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´╗┐Title: Scrap Book of Mormon Literature (Vol. 1 of 2) - Religious Tracts
Author: Penrose, Charles W. (Charles William), Roberts, B. H. (Brigham Henry), Pratt, Orson, Pratt, Parley P. (Parley Parker)
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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(MormonTextsProject.org), with thanks to Renah Holmes



SCRAP BOOK

_of_

Mormon Literature

VOL. I

Religious Tracts


Published by BEN. E. RICH

  _"We have gathered posies,
  From other men's flowers;
  Nothing but the thread that
  Binds them is ours."_

{i}



GENERAL INDEX.

ARTICLES OF FAITH of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints.--Joseph Smith, 5.

NOTES TO BE REFERRED TO DAILY BY MISSIONARIES: by Prest. Francis M.
Lyman, In behalf of the Council of Twelve Apostles, 8.

THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TELLS HIS OWN STORY: Joseph's First
Vision--Reception Accorded the Prophet's Statement--Angel Moroni
Visits the Prophet--The Angel Instructs the Boy--Joseph Views
the Plates--Smith Family Meet with Adversity--Prophet Seeks
Employment--Prophet Obtains the Plates--Translating the Plates
Commenced--Martin Harris Shows Characters taken from the Plates
to Learned Men--Aaronic Priesthood Received--Organization of
the Church--Removal of Church to Kirtland, Ohio--Persecution
in Missouri--Removal to Illinois--Martyrdom of Joseph and
Hyrum--Illinois Persecution and Emigration West--Early Pioneer
Days--Temples--Missionary Work--Attacks against the Book of Mormon, 11.

WHAT MORMONS BELIEVE: Epitome of the Doctrines of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints--First Principles--The Apostasy--The
Restoration--Redemption of the Dead--The Book of Mormon--Church
Government--Auxiliary Societies--Divine Authority.--By Apostle Charles
W. Penrose, 29.

SALVATION: A Dialogue Between Elder Brownson and Mr. Whitby--The Fall
and Atonement--The First Principles--Gifts of the Holy Ghost--Preaching
Without Hire--History and Organization of the Church--The Visions of
the Prophet--The Book of Mormon--Aaronic Priesthood Conferred--Brief
History of the Church--Gathering of the Saints.--By Elder John Jaques, 39.

EXCLUSIVE SALVATION: Only One Lord, One Faith and One
Baptism--Testimonies of Apostles Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and St.
John.--By Elder John Jaques, 66.

THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED: Obedience to First
Principles--Baptism--Immersion the Mode--Laying on of Hands--Gifts and
Blessings--Authority Necessary--Apostasy--The Restoration.--By Prest.
Lorenzo Snow, 77.

GOSPEL TO THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: Dead Preached to in the Spirit
World--Baptism for the Dead--Necessity of this Vicarious Work--Elijah
Bestows Keys for Vicarious Work.--By Prest. George Q. Cannon, 88.

JOSEPH SMITH AS A PROPHET: Predictions Uttered by Him and their Signal
Fulfillment--His Prophetic Power Established by the Scriptural Rule. A
Lectured Delivered.--By Elder Andrew Jensen, 92.

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE: An Explanation of Some of the Prominent Doctrines
of the Church--One Gospel Only--The First Principles--Baptism--Laying
on of Hands--Gifts and Miracles--Authority Necessary.--By Elder William
Budge, 119.

THE ONLY TRUE GOSPEL, OR THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIAN FAITH: Only One True
Gospel--The First Principles--Gifts and Miracles--Authority.--By Elder
William Budge, 135.

JOSEPH THE PROPHET: The place of the Prophet as a Benefactor of
Mankind--Visions of the Prophet--Priesthood Conferred--Organization
of the Church--The New Jerusalem--Book of Abraham--Work for the Dead
Established--Summary of the Work Accomplished by the Prophet.--By Elder
B. H. Roberts, 141.

FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE TRUE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: Is Belief
alone Sufficient--Repent or Perish--Is Baptism Essential to
Salvation--Baptism for the Dead--Object and Purpose of Baptism--Mode of
Baptism--Authority to Baptize.--By Elder J. H. Paul, 147.

ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON: What the Book is--How the Ancient
Plates were Transmitted--Abridgments--Plates of Ether--The Smaller
Plates of Nephi--Quotations From Isaiah.--By Elder B. H. Roberts, 154.

THE SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH AND EVENTS TO PRECEDE IT: The
Restoration of the Everlasting Gospel--The Coming of a Messenger--The
Coming of Elijah--The Gathering of the Saints--The Restoration of
the Gospel--The Testimony of the Three Witnesses--The Coming of the
Messenger--Elijah Comes--Keys of Gathering Restored.--By Elder B. H.
Roberts, 162.

THE CHARACTER OF THE MORMON PEOPLE: The Cause of
Misrepresentation--Mormons Wronged by a Sensational Press--Testimony of
Non-Mormon Witnesses--The Mission of the Mormon Elders--The Mountain
Meadow Massacre.--By Elder B. H. Roberts, 173.

A REJECTED MANUSCRIPT: THE OTHER SIDE: A Rejected Manuscript--Salt Lake
Valley--Social Conditions Among the Mormons--Attitude of Mormons Toward
Education--Missionary Work--Stories about the Mormons--Persecution
and Suffering--Loyalty of the Mormons--Tabernacle Choir--People of
Travel--Temple Work.--By Leon R. Ewing, 192.

{iii} RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT: Necessity of Obedience--Character of
the Godhead--The Atonement--First Principles of the Gospel--The
Gift of the Holy Ghost--Divine Authority--A Departure from the
Faith--The Restoration of the Gospel--The Book of Mormon--Modern
Revelation--Salvation for the Dead--Baptism for the Dead--Fruits of the
Gospel.--By Apostle Charles W. Penrose, 202.

A FRIENDLY DISCUSSION UPON RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS: The Godhead--The
Fall and the Atonement--Faith--Repentance--Baptism for Remission
of Sins--Holy Ghost--Laying on of Hands--Gifts of the Holy
Ghost--Authority--Offices in The Church--Apostasy--Restoration.--By
Ben. E. Rich, 263.

NIGHT OF THE MARTYRDOM: By Apostle Orson Hyde, 283.

DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ITS FAITH
AND TEACHINGS: Faith--Repentance--Baptism--Reception of the Holy Ghost
and the Laying on of Hands--Authority--Apostasy--Restoration--Testimony
of the Three Witnesses--Prophecy of Joseph Smith, the Seer, Given in
1832--Authority.--By Elder John Morgan, 286.

THE PLAN OF SALVATION: Pre-existence--Why We are
here--Faith--Repentance--Baptism--Laying on of Hands--Future
Existence--Baptism for the Dead.--By Elder John Morgan, 306.

STATEMENT OF PROMINENT NON-MORMONS: Opinions of the Leading Statesmen
of the United States on the Edmunds Law--Gentile Opinions of the Mormon
People--Statistics of Crime and Education--Refutation of the Spaulding
Story--Judge Summer Howard on the Mountain Meadow Massacre--Rights of
Self Government.--By Elder John Morgan, 327.

JOSEPH SMITH. WAS HE A PROPHET OF GOD? AN INVESTIGATION AND
TESTIMONY: Books of the Bible Given to Meet the Special Condition
and Need of the People--Contents of the Pentateuch, the Historical
Books, the Poetical Books, the Prophetical Books--Interval of Fifty
Years--Revival of Prophecy--Restoration of the Jews--The Last
Prophets of the Old Covenant--Conclusions from the Foregoing--The
New Testament--The Four Gospels--Gospel According to Matthew,
Mark, Luke, St. John--Testimony of the Gospels--The Acts of the
Apostles--The Epistles--Prophecies of the New Testament--Difficulties
in Ascertaining the Meaning of the Scriptures--Christian Sects an
Evidence--Retrospective Evidence--Prospective Evidence--Direct
Evidence--Moral Evidence--Peculiarities of the Message--Effects of the
Doctrine--Spiritual Evidence.--By Elder J. M. Sjodahl, 350.

PIONEER SKETCHES--UTAH IN 1850: By Elder James H. Martin, in the
"Contributor," 1890, 429.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS: Its Priesthood,
Organization, Doctrines, Ordinances, and History.--By Elder John Jaques, 435.

{iv} PLAIN TALKS TO PARENTS: Paragraphs taken from the Writings of
Apostle Orson Pratt, in the "Seer." 1853. 453.

MY REASONS FOR LEAVING THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND JOINING THE
CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS: Apostasy--Officers
Necessary in the Church--Gifts of the Holy Ghost--Baptism--Infant
Baptism--Baptism for the Dead--Internal Corruption of Early Christian
Church--Reformation--History of Mormon Church--Restoration--Book of
Mormon.--By R. M. Bryce Thomas, London, England, 458.

THE EARLY CHRISTIANS: Letter Written to the Emperor Trajan by Pliny the
Younger, while He was Governor of Bithynia. It is the First Connected
Account of Christ's Followers that has come to us from a Pagan source, 486.

REORGANIZATION WEIGHED: Presidency Permanency--Appointment--Revelation
on Permanent Order of Priesthood--Law of Lineage--Ordination.--By
German E. Ellsworth, 489.

A GOSPEL OUTLINE: A few of the Most Important Scriptural References
Bearing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Arranged in Logical Order,
and Designed to give to Missionaries--and all other Students of the
Gospel--a Working Knowledge of such Scriptural Quotations as may be
Required from the First.--By Elder Nephi Anderson, 503.

A CONTRAST BETWEEN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST AND THE FALSE DOCTRINES OF
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.--By Apostle Parley P. Pratt, 517.

BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, 526.

"GOOD TIDINGS" OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING GOSPEL: First Principles--Men
Judged According to Their Works--Obedience to the Gospel Necessary, 529.

A PLEA FOR MODERN REVELATION: By Apostle Orson Pratt, 533.

THE "UNKNOWN GOD" REVEALED: A Reply to a Georgia Editor's Urgent
Appeal for a Restoration of the "Old Time" Faith in a Personal and
Known God. The Godhead--Offices in the Church--How the Gospel Should
be Preached--First Principles--Christ and God visit the Earth in these
Latter Days--Persecution.--By Elder Ben. E. Rich, 536.

A GOSPEL LETTER: Written by Sister Lucy Mack Smith, the Mother of the
Prophet Joseph Smith. Oldest Gospel Letter in the Church, only recently
Discovered in New Hampshire, 543.

THE RESTORATION OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL: Joseph's
First Vision--Angel Moroni Appears to the Prophet--The
Three Witnesses--Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood
Conferred--Persecution--Gathering--Restoration.--By Apostle George
Teasdale, 547.

{v}



DOCTRINAL INDEX.

Articles of Faith, 5.

Atonement, 5, 40, 213, 264, 507.

Authority, 6, 31, 38, 85, 132, 139, 152, 216, 225, 277, 289, 300, 442,
511.

Angel, Moroni visits the Prophet, 15, 96, 443, 547.

Apostasy, 31, 86, 226, 227, 228, 279, 290, 459, 512, 532.

Astronomy of Abraham, 100.

Administrations, 515.

Abraham, Book, 144.

Appointment of President, 489.

Adam, Sin of, 213.

Angels same class of beings as we are, 505.

Agency, Man's free, 213.

Adam visits the Earth, 296.

Baptism, 5, 30, 42, 43, 79, 127, 137, 149, 214, 273, 287, 313, 466,
508, 530.

Baptism, Mode of, 45, 52, 152, 153, 216, 509.

Baptism, Purpose of, 128, 151, 215, 274, 508. 526, 530.

Baptism for Dead, 89, 150, 252, 322, 470.

Baptism, Infant, 151, 216, 468, 509.

Baptism, History of, 508.

Book of Mormon, 6, 33, 56, 480, 513.

Book of Mormon, Attacks against, 27.

Book of Mormon published in many languages, 452.

Book of Mormon, What it is, 154, 237.

Book of Mormon, How to read the, 154, 160.

Book of Mormon Abridgments, 155.

Battalion, Mormon, 25, 59, 198.

Belief alone insufficient, 147.

Belief, Genuine, 147.

Books of the Bible, Synopsis of contents of: Pentateuch, 352;
Historical Books, 353; Poetical Books, 354; Prophetical Books, 354;
Interval of Fifty Years, 360; Revival of Prophecy, 360; Last Prophets
of Old Testament, 368; The New Testament, 371; The Four Gospels,
371; Matthew, 372; Mark, 373; Luke, 373; St. John, 373; Acts of the
Apostles, 375; The Epistles, 377.

Christ, Personality of, 5.

Celestialized Earth, 516.

Cholera Predicted by the Prophet, 100. Christ's Second Coming, 109,
162, 515.

Contrast between the Doctrine of Christ and the False Doctrines of the
Nineteenth Century, 517.

Choir, Tabernacle, 199.

Christian Sects an Evidence, 390.

Christian, Early, by Pliny, 486.

Discovery, Corroborative, 104.

Degrees of Glory, 483, 516.

Dead Preached to, 150. Doctrines, 439.

Doctrine and Covenants Published, 452.

    Effects of the Doctrine, 420.

	Evidence, Moral, 411.

	Evidence, Direct, 306.

    Evidence, Spiritual, 424.

Emigration to Rocky Mountains, 59, 106, 444, 452.

Elijah, Prophet, visits the Earth, 91, 144, 164, 296.

Eden, Location of Ancient, 101.

Extracts, Direct extracts from Isaiah in Book of Mormon, 158.

Education, Attitude of Mormons toward, 195.

{vi} Faith, 5, 30, 42, 137, 203, 207, 209, 270, 286, 311, 507.

Fall, The, 40, 213.

Future Existence, 316.

Father Revealed through the Son, 504.

Faith and Works, 148, 203, 508, 532.

Gifts, Spiritual, 6, 48, 220.

Gathering, 6, 62, 98, 165, 258, 297, 513, 550.

Gathering, Keys of, 143, 296.

Godhead, 29, 141, 208, 264, 504.

Godhead, Personality of, 503, 536, 537, 541.

God our Father in Heaven, 208.

Gifts of Spirit to remain, 219.

Government of Church, 35.

Gospel, Only one, 41, 121, 135, 136, 202, 529.

Growth of Church, 443.

Gospel Letter, Lucy Mack Smith, 543.

Harris, Martin, 19, 238.

Holy Ghost, 30, 47, 138, 209, 288, 510, 540.

Holy Ghost, Gifts of, 84, 138, 217, 277 464.

Holy Spirit of God, 209, 276.

History of Church, 442, 477.

Inspiration, Divine, 239.

Jerusalem, The New, 143.

Jesus Christ in express image of the Father, 208.

Jesus Christ the Son, 504.

Knowledge, Incentive to obtain, 201.

Knowledge of God Essential, 503.

Laying on of Hands, 5, 83, 129, 217, 276, 288, 314.

Loyalty of Mormons, 198.

Law of Lineage, 493.

Man may become perfect, 506.

Man's Spirit Immortal, 506.

Man punished for Actual Sins, 5.

Man Child of God, 505, 506.

Missionary Notes, 8.

Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, 23, 59.

Missionary Work, 26, 60, 195, 451.

Miracles, 129, 138.

Messenger, The Coming of a, 164, 168.

Mormons wronged by Press, 177.

Mission of Mormon Elders, 185.

Mountain Meadow Massacre, 187, 348.

Manuscript, Rejected, 191, 192.

Martyrdom, Night of the, 283.

Message, Peculiarities of the, 415.

Millennium, 516.

Marriage forever, 516.

Necessity of Holy Ghost in the Church, 221.

Necessity of Obedience to the Gospel, 531.

Organization, 6, 21, 53, 58, 60. 143. 437.

Ordination, 496.

Obedience, 78.

Officers, Early Civil, 446.

Omnipresence of God, 209.

Oaths, Test, 449.

Officers in the Church, 225, 278, 461, 511, 538.

Ordinances, 441.

Priesthood, Levitical, 224.

Plates, Joseph Views the, 17, 18.

Plates, Joseph Receives the, 55.

Priesthood, Aaronic, 20, 58. 60, 142, 223, 224, 295, 549.

Priesthood, 434, 443.

Priesthood, Melchizedek, 60, 142, 223, 234, 296, 549.

Priesthood, Permanent order of, 492.

Persecution, Missouri, 22, 59.

Persecution, Illinois, 25, 59.

Pioneer Days, 26.

Principles, First, 41, 126, 137, 147, 228, 483, 529, 539.

Prophecies fulfilled, 240, 259.

Pre-existence, 306, 505.

Preaching without Hire, 50, 539.

Papers and Periodicals, Church, 60.

Prophecy of the New Testament, 380.

Prophet Predicts Removal West, 106.

Prophet Predicts Escape from Enemies, 107.

Prophecy about Stephen A. Douglas, 107.

Plates, How Plates were Transmitted, 155.

Plates of Ether, 156.

Plates, Smaller Plates of Nephi, 156.

Persecution and Suffering, 197, 260, 261, 451, SIS, 542, 550.

{vii} Presidency Permanency, 486.

Prophecy Foretelling Civil War, 298.

Repentance, 5, 30, 43, 137, 148, 212, 272, 287, 313, 508.

Revelation, 6, 141, 242, 489, 511, 533.

Revelation, Spurious, Received, 490.

Removal to Kirtland, 21, 59.

Removal to Illinois, 22.

Restoration, 31, 87, 164, 166, 232, 280, 292, 478, 512, 532, 551.

Restored, Keys of Gathering, 171.

Restoration of the Jews, 366.

Reformation, 473.

Resurrection, 483, 506.

Organization Weighed, 489.

Smith, Prophet Joseph, 11, 91, 141, 349.

Smith Family, 18.

Scriptures, Difficulty in Ascertaining the Meaning of the, 383.

Salvation for the Dead, 32, 144, 247, 471, 514.

Societies, Auxiliary, 37.

Salvation, Exclusive, 66.

Salvation, Individual, 213, 507.

Salvation, 515.

Sins, Remission of, 214.

Sins of the World, 214.

Sabbath, The, 514.

Sacrament, 442, 514.

Signs, 114.

Spirits in Prison, 150, 471.

Spirits, Evil. 505.

Social Conditions among Mormons, 194.

Stories about Mormons, 196.

Statistics of Crime, 343.

Statistics of Education, 343.

Temples, 21, 26, 59, 143, 452.

Testimony of Non-Mormon Witnesses, 178.

Tithing, 514.

Tabernacle, Mormon, 193.

Testimony of Apostasy by Wesley, Smith's Bible Dictionary, Dr. Adam
Clark, Roger Williams, 303.

Testimony of the Gospel, 374.

Urim and Thummim, 54.

Universal Salvation, 201.

Unity of Church, 513.

Visions, Joseph's 13, 14, 15, 21, 53, 93, 142, 547.

Vicarious Work for Dead, Necessity of, 89, 90.

Valley, Salt Lake, 193.

Witnesses, The Three, 110, 168, 294, 548.

Work Accomplished by Prophet, 145.

Work, Temple, 201.

Witnesses, The Eight, 241.

Warning, Day of, 262.

Why we are here, 310, 506.

{3}



PREFACE.

In presenting Volumes 1 and 2 of Scrap Book of Mormon Literature, the
undersigned places within the reach of many of the saints a compilation
of religious tracts that have been used and distributed by the elders
of the Church in the performance of their missionary labors throughout
different nations of the earth. Some of these tracts are used at
present by the elders and have been instruments in the hands of the
Lord of bringing thousands to a knowledge of the faith. The same may be
said concerning those that are not now used, and which are contained
within the covers of these volumes, which were distributed by the
elders who labored as missionaries in various parts of the earth from
thirty to sixty years ago. A religious tract contains the condensed
thoughts upon the fundamental principles of the Gospel and the authors
of many of these valuable documents, who were active in the missionary
field more than half a century ago, are remembered among the brightest
minds the Church has produced, they have now passed behind the veil to
receive Eternal reward for their faithfulness. There are a few people
in the Church who have bound volumes of religious tracts, which they
have gathered together from time to time and which they prize beyond
the price of money. This can be said by the compiler of these volumes
and the appreciation of the few volumes of religious pamphlets which
he has gathered in many missionary fields, and had bound together,
conveyed to him the thought that many of the saints would appreciate
having within their reach such valuable volumes. There is scarcely a
man in the Church, who has performed missionary labors in his life, who
will not find in these volumes something that will remind him of his
missionary days, when canvassing from house to house distributing the
word of God; and no doubt will bring back fond recollections of his
missionary work. There are no better volumes than these for a family
to have within the reach of their children, to enable them to make
themselves acquainted with the fundamental doctrines of the Restored
Gospel of our Lord and Savior. These documents will be invaluable
to young men and ladies who are preparing themselves for future {4}
missionary work. The Seventies, whose special calling it is to carry
the Gospel abroad, will be benefited by perusing these pages. Many
of the saints, by studying them, will remember the days of their
conversion to the Gospel and will appreciate the manner in which they
are now preserved for future generations. In reading these pamphlets
one must understand that the Church has been a system of growth and
while we have not changed in any manner the originality of the tracts,
the reader will note that in giving the statistics the Church has had
a wonderful growth since the first issuance of the pamphlets. It has
been a labor of love upon the part of the compiler, who sincerely
hopes to produce another volume at some future date that will make the
compilation complete in every respect.

With a heart full of gratitude to God the Eternal Father for honoring
me as He has done, in permitting me to take part in the spread of the
Gospel, and praying His blessings upon those who may read the pages of
these volumes, I remain,

Yours faithfully,

BEN. E. RICH.

{5}



_ARTICLES OF FAITH_ OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
SAINTS.

1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ,
and in the Holy Ghost.

    PERSONALITY OF GOD.--Gen. i. 26, 27; v. 1; ix. 6; xviii; xxxii, 24-30;
    Ex. xxiv. 9, 11; xxxiii. 9-11, 20-23; Num. xii. 7, 8; John v. 19, 20;
    Acts vii. 55, 56; Phil. ii. 5-8; Heb. i. 3.

    PERSONALITY OF CHRIST.--Matt. iii. 17; John v. 26, 27; xv. xvi. xvii.;
    1 Tim. ii. 5; 1 John v. 7.

    HOLY GHOST.--Isaiah xi. 1-3; lxi. 1; Matt. iii. 16; Mark i. 10; Luke
    iii. 22; John i. 32, 33; xvi. 13, 14; Acts i. 5; ii. 4; viii. 17-19;
    xix. 2-6.

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for
Adam's transgression.

    MAN PUNISHED FOR ACTUAL SINS.--Jer. xvii. 10; Matt. xii. 36, 37; xvi.
    27; 2 Cor. v. 10; Rev. xx. 12-15.

3. We believe that, through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be
saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    ATONEMENT OF CHRIST.--Isa. liii.; Acts iv. 12; Rom. v. 12-19; 1 John i.
    7-10.

4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel
are: First, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third,
Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of
hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

    FAITH, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM AND LAYING ON OF HANDS.--Heb. xi.; Rom. i.
    16, 17; x. 14, 15; Jas. ii. 14-26; Mark xvi. 15, 16; Acts ii. 38, 39; 2
    Cor. vii. 9, 10; Isa. lv. 6, 7; Eph. iv. 25-32; Luke xiii. 3; Matt. iv.
    17; Acts viii. 14-17; xix. 1-6; John iii. 5; Heb. vi. 1, 2.

{6} 5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by "prophecy and by
the laying on of hands," by those who are in authority, to preach the
gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    CALLED OF GOD.--Mark iii. 14; John xv. 16; xvii. 18; Acts xiii. 1-4;
    xiv. 23; Rom. x. 14, 15; Gal. i. 8-16; 1 Tim. ii. 7; Heb. iii. 1; v.
    4-10; 1 Peter ii. 5-9: Rev. v. 9, 10.

6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive
church, viz: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.

    ORGANIZATION.--1 Cor. xii; Eph. ii. 19-22; iv.

7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions,
healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS.--Mark xvi. 15-20; John xiv. 12; Acts ii. 17; 1 Cor.
    xii; 1 Thess. v. 19, 20; James v. 14, 15.

8. We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, as far as it is
translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word
of God.

    BOOK OF MORMON--Isaiah xxix. 4, 9-24; Ezekiel xxxvii. 15-28; Hosea
    viii. 12; John x. 16.

9. 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.

    LATTER-DAY REVELATIONS.--Ezekiel xx. 35, 36; Joel ii. 28, 29; Amos iii.
    7; Mic. ii. 6, 7; Mal. iii. 1-4; iv; Acts ii. 17, 18; Jas. i. 5, 6;
    Rev. xiv-6.

10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and the restoration
of the Ten Tribes. That Zion will be built upon the American continent.
That Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth
will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    GATHERING--Neh. i. 8, 9; Ps. 1. 5; cvii. 1, 7; Isa. ii. 2, 3; v. 26,
    27; xi. 11-16; xliii. 5-9; xlix. 21; lx. 4, 5; Jer. iii. 14, 15; xvi
    14-16; xxiii. 3-8; xxx. 1-8; xxxi. 8-12; xxxii. 37-39; 1. 4, 5; Ezek.
    xx. 33-38; xxxix. 28; Zech. xiv.; Matt. xxiv. 31; John xi. 52; Eph. i.
    10; Rev. xviii. 4.

11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the
dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same privilege; let
them worship how, where or what they may.

{7} 12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and
magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous,
and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the
admonition of Paul "We believe all things, we hope all things," we have
endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there
is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report, or praiseworthy, we
seek after these things.

JOSEPH SMITH.

    _"When the Twelve or any other witnesses stand before the
    congregations of the earth, and preach by the power and
    demonstration of the Spirit of God, and the people are astonished
    and confounded at the doctrine and say: 'That man has preached a
    powerful discourse, a great sermon,' then let that man, or those
    men, take care that they are humble and ascribe the praise and
    glory to God and the Lamb; for it is by the power of the Holy
    Priesthood and Holy Ghost that they thus speak. What art thou,
    O man, but dust? and from whom dost thou receive thy power and
    blessings but from God?"_

    --_Joseph Smith, The Prophet_.

{8}



NOTES TO BE REFERRED TO DAILY BY MISSIONARIES.

Each missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
is endowed with the Holy Priesthood of God, and is sent forth as a
minister of the restored Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He
is believed to be morally clean and upright, and should keep himself
pure, sweet, and unspotted from the sins of the world. He should
avoid and resist the very appearance of evil, and after performing an
honorable mission, should return to his home with clean hands and a
pure heart. Among the many items of counsel given by the authorities of
the Church before his departure for the mission field, he should have
the following indelibly stamped upon his mind and heart:

1. Keep a brief, daily journal of your life's labors, especially of all
your official acts.

2. Do all things with a prayerful heart; pray vocally morning and
evening, oftener when necessary, and pray secretly every day. Make each
prayer appropriate to the occasion, as those for the Sacrament and
Baptism are.

3. Invariably keep the Word of Wisdom, refraining from the use of tea,
coffee, tobacco and intoxicating drinks.

4. Guard against familiarity with womankind. There must be no sparking,
kissing, or embracing of woman--your kisses should be for home
consumption, and be brought home to your loved ones, where they belong.
Kissing and hugging aside from this lead to immorality, and a fallen
brother not only crucifies himself, but brings misery and woe to the
kindred of both parties. Immorality is the bane of missionary life.
There is little more enticing, and nothing more dangerous and deadly.

5. Build up and portray the excellencies of the Gospel, but do not tear
down any man's religious structure. Grant sincerity of mind, as you
claim it for yourself. Discover and recognize all things praiseworthy
about you.

6. Be charitable to unfortunate conditions, and be sympathetic with the
afflicted.

7. Bless, but do not curse.

8. Be genteel, and pattern after best in manly manners. Do not engage
in rowdy or undignified sports, but follow in the demeanor of a
dignified and manly minister.

{9} 9. Be pleasant and cheerful, but do not indulge in nonsense,
ridicule and unseemly jesting.

10. Defend and justify the right, but contend with no man.

11. Be candid and sincere.

12. Hold sacred and do not use commonly such names as God, Jesus
Christ, The Holy Ghost, Apostle, Prophet, Seer and Revelator. Elder
or Brother are the common titles for members of the Melchizedek
Priesthood. President and Bishop may be used where they belong.

13. Write your first name in full, or abbreviate, as "Geo." for George,
"Wm." for William. Initials fail to determine the sex, or to specify
clearly which person is meant.

14. Study the Scriptures carefully--the Jewish, Nephite and Latter-day
revelations. Store your minds with knowledge of the truth, and the
Spirit of the Lord will bring it forth in due season. As the Savior
said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."

15. Be cleanly in your person and clothing, spend as little money as
possible, leaving the world and your brethren to assist you in the
things that are needful, thereby proving that they are disciples of the
Lord.

16. Lodge, feed and pray with the people as much as possible.

17. You are sent out to preach the first principles of the Gospel, and
to call all men unto repentance. You are sent to teach, and not to be
taught by the world.

18. Leave your visiting and sight-seeing until your mission is
completed.

19. Proper living and serving the Lord and consequent growth and
development of strength and stability at home will aid you in the
mission field, and, on your return home, you will be better prepared
thereby to continue your labors and keep from backsliding.

20. Be careful of what money you may have; see that you do not get
robbed.

21. Do not borrow money of Saints or strangers.

22. Do not make promises to write or do other favors when you get home;
wait until you get home, and then do all you reasonably can.

23. Do not praise the beauties of Zion, or magnify the virtues of the
Saints. Fortify the people for the trials they must meet, as they will
be tried in the furnace. Urge the people to stay and maintain the work
abroad in the earth, by their {10} works and their means. Thus they
will gain strength to be able to stand when they do gather to Zion. If
they must apostatize, it is better that they do so in their native land.

24. Start right, by avoiding all evil habits; never say in public or in
private that you do not know the Gospel is true.

25. Get an understanding of the Gospel, and teach it as the spirit
directs.

26. Get the spirit of your mission and keep it.

27. Seek learning by faith as well as by good study. If deficient
in good English, acquire a knowledge thereof so as not to betray
ignorance; but do not depend upon fine words or upon the learning of
the world.

28. Live near the Lord, so that you can approach and appeal to Him on
all occasions.

29. Let all your talents, affections and power be centered on the work
of the ministry.

30. Seek to know the will of the Lord, and to do it. When success
attends your labors, give God the glory.

31. In going and in returning, and while sojourning, remember that the
Church and the Saints will be judged by your actions.

32. Your duty to yourself and to your God is to do your very best, and
to do it always.

33. Be appreciative of favors, and leave your blessing with the
deserving.

34. Do not enter into debates with each other or with anyone else over
obscure points and passages; nor should you seek to advance beyond what
the Lord has revealed.

35. Honor the laws of the country in which you labor.

36. Observe strictly the rules of the Mission and Conference Presidents.

37. Be punctual, that the Spirit of the Lord may not be grieved by the
unseemliness of tardy attendance.

38. Your lives are precious; care well for your health. Excesses are
wrong and bring disaster. You should not walk too much, talk too much,
fast too much, eat or drink too much, or attempt too much to do without
needful things. Wisdom is one of the greater gifts.

39. Your ambition to make converts should not lead you to baptize those
who are unworthy. Never baptize a married woman without the consent of
her husband, or children under age without their parents' consent.

FRANCIS M. LYMAN,

In behalf of the Council of Twelve Apostles.

{11}



THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TELLS HIS OWN STORY.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EARLY VISIONS OF THE PROPHET AND THE RISE AND
PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

BY JOSEPH SMITH, HIMSELF. WRITTEN IN 1838.

"1. Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by
evil-disposed and designing persons, in relation to the rise and
progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all of
which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against
its character as a Church and its progress in the world--I have been
induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put
all inquiries after truth in possession of the facts, as they have
transpired, in relation both to myself and to the Church, so far as I
have such facts in my possession.

"2. In this history I shall present the various events in relation to
this Church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as
they at present exist, being now the eighth year since the organization
of the said Church.

"3. I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
five, on the twenty third day of December, in the town of Sharon,
Windsor county, State of Vermont. My father, Joseph Smith, Senior, left
the State of Vermont and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county,
in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts.
In about four years after my father's arrival in Palmyra, he moved with
his family into Manchester, in the same county of Ontario.

"4. His family consisted of eleven souls, namely--my father, Joseph
Smith; my mother, Lucy Smith (whose name, previous to her marriage, was
Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack); my brothers, Alvin (who died November
19th, 1824, in the 27th year of his age), Hyrum, myself, Samuel
Harrison, William, Don Carlos; and my sisters, Sophronia, Catherine,
and Lucy.

"5. Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there
was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject
of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general
among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole
district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united
themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small
stir and division amongst the people, some crying, 'Lo, here!' and
others, 'Lo, there!' Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some
for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist.

"6. For notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these
different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the
great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active {12}
getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling,
in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it,
let them join what sect they pleased--yet when the converts began to
file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the
seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more
pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling
ensued; priest contending against priest, and convert against convert;
so that all their good feelings one for another, it they ever had any,
were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.

"7. I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father's family was
proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that
church, namely--my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum, Samuel Harrison;
and my sister Sophronia.

"8. During this time of great excitement, my mind was called up to
serious reflection and great though my feelings were deep and often
poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I
attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In
process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect,
and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the
confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was
impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men
and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was
wrong.

"9. My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so
great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the
Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of either reason or
sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think
they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in
their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own
tenets and disprove all others.

"10. In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often
said to myself, What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right;
or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is
it, and how shall I know it?

"11. While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by
the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading
the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: _If
any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him_.

"12. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the
heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter
with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it
again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I
did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom
than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion
of the different sects understood the same passage of scripture so
differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an
appeal to the Bible.

"13. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in
darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is,
ask of God. I at length came to the determination to ask of God,'
concluding that if He gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would
give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

"14. So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I
retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning {13}
of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred
and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such
an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the
attempt to pray vocally.

"15. After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed
to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled
down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had
scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power
which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over
me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness
gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed
to sudden destruction.

"16. But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out
of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very
moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to
destruction--not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual
being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had
never before felt in any being--just at this moment of great alarm, I
saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the
sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

"17. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the
enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two
personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing
above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and
said, pointing to the other--_This is my beloved Son, hear Him!_

"18. My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of
all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner,
therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak,
than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of
all the sects was right--and which I should join.

"19. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all
wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds
were an abomination in his sight: that those professors were all
corrupt; that 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts
are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men,
having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'

"20. He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other
things did He say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I
came to myself again I found myself lying on my back, looking up into
heaven.

"21. Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in
company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in
the before-mentioned religious excitement; and converging with him on
the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the
vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he
treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt,
saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as
visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased
with the Apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

"22. I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a
great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and
was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and
though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years
of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy {14} of no
consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice
sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter
persecution; and this was common among all the sects--all united to
persecute me.

"23. It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how
very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen
years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of
obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought
a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the
great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to
create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling.
But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great
sorrow to myself.

"24. However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision.
I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his
defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he
had when he saw a light and heard a voice; but still there were but
few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was
mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy
the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and
all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and
though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would
know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a
Voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or
believe otherwise.

"25. So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst
of that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak to
me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a
vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling
me, and speaking all manner of evil against me, falsely for so saying,
I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth?
I have actually seen a vision, and who am I that I can withstand God,
or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen?
For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I
could not deny it, neither dared I do it, at least I knew that by so
doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

"26. I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was
concerned; and that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but to
continue as I was until further directed. I had found the testimony of
James to be true, that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and
obtain, and not be upbraided.

"27. I continued to pursue my common vocations in life until the
twenty-first of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three,
all the time suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes
of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm
that I had seen a vision.

"28. During the space of time which intervened between the time I had
the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three--having been
forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of
very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my
friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be
deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have
reclaimed me,--I was left to all kinds of temptations; and mingling
with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors,
and displayed the weakness of youth, {15} and the foibles of human
nature; which I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations,
offensive in the sight of God.

"29. In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my
weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned
twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the
night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for
forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to
me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had
full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously
had one.

"30. While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a
light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room
was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at
my bedside, stand in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

"31. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a
whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe
that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and
brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the
wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as where his legs, a little above
the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he
had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could
see into his bosom.

"32. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was
glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning.
The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately
around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the
fear soon left me.

"33. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger
sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Moroni; that
God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good
and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be
both good and evil spoken of among all people.

"34. He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates,
giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the
source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the
everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to
the ancient inhabitants;

"35. Also, that there were two stones in silver bows--and these stones,
fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and
Thummim--deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these
stones were what constituted "seers" in ancient or former times; and
that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.

"36. After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies
of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of
Malachi, and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same
prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our
Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he
quoted it thus:

"37. _For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all
the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble; for
they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall
leave them neither root nor branch_.

"38. And again he quoted the fifth verse thus: _Behold, I will {16}
reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet,
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord_.

"39. He also quoted the next verse differently: _And he shall plant in
the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the
hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers; if it were not so,
the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming_.

"40. In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah,
saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third
chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as
they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ;
but the day had not yet come when they who would not hear his voice
should be cut off from among the people, but soon would come.

"41. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth
verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but
was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles
was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and
offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.

"42. Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he
had spoken--for the time that they should be obtained was not
yet fulfilled--I should not show them to any person; neither the
breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should
be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed. While he was
conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind
that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so
clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.

"43. After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to
gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking
to me, and it continued to do so, until the room was again left
dark, except just around him, when instantly I saw, as it were, a
conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely
disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly
light had made its appearance.

"44. I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling
greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger;
when, in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered that my room
was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the
same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.

"45. He commenced, and again related the very same things which he
had done at his first visit, without the least variation: which
having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon
the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence;
and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this
generation. Having related these things, he again ascended as he had
done before.

"46. By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that
sleep had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at
what I had both seen and heard. But what was my surprise when again
I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or
repeat over again to me the same things as before; and added a caution
to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of
the indigent circumstances of my father's family), to get the plates
for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I
must have no other object {17} in view in getting the plates but to
glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that
of building His kingdom; otherwise I could not get them.

"47. After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before,
and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just
experienced; when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had
ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day
was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of
that night.

"48. I shortly after arose from my bed, and, as usual, went to the
necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work as at other
times, I found my strength so exhausted as to render me entirely
unable. My father, who was laboring along with me, discovered something
to be wrong with me, and told me to go home. I started with the
intention of going to the house; but in attempting to cross the fence
out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I
fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of
anything.

"49. The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me,
calling me by name. I looked up, and beheld the same messenger standing
over my head, surrounded by light as before. He then again related unto
me all that he had related to me the previous night, and commanded me
to go to my father and tell him of the vision and commandments which I
had received.

"50. I obeyed; I returned to my father in the field, and rehearsed the
whole matter to him. He replied to me that it was of God, and told me
to go and do as commanded by the messenger. I left the field, and went
to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited;
and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning
it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.

"51. Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York,
stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in
the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top,
under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a
stone box. This stone box was thick and rounding in the middle on the
upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of
it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered
with earth.

"52. Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed
under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up.
I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and
Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in
which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of
cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the
box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.

"53. I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the
messenger, and was again informed that the time to bring them forth had
not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time;
but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year
from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should
continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

"54. Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of
each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, {18}
and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our
interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in
what manner His Kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.

"55. As my father's worldly circumstances were very limited, we were
under the necessity of laboring with out hands, hiring out by day's
work and otherwise, as we could get opportunity. Sometimes we were at
home, and sometimes abroad, and by continuous labor, were enabled to
get a comfortable maintenance.

"56. In the year 1824 my father's family met with a great affliction in
the death of my eldest brother, Alvin. In the month of October, 1825,
I hired with an old gentleman by the name of Josiah Stoal, who lived
in Chenango county, state of New York. He had heard something of a
silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony, Susquehanna
county, state of Pennsylvania; and had, previous to my hiring to him,
been digging, in order, if possible, to discover the mine. After I
went to live with him, he took me, with the rest of his hands, to dig
for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month,
without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the
old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent
story of my having been a money-digger.

"57. During the time that I was thus employed, I was put to board with
a Mr. Isaac Hale, of that place; it was there I first saw my wife (his
daughter), Emma Hale. On the 18th of January, 1827, we were married,
while I was yet employed in the service of Mr. Stoal.

"58. Owing to my continuing to assert that I had seen a vision,
persecution still followed me, and my wife's father's family were
very much opposed to our being married. I was, therefore, under the
necessity of taking her elsewhere; so we went and were married at the
house of Squire Tarbill, in South Bainbridge, Chenango county, New
York. Immediately after my marriage, I left Mr. Stoal's, and went to my
father's, and farmed with him that season.

"59. At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and
Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September,
one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at
the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the
same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge:
that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go
carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but
that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the
messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

"60. I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges
to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when
I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no
sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions
were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented
was resorted for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and
severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to
get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained
safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required
at my hand. When, according to arrangement, the messenger called for
them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in charge until
this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and
thirty-eight.

{19} "61. The excitement, however, still continued, and rumor with her
thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating falsehoods
about my father's family, and about myself. If I were to relate a
thousandth part of them, it would fill up volumes. The persecution,
however, became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of
leaving Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehanna county, in
the state of Pennsylvania. While preparing to start,--being very poor,
and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that
we would ever be otherwise,--in the midst of our afflictions we found
a friend in a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, who came to us
and gave me fifty dollars to assist us on our journey. Mr. Harris was a
resident of Palmyra township, Wayne county, in the state of New York,
and a farmer of respectability.

"62. By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my
destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there
I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a
considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I
translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the
house of my wife's father, in the month of December, and the February
following.

"63. Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin
Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the
plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took
place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of
the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was
as follows:

"64. I went to the city of New York and presented the characters which
had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles
Anthop, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor
Anthop stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had
before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which
were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic,
Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave
me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were
true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been
translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my
pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back,
and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates
in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had
revealed it unto him.

"65. He then said to me, 'Let me see that certificate.' I accordingly
took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore
it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of
angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him, he would translate
them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I
was forbidden to bring them. He replied, 'I cannot read a sealed book.'
I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor
Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.

"66. On the 5th day of April, 1829, Oliver Cowdery came to my house,
until which time I had never seen him. He stated to me that having been
teaching school in the neighborhood where my father resided, and my
father being one of those who sent to the school, he went to board for
a season at his house, and while there the {20} family related to him
the circumstances of my having received the plates, and accordingly he
had come to make inquiries of me.

"67. Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the 7th of April)
I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon, and he began to write for
me.

"68. We still continued the work of translation, when, the ensuing
month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and
inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that
we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus
employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven
descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he
ordained us, saying:

"69. _Upon you, my fellow, servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer
the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of
angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion
for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the
earth, until the sons of Levi do over again an offering unto the Lord
in righteousness_.

"70. He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred
on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us
directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he
should baptize me.

"71. Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and
afterwards he baptized me--after which I laid my hands upon his head
and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his
hands on me and ordained me to the same priesthood--for so we were
commanded.

"72. The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this
Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is
called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under
the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the
Priesthood of Melchisedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time
be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the
Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day
of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger,
and baptized.

"73. Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been
baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly
Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery than the Holy Ghost
fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should
shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him,
I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied
concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected
with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were
filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.

"74. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures
laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of
their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we
never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In
the meantime we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of having
received the Priesthood and our having been baptized, owing to a spirit
of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood.

"75. We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to {21} time,
and this, too, by professors of religion. And their intentions of
mobbing us were only counteracted by the influence of my wife's fathers
family (under Divine Providence), who had become very friendly to me,
and who were opposed to mobs, and were willing that I should be allowed
to continue the work of translation without interruption; and therefore
offered and promised us protection from all unlawful proceedings, as
far as in them lay."

Such is the simple story of the divine calling of the Prophet of the
nineteenth century, as told by Joseph Smith himself. He testified of
these glorious things, and a few believed his words and were baptized.
Thus were the initiatory steps for the establishment of the Church of
Christ in completeness of power, gifts and ordinances established.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on the
sixth day of April, 1830, at Fayette, Seneca county, State of New
York, and its history has been thrillingly eventful. From the time
of its establishment the work has been spread abroad, the faithful
Elders going forth, like the ancient disciples, proclaiming the Gospel,
raising up and organizing branches. The gifts and power of God have
been made manifest, the word being confirmed by signs following the
believers.

In 1831, by revelation through Joseph the Seer, the few believers were
directed to gather to the State of Ohio, the town of Kirtland being
the headquarters of the Church. In the summer of the same year, Joseph
Smith and a number of other Elders, by divine command, visited Jackson
county, Missouri, which was designated as "Zion."

On April 3rd, 1836, in the Temple erected at Kirtland, the Prophet
Joseph and Oliver Cowdery were blessed with a glorious vision of the
Savior, whose appearance they described. He signified His acceptance
of the Holy House, that had been erected to His name, promising many
glorious blessings upon His people, on condition that the Holy Temple
be kept free from pollution. They were also visited by Moses, who
committed to them the keys of the gathering of Israel and the bringing
of the Ten Tribes from the North country. Elias also appeared and
bestowed upon them the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham; and,
lastly, there appeared Elijah the Prophet who, in fulfillment of the
prediction of Malachi, conferred upon Joseph Smith the keys to turn
the hearts of the children to their fathers, informing them that the
great and dreadful day of the Lord was near; and by virtue of the
authority conferred upon them at that time, the hearts of those living
are turning towards their dead progenitors, and a sympathetic search
for genealogy is going on among the Latter-day {22} Saints, to be used
by them in the great temples of the Church; where the living perform a
work of salvation for the dead.

To follow the believers in the divine mission of Joseph Smith through
the terrible storms of persecution, to which they were subjected, would
consume volumes. Wherever they established themselves they were beset
on very side by mobs, who burned or despoiled their homes, in many
cases murdered them in cold blood, and committed upon helpless women
revolting crimes against chastity. This was particularly the case in
Missouri, in which state they subsequently settled, and where they were
driven from county to county, and abused with such merciless cruelty,
that nothing short of the power of God saved them from annihilation,
as an organized body. In fact, the Governor of the state, a wretched
person named Boggs, issued an order for the extermination of the
Saints, and several thousand volunteers were raised and sent to execute
this execrable decree. Joseph Smith and numbers of the leading Elders
were thrown into prison where they were offered for food the flesh of
their brethren who had been murdered by the mobs. A council of the
Volunteer Militia Mobocrats was held in relation to the disposal of
Joseph Smith and his brethren. Seventeen sectarian priests, who took
part in the murderous work, were urgent in the demands that they be
shot. The commission of this cold-blooded deed was only prevented by
General Doniphan threatening to withdraw his regiment and free himself
from such devilish doings.

Being driven by ruthless, relentless persecution, having been expelled
from their homes and last refuge in Missouri, the Saints wended their
weary steps to Illinois. Hundreds of them perished during the winter
from hunger, cold, and general exposure. They built the beautiful
city of Nauvoo, with a population of over 20,000, in Hancock county,
Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi, where they also erected
a beautiful temple. They flourished for a time, their numbers being
greatly swelled by inflowing immigration from different parts of the
Union and from Great Britain.

Again the fierce winds of persecution began to howl, as if the
infernal regions had let loose their imps and commissioned them to
take possession of the enemies of the people of God. Nothing seemed
to satisfy them but the blood of the Prophet, and he seemed to realize
it, for on his way to Carthage, Illinois, where he was murdered in cold
blood, he said: "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am as
calm as {23} a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense
towards God, and towards all men; I shall die innocent, and it shall
yet be said of me, 'he was murdered in cold blood.'" Fifty times had he
been arrested on trumped-up charges, and forty-nine times had he been
acquired by the courts of the land, innocent of any crime. Desperate
and maddened by being continually foiled in their wicked designs, the
mob finally declared that, "if law couldn't reach them, powder and
ball should." On the 27th of June, 1844, while in jail, in the town
of Carthage, and under the protective pledge of the governor of the
State, Joseph Smith the Prophet, and his brother Hyrum, the Patriarch,
were cruelly murdered by a furious mob, led by religious fanatics.
Appended to the book containing the revelations received from the Lord
by the Prophet Joseph, known as the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, is
published the following narrative of the "Night of Martyrdom:"

MARTYRDOM OF JOSEPH SMITH, THE PROPHET, AND HIS BROTHER HYRUM.

1. To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we
announce the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith,
the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June,
1844, about five o'clock p.m., by an armed mob, painted black--of from
150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming,
"I am a dead man!" Joseph leaped, from the window, and was shot dead
in the attempt, exclaiming, "O Lord my God!" They were both shot after
they were dead in a brutal manner, and both received four halls.

2. John Taylor, and Willard Richards, two of the Twelve, were the only
persons in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage
manner with four balls, but has since recovered; the latter, through
the providence of God, escaped, "without even a hole in his robe."

3. Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more
(save Jesus only,) for the salvation of men in this world, than any
other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years
he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the
gift and the power of God, and has been the means of publishing it in
two continents; has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel which
it contained to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth
the revelations and commandments which compose this Book of Doctrine
and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for
the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the
Latter-day Saints, founded a great city; and left a fame and name that
cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God
and his people, and like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient times,
has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood--and so has his
brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were
not separated!

4. When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the
pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his
assassination, he said, "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but
{24} I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of
offence towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND
IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME--HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD." The same
morning, after Hyrum had made ready to go--shall it be said to the
slaughter? Yes, for so it was,--he read the following paragraph, near
the close of the twelfth chapter of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, and
turned down the leaf upon it:--

5. "And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would
give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it
came to pass that the Lord said unto me, if they have not charity, it
mattered not unto you, thou hast been faithful; wherefore thy garments
are clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness, thou shalt be
made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have
prepared in the mansions of my Father. And now I--bid farewell unto the
Gentiles; yea and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall
meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that
my garments are not spotted with your blood." The testators are now
dead, and their testament is in force.

6. Hyrum Smith was 44 years old, February, 1844, and Joseph Smith was
38 in December, 1843; and henceforward their names will be classed
among the martyrs of religion; and the reader in every nation will be
reminded that the "Book of Mormon," and this book of Doctrine and Cov.
of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring
them forth for the salvation of the ruined world: and that if the fire
can scathe a _green tree_ for the glory of God, how easy it will burn
up the "dry trees" to purify the vineyard of corruption. They lived
for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward.
From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the
sanctified.

7. They were innocent of any crime, as they often proved before, and
were only confined in jail by the conspiracy of traitors and wicked
men; and their _innocent blood_ on the floor of Carthage jail, is a
broad seal affixed to "Mormonism" that cannot be rejected by any court
on earth; and their _innocent blood_ on the escutcheon of the State
of Illinois, with the broken faith of the State as pledged by the
Governor, is a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel, that
all the world cannot impeach; and their _innocent blood_ on the banner
of liberty, and on the _magna charta_ of the United States, is an
ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts
of honest men among all nations; and their _innocent blood_, with the
innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will
cry unto the Lord of Hosts, till He avenges that blood on the earth.
Amen.

It was fondly hoped that, by the death of the great Prophet, the work
he had been commissioned to establish would go out of existence. But
it was destined to remain forever. Truth is imperishable. The enemies
of the Church redoubled their efforts, thinking they could complete a
work of demolition they imagined they had begun. But though, by the
machinations of the wicked and the operations of fiendish hate, good
and great men may be swept from the earth, the principles they advance
remain behind. Men are subject to removal {25} from this sphere, it is
true, but truth, eternal truth, is not susceptible to obliteration:
"Truth crushed to earth will rise again." Joseph Smith was martyred,
but another great man had been prepared to take up the link of the
chain, which the wicked fondly hoped had been snapped never more to be
welded. The Twelve Apostles, upon the death of Joseph Smith, were the
highest authority of the Church. Brigham Young was their president,
and recognizing this truth, he was, on December 5th, 1847, selected as
president of the whole Church, and as such directed its affairs down to
the time of his death in August, 1877.

Mob violence did not cease with the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. The
dogs of war continued to let loose upon the Latter-day Saints until,
finally, they had to enter into a compulsory agreement, or written
compact, to leave the State of Illinois, and betake themselves to the
Western wilds of America, where is was proudly hoped by their enemies,
they would inevitably perish.

The compulsory exodus commenced under the leadership of Brigham Young,
in the depth of the winter of 1846, when the friendless wanderers
passed through hardships and sufferings, in the midst of ice,
snowdrifts and a temperature frequently twenty degrees below zero.

While encamped on the western bank of the Missouri River, the general
government sent an agent, calling for 500 of the ablest men among the
Mormon exiles to aid the United States in the war against Mexico. These
were promptly furnished, showing that accusations of disloyalty made
against this despised people were unfounded. To add to the distress of
the camp, at this juncture they learned that the sick and infirm who
were left behind in Nauvoo, from inability to move with the main body,
had been actually driven out of that city at the mouth of the musket
and cannon by the brutal, inhuman mob.

On the 24th of July, 1847, the pioneers, led by Brigham Young, entered
the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Successive companies followed, and
the cultivation of the soil proceeded. Until the harvest of 1848 many
suffered from hunger, living upon small roots and rawhide.

Mammoth volumes might be filled with narratives of the trials,
vicissitudes, travels, hardships, afflictions and persecutions to
which the Church of Christ has been subjected. We might speak of the
difficulties the Latter-day Saints have had to cope with in their
present beautiful location in the formerly barren but now smiling and
fruitful valleys of the West, beyond the Rocky Mountains; how their
crops have in past years {26} been destroyed by hordes of grasshoppers
and crickets, yet they have plodded on their way, rejoicing and
trusting in the God of Heaven, who, although He has seen fit to try and
prove them, has never deserted them in the hour of need.

Before the advent of Western railroads on the American Continent
the pilgrim Saints, with faces turned toward the pastures of the
Rocky Mountains, had to traverse, mostly afoot, the broad and almost
trackless prairies, over mountains and across rivers and valleys, their
baggage and the more feeble of the people being conveyed by wagons
hauled by oxen. In 1866, the Latter-day Saints in Utah, inspired with
deep solicitude for the pilgrims on their weary way westward, with
a largeness of heart and generosity that has seldom been equalled,
forwarded to the frontiers 500 wagons, with a sufficient number of
cattle and men to transport them 1,100 miles--from the Missouri River
to Salt Lake City.

By the magic hand of industry, under the blessings of the God of
Israel, that Western wilderness has been transformed into a picture
of smiling fruitfulness. Besides the beautiful city of Salt Lake--the
admiration of passing tourists, who flock there by thousands every
year--there are nearly 500 other cities and settlements which "blossom
like the rose."

Temples have been erected in Salt Lake City, St. George, Manti and
Logan, at a cost of over seven millions of dollars, besides hundreds
of tabernacles and churches scattered throughout that region which
represent other millions in money. Thus are the Latter-day Saints
manifesting their solicitude for the welfare of the fathers who have
gone before, by preparing places wherein they can officiate for them,
"That they may be judged according to men in the flesh and live
according to God in the spirit."

Since then thousands of Elders have gone into all parts of the
civilized world, traveling as the Apostles of old did, "without purse
and without script," crying repentance to the nations, and calling on
them to be baptized and escape the "damnation of hell." These Elders
have left the farm, the workshop, the forge, the store, and, all the
comforts of home and loved ones, and gone into Canada, Great Britain,
Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway,
Iceland, East Indies, Cape of Good Hope, Mexico, South America, South
Sea Islands, Sandwich Islands, Jersey Islands, Japan, Turkey and
Jerusalem, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that
dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred, and tongue and
people. As a result of their warning voice thousands and tens of
thousands have yielded {27} obedience to the Gospel of the Son of
God, and the Church now has a membership of over 400,000 souls, and
fully that many more have kept the faith and passed beyond the vale,
all during the remarkably short space of seventy-five years. There
have been six presidents in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, as follows: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford
Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith, the present leader of the
Church, who was a member of the Quorum of the Apostles for thirty-eight
years, and who attained his present position through a long life of
faithfulness. At the death of President Lorenzo Snow, his predecessor,
he had become the chief Apostle and was finally chosen by the highest
quorum in the Church to become the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, as was
Brigham Young upon the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. President
Joseph F. Smith is a son of the Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, who met his
death in Carthage jail, June 27th, 1844.

Efforts have been made to destroy the work of God as instituted through
the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, and all manner of falsehoods have
been circulated against him and his unselfish labors. Especially have
the shafts of the Evil One been directed against the Book of Mormon,
men having invented all manner of theories as to its origin in order
to discredit its divinity. The Solomon Spaulding story is still used
by hireling priests, who "lie in wait to deceive." For fifty years
and more has this been the stock-in-trade of those who object to the
genuineness of this divine record, and notwithstanding these divines
(?) know that the story has long ago been exploded, yet they continue
to blind the eyes of their followers, because their "craft is in
danger" directly the truth dawns on those who are honest in heart.

The Rev. Solomon Spaulding romance is easily told: D.P. Hurlburt, a man
who was once a member of the Church, but who, because of his lascivious
conduct, was excommunicated, was the originator of the fabrication
that the Book of Mormon had its origin in Mr. Spaulding's tale. This
man Hurlburt wrote a bitter assault on the Latter-day Saints in 1836,
entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," which was published in Ohio. During
the time Hurlburt was gathering material for this work, he obtained
from the family of the then deceased clergyman the original of the
"Manuscript Story," as it was called, but discovering that it would,
if published, prove fatal to his assumptions, he suppressed it; and
from that time it was entirely lost sight of until the latter part of
the year 1884, when a Mr. L. L. Rice, residing at Honolulu, Sandwich
Islands, found it {28} among a numerous collection of miscellaneous
papers which he had received from Mr. E. D. Howe, of Painesville,
Ohio, the publisher of Hurlburt's "Mormonism Unveiled," when he, with
his partner, purchased from that gentleman the business and good will
of the Painesville Telegraph. In 1884 President James H. Fairchild,
of Oberlin College, Ohio, was paying a visit to Mr. Rice, and he
suggested that the latter look through his numerous papers, in the
hope of finding amongst them some anti-slavery documents of value. In
his search he discovered a package marked in pencil on the outside,
"Manuscript Story," which, to their surprise, on perusal, proved to be
the veritable, long lost romance of Rev. Dr. Spaulding, to which so
much undeserved importance had been maliciously given. This manuscript
was presented to Oberlin College, but not until an exact copy had been
made by Mr. Rice, which has since been published in pamphlet form,
and can be purchased at the Deseret News Book Store, Salt Lake City,
Utah. Upon comparison it will be found that it does not bear the least
resemblance in any manner to the Book of Mormon, and yet it was said
that Joseph Smith obtained access to this manuscript and from its
scanty pages elaborated this Book of Mormon, which he afterwards palmed
upon the world as a divine record.

{29}



WHAT "MORMONS" BELIEVE.

EPITOME OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
SAINTS.

BY CHAS. W. PENROSE, OF THE "COUNCIL OF TWELVE APOSTLES."

The question is often asked, what do the "Mormons" believe, and wherein
do their doctrines differ from those of other religious denominations?
A reply will be found in the following epitome of "Mormonism," or
rather of its leading principles, for it embraces all truth from every
source.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the proper name
of the body of religious worshipers commonly known as "Mormons." It
was organized by the authority and commandment of God in the State of
New York on the 6th day of April, 1830. It derives all its doctrines,
ordinances, discipline and order of Priesthood from direct divine
revelation.

FIRST PRINCIPLES.

The first principle of the Gospel as taught by this Church is faith.
This embraces faith in God the Father and in his son Jesus Christ and
in the Holy Ghost.

The Father is a glorified and perfect person, and Jesus Christ the Son
is in His express image and likeness. One is an individual as much as
the other. Each is a spirit clothed with a spiritual, yet tangible,
immortal body. Spirit is substance, not immateriality. It is eternal in
its essence, and so are the elements of that which is known as matter.

The Holy Spirit is not a personage of tabernacle, and His influence
permeates all things and extends throughout the vast domain of space,
which is boundless and occupied by limitless elements, and that Spirit,
proceeding from the presence of God, gives life and light to all things
animate, and is the power by which they are governed, and by which the
Father and the Son are everywhere present.

Man is a dual being, also in the image of God, who is the Father of his
spirit and the Creator of his body. Jesus was the First-born in the
spirit and the Only-begotten in the flesh. {30} All men and women are
the sons and daughters of God, and Jesus is their Elder Brother. By
obedience to His Gospel in all things, mankind, through the redemption
He has wrought, may be exalted with Him as joint-heirs to the eternal
inheritance of the Sons of God, and become like Him and reign with Him
in the Ineffable Presence forever.

Faith in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost leads to the
second principle of the Gospel, which is repentance. That is,
conviction of sin, regret for its commission, and reformation by
turning away from it, by ceasing to do evil and beginning and
continuing to do well.

Repentance leads to remission of sins, which comes through baptism
administered by one having authority, in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Baptism is the third principle, and is immersion in water in the
likeness of a burial, succeeded by a birth. Becoming dead to sin by
repentance, the believer is buried in the liquid grave and brought
forth from the womb of waters, thus being born of water to a new life
in Christ Jesus.

The repentant believer, thus baptized, obtains the remission of sins
through the shedding of Christ s blood. He who knew no sin died that
sinners might be saved by obedience to His commandments. He did that
for them which they could not do themselves; what they are able to do
is required of them, in order that they may receive the benefits of His
atonement.

Thus cleansed from sin, the new-born disciple is prepared to receive
the Holy Ghost. The fourth principle is the bestowal of that gift
by the laying on of hands of men called and ordained of God to thus
officiate in His name.

Born of the water and of the spirit, the regenerated soul becomes a
member of Christ's Church, and is entitled to such spiritual gifts as
he or she may deserve and obtain by the exercise of faith. Some of
these are wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, visions, speaking in tongues,
interpretation of tongues, discerning of spirits, healing the sick,
etc., etc. All the manifestations of the power of God enjoyed in former
times may be and are enjoyed in His Church in latter times.

The gift of the Holy Ghost opens the avenue to all intelligence.
That Spirit leads into all truth and shows things to come. It is the
Comforter and the Revealer. It bears witness of the Father and the Son,
and brings mortals into communion with them and into union with one
another. It is the true light given to every one in coming into the
world, but is bestowed and manifested in a higher and fuller degree
when conferred as a gift to the baptized, repentant believer.

{31} No person has the right to baptize or lay on hands or administer
any ordinance of the Church, unless he is called of God and ordained
to act in the name of Deity. The commission given to the Apostles of
old does not confer any authority upon men in this age. It was for them
alone upon whom it was bestowed, and those whom they were inspired and
directed to ordain unto the same power. Without divine communication
now, there can be no divine authority today.

THE APOSTASY.

When the Apostles of Christ were killed and their immediate successors
appointed, the disciples were tortured and slain, and gradually
darkness came over the world and pagan institutions were mingled with
the rites and order of the Church, until the apostolic authority and
the true Christian spirit and doctrine were entirely subverted. Reforms
that were subsequently introduced merely lopped off some evils and made
some improvements; but did not and could not restore the authority and
power of the primitive Christian Church and Priesthood.

THE RESTORATION.

In these latter days the Father and the Son have appeared and revealed
anew the Gospel. Angels have ministered to man. John the Baptist
brought to earth the authority of the Lesser or Aaronic Priesthood
which he held when in mortality. Peter, James and John have conferred
their keys of Apostleship received under the hands of Jesus of
Nazareth, and the power and authority of the higher or Melchisedek
Priesthood. Elijah the Prophet and others of the ancients have bestowed
the keys they held, and they are all in the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Under that authority the Church has been built up
after the original pattern and with the same spirit, ordinances, gifts
and blessings.

Joseph Smith, after accomplishing the work entrusted to him by the
Lord, sealed his testimony with his blood, being cruelly slain with his
brother Hyrum, at Carthage, Illinois, by a mob disguised, on June 27,
1844.

Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of the Lord to commence
the work of restitution, and open the last dispensation, that of "the
fulness of times." He received that divine authority under the hands of
those heavenly messengers. He, by revelation and commandment, ordained
others. Today there are on earth Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, {32}
Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, divinely called and
authorized to teach and administer the things of the Kingdom of heaven,
and the power of God attends their ministrations.

Faith, repentance and baptism of water and of the Spirit administered
by divine authority are essential to salvation. There is only one
way. There is some good in all religions, but there is and can be but
one divine religion, that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to be
preached to every creature. Persons who have died after reaching years
of accountability without an opportunity of receiving it, will hear it
in the spirit world, and may there obey or reject it. Heathens, Jews
and all races, creeds and tongues will thus have the door of redemption
opened to them. Infants who die before they become accountable need no
baptism, but are all redeemed by the blood of Christ.

The spirit of man is the intelligent, responsible being, an entity
both before and after dwelling in the body. It was in the beginning
with the Father. The sons and daughters of God, after probation in the
flesh, return to Him and then, until the resurrection, associate in
such sphere as they have fitted themselves to occupy; the good with
the spirits of the just, the evil with the spirits of the unjust. A
disembodied spirit can learn, believe, repent and yield obedience, but
cannot be baptized in water, the earthly medium of purification.

REDEMPTION OF THE DEAD.

The living may be baptized for the dead. One who has received the
ordinances of the Gospel can stand proxy for departed ancestors, who
will receive the benefit of the earthly ordinances on obedience to the
Gospel in the spirit. As the Spirit of Christ preached to the spirits
in prison while His body was in the sepulchre, so His servants, bearing
His authority, preach to "the dead" after finishing their work on
earth. Ordinances for and in behalf of the dead are administered in
temples built after a pattern revealed from heaven. Thus the living
become saviors to the dead under Jesus Christ the Captain of their
Salvation.

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth was "the first-fruit of them
that slept." All persons who have breathed the breath of life will
also be raised from the dead, receiving their bodies again as He did.
But everyone in his own order. Those who have put on Christ by obeying
His Gospel will be Christ's at His coming, and will be quickened by
His glory, the celestial, typified by the sun. After the lapse of a
day of the Lord-a {33} thousand of our years-the rest of the dead will
come forth, some in the terrestrial glory, typified by the moon, and
others in the telestial glory, typified by the stars in their different
magnitudes, the rest in a kingdom not of any degree of glory. All will
be judged according to their works.

Progress is the eternal order of creation. The condemned will be
punished for sin, as Divine justice shall determine both as to the
severity and to the duration. The purpose of punishment is the
vindication of the law and the reclamation of the transgressor.
Eventually all who can be redeemed will be placed in some degree of
glory and advancement. Only the sons of perdition who deny the Holy
Ghost after having received it, who willfully pervert the power given
to them to attain the highest exaltation and who shed innocent blood
will be utterly lost.

The glory of those who are in Christ and become joint heirs with Him is
to "inherit all things," and follow and participate with the Son and
the Eternal Father forever in their glorious works. They will inherit
the earth when it is purified and crowned with the glory and presence
of God. They will reign as kings and priests and be ministers unto
those of a lesser degree of glory in the eternal mansions.

This is the last dispensation. In it Israel will be gathered, Jerusalem
be rebuilt, and Palestine be the abode of the sons of Judah. The elect
of God will gather from all nations to Zion on the American continent.
The earth will be cleansed from corruption. Paradise will bloom again,
war will cease, peace will prevail, the enmity will depart from man
and brute, the curse will be removed and this globe will be glorified,
shining in its own light developed to perfection.

THE BOOK OF MORMON.

The Prophet of the nineteenth century was directed by the angel of God
to the spot where the records of the history of the former inhabitants
of this continent were deposited. He obtained and translated a portion
of them into the English language. It is called the Book of Mormon,
because the Prophet Mormon made an abridgment of more ancient records
than his own, and inscribed them upon metallic plates in hieroglyphics
reformed from the Egyptian.

That book has since been translated into other languages. It gives the
history of two races. The first springing from a colony brought upon
this land at the time of the dispersion from the Tower of Babel. The
second descending from the families directed to this continent from
Jerusalem six hundred {34} years before the Christian era, at the
time when Zedekiah was king of Judea. It relates the wars, travels,
religion, progress and decadence of those races-the progenitors of
the American Indians, describes their cities, temples, forts, etc.,
and contains an account of the visit to this land of Jesus Christ,
after His resurrection and ascension, with particulars of His ministry
in establishing His Church here with the same principles, precepts,
ordinances, Priesthood and blessings as in the Church on the Asiatic
continent. It also speaks of the gradual apostasy of the people and the
woes that came upon them through transgression.

The Book of Mormon does not take the place of the Bible, but is
auxiliary to it and corroborates and supports it. The Bible is the
record of God's dealings with His people in the eastern world; the
Book of Mormon is the record of his dealings with His people on this
western land, separated from the other hemisphere, and then unknown to
its inhabitants. They, with the book of Doctrine and Covenants and the
Pearl of Great Price, are the standards of doctrine and discipline of
the Church.

Inspiration by the Holy Ghost as bestowed upon the ancient Hebrew
prophets, is viewed as revelation by the Latter-day Saints. It conveys
the word and will of God. Every individual in the Church is entitled
to it for his or her own guidance. The President of the Church, who is
a prophet, a seer and a revelator, is entitled to divine communication
by any of the means which God chooses to use for this purpose. But
revelation does not come by the will of man. It is God who reveals His
word at the time and in the manner which He selects. Revelation for the
whole Church comes through the head alone, and thus order is preserved
and conflicting doctrines excluded.

CELESTIAL MARRIAGE.

The doctrine of celestial, that is eternal marriage, is a feature of
the "Mormon" faith. By the authority vested in the head of the Church,
that which is sealed on earth is sealed in heaven, and the man and
woman united under that authority in an everlasting covenant are joined
forever. Such was the marriage of Adam and Eve before death came by
sin. The redemption of Christ restored them to their primeval state,
and they stand at the head of their posterity, immortal, perfected and
eternal. By obedience and fidelity to the laws of God, men and women
may attain to a similar estate and enjoy unending bliss, "the man being
not without the woman nor the {35} woman without the man in the Lord."
The family, the home, the relation of parents and children are thus
the basis of present and future happiness, and the increase thereof
being perpetual, therein is the glory of the redeemed, who dwell in the
presence of God and the Holy Ones, continued forever.

CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

The government of the Church of Christ devolves upon those who have
been divinely appointed and have been accepted by the body of the
Church, in which all things are to be done by common consent.

At the head is the Prophet, Seer and Revelator with two counselors.
These three presiding High Priests thus selected form the First
Presidency, having jurisdiction over the Church in all the world.

Next are the Twelve Apostles, forming a body equal in authority to the
Presidency and constituting that Presidency at the death or removal of
the head. They set in order the affairs of the Church in all the world
under the direction of the First Presidency.

The patriarchs are Evangelists and are specially ordained to pronounce
blessings on the Saints by the laying on of hands, declaring their
lineage and predicting events in which they will figure in time and in
eternity. There is a Patriarch to the whole Church, having authority
to bless all its officers and members from the greatest to the least,
holdings the keys of that power. There are other Patriarchs who hold
authority within the various Stakes of Zion wherein they are appointed
and in which they administer the sealing blessings.

The Seventy are a body of Elders forming an appendage to the
Apostleship and traveling under their direction. Seven of the number
preside over that body. There are a hundred and fifty of these
"quorums," as they are called, each presided over by seven of their
number, and all under direction of the First Seven Presidents. They
form the chief missionary corps of the Church.

High Priests and Elders not belonging to the councils above mentioned,
are local officers for local ministrations, but may be called into
the missionary field if necessary. Ninety-six Elders form a "quorum,"
presided over by three of their number. There are a great many of these
organizations. All these officers hold the Priesthood after the order
of Melchisedek.

The Bishops stand at the head the Aaronic or lesser Priesthood, an
appendage to the higher of Melchisedek Priesthood. {36} There are three
who form the Presiding Bishopric of the Church. Other Bishops have
charge of wards of the Church, and the function of the Bishopric is to
minister in the temporalities of the Church. Priests, forty-eight of
whom form a "quorum," presided over by a Bishop and two counselors;
Teachers, twenty-four of whom form a "quorum," presided over by three
of their number; and Deacons, twelve of whom form a "quorum," presided
over by three of their number, constitute the rest of the organizations
of the lesser Priesthood. They exist in all the wards, and are under
the direction of the respective Bishoprics.

Apostles, Patriarchs, Seventies, High Priests and Elders may preach,
baptize and lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and perform
any duty of the Aaronic Priesthood, as the greater includes the less.
Aaronic Priests may preach, teach and baptize for the remission of
sins, but cannot confer the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.
Teachers visit the members and see there is no iniquity permitted to
remain in the Church. Deacons attend to temporal duties under the
Bishops.

A Bishop should be a lineal descendant of Aaron, but in the absence of
one of that lineage, a High Priest is selected and ordained to that
office. With his two counselors, also High Priests, he has charge of an
organized ward and sits in judgment upon transgressors and in cases of
disputes between members. An appeal is allowed to the High Council.

Members residing in a given locality form a ward. A number of wards,
generally those within a county, are organized into a Stake of Zion,
presided over by three High Priests. A High Council, consisting of
twelve High Priests, constitutes an ecclesiastical tribunal, to which
appeals may be taken from decisions of the Bishops' courts. It is
presided over by the Stake Presidency, who have jurisdiction over all
the wards and their officers in the Stake. There are now fifty-five
of these Stakes of Zion and a number of conferences and mission
organizations in addition. A High Council decision is subject to review
by the Presidency of the Church.

All the officers of the Church are presented twice a year before the
body of the Church for their acceptance or rejection. The Stake and
ward authorities are periodically subject to a similar regulation. All
serve without salaries. Persons engaged constantly in Church service
are supported, or partly sustained, according to needs, from Church
funds. Missionaries have no stipends, but travel "without purse or
scrip," either paying their own expenses or relying upon friends whom
the Lord raises up to their aid.

{37} The revenue of the Church is derived from the tithes. One-tenth of
a member's interest or increase each year is tithing. It is a free-will
offering, not a tax. Temples, church buildings, etc., are erected and
maintained from the tithing, and large amounts are expended for the
support of the poor and the benefit of new settlements.

On the first Sunday of every month a fast is held, and the amount saved
from fasting is donated to the poor. The Bishops have charge of those
in need and are required to see that none are left to want.

AUXILIARY SOCIETIES.

The Relief Societies, composed of ladies, are organized auxiliary
bodies who also minister to the poor, aged and afflicted, and help
prepare the dead for burial. They hold meetings of their own for
instruction in women's work and intellectual, moral and spiritual
advancement.

The younger women and also the younger men are organized into Mutual
Improvement associations, which they, separately, conduct themselves,
but sometimes assemble in joint session.

The Primary associations are organizations of children under older
supervision, for training in Gospel principles and moral conduct.

There are Sunday schools in all the wards and Stakes of Zion, connected
with the Sunday School Union, and all thoroughly organized and ably
conducted.

Religion classes are organized in the different wards for the purpose
of giving systematic training in the principles and doctrines of
religion to little children, thus supplying the kind of tuition which
cannot be given in the public schools, from which all religious
teachings are entirely excluded.

Amusements are provided for the members of the Church under direction
of committees appointed by Church or ward authority. Music is of
universal use, both vocal and instrumental, and is cultivated
assiduously.

Education is an essential feature in the Church system, and academies
and colleges are maintained according to the funds available. All truth
is recognized as Divine and an accepted motto is: "The glory of God is
intelligence."

The public school system is separate and apart from the Church schools,
and is entirely under the direction of the State, no doctrinal or
denominational teaching being permitted therein. It is supported by
taxation.

{38}

DIVINE AUTHORITY.

The great distinctive feature of "Mormonism" among the "Christian"
denominations is its claim of direct divine origin. Present and
continuous revelation from God to the Church through its earthly head,
and to every member who seeks for it in his or her own behalf and
guidance, is a fundamental principle of the "Mormon" faith. Divine
authority is associated with it.

The Church is, literally, Christ's Church, because He established
it by personal communication and guides it by present revelation
and inspiration, and its ministers receive their commissions by His
direction. The Holy Ghost is in and with the Church, exactly as with
the primitive Church and the Prophets of old.

Thus, what is commonly called "Mormonism" is to its disciples verily
the work of God; originating with Him and developed and promulgated
under His commands and by His power; and, therefore, it will abide
and prevail, and overcome all opposition, and spread over the whole
earth, preparing the way for the second advent of the Messiah and the
redemption and regeneration of the earth. Every soul who receives it in
sincerity is entitled to a witness from God of its truth, and herein is
its strength and unity and vital force.

It has no conflict except with error. It wars against no nation, sect
or society. It exercises no compulsion. It is the Gospel and Church and
authority of Jesus Christ, restored to earth for the last days and for
the last time, and therefore it will triumph and flood the world with
light and truth, until darkness shall flee and Satan be bound and the
kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and His Christ,
and He shall reign over all the ransomed globe for evermore.

{39}



SALVATION: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN ELDER BROWNSON AND MR. WHITBY.

BY JOHN JAQUES,

ELDER IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

_Elder Brownson_. Good morning sir. Would it be agreeable to you to
read a tract?

_Mr. Whitby_. O yes! thank you, sir. I take in many tracts, and read
through most of them. What tracts do you distribute?

_Elder B_. They are upon the principles taught by the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.

_Mr. W_. The Latter-day Saints! Well, I cannot say that I exactly
understand what their religion is. It is true, I hear a great deal
about them, yet many things that I hear of them are so contradictory
that I find it impossible to believe all. But if one fourth part of
what is told me, is true, I must say that I cannot entertain a very
high opinion of your religion. However, I think that every person ought
to be at liberty to enjoy his own opinion, and I deem it especially
wrong to condemn any party unheard. I make no profession of religion
myself. My wife's sister, and her husband, are very staunch Wesleyans,
and they tell me some extraordinary things of your people. But I always
take a certain discount off what one religious person says of another's
religion. Consequently I cannot believe all that Mrs. Whitby's sister
and her husband tell me of your religion. And I think they are a little
bigoted, for they sometimes say hard things of the Baptist and Church
people, as well as of your people. But I have long wished to meet with
one of the Latter-day Saint preachers, so that I might hear their own
story, and I shall really consider it a favour if you will be pleased
to give me a brief outline of your belief, that I may not judge your
people wrongfully. I have a few leisure minutes just now.

_Elder B_. I shall only be happy to impart any information that may
be beneficial to you, concerning our principles. I am aware that much
misunderstanding prevails respecting the Latter-day {40} Saints, and it
is ever a pleasure to me to dispel that misunderstanding, and enlighten
those who are willing to learn.

_Mr. W_. Thank you. But we won't stand at the door. Would you walk in
and sit down?

_Elder B_. I will, with pleasure.

_Mr. W_. Allow me to put your hat away.

_Elder B_. Thank you.

_Mr. W. [To his daughter]_ Mary, hand the gentleman a chair, and hang
his hat up in the passage. _[To Elder B.]_ Now, sir, if you will be
good enough to enlighten my mind concerning your principles, I will
listen attentively, and, whether I approve of them or not, I shall
certainly consider myself under obligations to you.

_Elder B_. I will gladly comply with your request.

_Mr. W_. But you will not consider me wearisome if I interrupt you, in
the course of your relation, with an occasional question or remark,
which I may be prompted to offer for my own satisfaction?

_Elder B_. Don't name it, sir. It will be pleasing to me to answer
your questions, to the best of the ability that God may give me, or
to listen to any remark which you may feel disposed to make. But to
proceed. I will give you a brief view of the first principles of the
doctrine of Jesus Christ, and will refer you to a few passages of
Scripture in support of them.

_Mr. W_. Thank you. I am sure I shall be much gratified.

_Elder B_. In the first place, we believe that there is a God in
the heavens, who is the Creator and Preserver of this world and of
men. God, having the right, has, in times past, manifested Himself
to men, and revealed laws whereby they might be governed. Our first
parents, Adam and Eve, who were created immortal--not subject to death,
disobeyed the law of God. Death, and all the evils that induce it,
were the penalty to which Adam, and Eve, and all their posterity were
then subjected. And men cannot, of themselves, overcome this penalty,
and obtain immortality.--Gen. i. ii. iii. Rom. v. 12. 1 Cor. xv. 21,
22. But God did not leave men to perish without hope. He sent His Son
Jesus Christ into the world, to take human nature upon him, and to
satisfy the broken law by being put to death, thereby delivering men
from the power of death.--John iii. 16. Rom. v. 8. 1 John iv. 9. As
all men, through Adam's sin, without any agency of their own, were
subjected to death, so will all men be redeemed there from, and placed
before the throne of God, free from any condemnation for Adam's sin,
for {41} Christ's atonement extends so far to men, unconditionally on
their part, because they had no hand in Adam's sin.--1 Cor. xv. 22.
But although men are thus, without conditions on their part, made free
from the effects of Adam's sin, yet, as every man must, after this,
answer for the deeds done in his body (Matt. xvi. 27. 2 Cor. v. 10.
Rev. xx. 13), and as every man, in some thing or other, disobeys the
law of God, it naturally follows that every man will need an atonement
for his individual sins, as well as one from the sin of Adam. And in
order that every man may escape the penalty for his individual sins,
certain conditions must be complied with. I said that all men would be
redeemed, unconditionally on their part, from the penalty of Adam's
sin. I have referred you to a passage or two of Scripture upon the
subject. I will refer you to another, Rom. v. 18, "Therefore, as by
the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even
so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto
justification of life." Thus, you see, a man answers for his own sins
only.

_Mr. W_. Just so. That seems reasonable.

_Elder B_. Now I will lay before you the conditions. But first, I
will remark, that God has but one method of saving men. The scheme of
salvation is an unchangeable scheme, both as respects the atonement of
Christ, and the conditions required of men. Jesus Christ is the only
name under heaven whereby men can be saved.--Acts iv. 12. 1 Tim. ii.
5. And although many men have preached divers kinds of contradictory
doctrines, and have professed that they were all the doctrines of
Christ, yet it is a fact that God does not send men to contradict
each other. You cannot find, in the whole Bible, an instance of God's
sending His servants to preach conflicting doctrines to a people,
for that would conduce to endless discord, confusion, and strife,
and it is written that "God is not the author of confusion, but of
peace."--1 Cor. xiv. 33. And Paul the Apostle said that he or an angel
from heaven, if found preaching any other Gospel than what he and his
brethren had preached, should be accursed.--Gal. i. 9, 10. Depend upon
it, sir, that two preachers, or two religious societies, who hold forth
contrary doctrines, cannot both, in their teachings, be recognized of
God. These inconsistencies cause many men to reject the Bible, and turn
infidels.

_Mr. W_. Why that's just my argument. I say nothing against the Bible.
I find no fault with that. But this is what puzzles me--how it is
that two preachers, both believing one book, one revelation from God,
one code of laws, should {42} preach contradictory doctrines, and
form two religious societies, always opposing and differing from each
other! I cannot fathom the matter. There are Mrs. Whitby's sister,
and her husband, Wesleyans, as I told you, and his brother is a
Baptist--all very strong in their faith. We have them all here together
occasionally, and we get up quite lively discussions. Mrs. Whitby's
sister's husband and his brother cannot agree at all with each other
upon religious topics, especially baptism, and then I disagree with
them both, and tell them that I am very well assured that either one is
wrong, or both of them are, and, consequently, I cannot join either's
society until a satisfactory decision is come to. I assure you we have
matters rather warm at times. We all wax quite earnest.

_Elder B_. I have not the least doubt of it. Nothing is plainer than
that God is not the author of both their systems of religion. But, as
I was saying, the plan of salvation is unchangeable. So if we can find
out what it was in the time of Jesus and the Apostles, we can decide
what it is now.

_Mr. W_. True.

_Elder B_. I have shown, by the Scriptures, the doctrine of the
atonement of Christ, and that certain conditions are required of every
man to ensure the benefits of that atonement for his individual sins. I
will now speak of the conditions. The first condition required of men
is to believe that there is a God, and that they have done things that
are displeasing in His sight, and that Jesus Christ has provided a way
of escape through his atonement. I question whether any person exists
who does not, at heart, believe that there is a God. And it appears to
me that all men must acknowledge that they have, in their life time,
done things that have not been right. But a faith in Christ's atonement
is the result of a teachable spirit's hearing a message from God, to
that effect. Now faith is required of all men, for "without faith it
is impossible to please God."--Heb. xi. 6. And Jesus says--"He that
believeth not shall be damned."--Mark xvi. 16. Some preachers say that
faith is all that is necessary to salvation. But this is incorrect, for
the Apostle says, that faith without works is dead, being alone.--James
ii. If faith had been sufficient for salvation, Jesus Christ would
never have made any other conditions known. The devils believe and
tremble, but we are not informed that they will be saved. Faith is only
valued by the works it leads to. Without works we have no evidence that
a man has faith.

_Mr. W_. I see that clearly.

{43} _Elder B_. The next condition required is repentance. As all
men have sinned, all men are required to repent of their sins. Says
Jesus--"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."--Luke xiii. 3.
See also Luke xxiv. 47. Acts xvii. 30. Now to repent, is not to mourn,
and grieve, and hang down one's head like a bulrush, but to forsake
everything that is evil, and to make a firm resolution, like a man,
to follow those things no more. In short, to repent is to cease to do
evil, and resolve to do well. This is what is required of all men.

_Mr. W_. That appears right enough.

_Elder B_. The third condition required is for men to be baptized in
water, for the remission of their sins. This is a condition quite as
important as any other, yet it is one which is little thought of by
many persons, and much misunderstood by others.

_Mr. W_. That is a subject upon which I have thought much, when I have
heard my friends argue the matter.

_Elder B_. It is a subject concerning which much diversity of opinion
prevails amongst the religious world. Some persons believe baptism to
be altogether unnecessary, and they sing--

  "Were I baptized a thousand times,
  It would be all in vain."

Others believe baptism to be an ordinance that can be attended to,
or dispensed with, at the discretion of the believer. Now we do not
agree with either of these kinds of persons. We believe that baptism
is one of the essential conditions of salvation. We deem it absolutely
necessary that all persons who believe and repent, should also be
baptized. If we consider what baptism is for, we shall see at once its
necessity. Baptism is for the remission of sins.

_Mr. W_. But does not Jesus say that his blood was to be shed for the
remission of sins? And does not St. John say that the blood of Jesus
Christ cleanseth us from all sin?

_Elder B_. If you read the preceding part of the verse in which the
last passage you have quoted occurs, you will find these words--"But
if we walk in the light." Now to walk in the light, is to walk in
obedience to the law of God, and, as baptism is a part of the law of
God, we must attend to that ordinance, or the blood of Jesus Christ
will not cleanse us from _all_ sin. As to the other passage, I said,
previously, that the atonement of Jesus Christ extended to the sins of
all the human family, but to individual sins on conditions only. Three
conditions I have named. The full benefit of the atoning blood {44} of
Jesus Christ cannot be claimed, by any man, for his individual sins,
until he is baptized. Baptism is nothing of itself, and cannot wash
away our sins. But God has ordained that the blood of Christ for the
remission of individual sins shall be available to no man till he has
been baptized. No man is entitled to a pardon for his sins, until he
obey that ordinance. So far, baptism is for the remission of sins; not
the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer--the return,
of a good conscience towards God.

_Mr. W_. I think I understand you. In the winter, coals are given away
to the poor of this town. The gift is free to the poor, but every one
who receives it must produce a ticket signed by one of the committee.
Without the ticket, the coals cannot be had. Baptism is of similar
importance to salvation as the ticket is to the coals, I suppose.

_Elder B_. Yes. Naaman, the Syrian general, to cure his leprosy, was
told to wash seven times in the river Jordan. The gift of cure was
free to Naaman, but he could not have realized it independent of the
seven washings. The mere washings would have availed nothing, but in
their being the ordinance of the Lord consisted their efficacy. So with
baptism for the remission of sins. That baptism is for the remission of
sins, see Mark i. 4. Luke iii. 3. Acts ii. 38. xxii. 16. 1 Peter iii.
21. By this you will see that baptism is anything but nonessential to
salvation.

_Mr. W_. Why, yes, I do.

_Elder B_. That baptism is an essential part of the righteous law
of God is evident from the answer of Jesus, when John demurred to
baptizing him--"Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to
fulfill all righteousness."--Matt. iii. 15. Jesus also says that
baptism is a part of the counsel of God to men--"And all the people
that heard him [John], and the publicans, justified God, being baptized
with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the
counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him."--Luke
vii. 29, 30. Baptism may also be considered the door of the Kingdom
of God, or the law that adopts us into the family of God. Immediately
after Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened over him, and God owned
His Son. Jesus says, "He that entereth not by the door into the
sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a
robber. But he that entereth in by the door, is the shepherd of the
sheep. To him the porter openeth."--John x. 1-3. The sheepfold was the
Kingdom of God, the door was baptism, the porter was John. Upon those
{45} who attempt to enter any other way, will rest the imputation of
dishonesty.

_Mr. W_. Not a very desirable imputation, certainly.

_Elder B_. No. But you see, by the illustration, the necessity of
baptism.

_Mr. W_. I must confess I do.

_Elder B_. Baptism does not mean infant sprinkling or pouring. The true
mode of baptism is by immersion.

_Mr. W_. That is my opinion of the matter. When my friends have been
discussing the subject, it has always appeared to me that immersion was
the proper form of baptism.

_Elder B_. True. This is plainly evident from the Scriptures. John
the Baptist baptized in the river Jordan. If sprinkling or pouring
were the mode, there would have been no necessity for his going into
the river. It is true, I have seen representations of Jesus and John
standing in the water, while John poured the water upon Jesus, but such
a representation carries improbability upon its very face. If pouring
would do, why go into the water? And we know that Jesus did go into
the water, for he "went up straightway out of the water," after he was
baptized, says the Evangelist.--Matt. iii. 16. "And the multitudes who
went to John were baptized of him in Jordan."--Matt. iii. 6. Again,
John baptized at Aenon, near to Salim, because there "was much water
there."--John iii. 23. Of what advantage would much water have been,
if sprinkling or pouring were the mode? A bucketful of water would
sprinkle a thousand people. A very insignificant brook would suffice to
baptize a nation, if pouring were the mode. If either of these were the
mode, there was no necessity to choose a place of "much water." Unless
immersion were the mode, we cannot see any sense in John's baptizing at
Aenon because of the abundance of water there.

_Mr. W_-. Certainly not. But Mrs. Whitby's sister's husband, that is,
Mr. Clarke, stands much upon this point--that it is declared that John
baptized _with_ water.

_Elder B_. I am aware that it is so written. And I am sure that I never
entertained the idea that any one could administer baptism for the
remission of sins, _without_ water. John is spoken of as baptizing with
water, distinguishing his baptism from the baptism of the Holy Ghost
and of fire, which Jesus was to introduce.

_Mr. W_. I understand.

_Elder B_. Philip and the eunuch both went down into the {46}
water.--Acts viii. 38. Jesus likens baptism to a birth.--John iii.
5. Now a birth argues a concealment, which immersion certainly is.
St. Paul says we are _buried_ with Christ by baptism, "that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life."--Rom. vi. 4. This is plain
enough. But he goes on to say, "For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
resurrection." What could be a more beautiful illustration of baptism
by immersion than is here presented. Immersion is a burial. Immersion
is a planting in the likeness of Christ's death. Sprinkling or pouring
answer neither one figure nor the other. If we are buried with Christ
by baptism, we thenceforth walk in newness of life. If we are planted
in the likeness of Christ's death, it is an earnest of our being one
day fashioned in the likeness of his resurrection.

_Mr. W_. That is certainly a striking and appropriate figure. Your
ideas agree with mine very much.

_Elder B_. Having settled the mode of baptism, I will now say a little
on the candidates for that ordinance. Baptism being for the remission
of sins, and no one, who is not old enough to discern right from
wrong, being accounted a sinner in the sight of God, you will perceive
that baptism is only necessary for those who have arrived at years of
accountability. And faith and repentance invariably precede baptism.
If you search the Bible through, you will find that the people were
always taught before they were baptized. John taught the people to
bring forth fruits meet for repentance, before baptism. Jesus commanded
his disciples to go and teach all nations, and then baptize them. The
Apostles ever taught the people to believe and repent, before they
were baptized. Little children, being incapable of understanding the
law of God, are not deemed responsible for non-observance of it, and,
consequently, are not required to believe, repent, or be baptized.
Not being subject to the law, little children are wholly subjects of
the free grace of Jesus Christ, and his atoning blood redeems them
without any conditions on their part. It is solemn mockery before God,
to baptize little children, or to preach that they will not be saved
without baptism. When they can readily distinguish between right and
wrong, then commences their responsibility.

_Mr. W_. I perfectly agree with what you say. But Mr. Clarke holds that
baptism is in lieu of circumcision, and we know that Abraham and his
seed were commanded to observe circumcision when the child was eight
days old.

{47} _Elder B_. Circumcision and baptism are two different ordinances,
and have no relation to each other. Circumcision was a sign of the
covenant which God made with Abraham and his seed. Baptism is for the
remission of individual sins. Circumcision could only be performed on
one sex. Baptism is binding on both. Circumcision was preceded by no
teaching. Baptism is invariably preceded by faith and repentance. Both
circumcision and baptism were observed by the children of Israel under
Moses.--1 Cor. x. 2. So you see that circumcision and baptism are two
distinct ordinances, widely differing in their nature and application.

_Mr. W_. I see they are.

_Elder B_. After men have been baptized, they are required to have
hands laid upon them, that they may receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Then, according to their faithfulness and diligence in keeping the
commandments of God, the various manifestations of the Holy Ghost are
poured out upon men--such as the gift of speaking in foreign tongues,
of the interpretation of tongues, prophecy, dreams, visions, the gift
of healing, and of working miracles, discernment of spirits, &c.

_Mr. W_. Do you believe in having these things now? Why one of the
principal reasons that I have never joined any religious body is, that
I could read in the Bible of these great and glorious gifts being
enjoyed in ancient times, and I could not find any people who contended
for these things now. I have expressed my thoughts on these subjects to
Mr. Clarke, and his wife, and his brother, but they all declare that
these blessings were only given for the establishment of Christianity,
and that they, not being intended to continue upon the earth, are not
now given, and, indeed, are not now needed. But I could never see the
reason for this. I could see in the Bible no reason why men should not
obtain these blessings now as anciently. In fact, I think the Bible
decidedly encourages all men to seek after these things, for Paul
says, "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal." And we are well aware that salvation is just the same thing
now as anciently. Men have now the same weakness to overcome, the same
temptations to resist, the same devil to oppose them, and the same end
to obtain as in the days of the Apostles. And why should men now not
have the same blessings from the hands of the Lord to assist them in
obtaining salvation, as the primitive Christians had to assist them?
It is certain that either God has changed, or men have degenerated
and become unworthy {48} of such distinguished blessings as the early
Christians enjoyed. But I am pleased to find that you believe in
obtaining these blessings, I shall be happy to listen further to your
views of the matter. I am becoming much interested in your doctrines.

