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´╗┐Title: Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Volume 1 of 2)
Author: Roberts, B. H. (Brigham Henry)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Volume 1 of 2)" ***

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                     DEFENSE OF THE FAITH
                        AND THE SAINTS

                         B. H. ROBERTS

                           AUTHOR OF
                          The Gospel
                Outlines of Ecclesiastical History
                     New Witness for God
                   Mormon Doctrine of Deity
                           Etc., Etc.

                           VOLUME I.

                        Salt Lake City


Fifteen years ago, in announcing what was then a list of prospective
books, the writer declared his intention to publish a "Scrap Book,"
promising that it should be a choice selection of his miscellaneous
writings, and mentioned as among the probable articles, Corianton, a
Book of Mormon story; Mariam, a story of Zarahemla; Spirit Promptings,
etc., etc., all which are here recalled as foreshadowing the author's
intention at that time. About then, however, the writer's energies
began to be devoted more exclusively to doctrinal and historical
themes, and one circumstance after another arose which called him to
the defense of the Mormon faith and the Mormon people, so that the
character of his literary efforts were turned away from the line of
purpose fiction work he had proposed to himself. But the scrap-book,
nevertheless, became a possibility through the multiplication of the
defensive articles, though its character would be changed, owing the
change in the writer's line of work. Through the years have elapsed
since the "Scrap Book" idea was first entertained as a depository of
the author's miscellaneous writings, a great mass of material in the
form of discourses and papers, contributed to magazines and newspapers
has accumulated and it is from this mass of materials that following
collection of articles has been chosen; and as there is still much
material on hand, and the end of the writer's work is not yet in
sight, he has ventured to call this Volume I, indicating by that the
probability that other volumes in time will follow, if the writer is
not mistaken in his judgment as to the demand for such publications.







A paper submitted to the Parliament of Religions at the World's
Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, 1903



An Address delivered at the Seventy-sixth Annual Conference of the
Church in April, 1906



I. "The Founder of Mormonism" (Riley)

II. "The Mormon Prophet" (Dougal)

III. "The Lions of the Lord" (Wilson)



I. Eastern Eulogy of Mormon's System ("M")

II. Defense of the Mormon People against "M's" Attack



I. A Letter to D. A. Holcomb, Esq

II. Views of a Jewish Rabbi (Reynolds)

III. Bishop Scanlan's Attitude



A Discourse delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, 1903, replying to
certain strictures by the Presbyterian General Assembly, convened in
Los Angeles, 1903



I. The Relations of the Church to the State

II. Jefferson's Contribution to Religious Liberty in America



I. Speech of Hon. Thomas Kearns in the Senate of the United States

II. Answer to Senator Kearns





I. The Manner of Translation

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

III. Answer to Questions Respecting the "Manual Theory" of Translating
the Book of Mormon

IV. Correspondence on the Subject of the "Manual Theory" of Translation



I. The Objector's First Paper

II. The First Reply

III. The Objector's Second Paper

IV. The Second Reply



A Reply to Rev. Wm. M. Paden's Criticism of Third Nephi,--the "Fifth



I. A Prophetic Incident

II. America the Land of Zion and of Joseph





A justification for Regarding the First Day of the Week as the
Christian Sabbath, or "The Lord's Day"



A Consideration of the Question of Divine Authority



A Study of the Great Sixteenth Century Movement Led by Martin Luther,
and Others



A correction of some misapprehensions that arose concerning Mormon
views on the subjects of Revelation and Inspiration during the hearings
had in the "Smoot Case" before the United States Senate Committee on
Privileges and Elections, 1903-1907

Part I.

Position and Defense.




The following paper was prepared by the writer for presentation at the
Parliament of Religions, held at the World's Columbian Exposition,
Chicago, 1893. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not
invited to participate in the proceedings of that Parliament, although
Mormonism is the most distinctively American religious movement yet
developed in our country; and as such the position and doctrine of
the Church should have been of special interest in such a gathering
as the Parliament purported to be. Learning that the Church would not
be invited to the Parliament, under a sense of duty to make known
the faith and message to the world, her presiding authorities sought
opportunity for a hearing from the Parliament platform. After much
solicitation and persistent urging as to the right of the Church to
a hearing in such a gathering, a reluctant consent was finally given
for a presentation of the following paper. But after this consent was
given, a very unworthy effort was made by the President and chairman
of the Parliament to side-track the paper by asking the representative
of the Church to read it in one of the auxiliary departments of the
Parliament,--namely, the Scientific Department, which meetings were
held in a room capable of accommodating about fifty hearers, and
presided over by Mr. Mervin Marie Snell. In response to that suggestion
the writer, who had the honor to the representative of the Church to
the Parliament, replied that such a hearing as could be had in Hall
III (Scientific Department of the Parliament) was not the kind of
hearing the Mormon Church had asked for or could accept. She had asked
to speak from the same platform from which the great religious faiths
had spoken--Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism--from the platform
of Columbus Hall, where her position and principles could be compared
and contrasted with the viewpoint and doctrines of other religions,
by the enlightened thought of the age. The officers in charge of the
Parliament, however, refused to change the terms on which a hearing
could be obtained for Mormonism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints had the distinction of being refused a hearing in the
World's Parliament of Religions.



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

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

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

[Footnote A: This was written in 1893.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote A: A slight alteration has been made in this paragraph since
the publication of this article in the _Improvement Era_.]

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

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

Of necessity Faith in God and in this plan of salvation is of first
importance, and must be an active principle in the mind, for without it
men would consider themselves under no obligation to yield obedience
to any ordinance whatsoever. The reason the infidel does not repent,
or perform any other act of obedience, is because he has or pretends
to have no faith in the existence of God. As from the rising sun there
beams those rays of light which streak the heavens with glory, so from
faith spring those acts of obedience required in the gospel of Jesus
Christ. First among these acts is repentance, which consists not alone
in deep and heartfelt sorrow for sin, but coupled with it must be a
firm determination of amendment of conduct. It must be a godly sorrow
working a reformation of life. Following repentance comes baptism in
water by which men take on them the name of Christ, through which
ordinance also they receive, when it is preceded by faith and true
repentance, forgiveness of sins. But even after a remission of sins,
such is the weakness of human nature that man is not able to stand by
his own strength, he needs divine aid: hence, God has ordained that
through the ordinance of confirmation by the laying on of hands, the
Holy Ghost shall be imparted unto man as a comforter and guide, and by
giving heed to his voice man shall overcome the old inclinations to
evil, and at last so purify and sanctify himself that he will be worthy
to dwell in the presence of his God.

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

Few and simple as these ordinances are, the Church teaches that in
order to be of effect they must be administered by divine authority. No
man can take the honor upon himself to administer in things pertaining
to God. He must be called by direct revelation from God, or be
commissioned by a divinely authorized power. Here is where "Mormonism"
comes in conflict with all Christendom. Men even in the early centuries
of the Christian era having transgressed the laws, changed the
ordinances, broke the covenant, and lost divine authority to administer
the of Jesus Christ--though the letter of the Gospel remained in part
with the world in the writings of the ancient Apostles--there arose a
necessity for the re-opening of the heavens and a restoration of that
priesthood which alone can administer the ordinances of salvation.

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

But notwithstanding the absence of the gospel and the authority to
administer its ordinances, the children of God living through those
dark ages will not be deprived of its saving powers. That must be a
very contracted view of the great plan of human redemption which would
confine its operations to the brief span of man's existence in this
life. "Mormonism" holds no such view. On the contrary, it teaches
that the gospel is everlasting; that it walks beside man throughout
eternity; and means for its application to him have been provided by
the mercy of God. It may be that "Mormonism" does not stand alone in
this broad conception of the application of the gospel to our race;
but while others are speculating as to whether it is possible or not
for man to attain unto repentance and forgiveness of sins in his
future existence, "Mormonism" is erecting temples to the name of the
Most High, and within their sacred walls the Saints are vicariously
performing the ordinances of salvation for those who have passed from
the earth when the gospel and authority to administer it were not among
the children of men. Such is the conception that Mormonism holds and
teaches of the gospel of Jesus Christ and its application to mankind;
and surely one may see in this conception the fullness of that glorious
scripture which says: God, our Savior, would have all men to be saved,
and come unto the knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2:3, 4.)

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

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

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

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

A positive belief in present and continuous revelation.

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

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

The possession of a living faith which lays hold of all the promises
made in the gospel of Jesus Christ; personal communion with God through
the Holy Spirit, and enjoyment of all the spiritual gifts and graces
granted to the saints in any age of the world.

If asked what special benefits "Mormonism" has conferred upon mankind,
my answer would be: 1st. That it presents to the world the fullness
of the gospel, with the authority to administer its ordinances; that
through obedience to it men may attain unto all those gifts, graces and
powers known to the ancient saints. It assures them that God in his
relationship to men, is the same today as he was nineteen centuries
ago, that the gospel is the same now as it ever was, and all spiritual
graces and powers that man ever attained to he may possess today. 2nd.
That in the testimony of modern prophets and saints the evidences of
God's existence and the truth of the gospel are so enlarged that the
unbelief which today distresses the religious world and limits the
extension of Christianity would be swept away. 3rd. That in the Book
of Mormon there is evidence of the authorship of the Jewish scripture
of which Christendom in the face of modern criticism--commonly called
the "Higher Criticism"--stands much in need. That criticism, as is
well known, is not directed so much to textual errors which may have
found their way into the great collection of sacred books, as it is to
utterly destroy the authorship and all idea of the divine inspiration
of them. This modern criticism has decided that Moses is not the
author of the Pentateuch, and indeed, the authorship not only of the
Pentateuch but of nearly all the prophets and even the books of the New
Testament is unsettled in the minds of many. The Book of Mormon gives
an account of a colony of Israelites that left Palestine six hundred
years before Christ, which colony carried with it a copy of the law of
Moses and the writings of the Prophets down to the days of Jeremiah.
These scriptures they preserved with great care, handing them down from
generation to generation, and from them both they and their descendants
learned of the hand dealings of God with his children in ancient times.
When the civilization of these people on the Western Hemisphere was
overthrown, and their records in order to preserve them were hidden by
righteous men, the truths which their fathers had learned from them
were preserved--though somewhat distorted--in their traditions. Thus is
accounted for the knowledge of the creation, the flood, the coming of
the Messiah, which Europeans found among the races inhabiting America
at the time of its discovery. Portions of the ancient Jewish Scriptures
which these colonists brought with them to America were transcribed
into the Book of Mormon, and there they stand in the translations
that have been made of it to testify not only to the existence of the
writings of Moses and the other prophets at least six hundred years
before Christ, but to testify also that the records which have come
down to us from the Jews are substantially correct. More important as
confirming the accuracy and inspiration of the Jewish Scriptures, more
potent to silence the new forms of unbelief which have arisen in modern
times, more powerful to confirm the faith of believers in God's word is
this new volume of scripture--the voice of nations of people who sought
and found God--than all the newly deciphered hieroglyphics of Egypt, or
the still more recent evidences that come from the ancient cities of
Assyria: and for this reason we make bold to invite the attention of
our Christian brethren to the consideration of this New Witness for God.

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

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

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

In conclusion, let me say that "Mormonism" accepts and includes within
its boundary-lines all truth. It is progressive and is destined
to become the religion of the age. Within it is scope for all the
intelligence that shall flow unto it. "Within its atmosphere is room
for every intellectual wing." It does not, as some have supposed,
thrive best where ignorance is most profound, nor does it depend
upon superstition and ignorance for its existence and perpetuity. It
possesses within itself principles of native strength that will enable
it to weather every storm, outlive all hatred born of ignorance and
prejudice; and it will yet prove itself to be what indeed it is, the
gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto Salvation to all those
who believe and obey it, the Church of Jesus Christ.




The following is an address delivered at the seventy-sixth Annual
Conference of the Church, held at Salt Lake City, in April, 1906. The
remarks consider two very important statements in our authoritative
books. The first one is found in the Pearl of Great Price, where the
prophet Joseph states what the answer to his question was, when asking
the Lord which of the sects was the true Church, and which he should
join. Of that incident he said:

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

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

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

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



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

The first revelation that the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph Smith
had a bearing upon this subject. You remember that the Prophet went
to the Lord to ascertain which of all the sects of religion was his
church, desiring, of course, to unite himself with that church which
the Lord would designate as his. In reply to that question the Lord,
in substance, said that all the sects were wrong; that he did not
acknowledge them as his church; "their creeds were an abomination in
his sight; those professors were all corrupt;" [A] and the Prophet was
told that he must join none of them, but was promised that in due time
he would be used as God's instrument in the establishment of the Church
of Christ in the earth.

[Footnote A: The assertion, "those professors were all corrupt," must
not be taken as referring to the whole body of Christians; but rather
as referring to the teachers of their creeds--the "professors;" that
term not being used in the sense of "confessors" of the creeds, who
merely accept their doctrine from the teachings of the "professors."
This interpretation is justified from the immediate context of the
passage: "They (the professors) draw near to me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me; they (the "professors") teach for
doctrine the commandments of men." This context clearly proves that
the charge of "corruption" is limited at least to the teachers, to
the "professors," not to the whole body of Christians. Moreover, I
am convinced myself that the declaration is still further limited
to the "professors" who founded and by that act taught to the world
the creeds that are an abomination in the sight of God--a fact not
at all difficult of belief, or proof, upon an analysis of the creeds
themselves. And those who originally could form such conceptions of
God and man and the purposes of human existence, as the creeds teach,
were certainly men of warped understandings, men of perverted or
corrupted minds. But as to the whole body of Christians, we know that
there were at the time of the opening of this new dispensation of the
Gospel, and now, many who were not only not corrupt, except for the
ordinary weaknesses or "corruption" of our human nature,--but virtuous,
hungering and thirsting after righteousness, seeking after God, and
hindered from finding him only by the abominable creeds formulated by
the "professors" of the passage here considered.]

Because of this great revelation, by which the errors of ages were
swept aside and the ground cleared for the re-establishment of the
Church of Christ among men, it has placed us, in a way, in an attitude
of antagonism to the religious world. We have been resisted to some
extent because of this attitude of antagonism; and it is quite possible
that we ourselves have not understood the true relationship in which
we stand to the religious world, by more or less of misapprehension
respecting this great revelation. I rejoice in the plainness and
emphasis of this revelation, because from it I am made to realize
that there is a very important reason for the existence of the work
with which we are identified. I am glad to know that "Mormonism" did
not come into existence because its founders chanced to disagree with
prevailing notions about the form or object of baptism; that it did not
come into existence through a disagreement as to the character of the
government of the Church. From the revelation referred to I learn that
"Mormonism" came into existence because there was an absolute necessity
for a new dispensation of the gospel, a re-establishment of the Church
of Christ among men. The gospel had been corrupted; its ordinances
had been changed; its laws transgressed its truths so far lost to the
children of men that it rendered this new dispensation of the gospel
of Christ--miscalled "Mormonism"--necessary. I say that I rejoice in
the fact that "Mormonism" came into the world, and exists in the world
today, because the world stood and stands in sore need of it. But does
this re-establishment of the Church of Christ, this new dispensation
of the gospel, which we have received, make our relationship to the
children of men one of unfriendliness? I answer, No. On the contrary
our relationship to men is one of absolute friendliness, and we are
anxious to do the world good. We ought to understand that. We do
understand it. And it is important that the world should understand
it, that they may come to regard us in our true light, as friends of
humanity, and not enemies.

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

    "Thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the
    mountains, and upon every high place, and among people that thou
    shalt be permitted to see. And thou do it with all humility,
    trusting in me, reviling not against revilers. And of tenets thou
    shall not talk, but thou shall declare repentance and faith on the
    Savior, and remission of sin by baptism and by fire, yea, even the
    Holy Ghost."

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

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

[Footnote A: History of the Church, vol. II, p. 431.]

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

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

    "If you have not faith, hope and charity, you can do nothing.
    Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil. Take
    upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness." [A]

[Footnote A: Doc. & Cov. Sec. 18, 19-21.]

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

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

I would not like; therefore, to designate the Catholic church as the
church of the devil. Neither would I like to designate any one or all
of the various divisions and subdivisions of Protestant Christendom
combined as such church; nor the Greek Catholic church; nor the
Buddhist sects; nor the followers of Confucius; nor the followers of
Mohammed; nor would I like to designate even the societies formed by
deists and atheists as constituting the church of the devil. The Book
of Mormon text ought to be read in connection with its context--with
the chapter that precedes it and the remaining portions of the chapter
in which the expression is found--then, I think, those who study it in
that manner will be forced to the conclusion that the prophet here has
in mind no particular church, no particular division of Christendom,
but he has in mind, as just stated, the whole empire of Satan; and
perhaps the thought of the passage would be more nearly expressed if we
use the term "the Kingdom of Evil" as Constituting the church of the
devil, in proof of which I submit the following passage from the Book
of Mormon---covering both the text and the context on the subject:

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

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

    3. And that great pit which hath been digged for them, by that
    great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his
    children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell;
    yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction
    of men, shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter
    destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the
    soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end;

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

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

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

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

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

    47. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all
    the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over
    all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should present our message to the world in spirit of peace, charity
and longsuffering; and avoid contention; for as our Book of Mormon
tells us, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of God. I
would the world could understand the unselfishness of our motives in
presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to them; if they could only know
that our only desire was that they should come to a knowledge of the
great principles of truth that are so comforting to us; that we desire
their repentance and acceptance of the fullness of the truth, only that
they might find favor with God, and share in our hopes of that eternal
life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began--if our
fellowmen could be made to understand that this is our only purpose,
it seems to me that many of the barriers that now separate us from
our fellowmen would be broken down, and we would be able to reach the
hearts of the people. I believe that as time passes and we become
wiser in the methods of work we adopt, we will do that more and more,
causing not only hundreds of thousands but millions of our Father's
children to partake of those great blessings that the Gospel has
brought to us. To make known these truths and cause the children of
men to participate in the blessings that we ourselves enjoy, we yearly
send hundreds of our Elders to the various nations of the earth. They
sacrifice the pleasant associations of home, the society of wives and
children, parents and friends; they sacrifice professional advantages
and business opportunities; and sometimes sacrifice health and even
life itself to proclaim to the world the truth which God has made known
to us--enduring the world's reproach and contumely, because the world
does not understand them nor their message; and there is still need,
of the prayer on our part, "Father, forgive them, they know not what
they do." For the benefit of those who have passed away from the earth
without a knowledge of the great truths and saving power of the gospel
of Christ, we rear costly temples, whose spires pierce the skies of our
beloved Utah; and within them at great sacrifice of time and means, the
saints of God assemble to apply the principles and ordinances of the
everlasting gospel to those who have passed away without the privilege
of accepting them while upon the earth. A more completely unselfish
work than this does not exist among men. On every hand the work of God
bears the stamp of unselfishness upon it. Our Book of Mormon says:
"The laborers in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for
money, they shall perish." So through all the communications of God to
his people shines the glorious principle of absolute unselfishness.
Not only is it to be found in the words of our books, but a like
testimony is written in the works of the Latter-day Saints--in their
actions. Everywhere unselfishness abounds in the Church of Christ,
both in theory and practice. Now, if we can only get the people of the
world to understand this fact of unselfishness--this very genius of
Mormonism--if they could be made to know that Mormonism is here to do
good, to raise mankind from the low levels on which men are content
to walk to the higher planes where God would have them walk, that
they might have sweet fellowship with God, much of our difficulty in
preaching the gospel would disappear. May the Lord hasten the day when
the world shall know the Saints and the work of God better.




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

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

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



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

Let me, for a little while, draw your attention to at least one of
the so-called philosophical solutions of Mormonism, a scientific
accounting for Joseph Smith. The work I allude to was offered to Yale
University as a thesis upon which the author hoped to secure, and I
think he did secure, the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He candidly
confesses that it is an effort to account for Joseph Smith upon some
other hypothesis than that he was a conscious fraud, bent on deceiving
mankind. When an intelligent man makes such an announcement as that, I
know, and you know, that the theories heretofore advanced to account
for Joseph Smith, are unsatisfactory; that they are efforts which
have failed. The theory that Joseph Smith was a conscious fraud, an
imposter, has fallen to the ground. The charges frequently made and
persistently urged that Mormonism had its origin in deception and
conscious fraud have failed of their purpose. The floods of falsehood
with which some men have sought to overwhelm Mormonism have not
accomplished the end proposed. The Latter-day Saints, after more than
three-quarters of a century of existence, stand above all the floods
of falsehood that have been belched out against them. The work of God
has not broken down, it has survived; and the Saints smilingly pity
those who would make use of such contemptible means with which to
combat the truth of Almighty God. Now, however, we are to be treated
philosophically. And the philosophy that is advanced is, unconscious
hallucination in the mind of Joseph Smith; partly unconscious and
partly conscious possession of hypnotic power, by which the minds of
those around him were dominated and made to see things which in reality
had no existence; and while the Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and
others testify of visions and voices from God honestly enough, still as
a matter of fact those revelations had really no objective existence,
but were mental hallucinations. And as for Joseph Smith, he was
deceived by epileptic conditions.

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

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

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

In other words, the dreams and hallucinations of the epileptic end
in mere dreams and hallucinations; they never crystallize into great
systems of philosophy or into rational religious institutions. They
never crystallize into great organizations capable of perpetuating that
philosophy and that religion in the world. No matter how nearly genius
may be allied to madness, it must remain genius and not degenerate to
madness if it exercises any permanent influence over the minds of men.

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

[Footnote A: This paragraph and the two quotations following have been
added since the above remarks were published as part of the proceedings
of the conference.]

    "Paranoia is a chronic psychosis characterized by the development
    gradually and soon after maturity of systematized delusions
    without other serious disturbances of the mind, and without much
    tendency to dementia. * * * With some the systematized idea takes a
    religious turn, and the patient thinks he has some divine mission
    or has received some inspiration from God; or the idea may take
    a devotional turn and the patient become an acetic. It is not,
    however, to be assumed that all promoters of new religions and
    novel social ideas are paranoiacs. Many of these are simply the
    natural developments, ignorance and a somewhat emotional and
    unbalanced temperament. The characteristic of the paranoiac is that
    his work is ineffective, his influence brief and trivial, his
    ideas really too absurd and impractical for even ignorant men to
    receive. I do not class successful prophets and organizers like
    Joseph Smith, or great apostles of social reforms like Rousseau as
    paranoiacs. Insane minds are not creative, but are weak, and lack
    persistence in purpose or powers of execution." [A]

[Footnote A: Chas. Loomis Dana, Text Book of Nervous Diseases and
Psychiatry, 6th Edition, pp. 649-50.]

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

[Footnote B: Chas. L. Dana, A. M. M. D., Text Book of Nervous Diseases,
3rd edition, p. 408.]

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

Let us look at this work for a moment. If one could but draw it clearly
in outline, and present it in its originality and greatness, it would
be its own witness of its divinity, for in all things it transcends the
mere wit of man. Take the Church organization for illustration; and
look at it with reference to its being an assemblage of means to the
accomplishment of an end. As I understand the Church of Christ, its
mission is two-fold; first, it is to proclaim the truth; second, it is
to perfect those who receive the truth. I think these two things cover,
in a general way, the entire mission of the Church. Is its organization
competent to attain those two mighty ends? Let us see; and first as to
the proclamation of the truth--the work really of the foreign ministry.
What provision has God made for that? He has in his Church, first of
all Twelve Special Witnesses, the Twelve Apostles, who were chosen
in the first instance, by the Three Special Witnesses to the Book of
Mormon. I remark in passing that there is a peculiar fitness in the
Twelve Apostles--the Twelve Special Witnesses being chosen by those
who had been made Witnesses for God by the great vision and revelation
he had given them concerning the absolute truth and correctness of the
Book of Mormon. Upon these Twelve Apostles rests the responsibility
of being witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ in all the world. That
is their special, peculiar calling. You can see, however, if you take
into account the extent of their field of labor--for it encompasses
the whole round world--that twelve men would not be adequate to meet
all the requirements of the foreign ministry. God knew this, and hence
he called into existence other special witnesses, to labor under the
direction of these Twelve, they holding the keys to open the door of
the gospel to all the nations of the earth; for all must hear it, from
the greatest to the least. The Twelve, I say, hold the keys of this
foreign ministry; and hence whenever there has been an opening of
the door of the gospel to a foreign nation, one or more of these men
holding the keys have been sent to do it. It was for this reason that
Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve Apostles, was sent to Great Britain
in 1837, to open the door of the gospel in that land; why Elder John
Taylor was sent to France and Germany; why Elder Lorenzo Snow was sent
to Italy and Switzerland; why Erastus Snow was sent to the Scandinavian
countries; why Parley P. Pratt went to Chili and opened the door of the
gospel to the South American republics; why, more recently, Elder Heber
J. Grant was sent to Japan to open a mission. The Twelve, then, hold
the keys of this ministry, and upon them devolves this responsibility
of opening the door of salvation to the nations. But after them, other
witnesses are chosen. These are the seventy apostles, or special
witnesses, the assistants of the Twelve; under whose directions they
labor. At first, two quorums of Seventy only were organized; but
with the promise of the Prophet that as the work should expand other
quorums would be organized, not only till seven times seven quorums
should be brought into existence, but until seventy times seven; "aye,"
said he, "until there shall be a hundred and forty and four thousand
seventies chosen, if the work of the ministry shall require it." So we
have continued organizing quorums of Seventy, to labor in the foreign
ministry, until now we have one hundred and forty-three quorums in the
Church--a body of nearly ten thousand men. They are special witnesses
of the name of Christ in all the world, and when their numbers are
considered, together with the privilege we have of increasing them, you
can see that ample provision is made, in this respect, for the work of
the foreign ministry.

But now let us consider their organization for a moment. Sixty-three
members with seven presidents, when the quorum is complete, constitute
a quorum. Suppose you were to send an entire quorum of Seventy bodily
into the world--I hope that will be done some day--you could break
that quorum into groups of ten. You could send with each group a
president. It should be remembered here that these presidents are
equal in authority. The council of a quorum of Seventy is made up
of seven presidents, not one president and six counsellors--but
seven presidents, equal in authority. For the sake of order in
administration, however, the right of initiative and presidency in
the council is recognized as being vested in the senior member by
ordination, not of age. And this principle is observed not only in
the case of the first or senior president, but all down the line in
the First Council, and in all quorum councils of the Seventies. By
this simple arrangement all confusion as to the right of presidency
is obviated; for no sooner does the council of a quorum, or any part
thereof, meet, in any part of the world than each president knows at
once upon whom the responsibility of initiative rests. But to return
to the groups of ten into which the quorum can be divided, with a
president for each group. You could break each group of ten into
five pairs, and scatter them out among the people, to bear effectual
witness of the truth of the gospel under the provision of the law of
the gospel; for it is the law of the gospel, one may say, for the
Elders to travel two and two, mainly for the reason, I suppose, that
God has declared that he would establish, his word in the mouth of two
or three witnesses; and it is good when bearing testimony to the world
that there should be the legal number of witnesses provided for in the
law of God. Moreover, there is a very much needed companionship and
sympathy provided for when the Elders travel two and two; and they are
a protection one to the other. You could scatter these groups of ten
in one or more states or countries; and they could occasionally meet
in group conferences, exchange experiences, give advice and counsel;
after which refreshing they could again divide into pairs, scatter
and so continue their ministry. Occasionally the seven groups of the
quorum could be brought together in general quorum conference, to take
counsel for making their ministry more and ever more effectual: to
readjust methods; to plan new campaigns; to strengthen each other by a
mutual exchange of experiences and sympathy; and do whatever else their
combined wisdom, helped by the inspiration of the Lord, would suggest
as right and proper to do in the furtherance of their high aim in
bringing to pass the salvation of men. Such are the possibilities of a
quorum of Seventy. It may become a veritable flying column of witnesses
for God, sweeping the earth with the testimony of Jesus, and calling
the inhabitants of the earth unto repentance! Can you think of this
beautiful arrangement for the foreign ministry as having its origin in
the alleged epileptic hallucinations of a man? Such a conception is
palpably absurd, and utterly revolting to reason.

Turn now for a moment to the home ministry of the Church, and what have
you? You have your stake organization, with its Presidency of three
presiding High Priests, aided in their counsels and labors by the High
Council of the stake, consisting of twelve High Priests. This council
also constitutes a judicial body for the settlement of difficulties
that may not be satisfactorily adjusted in the Bishop's courts. It is,
however, an ecclesiastical court of original as well as of appellate
jurisdiction. You have a Bishopric in the respective wards of the
Church, constituting the local presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood,
with quorums of Priests, Teachers and Deacons to aid them in the work
of their ministry. The Deacons take care of the house of the Lord,
and are to be assistants to the Teachers when occasion requires. The
Teachers are the watchmen upon the towers of Zion, and it is their
business to see that there is no iniquity in the Church--no backbiting,
no faultfinding, and that the members attend to their religious duties.
The Priests' duty is to visit the homes of the people and instruct
them in the gospel. Where they have sons or daughters who will not be
amenable to the instructions of parents, the priests with very great
propriety could be invited to meet with and teach them the sublime
truths of the gospel. In addition to these officers of the wards and
the stakes, there is in each stake a quorum of High Priests, and one
or more quorums of Elders. These constitute the standing ministry in
the stakes of Zion, and are authorized to teach the gospel, to warn
all men against evil, and to invite and persuade all men to come
unto Christ. These are the provisions made for the home ministry, in
the Church organization proper. Time will not admit reference to the
auxiliary organizations--the Sabbath schools, Improvement associations,
Relief societies, Primary societies, and Religion classes. But from
the fireside of the people to the public assembly of worship; from the
cradle to the grave, every provision is made for carrying on the work
of the ministry, at home, instructing the Saints in the things of God,
inviting all to come unto Christ; the object of the Church being to
lift to higher, and ever higher levels the lives of the Saints of God,
until they shall become perfect men and women in Christ Jesus the Lord.
Such are the arrangements, in brief, for the home ministry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



It was expected that sooner or later some attempt would be made to
explain Joseph Smith, the "Mormon Prophet." Such was his character,
such the importance of the religion he founded, so remarkable and
thrilling the history of his people, that he could not be ignored.

Already of biographies there have been many, some written from the
side of sympathy and belief in his prophetic calling; more from the
standpoint of the polemic contemner. Even fiction before now has found
incidents in his career and elements in his character that promised
material for its purpose. But the fiction in the main has been "sorry
stuff," utterly contemptible from its distortion of facts and sickening
in its childish efforts to deny the Mormon leader or his people any
honesty of purpose, uprightness of intention, or praise for what they
have achieved. The latest work of Miss Lily Dougall, "The Mormon
Prophet," however, does not belong to that class of fiction. Here,
at least, we have a strong, clear-cut, purpose story, lofty in tone;
its incidents easily within the lines of probability, and singularly
free from the vulgarity of nearly all the writers of fiction who have
made their work at any point touch Mormonism. It is an honest effort
to account for Joseph Smith and his work; and, I may add, without
depreciating any one worthy of consideration, that it enjoys the
distinction of being about the first honest effort in the department of
fiction to account for the Mormon Prophet. This, it must be explained,
is not said in approval of the entire book or its purpose, but is said
of the story as unobjectionable fiction and the honesty of effort upon
the part of the authoress to solve what must have been to her, and what
is to the world, a difficult problem.

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

The point at which her work is vulnerable is the point of view
from which she treats her subject. In studying the character and
achievements of Joseph Smith, she was evidently not ready to accept him
as a prophet truly inspired of God, nor could she accept the theory
of "conscious invention" as a reasonable explanation of his life's
work; for, had that been the source of his efforts in rounding a
religion, "it would not have left sufficient power to carry him through
persecution, in which his life hung in the balance and his cause
appeared to be lost;" nor could she believe "that the class of earnest
men who constituted the rank and file of his early following would
have been so long deceived by a deliberate hypocrite." "It appears to
me," she explains "more likely that Smith was genuinely deluded by
the automatic freaks of a vigorous but undisciplined brain, and that
yielding to these, he became confirmed in the hysterical temperament
which always adds to delusion self-deception, and to self-deception,
half-conscious fraud." She calls to aid of her theory--and with marked
skill, be it said--the inclination of the times toward superstition.
"In his day," she remarks, "it was necessary to reject a marvel or
admit its spiritual significance; granting the honest delusion as to
his vision and his book, his only choice lay between counting himself
the sport of devils or the agent of heaven; an optimistic temperament
cast the die."

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

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

It is to be regretted that Miss Dougall has not extended her studies
of Mormonism beyond the Nauvoo period; had she done so she would have
escaped some errors that now appear in her work, such as treating
seriously the story of the Danite organization, which never had any
existence by reason of any sanction given it by Church authorities. Nor
would she have assumed so largely the ignorance of early converts of
Mormonism, upon which she depends strongly for the working out of her
theory Joseph Smith's character. Here in Utah, in the past, we have had
with us very many of those early converts to Mormonism; some of them
are still with us, and could Miss Dougall have met them she would have
found them people of rather superior intelligence and character, and
not at all the ignorant and superstitious persons they are generally
supposed to have been. Nor would she have committed the blunder of
saying that Mormons revered but one prophet. While it is doubtless true
that Joseph Smith will always hold a pre-eminence among the prophets in
the Church, yet the Mormons believe that all the men who have succeeded
him in the Presidency of the Church have held the same keys of
authority, possessed the same rights, and exercised the same prophetic
powers that were exercised by him.

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


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



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

Since inadvertently the source of the author's inspiration and
information is disclosed, a word respecting Mr. Schroeder, the
should-be-recognized collaborator of Mr. Wilson, becomes necessary
in this review. Mr. Schroeder is known to fame in Utah first as a
lawyer who stands under the recorded public censure of the Supreme
Court of the state of Utah for unprofessional conduct, as is witnessed
in the tenth volume of the Utah Reports of the Supreme Court of the
state. Secondly he is known locally as the collector of a library on
Mormonism, in which prominence and preference is given to anti-Mormon
works redolent of that putridity so delectable to men of debased
natures and perverted tastes. Thirdly, and perhaps most prominently,
he is known as the author, proprietor, and publisher of "Lucifer's
Lantern," that may be described as an intermittent periodical-now some
time since happily defunct--most worthy of its title and its author. It
is into such hands Mr. Wilson unfortunately fell, and by such a person
he was evidently "coached," in his study of Mormonism.

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

A word, in headlines, as to the story itself; that it is possessed of
dramatic force, and literary merit will go without saying when it is
known that its author is also the author of "The Spenders." That it
deals with elements capable of being so combined as to produce the most
intense human interest will be conceded when I say that it treats of
religious fanaticism--the faith--"fanatic faith," that

  "Once wedded fast
  To some dear idol,
  Hugs it to the last;"

of love--the theme of the ages, the one theme ever old and ever
new--the theme perennial; with human passions and ambitions, the desire
for that most deceitful end of all human ambitions--the desire for
sanctity while living, and a reputation for holiness when dead. These
the elements of the story; and now the incidents:

Joel Rae, "bred in the word and the truth" of Mormonism, if not born
in it, returns to Nauvoo from a mission just upon the time that the
last remnant of the Saints have departed from that ill-fated city. He
finds that the home of his parents in the outskirts of Nauvoo has been
destroyed by mobs; and that his aged father and mother were driven into
Nauvoo, where they are for the time under the protection of an apostate
family; that his fiancee, with her family, has turned from the faith,
and she is only awaiting his arrival to ascertain if he will join her
in her apostasy. This he refuses to do, and with his parents prepares
to follow his expatriated people in their great westward movement.
While being ferried over the Mississippi, the aged father of young
Rae--the son not being present--is pitched into the river by ruffian
hands and is drowned; his aged mother dies from the shock of the
horrible murder; and young Rae, made desperate by those events, becomes
a "Son of Dan," a supposed secret society of the blood and thunder
order, oath-bound to "support the First Presidency of the Church of,
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in all things, right or wrong!"
He forms one of the band of pioneers which Brigham Young led to the
Salt Lake valley in 1847, and gives numerous evidences of increasing
fanaticism, much to the delight of the Mormon leaders, which delight
is here and there expressed in silly, blasphemous sentences of which
the following is a fair sample: "When that young man [Rae] gets all het
up with the Holy Ghost, the Angel of the Lord just has to give down!"
In the new home of the Saints young Rae does his full share of both
manual and spiritual labor. In the latter he succeeded too well since
he preached better, worked more seeming miracles, and prophesied more
than the other "Lions of the Lord." Brigham declares him "soul proud,"
and sends him to the Missouri river in 1857 to bring in the handcart
companies, in which expedition he witnesses enough distress and misery
to humble the most "soul proud" man alive, since the sufferings of
the handcart companies from cold, famine and over toil is the result
of his own bad judgement in starting late in the season. Arriving in
Salt Lake, however, his fanatical preaching starts a "reformation,"
i. e., an outburst of wild fanaticism attended upon by murders, and
voluntary submissions to secret executions, to atone for the commission
of the more heinous sins. Rae's fanaticism makes him a participant in
the Mountain Meadows massacre in which it falls to his lot to kill the
young militia captain--Grimway--who had assisted Rae to leave Nauvoo,
and who subsequently married the woman to whom Rae was betrothed.
She, too, was with the emigrants attacked at Mountain Meadows, and
Rae, after killing her husband, saw her murdered and scalped by an
Indian. From the number of emigrants doomed to death Rae rescued a
white-haired boy and the little daughter of his one-time betrothed
wife, Prudence Corson. The boy he leaves at Hamblin's ranch, whence he
escapes, swearing vengeance against Rae, whom he saw kill the father
of the little girl--Prudence Grimway. The girl Prudence--named after
her mother--Rae leaves at a neighboring ranch, claiming her as his own
child, for whom he will later return. Haunted by the memories of the
awful slaughter of the gentile emigrants at Mountain Meadows, he goes
north, actively participates in the resistance to the United States'
army under Albert Sidney Johnston, then entering Utah, but is disgusted
with the final submission of Brigham Young to United States authority,
and takes up his abode in a new settlement far to the south of Salt
Lake City, and not far from the Mountain Meadows. Here his life of
penance begins. In a spirit of self-sacrifice he marries a woman with
but one hand, and a disfigured face. The hand she lost by having it
frozen while pushing a hand cart in the belated company Rae had led to
Utah years before. He also married another woman--a poor half-starved,
cast off wife of a prominent Mormon Bishop; and later still, another
wife, a shallow-witted, talkative creature who is a cross indeed to
the "man of many sorrows." He takes under his protection also a poor
imbecile man, the victim of a horrible, and unnameable mutilation;
and a woman who had gone insane because her husband married another
wife. The wives, to his honor be it said, were such in name only. This
collection of the woebegone, with the child Prudence added, make up the
Rae household. The girl Prudence becomes beautiful, of course, and is
much sought by men of middle life already possessed of many wives, no
less a personage than Brigham Young being among the number; and it is
represented that the latter "suitor" had but to send word in advance
to the foster father of his intention to marry the girl on his next
journey south, in order to close the matrimonial incident, except the
formal word-ceremony, and taking away the bride! But Miss Prudence had
visited Salt Lake, and while there witnessed the performance at the
theater of "Romeo and Juliet," which is sufficient to give her ideas of
love and matrimony all her own. The balcony scene much impressed her;
and ever afterwards became her ideal of expressed love. A few years of
dreaming on the part of the maiden, and a few years of silent suffering
on the part of Joel Rae, now the "little man of sorrows," then the
lad of the Meadows, Ruel Follett, who escaped from Hamblin's ranch
swearing vengeance on Rae and two other participants in the massacre,
returns, seeking his revenge. He is now a young man, handsome, brave,
strong, aggressive. But he is baffled in his mission of retribution.
Two of the murderers he seeks are already dead some time since, and
Rae is so pitifully weak and distraught by the haunting memories of
that awful butchery that young Follett cannot find the heart to kill
him; besides there is Prudence, who loves the "little man of sorrows"
with true filial affection. The upshot of it all is that young Follett
leaves to time the duty of taking off Rae--an event that cannot be long
deferred, since the little man is fast hastening to the end of his
earthly career; and meantime Follett insidiously woos Prudence, and
wins her love; while she makes an unsuccessful effort to convert him to
Mormonism. In all their readings, and conversations upon the Book of
Mormon and other subjects connected with the Mormon religion, Follett
is given an easy victory over the poor girl by the employment of covert
sneers, slightly concealed sarcasms and tender ridicule. Meantime
Joel Rae has lost his faith in Mormonism; he discovers that polygamy
is wrong; the Saints abandoned of God; and on the occasion of Brigham
Young paying his annual visit to the settlement where Rae lives, he
tells the prophet and the people his discoveries. Anticipating the
vengeance of the "Sons of Dan," Rae flies to the cross and cairn of
stones erected on the site of the Mountain Meadows massacre, that he
may die--according to orthodox dramatic canons--at the place where
his awful crime was committed. He is followed by Prudence and young
Follett, who come up to him at the cross erected by Gentile hands on
the site of the massacre, where, in company with two Indians, they
watched him peacefully pass away in a rather protracted death scene,
to the accompaniment of an Indian tom-tom drum, and notwithstanding
one of the redmen waves before his eyes the yellow scalp-lock which
years before he had seen reeking with blood snatched from the head
of the woman he loved. Young Follett and Prudence, as soon as the
"little man of sorrows" is buried, leave for the east with a passing
wagon train, and having been married by Rae a few minutes before his
death, the reader is left to infer that they "lived happily ever
after," in some eastern city, far, far away from fanatical Mormons,
and their wickedness, where only monogamous marriages obtain, and
conjugal happiness is never disturbed by the haunting fears of marital
infidelities, or polygamy, simultaneous or consecutive.

I have been at the pains to give this rather full synopsis of the
story, that my readers may be witnesses of the fact that Mr. Wilson has
certainly massed enough of gruesome materials to furnish to repletion
several chambers of horrors. Far be it from me to suggest that so
prominent an author has stooped to the methods of yellow-backed,
ten-cent novelists of a quarter of a century ago, in the matter at
least of the quality and mass of incidents to be woven into story.
This glance at the incidents of the story also reveals the opportunity
they will afford the author for gathering into one view the bigotry,
ignorance, weakness, fanaticism, and wickedness of individual Mormons,
all to be interwoven with the mockery, sarcasm, ridicule, ribaldry,
innuendo and insults of their enemies.

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

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

[Left column:] Mr. Wilson. "The Dead City."

[Right column:] Mr. Kane. "The Deserted City."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Left column:] Mr. Wilson.

[Right column:] Mr. Kane.

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

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

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

A word as to the purpose of the "Lions of the Lord;" for Mr. Wilson's
performance must be classified with the "purpose novel." Undoubtedly
there is such a thing as instructive fiction, and the "purpose
novel" has its place as one of the agencies which contribute to the
enlightenment of humanity. But if it takes hold of our respect it must
be, in harmony with the truth--though fiction, it must speak truly; and
keep within the probabilities of the subject in hand. Or, to slightly
paraphrase an utterance in Mr. Wilson's preface, if the writer now
and again has to divine certain things that do not show--yet must
be--surely this must not be less than truth. For a writer of "purpose
fiction" to do other than this is to make himself as much liable to
censure as the historian who would pervert the truth which he is in
honor bound to state whether it fits in with his personal theories or
not. In his preface, Mr. Wilson informs us that he designed to make
a tale from his observations of western life in Salt Lake and Utah;
but in his search for things on which to found his fiction he was so
dismayed by facts so much more thrilling than any fiction he might have
imagined, that he turned from his first purpose in order "to try to
tell what had really been." "In this story then," says he, "the things
that are strangest have most truth. The make-believe is hardly more
than a cement to join the queerly wrought stones of fact that were
found ready." Hence we are to be turned from considering his work as
fiction in order to regard it as truth.

It is exactly at this point that I arraign Mr. Wilson before the bar of
public opinion, and tell him that what he represents as true I denounce
as false; and this quite apart from any books from which he has
paraphrased much of the matter he weaves into his story. The trouble
is that the sources whence he makes his deductions are as untrue in
their statements as his paraphrases of them are. Mr. Wilson is as one
who walks through some splendid orchard and gathers here and there
the worm-eaten, frost-bitten, wind-blasted, growth-stunted and rotten
fruit, which in spite of the best of care is to be found in every
orchard; bringing this to us he says: "This is the fruit of yonder
orchard; you see how worthless it is; an orchard growing such fruit is
ready for the burning." Whereas, the fact may be that there are tons
and tons of beautiful, luscious fruit, as pleasing to the eye as it
would be agreeable to the palate, remaining in the orchard to which he
does not call our attention at all. Would not such a representation of
the orchard be an untruth, notwithstanding his blighted specimens were
gathered from its trees? If he presents to us the blighted specimens
of fruit from the orchard, is he not in truth and in honor bound also
to call our attention to the rich harvest of splendid fruit that
still remains ungathered before he asks us to pass judgement on the
orchard? I am not so blind in my admiration of the Mormon people, or
so bigoted in my devotion to the Mormon faith as to think that there
are no individuals in that Church chargeable with fanaticism, folly,
intemperate speech and wickedness; nor am I blind to the fact that
some in their over-zeal have lacked judgement; and that in times of
excitement, under stress of special provocation, even Mormon leaders
have given utterance to ideas that are indefensible. But I have yet to
learn that it is just in a writer of history or of "purpose fiction,"
that "must speak truly," to make a collection of these things and
represent them as of the essence of that faith against which said
writer draws an indictment.

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

A long time ago the great Edmund Burke, in his defense of the rashness
expressed in both speech and action some of our patriots of the
American Revolution period, said: "It is not fair to judge of the
temper or the disposition of any man or set of men when they are
composed and at rest from their conduct or their expressions in a
state of disturbance and irritation." The justice of Burke's assertion
has never been questioned, and without any wresting whatsoever it may
be applied to Mormon leaders who sometimes spoke and acted under the
recollection of rank injustice perpetrated against themselves and their
people; or rebuke rising evils against which their souls revolted.

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

[Footnote A: Vol. I, p. 92 of work named in text.]

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

It is not necessary here to enter into any argument or even produce
the evidence that the Mormon Church was in no wise responsible, in
no wise connected with the awful butchery at Mountain Meadows. The
evidence of these things appear upon the very surface of our history
in Utah, and also in decisions of United States judges who would only
have been too happy to have implicated the Mormon Church officials
in that awful crime if it had been possible. In fact they tried to
so fix the responsibility, and failed. But it is enough here to tell
Mr. Wilson, that he has Committed an act of injustice for which I
would not like to stand responsible at the judgement bar of God; I am
confident that he will be driven to the necessity of choosing between
these alternatives: either that he has consciously spoken contrary to
truth in the matter; or else he has given merely surface consideration
to one side of the subject only which he represents himself as having
considered profoundly; in either event Mr. Wilson has assumed a most
serious responsibility.




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

LEWISTON, MAINE, Oct. 4, 1903.

_My Dear Mr. Roberts:_

Permit me to congratulate you on the magnificent and overwhelming reply
that you made to my critic "M." from Salt Lake. It is one of the finest
and most crushing things that we have printed for years. I could easily
have replied to "M" myself, and made him an object of ridicule, but I
thought it would be better to have the reply come from a Mormon. My
original article neither endorsed nor condemned. I merely told facts
and the truth as I saw them. And I personally am an agnostic. It is
only from that class that you can get justice.

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

Yours cordially,



Eastern Eulogy of Mormons' System.

_To Editors of the Lewiston Journal:_

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

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

Based on polygamy, how could the system be otherwise than rotten? Its
central idea of government being that of priesthood rule, how could
it be otherwise than anti-American? Having been founded and organized
by a man as corrupt and immoral as the multiplied testimony of Joseph
Smith's acquaintances and neighbors proves that he was, how could it be
otherwise than mischievous and immoral in its tendencies and results?
On the part of loyal Americans who have studied the Mormon system here
on the ground for years, there is no difference of opinion about the
inherent badness of the system and of its fruits, although many, unduly
influenced by what they consider business policy, are reluctant to say
much about it.

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

The Journal's representative seems to have seen things much as the Hon.
Mr. Barclay. However, that may be, the Mormons have palmed off upon
him, as they did on Mr. Barclay, those old yarns about their changing
the barren desert of this valley into a blooming garden, and about
"the persecutions" from which they have suffered in Utah. The first of
these old chestnuts was laid on the shelf years ago here in the west,
because there is no truth in it. There never was any barren desert
in this valley, for it has always been one of the best-watered, most
easily cultivated and productive valleys west of the Mississippi. The
Mormons raised bountiful crops of grain the very first year of their
arrival. The difficulty of securing a crop here in this fertile valley
with its mild and equable climate, was very small in comparison with
the difficulties encountered by the first settlers of New England along
the bleak Atlantic shore. Furthermore, what a mercy it would have
been to our whole country if Utah had remained unsettled for another
twenty-five years, if then it could have been occupied by law-abiding
Americans in sympathy with American civilization, such men as have
built up the noble states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

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

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

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

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

Furthermore none of the opponents of polygamy have ever asked that
plural wives should be "turned out of doors." Nobody has objected
to having plural wives and their children kindly provided for
by the men who placed them in their unlawful position. But the
law-abiding citizens of Utah and the Federal Government also make
a wide distinction between providing for these plural wives and
their children, and providing these same plural wives with children.
The whole difficulty grows out of the fact that the men who were
living with plural wives before Utah became a State still persist in
maintaining the old polygamous relations with these women, and that,
too, in the face of the solemn pledges to the United States government
that if granted amnesty and statehood they would forthwith abandon
all polygamous relations of every kind. Over ten years have passed
since amnesty was granted by the government on the above condition,
and yet all over the State men are living in polygamy the same as
before statehood. The president of the Mormon Church, with his five
wives, encourages these law-breakers by his example, and then tries
to belittle the offense by claiming that the number of men living in
polygamy is quite small, not over 756. The _Deseret News_ at first
denied that there are any such cases, but was forced to admit that
it was mistaken. It then tried to belittle the matter by claiming
that there were only 1,543 such cases! Suppose someone should argue
that Maine is a good moral State because it contains only 1,543 bank
robbers! Of course the _News_ naturally underestimates the number.

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

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

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

It teaches that the coarse and vulgar men who make up the Mormon
priesthood must be obeyed by the people because they possess divine
authority, and that those who reject the commands of this bogus
priesthood reject God. (Elder Roberts' New Witness for God, page 187.)

It teaches that Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the world, was
a polygamist, and many other horrible doctrines which are utterly
repugnant to the pure and lofty morality of the Christian religion.

The Mormons have lived in five different states, namely, Ohio,
Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Utah. If their system is as pure morally
and as patriotic as it is claimed to be, how does it happen that
their sojourn in each of those states was characterized by continued
and increasing conflict with the established government and laws of
those states and of the United States, while the great Christian
denominations lived in peace and harmony under those same laws? The
Mormon Church will enjoy similar peace and harmony whenever its
priesthood ceases to interfere with civil affairs, and sets the example
of obeying the laws of the land as loyally as they have always been
obeyed by the great Christian denominations generally.


Salt Lake City, Aug. 19, 1903.


A Brief Defense of the Mormon People.

_To Editors of Lewiston, Maine, Journal:--_

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

In no instance in human experience are the above truths more clearly
demonstrated than in the history of Mormonism. From the beginning of
its existence falsehood in the form of misrepresentation and malicious
slander has been in the field against it. Early and late and viciously
the liars of this world have sought to overwhelm it as with a flood.
Meantime, however, Truth has not been idle. Steadily and gloriously
Mormonism and the people who have accepted it have lived down the
misrepresentations of their traducers, and today stand proudly erect,
unmoved by the efforts which falsehood has made to destroy them. This
failure of falsehood to destroy the object at which it has levelled its
heaviest ordnance is naturally aggravating to those who have employed
it; and very naturally they show that annoyance. As an instance of this
fact I refer to your Salt Lake correspondent "M," whose communication
under the title "Eastern Eulogy of Mormons' System," appeared in your
issue of September 6th. "M" is somewhat grieved, not to say indignant,
that the _Journal's_ representative, Mr. L. C. Bateman, should have
spoken a word of praise for the Mormons and for what they have achieved
by their faith, industry and frugality, and informs the _Journal_
that what he calls Mr. Bateman's eulogistic article called forth
an editorial in the Deseret News, the official organ of the Mormon
priesthood, expressing great satisfaction on the appearance of the
aforesaid article. But what's to be done? Men of intelligence come to
Utah; they are cosmopolitan, they understand human affairs and human
nature; and many of them--among them evidently your representative,
whose article is the cause of "M's" displeasure--are men accustomed
to collecting evidence, sifting it on the spot, and forming their own
conclusions. They find that the facts they see and investigate do not
warrant the misrepresentations they have heard concerning Mormonism and
the Mormons. They say that in their communications to the press, in
magazine articles, and sometimes in books. They are honest enough to
tell the truth as they find it; and refuse to look at facts--the things
which are--through the jaundiced eyes of a bigoted sectarian priest, or
through the eyes of a disappointed, and very likely disgruntled, scurvy
politician. Then they are abused by those to whose interests it is to
keep up a false impression concerning Mormonism and the Mormons, or
whose malice is gratified by misrepresenting them. Then it is charged
that they have been imposed upon by representations of "the wily Mormon
leaders;" or they have been "wined and dined," and hoodwinked; or else
they have sold their talents to the Mormon "priesthood for money."
Only let a man, whatever his intelligence or character, or national
standing, from President Eliot of Harvard to your representative--only
let him pursue his investigations of Mormonism and Mormons beyond
the lurid tales of hack drivers, bent on gratifying the morbid love
in human nature for the unusual and the horrible; or let him push
his inquiry beyond sectarian interpretation of the Mormon faith, and
sectarian misrepresentation of the Mormon people, and he is doomed to
be catalogued as a weak dupe, or a paid agent of the Mormon Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "And when the Pioneers found it [this valley], it was well nigh
    purified by the lapse of time and the desolation of ages, and the
    wickedness of its ancient inhabitants was well nigh obliterated,
    though the curse of barrenness and desolation still existed. I
    remarked yesterday, on looking at the decorations of this building,
    that to make the work complete that part which so truthfully
    represents this desert land in 1847, the sagebrush and the other
    growth of the desert should be sprinkled with black crickets,
    and, perched in some prominent position, some gulls looking down
    eagerly upon them; which would remind us of those early days when
    the Pioneers and early settlers grappled with the difficulties of
    the desert land; when the untamed savage was scarcely an enemy or
    a hindrance in our pathway compared with the destructive winged
    insects, the crickets and grasshoppers which would come in myriads
    to devour the tender crops. For the first two seasons it seemed
    as though the crickets and grasshoppers would consume every green
    thing, and after they had commenced their depredations to such
    an extent that to all human appearance the last vestige of the
    products of the field and garden would be eaten up, large flocks
    of gulls came to the relief of the farmer, lighting down upon the
    fields and covering them as with a white sheet, and they fell
    to devouring the insects. When they had filled and gorged their
    stomachs, they would vomit them up and then fill themselves again,
    and again vomit, and thus they ate and devoured until the fields
    were cleared of those destructive insects, and the crops saved. *
    * * * Many doubted, as to whether we could subsist our colonies in
    this country at all, and whether grain would mature. James Bridger,
    the well-known mountaineer, who had inter-married with the Snakes
    [Indians], and had a trading post which still bears his name,
    Fort Bridger, when he met President Brigham Young at the Pioneer
    camp on the Big Sandy, about the last of June, and learned our
    destination to be the valley of the Great Salt Lake, he gave us a
    general outline and description of this country over which he had
    roamed with the Indians in his hunting and trapping excursions,
    and expressed grave doubts whether corn could be produced at all
    in these mountains, he having made experiments in many places with
    a few seeds, which had failed to mature. So sanguine was he that
    it could not be done that he proffered to give a thousand dollars
    for the first ear of corn raised in the valley of the Great Salt
    Lake, or the valley of the Utah outlet, as he termed it, meaning
    the valley between Utah lake and Salt Lake. President Young replied
    to him, 'Wait a little and we will show you.'" (The Utah Pioneers,
    pages 41-43.)

