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Title: New Witnesses for God (Volume 3 of 3)

Author: B. H. Roberts

Release date: July 19, 2019 [eBook #59951]
Most recently updated: December 26, 2019

Language: English

Credits: Produced by the Mormon Texts Project
(, with thanks to Renah Holmes and
Diane Evans.





By B. H. Roberts,

Author of "The Gospel," "Outlines of Ecclesiastical History," "Mormon Doctrine of Deity," "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," "The Prophet-Teacher," etc., etc. IN THREE VOLUMES



Salt Lake City



PART III. (Continued).



Indirect External Evidences (Continued).—American Traditions 3

I. The Signs of Messiah's Birth

II. The Signs of Messiah's Death


Indirect External Evidences—American Traditions (Continued)

I. Messiah in the Western Hemisphere

II. The Culture-Heroes of America

III. The Peruvian Tradition of the Messiah

IV. Topilitzen Quetzalcohuatl


External Evidences—The Hebrew Origin of the Native American Races—Hebrew Relics

I. Garcia

II. Lord Kingsborough's Views

III. Adair's Evidences

The Discovery of Hebrew Relics

I. The Pittsfield Hebrew Parchment

11. The Newark Hebrew Tablet


The Discovery of Relics Other Than Hebrew

I. Cincinnati Gold Plate

II. The Kinderhook Plates

III. The Tuccabatchey Plates


External Evidence—Minor Coincidences—Race Unity

I. Central and Western New York an Ancient Battle Field

II. Miscellaneous Book of Mormon Historical Incidents and Nephite Customs Found in the Native American Traditions

III. Human Sacrifices. Cannibalism

IV. Burying the Hatchet

V. Hagoth's Marine Migrations Preserved in Native Legends

VI. Native American Race Unity

VII. Did the Book of Mormon Antedate Works in English on American Antiquities Accessible to Joseph Smith and His Associates

VIII. The Value of the Evidence Supplied by American Antiquities


External Evidences (Continued).—Evidence of the Bible

I. The Place of the Patriarch Joseph in Israel.—The Promises to Him and His Seed

II. The Prophecies of Isaiah on the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon 109

III. The Prophecy of Messiah in Relation to "Other Sheep" than Those in Palestine that Must Hear His Voice


External Evidences (Continued.)—The Evidence of the Church to the Book


Internal Evidences—The Book of Mormon, in Style and Language, is Consistent with the Theory of its Construction

I. Of the Unity and Diversity of Style

II. Characteristics of an Abridgement

III. Originality in Book of Mormon Names

IV. Of the Nephite Custom in Naming Cities and Provinces Being Ancient 139

V. Of the Nephites, Like the Jews, Being a Mononymous People


Internal Evidences (Continued).—The Book of Mormon Forms of Government Consistent with the Times and Circumstances under which they Existed

I. Monarchies

II. Reign of the Judges—Republic

III. Ecclesiastical Government

IV. The Events to which Importance is Given in the Book of Mormon are in Harmony with the Character of the Writers

V. Complexity in the Structure of the Book of Mormon in Harmony with the Theory of its Origin


Internal Evidences (Continued).—The Originality of the Book of Mormon an Evidence in Support of its Claims

I. Originality of Structure

II. Originality in Names

III. In the Manner of its Coming Forth

IV. Its Accounting for the Peopling of America

V. The Nativity of Ancient American Peoples

VI. Accounting for the Existence of Christian Ideas in America


Internal Evidences (Continued).—The Originality of the Book of Mormon an Evidence in Support of its Claims. (Continued)

VII. The Fall of Adam—The Purpose of Man's Earth Existence—Adam fell that men might be; Man an Immortal Spirit; Men are that they might have joy...

VIII. The Agency of Man

IX. The Atonement

X. The Doctrine of Opposite Existences


Internal Evidences (Continued).—The Evidence of Prophecy:

I. A Testimony Shall be Given by the Holy Ghost....

II. "They Shall Have the Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost."

III. "Three Witnesses" Shall Behold the Book "By the Gift and Power of God."

IV. The Blood of Saints Shall Cry from the Ground

V "Because My Word Shall Hiss Forth, Many Shall say 'A Bible! A Bible'" 153

VI. The Lost Books of the Bible

VII. No Gentile Kings in America


Internal Evidences (Continued.)—The Evidence of Prophecy (Continued) 281

I. Many Shall Believe the Words of the Book

II. The Book of Mormon to be Taken to the American Indians

III. The Jews Shall Begin to Believe in Christ, and to Gather to Their Lands

IV. The Work of the Lord to Commence Among all Nations to Bring About 'the Restoration of His People Israel, and a Universal Reign of Peace and Righteousness

V. The Sign of the Modern World's Awakening

VI. Conditional Prophecies—The Evidence of Things Worthy of God to Reveal


Internal Evidences (Continued).—The Spirit of the Book

I. The Poetry the Book of Mormon has Inspired

II. Summary of Internal Evidences




Counter Theories of Origin

I. Alexander Campbell's Theory

II. The Spaulding Theory of Origin

III. The Sidney Rigdon Theory

IV. I. Woodbridge Riley's Theory of the Origin of the Book of Mormon


(Erratum.—The numeral II is repeated in this chapter, as also in this table in order to correspond with the number in the chapter.)

Objections to the Book of Mormon

I. Errors in Style and Grammar

II. Objections Based Upon the Existence of Passages in the Book of Mormon Which Follow King James' Translation

II. Miscellaneous Objections Based on Literary Style and Language

III. The Difficulty of Passages from Isaiah Being Quoted by Nephite Writers, that Modern Bible Criticism Holds were not Written Until the Time of the Babylonian Captivity—and not Written by Isaiah at all


(Erratum.—After using numerals in this chapter from IV to VII, by an error, the printer began again at V and ran to X. There is no break in the order of the subjects, however, in the chapter, and the numerals in this table are made to correspond with those in the text.)

Objections to the Book of Mormon (Continued)

IV. Pre-Christian Era Knowledge of the Gospel

V. The Unlawfulness of Establishing the Priesthood with Others than the Tribe of Levi

VI. Nephite Knowledge of the "Call of the Gentiles."

VII. The Difficulty of the Three Days of Darkness

V. The Birth of Jesus "at Jerusalem."

VI. The Settlement of Modern Controversies

VII. The Book Contains Nothing New

VIII. Modern Astronomy in the Book

IX. The Geography of the Book

X. Of the Objection that the Transcript of Characters Made from the Nephite Plates by Joseph Smith, Bear no Resemblance to the Hieroglyphics and Language Characters Discovered in Central America on Stone Tablets, Maya Books and Mexican Picture Writing


Objections to the Book of Mormon (Continued)

I. Alleged Plagiarisms of Historical and Biblical Events.

II. The Absence of Book of Mormon Names Both of Places and Persons in Native American Language

III. Nephi's Temple

IV. The Difficulty of Iron and Steel Among the Nephites

V. The Horse and Other Domestic Animals of the Book of Mormon

VI. The Barges of the Jaredite Colony

VII. The Marvels of Liahona—"Compass."

VIII. The Weight of the Plates

VIII. The Death of Shiz

IX. Concluding Reflections


The Evidences of the Truth of the Book of Mormon, Continued.







The Signs of Messiah's Birth.

The impressive signs given in the western world, according to the Book of Mormon, of the birth and death of Messiah were of such a character that they would doubtless obtain a fixed place in the traditions of the native American people, though, as in the case of all legends, the events are more or less distorted.

The signs of Messiah's birth, both as prophetically promised and historically described, are as follows:

And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his (Messiah's) coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it were day, therefore there shall be one day and a night, and a day as if it were one day, and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun, and also if its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born. And behold there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.[1]

And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold at the going down of the sun, there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished, because there was no darkness when the night came. * * * * * * And it came to pass also, that a new star did appear, according to the word.[2]

And now the native legends on this subject. From the native Central American documents compiled and followed by Fuentes y Guzman, quoted by Juarrors, whom Bancroft follows, it is learned that a certain Quiche prince, Acxopil, the son of Nimaquiche, observing that his people had greatly increased in number and influence, divided his empire into three kingdoms. And now Bancroft, who is quoting Juarrors:

Retaining for himself the first, he gave the second to his oldest son, Jiutemal, and the third to his second son, Acxiquat; and this division was made on a day when three suns were seen, which has caused some to think that it took place on the day of the birth of our Redeemer, a day on which it is commonly believed that such a meteor was observed.[3]

The "day when three suns were seen"—"the day of the birth of our Redeemer"—easily accords with the two days and a night of the continuous light of the Book of Mormon, especially when considered in connection with the appearance of a "new star" (the "meteor" of the quotation) as a sign to the Nephites of the birth of Messiah.

Referring to the traditions of the primitive Nahua period, after dealing with the events of the first age, which treats of the creation, flood, dispersion of mankind, the migration of a colony of seven families to a new land, etc., Bancroft, following the native writer Ixtilxochiti, deals with the second Nahua age, as follows:

The second age, the "sun and air," terminated with a great hurricane which swept away trees, rocks, houses and people, although many men and women escaped, chiefly such as took refuge in caves which the hurricane could not reach. After several days the survivors came out to find a multitude of apes living in the land; and all this time they were in darkness, seeing neither the sun nor the moon. The next event recorded, although Veytia makes it precede the hurricane, is the stopping of the sun for a whole day in his course, as at the command of Joshua as recorded in the Old Testament,[4]

Let no one confound these cataclysms attended with darkness to the flood period of the first Nahua age—which is identical with Noah's flood; they relate to disasters subsequent to that period; they correspond in time and character to the disasters described in the Book of Mormon as taking place in the western hemisphere during the time of the crucifixion and interment of Messiah in Judea. This, I believe, will be established as reasonably clear as we proceed.

Concerning the foregoing passage, I also call attention to the fact that Veytia is said to place before the tempest and the darkness of the tradition the stopping of the sun for a whole day in his course, as at the command of Joshua. Instead of having reference to the Joshua incident, however, may not the incident of the American tradition have reference to the Book of Mormon sign of Messiah's birth, these two days and a night through which there was continuous light?[5] The apparent "stopping of the sun a whole day in his course" would certainly give the period of uninterrupted light required by the Book of Mormon sign of Messiah's birth; and the fact that so noted an authority as Veytia [6] places that singular event before the fierce tempest attended by darkness, restores the order of the events required by the Book of Mormon account of those matters.

De Roo, quoting Bastian,[7] says:

Another circumstance of the Savior's death seems to be remembered in Mexico, for it is related in its traditions that, at the disappearance of Topiltzin or Quetzalcohuatl, [a native culture hero most nearly resembling, as we shall see, the appearance and character of Messiah in the western world], both sun and moon were covered in darkness, while a single star appeared in the heavens. [8]

Here, clear enough, is allusion to the darkness that covered the land at Messiah's death; may not the star, which here appears out of order, according to Book of Mormon statements, really have been the one which appeared to the Nephites as the sign of Messiah's birth?


The Signs of Messiah's Death.

The signs which were to be given to the inhabitants of the western hemisphere of Messiah's death were foretold by a Lamanite prophet as follows:

Behold, in that day that he shall suffer death, the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon, and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead; yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost, there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble, and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth; which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up; yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth; yea, both above the earth and beneath. And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys, which shall become mountains, whose height is great. And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate, and many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many. And behold thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me, that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours; and he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth[9] for the space of three days. [10]

This prediction was literally and awfully fulfilled. Mormon's condensed account of it being as follows:

And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land; and there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder; and there were exceeding sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. And the city of Zarahemla did take fire; and the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned; and the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain; and there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward. But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest, and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the exceeding great quaking of the whole earth; and the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough, and many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain; and the places were left desolate; and there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceeding great, and there were many in them who were slain; and there was some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went, no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away; and thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth. And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch, that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams, and in cracks, upon all the face of the land. And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours; and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land. And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch, that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen, could feel the vapour of darkness; and there could be no light because of the darkness; neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all; and there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land. And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days, that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning, and howling, and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. [11]

From the Book of Mormon we learn that it was in the morning that these terrible cataclysms began, and then were followed by the three days of darkness: for in giving an account of the passing away of this terrible calamity, Mormon says: "Thus did the the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from all the face of the earth and the earth did cease to tremble."[12] On this matter of the signs of Messiah's crucifixion taking place "in the morning," according to American time, the late Orson Pratt made the following valuable comment:

This book, the Book of Mormon, informs us that the time of day at which Jesus was crucified, I mean the time of day here in America, was in the morning; the New Testament tells us that Jesus was crucified in Asia in the afternoon, between the sixth and ninth hour according to the Jews' reckoning. They commenced their reckoning at six o'clock in the morning, and consequently the sixth hour would be twelve o'clock at noon, and the ninth hour three o'clock in the afternoon. Jesus, from the sixth to the ninth hour, in other words from twelve o'clock to three, was hanging on the cross. Now the Book of Mormon, or the historians whose records it contains, when relating the incidents that transpired at the time of the crucifixion—the darkness that was spread over the face of the land, the earthquakes, the rending of rocks, the sinking of cities and the whirlwinds—say these events occurred in the morning; they also say that darkness was spread over the face of the land for the space of three days. In Jerusalem it was only three hours. But the Lord gave them a special sign in this country and the darkness lasted three days, and at the expiration of three days, and three nights of darkness, it cleared off, and it was in the morning. That shows that, according to the time of this country, [America] the crucifixion must have taken place in the morning.

Says one, "Is not this a contradiction between the Book of Mormon and the New Testament?" To an unlearned person it would really be a contradiction, for the four Evangelists place it [the time during which Jesus was on the cross] from twelve to three in the afternoon, while the Book of Mormon says in the morning. An unlearned person, seeing this discrepancy, would say, of course, that both books cannot be true.

If the Book of Mormon be true the Bible cannot be; and if the Bible be true the Book of Mormon cannot be.

I do not known that anybody ever brought up this objection, for I do not think they ever thought of it. I do not think that the Prophet Joseph, who translated the book, ever thought of this apparent discrepancy. "But," says one, "how do you account for it being in the morning in America and in the afternoon in Jerusalem?" Simply by the difference in longitude. This would make a difference of time of several hours; for when it would be twelve at noon in Jerusalem it would only be half-past four in the morning in the north-west part of South America, where the Book of Mormon was then being written. Seven and a half hours difference in longitude would account for this apparent discrepancy; and if the Book of Mormon had said the crucifixion took place in the afternoon we should have known at once that it could not be true. This is incidental proof to learned or scientific men that they cannot very well reason away, and especially when the instrument [i. e. Joseph Smith] who brought forth the Book of Mormon is considered. It must be remembered that he was but a youth, and unlearned; and, when he translated this work, I presume that he was unaware that there was any difference in the time of day, according to the longitude, in different parts of the earth. I do not suppose that Joseph ever thought about it to the day of his death. I never heard him or any other person bring forth this as confirmatory evidence of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I never thought of it myself until years after Joseph's death; but when I did reflect upon it, I could see the reason why the Lord, through his servants, has said in the Book of Mormon, that the crucifixion took place in the morning.[13]

In addition to the passages already quoted, giving the native traditions which, doubtless contain references to the cataclysms at the death of Messiah, as well as to the signs of his birth, Bancroft gives a Toltec tradition directly bearing on the subject, as follows:

The sun and moon were eclipsed, the earth shook, and the rocks were rent asunder, and many other things and signs happened, though there was no loss of life. This was in the year Ce Calli, which, the chronology being reduced to our system, proves to be the same date when Christ our Lord suffered, 33 A. D.[14]

The statement in the foregoing that there was no loss of life resulting from this cataclysm is the only item that mars its perfect agreement with the Book of Mormon incident.

Bouturini, commending the exact chronology of the ancient Mexicans says: "No pagan nation refers primitive events to fixed creation of the world, of the deluge, of the confusion of tongues at the time of the Tower of Babel, of the other epochs and ages of the world, of their ancestors' long travel in Asia, with the years precisely distinguished by their corresponding characters. They record in the year of Seven Rabbits the great eclipse which happened at the crucifixion of Christ our Lord.[15]

The date assigned for this eclipse of sun and moon (darkness), and the attendant earthquakes in the foregoing quotations, is corroborated in a very remarkable manner by the native Peruvian historian Montesinos, quoted by Rivero and Tschudi. In giving a list of the Peruvian monarchs, when reaching the sixtieth, Manco-Capac III., our authors say:

According to the Amautas [Peruvian "wise men," or philosophers] this prince reigned in the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty after the deluge, and consequently at the birth of Jesus Christ, an epoch when Peru had reached her highest elevation and extension. [16]

Following this sixtieth monarch came Cayo-Manco-Capec III., who reigned twenty years. He was followed by Sinchi-Ayar-Manco, who reigned seven years. He, by Huamantaco-Amauta, who reigned five years; which brings us to the year thirty-two A. D., and then follows this statement by our authors, which corroborates the date cited by Bancroft for the cataclysm under consideration, viz:

During his reign [thirty-two or thirty-three A. D.],[17] they experienced earthquakes that lasted several months.[18]

Brasseur de Bourbourg,[19] to whom Bancroft gives high praise as an authority on the languages and traditions of Central America, speaks of physical cataclysms which, according to the native traditions, took place in that part of America, and which are undoubtedly the imperfect accounts of those cataclysms which occurred at the death of Messiah, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. Brasseur became infatuated with the Atlantis theory, and regarded the native American traditions concerning the physical convulsions in nature as describing the submergence of the ancient Atlantis. With the theory of the learned Frenchman I have nothing to do. He may have made a wrong application of the facts of the native traditions. I think he did. But what I am interested in is the fact that so highly commended an authority draws from native sources the tradition of physical cataclysms which so nearly accord with the statements of fact in the Book of Mormon.[20] After relating Brasseur's connection with the Atlantis theory, Baldwin says:

In the first place, Brasseur de Bourbourg claims that there is in the old Central American books a constant tradition of an immense catastrophe of the character supposed [i. e., the convulsions which submerged Atlantis]; that this tradition existed every where among the people when they first became known to Europeans; and that recollections of the catastrophe were preserved in some of their festivals, especially in one celebrated in the month of Izcalli, which was instituted to commemorate this frightful destruction of land and people, and in which "princes and people humbled themselves before the divinity, and besought him to withhold a return of such terrible calamities." This tradition affirms that a part of the continent extending into the Atlantic was destroyed in the manner supposed, [submerged] and appear to indicate that the destruction was accomplished by a succession of frightful convulsions. Three are constantly mentioned, and sometimes there is mention of one or two others. "The land was shaken by frightful earthquakes, and the waves of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and ingulf it." Each convulsion swept away portions of the land, until the whole disappeared, leaving the line of the coast as it is now. Most of the inhabitants, overtaken amid their regular employments, were destroyed; but some escaped in ships, and some fled for safety to the summits of high mountains, or to portions of the land which, for the time, escaped immediate destruction. Quotations are made from the old books in which this tradition is recorded which appear to verify his report of what is found in them. To criticise intelligently his interpretation of their significance, one needs to have a knowledge of those books and tradition equal at least to his own.[21]

Nadaillac also refers to the native traditions collected by Brasseur on this subject and quotes him as follows:

If I may judge from allusions in the documents that I have been fortunate enough to collect, there were in these regions, at that remote date, convulsions of nature, deluges, terrible inundations, followed by the upheaval of mountains, accompanied by volcanic eruptions. These traditions, traces of which are also met with in Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Bolivia, point to the conclusion that man existed in these various countries at the time of the upheaval of the Cordilleras, and that the memory of that upheaval has been preserved:[22]

Treating of a number of old Central American traditions on his own account, Nadaillac says:

Other traditions allude to convulsions of nature, to inundations, and profound disturbances, to terrible deluges, in the midst of which mountains and volcanoes suddenly rose up.[23]

Nothing, perhaps, connected with the signs of Messiah's death would be more impressive than the awful fact of the three days' darkness, and nothing would be more likely to be preserved in the traditions of the people than this singular fact. From generation to generation it would be remembered with terror. It is beyond question the traditional remembrance of that event which so terrorized the native Americans at every recurrence of an eclipse of the sun. Of this fact Bancroft remarks:

The Mexicans were much troubled and distressed by an eclipse of the sun. They thought that he was much disturbed and tossed about by something, and that he was becoming seriously jaundiced. This was the occasion of a general panic, women weeping aloud, and men howling and shouting and striking the hand upon the mouth. There was an immediate search for men with white hair and white faces, and these were sacrificed to the sun, amid the din and tumult of singing and musical instruments. It was thought that should the eclipse become once total, there would be an end of the light, and that in the darkness the demons would come down to the devouring of the people.[24]

It was also the traditional remembrance of the terror of darkness, connected with the death of Messiah, which undoubtedly created the anxiety concerning the renewal of fire at the conclusion of each cycle of fifty-two years recognized in the Mexican chronology. The Mexicans, as represented in some of the notes we have quoted from different authors, hold the tradition of the destruction of the world at four successive epochs. And, says, Prescott:

They looked forward confidently to another such catastrophy, to take place like the preceding, at the close of a cycle, when the sun was to be effaced from the heavens, the human race from the earth, and when darkness of chaos was to settle on the habitable globe. The cycle would end in the latter part of December, and, as the dreary season of the winter solstice approached, and the diminished light of day gave melancholy presage of its speedy extinction their apprehensions increased; and on the arrival of the five unlucky days which close the year, they abandoned themselves to despair. They broke in pieces the little images of their household gods, in whom they no longer trusted. The holy fires were suffered to go out in the temples, and none were lighted in their own dwellings. Their furniture and domestic utensils were destroyed; their garments torn in pieces; and everything was thrown into disorder, for the coming of the evil genii who were to descend on the desolate earth. On the evening of the last day, a procession of priests, assuming the dress and ornaments of their gods, moved from the capital towards a lofty mountain, about two leagues distant. They carried with them a noble victim, the flower of their captivities, and an apparatus for kindling the new fire, the success of which was an augury of the renewal of the cycle. On reaching the summit of the mountain, the procession paused till midnight; when, as the constellation of the Pleiades approached the zenith, the new fire was kindled by the friction of the sticks placed on the wounded breast of the victim. The flame was soon communicated to a funeral pile, on which the body of the slaughtered captive was thrown. As the light streamed up towards heaven, shouts of joy and triumph burst forth from the countless multitudes who covered the hills, the terraces of the temples and the house-tops, with eyes anxiously bent on the mount of sacrifice. Couriers, with torches lighted at the blazing beacon, rapidly bore them over every part of the country; and the cheering element was seen brightening on altar and hearthstone, for the circuit of many a league, long before the sun, rising on his accustomed track, gave assurance that a new cycle had commenced its march, and that the laws of nature were not to be reversed for the Aztecs. The following thirteen days were given up to festivity.[25]

Whence this terror of the darkness? Whence this rejoicing at the assurance of continued light, unless back of both terror and rejoicing somewhere in the history of the people there was some such circumstance as described in the Book of Mormon which gave cause for this terror of darkness on the one hand, and the rejoicing at the assurance of a continuation of light on the other?


1. Helaman xiv: 3, 5.

2. III. Nephi i: 15, 21.

3. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. V., p. 566.

4. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. V., pp. 209, 210.

5. See Helaman xiv: 3, 4, 5; and III. Nephi 1: 15-21.

6. Don Mariano Veytia was born of an ancient and highly respected family at Puebli, Mexico, 1718. After finishing his academic education he went to Spain where he was kindly received at court. He visited several other countries of Europe, made himself acquainted with their languages and returned home and devoted the rest of his life chiefly to the illustration of the national history and antiquities of his country. He composed various works, but his "Antiquities of Mexico" is the only one which went to press. His history covers the whole period from the first occupation of Aauhuac to the middle of the fifteenth century, at which time his labors were unfortunately terminated by his death, which occurred in 1780. In the early portion of his "Antiquities" he endeavored to trace the migratory movements and historic annals of the race who entered the country. "Every page," remarks Prescott, "bears testimony of the extent and fidelity of his researches." (Conquest of Mexico, Vol. I., p. 40.) The author of the history of the "Antiquities of Mexico," tom. I., chapter ii, dates the first migration of the Nahuas from the year 2,237, after the creation" quoted by Nadaillac "Prehistoric America," p. 261. This date is somewhat in agreement with the time at which the Book of Mormon represents the Jaredites as arriving in the western world.

7. Adolf Bastian was born in June, 1826. He was a Prussian ethnologist of note, being professor of that science at Berlin, and demonstrator of the ethnological museum. He succeeded Virchow as president of the Berlin Anthropological society. He traveled in Peru, Columbia and Central America in 1851-66. It is from his works that De Roo quotes the above tradition.

8. History of America Before Columbus, p. 431.

9. "Darkness cover the face of the whole earth," etc. This expression should be understood as limited by one that precedes it in the quotation, viz., "there should be no light upon the face of this land," meaning America. Nothwithstanding the "face of the whole earth" the darkness was limited to the western hemisphere.

10. Helaman xiv: 20-27.

11. III. Nephi viii: 5-23.

12. III. Nephi x: 9 and note 'f.'

13. Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. XIII., pp. 128, 129.

14. Native Races, Vol. V., p. 210.

15. Kingsborough's Mexican Antiquities, Vol. VI., p. 176, note. Bouturini is an authority frequently quoted by Prescott, who has an extended note upon the valuable collection of native memorials of primitive civilization of America made by Bouturini. (See "Conquest of Mexico" Vol. I., p. 126). He was a Milanese by birth, and came to America in 1735 on some business of the Countess Santibanez, a lineal descendant of Montezuma. While in America he traveled extensively in Mexico and Central America, and made the before mentioned collection of memorials. Baldwin also mentions him with approval. (See "Ancient America," p. 195.)

16. Peruvian Antiquities, Tschudi, p. 59.

17. Peruvian Antiquities, Tschudi, p. 60. Compare III. Nephi, chap. viii.

18. I say the year A. D. 32, or 33, for the reason that we do not know how long the reign of Manco-Capac III—who is represented in the foregoing quotation as reigning "at the time of the birth of Christ"—continued after the birth of Messiah; not long evidently; but sufficiently long to make up the difference between A. D. 32 and the time of Messiah's death. Baldwin also refers to the same event, Ancient America, p. 266.

19. Born in France, 1814. Died at Nice, 1874. A French clergyman, ethnologist and author. He was teacher and priest in Canada and the United States 1845-48. From 1854-1863 he traveled extensively in Mexico and Central America studying Indian antiquities and ancient manuscripts.

20. Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 127, 129.

21. Ancient America, pp. 176, 177.

22. Pre-Historic America, pp. 16, 17.

23. Pre-Historic America, p. 527.

24. Native Races, Vol. III., p. 110.

25. Conquest of Mexico, Vol. I., pp. 105, 106.




Messiah in the Western Hemisphere.

The appearance of Messiah in the western hemisphere, no less than the signs of his birth and death, is a circumstance that would undoubtedly find lodgment in the tradition of the native Americans. The manner of it, as described in the Book of Mormon, was as follows: It appears that a short time after the cataclysms which were the sign to the western world of Messiah's death, a number of people in the land Bountiful—a district of country in South America where the isthmus of Panama joins the south continent, and most likely including some part of that isthmus—were in the vicinity of a temple that had escaped destruction, and were conversing upon the many physical changes which had taken place in the land, and also of this same Jesus, of whose death they had received such appalling evidences, when—but let me quote the account of the event from the Book of Mormon:

And it came to pass that while they were conversing one with another, they heard a voice as it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; and notwithstanding it being a small voice, it did pierce them that did hear to the centre, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul and did cause their hearts to burn. And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not; and again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came; and behold the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them, "Behold my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye him." And it came to pass as they understood, they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe, and he came down and stood in the midst of them, and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them. And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying, Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified should come into the world; and behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, the whole multitude fell to the earth, for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should shew himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.[1]

The task before us now is to ascertain if there is anything in the native American traditions which sustain the probability of this historical incident. Of course the reader must not be surprised if he finds the native traditions on such a subject very much confused. All such traditions, as I have before remarked, are so confused. Besides it must be remembered that there were several great characters among the inhabitants of the western world, according to the Book of Mormon, who would likely be confounded with Messiah in the native traditions; such as Moriancumr and Coriantumr among the Jaredites, the first and the last great leaders, respectively, of that ancient people. Then there is the first Nephi, Mulek, the first Mosiah, and several of the Lord's apostles chosen from among the Nephites that are likely to be confounded with Messiah and their mission with his ministry among the people. But notwithstanding this confusion, I think evidences of this advent of Messiah in the western world are traceable in the native traditions; and I should be much disappointed if I had found it otherwise, for of all incidents in Book of Mormon history, the advent of Messiah is the most important.


Of the Culture-Heroes of America.

Speaking of American "culture-heroes" in general, Bancroft says:

Although bearing various names and appearing in different countries, the American culture-heroes all present the same general characteristics. They are all described as white, bearded men, generally clad in long robes; appearing suddenly and mysteriously upon the scene of their labors, they at once set about improving the people by instructing them in useful and ornamental arts, giving them laws, exhorting them to practice brotherly love and other Christian virtues, and introducing a milder and better form of religion; having accomplished their mission, they disappear as mysteriously and unexpectedly as they came; and finally, they are apotheosized and held in great reverence by a grateful posterity. In such guise or on such mission did Quetzalcohuatl appear in Cholula, Votan in Chiapas, Wixepecocha in Ojaca, Zamna, and Cukulcan with his nineteen disciples, in Yucatan, Gucumatz in Guatemala, Viracocha in Peru, Sume and Paye-Tome in Brazil, the mysterious apostle mentioned by Rosales, in Chili, and Bochica in Colombia. Peruvian legends speak of a nation of giants who came by sea, waged war with the natives, and erected splendid edifices, the ruins of many of which still remain. Besides these, there are numerous vague traditions of settlements or nations of white men, who lived apart from the other people of the country, and were possessed of an advanced civilization.[2]

I suggest, in passing, that the part of the tradition which relates to the existence "of settlements or nations of white men who lived apart from the other people of the country, and were possessed of an advanced civilization," refers to those conditions that prevailed when the Nephites and Lamanites occupied the land; the former an industrious, civilized race, the latter an idle, savage race, conditions frequently referred to in the Book of Mormon, in describing the status of the Nephites and Lamanites, respectively.

Observe also that Bancroft, in the foregoing statement, says of some of the characters that, having accomplished their mission, they mysteriously disappeared. There are several such characters spoken of in the Book of Mormon. Such was the case with the second Alma, a noted Nephite character of the first half of the century immediately preceding the advent of Messiah. He was the first president or "judge" of the Nephite republic, also high priest of the Church, uniting in his person the two offices—a thing not unusual among the Nephites,[3] nor among the native Americans, if their annals may be trusted.[4] After completing his life's mission, and making a remarkable prediction concerning the destruction of the Nephite people, Alma departed out of the land, "and it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as to his death or burial we know not of. Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord."[5] In a similar manner, Nephi, the father of Nephi, the apostle, a very noted Nephite leader and prophet, departed out of the land in the same mysterious manner.[6]

The quotation just made from Bancroft on the culture-heroes of America represents them as quite numerous; we shall see, however, as we proceed, that a number of them are the same person remembered in different countries under different names and titles, and that in the character and mission of each there is much similarity. Because of this similarity, however, it must not be supposed that it is my intention to claim each of these "culture heroes" as a more or less tradition-distorted representation of Messiah; and the life and mission of the culture-hero a distorted account of Messiah's advent and mission among the Nephites. Quite to the contrary, I believe that the traditions concerning some of these "culture-heroes" more nearly represent other Book of Mormon characters than they do Messiah. Such, for instance, is Votan, the supposed founder of the Maya confederation. Some things in his character and career make him more nearly resemble Moriancumr, the leader of the Jaredite colony, than Messiah. Bancroft, in one summary of the legends respecting him, says:

Votan, another mysterious personage, closely resembling Quetzalcohuatl in many points, was the supposed founder of the Maya civilization. He is said to have been a descendant of Noah and to have assisted at the building of the Tower of Babel. After the confusion of tongues he led a portion of the dispersed people to America. There he established the kingdom of Xibalba and built the city of Palenque.[7]

Then again, in some respects, Votan resembles the first Nephi. He is said to have come to America one thousand years B. C.;[8] Nephi came early in the sixth century B. C.; Votan brought with him seven families; the Nephite colony, as nearly as may be estimated, on reaching America, consisted of eight families.[9] Votan came to America by divine commandment; so, too, did the Nephite colony.[10] Votan wrote a book, in which he inscribed a complete record of all he had done;[11] so, also, did Nephi.[12] Votan united in his person the qualities of high priest and king; so, also, did Nephi.

After saying all this, however, it has to be admitted that there are some things in the legends concerning Votan which do not run parallel with the career of Nephi. Such, for instance, as his alleged visit to Spain, Rome, Jerusalem, where, in the latter place, he saw the temple of Solomon building; also his visit to the Euphrates valley, where he saw the unfinished Tower of Babel. The part of his story which describes his finding in America a colony of the same race as his own people, reminds one of the first Mosiah, who found the people of Zarahemla, in the valley of the Sidon. It will be remembered that these people came from Jerusalem, were Jews, and are known as the colony of Mulek. These varied legends concerning Votan resembling in the respects here pointed out the several Book of Mormon characters, lead one to regard as reasonable the supposition advanced by nearly all writers who speak of him, that Votan is a generic name; and that the legends which center about this name represent the exploits of several of America's culture-heroes,[13] and, as I believe, of several Book of Mormon characters.


The Peruvian Tradition of the Messiah.

The natives of Chili have the following tradition concerning one of their culture-heroes, which closely resembles Messiah as he was revealed to the Nephites:

Rosales, in his inedited (i. e. unpublished) History of Chili, declares that the inhabitants of that extremely southern portion of America, situated at the distance of so many thousand miles from New Spain, and who did not employ paintings to record events, accounted for their knowledge of some of the doctrines of Christianity by saying, "that in former times, as they had heard their fathers say, a wonderful man had come to that country, wearing a long beard, with shoes, and a mantle such as the Indians carry on their shoulders, who performed many miracles, cured the sick with water, caused it to rain, and their crops and grain to grow, kindled fire at a breath, and wrought other marvels, healing at once the sick, and giving sight to the blind; and that he spoke with as much propriety and elegance in the language of their country as if he had always resided in it, addressing them in words very sweet and new to them, telling them that the Creator of the universe resided in the highest place of heaven, and that many men and women who were resplendent as the sun dwelt with him. They say that he shortly afterwards went to Peru, and that many, in imitation of the habit and shoes which that man used, introduced among themselves the fashion of wearing shoes, and the loose mantle over the shoulders, either fastened with a clasp at the breast, or knotted at the corners, whence it may be inferred that this man was some apostle whose name they do not know."[14]

The points of comparison between the character referred to in the foregoing quotation and the Messiah in his ministry among the Nephites, are:

First: In personal appearance, if due allowance be made for the imperfect description in the legend.

Second: In the character of the work performed, especially in the matter of healing of the sick. While in their midst Jesus is represented as saying to the Nephites:

Have ye any that are sick among you, bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy; for I perceive that ye desire that I shew unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you. And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick, and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.[15]

Third: In relation to the graciousness of his language, the third Nephi represents the Savior as praying for the Nephites in this manner:

And the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him. And after this manner did they bear record: "The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father, and no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the heart of man conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father."[16]

Fourth: Relative to teaching the people, that many men and women were resplendent in their glory and were already dwelling with God, the Book of Mormon mentions the circumstance of Jesus taking very great pains to have recorded in the Nephite annals the fact that many of the ancient Saints arose from the dead and appeared unto many and ministered unto them;[17] and from the whole tenor of his instructions to the Nephites, as found in III. Nephi, it is clear that there was ever present in his thought the fact of redeemed and glorified immortals dwelling with God in his kingdom.

Fifth: The reference in the quotation to the departure of the man-God for another land is paralleled in the Book of Mormon account of Jesus, where he is represented as declaring the existence of the lost tribes of the house of Israel, and the declaration of his intention to visit them. "Now," said he, "I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them."[18]


Topilitzen Quetzalcohuatl.

This personage appears under different names in the native traditions of various countries of America. In the Popol Vuh of the Quiches he is known under the title of Gucumatz;[19] in Yucatan he appears under the name of Cukulcan;[20] in Oajaca (despite some difficulties and contradictions) as Huemac; and in Mexico, par excellence, as Toplitzin Quetzalcohuatl. Respecting this character, various opinions are held. By some he is regarded as the Apostle St. Thomas, whom they credit with coming to America and preaching the Christian religion. "In support of their opinion," says Bancroft, "that he [Quetzalcohuatl] was no other than the apostle, they allege that the hero-god's proper name, Topilitzen Quetzalcohuatl, closely resembles in sound and signification that of 'Thomas, surnamed Didymus;' for 'to' in the Mexican name, is an abbreviation of Thomas, to which 'pilcin,' meaning 'son' or 'disciple,' is added; while the meaning of Quetzalcohuatl (in the Aztec language) is exactly the same as that of the Greek name 'Didymus,' 'a twin,' being compounded of 'quetzalli,' a 'plume of green feathers,' metaphorically signifying anything precious, and 'coatl,' a serpent, metaphorically meaning one of two twins."[21]

Lord Kingsborough, it is well known, is the foremost among those who have identified this traditionary personage (Quetzalcohuatl) with the Hebrew Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth; and to this subject he devoted an incredible amount of labor and research.[22] As Kingsborough's interpretation of the name, Topilitzin Quetzalcohuatl, as also the substance of his argument will appear in quotations from his works, it is not necessary to make a statement of them here. Let it suffice, at this point, to say that native American traditions assign too many of the qualities of Deity to Quetzalcohuatl to regard him merely as a man; and while many things are ascribed to him that are not in harmony with the character and mission of Messiah as set forth in the Book of Mormon, still one may trace the outlines of Messiah's advent and labors among the Nephites in the career of Quetzalcohuatl, as also the qualities of his divinity in what tradition ascribes to the Aztec deity. As for those adventures and human qualities found in Quetzalcohuatl not properly ascribable to Messiah, they arise, doubtless, out of the fact that the native traditions have confounded some of the exploits and characteristics of other great personages who have figured in their history with those of Messiah.

In order that the reader may have a fairly full account of what is said of this American man-divinity, I shall quote what several reliable authorities have said of him, beginning with Prescott:

A far more interesting personage in their [i. e. the Mexicans] mythology was Quetzalcohuatl, god of the air, a divinity, during his residence on earth, instructed the natives in the use of metals, in agriculture, and in the arts of government. He was one of those benefactors of their species, doubtless, who have been deified by gratitude of posterity. Under him, the earth teemed with fruits and flowers, without the pains of culture. An ear of Indian corn was as much as a single man could carry. The cotton, as it grew took of its own accord, the rich dyes of human art. The air was filled with intoxicating perfumes and the sweet melody of birds. In short, these were the halcyon days, which find a place in the mythic systems of so many nations in the Old World. It was the golden age of Anahuac. From some cause, not explained, Quetzalcohuatl, incurred the wrath of one of the principal gods, and was compelled to abandon the country. On his way, he stopped at the city of Cholula, where a temple was dedicated to his worship, the massy ruins of which still form one of the most interesting relics of antiquity in Mexico. When he reached the shores of the Mexican Gulf, he took leave of his followers, promising that he and his descendants would visit them hereafter, and then, entering his wizard skiff, made of serpents' skins, embarked on the great ocean for the fabled land of Tlapallan. He was said to have been tall in stature, with a white skin, long, dark hair, and a flowing beard. The Mexicans looked confidently to the return of the benevolent deity; and this remarkable tradition, deeply cherished in their hearts, prepared the way. * * * * * * for the future success of the Spaniards.[23]

After referring to the numerous, lengthy, intricate and even contradictory legendary statements of the American aborigines which in full may only be learned from the elaborate works of Brasseur de Bourbourg, Lord Kingsborough, and H. H. Bancroft—P. De Roo remarks:

It is the universal opinion of the learned that Quetzalcohuatl is identically the same personage with the contemporary religious and civil reformer whom various nations have deified under different names; that he is the same with Huemac or Vemac, as the Mexicans also called him; with Topilitzin, as he was more anciently known in Tulla by the Toltecs; with Wixipecocha, under whose name he was venerated by the Zapotecs; with Zamna, Cozas, or Cukulcan, the theocratic ruler of Yucatan; nay, with Bochica, the civilizer of Cundinamarca of New Granada, and with Viracocha of Peru.

In the remainder of the quotation from our author, he speaks of this one person under his various names and titles:

Quetzalcohuatl arrived at Tulla, the Toltec capital, from Panuco, a small place on the Gulf of Mexico, where he had first landed. Duran likewise relates that Topilitzin was a foreigner, but could not learn from what parts he had come. His name, given him by the natives, signified "Beautiful feathered serpent." Culkulcan, his Maya or Yucatec appellation, had exactly the same meaning. It was the name of princes and Toltec kings, and probably designates some honorable title, which, if we should make a few learned considerations, might be found to be the Great or the Glorious man of the country. * * * * * * The Indians remembered well that their god Quetzalcohuatl had not been like one of themselves. They described him as a white or pale faced man, of portly person, with broad forehead, great eyes, long black hair, and a heavy rounded beard. The Zapotecan Wixipecocha was also a white-skinned apostle, and the Toltecan Topilitzin is described as having all the same features, to which Duran adds that his beard was of a fair color and his nose rather large. He was very reserved in his manners, plain and meek with those who approached him, passing most of his time in meditation and prayer in his cell, and showing himself but seldom to the people. * * * * * * * * Very abstemious at all times, Topilitzen often observed long and rigorous fasts, practicing severe penances and even bloody self-chastisements, as is likewise stated of the homologous Quetzalcohuatl.

De las Casas testifies that Quetzalcohuatl lived a most honest and chaste life; Sahagun, that he never married nor ever was in the company of a woman, except in the act of auricular confession. While, according to traditional report, he was born of a virgin mother. Herrea states that he remained a virgin himself. The Yucatec legends also notice the celibacy of Cukulcan and his general purity of morals. * * * Quetzalcohuatl is described as having worn during life, for the sake of modesty, a garment that reached down to his feet. * * * * * For shoes, Cukulcan wore sandals, walked along bare-headed; nor is it said that his mantle was, like that of his equivalent Wexipecocha, provided with a monk's cowl for head-gear. From the Mexican traditions we learn that Quetzalcohuatl, also, wore a cloak, which Bancroft calls a blanket over all, in one place, and a long white robe, in another; adding that, according to Gormara, it was decorated with crosses. [24]

It would be impossible within the proposed limits of this work to quote at length what has been written of this mysterious personage of the western world; whose character and career in so many respects are like that of the Hebrew Messiah, as he appeared in the western world. From this point I can only summarize and quote briefly respecting him, leaving the reader interested in the subject to make larger research in the works cited in the margins.[25]

And now first as to the personal appearance of Quetzalcohuatl:

He was a white man, of portly person, broad brow, great eyes, long black hair, and large round head, or exceedingly chaste, and quiet life, and of great moderation in all things.[26] * * * * * * * * Quetzalcohuatl is said to be a white man (some gave him a bright, red face), with a strong formation of body, broad forehead, large eyes, black hair, and a heavy beard. He always wore a long white robe; which, according to Gomara, was decorated with crosses. (J. G. Muller quoted by Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. III., pp. 273, 274.)

In the Book of Mormon account of the advent of Messiah among the Nephites there is no description given of his features or person. This, upon first thought, may seem singular; and yet it is in strictest harmony with human conduct in the presence of such an event. Over-awed by the fact of the presence of a heavenly personage men are liable to take no note of features or color of the eyes or hair or any details of personal appearance. It is not until men are removed from the awe-inspiring circumstance itself that they begin to think of details connected with a heavenly apparition. I think it probable, therefore, that not until after the Nephite accounts were written of the personal ministrations of Jesus did those who beheld him begin to think out the details of his personal appearance; hence we have no description of him in their written annals, but we find it preserved—but perhaps with more or less of error in it—in the traditions of the people.

As to his general character while on earth the following is of importance:

This Quetzalcohuatl was god of the air, and as such had his temple, of a round shape and very magnificent. He was made god of the air for the mildness and gentleness of all his ways, not liking the sharp and harsh measures to which the other gods were so strongly inclined. It is to be said further that his life on earth was marked by intensely religious characteristics; not only was he devoted to the careful observance of all the old customary forms of worship, but he himself ordained and appointed many new rites, ceremonies, and festivals[27] for the adoration of the gods; [28] and it is held for certain that he made the calendar.[29] He had priests who were called Quequetzalcohua, that is to say "priests of the order of Quetzalcohuatl."[30] The memory of him was engraved deeply upon the minds of the people, and it is said that when barren women prayed and made sacrifices to him, children were given them.[31] He was, as we have said, god of the winds, and the power of causing them to blow was attributed to him as well as the power of calming or causing their fury to cease. It was said further that he swept the road, so that the gods called Tlaloques could rain; this the people imagined because ordinarily a month or more before the rains began there blew strong winds throughout all New Spain. Quetzalcohuatl is described as having worn during life, for the sake of modesty, garments that reached down to the feet, with a blanket over all, sown with red crosses. The Cholulans preserved certain green stones that had belonged to him, regarding them with great veneration and esteeming them as relics. * * * * * * He also arranged the calendar, and taught his subjects fit religious ceremonies; preaching specially against human sacrifices, and ordering offerings of fruits and flowers only. He would have nothing to do with the wars, even covering his ears when the subject was mentioned. His was a veritable golden age, as in the time of Saturn; animals and even men lived in peace, the soil produced the richest harvests without cultivation, and the grain grew so large that a man found it trouble enough to carry one ear; no cotton was dyed, as it grew of all colors, and fruits of all kinds abounded. Everybody was rich and Quetzalcohuatl owned whole palaces of gold, silver and precious stones. The air was filled with the most pleasant aromas, and a host of finely feathered birds filled the world with melody.[32]

So, too, the following:

Only Quetzalcohuatl among all the gods was pre-eminently called Lord; in such sort, that when any one swore, saying, By our Lord, he meant Quetzalcohuatl and no other; though there were many other highly esteemed gods. For indeed the service of this god was gentle, neither did he demand hard things, but light; and he taught only virtue, abhorring all evil and hurt. Twenty years this good deity remained in Cholula, then he passed away by the road he had come, carrying with him four of the principal and most virtuous youths of that city. He journeyed for a hundred and fifty leagues, till he came to the sea, in a distant province called Goatzacoalco. Here he took leave of his companions and sent them back to their city, instructing them to tell their fellow citizens that a day should come in which the white men would land upon their coasts, by the way of the sea in which the sun rises; brethren of his and having beards like his; and that they should rule that land.[33] The Mexicans always waited for the accomplishment of this prophecy, and when the Spaniards came they took them for the descendants of their meek and gentle prophet, although, as Mendieta remarks with some sarcasm, when they came to know them and to experience their works, they thought otherwise.[34]

Relative to Quetzalcohuatl in his capacity of Deity I shall quote the following passage from Lord Kingsborough's great work as representing the sum of his extensive research upon the subject and its elaborate presentation:

How truly surprising it is to find the Mexicans, who seem to have been quite unacquainted with the doctrines of the migration of the soul and the metempsychosis, should have believed in the incarnation of the only son of their supreme god Tonacatecutle. For Mexican mythology speaking of no other son of that God except Quetzalcohuatl, who was born of Chimalman, the virgin of Tula, without connection with man, and by his breath alone, (by which may be signified his word or his will, announced to Chimalman by word of mouth of the celestial messenger, whom he dispatched to inform her that she should conceive a son), it must be presumed that Quetzalcohuatl was his only son.[35] Other arguments might be adduced to show, that the Mexicans believed that Quetzalcohuatl was both god and man, that he had previously to his incarnation, existed from all eternity,[36] that he had created both the world and man,[37] that he descended from heaven to reform the world by penance, that he was born with the perfect use of reason, that he preached a new law, and, being king of Tula, was crucified for the sins of mankind, as is obscurely insinuated by the interpreter of the Vatican Codex, plainly declared in the traditions of Yucatan, and mysteriously represented in the Mexican paintings.[38]

It would be a useless repetition of facts already stated in the preceding pages of the present volume, to undertake separately to prove all these points; and we shall confine ourselves in this place to the three first very important articles. The reflection must have suggested itself to those who have perused the New Testament, that Christ is as frequently distinguished there by the appellation of the "Son of Man," as by that of the "Son of God," in reference no doubt to his humanity, and to the famous prophecy contained in the ninth verse of the ninth chapter of Isaiah: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:" which Christians, on the authority of many passages in the four Gospels, apply to Christ, although the Jews some times interpret it of the Messiah, and some times of King Hezekiah. The Mexicans bestowed the appellation of Topilitzin on Quetzalcohuatl, the literal signification of which is "our son," or "our child," the proper name being compounded of "to," "our," and "piltzin," defined by Alonso de Molina in his rare and copious vocabulary of the Mexican and Spanish languages to be mino o nina, "a boy or a girl," and associated by him with the cognate terms of "piltontli" and "pilzintia;" and it may not be unreasonably assumed, since analogies, which are numerous and not isolated, as their number increases, increase also their ratio of probability, not only that the Mexicans were acquainted with Isaiah's famous prophecy, but to mark their belief of the accomplishment of that prophecy, in the person of Quetzalcohuatl, that they named him Topiltzin; no less account of his having been born from a virgin of the daughters of men, then because another equally celebrated prediction of the same prophet declared that he should receive a name from that very circumstance: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." And the proper name Topilitzin does in fact bear a signification corresponding, if not literally, yet entirely in substance with that of Immanuel: since "God with us," which is the interpretation of the Hebrew name, means God domiciliated amongst men; and the full force of the expression is preserved in the term Topilitzin, which might be interpreted the Son of Man, or God on a level with men; for the Mexicans believed that Quetzalcohuatl took human nature upon him, partaking of all infirmities of man, and was not exempt from sorrow, pain, or death, and that he suffered voluntarily to atone for the sins of mankind.[39]

As already remarked, there is much attributed to this Deity of native American tradition that seems incompatible with the character of Messiah, and with his labors while in the western hemisphere; but for all that one may see in outline here the leading truths respecting the Son of God as made known to the Nephites through prophecies and the Christ's advent among them, all of which is set forth in the Book of Mormon; while that which is not congruous to Messiah and his mission to the Nephites, results—as already pointed out—from the confusion of a number of traditions concerning several other great characters who have figured in native American history, and of whom the Book of Mormon speaks. But, in the foregoing excerpts from the works of those skilled in the lore of ancient America, we have the account of "The great or the glorious Man of the country,"[40] that can be no other than the Hebrew Messiah—the Jesus Christ of the Book of Mormon. There are the signs of his birth: the signs of his death; his sudden advent among the people; his personal appearance—not incompatible with the personal appearance of Messiah, but rather in harmony with it; his birth of a virgin; his being the only son of God; his name signifying "God with man;" his being the creator of heaven and earth; his crucifixion for the sins of the world; his being peculiarly "the Lord" to whom men prayed; his love of peace, his hatred of war; his respect for existing religion, yet his enlargement of it and the addition of religious rites and ceremonies; his teaching the people perfectly in their own tongue, yet also in new and honied words; his compassion for the sick, and healing them; his choosing special disciples to teach his religion and making them priests of the same order as himself; the beauty and gentleness of his religion that stands in such marked contrast to the subsequent harsh and sanguinary superstition that darkened the lives of the natives; his instructions as to historical records; his taking with him on his departure from the country four of the principal and most virtuous youths of the city of Cholula to the sea where he separated from them and sent back messages to his followers by them, promising to return;[41] his prediction of other and white races to come and occupy the western world and rule it; his mysterious departure from the land, and his promise to return. All this, which so perfectly agrees both with the character and ministry of Messiah among the Nephites, as described in the Book of Mormon, is set forth in such clearness that it cannot be discredited because of some evident fantasies and incongruities in other parts of the traditions.


1. III. Nephi xi: 3-12.

2. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. V., pp. 23, 24.

3. Such was the case with I Nephi and also Mosiah II. (Omni v: 12-22). Also King Benjamin, (Mosiah i: 2). In fact all the Nephite kings seem to have performed priestly functions; while under the Republic Alma was made president of the state and high priest of the Church, (Mosiah xxix: 42), and in the fifty-third year of the Republic Nephi, the son of Helaman, was, for a time, both president of the Republic and high priest of the Church. (Helaman iii: 37 and chapter iv.)

4. The Mexicans believed that Quetzalcohuatl united in his own person the character of king, priest and prophet. (Kingsborough, Vol. VI., p. 213). Prescott speaking of Montezuma says: "He had been elected to the regal dignity in preference to his brothers for his several qualification both as a ruler and a priest, a combination of offices sometimes found in the Mexican candidates, as it was, more frequently, in the Egyptian." (Conquest of Mexico, Vol. I., p. 215). The same author speaking of the Incas of Peru says: "As the representative of the sun he stood at the head of the priesthood and presided at the most important of the religious festivals." (Conquest of Peru, Vol. I., p. 41). In a note on this passage Mr. Prescott takes exception to what he calls the "sweeping assertion" of Carli to the effect that the royal and sacerdotal authority were blended together in Peru; yet in another passage Prescott himself compares the ancient Peruvian government with that of the Jews and says: "The Inca was both the law giver and the law. He was not merely the representative of divinity, or like the pope, its vicegerant, but he was divinity itself." (Conquest of Peru, Vol. I., p. 135). Tschudi emphatically states the union of king and priest in the Incas as follows: "Moreover, the monarchs of Peru, as children of the sun, and descendants, in a direct line, from Manco-Capac, were the high priests and oracles in religious matters. Thus uniting the legislative and executive power, the supreme command in war, absolute sovereignity in peace, and a venerated high priesthood in religious feasts, they exercised the highest power ever known to man—realized in their persons the famous union of the pope and the emperor, and more reasonably than Louis XIV., might have exclaimed: "I am the state!" (Peruvian Antiquities, Tschudi, pp. 74, 75).

5. Alma xlv: 18, 19.

6. III. Nephi i: 1-3.

7. Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 27, 28. Our author here follows Claviergo.

8. The chronology of legends, or even traditions, is very uncertain; and the variation of a few hundred years or so is not serious. The main point in the above case is that Votan came to America some hundreds of years B. C.

9. Of Lehi's family there were himself and wife, and four sons. Zoram, the servant of Laban; he married one of the daughters of Ishmael. Of Ishmael's family there was himself and wife, two married sons and five daughters. If, as it is supposed, the four sons of Lehi married the four daughters of Ishmael then there were nine families that formed the colony. Ishmael, however, died during the colony's wanderings in Arabia, and hence there were eight families that reached America in the Nephite colony. (For above facts see I. Nephi ii, vi, vii, xvi: 34).

10. I. Nephi ii.

11. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p. 166.

12. I. Nephi i, and I. Nephi ii.

13. Those who would have further information concerning Votan are referred to Bancroft's Native Races, Vol. III., pp. 450, 455. Also Vol. V., pp. 159, 160. Also to Donnelley's Atlantis, chapter iv, and the past notes in these several works.

14. Mexican Antiquities, Kingsborough, Vol. VI., p. 419.

15. III. Nephi xvii: 7, 9.

16. III. Nephi xvii: 15-17.

17. III. Nephi xxiii.

18. III. Nephi xvii: 4, see also chapter xvi: 1-3.

19. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p. 621.

20. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. III., pp. 135, 260, 451

21. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., p. 25

22. Those who desire to follow the researches of the noble author on this point can do so by consulting Vol. VIII. of his elaborate work, pp. 5-51; also his explanations of plates 3, 10, 41 of the Vatican Codex with accompanying notes, Vol. VI. This is by no means all that his lordship writes upon the subject, but from these passages one may learn the substance of his theory, and the argument by which he sustains it.

23. Conquest of Mexico, Prescott, Vol. I., p. 64.

24. History of America Before Columbus, P. De Roo, Vol. I., pp. 540-544.

25. Perhaps the fullest and most accessible work on the subject is Bancroft's Native Races, Vol. III., pp. 248, 287; and P. De Roo's America Before Columbus, Vol. I., chapters xxii, xxiii.

26. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. III., p. 250.

27. See II. Nephi xv: 2, 10.

28. See III. Nephi xi: 21, 28, also III. Nephi xviii: 1, 25. Compare these several passages from Nephi with the statement in the text.

29. This may simply be the traditional remembrance of the fact that the sign of the birth of Jesus was made an epoch from which the Nephites thenceforward reckoned their time. See III. Nephi ii: 4-8.

30. "Priests after the order of Quetzalcohuatl." The Book of Mormon teaches that the Nephites had the high Melchizedek priesthood among them. That is to say, the priesthood of their high priests was after the same order of priesthood as that held by the son of God. Hence we have Alma saying: "I am called to speak after this manner [he was preaching obedience to the people] according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus. * * * * * And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea to preach unto my beloved brethren." (Alma v: 44, 49). "I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people." (Alma xii: 1). The whole chapter deals with this subject of the priesthood, and should be considered as part of the reference. Jesus when instructing the twelve he had chosen from among the Nephites, said to them: "Ye shall be judges of this people according to the judgement which I shall give unto you, which shall be just; therefore what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (III. Nephi xxvii: 27). It is fairly clear, that Jesus appointed priests after his own order even as the traditions of the Mexicans teach that their deity Quetzalcohuatl appointed priests after his own order. The coincident of the tradition and the Nephite record is remarkable, and affords an item of incidental evidence of considerable importance.

31. Compare this statement with the following passage: "Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye enter into temptation. * * * * * Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; and whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you. Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." (III. Nephi xviii: 12, 21).

32. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. III., pp. 259, 260, 274. For a description of the Nephite "golden age," whence comes this "golden age" of the tradition, see III. Nephi, chapter xxiv, xxviii.

33. With this statement compare III. Nephi xvi: 6, 16; also III. Nephi xx: 14, 20, 27, 28; also III. Nephi xxi: 12, 25. Where the Savior predicts the coming of the Gentiles to the promised land, and their privileges and responsibilities respecting it.

34. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. III., p. 251.

35. Compare I. Nephi xi: 12-21; I. Nephi x: 4-6. Also I. Nephi xi: 21; Ether iii: 6-16.

36. Mosiah iii: 4, 5.

37. Helaman xiv: 12; Ether iii: 14-16.

38. III Nephi xi: 6-12.

39. Kingsborough's Mexican Antiquities, Vol. VI., p. 507.

40. The happy suggestion of title is De Roo's Ante, p. 298.

41. Readers of the Book of Mormon will find in this circumstance a resemblance to the fact of Jesus granting to three of the twelve disciples chosen from among the Nephites the privilege of remaining on earth without tasting death until he should return in glory. And when it is remembered that in granting this request to the three Nephites Jesus coupled the name of John, the beloved disciple, in Judea, to whom had been granted the same privilege (St. John xxi), sufficient ground work was laid for the tradition of the "four" "most virtuous youths" who were given a special mission by Quetzalcohuatl to his followers. The incident concerning the three Nephite disciples and the mention of John in connection with them will be found in III. Nephi xxviii.