_Elder B_. I am aware that the popular cry is that the gifts and
blessings of the Holy Ghost are "done away, and no longer needed." We
know they are done away, because men do not seek them, and the ancient
Saints sought them earnestly. Indeed it would be marvellous for the
Lord to give these blessings to men when they do not care for them, and
when they think them unnecessary. He is not so prodigal of the choice
gifts of His Holy Spirit. He does not cast his pearls before swine.
His Spirit does not always strive with men. When they do not wish to
serve Him, He gives them up to the imagination of their own hearts,
to walk in their own ways. This is the cause of all the divisions in
the religious world. But where is the first Scripture that says, or
even hints, that the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit were
not intended for men until they become perfect? Not a single text of
this description can be found between the lids of the Bible, but the
whole tenor of the Book teaches to the contrary. Jesus Christ said
that the signs Or gifts should follow those who believed.--Mark xvi.
17. He also said that the Comforter--the Holy Ghost, should abide with
his disciples for ever.--John xiv. 16. Jesus also said that his Father
would give His Holy Spirit to all them that asked Him.--Luke xi. 13.
Peter said that God gave the Holy Ghost to all that obeyed Him.--Acts
v. 32. On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared that the promise of the
Holy Ghost was for the people before him, for their children, for all
that were afar off, even as many as the Lord should call.--Acts ii.
39. Paul continually exhorted all Saints to seek diligently after the
gifts of the Spirit, for he would not have his brethren ignorant of
them, but to covet earnestly the best gifts.--1 Cor. xii. xiii. xiv.
Solomon said, "Where there is no vision the people perish."--Proverbs
xxix. 18. Joel prophesied that the Spirit of the Lord should be poured
out most abundantly in the last days, the sons and daughters should
prophesy, the old men should dream dreams, and the young men should see
visions, and even upon the servants and handmaids, should the Spirit be
bestowed, indeed the promise is that it should be poured out upon all
flesh.--Joel ii. 28, 29. That does not look like the gifts being done
away and no longer needed. It is true, Peter said that the out-pouring
on the day of Pentecost was in fulfilment of Joel's prophecy, but that
occasion did not {49} fully fulfil the terms of the prophecy, for
very few received the Holy Spirit then, not all flesh. A more full
and complete fulfilment yet awaits the prediction, and the time when
will be discovered by reading the whole of the chapter--just about the
second advent of the Redeemer.

_Mr. W_. But is it necessary to have laid hands upon one, in order to
receive the Holy Ghost?

_Elder B_. Laying on of hands is the ordinance appointed of God for the
imparting of the Holy Ghost.--Acts viii. 17-20., xix. 6. Heb. vi. 2.

_Mr. W_. Did not Cornelius receive it without the laying on of hands,
and even before he was baptized?

_Elder B_. Cornelius was a Gentile. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon
him and his household previous to baptism and the laying on of hands,
to convince the Jews that the Gentiles were entitled to the blessings
of the Gospel. Cornelius and his household were then baptized.
Doubtless the gift of tongues was only imparted to them for the time
being, as has been the case with persons in our day, before baptism
and the laying on of hands. It is reasonable to believe that, after
Cornelius and his household were baptized, Peter laid his hands upon
them, as he did upon other disciples. Such a course would be pursued by
the Latter-day Saints now in similar cases.

_Mr. W_. But do the Latter-day Saints actually obtain these gifts?

_Elder B_. Yes, some have the gift of tongues, some of interpretation
of tongues, others have dreams, visions, and revelations, whilst many
have been miraculously healed by the power of God.

_Mr. W_. Well, really my bosom burns to hear it. [_Looking at his
watch_.] But I am sorry to say that my time has expired. I have some
particular business to attend to just now. Would you wait and take
dinner with us. I can spare a little more time after dinner.

_Elder B_. I am obliged to you, but I have several places to call at
this morning, and it will be inconvenient for me to stay with you
to-day. However, I will call upon you this day week, and give you any
further information you may wish.

_Mr. W_. Well, call when you can stay and have dinner. But I wish to
ask you whether you admit persons into your Church immediately on
application, or do you keep candidates a certain time on probation.

_Elder B_. In ancient times candidates were not required to {50} submit
to any probation, previous to entering the Church, at least I cannot
read so in the Bible, neither do the Latter-day Saints require such
a thing. We like men to come up boldly and say they repent of their
sins, and wish to be baptized. When men do this, we do not presume to
question their sincerity, unless we have very substantial reasons for
doing so. We wish to encourage confidence between men, and we do not
treat them as suspicious characters, until we have evidence for it.
When a man turns from his sins, then is the time that he should be
received with open arms by the Church, the blessings of full fellowship
should not be withheld, for he is but weak in the faith, and he needs
all possible encouragement.

_Mr. W_. I have no fault to find with your sentiments on that head. I
am sure it is very good of you to spend your time in enlightening the
minds of the people, by your tracts and conversation. Of course you
have a salary from your society to support you.

_Elder B_. I am not an hireling, sir. I do not preach for hire or
divine for money. The hireling is not the true shepherd of the flock.
An hireling is apt to look a little more to the fleece than to the
flock.

_Mr. W_. But you cannot live on the air!

_Elder B_. When Jesus Christ sent his disciples to preach in ancient
times, he told them to go without purse or scrip, and their heavenly
Father would see that they were provided for. Jesus said that those
persons who received his servants received him, and those who rejected
them rejected him, and whosoever would give only a cup of cold water to
one of the least of his disciples should not lose his reward.--Matt. x.
Mark vi. ix. Luke ix. This is how I am sent out, this is how all the
Elders of the Latter-day Saints are sent out to preach to the world.

_Mr. W_. That's noble, certainly.

_Elder B_. It proves the world, whether they will receive one in the
name of the Lord; it proves the servants of God, whether they can
put their confidence in Him; and it proves the Lord, whether He will
support His servants and open the way for them.

_Mr. W_. I really wish you would stay for dinner.

_Elder B_. I would, with pleasure, if my duties allowed.

_Mr. W_. Well, I cannot let you go away empty. I beg you will accept of
five shillings, to assist you in your laudable purpose.

{51} _Elder B_. May the Lord bless you in your basket and in your
store, and restore you an hundred fold.

_Mr. W_. Thank you. I have much enjoyed your conversation. I am sure I
am greatly indebted to you. But I must now say good day. You will not
fail to call next week?

_Elder B_. I will not. Good day sir.

LIVERPOOL: PUBLISHED BY S. W. RICHARDS, 15, WILTON STREET, LONDON.

    _If the Lord Almighty should give the human family their desire in
    full, they would not keep the broad road to destruction, but would
    go cross lots to hell._

    --_Brigham Young._

    _A man cannot deny the truth when the spirit of God is burning in
    his bosom._

    --_Francis M. Lyman._

    _As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become._

    --_Joseph Smith._

{52}



SALVATION: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN ELDER BROWNSON AND MR. WHITBY.

BY JOHN JAQUES, ELDER IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
SAINTS.

_Elder B_. Good morning, sir. How do you do to-day?

_Mr. W_. O! good morning, sir. How do you do? I hope you are well. I
am happy to see you. Come, walk in and sit down. I have been expecting
you, and wishing you would come. I have many things of which to
ask you to-day, if you will be kind enough to inform me concerning
them. Since you were here last week, my mind has been much exercised
respecting your principles. What I heard from you then, has appeared
to me as near the truth as anything I ever heard before. If I had any
prejudice against the Latter-day Saints previous to my meeting with
you, I think it is now well nigh gone. Still there are some things
connected with your people, of which I wish to learn a little more. I
had not opportunity last week to name these things to you, as our time
was short, and we seemed to occupy it so well with other conversation,
that many questions which I wished to put to you, I really was obliged
to postpone till a more favourable opportunity. But after dinner, I
took my pipe, as I generally do, and sat in the corner, canvassing and
weighing over what we had conversed upon, and other things which we had
not. When I get my pipe, I reckon myself in my study, so I puzzled for
full two hours over matters relating to your people. Finally, I thought
I should have the privilege of seeing you again in a few days, when
I could inquire of your more fully. Now you are here, for which I am
glad. Would you first of all give me a brief description of the origin,
progress, and present position of the Latter-day Saints, and of the
organization and different officers of your Church?

_Elder B_. I will do so. About the year 1820, there was a great revival
excitement among the religious societies in the town of Manchester,
Ontario county, New York. This revival {53} was kept up with spirit
by a series of camp meetings, in which preachers and people of all
denominations joined. A multitude of converts was the result. But as
they began to attach themselves to this or that society, a scene of
strife and confusion prevailed, which contrasted strangely with the
professions and former demeanour of both priests and people. In this
town lived a young man, then in his fifteenth year. His father's family
clung to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that body.
This young man was deeply impressed during the above excitement. But
the divisions and contentions of the religious societies puzzled him,
and he reflected seriously upon their conduct, asking himself who,
amidst all the strife, was right, and whom he must join. While in
this anxious state, he one day opened his Bible, and read that golden
counsel given by James--"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth unto all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be
given him."--i. 5. This precious passage came with great force to the
mind of this young man. The teaching exactly suited his case. He was
unlearned, he was ignorant, he lacked wisdom. The preachers all claimed
to be right, though, at the same time, they differed, and strove with
each other. It was therefore folly to go to them to learn the truth.
He wisely resolved to follow the advice of James, and "ask of God."
Accordingly, this young man retired to a secluded spot, and kneeling
down began to pray earnestly to the Almighty for guidance. The youth
had scarcely done so, when he was suddenly seized by an invisible
power, which rendered him speechless and helpless. Darkness seemed to
hover around him. However, he exerted all his power to ask deliverance
from the Lord, when a pillar of light, surpassing the brightness of
the midday sun, appeared above the youth, and descended gradually till
it fell upon him, and he felt released from his distressing bondage.
When the light rested upon him, he saw two most glorious personages
standing above him in the air. One spoke to him, pointing to the other,
saying--"This is my beloved Son, hear him."

_Mr. W_. Then this young man actually saw and spoke to the Lord, and to
his Son Jesus Christ!

_Elder B_. Yes. The young man asked the latter person, which of all
the religious societies was right. In answer, the youth was informed
that all were teaching incorrect doctrines, and that he must join none
of the sects. To a certain extent this satisfied his mind. But on the
evening of the 21st of September, 1823, he again prayed to the Lord for
a manifestation from Him. While thus engaged, a light appeared in the
{54} room, which increased until it became brighter than noonday, when
immediately a personage appeared at the bedside, standing in the air.

_Mr. W_. A second vision!

_Elder B_. Yes. The personage had on an exceedingly white robe. His
person was very glorious, and his countenance like lightning. Around
him shone a halo or light superior to that which filled the room. He
said he was a messenger from God, and was named Moroni [See Joseph
Smith, the Prophet, page 19]. He called the young man by name, and told
him that God had a work for him to do, which should cause his name to
be good and evil spoken of among all people, and that a book written
upon gold plates, and giving an account of the ancient inhabitants of
America, was deposited in the earth, and with the book two stones in
silver bows fastened to a breastplate, which were called anciently
the "Urim and Thummim," and by which God revealed intelligence to His
people. See Ex. xxviii. Lev. viii. 8. Deut. xxxiii. 8. I Sam. xxviii.
6. xxx. Ezra ii. 63.

_Mr. W_. I recollect reading of the priests using the Urim and Thummim
among the children of Israel.

_Elder B_. Just so. On these plates was engraven the fulness of
the everlasting Gospel, as Jesus Christ taught it to the ancient
inhabitants of America. These sacred things were not to be shown to
any person, except by commandment from the Lord. The place where they
were deposited was shown to the young man's mind in this vision.
After giving many more instructions, the messenger withdrew. While
the young man lay musing on what he had seen and heard, the same
messenger appeared again to him, repeating the former instructions,
and adding others. A second time the messenger withdrew. Before
morning he appeared a third time, and repeating what he had before
communicated, added still further instructions, cautioning the youth
to beware and not to be led astray. Whilst in the field the next day,
the same messenger again stood before him, commanding him to go and
tell his vision and the commandments he had received to his father. The
youth obeyed, and his father told him that he must do as he was told
by the angel, as it was of God. The young man accordingly went to the
place where the records were deposited in a stone box, covered over by
another stone, the middle part of the top of which was just visible
above the ground. He raised the stone, and beheld the plates, the Urim
and Thummim, and the breast-plate. He made an attempt to take them out,
but the messenger again appeared to him and forbade {55} him, telling
him the time had not yet come, but it would be four years longer. He
was commanded to go to the place once a year, until the time appointed,
and was informed that the messenger would meet him there. This
commandment the youth obeyed, and received instruction and intelligence
each time.

_Mr. W_. Though he was young, he certainly underwent a considerable
course of experience before he was entrusted with the commission of the
work.

_Elder B_. Truly so. The magnitude, importance, and sacred character of
the work to which he was chosen, required the simplicity and obedience
of youth, combined with the soberness and wisdom of maturity. Had an
old man been chosen, he might have been too much indoctrinated with the
opinions of the age, to readily obey the instructions of the heavenly
messenger. Had not the youth been qualified for his great work, by a
course of instruction and preparation, he might have been liable, in
the lightness and thoughtlessness and inexperience of youth, to trifle
with the sacred things committed to his charge.

_Mr. W_. Very true.

_Elder B_. On the 22nd of September, 1827, the angel placed the
plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breast-plate, in the youth's
hands, charging him with the responsibility of their safe keeping.
The plates were near eight inches long by seven wide, and a little
thinner than ordinary tin. Engravings of the Egyptian hieroglyphic
species filled both sides of the plates. They were bound together by
three rings, at one edge, and were altogether about six inches thick.
A part of the plates were sealed. The youth immediately prepared for
their translation, which was done by means of the Urim and Thummim,
as the language in which the plates were engraved was peculiar to the
ancient inhabitants of America, and unknown to the present generation.
About this time, he suffered much persecution, chiefly from religious
persons, who had heard of his having visions, &c. He was compelled
to flee for safety from Manchester, New York, to Pennsylvania. He
continued to translate the record until he had finished those plates
which were unsealed. All the plates were then delivered up again to
the angel. After the translation, the Lord, by a heavenly messenger,
showed the plates to three witnesses--Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer,
and Martin Harris. The youth also showed the plates, by commandment, to
eight other persons--Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer,
jun., John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, sen., Hyrum Smith, and
Samuel H. Smith. The testimony of these eleven witnesses precedes
{56} the translation, which is entitled the Book of Mormon, the first
edition of which was published in 1830.

_Mr. W_. I have heard much concerning this Book of Mormon, and have
always understood it to be of an apocryphal or a fabulous nature. Your
history of it is certainly strange, but, to be candid, I cannot say
that it is any more improbable than many things which are contained in
the Bible. It is not right to hastily condemn any thing that may appear
strange, for it is truly said that "truth is strange--stranger than
fiction." Could you give me a short description of the contents of this
far-famed book?

_Elder B_. I know that many rumours and false statements are actively
circulated concerning that book. Its true history I have just
related. The book contains accounts of two separate and distinct
races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and they emigrated
from the tower of Babel. Being a righteous people, their language
was not confounded, and they were led by the Lord over the ocean
to the continent of America, where, occupying the northern portion
principally, they became a numerous, powerful, civilized, and
refined nation, and had Prophets living among them. But they finally
degenerated and became corrupt, so much so, that, after inhabiting the
land about fifteen or sixteen centuries, the Lord utterly destroyed
them. The records of this people were engraved on twenty-four gold
plates which were found by the second race who peopled this continent.
This last race consisted of two colonies. The first were descendants of
Joseph, and left Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah,
about six hundred years before Christ, being directed by the Lord. They
travelled by the borders of the Red Sea, then struck for the ocean,
crossed the Pacific, and landed in South America. This colony, in the
early part of their career, became divided into two parties. One party
were termed Nephites, and were a righteous and enlightened people. The
other were termed Lamanites, and became a wicked and ignorant people.
The second colony were composed partly of the tribe of Judah. This
people left Jerusalem in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah,
when the Jews were being carried captive to Babylon. These emigrants
landed in North America, and soon after removed to the northern
parts of South America, where, about four centuries after, they were
discovered by the Nephites, in a partial state of civilization. These
two peoples amalgamated, and became one great and enlightened people.
Prophets existed among them. Jesus Christ himself visited them, after
his resurrection, healed their sick, called twelve Apostles, and
established his Church in {57} the land, in partial fulfilment of what
he said to the Jews--"Other sheep I have which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall
be one fold and one shepherd."--John xiv. 16.

_Mr. W_. But he did not bring them, and make them of one fold with the
Jews, having one shepherd. I have always understood that this passage
related to the Gentiles.

_Elder B_. The Gentiles were not reckoned sheep then. Besides Jesus
said, at another time, that he was "not sent but unto the lost sheep
of the house of Israel."--Matt. xv. 24. So he would not be likely to
speak of ministering among the Gentiles. He went to the Nephites, and
they heard his voice, and many followed after him. They will not be
brought into one fold with the Jews, until all scattered Israel are
gathered together, and "made one nation in the land upon the mountains
of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be
no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms
any more at all." The union of the stick or record of Joseph--the
Book of Mormon, with the stick or record of Judah--the Bible, will be
instrumental in producing this grand and glorious effect.--Ezek. xxxvii.

_Mr. W_. I certainly never saw so much apparent appropriateness and
force in those prophecies before.

_Elder B_. Perhaps not. But to resume. The Nephites and Lamanites,
after the visit of Jesus, ran well for a time. But they became corrupt,
as years rolled on, and were often engaged in contention and bloodshed.
Finally the Lamanites conquered and destroyed the Nephites, in the
beginning of the fifth century after Christ. Their records were hid up
in the earth by two of the last Nephite Prophets--Mormon and Moroni, in
the hill where heaven directed the young man to go for the plates. The
North American Indians are the descendants of the Lamanites, and what
few of the Nephites mingled among them.

_Mr. W_. Well surely, that is a most interesting story. The record of
half a world come to light! I must certainly read that book. How does
it agree with the Bible doctrinally?

_Elder B_. Most admirably. Both books being written by inspiration
of the same Holy Spirit, they run of course in complete unison. The
Book of Mormon does not coincide with modern apostate religions,
which have the form, but deny the power of godliness. That book, as
may be expected, takes a bold and decided stand with the Bible, and
fearlessly condemns all churches which are not backed up by the power
and gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost as the Primitive Church was.
{58} On some vital points, which in the Bible appear ambiguous through
mistranslation, interpolation, or perversion, the Book of Mormon speaks
in the most plain and pointed language, so that none may misunderstand.

_Mr. W_. Indeed.

_Elder B_. I will now resume my narrative. On the 15th of May, 1829,
the young man and a friend--Oliver Cowdery, being convinced of the
necessity and the proper mode of baptism, went into the woods to pray
on the subject. While praying, a heavenly messenger--John the Baptist,
descended in a cloud of light, laid his hands upon their heads, and
ordained them saying--"Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of
Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the
ministering of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism
by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken
again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering
unto the Lord in righteousness." The messenger said that the Aaronic
Priesthood had not power to lay on hands for the Gift of the Holy
Ghost, but that that power should afterwards be given, and he commanded
these two persons to baptize each other, and then re-ordain each other,
which they straightway did, and the Spirit of God came upon them, and
they prophesied. They afterwards received the Melchisedec Priesthood,
which has power to lay on hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and to
administer in spiritual blessings.

_Mr. W_. Why did they re-ordain each other? Was not the ordination of
the angel sufficient?

_Elder B_. There was no one on earth who had authority to baptize
these two persons, therefore the angel conferred it upon them, that
they might be qualified to baptize each other. They were required to
re-ordain each other after baptism, doubtless for the same reason that
Jesus was baptized--that they might fulfil the law of God in its proper
order, as far as possible, and thus become patterns for those who might
believe on their words.

_Mr. W_. Very likely.

_Elder B_. When the Book of Mormon was published, some who read it
became convinced of its truth, and were baptized. On the 6th of April,
1830, a Church, consisting of six members, was organized at Fayette,
Seneca county, New York. That Church was the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. The youth who was the instrument in bringing forth
the book, and in organizing the Church, was Joseph Smith. The Church
increased rapidly in numbers, and in the gifts of {59} the Spirit.
In the fall of the year, several Elders went to the state of Ohio,
preaching, and baptized hundreds, and also introduced the Gospel into
all the states west of New York. In 1831, a settlement was formed in
Lake county, Ohio, and another in Jackson county, Missouri. The Saints
in Ohio built a Temple to the Lord, at Kirtland, at the completion
of which, in 1836, the power and glory of God were manifested in a
remarkable degree. In consequence of continued persecution the Ohio
settlement was abandoned in the year 1838. The Saints in Missouri laid
the foundation stone for a Temple, at Independence, Jackson county,
on the 3rd of August, 1831. This Temple is not yet built. The Saints
were driven by mob violence from Jackson county to Clay county, in
1833. Soon after, they were driven from Clay county to Caldwell and
other counties. In the winter of 1838-9, the Saints were expelled,
at the bayonet's point, from the state of Missouri. In these awful
persecutions and drivings, neither age, sex, nor condition was spared
from the most revolting brutality, such was the relentless cruelty of
the enemies of the Saints. In 1839, they began to gather on the east
bank of the Mississippi, in the state of Illinois, and commenced to
build up the city of Nauvoo, and soon afterwards a noble Temple. The
Temple was finished and dedicated in 1846. In 1837, Elders were sent on
a mission to Britain, where they succeeded in baptizing multitudes. In
1843, Elders were sent to the Society Isles, where numerous converts
were made. On the 27th of June, 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and his
brother Hyrum, the Patriarch, were cruelly murdered by a mob, armed and
disguised, in Carthage jail, twelve miles from Nauvoo, where these two
men of God were thrown, for pretended crimes, and held for trial under
the government pledge of personal safety. During his lifetime, Joseph
Smith was embroiled in nearly fifty law-suits, yet was never legally
convicted of any offence to the law of the land. In 1846, the Saints,
again assailed by persecution, were compelled to quit Nauvoo. Fifteen
thousand to twenty thousand people were obliged to vacate their dearly
bought homes, travel across the vast prairies, and seek a home among
the wild fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains. While in this condition,
the government of the United States required the Saints to furnish a
battalion of able-bodied men to aid in the Mexican war. This unjust
requisition was complied with, and five hundred men were immediately
enrolled, and sent to California, leaving their wives and families
destitute in an Indian country. In July, 1847, a pioneer company of the
Saints entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Setting {60} aside
the incidental privations of a new settlement, especially under these
circumstances, that and the surrounding valleys have ever since been
the peaceable and prosperous home of the Saints. They are now organized
as a territory of the United States. Cities have been built, lands
improved, and a Temple two hundred feet long is in progress. During
the last four years, flourishing missions have been established in
France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland,
Malta, Gibraltar, Hindostan, Australia, and the Sandwich Isles; and
Elders have recently been sent to Siam, Ceylon, China, the West Indies,
British Guiana, and Chili. The Latter-day Saints in Britain now number
about thirty thousand. About twenty thousand have left these shores to
go to the head quarters of the Church. Between two thousand and three
thousand leave Britain annually, for the same destination. The Book of
Mormon is published in English, Welsh, French, German, Italian, Danish,
and Polynesian. The Doctrine and covenants of the Church is published
in English, Welsh, and Danish. The following papers and periodicals
are now in circulation--The "Deseret News," published semi-monthly,
at Great Salt Lake City; the "Seer," monthly, at Washington, United
States; the "Millennial Star," weekly, at Liverpool; the "Udgorn
Seion," in Welsh, weekly, at Merthyr Tydfil; the "Skandinaviens
Stierne," in Danish, semi-monthly, at Copenhagen; and "Le Reflecteur,"
in French, monthly, at Lausanne.

_Mr. W_. The Latter-day Saints have certainly made a most extraordinary
and rapid progress, notwithstanding their persecutions. How many kinds
of ministers are there in your Church?

_Elder B_. In the Church of Christ there are two Priesthoods--the
Melchisedec, and the Levitical or Aaronic. The Melchisedec Priesthood
is the higher Priesthood, and, as I said before, holds the power to
administer in spiritual things. Apostles, Patriarchs or Evangelists,
Seventies, High Priests, and Elders, are of this Priesthood. The
Levitical Priesthood is the lesser Priesthood, and holds authority to
administer in temporal things and outward ordinances. Bishops, Priests,
Teachers, and Deacons are of this Priesthood. The Apostleship is the
highest office in the Church, and can officiate in all ordinances and
blessings, spiritual or temporal, and build up the kingdom of God.
One of the Apostles is chosen to be Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to
the Church, and he has authority to give revelations from God for the
guidance of the whole Church. Since the organization of the Church, in
1830, this Prophet, Seer, and Revelator has been also the President
{61} of the Church in all the world. The President is assisted by two
Counsellors holding the Apostleship. These three constitute what is
termed the First Presidency of the Church. The duty of a Patriarch is
to bless the Saints with Patriarchal blessings. Twelve of the Apostles
are organized as a Quorum, whose duty it is to travel in all the world,
and introduce the Gospel, and regulate the affairs of the Church
in their travels. These Twelve are of course subject to the First
Presidency. One of the Twelve is President of the Quorum. There are
about thirty-three Quorums of Seventies, seventy in each Quorum, as the
name implies. Each Quorum of the Seventies has seven Presidents. One
of these seven presides over his associates. The seven Presidents of
the first Quorum preside over all the Quorums of Seventies. The duty of
the Seventies is to travel in all the world, and introduce the Gospel,
under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve. The High Priests
constitute a Quorum, which has a President with two Counsellors. The
duty of the High Priests is more particularly to preside. Twelve High
Priests are chosen as the High Council of the Church. The duty of the
High Council is to try the most serious offences against the laws of
the Church. The Elders constitute a Quorum, which has a President
with two Counsellors. An Elder has authority to preach the Gospel,
baptize, lay on hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and to administer
in spiritual blessings. All the officers above an Elder are also
called Elders. The duty of a Bishop is to administer in the temporal
affairs of the Church, and to sit as a judge upon transgressors. The
duty of a Priest is to preach the Gospel, and administer in outward
ordinances--such as baptism, and the Lord's supper, and to visit the
members of the Church, and exhort them to faithfulness. The duty of
a Teacher is to be as a father to the members, to watch over them
continually, and see that there is no lying, backbiting, evil speaking,
or iniquity of any kind, in the Church, and that all the members meet
together often, do their duty, and live in love and union. The duty
of the Deacon is to attend to the temporal well-being and comfort of
the Church, and to assist the Teacher in his duties when necessary.
The Priests, the Teachers, and the Deacons, each constitute a distinct
Quorum, having its respective President, with his two Counsellors.
The lesser offices of the Priesthood are all embodied in the higher,
consequently an officer can minister in the duties of any office
beneath him. Thus an Apostle can administer in the duties of High
Priest, Elder, or Deacon.

{62} _Mr. W_. You have a most wonderful and elaborate organization.

_Elder B_. No other organization in the world is so complete, or so
beautifully adapted "for the perfecting of the Saints, the work of
the ministry, or the edifying of the body of Christ," which St. Paul
declares to be the end of the Priesthood.

_Mr. W_. How was so minute a knowledge of the various offices and their
duties obtained? It is not given in the Bible.

_Elder B_. Neither the Bible nor the Book of Mormon so particularly
describe the offices of the Holy Priesthood, or so clearly define their
duties. By revelation from God, and by the inspiration of the Holy
Ghost, was this glorious knowledge given in these last days.

_Mr. W_. It's passing strange! And yet I feel glad--I cannot but admire
your system--But why do the Latter-day Saints leave their native land,
and go to America? as I understand they do.

_Elder B_. In a few words I can show you the propriety of that
principle. You know very well that righteousness has no fellowship
with unrighteousness. The righteous and the wicked can never live in
peace and harmony. The laws of God can never be fully obeyed while
the people of God are scattered among the wicked. The separation of
the people of God from the wicked has been a prominent feature in all
dispensations. Salvation can never be realized without this separation.
Abraham was commanded to go with his family to a land that he knew
not. The children of Israel were commanded to gather out of the land
of Egypt, to the land of Canaan, and be separate from their enemies.
The Israelites ever considered their dispersion among the nations as
a most signal sign of the displeasure of the Lord. Jesus wept over
Jerusalem, and said how often he would have gathered her children as
a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but the stubborn Jews
would not listen to him, consequently they were scattered among all
nations, the most fearful curse that ever befell that people. They
still look forward, with the strongest confidence, to their gathering
again to Jerusalem and to Palestine, and regard that gathering as ample
recompense for the long, dreary night of scattering which they are now
passing through. And the Lord has promised that the wonders of the last
gathering of His people shall totally eclipse, and banish from their
minds, the wonders of the gathering from Egypt.--Jer. xvi. xxxi. When
the Latter-day judgments are being sent among the wicked, does not St.
John {63} say that a voice is to be heard from heaven--"Come out of her
[Babylon-the wicked nations], my people, that ye be not partakers of
her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues?"--Rev. xviii. 4. And
Joel says, "In Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance," in
the last days.--Joel ii. 32. We know where Jerusalem is, and God has
revealed that the Mount Zion of the last days is in America, and has
also commanded His people to gather there, and prepare themselves to
dwell in peace when Jesus Christ shall come. The Jews will return to
Jerusalem by and bye. At your leisure, read Isaiah ii. v. xi. xliii.
xlix. Zech. x. Ezek. xi. xx. xxxiii. Zeph. iii. Jer. xxxii. Many other
passages might be named, but these prove that a mighty gathering of the
people of God was to occur in the last days. It is now being fulfilled.

_Mr. W_. I will read the passages. But I have one thing more to name. I
am told that the Latter-day Saints believe in a man's having more wives
than one. This, if true, is opposed to my feelings, and to my ideas
of propriety and morality. Is this doctrine believed in and practised
by your people? If so, how can you reconcile it with Scripture and
morality?

_Elder B_. This doctrine is believed in by the Latter-day Saints.
It is practised by them in the Territory of Utah. There is no law
there to forbid polygamy. But they do not practise it in England, or
in any country where the law of the land forbids the practice. Your
feelings, and your ideas of propriety and morality, are induced by
your education. In this country, men and women are educated to believe
that polygamy is flagrantly immoral, and nothing more or less than
licentiousness. This is a most erroneous idea. There is an immense
difference between a man's holding illegal and promiscuous intercourse
with the other sex, for the pleasure of the moment only, regardless of
consequences, and his legally marrying several wives, and honourably
supporting them and their children. In the first case, there is a grave
abuse of the sexual powers, and a grievous violation of the highest and
holiest principles. In the second case, there is nothing of this kind,
but merely an extensive development of those powers and principles.
There is far less licentiousness in the East, where polygamy prevails,
than in the West, where it is illegal. As regards Scripture, there
is not a word in the Bible condemning polygamy, not a word. On the
contrary, the most righteous men known in sacred history, advocated
and practised this principle. Did God favour them the less on that
account? Not a jot. He was the author of the principle. In certain
instances, an Israelite could not obey the law of God, without {64}
taking more wives than one. For example--a childless widow had legal
claim on her deceased husband's brother, or nearest male relative, for
the fulfilment of marital duties. If the brother or relative refused to
fulfil these duties, he was publicly disgraced by the woman. Deut. xxv.

_Mr. W_. I acknowledge that there is an essential difference between
the two cases you mention. But as respects the law in Israel, I thought
that Jesus Christ did away with that.

_Elder B_. There is no record of his doing away with it. He
said--"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets; I
am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matt. v. 17.

_Mr. W_. But would not polygamy make the women jealous of each other?

_Elder B_. There is no cause for it. We are all redeemed by one
Lord--should that make us jealous of each other? We are all the
children of one heavenly Father--should that make us jealous? You
have several children--should that make your first-born jealous
of the others? Just as little cause exists for the association of
jealousy with polygamy. Indeed it is calculated to dispel jealousy.
For instance--In this country, three young women all love the same
young man. Being rivals, it is quite natural to suppose that the young
women, through their jealousy, hate each other in exact proportion as
they love the young man, because they know that the law will not allow
him to be married to them all, and consequently when one has obtained
him the others have irrecoverably lost him. If polygamy were allowed,
this jealousy would not exist, because a woman would know she could be
married to any man she loved, if she could win his affection, which
part of the business might be safely entrusted to her.

_Mr. W_. But what advantages would accrue through a man's having more
wives than one.

_Elder B_. I have just told you one very great advantage--a woman
could, without fear of rivalry, become the wife of the man on whom she
had set the purest and warmest affections of her soul. She would not
be compelled, as many are now, to throw herself away on some brute in
human form, who would scarcely pass the honeymoon before he treated
her worse than his cattle. Such wretches do not deserve a wife at all.
But what are women to do? You can't unsex them. Women are women, after
all, and they know they have a right to husbands and protectors. If
they cannot get as good as they wish, they will get as good as they
can. Therefore leave their choice free as to whom they shall have. A
woman gives herself wholly and entirely, body and affections, to a man.
She {65} ought surely to be allowed to bestow such a gift on whom she
pleases. She ought certainly to choose whatever man she pleases to hold
unlimited and sole control over her person and property. If this were
more extensively the case, we should hear less of wife beating and wife
murdering, accounts of which figure so conspicuously in our newspapers.
Now polygamy would grant the advantage named, whereas monogamy is one
of the greatest bars to the happiness of the female sex.

_Mr. W_. But would you have all men marry several wives each?

_Elder B_. That would not necessarily follow. It would be more likely
that good men would each have several wives, and that bad men would
find it difficult to get any wife to ill-use and beat. This would bring
to men a reward and a punishment, in which the women would be proud to
administer, and which would do more for their protection than all the
legislative enactments in the world.

_Mr. W_. Well, I must think upon this subject. I certainly do not feel
to object so much to it as I did before I named it to you.

_Mary_. [_Mr. W.'s daughter_.] Dinner's ready, please, father.

_Mr. W_. Then I suppose we must retire. You shall stay and have dinner
with me, and then you shall be at liberty to attend to your business,
as I think I shall have detained you long enough to day. By the bye, I
have read the tract you lent me, I like it very well. I shall certainly
go to your meetings, and hear a little more, and I will not promise you
that I shall not be a Latter-day Saint yet, for I must say that your
religion is more consistent with the Bible than any other which I have
examined.

_Elder B_. You can't do better, sir, I assure you.

LIVERPOOL: PUBLISHED BY S. W. RICHARDS, 15, WILTON STREET, LONDON.

{66}



EXCLUSIVE SALVATION.

BY JOHN JAQUES, ELDER IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
SAINTS.

The doctrine of Exclusive Salvation, or salvation by _one_ Lord, _one_
Faith, _one_ Baptism, _one_ method, _one_ system, _one_ Gospel, _one_
Priesthood only; is at the present time an exceedingly unpopular
doctrine. But popularity or unpopularity can never make truth error,
nor error truth. If the doctrine of exclusive salvation be a false
doctrine, world-wide popularity will never make it true. If, on the
contrary, it be a true doctrine, the most crushing unpopularity will
never destroy its immutability and truthfulness. The subject, then,
should be investigated in the abstract, entirely independent of
popularity or unpopularity. Let us rather call to our aid common sense,
reason, and revelation. My object will be to show most clearly that
exclusive salvation is a true, reasonable, and scriptural doctrine,
that it is an absolute impossibility for a real _Bible believer_ to
entertain a contrary thought.

Ostensibly a great part of Christendom disavow exclusive salvation.
But, if the point be pressed home, all sects must acknowledge the
truth of the doctrine, or at once proclaim themselves false teachers,
impostors, deluders, entirely destitute of the least shadow of legal
authority to officiate as teachers of religion. One or other of these
conclusions is inevitable.

I ask the Baptist minister, what induces him to occupy his time in
preaching up a particular creed? Why not labor in the fields, or at
some mechanical trade? He answers, he can be more usefully employed in
preaching. I ask, of what use is his preaching? His answer must be,
for the salvation of souls. But I may further remark, the established
church is supposed to exist for the very purpose of saving souls; has
colleges for to properly qualify persons to preach; has a church in
nearly every village where salvation is supposed to be taught; has
ministers who are paid, pensioned, salaried, for the express purpose
of doing this necessary work of salvation. Why not leave the work of
salvation to them altogether? Why interfere in their appointed and
acknowledged {67} calling? His answer must be, his only answer can be,
that the established church is not the true church; that its ministers
have no true authority, and that they do not preach the true method of
salvation; that his own Baptist church is the true church of Christ;
that Baptist ministers are the true authorized preachers of salvation,
and that they preach the true and only method of salvation. He cannot
shrink from this. He is driven in a corner. There is no way of escape.
He must either own his neighbor churchman a false teacher, and himself
a true one, or confess himself a base, hypocritical impostor, having
no authority whatever: a wretched wanderer to the depraved vitiated
mental tastes and itching ears of a dishonest or deluded portion of the
community. Thus he cannot deny the doctrine of exclusive salvation; he
is pushed upon it, and it breaks him to pieces.

Some might be inclined to suggest the idea that both Episcopalian and
Baptist churches are true, that the ministers of both churches have
authority--equal authority, the one with the other. This is virtually
condemning both parties. It is utterly impossible for two opposing
churches of equal authority to be one true church, or part and parcels
of the true church. No sane person could broach such an idea. Two
conflicting principles can never become one principle, worlds without
end. One principle must drop. If you tell me that two disagreeing sects
have equal authority, I am bold to affirm that neither of them have any
authority at all, and every sensible man will back my affirmation. Her
Majesty, Victoria, is the true and rightful queen of England. Her claim
is undoubted, her authority is indisputable. She reigns exclusively.
Why? Because she is the nation's only true sovereign. It is the thing
impossible for any other woman to have just claim to equal authority.
The royal prerogative is vested solely in one person. No other person
can have the slightest legal claim to it. So the true and legal
authority and prerogative of salvation can be solely vested in one
church. No other church can have the slightest lawful claim to it. The
true Church may have many branches upon various portions of the earth's
surface, but they must all be united, and subject to the Head.

Two true churches, two true creeds, two true preachers, differing
from each other, contradicting each other, present an irreconcilable
impossibility. It is perfectly senseless--monstrous--the wildest, most
far-fetched idea that could be conceived. Its birthplace must have
been "beyond the bounds of time and space." The simplest capacity,
the narrowest {68} mind, can perceive at a glance the thorough
unreasonableness of such an idea. Yet unreasonable as it is, senseless
as it is, monstrous as it is, still it is a favourite point, a bright
specimen of the wise folly of our "gospel blaze," Christendom. Can
we wonder at the rapid spread of deism, atheism, infidelity, or
unbelief, when we consider the foolish, nonsensical doctrines which
are gravely taught in our day, with all the sanctity, longfacedness,
impudence, and insolence, imaginable? Can we wonder the world is sick
of religion? Is it strange that intelligent Roman Catholics should
consider sectarianism a wicked soul-destroying heresy? What is the
natural effect of men seeing an hundred opposing sects, all believing
differently, teaching differently, and acting differently, yet at
the same time taking one another by the hand as brothers, and with
all gravity declaring to the world they have conjointly one faith,
one hope, one calling? Why, the natural, the legitimate effect is,
that straightforward thinking men will consider them all as so many
arch deceivers, conniving at the accomplishment of party purposes,
or grossly ignorant of what they affirm, and in either case their
profession is a misnomer upon themselves. On the other hand: what
is the natural effect upon clear-minded men of an hundred different
sects, all calling themselves Christians, all believing in one Bible,
one code of laws, all professing to be guided by one spirit; yet, at
the same time, none teaching in accordance with the Bible, each one
teaching contrary doctrines, each one governed by contrary laws, each
one actuated by contrary spirit, each one openly declaring all the
rest are false, and, of course, condemning them to eternal flames? Let
us take the answer of Cobbett, "The natural, the necessary effect is,
that many will believe that none of them have truth on their side, and,
of course, that the thing is false altogether, and invented solely
for the benefit of those who teach it, and who dispute about it." The
French infidels knew full well there could be but one true religion;
consequently, if forty were presented before them, thirty-nine must of
necessity be false.

View it whichever way we will, the notorious inconsistency of
sectarianism is singularly manifest. THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE FAITH.
Common sense, reason, and revelation establish the undeniable fact.
It is, out of sheer necessity, an incontrovertible truth. A deist,
or an atheist, is called all sorts of ill names, and his society
considered pestiferous by professing Christians, because he will not
associate the inconsistencies, confusions, and glaring contradictions
of modern Christianity, with the beautiful, sublime, and magnificent
idea of an overruling {69} Deity, possessing infinite power, wisdom and
glory. Whilst these same professing Christians embrace with cordial
affection those who credit the monstrous lie, the base calumny, the
heaven-daring libel, that the Great Jehovah is the grand author of all
this confusion. O folly! Fie, fie! Christendom!

The doctrine of exclusive salvation is an eternal principle,
indestructible as the Throne of Jehovah. It existed before the first
creation, has existed ever since, and will exist after the last
creation. Were it not for this principle of exclusiveness there
would be no law, no justice, no mercy, no order, no organization,
no honor, no glory, no virtue; no reward, no punishment, no heaven,
no hell; nothing to fear, nothing to hope. This earth would be as
good as heaven, and Jehovah's throne no more to be desired than the
prison-house of the damned. It is this very principle of exclusiveness
that creates the difference between truth and error, between angels and
devils, between salvation and damnation. It is this very principle that
determines, with unerring certainty, every gradation between virtue and
vice, between honour and dishonour, between glory and shame.

But now let us examine scripture evidence upon the subject of exclusive
salvation. We will begin in the beginning, and trace downwards in the
course of time.

The only way in which the harmony of heaven could be maintained was by
rigid observance of the exclusive doctrine of perfect submission to the
head. Lucifer, son of the morning, undertook to question the point. He
was cast down. Others sided with him and shared his fate.

Adam was placed in the garden of Eden, where was everything that
would please the eye, captivate the senses, or delight the heart.
Jehovah revealed to him the doctrine of exclusive salvation: "In
the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The only, the
exclusive method of salvation proposed from sin, sorrow, and death,
was this,--abstinence from the fruit from a particular tree. It was
an irrevocable decree, by lawful authority, even the Eternal God. It
mattered not what the devil said, what Eve said, or what any other
personage said, however exalted his station or great his authority.
The doctrine of exclusive salvation was given; it was true, it was
faithful. The devil, wily and subtle, preached against exclusive
salvation; said it was a false doctrine: "Ye _shall not_ surely die."
He deceived Eve; Eve persuaded Adam; Adam transgressed; the devil was
proved a liar; Adam discovered by painful experience, and his posterity
to this day are witnesses in themselves of the truth of the {70}
doctrine of exclusive salvation. Thus it will be seen that it is a true
doctrine, and the devil the opposer of it from the beginning.

But we must pass hastily through the scriptures. We have not space nor
time to examine the testimony of the ancient worthies, the prophets,
one by one, or we should discover that they all, without exception,
preach the doctrine of exclusive salvation; who were sent to preach at
all.

We come to Noah, the famous diluvian preacher of righteousness. One
hundred and twenty years whilst the ark was building did Noah preach
the doctrine of exclusive salvation. The only, the exclusive method
of salvation prepared and appointed, was the ark. It was perfectly
immaterial what other prophets or teachers might teach or believe. The
doctrine of Noah was true, and God would authorize no one to preach any
other contrary doctrine. Noah's doctrine was an exceedingly unpopular
doctrine, if we may judge by his numerical success. The majority of
mankind made light of it: "They were eating and drinking, marrying
and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark." The
terrific roar of the overflowing waters was a fearful testimony to the
antediluvians, in favour of the doctrine of exclusive salvation.

Lot preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation; and the inhabitants
of Sodom and Gomorrah experienced its truth to their utter dismay,
consternation, and destruction.

Moses preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation, and the punishments
consequent upon opposition to this doctrine were severely felt by the
Egyptians at the Red Sea, by the Israelites in the wilderness, and by
the Canaanites who fell before the children of Israel.

Looking up to the brazen serpent made by Moses, was the exclusive
method of salvation from the deadly effects of the bite of the fiery
serpents which the Lord sent.

Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Saul, Uzzah, and the prophets of Baal, can
testify to the truth of this doctrine.

Naaman's indignant wrath, and haughty pride were all in vain; his
servant persuaded him that the exclusive method of salvation from
his leprosy consisted in obedience to the voice of God, even washing
himself seven times in the river Jordan. No matter what Naaman or
anybody else thought or said. _Six_ washings in the river Jordan would
not have availed anything, neither would _seven_ washings in _any other
river_ but the river Jordan have produced the desired effect.

{71} Repentance at the preaching of Jonah, proved exclusive salvation
to the Ninevites.

John the Baptist preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation: "And
now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every
tree which bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the
fire."

Jesus Christ preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation: "Verily,
verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the
spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Except ye repent, ye
shall all likewise perish. I am the way, the truth, and the life; no
man cometh unto the Father but by me. He that entereth not by the
door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is
a _thief and a robber_. There shall be _one_ fold and _one_ shepherd.
Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me,
that they may be one as we are. Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall
be _saved_, but he that believeth not shall be _damned."_ Exclusive
enough this. There were many Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, in the
days of Jesus, but their religions were not sufficiently exclusive:
"Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall _in no case_ enter into the kingdom of heaven."

On the day of Pentecost, Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, preached
the doctrine of exclusive salvation to men of every nation under
heaven. Hear him: "Repent and be baptized every _one of you_, in the
name of Jesus Christ. Save yourselves from this untoward generation."
Three thousand persons believed the word of exclusive salvation by
Peter, and in token thereof were baptized the same day. The reader
will recollect that these three thousand persons were not what are
generally considered _wicked sinners_, but _religious, devout men_,
who had proven their sincerity and faithfulness by coming up from all
nations to Jerusalem, expressly "to worship." But their religion, their
devotion, their worship was insufficient; it was not exclusive enough,
and Peter had sufficient charity to boldly proclaim this. Sincerity in
an individual is _no proof_ that he is in the "right way." I might wish
to go from Manchester to Edinburgh, but if I unwittingly started on the
London road, with my back to Edinburgh, I should not reach the place
of my destination, but every step I took would increase the distance
between me and it. The only, the exclusive means by which I could reach
Edinburgh, would be to travel on the road to Edinburgh.

{72} Hear Peter further: "Neither is there salvation in any other, for
there is none other name under heaven given amongst men whereby we must
be saved."

Though Cornelius received the ministration of angels, and the gift
of the Holy Ghost, he found that salvation was exclusive, and Peter
commanded him to be baptized, in order that he might be saved.

The devils know the truth of the doctrine of exclusive salvation. Said
one,--"Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?"

James preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation: "But whoso looketh
into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not
a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed
in his deed. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in
_one point_, he is _guilty of all."_

Jude preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation. "It was needful for
me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend
for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. How that they
told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk
after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who _separate themselves_;
sensual, having not the Spirit."

St. John preached the doctrine of exclusive salvation: "They went out
from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they
would no doubt continued with us; but they went out that they might be
made manifest that they were not of us. These things have I written
unto you concerning them that seduce you. Beloved, believe not every
spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false
prophets are gone into the world. We are of God; He that knoweth God
heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the
Spirit of truth, and the Spirit of error. He that hath the Son hath
life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. And we know
that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. Whosoever
transgresseth and _abideth not_ in the doctrine of Christ, hath not
God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ he hath both the Father
and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not _this doctrine_,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that
biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds."

Lastly, the apostle Paul firmly believed and strenuously contended for
the doctrine of exclusive salvation. He knew it was the hope of the
righteous, and the bulwark of heaven. {73} What does he say? "Be it
known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is
preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe
are justified from all things, from which ye _could not be justified_
by the law of Moses. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for
it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to
the Jew first, and also to the Greek, now I beseech you, brethren, by
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the _same thing,_
and that there be _no divisions_ amongst you: but that ye be perfectly
joined together in the _same_ mind and in the _same judgment_, for it
hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of
the house of Chloe, that there are contentions amongst you. Now this I
say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul and I of Apollos, and I
of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for
you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul? For ye are yet carnal;
for whereas, there is amongst you envying and strife, and divisions;
are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul,
and another I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal [A]? Who then is Paul,
and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord
gave to every man? For other foundation can no man lay than that is
laid, which is Jesus Christ."

[Footnote A: For whilst one saith, I am of Wesley; and another says, I
am of Luther; and another says, I am of Calvin; and another says, I am
of Campbell, are ye not carnal? We have need to learn again the _first
principles_ of the gospel.]

"Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of _one mind_. I marvel that ye are
so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
another gospel: which is not another: but there be some that trouble
you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach _any other gospel_ unto you than that which we have
preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now
again. If any man preach _any other gospel_ unto you than that ye have
received, let him be accursed. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched
you, that ye should not obey the truth? That in the dispensation of
the fulness of times he might gather together _in one_ all things in
Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth. For this cause
I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the
whole family in heaven and earth is named. There is _one_ body and
_one_ Spirit, even as ye are called _one_ hope of your calling. _One_
Lord, _one_ faith, {74} _one_ baptism, _one_ God and Father of all,
who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Till we all come in
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a
perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every kind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie and wait to deceive. That ye stand fast
in _one_ Spirit, with _one_ mind, striving together for the faith of
the Gospel, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven,
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines
of devils, _speaking lies in hypocrisy_. Take heed unto thyself and
unto the doctrine: continue in it; for in doing this thou shalt both
save thy self and them that hear thee. This know, also, that in the
last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their
own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers,
false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of
God, having a _form_ of godliness but denying the _power_ thereof:
from such turn away. Ever _learning_, and never able to come to the
_knowledge_ of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses,
so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobates
concerning the faith. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and
worse, deceiving and being deceived; for the time will come when they
will not _endure_ sound doctrine, but _after their own lusts_ shall
they _heap to themselves_ teachers _having itching ears:_ and they
shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
_fables_. They _profess_ that they know God, but _in works_ they
deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work
reprobate."

With such an overwhelming flood of Scripture testimony in favour of
salvation by one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one Priesthood, one
Gospel, how does our blood boil within us, and our bosoms burn with
indignation, when we recollect that _teachers of religion_, with the
_Bible_ in their hands, have the unblushing effrontery to promise us
salvation by just what Lord, what faith, what baptism, what priesthood,
what gospel _we choose?_ And some have actually the infamous audacity
to tell us that we can be saved _without any priesthood or_ {75} _any
baptism at all!_ Oh, how have our eyes been _blinded!_ How grossly
we have been _deceived!_ How awfully we have been _deluded!_ How
completely we have been _"bewitched!"_ How horribly we have been
_imposed upon!_ How has the _truth_ been turned into _fables!_ How has
the _word_ of God been made of none effect through the _traditions_ of
men! "Our fathers have _inherited lies, vanity_, and things wherein
there is _no profit!"_

Hear for yourselves, think for yourselves, judge for yourselves, act
for yourselves, and then you will _know_ for yourselves that every
prophet that came with the "Burden of the word of the Lord," preached
EXCLUSIVE SALVATION.

Why, the very _presence_ of a new prophet argued that all the people
were "gone astray." The very _presence_ of a prophet of the Lord always
did, and always will, involve the salvation or damnation of the people
to whom he is sent. Jehovah does not trifle with men, but expects to be
heard and obeyed through his servants the prophets.

The Lord _never did_ send two or more contradictory messages to
any people. It is thoroughly inconsistent with his character and
perfections. When two men profess to have been sent by the Lord to
the same people with conflicting messages, it is a certain truth that
one or both of them are false teachers, impostors, wicked designing
men, feeding and fattening on the credulity of the people. The message
which any true prophet brings is always an exclusive message. It is
approbation or condemnation. It proves a saviour or life unto life,
or of death unto death. There is no middle course. The people must
_receive or reject it_. If received, it will prove their exclusive
salvation. If rejected, it will prove their exclusive damnation.
There is no alternative. It is a stern law of necessity. A truth that
proves itself without reason, and without argument. If a people to
whom Jehovah sends a message have power to receive or reject that
message with impunity, _they are not accountable creatures_. Jehovah
has _no power_ over them. They are his equals. And who thinks of
rendering homage to their equals, especially when those equals send a
message to us requiring our implicit submission, filled with terrible
denunciations in case of our refusal? No one, certainly. We should
treat the message and its authors with perfect contempt.

In precisely a similar condition, do the opposers of the doctrine of
exclusive salvation place the all-powerful Jehovah.

If Wesleyan Methodism be true; if Wesleyan Methodist preachers be sent
of God; then every other form of religion {76} is a gross imposture,
and all other preachers are false teachers, crafty deluders, having
no authority whatever from God. Every man who does not become a real
Wesleyan Methodist must be damned, and every one who does become a real
Wesleyan Methodist must be saved.

On the contrary, if the Roman Catholic church be the true church; if
Roman Catholic priests be sent of God; then Wesleyan Methodism, then
"Mormonism," and every other ism is false; then Wesleyan Methodist
preachers, and all other preachers are false teachers; if we believe
their words it will not save us; if we reject their messages we shall
not be damned, If the Roman Catholic religion be true, we cannot be
saved without becoming Roman Catholics, and we must be damned if we do
not become Roman Catholics. No other religion will save us or avail us
one jot, and no other religion can condemn us. If the Roman Catholic
religion be false, we cannot possibly _be saved by it;_ neither can we
possibly _be condemned by it_. It is altogether powerless: it is worse
than useless.

God never did, and never will save a single soul by means of a _false
religion_, or through the medium _of false prophets_. He will not give
the glory and power of salvation to imposters: or impostures: but he
will judge all the world by that system, that Gospel, that Priesthood,
that man which _He has ordained, and by no other_. When the works of
false religions and false prophets are presented before the bar of
God, the great Judge of all the earth will say--Who hath required this
at your hands? Depart from Me ye cursed; I never knew you. Then if
not before, will all know for themselves the truth of the doctrine of
exclusive salvation. Then will it be manifest that _those authorized of
God, and those alone_, have power to bind one earth and bind in heaven,
to loose on earth and loose in heaven. Salvation will be confined
exclusively to those who obeyed the warning voice of the duly empowered
servants of God, and damnation will be _poured out exclusively_ upon
those who rejected the warning voice of those servants. What, then,
becomes of Sectarianism? It will be blasted to the four winds of
heaven. It will crumble to dust before the majestic march of Eternal
Truth. It will be swallowed up in the victorious triumph of the Kingdom
and Sons of God. Amen.

_Published by F. D. Richards, 15 Wilton Street, Liverpool_.

{77}



THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED.

BY LORENZO SNOW,

ONE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY
SAINTS.

    "He that judgeth a matter before he heareth it, is not wise."

There are certain principles established of God, which, being
understood and observed, will put men in possession of spiritual
knowledge, gifts, and blessings. In early ages of the world, also in
the days of the apostles people came into possession of spiritual
powers and various privileges, by obtaining an understanding of, and
faithfully attending to, certain rules which the Lord established: as,
for instance, Abel, obtaining information that offering up sacrifices
was an order instituted of God, through which men might receive
blessings, he set himself to work, observed the order, and performed
the sacrifice, whereby he obtained glorious manifestations of the Most
High. Again, when the Antediluvians had corrupted themselves, and the
time arriving at which destruction was coming upon them, the Lord
revealed a course whereby the righteous might escape; accordingly, all
who understood and observed that course, were _sure_ to realize the
blessing promised. Joshua, before obtaining possession of Jericho,
had to observe certain steps appointed of God. The steps having been
properly taken, according to commandment, the object immediately fell
into his possession. Another instance--the case of Naaman, captain of
the Syrian host--it appears, that being afflicted with the leprosy,
and hearing of Elisha, the prophet, he made application to him for
the removal of that affliction. The prophet, having the Holy Ghost
upon him, which is the Mind of God, informed him that, by washing
in Jordan's water's _seven_ times, he might be restored. At first,
Naaman thought this too simple and was displeased, and disposed
not to conform--not to make use of _means_ so simple. After due
consideration, however, humbling himself, he went forth, complying
with the _rules_; when, lo! the blessing directly followed. Under
the Mosaic dispensation, forgiveness of sins was obtained {78} upon
the same principle as those blessings were to which I have alluded.
An animal was to be carried before the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation, by the individual wishing to obtain forgiveness of sins;
it was then to be offered up in a particular manner; this being done,
the promised blessing immediately followed.

When the Gospel dispensation was introduced, gifts and blessings were
obtained upon similar principles--that is, upon obedience to certain
established rules. The Lord still marked out certain acts, promising
to all those who would do them, certain peculiar privileges; and
when those acts were performed--observed in every particular--then
the blessings promised were sure to be realized. Some vainly imagine
that, under the Gospel dispensation, gifts and blessings are obtained,
_not_ by external observances, or _external_ works, but merely through
faith and repentance, through mental operations, independent of
physical. But, laying aside the traditions, superstitions, and creeds
of men, we will look to the word of God, where we shall discover
that _external_ works, or _outward_ ordinances, under the Gospel
dispensation, were inseparably connected with _inward_ works, such
as faith and repentance. In proof of this, I introduce the following
observations:--The Savior says, "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and _do not
the things_ which I say?" Again, he says, "He that heareth my words,
and doeth them, shall be likened unto a man that built his house upon
a rock." And, "He that believeth and is _baptized_ shall be saved."
Likewise, he says, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he
cannot enter into the kingdom of God."--John iii. 5. These sayings of
our Savior require men to perform external works in order to receive
their salvation.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter says to the surrounding
multitude--"Repent and be baptized, for the remission of sins, and you
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In this prophetic statement,
we learn that people were to perform an external work (baptism in
water) in order that they might receive the remission of sins, and
afterwards the gift of the Holy Ghost. But, before attending to the
outward work, the inward work must be performed--faith and repentance.
Faith and repentance go before baptism, and baptism before the
remission of sins and the reception of the Holy Ghost. Hence, we see
the useless and unscriptural practice of baptizing infants. They cannot
exercise faith and repentance, qualifications necessary previous to
baptism; then, why require the outward work?

{79} Some suppose they must obtain religion before they are baptized,
but the Savior and apostles teach us to be baptized in order to get
religion.

Some deem it wrong to number baptism among the essential principles
ordained of God, to be attended to in obtaining remission of sins. In
reply, we say that the Savior and apostles have done so before us,
therefore we feel obligated to follow their example. The destruction
of the Antediluvian world by water was typical of receiving remission
of sins through baptism. The earth had become clothed with sin as with
a garment; the righteous were brought and saved from the world of sin,
even by water; the like figure, even baptism, doth now save us, says
Peter (1 Peter iii. 21), by the answer of "a good conscience toward
God." Noah and his family were removed, and disconnected from sins and
pollutions, by means of water; so baptism, the like figure, doth now
remove our souls from sins and pollutions, through faith on the great
atonement made upon Calvary. Many express surprise that such blessings
should be had through baptism. Naaman, when told to wash in Jordan
seven times, was equally surprised; but, trying the experiment, he
found the word of God to be true; his leprosy, his physical pollution,
was thereby removed, and was typical of the removal of spiritual
pollutions in the Gospel dispensation, by baptism in water, through
faith and repentance. Through the means of water Naaman, we have seen,
obtained a miraculous blessing; also the blind man, whom the Savior
directed to Wash in the pool of Siloam, received his sight by means of
water.

The Savior, after coming out of the river Jordan, received the Holy
Ghost. These examples show clearly that water has been appointed a
medium through which heavenly blessings are obtained. "Be baptized,"
says Peter, "for the remission of sins."--Acts ii. 38. Ananias says to
Saul (Acts xxii. 16), "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins."
In the city of Samaria, the people baptized by Philip, it is said,
rejoiced. They rejoiced because of the remission of their sins, through
baptism; so, also, in the case of the Eunuch (Acts viii. 39), after
coming out of the water, having obtained remission of his sins, his
conscience becoming void of offence toward God, he was enabled to go on
his way rejoicing.

Be baptized, says Peter, for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the Holy Ghost. To obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost is to
obtain religion. Faith and repentance were to go before baptism, but
remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost were to follow this
ordinance. Every unprejudiced {80} mind can see that this is in perfect
agreement with the saying of our Savior, "Except a man be born of water
and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." If religion were
promised before baptism in water, our Savior would have said, born
of Spirit and of water (see John iii. 5); but he said, "Except ye be
born of water and of the Spirit." "What God has joined together," the
Scripture says, "let no man put asunder;" but we put asunder this order
of things, when we say a man must be born of Spirit, then of water, or
must get religion---get the Holy Ghost--and then be baptized.

Peter (Acts ii.) preached the same order of things as above mentioned,
when he said, "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and
ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"--that is, be "born of
water," then he shall be "born of Spirit." Paul himself, though he had
a vision of the Lord Jesus, yet received not the Holy Ghost; he did not
receive religion, until he had washed his sins away through baptism,
as administered by Ananias. There is one instance, and but one, where
the Holy Ghost was given before baptism--I mean, in the Apostolic
dispensation. Cornelius and his friends, who had assembled together
to hear the message from Peter, received the Holy Ghost previous to
baptism--Acts x. 44. This was done, however, to convince Peter that
the Gentiles had a right to receive Gospel privileges. Cornelius and
his friends were Gentiles, and Peter would not have baptized them,
unless he had first seen the power of God resting upon them. He looked
upon the Gentiles as heathen, and too wicked and sinful to receive
Gospel privileges with the people of God--the Jewish nation. He did not
imagine they were to receive the Holy Ghost, and thereby be prepared
to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and
the Jewish prophets; but, when he saw the Holy Ghost resting upon
them, being astonished, he immediately exclaimed--"Can any man forbid
water, that these should not be baptized?" He then commanded them to
be baptized. This receiving the Holy Ghost before baptism, was an
exception to a general rule, and arose from peculiar circumstances,
as I have shown. God, if he sees fit, can depart from a general rule,
and confer blessings; but man has not this privilege; he must observe
the order laid down, or he can have no claim upon the promise. After
Elisha had laid down the order whereby Naaman could obtain removal of
his leprosy, God, if He had chosen, could have removed it in some other
way; but, at the same time, Naaman could not have claimed the blessing
until he had taken the course marked out.--See 2nd Kings, chap 5. If
we will observe {81} the order of the Gospel, a promise is left us,
we shall have its blessings, otherwise we have no claims to urge; and
it is worse than folly for men to say, "Lord, Lord," and do not His
commandments.

It is plainly manifest that external works must be attended to, as well
as faith and repentance, in order to receive Gospel privileges.

Baptism in water, forming a part of the Gospel of Christ, we notice
therefore, that the servants of God, in early ages, were very
particular in attending to its administration; also, it is evident,
that unless peculiar blessings actually were experienced, through
baptism, they would have neglected enforcing its observance. If, as
some suppose, that faith, repentance, and prayer answer the purpose,
in receiving the fulness of Gospel privileges, then it is very evident
that baptism was a vain and useless work, and had no need to be
observed. Naaman would have been performing a vain and foolish work,
when washing seven times in Jordan's waters, had it been in his power
to have been recovered from his affliction merely through faith,
repentance, and prayer. Also, Noah and his family were very foolish in
performing an external work, in building an ark, provided they could
have obtained the same blessing through faith, repentance and prayer.
Furthermore, the Israelites, could they have obtained forgiveness of
sins through faith, repentance, and prayer; it would have been folly
in them to offer up animals for that purpose. So also under the Gospel
dispensation, the three thousand people, on the day of Pentecost, who
were baptized in one day, were very unwise and foolish in submitting
to the trouble of baptism, provided the same blessings could have been
realized by exercising only faith, repentance, and prayer. The Eunuch
would not have alighted from his carriage, and accompanied Philip into
the water, if nothing had been required in receiving Gospel blessings
but inward works; neither would Ananias have commanded Saul to arise
and be baptized, washing away his sins, unless he had known assuredly
that baptism, an outward work, must necessarily accompany the inward
works of faith and repentance, in order that Saul might come into and
obtain possession of Gospel privileges. Paul would not have baptized
those twelve men, alluded to in Acts xix., if mental operations could
have given them the gift of the Holy Ghost (lst Cor. i. 14); neither
would he have baptized the household of Stephanas, also Crispus and
Gaius, and permitted Apollos to water or baptize those whom he planted
or enlightened (lst Cor. iii. 6), unless baptism had been absolutely
essential to {82} receiving Gospel privileges; nor would Peter, when
speaking of Noah and family being saved by water, have said--"The like
figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us" (lst Pet. iii.
12); nor would Christ have said--"Except ye are born of water and
of the Spirit ye cannot enter the kingdom of God." I might multiply
proofs of this kind, but sufficient has already been said in proof that
baptism is absolutely necessary with faith and repentance.

We will now occupy a moment in endeavoring to obtain a proper view
of the mode in which baptism was administered. It is quite evident
that there was but one way or mode in which this ordinance was to be
administered, and that mode was explained to the apostles, and strictly
adhered to in all their administrations. In order that we may obtain
a proper notion of this subject, it will be necessary to refer to the
circumstances under which baptism was administered.

It says of John, that he baptized at Aenon, "because there was much
water there;" then, if sprinkling had been the mode, we can hardly
suppose he would have gone to Aenon, because there was much water at
that place: for a very little water indeed would have sprinkled all
Judea, which he could have obtained without having performed a journey
to Aenon. We are told, also, that he baptized in Jordan, and after the
ordinance was administered to our Savior, he came up out of the water,
expressly signifying that he had been down into the water, in order
that the ordinance might be administered in a proper manner. Again, it
speaks of the Eunuch, that he went down into the water with Philip,
and then came up out of the water. Now, it must be acknowledged, by
every one who makes any pretensions to reason and consistency, that
had sprinkling a little water on the forehead answered the purpose,
then those persons never would have gone into the water to receive the
ordinance. Paul, in writing to the Saints, gives us a plain testimony
in favour of immersion--(2nd Col. 12th verse; also, 6th Romans, 4th
verse). That apostle states there, that the Saints had been buried with
Christ by baptism.

It is plainly evident they could not have been buried by baptism,
without having been entirely overwhelmed or covered in water. An object
cannot be said to be buried when any portion of it remains uncovered;
so, also, a man is not buried in water by baptism unless his whole
person is put into the watery element. This explanation of the apostle,
upon the mode of baptism, very beautifully corresponds with that given
by our Savior--"Except ye be born of water," &c. To be born of a thing
signifies being placed in that thing, and emerging {83} or coming
forth from it; to be born of water must also signify being placed in
the womb of waters, and being brought forth again. I trust sufficient
has already been said to convince every reasonable and unprejudiced
mind that immersion was the mode in which the ordinance of baptism
was administered in the early days of Christianity, when the Gospel
was proclaimed in its purity and fulness; therefore, I will close my
observations upon this point.

We learn, from 6th Hebrews, that the laying on of hands was enumerated
among the principles of the Gospel. It is known by all, that this
ordinance, as well as baptism for the remission of sins, by immersion,
is quite neglected at the present day in the Christian churches; a few
remarks, therefore, upon this subject I hope will prove profitable.
We have several instances where Christ laid his hands upon the sick
and healed them; and, in his commission to the apostles, last chapter
of Mark, he says--"These signs shall follow them that believe;" "they
shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." &c. Ananias laid
his hands on Saul, who immediately received his sight, after this
ordinance was administered. Paul, when shipwrecked upon the island of
Melita, laid his hands upon the father of Publius, the governor of the
island, and healed him of a fever. These few remarks show clearly that
laying on of hands has been appointed of God to be a medium through
which heavenly blessings may be obtained.

Although the healing of the sick was connected with the administration
of this ordinance, yet, when we pursue the subject further, we shall
discover that a still greater blessing was connected with this
ordinance. We are told that, in the city of Samaria, men and women
had been baptized by Philip, which caused great rejoicing in those
baptized. They probably were rejoicing in consequence of having
received remission of sins, through faith, repentance, and baptism, and
of receiving some portion of the Holy Spirit of God, which naturally
followed them, after having obtained the answer of a good conscience,
by the remission of their sins. Through this portion of the Holy
Spirit, which they came in possession of, they began to see the kingdom
of God. For, it will be recollected that our Savior has declared that
no man can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again; and, in the
verse following, he says he cannot enter into it except he is born
twice; first of water, then of the Spirit. Now, those people in Samaria
had been born of water--they had received the first birth, therefore,
they were in a state of seeing the kingdom of God, of contemplating,
with the eye of faith, its various blessings, {84} privileges, and
glories; but, as they had not been born the second time--that is, of
the Spirit--they had not entered into the kingdom of God--they had not
entered into possession of Gospel privileges in their fulness. When the
apostles at Jerusalem heard of the success of Philip, they sent Peter
and John to Samaria, for the purpose of administering the laying on of
hands. Accordingly, when they arrived in Samaria, they laid their hands
upon those that had been baptized, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Simon the sorcerer, perceiving the Holy Ghost was given through the
laying on of hands, offered the apostles money of they would confer
upon him the authority of administering that sacred ordinance; so
it is plainly evident that those people in Samaria were born of the
Spirit, were introduced into the Gospel--kingdom into possession of
Gospel privileges--by means of the laying on of hands. We will adduce
another instance of the kind. It is found recorded in Acts xix. Paul,
we are told there, found twelve brethren at Ephesus, upon whom he laid
his hands, and they received the Holy Ghost immediately--viz., through
this ordinance they were born spiritually into the kingdom of God; for
previous to this they had seen the kingdom of God, having been born of
water only.

This, then, was the Gospel order in the days of the apostles--belief
on Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission
of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy
Ghost. When this order was understood, and properly attended to, power,
gifts, blessings, and glorious privileges followed immediately; and, in
every age and period, when these steps are properly attended to, and
observed in their proper place and order, the same blessings are sure
to follow; but, when neglected, either wholly or in part, there will
be either an entire absence of those blessings or a great diminishing
of them. Christ, in his commission to the apostles, speaks of some
supernatural gifts that those received who yielded obedience to this
order of things.--See Mark, last chap. Paul (1 Cor. xii.) gives a more
full account of the various gifts that attended the fulness of the
Gospel: he mentions nine of them, and informs us they are the effects
or fruits of the Holy Ghost. Now, the Holy Ghost was promised unto
all, even as many as the Lord should call.--See Acts ii. This gift
being unchangeable in its nature and operations, and being inseparately
connected by promise with this scheme or order of things, it becomes
reasonable, consistent, and Scriptural to anticipate the same gifts and
blessings; and if Noah, after having built the Ark, could claim and
obtain his temporal {85} salvation according to promise; or Joshua,
having compassed Jericho the number of times mentioned, could go up
on her prostrated walls and make captive her inhabitants; or the
Israelites, having offered up the sacrifices commanded, could then, as
promised, receive forgiveness of their sins; or Naaman, after having
complied with the injunction of Elisha, in washing seven times in
Jordan's waters, could demand and obtain his recovery; or, lastly, the
blind man, after having washed in the pool of Siloam, if he could then
claim and realize the promised reward, then, I say, with propriety
and consistency, that whenever a man will lay aside his prejudice,
sectarian notions, and false traditions, and conform to the whole
order of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then there is nothing beneath the
celestial worlds that can prevent his claiming and receiving the gift
of the Holy Ghost and all the blessings connected with the Gospel in
the apostolic age. To obtain religion that will save us in the presence
of God, we must obtain the Holy Ghost, and, in order to obtain the
Holy Ghost, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then repent of
our sin (that is, forsake them), then go forward and be immersed in
water for the remission of sins, then receive the laying on of hands.
But there is one thing which I have not noticed and it is something of
great importance. What I allude to is, that concerning the authority of
administering the ordinances of baptism and laying on of hands. Unless
they are administered by one who is actually sent of God, the same
blessings will not follow. The apostles and seventies were ordained by
Jesus Christ to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel, through
which the gifts and blessings of the eternal worlds were to be enjoyed.
Hence, Christ, says to the Apostles, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they
shall be remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be
retained:" that is, every man that would come, in humility, sincerely
repenting of his sins, and receive baptism from the apostles, should
have his sins forgiven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ,
and through the laying on of hands should receive the Holy Ghost;
but those that would refuse receiving this order of things from the
apostles would have their sins remain upon them. In view of this, Paul
says--"We are savours of life unto life, or of death unto death." He
was a minister of life unto those who received the Gospel, which he
had authority to administer--but a minister of death to those refusing
compliance. This power and authority of administering the Gospel was
conferred upon others by the apostles, so that the apostles were not
the only ones who held this responsible office. And every man, in every
{86} age, who holds the authority of administering the fulness of the
Gospel, becomes, in this respect, like the apostles, viz., a messenger
of life unto life, or of death unto death, according as his message
shall be received or rejected. Now, until some one can be found that
holds an office like this--some one having authority to baptize and lay
on hands--no one is under any obligation to receive those ordinances,
nor need he expect the blessings, unless they have been administered
legally.

It is very evident that the authority of administering in Gospel
ordinances has been lost for many centuries; for no man can have this
authority, except he receive it by direct revelation--either by the
voice of God, as Moses did, or by the ministering of angels, as John
the Baptist received his message, or by the gift of prophecy, as Paul
and Barnabas received theirs.--Acts xiii. 2. Now, it is plain that
men have denied immediate revelation for many hundred years past,
consequently have not received it, and therefore could not have been
sent of God to administer in the fulness of the Gospel. God never
sends a man on business, except He reveal himself to that man--never
sends a man with a message (in other words), unless he reveal that
message to him in a direct manner. The church established by the
apostles gradually fell away, wandered into the wilderness, and lost
her authority (her priesthood), and, departing from the order of God,
she lost, also, her gifts and graces; she transgressed the laws,
and changed the ordinances of the Gospel; changed immersion into
sprinkling, and quite neglected laying on of hands; despised prophecy,
and disbelieved in signs following.--(Rev. xii. 6, Isaiah xxiv. 5.) In
consequence of this, the Gentiles have been cut off from the fulness
of Gospel privileges, as Paul said to them in Rom. xi. 22--"If you
continue not in the goodness of God, you also shall be cut off."

John, in his Revelations, having seen and spoken of the wandering
of the church into darkness, and the beast, the Gentiles making war
against the Saints and overcoming them (xiii. 7), speaks, in chap. xiv.
6, 7, of the restoration of the Gospel--"I saw another angel fly in the
midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that
dwell on the earth." So it is evident that prophecy was to be fulfilled
at some time previous to our Savior's second advent.

That those into whose hands this Tract may fall be without excuse in
the great and coming day of the Lord, I now bear testimony, having
the highest assurance, by revelation from God, that this prophecy has
already been fulfilled, that an Angel from God has visited man in these
last days, and restored that {87} which has long been lost, even the
priesthood,--the keys of the kingdom,--the fulness of the everlasting
Gospel--and commanded men to cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye
out to meet him;" to call upon the wise virgins (Matt. xxv. 6) to arise
from their slumber, be baptized for the remission of sins, that they
might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and thereby "trim up their
lamps," and thus be prepared to stand when the Bridegroom shall appear,
for, saith Malachi iii. 2, "Who may abide the day of his coming? Who
shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and
like fullers' soap." Answer, those that now repent of their sins, and
receive the message God is sending, those that will forsake their
false traditions, and come out from under the blighting and benighting
influence of a hireling priesthood whom God has not sent, and with whom
he is not well pleased. I say, and now bear testimony, in the name
of Jesus Christ, that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has
sent me to say unto you, "Come out of her, I ye people of God, O ye
wise virgins, or else you must partake of her iniquities, and you must
receive of her plagues."--Rev. xviii. 4. I say, in the name of Jesus
Christ, the Holy Ghost having borne witness, that the anger of God is
kindled against the abominations, hypocrisy, and wickedness of the
religious world, and from the heavens has he uttered his voice in anger
against those who "divine for money and teach for hire;" and unless
they speedily repent, and be baptized for the remission of their sins,
receiving the message the Almighty is now sending unto all people, they
will be destroyed by the brightness of the coming of the Son of Man,
which is now at hand--even at your doors--O ye inhabitants of the earth!

Liverpool, England.

{88}



GOSPEL TO THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.

BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON, IN THE JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR.

Strangers ask many questions about the Temple. They want to know how
it will be used and for what purpose, and they cannot understand why
we attach such importance to that building. Perhaps some of our young
people may have similar thoughts. But the Lord has commanded His people
to build temples. Several have already been built, and doubtless many
more will in course of time be erected--in fact, as the Saints increase
in numbers the need for these buildings will increase also. In them
ordinances are administered by means of which God has promised to those
who are faithful.

It has been a subject of frequent inquiry in Christendom as to what the
fate of the heathen would be. The general belief was that there were
but two places after death to which men and women would go, one being
heaven and the other hell.

The Bible says that there is no other name given under heaven whereby
man can be saved than that of Jesus.

Now, as the heathen never heard the name of Jesus, what will be their
fate in eternity? How can they get to heaven under such circumstances?
If they cannot, the question arises, would it be just to condemn people
for not obeying laws of which they had never heard; for not doing
something which they had never been told how to do or that it was
necessary should be done?

Yet there are many men who profess to be ministers of Jesus who
state that the heathen will be sent to hell. This doctrine has made
many people infidels. They could not believe that any being could be
merciful or just who would thus punish innocent people with eternal
torment for not obeying laws of which they had never heard. They,
therefore, rejected all the teachings and all the beliefs of those who
taught such ideas.

The Prophet Joseph Smith received many important revelations in
the early days of the Church concerning these matters. Among other
revelations which he received was one {89} which explained that there
were more than two places to which the souls of men were consigned
after death; and that it was erroneous to teach the doctrine commonly
believed in by Christendom that there were only two. That revelation
taught that there were different degrees of glory to which the
inhabitants of the earth were consigned, and that men and women would
receive rewards and punishments according to the deeds done in the
body. Some men were more righteous than others, and they would receive
a greater reward. Some men would be more wicked than others, and they
would receive punishment according to their crimes.

Then the Lord also revealed to His Prophet a doctrine which is set
forth in the scriptures, but which the world could not understand. It
was that the gospel of Jesus is preached after death to those who die
in ignorance of it, and to those who having heard it, had rejected it
and had been punished therefor. The Apostle Peter sets forth in great
plainness this doctrine when he said:

"By which also he (Jesus) went and preached to the spirits in prison,
which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God
waited in the days of Noah."

Noah had declared to them how they could be saved, but they had
rejected his words, and they were destroyed. Their spirits were
committed to a prison which the Lord had prepared for them, and there
they remained in torment, being punished for their great wickedness,
until the crucifixion of the Savior. After His Spirit left His body
He went and opened the prison doors to them and declared to them the
gospel of salvation. They then had the opportunity of repenting. And
thus it is, as we are taught, in this dispensation, the Elders of
this Church are engaged, while in the spirit world awaiting their
resurrection, in preaching to the millions of human beings who once
lived upon this earth, but who died in ignorance of the gospel of Jesus
Christ. They preach to them as living Elders now hope, this heavenly
message which comes to them freighted with so many glorious promises,
and feeling humble and contrite they receive the truths which they are
taught and live as best they can according to the light given to them.

But baptism is as necessary in its place as faith and repentance.

How can they be baptised?

This is not possible in the condition in which they are placed, but the
Lord has provided means. He has revealed that living, men and women
can be baptized for those who are {90} dead. If a man's father died in
ignorance of the Gospel, the son can be baptized for and in behalf of
the father. If a woman's mother never heard the Elders or never obeyed
the Gospel in the flesh, she can go forth and be baptized in the temple
for and in behalf of her mother. Hands can be laid upon the head of the
living person, and he or she can be confirmed and the Holy Spirit be
sealed upon them for and in behalf of the dead.

The Lord has taught that this can be done under proper circumstances
in the temples which may be erected in Zion or in any of her Stakes.
Therefore in the Temple at Salt Lake as well as in the other temples,
there is a font resting upon twelve oxen, three looking to the north,
three to the south, three to the east and three to the west, and in
this font the holy ordinance of baptism can be administered to living
people for and in behalf of their dead relatives and ancestors. This
is one of the purposes for which temples are required, and not only
are baptisms and the laying on of hands administered for the dead, but
other ordinances are also administered, it being just as necessary
that those who have died and have not received these ordinances should
receive them as it is that the living should receive them. It requires
the same obedience and submission to the laws of the Lord on the part
of one class as on the part of another. If any one could have been
saved without obedience to these principles, surely our Savior, the
Son of God, could have been. He had committed no sin, and it might
be asked why should He be baptized, for baptism is for the remission
of sins. But the Savior respected the law of the Gospel and obeyed
the ordinances thereof, and when John, feeling his own unworthiness,
remonstrated with Him about His coming to be baptized, Jesus replied:
"Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all
righteousness."

We shall of necessity be a temple-building people, because there is an
immense work to be done for the redemption of the dead. Millions have
been born and have died between the time the Gospel was taken from the
earth and the time of this restoration in these days. These millions
will have to be officiated for, and this will doubtless form one of the
chief labors of the people of God during the thousand years of peace
which we are approaching, when Satan will be bound and righteousness
will reign throughout the earth. We are on the threshold of that great
era, and we have every assurance that that blessed period is not far
distant. The prophet Malachi in speaking of the latter days, makes the
following prediction:

{91} "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of
the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of
the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their
fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

The angel Moroni in speaking to the Prophet Joseph Smith in reference
to this prediction of Malachi's uses a little different language. He
quotes Malachi as saying:

"And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made
to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their
fathers; if it were not so, the whole world would be utterly wasted at
his coming."

Now as soon as the people hear the Gospel preached by the Elders, they
naturally inquire, "What has become of my father and my mother? They
were good people, but they died without being baptized. What will be
their fate?" In this way they fulfill the words of Malachi.

That spirit has filled the hearts of all the Latter-day Saints,
that is, of all who are true Latter-day Saints. They want to have
their ancestors saved as well as themselves. Their hearts naturally,
therefore, turn to their kindred who are dead, and in the temples now
built they can officiate for them as fast as they can obtain their
names. In this way they become saviors as the prophet Obadiah said they
should.

And there can be no doubt concerning the heart of the fathers being
turned to the children. It is easy to imagine that the spirits who hear
and accept the Gospel when it is preached in the spirit world by men
in authority are exceedingly anxious to receive the blessings bestowed
upon those who obey baptism, laying on of hands and other ordinances.
Therefore their heart turns to their children, and thus the words of
the prophet Malachi are fulfilled.

The prophet Elijah has appeared, as Malachi said he should, and
fulfilled the prediction upon that point. In Section 110 of the Book
of Covenants the record is to be found concerning his appearance in
the Temple at Kirtland. He came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery in that temple, and used these words:

"Behold the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of
Malachi, testifying that he (Elijah) should be sent before the great
and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers
to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth
be smitten with a curse. Therefore the keys of this dispensation are
committed into your hands, and by this ye may know that the great and
dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors."

{92}



JOSEPH SMITH AS A PROPHET.

PREDICTIONS UTTERED BY HIM AND THEIR SIGNAL FULFILMENT.

HIS PROPHETIC POWER ESTABLISHED BY THE SCRIPTURAL RULE.

_A Lecture delivered by Elder Andrew Jenson before the Students'
Society in the Social Hall, Salt Lake City, Friday Evening, January 16,
1891_.

INTRODUCTORY.

I will take for my text the following words of the Prophet Moses spoken
to the children of Israel while they were journeying in the wilderness
of Arabia.

    "The prophet who shall presume to speak a word in my name which I
    have not commanded him to speak * * * even that prophet shall die.
    And if thou say in thine heart: How shall we know the word which
    the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of
    the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the
    thing which the Lord hath not spoken; but the prophet hath spoken
    it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deut. xviii:
    20-22.

The passage which I have read may be taken as a key by which to
distinguish a true prophet from a false one. The first definition of
the word prophet, according to the standard dictionaries is, "one who
prophesies; one who foretells future events; a predicter; a foreteller;
a seer." In this light we shall proceed to test the claims of Joseph
Smith, whom the Latter-day Saints claim to be the great Prophet of
the Nineteenth Century. We claim for him that he was visited by holy
beings, who restored to him the fulness of the gospel of {93} Jesus
Christ, with authority to administer in all the ordinances of the
same; that he received from the angel Moroni certain gold plates that
had been hidden in the earth for fourteen hundred years, and that he
translated the engravings upon these plates into the English language
by the gift and power of God, the result of which was the Book of
Mormon. We further claim that he organized the Church of Christ once
more upon the earth, and that he received by direct revelation a code
of laws and commandments by which to govern the affairs of that Church,
according to the original pattern given by Jesus and His Apostles
eighteen hundred years ago. We further claim that it is of the utmost
importance for all people who desire eternal salvation, to know whether
these things are true or not. If Joseph Smith is what he professed to
be: A true Prophet of God, no one can reject his testimony without
being condemned; while on the other hand, if he was an impostor, or a
false prophet, we can reject him without fear of Divine punishment, and
the condemnation will rest upon the man who assumes to speak in the
name of the Lord presumptuously. In this lecture I shall confine myself
to his prophetic and inspired utterances by proving their fulfilment
and truthfulness mostly from a historic standpoint.

JOSEPH'S FIRST VISION.

One of the first declarations made by Joseph Smith, when he was
only a boy between fourteen and fifteen years of age, was, that the
whole Christian world had gone astray, and that the true Church
of Christ was not to be found upon the earth. What a startling
declaration! Could anything be more presumptuous on the part of a
common uneducated farmer's boy than such as assertion? Preachers of
the various denominations in the neighborhood where the boy resided
became exasperated and at once denounced him as an impostor or a fraud.
This boy had seen nothing of the world, save the tract of country in
Vermont, where he was born, and the western wilds of the State of New
York, where he now resided with his parents. He had perhaps never been
even introduced to any of the prominent divines of the day, who had
never crossed the threshold of any important institution of learning,
who had never thoroughly examined the creed of any one denomination,
much less having a knowledge of them all, who had never crossed the
ocean to acquaint himself with the great learning of Europe, with
its thousands of preachers and its universities and institutions of
learning. What did he know {94} about the creeds and organizations
existing among the millions of Christians in Europe and America, thus
to denounce them all without further ceremony. Why, even Luther, the
great reformer of the sixteenth century, with his profound learning
and thorough knowledge of the Catholic creed, did not denounce the
Roman Catholic Church in such a manner as that. He did not say it
was rejected as a whole and that it was not the Church of Christ; he
simply contended that it had incorporated into its system, doctrines,
sacraments and ordinances which were not true and not warranted in the
Bible. Luther simply desired to reform the Church, to purge it and
remove from it erroneous doctrines and wicked practices. But Joseph
Smith, without any more knowledge of the religions of the world than
what opportunities his attendance of the numerous revival meetings
held in his immediate neighborhood had given him, denounced them all
as false. Whence, then, his authority for the sweeping declaration
he made as to the condition of the so-called Christian churches? His
story is a simple, plain and unembellished one. He tells in his own
straightforward manner how, after attending the different revival
meetings without being able to conclude which of the denominations was
the right one for him to join, he went into the woods to pray to the
Lord for that wisdom which the Apostle James promises shall be given
the honest believer. The result was an attack of the power of darkness
which threatened him with destruction, then a light far above him in
the sky, then an envelopment in that light which descended upon him,
then a vision of two glorious personages standing above him in the
air, one of whom speaking to him, while pointing to the other, said:
"This is my beloved son, hear him." Here, then, was Jesus Christ being
introduced by His Father to Joseph Smith, the praying boy, who next
was informed by the Great Redeemer Himself, that all the sects of
the day were wrong, that all their creeds were an abomination in His
sight, that the modern professors and teachers taught for doctrine the
commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof; that he (Joseph) should join none of these churches, but that
the true church should be revealed to him at some future time. This,
then, was Joseph's authority, Jesus Christ himself, the Redeemer of the
world, the Son of God, He that was crucified and put to death on Mount
Calvary, but who arose triumphant from the grave, the founder, the
organizer, the head, the President of the Christian Church, explained
to Joseph Smith the condition of the world. There is no higher
authority than He. If anyone in heaven or earth has a right to {95} say
what is true Christianity, and what is not, Christ himself, the founder
of the church, has that right. With that authority to back him, Joseph
Smith had no fear that his declarations would be met with successful
contradiction. There is only one question that can present itself to
our minds in that connection, and that is: Did the boy tell the truth?
Did he really converse with Jesus Christ, or was it an imagination
of a bewildered and excited mind? We shall see as we proceed. I will
first introduce the Prophet's own testimony, concerning this his first
vision. He says in his history:

    "It has often caused me serious reflections, both then and
    since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little
    over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the
    necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor,
    should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract
    the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the
    day, so as to create in them a spirit of the hottest persecution
    and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and was often cause
    of great sorrow to myself. However it was, nevertheless, a fact,
    that I had had a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much
    like Paul when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related
    the account of the vision he had when he saw a light and heard a
    voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he
    was dishonest, others said he was mad, and he was ridiculed and
    reviled; but all this did not destroy the reality of his vision.
    He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution
    under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should
    persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know unto his last
    breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking
    to him, and all the world could not make him think or believe
    otherwise.

    "So it was with me; I had actually seen a light, and in the midst
    of that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak
    unto me, or one of them did; and though I was hated and persecuted
    for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while
    they were persecuting me, reviling me and speaking against me,
    falsely, for so saying, I was led to say in my heart, Why persecute
    for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision, and who am I
    that I can withstand God? Or why does the world think to make me
    deny what I have actually seen? For I have seen a vision. I knew
    it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither
    dare I do it, at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God
    and come under condemnation."

Since the time Joseph had this vision the Elders of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints have traversed the globe, they have visited
all the so-called Christian nations of the earth; they have examined
the creeds and organizations of the Christian sects of every land and
every clime, and have learned beyond doubt that the true Church of
Christ was not upon the earth at the time Joseph made his sweeping
declaration, and that it does not exist outside of the Church organized
{96} under the direction and authority of the Redeemer Himself by
Joseph Smith.

THE WORDS OF THE ANGEL.

On the 22nd of September, 1823, Joseph Smith, after spending the
previous night under the tutorship of the angel Moroni, was again
visited by that holy personage on the hill Cumorah in the western
part of the State of New York, and was shown the plates, which were
delivered to him four years later and from which he translated the
Book of Mormon. While standing on this historic hill, with the angel
at his side, he again received glorious instructions and warnings, and
among other things was told that when he should bring forth the Book
of Mormon, the workers of iniquity would seek his overthrow. Says the
angel:

    "They will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation, and
    also will seek to take your life; but remember this, if you are
    faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments of
    the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth; for
    in due time he will give you a commandment to come and take them.
    When they are interpreted, the Lord will give the holy Priesthood
    to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this Gospel and baptize
    by water, and after that they shall have power to give the Holy
    Ghost by the laying on of hands. Then will persecution rage more
    and more; for the iniquities of men shall be revealed, and those
    who are not built upon the rock will seek to overthrow the Church;
    but it will increase the more opposed, and spread further and
    further."

The angel further told him:

    "Your name shall be known among the nations; for the work which
    the Lord will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to
    rejoice and the wicked to rage; with the one it shall be had in
    honor and with the other in reproach." (_Historical Record, page_
    362.)

These prophetic sayings have had so literal a fulfilment that no
further explanation is necessary. If the predictions here made were
Joseph's own productions, and no angel of God had a part in it, is it
not strange that every word of it should prove true?

TRIBULATIONS PREDICTED.

In 1831 the Saints were commanded to gather to Jackson County, Mo.,
which was designated as a land of inheritance for the Saints in the
last days, and also as the identical spot where they should build
that great city, the New Jerusalem, about which the ancient Prophets
and Saints had sung, prayed and rejoiced so much. Joseph Smith had
just arrived in that {97} goodly land, together with a number of his
brethren, when a revelation, containing some very strange sayings was
given on the 1st of August, 1831. The Lord said:

    "Hearken, O ye Elders of my Church, and give ear to my word,
    and learn of me what I will concerning you, and also concerning
    this land unto which I have sent you. For verily I say unto you,
    blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in
    death; and he _that is faithful in tribulation_, the reward of
    the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. Ye cannot behold
    with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your
    God concerning these things which shall come hereafter, and the
    glory which shall _follow after much tribulation_. For after much
    tribulation cometh the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye
    shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh
    at hand. Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay
    it to heart, and receive that which shall follow." (Doc. and Cov.,
    lviii: 1-5.)

Here is an opportunity for sound reasoning. If Joseph Smith was an
impostor, and if he was trying to carry out a scheme with a view to
benefit himself financially; or if he was ambitious and seeking for
vain glory or the honor of men, could anything be more absurd than to
predict troubles and difficulties, when none such were immediately
apparent.

If a schemer was doing that which Joseph on that occasion was doing,
namely, planting a colony of his followers in one of the most desirable
sections of country within the borders of the United States, would he
not have enlarged upon the prospects ahead and predicted success and
prosperity instead of difficulties and tribulations? Most assuredly he
would. But Joseph spoke as he was directed by the Lord, and his own
desires or ambition, if any such he possessed, cut no figure in the
matter.

And now, to the fulfilment of the prophecy or revelation? No one who is
acquainted with the history of the Church will hesitate to testify that
since that time the Saints have indeed passed through much tribulation.
In less than three years after the revelation was given they were
driven from their homes in Jackson County. Three years after that they
were forced to leave their temporary possessions in Clay County, Mo.,
and still two years later, under the exterminating order of Governor
Lilburn W. Boggs, they were driven from the State of Missouri. Seven
years after their expulsion from that State, wicked mobs, after first
killing the Prophet and Patriarch in cold blood in Carthage jail, drove
the Saints from Nauvoo into the wilderness, which was full of savage
Indians; and even after coming to these mountains we have been subject
to wicked prosecutions and persecutions. If all this don't mean "much
tribulation," what does it mean?

{98}

THE GATHERING OF THE NATIONS.

In a revelation given through Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, Sept. 11,
1831, the following occurs:

    "For behold, I say unto you that Zion shall flourish, and the glory
    of the Lord shall be upon her. And she shall be an ensign unto
    the people, and there shall come to her out of every nation under
    heaven." (Doc. and Cov. 64: 41, 42.)

The many different nationalities represented in this Territory today
is conclusive proof of the fulfilment of this remarkable prophecy,
which was uttered at a time when the Church consisted of only a few
persecuted people, and the Elders had only commenced preaching in a few
of the States.

REVELATION ON WAR.

On the 25th of December, 1832, Joseph Smith received a remarkable
revelation in regard to war. I will read an extract:

    "Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the war, that will shortly
    come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which
    will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls.
    The days will come when war will be poured out upon all nations,
    beginning at that place. For behold the Southern States shall be
    divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will
    call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it
    is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order
    to defend themselves against other nations, and thus war will be
    poured out upon all nations." (Doc.& Cov., Sec. 304.)

In a communication which was written a few days later to N. C. Seaton,
editor of a paper published in Rochester, N.Y., the Prophet wrote:

    "I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ that not
    many years shall pass away before the United States shall present
    such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of
    our nation." (_Historical Record_, page 406.)

I will refer to another prediction on the same subject, which was made
by Joseph Smith in Carthage, Ill., two days before he was martyred. A
number of the officers of the troops, then stationed in Carthage, and
other persons curious to see Joseph, visited him in his room. Joseph
asked them if there was anything in his appearance which indicated that
he was the desperate character his enemies represented him to be. The
answer was:

    "No, sir; your appearance would indicate the very contrary, General
    Smith, but we cannot see what is in your heart, neither can we tell
    what are your intentions."

{99} Joseph replied:

    "Very true, gentlemen, you cannot see what is in my heart, and you
    are therefore unable to judge me or my intentions; but I can see
    what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see you
    thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. It is
    not for crime of any description that I and my brethren are thus
    continually persecuted and harassed by our enemies; but there are
    other motives, and some of them I have expressed, so far as relates
    to myself; and inasmuch as you and the people thirst for blood, I
    prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of
    blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be
    perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present
    shall have an opportunity to face the cannon's mouth from sources
    you think not of; and those people that desire this great evil upon
    me and my brethren shall be filled with regret and sorrow because
    of the scenes of desolation and distress that await them. They
    shall seek for peace and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen,
    you will find what I have told you to be true." (_Historical
    Record_, page 563.)

