smith and others. Then Smith as prophet of the church and mayor of the city called the people out, held a meeting and ordered the press and type destroyed and thrown into the streets, and some was carried to the river. The proprietors of the press escaped with their lives, went to the county seat, swore out a writ for Smith. He escaped but was sent for by his friends, returned, was bailed to appear at the next sitting of the court, but the same day was arrested on the charge of treason against the State of Illinois and placed in jail, where he shot two men dead and shot the arm off another and would name killed more but his six-shooter missed fire three times, when he jumped out of the window, and in trying to escape was shot dead.
For a complete account of the above matters the reader is requested to read Nauvoo Expositor, June 7th, 1844; the Weekly Tribune, Salt Lake City, August 4th, 1887; Joseph the Prophet, p. 746, Journal of .History, October, 1918.
After the paper published by these men, called the Nauvoo Expositor, under date of June 7th, 1844, had been destroyed, the people all over the country became aroused and to stem the tide, Joseph Smith called the city council together to discuss The Revelation of Polygamy, as referred to by those making sworn statements as published therein, the minutes of that council was published in a paper called the Nauvoo Neighbor. The same may be found also in the Millennial Star, Vol. 23, p. 754, 770, 816. We quote the following statements made by Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, which contradict each other. -- "Councilor H. Smith referred to the revelation read to the High Council of the church, which has caused so much talk about a MULTIPLICITY OF WIVES, that said revelation was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days, and had no reference to the present time."
"Then Mayor Joseph Smith said: They make a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven, according to the keys of the Holy Priesthood -- that he had never preached the revelation in private as he had in public -- had not taught it to the anointed in the church in private, which statement many present confirmed, that on inquiring concerning the passage in the resurrection concerning, "They neither marry nor are given in marriage," etc., he received for answer: Men in this life must marry in view of eternity, otherwise they must remain as angels, or be single in heaven, which was the amount of the revelation referred to, and the Mayor spoke at considerable length in explanation of this principle." Nauvoo Neighbor, June 19, 1844.
Here these brothers admit that there was a revelation on the marriage question. One says it referred to the past, and the other that it referred to the future, after the resurrection. But the admission is fully made and is in complete agreement with sworn statements made by those
who heard the revelation read and others who read it and with the Revelation as published in Doctrine and Covenants, Sect. 132, Utah edition, part of which I submit in this paper.
Three Witnesses.Permit me to expose one of the most deceptive works of the reorganized church. They fill their church papers with the pictures of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, tell over and over again their testimony to the Book of Mormon, doubtless written for them by Joseph Smith. They never weary of saying they never denied their testimony but, dear reader, just think of it, those three witnesses all denounced Joseph Smith as a bad man, and accused him of most everything, and left the church in less than ten years after the Mormon Church was organized.
I have already placed the statement of Martin Harris before you, that Smith taught and practiced polygamy before they left Ohio. David Whitmer says Joseph changed the revelations and was guilty of many evils, and prints a book in which he says, "I now have as much evidence to believe that Brother Joseph received the revelation on polygamy and gave it to the church as I have to believe that such a man as George Washington ever lived," and he scores the reorganized church for trying to lie out of it, and declares that God directed him to leave the corrupt church. David Whitmer's address, pages 38-45.
Oliver Cowdery, the man who wrote nearly all of the Book of Mormon for Smith, and was a president and most prolific writer, says that Christ commanded him to leave the church because of its corruption, and shows how Smith led them into sin. He declares that a society was formed with the knowledge and sanction of Joseph Smith to inflict death upon their enemies. Whitmer 's book gives quite a history of this band organized for murder. It was in full swing in 1838, when these three with many other men left. the church and fled for their lives. See Cowdery's defence, published in 1839; Shook's True Origin of the Book of Mormon, page 50-61.
Pres. Lorenzo Snow swears that on his return front England in 1843 Joseph Smith explained the doctrine of plurality of wives to him, how the Lord commanded him to have women sealed to him as wives, how Joseph saw the trouble that would follow and sought to turn away from the commandment, that an angel from heaven then appeared before him with a drawn sword and threatened him with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment. He then told him how he had Eliza R. Snow (this man's sister) sealed to him as his wife for time and eternity. Snow when an old man closed this affidavit in these solemn words: "I solemnly declare before God and holy angels, and as I hope to come forth in the morning of the resurrection, that the above statement is true." (Sworn August 28th, 1869, Origin of Plural Marriage, pages 81-82.)
One hundred or more affidavits in relation to the introduction of celestial and plural marriage are on file in the historian's office, Salt Lake City
and are the expressions of eye and ear witnesses, who know that the prophet Joseph Smith introduced and taught celestial and plural marriage. (Origin of Plural Marriage, by Joseph F. Smith, page 81.)
At the risk of being tedious, I submit the names of a few of the women who make affidavits that they were married to Joseph Smith, and lived with him as his wives: Lucy Walker Smith Kimbal says: "I was a plural wife of the prophet Joseph Smith and was married for time and eternity in Nauvoo, State of Illinois, on the first day of May, 1843, by Elder William Clayton. The prophet was then living with his first wife, Emma Smith, and I know that she gave her consent to the marriage of at least four women to her to her husband as plural wives, and she was well aware that he associated and cohabitated with them as plural wives. The names of these women arc Eliza and Emily Partridge and Mary and Sarah Lawrence." (Origin of Plural Marriage, pages 82-83.) See affidavit of Lucy Walker Smith.
Melissa Lot Willes, upon her oath saith "that on the twentieth day of September, 1843, at the city of Nauvoo, she was married or sealed to Joseph Smith, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by Hyrum Smith, according to the laws of the said church regulating marriage, in the presence of her parents, Cornelius Lott and Parmelia Lott." Origin of Plural Marriage, page 87.
When in Salt Lake City I called at the residence of Patriarch John Smith, brother of Joseph F. Smith, and son of Hyrum Smith, nephew of the original prophet John Smith, and while there his wife, Helen, told me, among many other interesting things, that "'Melissa Lott told me that when a girl she sewed for Emma Smith and took care of the children. Joseph had to pass through her room to go to Emma's room. She said Joseph never had sexual intercourse with her but once and that was in the daytime saying he desired her to have a child by him. She was barefooted and ironing when Joseph came in, and the ceremony was performed in the presence of her parents." (R. C. Evans).
Lucy Walker Smith states that when young Joseph was in Utah he called on her and asked the question, "Did my father have more (other) wives than my mother?" I answered truthfully without hesitation. Afterwards he went to Lehi, called on Melissa Lott, with whom he had been associated from early childhood, and asked, "Will you answer me one question? I come to you knowing you will tell the truth; were YOU MY FATHER'S WIFE?" "Yes, Joseph, I was." "Where is your proof?" She stepped to the stand and took the family Bible, opened to the, family record, placed it upon his knee and asked: "Do you recognize the handwriting?" "Certainly, that is your father's (Cornelius Lott's) handwriting; know it as well as my own." Then read the marriage certificate of prophet Joseph Smith and Melissa Lott. -- Origin of Plural Marriage, pages 73-74.
I could produce these, affidavits in full and submit many more that are in my possession, but will present part of a letter written by Elder William Clayton, who wrote the revelation known as section 132, in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, Utah edition, at the dictation of the
prophet Joseph Smith, July 12th, 1843: "I am ready to testify to all the world, I did write the revelation on celestial marriage, given through the prophet Joseph Smith, July 12th, 1843. When the revelation was given there was no one present except the prophet Joseph, his brother Hyrum and myself. It was written in the small office upstairs in the rear of the brick store which stood on the bank of the Mississippi river; the same night a copy was taken by Bishop Whitney, which copy is now here (in the historian's office), and which I know and testify is correct. The original was destroyed by Emma Smith. I again testify that the revelation on polygamy was given through the prophet Joseph Smith on the 12th of July, 1843, and that the prophet both taught and practiced polygamy I do positively know. In April, 1843, he sealed to me my second wife, my first wife being then living. I had the honor to seal one woman to Joseph under his direction." -- William Clayton, Origin of Plural Marriage, pages 92-93.
Having followed Joseph Smith to his untimely death, as he says, all through that cursed spiritual wife doctrine, I leave the general church and point to the reader that nearly all the factions practiced polygamy in some form. I care not what they called it, it meant the sexual act with women other than their legal wives. William Smith, brother of the prophet, left Brigham Young, started a church of his own and practiced polygamy. The Utah people say he was in polygamy before his brother's death, and his three wives lived in Utah till their death, Priscilla M. Smith, Sarah and Hannah Libby. -- Origin of Plural Marriages page 58; Temple Lot Evidence, page 395; Church History, vol. 3, page 200; The Messenger, vol. 2, Joseph Smith letter to Davis.
James J. Strange taught and practiced it in his church till his murder, and he professed till death that Joseph ordained him his successor.
Lyman Wight taught and practiced it, Sidney Rigdon practiced it in his little church, Gladden Bishop practiced it. (See young Joseph's letter to Mr. Davis, October 13th, 1899, Origin of Plural Marriages, page 58.)
The Reorganized Church has ever denounced polygamy. But, as David Whitmer says, they have displeased God in trying to deny that Joseph Smith taught, practiced and sanctioned polygamy and had revelations commanding its practice. This to my mind is the great sin of the Reorganized Church.
For many years the leading men of the Reorganized Church preached and wrote freely, admitting that Joseph Smith had the revelation on polygamy and that it was practiced in Nauvoo during his presidency till his death, and that it was the curse of the church and caused his death. For proof of this I now present to you their statements in as brief a manner as possible to give you the facts. I abbreviate to save time and space, which mean expense in publication.
Joseph Smith, The Son of The Prophet."I believe that during the later years of my father's life there was in discussion among the elders, and possibly in practice, a theory like the following: That persons, who might believe that there was a sufficient degree of spiritual affinity between them, as married companions, to warrant the desire to perpetuate that union in the world to come and after the resurrection, could go before some high priest, whom they might choose, and there making known their desire, might be married for eternity, pledging themselves while in the flesh unto each other for the observance of the rights of companionship in the spirit; that this was called spiritual marriage, and upon the supposition that what was sealed by this priesthood, before which this pledge was made on earth, was sealed in heaven, the marriage relation then entered into would continue in eternity. That this was not authorized by command of God or rule of the church, but grew out of the constant discussion had among the elders; and that, after a time it resulted in the wish (father to the thought) that married companionship rendered unpleasant here by incompatibilities of different sorts, might be cured for the world to come by securing through this means a congenial companion in the spirit; that there was but brief hesitancy between the wish and an attempt to put it into form and practice. That once started, the idea grew, spiritual affinities were sought after, and in seeking them the hitherto sacred precincts of home were invaded; less and less restraint was exercised, the lines between virtue and license hitherto sharply drawn, grew more and more indistinct; spiritual companionship if sanctioned by a holy priesthood, to confer favors and pleasures in the world to come, might be antedated and put to actual test here -- and so the enjoyment of a spiritual companionship in eternity became a companionship here; a wife a spiritual wife, if congenial; if not, one that was congenial was sought, and a wife in fact was supplemented by one in spirit, which in easy transition became one in essential earthly relationship. From this, if one, why not two or more, and plural marriage, on the plurality of wives was the growth." -- "Life of Joseph the Prophet," page 798-800. This book was printed by the Reorganized Church and advertised by them in their papers until they destroyed the type because it told too much.
Comment. Here the son is trying to make the position as easy as possible, yet he admits that during the latter years of his father's life there was in discussion among the elders, and possibly in practice, three stages or steps that brought the church to polygamy and destruction and to his father's untimely death.
'First step, a spiritual affinity between married companions, who went before some Mormon priest and were married for eternity,
Second step, that married companionship rendered unpleasant might be cured for the world to come by securing a congenial companion, that this was put into practice, that in thus practicing, this spiritual wifery, the sacred precincts of home were invaded, less and less restraint was exercised, the lines between license and virtue grew indistinct, and that
his spiritual companionship sanctioned by the holy priesthood to confer favors in the world to come might be antedated and put to actual test here, and that plural marriage or plurality of wives was the growth, this being the third step.
In the same paper he tries to protect his father, makes a feeble attempt to state that when his father became convinced that the world would make the discovery and the church would be destroyed by this abominable prostitution, he tried to stop it, but was powerless. But it was too late, and he met his untimely death, and so Brigham continued to lead the people in the way of sin, and finally grew bold, and openly preached and practiced the crime which in secret they had practiced but denied for years.
That Joseph Smith is said to have repented of his connection with polygamy, and burned the revelations that commanded the faithful to practice it, and so confessed a few days before his death, is admitted by others of the Reorganized Church, but the great sin of it all is that now that nearly all these old books are destroyed and the victims of his polygamy are dead, the Reorganized Church leads their people to believe that Joseph Smith was innocent of it all, and that Brigham Young was the scoundrel, that had the revelations and introduced its practice.
Emma Smith.Before we leave this book I present what is often styled the deathbed statement of Emma Smith, legal wife of Joseph, as made in answer to questions propounded by her son, Joseph.
"What about the revelation on polygamy? Did Joseph Smith have anything like it? What of spiritual wifery?"
"There was no revelation on either polygamy or spiritual wives; there were some rumors of something of the sort, of which I asked my husband. He assured me that all, there was of it was that in a chat about plural wives he had said: "Well, such a system might be, if everybody was agreed to it, and would behave as they should. But they would not, and besides it was' contrary to the will of Heaven." No such thing as polygamy or spiritual wifery was taught publicly or privately before my husband's death that I have now, or ever had any knowledge of." Life of Joseph the Prophet by Tullidge, page 792.
Comment. Is it not strange that for many years Joseph was challenged to ask his mother, but he waited till she was about ready to enter the grave before he approached her on this momentous question? Then it is recalled that this purported statement is not signed or written by Emma nor did she give it under oath. Then it must he remembered that the sworn statements to the contrary of the Laws and Cowles published twenty days before the prophet's death and corroborated afterwards by the affidavits of Fullner, Grover, Soby Robnsons, and the sworn statements of many others, and lastly the statements made by Marks, Sheen and hundreds of others, including several women, who made oath that they were the wives of Joseph Smith, and many affirming that Emma
knew that her husband had the revelation, practiced polygamy and that she burned the revelation. Brigham Young says: "Emma burned the revelation." Isaac Sheen says: "Joseph had the revelations on that subject burned." William Law swears: "Mrs. Smith complained to me about Joseph keeping his young wives in her house and elsewhere, and his neglect of her. She spoke freely about the revelation and its threat against her life (eight years after the revelations were published by Brigham Young, and contains the threat upon Emma's life, as stated by her to President Law, R. C). She seemed to have no faith in it whatever, from what she said to me, and from what I learned from other sources, I have good reason to believe that Joseph and Hyrum Smith and others in the church had been practicing polygamy for a long time before the revelation came forth." Mormon Polygamy, page 191.
Emma admits they were discussing polygamy, she admits she heard rumors, she says her husband said "such a system might be if everybody was agreed to it and would behave as they should." Can anyone fail to see guilt there. This is in keeping with his position all along. The people were hard to manage, they talked too much. Some were not content to practice polygamy and keep quiet about it. The world would soon know the secret. That was his trouble. The command was "thou shalt not be found out." Keep the strong meat from the world; feed them on milk. D. C., 18, 2.
To say the least, the above makes the last testimony of Emma Smith look slightly suspicious. Thousands contradict her story.
Much more could be presented from this old book, the type of which was destroyed lest the admissions of Joseph and his mother would be urged against the husband and father. But I leave that book and go to another book which I found within the last two months. I had seen some garbled quotations from it in my hurried reading in the past, but the book itself is presented to me. It is a bound volume composed of the True Latter Day Saints' Herald, volume 1, and I quote from the best authority ever produced by the Reorganization, surely they will not deny it, for I confess, hurt as it did, my honor compelled me to admit the truth contained therein, though it well nigh broke my heart.
Isaac Sheen Testifies.Vol. 1, No. 1, page 8-9: The editor of the paper is making claim that polygamy is sinful in the sight of the Lord, and showing not only the guilt of Joseph Smith, but trying the best he can to excuse him. Here are his words:
"In Ezekiel, 14, 1-5, the prophet says: "Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, an sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Son of Man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face; should I be inquired of at all by them? Therefore, speak unto them and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I, the
the Lord, will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they are all estranged from me through their idols."
"We have shown you that God gave a revelation unto us in which he commanded that every man should "cleave unto his wife and none else," and that he, commanded us, saying, "repent and remember the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do, according to that which I have written," and that in that book there is much testimony against polygamy. All these instructions were sufficient for our guidance, but "men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put the stumbling block on their iniquity before their face." This adulterous spirit had captivated their hearts and they desired a license from God to lead away captive the fair daughters of his people and in this state of mind they came to the Prophet Joseph.