I next call attention to the evidences of the Hebrew origin of the native Americans, which origin, of course, if established beyond reasonable doubt, will be one more item of evidence—one, too, of very great weight in the volume of cumulative evidence here being compiled, since the Hebrew origin of the native American races is fundamental as testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon. The Hebrew origin of those races in our book is so unequivocally stated and so emphasized that if the said American races could be proven beyond doubt to be of other than Hebrew origin, the claims of the Book of Mormon would be shattered.

The chief sources of information on this subject are the writings of Gregoria Garcia, Edward King (Lord Kingsborough), and James Adair. The first is a Spanish Dominican author, born about 1560; he died 1627. He spent some twelve years in Central American countries as a missionary among the natives, during which time he gathered his materials for his chiefest work, "Origin de los Indios." While contending for the theory that the Indians are descendants of the Ten Tribes, Garcia collected evidences on both sides of the question, though both his evidences and arguments tend to prove the theory of Hebrew origin.

Lord Kingsborough was born in 1795, and died at Dublin in 1837. His "Antiquities of Mexico," ten volumes, imperial folio, were published in London between 1830-48, consequently, since he died in 1837, some of the volumes were issued after his death. His theory is that the Indians are descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and to the establishment of this view he bends all his energies. He is open to the charge of being over zealous for his theory, and doubtless has been somewhat extravagant in his assumptions of proofs—in matters of detail, at least; but, after all proper discount is made for the over-zeal of an enthusiast—fanatic, if you will,—there remains a body of evidence in his works for the Hebrew origin of native American races which has never been successfully disposed of by those who dispute his theory. Even Bancroft, who holds his theory in contempt, is forced to admit that his "enthusiasm is never offensive," and further says of him, "There is a scholarly dignity about his work which has never been attained by those who have jeered and railed at him."[1]

Adair's work, "History of the North American Indians," is included in the eighth volume of Kingsborough's works. James Adair was an English trader among the North American Indians from 1735 to 1775—forty years. It was in 1775 that his work was published. His observations were confined to the North American Indians; hence these three authors may be said to cover the entire field of our investigation. I shall give extracts from all these writers, making use of Bancroft's abridgment of their works as being at once accurate and most accessible to the reader.



I begin with Garcia:

The opinion that the Americans are of Hebrew origin is supported by similarities in character, dress, religion, physical peculiarities, condition, and customs. The Americans are at heart cowardly, and so are the Jews; the history of both nations proves this. The Jews did not believe in the miracles of Christ, and for their unbelief were scattered over the face of the earth, and despised of all men; in like manner the people of the New World did not readily receive the true faith as preached by Christ's Catholic disciples, and are therefore persecuted and being rapidly exterminated. Another analogy presents itself in the ingratitude of the Jews for the many blessings and special favors bestowed on them by God. * * * * * * Both Jews and Americans are noted for their want of charity and kindness to the poor, sick and unfortunate; both are naturally given to idolatry; many customs are common to both such as raising the hands to heaven when making a solemn affirmation, calling all near relatives brothers, showing great respect and humility before superiors, burying their dead on hills and high places without the city, tearing their clothing on the reception of bad tidings, giving a kiss on the cheek as a token of peace, celebrating a victory with songs and dances, casting out of the place of worship women who are barren, drowning dogs in a well, practicing crucifixion. * * * * * * * * The dress of the Hebrew was in many points like that of the Americans. * * * * * * The Jews preferred the flesh-pots of Egypt and a life of bondage to heavenly manna and the promised land; the Americans liked a life of freedom and a diet of roots and herbs, better than the service of the Spaniards with good food. The Jews were famous for fine work in stone, as is shown by the buildings of Jerusalem, and a similar excellence in this art is seen in the American ruins. The Mexicans have a tradition of a journey undertaken at the command of a god, and continued for a long time under the direction of certain high priests, who miraculously obtained supplies for their support, this bears a striking resemblance to the Hebrew story of the wandering in the desert.[2] * * * * Moreover, many traces of their old laws and ceremonies are to be found among them at the present day. For instance, both Jews and Americans gave their temple into the charge of priests, burned incense, anointed the body, practiced circumcision, kept perpetual fires on their altars, forbade women to enter the temple immediately after giving birth, and husbands to sleep with their wives for seven days during the period of menstruation, prohibiting marriage or sexual intercourse between relatives within the second degree, made fornication with a slave punishable, slew the adulterer, made it unlawful for a man to dress like a woman, or a woman like a man, put away their brides if they prove to have lost their virginity, kept the ten commandments.

Answering the objection that the American Indians do not speak Hebrew, Garcia says:

But the reason for this is that the language has gradually changed, as has been the case with all tongues. Witness the Hebrew spoken by the Jews at the present time, which is much corrupted and very different from what is originally was. There do actually exist, besides, many Hebraic traces in the American languages.[3]


Lord Kingsborough's Views.

The main items of Lord Kingsborough's evidences and arguments are thus summarized by Bancroft:

The religion of the Mexicans strongly resembled that of the Jews, in many minor details, as will be presently seen, and the two were practically alike, to a certain extent in their very foundation; for, as the Jews acknowledged a multitude of angels, arch-angels, principalities, thrones, dominions, and powers, as the subordinate personages of their hierarchy, so did the Mexicans acknowledge the unity of the deity in the person of Tezcatlipoca, and at the same time worship a great number of other imaginary beings. Both believed in a plurality of devils subordinate to one head, who was called by the Mexicans Mictlantecutli, and by the Jews Satan. * * * * * * It is probable that the Toltecs were acquainted with the sin of the first man committed at the suggestion of the woman, herself deceived by the serpent, who tempted her with the fruit of the forbidden tree, who was the origin of all our calamities, and by whom death came into the world. We have seen in this chapter that Kingsborough supposes the Messiah and his story to have been familiar to the Mexicans. There is reason to believe that the Mexicans, like the Jews, offered meat and drink offerings to stones. There are striking similarities between the Babel, flood, and creation myths of the Hebrews and the Americans. Both Jews and Mexicans were fond of appealing in their adjurations to the heaven and the earth. Both were extremely superstitious, and firm believers in prodigies. * * * * It is very probable that the Sabbath of the seventh day was known in some parts of America. The Mexicans applied the blood of sacrifices to the same uses as the Jews; they poured it upon the earth, they sprinkled it, they marked persons with it, and they smeared it upon walls and other inanimate things. No one but the Jewish high priest might enter the Holy of Holies. A similar custom obtained in Peru. Both Mexicans and Jews regarded certain animals as unclean and unfit for food. Some of the Americans believed with some of the Talmudists in a plurality of souls. That man was created in the image of God was a part of the Mexican belief. It was customary among the Mexicans to eat the flesh of sacrifices of atonement. There are many points of resemblance between Tezcatlipoca and Jehovah. Ablutions formed an essential part of the ceremonial law of the Jews and Mexicans. The opinions of the Mexicans with regard to the resurrection of the body, accorded with those of the Jews. The Mexican temple, like the Jewish, faced the east. "As amongst the Jews the ark was a sort of portable temple in which the deity was supposed to be continually present, and which was accordingly borne on the shoulders of the priests as a sure refuge and defense from their enemies, so amongst the Mexicans and the Indians of Michoacan and Honduras an ark was held in the highest veneration, and was considered an object too sacred to be touched by any but the priests. * * * * * The Yucatec conception of a trinity resembles the Hebrews. It is probable that Quetzalcohuatl whose proper name signifies "feathered serpent," was so called after the brazen serpent which Moses lifted up in the wilderness, the feathers perhaps alluding to the rabbinical tradition that the fiery serpents which god sent against the Israelites were of a winged species. The Mexicans, like the Jews, saluted the four cardinal points, in their worship. There was much in connection with sacrifices that was common to Mexicans and Jews. * * * * * * In various religious rites and observances, such as circumcision, confession, and communion, there was much similarity. Salt was an article highly esteemed by the Mexicans, and the Jews always offered it in their oblations. Among the Jews, the firstling of an ass had to be redeemed with a lamb, or if unredeemed, its neck was broken. This command of Moses should be considered in reference to the custom of sacrificing children which existed in Mexico and Peru. The spectacle of a king performing a dance as an act of religion was witnessed by the Jews as well as by Mexicans. As the Israelites were conducted from Egypt by Moses and Aaron who were accompanied by their sister Miriam, so the Aztecs departed from Astlan under the guidance of Huitziton and Tecpatzin, the former of whom is named by Acosta and Herrera, Mexi, attended likewise by their sister Quilaztli, or, as she is otherwise named, Chimalman or Malinalli, both of which latter names have some resemblance to Miriam, as Mexi has to Moses. * * * * * * * It is impossible, on reading what Mexican mythology records of the war in heaven and of the fall of Tzontemoc and the other rebellious spirits; of the creation of light by the word of Tonacatecutli, and of the division of the waters; of the sin of Ytztlacoliuhqui, and his blindness and nakedness; of the temptation of Suchiquecal, and her disobedience in gathering roses from a tree, and the consequent misery and disgrace of herself and her posterity—not to recognize scriptural analogies. Other Hebrew analogies Lord Kingsborough finds in America, in the dress, insignia, and duties of priests; in innumerable superstitions concerning dreams, apparitions, eclipses, and other more common-place events; in certain festivals for rain; in burial and mourning ceremonies; in the diseases most common among the people; in certain regularly observed festivals; in the dress of certain nations; in established laws; in physical features; in architecture; in various minor observances, such as offering water to a stranger that he might wash his feet, eating dust in token of humility, anointing with oil, and so forth; in the sacrifice of prisoners; in manner and style of oratory; in the stories of giants; in respect paid to God's name; in games of chance; in marriage relations; in childbirth ceremonies; in religious ideas of all sorts; in respect paid to kings; in uses of metals; in treatment of criminals, and punishment of crimes; in charitable practices; in social customs; and in a vast number of other particulars.[4]


Adair's Evidences.

Following is the summary of Adair's evidences and arguments:

The Israelites were divided into tribes and had chiefs over them, so the Indians divided themselves: each tribe forming a little community within the nation. And as the nation hath its particular symbol, so from nation to nation among them we shall not find one individual who doth not distinguish himself by his family name. Every town has a state house or synedrion, the same as the Jewish Sanhedrim, where almost every night the head men meet to discuss public business. The Hebrew nation were ordered to worship Jehovah the true and living God, who by the Indians is styled Yohewah. The ancient heathens, it is well known worshiped a plurality of gods: but these American Indians pay their religious devoir to Loak Ishtohoollo Aba, The Great Beneficent Supreme Holy Spirit of Fire. They do not pay the least perceptible adoration to images. Their ceremonies in their religious worship accord more nearly with the Mosaic institutions, which could not be if they were of heathen descent. * * * * * Their opinion that God chose them out of all the rest of mankind as his peculiar and beloved people, fills both the white Jew and the red American, with that steady hatred against all the world, which renders them hated and despised by all. We have abundant evidence of the Jews believing in the ministration of angels, during the Old Testament dispensation, their frequent appearances and their services on earth, are recorded in the oracles, which the Jews themselves receive as given by divine inspiration, and St. Paul in his epistle addressed to the Hebrews speaks of it as their general opinion that "angels are ministering spirits to the good and righteous on earth." The Indian sentiments and traditions are the same. They believe the higher regions to be inhabited by good spirits, relations to the Great Holy One, and that these spirits attend and favor the virtuous. The Indian language and dialects appear to have the very idiom and genius of the Hebrew. Their words and sentences are expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous, and bold, and often both in letters and signification synonymous with the Hebrew language. They count time after the manner of the Hebrews, reckoning years by lunar months like the Israelites who counted by moons. The religious ceremonies of the Indian Americans are in conformity with those of the Jews, they having their prophets, high priest, and others of religious order. As the Jews had a sanctorum or most holy place, so have all the Indian nations. The dress also of their high priests is similar in character to that of the Hebrews. The festivals, feasts, and religious rites of the Indian Americans have also great resemblance to that of the Hebrews. The Indian imitates the Israelite in his religious offerings. The Hebrews had various ablutions and anointings according to the Mosaic ritual—and all the Indian nations constantly observe similar customs from religious motives. Their frequent bathing, or dipping themselves and their children in rivers, even in the severest weather, seems to be as truly Jewish as the other rites and ceremonies which have been mentioned. The Indian laws of uncleanliness and purification, and also the abstaining from things deemed unclean are the same as those of the Hebrews. The Indian marriages, divorces and punishments of adultery, still retain a strong likeness to the Jewish laws and customs on these points. Many of the Indian punishments resemble those of the Jews. Whoever attentively views the features of the Indian, and his eye and reflects on his fickle, obstinate, and cruel disposition will naturally think of the Jews. The ceremonies performed by the Indians before going to war, such as purification and fasting, are similar to those of the Hebrew nation. The Israelites were fond of wearing beads and other ornaments, even as early as the patriarchal age and in resemblance to these customs the Indian females continually wear the same, believing it to be a preventive against many evils. The Indian manner of curing the sick is very similar to that of the Jews. Like the Hebrews, they firmly believe that diseases and wounds are occasioned by divine anger, in proportion to some violation of the old beloved speech. The Hebrews carefully buried their dead, so on any accident they gathered their bones, and laid them in tombs of their forefathers; thus all the numerous nations of Indians perform the like friendly office to every deceased person of their respective tribes. The Jewish records tell us that the women mourned for the loss of their deceased husbands, and were reckoned vile by the civil law if they married in the space of at least ten months after their death. In the same manner all the Indian widows, by an established strict penal law, mourn for the loss of their deceased husbands; and among some tribes for the space of three or four years. The surviving brother by the Mosaic law, was to raise seed to a deceased brother, who left a widow childless, to perpetuate his name and family. The American law enforces the same rule. When the Israelites gave names to their children or others they chose such appellatives as suited best their circumstances and the times. This custom is a standing rule with the Indians."[5]

There are writers upon the subject of American Antiquities who hold, first: that not all the foregoing points of comparison between native American races and the Hebrews are clearly established; and second: that if they were all clearly established it would not necessarily prove identity of race. This much, however, can be insisted upon by those who accept the Book of Mormon as true; namely, that since no counter theory of origin for our native American races has yet been conclusively proven, (and as matters now stand, seems impossible of being proven), and as the Book of Mormon makes bold to so definitely announce the Hebrew origin of the people whose history in outline it gives, so much in the foregoing summary of points of comparison between the American races and the Hebrews as may not be successfully contradicted stands as evidence of no mean order for the truth of our Nephite record.

The Discovery of Hebrew Relics.

In addition to these summaries of evidence on the Hebrew origin of the native American races there are several special discoveries bearing on the subject that I think should be mentioned. One is related by Ethan Smith, author of "Views of the Hebrews," a work in which he undertakes to prove that the American Indians are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. While preparing his work for a second edition, he heard of the discovery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, of a parchment, supposed to be of native American origin, covered with Hebrew characters. Mr. Smith went to Pittsfield to investigate the matter, and found the facts to be as follows, the information being given by the man who found the parchment:


The Pittsfield Hebrew Parchment.

This [the discoverer of the parchment] was Joseph Merrick, Esq., a highly respectable character in the church of Pittsfield, and in the county, as the minister of the place informed [me]. Mr. Merrick gave the following account; that in 1815, he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood shed standing on a place of his, situated on Indian Hill, (a place in Pittsfield, so called, and lying, as the writer was afterward informed, at some distance from the middle of the town where Mr. Merrick is now [about 1825] living). He ploughed and conveyed away old chips and earth, to some depth, as the surface of the earth appeared uneven. After the work was done, walking over the place, he discovered, near where the earth had been dug the deepest, a kind of black strap, about six inches in length, and one and a half in breadth, and something thicker than a draw leather [tug] of a harness. He perceived it had at each end a loop of some hard substance, probably for the purpose of carrying it. He conveyed it into his house, and threw it in an old tool box. He afterward found it thrown out of doors, and again conveyed it to the box. He attempted to cut it open, and found it was formed of pieces of thick raw hide, sewed and made water tight with the sinews of some animal; and in the fold it contained four folded leaves of old parchment. These leaves were of a dark yellow, and contained some kind of writing. Some of the neighbors saw and examined them. One of these parchments they tore in pieces; the other three he saved, and delivered them to Mr. Sylvester Larned, a graduate then in town, who took them to Cambridge, and had them examined. They were written in Hebrew with a pen, in plain and intelligible writing. The following is an extract of a letter sent to Mr. Merrick by Mr. Larned, upon this subject:

Sir:—I have examined the parchment manuscript, which you had the goodnesss to give me. After some time and with much difficulty and assistance I have ascertained their meaning, which is as follows: (I have numbered the manuscripts.)

No. 1, is translated by Duet. vi: 4-9 verses inclusive.

No. 2, by Deut, xi: 13-21 verses inclusive.

No. 3, Exod. xiii: 11-16 verses inclusive.

I am, etc. [Signed] SYLVESTER LARNED.[6]


The Newark Hebrew Tablet.

Another discovery of Hebrew writing—the Ten Commandments engraved on a stone tablet—was made in Ohio; and was seen by Mr. A. A. Bancroft, the father of H. H. Bancroft, author of "Native Races." The latter relates the circumstances of finding this relic as follows:

About eight miles southeast of Newark there was formerly a large mound composed of masses of free stone, which had been brought from some distance and thrown into a heap without much placing or care. In early days, stone being scarce in that region, the settlers carried away the mound piece by piece to use for building purposes, so that in a few years there was little more than a large flattened heap of rubbish remaining. Some fifteen years ago, the county surveyor (I have forgotten his name), who had for some time been searching ancient works, turned his attention to this particular pile. He employed a number of men and proceeded at once to open it. Before long he was rewarded by finding in the centre and near the surface a bed of the tough clay generally known as pipe-clay, which must have been brought from a distance of some twelve miles. Imbedded in the clay was a coffin, dug out of a burr-oak log, and in a pretty good state of preservation. In the coffin was a skeleton, with quite a number of stone ornaments and emblems, and some open brass rings, suitable for bracelets or anklets. These being removed, they dug down deeper, and soon discovered a stone dressed to an oblong shape, about eighteen inches long and twelve wide, which proved to be a casket, neatly fitted and completely water-tight, containing a slab of stone of hard and fine quality, and an inch and a half thick, eight inches long, four inches wide at one end, and tapering to three inches at the other. Upon the face of the slab was the figure of a man, apparently a priest with a long flowing beard, and a robe reaching to his feet. Over his head was a curved line of characters, and upon the edges and back of the stone closely and neatly carved letters. The slab, which I saw myself, was shown to the Episcopalian clergyman of Newark, and he pronounced the writings to be the Ten Commandments in ancient Hebrew.[7]

Mr. Bancroft, referring to these circumstances, says that in neither of them "is it certain or even probable that the relic existed in America before the conquest," though he gives no reason for the rather dogmatic statement. For my own part, and especially in the latter case, I see no reason to doubt the existence of these relics in America before the advent of the Spaniards. According to the Book of Mormon the ancient inhabitants of America, the Nephites, had the writings of Moses. The Ten Commandments were regarded as the summing up, the crystallization of the law of God[8] to the people, pending the advent of Messiah with the more perfect law of the gospel. What could be more natural than that they should multiply copies of these scriptures, or parts of them, especially such parts as related to particular promises or warnings to Israelites, as do the passages on the parchment found in Pittsfield, Massachusetts? Or such summaries of the law of Moses as the Ten Commandments constitute? That the Nephites did multiply copies of the scriptures they had in their possession (and doubtless also copies of striking passages of those scriptures) is evident from what is said upon the subject by Mormon when giving an account of the transfer of the Nephite records from one Shiblon to Helaman, the son of Helaman: "Now, behold, all those engravings which were in the possession of Helaman, were written and sent forth among the children of men throughout all the land, save it were those parts which had been commanded by Alma should not go forth."[9]

The part here prohibited transcription and circulation related to the oaths and constitutions of the secret societies from the record of the Jaredites;[10] but for the rest, there was perfect liberty to multiply copies of the scriptures, and that it was done is further evidenced from the fact that missionaries from the Nephites to the Lamanites are found to be in possession of copies of the scriptures which Lehi's colony brought with them from Jerusalem, and from which they read for the instruction of their hearers.[11] It is not difficult to believe, in the light of these facts, that noted personages among native Americans should have engraved on stone or parchment in Hebrew or in other characters passages of the holy scriptures; nor is it incredible that these should be buried with them—since to bury one's personal effects with him was a custom of the natives—and that afterwards the relics should be discovered as in the two instances cited. The fact of the discoveries is beyond question: the nature of them is strong incidental proof of the claims of the Book of Mormon.

Of this Newark discovery, the late Orson Pratt, who examined the engraved stone in the city of New York, and which at the time was in possession of the "Ethnological Society" of that city, makes the following very valuable and convincing statement and argument respecting the find. It should also be remembered that Elder Pratt's knowledge of the Hebrew language makes his comments all the more conclusive; while the fact that he points out in his statement that there is in this Newark Tablet none of the modern "points" and "characters" that have been introduced into the Hebrew "during the last two thousand four hundred years," proves conclusively that the Newark Tablet is an ancient, not a modern production.

Thirty years after the Book of Mormon was put in print, giving the history of the settlement of this country, one of the great mounds south of the great lakes near Newark, in Ohio, was opened. What was found in it? A great many curiosities, among which were some copper pieces, supposed to be money. After digging down many feet, and carrying off many thousand loads of stone, they at length found a coffin in the midst of a hard kind of fire clay. Underneath this they found a large stone that appeared to be hollow; something seemed to rattle inside of it. The stone was cemented together in the middle, but with some little exertion they broke it open, when another stone was found inside of it, of a different nature entirely from its covering. On the stone taken from the inside was carved the figure of a man with a priestly robe flowing from his shoulders; and over the head of this man were the Hebrew characters for "Moshe," the ancient name of Moses; while on each side of this likeness, and on different sides of the stone, above, beneath, and around about were the Ten Commandments that were received on Mount Sinai, written in the ancient Hebrew characters. Now recollect that the Book of Mormon had been in print thirty years before this discovery. And what does this discovery prove? It proves that the builders of these mounds, south of the great lakes in the great Mississippi Valley in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New York, etc., must have understood the Hebrew characters;[12] and not only that, but they must also have understood the law of Moses. Otherwise how happened it that they should write on this stone the Ten Commandments almost verbatim as they are now contained in King James's translation of the Bible. It proves that the builders of these mounds were Israelites, and that their illustrious dead, buried in these mounds, had these commandments buried with them in accordance with the custom of many of the ancient nations, especially the Egyptians, who were in the habit of consigning their written sacred papyrus to their great tombs. In Egypt many of these ancient manuscripts have been exhumed and, in many instances, pretended to be translated. So the Israelites followed the customs of these Eastern nations, and buried that which they considered most sacred, namely, the Ten Commandments, thundered by the voice of the Almighty in the midst of flaming fire on Mount Sinai in the ears of all the congregation of Israel.

I have seen that sacred stone. It is not a hatched up story. I heard tell of it [the stone] as being in the Antiquarian Society, or rather, as it is now called, the Ethnological Society, in the City of New York. I went to the Secretary of that Society, and he kindly showed me this stone, of which I have been speaking, and being acquainted with modern Hebrew, I could form some kind of an estimate of the ancient Hebrew, for some of the modern Hebrew characters do not vary much in form from the ancient Hebrew. At any rate we have enough of ancient Hebrew, that has been dug up in Palestine and taken from among the ruins of the Israelites east of the Miditerranean Sea, to form some kind of an estimate of the characters, and comparing them, I could see and understand the nature of the writings upon these records. They were also taken to the most learned men of our country, who, as soon as they looked at them, were able to pronounce them to be not only ancient Hebrew, but they were also able to translate them and pronounced them to be the Ten Commandments. This, then, is external proof, independent of the Scriptural proofs to which I have alluded, in testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Now, our modern Hebrew has many points; it has also many additional characters that have been made since these colonies left Jerusalem. Do you find on these ancient writings any of these modern characters that have been introduced during the last two thousand four hundred years? Not one. Do you find any Hebrew points representing vowels? Not one; and all the new consonants that have been introduced during the last two thousand four hundred years were not found upon this stone to which I have referred, showing plainly that it must have been of very ancient date.[13]

In connection with his comments on this Newark Tablet Elder Pratt also makes the following statement:


Five years after the discovery of this remarkable memento of the ancient Israelites on the American continent, [the Newark Tablet], and thirty-five years after the Book of Mormon was in print, several other mounds in the same vicinity of Newark were opened, in several of which Hebrew characters were found. Among them was this beautiful expression, buried with one of their ancient dead, "May the Lord have mercy on me a Nephite." It was translated a little differently, viz., "Nephel." Now we well know that Nephi, who came out of Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ, was the leader of the first Jewish [Israelitish—Lehi's colony was made up of families from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. See Vol. I., pages 167-8.] colony across to this land, and the people, ever afterwards, were called "Nephites," after their inspired prophet and leader. The Nephites were a righteous people and had many prophets among them; and when they were burying one of their brethren in these ancient mounds, they introduced the Hebrew characters signifying "May the Lord have mercy on me, a Nephite." This is another direct evidence of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, which was brought forth and translated by inspiration some thirty-five years before this inscription was found.[14]


1. Native Races, Vol. V., p. 84.

2. But, it might be suggested, more closely resembles the story of Lehi's colony at its departure from Jerusalem and its journey to America.

3. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 79-83.

4. Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91.

5. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 91, 92, 93 and notes.

6. View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America, pp. 219, 220. The above account is also quoted by Josiah Priest, American Antiquities, pp. 68, 69. Also by Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 93, 94.

7. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 94, 95.

8. See especially the teachings of the prophet Abinadi in Mosiah, chapter xii and xiii, where the Ten Commandments are expounded as the sum of the law of Moses, and its relation to the whole plan of God for the salvation of men defined.

9. Alma lxiii: 12. Orson Pratt in a foot note on the passage suggests: "Those innumerous copies of sacred books were undoubtedly transcribed directly from or compared with, the records on the original metallic plates."

10. See Alma xxxvii.

11. Alma xii: 12-15; xxiii: 4-5; xxxiii: 12-15.

12. It may be objected that this Newark Tablet with the Ten Commandments written upon it in ancient Hebrew, can be of no value as evidence for the Book of Mormon, since that book was engraved in characters called "reformed Egyptian." That is to say, it was written in Egyptian characters somewhat altered by the Nephites in the course of time—such changes take place in all written languages. But the Nephites also wrote, to a limited extent, at least (and it would most probably be in such cases as making a transcript of the Ten Commandments), in Hebrew (See Mormon ix, 32, 33). Hence the importance of the Newark Tablet as an ancient Nephite relic.

13. Journal of Discourses, Vol. XIII., p. 131, the discourse was delivered April 10th, 1870, Salt Lake City.

14. Journal of Discourses, Vol. XIII., p. 131.




The Cincinnati Gold Plate.

Other discoveries of ancient American records, though evidently not of Hebrew origin, should also be recorded, since they bear important testimony to the fact that the ancient Americans did engrave records on metallic plates. One of these records was found in the state of Ohio, the other in Illinois. The first is the discovery of a gold plate with raised characters engraven upon it, near Cincinnati, under the following circumstances:

Mr. Benjamin E. Styles of Cincinnati, Ohio, while excavating the earth for a cistern, in the year 1847, found, a few feet above high water mark on the Ohio river, a gold plate. It was thrown out with the loose earth while excavating about nine feet beneath the surface. Said plate is of fine gold, three or four inches in length, averaging about three-fourths of an inch in width, about one-eighth of an inch in thickness, with the edges scolloped. In the face of which was beautifully set another plate of the same material, and fastened together by two pins, running through both. This latter plate is full of ancient raised characters, beautifully engraved upon its surface; the whole exhibiting fine workmanship. The plate was examined by Dr. Wise, a very learned Rabbi of the Jewish synagogue in Cincinnati, and editor of a Hebrew paper there, who pronounced the characters to be mostly ancient Egyptian.

Such was the description of the circumstances under which the discovery was made, and of the plate itself, by Elder Parley P. Pratt, to whom Mr. Styles exhibited the plate, and related the circumstances of its discovery. Elder Pratt communicated the facts to the "Mormon," published in New York, in a letter bearing date of January 1st, 1857. [1] A cut of the relic was afterwards made and published by Drake and Co., of St. Louis, printers, and with it the following certificate was given:

We do hereby certify that we did print from a gold plate, the above fac-simile, handed to us by Mr. Benjamin Styles, which he said he found while digging for a cistern in Cincinnati, Ohio.

No. 1 is a frame of gold containing a thin plate, No. 2, and appears to have been executed by a very superior workman.


Saint Louis, Missouri.[2]


The Kinderhook Plates.

The Illinois discovery is summarized as follows from the "Quincy Whig," a paper published in Quincy, Illinois:


A young man by the name of Wiley, a resident in Kinderhook, Pike county, went by himself and labored diligently one day in pursuit of a supposed treasure, by sinking a hole in the centre of a mound. Finding it quite laborious, he invited others to assist him. A company of ten or twelve repaired to the mound and assisted in digging out the shaft commenced by Wiley. After penetrating the mound about eleven feet, they came to a bed of limestone that had been subjected to the action of fire. They removed the stones, which were small and easy to handle, to the depth of two feet more, when they found six brass plates, secured and fastened together by two iron wires, but which were so decayed that they readily crumbled to dust upon being handled. The plates were so completely covered with rust as almost to obliterate the characters inscribed upon them, but, after undergoing a chemical process, the inscriptions were brought out plain and distinct. There were six plates, four inches in length, one inch and three-quarters wide at the top and two inches and three-quarters wide at the bottom, flaring out to points. There are four lines of characters or hieroglyphics on each. On one side of the plates are parallel lines running lengthways. By whom these plates were deposited there must ever remain a secret, unless some one skilled in deciphering hieroglyphics may be found to unravel the mystery. Some pretend to say that Smith, the Mormon leader, has the ability to read them. If he has, he will confer a great favor on the public by removing the mystery which hangs over them. A person present when the plates were found remarked that it would go to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, which it undoubtedly will. In the place where these plates were deposited were also found human bones in the last stage of decomposition. There were but a few bones found; and it is believed that it was but the burial place of a person or family of distinction in ages long gone by, and that these plates contain the history of the times, or of a people that existed far, far beyond the memory of the present race. But we will not conjecture anything about discovery, as it is one which the plates alone can reveal. The plates above alluded to were exhibited in this city last week, and are now, we understand, in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The public curiosity is greatly excited; and if Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent than any man now living.[3]

In a communication to the "Times and Seasons" (Nauvoo, Illinois), the following testimony concerning the discovery was given:

On the 16th of April last, a respectable merchant, by the name of Robert Wiley, commenced digging in a large mound near this place: He excavated to the depth of ten feet and came to rock. About that time the rain began to fall, and he abandoned the work. On the 23rd, he and quite a number of the citizens, with myself, repaired to the mound; and after making ample opening, we found plenty of rock the most of which appeared as though it had been strongly burned; and after removing full two feet of said rock, we found plenty of charcoal and ashes; also human bones that appeared as though they had been burned; and near the encophalon a bundle was found that consisted of six plates of brass of a bell shape, each having a hole near the small end, and a ring through them all, and clasped with two clasps. The rings and clasps appeared to be iron very much oxydated. The plates appeared first to be copper, and had the appearance of being covered with characters. It was agreed by the company that I should cleanse the plates. Accordingly I took them to my house washed them with soap and water and a woolen cloth, but, finding them not yet cleansed, I treated them with dilute sulphuric acid, which made them perfectly clean, on which it appeared that they were completely covered with hieroglyphics that none as yet have been able to read. Wishing that the world might know the hidden things as fast as they come to light, I was induced to state the facts, hoping that you would give it an insertion in your excellent paper; we feel anxious to know the true meaning of the plates, and publishing the facts might lead to the true translation.

They were found, I judged, more than twelve feet below the surface of the top of the mound. I am, most respectfully, a citizen of Kinderhook.


We the citizens of Kinderhook, whose names are annexed, do certify and declare that on the 23rd of April, 1843, while excavating a large mound in this vicinity, Mr. R. Wiley took from said mound six brass plates of a bell shape, covered with ancient characters. Said plates were very much oxydated. The bands and rings on said plates mouldered into dust on a slight pressure.






Since these plates were sent to Nauvoo for the inspection of the Prophet Joseph, it will be of interest to know what view he took of them. The following occurs in his journal under date of Monday, May 1st, 1843:

I insert fac-simile of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. R. Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton, and were covered on both sides with ancient characters. I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.[5]

It is proper here to call attention to the fact that the genuineness of this discovery of the Kinderhook plates is questioned by some anti-Mormon writers, among them Professor William A. Linn, in his late work, "The Story of Mormonism," where he says:

But the true story of the Kinderhook plates was disclosed by an affidavit made by W. Fugate of Mound station, Brown county, Illinois, before Jay Brown justice of the peace, on June 30, 1879. In this he stated that the plates were a humbug, gotten up by Robert Wiley, Bridge Whitton, and myself. Whitton (who was a blacksmith) cut the plates out of some pieces of copper; Wiley and I made the hieroglyphics by making impressions on beeswax and filling them with acid, and putting it on the plates. When they were finished, we put them together with rust made of nitric acid, old iron and lead, and bound them with a piece of hoop iron, covering them completely with rust. He describes the burial of the plates and the digging up, among the spectators of the latter being two Mormon Elders, Marsh and Sharp. Sharp declared that the Lord had directed them to witness the digging. The plates were borrowed and shown to Smith, and were finally given to one Professor McDowell of St. Louis, for his museum.[6]

Of this presentation of the matter it is only necessary to say that it is a little singular that Mr. Fugate alone out of the three said to be in collusion in perpetrating the fraud should disclose it, and that he should wait from 1843 to 1879—a period of thirty-six years—before doing so, when he and those said to be associated with him had such an excellent opportunity to expose the vain pretensions of the Prophet— if Fugate's tale be true? For while the statement in the text of the Prophet's Journal to the effect that the find was genuine, and that he had translated some of the characters and learned certain historical facts concerning the person with whose remains the plates were found, may not have been known at the time to the alleged conspirators to deceive him, still the editor of the Times and Seasons—John Taylor, the close personal friend of the Prophet—took the find seriously, and expressed at once explicit confidence in an editorial in the Times and Seasons, of May 1st, 1843, that the Prophet could give a translation of the plates. And this attitude the Church, continued to maintain; for in The Prophet, (a Mormon weekly periodical, published in New York) of the 15th of February, 1845, there was published a fac-simile of the Kinderhook plates, together with the Times and Seasons editorial and all the above matter of the text. How easy to have covered Joseph Smith and his followers with ridicule by proclaiming the hoax as soon as they accepted the Kinderhook plates as genuine! Why was it not done? The fact that Fugate's story was not told until thirty-six years after the event, and that he alone of all those who were connected with the event gives that version of it, is rather strong evidence that his story is the hoax, not the discovery of the plates, nor the engravings upon them.


The Tuccabatchey Plates.

In further evidence that the native Americans engraved records on metallic plates I quote the following from Adair's "History of the North American Indians." The passage is a footnote on the custom of the Indians burying a dead person's treasures with him:

In the Tuccabatches on the Tallapoose river, thirty miles above the Allabahamah garrison are two brazen tables, and five of copper. They (the Indians) esteem them so sacred as to keep them constantly in their holy of holies, without touching them in the least, only in the time of their compounded first-fruit offering, and annual expiation of sins; at which season, their magus carries one under his arm, ahead of the people, dancing round in sacred armor; next to him their head warrior carries another; and those warriors who choose it carry the rest after the manner of the high priest; all the other carry white canes with swan-feathers at the top. Hearing accidentally of these important monuments of antiquity, and inquiring pretty much about them, I was certified of the truth of the report by four of the southern traders, at the most eminent Indian trading house of all English America. One of the gentlemen informed me, that at my request he endeavored to get the liberty of viewing the aforesaid tables, but it could not possibly be obtained, only in the time of the yearly grand sacrifice, for fear of polluting their holy things, at which time gentlemen of curiosity may see them. Old Bracket, an Indian, of perhaps one hundred years old, lives in that old beloved town, who gave the following description of them:

The shape of the five copper plates: One is a foot and a half long and seven inches wide, the other four are shorter and narrower.

The shape of the two brass plates was circular, about a foot and a half in diameter.

He [Bracket] said that he was told by his forefathers that those plates were given to them by the man we call God; that there had been many more of other shapes, some as long as he could stretch with both his arms, and some had writing upon them which are buried with particular men; and that they had instructions given with them, viz., they must only be handled by particular people, and those feasting [fasting?]; and no unclean woman must be suffered to come near them or the place, where they are deposited. He said none but his own town's people had any such plates given them, and that they were a different people from the Creeks. He only remembered three more which were buried with three of his family and he was the only man of the family now left. He said, there were two copper plates under the king's cabin which laid there from the first settling of the town.

This account was taken in the Tuccabatchey square, 27th July, 1759, per Will. Bolsover.[7]

The foregoing account of engraven records on gold and copper plates is important as evidence to the truth of the Book of Mormon only this far; the Book of Mormon repeatedly declares that such was the manner of keeping records among the Nephites and the Jaredites, Mormon's abridgment of the larger Nephite records being engraven in this manner on plates of gold. And the discoveries related above, all of which were unknown to Joseph Smith, prove that in ancient America records were so kept, and constitutes at least important incidental evidence to the truth of that part of the Book of Mormon statement.


1. Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 103.

2. A fac-simile of the plate is to be found in Mill. Star, Vol. XIX., p. 632.

3. Mill. Star, Vol. XXI., p. 44.

4. Mill. Star, Vol. XXI., p. 44.

5. Mill. Star, Vol. XXI., p. 40.

6. "The Story of the Mormons," Linn, p. 87.

7. Lord Kingsborough's Mexican Antiquities, Vol. VIII., pp. 356, 358.




Central and Western New York an Ancient Battle Field.

According to the Book of Mormon the Hill Cumorah of the Nephites—the Ramah of the Jaredites—must be regarded as a natural monument overlooking ancient and extensive battle fields. Around it early in the sixth century B. C., the Jaredites were destroyed. Here, also, a thousand years later, at the close of the fourth century A. D., the Nephites met with practical annihilation in a battle which, whether judged by the importance of the changes it wrought in the affairs of one of the world's continents, or the number slain,[1] ranks as one of the world's great battles. In view of these Book of Mormon facts one would naturally expect to find some evidences in this section of the country for such wonderful historical events. Here one has a right to expect the evidences of military fortifications; for, though a thousand years had elapsed between the destruction of the Nephites and the discovery of America by the Europeans, still some military monuments would doubtless survive that length of time. Fortunately we are not without kind of evidences that may be reasonably expected. We find such historical monuments described in the "American Antiquities" of Josiah Priest, published in Albany, New York. Before quoting, however, I call attention to the fact that Mr. Priest regarded the fortifications and other evidences of great battles fought south of lake Ontario as marking the struggle between the descendants of Tartar races (our American Indians, in his view) and Scandinavians, whom he assumes had penetrated into middle New York during the first half of the tenth century A. D. Of course, I am of the opinion that both the Tartar theory of the origin of some of our American Indians, and Mr. Priest's assumption that Scandinavians had pushed their way into the interior of New York, are both improbable; but his theories do not vitiate the facts of which he is the compiler and witness; but these facts, I am sure, better fit the statements of the Book of Mormon than they do his speculations. The reader will therefore bear in mind that it is the facts of Mr. Priest that are of value to us, not his theories; and here are the facts:[2]

There are the remains of one of those efforts of Scandinavian defense, situated on a hill of singular form, on the great sandplain between the Susquehannah and Chemung rivers, near their junction. The hill is entirely isolated, about three-fourths of a mile in circumference, and more than one hundred feet high. It has been supposed to be artificial, and to belong to the ancient nations to which all works of this sort generally belong. In the surrounding plain are many deep holes, of twenty or thirty rods in circumference, and twenty feet deep—favoring a belief that from these the earth was scooped out, to form the hill with. It is four acres large on its top, and perfectly level, beautifully situated to overlook the country to a great distance, up and down both rivers; there is on its top the remains of a wall, formed of earth, stone and wood, which runs round the whole, exactly on the brow. The wood is decayed and turned to mould, yet it is traceable, and easily distinguished from the natural earth: within is a deep ditch or entrenchment, running around the whole summit.[3] From this it is evident that a war was once waged here; and were we to conjecture between whom, we should say between the Indians and Scandinavians, and that this fortification, so advantageously chosen, is of the same class of defensive works with those about Onondaga,[4] Auburn,[5] and the lakes Ontario, Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida[6] and Erie. * * * * * * * In Pompey, [Onondaga county] [7] on lot No. 14, is the site of an ancient burying ground, upon which, when the country was first settled, was found timber growing, apparently of the second growth, judging from the old timber reduced to mould, lying round, which was one hundred years old, ascertained by counting the concentric grains. In one of these graves was found a glass bottle about the size of a common junk bottle, having a stopple in its nozzle, and in the bottle was a liquid of some sort, but was tasteless. But is it possible that the Scandinavians could have had glass in their possession at so early a period as the year 950 and thereabout, so as to have brought it with them from Europe when their first settlements were made in this country? We see no good reason why not, as glass had been known three hundred years in Europe before the northern Europeans are reputed to have found this country, the art of making glass having been discovered in A. D. 664. But in other parts of the world, glass had been known from time immemorial, even from the flood, as it has been found in the Tower of Babel[8] * * * * * * In the same grave with the bottle was found an iron hatchet, edged with steel. The eye, or place for the helve, was round, and extended or projected out, like the ancient Swiss or German axe. On lot No. 9, in the same town, [Pompey] was another aboriginal burying ground, covered with forest trees, as the other. In the same town, on lot No. 17, were found the remains of a blacksmith's forge; at this spot have been ploughed up crucibles, such as mineralogists use in refining metals. These axes are similar, and correspond in character with those found in the nitrous caves on the Gasconade river, which empties into the Missouri, as mentioned by Professor Beck's Gazetteer of that country. In the same town [Pompey] are the remains of two ancient forts or fortifications, with redoubts of a very extensive and formidable character. Within the range of these works have been found pieces of cast iron, broken from some vessel of considerable thickness. These articles cannot well be ascribed to the era of the French war, as time enough since, then, till the region round about Onondaga was commenced to be cultivated, had not elapsed to give the growth of timber found on the spot, of the age above noticed; and, added to this, it is said that the Indians occupying that tract of country had no tradition of their authors.[9] * * * * * * The hatchets or iron axes found here were likely of the same origin with the pieces of cast iron. In ploughing the earth, digging wells, canals, or excavating for salt waters, about the lakes, new discoveries are frequently made, which as clearly show the operations of ancient civilization here, as the works of the present race would do, were they left to the operations of time for five or six hundred years; especially were this country totally to be overrun by the whole consolidated savage tribes of the west, exterminating both the worker and his works, as appears to have been done in ages past. In Scipio,[10] on Salmon creek, a Mr. Halsted has, from time to time during ten years past, ploughed up, on a certain extent of land on his farm, seven or eight hundred pounds of brass, which appeared to have once been formed into various implements, both of husbandry and war; helmets and working utensils mingled together. The finder of this brass, we are informed as he discovered it carried it to Auburn, and sold it by the pound, where it was worked up, with as little curiosity attending as though it had been but an ordinary article of the country's produce: when, if it had been announced in some public manner, the finder would have doubtless been highly rewarded by some scientific individual or society, and preserved it in the cabinets of the antiquarian, as a relic of by-gone ages of the highest interest. On this field, where it was found, the forest timber was growing as abundantly, and had attained to as great age and size, as elsewhere in the heavy timbered country of the lakes. [11] * * * * * * In Pompey,[12] Onondago county, are the remains, or outlines, of a town, including more than 500 acres. It appeared protected by three circular or eliptical forts, eight miles distant from each other; placed in such relative positions as to form a triangle round about the town, at those distances. It is thought, from appearances, that this stronghold was stormed and taken on the line of the north side. In Camillus,[13] in the same county, are the remains of two forts, one covering about three acres, on a very high hill; it had gateways, one opening to the east, and the other to the west, toward a spring, some rods from the works. Its shape is eliptical; it has a wall, in some places ten feet high, with a deep ditch. Not far from this is another, exactly like it, only half as large. There are many of these ancient works hereabouts; one in Scipio, two near Auburn, three near Canandaigua,[14] and several between the Seneca and Cayuga lakes.[15] A number of such fortifications and burial places have been discovered in Ridgeway, [16] on the southern shore of lake Ontraio. There is evidence enough that long bloody wars were waged among the inhabitants. * * * * * * From the known ferocity of the ancient Scandinavians, who with other Europeans of ancient times we suppose to be the authors of the vast works about the region of Onondaga, dreadful wars with infinite butcheries, must have crimsoned every hill and dale of this now happy country.[17] * * * * * * In the fourteenth township; fourth range of the Holland Company's lands in the state of New York, near the Ridge road leading from Buffalo to Niagara Falls[18] is an ancient fort, situated in a large swamp; it covers about five acres of ground; large trees are standing upon it. The earth which forms this fort was evidently brought from a distance, as the soil of the marsh is quite another kind, wet and miry, while the site of the fort is dry gravel and loam. The site of this fortification is singular, unless we suppose it to have been a last resort or hiding place from an enemy. The distance to the margin of the marsh is about half a mile, where large quantities of human bones have been found, on opening the earth, of an extraordinary size: the thigh bones, about two inches longer than a common sized man's; the jaw or chin bone will cover a large man's face; the skull bones are of an enormous thickness; the breast and hip bones are also very large. On being exposed to the air they soon moulder away, which denotes the great length of time since their interment. The disorderly manner in which these bones were found to lie, being crosswise, commixed and mingled with every trait of confusion, show them to have been deposited by a conquering enemy, and not by friends, who would have laid them, as the custom of all nations always has been, in a more deferential mode. There was no appearance of a bullet having been the instrument of their destruction, the evidence of which would have been broken limbs. Smaller works of the same kind abound in the country about lake Ontraio.[19] But the one of which we have just spoken is the most remarkable. * * * * * * North of the mountain, or great slope towards the lake, [Ontraio], there are no remains of ancient works or tumuli, which strongly argues, that the mountain or ridgeway once was the southern boundary or shore of lake Ontario; the waters having receded from three to seven miles from its ancient shore, nearly the whole length of the lake, occasioned by some strange convulsion in nature,[20] redeeming much of the lands of the west from the water that had covered it from the time of the deluge." [21]

These described fortifications and burial mounds make it clear that Central and Western New York at some time have been the scenes of destructive battles; and the fact constitutes strong presumptive evidence of the statements of the Book of Mormon that great battles were fought there. The only thing which leads modern writers to ascribe a comparatively recent date to the wars whereof central and western New York was the battlefields is the discovery of glass, iron and brass within these fortifications. It is assumed that these metals and glass were unknown to the ancient Americans, hence Mr. Priest sets forth the theory that the battles were fought between wild tribes of Indians and Scandinavians. Instead of taking this view of the case, however, I shall rely in part upon the finding of these implements made of iron and brass as sustaining the statement of the Book of Mormon that the Nephites were acquainted with and used these metals; but of this I shall have more to say later, when considering the objections urged against the Book of Mormon. Meantime I merely call attention to the fact which here concerns me, namely, that central and western New York constitute the great battle fields described in the Book of Mormon as being the place where two nations met practical annihilation, the Jaredites and Nephites; and of which the military fortifications and monuments described by Mr. Priest are the silent witnesses.


Miscellaneous Book of Mormon Historical Incidents and Nephite Customs Found in the Native American Traditions.

Besides what has already been set forth on the confirmation of Nephite historical incidents in native American traditions and mythologies, there remains several other Lamanite and Nephite historical incidents and customs, mentioned in the Book of Mormon, that are preserved in the traditions of the native Americans, and which ought to receive consideration here.

Blood Drinking.

One of the customs of the Lamanites, in the matter of eating raw flesh and drinking the blood of animals, is mentioned in the book of Enos, where a description is given of the barbarity of the Lamanites as follows:

And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people; full of idolatry and filthiness: feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven, and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the axe. And many of them did eat nothing save it were raw meat.[22]

Jarom mentions substantially the same thing:

And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land; and the Lamanites also. And they were exceeding more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.[23]

Such the statement of the Book of Mormon. And now the native American tradition bearing on this from Bancroft. Speaking of the Toltecs as an enlightened race of native Americans, who are credited with the first introduction of agriculture in America, our author says:

But even during this Toltec period hunting tribes, both of Nahua and other blood, were pursuing their game in the forests and mountains, especially in the northern region. Despised by their more civilized, corn-eating brethren, they were known as barbarians, dogs, Chichimecs, "suckers of blood," from the custom attributed to them of drinking blood and eating raw flesh.[24]


Human Sacrifices. Cannibalism.

Another statement in the Book of Mormon with reference to a Lamanite custom concerning their treatment of prisoners taken in war is as follows. Speaking of an invasion of the Lamanites into Nephite territory the Book of Mormon says:

And they did also march forward against the city of Teancum, and did drive the inhabitants forth out of her, and did take many prisoners both women and children, and did offer them up as sacrifices unto their idol gods. And it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and seventh years, [A. D.], the Nephites being angry because the Lamanites had scattered their women and their children, that they did go against the Lamanites with exceeding great anger, insomuch that they did beat again the Lamanites, and drive them out of their lands.[25]

Later, referring to a second invasion of the Nephite lands, Mormon also says:

And when they had come the second time, the Nephites were driven and slaughtered with an exceeding great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed unto idols.[26]

Some years later, Mormon, in an epistle to his son Moroni, speaking of the awful depravity which characterized both Nephites and Lamanites, says of them: "They thirst after blood and revenge continually."[27] Of the treatment of certain prisoners taken from one of the cities he also says:

And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.[28]

He describes how the Nephites defiled the daughters of Lamanite prisoners, and then continues:

And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies, even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.[29]

This, doubtless, was the beginning—in the later part of the fourth century A. D., "not early in the fourteenth century," as held by Prescott[30]—of those horrible human sacrifices and acts of cannibalism found among the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish invasion of Mexico, and which so shocked even the cruel Spaniards. Bancroft, in telling of the treatment of prisoners taken in war among the Aztecs, describes an unequal battle for life that was sometimes accorded the male prisoners, and then adds:

Those who were too faint-hearted to attempt this hopless combat, had their hearts torn out at once, whilst the others were sacrificed only after having been subdued by the braves. The bleeding and quivering heart was held up to the sun and then thrown into a bowl, prepared for its reception. An assistant priest sucked the blood from the gash in the chest through a hollow cane, the end of which he elevated towards the sun, and then discharged its contents into a plume-bordered cup held by the captor of the prisoner just slain. This cup was carried round to all the idols in the temples and chapels, before whom another blood-filled tube was held up as if to give them a taste of the contents; this ceremony performed, the cup was left at the Palace. The corpse was taken to the chapel where the captive had watched and there flayed, the flesh being consumed at a banquet as before. The skin was given to certain priests, or college youths, who went from house to house dressed in the ghastly garb, with the arms swinging, singing, dancing, and asking for contributions; those who refused to give anything received a stroke in the face from the dangling arm.[31]

Prescott, referring to the chief object of war among the Aztecs, and the treatment of prisoners taken, says:

The tutelary deity of the Aztecs was the god of war. A great object of their military expeditions was, to gather hecatombs of captives for his altars. * * * * * * At the head of all, [i. e., all the Aztec deities] stood the terrible Huitzilopotchli. * * * * * * * This was the patron deity of the nation. His fantastic image was loaded with costly ornaments. His temples were the most stately and august of the public edifices; and his altars reeked with the blood of human hecatombs in every city of the empire. * * * * * The most loathsome part of the story—the manner in which the body of the sacrificed captive was disposed of—remains yet to be told. It was delivered to the warrior who had taken him in battle, and by him, after being dressed, was served up in an entertainment to his friends. This was not the coarse repast of famished cannibals, but a banquet teeming with delicious beverages and delicate viands, prepared with art, and attended by both sexes, who, as we shall see hereafter, conducted themselves with all the decorum of civilized life. Surely, never were refinement and the extreme of barbarism brought so closely in contact with each other.[32]

Such are the depths of depravity to which a people may sink when once the Spirit of God is withdrawn from them. It is not to excite reflections upon this condition of refined barbarism, however, that these quotations are made. I am interested here only in pointing out the fact that these revolting customs found among the native Americans confirms the statement made in the Book of Mormon, that such horrible customs had their origin among their Nephite and Lamanite ancestors.


Burying the Hatchet.

Doubtless the native American custom of "burying the hatchet" (that is, in concluding a war, it is the native custom, as a testimony that hostilities have ceased, and as a sign of peace, to bury the war-hatchet or other weapons of war), had its origin in the following Book of Mormon incident: Early in the first century B. C., a number of Nephites, sons of King Mosiah II., succeeded in converting a number of Lamanites to the Christian religion; and such became their abhorrence of war, which aforetime had been one of their chief delights, that they entered into a covenant of peace and determined no more to shed the blood of their fellow men. In token of this covenant they buried their weapons of war, their leader saying:

And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright. * * * * And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man's blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth; and this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for shedding a man's blood.[33]

This circumstance of burying weapons of war in token of peace is several times afterwards alluded to in the Book of Mormon.


Hagoth's Marine Migrations Preserved in Native Legend.

Another historical event very apt to live in the native traditions is the first Nephite migration in ships after their landing in the western hemisphere. This event took place in the latter half of the century immediately preceding the birth of Christ. One Hagoth, described in the Book of Mormon as "an exceedingly curious man,"

Went forth and built a large ship on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth in the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward. And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward.[34]

Subsequently other ships were built and the first returned, and migration by this method of travel was kept up for some time. Finally two of the vessels conducting this migration by the way of the west sea, were lost; and the Nephites supposed them to have been wrecked in the depths of the sea.[35] So marked a circumstance as this, I repeat, occurring as it did among a people that can not be considered as a sea-faring people, would be apt to live in the traditions of their descendants. Such a tradition, I believe, exists. Bancroft, speaking of a war of conquest waged by the Miztec and Zapotec kings against a people inhabiting the southern shores of Tehuantepec, called the Huaves, says:

The Huaves are said to have come from the south, from Nicaragua, or Peru, say some authors. The causes that led to their migrations are unknown; but the story goes that after coasting northward, and attempting to disembark at several places, they finally effected a landing at Tehuantepec. Here they found the Mijes, the original possessors of the country; but these they drove out, or, as some say, mingled with them, and soon made themselves masters of the soil. * * * * * * * But the easy life they led in this beautiful and fertile region soon destroyed their ancient energy, and they subsequently fell an unresisting prey to the Zapotec kings.[36]

A tradition which locates the landing of a similar maritime expedition still further north is related by Nadaillac. Speaking of the "Kitchen-Middens" or shell-heaps found here and there on the Pacific coast, and which our author takes as indicating the location of the former homes of numerous tribes, says:

When the Indians were questioned about them [the shell-heaps] they generally answered that they are very old, and are the work of people unknown to them or to their fathers. As an exception to this rule, however, the Californians attributed a large shell heap formed of mussel shells and the bones of animals, on Point St. George, near San Francisco, to the Hohgates, the name they give to seven mythical strangers who arrived in the country from the sea, and who were the first to build and live in houses. The Hohgates killed deer, sea-lions, and seals; they collected the mussels which were very abundant on the neighboring rocks, and the refuse of their meals became piled up about their homes. One day when fishing, they saw a gigantic seal; they managed to drive a harpoon into it, but the wounded animal fled seaward, dragging the boat rapidly with it toward the fathomless abysses of the Charekwin. At the moment when the Hohgates were about to be engulfed in the depths, where those go who are to endure eternal cold, the rope broke the seal disappeared, and the boat was flung up into the air. Since then the Hohgates, changed into brilliant stars, return no more to earth, where the shell heaps remain as witness of their former residence.[37]

The word "Hohgates," I believe is but a variation of the word "Hagoth," the name of the man who started these maritime expeditions, and it would be altogether in keeping with Nephite customs[38] for those who sailed away in his vessels to be called "Hagothites" or "Hohgates." The vessel of this tradition may be one of those lost to the Nephites, which finally found its way to the Californian coast where its occupants landed with their ideas of Nephite civilization, and lived as described in the tradition. One is tempted to smile at the childish ending of the tradition; but under it may not one see that it is but the legendary account of the fact that the vessel sailed away from the California shores and was lost, or, at least, was heard of no more by the natives of those shores.


Native American Race Unity.

The subject of American antiquities should not be closed without a brief reference, at least, to the unity of the American race. Barring such migrations of other races to America as may have taken place since the fall of the Nephites at Cumorah, at the close of the fourth century A. D., and such as to a limited extent may have been going on in the extreme north via Behring Strait at an earlier date, the Book of Mormon requires substantial unity of race in the later native American people. That is to say, they ought to be of Israelitish descent, a mixture of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Judah—but chiefly, if not all, of Hebrew descent; and even the Jaredites were but a more ancient branch of the same stock.[39]

On this subject, as upon all others pertaining to American antiquities and peoples, writers are divided; yet it is not difficult to marshal in support of race unity for native Americans the very highest authority; and what is of most importance is the facts are beyond question behind their theory.