On the 17th of December, 1860, nearly 28 years after the above
revelation on war was given, its fulfilment commenced, for on that
day a convention assembled in Charleston, S. C., which, after three
days' deliberation, passed a resolution to the effect that the union
hitherto existing between South Carolina and the other States, under
the name of the United States of America, was dissolved. This was the
beginning of the rebellion. By the 1st of February, 1861, six other
States had followed the example of South Carolina and withdrawn from
the Union, and a new government was formed under the name of The
Confederate States of America. Not only was South Carolina the first
State to commence the rebellion, but here also, as if to cause a double
fulfilment of Joseph's prophecy, on April 12, 1861, the first gun was
fired from a Confederate battery against Fort Sumter standing at the
entrance to Charleston harbor.

The ruinous war that followed is a matter of history. The Union losses
alone, according to the report of the Provost-General, amounted to
280,397 men, who were either killed outright in battle, or who died
subsequently of wounds or diseases, not counting the thousands who were
crippled and maimed for life. The loss on the side of the Confederates
was about the same. Truly, as Joseph predicted, the United States
never witnessed such a scene of bloodshed before. The losses in the
revolutionary war, in the war of 1812, and in the war with Mexico in
1846 were only small affairs compared with this last and terrible war
of the rebellion, so accurately predicted by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
This prediction alone and its literal fulfilment should be sufficient
to convince every reasonable man {100} and woman who will take pains to
investigate the subject thoroughly, that Joseph, indeed, was a prophet
of the Living God.

CHOLERA PREDICTED.

In 1834 Joseph Smith marched from Ohio to Missouri, a distance of
about one thousand miles, as the leader of the illustrious body of men
known in Church history as Zion's Camp. On this long and wearisome
journey, some of the brethren indulged in a spirit of rebellion and
fault-finding, which was rebuked by the Prophet, first in a mild manner
and finally very strongly, as he told the brethren that the Lord had
revealed to him that a scourge would come upon the camp, in consequence
of the fractious and unruly spirit that had appeared among them. Still,
if they would repent and humble themselves before the Lord, the scourge
might, in a great measure, be turned away, "but, as the Lord lives," he
said, "the camp will have to suffer for giving way to unruly tempers."
(_Historical Record_, page 582.) This prediction was fulfilled a few
weeks later when the brethren had arrived in Clay County, Mo. On
the 21st of June, 1834, the cholera broke out in the camp and raged
fearfully for several days. Altogether sixty-eight of the Saints were
attacked with the dreadful disease and thirteen died. Finally Joseph
called some of the surviving brethren together and told them that if
they would humble themselves before the Lord and covenant to keep His
commandments, and obey his (Joseph's) counsel, the plague should be
stayed from that hour and there should not be another case of cholera
among them. The brethren covenanted to that effect and the plague was
stayed.

ASTRONOMY OF ABRAHAM.

July 3, 1835, a man by the name of Michael H. Chandler came to
Kirtland, Ohio, to exhibit four Egyptian mummies, together with some
two or more rolls of papyrus, covered with hieroglyphic figures and
devices. They had been obtained from one of the catacombs of Egypt,
(near a place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes) by the
celebrated Antonio Sebolo, in the year 1831. Joseph Smith, upon
examining the rolls of papyrus, discovered that one of them contained
the writings of Abraham and another the writings of Joseph who was sold
into Egypt. The whole collection was bought by the Saints, and Joseph
subsequently translated the writings of Abraham which, together with
a number of illustration, were published in the _Times and Seasons_,
at Nauvoo, Ill., {101} in 1843, and which we now have in the little
excellent work called the Pearl of Great Price, under the caption
of the Book of Abraham. This book, besides giving a history of the
creation of the earth and man, also introduces a new doctrine in
regard to astronomy. It tells of a planet called Kolob, near which is
the throne of God, and around which everything in the great universe
revolves in regular order. At that time the generally accepted theory
among astronomers was that, with the exception of the few planets
(among which is our own earth) which sweep regularly around the sun,
all the heavenly bodies called stars, were fixed or stationary, and
that the sun, furnishing light and warmth for our earth, besides being
the centre of gravitation for our solar system, was the nearest fixed
or stationary star. Hence, when Joseph Smith, in the astronomy of
Abraham, introduced the doctrine that there was a grand centre set
far beyond the limits of our own solar system, he was derided by not
a few, who ascribed the idea to his ignorance, in not having even a
superficial knowledge of the principles of astronomy. But the theories
of men change as the Lord gives them more light and intelligence, and
today the doctrine advanced in the Book of Abraham is a generally
accepted one among astronomers. In proof of this I will introduce the
following extract of a letter from Lieutenant M. F. Maury, of the
United States Navy, a man acknowledged on all sides as one of the most
eminent scientific men living, dated, Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 1855.

    "It is a curious fact that the revelations of science have led
    astronomers of our day to the discovery that the sun is not the
    dead center of motion around which comets sweep and planets whirl;
    but that it, with its splendid retinue of worlds and satellites,
    is revolving through the realms of space, at the rate of millions
    of miles in a year, and in obedience to some influence situated
    precisely in the direction of the star Alcyon, one of the Pleiades.
    We do not know how far off in the immensities of space that center
    of revolving cycles and epicycles may be; nor have our oldest
    observers or nicest instruments been able to tell us how far off in
    the skies that beautiful cluster of stars is hung, whose influences
    man can never bind. In this question alone, and the answer to it
    are involved both the recognition and exposition of the whole
    theory of gravitation." (Family Bible, published by Henry S.
    Goodspeed & Co., New York, page 18.)

Here is another proof that Joseph was a prophet and an inspired man,
and that the Book of Abraham is true.

LOCATION OF ANCIENT EDEN.

In 1832 Joseph Smith made the startling declaration that the Garden
of Eden had its existence on the American continent--even {102} in
Jackson County, Mo. People as a rule ridiculed the idea and thought
Joseph very ignorant indeed in not knowing that which every school
boy at that time was supposed to know, that Asia was the cradle of
mankind. And when he further declared that the Grand River Valley in
Daviess County, Mo., was the valley in which Adam our father had lived
and that he (Joseph) on an adjoining hill had discovered the remnants
of an altar upon which the great Patriarch had offered sacrifice,
the world thought that Joseph Smith was either a religious crank, a
blasphemer or a fool. I will introduce an item of history in order to
make this more plain. It was in the summer of 1838 when the Saints were
flocking into Missouri from different parts of the country that it
became evident that there would not be room for all to settle in the
immediate vicinity of Far West, or in Caldwell County. The Prophet,
therefore, together with others, started out to select other gathering
places. Arriving at a hill where there was a fine spring of water, at
a point where Grand River suddenly changes its course from a southerly
to an easterly direction, he was struck with the natural beauty of the
country and also with what he thought would be a fine townsite on the
slope of the hill. Accordingly, the accompanying surveyors began their
work of running lines for streets and lots, and it was decided to name
the place Spring Hill; but they had not proceeded far when the Lord,
on May 19, 1838, gave a revelation through the Prophet Joseph, naming
the place Adam-ondi-Ahman, "because," said the Lord, "it is the place
where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall
sit, as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet." (Doc. and Cov., sec. 116.)
Joseph was also told that it was the place where Adam, as mentioned
in a previous revelation, three years before his death, blessed his
posterity, when they rose up and called him Michael the Prince, the
Archangel; and he, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted what should
befall his posterity to the latest generations. (Doc. and Cov., 107:
53-56.)

With all the claims of our American people, none, so far as I know, had
up to that time imagined for our country the honor of being the home
of our first parents, but since then it has become a favorite theory
with many. A few years after Joseph had proclaimed that the great
Mississippi Valley was the first home of man, the learned antiquarian,
Samuel L. Mitchell of New York, with other gentlemen eminent for their
knowledge of natural history, advanced the theory that America was the
land where Adam dwelt. He supported his theory by tracing the progress
of colonies westward from America {103} over the Pacific Ocean to new
settlements in Europe and Africa. (_Juvenile Instructor_, vol. 9: 278).
Other scientists have reasoned elaborately from the relics found in
different parts of North and South America, and have proven that the
Western Continent was inhabited before the flood. Now, if Adam dwelt
in America, Noah also dwelt here and must have built his ark on this
continent. Without entering into a detailed argument to prove this,
I will simply read the following from an able and lengthy article
entitled "Old America," written by G. M. O., and published in the ninth
volume of the _Juvenile Instructor_:

    "Modern science has given us very accurately drawn charts of the
    course of the wind through the atmosphere surrounding us. We have
    no reason to believe these wind currents have changed since the
    creation. Now the prevailing current of wind over the central part
    of North America is from the west, and possibly this was the course
    followed by the tornado during the deluge. Now if the ark had been
    built in Armenia, where the mountain Ararat is situated, and it is
    found that the wind and currents have general eastern direction,
    the ark would, during the one hundred and fifty days or five months
    of the deluge (that is from the commencement until the waters
    gained their greatest depth), have gone in an eastern course, say
    at the rate of about forty miles a day, some six thousand miles,
    or beyond China; or if it floated faster, it would have left the
    ark somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. This would be an unreasonable
    theory to adopt, being entirely inconsistent. But the ark being
    built in America, somewhere, we may imagine in the latitude of
    Missouri, when taken up by the eastern-borne current, and wafted
    by the hurricane following the same course, it is not out of the
    way to suppose it to have progressed as far as Ararat, some six or
    seven thousand miles from America, even had it traveled at a more
    rapid rate than forty or fifty miles a day. Over sixteen hundred
    years had passed from the creation until the ark was finished.
    In this time mankind had increased and multiplied and spread out
    far beyond the country around Eden (the Mississippi Valley), as
    signs of an antediluvian population indicate, and we may suppose
    the ark was built some distance east of the Garden, between the
    States of New York and Missouri. Couple this supposition with
    the circumstances connected with the flood, the current flowing
    from America, with the fact of the ark's resting in an easterly
    direction from this country, and we can form no other reasonable
    conclusion than that here the miraculous vessel was constructed and
    freighted with its treasure of animal life, and the progenitors
    designated and set apart to renew the human race. That the ancient
    Americans knew of the deluge is beyond dispute, as we have
    several versions of the story of the flood that have been handed
    down as tradition by different nations, and in one instance we
    have a picture-written description of it, an old Toltec record,
    fortunately preserved from the wholesale destruction that followed
    the conquest."

Suffice it to say that it is no longer considered an absurd theory
that America was the cradle of man, and the home of Adam, Noah and the
other antediluvian patriarchs, but it has {104} taken many years of
patient study and thorough investigation of scientific problems for
men of learning to come to the same conclusion that Joseph Smith did
by revelation between fifty and sixty years ago. The following was
published in the DESERET NEWS of Sept. 18, 1888:

    "A CORROBORATIVE DISCOVERY.

    "A short time ago the Washington _Post_ made a remarkable statement
    regarding the location of the Garden of Eden. It announced that Dr.
    Campbell of Versailles had lately discovered that it was on this
    continent, and near where St. Louis now stands. That gentleman,
    according to the _Post_, asserted that the Mississippi River is the
    Euphrates of Scripture, and that the Bible furnishes evidence of
    the correctness of his conclusions.

    "It is probable that Dr. Campbell is not aware of the fact that he
    is not the discoverer of what he now announces, the Prophet Joseph
    Smith having many years ago stated that the Garden of Eden was
    located in what is now known as the State of Missouri. The Prophet
    also pointed out the precise spot where Adam offered sacrifice to
    the Lord, and where, as the great patriarchal head of the race,
    he blessed his children previous to his departure from the earth.
    That sacred spot in Missouri was designated by the Prophet as
    Adam-ondi-Aham, the meaning of which is--the land where Adam dwelt."

My conclusion is this: If scientific men, by the evidences produceable
at this late day can indicate that the Garden of Eden was at or near
the place where St. Louis, Mo., now stands, the Lord, who originally
planted the garden himself, could designate the exact spot and tell
His prophet that that first garden, the original paradise of man, was
located in Jackson County, Mo., just 150 miles northwest of St. Louis.

In connection with this, I desire to relate a little experience of my
own. About two years ago, in company with Elders Edward Stevenson and
Joseph S. Black, I visited Adam-ondi-Ahman, in Missouri, and as we
stood upon the site of the altar that I have referred to and looked
over the beautiful valley lying south and east of us, I said to myself,
"Can it be possible that these stones--fragments of which I held in my
hand--were once parts of the altar upon which our first parent offered
sacrifice to God?"

I had previously listened to the testimony of Presidents Wilford
Woodruff, A. O. Smoot and other men of prominence and unimpeachable
character, to the effect that they were present with the Prophet Joseph
in 1838 when the glorious facts relating to that particular tract of
country were revealed. But I desired a direct testimony from the Lord
concerning the matter, and consequently made it a subject of prayer.
And I desire, on this occasion, to bear my testimony that I received
{105} an answer to my prayer sufficient to convince me that these
things are true.

MIRACULOUS ESCAPE PREDICTED.

On the 31st of October, 1838, Joseph and a number of his brethren,
all prominent men in the Church, were betrayed by Col. George M.
Hinkle into the hands of the mob militia who had surrounded Far West,
Mo., determined to sack the town. Although Joseph had only been in
Missouri a few months and had not done the least harm to a single
soul there, nearly the whole population of that State, including its
highest officers, both civil and military, had become so exasperated,
through the stream of lies which had been circulated through the
country concerning the Saints and their motives, that they had fully
determined to kill the leaders of the Church; and there were scores in
that mob militia camp to which Joseph and his brethren were brought
that memorable day who would have considered it a great honor to put to
death Joseph and his fellow-prisoners. They knew also that there would
be no danger of them being brought to justice for such a deed, even if
they should assassinate them without orders from any commander. It was
on this occasion that the mobbers cursed and shouted like mad-men and
swore that Joseph and those with him should never see their friends
or families again alive; and to prove that this was not the boast
and threat of the common soldier only, I will refer you to what John
Clark, the head general and commander of the whole militia, said in his
notorious speech which he delivered before the brethren at Far West,
after he had made them prisoners of war. Referring to Joseph and his
fellow prisoners, who then were on the road to Jackson County in the
hands of Gen. Lucas and his army, General Clark said:

    "As for your leaders, do not once think--do not imagine for
    a moment--do not let it enter your minds, that they will be
    delivered, or that you will see their faces again, for their _fate
    is fixed_, THEIR DIE IS CAST, THEIR DOOM IS SEALED."

But while, from a human standpoint, it seemed absolutely impossible for
Joseph and his brethren to escape from their enemies alive, Joseph rose
up in the spirit of his prophetic calling, and prophesied that they ALL
should be delivered alive. Parley P. Pratt, one of the prisoners with
Joseph, writes the following:

    "As we arose and commenced our march on the morning of the 3rd of
    November, Joseph Smith spoke to me and the other prisoners {106}
    in a low but cheerful and confidential tone. Said he: 'Be of good
    cheer, brethren; the word of the Lord came to me last night that
    our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer
    during this captivity, not one of our lives should be taken.'

    "Of this prophecy I testify in the name of the Lord, and though
    spoken in secret, its public fulfilment and the miraculous escape
    of each one of us is too notorious to need my testimony."--Parley
    P. Pratt's Aut., page 210.

Notwithstanding the fact that they were sentenced on two or three
different occasions to be shot, that several attempts were made to
poison them while incarcerated in filthy dungeons; that forty men at
a certain time and place entered into a conspiracy that they would
neither eat nor drink until they had killed the "Mormon Prophet," all
the brethren in due course of time, escaped from their persecutors and
would-be murderers, and, although they suffered as only few men have
suffered, they arrived safely, and all alive, among their friends in
Illinois. This surely is another proof of Joseph Smith's prophetic
gift, while General Clark at the same time is proven to be a false
prophet.

PREDICTIONS ABOUT COMING TO THE MOUNTAINS.

Under date of Saturday, August 6, 1842, Joseph wrote:

    "I passed over the river to Montrose, Iowa, in company with General
    Adams, Col. Brewer and others and witnessed the installation of
    the officers of the Rising Sun Lodge of Ancient York Masons at
    Montrose, by General James Adams, deputy grand master of Illinois.
    While the deputy grand master was engaged in giving the requisite
    instructions to the master elect, I had a conversation with a
    number of brethren in the shade of the building on the subject of
    our persecution in Missouri and the constant annoyance which had
    followed us since we were driven from that State. I prophesied
    that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would
    be driven to the Rocky Mountains; many would apostatize, others
    would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in
    consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to
    go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the
    Saints become a mighty people in the Rocky Mountains." (_Historical
    Record_, page 487.)

I need spend no time to prove the fulfilment of this remarkable
prophecy. All of you who are present in this hall tonight can testify
to its literal fulfilment. The Latter-day Saints have indeed become
a mighty people in these mountains, numbering as they do now about
two hundred thousand souls, organized into thirty-two Stakes of Zion,
or nearly five hundred wards and branches; and this does not include
the Saints in Mexico and Canada. It is also a matter of history {107}
that the Saints, for years after the prediction was uttered, continued
to suffer persecution and affliction from their enemies; that many
apostatized, while others, who proved faithful and true to their
covenants, were put to death for conscience sake, and the remainder
were driven by a ruthless mob from the beautiful city of Nauvoo into
the western wilderness in the year 1846.

ESCAPE FROM ENEMIES PREDICTED.

Early in the year 1844, while the spirit of renewed persecution was
brooding in Hancock County, Illinois, Joseph was inspired to make
preparations for sending an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, to
seek out a new location for the Saints, as it had been revealed to
him that they would not be permitted to remain much longer in their
Illinois homes. On Sunday, Feb. 25, 1844, while the Prophet was engaged
in selecting brethren to go on this expedition, he gave them some
important instructions, and prophesied, "that within five years the
Saints should be out of the power of their old enemies, whether they
were apostates or of the world;" and the Prophet also told the brethren
to record it, that when it came to pass, they need not say they had
forgotten the saying. (_Historical Record_, page 542.)

Five years after this prediction was uttered the Saints had been driven
from Nauvoo; the noble band of Pioneers had, under the guidance of
Jehovah, been led to these valleys in 1847, about three years after the
prediction was made; and in 1849 (five years after) the bulk of the
exiles from Nauvoo had gathered here, thirteen hundred miles from their
Illinois persecutors.

STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.

I will now refer you to another most remarkable prophecy and its
fulfilment. Among the prominent men of Illinois, who befriended the
Saints when they were expelled from Missouri, was Stephen A. Douglas,
afterwards known as the "Little Giant," and who became one of the great
statesman of our nation. This man continued friendly to the Saints
for many years, and especially to Joseph Smith, in whose case he, as
an Illinois district judge, rendered a fair and impartial decision
at Monmouth, June 10, 1841, at a time when the Missourians were
endeavoring to get Joseph Smith into their power. After that he and
the Prophet exchanged visits, and on one occasion when Joseph dined
with him in Carthage, Illinois, May 18, 1843, {108} he listened to a
lengthy explanation from the Prophet about the Missouri persecutions.
Winding up the conversation, Joseph spoke of the dire effects that
would flow to the nation if the United States should refuse to redress
the wrongs of murder, arson and robbery committed against the Saints in
Missouri and the crimes committed upon the Saints by the officers of
the government. Turning to Judge Douglas he said:

"You will aspire to the presidency of the United States, and if ever
you turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will
feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you will
live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you, for the
conversation of this day will stick to you through life."

This remarkable prophecy concerning Judge Douglas personally has had
a literal fulfilment. Judge Douglas continued to rise in prominence
in the nation as long as he remained a friend to the Saints. But,
finally he turned against them, and at the time the excitement ran
high against the "Mormons" in 1857, and preparations were being made
to send an army against the people of Utah, Judge Douglas thought he
would add a little to the great popularity he had already achieved
by doing the most popular thing that could be done at the time,
namely, denouncing the "Mormons." Hence, in a political speech which
he delivered in Springfield, Ill., June 12th, 1857, and which was
published in the _Missouri Republican_ of June 18th following and
partly republished with comments in the DESERET NEWS of September 2nd,
1857, Senator Douglas attacked the Saints in Utah in a most fierce and
unwarranted manner, and among many other bitter expressions which he
made, he called "Mormonism, a loathsome, disgusting ulcer," to which
he recommended that Congress apply the knife and cut it out. In the
DESERET NEWS of the date mentioned, the prophecy of Joseph Smith was
republished with warning remarks, directed to Mr. Douglas, who at that
time, in fulfilment of Joseph's words, was already aspiring to the
presidency of the United States. In the campaign of 1860 he became
the candidate of the Independent Democratic party for that position.
It is asserted that no man ever entered into a campaign with brighter
prospects of success than did Senator Douglas on that occasion. His
friends viewed him as sure to be seated in the Presidential chair,
because of his great popularity. But, alas, he and his friends had
reckoned without Divine interposition. He had lifted his hands against
the Saints of the Most High God and denounced the people whom {109} he
knew to be innocent and whom he ought to have defended. The result was
that he was sadly defeated at the election, as he only received two
electoral votes against seventeen cast for Abraham Lincoln (Republican)
and eleven cast for J. C. Breckenridge (Democrat).

When the result of the election became known in Utah Apostle Orson Hyde
published the following in the DESERET NEWS of December 12, 1860:

    "EPHRAIM, Utah Ter., Nov. 27, 1860.

    "Will the Judge now acknowledge that Joseph Smith was a true
    Prophet? If he will not, does he recollect a certain conversation
    had with Mr. Smith at the house of Sheriff Backenstos, in Carthage,
    Illinois, in the year 1843, in which Mr. Smith said to him: 'You
    will yet aspire to the presidency of the United States. But if you
    ever raise your hand, or your voice against the Latter-day Saints,
    you shall never be President of the United States.'

    "Does Judge Douglas recollect that in a public speech delivered
    by him in the year 1857, at Springfield, Illinois, of comparing
    the Mormon community, then constituting the inhabitants of Utah
    Territory, to a 'loathsome ulcer on the body politic,' and of
    recommending the knife to be applied to cut it out?

    "Among other things the Judge will doubtless recollect that I was
    present and heard the conversation between him and Joseph Smith, at
    Mr. Backenstos' residence in Carthage, before alluded to.

    "Now, Judge, what think you about Joseph Smith and Mormonism?

    ORSON HYDE."

A few months later, or in June, 1861, Judge Douglas died in
disappointment and grief. Never has the saying of any Prophet of God
been more literally and minutely fulfilled than the prediction made by
the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning this man.

CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.

Some have thought that Joseph Smith was an enthusiast or a religious
fanatic, and that his prophetic utterances were the result of his
impulsive nature or visionary mind. But such was not the case.
When he was under the influence of the Spirit of God his mind was
perfectly calm and collected, and his countenance beamed with heavenly
intelligence.

While some of his contemporaries allowed their zeal and enthusiasm to
lead them into erroneous expectations, he would reason with them calmly
and endeavor to balance their minds. To illustrate this I will relate
an incident that transpired shortly before he suffered martyrdom:

A man by the name of Miller, the founder of the sect known as
Millerites, was preaching to the people in the Eastern States in 1844,
that the Savior would make His appearance that {110} year. This caused
considerable excitement at the time, and a number of people were quite
alarmed about it. Joseph Smith hearing of these predictions, declared
that they would not be fulfilled, and said he, "I will take the
responsibility upon myself to prophesy in the name of the Lord, that
Christ will not come this year, as Father Miller has prophesied, and I
also prophesy that Christ will not come in forty years; and if God ever
spoke by my mouth, he will not come in that length of time. Brethren,
when you go home, write this down that it may be remembered."

More than forty years have passed since 1844; hence here we again have
Joseph proven to be a true Prophet, while Father Miller missed it very
much.

THE THREE WITNESSES.

When Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon, with Oliver
Cowdery as scribe, the following words of Moroni directed to the
translator, occurred in the translation:

    "Behold ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto
    those who shall assist to bring forth this work (meaning the Book
    of Mormon). And unto three shall they be shown by the power of
    God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are
    true. And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be
    established, and the testimony of three and this work * * * shall
    stand as a testimony against the world at the last day."--Ether v:
    2-4.

Here is a positive promise that the plates of the Book of Mormon should
be shown to three "by the power of God." I will now read the testimony
of three men who, as soon as this promise was made known, desired of
the Lord to be chosen as these three special witnesses, and who, when
their desire was granted, prepared and signed the following:

    "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people unto
    whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the
    Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which
    contain this record--which is the record of the people of Nephi,
    and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people
    of Jared, who come from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we
    also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of
    God, for His voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a
    surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen
    the engravings which are upon the plates, and they have been shown
    unto us by the power of God, and not of man; and we declare with
    words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and
    he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the
    plates and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the
    grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld
    and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous
    {111} in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us
    that we should bear record of it: wherefore, to be obedient unto
    the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we
    know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments
    of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment
    seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens.
    And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
    Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

    OLIVER COWDERY,

    DAVID WHITMER,

    MARTIN HARRIS."

This is plain, strong testimony. Joseph Smith or any other man could
easily enough have made a promise like the one made in the 5th chapter
of Ether, but he could not have called down an angel from heaven, nor
caused the voice of God to be heard, in order to have the promise
fulfilled. The Lord only could fulfill this prediction, and he did
it, in his own way, time and place. But, says the skeptic, the three
witnesses subsequently left the Church and deserted Joseph Smith.
Yes, that is true, and this is what makes their testimony of ten-fold
more weight. If their testimonies were not true, if any fraud or
deception had been practiced in regard to the coming forth of the Book
of Mormon they would undoubtedly have exposed the same as soon as the
break occurred between Joseph Smith and themselves. But the facts are
these: They always remained true to their testimony, even in their
darkest hours. Then why did they leave the Church? They fell into
transgression; they sinned against God and had to be dealt with the
same as other transgressors; for although a man may have seen angels
and had glorious visions, etc., he has no license to any more than
those less favored.

We will now briefly allude to the individual witnesses:

Oliver Cowdery, after his excommunication in Far West, April 11, 1838,
engaged in law business and practiced for some years as a lawyer in
Michigan, but he never denied the truth of the Book of Mormon. On
the contrary, he seems to have used every opportunity he had to bear
testimony of its divine origin. While in Michigan, a gentleman, on a
certain occasion, addressed him as follows: "Mr. Cowdery, I see your
name attached to this book. If you believe it to be true, why are you
in Michigan?" The gentleman then read the names of the Three Witnesses
and asked: "Mr. Cowdery, do you believe this book?" "No, sir," was
the reply. "Very well," continued the gentleman, "but your name is
attached to it, and you declare here (pointing to the book) that you
saw an angel, and also the plates, from which the book purports to be
translated; {112}and now you say you don't believe it. Which time did
you tell the truth?" Oliver Cowdery replied with emphasis, "My name
is attached to that book, and what I there have said is true. I did
see this; I know I saw it, and faith has nothing to do with it, as a
perfect knowledge has swallowed up the faith which I had in the work,
knowing, as I do, that it is true."

At a special conference held at Kanesville, Iowa, October 21, 1848,
Oliver Cowdery was present and made the following remarks:

    "Friends and Brethren.--My name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery. In the
    early history of this Church I stood identified with her, and one
    in her councils. True it is that the gifts and callings of God
    are without repentance; not because I was better than the rest of
    mankind was I called; but to fulfill the purposes of God, He called
    me to a high and holy calling.

    "I wrote, with my own pen, the entire Book of Mormon (save a few
    pages) as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as
    he translated it by the gift and power of God, by the means of
    the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'holy
    interpreters.' I beheld with my eyes, and handled with my hands,
    the gold plates from which it was transcribed. I also saw with
    my eyes and handled with my hands the 'holy interpreters.' That
    book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it; Mr. Spaulding did
    not write it; I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the
    Prophet. It contains the Everlasting Gospel, and came forth to the
    children of men in fulfilment of the revelations of John, where he
    says he saw an angel come with the Everlasting Gospel to preach to
    every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It contains principles of
    salvation; and if you, my hearers, will walk by its light and obey
    its precepts, you will be saved with an everlasting salvation in
    the kingdom of God on high. Brother Hyde has just said that it is
    very important that we keep and walk in the true channel, in order
    to avoid the sandbars. This is true. The channel is here. The holy
    Priesthood is here.

    "I was present with Joseph when an holy angel from God came down
    from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic
    Priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain
    upon the earth while the earth stands.

    "I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchisedek
    Priesthood was conferred by holy angels from on high. This
    Priesthood we then conferred on each other, by the will and
    commandment of God. This Priesthood, as was then declared, is also
    to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This holy
    Priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and is just
    as good and valid as though God had done it in person.

    "I laid my hands upon that man--yes, I laid my right hand upon his
    head (pointing to Brother Hyde), and I conferred upon him this
    Priesthood, and he holds that Priesthood now. He was also called
    through me, by the prayer of faith, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus
    Christ."

{113}Soon afterwards Oliver Cowdery was rebaptized, but while making
preparations to come to Utah, he was suddenly stricken with death
in Richmond, Mo., March 3rd, 1850. Elder Phinehas H. Young, who was
present when he died, testifies:

    "His last moments were spent in bearing testimony of the truth of
    the Gospel revealed through Joseph Smith, and the power of the Holy
    Priesthood which he had received through his administration."

David Whitmer, who died in Richmond, Mo., Jan. 25th, 1888, was also
true to his testimony until the last, although he never united himself
with the Church after his excommunication in 1838. During the last few
years of his life he was frequently visited by representatives of the
press and many others, to whom he would always bear strong and faithful
testimonies of the divinity of the Book of Mormon.

On one occasion when the report reached him that he was accused by
a certain party of having denied his former testimony, he wrote the
following, which was published in the Richmond (Mo.) _Conservator_ of
March 25, 1881:

    _Unto all Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and People, unto whom these
    presents shall come_:

    "It having been represented by one John Murphy, of Polo, Caldwell
    County, Missouri, that I, in a conversation with him last summer,
    denied my testimony as one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of
    Mormon.

    "To the end, therefore, that he may understand me now, if he did
    not then; and that the world may know the truth, I wish now,
    standing as it were, in the very sunset of life, and in the fear of
    God, once for all to make this public statement:

    "That I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part
    thereof, which has so long since been published with that book, as
    one of the Three Witnesses. Those who know me best, well know that
    I have always adhered to that testimony. And that no man may be
    misled or doubt my present views in regard to the same, I do again
    affirm the truth of all my statements as then made and published.

    "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear; it was no delusion;
    what is written is written, and he that readeth let him understand.
    * * * * * *

    "In the Spirit of Christ, who hath said: 'Follow thou me, for I am
    the life, the light and the way,' I submit this statement to the
    world; God in whom I trust being my judge as to the sincerity of my
    motives and the faith and hope that is in me of eternal life.

    "My sincere desire is that the world may be benefited by this plain
    and simple statement of the truth.

    "And all the honor to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,
    which is one God. Amen!

    DAVID WHITER, SEN. RICHMOND, Mo., March 19, 1881.

{114}Three days before his death Mr. Whitmer called his family and
some friends to his bedside and addressing himself to the attending
physician, said:

    "'Dr. Buchanan, I want you to say whether or not I am in my right
    mind, before I give my dying testimony.'

    "The doctor answered: 'Yes, you are in your right mind, for I have
    just had conversation with you.'

    "He then addressed himself to all around his bedside in these
    words: 'Now you must all be faithful in Christ, I want to say to
    you all, the Bible and the record of the Nephites (Book of Mormon)
    is true, so you can say that you have heard me bear my testimony on
    my death-bed. All be faithful in Christ, and your reward will be
    according to your works. God bless you all. My trust is in Christ
    forever, worlds without end. Amen.'"

Martin Harris also absented himself from the Church for many years,
but was always true to his testimony in regard to the Book of Mormon.
He finally emigrated to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City, August 30,
1870, in care of Elder Edward Stevenson. He located in Smithfield,
Cache County, and later in Clarkson, where he died July 10, 1875, being
nearly ninety-three years of age.

A few hours before his death, when prostrated with great weakness,
Bishop Simon Smith came into his room; Martin Harris stretched forth
his hands to salute him and said: "Bishop, I am going." The Bishop told
him that he had something of importance to tell him in relation to the
Book of Mormon, which was to be published in the Spanish language, by
the request of Indians in Central America. Upon hearing this, Martin
Harris brightened up, his pulsation improved, and, although very weak,
he began to talk as he formerly had done previous to his sickness. He
conversed for about two hours, and it seemed that the mere mention of
the Book of Mormon put new life into him.

It will also be remembered that Martin Harris, soon after his arrival
in Utah, spoke to a large congregation of Saints and strangers in the
Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, where he bore a faithful testimony to the
truth of the Book of Mormon.

Also the eight witnesses, whose testimony is published in the Book of
Mormon after the testimony of the three witnesses, remained true to
their testimonies until the last; they are all dead now.

THE SIGNS FOLLOWING THE BELIEVERS.

In December, 1830, a few months after the Church was {115} organized in
Fayette, N.Y., with six members, the following predictions were made:

    "I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water,
    and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
    even as the Apostles of old. * * * For I am God, and mine arm is
    not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs and wonders unto all
    those who believe on my name. And whoso shall ask it in my name in
    faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they
    shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear,
    and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk; and the time speedily
    cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of
    men."--Doc. & Cov. xxxv: 6-10.

Again, in September, 1832, in a revelation given to Joseph Smith and
six Elders, "as they unveiled their hearts and lifted their voices on
high," the following glorious promises were made:

    "Therefore, as I said unto mine Apostles I say unto you again, that
    every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water
    for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost; and these
    signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall do many
    wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out devils; in my name
    they shall heal the sick; in my name they shall open the eyes of
    the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the
    dumb shall speak; and if any man shall administer poison unto them
    it shall not hurt them; and the poison of a serpent shall not have
    power to harm them." Doc. and Cov., 84, 64-72.

If Joseph Smith had been an impostor and his revelations consequently
not genuine, would he have dared to make promises like those contained
in the forgoing? Could anything have proven more disastrous to his
schemes than to promise people gifts which were not in his power to
give? If he was not a servant of God would he not studiously have
avoided to connect the Lord with any of his schemes in such a way?
Could he imagine that God would sanction his doings by pouring out his
gifts and blessings upon people who were being deceived by a wicked
impostor? Certainly not. If Joseph Smith was not called of God he would
have had to re-echo the old, old sectarian song from the dark ages:
These things (the gifts and blessings following the believer) have
ceased, because they are no longer necessary. It is a well-known fact
that the signs which were promised by the Savior and enumerated in St.
Mark, 16th chapter, 17th and 18th verses, did follow the believers. The
Acts of the Apostles are full of examples of this kind. It is also a
known fact that when Christianity in the days of Constantine the Great,
and later became mixed up with Paganism and was then made the State
Religion of {116} the Roman empire, and the people were compelled at
the edge of the sword to accept it, that these signs did not follow the
members of this false church. But when the clergy, in order to blind
the masses, told the people that the reason why the members did not
enjoy these blessings, as in former years, was that they were no longer
necessary, they told a deliberate falsehood. The real cause was that
this apostate church had "transgressed the law, changed the ordinance
and broken the everlasting covenant," and that Christ did not recognize
this new form of so-called Christianity as His doctrines of salvation,
nor accept of the order of their organization as anything akin to the
Church organized by Himself and His Apostles. Hence, He withheld His
gifts, signs and blessings from them, and for hundreds of years they
were unknown so far as church gifts were concerned.

An anecdote that I heard a friend relate several years ago will
illustrate the contrast between the true Church of Christ and fallen
Christianity. A prominent cardinal of the Roman Catholic church, on
a certain occasion, visited the Pope of Rome, and together with him
examined the contents of the treasure chamber at the Vatican where
gold, diamonds and other costly things were deposited. While gazing
upon the costly treasures the Pope remarked. "We can not truthfully say
now as Peter and John said anciently that we have no silver and gold."
"No, that is true," answered the cardinal, "and there is something else
we cannot say. We cannot command the lame in the name of Jesus Christ
to arise and walk."

We all remember the beautiful story related in the third chapter of
the Acts of the Apostles, of a certain man who had been lame from his
mother's womb and who daily lay at the gate of the Temple of Jerusalem
to ask alms of those who entered; and how he, seeing Peter and John
about to go in, also asked them for alms. Peter, after fastening his
eyes upon the cripple, together with John, said, being moved upon by
the power of God: "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give
I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And
he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his
feet and ankle bones received strength. And he, leaping up, stood and
walked, and entered with them into the Temple, walking and leaping, and
praising God.

The contrast is this: The Apostles of the true Church had no silver
and gold, for they had been sent out to preach without purse or scrip;
but they possessed the power of God to such an extent that they healed
the sick, the lame, the blind, etc. The Catholic Church is wealthy,
has plenty of silver and {117} gold, but not the power of God. Joseph
Smith was also poor as regards this world's goods, but he was powerful
in the Priesthood, and in the strength of the Lord, and hundreds were
healed under his administrations. How then about the promises made
in the revelations from which I have quoted? The answer is easily
given and can be stated briefly. They have been fulfilled to the very
letter. There are thousands in the Church who can testify and who do
bear testimony continually to the effect that the gifts and blessings
follow the believers, who have embraced the Gospel as restored through
Joseph Smith. Not only in the United States, but in Europe, upon the
islands of the sea, and in all parts of the world where the Gospel has
been preached by our Elders, have the sick been healed under their
administration, the lame have received their strength, the blind have
been restored to their sight and the deaf to their hearing; evil
spirits have been cast out; the gifts of prophecy, of tongues, the
interpretation of tongues, and, in short, all the gifts and blessings
enjoyed by the former-day Saints have been and are now being enjoyed
by the Latter-day Saints. Our books, pamphlets, papers and periodicals
are full of instances of this kind, and should an attempt be made to
gather, compile and publish testimonies of this nature, we would have
material enough for a book larger than the Bible and Book of Mormon
combined. In the face of all these testimonies, what additional proofs
do we need to establish the fact that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet.

CONCLUSION.

Time will not permit me to multiply proofs any further, although I have
only presented a few of the many that might be cited. But in the fact
of the evidence already adduced, I claim positively that no one has the
right to denounce Joseph Smith as a false prophet, for in the light of
the key given by Moses, he must of necessity be a true prophet, as the
things spoken by him in the name of the Lord have come to pass. Even
his most bitter opponents have failed in one solitary instance to prove
his prophetic utterances false. Add to this the consistency of his
life, his almost unparalleled zeal in bearing testimony of the things
the Lord revealed to him, and this in the midst of the most trying
persecutions, sufferings, imprisonments and trials to which he was
constantly subjected, during his entire life, and finally his martyrdom
in Carthage jail for the sake of the testimony he bore and the
principles he advocated. And I would ask, What more proofs does mankind
{118} want to establish the fact that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of
the living God? If the divine calling of any Prophet in any age and
dispensation of the world has been proven, then I claim Joseph Smith's
prophetic calling has been established beyond dispute. The proofs for
this are so numerous, clear and positive that they ought to convince
every honest soul.

And now, in conclusion, I will bear my own testimony, which is, that
I know by the inspiration of the Almighty, by the power of the Holy
Spirit, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that the doctrines
he promulgated are also true; for desiring to know the "will of the
Father" I sought unto God to know whether "the doctrine was of God"
or whether Joseph Smith "spoke of himself," and the result was the
testimony that I bear here tonight, and that I have borne to thousands
both in this land and in Europe. I ask God to grant to every honest
soul, who desires salvation and exaltation in the Kingdom of God, the
same testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

    _"By a proper observance of the Word of Wisdom, man may hope to
    regain what he has lost by transgression and live to the age of a
    tree, that as the sun's rays in springtime gladden all nature and
    awaken life and hope, the Word of Wisdom given of God may remove
    the thorns and briers from our pathway and strew the same with joy
    and peace."_

    _Wilford Woodruff_.

{119}



THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.

BEING A DISCOURSE, GIVING AN EXPLANATION OF SOME OF The PROMINENT
DOCTRINES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, DELIVERED
BY ELDER WILLIAM BUDGE, AT CHESTERFIELD, AUGUST 10TH, 1879.

(Phonetically Reported.)

_My Brethren, Sisters and Friends:_

I am thankful for the privilege of speaking to you a short time this
afternoon. I am anxious to explain, whenever opportunity affords,
the nature of our faith. And I presume that, on this occasion, I am
justified in feeling that our friends who have kindly visited our
meeting room have come for the purpose of learning something regarding
that subject.

In this free country, where we congratulate ourselves in enjoying and
allowing the greatest freedom to everybody, I presume we will, all of
us, speaker and congregation, exercise the privilege of explaining and
reflecting upon the things that may be said; so that our friends, I
trust, will leave us understanding a little more about the nature of
our religion than when they came to the meeting.

I can feel, in part, the interest that exists, even in the minds of
our friends. They have, doubtless, heard about the Latter-day Saints.
They have had the opinions of men who have spoken in the pulpits, and
who have written books about the "Mormons," and they, very likely, have
come here under certain impressions in regard to the "Mormon's" faith.

I am sorry to say that experience has taught me that the public
generally have been deceived. I am gratified sometimes in listening
to acknowledgments of this kind from our friends who have heard for
themselves, and have thus been able to judge intelligently as to
whether the reports which they have heard from our enemies are correct
or not.

It seems strange, but it is nevertheless true, that many people who
wish to know the faith of the Saints go to their enemies to learn of
them. I do not know whether our kind {120} friends have thought of the
inconsistency and injustice of such a course as this. If I wished to
learn what the Roman Catholics believed in, I do not think, at present,
that I would go to the Protestant Church to learn it; or, if I wished
to learn what any denomination of professing Christians believe, I do
not think it would be just for me to go to some other denomination to
ascertain it. In the first place other churches might be led--perhaps
unwittingly, perhaps intentionally--to misrepresent the faith of their
neighbors, and I might be deceived through their misrepresentations.
On the other hand, there is no need of my going to any one church to
learn the faith of another people, because I can go just as easily to
their own church to listen to their explanations, and thus be sure
of getting information of their peculiar views, without trusting to
the misrepresentations of their neighbors. Now I submit that such a
course as this is right; it is just, and accords with our impressions
of a fair and just hearing and consideration from the parties most
interested, as to whether their faith be correct or not.

Of course we have no disposition, as Latter-day Saints, even if we had
the power, to constrain any person to believe our doctrines. We have
not the power; we have not the disposition. It is not for the purpose
of using an undue influence in any respect, or in any degree, in favor
of our faith, that we preach to our friends. We simply wish to explain
to them the nature of that religion of which we are ministers--laboring
under a feeling of anxiety to deliver the message with which we have
been sent, that our friends may have the privilege of receiving or
rejecting it, just as they think proper. But, in the meantime, while
we are explaining it, my friends, be pleased to follow me with your
faith and sympathy and good wishes, so far as your assistance may help
me to lay before you the peculiar faith and doctrines of the Church
with which I am connected, that you may be able to judge, and I will
place before you, as plainly and briefly as I possibly can, some of the
prominent doctrines of our Church.

I approach the subject feeling that I have the sympathy of many
good friends, because I feel there exists an impression upon their
minds that a system of religion that has more power with it than
those now taught, is necessary. I approach the examination of this
subject because I believe that many of our kind, honest, well-wishing
friends--those who desire to serve God according to his will and
pleasure--are under the impression that there exists a confusion so
general, and errors so prevalent, that religion seems to be losing its
{121} hold upon the minds of the people; and, of course, we, who have
faith in God and in his revealed word--as contained in the Old and New
Testaments--deplore a state of things which indicates a departure from
that respect and reverence which we wish to see existing and manifested
on the part of the people towards the Supreme Being.

What is the reason, my friends, that people are becoming irreligious?
What is the reason that people talk of sacred things lightly? What is
the reason that men, who have heretofore been respected as ministers
of religion, are now little thought of? It is simply because the
religions that are taught are losing their hold upon the minds and
affections of the people; because the religions that are taught do not
supply the want that men and women feel; because the word preached
by most ministers carries with it no power to convince people as to
the truthfulness of the doctrines that are presented, or the sinful
condition of the people to whom they are taught.

The present condition of the Christian world does not present that
union, that love, that we expect from the perpetuation of the doctrines
that Christ taught, and it is this fact, understood by many, that
increases their doubts and strengthens their objections to what is
called "Christianity." The New Testament teachings lead us to expect a
state of unity in the Christian Church. The admonitions of the Apostles
were to the effect that the Saints in early days should be united
together, that they should understand alike, that they should speak
the same things, that they should be of the same mind and of the same
judgment. Such are the words of the Apostle, to be found in I Cor., 1,
10.

Now, my friends, does such a state of things exist around us in
connection with the Christian churches that we might expect from the
nature of a perfect religion, introduced by Christ? Does there exist,
at the present time, a state of things so perfect as to agree with the
expectations raised from the teachings of St. Paul in this Scripture
that I have quoted? I think not. I am safe, I believe, in stating--and
I think our friends are prepared to agree with me--that there does
not exist amongst the Christian denominations, that unity and that
oneness of faith, peace, kindness, and love which, by reading the New
Testament, we might expect to appear amongst them as the true fruits of
Christianity. And it is upon this I wish to make a few remarks before
proceeding to explain to you, from the Bible, the nature of our faith.

Of course the existence of a number of denominations called "Christian"
cannot be denied. But we are told that all {122} the Christian churches
exhibit to us one church: that if one denomination does not teach the
whole perfect plan of religion revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ, all
the churches put together do; although there may be divisions existing
amongst the members of these denominations. Unless we accept this view
we must object to Christianity on the ground that we cannot find which
of all the Christian denominations teach the truth. Here is one church
called Christian that teaches certain doctrines, another more or less
in its teachings contradicts them, a third teaches doctrines that are
in conflict with the other two; and so we might go through them all,
and speak in like terms of those who think honestly enough that they
are serving God.

Now, my friends, I will ask--First:--Is it reasonable to suppose that
God would sustain two distinct religious churches as his churches?
Is it reasonable to suppose that God would set up two distinct
religious bodies, the ministers of which teach different doctrines?
After learning from the Bible so much indicating the anxiety of
God's inspired servants for a time of perfect unity, I say it is not
reasonable to suppose it. And just so long as two distinct religious
systems exist, teaching different doctrines and preaching different
principles, there exist a conflicting influence, division, feelings
perhaps very strong if the difference in doctrine is very decided. If
it is not reasonable, what are we to do? How can we account for such a
condition of things?

This leads to the position we occupy. We want to know something more.

Is it true that the bodies called "Christian" at present represent the
Church of Christ? Or is it true that they have ignored some things
belonging to the perfect doctrine of Christ, and taken as their guide,
their own conclusions in regard to what is right, which leads to this
division of doctrine? How is it? But I will endeavor to show that it
is unscriptural as well as unreasonable for us to receive different
Christian bodies as the Church of Christ.

I will direct your attention to a few passages from the word of God.
Jesus, when he sent the Apostles to preach in the first place, said
to them, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
creature." Not _any_ system that might be termed a Gospel. There was
no choice left to anybody. He spoke definitely in regard to the Gospel
plan which he, the Son of God, came to the earth to set up. Paul, in
the first chapter of Galatians, 8th verse, says, "Though we or an
angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than {123} that
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Paul, one of
the apostles, taught the Gospel, the same Gospel that Peter, James,
John and others taught. They all taught the same system. And Paul
said in another place, that he went up, by revelation to Jerusalem,
taking Barnabas and Titus with him, and communicated the Gospel which
he preached among the Gentiles (Gal. ii, 1, 2), thus showing that he
taught the same thing everywhere. You see, Paul's words and practice
show that he did not admit of the least change or alteration from the
Gospel as taught by Christ, and preached by the apostles to the people.
In another place it is said, "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth
not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
doctrines of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son," (2 John
ix,) showing us that he taught strictly the necessity of abiding in
that form of doctrine which had at first been delivered. I quote these
passages to show you that the Gospel which Christ and the apostles
first taught was intended to be taught continually, without change, and
that none had a right, not even an angel from heaven, to preach any
other Gospel than that which had been delivered at the first.

Do you agree with this? Because I am about to examine, in detail, some
of the doctrines that will readily show to you the difference between
the ministers of the true Gospel, and the ministers of the so-called
Gospels that are preached at the present time. But are you prepared to
come to the conclusion, with me, that it is the old Gospel, Christ's
Gospel, the doctrine of the apostles that we ought to seek and follow,
if we expect eternal life? Or do you think you are safe in following
the teachings of men, who have made great changes from the ancient
Gospel, with the following passage before you? If there come any unto
you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house,
neither bid him God speed" (2 John, 10th verse). Do you think you can
obtain God's blessing by being members of a church or churches that
teach doctrines opposed to what Christ taught? How is this?

"Well, certainly," says one--a Bible believer--"of course I wish to
have the religion of the Bible. I would like to have the religion
of Christ. I do not admit of any departure." This is right. This is
consistent. Of course, if there is a question as to whether God has
made any change in his primitive faith, revealed through Christ, we
shall consider it; for I am willing also to make a change, if God has
authorized it. I am quite willing to accept any doctrine that God has
revealed from heaven for my salvation. I confess to you that I have
{124} no disposition whatever to maintain private views or speculations
which may have been engendered on my own part, through reflection.
I wish the doctrine of Christ, as Christ taught it, as the apostles
taught it, and I will not, with the light that I possess, depart one
particle from the letter and spirit of that ancient plan. And if there
are any friends here who have heard that the Elders of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not believe in the Bible, let
them judge. There are no practices pleasing to God, or likely to bring
his blessings upon the heads of the children of men, except those
inculcated by him, through his servants by the power of revelation from
heaven, so that we will not depart from the Book. We will not teach
doctrines that are opposed to this book, but we are prepared to show
our friends, in the spirit of kindness, that doctrines opposed to those
contained in this Book are displeasing to God, and are not calculated
to bring peace and salvation to the children of men.

"But," says one, "what matters it whether we go this road that you
point out or some other? You know if we can get to heaven one way, is
not that as good as another?" We will try to illustrate this idea.
If a man wish to go to London, says the enquirer, may he not go the
road that leads towards the south, or a road that leads towards the
north, as the case may be; what matters it so that he gets to London?
It would not matter in the least. He might go the road that led to
the north, or that which led to the south, and by making a shorter or
longer journey, as the case might be, he might get to London. But you
see there is no parallel between this figure and the facts in regard
to religion, because there are not two ways to get to heaven. This is
the difference. There are two ways to get to London probably, perhaps
more, but you see there is only one way to get to heaven, so that when
we admit, as an illustration, a figure of this kind, we start with an
error and it leads us astray.

The Bible speaks of one way. It speaks of two ways. It speaks of a
broad road, that leads to destruction, and it speaks of a narrow way
that leads to eternal life. So you see there is only one way that leads
to heaven, and if any one persuades us that the wide road will lead us
there, he deceives us, for there is only one way, and it is narrow. The
Bible is very plain upon this, because the doctrines are steadfast and
sure, and the words are plain that there is but one way that leads to
life and glory. Now that is the way we want to find out.

Jesus came, he said, to do his Father's will, not his own. He called
apostles and ordained them, and he said, "As I have {125} been sent,
so send I you. Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." That was
their business. But he said, "Tarry ye first in Jerusalem, until ye
are endowed with power from on high." Jesus called the apostles.
He ordained them himself. He instructed them personally, and he
commissioned them to preach the Gospel to every creature. But he wished
them to tarry at Jerusalem until they received power from on high; a
certain gift which God had promised, that they might be qualified,
in every sense, to discharge the important duty devolving upon them,
of administering words of salvation to a fallen world. The apostles
did this. They gathered in Jerusalem. They were there on the Day of
Pentecost, and whilst there, in the upper room, the endowment of which
Jesus spoke was given unto them. The Holy Ghost came upon them, in the
upper room, as a mighty rushing wind, and it sat upon them as cloven
tongues of fire. And, whilst under that influence, the apostles who
were sent to preach the Gospel, stood up--at least Peter did, as the
mouth-piece of the rest at that time--to preach the Gospel that Christ
sent them to declare. Now, what was it? Let us lay a good foundation as
we proceed.

Were they qualified to preach it? I do not think any Christian will
doubt it. If they were not prepared to teach the Gospel of the Son of
God, then I would have no hope, my friends, of hearing it in this life.
Never. Jesus himself chose them. He ordained them; he instructed them,
and after all this, as you will find, in the 2nd chap, of the Acts of
the Apostles, 1st, 2nd and 3rd verses, they assembled in Jerusalem, and
had fulfilled unto them the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving
the endowment of which I have been speaking.

I think that all my friends here are certainly prepared to accept the
words that Peter spoke, and acknowledge them to be true. What did Peter
say? First, he preached Christ and him crucified. You see the people,
who had gathered together on the day of Pentecost, were people who had
no faith in Christ. They had rejected him and his instructions. They
had been of those who persecuted Christ and the apostles. They were of
those who had either personally or in their sympathies sustained the
crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, Peter, knowing this, stood
up and preached to them, first Christ and him crucified, and he was
successful. Who can doubt it? Peter, a servant of God, ordained by
the Son of God. Peter, upon whom the Spirit of God rested as tongues
of fire, as the Scriptures have it. This man stood up and argued the
point, and explained about Jesus. And who can doubt the result? I am
sure we would have been disappointed {126} if we had been told in the
Bible that Peter was not successful. He was successful. Many believed
on him, and the result of their belief was that they said, "Men and
brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts ii, 37). No wonder they asked that
question. People who had either helped to crucify the Lord, or who had
rejoiced when he was crucified, as many of them did, to be convinced
that that same Jesus whom they had assisted to crucify was indeed the
Lord, the Christ, and when they were convinced of this they cried out,
"Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Peter was prepared to tell them. He had the very instructions that were
needed, and the words of Peter are applicable to-day, my friends, to
you and to me, so far as we have not obeyed them.

We are believers in Christ, I trust. We have fortunately made our
appearance in this life, in the midst of a people who at least believe
in the divinity of Christ, and we have received impressions favorable
to this end; therefore the words of Peter, spoken to those who believed
in the divinity of Christ, are applicable to us, and are the words of
salvation to us, if that ancient Gospel is not changed. What were the
words? He says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name
of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts ii, 38).

Was that the Gospel? Yes, unless the apostles disobeyed the
instructions of Christ, because they were sent to preach the Gospel,
and they were endowed that they might preach it perfectly and represent
God, the Maker of heaven and earth, in the words and spirit by which
they presented it unto the people.

Now, my friends, faith in Christ was the first principle of the Gospel;
repentance of sins was the second principle; baptism for the remission
of sins was the third principle, and then the reception of the Holy
Ghost, by the laying on of hands, as taught by Peter on that day in
Jerusalem. Is there any objection to this? "None at all," says one,
"that is Scriptural; we cannot object to it." A Bible believer cannot
object to it. But what is becoming of us if such doctrines are not
taught? "Well," says one, "are they not taught?" No. "Faith in Christ"
is taught, and "Repentance of sins is taught," although by some people
the latter is taught first, before faith in Christ. Some teach that we
must repent of our sins before we can have faith in Christ. This is
a mistake. We cannot possibly repent of sin committed unless we are
convinced that we have committed the sin. We cannot repent of laws
broken, {127} which Jesus has taught through his apostles, unless we
are first convinced that Jesus was divine, and had the authority to
teach them; so that faith in Christ and his divine mission must be
the foundation of our practice as Christians. And the first effect
that faith in Christ produces, is repentance of the sins which we
have committed. So repentance is the second principle of the Gospel.
But we differ a little more about the third principle. Just read your
Bible, and you will find that Peter taught baptism for the remission
of sins (Acts ii, 38). Again, John the Baptist, who was the forerunner
of Christ, baptized for the remission of sins (Mark, i, 4). "John was
sent from God." You will find this in the 1st chapter of the Gospel
according to St. John, 6th verse. John himself said, in the 33rd verse
of the same chapter, "He that sent me to baptize with water, the same
said unto me," referring to the instructions he received from the
Father regarding Christ. Both passages assert this, that John the
Baptist was sent by God to baptize with water, and we are taught in the
Bible that he did teach the baptism of repentance for the remission of
sins. That is just what we might expect. John was God's servant. So
was Peter. They both taught the same doctrine. John taught baptism,
and Peter told the people to be baptized every one of them. You will
remember the servant of God who was sent to speak to Paul, to instruct
him just after his conversion. He went to him, and when the scales
fell from the eyes of Paul, or Saul, this man of God said to him: "Why
tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling
upon the name of the Lord" (Acts xxii, 16.) Be baptized and wash away
his sins? Yes. Now, that agrees exactly with the doctrine of Peter, and
the doctrine of John the Baptist. They were all three servants of God,
and they all taught the same doctrine, and those who heard and believed
that doctrine possessed the self-same faith; so that so far as baptism
is concerned, the ancient Saints did teach and practice the self-same
doctrine--baptism for the remission of sins.

I want to talk a little about this. One says, "Well, I have always been
taught that baptism was a doctrine of Christ anciently, but I have
been under the impression that it was not necessary to salvation."
That may be, my friends, we have been taught a great many things, and
good Christian people have believed a great many things that Christian
people have rejected since. But that is no reason why we should change
the Bible doctrine. The thing is right here. "Well," says one, "I
thought we were not able of ourselves to do anything to help to save
ourselves." This requires proper understanding. {128} If baptism brings
the remission of sins, and baptism is not attended to by us, we cannot
obtain the blessing. Certainly not. God gives us bread to eat, but he
does not present it to us. A man sows seed in the ground and he sees
to it and he harvests it and it is threshed and prepared and placed
before us in the shape of flour, but we have no disposition to deny
that it is the gift of God. If it were not for God's goodness we should
have no bread. If it were not for the gift of God, we could not attend
to the ordinance that brings remission of sins. We have not power,
of ourselves, to bring within our reach a single saving principle
belonging to the plan of eternal life. It is all God's free gift. It is
all in consequence of his mercy, and his charity, and his goodness and
love, and pleasure manifested to us that we have any privilege at all
that will help to make us better or that will bring us into his church
and kingdom and give us a right to say that we are really his children.
The fact that he has laid down ordinances, through which a remission of
sins is brought to us does not warrant us in saying that we do it of
ourselves, and when people talk like this it is likely to deceive.

Now, my friends, the Bible says, in the place I have quoted, that
baptism is for the remission of sins. Do we believe this? If we do you
know we must also come to the conclusion necessarily that we cannot
have a remission of sins without it. If God has placed the ordinance
of baptism in his church, as part of his divine system for a certain
purpose, the object cannot be obtained without it. The means which
God reveals for certain purposes must be used. We cannot say, and it
would be unreasonable in us to say, that when God speaks from heaven in
regard to any particular thing we can ignore his advice when we please
and adopt something else that suits us. It is wrong, and it is this
disposition that has led to the present deplorable state of things.

"Well," says one, "I have thought that baptism was for an outward sign
of an inward grace, or of membership in the Church." Another error, you
see! The Bible does not say anything about that. Of course the act of
a person embracing the principles of the Gospel and becoming a member
of the church, may be a sign, but baptism was not set in the church for
that purpose. It was taught in the Church, and administered for the
_remission of sins_ and nothing else. And no man or woman can obtain a
place in God's kingdom, or enjoy his presence here or hereafter, unless
their sins are washed away in baptism, as Paul's were washed away when
he accepted the advice of the good and inspired man, Ananias, who
instructed him.

1{129} When I think of the importance of this offer which God has
made, my heart is filled with thankfulness instead of a disposition to
discard what he has taught. It is strange, and we can only account for
it on the ground of the waywardness of men naturally, to think that
we would attempt to do things in opposition to the will of God. Is
there a more important blessing offered to mankind than the remission
of sins? Have we any hope of enjoying the glory of God in our present
sinful condition? Surely not, for nothing sinful or unholy can enter
the courts of glory. Then if God has so put in his Church an ordinance
for the purpose of enabling us, like Saul, to wash away our sins,
why not be prepared to receive it with joy instead of cultivating or
encouraging a disposition to ignore it?

Baptism for the remission of sins is the third principle of the Gospel
of Christ. Then comes the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the
gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter says on the day of Pentecost, to which
we have directed your attention, "And ye shall receive the gift of
the Holy Ghost." What did that consist of? The gift of God's Spirit.
The reception of God's power, a portion of his power. The reception
of an influence which leads those who possess it near to God in their
feelings and in their faith. A spirit which produces not only that
inward consciousness of acceptance with God, as his son or daughter,
but a power which gives outward manifestations of its divinity. Jesus
did promise to the apostles when he sent them out first, that "These
signs shall follow them that believe." Here are his words, "Go ye
into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall
be damned, _and these signs shall follow them that believe_." The words
of Christ, in the last chapter of Mark, 15th and following verses.

"Well," says one, "You know we do not believe in miracles now. These
signs were miracles, but we do not believe in them now." That may he,
my friends. This is the very reason why we are here, because there is
such a great disbelief in the Bible; because there is a disposition to
ignore the Bible; because there is a disposition to ignore the promises
of Christ; and we wish to show you the things that are denied; we wish
to point out to you the doctrines our fathers have denied; that our
teachers have denied, and we wish to show you that they are in the
Bible, the word of God, in the book which some have gone so far as
to assert that the Saints do not believe in. But is it true that the
promises of God were fulfilled anciently in regard to this matter? Yes!
In the 19th {130} chapter and 6th verse of the Acts of the Apostles,
you will find an instance related of the Apostles laying their hands
on some that had been baptized, and they spake with tongues. This was
one of the gifts that was manifested, in consequence of their receiving
that spirit which produced them. See also Mark, 16th and 20th.

You must not consider that, in teaching these doctrines, we are
advancing something of ourselves, something new. If we were teaching
new doctrine you would have a right to call us to account and ask us
for the proof. We are teaching old doctrine. We are teaching the New
Testament doctrines, instead of those of our Christian friends. We
have no spirit of enmity in the least degree, towards any living soul,
and when we refer to the faith of our Christian friends remember, it
is simply to make the difference between their views and ours more
distinct to you. I say instead of our friends calling us to account,
it is the Latter-day Saints who have the right to come out and say
to their christian friends "See here, why do you deny signs which
Christ said should follow believers?" What believers did Christ speak
about? Why believers in his Gospel. He taught us that these signs
should follow believers. Well then, if our Christian friends deny
that, we have the right to call them to account. If Christ said that
these miracles--manifestations of Almighty power--should follow the
believers, I say what reason have you to deny it? The question is
not now whether the Latter-day Saints possess the power or not. The
question at issue at present is, not whether the teachers of other
churches have the power or not. The question is, Does Christ promise
that power to believers in the Gospel? I say he does, and I say that
those who deny that such powers should follow believers, teach that
which is contrary to the word of Christ, and contrary to the facts
that appeared in connection with the teachings and administration
of the doctrines of Christ. So that it is not the Latter-day Saints
that introduce a new doctrine, and we say to our friends. Hear us, we
beseech you. Hear the message we have to deliver, for God has sent us
to teach the old religion, the religion of Jesus, the simple plan which
was revealed from heaven in ancient days, to save the children of men.

Peter said, on the Day of Pentecost, speaking of the Gospel and its
attendant blessings, "for this promise is unto you"--that is, to the
people who stood before him--"to your children and unto all that are
afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

You see it was not confined to the members of the church {131} in the
first place, as some would have us believe. The promise of the laying
on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost was made to the children of
those who heard Peter, and to all who were afar off, even as many as
the Lord our God should call. And if it be true that God is calling
sinners to repentance now, we should see the same power manifested
to-day, that is, if we have the true Gospel. There can be no doubt of
this.

Which will you have, my friends, the doctrine of the Bible or the
doctrines of men? If you accept the doctrines of the Bible you will
have to become Latter-day Saints, and of course that would be out
of the question for a good many. But we cannot find these doctrines
anywhere else, and that is a perplexity. What shall we do about them?
When I am speaking to you I think of the position I occupied myself,
when I heard the Latter-day Saints first. I went to their meeting, not
expecting to hear anything that would interest me by any means, but I
heard the Bible doctrine taught. I could not deny it. I found I had
been mistaken. I did not incline in my heart to fight against God,
but considerations came up. If I become a Latter-day Saint, people
will call me a "Mormon." If I embrace these doctrines, my friends will
point at me the finger of scorn. If I become a Latter-day Saint my
good neighbors will say I am deceived and led astray, and that I have
embraced a doctrine that is in opposition to the teachings of Christ.
Of course these things flashed through my mind when I considered and
read the Bible to ascertain positively whether these "Mormons" taught
the truth or not. I thought this--well! I have been religious for the
purpose of making my peace with God, but I have been mistaken and led
astray by men whom God had not sent to preach the Gospel; but now I
have found the truth, the old promises relating to God's power, all
things as at the beginning, have been restored, and I have the promise
of obtaining a place with the righteous, according to the mind and will
of my Heavenly Father. Let friends say what they please, let them say
I am deceived, but I believe this Bible is true. Let them say whatever
they may in regard to my faith; no matter. I thought of the time of
Christ. They called Christ hard names; and of the apostles they spake
a great deal of evil. In fact the Bible says they called them all
manner of evil, and although I expected my friends would denounce me,
still when I thought of what Christ had suffered, I was reconciled and
instead of fighting against God, I was willing to accept his doctrine,
in order to obtain his blessings.

{132} I state to you my friends, that since the day I entered this
Church, I have rejoiced exceedingly. I have found proofs upon proofs.
I have had reason to rejoice in consequence of the manifestations of
God's power, confirmatory of the doctrines, and I can say that the
Church of Christ is set up, its doctrines are taught, its practices are
practised, its promises are fulfilled, and the evidence of its divine
power are manifested in the midst of this people.

I would like to say a few words in regard to another point. I have
just said that I had been taught a religion by men whom God _had not
sent_. I would like to explain. You will excuse us if we seem to be
very extreme in our views. We have taken the liberty to teach you the
truth, just as we have it, and when we say something that comes in
contact with what you have received, excuse us. There is no bad feeling
at all, or unfriendliness in the least. But we believe in persons being
invested with the proper authority to preach the Gospel. Paul says,
speaking of the authority of the holy priesthood, "No man taketh this
honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron" (Heb. 5,
4), Faith cometh by hearing, and how can we hear without a "preacher"
(Rom. x, 14-17). "No man taketh this honor unto himself, except he be
called of God as was Aaron." Now that is very plain, and what does it
mean? Simply what it says. That no man has a right to administer in
the ordinances of religion, except he be sent of God as was Aaron,
for how can a man preach except he be sent? (Rom. x, 15). If that be
admitted, of course the next question of importance is, How was Aaron
sent? By turning to the history we have of God's dealings with Moses,
in reference to the gathering of the Israelites, from Egypt, you will
find that God instructed Moses to call Aaron to be his helper. (Ex. iv,
15, 16.) Here is the proof. No man can preach the Gospel simply because
he feels inclined within himself to be a preacher. No man can preach
the Gospel--that is with God's approval and authority--unless God
commission him. God commissioned every one of his preachers in ancient
times. He spoke from heaven. He directed those who held this authority
to call others. Christ called the apostles as he was called. His Father
called him: he called the apostles, and he said, "As my Father hath
sent me, even so send I you" (St. John xx, 21). "He that receiveth
you receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent
me." The authority was here you see. God called Moses; he instructed
Moses to call Aaron; so that Aaron stood exactly in the same relation
to God as did the apostles: {133} the latter being called of God the
Father through Christ. That would be evident, because one whom God had
authorized to act as his servant was instructed by him to call Aaron.
Now, you observe, no man has a right to exercise the authority of the
Priesthood, unless he is called of God, as was Aaron.

Are the preachers--those who commonly preach in connection with the
churches of the present day--called of God as was Aaron? Or, in other
words, are they called by revelation from God? This is the question.
We do not doubt the propriety of their being called in this way,
because the Bible says they ought robe. Do our Protestant ministers,
at the present time, profess to be sent of God as was Aaron? Is there
a minister connected with the Christian denominations of the present
day who professes to be sent of God by direct revelation? Not one. It
does not require any argument at all. They do not profess that they
have heard from God. They say that God has not spoken since the last
book of the New Testament was written. They say it is a sin, and they
find fault with the Latter-day Saints because we believe that God does
speak; that he has a right to speak; and that it is necessary we should
have his approval and commission in order to qualify us to attend to
the business of his Church. So that our present Christian teachers do
not profess to be called of God as was Aaron. They deny all revelation
at present, or since the Bible was written.

You know the ministers, among their other errors, receive pay for
preaching. That is an innovation also. The ancient apostles, and
seventies, and bishops, and so on, were not paid for preaching. But
our present ministers are. The preachers of this Church, with whom I
am connected, are not paid for teaching. They preach without money,
without purse, and without scrip. Now, the preachers of the present
churches make a business of preaching. They learn to be preachers.
They are brought up to be preachers in consequence of their parents
or guides finding in this way a place where they make a living. Such
ministers sometimes acknowledge one kind of revelation. Not that God
tells the people about his will, or that he manifests his power, but
they sometimes tell us they have received a call from one congregation
to another. But there is one peculiarity about it, viz.: the
congregation that calls them is a congregation that almost invariably
offers them more money than the congregation to which they have been
attached. This is the only instance of any kind of revelation being
acknowledged by our Christian teachers. God has not spoken, say they,
by inspired men, since the days of the ancient {134} apostles. He has
not spoken directly to the Church. He has not authorized a single man
to preach, but sometimes a call is given from less money to more. And
though they are feeling full of love and affection for the congregation
with which they have labored for years, yet they are sorry and regret
so much that that call must be made, which takes them from among their
old friends to a new congregation. But, you see, the new congregation
offers the most money, and that cannot be disregarded.

My friends, these are a few of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Are we displeased with anybody? No, not
at all. All are at liberty to believe what they please. But we are
placed under obligations to deliver the message which God has sent. We
say we are not solely dependant on the Bible, because God has revealed
the Gospel, and we possess a living Priesthood divinely appointed. We
do not wish you to think that we regard the Bible lightly. Of course
you will have noticed, from our remarks, that this is not the case.
But we say from the Bible alone, without revelation, we could not
have been able to obtain all the knowledge we have received. Why,
millions of people have read the Bible but have not discovered some of
these doctrines. They have not been led to preach even all the things
contained therein, and if they had discovered the doctrine, this Bible
cannot lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. That part of the
work that is necessary for man's salvation must be done by one whom God
authorizes. Therefore the Bible alone is not sufficient. It contains
the truth. It is the word of God. It contains the instructions of
the apostles. But it does not contain the divine authority that is
necessary to commission a man to baptize or administer in any ordinance
pertaining to the house of God.

Now, my friends, may God bless you. And my brethren and sisters, may
the Holy Spirit, which leads into all truth, abide upon us, and may we
who have found the truth have a disposition to retain it. May we have
the moral courage to say, "Let God be served. Let his truth be obeyed."
Let the Almighty be honored, and if other people choose to follow their
own fancies, or the deceptions presented before them by men whom God
has not sent, as for us and our house, let us serve God.

May God bless us, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

{135}

    He that judgeth a matter before he heareth it is not
    wise.--_Solomon_.



THE ONLY TRUE GOSPEL, OR THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

BY WILLIAM BUDGE,

_An Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints_.

    "Prove all things: hold fast that which is good."--1 Thess. v, 21.

    "And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for
    a witness unto nations, and then shall the end come."--Matt. xxiv. 14.

At a time like the present, when all society is impressed with a
foreboding of coming changes in the affairs of men, we may, with
propriety, call the attention of those who look to the Scriptures for
divine guidance to the foregoing important text. It was given by the
Savior as a warning, and its fulfillment is to be a sign of the end of
the world as it is, under man's dominion, and of the coming of Jesus
Christ, according to the predictions of the Prophets. It is like all
other warnings given of God, simple, easy to be understood, and sure to
be fulfilled. Let us try to understand its meaning and spirit, without
prejudice and in the fear of God.

What is to be understood by _this_ Gospel of the kingdom? Is it
possible that another Gospel might have been mistaken for the one of
which Jesus spoke? Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians (1-8, 9),
prohibits any one from preaching any other Gospel than he had preached,
and, no doubt, it was the danger of a false or perverted Gospel being
accepted for the true one which led the Savior to express himself as
he did, when he said _this Gospel_. He certainly had reference to the
Gospel which he had taught and sent his Apostles to teach, and to none
other. Let us try to find it. There is no other religious system like
it, and we cannot find it unless we are guided strictly by the word of
God.

{136} It is important it should be known to us, so that when it is
preached as a "sign" of coming judgments and of the end of the world,
we may be enabled to recognize it. Some may say, "we have had the
Gospel preached for generations." Not the Gospel spoken of by Jesus,
for its restoration was to be a Latter-day work and a "sign" or
warning; something strange and remarkable. An appeal to the word of
God will, however, decide the matter for such as seek the truth, and
if we teach not according to the Scriptures, there can be no light in
us. Besides, Christianity, as it is called, is represented by many
forms and faiths, and without reference to the Bible it would be very
difficult to make a distinction with any degree of assurance. We could
not accept all the systems of Christianity as the Gospel of Christ, for
the Apostle Paul says there is but one faith (Eph. 4-5), and to receive
one religious system on the recommendation of its teachers as the true
Gospel, and reject all the rest, without a substantial Scriptural
reason, would be unwise, as we would still be in doubt. The true
Gospel is one, not many systems. All but one are perversions of the
Gospel of Christ, as truly now as anciently. I submit that the surest
way to find the Gospel is to find it from the revelations of God, as
taught by Jesus and other inspired men, and accept their doctrines
even if we must, by so doing, reject the faith of our fathers, as it
is God's ways and not man's we should seek and walk in, if we wish to
obtain eternal life. Jesus says to his Apostles (Mark 16-15), "Go ye
into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," and we
believe they did so, and will endeavor to find what their instructions
were. What effect did Jesus expect from the preaching? _faith_, for he
continues (Mark 16-16) by saying, "he that believeth," etc., shall be
saved. Again, Paul, when asked by the jailor what he should do to be
saved, says (Acts 16-30, 31), "_believe_ on the Lord Jesus Christ,"
both of which Scriptures establish the fact that _faith_ is the first
principle or condition upon which salvation is promised; or, in other
words, the first principle of the Gospel of Christ, or the beginning
of true Christian worship. Faith must be the first principle of
revealed religion as it is the first effect created in us, through the
administration of the word. We hear and faith is the first consequence,
the most immediate, natural and unchangeable result. The Scriptures say
(Rom. 10-17), "faith cometh by hearing," and our experience confirms
this. The principles of the Gospel are always the same, for the same
purpose, and invariably taught in the same order.

Repentance of all sin is the second principle of the unchangeable {137}
plan through which salvation is promised. Peter, the Apostle, tells
the gathered multitude on the day of Pentecost, who already believed
that Jesus was the Christ, and who then asked what they should do,
that they should _repent_, and be baptized every one of them. (Acts
2-38). Repentance, according to the Scriptures, follows faith. But is
it necessarily so? It is, for we cannot repent before we believe; we
cannot repent of sin against God, until we believe that there is a God.
We cannot repent of a wrong done by us, against our fellow-man until we
believe we have wronged him. The propriety of the advice of the Apostle
is very apparent. His hearers, under the influence of the power which
rested upon the Apostles, believed that he whom they had crucified was
the Christ. Repentance of the part they took in that great wickedness
was to be expected. Baptism, being promised after repentance, and
the history stating that many were baptized, we must conclude that
repentance was a result of the preaching, and that effect agrees with
the organization of our natures.

Baptism is the third principle of the Gospel of Christ, and follows
repentance; Peter places it there when he says, "Repent and be
baptized," and John preached the "Baptism of repentance for the
remission of sins." (Mark 1-4). A little reflection will show how
consistent the Scriptural citations are. Baptism is an ordinance of the
Gospel, administered for a special purpose--as well as being simply a
commandment, namely: for the "remission of sins." It is not reasonable
to suppose that any person could receive the remission or forgiveness
of sins without repentance, or that any one would desire baptism that
his sins might be washed away (Acts 22-10) without having already
repented. Baptism necessarily follows repentance, as through its
administration the sins repented of are remitted: thus our necessities,
and the Scriptures are in unison. This order must be right, as each
principle follow as an effect of the one preceding it.

We will trace the Gospel plan a little further. It is a code of
divine laws, calculated to improve the human race. Being perfect,
every principle is revealed in its order, and for its own special
purpose. Faith, Repentance and Baptism, as taught in the foregoing
pages, administered by one having authority, prepares a disciple to
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, as promised in Acts 2-38, which
is the Comforter spoken of by Jesus, that would lead the Saints into
all truth. How consistent are the doctrines of Christ, as taught in
the word of God. Faith is begotten in the human mind by preaching,
repentance naturally follows, and baptism is then administered {138}
that the sins repented of may be washed away, preparing the sinner for
the greatest gifts of God to man, the Holy Spirit, which is the seal
of adoption into the Kingdom of God. No man can enter into the Kingdom
except he be born of the water and of the Spirit (John 3-5).

The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is given to all those who comply with
the conditions herein set forth, by the laying on of the hands of the
Elders of the Church of Christ, according to the ancient practice (Acts
8-18), in explanation of which I will quote from Paul's first epistle
to the Corinthians, 12th chap., 4th to the 12th verse:

"Now there are diversities of gifts, by the same Spirit.

"And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

"And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which
worketh all in all.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal.

"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the
word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

"To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing
by the same Spirit;

"To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another _divers_ kinds of tongues; to another
the interpretation of tongues.

"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to
every man severally as he will.

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of
that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ."

The fact of these miracles not existing in the so-called Christian
churches of the present day, is no reason that we should deny the
necessity of their existence. If they were enjoyed by the early Saints,
why should not the Saints of God possess them now? If God promised
these gifts to all those who kept his commandments in former times, and
to their children, and to all that were afar off, even unto as many as
the Lord our God should call (Acts 2-39), why should not the Church
enjoy them now? If they were necessary for the comfort, encouragement,
or edifying of the ancient Church (1 Cor. 14-12), why should not the
followers of Christ be benefitted by them now? To these questions we
can only answer, there is no reason. The word of God directs us to
seek for and cultivate them (1 Cor. 14-1 & 39). We should therefore
be prepared to reject every statement to the effect {139} that our
heavenly Father did not intend that they should continue on the earth,
as the promises of God are true, and not one jot or tittle of them will
fall to the ground unfulfilled.

The next question of importance connected with this subject is that
of authority; the authority which man must hold from God to make his
administrations valid. We should not be prepared to acknowledge the
action of any man who might take upon himself the direction of our
affairs, but we ought to be prepared to sustain those whom we _send_ or
have commissioned to represent us. We understand this well enough to
know that we should not expect a firm or company to be responsible to
us for what a pretended agent might promise. It would simply be absurd
on our part to do so. How much less then could we look for our heavenly
Father to sustain those who administer in holy things without authority
from Him? How foolish for us to expect that the special blessings of
the Almighty would follow the pretensions of a fraud!

We are instructed by the words of Jesus, when He said, "As my Father
sent me, so send I you" (John 20-21). And we are warned by Paul in the
following words: "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he
that is called of God as was Aaron" (Heb. 5-4.) The honor here referred
to is the "Priesthood," or the authority to administer in the things
of God, as will be seen by reference to the preceding verses. How was
Aaron called? We answer by direct revelation from God (Ex. 4, 14 to
16). Modern ministers are now set apart by men who deny the necessity
of revelation altogether, or take unto themselves the authority they
seem to have, because they _feel_ they are called to preach and
administer in the ordinances of the House of God. There is in this no
higher calling than may be found among the Hindoos, and the anger of
the Lord is kindled against all those who solemnly attempt to usurp the
powers and privileges of the holy "Priesthood," and he will destroy
their influence among the people.

Beloved friends, be not deceived by those who take unto themselves
the "honor" of the Priesthood, and who preach for hire and divine
for money, for they are not _sent_, and they preach not according
to the law and the testimony, and Paul says that if "we or an angel
from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you let him be accursed" (Gal. 1-8).

The principles herein explained are true and faithful, and confirmed
by Holy Writ. The Elders of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints," who preach them, have not discovered {140} them by their own
wisdom, for they have been revealed from heaven, by the power of God,
through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and are now being preached as a
witness of the speedy coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This Gospel is
preached as before without money and without price, by those whom _God
has sent_, who have met with opposition in every form, and many of them
have suffered even unto death. Still the work is onward, the kingdom is
being set up, and it will grow and increase until it fills the whole
earth.

We testify of its divinity, and that it is being preached in
fulfillment of the prediction of Christ, as a "witness" to all nations
of his near approach. But "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it
be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man" (Matt. 24-37 to 40);
many will reject the message and perish.

LIVERPOOL, February 1st, 1879.

    _We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it
    pure before God in the Celestial Kingdom. The great principle of
    happiness consists in having a body. The devil has none, and this
    is his punishment. When cast out by the Savior he asked to go into
    the herd of swine, preferring a swine's body to none._

    --_Joseph Smith, The Prophet_.

{141}



JOSEPH THE PROPHET.

BY ELDER B. H. ROBERTS, IN THE CONTRIBUTOR, 1890.

Among those who may be accounted the benefactors of our race, we claim
for the Prophet Joseph Smith, the second place. To Him who died that
man might live, upon whom was laid the iniquity of us all; by whose
stripes we are healed; who brought life and immortality to light
through the Gospel; who by way of pre-eminence is called _the_ Son of
God, the only begotten of the Father--to Him must be assigned, forever,
the first place among the benefactors of mankind. And next to him is
the Prophet, who was chosen to stand at the head of the dispensation of
the fullness of times.

Born in obscurity--in the western wilds of the state of New York, and
of humble parents, without the advantages of worldly education; with
no knowledge of ancient languages or history to begin with; untutored
in the sciences, and unlearned in theology, Joseph Smith has done more
for the salvation of the children of men than any reformer, theologian
or ecclesiastic that has lived since the days of the earthly ministry
of the Son of God. It is to prove his right and title to the high
place we have assigned him in the roll of honor--in the list of the
benefactors of humanity--that this paper is written, rather than to
give a biographical sketch of his well known career.

Notwithstanding the very explicit revelation, which God had given of
himself; of His person, His attributes, His powers, through His Son
Jesus Christ; for in Him dwelt all the fullness of the God-head bodily,
the world had gone far astray, in its conception and knowledge of God.
Men had conjured up to themselves a being without body, without parts
and passions, and worshiped it for God--a being that never was, nor
is, nor ever shall be. Of the absurdity of such a description of God,
however, we need not speak.

Another idea equally false and equally baneful in its effects on true
religion, and as universally accepted as the above conception of the
being and character of Deity, was the doctrine that the volume of
revelation was closed.

Such was the state of the world in respect to these matters, when
Joseph Smith announced that he had received a {142} new revelation;
that he had seen both the Father and the Son, and had conversed with
them in a glorious vision, in the full light of day. His testimony was
that both Father and Son possessed a body, parts, organs, dimensions
in form like man, and each resembled the other. This revelation was
soon followed by the visitation of an angel, Moroni, one of the ancient
Prophets of the American continent, who made known the existence of
the Book of Mormon; a volume of scripture compiled from the voluminous
records kept by that enlightened people, who anciently inhabited
America, the ruins of whose civilization are the astonishment of the
archaeologists of today. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon,
by the means of the Urim and Thummim, from the ancient and now unknown
language in which it was written, into English, and thus gave the
world a new volume of scripture, equal in bulk and equal in importance
to the New Testament. Thus, since faith is bottomed on evidence, the
foundation of faith was widened. The world now had two volumes of
scripture instead of one; the testimony of each sustaining the other.
That volume of scripture is not the voice of one witness merely, but
like the Bible it contains the testimony of many witnesses for God. Who
can estimate the value of this work, that comes in a day when unbelief
is prevalent in the earth, to renew and sustain the sinking faith of
humanity!

While yet the work of translating this valuable book was in progress,
the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery were visited by John the Baptist, whom
God had raised from the dead, and he conferred upon them an Aaronic
Priesthood, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels; of the
Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission
of sins. This ordination, therefore, gave the Prophet and his fellow
laborer the authority to preach repentance and baptism. They began by
baptizing each other.

Subsequently they were ordained to the Apostleship under the hands of
the Apostles Peter, James and John. This gave them the right and power
to build up the Church and Kingdom of God in all the world. Accordingly
on the 6th of April, 1830, the Prophet organized the Church. The Gospel
began to be publicly proclaimed; those who believed were baptized
for the remission of sins; received the laying on of hands for the
reception of the Holy Ghost; and the gifts and powers of that spirit
were manifested among the Saints by speaking in tongues, prophecy,
revelation, visions, inspired dreams, healing the sick, and all those
gracious gifts and powers enjoyed by the ancient Saints. High Priests,
Elders, Bishops, {143} Priests, Teachers and Deacons, were ordained
as the work of the ministry increased. Branches of the Church were
organized, and men holding proper authority set to preside over them.
Finally these branches were grouped together and organized into stakes
of Zion, with a presidency of three High Priests to preside over them.
High Councils, consisting of twelve High Priests, with the Presidency
of the Stake, as the presidency thereof were organized, forming
courts possessing both original and appellate jurisdiction in the
ecclesiastical affairs of the stakes, in which they were respectively
established.

In 1835 he organized a quorum of the Twelve Apostles, men who are
chosen especially to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ, and who
constitute a traveling High Council, with authority to regulate all the
affairs of the Church in all the world. At the same time quorums of
seventy were organized to be their helps in the ministry, this being
an order of the Priesthood designed to travel and preach the Gospel in
all the nations of the earth. Thus he organized the Church and all the
quorums thereof. But he did more than that.

In the Book of Mormon it is predicted that a splendid city called Zion,
or New Jerusalem shall be built upon this continent, a city noted
not for its manufactories, nor for commerce; but for its temples and
sanctuaries for worship and learning; a city on which the glory of God
will shine. The place where this city and where the chief temple is to
be built was indicated by the Prophet, and the temple site dedicated
under his direction. This was at Independence, Jackson county,
Missouri. Between twelve and fifteen hundred of the Saints gathered to
that place to lay the foundation of the city of Zion, but their enemies
prevented them by driving them away from the lands they had purchased,
and burning their houses Thus the work was hindered for the time being,
but the location of Zion was pointed out, a commencement was made, and
eventually the design of the Lord will be accomplished.

A temple was designed by the Prophet and built by the united efforts
of the Saints at Kirtland, Ohio. In it the Lord Jesus appeared to the
Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery, and declared His acceptance of the
house which had been built to His name. On the same occasion Moses the
great leader and law giver to ancient Israel, appeared to them and
committed upon them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four
quarters of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land
of the north. Thus the power to restore {144} Israel to their lands,
from which they have long been exiled, was given to him; and the work
of the gathering which ultimately will result in the restoration of all
the tribes of Israel to their possessions has begun.

While he was in Nauvoo he translated from the rolls of Egyptian
papyrus, obtained from the catacombs of Egypt, the Book of Abraham,
containing an account of the patriarch's sojourn in Egypt, and many
important principles relative to the work of God in the salvation of
man. He also made an inspired translation, or, what would be more
properly called an inspired revision of the Jewish Scriptures--the
Bible. That work, however, was not published during his life time, and
is practically lost to the world, because it is questionable if those
into whose hands his manuscript fell have preserved the integrity of
his work.

We should fall very short of stating the extent of the great work of
the Prophet Joseph, if we stopped with what he did for the children of
men this side of the grave. His work did not stop there. It reached
beyond. At the time Moses visited him and committed to him the keys of
the gathering of Israel, the Prophet Elijah came also, and revealed
those principles of which the prophet Malachi speaks, which are to
turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the
children to the fathers. The principles then revealed brought to light
the doctrine of salvation for the dead.

Thus the work accomplished through the Prophet Joseph effects two
worlds--the spiritual world as well as the one in which we dwell; and
already the work in the former exceeds that which has been done in the
latter. Salvation has been carried to those who sit in darkness in the
spirit world; their hearts have been made glad and have been turned
to their children, who can administer in the ordinance of salvation
for them. A perfect flood of light has been thrown upon the sentence
uttered by one of the prophets of old, who in speaking of the fathers,
said: "They without us cannot be made perfect."

Nor must we omit to mention the new light which the Prophet shed upon
the relationship of husband and wife. Under the darkness of an apostate
Christianity, men and women were content to be united together, as
husband and wife, until death did them part; but the Prophet Joseph
brought forth the principle that the union of man and wife was designed
in the economy of God to be eternal; that it was the means through
which the race of the Gods was {145} multiplied and new kingdoms added
to the dominions of the great Eloheim; and that as long as there was
room in infinite space, or elements in the exhaustless store-house of
nature, or as long as the bosom of the Gods glowed with affection,
just so long would new worlds be created and peopled with the ever
increasing offspring of the righteous.[A]

[Footnote A: The substance of the latter part of this paragraph is
taken from P. P. Pratt's Key to Theology.]

Nor did he merely teach this principle as a theory; a beautiful thing
to be contemplated at a distance; but qualified with the possession
of that God-given power which binds on earth and in heaven, and so
directed of the Lord, he established this order of marriage in the
Church--an order in which tens of thousands rejoice, as they look
forward with joyful anticipation, to an eternal union, with the
families they have raised up in this life, in the midst of hopes and
fears, poverty and toil, sickness and tears.

Such are the chief things accomplished by this great Prophet. We have
given but an outline of his work. A volume would scarce suffice to
point out its importance, or trace out its relationship to the general
designs of the Lord in respect to the redemption of our earth and its
inhabitants. It cannot be expected that we shall undertake it in this
brief article. Let it be sufficient here to say that even our imperfect
enumeration of what he did will prove what was claimed in the outset,
viz.: That Joseph Smith, despised as he was by the world, has done more
than any other man, save Jesus Christ, for the salvation of our race.

That the work he accomplished during his brief, but glorious career,
was wonderful, goes without saying. The wonder grows upon us as we take
into account the circumstances under which he did it. His life's labor
was performed in the midst of stupendous difficulties. Opposition met
him at every turn. Religious bigotry now ridiculed him for a fool, and
now denounced him a knave; now claiming that he was beneath contempt;
and now that he was the most dangerous imposter that had arisen since
Mohammed, and invoked all powers at its command for his destruction.
Poverty, hardship, and the hatred of his fellow men, dogged his
footsteps through all his life. He was waylaid by assassins, beaten by
mobs, cast into prisons, robbed of his property, worried with vexatious
law suits, dragged before judges and betrayed by false brethren. He
himself said in speaking of his life: "I have waded in tribulation
neck-deep, but every {146} wave that has struck me has but wafted me
nearer to Deity."

Such were the circumstances under which he stood forth as a witness
for God; brought forth new volumes of scripture; restored to earth the
Gospel of the Son of God, with authority to administer the ordinances
thereof; organized the Church; set in order the quorums of the
Priesthood, and defined their duties and powers; sent the Gospel into
every state of the Union, into Canada and England; laid the foundation
for the gathering of Israel; opened the door for the salvation of the
dead; commenced the work of building up Zion; founded Kirtland, Far
West and Nauvoo, with its magnificent temple--a work accomplished under
circumstances which give him a fame and name that cannot be slain, but
which will grow brighter as time on silent wheels rolls by.

    _So soon as we discover ourselves in a fault, we should repent of
    that wrong doing and as far as possible repair or make good the
    wrong we may have committed._

    --_Lorenzo Snow_.

    _There is nothing that will lead to damnation and destruction
    quicker than self-justification of sin._

    --_Brigham Young_.

{147}



FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE TRUE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

J. H. PAUL.

The question "What shall I do to be saved?" involves the fate of every
man and woman on earth; and rational persons cannot rest satisfied
until they have a correct understanding in regard to it.

[Sidenote: First principles.]

[Sidenote: Heb. 6: 1, 2.]

The Scriptures teach that the first step toward salvation is to believe
in the Lord Jesus Christ; that the second step is to repent and turn
from sin; that the third step is to be baptized by immersion for the
remission of sins; and that the fourth step is to receive the gift of
the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands by those having authority
to confer it. These are first among the saving principles of the Gospel
of Christ; and while men may claim that the requirements instituted by
Him for the salvation of mankind are no longer necessary, the sincere
seeker after salvation will prefer to believe the revealed word of God.

IS BELIEF ALONE SUFFICIENT?

[Sidenote: Rom. 1: 16. Heb. 11: 6.]

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that
_believeth_; and "without _faith_ it is impossible to please Him:
for he that cometh to God must _believe_ that He is, and that He is
a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." But what constitutes
the faith and belief named here? Is it a mere intellectual assent or
opinion? Must we also _do_ as well as _believe_?

[Sidenote: Genuine Belief.]

[Sidenote: John 17: 3. 1 John 2: 3, 4.]

The beloveth disciple writes: "And this is life eternal, that they
might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
sent." Construe this statement with another passage of Scripture, "And
hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He
that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar,
{148} and the truth is not in him." The devils _believe_--and tremble.
James 2: 19.

[Sidenote: Matt. 28: 19, 20.]

Jesus said to his apostles: "Go ye 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." The disciples were sent to teach all nations, and they
were instructed to enjoin obedience to "all things whatsoever" Christ
gave as commandments. His language is so comprehensive that no command
can be omitted.

[Sidenote: Gal. 3: 7.]

[Sidenote: John 8: 39.]

[Sidenote: Gen. 26: 5.]

[Sidenote: James 1: 22.]

"Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the
children of Abraham." But, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do
the works of Abraham." "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept
my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." "But be ye doers
of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

[Sidenote: Faith and works.]

[Sidenote: James 2: 14-22.]

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and
have not works? can faith save him? But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified
by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou
how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?"

[Sidenote: Luke 6: 46.]

[Sidenote: Luke 11: 28.]

[Sidenote: John 14: 15-21.]

[Sidenote: Rev. 22: 14.]

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
"But he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God,
and keep it." "If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him." "Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through
the gates into the city." Salvation is won by the works of a lifetime.

REPENT OR PERISH.

[Sidenote: True repentance.]

[Sidenote: Luke 18: 13.]

[Sidenote: Ezek. 18: 30.]

[Sidenote: Luke 13: 5.]

[Sidenote: Matt. 3: 7, 8.]

Belief in God is followed by an utterance which lies deep in the
troubled heart of man: "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" The answer of
the Almighty to the godly sorrow of His penitent children is: "Repent,
and turn yourself from all your transgressions." "Except ye repent, ye
shall all likewise perish." Genuine repentance is such a sorrow for
past sin as produces a reformation of life, and bears fruit in good
works. It leads him that steals to steal no more; him that gets drunk
{149} to break from that habit; him that blasphemes to desist from that
evil and learn to do well. All need to repent. Even the best men fall
far short of their ideal. Repentance is therefore one of the conditions
of salvation. It must precede the forgiveness of sins; and those who do
not repent are not eligible for baptism.

IS BAPTISM ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION?

[Sidenote: The counsel of God.]

One of the most remarkable fallacies of modern times is the wide-spread
doctrine that we can be saved without complying with the ordinances and
other requirements which our Savior instituted for the salvation of men.

[Sidenote: Luke 7: 29, 30.]