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

    "One of the most unpleasant characteristics of the whole country,
    is the entire absence of trees from the landscape. The weary
    traveller plods along, exposed to the full blaze of one eternal
    sunshine, day after day, and week after week, his eye resting upon
    naught but interminable plains, bold and naked hills, or bold and
    rugged mountains; the shady grove, the babbling brook, the dense
    and solemn forest are things unknown here; and should he by chance
    light upon some solitary cotton-wood, or pitch his tent amid some
    stunted willows, the opportunity is hailed with joy, as one of
    unusual good fortune. The studding, therefore, of this beautiful
    city [referring to Salt Lake City] with noble trees, will render
    it, by contrast with the surrounding regions, a second 'Diamond of
    the Desert.'" (Stansbury's Report, page 129.)

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

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

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

    "It was no Garden of Hesperides upon which the Pioneers gazed
    that memorable morning of July 24, 1847. Aside from its scenic
    splendor, which was indeed glorious, magnificent, there was little
    to invite and much to repel in the prospect presented to their
    view. A broad and barren plain, hemmed in by mountains, blistering
    in the rays of the midsummer sun. No waving fields, no swaying
    forests, no verdant meadows to rest and refresh the weary eye,
    but on all sides a seemingly interminable waste of sagebrush,
    bespangled with sunflowers--the paradise of the lizard, the
    cricket and the rattle snake. Less than half way across the baked
    and burning valley, dividing it in twain--as if the vast bowl,
    in the intense heat of the Master Potter's fires, in process of
    formation had cracked asunder--a narrow river, turbid and shallow,
    from south to north in many a serpentine curve, sweeps on its
    sinuous way. Beyond, a broad lake, the river's goal, dotted with
    mountain islands; its briny waters shimmering in the sunlight
    like a silver shield. From the mountains, snow-capped, seamy and
    craggy, lifting their kingly heads to be crowned by the golden sun,
    flow limpid, laughing streams, cold and crystal clear, leaping,
    dashing, foaming, flashing, from rock to glen, from peak to plain.
    But the fresh canyon streams are far and few, and the arid waste
    they water, glistening with beds of salt and soda pools of deadly
    alkali, scarcely allowing them to reach the river, but midway well
    nigh swallows and absorbs them in the thirsty sands. These, the
    oak-brush, the squaw-berry, and other scant growths, with here
    and there a tree casting its lone shadow on hill or in valley; a
    wire-grass swamp, a few acres of withered bunch-grass, and the
    lazily waving willows and wild-rose bushes, fringing the distant
    streams, the only green thing visible. Silence and desolation
    reign. A silence unbroken, save by the cricket's ceaseless chirp,
    the roar of the mountain torrent or the whir and twitter of
    the passing bird. A desolation of centuries, where earth seems
    heaven-forsaken, where Hermit Nature, watching, waiting, weeps and
    worships God amid eternal solitudes." (History of Utah, Vol. I.,
    pages 325-6.)

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

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

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

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

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

    "We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are
    amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless
    their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights
    and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law
    has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind
    the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private
    devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but
    never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress
    the freedom of the soul. * * * * We do not believe it just to
    mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one
    religious society is fostered, and another proscribed in its
    spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members as
    citizens, denied." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 134.)

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

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

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

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

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

Your correspondent scoffs at the idea that Mormons married their
plural wives in good faith, and that it would now be a crime to
abandon them, and declares that your representative could as well have
talked about "committing the crime of bank robbing in good faith." The
gentleman rushes a little too quickly to his conclusion. Things he
puts in comparison are altogether unlike. It is a truth to begin with
that the Mormon people accepted the doctrine of plural marriage as a
revelation and commandment from God; and they did marry their wives
under what they considered divine sanction, in good faith, believing
that they were protected in the practice of a religious principle
by the constitution of their country, which specifically prohibited
the passage of laws "respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Furthermore, this doctrine was
sanctioned by the practice of the Bible patriarchs, whom the Son of
God himself upheld in his teaching as the very favorites of heaven,
whom God had made his own especial witnesses of the truths he would
teach mankind. It was well on to half a century before the Supreme
Court of the United States had finally decided at all points the
constitutionality of the several acts of Congress against the exercise
of this religious doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, during which
time a whole generation had lived in the practice of it, believing
absolutely in its righteousness, in its divinity in fact, and it is not
difficult to understand how men under such circumstances married their
wives in good faith.

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

Your correspondent undertakes to make much of the fact that

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

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

_Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 26, 1903._




This is a question frequently asked, but I do not remember that an
answer has been ever before put in print. It would be easy to record
the names of the ministers and the Christian sects to which they
belonged who began the agitation in Missouri which resulted in such
disgraceful scenes of mob-violence, robbery and murder, and the final
expulsion of from twelve to fifteen thousand people from their homes
and the state. It would only be a matter of time and space to set
down the names of the ministers and the sects they represented, who
began and continued that abominable campaign of slander and falsehood
which terminated in the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the
expulsion of more than twenty thousand Latter-day Saints from the
confines of the United States. But is it worth while? Is it not enough
to say that so-called ministers of the gospel quite generally took the
leading part in this opposition. They headed bands of men who burned
the homes of our people; they sat on drumhead militia court-martials
to try Joseph Smith, and condemned him to be shot in the public square
at Far West; it was a sectarian minister who led the mob that murdered
Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage prison; it was a somewhat noted
preacher who led the mob forces against Nauvoo and expelled the aged,
the weak and helpless from that city after the great bulk of the
Mormon people had departed into the western wilderness in search of
new homes. So we might continue all down the line of our experience.
The mobbings in the southern states have quite generally been led by
so-called ministers of the gospel; as also all the unfriendly agitation
in Utah and elsewhere. But it isn't worth while to dwell too long in
our thought on these matters, or to take them too seriously. God has a
reward that will be ample for all those who have suffered martyrdom in
his cause, and those who have assailed it he doubtless will remember
in his own time and way, and we need not wish them any harm, and we
do not. If we could affect them in any way it would be to mitigate
their difficulties. For a man to carry with him through eternity the
recollection of an injustice he has inflicted upon the innocent; to
be compelled always to remember a murder committed, must of itself be
a terrible punishment. So I say if we could affect the persecutors of
the Saints in any way it would be to mitigate their sufferings, not
to increase them. We will try not to remember the wrongs of Missouri;
and will try to forget the fate of Nauvoo. We will remember only that
in those troublous days there were noble men, and women too, who
befriended our people and who did what they could to make light their
burdens and ease their sorrows--God bless them!

Which of the Sects Have Opposed Mormonism Most.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, Aug. 8, 1903.

_D. A. Holcomb, Esq., Dunlap, Iowa._

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

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

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

Very truly yours.


* * * * * * * * * *

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


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

    "There is a Jewish population of about 500 in Salt Lake City," said
    Rabbi Reynolds? "Aside from that particular feature of their creed,
    polygamy, I think the Mormons are a very good people. Everything
    indicates that polygamy is dying out and that the Church means to
    obey the law. Aside from polygamy, I am of the opinion that in
    morals the Mormons will average higher than the Gentiles who live
    here. The records show that the Mormons furnish a very small quota
    of the vice of the city. As a rule, they are a temperate people.
    'If Senator Smoot is unseated, would the influence of the Mormons
    in the state and the nation be diminished?' I inquired. 'Not in the
    least; it would make them feel their persecution more than now and
    cause them to have less faith in the fairness of the government.
    They know the government cannot be fooled to any great extent and
    that polygamy must go. Now that the tendency on the part of the
    Mormons is to abandon polygamy, the purposes of the government in
    making better Americans of the Mormon people than they are now
    will be better subserved by allowing the influential men among
    the Mormons to help the government bring about the desired end. I
    say this with Senator Smoot in mind, and in view of the believed
    fact among every class in Utah that he is not a polygamist. He
    is one of the most level-headed business men in Utah, and is
    exceedingly popular with all classes. Polygamy was deeply rooted.
    The people for the most part were born in it. Why humiliate these
    innocent victims by persecuting them unnecessarily when they show
    an inclination to rid themselves and the county of the blot? The
    United States is a conciliatory and humane government. I was born
    in Russia and can appreciate this government. It is the kind of a
    government that begets loyalty in its subjects. Will these erring
    Children of Utah, who in all probability are not now contracting
    any new polygamous marriages, be better citizens if they are
    hounded and misrepresented by agitators, or if they are fairly
    but firmly dealt with by the government and given a reasonable
    chance to prove their good intentions and their good citizenship?
    There is a very strong element throughout the county that takes
    absolutely no stock in this ecclesiastical warfare that is being
    made from Salt Lake City against the Mormons. It has been plainly
    demonstrated very recently in the case of one minister here who
    carried on a bitter crusade, that was worse than a waste of energy,
    that such methods are re-active in the extreme."


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




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

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

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

Commenting on this speech, the dispatches said:

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

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


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

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

Away back in 1832, on the occasion of a number of elders being
assembled in Kirtland, desiring to know the will of the Lord concerning
themselves, and in what manner they should spend their time pending
the commencement of a conference which had been called, the Lord said
through his Prophet:

    "I give unto you a commandment, that you shall teach one another
    the doctrine of the kingdom; teach ye diligently, and my grace
    shall attend you, that ye may be instructed more perfectly in
    theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all
    things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for
    you to understand; of things both in heaven and in the earth, and
    under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things
    which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things
    which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations,
    and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of
    countries and kingdoms, that ye may be prepared in all things when
    I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have
    called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you."[A]

[Footnote A: Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 88: 77-81.]

From this you will observe that the elders of the Church were commanded
to enter a very extensive field in search of knowledge. Indeed, I
cannot think of anything pertaining to things that lie within the
scope or power of man's investigation that is not included within this
commandment to search for knowledge. Among other things, you will
observe that the elders are to make themselves acquainted with "things
which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to
pass; with things which are at home, and things which are abroad." I
see in that a commandment to keep informed as to current events; and,
in my opinion, this commandment can be made to apply not only to the
elders in Ohio, to whom it was directly given, but to all those who may
be called upon to perform a similar labor, that of representing the
work of God to the inhabitants of the earth. That responsibility rests
upon the young men who hold the priesthood in the Church today, and
hence, this commandment applies to them. It applies to the members of
the Mutual Improvement Associations; for one of the chief objects in
view, when the organization of Improvement Associations was effected,
was the preparation of our young men to become exponents of the gospel
of Jesus Christ, especially as revealed in the dispensation of that
gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. No knowledge can be of more
importance to the young man who expects to engage in this work than
the knowledge of current events, and prevailing ideas in the world on
religion; especially those current events which have a more or less
direct relation to the great work of the last days--to Mormonism, in
other words.

Of late, there have been a number of important things taking place that
have a direct relation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, among which is the passing of resolutions antagonistic to
Mormonism, by the Presbyterian General Assembly, convened during the
past week in Los Angeles, California. The ministers of the Presbyterian
Church met in solemn conclave to consider the interests of their
own church, and, incidentally, I suppose, to look a little after
the welfare of ours. One proposition before those assembled divines
was very extraordinary. So extraordinary, in fact, that it may be
considered astonishing. It was nothing more nor less than a plan to
"crush Mormonism." I think we are interested in a proposition of that
kind. Intensely interested; and hence my text of one word, "How?" That
is, how is the "Crushing of Mormonism" to be effected? What means are
to be invoked? What process followed? Fortunately for us, who naturally
have so much anxiety respecting the matter, one of the speakers before
the Presbyterian assembly brought forward a plan through which the
"crushing" is to be accomplished. This was Doctor-that is, Doctor
of Divinity, you will understand--Charles L. Thompson, of New York.
We are informed by the dispatches which reported in part "his great
discourse," that he was the speaker who aroused the most enthusiasm in
the assembly, and that his references to Mormonism were "especially
bitter," and brought out great applause from his audience. He is
reported to have said that "Mormonism is not to be educated, not to be
civilized, not to be reformed. It must be crushed." This the climax of
what is called his "great discourse;" surely it must have been a great
discourse to have such a climax as that, and to receive such applause
from such a body of divines!

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

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

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

  They were gigantic minds, and their steep aim
  Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
  Thoughts which should call down thunder, and the flame
  Of heaven, again assailed, if heaven the while
  On man and man's research could deign do more than smile.

In like exalted station stands the Church of Christ today. The Bride,
the Lamb's Wife, has no fear of her enemies. She stands too near the
Bridegroom, too near his glorious coming, too near the holy, visible
union with him, which is to be eternal, to fear the vain ravings of
modern priests of Baal.

Let us examine more thoroughly, however, the proposition of this
Reverend Doctor Thompson, and find out, if we can, how the Christian
gentleman really proposes to proceed with his crushing process. Be
it remembered he lays down the doctrine that "Mormonism is not to be
educated, not to be civilized, not to be reformed!" Then how will
he proceed? He decides to eliminate educational methods, civilizing
methods, and reform methods. After eliminating these, what method has
he left for crushing Mormonism? None but force--brute force; and force
in the last analysis means either mobs or armies. Can it be that a body
of "divines," "ministers of Jesus Christ," living in the twentieth
century of the Christian era, are ready to recommend the throwing aside
of all legitimate methods of dealing with a body of people supposed to
be in error on matters of religion, and leave it to be justly inferred
that they favor the employment of force to accomplish that which only
love and goodwill toward men should undertake? Have we been correctly
informed by the dispatches which say that the man who recommended such
procedure is the one who was most applauded by the assembled ministers
of Jesus Christ? Can it be that we are living in an age that boasts of
its Christian civilization? Or, "by some devilish cantrip slight," have
we been carried back to the dark ages, when the rack, and thumbscrews,
and gibbets, were the agencies through which men's theological opinions
and religious principles were corrected? The ages when reluctant
victims were dragged to the foot of the altar, and made to burn incense
at orthodox shrines, though the heart abhorred and disclaimed the
sacrilegious act of the hand?

For the instruction of those who would favor the abandonment of what
are recognized as Christian and civilized methods of dealing with
those supposed to entertain erroneous religious principles, let us see
what effect physical force and persecution has had upon Mormonism in
the past. From the commencement, those who have been engaged in God's
work in these last days have suffered violence, and it will be well to
ascertain the results of these methods. From the first announcement
Joseph Smith made of a revelation from God, until now, there has not
been lacking those who have favored the crushing of Mormonism. They
attempted to beat down the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith by
force of ridicule, at first, and slander and misrepresentation. When
the Nephite record, the Book of Mormon, was placed in his hands for
translation, mobs frequently attempted to wrest that sacred record
from his custody. Failing in that, they tried to prevent it from being
printed, and even so far succeeded in frightening Mr. Grandin, of
Palmyra, who had engaged to publish it, that he at one time suspended
work upon it. When that difficulty was overcome, and the book was
finally printed, then mass meetings were held and resolutions passed in
the vicinity, urging the people not to purchase the Book of Mormon or
to read it; but, in spite of these efforts, the first edition of the
Book of Mormon was disposed of and read by the people. When the Church
was organized, the rage of its opponents increased, and persecution
after persecution followed each other in rapid succession in New York,
Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and hundreds perished in the unholy
warfare waged against the Church of Christ. Finally, the opposition
concentrated its hatred upon the earthly head of the Church--the
Prophet Joseph Smith. Time and time again was he hailed before judges,
and, singularly enough, was always acquitted; up to the day of his
death at the hands of a mob, he was never condemned by the courts of
his country. His enemies were forced to the conclusion, and they said
it, and they acted it: "The law cannot reach this man; powder and ball

Actuated by the same spirit of hatred that was rampant in this very
Presbyterian Assembly at Los Angeles, mob forces of western Illinois
came to the conclusion that Mormonism was not to be educated, not to be
civilized, not to be reformed, "it must be crushed;" and they flattered
themselves that, if this master spirit of Mormonism, Joseph Smith
could only be crushed, then there would be an end to Mormonism; for
it was supposed that this man was then the head of the "octopus"--its
vulnerable point. This must be struck, to miss it would be to lose! So
they struck; cruelly, murderously struck. But what of the effect on
Mormonism? Did the "octopus" die? No. There was momentary confusion, it
is true; and profound sorrow. It could not be otherwise. But Mormonism
did not die. It survived that truly awful shock. The fact is that the
work which the Prophet Joseph Smith did, under divine guidance, was
greater than the man; good, great, and necessary as he was to that
which, under God, he wrought, yet, as the heavens stand above and are
higher than the earth, so the work of God which Joseph Smith brought
forth, stands above and is higher, and greater, and more enduring
than he. Hence, it did not fail when he fell a martyr by the old
well-curb at Carthage jail. It not only survived, but gained somewhat
of strength from the blood of its chief martyr. It was some time a
Christian aphorism, that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the
church. It proved to be so in this case; and after the first moment
of confusion was passed, those in whose hearts the spirit of hatred
had been fostered, discovered that they had, as some of them said,
"scorched, not killed," the "octopus." Presently, they saw arising
from the body what they took to be another head, Brigham Young. He
dealt with the problems that arose before his people in a spirit most
masterful, and with ability most astonishing. He conducted an exodus
the most wonderful of modern times, and safely planted his people a
thousand miles beyond the frontiers of the United States, where he laid
the foundation of our present commonwealth of Utah, and incidentally
made possible the settlement of the whole intermountain region of the
United States. The desire to strike this head, in many quarters, was
quite as ardent as it had been to strike Joseph Smith; but, happily,
he was beyond reach. From a distance, however, the sectarian harpies,
who were the predecessors of the Presbyterian divines assembled at
Los Angeles, croaked in chorus, "only wait till the head of this
'octopus,' Brigham Young, dies, and then Mormonism will succumb by
reason of disintegrating forces, for it cannot be that the system will
produce another genius such as this wonderful man." In the course of
time, the wing of the angel of Death struck this most shining mark,
Brigham Young; but Mormonism lived on. Not only lived, but extended its
borders, deepened its foundations, and, year by year, has grown more
terrible to the distorted vision of sectarian priests, alike jealous of
its success and fearful of its influence upon their crumbling creeds.

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

I see by the headlines of the daily press of our city that a
"Declaration of War" is made between the Presbyterians and the Mormons.
I wonder sometimes what kind of a Rip Van Winkle sleep the writers of
dispatch headlines, and Presbyterians as well, have been indulging in
all these years, when they say that a declaration of war has just been
made. That declaration was made over eighty years ago, when the Lord
Almighty revealed himself in person to Joseph Smith, and in answer to
his inquiry, "Which of all these contending sects are right, and which
shall I join," he was told that God acknowledged none of them as his
church or kingdom; That they drew near to God with their lips, while
their hearts were far removed from him; that they taught for doctrine
the commandments of men; that they had the form of godliness, but
denied the power thereof; that their creeds were an abomination in his

Such, in substance, was God's first message to the world through his
great modern prophet. It is in the nature of a declaration of war, not
upon the Presbyterians, however; nor upon Methodists; nor Catholics;
nor upon men at all; but upon error; upon false creeds; upon false
religions; upon hypocrisies clothed in religious garb,--a declaration
of war upon all untruth, and it is useless to hope for peace with the
sectarian Christian sects, when Mormonism bears in its hands such a
message as this. It is a harsh message, but a true one; we are not
responsible for it. We do not pretend to have sat in judgment upon the
creeds of men. No man has the right to sit in judgment upon the creed
of another. Joseph Smith did not sit in judgment upon the creeds of
Christendom. On the contrary, he confessed his inability to do so.
His youth, his inexperience, his lack of judgment, all proclaim him
unfitted for such an office. The fact that he inquired of God for
wisdom to know which of the sects he should regard as the very Church
of Christ was self-confessed inability to judge in the matter. Hence,
Joseph Smith did not pass judgment upon the sects of Christendom; but
God did. He was competent to judge. He formulated the decision which
it became Joseph Smith's duty to announce, and which it is now the
Church's duty to continue proclaiming. The message, I repeat, is a bold
one; but in the very boldness and greatness of such a declaration,
we may see something of the Divine Majesty. It became necessary to
sweep aside the rubbish of theological dogma, and doctrines which
had accumulated through the ages, and make bare the rocks of truth,
on which to lay anew the foundations of the work of God. Singularly
enough, our Presbyterian friends, especially, seem to be rendering
us valuable assistance in the work of confirming as true the message
of God to the world, whereof we, with them, are made witnesses. We
willing witnesses, they reluctant ones; we conscious witnesses, they
unconscious ones; we witnesses of good will, they of strife. What
I mean is this: the Lord declared that sectarian creeds were an
abomination unto him; and of all abominable creeds, I know of none
quite so abominable as this same Presbyterian creed. So abominable is
it--so against all sense of even human conception of justice and mercy,
that the Presbyterian Assembly at Los Angeles was found devoting its
best efforts to reform it. But that very effort to reform it proclaims
its errancy, and, I take the liberty of adding, its abomination also.
While we cannot enter into anything like a detailed examination of
that creed, allow me to call your attention to one or two points in it
which clearly brings it within the descriptive term used by the Lord
in the revelation to Joseph Smith. That is, sectarian creeds are an
abomination in his sight. Take the following sections from chapter III
of their creed on "God's Eternal Decrees:"

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

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

    Section V.--Those of mankind that are predestined unto life, God,
    before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his
    eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good
    pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting
    glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight
    of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any
    other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him
    thereunto, and all to the praise of his glorious grace.

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

The rank absurdity of this doctrine was justly satirized by burns in
the opening stanza of his "Holy Willie's Prayer:"

  "O, Thou wha in the heavens dost dwell,
  Wha, as it pleaseth best thysel',
  Sends ane to heaven and ten to hell
  A' for thy glory,
  An' no for ony guid or ill
  They've done afore thee."

In application of this principle of election and reprobation to
mankind, those who founded it had to meet the difficult problems as
to how it would affect that very great portion of mankind who died in
infancy; and, however heartless the men of those times may appear to
us of modern days, it must be said of them that they had at least the
courage of their convictions; and they said in Chapter X of the creed:

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

The very use of the expression "elect infants" implied that there were
infants not elect, whose fate, in all reason, under this creed, would
be the same as that of adults, who were not of the elect; and hence,
the popular understanding that the Presbyterian creed implied the
damnation of infants; and it should be remembered, in this connection,
that the Presbyterian idea of damnation is an ever-lasting punishment
in hell from which there is no hope of deliverance. This implication
as to infants was not denied, for a long time, by those who accepted
the creed; but, being oppressed with the apparent injustice of the
damnation of innocent babes because not among the elect, Presbyterians
began to offer the explanation, early in our last century, that they
believed all infants dying in infancy were elect; and such has been the
agitation upon that question, both within and without the Presbyterian
church, that at last the assembly at Los Angeles, authorized to speak
for the Presbyterian church, declares, in effect, that their belief is
that all infants dying in infancy are of the elect. This is certainly
very gracious on their part. It makes one feel a little more easy
regarding the fate of innocent babes, now that we know that children
dying in infancy, according to the reformed Presbyterian creed, are
among the elect! Still we cannot but deplore the fact that many
thousands of mothers, within the membership of the Presbyterian church,
even, have mourned their innocent babes dying in infancy as among the
probably eternally lost; but it is refreshing to see the indication of
progress even among our Presbyterian friends, and it is to be hoped
that the light will continue to grow in their minds, until they shall
not only see the impropriety of leaving the salvation of infants dying
in infancy, in doubt, but shall correct, also, this other abominable
part of their creed respecting election in general. The amendment of
the creed respecting the fate of infants helps it but a very little.
The damnation of a good man, because he is not of the elect, is just as
outrageous as the damnation of an innocent babe. In some respects of
the case, it is even worse. Here, we will say, is a man who throughout
his life has made every effort to realize, in his living, the lofty
ideal of possessing "clean hands and a pure heart;" who entertains only
aspirations that are noble, and performs deeds only that are honorable;
who in the relationships of life, as son, brother, husband, father, and
citizen, discharges, with reasonable fidelity, all his duties in these
relations, and, as nearly as man can while under the effects of the
fall and pestered with human inclinations to perversity, leads what is
recognized as a virtuous life. Yet, if not of the elect, this man is
doomed eternally, and his struggling for the attainment of his lofty
ideals and his noble life, avail him nothing in the way of warding
off damnation; because, forsooth, he is not of the elect, and hence
must perish everlastingly. That such conclusion is forced upon those
accepting the Presbyterian creed, is evidenced from chapter X, Section
IV of that creed:

    Section IV.--Others not elected, although they may be called by
    the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of
    the Spirit, [i. e., awakened aspirations for righteousness] yet
    they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved,
    much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in
    any other way whatsoever, be they ever so diligent to frame their
    lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion
    they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may, is very
    pernicious, and to be detested.

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

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

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

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

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


Relations of Church and State: Religious Liberty in America.


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

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

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


"The Relation of the Church to the State."

The speaker was introduced by Judge Goodwin, Toast-Master, who said:

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

Mr. Roberts spoke as follows:

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

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

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

Those who contend for the second relationship--that the church should
dictate to the state--argue that the church, as the representative
of the divine authority, is also the superior authority; that indeed
the state itself is but an outgrowth of that superior authority; that
as the moon but reflects the light of the sun, so the state borrows
whatsoever of authority it possesses from the spiritual authority--the
church. Furthermore, they insist that in the matter of chronological
order itself, the church antedates the state; it is the first society,
primitive and eternal, and hence has the true sovereignty; that the
state is properly but the instrument of the church to execute the
divine decrees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is one phase of this question which I think sometimes is not
sufficiently considered; and that is that it is not always the fault of
the church that there is a union of church and state or ecclesiastical
interference in political and civil affairs. There are politicians and
political parties who are not above fawning and crawling at the feet
of ecclesiastical influence. Somehow or other the calamities attendant
upon ecclesiastical interference in politics never appear to them
until that influence is exercised in behalf of the "other fellow" or
the other political party. Let our politicians stand erect, let our
political parties resent ecclesiastical influence when exerted in their
behalf as they would resent it when exercised against them, and I
promise you that in the new state of Utah we shall have no difficulty
growing out of ecclesiastical domination of our political affairs.

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

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

Judge Goodwin (toast-master)--A few of you who read the Bible
(laughter) will remember that when David said that the work set before
him was too great for him to perform, he still had the sling under
his sheepskin, with which he slew Goliath, and when my friend, in his
native and honest modesty, said that too much had been perhaps expected
of him, I knew he had the sling.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:

The absolute separation of church and state;

No domination of the state by the church;

No church interference with the functions of the state;

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

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

The equality of all churches before the law.

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


Jefferson's Contribution to Religious Liberty in America.

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

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

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

Men in their less serious moods may jest as they please at religion,
but after all it is the most serious business of life. No really great
mind is dead to its influence. And at some time or other in their
experience, men who are great of soul seek to understand the truths
religion teaches, and seldom are they disappointed in her lessons.
Disappointed, indeed, would we have been had Jefferson taken no
interest in so great a subject: one which so nearly concerns human
happiness, and so largely affects the peace and well being of society.
Both the texture of Jefferson's mind and his environment, however,
were such as to make the subject one of profound interest to him. When
he appeared at William and Mary college at 17 years of age, we are
told that he possessed the three essential qualities of the successful
student, namely, "perfect health, good habits and an inquiring mind."
Fortunately for him, Dr. William Small was professor of mathematics in
the college, and for a time he also filled the chair of philosophy. In
his capacity of teacher and outside college companion of Jefferson,
Professor Small doubtless did much that influenced the development of
the future statesman's mind. He is described as a man of enlightened
understanding, but it is also said that he was "not too orthodox in his
opinions." But that is a circumstance scarcely to be regretted when
the orthodoxy of that day is taken into account, for I am inclined to
think that the further one was removed from that orthodoxy the nearer
he might be to God.

There are two acts in the life of Jefferson to which I shall allude,
and which I think will sufficiently demonstrate the profound interest
he had in the subject of religion. The first is the writing of a letter
to his nephew, Peter Carr, on the subject of that young man's religious
studies. He urges him to a thorough and candid investigation of the
subject of religion without regard to consequences. If young Carr's
investigation ended in the conviction that there was no God, Jefferson
was of opinion that his young relative would still find incentives to
virtue in the comfort and pleasantness of its practice, and in the love
of others it would procure for him. If on the other hand he should find
reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that he was acting
under the divine approval--and I think the idea which follows has never
been sufficiently emphasized--the fact of that divine approval would be
"a vast additional incitement" to the practice of virtue. If he should
find that Jesus was also a God, the student would derive comfort by the
belief in his aid and love. Reason was the only oracle given him of
heaven, and he was not responsible for the "rightness" of his decision,
but he would be responsible for the "uprightness" of it.

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

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

I am not claiming that the Christianity of Jefferson was orthodox.
His correspondence with Dr. Priestly, and his open admiration for the
teaching of Dr. Channing fix the nature of his belief in the founder of
Christianity. I refer to these matters merely to show that to the mind
of this remarkable man religion was a subject of profound interest and
respect; and also to suggest that it was really the religious nature of
the man that prompted the part he took in securing religious freedom
in the commonwealth of Virginia, and through that circumstance, with
another to be mentioned later, aided mightily in securing religious
freedom in America.

Chiefly upon New England has been fixed the odium of religious
intolerance in our country; but human nature in the eighteenth century
was pretty much of the same sort of stuff throughout the British
colonies; at least the difference was not so very great between New
England and Virginia so far as it found expression in religious
intolerance; for if in New England the people could be fined, whipped
or put in the stocks for not going to church--in Virginia they could
be punished for going to the wrong one, while Baptists, Presbyterians
and Quakers were compelled to pay tithes to a church they did not
attend. If in New England the people could be compelled to stay awake
and refrain from smiling while in church, no matter how tedious or
ridiculous the sermons were--in Virginia justices of the peace were
committing Quakers to the pillory for keeping their hats on in church.
If in Massachusetts, at one time it was a capital offense to celebrate
mass--in Virginia heresy was punishable by burning at the stake. If in
Massachusetts the Church of England services could not be performed,
nor baptism administered by immersion, nor a company of men pray with
their hats on--in Virginia denial of the doctrine of the Trinity was
punishable by three years imprisonment, and Unitarians were legally
deprived of the custody of their children on the ground that people
holding to the belief in the unity of God were unfit to be intrusted
with the rearing of their own children! If in New England the spirit of
religious intolerance was more severe--in Virginia it endured longer;
for while in the former place the fight for religious freedom was won
by the middle of the eighteenth century, it was not until nearly the
close of that century that it was won in the latter. Religious freedom
was not established in Virginia until the final adoption, in 1786, of
Jefferson's statute for that purpose. The statute was presented in the
house of burgesses in 1776, and the main clause was as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The arguments by which Jefferson sustained the justice of the Virginia
statute, though commonplace to us now, are worth repeating in part,
since occasional reference to fundamental principles is beneficial.
Opinion, he declared to be something with which government had nothing
to do; government was no more competent to prescribe beliefs than
medicine, and constraint made hypocrites, not converts. Error alone
needed support of government; truth could stand by itself. Subject
opinion to coercion, and you make fallible men, governed by bad
passions, by private as well as public reasons, your inquisitors, and
even if desirable, uniformity is unattainable.

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

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

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

Also that

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

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

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

    "There are no quarrels of churches and sects. Judah does not vex
    Ephraim, nor Ephraim envy Judah. No established church looks
    down scornfully upon dissenters from the height of its titles
    and endowments, and talks of them as hindrances in the way of
    its work. No dissenters pursue an established church in a spirit
    of watchful jealousy, nor agitate for its overthrow. One is not
    offended by the contrast between the theory and the practice of a
    religion of peace, between professions of universal affection in
    pulpit addresses and forms of prayer, and the acrimony of clerical
    controversialists. Still less, of course, is there that sharp
    opposition and antagonism of Christians and anti-Christians which
    lacerates the private as well as public life of France. Rivalry
    between sects appears only in the innocent form of the planting
    of new churches and raising of funds for missionary objects,
    while most of the Protestant denominations, including the four
    most numerous, constantly fraternize in charitable work. Between
    Roman Catholics and Protestants there is little hostility, and
    sometimes co-operation for a philanthropic purpose. The skeptic is
    no longer under a social ban, and discussions on the essentials
    of Christianity and of theism are conducted with good temper.
    There is not a country in the world where Frederick the Great's
    principle, that everyone should be allowed to go to heaven in his
    own way, is so fully applied. This sense of religious peace as
    well as religious freedom all around one, is soothing to the weary
    European, and contributes not a little to sweeten the lives of
    ordinary people."

I am aware, ladies and gentlemen, that I am trespassing on your
valuable time, but bear with me while I make brief reference to local
conditions. It may be said that in Utah we have not participated in
this peace and tranquility described as characteristic of America by
Mr. Bryce. That here there has been to some extent church domination
of the state; ecclesiastical interference in civil affairs; and I am
not prepared to make unqualified denial of those charges. But I do
feel free to say that it is my conviction that we have entered upon a
period in our experience in Utah, when we shall fully participate in
the general peace that results from the American doctrine of religious
and political freedom, and the separation of church and state. The
recent authoritative utterances of the dominant Church in Utah is the
fact on which I base this hope of mine. Full acquiescence in this
American system of the relations of church and state are set forth
in that utterance with greater emphasis than ever before. It commits
the dominant Church irrevocably to the doctrine of "non-interference
of church authority in political matters; the absolute freedom and
independence of the individual in the performance of his political
duties." And then it makes this emphatic declaration that "if at any
time there has been conduct at variance with this doctrine, it has been
in violation of the well settled principles and policy of the Church."
Of course I know there are those who doubt the good faith of this late
official utterance of the Church, but it is preposterous to assume
that this religious organization would dare, before the world and its
own people, to enter upon such a system of deliberate deception and
hypocrisy as it would be involved in if its late official utterance be
not honest.

But even if it were conceivable that duplicity was the deliberate
intention of the church or its chief authorities, I should still be
hopeful of the outcome, and that the outcome would be hastened by this
last official utterance. And these are my reasons: The questions of
religious freedom, and the relations of church and state are settled
once for all in this country. The right of the individual to be
politically free is crystallized into accomplished fact; and so dear
to the individual is that right, so jealously is it guarded by the
political community as a condition fundamental to the preservation
of the American spirit of manhood, and national well-being that it
stands absolutely in no danger of being sacrificed, either to the
cunning of priests or the influence of a church, however powerful. If
the dominant Church, so emphatically committed to the support of this
American system, should attempt to play double--it would, and could
only, mean ruin and disruption to the Church. As an organization it
might survive every opposing force, but it could not survive the double
dealing in which it would be involved if its last official utterance on
the subject of non-interference in politics is not put forth in good
faith. Should its leaders chicane in this matter it would mean severest
censure of public opinion; bitterness and resentment and rebellion in
its own membership; loss of respect and influence of all kinds, both
in the Church and in the state; in a word, such a course would spell
disaster. Intelligent men must know these things; and, giving the
Church leaders, and the Church membership credit for at least ordinary
intelligence, one must believe them honest as to what they have
committed themselves to in their last official utterance. And by an
honest adherence to the principles in that utterance, I feel confident
that in Utah we shall share in the tranquility which in respect to
these questions obtains everywhere else in America.


"Conditions in Utah." 1905.


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

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

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


Speech of the Hon. Thomas Kearns in the Senate of the United

[Footnote A: From the Congressional Record.]

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

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

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

Mr. Kearns. Mr. President, I will not permit this occasion to pass
without saying, with brevity and such clearness as I can command, what
it seems to me should be said by a Senator, under these circumstances,
before leaving public life. Something is due to the State which has
honored me; something is due to the record which I have endeavored
to maintain honorably before the world and something, by way of
information, is due to the Senate and the country.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

2. That compact has been broken willfully and frequently.

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

I know the gravity of the utterances that I have just made. I know what
are the probable consequences to myself. But I have pondered long and
earnestly upon the subject and have come to the conclusion that duty to
the innocent people of my State and that obligation to the Senate and
the country require that I shall clearly define my attitude.


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

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


I dismiss the religion with my profound respect; if it can comfort
them, I would not, if I could, disturb it. Coming to the social aspect
of the society, it is apparent that the great founder sought first
to establish equality among men, and then to draw from those equal
ranks a special class, who were permitted to practice polygamy and
to whom special privileges were accorded in their association with
the consecrated temples and the administration of mystic ordinances
therein. The polygamous group, or cult as it may be called, soon became
the ruling factor in the organization; and it may be observed that
ever since the founding of the church almost every man of prominence
in the community has belonged to this order. It was so in the time of
the martyrs, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were killed at Carthage jail
in Illinois, and both of whom were polygamists, although it was denied
at the time. There were living until recently, and perhaps there are
living now, women who testified that they were married in polygamy to
one or the other of these two men, Joseph having the larger number. It
has been so ever since and is so today, that nearly every man of the
governing class has been or is a polygamist.

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

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

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

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

Under these several men the social autocracy has had its varying
fortunes, but at the present time it is probably at as high a point as
it ever reached under the original Joseph or under Brigham Young. The
president of the church, Joseph F. Smith, affects a regal state. His
home consists of a series of villas, rather handsome in design, and
surrounded by such ample grounds as to afford sufficient exclusiveness.
In addition to this he has an official residence of historic character
near to the office which he occupies as president. When he travels he
is usually accompanied by a train of friends, who are really servitors.
When he attends social functions he appears like a ruler among his
subjects. And in this respect I am not speaking of Mormon associations
alone, for there are many Gentiles in and out of Utah who seem to take
delight in paying this extraordinary deference.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

In all this there is no thought on my part of opposition to voluntary
gifts by individuals for religious purposes or matters connected
legitimately with religion. My comment and criticism are against the
tyranny which misuses a sacred name to extract from individuals the
moneys which they ought not to spare from family needs, and which they
do not wish to spare; my comment and criticism relate to the power of
a monarch whose tyranny is so effective as that not even the moneys
paid by the Government are considered the property of the Government's
servant until after this monarch shall have seized his arbitrary
tribute, with or without the willing assent of the victim, so that the
monarch may engage the more extensively in commercial affairs, which
are not a part of either religion or charity.

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

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

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

And in return it should be noted that Mormon institutions do not employ
Gentiles except in rare cases of necessity. The reason is obvious:
Gentiles do not take as kindly to the tithing system as do the Mormons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Secretary read as follows:


    [Organ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.]

    SALT LAKE CITY, October 31, 1904.


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

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

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

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

    The proposition to put the matter in the hands of experts chosen
    by the complainants is not to be seriously considered. The onus
    is upon the smelter men; they are the offenders, and they must
    take the steps necessary to remove the cause of complaint, and
    also reimburse those who have been injured. We do not ask anything
    unreasonable. We join with those of our citizens who intend that
    this beautiful part of our lovely State shall not be laid waste,
    even if the only cure is the suppression of the destroying cause.
    This may as well be understood first as last. Unless practical
    measures are adopted to abate the evil, active proceedings will
    have to be taken and pushed to the utmost to remove entirely the
    root and branch and trunk and body of this tree of destruction.
    The people affected are deeply in earnest, and they certainly mean

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

Not long since two men, who for many years had been tithe payers and
loyal members of the church, undertook to establish a salt garden
along the line of a trunk railway. One of them was a large dealer in
salt, and proposed to extend his trade by making the salt and reaching
territory prohibited to him by the church price of salt; the other was
the owner of the land upon which it was proposed to establish the salt
garden. These men formed a corporation, put in pumping stations and
flumes, and the corporation became indebted to one of the financial
institutions over which the church exercises considerable influence.
Then the president of the church sent for them. There is scarcely an
instance on record where a message of this kind failed of its purpose.
These men went to meet the prophet, seer, and revelator of God, as they
supposed, but he had laid aside his robes of sanctity for the moment
and he was a plain, unadorned, aggressive, if not an able, business
man. He first denounced them for interfering with a business which he
had made peculiarly his own; and, when they protested that they had no
intention to interfere with his trade, but were seeking new markets, he
declared in a voice of thunderous passion that if they did not cease
with their projected enterprise, he would crush them. They escaped from
his presence feeling like courtiers repulsed from the foot of a king's
throne, and then surveyed their enterprise. If they stopped, they would
lose all the money invested and their enterprise would possibly be sold
out to their creditors; if they went on and invested more money, the
president had the power, as he had threatened, to crush them. Not only
could he ruin their enterprise, but he could ostracize them socially
and could make of them marked and shunned men in the community where
they had always been respected.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

As for myself, I am willing to take the Senate and the country into my
confidence, and make a part of the eternal records of the Senate, for
such of my friends as may care to read, the vindication of my course
to my posterity. I had an ambition, and not an improper one, to sit in
the Senate of the United States. My competitors had longer experience
in politics and may have understood more of the peculiar situation in
the State. They sought what is known as church influence. I sought to
obtain this place by purely political means. I was elected. After all
their trickery my opponents were defeated, and to some extent by the
very means which they had basely invoked. I have served with you four
years, and have sought in a modest way to make a creditable record
here. I have learned something of the grandeur and dignity of the
Senate, something of its ideals, which I could not know before coming
here. I say to you, my fellow Senators, that this place of power is
infinitely more magnificent than I dreamed when I first thought of
occupying a seat here. But were it thrice as great as I now know it to
be, and were I back in that old time of struggle in Utah, when I was
seeking for this honor, I would not permit the volunteered friendship
of President Snow to bestow upon me, even as an innocent recipient, one
atom of the church monarch's favor. My ideals have grown with my term
of service in this body, and I believe that the man who would render
here the highest service to his country must be careful to attain to
this place by the purest civic path that mortal feet can tread.

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

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

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

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

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


And now I come to a subject concerning which the people of the United
States are greatly aroused. It is known that there have been plural
marriages among the Mormon people, by the sanction of high authorities
in this church monarchy, since the solemn promise was made to the
country that plural marriages should end. It is well known that the
plural marriage relations have been continued defiantly, according to
the will and pleasure of those who had formerly violated the law, and
for whose obedience to law the church monarchy pledged the faith and
honor of its leaders and followers alike in order to obtain statehood.
The pledge was made repeatedly, as stated in an earlier part of these
remarks, that all of the Mormon people would come within the law. They
have not done so. The church monarch is known to be living in defiance
of the laws of God and man, and in defiance of the covenant made with
the country, upon which amnesty by the President, and statehood by the
President and the Congress, were granted.

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

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


Briefly reviewing the matters which I have offered here, and the
logical deductions therefrom, I maintain the following propositions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lately no effort has been made to punish any of these people by
the local law. On the contrary, the ruling monarch has continued
to grow in power, wealth, and importance. He sits upon innumerable
boards of directors, among others that of the Union Pacific Railway,
where he joins upon terms of fraternity with the great financial and
transportation magnates of the United States, who hold him in their
councils because his power to benefit or to injure their possessions
must be taken into account.

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

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

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

Is it not demonstrated that Utah is an abnormal State? Our problem is
vast and complex. I have endeavored to simplify it so that the Senate
and the country may readily grasp the questions at issue.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Concerning the criticisms that have been made of this speech--one
of which extended through seven columns of as vapid and flaccid an
aggregation of words, words, words as it has ever been my lot to wade
through--I only care to notice one, that is the alleged harshness
of some of my utterances. The conclusion is reached that some of my
words were unbecoming both my calling and the place in which they
were delivered. In answer I only wish to say that the propriety of
one's expressions is governed very largely by the task one has before
him. Even the Son of God, when he had occasion to denounce falsehood
and reprove deceivers, no longer used the gentle tones by which he
comforted the sorrowful or encouraged those bowed down in weakness;
but he used language suited to the task before him. To the scribes and
Pharisees, who were hounding himself and his friends to their death,
and as a preliminary to that purpose were seeking to embitter the minds
of the populace, he said:

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

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


Answer to Kearns.

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

I regret extremely that the speech was not answered upon the floor of
the senate of the United States. The gentleman upon whom that duty
properly rested may have had good and sufficient reasons for remaining
silent. It is not for me to say. But when I think of the serious
charges that are made, and the cunning with which those charges, false
though they be, are sustained, I can conceive of no combination of
circumstances that would justify the now senior senator from Utah for
being silent on that occasion. The suggestion of friends may be a good
thing to listen to sometimes; but occasions can arise--and this, in my
judgment, was one of them--when the call of duty should lead one to
reject the counsel of well-meaning but perhaps ill-informed friends,
and the cold calculations of over caution. It might be possible, of
course, that a reply such as one might desire to make, could not be
made on the spur of the moment; but ten minutes devoted to denouncing
the falsehoods of that speech, and the unmasking of the man who uttered
it, would have had a beneficial effect upon the public mind, and would
have been more effective than any reply that can now be made. Anything
that may be said from this platform, or any other in Utah, or anything
that may be said in the future upon the floor of the senate chamber,
will not have the effect that an emphatic denial of the charges would
have had while the gentleman who made them was still a senator of the
United States.[A] That opportunity, however, is lost. All that may
be done, here in Utah, at least, is to point out to our youth the
untruthfulness of these charges, and disclose the sophistry by which
an attempt is made to sustain them. I account myself fortunate in
having an opportunity to undertake such a task before this magnificent

[Footnote A: For Senator Smoot it is said that he followed his advisors
among the senators, and that the event of retaining his seat by a vote
rejecting the resolution to declare that seat vacant, is a vindication
of his silence. The senator is, of course, entitled to that view of the
case, but to what extent retaining his seat was due to his silence in
the foregoing occasion is a value that can never be determined; and it
does not matter now that the event has ended so happily for the senator
and for Utah.]


Before proceeding to the speech itself, I want to say a word or two
in relation to its authorship. It will go without saying that the
ex-senator who stands responsible for it is not its author. Those of
us who chance to be acquainted with the dullness of his mind and the
density of his ignorance know very well that his mind never conceived
the speech; nor did he fashion the polished and falsely eloquent
sentences devoted to so bad a cause. Those of us who served with him in
the Constitutional convention of this state painfully remembering the
very few occasions on which he sought to express himself upon the floor
of that convention hall, can never believe for a moment that he is
the author of the speech. Those who were present in the Tabernacle in
Salt Lake City on the occasion when the President of the United States
honored that city and the state with his presence, and who saw this now
ex-senator when he addressed that assembly, with hands thrust deep into
his pockets, with stomach thrown forward, and head thrown back, and in
nasal tones only becoming a retired pugilist--and heard him say in the
opening sentence of his speech, "We Americans ain't born to nuthin',
but we git there just the same" (Laughter); and who had no better taste
than to make the visit of the chief executive of this nation to our
state the occasion of a partisan harangue, know very well that he is
not the author of this senate speech. He is only the author of this
speech in the sense that he has adopted it. This speech is his only in
the sense that he bought it. I shall not undertake to describe all the
contempt I feel for a man who occupies the high station of a senator of
the United States, and who consents to repeat, parrot-like, the bought
phrases fashioned by another mind. Jewelry in a swine's snout is as
nothing to this.


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

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


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

Of that long conflict that raged in Utah from early days down to
the year 1890 I need not speak. You are familiar with its history.
You know that the foundation facts of that controversy are these:
that the Latter-day Saints believed a revelation had been given in
which was made known, first of all, the eternity of the marriage
covenant, with the permission and I may say injunction, under certain
circumstances, for good men to have a plurality of wives. You know of
the successive enactments of Congress, made at the demand of sectarian
clamor throughout the United States against this practice. You know
how these successive acts brought to bear hardships upon the Church,
until at last we were relieved from the responsibility and obligation
of maintaining in practice that plural marriage system, by the issuance
of the Manifesto by President Wilford Woodruff in 1890. You know upon
that step being taken, that the bitterness of feeling that had hitherto
existed subsided; and there began to be manifested a desire that the
old Church and anti-Church political parties should be disbanded, and
that here in Utah, as in the other states of the Union, the people
should divide according to their political convictions to one or the
other of the great national political parties. These movements finally
resulted in the passage of an Enabling Act, authorizing the election
of a Constitutional convention for the purpose of framing a state
government. This convention met in the spring of 1895, and was the
instrument through which so far as the people of Utah are concerned,
the compact between the State of Utah and the United States was made.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

That was the demand, and that the response to the demand. But it
was not all of the response. There was something more. After this
declaration had been made, towards the conclusion of the work of the
convention, when that part of the Constitution called the "Schedule"
was introduced (and by the way, in order that you may understand that
I have clear knowledge of these matters from personal participation in
them, I may say that I was a member of the committee on "Schedule"),
Mr. Varian, a member from Salt Lake county, called the attention of
the convention to the fact that while we had made this declaration
against "polygamous or plural marriages," he held, and very rightly,
too, that it was not self-operating, and provided no penalties for its
violation; but was merely a declaration, and he doubted if it would be
sufficient to meet the expectations of the people of the United States.
He therefore recommended a certain course now to be described. You
perhaps will remember that our territorial Legislature of 1892 enacted
what was virtually the Edmunds-Tucker law. They followed very closely
the congressional enactment. Now, said Mr. Varian, in substance,
your Legislature enacted practically the law of Congress against
these offenses; that being the case, it expresses the willingness of
your legislators to meet the demands of the country on this subject.
Therefore, let us take so much of this territorial enactment as defines
"polygamy, or plural marriage," and provides for the punishment
thereof, and make it a provision in this Constitution, operating
without any further legislation. Then the people of the United States
will know that you mean really to prohibit "polygamous or plural
marriages" against which you make your declaration in the ordinance. In
pursuance of this proposition he introduced this resolution:

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

Mr. Varian was of the opinion that since this territorial enactment
invaded the field already occupied by congressional enactment it was
void, and that when Utah became a state the territorial law would not
be in force in the state, and of course the congressional enactments
applicable to the territory would cease to be operative upon the
attainment of statehood; hence he thought it necessary to make this
constitutional provision against "polygamous or plural marriages."
But the part of the territorial law relating to polygamous living or
"unlawful cohabitation"--to use the phrase of the law itself--was
not made part of the Constitution of this state. And why? Because
the demand made by the people of the United States did not reach to
that condition. The demand was only: "provided polygamous or plural
marriages are forever prohibited." There were other lawyers in the
constitutional convention who contested Mr. Varian's opinion, and
insisted that this law of the territory would be operative in the
state, and therefore there was no need of adopting his amendment;
whereupon a protracted and earnest debate took place, in the course
of which it was pointed out to Mr. Varian that he had cut this old
territorial law in two; he had taken the part that defined and
prohibited "polygamy or plural marriages" and made it part of the
Constitution, but he had left out the part of the law relating to
unlawful cohabitation, and the effect of such action by implication
would be to repeal that part of the territorial law defining and
punishing unlawful cohabitation. In the course of the argument made on
that point in the convention the following took place:

    Mr. Evans (Weber)--I would like to ask you [Mr. Varian] a question.
    The gentleman will agree with me that your [his] amendment will
    repeal the other kindred offenses in that statute?"

    Mr. Varian [answering Mr. Evans]--No; there is nothing to repeal.
    If you want the other kindred offenses [dealt with], my answer is,
    prohibit them by law under penalties. * * * *

    Mr. Evans (Weber)--I would like to ask one question. Suppose the
    act of 1892 were valid? (i. e., the territorial law dealing with
    polygamy and unlawful cohabitation, polygamous living, is referred

    Mr. Varian--If the law were valid I should not then introduce--

    Mr. Evans (Weber)--Wouldn't it then repeal everything except the

    Mr. Varian--If the law were valid it might repeal by implication,
    although repeals by implication are not favored.[A]

[Footnote A: Constitutional Convention Proceedings, vol. ii, p. 1748.]

Mr. Varian's resolution was adopted and became part of the
Constitution, so that in the matter of compact between Utah and the
United States on the subject of polygamy [i. e., polygamous marrying]
our response went even beyond the demand of the people of the United
States as voiced in the Enabling act authorizing us to establish a
state government, in that we not only adopted the very language of the
enabling act, but accepted the definition of polygamy and provided the
punishment, prescribed for that offense by Congress; but no demand was
made and no action was taken respecting unlawful cohabitation; nor did
it in any manner enter into Utah's compact with the United States.[B]

[Footnote B: Mr. Varian held views in harmony with what he said in the
discussion on the floor of the Constitutional Convention even before
that Convention assembled in the spring of 1895, for at the Territorial
Bar Association of Utah, in January of that year, Mr. Varian, then a
member-elect of the Constitutional Convention, said, on referring to
statehood for Utah:

    "In accordance with the general convictions of civilized men and
    the spirit of free institutions, religious liberty will be fully
    secured by the organic law and a prohibition against plural or
    polygamous marriages adopted in deference to the suggestion by
    Congress. Whether it shall ever be stricken from the Constitution
    will depend solely upon the future temper and will of the people.
    It will be observed that the actual polygamous status, or living
    with two or more women as wives, known in Utah as a criminal
    offense termed "unlawful cohabitation," is not referred to in the
    proviso of the Enabling Act. Whether the Constitution builders will
    content themselves with prohibiting polygamous marriages, or will
    go further and prescribe the polygamous association also will be
    developed in time."

And time developed the fact that the Constitutional Convention took no
action whatsoever in relation to polygamous living, nor was any attempt
made to deal with that phase of the question since the convention
conceived that it had done its full duty, all that was required of
it, by the Enabling Act, by "Forever prohibiting plural or polygamous

Now, understand me, I am not taking the ground that unlawful
cohabitation--"polygamous living"--as it has come to be called--is not
now contrary to the law in Utah. That it is under the ban of the law
is known to every one. But it became so because our state Legislature,
after the constitutional convention had settled this vexed question
upon the terms here pointed out--our state Legislature (and why I have
never yet understood) proceeded to unsettle what had been settled in
that convention, picked up the part of the old territorial law that had
been discarded by the convention and enacted it with the rest of the
code prepared by the special code commission.

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

That compact was not made between the Mormon Church leaders, as claimed
by Mr. Kearns' adopted speech, and the United States government, but
between the people of the United States acting through Congress and
the chief executive of the nation, and the people of Utah, acting
through their representatives in the Constitutional convention. Utah's
Constitutional convention sought earnestly to meet the demands made
upon our people by the nation. The chief executive of the nation
by accepting the Constitution we had formed and proclaiming Utah's
admission into the Union, said we had succeeded in meeting those
demands. To undertake now to read into that compact something that was
not demanded by the Enabling act, and not conceded by the convention,
that is not expressly found in its terms, and not fairly to be implied
from them, is infamous. Yet that is what is constantly sought to be
done, and we have all sorts of extravagant claims made as to what the
Mormon Church leaders pledged in order to obtain statehood--the compact
they made with the nation, and how the Mormon Church has broken it, but
never a word do we hear as to the compact itself. The Mormon Church
leaders made no pledges to obtain statehood, except as in common with
all the people of the state they accepted and ratified the compact
implied in the Enabling act and the provision in the Utah Constitution
forever prohibiting polygamous or plural marriages and providing
penalties for that offense. The Mormon Church officials pleaded for
amnesty for their people, it is true, but amelioration of the hard
conditions which a cruel enforcement of the law imposed, not statehood,
was the object of their petition.