Could the Lord do anything more or less than what Ezekiel hath prophesied? The Lord hath declared by Ezekiel what kind of an answer he would give them, therefore he answered them according to the multitude of their idols. Paul had also prophesied that "for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Both these prophecies agree. In Ezekiel's prophecy, the Lord also says: "I will set my face against that man and will make him a sign and a proverb and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of my people, Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions: but that they may be my people and I may be their God, same the Lord God." -- 8, 11 v.
"We have here the facts as they have transpired, and as they will continue to transpire in relation to this subject. The death of the prophet is one fact that has been realized, although he abhorred and repented of this iniquity before his death."
This branch of the subject we shall leave to some of our brethren who are qualified to explain it satisfactorily. Those who have practiced these abominations have become "a sign and a proverb" among men in accordance with this prophecy. These are the "false teachers" prophesied of by Peter, of whom he said: "Many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom, the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment now of a long lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." The reason why the Lord destroyed the prophet and made those who "set up their idols in their hearts,"
"a sign and a proverb," made them bear the punishment of their iniquity is worthy of our earnest attention."
Comment. Here is plain admissions to the following: The church had fallen under an adulterous spirit. They desired a license from God to lead away the fair daughters of his people. They went to Joseph Smith, the prophet (not Brigham Young, as we so often taught) with this idol in their hearts; he received the revelation commanding polygamy, but just before his death he repented of this iniquity, and abhorred it; but we will permit Isaac Sheen, the editor, to make his own statement:
"The Salt Lake apostles also excuse themselves by saying that Joseph Smith taught the spiritual wife doctrine, but this excuse is as weak as their excuse concerning the ancient kings and patriarchs. Joseph Smith repented of his connection with this doctrine, and said that it was of the devil, He caused the revelations on that subject to be burned, and when he voluntarily came to Nauvoo and resigned himself into the arms of his enemies, he said that he was going to Carthage to die. At that time he also said that if it had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine he would not have come to that. By his conduct at that time he proved the sincerity of his repentance, and of his profession as a prophet. If Abraham and Jacob, by repentance, can obtain salvation and exaltation, so can Joseph Smith."
Comment. Joseph repented of his connection with this doctrine (the spiritual wife doctrine is under consideration). He said it was of the devil. He caused the revelations on that subject to be burned. When he went to Carthage to die he said: "If it had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine, he would not have come to that. By his conduct at that time he proved the sincerity of his repentance and of his profession as a prophet." All this cannot be denied, and as it is supported by hundreds of others, whom we were unwilling to believe in the past. But now that it is admitted by the leading men of the church, why should the present leaders try to excuse Joseph and place the blame on Brigham. Here Isaac Sheen concurs with President William Law, and Pres. Brigham Young that Emma not only knew of the revelation, but that it was burned. The two presidents say Emma burned it, the editor says Joseph had it burned."
William Marks Testifies.Now we call attention to William Marks on the question of polygamy. He was president of the High Council at Nauvoo at the time of Joseph Smith's death. He supported the claims of Sidney Rigdon for a time, then went with the polygamous apostles under Brigham Young, then it is said he left them and joined the Strangite faction, then he joined the little church called the Baneemytes, and after all this running around he united with the Reorganized Church and ordained Joseph Smith to be the prophet, seer and revelator of the new faction. -- This man wrote in the Saints' Herald, under date of Oct. 23, 1859, published in that paper on pages 25-26 of first volume, the following:
"I feel desirous to communicate through your periodical a few suggestions made manifest to me by the spirit of God in relation to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. About the first of June, 1844 (situated as I was at that time, being the presiding elder of the Stake of Nauvoo, and by appointment the presiding officer of the High Council), I had a very good opportunity to know the affairs of the church and my convictions at that time were that the church, in a great measure, had departed from the pure principles and doctrines of Jesus Christ. I felt much troubled in mind about the condition of the church; I prayed earnestly to my Heavenly Father to show me something in regard to it, when I was wrapt in vision, and it was shown me by the spirit that the top, or branches, had overcome the root in sin and wickedness, and the only way to cleanse and purify it was to disorganize it, and in due time the Lord would reorganize it again. There were many other things suggested to my mind, but the lapse of time has erased them from my memory.
"A few days after this occurrence I met with Bro. Joseph. He said that he wanted to converse with me on the affairs of the church, and we retired by ourselves. I will give his words verbatim, for they are indelibly stamped upon my mind. He said he had desired for a long time to have a talk with me on the subject of polygamy. He said it eventually would prove the overthrow of the church, and we should soon be obliged to leave the United States unless it could be speedily put down. He was satisfied that it was a cursed doctrine, and that there must be every exertion made to put it down. He said that he would go before the congregation and proclaim it, and I must go into the High Council, and he would prefer charges against those in transgression, and I must sever them from the church unless they made ample satisfaction. There was much more said, but this was the substance. The mob commenced to gather about Carthage in a few days after, therefore there was nothing done concerning it.
"After the Prophet's death, I made mention of this conversation to several, hoping and believing that it would have a good effect, but to my great disappointment, it was soon rumored about that Brothers Marks was about to apostatize, and that all he said about the conversation with the Prophet was a tissue of lies."
Comment. The Lord shows him a vision of the corruption of the church and that the only way to purify it was to disorganize it. That the "top had overcome the root in wickedness." (Joseph was the top, and wicked) that Joseph told him he desired for a long time to have a talk with him on polygamy. It had made such headway that it would eventually overthrow the church; they would soon have to leave the United States unless it could be put down, and advised that all who would not repent should be cut off the church, but in a few days the mob came and Smith was shot to death.
The reader should remember that according to the above, polygamy was extensively practiced for a long time in the church. Joseph had now been converted that it was wrong. He repented of his connection with it, abhorred his past conduct and would now try and put it down.
He was the mayor of the city, he was the prophet, seer and revelator. He had been a crowned king, he was lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo Legion, he was the only one that had the right to give a revelation that the church is to receive. As if from the mouth of Christ, for the support of this blasphemy and autocracy, read Doc. and Cov., 19, 243, 1. So that Smith was absolute in power, and if revelations were given and polygamy was practiced, then he had those revelations, and he practiced the abomination. His own revelations and the testimony of hundreds of his victims prove this beyond question.
Joseph Smith's Last Revelation on Polygamy.Now I will quote from the book containing the revelations of Joseph Smith, as published in the Book called the "Doctrine and Covenants" -- a book that is held to be superior to the Bible, for the reason the revelations in the Bible, they say, are unreliable, while Joseph Smith, the "Mouthpiece of God" to the church, delivered the revelations as published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Now here is part of the last famous revelation as published in their own book under the date of July 12th, 1843. It contains sixty-six paragraphs and covers ten pages telling all about how to practice polygamy and concubinage, and states that a man is not guilty of adultery even if he have ten women at once as his wives, and let the reader remember that in the revelation several times over damnation is promised to those who refuse to enter into polygamy, and the highest glory is only secured by the practice of polygamy. But to the revelation, "Revelation on the eternity of the marriage covenant, including plurality of wives, given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 12th, 1843": --
1. "Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines."
2. "Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter."
4. "For behold I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye -abide not that covenant then are ye damned, for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory."
6. "And as pertaining to the new and everlasting Covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory and he that receiveth a fullness thereof, must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord."
15. "Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world, therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world."
16. "Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are appointed Angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more and exceeding and an eternal weight of glory." (To those who abide in the covenant is this great promise made).
20. "Then shall they be GODS, because they have no end, therefore they shall be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue. Then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be GODS because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them."
21. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law, ye cannot attain to this story."
26. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatsoever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection and enter into their exaltation."
27. "And he that abideth not this law can in no wise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord."
32. "Go ye therefore and do the works of Abraham, enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved."
33. "But if ye enter not into my law, ye cannot receive the promise of my father, which he made unto Abraham."
34. "God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife, and why did she do it? Because this was the law and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling among things, the promises."
35. "Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, Nay, for I, the Lord, commanded it."
37. "Abraham received concubines, and they bear him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness -- as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded. They have entered into their exaltation and sit upon thrones and are not Angels, but are Gods."
38. "David also received many wives and concubines, as also Solomon and Moses my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time, and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me."
52. "And let mine handmaid Emma Smith (Joseph's first wife, R. C. E.) receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, who are virtuous and pure before me."
61. "And again, as pertaining to the law or the priesthood; If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified, he cannot commit adultery,
for they are given unto him, for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and no one else."
62. "And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him, therefore, is he justified."
64. "And again, Verily, verily I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he reaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord our God, for I will destroy her, for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law."
Here is the law from their own book, given by Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, which states clearly that polygamy and concubinage is a new and everlasting covenant. Those who obey it and enter into the practice of polygamy will pass by the Angels and become Gods, while good men who have not had the privilege of practising polygamy will only be Angels to serve these polygamist gods, and those who have had opportunity to enter into polygamy and refuse to do so, will be damned. Joseph Smith's first wife had rebelled and was herein told to receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph," showing that he was guilty of polygamy before this revelation was given. Just think we are asked to believe under pain of damnation that Paul who had no wife will be an Angel-servant to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young who had many wives. Doc. and Cov. 132. Comment is needless.
It is but justice to say that the branch of Mormon church to which I belonged for forty-two years, known as the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have never practiced polygamy, their great sin is not in practicing polygamy, but in making lies their refuge, in that for many years no part of the Mormon church including the Reorganized church ever thought of denying that Joseph had the revelation on polygamy and that he had several wives, and that it lead to his untimely death. This is clearly admitted in their public journals and private letters, but the sin of it is that after the son of the prophet decided to take his father's place at the head of the Mormon church, a council was called and the question was discussed, some leaders said, let us tell the truth, while others argued we can never make headway in the new organization if with one voice we affirm that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, seer, revelator, and God's sole mouth-piece to the church, and with another voice declare that he was playing the base hypocrite and deceiver, in that he denied publicly the charges urged against him by those leaving the church, and those outside of the church, regarding his having the revelation of polygamy and concubinage and his practising those secret abominations, and so it was decided of the two evils to accept what appeared to them to be the least, and so they entered into covenant, so we are informed, to just deny his guilt and throw the burden of proof upon those making the charges, for they argued, in a short time, there will be none living who were guilty with him and the papers, few in number as they were in those far distant years, will be all lost, and so the
coast will be clear and thus the deception grew till now many who hold membership in the Reorganized church believe, as I did for many years, that Brigham Young and not Joseph Smith, was the author of the revelation on polygamy. When I became convinced that Joseph Smith taught, practiced and sanctioned polygamy and concubinage, and was the author of the infamous revelation on polygamy, it was the first shock to my faith, but when my eyes were opened to that, it was not long before I began to see the cruel deceptive system as it really is, and I thank God for the light He has sent into my soul, that I have been enabled to abandon the foul system and receive Christ and the Gospel as it is found in the sacred scriptures; and while I mourn the wasted years, yet I am glad of the opportunity that is left to tell the world the facts as they have come to me and I trust that God will preserve my life till I have done my part in unmasking Mormonism.
Joseph Smith's Idol-Polygamy."Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines."
Comment. Smith had the word of God, and the nations of the civilized world before him all condemning polygamy. If he loved his own wife he should know that polygamy was a heart-crusher, that which must channel the face of pure womanhood with tears of unutterable woe, and yet he came before the Lord, as Ezekiel said, with the idol of polygamy and concubinage before him. All can see who wish to see truth that the very revelation shows he was guilty before he received this revelation, and that it bears proof as stated by others that he was in the cess pit of polygamy before this revelation was given, and that this was but an enlargement of other revelations which many say he had before on the subject.
W. W. Blair Testifies.Now let us hear the testimony of another great leader in the Reorganized Church, W. W. Blair, one of the early men of the church, and the counsellor to Joseph Smith the Prophet. He says:
"The plurality-wife revelation was never given unto the church by Joseph, and when it was made public the first organization of the church had ceased. The church had been rejected of God, and counterfeit churches under the direction of greedy wolves had supplanted the true church. The church was not commanded to give heed unto revelations which were not given unto them, but only those which Joseph gave unto them, and as that revelation was withheld from the church, and was repudiated and denounced by him, and as it was only intended for those who (according to the prophecy of Ezekiel) had "set up their idols in their hearts, therefore the church was not commanded to receive it." True Latter Day Saints' Herald, March, 1860, page 64.
Comment. Here it is admitted by Brother Blair that the revelation on polygamy was in existence before Smith's death, and that it "was repudiated and denounced by him," that it was not given to the church as a body. This is proof that the position taken by the Reorganization that it was not given in his time, but later, and by Brigham Young is absolutely false. The entire testimony shows that Smith taught that it was not time to give it to the world, and that many in the church could not stand the strong meat, but for the time should only have the milk. But that he had it, and taught it to the priesthood, and they to their female victims, and that he with them practiced it is beyond question.
J. W. Briggs Testifies.Jason W. Briggs, one of the founders of the Reorganization and the President of the Twelve Apostles for many years, until he, like many hundreds of others, had his eyes opened to the false positions taken and left the church, was called to testify in the temple lot suit, said: "I heard something about the revelation on polygamy when I was in Nauvoo in 1842; I heard there was one; there was talk going on about it at that time, and continued to be." Record p. 349-505.
Writing to J. T. Clark under date of February 13th, 1888, he said: "I was at Nauvoo in 1843, the. year it was found necessary to legalize polygamy by a revelation. No, I have no doubt as to the authorship of that (so-called) revelation of July 12th, 1843. It has all the ear-marks to identify it as the production of the mouthpiece of those days." Joseph is called the mouthpiece in the revelation found in Doc. and Cov., Sec. 19, in these words, "wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments -- for his words ye shall receive as if from my own mouth -- in all patience and faith., Yes, and it required. faith and patience on the part of those broken-hearted women who submitted to the revelations because they were persuaded that God had commanded. They were not bad women, but were the victims of misplaced confidence, and many of them found rest in hopeless insanity or the cold grave.
Ebenezer Robinson Testifies.Ebenezer Robinson united with the church in 1835. He became clerk of the High Council in 1838; was joint, editor of the Times and Seasons until 1842. He followed Rigdon after Smith's death, and was his counsellor. He joined the Reorganization in 1863, made affidavit in 1873, as did also his wife.
"To whom it may concern:
We, Ebenezer Robinson and Angeline Robinson, husband and wife, hereby certify that in the fall of 1843, Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, came to our house in Nauvoo, Illinois, and taught us the doctrine of polygamy. And I, the said Ebenezer Robinson, hereby further state that he gave me special instructions how I could manage the matter so
as not to have it known to the public. He also told us that while he had heretofore opposed the doctrine, he was wrong and his brother Joseph was right; referring to his teaching it.
(Sgd.) Ebenezer Robinson.
Angeline E. Robinson.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 29th day of December, 1873.
J. M. Smallee, Notary Public.
"To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that in the latter part of November, or in December, 1843, Hyrum Smith (brother of Joseph Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) came to my house in Nauvoo, Illinois, and taught me the doctrine of spiritual wives, or polygamy.
He said he heard the voice of the Lord give the revelation on spiritual wifery (polygamy) to his brother Joseph, and that while he had heretofore opposed the. doctrine he was wrong and his brother Joseph was right all the time.
He told me to make a selection of some young woman and he would send her to me, and take her to my home, and if she should have an heir, to give out the word that she had a husband who had gone on a mission to a foreign country. He seemed disappointed when I declined to do so.
(Sgd.) E. Robinson.
Davis City, Iowa, Oct. 23, 1885.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, a notary public, in and for Decatur Country, Iowa, this 24th day of October, A D., 1885. Z. H. Gurley, Notary Public."
The reader should remember that this man Robinson was a member in high standing in the church during the life work of Joseph Smith, and while it is true that Joseph Smith is not accused by him of polygamy directly, yet Hyrum Smith was Joseph Smith's brother and his chief advisor, counsellor and the presiding Patriarch of the church. If he told the truth, Joseph was guilty; if he lied, then Hyrum Smith was a liar. His testimony is corroborated by hundreds, hence it will be taken as good evidence that Joseph was guilty as stated.