Citing the facts on which certain authors rely to establish the unity of the American race, Bancroft says:

It was obvious to the Europeans when they first beheld the natives of America, that these were unlike the intellectual white-skinned race of Europe, the barbarous blacks of Africa, or any nation or people which they had hitherto encountered, yet were strikingly like each other. Into whatsoever part of the newly discovered lands they penetrated, they found a people seemingly one in color, physiognomy, customs, and in mental and social traits. Their vestiges of antiquity and their languages presented a coincidence which was generally observed by early travelers. Hence physical and psychological comparisons are advanced to prove ethnological resemblances among all the peoples of America. * * * * * * Morton and his confreres, the originators of the American homogeneity theory, even go so far as to claim for the American man an origin as indigenous as that of the fauna and flora. They classify all the tribes of America, excepting only the Esquimaux who wandered over from Asia, as the American race, and divided it into the American family and the Toltecan family. Blumenbach classifies the Americans as a distinct species. The American Mongolidae of Dr. Latham are divided into Esquimaux and American Indians. Dr. Morton perceives the same characteristic lineaments on the face of the Fuegian and the Mexican, and in tribes inhabiting the Rocky mountains, the Mississippi valley, and Florida. The same osteological structure, swarthy color, straight hair, meagre beard, obliquely cornered eyes, prominent cheek bones, and thick lips, are common to them all. * * * * * * Humboldt characterizes the nations of America as one race, by their straight glossy hair, thin beard, swarthy complexion and cranial formation.[40]

Dr. Daniel G. Brinton, professor of American archaeology and linguistics in the University of Pennsylvania—than whom no higher authority upon the subject can be quoted—says:

On the whole, the race is singularly uniform in its physical traits, and individuals taken from any part of the continent could easily be mistaken for inhabitants of numerous other parts. * * * * * * The culture of the native Americans strongly attests the ethnic unity of the race. This applies equally to the ruins and relics of its vanished nations, as to the institutions of existing tribes. Nowhere do we find any trace of foreign influence or instruction, nowhere any arts or social systems to explain which we must evoke the aid of teachers from the eastern hemisphere. * * * * American culture, wherever examined, presents a family likeness which the more careful observers of late years have taken pains to put in a strong light. This was accomplished for governmental institutions and domestic architecture by Lewis H. Morgan, for property rights and the laws of war by A. F. Bandelier, for the social condition of Mexico and Peru by Dr. Gustav Bruhl, and I may add for the myths and other expressions of the religious sentiment by myself. * * * The psychic identity of the Americans is well illustrated in their languages. There are indeed indefinite discrepancies in their lexicography and in their surface marphology; but in their logical sub-structure, in what Willhelm von Humboldt called the "inner form," they are strikingly like. The points in which this is especially apparent are in the development of pronominal forms, in the abundance of generic particles, in the overweening preference for concepts of action (verbs) rather than concepts of existence (nouns), and in the consequent subordination of the latter to the former in the proposition.[41]

Following the same general line of thought Nadaillac says:

The Indians, who were successively conquered by foreign invaders, spoke hundreds of different dialects. Bancroft estimates that there were six hundred between Alaska and Panama. Ameghino speaks of eight hundred in South America. Most of these, however, are mere derivatives from a single mother tongue like the Aymara and the Guarani. We quote these figures for what they are worth. Philology has no precise definition of what constitutes a language, and any one can add to or deduct from the numbers given according to the point of view from which he considers the matter. As an illustration of this, it may be mentioned that some philologists estimate the languages of North America at no less than thirteen hundred, whilst Squier would reduce those of both continents to four hundred. These dialects present a complete disparity in their vocabulary side by side with great similarity of structure. "In America," says Humboldt, "from the country of the Esquimaux to the banks of the Orinoco, and thence to the frozen shores of the Straits of Magellan, languages differing entirely in their derivation have, if we may use the expression, the same physiognomy. Striking analogies in grammatical construction have been recognized, not only in the more perfect languages, such as those of the Incas, the Aymara, the Guarani, and the Mexicans, but also in languages which are extremely crude. Dialects, the roots of which do not resemble each other more than the roots of the Slavonian and Biscayan, show resemblances in structure similar to those which are found between the Sanscrit, the Persian, the Greek, and the Germanic languages."[42]

The fact that the different dialects, or languages, as some call them, "are mere derivatives from a single mother tongue," argues strongly, of course, for ultimate race unity.

The following summary of evidences on the substantial unity of race in American peoples is from Marcus Wilson, and will be found valuable:

Nor indeed is there any proof that the semi-civilized inhabitants of Mexico, Yucatan, and Central America, were a race different from the more savage tribes by which they were surrounded; but, on the contrary, there is much evidence in favor of their common origin, and in proof that the present tribes, or at least many of them, are but the dismembered fragments of former nations. The present natives of Yucatan and Central America, after a remove of only three centuries from their more civilized ancestors, present no diversities, in their natural capacities, to distinguish them from the race of the common Indian. And if the Mexicans and the Peruvians could have arisen from the savage state, it is not impossible that the present rude tribes may have remained in it; or, if the latter were once more civilized than at present, as they have relapsed into barbarism, so others may have done. The anatomical structure of the skeletons found within the ancient mounds of the United States, does not differ more from that of the present Indians than tribes of the latter, admitted to be of the same race, differ from each other. In the physical appearance of all the American aborigines, embracing the semi-civilized Mexicans, the Peruvians, and the wandering savage tribes, there is a striking uniformity; nor can any distinction of races here be made. In their languages there is a general unity of structure, and a great similarity in grammatical forms, which prove their common origin; while the great diversity in the words of the different languages, shows the great antiquity of the period of peopling America. In the generally uniform character of their religious opinions and rites, we discover original unity and an identity of origin; while the diversities here found, likewise indicate the very early period of the separation and dispersion of the tribes. Throughout most of the American tribes have been found traces of the pictorial delineations, and hieroglyphical symbols, by which the Mexicans and the Peruvians communicated ideas, and preserved the memory of events. The mythological traditions of the savage tribes, and the semi-civilized nations, have general features of resemblance—generally implying a migration from some other country—containing distinct allusions to a deluge—and attributing their knowledge of the arts to some fabulous teacher in remote ages. Throughout nearly the whole continent, the dead were buried in a sitting posture; the smoking of tobacco was a prevalent custom, and the calumet, or pipe of peace, was everywhere deemed sacred. And, in fine, the numerous and striking analogies between the barbarous and the cultivated tribes, are sufficient to justify the belief in their primitive relationship and common origin. * * * * * * With regard to the opinion entertained by some, that colonies from different European nations, and at different times, have been established here, we remark,[43] that, if so, no distinctive traces of them have ever been discovered; and there is a uniformity in the physical appearance of all the American tribes, which forbids the supposition of a mingling of different races.[44]

The well established fact, of race unity, is one more evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon to be added to that cumulative mass of evidence we are here compiling, since unity of race is what the Book of Mormon requires for the peoples of America.


Did the Book of Mormon Antedate Works in English on American Antiquities, Accessible to Joseph Smith and His Associates.

In the presence of so many resemblances between native American traditions and Book of Mormon historical incidents and Nephite customs, I can understand how the question naturally arises in some minds whether the ancient historical incidents, and the customs of American peoples—purported to be recorded in the Book of Mormon,—whence the traditions come, or is it from the native American traditions that the alleged historical incidents and customs of the Book of Mormon come. That is to say, was it possible for Joseph Smith or those associated with him in bringing forth the Book of Mormon to have possessed such a knowledge of American antiquities and traditions that they could make their book's alleged historical incidents, and the customs of its peoples, conform to the antiquities and traditions of the native Americans? The question may appear foolish to those acquainted with the character and environment of the Prophet; but to those not acquainted with him or his environment the question may be of some force, and for that reason it is considered here.

In the first place, then, it must be remembered how great the task would be to become sufficiently acquainted with American antiquities and traditions to make the Book of Mormon story and the alleged customs of its people agree with the antiquities and traditions of the American natives, in the striking manner in which we have found them to agree. In the second place the youthfulness of the Prophet must be taken into account—he was but twenty-five years of age when the Book of Mormon was published, and it is the concensus of opinion on the part of all those competent to speak upon the subject, that he was not a student of books. But what is most important of all, and what settles the question on this point (whether Joseph Smith, Solomon Spaulding, or Sidney Rigdon be regarded as the author) is the fact that the means through which to obtain the necessary knowledge of American antiquities, the body of literature in English now at one's command on the subject, was not then (1823-1830) in existence. The Spanish and native American writers previous to 1830 may be dismissed from consideration at once, since their works could not be available to Joseph Smith and his associates because written in a language unknown to them, and such fragmentary translations of them as existed were so rare as to be inaccessible to men of western New York and Ohio. About the only works to which Joseph Smith could possibly have had access before the publication of the Book of Mormon would have been:

First, the publications of the "American Antiquarian Society, Translations and Collections," published in the "Archaeoligia Americana," Worcester, Massachusetts, 1820; but this information was so fragmentary in character that it could not possibly have supplied the historical incidents of the Book of Mormon, or the customs of its peoples, even could it be proven that Joseph Smith had been familiar with that collection.

Second, the little work of Ethan Smith, published in Vermont—second edition 1825—in which the author holds the native American Indian tribes to be descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. In fact his work bears the title, "View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America."

Third, "The History of the American Indians," by James Adair, published in England, 1775. Mr. Adair confines the scope of his work to the North American Indians.

Fourth. The translation of some parts of Humboldt's works on New Spain, published first in America and England between the years 1806 and 1809, and later Black's enlarged translation of them in New York, 1811.

These are the only works, so far as I can ascertain, that could at all be accessible to Joseph Smith or any of his associates; and there is no evidence that the Prophet or his associates ever saw any one of them. Moreover, notwithstanding some of these writers advance the theory that the native Americans are descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, and their books contain fragmentary and disconnected information concerning American antiquities—no one acquainted with these works could possibly regard them as being the source whence Book of Mormon incidents or customs of Book of Mormon peoples were drawn, a fact which will be more apparent after we have considered—as we shall later consider—the originality of the Book of Mormon. Since, therefore, from the very nature of all the circumstances surrounding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, neither Joseph Smith nor his associates could possibly have become acquainted with the location of the chief centers of ancient American civilizations, nor with native American traditions and customs, it must be evident that Book of Mormon historical incidents and the customs of Book of Mormon peoples were not derived from works on American antiquities and traditions.


The Value of the Evidence Supplied by American Antiquities

The evidence I have to offer from American antiquities is now before the reader. Not all the evidence that could be massed upon the subject, but all that my space in this work will permit me to present. I do not claim that the evidence is either as full or perfect as one could wish it to be, nor that it is free from what some will regard as serious difficulties; but this much I feel can be insisted upon:

The evidence establishes the fact of the existence of ancient civilizations in America; that the said civilizations are successive; that their monuments, overlay each other, and are confused by a subsequent period of barbarism; that the monuments of the chief centers of American civilizations are found where the Book of Mormon requires them to be located; that the traditions of the native Americans concerning ancient Bible facts, such as relate to the creation, the flood, the Tower of Babel, and the dispersion of mankind, etc., sustain the likelihood of the forefathers of our American aborigines, in very ancient times, being cognizant of such facts either by personal contact with them, or by having a knowledge of them through the Hebrew scriptures, or perhaps through both means. All this is in harmony with what the Book of Mormon makes known concerning the Jaredite and Nephite peoples; for the forefathers of the former people were in personal contact with the building of Babel, the confusion of languages and the dispersion of mankind; while the Nephites had knowledge of these and many other ancient historical facts through the Hebrew scriptures which they brought with them to America. The evidences presented also disclose the fact that the native American traditions preserve the leading historical events of the Book of Mormon. That is, the facts of the Jaredite and Nephite migrations; of the intercontinental movements of Book of Mormon peoples; of the advent and character of Messiah, and his ministrations among the people; of the signs of his birth and of his death; of the fact of the Hebrew origin and unity of the race. All these facts so strong in the support of the claims of the Book of Mormon—whatever else of confusion may exist in American antiquities—I feel sure can not be moved. It should be remembered, in this connection, that it is not insisted upon in these pages that the evidences which American antiquities afford are absolute proofs of the claims of the Book of Mormon. I go no further than to say there is a tendency of external proof in them; and when this tendency of proof is united with the positive, direct external testimony which God has provided in those Witnesses that he himself has ordained to establish the truth of the Book of Mormon, the Three Witnesses and the Eight, this tendency of proof becomes very strong, and is worthy of most serious attention on the part of those who would investigate the claims of this American volume of scripture.


1. There were slain of the Nephites alone 230,000; see Mosiah vi: 10-15.

2. I quote from the 1838 edition. Mr. Josiah Priest's work, "American Antiquities," first edition, was published A. D. 1833, three years after the publication of the Book of Mormon. See Charles Tompson's "Evidence and Proof of the Book of Mormon," also I. Woodbridge Riley's "Founder of Mormonism," page 126, where in foot note 32 he says of Priest's work: "the first edition appeared in 1833, two other editions followed in that year."

3. The hill here described near the junction of the Susquehannah and Chemung river is about ninety-five miles in a direct line southeast of Cumorah.

4. Onondaga, about fifty-five miles due east of Cumorah.

5. Auburn, thirty miles east of Cumorah.

6. The lakes Cayuga, Seneca and Oneida, as is well known, lie a little to the south and east of Cumorah. Ontraio is a short distance to the north and Erie to the west.

7. Sixty miles east of Cumorah.

8. From this showing, then, there can be no objection to saying that the glass vessel was of Jaredite origin. In describing how the brother of Jared melted from the rock sixteen small stones it is said they were white and clear "even as transparent glass" of which the late Orson Pratt in a foot note says: "From this it is evident that the art of making glass was known at that early period." Ether iii: 1, and note "a."

9. The absence of traditions among the natives concerning these monuments rather inclines one to the belief that they must have been earlier than any possible Scandinavian occupancy of the country.

10. Scipio in Cayuga country, about forty-five miles east of Cumorah.

11. American Antiquities, pp. 259, 260, 261, 262.

12. Pompey between sixty and seventy miles east of Cumorah.

13. Less than fifty miles east of Cumorah.

14. Canandaigua, some ten or twelve miles south of Cumorah.

15. Both bodies of water but a short distance from Cumorah.

16. Less than seventy miles northwest from Cumorah.

17. The desperate ferocity of Nephite and Lamanite as described in the Book of Mormon is as good and even better explanation of the "infinite butcheries" here alluded to. See this volume, pp. 74-76, for description of this ferocity.

18. Less than one hundred miles due west from Cumorah.

19. The southern shore of lake Ontario runs due east and west about ten to twelve miles north of Cumorah for a distance of one hundred miles.

20. Was this convulsion in nature which changed the shore along lake Ontraio connected with those mighty cataclysms which shook the continent during the crucifixion of Messiah?

21. American Antiquities, Josiah Priest, pp. 324, 327, 328.

22. Enos i: 20.

23. Jarom i: 6.

24. Native Races, Bancroft, Vol. II., p. 344.

25. Mormon iv: 14, 15.

26. Mormon iv: 21.

27. Moroni ix: 5.

28. Moroni ix: 8.

29. Moroni ix: 10.

30. Conquest of Mexico, Vol. I., p. 73.

31. Native Races, Vol. II., pp. 310, 311.

32. Conquest of Mexico, Prescott, Vol. I., pp. 54, 63, 75, 76.

33. Alma xxiv: 16-18.

34. Alma lxiii: 5, 6.

35. Alma lxiii: 8.

36. Native Races, Vol. V., pp. 529, 530.

37. Pre-Historic America, pp. 64, 65.

38. Those who followed Nephi were called Nephites; those who followed Laman, Lamanites; Zoram, Zoramites, the people of Jared, Jaredites; and so on throughout the Book of Mormon.

39. See Vol. I., pp. 167, 168 and note.

40. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. I., pp. 20-21.

41. The American Race, Daniel G. Brinton, pp. 41, 43, 44, 45, 55, 56.

42. Pre-Historic America, pp. 5, 6.

43. The remark of Mr. Wilson against the probability of colonies from different European nations at different times having established colonies in America may raise the question for a moment, "Is not such a contention against the Book of Mormon theory of the origin of American peoples, since that book distinctly accounts for the peopling of America by migration of colonies, from the eastern hemisphere?" The seeming difficulty is overcome at once when it is remembered that the several colonies of the Book of Mormon migrations are all of one race. Lehi's colony was made up of two families and the man Zoram, servant of Laban. Lehi, it is well know, was an Israelite of the tribe of Manasseh; Ishmael, the head of the other family, was an Israelite of the tribe of Ephraim. Zoram was an Israelite, but his tribe is unknown. Mulek's colony were undoubtedly Jews. So that from the repeopling of America after the destruction of the Jaredites early in the sixth century B. C.—so far as Book of Mormon migrations are concerned—the colonies were all of one race. And we have also seen that even the Jaredites were an earlier branch of the same race.

44. History of the United States (Marcus Wilson) Book I chapter iii.




The Place of the Patriarch Joseph in Israel.—The Promises to Him and His Seed.

It is no part of my purpose to deal at length with any argument that may be based upon Bible evidences to the truth of the Book of Mormon. That field is already occupied by others. Indeed from the commencement it has been one of the chief sources drawn upon by the Elders of the Church in proof of the claims of the Book of Mormon.[1] I shall treat that evidence, however, in merely an incidental way, and as deriving its importance chiefly from the circumstances of its blending in with the enlarged and general scheme of things pertaining to Israel, and the work of Messiah brought to light by the Book of Mormon.

In pursuance of this treatment I call attention to the blessing of Jacob upon the head of his grand sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. It should be remembered that to Joseph, the son of Jacob, a double portion of honor was granted in Israel. While no tribe is especially called by his name, yet two tribes are his through his sons, viz., the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. This came about in the following manner: Reuben, the first born of Jacob, defiled his father's wife, Bilhah. For which awful crime he lost his place as a prince in the house of Israel, which place was given indirectly to Joseph. Why I say indirectly, is because Ephraim, Joseph's younger son, was the one who received the blessing of the first born, and was placed as the first of the tribes of Israel. It is for this reason that the Lord was wont to say, "I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born."[2] In proof of the things here set forth I quote the following:

Now the sons of Reuben, the first born of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's.[3]

That is, not after the natural birthright, but after the birthright appointment made by the patriarch Jacob to Ephraim. Ephraim, then, will take the place of Reuben—the place of the firstborn. But there was also a tribe of Manasseh in Israel, as well as of Ephraim, and thus was a double portion given unto Joseph in that from him are two tribes in Israel. And now as to further blessings conferred upon Joseph and his sons. When Jacob and his son Joseph were restored to each other in Egypt, the old patriarch rejoiced to see the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh—and now the Bible narrative:

And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand towards Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father; for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.[4]

Again when the patriarch Jacob gave his final blessing to his sons, of Joseph he said:

Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mightily God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel): Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb; the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.[5]

Moses also seems to have been impressed with the idea that Joseph was to receive a portion above his brethren; for in blessing the tribes of Israel, when coming to Joseph, he said:

Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.[6]

A comparison of the blessings of the other tribes with the blessings of Joseph's will convince him who makes it how much greater are to be the blessings of Joseph than those of his brethren, especially in respect of the extent and the fruitfulness of the lands that his descendants shall occupy. Furthermore, in view of all that is said in these prophetic utterances, there can be no question but what the descendants of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are to be very prominent in the affairs of Israel and take an important part in God's great drama in which he will work out the restoration of his people, Israel, and the redemption of the world.

Summarizing these prophetic blessings we may say, that to the tribe of Ephraim is given the place and honor of the first born in Israel; that to him pertains the "pushing of the people together"—Ephraim's part in the gathering of Israel in the last days; that the seed of Manasseh is to become a great people, while Ephraim is to become a multitude of nations—greater than Manasseh, as is becoming to the tribe of the first born—"they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh;" that the land possessed by Joseph's posterity is to be peculiarly great and fruitful, blessed with the precious things of heaven, with the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, for the chief things of the ancient mountains, for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and the fullness thereof; that Joseph is as a fruitful bough whose branches run over the wall (i. e., his possessions extend in some way beyond the recognized boundaries of Israel's Palestine inheritance); that Joseph's arms and hands shall be made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; that the God of Israel shall help Joseph and bless him with the blessings of heaven above, of the deep, of the breasts, and of the womb (i. e., he shall be blessed in his posterity); that the blessings of Jacob had prevailed above the blessings of his progenitors, "unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills," (perhaps a greater territorial inheritance); that these blessings of Jacob which had "prevailed" above (i. e., exceeded) the blessings of his progenitors, should be realized by Joseph.

These are the promises of God to Joseph. But where are the evidences either from the Bible history or from secular history that the descendants of Joseph have ever attained to the fulfillment of these very gracious and very remarkable promises? As a matter of fact are not Joseph's tribes and descendants practically lost in Israel, so far as any knowledge is obtainable from the Bible, or other Hebrew literature, or general history? The tribe of Judah became the dominating power in the history of Israel in Palestine, and is the only tribe in Israel that has retained any distinctive existence in modern times. What, then, have the promises of God to Joseph, uttered by Jacob, in his inspired patriarchal blessings, and solemnly repeated by the great prophet Moses, failed of their fulfillment? If not, where is the evidence of their fulfillment? It is not to be found unless men turn to and receive it from Joseph's record, the Book of Mormon. But the Book of Mormon once accepted—a book that is a history, in the main, of the descendants of Joseph,[7] behold what a fulfilment of the prophetic blessings upon Joseph's seed is there revealed! Here in America Joseph's descendants indeed became a multitude of nations; here, indeed, they possessed a land blessed with the precious things of heaven, for through Nephite prophets was made known the mind and will of God, the coming of Messiah, and the redemption of man that should be wrought out by Him; nay, the Son of God, in person, came in his glorious resurrected state and taught them at first hand and face to face the great things concerning man's salvation; inspired apostles took up the same great theme and for centuries held a great people closely to the path of both truth and righteousness, until the harvest of souls in America exceeded such harvests among any other people whatsoever. In America Joseph's descendants indeed possessed a land noted for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills—the gold, the silver, the iron, the coal fields, the oil fields, and all things else of which the mountains and hills of America yield their rich store; a land noted for the precious things of the earth and the fullness thereof—a land embracing all the climates from earth's torrid equatorial regions, thence shading off both toward the north and the south through temperate climates into the frigid zones; a land of wonderous wealth in fertile plains and valleys, and extensive forest tracts; a land that produces all vegetables and fruits and fiberous growths essential to the feeding and clothing of man; a land whose grandeur and very beauty holds the senses entranced with its magnificence; a land sufficient for empires surrounded by fruitful seas; a land consecrated to free institutions and to righteousness—in a word, the land of Joseph.

By the descendants of Joseph migrating to this land, Joseph is truly a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well whose branches run over the wall; and while his descendants in this land had their varied fortunes, dark days in which sin, both individual and national, made dark their annals, still they had also remarkable periods of righteousness, during which periods there were added many names to the world's great list of warriors, statesmen and prophets, that deserve to be remembered with the world's greatest and best characters. Of warriors, such names as Alma,[8] Moroni, the hero of the Nephite republic[9] (100 B. C. 56 B. C.), Mormon, Helaman, Teancum; and though engaged in a bad cause, Amlici and Amalickiah, and many others among the Lamanites. Of statesmen such names as the first Nephi, King Benjamin, Mosiah II, Alma the younger, Nephihah, and Pahoran. Of the prophets, Lehi, the first Nephi, Jacob, Mosiah I, Abinadi, Ammon, the son of Mosiah, Alma the elder, also Alma the younger, Samuel, the Lamanite, Nephi, the son of Helaman (last half of the century preceding the Christian era), Nephi, the chief of Messiah's apostles, Mormon, the author of the abridged record known as the Book of Mormon, Moroni, the son of Mormon, and others.

Joseph's descendants in America established and maintained for a thousand years what may be properly called a Christian civilization; for, instructed by their prophets during the six hundred years that they occupied the land of America, preceding the coming of Messiah, they believed implicitly in the Christ that was to come, and looked forward to the redemption of the human race through his atonement, holding the reasonable view that there was as much virtue in looking forward to the atonement of Christ and accepting in their faith his redeeming power, as looking back upon it would have after it had become an accomplished fact[10] For four centuries following the advent of Christ the Nephites had, of course, the evidence of his appearing among them and his personal instructions in the gospel, which affected the character of their civilization.

During the time range mentioned, kingdoms, republics and Christian ecclesiastical governments obtained. Such science and arts as might naturally develop from a colony of enlightened Hebrews migrating from Palestine to America six hundred years B. C., flourished; and the ruined monuments of civilization seen in America were reared in part by their hands; the extent of these monuments of civilization, and the degree of civilization they represent are questions that have already been considered.[11]

The Book of Mormon is also big with the promise of future events concerning the redemption and glorification of the descendants of Joseph in this promised land of America—the land of Joseph, for so it is declared to be by the Lord Jesus himself. Addressing the twelve disciples whom he had called to the ministry in the western world he said:

Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.[12]

The Book of Mormon makes known the fact that upon this land of Joseph is to be founded a great city called Zion, or a New Jerusalem. The risen Messiah, while still teaching the gospel in person to the Nephites, and speaking upon this subject, said:

And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel. And behold, this people will I establish in this land, [referring to the continents of America], unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.[13]

Continuing his discourse he said:

For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. But if they repent, and hearken unto my words, they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance, and they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I will also be in their midst.[14]

Moroni, however, is still more explicit. He represents that the Jaredite prophet Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a new Jerusalem upon the land of America.

And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come; after it should be destroyed, it should be built up again a holy city unto the Lord, wherefore it could not be a New Jerusalem, for it had been in a time of old, but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel; and that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type; for as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph, that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he should perish not; wherefore the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come, when the earth shall pass away.[15]

The continents of America, then, according to this passage, are the inheritance of Joseph, and here a holy city is to be built unto the Lord that shall be the capital of the western world, a New Jerusalem—Zion. This city is to be founded and glorified by the multitudinous descendants of Joseph, who will be gathered into the land, and also those who will unite with them in righteousness—in so great a work—especially the Gentile races; and together they shall be established in peaceful possession of the land to the end of the world. The exaltation and glory of this predicted future empire for the descendants of Joseph and the Gentile races—the grandeur of its civilization and the security of its righteousness; the brilliancy of its achievements; the excellence of its physical comforts and the beauty and simplicity of both its individual and community life, may not yet be apprehended, though they may be partly seen in the light of modern civilized life; sufficiently seen by aid of that light to establish confidence that realization will outrun the dreams of the ancient prophets, all glorious as they seem.

The Book of Mormon throughout is true to this Josephic idea; it is impregnated with it. Joseph is the central figure throughout. His spirit runs through the whole scheme of the book. We learn from the Book of Mormon of a great Seer that is to arise from among the descendants of this Patriarch Joseph, to bring forth the word of the Lord to them, a thing quite in keeping with the important part to be taken by Joseph and his seed in the affairs of the western world in the last days. The matter is mentioned by Lehi in connection with a blessing he was giving his own son Joseph, born to him while in the wilderness, enroute from Palestine to America:

And now, Joseph, my last born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed. For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph, who was carried captive into Egypt. And great were the covenants of the Lord, which he made unto Joseph; wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins, the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off; nevertheless to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light; yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom. For Joseph truly testified, saying: a Seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice Seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said, Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice Seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers. And I will give unto him a commandment, that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work. And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel. And Moses will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them. Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that Seer will the Lord bless; and they, that seek to destroy him, shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold, I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise. And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the things which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring forth my people unto salvation.[16]

The reader will observe that this ancient prophecy is fulfilled in the person of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, both in his name, his character and his work, meets completely the terms of the prophecy.[17]

One other matter in connection with the Patriarch Joseph I would mention, insignificant perhaps in comparison of the greater things we have been considering, yet really important for that it is made up of those details so apt to be overlooked by an imposter who would attempt to palm off upon the world, as a revelation, such a work as the Book of Mormon.

It will be remembered that after Lehi's colony had journeyed some days in the wilderness, the prophet-leader sent his sons back to Jerusalem to obtain a copy of the Hebrew scriptures, and the genealogies of his fathers. This copy of the scriptures and genealogies the sons of Lehi obtained from one Laban, a man evidently of some considerable influence in Jerusalem. This record was written in Egyptian characters. And now to the point where these facts touch the Josephic idea of the Book of Mormon.

Joseph, it must be remembered, attained the position of a prince in Egypt, when that nation was doubtless the first political power of the world, and in the kingdom was made second only to the Pharaoh himself, so that he was a man of very high dignity, a fact not likely to be forgotten by his posterity. He unquestionably was deeply learned in all things Egyptian, including the written language, most likely that form of it called the hieratic,—which, as well as the old hieroglyphics, was used in the Egyptian sacerdotal style of writing. I think I am justified in the conclusion that Joseph was learned in this writing since he took to wife Asenath, daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis, or On, and thus became closely associated with, if not actually identified with, the priestly caste of Egypt. The deeply religious character of the Patriarch and of his race would also naturally interest him in the religious lore of so profoundly a religious country as Egypt. Is it not possible that these facts would be an incentive to his posterity to keep alive among them this Egyptian learning of their great ancestor?

To Joseph, be it remembered, was given the birthright in Israel, through Ephraim. Laban, of whom the sons of Lehi obtained the Egyptian records, was a descendant of Joseph,[18] doubtless in line of the elder sons since he kept the genealogies and also this Egyptian copy of the holy writings.

Lehi was an Egyptian scholar[19] and was enabled to read this version of the Hebrew scriptures and his genealogy recorded in Egyptian characters.

This Egyptian record became the foundation of Nephite sacred literature, that is, for the most part, their sacred records were engraven in Egyptian characters, modified somewhat by them and called the "reformed Egyptian."[20]

Let us consider these facts in condensed and succinct form:—

(1) Joseph, son of Jacob, he becomes a prince in Egypt, marries a daughter of the prince On, doubtless becomes learned in Egyptian lore.

(2) Undoubtedly these facts would prove an incentive to his posterity to perpetuate among them the Egyptian learning of their great ancestor.

(3) To Joseph is given the birthright in Israel through his younger son, Ephraim.

(4) Laban, of whom the sons of Lehi obtained the Egyptian copy of the Hebrew scriptures and genealogies was a descendant of Joseph, doubtless in the line of the elder sons since he kept the genealogies and the Egyptian copy of the holy writings.

(5) Lehi is an Egyptian scholar and is able to read this version of the Hebrew scriptures.

(6) This Egyptian copy of the Hebrew scriptures becomes the foundation of the Nephite literature.

Thus we have a series of facts that coalesce remarkably with the claims made for the Nephite record, that it was written in "reformed," that is, changed, Egyptian character, yet these circumstances are only mentioned in an obscure, incidental way. They would never be worked out by an imposter; and were never referred to by Joseph Smith or any of his immediate associates as being valuable evidences in support of the claims of the book. I cannot help thinking, however, that they are so, and for that reason call attention to them here.


The prophecies of Isaiah on the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon.

In the Book of Isaiah's prophecy is found the following remarkable prediction:

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not leaned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned. 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 hearts far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, 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. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had not understanding? Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be a forest? 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. For the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught. Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.[21]

In the Book of Mormon we have a Nephite version of this prophecy taken from the writings of Isaiah which, it will be remembered, were included in those scriptures which Lehi's colony brought from Jerusalem. The first Nephi applies this prophecy to the record of his own people, the Book of Mormon, and the circumstance attendant upon its coming forth in the last days; all of which will be found in the 27th chapter of second Nephi. In the Nephite version of the prophecy it is made clear that the reasons for keeping the original book from the world is the fact that a portion of it was sealed. The opening verses of the 27th chapter of II Nephi shift the scene of this prophecy to the land inhabited by the Nephites, that is, to America, and describes the spiritual darkness both in that land and in all the nations of the earth, after which the record says:

And it shall come to pass, that the Lord shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold the book shall be sealed: and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the end thereof. Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them. But the book shall be delivered unto a man, and he shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust; and he shall deliver these words unto another; but the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof. And the day cometh that the words of the book which are sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ: and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men, and which ever will be, even unto the end of the earth.[22]

Then follows the declaration that there shall be Three Special Witnesses to behold the book by the power of God, and a Few other Witnesses that shall view it according to the will of God. Following the description of the coming forth of this book is a description also of the spiritual awakening among men in much the same order and phraseology as the latter part of Isaiah's prophecy.

Of course this prophecy was fulfilled in the several events we have already noted which resulted in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the accompanying testimony of the Witnesses thereof.[23] That is to say, it was fulfilled in the Nephite record being brought forth, after so many ages, and becoming, to those who receive it, as the words of those who have slumbered—the speech out of the ground—the familiar voice from the dust; by Joseph Smith and Martin Harris delivering the transcript of characters from the Nephite record to Dr. Samuel Mitchell and Professor Anthon, "the words of the book that was sealed" were delivered by men to those that were learned, saying, read this, I pray you; by the answer of these learned men to the effect—mockingly, on incidentally learning that the book was sealed—that they could not read a sealed book; by the book being delivered to the one that was not learned, Joseph Smith, who marveled that one not learned should be required to translate the book; by the Lord disdaining those who draw near to him with their mouths, and with their lips honored him, while their hearts were far removed from him, and their fear toward him was taught by the precepts of men; by the Lord proceeding to do a marvelous work and a wonder, by which the wisdom of the world's wise men became as naught; by exalting the wisdom of God above the wisdom of men; by making the deaf to hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind to see out of obscurity; by increasing the joy of the meek in the Lord, and making the poor among men to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; by expressing his scorn for those who make a man an offender for a word—(does he have in mind those who would reject the Book of Mormon because of the imperfections of its language?); by declaring the speedy redemption of the House of Israel—by the return of the favor of the Lord to Jacob, whose face shall no more wax pale; by making those who erred in spirit come to understanding, and they that murmured to learning doctrine—all of which events have followed or are in process of developing as a sequence to the coming forth of this American volume of scripture, the record of Joseph, by which the world is being enlightened upon the enlarged glory of Israel, both passed and that which is yet to be.

The great difficulty concerning this prophecy being made to apply to the Nephite record and its coming forth will be in the transference of its scenes from Palestine to America. The opening verse of the chapter begins with a reference to Jerusalem:

Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow.[24]

"Ariel, the city where David dwelt," too plainly designates Jerusalem to admit of any doubt; and it would seem that all that immediately follows would be related to David's city, Jerusalem, that is, the siege—the destruction—the humiliation—the speaking low out of the dust—the terrible ones that shall become as chaff—and the destruction that shall come upon those nations that fight against "Ariel"—all this, I say, at first glance seems to relate to Jerusalem, or "Ariel," and makes the transference of the remaining prophetic parts of the chapter to America and the coming forth of the Nephite record somewhat difficult. Still, in the second verse of the chapter there is a sudden transition from "Ariel" to another place that shall be unto the Lord "as" Ariel; and on this point the late Orson Pratt was wont to say:

The prophet [Isaiah] predicts, first, the distress that should come upon Ariel, and, secondly, predicts another event that should be unto the Lord "as Ariel." This last event is expressed in these words, "And it shall be unto me AS Ariel." How was it with Ariel? Her people was to be distressed and afflicted with "heaviness and sorrow." How was it to be with the people or nations who should be "as Ariel," is clearly portrayed in the 3rd and 4th verses: "And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee; and thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." Now, we ask, What nation upon the earth has been visited with a distress resembling that of Ariel or Jerusalem? We answer that the Book of Mormon informs us that the nation of Nephites who were a remnant of Joseph inhabited ancient America, were brought down to the ground by their enemies. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered in their terrible wars. Their distress truly may be said to be "as Ariel." Ariel was sorely distressed from time to time, and forts and other fortifications raised against her—similar judgments happened to the remnant of Joseph. Isaiah does not say that Ariel shall speak out of the ground, but he clearly shows that the nation which should be distressed "as Ariel," after being brought down, should speak out of the ground. The words of the prophets of Jerusalem or Ariel, never spoke from the ground, their speech was never "low out of the dust." But the words of the prophets among the remnant of Joseph have spoken from the ground, and their written "speech" has whispered out of the dust.[25]

To this also may be added the further reflection that the coming forth of the Nephite record, the circumstances attendant upon that event, the results of enlarged knowledge concerning doctrine and the enlightenment of the world concerning Israel in America, and the future glory that will attend upon the restoration of that ancient people—all this blends with the remaining prophecies of Issiah's 29th chapter, and of which, nowhere else, have we any account of their fulfillment. We must, therefore, say either that these remarkable prophecies of Isaiah have not yet been fulfilled, or that they are fulfilled in connection with the experiences of the Nephites in America, and the coming forth of their abridged scriptures, the Book of Mormon.


The Prophecy of Messiah in Relation to the "Other Sheep" than Those in Palestine that Must Hear His Voice.

In St. John's gospel we have the following statement and prophecy from the lips of Messiah himself:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.[26]

The usual explanation of the prophetic part of this passage is that Jesus here makes reference to the Gentiles as being the other sheep. One great commentary says:

He means the perishing gentiles already his "sheep" in the love of his heart and the purpose of his grace to "bring them" in due time.

Then again the phrase "they shall hear my voice" is explained to mean:

This is not the language of mere foresight that they [the Gentiles] would believe, but the expression of a purpose to draw them to himself by an inward and efficacious call, which would infallibly issue in their spontaneous accession to him.[27]

Against this exposition, however, there stands out the fact that when Jesus was importuned by his apostles to heed the prayers of the Cananitish woman, in the coasts of Tyre, he said to them: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel."[28] Therefore, when he says in John, "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," he certainly had reference to some branch of the House of Israel and not to the Gentiles. When the Messiah appeared among the Nephites who, it will be remembered, were a branch of the House of Israel, and a very great branch, too, as we have seen since they are descendants of Joseph,—Messiah declared that it was in that visit to the Nephites that the terms of his New Testament prophecy were fulfilled. The occasion of his making known this truth to the Nephites was when he chose the Twelve Disciples in the western world, and gave them their commission. The passage follows:

And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen, ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem; neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them, that other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word: therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you, that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their [the Jews'] iniquity, that they knew not of them. And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said, 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.[29]

In view of the fact already pointed out that Jesus could not have had reference to the Gentiles in this prophecy concerning "other sheep," I may say of this prophecy as I did of those in the 29th chapter of Isaiah, that either we must say that we have no knowledge of the fulfillment of this very remarkable New Testament prediction, or else we must say that it had its fulfillment as the Book of Mormon teaches, in the advent and ministry of Jesus to the branch of the House of Israel in America.

I have pursued the matter of evidence and argument from the Jewish scriptures to the truth of the Book of Mormon as far as it was my original purpose to do so, referring those who care to enter more minutely into this branch of the subject to the treatment of other Elders who have devoted their works to it.[30]


1. One of the earliest writers in the Church in support of the claims of the Book of Mormon was Elder Charles Thompson. He published a work at Batavia, N. Y., in 1841 consisting of 250 pages. The title of the book was "Evidences in Proof of the Book of Mormon Being a Divinely Inspired Record, Written by the Forefathers of the Natives Whom we Call Indians." It dwells at length on the scripture proofs of the divine authenticity of the book, the nature of which may be judged from the following statement of what the author expects to prove:

"In treating on this subject, I shall observe the following order, viz: I shall first prove by the Prophets, that God will literally gather Israel, the literal seed of Jacob, from all nations, unto their own land, which God gave unto their fathers, by promise.

"Second: When he shall set his hand to bring to pass this gathering, he will first lift up an ensign on the mountains for the nations—set up his standard to the people, and set a sign among them. And then immediately he will commission officers and send them to the nations, bearing this ensign, to declare his glory among the Gentiles, and to fish out and hunt up Israel, and bring them to their own land for an offering unto the Lord.

"Third: The ensign, standard, and sign, consists of a book—a record of the tribe of Joseph, taken by the Lord and put with the Bible (that is, published to the nations as the Bible now is).

"Fourth: This record of Joseph is to come out of the earth in America because Ephraim's seed dwell there.

"Fifth: America is a promised land to Joseph, and God brought a remnant of his seed here to possess it.

"Sixth: God will make use of men as instruments in bringing this book forth.

"Seventh: This generation is the time when this gathering is to take place; consequently the time when this book is to come forth.

"Eighth: The Book of Mormon is this book, and the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the officers commissioned to bear this sign to the nations, and to declare God's glory among the gentiles and gather Israel." (Evidences in Proof of the Book of Mormon, pp. 7, 8).

The writings of Elders Parley P. Pratt (who preceded Elder Thompson in this field by three or four years), and Orson Pratt upon this subject, the first in the Voice of Warning, 1837; the second in his work on Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, England, 1850-1, are too well known to require any summary as their works are still current.

2. Jeremiah xxxi: 9.

3. I. Chronicles v: 1, 2.

4. Genesis xlviii: 12-20.

5. Genesis xlix: 22-26.

6. Deut. xxxiii: 13-18.

7. I have already, at pages 167-8, and note, called attention to the fact that the colony of Lehi was made up of families from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh respectively. Orson Pratt also says, "The American Indians are partly of the children of Manasseh though many of them are of Ephraim through the two sons of Ishmael who came out of Jerusalem 600 B. C., and some of Judah through the loins of David and the kings that reigned over Jerusalem." Pratt's Works, pp. 92; see also chapter XXXIX and footnotes.

8. The reason that Alma, born late in the second century B. C., is the first one mentioned of the Nephite warriors is not because he was the first distinguished member of that class among the Nephites, but because the secular history of the Nephites for the first four centuries of their annals was lost through the criminal carelessness of Martin Harris when he lost the 116 pages of manuscript which was the translation of the first part of Mormon's abridgment of that Nephite secular history. We have its place occupied by the translation of the Smaller Plates of Nephi which record gives prominence to spiritual things and to spiritual characters. (I. Nephi xix: 3, 4). But as "there were brave men before Aggamemnon," so also doubtless there were warriors among the Nephites before Alma, but in consequence of not having a translation of the part of the record which dealt with the affairs of government and of wars, they remain for the present, unknown to us.

9. Not Moroni, the son of Mormon.

10. Alma xxxix: 17-19, I. Nephi xxv: 23-26, Mosiah iii: 13.

11. Chapters xxvi and xxvii.

12. III. Nephi xv: 12, 13.

13. III. Nephi xx: 21, 22.

14. III. Nephi xxi: 20-25.

15. Ether xiii: 5-8.

16. II. Nephi iii: 3-15.

I am not unmindful of the fact that the objector, with some show of reason, could say that it would be an easy matter for an imposter to set down such a prophecy as this—one that would coalesce with the facts of his own life and claim it as a fulfillment of prophecy, and hence an evidence of his calling. The shallowness of such a position is, of course, apparent, but it is not in this way that I refer to the circumstance, but to call attention to the fact that it is in harmony with this Josephic idea of the Book of Mormon, and I am not at all relying upon it in my argument as being a fulfillment of prophecy.

17. Compare I. Nephi i: 1-2. Mosiah i: 1-4. Mormon ix: 32-33.

18. "And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers; and Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records." I. Nephi v: 16.

19. I. Nephi i: 2. Mosiah i: 4.

20. Mormon ix: 32, 33.

21. Isaiah xxix: 9-24.

22. II. Nephi xxvii: 6-11.

23. See Vol. II, chapters iv and v.

24. Isaiah xxix: 1-2.

25. Orson Pratt's Works, p. 11.

26. St. John x: 14-16.

27. Commentary, Critical and Explanatory of the Old and New Testaments, by Rev. Jamieson, Fausett and Brown, on St. John, ch. x. See also Eidersheim's Life of Jesus, Vol. II., p. 192, where substantially the same view is held.

28. Matt. xv: 24.

29. III. Nephi xv: 11-21.

30. For reference to such works see footnote, pp. 93-94.



The evidence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Book of Mormon grows out of the relation of the book to the Church. That is to say, the Church is a sequence of the coming forth of the book. Not that a description of the Church organization as we known it is found in the book, or that its officers or their functions are named in it, much less that the extent and limitations of their authority are pointed out in it. All that pertains to the Church organization, and largely to the development of its doctrines, all that pertains to the Church, in fact, comes of a series of direct revelations to Joseph Smith subsequent to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. These revelations were given for the specific purpose of bringing into existence the Church as it now exists, the depository of the divine authority, in the new dispensation, and the instrumentality for proclaiming the truth to the world, and perfecting the lives of those who receive it. The Church, in other words, is the after-work of the inspired Prophet who translated the Nephite record into the English language. Bringing into existence the Church and developing its doctrines was the continuation of the work that began with the first vision of Joseph Smith, the visitation of the angel Moroni, and the translation and publication of the Nephite record. Does this continuation of the work as seen in the organization of the Church and the development of its doctrines justify the expectations awakened by the Book of Mormon, and the manner of its coming forth? Has anything worth while come because of the revelation of the Book of Mormon? The principle, "By their fruits ye shall know them" may have a wider application than making it a mere test of ethical systems or of religious teachers. It may be applied as a test to anything claiming to be a truth. So that what has resulted from the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, is a question of importance. The answer to that question may do much either for the book's vindication or its condemnation; may establish its truth or prove it to be utterly unworthy of its claim to divine origin. I hold it to be a self-evident truth that a revelation from God must not only contain matter within itself that concerns men to know and that is worthy of God to reveal, but it must lead to results worthy of revelation and worthy of God. It is here therefore that the Church becomes a witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon; for while neither the Church organization nor all its doctrines come immediately from a description of either of these in the book's pages, yet the Church is an outgrowth of that movement of which the Book of Mormon may be said to be an important factor. The Book of Mormon cannot be true and the Church of Christ fail to come into existence as an accompanying fact. Indeed, several predictions in the Book of Mormon clearly indicate the establishment of the Church as a sequence to the coming forth of that record, as witness the following:

And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindred, tongues and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.[1]

The Savior, also, in predicting the accomplishment of his work in the last days, when the Nephite record should come forth, in speaking of the Gentiles among whom it should be brought forth, says:

If they will repent, and hearken unto my words, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance.[2]

To the first Nephi, also, it was given to behold the establishment of the church of Christ in the last days, for he said:

I beheld the church of the Lamp of God, and its numbers were few. * * * * nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the Saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.[3]

Moreover, side by side with the unfolding of the successive facts which brought the Book of Mormon into existence, there was a series of revelations given predicting and making for the establishment of a Church organization. In evidence of which statement I refer to the first visions of Joseph Smith as described by the Prophet himself in the first volume of the Church History,[4] and especially as related by him in the letter written to Mr. John Wentworth in 1842; also the Prophet's account of the several visits of Moroni to him, and the prophecies of that angel concerning the coming forth of the work of the Lord, "and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days;"[5] also the eighteen sections of the Doctrine and Covenants from the 2nd section to the 20th, inclusive, being those revelations given between September, 1823, to the fore part of April, 1830—the period during which the Book of Mormon was being revealed and translated—and in which prophetic declarations concerning the coming forth of the Church are frequently made. The last revelation of the series—section twenty—is the one in which the first practical directions are given towards effecting the organization of the Church.

Who ever will look through these writings, to say nothing of frequent allusions to the same matter throughout the Book of Mormon itself, will be convinced that the coming forth of the book must result in bringing into existence the Church.

The Church so brought into existence, cannot be true and the Book of Mormon false. If the book be not true, Joseph Smith is an imposter, a false prophet, and an imposter and false prophet cannot found a true Church of Christ; therefore, if the Church be the true Church of Christ, it is evidence quite conclusive that the book so inseparably connected with it, so vitally related to it, is also true. Of course, the conception is possible that both the Church and the book may be false, but it is inconceivable that one could be true and the other false. It follows therefore that whatever facts exist in the organization and doctrines of the Church which tend to establish it as being of divine origin, tend also to establish the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Here we have a field of evidence and argument well nigh inexhaustible; but much of it, I may say all of it with which I care to deal, has already been used in volume one of New Witnesses, as follows:

Chapter XIV: "Fitness in the Development of the New Dispensation."

Chapter XV: "The Evidence of Scriptural and Perfect Doctrine."

Chapter XXIV: "The Church Founded by Joseph Smith, a Monument to His Inspiration."

Chapters XXV-XXVI: "Testimony of the Inspiration and Divine Calling of Joseph Smith, Derived from the Comprehensiveness of the Work He Introduced."

Chapter XXVII: "Evidence of Inspiration Derived from the Wisdom in the Plan Proposed for the Betterment of the Temporal Condition of Mankind."

Chapters XXVIII, XXIX, XXX: "Evidence of Divine Inspiration in Joseph Smith Derived from the Prophet's Doctrines in Regard to the Extent of the Universe, Man's Place in It, and His Doctrine Respecting God."

The evidences and the arguments in all these chapters, then, must be considered as appropriated here, and made part of my argument for the truth of the Book of Mormon, as well as for the divine origin of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After thus appropriating all this body of evidence and argument from these chapters in the first volume of New Witnesses, I feel justified in saying: It is the Church that bears witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon rather than the Book of Mormon which bears witness to the Church. Nor is this said in disparagement of the Book of Mormon. It is only saying that what comes of the book is greater than the book itself, that the stately oak is greater than the acorn from which it grew—a giant tree; that the whole is greater than a part; that the work in all its fullness is greater than one of the incidents in which that work had its origin.


1. II. Nephi xxx: 8.

2. III. Nephi xxi: 22.

3. I. Nephi xiv: 12.

4. Chapter i.

5. History of the Church, Vol. I., ch. ii.




Of the Unity and Diversity of Style.

As already set forth in previous pages, the Book of Mormon, with reference to the original documents from which it was translated, is made up of two classes of writings:

1. Original, unabridged Nephite records;

2. Mormon and Moroni's abridgment of Nephite and Jaredite records.

The translation of the unabridged Nephite records comprises the first 157 pages of current editions of the Book of Mormon. The rest of the 623 pages—except where we have the words of Mormon and Moroni at first hand, or here and there direct quotations by them from older records—are Mormon's abridgment of other Nephite records, and Moroni's abridgment of a Jaredite record. It is quite evident that there would be a marked difference in the construction of these two divisions of the book. How there came to be unabridged and abridged records in Mormon's collection of plates has been explained at length in previous pages,[1] so that it is now only necessary to say that when Joseph Smith lost his translation of the first part of Mormon's abridgment of the Nephite records, comprised in the 116 pages of manuscript which he entrusted to Martin Harris, he replaced the lost part by translating the smaller plates of Nephi which make up the first 157 pages of the Book of Mormon before referred to. Now, if there is no difference in the style between this part of the Book of Mormon translated from the small plates of Nephi, and Mormon's abridgment of the larger plates, that fact would constitute very strong evidence against the claims of the Book of Mormon. On the other hand, if one finds the necessary change in style between these two divisions of the book, it will be important incidental evidence in its support. Especially will this be conceded when the likelihood that neither Joseph Smith nor his associates would have sufficient knowledge of things literary to appreciate the importance of the difference of style demanded in the two parts of the record. Fortunately the evidence on this point is all that can be desired. The writers whose works were engraven on the smaller plates of Nephi employ the most direct style, and state what they have to say in the first person, without explanation or interpolations by editors or commentators or any evidence of abridgment whatsoever, though, of course, they now and then make quotations from the Hebrew scriptures which the Nephite colony brought with them from Jerusalem. The following passages illustrate their style.



1. I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days—nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having a great knowledge of the goodnesss and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

2. Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews, and the language of the Egyptians.

3. And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. etc.

THE BOOK OF JACOB. [The brother of Nephi.]


1. For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away, from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.

2. And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates, a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi, etc.



1. Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man: for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And blessed be the name of God for it.

2. And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins:

3. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forest; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart, etc.

And so it continues with each of the nine writers in this division of the Book of Mormon. But now note how marked the difference is when we come to Mormon's abridgment of the Nephite record which begins with the book of Mosiah:



1. And now there was no more contention in all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who belonged to King Benjamin, so that king Benjamin had continual peace all the remainder of his days.

2. And it came to pass that he had three sons; and he called their names Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding; and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers, which were delivered them by the hand of the Lord.

So also in the abridgment of the book of Alma:



1. Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, from this time forward, king Mosiah having gone the way of all the earth, having warred a good warfare, walking uprightly before God, leaving none to reign in his stead; nevertheless he established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws he had made.

2. And it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment seat, there was a man brought before him to be judged; a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength, etc.

And so throughout the abridgment this style continues as pointed out in chapter IX of this work. Had the style which is followed in the abridgment found its way into the translation of the unabridged part of the record, the reader can readily see how strong an objection it would have constituted against the claims of the Book of Mormon. As to style in other respects there is marked uniformity in the translation. I have already pointed out the fact that the style of the translation of the Book of Mormon is influenced, of course, by the translator; the statements and ideas of the Nephite writers being set forth in such English and in such literary style as Joseph Smith, with his limited knowledge of language, could command; he, in his turn, of course, being influenced in his expressions by the facts and ideas made known to him from the Nephite record through Urim and Thummim, and the inspiration of God under which he worked. It is useless to assert a diversity of style where it does not exist, and that it does not exist in the Book of Mormon except as to the matter of a distinction between Jaredite and Nephite proper names, hereafter to be noted, and the distinction between the abridged records and those unabridged—to the extent just pointed out—it would be easy, though unnecessary, to demonstrate; since any one may satisfy himself by even a casual inspection of the Book of Mormon itself.

The demand for diversity of style in the various parts of the translation of the Book of Mormon is urged too strongly. It is sometimes represented, even by believers in the Book of Mormon, that the volume contains the compiled writings of a long line of inspired scribes extending through a thousand years, written not only at different times but under varying conditions, and that unity of style under such circumstances is not to be expected, and did it occur it would be fatal to the claims made for the Book of Mormon! Now, as a matter of fact, there is great unity of style in the translation of the Book of Mormon which any one can verify who will read it; and properly so, I insist; for the reason that general unity of style is not incompatible with the theory of the work's construction and translation. First of all this long line of inspired writers that should give to us diversity of style in their writings is reduced really to a very small matter when the facts in the case are considered. We have already seen, in chapter IX, that all told there are but eleven writers in the Book of Mormon. The work of nine of these runs through only 400 years of Nephite history—from the time Lehi's colony left Jerusalem to the time when the Nephites, under Mosiah I., joined the people of Mulek, some 200 years B. C. Then we have the works of no Nephite writer until we come to Mormon, who makes his abridgment of the Nephite records in the closing years of the 4th century A. D. So that 600 years of the 1,000 through which the long line of Nephite writers is supposed to run is lifted bodily from the "time range." I say we have no Nephite writings between the works of the first group of nine Nephite writers (600-200 B. C.) to the writings of Mormon (400 A. D.) I should say, we have no such writings except where here and there Mormon, in his abridgment, makes a direct quotation from some intervening writer between those two periods. Such quotations, however, are neither numerous nor long, and in many instances one is left in doubt as to whether supposed quotations are verbatim or merely the substance of the original documents given by Mormon. What has led to confusion in these matters is that the books of "Mosiah," "Alma," "Helaman," "III Nephi," etc., are not really the books of these men whose names respectively they bear, but are Mormon's abridgment of those books to which abridgment he has given the name of the book he abridged. Then, again, of these eleven writers we have already shown (chapter IX) that the first group of nine writers supplied but 157 pages of the book. Of these Nephi writes 127 1/2 pages; and his brother, Jacob, 21 1/2; making in all 149 of the 157; leaving but 8 pages for the other seven writers; and as Enos, who follows Jacob, writes 2 1/2 pages of the remaining 8, there is left but 5 1/2 pages for the remaining six writers. It should be kept in mind, too, that the whole nine authors were writing in the first 400 years of Nephite times; that Jacob and Nephi lived much of their lives together, therefore, in the same period of time, under similar conditions, with the same little colony of people. Hence there was not much to give diversity of style to their writings, and the few paragraphs left for the remaining seven writers could not be sufficient to develop very much diversity of style in composition. So that the diversity of style clamored for, so far as this group of nine writers is concerned, is not very insistent.

Turning now to the writers of the Book of Mormon who come six hundred years later, Mormon and Moroni, they are contemporaries, father and son. They lived in the same age. One abridged the history of the Nephites, the other a brief history of the Jaredites. So that their work is similar in character, is wrought in the same age, and hence great diversity of style is not to be expected.

Another factor in the question of style is that in the "time range" of 1,000 years through which it is assumed the Book of Mormon is being composed, there is not much change in the manners or customs of the people—not very widely varying conditions. It must be remembered that the colonies which came to America in the sixth century B. C. were made up of men and women who were civilized. They brought with them a knowledge of the civilization in the midst of which they had lived. They also had some Hebrew literature with them, although written in Egyptian characters; also the Hebrews ideas of government and law, and these ideas were promulgated among the people as they increased in numbers and grew into a nation. The before mentioned "time range" of 1,000 years was a period in the world's history when there was no such revolutions taking place in manners, customs, and progress in civilization as is known to our own age. In the western world, as in the eastern, in the period under consideration, human affairs in the matter of developing civilization, were well nigh stationary. The same methods and implements of warfare were employed at the close of the period as were used at its beginning. So in agriculture, commerce, and in the sciences and arts. Not nearly so many changes took place in that thousand years as have taken place within the last hundred years. Hence, so far as changing conditions affecting style of composition during the time limit of 1,000 years is concerned, there is nothing which demands great diversity of style.

Another item at this point should be considered with reference to a misapprehension of the character of the Book of Mormon. It has been frequently urged by writers against the Book of Mormon that it pretends to be the national or racial literature of the peoples of the western hemisphere, and that in the light of such pretentions it is utterly contemptible. Such a conception of the Book of Mormon, however, is entirely unwarranted, since no such claims are made for it by those at all acquainted with its character. No one acquainted with the book could for a moment hold it up as the national literature of either the Jaredite empire or of the Nephite monarchy or republic, any more than he could regard the single work of Josephus on the "Antiquities of the Jews" as the national literature of the Hebrew race or nation; or Doctor William Smith's "Condensed History of England" (less than four hundred pages) as the national literature of the British empire.

The Book of Mormon was constructed in this manner: Let us suppose that a writer has before him the national literature of the old Roman empire; the works of Livy, Sallust, Virgil, Caesar, Terrance, Cicero, and the rest. The account of the chief events mentioned in these several volumes he condenses in his own style into a single volume. Coming to the annals of Tacitus, however, he is so well pleased with some portions of them that notwithstanding the events Tacitus narrates parallel some parts of his own abridgment of the history, he places them, without editing or changing them in the least, with his own writings. This work, upon his death, falls into the hands of his son, who is also a writer. In the course of the second writer's researches he accidentally, or providentially, as you will, discovers the works of the Greek historian, Xenophon. He considers this writer's history of Greece of such importance—especially his history of the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand"—that he condenses into a few pages the events related by Xenophon and binds them in with his father's work, with such comments of his own as he considers necessary. As the first writer's abridgment of some of the Roman books would not be the national literature of Rome, so also the abridgment of Xenophon's writings would not be the national literature of Greece; and as this supposed case exactly illustrates the manner in which the Book of Mormon was constructed by Mormon and Moroni, the absurdity of regarding the book so produced as the national or racial literature of the peoples who have inhabited the western world, will be apparent.


Characteristics of an Abridgment.

In addition to the changes from the first to the third person already noted between the first group of Nephite authors, whose writings are unabridged, and Mormon and Moroni's abridgment, there is one other item which further exhibits the consistency between the style and language of the book with the theory of its construction, viz: The style of Mormon and Moroni's part of the work is pronouncedly the style of an abridgment. Its general characteristics have already been considered in chapter ix., and it only remains here to say that the body of the work is Mormon's abridgment of the chief events from the Nephite annals, with occasional verbatim quotations from those works, and his own running comments upon the same. In the progress of the work one may almost see the writer with a number of the Nephite records about him engaged at his task. He has just recorded the thrilling events of a few years rich in historical instances, and in closing says:

"And thus endeth the 5th year of the reign of the Judges."

