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´╗┐Title: Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Volume 2 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.

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(http://mormontextsproject.org), with thanks to Trevor






"The Gospel"

"Outlines of Ecclesiastical History"

"New Witness for God"

"Mormon Doctrine of Deity"

Etc., Etc.


Salt Lake City



No word of Preface is necessary to this Volume, except to say that
in presenting it to his readers, the author feels that that he is
fulfilling a promise made to them when Volume I of the series was

A word of explanation will be found as an introduction to each
subdivision of the book, which excludes the necessity of making any
reference to such subdivisions in this General Forward.


Salt Lake City, January, 1912.



Part I.


Schroeder-Roberts' Debate.


The Appearing of Moroni.

The Book of Mormon.

Description of the Nephite Record.


By Theodore Schroeder.


Solomon Spaulding and his first manuscript.

Spaulding's rewritten manuscript.

Erroneous theories examined.


How about Sidney Rigdon?

Rigdon's prior religious dishonesty.

Rigdon had opportunity to steal the manuscript.

Rigdon's only denial analyzed.

Rigdon and Lambdin in 1815.

Rigdon exhibits Spaulding's manuscript.

Rigdon foreknows the coming and contents of the Book of Mormon.


From Rigdon to Smith via P. P. Pratt.

Rigdon visits Smith before Mormonism.

The conversion of Parley P. Pratt.

Rigdon's miraculous conversion.

The plagiarism clinched.


For the love of gold, not God.

Concluding comment.


By Brigham H. Roberts.


Justifications for replying to Mr. Schroeder.

Preliminary considerations.

Various classes of witnesses.

Conflicting theories of origin.

Mr. Schroeder's statement of his case.

The facts of the Spaulding manuscript.

The task of the present writer.

The enemies of the Prophet.

"Dr." Philastus Hurlburt.

Rev. Adamson Bently, et al.


The "second" Spaulding manuscript.

The failure of Howe's book.

The Conneaut witnesses.

E. D. Howe discredited as a witness.

The Davidson statement.

Alleged statement of Mrs. Davidson, formerly the wife of Solomon

The Haven-Davidson interview.

Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson's repudiation of the Davidson statement.

Reverend John A. Clark and the Davidson statement.

Mutilation of the Haven-Davidson interview.

Mr. Schroeder and the Davidson statement.

Why Mr. Schroeder discredits the Spaulding witnesses.


The connection of Sidney Rigdon with the Spaulding manuscript.

Of Rigdon's alleged "religious dishonesty."

Rigdon's opportunity to steal Spaulding's manuscript.

Did Rigdon exhibit the Spaulding manuscript.

Did Rigdon foreknown the coming and contents of the Book of Mormon?

Alexander Campbell and the Book of Mormon in 1831.


"The Angel of the Prairies."

The supposed meetings of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon before the
publication of the Book of Mormon.

Of the conversion of Pratt and Rigdon.

The denials of Rigdon.

The real origin of the Spaulding theory.

The motive for publishing the Book of Mormon.

Concluding remarks.

Part II.





By the Presidency of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the world.



By the Ministerial Association.





By B. H. Roberts.



Part III.





Joseph Smith's first vision.

"Creeds are an abomination."

God's first message confirmed.

Reform in Protestantism.

What Mormonism affirms.

Immortality of man.



I. Men the Avatars of God.

II. The Existence of a Plurality of Divine Intelligences--Gods.

Part IV.





People judged by their laws.

The calling of Sidney Rigdon.

A few days with the Prophet--Prayerfulness.

Woman's place in Mormonism.

God's Herald of the Resurrection and Human Brotherhood--Woman.

Unjust criticism answered.

By their works they shall be judged.



Catholic belief.

Faith in the Godhead.

Erroneous reports.

Revelation quoted.

Belief in revelation.

Inspired utterances.

Revealed word.

God's word is Truth.

Testimony borne.



Divine things misjudged.

Marvelous work and a wonder.

The New Jerusalem.

Restoration of Israel.

Lost tribes in the north.

Israel now gathering.

Purposes of God will not fail.




Mormon view of the universe.

Philosophy of Mormonism.

Source of moral evil.

The place and mission of Christ in Mormon doctrine.



The blessedness of peace.

The God of Battles.

Justice the basis of peace.




The miracle of American achievements.

The inspiration of the founders of the American Constitution.

The unique things in American government.

Part I.

Origin of the Book of Mormon.


Published with the consent and by courtesy of the National American

David I. Nelke, President.


The following debate on the "Origin of the Book of Mormon," came about
in the following manner: The writer saw in the _Salt Lake Tribune_ two
numbers of Mr. Schroeder's article and observing the general trend
of the argument felt that a prompt reply should appear in the same
publication, that it might be read by the same people who would read
Mr. Schroeder's article. A letter was accordingly addressed to the
_Tribune,_ to ascertain if that paper would publish a reply to Mr.
Schroeder. The Editor answered that the _Tribune_ was reproducing the
article from the _American Historical Magazine,_ published in New York,
and that perhaps its publishers would be pleased to receive a reply to
Mr. Schroeder. If the publishers of the _Historical Magazine_ accepted
such an article, the _Tribune_ would then be willing to reproduce it,
if the _Deseret News,_ the Mormon Church organ, would agree to publish
Mr. Schroeder's article.

This suggested a too complicated arrangement to suit the writer, hence
he dropped the matter with the _Tribune,_ and took it up with the
publishers of the _American Historical Magazine,_ who gave place to his
answer to Mr. Schroeder in current numbers of that publication, 1908-9.
And the writer has heard nothing from the _Tribune_ or Mr. Schroeder

At the conclusion of the article on the "Origin of the Book of Mormon,"
the _Historical Magazine Company,_ Mr. David I. Nelke, President,
announced their willingness to publish in _Americana,_--which in the
meantime had succeeded the _American Historical Magazine_ a detailed
history of the "Mormon Church," if the writer would prepare it.

The History has been running in _Americana_ now for more than two and
a half years, and will continue until the History of the Church is
completed up to date.

    *    *    *    *    *    *

And now a word as to the origin of the Book of Mormon before presenting
the discussion. It will be an advantage to the reader if he has before
him Joseph Smith's account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. For our
present purpose the account the Prophet gives in his statement to Mr.
John Wentworth, of Chicago, of the origin of the Book of Mormon is,
on account of its brevity and comprehensiveness, most suitable. After
detailing the events of his first vision, received in the Spring of
1820, and the intervening three years, the Prophet comes to the Book of
Mormon part of his narrative:


    "On the evening of the 21st of September, A. D. 1823, while I was
    praying unto God and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious
    promises of scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only
    of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst
    into the room,--indeed the first sight was as though the house was
    filled with consuming fire; the appearance producing a shock that
    affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me
    surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was
    already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an
    angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant
    which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled;
    that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was
    speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in
    all its fulness to be preached in power unto all nations, that a
    people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed
    that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring
    about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.


    "I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this
    country and shown who they were, and whence they came; a brief
    sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments;
    of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God
    being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known to
    me; I was also told where were deposited some plates on which were
    engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that
    had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times
    the same night and unfolded the same things. After having received
    many visits from the angels of God unfolding the majesty and glory
    of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the
    morning of the 22d of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord
    delivered the records into my hands.


    "These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance
    of gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long,
    and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with
    engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume
    as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the
    whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a
    part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were
    small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many
    marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art
    of engraving. With the records was found a curious instrument,
    which the ancients called 'Urim and Thummim,' which consisted
    of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to
    a breastplate. Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I
    translated the record by the gift and power of God.

    "In this important and interesting book the history of ancient
    America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that
    came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages, to
    the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are
    informed by these records that America in ancient times had been
    inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first was called
    Jaredites and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second
    race came directly from the City of Jerusalem, about six hundred
    years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the
    descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time
    that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the
    inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race
    fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century [A.D.].
    The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This
    book also tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this
    continent after His resurrection; that He planted the gospel here
    in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that
    they had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists;
    the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances,
    gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the Eastern
    continent; that the people were cut off in consequence of their
    transgressions; that the last of their prophets who existed among
    them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies,
    history, etc., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should
    come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of
    the purposes of God in the last days."

The book issued from the press sometime in the month of March, 1830. [A]

[Footnote A: For a more detailed account of the origin of the Book of
Mormon, see the writer's work, "New Witnesses for God," Vol. II, chs.
iv and viii.]

From the first appearance of Joseph Smith's account of the origin
of the Book of Mormon, there was felt the need of a counter theory
of origin. The first to respond to this "felt" need was Alexander
Campbell, founder of the "Disciples" or "Christian" Church. He
assigned the book's origin straight to Joseph Smith, whom he accused
of conscious fraud in "foisting it upon the public as a revelation."
This in 1831. Then came the Spaulding theory of origin by Hurlburt,
Howe, _et al.,_ 1834; for which Mr. Campbell repudiated his first
theory of the Joseph Smith authorship. In 1899 Lily Dougall in "The
Mormon Prophet," advanced her theory of the Prophet's "self delusion,"
"by the automatic freaks of a vigorous but undisciplined brain." This
was supplemented in 1902 by Mr. I. Woodbridge Riley's theory of "pure
hallucination, honestly mistaken for inspired vision; with partly
conscious and partly unconscious hypnotic powers over others." [B]

[Footnote B: Both the Dougall and Riley theories are considered in Vol.
I. of _Defense of the Faith and the Saints_, pp. 42-62; and the older
theories of the origin in _New Witness for God_, Vol. III, chas. xliv,

Mr. Schroeder, however, will have none of these later theories; and
although the finding of the Rev. Mr. Spauldings' "Manuscript Found,"
by Professor Fairchild of Oberlin College, in 1884--details of which
are given in the debate gave a serious set back to that theory, Mr.
Schroeder deems the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of
Mormon the only tenable counter theory advanced, and assuming the
existence of another Spaulding manuscript _not found,_ and not likely
to be found, he proceeds with his argument; to which I make answer,
with what success the reader must judge.


Salt Lake City, October, 1911.




Every complete, critical discussion of the divine origin of the Book
of Mormon naturally divides itself into three parts:--first, an
examination as to the sufficiency of the evidence adduced in support
of its miraculous and divine origin; second, an examination of the
internal evidences of its origin, [1] such as its verbiage, its alleged
history, chronology, archaeology, etc.; third, an accounting for its
existence by purely human agency and upon a rational basis, remembering
that Joseph Smith, the nominal founder and first prophet of Mormonism,
was probably too ignorant to have produced the whole volume unaided.
Under the last head, two theories have been advocated by non-Mormons.
By one of these, conscious fraud has been imputed to Smith, and by the
other, psychic mysteries have been explored [2] in an effort to supplant
the conscious fraud by an unconscious self-deception.

[Footnote 1: Valuable contributions to this study are Lamb's "Golden
Bible" and a pamphlet by Lamoni Call classifying two thousand
corrections in the inspired grammar of the first edition of the Book of

[Footnote 2: The best effort along this line is Riley's "The Founder of
Mormonism." To me the conclusions are very unsatisfactory, because so
many material considerations were overlooked by that author.]

In 1834, four years after its first appearance, an effort was made to
show that the Book of Mormon was a plagiarism from an unpublished novel
of Solomon Spaulding. For a long time this seemed the accepted theory
of all non-Mormons. In the past fifteen years, apparently following
in the lead of President Fairchild of Oberlin College, [3] all but
two of the numerous writers upon the subject have asserted that the
theory of the Spaulding manuscript origin of the Book of Mormon must be
abandoned, and Mormons assert that only fools and knaves still profess
belief in it. [4] With these last conclusions I am compelled to disagree.

[Footnote 3: President Fairchild, in the New York _Observer_ for
February 5, 1885, that being immediately after his discovery of the
Oberlin Manuscript, says: "The theory of the origin of the Book of
Mormon in the traditional manuscript of Solomon Spaulding will probably
have to be relinquished. * * * Mr. Rice, myself, and others compared it
with the Book of Mormon, and could detect no resemblance between the
two in general or detail. * * * Some other explanation of the origin
of the Book of Mormon must be found, if an explanation is required."
(Reproduced in Whitney's "History of Utah," 56. Talmage's "Articles of
Faith," 278.)

Ten years later Mr. Fairchild is not so brash in assuming the Oberlin
Manuscript to be the only Spaulding Manuscript, and he certifies
only that the Oberlin Manuscript "is not the original of the Book
of Mormon." (Letter dated Oct. 17, 1895, published in vol. lx.,
_Millennial Star,_ p. 697, Nov. 3, 1898. Talmage's "Articles of Faith,"

_Fairchild's Latest Statement._--In 1900 President Fairchild wrote the
Rev. J. D. Nutting as follows:

"With regard to the manuscript of Mr. Spaulding now in the library of
Oberlin College, I have never stated, and know of no one who can state,
that it is the only manuscript which Spaulding wrote, or that it is
certainly the one which has been supposed to be the original of the
Book of Mormon. The discovery of this MS. does not prove that there may
not have been another, which became the basis of the Book of Mormon.
The use which has been made of statements emanating from me as implying
the contrary of the above is entirely unwarranted.


[Footnote 4: The _Deseret News_ editorially says this on July 19, 1900:
"The discovery of the manuscript written by Mr. Spaulding, and its
deposit in the library at Oberlin College, O., * * * has so completely
demolished the theory once relied upon by superficial minds that the
Book of Mormon was concocted from that manuscript, that it has been
entirely abandoned by all opponents of Mormonism except the densely
ignorant or unscrupulously dishonest."

And this on May 14, 1901:

"It is only the densely ignorant, the totally depraved and clergymen of
different denominations afflicted with anti-Mormon rabies who still use
the Spaulding story to account for the origin of the Book of Mormon."]

In setting forth my convictions and the reasons for them, I have
undertaken nothing entirely new, but have only assigned myself the task
of establishing as an historical fact what is now an abandoned and
almost forgotten theory. This will be done by marshaling in its support
a more complete array of the old evidences than has been heretofore
made and the addition of new circumstantial evidence not heretofore
used in this connection.

It will be shown that Solomon Spaulding was much interested in American
antiquities; that he wrote a novel entitled the "Manuscript Found," in
which he attempted to account for the existence of the American Indian
by giving him an Israelitish origin; that the first incomplete outline
of this story, with many features peculiar to itself and the Book of
Mormon, is now in the library of Oberlin College, and that while the
story as rewritten was in the hands of a prospective publisher, it
was stolen from the office under circumstances which caused Sidney
Rigdon, of early Mormon fame, to be suspected as the thief; that
later Rigdon, on two occasions, exhibited a similar manuscript which
in one instance he declared had been written by Spaulding and left
with a printer for publication. It will be shown further that Rigdon
had opportunity to steal the manuscript and that he foreknew the
forthcoming and the contents of the Book of Mormon; that through Parley
P. Pratt, later one of the first Mormon apostles, a plain and certain
connection is traced between Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, and that
they were friends between 1827 and 1830. To all this will be added very
conclusive evidence of the identity of the distinguished features of
Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" and the Book of Mormon. These facts,
coupled with Smith's admitted intellectual incapacity for producing the
book unaided, will close the argument upon this branch of the question,
and it is hoped will convince all not in the meshes of Mormonism that
the Book of Mormon is a plagiarism. To those Mormons whose minds are
untainted by mysticism, who have the intelligence to weigh evidence
and the courage to proclaim convictions opposed to accepted church
theories--to such Mormons, though not convinced that the evidence here
reviewed amounts to a demonstration, it must be that this essay will
yet furnish even to them a more believable and more probable theory of
the origin of the Book of Mormon than the one which involves a belief
in undemonstrable miracles as well as matters entirely outside of all
other experience of sane humans. Certainly the theory here advanced
requires for its belief the acceptance of less of improbable assumption
than does any other explanation offered. With this statement of what
it is expected to accomplish we may proceed to review the evidence in


Solomon Spaulding was born in 1761 at Ashford, Conn., graduated from
Dartmouth in 1785, graduated in theology in 1787, and became an obscure
preacher. The fact that Spaulding had become an infidel, [5] that in
rewriting the first outline of his story he adopted, as he said, "the
old Scripture style" to make it seem more ancient, [6] and the further
fact that he told at least four persons at different times that his
story would some day be accepted as veritable history [7]--all of these,
combined with the peculiar product, tend to show that one motive for
the writing of this supposed novel may have been the author's desire
to burlesque the Bible and furnish a practical demonstration of the
gullibility of the masses.

[Footnote 5: See Addendum to Spaulding Manuscript at Oberlin College
and Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 288.]

[Footnote 6: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 288.]

[Footnote 7: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 283, 4, 6, 7.]

While at Dartmouth College, Spaulding had as a classmate the
subsequently famous imposter and criminal, Stephen Burroughs, [8] which
fact furnishes interesting material for reflection as to how far the
subsequent ill fame of Burroughs, coupled with personal acquaintance,
may have operated in Spaulding as a fruitful suggestion inducing this
labor as a means of securing fortune through fraud. If Spaulding
did not see the possibility of a new and profitable religion in his
"Manuscript Found," then he was more short-sighted than was a nephew
of his named King. This nephew told one Hale, a schoolteacher, of his
belief that he could start a new religion out of this novel and make
money thereby, at the same time briefly outlining a plan very similar
to the one long afterward adopted by Smith, Rigdon and Company. If we
can place any confidence in the report of an interview between a Mormon
"elder" and a nephew of Solomon Spaulding, then it would appear that
in the opinion of the latter's brother Solomon Spaulding was not a man
who would be, by conscientious scruples, deterred from practicing such
a fraud, if believed profitable. [10] Be that as it may, Spaulding did
hope by the sale of his literary production to make sufficient money to
enable him to pay his debts. [11]

[Footnote 8: "Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs," p. 26, ed. of 1811, shows
Burroughs to have entered Dartmouth in 1781, which must have been
Spaulding's date of entry, he having graduated in 1785.]

[Footnote 9: "New Light on Mormonism," 261.]

[Footnote 10: xxxv. _Saints' Herald_, 820.]

[Footnote 11: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 285.]

In 1809 Solomon Spaulding and Henry Lake built and conducted a forge at
Salem (now Conneaut), O., where, in 1812, the former made his second
business failure. [12]

[Footnote 12: "Prophet of Palmyra," 443; Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled,"
279 and 282; "New Light on Mormonism," 13.]

Spaulding, being an invalid, possessed of a good education and habits
of study, naturally took to literary work, which he probably commenced
soon after 1809, [13] and continued until his death in October, 1816.
During this seven years he seems to have written several other
manuscripts [14] besides the two with which we are directly concerned.

[Footnote 13: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 279; "New Light on
Mormonism," 13-14.]

[Footnote 14: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 285; "New Light on
Mormonism," 20.]

Necessarily Spaulding's surroundings gave some direction to the course
of his literary efforts. Environed as he was in a country where once
dwelt the mound-builders, and having himself caused one of the mounds
to be opened, with the resulting discovery of bones and relics of a
supposedly prehistoric civilization, [15] like thousands before him,
he was led to speculate upon the character of that civilization and
the origin of those ancient peoples. Josiah Priest, in his "Wonders of
Nature and Providence" (1824), quotes over forty authors, half of whom
are Americans, and all of whom, prior to 1824, advocated an Israelitish
origin of the American Indian. Some of these dated as far back as
Clavigaro, a Catholic priest in the seventeenth century.

[Footnote 15: "New Light on Mormonism," 14.]

In Spaulding's first writing of his manuscript story, he pretended to
find a roll of parchment in a stone box within a cave. In the Latin
language, this contained an account of a party of Roman sea voyagers,
who, in the time of Constantine, were, by storms, drifted ashore on
the American continent. One of their number left this record of their
travels, of Indian wars and customs, which record Spaulding pretends to
have found and to translate. [16] How that resembles a synopsis of the
Book of Mormon!

[Footnote 16: "The Manuscript Found." For Howe's synopsis see
"Mormonism Unveiled," 288. Whitney's "History of Utah," 49-51.]

In 1834, when E. D. Howe had in preparation his book, "Mormonism
Unveiled," wherein the Spaulding story was first exploited, this first
manuscript was given by Spaulding's family to D. P. Hurlburt, the agent
of Howe. The Spaulding family, without having made any examination
whatever of the papers delivered to Hurlburt, seem always to have
believed, [17] though without any evidence, that he received and sold
to the Mormons the rewritten story entitled "Manuscript Found," which
will be more fully discussed hereafter. From Howe this first manuscript
story went into the possession of one L. L. Rice, who bought out Howe's
business, and later, with other effects of Rice's, it was shipped to
Honolulu, and there, in 1884, accidentally discovered by President
James H. Fairchild of Oberlin College. [18] This manuscript is now in
the Oberlin library, and has been published by two of the Mormon sects
as being a refutation of the Spaulding origin of the Book of Mormon. It
can be such refutation only to those who mistake it for another story.
Howe, in 1834, published a fair synopsis of the manuscript now at
Oberlin [19] and submitted the original to the witnesses who testified
to the many points of identity between Spaulding's "Manuscript Found"
and the Book of Mormon. These witnesses then (in 1834) recognized the
manuscript, secured by Hurlburt and now at Oberlin, as being one of
Spaulding's, but not the one which they asserted was similar to the
Book of Mormon. They further said that Spaulding had told them that he
had altered his original plan of writing by going farther back with his
dates and writing in the old Scripture style, in order that his story
might appear more ancient. [20]

[Footnote 17: "New Light on Mormonism," by Mrs. Ellen F. Dickinson.]

[Footnote 18: Publisher's Preface to "The Manuscript Found," p. iv.
_Deseret News_, 1886; Whitney's "History of Utah," p. 49; Talmage's
"Articles of Faith," 278-9.]

[Footnote 19: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 288; Whitney's "History of
Utah," 49.]

[Footnote 20: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 288.]

According to many witnesses, the re-written "Manuscript Found" (like
the Book of Mormon) was an attempt at imitating the literary style of
the Bible. So was the manuscript submitted to Patterson, according to
his own statement. [21] No such indications are found in the Oberlin
manuscript, which further evidences that it is not the manuscript of
which the witnesses testified, and which Patterson says was submitted
to him. The Oberlin manuscript also furnishes internal evidences of
an improbability that it was ever submitted to a publisher by any man
as sane and well educated as was Spaulding. The plot of the story is
incomplete, and the manuscript is full of interlineations, alterations,
careless or phonetic spelling, and misused capital letters. These are
all easily explainable consistently with Spaulding's erudition, if
we view the manuscript as a hasty and careless blocking out of his
literary work, but it is not in such a condition as would make him
willing to submit it to a publisher.

[Footnote 21: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," by John E.
Page, 7; "Who wrote the Book of Mormon?" 7; "Mormonism Exposed," by

If we bear in mind that from the beginning it was asserted that this
manuscript now at Oberlin was not the one from which the Book of Mormon
was alleged to have been plagiarized, then President Fairchild's
conclusion that it disproves such plagiarism of course becomes absurd
and only demonstrates his ignorance of the early testimony upon
which was asserted the connection of the Book of Mormon and another
manuscript. This also disposes of the Mormon argument most frequently
urged against the theory here advocated.

Either through like ignorance of the evidence of 1834 that this was not
the manuscript then being testified about, or through a willingness to
play upon the ignorance of others, the two leading sects of Mormons
have published this first manuscript as a refutation of a theory which
no one ever advocated, viz.: That the manuscript now at Oberlin was
the thing from which Smith _et al._ plagiarized the Book of Mormon. In
my judgment, the publication of this first incomplete manuscript story
furnishes additional evidence that the rewritten story did constitute
the foundation of the Book of Mormon. When we remember what was said
in 1834 as to the character of changes made in rewriting, and that
the rewritten story was revamped by Smith, Rigdon and Company, we are
astonished at the number of similarities retained; as, for instance,
the finding of the story in a stone box, its translation into English,
the attempt to account for a portion of the population of this
continent, the wars of extermination of two factions, the impossible
slaughters of primitive warfare, and the physically impossible armies
which were gathered without modern facilities of either transportation
or the furnishing of supplies--the fact that after two rewritings, the
second being by new authors, there should remain these very unusual
features, makes the discovery and publication of this first manuscript
only an additional evidence that the second one did furnish the basis
of the Book of Mormon.

By always remembering these separate manuscripts and their different
histories, much seeming conflict of evidence can be explained, mistaken
conclusions accounted for, and confusion avoided. The Mormons, in
their publication of this first manuscript story, have labeled it
"The Manuscript Found," though no such title is discoverable anywhere
upon or in the body of the manuscript in the Oberlin library. [22] The
evident purpose of this is to further confound that first story with
the second or rewritten manuscript which it will be demonstrated really
was used in constructing the Book of Mormon, and which manuscript
the witnesses to be hereafter introduced described by that title.
Having traced to its final resting-place at Oberlin College the first
manuscript story, which had no direct connection with the Book of
Mormon and never was claimed to have such, let us now, if we can, trace
into the Book of Mormon Spaulding's rewritten story, entitled "The
Manuscript Found."

[Footnote 22: xxxv. _Saints' Herald,_ 130; "Prophet of Palmyra," 459.]


Spaulding commenced his writing about 1809, changing his plans while
still at Conneaut, that is, prior to 1812, [23] at which later date the
rewritten story of "The Manuscript Found" was still incomplete. [24]
In 1812 Spaulding borrowed some money with which to go to Pittsburg,
hoping there to get his novel published and thus make it possible
for him to pay his debts. [25] In Pittsburg Spaulding submitted his
manuscript to one Robert Patterson, then engaged in the publishing
business. [26] The exact date is not known but it is probable almost to
certainty that Spaulding would do this immediately upon his arrival
in Pittsburg in 1812, since that was one of his definite purposes in
going there. Spaulding's widow is reported as saying: "At length the
manuscript was returned to the author, and soon after we removed to
Amity, Washington County, Pa." [27] The return of the manuscript before
1814, the date of the removal to Amity, is made additionally certain
by the testimony of Redick McKee [28] and Joseph Miller. [29] This
additional evidence, especially that of the latter, makes it plain that
Spaulding had his rewritten manuscript at Amity, thus demonstrating its
return to Spaulding before the latter's removal from Pittsburg. The
evidences of identity between the manuscript testified about as being
at Amity, and Spaulding's rewritten story, leave no doubt. The review
of this evidence of identity will be postponed until we come to review
the other evidences of identity between "The Manuscript Found" and the
Book of Mormon.

[Footnote 23: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 288.]

[Footnote 24: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 283.]

[Footnote 25: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 282-3.]

[Footnote 26: "New Light on Mormonism," 16-17; "History of the
Mormons," 43; "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 7.]

[Footnote 27: "Gleanings by the Way," 252; "Mormons' Own Book," 29;
"Prophet of Palmyra," 419; "History of the Mormons," 43.]

[Footnote 28: Washington (Pa.) _Reporter_ of April 21, 1869; "Who Wrote
the Book of Mormon?" 6.]

It is said that Patterson returned the manuscript to Spaulding with
the advice to "polish it up, finish it, and you will make money out
of it." [30] On behalf of Patterson it has been said that he directed
its return unless the author would furnish ample security to guarantee
the expense of publishing, which we can readily believe to have been
impossible to the impecunious Spaulding. [31]

[Footnote 30: "New Light on Mormonism," 238; _Magazine American
History,_ June, 1882; _Scribner's Monthly,_ August, 1880; "Prophet of
Palmyra," 423.]

[Footnote 31: "Mormonism Exposed," by Williams, 16; "Prophet of
Palmyra," 455; "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," by John E.
Page, 7.]

After residing in Pittsburg two years, [32] the Spauldings moved to
Amity in Washington County, Pa., where Solomon Spaulding and his
returned "Manuscript Found" again became the center of attraction
among the commonplace neighborhood listeners, who did their loafing
about the Spaulding tavern. [33] Here the story was polished and
finished, [34] and from Amity Spaulding again journeyed to Pittsburg,
in the hope in the second attempt of securing the publication of his
story, "The Manuscript Found." [35] Spaulding's widow and daughter
assert that at one time Patterson advised Spaulding "to make out a
title-page and preface." [36] That remark would seem most likely to
have been made after the finishing of the story, and I therefore feel
justified in believing it to have been made after the second submission
of the manuscript. Mrs. Spaulding-Davidson says this request was
never complied with, but for reasons which are unknown to her. In the
light of evidence to be hereafter reviewed, we are justified in an
inference that one of the causes was a theft of the manuscript from the
publisher's office, followed, perhaps, within a few weeks or months, by
the death of Spaulding, which occurred in October, 1816.

[Footnote 32: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 287; "Who Wrote the Book of
Mormon?" 7.]

[Footnote 33: "Prophet of Palmyra," 441, 442.]

[Footnote 34: Reddick McKee in Washington (Pa.) _Reporter_, April 12,
1869; "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 6.]

[Footnote 35: "Prophet of Palmyra," 442-55.]

[Footnote 36: "Prophet of Palmyra," 419-42; iii. _Millennial
Harbinger_, about May 1839; Boston _Recorder_ during May 1839;
"Mormons' Own Book," 29.]


It has been a theory among some that Joseph Smith himself secured the
Spaulding manuscript from the house of William H. Sabine of Onondaga
Valley, N.Y., for whom Smith worked as a teamster in 1823. [37]
According to another theory, Sidney Rigdon, while the "Manuscript
Found" was at the printing office, copied it, the original being
returned to Spaulding. A third theory supposes Smith to have copied
it while working for Sabine about 1823, leaving the original there. A
fourth theory makes Spaulding copy his story for the publisher while
keeping the duplicate at home to be afterward cared for by the family.
Under all of these theories, the original of Spaulding's rewritten
story was delivered in 1833 to D. P. Hurlburt to be used by E. D. Howe
in his then forthcoming book, "Mormonism Unveiled," but, according
to the Spaulding family, was by Hurlburt sold to the Mormons, and,
according to the Mormons, destroyed by Hurlburt because wholly unlike
the Book of Mormon. These theories can claim for themselves no greater
weight than that, in the opinion of their several non-Mormon advocates,
they furnish a possible explanation as to the connecting link between
Spaulding and Smith, but upon all essentials, except one, are without
any evidence which involves the conclusion deduced from it, and not one
of these theories is necessary as an explanation for the established
facts. The one element which has direct evidence in its support is the
allegation that Spaulding's rewritten story of the "Manuscript Found"
was, after Spaulding's death, in the possession of his widow. That
allegation rests upon the following statement of Spaulding's daughter,
Mrs. McKinstry, and the family belief in it without any additional
evidence upon which to base that belief. She says:

[Footnote 37: "Hand Book on Mormonism," 3; "Braden-Kelly Debate," 47 and

    "In 1816 my father died at Amity, Pa, and directly after his death
    my mother and myself went to visit my mother's brother, William H.
    Sabine, at Onondaga Valley, Onondaga County, N Y. * * * We carried
    our personal effects with us, and one of these was an old trunk in
    which my mother had placed my father's writings, which had been
    preserved. I perfectly remember the appearance of this trunk, and
    of looking at its contents. There were sermons and other papers,
    and I saw a manuscript about an inch thick, closely written, tied
    with some of the stories my father had written for me, one of which
    he called the 'Frogs of Wyndham,' On the outside of this manuscript
    were written the words, 'Manuscript Found.' I did not read it,
    but looked through it and had it in my hands many times and saw
    the names I had heard at Conneaut when my father read it to his
    friends. I was about eleven years old at this time." [38]

[Footnote 38: "New Light on Mormonism," 238; _Magazine of American
History,_ June, 1882; _Scribner's Monthly,_ August, 1880.]

The trunk remained at Sabine's until some time soon after 1820, [39]
while in 1823 Smith is said to have worked for Sabine as a teamster,
and almost certainly heard Spaulding's stories discussed as a matter
of family history. If the rewritten story of Spaulding's "Manuscript
Found" had been in the trunk at Sabine's while Smith worked there,
which is doubtful, he might have stolen it or copied it, though the
latter is made almost impossible by Smith's inability to write, [40] and
by his youth.

[Footnote 40: ii _Journal of Discourses,_ 197.]

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that it has been established that
the Book of Mormon is a plagiarism from 'Spaulding's rewritten story,
then we may still doubt that any of the above theories have sufficient
evidence to warrant their acceptance as established facts. These
various theories were all invented because of a supposed necessity of
accounting for the alleged presence of the rewritten "Manuscript Found"
in the trunk at Sabine's house after 1816, the date of Spaulding's
death. If the "Manuscript Found" was never there, the theories
constructed to explain that fact must fall.

That the first outline of the story which is now at Oberlin was then
in the trunk is certain, because Hurlburt, in 1834, found it there.
It is even possible that this first manuscript may at some time have
been labeled "Manuscript Found." But was the rewritten story ever in
the trunk at Sabine's? If not, Smith could neither have stolen it
nor copied it, and, if never there, or if stolen by Smith, Hurlburt
could not have secured the rewritten manuscript and sold it to the
Mormons, as it has been charged he did do, while he gave only the first
manuscript to Howe, by whom he was employed to secure another. It may
not be amiss to here state that Howe never doubted Hurlburt's fidelity
in this matter. [41]

[Footnote 41: Under date of September 12, 1879, E.D. Howe wrote to
R. Patterson saying, "I am very certain he (Hurlburt) never had any
Manuscript Found to sell to anybody. Whatever Mormons may say, I think
Hurlburt was perfectly honest in all his transactions here." (Taken
from a copy of the letter furnished by Patterson in his History of
Washington County, Pa.)]

The great preponderance of the evidence is against the allegation
that the second manuscript was ever in the trunk at Sabine's. Mrs.
McKinstry's evidence does not establish the identity of Spaulding's
rewritten "Manuscript Found" and the trunk manuscript. Such assertion
of identity is contradicted by that more satisfactory evidence to be
hereafter reviewed, and which shows that the rewritten manuscript
was stolen from the printing office before Spaulding's death; that
the latter suspected Rigdon of being the thief; the possession by
Rigdon of some such manuscript, and which, on one occasion, he
said had been written by Spaulding; Rigdon's advance knowledge of
the forthcoming Book of Mormon and his sudden conversion after its
appearance, and coupled with a very plain connection between Rigdon and
Smith through Parley P. Pratt as intermediary. These conclusions and
much of the evidence upon which they are based will contradict Mrs.
McKinstry's statement, if she meant by it to assert that the Sabine
trunk manuscript contained the names "Mormon," "Moroni," "Lamanite,"
and "Nephi," which names, it will be shown, occur in and only in the
rewritten manuscript and the Book of Mormon.

In determining what weight to give to Mrs. McKinstry's statement as to
the contents of the trunk manuscript, several important facts must be
kept in mind. Mrs. McKinstry made this statement in 1880, when she was
seventy-four years of age. Her father died in October, 1816, very soon
after she and the trunk went to Sabine's at Hartwick, Onondaga County,
N.Y., and there she "many times" had it in her hand. At the earliest
date this must have been in the fore part of 1817, and she tells us
that she was about eleven years old at this time. If, in 1817, she
was eleven years old, then, in 1812, when she, with her parents, left
Conneaut for Pittsburg, she could not have exceeded six years of age.
At the age of seventy-four Mrs. McKinstry testified that when she was
eleven years old she looked through, but did not read, a manuscript,
yet saw the names she heard her father read at Conneaut, between 1810
and 1812, when she was from four to six years old. That this woman, at
seventy-four, should remember strange names, casually repeated in her
presence, before her sixth year, and those names wholly unrelated to
anything of direct consequence to her child life, is a feat of memory
too extraordinary to give her uncorroborated statement any weight, as
against valid contradictory conclusions drawn from established facts.

From 1834, when this alleged plagiarism was first publicly charged,
until the giving of Mrs. McKinstry's evidence in 1880, it had
necessarily been a matter of frequent discussion in the family circle
that the Book of Mormon was a plagiarism from her father's "Manuscript
Found," and always the identity of names must have been spoken of as
the connecting link in the chain of evidence proving the plagiarism,
since that identity of names was the principal item of evidence as it
was first argued and published in 1834. With like uniformity, it was
firmly believed (but as a mere matter of inference, be it remembered)
that Hurlburt secured from the trunk that second manuscript, which
contained these names. Hence it would be inferred by the Spaulding
family that the trunk must have contained the names in question. This
association of ideas through an almost infinite number of recurrences
in mind became firmly impressed as a fixed fact during these forty-six
years of frequent repetition. It is not strange, therefore, if, after
these forty-six years, and with the failing memory of the age of
seventy-four, Mrs. McKinstry should have forgotten the real origin
of this association of ideas, and relate it back to the supposed
inspection of the trunk manuscript and the Conneaut readings, honestly
believing in her accuracy. In this conclusion Mormon authorities
concur. [42]

[Footnote 42: "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 29.]

The only other statement which has ever been claimed as evidence
showing Spaulding's rewritten manuscript to have been in the Sabine
trunk is one by his widow, Matilda Spaulding-Davidson. She says that
before leaving Pittsburg for Amity, her husband's manuscript was
returned by the publishers. She seemingly remembers nothing of its
second submission while her husband resided at Amity, or else those
who wrote and signed her statement didn't see fit to mention it. "The
Manuscript then [after Mr. Spaulding's death in 1816] fell into my
hands, and was preserved carefully. It has frequently been _examined by
my daughter,_ Mrs. McKinstry of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside,
and by other friends." [43]

[Footnote 43: Boston _Daily Advertiser,_ copied in iii. _Millennial
Harbinger,_ May, 1839; "Mormons' Own Book," 28; Boston _Recorder,_ May,
1839; "Prophet of Palmyra," 417.]

By what follows, she makes it plain that the "other friends" referred
to are the Conneaut neighbors, whose examination was made prior
to 1812, and not at Sabine's. That she herself never examined the
Sabine trunk manuscript so as to speak upon the matter of identity of
manuscripts from personal knowledge, is apparent from several facts.
First, although writing an argumentative article, the strongest part
of which would have been her personal testimony as to some point of
identity between the trunk manuscript and the Book of Mormon, she
mentioned none such as being within her own knowledge. In the absence
of personal knowledge, she repeats as a justification of her belief
the evidence of Conneaut witnesses as to the identity of her husband's
"Manuscript Found" and the Book of Mormon. Even upon the question of
the existence of any manuscript in the Sabine trunk, she seems not to
rely upon any personal inspection of the trunk manuscript, but with an
apparent intention of putting the responsibility for her statement upon
the inspection of her daughter, Mrs. McKinstry, speaks of the latter's
inspection, while remaining silent as to whether or not she made any
inspection of her own.

The argumentative style and the failure to distinguish between personal
knowledge and argumentative inferences is all readily understood
when the history of this statement is made known. It seems that two
preachers, named D. R. Austin and John Storrs, are responsible for this
letter. Mrs. Davidson never wrote it, but afterwards stated that "in
the main" it was true. [44] Even with her re-affirmance of the story as
published, we cannot give it evidentiary weight except in those matters
where it is plain from the nature of things that she must have been
speaking from personal knowledge.

[Footnote 44: _Quincy Whig,_ quoted in "The Spaulding Story Examined
and Exposed," 5, to be read in connection with "Gleanings by the Way,"
261-7. On p. 22 of the "Myth of the Manuscript Found" this interview
appears with the statement that the Boston _Recorder_ article was _in
the main true_ carefully omitted. For still more gross dishonesty see
"Apostle" (afterward Prophet) John Taylor's lying perversion of this
alleged interview as reported in his "Three Nights' Public Discussion,"
pp. 45 and 56. The dishonesty of the original publication of this
interview is pointed out in "Gleanings by the Way," 261-4.]

Upon the question as to whether or not Spaulding's rewritten
manuscript was in the possession of anybody but Rigdon at any time
after October, 1816, Mrs. Davidson's statement as published cannot
in any sense whatever be considered as evidence. And since Mrs.
McKinstry's unsupported evidence, for the reasons already given, must
be considered as of such very infinitesimal weight, I conclude that
there is no believable evidence upon which to base the conclusion that
the "Manuscript Found" was ever returned to Spaulding after its second
submission to Patterson, or was ever in the trunk at Sabine's, and
therefore, could not have been either copied or stolen by Smith. This
also answers one Mormon argument made against Rigdon's theft of the
manuscript from the printing office, which argument is always based
upon the assumption that the original manuscript of the rewritten story
was in the Sabine trunk long after the time of the alleged theft by


When we digressed from the main lines of our argument, Spaulding's
rewritten story had been traced into the hands of Robert Patterson, a
Pittsburg publisher, and this prior to Spaulding's death in October,
1816. If the manuscript was never returned to Spaulding after its
second submission to Patterson, then what became of it? John Miller,
who knew Spaulding at Amity, bailed him out of jail when confined
for debt, made his coffin for him, and helped lay him in his grave,
says Spaulding told him "there was a man named Sidney Rigdon about
the office [of Patterson], and they thought he had stolen it" [the
manuscript]. [45]

[Footnote 45: Gregg's "Prophet of Palmyra," 442; (date, January 20,
1882.) See also _Times and Seasons._]

The Rev. Cephus Dodd, a Presbyterian minister of Amity, Pa.,
as well as a practicing physician, attended Spaulding at his last
sickness. As early as 1832, when Mormonism was first attracting general
public attention, and two years prior to the publication of Howe's
book, in which Spaulding's story was first ventilated, this Mr. Dodd
took Mr. George M. French of Amity to Spaulding's grave, and there
expressed a positive belief that Sidney Rigdon was the agent who had
transformed Spaulding's manuscript into the Book of Mormon. The date
is fixed by Mr. French through its proximity to his removal to Amity;
hence the date given is probably correct. [46]

[Footnote 46: "History of Washington County, Pa.," by Patterson. "Who
Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 10.]

The conclusion thus expressed by Mr. Dodd in advance of all public
discussion or evidence is important, because of what is necessarily
implied in it. First, it involved a comparison between Spaulding's
literary production and the Book of Mormon, with a discovered
similarity inducing conviction that the latter was a plagiarism from
the former. This comparison presupposes a knowledge of the contents
of Spaulding's rewritten manuscript. The second and most important
deduction is to be made from the assertion that Sidney Rigdon was the
connecting link in the plagiarism. Such a conclusion must have had
a foundation in Mr. Dodd's mind, and could have arisen only if he
was possessed of personal knowledge of what he considered reliable
information creating a conviction in his mind of the probability of
Sidney Rigdon's connection with the matter. This conclusion, if not
made on independent evidence, in all human probability had no less
significant foundation than a confidence in the accuracy of Spaulding's
expressed suspicion to the effect that Rigdon had stolen the manuscript
from the printing office. Thus accounted for, Dr. Dodd's statement has
less force than if presumed to have been made on independent evidence,
yet it confirms Joseph Miller's statement that Spaulding suspected
Rigdon, and that suspicion must be accounted for by those who deny
Rigdon's presence in Pittsburg prior to 1821.


Was Spaulding's expressed suspicion that Rigdon had stolen his
manuscript from the printing office well founded? We can never know
upon what evidence the accusation was made, but we may inquire into the
probative force of such new corroborative evidence as has been adduced
since Spaulding's death.

Sidney Rigdon was born February 19, 1793, in Piny Fork of Peter's
Creek, Saint Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pa., [47] which place is
variously estimated at from six to twelve miles distant from Pittsburg.
At least until 1810, that being the date of the death of, his father,
and his own eighteenth year, Rigdon remained on the farm with his
parents. [48]

[Footnote 47: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," by John E.
Page, 7. Supplement 14, _Millennial Star,_ 42. "Myth of the Manuscript
Found," 24.]

[Footnote 48: Supplement 14, _Millennial Star._ 42.]

According to the Mormon account, Rigdon was licensed as a Baptist
preacher fourteen years before becoming a Mormon. [49] This would make
the date 1816, the same year in October of which Spaulding died, it
being Rigdon's twenty-fourth year, and the same year in which he stole
from the publishing office of Patterson the manuscript of Spaulding,
if the latter's suspicions shall prove well founded. A very opportune
time, be it observed, for the giving of attention to religious subjects.

[Footnote 49: 35 _Saints' Herald,_ 130.]

According to another account, and perhaps the more accurate one, Rigdon
joined the Baptist Church May 31, 1817, [50] a Welsh clergyman, Rev.
David Phillips, being his pastor. [51]. This church was located near
where the neighboring hamlet of Library is now situated. Rigdon "began
to talk in public on religion soon after his admission to the church,
probably at his own instance, as there is no record of his license." [52]

[Footnote 50: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 8. "Myth of the
Manuscript Found," 24.]

[Footnote 51: Supplement 14, _Millennial Star,_ 42 and 43.]

[Footnote 52: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 9.]

The following year (1818) Rigdon left the farm and took up his
residence and the study of divinity with the Rev. Andrew Clark at
Sharon, Beaver County, Pa., [53] where, in March, 1819, he was licensed
as a Baptist. [54] I am informed by Sidney Rigdon's son that in 1818
his father made a lengthy visit to Pittsburg. In May, 1819, Rigdon
moved to Warren, Trumbull County, O., where, in July, he took up his
residence with the Rev. Adamson Bentley, later of "Disciple" fame, [55]
and was here ordained a regular Baptist preacher. [56] While thus
situated Rigdon met, and on June 12, 1820, married Phoebe Brooks, [57]
who was a sister to Mrs. Bently. [58] Rigdon continued his preaching
hereabouts, not appearing to have any regular charge until February,
1822. In November, 1821, he received a call from the First Baptist
Church of Pittsburg, which was accepted, active duties commencing
February, 1822, [59] and according to Joseph Smith ended August, 1824,
at which time Rigdon was expelled for doctrinal error. [60] Another
account fixes the date of his being deposed as October 11, 1823. [61]
Thereupon Rigdon, Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott organized the
"Christian Church," otherwise known as "Disciples"--and, with his
following, Rigdon secured the courthouse in Pittsburg in which to do
his preaching, at the same time working as a journeyman tanner [62] with
his brother-in-law, Mr. Brooks. [63] Mr. Lambdin, through whom Rigdon
is supposed to have secured access to the Spaulding manuscript, and of
whom more shall be written later on, died August 1, 1825, [64] and in
1826 Rigdon returned to Bainbridge, Geauga County, O. [65] Here he soon
met Orson Hyde, who became a student of divinity at Mr. Rigdon's, with
a view, as Hyde says, of entering the ministry. Except for a little
"Campbellite" preaching which he did under Rigdon's guidance, Hyde
never appears to have entered any ministry except the Mormon. In 1829
Hyde became a boarder of Rigdon's family, and in 1830 [66] he was almost
miraculously converted to Mormonism, and still later became one of the
first "Quorum" of apostles in the Mormon Church. Rigdon died July 14,
1876. [67]

[Footnote 53: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 8, 9.]

[Footnote 54: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 42 and 53.]

[Footnote 55: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 43.]

[Footnote 56: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 9. Supplement 14,
_Millenial Star_, 43.]

[Footnote 57: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 43.]

[Footnote 58: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 12.]

[Footnote 59: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," 4, by J.E.
Page. "Mormonism Exposed," 2 exact date, January 28, 1822.]

[Footnote 60: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 43.]

[Footnote 61: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 8.]

[Footnote 62: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 45.]

[Footnote 63: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," p. 8.]

[Footnote 64: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 7. "Myth of the Manuscript
Found," 26.]

[Footnote 65: Supplement 14, _Millenial Star_, 44. _Times and Seasons_

[Footnote 66: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," 10.]

[Footnote 67: _Historical Record_, 992. Bancroft's "History of Utah,"


There are two circumstances of the above narrative which need a little
further elucidation, since the impressions which Rigdon made upon his
discerning intimates during his earlier life may have some bearing upon
the force to be given to the circumstantial evidence concerning his
after life.

As to Rigdon's conversion to the Baptist Church so very soon after the
time when Spaulding expressed the suspicion that Rigdon had stolen his
manuscript, the Rev. Samuel Williams, in his "Mormonism Exposed," says:
"He [Rigdon] professed to experience a change of heart when a young
man, and proposed to join the church under the care of Elder David
Phillips. But there was so much miracle about his conversion, and so
much parade about his profession, that the pious and discerning pastor
entertained serious doubts at the time in regard to the genuineness
of the work. He was received, however, by the church and baptized
by the pastor with some fears and doubts upon his mind. Very soon,
Diotrephes-like, he began to put himself forward and seek pre-eminence,
and was well-nigh supplanting the tried and faithful minister who
had reared and nursed and led the church for a long series of years.
So thoroughly convinced was Father Phillips by this time that he was
not possessed of the spirit of Christ, notwithstanding his miraculous
conversion and flippant speech, that he declared his belief 'that as
long as he [Sidney Rigdon] should live, he would be a curse to the
church of Christ.'" [68]

[Footnote 68: "Mormonism Exposed," by Williams, copied in "Who Wrote
the Book of Mormon?" page 13.]

Concerning Rigdon's expulsion or resignation from the Baptist Church,
the Mormons declare that it was caused by Rigdon's refusal to either
accept or teach the doctrine of infant damnation. Dr. Winter, in the
course of a historical notice of the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg,
says: "When Holland Sumner dealt with Rigdon for his bad teachings,
and said to him: 'Brother Rigdon, you never got into a Baptist church
without relating your Christian experiences,' Rigdon replied: 'When
I joined the church at Peter's Creek I knew I could not be admitted
without an experience, so I made up one to suit the purpose; but it was
all made up and was of no use, nor true.' This I have just copied from
an old memorandum as taken from Sumner himself." [69]

[Footnote 69: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 13. _Baptist Witness_
(Pittsburg), January 1, 1875.]

The first of these accounts was published in 1842, the last in January,
1875, and Rigdon lived until July 14, 1876. While one H. A. Dunlavy of
Lebanon, O., did, in the March number of the same paper, publish an
apology for Rigdon by way of answer to the article of Dr. Winter, yet
neither Dunlavy nor Rigdon ever denied the facts alleged therein. We
must, therefore, accept the facts stated as true, and they fasten upon
Rigdon such religious dishonesty as establishes his willingness to be
a party to a religious fraud in kind like the one here charged against

This, then, brings us to the question of what, if any, opportunity
Rigdon had for stealing Spaulding's manuscript from Patterson's
publishing office.


It has been frequently charged that Sidney Rigdon lived in Pittsburg
and was connected with the Patterson printing office during 1815 and
1816. To this charge Rigdon, under date Commerce (Ill.), May 27, 1839,
makes the following denial:

    "It is only necessary to say in relation to the whole story about
    Spaulding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson, who was
    then in Pittsburg, and who is said to have kept a private printing
    office, and my saying that I was connected with the same office,
    etc., etc., is the most base of lies, without even the shadow
    of truth. There was no man by the name of Patterson during my
    residence in Pittsburg who had a printing office; what might have
    been before I lived here, I know not. Mr. Robert Patterson, I was
    told, had owned a printing office before I lived in that city, but
    had been unfortunate in business and failed before my residence in
    Pittsburg. This Mr. Patterson, who was a Presbyterian preacher,
    I had a very slight acquaintance with during my residence there.
    He was then acting under an agency in the book and stationery
    business, and was the owner of no property of any kind, printing
    office, or anything else during the time I resided in that city. If
    I were to say that I ever heard of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding and
    his hopeful wife until Dr. P. Hurlburt wrote his lie about me, I
    should be a liar like unto themselves." [70]

[Footnote 70: "Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," 11 and 12.
"History of the Mormons," 45 and 46. "The Mormons," 34. "Braden-Kelly
Debate," 94. "Plain Facts Showing the Falsehood and Folly of the Rev.
C.S. Bush," p. 14 to 16.]

The evidence upon which is based the charge of Rigdon having a
permanent residence in Pittsburg during the years in question, or his
connection with Patterson's printing office, is so unsatisfactory
that these issues must be found in favor of Rigdon's denial, even in
spite of the fact that his evidence is discredited by reason of the
conclusion as to his guilt, which is to be hereafter set forth, and his
personal interest.

Rigdon, it will be remembered, lived within from six to ten miles of
Pittsburg during the years in question. Pittsburg was the only town of
consequence, and the family's place of buying and selling. Rigdon would
of necessity make many friends in the city, and it would not be strange
if almost everybody knew him and he knew all of the prominent citizens.
In 1810 Pittsburg had only about 4,000 inhabitants, and in 1820 had but

The very prevalent notion as to Rigdon's connection with the Patterson
publishing establishment must have had some origin, which, in all
probability, would be Rigdon's close friendship for some who were, in
fact, connected with it. Upon this theory only can we account for such
a general impression. [71]

[Footnote 71: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 11.]

It might be well, before entering upon that subject, to fix in our
minds Patterson's business mutations. In 1812 Patterson was in the book
business in the firm of Patterson and Hopkins. They had then in their
employ one J. Harrison Lambdin, he being a lad of fourteen. January 1,
1818, Lambdin was taken into the partnership of Patterson and Lambdin,
which firm succeeded R. and J. Patterson. R. Patterson had in his
employ one Silas Engles as foreman printer and superintendent of the
printing business. As such, the latter decided upon the propriety, or
otherwise, of publishing manuscripts when offered. The partnership of
Patterson and Lambdin "had under its control the book store on Fourth
Street, a book bindery, a printing office (not newspaper, but job
office, under the name of Buttler and Lambdin), entrance on Diamond
Alley, and a steam paper mill on the Allegheny (under the name of R.
and J. Patterson)." [72] Patterson and Lambdin continued in business
until 1823. Lambdin died August 1, 1825, in his twenty-seventh year.
Silas Engles died July 17, 1827, in his forty-sixth year. R. Patterson
died September 5, 1854, in his eighty-second year. [73]

[Footnote 72: "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 26. "Who Wrote the Book
of Mormon?" 9.]

[Footnote 73: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 7 and 9. This covers all
Patterson's migrations.]


Let us now analyze Mr. Rigdon's denial of 1839 as quoted above. Rigdon
was an educated man, a controversialist in religion, and at the date of
the denial he was also a lawyer. Therefore we are justified in holding
him in a strict accountability for all that is necessarily implied from
what he says or omits to say, as we could not, in justice, do with a

Rigdon's first denial is of the "Story about Spaulding's writing being
in the hands of Patterson." This story is established by the evidence
already adduced and some besides, even to the satisfaction of most

The negative of this proposition Mr. Rigdon, if he was a stranger to
the office, as is claimed, could not possibly assert as a matter within
his own knowledge. If Rigdon had in his mind any fact upon which he
justified this assertion, it could only have been a knowledge that
the manuscript was at the printing office of Buttler and Lambdin, not
knowing that that office was controlled by Patterson.

The second denial in Rigdon's statement is: "There was no man by the
name of Patterson during my residence in Pittsburg who had a printing
office." The foregoing account of Patterson's business affairs is
made up from the information possessed by Patterson's family and an
employee. It must, therefore, be accepted as correct. Here again
Rigdon's denial can be accounted for by assuming his ignorance of
Patterson's interest in the printing office known as Buttler and
Lambdin. Rigdon's son says Rigdon lived in Pittsburg in 1818. Church
biographers allege that he preached there regularly after January 28,
1822. During 1818 and 1822 Patterson was in the printing business, and
Rigdon's statement must be deemed untrue.

Howe, in his "Mormonism Unveiled," [74] did, as early as 1834, charge
that Rigdon had been "on intimate terms" with Lambdin. This statement
in many forms has been very often republished since, and between 1834
and 1876, the year of Rigdon's death. During these forty-two years
Rigdon never recorded a denial. That fact may, therefore, be taken as
true. If Rigdon was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, and Lambdin,
at the time of that intimacy, as is clearly established and undenied,
was connected with Patterson in the publishing business, Rigdon, being
intimate with him, must have known something of Patterson's business,
and assuming his mental faculties unimpaired, he, in the statement
under consideration, must have told what he knew was untrue, justifying
himself by the apparent evidence in his favor that Patterson's printing
office was not run in his own name.

[Footnote 74: p. 289]

Rigdon's third matter of denial relates to his own admission of a
connection with Patterson's printing establishment. This denial we must
accept as true, since no one to whom he is alleged to have made the
admission has ever recorded his evidence, and the hearsay statements
without certainty of origin are too indefinite to be entitled to weight.

This paragraph above quoted and thus analyzed absolutely denies nothing
in the remotest degree essential to the real issues involved in the
charge of plagiarism under investigation, and is absolutely the only
recorded public denial ever made by Rigdon, though from 1834 to 1876
he was almost continually under the fire of this charge, reiterated in
various forms and with varying proofs.


Heretofore we have argued that by his silence Rigdon admitted his
intimacy with Lambdin, successively Patterson's employee and partner
from 1812 to 1823. The early writers all treated the intimacy between
Rigdon and Lambdin as a matter apparently too well known to need proof.
Yet we need not rely upon that, nor even Rigdon's failure to deny,
since more definite evidence has been preserved.

Mrs. R. J. Eichbaum, under date of Pittsburg, September 18, 1879,
leaves us this very convincing statement:

    "My father, John Johnston, was postmaster at Pittsburg for about
    eighteen years, from 1804 to 1822. My husband, William Eichbaumn,
    succeeded him, and was postmaster for about eleven years, from 1822
    to 1833. I was born August 25, 1792, and when I became old enough
    I assisted my father in attending to the post office, and became
    familiar with his duties. From 1811 to 1816 I was the regular
    clerk in the office, assorting, making up, dispatching, opening,
    and distributing the mails. Pittsburg was then a small town, and I
    was well acquainted with all the stated visitors at the office who
    called regularly for their mails. So meager at that time were the
    mails that I could generally tell without looking whether or not
    there was anything for such persons, though I would usually look
    in order to satisfy them. I was married in 1815, and the next year
    my connection with the office ceased, except during the absences
    of my husband. I knew and distinctly remember Robert and Joseph
    Patterson, J. Harrison Lambdin, Silas Engles, and Sidney Rigdon.
    I remember Rev. Mr. Spaulding, but simply as one who occasionally
    called to inquire for letters. I remember there was an evident
    intimacy between Lambdin and Rigdon. They very often came to the
    office together. I particularly remember that they would thus come
    during the hour on Sabbath afternoon when the office was required
    to be open, and I remember feeling sure that Rev. Mr. Patterson
    knew nothing of this, or he would have put a stop to it. I do not
    know what position, if any, Rigdon filled in Patterson's store or
    printing office, but am well assured he was frequently, if not
    constantly, there for a large part of the time when I was clerk in
    the post office. I recall Mr. Engles saying that 'Rigdon was always
    hanging around the printing office.' He was connected with the
    tannery before he became a preacher, though he may have continued
    the business whilst preaching." [75]

[Footnote 75: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 10-11.]

While this does not establish that Sidney Rigdon had a permanent abode
in Pittsburg, nor that he was connected with Patterson's printing
establishment, it yet explains why seemingly everybody who knew
him reached that conclusion. It also establishes beyond doubt his
undeniable intimacy with Lambdin and Engles, and by reason thereof, his
possible access to Spaulding's manuscript, and doubtless is one of the
circumstances leading Spaulding to suspect Rigdon of the theft.


It will be remembered that in 1822-3 Rigdon was a Baptist preacher
in Pittsburg. The Rev. John Winter, M.D., one of the western
Pennsylvania's early preachers, was then (1822-3) a school teacher in
Pittsburg. Dr. Winter died at Sharon, Pa., in 1878.

On one occasion during this period (1822-3) Dr. Winter was in Rigdon's
study when the latter took from his desk a large manuscript, and said,
substantially, that a Presbyterian minister named Spaulding, whose
health had failed, brought it to a printer to see if it would pay to
publish it. "It is a romance of the Bible." Dr. Winter did not read the
manuscript, nor think any more of the matter until the Book of Mormon
appeared. It was thought by members of Dr. Winter's family that he had
committed his recollections of this interview to writing, but none
could be found.

The authorities of Dr. Winter's statement are Rev. A. G. Kirk, to whom
Dr. Winter communicated it in a conversation had at New Brighton, Pa.,
in 1870-1. The second authority is the Rev. A. J. Bonsall, a stepson of
Dr. Winter, and for twenty-three years pastor of the Baptist Church at
Rochester, Pa. To him the same story was often repeated by Dr. Winter.
The third authority is Mrs. W. Irvine, a daughter of Dr. Winter, in
1881 resident at Sharon, Pa. Her statement has one or two details not
already given, so I quote:

    "I have frequently heard my father speak of Rigdon having
    Spaulding's manuscript, and that he had gotten it from the printers
    to read it as a curiosity; as such he showed it to father; and that
    at the time Rigdon had no intention of making the use of it that he
    afterwards did." [76]

[Footnote 76: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 11-12. "Braden-Kelly
Debate," 42.]

Thus authenticated, Dr. Winter's statement may be given as much weight
as though reduced to writing by himself.


The Rev. Adamson Bentley (whose wife was sister to Mrs. Sidney Rigdon)
wrote the following to Walter Scott under date of January 22, 1841:

    "I know that Sidney Rigdon told me that there was a book coming
    out, the manuscript of which had been found engraved on gold
    plates, as much as two years before the Mormon book made its
    appearance or had been heard of by me."

This statement was published in the _Millennial Harbinger_ for 1844,
with the following editorial note from Rev. Alexander Campbell:

    "The conversation alluded to in Brother Bentley's letter of 1841
    was in my presence as well as his, and my recollection of it led
    me, some two or three years ago, to interrogate Brother Bentley
    touching his recollection of it, which accorded with mine in every
    particular, except the year in which it occurred, he placing it in
    the summer of 1827, I in the summer of 1826, Rigdon at the same
    time observing that in the plates dug up in New York there was an
    account, not only of the aborigines of this country, but also it
    was stated that the Christian religion had been preached in this
    country during the first century, just as we were preaching it in
    the Western Reserve." [77]

[Footnote 77: Besides _Millennial Harbinger_ 1844, p. 39, see "Who
Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 12 and 13. "Braden-Kelly Debate," 45.]

It will be remembered that Rigdon lived for a time at his
brother-in-law Bentley's house, and that it was Scott, Campbell, and
Rigdon who, in Pittsburg, organized the Disciple Church in 1824 or
1825. The above statements were published in the _Millennial Harbinger_
in 1844 (p. 39), twenty-two years before Rigdon's death, yet he never
published a denial to either. It seems that before that publication
Adamson Bentley was orally making statements, probably to the same
effect, which remained undenied by Rigdon, though he published a card
denouncing his brother-in-law. [78]

[Footnote 78: _Evening and Morning Star,_ 301.]

Mrs. Amos Dunlap, a niece of Mrs. Rigdon, under date of Warren, O.,
December 7, 1879, writes this:

    "When I was quite a child I visited Mr. Rigdon's family. He married
    my aunt. They at that time lived at Bainbridge, O. [1826-7]. During
    my visit Mr. Rigdon went to his bedroom and took from a trunk which
    he kept locked, a certain manuscript. He came out into the other
    room and seated himself by the fireplace and commenced reading it.
    His wife at that moment came into the room and exclaimed: 'What,
    are you studying that thing again?' or something to that effect.
    She then added: 'I mean to burn that paper.' He said, 'No indeed,
    you will not; this will be a great thing some day.' Whenever he was
    reading this he was so completely occupied that he seemed entirely
    unconscious of anything passing around him." [79]

[Footnote 79: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 12. "Braden-Kelly
Debate," 45.]

Since Rigdon never, in person or by anyone else, has claimed to
have written any such manuscript of his own, in the light of other
evidence here adduced, we are warranted in believing that to have been
Spaulding's "Manuscript Found."

The Rev. D. Atwater, under date Mantua Station, O., April 26, 1873,
three years before Rigdon's death, writes this:

    "Soon after this the great Mormon defection came on us
    [Disciples]. Sidney Rigdon preached for us, and notwithstanding
    his extravagantly wild freaks, he was held in high repute by many.
    For a few months before his professed conversion to Mormonism, it
    was noticed that his wild, extravagant propensities had been more
    marked. That he knew before of the coming of the Book of Mormon is
    to me certain from what he said [during] the first of his visits at
    my father's some years before. He gave a wonderful description of
    the mounds and other antiquities found in some parts of America,
    and said that they must have been made by the aborigines. He said
    that there was a book to be published containing an account of
    those things. He spoke of these in his eloquent, enthusiastic
    style, as being a thing most extraordinary. Though a youth then,
    I took him to task for expending so much enthusiasm on such a
    subject, instead of things of the gospel." [80]

[Footnote 80: "Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve,"
239-240, copied in "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 13. "Braden-Kelly
Debate," 45.]

Of this statement Rigdon never made a denial.

Dr. S. Rosa, under date of Painsville, O., June 3, 1841, writes, among
other things, this:

    "In the early part of the year 1830, when the Book of Mormon
    appeared, [and in November of which year Rigdon was converted],
    either in May or June, I was in company with Sidney Rigdon, and
    rode with him on horseback a few miles. Our conversation was
    principally upon the subject of religion, as he was at that time
    a very popular preacher of the denomination calling themselves
    'Disciples' or Campbellites. He remarked to me that it was time for
    a new religion to spring up; that mankind were all rife and ready
    for it. I thought he alluded to the Campbellite doctrine. He said
    it would not be long before something would make its appearance;
    he also said that he thought of leaving Pennsylvania and should
    be absent for some months. I asked him how long. He said it would
    depend upon circumstances. I began to think a little strange of his
    remarks, as he was a minister of the gospel. I left Ohio that fall
    and went to the State of New York to visit my friends who lived in
    Waterloo, not far from the mine of golden Bibles. In November I was
    informed that my old neighbor, E. Partridge, and the Rev. Sidney
    Rigdon, were in Waterloo, and that they both had become the dupes
    of Joe Smith's necromancies. It then occurred to me that Rigdon's
    new religion had made its appearance, and when I became informed
    of the Spaulding manuscript, I was confirmed in the opinion that
    Rigdon was at least accessory, if not the principal, in getting up
    this farce." [81]

[Footnote 81: "Gleanings by the Way," 317. "Prophet of the Nineteenth
Century," 58. "Early Days of Mormonism," 172-3.]

This last article was first published in book form in 1842, thirty-four
years before Rigdon's death, but never publicly denied or explained by
him. Whether this particular letter was published in the _Christian
Observer_ and _Episcopal Recorder_ I cannot say, but other portions of
the same book evidently were, and received comment in a Mormon church
organ. [82] This but emphasizes Rigdon's silence upon Dr. Rosa's letter.

[Footnote 82: _Gospel Reflector_, 19.]

In Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," [83] it is said that Rigdon, during the
incubation period of Mormonism between 1827 and 1830, preached new
matters of doctrine which were afterwards found to be inculcated in
the Mormon Bible. The evident purpose of all this was to prepare his
congregation for the acceptance of Mormonism, and the end was most
successfully achieved. Evidently this and the other circumstances
showing Rigdon's foreknowledge of the forthcoming Book of Mormon, all
combined with a guilty conscience, irresistibly impelled the making
of an explanation tending to allay the suspicion that there was a
conscious purpose in all such conduct. This defense is found in a
revelation to Sidney Rigdon, dated December 7, 1830, at the alleged
first meeting between Rigdon and Smith, and within one month after the
former's conversion. The revelation, in part, says:

[Footnote 83: Page 289. "Braden-Kelly Debate," 45.]

    "Behold thou was sent forth, even as John, _To prepare the way_
    before me, and before Elijah which should come, _and thou knewest
    it not_." [84]

[Footnote 84: Section 35, "Doctrine and Covenants." Supplement 14,
_Millennial Star,_ 50. The exact date of this revelation is December
7th. 1830, according to Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 107.]

That Rigdon did prepare the way we knew before the revelation informed
us of it. That it was done unconsciously we cannot even now believe.

Especially in the light of the foregoing evidence, this revelation
must be construed as much more convincing proof of Rigdon's advance
knowledge of the forthcoming Book of Mormon and its contents than even
a tacit admission.

It is practically an admission of guilty knowledge, coupled with a
transparent effort at warding off the inference of complicity in fraud
by veiling the acts constituting the evidence in an assumed mysticism,
which really deceives few aside from the mystic degenerate and the
willing victim who enters the fold for opportunities to "fleece the
flock of Christ."



When to this evidence already adduced is added, as will be done,
conclusive proof of the identity of the salient features of the Book
of Mormon and Spaulding's rewritten "Manuscript Found," it would seem
that the case of plagiarism through Rigdon's complicity is established
beyond reasonable doubt. The Mormon objector, however, insists that
no possible connection between Rigdon and Smith has ever been shown
to exist prior to 1830, and that, therefore, even if Rigdon did steal
the manuscript, Smith could not have obtained it for use as a help
in preparing the Book of Mormon. It would seem as if the facts above
recited should, even if unaided by more direct evidence, raise an
almost conclusive presumption of the existence of an undiscovered
connection between the two. But we are not confined to an inference
from such evidence alone. There are still more pointed evidentiary
circumstances to which we will now give attention.

Parley Parker Pratt was born at Burlington, Otsego County, N.Y.,
April 12, 1807, of parents who later resided at Canaan, Columbia
County, N.Y. [85] During his sixth year (1813) he went to reside with
his father's sister, named Van Cott, [86] which name afterward became
conspicuous in the early history of Utah. In 1826 Pratt spent a few
months with an uncle in Wayne (formerly Ontario) County, N. Y. [87]

[Footnote 85: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 17.]

[Footnote 86: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 19.]

[Footnote 87: "Supplement 14, _Millennial Star_," 1.]

This, it will be remembered, is the same county in which Smith was at
that time gaining much newspaper notoriety as a "peep-stone" money
digger [88] through mention made of him in papers published in several
counties in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. [89] While
Smith was thus working the gullible of his neighborhood with his
necromancy, Pratt was a peddler, who, it is said, knew almost everybody
in western New York. [90] At that time Ontario County took in all the
territory of several counties as now bounded, and in 1820 had only a
population of 80,267. [91] Pratt, therefore, could hardly have helped
knowing Smith's fame, which was such as at once to have suggested him
as the star actor in any scheme of fraud requiring a prophet. In view
of Pratt's subsequent connection with the Wells family, [92] who were
Smith's neighbors and friends, [93] it is more than probable that he
knew the Smiths personally in or prior to 1826, although, of course,
they would carefully guard the fact of such acquaintance from publicity
as a most important secret.

[Footnote 88: "Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism," 27.]

[Footnote 89: "Braden-Kelly Debate," 47.]

[Footnote 90: "Hand Book of Mormonism," 3.]

[Footnote 91: Compendium, 11th Census.]

[Footnote 92: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 37.]

[Footnote 93: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," by Lucy Smith, 101-2-3.]

In October of this year Pratt went to Ohio, locating at Amherst, thirty
miles west of Cleveland [94] and was also located fifty miles west of
Kirtland. [95] One of the temptations inducing Pratt's departure from
New York was to get to a country where, as he himself expresses it,
there is "no law to sweep [away] all the hard earnings of years to pay
a small debt." [96] The ethical status of an average country peddler who
is willing to leave his native state to avoid the payment of his "small
debts" furnishes a fertile immorality in which to plant the seeds of
religious imposture.

[Footnote 94: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 27.]

[Footnote 95: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 50.]

[Footnote 96: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 26.]

It will be remembered that it was also in 1826 that Rigdon went for a
second time to reside in Ohio, where he became an itinerant "Disciple"
preacher, laboring in the vicinity of Bainbridge, Mantua, Kirtland,
Mentor, Chester, New Lisbon, and Warren, [97] at some of which places
Rigdon had an unsavory reputation. [98] Rigdon and Pratt, therefore,
were in the same neighborhood in 1826, and undoubtedly met soon after.
The date of their first meeting is nowhere given, but may reasonably
be inferred from an address delivered by Parley P. Pratt in 1843 or
'4. In this discourse Pratt tells of an occurrence which transpired
on his way to his future Ohio home, which occurrence furnishes the
key to his first connection with Mormonism. On his way he stopped at
a humble cottage, the name of whose occupant he carefully fails to
give. Here, while asleep (so he says), "a messenger of a mild and
intelligent countenance suddenly stood before me [Pratt], arrayed in
robes of dazzling splendor." According to Mormon theology, an angel
is but an exalted man. [99] Of course Sidney Rigdon was an exalted
man; why not, then, an angel? This angel claimed to hold the keys
to the mysteries of this wonderful country, and took Pratt out to
exhibit those mysteries to him. Pratt then had portrayed to his mind
the whole future of Mormonism; its cities, with inhabitants from all
parts of the globe; its temples, with a yet unattained splendor;
its present church organization was, with considerable definiteness
outlined; its political ambition to establish a temporal kingdom of
God on the ruins of this government was set forth with quite as much
definiteness as in the subsequent more publicly uttered, treasonable
sermons. [100] I conclude from the exact manner in which this "Angel of
the Prairies" foreknew the ambitions, hopes, and future achievements
of the Mormon Church and the similar admitted foreknowledge of Rigdon
and the subsequently established connection between Rigdon, Pratt, and
Smith, that the "Angel of the Prairies" who outlined to Pratt his then
contemplated and now executed religious fraud, was none other than
Sidney Rigdon himself, and that this fact accounts for Pratt's failure
to give the name of his host or the date of his first meeting with
Rigdon. [101]

[Footnote 97: "History of the Church," 149-150. ("Josephite".)]

[Footnote 98: "4 _Times and Seasons_," 209. Supplement 14, _Millennial
Star,_ 45.]

[Footnote 99: See Text for foot-notes, Nos. 106 to 109 herein. 6
_Millennial Star_, 20. "History of Mormonism," 154.]

[Footnote 101: 20 _Millennial Star_, 33-36. _7 Deseret News_, 288-9. _7
Journal of Discourses_, 53. _1 Journal of Discourses_, 230, and Sermons
generally of this period. See also _Am. Hist. Mag._, July, 1906.]

Lambdin, who, by some, has been suspected of once having been Rigdon's
partner in the contemplated fraud, died Aug. 1, 1825. Engles,
Patterson's foreman, died July 17, 1827. Spaulding had died in 1816,
and Robert Patterson, it seems, knew nothing personally of the contents
of the Spaulding manuscript, [102] which fact Rigdon probably well knew
through his intimate acquaintance with Lambdin. In September of 1827
the time was, therefore, as ripe as it was ever likely to be for active
preparation in the matter of bringing forth the "Book of Mormon," since
probably all those having any intimate knowledge of the "Manuscript
Found" had conveniently died.

[Footnote 102: "Mormonism Exposed," by Williams. "Who Wrote the Book of
Mormon?" 7.]

In 1827 Pratt started back to New York for the purpose of getting
married. Now, remember, this was nearly three years before the advent
of Mormonism. Pratt reached the home of his aunt Van Cote July 4, 1827,
and in his autobiography records a summary of a conversation with his
future wife thus: "I also opened my religious views to her and my
desire, which I sometimes had, to try and teach the red man." [103] In
October, 1830, within a month after Pratt's professed conversion to
Mormonism, a revelation was received for Pratt, in which the Lord,
through "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," directed Pratt to carry out this
very design. [104] The desire which Pratt thus expressed to his wife
three years before the advent of Mormonism was afterward and for a
long time the pet scheme of all Mormons. Pratt was married September
9, 1827. [105] On September 22, 1827, a "heavenly messenger" appeared
to Joseph Smith and unfolded to him the scheme of the Book of Mormon,
and disclosed the whereabouts of the "Golden Plates." [106] This
"heavenly messenger" is called the Angel Moroni. According to Mormon
theology, "God may use any beings he has made or that he pleases, and
call them his angels, or messengers." [107] "God's angels and men are
all of one species, one race, one great family." [108] "God is a man
like unto yourselves; that is the great secret." [109] Why, of course!
"That is the great secret." God is but an "exalted man," and may call
Parley Parker Pratt his angel. Parley Parker Pratt was the "heavenly
messenger," the angel who, on that day (September 22, 1827), appeared
to Joseph Smith and told him where were the golden plates, that is,
Spaulding's "Manuscript Found." Sidney Rigdon, for Smith's purposes,
was the "exalted man," the "God" who sent this "heavenly messenger"
Parley Parker Pratt, just as the Mormon people now look upon Joseph
Smith as the "God to this people." [110] Now, watch the sequel, and no
doubt can remain.

[Footnote 103: Pages 29 and 30.]

[Footnote 104: Section 32, Doctrine and Covenants. Smith's God was,
however, unfamiliar with governmental regulations of Indian affairs,
so in spite of the revelation Pratt and Company were compelled by the
United States Indian agent to leave the reservation. 5 _Journal of
Discourses,_ 199. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 218-226. "Gleanings by
the Way," 324.]

[Footnote 105: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 30.]

[Footnote 106: Supplement 14, _Millennial Star_, 6.]

[Footnote 107: 5 _Journal of Discourses_, 141.]

[Footnote 108: Key to Theology, 41, 5 _Millennial Star_, 20.]

[Footnote 109: 5 _Times and Seasons_, 613. God an Exalted Man, 6
_Journal of Discourses_, 3.]

[Footnote 110: _Deseret News_, March 18, 1857, 13. See also _Deseret
News_ 179. Those most familiar with the psychology of dreams and the
influence over them had by the experiences of waking life, will give
considerable evidentiary weight to a dream of the prophet's father,
in which there appeared to him a "man with a peddler's budget on his
back," such a peddler P. P. Pratt probably carried. This peddler of
his dreams flattered him, told him he had called seven times and this
last call had come to tell him what was the one thing essential to his
salvation, and then he awoke. ("Joseph Smith, the Prophet," 74.)]

September 9, 1827, Pratt was married. On September 22, 1827, he was the
angel who appeared to Smith, and in October he started back to Ohio,
the home of Rigdon. [111] Rigdon is now brought again upon the scene. He
preaches in Pratt's neighborhood, converts him, the latter commences
preaching, [112] evidently preparing for his part in the drama about to
be enacted.

[Footnote 111: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 30.]

[Footnote 112: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 31-33.]


The work of revising the Spaulding manuscript, or, as "Holy Joe" calls
it, the "Translation of the Golden Plates," is begun. A mysterious
stranger now appears at Smith's residence and holds private interviews
with the far-famed money-digger. For a considerable length of time no
intimation of the name or the purpose of this personage transpired to
the public, or even to Smith's nearest neighbors. It was observed by
some of them that his visits were frequently repeated. [113] At about
this time Rigdon is away from his Ohio home on several long visits,
reporting himself as having gone to Pittsburg. [114]

[Footnote 113: "Origin and Progress of Mormonism," 28. The author
was a native of Palmyra and read proof on the Book of Mormon. "Hand
Book of Mormonism," 3. This author lived thirty-two years in Palmyra.
Braden-Kelly Debate, 46. Mother Lucy in "Joseph Smith, the Prophet,"
pp. 119, 120, 121, gives an account of a mysterious and unnamed
"stranger" who came to their home with Joe at the time Harris had
lost some of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon. As a mere matter
of kindness this "stranger" forced upon the "Prophet" his company for
a twenty mile walk through the woods at night, left a stage coach and
went out of his way to do it, and attended the interview with Harris
next day. An opportune time was this for Rigdon's presence. May 1, 1829,
Sec. 10, Doctrine and Covenants.]

[Footnote 114: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 289, followed in "Gleanings
by the Way," 319. "Prophet of the Nineteenth Century," 57. See also the
pointed statement of L. Rudolph, father-in-law to President Garfield,
quoted in Braden-Kelly Debate, 45.]

Abel Chase, a near neighbor of the Smiths, says: "I saw Rigdon at
Smith's at different times with considerable intervals between."
Lorenzo Saunders, another neighbor, testifies: "I saw Rigdon at Smith's
several times, and the first visit was more than two years before the
Book appeared." J. H. McCauley, in his history of Franklin County,
Pa., states "as a matter too well known to need argument, that Joseph
Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and Sidney Rigdon were acquainted for
a considerable time before Mormonism was first heard of." [115]

[Footnote 115: See Braden-Kelly Debate, 46, for three last statements.
Tucker in his "Origin and Progress of Mormonism," p. 50, says Rigdon
officiated at the wedding of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale, but he fixes
date of wedding in November, 1829, when in fact it seems to have
occurred January 18, 1828. (_Historical Record_, 363.) Tucker may
therefore have been misinformed. An alleged admission of Sidney Rigdon
to James Jeffries that Spaulding's story was used, which is quoted in
Braden-Kelly Debate, 42, I consider of doubtful value.]

I have been able to find but one specific denial of Rigdon's
acquaintance with Smith prior to the appearance of the Book of Mormon.
That denial comes from Katherine Salisbury, a sister of the "Prophet
Joseph," and is dated April 15, 1881, when she was nearly 68 years of
age. She says that

    "Prior to the latter part of the year A. D. 1830, there was no
    person who visited with, or was an acquaintance of, or called upon
    the said family [of Smith], or any member thereof to my knowledge
    by the name of Rigdon, nor was such person known to the family or
    any member thereof to my knowledge, until the last part of the year
    A. D. 1830, or the first part of the year 1831. I remember the time
    when Sidney Rigdon came to my father's place, and that it was after
    the removal of my father from Waterloo, N.Y., to Kirtland, O. That
    this was in the year 1831." [116]

[Footnote 116: "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 34. Braden-Kelly Debate,

In 1827 and 1828, when Rigdon's visits must have occurred, and his help
was needed in revamping Spaulding's "Manuscript Found," this woman was
fourteen or fifteen years of age. That Rigdon did visit at the Smiths'
in New York State, December, 1830, is admitted, [117] and of this she
seemingly remembers nothing. She has no recollection of Rigdon's coming
to her father's or brother's house until after their removal to Ohio.
May she not also, either by design or otherwise, have forgotten visits
made by Rigdon to her New York home prior to the admitted, and, by her,
forgotten one in December, 1830?

[Footnote 117: Supplement 14 _Millennial Star,_ 49.]

In the same statement she avers that "at the time of the publication
of said Book [of Mormon], my brother Joseph Smith, Jr., lived in the
family of my father in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, N.Y.,
and that he had all of his life to this time made his home with the

The manuscript of the Book of Mormon was finished and the book
copyrighted by June 11, 1829._Millennial Star,_ 24. 118 Rigdon's help
would be most needed before this time, and from June, 1828, until June,
1829, all and numerous revelations are dated "Harmony, Pennsylvania,"
which, together with Smith's autobiography, shows that he did not all
of his lifetime make his home with his parents, nor live at Manchester
during all of the most important period of Mormon incubation. The
probabilities are that Smith moved to Pennsylvania at this time, for
the very purpose of making it easier for Rigdon and Pratt, who lived in
Ohio, to furnish him the much needed help.

The admitted errors in Mrs. Salisbury's statement destroy its
evidentiary value, and leave it clearly demonstrated by the other
evidence adduced, that Rigdon visited Smith' several years before the
appearance of the Book of Mormon.


In the summer of 1830 the Book of Mormon came from the press, and the
time had come for Pratt and Rigdon to be astonished by its appearance.
Now watch their maneuvers. That year Pratt left Ohio for a visit to New
York. Of this trip his autobiography records the following:

    "Landing in Buffalo, we [Pratt and wife] engaged our passage for
    Albany in a canal boat, distance three hundred and sixty miles.
    This, including board, cost all our money and some articles of

Would a mere desire to visit friends induce him to give up part of his
clothing for passage money? Hardly; he was after larger game. But let
us read on:

    "Arriving at Rochester, I informed my wife that, notwithstanding
    our passage being paid through the whole distance, yet I must leave
    the boat and leave her to pursue her passage to our friends, while
    I would stop a while in this region. _Why, I did not know;_ but so
    it was plainly manifest by the Spirit to me. I said to her: 'We
    part for a season; go and visit our friends in our native place;
    I will come soon, but how soon I know not, _for I have a work to
    do in this region of country, and what it is or how long it will
    take me to perform it, I know not;_ but I will come when it is
    performed. My wife would have objected to this, but she had seen
    the _Hand of God_ so plainly manifest in His dealings with me many
    times that she dare not oppose the things manifest to me by His
    Spirit. She therefore consented, and I accompanied her as far as
    Newark, a small town upwards of a hundred miles from Buffalo, and
    then took leave of her and of the boat."

    "It was early in the morning, just at the dawn of day. I walked ten
    miles into the country [remember now he doesn't know where he is
    going], and stopped with a Mr. Wells."

This was undoubtedly a member of the same Wells family of Macedon with
whom Joseph Smith had long been on terms of intimacy.[119] Pratt's
autobiography continues:

[Footnote 119: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," by Lucy Smith, 101-103.
Probably this refers to the home of Daniel H. Wells, afterward a
prominent Mormon in Utah.]

    "I proposed to preach in the evening. Mr. Wells readily accompanied
    me through the neighborhood to visit the people and circulate the

    "We visited an old Baptist deacon by the name of Hamblin. After
    hearing of our appointment for the evening, he began to tell of
    _a book, a strange book, a very strange book_ in his possession,
    which had just been published. I inquired of him how and where the
    book was to be obtained. He promised me the perusal of it at his
    house the next day, if I would call. I felt a strange interest in
    the book. Next morning I called at his house, where, for the first
    time, my eyes beheld the 'Book of Mormon,' that book of books."

Pratt says he opened it with eagerness and examined its contents.
"As I read, _the spirit of the Lord was upon me,_ and I knew and
comprehended that the book was true as plainly and as manifestly as a
man comprehends and knows that he exists." [120]

[Footnote 120: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 37-38.]

Pratt soon determined to see Smith, and, accordingly, visited Palmyra,
where Hyrum Smith welcomed him to their house, and they spent the
night together. Joseph had not returned from Pennsylvania. One is led
to wonder if Hyrum Smith would take in every inquisitive stranger as
his bedfellow. In the morning Pratt returned to fill his appointment
to preach the doctrine of Alexander Campbell. Hyrum Smith presented
Pratt with a copy of the book, which the latter tells us he was glad to
receive, because he had not yet finished his reading of it. [121] Pratt
preached the doctrines of the "Disciples" that night and the following
one, then returned to the Smith house, and from there went to the
Whitmers in Seneca County, resting that night, and taking his Mormon
baptism the next day. On the next Sabbath Pratt attended a Mormon
meeting and preached a Mormon sermon at the house of one Burroughs. "My
work was now completed, for which I took leave of my wife and the canal
boat some two or three weeks before." [122]

[Footnote 121: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 39-42.]

[Footnote 122: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 43.]

About the details and the order of events in such remarkable
occurrences, there could not possibly be doubt or errors of memory.
Had they actually transpired, these events would have been the most
important in any eventful career, and would have been indelibly
impressed upon Pratt's memory. If, however, this marvelous tale is
but a falsehood told to conceal Pratt's real connection with a fraud,
then, it is quite possible that he and those associated with him should
forget how the falsehood had been told at other times, and thus produce
contradictory statements.

Let us, in the light of this comment, examine the foregoing account
more carefully. Evidently, in this account Pratt is desirous of
conveying the impression that, as he had elsewhere expressed it, he
"was greatly prejudiced against the book." [123] However, in a sermon
delivered in 1856--thirty-two years before the publication of the
autobiography--Pratt tells us he was converted before completing the
reading of the Book of Mormon, or meeting a single true "Saint." Here
are his own words:

[Footnote 123: Pratt's reply to Sunderland, copied in 45 _Saints'
Herald,_ 61. "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 32.]

    "I knew it was true, because it was light, and had come in
    fulfillment of scripture; and _I bore testimony of its truth_
    to the neighbors that came in _during the first day that I
    sat reading_ it at the house of an old Baptist deacon named
    Hamblin." [124]

[Footnote 124: 5 _Journal of Discourses,_ 194. This Hamblin seems to
have emigrated to Wisconsin with Pratt, there became a Mormon and later
his son became implicated in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. See "Jacob
Hamblin," p. 9, and books generally on Mountain Meadow Massacre.]

Of course such a conversion was altogether too miraculous and sudden
to preclude suspicion of Pratt's complicity in the fraud; hence it has
usually been stated that the conversion did not, in fact, take place
until much critical examination, and sometimes, it is said, after much
supplication to the Lord. In Joseph Smith's autobiography he puts the
time of conversion as during Pratt's visit to the Whitmers in Seneca
County. Here are his words: "_After_ listening to the testimony of the
'witnesses' [at Whitmers, in Seneca County] and reading the 'Book,' he
became convinced that it was of God." [125]

[Footnote 125: Supplement 14 _Millennial Star_, 47.]

The "prophet's" mother, who, with the mother of the Danite, Orrin
Porter Rockwell, was present at Pratt's alleged first visit to the
Smith home, [126] has a third account of this conversion. Pratt,
according to the account above quoted from his sermon, had not yet
seen the prophet, and had not yet finished reading the Book of Mormon,
but was already converted and had borne testimony to its truth. Now
read Mother Lucy's account as published by Orson Pratt (Parley Pratt's
brother and his first miraculous convert) [127] and "written by the
direction and under the inspection of the Prophet." [128]

[Footnote 126: Pratt's Sermon, 5 _Journal of Discourses_, 194.]

[Footnote 127: 7 _Journal of Discourses_, 177. Here Orson Pratt says
his conversion is due to certain information "derived independent of
what can be learned naturally by the natural man." See also supplement
14, _Millennial Star,_ 49.]

[Footnote 128: _Millennial Star,_ 169, 682.]

    "Just before my husband's return, as Joseph was about commencing
    a discourse one Sunday morning, Parley P. Pratt came in very much
    fatigued. He had _heard of us_ at some considerable distance, and
    had traveled very fast in order to get there by meeting time, as
    he wished to hear what we had to say, that he might be prepared to
    show us our error. But when Joseph had finished his discourse, Mr.
    Pratt arose and expressed his hearty concurrence in every sentiment
    advanced. The following day he was baptized and ordained." [129]

[Footnote 129: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," 157, by Lucy Smith.]

This conversion is quite as miraculous and sudden as the one Pratt
tells us about as having occurred at Deacon Hamblin's. The prophet's
mother, Lucy Smith, who wrote this account, and the prophet himself,
under whose supervision it was written, must have been both present,
and in this account related only what they pretended they themselves
saw. In contradiction of this, Pratt, in two different places, tells
us that while at the Whitmers in Seneca County he was baptized and
ordained an elder by Oliver Cowdery, and that then he preached a
Mormon sermon, after which he went to visit his friends in Columbia
County. On his return from Columbia County, over a month after he had
been baptized, he for the first time saw Joseph Smith. [130] These
discrepancies can be best accounted for by the explanation that they
are different accounts of an event that never happened, and told to
conceal one that did happen.

[Footnote 130: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 43 and 46. 45 _Saints'
Herald_, 61. "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 33.]