This man Robinson came into the Reorganized Church and was prominent in it for years, and testified to these things through the years. Those having the Inspired Translation of the Bible, as published by the Reorganized Church in 1867, will see that Robinson, with Joseph Smith and Bishop Rogers, was a committee to publish said Bible, and as he made his affidavit in 1873 and did not leave the Reorganized Church until 1888, that he was about fifteen years holding membership in the Reorganized Church, all the while affirming under oath that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were guilty as per his statement. Why did not the Reorganized Church take action to stop this man, if he was slandering the Prophet and Patriarch? They knew better, and they know today that many of their leading men now believe that Joseph had the revelations on Polygamy and practiced that accursed doctrine.
Many of them make arguments that Joseph Smith did not have the revelation, but they excuse themselves under the cover "well he
did not have it just as it is published by the Brighamite Church." The facts are, many believe he had it, but that Young enlarged upon it. One leading man said to me in Dow City, Iowa: Joseph had the revelation all right, but any man with brains can see that no one person was the author of the revelation as it now appears. "What do you mean," I said. He replied, "Well, I mean this - Joseph had the revelation on polygamy and Brigham Young or some of his apostles made certain changes and additions to it, made it to read more grammatically, so that gives us a chance to make argument that Joseph Smith did not have that revelation."
This little piece of trickery to evade the real facts is in keeping with one in which twelve leading men and nineteen leading women signed the following:
"We, the undersigned members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and residents of the City of Nauvoo, persons of families, do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. John C. Bennett's secret wife system is a creature of his own make, as we know of no such society in this place, nor never did.
N. K. Whitney
"We, the undersigned members of the Ladies' Relief Society, married females, do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practiced in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J, C. Bennett's secret wife system is a disclosure of his own make.
Elizabeth Anne Whitney, Counsellor.
Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor.
Eliza R. Snow, Secretary.
Mary C. Miller
Sophia R. Marks
Polly Z. Johnson
The Josephites claim that the above statement positively denies the existence of the plural wife system in the church at all. While the Brighamites declare that they were aimed solely at the "secret wife system" of John C. Bennett, which they tell us was "as far removed from the
plural marriage system set forth in the revelation had by Joseph Smith July 12th, 1843, as lechery is from virtue and foulness is from purity."
"So with that spiritual wife doctrine which lustful men attempted to promulgate at that period. Joseph the Prophet was just as much opposed to that false doctrine as anyone could be. It was a counterfeit. The true and divine order is another thing. The errors which those the ladies who signed the affidavits declared were not known to them as doctrines of the church were not, are not, and never will be part of the creed of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were conscientious in their statements." Deseret News of May 20th, 1886.
The different Mormon churches have each a different method of their own, each denounces the other, but a careful reading will show that the seed of all their systems of female defilement is found in the Revelations of their first Prophet, Joseph Smith. They differ in wording, but it reaches the same end, the satisfying of the lust of the men and the assassination of the virtue of their female victims. To prove this the reader and may read up the systems employed by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, James J. Strang, William Smith, John C. Bennett, Lyman Wight and others, whose names defile the pages of American history.
It is apparent that Joseph Smith desired a monopoly in this marriage business and had trouble with others desiring a share in the honor, and it was hard work for him to keep them into line as the following will show. When answering his wife regarding polygamy, he said: "Well, such a system might be, if everybody was agreed to it and would behave as they should, but they would not. Life of the Prophet, by Tullidge, page 792. Poor Joseph, he could not get his folk to behave when practicing polygamy. This must have been a sore trial for him, and, as he said, it would lead him to his death, and it surely did.
"As we have lately been credibly informed that an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines in the County of Lapeer, State of Michigan;
"This is to notify him and the church in general that he has been cut off from the church for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the special conference on the 6th of April next to make answer to these charges."
(Sgd.) "Joseph Smith,
"Presidents of said church."
Comment. Hiram Brown's iniquity' consisted not in believing or practicing, but in preaching polygamy. Brown was the wrong man preach it, and Michigan the wrong place, as may appear from the following:
Taken from President Joseph Smith's diary for October 5th, 1843:
"Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never
but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time unless the Lord directs otherwise."
We are requested to believe that the Lord advised the church by revelation through Joseph Smith to be careful and not teach the secrets of the church until the proper time came for the world to know them.
"Until the open enunciation of the doctrine of celestial marriage by the publication of the revelation on the subject in 1852, no elder was authorized to announce it to the world. The Almighty has revealed things on many occasions which were for His servants and not for the world. Jesus enjoined His disciples on several occasions to keep to themselves principles that he made known to them. And this injunction, "Cast not your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you," has become as familiar as a common proverb. In the rise of the church the Lord has occasion to admonish His servants in regard to revelations that were afterwards permitted to be published.
"I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning this matter."
"And now I say unto you, keep these things from going abroad into the world until it is expedient in me."
"But a commandment I give unto them that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak of them before the world, for these things are given unto you for your profit and your salvation." Doct. and Cov.
Under these instructions elders had no right to promulgate anything but that which they were authorized to teach. And when assailed by enemies and accused of practicing things which were really not countenanced in the church, they were justified in denying those imputations and at the same time avoiding the avowal of such doctrines as were not yet intended for the world. This course which they have taken when necessary, by commandment, is all the ground which their accusers have for charging them with falsehood.
From the hundreds of leading men and women of the church, under Joseph Smith, the prophet, I herewith submit the evidence of a few to show beyond question, many of them under oath, that Joseph Smith had revelations authorizing the practice of polygamy and that he had many wives, sealed to him, who lived with him in all the earthly relationship touching married life, many of the women under oath testifying to this fact.
It is a great sorrow to me to have given forty-two years to the defence of this man, schooling myself to believe that those who had testified against him had misrepresented him, and then to discover that I was mistaken, and that he was guilty. But what distresses me more than anything else is that the leaders of the Reorganized Church admitted his guilt, as shown in this paper, and when they concluded that the witnesses were nearly all dead, or soon would be, and the few papers printed which proved his guilt were nearly all destroyed, that they would deny all guilt
on the part of Smith and place the guilt on Brigham Young. When I became fully convinced of this monstrous deception, in which I with thousands of others had been victimized, I could do but one thing, and that was to denounce it and sever my connection with the rulers who have agreed to make lies their refuge, and under falsehood hide the guilty.
To take this step has cost me much that is dear in life. Thousands throughout the world who love me will now despise me and think that I have forsaken the way of the Lord and become the enemy of truth. Ah, could they feel what I feel, they would know that it is stern duty and love of the right that compels me to take the step that hurls me out of their lives forever. I shall do what I can to show them the sunny way of Christ untarnished with this hideous bugbear and to this end have I devoted my life.
The Last StrawLet me say that the leaders of the Reorganized Church, since I tendered my resignation and left them, have written several tracts and have published more than 200 feet long, and a column wide of matter in their three church papers against me, claiming that I have admitted that I was convinced of all this polygamy and other infamous conduct of Joseph Smith and his people, for more than ten years before I left their church, and thus they argue that I was a hypocrite and a liar all these years when representing the church. In reply to that I wish to say they cruelly misrepresent me. I nowhere have asserted that I was convinced of all that dirt ten years before I left them. The truth is simply this: it is true that for years I have read and heard stories concerning Smith, but I had such confidence in him that I refused to believe them, first because many of those stories were told by those who were guilty of polygamy themselves, or by those who never were Mormons, and could only give hearsay statements. I admit they at times. staggered me, but when I read the positive and at times sworn statements of the leading men and Women of the Reorganized Church, such as Joseph Smith, his mother, W. W. Blair, Isaac Sheen, the Robinsons, President Briggs, President Marks, the Gurlies and a host of others, I was made powerless to oppose longer. I then began to measure the statements made by the people who had testified against him from his childhood till his untimely death with those of the Reorganized Church, and my last effort of resistance was taken from me.
One straw would not break the camel's back, but continue to pile straw on, then it is said "the last straw breaks the camel's back." One drop of water would not drown a person, but let the drops come faster and faster and in larger and larger quantities and sufficient water will come to drown the man. I carried the burden till it broke me down. I battled mid the surging waters till the waves overcame me. For some years I had little to say concerning Joseph Smith's private life, nor did I try hard to defend him on the question of polygamy. When men at times took extravagant positions concerning him, I tried to show the weakness of their position. On one or two occasions I examined their evidence, and I
did this among my fears and doubts, still hoping that light would come, but the more I read and the more I studied, the more I was silenced. One by one the former arguments were demolished, position after position was broken down, until I was finally convinced that Joseph Smith early in life was dishonest and lewd, and that long before polygamy was established in his church by the publication of a written or printed revelation, he practiced evil and he had several revelations on the matter and finally gave the famous revelation under date of July 12th, 1843, which hurried him on to his untimely death. That this is the true position regarding the matter I am now fully convinced.
Some argue that I have committed an unpardonable sin because I have changed my mind and become converted from darkness to light. Abraham (Josh. 24, 2), Moses (Exodus, 2), changed their minds. The apostles (Matt. 18: 1, 3), after years of intimacy with Jesus had to become converted to the great light. Paul, honest and sincere, was wrong and had to change, Acts. 9: 1-2. Millions of honest people have had to change. Why should I be slandered because I have grown in grace and in the knowledge of the truth?
Mormons Teach That Both God and Christ Had Many Wives and That Polygamists Will Become Gods and Preside Over Worlds Like God.That the doctrine of polygamy and many gods was taught by Joseph Smith is already proven in this work, but we purpose to give quotations from the leading works of Smith and other prominent Mormons that tell the story in their own words.
"You have got to learn to be Gods yourselves -- the same as all other Gods have done, -- by going from one small degree to another until you are able to sit in glory as does those who are enthroned in everlasting power." Joseph Smith, King Follett Sermon.
We have given a brief history of the Book of Abraham, as translated by Joseph Smith, elsewhere in this book. That this book was considered the Word of the Lord, we quote from both the Utah and Reorganized Mormon leaders:
"The Book of Abraham translated from Egyptian Papyrus through the Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost, by Joseph the Seer ." O. Pratt, The Seer, page 68.
"The Book of Abraham was translated by the Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost by Joseph Smith." Reorganized Church Herald, 1860, page 270.
"We propose to prove that all the revelations which Joseph Smith gave unto the church, we are bound to give heed unto, if the first edition of that book is divine (Doctrine and Covenants) all the subsequent revelations which are contained in the Book of Covenants, In the Book of Abraham, etc., Are Equally Divine." Saints' Herald, 1860, p. 63. Shook on Polygamy, page 162, shows Pres. Blair wrote the article from which I quote from the Saints' Herald.
"This record (Book of Abraham) is now in course of translation by means of the Urim and Thummim." Editor of Mill Star, July, 1842, pages 45-46.
Here we have it stated by themselves that the Book of Abraham was translated by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, by means of the Urim and Thummim, and is equal to any revelation given by God to Smith. Now we will show that in this Book of Abraham, the doctrine of many gods is presented to the world by Smith, and that both the Utah and Reorganized Churches taught and believed it.
"The Scriptural evidences show that the revelations in the New Translation of the Bible (Smith's new bible), and in the Book of Abraham concerning the Gods all harmonize together." Saints' Herald, 1860, page 283.
Statement Quoted From Book of Abraham."And the Gods said, 'Let there be light'; the Gods called the light day; and the Gods organized the earth; and the Gods said, 'let us prepare the waters'; and the Gods prepared the earth; and the Gods took counsel among themselves; the Gods went down and organized man; and the Gods planted a garden; and the Gods said, 'let us make a helpmate for Adam'; and the Gods formed every beast of the field." Book of Abraham. See Mill Star, July 1842, also the Pearl of Great Price, 1888, Saints' Herald, 1860, page 284.
We have shown from Joseph Smith and the Utah and Reorganized church, publications their defense of the many Gods, none can deny this.
"Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, when our Father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve one of his wives with him. He is our Father and our God and the only God with whom we have to do." Brigham Young Sermon, Mill Star, Vol. 15, page 769, 1853.
Mormons Teach God and Christ Both Had Many Wives and Christ Was Not Begotten by The Holy Ghost But By Adam, Who is the God of This World.When the virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in His own likeness, He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost, and who is the Father? He is the first of the human family, and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain and Abel and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. Now, remember from this time forth and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." Sermon by Brigham Young, Mill Star, Vol. 15, pages 769, 1853.
"The Gods who dwell in the heavens from which our spirits came, are beings who have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundation of this earth was laid. These Gods being redeemed from the grave with their wives, are immortal and eternal, and will die no more, but they and their wives will be supremely happy. All the endearing ties of conjugal love, which existed in their bosoms when
terrestrial and fallen beings, are now greatly increased and perfected." Apostle Pratt, in Seer, Vol. 1 and 2, pages 23-24.
"Celestial beings beget children composed of fluid which circulates in their veins, which is spiritual, therefore their children must be spirits and not flesh and bones. This is the origin of our spiritual organization in heaven. The spirits of all mankind, destined for this earth, were begotten by a father and born of a mother in heaven, long anterior to the formation of this world. In the heavens where our spirits were born there are many Gods, each one of them has his own wife or wives. Each God, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters, indeed there will be no end to the increase of his own children, for each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply forever and .ever. As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, he, in connection with his sons, organizes a new world after a similar order to the one which we now inhabit, where he sends both the male and female spirits to inhabit tabernacle of flesh and bones. Thus each God forms a world for the accommodation of his own sons and daughters." Ibid No. 3, page 37.
God and Jesus Polygamists.I had thought to pass by this most awful position taken by the Mormons, but some opine it is my duty to show the world the real teachings of this degraded system, called Mormonism, so we will give the reader a few brief quotations from their own writings as I find them in print in their leading journals.
"The fleshy body of Jesus required a mother as well as a father, therefore the father and mother of Jesus, according to the flesh must have been associated together in the capacity of husband and wife, hence the virgin must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father. It would have been unlawful for any man to have interfered with Mary, who was already espoused to Joseph, but God having created all men and women had the most perfect right to do with His own creation, according to His holy will and pleasure. He had a lawful right to overshadow the virgin in the capacity of a husband. Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that he only gave her to be the wife of Joseph in this mortal state, and that he intended, after the resurrection, to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity."
"Now, let us inquire whether there are any intimations in Scripture concerning the wives of Jesus. One thing is certain, that there were several holy women, that greatly loved Jesus, such as Mary and Martha, her sister, and Mary Magdalene, and Jesus greatly loved them and associated with them much. He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be very natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives. The psalmist David prophecies in particular concerning the wives of the Son of God. We quote from the English version of the Bible,
translated about three hundred and fifty years ago: 'All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes, and cassia when thou comest out of the ivory palaces where they have made thee glad, king's daughters were among thine honorable wives, upon thy right hand did stand the queen in a vesture of gold.' Pages 45, 8-9.
"Let it be remembered that the Son of God is expressly represented as having honorable wives. King James' translators were not willing that this passage should have a literal translation, lest it should give countenance to Polygamy, therefore they altered the translation to honorable women, instead of wives." Apostle Pratt, in "The Seer," Vol. 1, No. 10, pages 158-9, 160.
"We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom he begat our spirits as the Spirit of Jesus, His first born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus as His only begotten in this world. We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of His Father, and became the great bridegroom to whom king's daughters and many honorable wives were to be married." Ibid, No. 11, paves 172-173.
"If at the marriage at Cana of Galilee, Jesus was the bridegroom, and took unto him Mary and Martha, and the other Mary, whom Jesus loved, it shocks not our nerves if there was not an attachment and familiarity between our Saviour and these women highly improper, only in the relation of husband and wife. Then we have no sense of propriety, or of the characteristics of good and refined society. Wisely then was it concealed; but when the Saviour poured His soul unto death, when nailed to the cross, He saw His seed of children, but who shall declare His generation." Apostle O. Hyde, Sermon, Beadle, page 304.
This man Hyde was baptized in 1831, ordained an Apostle in 1835. Seeing the wickedness of the leaders, he left the church and made oath against Joseph Smith, swearing to terrible things. He returned to the church, was sent to bless the land, of Palestine, was faithful to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young till death, which occurred in Utah, 1878.
I could fill a volume of this kind of teaching from the leaders of the church, but will drop the curtain on the awful blasphemy.
In conclusion, I draw your attention to this point, that we have shown by the sermons and books of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the two first prophets and seers of the Mormon church, as also from Apostle Pratt, the most powerful man Mormonism has produced, and prominent leaders of the Reorganized Mormon church as recorded in the Saints' Herald, that they believed in many Gods, No one can deny this point from their own leading men of both branches of the Mormon Church.
In justice to the Reorganized church, let me say that during the forty-two years of my connection with it, I never heard their leaders teach the doctrine of many Gods, that they did endorse the "Gods" theory, is shown in their writings of early years.