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

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

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

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

    "Compact is synonymous with contract. The idea of a compact or
    contract is not predicable upon the relations that exist between
    the State and the general government. They do not stand in the
    position of contracting parties. The condition upon which Utah was
    to become a State was fully performed when she became a State.
    The Enabling act authorized the President to determine when the
    condition was performed. He discharged that duty, found that the
    condition was complied with, and that condition no longer exists.

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

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


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

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

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

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

I wish to call your attention to the fact that this is mere assumption.
There is no "monarchy" and there is no "monarch" in the Mormon Church.
It is a fundamental, constitutional, and I might say institutional
principle in the Church that all things in the Church shall be done
by common consent of the Church; (Doc. & Cov. sec. xxvi) and so long
as that remains the great underlying principle of the government--and
largely even of administrative functions,--of the Church of Jesus
Christ, I ask you where the principle of monarchy can come in?
Furthermore it is expressly provided that no officer of the Church
can occupy a place in any of the general or local quorums of the
Church, only as he is sustained and accepted by the members of the
several divisions of the Church named. (Doc. & Cov. xx: 65.) Moreover,
elections, which give the opportunity to get rid of undesirable
officers, are more frequent in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, than in any other system of ecclesiastical government known to
men. Will you tell me how a monarchy can exist in the face of these
fundamental truths? I would like to see some explanation of that.

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

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

Can any of you recognize President Joseph F. Smith in that description?
I cannot boast of an extremely intimate acquaintance with President
Smith's domestic life, or his financial status; but it has been my
good fortune to know him personally some 30 years. I know something
of the severe economy and frugality which he practices. I know his
homes are but cottages, without the grandeur here given them. I know
that his family lives in economy and frugality, and that every tree,
evergreen, shrub, or flowering plant, or plat of grass about any one of
his cottage homes was planted by his own hands or the labor of his sons
and wives. I do know that. And though he does now occupy an historic
building, owned, not by Joseph F. Smith, but by the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is more for the convenience of the
people and those who have business with him that he dwells there than
because of any "regal" or extravagant tastes that he himself possesses,
and in that "official residence" he lives the simplest of lives. I know
at least seven of his sons who have arrived at manhood's estate, and
I know that they live by daily toil, as my sons and your sons do, as
the sons of all the common people do, and occupying no very exalted
positions in the industrial or business world, although they are
capable, honest and hard working young men. One of them has assisted
me in my office work as stenographer for three years. Don't you think
if President Smith really affected this "regal state," "lorded" it
over the people as he is here represented as doing, and lived in this
"series of villas of sufficient exclusiveness" that he would undertake
to elevate these sons of his and all his family above this toil in
which they are engaged?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I say that a meaner falsehood could not be uttered than is uttered in
those sentences. And it was not done in ignorance. It was done with
the intent to deceive the people of the United States, to awaken their
bitterness against the great majority of the people in this state,
and to represent the Mormons as subservient to a monarch, to a tyrant
living in grandeur and upon the profits of their earnings, and was
intended to work mischief towards the people of this state. I need not
deny the falsehood--you all know the charge to be untrue--that the
funds which flow into the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust are but trust
funds. Not one dollar belongs to him personally. These funds are used
for the various purposes that we have just been considering.

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

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

Nor is the end yet:

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

And that is not all:

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

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

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

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

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

One man works for the government; another teaches school. When such
employees receive money for the Compensation of their services
that money, of course, belongs to them. They own it. It is not
government money. The farmer who digs and delves in the earth for his
compensation, and who by virtue of his toil and going into partnership
with nature--with the soil and the rain and the sunshine--produces his
crop and sells it in the market, and holds the cash in his hand--I say
that money is no more completely the farmer's than is the money earned
by the government employee and the school teacher, theirs. It will go
without saying that the school teacher and the government employee have
just as much right to devote a portion of their income in the work of
the church of their choice as has the farmer to contribute from his
income to a like purpose. This part of the speech is an infamous appeal
to the prejudices of the people of the United States, and is based on
falsehood absolutely.

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


[Footnote A: In the paragraphs under this heading are described
the character and lightening like political changes of a certain
politician, whom Senator Kearns employed upon his personal anti-Mormon
newspaper, published in Salt Lake City; and who, it is quite generally
conceded, wrote the Kearns Senate Speech.]

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    "But if this is the purpose [i. e. to drive out the Gentiles],
    several things ought to be kept in mind. The first one is that most
    of the wealth of Utah has been created by Gentiles. The Saints
    were not opulent when the Gentiles came in force to Utah. Except
    for the money that the Gentiles have paid the Saints for labor
    and supplies, the Saints would not be very opulent now; again,
    if something like a holy war is meditated against Gentiles, they
    will neither lay down now nor run away. It would not take much of
    a crusade to cause the Gentiles of Salt Lake to light their homes
    with coal oil, to walk rather than ride on the street cars, to
    trade only with Gentile merchants, to employ only Gentile help--in
    short to closely imitate what the Saints are doing by them now.
    Do the chiefs of the Church desire to precipitate this state of

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

There is more of it, but this is enough, I think, to constitute the
admission that Mr. Kearns was elected, according to his view of it,
by Church influence. Either to affirm or deny this claim is not my
purpose. But mark further what Mr. Kearns says:

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

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

"I discover that I have been elected by the influence of the Mormon
Church leaders. That influence was unsought by me, but I cannot afford
to accept a seat in the senate of the United States procured by methods
so injurious to the state, so disturbing to our peace. I therefore
lay down the honor that this Legislature would put upon me; for if I
go to the senate of the United States I must go unfettered by such
obligations as would be implied by my accepting this position given
me under such circumstances." If, I say, the gentleman four years ago
had taken a position of that kind all men would have had some respect
for him, and for his denunciation of the exercise of Church influence
in political affairs. But after sitting in the high place of honor for
four long years, enjoying the benefits of Church influence, then in the
last days of his senatorial term to stand up and repudiate the means by
which he says he was helped into that high station--it all comes with
very poor grace from him, and places his wrath against the exercise of
Church influence in politics under strong suspicion of hypocrisy. He
stands as one who has received stolen goods, and with great generosity
to himself appropriated these goods to his own use; they directly
or indirectly clothed him, perhaps, and fed him, or ministered to
his vanity; then after thoroughly exhausting the stolen goods and
the proceeds from them, he arises in a spirit of lofty morality and
denounces the means--if not the thieves--by which they were brought to
him. What would be your thought of such an one?

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

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

A little later in the speech he also says:

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

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

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

Mark that! And yet Mr. Kearns managed to retain his seat for four
long years, after he had learned by what means it had come to him;
and allowed his self-respect, meantime, to take care of itself.
I suggest also that had his term of office extended four years
longer--notwithstanding what he has learned about the honor and dignity
of a United States senatorship, he would doubtless have continued to
hold on to his "honors," through those four long, troubled years of
"dishonor." I would like to know what development of ideas between
the time of his election and the expiration of his term of office was
possible concerning the mischief of Church interference in politics
that could so wonderfully open the eyes of this ex-senator to the
iniquity of the methods by which his election was procured? Why, from
away back in territorial days, for forty-five years, this question of
the relation of Church and state has been debated in Utah, and we have
learned every lesson it seems to me there is to learn on the subject;
and yet, after the long controversy, it took four years in the senate
of the United States for this man to discover the wondrous iniquity of
receiving Church influence in an election to the senate of the United
States! But I have observed in several other of our experiences in the
State of Utah that for some mysterious reason politicians never can see
the mischief there is in the use of Church influence unless they can't
get it, Or they suspect it is being used for the interests of "the
other fellow."

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

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

You have seen Mr. Kearns--this semblance of a man that in nothing
resembles a senator--rise in his place and attitudinize to fit the
phrases of his adopted speech before the gaze of this great nation
while he denounced the use of Church influence in politics; and now
you hear him say that if he had only adopted the methods charged
against him in obtaining his first election with the present "Church
monarch," he might have retained this honorable seat in the senate
"with dishonor." Would he solicit Church influence? the influence of
the President of the Church, for his re-election? Certainly not! Such a
thing never entered his politically pious mind! _Yet, knowing full well
the seriousness of the charge I make, I say to this great audience and
would say it to the people of the United States if my voice could reach
them, and that upon my word of honor, that this man, ex-Senator Kearns,
notwithstanding all his lofty utterances, both directly and indirectly,
too, sought that very influence for re-election which now he affects to
scorn. He, by personal application to President Joseph F. Smith, sought
it in the City of Washington, when President Smith was there to testify
before the Senate committee on privileges and elections. He sought for
that influence in Salt Lake City, sought it personally of the President
of the Church, and received the grand reply, "We are not in politics."
He sought Church influence indirectly, through what was intended to be
the good offices of a fellow senator, whose influence rests upon the
same basis as his own, the influence of wealth. Not only once did he
thus seek it, but on several occasions. Yet he stands in his place in
the Senate and declares that "No man can retain this seat from Utah and
retain his self-respect after he discovers the methods by which his
election is procured and the objects which the Church monarch intends
to achieve!" Still, while in possession of all the knowledge he has now
as to the methods and objects of the Mormon Church leaders, Mr. Kearns
sought that influence which he says even to be the innocent recipient
of would be dishonor!_

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

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


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

The recommendation in substance is this:

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


Some one will say, however, that there are violators of the law in
Utah; and that, too, in relation to new marriages since the issuance
of the Manifesto, and since the admission of the state into the Union.
If that be true, if all that is claimed in relation to it be true,
(but that is not admitted,) then why not execute the law against
those who have violated it, and who have broken, so far as they are
concerned, the pledge that was given by the state on this subject? Why
not prosecute them, and not attempt to do what Edmund Burke a long time
ago declared he knew not the method of, namely, to draw an indictment
against, an entire people? In other states are not the laws violated?
And who is held responsible for that violation? The whole community
who are not parties to the violation 'of the law? No; the absurdity
of that appears upon the face of it. Why should the people of Utah
be judged by a standard different from that by which would be judged
the people of Ohio, or the people of Pennsylvania, or the people of
Montana? From the first Utah has suffered from this kind of treatment.
Every murder that was committed in the community in early days was
charged to the "Mormon" Church. When there was a hanging in Montana, or
a throat cutting in Nevada, or a lynching bee in Wyoming, the parties
concerned were the ones indicted and compelled to bear the burden of
their awful crime; but if such a thing happened in Utah, the "Mormon"
Church must be involved. And so now in these alleged violations of the
law concerning polygamous marriages, the Church is made a party to the
transgressions of individuals.

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

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

Now a few words in conclusion. We find ourselves a very cosmopolitan
community in Utah, gathered from all parts of the world, of all sects
and persuasions in religion, of all parties in politics, engaged in
all of the common avocations of life, from cultivating the soil to
delving in the bowels of the earth for its precious ores, its coals
and its oils. We inhabit a state the industries of which are varied
and profitable; and if it were not for this apparently irrepressible
conflict concerning social and religious matters, we might by united
effort make of this old "Dead Sea State" a very live and splendid
commonwealth, where hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens
besides those now on the ground, could find homes where they would
enjoy more cloudless days during a year than in any other state of the
Union; homes where they might cultivate soil the most fruitful in our
great country; homes where they might enjoy an atmosphere that thrills
the human system like glorious wine, giving life, health and vitality
to men. We might rear here a splendid manhood and womanhood, and have
peace and contentment, and show the world how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. All this is possible,
notwithstanding our varied religious faiths and our various political
convictions. And it does seem to me that the time has come when the
wise and conservative citizens of our state of all religions and of all
political parties should take counsel together and see if this glorious
result to which I have pointed cannot be attained; for when knaves
conspire, wise men should counsel together.

A while ago I told you that isolation for the Mormon people is both
impossible and undesirable. The idea of the withdrawal of our Gentile
population is nonsense, and not upon the program. It is equally true
that the Latter-day Saints, come what may, will not surrender their
religious faith. That cannot be done. Our Gentile friends must learn
to tolerate us, notwithstanding what they may regard as the absurdity
of our religious belief. On the other hand, Mormons recognize their
amenability to the laws of the state, and we say to them--at least
I utter it as my personal conviction--that Mormons hold themselves
amenable to the laws of the state, and if their friends and neighbors
in the vicinity where they respectively reside are offended at their
conduct, taking generously into account the past from which some of
our obligations (I will not say troubles) come, why then there is
nothing for it but submission to the law as interpreted by the courts
and by the people in the vicinity where we reside. I say, under these
conditions, our Gentile friends must learn to tolerate us, as we are
willing to tolerate them. The great bulk of our Gentile friends came to
these mountain valleys because of the financial prospects they saw here
spread out before them. They came here to establish homes, to enjoy the
climate, to regain health, in some instances, and to possess with their
fellow citizens, though Mormons, a goodly land. They are not interested
in Mormon polemics. They care not a fig, in the main, for the Mormon
religion. Then why not say to those who are a disturbing element and
making false charges not only against the Mormons but against the
state false charges which we have been considering here tonight, in
the speech of the man who was, unhappily, a United States senator from
Utah, and whose personal newspaper day after day vomits the bitterness
Of hate against the greater part of the community--why not say to these
disturbing elements, as God says to the sea, "Hither to shalt thou
come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?"

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

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

[Footnote A: Throughout the speaker was frequently and loudly applauded
by his great audience.]

Part II.

Book of Mormon Controversial questions.


The Manner of Translating the Book of Mormon.


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

I am not unmindful of the fact that this subject is treated in the
Young Men's Manuals of 1903-1906; but here the subject is more fully
considered, and in a manner quite distinct since some of the papers are
controversial and have a value quite apart from the mere affirmative
treatment in the Manuals.

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


The Manner of Translating the Book of Mormon.[A]

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

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

[Footnote B: Wentworth letter, Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 118.]

[Footnote C: Wentworth letter, Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 118.]

Oliver Cowdery, one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon,
and the prophet's chief amanuensis, says of the work of translation
at which he assisted: "I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of
Mormon (save a few pages), as it fell from the lips of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, as he translated by the gift and power of God, by the
means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'Holy
Interpreters.'"[D] This is all he has left on record on the manner of
translating the book.[E]

[Footnote D: Book of Mosiah viii: 13.]

[Footnote E: The above statement was made by Oliver Cowdery at a
special conference held at Kanesville, Iowa, Oct. 21, 1948. It was
first published in the Deseret News of April 13, 1859: Bishop Reuben
Miller, who was present at the meeting, reported Cowdery's remarks.]

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

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

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

[Footnote B: Harris' Statement to Edward Stevenson, Mill. Star, Vol.
XLIV., p. 87.]

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

[Footnote C: Cannon's Life of Joseph Smith, p. 56.]

[Footnote D: Nearly all the anti-Mormon works dealing with the coming
forth of the Book of Mormon speak of the "Seer Stone" and reiterate the
falsehood that the prophet stole it from the children of Willard Chase,
for who Joseph and Hyrum were digging a well.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote A: Statement of martin Harris, to Edward Stevenson, Mill.
Star, Vol. XLIV, pp. 86, 87.]

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

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

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

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

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

I repeat, then, that the translation of the Book of Mormon by means
of the "Interpreters" and "Seer Stone," was not merely a mechanical
process, but required the utmost concentration of mental and spiritual
force possessed by the prophet, in order to exercise the gift of
translation through the means of the sacred instruments provided for
that work. Fortunately we have the most perfect evidence of the fact,
though it could be inferred, from the general truth that God sets no
premium upon mental and spiritual laziness; for whatever means God may
have provided to assist man to arrive at the truth, He has always made
it necessary for man to couple with those means his utmost endeavor of
mind and heart. So much in the way of reflection; now as to the facts
referred to.

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

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

[Footnote A: Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 30.]

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

    "He was a religious and straightforward man. He had to be; for
    he was illiterate and he could do nothing of himself. He had to
    trust in God. He could not translate unless he was humble and
    possessed the right feelings towards everyone. To illustrate so
    you can see. One morning when he was getting ready to continue the
    translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put
    out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and
    I went up stairs and Joseph came up soon after to continue the
    translation, but he could not do anything. He could not translate
    a single syllable. He went down stairs, out into the orchard, and
    made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour--came back to
    the house, asked Emma's forgiveness and then came up stairs where
    we were and then the translation went on all right. He could do
    nothing save he was humble and faithful."[B]

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

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

    "Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as
    the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely
    shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask
    in faith, with an honest heart believing that you shall receive
    a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are
    ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have
    been spoken by the manifestation of my spirit. Yea, behold, I
    will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost,
    which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart,
    Now, behold, this is the Spirit of revelation; behold this is the
    Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the
    Red Sea on dry ground. * * * * Ask that you may know the mysteries
    of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all
    those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred, and
    according to your faith shall it be unto you."[C]

[Footnote C: Doc. & Cov., Sec. viii.]

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

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

[Footnote D: Doc. & Cov., Sec. ix]

While this is not a description of the manner in which Joseph Smith
translated the Book of Mormon, it is, nevertheless, the Lord's
description of how another man was to exercise the gift of translation;
and doubtless it describes the manner in which Joseph Smith did
exercise it, and the manner in which he translated the Book of Mormon.
That is, the Prophet Joseph Smith looked into the "interpreters" or
"Seer Stone," saw there by the power of God and the gift to him, the
ancient Nephite characters, and by bending every power of his mind
to know the meaning thereof, the interpretation wrought out in his
mind by his effort-by studying it out in his mind, to use the Lord's
phrase--was reflected in the sacred instrument there to remain until
correctly written by the scribe.

In further proof that translation was not a merely mechanical process
with the Prophet Joseph, I call attention to the evident thought and
study he bestowed upon the work of translating the rolls of papyrus
found with the Egyptian mummies, purchased by the Saints in Kirtland,
of Michael H. Chandler, about the 6th of July, 1835. "Soon after this,"
says the prophet, "with W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I
commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics,
and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings
of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt,"[A] etc. Speaking
in his history of the latter part of July, he says: "The remainder of
this month I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the
Book of Abraham and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language."[B]
In his journal entry for November 26, 1835, is the following: "Spent
the day in translating the Egyptian characters from the papyrus,
though suffering with a severe cold."[C] Under date of December 16th,
this: "I exhibited and explained the Egyptian characters to them
[Elders M'Lellin and Young], and explained many things concerning
the dealings of God with the ancients, and the formation of the
planetary system."[D] Thus he continued from time to time to work upon
this translation, which was not published until 1842, in the "Times
and Seasons," beginning in number nine of volume three. It should
be remembered in connection with this "preparing an alphabet" and
"arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language" that the prophet still
had in his possession the "Seer Stone" (or at least Oliver Cowdery had
it, for on completing the translation of the Book of Mormon the prophet
gave the Seer Stone into Oliver Cowdery's keeping, (David Whitmer's
Address to All Believers, page 32), which he had used sometimes in the
translation of the Book of Mormon, yet it seems from the circumstances
named that he had to bend all the energies of his intellectual powers
to obtain a translation of the Egyptian characters.

[Footnote A: History of the Church, Vol. II, p. 236.]

[Footnote B: Ibid, p. 238.]

[Footnote C: Ibid, p. 320.]

[Footnote D: Ibid, p. 334.]

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

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

Nor are we without authority of high standing in these views for the
verbal style of inspired writers. In "The Annotated Bible," published
by the "Religious Tract Society," London, 1859, the following occurs in
relation to the explanation of the words "prophet" and "prophecy:"

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote A: From a report of the Dean's Lecture, as published in the
_St. Louis Globe-Democrat,_ Sunday, March 19, 1905.]

Because a writer or speaker is under the inspiration of God it does
not follow that in giving expression to what the Lord puts into his
heart he will always do so in grammatical terms, any more than the
orthography of an inspired writer will always be accurate. We have
many illustrations of this fact among the inspired men that we have
known in the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days. Those of us
who have listened to the utterances of Prophets and Apostles cannot
doubt of their inspiration, and at the same time some of those who
have been most inspired have been inaccurate in the use of our English
language. The same seems true of the ancient Apostles also. The writer
of the Acts, at the conclusion of a synopsis of a discourse which he
ascribes to Peter, says, "Now, when they [the Jews] saw the boldness
of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant
men,[A] they marveled." The commentators upon this passage say that
the listening Jews perceived that Peter and John were uninstructed
in the learning of the Jewish schools, and were of the common sort
of men, untrained in teaching.[B] And again, "Their language and
arguments prove that they were untaught in the Rabbinical learning of
the Jewish schools."[C] But in what way could the Jews have discerned
the ignorance and absence of learning in Peter and John except through
the imperfections of their language? And yet those imperfections in
language may not be urged in evidence of the absence of inspiration
in the two apostles. Surely with God it must be that the matter is of
more consequence than the form in which it is expressed; the thought of
more moment than the word; it is the spirit that giveth life, not the
letter. "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What
is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord."[D]

[Footnote A: Acts iv: 13.]

[Footnote B: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary, Acts iv: 13.]

[Footnote C: International Commentary of the New Testament, Acts iv.]

[Footnote D: Jeremiah xxiii: 28.]

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


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

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

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

[Footnote A: Hyde's "Mormonism," Chapters 9, 10, 11.]

[Footnote B: "Golden Bible," Chapter 7.]

[Footnote C: Linn's "Story of the Mormons," Chapter 11.]

This objection was most carefully and intelligently stated recently
(October 22, 1903), by Mr. H. Chamberlain, of Spencer, Iowa, U. S. A.,
in a letter of inquiry on the subject to President Joseph F. Smith, of
Salt Lake City, in the course of which he said:

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

[Footnote D: _Improvement Era,_ Vol. viii, 1904, pp. 180, 181.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It should be understood also, in this connection, that while Joseph
    Smith obtained the facts and ideas from the Nephite characters
    through the inspiration of God, he was left to express those facts
    and ideas, in the main, in such language as he could command; and
    when he found that parts of the Nephite record closely paralleled
    passages in the Bible, and being conscious that the language of
    our English Bible was superior to his own, he adopted it, except
    for those differences indicated in the Nephite original which
    here and there make the Book of Mormon passages superior in sense
    and clearness. Of course, I recognize the fact that this is but a
    conjecture; but I believe it to be a reasonable one; and indeed the
    only one which satisfactorily disposes of the difficulty you point

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

[Footnote A: The correspondence in full is to be found in the
_Improvement Era_ for January, 1904, pp. 197-196.]

    "Of course, I realize that if the Book of Mormon was not just
    what it purported to be, the whole fabric [of Mormonism] must
    fall to the ground, so far as being an inspired religion, and
    would then only be worth what good one could get out of it as the
    best organization or controlled religion on earth; * * * * upon
    studying the Book of Mormon, I, of course, found these portions of
    King James' version of our Bible, and judging it by the applied
    law of human experience, as we lawyers learn to judge everything,
    I could account for it in no other way, than that Joseph Smith
    copied it therefrom, and I am free to say that your reasons for
    his so doing are not only probable, but the only solution that can
    be given. * * * * * I believe and think that your suggestion is
    the only theory upon which it is possible to advocate its divine
    character. It seems to me that God, so far as I know, has never
    supplied man with what he already possessed, and Joseph Smith
    already had language with which to express his ideas, and all that
    was required in addition from God was, that he furnish him with
    the thought, and then let him express it in his own language. I
    never could for a moment believe that God is interested in placing
    his approval on King James' translators' style of translating, nor
    upon the composition of the English language therein adopted. I
    do not see wherein your theory. detracts in any manner from the
    value of the Book of Mormon, as an inspired work acknowledged by
    God as authentic, nor makes more impracticable the manner of its


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


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

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

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

To answer the matter in the above quotation, it is necessary to ask:
What is the Manual theory of translating the Nephite record? It is a
theory based upon the only statement made by the Prophet Joseph Smith
on the subject, _viz.,_ "Through the medium of Urim and Thummim _I_
translated the record by the gift and power of God;"[A] and the Lord's
own description of the manner of translating in general by means of
Urim and Thummim, contained in his revelation to Oliver Cowdery in the
Doctrine and Covenants, sections viii and ix.

[Footnote A: Wentworth's Letter, Mill. Star, vol. 9, page 118.]

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

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

[Footnote A: Address to all Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, page

We have no statement at first hand from Martin Harris at all, only the
statement of another, Edward Stevenson, as to what he heard Martin say
was the manner of translation. This was as follows:

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

[Footnote A: Millennial Star, vol. 24, page 86-87.]

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

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

First. The impossibility of such a thing as a word-for-word bringing
over from one language into another. Such a procedure could only result
in producing an unintelligible jargon--a fact well known by those who
are at all acquainted with translation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the Lord's description of how Oliver Cowdery _could_ have
translated with the aid of Urim and Thummim (see context of the
revelation quoted), and it is undoubtedly the manner in which Joseph
Smith _did_ translate the Book of Mormon through the medium of Urim and
Thummim. This description of the translation destroys the theory that
Urim and Thummim did everything, and the seer nothing; that the work of
translating was merely a mechanical process of looking at a supplied
interpretation, in English, and reading it off to an amanuensis. This
description in the D&C implies great mental effort; of working out the
translation in the mind, and securing the witness of the Spirit that
the translation is correct. In all this, Urim and Thummim are helpful.
They are an aid doubtless to concentration of mind. They may have
held at the time just the characters to be translated at the moment,
and excluded all others; the translation thought out in the seer's
mind may also have been reflected in the interpreters and held there
until recorded by the amanuensis, all of which would be incalculably
helpful. But since the translation is thought out in the mind of the
seer, it must be thought out in such thought-signs as are at his
command, expressed in such speech-forms as he is master of; for, man
thinks, and can only think coherently, in language; and, necessarily,
in such language as he knows. If his knowledge of the language in which
he thinks and speaks is imperfect, his diction and grammar will be
defective. That errors of grammar and faults in diction do exist in
the Book of Mormon (and more especially and abundantly in the first
edition) must be conceded; and what is more, while some of the errors
may be referred to inefficient proof-reading, such as is to be expected
in a country printing establishment, yet such is the nature of the
errors in question, and so interwoven are they throughout the diction
of the book, that they may not be disposed of by saying they result
from inefficient proofreading, or referring them to the mischievous
disposition of the "typos," or the unfriendliness of the publishing
house. The errors are constitutional in their character; they are of
the web and woof of the style, and not such errors as may be classed
as typographical. Indeed the first edition of the Book of Mormon is
singularly free from typographical errors.

In the presence of these facts, only one solution to the difficulties
presents itself, and that is the solution suggested in the Manual,
viz., that the translator is responsible for the verbal and grammatical
errors, in the translation; as it is said of the original Nephite
record, so let us-say of the translation of that record, "If there
be faults, they are the faults of man;" not of God, either mediately
or immediately. Nor does this solution of the difficulties presented
cast any reflections upon Joseph the Seer. It was no fault of his that
his knowledge in the English language was so imperfect. His imperfect
knowledge was due entirely to his limited opportunity to acquire such
knowledge; to environment, not at all to neglect of opportunities or to
mental laziness.

But it is objected that this theory unsettles former conceptions of the
part taken by Urim and Thummim, in the work of translation. It upsets
somewhat the marvelous that has been associated with the translation of
the Nephite record. "Shall we understand," writes with some feeling one
objector, "that Urim and Thummim are not what they hitherto purported
to be?" and cites somewhat indefinitely the testimony of the Three
Witnesses; refers, but not definitely, to the _History of the Church,_
and to a sermon by Brigham Young; also to the following passages in
the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants: Mosiah 28:11-15; Ether
3:22-25; Mosiah 8:13-19; Doctrine and Covenants, section 130. We assure
this writer and other correspondents of the _Era_ that there is no
conflict between the Manual theory of translation and these passages
of scripture. The strongest passage cited as suggesting a conflict is
Mosiah 28:13-16, as follows:

    "And now he translated them (i. e., the Jaredite records) by the
    means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of
    a bow.

    "Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed
    down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting
    languages; * * * * And whosoever has these things, is called seer,
    after the manner of old times."

Emphasizing and insisting upon a rigid construction of the words, "Now
these things were handed down * * * for the purpose of interpreting
languages," may seem to fix the power of interpretation in the divine
instruments, not in the seer; but when these words are considered
in connection with all that one may learn upon the subject, we know
better than to insist upon a severely rigid construction. It should be
observed in the opening sentence of the very passage quoted that these
words occur:

    "And _he_ [Mosiah] translated them [the Jaredite records] by means
    of those two stones, which were fastened to two rims of a bow."

In other words, Mosiah, the seer, did the translating, aided by Urim
and Thummim; it was not the Urim and Thummim that did it, aided by

Moreover, the theory that the interpreters did the translating, not
the seer aided by them, is in conflict with the Lord's description
of translation by means of Urim and Thummim; and if old conceptions
respecting the part performed by Urim and Thummim are in conflict with
God's description of translation, then the sooner we are rid of such
conceptions the better.

"We are not able," say some of these objectors, "to harmonize the
theory of translation, presented in our Manual, with the testimony of
the Three Witnesses." The testimony of the Three Witnesses respecting
the translation of the record, mentioned in the foregoing, is simply
this: "We also know that they have been translated by the gift and
power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us."

This goes no further than the Prophet's description, already quoted.
The only thing Oliver Cowdery ever said, outside of the official
testimony of the Three Witnesses, was:

    "I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few
    pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he
    translated by the gift and power of God, by the means of Urim and

This is all that he has said on the subject, and that is in harmony,
it will be observed with what the Prophet Joseph Smith said, and at no
point contradicts the view of translation set forth in the Manual.

There remains, however, the statement of Whitmer and Harris, and it
is claimed that the Manual theory of translation cannot be harmonized
with what they have said. If that were true, and the Manual theory is
more in harmony with what God has said upon the subject than what they
have said, then all the worse for their theory--"yea, let God be true
but every man a liar!" And, by the way, in passing, I want to ask those
who stand up so stoutly for the vindication of what Messrs. Whitmer and
Harris have chanced to say on the subject of translation--What about
the Lord's description of the same thing in the Doctrine and Covenants?
Are they not interested in vindicating that description? I care very
little, comparatively, for what Messrs. Whitmer and Harris have said
about the subject. I care everything for what the Lord has said about
it. Whence did the two witnesses in question obtain such knowledge as
they had about the manner of translation? Undoubtedly, from the Prophet
Joseph; for they claim no revelation from the Lord upon the subject.
And this knowledge they did not announce until in the later years of
their lives; nothing was said about it, by them, until long after the
death of the Prophet. They doubtless have given their recollection
of what the Prophet had told them about the manner of translating;
but experience and observation both teach us that there may be a wide
difference between what is really said to men, and their recollection
of it--their impressions about it; especially when that recollection or
impression is not formulated into written statement until long years

At the same time, it is proper to say, as the Manual suggests, that
there is no necessary conflict between the statements of these
two Witnesses and the Manual theory of translation. They say the
Nephite characters, to be translated, appeared in Urim and Thummim.
We say that may be true, or the Prophet may have looked through the
interpreters--since they were transparent stones--and thus have seen
the characters. They say the interpretation appeared in English,
under the Nephite characters in Urim and Thummim; we say, if so, then
that interpretation, after being wrought out in the Prophet's mind,
was reflected into Urim and Thummim and held visible there until
written. The English interpretation was a reflex from the Prophet's
mind. (And may it not be that the peculiar quality of the Urim and
Thummim was to reflect _thought,_ especially God-given or inspired
thought, as other substances reflect objects?) All this is possible,
and is not in conflict with what either the Prophet or Oliver Cowdery
said upon the subject; nor in conflict with the Lord's description of
translation. But to insist that the translation of the Book of Mormon
was an arbitrary piece of mechanical work, wrought out by transparent
stones rather than in the inspired mind of the Prophet, is in conflict
with the Lord's description of translation, and all the reasonable
conclusions that may be drawn from the known facts in the case. This
theory--the Manual theory--accepted, accounting for errors in grammar
and faulty diction, as pointed out in chapter vii, Part I of Manual,
and in chapter xlvii of the Manual, Part III, is easy.

It is asked, however, "Shall we understand that Urim and Thummim are
not what they have hitherto purported to be?" By no means; if by
"purported to be," is meant what the seers, Mosiah of the Book of
Mormon, and Joseph Smith said of them. The former said of them that
"he translated by means of them"--i. e., they were an aid to him in
translating. Joseph the seer said that "through the medium" of Urim and
Thummim, _he_ translated the Nephite record--i. e., they were an aid to
him in the work of translation. But if by "purported to be" is meant
that the Urim and Thummim did the _mental_ work of translating--that
the instrument did everything, and the Prophet nothing, except to read
off what the instrument interpreted--then the sooner that theory is
abandoned the better; there is nothing in the word of God, or right
reason, to warrant it; it is utterly untenable, and affords no rational
explanation of the difficulties arising from the existence of verbal
and grammatical errors in the translation of the Nephite record.

But the question is asked, "Why bring these matters up at all?" "I
seriously question the expediency of any theory, beyond the facts that
are definitely known and attested, to explain the details of the coming
forth of the Book of Mormon," says one _Era_ correspondent. So say we
all. I wish Messrs. Whitmer and Harris, and those who have worked out
theories based upon their statements, had left the whole matter where
the Prophet Joseph left it; but this they failed to do. Then opponents
took up the question, and insisted that the theory of translation,
hitherto commonly accepted, requires us to charge all the faults in
diction and errors in grammar to the Lord; and also urge that we have
no right, under this theory of translation, to change a single word of
the translation, and some Latter-day Saints take the same view.

The correspondent last quoted also says: "It is enough for me to
know that the Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet Joseph
Smith, by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim
and Thummim." The present writer might join in that simple, bigoted
refrain, and say--"for me, too." But what of those for whom it is
not enough? What of the many young men in the Church who hear the
objections urged by the opponents of the Book of Mormon, based upon
the hitherto popular conception of the manner in which the translation
was accomplished--what of them? What of the earnest inquirers, in the
world, whose knowledge of languages, and of translation, teaches them
that the hitherto popular conception of the translation of the Book of
Mormon is an absurdity, not to say an impossibility--what of them? What
of the elders in the mission field who are constantly coming in contact
with these questions involved in the manner of translating the Book of
Mormon, and are asking--as they have been asking for years--for some
rational explanation of these matters--what of them? It is not enough,
in the presence of the controversies that have arisen out of Messrs.
Whitmer and Harris's unfortunate partial explanations, to say that the
Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and that is
enough for one to know.

It is not a question involving merely the wisdom or unwisdom of
setting up a "theory" of the manner in which the translation of the
Book of Mormon was accomplished. A "theory" already existed, based
upon the statements of Messrs. Whitmer and Harris, which, as generally
understood, was untenable. This had to be corrected; and the truth, so
far as possible, ascertained and expounded. It was not the desire to
create a new theory respecting the translation of the Book of Mormon
that prompted the writer of the Manual to advance such explanations
as are there made. Indeed, the theory set forth in the Manual did not
originate with him. The difficulties involved in the hitherto commonly
accepted theory of translation have long been recognized by Book of
Mormon students; and often have been the subject of conversation
between this writer and Elder George Reynolds, President Anthon H.
Lund, members of the Manual committee, and others; and this writer by
no means regards himself as the originator of what is sometimes called
the new theory of the Book of Mormon translation.

Meantime, the fact should be recognized by the Latter-day Saints
that the Book of Mormon of necessity must submit to every test, to
literary criticism, as well as to every other class of criticism;
for our age is above all things critical, and especially critical of
sacred literature, and we may not hope that the Book of Mormon will
escape closest scrutiny; neither, indeed, is it desirable that it
should escape. It is given to the world as a revelation from God. It
is a volume of American scripture. Men have a right to test it by the
keenest criticism, and to pass severest judgment upon it, and we who
accept it as a revelation from God have every reason to believe that
it will endure every test; and the more thoroughly it is investigated,
the greater shall be its ultimate triumph. Here it is in the world;
let the world make the most of it, or the least of it. It is and will
remain true. But it will not do for those who believe it to suppose
that they can dismiss objections to this American volume of scripture
by the assumption of a lofty air of superiority, and a declaration as
to what is enough for us or anybody else to know. The Book of Mormon is
presented to the world for its acceptance; and the Latter-day Saints
are anxious that their fellow men should believe it. If objections are
made to it, to the manner of its translation, with the rest, these
objections should be patiently investigated, and the most reasonable
explanations possible, given. This is what, in an unpretentious way,
is attempted in the Manual. The position there taken is intended to be
not destructive, but constructive; not iconoclastic, but conservative;
not negative, but positive; and the writer is of opinion that time will
vindicate the correctness of the views therein set forth.


I find it necessary to refer again to the matter of a "literal
translation"--a word-for-word bringing over from one language into
another, a thing which is practically impossible, if sense is to be
expressed. Reference is again made to this subject because it seems
to be the most stubborn obstacle in the way of the acceptance of the
"Manual theory."


Since writing the fore part of this article, a so-called "literal
translation" of the Greek New Testament has fallen into my hands,
extracts from which I think will help to illustrate the point at issue.
It should be remembered in what is to follow, that this "literal
translation" is only approximately so. The publishers themselves say,
"We give the Greek text with an interlinear translation _as literal
as may be to be useful."_ To show that the "literal translation" is
not and cannot be literal, it is only necessary to call attention to a
few facts which the publishers of the Greek text and its translation
themselves call attention to; namely, The word "master" is used in
the authorized version (our common English version) to translate
six different Greek words, all bearing different shades of meaning.
The word "judgment" stands for eight different Greek words in the
original. Of particles, "be" represents twelve different words; "but,"
eleven; "for," eighteen; "in," fifteen; "of," thirteen; and "on,"
nine; and so with many other words. Where these facts obtain, to talk
of "literal translation" is to talk of literal nonsense. Still, this
so-called "literal translation" will be of assistance to us in this
investigation, and I hope also somewhat convincing for the contention
made here, and in the Manual, respecting the nature of the translation
of the Book of Mormon.

I give on the foregoing page the photograph of an entire page from the
Greek New Testament. It will be observed that the Greek is given, and
under each Greek word an English equivalent, "as literal as may be to
be useful." Remember, not absolutely literal; and in the margin is the
translation of our common English version.

Now, for purposes of comparison, I give Paul's account of himself
before King Agrippa from the so-called Greek "literal translation," and
Nephi's account of himself taken from the Book of Mormon.


    And Agrippa to Paul said, it is allowed thee for thyself to speak.
    Then Paul made a defense, stretching out the hand: Concerning
    all of which I am accused by Jews, King Agrippa, I esteem myself
    happy being about to make defense before thee today, especially
    acquainted being thou of all the among Jews customs and also
    questions; wherefore I beseech thee patiently to hear me. The then
    manner of life my from youth, which from commencement was among my
    nation in Jerusalem, know all the Jews, who before knew me from the
    first, if they would bear witness that according to the strictest
    sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now for hope of thee
    to the Father's promise made by God, I stand being judged, to which
    our twelve tribes intently night and day serving hope to arrive;
    concerning which hope I am accused, O King Agrippa, by the Jews.
    Why incredible is it judged by you if God dead raises? I indeed
    therefore thought in myself to the name of Jesus the Nazarine I
    ought many things contrary to do.


    I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was
    taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen
    many afflictions in the course of my days--nevertheless, having
    been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a
    great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore
    I make a record of my proceedings in my day; yea, I make a record
    in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the
    Jews, and the language of the Egyptians. And I know that the record
    which I make, is true; and I make it according to my knowledge.
    For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the
    reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, (my father Lehi, having dwelt at
    Jerusalem in all his days;) and in that same year there came many
    prophets prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the
    great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.

In order that it may be seen that the difference between even an
approximately "literal translation," and the translation of the Book of
Mormon, holds good in other forms of composition as well as personal
narrative, I place the following doctrinal explanations before the
reader for purpose of comparison:


    For better, doing good, if wills the will of God, to suffer, than
    doing evil; because indeed Christ once for sins suffered, just
    for unjust, that us he might bring to God; having been put to
    death in flesh, but made alive by the spirit, in which also to the
    imprisoned spirits having gone he preached, disobeyed sometimes,
    when once was waiting the of God long suffering in the days of Noe,
    being prepared ark, into which few, that is eight souls, were saved
    through water, which also us figure now saves baptism, not of flesh
    a putting away of filth, but of a conscience good demand towards
    God, by resurrection of Jesus Christ who is at right hand of God,
    gone into heaven, having been subjected to him, angels, authorities
    and powers.


    And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have
    fallen; but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all
    things which were created must have remained in the, same state
    [in] which they were, after they were created; and they must
    have remained forever and had no end. And they would have had
    no children; wherefore, they would have remained in a state of
    innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good,
    for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the
    wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be;
    and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in
    the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from
    the fall.

This will doubtless be sufficient to show the difference between
a somewhat "literal translation" and one which is evidently not a
"literal," or word-for-word bringing over from one language into
another. The difference between the two things as indicated here is
very great. Still not so great as it would be if we were in possession
of a real "literal translation." One other thing also should be
remembered; namely, that however sharp the difference is between
a somewhat "literal translation" of the Greek and the translation
of the Book of Mormon, a "literal translation" from the Nephite
reformed Egyptian language would undoubtedly indicate a still sharper
difference, for the reason that our English idiom undoubtedly conforms
more readily to the Greek than it would to the Nephite language; so
that, great as the differences are in the foregoing illustrations,
they would be still more sharply defined if the Book of Mormon were
a word-for-word bringing over from the Nephite language into the
English--if such a thing were possible. Enough, however, is here
apparent to make it plain that the Book of Mormon is not a "literal
translation" from the Nephite language, that is, in the sense of being
brought over word for word and letter for letter from the Nephite into
the English. The translation of the Book of Mormon is English in idiom,
and the idiom of the time and locality where it was produced, as all
must know who read it, and especially those who have read the first
edition of it. It having been determined, then, that the translation of
the Book of Mormon is in English idiom, the question remains, Whose is
it? The Urim and Thummim's, the Lord's, or is it Joseph Smith's? And
who is responsible for its palpable errors? The Lord, or man? With that
question in mind, read the following few sample passages from among
many that might be quoted of like character from the first edition.
Speaking of Urim and Thummim the following occurs:

    "And the things are called interpreters; and no man can look in
    them, except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he had
    not ought, and he should perish; * * * * but a seer can know of
    things which has past, and also of things which is to come * * *
    and hidden things shall come to light, and things which is not
    known shall be made known by them." (Page 173.)

    "Blessed are they who humbleth themselves without being compelled
    to be humble." (Page 314.)

    "Little children doth have words given unto them many times which
    doth confound the wise and the learned." (Page 315.)

    "But they had fell into great errors, for they would not observe to
    keep the commandments of God." (Page 310.)

    "Have mercy on me, who art in the gall of bitterness and art
    encircled about by the everlasting chains of death." (Page 325.)

    "I have always retained in remembrance their captivity, yea, and ye
    also had ought to retain in remembrance, as I have their captivity;
    * * * for ye had ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye
    shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land;
    and ye had ought to know also that inasmuch as ye shall not keep
    the commandments of God, ye shall be cut off from his presence."
    (Page 326.)

    "Behold I say unto you, that it is him that surely shall come to
    take away the sins of the world." (Page 333.)

    "My son, do not risk one more offense against your God* * * which
    ye hath hitherto risked to commit sin; * * * for that which ye doth
    send out shall return unto you again." (Page 337.)

    "And thus ended the record of Alma, which was wrote upon the plates
    of Nephi." (Page 347.)

    "And this shall be your language in them days: But behold your days
    of probation is past."

Are these flagrant errors in grammar chargeable to the Lord? To say
so is to invite ridicule. The thoughts, the doctrines, are well
enough; but the awkward, ungrammatical expression of the thoughts is,
doubtless, the result of the translator's imperfect knowledge of the
English language,[A] for which lack of knowledge he is not one whit
blameable, since his lack of education was due entirely to his want of
opportunity for acquiring learning. And, moreover, the errors are just
such errors as one circumstanced as the translator was, would make.
Again, I say for the translation, what Moroni says for the original
Nephite record: "If there be errors, they are the errors of man," not
God's errors. Let us rid ourselves of the reproach of charging error,
even though it be of forms of expression, unto God, in whom and in
whose ways there are no errors at all.

[Footnote A: Of course, inefficient proof-reading, and the fact that
the publishing firm from whose press issued the first edition of the
Book of Mormon was unfriendly to it, and, therefore, careless in its
work, and, perhaps, even mischievously disposed towards it, may account
for some of the verbal and grammatical errors of the first edition.
On the probability of this being the case, the writer of the Manual
said in that work: "The fact that the Book of Mormon was published in
a country town, on a hand press, and by persons unfamiliar with book
making, and the proofs were read by Oliver Cowdery, who was entirely
without experience in such work, will account for many errors, verbal
and grammatical. The further fact that the employees, at the printing
establishment where the book was published, were unfriendly to it, and
were more anxious to make it appear ridiculous than to turn out a good
job, may account for other errors that crept into the first edition.
But after due allowance is made for all these conditions, the errors
are so numerous, and of such a constitutional nature, that they cannot
be explained away by these unfavorable conditions under which the work
was published."--_Manual_, page 494-5.]

One correspondent to the _Era,_ after making some objections to the
"Manual theory" of the translation of the Book of Mormon, closes his
communication with the following _post script:_

    "P.S.--We don't think the writer of the Manual should answer this.
    Give us better authority."

It would have pleased the writer of the Manual had the Editor of the
_Era_ thought proper to have referred these questions concerning
the translation of the Book of Mormon to someone else--to better
authority--and there are many better authorities; but the Editors have
seen proper to refer the questions to the Manual writer, and they have
received such consideration as he is able to give them, within the
compass of this article. Since the questions were referred to him,
however, the _Deseret News_ editorially has taken up the subject, and
I am very pleased with the opportunity of presenting to this _post
script_ writer the better authority for which he longs; but he may be
disappointed in the fact that the _News_ writer sees this matter of
translation substantially in the same light in which it was presented
by the Manual:


    "We have received from one of the wards in Idaho the following
    question, which we are requested to answer through the columns of
    the _Deseret News._ As it does not relate to any local matter which
    would come under the immediate jurisdiction of the ward or stake
    authorities, and is a subject that is receiving much attention just
    now, we will respond to the desire of our friend on this matter, as
    we are able. The question asked is as follows:

    "'Did Joseph Smith the Prophet, in translating the Book of Mormon,
    use his own language in translating the book into the English
    language, or did he use what appeared to him in the Urim and
    Thummim as the interpretation of the Nephite characters, and would
    it pass away before it was correctly written?'

    "We are of the opinion that the Manual for 1905-1906, prepared as
    a guide to the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association in the
    study of the Book of Mormon, will give a sufficient answer. But
    there is some conflict of opinion, in consequence of statements
    purporting to have been made by David Whitmer and Martin Harris,
    concerning the manner in which the Prophet Joseph obtained the
    interpretation of the characters inscribed upon the metallic
    plates, which were in "reformed Egyptian" hieroglyphics. The idea
    conveyed by those statements was that when the Prophet Joseph
    looked into the Urim and Thummim he saw the characters that were
    on the plates, and underneath them their meaning in the English
    language, and that when reading them to the scribe who wrote for
    him, the line would not disappear and another take its place unless
    it was copied correctly.

    "The history of the Prophet Joseph Smith, prepared from his
    diary, does not afford that information, nor do we know of
    anything authentic as coming from him which gives a description or
    explanation of the manner of translation of the Nephite record. One
    thing, however, is very clear to us, and that is, that whether in
    prophecy or preaching or translating, the man inspired of God is
    not simply a talking machine, but one who is divinely impressed and
    enlightened, and whose understanding is quickened and enlarged, but
    who still possesses all his faculties and the free agency which God
    has given to all mankind.

    "If all that was necessary for the Seer was to look into the
    instrument given to him as an aid in the work of translation, there
    would have been no real necessity for his possession of the plates,
    which he had to guard with such care. And if every word in English
    was supplied to him in the way supposed, it is not likely that any
    errors either in grammar or composition would be seen. We have
    not the slightest doubt that with the aid of those stones, and by
    the gift and power of God, Joseph was able to read the characters
    on the plates and understand their full significance, and that he
    expressed that in the ordinary language to which he was accustomed
    and according to his knowledge in the use of it, just as a person
    who translates anything from an ancient or modern language, the
    understanding of which he obtains by the ordinary means, and who
    would give it in English, according to the usual phraseology to
    which he was accustomed.

    "The prophets of old who spoke and wrote 'as moved upon by the
    Holy Ghost,' though inspired by the same spirit, expressed that
    which was given to them in their own way and with those distinctive
    peculiarities they each possessed. They were not acted upon against
    their own will, or as automatons. As Paul has it, 'The spirits of
    the prophets are subject to the prophets.' Any one who has enjoyed
    the spirit of revelation, either in prophecy, in testimony, in
    preaching, in interpretation of tongues, or in other spiritual
    gifts, knows what it is to receive light and truth by the power of
    God, which he speaks in his own language and in his own manner-and
    style. He who has not been thus inspired, may not be able to
    understand how the meaning of the characters on the plates was made
    clear to the translator so that he could express it in his own

    "But the important fact in this important matter is, that Joseph
    Smith really received these ancient records, containing much of
    the history of this continent and an account of the dealings of
    God with the early inhabitants thereof; that he translated them
    into the English language; and that, according to the testimony
    of the three witnesses--Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin
    Harris--the voice of the Lord declared that they were translated
    "by the gift and power of God," and therefore they were translated
    correctly. As to the exact _modus operandi,_ there is nothing on
    record that we know of as coming from the Prophet himself.

    "The great truth remains, that we have the Book of Mormon, written
    in simple language, and that such imperfections as may be found in
    it are, as it declares itself, 'the mistakes of men,' and these
    are simply errors of language, of such small importance that the
    meaning is not obscured, but whoever reads may also understand.
    It gives a plain and succinct account of the manner in which
    this continent was peopled in early times, shows the origin of
    the present tribes of so-called Indians, unfolds the purposes of
    the Almighty concerning this hemisphere, expounds the principles
    of the everlasting gospel, by obedience to which mankind may be
    saved, and testifies that Jesus of Nazareth was in very deed the
    Son of the Eternal God and the Redeemer of the world. These great
    truths are invaluable, and the question concerning the exact
    manner of the translation of the Book is comparatively of little
    moment."--_Deseret Evening News,_ January 31, 1906.

I think it proper at this point, also, to say, by way of personal
explanation, and perhaps to some extent by way of defense against
unkind criticisms that have been made of the writer of the Manual,
because of the theory of translation therein advanced--I think it
proper to say, I repeat, that the present writer did not upon his
own responsibility, and without consultation with those somewhat the
guardians of these matters, set forth the theory of the Manual on the
translation of the Book of Mormon. Chapter VII of the Manual, the one
setting forth the Manual theory of translation, was submitted to the
First Presidency, and several of the Apostles met together to consider
the chapter, and to listen to the reasons which, in the writer's
opinion, demanded that such an explanation of the translation should
be given. After listening to Chapter VII, and hearing the reasons for
making such explanations therein contained, it was moved and carried
that such chapter be published in the Manual, and it was published

This statement is not made with a view of making the First Presidency
and the Twelve, who were present and voted upon the subject,
responsible for the ideas advanced; the motion then taken carried with
it no such consequences. It meant only that the brethren then consulted
were willing that the present writer should publish those views in the
Young Men's Manual; but primarily he, the writer, stands responsible
for the views there expressed--a responsibility, by the way, which he
is very willing to carry; but he is anxious to have the Latter-day
Saints understand, and especially the young men in Israel, that in
setting forth the Manual theory of translating the Book of Mormon, the
writer was not seeking to gratify his personal vanity by advancing some
novel theory, and pushing it to the front regardless of the opinions of
others, or the general interests of the work. The same correspondent
also says:

    "The theory of the Manual is having a bad effect upon our best Book
    of Mormon students."

With all due respect to the gentleman's opinion, I desire to say to him
that he is entirely mistaken. The "Manual theory" of translation is
having no such effect; but, on the contrary, Book of Mormon students
everywhere are rejoicing in the fact that the "Manual theory" of
translation gives them a rational defense against the criticisms that
are urged against the faulty language of the English translation of
that book. Many errors, verbal and grammatical, have already been
eliminated in the later English editions, and there is no valid reason
why every one of those that remain should not be eliminated, since it
is the thought, the facts of the book, that one should be concerned in
preserving, not the forms in which they happen to be cast. There is no
good reason why we should not have just as good a Book of Mormon in
the English language as they now have in the French, the German, the
Swedish and the Danish, and (since the recent revision of it) in the
Hawaiian; for in these translations, it has not been thought necessary
to perpetuate the English errors; nor do I believe it necessary to
perpetuate them in our English editions. By making merely verbal
changes, and changes in grammatical construction, without changing the
shade of a single idea or statement, changes that could be legitimately
authorized by the President of the Church--who is the recognized law
giver in Israel, and guardian of the written word--the Book of Mormon
could be made a classic in English, and the present writer hopes that
he will live to see those verbal and grammatical changes authorized.



April 28, 1906.

_President B. H. Roberts, Salt Lake City:_

DEAR BROTHER:--As a subscriber to the _Era_ I have also received
the _Manual_ from year to year, and I have perused them with much
interest. I have carefully studied the lessons or chapters pertaining
to the translation of the Book of Mormon, and have read your articles,
published in the recent numbers of the _Era,_ written as a defense of
your theory of translation as set forth in the _Manual._

It is not my intention to enter into any controversy with you in
relation to this theory, this would be presumptuous on my part. Neither
do I want to criticize, but inasmuch as we have no _sure_ authority,
no word left us from the Prophet, neither anything revealed putting
this matter beyond a doubt, the field is open for theorizing. I would
readily accept your theory with just one amendment, and to propose that
amendment I write you these lines. While reading one of your articles,
a thought was suggested to me like this: May it not have been that
the Prophet _did see,_ as related, through the Urim and Thummim the
translation of each sentence from the plates into the English language,
but in a so-called word for work or literal translation; and from this
odd rendering, it became his task to put the sentence into readable
English? Taking this view of it, we can account for how the language of
the Book of Mormon is in part _modern_ and in part decidedly ancient.
The Prophet having used partly the words as they appeared, and, in
order to put it into proper form, used or supplied words of his own.
This will account for all errors, and place the responsibility for
them where it must belong, with man and not with God. It would give
due importance and credit to the sacred instruments, and would leave
ample scope for the Prophet to exercise his own mental powers. It would
make the statements of Martin Harris and David Whitmer in relation to
the translation substantially correct, and it would also be in perfect
harmony with what the Lord made known to Oliver Cowdery in relation to
the mode of translation.

I don't know, of course, what objections you may see to this idea, but
shall be pleased, if you are not too busy to do so, if you will write
me a line in relation to it.

With kind regards, your brother,



SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, June 1, 1906.

DEAR BROTHER:--Your esteemed favor of April 28th duly to hand, and
contents read with pleasure; but have not found opportunity to write
you on the subject of your letter until now. The solution you suggest
as to difficulties involved in the alleged manner of translating the
Book of Mormon have been urged upon my attention by others, but,
unfortunately, not always in the clear and temperate spirit of your
communication. I have several letters before me now asking if the
supposition you suggest is not tenable, and would it not relieve us
of whatever remains of difficulties, after accepting the chief ideas
advanced in the _Manual_ theory of translation. I have had a number of
conversations with others on the same subject, and it may interest you
to know that one of the prominent professors in one of our principal
Church institutions of learning very earnestly entertains the same

Your theory is so clearly and completely stated in your letter that it
need not be restated by me. All you ask is my opinion of it.