I understand that the Utah Mormon sect, after publishing "Mother
Lucy's" book, condemned it as containing errors, but never pointed out
any. The "Josephite" sect of Mormons, however, republished it. It still
remains that in telling what she pretended to have seen, she told the
story as at some time it had been agreed upon. Further, Lucy Smith
could not have written the book, bad as it was from a literary point of
view. The statement that it was written under the direct supervision
of the prophet, I, therefore, consider as literally true. That it
was published in 1853 by Orson Pratt and S. W. Richards, who had
undoubtedly heard the stories corroborated many times and saw nothing
erroneous in the book, is also significant, as is the further fact that
it had been read by Saints four years before any errors were discovered.


Pratt having been converted, the next act of importance must, of
course, be the conversion of Rigdon, and, so far as possible, the
congregation whose members he had so carefully prepared for the
reception of Mormonism.

Pratt is still in New York State with Smith, it being October, 1830. He
has already converted his relatives. The Lord, by a revelation through
Joseph Smith, [131] directs Pratt to go with Oliver Cowdery, Peter
Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson "unto the wilderness among the Lamanites"
(meaning the American Indians). Pratt, it will be remembered, had
sold part of his clothing for passage money with which to travel in
his quest for the Book of Mormon. He was, therefore, ill prepared
for a winter trip to Ohio and Missouri. "As soon as the revelation
was received, Emma Smith and several other sisters began to make
arrangements to furnish those who were set apart for the mission
with the necessary clothing, which was no easy task, as the most of
it had to be manufactured out of the raw material." Pratt's wife was
taken to the Whitmers, [133] that she might not want while he was away
Converting Indians and Rigdon. Thus situated, Pratt took leave of
his friends "late in October and started on foot." [134] According to
his autobiography it was a hundred miles from Buffalo to Newark, ten
miles from Newark to Macedon, where lived the Wells family, [135] and
twenty-five miles from Palmyra to the Whitmers in Seneca County. [136]
The distance from Buffalo to Cleveland is given as two hundred
miles; [137] from Cleveland to Kirtland as thirty miles. [138] These
distances were no doubt given as they were believed to be according to
the roads as then traveled.

[Footnote 131: Doctrine and Covenants, section 32. Supplement 14,
_Millennial Star,_ 42. The date of this revelation was probably October
17, 1830. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 212.]

[Footnote 132: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," by Lucy Smith, 169.]

[Footnote 133: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 49. 1 "History of the
Church," 154.]

[Footnote 134: 1 "History of the Church," 154. "Autobiography of P.P.
Pratt," 49.]

[Footnote 135: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 37.]

[Footnote 136: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 42.]

[Footnote 137: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 36.]

[Footnote 138: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 36.]

Adding fifteen miles from the distance from Macedon to Palmyra, we find
the total distance to be traveled, all on foot, going from Whitmer's
home in Seneca County, N.Y., to Kirtland, O., is three hundred and
seventy miles, "preaching by the way," [139] even to Indians. [140] When
we remember the time of year and the almost certainty of inclement
weather and the unimproved condition of the roads in that then wild
west, it could hardly be expected that Pratt, "traveling on foot"
and preaching by the way, could reach Kirtland before the middle of
November. Rigdon must have been converted in great haste, because, by
the end of November, he is already a Mormon visitor at Smith's home in
New York, and on December 7 is the recipient of a special revelation
from God. [141] These conclusions accord with the diary of Lyman Wight,
who, being baptized on the same day as Rigdon, entered the fact as
on November 14, 1830. [142] These facts also confirm Howe's statement
that Rigdon was baptized on the second day after Pratt's arrival. [143]
Another authority conversant with the occurrence, and desiring to
be very exact, fixes the time as thirty-six hours after Pratt's
arrival. [144]

[Footnote 139: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet," 169, by Lucy Smith.]

[Footnote 140: "Autobiography of P.P. Pratt," 49. 1 "History of the
Church," 154.]

[Footnote 141: "Gleanings by the Way," 317. Howe's "Mormonism
Unveiled," 107. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 32.]

[Footnote 142: 1 "History of the Church," 154; see also Pratt's
Autobiography, 50.]

[Footnote 143: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 104. "Gleanings by the
Way," 312.]

[Footnote 144: H.H. Clapp in a letter to James T. Cobb.]

The Mormons are not all dull, and their cunning leaders readily saw
that it would be unwise to advertise the suddenness of this conversion,
since it might serve to identify the guilty conspirators. Therefore it
is now represented that Pratt and Rigdon were at first in a state of
great antagonism to Mormonism, which it took weeks to overcome. [145]
This cannot be, unless Pratt could walk three hundred and seventy miles
in less than no time at all.

[Footnote 145: Life of Sidney Rigdon in manuscript by his son, John
Rigdon. 1 "History of the Church," 141. Supplement 14 _Millennial
Star,_ 47-48. 4 _Times and Seasons,_ 290. 45 _Saints' Herald._ 61.]

The facts of this sudden conversion and the subsequent concealment of
its precipitate character all reveal a guilt on the part of those who
are conscious of having done some thing they wish to keep from the
knowledge of others. Had this conversion been honestly miraculous,
there would have been no thought of concealment.

November 14, 1830, the date of Rigdon's baptism, was Sunday, and of
course the first Sunday after the arrival of Pratt. At their first
interview during this visit, Pratt requested and "readily" received
permission to preach Mormonism in Rigdon's church. The prophet's
account says: [146]

[Footnote 146: Supplement 14 _Millennial Star_, 47.]

    "At the conclusion [of Pratt's sermon] Elder Rigdon arose and
    stated to the congregation that the information that they had
    received was of an extraordinary character, and certainly demanded
    their most serious consideration, and as the Apostle advised his
    brethren to 'prove all things, and hold fast that which is good,'
    so he would exhort his brethren to do likewise, and give the
    matter a careful investigation, and not turn against it without
    being fully convinced of its being an imposition, lest they should
    possibly resist the truth. This was indeed generous on the part
    of Elder Rigdon, and gave evidence of his entire freedom from any
    sectarian bias."

But according to Elder Lyman Wight's diary and the other evidence
here adduced, Rigdon was already a convert. Why, then, all this false
suggestion and hypocritical cant about Rigdon's generosity and freedom
from prejudice? There is but one answer, and that is, the authors of it
are thereby attempting to conceal the real facts.

On December 7, 1830, and with due promptness, be it observed, Rigdon,
through Smith, received a revelation making him (Rigdon) scribe to the
prophet, and informing Rigdon how, all unconsciously to himself, he had
been preparing the way for Mormonism. [147] This is speedily followed
by another revelation, [148] in which Rigdon's Ohio home, where he so
carefully prepared the people for the reception of his new faith, is
designated as the gathering place of the faithful, the promised land of
the "Saints."

[Footnote 147: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," 107. Doctrine and
Covenants, Sec. 32. 7 _Journal of Discourses_ 372.]

[Footnote 148: Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 37.]


Thus far we have established in a general way the existence and nature
of Solomon Spaulding's rewritten "Manuscript Found." By undenied
evidence we have shown its theft from Patterson's printing office
before Spaulding's death and under circumstances which made the latter
suspect Sidney Rigdon as the thief; that Rigdon, prior to this time,
was so intimate with the employees of that printing office as to give
rise to a general belief that he was himself employed there, and beyond
all question evidencing an intimacy such as afforded him opportunity
to purloin the manuscript. By like uncontradicted evidence, we have
shown Rigdon to have been in possession of a similar manuscript,
the existence of which is not explained by any other literary work
ever done by him, and which, on one of the several occasions when he
exhibited it, was said by him to have been written by Spaulding. We
have established a perfectly plain and probable connection between
Smith and Rigdon through Parley P. Pratt, and such contradictory
statements as to the sudden and miraculous conversions of the two
latter as bring home with redoubled force the suspicion of a concealed
motive, such as a conspiracy in fraud would best explain. It now
remains only to make more certain the points of identity between
Spaulding's rewritten "Manuscript Found" and the Book of Mormon. When
this is done we will have established the plagiarism and convicted
Smith, Rigdon, and Pratt as the conspirators who perpetrated the fraud.
With the identity of the distinguishing features in the "Manuscript
Found" and Book of Mormon established, we will have demonstrated beyond
all _reasonable_ doubt the very low origin of the Mormons' Book.
Some day will be done a work of supererogation in making a critical
examination of the absurdities and contradictions upon which rest the
claim of divinity. Present space will only allow the completion of that
branch of the argument under consideration.

Before proceeding to the examination of the direct evidence, it will
be well to give an account of the discovery of this identity, the very
spontaneity of which adds force to the evidence adduced. Spaulding,
like most authors, had a great fondness for his productions, and often
read them to his friends. In 1832 or 1833, when Mormonism was fairly
afloat, a Mormon preacher brought a copy of the Book of Mormon to
Conneaut or New Salem, as it was sometimes called, the very place where
Spaulding wrote most of his "Manuscript Found." A public meeting was
appointed, in which the Book of Mormon was copiously read from and
discussed by the elder. The historical part and style were immediately
recognized by many present, among them John Spaulding, brother to
Solomon Spaulding. Being "eminently pious," he was amazed and afflicted
that his brother's manuscript should have been perverted to so wicked
a purpose. With tear-filled eyes he arose in the meeting and expressed
sorrow and regret that the writings of his sainted brother should
be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. So much excitement was
produced that a citizens' meeting appointed Dr. Philastus Hurlburt to
gather the evidence which afterwards was published in Howe's "Mormonism
Unveiled." [149]

[Footnote 149: "Gleanings by the Way," 252-3. "Mormons' Own Book,"
29-30. "Prophet of Palmyra," 417. _et. seq._ Boston _Recorder,_ May,

In the first publication of Matilda Spaulding Davidson's letter,
from which the above is gleaned, the words "Mormon preacher" in the
manuscript published over her name were, by the typesetter, converted
into "woman preacher." Mormons at once undertook to impeach the
statement, not by denying the main features of the story of its value
as an argument, but wholly upon the ground that Mormons never had a
"woman" preacher. As the result of this criticism, it was shown to have
been due solely to typographical error, [150] thus leaving the statement
as corrected free from criticism upon this ground. The very spontaneity
of this outburst and its surrounding circumstances absolutely preclude
every imputation of premeditation, every suspicion of personal
interest, and every impeachment based upon an assumed hatred of
Mormonism. Further, when we in addition remember that this occurrence
was comparatively close to the time when Spaulding read his manuscript
to many of those present in this same audience, then this circumstance
will rightfully be accorded a very great evidentiary weight.

[Footnote 150: "Gleanings by the Way," 264.]

The evidence gathered by Dr. Philastus Hurlburt pursuant to the
citizens' meeting of Conneaut was first published in Howe's "Mormonism
Unveiled," in 1834, and is the most important single collection of
original evidence ever made upon this subject. We will first examine
that evidence in so far as it relates to the identity of Spaulding's
"Manuscript Found" and the Book of Mormon, afterwards introducing such
corroborating evidence as may be at hand. Unless otherwise indicated,
the following evidence was taken before and published in 1834 by E. D.
Howe in the nineteenth chapter of his "Mormonism Unveiled." The first
witness introduced is John Spaulding who lived with his brother Solomon
at Conneaut, O. Of a book his brother had been writing John Spaulding
says this:

    "The book he was writing was entitled 'Manuscript Found,' of which
    he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the
    first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American
    Indians are the descendants of the Jew, or the lost tribes. It
    gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem by land
    and sea till they arrived in America under the command of _Nephi_
    and _Lehi._ They afterwards had quarrels and contentions and
    separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated
    _Nephites_ and the other _Lamanites._ Cruel and bloody wars ensued,
    in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in
    large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. The
    arts, sciences and civilization were brought into view in order to
    account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of
    North and South America. I have recently read the Book of Mormon,
    and, to my great surprise, I find _nearly all the same historical
    matter, names, etc.,_ as they were in my brother's writings. I
    well remember that he wrote in the old style and commenced about
    every sentence with 'And it came to pass,' or 'Now it came to
    pass,' the _same as in the Book of Mormon,_ and, according to my
    best recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon
    wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means
    it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr., I am unable to


Our next witness is Martha Spaulding, wife of John Spaulding. She says:

    "I was personally acquainted with Solomon Spaulding about twenty
    years ago. I was at his house a short time before he left Conneaut;
    he was then writing a historical novel, founded upon the first
    settlers of America. He represented them as an enlightened and
    warlike people. He had for many years contended that the aborigines
    of America were the descendants of some of the lost tribes of
    Israel, and this idea he carried out in the book in question. The
    lapse of time which has intervened prevents my recollecting but few
    of the leading incidents of his writings; but the names of _Nephi_
    and _Lehi_ are yet fresh in my memory as being the principal
    heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first
    came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their
    journey by land and sea till they arrived in America, after which
    disputes arose between the chiefs which caused them to separate
    into different bands, one of which was called Lamanites and the
    other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous battles,
    which frequently covered the ground with the slain; and their
    being buried in large heaps was the cause of the numerous mounds
    in the country. Some of these people he represented as being very
    large. I have read the Book of Mormon, which has brought fresh to
    my recollection the writings of Solomon Spaulding, and I have no
    manner of doubt that the historical part of it is the same that I
    read and heard more than twenty years ago. The old, obsolete style
    and the phrases of 'and it came to pass,' etc., are the same.


Our third witness is Henry Lake, Spaulding's business partner at
Conneaut. He says:

    "He [Spaulding] very frequently read to me from a manuscript
    which he was writing, which he entitled the 'Manuscript Found,'
    and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent
    many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well
    acquainted with its contents. He wished me to assist him in getting
    his production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would
    meet with a rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not
    meeting our anticipations, we failed in business, when I declined
    having anything to do with the publication of the book. This
    book represented the American Indians as the descendants of the
    lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their
    contentions and wars, which were many and great. One time, when he
    was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointed out to him
    what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct,
    but by referring to the Book of Mormon I find, to my surprise, that
    it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I
    borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket, carried it home,
    and thought no more about it. About a week after my wife found the
    book in my coat pocket as it hung up, and commenced reading it
    aloud as I lay upon the bed. She had not read twenty minutes when
    I was astonished to find the same passages in it that Spaulding
    had read to me more than twenty years before from his 'Manuscript
    Found.' Since that I have more carefully examined the said Golden
    Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of
    it principally, if not wholly, taken from the 'Manuscript Found.'
    I well recollect telling Mr. Spaulding that the so frequent use of
    the words, 'And it came to pass,' 'Now it came to pass,' rendered
    it ridiculous."


Our fourth witness is John N. Miller, who was employed by Spaulding and
Lake at Conneaut and boarded at the former's home. Miller says:

    "He [Spaulding] had written two or three books or pamphlets on
    different subjects, but that which more particularly drew my
    attention was the one which he called the 'Manuscript Found.' From
    this he would frequently read some humorous passages to the company
    present. It purported to be the history of the first settlement of
    America before discovered by Columbus. He brought them off from
    Jerusalem under their leaders, detailing their travels by land and
    water, their manners, customs, laws, wars, etc. He said that he
    designed it as a historical novel, and that in after years it would
    be believed by many people as much as the history of England. He
    soon after failed in business, and told me he should retire from
    the din of his creditors, finish his book, and have it published,
    which would enable him to pay his debts and support his family. He
    soon after removed to Pittsburg, as I understood. I have recently
    examined the Book of Mormon, and find in it the writings of Solomon
    Spaulding from beginning to end, but mixed up with Scripture
    and other religious matters which I did not meet with in the
    'Manuscript Found.' Many of the passages in the Mormon book are
    verbatim from Spaulding, and others in part. The names of _Nephi,
    Lehi, Moroni,_ and, in fact; all the principal names are brought
    fresh to my recollection by the Golden Bible. When Spaulding
    divested his history of its fabulous names by a verbal explanation,
    he landed his people near the Straits of Darien, which I am very
    confident he called Zarahemla; they were marched about that country
    for a length of time in which wars and great bloodshed ensued. He
    brought them across North America in a northeast direction.


Our fifth witness is Aaron Wright, who says:

    "I first became acquainted with Solomon Spaulding in 1808 or 1809,
    when he commenced building a forge on Conneaut Creek. When at his
    house one day, he showed and read to me a history he was writing
    of the lost tribes of Israel, purporting that they were the first
    settlers of America, and that the Indians were their descendants.
    Upon this subject we had frequent conversations. He traced their
    journey from Jerusalem to America as it is given in the Book of
    Mormon, excepting the religious matter. The historical part of the
    Book of Mormon I know to be the same as I read and heard read from
    the writings of Spaulding more than twenty years ago; the names are
    especially the same without any alteration. He told me his object
    was to account for all the fortifications, etc., to be found in
    this country, and said that in time it would be fully believed by
    all except learned men and historians. I once anticipated reading
    his writings in print, but little expected to see them in a new
    Bible. Spaulding _had many other manuscripts_ which I expect to
    see when Smith translates his other plates. In conclusion I will
    observe that the names of, and most of the historical part of the
    Book of Mormon, were as familiar to me before I read it as most
    modern history. If it is not Spaulding's writing, it is the same
    as he wrote; and if Smith was inspired, I think it was by the same
    spirit that Spaulding was, which he confessed to be the love of


Our sixth witness is Oliver Smith, who testifies:

    "When Solomon Spaulding first came to this place [Conneaut], he
    purchased a tract of land, surveyed it out, and commenced selling
    it. While engaged in this business he boarded at my house, in all
    nearly six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing a
    historical novel founded upon the first settlers of this country.
    He said he intended to trace their journey from Jerusalem, by land
    and sea, till their arrival in America, and give an account of
    their arts, sciences, civilization, wars and contentions. In this
    way he would give a satisfactory account of all the old mounds
    so Common to this country. During the time he was at my house I
    read and heard read one hundred pages or more. Nephi and Lehi were
    by him represented as leading characters when they first started
    for America. Their main object was to escape the judgments which
    they supposed were coming upon the old world. But no religious
    matter was introduced, as I now recollect. * * * When I heard the
    historical part of it related, I at once said it was the writings
    of Solomon Spaulding. Soon after I obtained the book, and on
    reading it, found much of it the same as Spaulding had written more
    than twenty years before.


Our seventh witness, Nahum Howard, avers this:

    "I first became acquainted with Solomon Spaulding in December,
    1810. After that time I frequently saw him at his house, and also
    at my house. I once, in conversation with him, expressed a surprise
    at not having any account of the inhabitants once in this country,
    who erected the old forts, mounds, etc. He then told me that he was
    writing a history of that race of people and afterwards frequently
    showed me his writings which I read. I have lately read the Book
    of Mormon and believe it to be the same as Spaulding wrote, except
    the religious part. He told me that he intended to get his writings
    published in Pittsburg, and he thought that in one century from
    that time it would be believed as much as any other history.


Our eighth witness is Artemas Cunningham, whose evidence reads thus:

    "In the month of October, 1811, I went from the township of Madison
    to Conneaut, for the purpose of securing a debt due me from Solomon
    Spaulding. I tarried with him nearly two days for the purpose of
    accomplishing my object, which I was finally unable to do. I found
    him destitute of the means of paying his debts. His only hope of
    ever paying his debts appeared to be upon the sale of a book which
    he had been writing. He endeavored to convince me from the nature
    and character of the work that it would meet with a ready sale.
    Before showing me his manuscripts, he went into a verbal relation
    of its outlines, saying that it was a fabulous or romantic history
    of the first settlement of this country, and as it purported to
    have been a record found buried in the earth, or in a cave, he
    had adopted the ancient or scripture style of writing. He then
    presented his manuscripts, when we sat down and spent a good share
    of the night in reading them and conversing upon them. I well
    remember the name of Nephi, which appeared to be the principal hero
    of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase 'I, Nephi.' I
    recollect as distinctly as though it was but yesterday, although
    the general features of the story have passed from my memory
    through the lapse of twenty-two years. He attempted to account for
    the numerous antiquities which are found upon this continent, and
    remarked that after this generation had passed away, his account of
    the first inhabitants of America would be considered as authentic
    as any other history. The Mormon Bible I have partially examined
    and am fully of the opinion that Solomon Spaulding had written its
    outlines before he left Conneaut." [151]

[Footnote 151: This ends the evidence taken from Howe's "Mormonism
Unveiled," Chapter 19.]

After the publication of the foregoing evidence (1834) "Apostle" Orson
Hyde went to Conneaut, evidently to secure impeaching or contradicting
testimony. He received so little comfort that not even a public mention
of the trip was made by him until 1841, while he was in London. [152]

[Footnote 152: "The Spaulding Story Examined and Exposed," by Page, 10.]

Our ninth witness upon the facts showing the plagiarism of the Book
of Mormon from the Spaulding manuscript is Mr. Joseph Miller. He was
intimately acquainted with Solomon Spaulding during all of the time
while the latter resided at Amity, Pa. (1814-16).[153] Mr. Miller's
testimony is preserved in the Pittsburg _Telegraph_ of February 6,
1879, from which the following is pertinent:

[Footnote 153: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 6.]

    "On hearing read the account from the book [of Mormon] of the
    battle between the Amlicites and the Nephites [Book of Alma,
    Chapter 1--Chapter 3, Edition of '88--], in which the soldiers of
    one army had placed a red mark on their foreheads to distinguish
    them from their enemies, it seems to reproduce in my mind, not only
    the narration, but the very words, as they had been impressed upon
    my mind by the reading of Spaulding's manuscript."

Our tenth witness is Redick McKee, Whose evidence upon another point
we have already used. Under date of Washington, D.C., April 14, 1869,
published in the Washington (Pa.) _Reporter_ for April 21, 1869, he

    "In the fall of 1814 I arrived in the village of 'Good Will,' and
    for eighteen or twenty months sold goods in the store previously
    occupied by Mr. Thos. Brice. It was on Main Street, a few doors
    west of Spaulding's Tavern, where I was a boarder. With both Mr.
    Solomon Spaulding and his wife I was quite intimately acquainted.
    I recollect quite well Mr. Spaulding spending much time in writing
    [on sheets of paper torn out of an old book] what purported to
    be a veritable history of the nations or tribes who inhabited
    Canaan. He called it 'Lost History Found,' 'Lost Manuscript,' or
    some such name, not disguising that it was wholly a work of the
    imagination, written to amuse himself and without any immediate
    view to publication. I was struck with the minuteness of his
    details and the apparent truthfulness and sincerity of the author.
    I have an indistinct recollection of the passage referred to by Mr.
    Miller about the Amlicites making a cross with red paint on their
    foreheads to distinguish them from enemies in the confusion of

The eleventh witness is the Rev. Abner Jackson, who, when but a boy and
confined with a lame knee, heard Solomon Spaulding read to his father
much of the former's story, and also heard him give an outline of the
whole. Mr. Jackson, under date of December 20, 1880, made the following
statement to the Washington County (Pa.) _Reporter_ of January 7,
1881: [154]

[Footnote 154: See also "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" 6-7.]

    "Spaulding frequently read his manuscript to the neighbors and
    amused them as he progressed with the work. He wrote it in Bible
    style. 'And it came to pass' occurred so often that some called
    him 'Old Come-to-pass.' The Book of Mormon follows the romance too
    closely to be a stranger. In both, many persons appear having the
    same name, as Moroni, Mormon, Nephites, Laman, Lamanites, Nephi,
    and others. Here we are presented with romance second called
    the Book of Mormon, telling the same story of the same people,
    traveling from the same plain, in the same way, having the same
    difficulties and destination, with the same wars, same battles
    and same results, with thousands upon thousands slain. Then see
    the Mormon account of the last battle at Cumorah, where all the
    righteous were slain. How much this resembles the closing scene in
    the 'Manuscript Found.' The most singular part of the whole matter
    is that it follows the romance so closely, with this difference:
    The first claims to be a romance, the second claims to be a
    revelation of God, a new Bible. When it was brought to Conneaut and
    read there in public, old Squire Wright heard it and exclaimed,
    'Old-Come-to-pass has come to life again.' Here was the place where
    Spaulding wrote and read his manuscript to the neighbors for their
    amusement, and Squire Wright had often heard him read from his
    romance. This was in 1832, sixteen years after Spaulding's death.
    This Squire Wright lived on a little farm just outside of the
    little village. I was acquainted with him for twenty-five years.
    I lived on his farm when I was a boy and attended school in his
    village. I am particular to notice these things to show that I had
    an opportunity of knowing what I am writing about."

Squire Wright, referred to in Mr. Jackson's statement, is the same
Aaron Wright who was our fifth witness upon the question of identity.

Last, but not least, we, introduce John C. Bennett. He says he joined
the Mormons in order to enable himself to expose their iniquity. He
was quartermaster-general of Illinois, the mayor of Nauvoo, a master
in chancery for Hancock County, III., appointed by then Judge Stephen
A. Douglas, a trustee for the "University of the City of Nauvoo," the
recipient of special mention in revelation purporting to come direct
from God, as well as innumerable encomiums from church leaders and
the church organ. The Mormon people have called Bennett more kinds
of a liar, it seems to me, than any man was ever called before. When
Mormons are asked just what statement of Bennett's warrants the
charge, they usually confess they never read his book. In the light of
subsequent history and later church admissions, there is not one of
Bennett's innumerable charges of almost unbelievable iniquity which I
cannot demonstrate to be substantially true as to the character of the
iniquity, if not the special manifestation of it, and do so wholly from
the evidence of Mormon church publications. I, therefore, believe what
Bennett says, and here quote so much of his testimony as relates to the
origin of the Book of Mormon. He says:

    "I will remark here in confirmation of the above [he having quoted
    a small part of the statements herein last above quoted] that the
    Book of Mormon was originally written by the Rev. Solomon
    Spaulding, A. M., as a romance and entitled the 'Manuscript
    Found,' and placed by him in the printing office of Patterson
    and Lambdin, in the city of Pittsburg, from whence it was taken
    by a _conspicuous Mormon divine_ and remodeled by adding the
    religious portion, placed by him in Smith's possession, and then
    published to the world as the testimony exemplifies. This I have
    from the confederation, and of its perfect correctness there is
    not the shadow of a doubt. There never were any plates of the
    Book of Mormon excepting what were seen by the spiritual and not
    the natural eyes of the witnesses. The story of the plates is all
    chimerical." [155]

[Footnote 155: Bennett's "Mormonism Exposed," 123-4--1842.]

It will be observed Bennett does not name Rigdon or Pratt in his
statement. The reason is apparent from reading certain correspondence
published in the book from which it appears that at the same time
of writing he entertained a reasonable hope that Sidney Rigdon and
the Pratts would leave the church and join him in his anti-Mormon
crusade, and he probably did not wish to unduly embarrass his supposed
confederates, who were still apparently within the fold.


With the exception of establishing the motive, our case is now
complete. The natural inference, of course, is that the greed for gain
furnished the dynamics of the scheme, but we must not leave even this
fact without direct evidence. Mormons point to the violent death of
Smith as a martyrdom, and assume this sufficient answer to the charge
of selfishness. A man who, as was the case with Smith, dies with a
six-shooter in his own hand, firing it at his assailants, [156] is in a
novel pose for a martyr, and yet we may admit that Smith would not from
selfish ends have chosen a career of imposture had he in the beginning
been able to foresee his ignominious end.

[Footnote 156: "Rise and Fall of Nauvoo," 443. Bancroft's "History of
Utah," 170.]

Soon after Rigdon's visit to Smith and the reception of the revelation
making Kirtland the gathering place of the "Saints," Smith's family,
together with their followers, moved to Ohio. Revelations now came
thick and fast, and of such a character as to demonstrate that the love
of gold, and not God, was the inducing cause of their existence. I
quote a few pertinent samples:

    "Whoso receiveth you receiveth me, and the same will _feed_ you and
    _clothe_ you and _give you money-_and he who doeth not these things
    is not my disciple," [157]

[Footnote 157: Doctrine and Covenants, 84, 89.]

    "It is wisdom in me that my servant Martin Harris should be an
    example unto the church _in laying his money before the bishop_
    of the church. And also this is a law unto every man that cometh
    unto this land to receive an inheritance, and he shall do with this
    money according as the law directs." [158]

[Footnote 158: Doctrine and Covenants, 58:35, 36.]

    "And let all _the monies which can be spared, it mattereth not_
    unto me whether it be little or much, be sent up unto the land of
    Zion unto those I have appointed to receive it." [159]

[Footnote 159: Doctrine and Covenants, 63:40.]

    "And let all those who have not families, who receive _monies,_
    send it up unto the Bishop of Zion." [160]

[Footnote 160: Doctrine and Covenants, 84:104.]

    "Behold, this is my will obtaining moneys even as I have
    directed." [161]

[Footnote 161: Doctrine and Covenants, 66:45. Supplement 14 _Millennial
Star,_ 80.]

    "Impart a portion of thy property; yea, even part of thy lands, and
    _all_ save the support of thy family." [162]

[Footnote 162: Doctrine and Covenants, 10:34.]

    "Verily thus saith the Lord, I _require all their surplus_ property
    to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church of Zion." [163]

[Footnote 163: Doctrine and Covenants, 119:1.]

    "And in temporal labor thou [Smith, the athlete,] shalt not give
    strength, for this is not thy calling." [164]

[Footnote 164: Doctrine and Covenants, 24:9.]

    _"They shall support thee_ and I will bless them both spiritually
    and temporally." [165]

[Footnote 165: Doctrine and Covenants, 24:3.]

    "If ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, _provide for Him_
    [Smith] _food and raiment_ and whatsoever he needeth to accomplish
    the work." [166]

[Footnote 166: Doctrine and Covenants, 43:13.]

    "He who _feeds_ you, or _clothes_ you, or gives you _money_ shall
    in no wise lose his reward." [167]

[Footnote 167: Doctrine and Covenants, 84:90.]

    "He that _sendeth up treasures_ unto the land of Zion shall receive
    an inheritance in this world." [168]

[Footnote 168: Doctrine and Covenants, 64:48.]

    "I command that thou shall not covet thine own property." [169]

[Footnote 169: Doctrine and Covenants, 19:26.]

"Your money or your damnation" has about as much ethical sanction as
the less pretentious demand of the highwayman who says, "Your money
or your life." But we have not yet reached the end. The "Prophet's"
father, who, prior to the discovery of the alleged divine mission of
his son, eked out only a scanty living as a dispenser of cake and root
beer, [170] now became the dispenser of patriarchal blessings at ten
dollars per week and expenses, [171] and later at three dollars per
bless. [172]

[Footnote 170: "Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism," 12.]

[Footnote 171: 15 _Millennial Star_, 308.]

[Footnote 172: "Mormon Portraits," 16.]

The Prophet's brothers and friends received a gift of real estate by
revelation, [173] and another brother of the Prophet was retained in a
holy office, though confessedly concealing his property to cheat his
creditors. [174]

[Footnote 173: Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 94.]

[Footnote 174: 15 _Millennial Star_, 520.]

These are a part and by no means all of the evidence tending to
establish that a desire for money was the inspiring cause of every act
of the Mormon Prophet, the very divinity that moulded his thoughts
and revelations, and brought into being Mormon's books. Before
becoming a Prophet, Joseph Smith's earning capacity as a peep-stone
money digger was $14 per month. [175] Soon after becoming a Prophet he
became president of a bank. [176] In 1842 the Prophet (together with
his brother Hyrum and Sidney Rigdon) took advantage of the bankruptcy
law to avoid creditors, whose claims amounted to one hundred thousand
dollars. [177] A few years later the Prophet was killed, he being at the
time the richest man in Nauvoo.

[Footnote 175: 16 _Millennial Star,_ 151.]

[Footnote 176: "Gleanings by the Way," 334. Sometimes Smith was cashier
and Rigdon President. "Prophet of Palmyra," 135.]

[Footnote 177: 19 _Millennial Star_, 343. 20 _Millennial Star,_
106-216-246. "Mormonism and Mormons," 338.]

Through the whole story of their lives, if we may believe their alleged
revelations to come from on high, God manifests in the conspirators'
behalf a greed for earthly prosperity which would disgrace any decent
man who should attempt to gratify it at the expense of a like number of
poverty-stricken, ignorant unfortunates.

It is perhaps a work of supererogation, yet I cannot readily resist
calling attention to the human side of the conspirators, when they came
to fall out, over the division of the spoils. Many, even Brigham Young
included, suspected Joseph Smith of misappropriating church money. [178]
Brigham, however, had his suspicions allayed, for the Lord actually put
money into his trunk. [179] This would, of course, be very convincing
evidence that a man might have much money without misappropriating
anything, even months later fail with $150,000 of liabilities and
practically though a bank established by revelation, [180] should a few
no assets, and after only eight months of business. [181]

[Footnote 178: _Deseret News,_ April 8, 1857, p. 36.]

[Footnote 179: 2 _Journal of Discourses_, 128. 7 _Deseret News_, 115.]

[Footnote 180: Statement of Warren Parrish, copied in "An Exposure
of Mormonism," 10. _Messenger and Advocate,_ January 1837, copied in
"Prophet of Palmyra," 134. _Deseret News,_ December 21, 1864, Vol. 14,
p. 94, says "under the direction of the Prophet."]

[Footnote 181: Statement of Warren Parrish, copied in "An Exposure
of Mormonism," 11. [The above sentence lacks clearness, but it is
_verbatim_ from Mr. Schroeder's article, and I do not feel at liberty
to suggest the meaning.--R.]]

At one time Cowdery, a witness to the divinity of the Book of Mormon,
invited suspicion that he was converting more than his share of the
spoils, and the following revelation was the result:

    "It is not wisdom in me that he [Cowdery] should be entrusted
    with the commandments, and the moneys which he shall carry unto
    the land of Zion, _except one go with him who will be true and
    faithful._" [182]

[Footnote 182: Doctrine and Covenants, 6:91.]

The most forceful incident of this sort, however, occurred as the
result of jealousy between Rigdon and Smith, which manifests itself
in scores of ways all through their lives. When Rigdon on his visit
to the Prophet in New York desires to be proclaimed a translator of
remaining plates given by the angel to Smith, and as having the same
power as Joseph Smith, the former's ambitions are quietly squelched by
a revelation from God to Rigdon, saying: "It is not expedient in me
that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to Ohio," [183] but
the rest of the plates never were translated. [184]

[Footnote 183: Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 37.]

[Footnote 184: 19 _Journal of Discourses_, 18-216-218. "Reminiscences
of Joseph the Prophet," 14.]

When Cowdery and perhaps Rigdon importune their partner in fraud to
be elevated to the prophetic office, Smith resists with a revelation
in which God is made to say: "No one shall be appointed to receive
commandments and revelations in this church, excepting my servant
Joseph Smith, Jun." [185] Similar revelations seem to have been
necessary more than once. [186]

[Footnote 185: Doctrine and Covenants, 28:2.]

[Footnote 186: Doctrine and Covenants 43:8.]

Finally the pressure became too hard to bear, and a revelation was
procured in which God, in contradiction of his former declarations,
one of which is above quoted, appoints Sidney Rigdon "to receive the
oracles for the whole church." [187] And not neglecting the equal rights
of the "Prophet's" brother, God declares: "I appoint unto him (Hyrum
Smith) that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my
church, as well as my servant Joseph." [188] Both men were accordingly
"ordained" each a "prophet, seer, and revelator." [189] Thus are even
the Gods made to eat their own words at the behest of the conspirators,
who quarrel in their division of the glory and the gold.

[Footnote 187: Doctrine and Covenants 124:126.]

[Footnote 188: Doctrine and Covenants 124:94. 18 _Millennial Star_,

[Footnote 189: 20 _Millenial Star_, 550 as to Rigdon, and p. 373 as to
Hyrum Smith. It is now claimed that Smith had conferred upon all the
Apostles "all the Power, Priesthood, and Authority ever conferred upon,
himself." 1 _Journal of Discourses_, 206. 19 _Journal of Discourses,_
124. See also _Melchizedek and Aaronic Herald,_ February, 1850. 5
_Millennial Star,_ 104, 68 Semi-Annual Conference, 70.]

One more incident of this sort will suffice. In February, 1831, Smith
received the first of several revelations directing the brethren to
provide him a home. In part it reads as follows:

    "It is mete that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., should have a house
    built in which to live and translate. And again, it is mete that my
    servant Sidney Rigdon shall live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as
    he keepeth my commandments." [190]

[Footnote 190: Doctrine and Covenants, 41, 7 and 8.]

Of course, living "as seemeth him good" was to Sidney Rigdon hardly a
fair equivalent for a house and lot. Had he not made Smith a "prophet,
seer, and revelator," and could he not also unmake him? Why, then,
should Sidney Rigdon submit to any unfair division of the spoils of the
prophetic office? He didn't.

The above revelation was received while Rigdon was absent from
Kirtland. Upon his return he went to the meeting house where an
expectant throng awaited him in anticipation of one of his entrancing
sermons, but Rigdon failed to go to the speaker's stand, and instead
paced back and forth through the house. The "Prophet Joseph" being
absent from Kirtland, Father Smith requested Rigdon to speak. In a
tone of excitement Rigdon replied (and who will say it was not spoken
as by one having authority?): "The keys of the Kingdom are rent from
the church, and there shall be no prayer put up in this house this
day." "Oh, no; I hope not," gasped Father Smith. "I tell you they are,"
rejoined "Elder Rigdon." The brethren stared and turned pale, and the
sisters in anguish cried aloud for relief. "I tell you again," said
Sidney, with much feeling, "the keys of the Kingdom are taken from you,
and you never will have them again _until you build me a new house_."

Amid tumultuous excitement on the part of the sisters, "Brother
Hyrum" left the meeting to bring "Joseph the Prophet," who was in a
neighboring settlement. On their return next day the "brethren" and
"sisters" were gathered in anticipation of important happenings. Joseph
mounted the rostrum and informed the assembly that they were laboring
under a great mistake; that the church had not transgressed. Speaking
of the lost keys, he said: "I myself hold the keys of this last
dispensation, and will forever hold them, both in time and in eternity;
so set your hearts at rest upon that point; all is right."

I continue to quote from an account written by the "Prophet's"
mother, relating just what they desire the world to believe happened
immediately after:

"He (Joseph Smith) then went on and preached a comforting discourse,
after which he appointed a council to sit the next day, by which Sidney
Rigdon was tried for _having lied in the name of the Lord._ In this
council Joseph told him he must suffer for what he had done; that he
would be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, who would handle
him as one man handleth another; that the less priesthood he had the
better it would be for him, and that it would be well for him to give
up his license. This counsel Sidney complied with, yet he had to suffer
for his folly, for, according to his own account, he was dragged out
of bed by the devil three times in one night, by the heels." Mother
Lucy Smith doubtingly adds: "Whether this be true or not, one thing is
certain. His contrition of soul was as great as a man could well live
through." [191] The last sentence shows beyond dispute that Mother Lucy
had her doubts about this silly story she has just narrated, and, of
course, we are entitled to similar doubts.

[Footnote 191: Mother Lucy's life of "Joseph Smith the Prophet," 195
and 196. As to Rigdon's declaration that the keys were gone, see also
14 _Deseret News,_ 91, December 21, 1864. As to Rigdon's being dragged
out of bed, see also History of the Mormons, 53.]

What really did happen is made very plain by subsequent occurrences.
Smith and Rigdon got together, patched up their differences by an
agreement that Rigdon should have a house if he would restore the
"keys" to the last dispensation, and desist from executing his threats
to smash the "Kingdom," and for the sake of its wholesome influence
upon others he must play penitent and humble. As evidence of this
conclusion we point to the story of this transaction as quoted above
from Mother Lucy's life of the "Prophet," and the two following
sections of a revelation announced by Smith under date of August, 1831:

    "Behold, verily I say unto you, I the Lord am not pleased with my
    servant Sidney Rigdon. He exalted himself in his heart and received
    not my counsel, but grieved the Spirit." "Let my servants Joseph
    Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon seek them a house as they are taught
    through prayer by the Spirit." [192]

[Footnote 192: Doctrine and Covenants, 63:55 and 65.]

It is needless to add they each received a house, and both stood for
many years, and perhaps even to this day, side by side, and both built
according to the same plans. [193]

[Footnote 193: "Gleanings by the Way," 332.]


The case, so far as the production of evidence is concerned, must now
be considered closed. The actors in this fraud are all dead, and upon
the precise question here discussed no new evidence is likely to be
discovered. All the evidence directly affecting either side of the
question has been introduced and reviewed.

When, as here, we are investigating a case dependent upon
circumstantial evidence, we must judge the evidence as a whole. No
one circumstance out of many connected ones ever established the
ultimate fact. The converse of this proposition is equally true. You
cannot show the insufficiency of the evidence by demonstrating that
any one circumstance, if it stood alone, would be equally consistent
with some other theory than the one in support of which it is cited.
The evidentiary circumstances must be viewed as a whole, each in the
light of its relation to all the rest. Thus viewed, the circumstantial
evidence is strong just in proportion as the circumstances related
to, and consistent with, the theory advocated are numerous. In the
argument under consideration the circumstantial facts are so numerous,
and gathered from so many disconnected sources, corroborated by so many
admissions from the accused conspirators and their defenders, that it
is utterly impossible to believe them all to have come into being as a
mere matter of accidental concomitance.

Let us put the defenders of the divinity of Mormonism to a test on this
matter by inviting them to make an equally good case of circumstantial
evidence based upon established fact, all tending to show some other
human origin for the Book of Mormon than that here advocated. Inability
to do so means that such an array of concurring facts cannot be
duplicated in support of any other theory than the one here advocated.
If, as must now be admitted, the concurrence of so very many facts can
best be explained by the conclusions here contended for, then that is a
more believable, a more rational conviction than one which of necessity
requires belief in an assumed and unprovable miracle. That explanation
which takes the least for granted is always the one adopted by the
sanest person. Bearing in mind these truths, let us briefly review a
portion of the most salient features of the argument.

From the uncontradicted evidence of witnesses, practically all of whom
are disinterested and who in most circumstances of great evidentiary
weight are corroborated by authorized church publications, we have
established beyond cavil, and I am sure to the satisfaction of all
thinking minds untainted by mysticism, and whose vision is unobscured,
that the following are thoroughly established facts:

Solomon Spaulding, between 1812 and 1816, outlined and then re-wrote
a novel, attempting therein to account for the American Indian by
Israelitish origin. The first outline of this story, now at Oberlin
College, had no direct connection with the Book of Mormon, and was
never claimed to be connected with it, and such connection was
expressly disclaimed as early as 1834. The rewritten story, entitled
"Manuscript Found," was by Spaulding twice left with a publisher,
whence it was stolen under circumstances which then led Spaulding
to suspect Sidney Rigdon, who long after was the first conspicuous
convert of Mormonism; that Rigdon, through his great intimacy with the
publishers' employees, had opportunity to steal it, and that after
Spaulding's death, and years before the advent of Mormonism, Rigdon
had in his possession such a manuscript and exhibited it, with the
statement that it was Spaulding's. Through Parley P. Pratt, Rigdon
and Smith were brought into relation, and the latter made the Prophet
of the "Dispensation of the Fullness of Times," the discoverer,
translator, and, according to his own designation, the "Author and
Proprietor" [194] of the Book of Mormon. This connection is established
by the most convincing circumstantial evidence, taken wholly from
authorized Mormon publications; it is shown that Rigdon foreknew the
coming and in a general way the contents of the Book of Mormon; that
both Rigdon and Pratt were, according to some of their contradictory
accounts, converted to Mormonism with such miraculous suddenness and
without substantial investigation that when this, coupled with the
contradictory accounts of these important events and their attempts at
concealing the suddenness of their conversion, all compel a conviction
of their participation in a scheme of religious fraud.

[Footnote 194: Smith designates himself as the "Author and Proprietor"
of God's word, in the Title Page of the Book of Mormon, also in the
testimony of the witnesses as it appears in the first edition, since
which time both have been altered. See also _Evening and Morning Star,_

Upon the question of plagiarism, we may profitably add a brief summary
of the points of identity between the peculiar features shown to be
common to Spaulding's novel and the Book of Mormon. In Spaulding's
first outline of the story it pretended to be ancient American history,
attempting to explain the origin of part of the aborigines of this
continent, all translated from ancient writings found in a stone
box. It recounts the wars of extermination of two factions, tells
of the collecting of armies and of slaughters which were a physical
impossibility to those uncivilized people who were without any modern
methods of transporting troops or army supplies. After two revisions,
one by Spaulding and a second by Smith, Rigdon & Co., the above general
outline still describes equally well the Book of Mormon.

Leaving the first blocking-out of his novel unfinished, Spaulding
resolved to change his plot by dating the story farther back and by
attempting to imitate the Old Scripture style, so as to make it seem
more ancient. Spaulding's determination to date his novel farther back
probably suggested changing the roll of parchment which, according to
the Oberlin manuscript, was found in a stone box, to golden plates.
Some time before 1820 some one pretended to have found a Golden Bible
in Canada. [195] If Spaulding, in rewriting the story, did not make the
change, this incident may have suggested such a change to Smith and his

[Footnote 195: Braden-Kelly Debate, 55.]

Spaulding, in his attempt at imitating Bible phraseology, had repeated
so ridiculously often the words "it came to pass," that both in Ohio
and Pennsylvania the neighbors to whom he read his manuscript nicknamed
him "Old Come-to-pass." In the Book of Mormon, though professedly an
abridgment, the same phrase is uselessly repeated several thousand
times, and a bungling effort at imitating the style of Bible writers is
apparent all through it.

Spaulding's existence was contemporaneous with Anti-Masonic riots, and
he harbored a sentiment against all secret societies, [196] which has
also been carried through into the Book of Mormon.

[Footnote 196: "Howe's Mormonism Unveiled," 288.]

The uncontradicted and unimpeached evidence of many witnesses is
explicit that the historical portions of both the "Manuscript Found"
and the "Book of Mormon" are the same, and much of the religious matter
interpolated is in the exact phraseology of King James's translation of
the Bible. We find also many names of places, persons, and tribes to
be identical in the "Manuscript Found" and the Book of Mormon. Some of
the names were taken from the Bible, others would be known only to the
students of American antiquities, among whom was Spaulding, and still
others were unheard of until coined by Spaulding. The names proven to
be common to both are Nephi, Lehi, Mormon, Nephites, Lamanites, Laban,
Zarahemla and Amlicites.

Add to this the very novel circumstance that in both accounts one of
two contending armies placed upon the forehead of its soldiers a red
mark that they might distinguish friends from enemies, and the new and
characteristic features common to both are too numerous to admit of any
explanation except that herein contended for, viz: That the Book of
Mormon is a plagiarism from Spaulding's novel, the "Manuscript Found,"
and is the product of conscious fraud on the part of Sidney Rigdon,
Parley Parker Pratt, Joseph Smith, and others, which fraud was prompted
wholly by a love of notoriety and money.



(A Reply to Mr. Theodore Schroeder)


When one undertakes at this late day a serious discussion of the
Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, he instinctively
feels inclined to begin with an apology to his readers. When Pococke
inquired of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the pigeon,
trained to pick peas from Mahomet's ear, and pass for an angel
dictating the Koran to him, Grotius answered that there was no proof.
The statement here is Carlyle's; and the gruff old Scotch philosopher
adds in his sour fashion, "It is really time to dismiss all that." [1]
So indeed we think of this Spaulding myth in reference to its being the
origin of the Book of Mormon.

[Footnote 1: "Heroes and Hero Worship," by Thomas Carlyle, lecture II.]

When the Church of which the Book of Mormon may be said, in a way, to
have been the origin has survived the most cruel religious persecution
of modern times, first in the expulsion of from twelve to fifteen
thousand of its members from the state of Missouri; and, second, in the
murder of its first prophet in Illinois, followed by the expatriation
of between twenty and thirty thousand of its members from the territory
of the United States; when that religious movement to which the Book
of Mormon may be said to have given the first impulse, and is now a
continuous, sustaining factor, has resulted in the founding of a number
of American commonwealths in the inter-mountain country of the United
States; [2] when that people who accept the Book of Mormon as a divine
revelation have established, for an extent of well nigh three thousand
miles through the plateau valleys of the Rocky Mountains--from the
province of Alberta, Canada, to the states of Chihuahua and Sonora in
the republic of Mexico--no less than between seven and nine hundred
settlements, many of them prosperous towns of large manufacturing as
well as of large agriculture and trade interests; when that same people
have won world-wide renown as superior colonizers, and are eagerly
sought for in such enterprises because of their well known sobriety,
honesty, frugality and industry; when that same people are quietly
building up an educational system including as it does the rounding
of universities in its principal centers, and academies elsewhere as
feeders to the central educational institutions; [3] when those who
accept the Book of Mormon as a divine revelation continuously sustain a
corps of missionaries, numbering from fifteen to eighteen hundred, to
carry their message to the world, and these missionaries are at work
in nearly all civilized nations, and in the islands of the Pacific,
meeting their own expenses and manifesting the unselfishness of their
faith by their works--their service for God and fellowman; when the
Book of Mormon itself has been accepted in the first three-quarters of
a century of its existence by hundreds of thousands of earnest people
of average intelligence and certainly of independent character; when
the Book of Mormon itself has been translated into and published in at
least eleven languages, in a number of which it has run through many
editions and the copies published run into the hundreds of thousands,
and with no abatement of interest yet manifested; when the Book of
Mormon is creating not only a people but also a literature, embracing
history, poetry and philosophy; when it is inspiring music, painting
and sculpture--when all this has come of the Book of Mormon, is it
not really about time to dismiss all that silly talk of the Spaulding
manuscript being stolen by Rigdon, revamped by him and palmed off upon
the world by a backwoods boy as a revelation, and this practiced fraud
and deception being the origin of all this that is here enumerated?

[Footnote 2: It must not be supposed that the migration of the Mormon
people to the Salt Lake and adjacent valleys when that region was
Mexican territory, resulted only in the founding of the state of
Utah. Indirectly and directly, too, that movement contributed to the
settlement of the entire inter-mountain region, and the founding of the
States created out of that territory.]

[Footnote 3: This refers to the Brigham Young University at Provo,
Utah, the Latter-day Saints' University in Salt Lake City, and fifteen
Colleges and Academies in other parts of the territory occupied by the
Saints in the inter-mountain west. See "Defense of the Faith and the
Saints," Vol. I, p. 226.]

What faith men must have in fraud and dishonesty to think it can start
and sustain all this! What a lasting victory is accorded to a thing
conceived in fraud, brought forth in iniquity, and perpetuated by
continuous falsehood! What credulity is required to believe all this!
Let no one hereafter, standing in such ranks, dare say that "cheat" is
a horse good only for a short race. They must know better than that
from the stand they take in this Book of Mormon matter.


Two things, yea, three, justify a reply to Mr. Theodore Schroeder's
series of articles on "The Origin of the Book of Mormon," published
in the September and November numbers of the _American Historical
Magazine,_ for 1906, and the January and May numbers for 1907.

The first justification is the fact of the high standing of the
magazine in which his articles appeared. Published in a periodical of
such rank, if unchallenged, they might lead many to believe undeniable
the theory there advanced for the origin of the Book of Mormon, and
the argument by which said theory is sustained, unanswerable. It has
been from just such circumstances as these with reference to articles
that appeared in standard works, in histories and encyclopedias,
that Mormonism suffered so much defamation in the earlier year of
its existence. It now stands recorded in the earlier editions of the
American Cyclopedia and in the Encyclopedia Britannica that David
Whitmer denied his testimony as one of the witnesses to the divinity
of the Book of Mormon; and that his two associate witnesses, Oliver
Cowdery and Martin Harris, had denied their testimony to that book.
Being misinformed from these high sources of information, doubtless
tens of thousands have been impressed with those untrue statements.
David Whitmer never denied his testimony. In a brochure issued by
himself, in 1887, and referring directly to these false statements, he

    "It is recorded in the American Cyclopedia and the Encyclopedia
    Britannica, that I, David Whitmer, have denied my testimony as one
    of the three witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon; and
    that the other two witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris,
    denied their testimony to that Book. I will say once more to all
    mankind, that I have never at any time denied that testimony or
    any part thereof. I also testify to the world, that neither Oliver
    Cowdery nor Martin Harris ever at any time denied their testimony.
    They both died reaffirming the truth of the divine authenticity of
    the Book of Mormon." [4]

[Footnote 4: "Address to all Believers in Christ," p. 8. The high
character and reputation for truthfulness of David Whitmer is attested
in this brochure by all the leading officials and citizens of Richmond,
Mo., (not Mormons) where he lived for fifty years, pp. 8-10.]

People, however, can still quote the above named standard works to
prove that these men denied their testimony and were false witnesses.
It is to prevent as far as possible the creation of such conditions
respecting Mr. Schroeder's articles in the American Historical Magazine
that I think it important that they should be answered.

The second thing that justifies an answer to Mr. Schroeder, is the
form in which his treatment of the subject is cast. Much in the form
would lead one to believe, at first glance, that here we had a really
exhaustive treatise of the origin of the Book of Mormon; that every
item of obtainable information had been collected, the mass of facts
sifted and net results given, instead of a specious plea made for a
special theory. This is evidenced in the constant appeal to sources of
information in the notes appended to the articles, of which notes there
are one hundred and ninety-six. Then there is an occasional halting in
the movement of the argument, as if to weigh the evidence, to balance
one statement against another as if to get down to bed-rock facts,
instead of a mere effort to remove some obstruction in the way of the
special theory being worked out. All of which is but so much juggling
with forms of treatment,--an effort to win the reader with the shows
of honest argument, to betray him in deeper consequences. Shimmering
under all these forms may be seen the arts of the special pleader bent
on making out a case. It is the false appearance of exhaustive and
fair treatment of the subject that makes it desirable to answer Mr.

The third justification for answering Mr. Schroeder's articles arises
out of a suggestion of the gentleman himself, near the close of his
article, namely, that the actors who participated in the origin of
the Book of Mormon are all dead, and that "upon the precise question
here discussed, no new evidence is likely to be discovered. All the
evidence directly affecting either side of the question has been
introduced and reviewed." One may pardon the conscious or unconscious
self-complacency contained in this suggestion, and even encourage it by
saying to the gentleman that we think he is right; that after him there
will come no other who will so diligently search for evidence "on the
precise question here discussed." For who but himself will ever dare to
venture to walk by such light as that by which his foot-steps have been
guided? [5] But with reference to "all the evidence directly affecting
either side of the question" having been "introduced and reviewed," I
must hold a different opinion. Believing, however, that Mr. Schroeder
has collected, presented and, with as much art as it will be found
possible to enlist in such a cause, sustained his special view of the
Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, one can but feel
that having reached the climax of evidence and argument the case should
be considered by those holding an opposite belief.

[Footnote 5: Mr. Schroeder while living in Utah some years ago was
proprietor, editor and publisher of _Lucifer's Lantern_, a ribald
infidel periodical as would be inferred from the title as well as from
its contents. It is this to which allusion is made in the text.]


One other preliminary word should be said before coming directly to
Mr. Schroeder's theory and argument, and that in relation to the
authorities on which the gentleman relies for the support of his views.
Of course I am not unacquainted with the old controversy concerning
the degree of credibility to be allowed to interested witnesses, and
also the suspicion that attaches to witnesses for the miraculous.
I have too long sustained in public debate an unpopular cause not
to have heard the cry that the witnesses for the truth for which I
contended were "interested witnesses;" notwithstanding those who were
my opponents, at the same time accepted Christianity on the testimony
of "interested witnesses," and discarded entirely the testimony of
unfriendly witnesses, or "interested witnesses" on the opposite side of
the case. I trust that the suggestion in this paragraph will indicate
the unfairness of discrediting and discarding entirely the testimony of
the witnesses for Joseph Smith's account of the origin of the Book of
Mormon, on the ground that they are "interested witnesses," and taking
for truth the statements of the "interested witnesses" on the other
side of the controversy.

I have some acquaintance also with that school of thought which
discredits witnesses of the miraculous. I am familiar with the
laborious exposition of that theory by the late Professor Huxley in his
article on "The Value of Witnesses to the Miraculous;" [6] and also with
his controversy on the same subject with Dr. Henry Wace, prebendary of
St. Paul's Cathedral, and other Church of England ministers. [7] One
could scarcely live in this critical age of ours and be unaware of
the existence of the school of thought which undertakes to bar from
the court of public debate the testimony of those who are witnesses
of things held to "transcend human experience." Such testimony, it is
said, suggests "credulity on the one hand and fraud on the other." [8]

[Footnote 6: _The Nineteenth Century Review_, March, 1889.]

[Footnote 7: _The Nineteenth Century Review_, February, 1889; also
March, April, May and June of the same magazine.]

[Footnote 8: "A supernatural relation cannot be accepted as such, * *
it always implies credulity or imposture," Renan's "Life of Jesus,"
introduction, p. 45.]

And still, both in the history of the past and now, witnesses of the
so-called miraculous are factors to be reckoned with in our world's

It may be true that the future will disclose the fact that very much
which in the past has been regarded as miraculous, as transcending
"all sane, human experience," to use a phrase of Mr. Schroeder's, is
only such because of human ignorance at the time of a witnessed event,
and that miracles only exist for the ignorant. Still I concede that
one needs to be upon his guard respecting this class of evidence, for
man's love for the marvelous leads him into strange self-deceptions,
as also the practice of deception upon others. But while conceding
this on the one hand, on the other I desire to call attention to
a matter entirely neglected by Mr. Schroeder, namely, the general
untrustworthiness of testimony in religious controversies, where those
considering themselves orthodox feel called upon to resist what are
supposed to be religious innovations. The truth of this is supported
by all ecclesiastical history. Even pious men, where the innovations
especially contravene particular doctrines or theories of established
institutions in which they are interested, often become utterly
unreliable as witnesses in matters where their opponents are concerned.

So universally is the fact here pointed out accepted that citations of
particular instances are scarcely necessary as proof. But lest others
forget the fact, as Mr. Schroeder apparently has forgotten it, let
me ask: Is Roman Catholic historical testimony regarded as reliable
where facts relating to Protestants and the Protestant movement are
concerned? Where does Martin Luther stand if the testimony of Catholic
contemporaries or the representations of Catholic historians are
to determine his place in history? A treatise upon the "Protestant
Reformers" and the value of the sixteenth century "Reformation,"
based wholly upon "Bossuet's Variations," and other writers of his
kind, would not be regarded as of any special value among intelligent
people. And Catholics have fared but little better at the hands of
Protestants. The testimony of either party against the other is quite
generally regarded with suspicion by those who stand aloof from
their controversies, while the respective parties to the discussions
mutually denounce each other as false witnesses, until "Catholic lie"
and "Protestant misrepresentation" are cries and counter-cries that
echo and re-echo through all the pages of Catholic and, Protestant
controversial and historical literature.

But let us look further up the historic stream of sectarian animosity.
What of Jesus, the Son of God himself? If the sectarian Jews, his
contemporaries, are alone to be the accepted witnesses of his words
and actions and character, what would be the effect of their testimony
upon the historic Christ? It would make him base born, a wine bibber,
an associate of harlots, publicans and sinners; it would make him an
innovator of sacred customs, a desecrator of the temple, a seditious
person, a blasphemer. And so well did the sectaries of his day
succeed in making themselves believe that the populace of Jerusalem
surged through the streets crying "crucify him, crucify him!" and he
was condemned by the Sanhedrin to death, from which fate not even a
friendly disposed Roman procurator could save him. The sectarian Jews
suborned witnesses, who either swore falsely against the Christ, or
wrongly interpreted his words and actions; and all this in a holy zeal
for the preservation of the established order of things among the Jews.
After his resurrection the same characters bribed the Roman guard
set to watch the sepulchre, put a lie into their mouths, and pledged
their influence as a guarantee against punishment from their superior
officers for the neglect of duty involved in the falsehood they were
bribed to tell. [9] What was Paul's experience with the same sectarian
Jews after he became a proselyte to the Christian faith? Briefly told,
the same in character as his master's. [10] So well known is the fact of
sectarian bitterness; such the zeal of the orthodox for the established
faith, that the Emperor Julian, usually called the "Apostate," who
both understood and derided the theological disputes of the hostile
Christian sects, invited to the palace the leaders of the hostile
sects, that he might enjoy the agreeable spectacle of their furious

[Footnote 9: Matthew xxvi, 59-70; see also xxvi, xxvii.]

[Footnote 10: See Acts of the Apostles from Chapters viii to xxvii,

    "The clamor of controversy sometimes provoked the emperor to
    exclaim, 'Hear me! The Franks have heard me, and the Alemanni;' but
    he soon discovered that he was now engaged with more obstinate and
    implacable enemies; and though he exerted the powers of oratory
    to persuade them to live in concord, or at least in peace, he was
    perfectly satisfied, before he dismissed them from his presence,
    that he had nothing to dread from the union of the Christians." [11]

[Footnote 11: "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," by
Edward Gibbon, chap. xxiii.]

Such the bitterness of sectarian strife, in which the orthodox party
has ever been as harsh, as untruthful, as unscrupulous, as resourceful
at invention of evil things, as savage and cruel as the heretics have
been. Nay, in the sum of such things the preponderance is on their side.


In the application of this melancholy fact to the controversy between
Christendom and the Mormon Church respecting the origin of the Book of
Mormon, let no one charge me with a begging of the question because
I am going to insist that the witnesses quoted by Mr. Schroeder are
largely unreliable, because of their zeal against an innovation of
orthodox Christianity. Not so. It is not my purpose to beg the question
by use of the historic fact here brought to view. I only ask that
it shall be given its proper value in weighing the evidence to be
considered. And I lay stress upon it only because it is an element in
the evidence adduced by Mr. Schroeder which is taken no account of at
all by him.

He gives no weight at all, considers not at all, the evidence of those
who have accepted Joseph Smith's account of the origin of the Book of
Mormon, but he gives unbounded credence to every statement from the
"interested witnesses" on the other side of the question, except, of
course, where they are mutually destructive of each other, and then
he seeks to explain away the inconsistencies and contradictions. A
casual remark, a reported saying, or a confused recollection of some
obscure person, of whose character we have no knowledge, nor any
means of testing it, find their way into some one or other of the
hundred anti-Mormon books published, and then are published by such
controversialists as Mr. Schroeder. Citations are made of them in
marginal notes, and in time they come to be regarded, by the ordinary
reader, as of equal authority with any other witness; and thus the
unworthy, unreliable and, in some cases, a positively vicious and false
witness is given equal--and sometimes even more than equal--credence
with witnesses of unimpeachable probity, and high character, and who
have back of their testimony perhaps a life time of toil, suffering,
sacrifice, and sometimes martyrdom.

Of this class of witnesses let me here add one further remark. I know
that Arch-deacon Paley and his "View of the Evidences of Christianity"
are scoffed at by a certain school of latter-day critics, as being
somewhat out of date and insipid; but there is one statement he makes
that I cannot help but believe has great force in it. He holds in his
argument that because the early Christians in support of the Christian
miracles of which they were eye witnesses, and which so called miracles
could not be resolved into delusion or mistake, passed their lives in
labors, dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily undertaken, in attestation
of the accounts which they delivered,--therefore, they are worthy of
credence. To illustrate the point forcefully, he says:

    "If the reformers in the time of Wickliffe, or of Luther; or those
    of England, in the time of Henry the Eighth, or of Queen Mary;
    or the founders of our religious sects since, such as were Mr.
    Whitfield and Mr. Wesley in our own times; had undergone the life
    of toil and exertion, of danger and suffering, which we know that
    many of them did undergo, for a miraculous story; that is to say,
    if they had founded their public ministry upon the allegation of
    miracles wrought within their own knowledge, and upon narratives
    which could not be resolved into delusion or mistake; and if it
    had appeared, that their conduct really had its origin in these
    accounts, _I should have believed them."_ [12]

[Footnote 12: Paley's "Evidences," proposition II, chap. I.]

I mention this matter here for two reasons; first because many of those
witnesses who accepted the Book of Mormon as true, are of the class of
witnesses here spoken of by Dr. Paley. They were men who voluntarily
passed their lives in labors, dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily
undertaken, in attestation of the accounts they delivered to the world
of the Book of Mormon's origin; and second, because having conceded
that men should cautiously receive the testimony to the so-called
miraculous, I desire to say that when the events to which the testimony
relates are of such character that they may not be resolved into
delusion or mistake, and the testimony is backed up by a life of toil,
danger and suffering, not only voluntarily undertaken but persisted
in--then, I say, their testimony is such that it commands respect and
acceptance; and at the very lowest valuation possible to be put upon
it, should out-rank in credibility whole hecatombs of such witnesses to
the contrary as are quoted by Mr. Schroeder--witnesses imbued, in many
cases, with personal hatred of Joseph Smith and the Mormon system, and
all influenced by sectarian zeal to uphold the orthodox view of such
Christianity as existed at the time and place in which they lived.

But returning now to the point at which the foregoing digression
began, let me say it is the promiscuous mingling and equalizing of
witnesses; and the failure to take into account the unreliability of
witnesses of the orthodox party when resisting and seeking to overthrow
what they regard as an innovation upon their most cherished ideas
and institutions, that I charge against Mr. Schroeder's treatment of
the origin of the Book of Mormon. The witnesses must be weighed as
well as counted in this controversy; and the liability recognized of
the anti-Mormon witnesses, in the supposed interests of orthodoxy,
resorting to the invention and promulgation of falsehood.


It must not be supposed by the reader of Mr. Schroeder's articles that
his theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon is the only anti-Mormon
theory of its origin advanced. Of course Mr. Schroeder does not claim
that it is, but points out quite the contrary in his first article. Why
the matter is referred to in these preliminary remarks, is because I
want to assure my readers that we "Mormons" get considerable amusement
out of the conflicting theories advanced to account for the origin
of our Book of Mormon. The necessity for a counter-theory for the
origin of the book, other than that advanced by Joseph Smith, was
early recognized. Christendom felt that Joseph Smith's story of the
book's origin must be overthrown, else what would come of this new
revelation, this new dispensation of God's work? Joseph Smith's account
of the origin of the book was a direct challenge to the teachings of
modern Christendom that revelation had ceased; that the awful voice
of prophecy would no more be heard; that the volume of scripture was
completed and forever closed, and that the Bible was the only volume of
scripture. Hence Christendom must find some other origin for this book
than that given by Joseph Smith.

The first to respond to this immediately "felt want" of Christendom was
Alexander Campbell, founder of the sect of the Disciples. He assigned
the book's origin to Joseph Smith, point blank, and charged ignorance
and conscious fraud upon its author. [13]

[Footnote 13: Campbell's critique on the Book of Mormon, appeared
in the _Millennial Harbinger,_ Vol. II, 1831, under the title
"Mormonites." The criticism is exhaustive and bitter. It is, in fact,
a fine example of the bitterness of religious controversialists, in
defense of orthodox views.]

Next came the "Spaulding Theory" of origin, which Campbell accepted in
place of his own, and of which more later. Then came Miss Dougall's
theory of the prophet's self-delusion, "by the automatic freaks of a
vigorous but undisciplined brain, and yielding to these, he became
confirmed in the hysterical temperament which always adds to delusion
self-deception, and to self-deception half-conscious fraud." [14] Next
came Mr. I Woodbridge Riley's theory (1902) of pure hallucination
honestly mistaken for inspired visions "with partly conscious and
partly unconscious hypnotic powers over others."

Mr. Schroeder, however, will have none of these theories, but turns
back to the theory of the Spaulding manuscript origin. To him "the
conclusions" of Mr. Riley, because so many material considerations were
overlooked by that author, are very unsatisfactory, though admittedly
Mr. Riley's effort is the best along this line. [15] On his part,
Mr. Riley, speaking of previous theories, especially including the
Spaulding theory, says:

[Footnote 15: See Mr. Schroeder's note, 2.]

    "In spite of a continuous stream of conjectural literature, it is
    as yet impossible to pick out any special document as an original
    source of the Book of Mormon. In particular the commonly accepted
    Spaulding theory is insoluble from external evidence and disproved
    by internal evidence. Joseph Smith's record of the Indians 'is a
    product indigenous to the New York wilderness,' and the authentic
    work of its author and proprietor. Outwardly, it reflects the local
    color of Palmyra and Manchester, inwardly, its complex of thought
    is a replica of Smith's muddled brain. This monument of misplaced
    energy was possible to the impressionable youth constituted and
    circumstanced as he was." [16]

[Footnote 16: "The Founder of Mormonism," 1902. This is a psychological
study of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. "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 performance--it
remains for the psychologist to have a try at them." The quotation
of the text is from the Preface. A review of Mr. Riley's book by the
present writer is found in "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol.
I, pp. 41-55.]

Mr. Riley's phrase "conjectural literature" is good. It admirably
describes the Spaulding theory literature at which it is particularly
aimed. That theory being "insoluble from external evidence," is also
good; but "disproved by internal evidence," is better. I shall not
forget that either, later on. But if these variant theorizers can't
convert each other, how can they hope to convert us Mormons? "When
rogues fall out, honest men"--but there, the proverb is somewhat trite
and I do not wish to be offensive. But let the merry disagreement of
anti-Mormon theorizers go on! Meanwhile new translations of the Book of
Mormon multiply, new editions are struck off, and more people are made
acquainted with its contents; the Church to which it may be said to
have given existence, enlarges her borders and strengthens her stakes.
She is gaining a victory over her traducers, and winning her place in
the world's history and in the world's religious thought.


These preliminary remarks ended, I proceed now with the consideration
of Mr. Schroeder's evidence and argument. Mr. Schroeder states the
"case" he proposes to prove, item by item, as follows:

    "It will be shown that Solomon Spaulding was much interested
    in American antiquities, that he wrote a novel entitled the
    'Manuscript Found,' in which he attempted to account for the
    existence of the American Indian by giving him an Israelitish

    "That the first incomplete outline of this story, with many
    features peculiar to itself and the Book of Mormon, is now in the
    library of Oberlin college, and that while the story as rewritten
    was in the hands of a prospective publisher, it was stolen from the
    office under circumstances which caused Sidney Rigdon, of early
    Mormon fame, to be suspected as the thief;

    "That later Rigdon, on two occasions, exhibited a similar
    manuscript which in one instance he declared had been written by
    Spaulding and left with a printer for publication.

    "It will be shown further that Rigdon had opportunity to steal the
    manuscript and that he foreknew the forthcoming and the contents of
    the Book of Mormon;

    "That through Parley P. Pratt, later one of the first Mormon
    apostles, a plain and certain connection is traced between Sidney
    Rigdon and Joseph Smith and that they were friends between 1827 and

    "To all this will be added very conclusive evidence of the identity
    of the distinguished features of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found,"
    and the Book of Mormon.

    "These facts, coupled with Smith's admitted intellectual incapacity
    for producing the book unaided, will close the argument upon
    this branch of the question, and it is hoped will convince all
    not in the meshes of Mormonism that the Book of Mormon is a
    plagiarism." [17]

[Footnote 17: I have taken the liberty of throwing the several
propositions into separate paragraphs.]


The facts which may be conceded in Mr. Schroeder's recital of
evidences, and the claims generally made in relation to Solomon
Spaulding and his precious manuscript, are: that Spaulding was born
1761, in Connecticut; that he graduated from Portsmouth in 1785; that
he graduated in theology in 1787, and became an obscure preacher; that
he made his residence in New Salem, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, now called
Conneaut, about 1808 or 1809; that in the region about Salem were
certain mounds and ruins of forts and other fortifications, relics of a
supposedly pre-historic civilization; that during Spaulding's residence
at Conneaut he wrote a story in some way connected with the ancient
inhabitants of America; that this story reigned to be a translation
from a Latin manuscript which Spaulding pretended to have found in a
cave in the vicinity of Conneaut, hence the title that came to attach
to it, "Manuscript Found;" that about 1812 Spaulding moved to Pittsburg
where he resided some two years; that while at Pittsburg there may
have been something said about publishing this story, but just what is
uncertain, and the story was never published; that in 1814 Spaulding
removed to Amity, Washington county, Penn.; that in 1816 Spaulding

That after the death of Spaulding his wife and daughter at once removed
to the home of Mrs. Spaulding's brother, a Mr. William Sabine, in
Onondaga Valley, Onondaga Co., N.Y., taking with them the "Manuscript
Found" with other Spaulding papers in an old trunk; [18] that Mrs.
Spaulding next moved to the home of her parents in Pomfret, Conn.,
but leaving her daughter with the old trunk and its papers, including
"Manuscript Found," at Sabine's; [19] that in 1820 Mrs. Spaulding
married a Mr. Davidson of Hartwicks, a village near Cooperstown, N.Y.,
and sent for the things she had left at the home of her brother in
Onondaga; that said things were sent to her, including the old trunk
and its papers which reached her at Hartwicks in safety; [20] that
Mr. Spaulding's daughter, named Matilda, married Dr. A. McKinstry
of Monson, Hampden Co., Mass., in 1828, and went to Monson, Mass.,
to reside; that soon afterwards Mrs. Davidson (formerly the wife of
Spaulding) came to live with her daughter in Monson, leaving the old
trunk and its papers in Hartwicks in care of Mr. Jerome Clark; that
Mrs. Davidson continued to live with her daughter up to the time of her
death, in 1844;--[21]

[Footnote 18: Sworn statement of Mrs. Matilda McKinstry, the daughter
of Solomon Spaulding, _Scribner's Magazine,_ August, 1880.]

[Footnote 19: Ibid.]

[Footnote 20: Ibid. The language of Mrs. McKinstry is, "I remember that
the old trunk with its contents reached her [Mrs. Davidson] in safety."]

[Footnote 21: Ibid.]

That while these former Spauldings were living in Monson, in 1834,
one Hurlburt came to them representing that he had been sent by
a committee to procure the "Manuscript Found" written by Solomon
Spaulding for the purpose of comparing it with the "Mormon Bible;" [22]
that he represented that he had been a convert to the Mormon faith
but had given it up and through the Spaulding manuscript wished to
expose its wickedness; [23] that he presented a letter from William
H. Sabine, brother of the former Mrs. Spaulding, requesting her
to loan the "Manuscript Found," written by her former husband, to
Hurlburt, representing that he (Sabine) was desirous "to up-root this
Mormon fraud;" [24] that Mrs. Davidson reluctantly consented to the
solicitations of her brother and Hurlburt and gave the latter a note to
Jerome Clark, instructing Mr. Clark to open the trunk and deliver the
manuscript to Hurlburt; that Hurlburt went to Hartwicks, presented his
order to Mr. Clark and got the Manuscript; that Hurlburt got but one
manuscript; [25] that this manuscript Hurlburt delivered to E. D. Howe,
then having in course of preparation his anti-Mormon book "Mormonism
Unveiled;" [26] that Howe kept said manuscript until after "Mormonism
Unveiled" was published, then it passed out of sight and he supposed
it to have been burned; [27] that really, however, it was unwittingly
conveyed by Howe to one L. L. Rice who purchased Howe's _Painsville
Telegraph_ and business in 1834, or 1840; the transfer of the
printing department being accompanied with a collection of books and
manuscripts, Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" going with the rest;--[28]

[Footnote 22: "History of the Church," Vol. II, pp. 2, 3, 47, 49 and
note. Also Mrs. McKinstry's affidavit.]

[Footnote 23: Ibid.]

[Footnote 24: Ibid.]

[Footnote 25: "New Light on Mormonism," p. 260-Hurlburt's letter.]

[Footnote 26: Statement of D.P. Hurlburt in a letter, dated at
Gibsonburg, Ohio, August 19, 1870, "New Light on Mormonism," p. 260.]

[Footnote 27: Statement of Hurlburt, "New Light on Mormonism," p. 260;
also statement E.D. Howe, in a letter to Hurlburt, August 7, 1880, "New
Light on Mormonism," p. 259.]

[Footnote 28: See "The Manuscript Found," Rice's _verbatim et
literatim_ copy, printed by the _Deseret News,_ 1886, preface.]

That some years afterwards Mr. Rice closed up his business affairs
in Painsville, Ohio, and made his home in Honolulu, taking with him
his books, papers, etc.; [29] that in 1884 he was visited by James
H. Fairchild, president of Oberlin College, Ohio; that President
Fairchild, while at the residence of Rice suggested that a look through
his (Mr. Rice's) papers might discover some anti-slavery documents of
importance, (Mr. Rice while editor and proprietor of the _Painesville
Telegraph_ having been especially interested in the question of
slavery); that in his search Mr. Rice found a package marked in pencil
on the outside, "Manuscript Story--Conneaut Creek;" that on the
manuscript was endorsed the following:

[Footnote 29: Ibid.]

    _The Writings of Solomon Spaulding Proved by Aaron Wright Oliver
    Smith John Miller and others_

    _The testimonies of the above gentlemen are now in my possession_

    _D. P. Hurlburt_ [30]

[Footnote 30: For the above _Bibliotheca Sacra,_ published in Oberlin,
Ohio, January Number. 1885. Also "The Manuscript Found," _Deseret News_
print, p. 113.]

That this manuscript, unquestionably Spaulding's, and the one known as
"Manuscript Found," was deposited by Mr. Rice with Oberlin College,
Ohio, where it now is preserved; that Mr. L. L. Rice himself made a
_verbatim et literatim_ manuscript copy of this paper, including all
erasures, alterations, errors, etc., and from this copy the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published "Manuscript Found" in
1886; [31] that it makes a pamphlet of one hundred and twelve pages of
printed matter, of about three hundred and fifty words to the page;
that in nothing does it resemble the Book of Mormon--"there seems to
be no name or incident common to the two," says President Fairchild,
"the solemn style of the Book of Mormon, in imitation of the English
Scriptures, does not appear in the Manuscript." [32]

[Footnote 31: "The Manuscript Found," _Deseret News_ print, Preface.]

[Footnote 32: Letter of President Fairchild, _Bibliotheca Sacra,_
January, 1885. Mr. Schroeder, by the way, seems much disturbed over
the very frank statement of President Fairchild, published in 1885,
to the effect that the theory of "the origin of the Book of Mormon in
the traditional manuscript of Solomon Spaulding will probably have to
be relinquished." * * * "Mr. Rice, myself, and others compared it with
the Book of Mormon, and could detect no resemblance between the two in
general or detail. Some other explanation of the origin of the Book of
Mormon must be found, if an explanation is required." This is said,
of course, of the manuscript now at Oberlin. It is said of the only
manuscript of Solomon Spauldng's treating on ancient America, that any
one knows anything about.]

The foregoing recital represents the facts concerning Spaulding's
"Manuscript Found." The claim that the manuscript as above traced, was
but a first rough sketch of a story which Spaulding abandoned, and that
he wrote a second story dealing with matters of more ancient date;
that it was written in imitation of scriptural style, and assigned an
Israelitish origin for his colony that came from Jerusalem to America;
that in this second story many names were used that are also found in
the Book of Mormon, such as Lehi, Nephi, Laman, Zarahemla, etc.; that
there is a close structural resemblance between the reigned historical
incidents in Spaulding's second story and the Book of Mormon; that this
second Spaulding story was deposited with printers at Pittsburg for
publication; that while there Sidney Rigdon either stole it and never
returned it (Mr. Schroeder's theory), or else that Rigdon borrowed
it, copied it and returned the original to the printer; that there
were several Spaulding manuscripts, and that Sidney Rigdon stole the
one that was finally prepared for the press by Spaulding, and perhaps
Joseph Smith stole one of the unfinished Spaulding manuscripts, (Mr.
Clark Branden's theory); [33] that this manuscript, plus the religious
matter of the Book of Mormon, added by Sidney Rigdon, became the
foundation of the Book of Mormon; that Sidney Rigdon either directly
or else indirectly through Parley P. Pratt acted as intermediary,
and collaborated with Joseph Smith in the production of the Book of
Mormon--all this, upon which the conclusions of Mr. Schroeder and
others who attempted to sustain the Spaulding theory of the origin of
the Book of Mormon depends, is but a conglomerate of wicked invention
by embittered sectaries fighting against innovation of their orthodoxy;
a bitter personal fight against Joseph Smith and his work; a mere
assumption and inference bottomed on flimsiest premises, under which
lies a mass of contradictions and conflicting suppositions which
discredit the whole theory, and make any serious support of it, however
learned in form and exhaustive in appearance it may be, absolutely
contemptible; nay, the more learned and exhaustive the treatment
appears to be, the more absolute must become the contempt.

[Footnote 33: "Braden-Kelly Debate," pp. 73, 77.]


To prove the things here alleged becomes now the task of the present

First then as to the matter of Spaulding's having re-written his story,
"Manuscript Found;" in which, it is said, he changed the character
of it by going further back with his dates, "and writing in the old
scripture style, in order that it might appear more, ancient." Also
he must have further changed the character of his story, giving the
colony he brought to America an Israelite instead of a Roman origin,
giving his characters the names of Lehi, Nephi, Laman, Moroni, etc.,
instead of Sambol, Hambock, Labanko, Moon-rod, Ulipoon, etc.; and
the names of the people from Sciotans and Kentucks, to Nephites and
Lamanites! This second manuscript and these changes are necessary
both to the evidence and the argument of Mr. Schroeder--necessary to
his whole theory; without the existence of this second manuscript and
these changes that differentiate it from the manuscript at Oberlin, his
"case" collapses. It is conceded by Mr. Schroeder and all through whose
hands it has passed, including Mr. Fairchild, president of the Oberlin
College, Ohio, and Mr. Rice, among whose papers the manuscript now at
Oberlin was found, that this Oberlin manuscript, which beyond any doubt
Spaulding wrote, could not have been the original manuscript of the
Book of Mormon; [34] therefore a second Spaulding manuscript altogether
different from this half ribald, silly "Manuscript Found" story must
be had; and its mythical existence was brought about in the following

[Footnote 34: President Fairchild I have already quoted (See Note
32). Mr. Rice says: "I should as soon think the Book of Revelation
was written by the author of Don Quixote, as that the writer of this
manuscript [the Spaulding Oberlin manuscript] was the author of the
Book of Mormon." From a letter of Mr. L. L. Rice to Mr. Joseph Smith,
President of the Reorganized Church--"History Church of Jesus Christ,"
Vol. IV, pp. 471-3.]


Living in Kirtland and vicinity, and throughout northeastern Ohio,
where the headquarters of the Church were established in 1831-7, there
were many and very bitter enemies of the prophet Joseph Smith and
Sidney Rigdon; and also strong antagonism towards the whole Mormon
Church, since its doctrines were regarded as a menace to orthodox
opinions. Among these enemies of the prophet and the Church none
perhaps were more bitter than "Dr." Philastus Hurlburt, E. D. Howe,
Adamson Bentley, Onis Clapp (usually called Deacon Clapp) and his two
sons, Thomas J. and Mathew S. Clapp, both of whom were Campbellite
preachers; Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, both prominent in founding
the sect Of the Disciples; Thomas Campbell, Dr. John Storrs, of
Holliston, Mass., Dr. Austin, also of Massachusetts, all sectarian
ministers, and many others. Less than fifty miles away from Kirtland,
then the centre of Mormon propaganda, was Conneaut, the former home
of Solomon Spaulding, and on the direct line of travel between the
branches of the Church in Ohio and those in the state of New York and

It is said,--but I shall develop a somewhat different account of the
origin of the Spaulding theory near the close of these articles than
is here set down--that "a woman preacher" [35] of the Mormon Church,
holding a public meeting at Conneaut, read some passages from the
Book of Mormon which the old settlers of the vicinity, and former
neighbors of Solomon Spaulding, recognized as very nearly identical
with a manuscript story he had read to them some twenty-two or three
years before; and as he had feigned to derive this story from a certain
manuscript which he pretended to have found in a stone box in a cave,
which he afterwards translated into English, there was thought to
be sufficient similarity between these circumstances and the Book
of Mormon to warrant the charge that the latter was a plagiarism of
Spaulding's manuscript. This conclusion led to the sending of "Dr.
Philastus Hurlburt to the widow of Spaulding to obtain his manuscript
and incidentally to visit the former home of the Smiths for the purpose
of obtaining affidavits respecting their character, and more especially
respecting the character of Joseph Smith the Prophet." [36] Indeed,
the whole purpose of the conspirators was to overthrow Mormonism, "to
up-root this Mormon fraud." [37] Hurlburt presented himself at the home
of the former wife and the daughter of Spaulding, who were then living
in Monson, Mass. He obtained an order from the former Mrs. Spaulding
upon those with whom she had left the trunk containing the papers of
her late husband, directing them to deliver to Hurlburt the "Manuscript
Found." Hurlburt obtained the manuscript and returned to those who sent
him upon this mission, chief among whom was E. D. Howe of Painesville,
Ohio, the editor of the _Painesville Telegraph._ To Mr. Howe Hurlburt
delivered the "Manuscript Found," obtained by him from the Spaulding
papers; but lo! when it came to be examined by the conspirators, it was
a very disappointing document. [38] Howe himself describes it as follows:

[Footnote 35: See "Mrs. Davidson's statement,", first published in the
_Boston Recorder,_ May, 1839; also Smucker's "History of the Mormons,"
p. 41 _et seq._ It is claimed that "woman preacher," was merely a
"typographical error," of which more in a later note, and should read
"Mormon preacher."]

[Footnote 36: These are the affidavits collected by Hurlburt and
delivered to Howe for his book "Mormonism Unveiled," chapter xvii; see
also "Origin of the Spaulding Story," by B. Winchester, (1840) p. 10.]

[Footnote 37: Statement of Mrs. McKinstry, daughter of Solomon
Spaulding, _Scribner's Magazine,_ August, 1880.]

[Footnote 38: "New Light on Mormonism,"--statement of Hurlburt, pp.
245, 260.]

    "This is a romance, purporting to have been translated from the
    Latin, found in 24 rolls of parchment in a cave, on the banks of
    Conneaut Creek, but written in modern style, and giving a fabulous
    account of a ship's being driven upon the American coast, while
    proceeding from Rome to Britain, a short time previous to the
    Christian era, this country then being inhabited by Indians." [39]

[Footnote 39: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 288.]

This description completely identifies this manuscript delivered by
Hurlburt to Howe with the one afterwards found in the papers of Mr.
L. L. Rice, and now at Oberlin College. "This old manuscript," says
Mr. Howe, "has been shown to several of the foregoing witnesses, who
recognize it as Spaulding's." The witnesses here alluded to are the old
neighbors of Spaulding who testify as to the existence of Spaulding's
"Manuscript Found," and of its similarity to the Book of Mormon; and
they are eight of Mr. Schroeder's twelve witnesses on whom he relies to
prove the same allegement. Right here we reach the crucial point in the
Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon; and now let us
present it in one view.

A number of people living at Conneaut on hearing the Book of Mormon
read in a public meeting, and some of them afterwards reading it for
themselves, claim a similarity to exist between it and a manuscript
which Solomon Spaulding read to them some twenty-two or twenty-three
years before. Spaulding's manuscript is unearthed--"Manuscript
Found"--but it bears no resemblance to the Book of Mormon! There is
"no resemblance between the two," to use the language of President
Fairchild, of Oberlin College. "There seems to be no name or incident,"
he continues, "common to the two." [40] Now what will the conspirators
do? Search further in the hope of finding another manuscript that may
have been the origin of the Book of Mormon, if this one is not? It
must be admitted that having gone so far in an effort "to up-root this
Mormon fraud" it was worth their while to go still further. The "fraud"
was making converts throughout the very region where the conspirators
lived; some of their loved ones, members of the family of the
conspirators, were "victims" of the "delusion." They will not rest the
case here, then. They will look further. The emissary just returned,
Hurlburt, or some other will be sent back to make further inquiry
and research. The fate of millions may depend upon it. But did the
conspirators against Mormonism take this course? No. Instead of that
they resort to subterfuge. Listen: Howe, referring to the manuscript
delivered to him by Hurlburt, writes:

[Footnote 40: Letter of President Fairchild, _Bibliotheca Sacra,_
January, 1885.]

    "This old manuscript has been shown to several of the foregoing
    witnesses, who recognize it as Spaulding's, he having told them
    that he had altered his first plan of writing by going farther back
    with dates, and writing in the old scripture style, in order that
    it might appear more ancient. They say that it bears no resemblance
    to the 'Manuscript Found.'" [41]

[Footnote 41: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 288.]

That statement bears all the earmarks of an "afterthought," a silly
invention. There is not a single scrap of evidence in all that has
been written upon the subject, that goes beyond the date of Hurlburt's
delivery of "Manuscript Found," to E. D. Howe, to the effect that
Spaulding had written more than one paper that purported to deal with a
found manuscript, or the ancient inhabitants of America. The "Frogs of
Wyndham" and infidel disquisitions were more in his line. [42] Why was
it that the neighbors of Spaulding about Conneaut did not say before
this manuscript was brought to light by Howe, Hurlburt _et al.,_ that
Spaulding had written several manuscripts on the subject of the ancient
inhabitants of America; one that told of a Roman colony came to America
and settled in the Ohio valley, the story of their adventures being
"written in modern style;" but that this story he abandoned and wrote
another, going farther back with his dates and assigning to the people
an Israelitish origin and writing in the old scripture style? How
valuable such evidence, ante-dating Hurlburt's coming to Conneaut with
Spaulding's manuscript, would be! But it does not exist.

[Footnote 42: See Mrs. McKinstry's statement, _Scribner's Magazine,_
August, 1880. Also _Deseret News_ print of "Manuscript Found," pp. 114,
115, where the infidel opinions of Mr. Spaulding are expressed.]

There was enough in the fact that Solomon Spaulding had written a story
connected in some way with a manuscript which he feigned to have found
in a stone box in a cave; which he further feigned to have translated
into English; and which story had something to do with a colony coming
in ancient times from the Old World to the New; and that there were
great and sanguinary wars in the story--to suggest a similarity with
the Book of Mormon. With so much as a basis it will go hard with human
invention, under the circumstances, if out of the dim recollections,
of some twenty-two or twenty-three years ago, it cannot "remember"
that there was a similarity and even identity of names between those
of Spaulding's Manuscript and those of the Book of Mormon. Especially
since the Book of Mormon is now in their hands, and they have either
read it, or heard it read and have the names of Lehi, Nephi, Moroni,
Zarahemla, and some phrases such as "and it came to pass," etc., with
which to refresh their "memories!"