John the Baptist, a servant of the Most High, taught and administered
baptism; the Lord said that those who received this baptism justified
God, but that there were others who "rejected the counsel of God
against themselves, being not baptized of him." Now, men cannot be
saved by rejecting the counsel of God against themselves. Then, as it
is the counsel of God for men to be baptized, they cannot be saved
without baptism, which is therefore essential to salvation.

[Sidenote: The command of God.]

[Sidenote: Acts 11: 14.]

[Sidenote: Acts 10: 48.]

The Lord sent His angel to Cornelius, and told him to send for Peter,
who would tell him words whereby he and all his house should be saved.
Cornelius did so, and when the Apostle came, "he commanded them to be
baptized in the name of the Lord." If Cornelius had rejected baptism as
non-essential, could he have been saved? No; for the angel informed him
that Peter would tell him how to be saved, and the Apostle "commanded
them to be baptized." The _righteous_ man had to be baptized.

[Sidenote: Baptism essential.]

[Sidenote: Gal. 3: 26, 27.]

The Apostle Paul says: "Ye are all the children of God by faith in
Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ,
have put on Christ." If it is necessary "to put on Christ" to obtain
salvation, then it is essential to be baptized, for we put on Christ by
baptism.

[Sidenote: Mark 16: 15.]

The Lord Jesus, in sending out His Apostles, said: "Go ye into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth,
and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not," (and
consequently is not baptized) "shall be damned." Here the Lord
positively declares that it is only the baptized believer who shall be
saved.

[Sidenote: The new birth.]

[Sidenote: John 3: 5.]

Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except
a man be born of water" (that is, baptized in water) "and of the
Spirit," (that is, baptized in the Spirit) "he cannot {150} enter into
the kingdom of God." If entering the kingdom of God is essential to
salvation, then being "born of water," or being baptized, is essential
also, for by doing the latter we make the former possible.

BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD.

[Sidenote: The thief on the cross.]

[Sidenote: John 20: 11-17.]

Some have supposed that the thief who was crucified beside the Lord
went to heaven, and it is believed that he was not baptized; therefore,
it is argued, if one can be saved without baptism, others can. But the
supposition is incorrect: Jesus said to the thief, "to-day shalt thou
be with me in paradise," and three days afterwards said to Mary, "Touch
me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." By this we learn that
paradise and heaven are two distinct places, and as Jesus did not go
to heaven on the day He was crucified, neither did the thief; for they
were both together in paradise.

[Sidenote: The dead preached to.]

[Sidenote: I Peter 4: 6.]

Here the seeker after truth may properly inquire. "If it is necessary
for all men and women to be baptized, what will become of the good
people who have died without having that privilege?" To this the reply
of the Scriptures is that the dead who died without hearing the Gospel
will have it preached to them. They who obey it will be saved, but they
who reject it will be condemned, as though they were in the flesh. "For
this cause was the Gospel preached" [by Christ] "to them that are dead,
that they might be judged according to men in the flesh."

[Sidenote: The dead baptized for.]

[Sidenote: I Cor. 15: 29.]

[Sidenote: The Spirits in prison.]

[Sidenote: I Peter 3: 18-20.]

"But a dead person cannot be baptized," says one. Very true; but God
is just. He has provided a way in which the dead can be baptized for,
by the living, as shown by the Apostle Paul in his questions: "Else
what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise
not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" Paul referred to
baptism for the dead, as a proof of the resurrection, his questions
showing plainly that "baptism for the dead" was both believed in and
practiced by the early Christians. Peter says: "For Christ also hath
once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us
to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which
sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited
in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that
is, eight souls, were saved by water." That is: Those who rejected the
Gospel in the days of Noah were kept in the prison of the spirit world
until the Gospel was {151} again offered to them; and the same fate
awaits all those who in this life reject this glad message.

OBJECT OR PURPOSE OF BAPTISM.

[Sidenote: The remission of sins.]

[Sidenote: Mark 1: 4.]

When John was in the wilderness he preached the "baptism of repentance
for the remission of sins."

[Sidenote: Acts 2: 38.]

"On the day of Pentecost, many persons were convinced that Jesus was
the Christ, and cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter
replied: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ, for the remission of sins."

Here we find the inspired Apostle, after Christ's ascension into
heaven, teaching that baptism is for the remission of sins.

[Sidenote: The case of Paul.]

[Sidenote: Acts 22: 16.]

Paul saw a vision in which he was directed to go to a certain place,
where it should be told him what to do. He did so, and there fasted and
prayed three days. Then the Lord sent to him Ananias, who said, "Arise,
and be baptized, and wash away thy sins." Why did not the Lord remit
Paul's sins through his fasting and prayer? For the reason that He has
instituted baptism for that purpose, and all who desire the blessing of
remission of sins must comply with His law.

[Sidenote: "Inward grace."]

"But," says one, "that doctrine is strange to me; I was always taught
that baptism was an outward sign of an inward grace." No such doctrine
can be sustained by the Scripture. You must be baptized and have your
sins washed away before you are even prepared for the reception of an
"inward grace."

"But Peter tells us," urges the objector, "that baptism is 'not the
putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience towards God.'" And Peter states the truth. Ananias did not
tell Paul to be baptized and wash away "the filth of the flesh," but to
be baptized and wash away his sins.

[Sidenote: Infant baptism.]

[Sidenote: Mark 10: 14.]

Infant baptism is contrary to reason and Scripture; infants are without
sin; "of such is the kingdom of heaven." It is true that the sin of
Adam passed upon all mankind; but Christ took that sin upon Himself and
atoned for it upon the cross. The Bible teaches that the sins for which
men should be baptized are their individual sins, and not the sin they
were born in, for the Lord Jesus atoned for that.

[Sidenote: Forgiveness is the gift of God.]

[Sidenote: Acts 8: 18.]

It will not do to say that baptism remits a man's sins, for that is
the work of the Lord. The "laying on of hands" does not give the Holy
Ghost, for it is the "gift of God." The {152} blowing of rams' horns
did not throw down the walls of Jericho; it was the power of Jehovah.
"Simon saw that through the laying on of the Apostles' hands the Holy
Ghost was given."

MODE OF BAPTISM.

[Sidenote: Buried in water.]

[Sidenote: Eph. 4: 5.]

[Sidenote: Rom. 6: 4, 5.]

[Sidenote: Mark 1: 10.]

[Sidenote: Col. 2: 12.]

[Sidenote: John 3: 23.]

The mode of baptism was also designated by the Lord, and His
instructions were strictly obeyed by His servants. Paul testifies that
there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," and describes the manner
in which the ordinance was performed: "Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness
of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." As the
Lord had been buried in the watery element in the river Jordan, "coming
up out of the water," so also were the Saints "buried with him in
baptism;" they received the ordinance by immersion in the same element,
according to the prescribed method. John baptized "in Aenon near to
Salim, because there was much water there."

[Sidenote: Born again.]

[Sidenote: Matt. 3: 13-17.]

[Sidenote: Acts 8: 17-19.]

[Sidenote: Acts 19: 5, 6.]

Jesus insisted on receiving baptism "to fulfill all righteousness."
When he had been "born of water," and had come up out of that element,
the Spirit of God came upon Him, and the voice of God was heard: "This
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." This is the pattern. So
likewise the repentant believer goes down into the water, with the one
sent of God to baptize, and is buried therein and raised up again in
the likeness of Christ's resurrection; he is thus born of the water,
receiving the baptism appointed by the Lord; the remission of his sins
comes from God through His Son Jesus Christ, and is given in baptism;
he is cleansed and purified, his past sins are blotted out; he is like
a newborn babe before his God, and is then prepared to receive the
Holy Ghost, which "dwelleth not in unclean tabernacles," and which is
imparted to the baptized believer by the laying on of hands by those
having authority to officiate in this ordinance. As his body was
enveloped in the waters of baptism, so his soul is enveloped in the
Holy Ghost, and he is baptized with divine fire; he is "born of water
and of the Spirit," and made a citizen of the kingdom of God.

AUTHORITY TO BAPTIZE.

[Sidenote: Called of God.]

[Sidenote: Heb. 5: 4.]

[Sidenote: Exod. 4: 14-16.]

The Scriptures also teach that, for the ordinance to be effectual, it
must be performed by one authorized to act in {153} the name of the
Lord; for "no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called
of God, as was Aaron." Aaron was called by the voice of God, through
Moses.

[Sidenote: Divine authority.]

[Sidenote: Matt. 28: 19.]

[Sidenote: Mark 3: 14.]

[Sidenote: John 15: 16.]

The Savior commanded His Apostles to "teach all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." But
He had given them the divine commission to act in His name wheresoever
He should send them: "He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him,
and that he might send them forth to preach." The divine authority
which they possessed was the source of their power. This fact He
impressed upon them, saying: "ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen
you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and
that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you." If they had started out on
their own authority without being chosen, God certainly would not have
recognized ordinances performed by them in His name.

[Sidenote: Imperfect baptism is not baptism.]

[Sidenote: Acts 19: 11-16.]

[Sidenote: Acts 19: 1-6.]

The Apostle Paul, by the power of God, cast out evil spirits; but when
the sons of Sceva, on whom the divine authority had not been conferred,
attempted to do this, they met with failure. When the Apostle went to
Ephesus, he found certain persons who claimed to have been baptized
"unto John's baptism." Paul discerned that they had not received
John's baptism, for they knew nothing of the Holy Ghost. Probably some
unauthorized person--perhaps with good intent, but nevertheless without
authority--had been along that way baptizing "unto John's baptism,"
but not with it, for that could only be done by a duly commissioned
servant of God. After they received a proper understanding of the true
ordinance they were baptized again, "and when Paul had laid his hands
upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues,
and prophesied."

[Sidenote: Go thou and do likewise.]

The experience of the men of Ephesus affords an interesting lesson.
They had been mistaken, but when the truth was presented to them they
accepted it gladly. They received the Gospel ordinance, viz.: Baptism
by immersion for the remission of sins, administered by one having
divine authority; the burial in, and the birth from the watery element,
without which ordinance the Lord has said that no man can enter the
kingdom of heaven. "Enter ye in at the strait gate" that leads to life
eternal.

{154}



ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.

Suggestions to the Reader.

BY ELDER B. H. ROBERTS.

The reader of the Book of Mormon will do well to remember that it
is a translation of a record inscribed on gold plates, which was
an abridgment made from more extensive records kept by the ancient
civilized peoples of America--chiefly by the people known in the Book
of Mormon as Nephites. The abridgment, for the most part, is made by
one Mormon, a Nephite prophet who was born 311 A.D., and slain by his
enemies in the year 400 A.D. The parts which are not his abridgment are
the first 157 pages (N. E.), which bring us to the "Words of Mormon,"
page 158; and from page 563 (N. E.) to the end of the volume--sixty
pages.

This latter part of the record was made by Moroni, the son of Mormon,
who was also the one who hid up the plates containing his father's and
his own abridgment, in the year 421 A.D.; and who, having been raised
from the dead, revealed the existence of these plates to Joseph Smith,
on the 21st of September, 1823. The first 157 pages are a verbatim
translation from what are known as the "smaller plates" of Nephi--we
will explain.

The first Nephi, who left Jerusalem with a small company of colonists
led out from that city by his father, Lehi, 600 B.C., and who
afterwards became their leader, prophet, and their first king, made
two sets of plates, on which he proposed engraving the history of
his people. On the larger of these two sets he engraved an account
of his father's life, travels, prophecies, etc., together with his
genealogy; and upon them also he recorded a full history of the wars
and contentions of his people, as also their travels, and an account
of the cities they founded and colonies they established. These larger
plates were preserved in the care of succeeding kings, or judges of
the republic when the kingdom was transformed into one; and, in a
word, upon them was written a full history of the rise and fall of the
nations which existed in America from the landing of this colony from
Jerusalem to 400 A.D., a period of nearly one thousand years.

{155} It is quite evident that as these plates were transmitted from
king to king, or from one ruling judge of the republic to another, or
given into the possession of a prophet, that they each recorded the
historical events of his own day, and gave to such account his own
name--hence Mormon found in these "larger plates" of Nephi--the Book of
Mosiah, the Book of Alma, the Book of Helaman, etc.

Furthermore, it happened that there were colonies from time to time
that drifted off into distant parts of the land, and became lost for
a season to the main body of the people; and there were missionary
expeditions formed for the conversion of the Lamanites; and these
parties, whether missionary or colonial, generally kept records; and
when these colonists or missionary parties were found, or returned to
the main body of the people, their records were incorporated within the
main record, being kept by the historian--hence there was, sometimes, a
book within a book, and the current of events was interrupted to record
the history of these detached portions of the people, or some important
missionary expedition.

Mormon, when abridging these plates of Nephi, gave to each particular
division of his abridgment the name of the book from which he had taken
his account of the events recorded--hence the Books of Mosiah, Alma,
Helaman and III. and IV. Nephi in his abridgment. He also, in some
instances at least, followed the subdivisions we have alluded to, hence
we have the record of Zeniff within the Book of Mosiah (page 181, N.
E.); the account of the church founded by the first Alma (page 213);
and the account of the missionary expeditions of the sons of Mosiah to
the Lamanites within the Book of Alma (page 283).

Again we caution the reader to remember that the Book of Mormon is, for
the most part, an abridgment from the "larger plates" of Nephi; but
it is quite evident that Mormon frequently came to passages upon the
plates of Nephi which pleased him so well that he transcribed them upon
the plates containing his abridgment, _verbatim_. An example of this
will be found beginning on page 163, in the second line of the ninth
paragraph, and ending with page 169--the words of King Benjamin to his
people. The words of King Benjamin are also renewed on page 170, in the
second line of the fourth paragraph, and continue to the close of the
chapter. There are many such passages throughout Mormon's abridgment.

In addition to this, Mormon frequently introduces remarks of his own
by way of comment, warning, prophecy or admonition, and since there is
nothing in the text, either quotation {156} marks or a change of type
to indicate where these comments, or what we might call annotations,
begin or end, they are liable to confuse the reader--a difficulty
that we hope will be obviated by this caution. So much for Mormon's
abridgment. Now to consider the part of the work done by his son
Moroni. This is from page 563 to the end of the volume. He closes up
the record of his father, Mormon, and then gives us an abridgment of
the twenty-four plates of Ether which were found in North America by
the people of Limhi, in the second century B.C.; and then concludes
his work with notes on the manner of ordaining priests and teachers,
administering the sacrament of the Lord's supper, baptism, spiritual
gifts, together with a sermon and some of his father's letters. In his
abridgment of the record of the Jaredites, the peculiarity of mixing up
his comments, admonitions and prophecies with his narrative, is even
more marked than in the abridgment of Mormon, therefore the reader will
need to be doubly on his guard.

We have already said that the first 157 pages of the Book of Mormon
was not a part of Mormon's abridgment. Those pages are a _verbatim_
translation of the "smaller plates" of Nephi, and became connected
with Mormon's abridgment in this manner: Mormon had abridged the
"larger plates" of Nephi as far as the reign of King Benjamin, and
in searching through the records which had been delivered to him, he
found these "smaller plates" of Nephi. They contained a brief history
of events connected with the departure of Lehi and his colony from
Jerusalem to their landing in America, and thence down to the reign
of this King Benjamin--covering a period of about 400 years. These
plates were made by Nephi, that upon them might be engraven an account
of the ministry of the servants of God, among his people, together
with their prophecies and teachings. They contain, in other words, an
ecclesiastical history of the Nephites, while the "larger plates" of
Nephi contained a political, or secular history of the same people.
(See I. Nephi, ix chapter; also xix, 1-5.)

Mormon was particularly well pleased with the contents of these
"smaller plates" of Nephi, because upon them had been engraven so
many prophecies concerning the coming and mission of the Messiah;
and instead of condensing their history into an abridgment, he took
the plates and attached them to the abridgment of Nephi's "larger
plates." "And this I do for a wise purpose," says Mormon, "for thus
it whispereth me according to the Spirit of the Lord which is in me."
(Words of Mormon, page 159 N.E.). Nephi, also, in speaking of these
"smaller plates," says, "the Lord hath commanded the to make {157}
these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not." (I.
Nephi ix, 5.) What that wise purpose was we shall see further on.

By Mormon attaching these "smaller plates" of Nephi to his own
abridgment of Nephi's "larger plates," it will be seen there was a
double line of history of the Nephites for about 400 years, and the
wisdom of this arrangement is seen in the following: When Joseph Smith
had translated the first part of Mormon's abridgment--amounting to 116
pages of manuscript, he listened to the importunities of Martin Harris,
who was giving him some assistance in the work of translating, and who
desired to show that portion of the work to his friends. The result was
the manuscript was stolen from him; the records were taken from Joseph
by the angel, and he lost his power to translate for a season. After a
time, however, he was permitted to go on with the work, but the Lord
made it known to him that it was the design of those into whose hands
the manuscript had fallen to wait until he had translated that part
again, and then by changing the manuscript in their possession would
bring it forth and claim that he could not translate the same record
twice alike; and thus they would seek to overthrow the work of God.

But the heavenly messenger commanded Joseph Smith not to translate
again the part he had already translated, but instead thereof he
should translate the "smaller plates" of Nephi, and that account was
to take the place of Mormon's abridgment up to the latter days of the
reign of King Benjamin. (Doc. and Cov., D&C 10.) Thus it is that we
have the "words of Mormon," beginning on page 158, explaining how the
"smaller plates" of Nephi came into his possession and attached to the
plates containing the record he himself was making, and connecting
the historical narrative of the "smaller plates" of Nephi with his
own abridgment of Nephi's "larger plates." The "words of Mormon,"
interrupting as they do the history of the Nephites, have caused no
little confusion in the minds of unthoughtful readers; but after it is
understood that they are merely the link connecting the ecclesiastical
history engraven on the "smaller plates," of Nephi to Mormon's
abridgment, and they take the place of the first part of Mormon's
record, the difficulty will disappear.

One thing I cannot forbear to mention, and that is, in the part of the
Book of Mormon translated from the "smaller plates" of Nephi, we find
none of these comments or annotations mixed up with the record that
we have already spoken of {158} as being peculiar to the abridgment
made by Mormon--a circumstance, I take it, which proves the Book of
Mormon to be consistent with the account given of the original records
from which it was translated. There will be found, however, in this
translation direct from the "smaller plates" of Nephi, as also in
Mormon's abridgment, extracts from the old Jewish Scripture--especially
from the writings of Isaiah--this is accounted for by the fact that
when Lehi's colony left Jerusalem, they took with them copies of the
book of Moses and the writings of the prophets, and a record of the
Jews down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, all of which
were engraven on plates of brass (see I. Nephi v, 10-13), and the
Nephite historians transcribed passages from these sacred records into
their own writings.

There are a few suggestions about these transcribed passages which may
not be uninteresting to the reader, and which to the student will be
invaluable, as they furnish an indirect evidence to the truth of the
Book of Mormon.

The Nephites having transcribed passages from the brass plates they
carried with them from Jerusalem into their records, wherever such
passages occur in the Book of Mormon, and corresponding passages are
found in our English Bible, it will be seen by the reader that so far
we have two translations of the writings of the old Hebrew prophets;
and it will be found on comparison that the passages in the Book of
Mormon are stronger and more in keeping with the sense sought to be
expressed by the prophet than the corresponding passages and chapters
in the Bible. As a proof of this I ask the reader to compare I Nephi xx
and xxi, with Isaiah xlvii and xlix.

In some instances there are sentences, in the Book of Mormon version
of passages from Isaiah, not to be found in our English version, as
witness the following:

      BOOK OF MORMON.                           BIBLE.

  O house of Jacob, come ye and      O house of Jacob, come ye and
  let us walk in the light of the    let us walk in the light of the
  Lord; _yea, come, for ye have all  Lord.--_Isaiah ii_, 5.
  gone astray, every one to his
  wicked ways.--II  Nephi  xii_, 5.

In other instances it will be found that the sense of the passages
is different, and that the passages in the Book of Mormon
best accord with the sense of the whole:

  {159} BOOK OF MORMON.                             BIBLE.

  Therefore, O Lord, Thou hast           Therefore hast Thou forsaken
  forsaken Thy people, the house         Thy people, the house of Jacob,
  of Jacob, because they replenished     because they replenished from the
  from the east, and                     east, and _are_ soothsayers like unto
  hearken unto soothsayers like the      the Philistines, and they please
  the Philistines, and they please       themselves with the children of
  themselves with the children of        strangers.--_Isaiah 11_, 6.
  strangers.--_II Nephi xii_, 6.

  Their land is also full of             Their land also is full of idols;
  idols--they worship the work of their  they worship the work of their
  own hands, that which their own        own hands, that which their own
  fingers have made; and the mean        fingers have made; and the mean
  man boweth not down, and the           man boweth down, and the great
  great man humbleth himself not,        man humbleth himself; therefore
  therefore, forgive him                 forgive him not.--_Isaiah ii_, 8, 9.
  not.--_II Nephi xii_, 8, 9.

  Thou hast multiplied the nation,       Thou hast multiplied the nation,
  and increased the joy: they            and not increased the joy:
  joy before thee according to the       the joy before thee according to
  the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice the joy in harvest, and as men
  when they divide the spoil.--_II Nephi rejoice when they divide the
  xix_, 3.                               spoil.--_Isaiah ix_, 3.

Observe, too, the difference in the clearness of the following passages:

  BOOK OF MORMON.                                        BIBLE.

  And when they shall say unto                 And when they shall say unto
  you, seek unto them them that have           you, seek unto them that have
  familiar spirits, and unto wizards           familiar spirits, and unto wizards
  that peep and mutter; should                 that peep and that mutter; should
  not a people seek unto their God?            not a people seek unto their God?
  for the living to hear from the              for the living to the dead.--_Isaiah
  _II Nephi xviii_, 19.                        viii_, 19.

Again the English translators of the Bible, in order to make the sense
of various passages more clear, inserted here and there, words of their
own; which are always written in _italics_, that the reader might know
what words have been inserted by the translator, and for which he will
find no exact equivalent in the original text. It is worthy of note
that in those transcribed passages from the brass plates into the Book
of Mormon, in almost every instance, the words in the Book of Mormon
version are different to those substituted by the translators of the
common English version; or are left out, as follows:

  BOOK OF MORMON.                                        BIBLE.

  What mean ye? ye beat my people               What mean ye _that_ ye beat my
  to pieces, and grind the faces                people to pieces, and grind the
  of the poor.--_II Nephi xiii_, 15.            faces of the poor?--_Isaiah iii_, 15.

{160} The above is a case where the inserted word of the translator,
which I have written in _italics_, is omitted, and to my mind the
passage as it stands in the Book of Mormon is stronger, more beautiful,
because more harmonious. Here is a passage where different words are
used than those inserted by the translators:

  BOOK OF MORMON.                                       BIBLE.

  Say unto the righteous, that               Say ye unto the righteous, that
  it is well with them; for they             _it shall be_ well _with him_; for they
  shall eat the fruit of their doings.       shall eat the fruit of their doings.

  Woe unto the wicked! for they              Woe unto the wicked! _it shall
  shall perish; for the reward of            be ill with him_; for the reward
  of their hands shall be upon               of his hands shall be given
  them.--_II Nephi xiii_, 10, 11.            him.--_Isaiah iii_, 10, 11.

I think it will be readily conceded that the above passage as it stands
in the Book of Mormon is much superior to the version given in our
common Bible, indeed it is so throughout, and when it is remembered
that Joseph Smith and those who assisted in translating that work were
most likely uniformed as to the supplied words of the translators being
written in italics, it is an incidental evidence that those passages
in the Book of Mormon to which are found corresponding passages in
the Bible were not merely copied from the Bible, but in the Book of
Mormon we have really another translation of those passages taken from
original records of the Hebrews, uncorrupted by the hand of man, and
hence more perfect.

One suggestion more I would make to the readers of the Book of Mormon,
and that is that they read it prayerfully, with a real desire to know
if it is of God. If they will peruse it with that desire in their
hearts, I am sanguine that the Spirit of God which searches all things,
yea, the deep things of God, will bear witness to their understanding
that the book is of divine origin, and they will have a witness from
God of its truth. Such a promise, in fact, is contained within the
book itself. When Moroni--into whose keeping the plates of the Book of
Mormon were given--was closing up the sacred record previous to hiding
it up unto the Lord until the time should come for it to be revealed as
a witness for God, he engraved the following passage on the plates as
words of counsel to those into whose hands the record should fall:

    And when ye shall receive these things (i.e., the things written
    in the Book of Mormon) I would exhort you that ye would ask God,
    the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not
    true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent,
    having faith in {161} Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto
    you by the power of the Holy Ghost; and by the power of the Holy
    Ghost ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni x, 4, 5).

Here, then, is a means by which every person into whose hands the Book
of Mormon falls may find out for himself, not from human testimony, not
from the deductions of logic, but through the power of the Holy Ghost,
whether the Book of Mormon is of divine origin or not. This test must
be final, either for or against it, to every individual who complies
with the conditions enjoined by Moroni. Those conditions are, that they
into whose hands the record falls shall inquire of God with a sincere
heart, with real intent, and having faith in Christ; and to those who
so proceed he promises without equivocation that they shall receive a
manifestation of its truth by the power of the Holy Ghost. Therefore,
if these directions are complied with faithfully and honestly, and the
manifestation follows not, then they may know it is not of God. If
the manifestation comes, of course the divine origin of the book is
confirmed, for the Holy Ghost would not confirm by any manifestation
of its power an imposition. Therefore, reader, whoever you may be,
undertake the reading of the Book of Mormon with a prayerful heart, and
you will find in it a new volume of Scripture to you, a treasury of
sacred knowledge able to make you wise unto salvation.

    _"We believe that no government can exist in peace, except
    such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each
    individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control
    of property and the protection of life."_

    --_Joseph Smith, The Prophet_.

{162}



THE SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH AND EVENTS TO PRECEDE IT.

BY ELDER B. H. ROBERTS.

Of all events that will take place in the immediate future, the most
important to mankind is the glorious appearing of the Son of God,
generally spoken of as the Second Advent of the Messiah. And if there
is one thing that the writers of Scripture are more explicit in than
another, it is in relation to this all-important event.

The writer of the Acts of the Apostles, giving an account of the last
meeting of the risen Messiah with His disciples in Palestine, and His
last words to them, says:

    "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was
    taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And, while
    they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two
    men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of
    Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which
    is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as
    ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts i, 9-11).

From this we learn that the same person whom the disciples had seen go
up into heaven was to return in like manner. And this agrees with the
words of Jesus Himself.

    "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His
    angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works"
    (Mat. xvi, 27).

From this last quotation we not only learn that the Son of God is to
come in the glory of His Father, accompanied by His angels, but that He
at that time _"Will reward every man according to his works."_ And to
this testimony agrees that of other sacred writers.

St. Jude, after referring to certain wicked characters who were like
clouds without rain, or like raging waves of the sea foaming out their
own shame, says:

    {163} "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these,
    saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints,
    to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
    among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly
    committed and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have
    spoken against Him." (Jude, 14, 15).

Paul bears witness to the same thing:

    "For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them
    also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we
    say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and
    remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which
    are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
    shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God:
    and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive
    and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to
    meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (i
    Thess. iv, 14-17).

And again:

    "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus
    shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming
    fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not
    the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with
    everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from
    the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his
    saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our
    testimony among you was believed) in that day" (ii Thess. i, 7-10).

From the foregoing passages of Scripture the reader learns two very
important things: first--that the Son of Man in a glorious manner is to
return to this earth; second--that when He shall so come, it will be to
execute judgment--to reward the righteous for their faithfulness, and
to punish those who "know not God, and who obey not the Gospel, with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of
His power."

No believer in the inspiration of the Scriptures can possibly doubt the
truth of what these passages teach, viz., _that the Son of God will
verily come, and that to judgment_! But in all other ages of the world,
when God has decreed judgments upon a people or nation, He has first
sent divinely-appointed messengers to warn them of the impending evil,
that peradventure, some might repent and be saved. For example,--when
God decreed that He would destroy the Antediluvians by a flood for
their wickedness, he first sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness,
among them to warn them of the approaching calamity: When destruction
was hanging over the cities of the plain--Sodom and Gomorrah--the Lord
sent His angels {164} to first gather out righteous Lot and his family:
When destruction was decreed against Nineveh, the prophet Jonah was
sent to cry repentance to the people, and in this instance the warning
was heeded, and the calamity was turned aside: Whenever bondage,
famine, disease, or judgment of any character, was about to overtake
ancient Israel for their wickedness, prophets were sent to warn them,
that they might repent and escape the sore affliction.

This has been the course pursued by the Almighty in all ages and among
all people; and now that mighty judgments are pronounced against the
ungodly at the coming of the Son of God, may we not reasonably expect
that God will be true to His custom in the past, and send messengers to
warn the nations of the near approach of those calamities? Basing our
conclusion on the experience of past ages, it would be reasonable to
expect the Lord to so proceed. But the Scriptures themselves speak of a
number of incidents that will take place as a preparatory work to the
glorious coming of our Lord. Among these may be mentioned:

I.--THE RESTORATION OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.

The great event is thus described by John the Revelator:

    "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
    everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and
    to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with
    a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him: for the hour of his
    judgment is come" (Rev. xiv, 6, 7).

II.--THE COMING OF A MESSENGER.

to prepare the way for the Son of God, when He shall come in the glory
of His Father. This event is foretold by the prophet Malachi:

    "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he will prepare the way
    before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his
    temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:
    behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide
    the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for
    he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap: and he shall
    sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the
    sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may
    offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the
    offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in
    the days of old, and as in former years" (Malachi iii, 1-4).

III.--THE COMING OF ELIJAH.

to whom is given the peculiar mission of turning the heart {165} of the
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers.
Malachi thus describes Elijah's mission:

    "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of
    the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart
    of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to
    their father's, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse"
    (Malachi iv, 5, 6).

IV.--THE GATHERING OF THE SAINTS.

The Scriptures are replete with passages in relation to this event, but
I can here refer only to a few. When John the Revelator was about to
foretell the downfall of Babylon, he says:

    "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her,
    my people, that ye may not be partakers of her sins, and that ye
    receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven,
    and God has remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she
    rewarded you and double unto her double according to her works: in
    the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double" (Rev. xviii,
    4-6).

The Psalmist bears this testimony:

    "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall
    devour before him and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
    He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he
    may judge his people. _Gather my saints together unto me; those
    that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice_. And the heavens
    shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself" (Psalm
    i, 3-6).

So Isaiah:

    "And it shall come to pass in the _last days_, that the mountain
    of the Lord's house shall be established in the _top of the
    mountains_, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations
    shall flow unto it" (Isaiah ii, 2-4).

    "And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from afar, and will
    hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they will
    come with speed swiftly" (Isaiah v, 26, 27).

    "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble
    the outcasts of Israel [not the Jews alone, but _all Israel_], and
    gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the
    earth" (Isaiah xi, 12).

So Paul:

    "Having made known to us the mystery of his will * * * that in the
    dispensation of the fullness of times he might _gather together in
    one_ all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are
    on earth; even in him" (Eph. i, 9, 10).

{166} And lastly, the testimony of Jesus:

    "And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven,
    with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a
    great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the
    four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt. xxiv, 30,
    31).

All believers in the Holy Scriptures, then, must believe in and are
looking forward to the glorious coming of the Son of God. They also
must believe that these _four_ events we have named, will precede
that coming. That is, they believe and are expecting that when those
judgments connected with the coming of the Messiah are about to
overtake the inhabitants of the earth, an ANGEL will come with the
Everlasting Gospel, which must be preached to all nations; that a
MESSENGER will come to prepare the way before the Lord, that ELIJAH
will come to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and _vice
versa_; and that God's SAINTS will be gathered together.

And now, in all sincerity of heart, and in the fear of God, the writer
testifies to all men unto whom his words may come, that the first three
events have taken place, and the fourth, the gathering of the Saints,
is now going on, and the coming of the Son of God, together with the
attendant judgments, are near at hand.

THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL

occurred in the following manner:

In the spring of 1820, Joseph Smith, then a lad between fourteen and
fifteen years of age, being exercised on the subject of religion, and
not knowing which of the contending sects of religion were accepted by
God as His Church, fortunately came upon that excellent advice given by
the Apostle James, viz.:

    "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to
    all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him"
    (James i, 5).

In full, child-like confidence that God would fulfil His word, he
called upon the Lord in prayer, and in answer received an open vision,
in which he beheld the Father and the Son, who revealed to him the
startling truth that man had transgressed the laws of the Gospel,
changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant, and that none
of the churches or sects were acknowledged of His as His church or
kingdom, and he was commanded to join none of them. He was {167} also
informed that the time was at hand when the Gospel would be restored,
and was told that he was a chosen instrument to assist in bringing
about the purposes of God.

Let not the reader impatiently cast away this tract at the statement
that God did not acknowledge any of the sects or churches as His church
or kingdom. Let it be remembered, according to the prophecy of the
Revelator we have quoted (Rev. xiv, 6, 7), that every nation, kindred,
tongue, and people in the hour of God's judgment, are to be without
the Gospel, or why would there be any need of an angel being sent from
heaven with it to the earth, if it was anywhere on the earth? The
learned John Wesley said that the reason the extraordinary gifts of the
Holy Ghost were no longer enjoyed was because the love of many waxed
cold, the Christians had turned heathens again and only had a dead
form left (Wesley's works, vol. VI, ser. 89). The Church of England
in her Homily on Perils of Idolatry (page 3) says: "Laity and clergy,
learned and unlearned, all ages, sects and degrees have been drowned in
abominable idolatry, most detested by God and damnable to man for eight
hundred years or more."

But to return to our account of the restoration of the Gospel. More
than three years passed before Joseph Smith was again blessed with a
heavenly vision. But on the night of the 21st of September, 1823, while
engaged in prayer in his bedchamber, "I discovered," says he,

    "A light appearing in the room, which continued to increase until
    the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage
    appeared at my bed-side, standing in the air, for his feet did not
    touch the floor. * * * Not only was his robe exceedingly white,
    but his whole person was gloriously beyond description; and his
    countenance truly like lightning. * * * He called me by my name,
    and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence
    of God to me, and that his name was Moroni. That God had work
    for me to do, and that my name should be had for good or evil
    among all nations, kindred, and tongues; or that it should be
    good or evil spoken of among all people. He said that there was
    a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of
    the former inhabitants of this [the American] continent, and the
    source from whence they sprang. He also said that _the fullness of
    the everlasting Gospel was contained in it_, as delivered by the
    Savior to the ancient inhabitants [or America]. Also that there
    were two stones in silver bows (and these stones, fastened to
    the breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim of Thummim)
    deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these
    stones was what constituted Seers in ancient or former times, and
    that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book."

The angel then quoted a number of prophecies from the Jewish
Scriptures, among them the first part of the third chapter {168}
of Malachi, and also the fourth chapter of the same book, the
eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and the second chapter of Joel, from the
twenty-eighth verse to the close. He stated that these prophecies would
be fulfilled in this generation.

Four years after this first visit of the heavenly messenger, in the
meantime being instructed by him in doctrine and principle, the
tablets containing the ancient history of America, together with the
Urim and Thummim by which they were to be translated, were given into
his charge. In the course of two years the work of translation was
completed, and in the winter of 1829-30 the Book of Mormon--for so the
record is called--containing the "fulness of the everlasting Gospel,"
as taught to the ancient peoples of America, was given to the world.

Nor is the world asked to receive this important message on the
statement of Joseph Smith alone, but the Lord has given other
witnesses, and their statement has been published with every edition of
the Book of Mormon, and is as follows:

    THE TESTIMONY OF THE THREE WITNESSES.

    "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto
    whom his work shall come, * * * We declare with words of soberness
    that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and
    laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, * * and
    the engravings thereon, and we know that it is by the grace of God
    the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear
    record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes,
    nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear
    record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of
    God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are
    faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all
    men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and
    shall dwell with Him eternally in the heavens."

    "OLIVER COWDERY,

    "DAVID WHITMER,

    "MARTIN HARRIS."

Though these three witnesses; through transgression, lost the Spirit
of God, and wandered away from the fold of Christ, they never denied
the testimony they bore to the truth of the Book of Mormon. Two of them
previous to their death came back to the Church, and died in the faith.
The other--David Whitmer--died at Richmond, Mo., in January, 1888, and
on his deathbed, as he had always done previously, solemnly declared
that his testimony concerning the Book of Mormon was true.

THE COMING OF THE MESSENGER.

While the Book of Mormon was in course of translation, a very important
event took place, viz, the coming of the MESSENGER {169} to prepare the
way for the coming of the Lord. This is described by Joseph Smith as
follows:

    "We (Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery) still continued the work
    of translating; when in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we, on a
    certain day, went into the woods to pray, and inquire of the Lord
    respecting baptism for remission of sins.

    "While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord,
    a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having
    laid his hands upon us, he ordained us; saying unto us--'Upon
    you, my fellow servants, 'in the name of Messiah, I confer the
    Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering
    of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by
    immersion for the remission of sins,' and this shall never be taken
    from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering
    unto the Lord of righteousness.'

    "The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this
    Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is
    called John the Baptist in the New Testament; and that he acted
    under the direction of Peter, James and John who held the keys of
    the Melchisedec Priesthood, and who would in due season visit us
    and confer that, the higher Priesthood, upon us, which holds the
    keys of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and
    right to all the offices in the church."

Subsequently, in fulfilment of this promise, Peter, James, and
John came to them, and conferred upon them the higher order of
priesthood--the Melchisedec. This gave them the keys of all the
spiritual blessings of the Church of Christ, and the power and
authority to organize the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth.

ELIJAH COMES.

In 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, Ohio, Elijah the Prophet came, in
fulfilment of Malachi's prophecy (Mal. iv, 5, 6), and made known those
principles which would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and the hearts of the children to the fathers, viz., the doctrine
of salvation for the dead. From the keys of knowledge which Elijah
restored great light has been thrown upon the plan of salvation,
showing it to be more perfect and more extensive than ever man dreamed
of in his philosophy. It is learned from the keys of knowledge which
he restored that the innumerable millions who have died without a
knowledge of Christ or of His Gospel, together with those who have
been deceived by the teachings of pseudo ministers of Christ, are not
eternally lost, but that since the spirit of man when separate from
the body retains all the faculties of mind, the gospel is preached in
the spirit-world to the disembodied spirits, and that on condition of
their {170} accepting the Gospel, and living according to the laws
of God in the spirit, they may be saved on condition of the outward
ordinances of the Gospel being administered vicariously for them
upon the earth by their agents--their relations. That the Gospel is
preached to departed spirits is evident from the Scriptures. Peter
said:

    "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the
    unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in
    the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: _by which also he went
    and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were
    disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days
    of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight
    souls were saved by water"_ (I Peter iii, 18-20),

Men may turn and twist that passage all they please, but its plain
simple statement is that the spirit of Christ, while His body lay in
the tomb, went and preached to the spirits which were disobedient in
the days of Noah. And again he says:

    "For for this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are
    dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but
    live according to God in the spirit" (I Peter iv, 6).

That the ancient Saints also knew something about performing ordinances
vicariously for the dead is evident from this remark of the Apostle
Paul:

    "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead if the
    dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead" (I
    Cor. xv, 29).

And we ask--if there was no such thing among the ancient Saints as
baptism for the dead, why, then, does Paul refer to it in such positive
terms?

The Gospel of Christ is not limited in its powers to save to this life,
or this world alone. Its powers enter into the spirit-world. And by its
proclamation in the world of spirits the fathers will learn that they
are dependent upon the children still in this world for the performance
of the outward ordinances of the Gospel; hence, their hearts will be
turned to the children. The children on the earth will learn that it
is within their power to attend to ordinances of the Gospel for their
progenitors; hence, the hearts of the children will be turned to the
fathers. It is because of this--because of the knowledge restored by
Elijah, that the Latter-day Saints, wherever they have planted their
feet, have sought, even in the days of their greatest poverty, to build
a temple, the {171} proper place in which to attend to these ordinances
for the dead; and they thus witness to the world that the hearts of the
children are turned to the fathers.

KEYS OF GATHERING RESTORED.

The same day that Elijah came to the Kirtland Temple--3rd April,
1836--Moses came also, and committed the Keys of the Gathering of
Israel from the four quarters of the earth, and the leading of the
Ten Tribes from the land of the north. And it is because he came and
restored that authority, and communicated the commandment for the
Saints to gather together, that thousands have left their homes in the
land of their birth, and have cast in their lot with the Latter-day
Saints in the land of America, and are now where the prophets predicted
the people of God and the House of God would be established in the last
days--"in the tops of the mountains"--and some out of all nations are
flowing unto them, and they are taught in the ways of the Lord, and
are seeking to walk in His paths (see Isaiah ii, 1-4). The cry from
heaven which St. John heard in his visions is now of a truth being
sounded among the nations: "Come out of her (Babylon), my people,
that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her
plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered
her iniquities" (Rev. xviii, 4, 5). And the Saints by their flight to
the gathering places which God has appointed, as well as by word, are
testifying to the world that the hour of God's judgment is at hand, and
they are seeking to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah.

Thus the most important events which are to take place before the
glorious coming of the Son of God have been fulfilled. We know not the
day nor the hour in which the Master will come, but we know that the
preparatory work to that event has made considerable progress:--The
GOSPEL has been restored to the earth, and is being preached to all
nations for a witness that the end is near:--The MESSENGER has come
and restored the authority of God to man, that the way might be
prepared for His coming and judgment:--ELIJAH has come and performed
his mission:--And the SAINTS are gathering together to the tops of the
mountains, and are building up the House of God. And as the fig tree
putting forth its leaves proclaims the approach of summer, so these
things indicate the near approach of that time when the Son of God
will be "revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire,
taking vengeance on them that know not God {172} and who obey not the
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." This is the word of God and remember,
O reader! that it is written, though heaven and earth pass away, not
one jot nor tittle of the word of God shall fail, but all shall be
fulfilled.

Despise not this testimony and warning because he who bears it is
a representative of a cause and people everywhere spoken against.
Remember that Satan has ever opposed the work of God, and those who
labored to establish it. If he did so in former ages, will not this
opposition be more fierce in the dispensation when the work of God
is to become triumphant, resulting in the overthrow of the powers of
darkness and binding them? Such, it would seem, are the plain dictates
of reason--such are the facts. Be not deceived, then, reader, whoever
you may be, by the infamous falsehoods in circulation about the
Latter-day Saints, but examine these things with a prayerful heart that
you may know of their truth and escape the calamity that shall befall
those who "reject the counsels of God against themselves."

    _"Seek to know God in your closets, call upon Him in the fields.
    Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over and for
    your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn and
    all things that you possess; ask the blessings of God upon all your
    labors, add everything that you engage in."_

    --_Joseph Smith_.

{173}



THE CHARACTER OF THE MORMON PEOPLE.

BY ELDER B. H. ROBERTS.

INTRODUCTION.

In the ancient City of Rome, at the time that St. Paul went there
on an appeal to Caesar's judgment seat, about the year 62 A.D., the
followers of Christ were denominated, "That sect which is everywhere
spoken against." And as it was with the Christians then, so it is with
the "Mormons" now. Everything that is wicked or damnable was once
charged upon the Christians. Even the just historian Tacitus was so far
deceived by the wicked misrepresentations of their enemies, as to speak
of them as "a set of people who were holden in abhorrence for their
crimes, and called by the vulgar 'Christians.'" He also says--speaking
of them as a body--"They were criminals, and deserving the severest
punishment." The same writer calls their religion a "pernicious
superstition." Indeed, we may say to the opponents of "Mormonism,"
however skilful they may be in the use of calumny or the distortion
of facts, it would be difficult for them to charge upon the "Mormons"
more heinous crimes than were charged upon primitive Christians. It
was commonly reported of them that in the celebration of the Eucharist
they were in the habit of slaying a male child, whose flesh they ate,
and whose blood they drank in remembrance of the body and blood of the
founder of their religion. In short, they were held to be the enemies
of mankind, the disturbers of social customs, and a standing menace to
all governments; while their religion was looked upon as the sum of
villainy and absurdity. In the same light the "Mormons" are regarded
to-day. But perhaps I shall be pardoned for suggesting that it is just
possible that the world is as much mistaken respecting the character
and religion of the "Mormons" now, as it formerly was respecting the
"Christians" and their religion.

No prejudice is so cruel as that growing out of religious controversy.
At any rate, we know that the most cruel wars {174} have risen through
a determination to resist religious innovations, or efforts to reform
religious systems. While the acts of inhuman cruelty, which most
disgrace our race, have been perpetrated in vain endeavors to suppress
what have been considered heresies, and silence their advocates. In
short, the most unrelenting hatred, the most lasting prejudices have
grown out of differences in religious opinions. The Messiah, doubtless,
was guided as much by His knowledge of human nature as He was by
inspiration when He exclaimed:

    "Think not that I have come to bring peace upon earth; I came not
    to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance
    against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the
    daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall
    be they of his own household" (Matt. x, 34-36).

It is because "Mormonism" involves a religious controversy that the
prejudices against it are so deep seated, and the misrepresentation of
its devotees so persistent.

Joseph Smith, in his youth, announced a new revelation from God; and as
the Christian world had been, and are, taught that no more revelation
is to be given, that the Bible contains all that God ever did, and all
that He ever will reveal to man, the proclamation that God had again
spoken aroused the ire of the religious teachers of that day, and when,
in spite of their efforts to stay its progress, they saw the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints increasing in numbers and influence,
these pseudo religious teachers sought to overwhelm with falsehood,
misrepresentation and slander what they could not overcome with reason
and fairness. And the absurd, childish stories then invented by
religious opponents of "Mormonism" they still rehashed with variations
to suit ever shifting conditions, the mass constantly growing as fast
as new falsehoods or distorted facts can be marshalled into service.

On this point I quote the following from the _New York World_ of recent
date. The _World_ is one of the leading journals of America, and, in
giving an epitome of the history and faith of the "Mormons," it said:

    "In matters of dogma there was little or nothing in its creed to
    distinguish it from any other orthodox sect, but its possession of
    an alleged addition to the Bible and the austerity and severity
    of the code of morals inculcated drew to it immediately a large
    following. The same spirit of intolerance which in Massachusetts
    slit the ears of Quakers and banished Baptists under pain of death,
    blazed forth as fiercely as in the days of Athanasius and Arius.
    The pulpit rang with denunciations of the new sect, every calumny
    that could be invented was {175} invented and believed, and the
    Mormons were driven from place to place, robbed, beaten, imprisoned
    and murdered, exactly as the founders of every other Christian sect
    were persecuted."

THE CAUSE OF MISREPRESENTATION.

There are two classes of men in Utah who are interested in defaming
the character of the "Mormon" people. These are the religious and
political adventurers who have drifted into the Territory. The former
went there professedly to convert the "Mormons" from the error of their
way; but not being successful in getting sufficient converts from
the "Mormon" Church to establish congregations that could pay their
salaries, they have ever been dependent upon the people of the Eastern
States for their support and means with which to build churches. They
soon discovered that the amount of means they could raise depended upon
the strength of the feeling they could incite in the minds of their
supporters in the Eastern States. The more licentious and blood-thirsty
the "Mormon" community was represented to be, the greater Christian
heroes were these ministers considered, and therefore the more readily
were "ducats" poured into their laps to carry on this spiritual war,
against the supposed man of sin situated in the Rocky Mountains.
Granting a few honorable exceptions, these professed ministers of
Christ have invented and retailed the most abominable falsehoods
respecting the Latter-day Saints, well knowing that the prejudice
existing against the "Mormon" religion would so blind the eyes and
close the ears of the people that it would be next to impossible for
their calumnies and misrepresentations to be exposed. And if now and
then their base purposes were brought for a moment to the light, and
some few of their falsehoods contradicted, the effect could only be
momentary, and the exploded sensational reports of "Mormon" atrocities
would be supplanted by ten thousand others more horrible but equally
baseless.

The political adventurers, alluded to in the above, are men who have
come into the Territory principally by being appointed to the Federal
offices within the gift of the President of the United States. It must
be understood that a Territory in the American Government occupies
much the same relationship to that government that a crown colony
does to the imperial government of Great Britain; and the President
appoints the Governor, Secretary, the District judges, the Marshal,
Commissioners, {176} and indirectly a number of other officers in the
Territory. It has been the policy of the chief executives of the nation
in the past to reward their supporters, or the supporters of their
political friends in the respective states with appointments to these
positions; and to satisfy popular clamor raised by religious opponents,
men with avowed hatred of "Mormonism" have usually been sought to fill
these Federal offices. Another fact bearing on the character of these
appointees must be taken into consideration; and that is, as a general
thing, men who will consent to accept an appointment to positions in
the Territories are fifth or sixth rate politicians, whose political
prospects where they are known have dwindled to a forlorn hope. No man
who has an opportunity of succeeding in political or business life
in his own state will consent to abandon his prospects and life long
associations for a temporary position in a Territory where, from the
very nature of things, he can never hope for a hearty support of the
people among whom he thrusts his unwelcome presence. Why? Because he
is not of them. He is not their choice for the position; he is not
responsible to the community for the manner in which he discharges his
official duties--a condition of affairs that is absolutely incompatible
with the existence of harmony between the administrator of the laws and
the community they effect, in a country where the people are educated
to the idea that "Governments derive their just powers from the consent
of the governed."

I find these two points relative to political and ecclesiastical
adventurers sustained by the testimony of James W. Barclay, a member
of the British Parliament, who visited Utah in 1883, and published
the results of his observations in the January No., 1884, of the
_Nineteenth Century_. The _Century_ is a monthly magazine published in
London. He says:

    "I apprehend that the animosity of Mormonism is principally due
    to the efforts of the host of hungry office-seekers who would
    find lucrative posts in Utah were the Mormons disfranchised,
    and by the missionaries from the Eastern States who come to
    turn the Mormons from the error of their ways, and whose income
    depends on the strength of the feelings they can excite in their
    supporters. Utah is still a Territory, and, as such, its Governor,
    Lieutenant-Governor and Marshal, and other officials of the Federal
    Government, are nominated by the President of the United States,
    and are of course non-Mormons; but the municipal and other local
    officials are elected by the Mormons.

    If the Mormons could be disfranchised in a body, 500 lucrative
    posts in Utah would be open to Gentile office-seekers. According to
    the legislature which might be adopted, the offices would be filled
    {177} either by the President of the United States or by the small
    minority of Gentiles in Utah."

MORMONS WRONGED BY A SENSATIONAL PRESS.

Unfortunately the religious and political adventurers in Utah can
succeed in their designs the more readily because the agents sending
out the _Associate Press_ dispatches to the entire press of the country
are in sympathy with these parties or controlled by them; so that all
information going out to the country at large from that source is
generally distorted to the disparagement of the "Mormons."

In addition to this, it will be remembered that the American Press is
nothing if not sensational. This is true in a general sense, it is
doubly so in relation to the "Mormon Question." Ever ready to pander
to the prejudice of the populace, and finding the "Mormon" people the
victims of popular hate and without political influence, the American
Press has recklessly traduced the character of as noble a community as
ever graced God's earth. Every sensational rumor derogatory to their
character has been seized upon with avidity and published without
reserve, while the correction of the mis-statements or the vindication
of their character has seldom struggled through the columns of the
press to the public eye. The people of America, and other countries,
too, have taken everything for granted that has been said against the
"Mormon" people, no matter how absurd it is, or how unreliable the
source from whence it came. Very few men have had the fairness to
investigate "Mormonism" for themselves, or inquire into the character
of the "Mormon" people.

Respecting the misrepresentation of the "Mormon" people and the source
from whence the public has drawn its views and fed its prejudices, I
introduce the testimony of Mr. Phil. Robinson, an English journalist
and correspondent of note, and a traveler of world wide experience;
and who is at present the editor of the _Court and Society Review_,
published in London. Mr. Robinson went to Utah in 1882, where he
remained for three months. He visited nearly every town and village
in the Territory, and saw the people at their firesides and at work
in their fields, as well as in their public meetings--in fact he
saw them in all the relations of life--and on the subject of their
misrepresentation, he says:

    "Whence have the public derived their opinions about it [meaning
    {178} Mormonism]? From anti-Mormons only. I have ransacked the
    literature of the subject, yet I really could not tell any one
    where to go for an impartial book about it later in date than
    Burton's "City of the Saints" published in 1862. There is not,
    to my knowledge, a single Gentile work before the public that
    is not utterly unreliable from its distortion of facts. How can
    anyone have respect for literature or the men who, without knowing
    anything of the lives of Mormons, stigmatize them as profane,
    adulterous and drunken? These men write of the squalid poverty of
    the Mormons, of their obscene brutality, of their unceasing treason
    towards the United States, of their blasphemous repudiation of the
    Bible, without one particle of information on the subject, except
    such as they gather from the books and writings of men whom they
    ought to know are utterly unworthy of credit, or from the verbal
    calumnies of apostates; and what the evidence of apostates is
    worth history has long ago told us * * * I am now stating facts;
    and I, who have lived among the Mormons and with them, can assure
    my readers that every day of my residence increased my regret at
    the misrepresentation these people have suffered" ("Sinners and
    Saints," Roberts and Sons, Boston).

TESTIMONY OF NON-MORMON WITNESSES.

I here introduce the testimony of a number of non-"Mormon" witnesses to
the character of the "Mormon" people and their religion.

First, I refer to the article by Mr. Barclay, M. P., published in the
_Nineteenth Century_, January, 1884:

    "Mormon home-steads have a tidier appearance than is usual in the
    West, and the general air of comfort and prosperity which prevails
    is the best evidence of the persevering, industrious habits of
    the people...There is nothing peculiar in the Mormon creed to
    account for the great influence which Mormonism exercises among its
    followers.

    "The success of Mormonism and its steady progress must therefore be
    due either to the manner in which Mormons carry into practice the
    religion they profess, or to its organization. In my opinion the
    results are due to two influences. First, there is no religious
    caste or class. From the president downwards, the office-bearers of
    the Church are selected by the voice of the Mormon community; they
    require no special qualification, and no one receives any salary or
    other emolument; the missionaries dispatched to all parts of the
    world do not receive even traveling expenses. And, in the second
    place, Mormonism interests itself as much in the temporal as in the
    spiritual concerns of its members: Church and State are, in short,
    identical.

    "The Mormon community is an enlarged family, bound together by
    privileges and duties, one principal duty being to care for the
    helpless and the needy. At the same time, every individual has full
    freedom of action. There is no compulsion on any Mormon beyond the
    public opinion of his fellows, and none is possible. Apostasy {179}
    even does not appear to be attended with serious consequences to
    the apostate's material interests. Some of the largest merchants
    in Salt Lake City have apostatized from the Church, and although
    the population of Utah is about nine-tenths Mormon, their business
    seems to prosper as before....

    "In morality, as far as shown by statistics, the Mormons greatly
    excel the Gentiles in their midst, and the general population
    of the States. In the winter of 1881, a census was taken of the
    prisoners in Utah, with the following result:--In the City prison
    were twenty-nine convicts, and in the County prison six convicts,
    all non-Mormons. In the penitentiary, out of fifty-one prisoners
    only five were Mormons, two of whom were for polygamy; and of 125
    prisoners in the lock-ups, eleven were Mormons, some for polygamy.

    "The arrests in Salt Lake City, from the 1st of January to the 8th
    of December, 1881, were classified as follows:

  Mormons:                                       Non-Mormons:
  Men and boys 163                               Men and boys 657
  Women          6                               Women        194

  Total        169                                      Total 851

    "Of the population of Salt Lake City, about 75 per cent. is Mormon,
    and 25 per cent. non-Mormon. Of the suicides in Utah, 90 per cent.,
    and of the homicides and infanticides 80 per cent., are committed
    by the 17 per cent. of non-Mormons. . . . .

    "The Mormons, as a people, are tolerant, temperate, peaceable, and
    industrious. Temperance is in some cases carried to the extreme of
    abstinence from alcohol of all kinds, tobacco, and tea. Before the
    Federal Government exercised so much authority as now, drinking
    saloons and other establishments of vice were prohibited; and,
    although a few professing Mormons keep drinking saloons, they are
    held in disgrace....

    "Certain it is that, whatever the causes may be, there is among the
    Latter-day Saints a mutual feeling of helpfulness and trust, and
    whatever the Gentiles may say, the sentiments towards the heads of
    the community are respect, confidence, and I might say affection.
    I had the pleasure of traveling for some days in the company of
    a Mormon Elder, a gentleman of great ability, intelligence and
    courtesy, and I was much struck by the evident cordiality of
    his reception by his co-religionists, as well as by his genuine
    kindness, without any tinge of condescension towards his humbler
    brethren. There was on both sides an evident feeling of perfect
    equality combined with respect and affection. It is the same with
    the President. So far as I observed and could learn, President
    Taylor is regarded with greater respect by the Mormons than is the
    President of the United States by its citizens, and at the same
    time his office is open to all, and he is prepared to hear what the
    humblest Mormon has to say."

Again I turn to the testimony of Mr. Robinson:

    "I have seen and spoken to and lived with Mormon men and women of
    every class, and never in my life, in any Christian country, {180}
    have I come in contact with more consistent piety, sobriety and
    neighborly charity. I say this deliberately, without a particle of
    odious sanctimony, these folks are in their words and actions as
    Christian as ever I thought to see men and women . . . The Mormons
    are a peasant people, with many of the faults if peasant life,
    but with many of the best human virtues as well....The demeanor
    of the women in Utah, as compared with Brightan or Washington, is
    modesty itself; and the children are just such healthy, vigorous,
    pretty children as one sees in the country or by the sea-side in
    England...... Utah-born girls, the offspring of plural wives, have
    figures that would make Paris envious; and they carry themselves
    with almost oriental dignity. There is nothing, so far as I have
    seen, in the manners of Salt Lake City to make me suspect the
    existence of that licentiousness of which so much has been written,
    but a great deal on the contrary to convince me of a perfectly
    exceptional reserve and self-respect. It is only a blockhead that
    could mistake the natural gayety of the country for any other than
    it is. I know, too, from medical assurance, that Utah has the
    practical argument of healthy nurseries to oppose to the theories
    of those who attack its domestic relations on physiological
    grounds. . .. A healthier and more stalwart community I have never
    seen; while among the women I saw many refined faces, and remarked
    that robust health seemed the rule....

    "Mutual charity is one of the bonds of Mormon union. It is
    published officially that the bishops of every ward are to see
    there are no persons going hungry.' What a contrast to turn from
    this text of universal charity to the infinite meanness of those
    who can write of the whole community of Mormons as 'the villainous
    spawn of polygamy!' . . . Instead of the Mormons being as a class
    profane, they are as a class singularly sober in their language,
    and indeed in this respect resemble the Quakers.

    "The payment of the tithings is as nearly voluntary as the
    collection of a revenue necessary for carrying on a government
    can possibly be allowed to be... It is not true that the Church
    interferes with the domestic relations of the people. When I
    remember what classes of people their men and women are chiefly
    drawn from, and the utter poverty in which most of them arrive, I
    cannot in sincerity do otherwise than admire and respect the system
    which has fused such unpromising material of so many nationalities
    into one homogeneous whole."--Sinners and Saints."

Bishop D. S. Tuttle, for years an Episcopal clergyman in Salt Lake
City, an opponent of "Mormonism," but an honorable one, in a lecture on
"Mormonism," delivered in New York and published in the New York _Sun_,
says:

    "In Salt Lake City alone there are 17,000 Latter-day Saints. Now,
    who are they? I will tell you, and I think, that after I have
    concluded, you will look on them more favorably than you have been
    accustomed to do. Springing from the centre of your own State
    (N.Y.) in 1830, they drifted slowly westward until they finally
    rested in the Basin of the Great Salt Lake. I know that the people
    of the east have obtained the most unfavorable opinion of them,
    and have judged them unjustly. They have many traits that are
    worthy of admiration, {181} and they believe with fervent faith
    that their religion is a direct revelation from God. We of the east
    are accustomed to look upon the Mormons as either a licentious
    arrogant or rebellious mob, bent only on defying the United States
    Government and deriding the faith of the Christians. This is
    not so. I know them to be honest, faithful, prayerful workers,
    and earnest in their faith that heaven will bless the Church of
    Latter-day Saints. Another strong and admirable feature in the
    Mormon religion is the tenacious and efficient organization. They
    follow with the greatest care all the forms of the old church."

I next quote from the contribution of the Rev. John C. Kimball of
Hartford, Connecticut, U. S. A., to _The Index_, published in Boston,
Mass., 1884. After introducing the testimony of a number of writers to
the general good character of the "Mormon" people, he says:

    "Still stronger is the evidence derived from official statistics
    as to their intelligence and virtue. In Salt Lake City, in 1881,
    the published reports show that the arrests for crime were
    _fourteen times_ as many among the Gentiles, in proportion to
    their number, as among the Mormons; and taking the Territory as a
    whole, the Gentile population furnished _forty-six_ convicts in
    the penitentiary, where the Mormon population, number for number,
    furnished one! According to the United States census, Massachusetts
    has four times as many convicts to the same population as Utah;
    four and a half times as many idiots and insane, and nine times
    as many paupers. Utah in school attendance, according to the
    same authority [the United States census for 1880], is ahead of
    Massachusetts; and with all that has been said about the ignorance
    of its people and its immense foreign immigration, its proportion
    of people that cannot read and write is put down as less than that
    of New England. And still more striking, the women there instead of
    being kept in ignorance and subjection, are educated in the same
    studies and to the same extent as the boys and men, are equally
    fitted to earn their own living out in the world and to maintain an
    independent career."

Captain Burton, of the British army, published in 1862, a book on the
"Mormon" people and faith called the _City of the Saints_. He says:

    "Mormonism is emphatically the faith of the poor. . . I cannot
    help thinking that morally and spiritually as well as physically
    its proteges gain by their transfer from Europe to Utah. . . . In
    point of more morality, the Mormon community is perhaps purer than
    any other of equal numbers. . . . The penalties against chastity,
    morality and decency are exceptionally severe. . . . I was much
    pleased with their religious tolerance. The Mormons are certainly
    the least fanatical of our faiths, owning like the Hindus, that
    every man should walk his own way, while claiming for themselves
    superiority in belief and practice."

{182} Testimony of like character and of equal respectability could
be adduced without limit, but we think sufficient is here set down to
convince people disposed in the least degree to be fair-minded, however
prejudiced they may previously, have been, that the reckless charges
of crime and immorality made against the Latter-day Saints in Utah by
their enemies, are wickedly false, and have been invented to deceive.
I ask you again to cast your eye over the statements presented to you,
and consider the character of the men who make them. They are not the
statements of the occasional tourist of a day, but the conclusions
of men of thought and travel and education, who visited Utah for the
express purpose of becoming acquainted with the strange faith, and, to
the world, the still stranger people.

"POLYGAMY."

I shall be told, however, that the "Mormons" believe in and some of
them practise a plurality of wives, and therefore they must be a bad
people. But not so fast. Before such a conclusion is drawn it will
be necessary to prove that a plurality of wives as practised by the
Mormons is in and of itself evil. That principle is as much a part of
the religious faith of the women as of the men, and is practised by and
with the consent of all parties concerned. It is practised because the
people believe that God has commanded it by revelation direct to the
Church, for the accomplishment of His own wise purposes--the rearing
of a purer and better race of people. Their faith in that revelation
is considerably strengthened by reading in the Holy Scriptures how God
favored and blessed with His approval that form of marriage among the
worthy patriarchs of old; nay, how even God Himself gave to David,
according to His own Word (2 Sam. xii., 7, 8), a plurality of wives;
thus becoming a party to the evil, if evil it was. But that which God
sanctions and approbates can never be said to be evil. And that God did
sanction the plural wife system of marriage and approve it is evident
from the lives of nearly all the patriarchs and prophets spoken of in
the Bible.

I know it is said by Christians that this was in very ancient times,
when people lived under the Mosaic Law, and that the law of carnal
commandments was superceded by the new dispensation under Christ.
Very well, then, shifting the controversy to what is known as the
Christian dispensation, we challenge {183} the whole world to produce
a single passage from the New Testament directly condemning the plural
marriage system of the old patriarchs, or a passage which, by fair
interpretation, even by implication condemns it. Such a passage cannot
be found. And yet the writers of the New Testament did not hesitate
to condemn in the most direct and positive manner every species of
sin;--strange, is it not, that they failed to condemn plural marriage,
if it was by them or their Master considered sinful? The fact becomes
more strange when it is understood that they lived in a country and
among a people who practised it. Furthermore, Abraham, Jacob, and
the prophets were frequently the theme of conversation and discourse
with the writers of the New Testament, and if the plural wife system
practised by them was sinful, is it not singular that no condemnation
of it should creep into the pages of the New Testament somewhere?

I apprehend that much of the prejudice existing against the marriage
system of the Latter-day Saints arises from confounding it with
the polygamy of the East--with the harems of Turkey, or the bigamy
occasionally practiced in Christian communities; yet we hope to show,
so far as may be shown in a few brief sentences, that there is not
and cannot be, from the very nature of society in Utah, anything that
resembles the Eastern harem, nor do the evils exist which grow out of
the ordinary case of bigamy.

In the first place, women in Utah are as free to marry whom they please
as they are in any part of the world. Mr. Phil. Robinson says:--

    "It is a mistake to suppose there are no educated women in Utah: . . .
    the young ladies appear as free and independent as in other parts
    of the United States. . . . if the women of Utah are slaves, their
    bonds are loving ones and dearly prized. They are today in the free
    and unrestricted exercise of more political and social rights than
    are the women of any other part of the United States."--"Saints and
    Sinners."

To this add the testimony of Mr. Barclay, in the article from the
_Nineteenth Century_, before quoted:--

    "The young ladies appear as free and independent as in other parts
    of the United States; and, if I might hazard an opinion, the young
    men of Mormondom will find considerable difficulty in persuading
    them to be content with the share of a husband."

The women of Mormondom are as free to bestow or withhold their hands
in marriage as they are in England, and {184} there has not been a day
since 1862--the year in which the first law of Congress was passed
against polygamy--but what it has been within the power of the wife
or wives of a man to send him to the penitentiary, the United States
Courts being only too glad to entertain her suit, and break up the
polygamous family associations. Yet, in all these years, there have
not been half-a-dozen such cases. This entire freedom of women among
the "Mormons" robs their plural marriage system of every feature of
resemblance to the polygamy of the East; and what is here set down
proves that whatever of plural marriage exists in Utah, does so by the
mutual consent of all the parties concerned.

In common bigamy the first marriage is studiously concealed by the
party contemplating the second marriage. A man represents himself to
a lady as a bachelor, and under false pretences and fraud obtains
possession of her person. Soon she discovers that she has been
betrayed, deceived, degraded,--the sense of shame and sorrow following
producing indescribable misery. Nor has it been less productive of evil
to the first wife. Her happiness, too, has been wrecked by the perfidy
of the wretch she called husband. She has been neglected, abandoned,
made an outcast. Where she looked for loyalty, she found treason; where
she implicitly trusted, she has been deceived, and her misery and shame
is as great as the other victim's.

Now, none of these evils grow out of the plural marriage system of
the Mormons. In the first place, a plurality of wives, under certain
conditions and restraints, is one of the social institutions of the
Society of Utah, and has been for more than a generation. As before
remarked, it is practised because the "Mormon" people believe it is
commanded of God; it is therefore accepted by both man and woman as
part of their religious faith, and is regarded as such by the whole
population,--as well by those who do not practise it as by those who
do. Consequently it breeds no scandal; it brings no reproach. The
position of the plural wife is just as honorable, in every sense of
the word, as that of the first wife. She is, in fact, a wife, with all
the holy associations growing out of that relationship, and is honored
everywhere as such. The same ceremony which unites a man to his first
wife is employed to unite him to his second or third, and the same
authority--the authority of God--performs it.

As with the plural wife, so with the plural wife's children; {185} they
are equally honorable with the children of the first wife,--society
makes no distinction between them. When a man takes a plural wife no
concealment is made of his first marriage, nor is his first family
deserted; all is open and honest. There is no deceit, no fraud
practiced, nor can there be. The sanction of the first wife, and the
sanction of parents must be obtained, together with the sanction and
recommendation of the Bishop who presides over the branch of the
Church where the parties live, and who has to be able to state in his
recommendation that the parties are members of the Church in good
standing; that means that they are honest before God and man, virtuous,
faithful in discharging every religious and moral duty, and temperate
withal. And unless such a recommendation can be given, the relationship
cannot be contracted.

Such, in brief, is an outline of the conditions hedging about the
practice of this principle of plural marriage, against which Christians
can find no law, either in the Old or New Testament, which even so much
as bears the complexion of condemnation, but very much which will bear
witness of God's approval of it, even allowing His only-begotten Son,
so far as His earthly parentage is concerned, to come through such
a lineage, a number of his earthly progenitors being the offspring
of plural wives, and themselves practising it. Surely our Christian
friends, who look forward to reclining upon Abraham's bosom as one of
the highest privileges to be enjoyed in heaven, ought not to criticise
too severely the system of marriage which he practised.

THE MISSION OF THE MORMON ELDERS.

Much complaint is made by the people of England because the Elders from
Utah, who are traveling in this country as missionaries, do not make
any particular effort to explain or urge upon people the doctrine of
plural marriage. Strangers attend our meetings, and are surprised to
hear nothing said upon the subject of plurality of wives, and go away
disappointed; as if our Elders on every occasion should have something
to say upon that subject. I assure my readers that it is not because
the Elders have any disposition to conceal the fact that the Latter-day
Saints believe in the rightfulness of the doctrine under the conditions
herein set down; or through any fear that the Word of God can be shown
to condemn it. The fact is, the Elders from Utah are servants of God
sent {186} forth with a message to the nations of the earth to the
effect that God has spoken from heaven, and restored the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, which, in consequence of the wickedness and violence of
men a few centuries after Christ, was taken from the earth, together
with the authority to administer in its ordinances. But this Gospel is
now restored, together with its ancient powers, gifts, blessings, and
authorities, and by the faithful Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ
is being preached as a witness in all the world. It is the business
of the Elders from Utah to make this important proclamation to the
inhabitants of the earth, and call upon them to repent of their sins,
and warn them that the hour of God's judgment is here, and His glorious
coming at hand. The practice of plural marriage in Utah is a very
insignificant matter in comparison with the importance of the great
message we are here to deliver. We are not here to urge upon people the
acceptance of plural marriage, but to declare the message above alluded
to; though, of course, at proper times and under proper circumstances,
we shrink not from the most rigid inquiry into the various principles
of our faith.

CONCLUSION.

In conclusion, I wish to say that I have been reared in Utah, have
grown up in a Mormon community, taught in their schools, instructed
in their faith. It has been my good fortune to listen frequently
to the public discourses of their leading Elders, and to enjoy a
personal acquaintance with many of them, and never, either in public
or in private have I been taught anything contrary to the strictest
interpretation of the principles of morality. I know that the entire
people, and especially the young, are taught and always have been
to regard virtue as the pearl of great price, while adultery and
fornication are considered sins next in degree of enormity to the
shedding of innocent blood.

It has fallen to my lot to travel through nearly all the States of
America and the greater part of England, which has given me the
advantage of comparing the "Mormon" community with communities existing
under other systems of religion and different social customs. I need
only say that that comparison--reviled, scorned, even hated as the
"Mormons" are--has {187} made me more proud of my people, and my heart
swells with gratitude to the Giver of all good that it has fallen to my
lot to be reared among the "Mormons."

APPENDIX.

It is frequently claimed by our enemies, and especially by apostates,
that the "Mormons" teach one set of doctrines in England as "milk for
babes,"--doctrines which are harmless and even commendable, but that
quite different doctrines are taught in Utah; and that murder, robbery,
adultery, and, in fact, every crime known to man is not only winked
at, but taught as a duty, as part of the religion of the Saints. To
support these statements, garbled quotations and mutilated extracts
from the utterances of the leading Elders of the Church are cited from
the _Journal of Discourses_, followed up by the assertion that these
discourses are only preached in Utah; when, in fact, the _Journal of
Discourses_ was a semi-monthly periodical published in Liverpool,
commencing in 1854 and continued up to some two years ago, and widely
circulated in England; the Church authorities having nothing to fear
from a publication of their discourses, where all that they said was
presented to the people.

THE MOUNTAIN MEADOW MASSACRE.

In the summer of 1857, a company of emigrants passed through Utah, _en
route_ for California. They took what is known as the southern route,
and while going through some of the settlements in Southern Utah, they
were both impertinent and abusive. They poisoned several springs, and
also the carcass of an ox which had died. Several Indians drinking the
water and eating the carcass died from the effects. The result was that
the Indians became enraged, and being joined by a few white men--among
them John D. Lee--who, unfortunately, were Mormons, the entire
company, excepting a number of children, were cruelly and inhumanly
murdered. This horrid crime has been charged upon the Mormon Church,
and especially upon the leading Elders. The charge is not true. It is
wickedly and maliciously false; was proven to be so by repeated failure
of the efforts of his enemies to fasten the crime upon Brigham Young.

John D. Lee had two trials for complicity in the horrid affair. In the
first trial the jury disagreed. At the second trial, one James Haslam
gave the testimony which I here introduce. It is taken from the records
of the court. But that the reader may understand its force, I may
briefly explain that in 1857, upon the misrepresentations of a United
States judge, the United States authorities at Washington had rashly
ordered armed forces to Utah to put down a supposed {188} rebellion
of the Mormon people, and in consequence of that "army" approaching
Utah, there was considerable excitement throughout the Territory. This
fact made the emigrants passing through Utah both arrogant and abusive
to the people of the "Mormon" settlements, and a council of leading
men in those settlements was held to determine upon the course to be
pursued towards the emigrants, and it was decided to send a messenger
to Brigham Young to learn his views upon it. That messenger was Haslam;
but before he returned the massacre had taken place--John D. Lee having
led the Indians to the attack. This is the testimony as it appears on
the court records:--

"James Haslam, of Wellsville, Cache Valley, was sworn. He lived
in Cedar City in 1857; was ordered by Haight to take a message to
President Young with all speed; knew the contents of the message:
left Cedar City on Monday, September. 7, 1857, between 5 and 6 p.m.,
and arrived at Salt Lake on Thursday at 11 a. m.; started back at 3
p.m., and reached Cedar about 11 a. m. Sunday morning, September 13th;
delivered the message from President Young to Haight, who said it was
too late. Witness testified that when leaving Salt Lake to return,
President Young said to him, 'Go with all speed, spare no horseflesh.
The emigrants must not be meddled with, if it takes all Iron County
to prevent it. They must go free and unmolested.' Witness knew the
contents of the answer. He got back with the message the Sunday after
the massacre, and reported to Haight, who said, 'it is too late.'"

In opening the case of the second trial of John D. Lee, Mr. Sumner
Howard, Ex-Chief Justice of Arizona, and the United States prosecuting
Attorney said:--

"He proposed to prove that John D. Lee, without any authority from
any council or officer, but in direct opposition to the feelings and
wishes of the officers of the Mormon Church, had gone to the Mountain
Meadows, where the Indians were then encamped, accompanied only by one
little Indian boy, and had assumed command of the Indians, whom he had
induced, by promises of great booty, to attack these emigrants; that
in his attack on the emigrants he was repulsed; that finding he could
not get the emigrants out, he sent word to the various settlements
of Southern Utah for men to be sent to him, representing that the
men were needed for various purposes, to some saying the Indians had
attacked the emigrants, and it was necessary to have men sent to draw
off the Indians, to others that men were necessary to protect the
emigrants, and still others that the emigrants were all killed, and
that they were required to bury the dead; these men went in good faith
to perform a humane act; that he had arranged with the Indians to bring
the emigrants out from their corral, or fort, by means of a flag of
truce; that by this act of perfidy he had induced the emigrants to
give up their arms and place themselves under his protection, loading
the arms and the wounded with the helpless children into two wagons,
which he had ordered for the purpose; that he then started the wagons
ahead, following them himself, and the women following next, the men
bringing up the rear in single file; that Lee, after having traveled
from three-quarters of a mile to a mile, gave the order to fire, and
the slaughter commenced; that Lee shot one woman with his rifle, and
{189} brained another woman; then drawing his pistol, shot another,
and seizing a man by the collar and drawing him out of the wagon, cut
his throat; that he gathered up the property of the emigrants and took
it to his own place, using and selling it for his own benefit and use.
All these charges against John D. Lee, he (District Attorney Howard)
proposed to prove to the jury by competent testimony beyond reasonable
doubt, or beyond any doubt, and thought no appeal to the jury would
be required to induce them to give a verdict in accordance with the
evidence."

At the conclusion of the trial, Mr. Howard

    "Repeated again that he had come for the purpose of trying John
    D. Lee, because the evidence led and pointed to him as the main
    instigator and leader, and he had given the jury unanswerable
    documentary evidence proving that the authorities of the Mormon
    Church knew nothing of the butchery until after it was committed,
    and that Lee, in his letter to President Young a few weeks later,
    had knowingly misrepresented the actual facts relative to the
    massacre seeking to keep him still in the dark and in ignorance.

    "He had received all the assistance any United States official
    could ask on earth in any case. Nothing had been kept back, and he
    was determined to clear the calender of every indictment against
    any and every actual guilty participator in the massacre, but he
    did not intend to prosecute any one that had been lured to the
    meadows at the time, many of whom were only young boys, and knew
    nothing of the vile plan which Lee originated and carried out for
    the destruction of the emigrants."

    "As stated by Mr. Howard, Lee misrepresented the facts to Brigham
    Young respecting the massacre, and kept him in the dark as to
    the part he had taken in the butchery, always saying it was the
    Indians who had done it, and whom he tried in vain to restrain. Nor
    did the facts in the case come to the knowledge of Brigham Young
    until 1870; and as soon as he and the Church authorities learned
    that Lee was implicated in the heartless deed, they immediately
    excommunicated him from the Church,--a thing they would not dare to
    do had they been connected with him in the crime, or in any degree
    responsible for it.

    "Numerous efforts have been made to fasten, the responsibility of
    this awful crime upon the leaders of the Mormon Church. Inducements
    were held out to John D. Lee to implicate Brigham Young, but all
    to no purpose. After his death, however, a supposed confession of
    his is published by the enemies of the Mormon people, and on that
    the world is asked to believe that the Mormon Church and people are
    responsible for the bloody tragedy; the thing is too monstrous and
    absurd for credence. And no people more emphatically condemn that
    crime than do the Latter-day Saints. Of it the late President John
    Taylor said, in an article he furnished for the press, in 1882:--

    "I now come to the investigation of a subject that has been harped
    upon for the last seventeen years, namely, the Mountain Meadows
    massacre. That bloody tragedy has been the chief stock-in-trade for
    {190} penny-a-liners, and press and pulpit, who have gloated in
    turns by chorus over the sickening details. 'Do you deny it?' No.
    'Do you excuse it?' No. There is no excuse for such a relentless,
    diabolical, sanguinary deed. That outrageous infamy is looked upon
    with as much abhorrence by our people as by any other parties in
    this nation or in the world, and at its first announcement its
    loathing recital chilled the marrow and sent a thrill of horror
    through the breasts of the listeners. It was most certainly a
    horrible deed, and like many other defenceless tragedies, it is
    one of those things that cannot be undone. The world is full of
    deeds of crime and darkness, and the question often arises--Who is
    responsible therefore? It is usual to blame the perpetrators. It
    does not seem fair to accuse nations, states, and communities for
    deeds perpetrated by some of their citizens, unless they uphold it."

    _"It is by no means improbable that some future text book, for the
    use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something
    like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has
    exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his
    countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to
    that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, The Mormon
    Prophet."_

    --_Josiah Quincy, 1844_.

{191}



A REJECTED MANUSCRIPT. THE OTHER SIDE.

LEON R. EWING.

  "They are slaves who fear to speak
  For the fallen and the weak;
  They are slaves who dare not be,
  In the right with two or three."

INTRODUCTION

It is difficult for a fair-minded person to realize how hard it is to
find space in leading newspapers and magazines for words of defense
when expressed in favor of an unpopular people. Their columns are
open to attacks, but seldom do we find one blessed with sufficient
independence of mind to present the unpopular side to the public.
The lady from Ohio who is the author of the following manuscript
is not the first to discover this. This manuscript was rejected by
"Modern Culture," "Current History," "The Arena," "The Forum," "The
World's Work," "Munsey's," "Harper's Monthly," "McClure's," and "The
Worlds Today." It was then sent to Ben E. Rich of Atlanta, Georgia,
accompanied by a letter, from which we quote as follows:

    "Your name has within the last year or two come to me as that of
    a representative of the Mormon people, and I therefore take the
    liberty of calling your attention to a matter that will doubtless
    interest you. Upon more than one occasion I have sojourned in the
    state of Utah for a considerable length of time, and have had
    abundant opportunities of judging your people from more than one
    standpoint. I have met them in both city and country, in their
    homes (polygamous and otherwise), and in their business. I have met
    them socially in many ways, and have mingled with them when they
    have met in exercise of their religious faith. When first thrown
    among them, I knew of nothing that would cause me to be predisposed
    in their favor, having read many things derogatory to their
    character as American citizens, and to their virtue and purity in
    social and family relations. I endeavored, however, to judge them
    on their own merits and not on opinions advanced by other people.
    As a result, I found much to admire and little to condemn. Above
    everything else, I found them sincere and honest, and learned to
    know that the mistakes and blunders of individuals were of the head
    and not of the heart. I have come to regard many of them as my
    friends, and will always feel an interest in the people as a whole.
    I have, however, been much annoyed by the scurrilous articles that
    have of late been written about them, and have often had in my mind
    to take up the cudgel in their defense. As to the truth of many
    of the adverse stories that have been told in the past, I am in
    no position to judge, {192} but of the untruth of the more recent
    ones, I am sure. Looking at the past in the light of the present, I
    am inclined to the belief that those earlier stories contain much
    fiction, and some have been absolutely disproved.

    "A particularly objectionable article having not long ago come
    to my notice, I wrote in protest to the magazine publishing it.
    The editor in a personal reply requested me to write him what I
    knew personally about the subject under discussion. I thereupon
    decided to offer him for publication something in the nature
    of a response to the previous article, thus showing the Mormon
    people as I knew them to be. The magazine in question ("Modern
    Culture," now consolidated with "Current History"), after having
    kept them manuscript several weeks, at last returned it with a
    curt refusal. Upon my demanding an explanation and asking if the
    objection lay in either diction or lack of style in composition, I
    received from the Editor a personal assurance, that the objection
    lay only in the unsuitableness of the subject. I afterwards
    offered it to one magazine after another, always with the same
    result. I persevered, however, each failure making me more than
    ever aware of the difficulty of presenting the truth of a matter
    so long surrounded by prejudice, but receiving the manuscript
    back again with the same regularity with which I sent it. I will
    add that but one publication, "The World's Work," offered me a
    reasonable excuse, and some of them have since solicited articles
    on different subjects from my pen. "The World's Work" presented
    a very fair exposition of the Social System, upon which much of
    Utah's prosperity is founded, in the issue of the month previous to
    that in which I offered mine. Thinking the matter over, I am more
    than ever anxious that in some way, the true conditions prevailing
    in Utah shall come to the notice of the American people, deeming
    it a simple justice due them. I have therefore taken the liberty
    of thus arousing your interest in that which I would fain call
    the "Rejected Manuscript," and of submitting it to you, with the
    request that, if agreeable to you, it may in some way be brought
    before the people."

With the opening remarks in this introduction, and the quotation we
make from the author's letter, we give to the public the "Rejected
Manuscript" without further comment.

A REJECTED MANUSCRIPT.

Utah and Salt Lake City! How many are the tales which have been told
us of this unique city and its queer inhabitants. They have been
represented to us as a people, "deep, dark and mysterious;" a people
to be avoided as one would the fallen angels. A people promulgating a
religion aimed at the very foundation of civilization, and undermining
its holiest and purest institutions. We have been solemnly informed
that once within the clutches of its religious fanatics, escape would
be well nigh impossible. Statements which might be applicable to a
description of Thibet, are even now in print, {193} and quite recently,
"horrible" stories of persecution in which the misguided and degraded
"Mormons," having first torn down and trampled upon the American flag,
resorted to the flinging of mud, as well as sticks and stones, at the
devoted head of its sole defender. Until within a few years, Utah
figured as the "Darkest Africa" of this our free and happy Union. But
the tourist has at last, with admirable bravery, invaded its forbidden
precincts, overrun its quiet villages, crowded the quaint streets of
its cities, and laid bare the awful secret of its hidden mystery.

Alas, it is but as a "tale that is told," it is even as the "big dark"
of our childish fears, which only needed investigation to prove its
utter nothingness. We find after all, only a kindly people, busily
engaged, for the most part, in overcoming an unproductive soil,
and putting themselves in a way to use to advantage and profit,
the splendid resources with which nature and their own thrift have
bountifully provided them. Broad and fertile valleys now smile back at
us, where unfruitful wastes once frowned, and prosperous cities and
towns give evidence of true western enterprise; and the people--they
are not so very much unlike other people. One might exclaim, with a
fair tourist whose itinerary last summer, gave her a day or two in Salt
Lake City--"Well, I don't see any one who looks like a Mormon!" What
could she have been expecting? There is a tradition among the people in
question, that horns have ceased to decorate their brows, and that even
the rudest of them are quite harmless.

Apropos of Salt Lake City; as all roads once led to Rome, so also are
there very few western-bound tourists, who do not find themselves, at
some stage of their wanderings, guests within its gates. They come
from everywhere, and their expectations are varied. They go in great
crowds to the Tabernacle organ recitals, where a matchless instrument
is touched by a master hand, while ten thousand can be comfortably
seated beneath its pillarless dome, and lose not one vibration. Ah! How
can one describe a scene so inspiring? The vast audience spell-bound,
entranced, forgetful alike of time and place, deaf to all else save the
voice of the wonderful organ, bearing to them great waves of melody,
now glorious and triumphant in the Tannhauser and William Tell, now
low and wailing in Il Trovatore. Now it is the Lost Chord and now the
Angels' Chorus, lacking only articulation to make it human. And so
we listen and marvel, and make good resolutions, and the music grows
soft and faint, and far away, and ceases; and we find ourselves in
a silence that is intense, vainly striving {194} to catch one more
harmonious whisper. It is all over. We are glad, if we may, to take the
hand of the organist, and then we go streaming out into the sunshine,
and the great, bustling, workaday world claims us once more. We go
our various ways feeling the better for this happy hour, snatched out
of the glowing heart of the busy day, and resolve to go again if time
permits. And all this is free. Free as the air we breathe, and the
grass we tread upon, twice a week throughout the year, save only the
winter months. Really, for semi-barbarians, this is doing very well.
When we see this great Tabernacle filled on a Sabbath afternoon and
hear the charm of five hundred voices added to that of the organ, and
listen to the straightforward addresses of several unsalaried "Saints,"
our thoughts go back to the half empty churches of the East, and we
feel that we have come upon at least one mystery. Whatever are the
doctrines Mormonism teaches, its votaries seem to be earnest and do
not look like a priest-ridden people. In their family life they are
extremely hospitable, and he is fortunate indeed who is admitted as a
guest within their homes. We are charmed by their hearty welcome, and
the unostentatious kindness that is showered upon us.

Socially, nothing comes amiss with them that can be classed under the
head of innocent amusements; and so the great dancing pavilion and the
bathing beach at Saltair are thronged daily and nightly throughout the
season. Saltair! There is nothing to equal it. One thousand couples can
dance upon its polished floor, while the soft breezes from over the
great Salt Lake cool the flushed cheek and stimulate the most lagging
appetite; or, we join the bathers and go for a dip in its briny water.
Refreshed and invigorated, we rest upon the broad balconies and watch
the sun in a "sea of crimson and purple and gold" as it sinks behind
the mountains, which are really islands, set like gems, in the bosom of
the great lake. Later, we find ourselves-wondering if famed Italian and
Venetian moons can give us any clearer light, and how their radiance
can flood a night more delicious than this. The strains of "Home,
Sweet Home," in the closing waltz, and the thinned-out ranks of the
dancers, warn us that the last train for the city is due, and sixteen
miles might prove wearisome, however bright the moonlight. Saltair is
upon every one's lips. No visitor misses it, unless compelled by an
adverse fate; and we find ourselves drawn back again and again, each
time more charmed than the last. Like the mountains, it attracts and
fascinates--the mountains, which rear their misty outlines in the blue
distance, and beckon and mock us. Five miles away {195} they appear
as tantalizingly close; indeed, we might run over to the base of one,
by way of a constitutional before breakfast. We discover, alas! that
"distance lends enchantment." We are left in no possible doubt that
there is a distance. The main street of the city apparently runs
directly into them, and City Creek Canon, from whose clear stream its
thirsty thousands drink, is reached by only a short drive. Salt Lake
is truly a mountain-girt city, and its founders must have resembled
them in strength of purpose and steadfast effort. To have reclaimed the
desert and, in part, peopled a state, is no small achievement.

The Mormons foster education and educational institutions. "The glory
of God is intelligence," they tell us, and intelligence for women as
well as for men. Women, in the Mormon estimate, occupies a very high
position, both in Church and state. You are surprised? You thought her
subjected to all sorts of humiliating treatment, and that polygamy
held her hopelessly in subjection? Ah! why not let polygamy rest as
the dead issue that it really is? Why be always dragging it out and
dangling its supposed horrors in the face of every advancement! Its
practice was limited to but three per cent of those who believed in it
as a principle; but even though an "Angel in Heaven" should declare
the truth in the matter prejudice would stop its ears and refuse to
hear. Why fill our minds with the blood-curdling tales of yellow back
literature, when all the riches of the master minds of bygone centuries
are at our disposal? Why not show to those whom we considered deluded
a manner of living that will win them to us? Let us hear no more of
the divorce courts and the brothel, before we cast the first stone at
our brothers. Divorce is practically unknown among the Mormons, and
when we assail Salt Lake City for morals we must remember that half her
population is "Gentile," and that for the last twelve years the head of
her city government has been drawn from that source.

In forming an impartial estimate of a people, we choose for our
consideration neither the class that is designated as the upper
stratum, nor those whose worldly possessions place them it the bottom,
but go rather to the great middle class, those who hold a position
between the two extremes. The Mormons profess to have no upper and
no lower classes. They aim to meet on common ground, whatever their
worldly inheritance may be. Their young men are called upon to give two
or three years, and oftentimes more, of their life to the spreading of
the gospel as they believe and teach it; and rich {196} and poor, they
go cheerfully, away from home and friends, amid unfriendly strangers,
without other recompense than the consciousness of a duty performed.
These are the much talked about and much dreaded missionaries, against
whose "pernicious" influences we are warned. Considering the fact that
these same Elders are in many cases beardless youths, is it not strange
that contact with them is so feared, and discussions looked upon as so
dangerous? Surely Christianity in all the nineteen hundred years that
have elapsed since its establishment, has given us sufficient knowledge
with which to defend ourselves. Why then all this flurry? Are we to
be forced to believe ourselves on the weaker side? But, you say they
are such "smooth fellows." True, but is the smoothness to be all on
one side? Let us mass our forces and meet them on even ground, and who
knows whose may be the victory?

We have all been told of the shield, over the appearance of which, in
ancient times, two warriors quarreled, only to discover at the last
that it presented an entirely different side to each. Is there not a
possibility that, after all has been said and done, we may find there
are also two sides to the Mormon question? History, we say, points
with unerring finger to bloody deeds and insubordination. In one long
procession they pass before us, "Mountain Meadow Massacre," "Danite
Raids," "Bloody Atonement," political intrigues and gross depravity.
They have been called a blot upon our Western civilization, and today
the map of Utah is presented with a huge octopus disfiguring its fair
proportions, and whose tentacles reach out into adjoining states. We
have surely told you how unreliable are the stories told us of early
pioneer days beyond the Mississippi, and how fabulous are legends
which come to us of its early settlers. We have not considered how
large a part the prejudice, which always follows a religious belief
that deviates even in the least from what is known as orthodox, has
played in the lurid tales with which our too eager ears have been
regaled. We have fallen into the same error for which we censure the
ancient knights; we have neglected to look upon the other side of
the shield. What sad tales of persecution and long suffering we find
here. Tragedies as sad as any in Reformation days. From Kirtland to
Nauvoo, and across the trackless prairie they were driven, their weary
way marked by the graves of those whose physical strength was not
sufficient, until they reached at last what, to them, was a promised
land, the valley of the great Salt Lake. Desolate and unpromising as
it was, they have made it blossom {197} as the rose. To quote a recent
descriptive work, "By industry as remarkable as it was well directed,
the desert was converted into an oasis, and the bare earth, with its
poverty of sands and sage brush, was made to cover its nakedness with
the green vestures of an almost unexampled fecundity."

How much truth there is in all that is urged against them, and how
mistaken we may be as to their motives and the underlying principles
which dominate their rough and rugged exterior, those of us who are
enough interested must determine for ourselves. Strange, is it not,
that we hear so little mention of the horrors of Haun's Mill, and so
few detailed accounts of the mid-winter expulsion from Nauvoo? General
Thomas L. Kane, of Philadelphia, visited their deserted city soon after
their enemies had driven them away, and in a lecture delivered on the
subject before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, used these words:

    "Dreadful, indeed, was the suffering of these forsaken beings;
    bowed and cramped by cold and sunburn, alternating as each weary
    day and night dragged on, they were almost all of them, the
    crippled victims of disease. They were there because they had no
    homes, nor hospitals, nor poorhouse, nor friends to offer them any.
    They could not satisfy the feeble cravings of their sick; they had
    not bread to quiet the fractious hunger-cries of their children.
    Mothers and babes, daughters and grandparents, all of them alike
    were bivouacked in tatters, wanting even covering to comfort those
    whom the sick shivers of fever were searching to the marrow. These
    were Mormons, famishing in Lee County, Iowa, in the fourth week of
    the month of September, in the year of our Lord, 1846. The city--it
    was Nauvoo, Illinois. The Mormons were the owners of that city and
    the smiling country around. And those who had stopped their plows,
    who had silenced their hammers, their axes, their shuttles, and
    their workshop wheels; those who had put out their fires and eaten
    their food, spoiled their orchards and trampled under foot their
    thousands of acres of unharvested bread--these were the keepers of
    their dwellings, the carousers in their Temples, whose drunken riot
    insulted the ears of their dying."

They had the added agony of camping on the snow covered ground without
shelter, in plain sight of their confiscated possessions and desolated
hearthstones. Another writer thus describes the awful scene:

    "Out into the trackless American wilds, into an Indian country,
    the 'Mormons' wended their way, weary and destitute, for more than
    fifteen hundred miles, their pathway being marked by the graves
    of their dead. The history of their privations and suffering
    is harrowing in the extreme. The {198} lives of not less than
    a thousand of their number were sacrificed in the relentless
    persecutions connected with the exodus from Illinois."

Need we be surprised that a feeble protest was raised against the too
zealous enforcement of laws framed to this very end, or that a sense of
injustice should be the result of such vigorous treatment?

We hear nothing nowadays of the battalion furnished by the Mormon
refugees, for the defense of the flag in California and Mexico, at a
time, too, when every able-bodied man was needed for defense against
hostile Indians, hunger and all the other dangers attendant upon
pioneer travel. In answer to this demand, Brigham Young said:

    "You shall have your battalion, Captain Allen; and if there are not
    young men enough, we will take the old men, and if they are not
    enough, we will take the women."