Frankly, then, in the first place, I cannot see that it helps us out of
our difficulties at all. In the second place, it still involves us in
the absurdity of supposing some kind of intellectual or mental force in
the transparent stones of the Urim and Thummim. And in the third place,
all the supposed harmonizing effect of your suggestion is already found
in the _Manual_ theory of translation.

Of course, however, the whole point at issue in my consideration of
your suggestion, is the probability of its being true; for if we can
but get at the truth of the matter for once, all other considerations,
in time will take care of themselves,--the difficulties in which
it might seemingly involve us, the harmonizing of all seeming
inconsistencies, all seeming conflict of testimonies of the uncritical
persons who were honored of God in bringing forth the work, etc. So
now, as to the probability of the truth of your suggestion.

First, I must demur somewhat to your remark that we have nothing
"revealed putting this matter beyond a doubt;" I am rather inclined
to think we have. The more I think of the Lord's revelation to Oliver
Cowdery describing the manner in which he might have exercised the gift
of translation by means of Urim and Thummim, had his faith not failed
him (Doc. and Cov. secs viii, ix), the more I am convinced that we have
the Lord's description of the manner in which translation by means
of Urim and Thummim is accomplished. That is the word of the Lord,
to which all theories must conform, whatever becomes of merely human
testimonies. Now with this as the premise, I hold that it is clear that
the power which stands between the Nephite characters seen through the
Urim and Thummim, and the English translation of these, is the inspired
mind of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and not any intellectual or mental
power in the transparent stones of the divine instrument. To suppose
that Urim and Thummim, by some means, and necessarily it must have been
intellectual means, some mental process, made a transliteration from
the Nephite characters in exact though awkward and often meaningless
English equivalents, which Joseph Smith constructs into his unlearned,
yet plainly understood English, (your theory) is to transcend all
human experience and knowledge which God has revealed, and lands us
back into the midst of all the difficulties from which we are trying
to escape. To explain: It nowhere appears from anything which man has
discovered, or that God has revealed, that there is any substance,
from street mud to radium, from a mountain to an atom, or an electron,
aside from _mind,_ that possesses intellectual or mental force, the
only force conceivable as translating the thought crystallized in the
symbols of one language, into thought crystallized into the symbols
of another language--intellectual or mental force alone, I say, must
be supposed to be capable of doing such work as that. If the Urim and
Thummim possessed that intellectual power it must have been conferred
upon it of God, and under that supposition, we are brought face to face
again with all our old difficulties, chief of which is the question:
If God created such an instrument, and conferred upon it the power to
give a transliteration of the Nephite characters, how is it that he
did not give it the power to translate the meaning into reasonable and
readable, not to say perfect English, at first hand, and relieve us of
the awkward supposition that the instrument possessed the mental power
to make the literal translation of words from the Nephite language into
another--and which Joseph Smith was left to construct into imperfect
English? What would be gained by the adoption of this cumbersome and,
pardon me, I think, untenable theory? And again, what occasion for it,
when we have the more simple and reasonable theory of the _Manual_
which is in accord with what God has revealed upon the subject, and
not necessarily contradictory of what Messrs. Whitmer and Harris have
said upon the subject? In order that this may appear, I restate the
_Manual_ theory: The Prophet saw the Nephite characters in the Urim and
Thummim; through strenuous mental effort, the exercise of faith and
the operation of the inspiration of God upon his mind, he obtained the
thought represented by the Nephite characters, understood them in the
Nephite characters, understood them in the Nephite language, and then
expressed the understanding, the thought, in such language as he was
master of; which language, as his mind by mental processes arranged it,
was reflected and held to his vision in Urim and Thummim until written
by his amanuensis. That leaves all the factors involved in the work of
translation in their true relation: The Urim and Thummim an _aid_ to
the Prophet in the work, yet not necessarily, and contrary to human
experience and knowledge revealed of God, endowed with intellectual
power; the mind of the Prophet, touched through his faith by the
inspiration of God, the chief factor; the testimony of Messrs. Harris
and Whitmer that both Nephite characters and the English translation
appeared in the Urim and Thummim, undisturbed and unimpaired.

That I believe to be the truth of the matter, so far as it may be
ascertained, and the certainty of it grows apace. The compromise
suggestion you make--you recognize the fact, of course, that it is
purely conjecture--I do not think can stand, but it indicates an
advancement from the old untenable theory. That old theory cannot
be successfully maintained; that is, the Urim and Thummim did the
translating, the Prophet, nothing beyond repeating what he saw
reflected in that instrument; that God directly or indirectly is
responsible for the verbal and grammatical errors of translation.
To advance such a theory before intelligent and educated people is
to unnecessarily invite ridicule, and make of those who advocate it
candidates for contempt.

Since receiving your letter I have received a communication from Ann
Arbor, Michigan, written by Brother Francis W. Kirkham, of Provo, the
body of which is as follows:

    "A paper on 'Mormonism' was recently read before the seminary class
    in American History at this university. The writer was very fair,
    and I believe tried to be impartial. In the paper the manner of the
    interpretation of the Book of Mormon as described by Martin Harris
    was brought to its only logical conclusion. Our professor stopped
    the reader and asked if 'Joseph Smith had made the statement which
    seemed so incredulous.'

    "'I am not sure,' was the reply, 'yet this appears to be the Mormon
    explanation of the manner of interpretation.'

    "Later I gave copies of the last _Manual_ to both our professor
    and my fellow classmate. Both myself and another Mormon boy who
    listened to the paper, heartily wished that the correspondents you
    found it necessary to answer in the last two numbers of the Era
    had been seated in the room. We believe a cure would have been the

Desiring something more in detail on this circumstance, Edward H.
Anderson, assistant Editor of the _Era,_ wrote to Elder Kirkham for
further particulars. Following is the body of the letter received in
reply to this request:

    "The paper was on Mormonism. In discussing the Book of Mormon,
    the reader followed largely the argument of Mr. Frank Pierce in
    a number of the _American Archaeologist._ [I can get the exact
    reference when I return to Ann Arbor.] I did not read the article
    in full, but it quoted from the writings of Martin Harris, and
    others. Mr. Pierce claimed he gave the Mormon account of the
    interpretation of the golden plates, which is, he said, that Joseph
    Smith, Jr., saw the exact words he was to write in the transparent
    stone spectacles and that the words would not disappear until the
    scribe had written them exactly as the Lord had given them. Mr.
    Pierce also gave the testimony of the printer of the original
    edition of the Book of Mormon in which he testified that the
    'Smiths' would not allow him to change the manuscript in the least,
    although he was aware of its crudeness.

    "When the reader of the paper had made the above assertions
    concerning the interpretation of the Book of Mormon, our professor
    spoke up and said: 'Are you sure Joseph Smith said this was the
    manner of the interpretation?' 'No,' was the reply, I am not
    sure.' 'Well,' continued our professor, 'It is very important
    that we know, for, if Joseph Smith did make the assertions you
    speak of, there seems to me but one logical conclusion, either the
    Lord intentionally made all the mistakes of the first edition and
    colored the writings with the provincialisms of New York state, or,
    that the Lord was unable to speak correctly or use other than the
    phrases and mannerisms of the locality in which Joseph Smith lived.

    "I wrote to Elder B. H. Roberts the letter because we regret
    it, because we realize that the Martin Harris theory of the
    interpretation is contrary to common sense and reason."

It is no use resisting the matter, the old theory must be abandoned. It
could only come into existence and remain so long and now be clung to
by some so tenaciously because our fathers and our people in the past
and now were and are uncritical.[A] They have been and are now--and
to their honor be it said--more concerned with the fact of the divine
origin of the Book of Mormon and the great work it introduced than
to the _modus operandi_ of its translation. Overwhelmed by a divine
testimony of its truth they have paid little attention to the precise
manner by which it was brought forth. It is doubtful if the Prophet
Joseph himself was conscious of the mental and spiritual processes of
translation. It was not his part in the great work to distinguish all
the minutiae of the process by which the word of God came to him. It was
his higher and nobler part to feel and know the word of God in his own
soul; to receive that word through the aids and means provided of God,
and to proclaim that word of God to the world, leaving to others the
less important task of expounding it, unifying its parts, harmonizing
it with previous revelations, proving it true, analyzing it, defending
it when assailed. And in the process of attending to the part of the
work of God the Prophet left to us, we meet with the necessity of
explaining the manner of translating the Book of Mormon, so far as it
can be ascertained, in order to defend the book from assaults made upon
it by mocking unbelievers. One could wish that our own people would
approach the consideration of the matter with less feeling and more
reason than they do; for the whole effort on the part of those who put
forth the _Manual_ theory of translation is merely to ascertain the
truth respecting the matter, and with the view of finding a basis from
which the work may be successfully defended and advocated.

[Footnote A: "It is no use trying to twist facts to suit theories
derived from a past which was destitute of the knowledge we now
possess; what we have to do is to adjust our theories to suit the
facts."_--Hibbert Journal,_ April, 1907, page 197.]

These latter reflections bring to mind some observations I remember
to have read some time ago in the philosophical works of John Fiske
respecting two classes of disciples or partisans in the world of
religious and philosophical opinion, which I think with profit may be
reproduced here. By the way, I see the passage I refer to occurs in
the introduction to _Fiske's Work,_ written by Josiah Boyce, and is as

    "Disciples and partisans, in the world of religious and
    philosophical opinion, are of two sorts. There are, first, the
    disciples pure and simple,--people who fall under the spell of a
    person or a doctrine, and whose whole intellectual life thenceforth
    consists in their partisanship. They expound, and defend, and
    ward off foes, and live and die faithful to the one formula. Such
    disciples may be indispensable at first in helping a new teaching
    to get a popular hearing, but in the long run they rather hinder
    than help the wholesome growth of the very ideas that they defend:
    for great ideas live by growing, and a doctrine that has merely
    to be preached, over and over, in the same terms, cannot possibly
    be the whole truth. No man ought to be merely a faithful disciple
    of any other man. Yes, no man ought to be a mere disciple even of
    himself. We live spiritually by outliving our formulas, and by thus
    enriching our sense of their deeper meaning. Now the disciples of
    the first sort do not live in this larger and more spiritual sense.
    They repeat. And true life is never mere repetition.

    "On the other hand, there are disciples of a second sort. They are
    men who have been attracted to a new doctrine by the fact that it
    gave expression, in a novel way, to some large and deep interest
    which had already grown up in themselves, and which had already
    come, more or less independently, to their own consciousness. They
    thus bring to the new teaching, from the first, their own personal
    contribution. The truth that they gain is changed as it enters
    their souls. The seed that the sower strews upon their fields
    springs up in their soil, and bears fruit,--thirty, sixty, an
    hundred fold. They return to their master his own with usury. Such,
    men are the disciples that it is worth while for a master to have.
    Disciples of the first sort often become, as Schopenhauer said,
    mere magnifying mirrors wherein one sees enlarged, all the defects
    of a doctrine. Disciples of the second sort co-operate in the works
    of the Spirit; and even if they always remain rather disciples
    than originators, they help to lead the thought that they accept
    to a truer expression. They force it beyond its earlier and cruder
    stages of development."

I believe Mormonism affords opportunity for disciples of the second
sort; nay, that its crying need is for such disciples. It calls for
thoughtful disciples who will not be content with merely repeating some
of its truths, but will develop its truths; and enlarge it by that
development. Not half--not one-hundredth part--not a thousandth part of
that which Joseph Smith revealed to the Church has yet been unfolded,
either to the Church or to the world. The work of the expounder has
scarcely begun. The Prophet planted by teaching the germ-truths of
the great dispensation of the fulness of times. The watering and the
weeding is going on, and God is giving the increase, and will give
it more abundantly in the future as more intelligent discipleship
shall obtain. The disciples of Mormonism, growing discontented with
the necessarily primitive methods which have hitherto prevailed in
sustaining the doctrine, will yet take profounder and broader views of
the great doctrines committed to the Church; and, departing from mere
repetition, will cast them in new formulas; co-operating in the works
of the Spirit, until "they help to give to the truth received a more
forceful expression, and carry it beyond the earlier and cruder stages
of its development." Another has said:

    "The ultimate Truth, no doubt, is one; but Truth as it enters the
    world through human lips is always involved in temporary forms,
    which subsequent experience enlarges or corrects. No historic
    religion, therefore, can ever claim finality; and the work of
    religious founders is not so much to create systems of thought as
    to impart those impulses of moral endeavor and spiritual affection
    which the Christian sums up under the term "life."[A]

[Footnote A: Hibbert Journal, April, 1906, p. 503]

You see once having got started, I have gone beyond the inquiries
of your letter, though I hope not unprofitably so. And, by the way,
since there are a number who are inclined to the view of the manner
of translation suggested by you, is there any objection in your mind,
to publishing this correspondence as a part of the very interesting
consideration now being given to the subject of which it treats?[B]

[Footnote B: No objection was made to the suggestion, and hence the
letters were published.]

Very truly yours,



A Brief Debate on the Book of Mormon.


The following brief discussion on the Book of Mormon, while very
limited in its scope, will doubtless be of interest as illustrating
the manner in which answer can be made to objections urged against the
American scriptures on the ground of imperfections in grammar, modern
phraseology, New York localisms, apparent transcripts from King James'
translation from the Bible, etc. Also the discussion may indicate
how helpless one would be in defending the Book of Mormon from such
criticism as is made in "M's" papers, in the absence of such a theory
of translation as is set forth in the Young Men's Improvement Manual
and in the series of papers preceding this brief discussion.

The writer disclaims having issued a "challenge to the world," or
to anybody in it, to debate the question of the divine authenticity
of the Book of Mormon in his remarks in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on
the 8th of November, 1903, or at any other time. The remarks on that
occasion merely dealt with what the writer considers a prophetic page
in the Book of Mormon, page 122 of the current edition, and which is as


    "2. For behold, I say unto you, That as many of the Gentiles as
    will repent, are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many
    of the Jews as will not repent, shall be cast off; for the Lord
    covenanteth with none, save it be with them that repent and believe
    in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

    "3. And now, I would prophecy somewhat more concerning the Jews and
    the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come
    forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto
    the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which
    are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of
    our seed.

    "4. And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how
    that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of
    the Jews.

    "5. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them;
    wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their
    fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had
    among their fathers.

    "6. And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is
    a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of
    darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations
    shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and
    delightsome people.

    "7. And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered,
    also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to
    gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe
    in Christ, shall also become a delightsome people.

    "8. And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his
    work, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring
    about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

    "9. And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and
    reprove with equity, for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite
    the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his
    lips shall he slay the wicked;

    "10. For the time speedily cometh, that the Lord God shall cause a
    great division among the people; and the wicked will he destroy;
    and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must
    destroy the wicked by fire.

    "11. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and
    faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

    "12. And then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the [End of

Here on this one page are at least five very striking prophecies:

1. Many shall believe the Book of Mormon: a thing which seemed most
improbable when the book was in course of publication.

2. They will carry it to the Lamanites--American Indians;

3. The Lamanites by that means will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ,
come to a knowledge of their fathers, will rejoice in the truth, and
finally become a delightsome people;

4. The Jews, after the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, will begin
to believe in Christ, and begin to gather to the lands of their

5. The work of the Lord on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon will
begin among all nations, in order to bring to pass the restoration of
Israel in the earth.[A]

[Footnote A: These prophecies and their fulfillment are considered at
length in the Y. M. M I. A. Manual for the year 1904-6, No. 9; which
treatise will also be found in the writer's "New Witness for God," Vol.
II, now soon to go to press.]

In the discourse which treated of this "prophetic page" the writer
expressed the opinion that these prophecies and their direct and
remarkable fulfillment could not be accounted for on any other
hypothesis than that the writer of them was inspired of God. And this
was construed into the "Challenge to the World" referred to in the
following papers. If the writer's remarks could fairly be considered
as a challenge, then surely these prophecies and the question of
their fulfillment should have been the main subject of discussion;
but consideration of them forms scarcely any part of the debate which
follows, they are almost ignored, and quite other questions are the
subject of the debate; for which however, the writer is in no way


The Objector's First Paper.

(_Salt Lake City Tribune,_ Nov. 22, 1903.)

_Editor Tribune_:--According to the newspaper reports, Elder B. H.
Roberts, in his Tabernacle address Sunday, November 8th, threw out a
sweeping challenge to the world to show that the Book of Mormon is not
of divine origin and authority.

Since Elder Roberts, on the occasion above referred to, confined his
attention mainly to the writings of the alleged Prophet Nephi, we will
do the same. Now the following are some of the difficulties Elder
Roberts will have to explain before he can make any headway toward
setting aside the intelligent belief of the American people generally
that the Book of Mormon in general and the books of Nephi in particular
are fictitious books:


1. The alleged Prophet Nephi claims to have lived and written between
500 and 600 B.C. For he tells us in chapter 1 and 10 of the first book
that his father was living in Jerusalem in the first year of the reign
of Zedekiah, king of Judah, which reign began not far from 600 B.C.
This professed prophet Nephi pretends to give a summary of the records
made by his father Lehi, about that date, and also "an account of my
proceedings in my days." Now the first difficulty for Elder Roberts
to remove is this: How could a writer, claiming to live at that time,
make repeated quotations from the writings of Christ's Apostles, who
were not born until nearly 600 years after the time when Nephi wrote?
Yet this pretended prophet Nephi quotes passage after passage from the
writings of Christ's apostles Matthew and John and Paul, and also from
the writings of the evangelist Luke, and from the words of the Apostle
Peter, which Christian writers were born about the beginning of the
Christian era. Just take two or three examples of Nephi's quotations,
made at least 500 years before the writers were born from whom he
quotes: In I Nephi 10:8, we read these words, so familiar to English
Bible readers: "Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there
standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I,
whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." This is a direct
quotation from the gospel of John 1:26-7, and also from Matthew 3:1.

On the same page in Nephi are several quotations from the writings of
Paul, in the 11th of Romans, about the olive tree, and the "branches
broken off," with others "grafted in." In I Nephi iii:20 we find the
expression, "which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy
prophets * * * since the world began." These are the words of Peter
as recorded by Luke in Acts iii:21. The above is an illustration of
the way in which this alleged Prophet Nephi quotes from the writers of
the New Testament. This is fraud No. 1, exposing the false claims of
Nephi, who pretends to write between 500 and 600 years B.C. and yet
quotes from the New Testament writers who were not born until over 500
years later. The Old Testament prophets were genuine. They did, by the
help of God, foretell many important future events. But none of them
pretended to be able, either by the help of God, or their own agility,
to quote passage after passage from writings that did not exist, and
from authors that had not been born. It remained for the favorite
prophet of Elder B. H. Roberts, the robust and agile Nephi, to perform
this feat, beyond the reach of God's genuine prophets.


2. This alleged Prophet Nephi, pretending to write between 500 and 600
B.C., actually quotes from Shakespeare! This beats the genuine prophets
of the Old Testament even worse than before, and shows that, on a
prophetic long jump, this elastic Nephi could easily take the cake. In
II Nephi i:14, he is writing down the words of his father Lehi, and
represents him as saying, "hear the words of a trembling parent, whose
limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent gave, from whence no
traveler can return."

Every reader of Shakespeare will recognize the last phrase as taken, in
substance, from a sentence in Hamlet's soliloquy. This great Prophet
Nephi (writing, be it remembered, between 500 and 600 B.C.) had
probably loaned his copy of Shakespeare to a neighbor and attempted to
quote from memory, getting about as near the original as the average
Mormon prophet generally does, for example, when attempting to quote
the scriptures from memory. Here is fraud No. 2 perpetrated by this
pretended prophet Nephi, from which Elder Roberts must vindicate his
hero, or else leave us to conclude, as facts seem to show, that the
writer of these books of Nephi was quite a modern deceiver.

3. This brings us to another serious difficulty which we ask Elder
Roberts to elucidate before we can accept his theory that Nephi was a
prophet of God, and that the book of Mormon is a divine revelation.
This alleged Prophet Nephi, professing to write between 500 and 600
B.C., quotes many long passages from a book which did not come into
existence until the seventeenth century of the Christian era. We
refer to the King James English version of the Bible, which was first
published in 1611 A. D. Now, perhaps Elder Roberts can tell us how this
fellow Nephi, pretending to write in the sixth century before Christ,
could quote hundreds of passages, about three hundred, from the New
Testament alone, and whole chapters from our English version of the
Bible, which did not come into existence for more than 2000 years after
he wrote!

This stuffed Prophet Nephi gives himself completely away in the very
first chapter, and shows that he is a very modern writer by using such
well-known expressions as these from our English Bible: "Pillar of
fire," Exodus xiv:24; "Filled with the spirit," Ephesians v:18; "Great
and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty," Revelation xv:3.
These hundreds of passages, and these whole chapters in II Nephi and
elsewhere, from our English Bible, be it observed, are quoted not from
the original, which would not help the matter, for the original of
the New Testament did not exist; but they are quoted from the English
translation of 1611, mistakes and all, even to the filling in of the
peculiar gaps in the way suggested by the English translators.

Now, these hundreds of verbatim quotations, and these whole chapters
from our English Bible, which claim to be quoted over 2000 years before
it was written, should make it quite clear, even to the average mind,
that this pretended Nephi instead of being an ancient prophet was a
very modern one, a pious deceiver and falsifier, living about 1829
of our era. But, perhaps, Elder Roberts can explain it all, and show
us how this modern deceiver in the nineteenth century was an ancient
prophet of God 600 B.C.


4. This alleged Prophet Nephi gives himself away even worse in the 31st
chapter of the second book by forgetting that he was pretending to
write in the sixth century before Christ and treating the baptism of
Christ as actual history, which it really was. He not only refers to
it in the past tense, but actually indulges in a regular camp-meeting
exhortation to the "brethren," exhorting them, in accordance with the
revival style of 1828, to "repent of their sins," and "follow their
Lord and Savior down into the water," promising that after that they
shall have "the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost."

This is deception No. 4, and shows that Sidney Rigdon Nephi, in 1828,
forgetting that he was an ancient prophet living six centuries before
Christ, broke loose in his regular old camp-meeting style, and just
"whooped up" the brethren, without his deceiver's mask. Nephi, a
divinely inspired prophet of God! Holy Moses, preserve us! If Nephi,
with the above record, or the godless fellow who personated him,
deserves honor as a prophet, then great injustice was done to Boss
Tweed in not electing him President of the American Bible Society. For
clearly he had more religion than this alleged Prophet Nephi with his
conscienceless deception in connection with sacred things.

Come, Brother Roberts, if you can't back up that other alleged prophet,
Joseph Smith, with something more substantial, something less imaginary
and fictitious than these pretended prophetic writings of Nephi, from
which we have been quoting, then you better drop Nephi as a prophet and
fall back on Coriantumr, Shiz or Robinson Crusoe.


5. If the Book of Mormon, as Elder Roberts claims, is a revelation from
God, what moral or religious truth does it reveal which we did not know
before? Not one item. If Elder Roberts will point me to one solitary
item of moral or spiritual truth in the whole Book of Mormon which it
did not take, directly or indirectly, from the Bible, I will present
him with a five-dollar Stetson hat. I know it cannot be done, for it
has been attempted in vain again and again. What sense is there in
calling the Book of Mormon a revelation from God, when it took from the
Bible the only moral truth it contains, and is shown on its face to be
a counterfeit book?

Now, a few words about the pretended prophecies of the wonderful
Nephi, which Elder Roberts claims have been fulfilled. Here is the way
in which prophecies are made and fulfilled in the Book of Mormon: It
either takes the historic record in the New Testament, using the very
words of Scripture, tries to push this history back hundreds of years
and then falsely claims it to be prophetic; or else it deliberately
appropriates the genuine prophecies of the Old Testament. Then, after
mutilating these prophecies more or less, with its peculiar Sidney
Rigdon phraseology and most abominable grammar, it attempts to palm off
these prophecies as original! The prophecy about the restoration of the
Jews to their own land, which Elder Roberts quotes from second Nephi,
and thinks is so wonderful, is simply a case of downright plagiarism.
The conversion of the Jews and their restoration to their own land is
repeatedly foretold by the Old Testament prophets, in such passages
as Jeremiah xxx:3; Ezekiel xxxvii:21; Amos ix:15, and others. Yet the
writer of this book of Nephi does not hesitate to take these prophecies
from the Bible, modify their language, and then try to palm them off as
his own.

As for the two pretended prophecies referred to by Mr. Roberts, in II
Nephi xxx:3, that "Many shall believe the words which are written,"
and that "They shall carry them forth to the remnant of our seed,"
the first is not a prophecy at all, but the simple statement of a
well-known historical fact, yet perverted by the attempt to make it
bolster up this modern book. In saying that it is the statement of a
historical fact, we mean this: The Book of Mormon, as shown above, is
made up of hundreds upon hundreds of Bible phrases and verses, and many
whole chapters taken from our English Bible. As a matter of course,
these Bible quotations which form such a large per cent of the Book
of Mormon, are accepted and believed by the 400 millions who make up

The other passage Mr. Roberts misreads and misinterprets by making "the
remnant of our seed" refer to the Lamanites. Then he assumes, without
one item of proof, that the Lamanites are the same as our Indians.
According to Nephi, the Lamanites were the descendants of his brother
Laman, and were consequently Jews, for Laman was a Jew. Now Ridpath,
the American historian, in the second paragraph of his history of the
United States, sums up the evidence concerning the connection between
the Indians and the Jews in this one sentence: "The notion that the
Indians are descendants of the Israelites is absurd."

Furthermore, the writer of the book of Nephi jumbles up his own history
and contradicts himself in appearing to make "the remnant of our seed"
refer to the Lamanites, as in 2 Nephi xxx:6. Nephi writes as a Jew, and
his seed or the "remnant" of it, will inevitably be Jews and Nephites,
and not Lamanites. The latter descended from Laman and not from Nephi,
and hence could not be the "remnant" of Nephi.

But what is the use of talking seriously about the Nephites and the
Lamanites when no such people ever existed in this country except in
the wild imagination of the writer of a piece of fictitious stuff,
out of which this Book of Mormon was manufactured. The Nephites and
Lamanites never had one whit more reality than the peculiar inhabitants
of the famous island of Lilliput, as described by that model Mormon
historian, Lemuel Gulliver, whom Dean Swift portrays.


Abundant proof has been given above that the Book of Mormon is not an
ancient, but a very modern book, and not only a modern book, but a
modern imposition by pretending to be an ancient book and revelation
from God, when it reveals nothing in the way of moral truth which it
did not steal from the Bible.

We are sorry to see a man of Mr. Roberts' ability fooling away his time
and thought in the useless attempt to bolster up as a divine revelation
that which the intelligent reading millions of the American people are
persuaded is fabrication. If the fact that 200,000 people, more or
less, believe in the Book of Mormon, proves that a false book is a true
one, then Mrs. Eddy's book far outranks the Book of Mormon in merit,
for her 'book has a million supporters. But Mr. Roberts is correct in
one statement, namely: that if the Book of Mormon is a false book, then
it would follow that "the great prophet of the Latter-day movement is
a fraud." Well, if there is any one fact which is generally accepted
and believed by the reading, thinking millions of this country, without
regard to party or creed, it is that Joseph Smith was not a prophet.
And they believe this because of the abundant and varied evidence in
regard to his life and conduct.

If Mr. Roberts is really in earnest in desiring to know the actual
origin of the Book of Mormon, the character of the men who manufactured
it and the kind of pretenders they were, socially and morally, let
him read the first eleven chapters of the "Origin and Progress of
Mormonism," by that well-informed and reliable historian, Pomeroy
Tucker of Palmyra, New York. He was well acquainted with Martin Harris,
Oliver Cowdery and other Mormon leaders of that early time, and was for
a dozen years near neighbor to the founder of Mormonism and all his
family. Mr. Tucker was the editor and proprietor of the Wayne Sentinel,
on whose press the first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed,
Mr. Tucker himself correcting the proof sheets. His book was published
by D. Appleton & Co., New York, in 1867. Mr. Tucker sets forth the
character of the false prophet and those associated with the latter at
that time from personal acquaintance and knowledge, and his book has
been generally accepted as thoroughly honest and reliable.


Now if Mr. Roberts can read the facts as set forth in Mr. Tucker's
book, which have been confirmed by scores of reliable witnesses also
acquainted with the facts, and still stand up in public and declare
it to be his belief that Nephi was a prophet of God and the Book of
Mormon is a revelation from God, he will force the general public to
conclude rather that he is not a sincere man, or else that his peculiar
training prevents him from distinguishing between true reasoning and
false, between facts and fiction, between honesty and fraud, between
true revelation and that which is counterfeit. Because the facts in Mr.
Tucker's book, confirmed by scores of witnesses of worthy character,
have been amply sufficient to convince the reading, thinking,
truth-loving millions of the American people generally that the Book
of Mormon is fiction in pretending that a part of it was written 2400
and the rest 1500 years ago, when the proof that it is a modern book is
shown on almost every page. The facts in Mr. Tucker's book have also
convinced the American people generally that the alleged prophet was
not a prophet.

The above has been written with entire good will, in the interests of
truth and historic facts. And when Mr. Roberts squarely meets the above
difficulties, contradictions and absurdities in the Book of Mormon, not
by wordy evasion and logical hair-splitting, however ingenious, but in
a way that shall be satisfactory not only to his own mind but also to
intelligent, reasoning, truth-loving minds generally, then perhaps he
will be entitled to issue another sweeping challenge in behalf of a
book which the American people generally, without regard to party or
creed, believe to be a fabrication._M_.

Salt Lake City, November 18, 1903.


The First Reply.

(_Salt Lake Tribune,_ Nov. 29, 1903.)

_Editor Tribune:_--If any words of mine in the remarks made in the
Tabernacle on the 8th of November could be construed into a "challenge"
to a public discussion of the Book of Mormon--as the writers of
headlines on some of the morning papers seem to think they could
be--when the challenge was accepted, the courtesy of debate would
certainly require that the acceptance of the challenge should be
otherwise than from ambush. I mean that I am entitled to know the
name of my opponent, that I may judge somewhat of his character and
standing. And why should the gentleman remain in cog? Is he ashamed to
be known as engaging in such a discussion? Or is it a precaution he
takes so that if his argument does not rise to the expectation of his
friends, he may remain unknown behind the mystery of a single initial.
If the first supposition be true, it is a difficulty he could easily
have avoided; if the second suggestion be the true reason for his
remaining unknown, he is to be commended for his cunning. I need say
nothing of his courage.

When on Saturday my attention was called to the editorial announcement
that the alleged "challenge" had been accepted, and an article against
the Book of Mormon would appear in _The Tribune's_ Sunday issue, I
remarked to a friend that I thought I could write an answer to the
much heralded article without seeing it; and when on Sunday I read
the Unknown's production I felt I had not been over-confident in the
assertion, so closely has he followed in the well-beaten, not to
say worn out, path of anti-Mormon argument. What a world of trouble
Alexander Campbell would have saved many inferior disputants had he
only stereotyped the objections he urged against the Book of Mormon in
1831! They then could have pointed to his utterances and said: "Them's
my arguments." For from the days of Mr. Campbell until now, anti-Mormon
geniuses have but rehashed the great man's arguments, with a uniform
decadence in their strength, in proportion to the distance in time from
which they are removed from him who first fashioned them. But now to
the Unknown's "arguments."


1. The Unknown states the fact that Nephi wrote between 600 and 500
B.C. and then presents what he calls the first difficulty that I am to
overcome. "How can a writer," he asks, "claiming to live at that time
make repeated quotations from the writings of Christ's Apostles who
were not born until 600 years after the time when Nephi wrote?" He then
charges that Nephi quotes "passage after passage" from the writings of
Christ's apostles, Matthew, John, Paul, Luke, Peter, etc.; and gives
what he calls just "two or three examples" of such quotations. The
gentleman very much overstates the difficulty he presents, by making
it appear that the alleged quotations are very numerous, when the fact
is that the two or three cases he cites virtually exhaust the alleged
quoted passages so far as the New Testament is concerned. In order that
your readers may see how flimsy the charge here made is, I set down the
quotations in question. (a) Nephi, describing his father's vision of
the future coming of the Messiah, says: "And he spake also concerning a
prophet who should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the
Lord; yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, 'Prepare
ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth
one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's
latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning
this thing." To make this appear as a plagiarism from the New Testament
the Unknown puts together two passages: (1) "I baptize with water; but
there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who, coming
after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy
to unloose," (John i:26, 27). (2) "In those days came John the Baptist,
preaching in the wilderness of Judea" (Matthew iii). Of course, the
story of the man who said he could prove that the Bible commanded
every one to hang himself may be commonplace; but it illustrates the
methods of the Unknown in making out his case of plagiarism. The proof
was supplied in this way: He quoted the passage, "and Judas went out
and hanged himself." Then from another passage, from another book, he
quoted these words, "Go thou and do likewise." It must be remembered
that the Nephites carried with them into the wilderness the Jewish
scriptures, and Lehi was doubtless familiar with the prediction of
Isaiah concerning this same prophet that should go before our Lord
to prepare the way before him, translated in our English version as
follows: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye
the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert an highway for our
God." (Isaiah xl:3.) Is it more remarkable that the Lord should reveal
to Lehi what the voice in the wilderness should cry than that he should
reveal it to Isaiah? With reference to the Unknown's charge that on
the same page quoted above, Nephi makes "several quotations from the
writings of Paul in the xi. of Romans, about the 'olive tree,' and the
'branches broken off, with others grafted in,'" etc., the gentleman,
if acquainted with the prophets of Israel ought to know that this
simile is not original with Paul; but that the ancient prophets used
it in illustration of Israel and the judgments that should come upon
the people. Moreover, in addition to our books of Jewish scriptures
the Nephites had some of the writings of the other prophets of Israel,
notably the book of Zenos, in which was given at great length this
simile of the tame olive tree and the branches being broken off and
others grafted in, etc., from which book, unquestionably, Nephi
obtained his ideas.


The Unknown charges that Nephi quoted from the words of Peter, which
I give here, followed by the passage from Nephi. Peter: "Whom the
heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things, which
God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world
began." Nephi: "Behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these
records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our
fathers; and also that we may preserve unto them the words which have
been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been
delivered unto them by the spirit and power of God, since the world
began, even down unto the present time." The omissions that are made in
order to bring words together to establish the charge of plagiarism,
will exhibit to what straits the Unknown is driven to make out his case.

One other thing the Unknown seems to have overlooked, viz., that the
Book of Mormon is a translation of the ideas and prophecies of men
deriving their knowledge concerning the Messiah and things associated
with his life either from the old Jewish scriptures, which were in
their possession, or from the revelations of God direct to them; and
that the translator, Joseph Smith, being more or less familiar with New
Testament and Old Testament expressions, in making the translation, at
times used Bible phraseology in representing ideas akin to those found
in Jewish scriptures. See also my remarks under heading No. 3, where
this defense is more fully stated.


2. The Unknown fairly revels in the thought that he has Lehi quoting
Shakespeare many generations before our great English poet was born;
and indulges in the sarcasms which Campbell and more than a score of
anti-Mormon writers have indulged in who have mimicked his phraseology.
Now the fact is there are two passages in Job which could easily have
supplied both Shakespeare and Lehi with the idea of that country "from
whose bourn no traveler returns." That this may appear I give the
passages from Shakespeare, Job and Lehi. It should be remembered always
that the Nephites had the Jewish scriptures with them, including the
book of Job; hence Lehi could have obtained his idea from the same
source whence Shakespeare obtained his.

_Shakespeare:_ "That undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler

_Job:_ "Let me alone that I may take comfort a little, before I go
whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow
of death." (Job x:20, 21.) "When a few years are come, then I shall go
the way whence I shall not return." (Job xvi:22.)

Lehi: "Hear the words of a parent whose limbs ye must soon lay down in
the cold and silent grave from whence no traveler can return."

It will be observed that the passage from the Book of Mormon follows
Job more closely than it does Shakespeare both in thought and diction;
and this for the reason, doubtless, that Lehi had been impressed with
Job's idea of going to the land whence he would not return, and Joseph
Smith, being familiar with Job, and very likely not familiar with
Shakespeare, when he came to Lehi's thought, expressed it nearly in
Job's phraseology.


3. The Unknown asks me again how it is that Nephi, living in the sixth
century B.C., can quote numerous passages, about "three hundred from
the New Testament alone, and whole chapters from our English version of
the Bible, which did not come into existence for more than 2,000 years
after he wrote." When the Unknown says that there are three hundred
quotations from the New Testament alone in the writings of Nephi, if
he meant that, he simply makes a colossal misrepresentation, for there
is no such number of passages in Nephi from the New Testament alone,
nor, in fact, in the whole Book of Mormon. But as I think he must have
meant this assertion to apply to the whole Book of Mormon, I will take
no advantage of his misstatement as to confining that number to Nephi,
but will meet the larger question as to all these passages in the Book
of Mormon which parallel passages in both the Old and New Testament.
Because Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the
inspiration of God and the aid of the Urim and Thummim, it is generally
supposed that this translation occasioned the Prophet no mental or
spiritual effort, that it was purely mechanical; in fact, that the
instrument did all and the Prophet nothing, than which a greater
mistake could not be made. All the circumstances connected with the
work of translation clearly prove that it caused the Prophet the utmost
exertion, mental and spiritual, of which he was capable, and that
while he obtained the facts and ideas from the Nephite characters, he
was left to express those ideas in such language as he was master of.
This, it is conceded, was faulty; hence here and there verbal defects
in the English translation of the Nephite record. Now when the Prophet
perceived from the Nephite records that Isaiah was being quoted; or
when the Savior was represented as giving instructions in doctrine and
moral precepts of the same general character as those given in Judea,
Joseph Smith undoubtedly turned to those parts of the Bible where
he found a translation substantially correct, of those things which
were referred to in the Nephite records, and adopted so much of that
translation as expressed the truths common to both records; and since
our English version of the Jewish scriptures was the one the Prophet
used in such instances, we have the Bible phraseology of which the
Unknown complains, and of which this, in the judgment of the writer, is
the adequate explanation to all of that class of his objections.

4. What the Unknown describes as Nephi giving himself away is based
on my unknown friend's inability to comprehend a very simple fact. He
says that in the 31st chapter of the second book of Nephi, the writer,
forgetting that he was pretending to write in the sixth century B.C.,
treats the baptism of Christ as actual history. That is, he holds,
the writer changes from prophecy to narrative. The fact is that some
time previous to this (see I Nephi, chapter 11) the baptism of Jesus
had been shown in vision to Nephi, hence to him had become as an
accomplished fact, after which, according to this chapter quoted by
the Unknown, the voice of the Son of God (then a pre-existent Spirit)
came unto Nephi, saying "He that is baptized in my name, to him will
the Father give the Holy Ghost like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and
do the things which ye have seen me (i. e., in vision) do." Now Nephi,
with this in mind, points out to his brothers in the next verse how, by
following their Lord and Savior down into the water, "according to his
word" (i. e., given previously in Nephi's vision) promises them that
they shall then receive the Holy Ghost. All of which considerations
demonstrate that the gentleman has not understood the chapter over
which he grows vulgarly hilarious by such expressions as "whooped up,"
"Holy Moses, preserve us!" and his reference to "Boss Tweed."


5. The next charge of the Unknown is that the Book of Mormon makes
known no moral or religious truth, no "not one item," and then the
gentleman resorts to a thing which to say the least of it looks
strangely out of place in a discussion of this description, and reminds
one of the methods of a low order of politicians, who, when unable to
maintain their part of a controversy by reason, arrogantly offer a bet,
usually at large odds, that their side will prevail; and if the wager
for any cause be not taken, with turkey-cock pride they strut about,
as if they had demonstrated the truth of their contention. Now I do
not know what our Unknown friend would regard as a spiritual or moral
truth, but here is at least one that I commend to his consideration:
"Fools mock, but they shall mourn." It is quite original to the Book
of Mormon, as are the other quotations which follow, but I will not
trouble the gentleman for his hat, even though it be a Stetson, as up
to date I have been able to clothe my own head without an effort to
win wagers or prizes. Whoever the Unknown may be it stands out pretty
clearly from his article that he is not familiar with great moral and
religious questions. He seems not to be aware that the Jews for many
ages have been asking this same question of the Christian, i. e., they
demand to know what moral and religious truth Jesus taught the world
that was not already taught by Jewish rabbis; and no later than in
the October number of the _Open Court,_ a famous rabbi parallels the
choicest moral aphorisms of Christ's teachings with quotations from
the Talmud; while there has not arisen within the last two centuries
an anti-Christian disputant, but who makes the same claims in behalf
of the moral and spiritual teachings of Buddha; and not only do they
claim that Christ's moral truths were borrowed from more ancient
teachers, but that the principal events of his life also, from his
birth of a virgin to his resurrection as a God, were stolen from myths
concerning Old World heroes and teachings. When Messiah came to the New
World, he had the same announcements to make concerning himself, and
his relations to the world; the same ethical and spiritual doctrines
to teach; and as he had been accustomed to state these doctrines in
brief, aphoristic sentences while in Judea, it is not strange that
the same things were given to the Nephites, in their language, much
in the same order; which Joseph Smith, observing, and finding these
truths substantially stated in our English Bible, adopted, where he
could do so consistently, the language of that book. Still there are
certain statements of moral and spiritual ideas that the Unknown will
find it difficult to parallel from the Bible, a few examples of which
I here give: "Wickedness never was happiness." "The Lord giveth no
commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for
them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
"I give unto men weaknesses that they may be humble, and my grace is
sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me." Then let the
gentleman take into consideration the exclusiveness of the Jews, and
of the Christians also, for matter of that, and then contemplate the
following passage which breathes such a spirit of universal charity
and joins the hands of all the great moral teachers among all nations
into one splendid brotherhood: "The Lord doth grant unto all nations,
of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom,
all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that
the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and
true." Then let the Unknown parallel from the Bible the following great
spiritual truth from the Book of Mormon: "Adam fell that men might be;
and men are that they might have joy." A sentence which tells, as it is
told nowhere else, the purpose of man's existence. The limits of this
article preclude the mention of historical and doctrinal truths which
the Book of Mormon makes known to the world. Also, consideration of
the gentleman's efforts to explain away the existence and force of the
prophecies in the Book of Mormon to which I alluded in my Tabernacle
discourse, and which may be found at page 122 of the current edition
of the Book of Mormon. I esteem what he has there said of so little
importance that I shall pass it without comment as its weakness and
inaccuracy will be apparent to all who read it. Indeed at this point
the gentleman makes it quite clear that he is not familiar with the
book he attempts to criticise. In trying to make it appear that Nephi
"jumbles up his own history and contradicts himself" the Unknown
astonishes us with the statement that Nephi was a Jew, and learnedly
tells us that his seed or the remnant of it will inevitably be Jews
and Nephites and not Lamanites, and hence the prophecies concerning
the Lamanites could not apply to the remnant of Nephi's seed. As a
matter of fact Lehi, and hence all of his sons, were of the tribe of
Manasseh, and Nephi was speaking with reference to both his own and his
brother Laman's descendants of whom the Indians are the remnant. When
I reached this part of the gentleman's production I thought I was not
only entitled to know who it was I was to meet in discussion, but also
to have an opponent who at least was acquainted with the subject.


A word as to the "sorrow" which the gentleman experiences when he
sees a man of my "ability" (shades of flattery, leave us!) "fooling
away his time and thought in the useless attempt to bolster up as a
divine revelation that which the intelligent millions of the American
people are persuaded is fabrication!" What a jewel was lost to the
anti-Christians of the first or second century by the Unknown being
born in the nineteenth, instead of the first century! What an eloquent
appeal he could have made, for instance, to the misguided Paul, who
wasted his thought and time in an effort (I will not say useless one)
to bolster up such a delusion as the Christian religion was at that
time thought to be! A delusion which the intelligent millions of
civilized Rome regarded as the vilest of all deceptions. Again, how
ostentatiously the Unknown could have said to Paul, if the latter was
really in earnest to know the character of the men who originated this
Christian delusion, that he could learn it from some of the historical
facts and the accepted rumors current at that time about Messiah and
his immediate followers. From such sources he could have learned that
Christ was a blasphemer, a disturber of the peace, a menace to the
authority of Rome, the consort of vile Galilean peasants, an associate
and sympathizer with women of questionable reputation, and who, at
last, for the peace and good order of the community in which he lived,
was duly crucified between two thieves. He was buried and his sepulcher
guarded, but his vile associates bribed the soldier guards, stole
his body, and then gave it out that he was risen from the dead; and
on these falsehoods arose the fabric known as the Christian church!
There would be no resisting such an appeal as this if only some one
had arisen with the intelligence to have advanced it. Undoubtedly Paul
would have ceased his labors, and perhaps Christianity itself would
not have survived such an attack, and hence many anti-Christians may
regret that this Unknown gentleman did not live in the period when his
services would have been so effective. But since the Unknown, through
no fault of his, however, missed his opportunity in that age, he
exerts his abilities in this, and appealingly says to me, if I would
know the real "truth about the Book of Mormon, and the character of
the men who manufactured it," I should read the "'Origin and Progress
of Mormonism,' by that well-informed and reliable historian, Pomroy
Tucker!" Shades of primer days, not to say days of the bib and rattle!
After nearly a century of existence, despite the efforts of its enemies
to destroy it, after surviving as Mormonism has all the floods of
falsehood and absurdity hurled upon it, are we now to turn back to what
Pomroy Tucker has said in order to get the "exact truth" concerning
Mormonism and the character of the men who brought it forth? I must
inform the Unknown, whatever he may think of me, that I must suppose
myself utterly incorrigible, for I have read Pomroy Tucker years ago,
and also recently, and if he will call on me I will point out to him
several score of other anti-Mormon writers I have read, of like ilk
with Tucker, and yet I am not reclaimed. Deliberately and proudly, I
take my stand with the people whom these writers have maligned, and
whose doctrines and history they misrepresent, and announce my absolute
faith--notwithstanding even the argument of the Unknown--in the
divinity of the Book of Mormon. Respectfully, B.H. ROBERTS.

Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 27, 1903.


The Objector's Second Paper Against the Book of Mormon.

_(Salt Lake Tribune,_ Dec. 6, 1903.)

_Editor Tribune:--_In reply to my article in _The Tribune_ of November
22nd, pointing out, in response to his public challenge, some of the
great difficulties in the way of accepting Nephi as an ancient prophet
of God, and the Book of Mormon as an ancient revelation from God,
Elder Roberts begins by finding fault with me for not writing over my
full signature. But the reasons he intimates for my not doing so prove
altogether too much, and hence, by a logical maxim, prove nothing. For
they would prove that those great and high-minded statesmen, Alexander
Hamilton, Chief Justice John Jay, and James Madison, acted an unworthy
part, and were lacking in courage because, for wise reasons, they
conducted those masterly discussions which made up The Federalist, over
an assumed name.

Then the sarcasms about the rehashing by more recent writers, of
Alexander Campbell's arguments against the Book of Mormon, are "wasted
on the desert air," so far as I am concerned, for I have never seen
any article or treatise by Campbell on the subject. It would be quite
easy to retort and say that if it were not for the writings of Orson
Pratt, the more recent defenders of the Book of Mormon would be without
ammunition. But that style of arguing amounts to nothing.

Elder Roberts' defense seems to raise new difficulties without really
settling any, although it is ingenious and skillful. On general
principles, there is no reason why I should not accept the writings
of Nephi and the Book of Mormon as readily as my opponent, if they
were true. But the reason why I do not, is because of the extent and
variety of the evidence against them, only a few points of which can be
discussed in a newspaper article. Since my main object is to establish
truth, I wish to treat Elder Roberts and his argument in a fair and
candid way.

Let us come now to the main proposition, which is twofold: Elder
Roberts affirms that Nephi was a prophet of God, living and writing
about 600 B.C.; and that the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation.

The evidence compels me to deny both of these propositions and to
declare that neither of them is true. Now let us try to find some
common ground on which we can stand. As such ground, I offer these
two propositions in reference to books in general, which seem to me

First, any book which professes to have been written in ancient times,
and yet quotes from authors not born until centuries after, is a
spurious book.

Second, any book which professes to be a divine revelation to the
people of the present time, and yet reveals nothing, which it did not
appropriate from some other book or source of knowledge already in the
possession of the people, is a spurious book.

I use the term "revelation" in its ordinary sense, as referring to
divine truth. These are two propositions which I think people of all
creeds can stand upon, for I think they contain nothing which is not
self-evident. The differences of opinion will begin when we come to
apply these two fundamental principles. Still, it is my opponent's
privilege to dissent from these propositions, if he thinks they are not
self-evident. But I think that careful, reasoning people generally,
will accept them. Anyhow, I take my stand upon them and proceed to
apply them.


1. As to the alleged Prophet Nephi. If it can be clearly shown that he
quoted passage after passage from the New Testament writers, who were
not born for centuries after he claims to have written, then the first
fundamental principle is violated, and we have demonstrative evidence
that Nephi was simply a pretender, and his writings are spurious.

In my former article I referred specially to three direct quotations
by Nephi, from the New Testament writers, taken from Acts iii:21, John
i:26-27, and Romans xi:17-24, and found in I Nephi iii:20, x:8, and
x:12-14. I also, under discussion of the third point, referred to two
other quotations from Ephesians v:18, and Revelations xv:3. It did not
seem necessary to quote other passages, for I deemed these sufficient
to establish the point.

The words in I Nephi x:8, "For there standeth one among you whom ye
know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not
worthy to unloose" is a clear plagiarism from John i:26-27, which
reads: "But there standeth one among you, whom ye know not, He it is
who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am
not worthy to unloose."

The first part of Nephi x:8, is: "Yea, even he should go forth and cry
in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths
straight." This is quoted from Matthew iii:3. The reference of Elder
Roberts to Isaiah x:3, from which the thinks Nephi might have quoted,
instead of from Matthew, is irrelevant, because, while the two passages
are somewhat similar, the phraseology is different, and the careless
Nephi failed to help my opponent out of the difficulty, for he quotes
from Matthew and not from Isaiah, demonstrating what a smart fellow he
was by quoting from an author that hadn't been born!

So Elder Roberts' reference to the fact that the olive tree is used
figuratively by some of the Old Testament prophets is irrelevant,
because Nephi quotes Paul's exact phrases, and does not quote from
the prophets. Now, in reference to these quotations by Nephi from the
New Testament writers, Elder Roberts says: "The gentleman very much
overstates the difficulty he presents, by making it appear that the
alleged quotations are very numerous, when the fact is that the two of
three cases he cites virtually exhaust the alleged quoted passages so
far as the New Testament is concerned."

I am not a little surprised at such a statement, as Elder Roberts
rather prides himself on his knowledge of the Book Of Mormon, and in
his article, near the close of his discussion of the fifth point,
laments that he is obliged to carry on this discussion with an opponent
who does not seem to be much acquainted with the subject. Well, my
friend, I don't boast about my knowledge or superiority to other men;
I don't assume "to know it all." But I think I know enough about the
Book of Mormon to prevent me from making any such careless and utterly
inaccurate statements as the above, "that the two or three cases he
cites virtually exhaust the alleged quoted passages." Verily, I begin
to wonder whether my friend has ever read the books of Nephi through!
If he will now follow me for a little, perhaps he may learn something
new about them. Let us see whether "two or three passages exhaust the
quotations." In my former article I referred to five quotations from
the New Testament writers. Let us go on with the count:

6. In Nephi v:18, the expression, "all nations, kindreds, tongues and
people," is from Revelations xiv:6.

7. In Nephi x:17, the words, "by the power of the Holy Ghost," are from
Romans xv:13.

8. "For he is the same, yesterday, today and forever," in Nephi x:18,
is taken from Hebrews xiii:8.

9. The words, "caught away in the Spirit of the Lord," are from Acts

10. In Nephi xi:21, "Behold the Lamb of God," is from John i:36.

11. In Nephi xi:27, the words, "and after he was baptized, I beheld the
heavens open, and the Holy Ghost came down out of heaven, and abode
upon him in the form of a dove," are taken from Matthew iii:16, and
from John i:32.

12. In Nephi xi:35, the strange expression, "the twelve apostles of the
Lamb," is taken from the only place in the world where it originated,
Revelation xxi:14.

13. In Nephi xi:22, the words, "Yea, it is the love of God which
sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men," are taken
from Romans v:5.

14. In Nephi xii:11, "And the angel said unto me, These are made white
in the blood of the Lamb," is from Revelations vii:14.

15. In Nephi xiv:1, the repeated expressions, "mother of abominations"
and "mother of harlots," are taken from Revelation xvii:5.

These fifteen quotations have been taken from the first fourteen
chapters of I Nephi, leaving eight chapters more in this book and
thirty-three chapters in II Nephi for other quotations. I have jotted
down on the fly-leaf of my copy of the Book of Mormon forty-four
different quotations from the New Testament writers by this alleged
prophet. These quotations are largely in the Sidney Rigdon-Nephi style
of inaccuracy. Nephi is just about as inaccurate in quoting scripture
as in quoting Shakespeare. Then a large per cent of the language in
the books of Nephi is a mere paraphrase, and often a parody, of the
language of the New Testament. I have quoted nothing from III Nephi,
whose thirty chapters and sixty-eight pages are largely in the direct
language of the New Testament, three whole chapters being quoted,
although the New Testament was not written for fifty years afterward.
I have not quoted from this book, for I understood Elder Roberts to be
referring to the first two books.

The explanation of Elder Roberts that Nephi had a vision of Christ some
fifty years before, which made Christ real to him, is no explanation
of the fact that there are eight quotations from three New Testament
writers in II Nephi 31.


2. Concerning Nephi's quotation from Shakespeare, Elder Roberts thinks
he has found a way of escape for Nephi from this fatal blunder.
He cites a passage from Job from which he thinks Nephi might have
quoted, for he says "the Nephites had the Jewish Scriptures with
them, including the book of Job." But now observe that this suggested
escape for this ancient prophet is out of the Nephite frying-pan into
the Lamanite fire. For Shakespeare died in 1616, and the King James
English version of the Bible was published in 1611. Now, so far as the
argument against the ancient Nephite is concerned, what difference does
it make whether he quoted from Shakespeare or our English version of
Job, which is the one Elder Roberts alludes to, and which is the only
one containing any resemblance either to the passage in Nephi or in
Shakespeare. The only way, therefore, to lift Nephi out of this fatal
situation is for Elder Roberts to show that he had, in addition to the
Jewish Scriptures, a copy of our English Bible with him back there in
the wilderness 600 B.C., or else a copy of Shakespeare. Or else let Mr.
Roberts agree with me, according to the evidence, that Mr. Nephi was
simply a very modern gentleman from New York or Pennsylvania, having in
his possession both the Bible and Shakespeare, and then the difficulty
is solved.


Now we come to the second proposition which is, that the Book of Mormon
is a divine revelation to the people of the present time. A large
part of what has been said in proof of the spurious character of the
books of Nephi applies to the Book of Mormon as a whole. But there are
overwhelming special difficulties in the way of accepting it as a new
and divine revelation, only three or four of which I can now briefly
touch upon.