And when they have Spaulding's found manuscript, or "Manuscript
Found" placed in their hands by Hurlburt, and have identified it as
Spaulding's and none of these things are true respecting it, that is,
there is "no resemblance between the two, in general or in detail; * *
* no name or incident common to the two," then it will again go hard
with human invention if it cannot, under the circumstances, "remember"
that this manuscript so thrust into their hands is merely but the
rough draft of the real "Manuscript Found;" that this story, in fact
was abandoned and Mr. Spaulding informed them that he had recast his
whole scheme; [43] and that he wrote into this second story the names
and historical incidents now found in the Book of Mormon; that no one
ever believed that this first effort of Spaulding's, the Manuscript
now at Oberlin College, was the foundation of the Book of Mormon. Mr.
Schroeder himself says that "from the beginning it was asserted that
this manuscript, now at Oberlin, was not the one from which the Book
of Mormon was alleged to have been plagiarized." [44] But from what
"beginning" was it so asserted? Well, not previous to the bringing to
light of the Oberlin manuscript by Hurlburt; but from the time that
this manuscript,--the only one we have any real knowledge of Spaulding
ever having written on the subject of the ancient inhabitants of
America--disappointed the hopes of the conspirators against Mormonism.
That is the only "beginning" from which it has been asserted that the
manuscript now at Oberlin was not the one from which the Book of Mormon
was alleged to have been plagiarized.

[Footnote 43: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 288.]

[Footnote 44: _American Historical Magazine,_ Vol. I, No. 5, p.
385--_ante_ p. 18.]

The foregoing boldly charges dishonesty, fraudulent invention, and
conscious deception upon those who originated this Spaulding theory of
the origin of the Book of Mormon; and I realize that it is incumbent
upon me to set forth substantial reasons for such allegations, or else
I must bear the odium of making false, or at the very least, unproved
charges. Let us then consider, if not all, at least the leading
characters of this conspiracy against the Mormon Church, for it will be
worth our while.


We start with "Dr." Philastus Hurlburt. He was not a "Doctor" by
profession, but being a seventh son, his parents, following the old
folklore custom, called him "Doctor." He was formerly a member of
the Methodist Church from which he was excluded for immoralities. He
appeared in Kirtland in 1833 and began an investigation of Mormonism,
and finally claimed to be satisfied of its truth. Joseph E. Johnson,
residing at Kirtland at the time, and at whose mother's home Hurlburt
boarded for about one year, describes him as "a man of fine physique,
very pompous, good looking, very ambitious, with some energy, though
of poor education." [45] Some time after he joined the Church he was
brought before a conference of high priests in Kirtland and charged
with un-Christianlike conduct with women, while on a mission to the
eastern states. His commission as an elder was taken from him and he
was excommunicated. Being dissatisfied with the result of this trial he
appealed his case to the high council at Kirtland, and a hearing was
granted him. He confessed his sin before this council and was forgiven;
but a few days after this action, he boasted that he had deceived the
council in his confession, "and Joseph Smith's God," and this led to
his final excommunication. [46]

[Footnote 45: _Deseret Evenings News,_ December 28, 1880; also "History
of the Church," Vol. I, p. 355, note. Also Gregg's "Prophet of
Palmyra," pp. 427-430.]

[Footnote 46: "History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 354-5 and note.]

After his excommunication "Dr." Hurlburt became very bitter against the
Church, and threatened the prophet's life. He was finally arraigned
before the court at Chardon, for this offense and placed under bonds
to the amount of two hundred dollars "to keep the peace, and, be of
good behavior to the citizens of the state of Ohio generally, and to
Joseph Smith, Jun., in particular, for the period of six months." He
was also required to pay the costs of the prosecution which amounted
to one hundred and twelve dollars. [47] When it is remembered how great
the excitement was at this time in northeastern Ohio, respecting
Mormonism, how numerous and how bitter were Joseph Smith's enemies,
this decision of Judge M. Birchard is important in showing how violent
and vicious must have been the character of "Dr." Hurlburt. Yet he
becomes the special emissary of the conspirators of north-eastern Ohio,
against Mormonism. He is commissioned to secure Spaulding's manuscript
and gather information in New York concerning the character of Joseph
Smith, [48] the man whom he so bitterly hates, and whose life he had
threatened. And the world is asked to form its opinion of Joseph Smith
from the alleged information procured in New York by this man, and
published in Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," in the form of affidavits!

[Footnote 47: "History of the Church," Vol. II, pp. 47-49 and notes.]

[Footnote 48: "Origin of the Spaulding Story," by B. Winchester,
Philadelphia, (1840) p. 10, "Mormonism Unveiled," chapter xvii.
These affidavits gathered up by Hurlburt are quoted by nearly every
anti-Mormon writer since 1834, until now, the year of grace, 1908 [and
1911]; all forgetful of the fact that no matter how many mirrors are
brought into a room where a farthing rush light is burning, they do not
increase the light burning there, but merely reflect it. It is safe to
say that since Howe's publication of "Mormonism Unveiled," in 1834,
little or nothing has been added to the stock of "information," from
the anti-Mormon side of the controversy on this particular point.]

Even some who are parties to the Spaulding theory distrusted Hurlburt.
Mrs. Davidson, formerly Spaulding's wife, "did not like his appearance,
and mistrusted his motives," and it was only because he presented a
letter from her brother, William H. Sabine, urging her to loan her
former husbands' manuscript story to Hurlburt, that she finally, but
reluctantly, consented for him to have the paper. [49] Mrs. Ellen
Dickinson, grand-niece of Solomon Spaulding, and author of "New Light
on Mormonism," charges him with having betrayed his fellow conspirators
in Ohio, by securing the "real" "Manuscript Found" and turning it over
to the Mormons for a price, and that they destroyed it. [50] Clark
Braden in his debate on the Book of Mormon with E. L. Kelly, makes the
same charge, and says that Hurlburt got $400.00 for his treachery and
boasted of it. [51]

[Footnote 49: Mrs. McKinstry's statement _Scribner's Magazine_, August,

[Footnote 50: "New Light on Mormonism." p. 62-71.]

[Footnote 51: "Braden-Kelly Debate." p. 96. Braden relies upon the
statement of Rev. John A. Clark, D. D., in "Gleanings by the Way," p.

Mr. E. D. Howe, author of the first anti-Mormon book of any very great
pretensions or general interest--and of which Mr. Schroeder is so
eulogistic, speaking of it as "the most important single collection
of original evidence ever made upon the subject"--was the editor of
the _Painsville Telegraph_, and especially bitter towards the Mormons
and Mormonism, because his own wife and sister had joined the Mormon
Church, at which he was greatly incensed. [52]

[Footnote 52: "Braden-Kelly Debate." pp. 69, 81. See also the
Advertisement of Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled,"--which precedes the
Introduction. Also the Introduction of the same work, for manifestation
of bitterness.]


Adamson Bentley was a Campbellite preacher, also, a brother-in-law to
Sidney Rigdon, having married Rigdon's wife's sister. It appears that
the parents of Mrs. Rigdon had settled upon her, or expressed intention
of doing so, some considerable property; but the Rev. Bentley, by his
influence with the Brooke family, diverted the inheritance designed for
Mrs. Rigdon to his own wife; [53] so that in addition to the bitterness
which ever attends on sectarian controversies, there must be added in
the case of Mr. Bentley the bitterness of family feud; and if the claim
of Sidney Rigdon be true, _viz.,_ that he was the injured party, in
this controversy, there would be intensity of bitterness on the part
of Bentley, since it is strangely true that men may forgive those who
injure them, but they never forgive the innocence of those whom they
wilfully injure. The Reverend Bentley was one of the bitterest of
anti-Mormons and a warm supporter and advocate of the Spaulding theory
of the origin of the Book of Mormon. [54] Of Mr. Alexander Campbell,
Dr. Storrs and Dr. Austin we shall have occasion to speak later, when
considering certain evidence Mr. Schroeder introduces from them. The
point now contended for respecting these men who stand as sponsors for
the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, is simply
this: that being ardent sectarian priests zealous for their particular
brand of orthodoxy, which Mormonism opposed as false doctrine; [55]
and adding to this cause of bitterness the further fact that in some
instances these men felt the sense of personal grievance against Joseph
Smith and the Mormon Church--renders them incompetent to be reliable
witnesses on the questions at issue. All history, and the well known
facts respecting human nature, warrant the conclusion that under such
circumstances sectaries in support of their orthodoxy, and by way of
reprisal for wrongs, real or imaginary, will stoop to invention of
adverse testimony; to misrepresentation; to the creation of a case,
or a hurtful theory; will distort facts; in a word will bear false
witness. Such false or incompetent witnesses I declare, those parties
to be on whom Mr. Schroeder relies for the support of his case.

[Footnote 53: _Messenger and Advocate,_ p. 334-5. Also _Evening and
Morning Star,_ p. 301.]

[Footnote 54: See _Millennial Harbinger,_ for 1844, p. 38, _et seq._
Also "Braden-Kelly Debate," pp. 124-5. ]

[Footnote 55: "Pearl of Great Price," "Writings of Joseph Smith," p.
85, (edition of 1902); also "History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 5, 6.
For an exposition and defense of this position see the present writer's
"Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, p. 26-27 and note.]

Let us take first this group of Conneaut witnesses, eight of them, used
by Hurlburt, Howe, Bentley _et al.,_ and chiefly relied upon by Mr.
Schroeder as supplying the "clinching" [56] evidence for the plagiarism
of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" by the author or authors of the
Book of Mormon. They are the most important witnesses on the side of
the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon; yet, by the
application of the principle that recognizes the untrustworthiness
of witnesses interested in opposing religious innovation; that
recognizes the zeal of witnesses interested in supporting orthodoxy;
that recognizes the bitterness which characterizes sectarian strife;
as also the necessary vagueness of the state of mind of these
witnesses in respect of those things of which they testify; as also
by the consideration of many other things that will bear upon their
statements--for the evidence and argument is to be cumulative--I hope
to prove quite conclusively that these witnesses are incompetent, and
their statements untrue.

[Footnote 56: See sub-heading in _American Historical Magazine,_ Vol.
II, No. 1, p. 70 _et seq._]



Let it constantly be borne in mind that the existence of a second
Spaulding manuscript, on the subject of ancient America and its
inhabitants, and entirely different from the one at Oberlin, is not
heard of until after the unearthing of the manuscript, (now at Oberlin)
by Hurlburt, and the consequent disappointment of the conspirators
on finding it so utterly lacking in the features necessary to make
it appear probable that it was the basis of the Book of Mormon.
Howe's book was not published until after the return of Hurlburt from
Massachusetts with this disappointing manuscript.

Not one of this group of eight witnesses whose testimony Howe publishes
says one word about a "second manuscript" on the subject of ancient
America. The only witnesses of the group who say anything at all about
any other manuscripts by Spaulding are John M. Miller, Aaron Wright,
and Artemas Cunningham. The first says, in speaking of Spaulding, "He
had written two or three books or pamphlets on different subjects;
but that which more particularly drew my attention was one which he
called the "Manuscript Found." [56a] The second says, "Spaulding had
many other manuscripts, which I expect to see when Smith translates
his other plate." [57] The third simply uses the word "manuscript" in
the plural when referring to the writings of Spaulding, thus; "Before
showing me his _manuscripts,_ he went into a verbal relation of _its_
outlines, saying that _it_ was a fabulous or romantic history of the
first settlement of the country, and as it purported to have been a
record buried in the earth or a cave, he had adopted the ancient style
of writing. He then presented his _manuscript,_ when we sat down and
spent a good share of the night in reading them." [58] It is quite clear
that this witness really refers to but one manuscript, though he uses
the plural form of the word; leaving only two of this group who refer
to more than one manuscript of Spaulding's, and neither of these claims
that the other manuscript dealt with subjects relating to ancient
America, unless the sneering remark of Aaron Wright to the effect
that he expected to see more of Spaulding's manuscripts "when Smith
translates his other plate," can be tortured into such a reference.

[Footnote 56a: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 283.]

[Footnote 57: Ibid. p. 284.]

[Footnote 58: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 286-7.]

There is no word then in the signed statement of these witnesses making
reference either to a second manuscript on the subject of the ancient
people of America, nor any reference made to Spaulding rewriting,
or recasting his story "Manuscript Found." Mr. Howe, however, says
that the manuscript brought to him by Hurlburt, (and now at Oberlin)
was shown to these Conneaut witnesses and that they recognized it as
Spaulding's; "he having told them that he had altered his first plan
of writing, by going farther back with dates, and writing in the old
scripture style in order that it might appear more ancient. They say
that it bears no resemblance to the "Manuscript Found." [59] This,
however, is only what Mr. Howe says these witnesses said, and is not
their testimony at all, as Mr. Schroeder must know since he makes some
pretense to a professional knowledge of he law; it is the assertion
only of Mr. Howe, it must be remembered; and from his relationship to
this controversy, being the author of a book that was a vicious attack
upon the Mormon Church; from his association with such men as Hurlburt,
Bently _et al_. whose purpose it was "to uproot this Mormon fraud;"
from the fact of his bitterness, because of the membership of his wife
and sister in the Mormon Church--he is not a reliable witness in the
case. On the contrary he is a very unreliable witness, as will be shown
more completely later, and one marvels that in a case so important, Mr.
Howe did not get a statement direct and over the signatures of these
Conneaut witnesses, instead of contenting himself by reporting what he
alleges they had said to him.

[Footnote 59: Ibid. p. 288.]

Since these Conneaut witnesses, then, do not testify as to the
existence of any second manuscript of Spaulding's dealing with the
ancient inhabitants of America, of what exact value is their testimony?
The whole eight claim to have heard Solomon Spaulding read his
manuscript story; they have all read or heard read parts or all of the
Book of Mormon; four of them say that the colony of Spaulding's story
came from Jerusalem; four of them say that Spaulding represented the
Indians as the lost tribes of Israel; seven recognized in the Book of
Mormon a number of names and phrases as identical with the names and
phrases of Spaulding's manuscript story; two say that the colony of
Israelites of Spaulding's story separated into two distinct peoples
or nations, as the colony of Lehi, according to the Book of Mormon,
did; and in a general way the whole eight may be said to claim that
the historical parts of the Book of Mormon and those of the Spaulding
story agree; five of them declare the absence of religious matter in
the Spaulding manuscript, and two of them, say it was written in the
"old style." Such is the substance of the testimony of this group of
witnesses. [60]

[Footnote 60: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," chapter xix.]

Now let it be remembered that Spaulding resided in this Conneaut
neighborhood something less than three years; [61] these witnesses, his
neighbors, heard occasional reading of his manuscript story, which
from twenty-one to twenty-four years later they assume to identify
with another literary production, the Book of Mormon; and identify it,
too, in respect of several very minute and particular things. Are we
not asked here to accord to human recollection a vividness and power
which, to say the least of it, is very exceptional? Who were these
people--these witnesses whose testimony Mr. Schroeder relies upon
to "clinch" the charge of plagiarism upon those responsible for the
existence of the English translation of the Book of Mormon? Who vouches
for the extraordinary intelligence with which they must have been
endowed to accomplish the feat of memory ascribed to them, if their
testimony is credited? Who knows them and vouches for their honesty,
another consideration to be taken into account before their testimony
may be wholly satisfactory? Mr. Howe vouches for them (we might say,
"of course!"). He says they are all "most respectable men, and highly
esteemed for their moral worth, and their characters for truth and
veracity are unimpeachable. In fact the word of any one of them would
have more weight in any respectable community than the whole family
of Smiths and Whitmers, who have told about hearing the voice of an
angel." [62]

[Footnote 61: See statement of John Spaulding, brother to Solomon
Spaulding, who fixes date of arrival of the latter at Conneaut in 1809
(Howe's Mormonism, p. 279); and all witnesses agree that he left for
Pittsburg in 1812.]

[Footnote 62: "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 281.]


But we have already seen from the nature of things Howe cannot be
regarded as a reliable witness in this controversy. And as for putting
these witnesses in contrast with the "Smiths and the Whitmers," it must
be remembered that the latter have back of their testimony a life of
danger, toil, poverty, suffering, and in some cases martyrdom itself,
all endured in support of, and on account of the testimony they bore
as to the origin of the Book of Mormon; [63] while no such good earnest
of veracity stands back of this Conneaut group of Mr. Schroeder's
witnesses; and the mere word of Mr. Howe does not give sufficient
guarantee of their "character for truth and veracity." Certainly what
they stated about the Book of Mormon could not have been regarded
as of any great weight, since in spite of the publication of their
testimony right in the section of the state of Ohio where most of
these witnesses lived, people went on believing the testimony of the
"Smiths and the Whitmers" as against that of the Conneaut witnesses,
by becoming members of the Church of the Latter-day Saints. The years
between 1833, and 1837, years in which this Hurlburt--Howe--Bently--
Campbell--Clapp--Spaulding agitation was going on, the growth of the
Church was most rapid, and northeastern Ohio was the most fruitful of
its proselyting fields. It took six years to sell the first edition
of Howe's book, as the second edition was not published until 1840.
Relative to the influence of Howe's book, and two other anti-Mormon
productions published in northeastern Ohio, just before Howe's book,
Elder Orson Hyde, writing from Kirtland after a missionary tour
through a number of surrounding towns and country districts, wrote the
"Messenger and Advocate," under date of May 4th, 1836, of which the
following passage is an excerpt:

[Footnote 63: The force and value of the testimony of these witnesses
is considered at length in the "Young Men's Manual" (Mormon), for 1904,
chapters xv to xxi, inclusive. See also "New Witnesses for God," Vol.
II, chapters xv to xxiii, inclusive. For the value of this kind of
testimony see Paley's "Evidences," Proposition II, Chapter 1, also the
present writer's "New Witness for God," Vol. I, Chapter 17.]

    "The first weapon raised against the spread of truth, of any
    consideration in this country, was the wicked and scurrilous
    pamphlet published by A. Campbell. Next, perhaps, were the letters
    of Ezra Booth; and thirdly, 'Mormonism Unveiled,' written by Mr.
    E. D. Howe, alias 'Dr.' P. Hurlburt. These were designed severally
    in their turn for the exposure and overthrow of Mormonism, as
    they termed it; but it appears that heaven has not blessed the
    means which they employed to effect their object. No weapon raised
    against it shall prosper. The writings of the above named persons,
    I find, have no influence in the world at all; for they are not
    even quoted by opposers, and I believe for no other reason than
    that they are ashamed of them." [64]

[Footnote 64: _Messenger and Advocate_, p. 296.]

Elder Parley P. Pratt, about 1839-40, in answering an attack on the
Book of Mormon in _Zion's Watchman,_ said:

    "In the west, whole neighborhoods embraced Mormonism, after this
    fable of the Spaulding story had been circulated among them.
    Indeed, we never conceived it worthy of an answer, until it was
    converted by the ignorant and impudent dupes or knaves, in this
    city, who stand at the head of certain religious papers, into
    something said to be positive, certain, and not to be disputed!" [65]

[Footnote 65: Thompson's "Evidences" (1841) pp. 182-3; also "Origin of
the Spaulding Story," (Winchester) p. 13.]


There remains yet to be considered how much these obscure Conneaut
witnesses were flattered by the prospect of coming to be regarded as
persons of importance by their connection with this movement against
Mormonism, a consideration by no means of slight importance if they
were, as is most likely the case, ignorant men and religious fanatics.
Also it must be asked to what extent they were under the influence of
the conspirators, Hurlburt, Howe, _et al.,_ and to what extent they
shared the sectarian bitterness of these men against Mormonism. It
should be remembered that it is beyond all human probability that they
could remember the things about Spaulding's manuscript story that they
say they recollect after an elapse of from twenty-one to twenty-four
years. Think what the recollection of these Conneaut witnesses
respecting the old Spaulding manuscript would have been had one gone
into the community to make inquiries about it after an elapse of more
than twenty years, and before anything had been heard of the existence
of the Book of Mormon!

But it will be said that this is not altogether a fair test on which
to build a contrast between what could be recalled without the aid
of associated ideas and incidents, and what could be remembered when
associated ideas and really similar or identical incidents, names, and
phrases, though long forgotten, were repeated. One must necessarily
concede something to such a contention. But on the other hand, let
it be conceded what a fertilizing effect the recent reading of the
Book of Mormon would have on the minds of these witnesses anxious to
testify against it! What an awakening effect it would have on the
minds of witnesses full of fanatical zeal against what they considered
a religious innovation; on the minds of witnesses tempted by the
prospect of being lifted from obscurity to a position of importance in
their little world; on the minds of witnesses doubtless leagued with
crafty conspirators full of bitterness, and confessedly determined
"to uproot this Mormon fraud." With the Book of Mormon in their hands
from which to refresh their minds as to names and incidents, of course
they will "remember" that Spaulding's colony came from Jerusalem; that
he represented the American Indians as descendants of the lost tribes
(ignorantly supposing that such was the representation of the Book of
Mormon in the matter); [66] that the names of the chief characters in
the Spaulding story were "Lehi and Nephi," and one "remembers" that
the place where Spaulding landed his colony was near the straights of
Darien, which he is "confident" was called "Zarahemla;" while another,
that the colonists separated and became two nations and had many great
and cruel wars; that the phrases "I, Nephi;" and, "It came to pass,"
were frequently used in the Spaulding story, just as they were used in
the Book of Mormon! All this they "very well remember"--after reading
the Book of Mormon! One very striking thing that was "remembered" in
1834 at Conneaut, in this connection, is not mentioned by any one of
the group of eight witnesses; it is a thing Mr. Howe missed entirely,
and that Mr. Schroeder has not used, though the minuteness of his
researches into all things Mormon must forbid us thinking that he
has not come in contact with it. Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson brought the
matter into view as late as 1885, in her book so frequently quoted by
Mr. Schroeder, "New Light on Mormonism." This lady, a grand-niece of
Solomon Spaulding's wife, says:

[Footnote 66: Nearly all anti-Mormon writers make this blunder,
and thereby exhibit their shallow knowledge of the subject. In the
colony of Lehi were descendants of the tribe of Manasseh and Ephraim,
descendants of the patriarch Joseph, but no where does it claim that
the inhabitants of America are descendants of the "lost tribes." For
an exhaustive treatise of the subject, see the "Young Men's Manual,"
1905-6, Chapter 35. "New Witnesses for God," Vol. 2, chs. xxxii, and

    "Of the odd stories told at Conneaut, in 1834, in connection
    with Solomon Spaulding, was one to the effect that he told his
    neighbors at the time he entertained them with his romance, that
    his 'Manuscript Found' was a translation of the 'Book of Mormon,'
    and he intended to publish a fictitious account of its having been
    discovered in a 'cave, in Ohio,' as an advertisement, to advance
    its sale, when his book was printed." [67]

[Footnote 67: "New Light on Mormonism," p. 80.]

Why did not Mr. Howe publish this precious item--this "odd" story "told
at Conneaut in 1834?" Why does not Mr. Schroeder at least make use of
it as among his "clinching" evidences of the plagiarism of the main
part of the Book of Mormon by Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith _et al?_ Is
it possible that this was even too "raw" for Mr. Schroeder's stout
stomach, which is capable of digesting everything anti-Mormon, from
"pap to steel?" Or is it so that this bald statement is an outgrowth of
the "recollection" process operating at Conneaut after Howe's record
was closed? And that here we see the process of "recollection" at
work in these Conneaut witnesses, which expands the dim consciousness
that an old, eccentric minister, from twenty-one to twenty-four years
ago lived among them two or three years--read to them some kind of a
story about the ancient people of America, the manuscript of which he
feigned to have found in a stone box in a cave--into that remarkable
recollection of similarity of names, phrases and historical incidents
to be found in their signed statements in Howe's book, until finally,
if advocates of the Spaulding theory of origin for the Book of Mormon
would but admit into their collection this "odd" story unearthed
by Mrs. Dickinson, they might "prove" that Mr. Spaulding's story
"Manuscript Found," "was a translation of the Book of Mormon,"--and
what a victory that would be, O, my countrymen!


The reader who will follow me through this review of Mr. Schroeder's
evidence and argument, will find by the time the review closes
that these Conneaut witnesses--incompetent and weak as they are as
witnesses--and Mr. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," are the very heart of
this whole Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon. We
have seen, in part, how flimsy and incompetent are the eight Conneaut
witnesses, on whom Mr. Schroeder relies to "clinch" his evidence of the
plagiarism of the Book of Mormon; let us now see how unworthy of belief
is Mr. E. D. Howe.

Mr. Howe at the time he was preparing his book, "Mormonism Unveiled,"
1833-4, represents the position of the church to be as follows, in
respect of the several matters stated:

    "About this time an opinion was propagated among them, that they
    should never taste death, if they had sufficient faith. They
    were commanded to have little or no connexion with those who had
    not embraced their faith, and everything must be done within
    themselves. Even the wine which they used at their communion, they
    were ordered to make from cider and other materials. All diseases
    and sickness among them were to be cured by the Elders, and by the
    use of herbs--denouncing the physicians of the world, and their
    medicines, as enemies to the human race." [68]

[Footnote 68: Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 124.]

And then he makes this sneering remark, and emphasizes it with an index
hand pointing to it:

    "They had one or two root doctors among them, for whose benefit it
    is presumed the Lord made known his will, if at all."

In refutation of these slanders, I quote the revelation by which
the Saints were governed in the particulars here named by Howe; a
revelation which to the Saints of course was the law of God, and which
revelation Mr. Howe garbled into the statement above quoted:

    "And whosoever among you that are sick, and have not faith to be
    healed, but believeth, shall be nourished in all tenderness with
    herbs and mild food, and that not of the world. And the elders of
    the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and
    lay hands upon them in my name, and if they die they shall die
    unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me. Thou shalt live
    together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of
    them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope
    of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass, that those
    that die in me, shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet
    unto them; and they that die not in me, woe unto them, for their
    death is bitter! And again, it shall come to pass, that he that has
    faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall
    be healed; he who has faith to see shall see; he who has faith to
    hear shall hear: the lame who have faith to leap shall leap; and
    they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have
    power to become my sons; and in as much as they break not my laws,
    thou shalt bear their infirmities." [69]

[Footnote 69: "Doctrine and Covenants," section xxvii. "History of the
Church," Vol. I, p. 106.]

This was given to the church as a law, February 9th, 1831. The
revelation was published in the _Evening and Morning Star,_ Missouri,
Vol. I, Number 2, July, 1832, more than two years before Mr. Howe's
book was published. (I quote from the original _Star_ of 1832, not
the Kirtland reprint). I challenge Mr. Schroeder and the religious
literature of the world for a passage more beautifully sympathetic
concerning the sick and those who die, than this passage. And it
completely convicts the star witness for this Spaulding theory of
the origin of the Book of Mormon of vile misrepresentation of the
Saints and the church in several important particulars. So far is the
revelation from creating the impression that the saints should never
"taste of death," in the sense that they should never die, that it
expressly directs what course shall be taken in respect of those who
die, both in the case of those who have, and those who have not the
hope of a glorious resurrection. As to wine used at communion being
made from "cider and other materials," the law of the church is found
in a revelation given in September, 1830, as follows:

    "Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not
    purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies: wherefore, you
    shall partake of none, except it is made new among you; yea, in
    this my Father's kingdom, which shall be built up on the earth." [70]

[Footnote 70: "Doctrine and Covenants," section 27.]

One looks in vain for the "cider and other materials" in this
commandment as to the Sacrament; just as he looks in vain for the
denunciations of "The physicians of the world and their medicines as
enemies of the human race." The effort of Mr. Howe in these several
particulars was to make the saints ridiculous; he succeeds only in
making himself contemptible. And let no one say that Mr. Howe does
not allude to the revelations here quoted in refutation of his false
accusation, but to opinions propagated outside of these authoritative
utterances of the Church. The phraseology employed by Mr. Howe and the
allusions to death, sickness, healing, the use of herbs, etc., follows
too closely the revelation, as also his allusion to the Lord making
"known his will," to admit of such an excuse or defense.


The next testimony to be examined as to the Spaulding theory of the
origin of the Book of Mormon is an alleged statement of Mrs. Matilda
Davidson, formerly the wife of Solomon Spaulding. Spaulding died in
1816, and four years later Mrs. Spaulding married Mr. Davidson, of
Hartwicks, New York. The alleged statement of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson
first appeared in the _Boston Recorder,_ in April, 1839, and was widely
copied by the religious press of the eastern states.

It was intended by its authors to help out the Spaulding theory in
several particulars; first, in that the Spaulding manuscript was
written in "ancient style; and as the Old Testament is the most
ancient book in the world he (Spaulding) imitated its style as nearly
as possible;" second, that the manuscript that Spaulding feigned to
have found was "written by one of the lost nation;" third, that it
was recovered from the earth; fourth, that a connection is established
between Spaulding and Patterson, and that the latter told Spaulding
to write a title page and preface to his story, and he (Patterson)
would publish it; fifth, that a relationship is established by it
between Rigdon and Patterson; and sixth, that there was "spontaneity"
in affirming the identity between the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's
"Manuscript Found" at Conneaut, when the Book of Mormon was publicly
read there. [71] On account of the peculiar attitude of Mr. Schroeder
towards this Davison statement; as also on account of the methods
of creating the materials for the Spaulding theory disclosed by the
history of this document, it is important that it should be published
_in extenso_:

[Footnote 71: The Davidson statement is published in the _Boston
Recorder_ April, 1839; Smucker's "Mormonism," p. 41 _et seq._
"Gleanings by the Way," p. 250, _et seq.;_ and many other anti-Mormon


    "As the Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible (as it was originally
    called) has excited much attention, and is deemed by a certain new
    sect of equal authority with the Sacred Scriptures, I think it a
    duty which I owe to the public to state what I know touching its

    "That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded needs
    no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That
    any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human
    composition is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is
    received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England,
    and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted
    Christians. Learning recently that Mormonism had found its way
    into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some with its
    gross delusions, so that excommunication has been necessary, I am
    determined to delay no longer in doing what I can to strip the mask
    from this mother of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

    "Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life,
    was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a
    lively imagination, and a great fondness for history. At the time
    of our marriage he resided in Cherry Valley, New York. From this
    place, we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio, sometimes
    called Conneaut, as it is situated on Conneaut Creek. Shortly after
    our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside
    from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous
    mounds and forts supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings
    and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics
    arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of
    research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and
    other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding
    being an educated man, and passionately fond of history, took a
    lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order
    to beguile the hours of retirement and furnish employment for his
    lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical
    sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity led him to
    write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the
    most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as
    possible. His sole object in writing this imaginary history was to
    amuse himself and his neighbors.

    "This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit
    occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from
    that circumstance. As he progressed to his narrative the neighbors
    would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great
    interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have
    been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered
    from the earth, and assumed the title of 'Manuscript Found.' The
    neighbors would often inquire how Mr. Spaulding progressed in
    deciphering the manuscript; and when he had a sufficient portion
    prepared, he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear
    it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics
    and ancient history to introduce many singular names, which were
    particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized
    by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding
    residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar
    with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read. From
    New Salem we removed to Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania. Here Mr.
    Spaulding found a friend and acquaintance, in the person of Mr.
    Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript
    to Mr. Patterson, who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed
    it for perusal. He retained it for a long time, and informed Mr.
    Spaulding that if he would make out a title page and preface, he
    would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr.
    Spaulding refused to do. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely
    in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the
    printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region,
    and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated, became acquainted
    with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copied it. It was a matter
    of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing
    establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author,
    and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, etc., where
    Mr. Spaulding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my
    hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined
    by my daughter, Mrs. M'Kinstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now
    reside, and by other friends.

    "After the Book of Mormon came out, a copy of it was taken to
    New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and
    the very place where the manuscript found was written. A woman
    preacher appointed a meeting there; and in the meeting read and
    repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon. The historical
    part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants, as
    the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had all been
    so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present
    and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed
    and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a
    purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose
    on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his sorrow and regret
    that the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a
    purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became
    so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr.
    Philastus Hurlburt, one of their numbers, to repair to this place
    and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding,
    for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy
    their own minds, and to prevent their friends from embracing an
    error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlburt brought
    with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, which was
    signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all
    of whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided
    at New Salem. I am sure that nothing would grieve my husband more,
    were he living, than the use which has been made of his work.
    The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition,
    doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purpose of
    delusion. Thus an historical romance, with the addition of a few
    pious expressions, and extracts from the sacred Scriptures, has
    been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of
    poor deluded fanatics as divine. I have given the previous brief
    narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be
    searched to the foundation and the authors exposed to the contempt
    and execration they so justly deserve.

    (Signed) "MATILDA DAVIDSON."

Briefly stated the history of the above document is this: Mormon
missionaries make their appearance in Holliston, Massachusetts, and
are successful in making some converts to their faith, among them
several members and a deacon of the Presbyterian Church of that place.
Whereupon the Reverend John Storrs, the pastor of this church, becoming
concerned for his flock, and having learned of the Spaulding theory, he
writes to his friend, the Reverend D. R. Austin, residing near Monson,
where Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson was making her home with her daughter,
Mrs. McKinstry, and urges him to secure a statement from her as to
the connection between the writings of her late husband and the Book
of Mormon. Mr. Austin made some inquiries of the old lady, wrote down
notes as to her answers, then through the Reverend Dr. Storrs publishes
this product as a signed statement of Mrs. Davidson! The facts came out
respecting this document in a letter of Mr. John Haven, of Holliston,
Middlesex Co., Mass., to his daughter, Elizabeth Haven, of Quincy,
Adams, Co., (Illinois) which was published in the _Quincy Whig._ It
represents that Jesse Haven, the brother of Elizabeth Haven, to whom
the letter is addressed, called upon Mrs. Davidson and Mrs. McKinstry
at their home in Monson, Mass., and spent several hours with them, a
Dr. Ely also being present. During this interview Mr. Haven asked the
following questions of Mrs. Davidson.


"Did you, Mrs. Davidson, write a letter to John Storrs, giving an
account of the origin of the Book of Mormon? Ans: I did not. Did you
sign your name to it? Ans: I did not, neither did I ever see the
letter until I saw it in the _Boston Recorder,_ the letter was never
brought to me to sign. Ques: What agency had you in having this letter
sent to Mr. Storrs? Ans: D. R. Austin came to my house and asked me
some questions, took some minutes on paper, and from these minutes
wrote that letter. Ques: Is what is written in the letter true? Ans:
In the main it is. Ques: Have you read the book of Mormon? Ans: I
have read some of it. Ques: Does Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and the
Book of Mormon agree? I think some few of the names are alike. Ques:
Does the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people?
Ans: An idolatrous people. Ques: Where is the manuscript? Ans: Dr.
P. Hurlburt came here and took it, said he would get it printed and
let me have one-half the profits. Ques: Has Dr. P. Hurlburt got the
manuscript printed? Ans: I received a letter stating it did not read
as they expected and they should not print it. Ques: How large is Mr.
Spaulding's manuscript? Ans: About one third as large as the Book of
Mormon." [72]

[Footnote 72: _Times and Seasons_, Vol. I, (1839) p. 47. Not having
access to the _Quincy Whig,_ I quote this passage from the _Times
and Seasons_ as being most reliable, because published shortly after
the letter appeared in the Quincy paper, and practically in the same
neighborhood. This to insure the accuracy of the passage over which
there is some controversy as will appear later.]

In addition to fixing the character of the Davidson statement, it is
quite remarkable how well the answers of Mrs. Davidson describe the
character of the Spaulding Manuscript now at Oberlin, and not at all
the manuscript described by the Conneaut witnesses, or the manuscript
generally contended for by the upholders of the Spaulding theory of
the Book of Mormon origin. Mr. Schroeder, however, insists that "the
dishonesty of the original publication of the Haven interview is
pointed out in 'Gleanings by the way!'" [73] But is it? The Rev. John A.
Clark, D. D., author of "Gleanings by the Way," published the alleged
Davidson statement in the _Episcopal Recorder_ after which he came in
contact with the Haven contradiction quoted above. Whereupon he wrote
to the Reverend John Storrs who was responsible for the publication
of the Davidson statement. In the course of his reply to Mr. Clark's
inquiries, Mr. Storrs said:

[Footnote 73: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, p. 396,
note 44.]

    "It is very true Mrs. Davidson did not write a letter to me, and
    what is more, of course, she did not sign it. But this she did do,
    and just what I wrote you in my former letter I supposed she did:
    she did sign her name to the original copy as prepared from her
    statement by Mr. Austin. This original copy is now in the hands of
    Mr. Austin. This he told me last week." [74]

[Footnote 74: "Gleanings by the Way," p. 262.]

The last sentence gives the exact value of this testimony, Mr. Austin
told Mr. Storrs that Mrs. Davidson had signed the statement. Mr. Storrs
himself knew nothing about it beyond what Mr. Austin told him. This
Mr. Schroeder, as a professional lawyer, knows is not testimony. But
the Reverend Clark wrote Reverend Austin also, and the Reverend Austin
replied, in which the following occurs:

    "The circumstances which called forth the letter published in the
    _Boston Recorder_ in April, 1839, were stated by Mr. Storrs in the
    introduction to that article. At his request I obtained from Mrs.
    Davidson a statement of the facts contained in that letter, and
    wrote them out precisely as she related them to me. She then signed
    the paper with her own hand, which I have now in my possession.
    Every fact as stated in that letter was related to me by her in the
    order they are set down." [75]

[Footnote 75: "Gleanings by the Way," p. 264.]

The statement of the Reverend Mr. Austin of course flatly contradicts
that of Mrs. Davidson; and when the contradiction is between a reverend
gentleman on the one hand, and a venerable lady, the wife of a former
but retired minister, (Reverend Mr. Spaulding) on the other, one may be
justified in declining the delicate task of determining on whose side
the truth lies; unless it may be found, as I think it may, otherwise
than by directly passing judgment upon the veracity of either of these
worthy parties.


Not only have we the denial of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson as to
this document not being signed by her, but we have the manifest
contempt shown for it by Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson, grand-niece of
Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson. Mrs. Dickinson was the grand-daughter of
Wm. H. Sabine, already mentioned in these pages, the brother of Mrs.
(Spaulding) Davidson. Mrs. Dickinson wrote her "New Light on Mormonism"
as the representative of the Spaulding family, to set forth "the family
traditions" in relation to the subject, and represents her work as
being "the only attempt of the Rev. S. Spaulding's relatives to set
this matter in its proper light, a duty long delayed to the memory of
an upright man!" [76]

[Footnote 76: "New Light on Mormonism," preface, p. 5.]

Mrs. Dickinson devotes a number of her chapters to the elaboration
of the Spaulding theory, and in an appendix publishes twenty-seven
documents bearing either remotely or immediately upon the subject of
the Spaulding manuscript; but the Davidson statement is not admitted
into the number, though indirectly, but without naming it, she makes a
slight quotation from it respecting John Spaulding, brother of Solomon,
who by the Davidson statement is represented as being "amazed and
afflicted that his brother's writings should have been perverted for
such a wicked purpose." (i.e., as forming the basis for the Book of

These words occur in the Davidson statement and no where else. Mrs.
Dickinson quotes them at page 79 of her book. As the source of her
authority for the statement she gives reference to the appendix of her
book, note 13. We turn to note 13 only to find that we are directed
to "John Spaulding's statement--see No. 4." We turn to "No. 4," only
to find the statement of John Spaulding as given in Howe's book in
1834, with not a word about his being "amazed and afflicted," or that
"his grief found vent in a flood of tears," etc., also quoted by Mrs.
Dickinson from the Davidson statement, and found no where else, and
of which there is nothing in the note in the appendix of her book,
which she cites as the authority for her statement. [77] This smacks of
juggling with the Davidson statement.

[Footnote 77: "New Light on Mormonism," p. 79; also appendix No. 13,
No. 4, No. 14. "The New Light" appears a bit unsteady at this point.]

Mrs. Dickinson would not admit the Davidson document into her
collection of such papers, knowing doubtless its history; nor is she
willing to deny to her narrative the rich dramatic effects infused
into it, by the "Reverend" forger of it. We shall see further on how
Mr. Schroeder manifests the same disposition towards it. That is, he
repudiates its being a statement made by Mrs. Davidson, but still
he would retain this precious piece of hysteria on the part of John
Spaulding--the "amazement," the "affliction," and above all, "the flood
of tears;" not to adorn a tale, as in the case of Mrs. Dickinson, but
to show the "spontaneity" with which the people of Conneaut detected
the identity between Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" and the Book of
Mormon. [78]

[Footnote 78: _American Historical Magazine,_ January, 1907, pp. 71,
72, _ante_ p. 67.]

But to return to Mrs. Dickinson. If she had done her full duty in the
premises as an author, she would have made reference to this forged
statement credited to her grandaunt and repudiated it in her name; but
such a course is scarcely to be looked for in an anti-Mormon author,
of especial bitterness. However, her silence respecting it, and her
refusal to admit it into the collection of her documents in the
appendix to her book, amounts to the same thing, the repudiation of it
by the Spauldings.


Before proceeding further as to this Davidson statement in a direct
line, just a word in relation to the Reverend John A. Clark, author
of "Gleanings by the Way," and the spirit he is of. He prefaces his
investigation of this Davidson statement by saying that he does not
think "that the truth or falsehood of Mormonism, in any degree turns
upon the correctness or incorrectness of the foregoing statement of
Mrs. Davidson." Then continues--"for deceit and imposture are enstamped
upon every feature of this monster, evoked by a money digger and a
juggler, from the shades of darkness!" This man is evidently in fine
temper to act the impartial judge--to point out "the dishonesty of the
original publication" of the Haven-Davidson interview, quoted in the
foregoing pages. But this is only a partial exhibition of the Reverend
gentleman's state of mind in the matter, and we would not do him an

Following the above ebullition of bitterness he immediately adds
this pious thought, in the hope, perhaps, that his piety may balance
in the scale his outburst of wrath: "Still if her [Mrs. Davidson's]
statement be correct, and it to be relied upon, the facts brought out
by Mrs. Davidson would seem to be one of those singular developments
of divine, Providence by which impostors are confounded, and their
devices brought to naught." [79] Of this it is sufficient to say, that
if the gentleman were living today he would be confronted with a
very perplexing dilemma. In the event of his taking his stand on the
correctness of Mrs. Davidson's statement, he would have to lament the
failure of "one of those singular developments of divine Providence,
by which imposters are confounded and their devices brought to
naught;" for the Book of Mormon, notwithstanding the efforts of the
Reverend gentleman against it, in his "Gleanings by the Way," has been
translated into ten other languages, since his day; has passed through
many editions in a number of them, and sold by hundreds of thousands.
It has resulted in gathering a people; in founding a church that has
more of history behind it, and more of prospect before it, than any
other modern religious movement in Christendom. On the other hand, if
the Reverend gentleman should take his stand on the infallibility of
divine Providence, singular or otherwise, from the striking failure of
the Davidson statement to confound an impostor and bring his devices
to naught, he would be under the necessity of reversing his former
decisions; he would have to conclude that the Davidson statement was
not true; and if he could not be brought to the point of acknowledging
that he had been fighting against the truth, he would have the
humiliation of discovering that he had, at least, sought to maintain
a falsehood. Fortunately the gentleman is dead, and, let us hope, at

[Footnote 79: "Gleanings by the Way," p. 259-60.]

But it is time to return from this digression. In addition to showing
what the attitude of the Spauldings was to this document, through Mrs.
Dickinson, I appeal from the conflicting testimony of the Reverend D.
R. Austin and the venerable Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson, to the Davidson
statement itself as evidence that it is not the product of "an aged
woman, and very infirm." [80] I ask any person capable of forming any
kind of a literary judgment, to take the statement signed with Mrs.
Davidson's name, and then say, honor bright, if that is the statement
of a woman in private life, much less of one "aged and infirm." Its
introduction, almost ideal from a literary standpoint, when the purpose
of the document is considered; the movement thence to the introduction
of the evidence and its discussion; thence to the conclusion--so
potent, and so desirable to a minister whose church had been invaded
by successful Mormon missionaries, but so unlike a woman in private
life, _viz:_ "I have given the previous narration, that this work of
deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation and the
authors exposed to the contempt and execration they so richly deserve."
All this too plainly proclaims the professional hand to leave anyone
in doubt as to where the truth lies as between the Haven-Davidson
statement and the Clark-Storrs-Austin story and argument in "Gleanings
by the Way," which Mr. Schroeder so warmly commends to us as settling
the "dishonesty of the original publication" of the Haven interview.
Parley P. Pratt was right when in an article published in the New Era
(New York, Nov., 1839), he said:

[Footnote 80: "Gleanings by the Way," p. 265. The statement is the Rev.
Dr. Austin's. The New Haven statement represents her as "about seventy
years of age and somewhat broke." _Times and Seasons,_ Vol. I, p. 47.]

    "A judge of literary production, who can swallow that piece of
    writing as the production of a woman in private life, can be made
    to believe that the Book of Mormon is a romance. For the one is as
    much like a romance as the other is like a woman's composition. The
    production, signed 'Matilda Davidson' is evidently the work of a
    man accustomed to public address." [81]

[Footnote 81: _New Era,_ impression of November 25, 1839. Same is
copied into the _Times and Seasons,_ Vol. I, p. 47.]

Mr. Schroeder reaches the same conclusion, and that largely too from
the literary style of the article. Listen to this comment:

    "The argumentative style and the failure to distinguish between
    personal knowledge and argumentative inferences is all readily
    understood when the history of this statement is made known. It
    seems that two preachers, named D. R. Austin and John Storrs,
    are responsible for this letter. Mrs. Davidson never wrote it,
    but afterwards stated that 'in the main' it was true. Even with
    her reaffirmance of the story as published, we cannot give it
    evidentiary weight except in those matters where it is plain from
    the nature of things that she must have been speaking from personal
    knowledge." [82]

[Footnote 82: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, pp.
393-4. _Ante_ pp. 28, 29.]

There is but one conclusion possible on the point at issue. Mrs.
Davidson never made the statement, nor signed it. It was the work of
the Reverends John Storrs and D. R. Austin--a forgery.


At this point I take note of what Mr. Schroeder says in relation to
an omission of a question and answer in the Haven-Davidson interview
in Elder George Reynolds' "Myth of the Manuscript Found;" and also of
what Mr. Schroeder characterizes as "John Taylor's lying perversion
of this alleged interview as reported in his 'Three Nights Public
Discussion.'" The question and answer referred to are held, in effect,
to re-instate the Davidson document as evidence, after denying it to
be Mrs. Davidson's statement, or that she signed it. The question and
answer are as follows: _"Ques._ Is what is written in the letter true?
_Ans_. In the main it is." This is omitted in Elder Reynolds' "Myth of
the Manuscript Found" (1883); and copying the Haven interview from his
work into my own treatise of the Book of Mormon in the "Young Men's
Manual" for 1905-6, the same omission, of course, is made; but of which
omission this writer was ignorant until Mr. Schroeder's article called
attention to it. Why the omission occurs in Mr. Reynolds' book, I do
not know; and although Mr. Reynolds is still alive, his health is so
shattered at this time it would be as useless as it is impossible to
question him upon the subject. [82]

[Footnote 82: This in November, 1908. Mr. Reynolds died in August,

Certainly there was no occasion for purposely making the omission since
the Book of Mormon is equally defensible with the Davidson statement in
the record as evidence, or excluded. And as evidence that the omission
was not intentional, on the part of Mormon writers, attention is
called to the fact that in the _Times and Seasons_ copy of the article
from the _Quincy Whig,_ (1840) both the above question and answer are
published, (Vol. I, 47). It is also published accurately in "Thompson's
Evidence of the Book of Mormon," (1841); also in "The Origin of the
Spaulding Story," by B. Winchester (1840) p. 17. In Mr. Taylor's
work--so severely criticised by Mr. Schroeder, the question and answer
stand as follows: _"Ques._ Is what that letter contains true? _Ans._
There are some things that I told him." Mr. Schroeder calls this a
"lying perversion."

If this were the only variation in the document, as quoted by Elder
Taylor, there might be justifiable suspicion that the change was
purposely made and was intended to lessen the force of the answer;
but, as throughout the version of the _Whig_ article published in the
"Three Nights' Discussion"--held in France--there are quite a number
of variations--and none of them contribute advantage to the pro-Mormon
side of the controversy--there can be no other conclusion, than either
that some inaccurate version of the _Quincy, Whig_ article had fallen
into the hands of President Taylor while in France, and he printed
from that imperfect version; or, it may be, that the _Quincy Whig_
article had been published in French, and Elder Taylor's published
account of it in his "discussion" was a translation of the French
version back into the English. While I am aware that this view is based
on conjecture merely, yet if the _Whig_ article as published in the
_Times and Seasons_ be compared with Elder Taylor's version in the
"Three Night's Discussion," the difference that exists between the two
versions would not be greater than in two versions so produced. And the
character of the variations warrant the conjecture. For example, take
these passages:

    _Quincy Whig_.

    Ques. Have you read the Book of Mormon? Ans. I have read some of it.

    Taylor's version.

    Ques. Have you read the Book of Mormon? Ans. I have read a little
    of it.

    _Quincy Whig_.

    Ques. Is what is written in the letter true? Ans. In the main it is.

    Taylor's version.

    Ques. Is what that letter contains true? Ans. There are some things
    that I told him.

    _Quincy Whig_.

    Ques. Does the manuscript and the Book of Mormon agree? Ans. I
    think some of the names agree. Ques. Are you certain that some of
    the names agree? Ans. I am not.

    Taylor's version.

    Ques. Is there any similarity between Mr. Spaulding's manuscript
    and the Book of Mormon? Ans. Not any, with the exception of some
    names, something similar the one to the other.

And so the variations run from beginning to end. They are just such
variations, too, as would exist if the Taylor version was produced as
conjectured. I trust I may be pardoned for being insistent at this
point. I was personally acquainted with the late President John Taylor,
and am also his biographer. His letters, official and personal, as also
his journals, passed through my hands; his most private life was laid
open to me, and I know him to have been a highly honorable gentleman,
far above such low subterfuge as that charged against him in the coarse
vulgarisms employed by Mr. Schroeder, and which, from no standpoint
whatever, are justifiable. [83]

[Footnote 83: See "The Life of John Taylor," by B.H. Roberts, (1892).
Lest in some rejoinder to this reply Mr. Schroeder should return to
this subject of the Taylor variations, in the Haven-Davidson interview,
and should seek further to establish his point of view by referring to
what is sometimes alleged to be Elder Taylor's denial of the existence
of the plural marriage system of the Church when he was in France,
(1850) I wish to say that in the above "Life of John Taylor" the
alleged denial is dealt with at length, pp. 222-5.]


There is something amusing in the attitude of Mr. Schroeder towards
this Davidson statement. Although Mr. Schroeder declares in so many
words that "Mrs. Davidson never wrote it," and hence must admit it to
be a forgery by Reverend gentlemen; yet, since the Haven interview
represents Mrs. Davidson as saying that it was "true in the main," Mr.
Schroeder dogmatizes thus in regard to this "piece of evidence:"--"Even
with her re-affirmance of the story as published, we cannot give it
evidentiary weight, except in those matters where it is plain from
the nature of things that she must have been speaking from personal
knowledge." [84] Why, in the name of all that is reasonable? If her
re-affirmance is to re-instate any part of the story as worthy of
belief, why not all of it, and all the parts equally? Is Mr. Schroeder
to pick and choose from his own witnesses as he will, allowing this,
but discarding that, as suits his personal view of the Spaulding theory?

[Footnote 84: _American Historical Magazine_, September, 1906, p. 394,
_ante_ p. 29.]

What is behind all this proposed jugglery? Simply this: I have already
pointed out how vital to Mr. Schroeder's case it is to establish the
existence of a second Spaulding manuscript, dealing with American
antiquities, a "re-written" story different from this manuscript story
now safely lodged in Oberlin college. There is nothing of all this
in the Davidson statement. This in the eyes of Mr. Schroeder is its
first sin, one of omission. Another thing essential to Mr. Schroeder's
contention is a second submission of the Spaulding manuscript to the
Patterson-Lambdin publishers, after the Spauldings had made their home
in Amity, Washington county, Pa. Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson "says,"
observes Mr. Schroeder, "that before leaving Pittsburg for Amity,
her husband's manuscript was returned by the publishers." * * * "She
seemingly remembers nothing of its second submission while her husband
resided at Amity, or else those who wrote and signed her statement
didn't see fit to mention it." [85] This is the second sin of omission
in the Davidson statement. And right here it may be as well to notice
another singular thing in reference to these Spaulding documents, the
alleged Davidson statement and Mrs. McKinstry's affidavit, the former
published in 1839, the latter in 1880--while both are very explicit as
to affairs over at Conneaut, there is nothing said in the statement of
either about the readings of the manuscript alleged to have taken place
before the Amity neighbors, whence come the Amity witnesses, Joseph
Miller and Redic McKee. This silence is all the more inexplicable
because it was here that the final "polishing" and preparing for the
press of the Schroeder-assumed "rewritten" manuscript was going on; and
Mrs. McKinstry was more competent to remember such things than when at
Conneaut, because then of less tender years. Indeed if the Davidson
statement is insisted upon as evidence, then Mr. Spaulding refused to
have his manuscript published, even though Mr. Patterson suggested it,
as he had only written it for his own amusement!

[Footnote 85: _American Historical Magazine,_ p. 392-3. (How careless
of him!) _Ante_ p. 28.]

The next sin of the Davidson statement is one of commission. The
success of Mr. Schroeder's case against the Book of Mormon depends upon
establishing his contention that Sidney Rigdon stole the Spaulding
manuscript from the printing office of Patterson and Lambdin; and
that, after October, 1816, (the time of Spaulding's death), the
Schroeder-assumed "rewritten" manuscript was never in the hands of
"anybody but Sidney Rigdon." But if the re-affirmance of the Davidson
statement is to be admitted at all, in evidence, then, according to
Mrs. Davidson, before the family removed from Pittsburg to Amity, the
Spaulding manuscript was "returned to its author, and soon after," says
the Davidson statement, "we removed to Amity, Washington county, etc.,
where Mr. Spaulding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my
hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by
my daughter, Mrs. McKinstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside,
and by other friends." [86]

[Footnote 86: See Davidson statement in the text above.]

This statement, let it be observed, would not fall within the items
which even Mr. Schroeder would exclude from the Davidson statement if
readmitted as evidence; for it is very clear that as to this item the
lady was speaking of a thing about which she had "personal knowledge,"
the "shibboleth" which gives "evidentiary weight" to what the lady is
supposed to have testified to in this "shady" document. But against
this damaging affirmation of the Davidson document, about the return of
the Spaulding manuscript to its author, and Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson's
subsequent possession and care of it, Mr. Schroeder says: "Upon the
question as to whether or not Spaulding's re-written manuscript was in
the possession of anybody but Rigdon at any time after October, 1816,
Mrs. Davidson's statement as published cannot in any sense whatever be
considered as evidence." [87]

[Footnote 87: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, p. 394
_Ante_ p. 29. (Sic!)]

The reader will now better understand Mr. Schroeder's attitude: what
agrees with his theory in the Davidson statement shall be accepted;
what contradicts it, must be discarded; and this may be applied to the
gentleman's attitude to pretty much the whole mass of testimony upon
the subject. The attitude of Mr. Schroeder, however, cannot be conceded
as proper. Either he must admit the force of the Davidson statement
against his contentions, as well as where it favors them, or else he
must discredit the Davidson evidence altogether. One may not have his
cake and at the same time eat it. We care not which he does in respect
of this particular "piece of evidence." It will be equally advantageous
to our argument, which he does.

But let us see in what plight this statement leaves Mr. Schroeder's
case. If, Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson is right about the return of the
Spaulding manuscript to its author while yet at Pittsburg; that it was
taken to Amity, and after the decease of Mr. Spaulding fell into the
hands of Mrs. Spaulding, and "was carefully preserved" by her, and
was "frequently examined" by her daughter,--then Sidney Rigdon did
not steal it from Patterson and Lambdin's printing office, whatever
Rigdon's connection with that office might have been; and Mr. Schroeder
is under the necessity of abandoning one of the chief elements of his
case; an element so essential that if abandoned his case collapses into

To Mr. Schroeder's mind the theft of the manuscript by Mr. Rigdon is
the one circumstance that will harmonize all the alleged "established
facts," and make the Spaulding theory tenable. To this end he
repudiates four other theories as to how the Spaulding manuscript
reached the hands of Joseph Smith, by him to be exploited as the
Book of Mormon. First, the theory that Joseph Smith himself secured
the manuscript from the house of Wm. H. Sabine in 1823 (John Hyde's
theory.) [88] Second, that Sidney Rigdon copied the manuscript
while it was at the printing office of Patterson and Lambdin, (the
Storrs-Austin-Davidson statement theory, and also the Spaulding family
theory). [89] Third, that Joseph Smith copied it while working for Wm.
H. Sabine (brother of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson, be it remembered),
about 1823, but leaving the original there. Fourth, the theory that
Spaulding copied his story for the publisher "while keeping the
duplicate at home to be afterwards cared for by the family." Of course,
"these various theories" were all invented because of a supposed
necessity of accounting for the alleged presence of the re-written
'Manuscript Found' in the trunk at Sabine's house after 1816, the date
of Spaulding's death. So says Mr. Schroeder. [90]

[Footnote 88: "Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs," by John Hyde, Jr.
(1857) p. 279.]

[Footnote 89: "New Light on Mormonism," grand-niece of Mrs. (Solomon
Spaulding) Davidson, (1885). She declares that Mrs. McKinstry
"remembers how her mother talked on the subject, expressing a firm
conviction that Sidney Rigdon had copied the manuscript which had been
in Mr. Patterson's office in Pittsburg," p. 23, 24.]

[Footnote 90: _American Historical Magazine_, September, 1906, p. 390,
_ante_ pp. 24, 25.]

Very naturally all those interested in maintaining the theory
that Spaulding's manuscript was the original source of the Book
of Mormon--except Mr. Schroeder--would be anxious to maintain the
integrity of both the Davidson statement and Mrs. McKinstry's
affidavit, published in _Scribner's Magazine_ for August, 1880, as the
most valuable evidence in existence for the anti-Mormon side of this
controversy. But to preserve that integrity they must vindicate Sidney
Rigdon from theft of the Spaulding manuscript, for both these witnesses
declare the Spaulding manuscript to be in their possession after the
death of Spaulding in 1816. The Davidson statement represents that the
"Manuscript Found," the very manuscript in controversy, that Spaulding
had placed in the hands of Patterson "for perusal," was returned to
Spaulding before the family left Pittsburg; and at his death, two
years later, fell into Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson's hands, and "was
carefully preserved;" was frequently examined by her daughter, Mrs.
McKinstry, "and by other friends." Mrs. McKinstry testifies as to the
association of her father, Solomon Spaulding, with Mr. Patterson, at
Pittsburg; also as to the contents of the trunk that had been taken to
her uncle's, Wm. H. Sabine, by her mother and herself shortly after the
death of her father, containing the papers of her father; and there
she claims to have seen the manuscript that the Davidson statement
says she "frequently examined;" and "on the outside of this manuscript
were written the words, 'Manuscript Found.'" She did not read it,
"but looked through it," and had it many times in her hands and saw
the names she "had heard at Conneaut," when her father read the said
manuscript to his friends. [91]

[Footnote 91: See the McKinstry affidavit.]

Nothing could be more explicit than these statements of mother and
daughter, and both were in the closest relations to Solomon Spaulding;
and what they say is supplemented and emphasized by the grand-niece
of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson, Ellen Dickinson, who, in her "New Light
on Mormonism," represents Mrs. McKinstry as insisting that her mother
said,--and the impression is created that she repeatedly said it--"that
Mr. Spaulding had assured her that he had recovered his original
manuscript when Patterson had refused to publish it, and she never
varied or doubted in this belief." [92]

[Footnote 92: "New Light on Mormonism," p. 23, 24.]


The question naturally arises as to how it is that Mr. Schroeder
adopts this theory of Rigdon stealing the Spaulding manuscript when
it involves him in the necessity of practically throwing overboard
these two important witnesses of the Spaulding theory. We have
already seen that Mr. Schroeder practically discredits the testimony
of the Davidson statement; [93] and with no less emphasis he throws
over Mrs. McKinstry's testimony on the ground of her incompetency
to be a reliable witness because of her tender age--from four to
eleven--when the things happened of which she testified; and her great
age--seventy-four, ("seventy-seven," says Mrs. Dickinson, [94])-when she
made her affidavit as to those distant happenings.

[Footnote 93: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, pp.
392-4. _Ante._ p. 29.]

[Footnote 94: "New Light on Mormonism," preface.]

    "That this woman, at seventy-four, should remember strange names,
    casually repeated in her presence, before her sixth year, and
    those names wholly unrelated to anything of direct consequence to
    her child life, is a feat of memory too extraordinary to give her
    uncorroborated statement any weight as against valid contradictory
    conclusions drawn from established facts." [95]

[Footnote 95: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, p. 392,
_ante_ p. 26.]

In a casual re-statement of his theory that Rigdon stole the Spaulding
manuscript, and pointing to the alleged related facts of that theory,
Mr. Schroeder says: "These conclusions and much of the evidence upon
which they are based will contradict Mrs. McKinstry's statement." [96]
Then why adopt that theory? A direct answer is nowhere to be found
on the face of Mr. Schroeder's articles; but one acquainted with all
the variations of the Spaulding theory does not have far to go to
understand the reasons.

[Footnote 96: Ibid. 391.]

First, there is the shady transactions of the Reverends Clark, Storrs,
and Austin in the production of the Davidson statement that discredits
it; and in Mr. Schroeder's view, the evidentiary value of this document
is not very great. [97]

[Footnote 97: Ibid. pp. 393-4, _ante_ pp. 26-29.]

Second, Mr. Schroeder knows, for reasons that he himself states, that
the McKinstry affidavit is incompetent and cannot be held to establish
the alleged facts detailed in it. "That this woman at seventy-four,
should remember strange names casually repeated in her presence, before
her sixth year, * * * is a feat of memory too extraordinary," is his
own characterization of the absurdity.

Third, Mr. Schroeder knows that the other theories by which an effort
is made to connect the Spaulding manuscript with Joseph Smith and the
consequent plagiarism of the Book of Mormon from it are untenable.
That is, he knows that the theory that Rigdon copied the Spaulding
manuscript while it was at Patterson-Lambdin's printing office,
the original being returned to Spaulding, cannot be established
by evidence. He knows equally well that the theory that Spaulding
himself made a copy of his story for the publisher while keeping the
duplicate at home to be cared for by his family, cannot be successfully
maintained. This copying a manuscript that makes a book of 600 pages,
of more than 500 words to the page (see first edition of Book of
Mormon), is not so easy a task, and the time necessary to such an
achievement, by either of these men, make the theories impossible.

Fourth, Mr. Schroeder also knows that the theory that Joseph Smith
himself stole the Spaulding manuscript from the house of Win. H. Sabine
of Onondaga Valley, in 1823, at which time it is alleged that Joseph
Smith worked for Mr. Sabine, cannot be established by evidence.

Fifth, Mr. Schroeder knows that the theory that Joseph Smith copied
the Spaulding manuscript while at Sabine's is not only incapable of
being established by evidence, but would be ridiculous, even if it
could be proven beyond reasonable doubt that Joseph Smith ever worked
for Sabine, in 1823, or at any other time, both on account of his
age, then eighteen, certainly unschooled, and by some said not to be
able then to write at all. [98] Yet this man working as a teamster
(for so it is said) copies a manuscript which afterwards makes a book
of six hundred pages of five hundred words to the page! No wonder
that Mr. Schroeder discredits this theory. With all these theories
discarded, however, what remains for Spaulding theorists? Nothing but
to charge the theft of Spaulding's manuscript to Sidney Rigdon, and to
stick to it. To do this, however, they must follow Mr. Schroeder in
discrediting the Davidson statement; and declare the incompetency of
the McKinstry affidavit, for reasons already considered. This destroys
for the Spaulding theorists what some regard as the two most valuable
documents, (contemptible as they are) on which the theory stands.

[Footnote 98: Mrs. Horace Eaton of Palmyra, "Hand Book of Mormonism."]



What is relied upon as evidence that Sidney Rigdon stole the Spaulding
manuscript from Patterson-Lambdin's printing-office? When Howe appealed
for information on this point to Mr. Patterson of Pittsburg, in 1834,
Mr. Lambdin had been dead about eight years; and Howe writes--"Mr.
Patterson says he has no recollection of any such manuscript being
brought there for publication." [99] This statement of Howe's has proved
very troublesome to the later, or Pittsburg group of Mr. Schroeder's
witnesses. Mr. Howe was appealed to for his authority for the statement
and replied, "I think Hurlburt was the person who talked with Patterson
about the manuscript." [100] This is confirmed by the testimony of B.
Winchester, author of "The Origin of the Spaulding Story," (1840).
As soon as the "Storrs-Davidson" statement was published,--asserting
that Patterson had borrowed the Spaulding manuscript, was very much
pleased with it, advised the writing of a title page, a preface and
then publishing it,--a Mr. Green, according to Mr. Winchester, "called
upon Mr. Patterson to know if this statement was true. Mr. Patterson
replied, that he knew nothing of any such manuscript. I learned this
from Mr. Green's own mouth," says Mr. Winchester, "who is a man of
undoubted veracity. * * * Mr. Hurlburt states, that he called upon Mr.
Patterson who affirmed his ignorance of the whole matter." [101]

[Footnote 99: "Mormonism Unveiled," Howe, p. 289.]

[Footnote 100: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 7.]

[Footnote 101: "Origin of the Spaulding Story," p. 13.]

In 1842, Mr. Patterson was again appealed to upon the subject of the
submission of the Spaulding manuscript to him. The appeal was made
by the Reverend Samuel Williams who at the time was preparing for
publication a pamphlet entitled "Mormonism Exposed." Whereupon Mr.
Patterson wrote and signed a brief statement which was afterwards
published by the Reverend Williams as follows:

    "R. Patterson had in his employment Silas Engles at the time,
    a foreman printer, and general superintendent of the printing
    business. As he (S. E.) was an excellent scholar, as well as a
    good printer, to him was intrusted the entire concerns of the
    office. He even decided on the propriety or otherwise of publishing
    manuscripts when offered,--as to their morality, scholarship, etc.
    In this character, he informed R. P. that a gentleman, from the
    East originally, had put into his hands a manuscript of a singular
    work, chiefly in the style of our English translation of the Bible,
    and handed the copy to R. P., who read only a few pages and finding
    nothing apparently exceptionable he (R. P.) said to Engles he might
    publish it if the author furnished the funds or good security. He
    (the author) failing to comply with the terms, Mr. Engles returned
    the manuscript, as I supposed at that time, after it had been some
    weeks in his possession, with other manuscripts in the office.

    "This communication written and signed 2d April, 1842. [102]


[Footnote 102: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 7.]

"It is matter of sincere regret," says the author of "Who Wrote
the Book of Mormon?" "that so meager a document is all the written
evidence that Mr. Patterson has left." And well he may, as one of the
Spaulding-origin theorists, have such regret. For there is nothing here
of Spaulding and his manuscript, nothing of Patterson's interest in it
and advising a title page, preface, and the publication of it; nothing
of Rigdon and his connection with the manuscript; nothing of its being
missing or stolen or copied. Of course "the gentleman from the East
originally, [who] had put into his [Patterson's] hands a manuscript of
a singular work, chiefly in the style of our English translation of
the Bible," in which neither the printing-firm proof-reader, to whom
it was referred, nor Mr. Patterson, had more than a languid interest,
according to the above, is made by the Spaulding-origin theorists
to mean the author of the Spaulding manuscript. There is nothing to
justify such a conclusion. Had it been Spaulding's manuscript, which
"the gentleman from the East presented," would not Mr. Patterson have
remembered it? Would he not have named him? Why should he not? There
is but one answer--the gentleman was not Spaulding. Oh, at this point,
for Mr. Patterson's remembrance of an identity of names with "Book of
Mormon" names,--for a "Nephi" now, or "Moroni," or "Zarahemla!" But
mark you, what Mr. Patterson refuses to do in the signed statement
which he prepared especially at the request, Mr. Williams, Mr. Williams
does for him in introducing this signed statement by saying: "Mr.
Patterson firmly believes, also, from what he has heard from the Mormon
Bible, that it is the same thing he examined at the time." [103] Then
why is that not in the statement Robert Patterson signed? The manifest
dishonesty of these preachers grows tedious!

[Footnote 103: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 7.]

Mr. Schroeder next puts in as "evidence" the testimony of Joseph
Miller, (the name "John" in Mr. Schroeder's text is evidently a
misprint), "who knew Spaulding at Amity, bailed him out of jail when
confined for debt, made his coffin for him when he died, and helped
lay him out in his grave"--quite a formidable list of services; also
gruesome. And his testimony? Spaulding told him "there was a man
named Sidney Rigdon about the office and they thought he had stolen
it" [104] (i.e., the Spaulding manuscript). This man is heralded in the
_Cincinnati Gazette_ as the "one man in the United States who can give
its [i. e., the Book of Mormon's], origin." Gregg, whom Mr. Schroeder
cites as his authority, repeats this announcement, and we marvel
that Mr. Schroeder did not include this circumstance in his list of
qualities that makes this witness so picturesque.

[Footnote 104: _American Historical Magazine,_ November, 1906, p. 518,
_ante_ p. 30. Miller's letter is given in full in Gregg's "Prophet of
Palmyra," p. 442. Miller also writes another letter of similar import
to the author of "New Light on Mormonism," p. 240. "Who Wrote the Book
of Mormon?" p. 7.]

The Miller document quoted by Mr. Schroeder from Gregg's "Prophet
of Palmyra," bears date of January 20, 1882; and as Miller was born
in 1791 he was then ninety-one years of age. [105] The very earliest
statement of Miller's story is in the _Pittsburg Telegraph,_ February
6, 1879, when Miller would be eighty-eight years old. How much reliance
is to be placed upon the early recollections of such an aged person
after all the talk had, and all the newspaper and magazine articles and
discussions that have been published, leading to confusion in the minds
of unliterary, uncritical, and often ignorant people, as to dates, the
order of events, and mind impressions; and this confusion influenced
by their religious zeal, not to say fanaticism; prejudices against
supposed heresies; and resentment of religious innovations--what value,
I say, is to be given to the recollections of a very aged person under
these circumstances, must be finally determined by the reader. I only
ask that the circumstances be known; that they be constantly held in
mind and given their due weight, and I shall not fear the judgment.

[Footnote 105: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 6.]

Mr. Schroeder next introduces what he would fondly have us believe is
the testimony of the Reverend Cephus Dodd, "a Presbyterian minister
of Amity, Pa." (where Spaulding lived 1814-16); Mr. Dodd was also a
practicing physician and attended Spaulding in his last illness. "As
early as 1832," says Mr. Schroeder, "this Mr. Dodd took Mr. George M.
French of Amity to Spaulding's grave, and there expressed a positive
belief that Sidney Rigdon was the agent who had transformed Spaulding's
manuscript into the Book of Mormon." Mr. French, we are told, fixes the
date through its proximity to his removal to Amity. Following is the
comment of Mr. Schroeder on the Reverend Mr. Dodd's "testimony:"

    "The conclusion thus expressed by Mr. Dodd, in advance of all
    public discussion or evidence, is important, because of what is
    necessarily implied in it. First, it involved a comparison between
    Spaulding's literary production and the 'Book of Mormon,' with a
    discovered similarity inducing conviction that the latter was a
    plagiarism from the former. This comparison presupposes a knowledge
    of the contents of Spaulding's rewritten manuscript. The second
    and most important deduction is to be made from the assertion that
    Sidney Rigdon was the connecting link in the plagiarism. Such a
    conclusion must have had a foundation in Mr. Dodd's mind, and could
    have arisen only if he was possessed of personal knowledge of what
    he considered reliable information creating a conviction in his
    mind of the probability of Sidney Rigdon's connection with the
    matter." [106]

[Footnote 106: _American Historical Magazine,_ November, 1906, p. 519,
_ante pp._ 31-32.]

But not so fast. Let us think of it. Who tells this story? Mr. Dodd
in 1832? No. And is it of record that he did all these things that
Mr. Schroeder surmises that he did? Again, no. And was Mr. Dodd's
"conclusions expressed" in advance of all public discussion or
evidence, respecting the Book of Mormon? Not at all. According to
the authority Mr. Schroeder himself cites for this Dodd "evidence,"
and from which he gets the story, the Reverend Mr. Dodd lived until
January 16, 1858. But there is no direct statement or evidence at
all from him on the matter here discussed. Nothing was said about
it until the publication of "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" in the
"History of Washington County, Pa.," 1882; after the discussion of
all the evidence, instead of in advance of it. Then Mr. George M.
French, according to the author of "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?"
"in his eighty-third years," "retains a vivid impression" of the
foregoing account of a visit to Mr. Spaulding's grave in company with
Mr. Dodd; and then the story. [107] And Mr. Schroeder would lead his
readers to believe that they have in this jumbled mass of second hand
"vivid impressions" fifty years old, detailed by a man in his dotage,
over eighty-two years old, an expression in "advance of all public
discussion or evidence" respecting the Book of Mormon--in 1832, in
fact! And Mr. Schroeder is a professional lawyer!

[Footnote 107: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 10.]

Of like character but weaker are the rest of Mr. Schroeder's witnesses
to the "theft" of the Spaulding manuscript and its identity with the
Book of Mormon. Such is his "tenth witness," Redick McKee (Joseph
Miller, considered above, being his "ninth witness,"); and his
"eleventh witness," the Reverend Abner Jackson; and, as Mr. Schroeder
himself puts it,--"Last but not least," John C. Bennett, who also
endorses the Spaulding theory of the Origin of the Book of Mormon; for
which I had almost said, "thank God!" for nothing could so completely
damn a thing as John C. Bennett's endorsement. Then I restrained the
all but expressed exclamation and softened it to the quiet conclusion
of--"fitting climax to such an array of testimony!"

Bennett claims to have had it from the "confederation"--that "there
never were any plates of the Book of Mormon excepting what were seen
by the spiritual and not the natural eyes of the witnesses." [108] All
these witnesses are as incompetent and contemptible as those whose
testimony we have examined, and with this we leave them. It is not
necessary to demonstrate over and over again the same proposition, or
refute every specific detail of falsehood when they can be classified
and dealt with in mass.

[Footnote 108: "Mormonism Exposed," pp. 123-4.]


Mr. Schroeder seeks to make much of what he calls "Rigdon's religious
dishonesty" previous to his joining the Mormon Church. Of this and
the evidence on which it is based, it is only necessary to say: said
dishonesty is charged by the Reverend Samuel Williams, author of
"Mormonism Exposed"--the Reverend gentleman whom we have seen put into
his book a statement as to Mr. Patterson's views about the Spaulding
manuscript which Mr. Patterson evidently refused to put into his own
signed statement, given to Mr. Williams for his anti-Mormon work. The
dishonesty alleged against Rigdon has to do with religious experiences
which Rigdon is represented by a rival minister as confessing to have
feigned in order to obtain membership in the Baptist Church, at Peters
Creek. Its source utterly discredits it; and at best it is only the
all-too-usual exhibition of malice expressed in misrepresentation when
a person passes from one religious organization to another.


The next question which Mr. Schroeder considers is Rigdon's opportunity
to steal the Spaulding manuscript. This depends upon whether Sidney
Rigdon was at Pittsburg when the Spaulding manuscript was there
between 1812, the time of Spaulding's advent into Pittsburg with his
manuscript, and 1814, the time of his departure. But to humor Mr.
Schroeder we will extend the time so as to include his fiction about
a "re-written" manuscript and its "second submission" to Patterson
for publication. So the question is, was Rigdon in Pittsburg between
1812 and 1816, the time of Spaulding's death? Here I insert a brief
biography of Sidney Rigdon, up to the time of his joining the Mormon
Church. It is taken from the "Illustrated History of Washington County,
Pa.," in which was published the treatise on "Who Wrote the Book of
Mormon?" I select this account of Mr. Rigdon's movements up to 1830,
because it is the one regarded by Mr. Schroeder as more accurate than
other accounts; and it is only slightly different, but in no respect
materially so, from the account of Mr. Rigdon published in the "History
of Joseph Smith," in the _Millennial Star,_ supplement, volume XIV.,
and condensed in a foot note in the "History of the Church." [109]

[Footnote 109: "History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 120-1, and notes.]

    "Sidney Rigdon was born near the present village of Library,
    Allegheny Co., Pa., Feb. 19, 1793; attended in boyhood an ordinary
    country school; joined the Baptist Church near his home May 31,
    1817; studied divinity with a Baptist preacher named Clark in
    Beaver County, Pa., in the winter of 1818-19, and was licensed to
    preach; went to Warren, Ohio, where he was ordained, and in the
    winter of 1821-22 returned to Pittsburg; became pastor of the First
    Baptist Church there Jan. 28, 1822, and for doctrinal errors was
    excluded from the Baptist denomination Oct. 11, 1823. He continued
    to Preach in the court-house to his adherents, but in 1824,
    according to one account, he removed to the Western Reserve Ohio;
    according to another account he engaged in the tanning business in
    Pittsburg until 1826, and then removed to the Reserve, residing for
    brief periods at Bainbridge, Mentor, and Kirtland. At this time
    he was connected with the Campbellite or Disciple's Church, and
    preached its doctrines, mingled with extravagant conceits of his
    own, until in 1830 he joined the Mormons." [110]

[Footnote 110: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 8.]

It will be observed that this does not bring Sidney Rigdon to Pittsburg
until 1821-22, some seven years after the Spauldings had left Pittsburg
with their precious manuscript, and five years after they had departed
from Pennsylvania with it. Mr. Rigdon's own account of his going to
Pittsburg puts it in November, 1821, on his return from Ohio, to visit
relatives in Allegheny county, Pa. He preached in Pittsburg a few
times, and it was his preaching during this visit that led to his being
called to become the permanent pastor of the First Baptist Church of
that place, where he took up his residence in 1822.

In a communication addressed to the _Boston Journal,_ under date of
May 27, 1839, Sidney Rigdon emphatically denies having any connection
with Patterson's printing establishment; or with Spaulding and his
manuscript. [111] Concerning the charge frequently made that Rigdon
lived in Pittsburg, and was connected with Patterson's printing office
during 1815 and 1816, Mr. Schroeder himself remarks.

[Footnote 111: The Letter of Rigdon will be found complete in Smucker's
"History of the Mormons," pp. 45-48.]

    "The evidence upon which is based the charge of Rigdon having a
    permanent residence in Pittsburg during the years in question,
    or his connection with Patterson's printing office, is so
    unsatisfactory that these issues must be found in favor of Rigdon's
    denial." [112]

[Footnote 112: _American Historical Magazine,_ November, 1906, p. 524,
_ante,_ p. 39.]

Very diligent inquiry was made by the historians of Washington County,
to ascertain whether or not Rigdon was in Pittsburg at the time the
Spaulding manuscript is alleged to have been there. What makes the
matter of inquiry more interesting is the fact that the author of that
part of the "History of Washington County" under the caption "Who Wrote
the Book of Mormon?" is Robert Patterson, son of Robert Patterson, who
is said to have been the printer to whom Spaulding's manuscript was
taken for publication. Robert Patterson, author of "Who Wrote the Book
of Mormon?" in his capacity of historian, sent out a number of letters
soliciting information as to the time of Sidney Rigdon's residence
in Pittsburg and his connection with the Patterson-Lambdin printing
establishment; and also he made personal inquiry on the same subject.
The results of such inquiry follow. The term "the present writer" used
in the quotation refers to Mr. Patterson himself. After saying that
Carvil Rigdon, Sidney's brother, and Peter Boyer, his brother-in-law,
were the source of information for Rigdon's biography, Mr. Patterson

    "Mr. Boyer also in a personal interview with the present writer in
    1879, positively affirmed that Rigdon had never lived in Pittsburg
    previous to 1822, adding that 'they were boys together, and he
    ought to know.' Mr. Boyer had for a short time embraced Mormonism,
    but became convinced that it was a delusion, and returned to his
    membership in the Baptist Church."

It could not then have been through religious sympathy with Mr. Rigdon
that Mr. Boyer made the above statement.

    "Isaac King, a highly-respected citizen of Library, Pa., and an old
    neighbor of Rigdon, states in a letter to the present writer, dated
    June 14, 1879, that Sidney lived on the farm of of his father until
    the death of the latter in May, 1810, and for a number of years
    afterwards; * * * * received his education in a log school-house
    in the vicinity; he began to talk in public on religion soon after
    his admission to the church, (1817) probably at his own instance,
    as there is no record of his licensure; 'went to Sharon, Pa., for
    a time, and was there ordained as a preacher, but soon returned to
    his farm, which he sold (June 28, 1823), to James Means, and about
    the time of the sale removed to Pittsburg.'

    "Samuel Cooper, of Saltsburg, Pa., a veteran of three wars, in
    a letter to the present writer, dated June 14, 1879, stated as
    follows: 'I was acquainted with Mr. Lambdin, was often in the
    printing-office; was acquainted with Silas Engles, the foreman of
    the printing-office; he never mentioned Sidney Rigdon's name to me,
    so I am satisfied he was never engaged there as a printer. * * *
    Never saw him in the bookstore or printing-office; your father's
    office was in the celebrated Molly Murphy's Row.'

    "Rev. Robert P. DuBois, of New London, Pa., under date of Jan. 9,
    1879, writes: 'I entered the bookstore of R. Patterson & Lambdin in
    March, 1818, when about twelve years old, and remained there until
    the summer of 1820. The firm had under its control the bookstore on
    Fourth Street a book-bindery, a printing-office, (not newspaper,
    but job-office, under the name of Butler & Lambdin) entrance on
    Diamond Alley, and a steam paper-mill on the Allegheny (under the
    name of R. & J. Patterson). I knew nothing of Spaulding (then dead)
    or of his book or of Sidney Rigdon.'

    "Mrs. R. W. Lambdin, of Irvington, N.Y., widow of the late
    J. Harrison Lambdin, in response to some inquiries as to her
    recollections of Rigdon and others, writes under date of Jan. 15,

    "'I am sorry to say I shall not be able to give you any information
    relative to the persons you name. They certainly could not have
    been friends of Mr. Lambdin. Mrs. Lambdin resided in Pittsburg from
    her marriage in 1819 to the death of her husband, Aug. 1, 1825. Mr.
    Lambdin was born Sept. 1, 1798."

It is to the credit of Mr. Patterson that he recorded these testimonies
that must be so unsatisfactory to the Spaulding theory advocates,
among whom must be numbered Mr. Patterson himself. He also says that
"impartial justice, requires the addition to the above testimony of the
very explicit denial of Rigdon himself;" and then quotes the essential
part of Mr. Rigdon's denial sent to the _Boston Journal_ in 1839. He
criticises the grammar of the passage, and points out that Mr. Rigdon
was mistaken in saying that there was no "Patterson printing-office"
in Pittsburg during his residence there; "as his [Rigdon's] pastorate
there began in January, 1822, and the firm of 'R. Patterson and
Lambdin' was in business until January 1, 1823." But, as related in
the statement of the Reverend Robert P. DuBois, given above, since the
job printing-office, said to be under the "control" of the firm of "R.
Patterson and Lambdin," was conducted under the name of "Buttler and
Lambdin," [113] Mr. Schroeder admits that Mr. Rigdon's slight mistake
was very natural, and does not impair in the least the truth of his
denial. Having introduced Mr. Rigdon's denial Mr. Patterson remarks
upon it and upon the witnesses whose testimony is given above:

[Footnote 113: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 9. The testimony of
the five witnesses alluded to will be found in the same work and page.]

    "But whatever may be thought Of his testimony, as that of an
    interested party, there can be no doubt that the five preceding
    witnesses on this point have conscientiously stated what they
    firmly believed to be the facts. No one who knew them would for a
    moment doubt their veracity." [114]

[Footnote 114: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?"]

Here let us notice a statement by Mr. Schroeder, that seems to have
some weight on this point. He claims Sidney Rigdon's son, John W.
Rigdon, says that his father lived in Pittsburg in 1818; and in the
biographical note of Sidney Rigdon published in the "History of the
Church," following John W. Rigdon's "History of Sidney Rigdon," the
manuscript of which he has deposited with the Church Historian, it is
there stated:

    "In March, 1819, Mr. Rigdon left the farm and made his home with
    the Reverend Andrew Clark of Pittsburg, also a Baptist minister.
    While residing with Mr. Clark he took out a license and began from
    that time his career as a minister. In May, 1819, he removed from
    Pennsylvania to Trumbull county, Ohio." [115]

[Footnote 115: "History of the Church," (1906), Vol. I, p. 121, foot

This would give Sidney Rigdon a residence in Pittsburg from some time
in March (1819) until some time in May of the same year--something
like two months. This would give some support to Mr. Schroeder's
statement. But in the biographical sketch of Mr. Rigdon in the "History
of Washington County," the date of which was supplied to the writer of
it by Carvil Rigdon, Sidney's brother, and his brother-in-law, Peter
Boyer, it is said that Sidney Rigdon "studied divinity with a Baptist
preacher named Clark in Beaver County, Pa., in the winter of 1818-19
and was licensed to preach." Beaver County is immediately north of
Allegheny County, in which Pittsburg is located. Notwithstanding the
statement of John W. Rigdon has found its way into the "History of the
Church," as above explained, yet Carvil Rigdon and Peter Boyer must be
held to be more competent witnesses on this point than John W. Rigdon;
and more especially since the inquiry made by Mr. Patterson in his
capacity of contributor to the "History of Washington County, Pa.," was
made in the interest of the Spaulding theory that requires the location
of Rigdon in Pittsburg earlier than 1822, when, it is conceded, he took
up his residence there. Had the Reverend Mr. Clark with whom Rigdon
studied divinity in the spring of 1819 lived in Pittsburg instead of
Beaver County, that fact would scarcely have escaped the searching
inquiry made upon the subject. But even if the residence of Rigdon
for two months in the year named could be fixed in Pittsburg beyond
reasonable doubt the conclusion of Mr. Schroeder as to its effect upon
Rigdon's denial of knowledge of the existence of the printing-office
of Patterson and Lambdin, would not stand. He puts his argument in
syllogistic form, thus:

    "Rigdon's son says Rigdon lived in Pittsburg in 1818. Church
    biographers allege that he preached there regularly after January
    28, 1822. During 1818 and 1822 Patterson was in the printing
    business, and Rigdon's statement must be deemed untrue." [116]

[Footnote 116: _American Historical Magazine,_ November, 1906, p. 526,
_ante_ p. 39.]

To which the answer is: By no means; since if it be allowed that Rigdon
was in Pittsburg at all, he was there but some two months--and the
existence of a certain printing establishment might easily escape his
knowledge,--and more especially so since the printing office was under
another firm name, that of "Butler and Lambdin." [117]

[Footnote 117: "Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 9.]

Let us now return to Mr. Patterson and his "Who Wrote the Book of
Mormon?" We have seen how fairly he recorded the testimony of witnesses
that told against his own side of the case, and the certificate of good
character he gave those witnesses. It is but fair to him to say that
on the opposite side of the question he gives the "Davidson" statement
credence, apparently not knowing the "shady" character of that
document; and that if it was "in the main true," then it carried off
the Spaulding manuscript beyond the reach of Sidney Rigdon as early as
1814, when the Spauldings left Pittsburg for Amity. Mr. Patterson also
records the statement of Joseph Miller, Redick McKee and Mr. French's
story of the Reverend Cephus Dodd, whose statements have already been
considered, and shown to be incompetent as evidence.

And then he comes to another witness in whom both he and Mr. Schroeder
delight as establishing a connection if not between Rigdon and
Patterson's printing establishment, then at least between Rigdon and
Lambdin. This is Mrs. R. J. Eichbaum of Pittsburg. The facts relating
to her are that she was the daughter of John Johnston, and was born
August 25, 1792. Her father was post-master of Pittsburg from 1804 to
1822; and was succeeded by William Eichbaum, who held the office until
1833. In 1815 Miss Johnston married William Eichbaum. As soon as she
became old enough she assisted her father in attending the post-office.
From 1811 to 1816 she became the regular clerk in the office assorting,
opening and distributing the mail. And even after her marriage in
the absence of her husband, she sometimes attended to these duties.
Pittsburg was then a small town, the mail was meagre, and Mrs. Eichbaum
remembered those who called regularly for their mail; and now her own

    "I knew and distinctly remember Robert and Joseph Patterson, J.
    Harrison Lambdin, Silas Engles, and Sidney Rigdon. I remember Rev.
    Mr. Spaulding, but simply as one who occasionally called to inquire
    for letters. I remember that there was an evident intimacy between
    Lambdin and Rigdon. They very often came to the office together. I
    particularly remember that they would thus come during the hour on
    Sabbath afternoon when the office was required to be open, and I
    remember feeling sure that Rev. Mr. Patterson knew nothing of this,
    or he would have put a stop to it. I do not know what position, if
    any, Rigdon filled in Patterson's store or printing-office, but
    am well assured he was frequently, if not constantly there for
    a large part of the time when I was clerk in the post-office. I
    recall Mr. Engles saying that 'Rigdon was always hanging around
    the printing-office.' He was connected with the tannery before he
    became a preacher, though he may have continued the business whilst
    preaching." [118]

[Footnote 118: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 10.]

This is the strongest and I may say the only testimony existing
concerning any connection between Sidney Rigdon and Lambdin. But if
this testimony was left to stand with all its strength unimpaired,
it is a "far way" between this and the establishment of a connection
between Rigdon and the Spaulding manuscript. Even Mr. Schroeder
concedes that. In commenting on the above testimony, he says:

    "While this does not establish that Sidney Rigdon had a permanent
    abode in Pittsburg, nor that he was connected with Patterson's
    printing establishment, it yet explains why seemingly everybody who
    knew him reached that conclusion." [119]

[Footnote 119: _American Historical Magazine,_ September, 1906, p. 528,
_ante_ p. 41.]

One marvels at the concluding remark in the above passage, in the
face of the testimony of the five witnesses quoted by the author of
"Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" These five witnesses had the best
opportunity of knowing of such connection if it existed. They were
Rigdon's own boyhood and young manhood companions, employees of the
firm of Patterson and Lambdin, including Lambdin's wife, and they
all declare there was no such connection, or that they knew of none.
And then there is the silence of Robert Patterson, of the firm of
Patterson and Lambdin to account for. Patterson, who was solicited
for information on the subject but who evidently could give none; and
whose disclosure if he had any to make, Rigdon boldly challenged in
his _Boston Journal_ article of 1839. Mr. Patterson did not die until
September 5th, 1854; [120] and in 1839 Rigdon in the article referred to

[Footnote 120: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 7.]