In three days the force was mustered and ready to march. And again to
the assembled people:

    "I say unto you, magnify the laws. There is no law in the United
    States, or in the Constitution, but I am ready to make honorable."

Here is the message which came over the wires when amid the turmoil
of the first years of the Civil War, the Overland telegraph line was
completed:

    "Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws
    of our once happy country, and is warmly interested in such useful
    enterprises as the one so far completed."

A similar demonstration of patriotism and love of progress took place
when the first iron horse, over the Union Pacific, came puffing into
the Territory:

    "Utah bids you welcome. Hail to the great National highway."

And this from their Articles of Faith:

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

These do not sound like the utterances of a people, jealously guarding
from the intrusion of civilization, a region in which they might
entrench themselves, and defy the advancement of law, order and
Christianity. As our luxurious Pullman bears us swiftly and comfortably
over the rolling prairie, do we ever give a thought to the patient,
downtrodden ones {199} who marked out the path for us? Those who, in
the words of one of their own poets:

  "As armed with mighty faith, no foe could vaunt,
  No powers appall, no pending danger daunt."

And what of the Mountain Meadow Massacre and the Danite band? The
daring perpetrator of the former outrage was willingly given over
to the just retribution which awaited him, arid the existence of
the "Avenging Angels" as an organization under the direction and
receiving the sanction of Mormon leaders, was long ago exploded as
the fabrication of an over-excited and too active imagination. We can
find no more substantial foundation remaining to it than that which
underlies any other myth or tradition. "Let the dead past bury its
dead." Let us take the Mormon people as we find them today and try
to discover in them a little good rather than wholesale evil. Let us
commend them for the benefit, however small, that they have bestowed
upon their day and generation, and cover with the mantle of charity,
if enough of that priceless commodity be left in the world, the
unintentional evil they may have done, and the mistakes they may have
made. The wrong doing of individuals should not be visited upon the
heads of the entire community, and narrow, personal prejudices should
not be allowed to warp our good judgment.

This is an age of wide research and broad acquirements, and we will
not find our Mormon countrymen very far behind in the race for all
that broadens and enlightens. They have their own poets, their own
artists and their own musicians. You can find them represented in the
universities and in the studios, and in the conservatories of music of
more than one foreign city, as well as in those of our own fair land.
Wherever education and culture congregate, you will find a colony of
them; and they are not unknown in the scientific and the professional
world; neither are they lacking in manufacturers and financiers. The
great Tabernacle organ (second to none in the country) is presided
over by one of their own young musicians, and the baton is wielded by
one of their own faith, over the Tabernacle choir, which has more than
once earned the wonder and applause of California audiences. It is a
Mormon girl, granddaughter of one of Mormonism's great leaders, who
has recently made her debut, and taken by storm one Eastern city after
another, charming them alike by her personality and her ability; and
whose marvelous voice a conservative Boston paper has likened to that
of Patti. An exploring {200} party, sent out by a Mormon institution of
learning, has only just returned after having penetrated with infinite
hardship, privation and determination, deeply into the forbidden wilds
of South Africa, endeavoring to give to the world of science and
research information that is valuable and rare.

One of the remarkable things about the Mormons is, that they are a
travelled people. As we meet them and converse with them, we wonder
at the various phases of human life with which they seem to be
familiar, and the ease with which many of them are able to settle, for
themselves, many vexed social problems. But they are either extremely
modest, or foreign sojourn has become so ordinary a thing with them,
that they attach no unusual significance to it; for it is only upon
questioning them, or after having known them some time, that the secret
of it is made known.

Ah, yes, we say, travel is a good schoolmaster, and we broaden and
deepen under its discipline. But there are many kinds of travelers;
the mere globe trotter, hastening from one capital to another, seeing
much, but perceiving little, and resembling the woman who was asked by
a friend what most impressed her in one of Germany's tourist-infested
cities. After due consideration she replied, "Well, I think of all the
things I remember with most delight, the very best were the delicious
Frankfort sausages." "Ye gods and little fishes!" Frankfort sausages,
indeed! If she was an American we renounce all claim to her. He who
would reap lasting benefit must be possessed of the "seeing eye," and
know the meaning of insight as well as sight. But if travel alone can
do so much for us, of how much greater value the sojourner under many
skies, and amid various manners and customs, gleaning a little here and
a little there, and adding daily to our lore of people and things. Not
alone is this true of the Mormon man, but in a great measure true also
of the woman. They have extended their itinerary to the islands of the
sea, and countries oriental. They have practically belted the globe,
and gathered from the rich treasures of its world-old storehouses,
that which centuries have been amassing; and they bring it all and lay
it at the feet of their well-beloved home land. For they are proud
of their country, proud of the flag she flies and intensely proud of
their lovely "Deseret." They are proud of their heroic men and women,
brave daughters of the desert, tried and true, who laid the foundations
upon which they are engaged in building a superstructure that will do
lasting honor to those who suffered so much in establishing it.

{201} A great incentive for the acquisition of knowledge is given to
the advocate of Mormonism by the belief that no advancement made in
this life will go as naught when death overtakes him. He will go on
progressing throughout the countless ages of eternity, without the
power of sin to retard his efforts, and with all the vast recourses
of celestial lore to accelerate his speed. He accounts for different
degrees of intelligence observed in individuals in this life, by
his theory of pre-existence, in which some had attained a greater
advancement than had others. He does not deny salvation to any of the
human race, and believes that no erring soul will be forever lost. He
hopes for all his dead a chance for glorification equal to his own;
and in the beautiful temples scattered over Utah, he unselfishly does
for them, what is to him a work of redemption. The largest and most
beautiful of them all is visible to the visitor to Salt Lake City,
standing in the midst of the city. Its white and glistening towers,
supporting the gilded statue of the Mormon angel "Moroni," come into
sight long before the outlines of any other architecture. Built of
native granite, at an outlay of nearly three million dollars, forty
years were given to its construction and embellishment.

In all justice to these people, let us say, "We admire you for the
progress you have made, the stern determination you have shown, and
while we may not agree with you in your religious tenets, we recognize
you as brother Americans and co-patriots, under a flag and constitution
which is broad enough to shelter all creeds and all true men. We
believe you when you say that plural marriage is a thing of the past,
and we think the better of you for honoring ties already formed." So
will we prove ourselves possessed of Christian toleration for those
who dare dispute our pet theories, and place ourselves in a way to do
a tardy justice. "We believe all things, we hope all things, we have
endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there
is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek
after these things." (Articles of Faith.) Truly, if Utah and her people
were one-half as bad as she has been painted, she would deserve a fate
ten times more dreadful than any that her enemies have as yet devised
for her. A just God could do no less than cause the thunderbolts of
His wrath to fall upon her and consume her, that the earth might be
purified of her polluting influence. But how different from the awful
picture do we really find her!

{202}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 1.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

There are so many different religious systems in the world, each
claiming not only to be right but to be divine, that a rational mind,
unwarped by sect or creed, is likely to become bewildered and disgusted
in efforts to reach and embrace religious truth. The claim frequently
put forth that all the Christian sects are right is a palpable
absurdity. Truth is always consistent with itself. It is error that
causes confusion. Two opposing systems cannot both be correct. They may
both be wrong, but it is impossible for both to be right. There may
be some truth in every religion that has been foisted upon the world.
Indeed, without that no system could have continued existence. It is
that portion of each religion which is true that keeps it alive and
makes its errors plausible.

To say that God is the author of the conflicting religions which
distract mankind, is to charge him with inconsistency and folly.
That which comes from God must of necessity be true. This needs no
argument; it is so self-evident that many thinking people, beholding
the contention and strife of ages over religious affairs, have formed
the opinion that all religions are human, conceived in the minds of
men and promulgated for selfish purposes. Yet, admitting that there is
a Supreme Being, the Creator of all things, who is the embodiment of
truth, justice, mercy, wisdom, and love, it seems unreasonable to think
that He would leave His intelligent creatures without a guide on the
road to the eternal future.

As there is but one Supreme God, there can be but one true religion.
That religion must be of divine origin. It must come from God to man.
Religions invented by men would necessarily vary. Man cannot by his Own
searching find out God, or the ways of God, but Deity can enlighten man
and reveal Himself and His will to mortals. The infinite can condescend
to the finite, while the finite of itself cannot grasp or comprehend
the infinite. It is of the utmost importance that mankind should learn
what God requires, in order that {203} men and women may be fitted for
His presence and be in harmony with Him in time and in eternity. The
true religion, therefore, that which God reveals, that which he has
revealed, and that which he may yet reveal, should be considered of
greater value than anything else. Nothing that is perishable can be
compared with it. That which endures forever is immeasurably above that
which only lasts for time. He that gains this "pearl of great price" is
rich above all computation.

One of the great errors into which people have fallen in reference
to religion is that God must accept any mode of worship, any sort of
ordinances, and any kind of church that men may establish, so long
as they are sincere in their intentions and devout in their desires.
God must be worshiped not only in spirit, but in truth. His word is
truth. His spirit is the spirit of truth. God's religion, then, will
be the truth, and nothing but the truth, and he will accept of nothing
short of this. The inventions of men, whatever may be their motives,
are not of God, and therefore, are vain. The precepts and opinions and
vagaries of man-appointed preachers and teachers, not being authorized
or inspired of God, cannot be relied upon and are not acknowledged in
Heaven. Christendom as well as heathendom is in a ferment with human
conceptions and conflicting theories in relation to God, His will, His
purposes, and His requirements. The result is spiritual Babylon, which
is confusion. God is not with it, for He is the author of peace, and
order and harmony.

"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it;" so said the great Teacher whom professing
Christians regard as the Savior of the world (Matthew VII, 14). He also
declared: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the
door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a
thief and a robber." (John X; 1.) Also, "But in vain they do worship
me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15; 9.) And
further, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. IV; 4.)

The nations that are called heathen are, no doubt, as sincere in their
idolatrous worship as are the Christian nations in their opposing
creeds and devotional exercises. If mere sincerity and devout motives
are sufficient for God's acceptance, then heathendom is on a par with
Christendom in the sight of Heaven. But the objector will no doubt
reply, "Heathen religions lack the one essential feature of acceptance
with God, faith in Jesus Christ. Having that, doctrinal differences
do {204} not matter; faith alone is sufficient for salvation. Christ
is the way, the truth, and the light, and whosoever believeth in him
shall have eternal life." That is another of the astonishing errors of
modern religious people and teachers. Seizing upon a few isolated texts
from the New Testament, relying upon the letter of the word alone,
regardless of the spirit and meaning thereof, they altogether ignore
numerous other texts in the same volume, which make plain the intent
and signification of those which they select. Their eyes are blinded
to the pure truth, they stumble in the way, and the blind leading the
blind, they are in danger of falling into the ditch together.

Jesus of Nazareth truly said, "For God so loved the world that He gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life." (John III, 16.) But he also said,
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John
X; 27.) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the
works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he
do because I go to my Father." (John XIV; 12.) "If a man love me, he
will keep my word." (v; 23.) "He that hath my commandments and keepeth
them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved
of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself unto him," (v.
21.) "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I
have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." (John XV;
10.) "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which
is in Heaven" (Matt. VII; 21.) "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do
not the things which I say?" (Luke VI; 46.) "Whosoever, therefore,
shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so,
he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever
shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom
of Heaven; for I say unto you that except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
case enter into the kingdom of Heaven." (Matt. V; 19-20.) "And every
one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be
likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sands, and
the rain descended and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat
upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." (Matt.
VII; 26, 27.) "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruits is hewn
down and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know
them." (Matt. VII; 19.) When the rich young man asked the Savior what
{205} he should do that he might have eternal life, he was not told
there was nothing for him to do but believe in Christ, but the answer
was, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matt. XIX;
17.) After Christ's resurrection when he sent his Apostles into all the
world to preach the Gospel to every creature, he added, "Teaching them
to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matt. XXVIII:
20.)

The Apostles thus authorized obeyed these instructions, and not only
proclaimed belief in Jesus Christ as necessary to salvation, but
obedience to his teachings as equally essential. The history of their
travels, as narrated in the book called the Acts of the Apostles,
demonstrates this to be true. Such of their epistles as have been
preserved and compiled in the New Testament, also bear this witness.
These records show beyond reasonable dispute that the faith in Christ
which is sufficient for salvation, comprehends faith in his teachings
and obedience to his commands.

The belief in Christ which is taught by modern Christian sects is thus
condemned by the Apostle James: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that
faith without works is dead? Ye see then how that by works a man is
justified, and not by faith only." "For as the body without the spirit
is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James II; 20, 24, 26.)

The Apostle Paul is generally cited as the great preacher of the
doctrine of justification by faith alone. But that he is misunderstood
on that subject is evident from his Epistle to the Romans, in which,
while he proclaims the doctrine of justification by faith, he also
affirms emphatically the necessity of good works as the fruits of
faith; as for instance: "Who will render to every man according to his
deeds; to those who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for
glory, and honor and immortality, eternal life. But unto them that
are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness;
indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man
that doeth evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile. But glory,
honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first and
also to the Gentile. For there is no respect of persons with God."
(Romans II; 6-11.)

It is to this very epistle that the advocates of salvation by faith
alone chiefly refer when seeking support for their irrational theory,
and they quote: "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans V; 1.) Also, "Where
is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay, but by
the law {206} of faith." (Chap. III; 27.) But they neglect to add
what follows, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law," (v. 28). The tenor of the whole epistle
is to the effect that the law of Moses is insufficient; that "Therefore
by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh justified in his
sight." (v. 20). That justification and redemption come through the
atonement made by Christ, and that faith in him, which includes belief
in his teachings and obedience to his commands, is the one way of
salvation.

Another quotation common with the disciples of the faith alone doctrine
is this: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans X; 9.) But here again they omit the
following verse: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (v. 10.)

This is the key to the whole matter. The faith that saves is the
faith that leads to obedience, which is "better than sacrifice." That
obedience must be given to "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God." Belief, prayer, devotional exercises, of themselves will not
prepare man for the presence and society of his Maker. To dwell with
Him, man must be assimilated to His likeness. This can be effected only
by compliance with His commands. Man's future will be determined by
his present course. In the glorious vision given to John the Beloved,
we find this: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God,
and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the
book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were
written in the books according to their works." (Rev. XX; 12.)

This tract is but preliminary to others, in which the one everlasting
way of life and plan of salvation will be plainly pointed out, for the
benefit of mankind and the glory of the Supreme and Eternal God, to
whom be honor and praise forever. Amen.

{207}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 2.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

The first principle of revealed religion is Faith in God. True religion
must begin with faith in the true God. Faith in false Gods, leads to
false religions. Without faith there can be no religion in the soul
of man. "Without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that
cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of
them that diligently seek Him." (Heb. XI; 6.) In a general sense faith
is the assurance in the soul of the existence of unseen things, that
is, unseen by the natural eye. The principle of faith, that is, the
power to believe, is planted in man by the gift of God. It is developed
by evidence. Faith in God is brought into action by the word of God.
Whether spoken by Deity Himself, by angels sent from His presence, or
by men divinely authorized and appointed to speak in His name under the
influence of His Holy Spirit, the word of God is the same. When that
word is written it is scripture.

Evidences of the existence of a Supreme Being are seen in vast
profusion. They appeal to every rational mind. The order, beauty,
and sublimity of the heavenly bodies, moving through space in silent
majesty, each in its own orbit, balancing and counter-balancing each
other without an error in time or revolution, all preserving their own
identity and performing their own mission, proceeding thus through
everlasting ages, are perennial witnesses of the existence, power, and
glory of God. The earth itself, with its relations to other planets,
its products, its seasons, its adaptation to the needs of the creatures
that inhabit its surface or its atmosphere, joins in the grand chorus
of the music of the spheres, "forever singing as they shine, the
Hand that made us is Divine." Nature, however, while proclaiming the
existence of Deity, does not disclose His personality or reveal His
will. A knowledge of God can only come from God. Faith leads to that
knowledge.

The greatest religious teacher among men was Jesus, the Nazarene.
In his personality God was manifest in the flesh. {208} He revealed
Deity to humanity. He showed that God was in reality the Father of
the spirits of men. He proclaimed that he was in the beginning with
God; that he came forth from God, and would return to God, and that
all mankind were his brethren, made in the image of God and part of
his eternal family. This presents God as actually and literally "Our
Father which art in heaven." It takes away the mystery with which
false faiths have enveloped the Supreme Being, beclouding the minds of
men, and making God utterly incomprehensible. Jesus taught that his
Father and our Father is a personal being, man being in his likeness,
Jesus himself being in his express image. He taught also that he
was sent into the world to save mankind, and bring them back to the
Father's presence; that no man could come unto God but by him. The
true Christian religion, therefore, combines faith in Jesus Christ the
Son, with faith in God the eternal Father. Christ further taught the
existence of a divine spirit, proceeding from God, to enlighten the
souls of men; that is, the Holy Ghost, by which the mind and will of
God may be made known to man, and by which holy men chosen of God have
been inspired in different ages to declare his word.

These three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, form the eternal
Godhead. They are not one person, as erroneously declared by modern
Christian churches, but are separate and distinct substances, though
one in mind and power and dominion. Jesus of Nazareth, as the Son of
God, was a personality as distinct from the personality of the Eternal
Father as is that of any earthly son from his father. The Holy Spirit,
though proceeding from both the Father and the Son, is not either of
them, but has an identity of its own. It is true that Jesus said, "I
and my Father are one." (John X; 30), but he also said, "My Father is
greater than I," (John XIV; 28).

That the unity of the Godhead is not oneness in person, is made very
clear in the account of the baptism of Jesus Christ: The Son on that
occasion coming up out of the waters of Jordan, the Holy Spirit
descending upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father
from heaven proclaiming, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased." (Matt. III; 16-17.) Jesus said, "I came forth from the
Father, and am come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to
the Father." (John XVI; 28.) He also prayed to the Father, and in the
prayer recorded by John, explained in unmistakable language what he
meant when he declared "I and my Father are one." After praying for
his Apostles, he said: {209} "Neither pray I for these alone, but for
them also which shall believe on me through their words, that they all
may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee, that they also
may be one in us. That the world may believe that Thou hast sent me."
(John XVII; 17-18). Concerning the Holy Spirit he said: "Nevertheless
I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away, for if
I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you. But if I depart
I will send him unto you." (Chap. XVI; 17.) Many more of the sayings
of the Savior might be adduced, but these are sufficient to show the
distinct personality of each of the three that form the Godhead, while
they are in perfect unity of mind and purpose and action. If they are
one substance, as taught in modern Christendom, then all who believe on
them, in all ages, are to be made also one substance, thus losing their
identity and becoming one vast, incomprehensible and inconceivable
individuality.

The omnipresence of God has bewildered many minds which are unable,
because of modern false teachings, to understand how God the Eternal
Father can be a person after whose form and image man is created, and
yet be present throughout his vast creations. But the explanation is
simple in the light of truth. It is by his Holy Spirit, which permeates
all things, and is the life and the light of all things, that Deity is
everywhere present. Our Father has his dwelling place in the eternal
heavens. Christ is at his right hand, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from
them throughout the immensity of space. By that agency God sees and
knows and governs all things. By it mankind may be brought into union
and communion with God. It guides into all truth. It recalls the past,
manifests the present, and reveals the future. It is the testimony
of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy. It is the light of Christ, and
"lighteth every man that cometh into the world." It is the "inspiration
of God which giveth the spirit of man understanding." To that degree
it shines on every soul, but as the gift of the Holy Ghost it is a far
greater and higher light. Then it is the abiding witness that bears
record of the Father and the Son; that "searcheth all things, yea the
deep things of God."

Faith in God the Father and in Jesus Christ, the Son, and in the Holy
Ghost is but the beginning of true religion. It is exhibited in works
of obedience which will be explained in other tracts of this series.
Faith is also a principle of power. All human exertion springs from
its exercise. This is exemplified in all the acts of life. In a higher
sense it is a spiritual force. It was by faith, in this degree, that
the wonderful {210} works of the Prophets and Apostles and other
holy men of old, were accomplished, as recorded in the Old and New
Testaments, and in the sacred books of the Seers and Sages who were
not of the Hebrew race. For, faith is the same principle in all ages
and among all nations. It was by this faith that the sick were healed,
the blind received their sight, the lame were made to walk, the deaf
to hear, the dumb to speak, the sting of the serpent and the virulence
of poison were made harmless, divine dreams and heavenly visions were
beheld, and the glories of eternity were unfolded to the Saints and
servants of God in the early Christian Church. It was by faith that
lepers were cleansed, water was turned into wine, multitudes were fed
with a few loaves and fishes, the winds and the waves were stilled, and
the dead were raised to life, when the Divine Master walketh on earth
in the flesh. These marvels are called "miracles." They are deemed
supernatural, but they were the natural results of the exercise of the
spiritual force called faith. It was by the same power that the heavens
were closed that there was no rain for three years and six months; that
the barrel of meal and the cruse of oil failed not, and that the ravens
brought food in the days of Elijah the Prophet. By the same faith the
children of Israel were led out of Egypt by Moses, the Red Sea was
divided, manna was brought from heaven and water from the rock, and
people bitten by serpents were healed in the wilderness. It was also
by that faith that the early patriarchs prevailed, and some of them
walked and talked with God. And indeed, it was by faith that the worlds
were brought into material existence, order coming out of chaos, light
springing forth from darkness, and life, in its various forms, being
developed through the word of the Eternal God, in whom this principle
of faith is manifest in its full and complete perfection.

This is the faith spoken of in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Also in the
Epistle of Jude, in which he urged upon the Church when writing upon
the "common salvation," that they should "earnestly contend for the
faith once delivered to the Saints." In modern Christendom it is taught
that this faith, with all the gifts, signs and glorious manifestations
which it produces, are "done away and no longer needed." But this is
another of the many grievous errors of spiritual Babylon. God is the
same yesterday, today and forever. A principle of truth never changes.
Cause and effect do not vary by the lapse of time. The faith exercised
in the first century of the Christian era or of human existence on
earth, must inevitably {211} bring forth similar results in the latter
days. The absence of the effect proves the absence of the cause.

The true religion contains the true faith. It is the one thing needful.
It is the one way of salvation. To know the only living and true
God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent, is to gain eternal life,
(John XVII: 3.) Living faith is the starting point in the path to
that knowledge. While it has existed in a small degree, and has been
exercised occasionally and in a limited manner during the centuries
that have passed since the Apostolic age, the faith "once delivered to
the Saints" has faded almost out of active life, even among professing
Christians whose minds have been blinded by the traditions of men and
the dogmas and theories of human invention. While good men and women
have served God and sought after Him to the best of their ability,
through the long night of darkness which has intervened from the days
of divine revelation down to the present century, they have not been
able to find that "closer walk with God" and exercise that mighty faith
enjoyed in ancient times and which is essential to the true religion.
Thank God! that faith has been restored to earth, and through it divine
communication is once more opened up, man may commune again with his
Maker, and all the blessings obtained at any time thereby may now be
received by the obedient sons and daughters of God. Concerning this
all-important matter other tracts of this series will be presented to
the public, that truth may prevail and that Divine light may shine up
on the world!

    _"The reason why the Lord will pour out his judgments upon the
    nations is because of the blasphemous spirit of wickedness and
    corruption that reigns among men."_

    --_Wilford Woodruff_.

{212}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 3

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

In previous tracts of this series it has been shown that there can be
but one true religion, because there is but one Supreme God, that it
must be revealed from Him instead of being made by man, and that the
first principle of that religion is faith, which can be made manifest
only by works. Let us now see what those works are which are essential
to salvation. The first fruit of faith in God and in Jesus Christ is
repentance of sin. Sin against God is the transgression of his law.
Conviction of sin comes through faith in God and his law. Conviction
leads to humility and repentance and obedience. Sorrow for sin is not
of itself true repentance, which comprehends not only regret for the
past, but reformation for the future. It includes determination to
forsake and refrain from sin. As the Apostle Paul expressed it, "For
godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." (2
Cor. VII; 10). When the sinner is sorry because he has been found out,
that is not true repentance. Grief is an element of repentance because
when a believer perceives that he has broken a law of God, he feels
remorse. But unless he resolves to turn away from that transgression,
and not repeat it, he does not reach full repentance.

"Cease to do evil, learn to do well," has been the word of God and
his inspired servants through all the ages. It is a step forward in
practical religion. It is absolutely necessary to salvation. Without
it belief in Christ is vain. He said himself, "Except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke XIII; 3). "God commandeth all
men everywhere to repent." (Acts XVII; 30). Jesus instructed that,
"repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among
all nations." (Luke XXIV; 47). The idea that people may sin against God
and against humanity, and by mere belief in the merits of the Savior
be absolved from all the consequences of their guilt, is one of the
greatest of the many {213} absurdities which have been grafted by the
hand of man upon the tree of religion.

Christ gave Himself a sacrifice to save mankind from their sins, not
in their sins. His work is to redeem humanity by lifting it up to
Deity. His Gospel teaches purification from sin and exultation into the
righteousness of God. The atonement wrought out on Calvary is as much
misunderstood by modern divines who preach it, as were the teachings of
Moses and the Prophets by the sectaries who rejected the Nazarene. That
atonement was for a dual purpose. First, to redeem mankind from the
consequences of the original sin committed in the Garden of Eden, and
second, to open the way of salvation from the actual sins committed by
the posterity of Adam.

As to the first, redemption will come to all the race without effort
on their part. Death came into the world in the beginning because
the divine law was broken. It passed upon all the descendants of the
transgressor. Christ gave himself a sacrifice for that sin. As by
one came death, so by one will come life. "As in Adam all die, so in
Christ shall all be made alive." (I Cor. XV; 22). As the sons and
daughters of Adam were not personally engaged in or responsible for
the transgression which brought death, so they are not required to do
anything in the work which shall restore them to life. The resurrection
will be as broad as the death. The raising up will be co-extensive with
the effects of the fall. But when through Christ the resurrection is
accomplished, the dead, small and great, who are thus brought up and
redeemed from the grave will be judged according to their works. (Rev.
XX).

As to the second--the actual sins of each individual salvation will
come through faith in Christ and obedience to his Gospel. Each
intelligent person is accountable for his own acts. He must do what
is required in order that he may be saved from his sins. The power
is inherent in man to do right or to do wrong. In this he is a free
agent. He can resist evil and do good, or resist good and do evil, as
he elects. No matter how great may be the force of circumstances and
environments, and the pressure of hereditary influences, the volition
of the creature remains. The doctrine of rewards and punishments
is predicated upon individual freedom of the will and personal
responsibility for its exercise. Christ has done for mankind that and
that alone which they were not able to do for themselves. That which
they can perform is required of every one. They can believe, they can
repent, and they can receive and obey the commandments of Christ given
as conditions to salvation. Unless they do {214} this, although they
will be raised from the dead and appear before the Eternal Judge, they
cannot be exalted to dwell in His presence.

Thus it will be seen that while Christ died, unconditionally, for
the original sin by which death came into the world, he died as a
propitiation for the actual sins of the world conditionally. And it was
to proclaim these conditions and offer them to every creature, that he
sent his Apostles forth as ministers of salvation. There is no other
way to eternal life. The plan of salvation is not changed to suit the
notions and opinions of man. It does not vary in different ages, nor
among different nations. It is the "everlasting Gospel." The law of
Moses was a temporary and imperfect law of carnal commandments, given
because the Gospel had been rejected by the Israelites. It answered its
purpose and passed away when the one eternal Gospel plan was restored
by Jesus Christ, through whom alone mankind can be saved, and that
salvation cannot be obtained except by faith in him, which comprehends
obedience to his requirements.

It has been shown that faith is the first principle of the Gospel,
and repentance--the forsaking of sin, is the second, and it is now
necessary to present the third principle, which is remission of sins.
The popular idea in modern Christendom is that repentance of itself
brings remission of sins. That is another serious mistake. Payment
of debts is not brought about by simply ceasing to get credit;
determination to sin no more does not wipe out sins already committed.
God is a being of order and of law. He has instituted the means whereby
each sinner may receive a cleansing from the past. His laws are as
uniform in the spiritual world as in the natural world; obedience to
those laws is as necessary in one sphere as in the other. Remission
of sins comes to the repentant believer, through baptism, when it is
performed by divine direction and under divine authority.

Baptism for the remission of sins was preached and practiced by John,
the forerunner of Jesus. "John did baptize in the wilderness and preach
the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark I; 4).
Jesus Christ honored that baptism in person and by his teachings. He
also sent his Apostles to preach it to every creature. (Matt. XXVII;
19-20, also Mark XVI; 15-13). Previous to preaching that baptism, he
instructed his Apostles to "tarry at Jerusalem until they were endowed
with power from on high." (Luke XXIV; 47, 49). That power was bestowed
upon them on the day of Pentecost, when they were assembled in one
place with {215} one accord, and the Holy Ghost was manifested to them
in visible form. To the people who gathered to hear the Apostles,
forming a great multitude, Peter preached the first Gospel sermon after
the resurrection of Christ, as is recorded in the 2nd chapter of the
Acts of the Apostles. After testifying of the mission and resurrection
of Jesus, the Christ, in response to their inquiry, "Men and brethren,
what shall we do?" "Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise
is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even
to as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts II; 37, 38). Three
thousand people on that day received the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and
were baptized for the remission of their sins.

This great blessing is given in baptism to those who believe and
repent, but comes through the atonement wrought out by Jesus Christ.
"Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." (Heb.
IX; 22). The blood of Christ answers for the blood of the sinner who
complies with the conditions required in Christ's Gospel. The benefits
of that atonement are offered to all to whom the Gospel is preached,
but are obtained only by those who render obedience to it. The
scripture is often quoted which says, "The blood of Jesus Christ, His
Son, cleanses us from all sin." But this is only part of the text, and
is therefore misleading. Here is the scripture as it stands: "This then
is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that
God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that
we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not
the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son,
cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John I; 5-7).

Baptism was instituted for the remission of sins by divine command.
It is therefore essential. It is a sign of cleansing, purification,
death to sin, burial from the world and resurrection to a new life in
Christ Jesus. For, baptism means immersion. The sprinkling or pouring
of water on the body is not baptism. The ordinance of baptism preached
by John, the forerunner, by Christ himself, and by the Apostles whom
he sent as his messengers, was both a burial and a birth. When Jesus
was baptized by John it was in the river Jordan: "Then cometh Jesus
from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John
forbade him, saying, I have need {216} to be baptized of thee, and
comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said unto him, suffer it to
be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then
he suffered him. And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway
out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw
the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him, and
lo, a voice from heaven saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased." (Matt. III; 13-17). Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the
spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John III; 5). Jesus
himself set the example, and was born of the water and of the spirit,
and though he knew no sin, had to be baptized in order to "fulfill all
righteousness." When Philip baptized the great man of Ethiopia, "they
went down both into the water and he baptized him and when they were
come up out of the water, the spirit of God caught away Philip." (Acts
VIII; 35-39). John baptized in Enon, near to Salim, because there was
much water there. (John III; 23). Paul likened baptism to a burial and
a resurrection. (See Rom. VI; 4, 5; Col. II; 12). Peter cited the flood
as a figure of baptism. (I Peter III; 21).

The order of the Gospel as taught by Christ and his Apostles was
first faith, second repentance, third baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost to all who
complied therewith. Infant baptism is a palpable heresy. Sin is the
transgression of the law. Infants cannot commit sin. Baptism must
follow faith and repentance. Infants cannot exercise faith, and they
have nothing to repent of even if they were capable of repentance. God
never authorized any one to baptize an infant. Jesus blessed little
children and said, "Of such is the Kingdom of heaven." Baptism to
be acceptable to God must be performed by one having actual divine
authority. It must be administered in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. No man has the right to assume that
authority. It must come from God or the baptism will be void and of no
effect. When properly administered it brings remission of sins, and the
baptized believer becomes a new creature, stands clean before God, and
is prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Further explanations
on this all-important subject will be given in succeeding tracts. Let
the reader ponder, investigate, and enter upon the path of eternal life
and salvation!

{217}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 4

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest boon conferred by God upon
man in the flesh. It is "the anointing from above which teacheth all
things." It is the "abiding witness" of the Father and son. It is the
spirit of revelation. It guides into all truth, brings things past to
remembrance, makes manifest present light, and shows things to come.
Without it no man can know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent,
nor can he say truly and without doubt that Jesus is the Lord. Its
reception is the fourth step or principle in the Gospel of Christ. The
preceding principles, namely, faith, repentance, and baptism for the
remission of sins, have been explained briefly in the foregoing tracts
of this series. After the baptism or birth of water comes the baptism
or birth of the spirit.

This gift from God is conferred by the laying on of the hands of
men called of God and endowed with authority to perform this sacred
ordinance. No man of himself in his own name, however learned,
experienced, or wise, can bestow this great gift upon others. He might
lay his hands upon them, but they would not receive that spirit.
It proceeds from God alone. He will honor that which is performed
according to His directions by His authorized servants. The reception
of the Holy Ghost as an endowment or gift from God is essential to
salvation. The natural light or inspiration given at birth to all
humanity is not equal to it. That is the common heritage of humanity,
but the gift of the Holy Ghost is a far higher and greater bequest from
Deity, and is given only to those who obey the Gospel, and in the way
that God Himself has appointed.

That the gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred by the laying on of hands,
and that this is the Gospel method, is clearly established by the New
Testament. In the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles an account is
given of the ministry of {218} Philip, in which the following occurs:
"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the
kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both
men and women." "Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem, heard
that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter
and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they
might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was fallen upon none of
them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid
they their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. And when
Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostle's hands the Holy Ghost
was given, he offered them money, saying, give me also this power, that
on whomsoever I lay hands he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter
said unto him, thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought
that the gift of God may be purchased with money." (Verse 12-20). In
the 19th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles it is related that Paul
found some disciples in Ephesus who had not been properly baptized. He
gave them necessary instructions, and we read: "When they heard this
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had
laid his hands upon them the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake
with tongues and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve." The
ordinance of the laying on of hands is enumerated among the "first
principles of the oracles of God," and one of the foundation "doctrines
of Christ," in Hebrews V; 12, and VI; 2. Paul exhorted Timothy,
"Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God
which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." (2 Tim. I; 6).

These quotations are sufficient to show the order of the Gospel as
taught by the Apostles of Jesus Christ, who received their instructions
and authority from Him, and who all preached the same doctrines and
administered the same ordinances wherever they went. The departures
therefrom that are witnessed in modern times are the work of uninspired
ministers, unauthorized of God, and should be rejected by the honest
seeker after religious truth.

The Holy Ghost is the same in all ages and among all peoples. Its
effects are also the same. In the days of the early Christian Church
the fruits of that spirit were enjoyed by the members. They are thus
described by the Apostle Paul: "But the fruit of the spirit is love,
joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance; against such there is no law." (Gal. V; 22, 23). "But the
manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit {219}
withal. For to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom; to
another the word of knowledge by the same spirit; to another faith by
the same spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit;
to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another
the interpretation of tongues; But all these worketh that one and the
selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." (lst
Cor. XII; 7-11). Paul exhorted the Saints to "Follow after charity and
desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy," and after
explaining his reasons for this instruction he concluded, "Wherefore
brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues."
(lst Cor. XIV; 39).

The absence of these gifts and manifestations of the spirit in
the various religious sects at the present day is attempted to be
accounted for by the airy excuse: "They are all done away and are no
longer needed." Yet they were part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, and incorporated in the Church--the body of Christ--as some
of its members. "Every tree is known by its fruits." If the spirit
that animated the Church of Christ in the Apostolic age inspired the
churches of the 19th century, would not the same fruits be brought
forth by it, and be enjoyed today? Has the spirit of God changed? Or
have not men changed the ordinances and institutions of heaven, and
built up churches and promulgated doctrines of their own? But the
advocates and apologists of sectarian theology will quote: "Charity
never faileth, but whether there be prophecies they shall fail;
whether there be tongues they shall cease; whether there be knowledge,
it shall vanish away." (lst Cor. XIII; 8). Why do they not continue
the quotation, and give the succeeding verses which form an integral
part of the scriptural argument? Is it because that would sweep away
the crutches of their lame and halting pretence and cast their false
theory prone in the dust? This is what follows: "For we know in part,
and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come,
then that which is in part shall be done away." Will it be claimed
that this promised perfection has come? Do latter-day sectaries know
more, understand better, and see clearer in divine things than did
the Apostle Paul? Has anything "perfect" come upon modern Christendom
except "perfect" confusion? That Paul had reference to a condition yet
in the future in making his prediction is evident from his further
remark: "For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known."
(Verse 12).

{220} The gifts of the spirit enumerated above are the evidences of
its possession by the disciples of Jesus Christ. They are the signs of
true faith. They accompany the reception of the Gospel and obedience to
its requirements. When the resurrected Christ gave the eleven Apostles
their great commission, he said unto them: "Go ye into all the world
and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not, shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they
cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take
up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt
them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark
XVI; 15-18). These gifts were not merely for those Apostles, but were
to "follow them that believe." Christ gave them as the sign of true
belief in Him and in His sayings. They belong to his Church. They are
to be done away until that which is perfect is come, and the sons and
daughters of God behold their Redeemer face to face, and see as they
are seen and know as they are known. Whatever necessity existed for
their possession and exercise in the first century of the Christian
era, exists in the 19th century, not only for the blessing and comfort
of the disciples of the Savior, but for the promulgation of His Gospel
among nations that yet sit in darkness and are numbered among heathens
and idolaters.

One of the potent proofs of the possession of the Holy Ghost in the
early Christian Church was the unity it established. No matter what
were the conflicting faiths and opposing creeds entertained by the
people of that day previous to receiving the spirit of the everlasting
Gospel, after baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the
Holy Ghost, they all became one in Christ Jesus. As Paul wrote to the
Ephesians: "There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in
one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God
and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all."
(Eph. IV; 4-6). "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ
have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one
in Christ Jesus." (Gal. III; 27-28). "And let the peace of God rule
in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be
ye thankful." (Col. III; 15). "For as the body is one, and hath many
members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body
so also is Christ. For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body,
whether we be {221} Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and
have been all made to drink into one spirit." (1 Cor. XII; 12, 13). In
His prayer to the Father that all who believed in Him might be one,
Jesus spoke of this unity as proof to the world that God had sent Him.
(John XVII; 21). The great purpose of the gift of the Holy Ghost was
to guide into all truth, and bring its possessors to "the unity of
the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God." Strife, contention,
division, are not the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but come from beneath.
"For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil
work." (James III: 16).

The presence and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, with its gifts,
manifestations and divine light are the signs of spiritual life and
divine acceptance. Without the Holy Ghost there is no true, living
Church of Christ on earth. It can be obtained in no other way than that
which God has appointed. Following the birth of water, the birth of the
Holy Spirit makes man a new creature, and initiates him into the Church
or Kingdom of God. Its various gifts are within his reach according to
his faith and diligence in seeking after them. They are as obtainable
in this age as at any former period. By the Holy Ghost mankind may
come to the knowledge of God. In its light the sayings and writings of
inspired men may be clearly understood. The Bible is no longer a sealed
book. The heavens are not closed against mortals. Darkness flees before
it and mysteries vanish. It brings peace and comfort to the soul. It
awakens and thrills the spiritual sense. It unfolds the things of
eternity and the glories of immortality. It links earth and heaven. It
fills the soul with joy unspeakable, and he who gains and keeps it has
boundless wealth and everlasting life!

{222}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 5.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

The ordinances of the Gospel referred to in previous tracts of this
series, cannot be effectually administered without divine authority.
That authority does not and cannot originate in man. It may be assumed,
it is true, and presumptuous men may claim to be called of God without
communication from Him. But their performances will be without avail
and will not be recognized in heaven, either in time or in eternity.
When there is no revelation from God there can be no divine authority
on earth. Baptism, even if solemnized according to the form and
pattern followed by the Savior and his appointed servants, will be of
no avail and will not bring remission of sins, unless the officiating
minister has received authority from Deity to act in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Men may lay their hands
on the baptized believer in the form of confirmation, but if they
have not been divinely appointed to do so, the Holy Ghost will not
flow to the convert, and the performance will be void in the sight
of heaven. Those who have the temerity to act in that manner will be
counted guilty of taking the name of the Lord in vain. No council,
convocation, conference, synod, or presbytery, composed of any number
of learned, devout, and venerable persons, without divine communication
can confer the smallest amount of divine authority. Their power is only
human, their decisions, their commissions and their creeds are equally
valueless in the plan of salvation.

Whenever the Almighty desired to communicate with man on earth, he
selected His own representatives and endowed them with authority
to speak and act in His name. What they uttered by the power of
the Holy Ghost, and what they administered as He directed, was
recognized by Him as if performed and spoken by Deity in person.
When He gave them authority to call and ordain others to the same
duties, their administrations were also accepted by the Lord, and were
fully efficacious. This divine authority was called the Holy {223}
Priesthood. It was bestowed in the earliest ages. It existed among the
Patriarchs, was exercised in the Mosaic dispensation, was held by many
of the Prophets, and was established in the Christian Church by the
Savior himself. There were two orders or branches, of that Priesthood.

The higher, which includes the lower, came to be known as the
Melchisedek Priesthood. This was because Melchisedek, the King of
Salem, who lived in the time of Abraham and from whom, "the father
of the faithful" received his blessing, obtained a great power in
that Priesthood. It is referred to in the Epistle to the Hebrews, 7th
chapter. Much controversy has arisen over the meaning of the third
verse, which says: "Without father, without mother, without descent,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto
the Son of God; abideth a Priest continually." The difficulty has
arisen through the application of these remarks to the individual
instead of to the Priesthood which he held. The higher, or Melchisedek
Priesthood was not limited, as the Levitical Order subsequently was, to
a special lineage. It did not depend upon parentage or descent, and it
was an eternal Priesthood, those who possessed it worthily retaining it
through life, and being Kings and priests unto God forever.

The Lesser Priesthood was held notably by Aaron and his sons, in the
line of the first born, and has therefore been called by his name. It
had authority to administer in the lesser ordinances and in temporal
affairs, but not in the higher and more spiritual concerns of the
Kingdom of God. But no man could take this honor unto himself. He must
be called of God as Aaron was, or he could not hold that Priesthood.
(Heb. V; 4.) Aaron was called by revelation through Moses the Prophet,
and ordained under his hands.

This being so, as a matter of course, no man can take unto himself the
higher, or Melchisedek Priesthood. Unless called of God by revelation
and properly ordained, he could not obtain that authority. Even
Jesus of Nazareth, though he was the Son of God, did not assume that
Priesthood. He was "called of God, a High Priest after the order of
Melchisedek." It is written further: "So also Christ glorified not
himself to be made a High Priest but He that said unto him thou art my
Son, this day have I begotten thee." (Heb. V; 3, 10.)

It has been erroneously taught among the Christian sects of the present
age that this Priesthood, in both of its branches or orders, was done
away in Christ. That it has not been on earth for several centuries may
be true, and therefore the {224} authority to administer in the name
of the Lord has not been enjoyed among men. But the authority held by
Jesus Christ as "a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek" was
conferred by him upon his Apostles, to whom he gave the keys of that
power and authority, so that what they sealed on earth should be sealed
in heaven, and what they loosed on earth should be loosed in heaven.
(Matt. XVIII; 18.) He said to them: "As my Father hath sent me, even so
send I you." (John XX; 21.) Again he said: "Ye have not chosen me, but
I have chosen you, and ordained you; that ye should go and bring forth
fruit and that your fruit should remain." (John XV; 16.) The Apostles
thus authorized had power to call others to this Priesthood and
ministry, when directed by the Holy Ghost, as Moses called and ordained
his brother Aaron.

The law of carnal commandments in which the lesser or Levitical
Priesthood administered was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but the
Priesthood or authority to administer in the name of the Lord was not
then abolished, the higher, or Melchisedek Priesthood was restored.
That was the change in the Priesthood referred to in Heb. VII; 12:
"For the Priesthood being changed there is made of necessity a change
also of the law." From this it is evident that the Priesthood was not
abolished, but the law of the Gospel being introduced by Christ in
place of the Mosaic Code, the higher Priesthood was also introduced,
for the Gospel is a higher law than that of Moses. The sacrifice of
animals in which the lesser Priesthood administered was no longer
required, after the great sacrifice of the Son of God of which they
were typical, so that function of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood was
discontinued. But the administration of the ordinances of the Gospel
was necessary, and could not be rightfully performed without divine
authority. Therefore, the Priesthood of God held by Jesus Christ, and
by his Apostles and by others called of God through them, was a part of
and essential to the Christian dispensation.

The term "called of God" appears to be as much misunderstood as is the
subject of the Priesthood of God. Men assume to act in the name of
Jesus Christ, either because they feel or imagine they have a call in
their hearts to this ministry, or because they have been called by some
person or conclave having no more divine communication and authority
than they had themselves. In contrast to their assumption let us view
the case of Saul of Tarsus, afterwards called Paul the Apostle. In the
narration of his case as given in Acts XXII {225} he says that on his
way to Damascus the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in glory, and he
was stricken blind thereby. He received his sight by miracle and was
informed: "The God of our Fathers hath chosen thee that thou shouldst
know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldst hear the voice of
His mouth. For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast
seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and
wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Paul subsequently
received another divine communication, informing him that the Lord
would send him unto the Gentiles. (Verses 12-21.) After all this he was
not authorized to act as a minister of the Gospel, because he had not
yet been properly called and ordained.

It was ten years after this, according to the chronology of the New
Testament, that Paul was ordained to the Priesthood or authority to
act in the name of the Lord. It is stated that certain Prophets and
Teachers were in the Church at Antioch, and "As they ministered to the
Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, 'Separate me Barnabas and Saul
for the work whereunto I have called them.' And when they had fasted
and prayed and laid their hands upon them they sent them away." (Acts
XIII; 2, 3; see also Acts IX; 15-18.) Paul in his epistles invariably
declared that he was not called by the will of man; and he taught that
no man of himself could rightfully assume the authority to administer
in the name of the Lord. To the Galatians he wrote: "Paul an Apostle
(not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who
raised him from the dead)." (Gal. I; 1.) Writing to Titus, Paul said:
"For this cause left I thee in Crete. That thou shouldst set in order
the things that are wanting, and ordain Elders in every city as I had
appointed thee." (Titus I; 5.) Writing to Timothy, Paul says: "Neglect
not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with
the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." (I Tim. IV; 14.) It was
thus that the seven Deacons were ordained, as recorded in Acts VI; 6.

That there was a divinely appointed ministry in the Church established
by our Savior, must be evident to every mind open to the truth, on
reading the New Testament; also that these were essential to the
Church, and that without them there can be no true Church of Christ on
earth. Explaining this subject and stating the order of the Christian
ministry given by Christ, Paul says: "And he gave some Apostles, and
some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers."
(Eph. IV; 11.) These inspired men were, {226} as we have seen, called
of God, not of men, and were appointed and ordained to their respective
callings by divine authority. It is claimed that these were necessary
only in the first days of the Church of Christ on earth, and that
they are no longer needed. But the succeeding verses of the scripture
we have quoted show most positively to the contrary. They were given
Paul says, "For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a
perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;
that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Verses 12-14.)
Without these divinely ordained and inspired men, holding this Holy
Priesthood, the work of the ministry cannot be performed acceptable to
God, neither can the Church be perfected. They are absolutely necessary
until all shall come to the unity of the faith and a knowledge of the
Son of God. The absence of that divine authority, and of the gift
of the Holy Ghost, has caused the division and dissension that now
exist among professing Christians, who are, "tossed to and fro and
carried about with every wind of doctrine," led hither and thither
by unauthorized and uninspired men, and by the "cunning craftiness"
whereby hirelings who preach for money, "lie in wait to deceive" and
"make merchandise of the souls of men."

All the ministrations, ordinances, baptisms, confirmations,
performances and ceremonies that have been instituted by men and
conducted under merely human authority, whether devoutly, sincerely,
and piously, or with wilful intent to impose upon the ignorance
and credulity of mankind, are void in the sight of heaven, are not
recognized of God, and have no virtue or effect as aids to salvation.
God's house is a house of order, and He will accept only that which
He has authorized and ordained. However startling this may appear, it
is the eternal truth, which will stand the test of both reason and
revelation. Truth is mighty and will prevail. The remedy for these
tremendous evils will be pointed out in succeeding pamphlets.

{227}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 6.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

That there has been a great departure from the doctrines, ordinances
and discipline of the Church as it existed in the days of Christ and
His Apostles, must be evident to every unbiased enquirer into religious
truth. This has been demonstrated to some extent in tracts already
presented to the reader. But the full measure of the apostasy that has
taken place would take volumes to represent in detail. The proofs are
ample that it has been universal

When Jesus Christ commenced His ministry on earth He found the
people who claimed to be the special subjects of divine blessing
and approbation, with all their Priests and ministers and learned
divines, entirely out of the way of life and salvation. None were
acceptable unto God. He denounced the most pious, respectable, devout
and educated among them as hypocrites and "whited sepulchres." Their
foreign missionary enterprises he declared obnoxious to the Almighty,
and informed them that when they compassed sea and land to make one
proselyte they made him "two fold more the child of hell." (Matt.
XXIII; 15). He pronounced them blind guides who made clean the outside,
but within were full of extortion and excess. The spirit of the Lord
had departed from those who honored His name with their lips, but who
had departed from His ways, and who, in place of the word of God,
"taught for doctrine the commandments of men." They were without
authority from God, although they claimed to have it by descent and
ordination through a long line of predecessors and prophets. It should
not be deemed impossible that a similar universal apostasy could take
place after the establishment of the Church of Christ by Him and His
Apostles. But whether so considered or not, the facts are too patent to
be denied when they confront the honest and enlightened mind.

It has been shown that the Gospel as taught and administered by Christ
and His Apostles required first, faith in {228} God and Jesus Christ;
second, repentance, which included reform of conduct; third, baptism
by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the reception of the
Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of divinely authorized men;
and that obedience to these brought the gifts of the spirit, including
love, joy, peace, patience, brotherly kindness, charity, healings,
tongues, interpretations, discerning of spirits, miracles, prophecy,
revelation, and the unity in one body of all who were baptized into the
Church, no matter what had been their previous beliefs. Also that the
ordinances of the Gospel were administered by men inspired of God, who
were in communion with Him, and who were ordained to act for and in
behalf of Deity, so that what they performed by that authority on earth
was acknowledged and sealed in heaven. And that in the Church of Christ
there were Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders,
and other officers, who were constituent parts of the body of Christ.
This may be further seen by a careful reading of 1st Cor. XII, from
which it clearly appears that God placed these in the Church, that they
were all essential to its existence, and that one of them could not say
to any of the others, "I have no need of thee."

Look at the condition of so-called Christendom today! There are no
inspired Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers,
administering by divine authority and in the power and demonstration
of the Holy Ghost. In their place there are contending Priests and
Teachers guided by the wisdom of men, the learning of the schools and
the traditions of the Fathers, not even claiming that there is any
direct communication between them and God, but persuading mankind that
revelation has ceased, and the voice of prophecy is hushed forever. Not
one of the clashing, jarring and discordant sects of the day proclaim
the Gospel as it was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost, and
as taught by all the duly authorized servants of God in the primitive
Christian Church. The gifts and signs which Christ promised to true
believers, and which were enjoyed by the members of His Church
according to their needs and their faith, are not only absent from the
churches of these degenerate times, but are pronounced needless and
"done away." There is no "unity of the faith," no actual "knowledge of
the Son of God," no manifestations of His divine acceptance nor of the
power and glory of the Holy Ghost.

What is the reason of this transformation? Has God changed? Is Christ
divided? Is the Holy Spirit dead? Or, have not men changed the order,
ordinances, discipline, doctrines, {229} and spirit of the Church
of Christ? Is not the prediction of Isaiah the Prophet concerning
these times literally fulfilled? "The earth also is defiled under the
inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed
the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." He said it should be
"As with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with
his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer,
so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with
the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him." (Isaiah XXIV;
2-5).

The deplorable condition of affairs in modern Christendom was foreseen
and predicted by the Apostles of Jesus Christ, whose forebodings have
come down to us in the New Testament. Paul, writing to Timothy, spoke
in this wise: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times
shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,
unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,
incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady,
high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form
of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away."
(2nd Tim. III; 1-5). Also: "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that
in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their conscience seared with a hot rod." (lst Tim. IV; 1, 2).
Paul further said: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord
Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing
and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the
time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching
ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be
turned unto fables." (lst Tim. IV; 1-4). Paul also said they should be
"ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth."
Writing to the Thessalonians he said: "Now we beseech you brethren by
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together
unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither
by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of
Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day
shall not come except there come a falling away first." (2nd Thess. II;
1-3).

The Apostle Peter also foresaw this great apostasy, and {230} spoke of
it in this wise: "But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow
their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil
spoken of. And through covetousness they shall with feigned words make
merchandise of you, whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not and
their damnation slumbereth not." (II Peter; 1-3.)

The "falling away" commenced in the time of the Apostles, and hence
their numerous warnings and exhortations to the Saints, rebuking
schisms and divisions, and counseling unity, showing that the Spirit
of the Lord promoted union and led people to the knowledge of the
truth, while dissension and strife came from that Evil One, and led to
darkness and death. That the great apostasy commenced at a very early
period is shown by the words of Paul, "for the mystery of iniquity doth
already work. Only He that now letteth will let until he be taken out
of the way." (II Thess. II; 7.) By the time the Apostles were taken
out of the way, most of them slain by the hands of wicked men, the
apostacy had assumed such proportions that only seven of the Churches
were deemed worthy of a divine communication through the Apostle John,
who had been banished to the island of Patmos. And in that revelation
most of them were denounced by the Lord because they had "left their
first love," and were commanded to repent or he would remove them out
of their place. Some of them were "neither cold or hot," others had
given away to seducing spirits, and had committed abominations and
imbibed false doctrines. (See Rev., chapters I, II, and III.) In that
same vision John the beloved saw the Church in the form of a woman,
clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve
stars on her head taken away into the wilderness, to remain for a
lengthened period, and in her place he saw "a woman sitting upon a
scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy," and though decked
with gold and precious stones, she held in her hand a golden cup full
of abominations, and the name upon her head was Mystery. He saw further
that all nations were made to drink out of that golden cup, by which
they were made drunken. (See Rev. XII; 1-6; XVII; 1-5; XVIII; 2, 3.)

It is clear from these predictions in the New Testament, and others
that might be cited, that the departure from the purity, simplicity
and unity of the Gospel of Christ was to be {231} universal; and that
these prophecies were fulfilled we have the testimony of the Church
of England. In her Homily on the Perils of Idolatry she declares:
"Clergy and laity, learned and unlearned, men, women and children, of
all ages, sects and degrees, of whole Christendom, a most horrible
and dreadful thing to think, have been at once buried in the most
abominable idolatry, and that for eight hundred years or more." That
being true, how is it possible to believe that the Church of Christ
had any existence on earth after that long continued darkness and
apostacy? How could there be any remnant left of the divine authority
held by the Apostles and Priesthood of the original Christian Church?
If the Romish Church, from which the Church of England seceded, had no
divine authority, then the Church of England could have none, for all
she had she obtained from that Church. If the Romish Church possessed
that authority, still the Church of England could have none, for Rome
excommunicated her with all her priests and ministers. The Church of
England being without divine authority, all the various contending
sects that have sprung from her are of necessity in a similar
condition, for none of them even claim to have received any revelation
from God restoring that authority and re-establishing the Church of
Christ.

From the Pope of Rome down to the latest minister presuming to act in
the name of the Lord, there is not and cannot be one who holds the Holy
Apostleship or any portion of that sacred Priesthood which God placed
in the Church, and which Paul declared essential to its existence.
Good men, learned men, devout men, there have been by millions; noble,
pious, and blessed women also, with them, have done the best they
could according to their light and opportunities; but darkness "has
covered the earth and gross darkness the people," and the apostacy from
primitive Christianity, as foretold by its founders, has been awful and
universal!

But thank God, the restoration was also predicted, and it will be a
pleasing task in further tracts to set this forth, as revealed and
brought about by revelation from God the Eternal Father, through Jesus
Christ His Son and the Holy Angels sent from their presence, to usher
in the last and greatest of all dispensations.

{232}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No 7.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud
voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment
is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea,
and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying
Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all
nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev. XVI;
6-8.) In these inspired words John the beloved Apostle predicted the
restoration of the Gospel to the earth, and the subsequent destruction
of that power which had filled the earth with the darkness of spiritual
inebriety and wickedness. That these events were not revelations of
the past, but prophecies of the future manifested to the Apostle John,
is made certain by what he says in Chapter IV, verse 1: "After this I
looked and behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice
which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said,
come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."
The angels spoken of in the XIV chapter, quoted above, were among the
things which John was told "must be hereafter." It should be observed
that when the angel should fly to the earth bearing the everlasting
Gospel, it was to be at a time when every nation, and kindred, and
tongue, and people would be without that Gospel in its fullness. That
this has been the condition of the world for a long time has already
been demonstrated to the reader.

In predicting events that would occur previous to his coming and "the
end of the world," Christ declared, "And this Gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and
then shall the end come." (Matt. XXIV; 14.) From this we learn that the
Gospel as preached by Christ and delivered by Him to the Apostles, is
{233} to be preached in all the world as a witness of His second advent
and a sign of the approaching end. (See verse 3.)

The foregoing predictions correspond with the prophecy of Isaiah:
"Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with
their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their
heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts
of men; Therefore I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this
people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their
wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall
be hid." (Isaiah XXIX; 13, 14.) All the Prophets whose writings have
been collected in the sacred volume called the Bible, have proclaimed
the glory of the latter days and the final triumph of truth over error,
and of the power of God over the deceptions of that Evil One.

Thus not only the restoration of the Gospel was foretold by holy men of
God, after the great apostacy that was to take place, but the manner
of its revelation was also explained. It was to be by the coming of
an angel from heaven. To whom might it be expected that this angel
should appear? To the learned divines and contending sectaries of
modern Christendom? Do they not all declare that revelation ceased when
John received his vision, recorded in the Book of Revelation? Do they
not teach that though angels once ministered to men, the day of their
coming has long since passed? Have they any faith to call on God for
a divine communication? And will the Almighty reveal anything except
to those who call upon Him in faith? God's ways are not as man's ways.
Therefore, as Paul expressed it, "Not many wise men after the flesh,
not many mighty, not many noble are called, but God has chosen the
foolish things of the world to confound the wise. And God hath chosen
the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty,
that no flesh should glory in His presence." (I Cor. I; 26-29.) And as
quoted above, the Lord determined that in bringing forth His latter-day
work, "a marvelous work and a wonder," "the wisdom of the wise should
perish and the understanding of the prudent should be hid."

It was in the year 1823 that the angel spoken of by John the Revelator
came with the everlasting Gospel to a young man scarcely eighteen years
of age, of obscure, though respectable parentage, and without the
learning of the schools. His name, too, was common, and his occupation
that of a farmer's boy. Joseph Smith, whom the Lord raised up to
receive His word, establish His Church, and prepare the way {234} for
the Redeemer's second coming, was led to enquire of the Lord through
reading the scriptures for the purpose of finding out which of all the
disputing religions was right. Coming to the Epistle of James, 1st
chapter and 5th verse, he read: "If any of you lack wisdom let him
ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and
it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
Relying on this word, he went into the woods to pray, and in the
simplicity of his heart called on God for the wisdom which he felt he
greatly needed. He was then but fourteen years of age, but his faith
was strong and wavered not. His prayers were heard, and in a heavenly
vision in open daylight, the Father and the Son revealed themselves
to his astonished gaze. The Father, pointing to the Son, proclaimed,
"This is my beloved Son, hear Him." Our Savior spoke to the boy, and
in answer to His question as to which of all the religious sects was
right, he was told that they had all gone out of the way, and was
commanded to go after none of them, but was promised that in due time
the true Gospel of Christ should be revealed to him.

When the Angel appeared to him, three years later, it was in his
chamber, just as he had retired for the night. Coming in glory, the
Angel showed to Joseph the place where an ancient record was hidden in
the side of a hill, containing the history of the former inhabitants
of the American continent, including an account of a visit made to
them by Jesus Christ after His resurrection from the dead, when He
declared to them the same Gospel that he had preached in Palestine, and
also established His Church among them after the same pattern as that
organized on the eastern hemisphere. He was informed that this record
should be subsequently placed in his hands to translate by the gift
and power of God to be given to him through means which the Lord had
prepared for that purpose. This manifestation was thrice repeated, that
Joseph might be fully assured of its reality. Under the inspiration
of Almighty God, the young man was able to obtain possession of this
precious record, inscribed in small and curious characters upon
metallic plates. The Gospel is there set forth in plain and simple
language, and no one who reads the book, which is called the Book
of Mormon, with a prayerful and unprejudiced heart, will fail to be
impressed with its divine origin.

After being thus favored of the Lord, Joseph Smith received a
visitation from John the Baptist, who held authority in ancient times
to preach and administer baptism by immersion {235} for the remission
of sins. He came as a ministering angel, and ordained Joseph Smith and
his companion Oliver Cowdery, to that Priesthood and authority. Thus
endowed, these young men baptized each other, and at a later date were
ministered to by the Apostles Peter, James and John, who ordained them
to the Apostleship, with authority to lay hands on baptized believers
and confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, also to build up and organize
the Church of Christ according to the original pattern.

On the sixth day of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ was
organized in the state of New York, with six members, Latter-day Saints
who had been baptized for the remission of sins and had been confirmed
by the laying on of hands. The Holy Ghost was manifested unto them, and
as the Church grew in numbers the gifts of the spirit were imparted,
and the organization was eventually made complete with Apostles,
Prophets, Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, also
Bishops and other officers that were in the primitive Christian Church;
indeed all the grades of the Melchisedek and Aaronic Priesthood,
with their keys, powers and endowments, and all the ordinances,
ministrations and divine manifestations necessary to the true Church
of Christ. Men thus divinely authorized, were sent out into the world
to preach the Gospel like the Apostles of old, without purse or
scrip, without salary and without pay of any kind, depending upon the
Lord and friends whom He might rise up to minister to their temporal
wants. Wherever they went and people received their testimony and were
baptized for the remission of sins, the Holy Ghost was poured out upon
them through the laying on of hands, and they invariably obtained a
testimony from God that they were accepted of Him, and that He had
in very deed reestablished His Church on earth. There are now many
thousands of living witnesses to the truth of these things. They are
natives of various countries, speaking different languages, reared in
divers religions; they are now brought to the unity of the faith; they
have come to a knowledge of the truth. Doubt has fled and darkness has
been dispersed; the light of heaven shines in their souls. They are in
the strait and narrow way. They are members of the body of Christ, and
His spirit, which searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, is
the abiding witness from on high and shows them things past, present,
and to come.

This is the latter-day work spoken of by the Holy Prophets. It is the
dispensation of the fulness of times, in the which "God will gather
together in one all things in Christ, both {236} which are in heaven
and which are on earth, even in Him." (Eph. I; 9, 10.) It is the
last and greatest of dispensations. In it will be accomplished the
"restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all
His Holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts III; 21.) It is to
prepare the way for the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
will come "in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory," and
"in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and that
obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He shall come to be
glorified in his Saints." (II Thess. I; 7-10.) In this dispensation,
after all people have been warned and the Gospel has been preached for
a witness to all nations, and the elect are gathered together from the
four winds, namely East, West, North and South, the great tribulations
and judgments will be poured out, the end of the world, that is, the
end of the rule of Satan and of the wicked will come, the kingdoms of
this world will become the kingdom of our God and His Christ, and He
will reign over them forever.

"The times of ignorance God hath winked at, but He now commands all
men everywhere to repent." Therefore, oh! ye inhabitants of the earth,
hearken to the voice of the Lord, which is unto all people, Christian
and Pagan, preachers and hearers, Papists, Protestants, infidels,
secularists and agnostics, rich and poor, kings, presidents, rulers,
peasants and men and women of all race, religions and degrees, saying,
repent of your sins, of your false creeds, of your dead forms, and of
all your unbelief and iniquities, and come unto me, and be baptized
by my servants, on whom I have placed my authority, and receive the
laying on of their hands, and you shall have the remission of your
sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and shall know that I am God, and
that I have set my hand to accomplish my great work in the earth, and
if you abide in me you shall inherit the earth when it is cleansed and
glorified, and shall be crowned with eternal life!

{237}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 8.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

"Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down
from heaven." So prophesied the Psalmist, (Ps. LXXXV; 11). This may be
viewed as a figurative expression, but it has been literally fulfilled
in the 19th century. In the midst of the disputations over the meaning
of many parts of the Bible, which have caused so many heart-burnings
and bitter feelings among preachers and professors of religion, out of
the earth has come forth a sacred record containing divine truth in
such plainness and simplicity as to settle in the minds of believers
those controversies which have agitated the world of theology. When the
American continent was discovered by Columbus and others, who were led
to cross the great waters in search of unknown lands, a dark-skinned
race, composed of many different tribes but evidently of a common
origin, were found in possession of the Western Continent. Varying
in their characteristics from the white, the black, the yellow, and
all the European, Asiatic and Ethiopian branches of the human family,
their origin became a cause of wonder and scientific investigation. The
general conclusion arrived at was, that at some remote period their
ancestors had migrated from some portion of the Eastern Hemisphere, but
when, or how, or why this emigration had taken place was a profound
mystery.

But in the year 1829 a book was published in the state of New York,
claiming to have been translated from metallic plates found in a
hill-side in that State, by a young man who was directed to their place
of deposit by an Angel of God, and who was inspired in the work of
translation to decipher the hieroglyphics inscribed on those plates,
being aided in the work by an instrument, discovered with them, called
the Urim and Thummin. The plates had the appearance of gold, were not
quite so thick as common tin, were about six inches by seven in size,
were engraved on both sides, and were fastened together in the shape
of a book by three rings at the back. Acting under instructions of the
heavenly messenger the {238} young man, Joseph Smith, proceeded as
quietly as possible to perform the arduous task required of him. As
he was but a poor scholar, he obtained the assistance of a scribe to
write, as he dictated word by word. The news of the discovery, however,
became noised around, and ridicule from both preachers and people
was followed by attempts at violence, so that the plates had to be
concealed, and, with their translator, removed from place to place.

A farmer, named Martin Harris, who had become interested in the work,
received from Joseph Smith a copy of some of the hieroglyphics with
their translation. These he carried to New York and submitted them to
some learned linguists, among them Prof. Anthon, who after examining
them, pronounced them true characters and the translation, so far as
he could determine, to be correct. He wrote a certificate to this
effect, and gave it to Martin Harris. But questioning him as to how
the young man had obtained the record containing these characters,
he was informed that it was revealed to him by an Angel of God. He
then requested Mr. Harris to let him look at the certificate he had
given him. On receiving it he tore it up, declaring that there was no
such thing as angels from heaven now-a-days, but said if the book was
brought to him he would endeavor to translate it. A portion of the
record being sealed, Martin Harris informed him of that fact, when he
exclaimed, "I cannot read a sealed book." As will be seen subsequently,
he was, though unwittingly, fulfilling a scriptural prophecy.

That portion of the record which was not sealed was finally translated
into the English language by Joseph Smith, and formed a volume of about
600 pages, which was published as the Book of Mormon. This title was
given to it because a Prophet named Mormon, by command of God, about
four hundred years after Christ, compiled and abridged the records of
Prophets who ministered on the American continent, back to about 600
years before Christ, when a colony of Israelites was led from Palestine
across the waters and became a numerous people, the ancestors of the
present race of American Indians. The account of their travels, their
establishment on the Western Hemisphere, the revelations of God to
them, their division through wickedness into separate tribes, the
manner in which the hue of their complexion was changed, their wars,
their works, their buildings, their customs, their language, the
words of their prophets, are all given in great plainness in the Book
of Mormon. An account is also given of the visit of our Lord Jesus
Christ to this people {239} after His resurrection, fulfilling His
own prediction recorded in John X; 16: "And other sheep I have which
are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear
my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." That these
"other sheep" were not the Gentiles, as popularly supposed, is clear
from Christ's statement, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the
House of Israel." (Matt. XV; 24.) He established His Church among them,
ordaining Twelve Apostles, and giving them the same Gospel, authority,
gifts, powers, ordinances and blessings as He gave to His "sheep" on
the Eastern Hemisphere. Thus the fulness of the Gospel is contained
in the Book of Mormon, which stands as a witness of the truth of the
Bible. The two records supporting each other, and both united bearing
testimony to an unbelieving world that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ,
the Son of the Eternal God and the Savior of the world.

This record also contains an account of a colony directed of the Lord
to the Western Continent at the time of the scattering of the people
from the land of Shinar and the confusion of tongues, at the stoppage
of the building of the Tower of Babel. The ruins of their cities and
temples and fortifications, discovered by travelers and archaeologists
since the publication of the Book of Mormon, are silent but potent
witnesses of the truth of the record. Each succeeding year brings forth
further evidences of this character, that form a cloud of witnesses to
the divine mission of the Prophet, Seer, and Translator, Joseph Smith.
The Book of Mormon has since been published in many languages and
submitted to the scrutiny of the religious and scientific world, and
no one as yet has been able to point out wherein it disagrees with the
Jewish Scriptures or with the facts developed by antiquarian research
and scientific investigation. Yet it was brought forth in this age by
an unlearned youth, not acquainted with the world, reared in rural
simplicity without access to the literature of the time, and without
even the ordinary acquirements of the schoolboy of the present.

According to the Book of Mormon, the people who journeyed from
Jerusalem to the American Continent, taking with them the genealogy
of their fathers and writings of the Law and the Prophets, were of
the tribe of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh, and were led out of
Palestine when Zedekiah was King of Judah. In keeping the record which
was subsequently abridged by the Prophet Mormon, they used the learning
of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. Their hieroglyphs
and symbols, however, were changed and modified, {240} so that the
characters upon the plates revealed to Joseph Smith, where they had
lain hidden for about 1,400 years, was a reformed Egyptian. How this
uneducated youth was able to bring forth a work of such magnitude and
importance, unless by inspiration of Almighty God, and by the means
explained, remains a mystery to unbelievers. For a long time it was
pretended by enemies of the work that one Solomon Spaulding wrote a
Manuscript story, which in some unexplained manner fell into the hands
of Joseph Smith, who worked it over into the Book of Mormon. But that
foolish tale has signally failed of its purpose, for in recent years
the Spaulding manuscript has come to light, and is now deposited in the
Library of Oberlin College, Ohio, and proves to be as unlike the Book
of Mormon as Jack the Giant Killer is dissimilar to the Bible.

The colonization of America by the seed of Joseph, who was sold into
Egypt, fulfills the blessing pronounced on the head of Joseph and his
sons by the Patriarch Jacob. (See Gen. XLVII; also XLIX; 22-26;) also
the blessing pronounced by the Prophet Moses, (Deut. XXXIII; 13-17).
The historical portion of the Book of Mormon shows that the American
Continent, possessed by a "multitude of nations," the seed of Ephraim
and Manasseh, is the "blessed land" bestowed on Joseph in addition to
his portion in Canaan. There are to be found the "everlasting hills"
and the "ancient mountains," "the precious things of heaven, and the
precious things of the earth," and all of the characteristics of the
country unto which the branches of the "fruitful bough," were to "run
over the wall," as Jacob predicted. That the word of the Lord was to
be given to the seed of Ephraim may be seen from Hosea VIII; 11, 12:
"Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be made
unto him to sin. I have written to him the great things of my law, but
they were counted as a strange thing." The coming forth of the Book of
Mormon is foreshadowed by Isaiah the Prophet, Chapter XXIX; 4-9. It is
the voice of a fallen people whispering "out of the dust." It has come
at a time when the world is "drunken, but not with wine," staggering
under the influence of false doctrine, and without Prophets and Seers.
It is the "marvelous work and the wonder," which the Lord was to bring
to pass for the confounding of those who had turned things upside down,
and who worshipped Him with their mouths while their hearts were far
from Him.

The words of the book, Isaiah said, were to be presented to the
learned, saying, "Read this I pray thee," and he was to {241} say, "I
cannot for it is sealed." The book itself was to be "delivered to him
that is not learned;" and that it was to be read is clear from verse
18: "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and
the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness,
the meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor
among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." The coming forth
of the Book of Mormon as the "stick of Joseph," is also predicted
in Ezekial XXXVII; 15-22. The interview of Martin Harris with Prof.
Anthon, related above, fulfilled one portion of Isaiah's prophecy, the
other portions have come to pass in the translation of the book by the
unlearned youth and its reception by the meek and poor among men, and
by the restoration of sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, who
have seen and heard the words of the book and bear testimony to its
divine origin. The "Stick of Judah"--the Bible, is now joined with the
"Stick of Joseph"--the Book of Mormon--and, as Ezekial foretold, they
have become one in the hand of the Lord, as a witness for Him and His
Son Jesus Christ in the latter days.

As a preface to the Book of Mormon the testimony of three witnesses,
namely, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, is published,
declaring "with words of soberness" that an angel of God came down from
heaven and brought and laid before their eyes the plates from which the
book was translated; that the voice of God from heaven declared that it
had been translated by the gift and power of God, and commanded them
to bear record of it. Also the testimony of eight witnesses is given,
who saw the plates naturally, handled them, inspected the engraving
thereon, and turned over the leaves that had been translated. In
addition to these witnesses, chosen of the Lord to bear record of these
facts, thousands of people, of various nationalities, have received
divine testimony that the book is true, and that Joseph Smith, who
translated it by the gift of God, was a true Prophet, called of God to
usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times proclaim anew the
everlasting Gospel, the one plan of salvation, re-establish the Church
of Christ on earth, and prepare the way for the coming of Him whose
right it is to reign, and for the final redemption of the earth from
sin and satan, from darkness and death. And every person who will read
the Book of Mormon with an unprejudiced mind and will ask God in faith,
in the name of Jesus Christ, concerning it, shall surely receive a
witness of its truth, and be guided in the way of eternal salvation.

{242}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 9.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

In proclaiming the great truths that the silence of centuries has
been broken; that the voice of God has again been heard from heaven;
that Jesus Christ His Son has manifested Himself in these latter
days; that Angels from the courts of glory have ministered to man on
earth in the present age; that a sacred record has been brought forth
from the ground disclosing the history of a hemisphere; and bearing
the same truths as those recorded in the Bible; that a Prophet, Seer
and Revelator has been raised up to bring in the last dispensation;
that Apostles and other inspired servants of God now minister among
them; that the Church of Christ with all its former organization,
ordinances, gifts, signs and spiritual power has been reorganized on
earth; and that communications may be had with Deity by men and women
of faith now, as at any period in the world's history, the servants
of God are met with the assertion that the day of revelation has long
since passed, and that they must of necessity be either impostors or
deluded, because there is to be no more scripture, prophecy, miracles,
angelic ministrations, visions or actual communication from heaven to
earth. This popular error is fostered and propagated by the ministers
of various so-called Christian denominations, and is accepted by the
masses of the people as a settled and foregone conclusion.

On what ground is such an irrational position assumed? Is not the
Almighty declared in scripture to be unchangeable? Has not His work
on earth always been conducted by men divinely chosen, appointed and
inspired? Is there not as much need of divine revelation to settle
religious feuds and doctrinal differences in the 19th century, as at
any previous period? Would not the word of the Lord be of much more
value to mankind than the varied opinions of uninspired men, no matter
how great be their human learning? Ought {243} not the inhabitants of
the earth to be not only willing, but eager to receive a message from
the eternal worlds?

"Ah!" exclaims the objector, "but there were to be no more Prophets
after Christ. He finished the divine plan and completed the revelation
of God to the earth. He warned His disciples against false prophets
and false Christs, and said if it were possible they would deceive the
very elect." Does not the very fact Christ said there would be false
prophets, convey the idea that there would be true Prophets also?
If there were to be no more true Prophets, it would have been easy
for the Savior to plainly say so, and thus there would be no place
left for deceivers. But He declared emphatically: "Wherefore, behold
I send unto you Prophets and wise men and scribes, and some of them
ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them ye shall scourge in your
synagogues and persecute them from city to city." (Matt. XXIII; 34.)
Were not Prophets established in the Church of Christ as members of
His body? Read I Cor. XII; 28: "And God hath set some in the Church;
first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly, Teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of
tongues." Did not Christ promise His disciples that after He went away
the Comforter should come? And was not one of the offices of that
spirit to show them "things to come?" (John XVI; 13.) Was not the gift
of prophecy bestowed upon members of the Church of Christ as one of the
manifestations of the Holy Spirit? (I Cor. XII; 10.) And can anybody
possess the true testimony of Jesus without that spirit? The angel
that appeared to John the Apostle said: "The testimony of Jesus is the
spirit of prophecy." (Rev. XIX; 10.) Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give
unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him."
(Eph. I; 17.) If revelation and prophecy ceased with Christ, what about
the New Testament, all written after His death and resurrection, by men
now believed to be inspired? Did not the Apostle John behold a glorious
vision and receive a grand revelation, when banished to the Island of
Patmos?

Here again the objection will be raised: "But that revelation was the
last communication from heaven, and its closing chapter forbids any
further revelation." That is also a popular error promulgated by men
professing to be ministers of Christ, and finding themselves destitute
of divine power and inspiration. Here is the passage they quote: "For I
testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of {244}
this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto
him the plagues that are written in this book." (Rev. XXII; 18.) It
is astonishing how plain and simple language can be wrested from its
evident meaning to suit the purpose of sophistry. There is not a word
in that text which conveys the remotest intimation that revelation
and prophecy were to cease, or that God would no more speak to man.
It is a prohibition against the addition by man of anything to that
which God reveals. The next verse forbids the taking away of anything
from the "book of this prophecy." That is, the Book of Revelation.
These commands have reference to that one book, and that only. The
compilers of the New Testament have placed it last in the collection of
scriptural books, and the strained, unnatural and absurd application
which has been made of the words we have quoted have been attached to
the whole volume of the Bible. It is all wrong and ridiculous. The
idea that the Almighty placed a seal upon His own mouth when He simply
forbade men to add to what He said, is certainly most remarkable for
sane people to entertain. If that singular notion were correct, then
both the angel who gave the revelation, and John, who received it,
violated the heavenly injunction, for we read that the angel gave to
John a mission in figurative manner, which he thus explained: "Thou
must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and
kings." (Rev. X; 11.) It is well known that the Epistles of St. John
were written after he received the revelation on Patmos.

While the true Church of Christ remained on earth the spirit of
revelation and prophecy also remained. When that spirit departed
there was but a dead form left. Only by the restoration of divine
communication with man could the Church of Christ be re-established
on earth. Only by raising up a Prophet to commence the latter-day
dispensation could our Heavenly Father maintain His invariable method
from the beginning of the world. And instead of men, professing to be
His servants, opposing and fighting against divine revelation, they
ought to hail with gladness the re-opening of the heavens and shout for
joy that the rays of the Millennial morning have burst upon the world.

It is passing strange that persons familiar with the prophetic writings
in the Bible, could hold the opinion that there would be no revelation
in the latter days. The Bible teems with prophecies of the latter-day
glory, when the mightiest miracles ever wrought by divine power should
be displayed; {245} when God should set up an "ensign for the nations,"
"assemble the outcasts of Israel," gather together "the dispersed of
Judah from the four corners of the earth," and not only repeat the
wonders of the Mosiac journey from Egypt to Canaan, but display His
power to such an extent that it will no more be said, "The Lord liveth
that brought the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but the
Lord liveth which brought up and which led the seed of the House of
Israel from the north country and from all countries whither I have
driven them." (See Isaiah XI; 6-16; Jer. XXIII; 3-8; Zech. X; 6-11.)
Not only is the Lord to gather Israel and Judah, "with a mighty hand
and a stretched out arm," but He is to bring "His elect together from
the four quarters of the earth." They are to go up in the tops of the
mountains, where the House of the Lord is to be reared, from which His
law is to go forth, and where His people shall learn of His ways and
walk in His paths. When He has rebuked the nations, cleansed the earth
from its iniquity, so that the meek shall inherit it, He is to pour
out His spirit upon all flesh, with the result not only that His sons
and His daughters shall prophesy and see visions, but "they shall all
be taught of God," until "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of
God as the waters cover the great deep." (Joel II; 28-32; Isaiah XI; 9;
Micah IV; 1-7; Isaiah XXXV; Isaiah LIV; 13.)

That there was to be a new and final dispensation after the great
apostacy from primitive Christianity foretold by the Apostles, is
evident from the statement of Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
He says: "Having made known unto us the mystery of His will according
to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself, that in the
dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one
all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth,
even in Him." (Eph. I; 9, 10.) How could this, the greatest of all
dispensations, be ushered in without a Prophet and without revelation
from God? Did the Almighty ever commence a dispensation since the world
began without a Prophet to declare His word, and without revealing
His will? The Apostle Peter calls this great dispensation "the times
of restitution of all things spoken of by all the Holy Prophets since
the world began," in which Jesus Christ is to come in glory. (Acts
III; 20, 2l.) If all things are to be restored in that great gathering
dispensation, then Prophets must be restored, revelation, angelic
visitations, gifts, signs, miracles and all the manifestations of
former times must also be restored. {246} For, the consummation of
all things is to be accomplished, and the earth be prepared for the
presence of its rightful ruler, its Redeemer and King.

Be it known to all people that the Lord, in His infinite mercy, has
once more opened the heavens and revealed Himself to man. The last
dispensation has been commenced. The voice of Christ has again been
heard. Angels have come down from heaven to earth. Prophets, Apostles
and other inspired men declare the word and will of the Lord. A sacred
record of the ancient people of a vast continent has been brought out
of the ground and, united with the Jewish Bible, bears witness that God
is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that by faith mankind in
all ages may learn of Him and have communion with Him. The Gospel of
Jesus Christ is being preached in all the world as a witness to all
nations, baptism is administered by divine authority for the remission
of sins, the Holy Ghost is conferred as of old, by the laying on of
hands of men clothed with the Holy Melchisedek Priesthood, the unity of
the faith is enjoyed, the sick are healed, prophecies are uttered, the
gift of tongues and interpretation is attainable, and by visions and
dreams and the witness of the Comforter, God is testifying to those who
receive His word, that He has commenced a great latter-day work spoken
of by His Holy Prophets.

The man chosen of God to commence the work of the last dispensation
was Joseph Smith, who was slain at Carthage, Illinois, for the word of
God and the testimony of Jesus. No Prophet who ever lived on earth,
except the Son of God Himself, accomplished a greater work, brought
forth more truth or received greater revelations from on high than
he. Having finished the grand mission required of him by the Lord,
he sealed his testimony with his blood, and stands with the martyrs
who will be crowned in the presence of God and the Lamb as Kings and
Priests unto them forever. The truth of this testimony has been sealed
upon the hearts of many thousands of people, who rejoice in the certain
knowledge that they are accepted of God. And this knowledge may be
obtained by every soul who shall believe in Christ, repent of sin, be
baptized for the remission of sin, and receive the laying on of hands
for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, oh reader! Come unto the
light, obey the Gospel and be saved! This is the only way of eternal
life and everlasting happiness in the Father's presence.

{247}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 10.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the
kingdom of God." (John III; 5.) This sweeping declaration was made
by Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, when that prominent Israelite visited
the Savior at night. The Apostle Peter said concerning Jesus Christ:
"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts
IV; 12.) The words of Peter were spoken when he was "filled with the
Holy Ghost." The words of Jesus came from him as the Son of God. They
vitally affect the whole human family. They being true, not a soul can
enter into the kingdom of God unless he or she is a true believer in
Jesus Christ, and has been born of the water and of the spirit. Even
Christ himself had to comply with this law, in order to "fulfill all
righteousness." He was born of the water in His burial by baptism in
Jordan, and His coming forth from the womb of waters; he was then born
of the spirit by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Here is the example for
all mankind, who are required to "follow in His steps." This is the
"strait and narrow way."

The question which naturally arises in the thoughtful mind on hearing
these declarations is, "How could people believe in Jesus Christ when
His name was not preached to them?" And coupled with that comes the
query: "What has become of the many millions of earth's inhabitants who
died without the opportunity of being born of water and of the spirit?"
The heathen nations, worshiping false gods, knew nothing of Jesus as
the Savior of mankind. Even the chosen people Israel who were under the
Mosaic law, did not walk in that way of salvation. Since the days when
the Apostles and other authorized servants of Christ administered the
ordinances of the Gospel, and during the times when "darkness covered
the earth and gross darkness the people," down to the present age when
it is claimed by the Latter-day Saints that the Church of Christ, the
Holy Apostleship, and the fulness of the Gospel have been restored,
myriads of {248} good people have passed away without receiving that
new birth in the manner that Christ declared to be essential. Have they
all perished? Is it possible that they are doomed to destruction? Will
the Eternal Father reject all these His children because they did not
obey a law which was not made known to them?

Justice, mercy, reason, and common sense revolt at such an idea. As
Paul has it: "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not
believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not
heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they
preach except they be sent?" (Rom. X; 14.) Yet the word of God must
stand. It endureth forever, and He is no respecter of persons. "And
He is to judge the secrets of all men by Jesus Christ according to
His Gospel." It is for that reason that the Gospel was to be preached
to "every creature." According to the notion prevalent in modern
Christendom, there will be many millions of people shut out of the
kingdom of heaven, because they did not believe in a Savior about whom
they knew nothing. And it is taught that there is no possible chance of
salvation for those who die without faith in Christ. Sectarians sing:
"There's no repentance in the grave, nor pardon offered to the dead."
The preachers of the sects limit the mercy of God to this probation.
They teach that at death the soul goes either to heaven or to hell,
and its state and condition is fixed forever. If this awful doctrine
were true, Satan would gain the victory over Christ, claiming as his a
vast and overwhelming proportion of the human family, leaving to our
great Redeemer but a small and trifling troop out of the immense and
countless hosts of the armies of humanity.

The solution of this, to many, puzzling problem is simple in the light
of the true Gospel of Christ restored in the latter days. "The mercy of
God endureth forever." It is not confined to the narrow boundaries of
this little earth, nor tied up within the limits of time. The spirits
of men and women are His sons and daughters, whether if the body or
out of the body. "His tender mercies are over ALL HIS WORKS." No one
can be justly or mercifully judged by the Gospel without hearing that
Gospel, and having the opportunity to receive or reject it. Why, then,
should not the Gospel of Jesus Christ be made known to those who never
heard it in the flesh, after they have left the body and dwell in
another sphere? Do not all the sects of Christendom, almost without
exception, believe that the spirit of man is immortal, and {249} is
therefore living and sentient when the body is dead? And if that is
true, are not the spirits of men and women able to receive instruction
and information when out of the body? Is it not the spirit of man
that receives and stores up intelligence conveyed through the bodily
senses? Why should the change called death, which is the separation of
the body and the spirit, cut off all means of divine communication to
the living, immortal intelligent being that has simply "shuffled off
the mortal coil?" There is no good reason why the spirit thus advanced
one stage in its experience should not be capable of still further
progress and of receiving light, knowledge, wisdom and religious
teaching, especially if information essential to its eternal welfare
was withheld while it dwelt in the body. Revelation as well as reason
bears testimony that the word of God can be preached to the departed
as well in the sphere to which they have gone, as on any part of this
earthly globe.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God. Being put to death in the flesh, but
quickened by the spirit, by which also He went and preached unto the
spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient when once the
long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah; while the ark was
a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls, were saved by water."
(I Peter III; 18-20). Here is a declaration which like a ray from the
sun of righteousness, puts to flight the fogs and mists of modern
eschatology and opens up to view a vast field of understanding, wherein
the justice, wisdom and mercy of God are displayed in glorious review.
The spirits of those rebellious people who were destroyed by the
flood, after suffering about 2,000 years in their prison house, were
visited by the Son of God while His body was lying in the sepulchre.
This was in fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah concerning Him;
for instance: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord
hath anointed me to preach tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to
bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and
the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isaiah LXI; 1). And
further: "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the
prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." (Isaiah
XLII; 7). And again: "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, go forth.
To them that are in darkness, show yourselves." (Isaiah XLIX; 9).

The common notion is that when Christ on the cross bowed his head and
gave up the ghost, he went direct to {250} heaven, as it is supposed
all good people do, but on the third day after this, when Christ
appeared to Mary, he said unto her: "Touch me not, for I am not yet
ascended to my Father." (John XX; 17). The time spent by the Savior
between His death and His resurrection, instead of being in heaven was
among the "spirits in prison," the captives whom He went to deliver.
Thus Jesus could preach without His body, and the spirits whom He
visited could hear also without their bodies. But what was the nature
of His preaching to those who were held in captivity? Let Peter answer
this question. "For, for this cause was the Gospel preached also to
them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the
flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (I Peter IV; 6.) Thus
it appears that the same Gospel which was preached to men in the body
was also preached to men out of the body, so that all might be judged
by the same Gospel, which is to be preached to "every creature." That
the message of deliverance to the captives and the opening of the
prison to them that were bound was successful is evident from the
scriptural statement concerning Christ: "He led captivity captive."
(Eph. IV; 8).

Jesus promised His disciples that the works which he did, they should
do also. The mission and Priesthood which His Father gave to Him He
gave to them also. It is therefore clear that the work of redemption
commenced on earth will be carried on in the sphere beyond the veil.
And that it will be performed in the latter times, may be learned
without doubt from the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the end of the
world, in which he foretells as one of the events of that period: "And
it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall punish the host
of the high ones that are on high and the kings of the earth upon the
earth, and they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in
the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall
they be visited." (Isaiah XXIV; 20-22).

The spirit of man when out of the body, being an intelligent entity,
a thinking, progressive and responsible being, capable of hearing and
believing or rejecting truth, must be also capable of repenting of
evil and learning to do well. Thus the mercy of God can reach such a
being independent of the mortal structure in which it was permitted
to dwell on earth. The idea that the eternal future of man is fixed
at death comes from a mistaken notion concerning "the judgment day."
Both Christ and His Apostles taught that the time of judgment was set
by the Father to take place "when the Son of Man shall {251} come in
His glory, and all the holy angels with Him." (Matt. XXV; 31-46). Paul
declared that Christ would come to judge the quick and the dead "at His
appearing and His kingdom." (2 Tim. IV; 1). It was at that day that
Paul expected to obtain "a crown of righteousness." (Verse 8.) And the
time of the judgment is fixed in the book of Revelation to be after the
resurrection from the dead, when "the small and the great shall stand
before God, and the books shall be opened, and the dead shall be judged
out of the things written in the books according to their works." (Rev.
XX).

The popular notion that final judgment takes place at the death of each
individual, and that he is then and there exalted to heaven or thrust
down to hell, is utterly wrong and unscriptural. Yet it has prevailed
in Christendom for many centuries, and it remained for the Prophet of
the 19th century, Joseph Smith, by divine inspiration to bring forth
the glorious light in the midst of dense spiritual darkness, and show
forth the mercy and goodness of Almighty God in providing means by
which every soul of Adam's race, either in the body or out of the
body, may learn the way of the Lord, the everlasting Gospel, the only
plan of salvation. It is to be preached to all them that are dead who
could not hear it while living in the flesh, and they can repent and
turn unto God and be taught the things of His kingdom. The doctrine of
purgatory, which is part of the Roman Catholic creed, is a perversion
of this doctrine of Christ, but the idea of the former came from a
misunderstanding of the latter. There is an intermediate state in which
the spirits of the departed remain between death and the resurrection
of the body, and, as will be pointed out in a succeeding tract, there
are works which may be performed by the living in behalf of the dead,
but only such as are impossible of performance in the spirit world.

The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus Christ "gave Himself a ransom for
ALL, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. II; 6). The time has now
come. The testimony of this great truth is proclaimed by Prophets and
Apostles raised up in these latter days, and by the voice of Angles
from Heaven, and by the witness of the Holy Ghost, which bears record
of the Father and the Son. Let all people rejoice and praise the Lord
for this new revelation of his loving kindness and tender mercies
extended over all His works, and let His light shine to the uttermost
parts of the earth and penetrate to the darkest abode of the regions
behind the veil, that truth may triumph everywhere and God be glorified
in the obedience and salvation of His children.

{252}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 11.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead? If the
dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1
Cor. xv: 29.) This was an argument used by the Apostle Paul with the
Corinthians, who doubted the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.
It is evident that they were familiar with baptism for the dead. For,
the Apostle was reasoning with them from what they knew. The influence
of Greek philosophy affected the minds of the Saints at Corinth, and
the Apostle found it necessary to write to them his splendid treatise,
to convince them that as Christ was actually raised from the dead, so
all mankind should be brought forth from their graves, as the Savior
himself declared. And appealing to their good sense he asked the
question why they were baptized for the dead, if, as some among them
maintained, there was to be no resurrection of the dead.

This doctrine, that the living could be baptized in behalf of the
dead, has not been understood in the so-called Christian world for
many hundreds of years. It was known to the early fathers, but became
obsolete when the authority held by the Apostles and their associates
was taken from the earth and spiritual darkness settled upon the world.
Yet, if that was part of the doctrine of Christ in the Apostolic age,
it is part of it now. But who among all the sects of the age teaches
it? Who has authority to administer it? Who knows anything of the
manner in which the ordinance should be solemnized? It is because of
the profound ignorance of modern teachers of religion on this important
subject that they endeavor, whenever the text given above is quoted,
either to cover it with a cloud of meaningless explanation, or to treat
it as unworthy of attention, or to set it aside as something "done
away."

In the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ anew in the present age
baptism for the dead was made known to the Prophet Joseph Smith as a
necessary part of the doctrine of {253} Christ. Its purpose, the form
of the ordinance, who should administer it, who should receive it, how
it would affect both the living and the dead, and everything to render
it acceptable to God and efficacious to the departed, was made known to
the Prophet of the nineteenth century.

It has already been demonstrated that the Gospel preached by our Savior
and His Apostles to the living was also preached to the dead, that
is, to the spirits of those who had once dwelt in the body on earth.
Also that such persons are capable of receiving the truth, of faith,
of repentance, of obedience and reform. It has been further shown
that baptism for the remission of sins and the reception of the Holy
Ghost by the laying on of hands, both ordinances to be administered by
actual divine authority, are essential to salvation. But it will be
evident to the thoughtful reader that while the internal or spiritual
requirements of the Gospel can be complied with by disembodied persons,
the outward and material ceremonies are of the body, and can only be
performed on the earth. Water is an earthly element or composition of
material elements, and pertains to this mundane sphere. It is for this
reason that the living must be baptized for the dead. If those who die
unbaptized are to obtain salvation the necessary ordinances will have
to be attended to by proxy.

If any professing Christian objects to the idea of salvation by proxy,
the all-important fact that the entire plan of salvation hinges on that
principle should be sufficient to sweep away the objection entirely and
forever. "The wages of sin is death." "All have sinned and come short
of the glory of God." Jesus of Nazareth died instead of sinners. The
just was offered for the unjust. The innocent Christ was a substitute
for the guilty men. The whole doctrine of the atonement rests upon the
principle of salvation by proxy. Jesus is called the Captain of our
salvation. He is the head of the host of the army of saviors. It was
predicted by Obadiah the Prophet that, "Saviors shall come upon Mount
Zion" in the latter days, and "the kingdom shall be the Lord's" (verse
21). And the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of
those worthies who through faith performed great wonders and prevailed
and obtained a witness from God in olden times, declared: "These all,
having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise,
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us
should not be made perfect." (Heb. XI; 39, 40.) Thus the work of human
redemption is to be carried on until all the people {254} of the earth
shall be judged according to the Gospel, every soul having had an
opportunity of receiving or rejecting it, either in the body or in the
spirit state, and of obeying the ordinances thereof, either in person
or vicariously, the living acting for the dead.