Then he strikes a period where there are but few important events in the annals, so he passes over them lightly in this manner:

Now it came to pass in the sixth year of the reign of the Judges over the people of Nephi, there were no contentions nor wars in the land of Zarahemla. * * * * * And it came to pass in the seventh year of the reign of the Judges, there were about three thousand five hundred souls that united themselves to the Church of God, and were baptized. And thus endeth the seventh year of the reign of the Judges over the people of Nephi; and there was continual peace in all that time.[2]

He closes another eventful period, in a similar manner:

But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni; yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the Judges. And it came to pass that the twenty and second year of the reign of the Judges also ended in peace; yea, and also the twenty and third year.[3]

The following is a similar example:

And it came to pass that there was peace and exceeding great joy in the remainder of the forty and ninth year; yea, and also there was continual peace and great joy in the fiftieth year of the reign of the Judges. And in the fifty and first year of the reign of the Judges there was peace also, save it were the pride which began to enter into the church.[4]

Again in Helaman:

And it came to pass that the seventy and sixth year did end in peace. And the seventy and seventh year began in peace; and the church did spread throughout the face of all the land; and the more part of the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites, did belong to the church; and they did have exceeding great peace in the land, and thus ended the seventy and seventh year. And also they had peace in the seventy and eighth year, save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets.[5] * * * * * * * And thus ended the eighty and first year of the reign of the Judges. And in the eighty and second year, they began again to forget the Lord their God. And in the eighty and third year they began to wax strong in iniquity. And the eighty and fourth year, they did not mend their ways. And it came to pass in the eighty and fifth year, they did wax stronger and stronger in their pride, and in their wickedness; and thus they were ripened again for destruction. And thus ended the eighty and fifth year.[6]

Moroni's abridgment of the Jaredite record—the Book of Ether—fails to exhibit this particular characteristic of an abridgment, owing doubtless to the brevity of the original record he abridged—there were but twenty-four plates in the record of Ether, and "the hundredth part," says Moroni, "I have not written;"[7] but otherwise that book of Ether bears all the marks of being an abridgment that the work of Mormon does, except perhaps that the running comments of Moroni are more frequent than Mormon's.


Originality in Book of Mormon Names.

There is another gratifying distinction between Mormon's abridgment of the Nephite record and Moroni's abridgment of the Jaredite record that is also of first rate importance as an evidence of consistency in the work. That is the quite marked distinction between Nephite and Jaredite proper names as given in these respective parts of the record. Take for instance the list of names of Jaredite leaders and kings and compare it with a list of prominent Nephite leaders.





An inspection of these two lists of names discloses the fact that the Jaredite names, with the single exception of "Shule" and "Levi," end in consonants, while very many of the Nephite names end in a vowel; and while many of the Nephite names also end in consonants, yet the preponderance of Nephite names that end in vowels over Jaredite names is considerable. I am not able to say what value attaches to this distinction, I can only point it out as a marked distinction, and it may be an important one.

Another distinction may be discerned in the fact that there are more simple, and evidently root-words among the Jaredite names than among the Nephite names; that is, there are not so many derivatives in the former as in the latter, though in the former there are a few. "Corihor," may have come from "Cohor;" "Coriantumr," from "Coriantor," though it may be merely a variation of the more ancient name "Moriancumer." "Nimarah" may have come from "Nimrod;" and "Akish" from "Kish." But this about exhausts the derivatives among the Jaredite names. As illustrations merely of the Nephite derivatives, and not with a view of exhausting the list, I give the following: "Nephihah," evidently comes from "Nephi," "Amalickiah," from "Amaleki," "Gidgiddoni," "Gidgiddonah," "Giddonah," and "Gideon," from "Gid," "Helaman" from "Helam;" "Ammoron," from "Ammon;" "Moronihah," from "Moroni;" "Mathonihah," from "Mathoni." This is enough for illustration, and inspection will show the percentage of derivatives in the Nephite names of the Book of Mormon to be not only greatly but very greatly in excess of derivatives in the Jaredite names. And this is what consistency demands of the Book of Mormon. The more ancient people the simpler and fewer compound names—more root names, fewer derivatives. William A. Wright, M. A., Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, writing for the Hackett edition of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, says:

Glancing a moment at the history of names and name-giving among the Hebrews, we readily distinguish many of those changes which characterize popular customs and habits in this particular among all peoples. In their first or ruder age their names are simple and "smell of nature." In the period of their highest national and religious development we find more compound and more allusions to artificial refinements.[8]

That law is found operating at least between the more ancient people of the Book of Mormon, the Jaredites, and the more modern people, the Nephites. While the list of names obtainable from the abridgment of the very small fragment of a Jaredite record of the Book of Mormon does not give sufficient data to warrant a positive conclusion, yet I think there is discernable a tendency even in that list from the more simple to derivative names;[9] while as between the earlier and later Nephite times the translation from the simple to an increase of compound names is quite marked.[10] I do not mean by this that the simpler names are not found throughout the whole Nephite period, but that the percentage of derivative names greatly increase in the latter times.

Referring again to the marked distinction between Jaredite and Nephite names, I desire to call attention to the fact that the demands for this distinction are imperative, since these peoples though they occupied the same continent did so successively and at periods of time widely separated. The Jaredites occupied the north continent from soon after the dispersion of mankind from Babel until the opening of the 6th century B. C. About the time the Jaredites were destroyed the Nephite colony arrived in South America, and Mulek's colony in North America. But the only person connecting the two peoples was Coriantumr (the last of the Jaredites) through some nine months of association with the colony of Mulek. Whether or not his race was perpetuated by marriage into Mulek's colony is merely a matter of conjecture.[11] So far as the Nephite connection with the Jaredites is concerned it exists only through the Jaredite records discovered by the people of Zeniff (B. C. 123), and translated soon afterwards by Mosiah II. This translation of the Jaredite record making known, in outline merely, the history of the Jaredites to the Nephites, might give to the Nephites some Jaredite names, as in the case of the noted warrior among the Nephites bearing the name Coriantumr.[12] Still from the fact that the connection between the Nephites and the Jaredites is so slight; and the occupancy of the North Continent by the respective peoples separated by so long a period of time, it could not be otherwise than that there would be a marked distinction in proper names between the two peoples, a distinction that will be quite apparent to the reader when he compares the respective lists of Jaredite and Nephite names here presented at radom; and which, had it been wanting, would have been a serious objection to the consistency, and consequently to the claims, of the Book of Mormon.

When the general unity of style found in the Book of Mormon is taken into account, this distinction in proper names becomes all the more remarkable. But it is a case where the circumstances emphatically demand a distinction; just as the circumstances emphatically demand a marked distinction at the transition from the unabridged writings of the Nephite authors—written in the first person, and in so simple and direct a style—to the abridged record of Mormon—written in the third person and in so complex, not to say confusing, a style. Had the Prophet Joseph's translation of the Book of Mormon failed to have shown the distinctions at these points where such distinctions are so imperatively demanded—in a word, had the style and language of the book failed to be consistent with the theory of its construction—how serious an objection the failure would have been considered! But since the consistency of the style and language of the book with the theory of the work's construction is established, how strong the evidence is which that fact constitutes! And more especially when it is remembered that neither Joseph Smith nor his associates had sufficient knowledge of literature, to cause them to appreciate the importance of such a consistency. The evidence that they were unconscious of the point here made is to be found in the fact that they never alluded to it in their life time, nor was the foregoing argument ever made by any one else within their life time.


Of the Nephite Custom in Naming Cities and Provinces Being Ancient.

It should be remarked that both Jaredites and Nephites named cities, plains, valleys, mountains and provinces after the names of prominent men, especially the men who were identified in some way with the settlement or history of said places; so that it often happens that names of places take on the names of men or some variation of their names; and hence the frequent identity and more frequently the likeness between the names of places and the names of men. Both people also followed the custom of ancient nations, not only in naming cities after the men who founded them or who were prominently connected with their history, but also in giving the district of country surrounding a city the same name as the city. Thus among the Jaredites there is Nehor the city, and "the land [or province] of Nehor," meaning the district of country surrounding the city of Nehor.[13] I believe also that there was a Jaredite city of Moron, as well as a land of Moron, although there is no specific reference to a city of that name, but frequent references to the "land of Moron,"[14] which I take to mean the district of country surrounding the city of Moron.[15] That this custom obtained among the Nephites is so commonly understood that illustration is scarcely necessary, yet by way of illustration I instance the following: The city of Bountiful,[16] and the land of Bountiful;[17] the city of Zarahemla,[18] and the land of Zarahemla; [19] the city of Moroni;[20] and the land of Moroni;[21] the city of Nephihah,[22] and the land of Nephihah;[23] the city of Manti, and the land of Manti.[24]

That the customs here referred to are in harmony with the customs of ancient nations I cite the following as illustrations of my statement: Nineveh takes its name from Ninus, the son of Nimrod. Nimrod founded the city and gave to it a variation of his son's name.[25] M. Rollin also identifies Nimrod with Belus, the first king whom the "people deified for his great actions," and after whom, some authorities affirm, the noted temple of Belus within the city of Babylon was named; and from which the city itself, as some affirm, took its name.[26] Of course we have the statement of holy writ that Babylon received its name from the circumstances of the Lord confounding the language of the builders of the city,[27] "Babel" in the Hebrew meaning confusion. Professor Hackett, however, in his contribution on the subject to Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, while nothing the statement in Genesis, says: "But the native (i. e. Chaldean) etymology is Ba-il 'the gate of the god 'Il;' or perhaps more simple, 'the gate of god;' and this no doubt was the original intention of the appellation as given by Nimrod, though the other sense (i. e. the Bible sense) came to be attached to it after the confusion of tongues." Hence one may say that "Babylon" has taken its name from both circumstances. That is, from the "Nimrod" of the Chaldeans it takes its name from its founder, "Belus," who is Nimrod, while to the Hebrew mind it owes its name to the circumstance of the confusion of languages.

Professor Campbell, according to Osborn, thinks that the name "Jebez," of Chronicles ii: 55, is "Thebes;" which originally was "Tei Jabez," the city named from "Jabez," and which is written without the "T" in the hieroglyphics, that letter being only the article.[28]

Plato in his Timaeus, where he introduces the story of Atlantis, says: "At the head of the Egyptian Delta, where the river Nile divides, there is a certain district which is called the district of Sais, and the great city of the district is also called Sais, and is the city from which Amasis the king was sprung."[29] This is an incident where the district of country takes its name from the city. Other instances in support of the ancient custom here referred to will be found in the case of "Rome," so called after "Romulus;" "Alexandria; after Alexander;" "Constantinople," after "Constantine." The names of countries and sections of country," says Professor W. A. Wright, "are almost universally derived from the name of their first settlers or earliest historic populations."[30]


Of the Nephites, Like the Jews Being a Mononymous People.

Still another singular and fortunate circumstance for the claims of the Book of Mormon with reference to names should be noted. "Unlike the Romans," says Professor Wright, already quoted, "but like the Greeks, the Hebrews were a mononymous people. That is, each person received but a single name.[31] The Nephites, it must be remembered, were Hebrews, and therefore would very likely follow the custom of their race with reference to this practice of giving but one name to a person. This they did; for throughout the Nephite part of the Book of Mormon, there is not a single instance where a person receives more than one name. In other words, the Nephites, like the whole Hebrew race, were a mononymous people. So, too, the Jaredites, a more ancient branch of the same race, are a mononymous people.

Now, as neither Joseph Smith nor his associates would likely be acquainted with this singular custom of the Hebrew race, I take the fact of agreement of Nephite practice with this Hebrew custom, as an incidental evidence of some weight in favor of the claims of the Book of Mormon. To appreciate the value of it, I will ask the reader to think what importance would be given to an objection based upon the violation of this custom by a branch of the Hebrew race. That is, suppose the Book of Mormon had been full of double names, applied to the same person, what then? Could it not be claimed with some force that here would be the violation of a very universal custom of the Hebrew people? I think such a claim, if the facts warranted it, would be both forceful and consistent. Instead of the violation of the Hebrew custom, however, there is a singular accordance with it; and the fact of agreement, I suggest, is entitled to as much weight in favor of the book as the supposed disagreement would have been against it.

This circumstance also sustains the claims of the Book of Mormon to being an ancient record; for if it was of modern origin, having for its authors Joseph Smith and his associates, it would not very likely have followed so absolutely this ancient Hebrew custom, since Joseph Smith and his associates lived in a time and among a people where it was common at least, if not actually customary, to give to persons double names, a custom that would likely have influenced them in any creation of names which they would have attempted.

But very few Jaredite and Nephite proper names with their interpretation, and but few original common names, with their interpretation have found their way into the translation of the Jaredite and Nephite records. Of the first class—proper names with interpretations—I instance the Jaredite word "Ripliancum,"[32] which by interpretation means "large," or "to exceed all." It is employed in connection with describing the arrival of the army of Coriantumr in the region of the great lakes, between the present countries of Canada and the United States. It is most probably a proper name carrying with it the signification equivalent to the phrase we use in describing the same waters, viz: "the Great Lakes," or, as the implied Book of Mormon interpretation stands, bodies of water that exceed in size all others of their kind.

Then there is the Jaredite common name "deseret," meaning honey bee. [33] In passing I call attention to the fact that the Hebrew proper name, "Deborah" also means "bee," that is, honey bee;[34] and it is quite likely that the proper name "Deborah" is derived from the same root whence comes "Deseret." The only other common names from the Jaredites are the words "cureloms" and "cumoms."[35] These are the names of domestic animals said to have been especially useful to the Jaredites, hence most likely used either for draft or pack animals, or perhaps both.

Turning to the Nephite record we have the name of "Irreantum,"[36] meaning the sea, or "many waters." Also the word "Liahona,"[37] meaning "compass," or perhaps more properly, "director," since, unlike the modern compass, it indicated a variant direction rather than a permanent one; and was made useful to the person possessing it through the principle of faith rather than the magnetic polar force; hence it could only be explained by the term "compass" in that it was an "indicator," or "director." The word "Gazelem" is also a Nephite word, meaning "a stone," that is, a seer stone, since it is spoken of as a means of ascertaining knowledge through it by revelation.[38] In addition to these words we have also a number of names of Nephite coins and the names of fractional values of coins, as follows:

The names of the gold coins, commencing with the one of lowest value, are: a senine, a seon, a shum and a limnah.

A seon was twice the value of a senine; a shum was twice the value of a seon; and a limnah was equal to the value of all the other gold coins.

The silver coins were, a senum, an amnor, an ezrom and an onti.

Their relative value is stated as follows: an amnor of silver was twice the value of a senum; an ezrom four times the value of a senum; an onti was equal in value to all the other silver coins.

The fractional values are represented as follows: A shiblom is half a senum; a shiblum is one half a shiblom; a leah is one half of a shiblum.

We have no means of obtaining specifically the value of these coins in modern terms, nor am I interested in that matter here. I only desire to call attention to the fact that these are Nephite names brought over into our language by the translation of the Nephite records, though reference to the passage[39] where the tables are given will plainly indicate to the interested enquirer that there is stated a system of relative values in these coins that bears evidence of its being genuine.

Alluding to this matter of names in a general way I suggest that there is nothing more difficult in literature than to originate new names. As a matter of fact names do not suggest things, but things suggest names. Men do not bring into existence names and then fasten them upon things, but they see an object, they hear a sound, or become acquainted with an idea, and the object, the sound or the idea suggests a name. So that names, speaking generally, arise from things already existing and are not formed arbitrarily. The names in the Book of Mormon could come into existence in one of two ways only. Either Joseph Smith arbitrarily created them, or else he found them in the Nephite record. Since originating new names is so extremely difficult, the probability in the case lies on the side of Joseph Smith finding them in the Nephite record. If any one should doubt of the difficulty of originating new names I would invite him to make the experiment. In this connection I remember with what ease an old teacher of mine in English put down a somewhat presumptuous class mate. The teacher had expatiated on the excellence of the Proverbs of Solomon, when the aforesaid class mate expressed his contempt of things so simple. "Proverbs," exclaimed he, to those sitting near him, "why, it's easy enough to write proverbs." The good Doctor who was our teacher happened to overhear the remark and said to the speaker, "Suppose you write us a few." My class mate tried: and the more he tried the farther from proverbs he got. He had not learned that proverbs were the "pure literature of reason:" the statement of "absolute truths without qualification;" "the sanctuary of the intuitions of humanity." And so with this matter of originating names. It may seem a simple thing, but those who entertain such an idea let them give us a few new names. Now, the Book of Mormon has a number of proper names that are not new. These are chiefly Bible names and are found in Nephite writings because the Nephites brought with them to the western hemisphere copies of so many of the sacred books of the Jews as were in existence at the time of their departure from Judea, 600 B. C., parts of which were multiplied by copying and helped form part of the Nephite literature; hence they sometimes used Bible names. But the Book of Mormon also gives us a long list of absolutely new names, both of men and of places, though in many in stances, as already pointed out, the names of cities and the districts or country surrounding them took the name of some noted person in some way or other prominently connected with the history of the place. I have already pointed out that a marked distinction exists between Nephite names and Jaredite names, so that we may see that the Book of Mormon gives us two lists of new names, one Jaredite, the other Nephite, which fact, when coupled with the well recognized difficulty of originating names, renders the performance all the more remarkable. It not only demonstrates the originality of the Book of Mormon, but must be admitted to be either a striking demonstration of wonderful genius on the part of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or else a very strong evidence in support of the claims of the Book of Mormon. And since the list of new names is quite too large to refer to the genius of one single writer for their origin, I think the latter conclusion represents the truth in the case.


1. Vol. II., chapter viii.

2. Alma iv: 1-5.

3. Alma i: 23, 24.

4. Helaman iii: 32, 33.

5. Helaman iii: 32, 33.

6. Helaman xi: 21-24

7. Ether xiv: 33.

8. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Hackett edition Vol. III., p. 2062.

9. In the first chapter of Ether there is given a list of names of Jaredite kings, twenty-six in all. In the first thirteen names—half of the number—representing the most ancient Jaredite times, there are only four that could possibly be derivatives; these are Oriah, Coriantumr, Riplakish, Morianton, while in the latter half of the list of names there are at least six derivatives. Beginning with the most ancient they are—Hearthom, Amnigaddah, Coriantumr, Shiblon, Ethem, Coriantor.

10. It is not until we reach the middle and later period of Nephite times that we meet with such names as Amlici, Antiomno, Amalickiah, Nephiah, Moronihah, Kishkuman, Pecumeni, Lachoneus, Giddianhi, Gidgiddoni, Zemnarihah, Ammaron, Ammonihah, and many others that are plainly derivative names.

11. While there can be no more than conjecture upon this point the likelihood of the thing, I am inclined to believe, is all on the side of his marriage and the perpetuation of his race. Coriantumr had doubtless every reason to believe that he was the sole survivor of his people, and he could have no greater anxiety than that his race should be perpetuated. In support of this theory it may be urged that in the Nephite history, about 41 B. C., we learn of a very strong and mighty leader in war, bearing the name "Coriantumr," who was a descendant of Zarahemla (Helaman i: 15: 32), the leader of the descendants of Mulek's colony when discovered by Mosiah I, about 200 B. C. It was Mulek's colony, it will be remembered, who found Coriantumr, the Jaredite, and with whom he lived some nine months. May it not be reasonably supposed that this noted man among the Nephites, bearing the name of the old Jaredite chieftain was a descendant of his, since we find that chieftain's name strangely appearing among the Nephites? And may it not be urged that here we have one of those obscure instances in the history of a great people unlikely to be provided for by conspirators constructing a book to be imposed up the world as a revelation from God?

12. It is quite possible also that the word Shiblon among the Nephites came from the Jaredites. Unfortunately the orthography of this name is given in two ways in the translation of the Jaredite abridgment, "Shiblom" and "Shiblon;" but if the Jaredite name is Shiblon, it may be that the name among the Nephites was taken from the Jaredites as suggested.

13. Ether vii: 4-9.

14. Ether vii: 6, 16, 17; also xiv: 6-11.

15. Helaman v: 14.

16. Alma li: 30.

17. Helaman i: 22.

18. Helaman i: 23.

19. Alma l: 14.

20. Alma lxii: 32.

21. Alma lxii: 30.

22. Alma lxii: 30.

23. Alma lvi: 14.

24. Alma lvi: 14.

25. Rollin's Ancient History, Vol. I., pp. 266, 227.

26. Ibid.

27. Genesis xi: 9.

28. Osborn, Ancient Egypt and the light of Modern Discoveries, p. 205.

29. Plato (Jowett), Vol. II., p. 517.

30. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Hackett Ed., Vol. III., p. 2060.

31. Ibid.

32. Ether xv: 8.

33. Ether ii: 3.

34. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, article "Names," Vol. III., p. 2061.

35. Ether ix: 19.

36. I. Nephi xvii: 5.

37. Alma xxxvii: 38-40. I. Nephi xvi: 10-30. I. Nephi xviii: 12-21. II. Nephi v: 12.

38. Alma xxxvii: 23.

39. Alma xi.



In the Book of Mormon three forms of government are said to have existed among the various peoples inhabiting the western world. These are, first, a Monarchial form; second, a sort of Republic or rule of Judges; third, an Ecclesiastical government, or rule of priests, ending finally in the rule of military chieftains. The Book of Mormon giving as it does, though only in an incidental way, a description of these several forms of government, presents a crucial test of its claims to being a translation of an ancient record. For if in describing any one of these forms of government it should be out of harmony with well known facts concerning ancient forms of government, or if it ascribes to them qualities or powers out of harmony with the times or circumstances under which they existed, then doubt is thrown upon the claims of the book to being a translation of an ancient record. To illustrate the proposition now laid down: It is well known that to the ancients the only form of monarchy was what we call a "simple" or "absolute" monarchy; that is, a form of government in which all powers of government are centered in one person. Such a thing as a division of the powers of government into co-ordinate branches, relegating several functions to distinct persons or groups of persons, was unknown to the ancients. The ideas prevailing in modern times which have brought into existence our "mixed" or "constitutional monarchies" had not as yet been discovered by the ancients; hence if such modern ideas concerning monarchy should be found in the Book of Mormon governments, involving the existence of cabinets, parliaments or distinct judiciary departments it would at least be very prejudical to the claims of the book to being an ancient record.

Again in respect of democratic forms of government: the only form known to the ancient was "simple" democracy. The form of government by which the people acted directly upon governmental affairs. The principle of representation in democracies was not as yet discovered in times contemporary with the Book of Mormon republic, therefore if in the Nephite republic, or the "reign of the Judges," as that form of government is sometimes called in the Book of Mormon, there should be found the representative principle, which is really a modern refinement in government, that fact too would be prejudicial to its claims being an ancient record. Per contra, if these modern ideas respecting monarchial and democratic forms of government are absent from the kingdoms and republics described in the book, then it would be at least presumptive evidence of the genuineness of its claims; for if the Book of Mormon had been the product of a modern author, or authors, there would very likely be found in it some of the modern ideas of government, both in its monarchies and in its republics, and especially would this be probable if its authors were illiterate men and not acquainted with these facts concerning government among ancient peoples. Under those circumstances the ancient and modern forms would inevitably be confounded because modern illiterate authors would not possess sufficient discretion to keep them separated.


I am aware that the Book of Mormon account of the Jaredite monarchy is so very limited that we can form but little idea as to its nature; but the little there is said of it is strictly in harmony with the ancient forms of monarchy. That is, the kings were absolute, the source of all law and the center of all political power. They were inducted into their office by formal anointing, according to ancient custom. [1] They are sometimes associated with them on the throne the son who had been selected to succeed in the kingly authority, which is also in accordance with ancient custom.[2]

Respecting the nature of the Nephite kingdom also but little can be learned from the Book of Mormon because matters concerning government are only mentioned in an incidental way, but from what little is said we are justified in forming the same conclusions regarding it as in regard to the Jaredite Monarchy. That is, it was "simple" or "absolute" monarchy. The remarks of Mosiah II in relation to the power of a king for good or evil leads to the conclusion that the power of a Nephite king was most absolute; and that with the Nephite monarch as with the Jaredite, the king was the source of all laws and the center of all political authority. The remarks referred to are as follows:

And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king, save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood. For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God; and he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people; yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever does not obey his laws, he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him, he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.[3]

This certainly is a description of arbitrary powers vested in the king. And what is true of the Nephite monarchy is equally true of the Lamanite kingdoms—judging from those rare and brief glimpses one gets of Lamanite governments in the Book of Mormon. Among all three peoples—Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites—wherever kingly government is described it is the same—it is "simple," "absolute," "ancient" monarchy.[4] There is no indication anywhere of the existence of cabinets or parliaments; or of the division of political authority into executive, legislative or judicial co-ordinate branches. Nor is there any indication that there was ever an attempt to blend the various primary forms of government—monarchy, aristocracy, democracy—into a mixed government, a government embracing elements from all three of these recognized primary forms. Such mixed governments are modern creations; refinements in the science of government unattempted by the ancients. The ancients, in fact, held them to be impossible, mere visionary whims, solecisms. Even a man of the excellent understanding of Tacitus declared that if such a government were formed it could never be lasting or secure.

Reign of the Judges—Republic.

It is however in the matter of the Nephite "reign of the Judges" or the "Nephite Republic" that an illiterate, modern writer would most likely have betrayed himself. Especially an American writer strongly imbued with the excellence, to say nothing of the sanctity, of the American form of government.

That Joseph Smith, as also his early and later associates, were imbued with such opinions concerning the American system of government is notorious. Joseph Smith declared the constitution of the United States to have resulted from the inspiration of God: "And again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers, and are in authority over you, according to the laws and constitution of the people which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles, that every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto them, that every man be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."[5]

On another occasion the Prophet said: "Hence we say, that the constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of its liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of [oppression's] sun."[6]

Still more especially would an illiterate modern writer be likely to betray himself if the American system of government was practically the only one of which he had any definite knowledge. If then his description of a "reign of judges," based upon democratic principles, among an ancient people, escape not only some but all modern refinements of democratic government—some of which were unknown until employed in the establishment of the republic of the United States [7]—then indeed are we well within the realm of the marvelous. And this we may claim for the Book of Mormon description of the "reign of the judges," viz. that while it outlines a government based upon the central principle of democracy—government by the people[8]—yet there is nothing modern in that republic. The principle of representation no where appears; a division of the political power into co-ordinate and independent departments no where appears; there is no indication of a federation even, much less any of those modern refinements which distinguish modern federated republics from more ancient federated republics.

Of course democratic government existed from very ancient times and there have also been from of old confederated republics, but the government of the United States rests upon some principles that are recognized as entirely modern. The principal differences between the modern republics and the ancient are these: first, the modern republics recognize the principle of representation: that is, masses of the people delegate authority to act for them to selected representatives; second, the powers of government are lodged in three distinct co-ordinate departments, the law making, the law executing, and the law determining departments; third, the federal government has the same division of political power as the respective states, viz., legislative, executive and judicial; and also has conferred upon it power, within the limits prescribed by the constitution, to act directly through its own instrumentalities upon the citizens of the respective states. The last item the French philosopher De Tocqueville, in speaking of the republic of the United States, declared to be a wholly novel theory which he characterizes as a great discovery in modern political science. "In all the confederations which precede the American constitution of 1789," he says, "the allied states, for a common object, agree to obey the injunctions of a federal government; but they [the respective states] reserve to themselves the right of ordaining and enforcing the execution of the laws of the union. The American states which combined in 1789, agreed that the federal government should not only dictate but should execute its own enactments. In both cases the right is the same but the exercise of the right is different; and this difference produced the most momentous consequences. The new word which ought to express this novel thing does not yet exist." (De Tocqueville, U. S. Constitution, Vol. I.)

Ecclesiastical Government.

The government which obtained in the era following the advent of Messiah in the western world was also in harmony with the conditions prevailing in those days. That is, the ecclesiastical government supplied by the Church founded by Messiah appears to have superseded all other form of government through the two hundred years which succeeded that event; nor, indeed, up to the close of the Book of Mormon period, 420 A. D., except here and there a reference made to "kings" among that division of the people who styled themselves Lamanites; but I take it that even these "kings" among the Lamanites more nearly resembled military chieftains than monarchs at the head of settled governments. In the division of the people called Nephites there is no reference either to a reign of judges or of kings or other form of government than this Church or Ecclesiastical government, so that what I have previously said upon this subject[9] will be found correct, viz., the people after the establishment of the Church of Christ among them found its institutions and authority sufficient, as well in secular as in spiritual affairs. That such a government as this should take the place of governments formerly existing, I repeat, was in harmony with conditions that obtained after the advent of Messiah. I have already called attention to the fact that government becomes necessary because of the vices and injustice of men. That its chief function is to restrain men from injuring one another and thus give security to society. When all the people are righteous government becomes well nigh unnecessary, or operates at least in a very limited sphere, and the form of government becomes a matter of more or less indifference. Now it will be remembered that in the awful judgments of God which had swept over the western world at Messiah's crucifixion the more ungodly part of the people were destroyed, and those who survived were afterwards thoroughly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ by his advent and the ministry of his servants, so that there was inaugurated an era of peace and perfect righteousness. For two centuries at least there was a veritable golden age in the American continents, during which time the simple laws of righteousness promulgated by the gospel were all sufficient as a rule of conduct, and men practically forgot the reign of kings and the reign of judges. When wickedness once more began to stalk through the land it may be that the hitherto prevailing ecclesiastical governments gave way to the rule of military chieftains, both among the Nephites and Lamanites, though among the later such chieftains were sometimes called "kings."

That the monarchial and republican forms of government described in the Book of Mormon should be in harmony with the principles of those ancient political systems, and that the kind of government which obtained after the advent of Messiah among the Nephites should be in such perfect harmony with the conditions that obtained in that period, is internal evidence of marked significance in support of the claims of the Book of Mormon. To see it in its full strength one should ask himself what would be the state of the case if the descriptions of monarchial and democratic government were not in harmony with the restricted ideas of ancient governments, but were full of modern ideas and refinements of government; and if the facts existing after the advent of Messiah and the introduction of the Nephite golden age were utterly at variance with the kind of government that we are ready to believe then obtained. It should be remembered that if inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon forms of government would be so damaging against its claims to being an ancient record, then consistency in its forms of government should be allowed equal weight in support of its claims to being an ancient record.

The Events to which Importance is Given in the Book of Mormon are in Harmony with the Character of the Writers.

In considering this subject we must bear in mind the purposes for which the Book of Mormon was written. The purposes are set forth in detail in chapter III.

Here it will be sufficient to say that the main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to be a witness for Jesus, the Christ; for the truth of the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation.

Notwithstanding these purposes are adhered to throughout the work it is very noticeable, and indeed one cause of complaint against the book, that it gives great prominence, at least in the parts made up of Mormon and Moroni's abridgments, to wars; to minute descriptions of battles, the construction of fortifications, and the affairs of war in general. This doubtless arises from the fact that Mormon and Moroni were both military chieftains, and notwithstanding their general purpose was to make prominent the religious events which happened among the Nephites and Jaredites, and the hand-dealings of God with those peoples, yet when these writers came to give an account of wars, it is but to be expected, by the very nature of things, that they could not refrain from recording those events which would have such a powerful attraction for them. Involuntarily they were drawn into a description of those events, and unconsciously gave them prominence in their narratives. So I say the events to which importance is given in the Book of Mormon are in harmony with the character of the writers, a fact which is still further emphasized by the nature of the first part of the volume. We have seen that 149 of the 157 pages constituting that first part is written by the first Nephi and his brother Jacob, prophets and priests of God. In their writings wars are mentioned only in the most incidental way, but there is an abundance of religious teaching, and prominence is given to visions, dreams and revelations, and that because those writers were, in the main, prophets and priests of God. It should also be noted, of course, that the time in which these earlier writers lived was not so much a period of warfare as subsequent centuries among the Nephites. It is to be observed, then, in conclusion upon this point, that the very prominence given to wars and battle-movements in Mormon's and Moroni's part of the volume is but in keeping with the nature of things—an additional evidence of consistency in the work—the events to which importance is given are in harmony with the character of the writers.

Complexity in the Structure of the Book of Mormon in Harmony with the Theory of its Origin.

I hesitated some time before adopting the above as a heading for this division of the subject, because I was aware, and am still aware of the fact that it scarcely presents the thought I would have considered; and I know how easily, by a slight variation, it could be made subject to the smart retort that the complexity of the structure of the Book of Mormon is in harmony with the theory of its merely human origin since it is simplicity, not complexity, which is the sign manual of things divine. Still, for all that, I have concluded to make use of this faulty title, for want of a better, confident that when my whole thought under it is developed it will result in producing evidence for the truth of the claims of the book.

That the structure of the Book of Mormon is complex all who read it know. The first part of it is made up of the translation of unabridged records, the small plates of Nephi. The second part is made up of the translation of abridged books (Mormon's abridgment), Mormon, however, retaining for the several parts of his abridgment the title of the respective books he abridged.

I have already pointed out the fact[10] that Mormon's condensed narrative from the original Nephite records makes up the body of his work; with occasional direct quotations from the original records, and the whole more or less confused by his running comments, unseparated from the body of his work save by the sense of the text. All this is complex enough surely, but the end is not yet; for within the old Nephite records Mormon had at hand while doing the work of abridgment, there were still other books. That is, books within books; as, for instance, the Book of Zeniff within the Book of Mosiah, which see. [11] Also the account of the church founded by the first Alma, likewise within the book of Mosiah. Also the account of the missionary expedition to the Lamanites by the young Nephite princes, sons of King Mosiah II., within the book of Alma, which see.[12] Mormon, coming to these books within books, followed that order also in his abridgment; so that as in the original Nephite records, we have books within books, so within Mormon's abridgment we have abridged records within abridged records. Then, as if to cap the climax of complexity in structure, Mormon writes a book of his own to which he gives his own name. That is, calls it the Book of Mormon; the last two chapters of which, however, are written by Moroni. Then follows what may be called the third part of the Book of Mormon—Moroni's abridgment of the twenty-four plates of Ether, which gives us so much of the history as we have of the Jaredites. By this arrangement the history of the first people to occupy the western hemisphere, (after the flood), comes last in the Book of Mormon; and Moroni's abridgment of the Jaredite record has much of the complexity of his father's abridgment of the Nephite records.

Now, with all this before the mind of the reader—whether he regards Joseph Smith, Solomon Spaulding, or Sidney Rigdon as the author of the Book of Mormon—I submit to him the question: Would either ingenuity or stupidity in a modern author suggest such complexity in the structure of a book as this? Can a parallel case be pointed to in the modern making of books?

If the Book of Mormon were modern in structure and its author or authors had the conception that this western world was peopled by a colony coming from the Euphrates valley, in very ancient times, and subsequently by two other colonies from Judea, one leaving 600 B. C. and the other shortly afterwards, in giving the history of those people, would not the modern author have begun with the most ancient colony and treated the history of the respective peoples in the order of their occupancy of the western continents? Then, again: If the Book of Mormon is mere fiction, the idle coinage of an inventive, modern author, why three migrations?

If the object of the modern author was merely to convey an idea how a civilized race in ancient times occupied the western world, why would not the first migration—the Jaredite—have answered all his purposes? Or why not take the second migration—the Nephite—for the accomplishment of such a purpose? Why complicate it by bringing in the migration of Mulek's colony, when the simple treatment of developing the Nephite colony into national proportions would have been sufficient for the purpose of a work of fiction? One other question I would submit relative to the Jaredite record and the strange place it occupies in the Book of Mormon. The plates of Ether were found by an expedition sent out from Zeniff's colony about 123 B. C., and were translated shortly afterwards by Mosiah II., who was a seer; that is, he was able to use Urim and Thummim in the translation of strange languages. Now, why did not Mormon include an abridgment of Mosiah's translation of the plates of Ether in his abridgment of Nephite records, allowing it to stand in his collection of plates as his abridgment of the Book of Zeniff stands within his abridgment of the Book of Mosiah, instead of passing the matter by and leaving it for his son Moroni to make a translation direct from the Book of Ether, thus throwing the history of the first inhabitants of the western world, after the flood, to the very last part of the record? Candidly, does the complex structure of the Book of Mormon appeal to one as at all modern in its arrangement? Are modern books so constructed? And yet, notwithstanding all the complexity in the structure of the book, each part is so in harmony with every other part, and with the whole, that really, after all, it is a very simple book, and one readily understood. It is clear that the very peculiar circumstances under which the Book of Mormon was compiled by the original Nephite writers, and that neither the ingenuity nor the stupidity of Joseph Smith, nor of any other modern writer, is responsible for this peculiar structure of the book. And, moreover, since the book in its details retains harmonious consistency with the plan of its structure, must not such a fact be conceded to be an incidental evidence in favor of its claims?


1. Ether vi: 27. Ibid. ix: 15-22. Ibid. x: 10 et. seq.

2. Ether ix: 14, 15, 21, 22. Ibid. x: 13.

3. Mosiah xxix: 21-23. See also remarks, chapters x, and xiii.

4. Perhaps it may be thought that an exception should be made in the matter of Lamanite kingdoms, of which I have spoken (chapter xiii) as constituting at one period of Lamanite history, a sort of confederacy of kingdoms; but this does not affect the statement of the text which is dealing with the form of government. I believe myself justified in saying that whether reference is made to the petty Lamanite kingdoms or the central kingdom to which they were tributary, the principle in government will be found the same—the king is the source of all political power, the monarchy is "simple," the kingly power absolute.

5. Doc. & Cov., Sec. ci: 76-80.

6. Letters of Joseph Smith, from Liberty Prison, under date of March 25, 1839—to the Church of the Latter-day Saints. History of the Church, Vol. III., p. 304.

7. See De Tocqueville's Constitution of the U. S., Vol. I.

8. See Chapter xiii.

9. Ante pp. 216-7.

10. See Ante Chapter xxxvii.

11. Book of Mosiah, p. 181 (current edition).

12. Book of Mormon, p 283 (current edition).



How far originality may be insisted upon as a necessary element in a book avowedly containing a revelation from God is an open question; just as how far originality in a prophet may be insisted upon is. In both cases, however, it cannot be doubted but that originality would be regarded as evidence of considerable weight in favor of the divinity of the message of either prophet or book. Somehow men look for originality in any thing that purports to be a revelation from God, come how it will. They look for a word "from the inner fact of things" in a revelation. A new word that shall add somewhat to the sum of known things, and spoken in a way to attract anew the attention of men. And yet it must not be forgotten that "every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven * * * bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old"[1]—the old, mark you, as well as the new—and one of olden time doubted even if there really was any new thing under the sun. "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us."[2]

From all which I conclude that while in a way originality may be regarded as affording some evidence in favor of the claims of a prophet and his message, or of a book and its revelation, still originality is not an indispensable quality in either prophet or book. Contemporary prophets, or prophets living in succession, may come burdened with the same word of the Lord, with the same divine message; but the one who speaks secondly or thirdly, and hence with all claim to originality gone, is none the less God's messenger; and the word he speaks may not with safety be rejected for that it lacks the quality of originality. So, too, with books. It would be a senseless manner of handling the scriptures to reject the books called first and second Chronicles because they chiefly duplicate the matter of the books called first and second Kings, and have little originality to commend them to our acceptance. So with the books of the New Testament. Accepting for our purpose here the order in which they stand in the commonly received versions of the New Testament, as the order in which the books were written, shall the book of Mark be rejected because in the main it deals with the same matter that engages the attention of Matthew, and there is but little on the score of its originality of matter to commend it as an inspired book? The same question could be asked in relation to the book of Luke. The truth is that God in books as in prophets sometimes requires more than one for a witness to his message, and hence repeats the revelation in a number of inspired books, in which case the books merely repeating the revelation are as truly inspired, as truly scripture as the one in which the message first appeared, although it could be said that the quality of originality is wholly wanting.

Since the Book of Mormon feigns the introduction of no new religion, but gives merely an account of the introduction of the Christian religion in the western hemisphere, by inspired teachers, both before and after the coming of Messiah, and by the personal ministry of Messiah after his resurrection; and as the Christian religion is always the same, in all times and in all lands, it must have been the same when introduced into America as when taught in Judea—where is room for originality? Is not originality by the very nature of the claims of the Book of Mormon excluded? The reader, I believe, will recognize the force of the question; and I take occasion here to remark that the point in the question exhibits the weakness of those objections that are sometimes urged against the Book of Mormon on the score of sameness of matter in it and the New Testament; and also it exhibits how senseless is the clamor for the existence of some new moral or religious truth[3] in the Book of Mormon, not to be found in the Old or New Testaments.

Since, then, the Book of Mormon, so far as it treats of religion, treats of the Christian religion, it is comparison not contrast that should be made; sameness, not difference that should be looked for; identity of moral and religious truths, not differences; accordance with old truths, rather than the existence of new ones. The Christian religion may not be contrasted with itself; and as the fullness of the gospel was revealed in the proclamation of it in Judea, it would be sufficient if a dispensation of the same gospel proclaimed in America is in strict accordance with that taught in Judea. In fact this is all that the nature of the case strictly requires. Still, after the reasonableness of all this is established, there may be claimed for the Book of Mormon an originality in the fact of the existence of new and important Christian truths in its pages; as, also an originality of emphasis placed on certain other Christian truths.

This much that a proper estimate may be formed of the value of originality as an evidence of the divine authenticity or inspiration of a book; neither giving an exaggerated value to it on the one hand, nor accounting it of little or no importance on the other.


Originality of Structure.

In enumerating the several particulars in which the Book of Mormon manifests originality, I would name its peculiar structure—so at variance with all modern ideas of book making—pointed out in the treatment of the last subdivision of chapter xxxviii, and ask the reader to consider that treatise brought over into this subdivision, and the peculiar structure of the Book of Mormon made one, and the first, of the evidences of its originality.


Originality in Names.

So also as to names; so far as they are original, I would have that fact considered as another, the second, evidence of the originality of the Book of Mormon; and so much of that treatise as deals with the originality of the names, (see chapter xxxvii) considered as brought over into this subdivision.


In the Manner of its Coming Forth.

In the manner of its coming forth no less than in its structure and its names, the Book of Mormon is original. It must be remembered that at the time of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon such a thing as a new revelation from God was utterly unlooked for. Indeed it was the consensus of Christian opinion and teaching that the time of revelation had passed; that the days of miracles were over; that God in the Christian dispensation to mankind (the dispensation in which Messiah ministered in person) spoke the final word; that no more divine communication would be given. Speculating upon this very subject in connection with the desirability for knowledge respecting the ancient inhabitants of America, Ethan Smith, in his "View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America," says, most emphatically:

We are to expect no new revelation from heaven, and the days of miracles are thought to be past. We probably must look for just such evidence to exhibit to the world that people so long lost [as the ten Tribes of Israel], as is in fact exhibited by the natives of America.[4]

It is well to remember that this was said some years before the Book of Mormon was published, and I repeat that it represents the generally accepted Christian idea concerning revelation and miracles. Furthermore, it is notorious that the prime objection urged against the Book of Mormon was the fact that it claimed to be a new revelation from God; and the arguments found in the discourses and writings of the early Elders of the Church clearly prove that the chief contention over the Book of Mormon in those early days was on this point.[5] It follows, therefore, that Joseph Smith's account of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was brought forth and translated was a very original one; for it involved a revelation from God to make known its existence, and what men call a miracle to secure its translation. Here, then, was not only originality, but a bold contradiction of what was supposed to be the most completely settled doctrine of modern Christendom, viz. that the age of revelations and miracles had forever passed away. It is scarcely probable that imposters would move along such lines as these. The proclamation of a new revelation making known the existence of a new volume of scripture was the most remarkable innovation upon Christian opinion that the world had ever witnessed. Orthodoxy stood aghast at the presumption as they called it; and seemed for a time to forget all other points of controversy in order to concentrate their attack upon this innovation of their most cherished idea. They thought the very claim that the Book of Mormon involved a new revelation from God was sufficient to justify its rejection. Yet never was opposition so completely demolished in controversy as this sectarian argument against new and continual revelation. So completely was it overthrown that we to-day scarcely ever hear it mentioned. With this, however, I have nothing further to do. My only point at present is that there was a bold originality in Joseph Smith's account of the coming forth and translation of the Book of Mormon, which, in addition to contravening the accepted Christian opinion of the times on the subject of revelation and miracles, carried with it much weight in support of the claims made for this American volume of scripture; for surely imposters seeking to foist a book upon the world either for obtaining fame or money would never be found moving along lines so diametrically opposite to accepted opinions.


Its Accounting for the Peopling of America.

In its account of peopling America no less than in its structure and the manner in which its existence was made known and its translation accomplished, the Book of Mormon is original. All the books on American antiquities that could possibly have been accessible to Joseph Smith and his associates favored the theory of migrations from northeastern Asia by way of Behring Straits where the Asiatic and American continents approach each other. See Josiah Priest's American Antiquities, preface. Ethan Smith, referring to the authorities that he was acquainted with on this subject, says:

All seem to agree that the Indians came from the northwest, and overspread the continent to the south. * * * * * I forbear to offer any further remarks upon these testimonies incidentally afforded by this most celebrated author, [meaning Humboldt]. Let them be duly weighed by the judicious reader; and he surely cannot doubt but that the natives of America came from the north over Behring's Straits; and descended from a people of as great mental cultivation, as were the ancient family of Israel.[6]

Not only were such the prevailing views at the time Ethan Smith wrote, 1825, but even to this day the same general opinion prevails among authorities;[7] that is, that America was peopled from Asia by way of Behring Straits. The migrations of the Book of Mormon, however, contravene this quite generally accepted theory. While it is supposed that the Jaredites passed out of the Euphrates valley and wandered several years eastwardly through Asia, they crossed the Pacific and landed in the south part of the north continent of America and settled in a district of country they afterwards called Moron, near what was afterwards the Nephite province called Desolation, which was in the region of country known to us as the Central American States.[8] The Nephite colony, as we have seen[9], landed on the west coast of South America about thirty degrees south latitude; and Mulek's colony is supposed to have landed somewhere in the south part of the North American continent. These Book of Mormon accounts of migrations to the American continents constitute the widest possible departure from usually accepted theories upon the subject.


The Nativity of Ancient American Peoples.

The Book of Mormon is original with reference to the facts it presents respecting the nativity of its peoples. On this point, more is sometimes claimed by believers in the Book of Mormon than is warranted by the facts in the case. For example, it is sometimes stated that the Israelitish origin of the native Americans was first asserted by the Book of Mormon. That is not true. Long before the advent of the Book of Mormon James Adair, whose work was published in 1775, advanced the theory that the native American Indians were the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and argued for the truth of his theory at great length.[10] Ethan Smith, in his work we have several times quoted, advances the theory that the native Indians were the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel," the very title of his book—"View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America"—is the evidence of his holding that theory.

It is therefore a mistake to say that the idea of Israelitish descent of the native American Indians originated with the Book of Mormon. Indeed the theory that the native Americans were the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel found many advocates both in Europe and the United States, especially, I may say, in the New England states, before 1830. Wherein the Book of Mormon is original in respect of this matter is that while declaring the Israelitish descent of the ancient people of America, it directly contravenes the idea that the native Americans, are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, by incidentally declaring those tribes to be in another part of the world, and Jesus announcing to the Nephites his intention to appear unto them, and administer among them.[11] Of course reference to Israelitish descent is here made to the two last migrations only, that is, to the colony of Lehi, and the colony of Mulek. The colony of Jared were doubtless of the same race, but of earlier ancestors, among whom the patriarch Shem. The Book of Mormon refers to Lehi's colony as made up of descendants of Manasseh [Lehi] and Ephraim [Ishmael][12] while the colony of Mulek were Jews.

From this it appears that the Book of Mormon is as boldly original in declaring the nativity of these colonies that peopled America with teeming millions of their descendants, as it is in its account of the course of their migrations or the manner in which the Book of Mormon came forth. For, in limiting the nativity of these colonies to the descendants of Joseph and of Judah, it as radically contravenes existing opinions upon the subject as it does in respect of the manner in which the book came forth, and the course of migration.


Accounting for the Existence of Christian Ideas in America.

The Book of Mormon is original in the matter of accounting for the existence of Christian ideas and doctrines among the native Americans. I would have this statement so understood as to include all Bible ideas, since right conceptions of Christianity in its fullness includes the Old Testament and the dispensation of God to the children of men described therein as part of the Christian heritage, as well as the specific Christian dispensation which is described in the New Testament.

The manner in which the Book of Mormon accounts for Christian ideas and doctrines among native Americans is, first, by detailing the facts of direct revelation of Christian truths to the ancient inhabitants of America, as, for instance, in the case of the Prophet Moriancumer among the Jaredites, where that great prophet is represented as being permitted to stand in the revealed presence of the preexisting spirit of Jesus Christ, and to hear the proclamation that in him should all mankind have life and that eternally; and that as he appeared unto that prophet in the spirit, so would he appear unto his people in the flesh; and that those who would believe on his name should become his sons and daughters.[13] Also the revelation of Christian truths vouchsafed to the first Nephi; who, in vision, some hundreds of years before the advent of Christ, was permitted to foresee the birth of the Redeemer, the labors of his forerunner, John the Baptist, who prepared the way before him, and much of the Judean ministry of Christ, including his crucifixion, his resurrection, and the establishment of his ministry through twelve Apostles; so also his advent and ministry among the inhabitants of the western world,[14] ending in the establishment of the Christian sacraments, and of the Christian Church, as the sacred depository of Christian truths. Secondly, the Book of Mormon accounts for the existence of Christian ideas and doctrines among native American races by declaring the Nephites to be in possession of the Hebrew scriptures extant among that people from the beginning up to 600 B. C., including the five books of Moses, some of the writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah.[15] And also ascribing to the Jaredites the knowledge of most ancient events through scriptures in their possession, dealing with events from the Tower of Babel back to the very days of Adam.[16] It is, then, by most direct means of the revelations of God to the ancient inhabitants of America and the personal ministration of Jesus Christ among them and the knowledge imparted by these several volumes of very ancient scripture that the Book of Mormon accounts for the existence of Christian ideas and Christian truths among the native Americans.

There is nothing like this in the theories of men to account for the existence of these truths in America. In the first place let the reader be assured that it is quite generally conceded by the very best authorities that ideas closely analogous to Christian truths are found in the traditions of the native Americans. "Most ancient and modern authors," says De Roo, "agree in saying that the Christian religion has been taught on our [the American] continent at an epoch not so very much anterior to the Columbian discovery. Bastian establishes the latter opinion by the numerous analogies he points out between the religious belief and practices of the Christians and those of American aborigines. Von Humboldt admits the parity to be so striking as to have given the Spanish missionaries a fine opportunity to deceive the natives by making them believe that their own was none other than the Christian religion. 'Not a single American missionary who has, until this day, left any writing has forgotten to notice the evident vestiges of Christianity which has in former time penetrated even among the most savage tribes,' says Dr. de Mier, commenting on Sahagun's History. Quite a number of ancient writers, such as Garcilasso de la Vega, Solorzano, Acosta, and others are equally explicit in asserting that several Christian tenets and practices were found among our aborigines; but they deny their introduction by Christian teachers, giving, strange to say, to the devil the honor of spreading the light of Christianity, in spite of his hatred of it."[17] Later he says:

No modern student of American antiquity fails to notice the close and striking resemblances between several leading particulars of Christian faith, morals, and ceremonies and those of ancient American religions. Sahagun, who wrote in Mexico about the middle of the sixteenth century, and took such great pains to be correctly informed in regard to all religious rites of our aborigines, states already that all the Spanish missionaries who wrote in America before him had pointed out the numerous vestiges of Christianity to be found even among the savage Indian tribes.[18]

Devil propaganda of Christianity was quite a favorite theory with many of the early Spanish writers, while others advanced the theory that Christian apostles had evangelized the western hemisphere. Among the latter was the Archbishop of San Domingo, Davilla Padilli, a royal chronicler who wrote a book to prove that Christian apostles had formerly preached in the West Indies. So also Torquemada holds the same opinion, although he admits of the possibility of the devil teaching Christianity. More modern writers seek to account for the existence of these Christian analogies in other ways. Prescott for instance, in his Conquest of Peru, says:

In the distribution of bread and wine at this high festival, [the feast of Raymi] the orthodox Spaniards who first came into the country saw a striking resemblance to the Christian communion; as in the practice of confession and penance, which, in a most irregular form indeed, seems to have been used by the Peruvians, they discerned a coincidence with another of the sacraments of the Church. The good fathers were fond of tracing such coincidences, which they considered as the contrivance of Satan, who thus endeavored to delude his victims by counterfeiting the blessed rites of Christianity. Others, in a different vein, imagined that they saw in such analogies the evidence that some of the primitive teachers of the gospel, perhaps an apostle himself, had paid a visit to these distant regions and scattered over them the seeds of religious truth. But it seems hardly necessary to invoke the Prince of Darkness, or the intervention of the blessed saints to account for coincidences which have existed in countries far removed from the light of Christianity, and in ages, indeed, when its light had not yet risen on the world. It is much more reasonable to refer such casual points of resemblance to the general constitution of man and the necessities of his moral nature.[19]

Of which I think De Roo very justly remarks: "The Christian mysteries admitted by the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans could hardly find their origin in man's constitution; nor are religious practices, like baptism, fasting, celibacy, and a cloistered life, to be considered as necessities of man's moral, yet corrupt nature. More reasonable and better historical causes should be found to account for the presence of Christian faith and Christian rites in ancient America."[20]

H. H. Bancroft also concedes the existence of rites among native Americans analogous to those existing among Jews and Christians, but regards them as mere coincidences. He says:

Many rites and ceremonies were found to exist among the civilized nations of America that were very similar to certain others observed by the Jews and Christians in the old world. The innumerable speculators on the origin of the aboriginal inhabitants of the new world, or at least on the origin of their civilization, have not neglected to bring forward these coincidences—there is no good reason to suppose them anything else—in support of their various theories.[21]

On which De Roo remarks: "Coincidences, so many, so striking, in faith, in morals, and liturgy! Coincidences, indeed, little short of wonders!"

Nadaillac also would refer these "coincidences" to natural causes. He says "No dissemination of merely Christian ideas, since the conquest [by the Spaniards] is sufficient to account for these myths [having in mind the traditions of the creation, flood, migrations, Christian analogies, etc.], which appear to have their root in the natural tendencies of the human mind in its evolution from a savage state."[22]

And so in these various ways men would account for the existence of Christian ideas and doctrines; but it was reserved for Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the dispensation of the fullness of times, through the Book of Mormon, to announce the boldly original idea that knowledge of Christian truths and doctrines had their origin among native American peoples in direct revelation to them from God; in the personal ministration of the Lord Jesus Christ, after his resurrection from the dead; and from being in possession of ancient scriptures which to the Nephites, no less than to the Jews, made known God's plan of redemption for mankind through the personal suffering and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ. I hold that the very originality and boldness of these assertions respecting the direct means by which the people of America in ancient times received their knowledge of Christian truths, and which so far transcend the timid and tentative speculations of men, even of the most intelligent and courageous, have about them an atmosphere of truth that is most convincing; moreover, I cannot help but believe that originality in respect of such things as are here set down; structure, names, the manner of coming forth, in its account of peopling America, the nativity of American people, and lastly this accounting for the existence of Christian ideas among native American races, is of a vastly greater importance than originality in mere phraseology or style of composition.


1. Matt. xiii: 52.

2. Ecclesiastes i: 9, 10.

3. For this clamor see a brief discussion on the Book of Mormon between the writer and an "Unknown" writer in "The Salt Lake Tribune," impressions of Nov. 22, 29; and December 6, 13, 1903. See also "The Golden Bible" (Lamb), Edition of 1887, p. 207-213. Also the views of the Rev. Dr. Wm. M. Paden, of the First Presbyterian Church; Salt Lake City, quoted by the writer in a discourse on "The Fifth Gospel"—Third Nephi—"Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 373-399.

4. View of the Hebrews, 2nd Edition, (1825) pp. 168, 169.

5. See the works of Orson and Parley P. Pratt; John Taylor's Discussion with three ministers in France; early volumes of Millennial Star, Spencer's Letters—in fact all the early Church literature. Of late opponents of the Book of Mormon have not pressed this point of controversy, since the sectarian arguments respecting it have been utterly demolished. For a brief consideration of the various points of that argument see "New Witnesses for God," Vol. I., Ch. viii.

6. View of the Hebrews, pp. 187, 188

7. See chapter xxix, especially taking account of foot note references.

8. Dictionary of the Book of Mormon, Reynolds, p. 168. And Vol. II, pp. 139-40.

9. Vol. II, pp. 157-8.

10. See this volume, pp. 46-48.

11. See III. Nephi xv, xvi, xvii.

12. The statement here that Ishmael was of Ephraim is set down upon the authority, first, of inference. The inference is based upon the fact as already stated that there are promises in the Hebrew scriptures respecting Ephraim which cannot be realized so far as we know, except through the seed of Ephraim dwelling upon the land of America, as we have seen in considering the evidence of the Bible for the truth of the Book of Mormon; and as Lehi and his family were of the tribe of Manasseh, and Mulek's colony being Jews, it leaves the family of Ishmael, and perhaps Zoram, the servant of Laban to introduce the descendants of Ephraim into the western world. Second, a number of Latter-day Saints, familiarly acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, declare that in conversation they had known him to say that in Mormon's abridgment of the book of Lehi (which supplied the 116 pages of manuscript lost by Martin Harris) it was plainly stated that Ishmael was of the tribe of Ephraim. Among those who heard such remarks was the late Elder Franklin D. Richards, of the Council of the Apostles and Church Historian, who records his recollection of the Prophet's statement in the following manner:

"One day in the autumn of that year, (1843) as I was passing near, (the "Nauvoo Mansion") it being in warm weather, I observed the door standing open and the Prophet Joseph inside conversing with one of the brethren, leaning against the counter. It being a public house, I ventured to walk in, and scarcely had more than time to exchange usual civilities, when this brother said: 'Brother Joseph, how is it that we call the Book of Mormon the Stick of Joseph, in the hands of Ephraim, when the book itself tells us that Lehi was of the lineage of Manasseh? I cannot find in it about the seed of Ephraim dwelling on this land at all.' Joseph replied: 'You will recollect that when Lehi and his family had gone from Jerusalem out into the wilderness, he sent his son Nephi back to the city to get the plates which contained the law of Moses and many prophecies of the prophets, and that he also brought out Ishmael and his family, which were mostly daughters. This Ishmael and his family were of the lineage of Ephraim, and Lehi's sons took Ishmael's daughters for wives, and this is how they have grown together, 'a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth.'

"'If we had those one hundred and sixteen pages of manuscript which Martin Harris got away with, you would know all about it, for Ishmael's ancestry is made very plain therein. The Lord told me not to translate it over again, but to take from Nephi's other plates until I came to the period of time where the other translation was broken off, and then go on with Mormon's abridgment again. That is how it came about that Ishmael's lineage was not given in the Book of Mormon, as well as Lehi's."'—Frankling D. Richards, "The Contributor," Vol. XVII, p. 425.