    "If I were to say that I ever heard of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding
    and his hopeful wife, until Dr. P. Hurlburt wrote his lie about me,
    I should be a liar like unto themselves. Why was not the testimony
    of Mr. Patterson obtained to give force to this shameful tale of
    lies? The only reason is, that he was not a fit tool for them to
    work with; he would not lie for them, for if he were called on he
    would testify to what I have here said." [121]

[Footnote 121: "History of the Mormons," Smucker, p. 96.]

This is Rigdon's challenge, (Mr. Schroeder nowhere deals with it) and
while we regret its form we rejoice in its boldness and emphasis. Mr.
Patterson was solicited by the Reverend Samuel Williams, when preparing
his "Mormonism Exposed," for a statement, and Mr. Patterson gave one
and signed it under date of 2nd of April, 1842, but not a word in it
of Rigdon or of his connection with the printing establishment, or his
association with Lambdin, or of the complaints of Engles about Rigdon
"always hanging around the printing office;" not a word about Spaulding
and his manuscript. There is but one conclusion to be reached from
this silence, viz., there were no such relations to disclose as are
contended for by Mr. Schroeder.

The statement of Mrs. Eichbaum is somewhat weakened by the fact that
when she gave her statement she was eighty-seven years old and what
Mr. Schroeder has implied of memories impaired by age in the case of
Mrs. McKinstry, ought to have some application to the testimony of
Mrs. Eichbaum. Another consideration weakens it. Taking into account
Rigdon's prominence in the public life of Pittsburg from the time of
being settled there as the regular pastor of the First Baptist Church,
in 1822, up to 1825, the year of Lambdin's death, if any such intimacy
had existed between Rigdon and Lambdin as described by Mrs. Eichbaum
and contended for by Mr. Schroeder, would not Mrs. Lambdin have had
some knowledge of it? "Mrs. Lambdin resided in Pittsburg from her
marriage in 1819 to the death of her husband, August 1st, 1825." Yet
writing to Mr. Patterson, author of "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?"
under date of Jan. 15th, 1882, in response to inquiries as to her
recollections of Sidney Rigdon and others she says:

    "I am sorry to say I shall not be able to give you any information
    relative to the persons you name. They certainly could not have
    been friends of Mr. Lambdin." [122]

[Footnote 122: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 9.]

If due weight be given to these considerations, I do not think much
importance can attach to the testimony of Mrs. Eichbaum. It simply
represents the confused impressions arising from the neighborhood
gossip and public discussion of the subject, in a mind grown old.

What Mr. Patterson has said at the close of the testimony _pro et con,_
which he presents in his article in the History of Washington County,
is worth repeating:

    "These witnesses are all whom we can find, after inquiries
    extending through some three years, who can testify at all to
    Rigdon's residence in Pittsburg before 1816, and to his possible
    employment in Patterson's printing-office or bindery. Of this
    employment none of them speak from personal knowledge. In making
    inquiries among two or three score of the oldest residents of
    Pittsburg and vicinity, those who had any opinion on the subject
    invariably, so far as now remembered, repeated the story of
    Rigdon's employment in Patterson's printing-office, as if it were
    a well-known and admitted fact; they 'could tell all about it,'
    but when pressed as to their personal knowledge of it or their
    authority for the conviction they had none." [123]

[Footnote 123: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 11.]

The search for evidence was prolonged and thorough; evidently, at
the outset, the confidence was great; and the results evidently a
disappointment. That becomes more apparent when one reads the foot note
of the publishers oil Mr. Patterson's passage above.

    "If any one would learn an impressive lesson upon the transitory
    nature of man's hold upon the remembrance of his fellow-men,
    let him engage in an investigation into some matter of local or
    personal history dating back a half century ago. So rapidly,
    in the very places where a man has lived and labored, does the
    recollection of him fade into rumor, or myth, or oblivion. The
    candid reader will doubtless suspend his judgment on this hitherto
    accepted theory of Rigdon's printership, or set it down as, at the
    most, only probable, but certainly not yet proved." [124]

[Footnote 124: Ibid. p. 11, foot note.]

To these reflections on how quickly recollections of man in the place
where he wrought some portion of his life's work fade into myth or
rumor, or oblivion, there may be added the other side of the case; let
ever so little a circumstance happen to a man in some place where part
of his life was passed, and if that man becomes famous, or through any
cause becomes notorious, then mark how local gossips and myth-makers
spring up on every hand, magnifying the most trivial incidents into
events of importance; how new incidents are often invented, which with
those that have some foundation in fact are constantly undergoing
variations by additions or subtractions or a change in application,
until all is distorted, confused and confounded. And many "can tell
all about it, until," as Mr. Patterson remarks, "pressed as to their
personal knowledge, or their authority for their conviction, then
it is discovered they have none." And then one stands face to face
with the utter worthlessness of that kind of "evidence" to establish
anything good or ill concerning a man, or an event, or a cause. It is
out of just such "evidence" as this that Mr. Schroeder and his fellow
"Spauldingites," seek to construct for the Book of Mormon an origin
other than that vouched for by Joseph Smith and his associates.


Especially out of just such evidence as this grows Mr. Schroeder's next
subject--"Sidney Rigdon exhibits Spaulding's manuscript." While Rigdon
was at Pittsburg, 1822-3, a Dr. Winters, then teaching school in the
town, was in Rigdon's study when the latter took from his desk a large
manuscript and said that a Presbyterian minister named Spaulding whose
health had failed brought it to a printer to see if it would not pay to
publish it--"it is a romance of the Bible," Rigdon is reported to have
said. Doctor Winter thought no more about it until the Book of Mormon
appeared. Then, of course, "he remembered all about it." Dr. Winter,
did not commit his recollections of this interview to writing, though
he lived until 1878. But Mr. Schroeder finds "something just as good,"
a daughter writes out what she had heard her father, Dr. Winter, say
about it. This was in 1881, about the time interest was renewed in the
subject through the publication of Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson's article in
_Scribner's Magazine_ for August, 1880.

Of like import is the story of Mrs. Amos Dunlap, of Warren, Ohio. She
wrote in answer to inquiries in December, 1879, to the effect that she
visited the Rigdon family at Bainbridge, Ohio, when quite a child,
(Mrs. Rigdon was her aunt). One day the following happened:

    "During my visit Mr. Rigdon went to his bedroom and took from a
    trunk, which he kept locked, a certain manuscript. He came into
    the other room and seated himself by the fire place and commenced
    reading it. His wife at that moment came into the room and
    exclaimed, 'What! you're studying that thing again?' or something
    to that effect. She then added, 'I mean to burn that paper.' He
    said, 'No, indeed, you will not. This will be a great thing some
    day!" [125]

[Footnote 125: "Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?" p. 12.]

Mr. Schroeder introduces this as one of his items of evidence that Mr.
Rigdon foreknew of the forthcoming and contents of the Book of Mormon.
The thing that destroys the effect of it is, the undoubted fact that if
Sidney Rigdon was engaged in such a scheme as Mr. Schroeder charges he
was, then Mrs. Rigdon must have known of it. Now when Mr. Rigdon had
before him in 1830 the question of what should be his relationship to
Mormonism, and he had decided that it was true and that he would accept
it, he naturally was concerned as to what Mrs. Rigdon's attitude would
be in the matter, and when he broached the subject to her "he was happy
to find that she was not only diligently investigating the subject,
but was believing with all her heart, and was desirous of obeying the
truth." [126] If it be urged by Mr. Schroeder, as it is most likely
to be, that the conversion of Mrs. Rigdon, like that of her husband,
was but a sham, a prearranged affair, that she as well as Mr. Rigdon
foreknew of the forth-coming of the Book of Mormon, then the scene
at Bainbridge, described by Mrs. Dunlap as taking place, supposedly
because of Mr. Rigdon's absorption in Spaulding's manuscript, has
no place in the scheme of things to be supported by Mr. Schroeder's
contention. But I have referred to this and the Dr. Winter episode
merely as illustrations of how variations and additions multiply upon
myths when once started. And so it will continue to be as long as there
is a relative who had a relative who heard something about what some
one else had said of Rigdon's connection with Patterson and Spaulding;
that is, new variations of the story will be constantly appearing.

[Footnote 126: _Millenial Star_, Vol. XIV, supplement, p. 48.]


This question is more worthy of consideration than the last, because
associated with it is a man of character, Alexander Campbell. In the
_Millennial Harbinger_ of 1844, at page 39, is a letter quoted by Mr.
Schroeder, bearing date of January 22, 1841, from Adamson Bently, in
which the following passage occurs:

    "I know that Sidney Rigdon told me there was a book coming out, the
    manuscript of which had been found engraved on gold plates, as much
    as two years before the Mormon book made its appearance or had been
    heard of by me."

It must be remembered that Bently and Rigdon married sisters, that they
had family troubles in respect of property, as already explained, [127]
and were rival preachers, all which would go far to discredit Bently's
charge if his charge stood by itself. Alexander Campbell, however,
was the editor of the _Millennial Harbinger_ at this time, and in an
editorial note on the above mentioned letter, lays the weight of his
unqualified confirmation upon it. He says:

[Footnote 127: See note 52, etc., and _Evening and Morning Star_, p.
301, _ante_ p. 127.]

    "The conversation alluded to in Brother Bently's letter of 1841
    was in my presence as well as in his, and my recollection of it
    led me some two or three years ago, to interrogate Brother Bently
    touching his recollections of it, which accorded with mine in every
    particular except the year in which it occurred, he placing it in
    the summer of 1827, I, in the summer of 1826, Rigdon at the same
    time observing that in the plates dug up in New York there was an
    account not only of the aborigines of this country, but also it
    was stated that the Christian religion had been preached in this
    country during the first century just as we were preaching it on
    the Western Reserve."


This is Mr. Schroeder's strongest "evidence," and must be met at its
full height and value. In 1831, in this same _Millennial Harbinger,_
Vol. II, beginning at p. 86, is an exhaustive review and analysis
of the Book of Mormon, and the most powerful critique of it ever
published. It is by the Reverend Alexander Campbell. After giving an
analysis of each book, in the Book of Mormon, from Nephi I to Moroni,
the last book in it, he then starts an investigation of its "internal
evidences," and in the first subdivision he begins in this language:
"Smith, its real author, as ignorant and impudent a knave as ever
wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book upon a
false fact." Then he proceeds. On the "internal evidence" he uses the
following language:

    "The book proposes to be written at intervals and by different
    persons, during the long period of 1020 years, and yet for
    uniformity of style, there never was a book more evidently written
    by one set of fingers, nor more certainly conceived in one cranium
    since the first book appeared in human language, than this same
    book. If I could swear to any man's voice, face, or person,
    assuming different names, I could swear that this book was written
    by one man. And as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man and is
    called the 'author' on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single
    moment but that he is sole 'author' and 'proprietor' of it."

Mr. Campbell also considers the testimony of the three witnesses, and
of the eight witnesses, and denounces them. He is acquainted with the
whole subject. He knows that it was claimed for the record that it
was engraved on gold plates; that they were found buried in a stone
box in New York; that an account is given in the record of the gospel
having been preached in America in the first Christian century--for all
these things are subjects of his criticism. He criticises nearly every
important doctrine and historical event in the book. He revels in his
criticism, and near the conclusion of the whole says:

    "If this Prophet and his three prophetic witnesses had aught of
    speciosity about them in their book, we would have examined it
    and exposed it in a different manner. I have never felt so fully
    authorized to address mortal man in the style in which Paul
    Addressed Elymas, the sorcerer, as I feel towards this atheist

And now question to Mr. Campbell, and to Mr. Schroeder: Could the
event described in the letter of Mr. Bently and confirmed by Mr.
Campbell's editorial note, have happened in 1826 or 1827 without Mr.
Campbell remembering it in 1831 when he wrote this scathing review
and critique on the Book of Mormon? Let it be held in mind here how
explicit the charge of Bently is. More than two years before the Book
of Mormon made its appearance Rigdon told Bently "there was a book
coming out the manuscript of which had been found on gold plates."
Campbell was present and heard this remark, and also says that Rigdon
at the same time observed that "the plates were dug up in New York,"
and that "the Christian religion had been preached in this country
during the first Christian century, just as we were preaching it on
the western reserve." Had these things been said in the presence of
Alexander Campbell, two years before the Book of Mormon came out,
and so said that they made such a lasting impression upon his mind
that in 1844 he remembered them perfectly--will any reasonable person
undertake to say that under the strong stress of feeling exhibited by
Alexander Campbell against the Book of Mormon in 1831, remembering too
that this same Sidney Rigdon had left the Campbellites and joined the
Mormon Church--under these circumstances, will any person, reasonable
or otherwise, say that during the writing of this long and bitter
criticism of the Book of Mormon in 1831 the association of ideas and
incidents would not have asserted itself and recalled this alleged
Bently-Rigdon incident to the mind of Alexander Campbell? Yet not one
word in the Campbell review of 1831, to indicate that the Bently-Rigdon
incident ever happened.

Yet as he proceeded with his review, it would have been inevitable that
he would have discovered Rigdon's forth-promised book--"the manuscript
of which had been found engraved on gold plates." "Why, yes," he would
have said, "that must be the book that Rigdon spoke to Bently about."
He read in the preface to the first edition of the Book of Mormon--and
Mr. Campbell made a specialty of this preface in his criticism--"I
would also inform you that the plates of which hath been spoken were
found in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New York"--"Yes, I
remember," Mr. Campbell would have exclaimed--"dug up in New York"--"I
remember, that is what Sidney Rigdon said to Adamson Bently two or
three years ago." He came to the account of the appearance of the risen
Messiah among the aborigines of America; to the choosing of a ministry
and commissioning them to preach the Gospel to all the people--"Yes,"
he would have exclaimed, "it is all here; that is what Rigdon said in
that Bently conversation in 1826 or 1827,--'the Christian religion had
been preached in this country during the first century, just as we are
preaching it on the western reserve'--those were his very words, and
now Rigdon has joined the movement of which the coming forth of this
book is a leading incident! Well! well!"

Would not such have been the mental process? And would we not, in that
event, have had the Book of Mormon criticised by Mr. Campbell in 1831,
from quite a different view-point than that from which he treated it?
Anyone who can believe that Campbell could remember such an incident as
the Bently-Rigdon incident he recites in 1844, and yet that he failed
to remember it under all the circumstances of writing his review of the
Book of Mormon in 1831, need not stagger over believing any seeming
miracle within the experience of man, however extravagant it may be.

I shall never be able to express in words the deep depression that
overcame me when the conviction of Alexander Campbell's perfidy was
forced upon me. In my early manhood I had read extensively in his
works. The evidence he compiled and the argument he made in his
great debate with Robert Owen, the English Communist, I regard as
the grandest defense ever made of historic Christianity, while his
debate with Bishop Purcell on the The Roman Catholic Religion is
justly described as the "battle of the giants." In these and in his
debates with William McCalla and the Reverend N. L. Rice, his bearing
is admirable; he is the courteous gentleman, the splendid scholar,
the patient philosopher, the fair opponent. In discussing the Book of
Mormon, he exhibits a vulgarity, a bitterness utterly unaccountable,
and entirely unworthy of himself; and lastly, and saddest of all, he
descends to the low subterfuge of falsehood as in this Bently-Rigdon

One may halt here. The Reverend Mr. Atwater quoted by Mr. Schroeder
may now tell his little story, in 1873, of his "recollection" of
Sidney Rigdon's reference to the mounds and other antiquities found
in some parts of America, and of his saying before the Book of Mormon
was published that "there was a book to be published containing an
account of these things." Dr. Rosa of Painsville, Ohio, also quoted by
Mr. Schroeder, can now tell, in 1841, of a conversation he had with
Sidney Rigdon in the early part of 1830, about it being time for a new
religion to spring up that "mankind were ripe, and ready for it;" and
air his suspicions that Rigdon found his "new religion" in Mormonism,
and on that and a remembrance of a casual remark of Rigdon's that he
expected to be absent from home a few months, build his conclusion that
Rigdon "was at least an accessory, if not the principal in getting up
this farce" [128] of Mormonism. All this I say may be said by these
"witnesses," but it is of no effect; for if sectarian prejudice and
bitterness and jealousy, coupled with intellectual pride, can so swerve
Alexander Campbell from the path direct of truth and fair dealing, it
is not to be marveled at if a thousand little Reverend whiffets spring
forward with their timely "recollections," that make against the truth.

[Footnote 128: _American Historical Magazine_, November, 1906, p. 532,
_ante p._ 46.]


Mr. Schroeder's next development of his attempted "cumulative
evidence and argument" is to establish a connection between Joseph
Smith and Sidney Rigdon, through Parley P. Pratt. He first deals
with the movements of Pratt from his birth until he is established
in Amherst, Lorain county, Ohio, a few miles west of Cleveland, in
1826. In order to lay a foundation for his conclusion Mr. Schroeder
gives an exaggerated idea of the notoriety of Joseph Smith at this
time "as a 'peep-stone' money digger, through mention made of him in
papers published in several counties in southern New York and northern
Pennsylvania." [129] For authority of this statement Mr. Schroeder cites
only Tucker, author of "Origin and Progress of Mormonism," and the Rev.
Clark Braden, in the "Braden-Kelly Debate." He might just as well have
only cited Tucker, for Braden but repeats, in slightly altered form
what was said by Tucker. The latter in his work produces not a single
newspaper item, nor gives a single reference to any publication in
justification of his statement. There was none to give prior to 1826.
Joseph Smith's "notoriety" was purely local up to that time.

[Footnote 129: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 58.
_Ante_ p. 49.]

Mr. Schroeder represents that Parley P. Pratt was a peddler "who knew
almost every body in western New York," [130] therefore he very likely
knew the Smiths previous to 1826. For the statement that Pratt was a
peddler, and "ubiquitous," Mr. Schroeder can only cite an address,
before the Union Home Missionary meeting in 1881, by Mrs. Horace Eaton,
of Palmyra; [131] and she was evidently repeating one of the many idle
rumors from the vicinity of Palmyra, as there is no evidence for the
statement of Mrs. Eaton, and the story is refuted by the facts as
stated in the first chapters of Pratt's "Autobiography," where his
struggles to secure and clear a farm, in partnership with his brother,
are detailed. This farm was near the then small town of Oswego, on
Lake Ontario, in Oswego County. It is true that Pratt in the autumn
of 1826 visited his uncles, Ira and Allen Pratt, in Wayne--then
Ontario--county, New York,--exact location not given. There is
nothing "ubiquitous" about his movements, or any evidence of his wide
acquaintance with people.

[Footnote 130: "Hand Book on Mormonism" (1882), p. 3.]

[Footnote 131: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 58.
_Ante_ p. 49. Also "Hand Book on Mormonism," p. 3.]

To give a coloring of dishonesty to the character of Pratt, Mr.
Schroeder writes the following passage:

    "One of the temptations inducing Pratt's departure from New York
    was to get a country where, as he himself expresses it, there is
    'no law to sweep (away) all the hard earnings of years to pay a
    small debt.' The ethical status of an average country-peddler who
    is willing to leave his native State to avoid the payment of his
    'small debts' furnishes a fertile immorality in which to plant the
    seeds of religious imposture." [132]

[Footnote 132: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 59.
_Ante_ pp. 49-50.]

Mr. Schroeder conceals the fact that the "small debt" not "debts" as
put by him, was merely a remainder due to Mr. Morgan of whom Pratt
had purchased the farm near Oswego, and which owing to his brother's
failure to meet his share of the payments, as also bad markets for the
crop of 1826, Mr. Pratt could not pay. Whereupon the farm it had taken
years to clear of timber, and the crop was seized by Morgan for that
debt. Is Mr. Schroeder justified in giving a sinister aspect to this

We have Pratt located in Amherst, 1826. Sidney Rigdon makes his second
journey from Pennsylvania and arrives at Bainbridge, Ohio, in 1826, and
in capacity of "Disciple" preacher visits the surrounding towns where
he becomes acquainted with Pratt. All this is granted. Mr. Schroeder
in trying to fix upon the exact time and circumstance of their first
meeting, resorts to a jugglery of facts, and builds on the distorted
mass such conclusions as can be characterized only by the term
shameful. I quote Mr. Schroeder:

    "The date of their first meeting is nowhere given, but may
    reasonably be inferred from an address delivered by Parley
    P. Pratt in 1843 or '4. In this discourse Pratt tells of an
    occurrence which transpired on his way to his future Ohio home,
    which occurrence furnishes the key to his first connection with
    Mormonism. On his way he stopped at a humble cottage, the name
    of whose occupant he carefully fails to give. Here, while asleep
    (so he says), "a messenger of a mild and intelligent countenance
    suddenly stood before me (Pratt) arrayed in robes of dazzling
    splendor." According to Mormon theory, an angel is but an exalted
    man. Of course Sidney Rigdon was an exalted man; why not, then,
    an angel? This angel claimed to hold the keys to the mysteries
    of this wonderful country, and took Pratt out to exhibit those
    mysteries to him. Pratt then had portrayed to his mind the whole
    future of Mormonism; its cities, with inhabitants from all parts
    of the globe; its temples, with a yet unattained splendor; its
    present church organization was, with considerable definiteness,
    outlined; its political ambition to establish a temporal kingdom
    of God on the ruins of this government was set forth with quite
    as much definiteness as in the subsequent more publicly uttered,
    treasonable sermons. I conclude from the exact manner in which
    this "Angel of the Prairies" foreknew the ambitions, hopes,
    and future achievements of the Mormon Church and the similar
    admitted fore-knowledge of Rigdon and the subsequently established
    connection between Rigdon, Pratt, and Smith, that the "Angel of
    the Prairies" who outlined to Pratt his then contemplated and
    now executed religious fraud, was none other than Sidney Rigdon
    himself, and that this fact accounts for Pratt's failure to
    give the name of his host or the date of his first meeting with
    Rigdon." [133]

[Footnote 133: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 59.
_Ante_ p. 51.]


The work here quoted for these supposedly historical incidents, is
entitled "The Angel of the Prairies," and is a work of pure fiction,
a product of the author's imagination, professedly and confessedly
so. [134] It was never delivered as a public address in Nauvoo, though
Mr. Schroeder in the above calls it successively an "Address delivered
by Parley P. Pratt," a "discourse," and in his notes a "sermon." [135]
It was merely read in the presence of Joseph Smith and "a general
council," most likely the First Presidency and Mr. Pratt's associates
of the Twelve Apostles, as "a curious and extraordinary composition in
the similitude of a dream." Such is its author's characterization of
it. "It was designed," he continues, "as a reproof of the corruptions
and degeneracy of our government, in suffering mobs to murder, plunder,
rob and drive their fellow citizens with impunity. It also suggested
some reforms." [136] It is no more history, or even prophecy than
Johnson's "Rasselas" or Sir Thomas Moore's "Utopia" is history or
prophecy. Yet this fiction, and I charge that Mr. Schroeder knew it
to be fiction--for he could learn the facts from its preface--must be
pressed into service as solemn prose history in order to complete and
sustain the vagaries of the Schroeder-Spaulding theory! At first on
meeting with this shameful perversion one is inclined to an outburst of
vexation. On second thought he remembers that this fragment is but a
piece of the whole fabric of the Spaulding theory, and smiles.

[Footnote 134: "Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt," edition of 1874, p.

[Footnote 135: Note 101 _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p.
74. _Ante_ 51.]

[Footnote 136: Same as note 134.]

But let us follow Mr. Schroeder further into the realms of his
deductions built upon this piece of literary fiction, the "Angel of
the Prairies." Parley P. Pratt returned to the home of his aunt Van
Cott in Canaan, Columbia county, New York, for the purpose of marrying
a Miss Halsey to whom he was engaged. This was in the summer of 1827.
Mr. Schroeder makes Pratt's visit to New York for the above purpose,
the occasion of placing the Spaulding manuscript in the hands of Joseph
Smith, and all the connections are perfected for revamping this old
manuscript story into a pretended volume of scripture. And this is the
way of it as _per_ Mr. Schroeder:

    "Pratt was married September 9, 1827. On September 22, 1827, a
    'heavenly messenger' appeared to Joseph Smith and unfolded to him
    the scheme of the Book of Mormon, and disclosed the where abouts
    of the 'Golden Plates.' This 'heavenly messenger' is called the
    Angel Moroni. According to Mormon theology, 'God may use any
    beings he has made or that he pleases, and call them his angels,
    or messengers.' 'Gods, angels, and men are all of one species, one
    race, one great family.' 'God is a man like unto yourselves; that
    is the great secret.' Why of course! 'That is the great secret.'
    God is but an 'exalted man,' and may call Parley Parker Pratt his
    angel. Parley Parker Pratt was the 'heavenly messenger,' the angel
    who, on that day (September 22, 1827), appeared to Joseph Smith
    and told him where were the golden plates, that is, Spaulding's
    'Manuscript Found.' Sidney Rigdon for Smith's purposes, was the
    'exalted man,' the 'God' who sent this 'heavenly messenger,' Parley
    Parker Pratt, just as the Mormon people now look upon Joseph Smith
    as the 'God to this people.'" [137]

[Footnote 137: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, pp. 60, 61.
_Ante_ p. 53.]

One might well consider himself under no obligation to treat seriously
such a palpable perversion of Mormon ideas as is here presented. But
this taking a piece of Mormon fiction, the "Angel of the Prairies,"
and misrepresenting it first as a "discourse delivered by Parley
P. Pratt at Nauvoo;" thence elevating it from fiction to a sober
historical document; thence building upon it this misrepresentation,
and perversion of Mormon ideas and historical facts, exhibits in the
person of Mr. Schroeder that order of intelligence that could conceive
of others following the same process in relation to the Spaulding
manuscript, until it was converted into a pretended revelation. I think
Mr. Schroeder will not gain much for his "evidence" or his "argument"
by this wicked perversion of Mormon ideas and facts of history, since
it must suggest the innate weakness of a cause that requires such
intellectual dishonesty, as is here exhibited.

It is true that the Mormons are anthropomorphists in that they
believe that Jesus Christ is the "brightness of God's glory and the
express image of his person" [138] the revelation of God as well in
form as in spiritual attributes; they believe that Jesus Christ is
not only divine, but Deity; that he exists now as he did after his
resurrection from the dead, an immortal personage of flesh and bones
and spirit--hence that God is an exalted man; that he uses other men,
perfected and glorified, such as Noah, Moses, Elijah, and others, as
his angels and arch-angels and messengers, to aid in the accomplishment
of his purposes. But to represent the Latter-day Saints as believing in
or accepting such jugglery as that which Mr. Schroeder charges is an
outrage and a direct and conscious misrepresentation of the faith of
a people. Joseph Smith indeed proclaimed that God appeared to him; in
fact he claims that both the Father and the Son appeared to him, but
it is blasphemy to think of Rigdon impersonating them, or either of
them, in the manner and for the purpose represented by Mr. Schroeder.
This revelation moreover was given in 1820, not 1827. [139] Joseph Smith
said an angel visited him and revealed to him the existence of the
Book of Mormon; but this was declared to be a very definite personage,
a man who had lived in America in the fourth century of the Christian
Era, now raised from the dead and sent to make this revelation of
the American volume of scripture; he was not Parley P. Pratt; and
he revealed the existence of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith in
September, 1823, not 1827. [140]

[Footnote 138: Hebrews, 1, 3.]

[Footnote 139: See Joseph Smith's own account, "Pearl of Great Price,"
writings of Joseph Smith and many other Mormon works.]

[Footnote 140: Ibid.]


Mr. Schroeder after getting the Spaulding manuscript into the hands
of Joseph Smith, _via_ Parley P. Pratt, proceeds next to bring Sidney
Rigdon and Joseph Smith together for the necessary collaboration on
the manuscript. The chief, and I may say the only, authority that Mr.
Schroeder really gives for this charge is that of Pomery Tucker, author
of "Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism," (1867). Tucker having
brought his narrative down to the year 1827, announces the appearance
of a "mysterious stranger" at the Smith residence. No name or purpose
of this stranger is given out even to the nearest neighbors, but it
was observed that "his visits were frequently repeated." Afterwards
Tucker makes out this mysterious stranger to be Sidney Rigdon. The
other "witnesses," Mrs. Eaton (1881), as also J. H. McCauley, in his
"History of Franklin County, Pa.," together with Abel Chase and Lorenzo
Saunders, neighbors of the Smiths (the last three are the "witnesses"
named by Braden in the "Braden-Kelly Debate," and for which that
disputant gives no authority) merely repeat the statement of Tucker.
Mr. Schroeder himself in another matter, however, discredits Tucker. In
his note 115, he says: "Tucker * * * * says Rigdon officiated at the
wedding of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale, but he fixes the date of the
wedding in November, 1829, when in fact it seems to have occurred Jan.
18, 1827. Tucker therefore may have been misinformed." [141] And Joseph
Smith, who ought to know, says that he and Emma were married by Esquire
Tarbill. [142]

[Footnote 141: "Origin and Rise and Progress of Mormonism," pp. 28, 46,
75, 121.]

[Footnote 142: "History of the Church," Vol. I, p. 17.]

Lucy Smith, in her "History of the Prophet Joseph," makes mention of a
stranger coming to the home of the Smiths in company with Joseph about
the time Martin Harris lost 116 pages of the translation of the Book
of Mormon. The reason for the stranger accompanying the prophet to his
home was the dejection of spirits and illness and physical weakness of
the latter, and out of kindness the stranger insisted upon accompanying
Joseph home from the point at which he left the stage on which he had
traveled from his home in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Mr. Schroeder, of
course, seeks to press the incident into service as an evidence of the
acquaintance and co-operation of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon before
the Book of Mormon is published; hence as seen through Mr. Schroeder's
eyes, the "stranger" is Sidney Rigdon. There is nothing, however,
in the narrative of Lucy Smith to warrant the conclusion that this
stranger was Sidney Rigdon; and Mr. Schroeder is certainly in error
as to the "stranger" being present at the interview between Martin
Harris and the Smiths on the next day--the only circumstance that could
have made the coming of the "stranger" in any way significant in Mr.
Schroeder's theories. [143]

[Footnote 143: The incident of the "stranger" and Joseph, the prophet
is found in chapter XXV of Lucy Smith's "History of Joseph, the
Prophet," Mr. Schroeder's reference to the incident is in his note 113.]

Of course, this allegation of the appearance of Rigdon at the Smith
home, resting upon no other basis than the fabrication of Tucker, comes
in direct conflict with the express statement of both Parley P. Pratt
and Sidney Rigdon, but I am not trying this issue upon the _per contra_
testimony of "interested" witnesses. I hold that this particular charge
of collaboration between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, involving
frequent association and in fact demanding almost constant association
between the two in the years from 1827 and 1830, necessarily breaks
down under its own weight of absurdity. The movements of Joseph Smith
and of Sidney Rigdon are too well known to allow of that association
taking place, to say nothing of its being kept secret. The distances
separating them during those years are too great to be covered by
Sidney Rigdon, even if his falsely alleged occasional absences from
Ohio were allowed to stand unchallenged. This matter of distance that
separated them, together with the slow modes of travel--by carriage or
horse-back--badness of roads, etc., seem not to be taken into account
at all in the fabrications of Tucker. Sidney Rigdon is operating
exclusively in Ohio, in Kirtland and vicinity from 1827 to 1830. Mr.
Kelly in his debate with Braden thus summarized the movements of Rigdon
during these years from Hayden's "History of the Disciples:"

    "The Disciple (Campbellite) history sets forth, that Rigdon was
    their standing minister for the year 1825, at Bainbridge, Ohio;
    for the year 1826 at Mentor and Bainbridge; for the year 1827 at
    Mantua; for the year 1828, at Mentor, and this year is the time
    when he met Alexander Campbell at Warren, Ohio, at their assembly,
    where the famous passage at arms took place between Campbell and
    Rigdon of which so much has been said. The next year, 1829, Rigdon
    continued the work in Mentor, and at Euclid, and founded the
    church in Perry, Ohio, Aug. 7th. The next year, 1830, he continued
    as their minister, (and the ablest of them all), at Mentor,
    Euclid, Kirtland, and occasionally at Hiram, Perry, Mantua, and
    Plainsville." [144]

    [Footnote 144: "Braden-Kelly Debate," p. 100.]

Joseph Smith's movements during the years named are between Manchester,
New York, Pennsylvania, and Fayette township (where the Whitmers
lived), New York; a distance from Ohio points, where Rigdon was
operating, by the nearest roads traveled, of from 250 to 300 miles.
Does any one believe that the necessary collaboration was possible
under such circumstances as Mr. Schroeder's theory of origin for the
Book of Mormon calls for?

On this whole question of collaboration, and conspiracy by Rigdon,
Pratt and Smith in the production of the Book of Mormon the following
paragraph from the writings of Elder George Reynolds is most convincing:

    "Has it ever entered into the thoughts of our opponents that if
    Sidney Rigdon was the author or adapter of the Book of Mormon how
    vast and wide spread must have been the conspiracy that foisted it
    upon the world? Whole families must have been engaged in it. Men
    of all ages and various conditions in life, and living in widely
    separate portions of the country must have been connected with it.
    First we must include in the catalogue of conspirators the whole
    of the Smith family, then the Whitmers, Martin Harris and Oliver
    Cowdery; further, to carry out this absurd idea, Sidney Rigdon and
    Parley P. Pratt must have been their active fellow-conspirators in
    arranging, carrying out and consummating their iniquitous fraud.
    To do this they must have traveled thousands of miles and spent
    months, perhaps years, to accomplish--what? That is the unsolved
    problem. Was it for the purpose of duping the world? They, at any
    rate the great majority of them, were of all men most unlikely to
    be engaged in such a folly. Their habits, surroundings, station
    in life, youth and inexperience all forbid such a thought. What
    could they gain, in any light that could be then presented to
    their minds, by palming [off] such a deception upon the world?
    This is another unanswerable question. Then comes the staggering
    fact, if the book be a falsity, that all these families, all these
    diverse characters, in all the trouble, perplexity, persecution
    and suffering through which they passed, never wavered in their
    testimony, never changed their statements, never 'went back' on
    their original declarations, but continued unto death (and they
    have all passed away), proclaiming that the Book of Mormon was a
    divine revelation, and that its record was true. Was there ever
    such an exhibition in the history of the world of such continued,
    such unabating, such undeviating falsehood? If falsehood it was.
    We cannot find a place in the annals of their lives where they
    wavered, and what makes the matter more remarkable is that it
    can be said of most of them, as is elsewhere said of the three
    witnesses, they became offended with the Prophet Joseph, and a
    number of them openly rebelled against him; but they never retraced
    one word with regard to the genuineness of Mormon's inspired
    record. Whether they were friends or foes to Joseph, whether
    they regarded him as God's continued mouthpiece or as a fallen
    Prophet, they still persisted in their statements with regard to
    the book and the veracity of their earlier testimonies. How can we
    possibly with our knowledge of human nature make this undeviating,
    unchanging, unwavering course, continuing over fifty years,
    consistent with a deliberate, premeditated and cunningly-devised and
    executed fraud!" [145]

[Footnote 145: "Myth of the Manuscript Found," (1883) pp. 35-6.]

The last matter of argument in the quotation above, the unwavering
adherence of the witnesses to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon
and the relationship they sustained to that work, has peculiar force
when applied to the case of Sidney Rigdon. He claims to have known
nothing of the Book of Mormon until it was presented to him (as we
shall see later by a statement of his) by Parley P. Pratt and Oliver
Cowdery, some six months after its publication. But let us suppose for
the sake of the argument, that he really took the part assigned to him
by Mr. Schroeder in bringing into existence the Book of Mormon; that
he stole the Spaulding "Manuscript Found" about 1816; that hearing of
Smith through Pratt, he then sent the said manuscript to Smith to be
announced as a revelation from God; that afterwards he collaborated
with Smith to produce the Book of Mormon out of it. It will go without
saying that a thief, and especially such a thief as Rigdon is here
represented to be, is a very ignoble character; and it will not be
too much to say that if such a character is hard pressed by his
associates, or is, what he might consider, ill treated by them, he will
very-probably betray them. Sidney Rigdon certainly considered himself
both hard pressed and positively wronged by his brethren--but he never
"revealed" the "fraud" in which Mormonism is supposed to have had its
origin. Joseph Smith sought to be rid of him as his counselor at the
October Conference of 1843. He directly charged Rigdon with treachery,
of being leagued with his deadly enemies, and that he had no confidence
in his "integrity and steadfastness;" that Rigdon had been profitless
to him as a counselor since their escape from Missouri in 1839. By
virtue of a vigorous denial on the part of Rigdon as to some of the
charges, and a plea for mercy as to some delinquencies confessed,
he was sustained by the conference in his office of counselor to
the Prophet, notwithstanding the latter was not satisfied with the
conclusion of the matter reached by the conference. "I have thrown him
off my shoulders," said he, "and you have again put him upon me. You
may carry him, but I will not." [146]

[Footnote 146: _Millenial Star_, Vol. 22, pp. 215-16.]

After the death of the prophet, Sidney Rigdon put in a claim for
precedence in authority, claiming that right by virtue of his office
as counselor to the prophet now martyred. The priesthood of the
church assembled as a body to hear the cause, President Brigham Young
presenting the counter claims of the Twelve Apostles as the proper
presiding authority in the absence of the First Presidency. Sidney
Rigdon was rejected by that body of the priesthood; [147] and shortly
after left Nauvoo full of disappointment and bitterness; but he never
in those trying days, or in any of the subsequent years of his life,
by hint or direct charge or confession, revealed any "fraud" in which
Mormonism is supposed to have had its origin; but on the contrary, as
we shall see, emphatically reaffirmed his true relationship to the
work, and his faith in it.

[Footnote 147: _Millennial Star,_ Vol. 25, pp. 215, 279.]

There is one person, however, who undertakes to say that Sidney Rigdon
"revealed" the secret concerning the origin of the Book of Mormon. This
is Clark Braden, who quotes one James Jeffries of St. Louis, as saying
in substance that in the fall of 1844, Rigdon in several conversations
admitted to him the existence of the Spaulding manuscript; that it
traced the origin of the Indians from the lost tribes of Israel;
that the manuscript was within his reach for several years; that "He
(Rigdon) and Joe Smith used to look over the manuscript and read it on
Sundays. Rigdon said Smith took the manuscript and said 'I'll print
it,' and went off to Palmyra, New York." On this "testimony," the
Reverend Clark Braden comments: "On his way from Nauvoo to Pittsburg
(in the fall of 1844) he (Rigdon) called on his old acquaintance, Mr.
Jeffries, in St. Louis, and in his anger at the Mormons, he let out the
secrets of Mormonism, just as he told the Mormons he would if they did
not make him their leader." [148] This "evidence," however, since it
costs him nothing to set aside such palpable absurdity, Mr. Schroeder,
with a show of bigness and condescension, discredits by saying: "an
alleged admission of Sidney Rigdon to James Jeffries I consider of
doubtful value." [149] In this case, as in that of the item presented
by Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson, to the effect that it was "remembered" by
some of the Conneaut witnesses in 1834, that the "Spaulding manuscript
was the translation of the Book of Mormon"--the "evidence" manufactured
in support of the Spaulding theory of origin, becomes a little too
raw for Mr. Schroeder, and his gorge rises at it, and with an air of
superiority he "considers it doubtful!"

[Footnote 148: "Braden-Kelly Debate," p. 42.]

[Footnote 149: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 75 and
note 115. _Ante_ p. 55 and Note.]

Closely connected with Sidney Rigdon's relationship to the coming forth
of the Book of Mormon is another matter several times alluded to by Mr.
Schroeder, in common with all other advocates of the Spaulding theory
of origin, namely, the assumption that "Joseph Smith, the nominal
founder and first prophet of Mormonism, was probably too ignorant
to have produced the volume unaided." It is because of this assumed
inability of Joseph Smith to produce the book that the Spaulding
manuscript and Sidney Rigdon are brought into the scheme of production.
And yet it is clearly demonstrable that Joseph Smith did not need the
assistance of either Spaulding or of Sidney Rigdon in the production of
a book equal, if not superior, to the Book of Mormon from a literary
standpoint. I refer to the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants." It is true
this book was not published until 1835; but the revelations of which
it is composed began in 1828, and by the close of 1833, one hundred
and one of the revelations forming the major part of the book, were
received and are of record.

There can be no question as to the authorship of this book.
Joseph Smith--under a divine inspiration, as Latter-day Saints
believe--dictated these revelations, and in this way he is their
author; and they disclose a literary force and beauty far ahead of the
Book of Mormon. If any one shall doubt it, let him read and compare
sections 20, 42, 76, 84, 88, and 107 of the "Doctrine and Covenants,"
with the Book of Mormon. Any part of the book would demonstrate what is
here claimed, but these sections particularly demonstrate it. Moreover
in all published documents in the current periodicals of the Church,
those that may be referred respectively to Joseph Smith and Sidney
Rigdon, will disclose the superior excellence in every respect of those
produced by the former, over those produced by the latter.

This Spaulding theory, moreover, supposes the necessity of a superior
intelligence to Joseph Smith in the production of the Book of
Mormon--in the inception of the "Mormon fraud." But will some one
explain--for Mr. Schroeder fails us at this point--how it is that
Sidney Rigdon, as soon as the Book of Mormon is launched, though having
been up to this point the "master Spirit" of Mormonism, now suddenly
falls into second place in the development of Mormonism, and becomes
merely the scribe of the Prophet, as Mr. Schroeder himself points out.
It should be remembered that in 1827, the year in which Mr. Schroeder
brings them together for the work of collaboration, Rigdon was
thirty-four years old, Joseph Smith but twenty-two; and when the Church
was organized, Joseph was but twenty-five and Rigdon thirty-seven. With
Rigdon's better education (which is granted), how comes it that this
man, superior in education and knowledge of the world, and of greater
age, consents to occupy second place to Joseph Smith? If Rigdon was the
great moving spirit of Mormonism during its incubation, why did he not
continue so after the Book of Mormon was printed? The answer is that
Sidney Rigdon never was the prophet's superior in talents or even in
literary power of expression.

Then, again, in this connection, I call attention to the fact that if
the Book of Mormon had been produced as charged by Mr. Schroeder, it
would not have been so full of petty errors in grammar and the faulty
use of words as is found in the first edition of the Book of Mormon.
While entertaining no exalted opinion of the education of either Mr.
Spaulding or of Mr. Rigdon, and the works of both are before me, on
which to base that judgment, yet I cannot conceive it possible that
they, even though but half educated, would make such language errors as
appear in the first edition. Take for example the following passages
from said first edition of the Book of Mormon--speaking of the Urim and
Thummim it says:

    "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.)

Such errors as the foregoing occur frequently throughout the first
edition of the Book of Mormon. They are ingrained in it; they
are constitutional faults. And while perfectly explicable on the
supposition that one unlearned in the grammar of the English language,
as confessedly Joseph Smith was, obtaining the thought from the Nephite
characters in which the Book of Mormon was written, but left to express
said thought in such faulty English as he was master of;[150]--yet
utterly inexplicable on the supposition that the manuscript from which
the Book of Mormon was printed was written by Solomon Spaulding and
revamped by Sidney Rigdon. The errors in grammar and the occasional
wrong use of words are just such errors as would be made by Joseph
Smith, an unlettered youth, in working out the translation, but just
the errors that such educated men as Spaulding and Rigdon would pride
themselves in avoiding. I am of the opinion that this consideration
alone would be sufficient to convince a candid mind that whoever wrote
the Book of Mormon, neither Sidney Rigdon nor Solomon Spaulding ever
wrote it, or any part of it.

[Footnote 150: For an exposition and defense of this theory of the
translation of the Book of Mormon, see the author's treatise of the
subject, in "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, (1907) pp.

In this connection I also call attention to the fact that it is utterly
impossible that the Book of Mormon should be the Solomon Spaulding
story, "Manuscript Found," plus the religious matter supposed to have
been supplied by Sidney Rigdon. This is the claim of all Spauldingite
theorists, including Mr. Schroeder. It is based upon the assumption
of Joseph Smith's lack of knowledge of theological subjects and
controversies. If the book, however, was constructed as the Spaulding
theorists claim it was, the line of cleavage would be apparent; the
necessarily incongruous parts must be discernible: but no critic has
yet appeared bold enough to point out which was originally Spaulding's,
and which the Rigdon addition. The fact of the matter is there is no
line of cleavage; no point at which one ends and the other begins.
You might just as well talk about a line of cleavage between what the
element of earth and what the element of sunshine has contributed to
the coloring of the pansy or the rose, as to try to indicate what is
the religious part added to the Book of Mormon by Rigdon, and what the
historical part supplied by Spaulding. The religious and historical
parts of the Book of Mormon are perfectly fused. They can no more
be separated than sunlight and sun-warmth can be separated from our
earth's atmosphere. As the sun's rays penetrate and permeate our
earth's atmosphere, so the religious elements, incidents and spirit
alike, permeate the Book of Mormon--in it they are one and inseparable.


As part of Mr. Schroeder's chain of evidence, by which he hopes to
establish the cumulative proofs that Pratt, Rigdon and Joseph Smith
connived in palming off upon the world the Spaulding manuscript as
a revelation--the Book of Mormon--he points to discrepancies in the
published accounts of the suddenness or slowness of Pratt's and
Rigdon's conversions. Holding that the accounts of their sudden and
miraculous conversion, had to be modified, and, in fact, concealed lest
they should lead to the suspicion of connivance, if Rigdon and Pratt
should be found giving too ready a credence to the Book of Mormon. Of
the variations pointed out in Pratt's conversion it is only necessary
to say that they are such variations, so slight and unimportant, that
if it is considered that they are made by different persons, or, as
in the case of Pratt himself, on widely separated occasions, the
variations are the sure witnesses that the account is not a concocted
one. In the case of one of the authorities quoted, Lucy Smith, mother
of the prophet, and author of the "Life of the Prophet Joseph," Mr.
Schroeder should be corrected. He states, following a misapprehension
of Orson Pratt's, in order to make his statement of more force,
that Lucy Smith's book was written under the supervision of Joseph
Smith. [151] This is not true, as Lucy Smith did not begin to write her
book until after the martyrdom of her son Joseph. It was in the fall of
the year of 1844 that she began her work, and the prophet was killed
in June of that year, all of which could have been learned by Mr.
Schroeder by consulting the foot notes of the edition of Lucy Smith's
book published by the Reorganized Church, in 1880. [152]

[Footnote 151: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 67.
_Ante_ p. 61.]

[Footnote 152: "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet," by
Lucy Smith, p. 90, foot notes.]

The discrepancy as to the time element in the conversion of Sidney
Rigdon--as to whether it was two days after Pratt and Cowdery's arrival
at Kirtland, or two weeks--may not be as satisfactorily accounted for
as in the case of Parley P. Pratt. Still the chief authority for Mr.
Schroeder's whole theory of the Spaulding origin of the Book of Mormon
favors the longer period for the conversion of Rigdon, since Mr. Howe
represents that the "sudden" conversion of Rigdon occurred "after many
pretensions to disbelieve it." [153] Furthermore, in view of the whole
question here debated, and the overwhelming evidences educed against
the contentions of Mr. Schroeder, the matter of the time it took to
convert Sidney Rigdon to Mormonism is of but slight importance.

[Footnote 153: "Mormonism Unveiled," Howe, p. 290.]


Mr. Schroeder throughout his argument, intermittently seeks to add
force to his "evidence" by saying that Sidney Rigdon never denied this,
that, or the other statement though made in his life time. He notices
only Rigdon's denial published in the _Boston Journal_ in 1839, and
represents it as "absolutely the only recorded public denial ever made
by Rigdon, though from 1834 to 1876 he was almost continually under
the fire of this charge, reiterated in various forms and with varying
proofs." [154] Of course, Mr. Schroeder is allowed to speak with some
degree of authority upon the anti-Mormon side of this controversy;
but for all that there are some things he does not seem to know about
Sidney Rigdon's denials and affirmations. It may be that of the several
statements to which Mr. Schroeder attaches the remark of Rigdon's
silence, Rigdon never saw one of them; and there is one denial made by
Mr. Rigdon that Mr. Schroeder has failed to note, made in 1836; and
which, since it is general in its character, may be made to cover the
whole period in which Mr. Rigdon is said to have made no denial. In
the January number of the Latter-day Saints' _Messenger and Advocate,_
after denouncing Howe's book and those who advocate it, and referring
to Mr. Scott, Mr. Campbell and other professed ministers, he says:

[Footnote 154: _American Historical Magazine,_ Nov., 1906, p. 527.]

    "In order to avoid investigation this brotherhood will condescend
    to mean, low subterfuges, to which a noble-minded man would
    never condescend; no, he would suffer martyrdom first. Witness
    Mr. Campbell's recommendation of Howe's book, while he knows,
    as well as every person who reads it, that it is a batch of
    falsehoods." [155]

[Footnote 155: _Messenger and Advocate,_ Jan., 1836, p. 242.]

Inasmuch as Howe's book, published in 1834, charges Rigdon's complicity
with the whole procedure by which the Book of Mormon is alleged to
have been produced out of the Spaulding manuscript, and Rigdon above
denounces Howe's book as "a batch of falsehoods," we may say there has
been in existence ever since January, 1836, Rigdon's denial of the
whole Spaulding theory of his complicity with a scheme to deceive men
in respect of the Book of Mormon.

However, if that is not sufficient to be convincing, then I wish
to produce a well authenticated denial of the most sweeping and
convincing nature. John W. Rigdon, the son of Sidney Rigdon, has
written a somewhat extended biography of his father which he has filed
in its manuscript form in the Church Historian's Office at Salt Lake
City. In this narrative he relates his own experience in connection
with Mormonism, and his attempt to learn the truth from his father
respecting the latter's early connection with the Book of Mormon. He
tells of his visit to Utah, in 1863, where he spent the winter among
the Mormon people. He was not favorably impressed with their religious
life, and came to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon itself was a
fraud. He determined in his own heart that if ever he returned home and
found his father alive, he would try and find out what he knew of the
origin of the Book of Mormon, "although," he adds, "he had never told
but one story about it, and that was that Parley P. Pratt and Oliver
Cowdery presented him with a bound volume of that book in the year
1830, while he [Sidney Rigdon] was preaching Campbellism at Mentor,
Ohio." What John W. Rigdon claims to have seen in Utah, however,
together with the fact that Sidney Rigdon had been charged with writing
the Book of Mormon, made him suspicious, and he remarks:

    "I concluded I would make an investigation for my own satisfaction
    and find out if I could if he had all these years been deceiving
    his family and the world, by telling that which was not true,
    and I was in earnest about it. If Sidney Rigdon, my father, had
    thrown his life away by telling a falsehood and bringing sorrow and
    disgrace upon his family, I wanted to know it and was determined
    to find out the facts, no matter what the consequences might be. I
    reached home in the fall of 1865, found my father in good health
    and (he) was very much pleased to see me. As he had not heard
    anything from me for some time, he was afraid that I had been
    killed by the Indians. Shortly after I had arrived home, I went to
    my father's room; he was there and alone, and now was the time for
    me to commence my inquiries in regard to the origin of the Book
    of Mormon, and as to the truth of the Mormon religion. I told him
    what I had seen at Salt Lake City, and I said to him that what I
    had seen at Salt Lake had not impressed me very favorably toward
    the Mormon Church, and as to the origin of the Book of Mormon I
    had some doubts. 'You have been charged with writing that book
    and giving it to Joseph Smith to introduce to the world. You have
    always told me one story; that you never saw this book until it was
    presented to you by Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery; and all you
    ever knew of the origin of that book was what they told you and
    what Joseph Smith and the witnesses who claimed to have seen the
    plates had told you. Is this true? If so, all right; if it is not,
    you owe it to me and to your family to tell it. You are an old man
    and will soon pass away, and I wish to know if Joseph Smith, in
    your intimacy with him for fourteen years, has not said something
    to you that led you to believe he obtained that book in some other
    way than what he had told you. Give me all you know about it, that
    I may know the truth.' My father, after I had finished saying what
    I have repeated above, looked at me a moment, raised his hand
    above his head and slowly said, with tears glistening in his eyes:
    'My son, I can swear before high heaven that what I have told you
    about the origin of that book is true. Your mother and sister,
    (Mrs. Athalia Robinson), were present when that book was handed to
    me in Mentor, Ohio, and all I ever knew about the origin of that
    book was what Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith and
    the witnesses who claimed they saw the plates have told me, and in
    all of my intimacy with Joseph Smith he never told me but the one
    story, and that was that he found it engraved upon gold plates in a
    hill near Palmyra, New York, and that an angel had appeared to him
    and directed him where to find it; and I have never, to you or any
    one else, told but the one story, and that I now repeat to you.' I
    believed him, and now believe he told me the truth. He also said
    to me after that that Mormonism was true; that Joseph Smith was a
    Prophet, and this world would find it out some day." [156]

[Footnote 156: "Life of Sidney Rigdon," by his son, John W. Rigdon,
ms. pp. 188-195. The passages quoted in the text will be found in the
"History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 112-3. Also "Y.M.M.I.A. Manual"
for 1905-6, pp. 485-6.]

Not only does John W. Rigdon give this valuable statement as to his
father's position respecting the Book of Mormon, but he adds the
following from his mother:

    "After my father's death, my mother, who survived him several
    years, was in the enjoyment of good health up to the time of her
    last sickness, she being eighty-six years old. A short time before
    her death I had a conversation with her about the origin of the
    Book of Mormon, and wanted to know what she remembered about its
    being presented to my father. She said to me in that conversation
    that what my father had told me about the book being presented to
    him was true, for she was present at the time and knew that was
    the first time he ever saw it, and that the stories told about my
    father writing the Book of Mormon were not true. This she said to
    me in her old age, and when the shadows of the grave were gathering
    around her; and I believe her." [157]

[Footnote 157: "History of the Church," Vol. I, p. 123, note.]


A word upon the real origin of the Spaulding theory. It did not
originate by a "woman preacher," [158] reading extracts from the Book
of Mormon whereupon there was a "spontaneous" recognition of Solomon
Spaulding's story "Manuscript Found," and an outburst of popular
indignation against this deception, as is usually represented to
be the case by those who advocate the Spaulding theory, and by Mr.
Schroeder in particular. [159] Especially is Mr. Schroeder insistent
upon the "spontaneity" with which the Spaulding work was recognized
when the Book of Mormon was publicly read at Conneaut; though to get
this "spontaneity" Mr. Schroeder must needs rely upon the Davidson
statement which he acknowledges. Mrs. Davidson never wrote, and which
he says can have no "evidentiary weight except in those matters where
it is plain from the nature of things that she must have been speaking
from her own personal knowledge" [160] and in the matter here to be
mentioned Mrs. Davidson could have had no personal knowledge at all. So
that Mr. Schroeder throws aside his own limitations within which Mrs.
Davidson's statement is to be given evidentiary weight, in the interest
of his desire for the force of "spontaneity" in the recognition of
the Book of Mormon as Spaulding's work. According to the Davidson
statement, then, when the "woman preacher" in a public meeting read
extracts from the Book of Mormon, John Spaulding, residing at Conneaut
at the time, and present at the meeting--

[Footnote 158: It is claimed that the words "woman preacher" found
in the Davidson statement was a typographical error, (see Clark's
"Gleanings by the Way,") and should read "Mormon preacher;" bu the
typographical error being claimed after it was learned that the mormon
Church at that time had no women preachers, gives it the color of one
of those "afterthoughts" which are so frequently seen in this Spaulding
theory, that one in spite of himself remains doubtful.]

[Footnote 159: _American Historical Magazine,_ Jan., 1907, p. 71.
_Ante_ p. 67.]

[Footnote 160: _American Historical Magazine,_ Sept., 1906, p. 394.
_Ante_ p. 29.]

    "Recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed
    and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a
    purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he rose on
    the spot, and expressed to the meeting his sorrow and regret that
    the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a purpose
    so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem (Conneaut)
    became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Dr.
    Philastus Hurlburt one of their number to repair to this place
    (Monson) and to obtain from me (Mrs. [Spaulding] Davidson) the
    original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding."

One marvels that all this was missed by the authors of "Mormonism
Unveiled." Dr. Hurlburt was present, too, in that meeting, and was the
chief agent and factor in compiling Howe's book. Yet in the statement
published in that book, and credited to John Spaulding, there is not
a word of this dramatic circumstance--this splendid "spontaneity," so
much the joy of Mr. Schroeder. There is no "agony of grief;" no "flood
of tears;" no "denunciation on the spot;" no reference to a purpose
"vile and shocking;" just a plain statement that he had "recently
read the Book of Mormon;" and the claim that he found nearly the same
historical matter in it as in his brother's writings; some names that
were alike; and that the "Manuscript Found" held to the theory that
the American Indians were descendants of the "lost tribes;" evidently
supposing that the Book of Mormon held the same theory. Had any such
circumstance as described in the Davidson statement occurred, it would
undoubtedly have appeared in John Spaulding's statement published by
Howe five years before this second version was put forth.

But notwithstanding the bad odor of the whole Davidson statement,
and the violation of his own principle, under which only it is to be
considered possessed of evidentiary weight, Mr. Schroeder uses this
highly dramatic fiction to introduce his "clinching" evidence of the
plagiarism charged against those responsible for the publication of the
Book of Mormon.

The true story of the origin of this Spaulding theory is as follows:
When Dr. Hurlburt was finally excommunicated from the Church he took
to lecturing against the Mormons, holding forth first at Springfield,
Erie County, Penn., some distance east of Conneaut. Finally visiting
the Jackson settlement (presumably in the same county) he learned, from
one of the Jacksons, of Solomon Spaulding, and that he had written
a story called "Manuscript Found." "Not that any of these persons,"
says my authority, who was well acquainted in the Jackson Settlement,
also with Dr. Hurlburt, and attended his anti-Mormon meetings in the
neighborhood--"not that any of these persons had the most distant idea
that his [Spaulding's] novel had ever been converted into the Book of
Mormon; or that there was any connection between them." [161]

[Footnote 161: "Origin of the Spaulding Story" (1840), B. Winchester,
p. 8.]

It was the conception of Dr. Hurlburt that this Spaulding manuscript
could be used in concocting a counter theory for the origin of the Book
of Mormon--"a long felt want," by the way, among those who opposed
the book and the work growing out of it. With the information he had
obtained in the Jackson Settlement, Hurlburt repairs to Kirtland, holds
a public meeting, at which there is great joy, and enthusiasm among
the anti-Mormons in that vicinity, because of Hurlburt's theory of the
origin of the Book of Mormon. One Mr. Newel, a bitter anti-Mormon,
promised to advance $300 for prosecuting the work of identification,
and others contributed liberally for the same purpose. Out of this
meeting grew the public meeting held later at Conneaut; [162] and which
sent Hurlburt upon his journey to Monson, Mass., for Spaulding's
manuscript which ultimately he obtained of Mr. Jerome Clark at
Hartwicks, New York, on the order of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson. This
manuscript Hurlburt brought to E. D. Howe of Plainsville, Ohio, for the
forth-coming book, "Mormonism Unveiled." It was a disappointment to
these conspirators, as already detailed; and as explained by Hurlburt
in a letter to Mrs. Davidson, "It did not read as expected, and he
should not print it." [163]

[Footnote 162: Ibid. pp. 6-14.]

[Footnote 163: See Haven-Davidson Interview. _Ante_ p. 147.]

In passing, it should be said that Hurlburt never received but the one
manuscript. The theory put forth that he obtained two, one the true
"Manuscript Found," which it is alleged, he sold to the Mormons,--as
is the suspicion of the Spauldings--and a worthless one, the Roman
manuscript, now at Oberlin, which he gave to Howe, is one of the
many fictions that have grown out of the innumerable surmisings and
conjectures associated with the Spaulding theory. Hurlburt himself says
on this point, in a signed statement under date of August 19, 1879:

    "I do not know whether or not the document I received from Mrs.
    Davidson was Spaulding's Manuscript Found, as I never read
    it entire, and it convinced me that it was not the Spaulding
    Manuscript; but whatever it was, Mr. Howe received it under the
    condition on which I took it from Mrs. Davidson--to compare it with
    the Book of Mormon, and then return it to her. I never received
    any other manuscript of Spaulding's from Mrs. Davidson, or any one
    else. Of that manuscript I made no other use than to give it, with
    all my other documents connected with Mormonism, to Mr. Howe. I did
    not destroy the manuscript nor dispose or it to Joe Smith, or to
    any other person." [164]

[Footnote 164: "New Light on Mormonism," appendix, p. 260, No. 17.
Letter from Hurlburt; also no. 8, another letter from Hurlburt, and No.
16 a letter from Howe.]

This manuscript received by Hurlburt and given to Howe is the only
Spaulding manuscript written by Spaulding, making any reference to
the antiquities of America. It is the simon-pure and only "Manuscript
Found." Against this it is urged by Mr. Schroeder that "no such title
is discoverable anywhere upon or in the body of the manuscript in the
Oberlin library." [165] And yet with strange inconsistency he himself
a few pages further on admits--"It is even possible that this first
manuscript (meaning the one now at Oberlin), may at sometime have been
labeled "Manuscript Found." [166] But what is better than any "label"
on the manuscript inside or outside; better than any admission of Mr.
Schroeder's, is the fact that this manuscript is the one Mr. Spaulding
feigned to have found, and that he pretended to translate into English.
It is the "found" manuscript, and the only one that Spaulding pretended
or feigned to have found. It is the one that Mrs. McKinstry says she
had in her hands "many times" at Sabine's after 1816; and that "on the
outside of this manuscript were written the words, 'Manuscript Found.'"

[Footnote 165: _American Historical Magazine_, Sept., 1906, p. 386.
_Ante_ p. 20.]

[Footnote 166: Ibid. p. 390.]

Perhaps it was this positive statement that drove Mr. Schroeder to the
admission that it is possible that this manuscript at Oberlin may have
been so labeled. The descriptions of the Spaulding manuscript called
"Manuscript Found," by others, who had knowledge of it, agree very
nearly as to its size, and their descriptions fit the manuscript at
Oberlin and not at all such manuscript as would be required to make
the Book of Mormon. Thus, Mrs. McKinstry says that the manuscript she
had in her hands many times at Sabine's, and that was tied up with
some other stories, and had written on the outside of it, "Manuscript
Found," made the manuscript about "one inch thick." Mrs. (Spaulding)
Davidson in the Haven interview says her husband's manuscript was
"about one third as large as the Book of Mormon." (i.e., about one
third as much, Ms. as would be required to make the Book of Mormon).
The Davidson statement represents that John Spaulding was perfectly
familiar with the work of his brother, "Manuscript Found," _"and
repeatedly heard the whole of it read,"_ which might be possible with
the Spaulding manuscript, which, now that it is printed, makes 112
pages, but scarcely possible respecting a manuscript making a book of
about 600 such pages.

This manuscript of Spaulding's has finally been really "found" and
published as already detailed; and its publication has resulted in the
overthrow of the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon;
and that quite in another way than from disclosing the fact that there
is no incident, or name, or set of ideas common to the two productions.
The publication of the "Manuscript Found" not only demonstrates
that this particular manuscript was not the foundation of the Book
of Mormon, but it demonstrates, also, that no other writings of
Solomon Spaulding's could possibly be the Book of Mormon. Spaulding's
manuscript, as published, makes a pamphlet of some 112 pages, of about
350 words to the page, enough matter to give a clear idea of his
literary style. I am sure that no person, having any literary judgment
will think it possible for the author of "Manuscript Found" to be the
author of the Book of Mormon.

Composition in writers becomes individualized as distinctly as the
looks, or appearance, or character, of separate individuals; and
they no more write in several styles than individuals impersonate
different characters. True, by special efforts this latter may be done
to a limited extent by a change of tone, costume and the like, but
underneath these impersonations is to be seen the real individual; and
so with authors. One may sometimes affect a light, and sometimes a
serious vein, in prose and poetry. He may imitate a solemn scriptural
style even, or the diction of some Greek or Roman author, but
underneath it all will be seen the individuality of the writer from
which he cannot separate himself any more than he can separate himself
from his true form, features, or character. Since we have in this
"Manuscript Found" enough of Mr. Spaulding's style to determine its
nature, if this manuscript of his was used either as the foundation or
the complete work of the Book of Mormon, we would be able to detect
Spauldingisms in it; identity of style would be apparent; but these
things are entirely absent from every page of the Book of Mormon. Mr.
Rice, in whose possession the Spaulding manuscript was found in 1884,
does not over-state the matter when he says: "I should as soon think
that the Book of Revelation was written by the author of Don Quixote,
as that the writer of this manuscript was the author of the Book of
Mormon." And again, he is right when he says: "It is unlikely that any
one who wrote so elaborate a work as the Mormon Bible, would spend his
time in getting up so shallow a story as this"--i. e., the Spaulding


It must be said for Mr. Schroeder that his theory of the motive
prompting the publication of the Book of Mormon is quite in harmony
with his theory of its origin. For it is fitting that a thing founded
in fraud should--and it very likely would--have the "greed of gain" as
the "dynamics of the scheme;" and that "love of gold, not God," would
be the moving cause of action. The only point at which Mr. Schroeder
breaks down in his theory of the motive, is just where he breaks down
in his theory of origin--namely, in the proof.

The excerpts from the revelations quoted by Mr. Schroeder fail
as proofs for his assumption. He ranges all through the numerous
revelations given to the Church from 1830 to 1841. Of the thirteen
excerpts quoted by him two only have any bearing upon the Book of
Mormon; and these two are from a revelation to Martin Harris, who had
covenanted with Joseph Smith and with the publisher of the book, Mr.
Grandin, that he would pay for printing it. Yet when the time came
to make good his plighted word, he hesitated; whereupon the word of
the Lord came, as quoted by Mr. Schroeder: "Impart a portion of thy
property; yea, even part of thy lands, and all save the support of thy
family." So far Mr. Schroeder quotes. The very next paragraph (35) of
the revelation goes on--"Pay the debt thou has contracted with the
printer. Release thyself from bondage"--(i. e. the bondage of debt).
Again Mr. Schroeder quotes (verse 26) "I command that thou shalt not
covet thine own property." The full paragraph is: "And again I command
thee, that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it
freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth
and the word of God." [167] Just where in these passages, which are the
only ones out of those quoted from the "Doctrine and Covenants" that
bear at all on the Book of Mormon--just wherein they bear witness to
the "greed of gain" being the motive that prompted the publication of
the book; or how they sustain the idea that "love of gold, not God" was
the "dynamics of the scheme," I fail to see.

[Footnote 167: "Doctrine and Covenants," Sec. 19:34, 35, 36.]

As for the rest of the passages quoted by Mr. Schroeder, they fall into
two classes: first, those that relate to the consecration of properties
to the Church; and second, those that command that provisions be made
for the sustenance of Joseph Smith and others who were devoting their
energies to the work of the Lord. In relation to the first class it
will make matters clear for the reader to know that the Saints were
called upon to recognize this principle: The earth is the Lord's.
He created it. It is his, by virtue of proprietorship; consequently
all that man holds, of the world's wealth is held as a stewardship
under God. To give visible recognition to this truth, the Saints were
commanded in Missouri to consecrate their property to the Lord through
his servants, and receive back a stewardship as from the Lord; and
this in order that the great truth of man's mere stewardship over that
which he is said to possess--coming now to be recognized by the best
Christian thought of the age as the proper attitude of mind for the
believer in God, in respect of his material possessions--might once
for all be established as a doctrine of the Church, emphasized by this
visible act of consecration.

As to the second class of quotations directing that provisions shall
be made for the material needs of Joseph Smith and his family--is it
necessary to argue at this late day what Paul seems to have settled
long ago, viz: "They which minister about holy things, live of the
things of the temple. * * * * Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they
which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel." [168] Is not the
justice of this principle universally recognized? I say Mr. Schroeder
breaks down at the production of proof for his theory as to motive. And
his ringing the changes upon this subject has but the sound of brass
when applied to Joseph Smith personally or to all the leaders of the
Mormon Church from its inception. Never have a people been more blessed
with unselfish leaders than the Latter-day Saints. Men blessed with
divine insight and power have given their services, practically without
renumeration, for the welfare of their people. They have labored in
season and out of season for them. They have given not only a teaching
service, tending to make the truth clear, but they have given freely
of their business ability, executive and judicial abilities. Men of
statesman-like quality of mind have devoted their lives to their
people, and practically without earthly reward, and many of them, the
most of them, in fact, have died poor in this world's goods, but rich
in the consciousness of service for fellow-men well performed.

[Footnote 168: I Corinthians 9:13, 14.]

I write these words from the midst of a people, who, when they read
them, will think of hundreds of men who have lived and wrought out
life's service among them, in the very spirit here described. "Greed
of gain" furnish "the dynamics" of the Mormon scheme! "Love of gold,
not of God," the motive force in Mormonism! "A desire for money" "the
inspiring cause of every act of the Mormon Prophet, the very divinity
that moulded his thoughts and revelations, and brought into being
Mormon's books!" [169] Nonsense, Mr. Schroeder; you have studied human
nature as well as Mormonism to little purpose if you really think so.
Joseph Smith was loved by his people to the verge of idolization.
He won and kept that love of theirs to the day of his death. He had
the satisfaction of seeing one of his great prophecies fulfilled--a
prophecy given out from a prison cell, in 1839, and when his fortunes
were fallen to their lowest point--when his enemies seemed to triumph,
and traitors were arrayed against him-then came the assurance from
God--"Thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of
traitors." [170] And they never were, either before his death or since.
"Greed of gold," selfishness; "Love of gold, not God," does not produce
these results. Selfishness never wins or holds hearts. Only a life that
pours out itself in floods of unselfish service for others wins and
holds affections. Such was the life of Joseph Smith, such the lives of
Mormon leaders.

[Footnote 169: _American Historical Magazine,_ May, 1907, p. 221.
_Ante_ pp. 80-81.]

[Footnote 170: "Doctrine and Covenants," Sec. 122.]


And now my task draws towards its close. My purpose in this paper,
in the main, has been merely to refute the theory, together with the
alleged evidences and arguments of Mr. Schroeder. My method has been
to refute him largely out of the material and authorities which he
himself has introduced. And of course this has kept the discussion
of the origin of the Book of Mormon within narrow limits. This paper
has been more in the nature of a rejoinder than anything else to Mr.
Schroeder's reply to the theory set forth by the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints for the origin of the Book of Mormon.

By this undesigned order of the discussion and by its necessary
limitations, the reader is at the disadvantage of not having
immediately before him the theory of the divine origin of the Book of
Mormon, sustained by the strong array of evidences and arguments, that
may be marshalled in its support. [171] But it will help in forming
a right conclusion as to the merits of this discussion if what is
here suggested be held in mind, namely: The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints sets forth the claim of a divine origin for the
Book of Mormon, sustained by special witnesses, whom God raised up to
testify of that origin; sustained also, as that Church believes, by a
world of evidences, both external and internal. To this Mr. Schroeder
has offered a counter-theory of origin, the "Spaulding Theory," to
which I have made this rejoinder. My effort has had no higher aim
than this, believing that nothing more was required of me under the
circumstances. If my paper shall prove to be, as I think it must, a
successful rejoinder; if it exhibits how inherently weak, and foolish
this Spaulding theory is, even when most skillfully set forth; if it
exhibits the tissue of falsehood and of malice, of which that theory is
made up; and the bitterness and hatred in which it had its inception;
and exposes the dishonest sophistry by which that theory has been
supported,--I shall be content.


Salt Lake City, Jan., 1909.

[Footnote 171: For an extended treatise on this subject see the
writer's "New Witness for God," published as Young Men's Manuals, Nos.
7, 8 and 9, 1903-1906. Now published in a series of three volumes under
the title "New Witnesses for God," Vol. I treats of Joseph Smith as a
New Witness; Vols. II and III is the treatise on the Book of Mormon as
A New Witness for God.]




The justification for publishing the three following papers consists in
the importance of the subjects which they treat. The first paper, "An
Address to the World," was presented to the General Conference of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by the First Presidency of
the Church, and by that conference unanimously adopted on the 5th of
April, 1907, and sent forth to the world. It was conceived and written
in a conciliatory spirit, and was intended to form the basis of a right
understanding of the attitude of the Church of the Latter-day Saints
with reference to a number of subjects concerning which there had been
bitter controversy. The "Address" explained the past. It expressed the
intention of the Church to give strict adherence to its obligations
to discontinue plural marriages, and with that, in time, would pass
away polygamous living. It also declared the intention of the Church
to abstain from interference in politics. That this was the spirit and
intent of the "Address" cannot be questioned by those who read it.
It presented, as the writer then believed, and as he now believes, a
fair basis of understanding and settlement of our local difficulties.
The manner in which it was met by the Ministerial Association, with
distrust, misrepresentation, unfair criticism and sly innuendo of evil
intentions, went far towards defeating its purpose, and gave occasion
for the Answer to the Ministerial Association's Review of the Address
to the world. The papers themselves tell the rest.





"Let facts be submitted to a candid world."


_The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the World_.

GREETING: In the hope of correcting misrepresentation, and of
establishing a more perfect understanding respecting ourselves and our
religion, we, the officers and members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, in General Conference assembled, issue this

Such an action seems imperative. Never were our principles or our
purposes more widely misrepresented, more seriously misunderstood.
Our doctrines are distorted, the sacred ordinances of our religion
ridiculed, our Christianity questioned, our history falsified, our
character traduced, and our course of conduct as a people reprobated
and condemned.

In answer to the charges made against us, for ourselves and for those
who, under divine direction, founded our religion and our Church; for
our posterity, to whom we shall transmit the faith, and into whose
keeping we shall give the Church of Christ; and before mankind, whose
opinions we respect, we solemnly declare the truth to be:

Our religion is founded on the revelations of God. The Gospel we
proclaim is the Gospel of Christ, restored to earth in this the
dispensation of the fulness of times. The high claim of the Church is
declared in its title--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Established by divine direction, its name was prescribed by him whose
Church it is--Jesus the Christ.

The religion of this people is pure Christianity. Its creed is
expressive of the duties of practical life. Its theology is based on
the doctrines of the Redeemer.

If it be true Christianity to accept Jesus Christ in person and in
mission as divine; to revere him as the Son of God, the crucified and
risen Lord, through whom alone can mankind attain salvation; to accept
his teachings as a guide, to adopt as a standard and observe as a
law the ethical code he promulgated; to comply with the requirements
prescribed by him as essential to membership in his Church, namely,
faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and
the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost,--if this be
Christianity, then are we Christians, and the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is a Christian church.

The theology of our Church is the theology taught by Jesus Christ
and his apostles, the theology of scripture and reason. It not only
acknowledges the sacredness of ancient scripture, and the binding
force of divinely-inspired acts and utterances in ages past; but also
declares that God now speaks to man in this final Gospel dispensation.

We believe in the Godhead, comprising the three individual personages,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

We hold that man is verily the child of God, formed in his image,
endowed with divine attributes, and possessing power to rise from the
gross desires of earth to the ennobling aspirations of heaven.

We believe in the pre-existence of man as a spirit, and in a future
state of individual existence, in which every soul shall find its
place, as determined by justice and mercy, with opportunities of
endless progression, in the varied conditions of eternity.

We believe in the free agency of man, and therefore in his individual

We believe that salvation is for no select few, but that all men may be
saved through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We affirm that to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel authority
must be given of God; and that this authority is the power of the Holy

We affirm that through the ministration of immortal personages; the
Holy Priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age,
and that under this divine authority the Church of Christ has been

We proclaim the objects of this organization to be, the preaching of
the Gospel in all the world, the gathering of scattered-Israel, and the
preparation of a people for the coming of the Lord.

"Mormonism" seeks its converts among all classes and conditions of
society, and those who accept it are among the best men and women of
the nations from which they come--honest, industrious, virtuous, and
reverent. In their community life they are peaceable, law-abiding and
exemplary. Their instincts, traditions and training are opposed to
vice and crime. The religion they have embraced, the Church of which
they are members, condemns every form of evil, and their lives, with
few exceptions, are exponents of righteousness. Many of the early
proselytes to our faith were descendants of the Pilgrims and Puritans.
Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other leaders among the Latter-day
Saints, traced their lineage to the founders and first defenders of the
nation. Joseph Smith was a native of Vermont, and by vocation a farmer.
All trades and professions were drawn upon for the membership of the
Church. In England, its first foreign mission field, it was mainly the
middle and working classes that responded to the Gospel message. All
over the world it has been the same,--our converts have been men and
women of character, intelligence, and integrity. There is nothing in
"Mormonism" to attract the selfish or the vile.

The effort to differentiate the "Mormon" priesthood and the
"Mormon" people, by allowing that the latter are a good, honest,
though misguided folk, while alleging that their leaders are the
personification of all that is bad, is a most futile one. The great
majority of the male members of the Church hold the priesthood, and
though constituting the official body of the Church, they are a portion
of the people. Priesthood and people are inseparable, and, vindicated
or condemned, stand together.

The charge that the Church relies upon duplicity in the propagation
of her doctrines, and shuns enlightened investigation, is contrary to
reason and fact. Deceit and fraud in the perpetuation of any religion
must end in failure. A system of religion, ethics, or philosophy, to
attract and hold the attention of men, must be sincere in doctrine and
honest in propaganda. That the Church employs deceptive methods; that
she has one doctrine for the priesthood and another for the people;
that she teaches one set of principles to her members in Zion, and
another to the world, is not true. Enlightened investigation is the
very means through which the Church hopes to promote belief in her
principles, and extend the beneficent influence of her institutions.
From the beginning, enlightened investigation has been the one thing
she has sought. To secure this she has sent her missionaries into all
parts of the world, especially to the centres of civilization and
enlightenment, where her literature has been freely distributed; yet
too frequently her claims have been disallowed without investigation,
and judgment has been pronounced without a hearing. At the Columbian
Exposition, which celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of the
discovery of America, the religions of the world were represented in a
great parliament, for the purpose of showing "in the most impressive
way, what and how many important truths the various religions hold
and teach in common; * * * to set forth by those most competent to
speak, what are deemed the important distinctive truths held and
taught by each religion; * * * to inquire what light each religion has
afforded or may afford to the other religions of the world." To this
gathering the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though the
most distinctively American church, was not invited; nevertheless she
sought opportunity to place side by side with the creeds of all the
great historic faiths, a presentation of her principles, and to voice
to mankind the truths she deemed most important and most helpful. This
opportunity was denied the Church, except upon such terms as were
humiliating and subversive of the end sought--a wider publication and
a more just consideration of her faith. After such an experience,
and others of like kind, though of varying degree, we submit that
it ill becomes our accusers to charge us with shunning enlightened

It has been charged that "Mormonism" is opposed to education. The
history of the Church and the precepts of its leaders are a sufficient
answer to that accusation. Joseph Smith, the first President of the
Church, founded schools, and attended them as a student, as did many
of his followers under his advice and influence. Brigham Young, who
succeeded Joseph Smith, emulated him as a founder and patron of
schools; and every subsequent President of the Church, his associates,
and the people generally, have been equally zealous in that cause. In
the course of their exodus from Illinois, our people built log school
houses while halting on the Missouri river, then the frontier of the
nation; and after they had traversed a thousand miles of wilderness,
and planted their infant colony in the valley of the Great Salt Lake,
school houses were among the first buildings they erected. Such has
been the course pursued in every "Mormon" colony. The State of Utah,
now dotted with free schools, academies, colleges, and universities,
institutions which have given her marked educational prominence,
furnishes indisputable evidence that her people--mostly "Mormons"--are
friends and promoters of education. To the Latter-day Saints, salvation
itself, under the atonement of Christ, is a process of education.
That knowledge is a means of eternal progress, was taught by Joseph
Smith--It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.--A man
is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.--The Glory of God is
intelligence.--Whatever principles of intelligence we attain to in this
life, will rise with us in the resurrection.--He who gains in this life
more knowledge than another, will have so much the advantage in the
world to come. These were aphorisms with the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Neither is it true, as alleged, that "Mormonism" is destructive of
the sanctity of the marriage relation; on the contrary it regards
the lawful union of man and woman as the means through which they
may realize their highest and holiest aspirations. To the Latter-day
Saints, marriage is not designed by our Heavenly Father to be merely an
earthly union, but one that shall survive the vicissitudes of time, and
endure for eternity, bestowing honor and joy in this world, glory and
eternal lives in the worlds to come.

The typical "Mormon" home is the temple of the family, in which the
members of the household gather morning and evening, for prayer
and praise to God, offered in the name of Jesus Christ, and often
accompanied by the reading of scripture and the singing of spiritual
songs. Here are taught and gently enforced, the moral precepts and
religious truths, which, taken together, make up that righteousness
which exalteth a nation, and ward off that sin which is a reproach
to any people. If such conditions are not a sufficient answer to the
charge that our homes are un-Christian, subversive of moral influence,
and destructive of the state's stability, then we turn to the present
generations, "Mormon" American citizens products of our religion and
our homes, for our vindication:--Here are our sons and daughters,
submit them to any test of comparison you will; regard for truth,
veneration for age, reverence for God, love of man, loyalty to country,
respect for law, refinement of manners, and, lastly, in this issue
between us and our accusers the crowning test of all, purity of mind
and chastity of conduct. It is not inordinate self praise to say of the
generations of our people, born and reared in "Mormon" homes, that they
will compare favorably, in the Christian virtues, and in all that makes
for good citizenship, with any community in this or any other country.

The charge that the Church is a commercial rather than a religious
institution; that its aims are temporal rather than spiritual; that
it dictates its members in their industrial activities and relations,
and aims at absolute domination in temporal affairs,--all this we
emphatically deny. That the Church claims the right to counsel and
advise her members in temporal as well as in spiritual affairs is
admitted. Leading Church officials, men of practical experience in
pioneer life, have aided the people in establishing settlements
throughout the inter-mountain west, and have given them, gratuitously,
the benefit of their broader knowledge of things, through counsel and
direction, which the people have followed to their advantage; and
both the wisdom of the leaders and the good sense of the people are
vindicated in the results achieved. All this has been done without
the exercise of arbitrary power. It has resulted from wise counsels,
persuasively given and willingly followed.

It has also been the policy of the Church to foster home industries.
Where there has been a lack of confidence in some of these enterprises,
and private capital has been afraid to invest, the Church has furnished
funds that the practicability of the undertaking might be demonstrated;
and repeatedly the wisdom of this policy has been made manifest.
Thereby the resources of various localities have been developed,
community industries diversified, and the people, especially the poor,
given increased opportunity of employment and a better chance to become

We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church; and this
because its government is moral government purely, and its forces are
applied through kindness, reason, and persuasion. Government by consent
of the governed is the rule of the Church. Following is a summary of
the word of the Lord, setting forth the principles on which the Church
government is to be administered:

The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers
of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled
only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred
upon men, is true; but when they undertake to cover their sins, or
gratify their pride, their vain ambition, or exercise control, or
dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men, in any
degree of unrighteousness, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when
it is withdrawn, amen to the priesthood, or the authority of that man.
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.

Nominations to Chuch office may be made by revelation; and the right of
nomination is usually exercised by those holding high authority, but it
is a law that no person is to be ordained to any office in the Church,
where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the
vote of its members. This law is operative as to all the officers of
the Church, from the president down to the deacon. The ecclesiastical
government itself exists by the will of the people; elections are
frequent, and the members are at liberty to vote as they choose. True,
the elective principle here operates by popular acceptance, rather
than through popular selection, but it is none the less real. Where
the foregoing facts exist as to any system, it is not and cannot be

The Church officers, in the exercise of their functions, are answerable
to the Church. No officer, however exalted his position, is exempt from
this law. All decisions, rulings and conduct of officials are subject
to investigation, correction, revision and final rejection by the
general assembly of the priesthood of the Church, its final court of
appeal. Even the President, its highest officer, is subject to these
laws, and special provision is made for his trial, and, if necessary,
his deposition. Where these facts exist in any administration of
government, it cannot be justly classed as a tyranny, nor considered a
menace to free institutions.

The tithing system of the Church, so often denounced as oppressive, and
as imposing an arbitrary ecclesiastical tax, is in reality a system of
free-will offerings. True, the members, by the law of the Church, are
under moral obligation to pay one-tenth of their interest annually. But
from the very nature of the principles on which churches exist, they
being voluntary associations for the fostering of spiritual life, and
the achievement of moral and charitable ends--in which associations
membership cannot be compelled--there is no compulsory means of
collecting this or any other church revenue. Tithing is a voluntary
offering for religious and charitable purposes, and not a scheme of
extortion for the enrichment of the higher officials. Service in the
interest of the Church is given, for the most part, without monetary
compensation; where compensation is allowed it is moderate; the high
Church officials are not rich, but in the majority of cases are men of
limited means, and where it is otherwise their wealth did not come from
the tithes of the people; these facts are a complete refutation of the
slander that our tithing is a system of extortion practiced upon the
people for the enrichment of the priesthood. Like the Church government
throughout, the tithing system operates upon the principle of free will
and the consent of those who hold the faith to be divine.

Neither in mental attitude nor in conduct have we been disloyal to the
government under whose guarantee of religious freedom our Church was
founded. The Book of Mormon proclaims America to be the land of Zion;
a land dedicated to righteousness and liberty; a land of promise to
certain branches of the house of Israel, and also to the Gentiles. It
declares that God will fortify this land against all other nations;
and "he that fighteth against Zion shall perish." By revelation to
Joseph Smith the Prophet, the Lord declared that he had established
the Constitution of the United States through "wise men raised up unto
this very purpose." It is also our belief that God has blessed and
prospered this nation, and given unto it power to enforce the divine
decrees concerning the land of Zion, that free institutions might not
perish from the earth. Cherishing such convictions, we have no place in
our hearts for disloyal sentiments, nor is there likelihood of treason
in our conduct. Were we evil-disposed toward American institutions, or
disloyal to the United States, we would be recreant to those principles
to which by interest and education we are attached, and would repudiate
the revelations of God concerning this land.

In reaffirming our belief in the high destiny of America, our
attachment to American institutions, and our loyalty to the United
States, we declare that these sentiments, this loyalty, have outlived
the memory of all the wrongs inflicted upon our fathers and ourselves.

If patriotism and loyalty are qualities manifested in times of peace,
by just, temperate, benevolent, industrious, and virtuous living; in
times of trial, by patience, resistance only by lawful means to real or
fancied wrongs, and by final submission to the laws of the land, though
involving distress and sorrow; and in time of war, by willingness
to fight the battles of the nation,--then, unquestionably, are the
"Mormon" people patriotic and loyal.

The only conduct seemingly inconsistent with our professions as loyal
citizens, is that involved in our attitude during the controversies
that have arisen respecting plural marriage. This principle was
introduced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, at Nauvoo, Illinois. The
practice was continued in Utah, and published to the world, as
a doctrine of the Church, in 1852. In the face of these facts,
Brigham Young, whose position in the matter was well known, was
twice appointed, with the consent of the Senate, first by president
Fillmore, and afterwards by President Pierce, to be the Governor of the
Territory. It was not until 1862 that Congress enacted a law forbidding
plural marriage. This law the Latter-day Saints conscientiously
disregarded, in their observance of a principle sanctioned by their
religion. Moreover they believed the enactment to be violative of
the Constitution, which provides that Congress shall make no law
prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Notwithstanding this
attitude and conduct on the part of our people, no decision of the
Supreme Court upon this question was secured until 1878, more than
thirty years after the settlement of Utah; nor were determined efforts
made to enforce the law until a further period of five or six years had
elapsed. Surely this toleration, under which the practice of plural
marriage became firmly established, binds the United States and its
people, if indeed they are not bound by considerations of mercy and
wisdom, to the exercise of patience and charity in dealing with this

If it be charged by those who find extenuation for offenses committed
prior to the decision of 1878, that our subsequent duty as good
citizens was clear and unmistakable, we reply that the situation, as
viewed by some of our members, developed a conflict between duty to God
and duty to the government. Moreover, it was thought possible that the
decision of the Supreme Court might be reversed, if what was regarded
as a constitutional right were not too easily surrendered. What our
people did in disregard of the law and of the decisions of the Supreme
Court affecting plural marriages, was in the spirit of maintaining
religious rights under constitutional guaranties, and not in any spirit
of defiance or disloyalty to the government.

The "Mormon" people have bowed in respectful submission to the laws
enacted against plural marriage. While it is true that for many years
they contested the constitutionality of the law of Congress, and
during that time acted in harmony with their religious convictions
in upholding by practice, as well as by spoken and written word, a
principle committed to them from God, still, when every means of
constitutional defense had been exhausted, the Church abandoned the
controversy and announced its intention to be obedient to the laws of
the land. Subsequently, when statehood for Utah became a possibility,
on the condition that her constitution provide by ordinance,
irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that plural
marriages should be forever prohibited, the "Mormon" people accepted
the condition by voting for the adoption of the constitution. From
that time until now, the Church has been true to its pledge respecting
the abandonment of the practice of plural marriage. If it be urged
that there have been instances of the violation of the anti-polygamy
laws, and that some persons within the Church have sought to evade the
rule adopted by her, prohibiting plural marriages, the plain answer is
that in every state and nation there are individuals who violate law
in spite of all the vigilance that can be exercised; but it does not
follow that the integrity of a community or of a state is destroyed,
because of such individual transgressions. All we ask is that the same
common-sense judgment be exercised in relation to our community that is
accorded to other communities. When all the circumstances are weighed,
the wonder is, not that there have been sporadic cases of plural
marriage, but that such cases have been so few. It should be remembered
that a religious conviction existed among the people, holding this
order of marriage to be divinely sanctioned. Little wonder then that
there should appear, in a community as large as ours, and as sincere, a
few over-zealous individuals who refused to submit even to the action
of the Church in such a matter, or that these few should find others
who sympathized with their views; the number, however, is small.

Those who refer to "Mormon polygamy" as a menace to the American
home, or as a serious factor in American problems, make themselves
ridiculous. So far as plural marriage is concerned, the question is
settled. The problem of polygamous living among our people is rapidly
solving itself. It is a matter of record that in 1890, when the
manifesto was issued, there were 2,451 plural families; in nine years
this number had been reduced to 1,543. Four years later the number was
897; and many of these have since passed away.

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 to 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 acknowledgment of duty to civil governments. Again:

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

    "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil
    government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another
    proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights
    of its members, as citizens, denied." (Doc. & Cov. Sec. 134.)