At the first glance this doctrine may strike the modern Christian
mind as new and dangerous, but the more it is investigated in all
its bearings, the clearer its truth is made apparent, and the more
glorious it becomes. The thought that those who receive and obey the
Gospel of Christ in its fulness while in the flesh, can aid in the
work of redemption for their ancestors who are in the spirit world,
is most delightful to the reverent soul. It shows the value of those
genealogies which Israel, the covenant people of God, were moved upon
in olden times to preserve. It simulates the faithful in Christ to good
works that they may become "Saviors on Mount Zion." It explains how the
nations composed of millions upon millions of souls that never heard
the Gospel or the name of Christ Jesus, may ultimately be redeemed and
made heirs of salvation. It points out the way by which Christ shall
eventually obtain the victory over Satan and prove himself "a ransom
for all," presenting His perfect work to the Father, not one soul
having been lost but the sons of perdition, who sinned unto death and
could not be forgiven in this world or in the world to come.

The ordinances for the dead, as revealed from heaven to the Prophet
Joseph Smith, must be attended to in the way provided by the Lord or
they will not be accepted of Him. They must be administered in sacred
places built according to a heavenly pattern, and administered by
those who have authority to loose on earth and it shall be loosed in
heaven, to seal on earth and it shall be sealed in heaven. Persons who
have themselves complied with the requirements of the Gospel, may be
baptized and administered to in other necessary ordinances for and in
behalf of their departed kindred and ancestors, as far back as their
line of progenitors can be ascertained. This work must be attended to
in Zion. This necessitates the gathering of the Saints, "the elect of
God" from all parts of the earth. They are commanded of the Lord to
come out of Babylon, that they "be not partakers of her sins and that
they receive not of her plagues." (Rev. XVIII; 4). In compliance with
this requirement they are gathered from all nations, "to the mountain
of the Lord's house in the tops of the mountains, where they can learn
of His ways and walk in His paths," and build up Zion, where {255} they
can officiate as saviors and prepare for the coming of the great King.
(See Micah IV; 1-4; Isaiah II; 2-5; Psalms CII; 16).

The gathering of Judah is also to be accomplished in this dispensation
of the fulness of times. Their gathering place is Jerusalem. They will
return to the land of their forefathers chiefly in unbelief. A few of
that race will begin to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ,
but the masses of that people will not receive Him in that light until
He comes and "His feet shall stand again on the Mount of Olives." He
will then appear as their Deliverer from the hosts that will assemble
against them for a spoil and a prey. They will then look upon Him whom
their forefathers have pierced, and beholding the scars of the wounds
He received when "He came to His own and His own received Him not,"
but hung Him upon the cross, will come to the understanding that Jesus
is indeed the Son of God as well as the son of David, and is their
Messiah, their Redeemer, and their King. They will then receive His
Gospel, the only plan of salvation; "a nation will be born in a day
unto the Lord;" and in the Temple that will be reared to His name they
will officiate for their dead until all the links in the chain of their
ancestry, back to the time when the Gospel was on the earth previous
to the enunciation of the Mosiac code, the law of carnal commandments,
are made complete. All the promises made to Israel and Judah through
their Prophets will be fulfilled, and Christ will "reign in Mount Zion
and Jerusalem" and fill the earth with His glory! (See Zech. XIV; 8-23;
Jer. XXIII; 3-8; XXXII; 37-44; Ezek. XXXIV; 13-16; XXXVIII; 8-23; Ezek.
XXXIX; Isaiah XXIV; 23).

While the House of Judah is to rebuild Jerusalem, in expectation
of a Messiah, but in unbelief of the Savior and His atonement, the
descendants of the House of Israel which was scattered and dispersed
among the nations, will gather as the elect of God to the latter-day
Zion upon the land of Joseph in the tops of the mountains, where the
House of God is "exalted above the hills," and where the revelations of
His will are made known and the ordinances of His House for the living
and the dead can be administered. The blood of Israel, though mixed
with that of the Gentiles, is counted as the seed of Abraham to whom
the promises of old were made, and not one of them will fail. Their
gathering place is on "the land shadowing with wings" which Isaiah saw
in vision "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia," where the Lord has "lifted
up an ensign on the mountains," and from which His "swift messengers"
{256} are now going forth as "ambassadors" of the great King and are
bringing Israel from afar to "the place of the name of the Lord of
Hosts, the Mount Zion." (Isaiah XVII.) There, in the Temple built to
His name according to the pattern He has revealed, baptisms and all the
ordinances necessary on earth in the work of salvation for the living
and the dead, are performed by divine authority, and there the Spirit
of God is poured out in rich effusion, bearing witness to the humble
of heart and contrite of spirit that they and their labors of love are
accepted of Him and sealed and recorded in heaven.

There "the wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad"
because of them. The parched ground and the thirsty land have brought
forth springs of water, the desert is made to "blossom as the rose."
There the ransomed of the Lord have come to Zion with songs of
everlasting joy. "The place of their defense is the munition of rocks,"
and they are looking for the time which is near at hand, when they
shall behold "the King in His beauty." (See Isaiah XXXV; also XXXII;
13-20; XXXIII; 15-17; XLIX; 22-23; LII; 7-12; Psalm CVII; 1-7; 33-43;
Isaiah XLI; 18-20.)

From the foregoing it will be seen that our Heavenly Father is not
bound by the small notions and narrow creeds of modern religious sects
and teachers. "His ways are not as man's ways nor His thoughts as
their thoughts." "As high as the heavens are above the earth," so is
His plan of salvation above the inventions of the worldly wise. The
Gospel is to be preached to every responsible and accountable creature.
They who do not hear it while in the body will hear it in the spirit
world, and even those who through folly and darkness received it not
will, after having been beaten with "many stripes" and having paid the
"uttermost farthing" of the debt thus incurred, have mercy extended
to them when justice has been satisfied, and at length through the
ministration of the Holy Priesthood of God on earth and behind the
veil, and the ordinances performed in person or vicariously, all the
sons and daughters of God in the race of Adam will come forth from the
grave; and finally "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that
Jesus is the Christ to the glory of God the Father." Then Jesus, having
finished His work of redemption, will present it to the Eternal Father,
that He may be all in all.

This glorious work for the salvation of the human family is now in
progress under the revelation and authority of the Most High, and no
matter how much it may be opposed by ignorance or malice, by Satan or
foolish men, it will go on {257} to complete and glorious victory. Evil
will be overcome, darkness dispersed, Satan and his hosts be bound, the
earth and its inhabitants be redeemed, Paradise will be restored, Eden
will bloom again, Christ will reign as King, the Tabernacle of God will
be with men, and all things above, beneath, around, will sing praises
to the Most High, to whom be glory and dominion forever. Amen.

    _"I have had sufficient experience in this work to know that the
    hand of God is in it; that it is controlled and guided by His
    spirit and by revelation from Heaven. It is the design of God to
    establish his Kingdom upon earth to be thrown down no more."_

    --_Wilford Woodruff_.

    _There is no other way beneath the heaven that God hath ordained
    for man to come to Him, except through faith in Jesus Christ,
    repentance and baptism for the remission of sins; then follows the
    promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Any other course is in vain._

    --_Joseph Smith, The Prophet_.

{258}



RAYS OF LIVING LIGHT.

No. 12.

BY CHARLES W. PENROSE.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns
or figs of thistles?" so said the Savior of mankind, (Matt. VII; 16).
The Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons" as they are commonly called, have
been derided and persecuted and all manner of evil has been spoken
against them, even by people who call themselves Christians. That in
this false witness has been borne against them, may be definitely
proved if the criterion given by Christ is accepted. Having obeyed the
Gospel as restored to earth by angelic visitations and administered by
divine authority, large numbers of the Saints have congregated in the
valleys of the Rocky Mountains in obedience to the command, "Gather
my Saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me
by sacrifice." (Psalm L; 5). And also: "Come out of her (Babylon) my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of
her plagues." (Rev. XVIII; 4).

In the year 1847 a company of Pioneers, led by the Prophet Brigham
Young, successor of the Martyr Joseph Smith, who was slain for the
Gospel's sake, marched from the Missouri River across prairies and
mountains, sand wastes and rivers, through the wilderness known as
the Great American Desert, to the place in the mountains where they
had been directed by Joseph Smith when living with them in Nauvoo. On
July 24th of that year they halted in the valley of the Great Salt
Lake, beheld by Brigham Young in vision before they commenced their
weary journey. Not a human habitation was to be seen. The sun-baked
land brought forth sagebrush and weeds. Rain was almost unknown and
the melting snows from the mountain tops came down but in narrow and
scanty streams. But they plowed the parched ground and turned upon it
the trickling waters; they sowed in faith and trusted in God for the
harvest which alone could save them from starvation. The little band
was composed of but 147 persons who had left civilization more than
a thousand miles behind. Today nearly three hundred thousand people,
gathered from all parts of the world, dwell in peace and harmony
in flourishing cities {259} and towns or upon fruitful farms and
luxuriant ranches, reaping the results of thrift and industry and the
blessings of God upon the land and upon their labors. In the cities
are fine residences, comfortable cottages, business establishments,
manufacturing enterprises, broad streets lined with magnificent trees
and with clear streamlets on either side, lighted by electricity and
supplied with pure water from works owned by the people. Grand school
houses have been erected, spacious places of worship, noble public
buildings and splendid temples costing from one million to four million
dollars each. All kinds of grains and fruits and flowers are produced
in abundance; the rainfalls have wonderfully increased, springs have
burst forth in dry spots, grass grows on the hillsides and in the
meadows, cattle and sheep graze on a thousand hills, and the face of
nature smiles and shines with beauty.

This marvelous transformation has been brought about by the blessings
of Almighty God upon the faith and works of His Saints gathered from
afar. Zion that brought good tidings--the everlasting Gospel restored
to earth--has gone up "into the high mountain." The spirit has been
poured out from on high, and the wilderness has become a fruitful
field. "The people of the Lord dwell in peaceable habitations, in
sure dwellings, in quiet resting places." They are sowing "beside all
waters." "The wilderness and the solitary place is glad for them, the
desert rejoices and blossoms abundantly." They are the "ransomed of the
Lord, and have come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy." (See Isaiah
XL; 9; XXXII; 15-20; XXXV; 1-10).

Every Sabbath day the children assemble in Sunday schools under a
system which is not excelled in any part of the world. In the afternoon
and evening the Saints assemble in their Tabernacles and meeting
houses, and receive instruction by the voice of inspiration and the
reading of holy writ. Societies are organized for the instruction of
juveniles, of young men and women, of ladies of mature age and for all
classes of the community. To serve God and keep His commandments is
held up as the first duty of His people. To labor for the salvation of
the living and the redemption of the dead is placed above all earthly
consideration. The Church has now in the mission field fifteen hundred
or more missionaries, traveling "without purse and scrip," without pay
of any kind, depending upon God and friends whom He may raise up to
them for their daily sustenance. The Church organization revealed from
heaven is recognized by all who investigate, as the grandest and most
complete ever known on earth. The {260} industry, order, devotion,
unity and brotherly love displayed by the Latter-day Saints are the
admiration and commendation of both friend and foe. The work they have
performed under divine direction is a marvel to all who have visited
the cities of the Saints or know of their achievements. What is the
tree that has brought forth these excellent fruits? It is the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let the tree be judged by its fruits.

It is true that the "Mormons" are a people who have been "everywhere
spoken against," but this was a characteristic of the Saints in the
original Christian Church. Paul said: "They that live godly in Christ
Jesus shall suffer persecution." Jesus exclaimed: "Woe unto you when
all men shall speak well of you." He prophesied of his disciples: "Ye
shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." But there are a
number of brave men who, after visiting Utah, have not been afraid to
speak their honest sentiments concerning that despised people. Among
them are the following, whose published remarks are but samples of
others that might be adduced:

Bishop D. S. Tuttle of the Episcopal church, who resided in Salt Lake
City, had the following in the New York Sun: "We of the East are
accustomed to look upon the Mormons as either a licentious, arrogant,
or rebellious mob, bent only on defying the United States government
and deriding the faith of the Christians. This is not so. I know them
to be honest, faithful, prayerful workers, and earnest in their faith
that heaven will bless the Church of Latter-day Saints. Another strong
and admirable feature in the Mormon religion is the tenacious and
efficient organization. They follow with the greatest care all the
forms of the old Church."

Henry Edger says, in the New York Evolution: "Driven by mob
violence from one state to another, despoiled of their legitimate
possessions--fruits of honest toil--this despaired and grossly wronged
people found their way at last across the trackless desert and by an
almost unexampled perseverance and industry created an oasis in the
desert itself."

Elder Miles Grant, editor of the World's Crisis, says: "After a careful
observation for some days we came to the settled conclusion that there
is less licentiousness in Salt Lake City than in any other one of the
same size in the United States; and were we to bring up a family of
children in these last days of wickedness, we should have less fears of
their moral corruption were they in that city than in any other."

Gov. Safford of Arizona wrote as follows: "They have no {261}
drones, and the work they have accomplished in so short a time is
truly wonderful. All concede that we need an energetic, industrious,
economical and self-relying people to subdue and bring into use the
vast, unproductive lands of Arizona. These Mormons fill every one of
the above requirements."

Gen. Thomas L. Kane of Pennsylvania, after four years experience with
the Mormons, declared: "I have not heard a single charge made against
them as a community, against their habitual purity of life, their
willing integrity, their toleration of religious difference of opinion,
their regard for the laws, their devotion to the Constitutional
government under which we live, that I do not from my own observation
or upon the testimony of others know to be unfounded."

Chief Justice White, sent to Utah by the U. S. government, testified:
"Industry, frugality, temperance, honesty are with them the common
practices of life. This land they have redeemed from sterility and
occupied its once barren solitudes with cities, villages, cultivated
fields and farm-houses, and made it the habitation of a numerous
people, where a beggar is never seen and alms-houses are neither needed
nor known."

The late Hon. Bayard Taylor, U. S. minister to Germany, remarked,
"We must admit that Salt Lake City is one of the most quiet, orderly
and moral places in the world. * * * The Mormons as a people are the
most temperate of Americans. They are chaste, laborious and generally
cheerful, and what they have accomplished in so short a time under
every circumstance of discouragement, will always form one of the most
remarkable chapters in our history."

Notwithstanding the facts set forth in the foregoing, the Congress
of the United States was moved upon for several years by anti-Mormon
preachers of different sects, and by petitions from good, pious,
but deceived "Christian" people, also by adventurers who desired to
profit by inroads upon the Mormons, to enact stringent and oppressive
measures looking to the suppression of what they called "Mormonism."
It was thought by the enemies of the Saints that they could be driven
again from their possessions, as they had been driven by mob violence
from the states of Missouri and Illinois, where their property became
a prey to their so-called Christian persecutors, and where many of
their number were brutally murdered in cold blood, their Prophet and
Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, being among the number. For some
time these efforts gave great promise of success. Much suffering was
endured by the Saints, but they possessed their souls in patience,
having faith in the promises of God made to {262} them through their
Prophets and Apostles, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The day
of their deliverance from this injustice, sorrow, and tribulation has
come. Their true character has been measurably recognized, and Utah has
been admitted into the Union as a free and sovereign State, on an equal
footing with the other states in the Federal compact.

There yet remains in the world great ignorance concerning the
Latter-day Saints, their purposes and works, their doctrines and
teachings, and the spirit and power of their faith. To these they
invite the investigation of every rational mind. They urge comparison
of their principles, their Church and the ordinances, gifts, and spirit
thereof with those set forth in the New Testament, in contrast with
the contending and discordant religions of modern Christendom. They
know that they have received the truth, and that God has revealed it
in the present age. They have received a divine witness, every one for
himself. They are building up Zion in the West. They are sending forth
the Gospel into all the world as a witness to the nations before the
end shall come.

This is a day of warning. It will be followed by a time of judgments.
The Lord is about to shake terribly the kingdoms of this world. War,
pestilence, famine, earthquake, whirlwind, and the devouring fire, with
signs in the heavens and on the earth, will immediately precede the
great consummation which is close at hand. These are the last days. All
that has been foretold by the Holy Prophets concerning them is about to
be literally fulfilled. The everlasting Gospel has been restored to the
earth as one of the signs of the latter days. Israel is being gathered.
The elect of God are assembling from the four quarters of the earth.
The way is opening for the redemption of Judah. Soon all things will be
in commotion: "men's hearts failing them for fear and looking for the
things that are coming on the earth." The places of refuge appointed
are in Zion and in Jerusalem. The Lord, even Jesus the Messiah, will
come to His Holy Temple. He will be glorified in his Saints, but will
"take vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel."
He will break in pieces the nations as a potter's vessel. He will
sweep the earth as with a besom of destruction. He will establish
righteousness upon it and give dominion to His people. "The meek shall
inherit the earth and the wicked be cut off forever." Therefore, repent
and turn unto Him all ye nations, and obey Him all ye people, for these
words are true and faithful and are given by His spirit! Salvation has
come unto you; reject it not lest ye fall and perish. The time is at
hand!

{263}



A FRIENDLY DISCUSSION UPON RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS.

_(Compiled from a Work Entitled "Mr. Durant of Salt Lake City.")_

BY BEN E. RICH.

This pamphlet is written in the form of a conversational discussion,
because in this style information to the reader can be conveyed by a
method that is at once simple and agreeable.

The scene of this narrative is a small town in the southwestern part
of Tennessee, which we shall call Westminster. In this pretty village
is a home of entertainment for strangers. It can scarcely be termed a
hotel as it partakes largely of the character of a private residence
with accommodations for a limited number of guests, and visitors are
attracted to it by its home-like characteristics. A planter named
Marshall was the proprietor of the premises, which are known as Harmony
Place.

At the particular time of which we write (Sept., 189-), the house
had three guests--a lawyer named Brown, who had selected Westminster
as a place favorable for the establishment of the practice of his
profession; a physician named Slocum, who had a similar intention, and
a clergyman named Fitzallen, a tourist who was traveling in the pursuit
of health and pleasure.

At this time another visitor made his appearance. He was an attractive
looking man aged about thirty, with genial manners and a striking clear
method of presenting his thoughts in the course of conversation. This
was Charles Durant, who hailed from the West.

The evening of the first day that marked the stranger's advent into
Westminster saw the entire _personnel_ of Harmony Place on the veranda.

One subject after another was taken up, discussed and disposed of,
or at least laid aside to give way to some other. The conversation
proceeded from point to point until the topics of {264} the quiet
gathering assumed more the aspect of an intellectual _melange_ than
anything else. Two subjects which agitate us nationally and sometimes
locally more than any other--politics and religion--had, so far
escaped; they had not, however, been unthought of, and presently the
latter was begun by the minister saying:

"Representing to some extent, as I do, the church, I am pleased to
be able to state that in the matters of organization, discipline and
places of worship, America is thoroughly Christianized."

"I partially concur with you," said the lawyer, "and yet I belong to no
church at all--do not, in fact, endorse Christianity as a department of
civilized life."

"Why, how is this?" said Fitzallen, "I thought nearly everybody in this
country must be orthodox to some extent, at least."

"Not so with me, I assure you," the other replied, "and the strange
part of it is, that my views are the result of investigation and the
peculiar explanations of those who make religious teaching their
calling. Those who accept the creeds which are supposed to base their
tenets upon the Bible, do not, it appears to me, live up to their
professions, and the clergy--no offense intended--are more addicted to
money-getting than soul-saving."

The stranger from the West was listening to all this with the air of
one deeply interested. It was as if a desired opportunity had come,
and he was not reluctant about replying when questioned as to his own
views. It came when the churchman, after announcing his determination
to "labor" with the infidel, turned to the newcomer and said:

"I do not know whether you will be for or against me in this
discussion, but as you come from what we of the East are prone to
regard as the land where restraints are not severe, I presume you are
disposed to assist him rather than me."

"Well, gentlemen," said Durant, "this topic interests me, and while I
and my opinions are unknown to you all, I will, if agreeable to you,
endeavor to throw some light upon the subject. I am a believer in
religion and lay claim to a testimony of the truth of the gospel of
Christ from a divine source, and yet I often find myself opposed by
ministers."

"I cannot imagine why this should be the case," said Fitzallen, "if you
are, as you state, a true believer in Christ and have a witness of Him."

"If you will permit me to ask a few questions during your conversation
with Mr. Brown, I may be able to take a general {265} part in the
discussion, provided, however, that should we differ upon any point it
will be in a friendly manner."

"Certainly," said the clergyman, "I am sure it will be a pleasure to me
to have you join in our conversation, and I do not doubt that Mr. Brown
and the other gentlemen feel the same way."

The entire party expressed approval of the proposed interchange of
opinions.

"Then, Mr. Brown," said Fitzallen, "what particular part of the
Christian faith appears to you as being the most difficult to
understand?"

"I confess there are many. However, let us commence with one of the
principles of your belief. I will refer to some of the literature of
the Church of England. The first article of religion contained in the
Church of England Prayer-Book is: 'There is but one living and true
God, everlasting; without body, parts or passions; of infinite power,
wisdom and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both
visible and invisible: and in the unity of this Godhead there are three
persons of one substance, power and eternity--the Father, Son, and the
Holy Ghost.' According to this, then, your belief is that the Father,
Son and Holy Ghost are one person, without body, parts or passion."

"You have certainly quoted correctly from the prayer-book; I fail to
see anything wrong with that. What fault have you to find with it?"

"I cannot form a conception of a God who has neither body, parts nor
passions. So far as the Bible is concerned, I fail to see from what
part of that book you derive such a conclusion."

"Well, Mr. Brown, using your own language, 'so far as the Bible is
concerned,' let us do as Isaiah commands, 'go to the law and to the
testimony' (Isaiah viii: 20) and I will soon convince you that the
Bible plainly sets forth the fact that the Father and the Son are one.
In fact, Jesus himself declares that He and His Father are one (John x:
30). Is this not true?"

"Excuse me," said Durant, "but is it not more reasonable for us to
believe that He meant that He and His Father are united in all things
as one person?--not that they are actually one and the same identity?"

"Certainly not," said the reverend, "our Savior meant just what He said
when He declared that He and His Father were one."

"I differ from you," said the stranger, "for He also asked {266} His
Father to make His disciples one, even as He and the Father were one,
as you will see by reference to John xvii:20 and 21, and by your argument
it must have been His wish for those disciples to lose their separate
and distinct identities."

"Stranger," said Mr. Brown, "your view of the case, I must confess,
appears reasonable."

"Let me ask," said the preacher, "did not Jesus say, 'He that hath seen
me, hath seen the Father.'" (John xiv: 9.)

"Yes," said the westerner, "for as Paul says, 'He was in the express
image of His (Father's) person' (Heb. i: 3), and this being the case,
Jesus might well give them to understand that when they had seen one
they had seen the other. When Jesus went out to pray, He said, 'O, my
Father, if it be possible let thus cup pass from me: nevertheless, not
as I will, but as Thou wilt.' (Matt. xxvi: 39.) Now then, to whom was
our Savior praying? Was he asking a favor of himself?"

"Oh, no; He was then praying to the Holy Spirit."

"By such admission you have separated one of the three from Jesus, for
in the beginning you declared that the three were one; and now that we
have one of the three separated from the others, let us see if we can
separate the other two. In order to do this, I refer you to the account
of the martyrdom of Stephen. While being stoned to death he looked up
to heaven and saw the glory of God, and that Jesus was standing on the
right hand of God. (Acts vii: 55.) Would it not be impossible for a
person to stand on the right hand of himself? In further proof that
Jesus is a separate person from the Father we will examine the account
of His baptism. On coming up out of the water, what was it that lighted
on Him in the form of a dove?" (Matt. iii: 16.)

"We are told it was the Spirit of God."

"Exactly! And whose voice was it that spoke from the heavens, 'This is
my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!' (Matt. iii: 17.) Now, mind
you, there was Jesus, who had just been raised from the water, being
one person, the Holy Ghost which descended from above and rested upon
Him in the form of a dove, making two personages; and does not the idea
strike you very forcibly that the voice from heaven belonged to a third
person? And then again I will draw your attention to--"

The churchman was getting heated. Said he: "These are things which we
are not expected to understand; and, my young friends, I would advise
you to drop such foolish ideas, for--"

"Excuse me. Did you say 'foolish ideas?' Why, my dear {267} sir, we
are told in the Bible that 'This is life eternal, that they might
know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.'
(John xvii: 3.) Therefore it should be our first duty to find out the
character and being of God. You say we are not expected to understand
these things, while the Bible says these are what we must understand
if we desire eternal life. It also says we can understand the things
of man by the spirit of man, but to comprehend the things of God we
must have the spirit of God; and as you profess to be one of His
servants, you are presumed to be in possession of the necessary light
to understand the true and living God, also Jesus Christ whom He sent.
You say God has no body; did our Savior have one? If so, then His
Father had one, for I have just proved by the words of Paul that Christ
was in the express image of his person. (Heb. i: 3) Jesus appeared in
the midst of His disciples after His resurrection with a body of flesh
and bones, and called upon His disciples to satisfy themselves on this
point by touching Him; 'for,' says He, 'a spirit hath not flesh and
bones as ye see Me have.' (Luke xxiv:39.) Then He called for something
to eat and He did eat (verses 42, 43), and with this tangible body He
ascended into heaven and stood, as Stephen says, on the right hand of
God. (Acts vii:55.) Now if He has no body, what became of the one He
took away with Him?"

"This is nonsense! You know that God is a spirit, and I think we would
better not delve too deeply into matters which we are not permitted to
comprehend."

"Pray listen a while longer, for I have yet more to say in regard to
what you call nonsense, although if it be such, I must insist that
it is Bible nonsense. You say God is a spirit; does that prove He
has no body? We are also told we must worship Him in spirit. Am I to
understand from this that we must worship him without a body? Have you
a spirit? Yes. Have you also a body? Yes. Were you made in the image
of God, body and spirit? So says the Bible. Man was created in the
image of God. (Gen. i: 26, 27.) Then God has a body and, consequently,
must have parts. Moses talked with Him face to face, as one man talks
with another (Ex. xxxiii: 11), and he also saw His back parts. He
promised (Num. xii: 8) to speak with Moses mouth to mouth. We are told
in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy that He has a hand and arm. The
Psalm (cxxxix: 16) tells us He has eyes, and Isaiah (xxx: 27) says He
has lips and tongue. John describes His head, hair and eyes. (Rev. i:
14.) And as for passions, we are told in the Bible that He exercises
love and is a jealous God. Are {268} these not parts and passions? It
would appear that all who believe in the Scriptures must conclude that
they are parts and passions, and that the Creator is a God after whose
likeness we are made."

"Well, I had no idea when I commenced this conversation with Mr. Brown
that I was to find such an antagonist in yourself. One would naturally
come to the conclusion that you had made the Bible a study."

"I have as a Christian studied the record; in fact, at a very early age
my parents required me to commit and remember a very important verse
in that good old book. It is found in the fifth chapter of the gospel
according to St. John, being the 39th verse, and reads as follows:
'Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and
they are they which testify of me.'"

"That is proper, but I must again warn you against plunging into
mysteries which we cannot understand."

"But Peter tells us that 'no prophecy of the Scripture is of any
private interpretation' (II. Peter i:20), and these are the things
which we should seek for information upon; for lack of information by
the ministers upon these points is to a great extent, the cause of many
persons being in Mr. Brown's frame of mind today."

"If your assertion be correct, perhaps it would be better for me to
withdraw and leave Mr. Brown in your hands."

"I beg your pardon," said Durant, "I did not mean to offend you; I will
endeavor to be more careful during the rest of the conversation."

"We will resume the discussion at another time. Tonight I only intended
remaining a short time, having an important engagement; so, if you will
excuse me, I will wish you all good evening."

"Well," said Mr. Brown, "things have taken a very peculiar turn. I seem
to be out of the contest. I have heard more that appears reasonable
from you, Mr. Durant, regarding religion than ever before in my life,
and I must also admit that if my early teaching on religious matters
had been of this character, I believe I would have been a Christian.
I am somewhat familiar with the doctrines of different Christian
societies, and from the way you express yourself regarding the
personality of God, I would like very much to hear your views regarding
other differences. Do you disagree with these ministers very much on
other principles?"

"I am afraid the difference on many important principles is just
as great as that concerning the personality of God. But {269} if
you really desire to go with me in this search after the kingdom of
God, and the others are willing, I assure you it will give me great
pleasure."

Unanimous approval was expressed at once, and Mr. Brown continued,
saying:

"I never before had as great a desire in this direction, and must
confess that my curiosity has become quite aroused."

"Then," said Durant, "we will take King James' translation of the
Scriptures as the law-book, and 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God' for
our text; and if we should discover before we have finished that the
teachings of men differ greatly from the teachings of Christ, I will be
somewhat justified in saying that religionists have 'transgressed the
laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.'" (Isaiah
xxiv: 5. Jere. ii: 13.)

"Very well," said Mr. Brown, "I will proceed," and obtaining the family
Bible he continued: "And should your assertions prove correct, it would
account for the increase of infidelity, and it might also cause others
as well as myself to stop and consider. Now, then, to the 'law and
testimony.' Give me the chapter and verse, that I may know you make no
mistake."

The doctor then for the first time took part, saying: "I am also
becoming very much interested, and think I shall join you with my
Bible. Let us all come into the circle."

"All right, we will examine the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the
Bible, principle by principle. In order to have a clear understanding
concerning this, it will be necessary for us to go back to the days of
our Father Adam. Through the transgression of our first parents, death
came upon all the human family, and mankind could not, of themselves,
overcome the same and obtain immortality. To substantiate this, see
first, second and third chapters of Genesis, Romans 5th chapter and
12th verse, and I. Corinthians 15th chapter and 21st and 22nd verses.
But in order that they should not perish, God sent His Son Jesus Christ
into the world to satisfy this broken law and to deliver mankind from
the power of death. (John iii: 16; Romans v: 8; I. John iv: 9.) And as
all become subject to death by Adam, so will all men be resurrected
from death through the atonement of Christ (I. Cor. xv: 20-23; Rom. v:
12-19), and will stand before the judgment seat of God to answer for
their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. (Acts xvii:31; Rev.
xx:12-15; Matt. xvi:27.) Am I right as far as I have gone?"

"Yes," said the doctor, "I have been following you with your
quotations, and find them correct. Proceed."

{270} "Then I have proved one of the principles of some of the
so-called Christians incorrect, for they do not believe that the wicked
will have the same chance of resurrection as the righteous. Jesus
Christ did not die for our individual sins, except on condition that
we conform to the plan He marked out, which will bring us a remission
of our sins. The only way we can prove that we love Him is by keeping
His commandments (John xiv: 15); therefore, if we say we love God and
keep not His commandments, we are liars and the truth is not in us. (I.
John ii: 4.) I think I have proved to your satisfaction that there is
something defective in their understanding of the attributes of God,
and I think I can prove also that they do not keep His commandments.
Christ has given us to understand two things which you must remember
while on this search after the 'kingdom of God.' First, that we must
follow Him; secondly, that when He left His disciples He was to send
them the Comforter that would lead them into all truth; therefore we
must follow Christ and accept all the principles which were taught by
His disciples while in possession of the Holy Spirit, though it should
prove the whole world to be in error."

"Thus far your arguments are reasonable, also in accordance with Holy
Writ; and as there is no other name given us except Jesus Christ
whereby we can be saved (Acts iv: 12), you may now lay before us the
conditions; but give us chapter and verse as I said before, that we may
know you speak correctly."

"We will now examine into the conditions; but first remember that God
does not send men into the world for the purpose of preaching contrary
doctrines, for this always creates confusion, and God is not the author
of confusion, but of peace. (I. Cor. xiv: 33.) Paul has said if any man
teach another gospel let him be accursed. (Gal. i: 8, 9.) The first
condition is this: To believe there is a God (not the kind mentioned
in the English prayer-book), but the God that created man in His own
image, and to have faith in that God and in Jesus Christ whom he has
sent."

"Go on," said the party in concert.

"Well," continued Durant, "the kind of faith required is that which
will enable a man, under all circumstances, to say, 'I am not ashamed
of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God Unto salvation.'
(Rom. i: 16.) This is the kind of faith by which the worlds were
framed; by which Noah prepared an ark; by which the Red Sea was crossed
as on dry land; by which the walls of Jericho fell; it was by faith
that kingdoms were subdued; righteousness was wrought; {271} promises
were obtained, and the mouths of lions were closed. (Heb. xi: 32, 38.)
This faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. x: 17), and the lack
of this faith and the absence of prayer and fasting caused even the
Apostles to fail on one occasion in casting out devils. (Matt. xvii:
14, 20.) No wonder, then, that without faith it is impossible to please
God. (Heb. xi: 6.) Faith, then, is the first grand stepping-stone to
that celestial pathway leading towards salvation. The more we search
into eternal truth, the more we discover that God works upon natural
principles. All the requirements which He makes of us are very plain
and simple. How natural that the principle of faith should be the
primary one of our salvation! With what principle are we more familiar?
Faith is the first great principle governing all things; but great as
it is, it is dead without works. (James ii:14-17.) We must not expect
salvation by simply having faith that Jesus is the Christ, for the
devils in purgatory are that far advanced. (James ii: 19.) In fact,
if you will read the entire second chapter of James you will see that
faith without works is as dead and helpless as the body after the
spirit has departed from it. It is folly to think of gaining exaltation
in His presence unless we obey the principles he advocated (Matt. vii:
21), for no one speaks truthfully by saying he is a disciple of Christ
while not observing His commandments. (John viii:31.) In fact, the only
way by which man can truthfully say he loves Jesus Christ is by keeping
His commandments." (John xiv: 12-21.)

"Is it not recorded in Holy Writ," said the doctor, "that if we believe
in the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved?"

"You have referred to the words used by Paul and Silas to the keeper
of the prison. These disciples were asked by this jailer what should
he do to be saved, and was assured, as you have quoted, 'Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.' Then
the disciples immediately laid before them those principles which
constitute true belief, and not until this man and his house had
embraced the principles taught by these disciples were they filled with
true belief and really rejoiced. (Acts xvi: 31, 33.) You see by this
example that we must not deceive ourselves by thinking that we can be
hearers of the word only and not doers. (James i: 22, 23.)

"But," said the lawyer, "here is a passage found in the tenth chapter
of Romans, which, in my opinion, will be difficult for you to explain.
The passage referred to reads as follows: 'If thou shalt confess with
thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the {272} dead, thou shalt be saved.' Now, then,
it looks to me as if salvation is here promised through faith alone.
How do you explain it?"

"Very easily. Let us thoroughly examine this passage in all its
different phases. In the first place, this letter was written by
Paul to individuals who were already members of the church. They had
rendered obedience to the laws of salvation, and having complied
with those requirements were entitled to salvation, providing their
testimony remained within them like a living spring; and in order
that they should not become lukewarm, Paul exhorted them to continue
bearing testimony of the divinity of Christ, and not let their hearts
lose sight of the fact that God had raised His Son from the dead, and
inasmuch as they kept themselves in this condition, salvation would be
theirs. This is the only sensible view one can take of this passage.
Unquestionably Paul was speaking to sincere members of the church, who
had been correctly initiated into the fold of Christ, not aliens living
1800 years after."

"That appears to be correct, but further on in the same chapter we
find this expression: 'For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.' It appears to me here that reference is not made
to those who had embraced the gospel and those who had the faith, but
salvation is made general to whomsoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord." (Rom. x: 13.)

"Exactly, but the next verse gives an explanation so simple that none
can fail to understand it: 'How, then, shall they call on Him in whom
they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they
have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher? So, then,
faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.' In other
words, if there is faith, there have been works, and having true faith,
no person will remain in that condition without complying with further
works of salvation to which that faith urges him."

"I see," said Brown, the others remaining silent, but interested; "you
are right."

"Now, then, gentlemen," said Durant, "I maintain as before stated, that
faith is the first principle of the gospel leading to salvation, but it
will not bring us to the summit of the ladder--water--without the other
principles."

"Well, suppose we accept this as the first round in the ladder, where
will we find the second?"

"The second follows, just as naturally as the second step follows the
first when a child learns to walk. When faith in God is once created,
the knowledge that we have at some {273} time, perhaps many times
during our lives done things displeasing to Him, naturally follows
immediately, therefore repentance makes its appearance as the second
principle of the gospel. When John came preaching in the wilderness,
as the forerunner of Christ, his message to the people was, 'Repent
ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (Matt. iii: 2.) When Jesus
came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, it was
with a message calling them to repentance. (Mark i: 15.) When He chose
His disciples and began sending them forth it was to call mankind to
repentance. (Mark vi: 7-12.) When He upbraided the cities wherein the
most of His mighty works were done, it was because they repented not.
(Matt. xi: 20.) True repentance is that which will cause him who stole
to steal no more; that which will keep corrupt communications from
our mouths; that which will cause us to so conduct our walks through
life as not to grieve the Spirit of God; that which will cause all
bitterness, wrath, anger and evil speaking to be put away from us, and
will make us kind one to another, tender-hearted and forgiving, even as
God for Christ's sake has forgiven us. (Ephesians iv: 28-32.) When he
who has committed a sin shall commit it no more, then he has repented
with that Godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation, and not
with the sorrow of the world, bringing with it death. (II. Cor. vii:
10.) When a sinner thus repents more joy is found in heaven than over
ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke xv: 7.)
This, then, is the second round in the gospel ladder according to the
plan given us by the master, and without it, faith is of no substantial
benefit."

"Your reasoning is both logical and just," said Brown, "and no one can
find any fault with those doctrines. This world of ours would certainly
be more pleasant if these things were followed, and when a person is
filled with that kind of faith, and has truly repented, it must be
clear that he is entitled to salvation."

"But he must not stop at that," the speaker went on; "there are other
principles just as necessary for him to obey. If I am in possession of
enough faith to convince me that I have sinned against you, and the
knowledge of this causes me sincerely to repent, I must not and cannot
rest until I am satisfied I have your forgiveness for the wrong. So it
is with sinning against God and His laws; He has marked out the path of
repentance and it is our duty to follow that divine way until we arrive
at the sacred altar of forgiveness. Sin must be forgiven before it can
be wiped out, and God in His wisdom {274} selected and placed in His
church water baptism for this purpose. It is a means whereby a man can
receive remission of sin."

"And do you really believe that Baptism brings remission of sin?"
queried the lawyer.

"Certainly; provided, however, honest faith and sincere repentance go
before it, and the ordinance is administered in the proper way by one
endowed with divine authority; otherwise I believe it is of no avail
whatever."

"It seems to me you surround the principle of baptism with more
safeguards than anyone else of whom I have ever heard."

"Perhaps I do, and yet it should not be the case. Every principle of
the gospel should be well and carefully protected, and the failure
on the part of man to do this is the main cause of so many different
so-called plans of salvation existing among us today, when there should
be only one true and perfect plan, as found in the days of Christ."

"It does seem strange that there should be so many roads leading, as is
claimed, in one direction. I declare, I never thought of that before."

"Well, we will try to cover all those points before we finish. Let
us examine this principle. Let us see if the idea of water baptism
appears reasonable. The Lord has wisely and kindly selected this form
of ordinance for the remission of sins. It was with this object in view
that John advocated the principle. (Mark i: 4.) Peter promised it on
the day of Pentecost. (Acts ii: 38.) Saul also received aid to arise
and have his sins washed away. (Acts xxii: 16.) And so it was taught by
different disciples as a means whereby God would remit sins."

"And as you have already stated, there are various modes of baptism
among various sects. What is your method?"

"The only correct form is that explained in the Bible. Baptism was
performed anciently by immersion, in fact no other mode was thought
of until centuries after the day of Christ. The word baptize is
from the Greek _baptizo_ or _bapto_, meaning to plunge or immerse,
and such noted writers as Polybius, Strabo, Dion Cassius, Mosheim,
Luther, Calvin, Bossuet, Schaaf, Baxter, Jeremy Taylor, Robinson,
and others, all agree that with the ancients immersion, and no other
form, was baptism. The holy record itself explains the mode so plainly
that even a wayfaring man may understand. John selected a certain
place on account of there being much water. (John iii: 23.) Christ
Himself was baptized in a river, after which He {275} came up out of
the water. (Mark i: 5-10.) Both Philip and the eunuch went down into
the water (Acts viii: 38, 39), and Paul likens baptism to the burial
and resurrection of Christ, dying from sin, buried in water, and
resurrection to a new life. (Rom. vi: 3-5.) Jesus declares that a man
must be born of the water as well as of the spirit. (John iii: 5.) By
being immersed we are born of the water, and we cannot liken baptism
to a birth when performed in any other way. How mankind can accept any
other form, in the face of all these facts, is more than I can account
for. I think enough has been said to show that I am correct in my views
regarding the object and mode of baptism, so now let us inquire who are
proper subject."

"Why, all who have souls to save, I suppose," said the doctor.

"Yes, providing they have obeyed the two principles, already mentioned;
that is, faith and repentance; for Christ commanded His apostles to
teach before baptizing. (Matthew xxviii: 19 and 20.) The candidate
must believe before he can be baptized (Mark xvi: 16). Before Philip
baptized the people of Samaria they believed the gospel as he taught
it. (Acts viii: 12.) When the eunuch asked for baptism at the hands
of this same disciple, Philip answered: 'If thou believest with all
thine heart, thou mayest.' (Acts viii: 37.) All persons, then, who are
capable of understanding, are fit subjects for baptism, as soon as they
believe and have repented. None are exempt, not even was Cornelius, who
was so generous that a report of his good deeds reached the throne of
God. His prayers were so mingled with faith that they brought down an
angel from heaven; yet through baptism alone was it possible that he
could gain membership in the fold of Christ. (Acts x.) We see, then,
that all, except little children are proper subject for this ordinance,
provided, as stated, they have faith, and have truly repented of their
sins."

"And do you claim that little children are exempt?" said the doctor.

"I do; baptism is for the remission of sins, and little children being
free from sin, are of necessity exempt."

"I do not see how you make that doctrine accord with the teachings of
the Bible. Did not Jesus say, 'Suffer little children to come unto me?'"

"He did, but instead of administering the ordinance of baptism to them,
He took them in His arms and blessed them, declaring at the same time
that they were pure and free from sin like unto those who are in the
kingdom of heaven. A little {276} child is free from sin, is pure in
heart, in fact, is the great example of goodness which Christ points
out for us to follow. (Mark x: 13-16.) Baptism, then, is for people who
are old enough to embrace it intelligently, not for children who cannot
understand its significance, and who already belong to the kingdom of
heaven."

"We have now examined three of the fundamental principles of the
gospel of salvation. There is one more that I wish to touch upon,
after which we will discuss a subject that is of more interest to you,
perhaps, than any of these. The principle which I now wish to speak of
is the gift of the Holy Ghost, which in olden times always followed
obedience to the principles we have discussed, and when once received
brought with it some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When the first
sermon was delivered after the crucifixion of Christ, at the time when
the apostles were endowed with power from on high, a multitude of
people were pricked in their hearts, and asked Peter and the rest of
the apostles what they should do. Peter answered this all-important
question; and so far as authority to do so was concerned, we must admit
that he, of all men at that peculiar time, was fully capable, for he
was in possession of the keys of the kingdom of God, bestowed upon him
by Christ himself. He was the senior apostle, and, with his brethren,
had been endowed with power from above. Therefore, he, more than any
minister of our day, occupied a place that enabled him to answer
correctly, and with authority."

"You are stating the case properly, but what did he tell them?" queried
the man of law.

"His answer is found in the second chapter of Acts, beginning with the
38th verse. You will observe that as soon as he discovered that they
had faith, he taught them repentance, then baptism for the remission of
sins, and followed these doctrines with a promise of the gift of the
Holy Ghost."

"Yes, commencing at the verse mentioned it says: 'Then Peter said unto
them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to
all that are afar off, _even_ as many as the Lord our God shall call.'"

"But how were they to receive the Holy Ghost?"

"By the laying on of hands. When Peter went down into Samaria for the
purpose of bestowing this gift on those whom Philip had baptized, he
did it by the laying on of hands. (Acts viii: 17.) Ananias conferred it
upon Paul in the same manner (Acts ix: 17), and Paul did the same in
the case of those who {277} were baptized at Ephesus (Acts xix: 2-6);
and when people received this birth of the Spirit (John iii: 5), they
also received the promised blessings; they were entitled to the signs
which He promised would follow; for, said He, 'These signs shall follow
them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall
speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink
any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the
sick and they shall recover' (Mark xvi: 17, 18). We have now discovered
the conditions: faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins,
and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, with
the promise of Christ that the signs shall follow."

"You must remember, my friend, that the signs were only given in order
to establish the church in the days of the apostles; but now they are
dispensed with and no longer needed."

"To the law and to the testimony," replied Durant, "and give me chapter
and verse to substantiate the assertion you have just made."

"If you will read the 13th chapter of the 1st Corinthians, you will
learn that 'whether there be prophecies they shall fail, and whether
there be tongues they shall cease.'"

"If you will take pains to read the two verses following, you will see
that 'we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which
is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.'
My friend, instead of this quotation proving that these things are
done away, it establishes the assertion that they shall remain until
perfection shall come. Surely no reasonable man will say that we have
come to perfection."

"I have understood that these gifts were no longer needed. This
certainly is the conclusion that the ministers of the day have come to."

"But this is not surprising to me, for this good old Bible declares
that the time will come when the people will turn from sound doctrine
to fables." (II. Tim. iv: 4.)

"I must admit that you have convinced me that baptism is a necessity,
and when I am baptized, the ordinance will be performed in the proper
manner," said the doctor.

"I am pleased to learn that, but I may have another surprise for you
yet. May I ask, who do you intend shall baptize you?"

"My minister, I suppose; why?"

"If the words of the Bible be true, there may be a doubt as to whether
your minister is authorized to baptize you."

"Do you mean that these men, ministers of the gospel, have {278} no
authority to officiate in that ordinance? I wonder what you will
undertake next, but proceed, for I am now prepared for surprises."

"I assure you, my dear sir, I only wish to refer to a few doctrines
from the Bible which are necessary to be understood by you in order
that you may obtain eternal life. Thus far we have only examined the
first principles of the gospel, but now we will speak of the officers
whom Christ placed in His Church, and learn by what means men receive
authority to act in the name of God. Paul tells us that God has placed
'first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after which
gifts of healing,' etc. (I. Cor. xii: 28), and says the work is built
upon the foundation of apostles. (Eph. ii: 20.) He furthermore declares
that these officers have been placed in the Church for the work of
the ministry, and will remain until we all come to a knowledge of the
truth. (Eph. iv: 11-13.) Have all mankind come to a knowledge of the
truth? If not, why has the Church dispensed with the officers that
God placed in it for the purpose of bringing all to a unity of the
faith? Paul tells us that these officers were placed in the Church
to keep us from being tossed to and fro and carried about by every
wind of doctrine which is taught by man. (Eph. iv: 12-14.) At the
present time, when men declare that they have no need of apostles or
prophets, they are divided, and subdivided, and in fact carried about
by every doctrine that is promulgated--as Paul saw that they would
be, if inspired apostles and prophets were not found to lead them. In
losing these officers, the Church lost her authority, together with
all her gifts and graces, and the so-called Christian Churches today
are disrobed of all her beautiful garments; and even those who pretend
to defend her are crying out that her gifts, graces and ordinances are
useless in this age of the world. Did Christ establish the true order
or did He not? We say He did and would ask, has any man a right to
change it? And if any man or even an angel from heaven should alter it
in the least, will he not come under the condemnation that Paul uttered
when he said: 'Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other
gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed?' (Gal. i: 8.) Christ placed these officers and the ordinances
in the Church for the perfecting of the Saints; and any one teaching
contrary to this is a perverter of the gospel, and an anti-Christ in
the full meaning of the word. The difference between the Church of
Christ on the one hand, and the Catholic Church, with all her posterity
composing the whole protestant world on the other hand, amounts to
this: One had apostles, {279} prophets, etc., who led the Church by
inspiration or by divine revelation; while the others have learned
men to preach learned men's opinions; have colleges to teach divinity
instead of the Holy Ghost; instead of preaching the gospel without
hire, their ministers must have large salaries each year, and they are
not certain of the doctrines which they teach, when they should be in
possession of the gift of knowledge, prophecy and revelation. Now then,
in what church do we find apostles and prophets?"

The doctor replied, "There are none; but you must remember there must
be a preacher, for 'how shall they hear without a preacher?'" (Rom. x:
14.)

"And in the next verse he asks, 'how shall they preach except they be
sent?' This same apostle says that no man is to take the honor unto
himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron. (Heb. v: 4.) Aaron
was called by revelation (Ex. iv: 14-17); hence we see that no man is
to preach the gospel except he be called by revelation from God. As I
said instead of men being called by revelation--as the Bible declares
they should be--in our day they argue that God has not revealed
Himself for almost eighteen hundred years. Go and ask your minister
if he has been called by revelation, and he will tell you that such
manifestations are not needed now, which assertion I think will prove
to you that he has no authority to baptize for the remission of sins."

"But did not Jesus say, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the
gospel?'"

"He did, but was He then talking to modern ministers? When He gave His
apostles authority to preach, did that give all men who feel disposed
to take the honor unto themselves, the same authority? He gave His
apostles to understand that they had not chosen Him, but He had chosen
them (John xv: 16); but in this day men reverse the condition. Then
again, He sent His servants into the world to preach His gospel without
purse or scrip. (Luke x: 4.) Paul says his reward is this, 'That when I
preach the gospel I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that
I abuse not my power in the gospel.' (I. Cor. ix: 18.) Now, go and ask
your minister if he does the same, and I think that you will find that
he must have a salary."

"Then what has become of the gospel?" said the lawyer.

"Paul says that the coming of Jesus Christ will not be, save there be
'a falling away' (II. Thess. ii: 3) and that 'in the last days perilous
times shall come.' (II. Tim. iii: 1.) People 'will not endure sound
doctrine,' but will 'heap to themselves {280} teachers having itching
ears, and shall turn from the truth to fables (Tim. iv: 3, 4), and will
have a form of godliness, but will deny the power thereof.' (II. Tim.
iii: 5.) Peter also says these false teachers will make merchandise of
the souls of men. (II. Peter ii: 1-3.) They are doing so by demanding
a salary for preparing sermons to tickle the people's itching ears.
Micah, iii:11, says, 'The heads thereof judge for reward, and the
priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for
money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, 'Is it not the
Lord among us?' Now, my friends, do not the different sects of the
day present us with a literal fulfillment of all these sayings? Have
they not transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance and broken
the everlasting covenant? (Isaiah xxiv: 5.) John Wesley in his 94th
sermon, referring to the condition of the Church after it had departed
from the right way and lose the gifts, says: 'The real cause why the
extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the
Christian Church was because the Christians were turned heathen again
and had only a dead form left.'"

"It would appear, then, that God has forsaken mankind and left us
without any hope," said Mr Marshall.

"No, He has not; but this falling away is the result of mankind
forsaking God, by changing His gospel and departing from its teachings,
as I have already shown. But He has promised through His servants,
that there would be a dispensation when He would gather together all
things in Christ (Eph. i: 10), and would restore all things which He
has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
(Acts iii: 20, 21.) This dispensation was called the dispensation
of the fullness of times. (Eph. i: 10.) Daniel, who received by
revelation, the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, saw what
would take place in later times, when the God of heaven would set up
a kingdom. (Dan. ii: 44.) John, the revelator, while on the desolate
island, Patmos (some ninety years after Christ), saw how this gospel
would be restored: Namely, that an angel would bring it from heaven.
(Rev. xiv: 6), and Christ says it 'shall be preached in all the world
as a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.' (Matt.
xxiv: 14.) As God is always the same, and has but one plan for the
redemption of the human family, we may expect to see the same gospel
with like promises preached in a similar way. Where do we find it as
it existed anciently? But as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it
be also in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. (Matt. xxiv: 37;
Luke xvii: 26, 27.) Noah was sent by the Lord to foretell the coming
of the flood, {281} but the people rejected his testimony; in fact,
whenever God has revealed His mind and will to men in days gone by, the
world, instead of receiving the same, have rejected the message and
said all manner of evil concerning the prophets, and in many instances
have killed them, as was the case with Christ Himself. Now then, my
friends, we are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times
when God is gathering together all things in Christ. An angel has come
from the heavens and brought the everlasting gospel, and on the 6th day
of April, 1830, God--through revelation to man--organized the Church of
Jesus Christ, in the exact pattern of the true Church, as it existed
in the days of Christ, with apostles, and prophets, and since that day
the servants of God have been traveling through the world preaching the
same, as a witness that the end will soon come. They call upon mankind
to exercise faith in God our eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus
Christ; also to repent of and turn from their sins, and be baptized by
one who has been called of God by revelation, and receive the laying
on of hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost. As servants of God
they then promise that the convert shall know of the doctrine, whether
it be of God or man (John vii: 17); and, furthermore, that the signs
which followed the believers in the days of the ancient apostles will
follow the believer at the present time, for the same cause will always
produce the same effect. My friends, as a servant of God, I call upon
you to obey these principles and you shall have the promised blessings.
I am an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My
home is in Salt Lake City, Utah."

The listeners were very much surprised, but those who read the
quotations from the Bible, were not slow to inform Mr. Durant that the
Good Book substantiated his argument. Thanking him for the patient
explanation of his belief, each obtained his card containing the
articles of faith of his Church, and bidding each other good-night, all
retired.

CONCLUSION.

Kind reader, a word before we separate; if you are not a member of
what is commonly called the Mormon Church, having read the foregoing
pages, you must certainly acknowledge that you know more concerning its
doctrines, from a "Mormon" standpoint, than you ever knew before.

We have tried to present to you, in a plain and very simple {282}
manner, some of the first principles of our faith, the true gospel of
Jesus Christ. What do you think of them? Will they, or will they not,
stand scrutiny? It is left with you to answer, and as God has blessed
you with free agency, it is your privilege to judge and decide.

Do not treat these doctrines indifferently, nor carelessly throw them
aside.

Should they be true, the message is of the utmost importance to you.
Surrounded with so many proofs, the faith of the Latter-Day Saints
demands your further investigation.

Books, tracts, and sermons, in great numbers, and within easy reach,
are at your command. Read, listen, investigate! Thousands have done so
before, and bear testimony to having received a knowledge of the divine
truth, as herein presented.

I part from you with the words of the poet--

  "Know this, that every soul is free
  To choose his life and what he'll be,
  For this eternal truth is given,
  That God will force no man to heaven.

  "He'll call, persuade, direct aright--
  Bless him with wisdom, love, and light--
  In nameless ways be good and kind
  But never force the human mind.

  "Freedom and reason make us men;
  Take these away, what are we then?
  Mere animals, and just as well,
  The beasts may think of heaven or hell."

{283}



NIGHT OF THE MARTYRDOM.

BY APOSTLE ORSON HYDE, IN HIS PUBLICATION, "THE FRONTIER GUARDIAN,"
UNDER DATE OF JUNE 27, 1849, ISSUED AT COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA.

Twenty-seventh of June, 1844. Eventful period in the calendar of the
nineteenth century! That awful night! I remember it well: I shall
never forget it! Thousands and tens of thousands will never forget
it! A solemn thrill--a melancholy awe comes o'er my spirit! The
memorable scene is fresh before me! It requires no art of the pencil,
no retrospection of history, to portray it. The impression of the
Almighty Spirit on that occasion will run parallel with eternity! The
scene was not portrayed by earthquake, or thunderings, and lightnings,
and tempests; but the majesty and sovereignty of Jehovah was felt far
more impressively in the still, small voice of that significant hour,
than the roaring of many waters, or the artillery of many thunders,
when the spirit of Joseph was driven back to the bosom of God, by an
ungrateful and bloodthirsty world! There was an unspeakable something,
a portentious significancy on the firmament and among the inhabitants
of the earth. Multitudes felt the whisperings of woe and grief, and
the forebodings of tribulation and sorrow that they will never forget,
though the tongue of man can never utter it. The Saints of God, whether
near the scene of blood, or even a thousand miles distant, felt at
the very moment the Prophet lay in royal gore, that an awful deed was
perpetrated. O, the repulsive chill! the melancholy vibrations of the
very air, as the prince of darkness receded in hopeful triumph from
the scene of slaughter! That night could not the Saints sleep, though
uninformed by man of what had passed with the Seer and Patriarch,
and far, far remote from the scene; yet to them sleep refused a
visitation--the eyelids refused to close--the hearts of many sighed
deeply in secret, and inquired, "Why am I thus?"

One of the Twelve Apostles, while traveling a hundred {284} miles from
the scene of assassination, and totally ignorant of what was done, was
so unaccountably sad, and filled with such unspeakable anguish of heart
without knowing the cause, that he was constrained to turn aside from
the road and give utterance to his feelings in tears and supplications
to God. Another Apostle, twelve hundred miles distant, while standing
in Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, with many others, was similarly
affected, and was obliged to turn aside to hide the big tears that
gushed thick and long from his eyes. Another, President of the High
Priests, while in the distant state of Kentucky, in the solitude of
midnight, being marvelously disquieted, God condescended to show
him, in a vision, the mangled bodies of the two murdered worthies,
all dripping in purple gore, who said to him, "We are murdered by a
faithless state and cruel mob."

Shall I attempt to describe the scene at Nauvoo on that memorable
evening? If I could, surely you would weep, whatever may be your
faith or skepticism, if the feelings of humanity are lodged in your
bosom; all prejudice and mirth would slumber, till the eye of pity had
bedewed the bier, and the heart had found relief in lamentation. Before
another day dawned, the messenger bore the tidings into the afflicted
city; the picket guards of the city heard the whisper of murder in
silent amazement, as the messenger passed into the city. There the
pale muslin signal for gathering the troops hung its drooping folds
from the Temple spire (as if partaking of nature's sadness), and made
tremulous utterance to the humble soldiery to muster immediately. As
the dawn made the signal visible, and the bass tone of the great drum
confirmed the call, fathers, husbands, and minor sons, all seized
the broken fragment of a dodger, or a scanty bone, for the service
that might be long and arduous before their return, or swallowed some
thickened milk (as might be the case), and fled to the muster ground;
the suspicious mother and children followed to the door and window,
anxious to see the gathering hosts emerge from their watch-posts and
firesides, where rest and food were scanted to the utmost endurance.
The troops continued to arrive, and stood in martial order, with a
compressed lip and a quick ear. They waited with deathly but composed
silence, to hear the intelligence that mournful spirits had saddened
their hearts with during the night. The speaker stood up in the midst,
not of a uniform soldiery of hirelings, for they had no wages; their
clothing was the workmanship of the diligent domestic--the product
of wife and daughters' arduous toil; their rations {285} were drawn
from the precarious supplies earned in the intervals between preaching
to the states and nations of the earth, and watching against the
intrusions and violence of mobs. The speaker announced the martyrdom
of the Prophet and Patriarch, and paused under the heavy burden of the
intelligence.

But here I must pause; my pen shall touch lightly, as it must feebly,
that hallowed--that solemn and ever-memorable hour! The towering
indignation; the holy and immutable principle of retribution for crime
that dwells eternally in the bosom of God, insensibly impelled the
right hand almost to draw the glittering sword, and feel the sharpness
of the bayonet's point and its fixedness to the musket's mouth. But the
well-planted principle of self-command, and also of observing the order
of Heaven and the counsel of the Priesthood, soon returned the deadly
steel to the scabbard; and the victorious triumph of loyalty to God,
in committing evil-doers to Him that judgeth righteously, and who hath
said, "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay," prevailed over the billows
of passion; and in the transit of a fleeting moment the holy serenity
of the soldiery, depicted by an occasional tear, showed to the angels
and men that the tempest of passion was hushed, and wholly under the
control of the spirit of wisdom and of God!

    _It is just as mean and contemptible in the eyes of angels and the
    Almighty, to go to law, and thereby wrong a fellow-being, as it is
    to steal his property._

    --_Brigham Young_.

{286}



DOCTRINES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS: ITS FAITH
AND TEACHINGS.

BY ELDER JOHN MORGAN.

    _"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and
    they are they which testify of me."_--JOHN v. 39.

    _"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this
    word, it is because there is no light in them."_--ISAIAH VIII., 20.

We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and
in the Holy Ghost.

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for
Adam's transgression.

We believe that, through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be
saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We believe that to obtain salvation it is necessary to _obey_ the
following principles of truth.

FAITH.

The principle of faith is the moving cause of all action. A man must
have faith to believe that God will answer his prayers before he will
offer them. It requires faith to accomplish any given work to which we
set our hands.

Noah had faith in the promise God made to him, while the world of
mankind perished through their lack of faith. Faith caused Noah to act,
while the unbelieving people of his day, who had not faith, derided and
refused to accept his testimony, and the result was that Noah and his
household were saved, while destruction overtook the unbelievers.

Lot believed the word of the Lord and fled out of Sodom while the
people stood still and perished.

The same results follow the acceptance or rejection of the principle in
all ages of the world.

    {287} "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of
    God" (_Rom. x._, 17). "But without faith it is impossible to please
    Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He
    is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (_Heb. xi._, 6).
    "For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto then.: but the
    word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with _faith_ in
    them that heard it" (_Heb. iv._, 2).

REPENTANCE.

Repentance we believe to be sorrow for and turning from sin, not
moaning and groaning over the past and continuing the same way of
living; but to quit lying, drinking, swearing, stealing, and to be
honest, virtuous, charitable, forgiving, and to serve God in spirit and
truth--_this_ is repentance.

    "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (_Luke xiii._,
    3). "Repent ye, and believe the Gospel" (_Mark i._, 15). "Repent *
    * * * every one of you" (_Acts ii._, 38). God "commandeth all men
    everywhere to repent" (_Acts xvii._, 30). "Wherefore putting away
    lying, speak every man truth with his neighbors * * * neither give
    place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: * * * Let no
    corrupt communication proceed out Of your mouth, * * grieve not
    the Holy Spirit of God. * * * Let all bitterness, and wrath, and
    anger and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with
    all malice" (_Eph. iv._, 25-31). "Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
    revelings, and such like: of the which * * they which do such
    things shall _not_ inherit the kingdom of God" (_Gal. v._, 21).

BAPTISM.

The necessity for baptism was plainly taught by our Saviour and the
Apostles. Comparatively speaking, it stood in the same light to the
kingdom or church of God that the oath of allegiance does to any
temporal government. Jesus stated to Nicodemus that a man could not
enter the kingdom of God without having first obeyed this ordinance.

To become a citizen of an earthly government where a person is not born
so, a man is required to subscribed to a certain prescribed oath. To
become a citizen of the government of God requires that a person must
be baptized in water, in obedience to the command of the Great Head of
the government, and the laws of the kingdom as they are found in the
Bible, the book of commandments for the Church of Christ.

    "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
    He that believeth and is _baptized_, shall be saved:" (_Mark xvi._,
    15, 16). "Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be _born of water_
    and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (_John,
    iii._, 5). "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, _baptizing_
    them in the name {288} of the Father, and of the Son and of the
    Holy Ghost" (_Matt. xxviii._, 19). "Repent, and be _baptized, every
    one_ of you" (_Acts ii._, 38).

    Its form _should be by immersion_. "Buried with Him in baptism,
    wherein also ye are risen with Him through faith" (_Col. ii._, 12.)
    "Were all baptized of Him in the River of Jordan" (_Matt. iii._, 6;
    _Mark i._, 5-9). "Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway
    out of the water" (_Matt. iii._, 16; _Mark i._, 10). "John also
    was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water
    there" (_John iii._, 23). "And as they went on their way, they came
    unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what
    doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest
    with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I
    believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the
    chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water,
    both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were
    come up out of the water" (_Acts viii._, 36-39).

    ITS OBJECT.-"John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the
    baptism of repentance for the _remission of sins_" (_Mark i._, 4).
    "And he came into the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism
    of repentance for the _remission of sins_" (_Luke iii._, 3 ). "Then
    Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you,
    in the name of Jesus Christ, for the _remission of sins_" (_Acts
    ii._, 38). "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins" (_Acts
    xxii._, 16).

RECEPTION OF THE HOLY GHOST BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS.

The vital importance of this ordinance seems to be entirely overlooked
by the majority of the Christian world, yet the most emphatic stress
was placed upon it by the early teachers of Christianity. It is
referred to frequently by every writer in the New Testament.

The nature of its workings and the manner of obtaining it were
carefully dwelt upon by the various writers, and it does seem that only
willful blindness could so far lead the people away from the primitive
custom and practice of laying on of hands to acquire this gift.

But some may answer, "We are already in possession of the Holy Ghost."

We ask then, "Will it do the same things it did anciently?" If not, why
not? What has caused it to lose its power, and become the uncertain
teacher it is to-day? For if the Christian world of the present age is
in possession of this blessing, why does it teach the people of one
church that a certain principle is true, and the people of another
church that the same principle is untrue? What of the multiplied
thousands of beliefs, creeds, faiths, dogmas and doctrines that flood
the land? Are they all inspired by the Spirit of God, the gift of the
Holy Ghost, and sustained by the doctrines of the Bible? If not, which
are right and which wrong?

{289} These are questions of great importance, and should be well
considered. Let the word of God speak for itself in the following
quotations:

    "And when Paul had _laid his hands_ upon them, the Holy Ghost
    came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied" (_Acts
    xix._, 6). "Then laid they their _hands_ on them, and they received
    the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through _laying on of the
    Apostles' hands_ the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money"
    (_Acts viii._, 17-19). "Neglect not the gift that is in thee,
    which was given thee by prophecy, with the _laying on of hands_
    of the _presbytery_" (_I. Tim. iv._, 14). "Wherefore I put thee
    in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in
    thee by the _putting_ on of my hands" (_II. Tim. i_. 6). "Of the
    doctrine of baptisms, and of _laying on of hands_" (_Heb. vi._,
    2). "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have
    you ignorant. * * * For to one is given by the Spirit the word of
    wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to
    another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing
    by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another
    prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another, divers
    kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (see
    context, _I. Cor. xii_). "Our Gospel came, in power * * and in the
    Holy Ghost" (_I. Thess. i._, 5). "And ye SHALL receive the _gift_ of
    the Holy Ghost" (_Acts ii._, 38).

We here introduce the testimony of some of the Christian writers who
wrote immediately after the death or banishment of the Apostles:

Tertullian, in the second century, says: "After baptism, succeeds the
_laying on of hands_, with prayer, calling for the Holy Ghost."

Cyprian, writing in the third century, says: "Our practice is, that
those who have been baptized in to the church should be presented that
by prayer and _imposition of hands_ they may receive the Holy Ghost."

Augustine, in the fourth century, says: "We still do what the Apostles
did when they _laid their hands_ on the Samaritans and called down the
Holy Ghost upon them" (_Gahan's Church History, page 73; Mosheim's
Church History, volume I, page 91_).

AUTHORITY.

We believe that a man must be endowed with authority before God will
recognize his acts as a minister of the Gospel.

    "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you"
    (_John xv._, 16).

    "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy
    men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (_II. Peter
    i._, 21).

    {290} "He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me" (_John
    xiii._, 20).

    "As thou has sent me into the world" (_John xvii._, 18).

    "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and
    whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
    (_Matt. xviii._, 18).

    "And when they had ordained them elders in every church" (_Acts
    xiv._, 23).

    "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
    and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and
    how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach
    except they be sent? (_Rom. x._, 14, 15).

    "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called
    of God, as was Aaron" (_Heb. v._, 4).[A]

    [Footnote A: "Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that
    he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee:
    and when he seeth thee he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt
    speak unto him, and put words into his mouth: and I will be with
    thy mouth, and with his mouth: and will teach you what he shall
    do." (_Exodus iv._, 14, 15.)]

    "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
    unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
    accursed" (_Gal. i._, 8).

These were the principles taught by the Savior and His Apostles, and we
see no reason for their alteration and change to the present accepted
ideas of the Christian world; and but for

APOSTACY.

of the primitive Christian church, they would have remained
emphatically the same, with _apostles, prophets, healings, gifts,
tongues, etc._, to the present day.

Paul, by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, wrote to the Saints, prophesying
of the future. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the _latter
times_ some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils" (_I. Tim., iv_,1).

    "And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as
    with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with
    her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the
    lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, with
    the giver of usury to him. * * * The earth also is defiled under
    the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws,
    changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant (_Isaiah,
    xxiv._, 2-5).

    "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall
    wear out the Saints of the Most High, and think to change times and
    laws: and they shall be given into his hands until a time and times
    and the dividing of them" (_Dan. vii._, 25).

    "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the {291}
    beast. * * * And it was given unto him to make war with the Saints,
    and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds,
    and tongues, and nations" (_Rev. xiii._, 4-7).

    "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus
    Christ. * * * Let no man deceive you by any means: FOR THAT DAY
    SHALL NOT COME, except there come a FALLING AWAY FIRST" (_II.
    Thess. ii._, 1-3).

    "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,
    proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers,
    incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors,
    heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from
    such turn away" (_II. Tim. iii._, 1-5).

    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
    but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
    having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the
    truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (_II. Tim. iv._, 3, 4).

    "The priests thereof teach for hire." (_Micah iii._, 11).

From the foregoing the reader can readily see that the prophets and
apostles of God were looking forward to the time when the Saints would
be overcome, their church broken up, their officers killed, and no one
left upon the earth with authority to administer in the ordinances
of the Gospel. No prophets, no apostles, no gift of the Holy Ghost,
no one to act as a mouthpiece to the children of men. Only darkness
and unbelief, war and bloodshed, strife and contention, division and
discord, lo here and lo there.

Through all the long ages, from the day when the power of a corrupt
and licentious church overcame the Saints of the Most High, drove them
into dens and caves of the mountains; caused them to wander, clothed in
sheep skins and the skins of wild animals; killed the prophets of God,
and drove the priesthood from the face of the earth, men, left to their
own devices, went into such excesses that angels must have wept over
their condition.

The laws of God were ignored, the ordinances were changed, and the
everlasting covenant was broken. The "woman" (church) arrayed in purple
and scarlet, drunken with the blood of the Saints, mystery, Babylon the
great, the mother of harlots, rose up and bore universal sway; and, as
time passed by, gave birth to a legion of Children--churches (_Rev.
xvii._, 4-6).

    "The mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth
    will let, until he be taken out of the away. And then shall that
    Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of
    His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming"
    (_II. Thess. ii._, 7 8).

{292} These were the words of the great Apostle; and, reader, by
examining the balance of the chapter, you can form some idea of the
great power that was to grow up and deceive the nations of the earth,
perverting the Gospel, teaching men and women that prophets and
apostles were not necessary, that the gifts of the Holy Ghost were no
longer required; until to-day warring, jarring Christianity has become
a spectacle to the whole world.

Confusion confounded reigns supreme--wars and rumors of wars on every
hand--until the heart sickens and the soul faints in contemplation of
the terrible condition to which poor, suffering, deceived and misguided
humanity has been brought.

The power of the evil one would seem to have obtained universal sway
over the hearts of men, leading them on the broad road to destruction,
with no power sufficient to stem the nightly current of sin.

RESTORATION.

But a just God has decreed that the day should come when "Righteousness
shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the great deep," or in other
words, "at the end of a time and times and dividing of time," He would
again assert His power and authority on the earth, and bring to pass
His purposes.

    "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a
    kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not
    be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume
    all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (_Dan. ii._, 44).

This prophecy of Daniel affords us some conception of the power of
the kingdom. By reading the entire chapter we learn that Daniel's
interpretation of the king's dream ended with the setting up of the
kingdom of God upon the earth never more to be thrown down.

The Babylonish kingdom, which flourished in the days of Daniel, in
the fifth and sixth centuries before Christ, was succeeded by the
Medo-Persian government from 538 to 331, B. C. The Macedonian kingdom,
founded by Alexander the Great, continued from 331 to 161, B.C.; while
the Roman empire succeeded the last named kingdom, from 161, B. C., to
483, A. D.

These governments successively represented the head of gold, the breast
and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, and the legs of iron.

Now, lastly, should come the kingdoms represented by the feet and toes,
or the KINGDOMS OF TO-DAY, partly strong and partly broken. In the days
of THESE kings should the God of heaven set up a kingdom never more to
be thrown down.

{293} "But," says one, "that was accomplished in the days of Christ!"

No, certainly not; for if so, why then did He, when He instructed His
disciples to pray, tell them to pray for an already accomplished fact:
"Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. _Thy kingdom
come_. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven?" Have Christians
throughout the world, for nearly two thousand years past, been taught
to pray for the coming of an event which had already transpired?

The dividing of times has not yet come: but by turning to the Book
of Revelation, we read how the power and authority of God, and the
principles of the true and everlasting Gospel were to be restored to
the earth; how the kingdom spoken of by Daniel, and prayed for by the
disciples, was to be set up never more to be thrown down, how the
kingdoms of this world were to become the kingdom of our Lord and His
Christ; how the promise of Jesus was about to be made good, that upon
this ROCK (of revelation) would He found His church, and the gates of
hell should not prevail against it, and how the Saints should possess
the kingdom of the Most High.

John the Revelator, bound and captive upon the Isle of Patmos, had the
vision of heaven opened up to him, and he saw an angel leave the throne
of God and wend his flight to this planet. A new song was being sung in
heaven; the day and hour had come when the dispensation of the fullness
of times was to be ushered in (_Eph. i._, 10; _Matt. xxiv._, 31), when
God would send His angels to bring order out of chaos, system out of
confusion, and gather His people (the honest-in-heart) together in one
place, that they might prepare themselves to welcome the _Great King_
of the world when He should come in clouds of glory, surrounded by His
angels.

    "I saw," says John, "another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
    having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the
    earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people
    saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him: for the
    HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT is come" (_Rev. xiv._, 6, 7).

This, then, was how the gospel was to be restored to the earth.

"But," says the reader, "I thought the Gospel was already upon the
earth."

If so, what necessity was there for an angel to come from heaven with
the everlasting gospel, if it was already being taught to men? And,
dear reader, you can readily see that none are excepted. It was to
every _nation, kindred, tongue, {294} and people_--proving conclusively
that the Gospel was not on the earth, but that the day had come when
darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people.

How must the angels around the throne have shouted for joy when the
decree went forth, and the commandment was given for the initiatory
steps to be taken to reclaim this planet from the grasp of "Lucifer the
son of the morning," and to fit and prepare it for the habitation of
angels, celestialized beings and God!

How must our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, in the spirit
world, with all the saints of by-gone ages, have rejoiced to know
that the redemption of the world was nigh, and the promise of Paul to
the Thessalonians (_I., iv._, 16) that "the dead in Christ shall rise
first," was to be made good!

Reader, we now beg of you to lay aside prejudice, and to examine what
follows, with an honest intention and a desire to do right; to know
the will of God and to do it; for great and mighty events are daily
transpiring, that were prophesied of by all the holy prophets, from the
days of Adam down until today.

The Gospel that the angel was to bring back to the earth was for every
nation.

Angels have not, in times gone by, preached to or taught the masses of
the people, but have delegated this power to men. So, in this instance,
men became the recipients of the precious charge, the _Everlasting
Gospel_.

    TESTIMONY OF THE THREE WITNESSES.

    "Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, unto
    whom this work [A] shall come. * * We declare with words of
    soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and
    he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw
    the plates, and engraving thereon; and we know that it is by the
    grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld
    and bear record that these things are true, and it is marvelous
    in our eyes, nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that
    we should bear record of it, wherefore to be obedient unto the
    commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know
    that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the
    blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of
    Christ, and shall dwell with Him eternally in the heavens.

    "OLIVER COWDERY,

    "DAVID WHITMER,

    "MARTIN HARRIS."

[Footnote A: The Book of Mormon.]

We have now hurriedly traced the outlines of the doctrines of
Jesus Christ as they were in the primitive Christian church; {295}
the apostacy of the people from the truth, the fulfillment of the
prophecies of great and mighty prophets; the building up of an apostate
church, the whore of all the earth, the mother of harlots; noticing the
fact that she gave birth to a numerous offspring, who, true to their
born instincts, as like begets like, are to-day vigorously engaged in
throwing stones at their mother church, or grandmother, as the case may
be.

We have shown how the Gospel was to be restored to the earth, and have
given the testimony of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. We
will now examine further proof relative to this remarkable proclamation.

We have seen that, so far, it has been incontestably shown that if the
Bible be true, in no other way than this could God's work have been
brought about. We now quote from the history of Joseph Smith, the great
Latter-day Prophet, Seer and Revelator:

    "We [Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery] still continued the work of
    translation; when in the ensuing month [May, 1829,] we on a certain
    day went into the woods to pray, and inquire of the Lord respecting
    baptism for the remission of sins.

    "While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a
    messenger from heaven descending in a cloud of light, and having
    laid his hands upon us, he ordained us; saying unto us--_'Upon
    you_, my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the
    Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering
    of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by
    immersion for the remission of sins: and this shall never be taken
    from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering
    unto the Lord in righteousness.'

    "The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this
    Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is
    called John the Baptist in the New Testament; and that he acted
    under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys
    of the Melchisedec Priesthood, and who in due season visit us and
    confer that, the higher Priesthood, upon us, which holds the keys
    of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and right
    to all the offices in the church."

Thus was the way opened up for the ushering in of the great latter-day
dispensation and the fullness of the everlasting Gospel.

"And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of
the Son of man" (_Luke xvii._, 26); and as Noah knew when the flood was
to come, and prepared himself therefor, so the comparison would not be
complete unless some knew of the second coming of the Savior.

"But," says one, "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the
angels of heaven, but my Father only" (_Matt. xxiv._, 36); and the
same might have been said appropriately of the {296} birth of our Lord
two thousand years prior thereto. But as the first coming was heralded
by angels who came to the shepherds upon the plains of Bethlehem, and
lighted the earth with their glory, singing the glad songs of "Peace on
earth, good will toward men," so His second coming was ushered in by
visits to the earth of great and mighty angels.

John the Baptist came to confer the Priesthood of Aaron.

Peter, James and John the Revelator came to confer the Melchisedec
Priesthood.

Elijah came (_Mal. iv._, 5) to turn the hearts of the fathers to the
children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. (_I. Peter
iii._, 18, 19, 20; _iv._, 6; _I. Cor. xv._, 19-29).

Moses came to confer the keys of the gathering of the house of Israel
to their promised land--the carrying of the Jews back to Jerusalem, of
the ten tribes from the north country (_Jer. xxxi._, 8, 9; _Ezek. xx._,
34, 35), and of the descendants of Joseph (The American Indians) to
their possessions.

Michael, or Adam, came to give the authority that links the generation
of men together, from the days of Father Adam down to to-day.

In short, all the authority necessary has been received to enable men
to become co-workers with Jehovah, angels and the spirits of just
men made perfect, in building up an everlasting kingdom, instead of
the man-made governments of today. A kingdom is to be established to
which the Great King shall speedily come, "in the clouds of glory,"
surrounded by His angels; and the Saints of other days, who are singing
the songs of heaven, will speedily have fulfilled the words of John,
"He has made us kings and priests unto the Lord our God, and we shall
reign on earth."

The promise of Jesus that the "meek shall inherit the earth" is coming
to pass, as also the words of Job: "I know that my redeemer liveth,
and that He _shall stand at the latter day upon the earth_: and though
after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in _my flesh shall I see
God_: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not
another" (_Job xix._, 25-27).

All these and many more grand and glorious promises are about to be
fulfilled. The decree has gone forth, God hath declared by His own
mouth, and the mouths of all the holy prophets, that His power and
authority over the earth will be asserted; and who is man, to contend
with God?

An appeal is made to the honest in heart to heed this call--to pause,
to mediate, to ask God, "who giveth to all men liberally," for wisdom
to know what to do.

{297} Here are evidences worthy of their attention:

The testimony of the _three witnesses_; the signs following the
believers; the eyes of the blind opened; the ears of the deaf
unstopped; the tongue of the dumb made to sing; the lame man to
leap as an hart; devils cast out; unknown tongues spoken, and the
interpretation thereof given by the spirit of inspiration; prophecy
fulfilled, and the Spirit of God making manifest to the honest in heart
the great fact that God has again spoken from the heavens.

Many questions are asked relative to our belief on the subject of
gathering, and we again turn to the Scriptures to answer the questions:

These things are not done or spoken in a dark corner, but as good men
as are in existence to-day testify of them.

    "And it shall come to pass in the _last days_ that the mountain of
    the Lord's house shall be established in the _top of the mountains_
    and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
    unto it" (_Isa. ii._, 2-4).

    "And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will
    hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall
    come with speed swiftly" (_Isa. v._, 26).

    "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble
    the outcasts of Israel (not the Jews alone, but _all Israel_) and
    gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the
    earth" (_Isa. xi._, 12).

    "I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their
    fathers" (_Jer. xxx._, 3).

    "Behold I will bring them from the north country and gather them
    from the coasts of the earth" (_Jer. xxxi._, 814).

    "I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of
    the countries wherein ye are scattered" (_Ezek. xx._, 34).

    "I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all
    countries, and will bring you into your own land" (_Ezek. xxxvi._,
    24).

    "Blow the trumpet, * * gather the people, * * assemble the Elders
    (_Joel ii._, 15, 16).

    "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and
    they shall _gather together_ His elect from the four winds" (_Matt.
    xxiv._, 31).

    "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might _gather
    together in one_ all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and
    which are on earth" (_Eph. i._, 10).

    "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,
    and that ye receive not of her plagues" (_Rev. xviii._, 4).

    The reader asks, "What are we to come out of?"

    Out of _"Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and
    abominations of the earth"_ (_Rev. xvii._, 5).

    "Who and what is that?"

    "The waters which thou sawest where the whore (mystery, Babylon)
    sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues"
    (_Rev. xvii._, 15).

{298} So out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people shall the
honest in heart be gathered to a great central gathering place, to
be protected while the scourges of God pass over the earth. Read the
following prophecy and study the signs of the times:

    PROPHECY OF JOSEPH SMITH, THE SEER, GIVEN IN 1832.

    "Verily thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly
    come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which
    will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls.

    "The day will come that war will be poured out upon all nations,
    beginning at that place.

    "For behold the Southern States shall be divided against the
    Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other
    nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called,
    and they shall also call upon other nations in order to defend
    themselves against other nations; and thus war shall be poured out
    upon all nations.

    "And it shall come to pass after many days slaves shall rise up
    against their masters, who shall be marshalled and disciplined for
    war.

    "And it shall come to pass also, that the remnants who are left
    of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly
    angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation;

    "And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed, the inhabitants of the
    earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plagues, and earthquakes,
    and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightnings
    also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath
    and indignation and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the
    consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

    "That the cry of the Saints, and the blood of the Saints, shall
    cease to come up in the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, from the
    earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

    "Wherefore stand ye in holy places and be not moved, until the day
    of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.
    Amen."

Has this prophecy been fulfilled? Let the people of the North and South
answer the query.

Let the thoughtful reader stop and reflect for a moment on the
condition of affairs upon the face of the whole earth. The sword is
reaping its harvest of death; nation warring against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom. Famine is asserting its sway and untold
thousands are starving, perishing, dying for lack of food. Pestilence,
in all its horrid forms, stalks in the train of these dire calamities.
Earthquakes are making the earth to tremble. Storms, whirlwinds and
cyclones are sweeping away cities, towns and villages. The sea, heaving
itself beyond its bounds, is thundering its testimonies into the ears
of the children of men. Signs in the heavens above and in the earth
beneath, betoken the fact that great and mighty events are at our
doors. Fear has taken hold upon the hearts of the {299} strong men and
the mighty men. Man distrusts his fellowman. Nations and people have
become corrupted; fraud and speculation are sapping the vitals of the
man-made governments of the earth. The people are tossed to and fro by
every wind of doctrine that comes along, and when will the end be?

Startle not, reader, for it will not be until He comes whose right is
to rule and reign as King of kings. Not until Jesus of Nazareth sets
His feet upon the earth and brings order out of chaos, system out of
confusion, and bids the angry waves of the sin-tossed world, "Peace, be
still," will there be peace among men.

"Now," says one, "I understand His meaning when He said, 'I come not to
bring peace, but a sword;'" but thanks be to the Most High, the day is
near at hand when "the meek shall inherit the earth," when sorrow and
sighing shall flee away, when "the tabernacle of God," will be "with
men, and He will dwell with them. * * And God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor
crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (_Rev. xxi._, 3, 4).

But oh! the woe, the want, the misery, the evils and the lamentation
that will go up from the face of the earth before that day does come!
All ye people of the earth, heed, oh, heed the warning voice that God
sends to you and go out from the midst of Babylon ere another angel
shall fly through the midst of heaven saying, "Babylon is fallen, is
fallen."

Ye Saints of the living God, cease not your efforts until your feet
stand in safe places, in the tops of the mountains, in the shadow of
"the house of the God of Jacob," where you may more fully learn of "His
ways and walk in His paths;" for the day is near at hand when "the law
shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem"
(_Micah iv._, 2).

The time is fast approaching when the "kingdoms of this world shall
become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ," and when John's
prophetic vision shall be fulfilled: "And I saw thrones, and they sat
upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of
them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of
God, * * * and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"
(_Rev. xx._, 4).

The time has come for the righteous-the redeemed "out of every kindred,
and tongue, and people, and nation," to be gathered out, to become
kings and priests unto God, and to "reign on the earth" (_Rev. v._, 9,
10).

{300} AUTHORITY.

In brief manner this subject has been previously alluded to, but a more
extended examination is deemed necessary, owing to the importance that
attaches to it.

This principle enters largely into every department of man's existence
upon the earth. Governments are mainly founded upon it, and _authority_
is fundamentally necessary to establish republics, empires, monarchies
and principalities.

The President of the United States must first conform to certain
laws and requirements before his acts as President are legal and
binding upon the people; so also with all the affairs of the general
government. And this is likewise true of the state officials, including
the governors, judges, legislators, sheriffs, magistrates, and even
the unimportant office of bailiff can only be filled by a man who has
fulfilled all the requirements necessary and demanded by the law of the
land.

A man who would undertake to fill one of the offices alluded to,
without conforming to the law, would be counted an impostor and dealt
with as the law directs.

All civilized nations recognize this principle and act accordingly.
Even church organizations place great stress upon the necessity that
there exists for men to be ordained to their several offices; and a
man, before he can legally perform, the marriage ceremony, must first
conform to certain rules and laws laid down by the church authority to
render the marriage legal. A lay member could not act in the capacity
of an elder until authority had been granted him by those who held the
power to give authority. Neither could an elder fill the office of a
bishop without first conforming to certain rules.

These rules are necessary to the good government of society and the
people generally, and without them confusion confounded would reign
supreme.

If every man who desired to act as governor was to set up his claims
and be allowed to act in that capacity, there would be an end to
order. So with all other offices. A few men would sustain one man, as
governor, other men would sustain another man, and still other men
would sustain their man, until eventually brute force would be the
means whereby men would hold their offices.

This principle applies also to admitting men to be citizens of a
government. A man who comes from some foreign nation and seeks to
become a citizen of the United States must obtain his papers of
citizenship and take the oath of allegiance. Not only must he attend
to these duties, but he must see that the {301} officer who signs his
papers and administers the oath is a duly accredited officer of the
government; otherwise his papers are worthless and he is not yet a
citizen.

If these things be true as regards man's temporal affairs, how much
more true are they when applied to eternal salvation.

Daniel, the young Hebrew prophet, had the visions of futurity opened
up to him and saw the time when God would establish a kingdom upon the
earth, never more to be thrown down. (_Dan. ii._, 44; _vii._, 27).

Many hundreds of years after Daniel's day, Jesus of Nazareth came
upon the earth and reiterated the assertion of Daniel, and told His
disciples to continue "unceasingly to pray for that kingdom to be set
up," and through one of His apostles He revealed how the kingdom was to
be established.

John the beloved disciple says: "I saw another angel fly in the midst
of heaven, having the everlasting gospel" [or the laws of the kingdom]
"to preach" [or proclaim] "unto them that dwell on the earth" (_Rev.
xiv._, 6).

It would naturally be supposed that the heavenly messenger would be
endowed with authority to empower men to admit citizens into the
kingdom he came to establish, and that no one could take this authority
unto himself, "but he that is called of God as was Aaron;" and that he
who might dare to do so, without first being authorized, would render
himself liable to the penalty God's law inflicts upon all impostors,
usurpers and wolves in sheep's clothing generally.

"Seek ye _first_ the kingdom of God," was the command of the Great
King, who in the future is to rule over this kingdom. But before the
reader can do so he must first find out what it is like; and in this
matter we are not left in doubt, for Jesus and His apostles have
placed upon record the names of the officers necessary in the kingdom,
the necessary laws to govern and control it, the manner of admitting
citizens and, in short, all the details, so that the "wayfaring man,
though a fool, need not err" in seeking to obey the command, "seek ye
first the kingdom of God."

By turning to the writings of Paul (_I. Cor. xii._, 28), we find that
"God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets,
thirdly teachers."

Now if this is the pattern of the officers of the kingdom (church),
all we have to do is to start upon our search and examine the various
claims that are set up; for there are a multitude of organizations that
lay claim to the title of the church or kingdom of God.

It is not necessary to hunt in the midst of the heathen and {302} pagan
nations of the earth, for they lay no claim to the title, but will
answer you frankly, "We know nothing of your kingdom or its officers."
Then let us turn to the Catholic world and examine their claims. We
find that they have a pope, cardinals and priests, but no apostles
nor prophets, _no officers to correspond with the description given
by Paul_. Next let us view the Protestant denominations. Go back to
the earliest reformers, Huss, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Knox, Henry
VIII, and Wesley. Examine all their organizations and we find none of
them lay claim to having these officers in their churches, but, on the
contrary, ignore and repudiate them by saying, "They are no longer
needed."

Examine all denominations, all orders, all faiths, and we find that in
this respect they are deficient and lacking, while poor, weak, fallible
man sets up his judgment, and by man's wisdom seeks to enter the
kingdom of God.

The Christian world acknowledges that it takes legal authority to make
a man a citizen of any temporal government set up by man, but when
it comes to the government of God, any man who sees proper to do so
can set out with a new set of ideas, called a creed, and establish
a church, baptize, bless the communion, and go forward in this way,
ordaining men to various offices, and yet denying all the time that God
has revealed anything, or bestowed any gift of authority.

Are these legal officers of the kingdom of God? Is the reader so far
lost in the mazes of tradition as to suppose for one moment that God
will recognize officers appointed in any such way, much less their acts?

But lest we do injustice to these different denominations, let us
give them one more chance to prove their position correct; for we
would gladly avoid seeing the whole Christian world in error and
transgression.

Paul, the great apostle, says that God placed in the Church, in
addition to its officers, "miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues," and urged upon the people to seek
earnestly for these gifts.

Search the world over and find, if you can, an organization, other
than that represented by the Latter-Day Saints, that lays claim to and
possesses these great blessings.

The Christian world, having changed the order of the Church of God,
have lost these gifts, and in endeavoring to justify themselves, say
they are no longer needed. Some of them, more honorable than the rest,
acknowledge the true state of affairs and confess the lamentable
condition they are in.

{303} Mr. Wesley states that the reason the gifts are no longer in the
church "is because the love of many waxed cold, and the Christians had
turned heathen again, and had only a dead form left" (see Vol. I, Sermon
94).

Smith's Bible Dictionary (page 163) also says: "We must not expect to
see the church of holy scriptures actually existing in its perfection
on the earth. It is not to be found thus perfect, either in the
collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any of those
fragments." The names of sixty-five learned divines and Biblical
scholars are on the preface page, as contributors to and endorsers of
this book.

Dr. Adam Clark, in his commentaries (page 452) on the 4th chapter of
Ephesians, says: "All these officers and the gifts and graces conferred
upon them were judged necessary by the Great Head of the church, for
its full instruction in the important doctrines of Christianity. The
same _officers_ and _gifts_ are still necessary, and God gives them,
but they _do not know their places_."

Roger Williams refused to continue as pastor over the oldest Baptist
church in America, on the grounds that there was "no regularly
constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer
any church ordinance; nor can there be until new apostles are sent
by the Great Head of the church, for whose coming I am seeking" (see
_Picturesque America_, page 502).

"Till that great and notable day of the Lord come, we can not, from the
prophetic word, anticipate a universal RETURN _to the original Gospel_,
or a general restoration of the kingdom of God, in its primitive form"
(_Christianity Restored, Alex. Campbell_, page 181).

Having brought forward for the consideration of the reader the
foregoing points, we now proceed to examine the results that will
naturally flow from this terrible situation of affairs; and while we
do so, we plead with you, reader, to lay aside prejudice, and, as you
value your soul's salvation, seek earnestly to know the truth; "for
what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own
soul?"

Having thrown aside the officers of the church, Christianity lost its
authority and could no longer administer in the ordinances of the
Gospel for the salvation of the souls of the children of men. Instead
of the officers and endowments of the kingdom or church of God,
man-made doctrines and changeable creeds have been substituted, until
to-day the Christian world is "driven and tossed to and fro by every
wind of doctrine." Weakness, imbecility and lack of authority are {304}
written on its every movement; vice, sin and wrong-doing prosper and
flourish under the very droppings of the sanctuary.

To-day one theory is taught, tomorrow another. Men have "builded
cisterns that will not contain water;" in short, have turned from
the apostle at the head of the church, and the prophet in the church
of the living God, and heaped to themselves teachers, having itching
ears, who have turned the hearts of the people from the truth, and led
them astray after fables, until "darkness covers the earth, and gross
darkness the minds of the people."

Conflicting creeds and faiths fill the world with a war of words,
until the hearts of honest men become sick, sick!--sick of the petty
jealousies and miserable trickery of professing Christianity--sending
the blood-guilty murderer, with his hands reeking with the blood of his
victims, from the gallows to eternal glory and the presence of Deity;
while an honest man, because he differs from them in belief, must be
consigned to a never ending hell!

Oh consistency! thy name is not modern Christianity!

Without apostles, without prophets, without the gifts, without
authority, shorn of all thy pristine beauty and loveliness, all thy
grandeur and glorious attributes; torn and divided into a multitude of
fragments, continually dividing and sub-dividing, thy talk sounds like
that of the scribes of old, "without authority."

And what of thy teachers? "Blind leaders of the blind." Prophecy
foretells their doom: Struggling to uphold the columns of the house
of Babylon, the dwelling place of "the mother of harlots," and her
numerous offspring, they will be crushed in her downfall, unless they
speedily repent and turn to the true and living God, be baptized for
the forgiveness of their sins, and receive the laying on of hands for
the gift of the Holy Ghost, that will "lead them into all truth, and
bring to their remembrance things of the past, and show them things to
come," for the promise is unto all that "the Lord our God shall call."
To members of churches as well as non-members--to the whole world does
this proclamation come.