13. Ether iii.

14. I. Nephi x: 11, 12.

15. See I. Nephi v: 11.

16. Ether i: 3-6.

17. History of America Before Columbus, P. De Roo, Vol. I., 423, 424.

18. Ibid. p. 517.

19. Conquest of Peru, Vol. I., pp. 96, 97.

20. History of America Before Columbus, Vol. I., pp. 523-4.

21. Native Races, Vol. III., pp. 438-9

22. Prehistoric America, p.531.




The Fall of Adam—The Purpose of Man's Earth Existence.

In the matter of some Christian truths, it sets forth, as well as in some it emphasizes, the Book of Mormon is original; and in none more so than in dealing with the doctrine of Adam's fall, and the purpose of man's existence.

In the second book of Nephi, chapter ii, occurs the following direct, explicit statement:

Adam fell that men might be: and men are that they might have joy.

This sentence is the summing up of a somewhat lengthy discussion on the atonement, by the prophet Lehi. It is a most excellent and important generalization, and is worthy to be classed with the great generalizations of the Jewish scriptures, such for instance as that in the closing chapter of Ecclesiastes, "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man;" Paul's famous generalization: "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive:" or the Apostle James' summing up of religion: "Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one's self unspotted from the world." Or of Messiah's great summing up of the whole law and gospel; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and all the prophets." I care not whether you regard the literary excellence of this Book of Mormon generalization or the importance of the great truths which it announces, I repeat, it is worthy in every way to stand with the great generalizations quoted above. It deals with two of the mightiest problems of theology:

1st, The reason for Adam's fall;

2nd, The purpose of man's existence.

Before entering into a consideration of these doctrines, however, I must establish the fact of their Book of Mormon originality; for I fancy there will be many who at first glance will be disposed to question their being original with that book. It must be conceded, of course, that the fact of man's fall is frequently mentioned in the Bible. The story of it is told at length in Genesis.[1] It is the subject of some of Paul's discourses;[2] and, indeed, it underlies the whole Christian scheme for the redemption and salvation of mankind. Yet, strange to say, there is not to be found a direct, explicit, and adequate statement in all the Jewish scriptures as to why Adam fell. The same may be said with reference to the second part of this passage. That is, there is nowhere in Jewish scriptures a direct, explicit, adequate statement as to the object of man's existence.

These statements with reference to the absence of anything in Holy scripture on these two important points, will, I know, be regarded as extremely bold; and especially when made with reference to so large a body of literature as is comprised in the Bible. Yet I make them with confidence; and am helped to that conclusion from the fact that nowhere in the creeds of men, based upon Jewish and Christian scripture, is there to be found a direct statement upon these two subjects that has in it the warrant of explicit, scriptural authority. Nowhere in the creeds of men—the creeds of men! those generalizations of Christian truths as men have conceived those truths to be; those deductions from the teachings of Holy scripture—nowhere in them, I repeat are these two great theological questions disposed of on scriptural authority.

The Westminister Confession of Faith, which embodies the accepted doctrine of one of the largest sects of Protestant Christendom, while it indeed has a word, in fact several sections on the subject of Adam's fall and its consequences, it contents itself with stating the fact of it, the manner of it, as also, that God permitted it, "having purposed to order it to his own glory," yet in such manner as himself not to be chargeable with the responsibility of the sin; but nowhere is there an explanation of why Adam fell. With reference to the purpose of man's creation—included in the treatment of the purpose of creation in general—the creed ascribes the purpose of all the creative acts of God to be "The manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom and goodness."[3] and in an authoritative explanation of this part of the creed it is said, "The design of God in creation was the manifestation of his own glory." And again: "Our confession very explicitly takes the position that the chief end of God in his eternal purposes and in their temporal execution in creation and providence is the manifestation of his own glory. The scriptures explicity assert that this is the chief end of God in creation.[4]. * * * * * The manifestation of his own glory is intrinsically the highest and worthiest end that God could purpose to Himself."[5]

The only business I have here with this declaration of the purpose of God in creation—including the creation of man, of course—is simply to call attention to the fact that it nowhere has the direct warrant of scripture.

The creed of the "Episcopalian Church," whose chief doctrines are embodied in "The Book of Common Prayer," is silent upon the two subjects in question, viz., "why" Adam fell; the "object" of man's existence. The "Articles of Faith," it is true, speak of the "fall" of Adam, and its effects upon the human race, but nowhere is it said "why" Adam fell; or a "reason" given for man's existence. The creed proclaims faith in God, "the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible;" but nowhere declares the purpose of that creation, and consequently has no word as to the "object" of man's existence.

The exposition of the Catholic creed on the same points, as set forth in the Douay Catechism is as follows—and first as to the fall:

Man was created in "the state of original justice, and perfection of all natural gifts;" this "original justice" was lost "by Adam's disobedience to God in eating the for-bidden fruit;" but nowhere is there anything said as to the reason for this fall from the state of "original justice."

As to the purpose of man's creation, the Catechism has the following:

Ques. What signify the words creation of heaven and earth?

Ans. They signify that God made heaven and earth and all creatures in them of nothing, by his word only.

Ques. What moved God to make them?

Ans. His own goodnesss, so that he may communicate himself to angels and to man for whom he made all other creatures.[6]

Speaking of the creation of the angels, the same work continues:

Ques. For what end did God create them (the angels).

Ans. To be partakers of his glory and to be our guardians.

Referring again to man's creation the following occurs:

Ques. Do we owe much to God for creation?

Ans. Very much, because he made us in such a perfect state, creating us for himself, and all things else for us.[7]

From all which it may be summarized that the purposes of God in the creation of man and angels, according to Catholic theology, is—

First, that God might communicate himself to them; Second, that they might be partakers of his glory.

Third, that he created them for himself, and all things else for them.

While this may be in part the truth, and so far excellent, it has no higher warrant of authority than human deduction, based on conjecture, not scripture; and it certainly falls far short of giving to man—as we shall see—that "pride of place" in existence to which his higher nature and his dignity as a son of God entitles him.

If in these creeds of the greater divisions of Christendom there is found no clear and adequate explanation of the reason of Adam's fall, or the purpose of man's existence, it may be taken for granted that none of the minor divisions of Christendom have succeeded where these have failed, since these larger divisions of Christendom embody in their creeds the hived theological wisdom and the highest scholarship of the Christian ages.

The originality of these two Book of Mormon Doctrines established, let us now consider if they are true and of what value they are, and what effect they will probably have upon the ideas of men. I shall treat them separately first, and in relation afterwards.

"Adam fell that men might be."

I think it cannot be doubted when the whole story of man's fall is taken into account that in some way—however hidden it may be under allegory—his fall was closely associated with the propagation of the race. Before the fall we are told that Adam and Eve were in a state of innocence;[8] but after the fall "The eyes of them both were opened and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons,"[9] and also hid from the presence of the Lord.

In an incidental way Paul gives us to understand that Adam in the matter of the first transgression "was not deceived," but that the woman was.[10] It therefore follows that Adam must have sinned knowingly, and perhaps deliberately; making choice of obedience between two laws pressing upon him. With his spouse, Eve, he had received a commandment from God to be fruitful, to perpetuate his race in the earth. He had also been told not to partake of a certain fruit of the Garden of Eden; but according to the story of Genesis, as also according to the assertion of Paul, Eve, who with Adam received the commandment to multiply in the earth, was deceived, and by the persuasion of Lucifer induced to partake of the forbidden fruit. She, therefore, was in transgression, and subject to the penalty of that law which from the scriptures we learn included banishment from Eden, banishment from the presence of God, and also the death of the body. This meant, if Eve were permitted to stand alone in her transgression, that she must be alone also in suffering the penalty. In that event she would have been separated from Adam, which necessarily would have prevented obedience to the commandment given to them conjointly to multiply in the earth. In the presence of this situation, therefore, it is to be believed that Adam was not deceived, either by the cunning of Lucifer or the blandishments of the woman, deliberately, and with a full knowledge of his act and its consequences, and in order to carry out the purpose of God in the existence of man in the earth, shared alike the woman's transgression and its effects, and this in order that the first great commandment he had received from God, viz.—"Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it"—might not fail of fulfillment. Hence "Adam fell that man might be."

The effect of this doctrine upon the ideas of men concerning the great Patriarch of our race will be revolutionary. It seems to be the fashion of those who assume to teach the Christian religion to denounce Adam in unmeasured terms; as if the fall of man had surprised, if, indeed, it did altogether thwart, the original plan of God respecting the existence of man in the earth. The creeds of the churches generally fail to consider the "fall" as part of God's purpose regarding this world, and, in its way, as essential to the accomplishment of that purpose as the "redemption" through Jesus Christ. Certainly there would have been no occasion for the "redemption" had there been no "fall;" and hence no occasion for the display of all that wealth of grace and mercy and justice and love—all that richness of experience involved in the gospel of Jesus Christ, had there been no "fall." It cannot be but that it was part of God's purpose to display these qualities in their true relation, for the benefit and blessing and experience and enlargement and ultimate uplifting of man; and since there would have been no occasion for displaying them but for the "fall," it logically follows that the "fall," no less than the "redemption," must have been part of God's original plan respecting the earth-probation of man. The "fall," undoubtedly was a fact as much present to the fore-knowledge of God as was the "redemption;" and the act which encompassed it must be regarded as more praise-worthy than blame-worthy, since it was essential to the accomplishment of the divine purpose. Yet, as I say, those who assume to teach Christianity roundly denounce Adam for his transgression. An accepted teacher of Catholic doctrine says:

The Catholic Church teaches that Adam, by his sin, has not only caused harm to himself, but to the whole human race; that by it he lost the supernatural justice and holiness which he received gratuitously from God, and lost it, not only for himself, but also for all of us; and that he, having stained himself with the sin of disobedience, has transmitted not only death and other bodily pains and infirmities to the whole human race, but also sin, which is the death of the soul.[11]

And again:

Unhappily, Adam, by his sin of disobedience, which was also a sin of pride, disbelief, and ambition, forfeited, or, more properly speaking, rejected that original justice; and we, as members of the human family, of which he was the head, are also implicated in that guilt of self-spoliation, or rejection and deprivation of those supernatural gifts; not, indeed, on account of our having willed it with our personal will, but by having willed it with the will of our first parent, to whom we are linked by nature as members to their head.[12]

Still again, and this from the Catholic Douay Catechism:

Q. How did we lose original justice?

A. By Adam's disobedience to God in eating the forbidden fruit.

Q. How do you prove that?

A. Out of Rom. v: 12, "By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death; and so into all men death did pass, in whom all have sinned."

Q. Had man ever died if he had never sinned?

A. He would not, but would live in a state of justice and at length would be translated alive to the fellowship of the angels.[13]

From a Protestant source I quote the following:

In the fall of man we may observe: (1) The greatest infidelity. (2) Prodigious pride. (3) Horrid ingratitude. (4) Visible contempt of God's majesty and justice. (5) Unaccountable folly. (6) A cruelty to himself and to all his posterity.[14]

Another Protestant authority says:

The tree of knowledge of good and evil revealed to those who ate its fruit secrets of which they had better have remained ignorant; for the purity of man's happiness consisted in doing and loving good without even knowing evil.[15]

From these several passages as also indeed from the whole tenor of Christian writings upon this subject, the fall of Adam is quite generally deplored and upon him is laid a very heavy burden of responsibility. It was he, they complain, who,

Brought death into the world, and all our woe.

One great division of Christendom in its creed, it is true, in dealing with the fall, concedes that "God was pleased according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit [the fall] having purposed to order it to his own glory."[16]

And in an authoritative explanation of this section they say, "That this sin [the fall] was permissively embraced in the sovereign purpose of God." And still further in explanation:

Its purpose [i. e., of the fall] being God's general plan, and one eminently wise and righteous, to introduce all the new created subjects of moral government into a state of probation for a time in which he makes their permanent character and destiny depend upon their own action.

Still, this sin, described as being permissively embraced in the sovereign purpose of Deity, God designed "to order it to his own glory;" but it nowhere appears according to this confession of faith that the results of the fall are to be of any benefit to man. The only thing consulted in the theory of this creed seems to be the manifestation of the glory of God—a thing which represents God as a most selfish being—but just how the glory of God can be manifested by the "fall" which, according to this creed, results in the eternal damnation of the overwhelming majority of his "creatures," is not quite apparent.

Those who made this Westminister Confession, as also the large following which accept it, concede that their theory involves them at least in two difficulties which they confess it is impossible for them to overcome. These are, respectively: First, "How could sinful desires or volitions originate in the soul of mortal agents created holy like Adam and Eve;" and, second, "how can sin be permissively embraced in the eternal purpose of God and not involve him as responsible for the sin?" "If it be asked," say they, "why God, who abhors sin, and who benevolently desires the excellence and happiness of his creatures, should sovereignly determine to permit such a fountain of pollution, degradation, and misery to be opened, we can only say, with profound reverence, 'Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight."'[17]

These difficulties, however, are the creed's and those who accept it, not ours, and do not further concern our discussion at this point.

Infidels—under which general term (and I do not use it offensively) I mean all those who do not accept the Christian creeds, nor believe the Bible to be a revelation—infidels, I say, quite generally deride the fall of man as represented both in the creeds of Christendom and in the Bible. They regard the tremendous consequences attendant upon eating the forbidden fruit as altogether out of proportion with the act itself, and universally hold that a moral economy which would either design or permit such a calamity as the fall is generally supposed to be, as altogether unworthy of an all-merciful and just Deity. Thomas Paine referring to it says:

"Putting aside everything that might excite laughter by its absurdity, or detestation by its profaneness, and confining ourselves merely to an examination of the parts, it is impossible to conceive a story more derogatory to the Almighty, more inconsistent with his wisdom, more contradictory to his power, than this story is.[18]

In their contentions against the story of Genesis, no less than in their war upon "the fall" and "original sin" in the men made creeds of Christendom, infidels have denounced God in most blasphemous terms as the author of all the evil in this world by permitting, through not preventing, the fall; and they as soundly ridicule and abuse Adam for the part he took in the affair. He has been held up by them as weak and cowardly, because he referred his partaking of the forbidden fruit to the fact that the woman gave to him and he did eat; a circumstance into which they read an effort on the part of the man to escape censure, perhaps punishment, and to cast the blame for his transgression upon the woman. These scoffers proclaim their preference for the variations of this story of a "fall of man" as found in the mythologies of various peoples, say those of Greece or India.[19] But all this aside. The truth is that nothing could be more courageous, sympathetic, or nobly honorable than the course of our world's great Patriarch in his relations to his wife Eve and the "fall." The woman by deception is led into transgression, and stands under the penalty of a broken law. Banishment from the presence of God; banishment from the presence of her husband, if he partakes not with her in the transgression; dissolution of spirit and body—physical death—all await her! Thereupon, the man, not deceived, but knowingly (as we are assured by Paul), also transgresses. Why? In one aspect of the case in order that he might share the woman's banishment from the dear presence of God, and with her die—than which no higher proof of love could be given—no nobler act of chivalry performed. But primarily he transgressed that "Man might be." He transgressed a less important law that he might comply with one more important, if one may so speak of any of God's laws. The facts are, as we shall presently see, that the conditions which confronted Adam in his earth-life were afore time known to him; that of his own volition he accepted them, and came to earth to meet them.

Man an Immortal Spirit.

Man is an immortal spirit. By saying that, I mean not only a never ending existence for the "soul" of man in the future, through the resurrection, but a proper immortality that means the eternal existence of the "ego"—interchangeably called "mind," "spirit," "soul," "intelligence." I mean existence before birth as well as existence after death. I believe that an "immortality" which refers to continued existence after death only is but half a truth. A real immortality is forever immortal, and includes an existence before life on earth as surely as an existence after death.[20] This view of the intelligence or spirit of man is supported by the Bible. Without going into the subject at length I call attention to the fact that Jesus himself had very clear conceptions of his own spirit-existence before his birth into this world; a fact which is evident from the declaration he made to the Jews when he said, "Verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am."[21] (i. e. existed). And again, in his prayer in Gethsemane, "O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."[22] This spirit pre-existence extends also to all the children of men; who, in their physical structure and even in faculties of mind, so nearly resembled Jesus, though, of course, immeasurably below him in the developed excellence of those qualities. We read of the "sons of God shouting for joy" in heaven when the foundations of the earth were laid;[23] of the war in heaven when Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan), and the dragon and his angels fought, and he with them was cast out into the earth.[24] These were the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, and who are reserved in everlasting chains unto the judgment of the last days.[25] "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee," said the Lord to Jeremiah, "and sanctified thee and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations;"[26] "We have had fathers of the flesh, and we give them reverence," said Paul to the Hebrews, "Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the father of spirits and live?"[27] All of which passages tend to prove that not only Jesus but the spirits of all men existed before they tabernacled in the flesh. This of course is but a brief glance at the question as supported by the Jewish scriptures.[28]

The Book of Mormon while not in any formal manner teaching this doctrine of the pre-existence of the spirits of men, does so very effectually in an incidental way. For example: the Lord Jesus, long ages before his advent into earth-life, revealed himself to the Book of Mormon character known as the Brother of Jared, and in doing so he said:

Behold I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people; * * * and never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image [likeness]? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold this body which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the flesh.[29]

Here a great doctrine is revealed. Not only the fact of the pre-existence of the spirit of Jesus, the Christ, that is, the existence of his spirit in tangible, human form before his earthly existence, but a like existence for the spirits of all men is proclaimed. Moreover, it is made known that as Jesus appeared in the spirit to this Jaredite prophet, so would he appear unto his people in the flesh. That is to say, the bodily form of flesh and bone would conform in appearance to the spirit form; the earthly would be like unto the heavenly, the human, to the divine. And so with all men.

Christian theologians are thought to have discovered a great truth when in the preface of St. John's Gospel they found the doctrine of the co-eternity and co-divinity of the Father and the Son in the holy trinity; namely,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. * * * And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.[30]

The identity between the "Word" of this passage and Jesus—the "Word made flesh" is complete. And he was in the beginning with God—co-eternal with him; and the "Word was God."—that is, he was divine, he was more, he was Divinity—he was Deity.

In a revelation to Joseph Smith this same truth is repeated and more is added to it, as follows:

Verily, I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the first-born. * * * Ye [referring to the Elders in whose presence the revelation was given] were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is spirit [that is, that part of man which is spirit, that was in the beginning with the Father]. * * Man [i. e., the race, the term is generic] was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.[31]

The doctrine in the foregoing quotation is in harmony with the Book of Mormon and with the Bible; but goes beyond them in that it gives us the understanding "that intelligence was not created or made, neither indeed can be." That is to say, the individual intelligence in all men was not created, or made, "neither indeed can be"—it is not only not created but is uncreatable.

There is something in man, then, that is eternal, uncreate. Just what that is, the form of it, or the mode of its existence, we may not know, since it has not pleased God so far to reveal these aspects of it. But he has revealed the fact of its existence, the fact of its eternity, the fact that it is an intelligence. One must needs think, too, that the name of this eternal entity—what God calls him—conveys to the mind some idea of his nature. He is called an "Intelligence;" and this I believe is descriptive of him. That is, intelligence is the entity's chief characteristic. If this be a true deduction, then the entity must be conscious; conscious of self and of other things than self. He must have the power to distinguish himself from other things—the "me" from the "not me." He must have power of deliberation, by which he sets over one thing against another; with power also to form a judgment that this or that is a better thing or state than some other thing or state. Also there goes with this idea of intelligence a power of choosing one thing instead of another, one state rather than another—the power to will to do this or that, else existence is meaningless, worthless, mockery. These powers are inseparably connected with any idea that may be formed of an intelligence. One cannot conceive of an intelligence existing without these qualities any more than he can conceive of an object existing in space without dimensions. The phrase, "the light of truth." is given in the revelation above quoted as the equivalent of an "Intelligence" here discussed; by which it is meant to be understood, as I think, that intelligent entities perceive truth, are conscious of truth, they know that which is, hence "the light of truth," that which cognizes truth—"intelligences." These intelligences are begotten[32] spirits that exist in human form. They exist so before they tabernacle in the flesh. In this manner, first, and eternally, as an individual intelligence, and secondly as a begotten spirit in human form, Jesus existed; so the spirits of all men existed; so Adam existed, a Son of God, for so the scriptures declare him to be.[33]

In addition to teaching the doctrine of the pre-existence of man's spirit, the Book of Mormon teaches also the indestructibility of the spirit. The prophet Alma expressly says, that "the soul would never die;"[34] which, according to Orson Pratt, in a foot note on the passage, means that the "soul" could "never be dissolved, or its parts be separated so as to disorganize the spiritual personage;" and since the Book of Mormon teaches the pre-existence of this "soul," or "spirit," and also teaches its continued existence between death and the resurrection,[35] as also its indestructibility after the resurrection,[36] it is very clear that the Book of Mormon teaches what I have called "proper immortality of the soul;" an immortality that extends pastward as well as foreward in time; or, in other words, declares its essential, its eternal existence; hence its necessary existence, hence that it is a self-existing entity.

In thinking then upon this earth career of Adam's, it must be thought of in connection with that pre-existence of his, of that eternal existence of his, and of his knowledge of what would befall him when he came to the earth. He came on no fool's errand, to be betrayed by chance happenings. If redemption through Jesus Christ was a foreknown circumstance,—and it was—and he was appointed as the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,"[37] to bring to pass man's redemption, then surely the circumstance of man's fall was known, doubtless pre-determined upon, and in some way essential to the accomplishment of the purposes of God; not an accidental or even a temporary thwarting of them; but as much a part of God's plan with reference to man's earth-existence, as any circumstance whatsoever connected with that existence.

Let us now consider the second part of Lehi's Generalization:

Men are that they might have joy.

That is to say, the purpose of man's earth-life is in some way to be made to contribute to his "joy," which is but another way of saying, that man's earth-life is to eventuate in his advantage.

"Men are that they might have joy!" What is meant by that? Have we here the reappearance of the old Epicurean doctrine, "pleasure is the supreme good, and chief end of life?" No, verily! Nor any other form of old "hedonism"[38]—the Greek ethics of gross self-interest. For mark, in the first place, the different words "joy" and "pleasure." They are not synonymous. The first does not necessarily arise from the second, "joy" may arise from quite other sources than "pleasure," from pain, even, when the endurance of pain is to eventuate in the achievement of some good: such as the travail of a mother in bringing forth her offspring; the weariness and pain and danger of toil by a father, to secure comforts for loved ones. Moreover, whatever apologists may say, it is very clear that the "pleasure" of the Epicurean philosophy, hailed as "the supreme good and chief end in life," was to arise from agreeable sensations, or what ever gratified the senses, and hence was, in the last analysis of it—in its roots and branches—in its theory and in its practice—"sensualism." It was to result in physical ease and comfort, and mental inactivity—other than a conscious, self-complacence—being regarded as "the supreme good and chief end of life." I judge this to be the net result of this philosophy since these are the very conditions in which Epicureans describe even the gods to exist;[39] and surely men could not hope for more "pleasure," or greater happiness than that possessed by their gods. Cicero even charges that the sensualism of Epicurus was so gross that he represents him as blaming his brother, Timocrates, "because he would not allow that everything which had any reference to a happy life was to be measured by the belly; nor has he," continues Cicero, "said this once only, but often."

This is not the "joy," it is needles to say, contemplated in the Book of Mormon. Nor is the "joy" there contemplated the "joy" of mere innocence—mere innocence, which say what you will of it, is but a negative sort of virtue. A virtue that is colorless, never quite sure of itself, always more or less uncertain, because untried.[40] Such a virtue—if mere absence of vice may be called virtue—would be unproductive of that "joy" the attainment of which is set forth in the Book of Mormon as the purpose of man's existence; for in the context it is written, "They [Adam and Eve] would have remained in a state of 'innocence.' Having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." From which it appears that the "joy" contemplated in our Book of Mormon passage is to arise from something more than mere innocence, which is, impliedly, unproductive of "joy." The "joy" contemplated in the Book of Mormon passage is to arise out of man's rough and thorough knowledge of evil, of sin; through knowing misery, sorrow, pain and suffering; through seeing good and evil locked in awful conflict; through a consciousness of having chosen in that conflict the better part, the good; and not only in having chosen it, but in having wedded it by eternal compact; made it his by right of conquest over evil. It is a "joy" that will arise from a consciousness of having "fought the good fight," of having "kept the faith." It will arise from a consciousness of moral, spiritual and physical strength. Of strength gained in conflict. The strength that comes from experience; from having sounded the depths of the soul; from experiencing all emotions of which mind is susceptible; from testing all the qualities and strength of the intellect. A "joy" that will come to man from a contemplation of the universe, and a consciousness that he is an heir to all that is—a joint heir with Jesus Christ and God; from knowing that he is an essential part of all that is. It is a joy that will be born of the consciousness of existence itself—that will revel in existence—in thoughts of and realizations of existence's limitless possibilities. A "joy" born of the consciousness of the power of eternal increase. A "joy" arising from association with the Intelligences of innumerable heavens—the Gods of all eternities. A "joy," born of a consciousness of being, of intelligence, of faith, knowledge, light, truth, mercy, justice, love, glory, dominion, wisdom, power; all feelings, affections, emotions, passions; all heights and all depths! "Men are that they might have joy;" and that "joy" is based upon and contemplates all that is here set down.

We may now consider the "fall of man" and the "purpose of his existence" as related subjects—as standing somewhat in the relationship of means to an end. We shall now be able to regard the "fall of man," not as an accident, not as surprising, and all but thwarting, God's purposes, but as part of the divinely appointed program of man's earth-existence.

Here, then, stands the truth so far as it may be gathered from God's word and the nature of things: There is in man an eternal, uncreate, self-existing entity, call it "intelligence," "mind," "spirit," "soul"—what you will, so long as you recognize it, and regard its nature as eternal. There came a time when in the progress of things, (which is only another way of saying in the "nature of things") an earth career, or earth existence, because of the things it has to teach, was necessary to the enlargement, to the advancement of these "intelligences," these "spirits," "souls." Hence an earth is prepared; and one sufficiently advanced and able, by the nature of him to bring to pass the events, is chosen, through whom this earth-existence, with all its train of events—its mingled miseries and comforts, its sorrows and joys, its pains and pleasures, its good, and its evil—may be brought to pass. He comes to earth with his appointed spouse. He comes primarily to bring to pass man's earth life. He comes to the earth with the solemn injunction upon him: "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." But he comes with the knowledge that this earth-existence of eternal "Intelligences" is to be lived under circumstances that will contribute to their enlargement, to their advancement. They are to experience joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure; witness the effect of good and evil, and exercise their agency in the choice of good or of evil. To accomplish this end, the local, or earth harmony of things must be broken. Evil to be seen, and experienced, must enter the world, which can only come to pass through the violation of law. The law is given—"of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die." The woman forgetful of the purpose of the earth mission of herself and spouse is led by flattery and deceit into the violation of that law, and becomes subject to its penalties—merely another name for its effect. But the man, not deceived, but discerning clearly the path of duty, and in order that earth-existence may be provided for the great hosts of spirits to come to earth under the conditions prescribed—he also transgresses the law, not only that men might be, but that they might have that being under the very circumstances deemed essential to the enlargement, to the progress of eternal Intelligences. Adam did not sin because deceived by another. He did not sin maliciously, or with evil intent; or to gratify an inclination to rebellion against God, or to thwart the Divine purposes, or to manifest his own pride. Had his act of sin involved the taking of life rather than eating a forbidden fruit, it would be regarded as a "sacrifice" rather than a "murder." This to show the nature of Adam's transgression. It was a transgression of the law—"for sin is the transgression of the law"[41]—that conditions deemed necessary to the progress of eternal Intelligences might obtain. Adam sinned that men might be, and not only "be," but "be" under conditions essential to progress. But Adam did sin. He did break the law; and violation of law involves the violator in its penalties, as surely as effect follows cause. Upon this principle depends the dignity and majesty of law. Take this fact away from moral government and your moral laws become mere nullities. Therefore, notwithstanding Adam fell that men might be, in his transgression there was at bottom a really exalted motive—a motive that contemplated nothing less than bringing to pass the highly necessary purposes of God with respect to man's existence in the earth—yet his transgression of law was followed by certain moral effects in the nature of men and in the world. The harmony of things was broken; discord ruled; changed relations between God and men took place, darkness, sin and death stalked through the world, and conditions were brought to pass in the midst of which the eternal Intelligences might gain those experiences that such conditions have to teach.

Now as to the second part of the great truth—"men are that they might have joy"—viewed also in the light of the "Intelligence" or "spirit" in man being an eternal, uncreated, self-existing entity. Remembering what I have already said in these pages as to the nature of this "joy" which it is the purpose of earth-existence to secure, remembering from what it is to arise—from the highest possible development—the highest conceivable enlargement of physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual power—what other conceivable purpose for existence in earth-life could there be for eternal Intelligences than this attainment of "joy" springing from progress? Man's existence for the manifestation alone of God's glory, as taught by the creeds of men, is not equal to it. That view represents man as but a thing created, and God as selfish and vain of glory. True, the Book of Mormon idea of the purpose of man's existence, is accompanied by a manifestation of God's glory; for with the progress of Intelligences there must be an ever widening manifestation of the glory of God. It is written that the "glory of God is Intelligence;" and it must follow, as clearly as the day follows night, that with the enlargement, with the progress of Intelligences, there must ever be a constantly increasing splendor in the manifestation of the glory of God. But in the Book of Mormon doctrine, the manifestation of that glory is incidental. The primary purpose is not in that manifestation, but in the "joy" arising from the progress of Intelligences. And yet that fact adds to the glory of God, but our book represents the Lord as seeking the enlargement and "joy" of kindred Intelligences, rather than the mere selfish manifestation of his own, personal glory. "This is my work and my glory," says the Lord, in another "Mormon" scripture, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, as man;"[42] and therein is God's "joy." A "joy" that grows from the progress of others; from bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of "man." Not the immortality of the "spirit" of man, mark you, for that immortality already exists, but to bring to pass the immortality of the spirit and body in their united condition, and which together constitutes "man."[43] And the purpose for which man is, is that he might have "joy;" that "joy" which, in the last analysis of things, should be even as God's "joy," and God's glory, namely, the bringing to pass the progress, enlargement, and "joy" of others.

It is gratifying to know that this Book of Mormon definition of life and its purpose, so far as it affects the human race, is receiving unconscious support from some of the first philosophers of modern days, among whom I may mention Lester F. Ward, author of "Outlines of Sociology" and other scientific and philosophical works; a Lecturer in the School of Sociology of the Hartford Society for Education Extension. His "Outlines of Sociology" was published in 1904, and in the chapter of that work, in which he discusses the relation of sociology to psychology, (chapter v), he deals with the question of life and its object. For the purpose of clearly setting forth his thought, he says:

"The biological [i. e. that which pertains merely to the life] must be clearly marked off from the psychological [i. e. as here used, that which pertains to feeling] standpoint. The former," he continues, "is that of function, the latter that of feeling. It is convenient, and almost necessary, in order to gain a correct conception of these relations to personify Nature, as it were, and bring her into strong contrast with the sentient [one capable of perception is here meant] creature. Thus viewed, each may be conceived to have its own special end. The end of Nature is function, i. e. life. It is biological. The end of the creature is feeling, i. e. it is psychic. From the standpoint of Nature, feeling is a means to function. From the standpoint of the organism, function is a means to feeling. Pleasure and pain came into existence in order that a certain class of beings might live, but those beings, having been given existence, now live in order to enjoy."

Throughout the chapter he maintains that the purpose of man's existence is for pleasure, but of course, holds that this pleasure is that of the highest order, and not merely sensual pleasure. Finally, applying the principles he lays down to the human race, its existence, the purpose of that existence, and the means through which the end is to be obtained—he adopts the following formula:

The object of nature is function [i. e., life].

The object of man is happiness.

The object of society is effort.

Now, with very slight modifications, this formula may be made to express the doctrine of Lehi in the Book of Mormon, as representing the divine economy respecting man:

Earth-life became essential to the progress of intelligences.

Adam fell that man's earth-life might be realized.

The purpose of man's existence is that he might have joy.

The purpose of the gospel is to bring to pass that joy.

In condensed form it may be made to stand as follows:

The object of God in man's earth-life is progress.

The object of man's existence is joy.

The object of the gospel and the church is effort.

A formula which so closely resembles this philosopher's—and his philosophy is that of many other advanced modern thinkers—that it justifies me in making the claim that the trend of the best modern thought on these lines is coming into harmony with the truths stated in the Book of Mormon.


The Agency of Man.

Respecting the "free agency" of man the Book of Mormon is quite pronounced as to the fact of it, as the following quotations attest:

I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, according to their wills; whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.[44]


The Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to chose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.[45]

The doctrine of the free agency of man could scarcely be more strongly set forth than it is in these passages.

A word in relation to this question of free agency. Of course it is recognized as one of the great theological questions that has puzzled mankind. By the phrase, free agency is here meant to represent that power or capacity of the mind or spirit to act freely and of its own volition, with reference to these matters, that are within the power of its achievement. That is to say, it is not meant that by an act of will man may overcome the force we call gravitation, and leave the earth at his pleasure; or that he can pluck down the moon by an act of will; or influence a mass of people at his will and against theirs; or create two mountains without a valley between them; but what is meant is, that man possesses the quality of determining his own actions, his own course with reference to things that are within the realm of the possibility of his achievement, and more especially, with reference to moral questions; that man has the power to take a course in harmony with those moral ideals that he has created by his own intellectual force or that have been created for him by his education, or the environment in which he has lived; that he can decide for himself to walk in harmony with these ideals, or that wontingly, and against all that he conceives to be to his best interest, he can violate them and walk contrary to what in his heart he knows to be right and true. This constitutes his freedom, his agency, and it is because of this fact that he is morally responsible for his conduct.

I have nowhere else found a statement of the facts involved in free agency so clearly set forth as in Guizot's "History of Civilization," from which I summarize the following:

1. Power of Deliberation—The mind is conscious of a power of deliberation. Before the intellect passes the different motives of action, interests, passions, opinions, etc. The intellect considers, compares, estimates, and finally judges them. This is a preparatory work which precedes the act of will.

2. Liberty, Free Agency or Will—When deliberation has taken place—when man has taken full cognizance of the motives which present themselves to him, he takes a resolution, of which he looks upon himself as the author, which arises because he wishes it and which would not arise unless he did wish it—here the fact of agency is shown; it resides in the resolution which man makes after deliberation; it is the resolution which is the proper act of man, which subsists by him alone; a simple fact independent of all the facts which precede it or surround it.

3. Free Will, or Agency Modified—At the same time that man feels himself free, he recognizes the fact that his freedom is not arbitrary, that it is placed under the dominion of a law which will preside over it and influence it. What that law is will depend upon the education of each individual, upon his surroundings, etc. To act in harmony with that law is what man recognizes as his duty; it will be the task of his liberty. He will soon see, however, that he never fully acquits himself of his task, never acts in full harmony with his moral law. Morally capable of conforming himself to his law, he falls short of doing it. He does not accomplish all that he ought, nor all that he can. This fact is evident, one of which all may give witness; and it often happens that the best men, that is, those who have best conformed their will to reason, have often been the most struck with their insufficience.

4. Necessity of External Assistance—This weakness in man leads him to feel the necessity of an external support to operate as a fulcrum for the human will, a power that may be added to its present power and sustain it at need. Man seeks this fulcrum on all sides; he demands it in the encouragement of friends, in the councils of the wise; but as the visible world, the human society, do not always answer to his desires, the soul goes beyond the visible world, above human relations, to seek this fulcrum of which it has need. Hence the religious sentiment develops itself; man addresses himself to God, and invokes his aid through prayer.

5. Man Finds the Help He Seeks—Such is the nature of man that when he sincerely asks this support he obtains it; that is, seeking it is almost sufficient to secure it. Whosoever, feeling his will weak, invokes the encouragement of a friend, the influence of wise councils, the support of public opinion, or who addresses himself to God by prayer, soon feels his will fortified in a certain measure and for a certain time.

6. Influence of the Spiritual World on Liberty—There are spiritual influences at work on man—the empire of the spiritual world upon liberty. There are certain changes, certain moral events which manifest themselves in man without his being able to refer their origin to an act of his will, or being able to recognize the author. Certain facts occur in the interior of the human soul which it does not refer to itself, which it does not recognize as the work of its own will. There are certain days, certain moments in which it finds itself in a different moral state from that which it was last conscious of under the operations of its own will. In other words, the moral man does not wholly create himself; he is conscious that causes, that powers external to himself, act upon and modify him imperceptibly—this fact has been called the grace of God, which helps the will of man.

After giving full weight to all the facts here set forth—and certainly each one enters as a factor into the question of man's freedom—the Book of Mormon doctrine stands true. There is such a quality of man's mind. He is conscious of it. Conscious of the power of deliberation; conscious of the existence of moral obligation pressing upon him; conscious of his own weakness that makes him feel unable to rise to the high level of his full duty; conscious of his need of external assistance; conscious of his will being made stronger by appealing to the counsel of his friends, and appealing to God for help through prayer; conscious of the fact that he is in different states of moral feeling at different times, owing, doubtless, to this appeal that he makes to external aids—yet, in the last analysis of it all, he remains conscious of the fact that what he does, not only can be, but is, a self-determining act, and he remains conscious of the power that he could do otherwise if he would. This consciousness and this freedom are the most stupendous facts in human existence, and upon their reality—upon their truth—depends all the glory of that existence. Arriving here the outlook concerning man's possibilities for the future is immense. Sir Oliver Lodge speaking of man, after arriving at this point in his development, the attainment of consciousness and free will, recently said:

On this planet man is the highest outcome of the process so far (i. e., the process of development), and is, therefore, the highest representation of Deity that here exists. Terribly imperfect as yet, because so recently evolved, he is nevertheless a being which has at length attained to consciousness and free-will, a being unable to be coerced by the whole force of the universe, against his will; a spark of the divine Spirit, therefore, never more to be quenched. Open still to awful horrors, to agonies of remorse, but to floods of joy also, he persists, and his destiny is largely in his own hands; he may proceed up or down, he may advance towards a magnificent ascendency, he may recede towards depths of infamy. He is not coerced: he is guided and influenced, but he is free to choose. The evil and the good are necessary correlatives; freedom to choose the one involves freedom to choose the other.[46]

This is the doctrine then of the Book of Mormon: the existence in man as a quality of his mind or spirit freedom and power to will, to determine for himself his course. He may choose good or evil. The freedom of righteousness, or the bondage of sin. If man finds his will strengthened in favor of choosing the good by appealing for help to external aids, to God through prayer, and that help comes in the form of the grace of God, and becomes a factor in helping man into a state of righteousness, it should be remembered that the act of appealing for external help was the exercise of man's free agency. He willed to do good and sought help to carry out his determination; and the assistance of the grace of God so obtained in no way operates to destroy the freedom of man's will. In concluding this subject, it may be said that the Book of Mormon in an authoritative way settles conclusively the great theological question of the free agency of man.

W. H. Mallack, in his work on "The Reconstruction of Religious Belief" (1905), has a most fascinating chapter on human freedom[47] in which he illustrates on broad lines the universal though unconscious assumption of the fact of human freedom in both literature and history. Of the characters created by the great poets, he remarks: "They interest us as born to freedom, and not naturally slaves, and they pass before us like kings in a Roman triumph. Once let us suppose these characters to be mere puppets of heredity and circumstance, and they and the works that deal with them lose all intelligible content, and we find ourselves confused and wearied with the fury of an idiot's tale." On the criticism of historical characters he says: "All this praising and blaming is based on the assumption that the person praised or blamed is the originator of his own actions, and not a mere transmitter of forces." And further, all debating on the value of historical characters would be meaningless, "if it were not for the inveterate belief that a man's significance for men resides primarily in what he makes of himself, not in what he has been made by an organism derived from his parents, and the various external stimuli to which it has automatically responded." Our author also points out the truth that forgiveness itself among men (and he might well have extended his argument to the forgiveness God imparts to men also) assumes the fact of human freedom—else what is there to be forgiven! The believer in freedom says to the offending party, "I forgive you for the offense of not having done your best." The assumption is that the offender could have refrained from giving one offense—he had freedom and power to have done otherwise. One not believing in human freedom would say to the offending party: "I neither forgive nor blame you; for, although you have done your worst, your worst was your best also" & having no freedom, he was under no obligation; his action was indifferent, neither good nor bad; there was no blame or praise possible; he is neither a subject for mercy nor justice to act upon.

In the course of the discussion to which attention is called, our author has contributed an idea worthy of all acceptation and is valuable for the reason that it goes outside the beaten paths followed in the free will controversy: "When most people talk of believing in moral freedom, they mean by freedom a power which exhausts itself in acts of choice between a series of alternative courses; but, important though such choice, as a function of freedom is, the root idea of freedom lies deeper still. It consists in the idea, not that a man is, as a personality, the first and the sole cause of his choice between alternative courses, but that he is, in a true, even if in a qualified sense, the first cause of what he does, or feels, or is, whether this involves an act of choice, or consists of an unimpeded impulse. Freedom of choice between alternatives is the consequence of this primary faculty. It is the form in which the faculty is most noticeably manifested; but it is not the primary faculty of personal freedom itself."

I believe this fact in relation to man's freedom; that it is a quality capable of manifesting itself in other modes than choice between alternatives; that it may project an unimpeded line of conduct, and yet in this world its chief manifestations are in a choice between things opposite and we shall see later, according to the Book of Mormon, that conditions in this world are so ordained in the existence of opposites—antinomies—that man may exercise this quality of freedom in the choice of alternatives.


The Atonement.

After giving an account of the fall of man, substantially as found in Genesis, the Nephite prophet Alma, is represented in the Book of Mormon as teaching his son Corianton the doctrine of the atonement, as follows:

###Alma's Doctrine of Atonement.

And now we see by this, that our first parents were cut off, both temporally and spiritually, from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.

Now, behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness;

Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal; that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death;

Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them [in which] to prepare; it became a preparatory state.

And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption (laying it aside), as soon as they were dead, their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.

And now there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state which man had brought upon himself, because of his own disobedience;

Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions, of repentance of men in this probationary state; yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

And now the plan of mercy could not be brought about, except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

Now repentance could not come unto men, except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.

Now, how could a man repent, except he should sin? How could he sin, if there was no law, how could there be a law, save there was a punishment?

Now there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die, would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?

And also, if there was no law given against sin, men would not be afraid to sin.

And if there was no law given if men sinned, what could justice do, or mercy either; for they would have no claim upon the creature?

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise justice claimeth the creature, and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works; according to the law and justice;

For, behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.

What! do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, nay! Not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery;

Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come, may come, and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come, the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day, it shall be restored unto him, according to his deeds.[48]

Summarizing the foregoing we have the following as the result: The effect of Adam's transgression was to destroy the harmony of things in this world. As a consequence of his fall man is banished from the presence of God—a spiritual death takes place and man becomes sensual, devilish, unholy, is cursed, we say, with a strong inclination to sinfulness. Man is also made subject to a temporal death, a separation of the spirit and body. Much might have been gained by this union of his spirit with his body of flesh and bone could it have been immortal, but that is now lost, by this temporal death, this separation of spirit and body. These conditions would have remained eternally fixed as the result of the operation of law—inexorable law, called "the justice of God," admitting of nothing else; for the law was given to eternal beings and by them violated, and man is left in the grasp of eternal justice, with all its consequences upon his head and the head of his progeny. And the justice of the law admitted the conditions, admitted that the penalties affixed should be effective, but this is justice—stern, unrelenting justice; justice untempered by mercy. But mercy must in some way be made to reach man, yet in a way also that will not destroy justice; for justice must be maintained, else all is confusion—ruin. If justice be destroyed—if justice be not maintained—. "God will cease to be God." Hence mercy may not be introduced into the divine economy of this world without a vindication of the broken law by some means or other, for divine laws as well as human ones are mere nullities if their penalties be not in force.

The penalty of the law then, transgressed by Adam, must be executed, or else an adequate atonement must be made for man's transgression. This the work of the Christ. He makes the atonement. He comes to earth and assumes responsibility for this transgression of law, and gathers up into his own soul all the suffering due to the transgression of the law by Adam. All the suffering due to individual transgression of law—the direct consequences of the original transgression—from Adam to the end of the world. The burden of us all is laid upon him. He will bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. He will be wounded for our transgressions, and be bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace will be upon him; on him is laid the iniquity of us all; by his stripes shall we be healed.[49] That is to say, having gathered into himself all the suffering and sorrows due to all the sinning that shall be in the world, he is able to dictate the terms upon which man may lay hold of mercy—by which mercy may heal his wounds—and these terms he names in the conditions of the gospel, the acceptance of which brings complete redemption. The Christ brings to pass the resurrection of the dead. The spirit and the body are eternally re-united; the temporal death—one of the effects of Adam's trangression—is overcome. There is no more physical death; the "soul"[50]—the eternally united spirit and body are now to be immortal as spirit alone before was immortal. The man so immortal is brought back into the presence of God, and if he has accepted the terms of the gospel by which he is redeemed from the effects of his own, as well as from Adam's transgression, his spiritual death is ended, and henceforth he may be spiritually immortal as well as physically immortal—eternally with God in an atmosphere of righteousness—the spiritual death is overcome.

Such I make out to be the Book of Mormon doctrine of the atonement, and the redemption of man through the gospel.


The Doctrine of Opposite Existences.

Closely connected with the doctrine of the agency of man, the purpose of his existence and his redemption from the fallen state, is what I shall call the Book of Mormon doctrine of "opposite existences," what the scholastics would call "antinomies." The doctrine as stated in the Book of Mormon—the time of its publication—1830—remembered, especially when taken in connection with the consequences it supposes in the event of abolishing the existence of evil, is strikingly original and philosophically profound; and reaches a depth of thought beyond all that could be imagined as possible with Joseph Smith or any of those associated with him in bringing forth the Book of Mormon.

The statement of the doctrine in question occurs in a discourse of Lehi's on the subject of the atonement. The aged prophet represents happiness or misery as growing out of the acceptance or rejection of the atonement of the Christ, and adds that the misery consequent upon its rejection is in opposition to the happiness which is affixed to its acceptance:

For it must needs be [he continues] that there is an opposition in all things. If [it were] not so * * * righteousness could not be brought to pass; neither wickedness; neither holiness nor misery; neither good nor bad. Wherefore [that is, if this fact of opposites did not exist] all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it [the sum of things] should be one body, it must needs remain as dead, having no life, neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing [i. e., the absence of opposite existences which Lehi is supposing] must needs destroy the wisdom of God, and his eternal purposes; and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.[51]

The inspired man even goes beyond this, and makes existences themselves depend upon this law of opposites:

And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness, there is no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness, there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God, we are not, neither the earth: for there could have been no creation of things; neither to act nor to be acted upon, wherefore, all things must have vanished away.[52]

This may be regarded as a very bold setting forth of the doctrine of antinomies, and yet I think the logic of it, and the inevitableness of the conclusion unassailable. In his work, "Origin and Development of Religious Beliefs" S. Baring-Gould says:

The world presents us with a picture of unity and distinction; unity without uniformity, and distinction without antagonism. * * * Everywhere, around us and within us, we see that radical antinomy. The whole astronomic order resolves itself into attraction and repulsion—a centripetal and a centrifugal force; the chemical order into the antinomy of positive and negative electricity, decomposing substances and recomposing them. The whole visible universe presents the antinomy of light and darkness, movement and repose, force and matter, heat and cold, the one and the multiple. The order of life is resumed in the antinomy of the individual and the species, the particular and the general; the order of our sentiments in that of happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain; that of our conceptions in the antinomy of the ideal and the real; that of our will in the conditions of activity and passivity.[53]

The existence of evil in the world has ever been a vexed problem for both theologians and philosophers, and has led to the wildest speculations imaginable. It will be sufficient here, however, if I note the recognition by high authority of the difficulties involved in the problem. Of those who have felt and expressed these difficulties, I know of no one who has done so in better terms than Henry L. Mansel in his contribution to the celebrated course of "Bampton Lecturers," in "The Limits of Religious Thought" (1858), in the course of which he says:

The real riddle of existence—the problem which confounds all philosophy, aye, and all religion, too, so far as religion is a thing of man's reason, is the fact that evil exists at all; not that it exists for a longer or a shorter duration. Is not God infinitely wise and holy and powerful now? and does not sin exist along with that infinite holiness and wisdom and power? Is God to become more holy, more wise, more powerful hereafter; and must evil be annihilated to make room for his perfections to expand? Does the infinity of his eternal nature ebb and flow with every increase or diminution in the sum of human guilt and misery? Against this immovable barrier of the existence of evil, the waves of philosophy have dashed themselves unceasingly since the birthday of human thought, and have retired broken and powerless, without displacing the minutest fragment of the stubborn rock, without softening one feature of its dark and rugged surface.[54]

This writer then proceeds by plain implication to make it clear that religion no more than philosophy has solved the problem of the existence of evil:

But this mystery [i. e., the existence of evil], vast and inscrutable as it is, is but one aspect of a more general problem; it is but the moral form of the ever-recurring secret of the Infinite. How the Infinite and the finite, in any form of antagonism or other relation, can exist together; how infinite power can coexist with finite activity; how infinite wisdom can coexist with finite contingency; how infinite goodnesss can coexist with finite evil; how the Infinite can exist in any manner without exhausting the universe of reality—this is the riddle which Infinite Wisdom alone can solve, the problem whose very conception belongs only to that Universal Knowledge which fills and embraces the Universe of Being.[55]

In the presence of these reflections it cannot be doubted, then, that the existence of moral evil is one of the world's serious difficulties; and any solution which the Book of Mormon may give of it that is really helpful, will be a valuable contribution to the world's enlightenment, a real revelation—a ray of light from the "inner fact of things." Let us consider if it does this.

In view of the utterances of the Book of Mormon already quoted I am justified in saying that evil as well as good is among the eternal things. Its existence did not begin with its appearance on our earth. Evil existed even in heaven; for Lucifer and many other spirits sinned there; "rebelled against heaven's matchless King," waged war, and were thrust out into the earth for their transgression.[56]

Evil is not a created quality.[57] It has always existed as the back ground of good. It is as eternal as goodnesss; it is as eternal as law; it is as eternal as the agency of intelligence. Sin, which is evil active, is transgression of law;[58] and so long as the agency of intelligences and law have existed, the possibility of the transgression of law has existed; and as the agency of intelligences and law have eternally existed, so, too, evil has existed eternally, either potentially or active and will always so exist.

Evil may not be referred to God for its origin. He is not its creator, it is one of those independent existences that is uncreate, and stands in the category of qualities of eternal things. While not prepared to accept the doctrine of some philosophers that "good and evil are two sides of one thing."[59] I am prepared to believe that evil is a necessary antithesis to good, and essential to the realization of the harmony of the universe. "The good cannot exist without the antithesis of the evil—the foil on which it produces itself and becomes known."[60] As remarked by Orlando J. Smith, "Evil exists in the balance of natural forces. * * * * * * It is also the background of good, the incentive to good, and the trial of good, without which good could not be. As the virtue of courage could not exist without the evil of danger, and as the virtue of sympathy could not exist without the evil of suffering, so no other virtue could exist without its corresponding evil. In a world without evil—if such a world be really conceivable, all men would have perfect health, perfect intelligence, and perfect morals. No one could gain or impart information, each one's cup of knowledge being full. The temperature would stand forever at seventy degrees, both heat and cold being evil. There could be no progress, since progress is the overcoming of evil. A world without evil would be as toil without exertion, as light without darkness, as a battle with no antagonist. It would be a world without meaning."[61] Or, as Lehi puts it, in still stronger terms—after describing what conditions would be without the existence of opposites:—

Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it [i. e. the sum of things] should be one body [i. e., of one character—so called good without evil] it must needs remain as dead, having no life, neither death, nor corruption, nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it [the sum of things] must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing [the absence of opposites] must needs destroy the wisdom of God, and his eternal purposes; and also, the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.[62]

As there can be no good without the antinomy of evil, so there can be no evil without its antinomy, or antithesis—good. The existence of one implies the existence of the other; and, conversely, the non-existence of the latter would imply the non-existence of the former. It is from this basis that Lehi reached the conclusion that either his doctrine of antinomies, or the existence of opposites, is true, or else there are no existences. That is to say—to use his own words—

If ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness, there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not, there is no God, and if there is no God, we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon: wherefore, all things must have vanished away.[63]

But as things have not vanished away, as there are real existences, the whole series of things for which he contends are verities. "For there is a God," he declares, "and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them is; both things to act, and things to be acted upon."[64]

After arriving at this conclusion, Lehi, proceeding from the general to the particular, deals with the introduction of this universal antinomy into our world as follows:

To bring about his [God's] eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents * * * it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter; Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore man could not act for himself, save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.[65] And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies; wherefore he said, Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth. And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.

Then follows Lehi's treatise upon the reason for the fall, the purpose of man's existence, which have already been noticed.

Summary of the Foregoing Doctrines.

This then is the order of things—(though in this summary the order in which the various doctrines have been presented is not strictly followed, but one more in harmony with the proper order of the related things; but which order could not well be set forth until the foregoing discussion of them was had):—

1. The intelligent "Ego" in man, which we have called an "Intelligence," meaning, however, not a quality but the "Ego" itself, is an eternal entity; uncreate and uncreatable—an essential, a necessary, self-existent being.

2. These "Intelligences" the begotten of God, spirits; so that men are of the same race with God, are of the same "essence" or "substance," and are the sons of God by virtue of an actual relationship.

3. There came a time in the course of the existence of these spiritual personages when an earth-existence, a union of the spiritual personage with a body of flesh and bone, became necessary for his further development, for his enlargement; an existence where good and evil were in actual conflict, where the mighty and perhaps awful lessons which such conditions have to teach could be learned.

4. There are eternal opposites in existences, light—darkness; joy—sorrow; pleasure—pain; sweet—bitter; good—evil; and so following. Evil is an eternal existence, the necessary co-relative of the good, uncreate and may not be referred to God for its origin.

5. The spirits of men came to earth primarily to obtain bodies through which their spirits may act through all eternity. They came to effect a union of spirit and element essential to all their future development and their joy and their glory;[66] secondly they came to obtain such experiences as this earth-life has to give—to be taught by the things which they suffer; learning the lessons that sorrow and sin and death have to teach, finding both the strength and weakness of their own natures—proving the fidelity, valor and honor of their own spirits; making proof of their worthiness for that exceeding great and eternal weight of glory which God has designed for those who overcome and in all things prove faithful.

6. To lead the way in this great work, one sufficiently developed for such a task—Adam—is appointed to come to earth to open the series of dispensations designed of God for man in his earth-probation. He introduced those changes in the harmony of things necessary to the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the earth-life of man—he fell that man might be; and not only "be," but have that being, under the very conditions that have since prevailed.

7. Evil was introduced into this world through the transgression of Adam, and man falls under the censure of eternal and inexorable justice.

8. Through the Atonement of Christ, however, man is freed from the effects of Adam's trangression. The resurrection redeems him from the temporal death—the separation of the spirit and body, and he is brought back into the presence of God.

9. Through the Atonement of Christ mercy also has been brought into the world's moral economy; and, as well as justice, operates upon man. God's righteous law has been given to man. Man is a free moral agent and may choose to obey the law, or may choose to follow after wickedness. If he choose the latter, he falls under the justice of the law.

10. Through the Atonement the privilege of repentance is granted, and mercy claims the truly penitent, rescuing him from the otherwise inexhorable claims of the law, and setting him in the way of salvation through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

Such, in brief is the outline of the gospel of Christ in the Book of Mormon so far as it relates to the nature and eternal existence of man, the purpose of his earth-existence, the fall, the atonement, the existence of good and evil, and the development that shall come of contact with these forces.

In concluding this chapter, apart from the matter of originality in the doctrines set forth, which originality, be it remembered is one of the evidences here sought to be established as a sort of proof for the divinity of the book, I desire to call attention to another argument which these doctrines are capable of bearing; namely the nature of the doctrines themselves, the order in which they are set forth, and their deep philosophical character; and to the candid reader I submit this question: Was the unaided native intelligence of Joseph Smith, or the intelligence or learning of any of those associated with him in bringing forth the Book of Mormon, equal to the task of formulating the principles of moral philosophy and theology that are found in that book and discussed in this chapter? Was the intelligence or learning of Solomon Spaulding, or any other person to whom the origin of the book is ascribed, equal to such a task? There can be but one answer to that question, and the nature of it is obvious.

Beyond controversy neither the native intelligence nor learning of Joseph Smith can possibly be regarded as equal to such a performance as bringing forth the knowledge which the Book of Mormon imparts upon these profound subjects; nor can the intelligence or learning of those who assisted him in translating the book be regarded as sufficient for such a task. Nor was the intelligence and learning of any one to whom the origin of the book has ever been ascribed equal to such an achievement. Indeed the book sounds depths on these subjects not only beyond the intelligence and learning of this small group of men referred to, but beyond the intelligence and learning of the age itself in which it came forth. Therefore it is useless to ascribe the knowledge it imparts on these subjects to human intelligence or learning at all. What is said by it on these subjects, so full of interest to mankind, is a word truly from the "inner fact of things"—a message written by ancient prophets of America inspired of God to bear witness to the truth of these great things which it most concerns man to know.


1. Genesis iii.

2. I. Cor. xv: 21, 22; Romans v: 12-17.

3. Westminster Confession, chapter iv—of Creation—Section i.

4. In proof of this last declaration the expounder cites Col. i: 16: "All things were created by him [Christ] and for him."

Also Proverbs xvi: 4: 'The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.'

Also Rev. iv: 11: "For thou [the Lord] hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created;" and Rom. xi: 36: "For of him, and through him, and to him are all things." See Commentary on the "Confession of Faith," with questions for theological students and Bible classes, by the Reverend A. A. Hodge, D. D., Chapter iv. The reading of the passages will convince any one that if this is all the scripture proof that may be adduced in the way of an explanation of the purposes of God in creation, that what I have said in the text, that there is no direct, explicit, and adequate statement of the object of man's existence in holy writ is sufficiently vindicated.

5. Commentary on the Confession (Hodge), chapter iv.

6. Douay Catechism, chapter iii.

7. Ibid.

8. Gen. ii: 25.

9. Ibid iii: 7.

10. "Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression."—Tim. ii: 14.