Now, it is clear that from the doctrine of the Gods many Mormons have argued that polygamy makes the Gods, for the more wives the
larger the families and so they become Gods. Now we will show from the last revelation Smith had on polygamy, that the Gods have an important part to play in that revelation.
The revelation given to Joseph Smith, July 12th, 1843, has sixty six paragraphs in it, and as I have quoted largely from it in another part of this work, I will only quote briefly from it here.
First paragraph states that Joseph prayed the Lord to show him wherein God had justified Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon and others in the principle of having many wives and concubines. The other sixty-five paragraphs reveal the secret and give him to understand, stating in the following terms, he that would receive a' fullness of his glory "Must and shall abide the law (touching polygamy and concubinage) or he shall be damned, saith the Lord."
Paragraphs 15, 16, 17 state those who marry the one wife for time and refuse to keep the law of polygamy, will not have a chance to get more wives in eternity, and so will not be Gods, but only Angels. "These angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and single, without exaltation in their saved condition to all eternity, and from henceforth are not Gods but are Angels of God forever and ever."
The 19th paragraph states those who abide the law (of polygamy) "They shall pass by the Angels." Their glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever."
Pratt has told us that this seed matter means that they with their many wives will bear children forever, and the twentieth paragraph, speaking of those polygamists says, "Then shall they be Gods, because they have all power and the Angels are subject unto them."
Here is the corner stone of Mormonism from their prophets and Apostles, sermons and books. just think, such men as Paul and Peter shall be merely Angels to wait on and be subjected to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Poor Paul without even one wife, and Peter with but one, is to be but the humble servants of Mormon polygamists through eternity. We leave it with you. No words could describe its filthiness like their own.
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In Mormon theology there are but two churches, one is the church of Christ, the other the church of the Devil. In proof of this, I will quote from the standard books of Mormonism and the leaders of that body.
Hypocritical priests of Mormonism sometimes deny this and attempt to curry favor from the press and pulpit of Christianity, but it is only when they wish a favor of some kind, or desire to make inroads upon the gullibility of the people. But to the proof:
"Behold, there is, save it be Two Churches: 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." Book of Mormon, page 40, First Nephi, 3 ch., v. 220-223.
In the first revelation published in the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, Jesus Christ when speaking to Joseph Smith, is reported to have said, speaking of the Mormon church, as, "The only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased." D. C. 1-5.
Orson Pratt, the most eloquent Apostle, and the greatest writer of Mormonism, says: "Since the church with its authority and power has been caught away from the earth, the great Mother of Harlots, with all her descendants, has blasphemously assumed authority of administering some of the sacred ordinances of the gospel." Revelation Necessary, by O. Pratt.
To this may be added the statement made by Apostle W. H. Kelley, President of the Apostolic Quorum of the Reorganized Church: "The priesthood having been caught up to heaven, no man on earth has authority to minister in gospel ordinances, and hence the necessity for new revelation." Presidency and Priesthood, page 224.
We could fill a large volume in support of the above positions, but let it be sufficient for me to say, that the position taken by the Mormon church of every stripe, is, that the church as established by Christ fell into apostasy, lost the priesthood, or authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances of the church, and that the Roman Catholic Church is the Mother of Harlots, and the Protestant churches are her daughters, all imposters devoid of priesthood authority, and hence form
the Church of the Devil, while Joseph Smith and others have been called of God by direct revelation from heaven and some of them have been ordained by Angels to administer the gospel and work the works of God, as directed by direct revelation.
God and Christ Visit Joseph Smith.In support of this I quote the first vision that Joseph Smith professed to have: "He got religion" and went to pray under the shadows of a great tree in the rear of his father's farm, when he had offered what he called his "first audible prayer," he declares that God came down from heaven and brought Jesus with him, and when God introduced Jesus to Joseph, be seems to have lapsed into silence and Joseph at once asked Jesus which of all the sects was right, and Christ is reported to have answered: "The churches are all wrong, their creeds are an abomination before me, and their professors are all corrupt." See Church History Vol. 1, page 10. And from that day to this Mormonism has denounced every church on the earth as corrupt, drawing near God with their lips but having their hearts far from him. In a word, those men and women who have sacrificed their lives to tell the heathen world of Jesus and His love, are a combination of hypocrites. And every mother who, in the dimming shadows of eventide hath gathered her children around her knee and taught them "Gentle Jesus" or "Our Father" has been guilty of deception toward their little ones, only "drawing near God with their lips while their hearts were far from him," and so the world has been filled with this Mormon delusion and many thousands have believed it, and the time has come that liberty has come to us and we hope to say something that will help the world to know Mormonism as it really is, and that for the good of the deluded Mormons, as well as those who stand in jeopardy from their deceptions.
Reorganized Mormons Deny That God and Christ Appeared to Joseph SmithBefore we leave this angel matter and the different stories concerning it, let us draw the readers' attention to the conflicting accounts of the first heavenly message Smith is supposed to receive.
The Reorganized Mormons in the last few years are ashamed of this lying story by which Christ is made to denounce every honest man in all the Christian churches as vile hypocrites, and the churches as abomination in his sight, and they, misrepresented this vision and, when writing the last history, they tell it so differently that no one would think it was the same place or occasion. The visit of God and Christ is entirely expunged from the story and four times in the first page, we are told that it was an Angel who came to Smith. It starts out as follows: "The history of the church begins with the visit of an Angel to a young man named Joseph Smith. The angel came to him while he was out in the woods praying aloud," and what was said is misrepresented in an inexcusable manner. Surely Mormonism has made lies their refuge. See Young Peoples' History of Church, Vol. 1, page 1.
John the Baptist Ordained Smith and Cowdery.The general claim made by Mormonism is that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were called of God to the Aaronic priesthood by an Angel, who said he was John the Baptist; that this Angel ordained them by the laying on of hands, and thus the Aaronic priesthood was restored to earth May 15th, 1829. Tullidge Hist., page 43, Church Hist., Vol.1, page 34.
With regard to this ordination by John the Baptist, Oliver Cowdery, a few years after, when he left the church and denounced Joseph Smith, as guilty of most every kind of sin, including murder, says "Smith held a mysterious power over him, tried to destroy his life, and that the voice of the Angel who claimed to be John the Baptist was strikingly similar with the voice of Sidney Rigdon (this is a mild way of telling the world that the Angel who ordained Smith and himself was none other than Sidney Rigdon). This statement was made by Cowdery and published by him in Norton, Ohio, in 1839. Shook's Origin of Book of Mormon pages 49-54.
Baptized Each Other -- Holy Ghost Before Ordination or Confirmation.Having learned from the Mormon authorities that there is no true church on earth save the Mormon church, and that that is the true church because their ministers are called to the priesthood by direct revelation from God to preach, baptize for the remission of sins, and confirm those baptized by the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; this. brings sinners to Christ and adopts them into the church and Kingdom of God, and outside this organization there is no true church. Now, let us look at the inconsistency and deception of Mormonism.
First let me show that according to Joseph Smith's own story, while he and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon they came to a place which showed them that water baptism was for the remission of sins. They went to the woods to pray, when John the Baptist as an Angel, came down from heaven, laid his hand upon them and ordained them to the Aaronic priesthood. He commanded them to go and baptize each other. Smith baptized Cowdery and Cowdery baptized Smith, then Smith ordained Cowdery to the Aaronic priesthood, and afterwards Cowdery ordained Smith to the Aaronic priesthood. These ordinations were performed by the laying on of hands. The story continues, saying after they had baptized and ordained each other, the Holy Ghost fell upon them both immediately, so much so that both enjoyed the spirit of prophecy. Tullidge, Life of Joseph Smith, pages 43-44, Church Hist. Vol. I, page 36.
The reader will notice here that Smith and Cowdery placed little value on the ordination of the Angel, for they each ordained the other, but remember the ordination of each other did not take place till after they had baptized each other: in a word, if the Angelic ordination was of any value, why ordain each other. If of no value, then we have the two
leading Mormons administering baptism before their ordination, and worse and more of it, Smith baptized Cowdery before he was baptized himself. But we are told that the Angel John told them "The Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this would be conferred upon them later, when three angels known as Peter, James and John would confer the Melchisedec priesthood upon them." Ibid., page 43.
But wonders shall never cease. This Holy Ghost that could not come but by a Melchisedec priest laying on hands to impart it, has slipped out before this priesthood came and Joseph tells us here how the Holy Ghost came upon them as soon as they were baptized and they both delivered prophecies in great power.
Here then we have Mormonism starting by an unbaptized man baptizing another man, then being ordained by the same man, and receiving the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands or confirmation. This story destroys Mormonism, and exposes its leading opposition against the Catholic and Protestant churches.
But we proceed: Within a month of their baptism they had baptized Samuel Smith and Hyrum Smith (brothers of Joseph), and David and Peter Whitmer. They all received the Holy Ghost and obtained revelations from God direct. Yet remember, the great baptism of the Spirit, the gift of the Holy Ghost, could not then and cannot now, according to Mormon theology, be enjoyed until a Melchisedec priest lays hands upon you for the giving of that Holy Ghost. There was not yet a Melchisedec priest on the earth.
Ordained Elders Confirmed For Holy Ghost Long After They Had It.The history shows that Joseph soon discovered that something had to be done, if they could receive direct communication with God, see and talk to Angels, have the Holy Ghost and prophecy, all without the Melchisedec priesthood, all without even an Elder, let alone Apostles and High Priests, why bother with them, but he must have this greater priesthood or the first Angel message of John the Baptist would be proved false, so he informs us that they betook themselves to prayer and the Lord told him to ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the church of Jesus Christ, and that he should ordain me to the same office. They met, took bread and wine, ordained each other, and then laid their hands on the others whom they had previously baptized, for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Tullidge, page 73.
The reader will see the farce. They ordained each other and confirmed all the others by laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, when if they tell the truth they had the Holy Ghost long before the conferring of it.
We understand by the History of the Church, that the ordination of Cowdery and Smith to the Melchisedec priesthood took place April 6th, 1830, in Peter Whitmer's house, the same day the church was organized with six members. Ibid, page 75, D. C. 17, 1.
The reader will see that several were baptized, ordained Aaronic priests, received visits from Angels, enjoyed the gift of the Holy Ghost, saw visions, and spoke in prophecy, all before they were in possession of the Melchisedec priesthood, and had not organized the church. The day the Church was organized the two leaders were ordained Elders, and confirmed the others for the gift of the Holy Ghost, long after they had received it.
Smith and Cowdery Ordained by Peter, James and John.Now, we are told that Joseph was commanded that day to ordain Cowdery an Elder, and Cowdery was to ordain Joseph an Elder, which they did on April 6th, 1830. But may we enquire, what about the promise of the Angel John the Baptist made, saying "Peter, James and John held the keys of the Melchisedec priesthood." Has Joseph been in too great a hurry, has he robbed these three Melchisedec Angels out of their job, by ordaining Oliver and having himself ordained by Oliver? No, Joseph has a way out of it, and so we turn to a revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants, Sect. 26, which looks like a frame-up: "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ -- during a long revelation Christ says, "And also with Peter., James and John by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be Apostles and special witnesses of my name."
Cowdery speaking of this Angelic ordination says: "I was present with Joseph Smith when the Higher or Melchisedec. priesthood was conferred by the Holy Angel from on high. This priesthood was then conferred on each other by the will and commandment of God." Church Hist., Vol. 1, page 64. Myth. of Manuscript Found, page 80.
Joseph Smith tells us where this Angelic ordination took place, he says: "The voice of Peter, James and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna River, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times." D. C. 110, 20.
So the ordinations of Smith and Cowdery are about as big a mess as anything that has ever found its way into history.
The Aaronic priesthood conferred by ordination under the hands of the Angel John the Baptist, but counted as a thing of naught, for Smith ordained Cowdery and Cowdery ordained Smith to this same priesthood. Then Peter, James and John ordain these same two men to the Melchisedec priesthood, and again they set this at naught and proceed to ordain each other. What would we think of the twelve apostles of Bible times after Jesus had ordained them and said: "Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you and ordained you," John 15, 16, if they were to set that ordination aside and proceed to ordain each other again. So much for the Smith ordinations he and Cowdery knew well that the Angelic ordinations were invented by Smith. Cowdery as already referred to, admit in effect that the John the Baptist was Sidney Rigdon, the dark horse of Mormonism.
Pratt on Angelic Ordination.Orson Pratt, perhaps the greatest Apostle of Mormonism, when writing of this Angelic ordination says: "Mr. Smith testifies that Peter, James and John came to him in the capacity of ministering angels and by the laying on of hands ordained him an apostle and commanded him to preach, baptize, lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and administer all other ordinances of the gospel as they themselves did in ancient days." Divine Authority, page 4. Mill. Star, Vol. 1, 15, page 491.
Young Joseph Says No Angels Came.We could fill a volume of Mormon statements regarding this angelic ordination, but shades of Smithanity, what will we do when we turn to the son of Joseph Smith, who, when writing the history of the church denies that Peter, James and John ever really came to ordain Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. After making a long article on the matter, he concludes by saving: "Nor is their any evidence that Peter, James and John were present either when the instruction was given to ordain, or when the ordination took place." Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, pages 64-65.
Here we have Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery showing that the Angel John the Baptist ordained them to the Aaronic priesthood, and told them that Peter, James and John would come to ordain them to the Melchisedec, then we have Cowdery telling that they did come, and we have Joseph Smith telling the spot on the Susquehanna River, then Pratt tells the same story, and then to expose the lie and try to bury it so that Mormonism will not be required to meet it any longer, we have young Joseph Smith, the prophet and successor, telling us ... Taint so." We have Smith, Cowdery, Pratt and all Mormonism testifying to this Angelic ordination for eighty years, and we have the latest production of Mormonism in the form of Smith's son denying it.
Ministry Must Be Called By Revelation.Now let us leave these Angelic muddles and return to the call of the priesthood. The Mormon cry is and has ever been, "A man has no authority to preach, baptize or act as a Christian minister unless he has been called by God through a revelation given by the Holy Ghost or some Angel." This cannot be denied by any man in Mormonism; it is the most prominent and distinctive plea of every branch of Mormonism.
Now, we have seen that Smith's story about John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, is contradicted by himself and others, and denied by his own son in regard to most of them. We have seen that under the direction of that same son a new history has been published that denies the visit of God and Christ to his father. Now let us see that the Mormons have not lived up to their own creed in regard to the call of the ministry by direct revelation.
Priests Not Called By God.The Mormon church baptized people as early as 1829, and the church was organized in 1830, yet no Apostles were chosen till 1835.
So the church could and did exist without Apostles for five years. If that be true, why not forever? But when they were called surely after all the business with God, Christ, Angels and the Holy Ghost, and the great denunciation of all churches 'with a man-made ministry,' these apostles will be called by an Angel or God or Christ or by Revelation. But were they? No, no, dear reader, they are man-made if Mormon history be true. "Joseph stated that the first business of the meeting was for the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon to pray, and then proceed to choose twelve men from the church as apostles, to go to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people. The Three Witnesses, namely, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris united in prayer. They were then blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency, and then proceeded to make choice of the twelve as follows:" Church Hist., Vol. 1, page 541; Tullidge, page 150.
Here you have it from their own history, after all the talk of "No man taking the honor of priesthood unless called of God by revelation," here we have it, the Three Witnesses made choice of the twelve apostles. We may stop to enquire what became of those twelve men. We must be brief for a darker history of apostasy and criminality could scarcely be written of twelve men than can be written and has been written of many of those men. Five of them got-into trouble with Smith and they denounced him as about everything that was bad and left the church. One of them was killed in a fight, and six of them went into polygamy and became the scoundrels of the darkest kind of Mormon infamy, Brigham Young being among them, with the two Pratts and Kimball. It is said that when the Three Witnesses refused to select William Smith as one of the Twelve, Joseph compelled them to place his brother William as one of the Twelve Apostles, yet this William Smith was a low-down drunkard, and had three wives at one time, and gave his brother Joseph a sound thrashing. Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, pages 592-624; Tullidge, page 577.
Apostles Led Church Into Great Sin.The Mormons affirm we must have Twelve inspired Apostles in the true church, and they quote I Cor. 12, to show these inspired Apostles should be in the church for the "perfecting of the saints," for the edifying of the body of Christ, etc. But, let the world look for a more degrading set of men than the majority of the Mormon Apostles of the Early days, and they will be disappointed. They led the church into murder, adulteries, Adam-God worship, polygamy and made Mormonism a stench in the nostrils of civilization.