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

    "Be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns 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." (Doc. &
    Cov. Sec. 58.)

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 or set of men whatsoever, we assert the inherent right
of self-preservation for the Church and her right and duty to call
upon all 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 judgment of our fellow men,
should such an issue unhappily arise. We desire to live in peace and
confidence with our fellow citizens of all political parties and of all

It is sometimes urged that the permanent realization of such a desire
is impossible, since the Latter-day Saints hold as a principle of their
faith that God now reveals himself to man, as in ancient times; that
the priesthood of the Church constitute a body of men who have, each
for himself, in the sphere in which he moves, special right to such
revelation; that the President of the Church is recognized as the only
person through whom divine communication will come as law and doctrine
to the religious body; that such revelation may come at any time, upon
any subject, spiritual or temporal, as God wills; and finally that,
in the mind of every faithful Latter-day Saint, such revelation, in
whatsoever it counsels, advises or commands, is paramount. Furthermore
it is sometimes pointed out that the members of the Church are looking
for the actual coming of a Kingdom of God on earth, that shall gather
all the kingdoms of the world into one visible, divine empire, over
which the risen Messiah shall reign.

All this, it is held, renders it impossible for a "Mormon" to give true
allegiance to his country, or to any earthly government.

We refuse to be bound by the interpretations which others place upon
our beliefs; or by what they allege must be the practical consequences
of our doctrines. Men have no right to impute to us what they think
may be the logical deduction from our beliefs, but which we ourselves
do not accept. We are to be judged by our own interpretations, and by
our actions, not by the logic of others, as to what is, or may be,
the result of our faith. We deny that either our belief in divine
revelation, or our anticipation of the coming kingdom of God, weakens
in any degree the genuineness of our allegiance to our country. When
the divine empire will be established, we may not know any more than
other Christians who pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in
earth as it is in heaven;" but we do know that our allegiance and
loyalty to country are strengthened by the fact that while awaiting the
advent of the Messiah's kingdom, we are under a commandment from God to
be subject to the powers that be, until He comes "whose right it is to

"Mormonism" is in the world for the world's good. Teaching truth,
inculcating morality, guarding the purity of the home, honoring
authority and government, fostering education, and exalting man and
woman, our religion denounces crime, and is a foe to tyranny in every
form. "Mormonism" seeks to uplift, not to destroy society. She joins
hands with the civilization of the age. Proclaiming herself a special
harbinger of the Savior's second coming, she recognizes in all the
great epochs and movements of the past, steps in the march of progress
leading up to the looked for millennial reign. "Mormonism" lifts an
ensign of peace to all people. The predestined fruits of her proposed
system are the sanctification of the earth and the salvation of the
human family.

And now, to all the world: Having been commanded of God, as much
as lieth in us, to live peaceably with all men--we, in order to be
obedient to the heavenly commandment, send forth this Declaration,
that our position upon the various questions agitating the public mind
concerning us may be known. We desire peace, and will do all in our
power on fair and honorable principles to promote it. Our religion
is interwoven with our lives, it has formed our character, and the
truth of its principles is impressed upon our souls. We submit to
you, our fellow-men, that there is nothing in those principles that
calls for execration, no matter how widely in some respects they may
differ from your conceptions of religious truth. Certainly there is
nothing in them that may not stand within the wide circle of modern
toleration of religious thought and practice. To us these principles
are crystallizations of truth. They are as dear to us as your religious
conceptions are to you. In their application to human conduct, we see
the world's hope of redemption from sin and strife, from ignorance
and unbelief. Our motives are not selfish; our purposes not petty and
earth-bound; we contemplate the human race, past, present and yet to
come, as immortal beings, for whose salvation it is our mission to
labor; and to this work, broad as eternity and deep as the love of God,
we devote ourselves, now, and forever. Amen.




In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, March 26,

_Adopted by vote of the Church, in General Conference, April 5, 1907._






The following announcement accompanying the publication of the
Ministerial Association's Review of the Mormon Address to the World
appeared in the _Salt Lake Tribune,_ impression of June 4, 1907:


The Ministerial association of Salt Lake City has issued a review, in
the nature of a reply, to the "Address to the World," put out by the
Mormon church at the recent conference held in this city, in defense
of Mormonism. The review represents the combined labor of nearly every
member of the Ministerial association of Salt Lake, of which there are
thirty-three members, and by which it was adopted as a unit.

The review, which is presented elsewhere in this issue of _The
Tribune,_ is lengthy, comprehensive and unanswerable, well worthy
any and every one's time in reading, studying and digesting. It was
unanimously adopted at a meeting of the Ministerial association in its
headquarters in the club room of the Y. M. C. A. Monday afternoon.
Almost the entire membership of the association was represented at the
final meeting and there was not a dissenting voice or vote against the
adopting of the review, or reply, as it may aptly be termed.

Within a few days after the publishing of the Mormon Address to the
World a movement was started in the association looking to a reply to
the so-called Address. Among the ministers the document put forth by
the Mormon church was considered in the light of a suppression rather
than a confession of Mormon faith, and so most misleading. With the end
in view of a reply to the falsified, juggled and deceiving Address,
a number of papers were prepared and submitted to the association by
several different members. These papers were placed into the hands
of the committee, selected by the association for that purpose,
which threw them into the form of a report. The report was discussed
thoroughly at several different meetings of the association and every
member was given an opportunity of suggesting changes, presenting his
ideas on the subject for incorporation in the reply, or registering an
objection to it. As before stated, there was not a dissenting voice or
vote against the reply, the adoption being unanimous.


One of the striking things in the reply, which covers every point in
the Address with convincing thoroughness, is that it sets the teachings
of the Mormon leaders, as published in their own works and used in
their Improvement Associations, Sunday-schools and the like, alongside
of and in direct contrast to the diluted statement of doctrines found
in the "Address to the World." It is confidently asserted that there
has never been such a published statement by the Mormons, based upon
their own publications of the fact that they teach that there are many
gods and goddesses, that God, the Father, is married and that the gift
of eternal procreation is one of the felicities of paradise, promised,
however, only to those who are joined by the priesthood in marriage for

In the discussion of the several papers that were worked into the reply
to the "Address to the World" all the active members of the Ministerial
association have been present and have taken an active part in the
work that led to its promulgation. The reply represents the combined
labors of the members of the Ministerial association. In its drafting
the churches of the Presbyterian, Congregational, Methodist Episcopal,
Baptist, Lutheran, Christian and Episcopal denominations, through their
pastors, are represented. The officers of the Ministerial association
are: President, the Rev. S. A. Hayworth, pastor of the East Side
Baptist church; vice-president, the Rev. Benjamin Young, of the First
M. E. church; secretary and treasurer, the Rev. E. C. Parker, of the
Liberty Park M. E. church. The members and their denominations are:


The Rev. J. C. Andrews, Baptist; the Rev. A. A. Anderson, Swedish
Evangelist; the Rev. J. H. Allen, Calvary Baptist; the Rev. J.
Armstrong, Baptist; the Rev. D. A. Brown, First Baptist; the Rev.
Benjamin Brewster, St. Mark's Episcopal; the Rev. F. W. Bussard,
English Lutheran; the Rev. J. C. Bell, A. M. E.; the Rev. J. G.
Cairns, Second M. E.; the Rev. J. F. Baker, Garfield, Baptist; the
Rev. D. M. Helmick, Iliff M. E.; the Rev. H. I. Hansen, Norwegian
and Danish M. E.; the Rev. H. E. Hays, Third Presbyterian; the Rev.
J. S. Hurlburt, Murray, M. E.; the Rev. Jesse Hyde, Murray, Baptist;
the Rev. Harold Jensen, Norwegian and Danish Evangelical Lutheran;
the Rev. Bruce Kinney, superintendent Baptist work; the Rev. R.
G. McNiece, Presbyterian; the Rev. Josiah McClain, superintendent
Presbyterian work; the Rev. J. K. McGillivray, Presbyterian: the Rev.
C. C. Mclntire, Westminster Presbyterian; the Rev. R. S. Nickerson,
Sandy, First Congregational; the Rev. W. M. Paden, First Presbyterian;
the Rev. E. C. Parker, Liberty Park M. E.; the Rev. Emanuel Rydberg,
Swedish Lutheran; the Rev. P. A. Simpkin, Phillips Congregational;
the Rev. R. M. Stevenson, Presbyterian; the Rev. D. B. Scott, M. E.;
the Rev. F. S. Spalding, Episcopal Bishop; the Rev. H. J. Talbott,
superintendent M. E. work; the Rev. Benjamin Young, First M. E.; the
Rev. J. H. Worrall, M. E.

Not only was the _"Review"_ thus heralded in the local columns of the
_Tribune,_ but that paper also made the following editorial comment:


    "We print in other columns this morning, in full, the review by the
    Salt Lake Ministerial association of the declaration made by the
    first presidency of the Mormon church and sustained by the general
    conference in April last. This review is calm, deliberate, and
    temperate in tone; but it is irresistible in force, in logic, and
    in conclusion. It will, of course, be warmly welcomed and approved
    by the loyal citizenship of Utah, while to the country at large it
    will be a good deal in the nature of a revelation.

    "It is shown that the Mormon declaration is uncandid in that it
    suppresses so much of the real beliefs and sentiments of the
    church; and citations are given from authoritative writers of
    the church, and from its standard works, showing how serious
    these omissions are, and how completely their suppression gives a
    false impression of the whole system. The evidence presented on
    this point by the Christian ministers of this city is absolutely

    "The evasions, the duplicity, the hypocrisy, the dishonesty, of the
    conference declaration are completely shown, in masterly style.
    The repeated but half-hearted efforts of the church leaders to
    make the world believe in their patriotism, their piety, their
    unselfishness, their benevolence, their purity, when they do not
    believe these things of themselves, knowing their own corruption,
    treason, blasphemy and corroding selfishness, avarice, lusts of
    power and of the flesh, are fitly dealt with in this admirable
    review, which we cannot too highly commend for its spirit and its

    "It is shown in it that the hypocritical position of the conference
    declaration is condemned by the Mormon church's own publications;
    that the righteousness of polygamy is still upheld by the Mormon
    leaders and speakers; and the hollowness of the entire pretense
    through which it is sought to make it appear that the Mormon
    leaders occupy a position which they do not occupy, is made clear.
    Not any longer will the hierarchic pretense of being what it is
    not, serve."

Thus heralded, the "Review" follows.



An "Address to the World" was issued by the president of the Mormon
Church and his counselors, and was adopted by the general conference
of that church April 5, 1907. This "Address," evidently prepared for
the residents of non-Mormon communities, is being widely circulated.
Ostensibly it makes a declaration of the doctrines, asserts the
principles and defends the practices of the Mormon Church. It claims
supremacy for that body as the only divinely authorized church of Jesus
Christ in the earth. It sets forth grievances. It appeals to the candid
judgment of mankind for toleration.

For more than a half-century the Mormon Church has been teaching its
doctrines. Wherever it has had an organization its practices have
been more or less subject to observation. It would seem, therefore,
that there should be little doubt as to the nature of the one, or the
effect and tendency of the other. Nor would there be much question
as to either were the doctrines of that church as fully proclaimed
elsewhere as they are in Utah; and were its practices everywhere as
transparent as they are in its strongholds. The publication and wide
circulation of the aforementioned defense of the Mormon Church is the
ground of our communication, in which we join hands with the authors of
the defense in "establishing a more perfect understanding respecting"
themselves and their religion. We could wish that some of the points
touched upon in their paper might have had more ample elucidation,
both as ministering to a better understanding on the part of residents
of non-Mormon communities, and as forestalling the necessity for
this review upon our part. But, since this defense obscures so much
that it is necessary for people to know, who would desire to form an
intelligent judgment concerning the Mormon Church, we discuss those
things alluded to in the "address" that seem to us of the gravest

It will be noted at the very outset that a supreme claim is made for
the Mormon Church. Adding no spiritual truth to the aggregate of things
already revealed, fostering no virtues not already taught by Christian
churches, and exemplified in Christian lives, showing no superiority
of Christian ideals or of Christian character, contributing nothing
original to civic righteousness, to commercial integrity, to domestic
virtue, to reverence for God or to justice and mercy toward men--this
sect, whose activities are chiefly confined to a few countries already
Christianized, claims to be the only divinely authorized church of
Jesus Christ on the earth; its very name, so it is affirmed, being
given by divine revelation. In harmony with this claim it sets up a
wholly unbiblical test of salvation.

    "Joseph Smith is a new witness for God; a prophet divinely
    authorized to teach the Gospel and re-establish the church of Jesus
    Christ on earth."--"New Witness for God." by B. H. Roberts.

    "Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a prophet,
    that he lived and died a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon
    is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of
    anti-Christ."--Brigham Young, Millennial Star, volume 5, page 118.

    "If plural marriage be unlawful, then is the whole plan of
    salvation through the house of Israel a failure, and the entire
    fabric of Christianity without foundation."--A compendium of the
    doctrine of the Gospel published for missionaries. 1898.

    "Q. What doth the Lord require of the people of the United States?

    "A. He requires them to repent of all their sins and embrace the
    message of salvation contained in the Book of Mormon, and be
    baptized into this church, and prepare themselves for the coming of
    the Lord.

    "Q. What will be the consequence if they do not embrace the Book of
    Mormon as a divine revelation?

    "A. They will be destroyed from the land and sent down to
    hell, like all other generations who have rejected a divine
    message."--Orson Pratt in the Seer, page 215.

This claim naturally provokes a most searching investigation of the
grounds upon which it rests. When it appears that it involves the
eternal reprobation of those who finally reject it, there can be no
surprise that the claim is very sharply challenged. It is asserted that
"the high claim of the church--is declared in its title--the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;" that "its name was prescribed by
Him whose church it is--Jesus, the Christ;" and that, "we affirm that,
through the ministration of immortal personages, the holy priesthood
has been conferred upon men in the present age, and that under this
divine authority the Church of Jesus Christ has been organized." It
will be seen that the claim to exclusiveness involves the invalidity of
all the church ordinances, and of all ministerial functions, including
the right to solemnize marriages, as administered by the Christian
church from the second to the nineteenth century.

    "It (Mormonism) is entirely unlike all plans and systems ever
    invented by human authority; it has no likeness, connection or
    fellowship with any of them; it speaks with divine authority, and
    all nations, without an exception, are required to obey. He that
    receives the message and endures to the end will be saved; he that
    rejects it will be damned."--Pratt's Works, paper 1.

    "These claims in behalf of Mormonism presuppose the destruction
    of the primitive Christian church, a complete apostasy from the
    Christian religion."--New Witness for God, preface, page 1.

    "The very religion of modern Christianity is now about as great
    a curse as can be inflicted upon its successors without doing
    violence to their power of free agency. * * *"

    "The modern Christians with the Bible in their hands are in as
    gross darkness as the worshipers of Baal. The god they worship
    is no more like the person of Christ or the person of man than
    Baal was. Their order of church authorities and church gifts and
    ordinances of healing and anointing are probably about as remote
    from the apostolic pattern as the worship of Mohamet or Vishnu
    is."--Spencer's letters, pages 119 and 120.

    "The power to officiate in the ordinances of God has not been upon
    the earth since the great apostasy until the present century.
    Something like seventeen centuries have passed away since the
    authority was last on the eastern hemisphere to administer in any
    of the ordinances of God. During that long period marriages have
    been celebrated according to the customs of human government by
    uninspired men, holding no authority from God, consequently all
    their marriages, like their baptisms, are illegal before the Lord.
    Point out to us a husband and wife that God has joined together
    from the second century of the Christian era until the nineteenth,
    if you can. Such a phenomenon cannot be found among Christians or
    Jews, Mohammedans or Pagans."--Orson Pratt in the Star, page 48.

The further significance of this claim is seen when one considers
that it denies that the Christian church has represented Christ in
the last seventeen centuries. And this denial stands in face of the
testimony that Christian people have borne to Him, the martyrdoms they
have suffered to carry His message to benighted peoples, the charities
they have organized, the great reforms they have fostered, the general
progress of mankind which they, chiefly, have promoted, and the saintly
lives nurtured under the teaching of the Christian church. Surely
the claim to exclusive divine authorization must rest upon proofs so
clear and convincing that no sincere seeker after truth would question
their conclusiveness. But no such proofs are presented. Here is the
fundamental weakness of the whole system for which this astonishing
claim is made--it presents no credentials that would make good a claim
to even be numbered among the churches which represent Christ; much
less to the only church of Christ on the earth.

It would naturally be expected that, in a communication intended to
really enlighten mankind concerning the Mormon faith as the only true
religion--the statement of doctrine would be both full and luminous.
But in the "Address" it is exceedingly brief--so brief, in fact, that
one is driven to the conclusion that, as a basis upon which a candid
judgment might be framed, it not only leaves much to be desired, but is
positively misleading.

As to divine revelation, it declares "The theology of our church is
the theology taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, the theology
of Scripture and reason. It not only acknowledges the sacredness of
ancient Scripture, and the binding force of divinely-inspired acts
and utterances in ages past, but also declares that God now speaks
to man in this final Gospel dispensation." Under this declaration
lies the claim of the Mormon Church--constantly insisted upon in its
congregations here and in surrounding regions--that the "Book of
Mormon," "The Doctrine and Covenants," the "Pearl of Great Price,"
together with the "Living oracles,"--i.e., certain members of the
priesthood--are divinely inspired, and are, therefore, of equal
authority with the Bible. This claim, a knowledge of which is so
necessary to even a tolerable understanding of their system of belief,
is not plainly and explicitly set forth in the declaration of doctrine
contained in the "Address," but it has repeated and urgent emphasis in
their teachings in Mormon communities.

    "The commissioned officers of the church form one part of its
    motive force. The other is the continual revelation of the will of
    God to his people. Without the first, disorder and confusion would
    prevail; without the second, stagnation and death."

    "Written revelation is comprised in the four books of Scripture
    accepted by the church in this dispensation--the Bible, the Book of
    Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. *
    * * As far as these revelations are adapted to present conditions,
    they are binding on the church today."--Young Men's Improvement
    Association Manual, 1901-2.

    "The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record,
    written by a succession of prophets who inhabited ancient America.
    It professes to be revealed to the present generation for the
    salvation of all who will receive it and for the overthrow
    and damnation of all nations who reject it. * * The nature of
    the message in the Book of Mormon is such that if true no one
    can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can be
    saved and receive it. Therefore, every soul in all the world is
    equally interested in ascertaining its truth or falsity."--Orson
    Pratt--Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, page 1.

    "Q. Has God given many revelations to men?

    "A. Yes, a great number.

    "Q. Where have we any account of his doing so?

    "A. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and
    Covenants and other publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-Day Saints."--Children's Catechism, chapter 3.

    "Many hundreds of the servants of God among the Latter-Day Saints
    keep journals of their travels, and of the miracles which pass
    under their observation. Hence the Acts of the Apostles of the
    nineteenth century are recorded as well as the Acts of those in the
    first century; and the miracles recorded in the latter-day Acts are
    just as worthy of being believed as the miracles recorded in the
    former-day Acts."--Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, page

    "The word 'oracle' is instructive. It is derived from the Latin
    'Ora,' meaning the mouth. It means, therefore, those whose
    authoritative teachings are by spoken word as well as by pen and
    their word takes precedence with their own generation over that
    which has been written by any previous authority. * * * Their
    authority also includes the right to interpret the Scriptural
    writings of previous dispensations. For in case of doubt as to what
    the law of God is, final appeal is made to the living oracles,
    who interpret through the authority of the priesthood and the
    inspiration of the Holy Ghost."--Manual, 1901-2, part I, page 81.

    "The standard works of the church form our written authority and
    doctrine, but they are by no means our only sources of information
    and instruction on the theology of the church. We believe that God
    is as willing today as he ever has been to reveal his mind and will
    to men, and that he does so though chosen and appointed channels.
    We rely, therefore, on the teachings of the living oracles of God
    as of equal validity with the doctrines of the living word, and
    the men in chief authority being acknowledged and accepted by the
    church as prophets and revelators, and as being in possession of
    the power of the holy priesthood," etc.--The Articles of Faith, by
    Talmage, page 5.

    "The living oracles that exist in the true church possess and
    exercise the power of discrimination between obsolete and active
    commandments. Whenever it is necessary that a decision be made as
    to the present application of a commandment, or the interpretation
    of Scripture, the matter is referred to the living oracles and
    their decision is final. There is no dissipation of energy; no
    doubt or indecision. * * * The living oracles are a motive force
    to the church in the fact that they are, as the name implies,
    mouthpieces of God to his people."--Manual, 1901-2, pages 64-65.

As to the doctrine of Deity, the "Address" declares: "We believe in
the God-head, comprising the three individual personages, Father, Son
and Holy Ghost." As this declaration stands here, it will not perhaps
suggest Tritheism or Materialism to Christians unfamiliar with Mormon
theological terms. But when the full doctrine of the Deity, as taught
in Mormon congregations, is known, it will at once be seen that no
Christian can accept it. In fact, the Mormon Church teaches that God
the Father has a material body of flesh and bones; that Adam is the
God of the human race; that this Adam-God was physically begotten by
another God; that the Gods were once as we are now; that there is a
great multiplicity of Gods; that Jesus Christ was physically begotten
by the Heavenly Father of Mary, His wife; that, as we have a Heavenly
Father, so also we have a Heavenly Mother; that Jesus Himself was
married, and was probably a polygamist--at least so it has been printed
in their publications and taught among their people; and that the Holy
Spirit is of material substance, capable of actual transmission from
one person to another.

    "We know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature
    perfect men; each of them possesses a material body, infinitely
    pure and perfect, and attended by a transcendant glory, yet a body
    of flesh and bones."--Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 41. See also
    Doctrine and Covenants, chapter cxxx, 22d verse.

    "Admitting the personality of God, we are compelled to accept the
    fact of his materiality; indeed, an immaterial being, under which
    meaningless name some have sought to designate the condition of
    God, cannot exist, for the very expression is a contradiction of
    terms."--Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 42.

    "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, saint
    and sinner: When our Father Adam came into the garden he came into
    it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with
    him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the
    Archangel, the Ancient of Days, about whom holy men have written
    and spoken. He is our Father and our God, and the only God with
    whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christian
    or non-professing Christian, must hear it, and will hear it, sooner
    or later. * * *

    "When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had
    begotten him in his own likeness; he was not begotten by the Holy
    Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family;
    and when he took a tabernacle it was begotten by his father in
    heaven after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel and
    the rest of the sons and daughters of Eve. I could tell you much
    more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy
    would be nothing to it in the estimation of the superstitious and
    over-righteous of mankind. Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten
    by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden. And who is
    our Father in Heaven."--Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,
    volume 1, pages 50-1.

    "Some of the sectarian ministers are saying that we Mormons are
    ashamed of the doctrine announced by President Brigham Young,
    to the effect that Adam will thus be the God of this world. No,
    friends, it is not that we are ashamed of that doctrine. If you
    see any change coming over our countenance when this doctrine is
    named, it is surprise, astonishment, that any one at all capable of
    grasping the largeness and extent of the universe, the grandeur of
    existence and the possibilities in man for growth, for progress,
    should be so lean of intellect, should have such a paucity of
    understanding as to call it in question at all."--Roberts, The
    Mormon Doctrine of Deity, pages 42-3.

    "Q. Are there more Gods than one?

    "A. Yes, many."--Catechism for Children, page 13.

    "We believe in the plurality of Gods."--Roberts, Mormon Doctrines
    of Deity, page 11.

    "In the beginning the head of the Gods called a council of Gods,
    and they came together to concoct a plan to create the world and
    the people in it."--Joseph Smith, quoted by Roberts in Mormon
    Doctrine of Deity, page 229.

    "Without going into the full investigation of the history and
    excellency of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in this
    article, let us reflect that Jesus Christ as lord of lords and
    king of kings must have a noble race in the heavens or upon the
    earth, or else he can never be as great in power, dominion, might
    and authority as the Scriptures declare. But hear: The mystery is
    solved. John says: 'And I looked and lo, a lamb stood on Mount
    Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his
    father's name written on their foreheads.' Their father's name;
    bless me. That is God. Well done for Mormonism--144,000 Gods among
    the tribes of Israel and two living Gods and the Holy Ghost for
    this world. Such knowledge is too wonderful for men, unless they
    possess the spirit of Gods."--President Taylor, quoted by Roberts
    in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 253.

    "If none but Gods will be permitted to multiply immortal children,
    it follows that each God must have one or more wives. God, the
    father of our spirits, became the father of our Lord Jesus Christ
    according to the flesh. The fleshy body of Jesus required a mother
    as well as a father. Therefore, the father and mother of Jesus
    according to the flesh must have been associated together in the
    capacity of husband and wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been
    for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father.

    "As God the Father begat the fleshly body of Jesus, so he, before
    the world began, begat his spirit; as the body required an earthly
    mother, so his spirit required a heavenly mother. As God associated
    in the capacity of a husband with the earthly mother, so likewise
    he associated in the same capacity with the heavenly one; earthly
    things being in the likeness of heavenly things, and that which is
    temporal being the likeness of that which is eternal. Or, in other
    words, the laws of generation upon the earth are after the order of
    the laws of generation in heaven."--Orson Pratt in The Seer, page

Eliza R. Snow, the Mormon high priestess and poetess, gives voice to
these doctrines in her famous "Invocation; or, the Eternal Mother and

Most of us have heard it in the Tabernacle; many, however, have not
understood its teachings. We quote two stanzas:

  "In the Heavens are parents single?
    No; the thought makes reason stare;
  Truth is reason; truth eternal
    Tells me I've a mother there."

  "When I leave this frail existence--
    When I lay this mortal by;
  Father, mother, may I meet you
    In your royal court on high."

  --Latter-day Saints Hymnal.

  "Obedience will the same bright garland weave
  As it has done for your great mother Eve,
  For all her daughters on the earth, who will
  All my requirements sacredly fulfill.
  And what to Eve, though in her mortal life
  She'd been the first, or tenth, or fifteenth wife?
  What did she care, when in her lowest state
  Whether by fools considered small, or great?
  'Twas all the same to her--she proved her worth;
  She's now the Goddess and the Queen of the earth."

  --Eliza R. Snow's Poems.

    "If the men and women are the children of God, sons and daughters
    of heavenly parents, fashioned in their image, endowed with their
    attributes and destined to become like them in perfection, why
    should it startle the world to be told that there is a mother as
    well as a father in heaven. It is reasonable, philosophical and,
    like all truth, invulnerable."--Address in Tabernacle, summer of
    1906, Apostle Whitney

    "The father of our spirits has only been doing that which his
    progenitors did before him. Each succeeding generation of Gods
    follow the example of the preceding one; each generation have their
    wives, who raise up from the fruit of their loins immortal spirits;
    when their families become numerous, they organize new worlds for
    them, after the pattern set before them. They place their families
    upon the same, who fall as the inhabitants of previous worlds have
    fallen. They are re-redeemed. The inhabitants of each world have
    their own personal father, whose attributes they worship, and in so
    doing all the worlds worship the same God, dwelling in all of his
    fullness in the personages who are the fathers of each." Seer, 135.

    "Did the Savior of the world consider it his duty to fulfill all
    righteousness? And if the Savior of the world found it his duty to
    fulfill all righteousness to obey a command of far less importance
    than that of multiplying his race, would he not find it his duty
    to join with the race of the faithful ones in replenishing the
    earth?"--Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II, page 79.

    "'He shall see his seed.' If he has no seed how could he see it?
    'And who shall declare his generation?' If he had no generation who
    could declare it?"--Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II,
    page 80.

    "We say it was Jesus Christ who was married (at Cana) to the
    Marys and Martha, whereby he could see his seed before he was
    crucified."--Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II.

    "Next let us inquire whether there are any intimations in the
    Scriptures concerning the wives of Jesus. One thing is certain:
    that there were several holy women who greatly loved Jesus, such
    as Mary and Martha, her sister, and Mary Magdalene; Jesus greatly
    loved them and associated with them much; and when he arose from
    the dead, instead of first showing himself to his chosen witnesses,
    the apostles, he appeared first to these women, or at least to
    one of them, namely, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be very natural
    for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear
    wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the
    acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these
    beloved women were his wives. Indeed, the Psalmist David prophesies
    in particular concerning the wives of the Son of God. 'Kings'
    daughters were among thine honorable wives; upon thy right hand
    did stand the Queen in a vesture of gold of Ophir."--Apostle Orson
    Pratt in The Seer, page 159.

Concerning the doctrine of man it is declared: "We hold that man is
verily the child of God, formed in His image, endowed with divine
attributes. * * * We believe in the pre-existence of man as a spirit,
and in a future state of individual existence, in which every soul
shall find its place, as determined by justice and mercy, with
opportunities of endless progression in the varied conditions of
eternity." This statement cannot be said to fairly represent the
precepts of the Mormon Church at this point. For, in addition to the
above, they believe and teach in their own congregations: That, "As man
is, God once was: As God is, man may be;" that man's disobedience of
the first commandment given was commendable, and was the source out of
which his chief glory shall arise; that the image of God in which he
was made is the material one; that the brightest glory possible to him
can be reached only through polygamous living here or hereafter; and
that the eternally continued power of procreation forms the basis of
this glory.

    "The belief of the Latter-day Saints regarding the personality of
    God and our relationship to him has been crystallized by President
    Lorenzo Snow into the aphorism, one of the most expressive in
    the language: 'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.'
    No statement could set forth more clearly the nature of God's
    exaltation and man's destiny."--Manual, 1901-2, part I, page 17.

    "We shall now proceed to show from new revelations that the saints
    are to have equal knowledge with the Father and the Son * * * The
    fullness of all truth in us will make us Gods, equal in all things
    with the personages of the Father and the Son; and we could not
    be otherwise than equal, for he is the same God who dwells in us
    that dwells in them. Instead of dwelling in two tabernacles under
    the names of Father and Son, he will then dwell in the additional
    tabernacles of the saints. And wherever he dwells in fulness,
    there would necessarily be equality in wisdom, power, glory and
    dominion."--Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 121.

    "Thus perfected, the whole family will possess the material
    universe--that is, the earth and all the other planets and worlds,
    as an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not
    away. They will also continue to organize people and redeem and
    perfect other systems which are now in the womb of chaos, and thus
    go on increasing their several dominions, till the weakest child
    of God which now exists upon earth will possess more dominions,
    more property, more subjects and more power and glory than is
    possessed by Jesus Christ or by his Father; while at the same time
    Jesus Christ and his Father will have their dominions, kingdoms
    and subjects increased in proportion."--Parley P. Pratt, quoted by
    Roberts in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 257.

    "They are capable of receiving intelligence and exaltation to such
    a degree as to be raised from the dead with a body like that of
    Jesus Christ, and to possess immortal flesh and bones, in which
    they will still eat, drink, converse, reason, love, walk, sing,
    play on musical instruments, go on missions from planet to planet,
    or from system to system; being Gods or saints of God, endowed with
    the same powers, attributes and capacities that their Heavenly
    Father and Jesus Christ possess."--Parley P. Pratt, quoted by
    Roberts in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 257.

    "They who have obeyed the laws of the Gospel received the Holy
    Ghost, obtained and honored the priesthood and lived lives of
    righteousness, remaining faithful in spite of persecution and
    earthly tribulation, shall be admitted to the celestial glory. Here
    they will enjoy the personal presence and gory of the Father and
    the Son; they will be kings and priests of the most high, those in
    the highest degree of this glory shall have thrones, dominion and
    endless increase; they shall be Gods creating and governing worlds
    and peopling them with their offspring."--Manual, 1901-2, part I,
    page 52.

    "God always attached a special and honorable distinction to males
    and females engaged in the sacred system of plurality according
    to the conditions he laid down for them to observe."--Spencer's
    Letters, page 195.

    "Their great duty was to become the progenitors of the human
    family--to prepare mortal tabernacles for God's immortal children.
    It was Adam's privilege and duty to become the patriarch of this
    earth--the parent of all its inhabitants. In this great labor and
    destiny his wife, Eve, was to be associated with him. Before them
    was a future of endless glory, happiness and power, to be gained
    through the great principle of parentage. To attain this glory,
    present sorrow, pain and difficulty would have to be experienced
    and overcome. The other law was negative and prohibitive: 'Of the
    tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat.' If the
    fall was essential and it was a part of God's design that a law be
    broken in order that man might be subject to sin and death, this
    latter law was well adapted for the purpose. For the consequences
    of the breaking of this law were such as to fit in with the designs
    of God, and the breach of the law would not apparently interfere
    with the accomplishment of any high destiny. If either law was to
    be broken, it was far better that this negative one be broken than
    the other.

    "Eve was deceived and tempted. * * * She told Adam what she had
    done and he fully realized the consequences of her act. It meant
    that he and she could no longer remain together; that they must
    move in different spheres--he in the higher, she in the lower--she
    should be cast out of the garden and he should remain. * * * But
    he remembered that Eve had been given him as an eternal companion.
    He remembered the great commandment: Be fruitful and multiply and
    replenish the earth. This he could not obey, for Eve, his wife,
    was to be separated from him forever. He was therefore under the
    necessity of deciding which was the greater and more important
    commandment of the two--the negative one: Thou shalt not eat of
    the tree; or the positive one: Thou shalt multiply and replenish
    the earth. And he decided wisely--he would break the negative
    commandment and keep the positive one."--Manual, 1901-2, Part 1,
    pages 39-41.

    "Marriage thus becomes one of the chief means of man's exaltation
    and glory in the world to come, whereby he may have endless
    increase of eternal lives and attain at length to the power of
    the God-head. It was this glorious doctrine in connection with
    the baptism, redemption and sealing for the dead, that was the
    uppermost theme of the Prophet Joseph during the last two years
    or more of his life."--A Brief History of the Church of Jesus
    Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Apostle George Q. Cannon, page 138,
    published 1893.

    "I would here say that the promise made to Abraham and to all
    who are heirs of the same promise through faith extends to all
    generations in this life and to all generations to come forever
    and ever. That is, Abraham and Sarah will continue to multiply not
    only in this world, but in all the worlds to come. And the same is
    true of all the sons and daughters that obtain the fulness of the
    promise made to Abraham. * * * Will the resurrection return you a
    mere female acquaintance that is not to be the wife of your bosom
    in eternity? No; God forbid; but it will restore you the wife of
    your bosom, immortalized, who shall bear children from your own
    loins in all the worlds to come, and that without pain or sorrow
    in travail. This, sir, was couched in the promise of Abraham; this
    makes the promise great."--Spencer's Letters, pages 204-5.

  "Each pair the Eve and Adam of some world,
  Perchance unborn, un orbited and unwhirled."
  (Where they shall) "reign as queens and kings,
  Where endless union endless increase brings."

  --Apostle Whitney, Elijah, pp. 103-4.

    "Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and
    be married for eternity while in this probation, by the power and
    authority of the holy priesthood, they will cease to increase
    when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the
    resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority
    of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing
    the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have
    children in the celestial glory. * * * In the celestial glory there
    are three degrees or heavens, and in order to obtain the highest,
    a man must enter into this order of the priesthood, and if he does
    not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is
    the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."--Quoted in
    Young Men's Improvement Manual from Joseph Smith, Mill. Star, page

    "I wish to be perfectly understood here. Let it be remembered that
    the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that man, that is his spirit, is
    the offspring of Deity; not in any mythical sense, but actually. *
    * * Instead of the God-given power of procreation being one of the
    chief things that is to pass away, it is one of the chief means of
    man's exaltation and glory in that great eternity which like an
    endless vista stretches out before him. * * * Through that law, in
    connection with an observance of all the other laws of the Gospel,
    man will yet attain unto the power of the God-head, and like his
    Father--God--his chief glory will be to bring to pass the eternal
    life and happiness of his posterity."--Roberts, New Witness for
    God, page 461.

    "The devil and his angels having forfeited in their first estate
    all right to enter a second with bodies of flesh and bones, and
    having lost the privilege of marrying and propagating their
    species, feel maliciously wicked and envious against the sons of
    men who kept their first estate and now are in the enjoyment of the
    second, marrying and increasing their families or kingdoms."--Orson
    Pratt in The Seer, page 79.

    "Parents for the want of that holy and pure affection which
    exists in the bosom of the righteous, not only destroy their own
    happiness, but impress their own degraded and unlawful passions
    upon the constitution of their offspring. It is for this reason
    that God will not permit the fallen angels to multiply. It is
    for this reason that God has ordained marriage for the righteous
    only. It is for this reason that God will put a final stop to
    the multiplication of the wicked after this life. It is for this
    reason that none but those who have kept the celestial law will be
    permitted to multiply after the resurrection. It is for this reason
    that God has so ordained that the righteous shall have a plurality
    of wives; for they alone are prepared to beget and bring forth
    offspring whose bodies and spirits, partaking of the nature of the
    parents, are pure and lovely, and will manifest, as they increase
    in years, those heaven-born excellencies so necessary to lead them
    to happiness and eternal life."--Orson Pratt in The Seer, pages

The "Address" has somewhat to say regarding the holy priesthood,
but what is said affords one unacquainted with the church but
little idea of the relation which this order sustains to the whole
ecclesiastical system. In reality everything centers here. Admit the
church's contention for its priesthood and you have yielded the most
essential things which it claims. "We affirm that, to administer in the
ordinances of the Gospel, authority must be given of God; and that this
authority is the power of the holy priesthood. We affirm that, through
the ministration of immortal personages, the holy priesthood has been
conferred upon men in the present age, and that, under this divine
authority, the Church of Christ has been organized." So it is declared,
but the teaching of the church on this most important doctrine is not
herein candidly set forth. The appended extracts will show that the
basis for the exercise of arbitrary power of its membership lies in
the church's claim for the "holy priesthood," and that their power
extends not only to things spiritual, but to secular matters as well.
Furthermore, it will be seen that when once the church's claim for
its priesthood is allowed, the claim of jurisdiction in civil matters
logically follows. The members of the priesthood claim the special
power to interpret scriptures, and the president of the church, who is
also chief of the high priesthood, is the prophet, seer and revelator
of God to the church and to the world.

If it was the purpose of the leaders to keep the mass of the membership
under such control as would effectually destroy all liberty of action,
and would curb that freedom of thought to which all responsible people
are entitled, then it is difficult to see how any better scheme for
achieving that purpose could have been devised than the Mormon doctrine
of the "holy priesthood." Given a people who endorse its high claims
and submit to them, and you have a community which is under the
tyranny of arbitrary rulership. That such power should be provided for
in any system, civil or ecclesiastical, and should not be used, is
incompatible with the known facts in human nature. That the full power
of the Mormon priesthood is exercised is not a matter of doubt among
well-informed people.

    "I shall then define priesthood to be that order of authoritative
    intelligences by which God regulates, controls, enlightens,
    blesses or curses, saves or condemns all beings. To it under God
    all things are subservient in righteousness, whether in heaven or
    hell."--Spencer's Letters, page 94.

    "Men who hold the priesthood possess divine authority thus to act
    for God; and by possessing part of God's power they are in reality
    part of God. * * * Men who honor the priesthood in them, honor God,
    and those who reject it, reject God."--New Witness for God, page

    "The priesthood is the authority delegated to men to act in the
    name of God, and to have those acts approved of him. Whatever is
    done by this authority is as if God himself had done it. The one
    holding the priesthood becomes an agent of the Lord. * * * The
    curse of God on Cain, the flood, the rejection and dispersion
    of Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem--these are all typical
    instances of the judgments of God following the lack of reverence
    for his priesthood. * * * Faith in the priesthood in general must
    be supplemented by a specific faith in those who hold the keys of
    the priesthood and preside in its various organizations, Priesthood
    without presidency would be unorganized and lacking in efficiency.
    * * * We cannot honor the priesthood if we do not honor those who
    hold its keys. They are indeed the living oracles of our time,
    and the voice of inspiration from them is as the voice of God to
    us."--Manual, 1901-2, part I, pages 81, 82.

    "There is also a tendency among the youth, and I am sorry to
    say among some of the older ones, to show but little regard for
    the sacredness of the holy priesthood. What I mean by the holy
    priesthood is that authority which God has delegated to man by
    which he may speak the will of God as though the angels were here
    to speak it themselves; by which men are empowered to bind on
    earth and it shall be bound in heaven, and to loose on earth and
    it shall be loosed in heaven; by which the words of men spoken in
    the exercise of that power become the word of the Lord, the law of
    God, unto the people scripture and divine commands. It is therefore
    not good that the Latter-day Saints and the children of Latter-day
    Saints should treat lightly this sacred principle of authority
    which has been revealed from the heavens in the dispensation in
    which we live. It is the authority by which the Lord Almighty
    governs his people, and by it in time to come he will govern the
    nations of the world."--Report of seventy-second conference, page
    2, October 4-6, 1901.

  "Before all lands in east or west
  We love the land of Zion best;
     With God's choice gifts 'tis teeming.
  There, prophets, seers, as of old
  The mysteries of heaven unfold.
     Through holy priesthood streaming."
                --Sunday School Hymnal, No. 61.

One other observation must be made before leave is taken of this
part of the defense before the world. It touches a matter which in
importance dwarfs everything mentioned in the "Address." Apparently
the foundation of the Mormon Church is in the "Book of Mormon," the
"Doctrine and Covenants," the "Pearl of Great Price," and the testimony
of the "Living Oracles," delivered from time to time. But whoever digs
down to the lowermost foundation will find that, at last, everything
rests upon the reported visions of Joseph Smith. When any matter of
vital importance is presented for the belief of mankind, if that
matter, either in its nature or the circumstances attending it, lies
very much outside the ordinary, a due regard for human intelligence
demands that whatever testimony is produced in support of it shall
be buttressed by corroborative evidence. But here we have a system
of religion which claims sole authority as being alone divinely
accredited. It asks for the acceptance of mankind on the ground of
being so accredited. It anathematizes all who finally reject it. Yet
this religion, making such an astonishing claim, is founded upon the
unsupported assertion of a young person whose probity was not yet so
well established that his naked word would be taken concerning any
matter transcending ordinary observation and experience; and that
assertion touches supernatural appearances, and messages which, if
true, are of the most profound importance to mankind, and yet that
assertion is wholly without corroborating evidence. We are asked to
believe that, after seventeen centuries of apostasy on the part of his
church, and 1700 years of silence on his own part, God broke this long
silence at last with a message to a hitherto unbelieving world, which
would determine the destiny of mankind, but that he so discredited
human intelligence as to send that all-important message by an
ambassador without credentials.

In short, the Mormon Church has not yet given the world any
satisfactory evidence that the foundation upon which it rests its
enormous claim entitles that claim to any serious consideration. Here
is the fatal destitution of the whole system. And no defense that can
be set up for the doctrines or practices of the church, or for its
history, or for the character of its people, however strong or adroit
that defense may be, can veil their mortal weakness.

Attention is called in the "Address" to plural marriages and polygamous
living. We have no means of knowing to what extent the practice of
plural marriage has been discontinued in the Mormon Church, since no
records of such marriages are kept by the church that are accessible
to the public. That there have been instances of such marriages, even
since the agreement of the church to discontinue them, we know; that
they cannot be celebrated without the sanction of the church, through
accredited officials, is unquestioned; that, so far as the public
knowledge goes, no officials who may have celebrated such marriages
have been disciplined therefor, is certain. The doctrine of plural
marriage yet appears in the accepted standards of the church unchanged,
in face of the promise made by the president of the church that the
Woodruff manifesto should be printed, in the later editions of such
standards. That the practice is not now as open or as common as in
the days of Brigham Young may be conceded. But that it is, at most,
suspended by church decree, and not abrogated, is well understood here.

No denial was made of the practice of polygamous living. The "Address"
admits that authoritative figures officially collected show 897 such
male polygamists in the year 1902. The fact that later reports are not
quoted leads to the reasonable belief that since that date the number
of male polygamists has not diminished, but rather has increased.
But even if this conclusion is not valid, these figures given have a
very grave significance. We have this condition before us: In a sect,
numbering at the outside some 400,000 souls, many of whom--half or
more--are children or mere adherents, at the very least 2,691 persons
are living in polygamy. This would be true if each of the 897 male
polygamists had only two consorts; but, since in many cases there
are more than two, the whole number of persons living in polygamy is
considerably larger than the figures just named would indicate. It
seems quite probable that far more than 1,800 families in this sect
are polygamous families. All of these people are living in violation
of the law. Each one of them has a circle of relatives and friends,
most of whom will not only condone, but will sympathize with the
criminal. These people are rearing children, a majority of whom have
been born under ban of the law. Moreover, they are now maintaining
their relations against the decree of the church, as interpreted under
oath by the church leaders, and yet none of them have been subjected to
church discipline for polygamous living. What must reasonable people
think of it when such a condition is approved and sustained by a church
claiming to be the only church of Christ in the earth--a church strong
enough to control all conditions in the state, political, social and

Toleration of these criminals, mercy and charity toward them, is
claimed on the ground: First, that toleration has been shown them in
the past. It is even said that the "toleration under which the practice
of plural marriage became firmly established binds the United States
and its people, if indeed they are not bound by considerations of
mercy and wisdom, to the exercise and patience and charity in dealing
with this question." Second, that wisdom in dealing with the matter
in the future prescribes it. But to this it must be replied that the
"toleration" of former years was not the toleration of choice, but the
endurance of a reprobated condition while there were no adequate means
at hand to correct it. And, in the next place, when the church insists
upon the doctrine of polygamy as divinely revealed and enjoined; when
the governing body of the church publicly honors those who practice it;
when its chief officials openly, and with mutual approbation therefor,
live in it; when the officials studiously refrain from any public
act in restraint of it--when all this is true, we must hold it to be
doubtful whether the practice of polygamous living ever will die out
under any system of toleration. And thoughtful people will conclude,
in the light of these facts, that the only mercy and charity which is
logical is that which will, with a strong hand, defend society at large
from the taint of such flagitious precepts, examples and practices.
Wisdom does not prescribe toleration toward other unlawful conduct; nor
does experience show that such a method of dealing with offenders is
so conspicuously successful in restraining crime as to encourage that
policy. In addition to this, when we consider the fact that men have
lived in polygamous relations here for years without the fact being
generally acknowledged, or even known; when the church teaches the
doctrine of polygamy as a divinely-revealed "principle," such precept
being supplemented by the powerful example of its highest officials;
and when the president of the church makes a virtue of his contumacy
in this regard, we must be pardoned if we declare that no sufficient
evidence that polygamous living is dying out, or is likely to die out,
has yet been produced.

    "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me.
    I will command my people; otherwise they shall harken unto these
    things"--(that is, revelations forbidding polygamy). "Thus we see
    that a man among the Nephites, by the law of God had no right to
    take more than one wife, unless the Lord should command, for the
    purpose of raising up seed unto himself. Without such a command
    they were strictly limited to the one-wife doctrine. * * * So it is
    in this Church of Latter-day Saints; every man is strictly limited
    to one wife, unless the Lord, through the president and prophet of
    the church, gives a revelation permitting him to take more."--Orson
    Pratt in The Seer, page 30.

    "For, behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant;
    and if you abide not that covenant then are you damned; for no one
    can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. *
    * * And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood, if any
    man espouse a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first
    give her consent; and if he espouse the second and they are virgins
    and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; for he cannot
    commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to none else;
    and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot
    commit adultery, for they belong unto him; and they are given unto
    him--therefore, he is justified."--Doctrine and Covenants, chapter

    "From the foregoing revelation given through Joseph the Seer, it
    will be seen that God has actually commanded some of his servants
    to take more wives. * * Showing still further that, if they refuse
    to obey this command after having the law revealed to them, they
    should be damned. This revelation, then, makes it a matter of
    conscience among all the Latter-day Saints; and they embrace it as
    a part and portion of their religion, and verily believe that they
    cannot be saved and reject it."--Orson Pratt in The Seer, January,
    1853, page 14.

    "Who would suppose that any man in this land of religious liberty
    would presume to say to his fellowman that he had no right to take
    such steps as he thought necessary to escape damnation. Or that
    congress would enact a law that would present the alternative to
    religious believers of being consigned to a penitentiary if they
    should attempt to obey a law of God which would deliver them from
    damnation."--Epistle of the first presidency, October 6, 1885.

In a signed article written by Brigham H. Roberts, one of the first
seven presidents of the seventies of the Mormon Church, for the
Improvement Era of May, 1898, are found the following statements as the
conclusion of an argument on the righteousness of polygamy:

    "Therefore, I conclude that since God did approve of the plural
    marriage custom of the ancient patriarchs, prophets and kings
    of Israel, it is not at all to be wondered at that, in the
    dispensation of the fulness of time, in which he has promised
    restitution of all things, God should again establish that system
    of marriage. And the fact of God's approval of plural marriage
    in ancient times is a complete defense of the righteousness of
    the marriage system introduced by revelation through the prophet,
    Joseph Smith.

    "Polygamy is not adultery, for were it so considered, then Abraham,
    Jacob, and the prophets who practiced it would not be allowed
    an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and if polygamy is not
    adultery, then it cannot be classed as a sin at all.

    "It appears to the writer that modern Christians must either
    learn to tolerate polygamy or give up forever the glorious hope
    of resting in Abraham's bosom. That which he approves, and so
    strikingly approves, must be not only not bad, but positively good,
    pure and holy."--Improvement Era, May, 1898, pages 472, 475, 478,

We quote from the poem written by Apostle Orson Whitney to the Women of
the Everlasting Covenant:

  "Up with the guardian of social purity,
  The marriage system of futurity--
  Asylum of reform and penitence;--
  God-given home to homeless innocence;
  And down with wayward Rome's economy,
  Parent of nameless ills, monogamy;
  Concomitant of empire crushing vice,
  Immolating virtue at the shrine of price,
  Let innocence no more be child of shame;
  Let nature's needs the laws of nature frame;
  Let marriage vows be honorable in all,
  Untrammelled by a monogamic wall
  Of selfishness and rank hypocrisy,
  The gift of Pagan aristocracy."
  --Apostle Whitney's Poems.

The declaration made by B. H. Roberts concerning his determination to
continue his polygamous living is of a piece with that made under oath
by President Joseph Smith and Apostle F. M. Lyman. Mr. Roberts said:

    "These women have stood by me. They are good and true women. The
    law has said that I shall part from them. * * * But the law cannot
    free me from the obligations assumed before it spoke." (It spoke
    before he was born.) "No power can do that; even were the church
    that sanctioned these marriages and performed the ceremonies to
    turn its back upon us and say that the marriage is not valid now
    and that I must give these good and loyal women up--I will be
    damned if I would."--Case of B. H. Roberts of Utah, page 13.

Considerable space has been devoted in the "Address" to a defense
of the loyalty of the Mormon Church to civil government. It is not
recalled that any Christian church in this country has found itself
under a like necessity, for the teachings and practices of the
Christian churches have never been such as to raise an issue between
church authority and allegiance to civil statutes. "Gentiles" will bear
willing testimony to the fact that the Mormon people, as a body, are by
no means naturally disposed to contest civil ordinances.

But it must be clear to all that there is much in their surroundings
to contravene their obedience to civil government. We may pass by the
history of the church's conflict with the federal government, which is
yet well remembered, and may mention these facts as bearing upon the
point now under consideration: That the most honored leaders of the
church in the past have made an issue between the civil power on the
one hand the church authority on the other; that the president of the
church today, reverenced by his people as God's deputy on the earth,
is living in outlawry; that a number of his chosen associates in the
governing body of the church are lawbreakers; that many of the most
responsible officers of the church, next to those just referred to, are
proscribed by the law; that honors are conspicuously accorded by the
highest authority in the church to persons who have the taint of this
lawlessness upon them; that these offenders against civil government
are not called to account by any church authority for their offenses.
Such conduct on the part of the leaders cannot be said to stimulate
respect for civil authority, but it must be held to be a stronger
deterrent to obedience to the laws of society. So that whatever credit
the Mormon people may have as a law-abiding people can scarcely be
shared by the governing body of the church, since the weight of their
precepts and example is wholly against the validity of any claim to
such credit.

This review is issued that the real doctrines, practices and general
spirit of the Mormon Church may be known. Whatever the intent of the
"Address" may have been, the effect of it will certainly be to deceive
all readers who are not intimately acquainted with the teachings and
practices of the Mormon Church. We are not unmindful of the fact that
we shall be charged with persecution and misrepresentation in issuing
this review. But the publication of the truth can hardly be called
persecution, and if there be any charge of misrepresentation it must
lie against the leaders of the Mormon Church, whose own utterances
we have quoted as sustaining what has herein been said about their

That there may be no misunderstanding of our contention in this paper,
we, in conclusion, very frankly declare that not only is the "Address
to the World" misleading to the general public, but also that the
teachings of the Mormon Church in Gentile communities and through its
missionaries are deceptive; that the policy of the Mormon leaders is
to keep the people in entire subjection to the priesthood, and that so
these leaders seek to control political, commercial and educational
conditions in Utah; that their moral influence where such control is
maintained is neither complimentary to or commensurate with their
power; that their influence is not only subversive of civil authority,
but also of reverence for God; that these leaders associate Joseph
Smith in dignity and honor with the most eminent of mortals, if not
indeed with Christ Himself; that they claim for Brigham Young and
Joseph Smith and other "living oracles" the same obedience that is
claimed for the very word of God; that whatever spirituality is found
in the lives of individual members of the Mormon Church exists in spite
of the examples and precepts of their leaders; that the difficulty in
the enforcement of the civil law, wherever it affects the practice of
polygamous living, is well nigh unsurmountable; that the practice of
polygamous living was never held in higher esteem by the governing body
of the church than now; that until the practices of the present leaders
of the Mormon Church are radically changed there can be no peace
between them and pure Christianity; and that until the doctrines of the
church are radically modified it can never establish a claim to be even
a part of the church of Jesus Christ.





The following Answer to the Ministerial Association's Review of
the Address of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to
the World, was delivered in a speech at two meetings of the Mutual
Improvement Association conference, Sunday afternoon and evening, June
9, 1907, in the "Mormon Tabernacle," Salt Lake City, Utah, before an
audience of between four and five thousand people. The speaker expected
to close his remarks with the afternoon meeting, and therefore omitted
certain matters that were intended to be discussed at the time the
subject to which they were related was presented in the afternoon, but
which, for lack of time, as he then supposed, went over to the evening
session. He was urged by those in charge of the Conference to continue
his remarks in the evening session, which he did. In this printed copy
of the speech, some of the remarks in the evening are brought over
into their proper place, and connected with the subjects to which they
most properly belong, and that were treated in the afternoon. Also the
speaker has added some items that were outlined in his notes prepared
for the occasion, but not used either in the afternoon or evening. In
order that such new matter might be designated it is placed in brackets.


Today, my brethren and sisters, we convert this pulpit into a forum,
from which we propose a defense both of our faith and the Church. Nor
do we violate any of the proprieties in this change, because when truth
is to be defended and injustice resented, then "all place a temple, and
all seasons summer."

The occasion to which we address ourselves this afternoon arises out
of these circumstances: At the late general conference of the Church,
the First Presidency issued to the world an address. Submitting it to
the general conference, it was approved and endorsed by the Saints
assembled, so that it became an address of the Church of Christ to
the world. Of course, as we might have anticipated, this address met
with adverse criticism, and finally there was formulated against
it an alleged review by the Ministerial Association of evangelical
ministers in the state of Utah. Represented in that association are
the Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran,
Christian (Campbellite) and regular Episcopal churches--so that
practically the whole of Protestant Christendom is represented by these
ministers who challenge the correctness and the candor of the address
issued by the Church to the world.

In our consideration of their review we will suppose the
representatives of these churches present, sitting right here
[indicating a place close by the stand] in a body. And I wish they were
so present, because there is nothing like talking it out face to face
with these gentlemen; and I doubt not but their presence in a body
would be quite an inspiration to one in discussing the document they
have submitted to us. Having, then, before us the circumstances out of
which this occasion arises, let us proceed to our task.

The first charge or criticism of the address of the Church made by
these gentlemen is to the effect that the doctrines of the Church are
not as fully proclaimed elsewhere as in Utah; all through the review,
in fact, runs the innuendo that the Church deceitfully teaches one
doctrine at home and another abroad, and that the address obscures much
that is necessary to an intelligent judgment of "Mormonism." Hence
these gentlemen propose to help the world to a fuller presentation of
"Mormon" doctrine and practice, as set forth in their review of our

Right here, I wish to propose this question to these gentlemen: The
document they have issued quotes very copiously from our published
Church works. I want to ask them, on what books and utterances do they
rely for this larger, fuller proclamation of "Mormonism?" I find quoted
the _Millennial Star,_ the _Journal of Discourses,_ the _Seer_ (by
Orson Pratt), the _Improvement Era,_ the _Manuals_ of the Young Men's
Mutual Improvement Associations, _Orson Spencer's Letters,_ Epistles
of the First Presidency of the Church, Talmage's _Articles of Faith,_
and last, and of course least, some of my own works. Now where is the
_Millennial Star_ published? In Liverpool, England. Where were the
_Journals of Discourses_ published? In Liverpool, England. Where was
the _Seer_ published? In Washington, D.C. Does it not occur to you,
gentlemen, since these are the works on which you chiefly rely for
your larger view of "Mormon" doctrine, that we have published them
elsewhere quite as fully as we have in Utah. The _Improvement Era,_
of course, is published in Salt Lake City; but two thousand copies of
it are sent free to our missionaries abroad to use as tracts and to
scatter everywhere in the world. So with _Orson Spencer's Letters:_
so with all our publications quoted by you, except the Seer, of which
more presently. They are all sent broadcast, and our elders use them
very freely, and you will find them in the hands of our friends abroad,
and from them they learn the doctrines of "Mormonism." So that your
practical charge that we preach one set of doctrines and principles in
Utah, and quite another in the world, and that we are trying to play
the double game of having one doctrine for home consumption and another
for proclamation abroad, is as shallow as it is untrue.

One other thing. I find in this review ten lengthy quotations from
the _Seer_ which was published by Orson Pratt, yet the Seer by formal
action of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of the Church was
repudiated, and Elder Orson Pratt himself sanctioned the repudiation.
There was a long article published in the _Deseret News_ on the 23rd
of August, 1865, over the signatures of the First Presidency and
Twelve setting forth that this work--the _Seer_--together with some
other writings of Elder Pratt, were inaccurate. In the course of that
document, after praising, as well they might, the great bulk of the
work of this noted apostle, they say:

    "But the _Seer,_ the _Great First Cause,_ the article in the
    _Millennial Star,_ of Oct. 15, and Nov. 1, 1850 * * * * contain
    doctrine which we cannot sanction and which we have felt to disown,
    so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may
    not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where
    these objectionable works or parts of works are bound in volumes,
    or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed."

And yet these gentlemen, our reviewers, who, of course, we must
believe, since they are ministers of the gospel, and hence they are
ministers of the truth and believe in fair dealing, make ten long
quotations from a repudiated work, and one quotation only from a
work that is accepted as standard in the Church, viz., the Doctrine
and Covenants! For a long time the Church has announced over and
over again that her standard works in which the word of God is to be
found, and for which alone she stands, are the Bible, the Book of
Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. All
else is commentary, and of a secondary character as to its authority,
containing much that is good, much that illustrates the doctrines of
the Church, and yet liable to have error in it for which the Church
does not stand.

"Well," says one, "do you propose to repudiate the works of men holding
your priesthood, and who are supposed to speak and act under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Do you not destroy the effectiveness
of your Church ministry when you take this attitude?" Not at all. We
merely make what is a proper distinction. It would be a glorious thing
for a man to so live that his life would touch the very life and Spirit
of God, so that his spirit would blend with God's Spirit, under which
circumstances there would be no error in his life or in his utterances
at all. That is a splendid thing to contemplate, but when you take into
account human weaknesses, imperfection, prejudice, passion, bias, it is
too much to hope for human nature that man will constantly thus walk
linked with God. And so we make this distinction between a man speaking
sometimes under the influence of prejudice and pre-conceived notions,
and the utterances of a man who, in behalf of the Church of God, and
having the requisite authority, and holding the requisite position,
may, upon occasion, lay aside all prejudice, all pre-conception, and
stand ready and anxious to receive the divine impression of God's
Spirit that shall plead, "Father, thy will and thy word be made known
now to thy people through the channel thou hast appointed." There is a
wide difference between men coming with the word of God thus obtained,
and their ordinary speech every day and on all kinds of occasions.

In thus insisting that only the word of God, spoken by inspiration,
shall live and be binding upon the Church, we are but following the
illustrious example of the ancient Church of Christ. You do not have
today all the Christian documents of the first Christian centuries.
These books that you have bound up, and that you call the word of God,
Holy Bible, were sifted out by a consensus of opinion in the churches
running through several hundred years. They endured the test of time.
But the great bulk of that which was uttered and written, even by
apostles and prominent servants of God in the primitive Christian
Church, the Church rejected, and out of the mass of chaff preserved
these Scriptures--the New Testament. The Christian world up to this
time is not quite decided as to all that should be accepted and all
that should be rejected. You Protestant gentlemen repudiate several
books called Apocrypha which the Catholic church accepts as of equal
authority with the rest of the books of the Old and New Testament.
And so I say in this procedure of ours, in refusing to accept only
that which time and the inspiration of God shall demonstrate to be
absolutely true, we are but following the example of the ancient Church
of Christ.

We move forward now in our investigation of this charge of yours. You
say of us, that "Adding no spiritual truth to the aggregate of things
already revealed * * * contributing nothing to reverence for God or
to justice and mercy towards men, 'Mormonism' claims to be the only
authorized church of Christ on earth, and sets up a wholly unbiblical
test of salvation."

Gentlemen, you may not believe, of course, the claims of the "Mormon"
Church, but you cannot in truth say that we apply an "unbiblical test
of salvation." I pray you think of it for a moment. What is the claim
made for Joseph Smith? That he was a prophet sent of God with a divine
message, with a dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now,
just for a moment, just for the sake of the argument, suppose that
claim to be true, is the test we apply, at all, much less "wholly,"
unbiblical? May one reject God's message and stand uncondemned before
God? Assuredly not. What was the example Jesus set? This: "He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not
shall be damned." He was but proclaiming the message that God had given
to him, and he laid down this principle as connected with the authority
and commission he had bestowed upon the apostles when sending them into
the world: "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth
me receiveth him that sent me." What do we do, when we proclaim the
divine message with which the Prophet Joseph Smith was commissioned to
the world but just apply this same principle? Nothing more than this,
and of course we could do nothing less. As I remarked a moment ago, you
may refuse, as you do, to believe this message and testimony, but you
cannot say in truth that there is anything unbiblical in the principles
on which we proceed to make this declaration to the world: and, by the
way, don't you claim the same thing for your message? If you don't,
what does your message amount to? Are you not ministers of Jesus
Christ? Have you not come with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Can men
reject you and your doctrine and your message and still be secure in
the favor of God? Gentlemen, if you take that position, I brand you as
false teachers, untrue servants--not representatives of the Master. You
are weaker than water spilled upon the ground which one may not gather
again, if you come with a message one may reject with impunity. You are
talking an infinite deal of nonsense when you undertake criticism of
this kind.

Now we are told that because of the claims of "Mormonism" it provokes
searching investigation, for the reason that "it involves eternal
reprobation of those who finally reject it." Gentlemen, have you not
juggled here a little with words? And is it not just possible that
a wrong impression may go out from your view of our Address, rather
than from the Address itself? Is there such a thing in "Mormonism"
as eternal reprobation as generally understood in the theological
terminology of the world? With the single exception of those who come
to know the truth and then so far sin against it that they have no
power of repentance nor desire for forgiveness--the sons of perdition,
which all our works teach will be comparatively few in number--does not
"Mormonism," aside from these few, hold out a hope of salvation to all
the children of men? But of this we shall have more to say presently;
but the above in passing. Again, this searching investigation is
"provoked" because the claim of the "Mormon" Church to being the only
authorized Church of Christ, "involves the validity of all the Church
ordinances and of all ministerial functions, including the right to
solemnize marriages as administered by the Christian Church from the
second to the nineteenth century." Here we are approaching solid
ground of controversy. "Mormonism" does deny that divine authority
exists in the churches of the world, the churches of men, miscalled
Christian churches. We do not blanch from the position. We proclaim
it; although we do not wish to do so in any offensive way, but we have
to be witnesses for the truth. And God has revealed that to be the
truth. "Mormonism" is in the world because their was a real necessity
for its coming into the world. It did not come into existence through
theological disputations, because of differences of views about
baptism, or church government, or the nature of Deity, or any of these
things; but there had been, and mark it, gentlemen, a complete apostasy
from God's truth by the world. The Church of Christ as an organization,
and the gospel as a system of truth had been displaced by the
institutions and systems of men, consequently there was need of divine
authority being again conferred upon man and a new dispensation of the
gospel of Christ given to the world. It is our pride that "Mormonism"
is this restored gospel and Church of Christ.

I notice among this body of men I am addressing, the members of this
Ministerial association, the representative of the Episcopal church, a
branch of the great English church. He ought not to complain of this
attitude of the "Mormon" Church, for the reason that in one of the
Homilies of his church; in the Homily on the _Perils of Idolatry,_ it
is expressly stated that "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 800 years and
more." (_Perils of Idolatry_, p. 3). Certainly "Mormonism" does not
proclaim the apostasy more harshly than that, nor do we declare its
universality more emphatically, but I presume we are offensive to the
representatives of this particular church, the Episcopal, because we
include him and his organization as among those who are in the apostasy
and who have not the gospel of Christ. Yet we are not harder on him
or his church than he is upon the Catholic and all the rest of the
Christian world previous to the establishment of the Church of England
under the patronage of King Henry VIII of England, of unsavory memory,
and we do have this advantage, _viz_.:

That if we proclaim a universal apostasy, we also proclaim the
restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the renewal of divine
authority, the resumption of present-day and continuous revelation
from God. So we are in an infinitely better position, as to the
reasonableness of our attitude, than are those who proclaim this
apostasy and yet are without a renewal of a dispensation of the gospel
to the world.

There is one thing particularly offensive, in this ministerial review,
a misrepresentation put in the most offensive form. Not only do the
reviewers set forth that we deny the existence of divine authority
in their churches, and the nonexistence of the church of Christ for
centuries in the earth, but they say that our attitude involves the
validity of all ministerial functions, including the right to solemnize
marriages. They are not, I take it, responsible for the headlines of
their review as they appeared in the public press, but in order to make
the attitude of the "Mormon" Church as offensive as it could be made,
the headline said, "Gentile Marriage Ordinances Illegal Before God."
Now in justice to us I think this matter should have been put fairly,
and the exact status of the matter given. It should have appeared that
we regard marriage as a civil as well as a religious contract, and
our attitude with reference to divine things nowhere involves us in a
contradiction as to the validity of marriage as a civil contract, nor
as a relationship wholly sanctioned and approved by the divine favor
and blessing of God in this world. The extent to which we, in any way,
in thought or word, invalidate marriage ordinances is in saying that
marriage contracts formed in this world, either by civil authority or
by the authority of sectarian churches, do not extend the marriage
covenant beyond the period of this life. These gentlemen ought to have
been a little more careful, if not a little more honest in stating our
position upon this question. Allow me to do it for them.

Turning to the revelation on the subject of marriage, this is to be

    "Verily I say unto you that the conditions of this law are these:
    All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows,
    performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that
    are not made and entered into, and sealed, by the holy spirit of
    promise of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all
    eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment
    through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on
    the earth to hold this power * * * are of no efficacy, virtue,
    or force, in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all
    contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are


    "And every thing that is in the world, whether it be ordained of
    men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name,
    whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith
    the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are
    dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your

    "For whatsoever things remain, are by me; and whatsoever things
    are not by me, shall be shaken and destroyed. Therefore, if a man
    marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by
    my word; and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world,
    and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when
    they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they
    are not bound by any law when they are out of the world."

So far as any denial of the validity of marriages is concerned, it
relates only to denying their validity after the resurrection--not this
side of it; and, gentlemen, you ought not to complain of this, because
you yourselves, in performing the marriage ceremony, say, "I pronounce
you man and wife until death does you part." I think you ought not
to take offense at what we say on this subject--we say your marriage
ceremonies are of no binding effect in and after the resurrection, you
make no pretensions of marrying for eternity. The fact is, you scorn
and ridicule it. Before leaving this group of propositions with which
I am dealing, I desire to say respecting this question of universal
apostasy from the Christian faith--we can sustain the truth of that
declaration from Scripture, from history, from the condition of the
religious world at the opening of the nineteenth century. We have no
anxiety about it, but we have not time on this occasion to enter into
an argument on the justification of our attitude.

But, gentlemen, Christian gentlemen, what in reality is the difference
between your attitude and ours in respect of the world at large, and
the existence of the gospel in the earth, and consequences growing out
of those respective attitudes? You proclaim, do you not, that there
is no other name given under heaven whereby men can be saved except
the name of Jesus Christ? You insist, do you not, that there must be
acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do you not hold that
those who do not accept this gospel cannot receive the benefits of its
salvation? Now then, after two thousand years of proselyting in the
world, under the most favorable circumstances, what is the sum total of
your achievements? Why, less than one-third of the inhabitants of the
earth are even nominally Christians! and what is your attitude toward
God's children whom you have not converted. Why, that they are lost.
That is the inevitable result of your attitude and doctrine. Or else
you must say that men can be saved without the gospel of Christ. Now
the difference between your position and ours is simply this:

The proposition that you present to the world at large, we present
to you as well as to the rest of mankind--and you don't like your
own medicine--with this exception, and it is a grand exception, one
that goes far towards establishing the divine origin of this great
latter-day work; the exception is this: that whereas, your attitude and
principles condemn the great bulk of the human family to everlasting
perdition--and I am going to talk to you about perdition in a little
while, and point out what you mean by it--while you consign to eternal
perdition, I say, the great bulk of our Father's children, we proclaim
an "everlasting gospel," one that shall not only walk beside men
through this life but through all the ages that are to come. You say
in your review that we "contribute nothing to reverence for God, or
to justice or mercy toward men." Well, here is one little item that
"Mormonism" adds to the idea of justice and mercy, that is, we hold
that in any age, now or a thousand years hence, or five thousand or ten
thousand years hence, or ten million years hence--we hold that when an
intelligence, a man, shall learn that it profiteth nothing to violate
the law of God, but that it profiteth everything to yield obedience
to that law, and repentance takes hold of him, and he stretches out
his hands toward God--through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the hand of
God will find the man's hand and bring him unto salvation. That is the
difference between us, and I leave you to judge which smacks most of
the inspiration and truth of heaven.

We take up now another group of propositions: It is complained by
you, gentlemen, that the "Mormon" Church denies that the Christian
churches have been representing Christ for 1,700 years, notwithstanding
Christian martyrdoms, organized charities, the reforms the churches
have fostered, the progress of mankind which Christians have chiefly
promoted. I wish to explain briefly the attitude of the Church, with
reference to this interregnum between the apostasy and the restoration
of that gospel in the nineteenth century, through our prophet.

Our position is this: While there was this universal apostasy, while
the Church of Christ as an organization was destroyed, and replaced
by the churches of men, yet just as when the sun goes down, there
still remains light in the sky--so, too, notwithstanding this apostasy
from the Church, there still were left fragments of truth among the
children of men, and some measure of truth thank God, through his
mercy, has always remained with man, not only with Christians but with
all God's children. He has not left himself in any of the ages of the
world without his witnesses, and he has sanctified all generations
of men with some measure of the truth; therefore, when we proclaim
this apostasy from the Christian religion and the destruction of the
Church of Christ, it does not follow that we hold that all truth, that
all virtue, had departed from the world, or that God had absolutely
withdrawn from his creation. Not so. The light of truth burned in the
bosom of good men; but it does not follow that because these fragments
of truth remained there was necessarily the organized Church of Christ
and divine authority in the world. These fragments of the truth could
remain in the so-called Christian parts of the world, as we now know
them to exist in what is called the heathen world. Relative to the
reforms you claim that your churches have fostered and the progress
of mankind which Christians have chiefly promoted, you are aware,
gentlemen, that there is a certain class of thinkers among you--I mean
in the Christian world, not among "Mormons"--you are aware that there
is a school of thinkers among men who will tell you to your teeth, and
they will come very nearly proving the truth of it, that such progress
in civilization, in science, in arts, as the world has made in past
ages, has not been made _because_ of your churches, but _in spite_ of
them. They hold that your organizations have been found quite as often
against the progress of truth as standing in support of it. Taking the
whole time range into account, from the close of the second to the
opening of the nineteenth century, it would puzzle you to meet their
evidence and argument.

It is claimed that the brevity of our Address not only leaves much to
be desired, but that it is "positively misleading."

First, our reviewers claim that the address is misleading on the
subject of revelation. Still these reviewers are able to quote from
the Address as follows: "The theology of our Church is the theology
taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, the theology of Scripture and
reason. It not only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient Scripture,
and the binding force of divinely inspired acts and utterances in ages
past; but also declares that God now speaks to man in this final gospel
dispensation." That seems quite explicit to me. But, commenting upon
the passage, the reviewers say:

    "Under this declaration lies the claim of the 'Mormon'
    Church--constantly insisted upon in its congregation here and in
    surrounding regions--that the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and
    Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, together with the living
    oracles--_i.e._, certain members of the priesthood--are divinely
    inspired and are, therefore, of equal authority with the Bible.
    This claim, a knowledge of which is so necessary to even a
    tolerable understanding of their system of belief, is not plainly
    and explicitly set forth in the declaration of doctrine contained
    in the Address, but it has repeated and urgent emphasis in their
    teachings in 'Mormon' communities."

Now, be honest, gentlemen, is it not repeated everywhere with just as
much emphasis as in "Mormon" communities in Utah? Isn't it a universal
proclamation that we make to the world? You know it is, and you prove
that it is from the very works you quote to establish the fact that we
believe in that doctrine, and which are of world-wide circulation. It
was a vile effort at misrepresentation on your part to make it appear
otherwise. But on the subject of revelation, let us go to the Address
itself. What is said upon the subject of revelation is found on pages
three and four, and fourteen and fifteen: "Our religion is founded
on the revelations of God," * * * "It," [the Church of Christ] "not
only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient Scripture, and the binding
force of divinely-inspired acts and utterances in ages past; but also
declares that God now speaks to man in this final gospel dispensation."
At page 14 of the Address this is said:

    _"_It is sometimes urged that the permanent realization of such
    a desire [i.e., to live in peace with our fellow citizens] is
    impossible, since the Latter-day Saints hold as a principle of
    their faith that God now reveals himself to man, as in ancient
    times; that the priesthood of the Church constitute a body of
    men who have each for himself, in the sphere in which he moves,
    special right to such revelation; that the president of the Church
    is recognized as the only person through whom divine communication
    will come as law and doctrine to the religious body; that such
    revelation may come at any time, upon any subject, spiritual or
    temporal, as God wills; and finally that, in the mind of every
    faithful Latter-day Saint, such revelation, in whatsoever it
    counsels, advises, or commands, is paramount."

Now, gentlemen, will you tell me how we could be more frank or explicit
on the subject of revelation? And when you charge that in this document
we have not dealt candidly with the subject of revelation, why did you
not quote this passage I have just read, with the other passages that
you have quoted? Were you not trying to do a little misleading on your
own account? Did you deal quite fairly with the Address when you failed
to quote this very explicit passage just read?

Complaint is made about our belief in "Living Oracles" in the Church,
_i.e._, certain members of the priesthood who are divinely inspired,
and who may interpret the revelations and the laws of the Church.

Well, gentlemen, why do you complain of that? Books do not make
churches. How came we by the ancient scriptures? The Old and the
New Testament, I mean. We are instructed in the Scriptures that no
scripture is of private interpretation, but that "holy men of God spake
as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost," hence your Old Testament
and your New Testament. They came into existence exactly in the same
way that our scripture is coming into existence. The living oracles
make scripture; scriptures do not make living oracles. And that is what
is the matter with you, gentlemen; you have been relying upon books
instead of relying upon the fountain source of all wisdom, truth and
knowledge, the inspiration and revelation of God to the human soul.
You are book-made teachers, rather than God-made teachers. That is
the difference between the living oracles in the Church of Christ and
those who speak as the Scribes and Pharisees were wont to speak. The
people in ancient times were able to discern the difference; for they
said of Jesus that he spoke as one having authority, and not as the
Scribes and the Pharisees. We are in harmony with the whole course of
God's dealings with his children in this matter of developing his word
in his Church. Yes, we have living oracles in the Church, thank God;
and when they speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost their utterances
are the very word of God; and when the teachings and discourses of the
elders of the Church shall have been sifted and tried in the fire of
time, much that they have said will prove to be scripture, and thus the
Church of Christ of this dispensation shall make scriptures, just as
the Church of Christ of former dispensations has done.

Now I read to you another passage from this review. Complaint is made
against our address upon the ground that it treats very briefly--all
too briefly, the doctrines of the Church. I do not know but what it
is open to just criticism on that ground; for our doctrines are but
stated, as you may say, in headlines. I presume the Presidency of the
Church did not think the occasion called for an elaborate exposition of
the principles of our faith, with chapter and verse given for warrant
of the authority on which they rested. But the Church had been under
the fire of severe criticism for a period of four years or more. Its
doctrines had been assailed, the practices of its people had been
misrepresented, their character traduced, and their "whole course of
conduct reprobated and condemned." Taking these circumstances under
advisement, the Presidency of the Church thought, I presume, the time
propitious for an utterance which would in outline tell the world what
we believed, and correct the misunderstanding that obtained respecting
our past history and present position. The address was not designed,
as I understand it, to be a complete exposition of our faith, but a
declaration of our present attitude.

On the doctrine of the Godhead these Christian gentlemen, our
reviewers, think that the statement of the Address to the effect
that we believe in the Godhead, comprising the three individual
personages--Father, Son and Holy Ghost--is a declaration that will not
perhaps suggest Tritheism or materialism to Christians unfamiliar with
"Mormon" "theological terms." "But," they continue, "when the full
doctrine of the Deity, as taught in 'Mormon' congregations, is known,
it will at once be seen that no Christian can accept it. In fact," they
say, "the 'Mormon' Church teaches that God the Father has a material
body of flesh and bone; that Adam is the God of the human race; that
this Adam-God was physically begotten by another God; that the Gods
were once as we are now; that there is a great multiplicity of Gods;
that Jesus Christ was physically begotten by the heavenly Father of
Mary, his wife; that as we have a heavenly Father, so also we have a
heavenly mother; that Jesus himself was married, and was probably a

Let me say, in treating this group of statements, that these gentlemen
nowhere support these allegations by citations from our authoritative
works that the Church accepts as binding in doctrine; but they do
quote the commentaries of men, which often express only individual
opinions. I might dismiss this group of charges against the "Mormon"
Church, therefore, by this statement of the case: the Church is not
bound to defend any doctrine that is not explicitly found in the works
of the Church setting forth authoritatively her doctrines. But I do
not propose to dismiss the charges in any such fashion. I propose to
grapple with them, and meet them, I trust to your satisfaction and to
the satisfaction of these gentlemen.

First, as to God having a body of flesh and bone--being a material
personage. I want to find out what there is wrong, unscriptural,
unphilosophical or immoral about that doctrine. And for the purpose
of this discussion, I am going to put in contrast to our belief, that
God is a spirit inhabiting a body of flesh and bone--an exalted, a
perfected man, if you will--the statement of the belief of these
reviewers as to the nature of God. And, by the way, they are so nearly
at one upon this doctrine, that the Church of England's creed, the
statement of the Episcopal church on the doctrine, will be acceptable,
I doubt not, to them all. On this subject these gentlemen hold: "There
is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body"--and that
term "body," by the way, does not mean to deny that God has a body in
fashion like man's; but it means that he is not matter, not material.
Continuing then--"without body, parts or passions; of infinite power,
wisdom and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, both
visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three
Persons of one substance, power and eternity: the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost."

Of Jesus the creed says:

    "The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from
    everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one
    substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the
    blessed virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect
    natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined
    together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ
    very God and very Man."


    "Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body,
    with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of
    man's nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth,
    until he return to judge all men at the last day."

Mark what is said here of Jesus. You say that "the Godhead and manhood"
in Jesus "were joined together in one person," that is, his spirit and
his body are united, never to be severed or disunited. Now I put to you
this question: Is the Lord Jesus Christ God? Yes, you must answer. Then
is not God an exalted man according to your creed? Listen--and this is
your belief as expressed in your creed--"Christ did truly rise again
from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things
appertaining to the perfection of man's nature; wherewith he ascended
into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the
last day."

According to this statement of the matter, Jesus has not been dissolved
into some spiritual, immaterial essence, and widely diffused throughout
the universe as some spiritual presence. No; he is a substantial,
resurrected personage, a united spirit and body; and "The Godhead,
and Manhood" that are united in the Christ--the humanity and the
divinity--are "never to be divided." He is recognized and worshiped by
you, gentlemen, as "very God and very man." This, of course, scarcely
meets the description of the first paragraph of the creed used here,
where God is declared to be not matter, that is "without body, parts or
passions." But then that contradiction is your affair, your trouble,
not ours. It is enough that I call your attention to the fact that the
second part of your creed leads you closely to the "Mormon" doctrine
that God is an exalted, perfected man, since Jesus, according to your
creed, is God, and yet a resurrected man sitting in heaven until his
return to judge all men at the last day.

And now as to there being more Gods than one. We believe the Scripture
which says that Jesus was the brightness of God's glory, "and the
express image of his person" (Heb. 1:3). And as we know what kind of
a person the Christ is, who "possessed all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily;" and who, when he declared that all power in heaven and in
earth had been given unto him, and he was in the act of sending his
disciples into all the world to teach and baptize in the authority of
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--was a resurrected, immortal man, of
spirit, flesh and bone. And since, I say, the scripture teaches that
the Son was the express image of the Father's person, we conclude that
the Father must be a personage of spirit, flesh and bone, just as the
Son, Jesus, is. Indeed your Athanasian creed says that "such as the
Father is, such is the Son;" and of course, it follows that, such as
the Son is, such is the Father; that is, the Father is a personage of
spirit, flesh and bone, united in one person, "very God and very man,"
just as Jesus is. And there are two separate personages, each distinct
from the other in person, two individuals, but both of the same divine
nature; and if two separate personages, individuals, may participate in
the one divine nature, it logically follows that a larger number than
two or three may participate in that nature. And hence the Scriptures
represent in many places the existence of a plurality of divine
personages, how many we do not know, and it does not matter. But we
hear of God saying, "Let us make man in our image; the man has become
as one of us, knowing good and evil;" "God standeth in the congregation
of the Mighty, he judgeth among the Gods. * * * I have said Ye are
Gods, and all of you are children of the most High." The last a passage
of the Psalms, quoted and defended by the Savior as a justification of
his own claim to sonship with God. And now, if the great archangel,
Michael, or Adam, is among that number of exalted, divine souls, what
more fitting than that the father of the human race shall become the
great, presiding patriarch of our earth and its redeemed inhabitants;
and the one with whom our race would most immediately have to do? What
sacrilege is there in this thought? Is it not reasonable that it should
be so?

Of your nonsense of one being three, and three being but one, we will
say nothing, except to remark that you must reform your arithmetic, if
you expect sensible people to pay attention to your doctrines.

One other item in which we offend these reverend gentlemen is that
we believe Jesus had a Father as well as a mother. Now, gentlemen,
honestly, is it any worse for him to have had a Father than it is for
him to have had a mother? You concede that he had a mother; that his
body grew as yours did, in the womb of his mother; that he came forth
of the womb by birth pains; that he suckled at the breast of woman;
that through the months and years of infant weakness he was watched and
guided by the hand of a loving mother. Tell me, is it true, that in
your philosophy of things it is all right for Jesus to have a mother,
but a terrible sin and blasphemy to think of him as having a father?
Is not fatherhood as sacred and holy as motherhood? Listen, people,
there is something else. Having objected to our idea of Jesus having
a father, these peculiarly pious gentlemen turn now and object to our
faith because we believe that we have for our spirits a heavenly mother
as well as a heavenly father! They quote, in part, that splendid hymn
of ours on heavenly motherhood, the great throbbing hunger of woman's
soul, and which was given to this world through the inspired mind of
Eliza R. Snow; the hymn is known to us as "O My Father."

In the Scripture we read: "We have had fathers of the flesh, and we
did give them reverence, shall we not much rather be subject to the
Father of spirits and live?" So that we know we have had a father to
our spirits; but because we hold that the spirits of men have also a
mother in heaven, as well as a father, behold these reviewers complain
against us. Now, observe the peculiar position of these critics: It is
all right for Jesus to have a mother; but it is all wrong for him to
have a father. On the other hand, it is all right for men's spirits to
have a Father in heaven, but our reviewers object to our doctrine of
their also having a mother there. I sometimes wonder what in the world
is the matter with you, gentlemen. I am puzzled to classify your views,
or the kind of beings with which you people heaven. One of your own
number, however, has thrown some light upon that subject, and has so
classified you--saving me the trouble--as to enable us to understand to
some extent your peculiar views. I have a book here that I am going to
use in this controversy. It is a new one. I got it three days ago, and
have read it nearly through in order to be prepared for this occasion.
It is the work of Rev. R. J. Campbell, of City Temple, London, and it
is a treatise on the _New Theology,_ just now much talked of in Europe.
He describes ministers of the gospel and gives them the classification
referred to a moment since, and which I think must needs be all right,
since it comes from a minister. He takes the average business man of
England, naming him "John Smith," for convenience, and he says this
about John:

    "John Smith, with whom we used to go to school, and who has since
    developed into a stolid British man of business, with few ideas
    and a tendency toward conservatism--John is a stalwart, honest,
    commonplace kind of person, of whom brilliant things were never
    prophesied and who has never been guilty of any. His wife and
    children go to church on Sundays. John seldom goes himself, because
    it bores him, but he likes to know that religion is being attended
    to, and he does not want to hear that his clergyman is attempting
    any daring flights. He has a good-natured contempt for clergymen
    in general, because he feels somewhat that, like women, they have
    to be treated with half-fictitious reverence, but that they do not
    count for much in the ordinary affairs of life, they are a sort of
    a third sex."

Now, ladies, I ask you to remember, in passing, that I am reading
the words of somebody else; their are not my words. The phrase
"half-fictitious reverence" is not mine. I think we ought to have real
reverence for women; no fictitious reverence at all.

The ministers are here in this passage described as "a sort of third
sex," and I am inclined to think that is right; for when a man in one
case objects to a person having a father, and in another case considers
it altogether unholy for persons to have a mother, I do not know how
else to classify him but as "a sort of third sex"-kind of a man.

There seems to be objection in the review to the idea of the marriage
relation existing in heaven and subsisting between divine beings.
Loud complaint is made, if you hold that the intelligences of heaven
obey the law of marriage. Let me ask you, Christian gentlemen, Who
instituted marriage? You will answer, God. Is it holy or unholy? Did
God institute an unholy thing and command men to engage in it? You will
have to say that marriage is holy, since God instituted it. Very good.
Then if it is holy, how do you make it out that it will be unholy for
divine personages to practice it? Is it not just as good for divine
personages as for you imperfect men? Can it be that your ideas of the
relationship of the sexes are so impure that you must needs regard that
association as so unholy as to be unworthy of divine beings? Let me
read to you what a great English author--Jeremy Taylor--says on this
subject of, marriage:

    "Marriage is the mother of the world and preserves kingdoms, and
    fills cities and churches, and heaven itself. Like the useful
    bee, it builds a house and gathers sweetness from every flower,
    and labors and unites into societies and republics, and sends out
    colonies, and feeds the world with delicacies, and obeys and keeps
    order, and exercises many virtues and promotes the interest of
    mankind, and is that state of good to which God hath designed the
    present constitution of the world."

Now, you prate to us about our belief, or the belief of some of us at
least, that divine personages are in this holy relationship. But tell
me what it is that has been the great civilizing force of this and all
other ages? What is it that best tempers man, and fits him for the
society of his fellows and for holy communion with God? There is no
force within the experience of man, that is so beneficial or ennobling
to him as the love and devotion of a pure, good woman; and for woman
there is nothing that is so sanctifying as the love of an upright,
honorable man, whose arm protects her and whose love shields her from
the evils of the world. These relations, blessed with the pledges of
their affection in off-spring, complete the circle of man's happiness,
and greatness, and exaltation of spirit in this world. It is the
civilizing force that stands pre-eminent above all others. And that
which sanctifies man here in this world may be trusted not to degrade
him in the eternities that are to come, but, on the contrary, will
contribute to his exaltation and his eternal glory. That is our faith,
at least, and we would not change it for all the sexless, hermaphrodite
existences that your warped minds paint in such glowing colors.

We offend again in our doctrine that men are of the same race with the
divine personages we call Gods. Great stress is laid upon the idea that
we believe that "as man is, God once was, and as God now is, man may
become." The world usually shouts "blasphemy" and "sacrilege" at one
when he talks of such a possibility. But the world moves, I am happy to
say. Just now, in England, especially, there is a thought-revolution
under way. Some have declared that in importance and extent it is as
great as was the revolution of the sixteenth century, led by Martin
Luther. The present recognized leader of this movement is the Rev.
R. J. Campbell, of the City Temple, London, whose book I referred
to a moment ago. This "New Theology," so-called, has the outspoken
support of the _Christian Commonwealth,_ of London, a publication
of wide influence. A "Society for the Encouragement of Progressive
Religious Thought" has been organized to champion the ideas of the
"New Theology." Mr. Campbell numbers among his champions Dr. John
Clifford, the leading figure in the English Baptist church, also Dr.
R. F. Horton, chairman of the London Congregational Union. In America,
his sympathizers and opponents seem to be equally numerous. Mr. W. T.
Stead, of the _Review of Reviews,_ compares the present theological
ardor in London with that which marked Alexandria in the days of
Athanasius, "when fishmongers at their stalls discussed the doctrine of
the trinity." The strife of tongues has reached even to Germany, where
Prof. Harnack, the eminent theologian, interprets it as a proof that
the "formal theology of the creeds [your creeds, gentlemen,] is being
gradually displaced by the vital theology of experience."

I want to read to you some key-words of this new theology which is
making its way among all churches. It is' not an organized movement.
No one appears to know whence it springs. Indeed, it is spoken of as
being one of those pulsations of the "cosmic mind" which moves over the
people at intervals and proclaims some great truth. Now, you will be
astonished at the fundamental truth of this new movement, and the great
number of people who are accepting it as the "theology of experience."
Its fundamental principle is the recognition of the identity between
human nature and the divine nature.