1. The book claims that the plates, from which it was translated by
Joseph Smith, were sealed up and hidden in the hill of Cumorah, New
York, about 400 A. D. No one upon this continent ever saw these plates
prepared by Mormon except himself and his son, Moroni. They were
prepared specially for the people of our time, in this country. After
being hidden about 1400 years Joseph Smith claims that the angel Moroni
came and disclosed them to him. And the wonderful revelation contained
in the plates, about "the restoration to the earth of the everlasting
gospel," Elder Roberts says Joseph Smith translated "by means of the
inspiration of God and the aid of Urim and Thummim." And, behold, when
we come to read this wonderful new revelation and this new everlasting
gospel which it discloses, we find that it is simply a feeble and
diluted imitation of the Bible revelation and the gospel which had
already been in the possession of the Christian people of this country
for over two hundred years, and in the possession of their ancestors
for over twelve hundred years.

If this duplicate, pretended revelation had been brought out among
the benighted people of China or India, or some other heathen country
who were without these Bible teachings, it would not have been such
a complete "give away." But, with a great flourish of trumpets, to
give to the Christian people of this country a weak and poor copy of
the revelation and the gospel whose bright and radiant original had
been in their possession for hundreds of years, seems to me so absurd,
and so transparent as a deceiving scheme, I do not wonder that the
overwhelming majority of intelligent people utterly reject it. And just
because this book, while so loftily pretending to be a new and divine
revelation, reveals absolutely nothing which the people did not have
before in much better form, how can we avoid concluding that it is a
counterfeit book? I will attend presently to the specimens of new truth
which Elder Roberts finds in it.

2. There are at least twelve persons, worthy and reliable so far
as I can discover, who testify that the substance of this Book of
Mormon, with all its queer names of places and persons, its strange
history, its battles and slaughters, its continual imitation of Bible
phraseology, they had heard read several years prior to the publication
of this book, from a religious romance. It was in this romance that
the Nephites and Lamanites originated, and also the pretended ancient
books of Nephi, Alma, Mosiah, Mormon and the rest. I can find no-proof
whatever that the above peoples and books ever existed except in the
imagination of the writer of the religious romance. And I have never
been able to see why the testimony of the above twelve witnesses, who
had nothing to gain by their testimony, should be arbitrarily brushed
aside, and the testimony of the eleven interested witnesses, who
declare that they saw and "hefted" the plates, should be gulped down at
one swallow. Even if they did see the plates, that proves absolutely
nothing essential to the case. They were all ignorant men, and knew
nothing about what was written on the plates. Other men saw the famous
Kinderhook plates, but what of it?

3. The Book of Mormon, though sealed up and hidden away about 400
A.D., is filled up, from beginning to end, with the phraseology of our
English Bible. Not only that, it contains hundreds upon hundreds of the
exact phrases and sentences, and about twenty whole chapters from our
English Bible which was not published for about twelve hundred years
after the Book was hidden away. In my former article, I intended to
state that there are in the Book of Mormon about 300 quotations from
the New Testament, and I am obliged to Elder Roberts for interpreting
my meaning in that way, for I did not intend to say that the two books
of Nephi contain so many quotations.


Now we come to a vital point. I asked Elder Roberts to explain how the
above quotations could possibly have been made if the Book of Mormon
is honest in its claim of being an ancient book. And here is his

"Because Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the
inspiration of God and the aid of Urim and Thummim, it is generally
supposed that this translation occasioned the prophet no mental or
spiritual effort, that it was purely mechanical; in fact, that the
instrument did all and the prophet nothing, than which a greater
mistake could not be made. * * * Now when the prophet perceived from
the Nephite records that Isaiah was being quoted, or when the Savior
was represented as giving instructions in doctrine and moral precepts
of the same general character as those given in Judea, Joseph Smith
undoubtedly turned to those parts of the Bible where he found a
translation, substantially correct, of those things which were referred
to in the Nephite records, and adopted so much of that translation as
expressed the truths common to both records."

Now, it seems to me that the above defense and explanation of Elder
Roberts are fatal to his position and that of the defenders of the book
generally, that it is a thoroughly accurate translation of the Nephite
plates, "by means of the inspiration of God and the aid of Urim and
Thummim." And it seems fatal for two reasons:

First--This defense places Mr. Roberts in opposition to his own
witnesses. For two of the famous "three witnesses" wholly differ from
Mr. Roberts as to the method of translating the plates, and point out
that Joseph Smith had nothing whatever to do except simply to read the
English sentences as they appeared in translation. Martin Harris says:

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

Here is the testimony also of David Whitmer, another of the three
witnesses. After stating that Joseph put the seer stone into a hat,
he says: "A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and
on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear,
and under it was the translation in English. Brother Joseph would read
off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and
when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it
were correct, then it would disappear and another character with the
interpretation would appear."

Nothing is said by these witnesses about any Urim and Thummim. That was
evidently an afterthought. Nothing is said about any great mental and
spiritual effort on Joseph's part.

Second--The above defense seems to me fatal to Elder Roberts' position,
because if Joseph Smith turned aside to quote from our English Bible,
as Elder Roberts admits that he did, then what was to prevent him
from putting into the Book of Mormon, when it suited him, quotations
from other English books, from Shakespeare, from books on geography
and history? What prevented him from putting into the Book of Mormon
the peculiar and well-known views of Sidney Rigdon, with which the
book is saturated? What prevented him from putting in his own views?
Undoubtedly, that is just what he did, for the book gives abundant
evidence of being a modern compilation, and the evidence that it is
an ancient book utterly fails. The statement and admission of Elder
Roberts give us all the light we need as to its modern origin and
spurious character.

Just a few words now as to the specimens of new truth from the Book of
Mormon, of which Elder Roberts presented six:

First--"Fools mock, but they shall mourn." I see nothing new about
that. Everybody mourns sooner or later, and fools with the rest. In
Proverbs xiv:9, we read: "Fools make a mock of sin."

Second--"Wickedness never was happiness." I think the prophet Isaiah
expresses this idea far better when he says in lvii:21, "There is no
peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

Third--"The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save
he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing
which he commandeth." Certainly that is not new truth. The very fact
that God gives us commandments implies that the way will be open for us
to keep them. Perhaps it was suggested by I Cor. x:13.

Fourth--"I give unto men weaknesses that they may be humble, and my
grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me."
This idea seems to have been appropriated from II Cor. xii:9: "And he
said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made
perfect in weakness."

Fifth--"The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and
tongue, to teach his word." I do not quote the rest of this verse,
for I think this first statement is not true. Many nations are in the
darkness of heathendom and do not teach the word of God.

Sixth--"Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have
joy." I think both statements in that sentence are wholly untrue. Adam
fell because he disobeyed God and became a sinner. Two-thirds of the
human race are in heathenish darkness, sufferers from cruelty, want,
oppression and idolatry and without joy.

In conclusion, I am sorry to spoil my opponent's concluding paragraph,
for I admit that it is well written. But it seems to me illogical,
for in expressing his regret that I could not have lived in the days
of Paul, so that those opposed to Paul and the Christians might have
availed themselves of my suggestions, he has to class me with the
anti-Christians. In this he is illogical, for I do not belong to that
class. Suppose that I should express regret that he did not live in the
eighteenth century, so as to help the infidels of that day in their
contest with Bishop Butler and the other great Christian scholars of
that time. My supposition would be illogical, for my opponent does not
belong to the infidel class. Now, I have tried to treat my opponent
and his arguments with fairness and in a kindly way. I certainly have
nothing but good will toward him and to all who are sincere in their
opinions. Unless some new phase of the subject should come up I see no
reason why I should continue the discussion any further. _M_.

Salt Lake City, Dec. 4, 1903.


The Second Reply.

_Editor Tribune:_--The most impressive thing in the second
communication of the Unknown "M" is its very striking difference
of spirit as compared with the first. His arrogance, if not his
confidence, seems to have left him, and he writes in a spirit more
in harmony with the nature of the subject. I congratulate him upon
the improvement. When a book which is sacred to tens of thousand of
intelligent people, and which is accepted by them as a revelation from
God, is to be criticised, a decent regard for propriety requires that
it should be discussed in a respectful manner, and all the more so if
the critic regards those who accept the book as deceived, and would
lead them from their delusion.

In this connection also I desire to say a word on an incidental matter
on which the Unknown lays some stress, viz., that "the reading,
thinking, truth-loving millions of this country" have come to the
conclusion that the Book of Mormon is fiction. This carries with it
the idea that these "millions" have examined the Book of Mormon and
intelligently judged it to be fiction--an impression most erroneous,
for out of the ninety millions of the people of our country it is safe
to say not more than two or three millions have ever read the Book
of Mormon, this in the most superficial manner, and with their minds
prejudiced by the misrepresentations made concerning it. In fact,
because of these misrepresentations, contempt has preceded examination,
a circumstance which keeps men ignorant of the Book of Mormon. This
much to remind the reader that there is no force in the appeal of the
Unknown to the supposed condemnation of the Book of Mormon by "the
reading, thinking, truth-loving millions of this country."


At this point the gentleman proceeds with a show of orderly argument
to lay down what he considers two self-evident canons of criticism on
which he takes his stand in repeating his objections to the Book of
Mormon: The first of these he states in the following terms: "Any book
which professes to have been written in ancient times and yet quotes
from authors not born until centuries after, is a spurious book."
This canon of criticism, however serviceable when applied to books in
general, can in no sense be made to do service against the Book of
Mormon. When he formulated his canon of criticism, as throughout the
discussion, the Unknown fails to recognize the fact that while the
Book of Mormon is an ancient book, it is largely a prophetic book; and
the strongest complaint that can be made against it along the line of
the Unknown's criticism is that some of its prophecies are here and
there translated in phraseology somewhat similar to that of writers
living subsequent to the period in which it was written. In explanation
of this fact I have urged that the translator, Joseph Smith, being
acquainted with the New Testament writings, and his diction influenced
by the phraseology of those writers, sometimes expressed the thoughts
and predictions of the ancient writers in New Testament phrases. So
that the question at issue at this point of the discussion is, first,
whether the ancient writers in the Book of Mormon could have been
acquainted with the events, to them then future, found in the Book
of Mormon, and is the theory reasonable that in translating their
statement of these events Joseph Smith's diction would be influenced by
the phraseology of the New Testament? In dealing with the question of
the New Testament phraseology in the Book of Mormon it is Joseph Smith
that the Unknown has to deal with, not Nephi; with the translator, not
with the original writer. A distinction which he persistently refuses
to recognize.


And now as to the point whether the writers of the Book of Mormon could
be acquainted with the events, ideas and doctrines which Joseph Smith
translated here and there in New Testament phraseology. The Unknown
appears ignorant of the great truth that prophecy is but history
reversed. He forgets that known unto God are all his works and words
from the beginning to the end, and that he has at various times made
known future events in the clearest manner to his prophets who, under
the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, have recorded them. The Prophet
Isaiah, 150 years before the birth of Cyrus, foretold that celebrated
ruler's name; declared that he should subdue kingdoms, including
Babylon, set free the people of God, held in bondage there and rebuild
the House of the Lord at Jerusalem. And all this as clearly as the
historians could write it after the events themselves took place.
To Daniel he revealed the rise, fall and succession of the leading
empires and nations of the world, even to the time of the establishment
of God's kingdom in power to hold universal sway in the later days,
an event not yet fulfilled. To the prophets of Israel nearly every
important event in the life of the Savior was made known, and that,
too, in the language of accomplished fact--a complaint often made
against the prophecies of the Book of Mormon. They foretold that he
would be born of a virgin; that his name would signify "God with us;"
that Bethlehem would be the place of his birth; that he would sojourn
in Egypt with his parents; that he would reside in Nazareth, for "he
shall be called a Nazarene;" that a messenger would prepare the way
before him; that he should ride in triumph into Jerusalem upon a colt,
the foal of an ass; that he would be afflicted and despised; that he
would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that he would be
despised and rejected of men; that men would turn their faces from him
to his affliction; that he would be esteemed as stricken and smitten of
God; that he would be wounded for our transgression, bruised for our
iniquities; that the chastisement of men would be laid upon him, and
by his stripes would they be healed; that upon him would God lay the
iniquity of us all; that for the transgressions of God's people would
he be stricken; that he would be oppressed and afflicted, yet open not
his mouth; that as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so would he be
silent before his judges; that he would be betrayed for thirty pieces
of silver; that men would divide his raiment and cast lots for his
vesture; that they would give him gall and vinegar to drink; that not
a bone of him should be broken; that he should be taken from prison
and from judgment, and be cut out of the land of the living; that he
would make his grave with the wicked and the rich in his death; but
notwithstanding this he should not see corruption (i. e., his body
decay), and that on the third day following his death he should rise
triumphant from the grave. All this and much more was foretold by the
ancient Hebrew prophets concerning the Messiah [and most of it told in
the language of accomplished fact.] This is prophetic history. In like
manner to the Nephites his prophetic history was made known, and is
found in the Book of Mormon in some instances in greater plainness than
in the Old Testament, because the Nephite scriptures have not passed
through the hands of an Aristobulus, a Philo and other rabbis, who by
interpretation or elimination have taken away some of the plain and
precious parts of the Jewish scriptures. Surely if the Lord revealed to
the Jewish prophets these leading events in the history of the Savior
ages before the Messiah's birth, it ought not to be thought a strange
thing (especially by those who believe in the fact of revelation) if
God imparted the same knowledge to the Nephite prophets. In fact it is
but reasonable to suppose that if God gave them revelations at all he
would do so upon this very subject.


There remains to be considered under this head only this question.
Is it a fatal objection to the Book of Mormon because Joseph Smith,
finding the prophetic history of the Savior in the Nephite record,
translated it in phraseology here and there found in the New Testament?
Or in the language of accomplished fact. My contention is that it
cannot be considered a fatal objection, or even a serious difficulty,
especially when one considers upon what slight similarity the Unknown
seizes to make good his objection. For example, where he tries to make
it appear that I was in error when saying that the several passages he
had already quoted practically exhausted the instances of New Testament
phraseology in the writings of Nephi, he gave us such cases as these:

Nephi--Lehi prophesied that "these plates of brass should go forth unto
all nations, kindreds, tongues and people who were of his seed."

Revelations--An angel should bring forth the gospel to be preached "to
every nation and kindred and tongue and people."

Nephi--For he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Hebrews--Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.

Nephi--I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.

Acts---The Spirit of the Lord caught Philip that the eunuch saw him no

"In Nephi xiv:1," says the Unknown, "the repeated expression "mother
of abominations" and "mother of harlots" are taken from Revelations
xvi:5." I here quote Nephi, xiv:1: "And it shall come to pass that if
the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he
shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very
deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks." After reading it
I wondered where the Unknown found in it his "mother of abominations"
and the "mother of harlots." Of course, the gentleman may have given
the wrong reference, and I will not press his errors too hard upon him,
but how ridiculous to urge the rejection of the Book of Mormon on so
flimsy an argument, even if he should find somewhere else his "mother
of abominations" or his "mother of harlots."


Passing over some intervening matter in order to consider this whole
question of translation together, I next refer to what the Unknown says
under the heading, "A Vital Point." I accounted for the imperfections
of the language of the Book of Mormon on the ground that while the
translator obtained his ideas from the Nephite record, he was left
to express that thought in such language as he was master of, and
as he was uneducated, that language was here and there faulty, and
I accounted for the existence of some passages of the Bible in the
Book of Mormon by saying that where Joseph Smith found in the Nephite
records quotations from Jewish scriptures which the Nephites had with
them or when the teachings of Messiah in their order followed his
teachings to be found in the New Testament, Joseph Smith adopted, when
he could do so consistently, the language of our English Bible. This
the Unknown considers is "vital," and he holds that these quotations
would not be found in this translation of the Nephite record if the
Book of Mormon is honest in its claim of being an ancient book.
He urges that if Joseph Smith could thus incorporate these quoted
passages, then there is nothing to hinder him putting into the Book of
Mormon, when it suited him, quotations from other English books, from
Shakespeare, from books of geography and history, and the peculiar
views of Sidney Rigdon, with which the book is saturated, or his own
views; and this, he claims, is just what he did. Well, of course,
there is nothing that would prevent Joseph Smith from following a
course of this kind if he was the unmitigated impostor and scoundrel
that the Unknown tries to make him appear to be, but that is just
what Joseph Smith was not; and hence his own honesty and integrity
prevented his putting in quotations from the Bible or any other book
except just what the facts and statements in the Nephite records
justified him in adopting. And as for the views of Sidney Rigdon being
incorporated in it, that is impossible, since it is a well-established,
incontrovertible, historical fact that Sidney Rigdon never saw either
Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon until six months after the book had
been published.


The Unknown thinks I run counter to the statement of Martin Harris
and David Whitmer as to the manner in which the Book of Mormon was
translated, as he claims that in their testimony there is nothing said
about Urim and Thummim, and nothing is said about "any great, mental
and spiritual effort on Joseph's part" in obtaining the translation.
True, there is nothing in the statement of Whitmer and Harris quoted
by the Unknown to that effect, but there abounds in the historical
incidents connected with the coming forth of the Book plenty of
evidence that the translation was not mechanical, and in the very
book of David Whitmer's, quoted by the Unknown, it is stated that the
prophet had to be in a very exalted mental and spiritual state of mind
before he could exercise his gift of translation. But we have a better
description of the manner of translation than that given by Whitmer or
Harris. In the course of translation Oliver Cowdery became desirous to
translate, and in a revelation the Lord promised him that power.

"Yea, behold I will tell you (i. e., the interpretation) in your mind,
and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you, and
which shall dwell in your heart." Oliver made the attempt to translate
and failed; whereupon the Lord in a subsequent revelation gave this as
the reason of his failure: "Behold you have not understood; you have
supposed that I would give it (i. e., the translation) unto you, when
you took no thought save it was to ask me; but behold, I say unto you,
that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it
be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn
within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right, but if it be not
right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor
of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong;
therefore you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you
from me." (Doc. and Cov., Sections 8 and 9.)

This is the Lord's description of how Oliver could have translated had
he persevered, and beyond question it is the manner in which Joseph
Smith did translate. This is sufficient to establish the fact that the
Unknown is speaking upon a subject with which he has but a very slight
acquaintance, and further I may not enter into it here, because of the
necessary limits of this article.


Having disposed of the question relating to translation, I take up the
Unknown's second canon of criticism, which he states in these terms:

    "Any book which professes to be a divine revelation to the people
    of the present time, and yet reveals nothing which it does not
    appropriate from some other book or sources of knowledge already in
    the possession of the people, is a spurious book."

The Book of Mormon reveals the fact that there existed two great
civilizations on the American continent. The first was established
by a colony which left the valley of the Euphrates in very ancient
times, established themselves in the North American continent, and
in time grew to be a great nation far advanced in civilization.
This race passed through all the vicissitudes incident to national
existence; periods of prosperity, times of disaster; periods of great
righteousness, when prophets with their divine message influenced the
people to keep the commandments of God, followed by long periods of
moral and spiritual depression, and ultimately succumbed to the fate
which overtakes all nations that depart from truth and righteousness.
The second civilization resulted from two colonies which came from
Judea; one led by Lehi, landing in South America; the other colony
was led by Mulek, who escaped from Palestine after the overthrow of
Jerusalem by the Babylonians. This colony landed in North America.
These colonies subsequently united and formed one great nation. This
nation, like others, followed the beaten track of the history of other
nations. In periods of righteousness they advanced in civilization.
They had their prophets, philosophers, statesmen, patriots, traitors,
and passed through all the experiences incident to national existence.
Their history is the poet's moral of all human tales:

  "'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past:
  First freedom, and then glory--when that fails,
  Wealth, vice, corruption--barbarism at last;
  And history with all her volumes vast hath but one page!"

After he had completed his ministry in Judea, the resurrected Messiah
appeared among the Nephites, in fulfillment of his promise to their
fathers by the prophets. He announced his divinity, taught them the
gospel, conferred divine authority upon certain men whom He chose among
them, authorized the establishment of the Church for their instruction
and development in righteousness. He taught them every moral truth
which He had imparted to those living on the eastern hemisphere. He
fulfilled all the prophecies relating to him up to this point in the
Jewish scriptures, which their fathers had carried with them from
Jerusalem. He assured them of the reality of life beyond the grave,
and, in a word, planted here the whole system of truth which makes for
the salvation of men, and is called the fulness of the everlasting
gospel. The Book of Mormon gives a voice to the ruined cities and
half buried monuments upon this land of America. It confirms all the
revealed truths made known in the Jewish scriptures. In sustaining the
truth, inspiration and authenticity of the Bible, the Book of Mormon is
more valuable than a thousand Rosetta Stones; it is superior to all the
clay tablet libraries found in old Babylon and Egypt; it is the voice
of sleeping nations speaking as from the dust of ages, bearing witness
to the existence of God, the divinity of Messiah, and to the truth
of the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation. It vindicates the
justice of God in that it reveals the fact that he did not leave untold
millions of people to perish on this western hemisphere without the
knowledge of God and the means of salvation. It banishes from the minds
of men that narrow, sectarian dogma of an apostate Christendom which
undertakes to limit the word of God to the few books contained in the
Bible. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon contradicts that equally
erroneous sectarian notion that God had ceased to give revelations to
men and had spoken for the last time to his children. And yet in the
presence of this array of great facts and truths which the Book of
Mormon makes known, and which are made known nowhere else (and the half
has not been told here), men of the order of intellect of this Unknown
critic stand chattering like parrots about there being nothing new or
of value in the Book of Mormon, and seek to cast discredit upon it by
their carping criticisms upon the defects of the language in which
it is translated, and because its translator has couched some of its
glorious truths in the New Testament phraseology familiar to him. How
puerile all such criticism seems, and how refreshing it is to hear God
saying, "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully, for
what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord," (Jeremiah xxiii:28).
The letter still killeth. It is the spirit that giveth life.


In the background of the Unknown's discussion one may see the influence
of what is called the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of
Mormon, and in his second communication he indirectly refers to it by
saying that "there are at least twelve persons, worthy and reliable so
far as I can discover, who testify that the substance of this Book of
Mormon, with all its queer names of places and persons, its strange
history, its battles and slaughters, its continual imitation of Bible
phraseology, they had heard several years prior to the publication of
this book, from a religious romance (The Spaulding Story). It was in
this romance that the Nephites and Lamanites originated, and also the
pretended ancient books of Nephi, Alma, Mosiah and Mormon," etc. And
later the gentleman says that he cannot see why the testimony of these
twelve witnesses should not be received, etc. In all this the gentleman
shows what a "back number" he is in the mater of controversy relating
to the Book of Mormon. He seems not aware of the fact that Spaulding's
manuscript has been found and published now these several years,
and is safely lodged in the library of Oberlin College, Ohio. There
appears upon this manuscript the endorsement of Aaron Wright, Oliver
Smith, John N. Miller and D. P. Hurlburt (who, by the way, are among
the twelve witnesses to whom "M" alludes) as being the very manuscript
from which they affirmed that the Book of Mormon had been written.
And now comes L. L. Rice, an anti-slavery editor, for many year state
printer of Columbus, Ohio, who says: "Two things are true concerning
this manuscript. * * * * * First, it is a genuine writing of Solomon
Spaulding, and second, it is not the original of the Book of Mormon. *
* * * It is unlikely that any one who wrote so elaborate a work as the
Mormon Bible (Book of Mormon) would spend his time in getting up so
shallow a story as this." While President James H. Fairchild of Oberlin
College says over his own signature: "Mr. Rice, myself and others
compared it (the Spaulding manuscript) with the Book of Mormon, and
could detect no resemblance between the two in general or in detail.
There seems to be no name or incident common to the two. * * * * * Some
other explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon must be found."
The truth of President Fairchild's statement can be verified by any one
who will compare the two.


The Unknown has certainly plunged into the fog respecting his alleged
connection between Nephi and Shakespeare, and by some sort of mental
contortion utterly inexplicable, has arrived at the conclusion that we
must suppose that Nephi had a copy of our English Bible as well as the
Jewish scriptures, and also a copy of Shakespeare, in order to account
for the passage in the Book of Mormon which he alleges is a quotation
from the English poet. I must come to the rescue of the Unknown in this
matter: I begin to have some degree of commiseration for him in his
mental struggle to comprehend even this very simple matter. Attend,
then: Lehi lived in Judea in the seventh and sixth century, B.C. He
was acquainted with the Hebrew scriptures, including the book of Job,
and when he departed from Jerusalem for the western world his colony
took with them those same scriptures. Through them he became familiar
in the Hebrew with Job's--"Let me alone, that I may take comfort a
little before I go whence I shall not return." Also Job's--"When a few
years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return."
When Lehi's own hour of departure hence had come, impressed with this
solemn thought of Job's, he gave expression to it in Hebrew. The saying
was recorded by his son Nephi in the Egyptian characters employed by
him in making his record. Observe that we have traced these ideas
of the "land whence I shall not return" into the Nephite records
without the aid of the English Bible or Shakespeare. When Joseph Smith
came to this thought in Nephi, the thought, mark you, he translated
it into the English, and being familiar with the book of Job, his
translation followed somewhat the phraseology of Job in our English
version. Shakespeare nowhere appears in all this, and if he did, if
Joseph Smith had expressed this old Hebrew and Nephite thought in
Shakespeare's exact phraseology instead of that of our English version
of Job it would have been no valid objection to the Book of Mormon,
for Shakespeare died in 1616, and the English version of the Bible was
published in 1611, only five years before the poet's death! Are we to
infer from this that "M" thinks Shakespeare had no English Bible from
which to paraphrase this passage? If so--and I can see nothing else in
his reference to these dates--then I would inform the gentleman that
as there were brave men before Agamemnon, so were there English Bibles
before the 1611 edition; Wycliff's English Bible, 1380-1384; Tyndale's
English translation, 1530; Miles Coverdale's English translation,
1535, dedicated to Henry VIII, and for a time issued under the royal
sanction. From any of these versions Shakespeare could have paraphrased
Job's words.

The Unknown seems somewhat distressed in his efforts to account for the
few original and moral religious truths, I quoted him from the Book
of Mormon. Especially "Fools mock, but they shall mourn." He "sees
nothing new in that," since in Proverbs it is said "fools make a mock
of sin." True, but it appears from the context where the Book of Mormon
passage occurs that the particular "fools" the writer had in mind were
those who mocked at righteousness and truth, and hence he predicts that
they shall come to grief; while Solomon's "fools" mock at sin, and the
consequences are not stated, at least not in that passage. I trust,
however, the Unknown will not worry over much. The star of hope may yet
appear above life's horizon for him. The javelin-like sentence, "Fools
mock, but they shall mourn," is immediately followed by "My grace is
sufficient for the meek;" and it appears to me if this discussion
continues through a few more papers, and there should continue to be
manifested as much difference between each succeeding communication of
"M's" as there is between the arrogance of his first letter and the
humility of his second, in time I am sure he would be prepared to enter
a contest even with Moses for the distinction of being the meekest of

As to the rest that "M" says of these matters, the limits of this
writing preclude further comment. Neither is it necessary, for it is
all as shallow, not to say as silly, as what he says upon the passage
here criticised.


Just a word in conclusion, not to the Unknown, but to the readers of
these papers. I would have them remember that in this discussion the
evidence that can be marshaled to sustain the truth of the Book of
Mormon has not yet been presented. The manner in which the discussion
began made this impossible. There was before the reader no evidence on
the positive side concerning the Book of Mormon when the discussion
began, and the paper of Unknown was on the negative side of the
question. A proper discussion of the Book of Mormon would require
that we who affirm its divine origin should have the opportunity of
presenting the affirmative evidence, followed by an argument against
that evidence, with answer and rejoinder to follow. All of which, of
course, are in no way a complaint as to the present opportunities
presented to the writer by _The Tribune,_ as to him has been extended
equal opportunity and courtesy with his opponent, for which I desire
to express my appreciation. I am satisfied with this discussion, but
merely desire to call attention to the enforced limits of its scope.
Respectfully yours, B.H. ROBERTS.


"The Fifth Gospel."


The occasion which gave rise to the following discourse, delivered
in the Granite Stake Tabernacle, Sunday evening, May 29th, 1904, is
sufficiently explained in the body of the text. The discourse deals
only with one of three of Rev. Paden's discourses delivered against the
Book of Mormon, and that the third--"Gospels Apocryphal and Real." Of
that discourse nothing here need be said, as a full synopsis of it is
given in the text of the answer to it. But there may be some curiosity
to know something of the other discourses of Mr. Paden's against the
III Nephi--the "Fifth Gospel." In the first discourse a general charge
of plagiarism from the Bible was made, the claim being that material
for the most valuable parts was to be found in the Gospel or Revelation
of St. John in the Psalms, and in the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
"His general conclusion was," according to the published synopsis of
the discourse--furnished by Dr. Paden to the press quoted--"that there
was nothing in the book to indicate that it was inspired, except as it
was plagiarized from the Bible."

In Dr. Paden's second discourse the charge of plagiarism was emphasized
and amplified; and the further charges made that the book lacked in
"local color." "We find almost nothing," he said, "which would fit
with a tropical climate; in fact the general description would better
coincide with Pennsylvania or New York. * * * * The whole attempt
to account for the vagaries of Nephite geography, or its seeming
disagreement or failure to connect with tropical South America, is an
exposition of the weakness of the claim made by the Book of Nephi and
the whole Book of Mormon to be a trustworthy document. Indeed the whole
history and make-up of the story seems to indicate a determination to
put its claims beyond the touch of realistic teaching."

I mention here these points in the discourses of Dr. Paden, in order
to direct the reader's attention to the fact that these with other
objections urged by this gentleman in the discourses referred to, are
considered, in part, in preceding papers of this book, and at length in
my treatise on the Book of Mormon in the Young Men's Manual for 1905-6,
and will also be found in "New Witnesses for God," Vol. II, soon to
issue from the press; and for the reason that they are considered in
those works they are not reviewed here.

"Fifth Gospel."

During the month of March of the present year a sectarian minister of
high standing in our community preached several discourses in Salt Lake
City--three, I think--against the third book of Nephi, contained in the
Book of Mormon. This third Nephi the reverend gentleman has happily
called the "Fifth Gospel." I am sorry that descriptive term did not
occur to me, or to some other Elder in Israel. Had I coined the title
I should have been very proud of it, for I think it a most fortunate
one. Of course, the other four gospels are contained in our Hebrew
scriptures. They are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We
speak of them as the four gospels. And this reverend gentleman refers
to III Nephi as the "Fifth Gospel." I call it the "American Gospel,"
for I so regard it. Of course, after stating the title the gentleman
then questions the book's right to it. The subject of his three
discourses is the consideration of the question whether this Nephite
book is worthy to be classed at all with the four gospels of the Hebrew
scriptures. He decides the question on the negative.

I shall not attempt in the remarks I make tonight to deal with all
three of the gentleman's discourses. I shall content myself with
alluding to one, and that the third, called "Gospels, Apocryphal and
Real." A word of explanation about the term "apocryphal gospels."
During the first and second centuries of the Christian era there was a
world of myth and legend that grew out of the history of the Savior.
The four gospels leave undescribed, as you know, his infancy and
youth. Between the time his earthly guardians took up their residence
at Nazareth in his infancy to the time when he commenced his public
ministry--in all that period we get but one glimpse of him, that was
when he was twelve years of age, and then we learn of him being in the
temple disputing with the doctors--doctors of philosophy and doctors
of theology--both asking and answering questions. What sober history
failed to record fable and legend sought to supply, hence we have a
collection of books called the Apocryphal New Testament, that deals
with him and his sojourn in Egypt and in his childhood days called the
Gospel of the Infancy, two books; the Gospel of the Birth of Mary, a
number of epistles--about fifteen or twenty books, all told. They are
so extravagant in statement, so wonder-creating in their nature, that
they are generally discredited by Christians and called "apocryphal"
books about Jesus and the early days of Christianity. Our reverend
friend classes the "Fifth Gospel" with this order of apocryphal books,
and says that it deserves no higher rank than those books to which I
have here briefly alluded.

I shall at this point read to you the synopsis of the reverend
gentleman's discourse; and while the synopsis cannot be so satisfactory
as the whole discourse would be, still I think likely he has mentioned
his chief objections to the book in the synopsis, as I am informed that
he himself prepared it for the public press; so that what I quote is
his own representation of the discourse, and doubtless contains all the
points he scored against our III Nephi.


    "'Gospels Apocryphal and Real,' was the title of Dr. William M.
    Paden's sermon last night. It was in a way a continuation of his
    sermons on the book of Nephi, and again a large congregation
    assembled to hear him. He first gave an account of the apocryphal
    gospels of the infancy, Nicodemus, the birth of the virgin, and
    others. These he compared and classed with the gospel according
    to Nephi, which he had explained and dealt with the two preceding
    Sundays. Much in these so-called gospels anyone could quote or
    gather from the real gospels; the greater part of the rest of the
    matter, of the rest that is not [so] copied, anyone could write.
    After this Dr. Paden went on to speak of the manner in which our
    real gospels added something of real worth to the pictures of
    Christ. Thus Matthew improved on Mark, Luke on Matthew and Mark,
    and John on them all. Does III Nephi add anything worth while to
    the picture? he asked. Luke gives us the story of the prodigal,
    John the story of the good Samaritan. Matthew has given us many
    parables. What does Nephi add which deserves to be classed with
    such revelations? How does it come that this so-called fifth gospel
    gives us no new parables? One real, original parable of the class
    that is found in the gospel according to Matthew would give it the
    necessary standing. One grand new chapter like the 15th of Luke,
    or the 3rd of John, would be as great a surprise in this gospel
    according to Nephi as a Psalm like the 23rd would be in the early
    part of the Book of Mormon.

    "Concerning the authenticity of the would-be fifth gospel, Dr.
    Paden made use of a very appropriate and telling simile. He said
    the question is not where do men say they got it, but, is it gold?
    These four nuggets, (i. e., the four Hebrew gospels), are gold. If
    your supposed nugget is not, it matters little where you got it;
    your father and grandfather may have been mistaken--you must submit
    to the gold test."


You will observe that the primary consideration in the reverend
gentleman's discourse is, Does III Nephi add anything to the picture of
Christ? Is our Christian knowledge increased by it? It is that question
that I propose to consider.

To begin with, I answer the question in the affirmative, and most
emphatically say, Yes, III Nephi does add something to the pictures of
Christ, and does add something to our testimony of Christian knowledge.
I marvel that the gentleman should have propounded such a question in
the face of the facts which stand out so prominently in III Nephi. I
should have thought that one great truth, that is announced in III
Nephi, would have arrested his attention, namely, the one truth that
Jesus appeared in this western world and so ministered to a people
that two great continents, to be filled subsequently with nations of
people, might come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and of the gospel of
salvation which he taught,--I should have thought that one fact would
have been a complete answer to the gentleman's inquiry. The fact that
the justice and mercy of God in our conception are broadened by this
great truth adds considerable to our Christian treasury of knowledge.
For instead of God's mercy and the labors of his Son being confined to
the eastern hemisphere, we learn from this Fifth Gospel that God sent
his Son on a special mission to those inhabiting this western world,
and that he presented to them the same great truths upon which his
gospel is based that he had presented to those of the eastern world;
and that, moreover, while here he gave the Nephites the information
that his labors in Judea and among them were not all the labors he was
required to perform in the interest of humanity and their salvation,
but that he must make his way to the lost tribes of Israel and declare
himself and his message also to them. Thus the horizon of Christ's
mission and labor is enlarged beyond anything that can be learned from
the four gospels, and the knowledge can only be found in the Fifth
Gospel--the third book of Nephi.

That, however, is too general a view of the subject to be content
with. I propose getting into closer quarters with this matter, and
enquiring into it in some detail. First let me call your attention to
the conditions existing at the opening of this Fifth Gospel. It opens
with the ninety-first year of the reign of the Judges--a time which
corresponds to our year one of the Christian era. At that time the
Nephites everywhere were more or less expectant of the birth of the
Son of God, for the Lord had not left himself without witnesses among
the ancient inhabitants of this great land, but as in Judea, he raised
up prophets who foretold the coming of Messiah and the conditions that
would attend upon his birth into the world. Some five years before the
opening of this period we are to consider, a Lamanite prophet appeared
among the Nephites and prophesied in a marvelous manner concerning
events nearing the doors of the people, declaring that within five
years from the time he spoke there should be given a sign unto the
people of this western world that Messiah had been born. That sign
should be the continuance of the light of day through two days and a
night; that though the sun should sink as usual beyond the western
horizon the light of day should still continue through all the time of
night; the sun should rise again on the morrow according to his order,
and they should know that there had been this strange phenomenon of
continuous light, notwithstanding the absence of the sun; and a new
star should appear also.

Does that add anything to the picture in the career of Messiah? Is it
nothing that the inhabitants of the western world should see in the
heavens a most beautiful sign that Jesus had been born, and by that
sign, in the fulfillment of the prediction that had been made by the
prophets, they should receive from God a testimony that his Son had
come into the world to bring to pass the redemption of the race? I
think it adds a beautiful picture in the life of Jesus Christ, and one
on which the four gospels are silent.

This same prophet predicted also the signs that should attend upon
Messiah's death; for through prophesy the Nephites had been made
acquainted with the fact that though Jesus was the Son of God, yet
must he die and be buried in order that he might by that act meet the
just claims of inexorable law under which mankind were banished from
the presence of God and made subject to death. This Lamanite prophet,
Samuel, declared that during the time that the Son of God should be
immolated upon the cross this western hemisphere should be mightily
shaken by the throes of physical nature; that great valleys should
undergo upheaval and be thrown into mountains; that many high places
and mountains should be shaken down; that many parts of the land should
sink and the sea cover them; that-some cities would thus be destroyed;
in other cases great mountains of earth should cover wicked cities
from the sight of God; and thus should there be upheaval, cataclysm,
earthquakes and tempests, fierce and vivid lightnings, and all the
elements should give witness that the Son of God was undergoing the
pains of death. Moreover, that this period of cataclysms and changes
in the earth should be followed by three days of intense and complete
darkness, until men should be unable to see, being deprived of the
light of the sun so precious to man and so necessary to life.

Both these events--the signs of Messiah's birth and the signs of his
death--were given as foretold.

I pause again to ask this reverend gentleman if the signs of Messiah's
death on this continent do not add something to the picture of Christ's

In passing, let me call your attention to this fact also: I think I
see something very beautiful and appropriate in these marvelous signs.
I think it is fitting that he who is described in the four gospels
as well as in the fifth as the "Light and Life of the world," should
have his entrance into earth life proclaimed by a night in which there
should be no darkness, and that a new star for a season should appear
in the heavens, to be a witness to the people that "the life and light"
which was to bring life and light to mankind had indeed come into the
world. And equally appropriate is it that when he who is described as
the Life and Light of the world is laid low in death, the world should
have the testimony of light eclipsed. I see a beautiful appropriateness
in these signs, and in them I see added pictures in the life and career
of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One other thing--which, however, I can only throw in sight--is this:
The traditions held by the native American races prove the fact that
something like this described in the Book of Mormon-these cataclysms
and the darkness which followed--was vividly remembered by the ancients
and is apparent in the traditions of the native Americans. For example,
Mr. Bancroft, the great compiler of native traditions and myths, after
speaking concerning native traditions about the flood, creation, the
building of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of tongues and the
dispersion of mankind, and of a certain revision that took place in the
native calendar, says:

    "One hundred and sixteen years after this regulation or invention
    of the Toltec calendar, the sun and moon were eclipsed, the earth
    shook, and the rocks were rent asunder, and many other things
    and signs happened. This was in the year Ce Calli, which, the
    chronology being reduced to our system, proves to be the same date
    that Christ our Lord suffered"--33 A. D.

Again, speaking of a certain division made in the Quiche kingdom,
Bancroft, quoting from the History of Guatemala by the native author,
Juarros, says:

    "This division was made when three suns were seen, which has caused
    some to think that it took place on the day of the birth of our
    Redeemer, a day on which, it is commonly believed that such a
    meteor was seen."

The day when three suns appeared would doubtless figuratively and
very clearly express the time when they had two days and one night of
continuous light on the continent.

Again, Nadaillac, in his Prehistoric America, after speaking of certain
creation and flood traditions, adds:

    "Other traditions allude to convulsions of nature, to inundations,
    profound disturbances, to terrible deluges in the midst of which
    mountains and volcanoes suddenly rose up."

I now turn to a passage I shall read to you from III Nephi, describing
the appearance of Jesus on this land. After these cataclysms had taken
place a company of men, women and children in the land Bountiful,
numbering some 2,500 souls, were assembled together near a temple that
had escaped destruction, and they were speaking of the great events of
the recent past and the change that was apparent in the whole face of
the land. As they were speaking of these signs that had been given of
Messiah's birth and death, and conversing concerning Messiah himself,
they heard a voice. What was said they could not at first determine,
and whence the voice came they could not tell. It grew, however, more
and still more distinct, until at last, they heard the voice say:

    "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have
    glorified my name: hear ye him.

    "And it came to pass as they understood, they cast their eyes up
    again towards heaven and behold, they saw a man descending out of
    heaven: and he was clothed in a white robe, and he came down and
    stood in the midst of them, and the eyes of the whole multitude
    were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even
    one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was
    an angel that had appeared unto them.

    "And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake
    unto the people, saying:

    "Behold, I am Jesus, whom the prophets testified shall come into
    the world:

    "And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; I have drunk
    out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have
    glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in
    which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the

    "And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, the
    whole multitude fell to the earth, for they remembered that it had
    been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto
    them after his ascension into heaven."

This reverend gentleman, whom I am reviewing, complains that III Nephi,
or the Fifth Gospel, adds no new parable to the collection of parables
we have in the four gospels. But can any man read this simple yet
sublime account of Messiah appearing to the inhabitants of this western
world, and then say the Fifth Gospel adds nothing to the treasury of
Christian knowledge? Is there, I ask you, any parable, or any hundred
parables, that could be given that would be equal to these grand
revelations concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and his mission to this
western hemisphere?

Complaint is also made that in his subsequent teachings Messiah merely
repeated the ideas, and for that matter the words of his sermon on
the mount; so wanting in originality, claim those who object to the
Book of Mormon, were the authors of the book that they could not trust
themselves to give Jesus the opportunity of preaching an original
discourse to the inhabitants of this western part of the world. I ask
these Christian objectors to consider just this: Suppose the Book of
Mormon were not in existence at all; suppose that we begin to reflect
on the empires and nations which beyond all question did occupy this
land of America in ancient times, and were civilized, intelligent
people--God's children; suppose that it began to occur to some of our
Christian friends that it would have been a grand idea if the Son
of God had come and made proclamation of the gospel to a people who
were destined to be for so many centuries separated from the eastern
hemisphere, where the gospel had been planted. Now then, suppose these
conditions, and suppose further that Jesus came here, what would be the
nature of his mission? What should he first do? What truth do these
Christian critics hold to be the most important truth to mankind? Would
it not be the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world,
the one who is to bring life and immortality to light through the
Gospel? Would not that be the most important thing to have declared?
I believe all Christians must necessarily say yes. Well, that is just
what happened. The voice of God broke the stillness of this western
world, and said to a company of people, "This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Then Jesus stands forth and
declares himself and his mission. The most important truth that the
Christian mind, at least, can conceive! The Fifth Gospel starts with
that sublime, important truth. Then after that, what would be the next
most important thing? Would it not be to teach man his moral duty?
His relationship to God and to the Savior having been fixed by the
first revelation, what next? Why, the ethics of the gospel of Christ,
the moral law, which is to take the place of the old law, Christian
principles for right living. And so Messiah starts out with the same
doctrines that he taught upon the mount. Now, there are not wanting
respectable Christian authorities for the assertion that that discourse
called the sermon on the mount was not a single discourse, but that
into it was crowded from the recollection of the Apostles all the great
ethical truths that Jesus had taught from time to time, and that here
they are grouped together and appear as one discourse. Moreover, the
Savior declared to the Nephites while he was yet with them that these
truths which he had been teaching them were the same that he had taught
in Judea. "Behold," said he, in the course of his explanations, "ye
have heard the things which I have taught before I ascended unto my

But in answer to these complaints that the Book of Mormon adds nothing
new to the treasury of our Christian knowledge, I want to show you,
though I shall have to do it briefly, that the Book of Mormon version
of these ethical doctrines of Jesus Christ does throw some additional
light upon this sermon on the mount.

Right here I must complain just a little of the gentleman,
notwithstanding I believe he intended to be fair.

Speaking of this version of the sermon on the mount in the Book of
Mormon, I think he sneeringly asserts that there is "one new beatitude
added." And that is, the first verse in the Savior's discourse to the
Nephites opens with this statement--which was given to the multitude
after he had chosen twelve special disciples to be teachers of his

    "Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these
    twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and
    to be your servants."

The gentleman says that is a new beatitude. Well, is there any proper
complaint to be made against that? Suppose Jesus had said to a
multitude in Judea, when he presented the Twelve Apostles before them,
since he was going to bestow upon them, not only divine authority
to act in his name, but was going to accompany them always by the
presence of his Spirit--would it have been out of place or an improper
"beatitude" if he had said to the multitude, "Blessed are ye if ye
shall hearken unto the words that these Twelve shall say unto you"? It
is scarcely becoming in a Christian minister to make light of God's
request of a multitude that they shall have respect unto the teachings
of his servants, and tells them that they shall be blessed if they
hearken unto them.

But to continue. The first beatitude as given in Matthew is as follows:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of

A very beautiful, terse expression, and no doubt true. But in III Nephi
it stands thus:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit _who come unto me;_ for theirs is
    the kingdom of heaven."

It is not enough for men to be poor in spirit. Not on that hinges
salvation. A man can be poor in spirit and still fail of salvation. But
"Blessed are the poor in spirit _who come unto me;_ for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven."

I think that throws a little light upon the sermon on the mount that is
worthy the consideration of this Christian clergyman.

Another expression in the sermon on the mount in our English version of
the New Testament, is:

    "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness;
    for they shall be filled."

Filled with what? Well, the Book of Mormon version of it is:

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; for
    they shall be filled _with the Holy Ghost."_

That is more definite, is it not?

But now I come to a more important point, where more light, and light
that is very necessary, is added to this sermon on the mount. I
commence reading from Matthew vi:24.

    "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and
    love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the
    other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    "Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye
    shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye
    shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than

That is a passage of scripture against which infidels have leveled
their sarcasms ever since it was written. They have denounced it as
instruction utterly impractical; as false in theory, as it would be
impossible in practice; and as giving the evidence that Jesus was
a mere idle dreamer, not a practical reformer. For, say they, this
doctrine of taking no thought of the morrow, and taking no thought
respecting food and raiment, if applied to the world's affairs, would
turn the wheels of progress backward, and plunge the world into a state
of barbarism. There could be no civilization under such conditions,
they argue; and man would go back to the condition of the savage. I
have never heard a Christian argument against that assault that has
been an answer to it. But I find the key to the situation in this Book
of Mormon version of the passage. It throws a flood of light upon
this matter that makes the defense of the doctrine of Christ not only
possible but easy. The Book of Mormon tells me that those words were
not addressed to the multitude, nor are they to be followed by all the
members of the Church, nor by the people of the world generally. Jesus
confined that instruction in America to twelve men whom he chose from
among his disciples, and especially commissioned to go and preach the
gospel; and to so completely dedicate themselves unto the Lord that
they would give no thought to temporal things, but put heart and soul
into the work of their ministry, and their Father in heaven, who knew
they had need of food and raiment, would open up the way for them, to
obtain such things as they needed, even as he clothed the lilies or
cared for the birds of the air. Thus limited, that doctrine is all
right, is it not? And as Jesus turned from the multitude to deliver
this doctrine especially adapted to the Twelve here in America, so,
doubtless, if we had the fullness of the truth as delivered in Judea I
believe he would be represented as confining those remarks unto the men
whom he had specially called into the ministry in that land.

So I say the Fifth Gospel places in our hands the means of meeting the
scoffs of the unbeliever, and vindicates the doctrines of Jesus Christ
as reasonable now that we have the word of the Lord rightly divided.

I cannot leave this passage without calling your attention to the
closing sentence of the sixth chapter of Matthew: "Sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof." In III Nephi it stands: "Sufficient is
the day unto the evil thereof." In the first instance you note that
the evil is made sufficient for the day. The fifth gospel has it that
the day is made sufficient for the evil. Don't you think that is
better? Three learned commentators say of that sentence, as it stands
in Matthew: "An admirable practical maxim, better rendered in our
version (King James' translation) than in any other, not excepting
the preceding English ones. Every day brings its own cares, and to
anticipate is only to double them." If they can thus speak in high
praise of the saying of the Savior as it stands in Matthew, how much
more reason they would have for praising it as it is found in III Nephi.

I will now read to you a passage which Elder Francis M. Lyman read
at one of the public meetings of our recent general conference, and
which first suggested to me the thought of taking up this reverend
gentleman's discourse for the purpose of showing, at least to our
young people, that there was something in the Fifth Gospel worth while
considering; that it adds something to our Christian knowledge. Jesus
giving instruction to the Nephite disciples, says:

    "Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through
    your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise
    shall ye baptize them; behold, ye shall go down and stand in the
    water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.

    "And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling
    them by name:

    "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the
    name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    "And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again
    out of the water."

If we had only been so fortunate as to have had such an explicit
statement as this in our four gospels, or in one of them, what a world
of contention would have been avoided, what a world of Christian
persecution of Christians would have been avoided, and what unity and
harmony there would have been upon a great Christian ordinance upon
which Christians are now unhappily divided. Aside from this statement
and the revelations that God has given in these days, there is nothing
that definitely instructs the world on the subject of how baptism shall
be administered. Jesus came to the disciples after his resurrection
and said to them, "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Of course,
for some two or three hundred years we have the custom of the Saints
as an interpretation of the manner of baptism, and that is, they were
immersed; but since Jesus had not specified the manner in which the
ordinance was to be administered, men began to wonder after awhile if
baptism could not be performed in some other way than immersion, and so
they adopted the method of sprinkling, or of pouring the water on the
person. And from that departure from the true gospel grew up the varied
methods of baptism as we have them today. The Greeks still immerse,
and they immerse three times--once in the name of the Father, once in
the name of the Son, and once in the name of the Holy Spirit. We have
an American sect who hit upon what I suppose they consider a happy
thought, and that is, that baptism must not only be thrice performed,
but that the candidate must be pushed face downward into the water;
for, say they, would you have people going into the kingdom backwards?
Of the Protestant sects, some sprinkle and some pour water on the
candidate; and one prominent minister, the late Henry Ward Beecher,
reduced the ordinance to the mere act of moistening the hand and
placing it upon the brow of the candidate, and called that baptism! The
great Catholic Church, backed by its "tradition" and its scholarship,
insists that sprinkling is a proper method of baptism. And so the world
is divided on this great ordinance, which all confess is the visible
sign of entrance into the fold of Christ--part of our birth into the
kingdom of God.

What parable, what dozen parables, could be so precious in their
importance to the Christian world as this explicit statement of how the
ordinance of baptism shall be administered, if they would but accept it!

In addition to this doctrine of baptism you will find (though I shall
not take time to point it out at length on this occasion) in the
Fifth Gospel instructions given by the Savior on the subject of the
Sacrament and the purposes for which it was given, which afterwards
were crystalized in the prayer of consecration of the emblems, and
because they are so crystalized, and therefore briefer, I shall read
that instruction to you as it is found in the prayer. The prophet is
explaining how the Sacrament was administered after the people received
this institution from Jesus:

    "And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in
    the name of Christ, saying:

    "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son
    Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of
    all those who partake of it, that they may eat in the remembrance
    of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal
    Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy
    Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he
    hath given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with
    them. Amen."

If the four gospels had contained the instructions of Jesus Christ on
this subject as found in the Fifth Gospel, and finally crystalized
those instructions into this beautiful and appropriate prayer of
consecration, the Christian world would have escaped one of its
bitterest religious controversies, and the Roman Catholic church today
would not ask men to be so untrue to their intellectual consciousness
as to believe that the wafer which they place upon the tongue of the
communicant is the actual body and the actual blood of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, the Protestant world would not be divided and
subdivided, upon this question, but they would have instruction which
would enable them to properly hold the great atonement of Jesus Christ
in true and objective remembrance in the Sacrament.

I undertake to say now that there cannot be produced from the
literature of the world, sacred or profane, a prayer that is the equal
of this prayer of consecration, excepting only the Lord's prayer. With
that exception, this prayer, for completeness, for a succession of
solemn thoughts, fitly spoken, and crystalized into a form from which
you can take nothing and to which you can add nothing without marring
it, stands alone; and it adds something to our Christian knowledge. It
is an important item of Christian instruction and doctrine, and one
that the world much needs; you will find its scattered rays in the
Fifth Gospel, in the form I have quoted it, it is given by Moroni.

Now, I must pass on hurriedly. There is a singular passage of scripture
in John, the 10th chapter and 16th verse, which rather puzzles
expounders of the scripture.

    "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I
    must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one
    fold, and one shepherd."

Ask the Christian ministers to explain this passage, and they always
answer that Jesus had in mind the Gentiles. If so, how do you harmonize
this fact, which I now point out to you, with that statement, namely:
Jesus was once passing through a crowded street and a woman of Canaan,
of race upon whom the displeasure of God had fallen in very ancient
times,--perhaps their spirits warranted just the conditions that
they came into this world to meet. This woman, of this race, came to
Jesus, asking that he would heal her child, but he heeded her not. Her
importuning attracted unpleasant attention, and so the Apostles said
to him, "Master, send her away; for she troubleth us." He said, _"I am
not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."_ Therefore,
when he said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them
also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice," he had reference
to some branch of the house of Israel, and not to the Gentiles; for
as he explains, I think, in this Fifth Gospel, the Gentiles should
receive the gospel through the ministrations of the Holy Spirit in
his servants, and not by his personal ministry to them. His personal
ministry was confined to the house of Israel. In this Fifth Gospel we
learn that Jesus told the Nephites that they were the people he had
in mind when he uttered this singular scripture we are considering;
but his disciples in Judea understood him not; and because of
stiffneckedness and unbelief Jesus was commanded of the Father to say
no more to them upon the subject.

Do not these facts throw some light upon our knowledge of Christian

Moreover, in this same connection, Jesus informed his Nephite auditors
that not only would he minister to them, but so soon as he was through
with his ministrations to them, behold, he would go to the lost tribes
of the house of Israel and minister to them also. He spoke as follows:

    "And verily, verily, I say unto you, that I have other sheep, which
    are not of this land; neither of the land of Jerusalem; neither in
    any part of that land round about, whither I have been to minister.
    For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my
    voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But
    I have received a commandment of the Father, that I shall go unto
    them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered
    among my sheep that there may be one fold, and one shepherd;
    therefore I go to show myself unto them. And I command you that ye
    shall write these sayings, after I am gone, that if it so be that
    my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me, and been with me
    in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may
    receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other
    tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall
    write, shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles,
    the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the
    face of the earth, because of their unbelief, may be brought in,
    or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then I
    will gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then
    will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the
    people of the house of Israel."