Now we have seen that neither Smith, Cowdery or the Twelve Apostles were called of God in the first organization of the Mormon church, and that system led their followers into most every evil. Now let us turn to the coming forth of what is known as the Reorganized Mormonism, and commonly called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
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In November, 1851, Jason W. Briggs claims that the Lord gave him a revelation which caused him to leave the William Smith church and look for the coming of the seed of Joseph Smith to become president of the church. He sent this revelation around to several places.
In June, 1852, he, with a few others, called a conference over which he presided. They resolved to denounce all leaders and wait for the seed of the prophet to come and preside over the church. The next October they had another little conference, Briggs presiding. At this conference they presented to the Lord the question "Is polygamy of God?" They had a revelation that the Lord regarded it as an abomination. The conference of 1853 elected J. W. Briggs president and he was at that conference ordained one of the Twelve Apostles. A committee of three was chosen to select seven men to be ordained Apostles, and Briggs was one. of the seven, so that the first Apostles of the Reorganized Church were chosen by men and not by revelation.
Nothing of special importance transpired until 1860, when Joseph Smith was chosen and ordained president of the Reorganized Church. Briggs does not appear to have attended that conference. Z. H. Gurley was president of the conference, and presented Joseph Smith, the church. J. W. Briggs was present at the June conference of that year. At this time he was made president of the Apostolic Quorum, and retained that position till he left the church in 1886. Ch. Hist., Vol. 3, pages 737-742.
Now this great man, after being the leading man in the reorganization for many years, and the first church historian and perhaps the strongest man that ever occupied in the Reorganized church, left it, stepping first from the first presidency of the church, to the Apostolic Quorum, and from that out into the world apart from Mormonism where he died in 1889.
Before his death he testified that, he "heard about the revelation of polygamy while in Nauvoo in 1842," that was before the last revelation was given by Smith on that subject. He said further, "I was in Nauvoo
in 1843, the year it was found necessary to legalize polygamy by a revelation." "No, I have no doubt as to the authorship of that so-called revelation of July 12th, 1843. It has all the earmarks to identify it as the production of the mouthpiece of those days." Joseph Smith is called the 'mouth-piece.' D. C. 19. See Record, page 349-505, and later in a letter to J. T. Clark, Feb. 13, 1888.
Here we have the man who had the first revelation regarding the Reorganization, the First President of it, the First President of the Apostolic Quorum becoming convinced that Joseph Smith had the revelation on polygamy, and other evils existing in the church, so much so that he left it and died out of the church.
William Marks.William Marks joined the church sometime before 1837, as the history states that he was a member of the High Council that year. In 1839 he was chosen President of the Nauvoo State. He had some trouble with Joseph Smith and Joseph wrote insinuating that Marks was a traitor to him and the church. Mill. Star, Vol. 22, page 631.
Marks was rejected as president of the Nauvoo State in October, 1844. When the church split after the death of Joseph he went with Sidney Rigdon into his church. He soon left Rigdon's church and wrote a letter to the Times and Seasons, Vol. 10, page 115, affirming that he had been deceived by Rigdon, and testifying that Brigham Young and the Twelve were the proper persons to lead the church.
In 1846 he was counsellor to James J. Strang in his church. In 1849 Strang rebuked him by revelation for his bad conduct. See Gosp. Herald, Vol. 5, page 17. He retained his position as one of the first presidency in the Strangite Church till 1850, or after. He next leaves Strang, and we find him with a faction organized by Charles B. Thompson. He soon left the Thompson church, and we find him in 1855, a member of the church organized by Apostle John E. Page. He left that church and then joined the Reorganized Church in 1859.
When Joseph Smith came into the church in 1860, William Marks assisted to ordain him President of the High Priesthood, President of the Church, Prophet, Seer and Revelator. Marks was ordained Counsellor to President Joseph Smith. He retained that position till his death which occurred in 1872. Ch. Hist., Vol. 3, pages 721-726.
William Marks admits that polygamy was taught and practiced in the church to an alarming degree during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, and that the Lord revealed to him, that the church had become corrupt by departing from the true principles and doctrines of Christ, and that it would be disorganized. He also states that just before Joseph Smith was killed, that Smith came to him, had a long talk to him about polygamy, stating that polygamy would prove the overthrow of the church, and suggested methods by which the practice should be abandoned by the church. This statement implicating Smith on the polygamy question is recorded in Herald, Vol. 1, pages 25-26, 1860.
Zenos H. Gurley.Zenos H. Gurley, was baptized in Canada in 1838, ordained an Elder same year. Some claim he was ordained a Seventy, but the records do not show this. After the death of Joseph Smith, Gurley investigated the claims of the various leaders, and accepted those of James J. Strang, and traveled extensively for that church. Late in 1850 he preached a funeral sermon in Yellowstone, Wisconsin. This was the first Latter Day Saint sermon preached in that County. He baptized a number, and formed a branch of the Strangite church there. Years after they were the first to make a move towards the reorganization of the church. The history shows that the Strangites were then practicing polygamy.
A number of the Yellowstone branch, in the absence of Gurley, passed a resolution refusing to adopt polygamy or follow those who were practicing it. This was published in the Point Tribune in Galena. Gurley returned, called them together and said: "What are you going to do next?!' He could not shake them in their resolution to protest against polygamy, so he suggested to take it to the Lord in prayer, the result was the branch rejected Strang's church and stood apart from all churches looking for the coming of the seed of Joseph Smith.
Gurley met J. W. Briggs and they with others organized what is now known as the Reorganized Church. It was first called the "New Organization." Gurley was ordained an Apostle of the New Organization in 1853 by J. W. Briggs, and others. He presided at the conference in 1860, when Joseph Smith was ordained and appointed President and Prophet of the Reorganization, he assisting in that organization. He (Gurley) died in 1871. His family remained with the church for some years, his son Zenos became an apostle and was regarded as one of the strong pillars of the church, but in time the family, with others of the first organizers, left the church. Apostle Gurley and the family left the reorganized Church when President Briggs left it in the year 1886. Apostle Gurley printed a pamphlet exposing the church in which he makes some damaging statements. He claims that his father was an over-ardent admirer of the "Choice Seer"; that he would not oppose him in anything; states that baptism for the dead and polygamy was revealed to the church in 1841, and that his father believed these doctrines just as fervently as any part of the gospel. He gives as authority for the introduction of baptism of the dead and polygamy, Tract on Polygamy, page 8, or T. & S., Vol. 5, page 715. After Smith's death he prepared to follow Brigham Young to Utah, but his wife opposed him and he was prevented from going by his horses dying, so that he could not make the trip. He then left Brighamism and joined the Strangite church, moving to Voree and then Yellowstone, Wis., where they rejected polygamy and made ready for the coming of Joseph to take his father's place. The son and apostle, after leaving the reorganized church, exposes the hypocrisy and deception of the reorganized church in publishing visions and revelations regarding the coming of Young Joseph, when they knew that those revelations
had failed in part. They publish the parts that refer to the coming of young Joseph, but not the parts that were proven false at the time resulting in the poverty of many because they trusted in them and obeyed the directions there till they lost all they had. I refer to one from the, Gurley expose. The Reorganization publishes with great flourish that Julia Gurley, the daughter of Z. H. Gurley and sister of the late Apostle, when fifteen years of age, hearing her father talk of the coming of Young Joseph, professed to have a revelation saying, "It is his right by lineage." She further had revealed to her the place where her father and others should "dig for lead," her father and others were then mining. She said: "In the name of God it is there." They say, "She was almost carried to the spot, they sunk the shaft, spent their pile of money, lost all, then the spirit informed her that it was three feet to the north. They tried and failed, then came another revelation from the Lord given in great power, "Dig another fifteen feet to the north, and behold it is there." Gurley states that the family and others sunk their all in the rock shaft. The reader will see that Gurley claims that these revelations on mining were the same revelations that told of young Joseph's coming. The church quotes the part referring to Joseph, but is silent as to the mining part is manifestly dishonest. The old statement is recalled, "The truth half told is the worst lie in the world," and so we have but to wait for a time and every one of the Gurley family became disgusted with the lying and deception and false revelations of Mormonism and left the church. Think of these three men above referred to and ask yourself the question how much truth is the Reorganization built upon? For full account, read Z. H. Gurley, Jr. read History of Reorganization.
William W. Blair.William Blair was baptized by William Smith. He remained in that faction till the summer of 1852, when he left Smith's church because of its corruption. This William Smith was a brother of the original prophet, Joseph Smith, was an apostle in the first church, quarreled with Joseph, denounced him, threatened to expose Mormonism, was a drunkard, gave the prophet a severe thrashing, but he knew too much about the foundation of Mormonism, and so Joseph patched it up with him. After the death of his brother, he was ordained patriarch in the church of Brigham Young, but soon was cut off for his bad conduct and then he formed a church of his own and had several wives, three of them died in Utah, having left him. Blair could not stand for his conduct so left him, and associated himself with Baneemyism under Thompson. After a while he left them and started in with the church organized by John E. Page, a former apostle of the first church. Soon left them and finally drifted into the Reorganization church, being baptized by Z. H. Gurley, and ordained an apostle. In 1873 he was ordained one of the First Presidency, he held that position till his death which occurred April 18th, 1896. Ch. Hist., Vol. 3, pages 726-731. Pres. Blair confessed that Joseph Smith had the revelation on Polygamy, but did not make it public. Herald 1860, page 64.
Samuel Powers.Samuel Powers was baptized by Z. H. Gurley in 1852, was ordained a seventy in 1854, ordained an apostle in 1855. He assisted to ordain Joseph Smith in 1860, died 1873.
I have carefully followed the history of the leaders and organizers of the Reorganized church, and those who ordained Joseph Smith to be prophet, seer, revelator and sole mouth piece to the church and president of the church in April, 1860. Let us make a hurried recapitulation:
First -- J. W. Briggs was a Elder in the first church, held office in the four polygamist churches, under Joseph Smith, then Brigham Young, J. J. Strang and William Smith; became president of the Reorganized church, then president of the quorum of Apostle, then left the church and wrote extensively against it. Pray tell me what authority did he hold from God to organize a church? He admits he had no authority by leaving the church and denouncing it.
Second -- William Marks, admits the church during the life time of Smith was corrupt and that polygamy was going to destroy it. He was very prominent in the following churches: Rigdon, Brigham Young, J. J. Strang, Thompson, John E. Page, then joined the Reorganized church and became one of the first presidency and ordained Joseph Smith. In the name of consistency, who will say that a man holding priesthood in several polygamist Mormon churches, seven different churches, held the true priesthood all through that murky stream of pollution and lust. If Joseph Smith's ordination as a prophet of God cannot find any cleaner and more solid foundation that the man Marks, who was a traitor to his father and a backslider from all these churches, then he is to be pitied. No sane man will admit he held priesthood authority through all that dirt, and moreover the revelation accepted by the Reorganization, as given in answer to prayer by Angels during their conference, shows clearly that the ordinations which took place in these corrupt churches were not, accepted of God. Tullidge Hist., page 595. If these Angels told the truth, then Marks held no more priesthood than Judas Iscariot, or Brigham Young, or William Smith after they fell.
Third -- Zenos H. Gurley was ordained in the first church. His son says he accepted baptism of the dead and polygamy in 1841, under Joseph Smith, followed Young for a time, then J. J. Strang and endorsed polygamy under Strang, then denounced it and helped to organize the new church and ordain Joseph Smith successor to his father. May I ask, what priesthood could he hold or confer, after believing the doctrine of polygamy under Smith, Young and Strang. His son shows that he was deceived by the false revelations regarding both young Joseph and the digging for lead, and that the family finally left the church, denounced both the first and the Reorganization.
Fourth -- W. W. Blair never was a member of the first church, if the Reorganized angel story be correct that those ordained in the factions hold no priesthood, then Blair held no priesthood. The angel is said to have denounced William Smith, the man who baptized him, he was polygamist, he left the William Smith church, joined the Thompson
church, then the Page church and then was baptized into the Reorganized church, and assisted to ordain Joseph Smith. No authority there.
Fifth -- Samuel Powers never belonged to the first church" and was baptized into one of the factions, and God's angel to the Reorganized church refused to acknowledge the authority of those in the factions. Powers had no authority from God to assist in the ordination of Joseph Smith.
We need follow the Reorganization leaders no further and shall now direct our attention to the claim made for Joseph Smith, the son of the founder of the original church, as prophet, seer, revelator and president of the church of Christ upon the earth.
Joseph Smith the SecondNow let us examine the claims of young Joseph to the prophetic office and presidency of the church, perhaps we can discover that he has authority as God's prophet, seer, revelator and the church president.
First -- The claims made that he was called to that position when a boy through his father by blessing, revelation and anointing.
Second -- That the position is his by lineage or birthright.
Third -- That he was called by revelation through himself.
Fourth -- That he was ordained by those holding legal authority.
We shall examine these four claims in their order named:
First-- That he was called to that position when a boy through his father, by revelation, prophecy, anointing and blessing. If he was we will show that he knew nothing about it, or if he did he had no faith in it, and second that the leaders of the church knew nothing about it, and no one said anything about it for years.
Joseph Smith, speaking of his approaching death to Stephen Markham said: "I want Hyrum to live to lead the church but he is determined not to leave me." Tullidge Hist. of Joseph, page 491. Question, why did he not tell the people then that his son was consecrated to that position. Joseph and Hyrum were killed, leaving Sidney Rigdon of the Presidency. He should have known it if Joseph was to take his father's place, but Rigdon claimed it as his right, and when Young and the Twelve cut him off the church, he organized one of his own. Not a word of young Joseph being the successor of his father. Brigham Young was President of the Apostolic quorum, he knew nothing of young Joseph's claim, and was made President of the church, and the Apostles of Joseph's day, several of them in turn, became president of the church, every one of them ignoring any statement regarding young Joseph.
James J. Strang and a host of others, laid claim to be Joseph Smith's successor and organized churches galore, not one of them claimed to know of the claim set up by the Reorganized church.
David Whitmer became president of two different factions, but lived many years and never recognized the claim of young Joseph. He declared that Joseph Smith ordained him to be his successor. Strang claimed his appointment direct from Joseph Smith. Whitmer's address, page 55.
The Smith family had no respect for young Joseph's claim. Lucy Smith, the mother of the first Joseph, and grandmother of the second Joseph, published a vision given her by the Lord showing her that William Smith, her son, and the brother of Joseph the first and the uncle of Joseph the second, had the legal right to the presidency, and he accordingly organized a church and was president of it till it was wrecked on the rock of polygamy. Succession to Presidency, page 20. Hyrum Smith's sons had no faith in the claim of young Joseph, both followed Brigham Young, and Joseph F. Smith became president of the Utah Mormon church, having six wives.'
Not a single apostle of the old church ever recognized Joseph's claim and came into the Reorganized church, but his uncle William, the man cut off from the Brigham Young church, and who started a church of his own, went into polygamy and finally staggered into the Reorganized church to die. He proved by his life that it was an afterthought. Why was it that from 1844 to 1860 the wife of Joseph the first, and mother of Joseph the second, is not on record as to Joseph designating his son to the prophet office, through the years she is silent.
Joseph when speaking of a blessing received by his father, says "before the death of my father and Uncle Hyrum, 'I was blessed by the first in the presence of quite a number of then prominent Elders in the church, this blessing being confirmed just prior to the tragedy at Carthage." Joseph the Prophet, page 744. That he may have been blessed is admitted, but that he was called, ordained, or appointed to be a prophet, seer, revelator, or president of the church is not hinted at by him and his word which I shall give as published by him, will show that for many years he never had an idea that he would have anything to do with Mormonism, to say nothing of being the president of the church and a prophet of God.
There is a story told by Lyman Wight, to the effect that Joseph Smith blessed his son Joseph, but the man contradicts his own statement. At one time he says the child was blessed by his father "in Liberty jail," Mo. Reorganized Successor, page 3.
When telling the story again, he says he received this blessing "shortly after we came out of jail." Here we have the blessing given while in jail, and then he says it is "shortly after we came out of jail." Northern Islander, July, 1855, Successor to Presidency, page 50.
Query-If Wight knew this in 1839, why was he silent in 1844 when the matter was discussed in Nauvoo, why did he wait till 1855 to make his statement, and why contradict himself as to the place and time. And lastly, why did he collect a band together himself and introduce polygamy and practice it, and die outside of the Josephite church, if he knew that young Joseph was the rightful successor. Why did he not join the Reorganization? We must conclude that he contradicted statements together with his failure to support young Joseph, but to make a gathering of his own together with his having fallen into polygamy, destroys his testimony.