11. Catholic Belief, p. 6. (Joseph Faa Di Bruno is the author.)

12. Catholic Belief, p. 330.

13. Douay Catechism, p. 13.

14. Buck's Theological Dictionary, p. 182.

15. Old Testament History (William Smith, LL. D.), chapter ii.

16. Westminster Confession, chapter vi, section 1.

17. Commentary on the Confession of Faith (A. A. Hodge), pp. 105-108.

18. Paine's Theological Works, "Age of Reason," p. 12.

19. See Ingersoll's Lectures, "Liberty of Man, Woman and Child," where the great orator, contrasts the story of the Fall given in the Bible with that of Brahma in the Hindoo mythology, and extravagantly praises the latter to the disparagement of the former.

20. See "A Short View of Great Questions" (Orlando J. Smith), chapter 10; also his work on "Eternalism."

21. John viii: 58.

22. John xvii.

23. Job xxxiii: 4-7.

24. Revelation xii.

25. Jude vi.

26. Jeremiah i: 5.

27. Heb. xii.

28. Those who wish to extend their investigation on the subject are referred to the author's work on "The Gospel," especially the section of Man's Relationship to Deity, found in both the second and third edition.

29. Ether iii.

30. John i: 2-14.

31. Doc. & Cov., section xciii.

32. I use the term "begotten" instead of "create" advisedly. I do not believe the spirit of man is "created" by God; I believe it is "begotten" of him, and in addition to its own native, underived inherent qualities, partakes also somewhat of the qualities or nature of him who begets it, hence an intelligence begotten of a spirit is a son of God by being begotten by a divine parent; by the nature of it also, since somewhat of the nature of the parent has been imparted to it. The distinction between a "created" thing and a being begotten is thus very clearly set forth by the Christian Father Athanasius: Let it be repeated that a created thing is external to the nature of the being who creates; but a generation (a begetting, as a Father begets a son) is the proper offspring of the nature. (Footnote, Shedd's "History of Christian Doctrine," Vol. I, p. 322.)

33. Luke iii: 38.

34. Alma xiii: 9.

35. Alma xi.

36. Alma xi: 9.

37. Rev. viii: 80. What means the scripture here: "The Lamb slain from the foundations of the world"—if it does not mean that the Savior's mission and work of atonement, and the mode of it, were known before the foundation of the world?

38. "Hedonism is the form of eudemonism that regards pleasure (including avoidance of pain) as the only conceivable object in life, and teaches that as between the lower pleasures of sense and the higher enjoyments of reason, or satisfied self-respect, there is no difference except in degree, duration, and hedonic value of the experience, there being in strictness, no such thing as ethical or moral value."—Standard Dictionary.

39. In Cicero's description of the Epicurean conception of the gods he says: "That which is truly happy cannot be burdened with any labor itself, nor can it impose any labor on another, nor can it be influenced by resentment or favor, because things which are liable to such failings must be weak and frail. * * * Their life [i. e., of the gods] is most happy and the most abounding with all kinds of blessings which can be conceived. They do nothing. They are embarrassed with no business; nor do they perform any work. They rejoice in the possession of their own wisdom and virtue. They are satisfied that they shall ever enjoy the fulness of eternal pleasure. * * * Nothing can be happy that is not at ease." (Tusculan Disputations, The Nature of the Gods.)

40. II. Nephi ii: 23.

41. I. John iii: 4.

42. Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses, ch. i: 39.

43. Or "the soul;" for, in the revelations of God in this last dispensation, the spirit and the body are called the "soul." "Through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body is the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul." (Doc. & Cov. Sec. 88: 14-16.)

44. Alma xxix: 4.

45. II. Nephi. ii: 27.

46. Hibbert Journal, April, 1906, p. 656.

47. Chapter iv.

48. Alma 42. The same subject is treated in II. Nephi ii.

49. Isaiah liii.

50. Doc. & Cov., Sec. xxxviii: 15.

51. II. Nephi ii. It is a pleasure to note that this process of reasoning, remarkable as it is, and startling as it is in its conclusion, is in harmony with modern thought. Mr. Lester F. Ward, whose works I have already quoted in this chapter, by a closely analogous order of reasoning, reaches the same conclusion. This the passage: "The pleasure of 'doing good' is among the most delicious of which the human faculties are capable, and becomes the permanent stimulus to thousands of worthy lives. It is usually looked upon as the highest of all motives, and by some as the ultimate goal toward which all action should aspire. It should first be observed that the very act of doing good presupposes evil, i. e., pain. Doing good is necessarily either increasing pleasure or diminishing pain. Now, if all devoted themselves to doing good, it is maintained that the sufferings of the world would be chiefly abolished. Admitting that there are some evils that no human efforts could remove, and supposing that by united altruism all removable evils were done away, there would be nothing left for altruists to do. By their own acts they would have deprived themselves of a calling. They must be miserable since the only enjoyment they deemed worthy of experiencing could be no longer possible, and this suffering from ennui would be among those which lie beyond human power to alleviate. An altruistic act would then alone consist in inflicting pain on one's self for the sole purpose of affording others an opportunity to derive pleasure from the act of relieving it. I do not put the matter in this light for the purpose of discouraging altruism, but simply to show how short sighted most ethical reasoning is."

52. II. Nephi ii.

53. "Origin and Development of Religious Belief," Vol. II., pp. 22, 23.

54. Limits of Religious Thought, Mansel, p. 197.

55. Ibid. pp. 197-8.

56. See Rev. xii: 7. Jude 6.

57. Lest some text-proofer should retort upon me and cite the words of Isaiah—"I make peace and create evil"—the only text of scripture ascribing the creation of evil to God—I will anticipate so far as to say that it is quite generally agreed that no reference is made in the words of Isaiah to "moral evil;" but to such evils as may come as judgments upon people for their correction, such as famine or tempest or war; such an "evil" as would stand in natural antithesis to "peace," which word precedes, "I create evil," in the text—"I make peace and create"—the opposite to peace, "The evil of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin" (Catholic Comment on Isaiah 45:7). Meantime we have the clearest scriptural evidence that moral evil is not a product of God's: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." That is to say, God has nothing to do with the creation of moral evil; "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James i: 13-15). "The evil and the good are necessary co-relatives." (Sir Oliver Lodge in Hibbert Journal, April, 1906, p. 657.)

58. I. John iii: 4.

59. Eternalism, Orlando J. Smith, p. 205-6.

60. Scotus Erigena, quoted by Neander, "Hist. Christian Religion and Church," Vol. III. p. 465.

61. Eternalism, pp. 30, 31.

62. II. Nephi ii: 11.

63. II. Nephi ii: 13.

64. Ibid. ii: 14.

65. On such a proposition Dr. Jacob Cooper, of Rutgers College, at the head of an article on "Theodicy" (the justification of the divine providence by the attempt to reconcile the existence of evil with the goodnesss and sovereignty of God), says (August, 1903), "There must be an alternative to any line of conduct, in order to give it a moral quality. We have to deal with, not an imaginary, but a real world; not with a state of things wholly different from those by which character is developed. If there are to be such qualities as righteousness, virtue, merit, as the result of good action, there must be a condition by which these things are possible. And this can only be where there is an alternative which may be embraced by a free choice. If the work of man on earth is to build up character, if his experience is disciplinary, by which he constantly becomes better fitted for greater good and a wider sphere of action, then he must have the responsibility of choosing for himself a course different from one which appeals to the lower qualities in his nature."

66. Doc. & Cov., Sec. xciii: 33, 35.



I have already, in volume one of the New Witnesses, called attention to the value of fulfilled prophecies as evidence of a prophet's being divinely commissioned with a message to the world.[1] It is there pointed out that fulfilled prophecy has ever been regarded as a species of miracle; that the Lord himself refers to it as a test by which true prophets may be distinguished from false ones; that, therefore, the power to foresee and foretell future events is a power that God has reserved to himself and to those whom he especially inspires—hence the power of prophecy is the surest sign of divine inspiration—of divine authority.[2] Consequently it is only necessary here to say that such evidence is equally strong in support of a book claiming a divine origin; provided, of course, that it contains prophecies by which it may be tested. The Book of Mormon contains such prophecies. Here it is necessary to explain, however, that many of the prophetic parts of the Book of Mormon are not available as such a test, for the reason that very many of its prophecies relate to matters that had their fulfillment in ancient times. For example: the Jaredites, who preceded the Nephites in occupying North America, were told by their prophets that except they repented the Lord would bring another people, as he had their fathers, to occupy the land in their stead. The Jaredites did not repent; and in due time the colony of Lehi was brought to America much as the original Jaredite colony had been; and thus the prophecy was fulfilled; but such is the nature of the prophecy and its fulfillment that it affords us no means by which we can test the divine inspiration of the book containing it, the prediction and the account of its fulfillment being found within the book itself; and we are in possession of no outside means independent of the Book of Mormon by which to test this prophecy or its fulfillment. Of like nature is the prediction that Ether made to Coriantumr, to the effect that except he repented his people should be destroyed and he alone should survive them, but only to see another people come upon the goodly land to possess it.[3] All this came to pass in due time[4]—since Coriantumr did not repent; but this affords us no means by which we may test the prophetic claims of the book containing such a prophecy, because both prophecy and the account of its fulfillment are within the book itself. So also with the prediction concerning the advent of the Messiah on the American continent; the signs at his birth and death and his ministry, all of which events were foretold in great clearness to the Nephites; but these like the other prophecies alluded to, are of such a nature that they afford us no means of testing the prophetic claims of the book. Only those prophecies in the Book of Mormon which have had their fulfillment since the book was published, or that are yet to be fulfilled, are available—at least they are the only ones that will appeal to unbelievers—as evidence of the book's claims to a divine authenticity. Of these, fortunately, there are enough for a test such as is proposed; a test, which as it is among the most crucial that can be applied, so also is it among the most valuable of the internal evidences of the book's divine origin.

Here the reader should be reminded[5] that several conditions should exist respecting prophecies to be used as evidence of divine inspiration either in book or prophet: first, that prediction antedates the events which fulfill it; second, that the events must be of a nature that no merely human foresight, or judgment, unaided by divine inspiration or revelation, could have foretold them; third, the events that fulfill the prophecy must be of a nature that they cannot be brought about by the natural powers of the prophet himself, or agencies under his control. Such conditions unquestionably prevail in respect of all the prophecies here adduced in evidence.

I begin by reference to two prophetic passages in which the Holy Ghost must necessarily be the agency through which the fulfillment is realized. I start with these because it must be evident that if the predictions are fulfilled through the agency of the Holy Ghost there can be no deception charged or doubt remain either of the genuineness of the prophecies or of the reality of their fulfillment.


A Testimony Shall be Given by the Holy Ghost.

First, then, the prophecy that a testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon shall be given by the Holy Ghost. In closing up the Nephite record which had been given into his charge by his father Mormon, Moroni in a final word to those to whom the work in after ages would come, says:

And when ye shall receive these things, 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 Christ, he will manifest the truth of them 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.[6]

I do not hesitate to pronounce this one of the boldest prophecies of Holy Writ, and certainly one which no imposter would dare place in a book he was palming off upon the world as a revelation from God, since it affords such immediate means of testing the truth of his pretentions. It is the same character of test as that boldly supplied by the Son of God himself for testing the truth of the whole Christian scheme when he said:

My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.[7]

There can be no question as to the prophetic character of the passage from the Book of Mormon—When you receive this record, ask God in the name of Christ, if it be true, and he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. The only question to be considered after this is, has the prophecy of a promised testimony been fulfilled. Hundreds of thousands are ready to answer in the affirmative; scores of thousands who have died in the faith have left on record their testimony that the prophecy has been fulfilled in their experience; and back of the testimony of these thousands is their life of sacrifice, toil, suffering; together with the contumely and persecution which they have endured for that testimony. Some of the witnesses to the fulfillment of this prophecy have even sealed their testimony with their blood—can evidence of a higher or more solemn character be pointed to in attestation of any truth?[8]

In passing it may be well to call attention to the fact that the Book of Mormon in this prophetic promise that its truth shall be made known by the power of the Holy Ghost, as also its assertion "that by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things"—hits upon a great general, spiritual truth, viz., that the Holy Ghost is God's especial witness of revealed truth. It was the Holy Ghost in its beautiful sign of a dove that bore witness to John that the peasant Nazarene was indeed the Christ.[9] Paul says that "no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed, and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost."[10] John represents Jesus as saying, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."[11] Again, the Comforter is called the very "Spirit of Truth," and of it Jesus says: "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things."[12] Also: "When the Spirit of Truth [the Holy Ghost] is come, he will guide you into all truth."[13] And so one might continue to multiply passages to the same effect, but enough is here set, down to establish the point suggested, viz., that the Book of Mormon hits upon a very beautiful and universal principle to establish its own truth by a Divine Witness, viz., the Holy Ghost. Observe also that this great doctrine is not introduced by way of argument nor as a deduction. It is mentioned, one might say, in a purely incidental manner. Nothing especially is made of it by Moroni who sets it down. No appeal is made to its strength or reasonableness. One feels that it is the statement of a great truth purely as a matter of fact that has been verified in the experience of Moroni, without any special consciousness of how it interlocks with and is supported by all the scriptures that treat of the same subject. On the theory of the Book of Mormon not being what it claims to be, but regarding it for a moment as the work of "imposters," I ask the upholders of that theory this question: How comes it that in speaking of the chief source of evidence for its truth, the "imposters" hit upon this universal principle by which revealed truths can be known? And, indeed, desiring to cover the whole subject involved in this prophetic promise of a Divine Witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon, I ask how dare they promise a Divine Witness to an "imposture" at all?


"They Shall Have the Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost."

The second prophecy to which reference has been made, and which must necessarily be filled through the agency of the Holy Spirit, was given under these circumstances: The Lord made it known to the first Nephi that many precious truths of the gospel would be subverted by the wickedness of men-made churches in the last days, but the Lord gives a promise that he would manifest himself unto the descendants of Nephi, and that they should write many things which he, the Lord, would minister unto them. Things which would be plain and precious: "And after thy seed shall be destroyed and dwindle in unbelief," said the Lord, "behold these things shall be hid up to come forth unto the Gentiles by the gift and power of the Lamb; and in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation:"—

And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.[14]

In the presence of this prophecy I stand perplexed, not however for want of material to prove the prophecy true. A volume might be compiled of instances from the experiences of Elders who have sought to bring forth the Zion of God in the last days, who have clearly worked under the power and influence of the Holy Ghost; but this is out of the question here. All that can be done is to select instances of a typical character that will illustrate what is meant by the prophecy, and also prove its fulfillment. I shall select these quite at random, beginning with some related by the late President Wilford Woodruff, describing the circumstances under which he first heard of Mormonism, 1833.

The whisperings of the Spirit of the Lord for a space of three years taught me that the Lord was about to set up his Church and Kingdom in the earth in the last days, in fulfillment of promises made by ancient prophets, and apostles, who spoke as they were moved upon by the inspiration of Almighty God. While in this state of mind I went with my brother Azmon to Richland, Oswego county, New York. We bought a farm and commenced business. In December, 1833, two Mormon Elders, viz., Ezra Pulsipher and Elijah Cheney, came into our town and stopped at our house. Elder Pulsipher said he was commanded by the spirit of the Lord to go into the north country, and he and Elder Cheney had walked from Favins, via Syracuse, nearly sixty miles, through deep snows, and our house was the first place he felt impelled to stop at. He appointed a meeting at the school house which I attended, and on hearing him preach I felt that his sermon was the first gospel sermon I had ever heard in my life. I invited these Elders home and spent the night in conversation and in reading the Book of Mormon. I was thoroughly convinced it was a true record of the word of God. My brother Azmon and myself offered ourselves for baptism, and on the thirty-first day of December, 1833, Elder Pulsipher went with us to the creek and baptized us.

The circumstances under which he was called to the ministry he gives as follows:

I was still holding the office of a Teacher, and knowing for myself that the fulness of the Gospel of Christ, which God had revealed to Joseph Smith, was true, I had a great desire to preach it to the inhabitants of the earth, but as a Teacher I had no authority to preach the gospel to the world. I went into the forest near Lyman Wight's [in Daviess county, Missouri, to which place Brother Woodruff had meantime removed] one Sunday morning, aside from the abodes of men, and made my desire known unto the Lord. I prayed that the Lord would open my way and give me the privilege of preaching the gospel. I did not make my request expecting any honor from man, for I knew that the preaching of the gospel was attended with hard labor and persecution. While I was praying, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and testified to me that my prayer was heard, and that my request would be granted. I arose to my feet and walked some three hundred yards into a broad road, rejoicing. As I came into the road I saw Judge Elias Higbee standing before me. As I walked up to him he said, "Wilford, the Lord has revealed to me that it is your duty to go into the vineyard of the Lord and preach the gospel." I told him if that was the will of the Lord I was ready to go. I did not tell him that I had been praying for that privilege. I had been boarding at Lyman Wight's with Judge Higbee for months, and it was the first time he had ever named such a thing to me.

Soon after this Elder Woodruff was ordained a Priest, and sent on a mission to Arkansas and Tennessee.

During the ministry of Elder Woodruff in England, after he had become an Apostle in the Church, he records the following item of his experience, which was published by him in a little work called "Leaves from My Journal:"

March 1st, 1840, was my birthday [anniversary], when I was thirty-three years of age. It being Sunday, I preached twice through the day to a large assembly in the City Hall, in the town of Hanley, and administered the sacrament unto the Saints. In the evening I again met with a large assembly of the Saints and strangers, and while singing the first hymn the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and the voice of God said to me: "This is the last meeting that you will hold with people for many days." I was astonished at this, as I had many appointments out in that district. When I arose to speak to the people, I told them that it was the last meeting I should hold with them for many days. They were as much astonished as I was. At the close of the meeting four persons came forward for baptism, and we went down into the water and baptized them. In the morning I went in secret before the Lord, and asked him what his will was concerning me. The answer I got was, that I should go to the south, for the Lord had a great work for me to perform there, as many souls were awaiting for the word of the Lord.[15]

Obedient to the instructions of the Spirit, Elder Woodruff went south into Herefordshire, where he "found a society called 'United Brethren,' numbering about six hundred members and fifty preachers. They were prepared for the reception of the Gospel, so that upon hearing Elder Woodruff's testimony, they came forward and in thirty days he baptized one hundred and sixty persons, forty-eight of whom were preachers, including their presiding Elder, Thomas Kingston. Three clerks of the Church of England were sent by their ministers to see what he was doing, and he baptized them; also a constable who came to arrest him."[16] Subsequently the field of labor widened and through the blessings of God Elder Woodruff was enabled in the course of eight months to bring into the Church over eight hundred souls, including all of the six hundred United Brethren; also some two hundred preachers of various denominations.[17]

Elder Woodruff also relates the following incident, among many others, as illustrating the operations of the Spirit of the Lord upon his mind for his bodily preservation:

In 1848, after my return to Winter Quarters from our pioneer journey, I was appointed by the Presidency of the Church to take my family and go to Boston to gather up the remnant of the Latter-day Saints and lead them to the valleys of the mountains. While on my way east I put my carriage into the yard of one of the brethren in Indiana, and Brother Orson Hyde set his wagon by the side of mine, and not more than two feet from it. Dominicus Carter, of Provo, and my wife and four children were with me. My wife, one child and I went to bed in the carriage, the rest sleeping in the house. I had been in bed but a short time when a voice said to me: "Get up, and move your carriage." It was not thunder, lightning nor an earthquake, but the still, small voice of the Spirit of God—the Holy Ghost. I told my wife I must get up and move my carriage. She asked, "What for?" I told her I did not know, only the Spirit told me to do it. I got up and moved my carriage several rods, and set it by the side of the house. As I was returning to bed the same Spirit said to me, "Go and move your mules away from that oak tree," which was about one hundred yards, north of our carriage. I moved them to a young hickory grove and tied them up. I then went to bed. In thirty minutes a whirlwind caught the tree to which my mules had been fastened, broke it off near the ground, and carried it one hundred yards, sweeping away two fences in its course, and laid it prostrate through that yard where my carriage stood, and the top limbs hit my carriage as it was. In the morning I measured the trunk of the tree which fell where my carriage had stood, and found it five feet in diameter. It came within a foot of Brother Hyde's wagon, but did not touch it. Thus, by obeying the revelation of the Spirit of God to me I saved my life and the lives of my wife and child, as well as my animals. In the morning I went on my way rejoicing.[18]

The following is a statement from the biography of Elder Heber C. Kimball, one of the members of the first quorum of the Twelve in this latter-day dispensation, and afterwards for some years Counselor to President Brigham Young, speaking of the time when he first heard the gospel preached, in 1831:

The glorious news of a restored gospel and a living priesthood, commissioned of and communicating with the heavens; the promise of the Holy Ghost, with signs following the believer, as in days of old; the wondrous declaration of angels revisiting the earth, breaking the silence of ages, bringing messages from another world—all this fell upon the heart of this God-fearing man, and on the hearts of his friends and companions, like dew upon thirsty ground. As the voice of a familiar spirit, it seemed an echo from the far past—something they had known before. Both Heber [C. Kimball] and Brigham [Young] received the word gladly, and were impelled to testify of its divinity. Then the power of God fell upon them. "On one occasion," says Heber, "Father John Young, Brigham Young, Joseph Young and myself had come together to get up some wood for Phineas H. Young. While we were thus engaged we were pondering upon those things which had been told us by the Elders, and upon the Saints gathering to Zion, when the glory of God shone upon us, and we saw the gathering of the Saints to Zion, and the glory that would rest upon them; and many more things connected with the great event, such as the sufferings and persecutions that would come upon the people of God, and the calamities and judgments that would come upon the world."[19]

The year 1848 in Utah—the year following the advent of the pioneers into Salt Lake Valley—was a very trying one. The people were threatened with famine, and it was only by the exercise of the most rigid economy and putting the people on scant rations that they could hope to make the meager supplies of provisions last until the next harvest. The settlers were but half clad as well as half fed, and such clothing as they had was in tatters, and in many cases consisted of the skins of wild animals. It was in the midst of these conditions that Heber C. Kimball in a congregation of the saints made the following remarkable prophecy:

It will be but a little while, brethren, before you shall have food and raiment in abundance, and shall buy it cheaper than it can be bought in the cities of the United States.

"I do not believe a word of it," said Elder Charles C. Rich, a member of the Council of the Apostles; and perhaps nine-tenths of those who had heard the astounding declaration were of the same opinion. Even the prophet Heber himself was heard to say "that he was afraid he had missed it this time." His biographer, however, relates the fulfillment of the prophecy in the following passage:

The occasion for the fulfillment of this remarkable prediction was the unexpected advent of the gold-hunters, on their way to California. The discovery of gold in that land had set on fire, as it were, the civilized world, and hundreds of richly laden trains now began pouring across the continent on their way to the new Eldorado. Salt Lake Valley became the resting-place, or "halfway house" of the nation, and before the Saints had had time to recover from their surprise at Heber's temerity in making such a prophecy, the still more wonderful fulfillment was brought to their very doors. The gold-hunters were actuated by but one desire: to reach the Pacific Coast; the thirst for mammon having absorbed, for the time, all other sentiments and desires. Impatient at their slow progress, in order to lighten their loads, they threw away or "sold for a song" the valuable merchandise with which they had stored their wagons to cross the plains. Their choice, blooded, though now jaded stock, they eagerly exchanged for the fresh mules and horses of the pioneers, and bartered off, at almost any sacrifice, dry goods, groceries, provisions, tools, clothing, etc., for the most primitive outfits, with barely enough provisions to enable them to reach their journey's end. Thus, as the Prophet Heber had predicted, "States goods" were actually sold in the streets of Great Salt Lake City cheaper than they could have been purchased in the City of New York.[20]

It has already been pointed out that the gift of prophecy, involving as it does the power to foresee future events, is peculiarly the power of God's inspired servants. It is the direct influence of the Holy Ghost upon the human mind that enables men to foretell future events. "How be it when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come [i. e. the Holy Ghost], he will guide you unto all truth. * * * * * * And he will show you things to come."[21]

So that man possessed of the spirit of prophecy as this man, Elder Heber C. Kimball was possessed of it, has, in fulfillment of God's promise to his servants in the last days, the "gift and power of the Holy Ghost."

The late Elder George Q. Cannon relates the following as his experience when on a mission to the Hawaiian Islands. The company of missionaries of which he was a member had become disheartened in their labors, but Elder Cannon had resolved to stay there, "master the language and warn the people of those Islands if he had to do it alone." And now his own account of the incident:

My desire to learn to speak [the Hawaiian language] was very strong; it was present with me night and day, and I never permitted an opportunity of talking with the natives to pass without improving it. I also tried to exercise faith before the Lord to obtain the gift of talking and understanding the language. One evening, while sitting on the mat conversing with some neighbors who had dropped in, I felt an uncommonly great desire to understand what they said. All at once I felt a peculiar sensation in my ears; I jumped to my feet, with my hands at the side of my head, and exclaimed to Elders Bigler and Keeler who sat at the table, that I believed I had received the gift of interpretation! And it was so. From that time forward I had but little, if any, difficulty in understanding what the people said. I might not be able at once to separate every word which they spoke from every other word in the sentence; but I could tell the general meaning of the whole. This was a great aid to me in learning to speak the language, and I felt very thankful for this gift from the Lord.[22]

A similar instance is related by President Joseph F. Smith, also connected with the Hawaiian mission, to which he was called in 1854. The following is his own narrative:

I * * * was set apart * * * under the hands of Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde, Parley being mouth. He declared that I should obtain a knowledge of the Hawaiian language "by the gift of God, as well as by study." Up to this time my schooling had been extremely limited. My mother taught me to read and write, by the camp fires, and subsequently by the greater luxury of the primeval tallow-candle in the covered wagon and the old log cabin, 10x12 feet in size, when first the soles of our feet found rest, after the weary months of travel across the plains. When I say, therefore, that within four months after my arrival on the Sandwich Islands—two weeks of which time were consumed by the most severe sickness I had ever known—I was prepared to enter upon the duties of my ministry, and did so with a native companion, with whom I made a tour of the Island of Maui, visiting, holding meetings, blessing children, administering the sacrament, etc., all in the Hawaiian language, it may be inferred that Parley's promise upon my head was literally fulfilled.

As remarked at the outset of this subdivision it would be no difficult matter to compile a volume of incidents of such manifestations of the spirit and power of God from the experiences of Elders of the Church in illustration of, and in proof of, this Book of Mormon prophetic-promise; but the foregoing must be relied upon as typical incidents, and I shall trust to them also to indicate what the force would be of a very large volume of such evidence, which, I am sure, from personal experience, from observation and knowledge of our Church annals, could be compiled.

I shall ask the reader, however, to consider in this connection, the very great body of religious truth which is developed in the revelations given in these latter days to the Church of Christ (chiefly compiled in the book called The Doctrine and Covenants), in which "Mormonism," so called, had its origin, and all of which are the result of the inspired visions to Joseph Smith, or due to the operations of the Holy Spirit upon the mind of that prophet. I therefore invoke this body of doctrine as demonstrating the truth of the prophecy-promise—

Blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.

I invoke in its support the chapter on "the Manner of the Prophet's Teaching" in volume I of the New Witnesses;[23] I invoke the chapter on "Miracles—the Evidence of Fulfilled Promises;"[24] also the chapters on "The Evidence of Prophecy;"[25] as also the chapter on "The Church Founded by Joseph Smith a Monument to His Inspiration;"[26] let all this in the mind of the reader, be brought in at this point and made part of the argument in support of the fulfillment of the prophecy that those who seek to bring forth the Zion of God in the last days, shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost; and he will begin to see how invincibly strong the argument must be upon this head. In addition to all this, however, I also call attention to the evidence of inspiration that may be found in the operation of Church leaders since the martyrdom of the first Prophet of the Church. The evidence of inspiration in Brigham Young and his associates in the matter of conducting that marvelous Exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, through a thousand miles of wilderness to the Rocky Mountains. The evidence of Divine inspiration manifested also in the establishment of settlements in the inter-Rocky Mountain region—which in time grew into commonwealths of the American Union. The evident inspiration in the policies adopted by these leaders—all essential to the preservation of the Saints in their organized capacity—necessary to the preservation of the Church of Christ, and now too universally recognized and applauded to need particularization. Men assign these achievements to the genius of Brigham Young; they establish his reputation in the eyes of the world as a leader of men. He is recognized as among the most remarkable men of the age, and is ranked as being among the first Americans. But to the Saints, these achievements merely establish the truth of one of the predictions of the Book of Mormon, viz.,

Blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.


Three Witnesses Shall Behold the Book "By the Gift and Power of God."

In the writings of the first Nephi the following prediction with reference to Three Witnesses who should testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon is found:

Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that Three Witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few, according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men.[27]

A similiar prediction is made in Ether:

And unto three shall they [the Nephite plates] be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall known of a surety that these things are true.[28]

Of course I am prepared to hear it said that it would be an easy matter for an imposter to make such a prophecy as this with reference to a work which he was bringing forth; but would it be within the power of an imposter to cause an angel to come from heaven and stand before these Witnesses in the broad light of day and exhibit the Nephite plates and the Urim and Thummim? Could he cause the glory of God more brilliant than the light of the sun at noon-day to shine about them? Could he cause the voice of God to be heard from the midst of the glory saying that the work was true, the translation correct, and commanding these witnesses to bear testimony to the world of its truth? Certainly all this would be beyond the power of an imposter to achieve however cunning he might be. Yet this is what the Three Witnesses declare was done. Of course it could still be urged that the Three Witnesses were in collusion with the Prophet, but all probabilities of that matter have been considered at great length in volume II., chapters fourteen to twenty-two inclusive, and the weight of evidence is against any such theory, and therefore their testimony bears witness to the fulfillment of the remarkable prophecy here considered.


The Blood of Saints Shall Cry From the Ground to be Avenged When the Book of Mormon Shall Come Forth.

The first Nephi, fifth century B. C., writing of the conditions which would obtain when the Nephite record should come forth to the world says:

The things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel. For it shall come to pass in that day, that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other, Behold I, I am the Lord's; and the others shall say, I, I am the Lord's. And thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord. And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel: and they say unto the people, Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men. Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say, There is a miracle wrought, by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work. Yea, and there shall be many which shall say, Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. There shall also be many which shall say, Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin, yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this. And do all these things, for tomorrow we die: and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false, and vain, and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark, and the blood of the Saints shall cry from the ground against them.[29]

This prophecy in substance is repeated by Mormon, including the singular prediction that the Book of Mormon should come forth, "In a day when the blood of the saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and works of darkness."[30]

A more vivid description of Christendom in the early part of the 19th century could scarcely be written than that given in these passages. I shall be told, however, that it is a description which even an imposter could easily give circumstanced as was Joseph Smith. His experience through announcing his first revelation was sufficient to test the manner in which Christendom was prepared to receive an alleged new revelation, and he was sufficiently familiar with the prevailing "Christian" notion that the days of miracles were past, to formulate the part of the foregoing arraignment dealing with that subject. He also knew something of the pride and haughtiness of Christian sects, and with this knowledge as a foundation it can with some reason be urged that he could easily write the description of Christendom found in these quotations from the Book of Mormon. There is one item within the prophecy, however, both in the first Nephi's writings and also Mormon's that Joseph Smith could not know except through the inspiration of God, viz., that "the blood of the Saints shall cry from the ground" against this corrupted Christendom. The people of the great American Republic, would as soon have been brought to believe in the return of the age of miracles as to believe that the time would come when the blood of Saints would cry from their soil to the God of Sabaoth for vengeance against any of them. Had not the day of religious persecution, at least within the enlightened republic of the new world, forever passed away? Had not the great government of the United States, destined to dominate by its influence the American continents—had it not been founded upon the broad principles of religious and civil freedom? Were not the rights of conscience guaranteed by specific provisions both in the national constitution and in the state constitutions? Was not America in those days especially heralded as the asylum for the oppressed of every land? Was it not the boast of our statesmen that a nation had at last been founded where religious freedom was recognized as the chief corner stone in the temple of liberty? How bold indeed must that man be who would—while the people were yet enjoying this very feast of liberty—rise up and say that the blood of Saints should cry from American ground to God for vengeance! Yet such is the prediction of these old Nephite writers, whose words were translated into the English language by Joseph Smith. And the only question to be considered here is—since the reality of the prophecy cannot be questioned—has the prophecy been fulfilled? Let the blood of those Saints who were killed and who died from the effects of exposure during the expulsion from Jackson county, in 1833, answer.[31] Let the blood of David W. Patten, one of the twelve Apostles in this last dispensation, together with the blood of young Patrick O'Banion and Gideon Carter, slain at Crooked River, Missouri, in 1838, answer.[32] Let the blood of the innocent men, and children martyred at Haun's Mills, in Missouri, answer;[33] let the innocent blood of all those whose lives were sacrificed at DeWitt and in and about Far West and during the expulsion of some twelve thousand Latter-day Saints from the state of Missouri in 1839, answer. Let the innocent blood of the Prophet Joseph Smith himself and that of his brother Hyrum slain at Carthage prison, in June, 1844—while under the plighted faith of the state of Illinois for their protection—let their blood answer. Let the blood of many others that were slain in Nauvoo and vicinity during the two years following, and also the martyrdom of many who died from exposure and want in the enforced exodus from Nauvoo to the Rocky mountains—the victims of "Christian" tolerance—answer. Let the blood of Elder Joseph Standing, killed by a mob in the state of Georgia, 1879,—answer. Let the blood of Elders John F. Gibbs and William Berry who were murdered in Tennessee while in the very act of opening a meeting for the preaching of the gospel, answer; as also the blood of their two friends, the Condor brothers, who were shot down in their father's house while trying to protect these Elders from their assailants. Let all these instances of martyrdom testify of the truth of this prophecy of the Book of Mormon; for these martyrdoms were endured for the word of God which it contains, and not for any crime alleged against those who suffered. Nay, in nearly all these cases crime was not even alleged.

A singular thing connected with these martyrdoms is the fact that in no instance have the perpetrators of these murders been brought to justice. Perhaps it is fitting that it should be so. It seems to make the martyrdom more complete; and more fully meets the terms of the prophecy since, according to that prophecy, the blood of Saints in the day when the Nephite scriptures should be brought to light, was to cry unto the Lord from the ground for vengeance, clearly foreshadowing the fact that man would not avenge it.


Because my Word Shall Hiss Forth, Many Shall say "A Bible! A Bible!"

Another item of interest in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the predicted clamor that should be raised against it. Here follows the prophecy—the Lord is speaking to the first Nephi:

Behold, there shall be many at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them; * * * when I shall remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi; * * * that the words of your seed shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and because my words shall hiss forth many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible, A Bible, we have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.[34]

It is notorious that this cry was raised—and even now is raised at times—against the Book of Mormon. It was relied upon not only as the chief but also the all-sufficient argument against accepting the book, as is abundantly proved by reference to the arguments of the Elders in answer to the objections urged against it.[35] For example in Orson Pratt's most excellent work, "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon," there are such headings as these—and in the body of this work under the respective topics he meets and entirely overthrows all sectarian argument that the Book of Mormon ought to be rejected because it claims to be a new revelation: "To Expect More Revelation is not Unscriptural;" "To Expect More Revelation is not Unreasonable;" "More Revelation is Indispensably Necessary."—(a) for Calling the Officers of the Church—(b) To Point out the Duties of the Officers in the Church—(c) To Comfort, Reprove and Teach the Church—(d) To Unfold to the Church the Future; "The Bible and Traditions Without Further Revelation an Insufficient Guide." From these topics may be gathered the class of objections urged against the Book of Mormon; and as Elder Pratt so admirably treats that subject, I do not deem it necessary to enter into that field, since all may inform themselves how complete the victory of the Elders has been in that controversy by reference to Elder Pratt's works. I am interested in the matter here only to the extent of pointing out the fact that the prophecy that the Book of Mormon would be met with the cry—"A Bible, a Bible, we have a Bible and there cannot be any more Bible," has been fulfilled.[36]

Closely associated with the sectarian notion of the cessation of revelation and miracles is also the idea that the Hebrew scriptures comprised all the records in which God had vouchedsafed a revelation to man. That is, the Hebrew volume comprised the whole of sacred scripture. In 1829 at the city of Cincinnati, during the very great debate which there took place between Alexander Campbell and Robert Owen—an unbeliever in the Bible,—on the Evidences of Christianity, the following very positive question was submitted in writing to Mr. Campbell:

Are the books composing the Old and New Testaments the only books of divine authority in the world?

To this question Mr. Campbell gave this very emphatic answer—and up to that time at least, I do not hesitate to say that he voiced the sentiments of all Christendom; and this was the answer of Mr. Campbell:

"I answer, emphatically yes."[37]

The "yes" Mr. Campbell writes in italics.

The foreging should be modified by this explanation, viz: all divisions of Christendom are not agreed upon all the books that comprise what is called the Bible. It is well known that the Catholics regard as canonical some books which the Protestants hold to be apocryphal, and in addition to the written word of God, I am mindful that the great Roman Catholic church adds the unwritten word of God. In other words, the traditions of the church are regarded as the word of God. The Protestants generally accept the books of the English authorized version of the Holy Scriptures, translated in 1611, and known as King James' Translation, pointing out by name those books which were regarded as of doubtful origin and which for that reason they call the apocrypha. The Roman Catholic church accepts the books enumerated in what is known as the Douay edition of the Bible, of 1609; revised and corrected in 1750. It would therefore be proper to say that each of these great divisions of Christendom would claim that the list of books comprised within the respective editions of the Bible which they accept are the only books of divine authority in the world.

The answer which the Lord in the Book of Mormon is represented as making to this sectarian view of revelation; as also to this clamor against the Book of Mormon, is in every way worthy of him:

Thou fool, that shall say, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. * * * Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be, until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written; for I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them: for out of the books which shall be written, I will judge the world, every man according to his works, according to that which is written. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. And it shall come to pass that my people which are of the house of Israel shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possession; and my word also shall be gathered in one.[38]

I say this answer is worthy of God to utter, and worthy of man to heed. It lifts us entirely out of narrow, sectarian views of revelation, and breathes a universal spirit of interest and love for mankind. It carries within itself the evidence of a divine inspiration. Its very worthiness of God is a testimony of its truth. How petty and unworthy in contrast with it is that sectarian Christian view that would limit God's revealed word to the few books contained in the Bible! How partial and unjust does that same sectarian view of revelation make God appear! If there is one doctrine more emphasized in the teachings of the New Testament that another, it is that God is no respecter of persons; "but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."[39] With this fact in mind let us test the two conceptions of God's dealings with man in the matter of revelation. The narrow, sectarian, "Christian" view, and the Book of Mormon view; and this for the purpose of ascertaining which would be the more worthy of God, which most like him.

We have learned in the previous chapters of this work that America was inhabited by highly civilized races before the discovery of it by Europeans; that in the western world there flourished civilizations equal to those of the same period in the eastern hemisphere; cities that, judging from their ruins, equalled in greatness Tyre and Sidon and Nineveh and Babylon; and empires that rivalled in power and extent, Egypt, Persia and Macedonia. Millions of God's children through successive generations lived in them and died and were buried. The sectarian view of revelation would ask us to believe that God sent prophets and holy men to teach and instruct his children in the eastern hemisphere; that he revealed to them something of his own character and attributes; that by revelation direct from heaven, accompanied by demonstrations of his own marvelous power, he made known to them something of the object of their existence, and gave them the hope of eternal life; that in the meridian of time he sent his Only Begotten Son among them, in order that life and immortality might be more clearly brought to light; that the matchless Son of God by example as well as by precept taught the inhabitants of the old world the way of life—the divine will—in a word, taught the Gospel—organized a Church to perpetuate his doctrines—commissioned apostles and others to carry on the work of salvation; and thus made ample provisions for carrying the Gospel throughout Asia, Africa and Europe—for the Church of Christ in the East was organized where these natural divisions of the old world center—yet, while the Lord made all these efforts for the instruction and salvation of his children in the eastern hemisphere, this sectarian idea that the Bible contains all the revelation God has ever given would compel us to believe that he altogether neglected his children of the western world! No prophet was sent to them with a message to explain the mystery of existence, to let them know whence their origin, the object of their existence, or bid them indulge the pleasing hope of immortality. No angel from the bright worlds on high came to reveal the splendor of heaven, or show the path which leads to endless bliss; no messenger came even from the wilderness crying repentance to them, and making the announcement that the kingdom of heaven was at hand; no Messiah of gentle mien, yet of serene majesty, taught them the mystery of the divine love which works out man's redemption, healed their sick, raised their dead, or even so much as blessed their children. No; according to the sectarian Christian theory of the extent of revelation, God neglected them entirely—left them to perish in darkness and ignorance and unbelief; unknowing and unknown! Is such a view as this worthy of God? Does it comport with the attributes of impartial love towards his children? Is it not a travesty upon the qualities of justice and mercy as we believe those qualities to exist in God? Does it not smack rather of man's bigotry and narrowness, and above all, of human ignorance?

Turn now to the Book of Mormon theory of revelation as set forth in the words just quoted from the writings of the first Nephi, and couple with them the words of another Nephite prophet:

Behold, the Lord doth grant upon all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.

What a contrast in the sectarian and Book of Mormon view of revelation! The one so narrow, and so contracted to limits unworthy of God! The other so world-embracing, noble, generous, and worthy of God! The one so exclusive as to limit divine inspiration to the prophets of the Hebrew race; the other so broad as to include all the great teachers of mankind—

"The Bactrian, Samian Sage, and all who taught the right."

In these Book of Mormon passages we have the grandest conception respecting God's dispensations of his word found in human speech. They recognize God's obligation—born of his Fatherhood and love—to make known his word and will in some form to all nations and races of men. They recognize as constituting a noble brotherhood of God-inspired men, the sages of all races and ages, who have taught their fellow men better things than they knew before. The wise men among Assyrians and Egyptians as well as the shepherd-patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are to be regarded as inspired of God. Jethro, the priest of Midian, though not of Israel, as well as Moses, possessed divine wisdom; and even counseled the Hebrew prophet-prince, to the latter's advantage. The sages of Greece, from Thales to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, belong to the same glorious band. So also the great teacher of India, Siddhartha, Buddah—the enlightened; Kongfutse, the teacher of God's children in China; Mohammed, the prophet of Arabia; the teachers of philosophy and reformers of Europe—some professed Christians, some not, some even making war upon apostate Christendom; but I include all those within the honored band of the God-inspired who have come with some measure of the truth to bless mankind, to alleviate somewhat the hard conditions in which men struggle, and who have raised the thoughts and hopes of man to higher and better things. "The path of sensuality and darkness," says a profound modern teacher of moral philosophy, "is that which most men tread; a few have been led along the upward path; a few in all countries and generations have been wisdom-seekers or seekers of God; they have been so because the Divine Word of wisdom has looked upon them, choosing them for the knowledge and service of himself."[40] Not that these teachers, sages, prophets have each come with a fullness of truth; or that they possessed the gospel of Jesus Christ with divine authority to administer its sacred ordinances; not so. Such truths as they possessed were often fragmentary, and mingled with them was much that was human, hence imperfect, and confusing. But so much of truth as they possessed was God-given, and they but instruments of God to set it free that the truth might bless mankind. Our Book of Mormon passages only require us to believe concerning this world-band of inspired teachers, that they come with that measure of God's word which in the divine wisdom it is fitting that men among whom they are called to labor should receive; and this doctrine in relation to the dispensation of God's word to man is so generous and noble in its scope, so far above the narrow, sectarian conceptions of the age and vicinity where the Book of Mormon was brought forth, that it constitutes a striking evidence in support of its claims.



Closely connected with this matter of the world's clamor against the Book of Mormon, and their protestations in favor of the Bible, is the declaration of I Nephi as to the treatment of that same Bible by Christendom. In one of the great visions granted to this Nephi, and expounded by an angel, he beholds a book, the Bible, go forth from the Jews to the Gentiles. Now Nephi's account of the matter:

And the angel of the Lord said unto me, Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew, it contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God; wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity, unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God; and after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the foundation of a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away; and all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord; that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God: and after these plain and precious things were taken away, it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity: thou seest because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God; because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceeding great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.[41]

It is disputed, by some, that any such thing as here described has taken place with reference to the Bible, and labored arguments are made to prove that contention.[42]

Into that contention it is not necessary to enter at length. It will be sufficient to show that there are many books referred to in the several books comprising the Old and New Testaments that are not to be found in that collection. Books that are spoken of as containing revelations; books written by prophets and apostles, and evidently as much entitled to a place in the canon of scriptures as those that are now there. What has become of them? Who is responsible for their absence? Pointing to the excellence of those books we have is no compensation for the absence of those we have not. So long as the books of scripture we hold in reverence, as containing the word of God, speak of other books and epistles that contained revelations from the Spirit of God that are not in the Bible, it is useless to contend that our collection of sacred books, called the Bible, contains the whole word of God. These absent books may, as Nephi declares they do, contain many precious and plain parts of God's truth, which would have preserved the Christian world from many of the doctrinal errors into which it has been plunged for want of knowledge. Again I ask, who is responsible for the absence of these books? Nephi declares that "a great and abominable church" is responsible for their absence, that that church took them away. I do not believe that Nephi here had reference to any one of the many divisions of Christendom. Nephi, in fact, recognized the existence of two churches only. One he styles, "the church of the Lamb of God;" and the other he bluntly calls "the church of the devil."[43] "And whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God, belongeth to that great church which is the mother of abominations; the whore of all the earth."[44]

The church then that withheld from the world the part of the word of God, as developed in the teachings and writings of the apostles, was undoubtedly apostate Christendom; massed under the general title of the "great and abominable church," without reference to any of its divisions of sub-divisions; and that is the power that withheld and destroyed some parts of the scriptures. In proof of which I cite the following references to sacred books and writings both in the Old and New Testaments, which are not to be found in it.

First, books of the Old Testament:

The scriptures that existed in the days of Abraham, older than the five books of Moses, for Abraham was before Moses. These scriptures are referred to by Paul as follows: "And the scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham." (Gal. iii: 8).

The book of the covenant, through which Moses instructed Israel. (Exo. xxiv: 7).

The book of the wars of the Lord. (Num. xxi: 14).

The book of Jasher. (Josh. x: 13, and Sam. i: 18).

The book of the manner of the kingdom. (Sam. x: 25).

Books containing three thousand proverbs, a thousand and five songs, a treatise on natural history by Solomon. (I. Kings iv: 32, 33).

The acts of Solomon. (I. Kings xi: 41).

The book of Nathan the prophet. (I. Chron. xxix: 29).

The book of Gad the Seer. (I. Chron. xxix: 29).

The book of Nathan the prophet. (I. Chron. xxix: 29 and II. Chron. ix: 29).

The prophecy of Ahijah, the Shilonite. (II. Chron. ix: 29).

The visions of Iddo the Seer. (II. Chron. ix: 29).

The book of Shemaiah the prophet. (II. Chron. xii: 15).

The story of the prophet Iddo. (II. Chron. xiii: 22).

The book of Jehu. (Chron. xx: 34).

Second, books of the New Testament.

It is evident from the preface of St. Luke's Gospel, that "many" who were eye witnesses of the things most surely believed among the Christians, took it in hand by means of writing books to set them forth in order. (Luke 5: 1-4). But of the writings of those eye witnesses, it can scarcely be said that we have the works of "many" of them.

Jude, speaking of some characters which he likens unto "raging waves of the sea foaming out their own shame," says, "And Enoch, 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 all of their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 15, 16). From this it appears that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was favored with a vision even of the second coming of the Son of God, and prophesied of judgment overtaking the ungodly at that coming. This prophecy of Enoch's was in existence in the days of Jude, "the servant of Christ," or else he would not be able to quote from it. May not this prophecy of Enoch's have been among the "scripture" with which Abraham was acquainted, mentioned above?

There should also be another epistle of Jude. That writer says, "When I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3). We have but one epistle of Jude yet he wrote another epistle to the saints on a very important subject, "The common salvation," and he "gave all diligence" in writing upon it. Would not the epistle on the "common salvation" be as important as that one we have from Jude's pen?

Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, states that God made known unto him, by revelation, a certain mystery; "as," says he, "I wrote afore in few words whereby when ye read ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ." (Eph. iii: 3, 4). Here Paul evidently refers to another epistle which he had written to the Ephesians, but of which the world today has no knowledge. This epistle contained a revelation from God.

When the great apostle to the Gentiles wrote to the Colossians, he gave them these directions: "When this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that ye likewise read the epistle from Loadicea." (Col. iv: 16). Here, then, is another epistle of Paul's, the Epistle to the Laodiceans, which he himself refers to, but of which the world knows nothing, except this reference to it—it is not in the Bible.

In the first letter to the Corinthians you find this statement: "I wrote unto you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators." (Cor. v: 9). That book, then, which the world has so long regarded as the first epistle to the Corinthians, is not really the first epistle which Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, for in the quotation given above, taken from the so-called First Epistle to the Corinthians, the writer speaks of an epistle which he previously had written to them, in which he counseled them "not to keep company with fornicators." Doubtless many other instructions and important principles were contained in this other Epistle to the Corinthians.

How many other books and epistles, written by inspired men of those days, were suppressed by "the great and abominable church"—apostate Christendom—we may not know, but these here incidentally mentioned have certainly been suppressed. Moreover, I have not mentioned all that are spoken of. I have carefully avoided referring to any about which doubts can be entertained, or which could be said to form parts of the books we have. Deeming it better that the list of absent books should be shorter than to mention any of which it could be said they are to be found as fragments, or portions of the books now in the Bible, but known by other names.[45]

It may be urged, with reference to the Old Testament at least, that it came from the Jews to the Gentiles in its present form, and that it was not the Gentiles, not the apostate church of the third and fourth century of the Christian Era that mutilated in any form the Old Testament scriptures. But let us not take too narrow a view of Nephi's vision-prophecy, concerning the corruption of the word of God, or the power which he saw corrupting it. It may be that he had in mind in his vision as much the apostate Jewish church as the apostate Christian church, and looking upon the question from that view point we know this: that a century or two before the advent of Christ the Jews apparently had grown weary of the honorable mission which God had given to them; namely, that of being his witnesses among the nations of the earth; and their leading teachers, especially in the two centuries preceding the coming of the Messiah, were taking every step that their ingenuity could devise for harmonizing the truths which God had made known to them with the more fashionable conceptions of God as entertained by one or the other of the great sects of philosophy among the Romans. The way had been prepared for the achievement of this end, in the first place, by the translation of the Hebrew scriptures into the Greek language (the first great instance of the "Book that proceedeth forth from the mouth of a Jew" going to the Gentiles), which version of the Old Testament is usually called the Septuagint, or the LXX. This latter name is given to it because of a tradition that the translation was accomplished by seventy, or about seventy, elders of the Jews. The most generally accepted theory concerning it, however, is that it was a work accomplished at various time between 280 B. C. and 150 B. C. The books of Moses being first translated as early as the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 284-264 B. C., while the Prophets and Psalms were translated somewhat later. It is not, however, the time or manner in which the translation was accomplished that we are interested in, but the character of the translation itself; and of this, Alfred Edersheim, in his "Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah," in the division of his work which treats of the preparation for the Gospel, says of this Greek translation:

Putting aside clerical mistakes and misreadings, and making allowance for errors of translation, ignorance, and haste, we note certain outstanding facts as characteristic of the Greek version. It bears evident marks of its origin in Egypt, in its use of Egyptian works and references, and equally evident traces of its Jewish composition. By the side of slavish and false literalism there is great liberty, if not license, in handling the original; gross mistakes occur along with happy renderings of very difficult passages, suggesting the aid of some able scholars. Distinct Jewish elements are undeniably there, which can only be explained by reference to Jewish tradition, although they are much fewer than some critics have supposed. This we can easily understand, since only those traditions would find a place which at the early time were not only received, but in general circulation. The distinctly Grecian elements, however, are at present of chief interest to us. They consist of allusion to Greek mythological terms, and adaptations of Greek philosophical ideas. However few, even one well-authenticated instance would lead us to suspect others, and in general give to the version the character of Jewish Hellenising. In the same class we reckon what constitutes the prominent characteristics of the LXX version, which, for want of better terms, we would designate as rationalistic and apologetic. Difficulties—or what seemed such—are removed by the most bold methods, and by free handling of the text; it need scarcely be said, often very unsatisfactorily. More especially, a strenuous effort is made to banish all anthropomorphisms, as inconsistent with their ideas of the Deity.[46]

Later the same authority points out the fact that the Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures became really the people's Bible to that large Jewish world through which Christianity was afterwards to address itself to mankind. "It was part of the case," he adds, "that this translation should be regarded by the Hellenists as inspired like the original. Otherwise it would have been impossible to make final appeal to the very words of the Greek; still less to find in them a mystical and allegorical meaning."[47]

The foundation thus laid for a superstructure of false philosophy there was not wanting builders who were anxious to place a pagan structure upon it. About the middle of the second century B. C., one Aristobulus, a Hellenist Jew of Alexandria, sought to so explain the Hebrew scriptures as "to bring the Peripatetic philosophy out of the law of Moses, and out of the other Prophets." Following is a sample according to Edersheim, of his allegorizing:

Thus, when we read that God stood, it meant the stable order of the world; that he created the world in six days, the orderly succession of time; the rest of the Sabbath, the preservation of what was created. And in such manner could the whole system of Aristotle be found in the Bible. But how was this to be accounted for? Of course, the Bible had not learned of Aristotle, but he and all other philosophers had learned from the Bible. Thus, according to Aristobulus, Phythagoras, Plato, and all the other sages, had really learned from Moses, and the broken rays found in their writings were united in all their glory in the Torah.[48]

Following Aristobulus in the same kind of philosophy was Philo, the learned Jew of Alexandria, born about the year 20 B. C. He was supposed to be a descendant of Aaron, and belonged to one of the wealthiest and most influential families among the merchant Jews of Egypt; and he is said to have united a large share of Greek learning with Jewish enthusiasm. He followed most earnestly in the footsteps of Aristobulus. According to him, all the Greek sages had learned their philosophy from Moses, in whom alone was all truth to be found. "Not indeed, in the letter," says Edersheim, "but under the letter of Holy Scripture. If in Numbers xxiii: 19 we read 'God is not a man,' and in Deut. i:31 that the Lord was 'as a man,' did it not imply on the one hand revelation of absolute truth by God, and on the other, accommodation to those who were weak? Here then, was the principle of a two-fold interpretation of the word of God—the literal and the allegorical. * * * * * * To begin with the former: the literal sense must be wholly set aside, when it implies anything unworthy of the Deity—anything unmeaning, impossible, or contrary to reason. Manifestly this canon, if strictly applied, would do away not only with all anthropomorphisms, but cut the knot where difficulties seemed insuperable. Again, Philo would find an allegorical, along with the literal, interpretation indicated in the reduplication of a word, and in seemingly superfluous words, particles, or expressions. These could, of course, only bear such a meaning on Philo's assumption of the actual inspiration of the Septuagint version."

When one thinks of the mischief that may arise from such perversions of scripture by the application of Philo's principles of interpretation, we do not marvel that some of the Jews regarded the translation of the Seventy "to have been as great a calamity to Israel as the making of the golden calf." "The Jews who remained faithful to the traditions of their race," says Andrew D. White, "regarded this Greek version as profanation, and therefore there grew up the legend that on the completion of the work there was darkness over the whole earth during three days. This showed clearly Jehovah's disapproval."[49]

Referring to the Talmudic canon of interpretation of the Greek versions, Edersheim says, "they were comparatively sober rules of exegesis." But "not so," he remarks, "the license which Philo claimed, of freely altering the punctuation of sentences and his notion that, if one from among several synonymous words was chosen in a passage, this pointed to some special meaning attaching to it. Even more extravagant was the idea that a word which occurred in the Septuagint might be interpreted according to every shade of meaning which it bore in the Greek, and that even another meaning might be given it by slightly altering the letters."

In all this one may see only too plainly the effort to harmonize Jewish theology with Greek philosophy—an effort to be rid of the plain anthropomorphism of the Hebrew scriptures, for the incomprehensible "being" of Greek metaphysics.

Thus not only is it evident that books are omitted from the Hebrew scriptures, but by faulty translations and by false interpretations the pure stream of God's revelation has been corrupted. In pointing out the purposes for which the Book of Mormon was written, I said, among other things, that its purpose was to restore to the knowledge of mankind plain and precious truths concerning the Gospel which men have taken out of the Jewish scriptures, or obscured by their interpretations. And this I insist it does, and in proof of the assertion refer to the many great truths mentioned in the preceding chapter; those truths concerning the purpose of Adam's fall; the object of man's earth-life, the doctrine of opposite existences and the whole scheme of the Gospel. To these I may add, also, that the Book of Mormon reaffirms and by reaffirming authoritatively restores the great truth of the anthropomorphism of God. That is, it affirms that in form God is like man; or, in other words, and in a better form of the comparison man was created in the image or likeness of God. It restores also the great truth of the anthropopathy of God. That is to say, in mental, moral, and spiritual attributes God is like man; or, more correctly speaking, man is the offspring of Deity, and possesses the mind attributes of God, differing only in the degree of their development. Man is of the same race as God—the offspring of Deity. This is not taught in any formal manner, but is to be learned from the whole tenor of the book.

With reference to the form of God, the Book of Mormon has two very important and very emphatic passages on the subject. The first Nephi, in a great vision given to him of the future, was attended by a spirit who gave him explanations, as the several parts of his vision passed before him. And now Nephi's account:

And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me, Look! and I looked, and beheld a tree; * * * and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding all beauty, and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow. And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit, I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree, which is precious above all. And he said unto me: What desirest thou? And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof; for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet, nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.[50]

The second passage alluded to is found in the book of Ether. The prophet Moriancumr, the brother of Jared, when about to depart with his colony in barges across the great deep, had prepared certain stones which he prayed the Lord to make luminous, that they might have light in the barges while on their journey. He had approached the Lord with great faith, and expressed full confidence in the power of God to do the thing for which he prayed; and now the Book of Mormon statement of the matter:

And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones, one by one with his finger; and the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear. * * * And the Lord said unto him, Arise, why hast thou fallen? And he said unto the Lord, I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood. And the Lord said unto him, Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so, you could not have seen my finger. * * * And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord shewed himself unto him, and said, Because thou knowest these things you are redeemed from the fall; therefore you are brought back into my presence; therefore I shew myself unto you. Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never have I shewed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that thou art created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning, after mine own image. Behold, this body, which you now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the flesh.[51]

The following passages, when combined, may be regarded as a further revelation of the truth here set forth: III. Nephi xi: 24, 25, xxvii: 27, xxviii: 10, I. Nephi xi: 8-11, and Ether iii: 6-16.[52]


No Gentile Kings in America.