In proof of it, I submit the following passages:

    "Whence springs the deep-seated hostility of so man, of the
    representatives of labor to the churches? It can only be from the
    fact that organized religion has, in the immediate past, lost
    sight of its own fundamental, the divineness of man." (Rev. R. J.
    Campbell, in _Hibbert Journal,_ April, 1907, p. 487.)

    "When the man with a burdened conscience comes to us for relief,
    let us tell him that we all bear the burden together, and that
    until he becomes a Christ all the love in the universe will come to
    his help and share his struggle. His burden is ours, the burden of
    the Christ incarnate for the redemption of the world." (_Ibid,_ p.

    "The starting point in the New Theology is belief in the immanence
    of God, and the essential oneness of God and man. * * * We believe
    man to be a revelation of God, and the universe one means to the
    self-manifestation of God. * * * * We believe that there is no real
    distinction between humanity and the Deity.

    "Our being is the same as God's, although our consciousness of it
    is limited. * * * The new theology holds that human nature should
    be interpreted in terms of its own highest nature, therefore it
    reverences Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was divine, 'but so are we.'
    * * * Every man is a potential Christ, or rather a manifestation of
    the eternal Christ. * * * The new theology * * * is the gospel of
    the humanity of God and the divinity of man." (Campbell, _London
    Daily Mail,_ quoted in _Current Literature,_ April, 1907.)

    "I shall continue to feel compelled to believe that the power
    which produced Jesus must be at least equal to Jesus, so Jesus
    becomes my gateway to the innermost of God. When I look at him I
    say to myself, God is that, and if I can only get down to the truth
    about myself I shall find that I am too. * * * In him (Jesus) the
    humanity was divinity and divinity humanity. * * * But you make
    him only a man! No, reader, I do not. I make him the only man, and
    there is a difference. We have only seen perfect manhood once,
    and that was the manhood of Jesus. The rest of us have got to get
    there. * * * We have to get rid of the dualism which will insist on
    putting humanity and Deity into two separate categories.

    "Unitarians used to declare that Jesus was man, not God."
    Trinitarianism maintained that he was God and man; the older
    Christian thought as well as the youngest regards him as God in
    man--God manifest in the flesh. But here emerges a great point of
    difference between the new theology on the one hand and traditional
    orthodoxy on the other. The latter would restrict the description
    'God manifest in the flesh' to Jesus alone; the new theology would
    extend it in a lesser degree to all humanity, and would maintain
    that in the end it will be as true of every individual soul as it
    ever was of Jesus. Indeed, it is this belief that gives value and
    significance to the earthly mission of Jesus--he came to show us
    what we potentially are." (_The New_ _Theology,_ Campbell, pp. 82,

There is much more to the same effect, which I now pass.

I am now going to read to you from a higher authority than Mr.
Campbell--from a man of science, a man whose intellectual powers
sway the religious thought of many thousands in Great Britain, the
thoughts of many more people than Mr. Campbell sways. I refer to Sir
Oliver Lodge, who says in the _Hibbert Journal,_ one of the foremost
publications in the world on the subject of theology and philosophy,
with reference to the divinity of Jesus, and the identity of the divine
and human nature:

    "The conception of the Godhead formed by some divine philosophers
    and mystics has quite rightly been so immeasurably vast, though
    still assuredly utterly inadequate and necessarily beneath
    reality, that the notion of a God revealed in human form--born,
    suffering, tormented, killed--has been utterly incredible. 'A
    crucified prophet, yes; but a crucified God! I shudder at the
    blasphemy,' is a known quotation which I cannot now verify; yet
    that apparent blasphemy is the soul of Christianity. It calls
    upon us to recognize and worship a crucified, an executed God.
    * * * The world is full of men. What the world wants is a God.
    Behold the God! (referring of course, to Jesus,) 'The divinity of
    Jesus' is the truth which now requires to be re-perceived, to be
    illuminated afresh by new knowledge, to be cleansed and revivified
    by the wholesome flood of skepticism which has poured over it; it
    can be freed now from all trace of groveling superstition, and
    can be recognized freely and enthusiastically; the divinity of
    Jesus, (Mark you--'the divinity of Jesus') and of all other noble
    and saintly souls, in so far as they too have been inflamed by
    a spark of Divinity--in so far as they too can be recognized as
    manifestations of the Divine." (_Hibbert Journal_ for April, 1906,
    pp. 654-5.)

That is the doctrine, gentlemen, that is sweeping the earth, "the
divinity of Jesus," and the divinity of "all other noble and saintly
souls"--the kinship of men and God. That is "Mormonism," and it was
proclaimed by the great prophet of the nineteenth century, half a
century before these modern minds were awakened to its grandeur and
to its uplifting power. I rejoice to see it running in the earth to
be glorified, for in it I recognize the very root principle of all
religion and out of it grow all the relations that link us with all
that is pure, uplifting and divine.

Now, do not misunderstand me. There is much nonsense in this "New
Theology;" but this root principle of it is true, and it is in accord
with the principles that Joseph Smith proclaimed years ago. The
doctrine of the immanence of God in the world, by which we mean the
universe and the divinity of man, instead of its having its origin
some fifteen or twenty years ago, and now finding expression in the
beautiful diction of Mr. Campbell and Sir Oliver Lodge and others, it
was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, at least over seventy years
ago. Concerning the immanence of God, he taught the following in 1832:
He first represents that the spirit of Christ is "in all and through
all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth." Then he adds:

    "This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the
    light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As
    also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power
    thereof by which it was made. As also the light of the stars, and
    the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and
    the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the
    light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who
    enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth
    your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence
    of God to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all
    things; which giveth life to all things; which is the law by which
    all things are governed; even the power of God who sitteth upon his
    throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all

The prophet further declared, in 1833, that "the elements are eternal,
and spirit and element inseparably connected receive a fullness of joy.
The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of
God, even temples."

Again, I say, there is much in the so-called "New Theology" which we
cannot accept, such as the denial of the atonement, its treatment
of the Scriptures and the like, but in so far as these fundamental
principles of it are concerned--the immanence of God in the world,
and the identity of the race of man and divine beings--there can be
no question as to their accuracy. And those Christian people who are
not accepting these ideas are not moving forward with the far-flung
thought-line of God's revelations on these matters.

We next come to the subject of priesthood. It is declared by the
reviewers that the teaching of the Church upon this important doctrine
is not candidly set forth in our Address. Then they give us a long
line of quotations, most of them from the _Seer,_ upon the subject of
priesthood; and insist that the priesthood involves the possession and
exercise of arbitrary power in all things, in things both spiritual
and temporal. I read to you a passage or two from the Address on the
subject of priesthood that you may see the injustice of this charge:

    "We affirm that to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, the
    authority must be given of God; and that this authority is the
    power of the holy priesthood.

    "We affirm that through the ministration of immortal personages,
    the holy priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age,
    and that under this divine authority the Church of Christ has been

The reviewers quote this far, and then stop to remark--but without
returning to quote again from the Address--"so it is declared; but
the teaching of the Church on this important doctrine is not herein
candidly set forth." Then why did not you reviewers go to another part
of the document where the matter is more explicitly set forth and quote
that? Following the fragment you do quote occurs this passage which
declares the express purposes for which the priesthood was given:

    "We proclaim the objects of this organization to be, the preaching
    of the gospel in all the world, the gathering of scattered Israel,
    and the preparation of a people for the coming of the Lord."

But you reviewers say this "power extends not only to things spiritual,
but to secular matters as well." Within certain limitations, granted;
and the acknowledgment of the fact is found in the Address itself which
you charge with being uncandid. Here is the passage:

    "That the Church claims the right to counsel and advise her members
    in temporal as well as in spiritual affairs is admitted. Leading
    Church officials, men of practical experience in pioneer life,
    have aided the people in establishing settlements throughout
    the inter-mountain west, and have given them, gratuitously, the
    benefit of their broader knowledge of things, through counsel and
    direction, which the people have followed to their advantage; and
    both the wisdom of the leaders and the good sense of the people
    are vindicated in the results achieved. All this has been done
    without the exercise of arbitrary power. It has resulted from wise
    counsels, persuasively given and willingly followed."

But you insist that there is "tyranny and arbitrary ruler-ship" over
a community which indorses the priesthood's high claims. I deny the
existence of such tyranny as a fact among the "Mormon" people who
indorse the priesthood's high claims; and I deny the existence of
arbitrary power as a doctrine of the Church, and so does the Address
which you pretend to review. Here is the passage:

    "We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church" [why
    didn't you gentlemen quote that]; "and this because its government
    is moral government purely, and its forces are applied through
    kindness, reason, and persuasion. Government by consent of the
    governed is the rule of the Church."

Following is a summary of the word of the Lord, setting forth the
principles on which the Church government is to be administered:

    "The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the
    powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled
    nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they
    may be conferred upon men, it is true; but when they undertake to
    cover their sins, or gratify their pride, their vain ambition, or
    exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of
    the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, the Spirit
    of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the
    priesthood or the authority of that man. No power or influence
    can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only
    by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and
    by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall
    greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile."

Gentlemen, those are our principles. Why didn't you quote them fairly
and fully, instead of charging arbitrary power, when it is expressly
denied by what we regard as the very word of God? Honestly, now, did
you deal fairly with us when you came to this part of your review? But,
you say, "given the power of the 'Mormon' priesthood, that it should
not be used is incompatible with the known facts of human nature."
Well, if it does attempt arbitrary power, it will be in violation of
our principles, and not in harmony with them; and that fact furnishes
a basis for the correction of any abuses that may arise. And while it
is true that here and there, throughout a long experience, there may
have been individual instances of the exercise of arbitrary rule in the
Church, yet speaking for the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, as a whole, I challenge you to duplicate the same
honorable conduct anywhere within the experience of men, where those
entrusted with power have so uniformly abstained from abusing it while
exercising the functions of government. The Latter-day Saints love
their leaders, living and dead, and not without cause, I assure you;
for these men have labored in season and out of season, persuading,
counseling, advising, and guarding the interests of their people with
an unselfishness that tells us something of the love of God, and that
without effort at personal aggrandizement or enrichment. The lives and
labors of the priesthood are a vindication of its divine origin and

The review further says that when once "the Church's claim for its
priesthood is allowed, the claim of jurisdiction in civil matters
logically follows." But, gentlemen, why did you not point out the fact,
or at least admit it in some form, that the address you were reviewing
_emphatically excepted out of its jurisdiction the sphere of civil
government?_ You could have edified those whom you are so anxious to
enlighten with such passages as these:

    "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. On the
subject of the relations of the Church and the State the Address says:

    "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."

Again I read from the review, and this time I deal with a passage
which the reviewers themselves say "dwarfs everything mentioned in the
Address." We shall see what comes of it:

    "Apparently the foundation of the 'Mormon' Church is in the Book
    of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price,
    and the testimony of the living oracles delivered from time to
    time. But whoever digs down to the lowermost foundation will find
    that, at last, everything rests upon the reported visions of
    Joseph Smith. When any matter of vital importance is presented
    for the belief of mankind, if that matter, either in its nature
    or the circumstances attending it, lies very much outside the
    ordinary, a due regard for human intelligence demands that,
    whatever testimony is produced in support of it shall be buttressed
    by corroborative evidence. But here we have a system of religion
    which claims sole authority as being alone divinely accredited.
    It asks for the acceptance of mankind on the ground of being so
    accredited. It anathematizes all who finally reject it. Yet this
    religion, making such an astonishing claim, is founded upon the
    unsupported assertion of a young person whose probity was never so
    well established that his naked word would be taken concerning any
    matter transcending ordinary observation and experience; and that
    assertion touches supernatural appearances, and messages which, if
    true, are of the most profound importance to mankind; and yet that
    assertion is wholly without corroborative evidence."

Gentlemen--Christian gentlemen--you who are such sticklers for
candor--have you spoken truly here, and in a matter which you say
dwarfs everything else mentioned in the Address? What of the testimony
of three certain witnesses, who claim that they stood with Joseph
Smith wrapt in open vision, in the light of day; who give their most
solemn asseveration that a holy angel came into their presence on
that occasion, laid before them certain ancient documents, turned
over the leaves, conversed with them, and at the same time they heard
the voice of God saying that the translation of the Book of Mormon by
Joseph Smith was true, and commanded them to bear witness of it to
all the world--which they did, over their own signatures, and that
testimony is printed in every edition of the Book of Mormon? What of
the testimony of eight other witnesses, to whom Joseph Smith handed
the book of plates, and they handled and hefted them, and passed them
one to the other, and examined the engravings thereon; and they gave
their testimony to the world to this effect, which testimony has been
published with every edition of the Book of Mormon given to the world.
Did you overlook this corroborative testimony? Is it true that you
gave so slight attention to the subject you were reviewing that you
could make a misstatement of the kind just mentioned? Were you so
unacquainted with it? Must we think you so dull? If we acquit you of
stupidity, what then? Must we not think of you as uttering falsehood?
What of the testimony of Oliver Cowdery, who stood wrapt in vision in
the Kirtland temple with Joseph Smith? And of Sidney Rigdon, wrapt in
vision with Joseph Smith, from which resulted their conjoint testimony
concerning that grandest of revelations ever given to man on the
doctrine of the future degrees of glory in which men will live in the
eternities? I do not desire to use harsh language; I will not say that
you wilfully, maliciously, ponderously and atrociously lied; because
while all that might be true, one would be accused of harshness if he
said it; but I will say that you have economized the truth, and you may
settle it with your own consciences.

Our subject increases in interest as you get into it, and perhaps it is
well it is so, else your interest might falter. We come now to a very
interesting topic--that of polygamy. This is the darling theme of the
reviewers, and so we will not slight it by saying nothing about it. I
had best read what they say on this point:

    "We have no means of knowing to what extent the practice of plural
    marriage has been discontinued in the 'Mormon' Church, since
    no records of such marriages are kept by the Church that are
    accessible to the public. That there have been instances of such
    marriages ever since the agreement of the Church to discontinue
    them, we know; that they cannot be celebrated without the sanction
    of the Church accredited officials, is unquestioned; that, so far
    as the public knowledge goes, no officials who may have celebrated
    such marriages have been disciplined therefor is certain."

Throughout one cannot help believing that these gentlemen are not
quite candid with reference to this subject. I do not believe that
in the State of Utah there is any one, in the Church or out of it,
who does not believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints has stopped the practice of, or sanctioning and performing
plural marriages. I am of the opinion that everybody is settled in his
conviction in relation to that matter.

It requires time for the settlement of such questions as those involved
in the system of plural marriage, as once practiced in the Church.
No proclamation is at first understood. Differences of opinion and
variety of interpretation are bound to exist concerning matters of this
description. And when the announcement was made in President Woodruff's
manifesto of the discontinuance of plural marriage, and the advice was
given that our people should contract no marriages contrary to the
law, the question arose in the minds of some whether that prohibition
was not limited to marriages within the United States, and whether by
refraining from contracting such marriages within the United States
would not fulfill the covenant and agreement implied in the manifesto.
The matter was discussed pro and con. Ultimately, however, the
conclusion was inevitable that the manifesto forbade plural marriages
in all the world; because the Church is not a local Church: it is
not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the United
States alone; but it is a world-wide Church; and when its general
conference speaks, it speaks for the entire Church in all the world.
Hence, I say, the conclusion was inevitable that plural marriages were
everywhere forbidden; and when some men held tenaciously to the view
that that was not the case, but that the Church fulfilled her agreement
to discontinue plural marriage by abstaining from performing plural
marriages within the United States--when that view was persisted in, I
say, there was but one thing left, and that was to conclude that such
persons were out of harmony with the Church. Two of the twelve apostles
held that view; they were declared by their associates to be out of
harmony with their brethren in these matters, they tendered their
resignations which were accepted; and since that time there has been
no question in the Church, or out of it, as to where the Church stands
on the subject of discontinuing plural marriages, and I do not believe
that there is any doubt on that subject existing in the minds of the
gentlemen who formulated this review.

In confirmation of this I submit the letter of resignation of John W.

    "SALT LAKE CITY, OCTOBER 28, 1905.

    "_To the Council of the Twelve Apostles_:

    "DEAR BRETHREN:--I hereby tender to you my resignation as a member
    of the council of the twelve apostles, as it is clear to me that I
    have been out of harmony with you on some very important matters
    which have apparently brought reproach upon the Church of Jesus
    Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    "I wish to state in the first place that I have not violated the
    laws of the United States, nor of the State of Utah, in relation
    to polygamous or plural marriages; also that the authorities of
    the Church have not directed or authorized me to do so, or to do
    anything contrary to the rules of the Church as adopted by that

    "But I find that I have been out of harmony with the said
    authorities as to the scope and meaning of the manifesto issued
    by President Woodruff and adopted by the general conference, on
    October 6, 1890, and also as to the meaning of the last clause
    of the petition for amnesty to President Benjamin Harrison in
    December, 1891. I have always believed that the government of the
    United States had jurisdiction only with its own boundaries, and
    that the term 'laws of the land' in the manifesto meant merely
    the laws of the United States. I find now that this opinion is
    different to that expressed by the Church authorities, who have
    declared that the prohibition against plural marriages extended to
    every place and to every part of the Church. It is doubtless true
    that this view of the matter has been given by President Woodruff
    and others, but I have never taken that as binding upon me or the
    Church, because it [such interpretation] was never presented for
    adoption by 'common consent,' as was the manifesto itself, and I
    have disputed its authority as a law or a rule of the Church.

    "I acknowledge that I received a request from President Joseph F.
    Smith, by letter, to appear as a witness in the Reed Smoot case
    before the Senate committee on Privileges and Elections, but I
    declined to do so because, while I recognized his right to direct
    me in Church affairs, I did not think his authority extended to
    civil affairs to the extent that I should expose my family concerns
    and be questioned and be held up to public ignominy as some of my
    brethren were before that body, and I still hold the same views
    upon that matter.

    "Inasmuch as I have not been in harmony with my brethren on these
    subjects, and I have been called in question concerning them, I
    now submit to their discipline, and, to save further controversy,
    tender this my resignation, and hope for such clemency in my case
    as they may deem right and just and merciful.

    "Your brother,

    (Signed) "JOHN W. TAYLOR."

The explanation accompanying the resignation of Elder Cowley was of
similar import.

Another complaint of our reviewers is that polygamy is only abrogated
as to practice, and that belief in the divinity of the principle is
still held by the Latter-day Saints.

Well, gentlemen, what of it? Whose business is it? Do you hold that you
may enter the sacred precincts of the mind and uproot our opinions?
Your law gives you the right to punish overt acts; but you have no
law and no right to enter the domain of conscience and interfere with
what is held there as the truth. Hands off here! Our belief is our
own. We have a right to our opinions. If you don't believe them, that
is nothing to us, we do. And if you have not succeeded in converting
us, we can't help that. You have got all you deserve out of this
controversy on our marriage system. Properly this was a question which
belonged to the dominion of reason, scripture and polemics. You should
have convinced us, as ministers of Christ, from the word of God and
from the nature of the things involved, that the principle itself was
untrue. But you were not content to leave it to the arbitrament of
discussion and reason; you must needs play upon the prejudices of the
masses and induce them to belabor Congress with their petitions until
your inimical legislation was put upon the statute books; and the
crusade against the practice of our marriage system was declared, and
those who practiced it were raided with unabated vigor for years. We
yielded at last to superior force, not to your arguments, because we
successfully met them. You remember the occasion, do you not, of the
chaplain of the Senate of the United States coming to this very forum,
and here discussing the question, "Does the Bible Sanction Polygamy?"
That your champion was vanquished in the contest is evidenced from
the fact that we publish as a campaign document both sides of
the Pratt-Newman discussion. If you have not convinced us of the
incorrectness of our principles, it must be because of the lameness of
your reasoning, the weakness of your argument, and you must be content
with the result so long as we do not carry into practice that principle
which we believe. We have a right to our belief in that or any other
doctrine as abstract principles, whether our belief suits you or not,
and we have the right to freely express that belief, and if you don't
like it, you may go hang.

Again the review says: "No denial is made of the practice of polygamous
living. The 'Address' admits that authoritative figures officially
collected show 897 male polygamists in the year 1902. The fact that
later reports are not quoted leads to the reasonable belief that since
that date the number of male polygamists has not diminished but rather

It is true the address brings down the figures no further than 897 in
1902; but the address does say "and many of these have since passed
away." Besides, there was a statement made upon the floor of the Senate
of the United States, based upon official figures, to the effect that
the number had been reduced to at least 500. Here is the passage:

    "Careful statistics have been taken and preserved, and will be
    found in the testimony, which show that this number has gradually
    decreased until there was at the time the testimony closed [before
    the Senate committee on Privileges and Elections having in charge
    the Smoot case] not to exceed five hundred such households in
    existence."--(_Congressional Record,_ p. 3269.)

Now, gentlemen, here was an opportunity for you to exercise a little
generosity instead of juggling with alleged conditions in Utah, so
as to express your belief that these cases of polygamous living have
increased rather than diminished, you could have called attention to
what were the facts in the case--that it was said upon the floor of the
Senate of the United States that the reduction had been to 500, and
that time would soon obliterate this question from among our problems.

Let us discuss for a moment this subject of polygamous living. It is
doubtless a difficult problem. It has been difficult for some few men
to discern the line of duty in the matter; but, thank God, the most of
our brethren have not found it difficult to determine what their duty
was in the premises. Notwithstanding that through interpretations the
meaning of the Manifesto has been made to cover polygamous living as
well as new marriages; and logically, however much it may have been
misunderstood, that conclusion was inevitable; and it is conceded that
the law of the land forbids the continuance of these relations--yet,
in the face of these conditions, men have concluded that their moral
obligations to; their families demanded that they should be true to
the relationships into which they had entered in good faith, and under
what they regarded as the sanctions of the law of God. You, gentlemen
of the Ministerial Association do me the honor to quote some words of
mine uttered seven years ago, while in attendance upon Congress, and
trying to maintain the seat that had been given me by the suffrages
of the people of my state. I wish now to repeat what I said then,
though in better form, because the words I uttered at that time were
somewhat garbled, by the report made of them--not intentionally
garbled, by Mr. Arthur McEwen, who reported them. I will say that for
him, because I believe it, and he is since and recently dead. But so
far as I am concerned, I stand exactly where I did seven years ago,
namely, that though the Church proclaimed against the continuance of
that relationship contracted under her sanctions, though the state by
statute proclaimed against it, neither Church nor state can dissolve
the moral obligations I feel I am under to discharge what I regard as
a moral duty. I ask you, gentlemen, to consider this proposition. What
prompts this adherence to these relationships by myself and other men
in our Church? You must concede that the most of those involved in
these relations have passed middle life. They have entered upon the
period of the "sere and yellow leaf." You cannot say their conduct is
prompted by passion or lust; "for the heyday in the blood is cooled
and waits upon the judgment." What is it then that prompts so many men
and women in the "Mormon" Church to remain true to those relations
entered upon in plural marriage? They look into each other's faces--the
bloom of youth has passed, the brightness of the eye is somewhat
dimmed, the suppleness of the form has passed away. But these men and
women have lived their lives under circumstances that tend to endear
men and women to each other. The trials of life, even under ordinary
circumstances, result in that; but when what they regard as oppression
and danger surround them, it is calculated all the more to draw them
more closely to each other in their affections. These men and women
have endured all sorts of trials for each other in addition to the
ordinary trials of life. They, as well as monogamists, have stood
hands clasped by open graves, and have known the purifying effects of
great sorrows. In addition to such experiences, many of the men have
endured exile and imprisonment, and wives have been exiled from their
homes, their kindred and their friends, and have cast their lot among
strangers, rather than to sever the ties by which they were bound to
their husbands; and back of it all stood the conviction that they were
doing God's service--upholding a principle that he had revealed, and
entrusted to them for vindication and making it honorable among men.
These are facts well known in this community. These men and women were
not of the criminal element: their conduct was not prompted by a desire
to defy law; they were acting and are acting now from the highest and
noblest motives--religious conviction of duty. And so I say, for one
of this number--for myself--I stand exactly as I have always stood
upon this question of fulfilling the obligation these relationships
have imposed; and I shall, so far as possible, still respond to the
dictates of honor. I shall read my duty by the light of that conscience
God gives me--I shall respond to the voice of love and honor, and you
reviewers may make the most of it.

[You will say, such an attitude is inconsistent with the utterances
of the Church leaders before the courts, and especially before the
Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections. So be it then. It is
an inconsistency that has the promptings of honor back of it, and
under such circumstances, for one, I shall trust God to forgive such

It is said by you gentlemen that no apology can white-wash the outlawry
of Joseph F. Smith. Gentlemen, his conduct needs no apology, his honor
needs no vindication, his position needs no defense; it needs only to
be stated. And as you have not stated it, I will; or, what is better,
I will let him state it for himself. On a recent occasion, before the
court in this city, President Smith said these noble words:

    "In the tacit, general understanding that was had in 1890, and the
    years subsequent thereto, regarding what were classed as the old
    cases of cohabitation, I have appreciated the magnanimity of the
    American people in not enforcing a policy that in their minds was
    unnecessarily harsh, but which assigned the settlement of this
    difficult problem to the onward progress of time.

    "Since the years 1890 a large percentage of the polygamous families
    have ceased to exist, until now the number within the jurisdiction
    of this court is small, and marriages in violation of the law have
    been and now are prohibited. In view of this situation, which has
    fixed with certainty a result that can easily be measured up, the
    family relations in the old cases of that time have been generally
    left undisturbed.

    "So far as my own case is concerned, I, like others who had entered
    into solemn religious obligations, sought to the best of my ability
    to comply with all requirements pertaining to the trying position
    in which we were placed. I have felt secure in the protection of
    that magnanimous sentiment which was extended as an olive branch
    in 1890 and subsequent years to those old cases of plural family
    relationships which came within its purview, as did mine.

    "When I accepted the manifesto issued by President Woodruff I did
    not understand that I would be expected to abandon and discard my
    wives. Knowing the sacred covenants and obligations which I had
    assumed by reason of these marriages, I have conscientiously tried
    to discharge the responsibilities attending them without being
    offensive to anyone. I have never flaunted my family relations
    before the public, nor have I felt a spirit of defiance against
    the law; but, on the contrary, I have always desired to be a
    law-abiding citizen.

    "In considering the trying position in which I have been placed, I
    trust that your honor will exercise such leniency in your sentence
    as law and justice will permit."

I say that Joseph F. Smith's position needs only to be stated to
the world, and the manhood of America will applaud his attitude,
long-haired ministerial associations and short-haired women's
organizations to the contrary notwithstanding.

But what is the use of talking in this strain to you gentlemen? This
is a question for statesmen, and you cannot be accused of possessing
any of those qualities. That, however, is perhaps your misfortune, not
your fault. When I take into account the intellectual and physical
capital with which you start in life, I sometimes marvel that you have
done so well. Your vocation is not always left to your own choice.
The position is frequently chosen for you by your parents, having
in view your physical and intellectual endowments. The ministry is
generally recognized as a genteel sort of profession. It promises a
certain social standing. It secures you from the dust and sweat and
physical toil of a mechanic's life, and from the brain-sweat of secular
professional life and struggle. It takes you out of the turmoil of
trade and commerce, and out of the fierce contests of political life,
and from the dangers of a career in army and in navy. Then, you know,
as a class you were not physically strong; a larger proportion of your
number are consumptives, neurotics, anemics, paranoiacs, and the like,
than in any other of the professions; and so this genteel profession is
quite frequently selected for you by your parents, and for the reasons
here set forth. There are individual exceptions, of course, but I am
dealing with you as a class. After your calling is selected for you,
you pass into the schools, colleges and universities, and there you
follow a rather kid-glove course of study. You will not need much of
mathematics, so you pay little attention to that subject; you will need
more of _belles lettres,_ of moral and metaphysical philosophy, of
languages and rhetoric, and eloquence. So your studies run along those
lines, and after completing this course you step from your colleges
into pulpits to instruct the world, at the same time knowing less about
that world than any other class of men whatsoever. Then, going into
that world, you are soon sequestrated into a very narrow portion of
it. As a rule, you have to deal most with christenings, with weddings,
with funerals; but you shine most at social functions, more especially
at pink teas. So that, all things considered, neither by your original
endowments nor by your environments nor by your training are you
prepared to meet the broad questions that concern humanity.

As was stated in the passage I read from Mr. Campbell's book a while
ago, your class "do not count for much in the ordinary affairs of
life." On practical questions you are relegated to the rear, and your
influence in community life grows less and ever less with the passing
years. Do you think I overstate the case? Then let me quote to you
what one of your own number says of you--again Mr. Campbell in his
up-to-date book before quoted. Before giving the quotation, however,
let me disclaim the existence of any personal animosity towards you.
All that I say is meant in the very best of feeling. I speak not from
malice concerning you, but from experience. I have been meeting your
class, gentlemen, for now thirty years; and have had controversies of
various kinds with it during that time, and I know you as a class quite
thoroughly. I speak from experience, not malice, and comparing you as a
class with other classes of men whom I have known, it is just a plain,
solemn truth that you are, as a class, narrow, bigoted, intolerant,
petty; and I say that in the very best of feeling. And now the
passage of Mr. Campbell's book. Speaking of the decline of organized
Christianity and its ministry, he says:

    "For a generation or more in every part of Christendom there has
    been a steady drift away from organized religion as represented
    by the churches, and the question is being seriously asked
    whether Christianity can much longer hold its own. Protestant
    controversialists frequently draw attention to the decline of
    church-going in Latin countries as evidence of the decay of
    sacerdotalism, particularly in the church of Rome. But outside
    Latin countries it is not one whit more noticeable in the church
    of Rome than in any other church. The masses of the people on
    the one hand and the cultured classes on the other are becoming
    increasingly alienated from the religion of the churches. A London
    daily paper made a religious census some years ago and demonstrated
    that about one-fifth of the population of the metropolis attended
    public worship, and this was a generous estimate. Women, who are
    more emotional, more reverent, and more amenable to external
    authority than men, usually form the majority of the worshipers
    at an ordinary service. Mr. Charles Booth in his great work on
    the _Life and Labor of the People in London_ asserts that the
    churches are practically without influence of any kind on the
    communal life. This I believe to be an exaggeration, but it
    will hardly be denied that the average working, business, or
    professional man looks upon the churches almost with indifference.
    In many cases this indifference passes into hostility or contempt.
    Intelligent men take little notice of preacher and sermons, and the
    theologically-minded layman is such a rarity as to be note-worthy.
    Most significant of all, perhaps, is the fact that much of the
    moral earnestness of the nation and of social redemptive effort
    exists outside the churches altogether. * * * The plain, bald fact
    remains that the churches as such are counting for less and less
    in civilization in general and our own nation in particular. One
    of the ablest of our rising young members of parliament, a man
    of strong religious convictions and social sympathies, recently
    declared that we were witnessing the melancholy spectacle of a
    whole civilization breaking away from the faith out of which it

As I remarked, I desired to read that passage to you, that you may know
that my charge that the people are slipping away from the influences
of the churches and the ministry was not inconsiderately made. Of
course, the decline in the influence of the churches marks also the
decline in the influence of the ministry, hence the pertinency of
this quotation. What is said by this authority concerning conditions
in England is equally and more emphatically true of our own country
than it is of England. That is, the decline of the influence of the
ministry and churches in the United States is more marked than in
England. Ministers, then, don't count for much when it comes to dealing
with practical questions. And the conditions that have and do exist
in Utah, and that come down to us out of a remarkable past connected
with our former plural marriages are practical questions. Questions
for statesmen, not for sectarian priests and their trundle-bed notion
of things. It is a question for men of blood and brains, and when it
was referred to such a body of men not long since--the Senate of the
United States--they at least refused to take the radical steps you
suggested. Through four long years you raked the country as with a
fine-toothed comb to gather up your evidence and to convince the United
States Senate that they ought to follow your dictation, to assail the
Latter-day Saints, and to break up and terrify, as a few years ago
our community was broken up and terrified by a severe, rigid and, I
may say, cruel administration of this law against polygamous living;
and after you have done your best, submitted your evidence--employed
the best counsel you could find, and after you have awakened all the
prejudices to which you could appeal, the court has turned you down,
gentlemen! You could not move that body to adopt your view of the case.

I made some remarks this afternoon upon the subject of the toleration
for those conditions respecting polygamous living that have come to us
out of the past. I do not desire to be understood as standing in any
defiant attitude against the public sentiment of our state or of our
nation. The fact of the matter is, these ministerial friends of ours
are disposed to make mountains out of mole-hills, and are representing
to the world as conditions existing here things that do not exist.
The Latter-day Saints are not a law-defying body of people, but on
the contrary they have manifested an obedience and respect for law,
and you shall find no better order or a more universal acquiescence
in and obedience to law than you find here in the settlements of the
Latter-day Saints. We believe in law and in order and in being subject
to kings and presidents, in honoring and magnifying the law; but the
conditions here in Utah are unusual in respect of this one matter of
polygamous living. The conditions, however, are well understood by our
non-"Mormon" friends; and but for the agitation of these ministerial
meddlers and a few disreputable and disgruntled politicians, the
peculiar conditions which confront the community, and in which some
of the best men of the community are involved, would go to their
settlement along the lines in which they are being settled, namely:
by the termination of these relations in death as, one by one, the
parties pass out of existence to the grave. Now, in order to convince
you that I am right in this view of the case I shall read an extract
from the testimony of a prominent citizen of our state, a non-"Mormon,"
who I believe, better than anyone else, in the testimony he gave
before the committee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate, in the
Smoot case, described conditions in Utah as they are. He analyzed the
situation here and told the truth in respect of it. I shall read his
testimony--never mind who he is just for the present, but let me read
to you what he said before the committee. Keep in mind that he is a
non-"Mormon" and one not at all prejudiced in favor of the Latter-day

    _"The Chairman_ said: Will you state why it is that those who live
    in polygamous cohabitation today are not prosecuted?

    _"The witness:_ I will do so as well as I can, and I simply state
    here the views, as I know them, of what are termed the 'old guard'
    of the Liberal party, Republicans and Democrats, who fought the
    Church party in the days when it was a power. Those men have felt,
    and still feel, that if the Church will only stop new plural
    marriages and will allow this matter to die out and pass away, they
    will not interfere with them. First of all, of course we want peace
    in Utah. We would like to be like the rest of the country. We want
    to make of it a state like the states of the rest of the Union.
    We want the 'Mormon' people to be like the rest of the American
    people; but we realize that there is a condition there which the
    people of the east do not--and, I presume, cannot--understand.
    You cannot make people who have been brought up under our system
    of government and our system of marriage believe that folks can
    sincerely and honestly believe that it is right to have more than
    one wife, and yet those people believe it. They are a God-fearing
    people, and it has been a part of their faith and their life.

    "Now, to the eastern people their manner of living is looked upon
    as immoral. Of course it is, viewed from their standpoint. Viewed
    from the standpoint of a 'Mormon' it is not. The 'Mormon' wives
    are as sincere in polygamy as the 'Mormon' men, and they have no
    more hesitation in declaring that they are one of several wives of
    a man than a good woman in the east has in declaring that she is
    the single wife of a man. There is that condition. There are those

    _"Senator Hopkins_ interrupted to say: Do you mean to say that a
    'Mormon' woman will as readily become a plural wife as she would a
    first wife?

    _"The witness:_ Those who are sincere in the 'Mormon' faith--who
    are good "Mormons," so called--I think would just as readily become
    plural wives (that has been my experience) as they would become
    the first wife. That condition exists. There is a question for
    statesmen to solve."

You will remember that is what I said to these ministerial gentlemen
this afternoon. The witness continued:

    "We have not known what was best to do. It has been discussed, and
    people would say that such and such a man ought to be prosecuted.
    Then they would consider whether anything would be gained; whether
    we would not delay instead of hastening the time that we hope to
    live to see; whether the institution would not flourish by reason
    of what they would term persecution. And so, notwithstanding a
    protest has been sent down here to you, I will say to you the
    people have acquiesced in the condition that exists.

    _"Mr. Van Colt,_ an Attorney: You mean the Gentiles?

    _"The witness:_ Yes, the Gentiles."

The witness who gave that testimony was Judge O. W. Powers, and you
know, and all Utah knows, that he spoke the truth.

Mr. J. Martin Miller writing to the _Newark_ (New Jersey) _News,_
represents Rabbi Louis G. Reynolds as holding the views expressed in
the accompanying quotation on conditions in Utah:

    "I found a very prominent former Newarker, in the person of Rabbi
    Louis G. Reynolds, of the Synagogue B'nai Israel here. He was rabbi
    of the Oheb Shalem Synagogue, Newark, from 1892 to '96.

    "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 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 businessmen 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 country 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 country
    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 reactive in the extreme."

These statements are thoughtful and fair; and no one acquainted with
existing conditions can doubt their truthfulness.

And why have they, and why do they, the non-"Mormons," acquiesce in
these conditions, and tacitly consent that this question should be
settled by the grave. First, because they recognize the honesty and
the purity of the lives of the people who are involved in the "Mormon"
system of marriage; and they know that it was the promptings of a
religious duty that involved them in that system, and not criminal
instincts nor worldly or ungodly lust.

That is what they know to begin with--and that the people in these
mountains were contending for the persistence--and they hoped the
triumph--of what to them was a religious principle. That is why
honorable non-"Mormons" respect honorable and upright "Mormons" who
are doing their duty as God gives them the light to see that duty.
And, moreover, their minds doubtless go back to the settlement of this
question by the Constitutional convention of this state of which,
perhaps some of you will remember, I was a member. The people of the
United States, speaking through the Congress of the United States,
demanded of the people of Utah, as a condition precedent to statehood,
that their Constitution should provide "That polygamous or plural
marriages are forever prohibited." When the Constitutional convention
met that proposition--desiring to meet it in good faith, they not
only made the constitutional declaration that polygamous or plural
marriages should forever be prohibited, but they also in order to make
that effective, took the territorial law--which was but a copy of the
Congressional law, which defined "polygamous or plural marriages" and
prescribed for that offense the penalties, the fines and imprisonments,
and which also defined polygamous living and prescribed its penalties.

The constitutional convention, I say, took that enactment and cut it
square in two, adopting the part that defined the offense of polygamous
or plural marriages, and prescribed its punishments, and made it,
with its penalties, part of the Constitution; but the part of the law
relating to polygamous living or unlawful cohabitation, they left out
entirely. The question was brought up on the floor of the convention,
and debated in open session. The leader of this movement, who advocated
the adoption of this part of the law for the Constitution--for it
was rather an unusual proceeding in constitution making, intended,
however, in good part, to meet a very unusual condition; the question
was put to him in substance: If you thus cut the law in two, and
prohibit polygamous or plural marriages but say nothing about unlawful
cohabitation or polygamous living, will not the inference be--will
not the conclusion be, that you do not intend to include unlawful
cohabitation in the offenses defined and made punishable under this
constitutional provision? The answer was that such would be the
implication--that the intent was to leave the offense out. That was
not only the inference, but it was the understanding--say what men
will--in that convention. The record bears out the statement I make of
it, because it was not done in a corner, or in the dark, it was out
in the open, and some of those who now join you reverend gentlemen in
this agitation against men who are seeking, under hard conditions, to
respond to the promptings of duty and conscience--some of those who now
join you in your clamor, were parties to and sanctioned that settlement
in the constitutional convention. [1]

[Footnote 1: This subject is discussed circumstantially and at length
in my reply to Senator Kearns' U.S. senate speech,--"Defense of the
Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 209-218.]

The subject of "Mormon" loyalty is briefly discussed in this review,
and apparently the only way you reviewers could meet the treatment
of the subject was by a sneer. You say, "It is not recalled that
any Christian Church in this country has found itself under a like
necessity." That is, to avow and defend its loyalty to the government.
Very true, gentlemen, but do you recall that any other church that has
been assailed with misrepresentation and charges of disloyalty as the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been? And so, being
assailed, we necessarily make defense. I pass the rest that could
be said on that subject, excepting this, that when you refer to the
conflict we had with the general government during territorial days,
I take you to witness that the controversy was not of our making, but
it was the result in part of your sectarian agitation, your arousing
a popular sentiment, exercising church influence upon Congress which
led that body to enact laws against a principle of our religion. We
contested those laws for every inch of the ground, until the court
of final appeal pronounced judgment on the controversy. Was not that
our right? And does it necessarily involve us in or leave us open to
the charge of disloyalty, because we thus contended for religious
freedom--the right to practice what to us was part of our religion? Let
us remind you, gentlemen, that had the people of the first Christian
age, and the people of the sixteenth century followed your idea of
immediately surrendering when religious principle was attacked, there
would have been no Christian religion at all, there would have been no
such thing as Protestant sects. We contested the grounds legally, and
fought as hard as we could for a religious principle; that is the head
and front of our offending.

These gentlemen Reviewers express two fears. One is that they will
be charged, because of issuing this review, with misrepresentation.
Well, I don't wonder at that, and I think we have proven that you
have misrepresented. But they also fear that we will charge them with
persecution. Gentlemen, we acquit you of the intention of persecution.
When the Revs. Phineas Ewing, Dixon, Cavanaugh, Hunter, Bogart, Isaac
McCoy, Riley, Pixley, Woods and others carried on an agitation in
Missouri against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons" that resulted in burning
hundreds of our homes and driving our people--including women and
children, remember--to bivouac out in the wilderness at an inclement
season of the year; when the mob incited by these reverends, your
prototypes, gentlemen, laid waste our fields and gardens, stripped
our people of their earthly possessions, keeping up that agitation
until twelve thousand or fifteen thousand people were driven from the
state of Missouri, dispossessed of several hundred thousand acres of
land--two hundred and fifty thousand acres, to be exact--which they
had entered, and rendered them homeless--we might call, we do call,
that persecution. When the Rev. Mr. Levi Williams led the mob that
shot to death Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith in Carthage
prison, and when the Rev. Mr. Thomas S. Brockman led the forces against
Nauvoo, after the great body of the people had withdrawn from that
city, and expelled the aged, the widow and the fatherless, and laid
waste the property of the people--we think we are justified in calling
that persecution, of which right reverend gentlemen were the chief
instigators. And when in this territory some years ago one wave of
agitation followed another, of which your class, and some of you, were
chief movers, until a reign of terror was produced, and a regime was
established under which men guilty at most of a misdemeanor, could
nevertheless be imprisoned for a term of years covering a lifetime,
and fined to the exhaustion of all they possessed, under the beautiful
scheme of segregating the offense into numerous counts in each
indictment; and when in that reign of terror women were compelled to
clasp their little ones to their breasts and go out among strangers,
exiled from their homes--we might be inclined to call that persecution.
But our experience has been such that we scorn to call such attacks as
this review of yours persecution. It does not rise, gentlemen, I assure
you, to that bad eminence. So we acquit you of any intent in your
review to persecute us. You need not fear that such a charge will be
made, we are not so thin-skinned as all that. Besides, gentlemen, your
power is no longer equal to your malice, and so we do not believe you
will ever be able to persecute us again.

And now I want to turn "reviewer" myself a while. I want to review some
things which the ministers of the association before us stand for, at
least some of them stand for what I shall refer to; and I only regret
that we can't take up each one in turn and examine his doctrines. But
we all proceed, as far as we can, on this occasion. I turn "reviewer"
because I want to show our young people who are represented here, that
these gentlemen, standing for such principles as their church creeds
represent are scarcely in a position to make an assault upon our
doctrines on any score of inconsistency or repulsiveness; and second,
by placing our doctrine in contrast with theirs, I desire to show the
youth of Israel, whose representatives are here, the greatness and
grandeur and the divinity of those principles for which their fathers
have stood, and for which we stand, for the ensign given into the hands
of our fathers we will sustain and carry to still greater heights of

Of the doctrine of the Godhead, taught and advocated by the sectarian
world, I have already said something and pointed out the inconsistency
of these ministers, holding Jesus to be divine--nay more, to be Deity,
and yet proclaiming against our views of God being a personage of
tabernacle, a personage of flesh and bone as well as of spirit--in a
word, an exalted, a perfected man--Christ Jesus resurrected from the
dead and possessing all power in heaven and in earth. I shall leave
them, of course, to patch up the contradictions of their creeds on that
subject, I am not concerned about them.

And now, to turn to another portion of the creed, held at least by the
Presbyterian ministers before us, and by some other members of the
Ministerial Association--our reviewers. I read from the Westminster
Confession of Faith, chapter iii, section 3.

    "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some
    men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others
    foreordained to everlasting death.

    "Sec. 4.--These angels and men, thus predestinated and
    foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and
    their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either
    increased or diminished.

    "Sec. 5.--Those of mankind that are predestinated 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."

Now listen to this:

    "Sec. 7.--The rest of mankind, God was pleased according to the
    unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or
    withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign
    power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to
    dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious

That is to say, that though all mankind be sinners, and it must be
conceded that all men sin, yet out of this mass of sinners some are
rescued from the consequences of that sin by the pure grace of God,
and without any co-operating act of theirs, they are rescued from
the consequence of that sin by the decree of God. Whereas, others of
that mass of sinners, by the decree of God, are relegated eternally
to condemnation, to reprobation, and what that means we shall see
presently--but in the face of this doctrine, where appears the justice
of God, or mercy of God either? But the end is not yet.

    "Sec. 4 (chapter x.) Others not elected, although they may be
    called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common
    operations of the Spirit, 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."

Now, on these sections from the Presbyterian creed, I read to you the
comment of a very high authority in that church who deals with this
creed, the Rev. A. A. Hodge. This work is designed for the schools
and colleges of the Presbyterian church. This is his comment on the
articles of the creed:

    "This section * * * teaches the following propositions: That the
    non-elect will certainly fail of salvation. * * * That the diligent
    profession and honest practice of neither natural religion, nor
    of any other religion than pure Christianity, can in the least
    avail or promote the salvation of the soul, is evident from the
    essential principles of the gospel. * * * That in the case of sane
    adult persons a knowledge of Christ and a voluntary acceptance of
    him is essential in order to a personal interest in his salvation.
    * * * * God has certainly revealed no purpose to save any except
    those who hearing the gospel, obey. * * * Whatever lies beyond this
    circle of sanctified means is unrevealed, unpromised, uncovenanted.
    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 1,800 years, a
    possibility illustrated by no example."

That means, then, that the great bulk of God's children have been
created only that they may be food for the flames of the sectarian
hell, because orthodox Christian sects allow of no means of salvation
beyond the proclamation and acceptance of the gospel in this world.
But we shall not arrive at an understanding and the enormity of these
creeds--we shall have no conception of their abomination until we learn
something about the sectarian idea of hell and the continuation of the
punishment of those who do not accept Christ. Those who have not heard
of Christ are, by these creeds, placed in the same category as those
who have heard of him, who have heard his gospel and rejected it; for
they neither are nor can be, according to the teachings of orthodox
Christianity, subjects of salvation.

But before taking that matter up, let me read to you another section
from the creed:

    Sec. 111, (chapter 10.) "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."

This has been a very troublesome part of the creed to our Presbyterian
friends. It has been understood to at least imply the possibility
of some infants not being among the elect and therefore subject to
damnation, just like the non-elect who grow up to maturity, a view most
shocking to most people including--to their honor be it said--most
Presbyterians. The interpretation of this section of the creed by the
Presbyterian church is, that "all infants are among the elect!" If this
was the thought in the minds who wrote the creed, what a pity they
did not say, "All infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved
by Christ," instead of saying "elect infants," etc. What a world of
controversy it would have saved!

However, gentlemen, your interpretation is that all infants are of
the elect, and therefore saved, and I will accept your interpretation
because I believe you have a right to your own interpretation. But
say, by the way of whisper, and in confidence, I can make it extremely
interesting, if not difficult for you to make good your interpretation
both by reason of the implication that must fairly be conceded exists
in the language of the section against your contention, as also from
very respectable authorities I can quote, on the history of the
controversy. But we let that pass, and will concede your right to say
what your creed means. Especially so since, the abomination of your
creed may be established without pressing this point. Why should you
Presbyterians be so particular to declare against the damnation of
infants, when the promulgation of the doctrine of 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 a 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.

The questions here being considered were once presented to Dr.
Francis L. Patten, president of Princeton university, and a stalwart
Presbyterian defender of the creed, in a rather unique, not to say
personal manner, by a correspondent of one of our great eastern
journals, and as it helps one to get a view of the doctrines here
considered from close range, I quote it:

    Interviewer: "But if it would be unjust to take an infant from
    the world and resign it to everlasting torture, is it not equally
    unjust that those of us who have lived and suffered and struggled
    with life's battles should be eternally doomed because we happen
    not to be among the elect? Is it fair or just, or consistent, with
    the workings of a religion built upon a foundation of eternal love,
    that some of us shall be born into the world under a spiritual ban,
    compelled to go through the battle, with the certainty of no reward
    for honors or efforts, predestined for hell, as the elect, for no
    effort or worth of their own, are predestined for heaven? That is
    the doctrine of election, is it not?"

    "That is the doctrine of election," repeated Dr. Patten. "And you
    believe it?"

    "I do," was the prompt response, "wholly and unreservedly."

    "And you think it just?"

    "I think it is not for me to pass judgment upon the working of God."

Is that a fair answer, or artful dodging?

Again the interviewer asked:

    "Do you believe there may be near and dear ones of yours, reaching
    out, perhaps, for all that is noblest and best in life, struggling
    each day to gain the mastery over self, striving to attain purity
    of purpose to conquer weakness and inferior motives, who, when it
    is all over and the battle has been won, and won hard, will be cast
    into everlasting torment because they weren't lucky enough to be
    elected before they were born?"

    "I have never had the question brought before me in that way," Dr.
    Patten replied evasively. "But it is before you now," I persisted.
    "Well," replied the doctor, slowly, "I should say that any one who
    could strive so hard after the good must be one of the elect." "The
    extracts from the Confession of Faith dispose of that theory," I
    said. 'Good works do not avail unless one has been chosen.'"

That sounds very like the reasoning of Jonathan Edwards on the subject
of infant damnation and baptism, when he said that an infant, if one of
the elect, would have the opportunity for baptism; and that while all
infants who were baptized would not be saved, all who were not baptized
were damned, as they could not have been of the elect!

But, as I remarked awhile ago, no one can begin to appreciate the
abomination of these creeds, these doctrines, until he has some
conception of what is meant by orthodox damnation. Now here is a
picture of God's wrath and vengeance upon men. It is a passage,--a
noted one--taken from the works of the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, and
he is addressing himself to sinners. Now, I cannot help but believe
that though men are sinners--notwithstanding that fact--I cannot help
but believe that God still has some compassion in his heart for his
children, sinners though they be. Indeed, if that be not true, then it
seems to me despair must settle down like a black pall upon humanity;
for if God loves only those who have remained without sin, how very
few of his children he loves! While God cannot look upon _sin_ with
the least degree of allowance, I believe that he can have and does
have infinite compassion for the sinner. He will never call your sin
"righteousness." He will never compound a sin and say that it is less
than it is. Always and everywhere God's law will stand pronounced
against sin; but while he stands thus committed irrevocably against
sin in all its forms, I believe that his heart goes out in compassion
to men who sin, and he will save them from their sins as soon as
they repent. When they repent he will forgive, and you will find,
my friends, that the forgiveness of God is effective; it is worth
something. It will blot out the sin, and cause it to be no more held
against one who has repented. But now to this description of damnation
by Edwards, who as I think gives quite a contrary view of God from that
I have been presenting:

    "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds
    a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and
    is dreadfully provoked. * * * You are ten thousand times more
    abominable in his eyes than the most hateful, venomous serpent is
    in ours. * * * You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of
    divine wrath flashing about it. * * * If you cry to God to pity
    you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case that
    he will only tread you under foot. * * * He will crush out your
    blood and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments so
    as to stain all his raiment."

What think you of this picture of God, who is supposed to be a God of
infinite compassion, youth of Israel? Was it not about time, since
these conceptions here set forth by Edwards sprang from the creeds
of men--was it not about time when such beliefs prevailed, that some
messenger should come from heaven declaring that such creeds are an
abomination in the sight of God?

Let us go on:

    "Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering,
    and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they
    will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen!"

I believe that is cruel. I think they ought to show us such places at
least; so that if we had the disposition we could possibly avoid them.
Of all the mean things on earth, that can be done, it seems to me,
would be to lead one along the path where the pitfalls are covered. I
would not like to believe that such a thing as that could exist in the
moral economy of God.


    "Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead and to tend
    downward with great weight and pressure toward hell; and, if God
    should let you go, you would immediately sink, and swiftly descend
    and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution,
    and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all
    your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you,
    and keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop
    a falling rock. * * * The wrath of God is like great waters that
    are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise
    higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the
    stream is stopped the more rapid and mighty is its course when
    once it is let loose. Thus it will be with you that are in an
    unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might and
    majesty and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified
    upon you in the ineffable strength of your torments; you shall be
    tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of
    the Lamb; and, when you shall be in this state of suffering, the
    glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful
    spectacle that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the
    Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and
    adore that great power and majesty."

    Elsewhere it is said in effect that the saintly souls in heaven
    will not be troubled over the misfortunes and sufferings of the
    damned, but their very sufferings will increase the happiness of
    the glorified saints. The Lord deliver us from all such conceptions
    of either God or the saints.

Again I quote:

    "It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this
    fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must
    suffer it to all eternity; there will be no end to this exquisite,
    horrible misery; when you look forward you shall see a long
    forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up
    your thoughts and amaze your soul!"

Well, we stand amazed now, that anyone could have such conceptions of
God and such treatment of his children as this. But to continue the

    "You will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, and
    end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know certainly that
    you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in
    wrestling and conflicting with this Almighty, merciless vengeance;
    and then, when you have so done, when so many ages have actually
    been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but
    a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be

That is what awaits those who are not of the elect; that is the fate
that awaits the heathen, and without hope of redemption. Again I say,
young people, youth of Israel, if God should ever speak to man at a
time when such ideas obtained, when such creeds and teachings were in
existence, would not the first word uttered be one repudiating these
creeds and the institutions, the organizations, built upon these
foundations, these creeds of men? Would not God's first word denounce
these creeds as an abomination? Of course, it would. Humanity in its
sober senses would be disappointed else. Joseph Smith was entirely
right--or rather God was. The first thing needful was to brush aside
the rubbish of the creeds that traduce the character of God and banish
all the qualities of mercy and justice from the attributes of God,
and his moral government of the world. Hence this message called
"Mormonism"--this message from God--began with a denunciation of these
creeds. God said they were an abomination in his sight, and I do not
doubt it one moment. How could they be otherwise?

One of the best things that can be said about our "reviewers" here
before us, is that they are better than their creeds. They do not
say much about them. They know the people don't believe them; and a
preacher's influence among men is in exact proportion to the distance
he leaves these creeds behind him--to the depth of oblivion in which
he buries them. I am tempted to believe some times that our reviewers,
bad as they are--I mean that as a pleasantry--they are still too good
to believe these creeds. What if they do, at their ordination, have to
declare that they adopt the creed as their faith! I still believe that
down in their hearts they do not believe them! "Well," one may say,
"this may be a tribute to their goodness of heart, but what of their
sincerity, what of their honesty?" I hope the inquirer will not press
that point, I refer it to the gentlemen most immediately concerned--to
our reviewers. The fact is, speaking of these matters in a general
way--light, thank God! has come into the world and dispelled the gloomy
prospects of the future as pictured by these creeds of men. It is a
great relief to the world, brought about, to a large extent, by the
revelations of God to Joseph Smith.

Part of the complaint of our Reviewers is to the effect that
"Mormonism" adds no "spiritual truth to the aggregate of things already
revealed;" that "Mormonism" contributes nothing "to reverence for God,
or to justice and mercy toward men." The complete answer to all this
is the fact that "Mormonism" enthrones again in the conceptions of men
the true doctrine in respect of God. It enthrones in the conceptions of
men the God of the Bible. It proclaims once more the high station of
man; in that it recognizes and proclaims him the brother of the Lord
Jesus Christ; as being of the same nature as Jesus and his Father; it
opens up the pathway of progress, and points to the possibility of man
rising to the same exaltation, and participating in the same glory
as Jesus Christ and the Father. It banishes the injustice which the
creeds of men would fix in the moral and spiritual economy of God, and
unfolds anew to the conceptions of men the fact that, while God stands
forever committed against sin, his love and compassion for his children
endure forever, that his gospel is an everlasting gospel. "Mormonism"
teaches to the world a larger hope than it before knew. It proclaims
the possibility of salvation for all the children of men, and that so
long as time endures the gospel will endure; that so long as men can be
brought to repentance, the means of their salvation shall be at hand in
the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are some things that "Mormonism" does
for the world. These are some of the doctrines which it has proclaimed
and emphasized, and which are finding their way among and are being
accepted by the children of men. Moreover, the elements are so forming
that it will yet be possible for a nation to be born to the knowledge
of the gospel in a day. "Mormonism" is not going to fail. This work has
taken such root and hold in the world that it cannot be moved. We have
passed the day when we stand in any danger from persecution by violent
means. We stand today largely secure from the natural effects of the
misrepresentations that you gentlemen of the Ministerial association
fulminate against us. This Church of Christ is beginning to come unto
its own. I hear in fancy the tramping of thousands upon thousands of
the servants of God among the nations of the earth, making proclamation
of these grand truths of the gospel. I hear men casting up accounts,
and searching out the "where" and the "whence" of the truths they have
learned in this generation; and as they go on with the reckoning,
they will find that these truths were revealed from God, of which his
Church, and also we ourselves have the high honor of being witnesses.

Youth of Israel, be proud of the station which God has given you.
Be fervent in faith; be high-minded in your aspirations, for there
remaineth for Zion a glory, a development, a recognition in this
world that shall more than repay our fathers for all the scenes of
turmoil, strife and labor through which they passed in establishing and
maintaining this great work. They shall have joy in their posterity,
too; for we, their sons, will carry the burdens laid upon them; and
Zion shall triumph; and the gospel shall be proclaimed and accepted;
and the children of men shall be saved; and God shall be glorified.

[And now a parting word respecting our conference "Address" and this
ministerial review of it. The "Address" was conservative in tone,
truthful in statement, conciliatory in spirit, and intended to form
a basis of a right understanding of the attitude of the Church. It
explained the past; it expressed the intention of strict adherence
to its obligation to discontinue plural marriages--and with that, in
time, would pass away polygamous living--and declared its intention
to abstain from interference in politics. That this was the spirit
and intent of the "Address" cannot be questioned by those who have
read it. It was a fair basis of understanding and settlement of our
local difficulties. And in what spirit was it met, at least by this
Ministerial association? By pretended distrust of its most solemn
asseverations; by misrepresentation and unfair criticism; by sly
innuendo of evil intentions on our part; by a hunting for a basis, not
of justice, reconciliation and friendship, but the hunting of a basis
for future agitation, turmoil and strife; and for what? Sectarian and
political advantage, is the only answer; unless you add sectarian hate
of a rival institution. What can "Mormons" do in the presence of such
conditions? I can tell you what one "Mormon" will do. He will teach
these reviewing gentlemen that the reviews will not be all on one side.
That he himself will turn reviewer. And so far as the theological part
of the controversy is concerned, these gentlemen shall have war if
they want it--war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt, and that on
every platform in the state. "Mormonism" here can hold its own. It does
not have to apologize for its doctrines nor repudiate its principles.
Its representatives stand ready, willing and able to vindicate its
doctrines; and they have some knowledge of the nonsense and weakness of
the reviewers' creeds. Pardon our seeming boastings, gentlemen, but in
the language of Paul, "ye have compelled us."

Turning from you reviewers to all the people of the state of Utah,
I can say to them irrespective of their creeds or political faith,
that I have the utmost confidence in their fairness, in their native
sense of justice, and love of square dealing; in their manhood and
love of honor. And I know that they know that this local agitation by
the Ministerial association, and disgruntled politicians, who cannot
ride into seats of political preferment by virtue of the exercise of
Church influence in politics, which they feign to denounce, but which
they would gladly use to their own advantage, could they but fawn or
frighten it into supporting them--I say I know that the people of Utah
know that this agitation is unjust; conceived in spite and vengeance;
brought forth of malice; and nurtured by hate. No conditions existing
in Utah justify it. The spectres that are conjured up from the vasty
deep to give warrant to this unseeming agitation are but foul creations
of diseased animals, phantoms of disordered imaginations.

Fellow citizens of Utah, in my humble judgment, if we have regard
to those things which concern our welfare, our well-being at home,
our standing abroad, our interests in all that concerns us, we will
discourage these agitators, and say, as we can say, to the troubled
waves of our social and civil strife, "peace, be still."]


Joseph Smith's Doctrines Vindicated.


The discourses which make up Part III, deal with some of the doctrines
advanced in the revelations received by Joseph Smith, and in his
discourses, which at the time they were brought forth subjected him
to the cry of "false prophet," and even of "fallen prophet" on the
part of some of his former disciples, "pagan" and "blasphemy." Slowly,
however, with the passing of successive decades, and building up a new
and a less offensive terminology than the Prophet knew, a change has
come over the religious and philosophical thought of the world, until
today many of those doctrines advanced by Joseph Smith, the "Mormon"
Prophet--without any intention of doing so, and indeed without any
knowledge that they were doing so--are now being taught by leading
minds and in some of our very highest institutions of learning. It is
to point out this startling fact that the following three discourses
are presented.



A discourse in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday afternoon, August
8, 1909. Reported by F. W. Otterstrom. The National Annual Encampment
Of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Salt Lake City in August,
1909, and many of the veterans of that organization were present at the
Tabernacle services on the occasion of this discourse being delivered
and hence the reference to them in the closing paragraphs.


I presume, my brethren and sisters, that a very large portion of this
magnificent audience is made up of those who are strangers within the
gates of our city; and I doubt not but what, prompted by curiosity and
interest, our friends are here in the hope of learning something about
the faith of the Latter-day Saints whom, perhaps, many of them regard
as a strange people. For my own part, if I could, I would like to
respond to this curiosity or interest of our friends, by setting forth
what message Mormonism has for them and for the world. I would like to
speak, if I could, the choicest word that we have for them and mankind;
but I stand appalled at the task that such a proposition presents to
me, and I frankly confess my own inability to meet such an issue unless
there shall be divine assistance rendered and God shall help by the
inspiration of his Spirit. If he help, then of course we shall not
fail; and if we do not fail, then to him let us accord praise and honor
and glory, since success will be through his help.

In order to get this message of ours before you, my friends, it is
necessary to refer to a little history connected with this movement
called Mormonism. Perhaps many of you are aware of the fact--since
many of you are well advanced in years--many of you are acquainted
with the fact that in the early decades of the nineteenth century
there was great agitation in respect of religion throughout the United
States and parts of Europe; but more especially in that part of our own
country known as the Western Reserve--northern Ohio; also in western
New York; and the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In these sections
of our country there seemed to be a great spiritual awakening--or,
at least, so it was regarded at that time--and religious excitement
existed everywhere. It existed to such an extent in some localities
that even the ordinary pursuits of industry were interrupted while
people assembled in great camp meetings to hear noted ministers exhort
and expound in respect of religion. This great religious revival
extended into western New York where the family of Joseph Smith lived,
near Palmyra, in that state. His family had been religiously inclined
for generations before his birth; and when this religious agitation
of which I am speaking reached Palmyra, the family of Joseph Smith
was affected by it. This young man, then about fifteen years of age,
was also influenced by it; but his mind was sore troubled because of
the divisions and contentions existing among the various sects of
religion. There were cries of "Lo here" and "Lo there," as to Christ
and religion; and even when union revival meetings were held, and the
time came for the converts made by united effort to divide off into the
various sects, then much of the good feeling that had prevailed seemed
to be dissipated, and contentions and jealousies predominated. This
young man, Joseph Smith, observed these divisions, and it seems as if
the question of Paul to the schismatically inclined Corinthians reached
him, asking this stern question: "Is Christ divided?" Will God teach
one group of men one set of principles and order of church government
and ordinances, and then teach another principles diametrically
opposed? Is God the author of confusion?" And there was borne in upon
his soul the thought that all was not well with the religions world. In
the midst of these reflections he came upon the Scripture which after
a fashion may be regarded as one of the historical corner stones of
Mormonism, namely: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who
giveth liberally to all men and upbraideth not, and it shall be given


Joseph Smith informs us that this Scripture became, to his soul, the
very voice of God. In the light of it he reviewed the situation, and
finally came to this conclusion, that if ever man was perplexed he
was; if ever man lacked wisdom, he lacked it; if any man knew not what
to do, he was that person. He had confidence in the Scriptures. The
teachings of a sainted mother and of a Christian father had instilled
that faith into his heart; and hence he decided, in child-like
confidence, to go to God with this query: "Which out of all these sects
is right? Which the true Church of Christ? Which shall I join?" Having
concluded to put these questions to the Infinite Mind--to God--he
retired to a grove not far removed from his father's house--still
standing, by the way, unmarred by the hand of man. On attempting to
engage in prayer, however, he found himself overcome by a spirit of
darkness, and his tongue bound that he could not utter his thought.
As he was about to abandon himself to seeming destruction, he beheld
descending towards him a great, white pillar of light, and as it rested
upon him the darkness was dispelled, and lo! in the midst of the light,
which exceeded the brightness of the sun at noon-day, he beheld two
personages, resembling each other; and one calling him by name, and
pointing to the other, said:

"_Joseph, this is my beloved Son; hear Him_."

It speaks well for the intellectual texture of this boy's mind, that
in the midst of these unusual circumstances he could still hold to the
great thought that had brought him to this issue; and to the presence
in which he stood. To the person to whom he was directed Joseph Smith
put the question: "Which of these sects is thy church, and which shall
I join?"

Now, my friends, bear, I pray you, for a moment, with the seeming
harshness of the reply that was made to that great inquiry. The
personage whom he addressed said to him in reply, that all the churches
were wrong; that he must join none of them; that their creeds were an
abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that
they drew near to him with their lips but their hearts were far from
him; that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men, "having
a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof." He was again
expressly commanded to go not after them, at the same time receiving a
promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be
made known unto him.

That was a tremendous message to deliver to a world that supposed
itself to be living in the full blaze of Christian glory! It was enough
to appall the stoutest heart to be called upon to deliver it! But, my
friends, Mormonism would have no right to existence unless such was
the condition of the world. Of churches and creeds there were already
enough; and unless there was some great, fundamental reason why a new
message should be sent to the world, then Mormonism has no right to
exist at all.

The vision closed, and the boy went with it to his friends, and out of
it has grown what the world calls Mormonism. Now, let us talk about the
substance of this vision a little while and see if we can not soften
the seeming harshness with which this message of Mormonism begins: "The
churches are wrong." But, my friends, the people then living were not
responsible for those conditions. They had inherited them. Generations
ago men had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken
the everlasting covenant of the gospel, and formulated creeds which
failed to grasp or record truly the central truths of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, the nature of God, the relationship of man to Deity, or
the purpose of man's earth existence. The false notions and doctrines
that obtained respecting these matters our generation inherited from
preceding generations. It was a case of the fathers "eating sour
grapes, and the children's teeth being set on edge."


"The creeds are an abomination, and the professors are all corrupt!"
That is a severe arraignment of Christendom. Do we mean by it that
the whole of Christendom is corrupt? That virtue was fled? Of course,
in a certain sense, all men have sinned, and come short of the glory
of God. There is none that doeth wholly good, no, not one. All flesh
is corrupt before God, in that it has in it an inclination to evil--a
concupiscence to sinful ways. But that is not the matter in question
here. No, my friends, we do not mean to say that all Christendom is
corrupt, or that virtue has fled from the earth. I pray you regard the
language more closely: "The creeds are an abomination;" the "professors
are corrupt;" they "teach for doctrine the commandments of men." It
is the professors that are alluded to here as being "corrupt," not
necessarily the _confessors,_ of the creeds; the "professors" the
"teachers" of the creeds are corrupt. What, then, do you arraign the
whole Christian ministry as being corrupt? By no means. We are ready
to believe that many of them like their followers are men who strive
earnestly for the truth, and desire the uplifting of humanity; but
those who, in the ages gone by, could formulate such creeds as exist
in Christendom, expressing such beliefs about God and about man, and
the relationship of God to man; those who could formulate creeds that
would eternally damn innocent infants; or that could forever close the
doors of mercy against the vast majority of the children of God--as
well those who have died in ignorance of revealed truth, as those
who died in the knowledge of it but rejected it--in the awful dogmas
of eternal punishment--men who could formulate such creeds as these
certainly had minds that had gone awry, that were "corrupted," so they
would not or could not see the truth. So you see the harshness of this
message of ours narrows down considerably when you get to analyzing it.
These creed-formulators were teaching for doctrine the commandments of
men; they drew near to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts were
far removed from him, they had reduced religion to forms of godliness
merely. The ground had to be cleared of the theological rubbish that
had accumulated through the ages, that the living rocks might appear,
on which God should found his Church in very deed; and thus our message
had to begin with this declaration concerning the status of Christendom.


Now something singular has happened in our time, in our day, within
the past few years, and more especially within the past year. Ninety
years have passed away since this first message of God though Joseph
Smith was given to the world declaring the churches wrong; but, mark
you, we did not sit in judgment upon the world's creeds and religions
and religious teachers. We have not assumed to do that. Neither did
Joseph Smith, he confessed his own inability to judge the matter, hence
he went to God for wisdom. We think it would have been beyond the
capacity of human wisdom to determine which of the sects or churches
were acceptable to God; Or say which was his Church; but God was
competent to sit in judgment, and he sat in judgment, and announced
the conclusion, and made Joseph Smith and the Church of Christ, that
grew out of his message--God made them the heralds of this judgment
of his to the inhabitants of the earth. But, to return to what I was
about to remark,--after ninety years have elapsed, something remarkable
occurs, and that is a wonderful confirmation of this seemingly harsh
message with which our prophet began his life's work. There is at
present going on in the great Catholic church--that church which holds
within her communion more than one half of all the Christians of the
world--within her great organization is going on what is called the
"Modernist" movement. That movement, briefly told is this: a demand
is made on the part of many of her scholars and theologians for wider
intellectual liberty, and that the church shall come out of the
darkness of the creeds and symbols of the dark ages and live in harmony
with the new truths that have been developed through the inspiration
of God operating upon the minds of modern men, of our present-day
scientists and philosophers. In order to be exact in the statement of
the matter, permit me to read to you something of the program that
is suggested by this modernist movement within the Catholic church;
and let no one esteem it as a light thing, as a mere "crackling of
thorns beneath the pot." Rome does not so regard it, I can tell you.
We are assured by a writer in the _North American Review_ for June of
this year that this revolution within the Church of Rome is one of
the mightiest revolutions since that one led by Martin Luther in the
sixteenth century. The Catholic church has already noted the importance
that she attaches to it by issuing what is known as the "Encyclical
Letter on Modernism" by the present pope of the Roman church, a
document filling about one hundred printed pages, in which the errors,
or supposed errors, of the modernists are detailed and reviewed from
the standpoint of the orthodox within the Catholic church. In each
diocese a "committee of vigilance" is appointed to keep watch that
whether in pamphlet, or book, or speech, any prelate or curate of the
church should presume to be in sympathy with this movement, he might
be instantly reported and silenced. Some of the most gifted men within
the church have been driven into retirement from official life; others
have been silenced; some have been dismissed from chairs of instruction
in Catholic institutions of learning; and everywhere the bishops
are called upon to exercise the utmost vigilance to keep down the
throbbing, intellectual life of this movement.

Newman Smyth in _Scribners_ for February of the present year gives the
following account of the vatican's efforts at suppression of modernism:

    "The vatican has succeeded in putting out a few scholarly
    periodicals; in their places others more popular have appeared.
    It has persuaded some enlightened teachers to relapse into the
    obedience of silence for a season, yet without actual recantation
    of their opinions; others it has forced to stand by their own
    conscientious intelligence before the whole world. It has
    prohibited the publication of some Italian magazines, only to
    increase their circulation. It forbade the faithful to read the
    'Program of the Modernists,' and a new and enlarged edition was
    called for by the public. It enjoined the Bavarian bishops to see
    to it that the people read the 'catechism and good books,' and it
    obtained from the civil authority of Innsbruck the confiscation of
    a lecture by a modernist professor of canonical law, only to cause
    forty-three editions of it to be issued within a short time, and to
    lead many thousand liberal German students to organize a strike in
    behalf of the freedom of academic teaching. The index of prohibited
    writings increases; but it cannot keep up with the modernist press.
    In short, the Encyclical Pascendi, which aimed to destroy by a blow
    a heresy of the schools, has succeeded in creating a literature
    of it for the people. It commands the utmost vigilance in every
    diocese in searching out modernist ideas; and in Rome itself, under
    the very shadow of the vatican, a scientific-religious publishing
    society has been established, and its issues, increasing in power
    as well as in number, are now to be found scattered through many

    "Besides all this, account should be taken of the number of secular
    journals which are in sympathy, more or less avowed, with the
    modernists. An ecclesiastical authority which in former times
    could bind peoples and humble kings, has yet to show whether it is
    mightier than the power of a free press in a free state."

To the Encyclical letter that was issued by Pope Pius, the modernists
themselves have made a most bold and fearless answer, and have
published it, in connection with the Pope's Encyclical to the world.
(See "Program of Modernism," Putman's Sons, 1908.) This movement,
by the way, is described as "a clear call for the rejuvenation of
Roman Catholicism." The modernists believe that the church, the Roman
Catholic church, can harmonize its teachings with the thought of this
present age, that the most ancient church can survive by becoming the
most modern. The ambitious designs of the modernists may further be
learned by the following questions they propound, and answers they make
to them:

    "At this moment (1908) pregnant with all sorts of moral revolution,
    when the intellectual world, still alienated from Christ and his
    Church, progresses in a hundred ways towards some undefinable
    renewal of spirit, we ask ourselves frankly, Is there in the
    Catholic church, in that great organism in which the religious
    spirit of the gospel has come to embody itself--is there a power
    of conquest or simply a conservative instinct? Does she still
    hide in the secret complexities of her wonderful organization,
    capacities for winning adherents, or is her vitality threatened
    by the germs of a speedy decay? Is her mission henceforth to be
    limited to a suspicious vigilance over the rude and simple faith of
    her rapidly-dwindling followers, or will she rouse herself to the
    reacquisition of that social influence which she has lost through
    long years of listless self-isolation? For ourselves we have long
    since answered this critical question. We have ever watched the
    aspirations of the contemporary mind with sympathetic interest; our
    hearts have beaten in unison with its glowing enthusiasm for the
    new ideals of universal brotherhood; and we have seen in all its
    movements the symptoms of a glorious revival of religion. * * *
    Speaking the language of our age and thinking its thought we have
    tried to bring it into touch with the teachings of Catholicism,
    that through such contact their profound mutual affinities might
    be made evident. We cannot believe that the church will ultimately
    reject our program as mischievous."

I only want to present these statements to you and ask this question:
Why is this rejuvenation of the Catholic church demanded? Why this
demand to forsake symbol and creed of the middle ages in order to
come into harmony with modern truth as it has been developed by
modern thought and science? Do not the questions pre-suppose that the
church complained against is wrong in creed and doctrine and attitude
towards progress? I may not go further into a discussion of this
Catholic situation, because I want to call your attention to still more
startling things in the Protestant world, especially in our own country.


There has been running through the current numbers of the
_Cosmopolitan_ magazine a series of articles by Harold Bolce on the
trend of university teaching in America. Some two years ago, Mr. Bolce
blocked out an itinerary for himself, having no less an object than
a visit to leading universities throughout the United States, with a
view to becoming acquainted with the trend of university teaching,
and more especially with reference to economic, social, philosophical
and religious subjects. As a result of that investigation he reports
his visit through four articles of this magazine. I shall call your
attention to what is said simply upon the trend of religious teaching
within the universities. I read the following extracts from the August
number of the _Cosmopolitan._ The article is prefaced with a note from
the editor in which he says:

    "It has been shown in the series of articles beginning with
    'Blasting at the Rock of Ages' that our great universities
    repudiate the dogma and orthodox of the established church and
    proclaim a new religion divested of Biblical and church creed.
    Why do the most profound scholars in our institutions of learning
    undertake this revolutionary work? What do they hope to accomplish?
    * * * The answer is here. The schoolmen have placed Christianity
    in a scholars' crucible. They are determined upon reducing sacred
    institutions to scientific tests. The college men approach the
    subject with the greatest reverence. It is false to characterize
    them as atheists or iconoclasts. They assert that what we need is
    not less of God but more of God. They prophesy the introduction
    into the world of a system of belief superior to the Christianity
    of the ages."

Such is the editorial conception of the trend of teaching in our
universities, on this subject, with Mr. Bolce's articles before them.
And now from the article itself. I read the following:

    "Instead of living in harmony with God, the church, the colleges
    say, has set up a celestial czar, a conception which has been
    an injury to man, because it has given him a sense of weakness,
    inferiority and fear."

That is the arraignment of the colleges against the teachings of the
churches as to their conceptions of God. Now mark you, "The colleges
say that the church, through its fear of new truth, has at all times
been an obstacle to progress." Is not that a remarkable thing to say
of the church of Jesus Christ that in reality ought to be in the very
vanguard in the pursuit of truth and in the conservation of it?

    "Dr. Andrew D. White, formerly President of Cornell university,
    says that the church in its apprehension of the progress of
    learning persecuted Roger Bacon, and by so doing did more harm to
    Christianity and the world than has been done as a result of all
    the efforts of all the atheists who have ever lived."

    "Professor Borden P. Bowne, of Boston university, Professor Frank
    Sargent Hoffman of Union College, and scores of others, say that
    the church is the last to come into the possession of truth;
    that it often lags behind, even in the matter of the progressive
    conscience of the time; that it has had to recede from its position
    in every field of science; and that it is still receding and
    must continue to make way for the progress of truth in spiritual
    matters. For many professors assert that the church, as revealed by
    the outcry over the disclosures of what the universities teach, is
    still engaged in the effort to strangle thought.

    "And as the opposition to truth, as it is claimed, is still the
    role of religious bodies, the inescapable duty of unfettered
    institutions of learning is to give the world a new revelation."

Joseph Smith proclaimed that need ninety years before these professors
awoke to the realization of the need of a new revelation.

But to continue:

    "The professors believe that civilization is under the domination
    of many false doctrines, and that the fact that these are held
    sacred is no reason why they should be preserved."

Not only do these professors--scores of them, remember--hold that the
church is wrong now, but they hold that it has been wrong for ages.
Listen to this:

    "The present crusade of the colleges is surcharged with the
    conviction that the churches and church thought are not only behind
    the times but that they have, throughout the centuries, been an
    obstacle to human advance, and are even now the last barrier
    keeping man out of his true spiritual kingdom. They say that man
    has earned the right to know the truth, the truth that it will
    make him free; and that man's ignorance of his power in a world
    of spirit, where he could, if he would, be master, with all the
    harmony, health, happiness and abundance that that mastery implies,
    is the secret of the centuries of travail, hatred, wars and crimes
    that have cursed the world."

I shall trouble you to read but one more extract:

    "This, then, is the announced justification of the college
    arraignment of many cherished institutions. The old indictment
    drawn up by irreverent critics against the church, is repeated
    with a new force and a new meaning. It is pointed out that it
    was religious Jerusalem, not pagan Rome, that clamored for the
    crucifixion. Motley and Draper and other historians have been cited
    in support of the teaching that the church in many ages murdered
    more people than it saved: And these victims were burned alive,
    strangled or beheaded, not for crimes committed, but in some cases
    for reading the Scriptures, or looking askance at a graven image,
    or smiling at an idolatrous procession as it passed. * * *

    "But the college men are not blind to what the church has
    accomplished. In this phase of the subject they are peculiarly
    catholic. But it is taught now in practically all the departments
    of philosophy in the great universities that a new revelation is
    quickening this age, and that it is not only the right but the
    duty of the colleges to stand, if they can, as interpreters of the
    acceptable year of the Lord. Prof. R. M. Wenley of the University
    of Michigan teaches that we have every reason to anticipate great
    changes in Christianity. The world of thought is in progress of
    such profound alteration that orthodox belief can scarcely escape
    the transforming effects of the new idea of God. Hundreds of
    thousands of young men and young women in America are coming under
    the influence of the new university philosophy, and instead of
    being apologetic for the teaching that the God of the colleges is
    greater than the God of the church, the university philosophers
    look forward with composure and even elation to the ultimate
    surrender of what they regard as discredited beliefs."

In relation to the methods adopted by the churches for imparting
religious truths, and enforcing religious living--the revival method
more especially; and be it remembered that of late years many of the
extravagances of this method have been eliminated since the boyhood
days of Joseph Smith. Of this method of the churches, Mr. Bolce
represents the universities as holding the following view:

    "Professor Boris Sidis of the Pathological Institute of New York,
    who recently concluded a series of psychological experiments
    at Harvard, is ruthlessly arrayed against popular religion as
    expressed in revivals, and his findings have been endorsed by
    Prof. William James in an introduction to the former's published
    report. If there is in American university teaching a more
    fearless doctrine than the following as put forth by Prof. Sidis
    and countenanced by Harvard's leading philosopher, I have not yet
    encountered it: 'Well may President Jordan of Stanford university
    exclaim: 'Whisky, cocaine and alcohol bring temporary insanity, and
    so does a revival of religion--one of those religious revivals in
    which men lose their reason and self-control. This is simply a form
    of drunkenness no more worthy Of respect than the drunkenness that
    lies in the gutter!'"

"Professor Jordan," comments the Harvard psychologist as a result
of his investigations, "was too mild in his expression. Religious
revivalism is a social blame; it is more dangerous to the life of
society than drunkenness. As a sot, man falls below the brute; as a
revivalist he sinks lower than the sot."--(_Cosmopolitan_ for July,

Now, my friends, after that, do not complain of harshness in the
message that Joseph Smith was commissioned to give to the world ninety
years ago? He never said anything nearly so harsh as the American
universities are now saying about the churches. It seems to me as if
God had called from the high seats of learning throughout our land
the most intellectual class in the world to confirm the truth of the
message of His prophet.

The world despised the word of an unlearned youth upon this subject,
albeit coming with a message from God--from the Highest Intelligence.
What will they say now to the testimony of the learned--which confirms
the message of Joseph Smith?


I do not want to take all the time, however, in discussing this
negative part of our message. I desire to say something affirmatively,
something that will dispel the gloom that this first part of our
message is likely to impress upon the minds of those who contemplate
it. In the affirmative part of our message we come to you with these
glad tidings: God has again spoken. He has renewed, so to speak,
official relationships with the world. At that time when men supposed
that God had spoken His last word in revelation; at that time, when it
was supposed angels would no more visit the earth; at that time when
men concluded that the volume of revelation was completed and forever
closed--in the very darkest hour of these great errors, lo, the heavens
open! angels visit the earth; the American volume of Scripture, the
Book of Mormon, the Scripture, of the old inhabitants of America,
before they fell into anarchy and barbarism, when they were learned and
enlightened, when they had communion with God and Christ, and received
the gospel--their record is brought forth to be a witness for God; a
witness to His justice, to His mercy; it came as a protest against
the dark and awful thought that God could possibly leave a hemisphere
to perish in ignorance of his mind and of his will, and of the gospel
of Jesus Christ! In the moment when these thoughts had crystallized
into dogma, God brushed them aside, renewed revelation, gave a new
dispensation of the gospel to the children of men, restored divine
authority, re-established the Church of Christ, deposited with her his
revealed truth, and gave her commission to make proclamation of it to
all the inhabitants of the earth--"to every nation, and kindred, and
tongue and people;" giving warning that the kingdom of God was at hand.
Our message comes then with the announcement of these great truths; and
Mormonism is this restored gospel of the Christ, this re-established
Church of Christ, or nothing. It is not a new gospel, my friends, not
a new religion. But the old gospel, the old religion and the Church of
Christ coming forth under a new dispensation. We, equally with you of
other Christian persuasions, believe there is no other name given under
heaven whereby men may be saved except the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
Jesus the Christ. Therefore to us there can be but the one true gospel
and one true Church. Not only this, but our message goes further. It
comes to you with the glad tidings that God is still in the world, not
apart from it, not standing aloof in unsympathetic observation of the
creation of his hands--but he is in it. What men name divine immanence.
His spirit permeates all the elements. "He is in the sun, the light
of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was created. He is in
the moon, and the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which
it was made." Also he is in the many blazing suns that we call fixed
stars, and the power by which they were created. He is "the light which
is in all things, which giveth life to all things;" which is the law
by which all things are governed--even the power of God." That is,
to say, God through and by his Spirit is immanent in the world--in
his world--the universe. The elements--the stuffs we call matter are
eternal: and element united with spirit may attain to a fulness of
joy; when separated they can not attain to a fulness of glory, nor
answer the end of their existence. In this view "the elements are the
very tabernacle of God;" or, as some of your scientists put it, "the
material universe is but the garment of God." Under that garment is the
living, throbbing, sympathetic God, in whom we live, and move, and have
our being.

God is in his world reconciling it unto himself, and working out his
sovereign will. But chiefly God by his Spirit may be in man, if man
will but have it so. Yea, man may be, and often is "the tabernacle of
God, even temples." There may be such an indwelling of God in man that
God is very near to him and not afar off. Your life, my friends, and
mine, may touch the life of God; his rich spiritual grace and life may
pour into our poor lives, making them rich in deed--who, then, shall
talk of failure! But let us see clearly here.

While our message proclaims God to be immanent in the world by his
Spirit, and pre-eminently so in man--yet also does our message proclaim
God to be a person. God, my friends, with the Latter-day Saints, is not
a mere abstraction, an empty word without objective reality; a merely
spiritual essence or influence; but, on the contrary, God is a person
in the sense that he is an individual. He is revealed to us through
Jesus Christ. We believe in that revelation of God that is to be read
in the life and character of the Nazarene--the Lord Jesus Christ. To us
he is the very image and likeness of God; nay, as the Christ was and
now is, so God is! The Christ you remember stood in his resurrected
immortal body before his disciples, out on the Mount in Galilee, where
he had appointed a meeting with them. As he stood there, in all the
glory of a resurrected, immortal personage, no more subject to death,
he said to them: "All power is given unto me, in earth and in heaven.
Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo! I am with you
always to the end of the world." As the Christ thus stood before his
disciples he was God manifested in the flesh. And as the Son is, so we
are assured, is the Father--a glorious mighty intelligence of tangible
reality, as much so as the Christ was there on the mount in all his
resurrected glory--a being whose heart throbs in sympathy with his
children. For his children! Yes, friends; this Mormon message bids us
proclaim that the children of men are also the children of God, essence
of his essence, and nature of his nature. Our message proclaims man
divine, as also it proclaims God human--God and man of one and the same
race! But God relatively to man, perfect; man, fallen and imperfect
in his present estate, yet an heir of salvation and a child of God
destined to become like his Father and Elder Brother, the Christ. You
see I was right in saying that God is no mere abstraction with us, but
a real personal being with whom we sustain very definite relations--the
relation of child to father, with all the sympathies that grow out of
the conception of that relationship.


One other thing that our message is burdened with is the immortality
of man--a proper immortality, not merely and alone a continuation of
conscious being after death, not merely a prolongation of life, but a
pre-existence of life and intelligence before we tabernacled in the
flesh. Our habitation was with God before we came to this earth. In our
first, primeval childhood we lived in his presence, and have come forth
from his presence merely to gain an experience in the midst of the
conditions that prevail in this world of ours. We believe in and teach
the immortality of man; an immortality that stretches backward before
birth as well as forward after death.

Our message also proclaims the persistence of the individual. There
is something in you, my friends, according to this Mormon message to
the world--there is something in all of us, that was not created: and
that will not die. Something that is indestructible and uncreatable; a
something that must live, because it can not be destroyed--the soul,
the intelligence of man. That entity, that intelligence--_you_--will
not be absorbed, and lose its identity. _You,_ friend, as an
intelligence, and as a man shall live through all eternities. _You,_
friend, shall accumulate experiences and grow in grace and knowledge,
and power, and might and dominion, until _you_ attain unto something
that is worthy to be called divine--a son of God indeed!

On the day that you, our visitors, members of the Grand Army of the
Republic--on the day that you parade the streets of our city, our Zion,
and we shall note you as you go by--perhaps, with feeble footsteps and
bowed forms, not with the elastic step of youth as when you responded
to your country's call when the great Republic was in danger!--We
shall look upon you on that day and note, perhaps, in our thought, the
contrast. We shall think of you, my friends, in sympathetic mood; and
we shall contemplate the time when these aged forms of yours shall
put on immortality--when even these bodies shall give forth in the
resurrection the vital elements essential to the manifestation of
your spirits, in all the eternities to come. Our message, friends,
reaffirms the reality of the resurrection from the dead. We are
commissioned to say that though a man die, yet shall he live, and that
eternally. Christ is our warrant for the reality of the resurrection
of all men. You, then shall live again--aye and in immortal youth,
and possessed of all the high powers of a glorious manhood. You will
meet again the comrades and the old commanders beyond the heights, to
hold your camp-fires and recount the glories of your victories for the
preservation of our great nation. We shall think of you in this spirit
as you march by, and our sympathies will go out to you, but we shall
regard you as the children of God--immortal men! not only in history,
but in reality. And what may not be accomplished in eternity, friends,
under these circumstances? What may we not all accomplish in such a
state as our gospel gives hope to believe in, through Jesus Christ our
Lord? Think of eternity in which to live, with God for your friend,
with good men for your associates, and eternity in which to work out
the problems of existence--eternity!--its shining plane stretching
out illimitably before you--I say, what may you not hope to achieve?
At least development, intellectual, spiritual; at least growth, moral
growth--soul growth, until at last, citizenship in the kingdom of God,
sonship to God, and brotherhood with all divine Intelligences.

You see, then, my friends, this message of Mormonism, beginning so
harshly, to what music it leads us! to what harmonies! We stand here,
with you, panoplied in this faith, in these hopes, in this spirit
of charity for the world. Our message is optimistic; we have glad
tidings for the world, not a message of dole and damnation, but of
assurance, of hope, and encouragement, an uplifting message. Mormonism
proclaims the coming of a brighter day for the world--the long-promised
millennium with the reign of the Christ--

  "The morning breaks, the shadows flee!
    Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled!
  The dawning of a brighter day
    Majestic rises on the world.