No one confirms the testimony of Wight. Two others were with Wight and the Smiths in Liberty jail at the time, Baldwin and McRae. They told much that went on in the jail, but neither of them say one word about this purported blessing, but if he was blessed by his father in 1838-9, it is to be remembered that the church believes in the blessing of children and Joseph was about six years old at the time. There is no evidence, even if he were blessed, that he was ordained prophet, seer, and president of the church, so the story of Lyman Wight falls by its own weight.
Now let us hear from young Joseph himself, the claim has been made that he was called by revelation through his father to be prophet, seer and revelator and president of the church to succeed his father. He said, when under oath, "I do not know whether the revelation was given or not, so far as I am concerned I did not, and have not made any such a statement-personally I do not know whether there was or was not such a revelation. No, sir, I did not state that I was ordained by my father. I was not ordained by my father as his successor." Temple lot case, pages 63-79.
Joseph Smith was killed June 27th, 1844, his son Joseph assumed the leadership April 6th, 1860. Let us see what he was doing during these many years. Did his mother say, "Joseph you are to take your father's place, so prepare." Not a word touching the matter for sixteen years. He worked at farming and made a dead failure of it, he tries storekeeping and failed again, then he took a contract of getting out ties for a railroad and lost what little he had in that. Then he started to study law, but poverty made him abandon that and to use his own words, "I was in debt, and I kept soul and body together by labor and my fees as Justice of the Peace." Joseph the Prophet, page 769.
There is not evidence that he made any profession of religion. He says he studied spiritualism for a time. His mother married a spiritualist, who had no faith in Mormonism, and-never joined the church even when his step-son became president and prophet of the Reorganized church.
At last some members of the Utah church came to talk to him and he started to think. James J. Strang came to see him and some of the Elders of the Reorganization called. They were not very well treated, at least those of the Reorganized church. Joseph says, "that they fussed till he came very nearly putting them out of his house." Joseph the Prophet, page 767.
Finally he admits such thoughts as these came to him: "What part in my father's work, if any, was I to take?" Again, "Is not polygamy against which you object a correct tenet?" Joseph the Prophet, pages 760-761. He says, prior to that, "I had never taken the subject of Mormonism into very serious consideration," and still later the question came to him, "Will I ever have anything to do with Mormonism?" He became convinced of some things after prayer, and concluded that polygamy was not right and that the Salt Lake church was in error and last of all that the little band called the Reorganized church was accepted
by the Lord. The reader has doubtless concluded by the above evidence that Joseph Smith had no evidence of having been called or ordained to take his father's place as the prophet, seer, revelator, translator and president of the Mormon church.
Having settled these questions he wrote to William Marks on March 5th, 1860, saying: "I have concluded to take my father's place at the head of the Mormon church," and on April 6th of the same year, he was accepted by that little gathering of about one hundred and fifty people, and was ordained as prophet, seer, and revelator, as also president of the church as organized in 1852. Joseph the Prophet, page 773.
While finder oath, young Joseph said, "I claim to be my father's successor by lineage right, and by his blessing and lastly by the right of selection and appointment. I do not know whether the doctrine of lineal right was a doctrine of the church prior to the death of my father that is a traditional right of the firstborn to what ever may attach to the parent, that right is expressed or understood in such a way that whatever rights I hold or am gifted with by reason of the position I hold, would descend to my oldest son." Temple lot case, pages 80-81.
Now let us have a look at the question of lineage. The claim is made that Joseph being the eldest son of the prophet, the prophetic honors and presidency of the church rightly falls to him. Let us see, Joseph Smith said, "In Hebrews 7-3, in which it is said the Melchisedec priesthood is "without descent." He said, "The Melchisedec Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God and not by descent from father and mother that Priesthood is eternal as God Himself having neither beginning of days nor end of life." Hist. of Jos. Smith, Mill. Star, Vol. 22, page 55.
If it is the law of God that the priesthood is to descend from the father to the eldest son, how is it that Joseph Smith was selected as the prophet, in place of his father Joseph? If Joseph the first was selected, Joseph would not have been selected, but Hyrum would have been the successor of his father, thus Joseph the first prophet would have been left out and of course his son would have been left out, and the sons of Hyrum would have been selected. They have ever resented the claim of Joseph Smith's son, and Joseph F. Smith, the son of Hyrum has occupied till his death in 1918, the position as prophet of the Utah church.
But let us take a glance at the bible history and see if the eldest son was always selected to take the position under the law of lineage.
Gen. 4: 2, Abel was the younger son of Adam.
Gen. 11: 26, Abraham was the youngest son of Terah.
Gen. 25: 26, Jacob is the youngest son of Isaac.
Gen. 35: 24, Joseph is the second youngest son of Jacob.
Gen. 48: 9-20, Ephraim is the youngest son of Joseph.
Ex. 6: 20, Moses is the younger son of Amram.
1 Sam. 17: 14, David is the youngest son of Jesse.
2 Sam. 12: 24, Solomon is among the youngest sons of David.
Having examined the claims, one by one, we find no evidence' that young Joseph was appointed by revelation through his father. No evidence
that he was ordained by his father, no evidence that it was his right by lineage and that none of his own visions or revelations claim that he was called to be a prophet, seer, revelator or president,
Now in the face of all this, we ask. where is the evidence from God that Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith, was a prophet of God? The several revelations that he has had, have been examined in my work, "Why I left the Latter Day Saint Church." I shall only call attention to these which are said to contain proof that his son Frederick Madison Smith should be the prophet, seer, revelator, translator and president of the church. This son Fred is a fine, big fellow, but who that have known him all through the years have accused him of having religion. He was no worse than many other wild thoughtless boys, and it is said that his conduct was not considered overly religious as a boy on the streets of Lamoni, and that while he attended the different colleges, schools and universities, that he gave evidence of being of the earth, earthly. I personally have known him from his early childhood, have attended church at different places all through the years where he resided, and it is well known that he did not attend church very much. I never heard him bear a testimony, or offer a prayer in a prayer meeting in all the years I have known him, until after his ordination.
In the spring of 1897, there was a presentment made to the church by his father which indicated that the sons of the church leaders would be selected to. minister in the priesthood. D. C. 124, 7. This gave an opportunity for some one to suggest the name of President Smith's son, Fred, for ordination to the holy office of an elder, so they went at it with a rush. Apostle Lamber who was the missionary in charge showed at the conference that such action was contrary to the law, and that the young man in question "had not been an active worker in the church." That was drawing it mildly, and that he had no spiritual evidence of such a call, but the Apostle was snowed under and Fred Smith and Fred Blair were ordained above the protest of the Missionary in charge. This made the said ordination contrary to the law. Apostle Lamber tried hard to go half way in the matter and have him ordained a priest, but he felt strongly in opposition to his ordination as an elder. Just think, dear reader, even the Apostle would permit him an ordination to a priest, without a call from God, so even he thought little of the Priesthood which holds the gift of administration of Angels according to Smith's revelations. But, to say the least, this young man was ordained to the Melchisedec priesthood, the order said to be after the order of the Son of God, without a call, being the prophet's son, he won out as against the protest of the Apostle. For a history of the fuss, read Herald of June 23rd, 1897, in which is recorded the Decature District conference and in which the Lambert protest is recorded, pages 401-402.
Now, this is the history of this young man's entry into the ministry. Years flew by, the young man having little to do in the ministry, no one ever heard him preach at a conference or elsewhere that I ever heard of, for years, but he was the son of the prophet according to their way of thinking; he was to be the successor of his father as prophet, seer, and revelator and
president of the church of Christ in all the world, or in the words of the Lord in the revelation to Joseph Smith, "The only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth with which I, the Lord, am well pleased." D. C. 1, 6.
And so, to get him ready, his father said he had a vision in which he seen his son, "sitting with the Presidency." Many of the leading men of the church refused to receive this vision as a revelation from Jesus Christ. This same Apostle Lambert, in the quorum meeting of the Apostles, when the vision was being examined, said in my hearing, "I have watched the revelations coming for more than twenty years. They have been weaker and weaker and weaker, and this one is the weakest of them all."
Apostle Joseph Luff, said in the same meeting, "If that thing (the revelation) came from God, then I have never known anything about the Spirit of God in all my ministry." Apostle G. T. Griffith suggested that we return it to the Prophet and all unite to ask the Lord for more light on the revelation. Apostle Luff sprang to his feet, and with emotion said, "Light, more light! Did you say? My God, man, if I were to ask the Lord anything about it, I would not ask for more light, but for light, for that thing is the darkest thing that has ever be-clouded the face of the church."
The same Apostle said to me, when at the Lamoni station, "Richard, I cannot believe a word of that revelation. I would be willing to walk to California on burning stones if the Lord would show me that He gave that message. All I ask is one ray of light, but all is midnight darkness." The revelation was accepted by the conference and the ordination took place.
Those who will examine the revelation in question will see that in it the statement is clearly made that the two young men named as being seen with the presidency, Fred Smith and R. C. Evans, was selected "for the purpose that before the presidency should be invaded by death, these younger men should be prepared by association to be of assistance to whom so ever should be chosen as president upon the emergency which should occur. Doc. and Cov., Dec. 126, 4-8.
If language is a science to convey ideas, stated in plain language, here is simply this, that Frederick M. Smith and R. C. Evans were selected as two of the Presidency so as to be associated with the venerable president, so that they would learn his methods and when he would he called by death, that these two young men were to assist the man who would be called to be the president. In other words they would be the counsellors to the next president and, knowing the way Joseph Smith conducted matters, they would be of great assistance to the inexperienced president, but the old man became nearly stone deaf and for years was totally blind and suffered excruciating pains from other afflictions, and something occurred that God alone knows. That revelation with its provisions, was forgotten, and the young, strong son came into prominence before the almost helpless and decrepit father, deaf and blind and sick. He is said to have revelations that finally placed Frederick M. Smith,
his son, as prophet, seer, revelator, translator and president of the church, with much difficulty these revelations passed the body and he was, soon after the death of his father, elected to that position and was accordingly ordained.
His grandfather was a despot and an autocrat and polygamist of the first water. If there is any credence to be given to human testimony, his father was a pleasant man to talk to, loved by most men who knew him, quiet and gentle in his manner, a fair preacher, a splendid parliamentarian, he always denounced polygamy. I loved him through forty years of association. I could not agree with all he did, I did not agree with some of his spiritual manifestations, and we had some words over some of them which moved us both to tears. I saw for the last few years when he became blind and deaf and so sorely afflicted, that his son was the power behind the throne and many things that had Joseph's signature and stamp of approval, I have of late years become doubtful of his having much to do with. I know in some things he submitted for peace sake, and have some reason to believe that in others he knew almost nothing about them. Perhaps his worst mistake was, in a sense pardonable, it is hard for one reading the evidence which convicted his father of being a polygamist, and the author of the infamous revelations on polygamy and concubinage and adultery, to believe that he was not convinced of his father's guilt. His most close companions and advisers for years both believed and printed that his father was guilty, but Joseph maintained, "I prefer to believe that my father was a good man," yet he did let slip some things that convinced me in the last few years that he knew that his father was a guilty man. See his statement in Joseph the Prophet by Tullidge, pages 798-9. Yet it was his father and perhaps we should not be too hard on a son who would throw the cloak of charity over the misdeeds of his father.
In closing, let us take a look at the present prophet, seer and revelator, translator and president of the church. Since his advent in that high station, he has been the chief cause of changing much of the church rules. Rule after rule have been changed to give him almost absolute Power over everything in the church, Sunday School Religion, Ladies' Auxiliary, and he has the first and last word in the appointment of every officer in the church, the resolutions on co-ordination. Not a man can move without his consent. He claims the right to go into a mission, district or branch, or even a Sunday School and make the changes in every office, he can speak and a man is taken from one end of the earth to the other. The Bishops and Apostles are completely under his domination, in fact, he rules with all the power of the former Czar of Russia. Much could be written upon his autocracy, but let us take a short look at the only attempt he has made to give the church the word of the Lord as Christ's mouthpiece to the church.
There has been much trouble over Bishop E. L. Kelley's work in the church and the great body was determined to release him. Several efforts were made to do so, but Smith blocked the wheels. At last, something had to be done, and so he has a revelation, but it looks as if he did,
not believe it himself for he put it in his pocket and arranged to meet Bishop Blakeslee and his wife in Chicago. Bishop Blakeslee refused to take the position, and then the new prophet came forth with the revelation that he had had some weeks before, calling Bro. McGuire to that position. Just think, God called McGuire to be presiding Bishop, Smith put that revelation in his pocket, spent his money to go to Chicago, tried his level best to persuade Bishop Blakeslee to take the position, as God had selected him in former revelations, he refused. I ask what would Smith have done with his revelation which he hid in his pocket about McGuire, if Blakeslee had accepted the position. Smith must not blame me for not believing in his first attempt to be God's mouth-piece and give a revelation, for the facts show he did not believe it himself. Herald, April 19, 1906, page 373.
His methods from that hour show to me clearly that he is neither a prophet, seer, revelator nor God's mouth-piece to the church, but is an autocrat, cruel and tricky, and selfish in his methods.
[ 81 ]
Many parts of the Book of Mormon show the name of the church was "The Church of Christ." Nephi 12, 3.
In the Book of Commandments, a work containing the revelations of Smith, published in 1833, from start to finish refers to the church as "The Church of Christ." The title page reads, "A Book of Commandments for the government of the Church of Christ."
We are informed by their historians that the church had made several changes in its name in the first four years of its existence, during that short period it had been called "The Church of Christ," "The Church of Jesus Christ," "The Church of God," "The Church of the First Born," but that on May 3rd, 1834, during general conference at Kirtland, Ohio, Sidney Rigdon made a motion which the conference adopted by unanimous voice, that this church be known hereafter by the name of "The Church of the Latter Day Saints." Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, 454.
When the revelations of Joseph Smith were published in a book called the Doctrine and Covenants, in 1835, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams and Oliver Cowdery signed the preface, headed as follows: "To the members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints."
The reader will see plainly that the church had no confidence in the purported revelations of Jesus Christ to Smith, in which the church was called the Church of Christ, for they eliminated the very name of Christ from the church name entirely. It was no longer, if ever, the church of Christ, but only "The Church of the Latter Day Saints."
From the history it would appear that Christ must have felt slighted at being thrown out bodily, so He sought and succeeded in making a compromise with the prophet, and we hear Him telling Smith in the revelation given April 26th, 1838, "For thus shall My church be called in the last days, even the Church of 'Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'." Ch. Hist., Vol. 2, page 151.
We have followed the church during the early years of its existence and find, from their own histories, that both their Christ and the people of the church, have been vacillating and fickle minded and ridiculous as to the name of the church, and for very shame sake, if they have any shame, they should not accuse other churches of not having the proper name.
It would seem that the main body of the church which followed Brigham Young to Utah, have respected the name given in 1838, but the little body which came out of the Strangite faction in 1852 and finally succeeded in securing Joseph Smith, son of the "Prophet," to lead them was for some time known as the "New Organization." See article written by Z. H. Gurley in the Herald for 1860. But finally adopted the name "The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
These off-shoots of original Mormonism have been so exposed in the last year or two, that they have tried to hide their identity in some parts by dropping their ministerial titles, such as Apostle, or High Priest, or Elder, and the name of the church is dropped and just say "Saint's church." The proof is seen in their advertisements for Toronto, 1918-1919.
The history of the organization of the church, April 6th, 1830, states that the "Church of Christ" was organized. Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, pages 944-945.
"The Church of Christ........ was organized........ by the will and commandment of God." April 6th, 1830, Doc. and Cov., Sec. 17, par. 1.
Are They Mormons?Two letters appear in the Evening Telegram for December 3rd, 1918, one in the same paper for Dec. 4th, and one in the Star Weekly for Dec. 7th, and one in the Sunday World for Dec. 14th, all Toronto, Ontario, papers. The said letters being written by T. W. Williams, a High Priest of the Reorganized church, and some other members of the same body, all claiming that the Latter Day Saints are not Mormons, and that the church should not be called the Mormon church, and that the faith preached by them should not be called Mormonism.
Now, let us examine very briefly these claims in the light of history. "Mormons." "First, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, because of a belief in the Book of Mormon. Second, a member of the sect called the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Webster's Dict. Art Mormon.
"Mormons." The common name given to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Encyclopedia Britannica.
We will show by the history of the church, written by themselves that they called themselves Mormons, said the church was the Mormon church and that the faith they preached was Mormonism. We will begin with the mother of Joseph Smith, the first person on earth, so far as we know that called the membership of the church Mormons.