The prophet Jacob, brother of the first Nephi, addressing himself to the Nephites, said:

Behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles; and I will fortify this land against all other nations; and he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God; for he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the King of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.[53]

There are many decrees of God concerning America as a choice land, which will be noted in the place I have assigned for their consideration, but here I am concerned only with this remarkable prophecy, viz., that the land of America (both continents) is consecrated to liberty, and there shall be no kings upon the land "who shall rise up unto the Gentiles." Note the limits of the prophecy. It is not extended to the native races of America, but to the Gentiles who shall inhabit the land. That is to say, there shall be no kings upon the land "who shall rise up unto the Gentiles."

A rather bold prediction this, whether the utterances he accredited to Jacob, in the first half of the 5th century B. C., or to Joseph Smith in 1830. In any event the prophecy, so far, has been fulfilled; and today from the frozen north, Alaska, to the straits of Magellan in the south continent, the "new world" under the consecration of God, is blessed with freedom, and republican, not monarchial, institutions, obtain.

It may be objected that this prophecy has failed because of two notable attempts to establish monarchies in the New World by European governments, one in Brazil, the other in Mexico. Let us investigate these two attempts.

By an accidental discovery along the east shore of South America, by Cabral, a Portuguese navigator, (1500 A. D.,) that section of the south continent now known to us as Brazil, became a colony of the kingdom of Portugal. It remained so until 1822, when Dom Pedro, the son of King John VI., of Portugal, sided with the people of Brazil in declaring the independence of the country, and was crowned Emperor under the title of Dom Pedro I.

His rule, however, was tyrranical, and the people at length rose against him, in 1831, dragged him to the public square of Rio de Janeiro and forced him to remove from his head the imperial crown, and thus his reign ended in public disgrace.

His son became emperor under the title of Dom Pedro II. As he was a child of but six years when his father abdicated in his favor, Brazil was governed by regents until 1841, when the Prince, having attained his majority, was proclaimed emperor. It is said of him that from the first he proved himself an intelligent, liberal and humane ruler, and during his reign Brazil made great advancement in civilization and material prosperity. He was so strongly attached to constitutional forms, and governed so entirely through his ministers, that he can scarcely be regarded as a monarch at all. In November, 1889, he acquiesced in the wishes of the people, abdicated his throne in favor of a republican form of government, and retired to Portugal. Since that time Brazil has remained a republic.

The attempts to establish monarchy in Mexico arose under the following circumstances: In 1862, France, Great Britain, and Spain sent a joint military expedition to Mexico to enforce payment of certain claims. When their ostensible object was attained Great Britain and Spain withdrew; but Napoleon III, Emperor of France, confident that the war between the states of the American Union would end in dissolution of the Union, regarded the conditions as favorable to the establishment of a Latin empire in the Western world which he hoped would be a counterpoise to the Anglo Saxon republics; and invited Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Austrian Emperor, to accept the crown of the proposed new government, Napoleon promising to maintain an army of twenty-five thousand French soldiers for his protection. This proposition the Archduke accepted, and was hailed emperor of Mexico.

Meantime the United States government refused to recognize any authority in Mexico except that of the deposed President of the Republic, Juarez; but in consequence of the civil war then at its heighth was unable to resist this flagrant violation of the Monroe Doctrine.[54] The civil war closed, however, notice was served upon the French emperor that his soldiers must be withdrawn from Mexico, and he judged it expedient to comply, though it was a dastardly desertion of Maximilian, whose situation at once became precarious. In vain his faithful consort, Carlotta, journeyed from court to court in Europe intreating assistance for her husband, and denouncing Napoleon's dissertion of him. Her successive disappointments finally overthrew her reason. No hand in Europe was raised to maintain monarchy in Mexico. Juarez, the deposed President of the republic of Mexico, made short work of the empire. He captured Maximilian, and had him shot as a usurper, June 19, 1867. The event cast a gloom over all Europe, but no king nor potentate sought to avenge the execution. May it not be that those nations were as much awed, though unconsciously, by the spirit of the decree of God concerning the land of America, as by the policy of the government of the United States laid down in the Monroe Doctrine? And, indeed, may not the Monroe Doctrine itself be regarded as a heaven-inspired decree by a competent national agency to make of effect the old Nephite prophecy, "there shall be no kings on this land?" "The French empire," says Ekwin A. Grosvenor, professor of European History in Amherst College, and author of "Contemporary History of the World"—"The French empire never recovered from the shock of this Mexican failure."

The Emperor, Napoleon III, engaged in a war with Germany in 1870, in which himself and France suffered the most humiliating defeat ever inflicted on a modern state or its ruler. He himself was captured at the surrender of Sedan and imprisoned for sometime at Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel. Meantime he was deposed by the French people who established a Republican form of government, in place of the Empire. Some two years after his imprisonment he died an exile at Chiselhurst, England. The Empress, Eugenie, was also forced into exile and was for same years the guest of England. On June 1, 1879, Napoleon's son, Imperial, the only son of the Emperor, was killed by the Zulus in south Africa, thus blotting out, we may say, the entire family of the French Monarch, and fulfilling in a marked manner the terms of this prophecy: "And he that raiseth up a King against me shall perish."

The foregoing attempts in Brazil and Mexico to found monarchies in the New World cannot properly be regarded as proving the failure of the Book of Mormon prophecy. The monarchies existed for a short time only, and were so precarious while they lasted, and ended so disastrously for those making the attempt to establish them, that they emphasize the force of the prophecy rather than prove its failure. They are as slight exceptions tending to prove a rule. It is not said in the Book of Mormon that attempts would not be made to set up kings, but that such attempts should end disastrously for those making them; and that no kings should be established, that is permanently established, in the new world. Surely no candid mind will read this prophecy and consider all the facts involved in the attempts to establish monarchies in America, but will say that they have ended disastrously, and that this prophecy has been verily fulfilled.


1. Vol. I, Chapter xx.

2. "There is more solid proof in favor of a prophet being divinely sent when his words are fulfilled than in all the miracles he can work." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. X., 194.) "Prophecies are permanent miracles, whose authority is sufficiently confirmed by their completion, and are therefore solid proofs of the supernatural origin of a religion, of whose truth they were intended to testify: such are those to be found in various parts of the scriptures relative to the coming of the Messiah, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the unexampled state in which the Jews have ever since continued—all so circumstantially descriptive of the events that they seem rather histories of past than predictions of future transactions," Soame Jenyns, "A View of the Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion," p. 313.

3. Ether xiii.

4. Omni i: 19-22.

5. The matter is dealt with more at length in Volume I., Chapter xx.

6. Moroni x: 4, 5.

7. John vii: 16, 17.

8. So confident was President Brigham Young in the matter of the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon that on one ocassion he said: "Nothing short of the Holy Ghost will do us any lasting good. I told you, in the beginning of my remarks, the truth as it is in heaven and on earth, as it is with angels, and with prophets, with all good people, and with every sinner that dwells upon the earth. There is not a man or woman who on hearing the report of the Book of Mormon but the spirit of the Almighty has testified to them of its truth; neither have they heard the name of Joseph Smith but the spirit has whispered to them, 'He is the true Prophet.' It is the spirit which is invisible to the natural mind of man, that produces effects apparently without causes, and creates mysteries, marvels, and wonders in the earth. These things we behold, but we cannot with the natural mind account for them, nor divine their ultimate end." (A discourse by President Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, June 13, 1852, "Deseret News." Vol. 4, No. 6.)

9. Matt. iii: 16; John i: 32-34.

10. I. Cor. xii: 3.

11. John xv: 26.

12. John xiv.

13. John xvi.

14. I. Nephi xiii: 35-37.

15. "Leaves from My Journal," Edition of 1909, pp. 84, 85.

16. F. D. Richards, Church Historian, in a sketch of the life of Wilford Woodruff, "Improvement Era," Vol. I, p. 871.

17. "Leaves from My Journal," Edition of 1909, pp. 88, 89.

18. "Leaves from My Journal," Edition of 1909, pp. 95, 96.

19. "Life of Heber C. Kimball," Orson F. Whitney, p. 402, 403.

20. "Life of Heber C. Kimball" (Whitney), pp. 34, 35.

21. St. John xvi: 13.

22. "My First Mission," p. 23.

23. Chapter xvi.

24. Ibid, chapter xviii.

25. Ibid, chapters xx, xxi, xxii, xxiii of "New Witnesses," Vol. I.

26. Ibid, chapter xxiv.

27. II. Nephi xxvii: 12, 13.

28. Ether v: 3.

29. II. Nephi xxviii: 2-14.

30. Mormon viii.

31. Church History, Vol. I, chapter xxxi.

32. History of the Church, Vol. III, chapter xii.

33. Ibid, chapter xiii. Seventeen were killed outright, twelve were savagely wounded. All that were killed had to be hurriedly thrown into an old well and buried without ceremony.

34. II. Nephi xxix: 1-3.

35. See New Witnesses, Vol. I, chapter viii; also Vol. II., ch. xxxvii, and notes.

36. Those who would have further evidence upon the subject are referred to all the early controversial literature of the Church, and especially to a Public Discussion between Elder John Taylor and three sectarian ministers in France, which "Discussion" is published with the early editions of Orson Pratt's works, and in which, among other similar passages occurs the following: "Rev. Mr. Carter. But the great consideration is, that these persons (Mormon Elders) pretend to add to; and supercede the Word of God. Now the Bible is the sheet-anchor of Christians, and it neither needs the Book of Mormon nor any other book, nor the assistance of Joe Smith or any other Joe. The awful voice of prophecy has spoken for the last time, and the cause of inspiration is closed."

37. Evidences of Christianity, p. 352.

38. II. Nephi xxix: 7-14.

39. Acts x: 34, 35.

40. The teacher alluded to is Frederick Denison Maurice, Professor of Modern Philosophy in the University of Cambridge. I feel much indebted to this teacher myself, and cannot recommend too highly, I am sure, his "History of Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy," two volumes, London, Macmillan & Co., 1872.

41. I. Nephi xiii: 24-29.

42. See "Golden Bible" (Lamb), Appendix "A," pp. 323-340.

43. I. Nephi xiv: 10.

44. Upon this subject I have elsewhere said: "The church of the devil" here alluded to, I understand to mean not any particular church among men, or any one sect of religion, but something larger than that—something that includes within its boundaries all evil wherever it may be found; as well in schools of philosophy as in Christian sects; as well in systems of ethics as in systems of religion—something that includes the whole empire of Satan—what I shall call "The Kingdom of Evil." * * The question was once submitted to me, "Is the Catholic church the church here referred to—the church of the devil?" "Well," said I, in answer, "I would not like to take that position, because it would leave me with a lot of churches on my hands that I might not then be able to classify." So far as the Catholic church is concerned, I believe that there is just as much truth, nay, personally I believe she has retained even more truth than other divisions of so-called Christendom; and there is just as much virtue in the Roman Catholic church as there is in Protestant Christendom; and I am sure there is more strength. I would not like, therefore, to designate the Catholic church as the church of the devil. Neither would I like to designate any one or all of the various divisions and subdivisions of Protestant Christendom combined as such church; nor the Greek Catholic church; nor the Buddhist sects; nor the followers of Confucius; nor the followers of Mohammed; nor would I like to designate even the societies formed by deists and atheists as constituting the church of the devil. The Book of Mormon text ought to be read in connection with its context—with the chapter that precedes it and the remaining portions of the chapter in which the expression is found—then, I think, those who study it in that manner will be forced to the conclusion that the prophet here has in mind no particular church, no particular division of Christendom, but he has in mind, as just stated, the whole empire of Satan, and perhaps the thought of the passage would be more nearly expressed if we use the term "the Kingdom of Evil" as constituting the church of the devil. "(Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 30-31.)

45. Such is Lamb's argument on this point. "Golden Bible," p. 325.

46. "Jesus, the Messiah," By Edersheim, Vol. I., pp. 27-8, eighth edition.

47. Ibid, p. 29.

48. Ibid, p. 36.

49. "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology," Vol. II, pp. 289, 290. By the way, may not this tradition about the three days' darkness over the whole earth at the completion of this regarded profanation of the Jewish scriptures, when they thus went forth for the first time to the Gentiles, be a misapplication of the prediction which Nephi declares was spoken of by the old Jewish prophet Zenos—whose works Lehi's colony carried with them into the wilderness—whom Nephi declares "spake concerning the three days of darkness which should be a sign of his [Messiah's] death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea" (I. Nephi xix: 10)? May not the matter referred to by Professor White be an interpretation of this old Jewish prophecy concerning the three days of darkness?

50. I. Nephi xi: 8-11.

51. Ether iii: 6-16.

52. See collection of passages in the author's "Mormon Doctrine of Deity," pp. 213-217.

53. II. Nephi x: 10-14.

54. This "Monroe Doctrine" derives its name from a message sent to Congress by President James Monroe, in 1823, in the course of which he said: "The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they had assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power." He further declared that any attempt by a European power to oppress or control an independent American nation would be regarded as "the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United states."



The first Nephi, speaking of his people in the fifth century B. C., makes a number of prophecies respecting things that shall take place in the last days, following the coming forth of the scriptures of his people [i. e. the Book of Mormon] to the Gentiles. These predictions are found on one page of the Book of Mormon; and are at once so numerous and of such high import as to make that page unique in prophetic literature. With one exception, viz., the vision of Daniel, recorded in the second chapter of his prophecies, which deals with the succession of the several great earth-empires, I do not believe an equal number of prophecies of such high importance can be found within the whole range of prophetic literature in the same amount of space, and I here reproduce that page as it stands in the current editions of the Book of Mormon:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.[1]

A few lines extending on the next page completes the picture of peace and happiness that shall ultimately be diffused over the earth in that day:

12. And then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling, together; and a little child shall lead them.

13. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

14. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den.

15. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.[2]

Let us now consider this prophetic page item by item.


Many Shall Believe the Words of the Book.

For after the book of which I have spoken [i. e. the Book of Mormon] shall come forth and be written unto the Gentiles and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written.

Whether this declaration be accredited to the first Nephi, five hundred years B. C., or allowed no other authorship than Joseph Smith, and no greater antiquity than 1830, when the Book of Mormon was published, it is equally prophetic in character. And if it be insisted upon that it had no earlier origin than Joseph Smith's utterance of it, then it becomes all the more remarkable as a prophecy; for by the time it was put forth by him, he had very good reason—human reason—to doubt if the Book of Mormon would be extensively believed, or believed in at all; for by this time such opposition had appeared against it, and such ridicule and derision heaped upon himself and associates; and everywhere there had been such a manifestation of opposition to the forth-coming book, that naturally one would wonder if it would be overwhelmed by a universal ignoring of it. Still there stands the prediction:

There shall be many which shall believe the words which are written.

The only question is, Has it been fulfilled? In answer we have only to point to the present membership of the Church in all the world, say three hundred thousand people. But to the number of those who now believe it, and hold it to be a volume of sacred scripture, there must be added all those who have died in the faith; and again those who once accepted it in their faith and afterwards, by transgression, lost the spirit of the work and departed from the Church; but who, singularly enough, in the majority of cases, still continued to assert their faith in the truth of the Book of Mormon. And then to all those numbers there must be added that still greater number of people who have been brought to a belief in the Book of Mormon, but who have not had sufficient moral courage to forfeit their good standing among their fellows, and make other sacrifices involved in a public profession of their faith.

Let the numbers of these several classes be added together and beyond question the prophecy has been fulfilled. Many have believed in the Nephite scriptures.

As a further instance of the wide acceptation of the Book of Mormon, it should be mentioned that it has passed through many editions in the English language, both in America and England; and has also been translated into and published in the following languages: French, German, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Welch, Swedish, Spanish, Hawaiian, Maori, Greek and Japanese.


The Book of Mormon to be Taken to the American Indians—"and They Shall Rejoice."

Following the declaration that "many shall believe the words which are written" is the statement, "and they shall carry them forth [the words of the ancient Nephites] unto the remnant of our seed." That is to the remnant of the seed of Lehi, the American Indians. And then follows this:

And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.[3]

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

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

Here we stand in the midst of prophecies. By which I mean that some of the predictions have been fulfilled, and others are yet to be fulfilled in the future, and involve the coming to pass of very remarkable events. Before calling attention to the parts that have been fulfilled I cite the prophecies under this subdivision as evidence against the claim that is sometimes made against the Book of Mormon, that all its prophetic parts end about the time the Book of Mormon came forth, viz., in 1830. The prophecies that many shall believe the book; that they shall carry its messages to the American Indians; that the Indians shall rejoice in the things the book makes known to them; that not many generations from that time the Indians shall become "a white and delightsome people"—as also indeed the prophecies relating to the Jews—all concern events that are to take place subsequent to the year 1830.

But now to take up the several prophecies being treated together under this sub-title II.

The "many" who believe the Book of Mormon, according to the prophecy, are to carry it forth unto the remnant of Lehi's people, the American Indians. It is notorious that they have done so. The Church had been organized but six months when in fulfillment of a divine appointment[4] a mission was sent to the Lamanites consisting of Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jun., Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson. On returning from that mission Elder Pratt, after recounting their travels through the western states of the American Union, gives the following summary of what was done: "Thus ended our first mission in which we had preached the Gospel in its fulness and distributed the records of their forefathers among three tribes, viz., the Catteraugus Indians, near Buffalo, N. Y.; the Wyandots, of Ohio; and the Delawares, west of the Missouri."[5]

Since that time numerous missions have been undertaken among the Indians which have met with more or less success. Since the Church has been located in the Rocky Mountains various tribes have been visited by the Apostles and other Elders, and some success has been attained in colonizing Indians and teaching them the ways and arts of civilization. Some success has also attended the preaching of the Gospel among the natives in Mexico; and similar efforts, though as yet unfruitful, have been made in some of the states of Central America. It is more than likely that the Sandwich Islanders are descendants of Nephite colonists who went from America to the Hawaiian Islands, about the time of Hagoth's migrations in ships from the shores of the land Bountiful—near where the isthmus of Panama joins the South American continent. Their traditions and racial peculiarities all favor this view; and if our supposition be true, then the success of preaching the gospel to the descendants of the Nephites has been considerably augmented, for a number of thousands of these islanders have embraced the gospel, some of whom have gathered to the stakes of Zion, and others have been established in a prosperous colony in their own land.

While success in bringing the native American race to a knowledge of their forefathers and an acceptance of the written work of God revealed to their forefathers has been limited, yet it has been sufficiently extensive to fulfill the terms of the Book of Mormon prophecies, and certainly sufficient to create the most sanguine belief in a further fulfillment of it.

"Then shall they rejoice." This declaration, of course, indicates that the native American races would believe the message of the Book of Mormon; and so indeed they have, as is witnessed by the fact of many of them joining the Church of the Latter-day Saints.

In his account of the first mission to the Indians, Elder Parley P. Pratt gives the substance of an address of Oliver Cowdery's to the chief of the Delaware tribe of Indians, and the leading men of the tribe, who had assembled to hear the message which the missionaries had to deliver; Elder Pratt also gives the substance of the chief's reply, in which the latter especially expresses his gladness[6] at the message delivered to them. Elder Pratt represents the Chief as saying:

We feel truly thankful to our white friends who have come so far and been at such pains to tell us good news, and especially this new news concerning the Book of our forefathers; it makes us glad in here"—placing his hand on his heart. "It is now winter; we are new settlers in this place; the snow is deep; our cattle and horses are dying; our wigwams are poor; we have much to do in the spring—to build houses and fence and make farms; but we will build a council house and meet together, and you shall read to us and teach us more concerning the Book of our fathers, and the will of the Great Spirit.[7]

During the sojourn of the Church at Nauvoo representatives of several tribes of Indians called upon the Prophet Joseph from time to time. One notable instance was the visit of a number of Pottawatamie chiefs in the summer of 1843, of which visit the Prophet in his journal gives the following brief account:

I had an interview with several Pottawatamie chiefs, who came to see me during my absence.[8]

Elder Woodruff's journal gives the following more elaborate account of this event:

The Indian chiefs remained at Nauvoo until the Prophet returned and had his trial. During their stay they had a talk with Hyrum Smith, in the basement of the Nauvoo House. Wilford Woodruff and some others were present. They were not free to talk, and did not wish to communicate their feelings until they could see the great Prophet.

At length, on the 2nd day of July, 1843, President Joseph Smith and several of the Twelve met those chiefs in the courtroom with about thirty of the Elders. The following is a synopsis of the conversation which took place as given by the interpreter:

The Indian orator arose and asked the Prophet if the men who were present were all his friends. Answer, "Yes."

He then said: "As a people we have long been distressed and oppressed. We have been driven from our lands many times. We have been wasted away by wars, until there are but few of us left. The white man has hated us and shed our blood, until it has appeared as though there would soon be no Indians left. We have talked with the Great Spirit, and the Great Spirit has talked with us. We have asked the Great Spirit to save us and let us live, and the Great Spirit has told us that he had raised up a great Prophet, chief, and friend, who would do us great good and tell us what to do; and the Great Spirit has told us that you are the man (pointing to the Prophet Joseph). We have now come a great way to see you, and hear your words, and to have you tell us what to do. Our horses have become poor traveling, and we are hungry. We will now wait and hear your words."

The Spirit of God rested upon the Lamanites, especially [upon] the orator. Joseph was much affected and shed tears. He arose and said unto them: "I have heard your words. They are true. The Great Spirit has told you the truth. I am your friend and brother, and I wish to do you good. Your fathers were once a great people. They worshiped the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit did them good. He was their friend; but they left the Great Spirit, and would not hear his words or keep them. The Great Spirit left them, and they began to kill one another, and they have been poor and afflicted until now.

"The Great Spirit has given me a book, and told me that you will soon be blessed again. The Great Spirit will soon begin to talk with you and your children. This is the book which your fathers made. I wrote upon it (showing them the Book of Mormon). This tells me what you will have to do. I now want you to begin to pray to the Great Spirit. I want you to make peace with one another, and do not kill any more Indians; it is not good. Do not kill white men; it is not good; but ask the Great Spirit for what you want, and it will not be long before the Great Spirit will bless you, and you will cultivate the earth and build good houses, like white men. We will give you something to eat and [something] to take home with you."

When the Prophet's words were interpreted to the chiefs, they all said it was good. The chief asked, "How many moons it would be before the Great Spirit would bless them?" He [the Prophet] told them, "Not a great many."

At the close of the interview, Joseph had an ox killed for them, and they were furnished with some more horses, and they went home satisfied and contented.[9]

One other thing in these several prophecies should be observed, the very emphatic implication that the native American race will persist. The prevailing idea, however, is quite to the contrary. I may say it is the universal opinion that the native American race is doomed to extinction; and, in fact, that it is now on the high way to that finality. Against such general opinion, however, the Book of Mormon utters the surprising declaration not only that the American race shall not become extinct, but that fallen as its fortunes are, and degraded as it is, yet shall it become, and that before many generations pass away, "a white and delightsome people!" Than this declaration I can think of nothing more boldly prophetic, nor of any inspired utterance which so squarely sets itself against all that is accepted as the probabilities in the case. But with complete confidence we await the time of the fulfillment of God's decree; of its signal triumph over the opinions of men.


The Jews Shall Begin to Believe in Christ, and to Gather.

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

There was nothing in the affairs of the Jews in the early decades of the 19th century that would lead any one to suppose that there was to be any marked change in the sentiments of that people towards Jesus of Nazareth; or that the time had come when there would be any disposition on their part to assemble upon the land of their forefathers—which is evidently meant by part of the prophecy just quoted. Yet the prophecy immediately before us makes both these astounding predictions; and, what is more to the point, both are now in progress of fulfillment. First let us consider the change which the Jewish mind is undergoing respecting Jesus of Nazareth.

To show the sentiment quite prevalent among the Jews during the life time of the Prophet Joseph, and to show that he was quite aware of its existence, I quote an entry from his journal under date of May, 1839.

"Tuesday, May 21, 1839.—To show the feeling of that long scattered branch of the House of Israel, the Jews, I here quote a letter written by one of their number, on hearing that his son had embraced Christianity:


Breslau, May 21st, 1839. My Dear Son—I received the letter of the Berlin Rabbi, and when I read it there ran tears out of my eyes in torrents; my inward parts shook, my heart became as a stone! Now do you not know that the Lord sent me already many hard tribulations? That many sorrows do vex me? But this new harm which you are about to inflict makes me forget all the former, does horribly surpass them; as well respecting its sharpness as its stings! I write you lying on my bed, because my body is embraced not less than my soul, at the report that you were about to do something which I had not expected from you. I fainted; my nerves and feelings sank, and only by the help of a physician, for whom I sent immediately, am I able to write these lines to you with a trembling hand.

Alas! you, my son, whom I have bred, nourished and fostered; whom I have strengthened spiritually as well as bodily, you will commit a crime on me! Do not shed the innocent blood of your parents, for no harm have we inflicted upon you; we are not conscious of any guilt against you, but at all times we thought it our duty to show to you, our first born, all love and goodnesss. I though I should have some cheering account of you, but, alas! how terribly I have been disappointed!

But to be short; your outward circumstances are such that you may finish your study or [suffer] pain. Do you think that the Christians, to whom you will go over by changing your religion, will support you and fill up the place of our fellow believers? Do not imagine that your outward reasons, therefore, if you have any, are nothing. But out of true persuasion, you will, as I think, not change our true and holy doctrine, for that deceitful, untrue and perverse doctrine of Christianity.

What! will you give us a pearl for that which is nothing, which is of no value in itself? But you are light-minded; think of the last judgment; of that day when the books will be opened and hidden things will be made manifest; of that day when death will approach you in a narrow pass; when you cannot go out of the way! Think of your death bed, from which you will not rise any more, but from which you be called before the judgment seat of the Lord!

Do you not know, have you not heard, that there is over you an all-hearing ear and an all-seeing eye? That all your deeds will be written in a book and judged hereafter? Who shall then assist you when the Lord will ask you with a thundering voice, Why hast thou forsaken that holy law which shall have an eternal value; which was given by my servant Moses, and no man shall change it? Why hast thou forsaken that law, and accepted instead of it lying and vanity?

Come, therefore, again to yourself, my son! remove your bad and wicked counselors; follow my advice, and the Lord will be with you! Your tender father must conclude because of weeping.

A. L. LANDAU, Rabbi.

That the sentiments of this letter respecting Jesus and Christianity are not peculiar to Rabbi Landau, but are representative of the sentiments of the Hebrew race at that time, I may quote the words of Dr. Isadore Singer, editor of the "Jewish Encyclopaedia," written in a letter to George Croly, author of "Tarry Thou Till I Come"—a version really of the legend of the "Wandering Jew" published in 1901. The letter here quoted was received from Dr. Singer in reply to one from the author of "Tarry Thou," asking the question, "What is the Jewish thought today of Jesus of Nazareth?" Dr. Singer, answered:

I regard Jesus of Nazareth as a Jew of the Jews, one whom all Jewish people are learning to love. His teaching has been an immense service to the world in bringing Israel's God to the knowledge of hundreds of millions of mankind. The great change in Jewish thought concerning Jesus of Nazareth, I cannot better illustrate than by this fact:

When I was a boy, had my father, who was a very pious man, heard the name of Jesus uttered from the pulpit of our synagogue, he and every other man in the congregation would have left the building, and the rabbi would have been dismissed at once. Now, it is not strange, in many synagogues, to hear sermons preached eulogistic of this Jesus, and nobody thinks of protesting—in fact, we are all glad to claim Jesus as one of our people.

ISADORE SINGER. New York, March 25, 1901.

The question submitted by Mr. Croly to Jewish theologians, historians and orientalists resulted in quite a large collection of Jewish opinions of Christ, all of which are published in the appendix of "Tarry Thou;" and of which the following communications are thoroughly characteristic:

The Jew of today beholds in Jesus an inspiring ideal of matchless beauty. While he lacks the element of stern justice expressed so forcibly in the law and in the Old Testament characters, the firmness of self-assertion so necessary to the full development of manhood, all those social qualities which build up the home and society, industry and worldly progress, he is the unique exponent of the principle of redeeming love. His name as helper of the poor, as sympathizing friend of the fallen, as brother of every fellow sufferer, as lover of man and redeemer of woman, has become the inspiration, the symbol and the watchword for the world's greatest achievements in the field of benevolence. While continuing the work of the synagogue, the Christian church with the larger means at her disposal created those institutions of charity and redeeming love that accomplished wondrous things. The very sign of the cross has lent a new meaning, a holier pathos to suffering, sickness and sin, so as to offer new practical solutions for the great problems of evil which fill the human heart with new joys of self-sacrificing love.

KAUFMAN KOHLER, Ph. D., Rabbi of Temple Beth-El.

If the Jews up to the present time have not publicly rendered homage to the sublime beauty of the figure of Jesus, it is because their tormentors have always persecuted, tortured, assassinated them in his name. The Jews have drawn their conclusions from the disciples as to the Master, which was wrong, a wrong pardonable in the eternal victims of the implacable, cruel hatred of those who called themselves Christians. Every time that a Jew mounted to the sources and contemplated Christ alone, without his pretended faithful, he cried with tenderness and admiration: "Putting aside the Messianic mission, this man is ours. He honors our race and we claim him as we claim the gospels—flowers of Jewish literature and only Jewish."

MAX NORDAU, M. D., Critic and Philosopher. Paris, France.

The Jews of every shade of religious belief do not regard Jesus in the light of Paul's theology. But the gospel of Jesus, the Jesus who teaches so superbly the principles of Jewish ethics, is revered by all the expounders of Judaism. His words are studied; the New Testament forms a part of Jewish literature. Among the great preceptors that have worded the truths of which Judaism is the historical guardian, none, in our estimation and esteem, takes precedence of the rabbi of Nazareth. To impute to us suspicious sentiments concerning him does us gross injustice. We know him to be among our greatest and purest.

EMIL G. HIRSCH, Ph. D., LL. D., L. H. D. Rabbi of Sinai Congregation, Professor of Rabbinical Literature in Chicago University, Chicago, Ill., January 26, 1901.

Later, viz. 1905, Dr. Isadore Singer, himself made such a collection of Jewish opinions on Jesus, which were published by the "New York Sun," and of which the following are typical:

It is commonly said that the Jews reject Jesus. They did so in the sense in which they rejected the teachings of their earlier prophets, but the question may be pertinently asked, Has Christianity accepted Jesus? The long hoped-for reconciliation between Judaism and Christianity will come when once the teachings of Jesus shall have become the axioms of human conduct.

DR. MORRIS JASTROW, Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania.

I look upon him as a great teacher and reformer, one who aimed at the uplifting of suffering humanity, whose every motive was kindness, mercy, charity, and justice, and if his wise teaching and example have not always been followed the blame should not be his, but rather those who have claimed to be his followers.

SIMON WOLF, President of the Independent Order B'nia B'rith.

If he had added to their [the Jewish prophets'] spiritual bequests new jewels of religious truth, and spoken words which are words of life because they touch the deepest springs of the human heart, why should we Jews not glory in him? The crown of thorns on his head makes him only the more our brother, for to this day it is borne by his people. Were he alive today who, think you, would be nearer his heart—the persecuted or the persecutors?


The foregoing sentiments do not indicate the acceptance of Jesus by the Jews at his full value as the Messiah, or as the express revelation of God to man, or as God manifested in the flesh; but they do give evidence of a very marked change of sentiment among the Jews toward Jesus of Nazareth—and surely mark a "beginning" of belief in Christ, which has but to enlarge to become an acceptance of him as Messiah, so long expected by their race; and surely they indicate in quite a remarkable manner the beginning of the fulfillment of the part of the prophecy here being considered, that declares that "the Jews which are scattered shall also begin to believe in Christ."

Moreover some few families of Jews have believed the gospel as presented by the elders of the Church in this dispensation, and are identified with the Latter-day Saints; among them Alexander Neibaur, who joined the Church in England in 1840. He afterwards emigrated to Nauvoo, and the family came with the saints to Utah. Several of his sons and grand-sons have filled honorable missions for the Church in preaching the gospel. He is the author of the following well known hymn, published in the "Times and Seasons," in May, 1841:

  Come, thou glorious day of promise,
  Come and spread thy cheerful ray;
  When the scattered sheep of Israel
  Shall no longer go astray;
  When Hosannas
  With united voice they cry.

  Lord, how long wilt thou be angry?
  Shall thy wrath for ever burn?
  Rise, redeem thine ancient people,
  Their transgressions from them turn.
  King of Israel,
  Come and set thy people free.

  O that soon thou would'st to Jacob
  Thine enliv'ning spirit send;
  Of their unbelief and misery
  Make, O Lord, a speedy end.
  Lord, Messiah,
  Prince of Peace, o'er Israel reign.

  Glory, honour, praise and power,
  Be unto the Lamb for ever;
  Jesus Christ is our Redeemer,
  Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
  Praise ye the Lord!
  Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.


And the Jews which are scattered * * * shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land.

Of course the idea that the Jews will sometime be gathered to the lands possessed by their forefathers is no new thought. It is not presented here as such. The Old Testament scriptures are full of predictions concerning the return of the Jews to Palestine of which the following are samples:

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them.[10]

The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.[11]

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord they God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.[12]

The Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.[13]

For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land.[14]

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them 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: * * * and David, my servant, shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. * * * Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.[15]

The fulfillment of these predictions has been the hope of scattered Israel, and from time to time societies have been formed to keep alive such hope as the promises inspired. It may be thought that said Jewish societies have accomplished but little. But really that little was much. They nourished in secret and through ages of darkness that spark of hope, the fire of which, when touched by the breath of God shall burst forth into a flame that not all the world shall be able to stay. These efforts in the past have made possible a larger movement which is now attracting the attention of the world, known as the "Zionite Movement." In reality this is but the federation of all Jewish societies that have had for their purpose the realization of the hopes of scattered Israel.

The Zionite movement proper, however, may be said to have arisen within very recent years, since it was in 1896 that it held its first general conference. This at Basel, Switzerland, in August 1896. Since then its conferences have been held annually and have steadily increased both in interest and the number of delegates representing various Jewish societies until now (1905) it takes on the appearance of one of the world's great movements. It is not so much a religious movement as a racial one; for prominent Jews of all shades of both political and religious opinions have participated in it. After saying through so many centuries at the feast of the Pass Over, "May we celebrate the next Pass Over in Jerusalem," the thought seemed to have occurred to some Jewish minds that if that hope was ever to be realized some practical steps must be taken looking to the actual achievement of the possibility—hence the "Zionite Movement."

The keynotes of that movement are heard in the following utterances of some of the Jewish leaders in explanation of it:

We want to resume the broken thread of our national existence; we want to show to the world the moral strength, the intellectual power of the Jewish people. We want a place where the race can be centralized.


It tries to restore the old solidarity, the old unity, of Israel; not with a view to any mere monetary aggrandizement, but for the purpose of securing the right and the opportunity for the Jews to live and to develop. It believes that this is possible only if there is some spot on earth which the Jews can call their own, and which can be a place of refuge, legally secured by international obligations, to which the oppressed of Israel may flee whenever necessity arises.


It is for these Jews (of Russia, Roumania and Galicia) that the name of their country (Palestine) spells "Hope." I should not be a man if I did not realize that for these persecuted Jews, Jerusalem spells reason, justice, manhood and liberty.


Jewish nationalism on a modern basis in Palestine, the old home of the people.


Palestine needs a people; Israel needs a country. Give the country without a people to the people without a country.


To find for the Jews a legally established home in Palestine.


In a word, it is the purpose of "Zionism" to redeem Palestine, and give it back to Jewish control, create, in fact, a Jewish state in the land promised to their fathers.

A few years ago negotiations were entered into with the Sultan of Turkey, within whose political dominions Palestine is included, for the purchase of the Holy Land for the Jews, and some announcements in the press by Dr. Herzel, of Austria, just previous to the assembling of the Zion conference in 1902, for a time justified the high hopes that were entertained of securing the promised land by purchase. These hopes, however, were doomed to disappointment by reason of a sudden change coming over the ruler of Turkey with reference to the matter. It is more than likely that his advisors persuaded him that the establishment of a Jewish state under his suzerainty would be adding one more perplexing feature in the administration of that heterogeneous collection of such states which already constitute the loose-jointed empire over which the Sultan presides, by the sufferance of the European powers. The matter of the Sultan's present refusal to grant, or sell Palestine to Jews is not a serious difficulty in the progress of such a wide spread movement as Zionism, however, for ere now the Lord has changed the hearts of rulers in order to bring to pass his great purposes, and may do so again. So Israel Zangwill, one of the most enthusiastic leaders in the movement, views that subject; and in like spirit also he views the difficulty of obtaining the necessary millions to purchase the land. On this subject he says:

It matters little that the Zionists could not pay the millions, if suddenly called upon. They have collected not two and a half million dollars. But there are millions enough to come to the rescue once the charter was dangled before the Zionists. It is not likely that the Rothschilds would see themselves ousted from their family headship in authority and well-doing. Nor would the millions left by Baron Hirsch be altogether withheld. The sultan's present refusal is equally unimportant, because a national policy is independent of transcient moods and transcient rulers. The only aspect that really matters is whether Israel's face be or be not set steadily Zionward—for decades, and even for centuries.

An interesting feature at the last Zion conference held in August of 1904, was the tender by the British foreign minister, Lord Landsdowne, on behalf of the British government of a tract of fertile territory in Uganda, British East Africa, for the establishment of the Jewish colony. It is an elevated tract of country extending some two hundred miles along the Uganda railway, between Man and Nairobi. It is said to be well watered, fertile, cool, covered with noble forests, almost uninhabited and as healthful for Europeans as Great Britain. This tender on the part of the British government was a cause of some confusion in the Basle conference, and is now a cause of great anxiety to the Zionists. It is a Jewish state in Palestine, not a colony in East Africa that the great body of Zionists are looking forward to; and when it was moved in the conference that a commission of nine be appointed to look into details and decide upon the advisability of sending an expedition to investigate the proposed site of the colony, even this preliminary step was so opposed by the Russian delegates that they arose en masse and left the conference hall, in protest against such a movement. The commission, however, was appointed and the investigation is in progress. Since the close of the Basel conference many of those interested in the proposition have been searching their scriptures and some claim to have found prophetic warrant for such a movement and come to regard the settlement in Africa as a preliminary to the final movement into Palestine. The prophecies supposed to justify this view are to be found in the following from Isaiah:

In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of Hosts; and shall be called, the city of destruction.

In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord.

And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a savior, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.

And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it.[16]

Whatever many come of this proposed colony scheme in Africa it can never be regarded as more than an incident in progress of this great movement among the Jews.[17] The land of their final inheritance is Palestine, not Africa, nor Egypt; and if the Jews shall halt for a time in the land of Uganda, under the benign protection of the British government, it will be only a temporary abiding place, where, however, they may obtain a very necessary experience in controlling a state and bringing their people to a unity of faith and practice under the old law of Israel.

What I am concerned with in this strange movement among the Jews, however, is not the details of it, but the fact of it; and the further fact that "Zionism" is doubtless the inauguration of a series of movements that shall culminate in the complete fulfillment of this great Book of Mormon prophecy.

In addition to the prediction of the Book of Mormon which brought the subject of the gathering of the Jews to their land vividly before the Prophet Joseph's mind, he claims that in the Kirtland Temple, in 1836, Moses, the great Hebrew prophet, appeared to himself and Oliver Cowdery and conferred upon them the keys of the gathering of Israel, and the power of restoring the tribes to the lands of their fathers.[18] Acting under the divine authority thus received, Joseph Smith sent an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to the land of Palestine to bless it and dedicate it to the Lord for the return of his people. This apostle was Orson Hyde, and he performed his mission in 1840-2. Again in 1872 an apostolic delegation consisting of the late President George A. Smith (cousin of the Prophet) and the late President Lorenzo Snow were sent to Palestine. The purpose of their mission in part is thus stated in President Young's letter of appointment to George A. Smith.

When you get to the land of Palestine we wish you to dedicate and consecrate that land to the Lord that it may be blessed with fruitfulness preparatory to the return of the Jews in fulfillment of prophecy and the accomplishment of the purposes of our heavenly Father.[19]

Acting, then, under the divine authority restored to earth by the Prophet Moses, this Apostolic delegation—as well as the Apostle first sent—from the summit of Mount Olivet blessed the land, and dedicated it for the return of the Jews. It is not strange, therefore, to those who look upon such a movement as Zionism with faith in God's great latter-day work to see the spirit now moving upon the minds of the Jews prompting their return to the land of their fathers. To them it is but the operation of the Spirit of God in their souls, turning their hearts to the promises made to the fathers.

Meantime, and quite apart from the Zionite movement, changes are taking place in the promised land that augur well for the fulfillment of this Book of Mormon prophecy. For instance, the British Consul reports for 1876 give the number of Jews in Judea at from fifteen to twenty thousand. Twenty years later, viz. in 1896, the same authority gives the number of Jews at from sixty to seventy thousand; and what was more promising for the future both for the people and the country inhabited, this new Jewish population was turning its attention to the cultivation of the soil, which but requires the blessings of God unto it to restore it to its ancient fruitfulness, and which will make it possible for it to sustain once more a numerous population.[20]

Thus in the preparations evidently being made for the return of the Jews to the land of their forefathers, and their beginning to believe in Jesus, this remarkable Book of Mormon prophecy is in the way of fulfillment.


The Work of the Lord to Commence Among all Nations to Bring About the Restoration of His People Israel, and a Universal Reign of Peace and Righteousness.

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

The 19th century of the Christian era, especially the last three quarters of it, will be regarded as a most wonderful period of human progress.[21] An age of inventions and discoveries in all departments of human knowledge and human activities. During that time, through human invention, machinery was so multiplied and made to serve the industrial requirements of man that we may say that the race was emancipated from the drudgery under which it had sweltered for ages. In field and factory machinery was made to perform the labor which in ages hitherto had been done by human hands. Husbandry, by reason of so much machinery being applied to agricultural pursuits, became a gentlemanly occupation as compared with the farm drudgery of former years. The increased product in all lines of manufactures multiplied comforts and placed them within the reach of all, so that the standard of living among the common people was immensely improved.

This period also witnessed great advancement in the matter of transportation. On land it developed from the ox team and horse carriage to the automobile and lightning express train, capable of covering from fifty to seventy and now ninety miles per hour. It saw Europe and America converted into a net work of railroads, binding all parts of the respective continents together with easy, safe, and swift means of traffic, and carried to the markets of every city the various products of all the countries of the globe.

Water transportation within the same period developed from the slow sailing vessel, dependent on the winds and ocean currents to the modern "ocean greyhound" capable of making its way against both ocean current and winds at a speed never realized by the sailing vessel with both wind and ocean currents in its favor. The stormy Atlantic, to cross which in the early years of the century was a tedious and dangerous journey of many weeks, by the close of the 19th century was a matter of five days pleasure trip. All mystery and dread of "old ocean" had disappeared, and men no longer mourned the fate of "those who go down to the sea in ships," since ocean travel is far less dangerous than overland travel, and the oceans so far from being regarded any longer with the old time awe and mystery are now looked upon as merely convenient highways for the commerce of the world. By the speed of ocean travel we may say that all the continents and islands of the globe are married.

Running parallel with this development of transportation on land and sea, is what may be called the growth of our instantaneous means of communication. At the opening of the period we are considering the pony express and mail coach were our most rapid means of communication, and looking back to those days such means of communication seem marvellously inadequate to civilized life. At the close of the century, however, by means of ocean cables and telegraph lines, and telephone instrumentalities—to say nothing of the more wonderful wireless telegraphy now coming into use—we are in instant communication with all the great centers of civilization, and each morning may read the world's daily history gathered by these agencies for our instruction.

In the same period, in the matter of illumination, we went from the tallow dip and farthing rush light to gas and electricity. From the slow working hand press to the lightning Hoe multicolor printing press, capable of printing, in different colors, folding, pasting and counting from twenty-four thousand to one hundred thousand impressions per hour! Within our period improvements in telescopes have revealed new wonders of the universe. Improvement in microscopes have revealed wonders undreamed of in former times both in organic and inorganic nature. In the laboratories of the world new mysteries of light and heat and other elementary forces of nature were revealed. Substances which aforetime had been regarded as opaque were found in some lights to be transparent. Indeed in all the arts and sciences such progress was made as had not before been made in a period of a thousand years.[22] There seemed to have come an awakening of intellectual power in men, and the whole world was transformed by means of it. Political liberties were enlarged, old tyrannies were rendered for the present and future impossible in many countries, because of the consciousness of inherent power in the people.

Our period witnessed also the rise and progress of the peace movement. A movement whose chief purpose is to substitute peaceful arbitration as a method of settling international differences for the dreadful arbitrament of war. The first peace society was formed in America early in the century—1815—and while not attracting much attention at first, the movement gradually increased in importance until at last it arose from a merely national movement to an international one, as is evidenced from the fact that at its great conference at the Hague in 1899 there were accredited representatives from the following nations: United States, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, China, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Servia, Siam, Switzerland, and Turkey. It was this conference of 1899 that finally established the world's permanent court of arbitration at the Hague, to which several important international questions have already been referred and settled. And while the peace movement and arbitration has not yet relieved the world from recurrence of dreadful wars, still the establishment of the permanent court for international arbitration is a mighty stride in the interest of the world's peace. It gives more than hope. It establishes confidence that the time will come when there will be a disarmament of the nations, and the old prophet's dream figured forth in his vision of the nations beating their spears into pruning hooks and their swords into plow shares will be realized, and the nations shall learn war no more.

It cannot be that this wonderful transformation of the world within our period has no significance. A new era has certainly dawned upon the world. Old things are passing away. All things are becoming new. Surely such changing conditions in material things prophesy corresponding changes in men as individuals and in their community life. These material improvements will doubtless be met by corresponding improvements in moral and spiritual wellbeing. There is undoubtedly a close connection between this influx of intellectual light and the splendid opening of the great new dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the Lord renewed divine communication to man in the visions and revelations granted to Joseph Smith, there seemed to have accompanied this influx of spiritual light the intellectual light of which I have been speaking, and which has accomplished such transformations in the affairs of men and nations as are here noted. To the spirit which is in man the Spirit of the Lord has given inspiration to some purpose. It is not difficult to believe—nay to conceive the contrary seems impossible—that the Lord, according to the Book of Mormon prophecy, has commenced to bring about the restoration of his people Israel upon the earth, and to usher into the world that blessed reign of truth, peace and righteousness so long hoped for; so long the theme of poets, sages, statesmen and prophets; when with righteousness the Lord shall judge the pure and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them; when the cow and the bear shall feed, and their young ones shall lie down together; when the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the suckling child shall play on the hole of the cockatrice's den; when they shall not hurt nor destroy in all God's holy mountain; when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea; when man shall know how sweet and pleasant it is for men to dwell together in unity and peace; and when, to correspond with these moral and spiritual conditions of the world, the material forces and resources of the earth shall be developed; distance annihilated; all the ends of the earth brought together in instant communication; poverty and crime banished; when labor shall have its own and the idler shall not sit in the lap of luxury, a burden to labor, but all shall contribute by intelligent industry to an enlightened world's necessities. The realization of the dream has long been deferred, but we are taught by scripture that if the vision tarry, wait for it, for it will come. Surely we may wait in confidence when in such a marked manner as here indicated the hand of God is to be seen fashioning and directing those events which shall culminate in the perfect realization of all the good that has been decreed for the earth and the inhabitants thereof.


The Sign of the Modern World's Awakening.

An interesting feature in the awakening of the world, considered in the last subdivision of this chapter, is the fact that not only did this awakening begin about the time the Book of Mormon was published to the world, but it is one of the prophecies of the book that it should be so. That is to say, the spiritual and intellectual awakening of the modern world, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon were to be contemporaneous events.

In the course of his ministry among the Nephites, the Messiah directed especial attention to, and laid great stress upon one of the prophecies of Isaiah, which follows:

Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.

Later in Messiah's ministry, when referring again to this prophecy, he remarked:

When they [the foregoing words of Isaiah] shall be fulfilled, then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. And then shall the remnants which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east, and from the west, and from the south, and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them. * * * And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you. Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. * * * And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people, and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers, for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father. And it shall come to pass that the time cometh when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them. And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name. Then [referring to Isaiah] shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.[23]

And now as to the sign which he gave by which the branch of the house of Israel in the American continents might know that this work of restoring the house of Israel to the land of their inheritance, together with the spiritual and intellectual awakening that should attend upon that event—of this Jesus said:

And, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion. And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign, for verily I say unto you, that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father—[when these things] shall be made known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them.—Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you—* * when these works, and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter, shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed [through publishing the Book of Mormon] * * * it shall be a sign unto them that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he [God] hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. * * * And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people—verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people; yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people * * * to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name; yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.[24]

That is to say, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was to be the signal for this modern world awakening; and the "sign" of the commencement of the work of the Lord among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring to pass the restoration of his people and the accomplishment of his purposes in all the earth. The facts already set forth establish the fulfillment of this no less venturesome—i. e. venturesome for an imposter to make—than remarkable prophecy.


Conditional Prophecies—The Evidence of Things Worthy of God to Reveal.

In closing these chapters on the prophecies of the Book of Mormon, I direct attention to what I shall call conditional prophecies. Not for the purpose of referring to their fulfillment, either accomplished or prospective, as evidence of the truth of the book, but as exhibiting the fact that the Book of Mormon has a prophetic message for the present generation worthy of God to reveal, and one that it concerns the Gentile races now occupying the continents of America to know. These prophecies deal with the terms upon which the Gentile races may maintain for themselves and perpetuate to their posterity the inheritance they have secured in the goodly land of Joseph—the American continents. First let it be remembered that these continents, according to the Book of Mormon, are a promised land, especially to the seed of Joseph, son of the Patriarch Jacob, and also to the Gentiles whom God shall lead hither. To the leader of the Nephite colony the Lord said:

And in as much as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper, and shall be led to the land of promise. Yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.

Subsequently, as is well known, the Nephite colony arrived in America, repeatedly referred to by them and their descendants as "the land of promise."

Before his demise the prophet Lehi, who lived to arrive with his colony upon the promised land, made the following prophecy concerning the occupancy of the land by his people:

Notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever; and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound, cursed shall be the land for their sakes; but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever. And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever. But, behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord; having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodnesss into this precious land of promise; behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold the judgment of him that is just shall rest upon them; yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them [the incoming nations] power, and he will take away from them [the remnants of the Nephites] the lands of their possessions; and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten. Yea, as one generation passeth to another, there shall be bloodshed, and great visitations among them.[25]

This prophecy was fulfilled in the experiences of Lehi's descendants. Though in the course of their history they had some long periods, and some intermittent seasons of righteousness, they eventually, even after the personal ministrations of the Son of God among them, departed from righteousness, rejected Jesus Christ, and the decreed judgment fell upon them to the uttermost. The Gentile races finally came to the land, and took possession of it, while the descendants of the once favored race that occupied it were dispossessed and broken, and scattered.

The promises made to the Nephites had also been given to the Jaredites who preceded them in possession of the land. To the brother of Jared, the leader of the Jaredite colony, the Lord said: "I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth."[26]

Moroni, while abridging the records of the Jaredites, which give an account of that people's migration to America, refers to the decrees of God concerning the land in the following passage:

And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people; and he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity; for, behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off. And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God, that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you, as the inhabitants of the land hath hitherto done. Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

Jesus also in the course of his ministry among the Nephites refers to these same decrees concerning the land; or, better say, makes them, since he is the "God of the land." His words follow:

The Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you [the Nephites] this land, for your inheritance. And I say unto you that if the Gentiles do not repent, after the blessing which they shall receive after they have scattered my people, then shall ye who are a remnant of the house of Jacob go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them, who shall be many; and ye shall be among them, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And I will gather my people together, as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor, for I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it. And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent, it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.[27]

Then follows an explanation of how, through the seed of Abraham, all the kindreds of the earth are blessed:

Unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me [Jesus Christ] upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel; and they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me, I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father.[28]

Speaking further of the "great and marvelous work" which the Lord should bring forth in the last days, he again refers to the Gentiles upon the promised land, in the following words:

Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, whom the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said), they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as the young lion among the flock of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth to pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles, except they repent, for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy hand, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lying, and deceiving, and envying, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people. O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. But if they [the Gentiles] will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance. And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.[29]

Here then is the conditional prophecy that it concerns the proud Gentile races now inhabiting the American continents to know. These continents are a promised land; they are given primarily to the descendants of the Patriarch Joseph as an inheritance, but the Gentile races are also given an inheritance in them with the descendants of Joseph. The whole land, however, is dedicated to righteousness and liberty, and the people who possess it, whether of the house of Israel or Gentiles, must be a righteous people, and worship the "God of the land, who is Jesus Christ." In that event God stands pledged to preserve the land and the people thereof from all other nations, and to bless them with very great and peculiar blessings guaranteeing to them freedom and peaceful possession of the land forever. If the Gentile races shall observe these conditions they and their children are to share in the blessings of the land in connection with the descendants of the Patriarch Joseph. If they depart from justice, reject righteousness and Jesus Christ, then the judgments decreed will overtake them until they are wasted away. This is the decree of God respecting the Western hemisphere, and is one of the important messages that the Book of Mormon has to deliver to the present generation.

Nor is it the Book of Mormon alone that bears this message. So far as the people of the United States are concerned, I might say, if not one of their own prophets, at least their greatest statesman, gave substantially the same warning to the people of that nation, and I believe his utterances are equally applicable to the people occupying the other parts of the American continents. Read the following quotation from the speech delivered a few months before its author's death, and tell me if the American statesman, Daniel Webster, did not catch the same glow of inspiration when predicting the terms upon which the people now occupying our country may hold their heritage, as that which warmed the hearts of the Book of Mormon writers and speakers, whose words are quoted in the preceding passages. Mr. Webster's speech was delivered before the "New York Historical Society," on February 22nd—Washington's birthday—1852; as the great American died in October following, the address was one of his last speeches.

Unborn ages and visions of glory crowd upon my soul, the realization of all which, however, is in the hands and good pleasure of Almighty God; but, under his divine blessing, it will be dependent on the character and the virtues of ourselves, and of our posterity. If classical history has been found to be, is now, and shall continue to be, the concomitant of free institutions, and of popular eloquence, what a field is opening to us for another Herodotus, another Thucydides, and another Livy!

And let me say, gentlemen, that if we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion—if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect his commandments, if we and they shall maintain just, moral sentiments, and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life—we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one thing—that, while our country furnishing materials for a thousand masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibbon. It will have no Decline and Fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper.

But, if we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity. Should that catastrophe happen, let it have no history! Let the horrible narrative never be written! Let its fate be like that of the lost books of Livy, which no human eye shall ever read; or the missing Pleiad, of which no man can ever know more, than that it is lost, and lost forever!

I think my statement will be within reasonable limits when I say that this sublime doctrine and warning of Mr. Webster's has the same source of inspiration as the utterances of the Book of Mormon writers. I believe that all who read and compare these passages will conclude there is something more than mere coincidence in their agreement.

As before stated, it is not my purpose in calling attention to these conditional prophecies to point to their fulfillment, either accomplished or prospective, in evidence of the truth of the Book of Mormon. Their worth as evidence to the truth of the book rests solely upon the importance of the matter with which they deal. The demand of the world is, and it is a reasonable one, that a book purporting to be a revelation from God should deal with subjects that it is important for men to know, and I regard the terms that constitute the conditions upon which the American continents may be securely held by the people who possess them, as a matter of the highest importance for the people to know, and hence worthy to be found in a book purporting to be a revelation from God. Such knowledge is no less important than to know the source whence the continents of America are peopled; the providences of God in dealing with them; and the fact that the Son of God visited the western hemisphere, and taught to the inhabitants thereof the gospel, and established here his church for the perpetuation of the truth and for the salvation of men. All this is revealed in the Book of Mormon, and makes up a mass of knowledge that it concerns mankind to know, and hence is worthy of God to reveal. Had the Book of Mormon dealt with light or trivial things—things unworthy of God to reveal, mankind would require no further evidence that its claims to a divine origin were baseless; and conversely: if the book reveals a mass of knowledge—worthy of God to reveal and important for man to know—then it is evidence of considerable weight that the book is of God.


1. II. Nephi xxx: 3-11.

2. II. Nephi xxx: 12-15.

3. "Descendants of the Jews." This expression, I believe, is used in this instance as equivalent to "Descendants of the house of Israel." That is, the American Indians will know they are Israelites. This sense of the phrase "the Jews" is used in other parts of the Book of Mormon: for instance, "That the father may bring about * * * his great and eternal purposes, in restoring the Jews, or all the House of Israel, to the land of their inheritance." We have already pointed out in previous foot notes that according to the Book of Mormon the American Indians are a mixture of the tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah (see pp. 95, 325-6); and therefore we think the phrase "descendants of the Jews," does not mean to confine native American race descent to the Jews alone, but merely to say that they are descendants of the House of Israel, for which "Jews" here stands as equivalent.

4. See Doc. & Cov. Section xxix and Section xxxii.

5. History of the Church, Vol. I, p. 185, note. Aut. P. P. Pratt, pp. 56-61.

6. It may be suspected that Elder Pratt colored his account of this speech to fit the prophecy of the Book of Mormon, but if that were so some reference to its fulfillment of the prediction—"then shall they rejoice"—would naturally be looked for; but it is a singular thing that nowhere in the early literature of the Church is reference made to this prophetic page. The full account of this first Indian mission will be found in the "History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 111-120, and pages 182-185.

7. "History of the Church," Vol. I, pp. 184-5.

8. "History of the Church," Vol. V., Chapters xxiv and xxv. The prophet had been visiting relatives in Dixon, and while there fell into the hands of his enemies, who sought to take him to Missouri. He escaped them, however, by a writ of habeas corpus, on which he was tried and acquitted at Nauvoo.

9. "Millennial Star," Vol. XXI, pp. 634-5.

10. Amos ix: 14.

11. Obadiah i: 17.

12. Deut. vii: 6.

13. Zechariah ii: 12.

14. Isaiah xiv: 1.

15. Ezekiel xxxvii: 21-27.

16. Isaiah xix: 21.

17. "In the opinion of some, it may become a training-ground for those who are eventually to go to Zion. * * * Whatever solution the East African scheme may find, it can be but a temporary one. The eye of the people's soul cannot be turned from the object upon which it has rested for centuries and centuries. * * * The soul of Israel has always felt, and when occasion offered has always said, that such a concentration at such a rallying-point, can be induced only in the ancient home of the children of Israel, in Palestine."—Richard J. H. Gottheil.

18. See Doc. & Cov., Sec. 110.

19. "Biography of Lorenzo Snow," p. 496.

20. Since the foregoing was written the following press dispatch from Jerusalem, under date of July 28th, 1906, appeared in the daily papers of the United States: Jerusalem, July 28—The Zionist movement—the return of the Jews to Palestine—is being carried actively on, and during the last few months there has been a remarkable influx of Israelites into the Holy Land.