_God has set up His Kingdom, or church, upon the earth, never more to
be thrown down_. His duly appointed and authorized officers are ready
to admit men and women as citizens of this kingdom, or church. He or
she who hears the sound of this gospel and heeds it not will be under
condemnation. He or she who heeds and renders obedience to it will reap
life everlasting.

God will not recognize the man-made devices whereby men {305} seek
to save themselves by climbing up some other way. He will repudiate
the acts of unauthorized men who administer in the ordinances of the
gospel; and after once this gospel comes to their ears, if they persist
in their course, it will bring condemnation upon their heads. Before
they heard it, "they had no sin," in not obeying; now "they have no
cloak for their sin," the truth having been taught.

    "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine,
    whether it be of God, or whether I speak of my myself" (_John vii._, 17).

May the peaceful influence of the Holy Spirit be with those who desire
to know the truth, and come unto God, and serve Him with all their
"might, mind and strength."

    _"As we see the infant taken away by death, so may the youth
    and middle-aged, as well as the infant, be suddenly called into
    eternity. Let this, then, prove as a warning to all, not to
    procrastinate repentance, or wait until upon the death-bed, for it
    is the will of God that man should repent and serve Him in health,
    and in the strength and power of his mind, in order to secure His
    blessing, and not wait until he is called to die."_

    --_Joseph Smith_.

{306}



(Tract No. 2.)

THE PLAN OF SALVATION.

BY ELDER JOHN MORGAN.

In the midst of the Christian world there are very many conflicting
theories in relation to man's existence here and hereafter; also as to
the duties he owes to himself, his fellowman and to his Creator. It is
an undisputed question that some knowledge of

    WHERE WE CAME FROM, WHY WE ARE HERE, AND WHERE WE GO AFTER WE LEAVE
    THIS PROBATION,

is essential to the enjoyment and well-being of the human family.

In the following pages of this tract we shall seek to briefly set
forth the belief of the Latter-day Saints on these points. While they
may differ widely from the accepted ideas of the Christian world, we
may be allowed to mildly suggest that the difference is not so much
between those sects of the day and the Latter-day Saints, as it is
between those sects and the Bible, a fact for which we are in no sense
responsible, and a fact that we can in nowise alter or change, even
were we so disposed.

It is deemed proper in the commencement of this investigation to refer
to another point so that we may clearly understand each other. It
is this: sincerity of belief does not, by any means, establish the
correctness of a principle. Testimony of an unimpeachable character
can alone do that. Man's belief does not affect a principle in the
least. The whole world may believe it, and yet it be untrue; the whole
world may refuse to believe it, and yet it be true. The unbelief of the
people of Noah's day did not stay the flood; the unbelief of the Jews
did not prove Jesus an impostor; and the killing of the apostles did
not prove their doctrines false. The assassination of Joseph Smith was
no proof one way or another as to the divine nature of his authority;
neither will the rejection of the doctrines he taught prove them wrong.
If they {307} are true, though he was slain, his followers mobbed,
driven and persecuted, yet in the end they will rise triumphant over
every obstacle and grow stronger and stronger, as error shall grow
weaker and weaker.

In presenting the principles of _pre-existence_ the _first principles
of the gospel_ and _baptism for the dead_, we shall simply quote
scripture; and we again state that if there is any difference of
opinion, it is between the reader and holy writ.

The Apostle Paul's injunction to the Thessalonians was: "Prove all
things: hold fast that which is good" (_I Thess. v_. 21); and the wise
man, Solomon, asserted: "He that judgeth a matter before he heareth it,
is not wise."

Let us, then, refer to the word of the Lord, which is the end of
argument, and see what the teachings of the Great Creator of all are.

Speaking to Job, one of the most ancient writers of the Bible, He says:
"Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up
now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou
me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? * * *
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted
for joy?" (_Job xxxviii_, 2-7.)

Job certainly must have been somewhere when the "foundations of the
earth were laid," or why the question?

There was doubtless more meaning to the words, "When ALL _the sons of
God_ shouted for joy," than one at first supposes. The reader asks,
"Who were these sons of God?" Luke, in giving the genealogy of the
human family, gives the necessary information on this subject: "Which
was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of
_Adam, which was the_ SON OF GOD" (_Luke iii_, 38). But let us turn to
another text. One of the ancient writers says: "Then shall the dust
return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who
gave it." (_Ecc. xii_, 7).

Let us ask ourselves how it would be possible to _return_ to a place,
point or locality, which we had never visited. How could we _return_
to God unless we had once been in His presence? The logical conclusion
is unavoidable, that to enable us to _return_ to Him we must have once
enjoyed His associations, which must have been in a pre-existent state,
before we became clothed upon with this body of flesh and bone.

Again, we find that the apostles must have had some conception of
pre-existence, judging from their question to Jesus: "Master, who did
sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (_John ix_, 2.)
It will, doubtless, require no argument {308} to convince the reader
that the justice of God would scarcely permit the punishment of the
individual before the crime was committed. If so, then the sin must
have been committed before he came upon the earth, for he was _born
blind_. It was evident that the question was not a doubtful one in
the minds of the apostles as to whether a man _could_ sin previous to
his existence in the flesh, but as to whether this particular man had
sinned or not.

Paul, in his writings to the Hebrews, says: "Furthermore we have had
fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:
shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits,
and live?" (_Heb. xii_. 9.) We here gain the information as to who the
sons of God were who _shouted for joy_ in the beginning. We also learn
the reason why we address Him as, "Our Father which art in heaven,"
is to distinguish Him from the father of our earthly tabernacles. In
other words, He is the Father of the spirits that inhabit our bodies,
in precisely the same sense that our earthly fathers are the fathers of
our bodies of flesh and bone.

When death ensues, we bury the earthly body, which decomposes and
mingles with the elements surrounding its place of deposit; but what of
the spirit which "returns unto God who gave it?"

When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, "They were
affrighted, and supposed they had seen a spirit." But He corrected
them, saying, "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and
bones, as ye see me have" (_Luke xxiv_. 37-39). From these, words we
may gather the information that man, while existing as a spirit, was
not clothed upon with flesh and bone, but nevertheless, existed in the
exact shape and form that he now possesses. He had eyes to see, ears to
hear and many other faculties with which man is here endowed. He was
also doubtless in possession of intelligence, and much that goes to
ennoble man. He had the ability to pass from place to place, increase
in knowledge, and perform certain duties that devolved upon him in that
sphere of action.

An unembodied spirit is one that has not yet taken upon itself a body.
An embodied spirit is one dwelling in the flesh. A disembodied spirit
is one that has passed through this stage of existence and laid its
body down in the grave, to be finally taken up and again united, spirit
and body, those of the righteous never more to be separated.

The word of the Lord to Jeremiah was: "Before I formed thee in the
belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I
sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a {309} prophet unto the nations"
(_Jer. i_. 5). Here we have the sure word of the Lord relating to one
of the children of men who was but a type of the rest, only that in
this particular case we have the fact made known that, for good and
sufficient reasons, our common Father in the heavens saw proper to
ordain one of His children to a certain office prior to sending him
down upon the earth. Having so gained the confidence of his Father
while in his first or pre-existent state, he was ordained to a high and
holy calling, previous to his advent upon the earth, and we learn from
holy writ, that this confidence was not misplaced, but that he in honor
filled his mission and proved himself true to the trust reposed in
him, not veering or turning a hair's breath from the line of his duty,
though met by obstacles that would have appalled the stoutest heart.

The reader will please be cautious not to confound the principle of
fore-ordination with that of predestination, in the case of Jeremiah,
for there is a broad distinction between the two. A man may be
fore-ordained, set apart or commanded to do a certain work, yet he
retains his agency in the matter, and it is optional with him whether
he performs the duty assigned him or not. If predestined to perform
a certain work, there would be no choice but to do that work. Not
having any choice, he would not incur the responsibility of his own
actions, nor control them, but would be controlled by the power which
predestined him. While Jeremiah was fore-ordained to be a prophet to
the nations, we do not read that he was predestined to fill the office
of a prophet by any means.

The principle of pre-existence is plainly illustrated in the life of
our Savior, who thus spoke to the people: "What and if ye shall see the
Son of man ascend up where he was before?" (_John vi_. 62.) Again, "And
no man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven."
To all human appearances, Jesus resembled very much the rest of the
children of our common Father. So close was this resemblance, that
those by whom He was surrounded failed to see any contrast between Him
and any ordinary man. They enquired of each other, "Is this not the
carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren James
and Joses, and Simon and Judas?"

Let us ask ourselves the question: Is it so difficult to comprehend
our own pre-existence, when that of Jesus is so plainly taught, and
also that of many of the Biblical characters of whom we read? Paul,
the great apostle, speaking of himself, says, "In hope of eternal
life, which God, that cannot lie, _promised before the world began."_
(_Titus i_. 2.) Here {310} was a promise made to Paul of eternal life,
_"before the world began,"_ continued upon obedience, as was said to
Cain aforetime, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?"
(_Gen. iv_, 7.) Yet, notwithstanding this promise, Paul was under
the necessity of performing certain duties to enable him to claim
the promise made. After being stricken with blindness on the way up
to Damascus, and hearing the voice of a risen Redeemer, he was told
to "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou
must do." (_Acts ix_. 6.) After fasting and prayer, he was visited at
the end of three days, by one Ananias, who had been commanded of the
Lord, in vision, to visit Paul, and was furthermore told that he was a
"chosen vessel," or in other words, one whom the Lord had made promises
to, before the "world began," and who had a mission to perform before
"Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." The question of
Ananias was, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and _be baptized_, and
wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (_Acts xxii_. 16.)

We have presented for the consideration of the reader but a few
Biblical proofs of man's pre-existence, out of the many that can be
selected, yet consider that sufficient has been advanced to show
conclusively that the claim of the Latter-day Saints to a belief in
this principle, is founded upon holy writ. Their ideas only coincide
with the prophets and servants of God in all ages of the world who have
alluded to this subject.

Having answered this question: _Where did we come from?_ let us now
consider

WHY WE ARE HERE.

A wise Creator must have had some great object in view in the creation
of the earth, and placing upon it His children, to pass through what
they are called upon to, while in this probation. A knowledge of this
object is almost positively necessary to enable the human family to act
well their part. Let us then examine what He had in view.

The primary object of man's existence upon the earth, is to obtain a
body of flesh and bone; for without this it is impossible to advance in
the grand scale of being in which he is to move, in the eternal worlds.

It is necessary also for him to learn, by actual experience, the
difference between good and evil. As was said of our first parents,
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to
know good and evil." (_Gen. iii_. 22.) It is necessary that man should
taste the bitter to enable him to appreciate the sweet. No proper
appreciation of the value of {311} eternal life could be arrived at,
without having experienced its opposition.

A man must first feel the effects of sickness to enable him to fully
appreciate the great boon of health. He must feel the effects of pain
before he can enjoy immunity therefrom. He must feel the influence
and power of death, before he can appreciate eternal life. He must
comprehend the effects of sin, before he can enjoy "the rest promised
to the faithful." There are many experiences that he can gain in the
flesh that cannot be obtained elsewhere. There are ordinances to be
performed and eternal unions to be perfected, that in the wise economy
of the great Creator, must be effected here on the earth. Baptism
for the remission of sins and marriages for eternity, are prominent
features of duty that devolve upon man in his second estate, or
during his existence upon the earth. It is not all of man's duty to
care for himself alone, to selfishly neglect his fellow man, and seek
aggrandizement himself at their expense. "Do unto others as ye would
that they should do unto you," is called the Golden Rule, by which men
should be governed in this life. In brief, man has a work to do to
prepare himself for a future exaltation in the eternities to come. He
is called upon to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling," for
the work done in this life will have its influence in that to come. By
obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he prepares
himself for the grand and glorious exaltation held in reserve for
those who worship God in "spirit and in truth." As Jesus said to His
apostles, "I go to prepare a place for you," for "in my Father's house
are many mansions."

Having learned why we are here, let us next examine what is the nature
of the duties devolving upon us.

FAITH.

To enable a man to perform any work whatever, requires that he have
faith in the ultimate result of his work. No farmer would plant,
unless he expected to reap; no builder build, unless he expected to
inhabit; no speculator invest, unless he expected to increase his
means; no journey would be attempted, unless there existed hope of
reaching the destination. So, likewise, no commandment of God would be
obeyed, unless there existed faith that certain blessings would follow
obedience.

With this idea plainly before us, we can comprehend the assertion of
the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews, "But without faith it is impossible to
please Him: for he that cometh to {312} God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (_Heb.
xi_. 6).

We find the active workings of the principles of faith in the many
cases of healing performed by our Savior. "Thy faith hath made thee
whole," was the invariable remark He made to one and all: and we find
Him speaking to the apostles in the strongest terms about their lack
of this great principle. Upon one occasion they came to Him with the
question, "Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them,
Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, If ye have
_faith_ as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,
Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall
be impossible unto you." (_Matt. xvii_. 19, 20.) Again we read, "And
he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (_Matt.
xiii_. 58), or in other words, they had no faith in the claim he made
of being the Messiah; consequently they were deprived of the blessings
that fell to those that had faith, as mankind today are depriving
themselves of many _great and glorious_ blessings, through their
unbelief in the divine calling of Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer.

We often hear the same cry today that greeted the ears of Jesus,
"Master, we would see a sign from thee." But He answered and said unto
them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign." (_Matt.
xii_. 38, 39).

What was true of the generation was true of the individual, and
what was true then is true now, which places sign-seekers in a most
unenviable position, but doubtless where they justly belong. Faith is
not produced by sign-seeking, but in the words of Paul, "Faith cometh
by _hearing_, and hearing by the word of God." (_Rom. x_. 17).

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, He left this grand test of
faith upon record, to serve as a guide for all future generations: "And
these signs _shall_ follow _them that believe"_ (or have faith): "In
my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it
shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
recover." (_Mark xvi_. 17, 18).

"But," says one, "was it not intended that these gifts and blessings
should be limited to the days of the apostles, and to the apostles
themselves?" Read again, "shall follow them that _believe;"_ and again
the preceding verse reads, "He that _believeth_ and is baptized shall
be saved." If you limit the signs following the believer to the days
of the apostles you must also limit a salvation to that day. But it is
today as it was in the {313} day Paul wrote to the Hebrews: "For unto
us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached
did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
(_Heb. iv_. 2).

The cultivation of this principle of faith is the first step in our
duties in this life. The second step is that of

REPENTANCE.

"Repent and _turn_ yourselves from _all_ your transgressions; so
iniquity shall not be your ruin." (_Ezek. xviii_. 30). "Let the wicked
forsake his way" (_Isa. lv_. 7). "_Repent_ * * * every one of you"
(_Acts ii_. 38). "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"
(_Luke xiii_. 3).

We understand that repentance does not consist in mourning over sins
committed, and then repeating the same sin or one equally heinous, but
that Ezekiel meant for the people to cease from doing wrong, to quit
their evil practices, and walk in the path of rectitude, virtue and
true holiness. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to
be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (_II. Cor.
vii_. 10). We believe that the "sorrow of the world" here alluded to,
is the too-prevalent practice of crying, groaning and moaning over our
wrong-doings, and then continuing the same practices.

The third step for man to take in this life to secure salvation in the
eternal world, is to be

BAPTIZED.

"He that believeth" (that is, he that hath faith) "and is baptized
shall be saved" (_Mark xvi_. 16), was the emphatic assertion of our
Savior. Again, we find that man came under condemnation by refusing
obedience to this commandment:

"But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against
themselves, being _not baptized_ of him" (_Luke vii_. 30). So the world
of today will, in the end, find themselves under condemnation for
refusing to obey this principle of the gospel.

"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he _cannot_ enter the
kingdom of God." (_John iii_. 5).

Paul, writing to the Hebrews, says: "Therefore leaving the principles
of the doctrines of Christ, let us go on unto perfection: not laying
again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward
God, of the _doctrine of baptisms_ and of laying on of hands." (_Heb.
vi_. 1-2). Here are four principles all classed together, all equally
important, all {314} equally necessary, and all required at our hands
by those fixed and eternal laws of truth and justice, by which the
worlds are governed, and by which we may return back into the presence
of God, and dwell with the just and true and the pure of all ages.

The fourth step necessary for man to take while in this state of
probation, is to receive

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS,

for the reception of the Holy Ghost. This is a principle, to a great
extent, ignored by the Christian world, yet plainly taught in the
scriptures.

Peter, and his brethren of the twelve, had doubtless all been baptized,
and endeavored to lead holy lives during their association with Jesus;
yet we find Him, just previous to His ascension on high, telling them:
"Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the
city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And He
led them out as far as to Bethany, and He _lifted up His hands_ and
blessed them." (_Luke xxiv_. 49, 50).

We find a still further explanation of the manner of obtaining this
gift and blessing, in the Acts of the Apostles, where He "commanded
them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John
truly baptized with water, but ye shall be _baptized with the Holy
Ghost_ not many days hence" (_Acts i_. 4, 5).

Turning to the account of the ministry of Philip, in Samaria, we find
that after the Samaritans had exercised FAITH sufficient to cause them
to repent, they had been BAPTIZED under the hands of Philip. "Now when
the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received
the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they
were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost
(for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in
the name of the Lord Jesus). Then _laid they their hands on them, and
they received the Holy Ghost"_ (_Acts viii_. 14-17).

Paul, writing to Timothy, charged him thus: "Neglect not the gift that
is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the
hands of the presbytery" (_I. Tim. iv_. 14); and again, "Wherefore I
put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in
thee by the putting on of my hands" (_II. Tim. i_. 6).

We also call the attention of the reader to the account of {315} Paul's
visit to the baptized Saints of Ephesus, and his inquiry of them: "Have
ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him,
We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. * * *
Then they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul
had _laid his hands_ upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them: and they
spake with tongues and prophesied" (_Acts xix_. 2-5).

Sufficient has doubtless been said to clearly establish the fact that
the gift of the Holy Ghost was formerly obtained by the laying on of
the hands of those who held the authority to do so. Nowhere do we find
that the order here laid down has been supplanted or annulled. On
the contrary, the apostles spoke in the strongest terms against any
innovation upon the established forms that Jesus taught them.

Paul, writing to the Galatians, speaks of those who were "perverting"
the gospel; doubtless teaching that the laying on of hands was not
necessary, or else that it was done away with, and says, "But though
we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (_Gal. i_. 8).

The reader has now examined the fourth step for man's advancement
in the probation in which he is now living: and in the words of our
Savior, "He that entereth not by the _door_ into the sheepfold, but
climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber" (_John
x_. 1).

We have traced man from a pre-existent state, before the world began,
when he dwelt in the presence of the Father and of our elder Brother
Jesus, and mingled with the spirits who have or shall come into this
sphere of action.

As it is beautifully expressed in one of the songs of Zion:

  "Oh, my Father, Thou that dwellest
    In the high and glorious place!
  When shall I regain Thy presence,
   And again behold Thy face?
  In Thy holy habitation,
    Did my spirit once reside?
  In my first, primeval childhood,
    Was I nurtured near Thy side?

  "For a wise and glorious purpose
     Thou hast placed me here on earth,
  And withheld the recollection,
    Of my former friends and birth;
  Yet ofttimes a secret something
    Whisper'd, 'You're a stranger here;'
  And I felt that I had wandered
   From a more exalted sphere."

{316} This is certainly a grander and nobler conception of man's origin
than that of some of the would-be philosophers of today, who advocate
the idea of evolution from a lower scale.

Having described the nature of the duties (to have faith in God and His
promises, to repent of his sins, to be baptized for their remission,
and to receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost)
that he must perform in this life to lay a foundation for future
exaltation, we now turn to the consideration of man's

FUTURE EXISTENCE.

Upon this subject there is a great diversity of opinion among men,
and almost every possible conjecture has, from time to time, held the
attention of the human family. If we are to judge by the accepted
creeds of the Christian world, we find that an almost universal belief
exists in future punishment.

We find also that the fear of future punishment is used as a mighty
power to influence the minds of the people in a religious sense.
The fearful horrors of a never-ending punishment of the guilty are
portrayed in the liveliest colors from the Christian pulpits of the
land. They are so clearly defined, that in many instances we find that
the love and justice of God are lost sight of in the description of
the fearful character of the punishment He inflicts, not so much upon
unbelievers as upon those who reject the creeds, articles of faith and
discipline, whereby men seek to "know God."

Let the reader lay aside preconceived notions, tradition and prejudice,
and examine this subject with a desire to know the truth.

We shall again refer to holy writ, and ask the candid attention of the
reader to the proofs we place before him.

If we had the history of two persons, the one good and the other bad,
after they left the earth, or laid down their bodies in death, it would
serve as a guide to decide upon the future destiny of the whole human
family. Fortunately, there is left upon record such information, and by
it we can determine this all-important question.

No one will dispute the assertion that Jesus of Nazareth was
appropriately termed the "Just One," a person of pure and holy life.

The confession of guilt by one of the men crucified beside Jesus, is
testimony enough to convict him of being a bad man. "We receive the
due rewards of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss" (_Luke
xxiii_, 41), were the words of the {317} malefactor, thus confessing
that death was the proper penalty for the many crimes that he was
guilty of.

Now, here are two persons that were born upon the earth, lived out a
certain number of years, and then laid down their lives, their bodies
becoming cold and inanimate in death, while their spirits, freed from
their earthly tenements, passed into another stage of existence,
leaving their remains to be cared for in the ordinary rites of
sepulture.

While suffering the agonies of crucifixion, a conversation was carried
on between them, which will serve our purpose in opening up an
investigation.

"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt
thou be with me in paradise:" (_Luke xxiii_, 42, 43.)

The request of the thief was so favorably looked upon, that he had
the promise made that he should accompany Jesus to a place which He
designated as paradise. He could not have consistently granted him
the privilege of entering into His kingdom, when He had replied to
Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water" (baptized) "and of the
Spirit" (receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost), "he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (_John ii_, 5.) The
thief, not having attended to these ordinances, could lay no claim
to that privilege; but, says Jesus, "Today shalt thou be with me in
paradise."

We are aware that the majority of the Bible-believing world are of
the opinion that the thief was permitted to enter heaven, and enjoy
the presence of God; but is this idea a correct one? Let us candidly
examine it and see; for on it hangs a great principle of truth.

After the body of Jesus had lain three days in the tomb, the spirit
again entered into it. The angels rolled the stone away from the mouth
of the sepulchre, and the resurrected Redeemer of the world walked
forth, clothed upon with an immortal body of flesh and bones.

Mary, who seemed to have some special interest in the Savior, came
early to the tomb, and, weeping, discovered that the body of her
Master was not there. A voice spake to her, saying, "Mary." She turned
herself, and saith unto him, "Rabboni;" which is to say, Master. Jesus
saith unto her, "Touch me not; for I AM NOT YET ASCENDED TO MY FATHER:
but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and
your Father: and to my God and your God." (_John xx_, 16, 17.)

{318} Here we have the assertion of Jesus, Himself, that during the
three days immediately subsequent to His crucifixion, while His body
lay in the tomb, His spirit did not go into heaven or the presence of
His Father. Logically, it must follow, neither did that of the thief.
The generally-accepted idea, therefore, of the thief's being saved,
must inevitably fall to the ground. Jesus asserted that "Today shalt
thou be with me in paradise," and upon His return to earth He informed
Mary that He had not ascended to His Father.

The question naturally arises, where had He been during these three
days? We are not left in doubt upon this point, but scripture plainly
points out the character of the duties He was called upon to perform
while His body rested in peace in the newly-made tomb of Joseph. He to
whom Jesus transferred the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and who stood
at the head of the twelve apostles, would certainly be accepted as a
competent witness in this matter; and, by turning to his epistles, we
gain this information: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went
and PREACHED UNTO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON." (_I. Peter iii_, 18, 19.)
Here we have an account of what He was doing during the three days'
absence from the body: preaching unto the spirits in prison, also a
very clear explanation as to where the thief went. It was to a prison
world, where he would have an opportunity to hear the Savior preach the
gospel of deliverance to the captive spirits, "Which some time were
disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of
Noah." (_I. Peter iii_, 20.)

We now understand what Isaiah, the prophet, meant when speaking
of Jesus. He says, "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go
forth" (_Isaiah xlix_,); and again, "He hath sent me to bind up
the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the _captives_, and the
opening of the _prison to them that are bound_" (_Isaiah lxi_, 1);
and again, "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the _prisoners_ from
the _prison_, and them that sit in darkness out of the _prison house_"
(_Isaiah xlii_, 7.)

How appropriately do these passages coincide with and support the
assertion of Peter relative to Jesus preaching to the "spirits
in prison!" Men, who in the days of the flood failed to obey the
commandments of God, and for two thousand long, weary years had
suffered the penalty for their wrong doing, had been fulfilling the
principle so clearly enunciated by our Savior when He said, "Verily I
say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast
paid {319} the uttermost farthing." (_Matt. v_, 26.) "And that servant,
which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did
according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that
knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with
few stripes." (_Luke xii_, 47, 48.)

With what joy must these long-suffering spirits, held in confinement,
have greeted the Redeemer when He appeared and preached to them the
glad tidings of great joy, and presented for their acceptance the
EVERLASTING GOSPEL! Through its means they could have their prison
doors opened, and themselves delivered from the grasp of Lucifer, the
son of the morning, who is appropriately described as one who "made
the earth to tremble, and did shake kingdoms; that made the world as
a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that _opened not the
house of his prisoners_." (_Isaiah xiv_, 16, 17.)

How grand and glorious is the plan of salvation that the Creator has
ordained for His children, reaching from eternity to eternity, and
covering in its details every possible emergency; controlling, guiding
and directing their footsteps while in a pre-existing state; teaching
them while sojourners upon the earth, and extending beyond the grave
into the spirit world, there to cause their hearts to rejoice and
gladden under its benign influence, growing and increasing in might and
majesty, power and glory, as the ages roll by, until the inspired words
of our divine Master shall be fulfilled: "Every knee shall bow, and
every tongue confess."

Well might Jesus say to the apostles just previous to His death,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when
the _dead_ shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear
shall live. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all
that are in the _graves_ shall hear His voice" (_John v_. 25, 28).

Turning again to the epistle of Peter, we find this assertion: "Who
shall give an account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the
_dead_. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that
are _dead_, that they might be judged according to _men in the flesh_,
but live according to God in the spirit." (_I. Peter iv_. 5, 6.)

Jesus, upon one occasion, when explaining the gospel to the apostles,
said, "Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be
forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall
not be forgiven him, _neither in this world, neither in the world to
come_" (_Matt. xii_. 32).

This, in perfect plainness, explains itself to mean, that there is a
class of sins that can be forgiven in this world, and a class {320}
that cannot; also that there is a class of sins that can be forgiven in
the world to come, and a class that cannot.

Peter, speaking of the patriarch David, says, "For David is not
ascended into the heavens" (_Acts ii_. 34). But David himself, knowing
full well that the mercy of the Lord endureth forever, says, "For thou
wilt not leave my soul in hell." (_Psalms xvi_. 10). He knew that after
he had paid the penalty of the deeds done in the body, there would be a
way whereby he might gain a place in the midst of the righteous in the
presence of God.

If the present generation desire to know what will be the result of
their disobedience to the proclamation of the principles of the gospel,
and their contending against the servants of God who proclaim them, let
them read what Isaiah says: "The earth shall reel to and fro like a
drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage. * * * And it shall come
to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the hosts of the high
ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And
they shall be _gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit,
and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be
visited_" (_Isaiah xxiv_. 20-22).

After having waited, perhaps, as long as they did who rejected the word
of God in the days of Noah--after having passed through, perchance,
thousands of years of punishment, until they have "paid the uttermost
farthing," then the gospel will again be presented to them, and "they
will be visited." Another opportunity will be given them, to hearken
unto the truth; but, in the meantime, the Saints of former and latter
days will have advanced in the scale of progression and passed beyond
the reach of those who, today, "reject the counsel of God against
themselves, being not baptized." A separation will have taken place, in
which there shall be "weeping and wailing," sorrow and mourning, over
the neglect to obey the gospel when there was opportunity.

In accordance with divine law, "they were judged every man _according
to their works_" (_Rev. xx_. 13), not indiscriminately consigning all
grades and classes of sinners to the same punishment, and that to
continue forever; but meting out judgment according to their works,
some with many stripes and some with but few.

Would it not be a libel upon justice, if a judge, presiding over one
of our ordinary courts should award to every criminal brought before
him the same punishment? "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good
gifts unto your children, {321} how much more shall your Father which
is in heaven give good things unto them that ask Him?" Certainly the
law of poor, weak, mortal man is not superior to that of the Judge of
all.

Paul beautifully and aptly expresses the principle in writing to the
Corinthians: "If in this life _only_ we have hope in Christ, we are of
all men most miserable" (_I. Cor. xv_. 19); but knowing that the gospel
would be preached to the spirits in prison, and that untold millions of
those who failed to accept the gospel here would do so there, he felt
to rejoice in his heart instead of being the most miserable of men. He
was fully aware that there was but one way to be saved, "One Lord, one
faith, one baptism," (_Eph. iv_. 5); that it was positively necessary
for man to pass through the door to enter into the sheep-fold; that the
many devices whereby men sought to save themselves must of necessity
fail, for "God's house is a house of order." He knew there was _only_
one name under heaven whereby men might be saved; that obedience to
this law was a prime necessity to salvation, for "in vain do ye say,
Lord, Lord, and do not the things I command you."

Knowing these facts, the life of every good and true man, as was Paul,
would be rendered miserable at the thought that so many millions of
the human family must irretrievably perish, and be subject to torture
throughout all the eternities to come; but understanding the great
principle of the mission of our Savior to the prison world, they can
rejoice in the fact that the plan of salvation is a complete one. They
have hope that, not only in this life, but in the life to come, the
gospel will be preached and men be taught its precepts.

We here introduce the evidence of some learned men, who have reputation
for scholarly ability, far and wide.

Prof. Taylor Lewis, a prominent English writer, states: "We are taught
that there was a work of Christ in hades. He descended into hades; He
made proclamation in hades to those who are there, in ward."

Bishop Alford says: "I understand these words (_I. Peter iii_. 19)
to say that our Lord, in His disembodied state, did go to the place
of detention of departed spirits, and did there announce His work of
redemption; preach salvation in fact, to the disembodied spirits of
those who refused to obey the voice of God when the judgment of the
flood was hanging over them."

Prof. A. Hinderkoper, a German writer, says: "In the second and third
centuries _every branch and division of the Christian church_, so
far as their record enables us to judge, {322} _believed that Christ
preached to the departed spirits_." (_Haley's Discrepancies of the
Bible_.)

    "As to the endlessness of punishment, I have said that the law that
    punishes sin is itself endless and for aught I know in the other
    state souls may be passing from right to wrong and wrong to right,
    and that may go on forever. I believe that we go out of this world
    free to do good or evil, and I believe that if a soul repent and
    turn to God, even in hell, he will not turn it away.

    REV. H. W. THOMAS,

    "Chicago, Ill."

    "I believe that if sufficient probation is not furnished in this
    world to infants, idiots, antediluvians, heathens and some children
    who have no moral chance, God will provide some probation in hades.

    REV. NEWMAN SMYTHE,

    "Hartford, Conn."

These writers were willing to ignore the teachings of tradition, and
let the words of inspired men mean just what they said, without any
"private interpretation."

God being no respecter of persons, it would be manifestly unjust for
one portion of the human family to have the privilege of hearing the
sound of the gospel in this life, while so great a proportion never
hear it, and lie under condemnation from the fact. No; the plan of
salvation is complete, and, reaching from our pre-existent state,
applies to our present condition, and will extend to the future state,
until every son and daughter of Father Adam have had ample opportunity
to embrace its tenets, and live in accordance with its spirit.

We have now examined the gospel proof of pre-existence, and quoted the
testimony of Jesus and many of the servants of the Most High. We have
gone over the ground of the duties that pertain to this life, connected
with _faith, repentance, baptism_ for the remission of sins, and the
_laying on of hands_ for the gift of the Holy Ghost [A] and examined the
scriptures relative to _preaching to spirits in prison_.

[Footnote A: Should the reader desire a more complete treatise on these
important points, we refer to Tract No. 1.]

We now take one more step in our investigation, and shall endeavor
to learn if there is a way wrought out for the deliverance of the
prisoners bound and captive in the grasp of Satan.

The fact of their being preached to, is one evidence that something
could be done to mitigate their condition, for it {323} would be
cruelty intensified, if, after being taught the gospel, it would be
necessary to inform them that there was no deliverance.

The word of the Lord through the Prophet Malachi was, "Behold I will
send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come
and smite the earth with a curse." (_Mal. iv_. 5, 6.) Here was a work
for the translated prophet of Israel to perform at some future period
of time, with the fearful consequence of non-compliance placed before
us, that the Lord would smite the earth with a curse. The nature of
that work is briefly set forth as turning the hearts of the fathers to
the children, and that of the children to the fathers.

The Apostle Paul asserts that they without us could "not be made
perfect," or in other words, that their salvation was necessary to our
happiness or perfection.

Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of _water_ and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God."

"But," asks the reader, "how shall a spirit be born of water, or be
baptized in the water?"

Very many of those who have gone into the spirit world had never
submitted to the ordinance of baptism, while vast numbers of those who
had been baptized, had the ordinance administered by one who held no
rightful authority whatever, and whose acts God will not by any means
recognize.

They stand in the same position to the "kingdom of God" that a man
does, who, as an alien to the government of the United States, has
received his papers of citizenship from a man who held no office under
the government, and, as a consequence, had no authority to confer those
rights upon anyone.

Paul, writing to the Hebrews, speaks of baptism in the plural: "Not
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith
toward God, and of the _doctrine of baptisms_." (_Heb. vi_, 1, 2.)

Many have supposed this passage to sanction the idea of different
modes of baptism, but, by turning to another of Paul's epistles, we
learn clearly his meaning. We gain also the information how we may be
instruments in the hands of a wise Creator in doing a work for the
dead. _"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the
dead rise not at all? Why are they baptized for the dead_?" (_I. Cor.
xv_, 29.)

{324} We have here an explanation as to how their prison doors may be
opened, and they set free: by the ordinance of the gospel through the
baptism for the dead. Those that are in the flesh can do vicarious work
for their dead, and become "saviors upon Mount Zion."

We here insert an account of the visit of Elijah to the earth, in
fulfillment of the promise of the Lord through Malachi.

On the 3rd day of April, 1836, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery, while in the temple of Kirtland, had the vision of heaven
opened, and Elijah, the prophet, who was taken to heaven without
tasting death, stood before them, and said: "Behold the time has fully
come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that
he" (Elijah) "should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the
Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the
children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse.
Therefore the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands,
and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is
near, even at the doors." (_Doc. and Cov., new edition, page_ 405.)

Elijah the prophet having come, and conferred the authority to baptize
for the dead, the Latter-day Saints are assiduously engaged in
erecting temples, wherein this ordinance may be performed. The object
of Elijah's visit having been partially accomplished, in causing the
hearts of the fathers, dead and gone, to turn to the children here on
earth, the children are feeling after the fathers and seeking to open
their prison doors, and bring them through the door of baptism into the
sheepfold.

Not only are the Elders of Israel traveling, preaching the gospel, and
baptizing the people by the thousand, but the Saints are flocking to
the temples of the Lord, and redeeming their dead from the grasp of
Satan. They are performing a great and mighty work for the human family
who have lived upon the earth in the different ages of the world's
history, and who, in some instances, by revelation, make manifest to
their children or friends, the fact that they have accepted the gospel
in the spirit world.

The patriarchs and prophets of former days, with Peter, James and the
apostles who lived in the meridian of time, with Joseph Smith, Brigham
Young, and other prophets of the "dispensation of the fullness of
times" in the latter days, are earnestly engaged in the work of giving
information and directing the preaching of the gospel in the spirit
world.

{325} Associated with our Father in the heavens, with the angels, and
the good and true of the earth, we can afford to smile at the puny
efforts of man to overthrow the work of God. What! can man strive
against the bucklers of Jehovah? Can the designs that have been in
process of fulfillment since the world began, now be stayed in their
onward progress, because they do not happen to meet the approval of the
people of today?

In conclusion, let us examine one more question that has doubtless
presented itself to the mind of the reader, and that is the question of
future punishment. If, by preaching to the spirits in prison, bringing
them to a knowledge of the truth, and being baptized for them, released
them from their prison house, it logically follows that there must be
an end to future punishment.

We hear the question asked, "Do not the scriptures say that it is
'eternal punishment' and 'everlasting punishment?'" We answer, "Yes."
But let us not put any private interpretation on these terms, but
correctly understand their meaning.

Eternal punishment is God's punishment; everlasting punishment is God's
punishment; or, in other words, it is the name of the punishment God
inflicts, He being eternal in His nature.

Whosoever, therefore, receives God's punishment, receives eternal
punishment, whether it is endured one hour, one day, one week, one
year, or one age. "And they were judged every man according to their
works." (_Rev. xx_, 13). Some shall be beaten with few and some with
many stripes (_Luke xii_, 47, 48). Here we have plainly set forth the
fact that all men are not punished alike, that some receive a greater
punishment than others.

That, as their works are so shall be the punishment awarded them. "And
I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were
opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the
dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
_according to their works_. And the sea gave up the dead which were in
it; and death and _hell delivered_ up the dead which were in them."
(_Rev. xx_, 12, 13.)

These were the words of John, upon the Isle of Patmos, and most
impressively he adds, "And if any man shall take away from the words
of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are
written in this book." (_Rev. xx_, 19.)

We consider that enough has been said to establish the {326} principles
we have advanced, and we will call upon all to whom these words shall
come, to exercise _faith_ in the gospel of Jesus Christ, to _repent_ of
their sins, to be _baptised for the remission of them_, to receive the
_laying on of hands_ for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then to serve
the God of Israel with all their might, mind and strength.

    _"Many men will say, 'I will never forsake you, but will stand
    by you at all times.' But the moment you teach them some of the
    mysteries of the Kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens
    and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are
    prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you and put you
    to death. It was the same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus
    Christ, and will cause the people to kill the Prophets in this
    generation."_

    --_Joseph Smith_.

    _"The angel taught Joseph Smith those principles which are
    necessary for the salvation of the world, and the Lord gave him
    commandments and sealed upon him the Priesthood, giving him power
    to administer in the ordinances of the Lord."_

    --_Wilford Woodruff_.

{327}

    _"When you see a people loaded with irons and delivered to the
    executioner, be not hasty to say--This is an unruly people that
    would trouble the peace of the earth. For peradventure it is a
    martyr's people, which suffer for the salvation of humanity_."

    LA MENNAIS.



(TRACT NO. 3.)

OPINIONS OF THE LEADING STATESMEN OF THE UNITED STATES ON THE EDMUNDS
LAW.

GENTILE OPINIONS OF THE "MORMON" PEOPLE.

STATISTICS OF CRIME AND EDUCATION.

REFUTATION OF THE SPAULDING STORY.

JUDGE SUMNER HOWARD ON THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE.

BY ELDER JOHN MORGAN.

The attention of the candid, thinking, reader is called to the
following extracts culled from the speeches made by the distinguished
gentlemen, who, in defense of the Constitution of the United States,
opposed the passage of the Edmunds law:

UNITED STATES SENATE, FEBRUARY, 1882.

_Showing the Unconstitutionality of the Law, and that it is not Morals
but Money that is the moving cause of the present Crusade against the
"Mormons."_

SENATOR VEST, MISSOURI.

What I object to in this bill is that it is a bill of attainder,
unconstitutional in the Territories, unconstitutional in the States,
unconstitutional wherever the flag of the Republic wavers to-day in
supremacy. It is a bill of attainder because it {328} inflicts a
punishment, in the language of the Supreme Court of the United States,
without trial by a judicial tribunal.

Mr. President, as I said before, I am prepared for the abuse and
calumny that will follow any man who dares to oppose any bill here
against polygamy; and yet, so help me God, if my official life should
terminate to-morrow, I would not give my vote for the principles
contained in this measure.

SENATOR MORGAN, ALABAMA.

This, Mr. President, is to all intents and purposes an _ex post facto_
law. If I have rightly constructed the language in which the seventh
section is couched, it undertakes to create a crime and punish a man
for the commission of it at a time before the statute itself was
enacted, certainly before this method of punishment is prescribed; and
if I understand anything in reference to constitutional law, it is that
you cannot impose a new punishment upon one who has been guilty even of
a crime against the law, so as to make it retroactive in its effect and
in its operation.

Now we have the entire case under the Constitution. I submit to the
honorable committee and to the Senate that this bill is amenable to
two constitutional objections in the particulars I have named. First,
it is an _ex post facto_ law, punishing men for crimes heretofore
committed, and to which the punishment now sought to be annexed was not
annexed at the time of their commission. The next is that it is a bill
of attainder, a bill of pains and penalties, whereby the legislative
department of the Government usurps the functions of the judicial, and
puts a man under condemnation without trial and without even the due
observance of the forms of law. As the act stands on its face, and as
the purposes of it are entirely apparent from its whole tenor, I think
there could not be a more flagrant violation of the Constitution.

SENATOR LAMAR, MISSISSIPPI.

In my opinion, sir, it is a cruel measure, and will inflict unspeakable
sufferings upon large masses, many of whom are innocent victims.

SENATOR CALL, FLORIDA.

There is nothing theocratic in the government of the Mormon Church that
is exhibited to the world. It does not claim to govern the Territory
of Utah. It acknowledges the authority {329} of the Government of the
United States. You cannot assail it by declaring it as a matter of
opinion on the part of the American Congress that for a man to worship
God according to his belief, as Mormons do (however contrary to our
opinions and our wishes), is a theocracy to be suppressed with fire
and sword. But if you will make war upon it, let it not be by striking
down the liberties of your people and doing violence to your own holy
faith; but assail it with the red right hand of war, with the sword to
stab it out, and say to them: "Proclaim your heresies and conduct your
rites beyond the limits of this Territory of the United States." Sir,
this is worse than open, flagrant war. This is asserting to the people
that what our fathers, acting under the teachings of the Christian
religion, fought for more than a hundred years to accomplish, shall be
thrown away. This is an assertion by the Congress of the United States
that there may be a trial by a packed and prejudiced court, by partial
jurors, by a man's enemies, and not his friends; that a government
shall be constructed in which the vast majority--nine-tenths of the
people--in defiance of the principles which control our whole political
system, a government of a minority shall be constructed through penal
provisions and through verdicts of courts selected and organized to try
and convict!

SENATOR BROWN, GEORGIA.

The bill proposes to apply a religious test to the Mormons, in so far
as it punishes the Mormon for his opinions, it is a religious test
applied. He believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet as much as I
believe that Jeremiah was a prophet; and while I think he is in an
egregious error, I have no right to proscribe him because of his belief
as long as he does not practice immorality. And I have no right to do
more as a legislator than to prescribe rules to punish him for his
immoralities, and leave him to the full enjoyment of his religious
opinions, just as I claim the right to enjoy my own opinions. If we
commence striking down any sect, however despised or however unpopular,
on account of opinion's sake, we do not know how soon the fires of
Smithfield may be rekindled or the gallows of New England for witches
again be erected, or when another Catholic convent will be burned down.

We do not know how long it will be before the clamor would be raised
by the religious institutions of this country, that no member of a
church who holds the infallibility of the Pope or the doctrine of
transubstantiation should hold office or {330} vote in this country. We
do not know how long it would be before it would be said that no member
of a church who believed in close communion and baptism by immersion
as the only mode, should vote or hold office in this country. You are
treading on dangerous ground when you open this floodgate anew. We have
passed the period where there is for the present any clamor on this
subject, except as against the Mormons; but it seems there must be some
periodical outcry against some denomination. Popular vengeance is now
turned against the Mormons. When we are done with them, I know not who
will next be considered the proper subject of it.

To accomplish this great object the Territorial practices of half
a century are to be blotted out, local self-government is to be
destroyed, the church is to be plundered, and the prosperous region of
Utah is to be subjected to the rule of satraps whose unlimited power
will enable them to rob and pillage the people at pleasure. If this
system is once inaugurated, bitter as was our experience in the South
during the late reconstruction period when our affairs were being
regulated, it was mildness itself compared with what is in store for
Utah as long as the wealth accumulated by the Mormons is not exhausted.

Mr. President, I shall be a party to no such proceedings. Other
sections of the Union have frequently run wild in keeping up with New
England ideas and New England practices on issues of this character.
I presume they will do so again, but I, for one, shall not be a party
to the enactment or enforcement of unconstitutional, tyrannical, and
oppressive legislation for the purpose of crushing the Mormons or any
other sect for the gratification of New England or any other section.
The precedents which we are making, when the persons and parties in
the States who feel it their duty to regulate the affairs of others
find themselves unemployed and the regulation of Mormonism no longer
profitable, will be used against other sects. Whether the Baptists,
or the Catholics, or the Quakers will be selected for the next victim
does not yet appear. But he who supposes that this spirit of restless
and illegal intermeddling with the affairs of other sections will be
satiated or appeased by the sacrifice of the Mormons has read modern
history to little advantage.

The Mormon sect is marked for the first victim. The Constitution and
the practices of the Government are to be disregarded and if need be
trampled down to gratify the ire of dominant intermeddling.

And such is the fanaticism now prevalent in reference to the {331}
Mormon sect, that when it is clearly shown the regulation which they
desire can not take place within the Constitution and laws, the
restless regulators will doubtless be ready to follow the example of
Mr. Stevens and regulate Mormonism outside of the Constitution. But why
should Southern men become camp-followers in this crusade?

The Mormons may, however, be consoled by the reflection that their
privileges need not be curtailed if they are obedient, nor the present
practice diminished, but they must change the name and no longer
conduct the wicked practice in what they call the "marriage relation."

The Government considers this no great hardship, as it freely permits
in the Mormons, if called by the right name, what it does not punish
in other people. For, without violating the policy of the Government
in so far as it has been proclaimed by its Utah Commission, if the
Mormons will conform to its requirements as to the mode, the practice
of prostitution in Utah need not in the slightest degree be diminished.
The clamor is not against the Mormon for having more than one woman,
but for calling more than one his wife. And the Mormons will do well to
remember that the policy of putting the whole population, men, women,
and children to the sword, and filling the whole land with wailing,
blood, and carnage will not be wanting in advocates if a portion of
them still continue, each to cohabit with more than one woman in what
they call "the marriage relation."

The Government and people of the United States have deliberately
determined that they must call it by the proper name. Let the Mormon
who has a plurality of women remember that he must conform to the
practice elsewhere and call but one of them his wife.

This, Mr. President, is the point we have reached. This is the
distinction we have drawn. This is our present policy and practice as
applied to the Territory of Utah. What consummate statesmanship!

Others who feel it their duty upon such hollow pretexts to destroy a
prosperous Territory by such unconstitutional and illegal means as are
proposed will doubtless proceed with this unnatural warfare until they
have seen the result of their folly.

Let those whose ambition prompts them to such deeds of daring take part
in this tyrannical and illegal conquest over a helpless people, who, to
gratify an insatiate fanaticism, are to be crushed without the morals
of this country being in the slightest degree improved or illegal
sexual intercourse in the {332} least degree diminished, and let them
enjoy the fruits of their triumph.

But as I have sworn to support the Constitution of the United States,
and can not therefore belong to the army of the conquerors, I shall
have no right to claim any of the trophies of the victory. Nor when
the slaughter comes shall I have upon my hands the stain of the blood
of any of the victims. Nor shall I share in the responsibility when
in future our present unconstitutional and unjustifiable legislation
against the Mormons shall be used as a precedent for like legislation
to crush some other sect or denomination, who may have chance, as
the Mormons now do, to fall under the ban of popular fanaticism
and indignation which will afford another pretext for New England
interference and regulation.

There are over fifty millions of people in the United States; and there
are probably twenty times as many persons practicing prostitution, or
illegal sexual intercourse, in the other parts of the Union as the
whole number who practice it in Utah. Many of the features of its
practice in the other States and Territories, including foeticide,
illegal divorce, etc., are quite as revolting, or more so, than in
Utah. It is assumed in the other parts of the Union, where a greatly
larger number of persons practice sexual impurity than the whole number
of Mormon polygamists, that polygamy must be put down at any cost. It
is certainly a matter of great importance that polygamy, prostitution,
foeticide and illegal divorce, whether practiced in Utah or in any
other part of the United States, should be put down. And if we have
it in our power by constitutional means to accomplish that end no
one would be more rejoiced than I. But having taken a solemn oath to
support the Constitution of the United States, I cannot as a Senator
vote for a measure which I am satisfied is a plain violation of the
Constitution to crush out polygamy, or to accomplish any other object.
And we would do well to bear in mind that if the Congress of the United
States disregards and violates the Constitution of the United States in
its eager haste to crush a sect but little over one hundred thousand
strong, the result of the precedent may be the crushing out of one sect
after another, until it ends in the complete overthrow of the liberties
of fifty millions of people, who are expected to applaud our efforts
to crush the Mormons without regard to constitutional difficulties or
constitutional obligations.

No matter what the popular applause may be on the one hand or the
popular condemnation on the other, I will join in {333} no hue and
cry against any sect that requires me to vote for measures in open
violation of the fundamental law of the land. And we would do well to
bear in mind that an illegal persecution of any sect always excites
sympathy for the persecuted and greatly increases its number. The late
Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, when asked what would be the effect
of the Edmunds bill on Mormonism, replied, "The effect will be to make
more Mormons."

But I may be asked, "What means can we adopt to destroy this great evil
in Utah?" I reply we can not do it by passing unconstitutional laws,
or adopting illegal or unconstitutional means, or by striking down
republican government in the Territory.

The Christian churches of this country spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars every year sending missionaries to foreign lands where polygamy
is practiced. In India and in China alone more than 500,000,000 of
people practice or acquiesce in the practice of polygamy. And yet the
Christian churches are not discouraged, but they send missionaries
there, hoping finally to convert the whole mass of the people. Why,
then, should we not send missionaries to Utah, where only about 12,000
people practice and a little over 100,000 people believe in polygamy?
If the Christian churches are willing to make the effort to convert
500,000,000 of polygamists in the East, why should they not with less
effort convert 100,000 within the limits of our own land? If the first
task is within the range of possibility, what is there to discourage
us from the smaller undertaking? There are a great many people in Utah
who might be converted by the proper effort. They are our neighbors,
our fellow-citizens. Shall we give them up as reprobates, and make no
effort to save them, and join in a crusade to crush them? They speak
our language, they are within easy reach. Why give them up and turn to
the heathen of other lands, who neither understand our language nor
have anything of race or sympathy in common with us? Have the Christian
churches done their duty to the Mormon people? If you can not convince
their leaders you can convert thousands of the people. It may be easier
to cry "Crucify them" than it is to try to help convert them. But can
the churches reconcile it to conscience that duty is as well performed
in the one case as in the other?

MR. HOUSE OF TENNESSEE.

Now it seems to me that if the Supreme Court of the {334} United States
knows what a bill of attainder is, the eighth and ninth sections of
this act are clearly in violation of the Constitution. When I took a
seat in this House I took an oath to support the Constitution of the
United States. I can not and will not swear to a lie even to emphasize
my abhorrence of polygamy or to punish a Mormon, and with my views of
this act I would have had to do so if I had voted for the bill when it
passed. It would seem that after organizing a packed jury to convict,
the authors of the bill ought then to have been willing to await a
conviction before depriving American citizens of the right to vote or
hold office. For what is an American, deprived of those rights? He may
live in a land of boasted freedom, but thus stripped of the rights and
privileges that freemen most value, he is no better than a slave.

Let the carpet bagger, expelled finally from every State in the
American Union with the brand of disgrace stamped upon his brow, lift
up his head once more and turn his face toward the setting sun. Utah
beckons him to a new field of pillage and fresh pastures of pilfering.
Let him pack his grip sack and start. The Mormons have no friends,
and no one will come forward to defend or protect their rights. A
returning board, from whose decision there is no appeal, sent out
from the American Congress baptized with the spirit of persecution
and intolerance, will enter Utah to trample beneath their feet the
rights of the people of that far-off and ill-fated land. Mr. Speaker,
I would not place a dog under the dominion of a set of carpet-baggers,
re-enforced by a returning board, unless I meant to have him robbed of
his bone. A more grinding tyranny, a more absolute despotism was never
established over any people.

The Mormons have been guilty of believing in, and some of them
practicing, polygamy. But they have been guilty of another sin also.
They have committed the offense of belonging to the democratic party.
That Territory now has a population about large enough to be admitted
into the Union. It would not do to let it enter the Union as a
democratic State. There is not now the least danger of it. After it
has passed under the manipulations of the returning board, after her
people have been driven from their homes under the oppressive laws
that will be passed under the powers conferred by this law, after
the carpet-bagger has gone in and taken possession, Utah, clothed in
the habiliments of the republican party, will be welcomed into the
sisterhood of States. I did desire to notice some other features of
this law, but time forbids. It {335} was passed under the operation of
the previous question, and no one had the opportunity to discuss it or
to point out its imperfections. The Delegate sent here by the people of
that Territory, by a barefaced usurpation on the part of the governor,
was denied a certificate of election, and was not allowed to take the
seat to which he had been elected, or to speak in behalf of his people
while they were being robbed of their rights.

HON. JAMES W. STILLMAN, FREETHINKER, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 12TH FEB.,
1884.

The bill which Senator Hoar has reported is an _ex post facto_ law,
because it changes the rules of evidence as already indicated. The
Edmunds bill is a bill of attainder; and it is an _ex post facto_ law,
because it punishes these people without a judicial trial; it increases
the punishment for polygamy by disfranchisement and disqualification to
hold office. Every Senator and every Representative who voted for that
bill had taken a solemn oath to support the Constitution of the United
States, and yet, unmindful of that oath, actuated by the spirit of
religious bigotry and fanaticism which I have denounced here to-night,
they lost sight entirely of their constitutional obligations, and
nullified one of the most important provisions of that great instrument.

RIGHT OF SELF-GOVERNMENT.

JUDGE JEREMIAH S. BLACK'S ARGUMENT.

The end and object of this whole system of hostile measures against
Utah seems to be the destruction of the popular rule in that Territory.
I may be wrong--for I can only reason from the fact that is known to
the fact that is not known--but I do not think that the promoters of
this legislation care a straw how much or how little the Mormons are
married. It is not their wives, but their property; not beauty, but
booty, that they are after. I have not much faith in political piety,
but I do most devoutly believe in the hunger of political adventurers
for spoils of every kind. How else can you account for the struggles
they are now making to get possession of all the local offices in the
Territory, including the treasurer, auditor, and all depositories of
public money? If they do not want to rob the people, why do they reach
out their hands for such a grab as this?

{336} Coming back to the original and fundamental proposition that
you have no authority to legislate about marriage in a Territory, you
will ask what then are we to do with polygamy? It is a bad thing and
a false religion that allows it. But the people of Utah have as good
a right to their false religion as you have to your true one. Then
you add that it is not a religious error merely, but a crime which
ought to be extirpated by the sword of the civil magistrate. That is
also conceded. But those people have a civil government of their own,
which is as wrong-headed as their Church. Both are free to do evil on
this and kindred subjects if they please, and they are neither of them
answerable to you. That brings you to the end of your string. You are
compelled to treat this offense as you treat others in the States and
in the Territories--that is, leave it to be dealt with by the powers
that are ordained of God or by God Himself, who will in due time become
the minister of His own justice.

* * * * *

In regard to the unholy crusade periodically waged against the
"Mormons" by godless men, and specially revived at every recurring
Congressional session for the purpose of provoking proscriptive
anti-Mormon legislation, the following forcible and faithful
word-picture (which is as true as photography, and to which over
150,000 Utonians can make oath), drawn by the Honorable Thomas Fitch,
ex-United States Senator, unmistakably illustrates the motives which
inspire every such wicked _ringocratic_ movement.

At the constitutional convention held in Salt Lake City, February,
1872, Mr. Fitch, United States Senator from Nevada, said;

There is no safety for the people of Utah without a State government;
for under the present condition of affairs, their property, their
liberties, and their very lives are in constant and increasing
jeopardy. James B. McKean (United States Chief Justice in Utah) is
morally and hopelessly deaf to the most common demands of the opponents
of his policy, and in a case where a Mormon or a Mormon sympathizer,
or a conservative Gentile, be concerned, there may be found rulings
unparalleled in all the jurisprudence of England or America. The
mineral deposits have attracted here a large number of restless,
unscrupulous and reckless men, the hereditary foes of {337} industry,
order and law. Finding the courts and federal officers arrayed against
the Mormons, with pleased lacrity this class have placed themselves on
the side of courts and officers. Elements ordinarily discordant blend
together in the same seething cauldron. The bagnios and hells shout
hosannas to the courts; the altars of religion are infested with the
paraphernalia and the presence of vice; the drunkard espouses the cause
of temperance; the companion of harlots preaches the beauties of virtue
and continence. All believe that license will be granted by the leaders
in order to advance their sacred cause, and the result is an immense
support from those friends of immorality and architects of disorder
who care nothing for the cause, but everything for the license. These
constitute a nucleus of reformers and a mass of ruffians, a centre
of zealots and a circumference of plunderers. The dramshop interest
hopes to escape the Mormon tax of $300 per month by sustaining a judge
who will enjoin a collection of the tax, and the prostitutes persuade
their patrons to support judges who will interfere by _habeas corpus_
with any practical enforcement of municipal ordinances. Every interest
of industry is disastrously affected by this unholy alliance, every
right of the citizen is threatened, if not assailed, by this ungodly
combination.

Your local magistrates are successfully defied, your local laws are
disregarded, your municipal ordinances are trampled into the mire,
theft and murder walk through your streets without detection, drunkards
howl their orgies in the shadow of your altar; the glare and tumult
of drinking saloons, the glitter of gambling hells, and the painting
flaunt of the bawd plying her trade, now vex the repose of streets,
which beforetime heard no sound to disturb their quiet save the busy
hum of industry, the clatter of trade, and the musical tingle of
mountains streams. In prosecuting Mormons the prosecution have tried
their cases beforehand on the streets, in the newspapers, by public
meetings, by petitions, and over the telegraph wires, by means of their
leading adviser, the Salt Lake agent of the Associated Press. There
is no evidence so base or worthless but is sufficient to indict a
Mormon; there is no evidence sufficiently damning to indict a man who
would swear against a Mormon. In support of these statements a volume
of details of acts of injustice and tyranny might be compiled from
the _official records_. One instance will suffice. Brigham Young, an
American citizen of character, of wealth, of enterprise; an old man who
justly possesses the love and confidence of his people, and the respect
of those who know and comprehend {338} him, has been sent to prison
upon the uncorroborated oath of one of the most remarkable scoundrels
that any age has produced, a man known to infamy as William A. Hickman,
a human butcher, by the side of whom all malefactors of history are
angels; a creature who, according to his own published statement, is a
camp follower without enthusiasm, a bravo without passion, a murderer
without motive, an assassin without hatred.

The religious and secular leaders of Utah, men who are respected by
many honest, earnest people who are not of their faith, men who are
believed to be innocent by many influential and independent journals
not of their way of thinking, men who are held fast in the embrace of a
hundred thousand hearts, men who have filled the land with monuments of
industry and progress and human happiness, are likely to be sacrificed
because a manufactured and unjust public sentiment demands their
conviction.

I say deliberately, that with the history of the past behind me, with
the signs of the present before me; I say with sorrow and humiliation
that the Mormon charged with crime who now walks into the courts of
his country goes not to his deliverance, but to his doom; that the
Mormon who in a civil action seeks his rights in the courts of his
country goes not to his redress, but his spoliation. The Mormons
have been joined each year by a few desperate outcasts, men who were
outlawed for crime as the Mormons were outlawed for religion. Such men
followed the tide of Mormon immigration; they attached themselves to
Mormon trains; they professed belief in the Mormon faith and devotion
to the Mormon leaders. It was impossible to know their histories, it
was impossible to fathom their motives. They were given food, given
shelter, given employment, although seldom trusted. Let such men be
tempted by assured promises and they will swear their crimes upon
others whose lives and hearts contrast with theirs as the white snow
contrasts with the mire it covers. How many such men are there in Utah?
Convicted liars, professional thieves, confessed assassins, trembling
perjurers, who have hung for years upon the outskirts of the little
societies which gathered together and built themselves up amid these
mountain fastnesses. One such man has served to accuse and caused to be
imprisoned several of your most honored citizens. Half a dozen such,
instigated by cowardice and avarice, with savage hearts filled with a
lust of rapine, would crowd every jail in the Territory.

{339} The Mormons are judged abroad, not by their thousands of deeds of
charity and kindness, but by a few deeds of blood unjustly accredited
to their leaders. You will never hear how tens of thousands of people
have been brought from famine and hopeless toil to lives of peace and
plenty, of the thousands of passing emigrants who have been fed and
sheltered and succored.

Your antagonist is hydra-headed and hundred-armed. Whether by
bigoted judges, by packed juries, by partisan officers, by Puritan
missionaries, by iron-limbed laws, by armies from abroad, or by foes
and defections at home, the assault is continuous and unrelenting,
though unprovoked.

Now, in order to preserve the thrift, the industry, the wealth, the
progress, the temperate life, the virtues of Utah from spoliation and
devastation and ruin; in order to save a hundred noble pioneer citizens
and this honest, earnest, calumniated people from outlawry, or the
gibbet, or incarceration, you must have a State government. Every other
refuge of good men, every other protection of innocent men is closed
in your faces. A State government means juries impartially selected
from all citizens, and judges chosen by a majority of the people, and
officers of your own selection; it means honest, economical government;
it means peace and security, and exemption from persecution.

FRUITS OF "MORMONISM."

    "By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes from
    thorns or figs from thistles? Can an impure fountain send forth
    pure water?"--JESUS.

Bishop D. S. Tuttle--now and for years past an Episcopal clergyman in
Salt Lake City--in a lecture on "Mormonism," published in the New York
_Sun_, November, 1877, held these views:

    "In Salt Lake City alone there are over 17,000 Latter-day Saints,
    Now, who are they? I will tell you, and I think, that after I have
    concluded, you will look on them more favorably than you have been
    accustomed to do. Springing from the centre of your own State (New
    York) in 1830, they drifted slowly westward until they finally
    rested in the basin of the Great Salt Lake. I know that the people
    of the east have obtained the most unfavorable opinion of them,
    and have {340} judged them unjustly. They have many traits that
    are worthy of admiration, and they believe with a fervent faith
    that their religion is a direct revelation from God. We of the east
    are accustomed to look upon the Mormons as either a licentious,
    arrogant or rebellious mob, bent only on defying the United States
    Government and deriding the faith of the Christians. This is
    not so. I know them to be honest, faithful, prayerful workers,
    and earnest in their faith that heaven will bless the Church of
    Latter-day Saints. Another strong and admirable feature in the
    Mormon religion is the tenacious and efficient organization. They
    follow with the greatest care all the forms of the old church."

From the caustic pen of Henry Edger, in the New York _Evolution_, July,
1877:

    The Federal Government is doing at this moment a great injustice
    to the 200,000 Mormons in Utah. We have no right to demand any
    conditions of Mormons more than Presbyterians or Methodists. The
    Federal Government engaged in a crusade of extermination against
    a people with such a record as the Mormons have to show, is a
    spectacle of which no one can be proud. Unfortunately we need not
    go out into the Rocky Mountains to find debasing, superstitious
    and immoral practices, sheltering themselves under the cloak of
    religion; nor do we need go to Utah to find polygamy openly and
    shamelessly practised. A polygamy which sacrifices utterly and
    dooms to a fate most horrible all the wives but one, deceiving and
    betraying her also, is surely not very much morally superior to a
    polygamy that, for the first time in modern society, completely
    shuts out that horrible social institution, prostitution. That
    the government of the United States can virtually introduce the
    brothel, the gambling house and various other charming New York
    institutions into Salt Lake under color of abolishing Mormon
    polygamy is unhappily only too plainly evident. Driven by mob
    violence from one State to another, despoiled of their legitimate
    possessions--fruits of honest toil--this despised and grossly
    wronged people found their way at last across the trackless desert
    and by an almost unexampled perseverance and industry created an
    oasis in the desert itself.

Elder Miles Grant, the Adventist, and editor of _The World's Crisis_,
says:

    "After a careful observation for some days, we came to the settled
    conclusion that there is less licentiousness in Salt Lake {341}
    City than in any other one of the same size in the United States;
    and were we to bring up a family of children in these last days of
    wickedness, we should have less fears of their moral corruption,
    were they in that city than in any other. Swearing, drinking,
    gambling, idleness, and licentiousness have made but small headway
    there, when compared with other places of equal size."

In a late visit of Governor Safford, of Arizona, to a "Mormon" colony
on the Little Colorado, he writes:

    We were kindly received by the colonists, numbering some 400 souls,
    who made us welcomed and gave us freely of such comforts as they
    had, as this people do to all strangers who come among them. Every
    one works with a will. They have no drones, and the work they have
    accomplished in so short a time is truly wonderful. All concede
    that we need an energetic, industrious, economical and self-relying
    people to subdue and bring into use the vast unproductive lands of
    Arizona. These Mormons fill every one of the above requirements.
    Tea, coffee, tobacco and spirituous liquors they do not use. They
    are spoken of by those living nearest to them as the kindest of
    neighbors, and all strangers receive a hearty welcome among them.
    They have a splendid robust looking lot of children, and are very
    desirous of having schools.

General Thomas L. Kane, of Pennsylvania, says:

    I have given you in terms the opinion my four years' experience
    has enabled me to form of the Mormons, preferring to force you to
    deduce it for yourselves from the facts. But I will add that I have
    not heard a single charge made against them as a community--against
    _their habitual purity of life_, their willing integrity, their
    toleration of _religious differences_ of opinion, their regard for
    the laws, their devotion to the constitutional government under
    which we live--that I do not, from my own observation, or upon the
    testimony of others, _know to be unfounded_.

Chief Justice White, formerly of Huntsville, Alabama, in charging the
Grand Jury, Salt Lake City, February, 1876, said:

    I do not utter the language of prejudice, nor treat lightly or
    derisively the Mormon people or their faith. No matter how much I
    differ from them in belief, nor how widely they differ from the
    American people in matters of religion, yet {342} testing them
    and it by a standard which the world recognizes as just, that is,
    what they have practised and what they have accomplished, and they
    deserve higher consideration than ever has been accorded to them.
    Industry, frugality, temperance, honesty, and in every respect but
    one, obedience to the law, are with them the common practices of
    life.

    This land thy have redeemed from sterility, and occupied its once
    barren solitudes with cities, villages, cultivated fields and farm
    houses, and made it the habitation of a numerous people, where a
    beggar is never seen and alms houses are neither needed or known.
    These are facts and accomplishments which any candid observer
    recognizes and every fair mind admits.

United States Prosecuting Attorney Dickson:

    It was a matter of history that the Mormons did not cohabit
    together, in the sense as used by the other side, without a form of
    marriage, and it was alone this form of marriage and the practice
    under it, and not sexual sins, that Congress was legislating
    against. They knew that those sins are not upheld in Utah, but
    are condemned by the Mormons and deplored by the Gentiles; they
    recognized the Mormon system of marriage as a constant menace
    against monogamous marriage, and thus legislated against it, and it
    was the prevention of its continuance that was the primal object of
    the law. The cause and necessity of the act showed its intention
    and the only objects against which it should be directed; and for
    this it could be extended to its full purpose. The design and only
    purpose of the law was to root out and extirpate polygamy. The two
    systems of marriage could not dwell side by side. If polygamy was
    allowed to grow, without being placed under the ban of the law
    and of public opinion, it would in the end supplant the monogamic
    system, and was a constant threat and menace to and jeopardized
    the latter, and Congress so viewed it.

The following statistics covering the year 1882, obtained mainly from
Gentile sources, furnish their own comment.

Let the reader bear in mind that the non-"Mormons" of Utah are
clamorous for the enforcement of unconstitutional laws against the
"Mormons," for the purpose of purifying their morals and Christianizing
their practices.

These men and their associates, are the ones, who engage in the
wholesale denunciation of the "Mormon" people.

{343} CRIMINAL STATISTICS.

                                          Mormons.     Non-Mormons.

  Assault and battery                         40             260
  Assault with intent to kill                                  2
  Assault with deadly weapons                                  7
  Assault with intent to commit rape           1               5
  Assault with threats                                        18
  Murder                                       1              15
  Manslaughter                                                 1
  Attempt to murder                                            4
  Accused of murder                                            6
  Threatening to murder                                        1
  Mayhem                                                       2
  Dueling                                                      1
  Prostitution                                                95
  Keeping brothels                                            27
  Lewd conduct                                                 6
  Insulting women                                              3
  Exposing person                                              9
  Nuisance                                                     5
  Obscene and profane language                4               24
  Forgery and counterfeiting                                   8
  Drunkenness                                68              307
  Drunk and disorderly                       29              151
  Drunk and profane                          12              136
  Selling liquor without license                              18
  Gambling and keeping gambling houses        1               52
  Mail and highway robbery                    1                6
  Grand larceny                               3               48
  Burglary                                    1                8
  Disturbing peace                           34              111
  Bigamy                                                       1
  Destroying property                        15               26
  Arson                                                       26
  Obtaining money under false pretenses                       25
  Opium smoking, etc                                          16
  Stealing railroad rides                                     19
  Vagrancy                                                   147
  Violating prison rules                                       6
                           Total            208             1578

So that the Mormons, comprising seventy-eight per cent. of the
population of the Territory, contributed one-eighth of the arrests made
during 1882, and the non-Mormons, having only twenty-two per cent.,
contributed seven-eighths.

In those pursuits having a demoralizing tendency, the distribution was
as follows:

                                            Mormons.       Non-Mormons.

  No. saloons and breweries                     16              146
  No. billiard tables and bowling alleys         1               46
  No. gambling houses                                            10
                   Total                        17              202

{344} The number of brothels throughout the Territory was twelve, all
kept by non-Mormons; number of inmates not given.

The criminal record of Salt Lake City, for 1882, shows that in a
population of about 25,000, divided between Mormons and non-Mormons as
nineteen to six, the total number of arrests was 1,561, of which 188
were Mormons, and 1,373 non-Mormons.

If it should be suspected that these territorial and city exhibits show
an unfair discrimination in favor of the Mormon population, through the
sympathy of the Mormon police officers and magistrates, such suspicion
will be removed by the summary of the records of the territorial
penitentiary for the same year. It will be recollected that for the
conviction of this class of criminals, the whole machinery of the law,
judicial and ministerial, is in the hands of the Federal government.
The number of penitentiary convicts for the year was twenty-eight. Of
these but one was an orthodox Mormon, and she a woman, confined for one
day for contempt of court; five others were Mormons only by reason of
their parentage, and the remaining twenty-two were; eight Catholics,
four Methodists, one Jew, one Adventist, one Presbyterian, and seven of
no religious faith.

EDUCATIONAL STATISTICS.

In 1870, according to the United States census report (taken in Utah by
_non_-Mormons), Utah's enviable record stood as follows:

 Comparative Statistics from Census of United States, 1870.

                     School       Illiteracy,   Paupers.  Insane    Convicts.  Printing         Church
                     attendance,  cannot read             and                  and              Edifices.
                     5 to 18      or write, 10            Idiotic.             Publishing
                     years.       years and                                    Establishments.
					              upwards.
 UTAH                35           11            6         5         3          14               19
 UNITED STATES       31           26            31        16        9          6                17
 PENNSYLVANIA        30           10            45        17        9          9                14
 NEW YORK            21           9             59        23        12         7                12
 MASSACHUSETTS       25           12            55        20        11         11               12
 DIST. OF COLUMBIA   27           40            23        35        9          11               8
 CALIFORNIA          24           10            41        22        19         14               9

{345} THE BOOK OF MORMON.

Among the many theories advanced by the opponents of truth, to account
for the existence of the Book of Mormon, is the untenable, but widely
believed, story that one Solomon Spaulding wrote it, and that it was
surreptitiously appropriated by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Thousands,
doubtless, believe this silly attempt to an explanation to-day; but the
following correspondence will probably serve to enlighten the minds of
those who wish information on this subject.

Letter from President Fairchild, of Oberlin College, Ohio, New York
_Observer_ of February 5th, 1885:

    SOLOMON SPAULDING AND THE BOOK OF MORMON.

    The theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon in the traditional
    manuscript of Solomon Spaulding will probably have to be
    relinquished. That manuscript is doubtless now in the possession
    of Mr. L. L. Rice, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands,[A] formerly an
    anti-slavery editor in Ohio, and for many years State printer of
    Columbus. During a recent visit to Honolulu, I suggested to Mr.
    Rice that he might have valuable anti-slavery documents in his
    possession which he would be willing to contribute to the rich
    collection already in the Oberlin College library. In pursuance of
    this suggestion Mr. Rice began looking over his old pamphlets and
    papers, and at length came upon an old, worn and faded manuscript
    of about 175 pages, small, quarto, purporting to be a history
    of the migration and conflicts of the ancient Indian tribes
    which occupied the territory now belonging to the States of New
    York, Ohio and Kentucky. On the last page of this manuscript is
    a certificate and signature giving the names of several persons
    known to the signer, who have assured him that to their personal
    knowledge, the manuscript was the writing of Solomon Spaulding. Mr.
    Rice has no recollection how or when this manuscript came into his
    possession. It was enveloped in a coarse piece of wrapping paper,
    and endorsed in Mr. Rice's handwriting, "A Manuscript Story."

    [Footnote A:--Since the publication of this letter, the M.S.S. has
    been placed in Oberlin college library by Mr. Rice.]

    There seems no reason to doubt that this is the long lost story.
    Mr. Rice, myself and others compared it with the Book of Mormon and
    could detect no resemblance between the two, in general or detail.
    There seems to be no name nor incident {346} common to the two. The
    solemn style of the Book of Mormon, in imitation of the English
    Scriptures, does not appear in the manuscript. The only resemblance
    is in the fact that both profess to set forth the history of the
    lost tribes. Some other explanation of the origin of the Book of
    Mormon must be found, if any explanation is required.

    JAMES H. FAIRCHILD.

_From Bibliotheca Sacra_.

    Rev. C. M. Hyde, D.D., of the North Pacific Missionary Institute,
    contributes an article to the Boston _Congregationalist_, in which
    he gives a history of the manuscript from the beginning and of the
    attempts made by Hurlburt, Howe and others to connect it with the
    Book of Mormon, and thus concludes his lengthy and interesting
    contribution:

    The story has not the slightest resemblance in names, incidents or
    style to anything in the Book of Mormon. Its first nine chapters
    are headed: Introduction; An Epitomy of the Author's Life, and of
    his Arrival in America; An Account of the Settlement of the Ship's
    Company; Many Particulars respecting the Natives; A Journey to the
    N. W.; A Description of the Ohohs; Description of the Learning;
    Religion; An Account of the Baska, Government and Money.

    There is no attempt whatever to imitate Bible language, and to
    introduce quotations from the Bible, as in the Book of Mormon. On
    the contrary, Rev. Solomon Spaulding seems to have been a man who
    had no very high regard for the Bible. There are two manuscript
    leaves in the parcel of the same size and handwriting as the other
    171 pages of manuscript. A few sentences will show the views of
    the writer. "It is enough for me to know that propositions which
    are in contradiction to each other can not both be true, and
    that doctrines and facts which represent the Supreme Being as
    a barbarous and cruel tyrant can never be dictated by infinite
    wisdom. * * * But, notwithstanding I disavow my belief in the
    divinity of the Bible, and consider it as a mere human production,
    designed to enrich and aggrandize its authors, yet casting aside
    a considerable mass of rubbish and fanatical rant, I find that it
    contains a system of ethics or morals which cannot be excelled on
    account of their tendency to ameliorate the condition of man." It
    would seem improbable from such avowed belief that Rev. Solomon
    Spaulding was an orthodox minister, who wrote the Book of Mormon in
    Biblical style, while in poor health, for his own amusement. The
    statement is more probable that he wrote this Manuscript Found,
    with {347} the idea of making a little money, if he could find some
    one to print it for him.

    It is evident from an inspection of this manuscript, and from the
    above statements that who ever wrote the Book of Mormon, _Solomon
    Spaulding did not_.

    The manuscript is now in the possession of Professor James H.
    Fairchild, or rather of Oberlin College, Ohio, of which he is
    President. It was sent there to be deposited in the college
    library, by Mr. L. L. Rice, of Honolulu, Sandwish Islands, among
    whose papers it was found at that place. Mr. Rice lived formerly
    in Ohio, and in 1839-40 he and his partner bought the Painesville,
    Ohio, _Telegraph_, of E. D. Howe, and in the transfer of type,
    presses, stock, etc., there was a large collection of books,
    manuscripts, etc., among them the manuscript in question. E.D. Howe
    was the publisher of a book against Mormonism, called "Mormonism
    Unveiled," and obtained the "Manuscript Found" from the notorious
    "Dr." D. P. Hurlburt, who obtained it from Mrs. Davidson, Solomon
    Spaulding's widow, who had remarried. Hurlburt never returned it.
    The reason assigned to Mrs. Davidson for its non-publication as an
    _expose_ of the Book of Mormon was, that when examined it was found
    not to be what had been expected. One has only to glance through it
    to see the propriety of that conclusion.

    When Mr. Rice moved to Honolulu this manuscript, with other
    literary rubbish that had not been destroyed, was taken with
    him. It was not until Prof. Fairchild, being on a visit to Mr.
    Rice, questioned him concerning any old papers he might have in
    his possession relating to anti-slavery matters, that in looking
    for them this manuscript was turned up. It bore the following
    endorsement:

    "The writings of Solomon Spaulding proved by Aron Wright, Oliver
    Smith, John N. Miller and others. The testimonies of the above
    gentlemen are now in my possession.

    (Signed), D.P. HURLBURT.

The chain of evidence is complete. There can be no doubt that this
is the long lost "Manuscript Found," about which there has been so
much speculation. Mr. Rice and Professor Fairchild both examined it
critically, compared it with the Book of Mormon, and came to the
conclusion that there was not the slightest connection between the two
books, and no similarity whatever in matter, purpose, narrative, names,
language, style, or anything else. The manuscript looks old and {348}
faded, has 170 odd pages, small quarto, and was tied up, with a string
in a coarse paper wrapper.

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE.

We give below an extract from the Lee trial, showing briefly and
conclusively that the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, and the "Mormon" people, were innocent of any
complicity whatever, in the terrible tragedy enacted at Mountain
Meadows, that on the contrary President Brigham Young sought by every
means in his power to save the unfortunate emigrants.

Remarks made by Mr. Sumner Howard, Ex-Chief Justice of Arizona, and
United States Prosecuting Attorney at the second trial of John D. Lee:

"He proposed to prove that John D. Lee, without any authority from
any council or officer, but in direct opposition to the feelings and
wishes of the officers of the Mormon Church, had gone to the Mountain
Meadows, where the Indians were then encamped, accompanied only by a
little Indian boy, and had assumed command of the Indians, whom he
had induced, by promises of great booty, to attack these emigrants.
All these charges against John D. Lee, he (District Attorney Howard)
proposed to prove to the jury by competent testimony, beyond reasonable
doubt, or beyond any doubt, and thought no appeal to the jury would
be required to induce them to give a verdict in accordance with the
evidence."

"James Haslam, of Wellsville, Cache Valley, was sworn. He lived
in Cedar City in 1857; was ordered by Haight to take a message to
President Young with all speed; knew the contents of the message;
left Cedar City on Monday, September 7, 1857, between 5 and 6 p.m.,
and arrived at Salt Lake on Thursday at 11 a. m.; started back at 3
p.m., and reached Cedar about 11 a. m. Sunday morning, September 13th;
delivered the answer from President Young to Haight, who said it was
too late. Witness testified that when leaving Salt Lake to return,
President Young said to him: "Go with all speed, spare no horseflesh.
The emigrants must not be meddled with, if it takes all Iron County
to prevent it. They must go free and unmolested.' Witness knew the
contents of the answer. He got back with the message the Sunday after
the massacre and reported to Haight, who said, 'It is too late.'"

At the second trial the evidence was plain and direct as to Lee's
complicity in the massacre; he was convicted by "Mormon" {349}
testimony, and a verdict of "guilty" was brought in against him by a
"Mormon" jury.

At the close of the second trial U. S. District Attorney Sumner Howard,
in his opening address, repeated again that he had come for the purpose
of trying John D. Lee, because the evidence led and pointed to him as
the main instigator and leader, and he had given the jury unanswerable
documentary evidence, proving that the authorities of the Mormon Church
knew nothing of the butchery until after it was committed, and that
Lee, in his letter to President Young a few weeks later, had knowingly
misrepresented the actual facts relative to the massacre, seeking to
keep him still in the dark and in ignorance. He had received all the
assistance any United States official could ask on earth in any case.
Nothing had been kept back, and he was determined to clear the calendar
of every indictment against any and every actual guilty participator in
the massacre.

    _"When the Gentiles reject the Gospel it will be taken from them
    and given to the house of Israel."_

    --_Wilford Woodruff_.

    _"We have never violated the laws of this country; we have every
    right to live under their protection, and are entitled to all the
    privileges guaranteed by our State and National Constitution."_

    --_Joseph Smith_.

{350}



JOSEPH SMITH.

WAS HE A PROPHET OF GOD? AN INVESTIGATION AND TESTIMONY, BY J. M.
SJODAHL. 1891.

The controversy between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and the various churches of the world turns upon one great question,
viz.: Has God again revealed His will to mankind through Joseph Smith,
the Prophet? If He has, and this can be proven, then the controversy
is at an end, and it is the duty of all to accept the message of that
prophet as from God. Then to accept the gospel which Joseph Smith
preached is to accept God, who sent him, and to reject it is to reject
God. This question is, therefore, one of the greatest importance and
should be carefully considered by everyone who is concerned about the
salvation of his own soul and the souls of those who are dear to him.

The question is a twofold one, and each part of it demands a separate
consideration.

1. Are the books of the Bible all that is necessary for the guidance
of men to eternal life and exhaltation, or, is continuous revelation
necessary?

2. Is there any evidence, supposing continuous revelation to be
necessary, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God?

I.

The question: Are the books of the Bible all that is necessary to guide
us to the attainment of eternal salvation? has been variously answered.

The Romanists claim that they are not. They give to genuine tradition
the same authority as to the written word and submit both to the
interpretation of their infallible Pope.

Most of the Protestants deny the authority of the tradition and the
infallibility of any one representative of the church. They claim that
the written word, as contained in the Bible, is the only necessary and
authoritative guide in matters of religion. An eminent Baptist divine,
Dr. Angus, says: "As {351} the Holy Scriptures claim to be regarded
as the book of God, a divine authority, so they claim to be the only
authority. It is not _a_ rule, it is _the_ rule both of practice and
faith. To ascertain its meaning, we employ reason and the opinions of
good men, and the experience of a devout heart; but no one of these
helps, nor all combined, can be regarded as of coordinate authority."
(Bible Handbook, page 69.)

Bishop Grundtvig was aware of the weakness of this Protestantic
position, taken and vigorously defended by the reformers. For the
guidance of the "church" he claimed in the first place a "living
word," a continuous tradition, expounding the "written word," which,
he insisted, is nothing but a dead letter until quickened by the Holy
Spirit, present in the "church;" and in his view, curiously enough,
not the books of the Bible but the Apostolic Symbol was _the_ written
word, _par excellence_, composed, probably, by our Savior himself
and transmitted from the Apostles to the posterity in all ages. The
worthy bishop gave to the Apostolic Symbol the place that is otherwise
generally accorded to the books of the Bible, and agreed with the
Romanists in holding the necessity of a living interpreter, directed by
the Spirit, while, with the Protestants, he denied the claims of the
Pope, or any pope, as to the monopoly of this office.

The Latter-day Saints hold that the books of the Bible were sufficient
for the people to whom they were addressed and for the purpose for
which they were written. As records of God's dealings with mankind
in ages past, and as prophecies of things yet future, they contain
instructions for all ages and all nations; but as circumstances change,
as new emergencies arise, and the plans of God develop, continued
revelations are just as necessary for the guidance of the church as
revelation ever was. "A religion that excludes new revelation from its
principles, is just the very religion that suits the devil * * * for he
knows well that God has nothing to do, nor ever had, with any religion
that did not acknowledge prophets and revelators, through whom He could
speak and reveal His will to His sons and daughters." (Orson Pratt.
_The Seer_, vol. ii, No. 5, May, 1854.)

Thus the various views on the question may be briefly stated.

The word of God, the Bible itself, amply justifies, I think, the
position of the Latter-day Saints on this important question. The
purposes for which the various books were written; the difficulties
that present themselves when the exact meaning of many passages is
investigated; the usual dealings of God {352} with His people, as
explained in the Bible, and many predictions of new revelations, all
these facts give evidence of the correctness of the position taken by
the Church of Christ in this last dispensation. What man needs, is not
only a Bible and a genuine tradition, expounded by an interpreter,
even if this should have, in some degree, the Holy Spirit, but he
needs first of all and above all a direct communication with God, his
heavenly Father. He may study the written word humbly and carefully,
and thereby he will certainly, through the aid of the Holy Spirit,
acquire much useful knowledge concerning religion and eternal truths;
he will, if following the precepts laid down, be led onward and forward
and attain a certain degree of eternal happiness. But the knowledge
necessary for the work to be done in connection with the establishment
of the dispensation of the fulness of times or for the obtaining of the
glory emanating from the ordinances of this dispensation, he will never
acquire by his own study of any amount of sacred literature.

The truth of this statement becomes self-evident, when we mark the
purpose for which the sacred books were written. If there were any
book of the Bible by God designated to be a complete code of laws,
all-sufficient for all times and all conditions, such a fact might
reasonably be expected to be either expressly stated, or implied
somewhere within the covers of the sacred volume. But no such statement
is to be found, nor can it be shown to be implied, when the scope of
each book is clearly understood.

THE PENTATEUCH.

The Pentateuch, for instance, contains the principles on which the
Jewish theocracy was founded, a dispensation that was, according to
prophetic declarations, only to last for a certain time. In the first
eleven chapters of Genesis we find a few outlines of the Patriarchal
dispensation, and some of the ordinances of that dispensation are
referred to without any detailed account. The last chapters of Genesis
contain merely a brief historical sketch of the transition from the
patriarchal dispensation to the Mosaic dispensation. The remaining
books of Moses (as indeed all of the Old Testament) are chiefly an
incomplete history of the dealings of God with that one nation which
He had chosen for the purpose of communicating His will to mankind,
until the appearance of the promised "Seed." But the dispensation
itself was a transient one. The principles upon which it was founded
must necessarily {353} also be subject to such modifications as a new
dispensation would require. Paul, the greatest Jewish scholar of his
age, is very emphatic on this point. "It (the Mosaic law) was added
because of transgression, _till_ the Seed should come to whom the
promise was made." "Before faith came we were kept under the law,
shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore
the law _was_ our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might
be justified by faith. But after that faith is come we are no longer
under a schoolmaster." (Galatians iii, 23-25.) "(God) also has made
us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the
spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the
ministration of death (the Mosaic law), written and engraven in stones,
was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly
behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance, which glory
was to be done away, how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be
rather glorious? * * For if that _which is done away_ (the law) was
glorious, much more that which remaineth." (II Cor. iii, 6-11.)

The laws of the Mosaic dispensation have, according to the same
apostle, no more claim or binding force, relative to the members of
the Christian dispensation, than a dead husband has to a living wife:
"For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband
as long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the
law of her husband; * * wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead
to the law by the body of Christ." (Rom. vii, 2-4.)

THE HISTORICAL BOOKS.

Of the remaining historical books of the Old Testament much need not
be said. The book of Joshua describes the settlement of the Israelites
in the Holy Land. In the Judges we read of repeated apostasy, its
punishment and God's mercy in delivering the penitent. The books of
Samuel show the establishment of the ancient prophetic office and also
the rejection of this divine appointment and of God as _the_ ruler, and
how God, yielding to the demands of His blinded people, allows them to
have a king. In the Books of the Kings, to which the Chronicles seem
to be a supplement, we can trace the awful consequences of the revolt
of the people against the prophetic office, until the nation, after a
short time of prosperity under David and Solomon, falls to pieces and
are carried away captives.

{354} THE POETICAL BOOKS.

The poetical books are effusions of devout hearts contemplating the
past mercies of God, His present goodness and faithfulness, and
containing more or less distinct predictions of the future events in
the Kingdom of God. The Psalms, many of which were composed by David,
were intended for the edification of the people when gathered to
their national festivities in Jerusalem. The singing of them formed,
no doubt, an important part of the service. The book of Job and the
Song of Songs are specimens of early dramatic compositions. The hero
of the book of Job was an inhabitant of Uz, in the northeast part of
the Arabian desert, and a contemporary, perhaps, of Terah, the father
of Abraham. There are some grand lessons laid down in the book. The
question is discussed whether great suffering is not an evidence of
great guilt. The friends of Job affirm this, while he himself, under
the greatest afflictions, denies it, appealing to God's righteousness
and faithfulness. The Song of Songs, the best one of the one thousand
and five which Solomon composed (I Kings iv, 32), is a description
of wedded love, one of the noblest affections which man is capable
of enjoying, and was probably composed when Solomon introduced into
his family an Egyptian princess (I Kings iii, 1; vii, 8; ix, 24) as a
plural wife. The Proverbs, and the Ecclesiastes contain many sentiments
showing both the wisdom and the vanity of the world, pointing to Him
who is the Wisdom, the Truth, and the Light of the World.

In all these books we find truths scattered as numerous and as
beautifully as the stars in a clear November evening sky; but the very
scope of each book is such that it cannot be accepted as a closed and
finished code of revelations, sufficient for all contingencies that
can ever arise in the history of the human race, any more than the
beautifully sparkling light of the stars is all that is necessary for
the illumination of the earth.

THE PROPHETICAL BOOKS.

These contain many predictions bearing directly on the last days, for
prophecy is a record of _future_ events, as history is a record of
_past_ events. But in reading ancient prophecy, one very common error
must be avoided, viz., to suppose that the prophets generally described
the events of the last days. This they evidently do not do. Their
prophecies _generally_ {355} concern such events as were immediately
future in their own time, and in which their own generation was, on
that account, mostly interested. Prophecies are often read as if they
all related to events which are still future, and which _we_ therefore
look at with anxious interest, whereas the truth is that events long
ago transpired, and which we have almost forgotten, but which once
were the great epochs of history, form the important theme of the bulk
of prophetical predictions. In some cases prophecy covers the ground
of events yet to transpire. But then, it is noticeable that the more
remote the events described are, the more vague and dim the visions
concerning them become, until we clearly perceive that, were it not for
the new additional light of continued revelations upon the last scenes
of the history of the world, we would never, from the first predictions
delivered, be able to form a clear and distinct idea of these scenes.

Notice, as an illustration of this, the first prediction of the "seed
of woman" who should crush the head of the serpent, and follow the
gradual development of this prophecy, until later prophets are able
by the Spirit of God to describe not only many minute details of the
birth, life and death of our Savior (Isaiah), but also the precise time
for his coming in the flesh (Daniel). And so it is with all predictions
given. They increase in clearness as the events draw near. They
indicate, therefore, by their very nature the necessity of continued
revelation, as the first rays of morning indicate the approach of the
coming daylight.

In reading the prophetical books, this must be kept in view.

JONAH is the most ancient of the prophets whose written records have
come down to us. He lived more than eight hundred years before Christ.
His book is a narrative of how the prophet was called on a mission to
the great city of Nineveh but in disobedience to the command of God, he
fled in an opposite direction, intending to go to Tarshish. On the way,
however, a great storm arose. Jonah, on his own suggestion, was thrown
into the sea, and by a great fish carried back to the land he had left.
After this miraculous deliverance, he goes to Nineveh and delivers his
message, which results in the repentance of the inhabitants and the
repeal of the announced judgment.

The spiritual lessons conveyed in the narrative are very important and
instructive. Yet the prediction delivered is one that chiefly concerned
the people of Nineveh for whom it was intended.

It has been observed that the prophet himself, in his {356} miraculous
deliverance from the deep, furnishes "the fullest and nearest shadow
of Christ's lying in the grave, which the scriptures afford," but
then it must also be remembered that this type would by no means have
been clear to us had not Christ himself pointed it out. It is only
through new revelation on the subject that we are enabled to see the
resemblance between the deliverance of Jonah and the resurrection of
Christ. This "fullest and nearest shadow" is therefore in itself a
proof of the necessity of continuous revelation.

JOEL was contemporary with Jonah. He lived B.C. 810-795, and addressed
himself to Judah. He first delineates an impending devastation under
the picture of successive armies of locusts, and of burning drought.

There are some differences of opinion as to the events to which these
opening visions refer. They most probably refer to the successive
subjugations of the country by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Then follows an exhortation to penitence, fasting and prayer, and
a promise of deliverance from the evils predicted. In the second
chapter, _v_. 18-31, the effusion of the Holy Spirit, previous to the
destruction of Jerusalem and subsequent calamities, "the great and
terrible day of the Lord," is clearly predicted. But here again a new
revelation, which was given through Peter (Acts ii, 16-21) was needed
to point out that the fulfilment of the prediction took place at the
day of Pentecost. The Jews were well conversant with the writings of
this prophet and held him in great reverence, but they could not see
the connection between the prophecy and its fulfilment, until pointed
out to them by an inspired servant of God. And this remark applies to
almost all prophecy.

The last clause of the last verse of the second chapter, as well as the
third chapter, refer to events yet future. The gathering of the nations
of the earth to the valley of Jehosaphat and their destruction, the
establishment of Jerusalem as the holy city and the glorious state of
the millennial kingdom are the themes treated on. But--let us repeat
the remark--when the fulfilment of these predictions comes, the world
will need inspired men to point that fulfilment out, just as the Jews
needed on the day of Pentecost. The book of Joel furnishes decisive
proof of the necessity of continuous revelation.

AMOS was another contemporary of Jonah and of Joel. He lived B.C.
810-785. His residence was Bethel, and he was sent as a messenger to
Israel. The first two chapters of his book contain predictions of the
judgments of God upon the {357} various states surrounding Judea.
"The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem,"
an indication of the anger of Jehovah against these states. The
punishment of Syria, of the Philistines, of Tyre, Edom and Ammon,
Moab, and, finally, also of Judah and Israel are foretold. The prophet
then devotes four chapters to exhorting the people to repentance,
reminds them of what God had done for them. But as he sees that his
exhortations have no effect, he sets forth in visions the approaching
destruction of the people, until the inhabitants of Bethel tried to
prohibit him from prophesying any more among them (chapter vii). The
prophet, however, continues in the name of the Lord, who had called
him to the office, to describe the near destruction of the nation. And
having done so he closes his book with a few verses (chapter ix, 11-15)
on a still future restoration, the glory of which shall be shared by
Edom and other Gentile nations, a prediction that is referred to by
Peter (Acts, xv, 17), as beginning to be fulfilled in the establishment
of the Church of Christ. And here, again, a new revelation was required
to make the precise meaning of the prediction clear.

HOSEA was a native of Israel, and lived B.C. 800-725. His ministry
lasted about sixty years, until the ten tribes were led captive by the
Assyrians, and his prophecies are almost exclusively directed against
Israel, the most prominent tribe of which was Ephraim, with the capital
of Samaria. At the time of this prophet the idolatry commenced by
Jeroboam in Dan and Bethel had continued for one hundred and fifty
years, and all classes of the people were sunk in vices of various
kinds.