"I told her that we were Mormons." Hist. of Jos. Smith by his mother, page 188. Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the Angel's message and the man who paid for the printing of the first publication of the Book of Mormon, long after he had denounced Smith, when thinking of going to Salt Lake City, said: "I feel that the spirit has come across me -- the old spirit of Mormonism." Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, page 51.
Apostle P. P. Pratt refers to the church as the "Mormon Church." Persecution of the Saints, pages 31-52.
Five leading men of the church, when writing a letter to the authorities of Missouri, refer to the church several times as the Mormon church. Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, pages 495-517.
P. P. Pratt was the first of these - - - to embrace Mormonism." Life of Joseph Smith, pages 94-95.
And this is Mormonism; a grand universal scheme of salvation, lbid 133.
"Joseph the Mormon prophet -- the genius of Mormonism." Ibid. 165.
"Book of Abraham, translated by Joseph Smith contains Mormon theology." Ibid. 166.
"The people known as Mormons are Israel." Ibid. page 176.
"Mormonism harmonizing the views and Gospel themes of all the ages." lbid 205.
"In the exalted vision of Mormon theology we have a pre-existing domain." Ibid. 311.
"The genius or Mormonism is -- American." Ibid. page 327.
"Joseph said, 'I am willing to die for a Mormon'." -- and "Mormonism." Ibid. 42,3.
Emma Smith, wife of Joseph the first, when asked by her son Joseph the second, and head of the Reorganized Mormon church, "What of the truth of Mormonism? replied, "I know Mormonism to be the truth." Ibid. page 792.
Now let me present the statements of this Joseph the second in regard to this question, and the reader will discover that he refers to the church as the Mormon Church, and to the faith and doctrine of that church as Mormonism, and that he claims the authority to take his father's place at the head of the Mormon church.
Calls the citizens of Nauvoo, who were church members, "Mormons." Ibid. 750.
"I had a long conversation respecting Mormonism." Page 756.
"Will I ever have anything to do with Mormonism?" Page 757.
"There is a large part of the (Smith ) family, in Utah, they seem to be the only ones making a profession of belief in Mormonism. Does not duty demand that I go there and clear my name and honor of the charge of ingratitude to my father's character? -- Is not polygamy against which you object a correct tenet?" Ibid. 761.
"Joseph informs us that he concluded that "He who had enabled my father to decide, could, if he would, enable me to decide whether I
should or should not have anything to do with Mormonism." Ibid., page 762.
Speaking of Nauvoo and the County of Hancock, he says.- "The country after the Mormons left, was worse than a new one - the County of Hancock had twenty-five thousand Mormons residing there." Page 771.
To conclude this part of the subject let us say that young Joseph admits that for about fifteen years he had no thought of Mormonism, but when he failed to earn a good living at farming, he left that and went to work grading on a railroad and lost his time and eight hundred dollars cash, all he had left, he informs us, was "One alpaca coat, $4.00; $2.50 in cash; an iron crow bar and a log chain, all valued at about $12.00." Page 755 He came home and tried to study law, and "owing to want of means" he went back home and then began to wonder if he would ever take any part in Mormonism. It just seemed that there was no money in any other job, and so he wrote to William Marks under date of March 5th, 1860, saying: "I am soon going to take my Father's place at the head of the Mormon church.' Speaking of this man Marks, he says: "He had retained his faith in Mormonism as taught by Joseph and, Hyrum." Ibid. 773.
The Joseph he refers to was his father, Hyrum his uncle. Now let us see who Marks was. He was president of the Stake at Nauvoo and also of the High Council at the time of Joseph Smith's death. Joseph Smith denounced him, he followed Rigdon's church for a while, then denounced Rigdon and followed Brigham Young's church; then he joined Strang's church, then he joined the Thompson church, then he follows John E. Page's church, then he joined the Reorganized church, ordained young Joseph and died in the New Organization. For proof of the above see Mill Star, Vol. 22, page 631; Times and Seasons, Vol. 10, page 115; Gospel Herald, Vol. 5, page 17; Ch. Hist., Vol. 3, pages 721-726.
Surely this man, after being prominent in seven different warring factions of the Mormon church, should be considered a member of the Mormon Church and should understand Mormonism well enough to ordain young Joseph the head of the youngest child of Mormonism -- The Reorganized Mormon Church.
Now, in conclusion, let us summarize the above paper:
We have shown that the present high priest of Mormonism in Toronto, with others, has denied that the church is the Mormon church and that its faith should be called Mormonism, and to expose these deceivers who are making lies their refuge, I have proven by their own church histories that from the organization of the first church in 1830, through all the conflicting warring family, they have called themselves Mormons, and the faith of the church Mormonism, calling to bear witness the leaders such as Joseph Smith the founder, Emma Smith, his wife, Lucy Smith, his mother, Joseph Smith his son and prophet of the Reorganized church, and many other leaders, all testifying that the church is the Mormon church and the faith there of is Mormonism. I commend those who love and make a lie to the tender mercies of a discerning public.
J. Smith said, "Hell may pour forth its rage like the burning lava of Mt. Vesuvius, or of Etna, or of the most terrible of the burning mountains, and yet shall Mormonism stand; water, fire, truth and God are all the same, Truth is Mormonism, God is the author of it." Mill Star, Vol. 17, page 56.
"I am your friend, and shall sustain your present position as the lawful head and leader of the Mormon Church." Uncle William Smith, to his nephew, Joseph Smith. Herald, Vol. 1, Page 172.
Baptism For The DeadThe claim made by Joseph Smith, and accepted by his followers is susceptible to but one interpretation and conclusion, in regard to the professed mouthings of Smith being the very words of Christ, and therefore binding upon the people, blessing following those who obey and cursing following those who disobey, is clearly announced.
We are commanded to accept Joseph Smith as a seer, translator, prophet, Apostle and Elder. He has been inspired by the Almighty to lay the foundation of the church and build it up in the faith by direct command of Jesus Christ, and because of all this, Christ is supposed to command the church through Smith as follows: "Therefore meaning the church, Thou shalt give head unto all His words and commandments, which he shall give unto you-for his words ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth." D. C. 19, 1-2.
"And this ye shall know assuredly, that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he (Joseph Smith) abide in me." D. C. 43, 1-2.
"And it shall be given thee in the very moment, what thou shalt speak and write, and they shall hear it, or I will send them a cursing instead of a blessing." D. C. 23, 3.
"No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith -- and thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him." D. C. 27-2.
"Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandments but have broken the covenant, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse, for I the Lord have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any man belonging to the order shall be found a transgress or in other words shall break the covenant with which ye are bound, he shall be cursed in this life and shall be trodden down by whom I will." D. C. 101, 1.
Speaking of those who become the enemies of Smith and who reject his revelations and refuse to submit to his commandments the Lord is made to say, "Ye shall curse them and whomsoever ye curse I will curse, and ye shall avenge me of my enemies." D. C. 100, 5.
Now this little paper will show that Joseph Smith received revelations from Christ (or he lied) in which he commanded the people to be baptized for the dead, and that they preached, believed and practiced this doctrine during his life and that they still teach it and
print the said revelations in their books, and the largest part of the church now practice it, and the facts show that the little band calling themselves the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints still hold those revelations through Smith as from Christ, and still print them in their books and are therefore inconsistent in not baptizing for the dead. Are they honest or fair in their effort to deny their faith in that doctrine? Let the reader decide when he reads the evidence given under oath in the City of Toronto in June, 1919.
In the Utah edition of the Doc. & Cov. section 110, we are informed that Joseph Smith was in vision in the Kirtland Temple, April 3rd, 1836, Jesus Christ appeared to him, after which Moses appeared to him and committed certain keys, then Elias paid him a short visit, then came the prophet Elijah and handed Joseph certain keys by which he was to be able to turn the hearts of the fathers, to the children, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse.
In the Reorganized church book of D. C. 110, Joseph Smith takes up the subject of baptism for the dead and makes argument in its favor quoting the same Elijah as referred to in the Utah edition, showing clearly that several Angels appeared to him and that the subject of baptism for the dead is the most important matter for the church to attend to, in order to save the dead as well as the living. He makes claim there and also in section 109, that this commandment to baptize for the dead was imparted to him by revelation and again through Angels, and the Reorganized church believes and teaches those revelations to be from God, and yet Bishop McGuire, strongly denied under oath that they believed in that doctrine and blamed the Utah Mormons for it. Can it be possible that McGuire was making lies his refuge, in this case, while in the court under oath, but to the revelations in their own book of covenants with which he was confronted and by, which he stands exposed,. in a very undesirable way.
"Behold I command all ye my saints to build a house unto me, and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me, but behold at the end of this appointment your baptism for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church with your dead, saith the Lord your God, for verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house unto me wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptism for the dead cannot be acceptable unto me, for therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained that you may receive glory and honor."
The revelation is a long one, and filled with this doctrine and commandment to build a house in which a fount is to be built in which the living are to be baptized for the dead, and it closes with the most fearful curses if they are slothful and the house and fount are not built at a certain time. The Lord told Smith he would pour out cursings, wrath and indignations and judgments upon their heads, and the church would
not be recognized any longer by him, but the church and their dead would be rejected. Doc. and Cov., 107, 1-16.
The church baptized for their dead in the Mississippi river till the fount was completed. It was built in the Nauvoo Temple and was a most wonderful piece of art, twelve great wooden oxen upheld the font, but the temple was not completed according to the revelation, and the Reorganized church takes the position that in consequence of their polygamy and many other crimes, God rejected the church with their dead, while the Utah church claims the Temple was completed so far as to admit the baptism font to be used for the baptism for the dead and that they received their different washings and baptisms and sealing of wives in the temple, and that they have gone on according to Joseph Smith, in polygamy, sealing wives to dead men and baptism for the dead and that in baptism for the dead and polygamy and all the rest of the doctrines, revelations and commandments given by God to Joseph Smith that they have followed him closely to prove this I quote from a work published by one of their leading ministers, B. H. Roberts. Pages 109-110.
"The phase of the great Latter Day Work which seemed most to occupy the attention of the prophet Joseph Smith in the last year of his life, was that which relates to the salvation of the dead. Elijah had visited him in Kirtland Temple and had restored the keys of the priesthood which turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. No wonder that this matter occupied his mind when the keys for the salvation of the dead were placed in his hands. The earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding upon some subject or other, and behold what is that subject? It is baptism for the dead."
He then proceeds to show a list of the work done by the Utah Mormon church in keeping with the revelations and commandments given by Joseph Smith, performed in the Temples of St. George, Logan, Manti and Salt Lake City. Read these appalling statistics.
* Total number of baptisms for the dead, 683,377.
* Total ordinations of priesthood for the dead, 120,232.
* Of endowments, 300,511.
Let the readers read this awful work:
Of sealing, including wives and husbands, children to parents(three temples only reporting), 69,749.
Those appalling figures published by the saints themselves in their own books, should tell the people what kind of a prophet Joseph Smith was, and what kind of Christianity they believe and practice.
The Reorganized church does not practice these things now, but why? Is it because they do not believe in it? No, they do believe it and will practice it when they decide the proper time and place arrives. In proof of this, hear their historian and most able man in the Reorganized church. "Baptism for the dead is only legal and acceptable when performed either in Zion or her stakes, or in Jerusalem and in a house dedicated to and accepted by God." The Succession in Church Pres., by H. C. Smith, page 95.
This book is published by the Reorganized church of which presiding Bishop B. R. McGuire is president of that very board of publication. What will honest Latter Day Saints think of their presiding Bishop when under oath denied their faith in baptism for the dead? Will you continue to follow him and other leaders of the Mormon church, or will you become convinced of your error and like Bishop Evans leave the unclean thing that is making lies their refuge.
The readers will see that Smith of the Reorganized church acknowledges baptism for the dead to be a doctrine of Jesus Christ, but he objects to these baptisms taking place in Utah. He says they must only be performed "In Zion or her stakes or Jerusalem and in a house dedicated and accepted by God." That is to say Zion is the State of Missouri, she has a stake in the state of Iowa, but the Temple that is to be erected in independence, Mo., in this generation, wherein Christ is to bless his saints, is not yet erected. When Christ comes to Independence, Mo., or tells Frederick M. Smith to build the temple for His coming, then the Reorganized church will baptize for the dead, as Joseph Smith did and as their revelations command them to do and the misleading statements made under oath and under other conditions by those who believe and preach and sell those revelations commanding this practice of baptism for the dead is to be denounced by every right thinking person.
We may and should pity those who are honestly deceived by the lying wonder of the Latter Days Mormonism, but there is no excuse for their leaders who promulgate those damnable heresies in secret and deny them when under oath or before the public.
Herewith I submit part of the evidence given by Bishop McGuire at the Toronto trial, May and June, 1919, questions propounded by the lawyers and his replies:
Q. "What about the baptism for the dead? A. Baptism for the dead has never been taught by the Reorganization.
Q. Is that a doctrine of the Utah Mormons? A. It is a doctrine of the Utah Mormons. They make the pleas that we are not orthodox because we do not teach baptism for the dead."
Under cross examination many of the revelations published by the Reorganized church as coming from Christ to Joseph Smith were read to him, he knowing that his church accepted them as from God, and that he was the presiding Bishop of that Church and president of the board of publication that publishes them. When the lawyer concluded reading the revelations, he said: "Was that present in your mind when you did this swearing you did a little while ago that baptism for the dead was not one of the cardinal doctrines of your church?" McGuire answered: "It is not a cardinal teaching of the church and has not been." Q. And you still say so in the teeth of the book? A. Yes." Court evidence, pages 729 and 756.
Will any honest man read the revelations given in the doctrine and covenants regarding baptism for the dead, and the position taken by the historian of the church, and the evidence of Bishop McGuire and then
say that man swore "To the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth ?"
The Prophetic Revelations of Joseph Smith Proved False By His Own People, While They Followed Him They Were Comrades of Angels, But as Soon As They Denounced Him They Were Guilty of Most Every Crime.We will present the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. According to Mormon history, they handled the gold plates, heard the voice of God, conversed with Angels, were high priests and apostles and church presidents. They all left the church in a few years, denouncing Smith as being guilty of most every crime thinkable, and in return he and the church have denounced them, and charged them with most every sin.
Testimony of Joseph Smith and the Church Authorities of the Three Witnesses to The Book of Mormon."After Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a State warrant for stealing, the stolen property was found in the house of W. W. Phelps."
"The saints elected Cowdery to be a justice of the Peace. He used the power of that office to take their most sacred rights from them. He supported a parcel of backlogs. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Layman E. Johnson united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars and backlogs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat and defraud the saints out of their property. During the full career of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer's bogus money business it got abroad that they were engaged in it, they fled to Far West, Cowdery stealing property and taking it with him. The property was later obtained by means of a search warrant, and he was saved from the penitentiary by the influence of two influential men. He brought notes with him upon which be had received pay, and made an attempt to sell them to Mr. Arthur of Clay Co.
This is signed by more than eighty Mormons, and is found in "Documents in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons, Missouri Legislature, 1841, page 103. Written by Sidney Rigdon. Inn, Story of the Mormons, pages 81-82; La Rue, page 76.
April 1838, Oliver Cowdery was tried on nine charges before the High Council. He was found guilty of six of them, viz., urging vexatious law suits against the brethren; accusing the Prophet Joseph of adultery; disgracing the church by being connected with the bogus (counterfeiting) business; retaining notes after they had been paid, and forsaking the cause of God. On this find he was expelled from the church. Two days later David Whitmer was found guilty of unchristianlike conduct, and defaming the prophet, and was expelled. Layman E. Johnson, Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hide of the Twelve were expelled. Cowdery and Whitmer fled on horseback for their lives. Elders Journal July 1838. Mill Star, Vol. 16, pages 130-134; Missouri Legislature, 1841.,C. H. Vol. 2, page 150.
Joseph writing of David Whitmer, during the Missouri trouble, said: "W. W. Phelps, who professes to be much of a prophet has no other dumb ass to ride but David Whitmer, or to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel, but this riot being of the same kind as Balsam's, therefore, notwithstanding the angel appeared unto him, yet he could not sufficiently penetrate his understanding, but that he brays out cursings instead of blessings." Times and Seasons, Vol. 1, page 82: Inn. 215.
Joseph Smith on Martin Harris-"There are Negroes who wear white skins as well as black ones, Granny Parish and others who acted as lackeys such as Martin Harris." Elders Journal, July, 1837.
When Martin Harris left the church, or was cut off, he in time joined the Strangles and was sent to England to preach the Staring doctrine, and was severely denounced as a very wicked man, as stated in Revelation regarding him in D. C. Sect. 5 and 18. Mill. Star, Vol. 18, page 12,5.