Again, in his discourse on this occasion, Jesus takes up the matter of
the Gentiles, who in time should come to this land and take possession
of it for the falling away of the Nephites was predicted, and the fact
of the coming of the Gentile races to this land was made known to the
Nephite people. The Lord Jesus took occasion to say that the Gentiles
should be greatly blessed upon this land, and should be fortified
against all other nations; and if they would not reject the gospel that
should be brought forth amongst them, great would be the blessings of
the Lord upon the Gentiles; that they should be numbered with the house
of Israel, and should assist in building up the New Jerusalem upon this
continent. I quote these several important passages:

    "And blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in
    and of the Holy Ghost, which witnesses unto them, of me and of the
    Father. * * * * But if the Gentiles will repent, and return unto
    me, saith the Lord, behold they shall be numbered among my people,
    O house of Israel; * * * * And behold, this people (descendants
    of the Nephites addressed) will I establish in this land unto the
    fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and
    it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in
    the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.
    Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the
    Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me,
    him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that
    prophet, and who will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them
    will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will
    execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen,
    such as they have not heard. But if they will repent, and hearken
    unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my
    church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be
    numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given
    this land for their inheritance. And they shall assist my people,
    the remnant of Jacob, and also, as many of the house of Israel as
    shall come that they may build a city, which shall be called the
    New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may
    be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land,
    in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come
    down among them; and I also will be in the midst."

All this is contained in the Fifth Gospel. It contains, you will
see, these promises of deep and mighty import to the Gentile races,
a promise that they might become as fathers and mothers to the house
of Israel, and so great should be their reward and blessing that they
should be completely identified with the Israel of God upon this land,
and join in building up Zion--that Zion from which Isaiah declared the
law should go forth in the last days, while the word of the Lord should
go forth from Jerusalem; indicating the two capitals on the earth, one
in the eastern and one in the western hemisphere. But if, on the other
hand, the Gentiles should reject the gospel of Christ and no longer
honor the God of this land, who is declared to be Jesus Christ, then
the hand of God would be upon them, and that in judgment; and that,
proud, great and strong as they are, yet should they be humbled.

So that this Fifth Gospel deals not only with the past, but it
deals with the present and with the future, and sounds this note of
warning to the Gentile nations upon the promised land of America.
Notwithstanding the strength and pride and power of these nations in
these days of their glory, the Fifth Gospel warns them that they hold
their proud stations upon the condition of their faithfulness to God
and their receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is worthy of God to
reveal the conditions upon which the nations of the western world in
pride of place may hold their stations among the nations of the earth;
and it is a matter worthy the consideration of these nations to give
heed to such a warning. Let no nation think itself beyond the power
of God; for it is not. Imperial Rome was as confident of her ability
to perpetuate her power as any nation of the western world is today;
and he who would have dared to suggest that Rome could be humbled,
and pass away as a dream of the night, would doubtless have been
thought wanting in patriotism; yet Rome was humbled. The half-naked
hordes from the woods and plains of Germany reveled in the palaces of
the Caesars. Romans in their pride were wont to say of the Coliseum
in which Christians had suffered martyrdom at the hands of brute men
and brute beasts, merely to grace a Roman holiday: "While stands the
Coliseum, Rome stands, when falls the Coliseum, Rome falls; when Rome,
the world!" The Coliseum stands in ruins. Rome, as an empire, is only
a name held in memory by history. But the world fell not when Rome
fell; and as it has been in the past, so, too, it may be in the future.
If God's conditions are not complied with, then as a potsherd will he
break that nation that rises up in proud rebellion against him. This
is God's earth. It is his by right of proprietorship, for he created
it; and by various means is he and not man guiding its destinies. Those
who hold power and authority in it hold it in trust from him, and only
in trust; and the nation that is unfaithful to that trust must account
to God for it. Hence I conclude that this warning that comes from the
Fifth Gospel, is important; it announces a mighty, a solemn truth,
an awful warning, to which ministers of any faith, and the nations
addressed, will do well to take heed.

Now, a word in conclusion about the "gold test" that our ministerial
friend proposes to apply to the Fifth Gospel. I think the gentleman
puts that forth for a special reason, and that in doing so he exhibits
a weakness on his part. He says "The question is not, where do men say
they get it, but, is it gold." Well, but it is also important to know
where men got it, and we can establish that so far beyond all question,
and can sustain it by testimony that has not only not been impeached,
but is unimpeachable. The question: "Where do men say they got it" is
important. The "how" and the "where" men got it is part of the evidence
of its truth, which this gentleman dodges by saying that it does not
matter where the Fifth Gospel came from. But having just hinted at
the importance of this matter of where and how it came, I will set
all that aside and declare my willingness as one of the believers in
the Book of Mormon to see it submitted--as perforce it must be--to
the "assay test." Is it gold? Are these important truths we have been
considering this evening, wherein the welfare of half the world is
concerned, gold or dross? Is the light which it throws upon the word
of God contained in the Four Gospels, of importance? Is the fact that
Jesus visited this western world and announced the saving power of his
gospel in such a manner that millions would come to the knowledge of
salvation a golden truth? Is the solemn warning to the Gentile nations
inhabiting the western world worth while considering? May it not be
golden, especially if heeded? I shall leave you to answer that. But I
want to suggest an improvement on the gentleman's simile--this "assay
test" of his. Although he praises it so highly himself in the synopsis
he gave to the papers of his discourse, I think it could be improved.
The question is not so much as to whether in the Four Gospels or in
the Fifth, all is gold, but is there gold in them. I do not think the
Four Gospels are without alloy. In other words I do not think the Four
Gospels are perfect. I believe there are imperfections in them, in
forms of expression and in the fact that they do not convey all that
Jesus both taught and did; at best they are fragmentary. St. John
informs us in his gospel that if all the things that Jesus had done
and taught were written, the world itself would hardly contain the
books. We have not the full reports of Messiah's discourses. The full
and absolute pure word of God just as it fell from the lips of the
Savior, is not in the Four Gospels. For the most part we have but the
recollections of the evangelists of what Jesus both said and did. Only
those who read the Greek--and unfortunately they are very few--may
read even the Four Gospels in the language in which the Apostles wrote
them. But we have translations of these records, and each time they are
translated a dilution takes place. The force of what is said becomes
in the translation somewhat abated as all know who are acquainted with
original records which they may compare with translations. So with
this Book of Nephi that comes to us in an abridged form. It is not the
original book of Nephi; it is Mormon's abridgement of that book. He
has condensed it, and in doing so has doubtless given us less perfect
accounts of Christ's mission to the Nephites than would be found in
the original Book of Nephi, the real Fifth Gospel. That is to say, we
have not all the surrounding circumstances or all the utterances of the
Savior, or of the men it represents as speaking. Then we have not even
Mormon's original abridgement of Nephi's book, but the Prophet Joseph's
translation of Mormon's abridgement, and that, it is admitted, in his
imperfect English. So that the whole Five Gospels are fragmentary and
tainted with imperfections and limitations as all things are that pass
through human hands; but containing, nevertheless, God's precious
truths; and some of these are found in the Fifth Gospel as well as in
the four Hebrew Gospels; and to me the truths of the Fifth or Nephite
Gospel are as precious and important as are those of the Four Gospels.


Mormon Views of America.


The Book of Mormon teaches that the two American continents are a
promised land, consecrated to righteousness and to liberty, and
especially dedicated to the seed of the Patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob,
of Bible fame, and to the Gentile races, who shall in the last days be
gathered to the land as well as the descendants of Joseph. When the
Jaredite colony was directed to take its departure from the valley of
the Euphrates, the Lord promised to go before them and direct them to
"land which is choice above all the land of the earth." After beginning
the journey the Lord would not permit them to stop short of that land
of promise; "but he would that they should come forth even unto the
land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the
Lord God had preserved for a righteous people; and he [the Lord] had
sworn unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land
of promise, from that time hence forth and forever, should serve him,
the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of
his wrath shall come upon them. . . . . Behold this is a choice land,
and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and
from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will
but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ."

This colony of Jaredites was brought to the north continent of the
Western hemisphere--to North America.

So, too, when the Lord was leading from Jerusalem the colony of Lehi
he promised them that inasmuch as they would keep his commandments he
would lead them to a land of promise, "to a land which he had prepared
for them, a land which is choice above all other lands."

After arriving upon this land of promise, (and their colony landed in
South America), the Prophet Lehi said to his sons:

    "Notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of
    promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which
    the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the
    inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land
    unto me, and to my children forever; and also all those who should
    be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore,
    I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which
    is in me, that there shall none come into this land, save they
    shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is
    consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they
    shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given,
    it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall
    never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of
    iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound, cursed shall be the land
    for their sakes; but unto the righteous it shall be blessed for
    ever. . . . . But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of
    thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
    And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and
    there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the
    Gentiles; And I will fortify this land against all other nations;
    and he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God; for he
    that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord,
    the King of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto
    them for ever, that hear my words. . . . . Wherefore, he that
    fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free,
    both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the
    whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me,
    saith our God."

Moreover, the Book of Mormon represents this land of America as the
place of a "Holy City" to be called "New Jerusalem," that shall be
built upon "this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for
which things there has been a type; for as Joseph brought his father
down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord
brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem,
that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph, that they should
perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he
should perish not; wherefore the remnant of the house of Joseph shall
be built [established] upon this land; and it shall be a land of their
inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like
unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until
the end come, when the earth shall pass away. And there shall be a new
heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old, save the
old have passed away, and all things have become new." (Ether xii.)

These quotations indicate the views Mormons necessarily hold respecting
the land of America; to them it is a land of promise, a sacred
land, dedicated to righteousness, and to liberty, therefore to free
institutions which alone may preserve the liberties and the rights of

This belief in the sacredness of the land, this knowledge of the
divine purposes concerning it, coupled with the fact that Mormons
believe that God inspired the founders of the now great and dominating
nation, the United States, to establish the Constitution under which
the government of the United States subsists and which guarantees both
religious and civil liberty to all its people; the belief also that the
Lord has given unto it an unparalleled national prosperity and power
to enforce the divine decrees concerning this land--all this lays the
foundation for purest patriotism, for unwavering loyalty to these free
institutions and to the power that guarantees their perpetuity, the
government of the United States.

The first article under this title was written for the "Contributor,"
Vol. X, No. 7, May, 1899: The second is a discourse delivered in the
Salt Lake tabernacle, Sunday afternoon, March 24, 1907. Reported by F.
W. Otterstrom.


A Prophetic Incident.

In the April number of the Century, 1899, is a well-written and
profusely illustrated article on the Inauguration of Washington, by
Clarence Winthrop Bowen. Among the illustrations is a facsimile of
the page of the Bible on which Washington laid his hand while taking
the oath of office, and it is to this that I wish specially to call

It was Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, one of the committee of five
appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence, who administered
the oath of office to Washington. "Just before the oath was to be
administered," says Mr. Bowen, "it was discovered that no Bible was in
Federal Hall. Luckily Livingston, a Grand Master of Free Masons, knew
that there was one at St. John's Lodge in the City Assembly Room near
by--St. John's Lodge was the third oldest lodge in the United States,
by the way--and a messenger was dispatched to borrow the Bible.

In further describing the solemn ceremonies of that occasion the
_Century_ article says:

    "Secretary Otis of the Senate held before him (Washington) a red
    velvet cushion, upon which rested the open Bible of St. John's
    Lodge. 'You do solemnly swear,' said Livingston, 'that you will
    faithfully execute the office of President of the United States
    and will, to the best of your ability, preserve, protect and
    defend the Constitution of the United States.' 'I do solemnly
    swear,' said Washington, 'that I will faithfully execute the
    office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of
    my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
    United States.' He then bowed his head and kissed the sacred book,
    and with the deepest feeling uttered the words, 'So help me God!"

The page of the Bible which Washington kissed, and on which his hand
rested while taking the oath, is indicated in the Bible of St. John's
Lodge by the leaf being turned down. A copper plate engraving is on the
opposite page, illustrating the blessings of Zebulun and Issachar, as
pronounced upon them by the Patriarch Jacob in Genesis xlix, thirteenth
and fourteenth verses respectively. The page on which Washington's
hand rested contains part of chapter forty-nine of Genesis, beginning
with the thirteenth verse; and also part of the fiftieth chapter down
to verse eight, inclusive. The particular thing which struck me as
being a remarkable circumstance is that the page indicated contains
the blessing of Jacob upon the head of his favorite son, Joseph, which
reads as follows:

    "22. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well,
    whose branches run over the wall.

    "23. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and
    hated him.

    "24. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were
    made strong, by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence
    is the shepherd the stone of Israel).

    "25. Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by
    the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above,
    blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts
    and of the womb.

    "26. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings
    of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
    they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head
    of him that was separated from his brethren."

To the Latter-day Saints the blessing of Joseph has a particular
significance, for the reason that they, more than any other people,
are familiar with his descendants, and the blessing promised them in
which also they hope to participate. The Book of Mormon is a history,
chiefly, of the descendants of Joseph; and in the mighty nations which
have peopled the American continent, the Latter-day Saints see, in
part, the fulfillment of the great blessings pronounced upon his head.

The brass plates which were taken by the colony of Lehi from Jerusalem,
and which they brought with them to America, contained a genealogy and
from that Lehi learned he was a descendant of Joseph. Nephi describes
the matter thus:

    "And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the
    plates of brass, a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew he
    was a descendant of Joseph; yea even that Joseph who was the son of
    Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand
    of the Lord, that he might preserve his father Jacob, and all his
    household from perishing with famine."--I Nephi v:14.

In the early wanderings of the above named colony, before it had left
the wilderness of Arabia for America, the Lord in speaking with Nephi,
said to him:

    "Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast
    sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart. And in as much as ye
    shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a
    land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you,
    yea a land, which is choice above all other lands."--I Nephi ii:19,

Even after this time the land to which this colony was being led, and
upon which it finally located, was spoken of among them as the land of
promise. When the Messiah appeared among the descendants of this colony
in America, which he did after his resurrection and shortly after he
left his disciples in Jerusalem, he referred to these people being
descendants of Joseph and also to this land of promise which they had
received. He chose twelve apostles on the continent of America as he
had chosen a like number in Judea to be special witnesses for him, and
in a conversation he had with them he said:

    "Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are
    a remnant of the house of Joseph, and behold, this is the land
    [America] of your inheritance; and the father hath given it unto
    you. And not at any time hath the father given me commandment that
    I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem. . . . . . . . . .
    This much did the father command me, that I should tell unto them:
    that other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I
    must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one
    fold and one shepherd. . . . And verily, I say unto you, that ye
    are they of whom I said other sheep I have who are not of this
    fold," etc.--III Nephi xv:11-22.

Nothing can be clearer than that the family of Lehi and his posterity,
which grew into a mighty people, a great nation upon the continent of
America, were descendants of Joseph, the son of Jacob. And now let us
consider this fact in connection with the blessing pronounced upon
the head of Joseph by his father Jacob; but before doing so I wish to
call attention to the blessing which Moses also pronounced upon the
descendants of Joseph just previous to his death; it is recorded in
Deuteronomy, chapter xxxiii.

    "And of Joseph he said: Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the
    precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that
    croucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the
    sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the
    chief things of the ancient mountains and for the precious things
    of the everlasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth
    and the fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt
    in the bush, let the blessing come upon the top of the head of him
    that was separated from his brethren."

It will be observed both in this blessing pronounced upon Joseph by
Moses and in the one given him of Jacob, that special stress is laid
upon the excellent character of the land to be inhabited by Joseph.
Jacob said his own blessings had prevailed (i. e., were more extended,
more excellent) above the blessings of his progenitors, unto the
utmost bounds of the everlasting hills--his inheritance was to be more
extended than that given to his progenitors, and all those blessings he
gave unto Joseph, and his land was to be blessed with the blessings of
heaven and earth; with blessings of the breast and of the womb. While
Moses tells us that his land shall be blessed with the precious fruits
brought forth by the sun, with the precious things of the everlasting
hills, with the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof.
All this leads us to believe that the land to be inhabited by the
descendants of Joseph is to be a rich, fruitful and therefore a choice
land; more excellent than that given to his brethren.

Now look, I pray you, upon the continent of America, North and South.
Consider its varied climate, embracing as it does the torrid zone near
the center of it, and then extending to the frigid zones north and
south. Think of its vast wealth and variety of fruits and flowers,
grains and vegetables; the bread fruits, figs, limes, oranges, bananas,
pine apples, dates, rice, maize and other fruits and vegetables of the
tropics too numerous to enumerate; and with them remember the hardier
fruits and grains and vegetation of the colder climates. Call to mind
the mighty forests, inhabited by an infinite variety of birds and
beasts. Remember its extensive plains, the llanos of the South and the
great rolling prairies and plains of the North, capable of sustaining
innumerable herds of sheep and cattle and horses. Forget not the
precious things of the chief mountains, the wealth of the everlasting
hills--the gold, the silver, the lead, the copper, the iron, the
inexhaustible coal fields, the underground petroleum lakes, the
precious stones. Think of the great rivers that afford easy entrance
into the interior of this mighty continent--the great high-ways of
commerce; view from the mountain tops the splendid harbors which abound
along the shores; remember the fruitful seas surrounding these blessed
continents, and, as all these things are called to mind, tell me, is
not the land of Joseph blessed with the precious things of the earth
and the fulness thereof? With the precious fruits brought forth by the
sun and the precious things of the everlasting hills, and with the
precious things of the deep?

But not only were the descendants of Joseph to be blessed with a goodly
land, and an abundance of the good and precious things of the earth,
but they were to be blessed also with the "precious things of heaven;"
according-to Moses, and according to Jacob, Joseph was to be helped
by the God of his fathers, who would bless him with the "blessings of
heaven above." What may more appropriately be regarded as "blessings of
heaven above," the "precious things of heaven," than the revelations of
God, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Surely nothing! And according
to the Book of Mormon the descendants of Joseph on the continent of
America had both. They carried with them from Jerusalem the writings of
Moses and the prophets whom the Lord raised up to Israel up to the time
of their departure for America. Furthermore, the Lord sent prophets
among them to teach them the way of truth, to admonish them of their
sins, to warn them of approaching calamity when their iniquity required
the chastening hand of Almighty God to correct it, that peradventure
some would repent. Then after his resurrection the Son of God came
among them, taught them the fulness of the gospel and organized his
Church in their midst--truly then the descendants of Joseph were
blessed with the "precious things of heaven," and they preserved the
words of their prophets and teachings of the Messiah in their records;
and these things, in part, have come to us in the Book of Mormon.

Again, the family of Lehi was but a part and a very small part of
the descendants of Joseph; the greater number of his descendants
remained in Judea until, in connection with the ten tribes, and
forming a part of that body of people, they were led away. But when
Lehi and his colony left Jerusalem and planted themselves in America,
the figure used by Jacob in blessing Joseph, was completed--Joseph
was indeed "a fruitful bough by a well whose branches ran over the
wall." And though the great nations which sprang into existence on
the American continent, consisting in the main of his posterity, have
been destroyed, and broken up, until nothing is left of them but a few
wandering tribes and the ruins of their once grand civilization--still
many millions of them have been very faithful to the Lord and his truth
in the days of their probation, and have doubtless died with a lively
hope of a glorious resurrection.

Thus in very many particulars the blessing of Joseph has been realized
by his posterity upon the land given to them of the Lord--the continent
of America--both North and South. And if any one should doubt the
truth of what is here stated; if he should regard the Book of Mormon
as being untrue, and insist that the aborigines of America are not the
descendants of Joseph, then we may ask when, where, and in what way
have the blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph been fulfilled.

But what seems singular in connection with these promises made to
Joseph and the account of their partial fulfilment in a portion of
his posterity inhabiting America is, that after the nations, composed
largely of his descendants, had been destroyed and other peoples from
Europe--among whom, however, were also large numbers of the descendants
of Joseph through the loins of Ephraim[A] had taken possession of the
land, at the formal inauguration of that government whose mission it
is to control the destiny of the great continent of America--the land
of Joseph--the very first executive chosen for that nation, when being
sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of this land
which God had inspired men to frame, he placed his hand upon the very
page of the Bible containing the blessing pronounced upon the head of
Joseph by the Patriarch Jacob, and kissed it in token that he swore by
God's holy word that he would preserve inviolate the constitution which
God prepared for this land![B]

[Footnote A: The great majority of the patriarchal blessings given to
the Latter-day Saints so far, proclaim them to be the descendants of
Joseph through his son Ephraim.]

[Footnote B: It is well known that the Mormon people regard the
establishment of the Constitution and Government of the United States
as a divine act. In one of the revelations of God to the Church through
Joseph Smith it is said:

"And again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their
enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for
redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers
and are in authority over you, according to the laws and constitution
of the people which I have suffered to be established, and should
be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according
to just and holy principles, that every man may act in doctrine and
principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I
have given unto him that every man may be accountable for his own sins
in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should
be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established
the Constitution of this land by the hands of wise men whom I raised
up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of
blood." (Doc. & Cov. p. 357)]

Will men call this merely coincidence? Strange coincidence indeed it
is, if that be all that it is. Observe that the forty-ninth chapter of
Genesis is near the very first leaves of the Bible, and in laying the
book open upon a velvet cushion for the use of one about to make solemn
oath upon it, it would naturally be parted near the middle of the
volume and not parted at the first few leaves.

Let others believe all this to be coincidence if they choose, but for
my own part there is too much that is significant to assign it to
that class of phenomena so conveniently disposed of by calling them
coincidents. And I believe that the men who opened the old Masonic
Bible at the page containing the blessing of Joseph were unwittingly
guided by the powers of heaven, and that the act heralded an era big
with promise for the descendants of Joseph--the establishment of
a government under which they would eventually attain to the full
enjoyment of all that was pronounced upon their great progenitor by the
inspired patriarchs, Jacob and Moses.


America the Land of Zion and of Joseph.[A]

[Footnote A: Discourse delivered March 24, 1907, in the Tabernacle,
Salt Lake City.]

Between the fore part of September and the closing days of the month
of December of last year, it was my privilege to travel in all about
11,000 miles, chiefly within the confines of the United States. I
crossed the state of Nevada twice, and zigzagged back and forth through
the territory of Arizona, through parts of Texas and the northern part
of Mexico, making in that journey something over 3,000 miles, chiefly
within what is known as the arid region of America; and really, during
that time, I was almost ready to conclude that the whole of America
must be "arid region," so vast it was. Shortly after this it was my
privilege to go down the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains en route
for the Atlantic sea board, and of course came in contact with more
"arid region." In the eastern part of Colorado, however, and in central
Nebraska we began to go into a region of our country that is fertile,
where field joins field, and where there is one perpetual succession
of cornfields, meadows, pastures, gardens and orchards, with here and
there prosperous railroad towns and farming villages. We rode a whole
day through such a country; and when we retired to rest we knew that
the express train would all night long be plunging through just such
fertile lands as we had looked upon during the day, and all the next
day it would be the same--and then some. This fertile section of the
country was so vast that we forgot the arid region, and were ready to
declare that the whole of America must be fertile. Then in eastern
Ohio we began entering the manufacturing region of our country, and
thence eastward through the whole extent of Pennsylvania, where we were
seldom out of sight of the smoke stacks and furnaces of manufacturing
establishments, and as we would cross the rivers or run parallel with
them we could see acres and acres of coal barges and other craft of
inland commerce, while the scream of the locomotives, the whistle of
the factories, and ringing of bells were constantly in one's ears. So
extensive was this manufacturing region that we began to think that the
whole of America must be given up to manufactures. Everywhere we went
there were evidences of prosperity in the land. Our journey extended
not only through the central eastern states, but up into New England,
up into Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and
thence down the Atlantic seaboard as far as Florida; thence northward
and westward through the southern states; and, as I say, everywhere we
found prosperity abounding. We people in the west--living in the midst
of a world of really undeveloped resources, where life is strenuous,
and where the increase of wealth is so great--are apt to think that our
section of the Union has a greater prosperity than other parts of it;
but great as our own prosperity in the west is, I assure you it is not
greater than the prosperity to be found in other parts of our country.

I desire to call your attention to some of the features of a marvelous
prosperity that now exists in the United States. Perhaps the truest
criterion of the real prosperity of a nation such as ours, can
best be ascertained by taking into account the prosperity of the
agricultural interests of the country. If in that industry our people
are prosperous you may rest assured that all other branches of industry
are prosperous. From a very valuable collection of statistics published
by Mr. Richard H. Edmonds, the editor of "The Manufacturers' Record,"
Baltimore, I quote the following facts:

"In 1870 the value of farm property within the United States amounted
to 8,900 millions of dollars." Of course, all that those figures convey
to your mind or to mine is simply the thought that it represents an
exceedingly great value; for we have not yet learned to think in
billions. In the year 1905 the 8,900 millions had increased to over
26,000 millions of value. The number of people engaged in agriculture
in 1870 was 5,992,000; but in 1905 the number engaged in that industry
had increased to 11,500,000 people. The value of farm products in 1870
amounted to 1,958 millions, while in 1906 it had increased to more than
7,000 millions. The value of agricultural products, per capita, of the
entire population, will interest you, and aid you to appreciate the
great increase of prosperity that has been made in this industry: In
1870 the value of the agricultural products, per capita, was $50, but
in 1906 it had advanced to $82 per capita.

In Louisiana and Texas alone there are over 600,000 acres of land
that are annually given to rice culture with irrigation, resulting in
this: that whereas these lands, now so fruitful, 25 years ago were
only worth from 25 to 50 cents per acre; their value is now from $50
to $75 and even $100 per acre. This wonderful transformation in values
has arisen through adopting a system of irrigation, chiefly by tapping
underground streams and bringing them to the surface. Nor is this the
only means of redeeming the land. In many parts of the south we found
that large areas of swamp lands were being systematically drained, and
by this system of drainage the valuation of these lands is increased as
much as the Texas lands are' by irrigation. Needless to say that this
reclamation of lands has greatly increased the prosperity of the South.

There are other things that might be noted indicating the increasing
prosperity of our country. Take for instance the item of railroads:
In 1830 there were but 23 miles of railroad in the United States. In
the year 1906, however, there are--of main lines--more than 223,000
miles; and if you take into account the double tracking and spur lines
the mileage is increased by 90,000 miles, making the total mileage of
railroads in the United States 313,000 miles, constructed since 1830.
In the matter of coal and iron the United States outstrips the world.
Expert examination discloses the fact that the coal fields within
the United States cover an area of 356,000 square miles, as against
10,000 square miles in Great Britain; 1,800 square miles in Germany,
and 51,000 square miles for all of Europe. The single state of West
Virginia, as also Kentucky, has more than 50 per cent more coal area
than Great Britain. What is true of coal is equally true of our wealth
in iron. The United States produces more than half of all the iron
product of the world. The same is true as to steel. You may judge of
the advancement in these industries by the following figures: In 1880
the product of steel was 1,247,000 tons, whereas in 1905 it amounted to
more than 20,000 millions of tons. In the matter of cotton the United
States produces 80 per cent of all the cotton in the world. The annual
output of that product amounts to 2,000 millions of dollars per annum,
a value greater than the output of all the gold and silver mines of the
world annually. Petroleum: In 1860 there were produced only 500,000
barrels, whereas in the year 1905 there were produced over 134,000,000
of barrels.

Now as to population: Our present population is said to be about
85,000,000 of people. If the influx of population shall continue at its
present ratio, by the middle of the twentieth century there will be
upwards of 200,000,000 of people within the United States. "The boys
and the younger men of today," suggests Mr. Edmunds, "will be active
business men of that period." Commenting on the ability of the United
States to support that and even a much larger population, our authority

    "In area the United States covers 3,000,000 square miles, with an
    average of less than 26 persons to the mile. Settled as densely
    as France, we could accommodate 570,000,000 people; as densely as
    Great Britain and Ireland, we would have over 1,000,000,000 people.
    Or compare our capabilities with the density of population in such
    states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, or all New England. In Pennsylvania
    the average number of people to the square mile in 1900 was 140.
    At this average for the whole country we should have a population
    of 420,000,000--certainly Pennsylvania is not overcrowded. Ohio
    has 102 people to the square mile, and New England an average of
    90. On the basis of Ohio's average the United States would have
    over 300,000,000, and on the New England average 270,000,000
    people. So great is the extent of our agricultural land that with
    the continued improvement in farming methods now going on, with
    the reclamation of our overflowed lands, and the extension of
    irrigation in regions formerly regarded as forever doomed to the
    cactus and sage brush, with the development of scientific forestry,
    too long neglected, but still capable of saving our timber reserves
    and protecting the sources of our rivers, we can so build up our
    farming interests as to provide an ample food supply for as great
    a multitude as the future seems sure to give us. With resources
    for the creation of industries, the development of mining, the
    extension of railroads, and the enlargement of trade and commerce
    at home and abroad, we are abundantly blessed. Nature has lavished
    her riches upon this country as upon no other, as far as human
    knowledge has yet discovered."

I have hastened over the items, reading hurriedly, because I did not
wish to weary you with details; but the author from whom I quote these
statements suggests that we ought to remember that while we are justly
proud of the progress made by the United States, yet in considering
the future and in contemplating the almost limitless potentialities
of our own country, as compared with the past, "we must remember that
Mexico and South America, and Canada are running rivalry with us in the
expansion of industry;" and I would add with resources second only,
perhaps, to our own.

By this time you are asking yourselves the question, I fancy, what
interest have these considerations of the resources and the prosperity
of America for an audience assembled upon the Sabbath day to worship
God and to be instructed more especially in relation to spiritual
matters? I desire as best I may to show you what connection there is
between what I have said and the purpose for which you have assembled
on this occasion. We are here, as was suggested in the prayer offered
at the opening of our services, to have our faith in God's great
latter-day work strengthened, and the chief desire I have in my heart,
is to think and speak along lines that will tend to increase our faith.

The journey through the land of America just referred to, resulted in
my having a higher appreciation of the land of my adoption than I have
ever before entertained. Her majestic rivers, her magnificent mountain
ranges, her fertile valleys, and even her desert wastes, seem dearer
to me than ever before; and this not alone on account of the evidences
of her prosperity which could be seen on every hand; not on account
alone of contemplating her free institutions, or the patriotism of her
people, and the general prevalence of peace and justice that obtain
in the land--not alone for these things (though not inconsiderable
in themselves) did we find our love for America increased. Part of
that increased regard was occasioned by our reflections upon the
destiny of America; upon the decrees of God respecting the land, and
the relationship which the Latter-day Saints sustain to these western
continents, their mission upon them--this had something to do with
increasing our regard for America.

And now, by what, perhaps, you will consider indirect means, let me
call your attention to some things which perhaps have not always been
understood in their fulness even by the Latter-day Saints, in respect
to this great, this choice land of America. You will easily remember,
when I refer to him, that great character of the Old Testament
scriptures, Joseph, the son of Jacob, one of the noblest characters of
either sacred or profane history. In his boyhood the Lord by inspired
dreams indicated to him a prominence in Israel. One dream pictured
himself and brethren in the harvest field, setting up sheaves, and as
he set his sheaf on end the sheaves of his brethren bowed in obeisance
to his sheaf. He told the dream to his brethren, and they said: "Shalt
thou indeed reign over us?" And they were angry with him. Again the
lad dreamed, and he saw that the sun and the moon and 11 stars did
obeisance to him, and he told the dream unto his father. "What," said
the aged patriarch, "shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed
come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" Notwithstanding his
evident vexation the old patriarch was wise enough to observe that
there was inspiration in this dream of the lad's. In course of time,
as you know, Joseph was sold into bondage and was taken to Egypt, and
there through a pathway of sorrow and trial the Lord led him to great
eminence in the nation of Egypt, made him indeed the savior of Egypt,
for by inspired dreams he was forewarned of the famine and was able to
provide for it, so that while there was distress and famine in every
other country, there was corn in Egypt. In due time his brothers came
to purchase the corn and bowed down in the presence of Joseph, and
doubtless, in part, but only in part, the dream of his boyhood days
was fulfilled. In time, too, his father came into Egypt and conferred
upon him a father's blessing. Jacob also blessed the sons of Joseph,
Manasseh and Ephraim, conferring great and mighty blessings upon them,
and claiming them as his own. And when Jacob came to bless his son,
Joseph, in connection with the rest of the tribes of Israel, he gave
him a blessing that excels the blessings of the other princes in the
house of Israel. Listen to it:

    "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well: whose
    branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him
    and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength and
    the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty
    God of Jacob; even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee;
    and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven
    above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the
    breasts and of the womb: the blessings of thy father have prevailed
    above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bounds of the
    everlasting hills: They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the
    crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren."

When Moses bestowed his blessings upon the tribes of Israel, he, too,
pronounced a special blessing upon the head of Joseph. Mark it:

    "Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of
    heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that croucheth beneath, and
    for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the
    precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of
    the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting
    hills, and for the precious things of the earth, and fulness
    thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush; let
    the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the
    head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like
    the firstlings of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of
    the unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the
    ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and
    they are the thousands of Manasseh."

I have said on other occasions, and I repeat it here, that the blessing
pronounced upon Joseph by both Jacob and Moses, not only exceeds the
blessing of any other one of the princes of Israel, but it is greater
than all the other blessings upon the princes of Israel combined.
In the first place a double portion is given to him in Israel, two
tribes to represent him instead of one. His two sons, Ephraim and
Manasseh, were made the heads of tribes, Ephraim being given the
greater prominence, and receiving the rights of the first born. When
Joseph saw the intent of the patriarch to confer the greater blessing
upon his younger son he sought to stay it, and called the attention of
his father to the fact that Manasseh was the elder son. The patriarch
replied: "I know it, my son;" and referring to Manasseh, he said: "He
shall also become a people, and he also shall be great, but his younger
brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude
of nations . . . . and he set Ephraim before Manasseh." Indeed Jacob
that day bestowed the birthright of Israel upon Ephraim in place of
Reuben, his firstborn son; and that is why subsequent prophets were
wont to represent God as saying, "I am a father to Israel and Ephraim
is my first born." Let me tell you how that came about. Reuben, Jacob's
eldest son, defiled his father's wife Bilhah, and for that awful crime
lost his station in Israel as the first born. And now the writer of
First Chronicles:

    "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the
    firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his
    birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel:
    and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright (i. e.
    after Reuben). For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him
    came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's."

Ephraim received that birthright as already stated, and the blessings
and rights thereof are his.

Now let us consider these great blessings pronounced upon the head
of Joseph, and I pray you remember how particularly the extent and
grandeur of the land of Joseph are described in these blessings.

The blessings of Jacob had "prevailed above," (i. e. exceeded)
the blessings of his progenitors, "unto the utmost bounds of the
everlasting hills;" and these greater blessings the patriarch declared
should be "on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him
that was separated from his brethren." Joseph was to be as a fruitful
bough whose branches run over the wall, indicating a largeness and
fruitfulness that would exceed the other tribes in Israel. Moses is
more explicit as to the character of the land Joseph should possess:
"Blessed of the Lord be his land for the precious things of heaven"--is
reference here made to the revelations of God that shall be given on
the land of Joseph, does it contemplate a knowledge of the gospel of
Christ that shall be had on the land in "the precious things of heaven"
for which the land shall be noted? Again "Blessed of the Lord be his
land . . . . for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun; . . .
. for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious
things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth
and the fulness thereof, and for the good will of Him that dwelt in the
bush," that is, for the good will of God who appeared unto Moses in
the burning bush, this allusion is obvious; so that Joseph's land is
to be under God's good will in addition to all the natural advantages
it is to possess. Joseph, too, is to be the power that shall "push the
people together to the ends of the earth;" a declaration which, when
considered in connection with the many promises of God that he who
scattered Israel will gather him again, and keep him as a shepherd does
his flock, "For I, the Lord, am a Father to Israel and Ephraim is my
first born"--a declaration I say which is significant of prominence for
Joseph in the work of the gathering of Israel in the last days.

And now I submit to you the question: Where is the evidence of the
fulfilment of these great promises of God to Joseph? The world seems to
have lost sight of this chief prince in Israel, this man holding the
birthright. Where is that land of his described by Moses and Jacob,
so far more extensive and richer in resources than old Canaan--to
reach which perhaps Joseph's branches run over the wall? Where in the
history of the world is the account of the fulfilment of the blessings
pronounced upon Joseph by his father?

All the tribes of Israel, save Judah only, are lost to the knowledge
of the world, and Judah is known chiefly for the things that he has
suffered, and not for the realization of those blessings that were
pronounced upon him by his father. Can it be that those special
blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph by the Lord have failed?
Have the promises of Jehovah gone for naught? Well, so far as any
knowledge the world has to the contrary these promises of God to this
patriarch have failed. But it happens that the Latter-day Saints know
that those promises have not failed. They have been fulfilled in
part, and what remains will be gloriously fulfilled. Your choir, this
afternoon sang:

  "An angel from on high
  The long, long silence broke;
  Descending from the sky these
  Gracious words he spoke:
  Lo! in Cumorah's lonely hill
  A sacred record lies concealed.

  "It speaks of Joseph's seed,
  And makes the remnant known
  Of nations long since dead
  Who once had dwelt alone.
  The fulness of the gospel, too,
  Its pages will reveal to view."

The hymn has reference, of course, to the coming forth of the Book of
Mormon, and the knowledge it reveals to the world concerning America
and the nations that have inhabited it. Her ancient inhabitants in
part sprang from a colony of Israelites who left Jerusalem about six
hundred years B.C. That colony was made up of the descendants of
Joseph. One family, Ishmael's, being the descendants of Ephraim, and
the family of Lehi being of the tribe of Manasseh. Here in America
this colony--descendants of the Patriarch Joseph--grew into kingdoms,
republics, and empires, taking possession of this goodly land of
America and occupying it both in the south continent and in the north
continent. Their kingdoms and empires rivaled in greatness and in
civilization some of the contemporary empires and kingdoms of the old
world. Here flourished cities that evidently equaled in extent and
grandeur Nineveh and Tyre and Sidon. From Joseph's seed in America
there came a race of statesmen, warriors, and prophets rivaling the
statesmen and warriors and prophets of the old world contemporary with
them. Here the tribe of Joseph enjoyed not only the blessings of the
earth, the boundless resources of his promised land, the continents of
America, but here, too, his descendants received the fulness of the
gospel of Jesus Christ, and were favored, after Messiah's resurrection,
with a personal visitation from the Son of God himself, who taught them
the gospel, gave to them a church organization, deposited the revealed
truth of God with it, and gave that Church commandment to teach the
gospel, and perfect the lives of those who received it. Then followed
the golden age of America, reference to which is frequently made in the
native traditions. For 200 years a reign of righteousness prevailed,
during which time there was a rich harvest of souls unto God through
the gospel of Jesus Christ. The land was blessed "with the precious
things of heaven," truly.

Because of the things, then, that befell the descendants of Joseph in
this promised land of America, which things are made known in our Book
of Mormon, the Latter-day Saints, at least, know that the promises of
the Lord to the house of Joseph have not failed--and a hundredth part
of their fulfilment I have not been able even to indicate. And but
for the partial fulfilment of God's promises to Joseph in the land of
America, the world would be compelled to admit that the promises, the
blessings pronounced upon the head of Joseph had failed; for surely
nowhere else in the world have they been fulfilled. They were promises
that could not have been fulfilled in a corner, they are too large for
that. I call upon the Bible scholarship of the world to tell us where
these great promises of God to Joseph have been kept--so far as the
wheels of time have brought their fulfilment due--if not in America.
And if it shall be contended that the time for Joseph to realize his
promises has not yet arrived--for the failure of them, since they were
given under inspiration of God, is unthinkable--then where can they
be fulfilled save in America? What land so well corresponds to that
described both by Jacob and Moses as the inheritance of Joseph? And
what events in history, what movements among the people of the earth,
outside of those with which the Latter-day Saints are connected, give
promise of the fulfilment of Joseph's blessings?

The blessings of Joseph, however, even with all that has been made
known through the Book of Mormon, have been realized only in part.
Much remains to be fulfilled. There is in store yet much more glory,
much more honor, for this branch of the house of Israel, this tribe
which holds the right to lead in the gathering, and in the salvation
of Israel, in whom is lodged the right and the power to "push the
people (Israel) together to the ends of the earth--and they are the ten
thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh."

Allow me to call your attention to a singular circumstance. We believe
that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in our day, and is
being preached in all the world; for its message is not confined to
America. It is said in the scripture that predicts its restoration by
an angel, in the hour of God's judgment--that it is to be preached to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people (Revelation xiv:6,
7); to Gentile and Jew, to bond and free--all are to have this gospel
proclaimed to them in the due time of the Lord; but the dispensation
of the fulness of times is a period when the blessings of God shall
especially turn upon the house of Israel. So that while there is a
message in the restored gospel for all mankind, there is something
special in it for the house of Israel. It is the gathering dispensation
of the gospel, in which "all things will be gathered together in one,"
even in Christ. This gospel, then, is proclaimed to all the nations
of the earth, and what happens? Its message fell upon the ears of our
fathers and mothers; some were in this nation, some in that. It was
the case of taking one of a city and two of a family out of which
to form a people. They were not convinced of the truth by eloquence
or argument, or logic, but there was something in the very sound of
the gospel congenial to the souls of our fathers as soon as they
heard it, and they responded to its message; they laid hold of its
principles by a spiritual power, and they loved them better than they
loved the honors and applause of the world. When they heard the gospel
proclaimed it had in it a familiar sound like the refrain of some only
half-forgotten song. It was congenial to their souls. Was it not an
unconscious awakening of spirit-recollections; the recurrence to the
soul of principles familiar to it in the pre-existent estate, when the
spirit dwelt with the heavenly Father in the mansions of the blessed?
The thought may be illustrated by an incident that occurred in one of
the early frontier wars between the Indians and the British settlers
of our country. In 1764, after several years of intermittent border
warfare, Colonel Boquet was sent from Fort Pitt, against the Indian
tribes located in the Ohio valley, with instructions to bring them to
terms. The British commander pitilessly pursued the Indians to their
very homes, refusing to listen to parleys until the spirit of the
native tribes was subdued and they were ready to accept such terms as
he chose to dictate. One of these terms was that all the whites held
captive by the Indians should be brought in and surrendered. This was
acceded to, and some three hundred captives were brought to the British
encampment. It was a pathetic scene which attended this event. Some of
the captives had been held for years by the Indians, some of them as
long as nine years. Those who had been captured in their childhood had
forgotten the very language of their race. One instance is related of
a mother who recognized her child among the captives surrendered to
Colonel Boquet, but the child gave no sign of recognizing the mother,
and in tears she complained to the colonel that the daughter she had so
often sung to sleep in her arms had forgotten her. "Sing the song to
her that you used to sing when she was a child," said the commander.
She did so, and "with a passionate flood of tears" the daughter rushed
to the mother's arms. So it was with the proclamation of the gospel
to our fathers. God was merely having sung to them again the songs
of the home in heaven, in the preaching of the gospel. It stirred in
their souls half recollections of by-gone ages, and with tears of joy
at those awakened soul-recollections they sought again their Father's
house, the Church of Christ. Our fathers loved the gospel, I say, more
than their station in society, or the approval of their kindred; and
hence they cast in their lot with a despised people. For the most part
they remained true to that awakening which came to their souls through
the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They gathered out from the
nations of the earth, and came to the land of Zion. And now something
peculiar happens. The patriarchs of the Church place their hands upon
the heads of these people, and under the inspiration of God, earnestly
sought, these men--in the exercise of their holy office--pronounce
those who are thus gathered to be, not only of the house of Israel,
but, in the main, as belonging to the tribe of Ephraim. There is
something beautifully fitting in this circumstance; something that
goes a long way towards establishing its truth. Certainly the tribe to
whom is given the right of the first born should be gathered first.
To the first born is given the work of gathering the people from the
nations of the earth; he holds the keys of authority and power in the
ordinances of the gospel, especially as pertaining to the patriarchal
order, and hence he is gathered first. Where? To the land of Joseph, to
the promised inheritance of that patriarch and his seed, to the land of
Zion, here to raise the standard of Israel, the ensign of peace to the
world, through the proclamation of the gospel of peace. Here in this
chosen land Joseph, through Ephraim, erects the temples of his God,
and calls all Israel to come and participate in the blessings that are
being restored to his father's house.

In one of the revelations in our Doctrine and Covenants (sec. 123)
we are assured that Israel in the north countries shall come in
remembrance before the Lord, "And their prophets shall hear his voice
and shall no longer stay themselves. . . . And they shall bring forth
their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim my servants. And the
boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion,
by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim;
and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is
the blessing of the Everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the
richer blessings upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows."

Thus the tribe on which was bestowed the birthright in Israel, is being
gathered to the land promised him of God, to the land, choice above
all other lands in the earth, to the land of Joseph. And here stands
Joseph in the midst of his temples in that promised land, waiting to
bestow blessings upon the other tribes of Israel. Joseph's dreams of
the sheaves of his brethren doing obeisance to his sheaf: and the sun
and the moon and the eleven stars making obeisance to him shall have,
here in his own promised land--in these two American continents--a
larger fulfilment than they did in Egypt, when his brothers bowed
before Joseph, ruler of Egypt. For here in the land of Joseph shall his
tribe of Ephraim, holding the birthright in Israel, stand to receive
the gathering tribes of his father's house, and they shall "fall down"
before Joseph--do "obeisance to him," in the language of the dreams;
but not that they may be humiliated, or oppressed, but that they may be
"crowned with glory, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the
children of Ephraim, and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting
joy." God does not humiliate in order to oppress; such humility as
he requires is that he may exalt. Joseph's brethren in their blind
jealousy of him mistook the meaning of his dreams. Those dreams while
they were a prophecy of Joseph's prominence in Israel, also were
a prophecy of saving and blessing unto Israel, not of tyrannical
domination or usurpation of the rights of the other brothers or
tribes; and as Joseph's mission in Egypt resulted in preserving Israel
"a posterity in the earth," and of saving the lives of his father's
household, "by a great deliverance;" (Genesis xlv:5, 7), so his mission
in the last days, in his own land of Zion, shall culminate in a much
larger way in the salvation of Israel.


While there are especial blessings for the tribes of Joseph on the
land of Zion, let us not lose sight of the fact that others, too, have
rights and promises in relation to it. Let not the seed of Joseph
cultivate any spirit of exclusiveness in respect of the land of Zion.
He especially is in the world for the world's good. He must endure
contact with the world, with the Gentile world as well as with Israel.
He, in some way, seems to be the link between the Gentiles and Israel.
When the Lord made known unto Lehi that this land of America should be
his, as an inheritance, it being the land that had been promised by
Jacob and Moses unto Joseph and his seed, the Lord, after describing
how he would make of the Gentiles nursing fathers and mothers unto
Israel, and how the Gentiles would bless Israel upon this land, then he
says (referring to North and South America):

    "This land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and
    the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be
    a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings
    upon the land who shall rise up unto the Gentiles; and I will
    fortify this land against all other nations, and he that fighteth
    against Zion [this whole land of America] shall perish, saith God;
    and he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish. Wherefore
    I will consecrate this land unto thy [Lehi's] seed and they [the
    Gentiles] who shall be numbered among thy seed forever, for the
    land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God, unto
    me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell
    thereon, that they shall worship me, saith God."

The foregoing are the promises of the Lord unto the descendants of
Joseph and unto the Gentiles who shall be united with them in the
possession of the land of America.

Jesus also, during his ministry among the Nephites, after his
resurrection, made some remarkable promises and predictions respecting
the prosperity and freedom and power of the Gentiles in the land of
America on condition of their righteousness, and their obedience to the
"God of the land," who is declared to be Jesus Christ. They equally
with the house of Joseph on the conditions named, are promised an
inheritance in the goodly land; and lot and part in the building of
an holy city upon it, to be called Zion, a new Jerusalem, where the
righteousness of God shall abound, and from which light and truth shall
emanate to bless the world. These things are testified of at length in
the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of the Third Nephi; also in the
writings of Moroni in the Book of Ether, where a rather solemn warning
is given to the Gentiles respecting the decrees of God concerning this
land of Joseph--this land of promise unto the Gentiles as well as unto
the descendants of Joseph. Moroni, in speaking of America, says:

    "This is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore
    he that possesses it shall serve God, or he shall be swept off;
    for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the
    fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are
    swept off. . . Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation
    shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity,
    and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the
    God of the land, who is Jesus Christ. . . . And this cometh unto
    you O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God, that ye
    may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness
    comes, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God
    upon you, as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done."


Did our own great Webster catch something of this old Nephite
inspiration when, speaking something like twenty-two years after
the first publication of the Book of Mormon (Feb. 22, 1852, to be
precise--and before the New York Historical Society)--he said, in his
own matchless eloquence:

    "Unborn ages and visions of glory crowd upon my soul, the
    realization of all which, however, is in the hands and good
    pleasure of Almighty God; but, under his divine blessing, it will
    be dependent on the character and the virtues of ourselves, and of
    our posterity. If classical history has been found to be, is now,
    and shall continue to be, the concomitant of free institutions, and
    of popular eloquence, what a field is opening to us for another
    Herodotus, another Thucydides, and another Livy!

    "And let me say, gentlemen, that if we and our posterity shall be
    true to the Christian religion--if we and they shall live always
    in the fear of God, and shall respect his commandments--if we and
    they shall maintain just, moral sentiments, and such conscientious
    convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life--we may
    have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country;
    and if we maintain those institutions of government and that
    political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all
    former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one
    thing--that, while our country furnishing materials for a thousand
    masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibbon.
    It will have no Decline and Fall. It will go on prospering and to

    "But if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and
    authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the
    injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political
    constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden
    a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in
    profound obscurity. Should that catastrophe happen, let it have no
    history! Let the horrible narrative never be written! Let its fate
    be like that of the lost books of Livy, which no human eye shall
    ever read; or the missing pleiad, of which no man can ever know
    more than that it is lost, and lost forever!"

And now, I invite your attention to the remarks I made in the
commencement of this discourse--to the prosperity of the land,
embracing both North and South America, to the extent and grandeur
of it, and I ask you, does it not fulfil better than any other part
of the earth, better than any other continent or continents--does
it not better answer the description of Moses and of Jacob, when
they described the land that should be the inheritance of the great
Patriarch Joseph, than any other land does? Most assuredly.


When the Book of Mormon was revealed and it became known that the
Americas were precious lands of promise, and that God had such a high
destiny for the two continents as is described in the Book of Mormon,
that among other things America was the place where the Zion of God
should be built in the last days, the brethren in those early days
very naturally became anxious to know where the city of Zion would
be located. After much striving for the knowledge, the place of Zion
was at last revealed to them. The Lord indicated the place for the
commencement of the building of Zion, and the place for the temple upon
which the glory of God should rest by day and by night. This place
was declared to be near Independence, Jackson county, Missouri. The
site for the temple and the land around about was dedicated under the
supervision of the prophet, and the Saints in the eastern states were
commanded to gather to this place. They did so, and lived there some
three years when their enemies rose up against them and expelled them
from the land under circumstances of great cruelty and hardship. The
Saints, who had been driven from their homes, accounted themselves
exiles from Zion, and there was much disappointment in Israel because,
apparently, the promises of God had failed them; for they looked
forward to an unbroken possession of the land, notwithstanding the
word of the Lord to the contrary. (See Introduction to Volume III of
the History of the Church, pp. xxxii-xxxix.) Shortly after this, three
years later, a still further removal was made into the counties of
northern Missouri, and finally, as you know, the entire Church was
expelled from the state of Missouri and had to take refuge in Illinois.
The prophet with his usual activity began the establishment of stakes
of Zion in Illinois, especially at Nauvoo and vicinity. Meantime the
Saints were questioning much concerning Zion, and the privilege of
dwelling therein. At the April conference, preceding his martyrdom,
the prophet alluded to these disappointments, and he spoke of Zion at
considerable length. I want to read to you his words on that occasion.
The Saints had too narrow a conception of Zion, and of the purpose of
God with reference to her; and hence the prophet, in the course of his
remarks, said:

    "You know there has been a great discussion in relation to Zion,
    where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, which
    I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written
    upon it, but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader
    ground. The whole of America is Zion itself, from north to south,
    and is described by the prophets who declared that it is Zion,
    where the mountain of the Lord shall be, and it shall be in the
    center of the land. I have received instructions from the Lord
    that from henceforth wherever the elders of Israel shall build up
    churches and branches unto the Lord, throughout the states [having
    reference to the United States, of course] there shall be a stake
    of Zion. In the great cities, as Boston, New York, etc., there
    shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation, and I reserved it
    to the last, and designed it to be understood that this work shall
    commence after the washings and anointings, and endowments have
    been performed here [i. e., in Nauvoo]."

At the same conference Hyrum Smith, brother of the prophet, said:

    "The gathering will continue here [i. e., Nauvoo] until the temple
    is so far finished that the elders can get their endowments; and
    after that the gathering will be from the nations to North and
    South America, which is the land of Zion. The gathering from the
    old countries will always be to headquarters."

Shortly after this President Brigham Young, then of the Twelve
Apostles, addressing himself to Reuben Headlock, president of the
British mission, said:

    "A word with you privately. Brother Joseph said last conference
    that Zion included North and South America, and after the temple is
    done (completed), and the elders endowed, they could spread abroad
    and build up cities all over the United States, but at present we
    are not to preach this doctrine; nay, hold your tongue."

The martyrdom of the prophet and the exodus to the mountains consequent
upon that martyrdom made it impossible to carry out this policy of
building up stakes of Zion in Boston, New York and other eastern
cities. The Church, found that it had all it could do in establishing
itself in these valleys of the Rocky mountains, where it might fulfil
the predictions of the prophet of this dispensation, to the effect
that the Saints would become a great and powerful people in the midst
of the Rocky mountains. Sometimes, however, I have wondered if we
have not too much set our hearts upon these valleys, upon this state
of Utah and these surrounding states; and if--like the Saints in the
earlier history of the Church, when inhabiting Jackson county, we have
not limited our conceptions of Zion by lines that are altogether too
narrow. Last fall, as I journeyed through the eastern states, through
New England, and in the south, and realizing that in the southern
states there are more than 10,000 of our people, and in the Eastern
States mission more than 3,000, and in the Northern States mission
a still-greater number than in the Eastern States, I wondered if it
would not be possible to establish stakes of Zion in the eastern and
southern states as well as in Canada, in Mexico, in Oregon, in Arizona,
or Colorado. Would it not be just as legitimate to establish stakes of
Zion in South Carolina, in Florida, in Vermont or New York, as it is
to establish stakes of Zion in these other places I have named? The
whole land of America, the two great continents, is Zion, the land of
Joseph; and I believe that the elements are forming, that God is so
tempering the minds of men, so making them receptive of the truth,
that by a strong, intelligent proclamation of the gospel, that God has
entrusted to His Church, it may become possible for stakes of Zion to
be established all over this land. I feel the truth of that. I believe
the time has come, not only for an industrial expansion in America, a
mighty increase in material prosperity, but a corresponding increase in
spiritual life. In other words an era has dawned upon us favorable to
the establishment of Zion. Let us not, I pray you, confine our feelings
and views respecting Zion to limits that are too narrow for the genius
Of this great work of God. If anyone has supposed that the prosperity
and success of this work called Mormonism depends upon the Latter-day
Saints retaining political control of Salt Lake or any other city; of
this state of Utah or any other state, or group of states, his views
do not rise to meet the grandeur of God's great Latter-day work. Our
work is to preach the gospel; and to so preach it that its principles
will leaven the whole mass of modern religious and philosophical
thought; to so preach it that it shall influence the lives of men in
all the world. No petty, political scheme can be said to be any part
of the great Later-day work which God has established in the earth.
That work is broad as eternity; it is deep as the love of God, and
concerns the salvation of all the children of men. Our religion is in
the earth to benefit and bless and uplift mankind. Our Church is not
the Church of Jesus Christ for the United States, or for American. It
is truly the catholic (i. e., the universal) Church, the Church of the
whole world; but, as I have already urged throughout this discourse,
the Latter-day Saints hold a peculiar relationship to America, being
mainly of the seed of Joseph, through the loins of Ephraim, and having
a special mission as to this land, and to the other tribes of Israel.
And now if the Saints would only lift their eyes from the ground, and
look northward and southward and eastward and westward and realize
that these two continents of America, by the promise of God, are the
inheritance of Joseph, the sons of Joseph, the children of Ephraim,
they would be, so imbued with the spirit of their great ancestor that
they would take possession of their inheritance in the name of God, by
the proclamation of their principles. They would make a conquest of the
land of Zion. Amen.