The first three chapters of his book contain a symbolic representation
of the fallen people and God's statement that He had now rejected them.
In order to exemplify this, the prophet is commanded to wed a "wife of
whoredoms" and to give to the children names indicating the wrath of
God. The prophet having complied with this command is again directed to
love another adulteress "according to the love of the Lord toward the
children of Israel" (iii; 1), thus giving to the ten tribes remarkable
object lessons concerning their faithlessness towards Jehovah. The
severe denunciations in this part of the book close with promises of a
final restoration (chapter ii, 14-24; iii, 4, 5).

The following chapters reiterate more fully the subjects of the first
three. In chapters iv-x, the prophet brings up the charges against
the people: "There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in
the land. By swearing, lying, killing, {358} stealing and committing
adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." "The priests
are like the people." For these sins the judgment of destruction is
pronounced, but the book closes with a prediction of God's blessings as
the final outcome.

Whether these last promises refer to the return of some Israelites
under Ezra or whether they remain to be fulfilled is not clear from the
book itself. Paul, directed by the Spirit of revelation, applies some
of these promises to the Gentiles (Romans ix, 25, 26), an application
that could not be made except by the light of continuous revelation.

ISAIAH lived B.C. 765-698 and was, consequently, part of the time
contemporary with Hosea. He prophesied among the Jews, as Hosea
prophesied among the Israelites.

The political aspect of the world at this time is important to notice.
Judea and Israel had not long been two kingdoms, and the latter was
fast approaching her destruction. With Moab, Edom and the Philistines,
Judah had repeated conflicts, each of these tributaries striving more
or less successfully to gain independence. Assyria was now growing
in strength and extending her conquests on all sides. Egypt had been
subdued by Ethiopia and the two countries were strengthened by a
union. A struggle between Egypt and Assyria, the two rival powers of
the world, was coming, and both of these powers endeavored to secure
the alliance of Judah as well as of Israel, wherefore the injunctions
of the prophets were for the people of God to keep a strictly neutral
position without any regard to flatteries or threatenings. Babylon had
just commenced her struggle for independence, and tried to form an
alliance with Judah, for which purpose a special ambassador, Merodach
Baladan, was sent to King Hezekiah. This pious king in an unguarded
moment, entertained the messengers and displayed to them his own
treasures and the treasures of the house of the Lord, which kindness
and courtesy drew forth from the more clear seeing prophet of God the
awful announcement that the time would come when all these treasures
would be carried away into Babylon, and that even the princes of Judah
should be made base slaves in the palace of Babel (chapter xxxix).

During the time of this prophet, the kingdom of Judah was invaded by
the combined forces of Syria and Israel. This unfortunate kingdom,
Israel, had fallen through idolatry and every sin, but she filled her
cup of iniquity by combining with an idolatrous nation in war upon her
brethren. This brought the long predicted destruction, and Israel was
captured {359} by the Assyrians. The event stands out more clearly as a
judgment of God when it is remembered that the same Assyrian power was
miraculously, defeated when attempting to invade Judah.

If we keep these facts in view, the writings of Isaiah become
intelligible and clear.

The first twelve chapters of this book contain reproofs, warnings and
promises, chiefly directed to Judah and Israel. In these promises,
predictions of the coming Messiah and his work are prominent. The next
chapters (xiii-xxiii) are directed against Assyria, Babylon, Moab,
Egypt, Philistia, Syria, Edom and Tyre. In chapters xxiv-xxxv the
sins and the misery of the people are rebuked. The Assyrian invasion
is predicted and the destruction of Samaria, while the deliverance
of Jerusalem is being promised. The following four chapters are
historical, describing the invasion of Senacherib and the defeat of
his army, and also the sickness of the King Hezekiah and his recovery.
The closing chapters (xl:lxvi) are again prophetic, embracing events
from the Babylonian captivity to the establishment of the millennial
Kingdom of Christ. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, the
character, sufferings, death and glory of Messiah; the gospel call of
the Gentile world; the wickedness of the Jews in rejecting Messiah and
their consequent scattering; their final return and the prevalence of
the Kingdom of God, all these are clearly predicted, but the subjects
are often blended together, and the transition from one to another is
sometimes so rapid as to render it difficult to follow the connection.
Indeed, in order to understand fully the passages that refer to events
yet future, some divine revelation seems to be necessary. For it is
only by the aid of the spirit of prophecy that prophecies can be fully
understood.

MICAH, B.C. 758-699, was a contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, and lived
in the southern part of the kingdom of Judah. He does little more than
reiterate the predictions of the two mentioned prophets, adding such
illustrations and exhortations as were suitable to the class among whom
he labored.

One of his most remarkable predictions states that the gift of prophecy
should be withdrawn from the ten tribes for a long time. "Therefore,
night shall be sent you, that ye shall not have a vision, and it shall
be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down
over the prophets and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall
the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall
all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God" (iii: 6, 7).
{360} Here it is predicted that the people should be left in spiritual
darkness because of the cessation of prophecy, but the darkness shall
not be an everlasting one, for it is a "night" caused by the "setting
of the sun," and consequently, as day follows night, so a time will
again come when the prophetic day shall dawn upon the people. This
is clearly implied in the language used, so that the very threat to
withdraw the Spirit of prophecy implies a promise of its renewal.

NAHUM, B.C. 720-690. This prophet was contemporary with Micah and
Isaiah. He commenced his ministry at the time of the captivity of
the ten tribes. And while the Assyrian power was boasting over this
success, he is called upon to announce the fall and destruction of
their great metropolis, Nineveh. This is the theme of the whole book.
Nahum wrote his predictions in poetical form, and its sublimity of
style is unsurpassed. The twelfth and thirteenth verses of the first
chapter are a parenthetic insertion, giving to the captives in Assyria
a promise of deliverance at some future time.

INTERVAL OF FIFTY YEARS.

For a space of one hundred and fifty years the voice of prophecy had
now been heard among the people. Sometimes two or more inspired men had
been raised up at the same time, in different parts of the country. But
with the death of Isaiah, Micah, and Nahum, an interval of fifty years
comes, during which period no prophecies were delivered, as far as we
know. During this time the ten tribes toil in their captivity, and
Judah, still in possession of his inheritance in Palestine, is growing
in sin and hastening on to destruction. But as this fatal moment
approaches, God again sends inspired messengers to warn the people,
and to declare His decrees. He never overthrows nations without due
warning. He never said that further revelations were superfluous.

REVIVAL OF PROPHECY.

ZEPHANIAH, B.C. 640-609, revives the prophetic office again after
fifty years' interval. It seems that God left the people to themselves
during the reign of the wicked King Manasseh, and first whey Josiah
had ascended the throne the voice of God was again heard. This prophet
announces the approaching judgment upon Judah on account of their
idolatry and other sins. Baal, with his black-robed priests (chemarin),
and Moloch are to be cut off, men and beasts, fowls {361} and fishes
to be consumed (chapter i). In the second chapter he predicts the
overthrow of the Philistines, the Moabites, Ammonites and Ethiopians,
as well as the desolation of the great Assyrian capital, Nineveh. The
book closes with promises of a restoration yet future.

JEREMIAH, B.C. 628-585, was called to the prophetic office some years
before the death of Zephaniah. His prophecies are delivered in various
places. He commences in his native place, Anathoth, but he was soon
compelled to flee from here on account of his persecutions; wherefore
he took up his residence in Jerusalem. During the reign of Josiah and
Jehoahaz he continued his ministry uninterrupted, but when Jehojachim
ascended the throne, Jeremiah was incarcerated and sentenced to death,
although the sentence was never carried out. In prison the prophet
committed his message to writing and commissioned one Baruch to read
it in the temple on a fast-day. The reckless monarch, after having
heard a few pages, had the roll cut to pieces and burned. During the
reign of the next king, Jehojachin, the prophet again utters a voice of
warning, but without effect. Zedekiah became king. Nebuchadnezzar, the
king of Babylon, besieged Jerusalem, but withdrew on hearing that the
Egyptians were coming to rescue. On this occasion the prophet delivered
the prediction that the Chaldeans should come again and take the city
and burn it with fire. Having delivered this message he left Jerusalem,
as did, according to the Book of Mormon, at the same time another
righteous man with his family, Lehi. But Jeremiah was apprehended and
thrown into prison, where he remained until the city was taken by
Nebuchadnezzar.

The incarceration of the prophet of God was the sin that filled the cup
of iniquity of the Jews at this time, and it brought speedy judgment.

The Babylonian king gave the prophet the choice of following the
captives to Babylon or to remain with the remnant. He chose the latter;
and from this time all his endeavors are to turn the people to God,
promising them that if they would do so, God would yet build them up
in their desolate country. But they did not listen to his advice. They
left the country and emigrated to Egypt, bringing the prophet with them
(chapter xliii). Here he once more lifts up his voice, trying to induce
the people to turn to the Lord. After this we hear no more of him.
Tradition says he was put to death in Egypt by his own people.

Among the predictions of this remarkable prophet, we note the
following: The fate of Zedekiah (xxxiv, 2, 3); the {362} precise
duration of the Babylonian captivity, viz., seventy years (xxv, 11,
12); the downfall of Babylon and the return of the Jews (xxix, 10-14).
There are also many predictions concerning Messiah, whom he calls
"Jehovah our righteousness." The final salvation of Israel is set forth
in many passages: iii, 15-18; xxxi, 31-34; 1, 4, 5.

As the predictions of Jeremiah are not chronologically arranged, and no
clue is left as to their true chronological order, it is sometimes very
difficult to decide which predictions have already been fulfilled and
which refer to events yet future. Only through the Spirit of revelation
can this be determined.

HABAKKUK, B.C. 612-598, is thought to have lived in Judea shortly
before the captivity. If this supposition is correct, he was
contemporary with Jeremiah. The prophet commences his book with a
lamentation over the sins of Judah, foretelling the judgment that was
to be poured out over the people through the invasion of the Chaldeans.
Then the destruction of the Chaldeans is shown unto him in a vision
(chapter ii), and the book closes with a song, composed probably for
the use of the people in public worship, and designed to comfort them
under the coming afflictions.

DANIEL, B.C. 606-534, was born shortly before the Babylonian captivity
and carried to Babylon in his eighteenth year. Here, through his
faithfulness to his God, he soon rose to an eminent position, and
retained his power during both the Babylonian and the Persian
dynasties. He prophesied during the whole of the captivity, his last
two prophecies being delivered two years after the return of the
captives. He did not return to Palestine, but died in Babylon, at least
ninety years old.

The first six chapters are a historic record, setting forth the events
which led to the recognition of Daniel as a prophet of God, also the
conversion of Nebuchadnezzar, the fall of Belshazzar and the promotion
of Daniel to the office of a president over one hundred and twenty
princes "who should be over the whole kingdom." This historic record
is interwoven with predictions relating to the various kingdoms of the
world. Thus in the second chapter we see before us, as in a beautiful
panorama, a succession of kingdoms until the kingdom of God is being
established, "never to be destroyed," "but it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

This prediction is distinct and clear, yet the remark made repeatedly
before is applicable here: Revelation is necessary {363} in order to
understand the details of its fulfilment. That God in the last days
will establish an everlasting kingdom, is foretold plainly enough.
But "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom," so that
the prediction given does not exclude the necessity of continuous
revelation. Through revelation Daniel was enabled to predict the
establishment of this kingdom; through revelation only can we perceive
the establishment thereof and recognize its existence.

The second part of the book is prophetic and comprises in its wonderful
views events from the time of Daniel to the final resurrection of the
dead. It is an epitomized history of the world, written in advance of
the events.

In chapter vii, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman empires
are represented by the four beasts: a lion, a bear, a leopard and a
fourth beast "dreadful and terrible, and strong, exceedingly." This,
the Roman beast (or kingdom) has ten horns, among which a "little horn"
came up, having "eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things."
The prophet follows the proceedings of this beast and particularly the
little horn until "the ancient of days" sits in judgment. Note that
the whole of this vision has reference to the four empires in their
religious connection with each other, as the dream of Nebuchadnezzar
(chapter ii) represents them in their political connection. The "little
horn" is therefore to be understood to represent the papal power, which
afterward is said to have a time of twelve hundred and sixty years
allotted to its blasphemous rule, after which time comes the triumph of
the "Saints of the Most High."

In the eighth chapter the prophet has a vision concerning the
Medo-Persian and the Grecian empires, the second and the third "beasts"
of the previous vision. The Medo-Persian empire is represented by a
ram with two horns, and the Grecian by a goat having a "notable horn,"
Alexander the Great, between its eyes. The conquests of Alexander are
described, and also the divisions of his kingdom into four parts.
Then rises "a little horn" as in the previous vision, a false, crafty
tyrant, probably Antiochus Epiphanes, whose character is outlined,
and whose oppressions of the people of God causes Daniel to faint and
feel sick for many days. That this little horn represents Antiochus
Epiphanes is a view entertained by the most ancient writers, but this
does not exclude the probability that the papal power is also referred
to as the complete fulfilment of this part of the prophecy. What
Antiochus was to the Jews during the time of the Maccabees, the papal
power has been to the Church of Christ in all ages.

{364} The ninth chapter contains a prayer offered by the prophet in
behalf of himself and his people. He particularly supplicates God to
again restore the sanctuary in Jerusalem. As an answer to this prayer,
Gabriel appears and informs him of the precise time for the coming of
Messiah, "to finish the transgression, and to make an end to sin, and
to make a reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint
the most Holy:" In seven weeks, or in forty-nine years, reckoning from
the decree of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C., the walls of Jerusalem were to be
rebuilt, though in times of great trouble. In sixty-two weeks, or four
hundred and thirty-four years, Christ was to appear, and in the midst
of one week, that is after three years and a half, to be slain.

In the tenth chapter we are allowed to cast a glance behind the veil,
and contemplate the wonderful fact that heavenly messengers are
employed to convey intelligence to holy men, and that they, while so
doing, have to overcome opposing powers, much as mortal men have in
the performance of their duties. A divine messenger has been sent to
instruct Daniel concerning some records in "the Scripture of Truth," a
heavenly record, but this messenger is met and opposed by "the prince
of the kingdom of Persia," whereupon a struggle that lasts for twenty
days follows. The victory would apparently have been dubious had not
Michael himself come to the assistance of the messenger.

In the eleventh chapter, the things noted in "the Scripture of Truth"
are detailed. These things commence with the history of Persia. Four
kings are foretold: Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius and Xerxes (_v_. 2).
Then follows a prediction of Alexander the Great, his history and his
successors in "the South" (Egypt) and the North (Syria) down to the
time of Antiochus Epiphanes (_v_. 3-29). Then follows the conquest of
Syria by the Romans "Chittim," (_v_. 30), with the rise of the papal
power (_v_. 31-89). The character of this power and many of its corrupt
doctrines are here predicted with minuteness. Then come the invasions
of the Saracens (the king of the South) and of the Turks (the king of
the North). The countries to be conquered by the Turks are enumerated
(_v_. 41-43), as are also those that were to escape. The chapter closes
with a prediction concerning the end of the Turkish empire, yet to be
fulfilled: "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the
seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and
none shall help him."

The first verse of the twelfth chapter predicts the full deliverance
{365} of the Jewish nation through the interposition of "the great
prince," Michael, an event to be looked for after the fall of "the king
of the North," or the Turkish empire, and the next verses refer to
the resurrection of mankind. The book closes with some chronological
statements, unintelligible even to the prophet, himself (_v_. 8),
but the promise is given that at the end of time many shall receive
knowledge concerning these predictions (_v_. 4), a promise which
evidently implies renewed revelations. For how could these things in
the last days be known without such revelation, any more than Daniel
could know them without revelation?

One thing is noticeable all through this prophetic record. Each new
vision requires a new revelation from God. Daniel is constantly
seeking knowledge from God concerning the right understanding of the
visions given, and it is only through this means that he receives
his knowledge. Continuous revelation was necessary to this the most
remarkable prophet of the ancient world. So it is to us, if we want to
understand the plans and purposes of the Almighty. Where there is no
revelation spiritual darkness prevails, notwithstanding the plainest
writings of God. A Belshazzar and the whole collegium of learned
priests may see on the wall the "Mene, mene, thekel, upharsin," but
a Daniel, a man in constant communication with God, is required to
interpret it according to its right meaning.

EZEKIEL, B.C. 595-574, was carried captive to Babylon at the first
invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, eleven years before the destruction of
Jerusalem. He was contemporary with Jeremiah and Daniel, but lived some
two hundred miles north of Babylon on the banks of the river Chebar.
Tradition has it that he was put to death by a fellow-exile whom he had
rebuked for idolatry.

The predictions of this prophet were delivered, some before and some
after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Before this event
he calls upon the people to repent and warns them against seeking aid
of the Egyptians. He assures them that the fall of their beloved city
was now unavoidable. When the Chaldean king commenced his siege of the
city, God revealed this to the prophet in his exile: "Son of man," God
says to him, "write thee the name of the day, even of this day: the
king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day" (xxiv,
2). This was in the ninth year of his captivity. Three years later he
received the intelligence that the city had fallen (xxxiii, 21). During
this period all the predictions of the prophet are directed against
{366} foreign nations. After he had heard of the fall of Jerusalem,
his principal object in view is to comfort the people with promises of
restoration and future blessings.

The closing chapters (xl-xlviii) of the book of Ezekiel undoubtedly
refer to events yet future. The descriptions of the glorious building
there given will no doubt once be recognized in a structure hereafter
to be reared by the people of God. But as yet, like all unfulfilled
predictions, much of it is obscure and cannot be understood until the
light of revelation removes all obscurity therefrom.

OBADIAH, B.C. 588-583, is supposed to have prophesied during the period
between the fall of Jerusalem and the conquest of Edom, five years
later. On this supposition, he was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel
and Daniel.

His predictions are directed against the Edomites. And he especially
points out that there was a great difference between the judgments
executed upon Judah and upon Edom. For Judah should again be raised
from her present fall and finally possess not only Judea, but also the
land of the Philistines and that of the Edomites, while Edom should be
"as though they had not been" (_v_. 16), a prediction that has been
remarkably fulfilled to our own day. And while Edom is thus utterly
swallowed up, "saviors shall come upon Mount Zion to judge the Mount of
Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's" (_v._ 21).

Three nations were foremost in afflicting the ancient people of God,
viz.: the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, and the Edomites. Three prophets
were commissioned by the Lord to announce the judgment upon these three
nations: "Nahum foretells the destruction of the Assyrians, Habakkuk of
the Chaldeans, and Obadiah of the Edomites."

THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.

As had been foretold by the prophets, and particularly by Isaiah, the
exiled Jews were permitted to return home during the reign of Cyrus.
As soon as they reached the Holy Land, we find them uniting their
efforts to re-establish the religious rites of their fathers, aided by
the noble leaders, Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah. They erect
an altar of burnt offering and rebuild the destroyed temple. Then the
city wall is built, and various officers appointed as circumstances
required. For further particulars the reader is referred to the books
of Ezra and Nehemiah.

It may be well to state here--although the remark may, to {367}
some extent, deviate from the subject under consideration--that the
restoration of the Jewish nation at this time was very far from being
that complete restoration to more than former privileges, liberty and
glory, of which all the prophets had spoken in such glorious terms. The
promise was that the whole remnant should be delivered, even if they
were as numerous as the sand on the sea shore. But from Babylon only
comparatively few ever returned. The company of Zernbbabel consisted of
fifty thousand persons, and Ezra led six thousand more home. The great
bulk of people that had been born in the foreign land never returned.
(See Book of Esther).

Again, the promise was that a kingdom should be established, with
the Holy City as the capital, an everlasting kingdom governed by God
himself through Messiah. This promise has never yet been fulfilled. In
fact, the Jews have never since their overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar been
an independent nation, governed by rulers of their own, except during
the very short rule of the Maccabees. After their return they continued
to be tributary to the Persian king for about one hundred years,
as a province of Syria. When Alexander had conquered Persia (Syria
and Palestine with it), they fell into his hands. When the Grecian
empire was divided, Palestine fell into the hands of Ptolemy Lagus
as a part of the Egyptian monarchy, and it remained so for about one
hundred years, when it was transferred to the kings of Syria, in which
situation it greatly suffered during the frequent wars between Egypt
and Syria. Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the Syrian kings, plundered the
city and the temple and enslaved the people. For about three years and
a half they were reduced to worse than Egyptian thraldom. Their sacred
manuscripts were burnt, and the people were compelled to sacrifice to
idols. The temple itself was dedicated to Jupiter, a statue of which
was erected on the altar of God. Compare Daniel's prediction of "the
little horn" (chapter viii, 9-12). Through the noble enthusiasm and
patriotism of Mattathias and his sons, a struggle against the oppressor
now took place which secured to the Jews a few years of dearly bought
liberty and independence, but they were soon conquered by the Romans.
Pompey marched his army into Judea, conquered Jerusalem and made the
country tributary to Rome. Herod the Great deposed the last of the
Maccabean family from his office, and Palestine has never since been an
independent state. Ever since the Babylonian captivity the great bulk
of the Jewish nation has been scattered abroad, without home, without
temple, {368} without an altar, and strangers have been masters in the
land of promise. It is therefore clear that all the prophecies that
relate to the glorious restoration of the Jews must be understood of
a great restoration yet future, a very important fact for the right
understanding of those prophecies.

THE LAST PROPHETS OF THE OLD COVENANT.

But to return to our subject. It has been already stated that the
first care of the returned exiles was to re-establish their religion.
To do this, they were under the necessity of having new revelations.
True, they had the writings of Moses and of the prophets, and they had
inspired interpreters, like Ezra and Nehemiah. True, their aim was not
to construct a new economy, but simply to re-establish the old one. And
yet even this they could not do acceptably to God without the aid of
revelation. Hence God raised up three prophets--Haggai, Zechariah and
Malachi, the last three of the old covenant. What an overwhelming proof
of the necessity of continuous revelation!

HAGGAI, B.C. 520-518, is thought to have been born in Babylon, and to
have emigrated with Zerubbabel.

His book contains four prophetic messages. In the first the people are
reproved for neglecting to build the temple, while they were adorning
their own houses, and a command is given to begin the construction
immediately (chapter i, 1-11), to which command the people, led by
Zerubbabel and Joshua, willingly responded (i, 12-15). But in a month
the zeal of the people seems to have cooled off and the second message
is delivered, declaring that the Spirit of God was still with the
people. "A little while," God says, "and I will shake the heavens,
and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land" (which according to
Paul, Hebrews xii, 22-28, was fulfilled when the old dispensation was
superseded by the gospel dispensation), "and the desire of all nations
(Messiah) shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith
the Lord of Hosts," (chapter ii, 1-9), which "glory" is thought to
refer to the presence of Christ in this second temple instead of the
Shekinah that had illuminated the first temple. In the third message,
delivered two months afterwards, the people are being rebuked for
polluting themselves while working in the holy building and offering
sacrifices. God reminds them that He had blessed them abundantly, from
the time they had laid the corner-stone of the temple (chapter ii,
10-19). The fourth message is delivered the same day. It contains a
general prediction {369} of the overthrow of the kingdoms of the world
and the promise of a special blessing to Zerubbabel at that time. It
is clear enough that the right interpretation of this promise can be
comprehended by no man, until divine revelation shall make it known.

ZECHARIAH was, like Haggai, born in Babylonia and went to Palestine
with Zerubbabel. The general object of his ministry is identical with
that of Haggai, and through the encouragement and wise counsels of
these prophets the people prospered, and the temple was completed in
six years. But besides this general object, Zachariah describes through
direct predictions and symbolic acts, the history of the Jews until
the end of time. Daniel deals with the history of the world; Zechariah
with the history of the covenant people. Among the predictions of this
prophet we will here notice some of the last. According to the ninth
chapter, the surrounding heathen nations are to be destroyed. Messiah
shall come as a king (_v_. 9) and establish His reign upon the earth.
"His dominion shall be from sea even to sea and from the rivers to the
ends of the earth" (verse 10). Scenes of destruction are to intervene,
however, but the Lord will deliver His people, both Judah and Ephraim
(chapter x, 1-12). "I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will
save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them;
and they shall be as though I had not cast them off; for I am the Lord
their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a
mighty man," a glorious prediction of the restorative work, commenced
in our own day by God, through His servant Joseph, the prophet. We are
further told that Jerusalem shall be besieged by many nations and the
result thereof (chapter xii, 1-14); Christ shall finally appear and all
the world will become "Holiness to the Lord" (chapter xiv).

Thus prophecy, so far from leading us to expect that revelation finally
will cease, being superfluous, expressly states that Christ Himself in
person will appear and communicate His will to men. "Why?" it may be
asked; and the answer is clear: "Because revelation is essential to
true religion."

MALACHI, B.C. 420-397, was the successor of Haggai and the last prophet
of the old covenant. The temple had now been finished and the service
of the altar established. But a spirit of worldliness and insincerity
is getting hold of both the priesthood and the people, and this prophet
is especially commissioned to warn them against their sins.

But his warnings are not heeded. The people prepare themselves for
calamities. The Spirit of prophecy is withdrawn {370} for a period of
four hundred years. The temple and the people are given into the hands
of Antiochus Epiphanes. The old dispensation is virtually closed.

CONCLUSION FROM THE FOREGOING.

The conclusions arrived at now are clear and need only to be briefly
stated. We have seen that no book of the Old Testament, although all
are written and preserved for the instruction of the human race in all
ages, contains anything that is of such a nature as to exclude further
revelation. Not one single passage, nor all the passages combined, are
so written as to exclude the necessity of the revelations contained
in the New Testament, for instance. On the contrary, one revelation
leads to another, God always giving "line upon line, precept upon
precept," imparting knowledge as men are willing and able to receive
it. For it is through revelation that God educates His servants and
His people; and as in any branch of study we are led on from the
fundamental principles and find that each new truth suggests others, so
here, each new truth revealed leads us to others, until--were such a
case possible--we have been permitted to exhaust the entire fulness of
divine knowledge.

We have also seen that the servants of God in the old covenant declare
the continuation of revelation. They do not consider the prophetic
gift or the gift of receiving revelations as peculiar to their own
dispensation. They point to "the last days" as a time in which the
Spirit of the Lord is to be poured out more abundantly than in any
former period. And His presence is to be manifested through "dreams
and visions." The withdrawal of these they designate as a calamity.
They speak of the time in which such heavenly gifts are withdrawn,
as "night" and "darkness" while consequently, the presence of them
indicate day and light. Now, are day and light necessary for the
physical welfare of man? If so, revelations are also necessary for his
spiritual advancement.

We have further seen that the establishment of new economies requires
new revelations. Moses was familiar with the revelations given to the
patriarchs before him. But when he was called upon to usher in the
dispensation of the law, he could not do this without new revelations.
Nor could Zerubbabel re-establish this dispensation after the return
from Babylon without the aid of revelation. Through the revelations
given to the Prophet Haggai the people "prospered" and were able to
complete their work as commanded by the Lord (Ezra vi, 14). {371}
Without this, they would not have been able to prosper.

Sometimes we see that revelations are given to faithful servants of
God as a special favor to them. In such cases, what is seen or heard
must not be recorded--as was the case with some visions of Paul in the
New Testament--or, if recorded, is sealed up in mystical expressions,
unintelligible to the common reader, until the Spirit of revelation
gives the true interpretation thereof. This was the case with some of
Daniel's visions, and with at least one of the visions of John (Rev. x,
4, 5).

Are revelations, then, given in order to establish new economies, to
preserve the children of God from falling into darkness, to instruct
them about things known to God alone, in one word to lead men unto
salvation? Surely, there never can be a time when revelation is not
necessary.

THE NEW TESTAMENT.

But it will be said, no one (except the Jews perhaps) contend that the
Old Testament alone contains all that is necessary to know. The New
Testament is a supplement to the Old Testament, and the two together
contain the fulness of God's revelations. The prophecies of the Old
Testament are fulfilled in the New, and to the volume thus completed
nothing must be added.

Is there anything in the New Testament to verify this statement so
universally accepted as true among the "Christian" Protestantic world?
Or does the New Testament confirm the conclusions we have arrived at in
the perusal of the Old?

The New Testament contains five historic books, viz.: the four Gospels
and the Acts of the Apostles; fourteen letters written by Paul; three
by John, and two by Peter, one letter by James, and one by Jude, to
which collection comes one prophetic book by John.

THE FOUR GOSPELS.

The four Gospels are brief, biographical sketches, records of a few of
the works and teachings of our Lord.

It may be supposed that those disciples of Christ that were able to
write, like Matthew and John, would keep journals while they followed
their master, witnessing his works and listening to his teachings.
These journals would, after the {372} crucifixion and ascension,
naturally be read in private and in public. They would be copied and
distributed in the various branches of the church and form texts for
discourses, and thus be augmented with such incidents or sayings
which were still retained in the memories of those who had been eye
witnesses. In this way several versions of the doings and sayings of
our Lord began to circulate, some, no doubt, contradicting others,
until the necessity became universally felt to have some authentic
record, showing exactly what was reliable of the many circulating
reports, and what was not reliable. And the result is the four gospels
according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

At what precise time these gospels were completed in their present form
is a question not yet settled between the various critics. That they,
in their present form, were issued by the apostles, whose names they
bear, seems irreconcilable with some facts. There are, for instance,
words and phrases found, which could hardly have had any significance
until some time after the time of the apostles. The word "kephas"
(John i, 43) does not occur in classical Hebrew, but is used by later
Talmudistic writers signifying something hard, a rock. "Petra" (Matt.
xvi, 18) meaning a "rock," has a strong Latin color, while the Hebrew
for "rock" is "zur." And the expression "to take up the cross," or "to
bear the cross," is all the more remarkable, as in the Hebrew there was
at that time no word equivalent to "cross," which is of Latin origin.
Even later Jewish writers found it difficult to adequately express
the idea of a cross, and hence used the word _zelem_, which, however,
signifies an image, and the translations of the New Testament, both
into Hebrew and Arabic, have found no better way out of the difficulty
than to adopt the Chaldaic _zeliba_, gallows. Of this a modern form,
_zelab_, is made to represent the idea "cross." From these and many
other circumstances, we seem justified in the conclusion that the four
gospels have been subjected to foreign influences, which have modified
their form in various ways. But that they are based upon and contain
the "memoirs" of our Lord, as published by the apostles, by mouth and
pen, need not be doubted. The testimony of antiquity is conclusive on
this point.

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW.

According to general tradition in the early church, the annotations
of Matthew were written in the vernacular tongue of Palestine,
Syro-Chaldaic, a tradition very probable indeed. {373} But as Greek at
this time was the literary language, the original was soon translated
into this tongue, under the supervision of Matthew himself, about
thirty years after the crucifixion. It may be safely assumed that our
"Gospel According to St. Matthew" is in the main identical with this
original document of the Apostle.

The aim of this gospel is dearly to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the
promised Messiah. It frequently refers to the prophets, refutes the
various Jewish sects, and tries to prepare the Jewish nation for the
acceptance of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God.

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK.

While Matthew was penning his gospel for the Jews, Mark was preparing
his, chiefly for the converts among the Gentiles. This Mark was not
an apostle and had not been an eye-witness to the life and deeds of
our Lord. But he was a native of Jerusalem and an intimate friend of
the apostles. He accompanied Paul on some of his journeys and attended
Peter for a considerable period, and during this time he no doubt wrote
the gospel that bears his name, according to the dictates of Peter.
Some have called this the "Gospel According to St. Peter," and Peter
himself, in his second epistle, refers, perhaps, to this gospel when he
says: "We make known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ."

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.

The gospel according to Luke was written in Rome by Luke, the
physician, one of Paul's most faithful companions and friends. The
author states that many had undertaken to collect the facts preached
concerning Christ and believed among the Christians, according to
the traditions handed down from eye-witnesses, and consequently, in
order to secure a collection that would be reliable, he himself had
diligently searched out everything that at the time of the writing was
available. These data, the result of diligent research, Luke endeavors
to put before the readers in chronological order, while the two
previous evangelists pay but little attention to chronology. The gospel
was written under the supervision of Paul.

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN.

The latest of the gospels is that of John. It is said to have been
written at Ephesus, where John resided, presiding over {374} the
branches originated by Paul. John, having before him copies of the
three previous gospels, naturally omits many data there recorded,
introducing others which he had preserved from oblivion. The chief aim
of John is to set forth the divine nature of our Lord. The previous
evangelists dwell mostly on the works of our Savior in Galilee. John
omits most of that, recording his works in Judea.

Let it be remembered that this book is the last written of all the
books of the Bible, about ninety-seven years after Christ, and that its
aim is to correct the errors of doctrine, then becoming common among
the churches, concerning the true character of Christ.

TESTIMONY OF THE GOSPELS.

We may now ask: When these books were written, were they intended to
contain all that would ever be necessary for men to know concerning
God's plans and purposes, thus making all further revelation
superfluous? What do the gospels teach concerning this question?

The first pages of the gospel confirm the lesson we have drawn from
the Old Testament, that revelation is necessary for the establishment
of a new dispensation. For the gospel dispensation is ushered in and
established through revelation. Zacharias is visited by an angel (Luke
i, 11-20). Gabriel appears to Mary (Luke i, 26-38). John the Baptist is
commissioned by God to preach and baptize (John i, 6, 33). That Jesus
was Messiah is manifest to John through revelation. The Spirit descends
and a voice from heaven is heard (John i, 32, 34; Matt. iii, 16, 17).
And this point is particularly noteworthy. All the ancient prophets had
predicted the coming of the Messiah. Some of them had given details
about where He would be born, His parentage, and the precise time
of His coming, and yet it was necessary, when He came, to give new
revelations, pointing Him out to the most devout servant of God then
living. Previous revelations are here clearly seen _not_ to render new
revelations useless. And as the gospels thus begin with revelations, so
they close with declarations that revelation should continue. For in
His farewell address to His disciples, Christ says: "I have yet many
things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he,
the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he
shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall
he speak: _and he will show you things to come"_ (John xvi, 12, 13).
Christ here expressly states that {375} His ministry did not complete
God's revelations. There were _many_ other things to learn than those
which he had communicated, and among these were also "things to come,"
all of which the Spirit should communicate to the Twelve. Revelation,
then, was not to be done away with at the departure of our Lord. The
last verse of the fourth gospel, the last verse ever written in our New
Testament states, moreover, that the things recorded in the gospels are
only a small fragment of all that could be written concerning the works
of Christ. These works and the lessons to be conveyed were no doubt
necessary, and yet we have no record of them. The gospels, therefore,
openly admit that they are not intended to be a complete record of all
that is necessary for man to know. They claim to be written for the
purpose of directing men's hearts to Jesus (John xx, 31), and point out
His promise to continue the revelation of truth through the Spirit.
This is the important testimony of the gospels. All the works and the
teachings of Christ were not enough for the guidance of the first
Christians. They needed and were promised further revelation. To us
has come a record not of all of Christ's teachings, but only of a very
few, merely a fragment. If all the teachings of Christ given during His
ministry upon the earth were not sufficient for the guidance of the
apostles, how much less can the gospels, which contain only a small
part of these teachings, be sufficient for other men? The thought is as
irrational as it is without foundation in the Word of God.

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

The only question now remains: Do the Acts of the Apostles and their
Epistles supply us with all the teachings that the Spirit of Truth,
according to our Savior's promise, was to reveal to the Apostles, and
which were necessary for their guidance? If not, continuous revelation
will be just as necessary after the New Testament dispensation as it
was after the Mosaic economy.

The book called the Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke, and may
be considered as a continuation of his Gospel. In this book we can
trace the growth of Christian churches during the greater part of the
first century after Christ. It covers the period from the time of the
crucifixion to the second year of the first imprisonment of Paul in
Rome, A. D. 63, and there it breaks off even without recording the
issue of the trial. The book may be divided in two parts. The first
twelve chapters describe the growth of the Church of Christ {376} among
the Jews in Palestine, chiefly through the labors of Peter. The last
sixteen chapters treat of the spread of the Gospel among other nations,
chiefly through the labors of Paul. Of the works of the rest of the
Apostles we have no account.

Tradition has it, that Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia; Philip
in Phrygia; Thomas in India, and so on. But of their work for the
promulgating the gospel in the different parts of the world we have
no record. What they taught, what difficulties they encountered, how
they preached, suffered and endured may be conjectured. But it has not
reached us in any historic record.

Nor is the Acts of the Apostles a complete record of the works of
the two servants of God, whose ardent labors are noticed. It is as
fragmentary as are the gospels. Many important transactions, referred
to elsewhere, are omitted. There is no account whatever of the branch
in Jerusalem after the imprisonment and deliverance of Peter. Nothing
is told of the introduction of the Gospel in Rome, the capital of the
world at that time. Nor does it say anything of Paul's many voyages,
which he incidentally mentions (II Cor. xi, 25).

Considering all this, it seems as if the Spirit of Truth had been
anxious to guard against the impression that this book was intended to
conclude God's revelations to mankind.

Let us consider the facts. Christ had promised to send the Spirit of
Truth to His chosen Twelve. What this Spirit was to reveal was, of
course, as essential and necessary to salvation as anything that our
Savior had revealed Himself. But of all this that the Spirit, according
to the promise, has revealed to the Twelve, only a small part has been
recorded. How can this small part be sufficient to us, since it was not
sufficient to the first Christians?

But, besides this, the book of the Acts shows plainly the necessity of
continuous revelation; for wherever the gospel is being accepted, the
gift of receiving revelation is being imparted through faith. Peter, in
his first sermon, declares that the time has now come when the Spirit
shall be poured out upon all flesh. Prophecy, visions, dreams were to
attend the believers (Acts ii, 17, 18); and, accordingly, whenever
the gospel is preached and believed, these manifestations follow. The
heavens are opened to Stephen, and he is permitted to see the Son of
God on the right hand of the Father (Acts vi, 55, 56); an angel of the
Lord appears and directs Philip (Acts viii, 26); Christ appears to
Saul (Acts ix, 3-6); through the vision of an angel Cornelius is led
to send for Peter, and {377} he receives supernatural gifts (Acts x,
148); an angel delivers Peter from prison (Acts xii, 7, 8); the Holy
Ghost reveals to the brethren in Antioch that they should send Paul
and Barnabas on a mission (Acts xiii, 1-4); through the Spirit the
apostles and elders are able to settle the dispute about the doctrine
of circumcision (Acts xv, 1-31); twelve men in Ephesus receive the Holy
Ghost through the administration of Paul, and prophesy and speak in
tongues (Acts xix, 1-7). Wherever the gospel message is delivered and
believed, in Palestine, in Greece, in Asia Minor, the results are the
same. The Holy Ghost is given, and His presence is manifested through
these gifts.

The Acts of the Apostles has taught us this important lesson--that the
gift of receiving revelations was not confined to the Twelve nor was
the gift to cease with them. The gift itself was inseparable from the
gospel. Where there is no gospel there are no revelations, but where
the true gospel of Jesus Christ is, there is revelation also. The
promise of receiving the Holy Ghost, the promised Spirit of truth that
was to lead into all truth and to reveal things to come, is a universal
promise: "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all
that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts
ii, 39).

THE EPISTLES.

The epistles of the apostles confirm most emphatically the necessity
of constant revelations from God. The apostolic churches could not
do without such revelations. Hence the necessity of the churches
communicating with the apostles and the apostles writing their
epistles, embodying the will of God.

For instance, an error arises, as was the case in Colossae. Paul
was at the time in Rome, but the church in Colossae sent a special
messenger to Paul, viz.: Epaphras, who explained the situation to the
apostle and caused the letter to the Colossians to be written as a
refutation of that peculiar error. The Scriptures were not sufficient
for the guidance of the Colossians. The new emergency required a new
communication from God, a new revelation, and God gave it through Paul,
his servant.

So with all the epistles. Each has a particular object. None is a
treatise on theology, putting forth all that is necessary to know for
all ages and all men. There is not one written for that purpose.

The first epistles of Paul, I and II Thessalonians, 52 and {378} 53 A.
D., express the joy and satisfaction of the apostle on account of the
manner in which the people of Thessalonica had received the gospel.
He cautions them against the sins prevalent in that great city, and
comforts those who mourned over the loss of dear relatives. The "dead
in the Lord" will be resurrected at the coming of the Lord, and this
event is more fully explained, in accordance with the prophecy of
Daniel concerning the "little horn" (Dan. viii).

The next epistle, that to the Galatians, A. D. 53 or 57, is a warning
to the churches in that district not to mix up the rites of the Mosaic
law with the ordinances of the gospel, as the two were so different
from each other as Ishmael and Isaac, Sinai and Zion. And to give this
admonition force, the writer proves that his knowledge of Christian
truth was derived not from human teaching, but from God through
immediate revelation, wherefore the apostles of the Lord had recognized
him as their equal (chap. i, 2).

The epistles to the Corinthians were written A. D. 57 in reply to a
letter received by Paul from the branch in Corinth, requesting his
advice on certain points (ch. vii, 1); also to correct some errors
of which he had heard by report (i, 11; v, 1; xi, 18). The state of
the branch was, however, such that the Apostle deemed it necessary to
send Timothy there also, thus imparting both by letter and by verbal
preaching communications from God. Mark how special emergencies require
special revelations!

The epistle to the Romans (A. D. 58) is the most systematic of all
the writings of Paul, and one that by Protestants is considered the
basis of gospel theology. The scope of this epistle is to reconcile
the Jews and the Gentiles in the church of Christ, by placing all on
one level in the sight of God. "All have sinned; all must be saved by
the same means." This is the whole epistle in one sentence. Now, it
is instructive to notice how the apostle in this important letter to
the Romans illustrates the question under consideration. In the very
first chapter he says he is constantly praying that God may give him an
opportunity of visiting Rome, not indeed as a tourist and sightseer,
but "that I might impart unto you some spiritual gift" (ch. i, 11).
What "spiritual gifts" are, we learn in I Cor. xii, viz.: "Word of
wisdom," or "knowledge," "faith," "healing," "miracles," "prophecy,"
etc. So that it was not enough, according to Paul, for the Christians
in Rome to have all the sacred Scriptures, including this letter, but
they needed something more. They needed "spiritual gifts" continued
among them. It has been reserved for later {379} "Christians" to
discover that Paul was wrong, and that "spiritual gifts" were of no
account as long as the Scriptures were to be had at a cheap price.

To have the Spirit of God is, further, put forth as the necessary
condition of a "child" of God. "If Christ be in you the body is dead
because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." "As
many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." "The
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children
of God" (chap. viii). Such is the importance given to the possession
of the Spirit of God. But we have already seen that the very office of
the Spirit is to "lead into all truth, and to reveal things to come."
He who has the Spirit has, therefore, the Spirit of revelation, and
the apostle contends that man without the Spirit of revelation is a
stranger and an enemy to God (chap. viii, 5-9). The apostle further
states that at the time when the fulness of the Gentiles has been
gathered in, direct communication from God will still continue. "For
there shall come out of Zion the deliverer and turn away ungodliness
from Jacob" (chap. xi, 26). How could this be possible if all
communication with God had ceased with the close of the New Testament?
But they have not ceased, "for the gifts and calling of God are without
repentance" (chap. xi, 29).

This may suffice to show that the great Apostle of the Gentiles never
meant his letter to the Romans nor any other letter to close the
channels of revelation.

Let us remind ourselves of one more fact. The writers of the New
Testament themselves state that they had not _written_ all that was
necessary for instruction. In writing to the Corinthians about the
partaking of the Lord's supper Paul gives some general directions, but
concludes by saying: "The rest will I set in order when I come" (I Cor.
xi, 34). Now, what instructions or arrangements are here left out? We
do not know. But we see that the written word was not meant to convey
all that was necessary to know. The same expression we find in the
second letter of John. "Having many things to write unto you, I would
not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak
face to face" (II John, 12). See also (III John, 13). Who can then say
that we in the books of the Bible have all that written which God ever
intended to convey to mankind, and that revelation has ceased? The idea
is in direct contrast to the word of the apostles.

It is instructive to notice how theologians have been compelled {380}
to turn their own reasons upside down, and to stretch the various
passages of Scripture on their learned racks in order to make them
fit for all occasions. Luther's explanation of our Lord's prayer is
a curious instance. "Daily bread" means, according to that noted
reformer, not only what you eat and drink, but "bread" means also a
house and a wife, obedient children, good neighbors and "other such
things." Whether in "daily bread" was included the beer-keg that Luther
received among his wedding presents, the reformer does not state, but
in the "other such things" is room for a considerable quantity of
"bread." Of course, that kind of exegesis fills everything into the
Bible. By it anything can be got of anything or of nothing, but God
never put it there. Man did it, and, by so doing, proved himself to be
on the wrong track, to say the least.

In order to gain a sound understanding of the word of God, the various
books must be read as Mr. Locke says the Epistles ought to be read.
He requires you to read through one epistle at a sitting, and observe
its drift and aim. "If," says he, "the first reading gave some light,
the second gave me more; and so I persisted on reading constantly the
whole epistle over at once, till I came to have a general view of the
writer's purpose, the chief branches of his discourse, the arguments
he used, and the disposition of the whole. This, I confess, is not to
be obtained by one or two hasty readings; it must be repeated again
and again, with a close attention to the tenor of the discourse, and
a perfect neglect of the divisions into chapters and verses." If this
plan be adopted, and the books of the Bible be read with a humble,
prayerful heart, a heart in unison with the authors that wrote, the
true meaning of the word will be grasped.

And the clearer this true meaning becomes, the more it will appear
that nothing short of continued communication with God can satisfy the
heart. For it is the very purpose of the written word of God to lead
men to seek this communication with God, to guide, in other words, the
straying child to its loving father.

PROPHECIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

Without entering into a more minute examination of the remaining
epistles, we will proceed to consider some of the prophecies of the
Gospel dispensation.

Prominent among these prophecies are those which predict the
establishment of a new dispensation in the last days. {381} Our Savior
calls it "the regeneration," and says that in that dispensation "the
Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory," and the Twelve "shall
sit upon twelve thrones" (Matt. xix, 28).

Peter says that Christ is to be in heaven until this new dispensation,
"the times of the restitution of all things" comes (Acts iii, 21).

Jude quotes a prophecy delivered by Enoch about this dispensation:
"Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his Saints to execute
judgment upon all." (Jude 14, 15).

Paul (II Thess. ii.) is very clear and minute concerning the events
that had to transpire between his own time and the dispensation of the
last days. (1) A "falling away"--a general apostacy was to take place
first, and (2) "that man of sin, the son of perdition, be revealed."
It is further pointed out that the power of apostacy was already, at
the time of the writing of Paul, secretly at work, only there was
something that hindered this power from appearing openly. But as soon
as this obstacle (the Roman imperial power) had been removed, the "man
of sin," i.e., the embodiment of the spirit of apostacy, would boldly
appear, and, this "man of sin" would hold his sway over the world until
destroyed by the "brightness of the coming" of the Lord (_v_. 8). And
this apostate power is further described as one opposing and exalting
himself above every other authority, or "god," both on earth and in
heaven. He is "lawless" and "sitteth in the temple," that is, he is
a "Christian" not an infidel power; his coming is the work of Satan,
and is accompanied by "powers, signs and lying wonders," deceiving all
that would not believe the truth. Among the doctrines that should be
advanced by this apostate power is noted particularly as a departure
from the faith, "doctrines of devils," also a prohibition of marriage,
which was a revival of heathenism (see I Timothy, iv, 1-5), all of
which was fulfilled to the letter in the evolution from Christianism to
Romanism. Nothing can be clearer, from these prophecies of Paul than
this: Shortly after his own time, a period of apostacy would follow,
during which all kinds of lies were to be promulgated in the name of
God. But this period of apostacy would again be followed by a new
dispensation of truth and light, the coming of the Son of God in glory.

John was the last of the apostles. He lived to see the spirit of
apostacy still more developed than did Paul. In speaking of it he says
that "many anti-Christs" had already come (I John ii, 18, 19; iv, 3).
To him it was given to see, in {382} his apocalyptic visions, the
calamities that crushed the Roman empire, thus making way for the "man
of sin," or the "little horn" of Daniel or the anti-Christ, namely the
great church of the world with her pontifical "image" in Rome. He was
permitted to see the subjugation and flight to the wilderness of the
Church of Christ and the subsequent darkness that followed. But he
also, like the former seers and prophets of the Lord, was permitted
to behold in the future the first rays of the new dispensation, the
millennial kingdom, to be established, never to be overthrown.

Let us pause for one moment and reflect. If the word of God is sure,
this fact is surely established, that the reign of anti-Christ shall
be followed by a new, glorious dispensation, the millennial reign of
the Son of God. There is scarcely an event in the Scriptures more
frequently predicted than this. All the previous dispensations of God
are only preparations for this the last and most glorious of all, at
the commencement of which the hosts of heaven join the Saints below in
shouting, "Hosannah! Hosannah! Hosannah! The kingdoms of this world are
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and he shall reign
for ever and ever" (Rev. xi, 15).

But it has before been proved that God never established a new
dispensation without renewing revelations. During the Adamic
dispensation, which continued while man was yet without sin, God
revealed himself. So also during the patriarchal dispensation. God
taught man how to offer sacrifices and to conduct worship. The
Mosaic dispensation was established through revelation continued
through centuries until four hundred years before Christ. The New
Testament dispensation or Gospel dispensation was wonderfully rich in
revelations, until the Priesthood was taken away "unto God" (Rev. vii,
5); and now, can we believe that revelation then and there ceased?
Shall the last dispensation, the most glorious of all, the millennial
reign of Christ, be established without revelation, only through the
wisdom of man, which, by the way, is foolishness to God? No! Such a
view is madness. It may be sound, worldly theology. But it is not the
word of God. All the prophecies that have been fulfilled so far, have
in that fulfillment been accompanied by divine revelation.

Those prophecies that remain to be fulfilled will as surely be
accompanied by revelations. When Christ first came, His coming was
heralded by angels, and by the Spirit of God operating on men; His
ministry was followed by revelations {383} on the mount, in Gethsemane,
and the Spirit was poured out upon His followers. And yet, at His first
coming, He appeared in humility, despised by men in general. What
will not His second coming, judging from this, bring with it? Surely
revelations _cannot_ cease as long as God has promised to send His Son
in glory to visit this earth and its inhabitants. Preparations _on_ the
earth are necessary for such an event, preparations that no man can
make without the aid of divine revelations.

During the ages past God has tried the human race in every respect. The
patriarchal dispensation ended in a corruption which even the deluge
could not check. The Mosaic dispensation ended in the rejection and the
dispersion of the covenant people. The Gospel dispensation ended in
the apostacy of the apostolic churches and the reign of anti-Christ.
But God is prepared to gain the victory yet. He promised in the end of
time to establish that kingdom which shall stand forever, never to be
overthrown, and hence the necessity of continuous revelation.

DIFFICULTIES IN ASCERTAINING THE MEANING OF THE SCRIPTURES.

In considering the question whether the Bible is sufficient for the
guidance of men to salvation, it becomes a matter of great importance
to ascertain whether the language employed by the sacred writers is
sufficiently clear to be understood, in all main points at least. If
the Spirit of God, in directing the composition of the books of the
Bible, intended to make these books a code of divine laws whereby
further revelation should be rendered superfluous, we may reasonably
expect to find in the Bible clear language conveying the ideas in a
manner to be easily understood by the earnest reader. We may expect to
find no ambiguity, no indistinctness.

Human laws are written with the greatest possible care. Lawmakers aim
at clearness, seeing that this is indispensable when laws are made for
the guidance of the citizen. Yet with all possible care in framing
laws, it has been found that no law ever was framed, however carefully
worded, that could not be construed in more than one way. Hence the
necessity of a supreme court to which all cases can be appealed, the
meaning of any disputed paragraph of the lay authoritatively given. No
human law would ever be a complete guidance for the citizens without
such a supreme court.

{384} Now, the question is simply this: Is the Bible clear enough so
that it undoubtedly can be understood in only one way? If it be, then
there may not be any need for the "supreme court" of divine revelation
to appeal to in order to ascertain its meaning, since this is in no
instance doubtful. But if the Bible is not clear enough; if it is so
worded that, in many instances, the same passage may be understood in
more than one way, then further revelation is necessary in order to
settle these points. If every passage of the Bible does not convey only
one meaning and this unmistakably; if many passages can be, and have
been, construed in various ways, and if divine revelation be abolished
then we are exactly in this position: We have a code of laws and a
collection of doctrines; but for the right understanding of those
laws and doctrines we are entirely at the mercy of the sagacity or
the stupidity of the (theological) lawyers with whom we happen to be
connected. There is, then, no appeal, no authority, no certainty.

Let us honestly consider some of the facts in the case, without
shrinking from the inevitable conclusion.

First, we are met by the sad fact that mankind has not yet been able to
decide exactly how many and which of the ancient books really belong
to the Bible. The Protestant churches now accept sixty-five books in
all, viz., thirty-eight in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the
New. But Luther was not quite certain about the canonicity of all of
the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The Revelation of John
was always suspicious to him, because he did not understand it, and
the Epistle of James, he thought, was more fit to be burned than to be
read. As to the books of the Old Testament, a much later and better
informed critic, Michaelis, has proposed to exclude the two books of
Chronicles from the canon, while others have had their grave doubts
concerning the Song of Songs. But the Catholic church, so far from
being disposed to diminish the number of books, has added all those
which by Protestants have been called apocryphal. The whole apocryphal
collection was by the Council of Trent, 1545, declared to be holy
Scripture, and the council did so with some antiquity in support of
the decision, too. For the book of Baruch is quoted as canonical by
Origen, Athanasius, Cyril, and Ephihanius. Tobith, Judith, Wisdom of
Solomon, Ecclesiasticus and the Maccabees are quoted as canonical
by the great Augustine. Whether, then, the Bible should consist of
seventy-nine books (including the fourteen apocrypha) or of sixty-five,
or only sixty-one, excluding the two Chronicles {385} and James and the
Revelation, is yet a question awaiting its final decision. And it would
seem but reasonable not to abolish the immediate revelations from God
until this problem has been satisfactorily solved.

Secondly, accepting any of the above mentioned books as canonical,
a great difficulty presents itself in determining the precise text.
What the first authors wrote is in some cases impossible to determine.
Let it be remembered that our present Bibles, with their divisions of
charters and verses, are by no means exactly such as the first authors
left them. Much is the work of uninspired men. The original manuscripts
were copied in numerous editions, and it was always possible in copying
to drop a letter, to misspell a word, to leave out a word, etc.
Translations and paraphrases have been made. These were not always
correct in every particular. In the case of the Old Testament the
original authors did not write the vowels, but only the consonants. It
was the work of later men to insert all the vowels, but whether these
later men in all instances, or even in most, inserted the right vowels
is another open question. At all events, if it were possible to prove
that all the consonants of the Old Testament are identical with those
written by the original authors, and therefore inspired, yet all the
vowels, which are added many years afterwards by uninspired men, cannot
be proved to be of divine origin or such as God originally intended
them to be.

A few instances may be quoted to illustrate the nature of such easily
recognized changes as the sacred text has suffered. In Jonah 1, 9, the
prophet says: "I am a Hebrew," where the original reading probably was
(as the Septuagint has it): "I am a servant of Jehovah." The difference
is between _Ivri_, Hebrew, and _Ivdi_, the servant of Jehovah. In I
Peter ii, 3, it will always be dubious whether the correct reading is:
"If ye have tasted that the Lord is _gracious_," or "that the Lord is
_Christ_." The fact is that both these words were sometimes written
with the letters _Chs_, standing for both _Christos_ and _Chrestos_,
gracious. In Genesis i, 8, the words: "God saw that it was good" is
wanting at the end of the second day's creation, but it is found
in verse 10, in the middle of the third day's work, indicating a
transposition. Sometimes verses have been added by later copyists. Such
variations amount to many thousands in all, leaving the present text
very far from satisfactory in its details.

Theologians, in admitting this, as they are compelled to do by
the facts, generally smooth the disagreeable impression over with
the assurance that none of all these variations in {386} the text
affect the meaning in the least degree. "The most inaccurate
text ever written," they say, "leaves the truths of Scripture
substantially unchanged." But this is evidently said more for the
sake of the effect than for the sake of truth. For the theologians
themselves--particularly the Protestants--_always_ insist on the very
letter of the text. The little words "this is" were sufficient in
the quibble between Luther and Calvin to cut the Protestantic party
in two halves, each wishing to roast the other in hell. Yes, the
theologians build doctrines not only on words but on _forms_ of words,
discriminating between the meaning of the same words when used in
this form or the other. In a text where words are so important, it is
ridiculous to say that many thousand variations are of no importance.
And besides, since we know there are many thousand variations, how do
we know that there are not many thousand more which have not yet been
detected?

This question must be solved before we are prepared to admit that the
Bible is a sufficient guide, and has done away with the necessity of
further revelation.

But we will pass by the difficulties thus far pointed out. We will
suppose that we have settled beyond doubt the number of books to be
accepted as canonical. We will suppose that the original text has
been preserved, and that the translations thereof in our vernacular
tongues are correct. All this we suppose, for the sake of the argument,
and yet we will find the greatest difficulty still exists--that of
understanding the sacred volume correctly. Indeed, this difficulty is
so great that probably not one single man now living can understand it
all, and those that understand part of it right do so by the aid of the
Spirit of God.

Some of the difficulties in understanding even the translations of the
Bible may now be pointed out.

It is admitted that the words used in the Scriptures are sometimes to
be used in a figurative sense and sometimes in a literal sense. What
words are, in each case, to be understood strictly literally and what
figuratively must be left to the judgment of the reader. And from this
fact numerous errors have arisen.

People have sometimes allegorized where no allegory was intended, as
Origen in reading that Abraham in his old age married Keturah. Now,
he says, the word Keturah means "sweet odor;" and "sweet odor" refers
to the fragrance of righteousness: Hence he concludes that Abraham
in his old age became very pious or righteous, and that this fact is
meant when Moses states that the patriarch married Keturah. {387}
Equally absurd is the following _a la_ Swedenborg: "Adam represents
the intellect and Eve the feeling. That Adam and Eve begat sons and
daughters means, therefore, that the union between intellect and
feeling is what produces knowledge in man." These instances are
extremely absurd and the errors of this kind of interpretation are
easily perceived. But sometimes the errors are not so palpable,
although equally absurd. As for instance, when it is contended that
the "kingdom" of Christ means a religion and not a real kingdom, or
that "the first resurrection" means a revival of the principles for
which the martyrs were killed. In such cases the errors are great, and
hundreds of Bible readers commit just such errors, in many instances
without even knowing it.

Then, sometimes words that are really used figuratively are understood
literally. You will see pictures, occasionally, where Lazarus is
enjoying his heavenly bliss by sitting in the lap ("the bosom")
of Father Abraham, the artist having misunderstood the figurative
expression used by our Lord.

This kind of error is more easily committed in reading the prophetical
portions of the Bible. The prophets borrow words denoting natural
objects in order to represent what is spiritual and abstract. Their
books are hieroglyphical, although they do not draw their hieroglyphic
pictures, as did the Egyptian priests, but describe them in words.
Hence the great difficulty in interpreting prophecy. It is not less
difficult than to interpret many ancient Egyptian records. The
prophets, for instance, talk of a "horn" and mean a "crown" or a
"kingdom." "Beast" is a usurping tyrannical power. "Key" stands for
lawful authority. "Virgins" are faithful worshippers, not defiled by
idolatry.

Generally it must be borne in mind that every word should be understood
as it was commonly understood at the time the Bible was written. Much
minute inquiry, in fact more than most people are prepared to give, is
needed in order to avoid errors arising from a violation of this rule.

Sometimes a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek is absolutely necessary for
the right understanding of a passage. In I Kings ii, 8, 9, David is
made to say concerning Simei: "Hold him not guiltless, * * but his
hoary head bring down with blood to the grave." This is, of course,
a contradiction. And, besides, David had sworn not to kill Simei. It
seems therefore as if one of the last acts of David was to break his
oath and his royal word. But a knowledge of Hebrew idioms clears this
up; for the word "not" refers to both clauses: "Hold him not guiltless,
* * but bring not his {388} hoary head down with blood." That is the
meaning, and Solomon understood it so. "The end of the world" spoken
of in Matt. xxiv, 3 a Greek scholar will discover to be not the end
of the physical world (_telos tou kosmou_) but the termination of the
then existing economy; for the words are _synteleia tou aionos_. The
interpretation of the whole prophecy of our Lord hangs upon this one
word. Matthew (xii, 40) makes Christ say: "For as Jonah was three days
and three nights in the whale's belly," whereas the fact is, that
there is not, and probably never was, a whale in the Mediterranean.
The Hebrew has "a great fish" (Jonah i, 17) which the translator of the
Septuagint made into a whale, and the misleading quotation slipped into
the New Testament from the Septuagint.

Sometimes people put a mystical sense into the most plain expressions.
Christ says: "But one thing is needful" (Luke x, 42) and many an
edifying sermon has been preached upon this one "needful thing,"
and much curiosity has been needlessly excited to know what that
one needful thing is that in itself is necessary and sufficient to
salvation. People have been so eager to make a mystery that they have
forgotten the fact that Christ for the time does not refer to salvation
at all, but is speaking of a much more trivial subject, yet not less
interesting or noteworthy. Christ has called on His friends, Lazarus,
Martha and Maria. The two ladies are both anxious to entertain Him to
the best of their ability. But Martha seems to have had an idea that
lots of things were necessary in order to make a comfortable meal. In
order to be ready in a hurry Martha wanted her sister to help her, upon
which the Savior politely remarks that "only one thing is needful."
There was no cause for so much serving. He would not enter their house
as a stranger for whom they would have to prepare so many extra dishes.
He would come as their friend and be entertained as such. This would
give both sisters time to sit down and listen to His instructions,
which after all was the "good part" of the entertainment. Stripping
this narrative of the mysteries of theologians and letting common sense
be common sense, we have a beautiful incident at once pleasing and
instructive.

Sometimes the reader will be misled by the numbers of the Bible,
because he does not know how they originally were used. "Ten" sometimes
stands for "several." In Gen. xxxi, 7, Jacob says that Laban had
changed his wages "ten times," meaning of course "several times."
Perhaps the division of the Roman Empire into "ten" as predicted by
Daniel ought to be understood in the same way, since so far no one
has {389} been able exactly to tell in what "ten" (the word taken
literally) kingdoms that empire on its downfall was divided. If
understood to mean "several" kingdoms, there is no difficulty. "Forty,"
in the same way, often means "many." "Seven" and "seventy" denote a
large and complete number, although uncertain to the speaker.

Sometimes a knowledge of history is required for the right
understanding of passages. (Acts ix, 31): "The churches had rest
throughout all Judea and Galilee" has sometimes been understood to
have been the consequence of the conversion of Paul, whereas the real
cause of this temporary rest was that at this time Caligula attempted
to raise a statue of himself in the "Holy of holies" in the temple. The
consternation which this caused among the bloodthirsty Jews made them
for a time forget the Christian churches.

Nor less important is a knowledge of ancient chonology, geography,
of botany, of mineralogy, zoology, and archaeology in its various
branches. But we cannot here multiply instances.

To understand the Bible, even the plainist translation, all these
things are necessary as helps, and yet, without the Spirit of God to
lead into all truth, not all of these helps are sufficient; so numerous
and so vast are the difficulties to be encountered in ascertaining the
true meaning of the Bible.

Nor need we be surprised at this. The various books are written in
the remote antiquity. Language changes like all that is human. Words
do not remain stationary in their significations. Every word has its
own history, and antique literature always requires a knowledge of the
history of the words. The authors of the Bible write each from his own
standpoint. Some are lawyers, as Moses. Others are humble shepherds,
as Anos. Some are learned men, as Paul and Luke. Others are uneducated
fisherman, as Peter and John. Some are statesmen like Daniel. Others
follow more lowly occupations of life, as Jeremiah. Some write poetry,
others history, others letters and others visions. Some write in the
deserts of Arabia, some by the banks of the rivers in Babylon, some
in the palace in Jerusalem, some in prisons in Rome. Each has his own
peculiarity of style, and to understand it all, you would have to
be conversant with almost every branch of human learning. It is no
figure of speech when Locke says that theology is the direction of
all knowledge to its true end, or when Parley P. Pratt says: "It is
the science of all other sciences and useful arts, being in fact, the
very fountain from which they emanate. It includes philosophy, {390}
astronomy, history, mathematics, geography, languages, the science
of letters, and blends the knowledge of all matters of fact in every
branch of art or research" (Key to Theology, p.2).

Seeing now that such requirements are made upon us in order to
understand the Bible, and that lack of knowledge necessarily involve
misunderstanding of many of the sacred passages, we ask every
reasonable being, Can it be supposed that the Bible ever was intended
to be a substitute for immediate divine revelation? If it were intended
for this purpose it has signally failed in its purpose; and if the
Bible alone be intended to be the guide to heaven, it is to be feared
that a majority of people will be led to hell for the simple reason
that they never had an opportunity of mastering the difficulties
attending their attempts at understanding what the Bible doctrines
really are.

"CHRISTIAN" SECTS AN EVIDENCE.

If further proofs for the necessity of continuous revelation were
needed, the deplorable state of the Christian world, where "each goes
his own way," furnishes those proofs in abundance.

The object God had in view in giving to His people men through whom He
could reveal His plans and purposes was to "perfect the Saints" and
preserve "unity of faith" (Eph. iv, 11-14). As long as the church had
apostles and prophets, there was no necessity for the churches breaking
up into factions or sects. Differences could arise, and did arise, but
when referred to the inspired men, God, through His Holy Spirit always
settled the difficulties, preserving the unity.

Some instances, illustrating this, have been recorded for our
information.

In the church at Jerusalem, as the members increased, a feeling of
jealousy grew up between the different nationalities. The "Grecians"
thought that their widows did not receive a fair portion of the alms
daily distributed among the poor, the "Hebrews" keeping all for their
widows. Among the Jews the "Grecians," that is to say, such Jews that
were not born in Palestine, were held in contempt like everything that
originated outside the confines of the Holy Land. It was thought that
the Jewish converts to Christianity had retained this feeling, and so
neglected their foreign brethren. Now, here was a secret power of evil
at work, strong enough to break the first church up into factions. For
evil grows, if {391} not conquered, and what at first appears like a
cloud, the size of a man's hand, develops into a terrible storm with
thunder and lightning. Small as the matter appeared to be, it was
an attempt at destroying the unity of the Church of Christ. But the
church was equal to this occasion. Its foundations were solid and its
guardians awake. The whole matter was laid before the apostles, and
these found the proper remedy. "Look ye out among you," they said to
the church members, "seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost
and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." The people, on
hearing this wise counsel, made their choice, and the apostles set the
chosen apart for this office. And it may be noted as a characteristic
feature of God's way of managing elections, in contrast to the farcical
proceedings of the iniquitous world, that the seven men elected on this
occasion were all "Grecians," judging from their names. The majority,
prompted by the love of God, gave to the minority--the complaining
party--the whole control of the distribution. The church was saved from
the spirit of destruction. Unity was preserved. But it took inspired
men to solve the difficulty in this way, so contrary to all rules,
recognized among men (see Acts, vi, 1-8).

The next instance is a difference concerning doctrine.

As soon as the Gospel principles spread and were embraced by the
Gentiles, a struggle necessarily followed between the Jewish and the
Gentile element. Both had much to give up and much to learn from each
other, before a complete unity could be secured. In this struggle,
various questions were brought up for discussion, and amongst others
this:

Ought not a Gentile convert to first be circumcised and promise to
keep the law, before he was baptized and incorporated in the church?
Many Jewish converts held that this was necessary. For to them the
entrance to the church ought to be through the Mosaic dispensation, to
Gentiles as it had been to Jews. But the Gentiles considered this an
unnecessary circuitous road to the church, holding that the acceptance
of Christ and his ordinances was all that should be required. Here was
a difficult question to decide, and the principle involved was one of
vital importance to the whole Christian community. The danger of a
split was great, but the church had inspired leaders, men who communed
with God. To them the question was referred. And they decided it, not
only according to the Scriptures but according to the revelation given
for the occasion. "It seemed good," they say, "to the Holy Ghost, and
to us, to lay upon you no greater {392} burden than these necessary
things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood
and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep
yourselves ye shall do well." (Acts xv, 28, 29.) Here is a decision
arrived at under the direct influence of the Holy Ghost, and one that
brought unity into the churches and joy among the various Gentile
branches.

Thus we see exemplified the object of continuous revelation, and the
necessity of it. Without it unity cannot be preserved. "That ye may be
one" as Christ is one with His Father, is, however, the very essence
of Christianity, the mark on which it can be distinguished from the
"world," which is all strife and contention. Destroy the unity, and
Christianity is gone, or, since unity is impossible without continuous
revelation, abandon such revelation, and Christianty is no more.

It is noticeable that the Christian churches, as long as the inspired
men were among them and they listened to their words, kept clear of
all schisms. _So long_, we say, but no longer. For soon men arose
who thought themselves too wise to listen to the counsel of inspired
men. And such imposed upon themselves upon the church with big
words and subtle sophistry, thus drawing many away from the path of
righteousness. This was the work of the spirit of anti-Christ, and the
result was schisms, sects. But still the spirit of revelation lingered
among the churches, uniting the honest everywhere in the love of God
and of one another, until after a long struggle amid persecution from
the outside and rebellion from the inside, the Spirit of revelation was
withdrawn. "The child was taken up to the throne of God." (Rev. xii,
5). The light gave way to darkness.

Not that the Christian churches became annihilated, not that the
doctrines preached by Christ or, what is the same, the Christian
theology at once vanished. No! It was all there, but wrapped in
darkness.

Suppose yourself on a ship trying to make for the harbor on a dark,
stormy night. There are the lights along the shore, according to
whose guiding rays alone you can steer your course. But suppose all
these lights are suddenly extinguished. You can see no more where to
go. All your calculations are in vain. Those rays of lights from the
lighthouses were just as necessary for your safety as are your maps
and your compass. Something analogous to this happened to the world,
or, rather to the Christian churches. The guiding light of continuous
revelation was extinguished and {393} the ship left in darkness. At
what precise time this took place we do not presume to say. But it is
certain that the time of revelation did not extend much beyond the
age of the apostles. The church was still there for years, but the
lighthouses were not shining.

What followed? The most pitiable confusion. The leaders of the
church, no longer guided by inspiration, were unable to preserve
love and unity. Factions became numerous and each faction leader
claimed the supreme authority for himself. Contests for power ensued,
accompanied by scandalous scenes. The church was abandoned, each
faction constructing their own raft and each steering their own course,
occasionally trying to sink other rafts as these by wind and current
were driven out. This was the result of the withdrawal of divine
revelation.

People were in total darkness. They split on the most trivial questions
as well as over the more important ones. What are we to think when we
read the "history of the church" and find that "Christians" are trying
to find out whether Christ was a real man or only an apparition! Or
whereto had truth gone, when, after long struggles about the doctrine
of the Godhead, it was finally decided, as the standard of orthodoxy,
that: "Incomprehensible is the Father, incomprehensible is the Son, and
incomprehensible is the Holy Ghost; yet not three incomprehensibles,
but one." (Symbol Athan.)? Christ says: "This is eternal life, that
they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast
sent." (John, xvii, 3); Paul prays that he may know Christ and the
power of His resurrection. (Philippians, vi, 7-10); and John says that
we by keeping God's commandments, know that we "know" Him. (I John
ii, 3), but the Church, as soon as the Spirit of revelation withdrew,
declared that she was in darkness. God, she said, is incomprehensible.
The contrast is so conspicuous that only a blind man can help seeing it.

This spirit of darkness still enwraps the whole "Christian" world.
The work of dissolution has been going on all the time, and is still
going on. The "Christians" stand against each other like enemies on
a battlefield. Nobody knows where to seek or to find truth. Has the
Roman Catholic church the truth? or the Coptic? or the Armenian? or
the Reformed church? or the church of England? or Luther's faction? or
Methodists? or Baptists? or Presbyterians? or Irvingians or Adventists?
or Universalists? or Quakers? Which has the truth? Which faction is the
Church of Christ?

{394} Paul says that factions are the result of a "carnal" condition.
"For whereas there is among you envyings and strife, and divisions, are
ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Cor. iii, 3.) The "Christian" world
to-day, the Apostle then declares to be a "carnal" christendom. But to
be carnally minded, we further learn (Rom. viii, 6, 7), is "death,"
and "enmity against God." The Christian world to-day is therefore
in a state of "death" and "enmity against God." The word of God has
pronounced His judgment, and all as a consequence of their having
despised and rejected continuous revelation from God.

This suggests the remedy to be applied: Divine revelation.

God has promised, in the last days, "And it shall come to pass
afterward that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions * * * * and it shall come to pass that
whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: For
in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath
said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call" (Joel ii, 28-33).
And this promise God will fulfill. Revelations are necessary for the
deliverance of His people in these last days, and God is faithful.

Already the light of revelation has broken through the dark clouds
of medieval errors. The prophets of God have again spoken, revealing
_God's_ way of salvation. Will the "Christian" world believe? Or will
they, like the Jews formerly, reject the light of revelation, to their
own damnation?

One objection, and only one, needs to be answered before we close
this part of our investigation. It has been said that God prohibits
people from adding anything to the Bible, since John the Revelator
says: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto
him the plagues that are written in this book" (Rev. xxii, 18). The
prohibition is given for any "man" to add anything of his own to
the book of Revelation, or to the word of God. And woe to the man
who is preposterous enough to add his own productions to the sacred
compositions of God! But neither this passage nor any other passage in
the Bible states that God would never any more reveal anything. God
does not prohibit himself from adding whatever He thinks necessary.

In fact, God has added to the volume of the New Testament since the
book of Revelation was written. The Gospel of John, and, in all
probability, the three epistles of John, were all written after the
book of Revelation. The latest {395} date assigned to the Revelation is
96 A. D., while others (and more probably) give it the date of 67 or
68. The three epistles were written 68 and the gospel 97, so that there
is no possibility for thinking that God did not intend to add anything
to the existing records.

The Gospel of John is the last book of the New Testament. And in this
very book we have the comforting promise of Christ recorded: "He (the
Spirit) shall glorify Me: for he shall receive of Mine, and shall show
it unto you. All things that the Father has are Mine: therefore, said
I, that he shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you" (John xvi,
14, 15). Here is a promise of continuous revelation.

II.

Having seen, now, that continuous revelation is necessary for the
guidance of men unto eternal salvation, and also that God through his
ancient prophets has promised to manifest Himself preparatory to the
foundation of the kingdom of the Son of God upon the earth, it becomes
necessary to enquire into the evidences that present themselves of the
truth of the claims of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. Did God speak through
him, or, was he an enthusiast, an impostor? This question concerns
every human being.

With a voice like that of the angel whom John saw in his visions on
Patmos, Joseph proclaims in the name of the Lord:

"Hearken, O, ye people of My Church, saith the voice of Him who dwells
on high, and whose eyes are upon all men, yea, verily I say, hearken ye
people from afar, and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen
together. For verily _the voice of the Lord is unto all men"_ (Doc. and
Cov. sec. i, 1, 2).

For centuries past the world had cherished the thought that the voice
of the Lord should no more be heard, when suddenly, thunderlike, a
messenger appeared, heralding from one end of heaven to mother the
above quoted intelligence. God has spoken.

To the chosen seed these were, indeed, tidings of great joy, but the
world at large, influenced, as the Jews formerly were, by priests and
rabbis, denounced the messenger as a bold imposter. He offered the
strongest proof a man ever can offer as a demonstration of the truth of
his message; he gave his life, sealing his testimony with his blood.
Yet a sceptical world refused to believe, refused, to a large extent,
even to investigate.

{396} What was, then, the nature of his message? That the day of the
Lord is at hand; that the inhabitants of the earth must repent of their
sins and false doctrines, and turn unto God; that those who would obey
should be made happy in the kingdom of the Son of God, but on all
disobedient souls fearful judgments would speedily fall. To prepare for
the coming of Christ was the message sent from God to man through His
servant, the Prophet Joseph. That was the nature of the message.

It will be perceived that this is in full harmony with the sacred
writ, and its very nature should be a sufficient proof of its divine
origin. If it harmonizes with the Bible, how can it be false? How can
those who believe the one reject the other? Is not that the very same
contradiction as that of which the Jews were guilty who believed the
sacred writings of the Old Testament at the same time they rejected
Christ? Clearly, when the Bible is first proved to be true, everything
that is in perfect harmony with the Bible must be true, too. In such
relation to the Bible stands the divine message of which we are
speaking.

This is a subject that must not be treated lightly. The highest
interests are here at stake--interests dearer than life itself, which
lasts but a moment. If God has spoken to this generation, woe, woe, woe
unto those who wilfully shut their ears and harden their hearts against
the word of God! The antediluvian world was drowned by a flood because
the people did not heed the warning voice. The cities of the plain were
wrapped in flames and buried in a sulphurous tomb because they rejected
the message of God. Jerusalem fell because she did not know the time
of her visitation. And how can the present world escape a similar fate
under similar circumstances?

With these lessons of past ages before us, let every honest soul
investigate the evidences of the truth of this message of the latter
days. An honest investigation is the very least that can be demanded
for a subject of this vast importance.

The attention of theological students who are familiar with the
evidences of the truth of Christianity is particularly called to the
line of thought here offered, as it is proposed to show that the
message delivered by Joseph Smith is supported by the same evidence as
the message delivered by former prophets or apostles. Christianity and
"Mormonism" must stand or fall together. If the evidence here presented
is sufficient for the one, it is sufficient for both.

{397} RETROSPECTIVE EVIDENCE.

The books of the Old Testament abound with predictions foretelling the
work of Christ on earth. It is distinctly predicted that a deliverer
should come, "the seed of woman;" he should spring out of the people
of Abraham; a new covenant would be made; the deliverer would be
despised, put to death, and yet reign for ever and ever. Such wonderful
predictions run like a string through the Old Testament, and are always
pointed to as an evidence of the truth of Christianity. This is what
is sometimes called retrospective evidence. Christ himself points to
these predictions as such evidence. "Ought not Christ to have suffered
these things, and to enter His glory? Beginning with Moses and all
the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning himself." (Luke xxiv, 26, 27. Compare John v, 46, 47.)

But the same prophets foretell with equal clearness the grand work
in which the Latter-day Saints are now engaged, as will appear on
investigation of the following passages.

Isaiah has many remarkable predictions, some of which were fulfilled
shortly after their delivery. Syria and Israel, for instance, were to
be conquered by Assyria, before the infant son of the prophet could say
"my father" (Isaiah viii, 4). The glory of Kedar was to fail in one
year (xxi, 6), that of Moab in three years (xvi, 14), that of Ephraim
in sixty-five years (vii, 8), that of Tyre in seventy years (xxiii,
15). Other predictions relate to more distant times. Thus that portion
of his book which is contained in chapter xl to lxiv embraces the
whole period from the Babylonian captivity to the end of the Christian
dispensation.

In this portion of the book the prophet predicts the deliverance of the
Jews by Cyrus (xliv, 28; xlv, 1-5, xlvii); the return to Judea (xliv,
28), the coming, suffering and glory of the Messiah, the downfall of
idolatry, the rejection of Christ by the Jews, and their consequent
rejection by God; also their final conversion and recovery (lii, 3;
lxii; lxv).

Speaking of this last event, the final gathering of the Jews--an event
which is about to be fulfilled in our own time--the prophet (chapter
lv) says that there should be a people or a nation, previously unknown
to the Jews, who should be willing to join the Jews in their worship of
God Almighty. "Behold, thou shalt call a people which thou didst not
know; and a people which did not know thee shall run to thee for the
sake of Jehovah, thy God, and for the sake of the Holy One in Israel,
for he hath glorified thee."

{398} Could language more clearly convey that at the time of the final
restoration of the Jews there should exist another people, too, who
would share with the Jews the glory in store for them? In the next
chapter (lxvi, 6-8) this other people is more clearly described: "And
the sons of the stranger who follow Jehovah in order to serve Him, and
to love Jehovah's name * * * those I will bring to My holy mountain,
and they shall rejoice in My house." These predictions are very clear,
and it is a literal fulfillment thereof that the Saints are called out
of all nations of the earth so that they may form that one nation here
spoken of, and the latter part of Isaiah's predictions are as literally
verified as that part which relates to former events.

Among the predictions of the prophet Micah we notice the invasion
of Shalmaneser (i, 6-8), and Sennacherib (i, 9-16), the dispersion
of Israel (v, 7-8) the destruction of Jerusalem (iii, 12). He also
foretells the gathering of Israel and the exaltation of Christ over all
nations. Speaking of the gathering of Israel, he says that a forerunner
should first come, and this forerunner is described as a people with
a leader at their head and Jehovah as their guide, alluding to Israel
in the wilderness, where Moses was their prophet, Jehovah going before
them. Thus saith Micah ii, 12, 13: "Certainly I will gather thee,
Jacob, and bring together the rest of Israel. * * The forerunner (or
rather the one who 'breaks' the way) goes before them; * * * the prince
goes before them and Jehovah leads." In chapter iv. the prophet more
fully describes what should happen before the gathering of Jacob: "At
the end of the days the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be
established upon the top of the mountains, * * and the nations shall
run thereto. * * * In the same days said Jehovah, shall I gather the
remnant." Read chapter iv, 1-10 carefully. It predicts unmistakably
that at the time of the final delivery of the Jews there should exist
a people gathered among the mountains in order to serve the Lord, a
people endowed with wisdom to exercise judgment in the affairs of the
nations of the world, and yet be a peaceful, agricultural people, who
had thrown away their swords for peaceful occupations. This prediction
is as clear as any ever given concerning Christ and His work, and it
is fulfilled in the gatherings of the Saints. If prophetic evidence is
required, God has given it to us.

Let us turn to Jeremiah, who flourished a hundred years later.

{399} The chronological arrangement of the predictions of this prophet,
as has been already remarked, is not very plain, but passages relating
to the first salvation of Israel are easily recognized. Chapter iii,
15-18, are among these. Here the prophet in words that cannot be
mistaken says that the house of Judah shall go to the house of Israel,
and "they shall come together from the land of the north to the land
which I have given your fathers."

That this prediction does not relate to the deliverance from Babylon
is evident from the fact that the prophet says: "the house of Judah
shall walk with the house of Israel." The house of Israel must then
already be gathered, or else the house of Judah could not go with them.
At the return from Babylon Judah took the lead, and the Israelites
who returned had to come to Judah. Judah took the lead. Here is a
deliverance and return predicted in which Israel takes the lead. Israel
must consequently be gathered as well as Judah and previous to Judah.
Compare this with the message delivered through Joseph the Prophet, and
the evidence is both strong and conclusive.

No less clear is Daniel. In his second chapter, this great prophet
predicts coming events with the clearness of history. Four kingdoms
are described: The Babylonian, under the dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar;
the Medo-Persian, the Grecian and the Roman. The last named is divided
into ten, all of which in their composition carry the seed of their
dissolution. Iron (political power) and clay (man-invented religion)
mixed together, was their inheritance from Rome, and the cause of their
weakness. But in the days of these ten kingdoms the kingdom of heaven
is founded, a stone cut out without hands of man yet of miraculous
origin; mighty as a mountain, and finally, superior to the finest
metals, the most splendid earthly thrones.

That this prediction was not fulfilled at the time of Christ is clear
from two facts: First, that Christ came before the dissolution of the
Roman empire; and, secondly, that Christ did not found a kingdom at all
when He was here. Only by the most lamentable perversion of Scripture
can this passage be made to apply to the first coming of Christ. It
must apply to His second coming or have no meaning at all. But to His
second coming it applies. Then His kingdom will fill all the earth, but
the stone must first roll, and, while so doing, grow until it becomes
fit to perform the work assigned to it.

In chapter seven the prophet treats of the same subject. {400} The four
kingdoms are represented by four beasts, and the ten kingdoms by ten
horns; three of the horns or kingdoms are subdued by a little horn,
the papal, anti-Christian power, which exercises its tyrannical reign,
and overcomes the Saints for a period of one thousand two hundred and
sixty years. Here, too, the time is fully defined, showing beyond the
possibility of doubt that the restoration of the Kingdom of God belongs
to this century, counting from the appearance of the little horn, the
papal power.

Thus the ancient prophets have spoken of the time in which we live, and
their predictions are irrefutable evidence of the truth of the message
accepted by the Latter-day Saints.

Let us add one more testimony. John, the great prophet of the New
Testament, while on Patmos, has a vision in which the Turkish conquest
is shown (chapter ix). Four angels, bound in the great river Euphrates,
are let loose to spread war and desolation upon the earth for a period
of about four hundred years (Rev. ix, 15). Their great numbers are
described, their armors, their national colors, their power to hurt
an idolatrous "Christian" world, tormenting those who had abandoned
the worship of God for the worship of Saints and images. After this
(chapter x) a messenger appears with a little book, signifying that the
Spirit of prophecy should again be manifested before "many people, and
nations, and tongues and kings" (Rev. x, 1-11). How very clear is this
prediction as to the great event of our time. In reading the vision we
feel that John saw the youthful Prophet Joseph with the little book
in his hand, and heard his mighty voice declaring that the fulness of
times had come. "And the angel (or messenger) which I saw stand upon
the sea and upon the earth (embracing both hemispheres) lifted up his
hands to heaven and swore by him that liveth for ever and ever * * * *
that there shall be time no longer, but in the days of the voice of the
seventh angel * * * * the mystery of God should be finished" (x, 5-7).
Is not this the very essence of the message delivered by Joseph the
Prophet?

With such frequency and with such clearness the Spirit of prophecy in
all past ages foretells the work in which the Latter-day Saints are
now engaged. If Christ can point to predictions as an evidence of His
divine mission; if Christians can point to prophecy as an evidence
of the truth of Christianity, why are not these predictions, these
prophecies, equally infallible evidence of the truth of the divine
mission of Joseph Smith? How one can be accepted and the other rejected
I fail to see.

{401} PROSPECTIVE EVIDENCE.

Our Lord refers more than once to prophecies delivered by Himself as
evidence of His divine mission: "And now I have told you before it came
to pass, that when it is come to pass ye might believe." (John xiv,
29.) This kind of evidence has been called prospective. When we read,
for instance, the prophecy of our Lord announcing the destruction of
Jerusalem, compare the prediction with the description of the fearful
event given by Joseph, and see how literally everything was fulfilled,
we can understand what strong evidence the prophecy is of the divine
mission of the Lord. Jerusalem, Babylon, Nineveh are all witnesses
of the truth of the word of God, and their testimony is unanimously
accepted by everyone who is able to trace the finger of God. The
conclusion is this, that when a man foretells an event which no human
wisdom could foresee, the occurrence of such an event is a sure proof
that God spoke through that man. So God Himself reasons: "Who hath
declared this from ancient times? Have not I, the Lord?" (Isaiah, xlv,
20-22.)

If we apply this rule to the message delivered through Joseph Smith, we
unavoidably reach the same conclusion. We are forced by the most plain
logic to acknowledge his divine mission.

The following is offered for consideration: In the Book of Doctrine
and Covenants many predictions are given concerning the Saints, some
of which have already been fulfilled, while others are still awaiting
fulfillment.

In 1830, when the Church was still in her earliest infancy, it was
predicted: "Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish before the
final salvation of Israel" (Doctrine and Covenants, sec xxxv, 24, 25).
This remarkable prediction is often repeated, and finally, in the year
1838, at Far West, Missouri, it is again announced: "Therefore, will I
not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in
abundance, said the Lord? Is there not room enough upon the mountains?"
(Doctrine and Covenants, sec. cxvii, 7, 8.)

From the very foundation of the Church the Spirit of God, through the
prophet, thus announces in no uncertain way that Zion, the Saints,
should move to "the hills," "the mountains," "the solitary places,"
and there be prosperous, "blossom" gloriously. It must be remembered
that these predictions were delivered at a time when no human wisdom
could foresee such an event. When the Church was founded in 1830,
there was no possibility--speaking from a mere human {402} point of
view--of foreseeing her removal to the hills, much less that she would
be removed and prosper in the "hills." Nor is there in the whole
history of mankind anything analogous to this exodus of the Church. The
probability, speaking from a human point of view, when the Church was
founded, was either that she would be favored by the world and remain
where she was, or that she would be crushed on the spot by an immense
hostility. Either of these two occurrences might have been considered
probable at the time; but none of them was predicted. The Church
should blossom in the hills. Has not this prediction, delivered half
a century ago, been remarkably fulfilled? Who can travel through the
valleys of the mountains to-day, among fragrant gardens and orchards,
and notice the friendly, peaceful homes that everywhere smile upon the
stranger, or observe the condition of the Saints, without seeing that
the predictions have come literally true? Zion now blossoms in the
mountains.

The fulfillment of these predictions has not been brought about by
man, otherwise than in this way that ungodly men, without their own
knowledge, were the instruments. The Saints were driven from place to
place. They went not with a _calculation_ to fulfill prophecy, but
because they could not help themselves. In the same way the Jews and
the Romans fulfilled the predictions of our Lord.

Anyone who will honestly consider these facts will see that the events
prominent in the history of the Latter-day Saints indelibly mark Joseph
Smith as a prophet of God.

Other predictions delivered by Joseph the Prophet concern the nations
of the earth. In 1832 the following prediction was given: "For after
your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause
groanings in the midst of her, and man shall fall upon the ground, and
shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony of the voice
of thunderings, and the voice of lightings, and the voice of tempests,
and the voice of the waves of the sea, heaving themselves beyond their
bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and, surely, men's hearts
shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all men." (Doctrine and
Covenants, sec. lxxvii, lxxxix, xci).

True, this prediction has not yet in all its details been fulfilled;
still, the events of the last ten years fully indicate that the time
is drawing near when the "testimony of thunders" shall roll over
the earth. I refer to numerous calamities which the last years have
witnessed. Earthquakes, floods, {403} storms, fires, conflagrations,
wars, anarchy have filled the newspapers with horrible reading matter.
We need only remember the earthquake in Charleston, the overflow of the
Yellow River in China, the conflagration of several theatres, the riots
in Chicago. So noted have these years been for calamities of every
description that astrologers have pointed out that they were caused
by certain planets which, during the past years, have had a peculiar
position in relation to each other and to the earth. Be this as it may,
the fact remains that we live in a time of visitation--a visitation
already foretold by Joseph the Prophet. Here, again, we see his words
verified, and he himself vindicated as a prophet of God.

Another prediction, the fulfillment of which is written in letters of
blood on the pages of the history of the American nation, cannot be
contradicted. In 1832 God declared through Joseph Smith: "Behold the
Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the
Southern States shall call on other nations, even the nation of Great
Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations,
in order to defend themselves, and thus war shall be poured out upon
all nations." (Doctrine and Covenants, sec. lxxxvii, 3). Concerning
this war, it was foretold that it should terminate in "death and misery
to many, many souls." Also the place where the first shot was to be
fired was foretold: "Verily, thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars
that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South
Carolina." (Doctrine and Covenants, sec. lxxxvii, 1; cxxx, 12, 13.)

These minute predictions were given at a time when people generally
did not believe it possible for the United States to engage in a war
with each other. Those acquainted with the sentiments that prevailed
in America at that time, all agree in this. Nay, even when the report
reached the Northern States that their Southern brethren had actually
commenced the tragedy, it was hard for the Northern States to believe
it. There was no possibility at the time of Joseph for human sagacity
to foresee this war. Yet the despised prophet predicted it with a
clearness not surpassed by Isaiah or Daniel.

Did it come true? Did the war break out in South Carolina? Was the
slave question the _casus belli_? Did the Southern States apply to
other nations for help? Every particular came true, and the world knows
it, even if it fails to acknowledge that all had been predicted years
before it happened.

{404} It would be a reasonable supposition that the literal fulfillment
of a prediction like this should be proof enough of the divine mission
of the prophet. Or, what is required of a true prophet? Is not that
enough that his predictions are proved to be true? In the case of
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, John, nothing more is required. When we see
that their predictions have come true we grant that they were true
prophets. Must we, then, reverse every rule of logic in the case of
Joseph Smith? Must we say his predictions have been fulfilled; _ergo_
he was a _false_ prophet? The absurdity of this is too great to need
refutation.

We know that an objection has been raised that the prediction of the
war did not come true in every particular--that the war was confined to
the United States, and was not poured out upon all nations.

To this objection we answer that, in one sense, it was poured out upon
all nations. The population of the United States consists, as is well
known, of people from almost every nation under the sun, and England,
Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, all were represented in the
armies of that war. All contributed to the death list in that long and
fearful combat. How much misery, how much sorrow, how many tears did
that war cause far beyond the borders of the great republic, when aged
mothers and fathers, and sisters and brothers in the old countries
received the intelligence that a son or a brother was wounded or dead?
If we will consider this in all its consequences we will soon find that
the expression, "War shall be poured out upon all nations" is no idle
figure of speech. It is a stern fact. Thousands beyond the rolling
waves of the ocean drank the bitter cup filled with the curse of that
war. Understood in this way, the prediction is literally fulfilled in
all its details.

But it must also be remembered that we have not yet reached the last
scene of the drama. It is a grave question with some clear-seeing
politicians to-day whether the slave question has yet reached its final
solution. If it has not, we may yet see the prediction in question
fulfilled in every particular.

The prediction itself plainly states that some time would elapse
between the fulfillment of its various parts. Verse 3, D&C 87,
foretells that the war should be caused by the division of the United
States into two great parties, and that the Southern States should
call upon Great Britain; "and thus war should be poured out upon all
nations." Then verse 4 {405} explains that this should be continued
"after _many days_," thereby that the slaves (the negroes) should rise
up, and also the remnant (the Indians), and new wars, new bloodshed
take place. The prophecy thus clearly marks two divisions, the events
of which are separated from each other by a period of _many_ days, or
years; for days in the prophetic language are always understood to mean
years. Thus the prediction itself is plain. It foretells the so-called
War of the Rebellion, its subsequent result as well as its causes. It
further intimates that the question out of which it arose should be
settled for many years, but that again the flames of war should be
kindled and spread wider than before. The first part of this prediction
has been fulfilled. The second belongs to the future.

Having thus removed the objection made to the prediction, it may not
be out of place to show that this way of putting close together, in
prophetical sentences, events which are in time far separated from each
other, is common to prophetical writers. In this respect the Prophet
Joseph resembles the ancient prophets, a fact which ought not to be the
ground of objection.

Isaiah, speaking of the mission of Christ (chapter lxi, 1-3), says:
"The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me * * to proclaim the year of
acceptance of Jehovah and the day of vengeance of our God." Christ,
in reading and expounding this text in Nazareth, reads to the middle
of the verse, closes the books and exclaims: "To-day this scripture
is fulfilled in your ears." (Luke iv, 21.) Indeed, with the coming
of Christ the year of acceptance of Jehovah had come. The first
part of the verse was fulfilled, but the second portion--the day of
vengeance--was not yet. Thousands of years lie between the first part
of this verse and the second.

So the Prophet Joel, in his second chapter, verses 28-32, foretells
in one sentence the wonders of the day of Pentecost (compares Acts
ii, 16-21) and the great day of Jehovah, when no one can escape the