  "The clouds of error disappear
    Before the rays of truth divine;
  The glory, bursting from afar,
    Wide o'er the nations soon will shine."

God grant it, for Christ's sake. Amen.




Men the Avatars of God. [1]

[Footnote 1: The word avatar comes from the Sanskrit word _avatara,_
and in Hindu mythology meant an incarnation; a manifestation of Deity.
This discourse was delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Nov. 21,

Early in the month of August, of the year 1909, I had the pleasure
of addressing a congregation from this stand; and when the remarks I
made on that occasion were published, those who had the publication
in charge entitled them, "The Message of 'Mormonism.'" In part the
remarks covered a review of a series of articles published in the
_Cosmopolitan Magazine_ during the early summer months, in which Mr.
Harold Bolce gave the result of a two years' itinerary through the
universities of the United States, pointing out the trend of religious
and philosophical thought among the professors of these universities.
On that occasion I called attention to the fact that the first great
message that Joseph Smith delivered to the world: namely, that all the
churches were wrong, and their creeds an abomination unto the Lord,
received wonderful confirmation from the utterances of these professors
quoted in the articles I name. That occasion in August did not warrant
a complete or exhaustive review of these articles, nor did it afford
the opportunity, for sheer lack of time, to indicate all or even the
chief points at which modern educated thought sustained utterances of
the great modern prophet. It is this theme which I desire to renew and
discuss on the present occasion.

The question which I now propose to take up will prove to you, I think,
that it is useless for the world to decry some of the fundamental
doctrines announced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, on the ground that
they were the utterances of an uneducated, obscure and ignorant
youth--since, I believe, I shall be able to show you that from some
of the highest seats of learning in the land there comes pronounced
confirmation of many things our prophet taught; and hence that his
utterances on the doctrine to be considered were not born of ignorance,
but of inspiration from God.

In the _Cosmopolitan_ for July, 1909, in the editorial review of Mr.
Bolce's article, is this utterance:

    "Many university teachers, while subscribing to doctrines akin to
    those of Christian Science, New Thought, and the Emanuel movement,
    are in favor of studying the forces of the spiritual world in a
    cold, scientific manner. Orthodox Christian dogma is regarded as
    at variance with its own principles and is interpreted in a new
    and revolutionary light. The professors' philosophy is purged of
    mysticism and blind faith. By moving their young students, they
    believe they will move the world, and so they are directing their
    energies to the scientific interpretation of those forces which are
    marvelously transforming our contemporary age."

Mr. Bolce himself, in further explanation of the attitude of many
of the educators in the universities, represents Professor James
C. Monaghan, recently of Notre Dame University, and formerly of
the University of Wisconsin, as telling his classes, in regard to
the adage "there is room at the top," that there is no top, "that
progress--particularly spiritual progress--is eternal." The Latter-day
Saints will readily recognize that statement as in harmony with
"Mormon" doctrine. Continuing, Mr. Bolce says:

    "Friends of the college philosophers insist that if there is a gulf
    between them and the people, it is because the masses have not yet
    crossed over into the life of progress and spiritual liberty. It is
    simply that the professors from the standpoint of their followers,
    are inviting mankind again into the fields to which the prophets
    beckoned the world centuries ago. The choice, it is declared, is
    either backward to the brute, or forward to the superman."

I think that the Latter-day Saints will also recognize in that a note
of "Mormonism"--because they believe that whatever man may be today,
whatever his excellence may be--even the excellence of the most highly
developed men--we believe that there are heights beyond those which he
has now attained, to which it is possible for him to mount.

I merely wanted to read those two paragraphs for the purpose of
presenting the attitude of the professors, in a general way, in regard
to the creeds of men and the existing Christian Churches. I now call
your attention to some few doctrines that our prophet taught in respect
of man. Of course, you who are familiar with Christian teaching of
three-quarters of a century ago, will recall the fact that it was quite
customary to represent man as a quite inferior, insignificant, poor
worm of the dust; and the phraseology applied to him was that he was a
creature "conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity." Referring to these
ideas as something engrafted upon Christianity, yet foreign to its
genius, Professor G. H. Howison of the University of California, in his
contribution to the book _Conceptions of God_ (1902) and speaking of
those who hold and taught such views, says:

    "Their monotonous theme was the inevitable greatness of the Supreme
    Being and the utter littleness of man. Their tradition lay like a
    pall upon the human spirit--nay, it lies upon it to this day, and
    it smothers now, as it smothered then, the voice that answers there
    to the call of Jesus." (p. 96.)

When the prophet proceeded with the deliverance of his message to the
world, he departed from this view as to the essential baseness of the
nature of man, and proceeded to proclaim him to be a son of God, not
only through some means of adoption, but by the very nature of him.
He proclaimed him to be an eternal intelligence as to his spirit, and
that after the experience of the resurrection from the dead, he would
be an immortal personage, a prince of heaven, an heir to all that God
possesses, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ, capable of infinite
progress and of amazing possibilities. On one occasion--to be more
specific, in 1844--while discoursing upon the subject of man and his
spirit, he propounded this question:

    "The mind of man, the immortal spirit--where did it come from?
    All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it
    in the beginning, but it is not so. The very idea lessens man in
    my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear
    it, all ye ends of the world! for God has told me so. If you don't
    believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. * * * We
    say that God himself is a self-existent being. Who told you so?
    It is correct enough, but who told you that man did not exist in
    like manner, upon the same principle? God made a tabernacle and
    put man's spirit in it, and it became a living soul. * * * * It
    does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man; it
    says God made man out of the earth and put in him Adam's spirit,
    and so became a living soul. The mind or the intelligence which
    man possesses is co-eternal with God himself. * * * God himself
    does not create himself. Intelligence is eternal, and exists upon a
    self-existent principle; it is a spirit from age to age, and there
    is no creation about it. The spirit of man is not a created being,
    it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity."

Such was the prophet's teaching upon this subject. I might, however,
supplement the above statement by quoting one of the revelations that
also bears upon this theme. The Christian world are ready to accord
to the Christ, the Son of God, an existence co-eternal with God; and
indeed would consider it unorthodox to hold any other view than the
co-eternity of the Son with the Father; and they quote in support of
this view the very beautiful preface to John's gospel; namely, "In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. The same was in the
beginning with God. * * * * In him was life, and the life was the light
of men." And then later it is explained that this "Word" "became flesh
and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the Only
Begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth."

All orthodox Christians believe that this passage establishes the
co-eternity of the Christ with the Father. Now, that is a very great
doctrine; but I desire to show you that, excellent as it is, the Lord
in our dispensation has added another truth to that one by what is said
in the revelation from which I now read. Jesus Christ is represented as

    "Verily, I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father,
    and am the first-born. [Now, mark you--addressing the several
    brethren who were present when this revelation was received]--Ye
    were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is spirit,
    even the spirit of truth."

Meaning that part of man that is spirit, that intelligence, that
thing within man that is conscious of its own existence, and of other
existences; that has power to will and to direct and to do things; that
thing within man that reasons and reflects and has memory; that being
who, most emphatically, is you, yourself, and not the house, merely,
in which you live; that, too, was in the beginning with the Father.
And now the revelation broadens the truth beyond those to whom the
Christ directly spoke at the time the revelation was given; for in a
subsequent verse it says: "Man," undoubtedly meaning the race--

    "Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light
    of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

    "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed
    it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is
    no existence.

    "Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of
    man, because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest
    unto them, and they receive not the light.

    "And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under

    "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and
    element, inseparably connected, receiveth a fulness of joy;

    "And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

    "The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle
    of God, even temples."

That is bold doctrine. When our prophet came with this splendid message
to the world, he was met with the cry of "Blasphemy, blasphemy!"
Three-quarters of a century have now passed away since these utterances
were first given to the world; and I want to show you what men in the
highest seats of learning have to say with respect to principles that
are either identical with these, or closely analogous to them, though,
of course, the learned men whom I quote may not be aware even of the
existence of these revealed truths given to the world by Joseph Smith.
They are not, of course, consciously bearing any testimony to the
doctrines announced by our prophet; but they are bearing unconscious
testimony to the truth; and I am glad to see the truth grow, whether
by direct or indirect means. Sometimes I think that the indirect means
that God is using for disseminating his truths are more potent and
far-reaching, perhaps, than the direct means which we are seeking to
use, and that God is using through his Church. But now to this record
and what our learned men are saying on principles identical with or
analogous to these. Professor Howison, whom I before quoted, says:

    "Son of man, thou art the son of God. Rouse heart! put on the
    garments of thy majesty, and realize thy equal, thy free, thy
    immortal membership in the Eternal Order!" (Conceptions of God, p.

Professor Robert Kennedy Duncan, in the concluding pages of his _The
New Knowledge,_ (1905) says:

    "Still another conception of the new knowledge is that of the
    vast stores of inter-elemental energy of which we live but on the
    fringe--a store of energy so great that every breath we draw has
    within it sufficient power to drive the workshops of the world.
    Man will tap this energy some day, somehow. * * * But now that
    we know, or think we know, of this infinite treasure-house of
    inter-elemental energy lying latent for the hand of the future
    man to use, it is neither difficult nor fanatical to believe that
    beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins
    shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and
    shall laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars. * * * 'In
    the beginning God created,' and in the midst of his creation he set
    down man with a little spark of the Godhead in him to make him to
    strive to know--and in the striving to grow and to progress to some
    great, worthy, unknown end in this world. He gave him hands to do,
    a will to drive, and senses to apprehend--just a working equipment:
    and so he has won his way, so far, out of the horrible conditions
    of pre-history."

I have been presenting to you in my discourse the words of our prophet.
Mr. Bolce represents the professors of our American universities as

    "The professors see in man, and in man alone, the consciousness
    and power destined to sway the affairs of the world. Professor
    Munsterberg insists that the world we will is the reality, and
    that the least creature of all mortals 'has more dignity and value
    than even an Almighty God,' as that being is popularly conceived.
    * * * It is declared by the professors that if divine energy is
    divisible and man's spirit inferior to God's, the eternal future of
    the soul is unalluring. Christianity so teaches, they say, and is
    of all philosophies the most pessimistic. Forever in its scheme man
    is to be an underling. Not only that, but uncountable billions of
    souls--worms of the dust--are created doomed to perpetual despair;
    while a fortunate remnant's highest felicity is to gather around
    the throne of a superior and august God and chant his praises."

Then follows this contrast with the above view:

    "Opposed to this conception is the new psychology that teaches
    that the spirit of man is the highest conscious expression
    of the infinite, and that by invoking the powers--the divine
    forces--resident in the human, all that humanity desires may be

Thus complete does the divinity of man's spirit appear to these
philosophers. Continuing, these views are expressed:

    "The colleges in teaching this faith take ground with those who
    believe that in the emancipation and fruition of modern thought
    greater works than Christ did will be performed. It is, therefore,
    to rid the modern mind of this deadening effect of what they deem
    to be paralyzing superstitions that the professors attack orthodox

    "Far from deriding the forces of the spirit, the colleges proclaim
    that the laws of divine energy are the most important study
    confronting modern man. The professors take their stand with
    Professor Slater of Chicago University whom I heard emphasize with
    marked sincerity that the 'name of Jesus is not written but plowed
    into the history of the world.' Yet in their determination to
    approach the God-idea as scientists, they consider themselves more
    reverent than the great body of church people who, they believe,
    are indulging in idolatrous prostration and ritual."

In still stronger confirmation of Joseph Smith's doctrine, in language
more direct, is the following utterance from Professor Herrick, of
Dennison University, who says:

    "Focused in the mind of man, therefore, are the dynamic forces of
    the universe. Beyond and above our most daring calculation is the
    potency of thought! And in the following allegorical words, the
    Scientist explained how the mind of man, assuming and asserting
    its power may absorb the fire of creative energy. 'The wood
    disappears in the grate, but the genial warmth pervades the room,
    invades our blood, quickens our pulse, wakens vital action, and
    finally is wrought into the history of our life.' If we keep in
    mind this picture of an element becoming transfused by natural
    processes into human life and happiness, it is not difficult to
    understand the scientific interpretation of prayer, of New Thought,
    of Christian Science, of the Emmanuel Movement, and similar forces
    marvelously transforming our contemporary age. As scientists, not
    as communicants at old altars, many scholars have allied themselves
    with the forces of spiritual health and healing."

And yet when the Prophet Joseph and the first elders of the Church
taught that the world today was entitled to the enjoyment of the same
"spiritual gifts," of forces that characterized the Church of Christ in
the early Christian centuries, by which the sick were healed, the lame
made to walk, and the power of prophecy and revelation enjoyed,--they
were classed as presumptuous persons, and generally discredited; indeed
one of the complaints against the Saints when settling in Jackson
county, Missouri--1831-1833--was that

    "These pretended to communications and revelations direct from
    heaven, to heal the sick by the laying on of hands, and, in short,
    to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the inspired
    apostles and prophets of old. * * * They openly blaspheme the most
    high God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to
    receive revelations direct from heaven, by pretending to speak in
    unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and by diverse pretenses
    derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of
    human reason."

This is from a document put into circulation by the Jackson county
anti-"Mormon" mob, in the summer of 1833 (_Evening and Morning Star_
for December, 1833). But now we find, according to Mr. Bolce's
representation, professors in universities asserting their faith in
the possibility of this spiritual force operating at present among the
children of men, and incidentally, our author remarks, "These men are
not dreamers; they are of solid mental mould."

As a result of man awakening to the consciousness of these indwelling
forces, our author says:

    "'Human society, for the first time in history, is coming to
    itself,' says Professor Edmund J. James, 'and is becoming conscious
    of definite ends and purposes toward which it is striving; of the
    possibility of setting up certain ideals toward which it can ever
    struggle.' And now that man has discovered that there resides in
    his nature a spirit of energy that is divine, the colleges say,
    and that he can summon it to work his will, the potency and future
    operation of this psychic force no man can compute. Science having
    found a way through psychology to God, the opportunities for the
    race, through invoking in the human consciousness the brooding
    spirit that fills all space, are absolutely infinite. Science,
    therefore, is demonstrating along new lines, or at least is
    claiming to demonstrate, _that man is God made manifest!_"

More than seventy-five years before this utterance of the scientist,
however, there went ringing down the corridors of time these words of
our prophet:

    "The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle
    of God, even temples!"

Continuing, Mr. Bolce concludes his article on this theme in the
following terms:

    "And modern philosophy, as set forth in American universities,
    holds this incarnation not as a fanciful and merely beautiful
    ideal, but as a working and understandable principle in the soul
    of humanity. The professors, therefore, who are digging what they
    believe to be graves for dead dogmas, stand as exponents of the
    teaching that man is the embodiment and conscious expression of the
    force that guides all life and holds all matter in its course. Man
    has begun the cycle of that triumphal daring prophesied by ancient
    seers, and which appealed so potently to the imagination of Poe.
    Not merely in religious rhetoric but in reality the schoolmen say,
    is man the avatar of God."

That is to say, man is the incarnation of God, the incarnation of a
divine spirit; his spirit is one with the Infinite Spirit, even the
spirit and essence of God. Let no one hereafter say, when viewing the
teachings of Joseph Smith in reference to the divinity of man's spirit,
that his doctrines are merely the utterance of an ignorant, unlettered
man, since the doctrines he taught three-quarters of a century ago,
now receive this splendid, though unconscious vindication, through the
utterances of the most learned men of our country and age.


The Existence of a Plurality of Divine Intelligences--Gods.

The trend of teaching by professors in universities of America is
supporting the ideas expressed by Joseph Smith in relation to Deity;
not by direct affirmation, of course, but by natural implication, they
sustain his doctrines in relation to Deity. Let me call your attention
to what the prophet taught on the subject of Deity, by quoting one
paragraph from a discourse delivered by him in 1844. I think this one
paragraph presents in one view the essential things the prophet had to
say about God:

    "What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears
    and hear, all ye ends of the earth. * * * God himself was once as
    we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder
    heavens. That is the great secret. If the veil was rent today, and
    the great God who upholds this world in its orbit, and who upholds
    all worlds and things by his power, was to make himself visible--I
    say if we were to see him today, you would see him like a man in
    form, like yourself in all the present image and very form as a
    man: for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness
    of God, and received instructions from and walked and talked and
    conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another."

This doctrine met with the cry of "Blasphemy!" even more pronouncedly
than the Prophet's doctrine respecting the divinity of man. The general
conception of orthodox Christendom in relation to God was that he was
an incorporeal being, that he was without body; by which they meant
that he was not matter; that he was immaterial and without form.
They adopted the old pagan idea that God was without parts, without
passions; that he was without quality, as a matter of fact, if these
other descriptions of him were true.

What is the inevitable outgrowth of the doctrines of these professors
in our universities, from what was said in part II, of this treatise?
It is that there is in man a divine spirit: that man is "God manifested
in the flesh." From this, the question very naturally arises: Do men
as such become immortal? Are there any means by which men may become
eternal entities--as spirits and bodies inseparably connected--immortal
individuals? If so, would they be any less incarnations of a divine
spirit in their immortal state than they are now as mortals? The answer
is obvious; and if only it be admitted that man, as man, may become
immortal, then the doctrine of Joseph Smith respecting God receives
strong support by necessary implication from the aforesaid teachers of
the universities; for if it be true, as we now are assured it is by
these teachers, that "man is God made manifest;" that "focused in the
mind of man are all the dynamic forces of the universe"--then truly it
is that such doctrines cannot be far removed from the bold announcement
of Joseph Smith, that "God himself was once as we are now, and is an
exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens." To make complete
the support of Joseph Smith's doctrines from the teachings of the
universities, it only becomes necessary to say that the individual man
persists; that he becomes as man, body and spirit, immortal. Let these
declarations be made: The spirit in man is divine--he is an incarnation
of God; man will become immortal. Say this and then the whole doctrine
of Joseph Smith, both as to man and as to God, receives perfect support
from the trend of university teachings, as represented by Mr. Bolce's
papers here being discussed; and there is no escaping that conclusion.
Hold to the first proposition, namely, that the spirit of man is
divine, then the question resolves itself merely into this: Is there
such a thing as resurrection from the dead for man? The Christ answers,
Yes; and proclaims himself to be the "resurrection and the life;" and
the "first fruits of the resurrection."

Paul most eloquently argues for the reality of the resurrection from
the dead; indeed, his whole ministry had this as its foundation.
You will remember how he argues the question in the 15th chapter of
First Corinthians; wherein he masses the Christian testimony for the
resurrection of the Christ; and after massing it he then declares that
if Christ was not raised from the dead then the faith of the Saints
was vain, and men were still in their sins, and were without hope in
the world; for it is 'only through Christ that men might hope for the
resurrection from the dead. Not only does the Christ and Paul argue for
this great fact yet to be realized in man's experience, but you will
find very many Christian philosophers who are contending today for the
same truth. Among these is one who is among the first scientists of the
English speaking people of today, Sir Oliver Lodge who, in speaking
upon the subject of the resurrection, in his recent work, _Science and
Immortality,_ says:

    "It is clear that Christianity, both by its doctrines and its
    ceremonies, rightly emphasizes the material aspect of existence.
    For it is founded upon the idea of incarnation; and its belief in
    some sort of bodily resurrection is based on the idea that every
    real personal existence must have a double aspect, not spiritual
    alone, nor physical alone, but in some way both. Such an opinion,
    in a refined form, is common to many systems of philosophy, _and is
    by no means out of harmony with science_."

That is the declaration of one of the foremost scientists of our day.
Continuing he says:

    "Christianity, therefore, reasonably supplements the mere survival
    of a discarnate spirit, a homeless wanderer or melancholy
    ghost, with the warm and comfortable clothing of something that
    may legitimately be spoken of as a "body;" that is to say, it
    postulates a supersensually appreciable vehicle or mode of
    manifestation, fitted to subserve the needs of terrestrial life;
    an ethereal or other entity constituting the persistent 'other
    aspect,' and fulfilling some of the functions which the atoms of
    terrestrial matter are constrained to fulfill now. And we may
    assume, as consonant with or even as part of Christianity, the
    doctrine of the dignity and sacramental character of some physical
    or quasi-material counterpart of every spiritual essence."

In other words, Sir Oliver evidently believes in something equivalent
to the resurrection of man; that there will be some sort of
quasi-material substance that shall form the future clothing of man's
spirit, suitable to the future states of its existence and experiences.

Now, my friends, the point is this: If our professors, as we see they
do, insist that there is incarnate in man a divine spirit, and we get
men through the veil of death, and they become immortal men, possessing
immortal tabernacles, what have you here but the "superman" of the
professors, or the "exalted man" of Joseph Smith's doctrine? And if we
postulate for these immortals, as both Joseph Smith and the professors
do, a limitless opportunity for progress and development, then indeed
it is not impossible that man may approach, somewhat even to the
excellence of his Father, and of his elder brother, Jesus Christ.

This brings me to the consideration of another thought in connection
with Joseph Smith's doctrine, namely, the doctrine that there is a
plurality of divine intelligences in the universe--"Lords many and Gods
many," as Paul would say.

It was supposed that Joseph Smith was guilty of great blasphemy when
he announced to the world that in the great vision of God, given to
him, he beheld two personages, each resembling the other, and that they
spake to him; and one said to the other, calling the prophet by name,
"This is my beloved Son; hear him." Since Joseph represented that there
were two divine personages--Father and Son--separate and distinct, one
from the other, he was charged with having uttered a great blasphemy.
Such a statement was at variance with the orthodox conception of
Deity. It had been held in the creeds of men--notwithstanding they
professed belief in God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy
Spirit--that somehow or other the three persons of the Godhead were but
one essence or substance; were but one entity, and not three separate
and distinct personages or individuals. But if the doctrine considered
in part II of this treatise be true as to the spirit in man being
divine; and if that spirit goes through the resurrection and becomes
an immortal personage--still divine--what is the result? The result
must be that there are a multitude of divine intelligences; which is
only another way of saying with Paul, and Joseph Smith, that there
are "Lords many and Gods many." And so the inevitable result of the
teachings in our universities leads to the support of this doctrine
that was announced to the world by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that there
are a multitude of divine intelligences in the heavens--spirits and
angels and arch-angels; and Gods who meet in solemn councils--David's
"congregation of the mighty," where God "judgeth among the Gods" to
generate the wisdom that is present through the universe that has
been brought from chaos into cosmos by the wisdom and power of these
divine intelligences. But as "pertaining to us," there is one Godhead
appointed to preside from among these intelligences--the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit. And this Godhead, or grand presidency, does
preside over our world and the spheres that are associated with it:
with our earth and its heavens.

This doctrine of the existence of a plurality of divine intelligences
has further support by a very eminent professor--no less a personage
than Professor James, late of Harvard university. Within the year, his
lectures before Oxford university, England, have been published, and
this work bears the title _A Pluralistic Universe._ The outcome of
Professor James' learned discussion of all the questions involved in
this subject is to the effect that instead of the universe being, as he
satirically speaks of it, when referring to the monistic view of it--"a
solid block," it is a pluralistic universe. One of his passages runs as

    "I propose to you that we should discuss the question of God,
    without entangling ourselves in advance in the monistic assumption.
    Is it probable that there is a superhuman consciousness at all, in
    the first place? When that is settled, the further question whether
    its form be monistic or pluralistic is in order." (page 295).

This question as to their being a "superhuman consciousness" the
professor decides in the affirmative as at least probable; and then he
announces that the only way to escape from the inconsistencies of other
theories "is to be frankly pluralistic and assume that the superhuman
consciousness, however vast it may be, has itself an external
envelopment, and consequently is finite" (page 311 ).

"The line of least resistance, then, as it seems to me," he adds, "both
in theology and philosophy, is to accept, along with the superhuman
consciousness, the notion that it is not all-embracing, the notion,
in other words, that there is a God, but that he is finite, either in
power or in knowledge, or in both at once. These, I need hardly tell
you, are the terms in which common men have usually carried on their
active commerce with God; and the monistic perfections that make the
notion of him so paradoxical practically and morally are the colder
addition of remote professorial minds, operating _in distans_ upon
conceptual substitutes for him alone" (page 311). Professor James also
explains that present day Monism carefully repudiates complicity with
Spinozistic Monism, "in that, it explains, the many get dissolved
in the one and lost, whereas in the improved, idealistic form they
get preserved in all their manyness as the one's eternal object.
The absolute itself is thus represented by absolutists as having a
pluralistic object. But if even the absolute has to have a pluralistic
vision, why should we ourselves hesitate to be pluralists on our own
sole account? Why should we envolve our 'many' with the 'one' that
brings so much poison in its train?" (Page 311.)

Addressing himself directly to Oxford men on the movement of late
towards pluralistic conceptions of the universe, professor James
says: "If Oxford men could be ignorant of anything, it might almost
seem that they had remained ignorant of the great empirical movement
towards a pluralistic panpsychic view of the universe, into which our
own generation has been drawn, and which threatens to short-circuit
their methods entirely and become their religious rival unless they are
willing to make themselves its' allies" (page 313).

The professor also insists that by taking the system of the world
pluralistically we banish what he calls our "foreignness"--by which I
understand him to mean our apartness from the world (_i.e._, universe).

    "We are indeed internal parts of God, and not external creations,
    on any possible reading of the panpsychic system. Yet because
    God is not the absolute, but is himself a part when the system
    is conceived pluralistically, his functions can be taken as not
    wholly dissimilar to those of the other smaller parts,--as similar
    to our functions, consequently. 'Having an environment, being in
    time, and working out a history just like ourselves, he escapes
    from the foreignness from all that is human, of the static,
    timeless, perfect absolute. * * * * No matter what the content of
    the universe may be, if you only allow that it is many everywhere
    and always, that nothing real escapes from having an environment,
    so far from defeating its rationality, as the absolutists so
    unanimously pretend, you leave it in possession of the maximum
    amount of rationality practically obtainable by our minds. Your
    relations with it, intellectual, emotional and active, remain
    fluent and congruous with your own nature's chief demands." (pages
    318, 319.)

We may not here and now, of course, enter into all the explanations and
arguments that Professor James enters upon in treating this subject,
but the purpose of his whole work is to establish the idea that the
unity one discovers in the laws and forces of our universe, grows
out of a "free harmony of individual entities;" that the absolute
reality is a system of self-active beings forming a unity; and hence,
he concludes the world to be "a pluralistic universe." With this view
Professor Howison, of the University of California, if I understand him
aright, in his contribution to a volume on the _Conception of God,_
largely agrees.

To this may be added also the views of Arthur Kenyon Rogers Ph.D.,
Professor of Philosophy in Buttler College recently expressed in a
book entitled "The Religious Conception of the World," "An Essay in
Constructive Philosophy," 1907. On the particular point in question,
"the nature of the unity of God and of lesser conscious beings," he

    "The modern world is coming more and more to feel that if there is
    to be any real body and permanent satisfaction to the spiritual
    life, it will have to be carried back in large part to the sort of
    experience that we get concretely and verifiably in our every-day
    human and social relationships. * * * * Now here also in the social
    realm there is a verifiable and significant sense in which we may
    talk of identifying ourselves with others. But it distinctly is not
    to merge our conscious lives into a single and inseparable whole of
    conscious content. Rather it is to work for common interests and
    care for the same things, to feel a concern each for the other's
    welfare, a respect for his character, a regard for the essential
    individuality of the other. Two things in this situation--and these
    two the most fundamental--are wholly foreign to an absolute merging
    and absorption. Love, as human love, presupposes necessarily the
    self-identical and independent consciousness of the one toward whom
    it is directed. And the moral life, about which some of the deepest
    values cling, in its turn involves alike a personal autonomy which
    absorption would destroy, and an extra-personal, an outgoing and
    unselfish concern for others, for which no converging of all
    reality to a single self-conscious centre could find a place. * * * *

    "We have only, then, to extend this conception a step farther, in
    order to pass from what is merely an account of the social order to
    a philosophy of the universe. The ultimate way for understanding
    the universe _is not self-consciousness, but a society of selves._
    But in this community there is one member who occupies a quite
    exceptional position. For God, as the inner reality of what we call
    the world of nature, stands clearly somehow in a special way at the
    centre of things, as human selves do not. In him there are summed
    up the conditions which are needed to account fully for the lesser
    world of our own more immediate social experience, since the lives
    of men confessedly have their roots in nature. In him therefore
    we may suppose the unity of the whole is directly reflected, and
    there are gathered the broken threads of the universal purpose as
    it appears in our partial and limited human experiences. But none
    the less, if we are to follow the conception, is he still only one
    member of the community, and not the whole sum of existing things.
    He exists as one whose nature needs the positing of other lives
    which do not come within the same immediate conscious unity as his
    own. He also is a social being as men are, and finds his life in
    social co-operation, though the complete conditions of his life
    may be eternally present to his consciousness as they are not to
    ours. But while his knowledge thus may cover all existence, the
    inclusion will be one of knowledge simply. My conscious life will
    still be mine alone, which no one else in the universe can directly
    share, not even God himself. No one else feels my feelings or has
    my sensations. * * * *

    "And this is the position which has already been argued for in
    a preceding chapter. In other words, God does not create us by
    an arbitrary choice of his, so that our nature as human selves
    is merely secondary and derivative. _This nature of ours is
    an ultimate fact of reality._ It is implicated in the deepest
    constitution of the universe, in the nature of God himself.
    _Reality is a confederacy of free beings;_ and no one of these
    is ultimately responsible for the others, since each alike is
    essential to the whole with which reality is identified."

From all this, then, it appears that the doctrine of a plurality
of divine intelligences existing in the universe, as taught by our
prophet, is receiving confirmation by the works and the philosophizing
of some of the foremost learned men of our country, and, for that
matter, of the world.

Perhaps you will be putting to me the question: What of all this? Why
discuss questions of this character? What spiritual or moral force may
one gather from a contemplation of such themes? Well, in the first
place, to Latter-day Saints, those who have faith in the dispensation
of the fulness of times and in the Prophet Joseph Smith--does it mean
nothing to you to find the inspirations of God in this man confirmed
by the conclusions of plodding philosophers who come trailing in
seventy-five years after the words of the prophet have gone forth to
the world? After he has been denounced as charlatan, as false prophet
and deceiver, for advancing the truths we have been considering--does
it mean nothing to you to find that the truths which he stood for are
permeating the philosophies of men and are receiving the sanction and
approval of the learned? It means much to me; it gives confirmation to
my faith; and I rejoice in the triumph that the truth is achieving.
Then to all, whether Latter-day Saints or not, it seems to me that
to have fixed in the mind, in the consciousness, the thought of the
reality of things--the reality of God, the reality of the divine in
man, the consciousness that this spirit within us is of a divine
nature, and that it is capable of attaining to something really good
and great--to something really worth while--to goodness, power and
glory, to have that thought present to consciousness, as we go about
the duties of life--to feel that "for a wise and glorious purpose God
has placed us here on earth," and has merely "withheld the recollection
of our former friends and birth"--to be conscious of all this, I say,
is to gather strength for the battle of life. To feel that we, in the
essence of us, are one with God, and that he envelopes us closely
about by spiritual influences that we can call to our assistances--to
be conscious of the fact that our life is part of God's life--to be
conscious of this is to banish from us the thought of failing in
life. We gather spiritual strength, and force and power to meet the
responsibilities and duties of life, by contemplation of these high
themes. This is the practical effect of these doctrines--we know that
our life touches the life of God; that our life is one with God's life,
and this inspires to noble efforts, out of which may grow the highest
and most glorious results possible in human existence.

Part IV.

Miscellaneous Discourses.



A discourse in the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle, January 16, 1910.
(Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


    "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and

    "Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, either a vine,
    figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."

Such is the language of James, whose epistle appears in the New
Testament Scripture; and the passage condensed simply means, of course,
that an impure fountain sends forth not pure streams, neither does a
good fountain send forth impure streams; such as the fountain is, such
also is the stream.

I have been somewhat surprised, if not amazed of late at the bitterness
that has been manifested in the discussion in our local prints, of
some doctrines and some of the history of this great movement known as
Mormonism. There has been lately a raking up of old past controversies,
until one would think that we would be under the necessity of fighting
again the old battles of 60 and 70 years ago; for this raking up of
old controversies extends that far back with reference to this great
latter-day movement. I have it in mind to make a little contribution
to this discussion, from the standpoint of this text. Of course, it
is said that the tree must be judged by its fruit; and that must be
admitted to be a righteous judgment, because in all moral machinery,
the effectiveness of it must finally be judged by moral results, and we
could not, if we would, escape the judgment of the world, which will
be pronounced upon the results of our religious and ethical system.
But, while that is a most excellent method of estimating the value of
any religious or philosophical or ethical system, it does not exclude
the justice and righteousness of judging it from this standpoint of
James, namely: Is the fountain, whence it springs, pure? If so, it were
an anomaly, indeed, if the streams flowing out of it were not like
the fountain--pure. So, for a little while, I am going to invite your
attention to the spirit in which this thing the world calls Mormonism
had its inception. This gives us the opportunity of briefly reviewing
some things that are very commonplace with you, but important,
nevertheless; and we may begin with that very wonderful incident of
the Prophet Joseph Smith's boyhood when but fourteen years of age. He
went as you know to the Lord in prayer, in response to the Scripture
which said: "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth
to all men liberally and upbraideth not." He became familiar with that
Scripture, for it constituted, at least on one occasion, a text to a
discourse to which he listened, and it became the voice of God to his
soul. At last he put this Scripture to the test and inquired of God,
with the result familiar to you all that he received a splendid vision
of God the Father and of the Son, and received knowledge of the purpose
of the Father to give a new dispensation of the gospel to the world
through him, provided he should be faithful. Three years passed, and
when reviewing the experiences of those three years, and calling to
mind, as any lad could, the follies of youth, the light-mindedness and
the foolishness of boyhood, a sorrow took hold of him as he made this
review; and he wondered to what extent he had given offense to God. He
besought the Lord in prayer again, in order to know his standing, with
the result that a holy messenger from the presence of God visited him
and made known his acceptance to the Lord, notwithstanding his boyhood
follies, and assured him that he was still the chosen instrument in
the hands of God for the accomplishment of his purposes, and revealed
to him the existence of a whole volume of Scripture, being the word
of the Lord as delivered unto the prophets living upon these western
American continents in ancient times. Of course, I am not relating
these familiar incidents in the history of the Prophet, with a view of
imparting information as to these facts to you, but I simply want to
call your attention to the course pursued by the Prophet, to ask you if
this course is not altogether commendable in him; and so far as we have
pursued the course followed, is it not altogether praiseworthy--this
seeking the Lord and finding him? This guidance by the spirit of
prayer? This was the spirit in which Mormonism, so-called, had its
inception, so far as the Prophet was concerned; and now I want to
follow its development a little further.

By and by, others began to participate in the development of this work.
Among those who sought to be useful in bringing it into existence was
the Prophet's own father. He desired that his son inquire of the Lord
to learn what course he should take, and what was to be his lot and
part in this work. The Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the
following message, contained in your Doctrine and Covenants:

    "Behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children
    of men;

    "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye
    serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye
    may stand blameless before God at the last day;

    "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the

    "For behold the field is white already to harvest, and lo, he that
    thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store
    that he perish not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

    "And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory
    of God, qualify him for the work.

    "Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly
    kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

    "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."

What virtue exists outside of those here enumerated and enjoined? What
say you of this fountain--good, or corrupt?

By and by, but a few months after this, in fact, Oliver Cowdery came to
the Prophet, he who was to be the Second Elder in the Church of Christ
about to be established--a young man, a schoolteacher, a blacksmith,
formerly a store-keeper--a variety of occupations of course impossible
outside of frontier life in America, in the early decades of the
nineteenth century. He had heard of God's dealings with this prophet
who was being qualified for his great mission; and so came to him. He,
too, like the Prophet's father, was willing to throw his lot in with
the Prophet and the work that was developing. He, too, would know the
will of the Lord concerning him, in his relationship to this work;
and, now, what said the Lord to him? It is told in section six of your
Doctrine and Covenants. It was given April, 1829, a year before the
Church was organized; to Oliver the Lord said:

    "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the
    children of men."

Observe how that prediction is constantly repeated in these
revelations. One need only call your attention to the great latter-day
work and its wonderful history, to prove the prophetic character of
this repeated utterance in these early revelations. Continuing:

    "Behold, I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick and
    powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder
    of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.

    "Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso
    desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and
    reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul
    everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God:

    "Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is
    called of God;

    "Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will
    knock it shall be opened unto you.

    "Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my
    commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of

    "Seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of
    God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich.
    Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so it
    shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of
    doing much good in this generation.

    "Say nothing but repentance unto this generation: keep my
    commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my
    commandments and you shall be blessed.

    "Therefore be diligent, stand by my servant Joseph, faithfully, in
    whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be [in] for the word's

Let us pause here and a little contemplate the striking sentences of
this revelation: "Seek not for riches"--Why, we were told here but a
few days ago, in our local prints, as about a year ago in one of the
great magazines of our country, we were told that "lust of gold, not
love of God," was the motive power of Mormonism.

"Admonish him [the Prophet] in his faults."--What! a prophet with
faults? O yes; and to be admonished by his brethren? Yes. What
humility is here required of the prophet; what frankness, what godlike
quality!--"Admonish him in his faults, and also receive admonition of
him. Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope and

We are told, and it is charged in the old anti-Mormon books of fifty,
sixty and seventy years ago, that these men were liars, intemperate,
idlers, money diggers; that they were utterly untrustworthy; and, yet,
get behind the scenes where the word of God comes to them, and, lo!
the purity of the fountain whence Mormonism comes! And this was no
playing to the galleries of the world, either. These revelations were
not published to the world at that time, indeed there was no idea that
they would ever be published. As the secret thoughts of a man is to his
actions, so were these revelations to the Church.



With historians it is common to regard the laws that are enacted as
being among the truest means of insight to conditions prevailing among
a people; because the things that the laws forbid, or the things that
the law commands are truly a revelation of the inclinations of the
people. And so, too, the legislation of a people will reveal their
aspirations, their strivings after justice and righteousness; and
likewise the revelations which God gave through Joseph Smith, out of
which the Church of Latter-day Saints has been developed, reveal the
spirit of this great Latter-day Work, the aims and aspirations of the

Again, the Prophet's brother, Hyrum, his lifelong companion, and fellow
martyr at the last, in the spring of 1829 came from Manchester down
to Harmony, upwards of a hundred miles, to inquire of the Lord. His
brother Samuel had recently been in touch with Joseph and Oliver, and
had received the testimony of the Lord that the work these young men
were engaged in was true; and he had received baptism at their hands.
It was he who carried the word up to the Prophet's father's home, that
the brethren had received the ministration of John the Baptist, and
had received divine authority to teach the gospel of repentance--the
preparatory gospel--and to baptize for the remission of sins. And this
occasioned Hyrum to immediately repair to Harmony to find out if there
was a word from the Lord for him; and this word came:

    "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the
    children of men."

    "Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and
    powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder
    of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my word.

    "Behold, the field is white already to harvest, therefore: whoso
    desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and
    reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul
    everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.

    "Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is
    called of God;

    "Therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive, if you will
    knock, it shall be opened unto you.

    "Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my
    commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of

    "Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and, behold, the mysteries of
    God, shall be unfolded unto you, and then you shall be made rich,
    behold, he that hath eternal life is rich."

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so it
    shall be done unto you: and if you desire you shall be the means of
    doing much good in this generation.

    "Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my
    commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my
    commandments, and you shall be blessed."

The spirit of this is splendid, it is good, not evil. Contemplate these
words to Hyrum Smith and you get better than any where else, perhaps,
the spirit of Mormonism--"Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you
desire of me, so it shall be done unto you: and, if you desire, you
shall be the means"--of doing what? Revelling in luxury, living without
the labor of his hands--be deprived of the blessing of earning his
bread in the sweat of his brow--and participate in the pride and glory
and honor and applause of the world? No; not so; but: "_you shall be
the means of doing much good in this generation_."


The same holds good as to other characters who came dropping into the
work. When Sidney Rigdon came with Edward Partridge--the latter the
Prophet described as a pattern of piety and one of the Lord's great
men, and of whom the Lord spoke afterwards as being like unto Nathaniel
of old, because there was no guile in his heart. When Sidney Rigdon,
in December, 1830, came to the Prophet to inquire of him, the Lord
commended him for his past work in the Disciple's ministry, where he
had been teaching repentance and faith and baptism in water for the
remission of sins; and, now, the burden of the Lord's word in this
man, Sidney Rigdon, was simply that hereafter his mission should be
enlarged, and he should not only baptize with water but he should
baptize now, also, with water and with fire and with the Holy Ghost. No
promise of wealth and position; no worldly exaltation was promised to
him, but warnings of toil and labor in the ministry and the opposition
of the world. And, by the way, there is something a little interesting
in this incident of Sidney Rigdon coming into the work. It is generally
held forth, in the anti-Mormon publications, that Joseph Smith neither
in his general information, nor in trained faculties, was equal to the
task of bringing forth the Book of Mormon. They assumed that some more
skilful man, some man better versed in the Scriptures and in history,
and having more literary ability withal, was somewhere behind the
scenes manipulating affairs to bring forth the Book of Mormon and the
Mormon Church. But Sidney Rigdon did not come to the Prophet until
December, 1830. When he came--in addition to what I have reported
of what was promised to him--he was appointed to be scribe to the
Prophet; and afterwards in all their labors and associations he held
a subordinate position to the Prophet. At this time Sidney Rigdon was
a man thirty-seven years of age; the Prophet but about twenty-five.
We might ask our anti-Mormon friends how it came about that if Sidney
Rigdon was the master spirit in bringing forth the Book of Mormon and
the Mormon Church--"the real Mephistopheles of the blasphemous drama
that was being enacted"--how comes it that after playing this part
for a number of years, in secret when he comes out into the public
light, with all his advantage of age, of education and experience and
power as a public speaker, he consents to take second place in the
great drama to be enacted--no, not even second place for that had been
conferred upon Oliver Cowdery who had been ordained and sustained by
the Church as the Second Elder of the Church, while Sidney Rigdon at
his advent must be content with being the Prophet's scribe! Is there
any consistency in claims of this anti-Mormon sort?

I come now to another matter. You have seen how our Prophet began his
work--in prayerfully seeking unto the Lord for his own guidance, and
ever, as men who became leaders in the movement, one after another,
come dropping into the work, from his father and brother, and Oliver
Cowdery to Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, and afterwards the same as
to Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and all the rest--ever as they came
into the work, it was always the same thing; he inquired of the Lord
for these men, and received answers; he was prayerful throughout--this
Prophet. In 1833 the Prophet himself went on a mission to Canada to
visit some branches of the Church that had been raised up by the labors
of Parley P. Pratt; and among the treasures of our Historian's office
is the daily journal of the Prophet while on that mission--a little
book--not so large, in thickness, at least, but a little larger in
length and breadth than this small hymn book that I now hold in my
hand; a journal kept in his own hand writing, that recorded the events
of each day, the thoughts that were in his heart, and his method of
procedure. I want to read a few entries from that journal to you;
because our Church history, that is, as originally published in the
_Times and Seasons,_ and as published in _The Millennial Star,_ does
not contain all the entries of the Prophet in that journal; but in the
recently published history of the Church, in the first volume of the
six now published, these entries are to be found in the Footnotes. I
want to have you follow the Prophet for a few days in his ministry,
that you may know the spirit of this man.


    "Oct. 5--I started on a journey to the east, and to Canada in
    company with Elders Rigdon and Freeman Nickerson. We arrived in
    Springfield whilst the brethren were in meeting, and Elder Rigdon
    spoke to the congregation. A large and attentive congregation
    assembled at Brother Rudd's in the evening, to whom we bore our
    testimony. Had a great congregation--paid good attention. _O God,
    seal our testimony to their hearts."_ That is from page 6 of the
    manuscript book I speak of.

    "Oct. 11--We left Westfield, and continuing our journey, stayed
    that night with a man named Nash, an infidel, with whom we
    reasoned, but to no purpose. I feel very well in my mind. _The Lord
    is with us, but have much anxiety about my family."_ (Page 7.)

    "Thursday, 24th--At the house of Mr. Beman, in Colburn, whence we
    left for Waterford, where we spoke to a small congregation; thence
    to Mount Pleasant, and preached to a large congregation the same
    evening, when Freeman A. Nickerson and his wife declared their
    belief in the work, and offered themselves for baptism. Great
    excitement prevailed in every place we visited. _The result is in
    the hands of God_."

    "Friday, 25th--This afternoon, at a Mr. Patrick's; expect to hold a
    meeting this evening. People very superstitious. O God, establish
    thy word among this people. Held a meeting this evening; had an
    attentive congregation; _the Spirit gave utterance_."

    "28th--In the evening we broke bread and laid on hands for the gift
    of the Holy Ghost, and for confirmation, having baptized two more.
    The Spirit was given in great power to some, and peace to others.
    _May God carry on his work in this place till all shall know him.
    Amen."_ (Page 16.)

    "Tuesday, 29th--After preaching at 10 o'clock a. m. I baptized two,
    and confirmed them at the water's side. Last evening we ordained
    F. A. Nickerson an elder; and one of the sisters received the girt
    of tongues, which made the saints rejoice exceedingly. _May God
    increase the gifts among them for his Son's sake_."

    On the 29th the Prophet's party started for home. _"May the Lord
    prosper our journey. Amen."_ (Page 17.)

    "Friday, Nov. 1--I left Buffalo. New York, at 8 o'clock a. m. and
    arrived at my house in Kirtland on Monday, the 4th, 10 a. m., and
    found my family well, according to the promise of the Lord in the
    revelation of October 12, _for which I felt to thank my heavenly

Now, my friends, this is but a few days with the Prophet. You may
follow him throughout his career--in freedom and in bonds, in the
midst of his joys and in the darkness of his sorrows; you shall find
this same prayerful attitude towards God--always thanksgiving for
blessings, cries for help in his hour of need, and always prayers for
divine guidance when unfolding the great organization of the Church
of Christ. Tell me--is the spirit in which this man labored, evil or
good? Is this the course of a libertine and a liar? Or, is it the
course of a righteous man? To me there draw tremendous consequences in
connection with this course of our Prophet; and the importance of these
consequences will appeal to you, I think, when I call your attention
to them. When you see this man so constantly seeking communion with
God, seeking for guidance and help--if God came not to his help, and
did not guide him, then what hope may men entertain that God will hear
prayer at all? Or give divine guidance to those who seek it? If I could
be persuaded that God did not hear and answer the prayers of this
man--beginning in his innocent boyhood, and continuing to his martyr,
cry _"O Lord, my God_!"--if God, I say, did not hear him, and did not
walk beside him and guide his footsteps, I would say to all the world:
Your prayers are but mockeries; your heaven above you is brass; the
earth under your feet is iron. Cease from prayer; become self reliant,
and do the best you can by your own inherent strength; develop such
human wisdom as you may, and walk in its light, for it is all there
is--your cries for help and guidance cannot penetrate the heavens, and
there is no God to hear or help you!

But, of course, believing, as I do, that God responded to the
heart-cries of the Prophet, to his prayers, I say to all men--Behold
the result of Joseph Smith's praying in the achievements of his life's
work! In this circumstance we may find encouragement to believe that
God will both hear and answer prayers, and help all to know the truth
and walk in its light, who seek for it.

But notwithstanding the fact that this great latter-day work called
Mormonism had its inception in this prayerful spirit--this manifest
hungering and thirsting after righteousness; notwithstanding all who
sought to be helpful in it, and to be identified with its development
were sternly bidden to keep the commandments of God; that faith, hope,
charity, temperance, chastity and patience were required qualities;
that they must seek for wisdom, not for riches--"the laborers in Zion
shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish"
(II Nephi 26:51); notwithstanding the stream called Mormonism arises
from so noble and pure a fountain, how greatly has it been defamed
either through misconception of it, or through malice, and the motives
of its founders misrepresented!

Only a short time ago, no later in fact than last Thanksgiving day, a
minister in preaching what I think, in the main, must have been a very
excellent discourse, took occasion to glance in our direction, and
say what I think was one of the unkindest things that could be said
of the Latter-day Saints. I will read to you what the press reported
the gentleman as saying. You know the local press of our city, now
and then, becomes wonderfully agitated about our paying tithes and
offerings to the Church; and, really, if you read those reports and did
not know better you would think the Latter-day Saints were a community
that were impoverishing themselves by carrying on the work of the Lord.
This minister referred to that, and what he says on that particular
point is rather refreshing, and I commend it to the attention of the
local paper in question:

    "One of our local papers has assigned, as one of the reasons of the
    so-called poverty and handicap of the Mormon people, the collection
    of tithes. We think the paper in error in this, for we ourselves
    are in favor of the tithes and have practiced it for the past
    twenty years. The children of Israel were never so prosperous as
    when they brought the tithes and offerings to the treasury of the
    Lord;"--and everybody that is acquainted with the history of Israel
    knows that to be true. "The true cause of this so-called poverty
    and handicap, of course, is not in reference to the tithes, _but
    the low ideals in the homes and the lack of respect for woman. As
    the earthly, home is lifted it becomes nearest like the home beyond
    the skies, the final home of the soul._"



I say that the charge made as to "low ideals in the homes, and the
lack of respect for woman," is the unkindest thing that could be said
of the Latter-day Saints, or, really, of any people. It would be the
saddest commentary that could be made on any system if it were true;
but I resent it as a charge against my people, and say that it is
untrue; and on the contrary affirm that the gospel of Jesus Christ, the
new dispensation of it committed to this world through the ministry
of the Prophet Joseph Smith, teaches the highest respect for woman
that may be described by human speech or wrought into practice. There
is no people in the world that so religiously and absolutely believe
that doctrine of Paul's that in God's economy of things "the man is
not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord."
Some, through misrepresentation, have charged that we believe this
doctrine so absolutely as to hold that there is no salvation for man or
woman outside of the marriage relation. Of course, that is an extreme
to which we do not go. We believe--at least, permit me to say that I
believe, and I think I have warrant for such belief in the principles
of our faith, that it is possible for either man or woman to be saved
without marriage at all. It is possible for a man to be saved with one
wife, and, if you will just be patient enough to let me say it, if we
may here regard the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures, which speak of
Abraham as having a place in the kingdom of God--nay, his very bosom
is the goal to which all Christian eyes turn, where they hope to find
peace and heavenly rest--and if we believe this of Abraham, we may be
justified in believing it possible for a man to be saved though he
should happen to have more than one wife. But instructed by our faith,
we so honor woman that we hold that man cannot attain to the heights of
exaltation and glory possible to the intelligences we call men only as
he shall be holily joined with woman in divinely appointed wedlock, for
in that state, and that state only, is the power of eternal lives, and
increasing glory, and dominion, and exaltation. No man may attain unto
these high things only as he is united with woman in holy marriage.

I accept all that the reverend gentleman says of the beauty and
blessedness of the home. It is indeed, from the Mormon viewpoint, the
principal factor of civilization; the spring and source of national
life and greatness and stability. And, as our reverend friend remarks,
"as the earthly home is lifted it becomes nearest like the home beyond
the skies, the final home of the soul." A very pretty sentiment,
truly, and Mormons believe in it so absolutely that they look forward
to the actual existence of the family "beyond the skies," or at
least in heaven--through all eternity--that they even now make their
marriage vows and covenants with reference to that status--the eternal
perpetuation of the family. They are not content to have the marriage
ceremony end with that doleful note from the tombs--"until death does
you part!" but rejoice rather in the blessed words of their God-given
ceremony--the inspiring words of life and joy and hope--_"I pronounce
you man and wife through time and all eternity!"_ To those who express
the fear that all this is too concrete, to matter-of-fact, too sensual,
we answer that such has been the refining influence of woman upon man,
developing the purest and best part of his nature; such has been the
influence of the home upon civilization in this world, that we cannot
believe but what the joys of heaven will be heightened and rendered
purer by it, and even conception of its community life must be made
grander by thinking of it as made up of indestructible families. Hence
our hopes and holiest aspirations are associated with the family--in
which woman is necessarily a chief and honored factor in this world and
in that which is to come. And not only is this our hope for the future,
but we believe it is a condition prevailing in all past eternities, as
note one of our hymns:

  "In the heavens are parents single?
    No, the thought makes reason stare;
  Truth is reason, truth eternal
    Tells me I've a mother there.

  "When I leave this frail existence,
    When I lay this mortal by,
  Father, Mother, may I meet you
    In your royal courts on high?

  "Then at length when I've completed
    All you sent me forth to do,
  With your mutual approbation,
    Let me come and dwell with you?"

I challenge the Christian world to equal--to say nothing of
surpassing--this conception of the nobility of woman and of
motherhood and of wifehood--placing her side by side with the Divine
Father--consort and Mother of divine intelligences--the spirits of
men. Some object to that conception, and undertake to detract from
its beauty and glory by saying that it presents to the thought a
pluralistic Deity, consisting of divine Father and divine Mother. That,
however, is a consequence they attach to our faith, not a principle
that we accept; because the Godhead, for us, as all those who are
acquainted with our doctrines know, consists of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost, the grand creating and presiding, divine Council
that upholds and sustains and guides the destiny of our earth and its
associated spheres. These gentlemen who are so fearful of a pluralistic
deity and universe being thought of, would do well to stand out a
little upon the frontier of the highest Christian thought of our age,
and they will discover that many of our first and greatest philosophers
are beginning to teach the doctrine that so far as the infinite or the
absolute exists, it exists in a plurality of divine intelligences;
and that the oneness of God is but the free harmony of divine
intelligences. And, then, for matter of that, so long as the Christian
world teaches that in the Godhead are three personalities--the Father,
the Son, and Holy Spirit--they will try in vain to get away from the
conception of a pluralistic deity.

And now, I am about to violate what some regard as the canons of
good taste in public speaking, by making reference to a matter quite
personal. But what I am about to present meets this charge of "low
ideals in the home--and the lack of respect for woman"--I say the thing
I have in mind so completely meets this issue that I am even going to
venture upon something some what personal.

It has been my custom, now, for quite a number of years, on the
anniversary of my mother's birth, and on the anniversary of my own
birth, to either visit her in person and chat with her, or else, if
away from her home, to write her a communication. Four years ago, not
being able to reach her, on the anniversary of my own birth, I sent her
the following communication, written in honor of women--in honor of
her--my mother. I now read it to you. I gave it a title, calling it


    "Next to her holy office of wifehood and motherhood, the most
    exalted honor Deity ever conferred on woman was that of making her
    his first messenger of the resurrection; and, in its most emphatic
    form at least, the messenger also of the beautiful doctrine of
    the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. The manner
    of conferring this high and sacred commission upon woman was as
    follows--the account is John's:

    "The Christ had been crucified and laid in the new sepulcher
    provided by Joseph of Arimathea. Then early in the morning of
    the third day after the crucifixion, came Mary of Magdala to the
    sepulcher and found it empty; whereupon she ran and, informed Peter
    and John that the body of Jesus had been taken away. There was a
    hasty and excited visit to the sepulcher, and, on the part of Peter
    and John, a hasty departure. But Mary lingered near the vacant
    tomb. This was where she had last seen him whom she loved--here she
    must begin her search for him--and she will search for him, for it
    is woman's nature to hope--O glorious inconsistency!--against hope
    itself. And she was rewarded for her love that made her linger,
    though it was by an empty sepulcher; for soon angels said to her,
    'Why weepest thou?' and Mary said, 'Because they have taken away
    my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.' And then one
    greater than the angels stood by her, and said, 'Why weepest thou?
    Whom seekest thou?' Then she:

    "'Sir, if thou have born him hence, tell me where thou hast laid
    him, and I will take him away.'


    "'Rabboni,' with arms extended--

    "'Touch me not,' gently, lovingly, not harshly said--'Touch me not;
    for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren,
    and say unto them, I ascended unto my Father, and your Father; and
    to my God, and to your God.'

    "Commissioned so, Mary told the disciples that she had seen the
    Lord, 'and that he had spoken these things unto her.'

    "And thus to a woman was it first given to carry the glad message
    fashioned first by angel's tongues--'He is risen!' As also the
    message that the Christ's Father is man's Father; that the Christ's
    God is man's God; and that in consequence of this, all men are

    "Many eulogies have been written in thy praise, O woman! Much
    honor accorded thee in God's economy of the world. But here thy
    glory--under the limits of our opening sentence--attained its flood
    tide. Never wast thou so honored before; never, so far as human
    ken may see, wilt thou be more honored. Indeed, how couldst thou
    be? What concerns the world more to know than what is comprised in
    thy message--Christ is risen; his Father is man's Father; his God,
    man's God--all men are brethren! This the sum of the law and the
    gospel--all else commentary. And thou, O woman! the messenger of
    these glad tidings! How honored wast thou! Even the glory of being
    'last at the cross, and earliest at the tomb,' is eclipsed by the
    honor of being herald of this. Cherish thou this honor. Claim it
    in all its Christ-given splendor; for it is fitting that thou unto
    whom it is first given to know human earth-life perennial, should
    be made herald of life immortal, and declare also its great source,
    and its relations. And thus wast thou honored of Deity, O Mother
    of human life--herald of life immortal! and of common fatherhood
    and brotherhood for human race. I am taught by these high things to
    honor thee, and here uncovered and holily I reverence pay thee."

That was sent, on the 13th of March, 1906, to my mother. It was not
written with any intent, the remotest, for publication; and while it
may lack very much of excellence and come far short in worthiness of
the high theme with which it deals; yet whatever its defects may be,
it is not lacking in appreciation and honor of woman. It is the result
of much thought and reflection, of one born and reared in the Mormon
system; such sentiment of respect and honor as it breathes for woman in
her high offices is taught to me by my Mormon faith, letter and spirit.
If anyone shall say in controversion of this that my brief treatise
deals with New Testament facts, such an objector must be reminded
that my Mormon faith teaches me the acceptance of both Old and New
Testaments as "the word of God," a fact too frequently overlooked by
our critics; and from them, as other books containing revelations from
God, I learn my Mormonism.

A few days ago, she to whom the above words were written, breathed
out her life in my arms; and yesterday we stood by the open grave
while friends and kindred laid this honored woman to rest. I am still
in the atmosphere of these things; and from the midst of these holy
associations, I denounce as false--I hope it was not maliciously
made--the charge that the Mormon faith gives out "low ideals in the
home and lacks in its respect and honor for woman." The charge is not


A word, in conclusion, on the proper limits of religious controversy.
In 1824 Robert Southey, Esquire, poet laureate of England at the time,
wrote a book under the title "The Book of the Church." It was a defense
of the Protestant position with reference to the holy Scriptures, and a
comparison of the respective attitudes of Catholics and Protestants in
relation to them. The book was replied to by Charles Butler, Esquire, a
Roman Catholic; and in the preface of his book, which he dedicated to
Charles Blundell, Esq., he says:

    "I willingly admit that to produce against our creed or conduct
    all that research and fair argument can supply, is legitimate
    controversy; but surely to conceal our merits or to represent
    them very briefly and imperfectly, and to display our defects at
    length and with the highest coloring; to impute to our general body
    what in justice is only chargeable on individuals; or to estimate
    the writings or actions of our ancestors in the dark ages by the
    notions and manners of the present age, is a crying injustice."

That states a true principle, and registers a just complaint. It voices
a protest that precisely fits our case. In the controversy waged
against us our merits, both as to doctrine and as to practice, are
either concealed or represented very briefly and imperfectly, while
our defects are displayed at length and with the highest coloring; to
the general body of the Church is imputed what, in justice, is only
chargeable on individuals; and I may add to this enumeration that we
are judged as to our settled convictions and established sentiments
respecting our relation to our fellow citizens, not of our religious
faith, and our attitude as citizens of the great republic, our country,
by the ill-advised and sometimes harsh expressions of some leading men
when in a state of irritation and disturbance; thus contravening the
principle long since laid down by Edmund Burke and quite generally
accepted that--

    "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 and expressions in a state of disturbance and of


Now, of course, as I stated in the commencement of my remarks, the
moral machinery of any system will be judged by the moral results
of it. We recognize the fact that a beautiful and perfect life is
unanswerable in support of a system that produces it; and yet while
exalting this species of evidence in vindication of a system, human
nature ought to be taken into account, for a perfect and beautiful
life in any system is rather a rarity, even among the early Christians
who were called saints it was so. They were not called saints because,
good souls, they were such; that is, in the sense of being perfect; but
they were called saints because they aspired to be such; because of
their struggles after righteousness. A close inquiry into their lives,
however, will demonstrate the fact that they were made of much the same
stuff that enters into our composition--that they were men of like
passions and weaknesses with ourselves, and fell far below the great
ideals set up by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am not putting this forth as a plea of justification for any failures
on our part. I am willing that this tree of Mormonism should be judged
by its fruits absolutely, and let it stand or fall by that test. But,
what I do object to is the course so often pursued by our critics.
That course is as if one should go into an orchard of twenty or fifty
acres of fruit-bearing trees, and should seek out and find here and
there--as one may, even in the best of orchards--the wind-beaten,
blasted, mildewed, dwarfed, or shrunken fruit, and carefully raking
this together, represent that as the fruit of the orchard! Whereas the
facts are that there are scores of tons of beautiful, ripe and perfect
fruit that is a credit to the orchard and to the husbandman of it. Yet
all that is passed by, and you are asked to judge the orchard by the
blasted specimens that have been raked together.

So in this work called Mormonism. Let our critics take into account the
rich harvest of righteous souls that this system has produced; and the
present upright and honorable men and women of our system, and judge
not the people by those who have failed to reach the high ideals that
Mormonism holds up as the goal of moral and spiritual achievement, and
who fail because they depart from our principles and the practices they

My brethren and sisters, I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. So far
as it is possible for the soul of man to be conscious of the truth, I
am conscious of the truth of this great latter-day system. I love it
with all my heart. There is no heart-throb of mine, no matter how far
short I may come in meeting the high requirements of the gospel--there
is no heart throb of mine that does not pulsate with love for this
work. I believe it true--nay, I know it to be of God. The fountain
whence it springs is pure. The water flowing from that fountain, the
streams, are also pure, in the name of God, Amen.



An address delivered at Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, March 19, 1911,
following a discourse delivered by Elder Charles W. Penrose, of the
Council of the Twelve. (Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


My brethren and sisters, I greatly rejoice in these sublime principles
expounded by our beloved brother and, now these many years, prominent
elder in the Church, Charles W. Penrose. While listening to him on this
occasion, I thought of the very many times I have had the opportunity
of so listening to him and being instructed in these principles which
concern the salvation of men. I remarked to Elder George Albert Smith,
by whom I sat during the discourse, how much the youth of Israel, how
much the present living membership of the Church of Latter-day Saints,
and the many thousands that have passed away--how much we all owe to
the faithful service of this witness for God! I felt that I wanted to
acknowledge my own indebtedness to him for the service that he has
rendered to the Church and to the world. I feel in my heart to thank
God for his ministry, for the gifts of his mind. I thank the Lord that
the Spirit of God has touched his understanding with inspiration to our
edification for, lo, these many years. Those are my sentiments towards
Brother Charles W. Penrose. The Lord bless him.

While contemplating the duty of speaking to this congregation, a duty
that arises out of the appointment I received to be in attendance upon
this conference, and while listening to the discourse just closed, I
came to the conclusion that it is almost as important to tell the world
what we do _not_ believe as it is to tell them what we _do_ believe.
Really, there is great strength at times in a negative statement, a
disclaiming of certain doctrines which we are slanderously reported to
believe, but in which we do not believe. The force of this negative
statement has been recognized by all the great councils of the Catholic
church at least, from the first unto the last. Upon every formal
announcement of dogma, by the councils of that church, there has been
attached an anathematizing clause. For illustration, in the great
council of Nicea, held early in the fourth century of the Christian
era, after defining the doctrine concerning the nature of God and the
relationship of the persons of the holy trinity, the Catholic church
added this clause:

    "But those who say that there was a time when he [the Son] was not,
    and that he was not before he was begotten, and that he was made of
    nothing, or affirm that he is of any other substance or essence,
    or that the Son of God is created and mutable or changeable, _the
    Catholic church doth pronounce accursed_."


And again, in the council of Trent, held in the sixteenth century, in
defining the doctrine of justification, which was then in debate, and
was one of the points of difference between the Protestants and the
Catholic church, after defining the doctrine of justification, the
Church said:

    "If any one shall say that the sinner is justified by faith alone
    in the sense that nothing else is required, which may cooperate
    towards the attainment of the grace of justification, and that the
    sinner does not need to be prepared and disposed by the motion of
    his own will, _let him be accursed_."

And so the last council held by that church, known as the Vatican
council, held in the closing months of 1869, and in the first months of
1870, defining the infallibility of the bishop of Rome, the pope of the
Catholic world, the anathematizing clause stands as follows:

    "But if any one, which may God avert, presume to contradict this
    our definition, _let him be anathema_."


I read these statements to show you that the negative statement is
recognized as possessing great force; for these anathematizing clauses
in the announcement of the councils are inserted to guard the Roman
Catholic faith from error. I am of the opinion, let me repeat, that
a negative statement by us, concerning some things that we do not
believe, would have a certain force, and I am going to try to make an
application of this principle just a little this afternoon, though in a
somewhat informal way.

To begin with, take this doctrine so ably expounded by Elder Penrose
in relation to our belief in God and in Jesus Christ and in the Holy
Ghost, the trinity of the Holy Scriptures and of our faith. We profess
faith in that Godhead, and to that Godhead alone do we pay divine
honors in holy worship; but it is extremely difficult to get the
people of the world to believe that we are thus far Christians. We
are accused, in some cases, of man-worship; we are sometimes accused
of worshiping Joseph Smith. Because we proclaim his mission and the
divinity of it, and say that through him there has been restored to the
earth divine authority to speak and act in the name of this Godhead
whom we worship--because we have emphasized his mission and have
insisted upon its divinity--because we speak much about it and write
much about it--the world has accused us of worshiping Joseph Smith; but
that is not true. We worship this Godhead of the Christian scriptures
alone; and if we may not say because of Christian charity, let him who
accuses us of worshiping other God than this be anathema, let us at
least say to those who assert that we worship other Godhead than the
Godhead of Holy Scripture, that they misrepresent and slander their
"Mormon" brethren.

So also in relation to our belief in the Savior of men. It has been
explained here by Elder Penrose that we believe and accept Jesus of
Nazareth as the Savior of men; that he was and is the Son of God, whom
God gave to the world, that through faith in him, and obedience to his
gospel, the world might be saved; and let those who say that we look to
other source and have other expectations of salvation, than through him
and his power, let them also know that they, at least, misrepresent the
Latter-day Saints.


Another matter, in connection with this, might be dwelt upon at greater
length, and that is an accusation to the effect that we believe in
what is called "blood atonement." So, indeed, we do; and so also do
the Christian world. Is it not the belief of the Christian world that
they will be saved through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God? Most assuredly; and so, too, do we believe in the atonement of
the Christ--aye, and in the manner of the atonement of the Christ--that
the very form of it was necessary to the salvation of men. We believe
that there is no other means that could be devised to make adequate
satisfaction to justice and preserve in its integrity the moral law of
the universe. Just what was done in the atonement of the Lord Jesus
Christ, his death, and the manner of his death, the shedding of his
blood was necessary to the salvation of the world, for in the gospel,
as in the law, "without the shedding of blood is no remission of
sins." (Heb. ix:21). Yet it would appear that there are some things
for which not even this atonement can bring forgiveness. For example,
it is said by the Master himself, that "every sin and blasphemy shall
be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost shall not be
forgiven unto men. If men speak a word against the Son of Man it shall
be forgiven them, but if they speak a word against the Holy Ghost it
shall not be forgiven them, neither in this world, neither in the world
to come." (Matt. xii:31-32); and that notwithstanding the atonement
of the Christ. Again it is written, "The murderer hath not eternal
life abiding in him." (I John iii:15). Again it is written, "He that
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." (Gen. ix:6).
Blood for blood was the doctrine of that Scripture. Now we believe in
that doctrine; that is, we believe that those who so far transgress
that they imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow men, that
their lives are necessary to the complete atonement; and that their
execution should be such that it admits of the shedding of their blood.
And it is because of this belief that the laws of Utah permit such
method of execution for capital offenses as sheds the blood of the
murderer. But the reputation has gone out, the slander has passed from
lip to lip, it has been printed from one book into another, until the
report has gone out into all the world, that the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, the "Mormon" Church, arrogates to itself the
right to take human life for apostasy from the Church, and for certain
other sins. That is a slander; it is not true. We do not believe the
doctrine; we do not claim for the Church that it has the right of
capital punishment, or the right of executing vengeance. We do not
teach nor claim that the Church has the right to assassinate men for
apostasy, even though they be murderers. However much we might believe
them worthy of death, the Church claims no right to execute them. The
doctrine of the Church in relation to that matter is found here in
the Doctrine and Covenants. It is in a revelation given before the
Church was a year old, and is found in section 42 of the Doctrine and


    "And now, behold, I speak unto the Church, Thou shalt not kill, and
    he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the
    world to come;

    "And again, I say, thou shalt not kill, but he that killeth shall

Yes, but how? By whose hand? Read it in a subsequent verse, in the same

    "And it shall come to pass that if any persons among you shall
    kill, _they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the
    laws of the land;_ for remember that he hath no forgiveness, and it
    shall be proven according to the laws of the land."

And of course those who administer the laws of the land must become the
executors of that law; the Church claims no right of executing such a
law. That is our belief in relation to this subject. "Yes, but," some
one will be ready to say, "is it not matter of record that some very
emphatic and even vehement declarations have been made in relation to
this matter by very prominent men in the Mormon Church, in years that
are gone?" Yes, some very extravagant utterances, some very ill-advised
expressions were used; but those exaggerated, those embittered and
over-zealous words on the part of very well-meaning men, doubtless,
did not announce in those instances the doctrine of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The question will be asked, How
are you going to account for these expressions which you declare are
unwarranted by the law of the Church? How are you going to justify
them? Well, I am not going to justify them at all, but I can account
for them.

It cannot be that the world is so ignorant in this enlightened age
as not to know that churches cannot be held responsible for every
utterance that is made in their name and from their pulpits. Listen to
this passage from the writings of the learned Edersheim, in his History
of the Life and Times of the Christ; he says:

    "No one would measure the belief of Christians 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 Calvinists by the burning of Servitus. In
    all such cases the general standpoint of the times has to be first
    taken into account."

So it is in our history, not every word that has been spoken, even by
men high in authority in the Church, has always been the exact and
perfect word of God.


That thought brings me to another subject; our belief in continuous
revelation, and an inspired priesthood in the Church. We have heard,
by our brother who preceded me, that we believe in the revelations of
God. One of our articles of faith puts it in this form: "We believe
all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe
that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to
the kingdom of God." We believe that the Church of Christ is within
the hearing of God, that is, not only that he hears the prayers of
his Saints, but also that he answers those prayers. We feel that this
Church of Christ--this Church of ours--is in touch with the Infinite
and in tune with the Infinite, that the intelligence and power of God
are among its resources; that where human wisdom comes short, God may
be reached through the channels appointed and God's intelligence, and
wisdom, and power brought into the service of the Church of Christ. It
is possible for his prophet to divest himself of personal desires and
interests; to put away from himself preconceived thought and notion,
and seek to know the mind and will of God; by going into the holy of
holies, thus prepared, it is possible, if God will, for him to return
with the law of God unto his people, unto his Church, thus making the
wisdom and strength of God the wisdom and strength of his Church. We
believe that; but there is for the Church but one man in the Church
at a time who has the right to thus come with the law of God unto his
people. Though every individual, in his individual capacity, and for
guidance in the position he occupies in the Church--it is possible for
each person to have access, through the inspirations of the Spirit of
God, to the same source of knowledge and strength and power. We believe
in an inspired priesthood for the Church; we believe in inspired
teachers; but that does not require us to believe that every word that
is spoken from the pulpit is the very word of God. Perhaps some of you
will think that there is a passage in one of our revelations somewhat
against this conception of things, as for instance here in section 68
of the Doctrine and Covenants, is a revelation that was given to Elder
Orson Hyde and the Church. It is written here that Elder Hyde was
called upon to go from land to land as a teacher of the gospel--

    "And behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were
    ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them
    to go forth;

    "And this is the 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."


But mark you this, the fact that shall give unto their utterances the
value of Scripture, making their words as the word of God, and the
power of God unto salvation--the condition precedent to this is that
they "speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost." "Whatsoever they shall
speak _when_ moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture," etc. But
it is not given to mortal man always to walk upon that plane where the
sunlight of God's inspiration is playing upon him. Men may, by care and
devotion and spiritual strength, rise sometimes to that high plane; may
stand at times as on mountain tops, uncovered, in the presence of God,
their spirit united with his Spirit, until the mind of God shall flow
through them to bless those who hearken to their words: and there is no
need that one shall rise up and say, "This man was inspired of God,"
for all the people who receive of his ministrations know that by the
effect of his spirit upon their spirits. But, sometimes, the servants
of God stand on planes infinitely lower than the one here described.
Sometimes they speak merely from their human knowledge, influenced
by passions; influenced by the interests of men, and by anger, and
vexation, and all those things that surge in upon the minds of even
servants of God. When they so speak, then that is not Scripture, that
is not the word of God, nor the power of God unto salvation; but when
they speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, their voice then becomes
the voice of God. So that men, even some of high station in the Church,
sometimes speak from merely human wisdom; or from prejudice or passion;
and when they do so, that is not likely to be the word of God. I do
not think the world should require such perfection of us as to insist
that our religious teachers always deliver the inerrant word of God! In
any event it must be allowed by us that many unwise things were said
in times past, even by prominent elders of the Church; things that
were not in harmony with the doctrines of the Church; and that did not
possess the value of Scripture, or anything like it; and it was not
revelation. Moreover, no revelation even becomes the doctrine of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until it is accepted by
that Church by formal action; it must be accepted by official vote of
the Church before it becomes the law of the Church.


There is one thing which always gives me great and abounding joy, and
that is this: Here in the Doctrine and Covenants we have a volume of
revelation that has been given to the Church as the word of God, and
accepted as such by the Church. We accept four great books as the
authoritative Scriptures of the Church, wherein the doctrines of the
Church are couched, viz. the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine
and Covenants, and the collection of writings called the Pearl of Great
Price, containing the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and some of
the writings of the Prophet Joseph. I have been engaged for some years
in advocacy of our faith, and in defending it, and in these Scriptures
that have been given under the inspiration of God, and accepted by the
Church of Christ as containing the doctrine of the Church, I find no
doctrine, that may not be successfully defended before any body of men
in the world, I care not how learned or intelligent they may be--nay,
the more learned and intelligent the easier is the defense. The books I
have named constitute our Scripture, not the haphazard sayings of men
from the pulpit; and as in the future we receive line upon line, and
precept upon precept--as the volume of written revelation shall grow,
it will possess the same characteristics of truth that our present
volumes of Scripture possess.

There is one other item I would like to speak upon, viz., that article
of our faith which declares that "We believe in being honest, true,
chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men." Now,
of course, that article covers the whole moral law of the gospel
as pertaining to personal conduct, and as pertaining to conduct in
relationship to others. It introduces a theme altogether too large
for exposition here; and I shall confine my remarks just to the two
first things--which, really are but one thing, namely, that we believe
in being "honest, true." If you were to judge of the character of
the Latter-day Saints by what is being said of them in the current
magazines and the daily press, one would really think that they
possessed no quality of honesty or of truthfulness; but that in both
civic and religious life their whole course of conduct was based upon
chicanery, and fraud, and untruth. Yet, here is our article of faith,
that we believe in being honest, in being true. That means that we
believe in speaking the truth and acting the truth; it goes both to
belief and to action; to mental attitude and actual practice:


Let me call attention to another fact--and Brother Penrose
mentioned it, also--namely, that we believe in certain attributes
that God possesses. Among these attributes, as well as eternity,
and omnipotence, and omnipresence, and omniscience, and holiness,
and wisdom, and knowledge, and power, and love, and justice, and
mercy--there is also the attribute of truth; and this attribute of
truth is absolute in God. The scriptures say, with verity, that he is
"a God of truth, without iniquity; just and right is he." "Mercy and
truth," said another prophet, "go before thy face." Another one has
said, "God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he
should repent." Along this line we ourselves have a very grand saying,
given to the Prophet Joseph before the organization of the Church,
but it will endure through all time, and in all ages, and in all
experiences, namely:

    "God doth not walk in crooked paths; neither doth he turn to the
    right hand, nor to the left; neither doth he vary from that which
    he has said; therefore, his paths are straight, and his course is
    one eternal round." (Doc.& Cov., sec. 3:2).

Because of this attribute of truth in God, he must be thought of as
imparting to the institutions which he founds his own nature; they must
be in harmony with his attributes. Consequently, when he establishes
his Church, it will be a church of truth; it will stand for the truth
like its founder; it will speak the truth without variation, without
turning to the right hand, or turning to the left hand. God must be
true--an untruthful God? The very thought, but that I am refuting it,
would be blasphemy. It would wreck the moral universe for God to speak
untruth. It is unthinkable; it cannot be entertained. That also which
God founds, an institution such as his Church, must also, I repeat,
stand for the truth. But those, I say, who judge our reputation from
what is said of us in the current magazines--a person forming his
judgment upon those slanders, would believe there was no truth in
us, nor in the Church. But we, nevertheless, believe in truth; we
believe in being honest, true, virtuous; and let those who charge
us with believing otherwise than this; or who say that we trust in
falsehood; and believe in practicing it, wherein they do not speak
ignorantly--"_let them be anathema_!" And those among us--those of our
faith--and I fear that there may be one in ten thousand, I do not know,
but I have found some who will advance the idea that even the kingdom
of God has to resort to deception and untruth, at times, in order to
meet some emergency or other--to all such without qualification, I say
_anathema!_ Be ye accursed! They do the Church to which they belong a
great injustice. The Church cannot stand on untruth. The truth, the
whole of it, and constantly the truth, must be the creed of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or else it proves itself not
the product of the God of truth, for he is true. To doubt it would
be disloyalty, to think of it, otherwise than to refute it, would be


There is much more that might be dealt with negatively, and
anathematized, perhaps, but this satisfies me upon this occasion,
and the time for closing this meeting has arrived. I join here, this
afternoon, with my brother, Elder Penrose, in bearing witness to the
truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ; to the existence of God the
Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. With him, I bear witness
to you of the virtue and power and saving grace in the atonement of
the Lord Jesus Christ; and bear witness to you that there is no other
name given among men whereby we may be saved, only the name of Jesus of
Nazareth. With him, I bear witness to you, out of my experience, that
men may have communion with God, that his Spirit does give inspiration
to the spirit of man, and through that means there may be both union
and communion now between men and God, through obedience to the gospel.
I know and I bear witness, with Elder Penrose, that this is the Church
of Jesus Christ, founded in these latter-days; that there was virtue
and power, and divinity in the mission of Joseph Smith, the instrument
in God's hands of bringing in this new dispensation of the gospel of
Jesus Christ. I testify that those who believe the gospel and obey it;
that those who with real, earnest effort--even though stumblingly--seek
to obey it, to them will be extended the divine grace and power of God,
and helpfulness; that out of the abundance of his mercy and grace will
God help those who are weak, if only they keep their faces constantly
directed towards him, and back of all their mistakes and failures they
maintain an earnest determination to overcome the things of this world
and the weaknesses of human nature. God will remember that they are but
men in the making, and he will be merciful and ultimately will give
them the victory, if only they will strive and pray and not faint. That
I know, for God has taught me that in my own experiences, and I bear
witness of it to you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.



Discourse in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, September 12, 1909.
(Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


I never face this tabernacle congregation without a very great amount
of misgiving on my part, which amounts to an inward fear and trembling.
I presume it arises from the fact that such a position brings home to
one the weight of responsibility that rests upon him who undertakes
to be a public teacher; and, sometimes, I have felt for my own part,
that I would be happier if these occasional duties did not devolve upon
me. However, we can't help but remember that in discharging this duty
the Lord has sometimes been good to us and blest us with a measure of
success, and some truth, or portion of truth, has been presented in a
manner to be understood by the saints. This gives one encouragement
and faith to try again, and perhaps, my friends, on this occasion, if
we can acceptably approach the Lord, our meeting together may result
in blessing. I most fervently pray that such may be the outcome of our
meeting this afternoon.

I have not been able to fix upon any text which would foreshadow the
truth that I would like to present on this occasion. I have no text,
but I have a theme in mind, that has taken more or less of definite
form--a theme which may be illustrated by many texts; and certainly by
many historical experiences of the people of God in various ages of the
world. My thought may be stated in these terms: No matter what your
conception of divine things may be--however wide or high--the divine
things themselves, be assured, are much greater than your conceptions
of them. I pray you, think about that a while, and get it well in mind:
No matter how great or comprehensive your conceptions may be of divine
things, the divine things themselves are always greater than your
conceptions of them. It must have been some such thought as this which
led our Prophet Joseph Smith to make the following remark: "The things
of God are of deep import, and time and experience, and careful and
ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man,
if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the
utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss and
the broad expanse of eternity--Thou must commune with God!"


Associated with this theme that we have here announced is another,
namely, that in consequence of man's failure to comprehend fully the
things of God, there is great danger that he may misapprehend divine
things--God's messages and God's purposes. The experience of God's
people abundantly demonstrate this second truth. For example: suppose
you think upon the misapprehension that the Jews had concerning the
promised Messiah. Their prophets and even their patriarchs, in their
writings and prophecies, had foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah
the Redeemer not only of Israel but of the world. Yet, when he came,
the Jews altogether misapprehended him, and so far misunderstood him
and his mission that they rejected him. Israel's national existence
had been a very precarious and trying one. They had been subdued again
and again by nations surrounding them. For many generations their
petty kingdom had been but a shuttle-cock between the battle-doors of
Assyrian and Persian, of Persian and Egyptian; and at the time of the
advent of the Messiah, Palestine had been reduced to the condition of
a Roman province, and was under the iron hand of Roman rule. The Jews
looked back, frequently, to the glorious days of David and Solomon,
when Israel could well be proud of her national existence. They longed,
again, for a king, and national independence; and hence they regarded
the promise of the Messiah as the coming of a king to bring redemption
to Israel and to establish them as a nation in the earth. But instead
of a king, there came a peasant; instead of a conqueror, there came a
teacher; and they did not recognize, in his character, and mission the
elements that would exalt him far above all earthly kings and give to
him an empire over the children of men that should far exceed in glory
anything that could come to earthly potentate or monarch. They wholly
misapprehended the mission of the Messiah; and yet, when you take into
account the position of the Christ today in the world, although we have
had but a partial development of his truths, although the glory of his
kingdom has been somewhat arrested by reason of the departure of men
from that divine system of truth which he established, notwithstanding
we have had but a lame and halting Christianity--yet, to what heights
has it lifted the Messiah of the Jews in mighty influence among the
nations of the earth! We get the principle with which we started our
discourse illustrated most beautifully in these circumstances: First
the misapprehension of men of the things of God; and yet the truth
that however great the conceptions of men may be of divine things,
the divine things themselves far outrun in glory, and largeness, and
power, men's conceptions of them; for the Jews never attributed even
to the Messiah of their prophecies the glory that has already come to
the Christ. He reigns, with more or less supremacy in the hearts of
at least more than one-third of the inhabitants of the earth, and is
accepted as prophet, as priest, and, in some sense or other, as the
Redeemer of all men. And that, I believe, far outstrips the conceptions
that the Jews had of the glory of their Messiah.

Take another illustration of our theme. The early Christians, as well
as the Jews, failed to apprehend the mission of the Christ. There was
fixed in the minds of those early converts to the Christian faith the
thought that salvation was of the Jews; (John 4:22); and it seems to me
they added to the words of Christ the idea that not only was salvation
of Israel, but salvation, in their minds, was merely for Israel. Those
early Christian converts had no idea that their Messiah was to become
the Messiah and Savior of all men; and it required special revelation
to the chief apostle, Peter, to get even him to understand that the
message of the Christ was for the gentile as well as for the Jew. You
will remember, when the Lord had inspired a certain gentile, of the
name of Cornelius, to inquire of the Lord what he ought to do in order
to be accepted of God, how by special revelation unto Peter, as the
messengers from this devout gentile approached his dwelling place, he
was given a vision, the import of which was that whosoever God should
recognize as clean, Peter must not call filthy or unclean. Three times
was this lesson taught to the chief apostle, when, lo, the messengers
from Cornelius were knocking at his doors. He met the messengers from
Cornelius, who brought word that God had visited this devout gentile,
and bid him send for the chief apostle of the Christ. Peter went down
to the house of Cornelius and taught him the truths of the gospel;
and as he spake the Holy Ghost rested upon the gentiles present as
it had upon the Jews on the day of Pentecost. Then Peter saw the
interpretation of his vision; and he said: "Can any man forbid water,
that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost
as well as we."

By this means the Lord led this man, Peter, to have a wider view of
the mission of the Christ, but it was extremely difficult to get the
rest of the Christians, in that day to accept this thought. Hence when
Paul came forward, being raised up of the Lord to carry his message
to the gentiles, it was his chief offense, so thought the Christian
Jews, that he taught this broader application of the Gospel of the
Christ to the children of God; and those early, fanatical Christians
stoutly accused him of blasphemy and of bringing those who were unclean
into the temple of God. It required all the revelations that God gave
to Peter; it required all the inspiration that God gave to Paul--all
his energy, all his learning, all his inspired eloquence--to make it
known to the world that salvation was not only for the Jew but for the
gentile also; and the first congregations of the Christians in Judea
seem, in sullen mood, to have rejected the greater revelations accepted
by the apostles, and the great tide of the gospel swept by them and
left them in their obscurity; while Paul and his associates ran to
and fro, through the mighty Roman empire, and planted the standard of
the gospel in many gentile cities, and made the world ring with the
message of the Messiah. These people, the first Christians, many of
them good and pure minded people, no doubt, failed to rightly apprehend
the great mission of the Messiah, and so that mission swept on by them
and left them in their obscurity. We may say in closing this branch of
our reflections that the prophecy of the Messiah respecting the Jews
who rejected him; and in a manner also the Jews who accepted him, but
failed to apprehend the largeness of his mission, the universality of
the salvation he brought into the world--the prophecy of the Messiah, I
say, was fulfilled--"The Kingdom of God shall be taken from among you,
and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." And Paul: "It
was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to
you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of
everlasting life, lo! we turn to the gentiles."

Now I am wondering if you will bear with me while I point out the fact
that we too, in this dispensation of the fulness of times, are in the
same danger of failing to apprehend the greatness of the things of God
restored to us. We, too, are human; we, too, fail to grasp the full
import of the truth which is the center around which our thoughts are
moving. We fail to realize that great as our conceptions may be of
divine things, yet, those divine things are infinitely greater than our
conceptions of them.



Take here this book of Doctrine and Covenants. In some half score of
the early revelations, you find this statement made, "A great and
marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men." How
many of the early converts of the Church appreciated the meaning of
that solemn announcement? They stood in the presence of certain facts
then developing, that were truly marvelous and great in their eyes.
In an age when the orthodox churches were teaching that God would no
more speak from heaven to give further revelation; in an age when all
Christendom taught that the visitation of angels had ceased; in an age
when it was orthodox to regard the volume of Scripture as completed
and forever closed--these early converts had heard the wonderful
announcement of God's witness, that the heavens had been reopened;
that God had once more revealed himself to man upon the earth; that
angels had come with messages from God; that there had been brought
forth a whole volume of Scripture that was a witness for God, the
Book of Mormon, that spoke of the ancient inhabitants of this western
world, giving an account of the migration of their fathers to this
land from the old world; that gave an account of the rise and fall of
nations and empires in this western hemisphere; that testified of the
goodness of God to them, and revealing himself to them, and sending the
risen Messiah to them to make known the gospel of the Son of God, and
proclaim the means of their salvation. The early converts to the Church
had witnessed that volume of Scripture brought forth. They had seen a
church organized under the direction and inspiration of God. They had
seen a renewal of those spiritual powers and graces that characterized
the primitive church of the Christ. Contrary to the expectations and
teaching of modern Christendom, the sick were healed; the lame were
made to walk; in some cases the eyes of the blind were opened. Men felt
once more that they stood in the immediate presence of the living,
throbbing power of God in the world, and especially in the Church of
Christ. These things were indeed "great and marvelous" to them; but
how very far short of the full glory of the latter-day work do these
few first steps now seem to us! The saints in those early days did
not dream that there was to be an unfolding of doctrine and Church
organization such as we now behold. They did not understand in those
early days that there would again be a quorum of apostles, endowed
with the same powers and gifts and authority that characterized the
first apostolate of the Church of Christ. They did not know then that
there were to be called into existence thousands and tens of thousands
of assistant apostles, the seventies, who would be commissioned to go
into all the world under the direction of the twelve, to preach the
gospel to all nations and gather Israel. They had no idea that scores
and even hundreds of bishops would be called into official existence
to preside in the midst of the people of God. They did not understand
that the keys for the redemption of the dead would be restored, so that
the gospel could be proclaimed in the spirit World and men brought
to a knowledge of the truth, that they might "live according to God
in the spirit," and, ultimately, be judged as men are judged in the
flesh. They did not know that temples were to be erected, in which this
work for both living and dead could be performed. They could not then
understand that in this dispensation of the fulness of times all the
ends of the earth were to meet; and "all things in Christ be gathered
together in one, even in him," until all the families of the earth that
would receive the truth might in every way be bound in chains of love
at the feet of the living Christ. The early converts to the Church had
no such vision of the work of God, as this. It is not a reproach to
them that they did not fully comprehend these things, or anticipate the
marvelous history that the people of God would make. They were just
like the children of men in all generations, and like ourselves. No
matter how wonderful to them divine things were, no matter how great
their conceptions of them, the divine things themselves were infinitely
greater than they conceived them to be.