Part III.

Historical and Doctrinal Papers.


The Lord's Day.


It may be thought by some that the following papers scarcely come
properly under the title "The Defense of the Faith and the Saints,"
and yet in a way they do. The article on "The Lord's Day" is a
justification or defense of the practice of worshiping on the first day
of the week instead of the seventh. The article on "Anglican Orders" is
a setting forth and a justification of the attitude of the Church of
Latter-day Saints in respect of divine authority. While the historical
article, "Reformation or Revolution" is a defense of the position of
the Church respecting the character of the great sixteenth century
movement to the effect that it was a revolution, not a reformation,
at least not in the sense that it restored primitive Christianity,
and therefore there was a necessity for the subsequent movement known
as Mormonism, involving, as it does, the restoration of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ to the world. The article, "Revelation and Inspiration,"
is a defense of the Church against some imputations put upon her
because of the testimony of some of the high Church officials before
the United States Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections, in
the case of Reed Smoot. Thus, I think, all these articles, while not
so directly connected with the "Defense of the Faith and the Saints"
as the articles that have preceded them, they will, nevertheless,
sufficiently come within what the title of this book suggests as to
warrant their being published here.

I. The Lord's Day.[A]

[Footnote A: An article in the _Improvement Era,_ Vol. I, No. I, 1897.]

_A justification for the regarding the first day of the week as the
Christian Sabbath, or "The Lord's Day."_

From Elder George W. Crockwell, laboring in Sioux City, Iowa, we
recently received a letter in which occurs the following:

    "There are a great many Seventh-day Adventists in this city, and
    in talking on the gospel with them I have been unable to confute
    their arguments, to my satisfaction, against our worshiping on the
    first day of the week. In reading the scriptures I find only the
    following passages that in any way refer to the matter, but they
    are not conclusive: John 20:19-26; Acts 2:1; Acts 20:6, 7; I Cor.
    16:1, 2; Rev. 1:10; Mark 2:27, 28; Luke 6:5; II Cor. 5:17; Eph.
    2:15. Any information you may give me will be thankfully received;
    and allow me to suggest that a tract covering this question would
    undoubtedly be of material assistance to Elders laboring in
    sections of the country containing Adventists."

Seventh-day Adventists constitute a religious sect whose chief
characteristics are that they believe in the personal and glorious
coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the holy day of worship
appointed of God is the seventh day of the week instead of the first.
Hence their name--Seventh-day Adventists.

Owing to the fact that modern Christians deny the continuation of
revelation after the days of the apostles, and as they cannot point to
any direct revelation, or positive apostolic institution in the New
Testament by which the first day of the week was substituted for the
old Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day, which Jesus during his lifetime
honored by observing, the Adventists have other Christians at somewhat
of a disadvantage in this controversy. The Elders of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, need not be embarrassed
by the arguments of Adventists, since the Church of Christ in this
last dispensation has the warrant of God's word, by direct revelation,
for keeping holy the Lord's day, that is, the first day of the week,
as a day Of public worship and thanksgiving, a holy Sabbath unto the
Lord. It is not our intention, however, to avoid a discussion of the
question by thus placing it on entirely new ground, and making the
success of the issue depend upon one's ability to make it clear that
God has given such a revelation, although that is a position that can
be consistently taken by our Elders. But we desire to point out the
evidence we have (1) from the New Testament, and (2) from the practice
of the early Christian church, for observing the first day of the week
as a day of public worship, sanctified and set apart as the Lord's
day. By doing so we shall be able to show at least that there is a
very strong probability that the change from the seventh to the first
day of the week was made by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, after his
resurrection; that it was perpetuated by his apostles and the early
Christian church; and then, in conclusion, shall cite the revelation
referred to which, to the Latter-day Saints, changes this "probability"
into fact and confirms with divine sanction our custom of worshiping on
the first day of the week. By pursuing this course we shall draw the
strong probability to be derived from the scriptures and the practice
of the early church to the support of the revelation referred to, while
the revelation, as already indicated, will transform the "probability"
of the New Testament scriptures into positive fact.

We begin with the arguments to be derived from the New Testament:

It is related in John's gospel that on "the first day of the week,"
Mary Magdalene, early in the morning, met the Lord Jesus, after his
resurrection, and conversed with him. This she told the disciples.
"Then the same evening, _being the first day of the week,_ when the
doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the
Jews, came Jesus, and stood in their midst and saith unto them, Peace
be unto you. * * * As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And
when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive
ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted
unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (John

Thomas, of the Twelve, was not present at this meeting nor would he
believe the account delivered to him of it by his fellow apostles, but
declared he must see the print of the nails in the Master's hands, and
thrust his hands into his sides before he could believe. _"And after
eight days,"_ which of course brings us to the first day of the week,
"again his disciples were within and Thomas with them; then came Jesus,
the door being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, peace be unto
you" (John 20:26). He then dispelled the doubts of Thomas, and did many
other things which are not written.

Let this much be held in mind from the above: Jesus arose from the dead
on the first day of the week and appeared to his disciples when they
were assembled together. Then, "after eight days," which brings us
again to the first day of the week, his disciples were again assembled,
and he appeared unto them. We have no account of his appearing to any
one in the interval, a significant fact; and one which makes it easy
to believe that the second meeting on the first day of the week was
appointed by the Lord himself, and since all that he did on this and
other occasions was not written (John xx:30 and Ch. xxi:25), it is not
impossible, nor even improbable, that he then sanctified this day, and
appointed it as a holy day, to be observed as sacred by his followers.
This view is sustained by the continued practice of the apostles in
meeting on the first day of the week.

It is a significant fact that the day of Pentecost, upon which day
the apostles received their spiritual endowment by the outpouring of
the Holy Ghost, "that year fell on the first day of the week." [A]
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they _were all with one
accord in one place"_ (Acts ii:1). They received the outpouring of the
Holy Ghost, and publicly preached the gospel and administered baptism.
This assembling together on the first day of the week was doubtless in
continuation of that new order of things with respect to the Sabbath
which Jesus had ordained.

[Footnote A: See Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Hackett & Abbot's
edition, Vol. II: Art. Lord's Day, p. 1677. Also Bramhall's works, Vol.
V: p. 51, Oxford Ed., Discourse on the Sabbath and Lord's Day.]

Many years after Pentecost, in giving the account of Paul's journey
from Philippi to Troas, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles says
that the journey was accomplished in five days; and at Troas the
apostolic party abode seven days; _"and upon the first day of the
week,_ when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached
unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech
until midnight" (Acts xx:4-7).

Again: Paul sends the following instructions to the Saints at
Corinth--and it is to be seen from the passage itself that he had given
the same instructions to the churches of Galatia: "Now, concerning the
collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the churches of
Galatia, even so do ye. _Upon the first day of the week_ let every one
of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no
gatherings [i. e., collections] when I come" (1 Cor. xvi:1,2).

These passages prove very clearly that the custom of meeting together
for acts of public worship and the preaching of the gospel was firmly
established in apostolic times, and since that is the case it doubtless
was ordered by Messiah's own appointment. Surely the apostles would not
presume to establish such an order of things without divine sanction.
Within the life time of the last of the apostles, too, this Christian
Sabbath had received its name--"the Lord's Day." John's statement--"I
was in the spirit on _the Lord's Day,_ and heard behind me a great
voice," etc., can have reference to no other thing than the fact that
on the first day of the week which had come to be known by them as
"the Lord's Day," John was in the spirit. "The general consent, both
of Christian antiquity and modern divines, has referred it to be the
weekly festival of our Lord's resurrection, and identified it with 'the
first day of the week,' on which he rose; with the patristical 'eighth
day,' or day which is both the first and the eighth; in fact with the
_'Solis Dies'_ or 'Sunday,' of every age of the church."[A]

[Footnote A: Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. II; p. 1676.]

Following is the argument of a very respectable authority upon these
New Testament passages, and it seems to us decidedly strong:

    "As the death of Christ made atonement for sin and symbolized the
    death of his church to the world, so did his resurrection mark the
    beginning of a new spiritual life, or, in the words of Paul, 'a new
    creation in Christ Jesus.' This new creation was the higher renewal
    of that first one which sin had marred; and therefore we find the
    disciples, from that very day, celebrating _the first day of the
    week_ as the Christian Sabbath, the Lord's day, on which he met for
    worship and fellowship. These assemblies began on that very evening
    when the risen Lord entered the chamber where the eleven apostles
    had met with doors shut for fear of the Jews, saluted them with the
    blessing of peace, showed them his wounded body, and ate bread with
    them; and then breathing his spirit upon them he repeated their
    commission, to preach the gospel to every creature, and to baptize
    all believers, conferred on them the power to work miracles, and
    gave them the authority of remitting and retaining sins. Such was
    the first meeting of the apostolic church on the first Lord's day.
    And after eight days again his disciples were within, the doors
    being shut as before, when Jesus stood again in their midst, with
    the salutation of 'peace,' and satisfied the doubts of Thomas, with
    the tangible proof of his resurrection."[A]

[Footnote A: Student's Eccl. Hist. (Philip Smith, B.A.) Vol. I: pp. 21,

The same authority continues the argument in a foot note thus:

    "The meetings of the disciples on each eighth day have the more
    force as an argument from the very fact of their being only
    incidentally recorded. The correspondence of the _interval_ with
    the week, and the distinction of the _day_ from the old Sabbath,
    are facts which admit of no other explanation; and all doubt is
    removed by Paul's plain allusion to the meetings of the disciples
    on the first day of the week, and by the testimony of the heathen
    as well as Christian writers to the practice from the earliest age
    of the church. John in mentioning the day as a season of spiritual
    ecstasy, in which Christ appeared to him and showed him the worship
    of the heavenly temple, expressly calls it by the name which it has
    always borne in the church, 'the Lord's Day.'"[B]

[Footnote B: The Student's Eccl. Hist. Vol. 1: P. 22, Note.]

These arguments may be further strengthened by the following
considerations: When the Jews were stickling for a very strict
observance of the old Sabbath, Jesus, with some spirit, replied that
"the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." And
furthermore gave them to understand that "the Son of Man is Lord also
of the Sabbath," (Mark ii:27, 28). It follows then that since Jesus is
Lord of the Sabbath, it would clearly be within the province of his
authority to change the old Mosaic institution of the Sabbath if he so
elected. Paul in his day said: "If any man be in Christ he is a new
creature; old things are passed away; behold all things have become
new" (II Cor. v:17). Again in his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle
represents Christ as "having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even
the law of commandments contained in ordinances." And again in his
letter to the Colossians:

    "And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
    flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all
    trespasses; blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that war
    against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
    nailing it to the cross. * * * Let no man therefore judge you in
    meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon,
    or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come" (Col.
    ii: 13-17).

From this it is clear that many things in the law of Moses being
fulfilled in Christ were done away, or changed to conform to the law of
the gospel; and to say the very least of the argument set forth up to
this point, it is very probable that the Sabbath was among those things
so changed.

Turn we now to the argument to be derived from the custom of the
primitive church:

Next to the New Testament writers Clement of Rome, a companion of the
apostles, is most relied upon as stating correctly early Christian
practices, and in his epistle to the Corinthians, speaking of things
commanded of Christ, he says:

    "Now the offerings and ministrations he commanded to be performed
    with care, and not to be done rashly or in disorder, but at
    fixed times and seasons. And when and by whom he would have them
    performed he himself fixed by his supreme will: that all things
    being done with piety according to his pleasure might be acceptable
    to his will. They therefore that make their offerings at the
    appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed; for while they follow
    the instructions of the Master they cannot go wrong."[A]

[Footnote A: Clement's Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 40. We use
Rev. Geo. A. Jackson's translation of the passage.]

From this it, appears that Jesus himself did fix set "times and
seasons" for "offerings and ministrations," as well also by "whom"
as "when" they should be performed, and that, too, according to "his
supreme will." This represents the Lord as having arranged matters
in the church--including "times and seasons" for "offerings and
administrations"--more definitely than any of the New Testament writers
credit him with doing. Is it unreasonable to think that among these was
the transition from the Jewish Sabbath to the Lord's Day?

In the Epistle of Barnabas, written in the early part of the second
century, it is said by that writer, speaking of the Christian custom
as pertaining to the Sabbath: "We keep the eighth day unto gladness,
in the which Jesus also rose from the dead, and after that he had been
manifested, ascended into heaven." (Epist. Barnabas, Ch. 15.)

The younger Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, in describing the
custom of the Christians to his friend, Trajan, the Roman emperor, says:

    "They were accustomed on _a stated day_ to meet before daylight,
    and repeat among themselves a hymn to Christ as to a God, and to
    bind themselves by an oath with an obligation of not committing any
    wickedness; * * * after which it was their custom to separate and
    to meet again at a promiscuous, harmless, meal [the Sacrament?]
    from which last practice they desisted, after the publication of my

[Footnote B: Pliny's letter to Trajan and the emperor's reply will be
found in full in Roberts' "New Witness for God," Vol. I, pp. 54-57.]

It is only claimed for this passage that it proves that the Christians
had a _stated day_ on which they met for the worship of God, and the
renewal of religious covenants; and doubtless that stated day was the
eighth day of the week mentioned by Barnabas, and which corresponds
with the "first day" of the week mentioned by the New Testament writers.

Justin Martyr, one of the most learned and highly esteemed of the
apostolic fathers, is very clear upon this subject. He says, writing in
the first half of the second century, almost within shouting distance
of the inspired apostles:

    "In all our obligations we bless the Maker of all things, through
    his son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost, and on the day
    which is called Sunday, there is an assembly in the same place of
    all who live in cities or in country districts; and the records of
    the apostles, or the writings of the prophets, are read as long as
    we have time. Then the reader concludes, and the president verbally
    instructs and exhorts us to the imitation of those excellent
    things. Then we all arise together and offer up our prayers. And,
    as I said before, when we have concluded our prayer, bread is
    brought and wine and water, and the president in like manner offers
    up prayers and thanksgiving with all his strength, and the people
    give their assent by saying, amen. * * * But Sunday is the day on
    which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day
    on which God when he changed the darkness and matter, made the
    world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the
    dead: for the day before that of Saturn he was crucified, and on
    the day after it, which is Sunday, he appeared to his apostles and
    disciples and taught them these things which we have given to you
    also for your consideration" (I Apology, Ch. 67).

We have not the space to further examine the testimony of the fathers,
nor is it necessary. Sufficient has been quoted to show that in that
age immediately succeeding the apostles, the practice, which seems to
have begun even under the immediate supervision of the Lord himself,
was firmly established in the early church. The learned writer in
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Rev. James Augustus Hessev, who there
treats this subject, says:

    The result of our examination of the principal writers of the
    two centuries after the death of St. John are as follows: The
    Lord's day (a name which has now come out more prominently; and
    is connected more explicitly with our Lord's resurrection than
    before) existed during these two centuries as part and parcel of
    apostolical, and so of scriptural Christianity. * * * Our design
    does not necessarily lead us to do more than to state facts; but
    if the facts be allowed to speak for themselves, they indicate
    that the Lord's day is a purely Christian institution, sanctioned
    by. apostolic practice, mentioned in apostolic writings, and so
    possessed of whatever divine authority all apostolic ordinances and
    doctrines (which are not obviously temporary, or were not abrogated
    by the apostles themselves) can be supposed to possess" (Vol. II,
    page 1679).

Yet after all this is admitted, and the strength of the argument is
very great in my judgment, it must still be confessed that it falls
somewhat short of being absolutely conclusive. It cannot be made out
clearly and positively that Jesus or the apostles by direct, official
action authorized the observance of the first day of the week as a day
of public worship, dedicated to the service of God, and designed to
take the place of the Jewish Sabbath. The most that can be claimed for
the evidence here adduced--and it is the strongest if not all that can
be marshalled in support of the proposition is that it is _probable_
that such a change was instituted. Revelation Baden Powel, professor of
geometry at Oxford University, states the case as it stands most truly.
He says:

    "To those Christians who look to the written word as the sole
    authority for anything claiming apostolic or divine sanction, it
    becomes peculiarly important to observe that the New Testament
    evidence of the observance of the Lord's day amounts merely to the
    recorded fact that the disciples did assemble on the first day of
    the week, and the _probable_ application of the designation of the
    Lord's day to that day."[A]

[Footnote A: Kitto's Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature. Art. Lord's

That Catholics regard what is written in the New Testament as
insufficient to justify them in the observance of the first day of
the week instead of the seventh is evident from the fact that they
appeal to the tradition of the church or "the unwritten word of God"
in justification of their practice, and upbraid Protestants for their
rejection of the authority of tradition, which alone, in their view,
justifies the change from the seventh to the first. The author of
the Catholic work, "End of Religious Controversy," after citing the
scripture commanding the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath,
then says:

    "Yet with all this weight of scripture authority for keeping the
    Sabbath or seventh day holy, Protestants of all denominations make
    this a profane day, and transfer the obligation of it to the first
    day of the week, or Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing
    this? None whatever, except the unwritten word, or tradition of the
    Catholic church; which declares that the Apostles made the change
    in honor of Christ's resurrection and the descent of the Holy Ghost
    on that day of the week" (End of Religious Controversy, letter 11).

It is this element of uncertainty in the evidence, and the consequent
inconclusiveness in the argument that those who contend for the seventh
day as the Sabbath of the Lord take advantage of; but, as stated in the
beginning, the Latter-day Saints need not share the embarrassment that
other Christians generally feel over the question, for the Lord has set
the matter at rest by a revelation in the last days to his church. In a
revelation to his servant Joseph Smith, given in August, 1831, he said:

    "Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in
    righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
    And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the
    world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy
    sacraments upon my holy day; _for verily this is a day appointed
    unto you_ to rest from your labors and to pay thy devotions unto
    the Most High. Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in
    righteousness on all days and at all times; but remember that
    _on this the Lord's day thou shalt offer thine oblations and
    thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy
    brethren and unto the Lord._ And on this day thou shalt do none
    other thing only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart
    that thy fasting may be perfect, or in other words that thy joy may
    be full" (Doc. & Cov. xlix:8-13).

This is in clear allusion to the first day of the week; and thus the
matter is set at rest. The observance of the "Lord's day" as the
day sacred to the worship of Almighty God, so far as the Latter-day
Saints are concerned, does not rest upon the "probability" that it was
of divine or apostolic institution, as is the case with Protestant
Christendom; nor does it rest upon the "tradition" of the church that
it was of apostolic institution, as is the case with the Catholic
church; but the observance of that day comes to the Church of Christ by
direct appointment of the Lord by revelation to the head of the church
in this dispensation; and that revelation transforms the "probability,"
that the first day of the week was substituted for the old Jewish
Sabbath, into a certainty.

In conclusion, let us ask our young Latter-day Saints to observe with
what solemnity God hath dedicated this day, and set it apart for
the worship of the Lord; and how strictly he hath prohibited other
occupation than this on that day; and so much as our "certainty"
outstrips the "probability" of other Christians that the "Lord's day"
is the proper day for public worship, so let our strict observance of
it outstrip theirs.[A]

[Footnote A: At the Seventy-seventh Annual Conference of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in the Tabernacle, Salt
Lake City, Utah, April 5, 6, 7, 1907, Anthon H. Lund of the First
Presidency of the Church, speaking on this subject of the Sabbath Day
and justifying the practice of the Church in observing the first day of
the week as our Christian Sabbath, employed among other arguments the

    "It is impossible for all to keep the Sabbath day at the very same
    time all over the globe. If all the people lived on one longitude
    or meridian they could keep it at the same time, but as they
    are now scattered around the globe, there is a great difference
    in time. For instance, children went to Sunday School in New
    Zealand yesterday at half past two o'clock. It was Saturday to us;
    [President Lund made these remarks on Sunday forenoon.] it was
    ten o'clock Sunday morning to them. The children on the Hawaiian
    Islands will go to Sunday School about one o'clock today, and it
    will be ten o'clock then for them. Thus, at a given time it may be
    Sunday for one set of people and Saturday for people in another
    place. The teachers in the Hawaiian Sunday School might say today
    to the children, 'Your brethren in New Zealand met yesterday,
    when it was twelve o'clock here, in their Sunday School,' and
    the children would likely say, 'Why, they have Sunday School on
    a Saturday!' The line which divides the time, or which indicates
    where day begins, is an arbitrary one made by men for the sake of
    convenience. It is located the very best place that it could be,
    because there are very few inhabitants that the line will strike.
    It passes over the Pacific Ocean, and in order that no island
    shall have Saturday on one side and Sunday on the other, they have
    turned the line around the groups in the Pacific Ocean, so that
    those pertaining to the same country, under the same government,
    may have the same day; but this is all an arbitrary arrangement.
    If, then, the Lord accepted the devotions of those who worshiped
    Him yesterday, calling the day Sunday, and accepts the worship of
    those living a short distance eastward who call today Sunday, the
    important question seems to be, not so much the exact time as the
    fact that one day in every seven is set apart to be a day of rest."]


Anglican Orders.--Decision of Leo XIII Considered.--The Protestant

[Footnote A: This article was offered to the press of Cincinnati,
Ohio, soon after Leo XIII promulgated his decision on the subject of
Anglican orders, when the discussion of the subject was at its height,
and declined by them, for reasons obvious to the Latter-day Saints. It
subsequently appeared in the _Deseret News_ of November 7th, 1896.]

_A Consideration of the Question of Divine Authority._

_Preliminary Statement._

In the month of June, 1896, something of a sensation was created in
England in respect of an expressed desire for a closer union between
the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. The desire was
voiced in the form of a statement by Mr. William Ewart Gladstone,
communicated through the Archbishop of York. The question of unity
among the Christian churches had been agitated in several quarters in
that year, and the Pope had addressed a letter to the English people in
fact appealing to them to return to the Church of Rome, and it is said
a movement "having for its purpose the same general result, had been
going on for some time among clergymen and laymen who belonged to one
section of the Anglican church." Lord Halifax, who was the chairman of
a great Anglican organization, under the title of the English Church
Union, had been prominent in this movement, and had several interviews
with the Pope and his counselors, seeking "to ascertain how far Rome
on the one hand and the English church on the other were willing to
advance toward a basis of union. One of the questions which came up
for discussion was that of the validity of Anglican orders; that
is, whether Rome would or could recognize the right of an Anglican
clergyman to seek, as such, admission to the clerical order in the
Roman church, if any change of opinion should lead him that way." And
thus the question of the validity of Anglican orders became a subject
of formal investigation by the authorities at the Vatican.

Mr. Gladstone's position upon the subject is best stated by himself:

    "The one controversy which, according to my deep conviction,
    overshadows and, in the last resort, absorbs all others, is the
    controversy between Faith and Unbelief. . . . . . This historical
    transmission of the truth by a visible church with an ordained
    constitution is a matter of profound importance, according to the
    belief and practice of fully three-fourths of Christendom. In
    these three-fourths I include the Anglican churches, which are
    probably required in order to make them up. It is surely better
    for the Roman and also the Oriental [Greek] church to find the
    churches of the Anglican succession standing side by side with
    them in the assertion of what they deem an important Christian
    principle than to be obliged to regard them as mere pretenders in
    this belief and _pro tanto_ reduce the cloud of witnesses willing
    and desirous to testify on behalf of the principle. . . . I may
    add that my political life has brought me much into contact with
    those independent religious communities which supply an important
    religious factor in the religious life of Great Britain, and which,
    speaking generally, while they decline to own the authority, either
    of the Roman or the National Church, yet still allow to what they
    know as the established religion no inconsiderable hold upon their
    sympathies. In conclusion, it is not for me to say what will be the
    upshot of the proceedings now in progress at Rome. But be their
    issue what it may, there is, in my view, no room for doubt as to
    the attitude which has been taken by the actual head of the Roman
    Catholic church in regard to them. It seems to me an attitude in
    the largest sense paternal, and while it will probably stand among
    the latest recollections of my lifetime, it will ever be cherished
    with cordial sentiments of reverence, of gratitude, and of high
    appreciation." (Story of Gladstone's Life, (McCarthy) pp. 414-416.)

This attitude of the great English Statesman brought upon his head a
storm of indignation, not to say anathema from nonconforming churches,
and in reply to one of those ministers, he said:

    "The Church of Rome recognizes as valid (when regularly
    performed) baptism conferred in your communion and ours. By this
    acknowledgment I think that Christianity is strengthened in face
    of non-Christians. For baptism read orders (for the purpose of the
    argument), and the same proposition applies, though unhappily in
    this case only to us, not to you. No harm that I can see is done
    to any one else. The settlement of this matter is a thing of the
    likelihood of which I cannot even form an opinion. But I honor the
    Pope in the matter, as it is my duty to honor every man who acts as
    best he can with the spirit of courage, truth and love." (The Life
    of Gladstone, page 419).

The first response from Rome to Mr. Gladstone's letter contained
nothing decisive and final upon the subject of the Anglican orders,
though his holiness made it clear that on the part of Rome there could
be no compromise of religion or principles, and later in the year he
issued the decision which is the subject of the following paper, in
which his holiness held that Anglican orders were "absolutely invalid."
The consequences of which decision are discussed in the paper following.

_Pope Leo's Decision on Anglican Orders._

The decision of Pope Leo XIII in respect to the invalidity of
Anglican Orders, appears to be creating not only a very great amount
of discussion through the columns of the religious press but also
considerable ill-feeling. The "Religious Telescope" for example,
published at Dayton, Ohio, in its issue of the 14th of October, 1896,
under the caption "Absolutely Invalid," says:

    "This is the decision of Pope Leo XIII respecting all ordinations
    under the Anglican rule. After a long study of the subject he
    has confirmed the decision of his predecessors in regard to this
    matter. His decision sets aside all ordinations outside of the
    Roman Catholic Church as absolutely invalid.

    "So there we have it: all ministers of the Lutheran, the Episcopal,
    the Baptist, the Presbyterian, the Methodist, in short, all
    Protestant churches--are posing under false ordination vows!
    So his holiness declares! And is he not infallible? Is it not
    impossible for him to make a mistake? Is he not the successor of
    St. Peter--Christ's vicegerent on earth? Does he not hold the keys
    of the kingdom of heaven? Does not that aged, decrepit old man, Leo
    XIII, now in his dotage, have the power to bind and to loose--to
    admit into or shut out from heaven whomsoever he will? Does any
    Protestant minister or layman doubt this? Perish the thought! How
    will this august decision handed down from the Vatican affect the
    ministry of the Protestant churches? In our judgment only about as
    sensibly as a puff of the Pope's breath would have affected the St.
    Louis cyclone when in the height of its fury.

    "They will go right on preaching the unsearchable riches of
    the gospel of Christ in demonstration of the spirit and power
    of the Lord Jesus, as heretofore, leaving the pope and his
    liberty-destroying church polity and superstitions to work out
    their own destruction by demonstrating their disastrous effects on
    human progress as they have done and are still doing in Mexico,
    Spain, Central and South America, and in every Roman Catholic
    dominated country in the world."

This is scarcely the spirit in which one would expect to see a subject
of so grave importance treated. Sarcasm and ridicule doubtless
have their place even in polemics, but it is only as they may be
incidentally used that they can be of force. One could no more think
of succeeding in an argument on a serious question by using them
exclusively, than he would think of making a hearty meal on condiments

That the subject of the Apostolic letter of Leo XIII is a serious one,
no one will deny. That it calls for earnest thought and not sarcasm
and ridicule, admits of no doubt. It involves the question of divine
authority in the Protestant ministry and churches; and, for that
matter, the divine authority of the church of Rome itself. For, if the
alleged successor of St. Peter, by a method of reasoning satisfactory
to himself and his council, arrives at what the Protestants of this
generation will regard as a startling conclusion, viz., that their
ministry and churches are without divine authority, the Protestants
will reply in kind. They will revive the charges brought against the
church of Rome during the revolt from the pope's authority in that
wonderful sixteenth century revolution miscalled the "Reformation."
They will proclaim him the Anti-Christ of New Testament scripture;
charge upon the church of Rome complete apostasy from primitive
Christianity; and accuse all those continuing in communion with her
as being idolaters and pagans. Such a rejoinder on the part of the
Protestants is inevitable, since it is only on the ground that the
church of Rome was become a corrupt church, in complete apostasy and
dispossessed of divine authority, that the so-called "Reformation" of
the sixteenth century, or the existence of Protestant churches today
can be justified.

Why is the unity of the Christian churches broken? Why does there exist
a Roman Catholic church and numerous Protestant churches? Because the
Protestants of the sixteenth century believed that the church of Rome
was in a state of apostasy from true Christianity, and hence they came
out from her dominion; revolted against and rejected her authority,
while the church of Rome, on her part, regarded the Protestants of the
same century as heretics, as renegade children, apostates. That there
has been no change in the attitude of the respective parties to this
great controversy since one first denounced the other as "an heretic,"
and the other replied with the charge of "anti-Christ," is emphasized
by this latest utterance of the bishop of Rome, in which he declares
that "ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been
and are absolutely null and utterly void."

This question of possessing divine authority goes right down to the
foundations of Christianity. No one will attempt to say that a man
has a right to act in the name of Jesus Christ without authority from
him to do so. If it required direct authority from God to handle the
sacred utensils of God's sanctuary in the wilderness, and to care
for the Ark of the Covenant, and for touching these things without
authority, one was smitten with death (see Numbers chapter iv, and
Samuel vi: 3); if it required divine authority to burn incense before
the altar in the temple of God at Jerusalem, and for usurping the
priest's office and attempting without divine authority to burn incense
one was cursed of God with leprosy, even though a king (II Chronicles
xxvi); if it required divine authority to cast out devils, and certain
ones in attempting to cast them out without having authority to so
command them, were leaped upon by the evil spirits and prevailed
against (Acts xix); if, I say, it required divine authority to do these
several things, how reasonable it is to conclude that it will more
abundantly require divine appointment, or delegated power from God to
make proclamation of the gospel and administer its ordinances. As the
sacraments of the Christian religion are of infinitely more importance
than the handling of sacred utensils, touching the Ark of the Covenant,
burning incense or casting out devils, so, too, it is to be expected
that God will be all the more careful to entrust their administration
only to those having a divine commission.

To say, as the bishop of Rome does say, that the "ordinations carried
out according to the Anglican rite have been and are absolutely null
and utterly void," is, of course, to deny to the English clergy divine
authority. To deny them divine authority by saying that their orders
are and have been null and void, is to say that their administration
of the Christian sacraments through all the years that have elapsed
since the church in England revolted against the authority of the pope,
have been useless. And if Rome denies the validity of the church of
England orders, it may be taken for granted that she will deny the
validity of the orders of all other churches separated from her; for
of all the churches separated from the Roman See the church of England
has most nearly conformed to, or what would be more accurate to say,
departed the least from the ritual of the old church. In plain terms
the church of Rome holds all churches that have separated from her,
and all churches that have sprung into existence from the churches
so separated, as being without authority from God, and regards their
ministry as a disorderly crowd.

I know there are a class of Protestant churchmen, who seek to satisfy
themselves on this question of divine authority by claiming that it
has come down to them on lines independent of the church of Rome. But,
unfortunately for this contention the church of England herself and
the other Protestants cut off not only the source of divine authority
that might be claimed as coming from the church of Rome, but also every
other source from which that authority could spring. In her great
homily on the "Perils of Idolatry" the church of England says: "Laity
and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and degrees have
been drowned in abominable idolatry most detested by God and damnable
to man, for eight hundred years and more" (Perils of Idolatry, page
3). By making this charge against all Christendom one is unable to
see how the Church of England can make any claim whatsoever of divine
authority; for, if all Christendom was plunged into this awful abyss of
apostasy for eight hundred years and more, no divine authority survived
that period.

Nor is the Church of England the only Protestant authority which makes
this charge of universal apostasy from primitive Christianity. John
Wesley, in making an explanation of the cessation of scriptural gifts
among Christians, says:

    "It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy
    Spirit [speaking of I Corinthians xii] were common in the church
    for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after
    that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a
    Christian; and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian
    cause thereby heaped riches and power and honor upon Christians in
    general, but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this
    time they (the spiritual gifts) almost totally ceased; very few
    instances of the kind were found. The cause of this was not (as has
    been supposed) because there was no more occasion for them, because
    all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake,
    not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christians. The real
    cause of it was that the love of many, almost all, Christians
    so-called was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit
    of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of man when he came
    to examine his church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This
    was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost
    were no longer to be found in the Christian church--_because the
    Christians were turned heathens again and only had a dead form
    left"_ (Wesley's Works, Vol. vii, sermon 89, pp. 26, 27).

If the Christians were turned heathen again, and only had a dead,
form of religion left, like the other heathens, it will be extremely
difficult for the followers of Mr. Wesley, and those who have received
whatsoever of authority they possess from him, to point out just where
their divine authority came from since their great leader proclaims
this entire corruption of the Christian church. If on the one hand the
Catholic church denies to Protestant Christendom the possession of
divine authority, and if, on the other hand, Protestants declare the
universal corruption and apostasy of mediaeval Christianity in order
to justify the religious revolution of the sixteenth century, and
their own existence as so-called reformed churches, then there is no
possible channel through which they can claim that divine authority to
administer the ordinances of the gospel has come down to them; unless
they shall claim that the heavens have again been opened and a new
dispensation of the gospel, including as it would, divine authority,
has been committed to them. Not one of all the Protestant sects claims
that such a new revelation has been given, and as every other source
from which divine authority could come is cut off by them, there is
left but one conclusion to come to and that is that they are without
divine authority, and hence their administrations of the Christian
sacraments are vain.

The position of the Catholic church is more logically consistent than
that of Protestants; for she insists that there has been an unbroken
line of authority and divine mission through the succession of her
bishops, and more especially through the succession of the bishops
of Rome from St. Peter to Leo XIII. But the church of Rome is asking
us to believe too much when she demands that we shall believe that
God's authority has come down to modern times through the corrupted
line of the Catholic priesthood. One has only to become acquainted
with the melancholy history of the Roman popes to be convinced of
the impossibility of God acknowledging them as the line down which
he has transmitted the power to speak and act in his name. One need
only contrast the spirit of humility which characterized the Apostles
and Elders of the Church of Christ with the worldly pride, ambition
and wickedness of the popes of Rome, to see how far the latter have
departed from the standard of character established by the lives of
the former, and one need only contrast the beautiful simplicity of the
principles and ordinances of the early Christian church, as described
in the New Testament, with the canon-law and the elaborate ceremonial
of the Catholic church to see how wide a departure has been made from
the religion given to the world by the great peasant teacher of Judea.

The fact is, this controversy precipitated on the religious world by
the decision of Pope Leo XIII, in respect to Anglican Orders, brings
us face to face with the great truth prophesied of in holy scripture,
to-wit: The universal apostasy from the Christian religion. Men have
transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the covenant
of the gospel of Christ (Isaiah xiv: 4-6). Of themselves men have
arisen speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them
(Acts xx: 28-30). The time came when men would no longer endure sound
doctrine, but after their own lusts heaped teachers to themselves
having itching ears, and those teachers have turned their ears away
from the truth unto fables (II Timothy iv). False teachers arose among
the people who privily brought in damnable heresies, even denying the
Lord that bought them, and many have followed their pernicious ways,
by reason of whom the way of truth has been evil spoken of (II Peter
ii). The great falling away predicted by the Apostle of the Gentiles
which was to precede the glorious coming of the Son of God in the
clouds of heaven with power and glory, has come to pass. That man of
sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all
that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth
in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God, (II Thess. ii)
has had and is having his rule and reign in the earth, and men have
been made to bow down to him and may continue to be compelled to bow
down to him until, as predicted in holy writ, the Lord shall destroy
him with the brightness of his coming. The New Testament scriptures
are replete with predictions of this great apostasy from the Christian
religion, and one may see in the facts of ecclesiastical history,
that the whole Christian world, "laity and clergy," to use again the
language of the Church of England, "learned and unlearned, all ages
and sects and degrees have been drowned in abominable idolatry, most
detested by God and damnable to man." The actual changes, also, wrought
in the Christian religion by the additions to and corruption of its
ordinances make it clear that men have transgressed the laws, changed
the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant of the religion of
Jesus Christ.

Under these circumstances the only way that divine authority can be
restored to the earth is by God re-opening the heavens and giving
a new dispensation of the gospel to the children of men, including
as it would divine authority to preach its doctrines and administer
its ordinances. Great and urgent as the necessity for such a new
dispensation of the gospel is, men need not look to either the
Catholic church or the Protestant sects for such a proclamation.
The former, in addition to claiming that there has been an unbroken
line of divine authority through its priesthood, rejects the idea of
revelation subsequent to the alleged closing of the New Testament canon
of scripture. The latter, though declaring the apostate condition of
mediaeval Christendom, not only make no claim that the gospel of Jesus
Christ, including divine authority, was restored by revelation to the
leaders of the sixteenth century "Reformation," but also spurn the idea
that there has been or can be any revelation subsequent to what they
term the closing of the New Testament canon of scripture.

Out of all the religious teachers of modern times there is but one who
has had the boldness to claim the restoration of divine authority and a
dispensation of the gospel by means of a new revelation from God; and
that is the first Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, Joseph Smith. He claimed to have received revelation from God;
the visitation of angels, who conferred upon him a holy Priesthood, a
divine commission, by virtue of which he was appointed to preach the
Gospel and re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ on earth. If this
man's pretensions to such divine appointment are scoffed at, it is no
more than was accorded the pretensions of Apostles and Prophets of
God in former dispensations. If he is derided for his humble origin,
and the lowly station from which he was called to the work of God,
so, too, were the ancient Apostles and Prophets, and even the Son of
God himself. If this message has been very generally rejected and he
himself was despised of men, persecuted, hated, and at last slain for
the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, what is all this but the
same treatment that has been accorded to the accredited servants of
God in nearly all ages of the world? If his followers have suffered
ridicule, oppression and persecution, what is this but the same fate
that has overtaken the Saints of God in nearly all ages of the world?
All this will not affect the truth or untruth of his statements any
more than like treatment affected the truth or untruth of the claims of
other inspired servants of God. The truth is that the claims of Joseph
Smith, in view of the great Christian controversy that has been going
on for centuries, and just now emphasized by the recent decision of
Pope Leo XIII, respecting Anglican Orders, and the discussion it has
provoked, are more consistent than the claims of any of the Protestant
reformers. For the great apostate condition of Christendom in mediaeval
times being a reality, the only way there could be a restoration of
that which was lost by that apostasy would be by a new dispensation of
the gospel being committed to men by means of a new revelation; and
herein is the strength of the position of Joseph Smith, and the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which, under God's direction he


Reformation or Revolution? [A]

[Footnote A: A discourse delivered at Payson, Utah, July 8, 1894]

_A study of the great sixteenth century movement led by Martin Luther
and others._

The theme announced deals with a period of-history and with events
great in their importance to modern civilization. The reason why I am
called to discuss this great movement of the sixteenth century, called
the "Reformation," grows out of what I have published upon the subject
in the "Outlines of Ecclesiastical History." That great movement
which many historians call the "Reformation," and which is generally
accepted, at least by Protestant Christendom, as such, I have called
in the work named a "revolution," and I am asked to state the reasons
I have for considering that movement a revolution, rather than a
reformation. I wish to say, however, that my affirmation that it was a
"revolution" was carefully qualified. This is my statement:

    "It is absurd to say that the revolution of the sixteenth century
    was a reformation, if by that it is meant that it re-established
    the primitive doctrines of Christianity, purified the morals of the
    people, or gave birth to a better ecclesiastical government, it did
    no such thing."

That is my statement, but it is sufficiently direct, notwithstanding
the qualification, to make it come in direct antagonism with what the
friends of, the sixteenth century movement claim for it.

Milner, the great writer of church history, says:

    "The Reformation is a work which well deserves its name, because it
    builded up as well as pulled down, and presented the church with a
    new fabric as well as demolished the old."

As a matter of fact, it did not do what Dr. Milner here claims for
it. It is quite evident that it did not destroy "the old fabric," by
which he means the Roman Catholic church, for that church is still
in existence today. It stands foursquare to all the winds that blow
upon it, and today has a wider influence than it possessed when the
"Reformers" first assailed it; for what it lost in northern Europe it
certainly has regained in the New World.

Dr. D'Aubigne says:

    "The Reformation was quite the opposite of a revolt, it was the
    establishment of the principles of primitive Christianity; it is
    a regenerative movement with respect to all that was destined to
    revive a conservative movement as regards all that will exist

It was this claim made for the "Reformation" that led me into that
investigation of the subject which resulted in the conclusion that the
"Reformation," so-called, did not re-establish primitive Christianity.

M. Guizot, in his History of Civilization, says:

    "The friends and partisans of the Reformation have endeavored to
    account for it by the desire of effectually reforming the abuses
    of the church. They have represented it as a redress of religious
    grievances, as an enterprise conceived and executed with the sole
    design of re-constituting the church in its primitive purity."

M. Guizot does not allow that claim.

It seems to me a problem easy of solution as to whether this revolution
of the sixteenth century restored primitive Christianity or not;
and the method by which that solution can be attained would be by
comparing the doctrines of Protestant Christendom with the doctrines
of primitive Christianity. Protestants, you must understand, claim
that in consequence of gross abuses which entered the church in
the early centuries of its existence, the spirit of the gospel was
departed from, the church government was corrupted, and by engrafting
upon Christianity pagan rites, pagan ceremonies and pagan philosophy,
the fair face of Christianity was defaced by these innovations. It
is claimed by Protestants that the movement led by Martin Luther,
Melancthon and Zwingle, and after them by Calvin, Knox and others, got
rid of the pagan rites and ceremonies fastened upon Christianity and
restored it to its primitive forms and to its primitive simplicity and
purity. The way to prove whether that be true or false is to compare
the teachings of Protestantism with primitive Christianity.

I shall not take occasion to enter into a consideration of primitive
Christianity in any great detail for, I take it, that this audience is
well informed upon that subject, and only a general and brief review of
the leading features of primitive Christianity will be necessary for
the comparison I propose.

Primitive Christianity taught first, faith in God, as all wise, all
powerful, all merciful; who by the power of his intelligence created
the earth and the heavens. It taught faith in Jesus Christ, as the
son of God who became the Savior of mankind; in whom was embodied
all the attributes of his father, who possessed the same power
with his Father, in whom the fulness of the godhead dwelt bodily,
and who was the express image and likeness of his Father--in other
words was "God manifested in the flesh," that men might approach him
and become acquainted with Deity by becoming acquainted with him.
Primitive Christianity taught also the existence of the Holy Ghost,
and that these three constituted one grand presidency or God-head, to
whom all shall submit in humble reverence, as the great governing,
controlling power of our world. Primitive Christianity taught that man
by disobedience to the commandments of God, became fallen, lost; and
that to vindicate the transgressed law of almighty God, an infinite
sacrifice must be made; by which the law of God would be vindicated and
mercy have claim upon those who live under the transgression of the
law. Primitive Christianity taught that Jesus Christ made this infinite
atonement, and that by him and through him life and immortality was
brought to light, and that men were released from the consequences of
Adam's transgression through the atonement of Jesus Christ; that, "as
in Adam, all die, so in Christ should all be made alive," the atonement
being as broad as the transgression which brought death into the world.

Primitive Christianity taught also that in consequence of this
redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ, he became the "law-giver"
to the children of men; and that in order to have applied to them
the atonement of Jesus Christ, so that it results, not only in a
redemption from the transgression of Adam, but also in a pardon for
their individual sins. It makes perfect and absolute obedience to Jesus
Christ the condition of this salvation. That this obedience is demanded
by the gospel is evident from the whole tenor of the New Testament.
When Jesus Christ was closing that beautiful discourse to his disciples
on the mount, he said:

    "Whosoever heareth these saying of mine and doeth them not, is
    like unto a man that builds his house upon the sands, and when the
    floods come and the winds beat upon that house, it fails, and great
    is the fall thereof. But whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
    and doeth them, is like unto the man who builds his house upon a
    rock; then when the rains descend and the winds beat upon that
    house, it falls not, because it is founded on the rock."

Paul, in speaking of this subject, says that "Jesus being made perfect,
became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him." When
Jesus himself commissioned his Apostles to go and preach the gospel,
he commanded them to go into all the world, preach the gospel to
every creature, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever he had
commanded them.

From all these Scriptures, then, I gather this one great truth, that
"The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe
and obey it."

It is equally clear that the conditions of salvation, as outlined
in the gospel, are that men must have faith in God, faith in Jesus
Christ, faith in the Holy Ghost, faith in the gospel. Not because God
has arbitrarily fixed faith as one of the conditions of salvation, but
because from the very nature of things, faith is the first principle
of the gospel, because it is the incentive to all action and the
foundation of all righteousness. If men possess no faith in the gospel,
it follows as the night follows the day, that they will not obey it.
Why is it that the atheists or the infidels do not obey the gospel?
Simply for the reason that they do not believe in God; they do not
believe in Christ; they do not believe the gospel, hence they refuse
to repent or do any other act that is required in the gospel. It is,
therefore, because of the nature of things that faith is one of the
conditions of salvation. And hence the Apostle said: "He that cometh to
God must believe that he is," that is, that he exists.

Repentance also is one of the conditions of salvation. This principle
of primitive Christianity has been more or less misunderstood by being
interpreted to mean "do penance," imitating, to some extent at least,
the barbarians who imagined that by inflicting wounds upon themselves,
by cutting and slashing themselves with knives or by submitting to
other tortures, they might propitiate the anger of Deity, as if God
could have delight in the physical suffering or the mental anguish of
his children! The beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ required not this;
but it did require heartfelt sorrow for sin accompanied by a fixed
determination and an actual amendment of conduct--turning away from
transgression. The spirit of repentance was embodied in this remark:
"Let him that stole steal no more."

Primitive Christianity taught also that men, by baptism, could receive
a remission of their sins, their past transgressions could be blotted
out, the record made clean. It taught baptism for the remission of
sins, but recognizing that man, by his own strength, is unequal to
the task of subduing himself and bringing his will into subjection
to the righteous will of God, it brought to him the strength of the
Almighty in the gift of the Holy Ghost; that man, through the strength
of God, being added to his own strength, might, "overcome the flesh,
the world and the devil." This power he received through the ordinance
of laying on of hands. The Christian was thus equipped for the battle
for righteousness. The warfare was not over with obedience to these
ordinances, it was just begun. By obedience to the ordinances I have
named men did not become full grown men in Christ Jesus. They were
then only "born" into the church, they were but babes, and now must
grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, learning "line upon
line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," going on
"from faith to faith, until the perfect day;" "adding to their faith,
virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance
patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and
to brotherly kindness charity." And thus by these steps Christianity in
its primitive forms led men towards God.

In order to promulgate this gospel, the church was organized. It was
organized with Apostles, with Prophets, with Seventies and Bishops,
with Pastors, Teachers and Deacons. This organization was given to
edify the Saints, to bring about a unity of faith and a knowledge of
the Son of God. It was designed to continue until the Saints were
perfected in their faith, and had arrived "unto the measure of the
stature of the fulness of Christ."

I should also say that primitive Christianity brought to those who
received it many precious and outward manifestations of the Holy Ghost.
When occasion required, they were able to speak in tongues, exercise
the gift of prophecy, receive revelation, have inspired dreams,
interpret tongues, heal the sick. Through it they enjoyed the gift of
the discernment of spirits, wisdom, knowledge, faith. These are the
gifts, these the powers, these the graces which attended upon primitive

And now the question before us is, Did the revolution of the sixteenth
century which brought into existence Protestant Christianity restore
to the children of men this primitive Christianity, as it is
described in the New Testament? It would be a task requiring too much
time to consider the whole twenty-eight articles of the Augsburgh
Confession--the formal expression of what Protestant Christianity
was in the days of its first founders. Nor indeed is it necessary in
order to arrive at a just conclusion upon the question proposed. The
consideration of a few leading items will be sufficient to establish
the fact beyond the power of successful contradiction, that the
sixteenth century revolution did not restore primitive Christianity.

In regard to the teachings of Protestant Christendom in respect of God,
it is sufficient to say it accepts the Nicene creed, instead of the
doctrine of the New Testament. It is written in the scripture that man
was created in God's likeness; and if man was created in God's likeness
then God must be in the form of man. Instead of coming to the world
with that primitive Christian truth, emphasized as it was in primitive
Christianity by the fact that Jesus Christ was pointed to as being the
express image of his Father's person, Protestant Christendom clings
to the old error of the Catholic church, that God is an incorporeal,
that is an immaterial substance; a being without body--i. e., without
materiality--without parts, without passions--accepting rather the
theory of pagan philosophers than the plain statements of primitive
Christianity.[A] Instead of teaching that the Father was a personage,
the Son another personage, and the Holy Ghost another, each as distinct
as any three personages on earth, and one only in moral and spiritual
attributes, in power--constituting one Presidency or Godhead--they came
with the doctrine that these three personages are merged into but one
personage, and yet they remain three distinct personages!

[Footnote A: See the writer's "Mormon Doctrine of Deity," Chapter iv.]

Instead of teaching that man must be absolutely obedient to the gospel
in order to obtain salvation, Protestants taught that faith alone
without works, is sufficient for salvation. And this was the chief
corner stone of Protestant theology; the point at which the Roman
Catholic church and the Protestant church was most widely separated.
The Catholic church, recognizing the operation of God's grace upon man,
and also the power of will in man, came to the reasonable conclusion
that man had it within their power to be obedient to the commandments
of God, and that obedience united with the grace of God was the means
of obtaining salvation; that man worked out his salvation both by
faith and works. Protestants, however, regarding only those spiritual
influences which operate upon man, came to the conclusion that the
grace of God alone saved man, and that without any act on his part.

That I may convince you that I am not mistaken in what I say I will
read to you some of the sayings of Luther upon this subject. "The
excellent, invaluable and sole preparation for grace is the eternal
election and predestination of God." This doctrine stands in marked
contrast with the teaching of primitive Christianity. I hold that the
New Testament scriptures teach in great plainness that God would have
all the children of men to be saved, and is willing that none should be
lost. But according to the teachings of Martin Luther, and the great
body of Protestant Christendom, they would have us believe that there
is a part of the great family of God predestined to eternal damnation;
and, do what they will, they cannot be saved. Their die is cast, their
doom is sealed. They are reprobate, cast out from the affections and
love of God. They stand not within the pale of salvation. But the
gospel of primitive Christianity was a voice of glad tidings to all
men, saying that they could be saved through faith and obedience. I
read again from the words of Luther: "On the side of man there is
nothing that goes before grace, unless it be impotency, and even
rebellion. We do not become righteous by doing what is righteous; but
having become righteous, we do what is righteous." "Since the fall of
man free will is but an idle word, and every man does walk, and still
sins mortally." "A man who imagines to arrive at grace by doing all
that he is able to do, adds sin to sin, and is doubly guilty." "That
man is not justified who performs many works, but he who without works
has much faith in Christ." "What gives peace to our conscience is
this--By faith our sins are no longer ours but Christ's, on whom God
has laid them all; and on the other hand, all Christ's righteousness
belongs to us, to whom God has given it." D'Aubigne says: "The point
which the reformer has most at heart (referring to Luther) in all his
labors, contests and dangers was the doctrine of justification by faith
alone." This is the great Protestant doctrine, that by the act of faith
all the righteousness of Jesus Christ is set down to our credit, and
all our transgressions, all our sins, are placed upon the shoulders of
Jesus Christ, who carries them triumphantly away; and when we shall
stand before the bar of God, we shall be judged, not according to the
works we have done in this life, not according to the "deeds done in
the body," as primitive Christianity taught, but we shall be judged by
the righteousness of Jesus Christ, all of which will be credited to us
by our act of faith. I could almost wish it were true, this doctrine!
Salvation would seem so much more sure. But it is repulsive to reason,
absurd to the understanding, and contrary to the teachings of primitive

In these doctrinal respects, then, the Protestant movement did not
bring back Christianity. Did it bring it back in any other respect?
Did it restore the spiritual gifts so characteristic of primitive
Christianity? Did it bring back the gift of prophecy, and of
revelation; of speaking in tongues, and interpreting them? Did it bring
back the power to heal the sick by the laying on of hands and the
anointing with oil? Did it bring back the gift of faith, of knowledge,
of wisdom, of discernment of spirits? No, it made no claim to these
powers, but sought out excuses for the absence of them, and pleaded
that they were no longer needed; that they were given in the beginning
merely for the purpose of giving Christianity a start in the world and
attesting its divine origin by the manifestation of miraculous gifts
among its followers. No, the revolution of the sixteenth century did
not bring back these gifts and graces of primitive Christianity.

Did it restore the primitive organization of the church? Did it give
to the church Prophets, Seventies, Bishops, Priests, Teachers and
Deacons, with the divine gifts and graces attendant upon these offices
in the church in primitive times, including divine inspiration? Did
they make of the church a means, a channel of divine communication
between the church and her Lord? No. On the contrary, Protestant
Christianity has taught from the days of Luther till now, that Prophets
and Apostles were no longer needed in the Church of Christ. It did
not restore the primitive Christian church organization; nor did it
even restore the plain, simple first principles of the gospel, faith
in the true God, repentance from sin, and the laying on of hands for
the reception of the Holy Ghost. It did not restore the principle of
revelation--Christianity's vital breath--the working force of the
primitive Christian church--the link that united her with God and made
it possible for her to exist in actual spiritual life. On all these
matters the utmost confusion exists among Protestants, but in no sect
can these simple principles of primitive Christianity be found in their
fulness and in the order in which they are taught in the New Testament.
Even from this imperfect and rather hasty consideration of the question
I think you will find no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that
the sixteenth century movement did not restore primitive Christianity,
and hence was not a reformation in that sense.

What the movement in the sixteenth century really was may be best
learned by considering what it did. And now you must indulge me while I
take a brief retrospect of history.