Martin Harris is so far beneath contempt that a notice of him would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make. The church exerted some restraint on him, but now he has given loose to all kinds of abominations, lying, cheating and swindling with all kinds of debauchery." Joseph Smith in Elders' journal, August, 1838.
Joseph Smith says that Christ told him to tell Harris the following: "And again I command thee that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor seek thy neighbor's life-thou shalt not covet thine own property but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon." D. C. 18, 3.
The wife of Martin Harris accused him of being intimate with a Mrs. Haggard, and testifies that Harris used to beat her." Shook, True Origin of Book of Mormon, pages 46-47.
Much more could be presented from the Mormons themselves, to say nothing of those not of the faith, to show that these three men were very vile, wicked and unreliable, yet they are, according to Mormon history, the THREE WITNESSES raised up by the Lord to testify to the world, that God spoke to them, angels talked to them and they saw and handled the gold plates of the Book of Mormon.
Such characters as McAllen, John Whitmer, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris are too mean to be mentioned and we would like to have forgotten them.
Marsh and another whose hearts are full of corruption, whose cloak of hypocrisy was not sufficient to shield them." Mill Star, Vol. 16, pages 626-628.
It may be stated that the very worst that Smith could say about them, can't be any worse than they have written against Smith. They accused him of adultery, concubine, polygamy, murder, lying and most everything that is low, mean and criminal, and it looks like as if all three witnesses were telling the truth about Smith, and lie about them.
Sidney Rigdon.Sidney Rigdon has been considered by many as the real author of Mormonism. He was Smith's first counsellor. They had visions together, talked to the Lord and angels together, sat in the presidential councils together, were in Zion's Camp together, assisted Smith to translate the Bible, dedicated the Kirtland Temple and the Independence Temple Lot, were sentenced to be shot together, was nominated as Vice President of the United States, when Smith was presented as President of the United States. Smith was unwilling to sustain him as counsellor in 1843 and Rigdon was soon advertised as one weak in the faith.
Rigdon testified that Smith tried to seduce his daughter Nancy Rigdon. Her brother testifies to this dastardly crime, and J. C. Bennett and others support the story. Shook's True Origin of Polygamy, pages 62-67.
After Rigdon left the church he printed a paper in which I find the following: "Joseph Smith departed from the Living God and like David and Solomon he contracted a whoring spirit and the Lord smote him for this thing, and cut him off from the earth." Messenger and Advocate, Jan. 1, 1845, page 75.
William Law.William Law was counsellor to President Smith and one of the first presidency. The Lord, through Smith, spake to this man saying: "Let my servant William Law, also receive the keys by which he may ask and receive blessings; he shall heal the sick; he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer to him deadly poison, and be shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and what if I will that he shall raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice." D. C. Sect. 107, page 30.
Law left the church, lost thousands of dollars in property, had to escape for his life. He denounced Smith as a drunkard, liar, rascal, polygamist. Says Hyrum let him read the revelation on polygamy, that he showed it to his wife, then went to Joseph with it and Joseph told him it was of the Lord, said Joseph offered to furnish Emma, his own wife with a substitute for him by way of compensation for his neglect of her, in a word he denounced Smith as a rascal of the blackest dye. W. Law's Letters to Weekly Tribune of Salt Lake City, Aug. 4, 1887: also Dr. Wyl's Letter from Law.
Brigham Young was made an Apostle and President of his Quorum and was given many rich blessings. Here is a sample: "The holy priesthood is conferred upon him that he may do wonders in the name of Jesus, that he may cast out devils, heal the sick, and raise the dead, open the eyes of the blind -- heathen nations shall call him God Himself, if he do not rebuke them." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, pages 206, 207. LaRue, page 30.
Yet it is admitted that this man became the scourge of the earth. History claims that he taught and sanctioned polygamy, concubinage, murder and all kinds of sin and crime, and presided over the Utah Mormon Church.
Lyman E. JohnsonLyman E. Johnson was given many blessings as well as the Apostleship. "No power of the enemy shall prevent him from going forth and doing the work of the Lord, and he shall live until the gathering is accomplished. He shall see the Saviour come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, pages 206-207; LaRue, page 30.
A short time after this wonderful prophecy, Joseph Smith and others accuse him with others of being united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blacklegs of the deepest dye." Linn, pages 81-82.
He was cut off the church and was drowned in 1856. LaRue, page 30.
Orson Hyde Orson Hyde -- "He shall stand on earth and bring souls till Christ comes; he shall have power to smite the earth with pestilence, to divide the water and lead through the saints." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, page 207.
Thomas B. Marsh, was made president of the Twelve Apostles, promised that he should be a mighty man among the nations of the earth. D. C. 105.
Now let us see what Joseph Smith wrote of Apostles Hyde and Marsh when in 1838 they left the church and denounced him as about everything that is criminal. Smith says: "Thomas B. Marsh, formerly president of the Twelve, having apostatized, repaired to Richmond and made affidavit before Henry Jacobs, Justice of the Peace, to all the vilest calumnies, aspersions, lies and slanders toward myself and the church that his wicked heart could invent. Orson Hyde was also at Richmond and testified to most of Marsh's statements. Ch. Hist., Vol. 2, pages 212-214, 359.
David Patten -- "May have power to smite his enemies before him with utter destruction, may he continue till the Lord comes." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, pages 206-207. LaRue, page 30.
As one of Smith's Danites in a fight in Missouri, he was killed. Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, page 649.
William Smith. William Smith -- "He shall be preserved and remain on earth until Christ comes to take vengeance on the wicked." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, pages 206-207.
This apostolic brother of the prophet was a drunkard. He fought and whipped the prophet, denied the revelations given through Joseph, was a polygamist with three wives and is long since dead. Life of Joseph by Tullidge, page 577. Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, pages 592-3, 614, 620-1.
J. C. Bennett. J. C. Bennett drafted the bill of incorporation of City of Nauvoo, was mayor of city, major-general of Nauvoo Legion. Smith's revelations to him promised that he would be like Paul, see visions, be a patriarch,
was president of church for a time with Smith; was to have power over wind and waves." Times and Seasons, Vol. 2, page 387. D. C. 107. Shook on Polygamy, 46-52.
This Bennett declared that he never believed in Mormonism, just joined the church to get into the secrets, accused Smith of polygamy, adultery, hiring him to commit abortion upon his young victims; tells that Smith offered him the best lot of ground on Front St., Nauvoo, and five hundred dollars if he would secure Nancy Rigdon for his wife, Danites, etc. Shook on Polygamy, 46-59.
Warren Parrish. Warren Parrish-"Verily thus saith the Lord, my servant Warren Parrish, behold it shall come to pass in his day that he shall see great things show forth themselves unto my people, he shall see much of my ancient records and shall be endowed with knowledge of hidden languages. Behold the Lord's scribe for the Lord's seer." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, page 424.
This man left the church after writing Smith's daily journal and early history. He saw and heard so much that he became one of the most powerful enemies of the prophet. LaRue, pages 108-9.
Bishop John Corrill. Bishop John Corrill organized the counsellors of the church in Missouri, was a great preacher and missionary. D. C. 108, 3, 50, 8, 52, 3.
This man left the church and declares that he left the church because he believed the Bible, and shows that for six years he followed Smith and became convinced that he was a false prophet, and that he led the church into crime, that Smith promised in the name of the Lord that he would lead them to victory, that the clay was their own, when in less than a week you were all made prisoners of war and would have been exterminated had it not been for the exertions of deserters. LaRue pages 34-36, Corrill History, page 48.
Missouri Army. Joseph Smith formed an army to go to Missouri and make war and win that country for his people. They filled their wagons with swords, guns and munitions of war. They formed a munitions factory where they made swords, dirks, pistols. Smith had a bodyguard, the Lord gave promise of certain victory, but cholera came and many died, and the Missourians came upon them and they were scattered, and some made Prisoners. The entire army scheme fell through. This was in 1834, see Ch. Hist., Vol. 1, 456-487; LaRue, page 35, 180-184; D. C. Sect. 100.
The Nauvoo House was built by command of God. Smith and other men were commanded not to put more than fifteen thousand dollars worth of shares into it. It was called the Lord's boarding house. Smith and his posterity were to have place in that house from generation to generation. It shall be called the Nauvoo House. In the same revelation
a great temple was to be erected. The kings of the nations were commanded to bring their gold and silver. The set time to favor Zion had come, baptism for the dead and other mysterious ceremonies were to be performed therein. D. C. 107, LaRue, pages 106-7.
The Nauvoo HouseThe Nauvoo House was erected, but those who paid their money were robbed and the Mormons, because of their sins, were driven away and Smith shot, and the revelation proved a failure. The Temple was erected, the Re-organized Mormons say it was never completed; the Utah Mormons say it was,. and the Mormon press shows that it was, and that the Reorganizers are lying about it, as the following will show: "Dedication of the Temple of God in the City of Nauvoo." "This splendid edifice is now completed and will be dedicated to the Most High God on Friday the last day of May, 1846. Tickets may be had at the Watch House, near the door of the Temple, at One Dollar each." Hancock Eagle, April 10, 1846, LaRue, page 106.
The Nauvoo House stands a wreck and the Temple was destroyed and the Mormons driven out because of their sins.
The Coming of Christ Smith had a revelation regarding the Saints going to redeem Zion, in which he said: "They should ordain the ministry to go forth and prune the vineyard for the last time for the coming of the Lord was nigh, even Fifty Six Years should wind up the scene." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, page 205.
"I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man when I heard a voice repeating the following: "Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man. Therefore, let this suffice and trouble me no more on this matter. LaRue, page 52; Mill. Star, Vol. 20, page 728.
Joseph was born Dec. 23rd, 1805, so if Christ told him the above yarn then He should have come in 1900. Comment is unnecessary.
Slavery Advocated By Joseph Smith. Most of the Mormons will tell you that Joseph Smith opposed slavery. Let his own words judge him as published by himself.
"If slavery is an evil who could we expect should first learn it? Would the people of the Free States or would the Slave States? All must admit that the latter would first learn this fact. It is my privilege then to name certain passages from the Bible and examine the teachings of the ancients upon the matter, as the fact is inconvertible, that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation, and walked with God. And so far from that prediction being averse from the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument to the decree of Jehovah to the shame and confusion of all who have cried against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude, and he said: "Cursed
be Canaan, a servant of servants shall be he unto his brethren." "Blessed be the Lord of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant." The curse is not taken off the sons of Canaan. The scripture stands for itself and I believe that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God than the abolitionists in the world. Mill Star, Vol. 15, pages 739-741. LaRue, page 27.
Question 13th -- Are the Mormons abolitionists? Answer -- No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered such -- but we do not believe in setting the negro free." Elders' Journal, 1838. LaRue, page 28.
Revelation on War Given Dec. 25th, 1832. Read it as found in D. C. 132, in edition of 1913. Bays, pages 424-434.
If this revelation was given regarding the Rebellion of South Carolina in November, 1832, as it most assuredly was, then not one word of it came to pass, but if it referred to the rebellion of 1861, then but the first two propositions were even remotely guessed at correctly, the other ten events predicted never came to pass.
1. South Carolina rebelled. 2. Southern States called on Great Britain. 3. No slave ever rose against his master. 4. Britain did not become involved, and did not call on other nations. 5. No alliances with great powers were formed. 6. War was not poured out on all nations immediately following the rebellion of South Carolina. 7. The remnants of the land, the Southern armies, did not vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. 8. The saint was to stand in holy places -- they were driven from Missouri. 9. The nations have not been destroyed, not even poor old Turkey. 10. The Lord has not taken vengeance upon the ungodly any more since than before the war.
This revelation was said to have been given December 25th, 1832, but not a word was said till it was published in England in 1851. The Doc. and Cov. was published in 1835, not a word of this prophecy.
But it was not a revelation for another reason. The fact as to a rebellion in South Carolina was openly discussed both in Mormon and other papers before the prophecy was given and all the nation looked for some such event occurring, as the following historical reports show.
Joseph Smith's Prophecy on The Rebellion and The War of 1860-4. If Smith had the prophecy it was not published to the world till after he was dead seven years, and nineteen years after Smith is said to have made it. In 1851 when it was first published it required no prophet to predict a war between North and South Carolina, but the fact of waiting nineteen years before publishing such a prophecy shows that Smith was either afraid it might not come to pass, or else it was a forgery of 1851 that Smith had nothing to do with.
Slavery was first introduced into the United States in 1619 when twenty Negroes were sold by a Dutch trader to the colonists. Barnes U. S. Hist., page 50.
Eleven years before Smith's prophecy there was a discussion as to whether Missouri would be a free or a slave state. Ibid. 172-3.
"The Protective Tariff Bill passed in 1832 was very distasteful to South Carolina and she declared the law unconstitutional within her boundaries, this became known as the Nullification Act. Students' Ency., page 579.
"A convention assembled in South Carolina in 1832 declared the Acts of 1828 and 1832 to be unconstitutional, and that attempts to enforce them otherwise than through civil tribunals would be resisted by the citizens of South Carolina, and would be deemed inconsistent with longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union, and that the people of the state would hold themselves absolved from all obligations to maintain or preserve their political connection with the people of other states, and would forthwith proceed to establish an independent government and do all the rights that sovereign states have the right to do. Life of Jackson, by Jenkins, page 263.
If Smith had the prophecy that year was it wonderful?
To cap the climax of Joseph's impudence, a few days after he professes to have the above revelation, he published in the church paper called "The Evening and Morning Star," for Jan., 1833, about every item as found in the so-called prophecy, the cholera spreading over the whole earth, the plague breaking out in India, the desolution of South Carolina from the Union, the gathering of Saints to Zion, and adds: "South Carolina has rebelled against the United States." Held a state convention, and passed ordinances the same as declaring herself an independent nation, and more than all "Resolved that this convention do recommend to the people of South Carolina the observance of 31st day of January next as a day of fasting humiliation and prayer on which they are invited to implore the blessings of Almighty God on the efforts that are made to restore liberty and happiness to our beloved state. He adds "General Jackson has ordered several companies of artillery to Charleston and issued a proclamation urging submission and declaring such moves as that of South Carolina treason.
So we have it that about the same time that all this was going on, Smith is said to have had the prophecy, that was not published for many years afterwards, and worst of all was not presented for the adoption of the church but it remained in secret like the revelation on polygamy, as claimed by so many.
Joseph Smith Was Not a Temperance Advocate. "We then partook of some refreshments and our hearts were made glad with the fruit of the vine. This is according to the pattern set by the Saviour Himself, and we felt disposed to patronize all the institutions of heaven - - I took, my mother and Aunt Clarissa in a carriage and accompanied them to Painsville, where we procured a bottle of wine,
broke bread, ate and drank and parted, after the ancient order with the blessing of God." Mill. Star, Vol. 15, pages 583 and 744. LaRue, page 57.
Speaking of a meeting in Kirtland Temple, he describes how they washed their feet, prophesied curses upon Missouri. They sent messengers for bread and wine and continued having a good time all night. Mill. Star, Vol. 15 page 727.
Speaking of the drinking habit, in the city of Saints the prophet wrote" I told Theodore Turley that I had no objection to his building a brewery." The brewery was erected and its goods advertised as follows: "Whiskey, beer and cider barrels taken in exchange for beer and ale." Mill. Star, Vol. 20, page 647, and Nauvoo Neighbor, April 10. 1844.
Later we hear what became of this brewery and the temples of the Lord upon which so many prophecies had been delivered.
In the Hancock Eagle, May 29th, 1846, notice is given by one Abram Van Tuyl, to the effect that he has taken over the property of the "boarding House and fitted it up for a hotel." This was to be the great home of the prophet and his posterity from generation to generation.
In the issue of the same paper for June 26th, 1846, three advertisements appear authorized by the officers of the church, the Temple of Kirtland, Ohio, the Temple of Nauvoo, and the Brewery at Nauvoo for sale. Here is the great advocate of Temperance, selling his brewery and his two great Temples in which the people were to receive such great blessings.
William Law, and other leading men affirm that Smith was a drunkard. Law Letters, 1887.
The same hour that Smith was shot to death, their own history chews that Joseph gave the guards money to buy wine, pipes and two papers of tobacco, and that Smith with the others drank. Joseph the Prophet, pages 522-523.
What a sacred scene, the holy Prophet's last hour spent drinking, smoking and killing two men and shooting the arm off a third and trying to kill three others by firing at them, but his gun missed fire. Was he prepared to meet God under such conditions? Journal of Hist., page 410, October, 1918.
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