Take another illustration of my theme. In the Book of Mormon this
truth was revealed, that in this western world a holy city would
finally be builded by the people of God. A city called "Zion," the
"New Jerusalem." When the saints saw that fact revealed in the Book
of Mormon, they, very naturally, desired to know the place where the
city would stand; and the Lord finally revealed the place where the
City of Zion will be located. The place of that city is in the central
portion of the land of Zion. Independence, Jackson county, Missouri,
was designated as the place where the holy city is to be founded. No
sooner was this known than straightway the gathering of the people
to that point commenced. Some few hundreds of the saints gathered to
that land and essayed to lay the foundations of the city, the glory of
which was described in the Nephite Scriptures. In the course of time,
however, the saints were expelled from Jackson county by the cruelty
of their neighbors, who rejected their religion and rose up against
the people of God. When the saints were compelled to leave Jackson
county, they looked upon themselves as exiles from Zion, and it was
rather with heavy hearts and with sinking hopes that they went to
building other cities elsewhere in Missouri. Finally the entire state
of Missouri rose against the people of God--and unjustly and by the
violation of every principle of constitutional government, expelled
some twelve thousand of the saints from that state. As you know, the
saints located themselves on the Illinois side of the Mississippi river
and founded the city of Nauvoo. They still counted themselves as exiles
from Zion, and they thought that the cause of God--that is, many of
them--thought that the cause of God was losing, that his purposes were
being thwarted; they were exiles from the land of promise; the City of
Zion was as a dream that was fast fading from their consciousness. Then
the Prophet began to instruct them more fully concerning this matter of
Zion. He called their attention to the fact that the whole of America,
both north continent and south continent--was the land of Zion; that
the promise of God concerning Zion related to this western hemisphere;
that these great continents were consecrated chiefly unto the seed of
Joseph, the patriarch in Israel, son of Jacob, and that this whole land
was given to him as his inheritance. That is how it is that both Moses
and also Jacob, in their blessings upon the head of Joseph declare that
his blessings had prevailed above the blessings of his progenitors;
and that his lands extended to the "utmost bounds of the everlasting
hills." He was given the birthright in Israel, to stand at the head of
Israel. (I Chron. 5:1-2.) Reuben "was the first born; 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., of Reuben. "For Judah prevailed above
his brethren and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was
Joseph's;" and hence the Scriptures frequently declare that God is a
Father unto Israel, and Ephraim is his first born. (Jeremiah 31:9).
This was a larger view of the subject of Zion than the saints had
entertained. Can you see in this illustration, confirmation of our
theme, viz., that no matter how great your conceptions may be of divine
things, the divine things themselves are infinitely greater than you
conceive them to be?



Still another illustration. It is a prominent principle of the faith
of the Latter-day Saints that the great promises which God has made
unto Israel, to the effect that they shall be gathered in from their
dispersion, shall be fulfilled in this dispensation of the fulness of
times. Of course you know, being familiar with the history of Israel,
that they have been scattered among all the nations of the earth. This
is true with reference to all the tribes of Israel. "I will sift the
house of Israel among all nations" is what Amos represents the Lord
as saying (Amos 9:8, 9). Of course you are aware of the fact that
after the reign of Solomon, Israel divided into two kingdoms--the
northern kingdom composed of the ten tribes, the southern kingdom,
Judah, composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. After a national
existence of some two hundred years, the Assyrians overcame the
northern kingdom and took the people captive into Assyria; but while
in captivity there, we are informed by tradition, that the people
resolved to leave the heathen nation by whom they had been led into
captivity, and go into a land never before inhabited by man, and there
they resolved that they would keep the statutes and the judgments
of God even better than they had done in the land of their fathers.
The historian who tells us of these circumstances (Esdras) also says
that they performed something like a year and a half's journey to the
northward, up through the narrow pass of the Euphrates and Tigris
rivers, and thence northward, and inhabited the land; and since those
days they have been known as "the lost tribes of Israel." The kingdom
of Judah maintained but a precarious existence; it was first subject
to one nation and then to another, until finally, toward the close
of the first century of the Christian era, the nation was completely
subjugated by the Roman power; her people were taken captive and sold
into slavery, or scattered as exiles among the nations of the gentiles.
Ever since then, until now, Judah has been a hiss and byword, a broken,
scattered people. But over and above all these historical events rings
out clear and strong the promise of God, as spoken by the mouth of
Jeremiah, Saying:

    "Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the
    isles afar off and say, he that scattered Israel will gather him
    and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath
    redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was
    stronger than he (ch. xxxi:10, 11). Behold I will bring them [the
    children of Israel] from the north country, and gather them from
    the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the
    woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; a
    great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping
    and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk
    by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not
    stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first
    born." (Ch. xxxi: verses, 8, 9).

The Jewish Scriptures are full of this promise. It is iterated and
reiterated; and it is well known that the tradition lives in Israel,
that though now scattered abroad, yet will they at some time be called
to resume the thread of their national existence, and Israel shall yet
be known among the nations of the earth. As broad as the scattering has
been, so broad also shall be the gathering. This message of ours, the
gospel of Jesus Christ, has always been accompanied by proclamation
of this doctrine of the gathering of Israel. The prophet Amos tells
us that God had "sifted" Israel among the nations, and now unto the
servants of God in this dispensation is given the commission to cry
aloud unto Israel, "Come out of her, my people: that ye partake not of
her sins, and receive not of her plagues," speaking of Babylon. God, I
say, has repeatedly promised that there shall be a gathering together
of Israel, and those who were led away into the "north countries," we
are told shall be brought again to the land of their fathers; their
prophets shall hear the voice of God, and shall not stay themselves,
but they shall come forth in the power of God and bring their people
unto Zion, where they shall receive blessings at the hands of the
children of Ephraim, the first born, who holds the patriarchal right
to bless and seal in the house of Israel. This is the faith of the
Latter-day Saints respecting Israel.



Permit me to make a little divergence at this point. I have observed
some criticisms in our local press in relation to the views entertained
by the Latter-day Saints about the return of the lost tribes of
Israel from the land of the north. We have recently had the north
pole discovered--well, discovered twice, if reports be true. [1] And
it is claimed by the aforesaid local press that the Church entertains
the view that somewhere, in this frozen region of the pole these lost
tribes have lived, and that it has been the hope of the Latter-day
Saints that from the north pole regions these lost tribes would return
to supplement them in numbers and power and influence here in this
land of our Zion. There is more or less of merriment indulged in
because, now that the north pole has been discovered, lo, there is no
people there and no place for a people. Ice fields, ice mountains, ice
floes, with accompanying desolation--an absolute loneliness out there
at the poles! Well, I think men for some time have been sufficiently
close to the pole to lead any thoughtful person to the conclusion
that such conditions of lonely desolation must have existed there,
rather than any continent of salubrious climate and fertile soils,
where a great people could be located. Let me offer this suggestion:
If those of us who believe in the messages from God given in these
last days are likely, because of inability to asses these messages
at their full value--if we are likely to have misapprehensions of
the messages and the purposes of God, certainly those who have no
sympathy with them, and who do not believe in them are apt to have
still wider misapprehensions of the messages and purposes of God.
That being true, it is possible also that our local newspaper critics
have formed misconceptions concerning an alleged belief of ours about
the existence of the ten tribes somewhere in polar regions. I do not
know how many Latter-day Saints may have entertained the view that
about the polar regions were located the lost tribes of Israel. I do
not know how many even of our students--the students of the gospel
of this dispensation of the fulness of times--may have entertained
the same view. There is the statement of Esdras that there was a
year and a half's journey northward from Assyria, by the ten tribes;
and there is the promise repeated frequently in Jewish Scriptures,
that the Lord would lead back from the north the tribes of Israel.
From these statements, some of our people may have concluded that
necessarily these lost tribes must be established in the extreme
northern portions of the earth, hence the region of the north pole.
There may be something in our literature to that effect--I cannot
say positively, because I have not had the opportunity, recently, to
examine our literature with reference to that particular view. But of
this I am positive; that in none of the revelations of God is there
any expression that would lead one to believe that God had located
the ten tribes about the north pole. The revelations of the Lord do
not necessarily lead us to any such conclusion. When the Savior was
in the western hemisphere, ministering among the Nephites, he called
their attention to the announcement that he had made to his disciples
in Judea, when he said, "Other sheep have I 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." (John 10:16.) When ministering
to the Nephites, I say, the Messiah explained to them that they
were the "other sheep" he had in mind in this passage. Some of the
disciples, he explained, believed that he had in mind the gentiles,
not appreciating the fact that his manifestation of himself and of
his truth to the gentiles should be through the manifestations of the
Holy Ghost, rather than by ministration of himself personally to them.
The disciples in Judea then had a misapprehension of this matter,
though Jesus himself had said that he was not sent (personally) but
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt. 15:24.) Here, then,
in this western world, were the "other sheep," that the Christ had in
mind in this remarkable statement that he made to his disciples in
Judea. The Messiah also informed the Nephites that he had not only
fulfilled this Scripture but now there was still another mission that
had been given him, namely to visit the lost tribes of the house of
Israel, and manifest himself to them, for though these tribes were
lost unto the children of men they were not lost unto the Father. He
knew their location, and had given commission to his Son to minister
unto them. (See III Nephi, chaps. 15, 16, 17.) But there is nothing in
the statement of the Messiah to the Nephites that would compel us to
believe that these lost tribes were located about the north pole; but
merely expressions in the Scriptures that would lead one to conclude
that they were located in northern lands. Then again, in the matter
of this return of the "lost tribes of Israel," there are those I
believe, who, seeing that there was small hope of a location for them
about the north pole, have held that perhaps the said lost tribes were
located upon some detached portion of the earth. As to that, I have no
opinion to express; but this I believe, for myself, that within the
known regions of the earth, where the children of men are located, it
is quite possible for God to fulfill all his predictions in relation
to the return of Israel. It would have been quite possible for God to
scatter, or to use the language of the prophet Amos--"Sift the house
of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve," and
"yet not the least grain fall upon the earth"--i.e., be lost to the
knowledge of God, though now lost to men. And as it was possible to
lose these tribes of Israel among the nations of the earth, so is it
possible for God to recover them from their scattered condition from
among these nations, with a display of the divine power. And with
reference to this display of divine power, let me say that something
must always be allowed to the character of prophetic language. You must
remember that seers and prophets do not speak the cold, calculating
language of philosophy, where every word is weighed in the exact scales
of thought. Prophets do not follow the precision in their language that
is required of the scientists. These men, prophets and seers, commune
with God. Their finite life touches, for a moment, the infinite life
of God. Their limited wisdom touches for a moment the supreme wisdom
of the infinite. For an instant they see things large; and infused and
inspired with the fire they have received from this contact with the
divine, lo! they come with their message and speak it in the words of
spiritual passion. Of course, to them, in this mood, the mountains
will sink; the valleys will rise. Of course, the prophets, if in the
north, will hear the voice of God, and the mountains of ice will flow
down at their presence; the hills will rejoice and the mountains shout
for joy! When men come with this inspiration upon them they see and
feel things large, and they speak of them in that spirit; and when
we come to reduce what they thus bring to us, from the heart of God,
to our petty conceptions, we of course must be prepared to take into
account the figurative language they speak. It is possible that if we
fail to do this, we shall misapprehend, in part, some material fact of
their message. Especially should one be on his guard in such highly
picturesque matters as the return of the lost tribes from their long
dispersion--from the lands of the north. In such an event not only will
"mountains of ice flow down" at the presence of their prophets, but
highways will be cast up in the midst of the great deep--their enemies
will become a prey unto them--in barren deserts shall come forth pools
of living water--the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty
land--the "boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their
presence!" (Doc. and Cov., sec. 133.)

[Footnote 1: Having reference to Cook's claims of "discovering the
pole" as well as Peary's discovery.]

We must make some allowance, I repeat, for the hyperbole of that
language in which the message of these prophets is delivered--remember,
it is vibrant with the great things of God; and it makes some effort to
encompass these great things.


But, coming to a closer consideration of this "gathering of
Israel"--Israel is gathering all right; perhaps not after our
conception of it, not after our ideas as to how Israel should or would
be gathered. Nevertheless, Israel, I say, is gathering to the land of
Zion. You Latter-day Saints--whence came you? From the British isles,
from Germany, from the Scandinavian countries, from the islands of
the sea. Who are you? Israelites, gathered by the gospel message,
which includes the word of God to you to gather together on this land
of Zion. You are chiefly of the tribe of Ephraim, according to the
inspired utterances of the patriarchs who pronounce blessings upon
your heads. Well, if you--gathered from a multitude of nations--are of
Israel, may not Israel, by hundreds of thousands and millions, be in
the lands whence you came, which was chiefly from the northern lands of
Europe? for our mission has had little success among the Latin races
of southern Europe. You have been gathered by the proclamation of the
gospel and are of Israel; and not only are you who have received the
gospel gathered, but your kindred Germans, your kindred Scandinavians,
your kindred Britishers, have also been coming to the land of Zion.
Indeed, it seems that America is an asylum for all people; and even
races that we fain would close our gates against, in spite of all the
wisdom and caution and legislation of our national legislators and the
administrative officers of our government, they, too, come to the land
of Zion; and who shall say that these races have not inheritance in
Zion? This western hemisphere is not only granted to the descendants
of Joseph in Israel, not only to it will come those of the lost tribes
of Israel, but the gentile races also have promise of an inheritance
in this land; and here shall they receive the blessings of the gospel
of Jesus Christ; receiving it at the hands of the children of Ephraim,
upon whom commission has been bestowed and divine authority given to
preach the gospel and administer in its ordinances. So Israel is being
gathered in these last days to the land of Zion, and here gentile races
are also assembling. Here in the United States alone we can reach more
Germans than we can preach to in Germany, because of the limitations of
religious liberty in Germany. Here we may preach to more English people
than in England. Here we may preach to more Scandinavians than we can
preach to in Scandinavia. Here we have opportunity to teach the truth
unto gathered Israel in this blest land of Zion, and here and among
the other known nations of the earth is full scope and opportunity for
the accomplishment of all those things that have been predicted by the
servants of God in all ages of the world respecting Israel, without
assuming that it is necessary to go into the north polar regions or to
detached portions of the earth somewhere in illimitable space.



The purposes of God are not failing. God is imminent in this world, and
is fashioning it according to his own divine purposes. There will be no
failure in Jehovah's plans. The only thing is, Can we so enlarge our
thought, can we lift ourselves from the narrow limits of our thinking
in which we are so contented to walk--can we take broader views in
relation to God's purposes and messages to the children of men? That is
the only question. The Lord Almighty, I repeat, is accomplishing his
designs in relation to the land of Zion; in relation to the gathering
of Israel and the return of the ten tribes; just as he will accomplish
his purposes with reference to the re-establishment of Judah upon the
promised land of Canaan, and the redemption of Jerusalem. All this will
come about in its times and seasons. The word of the Lord will go forth
from Jerusalem, and the law will go forth from Zion--nay, in my view,
it is now going forth in large measure from Zion--in a manner to reach
the inhabitants of the earth, and bring to them the blessings that God
has decreed for the children of men.

My brethren and sisters, I rejoice in the largeness of this work of
God--this dispensation of the fulness of times. I love it, in part,
because of its greatness--in its very bigness there is inspiration.
I love to contemplate the purposes of God in their far-reaching
possibilities. I rejoice to feel that today the children of men are
moving up to a higher and truer conception of the things of God. We
talk about, and we sometimes even dare to hope for, the coming of the
millennium! I wonder what our sensations will be if some morning we
wake up to a realization that the millennium is already on its way,
and has been on its way for some time? When I think of the mighty
progress that has been made in these modern days, and especially since
God opened the heavens and revealed himself unto his servant Joseph
Smith; when I take that circumstance as a starting point and contrast
conditions as they are today with conditions as they were when that
first revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, it seems to
me that the prediction that old things shall pass away and all things
shall become new is on the way to a very rapid fulfillment. At that
time--early in the third decade of the nineteenth century--not a single
foot of railroad existed anywhere in the world; today, all civilized
nations are a network of railroads and railroad systems. We have moved
all the way from the ox-cart and stage-coach to the mighty express
train that thunders with lightning speed throughout the land. Distance
is discounted--well nigh annihilated, in comparison with former times.
In ocean navigation we have come from the rude vessel that could only
be driven by the wind, to the mighty ocean greyhounds that speed across
the oceans like express trains; and the oceans, once a dreaded mystery,
are now but the convenient highways between the continents, the
highways of commerce! Man, within the period we are considering, has
not only mastered transportation upon the earth and upon the ocean; but
we have recent demonstrations that man has mastered also the element
of air; and may navigate the air with as great speed and ease as the
land or the water. Within the period named--1820-1909--we have come all
the way from the tallow dip to the electric light. In communication
we have come from the pony express to the telegraph, and to the
wireless telegraph, and the telephone; so that now we are in instant
communication with all portions of the earth. No event of any moment
may happen tonight that will not be spread upon the pages of tomorrow
morning's press, which will await us upon our breakfast tables! Then
in the way of advancements that give promise of peace--so mighty have
become the engines of destruction; so revolutionary the promises of
this recent mastery of the air, that it would seem that war must be an
impossibility in the near future; and it becomes imperative that men
devise--statesmen must devise, philanthropists must devise, patriots
must devise--some means by which the international questions that
arise may be settled without allowing nations to go to the dreadful
arbitrament of war for a settlement. The time when swords shall be
beaten into plow-shares, and spears into pruning hooks seems not far
distant, even the time when nations shall learn war no more--the vision
of the prophets! These are the conditions in the midst of which we
live: A time when property is more secure than it ever was before in
the world; a time when personal liberty is more secure than ever it was
before in the world; a time when the comforts of life among the masses
of mankind well nigh equal conditions that only kings could enjoy in
ages that are past! When I see all these blessings, and realize that
year by year they are increasing with accelerated speed--when I see
the sentiment of universal brotherhood enlarging--when I see great
and mighty intellects pushing far out upon the frontier of Christian
thought, grasping the truths of God and weaving them into systems of
practical philosophy, tending to make ready the inhabitants of the
earth for that fulness of truth that God, through his prophets, has
decreed should be poured out upon the nations of the earth in the last
days,--when I see these evidences of man's progress within the last
three-quarters of a century, since God spoke from heaven to Joseph
Smith, I can not help but believe that there is some connection between
the re-opening of the heavens to restore the gospel, and this wider
diffusion of knowledge by which the comfort and enlightenment of men
as to material things has been brought to pass--the golden age that
prophets dreamed of, that prophets sang about--the golden age--the
millennium--has at last dawned upon the earth! And right here, in the
midst of it, God has established his Church. He has given to it the
knowledge of the means of salvation. He has given to the Church divine
authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, and the coming
forth of this work is the herald of the modern world's awakening! For
when the Book of Mormon came forth, by that token Israel might know,
and the world might know, that God had set his hand to fulfil and
accomplish the things that he had decreed concerning the gathering
of Israel, and concerning all the inhabitants of the earth--their
happiness and peace and glory and security. (II Nephi 30, and III
Nephi 21.) This is our part of the work; to make proclamation of these
things; to exemplify the law of God and the excellence of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ; to proclaim to the children of men that God is not a
God afar off--One who transcends the world; but God imminent in the
world, and that men may connect their lives with the life of God; and
feel the inspiration of his life vibrating in their lives, uplifting,
purifying, exalting--until man, the individual, and communities of men,
nations--may walk with God in this great age now dawning on the world!
And yet, great as our conceptions may be of the things of God--divine
things--be assured that the divine things themselves are infinitely
greater than our conceptions of them can be--then how great indeed they
must be! The prophet spoke truly when he said of God: "His thoughts are
not as your thoughts; his ways are not as your ways; for as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are his thoughts above your thoughts,
and his ways above your ways." But while we are under the necessity
of conceding the truth of that, may we not share in and enjoy in some
measure a knowledge of divine things and therein rejoice, as I feel we
do this day by this brief glimpse of some of the things of God?



A discourse at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, March 13, 1910.
(Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)



Some time ago, within a year at least, a gentleman of some prominence
in the public life of our state felt that he had occasion in a public
address to allude to our religious faith as a "body of doctrine," and
in doing so I think he exhausted his skill in framing an expression of
contempt for it. He said:

    _"I will venture it as my individual opinion, that considered as
    a body of doctrine, no well instructed person would give this
    priesthood creed, the cold respect of a passing glance_."

It is not worth while getting vexed over such expressions as that.
They do no harm to our faith, nor to our society--the Church. Such a
remark may lead one to wonder if the gentleman, who has some reputation
for intelligence, and especially for his ability in following to
logical conclusions any investigation he may undertake--I say such a
remark may lead one to wonder if the gentleman himself has paid our
faith the "cold respect of the passing glance" to which he refers;
or has he presumed to pass judgment upon it without even such "a
passing glance"--since he assumes with such air-sniffing loftiness and
pride of intellect that "no well instructed person"--of which he is
one, of course--would give it? For my own part, the only effect that
this remark had upon me was to send me back in a half amused frame
of mind to see if things pertaining to our creed were really as bad
as that; and once more, I examined the foundations of our faith. I
returned from that examination with my convictions deepened, with my
respect and admiration very much increased for this body of doctrine
so contemptuously characterized by this gentleman, and my faith in it
strengthened. When called upon, this afternoon, to address you, it
seemed to me that I could do you no better service than to give you the
benefit of an examination of our faith as a body of doctrine--so far as
possible in one sitting; and this holds good whether you be strangers
within our gates, or members of the Church.

It is a good thing, occasionally, to recur to first principles, as
a means of keeping in view the whole system for which we stand.
Every religion must have some sort of philosophy; it must give some
accounting for things; some explanation of life and its meaning; some
explanation of the universe and whither things trend. Religion must
address itself to the understanding as well as to the heart; to the
reason as well as to the emotions. Religion has been described by one
as "morality touched with emotion" and, in some of its aspects, I think
that is a very happy description of religion. But we are living in an
age that asks adult questions, and religion must give adult replies.
I think our faith is capable of doing that. I love it because it
appeals to my understanding as well as to the emotions of my heart;
and consequently, when I heard this contemptuous reference to it, I
resolved to do what I could by exposition of that faith, to show this
gentleman, and those who think with him, how mistaken they were. So now
to our task:


Mormon View of the Universe.

First, concerning the world itself--I mean by that expression the sum
total of things, the universe. In 1832 the Prophet Joseph Smith came
with this message, in one of the revelations contained in the Book of

    "All kingdoms have a law given: and there are many kingdoms; for
    there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no
    kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser

By this term "kingdom" our Prophet does not have in contemplation a
number of people ruled by a king; the context reveals the fact that the
prophet had in mind those great planetary systems which make up the
universe. These are the "kingdoms" he had in mind; and he announces
here a very wonderful doctrine, when he declares that there is no space
but what has in it some one or other of these kingdoms--worlds and
world-systems; and that there is no kingdom in the which there is not
also extension, or space. A great scientist and scholar expresses the
same truth in the following language:

    "Through all eternity the infinite universe has been, and is,
    subject to the law of substance: The extent of the universe is
    infinite and unbounded. It is empty in no part, but everywhere
    filled with substance. The duration of the world is equally
    infinite and unbounded. It has no end; it is eternity."

Such is the summing up of what he calls the "law of substance," by one
of the profoundest minds of Germany, Ernest Haeckel. Analyze it, and
you will find it precisely the same conception as that announced by our
Prophet in 1832, when he said: "There is no space in the which there
is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space."
I think, perhaps, it will be necessary to dwell upon that idea for a
few minutes in order that we may grasp the thought in something of its
immensity. I had a teacher, once, who was very skilful in imparting
knowledge to his pupils in the matter of solving mathematical problems.
The lines on which he proceeded were these: He would take a very simple
example that involved the same principles that were to be applied in
the more difficult problem; then he would work out the simple problem
and tell us to work out the more difficult one in the same manner. So
I am of opinion that if we spend a short time in considering our own
little solar system, perhaps it will help us form some idea of the
immensity of the universe of which we speak.

It is well known to you all that our solar system is made up of what
the astronomers call eight major planets and a great number of minor
planets, lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter; that our planets
in the order of their relationship of nearness to the sun, consist
of Mercury, Venus, the earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and
Neptune, these are the eight major planets. In diameter, we are told
that Mercury measures 3,200 miles; that the diameter of Venus is 7,760
miles; that the earth is 7,918 miles in diameter; that Mars is 4,200
miles in diameter; that Jupiter is 85,000 miles in diameter (while our
earth is less than 8,000 miles in diameter, be it remembered!); that
the diameter of Saturn is 73,000 miles. Yet, take all these planets and
all their satellites, wonderful and great as they are, and consider them
melted down into one great sphere, and still our sun alone, the center
of this planetary system, is upwards of 750 times as large as all these
planets combined would be!

Let us now consider these several planets with reference to the
distance at which they revolve about their primary--the sun. Mercury
makes the circuit in 116 days; Venus makes the circuit around the sun
in 224 days; the earth of course, as you remember, makes the circuit
in 365 days; but Mars requires 687 days in which to make the journey;
while Jupiter requires 4,330 days (more than 11 years); Saturn 10,767
days (more than 29 years); Uranus, 20,660 days, or 56 years; and
Neptune, 60,127 days, or about 165 years.

The distances of these planets from the sun, in millions of miles, are
as follows: Mercury is 36 millions of miles; Venus 67 millions; the
earth 92 millions; Mars 141 millions; Jupiter 483 millions; Saturn 875
millions; Uranus 1,770 millions; Neptune 2,746 millions of miles.

These figures and the facts they represent are given that some little
idea may be conceived as to the extent of our own solar system, that
after contemplating its immensity and discovering that, inconceivably
great as it is, it is still no very considerable part of the universe,
we may arise to a brief contemplation of still greater spaces--depths
of the universe, and their contents. You see, I am using our solar
system, as the teacher referred to a moment ago used the simple
problem in arithmetic, to help solve the more intricate problem of
comprehending a little more clearly the immensity of the universe. Let
us resume our work. Professor Newcomb in his "Popular Astronomy" makes
use of the following illustration to help the popular mind grasp the
immensity of the sidereal system:

    "Turning our attention from this system to the thousands of fixed
    stars which stud the heavens, the first thing to be considered is
    their enormous distance asunder, compared with the dimensions of
    the solar system, though the latter are themselves inconceivably
    great. To give an idea of the relative distances, suppose a voyager
    through the celestial spaces could travel from the sun to the
    outermost planet of our system in 24 hours. So enormous would be
    his velocity, that it would carry him across the Atlantic ocean,
    from New York to Liverpool, in less than a tenth of a second of the
    clock. Starting from the sun with this velocity, he would cross the
    orbits of the inner planets in rapid succession, and the outer ones
    more slowly, until, at the end of a single day, he would reach the
    confines of our system, crossing the orbit of Neptune. But, though
    he passed eight planets the first day, he would pass none the next,
    for he would have to journey 18 or 20 years, without diminution of
    speed, before he would reach the nearest star, and would then have
    to continue his journey as far again before he could reach another.
    All the planets of our system would have vanished in the distance,
    in the course of the first three days, and the sun would be but an
    insignificant star in the firmament. The conclusion is, that our
    sun is one of an enormous number of self-luminous bodies scattered
    at such distances that years would be required to traverse the
    space between them, even when the voyager went at the rate we have
    supposed." (Newcomb's Astronomy, p. 104.)

Just now the great winter constellations are leaving our skies;
still, in the evening, you may yet see Orion, in the western sky; and
following, and shining most brightly of all the stars in the firmament,
the Dog star. It is estimated by our astronomers that light travels
through space at the enormous speed of 198,000 miles per second; that
in about eight minutes a ray of light reaches our earth from the sun.

Yet, this Dog star, to which I call your attention, is so distant from
us that it requires something like 16 years for a ray of light to reach
us from that distant and splendid sun; and from the familiar Pole
star, it requires 40 years for a ray of light to reach our earth. Mr.
Samuel Kinns, well known in England, as one of the foremost thinkers
in that land, tells us that this Dog star, judging from the amount of
light emitted from him, is 3,000 times larger than our own sun; and he
argues, that if this great primary, is so many times larger than our
sun, may it not be possible that the retinue of planets of which he is
doubtless the center, is correspondingly greater than our planetary

Nobody knows, of course, how many fixed stars there are. Our
astronomers tell us they number all the way from 30 to 50, 60, or even
hundreds of millions; and that it is not unreasonable to suppose,
they argue, that since we find this little planet of ours inhabited
by sentient beings, by intelligences, by men and women capable of
establishing national governments, and high grades of civilization, it
is not unreasonable to suppose that in some of these more magnificent
world-systems there may be beings more intelligent, more powerful
than we are, and further advanced in arts and Sciences and all that
goes to make up superior methods of life and civilization. And if
our astronomers are anywhere nearly right in relation to the scores
of millions of suns, they report, and it is true, that they are the
centers of planetary systems, then of course of worlds such as ours,
and more magnificent than ours; there are hundreds of millions. Upon
this head Professor John W. Draper says:

    "Man when he looks upon the countless multitudes of stars--when he
    reflects that all he sees is only a small portion of those which
    exist, yet that each is a light and life-giving sun to multitudes
    of opaque, and therefore invisible worlds--when he considers the
    enormous size of these various bodies and their immeasurable
    distance from one another, may form an estimate of the scale on
    which the world (universe) is constructed."

These reflections I trust will help to impress upon our minds the
immensity of the universe, until we can in some measure understand the
greatness of that truth announced by the Prophet Joseph, when he said:
"There are many kingdoms; and there is no space in which there is no
kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a
greater or a lesser space;" and the deductions of Ernest Haeckel, when
he said: "The extent of the universe is infinite and unbounded. It is
empty in no part, but every where filled with substance. The duration
of the world is equally infinite and unbounded. It has no end; it is

Mormonism recognizes certain eternal truths, necessary truths, because
the opposite of them cannot be conceived of--as, for example, that
space or extension is boundless, as one of our hymns puts it:

  "If you could hie to Kolob,
    In the twinkling of an eye,
  And then continue onward,
    With that same speed to fly--

  "Do you think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
  Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?

  "Or see the grand beginning,
    Where space did not extend?
  Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?"

You cannot limit space in any conception of it you may form--try how
you will; for as soon as you fix the limitation, your mind conceives
extension beyond the point you fix upon, and you may fix it as distant
as you please. So, also, in relation to duration. Mormonism recognizes
no limit to duration. Time is endless; there is no absolute beginning
or end of time. All beginnings and endings spoken of are but relative,
and concern not duration absolutely, but "time" within eternity, when
a certain order of things begins or when it reaches an end. We measure
duration so, and call it time. So in relation to matter. Mormonism
recognizes the eternity of matter and also eternity of spirit; that
matter is uncreated; spirit is also uncreated. These, spirit and
matter, are eternal existences, constituting what our Book of Mormon
speaks of as "things to act and things to be acted upon." (II Nephi

Referring back now to the immensity of the universe--to this limitless,
heaving, restless ocean of worlds and world-systems--is it inhabited by
sentient beings? Or stands it tenantless save only for our own little
earth--less than the single grain of sand on limitless sea shores? On
this head Sir Robert Ball, one of the leading men of science in England
has a most thoughtful passage; and though it would seem to open again
the subject of the immensity of the universe on which we have already
dwelt over long, still I cannot consent to omit any part of what

    "We know of the existence of 30,000,000 of stars or suns, many
    of them much more magnificent than the one which gives light to
    our system. The majority of them are not visible to the eye, or
    even recognizable by the telescope, but sensitized photographic
    plates--which are for this purpose eyes that can stare unwinking
    for hours at a time--have revealed their existence beyond all
    doubt or question, though most of them are almost inconceivably
    distant, thousands of tens of thousands of times as far off as our
    sun. A telegraphic message, for example, which would reach the sun
    in eight minutes, would not reach some of these stars in 1,800
    years. The human mind, of course, does not really conceive such
    distances, though they can be expressed in formula which the human
    mind has devised, and the bewildering statement is from one point
    of view singularly depressing, it reduces so greatly the probable
    importance of man in the universe. It is most improbable, almost
    impossible, that these great centers of light should have been
    created to light up nothing, and as they are far too distant to be
    of use to us, we may fairly accept the hypothesis that each one
    has a system of planets around it like our own. Taking an average
    of only 10 planets to each sun, that hypothesis indicates the
    existence, within the narrow range to which human observation is
    still confined, of at least 300,000,000 of separate worlds, many
    of them doubtless of gigantic size, and it is nearly inconceivable
    that those worlds can be wholly devoid of living and sentient
    beings upon them. Granting the, to us, impossible hypothesis that
    the final cause of the universe is accident, a fortuitous concourse
    of self-existent atoms, still the accident which produced thinking
    beings upon this little and inferior world must have frequently
    repeated itself; while if, as we hold, there is a sentient Creator,
    it is difficult to believe, without a revelation to that effect,
    that he has wasted such glorious creative power upon mere masses
    of insensible matter. God cannot love gases. The probability, at
    least, is that there are millions of worlds--for after all, what
    the sensitized paper sees must be but an infinitesimal fraction of
    the whole occupied by sentient beings."

This is as far as scientific men may go. Our astronomers stand upon
our earth with their telescopes directed to the planet Mars, which
most nearly resembles the physical conditions of our own earth, so
far as may be judged, and they speculate as to whether or not Mars is
inhabited. And while they thus stand halting, our Prophet, through the
revelations of God and the inspiration of the Almighty that was in him,
proclaimed these worlds and world-systems to be inhabited by the sons
and daughters of God. Let me read a passage of Mormon scripture to you:

    "There are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there
    is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space,
    either a greater or a lesser kingdom;

    "And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there
    are certain bounds also and conditions. * *

    "Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?

    "Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or
    the least of these, hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.

    "Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field and
    he sent forth his servants into the field to labor in the field;

    "And he said unto the first, go ye, and labor in the field, and in
    the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of
    my countenance;

    "And he said unto the second, go ye also into the field, and in the
    second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance"--and
    so he said unto all.

    "And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their
    lord; every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season;

    "Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last
    unto the first, and from the first unto the last.

    * * * *

    "Therefore, unto this parable will I liken all these kingdoms, and
    the inhabitants thereof; every kingdom in its hour, and in its
    time, and in its season; even according to the decree which God
    hath made."

The late Elder Orson Pratt, in a Footnote, commenting upon the above
passages says:

    "The inhabitants of each planet blessed with the presence and
    visits of their Creator."

    That which scientific men may only properly say is a probability,
    the Prophet Joseph boldly proclaims as revealed truth--the universe
    is not tenantless, but is inhabited by sentient beings--the
    offspring of Divine Beings.



I think now we have sufficient data before us on which we may proceed
to the consideration of the philosophy of Mormonism.

With your permission, then, and asking you to bear with me and
follow me as closely as you can in what I now have to offer, I will
read--because one ought to be careful in stating conceptions of
important things--I will read to you a few paragraphs touching these
great and, I think, essential principles of so-called Mormonism that
ought to be considered when we are discussing Mormonism as a body of
doctrine. I trust we shall arrive at the conclusion, finally, that
it is worth more than the "respect of a passing glance." It would be
difficult to characterize Mormon philosophy under any of the schools
extant. "Eternalism" I should select as the word best suited for its
philosophic conceptions. It is dualistic, but not in the sense that
it breaks up the universe into two entirely distinct substances--the
material world and an "immaterial God,"--as the Christian philosophy,
in the main does. It is also monistic, but not in the sense that in the
last analysis of things it recognizes no distinctions in matter, or
that matter--gross material--and spirit, or mind, a finer and thinking
kind of material, are fused into one inseparable sole substance which
is at once "God and nature," as the monists claim. Its dualism is
that which, while recognizing an infinitely extended substance, the
universe, unbounded and empty in no part, but everywhere filled with
substance--it holds, nevertheless, that such substance exists in
two principle modes, having some qualities in common, and in others
being distinct; first, gross material, usually recognized as matter,
pure and simple; and, second, a finer, thinking substance, usually
regarded by other systems of thought as "spirit," i.e., "immaterial
substance"--if one may use terms so contradictory. These two kinds
of matter have existed from all eternity and will exist to eternity,
in intimate relations. Neither produces the other, they are eternal
existences--"things to act and things to be acted upon." The monism of
Mormonism, alluded to a moment since, while recognizing the universe as
infinitely extended substance and all substance as material--and hence,
in this respect, monistic; yet it also recognizes the world substance
as being of two kinds: one gross material; the other a finer, or
thinking material; having some qualities in common with gross matter,
and in others being distinct. "All spirit is matter," said our Prophet,
"but it is more fine or pure [i.e., than gross matter tangible to our
ordinary senses] and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot
see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all

After these distinctions are made and all the while held in
consciousness, so that there shall not be a loss of distinction in
things, nor a confounding of things, we may hereafter use the terms
"intelligence" and "matter"--equivalent of mind and matter--as naming
the two modes in which, for Mormonism, the eternal and infinitely
extended substance, the universe, exists. To say that intelligence
dominates matter and produces all the ceaseless changes going on in
the universe, both of creation and demolition, for both forces are
operating--as our Pearl of Great Price says: "There are many worlds
that have passed away, by the world of my [God's] power; and there are
many that now stand; and as one earth shall pass away and the heavens
thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works;"
and hence the creation and demolition to which reference is here made.
To say that mind dominates matter, I repeat, is merely to say that
the superior dominates the inferior; that which acts is greater than
that which is acted upon; that mind is the eternal cause of the "ever
becoming" in the universe, the cause and sustainer of the cosmic world.
It is also to say that mind is power; that mind possesses as qualities
the power of thought, and will, and life, and love.

As the grosser material exists ultimately in elements that are
themselves eternal--uncreated and uncreatable, so the finer or thinking
substance, intelligence is eternal--uncreated and uncreatable. That is
the doctrine of the revelation, which says: "Man was in the beginning
with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created, or
made--neither, indeed, can be;" and as the gross material, atoms,
exist, some in organized worlds and world-systems, the cosmos; and
also others in chaotic mass, so the intelligences, intelligent
entities, exist in somewhat analogous states, some in the form of
perfected exalted men clothed upon with immortal bodies, as the Christ
was--nay, rather is now, today, and participating in a nature that
is divine--having won their exaltation through stress and trial in
the various estates or changes through which they have passed; other
intelligences exist in spirit bodies, less tangible than the first
class, possessed of less experience, less of power and dignity, but
still they are in the way of progress through other estates yet to be
experienced by them; also intelligences not yet begotten spirits, not
yet united with elements of the grosser substance, union with which is
essential to the highest development of intelligences. You find this
last doctrine mainly-recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as

    "The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably
    connected" [as in the case of resurrected, glorified personages]
    "inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when
    separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy." "The elements are
    the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even
    temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled God shall destroy that

Such is the Mormon view of the universe and the modes of existence in
it, briefly outlined. These existences, both of the thinking substance
and the grosser materials, are subject to infinite changes and
development in which there are no ultimates. Each succeeding wave of
progress may attain higher and ever higher degrees of excellence, but
never attain perfection: The ideal recedes ever as it is approached;
and, hence, progress is eternal, even for the highest of existences.

One other thought in connection with all these matters. I read to you
a few moments ago a passage to the effect that "to all these kingdoms
of the infinite universe is given a law, and unto every law there are
certain bounds also and conditions." Later in the same revelation this
is added: "Verily I say unto you he, [God] hath given a law unto all
things by which they move in their times and in their seasons. And
their courses are fixed; even the courses of the heavens and the earth,
which comprehend the earth and all the planets; and they give light to
each other in their times and in their season, in their minutes, in
their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their
years; all these are one year with God, but not with man."

In passing it may be interesting to note respecting the idea expressed
above, viz., that "to every law there are certain bounds also and
conditions,"--that a remarkable statement was made by a learned man
of our own country touching this same principle. The passage quoted
from Joseph Smith bears the date of December, 1832. Sixty-three years
afterwards, Henry Drummond, speaking upon this principle of law being
limited by law--or law itself being under the dominion of law--said:

    "One of the most striking generalizations of recent science is that
    even laws have their law."

That is to say, even unto laws there are certain bounds and conditions
that limit them. Let me illustrate it, if I can. The old-time mariner,
say of a hundred years ago, knew nothing of nature's forces applied
to navigation except the tides, the ocean currents, and the winds. He
believed these were all the propelling forces that entered into ocean
navigation. If he were alive today, and could see one of our great
ocean greyhounds, the modern passenger ocean steamship, dashing through
the waves dead against both ocean currents and the wind, and yet making
greater speed than he could ever attain in his sailing vessel with
both wind and the tide in his favor, he would declare that he beheld a
miracle. But that would not be true. We of today, with our knowledge
of other forces than those of wind and ocean currents operating in
ocean navigation, look upon the steamship's speed as perfectly natural.
The natural forces with which the mariner of a hundred years ago was
acquainted are simply overcome by other forces in nature; not in
violation of any natural law, but through the application of forces
unknown to the sailor of a hundred years ago. So, doubtless we shall
find it true in relation to nearly all laws or forces that exist.
We shall find still other laws, still other forces, that limit or
supercede, when applied, the forces now known to us.

But what I wanted to do is merely to call your attention to the fact
that Mormonism teaches this very great doctrine, viz., that the whole
universe--unlimited and unbounded as it is, and having within it and
now operating processes both of evolution and devolution--as it is
written in the Book of Moses (Pearl of Great Price): "Behold there are
many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there
are many that now stand, and innumerable are they to man. * * * And
as one earth shall pass away and the heavens thereof, even so shall
another come; and there is no end to my works"--notwithstanding all
this is going on in the universe, the operation of both creative and
destructive forces, yet we are assured by the word of God as well as
by the deductions of scientists and philosophers that all the mighty
change going on in the universe, as well as the universe itself, are
under the dominion of law; and in the consciousness of the reign of
law, our faith teaches us to repose sublime and perfect confidence in
the fact that

  "God is in his world:
  "All is well with the world."

Such I conceive to be the effect of this conception that we live under
the reign of law; and that constructive forces predominate in the
economy of things, else things that are would not be nor persist.



Now we come to an element in our faith, extremely interesting and
that is the transgression of law, which the Apostle John declares to
be sin: "for sin," said he, "is the transgression of the law." This
transgression of law is a fact that has to be taken into account in
the sum of things. The existence of moral evil in the world is one of
the problems that has vexed Christian theologians from the earliest of
times until now. They have had extreme difficulty in reconciling their
conception of God as an absolute being, infinitely wise, all-powerful,
all-good, and that he created everything out of nothing, and yet not
assign to him the creation of evil. If all things have been produced
by an infinitely righteous, perfect, all-powerful, and good Creator,
how can moral evil exist in his economy? That is a question to which
no satisfactory explanation has yet been found. Mormonism teaches that
God does not create moral evil; but that moral evil arises out of the
agency of intelligences, and that so long as there are intelligences,
possessed of free agency, it means that they can violate law, if they
insist upon doing it. To conceive this as impossible would be to deny
the free agency of intelligences.

I know there is one passage that, perhaps, might be quoted against my
contention, that God does not create evil. It occurs in the writings of
Isaiah, it is said--and it is the only place in Scripture where it is
said, so far as I have been able to learn--"I [God] make peace," and "I
create evil." "I create"--what? "Evil," such as the opposite of peace,
such as war, famine, and the like. But to what end does God cause war,
or famine? For corrective purposes only, to chastize men, to bring
them to a realization of wrong-doing, or national transgression. For
these ends God has, sometimes, brought to pass these conditions that we
recognize as evil. But that class of evils is quite a distinct thing
from moral evil. Though God may bring on a famine, storm, tempest, or
war for corrective purposes, yet God is not the creator of falsehood;
he is not the creator of slander; nor of drunkenness; nor of avarice,
nor malice, nor of robbery, nor unkindness, nor of adulteries. These
moral evils are not of his creating. Jesus Christ did not say, "Lead
us not into temptation," for, as the Apostle James instructs us, God
cannot be tempted of evil. "Let no man," says he, "when he is tempted,
say, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither
tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of
his own lusts and enticed. Then lust when it hath conceived bringeth
forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." The
prayer of the Christ, as taught to his apostles, and as restored
through the word of the Lord to our Prophet, is not, "And lead us not
into temptation," but "Suffer us not to be led into temptation, deliver
us from evil."

So far as moral evil is concerned, then, I say it is not of God's
creation. It is one of those possibilities that are eternal. It did not
begin with the transgression of Adam upon this earth. It existed before
that; even in the heavens, when Lucifer rebelled against the King and
majesty of heaven--God. Lucifer had power even there to sin; and so
far back as the agency of intelligences extends, there has existed
always the possibility of sin; and so far forward as the agency of
intelligences shall extend, there will always be the possibility, of
the transgression of law, of sin; for sin potentially, is an eternal
reality. It is concurrent with the free agency of intelligences.

But God, according to Mormon doctrine, does not create evil, tempt
men with it, and then when not sufficiently strong to withstand the
temptation, damn them everlastingly for falling. The only way in
which God affects men is favorably, that is, he helps them in their
apprehension of and their adoption of the good. He does not, according
to Mormon doctrine, create intelligence, for that is an independent,
self-existing thing; therefore not even God creates man's intelligence,
that is uncreated and uncreatable--an eternal thing. As I have said
elsewhere, God is not responsible for the use they make of their
freedom; nor is he the author of their sufferings when they fall
into sin; suffering arises out of the violations of law to which the
"intelligence" subscribed, and must be endured until the lessons of
obedience to law are learned.

Man has his choice of moving upward or downward in every estate
he occupies; often defeating even the benevolent purposes of God
respecting him, through his own perverseness; he passes through
dire experiences, suffers terribly, yet learns by what he suffers,
so that his very suffering becomes a means to his improvement; he
learns swiftly or slowly, according to the inherent nature of him,
obedience to law; he learns that "that which is governed by law is also
preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same; and that
which breaketh the law and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a
law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth
in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice nor
judgment. Therefore they must remain filthy still." This conception of
things relieves God of the responsibility for the nature and status of
intelligences in all stages of their development; their inherent nature
and their volition makes them primarily what they are, and this nature
they may change, slowly, perhaps, yet change it they may. God has put
them in the way of changing it, by enlarging their intelligence through
change of environment, and through experiences.


There is a singular fact connected with this subject of moral evil--of
sin. And that is that the transgression of the moral law entails
suffering, even as violation of physical law may result in pain, or
sickness or death. The way of the transgressor is hard. "Whatsoever
a man soweth that shall he reap." "The wages of sin is death." Not
only are these truisms, but it is also true that often the righteous
are made to suffer because of the transgressions of the wicked. The
innocent are involved in the misery of the guilty. No man lives unto
himself alone, and he may, and often does involve others in his
transgressions. It is possible for the fathers to suffer because of
the sins of the children. It is possible for the children to suffer
because of the sins of the fathers. Many a father can still exclaim as
David did over his wayward son Absalom, "O! my son! Would to God that
I had died for thee!" This is one of the difficulties that confront
religious thought--the innocent being involved in the sufferings of
the guilty. Yet, from the midst of our perplexity over such a seeming
injustice as this, there comes to us the mighty testimony that it is
not only possible but it is a fact, that the innocent can and do suffer
with and because of the transgression of the guilty; may they not also
suffer for them, since vicarious suffering is a possibility? On that
possibility hinges the whole gospel of the Christ, and the saving power
of the atonement. It is deeply written in the experiences of men that
the innocent can suffer with and because of the guilty; and it is the
doctrine of the Christian revelation that the innocent can suffer for
the guilty, as witness the following testimonies: "For when we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for us." "Christ also hath
once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us
to God." "He [the Christ] appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of
himself. * * * So Christ once suffered to bear the sins of many; and
unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin
unto salvation." "Christ also suffered for us. * * Who his own self
bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin,
should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we were healed." It is
very clear, then, that it is the doctrine of the Christian revelation,
which doctrine of course, Mormonism accepts, that Christ suffered
for man's transgressions. There is Scripture evidence also, could we
but take the time to point it out, to prove that the whole scheme of
man's earth-life and his redemption was considered even before the
foundations of the earth itself were laid. And the Redeemer chosen and
agreed upon and hence was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
world." Paul announces himself as living, "In hope of eternal life,
which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." The
facts in brief are that the time came when for the progress of spirit
intelligences an earth-life, under conditions such as exist in this
world, became necessary to them. To bring to pass that earth-life the
union of spirit with earth element and attended by the experiences
which such a life would bring, involved transgression of law,
involving the race in sin and death from which it was only possible to
extricate it by adequate atonement being made to satisfy the claims of
inexorable law. In this crisis there arose in the councils in heaven
one great, sympathetic Soul who recognized not only the fact that the
innocent can suffer with the guilty, or because of the guilty, but
_for_ the guilty, and offered himself a sacrifice for the sin that
should be committed in breaking the harmony of things in order to give
intelligences the advantages of earth-life and its lessons. The Christ
would make atonement for Adam's transgression, so that as in Adam all
should die, as saith the Scriptures, so in Christ should all be made
alive; that "since by man came death, by man should come also the
resurrection of the dead." And not only was this vicarious atonement
made to cover the transgression of Adam, but it was made to reach also
to the individual sins of men, that they might not suffer if they
would accept the gospel. The doctrine is better stated in a revelation
given to our Prophet than anywhere else in sacred literature, hence
I quote that revelation. Let it be borne in mind that transgression
of the moral law--sin--is attended upon by suffering, and now this
revelation. It was given through the Prophet to Martin Harris, one of
the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, reproving him for some of
his delinquencies:

    "And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless,

    "Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes
    shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to
    those who are found on my left hand;

    * * * * *

    "Therefore I command you to repent, repent, lest I smite you by
    the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your
    sufferings be sore--how sore you know not! how exquisite you know
    not! yea, how hard to bear you know not!

    "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they
    might not suffer if they would repent,

    "But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I,

    "Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to
    tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer
    both body and spirit; and would that I might not drink that bitter
    cup and shrink--

    "Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, I partook and finished my
    preparations unto the children of men;

    "Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you
    with my almighty power, and that you confess your sins, test you
    suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the
    smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time
    I withdrew my spirit."

I presume that the experience of Martin Harris, here described, has
at least been sufficiently the experience of every matured man and
woman--that they know this testimony to be true, that is, that sin
produces suffering--sorrow, anguish of heart; and when the Spirit of
the Lord is withdrawn and darkness, like the blackness of night surges
through the soul of man, and the sun of righteousness seems set for
him, he is then made to feel what it means to sin against the law
of God as it has been revealed unto his soul. When you think of the
bitterness of that personal suffering, you will not marvel that when
the heavy burden of a world's sin rested down upon the Son of God in
Gethsemane--you certainly will not marvel that he sweat great drops of
blood in his agony; nor wonder at his suffering on the cross.

Now, the transgression of the moral law we say results in suffering. It
is possible for the innocent to suffer for the guilty, and through the
voluntary act of the Christ, he took upon him your sins and mine, if we
will but be bought by the price which he paid for us. He has suffered
that we might not suffer, if we would but obey his law henceforth.

The atonement of the Christ both for Adam's transgression and for
the individual sins of men, brings into the moral economy of God the
element of mercy, and of love from which mercy springs. To make room
for mercy, however, justice had to be satisfied, hence the atonement.
"And God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through him might be saved." This sacrifice of
the Christ is the manifestation of that love of God that binds in
sympathetic relations all the intelligences of the universe together;
by which they suffer not only _with_ each other and _because_ of each
other, but at need _for_ each other. This is the doctrine of the
atonement of the Christ; this the good news of salvation, the gospel of
Jesus Christ. You may be rescued, I may be rescued, from the suffering
that comes of sin, through the vicarious atonement of the Christ. And
that the forces of that atonement may be applied to us, we manifest our
acceptance of this means of salvation by our repentance of sin, and
by going into the waters of baptism, into the great cleansing element
of the world, and there are buried with the Christ in likeness of his
own burial; and then we are brought forth from the watery tomb in the
likeness of his glorious resurrection; and as he awoke to a newness of
physical life, by the resurrection, so, too, may we come forth from
baptism to a newness of spiritual life. We also complete the baptism
by the application of the purifying element, the baptism of the Holy
Ghost--likened unto a baptism of fire. The Spirit of God is thus
imparted to our spirit, which means that our lives are united with the
life of God; by which his wisdom may be at our service; by which his
strength may be our strength; his glory, may be our glory. Thus may men
be united to God by these most beautiful and holy symbols of the gospel
of Jesus Christ. Then, to keep the object lessons constantly before us,
and to be reminded of the price that was paid for the possibility of
our redemption from sin, we often partake of the emblems of the body
and of the blood of the Christ, by which we renew covenant, by which we
renew spiritual life, and thus keep our fellowship with God, that the
blood of Christ may cleanse us from all sin.

This, in part, is the body of our doctrine. This is the grand scheme
of man's salvation, and the philosophy that underlies it. This is
our doctrine concerning the universe, concerning the existence of
intelligences within it, the purpose of earth-life of man, and the
means provided for man's redemption from the consequences of the
transgression of law involved in that earth-life. Judge ye, this day,
whether such a body of doctrine as this is not worthy of something more
than "the cold respect of a passing glance."



Remarks at the "Peace Meeting," held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle,
Sunday afternoon, May 16th, 1909, following a Discourse by Elder W. W.
Riter on the subject of "Universal Peace."



    "And he [Jehovah] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke
    many people; and they shall beat their swords into plow shares,
    and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword
    against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

This is the passage of Scripture which Elder Riter referred to as
being the one which, perhaps, will be more frequently repeated today
than any other passage of Scripture; for in our own land, and other
Christian lands, this day is dedicated to the promotion of peace; to
the suggesting of ways and means by which peaceful arbitration may be
substituted for the dreadful arbitrament of war, in the settlement of
international difficulties.

I presume there is no one but what loves peace. We remember, of
course, the injunction of the Psalmist, "to seek peace and pursue
it." We recall, on this occasion, the song of the angels at the birth
of the Christ, when the hope of Isaiah in a new form was expressed
in the song of the angels, in the Judean hills--"Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." I think of all
the salutations that were ever spoken to man, the most beautiful is
that salutation of the Christ after his resurrection upon meeting his
disciples--"Peace be unto you!" This afterwards became the universal
Christian salutation--"Peace be unto you!" "He [the Christ] hath called
us to peace," is Paul's declaration. Again: "if it be possible--as much
as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Of wisdom it is said:

    "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are paths of

From all these expressions we learn, of course, the desirability and
the beauty and grace of peace--"peace on earth, and toward men good
will." Strange indeed would be the spectacle of a man who would express
himself in favor of war instead of peace. Peace is the mother of
abundance; the nurse of sciences and of arts; for without peace these
things may not abound. Peace is essential to the progress of nations;
some one has called it the "calm health of nations." Every prompting
of the heart and every deduction of the reasonable mind would array
all men upon the side of peace. Good sense demands it; prosperity and
progress of nations demand it. I give my voice for peace. But in our
contemplation of this subject, there are some other things that, I
think, ought to be considered. We must not forget that there is such a
thing as "ignoble peace," There has been in the past, and there may be
in the future, such things as "honorable wars." There are some things
in this world that can not be arbitrated. A burglar, for instance,
enters your home, and he loads up his bag with your valuables--your
jewelry, your money, the product of your frugality and industry--and
when you catch him red-handed in the act, he may not drop his bag and
propose arbitration. You can't arbitrate the case; he must be seized
and brought before the courts, and receive the punishment due to his
crime. The community must be protected against such characters. It
is equally true that there are international affairs that may not
be arbitrated. A host may not invade our territory, and while still
occupying it propose arbitration of differences between us. We will
not endure the presence of the invader. He must be driven from the
fatherland. Until we reach the basis of assured justice in personal
affairs and in national affairs, the world may not hope to dispense
with the force that can demand and assure justice. The very existence
of law implies force. The great Napoleon, who will yet be recognized
as a greater statesman than he was warrior, once said, "Your laws are
mere nullities without the force necessary to make them respected." Law
implies penalty; penalty implies force; force, in the last analysis of
it, means armies and navies, and there is no escaping the conclusion.
While God is spoken of as a God of justice, he is also spoken of as a
God of battles: and we have a number of instances named in holy writ,
where God justified war--notwithstanding all the horrors attendant upon
it. There are some things worse than war, and there are some things
even better than peace. Justice is better than peace; and without
justice, be assured you can have no enduring peace. War is horrible,
but slavery is worse. Deprivation of your rights, the right to life, to
liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness--to be deprived of these is
worse than war; and these are worth all that it costs to maintain them,
worthy of all that even a war would cost us to maintain them.



I was much impressed, many years ago, in reading the account of Joshua,
when he was taking possession of the land which God had given to the
Hebrew race. As he was nearing Jericho, in the early days of his
conquests, on one occasion he observed a stranger approaching, with his
sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him and said, "Art thou
for us, or for our adversaries?" "Nay," said this glorious personage,
"but as captain of the host of the Lord, am I now come;" and Joshua
fell at his feet and worshiped him without reproach, acknowledging him
as lord, and inquired what he would have him to do; and the divine
personage--for he was no less--required the warrior, Joshua, to remove
the very shoes from his feet, for he was standing on holy ground! How
different this incident from that where an angel appeared unto John,
the beloved disciple, and John, overwhelmed with the glamor of the
angel's brightness, fell down and worshiped him, or would have done
so, but the angel quickly raised him up and said, "See thou do it not,
for I am of thy fellow servants and of thy brethren that have the
testimony of Jesus, worship God." But in the case of Joshua bowing down
to this personage, with drawn sword in hand, "Captain of the Lord's
hosts," he was not stopped in his worship of him; proving to us that
this personage was more than an angel--that he was divine. What, Deity?
Yes, or why was he worshiped by Joshua? Again, it is written in the

    "The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of
    Manasseh--made war with the Hagarites--and they were helped against
    them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of
    them; because they put their trust in him.--Then fell down many
    slain, because the war was of God."

These incidents represent God indeed as a God of battles. I know it
is said that "War is hell," and therefore, from that standpoint, some
people may think that God has little or nothing to do with war; but at
this point I may say that I share the views of his Grace the Archbishop
of Armagh, who, in a poem published a few years ago, said:

  "They say that 'war is hell,' the 'great accursed,
    'The sin impossible to be forgiven--
  Yet I can look beyond it at its worst,
    And still find blue in Heaven.
  "And when I note how nobly natures form
    Under the war's red rain, I deem it true,
  That he who made the earthquake and the storm,
    Perchance made battles too!

  * * * * *

  "As the heaven's many colored flames
    At sunset are but dust in rich disguise--
  The ascending earthquake dust of battle frames
    God's pictures in the skies."



You will see, from what I have here said, that while I am interested
in this question of peace, and believe in it, I have little sympathy
with the hysteria that sometimes goes with those who advocate it. If
the world wants peace--very good; the world may have it; but that
world-peace which has been the dream of prophets and sages must
have for its basis justice. No more beautiful expression than this:
"Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other;" and peace is of
little worth till kissed by righteousness. Make your basis of universal
peace universal justice, and peace is assured. And may we hope for
it, this universal peace? Most assuredly. It has been promised the
world by divine wisdom, and his word will not fail; but when we get
universal peace, it will be because righteousness has been established,
and because justice is assured. Those of us, then, who are interested
in establishing international peace--universal peace--let us proceed
by seeking to establish righteousness--personal and national--and
by establishing justice. Already there has been wonderful progress
made by the world in this direction. Already we may see the twilight
breaking over the eastern hills that gives assurance of the coming
day of peace spoken of by the prophets. Elder Riter has traced for us
some of the developments in this progress. I think, in modern days
our movements towards it have been almost by leaps and bounds. It was
in 1815 that the first peace society in the world, was organized.
That organization was effected in the United States. It took place
immediately after the close of the unfortunate war of 1812, our last
war, with Great Britain--pray God it may be, indeed, the very last!
The circumstances attendant upon that war, the pity of seeing people
of the same race and of the same religion, locked in deadly conflict;
and then, too, the unhappy circumstances of having the chief great
land battle fought some fifteen or twenty days after the peace between
the two nations had really been signed--these circumstances created a
sentiment against such wars as this, wars between people so closely
allied in interest and sentiment, and religion--it was like brother
fighting brother! And the great internecine war between the American
states presented to the world even a sadder picture, and created a
still stronger sentiment for peace. So the peace movement began from
these circumstances, and from these beginnings grew until from a purely
local movement it became a national one; and today is an international
one. In 1899 we had the happiness of seeing the world's first great,
permanent international court of arbitration established, the beginning
of the fulfilment of that dream of the prophets, the establishment
of the universal parliament of the world, the federation of nations.
The leading nations of Europe and America sent delegations to the
Hague that year, and there was established this permanent court of
arbitration, which has already passed upon some twelve international
cases, and that has quite a number of cases still pending before it.
This is progress beyond the dreams of men a quarter of a century ago.
But these things grow slowly. We need not marvel if the movement that
finally established this permanent international court of arbitration
grew slowly. "Constitutions," says an authority on civil law, "are not
made--they grow." They come up out of the long experience of races
of men. They are beaten out upon the anvil of human experience. Take
a single nation, a homogenous people--how slow they have been, in
the centuries of the past, to come to a settlement of the questions
pertaining to the civil rights of persons, to their political rights
under the law. How slow individuals have been to learn that liberty
is liberty under the law; and not the license to do as one pleases,
irrespective of the rights of others! You may be assured that if a race
or a nation has made slow progress along these lines, when the people
were homogenous, when their civilization was identical, when their
aspirations were of one character--then you may be assured that nations
of different races, civilizations, traditions and temperaments will
still make slower progress and require a longer time to conform their
conduct to international law, the object of which shall be to dispense
justice among the nations. Still we may hope that this movement towards
a recognition of international justice and universal peace will be more
rapid than in past ages as to national reforms and progress, since we
live in an age noted for the diffusion of knowledge, and a constantly
widening circle of intelligence.

In this text I have read to you, there is one thing that I want to
call your attention to, that we are apt to overlook, and that is
this: "And He [Jehovah] shall judge among the nations, and shall
rebuke many people," etc. Mark you that! Jehovah "shall judge among
the nations;" then comes your promise of the beating of swords into
plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks. When? When Jehovah judges
among the nations--when his law, the very essence of which is justice,
is observed and honored by the nations; then we may hope to find the
fulfillment of the dream of the prophet,--and not until then. And
when the dream of the poets and sages shall come to pass, and the
federation of nations shall be a reality, and there shall be the
world's parliament--what then? Why, even then you will find that law
implies force to compel obedience, and that force in the last analysis
of things means armies, navies--war! So that when the world shall be
removed from the possibilities of war, I do not know. My judgment is
that we shall need courts, police, armies, navies--the embodiment
of force, just so long as on the part of individuals and groups of
individuals and communities and nations there is a disposition to
resort to acts of injustice, to violate law, to gratify the disposition
in man to make aggression upon his fellow-men. These things must be
restrained; and, in some cases force only is the means by which they
may be restrained; so that the means of the enforcement of law, so far
as I can see, must live as long as there is law.

Well, this view is not so very hopeful for international--for universal
peace, is it? I read, in my Scriptures, about their having been war
even in heaven; and I do not know but what there may be future wars in
other heavens--I am sure there will be if there is rebellion against
law, and justice, and good order; and it will extend into the future,
as well as being a reality of the past. Now, do you not see that the
end of all our reflections upon the subject simply means that you must
have righteousness or you can have no peace? You must have justice or
you can never have peace. Neither Gods nor men have been able to have
peace in the past, not even in heaven, apart from these principles;
and what holds as to the past, I think is very likely to hold for the

As to the sorrow that wars bring to us--I scarcely know what to say of
that. But even sorrows have their mission in this world; and suffering
has its mission. I think that any Christian who rightly understands
the gospel of Jesus Christ will value all the more the salvation that
comes to him, by reason of what it cost--the blood-sweat of the Christ
in Gethsemane, as well as his sufferings on Calvary. I think a man
should value the liberties that he enjoys all the more because of the
awful price that has been paid for them. I read here in our Book of
Doctrine and Covenants that God inspired the fathers of our republic
to establish the Constitution of our country--the United States; and
he tells us that he "redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." Are
these battles of the past, these sufferings and sacrifices of past
generations, of no value? I prize the liberties of our age and the
civilization of our times, not only because of the value of the things
in themselves, but also because of the price that the generations
in the past have paid for them. They become sanctified through the
suffering and the sacrifice that it has been necessary to make fo
them. Father Ryan has voiced some sentiments, in which I share, and I
am going to read them to you. It is said by some one, whom I do not
now remember, that "Calvaries and crucifixes take deepest hold of
humanity--the triumphs of might are transient, they pass away and are
forgotten--the sufferings of Right are graven deepest on the chronicles
of nations." I do not believe that all the suffering of the past is
wasted, by any manner of means, "Crowns of roses fade; crowns of thorns
endure!" And now for this poem:


  "Yes! give me a land where the ruins are spread,
  And the living tread light on the hearts of the dead;
  Yes, give me a land that is blest by the dust,
  And bright with the deeds of the downtrodden just!
  Yes, give me the land that hath legend and lays
  Enshrining the memories of long-vanished days;
  Yes, give me a land that hath story and song,
  To tell of the strife of the Right with the Wrong;
  Yes, give me the land with a grave in each spot,
  And names in the graves that shall not be forgot!
  Yes, give me the land of the wreck and the tomb,
  There's a grandeur in graves--there's a glory in gloom!
  For out of the gloom future brightness is born,
  And the graves of the dead, with the grass overgrown,
  May yet form the footstool of Liberty's throne,
  And each single wreck in the war-path of Might,
  Shall yet be a rock in the Temple of Right!" [1]

[Footnote 1: This poem was often quoted by Mr. Alexander Stephens, of
Georgia, than whom America has produced few greater statesmen, and this
poem for him seemed to voice the sorrows of the South after the close
of the war between the States.]

Now, let us have peace, even if we have to fight for it--and in my
judgment, for some time to come, if you have peace, it will be because
you are prepared to fight for it; and when the great central government
shall be established--the world's federation of nations--it will need
the force, the power to compel men to submit to its just decrees.
This dream of the poet, here in Isaiah, shall be fulfilled in very
deed, when God shall judge among the nations; because when he judges
among the nations, he will judge in righteousness, and he will judge
in justice; that will insure the world's peace; and our national
armaments then will not be necessary. But what experiences, national
and international, lie between where we now stand and the attainment
of that end--who may tell? Another prophet caught a glimpse of that
side of the question, when he declared that the nations would beat
their plows into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears (Joel
3:10); and there is something in the way of experience in that kind
for modern nations, in all probability. Yet, I am a man of peace, I
believe in peace. I intend to work for peace, but I cannot close my
eyes to some of these things that are born out of the experiences of
races and nations of men; but may God grant that the spirit of peace
may increase in the world--there is much need of it, but when peace
becomes universal and permanent, be assured it will be so, because
righteousness and justice shall have been established in the world.



Being a development of the thought that God had part in founding the
government of the United States and is directing its destinies. (Fourth
of July speech at Spanish Fork, 1908.)



_Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen_: I appreciate the honor you have
done me in asking me to come to your beautiful and thriving town to
speak such things to you as this occasion may suggest. I think it
is quite generally conceded that the old-fashioned Fourth of July
celebration, like many other old-fashioned things, is growing out of
date. The thirteen guns at sunrise, the hoisting of the flag, the
early assembling of the people, the parade, in spite of heat and dust,
rain or mud, representation of the thirteen states by thirteen young
ladies--beautiful all; the assembling of the people in the grove, the
prayer of the chaplain, the reading of the Declaration of Independence,
with all its serious charges against King George III intact; and, above
all, the long and serious and wearying speech of the "orator of the
day"--all this is passing away, and we celebrate our nation's birthday
usually under less imposing ceremonies; and to this change, for one, I
have been entirely reconciled. So far reconciled, in fact, that I had
made something like a resolution that never again would I participate
in the old-fashioned methods of celebration; that I would no more
inflict on my fellow-citizens a Fourth of July speech so often misnamed

But receiving your committee's very flattering invitation to address
the good people of Spanish Fork, a change came over the spirit of
my thought, and it occurred to me that at this particular time the
occasion might afford an opportunity for the expression of thoughts
which I am quite sure the people of your town, and the people of our
entire state, would do well to consider at this time, and hence I am
here to venture a few remarks which I hope will be of some interest to
those here assembled, and without offense to any.


I think no man of intelligence can contemplate the achievements by the
United States of America through the last one hundred thirty six years
without being over-powered by the sense that what has been wrought is
the result of something more than merely unaided, human achievement.
The establishment, maintenance and extension of free institutions until
they reach triumphant success in permanent, peaceful self-government
by the people; the enlargement of our borders from the great lakes to
the gulf; from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific;
the triumphs obtained over the wilderness; the marvelous extension
of civilization; the contributions we have made to civilization
itself; the triumphs of intellect over material things; the practical
annihilation of distances; the network of railroads, trans-continental
and local, with accompanying network of telegraph lines bringing all
parts of our land into immediate communication with each other, and
with all the world; the multiplication of mechanical contrivances,
which removes man from much of the drudgery of life; the marvelous
increase in conveniences and comforts of human life, country life,
town life, city life and national life; the general uplift that has
taken place in intellectual, moral and spiritual life; our expanding
educational facilities and the wide dissemination of knowledge among
the people; the increase among the people, if not of patriotism, at
least of confidence in the permanency and success of our system of
government--all these triumphs, I repeat, proclaim a higher power than
that which is resident in human wisdom as being the force that founded
and that has guided the destinies of our country to the achievement of
all this. For some wise purpose, yet to be more perfectly unfolded,
through plot and counterplot of men, I feel that God is developing
the mysterious harmonies that shall make up the history of our great
republic. It is upon this idea that I shall dwell today, the idea that
God has had a part in founding our nation and directing thus far its
course. I am the more free to take in hand this subject today, because
I believe that I am speaking to those who quite generally accept this



The following passage is to be found in a book which many of our
citizens accept as scripture, and which represents Deity saying:

    "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 [the United States] by the hands of wise men whom I raised up
    unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of
    blood." (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 101.)

I think this doctrine may be maintained in two ways: First, by
reference to the historical incidents of the American revolution, in
the throes of which our nation had its birth. And, second, by an appeal
to the principles of the constitution on which our nation is founded.
Necessarily, of course the consideration of these two branches of the
subject must be very limited. Let us consider the first proposition.
One hundred and thirty-six years ago today, when the Declaration
of Independence was signed by the American patriots assembled in
Philadelphia, there were in existence, and in rebellion against Great
Britain, thirteen colonies extending along the Atlantic seaboard from
Massachusetts to Georgia. In round numbers, the population did not
reach 3,000,000. They were not a military people. They were a farming
and frontier population. The task immediately before them, in an
economic way, was the subjugation of the wilderness. They had no great
stores of munitions of war, nor were they well supplied with arms.
Their commerce was primitive and depended upon the favor and shipping
of the nation with which they were at war. They had no great military
geniuses among them, and, from the standpoint of those who believe
that God fights on the side of those who have the largest and most
perfect armies and the heaviest ordinance, the struggle for independent
national existence would look hopeless. In the eyes of many of the
colonists themselves it was a forlorn hope, this dream of independence.
They were about to measure arms with one of the most formidable empires
of the world. A nation ready and armed at all points, "her navies,"
as some of the leading men of Virginia said--"her navies were riding
triumphantly in every sea; her armies never marched but to certain
victory." What could be the issue of such a conflict except that the
colonies would become an easy prey to Great Britain, and the rebellion
would end in converting "the right" which the British parliament
then claimed to tax America without representation, into a firm and
indubitable right by conquest?

The fact alone that the colonies succeeded in the face of such
overwhelming odds in winning their independence must necessarily argue
the support of some superhuman power which intervenes in the affairs
of nations. And when the secondary means through which victory was
finally secured for the colonies is considered, the more apparent
becomes the fact of divine interposition. The mind skeptical to such
faith as this, would naturally say that the victory of the colonies
was achieved because France and Spain, old enemies of Great Britain,
and Holland, her jealous rival for the world's commerce, joined with
the American colonies in the war against Great Britain, and that those
nations, rather than the colonial armies, won for the American colonies
their independence. To my mind, however, it is just here that the
interposition of divine providence becomes most apparent; and I find my
belief most aptly expressed by one of the most accomplished of American
historians (Marcus Wilson), who, in commenting upon the treaty of peace
signed by Great Britain, France, Spain, Holland and the United States,

    "This closed the most important war in which England had ever been
    engaged--a war which rose wholly out of her ungenerous treatment
    of her American colonies. The expense of blood and treasure which
    this war cost England was enormous; nor, indeed, did her European
    antagonists suffer much less severely. The United States was the
    only country that could look to any beneficial results from the
    war, and these were ordained by a strange union of opposing motives
    and principles, unequaled in the annals of history. France and
    Spain, the arbitrary despots of the old world, had stood forth as
    the protectors of an infant republic, and had combined, contrary
    to all the principles of their political faith, to establish the
    rising liberties of America. They appeared but as blind instruments
    in the hands of providence, employed to aid in the rounding of
    a nation which should cultivate those republican virtues that
    were destined yet to regenerate the world upon the principles of
    universal intelligence, and eventually to overthrow the timeworn
    system of tyrannical usurpation of the few over the many."

To this expression of my belief I may hope to add nothing. I do,
however, desire, in addition to the evidence thus presented for the
idea of the interposition of providence in the affairs which led to
the establishment of our nation, I do desire to call your attention to
the fact that some of the great American leaders in the Revolutionary
period had a most perfect pre-vision of all these events which history
records as having taken place. Among these inspired men, which many of
you believe God raised up to found the constitution of our country,
there certainly was none more inspired than the great Virginia orator,
Patrick Henry. Mr. Wirt, his biographer, calls attention to an item of
his history which seems to have been strangely overlooked by those who
speak of this great man and the contributions he made to the general
cause of freedom in our land. Mr. Wirt tells us of a conversation that
took place at the residence of Colonel Samuel Overton, in Virginia,
in the presence of a number of prominent gentlemen that is so clearly
prophetic that you shall not find in Isaiah or Micah or Amos or any
of the Jewish prophets a passage that surpasses it for prophetic
clearness. I shall quote the incident as related by Mr. Wirt, who
received the story of Mr. Pope, and records it in his excellent
biography of Patrick Henry:

    "I was informed by Colonel John Overton, that before one drop
    of blood was shed in our contest with Great Britain, he was at
    Colonel Samuel Overton's in company with Mr. Henry, Colonel
    Morris, John Hawkins and Colonel Samuel Overton, when the last
    mentioned gentleman asked Mr. Henry, 'whether he supposed Great
    Britain would drive her colonies to extremities, and if she should,
    what he thought would be the issue of the war.' When Mr. Henry,
    after looking round to see who were present, expressed himself
    confidentially to the company in the following manner:

    "'She will drive us to extremities; no accommodation will take
    place; hostilities will soon commence, and a desperate and bloody
    touch it will be.' 'But,' said Colonel Samuel Overton, 'do you
    think, Mr. Henry, that an infant nation as we are, without
    discipline, arms, ammunition, ships of war, or money to procure
    them do you think it possible, thus circumstanced, to oppose
    successfully the fleets and armies of Great Britain?' 'I will be
    candid with you,' replied Mr. Henry. 'I doubt whether we shall be
    able, alone, to cope with so powerful a nation. But,' continued he
    (rising from his chair, with great animation), 'where is France?
    Where is Spain? Where is Holland?--the natural enemies of Great
    Britain. Where will they be all this while? Do you suppose they
    will stand by, idle and indifferent spectators to the contest? Will
    Louis XVI be asleep all this time? Believe me, no! When Louis XVI
    shall be satisfied by our serious opposition, and our Declaration
    of Independence, that all prospect of a reconciliation is gone,
    then, and not until then, will he furnish us with arms, ammunition,
    and clothing; and not with these only, but he will send his fleets
    and armies to fight our battles for us; he will form with us a
    treaty offensive and defensive, against our unnatural mother.
    Spain and Holland will join the confederation! Our independence
    will be established! and we shall take our stand among the nations
    of the earth!' Here he ceased; and Colonel John Overton says, he
    shall never forget the voice and prophetic manner with which these
    predictions were uttered, and which have been since so literally
    verified. Colonel Overton says, at the word independence, the
    company appeared to be startled; for they had never heard anything
    of the kind before even suggested."

I think this passage alone, when the roster of "American prophets"
shall be made up, will place this first man of our Revolutionary period
high on the list of such prophets, and we shall yet have occasion to be
as proud of our American prophets as the Jews are of their prophets.
Of other manifestations of inspiration in the men who guided the
councils of our nation in this Revolutionary period, I may not here
speak at length. It is matter of pride, however, that their wisdom was
recognized by friends over the sea. Of the first continental congress,
the Earl of Chatham, in the British house of lords, said:

    "I must declare and avow, that in all my reading and study of
    history (and it has been my favorite study--I have read Thucydides,
    and have studied and admired the master states of the world),
    that for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity and wisdom of
    conclusion, under such a complication of circumstances, no nation
    or body of men can stand in preference to the general congress of

Whence obtained these men the wisdom that thus challenged the
admiration of the first statesman of Great Britain, and of his age, a
man of gigantic intellectual powers, of incorruptible integrity, and
who devoted the great powers of his mind to the service of his country?
Could the wilderness impart much knowledge of principles of government
and statesmanship as was manifested in the councils of those American
planters, manufacturers and trades people? What books were extant from
which they could learn it? Was it the genius of the land they inhabited
that taught them statecraft? Was it the spirit of freedom that
brooded over the country, over lake and stream and forest that sought
self-expression through them? Did the wild waves of the Atlantic, as
they broke upon the shingle of New England's rugged coast, hymn civic
wisdom into their souls? Let poets and romancers attribute it to what
source they will, to me it was the inspiration of God which touched
their spirits and gave them understanding.

And not only was that inspiration wisdom to the American councils,
but it inspired courage in the presence of defeat and patience that
taught their armies to wait for their victory. It gave hope and calm
to the turbulent spirit of Washington, and faith and confidence to
his companions in arms. It kept alive the fires and patriotism in the
breast of the common soldier and quieted the fears of the loved ones
left to watch over the homes during the absence of husbands and fathers
and sons. It affected all the departments of the great struggle until
"Yorktown's sun rose on a nation's banner spread, a nation's freedom
won." And the nation of the United States began that career whose
achievements are the admiration and marvel of the world.



Let us now consider the second proposition; namely, that the
inspiration of those who founded our constitution may be sustained by
a consideration of the principles on which our government is founded.
That there were republics and federated republics, too, before our
own, goes without saying; that the justice of the principle of
government by the people had been recognized by masters of the science
of civil government is equally true; but never before in the history
of the world has there been developed such a highly complex system of
government, none in which there has been such a balancing and fair
adjustment of powers, will be conceded by every student of history and
of civil government. In the first place, the division of the sovereign
power of government into three co-ordinate and independent departments,
both in the states and in the nation--the executive, the legislative
and the judicial departments--is more insisted upon than in any
other government that has ever been established. Then, again, in the
division of the sovereign power as between the states and the general
government it is unique. On the one side the general government is
more limited and on the other more extended than in any other republic
ever founded. Limited in that the general government is confined to
powers expressly conferred upon it by the constitution, while all other
powers of government are reserved to the states or to the people,
respectively. The side on which its powers are more extended than in
any previous confederation is in this, that power is conferred upon the
general government to execute its own laws, with its own machinery,
and upon all citizens within any one and in all the states. The French
philosopher, De Tocqueville, declares that the principle of our
republic rested upon "a wholly novel theory, which may be considered as
a great discovery in modern political science, and for which there is
as yet no specific name." Enlarging upon the subject, he said:

    "This constitution, which may at first be confounded with the
    federal constitutions which have preceded it, rests, in truth,
    upon a wholly novel theory, which may be considered as a great
    discovery in modern political science. In all the confederations
    which preceded the American constitution in 1789, the allied states
    for a common object agreed to obey the injunctions of a federal
    government; but they reserved to themselves the right of ordaining
    and embracing the execution of the laws of the Union. The American
    states which combined in 1789 agreed that the federal government
    should not only dictate, but should execute its own enactments. In
    both cases the right is the same, but the exercise of the right
    is different, and this difference produced the most momentous
    consequences. The new word, which ought to express this novel
    thing, does not yet exist. The human understanding more easily
    invents new things than new words, and we are hence constrained to
    employ many improper and inadequate expressions."

Our own national experience proves that it is the adoption of this
principle in our system of government which supplies the element of
strength that is usually supposed to be lacking in republican forms
of government, and makes it possible for a republic to persist, to be
strong, and at the same time conserve the freedom of the people.

The principle, however, which most concerns us here today in our
deliberations is the great and fundamental principle of our system
of government--"the law of laws," as De Tocqueville calls it, the
doctrine of the sovereignty of the people--"government of the people,
by the people and for the people." This principle is, of course, the
foundation not only of our republic but of all republics. It has,
however, in our American system received increased emphasis; it has
taken on new life; it has become a reality. There are not wanting
writers on civil government who say this principle is active in all
governments, and, indeed, to some extent, that is true; but for
the most part, in modern times, until the establishment of our own
government, this principle found expression only "in the purchased
suffrages of a few of the satellites of power." At other times "in the
votes of the timid or interested minority." Or else it was "discovered
in the silence of the people and based on the supposition that the fact
of submission establishes the right to govern." But in our system this
principle is not barren or concealed; it is recognized by the customs
of the people, as well as proclaimed by the laws. "It spreads freely
and arrives without impediment at its most remote consequences," as
De Tocqueville urges, and it has direct application to the affairs
of government. It is a principle that takes government out of the
hands of a favored few, and recognizes civil power as resident in the
people. It upsets the doctrine of the divine right of kings to rule,
and of priests to interfere, only as they may exercise their rights
of citizenship in common with their fellow-citizens. That utterance
of our Declaration of Independence, which says "governments derive
their just powers from the consent of the governed," may seem at first
glance to be an unimportant statement, but tremendous consequences
draw it, and it was truly revolutionary in its character, as matters
stood in the political affairs of the British Empire at the time it was
proclaimed. And when we say that we believe that the constitution of
our country was established by a divine inspiration, working through
the men who formulated it, we should remember that we stand committed
to this doctrine of government by the people; and to such of us who
hold to a divine inspiration in our constitution, that principle of our
government is God-ordained.

Referring to this idea that the constitution of our country is an
inspired instrument, I am tempted to believe sometimes that we fail to
appreciate the seriousness of that doctrine. We are apt to speak of
it too glibly, and as applying to a mass of things that we have never
taken the time to analyze and consider in detail. But if we really
mean what we say when holding to this view of the constitution being
an inspired instrument, then let us remember that we believe that the
constitution, not only as a whole, but in its parts, is inspired of
God. That is, it was a divine wisdom that recognized the power of civil
government as resident in the people. In other words, God ordains, for
our country at least, that government shall be by the people; that the
sovereign power of government which they ordain and establish shall be
divided into its three co-ordinate and independent branches, executive,
legislative and judicial; that there shall be a further division of
the sovereign powers of government between the states and the general
government; that the general government is authorized to exercise only
such powers as are expressly conferred upon it by the constitution;
that the rest of the sovereign powers of government are reserved to the
states and to the people respectively. The theory that the constitution
of our country is inspired commits us to the doctrine that there shall
be freedom of the press, freedom of speech, separation of church and
state, and the freedom, equality and independence of the individual
citizen--all these things together and severally are ordained of God;
_and he who infringes upon any one of these things ordained by our
inspired constitution is untrue to that order of things that God has
ordained for our government through an inspired constitution_.

There is even more than all this to those of us who believe the
constitution to be an inspired instrument; for the most of us who
believe that believe also that the Book of Mormon is a true history of
ancient America; and in that book is recorded an historical incident
which has a direct bearing upon the subject we are here considering.
It refers to a new element in government by the people; one that we
will do well to properly regard. And that is, the direct personal
responsibility that the individual carries under a system of government
where the people rule. The incident occurs in the alleged reign of
Mosiah I at a period that corresponds with the latter half of the
second century before Christ. The old king proposed to his people
a revolution in the form of government by which monarchy should be
abandoned and the republican form of government be established in its
place. In urging this revolutionary measure the good king said:

    "It is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything
    contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser
    part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore
    this shall ye observe and make it your law to do your business
    by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice
    of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the
    judgments of God will come upon you, yea, then is the time he will
    visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited
    this land. * * * * And I command you to do these things in the fear
    of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have
    no king; that if this people commit sins and iniquities, they shall
    be answered upon their own heads. For behold, I say unto you, the
    sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their
    kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of
    their kings. And now I desire that this inequality should be no
    more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire
    that this be a land of liberty, that every man may enjoy his rights
    and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live
    and inherit the land; yea, even as long as any of our posterity
    remains upon the face of the land."

The old king in his passage points to the existence of an important
element in government by the people, the moral element; the direct,
personal responsibility of the individual for such evils as obtain
under government where the people rule. But in order that this element
of moral responsibility may be brought into government, it stands
to reason that every individual must be free and untrammeled in the
exercise of his political duties, in the casting of his vote. Each
individual musts have an equal voice in the government. Every man must
be a sovereign in the civil institution, and his vote must represent
the voice and judgment of a free man. A vote unawed by influence, and
uncoerced by any power whatsoever. Less than this would bring the
whole scheme of government by the voice of the people into contempt
and failure. Under the system of government by the people, in order to
retain the moral responsibility of the people in civil affairs, there
must be no appeal but to the intelligent judgment of the individual.
Each man's act must be the act of a free man; and those who would
corrupt the electorate of a government where the people rule, or sway
it by any other force than by an appeal to reason, would destroy
this element of personal, moral responsibility in civil government,
and in the case of those of us who accept this book from which I am
quoting--_if we would appeal to any other force than to that of reason,
we would be setting ourselves against an order of things that God has

This old king of whom I am speaking manifested wisdom in another
respect. His suggestion of this change from a monarchy to a republic
carried with it the provision that the change should not go into effect
until the time of his death. He would remain king so long as he lived;
then the rule by the voice of the people should begin. Was the old
monarch conscious that it would be difficult to inaugurate this rule
of the people while he yet lived? That there would be those who would
seek to know his desires, then proclaim them, influence the minds of
the electorate, and thus still have Mosiah's rule instead of government
by the people? I do not know how far these thoughts may have been the
thoughts of the king; but surely he removed grave difficulties from the
institution of his newly conceived form of government for his people
by putting off its inauguration until after his death. For sure it is
that the desires of one so esteemed, so wise and unselfish, would have
had such influence that his wishes, howsoever expressed, would have
been followed by the people, and in a measure the end of his proposed
revolution would have been thwarted.

These reflections bring to my recollection the words of an American
writer (Orville Dewey) whose works I learned to esteem in the early
days of my reading. Especially did I admire the following passage on
what the character of a free people should be, from his essay on "Human

    "Liberty gentlemen, is a solemn thing--a welcome, a joyous, a
    glorious thing, if you please; but it is a solemn thing. A free
    people must be a thoughtful people. The subjects of a despot may
    be reckless and gay if they can. A free people must be serious;
    for it has to do the greatest things that ever was done in the
    world--to govern itself. That hour in human life is most serious
    when it passes from parental control into free manhood; then must
    the man bind the righteous law upon himself, more strongly than
    father or mother ever bound it upon him. And when a people leaves
    the leading-strings of prescriptive authority, and enters upon the
    ground of freedom, that ground must be fenced with law; it must be
    tilled with wisdom; it must be hallowed with prayer. The tribunal
    of justice, the free school, the holy church must be built there,
    to entrench, to defend and to keep the sacred heritage. * * * In
    the universe there is no trust so awful as moral freedom; and all
    good civil freedom depends upon the use of that. But look at it.
    Around every human, every rational being, is drawn a circle; the
    space within is cleared from obstruction, or, at least, from all
    coercion; it is sacred to the being himself who stands there; it
    is secured and consecrated to his own responsibility. May I say
    it?--God himself does not penetrate there with any absolute, any
    coercive power! He compels the winds and waves to obey him; he
    compels animal instincts to obey him; but he does not compel men
    to obey. That sphere he leaves free; he brings influences to bear
    upon it; but the last, final, solemn, infinite question between
    right and wrong, he leaves to man himself. Ah! instead of madly
    delighting in his freedom, I could imagine a man to protest,
    to complain, to tremble that such a tremendous prerogative is
    accorded to him. But it is accorded to him, and nothing but willing
    obedience can discharge that solemn trust; nothing but a heroism
    greater than that which fights battles, and pours out its blood
    on its country's altar--the heroism of self-renunciation and
    self-control. Come that liberty! I invoke it with all the ardor
    of the poets and orators of freedom; with Spenser and Milton,
    with Hampden and Sydney, with Rienzi and Dante, with Hamilton and
    Washington, I invoke it. Come that liberty! Come none that does
    not lead to that! Come the liberty that shall strike off every
    chain, not only of iron, and iron-law, but of painful constriction,
    of fear, of enslaving passion, of mad self-will; the liberty of
    perfect truth and love, of holy faith and glad obedience!"

I trust this consideration of some of the details that enter into
the idea that our constitution is a divinely inspired instrument,
will bring home to us more emphatically the seriousness of that
declaration, as also that it will bring to us the realization of our
responsibilities that we sustain as free men, as sovereigns in a free
government. I trust, however, that you will not think I am calling
attention to these matters because I believe there will be any failure
on the part of the people of our great republic to perpetuate these
institutions so vital to our system of government. I cannot believe
that our nation was brought into existence under the circumstances that
attended upon its birth to end at last in failure. On the contrary,
I am persuaded that the time has fully come for the establishment in
this world, in some permanent way, government by the people. That
the reign of tyrants is ended and that the rule of the people has
begun, and will remain. The people of our country, especially the
people of our state, I trust, and believe, will stand for the great
principles that will perpetuate free institutions; that there shall
be in our country "equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever
state or persuasion, religious or political;" that our nation shall
continue as an indissoluble union of indestructible states; that
"the state governments shall be supported in all their rights as the
most competent administration for our domestic concerns, and the
surest bulwark against anti-republican tendencies;" that the general
government "shall be preserved in its whole constitutional vigor as the
sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;" that a "jealous
care shall be exercised of the right of election by the people"--unawed
by influence, uncoerced by any power other than an appeal to reason;
that "absolute acquiescence shall be maintained in the decision of the
majority, the vital principle of republics;" also "the supremacy of the
civil over military authority;" the "diffusion of information and the
arraignment of all abuses at the board of public reason; freedom of the
press and freedom of person" [1]--all these shall be maintained, and
with these principles maintained we may be assured that free government
will not perish from among men.

[Footnote 1: The reader will, of course, recognize these quoted members
of the concluding sentence as excerpts from Jefferson's First Inaugural

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