When that stupendous fabric, the western division of the Roman empire,
crumbled to pieces, in the later part of the fifth century, a reign of
darkness followed its downfall. The barbarian hosts from the north,
like the successive waves of the ocean, beating upon some decaying
cliff, repeatedly rushed upon the old Roman civilization, until by
sheer force of persistence in attack, they destroyed the great fabric
of government which fills so large a space in the world's history. And
when it fell, the enlightenment and civilization it had sustained in
western Europe went with it. In the centuries that followed there arose
that great spiritual hierarchy, known as the Roman Catholic Church,
the head of which was recognized in the pope of Rome. The barbarian
tribes which overthrew western Rome, in the days of their paganism,
had given unwonted veneration to their Druid priests and to the chief
Druid they had accorded the power of a god. Hence it was easy for them
to accept the idea that the chief bishop of the Christian church was
God's vicegerent on earth, and to honor him as they would honor God
was equally free from difficulty. The Roman pontiffs were not the men
to refuse to take advantage of that superstition. They fostered it,
and drew to themselves all the honor which before time the pagans had
accorded to the chief priests in paganism. Hence it happens that the
popes of Rome were able to draw to themselves all the power that was
needed to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and with impunity they
planted their feet upon the necks of temporal monarchs.

When the eastern division of the great empire fell before the repeated
attacks of the Turks; and that part of the old Roman political fabric
went to pieces, instead of darkness following its fall, it was an
event which brought light at least to western Europe; for when the
eastern Romans fled before their successful enemies, and came to
western Europe, they brought in their hands the literature of ancient
Greece, and the works of the ancient masters were translated into the
European languages. About that time, too, the art of printing had been
invented, so that this rich treasury of knowledge, locked up hitherto
in the Greek language, was translated into the European languages, and
through this marvelous invention of printing was brought within the
reach of the people. The influence of that literature upon western
minds was marvelous. They not only admired the beauty and the grace of
the diction, and enjoyed the legends and stories that were translated
for them, but they, too, began to feel aspirations to reach the same
high intellectual development that the Greeks themselves had enjoyed;
and wherever there is a love for intellectual development, the key is
turned to the progress of a people. It proved to be so in this case.

Not only did the influence of ancient Greek literature operate to bring
about the enlightenment of Europe, but other things co-operated to stir
the stagnant life of western nations. Vasco de Gama had discovered
a new route to India by way of the Cape of Good Hope. Christopher
Columbus had plowed his way through the western sea, and had discovered
America. These two great events had a marvelous effect upon the life of
Europe. Commerce was immediately enlarged. The comforts of life were
multiplied and became more common. They were placed within the reach
of the common people. A general restlessness took possession of the
people. These two great events that I have named were preceded by other
influences that were calculated to enlarge the liberties of the people
of Europe. In the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, occurred
those remarkable movements in Europe called the Crusades--religious
war, waged for the purpose of recovering the holy land from the hands
of the infidels as the Turks were called. It was a movement which
originated in the fact that Christian pilgrims going to visit the
birthplace of Messiah, and the sepulchre where he was supposed to have
lain, were insulted and abused by the Turks, and this so incensed some
of the Christians that an agitation started against the "barbarians"
in the holy land. A religious fanatic, Peter the Hermit, a Catholic
monk, went through Europe preaching the crusade, and aroused the people
against Turkish abuse of the Christians. The agitation attracted the
attention and at last enlisted the sympathy of the pope and a number
of the crowned heads of Europe, and everywhere the cry was heard "God
wills it," and the people of Europe sprang to arms to invade the east,
and rescue the holy sepulchre from the infidels. It was a marvelous
undertaking. Wave after wave of an invading host from Europe surged
upon the east without avail, especially so long as the invaders were
but mobs of men, women and children, illy prepared to undertake a
campaign against so brave and hardy a people as the Saracens. Finally,
however, these movements became great military undertakings, and the
east and the west met in sharp and deadly conflict.

One of the many results of the crusades was to enlarge the liberty of
the common people of Europe. You must understand that a very peculiar
state of society existed in those times a state of society growing
out of a preceding era of conquests. When barbarian kings invaded a
country and conquered it, they held to the opinion that the title to
all the land that was subdued inhered in the sovereign who had made
the conquest. He became the proprietor of the land won by the valor of
his armies, and claimed the right to parcel it out as he saw proper
to his followers. The larger divisions were called baronies, and they
were subdivided by the barons to their subordinates and so on down
to the common people. But those to whom the lands were thus parceled
out held them upon the condition that they would contribute a certain
number of men for military service, for a given time each year, and
also a certain amount of means annually. Thus grew up the feudal
tenure of land, as it was called. It finally degenerated almost into
a system of slavery, at least for the common people who cultivated
the lands. The barons held in complete subjugation their vassals; and
in turn the barons themselves were oppressed by the kings. But when
the kings and barons undertook the fitting out of expeditions for
the holy land, they had to dispose of some of their lands for that
purpose. In some instances lands were sold outright to their vassals.
The king also began to accord to cities and towns certain political
privileges, on the condition that they would furnish means for carrying
on the crusades; and by these political privileges the liberties of
the inhabitants of cities became enlarged. Thus, all Europe was in a
state of fermentation; a restless activity had taken possession of
all classes of society; and where activity abounds liberty is either
enjoyed or is not far off. Rolling water cannot long remain impure, nor
can an active people long remain in a state of slavery.

In the meantime kings as well as scholars had become weary of the
domination of the old spiritual authority of the church. Scholars
longed to settle matters of history and the facts of science by means
of investigation and reason rather than by the voice of ecclesiastical
authority as ignorant as it was deceptive; and kings became tired
of holding barren scepters in their hands--and such their scepters
were so long as the spiritual authority of the priests was looked
upon as superior to that of the king, and the popes, under a variety
of pretenses, could invade their realms and tax their people. There
was, therefore, at least in the northern nations of Europe, a very
general desire for a change of some kind, and consequently when Martin
Luther began preaching against the indulgences issued by Pope Leo X,
and hawked about the country by John Tetzel,--when there was a spirit
bold enough to say to the pope, "Thou doest wrong," there were found
multitudes to applaud the act. Martin Luther, in the commencement of
his work, did not by any means contemplate the overthrow of the Roman
Catholic church. He thought to eliminate some few of its abuses. He
himself remarked that he was astonished when he found that the pope was
not with him in his contention against Tetzel. But the agitation once
set on foot, other differences arose on points of doctrine, especially
upon the question of grace already considered. The breach grew wider
and wider until at last it was too broad to be bridged over.

When the theological discussion had reached the acute stage, there were
princes that were only too glad to take advantage of the agitation
to wrest from their own necks the yoke of bondage that had been
placed there by the Roman pontiffs. In that agitation they saw their
opportunity to be kings indeed, as well as kings in name; and hence
Luther and his associates found themselves assisted by the princes and
kings of northern Europe.

In order to show you that I am not mistaken in these views, I will read
to you one or two extracts from works on that subject. My first is from
Schiller's "Thirty Years' War in Germany." On page 7 he says:

    "The Reformation is undoubtedly owing in a great measure to the
    invincible power of truth, or of opinions which were held as
    such. The abuses in the old church, the absurdity of many of
    its doctrines, the extravagance of its inquisition, necessarily
    revolted the tempers of men already half-won with the promise
    of a better light, and favorably disposed them towards the new
    doctrines. The charm of independence, the rich plunder of monastic
    institutions, made the Reformation attractive to the eyes of
    princes, and tended not a little to strengthen their inward
    convictions. Nothing but political considerations would have
    driven them to espouse it. Had not Charles V, in the intoxication
    of success, made an attempt on the independence of the German
    states, a Protestant league would scarcely have rushed to arms in
    defense of freedom of belief. * * * Princes fought in self-defense
    or for aggrandizement, while religious enthusiasm recruited their
    armies and opened to them the treasures of their subjects. Of the
    multitude who flocked to their standards, such as were not lured
    by the hope of plunder, imagined they were fighting for the truth,
    while in fact they were shedding their blood for the personal
    objects of their princes."

The Protestant historian, Moshiem, with whom David Hume agrees, admits
that several of the principal agents in this revolution were actuated
more by the impulse of passion and views of interest than by a zeal for
true religion (Maclaine's Moshiem, vol. iv, page 135). He had before
that acknowledged that King Gustavus introduced Lutheranism into Sweden
in opposition to the clergy and bishops, not only as agreeable to the
genius and spirit of the gospel, but also as favorable to the temporal
state and political constitution of the Swedish dominions. He adds that
Christian, who introduced the reformation into Denmark, was animated by
no other motives than those of ambition and avarice. Grotius, another
Protestant, testifies that it was sedition and violence which gave
birth to the "Reformation" in his own country--Holland. The same was
the case in France, Geneva and Scotland.

M. Guizot says:

    "In my opinion the reformation neither was an accident, the result
    of some casual circumstances, or some personal interests, nor
    arose from unmingled views of religious improvement, the fruit of
    Utopian humanity and truth. It had a more powerful cause than all
    these; a general cause to which all the others were subordinate. It
    was a vast effort made by the human mind to achieve its freedom;
    it was a new-born desire which it felt to think and judge, freely
    and independently, of facts and opinions which, till then, Europe
    received, or was considered bound to receive from the hands of
    authority. It was a great endeavor to emancipate human reason, and
    to call things by their right names; it was an insurrection of the
    human mind against the absolute power of spiritual order. Such, in
    my opinion, was the true character and leading principle of the
    reformation. * * * Not only was this the result of the reformation,
    but it was content with this result. Whenever this was obtained no
    other was sought for; so entirely was it the very foundation of
    the event, its primitive and fundamental character! * * * I repeat
    it; whenever the reformation attained this object, it accommodated
    itself to every form of government and to every situation." (Hist.
    Civilization, pp. 224-8.)

Webster defines a revolution to be the act of renouncing the authority
of a government; a revolt successfully or completely accomplished,
a fundamental change in political organization, or, I will add, in
religious organization; and in the light of the facts I have brought to
your attention I think this most nearly describes that great movement
of the sixteenth century led by Luther and the German princes. But
while I do not concede to it the dignity of a reformation, I would
not have you think therefore that I look upon the revolution as
unimportant. Indeed, I regard it as one of the greatest events that has
happened since the founding of Christianity itself; and the results
accomplished by it are far reaching and of vast importance to us.

The struggle began at first in an effort to obtain intellectual
freedom. It next included within the objects it designed to accomplish
religious freedom, and finally added to these two, civil liberty.
A struggle for intellectual, religious and civil liberty must ever
be a grand thing, and this was what the revolution of the sixteenth
century contended for. Not all at once. It came to it by degrees. Not
obtaining all it demanded at the first, but working gradually towards
it; and finally it was successful. Not always because of its efforts,
but sometimes in spite of its efforts. For there is no sadder truth
in all history than this, that those who nobly struggled against the
oppression of the Catholic church, and demanded religious liberty for
themselves, fell into the error of being intolerant, and were not
willing to accord to others the very liberty that they demanded. Hence
you have a few sad pages of history filled with accounts of persecution
for opinion's sake on the part of the reformers themselves. This is
sad, but the principle of liberty was afoot, and neither the mistakes
of its friends nor the opposition of its foes could long successfully
oppose it. It went on from victory to victory, until it grew and
blossomed into the present religious, intellectual and civil freedom
that the nations of Europe and America enjoy. This great movement led
by brave men was the dawn before the coming of a greater day. You
have seen the dawn break over our eastern mountains. You know how the
blackness gradually turns to grey, and how the grey brightens before
the approaching sun, until the whole heavens become golden; and you
know how still richer becomes that light when the sun in its fulness
is seen above the mountain tops. So it was with this struggle in the
sixteenth century. God then began a great work. The first grey streaks
were appearing above the hill-tops. The Lord was about to inaugurate a
great work, "a marvelous work and a wonder." He was about to bring full
and complete religious liberty to the children of men, and not only
full and complete religious liberty, but a fulness of religious truth,
even the fulness of the everlasting gospel. He began that work, the
great dispensation of the last days in that struggle of the sixteenth
century, and the light has been constantly growing brighter, until
now the sun has fully risen in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus
Christ in the new dispensation of it revealed to that great modern
Prophet Joseph Smith. We who accept the new dispensation, strike hands
with the noble revolutionists of the sixteenth century, and acknowledge
them as brethren in the same great cause.


Revelation and Inspiration.[A]

[Footnote A: A discourse delivered before the Young Men's and Young
Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations, in the Granite Stake
Tabernacle, Sunday afternoon, Jan. 15, 1905.]

_A correction of some misapprehensions that arose concerning Mormon
views on the subject of Revelation and Inspiration during the hearings
had in the "Smoot Case" before the United States Committee on
Privileges and Elections, 1903-1907._

My brethren and sisters, Plato, in his Timaeus, represents the
philosopher Socrates as urging one about to begin a discourse on the
nature and origin of the universe to invoke the favor of the gods,
to which Critias, who is the one selected to deliver the discourse,
replies that all men who are right minded always seek the favor of the
gods upon their enterprises, and then he proceeds to pray that his
efforts may be agreeable to the gods and intelligible to those who are
to listen.

On this present occasion it is not my purpose to undertake the
discussion of a subject either so lofty or so difficult as that which
the Greek had proposed to himself, and yet as I stand before you for
the purpose of addressing you, involuntarily, I am happy to say, my
heart is uplifted to God in prayer that what I have to present on this
occasion shall meet with the favor of God, and at the same time be
intelligible and faith-promoting.

I presume that all of us are more or less conscious of the fact that
the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
have been undergoing a very crucial test of late. Many principles
fundamental to our faith have been the subject of investigation by
one of the leading committees of the senate of the United States--the
committee on privileges and elections--a committee than which I
doubt if there is another superior to it in point of ability within
the whole range of the senate committees. It is composed of men who
frequently have to determine questions of law as well as of fact,
and in consequence of that its members are chosen from among the
most distinguished lawyers of the senate; they are men of learning
and wide experience, adroit in questions of logic, and capable of
pursuing to ultimate analysis any question that may be presented for
their consideration. It is such a body of men before whom many of the
doctrines of Christ have been presented, discussed and thoroughly

[Footnote A: The committee alluded to consisted of Julius C. Burrows,
of Michigan; Edmund W. Pettus of Alabama; James B Frazier, of
Tennessee; Fred T. Dubois, of Idaho; Chauncey M. Depew, of New York;
Lee S. Overman, of North Carolina. The above senators signed the
Committee's Report to the effect that Reed Smoot was not entitled to a
seat in the Senate as a senator from the State of Utah.

The following senators, members of the committee, dissented from
the conclusion of the above majority members of the committee, and
published their views:

Joseph B. Foraker, of Ohio; Albert J. Beveridge, of Indiana; William
P. Dillingham, of Vermont; A. J. Hopkins, of Illinois; P. C. Knox of

Happily the Senate refused to accept the conclusion of the majority of
the committee to the effect that Reed Smoot, Senator from Utah, was not
entitled to a seat in the Senate of the United States.]

This the character of the committee conducting the investigation. The
Elders of the Church who have been called upon to state some of the
principles of our faith and place interpretations upon them before
the committee, have been taken somewhat at a disadvantage. They
have been called upon to answer on the spur of the moment, without
having opportunity to prepare their replies or weigh their words.
Their answers have been purely extemporaneous. Many of the questions
have been sprung upon them in the way of surprise; and those adroit
inquisitors (I do not use that term in its evil sense), the senate
committee, have purposely led them through a labyrinth of questions in
the hope finally of surprising them into some inconsistency. Yet on the
whole I think the Church has reason to congratulate herself upon the
presentation of her doctrines even under these circumstances; and it
is not difficult to believe that the brethren were sustained in their
answers by a spirit beyond their wisdom; that God blessed them in the
trial through which they passed.

It would be surprising, however, if in the course of so long an
investigation, taken part in by so many, if the opposition did not at
times gain some seeming advantage; if by some quip or quirk they did
not make inconsistencies appear in the answers of the brethren. I want
to illustrate this and call the attention of the young people to some
of these circumstances, for I have discovered, incidentally, that some
of the catch-phrases that have been coined during this investigation
are having more or less influence on the minds of our youth.

For example, during the investigation referred to, the question of our
belief in revelation was brought up. It is a matter of common knowledge
among you, of course, that we believe in revelation from God to man.
We believe that the Lord has revealed himself in the day in which we
live; that a dispensation of the gospel has been given unto prophets in
this age of the world; that divine communication between the earth and
the heavens has been restored; that a channel of communication has been
permanently established by and through which the mind and the will of
God may be made known to men. This truth, so commonplace with us, seems
a matter of seven days' wonder to the senate committee in question. In
the course of investigating this subject of revelation the idea was
developed that a law revealed from God, before it became binding upon
the Church, was submitted to the people in conference and they voted to
accept or reject it. Then this question was asked:

    "Suppose a revelation is given to the Church, and the Church in
    conference assembled rejects it by vote, what remains? Does it go
    for nothing?"

To which answer was made, in substance, that if the people rejected it,
it would go for nothing for them--that is, so far as the people were

Then the questioning continues:

    _"Senator_--Then according to your faith the Lord submits his
    decrees to the judgment of the people, and does not desire them to
    be obeyed by anybody unless the people approve?

    _"Elder_--He desires them to be obeyed by everybody, but he lets
    everybody do just as they please. * * * * *

    _"Senator_--You would, then, as I understand you, please to follow
    the people, and not the Lord, under those circumstances. Is that

    _"Elder_--The Lord has so ordered that when he appoints men, as
    he did do in the revelations here [the revelations that had been
    under discussion], and named the Apostles and the other general
    authorities of the Church, he commanded that they be presented to
    the Church and sustained or rejected, and whenever the Church has
    rejected any man he has stepped aside.

    _"Senator_--A sort of veto power over the Lord! (Laughter)."

This last remark is one of the catchy phrases which some of the youth
of Israel are permitting themselves to be pleased with. "A veto power
on God!" We want to investigate that presently, and I think we will be
able to discover that it is smart rather than profound.

Again, when the subject of the Manifesto (meaning that instrument
through which plural marriages were discontinued in the Church) was
under discussion, one of the brethren chanced to remark that he
assisted in framing the document for publication; whereupon this
colloquy took place:

    _"Senator_--I understand this Manifesto was inspired.


    _"Senator_--That is your understanding of it?

    _"Elder_--My answer was that it was inspired.

    _"Senator_--And when it was handed to you it was an inspiration, as
    you understand, from on high, was it not?


    _"Senator_--What business had you to change it?

    _"Elder_--We did not change the meaning.

    _"Senator_--You have just stated you changed it.

    _"Elder_--Not the sense, sir. I did not say we changed the sense.

    _"Senator_--But you changed the phraseology?

    _"Elder_--We simply put it in shape for publication, corrected
    possibly the grammar, and wrote it so that--

    _"Senator_--You mean to say that in an inspired communication from
    the Almighty the grammar was bad, was it? You corrected the grammar
    of the Almighty, did you?"

Another "smart" saying which apparently appeals to the humor of some of
our youth; and here and there you may hear now and then something said,
in an irreverent manner, too, about the absurdity of correcting the
Almighty's grammar.

One other item: One of the Elders, pursued in the investigation by
one of the most adroit of the senators, finds it necessary to make a
correction of one of his statements, whereupon this follows:

    _"Senator_--Have you had any revelation or commandment in regard to
    the testimony you should give in this case?

    _"Elder_--No, sir.

    _"Senator_--There is no inspiration of that or any part of it?

    _"Elder_--As to the testimony I should give here?

    _"Senator_--As to the testimony you have given or are to give.

    _"Elder_--No; I do not know that I have, particularly--I came here
    to answer the questions of the committee.

    _"Senator_--But I want to know whether you are answering them under
    the direction of the Lord, according to your belief, or merely in
    your human and uninspired capacity?

    _"Elder_--I believe I shall answer the questions that are asked me
    here as the Spirit of the Lord directs me, and truthfully.

    _"Senator_--Do you mean to say that the Spirit of the Lord directs
    you in your answers here?

    _"Elder_--I believe so.

    _"Senator_--You believe so?

    _"Elder_--Yes, sir.

    _"Senator_--Then in your belief, did the Spirit of the Lord direct
    you to make the answer which you just took back and said was a

    "(A pause and silence.) Well, if you cannot answer it I will not
    press it."

Previously this senator had said to the Elder: "Do you not think that
in this hearing it behooves you to be a little careful of your answers
so that in so important a matter you do not have to take back in two or
three minutes what you have said?"

This is spoken of, according to reports that reach me, as a severe
reproof administered by a "worldling" to one who believed himself to
be an inspired man, and more or less of comment is made upon this
circumstance, as upon the others I have named.

Now, this brings before you, not all that is said, but some few things
that are said with reference to the investigation before the senate
committee; and I think they touch questions of considerable interest on
the subject of revelation. It is this subject I propose to consider,
especially the effect these several incidents of the investigation have
upon the subject of revelation. Let us now return and consider these
questions one by one.

To begin with, let us have an understanding about revelation itself.
As I understand it, "revelation is the name of that act by which God
makes communication to men. Inspiration in the name of that influence,
that divine influence, which operates upon the minds of men under which
they may be said to receive divine guidance." The inspiration may be
strong or it may be weak. It may be so overpowering in its character
that the person for the time being loses largely his own individuality
and becomes the mouthpiece of God, the organ through which the Divine
speaks to the children of men. There exists all degrees of inspiration,
from human intelligence and wisdom slightly influenced up to that
fulness of inspiration of which I have spoken. Revelations may be made
from God to man in various ways. They may be made by God in his own
proper person, speaking for himself. On such occasions I take it that
the revelation would be most perfect. I know of no more beautiful or
complete illustration of such a perfect revelation than that great
revelation with which the dispensation of the fulness of times began,
when God the Father and Jesus the Christ, stood revealed in the
presence of Joseph Smith, when every veil was removed, and the glory
of God extended throughout the forest in which the Prophet had prayed;
when he heard the Father speak to him as one friend speaks to another,
saying: "Joseph, this is my beloved Son; hear him." Then followed a
conversation with this second divine personage, to whom he was thus so
perfectly introduced, and from whom he received the light and knowledge
that laid the foundations of this great latter-day work. There was
no imperfection whatsoever in that revelation; it was complete,
overwhelming, and one of the most remarkable revelations that God
has deigned to give to the children of men. Revelations may be made,
and have been made, by the visitation of angels, such as when Moroni
came and revealed the existence of the Nephite record, the American
volume of scripture, the Book of Mormon; and who afterwards from time
to time, met with the Prophet of the last dispensation and gave him
knowledge and information as to the manner in which the Church should
be organized, and how its affairs should be conducted. Then again,
revelations may come through the operations of the Holy Spirit upon the
mind of man as when the Prophet Joseph took Urim and Thummim and with
them, and by their aid, under the influence of Holy Spirit, translated
the Book of Mormon into the English language. In a similar manner the
Lord influences the minds of his servants when preaching the gospel,
and thus delivers his word to the Church and to the world.

Through all these various means God speaks, and it is our good fortune
to be his witnesses, that he speaks in these various ways as well today
as in ancient times.

After giving many manifestations, and communicating much of his mind
and will to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Lord said to him, finally, with
reference to the organization of the Church, that he must call together
in a meeting several persons who had been baptized and submit the
question to them as to whether or not they were willing that he and
Oliver Cowdery should proceed to organize the Church of Christ, and if
they would accept them as their spiritual leaders and teachers in the
things of God.

I marvel at the condescension of God in this, and well may the world
marvel at his condescension in thus submitting a question of this
character to those who were to participate in it. But when I come to
analyze it and to comprehend it, I understand that God here recognizes
a great truth; recognizes also the dignity of his children, and gives
recognition to their rights and liberties in the premises. Mark you,
when it comes to bestowing his power upon men, when he was selecting
his prophets, he chose whom he would. That was a matter between himself
and them. Hence he gave the apostleship to Joseph Smith, to Oliver
Cowdery, and to David Whitmer, independently of anyone. But when
these men were to effect an organization and exercise that power and
authority upon others, then it must be with the consent of the others
concerned, and not otherwise. This is the great principle that the Lord
respected in the very inception of the great latter-day work, and which
he still recognizes in the government of his Church--the principle of
common consent.

In this connection allow me for a moment to call your attention to
the very beautiful title of our Church, "The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints," it is called. Some might think the first half
of the title, "The Church of Jesus Christ," would be sufficient. So,
indeed, it is, in a way. It is the Christ's Church--his by the price
of his sacrifice. It is his as the depository of his truth. It is the
institution he has called into existence, and unto which he has given
the mission of proclaiming the truth, and, in addition to that the
mission of perfecting the lives of those who accept the truth. But it
is not only "The Church of Jesus Christ;" it is "The Church of the
Latter-day Saints," also. It is _our_ Church, because we accept it,
because we enter it of our own volition; it is therefore the Church
of our choice. God has conferred upon his Church and our Church the
right of being governed by common consent of the members thereof. It
is this that astonishes our friends in Washington. They have been
led to believe, by misrepresentation, that this organization called
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is an ironclad
institution, a powerful tyranny, to whose authority there are no metes
or bounds; in which there are no checks or balances of authority;
an ecclesiastical hierarchy that dominates the people and destroys
individual liberty. Suddenly they are confronted with the fact that,
so far from being a tyrannical institution, not only the officers but
the very revelations of God are submitted to the people for their
acceptance! They then turn upon us and say: Then you presume to have a
"Veto power on God!"

Now, let us consider this matter for a few moments. But before doing
so I call your attention to an utterance made in our own midst, less
excusable than the "smart" utterances of these astute senators, because
they doubtless are prompted in their remarks by ignorance of the
subject; but what I am about to read to you is not the utterance of an
ignorant mind, but rather that of a perverted one, because the writer
knows better. Listen to this from a local daily paper:

    "According to the testimony given by high ecclesiastics at
    Washington, a revelation from God is not binding upon humanity
    until after it is voted upon and accepted by the Mormon people
    in conference. What an astounding complexity, and what a narrow
    bigotry are here presented! As taught by Mormon theology, there is
    but one man on the earth at a time who is authorized to receive
    and pronounce the will of God. That man is the president of the
    Mormon Church. He receives a revelation containing commands,
    to the children of men, obedience to which commands entitles
    the individuals to celestial glory, and disobedience to which
    commands consigns the individual to the loss of glory in the
    hereafter. That revelation, however, is not in force until some
    ten or twelve thousand people in the big Tabernacle at Salt Lake
    City have voted affirmatively upon it, and then it becomes a law
    for the fifteen hundred millions of human being upon the face
    of the earth. In other words, sacrilegious as it seems, this
    doctrine assumes that God don't know his own mind; in still other
    words, his determinations are subject to revision by ten thousand
    human creatures, who constitute a kind of supreme court, whose
    conclusions are binding not only upon themselves, but upon hundreds
    of millions of human beings who never heard of the man through whom
    the law was promulgated, nor of the supreme court that sustained
    it, nor of the law itself. If the Mormon conference approves God's
    words, the one billion five hundred million other human creatures
    are saved by it or damned by it, as the case may be; and if the
    Mormon conference rejects it, the one billion five hundred millions
    of other human creatures are not subject to it in any way, as it is
    not a valid command from God Almighty. It is not God then who holds
    the power of condemnation or of salvation; but it is the Mormon
    conference which saves or damns the world of humanity at the whim
    of that conference. Could absurdity go farther?"

I think not! Absurdity can scarcely go beyond that representation of
the matter. It is scarcely necessary for me to say to you that this
presentation of the subject is not true. And yet I have positive
knowledge that such a vain utterance as this has its influence among
some of the youth of the Church! No; the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints arrogates to herself no such powers as are here
charged. On the contrary, the following appears in the Book of Mormon,
with reference to God's course in making known his mind and will to the
children of men:

    "I [the Lord] command all men, both in the east and in the west,
    and in the north, and in the south, and in all the islands of the
    sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for
    out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world,
    every man according to his works, according to that which is
    written. For behold, I will speak unto the Jews, and they shall
    write it; and I will also speak unto the other tribes of the house
    of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I
    will also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write

Then the Lord proceeds to tell how in the dispensation of the fulness
of times he will bring together and unite in testimony the words that
he has spoken to these various peoples and nations.

Again, it is written in the same book:

    "Behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation
    and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth
    fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth
    counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true."

This is the Mormon theory of God's revelation to the children of men.
While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established
for the instruction of men; and is one of God's instrumentalities for
making known the truth yet he is not limited to that institution for
such purposes, neither in time nor place. God raises up wise men and
prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own
tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can
comprehend; not always giving a fulness of truth such as may be found
in the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; but always giving that
measure of truth that the people are prepared to receive. Mormonism
holds, then, that all the great teachers are servants of God; among all
nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct
God's children according to the conditions in the midst of which he
finds them. Hence it is not obnoxious to Mormonism to regard Confucius,
the great Chinese philosopher and moralist, as a servant of God,
inspired to a certain degree by him to teach those great moral maxims
which have governed those millions of God's children for lo! these
many centuries. It is willing to regard Gautama, Buddha as an inspired
servant of God, teaching a measure of the truth, at least giving to
these people that twilight of truth by which they may somewhat see
their way. So with the Arabian prophet, that wild spirit that turned
the Arabians from worshiping idols to a conception of the Creator of
heaven and earth that was more excellent than their previous conception
of Deity. And so the sages of Greece and of Rome. So the reformers
of early Protestant times. Wherever God finds a soul sufficiently
enlightened and pure; one with whom his Spirit can communicate, lo!
he makes of him a teacher of men. While the path of sensuality and
darkness may be that which most men tread, a few, to paraphrase the
words of a moral philosopher of high standing, have been led along the
upward path; a few in all countries and generations have been wisdom
seekers, or seekers of God. They have been so because the Divine Word
of Wisdom has looked upon them, choosing them for the knowledge and
service of himself.

In the presence of such a magnificent conception of God's hand dealings
with his children in the matter of imparting divine truth to them as
this, is it not infamous for a man--one who poses, too, as knowing
something of Mormonism--to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints as being so narrow and bigoted as to believe that
they legislate in their conferences in all spiritual matters for
the whole world; that all mankind must wait upon their action for a
revelation of God's truth; that God's word is given or withheld from
mankind by their vote; that they have constituted themselves a sort
of supreme court to determine what is or what is not God's word for
the one thousand five hundred millions of souls inhabiting the earth!
In concluding his utterance the editorial writer in question closed
the passage I quoted with the question, "Could absurdity go further?"
I will close mine with the question, Can infamy go farther than his
misrepresentation of the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints in respect to revelation?

While it is held by the Church, nay, taught by the very revelations of
God themselves, that there is but one man at a time who is entitled to
receive revelations for the government and guidance of the Church--and
this in order to prevent confusion and conflict--still it is nowhere
held that this man is the only instrumentality through which God
may communicate his mind and will to the world. It is merely a law
operative within the Church itself and does not at all concern the
world outside the Church organization.

When the Church votes upon the acceptance of any revelation, whether
it is one respecting doctrine or the appointment of officers, it acts
for itself alone. Its vote in no way concerns, either for their praise
or their censure, the people outside of the Church. It is merely the
exercise of a right conferred upon the Church in the very inception of
its organization; for it is part of the law itself, that no rule or
law shall be binding on the Church, and no officer shall hold position
in the Church, but upon its own free consent. This is no new doctrine.
It is in strict harmony with God's moral government of the world. What
moral law may not men in their individual capacity reject? From the
beginning God's law stood. "Thou shalt not kill." Yet Cain killed Abel
and from that day to the present many men have violated this, God's
law. And so with every law, whether given directly of God, or through
his servants the prophets. Man is by the nature of him a free moral
agent; and that agency of his involves the liberty of violating the
laws of God as well as the liberty of respecting them. He is free to
accept righteousness and attain heaven. He is equally free to follow
after wickedness and go to hell if he so elects, though he must not
complain if he finds not there the joys and comforts of heaven. Agency
or freedom that would mean less than this would mean nothing. It would
be neither freedom nor agency. What men may do in their individual
capacity the Church may do in its organized capacity with, of course,
similar results to the institution; for if the time should come that
the Church in the exercise of those rights and that freedom which God
in the beginning bestowed upon her should persistently reject his word
and his servants until she became corrupted, God would repudiate and
disown her as his Church, just as he would reject and condemn a wicked
man. Thank God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so
far, has received those revelations and those doctrines proposed to her
as divine law by the Prophet of God; and also, in the main, those men
whom a divine inspiration has suggested as her officers.

An incident in the history of ancient Israel illustrates this doctrine
of liberty enjoyed by the people of, God in their corporate capacity.
From Moses to Samuel the children of Israel had been governed by a
succession of judges, inspired men, appointed of God to be rulers or
rather public servants in Israel, which government of inspired men
appointed of God constituted a divine order of government, so that it
may be said that the people were governed of God. Finally, however,
during the administration of government by the judge, the prophet
Samuel, the people grew weary of this form of government and clamored
for a king. They were ambitious of being like other people by whom they
were surrounded. They longed for the worldly pomp and circumstance and
glamor of a kingdom. Samuel, the stern old prophet, zealous for his
God, withstood their demands, until at last the Lord spoke and said to
him: "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto
thee; for they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me, that
I should not reign over them..... Now, therefore, hearken unto their
voice; howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them and show them the manner
of the king that shall reign over them." (Samuel viii.) Samuel followed
the directions of the Lord, and pointed out to the people the disasters
which would befall them if they adhered to their insistence for a king.
All to no purpose, however, a king they would have. God respected their
right to have the kind of government they desired, though it involved
a rejection of himself--"a veto upon God!" Had not the grave and fair
minded senator of Massachusetts--now unhappily departed this life since
coining the phrase here criticised--momentarily forgotten this very
celebrated incident in the history of ancient Israel, or if he had
taken time to think one moment upon the great principles underlying
God's moral government of the world, I feel reasonably satisfied that
he would never have fashioned that irreverent phrase, "veto power on
God," certainly not to win the laughter and applause of those who were
present at its birth, or of those who, ape-like, repeat his unhappy

But I must not overlook another point involved in that part of the
testimony here being considered. Suppose a law is promulgated before
the Latter-day Saints--a revealed principle of truth is submitted for
their acceptance--and then, in the exercise of that liberty, which God
has conferred upon his Church, they reject it. The question is then
asked, "What remains?"

Why, the truth remains! The action of the Church has not affected that
in the least. It is just as true as if the Church had accepted it.
Our acceptance or rejection does not make or mar the truth; it simply
determines our own relationship to that truth. If we reject the truth,
the truth still remains. And, moreover, it is my own faith that a
people who would reject the truth revealed of God to them would make no
progress until they repented and accepted the rejected truth. The truth
remains--that is the answer to the senator's question. Human conduct
does not affect the truth. As one of our own poets has said:

  "Though the heavens depart, and the earth's fountains burst,
  Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,
     Eternal, unchanged, evermore!"

Taking up now the other question--that of correcting the Almighty's

In defining what I understand revelation to be, and the manner in
which it may be communicated, I have already stated that when we
have a communication made directly from the Lord himself there is no
imperfection whatever in that revelation. But when the Almighty uses
a man as an instrument through whom to communicate divine wisdom,
the manner in which that revelation is imparted to men may receive
a certain human coloring from the prophet through whom it comes. We
know this to be true, because we have the words of different prophets
before us by which we may test the matter. We know, for instance, that
the message delivered to Israel through the Prophet Isaiah possesses
different characteristics from the message delivered through Jeremiah,
or through Ezekiel, or through Amos. It seems that the inspiration of
the Lord need not necessarily destroy the personal characteristics of
the man making the communication to his fellowmen.

To illustrate what I mean: I remember one of my old teachers calling
the attention of our class to the fact, and demonstrating it, that
a ray of white light was not so simple a thing as we might think it
to be. When you see a white ray of sunlight streaming through some
window or other aperture into a dark room, you might think that the
bar of white light consists simply of one white ray. But the teacher
referred to took a prism and caused such a ray of light to fall upon
that prism, and upon a dark screen opposite we discovered that the
rays of light composing the white ray were separated into various
colors--blue, orange, red, green and the various other colors of the
several rays that entered into and made the white ray; and as he went
on using one prism after another for this illustration, I discovered
that the sharpness and clearness with which the separation of these
several rays were made depended somewhat upon the clearness and purity
of the prism through which the light passed. And so in after years it
occurred to me that this might be used to illustrate how the white ray
of God's inspiration falling upon different men would receive different
expressions through them, according to the characteristics of those
men. So it is that Isaiah preserves his identity, Amos his, Ezekiel
his, and so on with the prophets of our own day. I suppose if the Lord
had revealed the existence of the Book of Mormon to a man who had a
perfect knowledge of the English language, a grammarian, and perfect
in literary attainments, then no doubt we would have had a translation
of the Book of Mormon without fault or blemish so far as the grammar
is concerned; but it pleased God in his wisdom to appoint that mission
to one who was not learned in the English language, whose use of the
English language was ungrammatical, through failing of opportunity to
obtain the necessary instruction in his youthful days, and consequently
we find errors in grammar in the translation of the Book of Mormon,
such as this: "Whoredoms _is_ an abomination to the Lord." Marvelous,
is it not? Ungrammatical--a plural subject and a singular verb! But
what of the truth? You are not in doubt about that, are you? Does it
make the truth any more real or forcible to use grammatical terms
in which to express it? Whoredoms _are_ an abomination to the Lord?
Well, what is the essential thing in a revelation? The essential
thing is the truth that it conveys; and it matters not whether you
say whoredoms _is_ an abomination or whoredoms _are_ an abomination
to the Lord. The truth remains that whoredoms are abhorrent to God,
and that is the main thing. Again, in the Doctrine and Covenants you
find this language: "The Spirit and the body is the soul of man, and
the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul." Again a
plural subject and a singular verb. But what boots it? The great thing
that mankind is concerned to know is the truth conveyed, that the soul
of man is composed of spirit and body, and that it is the purpose of
the redemption to save and unite spirit and body in one individual,
to exist through time and through all eternity. To still further
illustrate, and to show you the flimsiness of this "smart" saying to
which we are coming in a moment: Old Baron Swedenborg was regarded
as a mystic. He was a learned man, but his lips were not attuned to
the perfect pronunciation of the English language. Occasionally he
spoke in English, but it was always broken. He delighted apparently
to contemplate the prophets of old Israel and the prophets of the
New Testament. In speaking of them the old man used to say in most
solemn earnestness, "De vurld vas not worty of dem," and the audience
sometimes laughed; but neither the laughter of the audience, nor the
imperfection of pronunciation of the English words detracted from the
solemn truth that the old man uttered. And so any imperfection in mere
utterance of a truth amounts to little or nothing. "He that hath my
word," saith the Lord, "let him speak my word faithfully. For what is
the chaff to the wheat?"

Now, would it do any harm to take Swedenborg's broken English and make
it smooth by pronouncing it with perfect accent. "They were prophets
of whom the world was not worthy?" It does not hurt the truth, to so
change the expression of it, does it? Would it hurt the truth, the
expression of it, to say "the spirit and the body _are_ the soul of
man?" Or "whoredoms _are_ an abomination to the Lord?" Why, no. So
in this Manifesto issued by President Woodruff. What if there were
imperfect, or ungrammatical sentences in it? What does the world
care about that in the last analysis of it? The great thing in the
instrument was, and the great truth that the Lord made known to the
soul of Wilford Woodruff was that it was necessary for the preservation
of the Church, and the uninterrupted progress of her work that plural
marriages should be discontinued. Now, any expression containing that
truth was all that was necessary. And so there is nothing of weight in
the phrase "correcting the grammar of the Almighty." We do not correct
his grammar. Perhaps the brethren made slight corrections in the
grammar of Wilford Woodruff. The grammar may be the prophet's the idea,
the truth, is God's.

Now, the third point; the one about men being constantly under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit; so constantly under his inspiration
that all they say or do is an inspiration of God, that all their
answers to questions are in the nature of revelation.

Is there anything in the Mormon doctrine that makes it necessary to
believe that of men, even of high officials in the Church? No, there is
not. We know that they do not always speak under the direct inspiration
of the Holy Spirit; for some men high in authority, aye Apostles, have
preached discourses for which they were finally excommunicated from the
Church. They were not inspired in those instances, were they? Evidently
not. When you come to think of human weaknesses and imperfections, and
how difficult it is for men living under the effects of the Fall, and
borne down with inherited tendencies also--when you think how extremely
difficult it is for even the best of men to rise above these things
and walk in the sunlight of God's inspiration, in the fellowship of
the Holy Ghost, I think it is expecting too much to claim that every
utterance is a divine inspiration. Men are exercised by a variety of
emotions. Passions, selfish interests, prejudices, traditions, bear in
upon the souls of men and tend to break up and mar the inspiration of
the Spirit of God in them. Blessed is the man who can rise above the
human weaknesses and imperfections once in a while and commune with
God; and blessed are the people among whom he dwells; because if he can
do that he will return to them from such communing so strengthened and
helped that he will be an inspiration to all who touch the sphere of
his influence. I say happy is the man who once in awhile can ascend to
these spiritual heights and commune with God. It is about as much as
you can expect of men. But some of you perhaps will be calling to mind
a certain revelation in which this passage occurs:

    "Behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who are
    ordained unto this Priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them
    to go forth;

    "And this is an ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they
    are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

    "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost
    shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the
    mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice
    of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

True, every word of it; and the word of these men, _when_ spoken under
the influence of the Holy Ghost, is indeed the word of God. But oh!
how frequently it is the case that men fail to connect with the divine
influence and are unable to call it down into their souls to speak
forth the words of life! I have already drawn your attention to the
fact that the servants of God who minister to us are not always equal
to this task; but there are times when you and I have listened to the
words of the servants of God, when the white light of God's inspiration
rested upon them, and we needed no man to tell us that they spoke by
the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, that we were being taught of
God. But that is not always the case with respect of the preaching we

The Lord has revealed this truth also:

    "Verily I say unto you, men should be anxiously engaged in a good
    cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to
    pass much righteousness; for the power is in them wherein they are
    agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in
    nowise lose their reward."

Speaking broadly, we may say there are three classes of intelligences
that should be recognized. First of all, the Divine Intelligence, that
which comes directly or indirectly from the presence of God through
his Spirit. Then there is in every man an intelligent entity, the
"Ego," our scientists call it, I think; an entity without beginning and
without end, according to the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith;
a self-existent entity that has intelligence, self-consciousness,
will, and other forces, in and of itself. You need not doubt that; it
is a self-evident truth. Look inward, investigate your own spirit,
and you shall find it true. I need not call your attention in the
way of argument to the fact that even wicked men possess this human
intelligence. We know they do, and it is sometimes very perverse; also
very cunning, and not infrequently very powerful; and yet we know that
such wicked persons are so far removed in their walk and conversation
from God that the Spirit of the Lord is not with them. Then whence the
source of their power and their intelligence? It is native to them; and
is self-existent, indestructible. Then again, there is the influence
of the adversary of men's souls, he who seeks the destruction of men;
he who would pull men down to his level in rebellion against God. He
has influence in the world, and men are sometimes dominated by his
thoughts, his motives, and are led into darkness and sin through his
power. When Lucifer rebelled against the King of kings in heaven, he
lost not existence; his intelligence was not destroyed; neither indeed
could it or he be annihilated; he remains to this day, and is still
pursuing his evil course.

These are the intelligences with whom we come in contact, with whom
we have to deal; and I take it to be one of the most important
considerations that we make ourselves competent to distinguish between
the promptings of our own human intelligence, to know when it is the
Spirit of the Lord that prompts, and when it is the adversary of men's
souls who approaches us and whispers his counsels in our ears.

Meantime we should recognize the fact that we do many things of our
own uninspired intelligence for the issues of which we ourselves are

Moreover, we ourselves should seek to do good things; for the power is
in us to do good, if we will but set about it, even as the Lord has
indicated in this revelation I have read on that subject. Many of our
actions--shall I say nearly all our ordinary actions?--are prompted
by this native intelligence. We take account of this and of that,
and from the data before us we make up our judgment and act upon the
probabilities involved. That is the ordinary work-a-day guide by which
we walk. Then, of course, for the performance of extraordinary duties,
for the accomplishment of high purposes, the soul, conscious of its own
limitations, reaches out for help; deep calls to deep; the infinite
in man seeks union with the infinite in God, and, on occasion, and
when necessary for the achievement of God's purposes, we have reason
to believe that the Lord deigns to communicate his mind and will unto
men. But the Lord evidently proposes that man shall act here largely
upon his own intelligence, exercise his own agency, and develop the
powers, intelligent and moral, that are within him. That is why men
are here in this earth-probation. While I believe the Lord will help
men at need, I think it improper to assign every word and every act
of theirs to an inspiration from the Lord; for if that were true, we
would have to acknowledge ourselves as being wholly taken possession of
by the Lord, and not permitted to go to the right or to the left, but
as he guided us. Needless to say that in that event there would be no
error in judgment, no blunders made. Where would human agency or human
intelligence exist in the one case or be developed in the other under
such circumstances? They would not exist. Hence I think it a reasonable
conclusion to say that constant, never-varying inspiration is not a
factor in the administration of the affairs even of the Church; not
even good men, no, not though they be prophets or other high officials
of the Church, are at all times and in all things inspired of God. It
is only occasionally and at need that God comes to their aid.

Upon this subject I want to read what I think was a very wise admission
once made by Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet, and father of
President Joseph F. Smith. After the Prophet Joseph was compelled to
flee from his enemies in Kirtland, Ohio, to Far West, Missouri, the
word of the Lord was given to the effect that the honest in heart in
Kirtland should gather at Far West; whereupon a number of expedients
were suggested, or means by which the Saints should make the journey.
The High Council and Brother Hyrum Smith conceived the plan of moving
the Saints by the water course, by the Ohio, the Missouri and Grand
rivers, since those streams were navigable; but the plan proposed by
them failed. Then the Seventies took up the matter--the First Council
of Seventies--and their proposition was to organize a company that
should go overland to Missouri, by team and on foot. They developed
their plans, and Hyrum Smith in the course of some remarks made at one
of their meetings, is represented as having said that:

    "What he had done in reference to chartering a steamboat for the
    purpose of removing the Church as a body, he had done according to
    his own judgment, without reference to the testimony of the Spirit
    of God; that he had recommended that course and had advised the
    High Council and High Priests to adopt that measure, acting solely
    upon his own wisdom; for it has seemed to him that the whole body
    of the Church in Kirtland could be removed with less expense in the
    way he had proposed than in any other. He said further that the
    Saints had to act oftentimes upon their own responsibility, without
    any reference to the testimony of the Spirit of God, in relation
    to temporal affairs; that he had so acted that the plan of going
    by water was approved by him, and that the failure of the scheme
    was evidence in his mind that God did not approve of it." (The
    foregoing is from the minutes of the said meeting.)

I think this utterance of the Patriarch-Prophet of the Church gives
voice to the common sense view of inspiration, its operations upon
me, and affairs of the Church. It is vain for men to claim divine
inspiration for every move that is made in Church affairs. God makes
no mistakes. He never errs in judgment. Whatever he does is done in
perfect wisdom, and the final result either of a single act or a series
of acts is always his vindication. So that whatsoever of unwisdom
appears in the policy of his Church; whatsoever of defect appears in
the administration of her affairs, are not assignable to God, nor are
they the result of the operation of his inspiration upon the minds
of men. Such unwisdom in policy, such defects in administration are
referable alone to men, whose knowledge is limited, whose foresight,
when unhelped by divine inspiration, is imperfect, whose wisdom when
backed by no other intelligence than that native to their own spirits
is halting, and whose judgment is burdened with many a defect. Men are
responsible for such blundering as may take place in the management of
this divine institution we call the Church of Christ.

That there have been unwise things done in the Church by good men,
men susceptible at times to the inspiration of the Spirit of God, we
may not question. Many instances in the history of the Church through
three quarters of a century prove it, and it would be a solecism to
say that God was the author of those unwise, not to say positively
foolish, things that have been done. For these things men must stand
responsible, not God.

It is well nigh as dangerous to claim too much for the inspiration of
God in the affairs of men as it is to claim too little. By the first
men are led into superstition, and into blasphemously accrediting
their own imperfect actions, their blunders, and possibly even their
sins to God; and by the second they are apt to altogether eliminate
the influence of God from human affairs; I pause in doubt as to which
extreme would be the worse.

After these remarks I can hear some in their hearts ask, "How, then,
shall we attain to certainty? How are we to know when men speak and
act under divine inspiration, and when by their own unaided human
intelligence? When God gave the world inspired apostles and prophets
and had established a divine institution for the instruction and
guidance of men, we had fondly hoped that at last doubt and uncertainty
had been driven out of the minds of those who placed themselves under
the tutorship of such instructors and such a divine institution as
the Church of Christ; and that now we were placed in a position where
an unerring finality might be attained on all questions involving
human affairs and human conduct." So indeed, good friends, you have,
in the Church of Christ, a means of attaining finality in regard to
all those questions that concern your salvation. There is and can be
no questioning or doubting concerning the essential principles of the
gospel of Christ taught by his Church. Here we stand on the solid rock,
not on shifting sands. We can and do know the truth with reference to
the matters that concern our salvation; and God in the dispensation
of the fulness of times, wherein he has decreed the completion of his
work with reference to the salvation of men and the redemption of the
earth will never permit man's imperfections and unwisdom to thwart
the accomplishment of his great purposes. In these things we stand
absolutely secure. But with reference to matters involving merely
questions of administration and policy in the Church; matters that do
not involve the great and central truths of the gospel--these afford a
margin wherein all the human imperfections and limitations of man, even
of prophets and apostles, may be displayed; that they, in common with
the membership of the Church, may exercise their freedom and agency,
and, of course, stand responsible, blamable or praiseable, according as
they acquit themselves well or ill in discharging those duties which
devolve upon them. In this connection let me say that it should not be
matter of surprise to any one that unwise things have been both said
and done by some of the best men in the Church. On the contrary, it is
matter of congratulation to the Church that so little unwisdom has been
manifested by our brethren upon whom God has laid the heavy burdens of
so great a work.

As to the matter of attaining certainty in human affairs, that is not
to be expected. Is it indeed desirable? "Know ye not that we walk by
faith and not by sight?" is the language of Paul to the Saints in his
day. By which token I infer that we are placed in this earth-probation
to pass through just such experiences as those to which we seem born
heirs. Is it not in part the meaning of life that we are here under
just such conditions as prevail in order that we may learn the value of
better things? Is not this very doubt of ours concerning the finality
of things--finality which ever seems to elude our grasp--the means of
our education? What mere automatons would we become if we found truth
machine-made and limited, that is to say, finite, instead of being
as we now find it, infinite and elusive, and attainable only as we
beat it out on the anvil of our own experiences? Yet so far as men
may be furnished with the means of attaining to certainty concerning
the class of things of which we are speaking, the Saints of God are
supplied with that means. Their obedience to the gospel brings to
them the possession of the Holy Ghost, and it is Mormon doctrine that
"by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things."
(Moroni.) This Spirit takes of the things of God and makes them known
to men. By his testimony we may know that the Lord is God, that Jesus
is the Christ, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. By
him bearing witness to our spirits we can recognize the truth, and
know when men speak of themselves and when they speak as moved upon by
the Holy Spirit. But even with the possession of this Spirit to guide
us into all truth, I pray you, nevertheless, not to look for finality
in things, for you will look in vain. Intelligence, purity, truth,
will always remain with us relative terms and also relative qualities.
Ascend to what heights you may, ever beyond you will be other heights
in respect of these things, and ever as you ascend more heights will
appear, and it is doubtful if we shall ever attain the absolute in
respect of these qualities.[A] Our joy will be the joy of approximating
them, of attaining unto ever increasing excellence, without attaining
the absolute. It will be the joy of eternal progress. Something too
much of this. Let me hasten to a word in conclusion.

[Footnote A: Since the above discourse was delivered I have read the
following in the "Hibbert Journal" for April, 1907; and I feel that the
though is too well expressed to omit the quotation of it here:

    "A certain orientation is a necessary condition of fruitful
    research: we must be sure of the direction even if we cannot see
    the goal. Thus, as Laberthonniere says, there is a sense in which
    those only can truly seek who have already found. "Let us, then
    seek as they seek who have to find, and let us find as they find
    who still have to seek; for it is said: 'The man who has arrived
    at the goal is but at the beginning.'" [St. Augustine] He then
    who thus conceives of religion will rid himself of that fallacy
    of finality, and all that narrowness of vision and pettiness of
    mind aptly described by the French writer as the tradition of the
    little books that make God little, which vitiates popular religious
    belief in the eyes of those who know enough to know how little
    can be known. * * * Because the subject matter of religion is
    Infinite we must look for no finality in religious ideas. Sure of
    the direction, let us not delude ourselves by fancying we can see
    the goal; our goal is but a beginning, as we find but to seek the

I would like to come very near to you, if you will permit it, in
a heart to heart talk. I would like to stand in the relationship
of an elder brother to you young men and young women of Israel for
a few moments; as a brother whose opportunities in the matter of
investigating Mormonism have been rather exceptional, on account of
the lines of work I have followed. The books I have written have led
me into a very close investigation of original documents respecting
Mormonism. Very much of the private correspondence between President
Brigham Young and President John Taylor happened to pass through my
hands, while engaged in writing the biography of the latter. I have had
the opportunity of consulting the private journals kept by these and
other leading brethren of the Church, in which I have read utterances
they never expected to see daylight. Documents wherein they recorded
the secret things of their hearts, and their convictions concerning
the work of God. I gathered much comfort, and have been strengthened
in my own faith by finding these men perfectly honest in thought and
word respecting the work of God. Their most private utterances were in
perfect harmony with the things which they proclaimed publicly. In this
respect I have found them pure gold. I speak of this not to boast, but
in order that I may remind you of the simple fact that I have had these
exceptional opportunities of investigating Mormonism, not from public
utterances alone, but from behind the scenes, so to speak, where the
skeletons would have appeared if there were skeletons in existence.
And now, in the presence of these facts, and this opportunity afforded
me, I want to say to you, my young brethren and sisters, that God has
spoken in this age in which we live. He has revealed himself to the
children of men, and has communicated a message to the world in what
is called Mormonism. The book of Mormon is true. The great revelations
that underlie this latter day work are true. The revelations concerning
the nature of God and man, in the Doctrine and Covenants, the
revelations out of which has grown this organization which we call the
Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, are verities.

Now, following this testimony, I want to warn you against speaking
lightly or slightingly of sacred things, or of the servants of God.
In nothing, perhaps, can you more offend God or grieve his Spirit.
Have nothing to do, I pray you, with "smart" quips against the truth,
however respectable their origin, or however popular or catchy their
phraseology. I pray you give them no lodgment in your hearts. Remember
we live under the law of God.--Speak no evil of mine anointed; do my
prophets no harm. And remember always that whatever the weaknesses and
the imperfections of men may be, whatever weaknesses they may have
manifested before the Church in the past, or may manifest before it in
the future (for the end is not yet), their weaknesses and imperfections
affect not the truth that God has revealed. The Lord will vindicate his
truth, and at the last it will be found that

  "'Tis no avail to bargain, sneer, and nod,
  And shrug the shoulder for reply to God."

Remember also that ridicule is not argument; that a sneer, though it
may not be susceptible of an answer, is no refutation of the truth;
that though profane ribaldry may provoke a passing merriment, the
profaner's "laugh is a poor exchange for Deity offended." I therefore
admonish you, as a friend and brother, to stand aloof from all these
things. Hold as sacred the truths of God; and hold in highest esteem,
as indeed you may, those whom God has appointed to be his prophets,
apostles and servants.


Transcriber's Note

Some apparent printer's errors have been silently corrected as seemed

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