A fertile region, east of the Jordan, toward Kerak, has been inspected by a party of Jewish financiers, with the idea of colonizing it. * * * * * * The intending colonists are negotiating with the government for the purchase of land and for guarantees of protection against the Bedouins. Five thousand Jewish emigrants from Russia and the Balkan States recently landed at Jaffa. They will be distributed among the various Jewish colonies, which are to be found in all the fertile districts of Palestine. It looks as if the Chosen People are literally coming to their own again.

21. "A mighty dawn of ideas is peculiar to our own age (nineteenth century)."—Victor Hugo.

22. "No previous century ever saw anything approaching to the increase in social complexity which has been wrought in America and Europe since 1789. In science and in the industrial arts the change has been greater than in the ten preceding centuries taken together. Contrast the seventeen centuries which it took to remodel the astronomy of Hipparchus with the forty years which it has taken to remodel the chemistry of Berzelius and the biology of Cuvier. * * * How small the difference between the clumsy wagons of the Tudor period and the mailcoach in which our grandfathers rode, compared to the difference between the mail-coach and the railway train! How rapid the changes in philosophic thinking since the time of the Encyclopedistes, in comparison with the slow though important changes which occurred between the epoch of Aristotle and the epoch of Descartes! In morality, both individual and national, and in general humanity of disposition and refinement of manners, the increased rapidity of change has been no less marked."—Cosmic Philosophy (Fiske), Vol. IV., p. 54, 55.

23. III. Nephi 20.

24. III. Nephi, chapter 21.

25. II. Nephi i: 5-12.

26. Ether i: 42.

27. III. Nephi 20: 14-20.

28. III. Nephi 20: 27, 28.

29. III. Nephi xxi: 11-25.



"I can no more remember the books I have read than the meals I have eaten," said Emerson, "but they have made me." In this way the American philosopher recognizes the simple truth that the reading of books has something to do with the making of a man—that they affect the mind. A book has a spirit as distinctly as a painting or of a piece of sculpture has "feeling"—of course I mean a real work of art into which something from the soul of the artist has passed. The best thing about a painting or piece of sculpture is said to be that which cannot be described; so also the best part of a book is the spirit of it, which may not always be describable. And that elusive, mysterious quality we call its spirit may arise from something quite apart from its rhetoric, or logic or diction. It may be even as the voice of God: not in the strong wind, that rends the mountains and breaks in pieces the rocks before the Lord; not in the earthquake nor in the fire; but in the still, small voice which follows the wind and earthquake and fire.[1] So with a book: its spirit may owe its existence to its simple truth—to the spirit of truth in them that made it.

"Do you ever think," said a writer in one of our popular magazines—"Do you ever think what is the effect of a book on your mind? * * * * Is your mind purer for it, or clearer? Has it filled your mind with good or bad images? Has it raised your standard or lowered it? * * * * * Every book you read and understand affects you for better or worse. It has some effect upon you, and if you are sane you are bound to find out what that is."

In common with all books the Book of Mormon has its spirit, produces its effects upon the minds of men; and as it claims to be a work originally written and also translated through the inspiration of God, and deals primarily with sacred things, it is to be expected that the spirit of this book will have not only a good, but even a divine influence; that it will be of a faith-promoting, doubt-dispersing, comfort-bringing character. Its effects upon the minds of men, therefore, may be another test of its claims to a divine origin; and to that test I now submit it.

In his work entitled "My First Mission," the late President George Q. Cannon makes the following statement respecting the influence exerted over his spirit by reading the Book of Mormon under the trying conditions in which he was placed while serving as a missionary in the Hawaiian Islands:

Some of my readers may be placed in circumstances similar to those which surrounded me a part of the time on the Sandwich Islands, and it may be profitable to tell them how I kept from losing courage and becoming home-sick. My love for home is naturally very strong. For the first year after I left home I could scarcely think about it without my feelings getting the better of me. But here I was in a distant land, among a people whose language and habits were strange to me. Their very food was foreign to me, and unlike anything I had ever before seen or tasted. I was much of the time separated from my companions, the Elders. Until I mastered the language and commenced preaching and baptizing the people, I was indeed a stranger among them.

Before I commenced holding regular meetings I had plenty of time for meditation and to review all the events of my short life, and to think of the beloved home from which I was so far separated. It was then I found the value of the Book of Mormon. It was a book which I always loved. If I felt inclined to be lonely, to be low spirited, or home-sick, I had only to turn to its sacred pages to receive consolation, new strength and a rich outpouring of the Spirit. Scarcely a page that did not contain encouragement for such as I was. The salvation of man was the great theme upon which its writers dwelt and for this they were willing to undergo every privation and make every sacrifice.

What were my petty difficulties compared with those afflictions which they had to endure? If I expected to share the glory for which they contended, I could see that I must labor in the same Spirit. If the sons of King Mosiah could relinquish their high estate, and go forth among the degraded Lamanites to labor as they did, should not I labor with patience and devoted zeal for the salvation of these poor red men, heirs of the same promise?

Let me recommend this book, therefore, to young and old, if they need comfort and encouragement. Especially can I recommend it to those who are away from home on missions. No man can read it, partake of its spirit and obey its teachings, without being filled with a deep love for the souls of men and a burning zeal to do all in his power to save them.

In the experience and sentiments expressed in the foregoing passage, Elder Cannon but voices the experience and sentiments of very many Latter-day Saints, including thousands of missionaries who have felt all that he has described with reference to the effects of the Book of Mormon upon his spirit. The experiences of this host of believers may be properly appealed to as evidence for the effect of the book upon their minds; and I cannot believe but that it is also an evidence of its truth. Men have gone to the Book of Mormon in despondency, and have come away cheered; they have gone to it in sorrow, and have come away comforted; they have gone to it at times when overwhelmed for the moment by the mists which the speculations of men sometimes throw over truth, and have come away from it enlightened—with faith and hope and charity renewed. It created for them a firmer faith in God. In the presence of its spirit doubt took wings. Its moral and spiritual standards they find to be the highest and noblest. Indeed so perfect is its morality that no one has yet been able to bring a complaint against it on the ground of moral defect; and it was doubtless a consciousness of its moral excellence that led the Prophet Joseph Smith himself to declare on one occasion, when in council with the Twelve Apostles, that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and that a man could get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by following any other book whatsoever.[2] If in its historical parts believers find it dealing with events that exhibit selfishness, unholy ambitions, and all the follies and crimes common to all times and all nations and races of men, they never find its treatment of such things of the kind that blazons evil deeds, or consecrates crime, much less of the kind that cannonizes the vicious. In its pages they see things in their true light. There is no shuffling, but evil deeds receive their proper condemnation in the simple, straightforward language of its inspired men. For believers the Book of Mormon differs from the books of men, as the works of nature differ from the works of men. And with what relief men of deep spiritual natures turn from the works of men to the works of nature! From artistic parks, to nature's jumbled wilderness; from well kept gardens, to even desert plains or wild valleys; from grass-lined, men-made lakelets to some huge waterbody, mountain rimmed, of unknown depths and wonderous coloring; from crowded cities with their din and strife to mountain tops, or lonely ocean's shore, where the freed soul in solitude can hold communion with his God—where deep may call to deep, and inspiration gather for life's battles!

All this and more believers find in the pages of the Book of Mormon, and the book that breathes such a spirit must surely have somewhat of divinity in it; and the existence of the divine spirit in the book must be somewhat of evidence that its claims are honest, and its contents true. This, or else we must believe that men gather grapes of thorns, and figs of thistles; that impure fountains send forth pure streams!

I shall be told, however, that the class of witnesses here appealed to, viz., those believers in the Book of Mormon who receive from its pages this spiritual comfort, are for the most part simple folk, who bring little or nothing in the way of scholarship to the examination of the book; and few of them ever stop to consider it in a thoroughly analytical manner at all. I shall not deny the charge, in truth, I rather rejoice in the fact; and I think I am justified in such rejoicing since I must needs think it takes on some of the coloring of that joy which Jesus expressed when he said, on the occasion of some of his simple minded disciples exulting in the possession of certain spiritual graces—"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight."[3] The fact that this spiritual grace and comfort from the volume of American scripture is enjoyed chiefly by people of humble spirit, is an evidence to me that a certain truth expressed by ancient apostles is universal in its nature—good in all ages and among all people, viz. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."[4]

When men speak of pride, their hearers have in mind, chiefly, the "purse-proud"—the pride of the rich made haughty by the power which wealth gives; or else they think of "birth-pride"—the distinction that comes from the accident of birth; or of "political-pride," that comes from civic position; or perhaps the "pride of the brave and strong," gratified by recognition in high martial stations. But there is another pride more offensive to God perhaps, than pride in any one of the forms mentioned. I mean "intellectual pride," the pride of knowledge, of opinion, the pride which so often attends upon the worldly learned man who has not as yet progressed so far in learning as to bring to the mind that humility of spirit which rightly belongs to, and will at last be found with, profound learning. For my own part I can think of nothing that could be a greater offense against the majesty of God than for a man with his limited intellectual power presuming to pass judgment upon and reject the things of God, because, forsooth, these things do not conform to his opinion of what the things of God should be like; or because the way in which they are revealed does not conform to the manner in which he thinks God should impart his truths. Such pride always has and always will separate men from receiving knowledge by divine communication. While the meek and humble of spirit, borne down with the sense of their own limitations, find grace and spiritual enlightenment and comfort in the things which God reveals; and often arrive at hidden treasures of knowledge, and even of wisdom, unknown to the intellectually proud whom God resisteth.

In this connection, too, it should be remembered the class of people for whom the Book of Mormon was especially prepared. While a revelation to all the world, and containing profound truths the depths of which man by human wisdom has not yet sounded, it is primarily designed for the benighted, native American races, fallen from the high station their forefathers once held in God's favor; and its simple plainness and faith-promoting power will yet constitute it a mighty instrumentality in bringing those races to a knowledge of God, and a true understanding of their relationship to him. Hence I say, it is pre-eminently fitting that this book should be of such character as to appeal to the understanding of the simple, and those who are willing and happy to be taught of God. And then, in any event, religion is and ought to be a simple business, since among even highly civilized nations there are many unlearned people who can understand only that which is simple, and religion concerns alike the ignorant and the learned, the poor and the rich. But plain to the point of being simple as the Book of Mormon is, when men are made aware of its power to rest the mind, to cheer the heart, to uplift the soul, they go to its pages for help as the lame and blind and sick were wont to go to old Bethsaida's pool, to whose waters an angel's touch had imparted healing virtues.

The spirit of the Book of Mormon, then, its beneficent influence upon men's minds, are among the strongest evidences of its truth. This will appear all the more if the reader will call to mind the fact that this influence does not arise from the cleverness of its construction; for its structure, as men view books, is complex, confusing and clumsy. Its spirit and influence do not arise from its strictly logical treatment of historical events, much less from its philosophical treatment of them; compared in these particulars with the works of Hume, Macaulay, Gibbon, Hallan or George Bancroft, it could be esteemed contemptible. Nor do the beneficent effects of the book upon the minds of men arise from its rhetoric, its beauty of diction, or the pleasing correctness of its language; in all these particulars it is admitted to be faulty; it has few or none of these merely human excellencies for which it may be desired. Whatever power it possesses to cheer, comfort and encourage men; whatever power to build up hope, create faith or promote charity, exists not by virtue of its human excellencies, but in spite of their absence; therefore such influence for good as it possesses must be attributed to the Spirit of God in which it was written, and by which it is permeated; and by reason of the presence of that spirit in it, the book itself must be accorded a divine origin.

The Poetry the Book of Mormon has Inspired.

As might be expected, the Book of Mormon has inspired considerable poetry among those who have accepted it as a revelation from God; and as some idea of its influence upon minds of poetic temperament may be revealed by these effusions, I present some of them.

I first quote Parley P. Pratt, one of the earliest poets of the New Dispensation, and one of its most zealous Apostles. In his Key to Theology, one of the most luminous works yet published by the Church, when treating of the "Rise, Progress and Decline of the Science of Theology in the Western Hemisphere"—he opens that chapter with the following:

  The spirit world is moved, the silence broken,
  The ancient Seers from out the ground have spoken.
  The appointed years on time's fleet wings have fled,
  And voices whisper from the ancient dead.
  Volumes of truth the sacred archives yield,
  The past, the glorious future, stand revealed.

It was the revelation of the Book of Mormon and the historical truths which it reveals respecting the blessings of the Lord upon Israel that inspired the following hymn:

  The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
      Lo! Zion's standard is unfurled!
  The dawning of a brighter day
      Majestic rises on the world.

  The clouds of error disappear
      Before the rays of truth divine;
  The glory, bursting from afar,
      Wide o'er the nations soon will shine.

  The Gentile fulness now comes in,
      And Israel's blessings are at hand;
  Lo! Judah's remnant, cleansed from sin,
      Shall in their promised Canaan stand.

  Jehovah speaks! let earth give ear,
      And Gentile nations turn and live;
  His mighty arm is making bare,
      His cov'nant people to receive.

  Angels from heaven and truth from earth
      Have met, and both have record borne;
  Thus Zion's light is bursting forth,
      To cheer her children's glad return.

The following hymn was also inspired by the Book of Mormon:

  An angel from on high,
    The long, long silence broke,
  Descending from the sky,
    These gracious words he spoke:
  Lo! in Cumorah's lonely hill,
  A sacred record lies concealed.

  Sealed by Moroni's hand,
    It has for ages lain,
  To wait the Lord's command,
    From dust to speak again.
  It shall again to light come forth,
  To usher in Christ's reign on earth.

  It speaks of Joseph's seed,
    And makes the remnant known
  Of nations long since dead,
    Who once had dwelt alone.
  The fulness of the gospel, too,
  Its pages will reveal to view.

  The time is now fulfilled,
    The long expected day;
  Let earth obedient yield.
    And darkness flee away;
  Open the seals, be wide unfurled
  Its light and glory to the world.

  Lo, Israel filled with joy,
    Shall now be gathered home,
  Their wealth and means employ
    To build Jerusalem;
  While Zion shall arise and shine,
  And fill the earth with truth divine.

Also the following on the destruction of the Nephites and the glory that is yet to come to their posterity.

  O, who that has seen o'er the wide spreading plain,
    And read o'er the last scenes of woe?
  Four-and-twenty with Mormon were left to behold
    Their nation lie mould'ring below.

  The Nephites destroyed, the Lamanites dwelt
    For ages in sorrow unknown,
  Generations have passed till the Gentiles at last,
    Have divided their lands as their own.

  O, who that has seen o'er the wide spreading plain,
    The Lamanites wander forlorn,
  While the Gentiles in pride and oppression divide
    The land they could once call their own;

  And who that believes does not long for the hour
    When sin and oppression shall cease,
  And truth, like the rainbow, display through the shower,
    That bright written promise of peace?

  O, thou sore afflicted and sorrowful race,
    The days of thy sorrow shall end!
  The Lord has pronounced you a remnant of His,
    Descended from Abra'm His friend.

  Thy stones with fair colors most glorious shall stand.
    And sapphires all shining around,
  Thy windows of agates, in this glorious land,
    And thy gates with carbuncles abound.

  With songs of rejoicing to Zion return,
    And sorrow and sighing shall flee,
  The powers of heaven among you come down,
    And Christ in the centre will be.

  And then all the watchmen shall see eye to eye,
    When the Lord shall bring Zion again,
  The wolf and the kid down together shall lie,
    And the lion shall dwell with the lamb.

  The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God,
    And nothing shall hurt nor destroy,
  And these are the tidings we have to proclaim,
    Glad tidings abounding with joy.

After Elder Pratt the most prolific of the early poets in the Church, and one who perhaps caught most truly the genius of the work and reduced it to poetic expression, was W. W. Phelps. He contributes the following inspired by the Book of Mormon.

  O, stop and tell me, Red Man,
    Who are you, why you roam,
  And how you get your living;
    Have you no God, no home?

  With stature straight and portly,
    And decked in native pride,
  With feathers, paints and brooches,
    He willingly replied:

  "I once was pleasant Ephraim,
    When Jacob for me prayed,
  But O, how blessings vanish,
    When man from God has strayed!

  Before your nation knew us,
    Some thousand moons ago,
  Our fathers fell in darkness,
    And wandered to and fro.

  And long they've lived by hunting
    Instead of work and arts,
  And so our race has dwindled
    To idle Indian hearts.

  Yet hope within us lingers,
    As if the Spirit spoke,
  He'll come for your redemption,
    And break your Gentile yoke,

  And all your captive brothers,
    From every clime shall come,
  And quit their savage customs,
    To live with God at home.

  Then joy will fill our bosoms,
    And blessings crown our days,
  To live in pure religion,
    And sing our Maker's praise."

Of our later poets Elder Orson F. Whitney, of the Council of the Twelve, has most celebrated the Nephite volume of scripture in his great poem "Elias." One canto (VI) is wholly devoted to the Book of Mormon under the caption "From Out the Dust." In this Canto Elder Whitney treats the whole theme of America as a land of promise—

  The Old World, not the New,—this soil misnamed;
    Cradle of man and grave of nations vast,
  Whose glory, wealth, and wisdom had outfamed
    The mightiest of known empires, present, past;
  The land where Adam dwelt, where Eden cast
    Forth from her flaming gate the fateful pair
  Who fell that man might be; a fall still chaste,
    Albeit they sinned, descending death's dread stair
  To fling life's ladder down, Love's work and way prepare.

Of the decrees of God respecting the land, he writes.

  The God of freedom, God of justice, swore
    No tyrant should this chosen land defile;
  And nations here, that for a season bore
    The palm of power, must righteous be the while,
  Or ruin's avalanche ruin on ruin pile.
  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  Race upon race has perished in its pride,
    And nations lustrous as the lights of heaven
  Have sinned and sunk, in reckless suicide,
    Upon this soil, since that dread word was given.
  Realms battle-rent and regions tempest-riven;
    The wrath-swept land for ages desolate;
  A wretched remnant blasted, crust, and driven
    Forth by the furies of revengeful fate;
    Till wonder asks in vain, What of their former state?

  Wouldst know the cause, the upas-tree that bore
    The blight of desolation? 'Tis a theme
  To melt Earth's heart, and move all Heaven to pour
    With sorrow's heaving flood, as when supreme
  O'er fallen Lucifer, the generous stream
    Of grief half quenched the joy of victory.
  Mark how the annals of the ages teem
    With repetition? Time, eternity,
    The same have taught; but, few, alas! the moral see.

  There is a sin called self, which binds the world
    In fetters fell, than all save truth more strong;
  A sin most serpentine, round all men curled,
    And in its fatal fold earth writhes full long;
  Crime's great first cause, the primal root of wrong,
    Parent of pride and tree of tyranny.
  To lay the axe doth unto thee belong.
    Strike, that the world may know of liberty,
    And Zion's land indeed a land of Zion be!

The poet treats successively the Jaredite and Nephite occupancy of the western world in the same noble strain of poetry. He closes the Jaredite period with these verses, celebrating the last acts of the two survivors of the Jaredite nation, Ether the Prophet, and Coriantumr the last of the Jaredite kings.

  Usurping treason seized the civic helm,
  Wrong trampled right, and justice, judgment, fled.
  Then strife, division, hosts to battle led;
  The prophets, mocked, lift warning voice in vain;
  A blood-soaked continent, a sea, of dead,
  And of that mighty nation, fallen, self-slain.
  A prophet and a king, a solitary twain.

  That prophet saw the coming of the Lord
  Unto the Old, the New, Jerusalem;
  Saw Israel returning at His word
  From wheresoever His will had scattered them;
  The realm's wide ruin saw, and strove to stem.
  That king, sole scion of a slaughtered race,
  Casting his blood-stained sword and diadem,
  Lived but to see another nation place
  Firm foot upon the soil, then vanished from its face.

The advent of the Nephite colony is told in the following manner.

  Again athwart the wilderness of waves,
    Surging old East and older West between,
  Where the lone sea the flowery Southland laves,
    And crowns o'er many climes the Chilean queen,
  Braving the swell, a storm-tossed bark is seen.
    From doomed Jerusalem, to Jacob dear,
  Albeit a leper, groping, blind, unclean,
    Goes forth Manasseh's prophet pioneer,
    Predestined to unveil the hidden hemisphere.

  His lot to reap and plant on this far shore
    The promise of his fathers. Joseph's bough,
  From Jacob's well, the billowy wall runs o'er.
    Abides in strength the archer-stricken bow,
  Unto the utmost bound prevailing now,
    Of Hesper's heaven-inviting hills. Bend sheaves
  Of Israel, as branches bend with snow,
    Unto his sheaf as mightiest; and as leaves
    For multitude, the son the great sire's glory weaves.

The cataclysms which took place in this western world during the crucifixion and entombment of Messiah and His subsequent advent in the western world, His teaching the gospel here, and the establishment of His Church is told by our poet in the following strains.

  All this and more the prescient monarch saw;
  Messiah's self, Jehovah, Him beheld;
  The Lamb of God, in whom was found no flaw,
  Though Hate's black billows round Him surged and
  Life's deathless tree—deathless, though demon-felled;
  The crash resounding to this far-off shore,
  Whose winnowed remnant welcomed Him revealed
  In risen glory, when had ceased the roar
  And raging of the tempest heralds sent before.

  At whose rebuke the haughty mountains bowed,
  Shorn by the whirlwind, sunk, or swept away,
  No more their frown the lowly valleys cowed,
  Rising like billows 'mid the wrathful fray,
  And dashing 'gainst the skies their dusty spray.
  Rocks, boulders, hills, no Titan strength could lift,
  Hurtle as pebbles in the storm-fiend's play.
  Earth opes her jaws, and through the yawning rift,
  Cities, peoples, vanish, of hope, of life, bereft.

  Three hours of tempest and three days of night;
  Thick darkness, thunder-burst, and lightning flash;
  Millions engulfed, millions in prostrate plight,
  Grovelling as slaves that feel or fear the lash,
  Mingling their groans and cries with grind and crash
  Of crags the cyclone's catapult impels,
  Whose shrieking flails the fields and forests thrash.
  Wild o'er the land roused Ocean's anger swells;
  Fierce Flame's prophetic tongue the final doom foretells.

  Three hours of stormful strife;—then all is still.
  Save for a Voice that universe might hear,
  Proclaiming what hath happed as Heaven's high will,
  Dispensing pardon and dispelling fear,
  Drawing the righteous nearer and more near.
  Anon He lifts the curtain of the sky!
  The midday sun no more their minister;
  Greater hath arisen; and glories multiply
  As angels in their gaze earthward and heavenward fly.

  He greets them as a shepherd greets his flock;
  Shows them His wounded side, His hands, His feet;
  Then builds His Church upon the stricken Rock,
  Where flow life's healing waters, limpid, sweet,
  As infant innocence, that joys to meet
  Its great Original. With holy hand
  He ministers, bids death and hell retreat,
  And singles twelve from out the sainted band
  To sow with gospel light the furrowed, tear-worn land.

Then follows the story of the Nephite golden age, and this by a period of apostasy from God and the final overthrow of the people, concluding with the coming of the Gentile races to the promised land and the advent of the Seer, Joseph Smith, who shall make known through the Book of Mormon the otherwise unknown history of the western world.

  The Gentile comes, as destiny decrees,
    To Joseph's land of wonders held in store.
  Freedom his watchword, sons of Freedom these,
    Like to the favored bands that long before
  A refuge found upon this sheltering shore.
    But champions of right oft wrong the right;
  Oppressed become oppressors in an hour;
    And now, as day that pushes back the night,
    The strong the weak assail, enslave, and put to flight.

  Nor yet can fate forsake them. Japheth's hand
    'Gainst Jacob's wrath-doomed remnant still prevails.
  Tyrants oppress him from the motherland;
    The Lord of hosts a champion arms and mails,
  To match whose might no human power avails;
    Nor grander cause or chieftain e'er came forth.
  Him as its sire a new-born nation hails,
    And fain would crown him, spite his will, his birth,
    Did Heaven vouchsafe such king to shame most kings
        of earth—

  Real though oft recreant sons of Deity,
    Builders, o'erthrowers, of imperial thrones,
  In wrongful act of rightful agency
    Drenching with blood, paving with human bones
  The path to power, gruesome with tears and groans.
    Their lives a failure? God a failure? Nay;
  What'er betide, the soul that sins atones;
    And He who casts the parts all mortals play,
    Succeeds He ever, His the night, and His the day.

  Thine antecedents, thy forerunners, these,
    Prophet of Ephraim, Joseph's namesake seer!
  More than those ancient bridgers of the seas,
    Unveiler of the long-hid hemisphere,
  Whose secret 'tis lies booked and buried here.
    Bring forth that word of Joseph, now to join
  With Judah's word, Messiah's throne to rear;
    That high may rise and holily may shine
    God's house, the pure-in-heart, kingdom of King divine.

The whole Canto, and indeed the whole poem, should be read in order to get the full beauty and power of the poet's theme, in which the Book of Mormon is so large a factor of inspiration.

Summary of Internal Evidences.

This is all I intend to say directly on the subject of the Internal Evidences of the truth of the Book of Mormon; what else remains that could properly fall under this division of the subject will be said in connection with the answers to objections to the claims of the book. Before leaving the subject, however, I ask the reader to recall in one view the various internal evidences considered up to this time, that it may be remembered how numerous they are, and how strong and conclusive they are when massed.

The Internal Evidences of the Book of Mormon consist in the following facts:

The book in style and language is consistent with the theory of its construction;

It responds to the demands both of unity and diversity in its style, under the theory of its structure;

It has all the characteristics of an abridgment;

It meets all the requirements of the circumstances in the matter of names, originality in names, differences between Jaredite and Nephite names, and the custom of Hebrew peoples with reference to names;

Its governments are in harmony with the political principles of the age in which those governments are said to have existed;

The events to which importance is given are such as would be expected from the character of its writers;

The complexity of its structure is in harmony with the theory of its origin;

It meets the requirements in originality of structure, manner of coming forth, theory of peopling America, the nativity of its peoples, accounting for Christian truths in America, and in its doctrines;

Its prophecies, so many and important, so far as the wheels of time have brought them due, are fulfilled, and others are in course of fulfillment;

It deals with subjects worthy of God to reveal, and important for man to know;

It has an atmosphere about it, a spirit, that bears witness of its truth.


1. See I. Kings xix.

2. The Prophet's Journal, November 28, 1841.

3. Luke x: 21.

4. James iv: 6. Peter v: 5.


Objections to the Book of Mormon



"No sane man dreams of maintaining that a religion is true because of the difficulties which it involves; the utmost that can reasonably be maintained is that it may be true in spite of them."[1]

The necessity for a counter theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon was early recognized. Sectarian Christendom felt that Joseph Smith's story of the book's origin must be overthrown, else what would come of this new revelation, this new dispensation of God's word? Joseph Smith's account of the origin of the book was a direct challenge to the teachings of modern Christendom that revelation had ceased; that the awful voice of prophecy would no more be heard; that the volume of scripture was completed and forever closed; and that the Bible was the only volume of scripture. Hence Christendom must find some other origin for this book than that given by Joseph Smith. The first objection then to be considered is the objection to the book's origin by examining the counter theories.


Alexander Campbell's Theory:

Alexander Campbell, founder of the sect of the "Disciples," or "Campbellites," as they are more commonly called, was the first who in any formal, public manner assailed the Book of Mormon, and proposed a counter theory of its origin than that given by Joseph Smith.

Alexander Campbell was born in Ireland, 1788, but educated at Glasgow University, Scotland, where he graduated with the title of Doctor of Divinity. He came to the United States in 1809, settling in Bethany, Virginia, and for some time filled the position of pastor of the Presbyterian church at that place. He soon parted from this communion, however, and began religious work on independent lines; and organized a society whose doctrine was that the Bible should be the sole creed of the church. This led to the establishment of a "Reformed Baptist Church," which finally took the name of "Disciples" or "Christians." Mr. Campbell has generally been accounted—and indeed was—one of the most learned divines of the country and century in which he lived. He founded a college at Bethany, Virginia; and was also the founder of the "Christian Baptist," which finally merged (1830) into the "Millennial Harbinger," both as their titles indicate being religious periodicals. He was the author of a number of works on religious subjects, but is generally remembered through his public debates with Robert Owen, the celebrated English Deist and social reformer; Archbishop Purcell, of the Roman Catholic Church, whose diocese was Cincinnati and vicinity; Rev. N. L. Rice, of the Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. William McCalla.

It will be seen from the foregoing sketch of this celebrated man, that so far as scholarship and trained ability in religious controversy is concerned, he was competent to analyze and make a severe criticism of the Book of Mormon. Before going into that, however, I think there is one other fact bearing on his career that should be noted. It will perhaps be remembered that Walter Scott and Sidney Rigdon were associated with Mr. Campbell in his reform operations in the state of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Up to 1830, the last named gentleman was as energetic in the interests of the "Disciples" as Mr. Scott or Mr. Campbell.

Cardinal points in the reformation proposed by these gentlemen were, first: the recognition of the Bible as the only creed of the church; and after that faith in God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit; repentance of sin, and baptism in water by immersion for the remission of sins. It will be seen at once that in these doctrines the reformers were really preaching a number of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel; and when Sidney Rigdon became interested in Mormonism and visited the Prophet Joseph in New York, December, 1830, a revelation was given through the Prophet to Sidney Rigdon, in which the Lord claimed this reform work, in a way, as his:

Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers and prepared thee for a greater work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold, thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not. Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost. But now 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.[2]

From this it appears that Sidney Rigdon was unconsciously inspired of God in teaching faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins. In evidence that the work of these reformers was a preparatory work to the coming forth of the fullness of the gospel, I may say that perhaps more people joined the Church in an early day from this sect of "Disciples" than from any other denomination whatsoever. But if Sidney Rigdon was inspired of God in this work, and was sent forth even as John the Baptist to prepare the way for the incoming of a still greater work, may it not also be true that Alexander Campbell was inspired of God, and in like manner sent forth to prepare the way for the coming forth of the greater work? Undoubtedly; for if Sidney Rigdon could be thus sent forth, one could easily believe that Alexander Campbell, with his larger knowledge and greater capacity, would more likely be sent forth on such a mission. When, however, the new dispensation of the gospel was brought to his attention, and he came in contact with the Book of Mormon, instead of accepting it, as Sidney Rigdon did, he rejected it; pride of opinion, pride of intellectual attainments, pride as a leader of men, and the founder of a sect are doubtless the causes which induced the spiritual darkness that prevented him from seeing the truth; or, if he saw it, prevented him from accepting it; and hence he chose to reject it, and assail it, and for a number of years was its most pronounced antagonist.

I have already remarked upon the educational and intellectual abilities of Mr. Campbell as fitting him for the work of thorough analysis and criticism of the Book of Mormon; but when one compares his criticism of the book with his debate with Robert Owen, in which he makes a most masterful defense of historic Christianity; or with his debate with Archbishop Purcell which, at the time it took place, was called "The Battle of the Giants"—one can but feel that his performance with reference to the Book of Mormon was wholly unworthy of him. Unworthy both of his great intellect and high character. In his assault upon that book there is a bitterness, and even a vulgarity, entirely absent from his other works, and utterly unaccountable for, unless one can think that in the background of his consciousness there was a realization that the work he assailed was true, and hence his assault is tinged with a bitterness likely to result from such a circumstance.

I shall have occasion to refer to several, in fact to all of Mr. Campbell's objections, in the course of this division of my treatise, but at present I shall confine myself to his theory of the Book of Mormon's origin.

His theory respecting the origin of the book was that Joseph Smith was its author. This he repeats at various places in his criticism.

"Smith," he says, "its real author, as ignorant and as impudent a knave as ever wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book upon a false fact, or a pretended fact, which makes God a lair," etc.


The book proposes to be written at intervals and by different persons during the long period of 1020 years, and yet for uniformity of style, there never was a book more evidently written by one set of fingers, nor more certainly conceived in one cranium since the first book appeared in human language, than this same book. If I could swear to any man's voice, face, or person, assuming different names, I could swear that this book was written by one man. And as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man, and is called the "author" on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single moment but that he is sole author and proprietor of it.[3]

From this it appears that the reasons which induced Alexander Campbell to conclude that Joseph Smith was the "sole author and proprietor" of the Book of Mormon, are,

First: that he is called the Author and Proprietor of it on the title page,[4] and

Second: that there is a uniformity of style throughout the book.

The reason for Joseph Smith calling himself "Author and Proprietor" of the Book of Mormon is easily accounted for. The copyright law of the United States, in force at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon, secured the rights to copies of maps, charts, and books, "to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," but the law said nothing respecting the rights of translators of books, hence Joseph Smith adopted the legal phraseology of the law, and secured the copyright to the Book of Mormon as "author and proprietor," since he could not obtain the copyright as "translator."[5]

That Joseph Smith from the first claimed only to be the translator of the Book of Mormon is evident from the preface to the first edition, where he says:

"I would inform you that I 'translated' by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written 116 pages [of manuscript] which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi by the hand of Mormon," etc.

Throughout the preface he speaks of his work as a "translation." So that it cannot be said that Joseph Smith claimed at any time to be other than a translator of the work, hence any argument based upon Joseph Smith announcing himself as "author and proprietor" of the Book of Mormon merely to comply with the phraseology of the copyright law, is technical and without force.[6]

As to the argument based upon the uniformity of literary style throughout the book, I have already called attention to the requirements both of unity and diversity of style, resulting in the conclusion that the construction of the book does not require a wide diversity of literary style, because of the fact that it is composed chiefly of four writers, two living in the sixth century B. C., and the other two living 400 A. D.[7]

Moreover, it is conceded in these pages that the translation by Joseph Smith was made in such language and literary style as he was competent to execute, and hence uniformity in literary style is to be looked for in the translation since the English is his.[8]

Campbell's theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, nothwithstanding his learning and acknowledged literary ability, failed to be convincing; the evidence of the fact is seen in this that his theory was soon abandoned for another, hence it can be concluded that it was entirely unsatisfactory—that is, failed. Indeed Mr. Campbell himself, as soon as the "Spaulding Theory" of the book's origin was launched, abandoned his own and gave to that his support.[9]


The Spaulding Theory of the Origin of the Book of Mormon.

Taking its source in Erie county, Pennsylvania, and flowing generally in a north-westerly course into Ohio, thence northward through Ashtabula county, Ohio, until it empties into Lake Erie, is Conneaut Creek. It meanders through a country somewhat rich in mounds and other evidences of the existence of civilized races that anciently inhabited America. Very naturally the people inhabiting that section of the country were interested in these subjects. Here resided in the early years of the nineteenth century one Solomon Spaulding, a graduate, it is said, of Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. According to those who have recorded his history, he was born in Ashford, Connecticut, 1761, and graduated at Dartmouth in 1785 with the degree of A. B. He subsequently studied theology, and began preaching in 1800, but on account of failing health he went into the merchandise business at Cherry Valley, New York. He failed in merchandising, and moved to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio, 1807 or 1808.

New Salem is on the banks of the Conneaut Creek, and sometimes is called "Conneaut." Here Spaulding went into the iron foundry business, but failed in that also. In 1809 he began writing a religious romance, incited to the undertaking by reason of the numerous evidences of the civilized races by which he was surrounded at Conneaut. This work, from the concensus of the recollections of those who claimed to have heard portions of it read, he called the "Manuscript Found," from the circumstance of his romance being based upon the pretended finding of the manuscript of it in a cave in the vicinity of New Salem. It feigned also to give an account of the migration of a colony to America in ancient times.

Mr. Spaulding continued to live in New Salem until 1812, when he removed from that place to Pittsburg, Penn., where it is supposed that he resided some two years. It is claimed that while living here Mr. Spaulding placed his manuscript story in the hands of a Mr. Patterson, a printer and publisher of Pittsburg, who retained it for some time; read it and urged Mr. Spaulding to write a title page and preface for it, saying that he would publish it, and that it might be "a source of profit." This, for some unaccountable reason, Mr. Spaulding refused to do. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, "and soon after," said Mrs. Spaulding in a narrative attributed to her, "we moved to Amity, Washington county, Penn., where Mr. Spaulding in 1816 died."

It is claimed, by the advocates of this Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon, that Sidney Rigdon, through a Mr. Lambdin, an employe of Patterson's publishing establishment, became acquainted with this manuscript story; "borrowed" it and copied it, as some say; "stole" it according to the theory of others. Afterwards by some means unexplained, and as I think unexplainable, Sidney Rigdon, it is claimed, became associated with Joseph Smith living in Manchester Township, New York, or in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania—from 250 to 300 miles distant from any point where Sidney Rigdon resided during those years when the Book of Mormon was coming forth,—collaborated with him, and published Spaulding's romance, with religious doctrinal matter added by Rigdon, as the Book of Mormon. This is the theory most generally accepted by those who recognize the importance of overthrowing the account of the book's origin given by Joseph Smith.

I wish now to call attention to the circumstance under which this theory came to be substituted for the much more tenable, though inadequate one, advanced some years earlier by Alexander Campbell.

This settlement on Conneaut Creek, called New Salem, was on the route usually traveled by the Saints and Elders in their journey from New York to Kirtland, Ohio, and from Kirtland, Ohio, to the branches of the Church, established in Canada, New York, and Pennsylvania, hence the people of that neighborhood were frequently brought in contact with Mormonism, and the story of its origin was often before them.

In the fall of 1833, a number of affidavits were taken from the former neighbors and friends of Solomon Spaulding, and one was given by his brother, John Spaulding, and one by the latter's wife, Martha Spaulding. They at the time were residing at Crawford, Pennsylvania, and both testified they had "recently read the Book of Mormon," and recognized in it the general outlines of Solomon Spaulding's story, claiming especially to remember the names "Nephi and Lehi;" the words "Nephites and Lamanites;" and also the ancient scriptural style and the frequent use of the phrase "and it came to pass;" and that the American Indians are descendants of the Jews, or "lost tribes of Israel."

Mr. Henry Lake, an associate in business with Mr. Spaulding, living at Conneaut in the fall of 1833, in connection with others that will be named, living in the same neighborhood, testified that Solomon Spaulding read to him the "Manuscript Found;" that it represented the American Indians as the descendants of the "lost tribes" of Israel, and that he suggested to Mr. Spaulding that the frequent use of the phrase "and it came to pass" rendered the book ridiculous.

John N. Miller testified substantially to the same things saying in addition that Spaulding's story landed his colony near the "Straits of Darien," which he was confident he called "Zarahemla."

Aaron Wright testified to substantially the same things as the foregoing. That the American Indians, according to Spaulding's story, were descendants of the "lost tribes" of Israel, and claims especially that the historical part of the Book of Mormon is substantially what he heard read from the "Manuscript Found," though he excepts out of the work, as not being Spaulding's, the religious matter.

Oliver Smith testified substantially to the same things, saying in effect that on reading the Book of Mormon he at once recognized it as the writings of Solomon Spaulding.

Nahum Howard, testified that he had recently read the Book of Mormon, and believed that all but the religious part of it was the same as that written by Spaulding.

Artemas Cunningham, living in Perry, Geauga county, Ohio, testified that in 1811 he waited upon Solomon Spaulding at his home in New Salem, to collect debts, and that the latter read to him on that occasion some parts of his manuscript story, partially examining the Book of Mormon he became convinced that Spaulding had written its outlines before he left Conneaut.[10]

It is upon the testimony of these parties that the Spaulding theory rests. Subsequently many others claimed to have information upon the subject, and gave statements to newspapers almost ad infinitum, constantly varying the claims and adding items that so burdened the theory with inconsistencies and contradictions that it breaks down, as we shall see, under the accumulation. But now as to the manner in which this theory came to be exploited.

As in former dispensations of the gospel, so in this last dispensation, the gospel net gathers of all kinds. Some are fit for the Master's use, and some fit only to be cast back into the world, as worthless fish are cast back into the sea. Of such was one "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt. He made his first appearance in Kirtland in the early spring of 1833, where, after investigating Mormonism, he accepted it, and on the 18th of March of that year was ordained an Elder. Soon afterwards he went on a brief mission to the east, where he was guilty of unchristianlike conduct in his deportment with women. On his return to Kirtland he was confronted with this charge, and at a conference of High Priests was deprived of his license as an Elder, and excommunicated from the Church. From this decision he appealed to the Council of the First Presidency, and because of his confession and apparent repentance he was restored. Shortly afterwards, however, he boasted of having deceived both the Prophet and the council, and he was again excommunicated from the Church, after which he avowed himself the enemy of the Prophet Joseph and of Mormonism, and sought by all means within his power to destroy both. His threats against the Prophet's life became so violent that he was arraigned before the court in Chardon, the county seat of Geauga county, and bound over in the sum of two hundred dollar bonds, to keep the peace, and to pay the cost of the proceedings.[11]

The title of "Doctor" given to this man, and which when rightfully held gives evidence of respectability as well as of professional standing, did not grow out of the fact that he was a physician, nor was it a little of honor at all with him, but was given to him because he was the "seventh son" in his family, who, according to the old folklore, should be made a physician, hence he was called "Doc" or "Doctor." According to the statement of Joseph E. Johnson, who was acquainted with him at Kirtland, Hurlburt was a man of fine physique, very good looking but pompous and ambitious, which lead him to seek position in the Church and solicit marriage with the "first families;" but his evil character thwarted all such efforts.

It is this man who is chiefly responsible for the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon. Having heard of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" on Conneaut Creek, he immediately entered into negotiations with the Prophet's enemies in and about Kirtland, and by them was employed to gather up the statements to which reference has been made, as also, if possible, to secure the Spaulding manuscript for the purpose of comparing it with the Book of Mormon. He also went to the former home of the Prophet, for the purpose of collecting all the scandal and rumors that could be gathered up or manufactured against the Smith family; as also all the stories and neighborhood gossip which became current about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Meantime, however, the true character of Hurlburt became so generally known and was so unsavory, that those who had employed him to gather this material for the contemplated anti-Mormon book found it necessary to drop Hurlburt, and leave the publication in the hands of others.

Among those who had interested themselves in these plans for the destruction of the Book of Mormon and the Church, was E. D. Howe, of Painsville, Ohio. Painsville is but a few miles distant northwest of Kirtland. One of Mr. Howe's reasons for anger against the Church was the fact that both his wife and sister had become converts to the new faith. He purchased the materials that had been gathered for Hurlburt's Anti-Mormon book, and published them under the title of "Mormonism Unveiled," (1834). It is the first Anti-Mormon book of any pretentions, and has been the chief source of "information" for all the Anti-Mormon publications which have followed it, that pretend to relate at all the early events connected with the coming forth of the great latter-day work. It took some six years to dispose of the first edition, as the second edition was not issued until 1840. So little influence, however, did "Mormonism Unveiled" have that many people in the very region of its origin continued to accept the Book of Mormon, and became members of the Church of the Latter-day Saints.

After the publication of Howe's book in 1834, there were no further developments in the Spaulding Theory until May, 1839, when attention was again called to it through the publication of what purported to be either an affidavit or signed statement[12] by Mrs. Matilda Davison. This lady was formerly Solomon Spaulding's wife, and lived with him until his death in 1816. Four years later she married Mr. Davison, and at the time of the publication of the signed statement here referred to, was living with her daughter, Mrs. M'Kenstry, at Monson, Massachusetts. Her statement follows:


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

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

Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination, and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage he resided in Cherry Valley, New York. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio, sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated on Conneaut Creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity led him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this imaginary history was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. Spaulding progressed in deciphering the manuscript; and when he had sufficient portion prepared, he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with the work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read. From New Salem we removed to Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania. Here Mr. Spaulding found a friend and acquaintance, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. Patterson, who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it for a long time, and informed Mr. Spaulding that if he would make out a title page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. Spaulding refused to do. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated, became acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copied it. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, etc., where Mr. Spaulding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. M'Kenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside, and by other friends.

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


This statement was published at the instance of Dr. John Storrs, a Congregational minister of Holliston, Massachusetts. The incentive for his action was the fact that a number of his congregation had become converts to the Mormon faith and he was angry.[13] Mrs. Davison, however, denied ever having given such a signed statement, as appears from the following communication published in the "Quincy Whig," at Quincy, Illinois. It was published in the Illinois paper shortly after the "Davison Statement" appeared in the "Boston Recorder," under the following title:


It will be recollected that a few months since an article appeared in several of the papers, purporting to give an account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. How far the writer of that piece has effected his purposes, or what his purposes were in pursuing the course he has, I shall not attempt to say at this time, but shall call upon every candid man to judge in this matter for himself, and shall content myself by presenting before the public the other side of the question in the form of a letter, as follows:

Copy of a letter written by Mr. John Haven, of Holliston, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, to his daughter, Elizabeth Haven, of Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois.

Your brother Jesse passed through Monson where he saw Mrs. Davison and her daughter Mrs. McKenstry and also Dr. Ely and spent several hours with them, during which time he asked them the following questions, viz.:

"Question.—Did you, Mrs. Davison, write a letter to John Storrs, giving an account of the origin of the Book of Mormon?

Answer.—I did not.

Q.—Did you sign your name to it?

A.—I did not, neither did I ever see the letter until I saw it in the "Boston Recorder," the letter was never brought to me to sign.

Q.—What agency had you in having this letter sent to Mr. Storrs?

A.—D. R. Austin came to my house and asked me some questions, took some minutes on paper, and from these minutes wrote that letter.

Q.—Is what is written in the letter true?

A.—In the main it is.

Q. Have you read the Book of Mormon?

A.—I have read some in it.

Q.—Does Mr. Spaulding's manuscript and the Book of Mormon agree?

A.—I think some few of the names are alike.

Q.—Does the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people?

A.—An idolatrous people?

Q.—Where is the manuscript?

A.—D. P. Hurlburt came here and took it, said he would get it printed and let me have one-half the profits.

Q.—Has D. P. Hurlburt got the manuscript printed?

A.—I received a letter stating that it did not read as he expected, and he should not print it.

Q.—How large is Mr. Spaulding's manuscript?

A.—About one-third as large as the Book of Mormon.

Q.—To Mrs. McKinstry: How old were you when your father wrote the manuscript?

A.—About five years of age.

Q.—Did you ever read the manuscript?

A.—When I was about twelve years old I used to read it for diversion.

Q.—Did the manuscript describe an idolatrous or a religious people?

A.—An idolatrous people.

Q.—Does the manuscript and the Book of Mormon agree?

A.—I think some of the names agree.

Q.—Are you certain that some of the names agree?

A.—I am not.

Q.—Have you read any in the Book of Mormon?

A.—I have not.

Q.—Was your name attached to that letter, which was sent to Mr. John Storrs, by your order?

A.—No, I never meant that my name should be there.

You see by the above questions and answers, that Mr. Austin, in his great zeal to destroy the Latter-day Saints, has asked Mrs. Davison a few questions, then wrote a letter to Mr. Storrs, in his own language. I do not say that the above questions and answers were given in the form that I have written them, but these questions were asked, and these answers given. Mrs. Davison is about seventy years of age, and somewhat broke."

This may certify that I am personally acquainted with Mr. Haven, his son and daughter, and am satisfied they are persons of truth. I have also read Mr. Haven's letter to his daughter, which has induced me to copy it for publication, and I further say, the above is a correct copy of Mr. Haven's letter.

(Signed) A. BADLAM.[14]

The foregoing statement from the "Quincy Whig" is considerably strengthened by a work published by "Funk & Wagnalls" (1885), by Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson, a grand daughter of Willian H. Sabine, a brother of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davison. Mrs. Dickenson, whose work is called "New Light on Mormonism," devotes a number of her chapters to the elaboration of the Spaulding theory, and in an appendix publishes twenty-seven documents bearing upon the subject of the Spaulding manuscript; but nowhere, either in the body of her work or in this appendix, publishes the alleged statement of Mrs. Davison, which is pretty clear evidence that the statement was never given by Mrs. Davison nor authorized by her. Mrs. Dickinson from the amount of research she devoted to the subject could not have been ignorant of its existence, and more especially as she was a relative of Mrs. Davison—grand-niece—and wrote her book as the representative of the Spaulding relatives to set forth the Spaulding theory in its proper light.[15] Of course had Mrs. Davison done her full duty in the premises as an author, she would have made reference to this forged statement credited to her grand-aunt and repudiated it in her name; but this she failed to do. However, her silence with reference to this statement and her failure to place it in her collection of documents on the subject, amounts to the same thing—a repudiation of it.

But even if Mrs. Davison's repudiation of the article, to which her name was attached by others, did not exist, and if the repudiation of it by her grand-niece by refusing it admission into her collection of documents on the Spaulding theory did not exist, there is enough in the statement itself to establish its utter unreliability. These are:

First: The description of the manner in which John Spaulding, brother of Solomon Spaulding, learned of the identity between the Book of Mormon and his brother's "Manuscript Found." According to the "Davison statement," he was at New Salem when a public speaker read excerpts from the Book of Mormon, and immediately recognized the work of his brother. Whereupon, his amazement and grief found vent in "a flood of tears," and he rose "on the spot" and expressed his sorrow and regrets that his brother's writings should be used for a purpose so "vile and shocking." In the statement of John Spaulding, published in Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," there is nothing of all this dramatic circumstance. In that statement[16] there is no agony of grief; no flood of tears; no denunciation on the spot; no reference to a purpose "vile and shocking;" just a plain statement that he had "recently read the Book of Mormon;" and the claim that he found nearly the same historical matter in it as in his brother's writings; some names that were alike, and that the "Manuscript Found" held to the theory that the American Indians were descendants of the "lost tribes;" and evidently supposes that the Book of Mormon held the same theory. Had any such circumstance as described in the "Davison Statement" occurred, it would undoubtedly have appeared in John Spaulding's statement published by Howe five years before this second version was put forth. Had such incidents really taken place, they would have been too rich in dramatic incident to have escaped the publishers of "Mormonism Unveiled."

Second: The "Davison Statement" represents that it was through a "woman preacher" that the Book of Mormon was represented at the public meeting at New Salem, where John Spaulding denounced it on the spot. It is well known that the Church of the Latter-day Saints at that time had no "woman preacher," hence no such circumstance could have occurred.[17]

Third: The "Davison Statement" represents Sidney Rigdon as being connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburg, but strangest of all it represents that gentleman as having frequently admitted that connection, whereas, as we shall see later, Sidney Rigdon every where and at all times expressly denied any such connection.

These inconsistencies of the "Davison Statement" with the well known facts in the case reveal its utterly fraudulent character; and here we may pause just long enough to remark the desperate straits the opponents of the Book of Mormon were driven to in those days, when they must needs resort to such methods of opposition as are apparent in this bogus statement. Does it not cast suspicion upon the whole Spaulding theory? A suspicion which not all the supposed respectability that goes with titles of "Doctor of Divinity," "Reverend," "Ministers of the Gospel," etc., can remove?

After this attempt to galvanize into life the Spaulding theory by the Reverend John Storrs,—by methods, as we have seen, that were infamous!—it slumbered until the year 1880, when Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson, the grand-niece of Mrs. Davison, again revived it by the publication of an article in "Scribner's Magazine" for August of that year. The chief item of interest in Mrs. Dickenson's publication was an affidavit by Mrs. M. S. McKenstry, the daughter of Solomon Spaulding, who claimed to have some childhood recollections of her father's manuscript story. Her affidavit follows:


Washington, D. C., April 3, 1880.

So much has been published that is erroneous concerning "The Manuscript Found," written by my father, the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, and its supposed connection with the book called the Mormon Bible, I have willingly consented to make the following statement regarding it, repeating all that I remember personally of this manuscript, and all that is of importance which my mother related to me in connection with it, at the same time affirming that I am in tolerable health and vigor, and that my memory, in common with elderly people, is clearer in regard to the events of my earlier years rather than those of my maturer life.

During the war of 1812 I was residing with my parents in a little town in Ohio called Conneaut. I was then in my sixth year. My father was in business there, and I remember his iron foundry and the men he had at work, but that he remained at home most of the time, and was reading and writing a great deal. He frequently wrote little stories, which he read to me. There were some round mounds of earth near our house which greatly interested him, and he said a tree on the top of one of them was a thousand years old. He set some of his men to work digging into one of these mounds, and I vividly remember how excited he became when he heard that they had exhumed some human bones, portions of gigantic skeletons, and various relics. He talked with my mother of these discoveries in the mound, and was writing every day as the work progressed. Afterwards he read the manuscript which I had seen him writing, to the neighbors, and to the clergyman, a friend of his who came to see him. Some of the names that he mentioned while reading to these people I have never forgotten. They are as fresh to me today as though I heard them yesterday. They were "Mormon," "Maroni," "Lamenite,"[18] "Nephi."

We removed from Conneaut to Pittsburg while I was still very young, but every circumstance of this removal is distinct in my memory. In that city my father had an intimate friend named Patterson, and I frequently visited Mr. Patterson's library with him, and heard my father talk about books with him. In 1816 my father died at Amity, Penn., and directly after his death my mother and myself went to visit at the residence of my mother's brother, William H. Sabine, at Onondaga Valley, Onondaga Co., N. Y. Mr. Sabine was a lawyer of distinction and wealth, and greatly respected. We carried all our personal effects with us, and one of these was an old trunk, in which my mother had placed all my father's writings which had been preserved. I perfectly remember the appearance of this trunk, and of looking at its contents. There were sermons and other papers, and I saw a manuscript about an inch thick, closely written, tied with some of the stories my father had written for me, one of which he called "The Frogs of Wyndham." On the outside of this manuscript were written the words, "Manuscript Found." I did not read it, but looked through it, and had it in my hands many times, and saw the names I had heard at Conneaut, when my father read it to his friends. I was about eleven years of age at this time.

After we had been at my uncle's for some time my mother left me there and went to her father's house at Pomfret, Conn., but did not take her furniture nor the old trunk of manuscripts with her. In 1820 she married Mr. Davison, of Hartwicks, a village near Cooperstown, N. Y., and sent for the things she had left at Onondaga Valley, and I remember that the old trunk with its contents, reached her in safety. In 1828 I was married to Dr. A. McKinstry, of Monson, Hampden Co., Mass., and went there to reside. Very soon after my mother joined me there, and was with me most of the time until her death, in 1844. We heard, not long after she came to live with me—I do not remember just how long—something of Mormonism, and the report that it had been taken from my father's "Manuscript Found;" and then came to us direct an account of the Mormon meeting at Conneaut, Ohio, and that, on one occasion, when the Mormon Bible was read there in public, my father's brother, John Spaulding, Mr. Lake and many other persons who were present, at once recognized its similarity to "The Manuscript Found," which they had heard read years before by my father in the same town. There was a great deal of talk and a great deal published at this time about Mormonism all over the country. I believe it was in 1834 that a man named Hurlburt came to my house at Monson to see my mother, who told us that he had been sent by a committee to procure "The Manuscript Found," written by the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, so as to compare it with the Mormon Bible. He presented a letter to my mother from my uncle, William H. Sabine, of Onondaga Valley, in which he requested her to loan this manuscript to Hurlburt, as he (my uncle) was desirous "to uproot" (as he expressed it) "this Mormon fraud." Hurlburt represented that he had been a convert to Mormonism, but had given it up, and through "The Manuscript Found" wished to expose its wickedness. My mother was careful to have me with her in all the conversations she had with Hurlburt, who spent a day at my house. She did not like his appearance, and mistrusted his motives; but having great respect for her brother's wishes and opinions, she reluctantly consented to his request. The old trunk, containing the desired "Manuscript Found," she had placed in the care of Mr. Jerome Clark, of Hartwicks, when she came to Monson, intending to send for it. On the repeated promise of Hurlburt to return the manuscript to us, she gave him a letter to Mr. Clark to open the trunk and deliver it to him. We afterwards heard that he did receive it from Mr. Clark at Hartwicks, but from that time we have never had it in our possession, and I have no present knowledge of its existence, Hurlburt never returning it or answering letters requesting him to do so. Two years ago I heard he was still living in Ohio, and with my consent he was asked for "The Manuscript Found." He made no response, although we have evidence that he received the letter containing the request. So far I have stated facts within my own knowledge. My mother mentioned many other circumstances to me in connection with this subject which are interesting, of my father's literary tastes, his fine education, and peculiar temperament. She stated to me that she had heard the manuscript alluded to read by my father, was familiar with its contents, and she deeply regretted that her husband, as she believed, had innocently been the means of furnishing matter for a religious delusion. She said that my father loaned this "Manuscript Found" to Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburg, and that, when he returned it to my father, he said: "Polish it up, finish it, and you will make money out of it." My mother confirmed my remembrances of my father's fondness for history, and told me of his frequent conversations regarding a theory which he had of a prehistoric race which had inhabited this continent, etc., all showing that his mind dwelt on this subject. "The Manuscript Found," she said, was a romance written in Biblical style, and that while she heard it read she had no especial admiration for it more than for other romances he wrote and read to her. We never, either of us, ever saw, or in any way communicated with the Mormons, save Hurlburt, as above described; and while we had no personal knowledge that the Mormon Bible was taken from "The Manuscript Found," there were many evidences to us that it was, and that Hurlburt and others at the time thought so. A convincing proof to us of this belief was that my uncle, William H. Sabine, had undoubtedly read the manuscript which was in his house, and his faith that its production would show to the world that the Mormon Bible had been taken from it, or was the same with slight alterations. I have frequently answered questions which have been asked me by different persons regarding "The Manuscript Found," but until now have never made a statement at length for publication.

(Signed) M. S. McKENSTRY.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3rd day of April, A. D. 1880, at the city of Washington, D. C. CHARLES WALTER, Notary Public.

The items to be noted in this affidavit are: First: That Mrs. McKenstry was in her sixth year (i. e., five years old) in 1812, the year that the Spaulding family left Conneaut, Ohio, for Pennsylvania. Four years later, in 1816, her father died, so that she was in her tenth year when that event took place, hence all her recollections concerning the matter were those of a child between the ages of five and nine years. When it is remembered how the half recollections of childhood blend in with, and are modified by—or half made up—of things that one hears about such days, no very great importance can be attached to the statements she makes from personal knowledge of what "Manuscript Found" contained.

Second: When about eleven years of age, when living at her uncle's in Onondaga Valley, New York, (to which place she had removed with her mother) she finds in an old trunk the writings of her father, and among them a manucript about an inch thick, closely written, and entitled "Manuscript Found." She did not read it, but had it in her hands many times, and saw the names she claims to have heard at Conneaut.

Third: The visit of Hurlburt many years later, 1834, to herself and mother then residing at Monson, Massachusetts, who presented a letter from her uncle, W. H. Sabine, in which he requested Mrs. Davison (formerly wife of Spaulding, it will be remembered) to loan the manuscript of Spaulding's to Hurlburt for the purpose of "uprooting Mormonism."

Fourth: That Mrs. Davison gave an order to Hurlburt on Mr. Jerome Clark of Hartwicks, New York, with whom she had left the trunk containing the manuscript.

Fifth: That Hurlburt obtained "Manuscript Found" upon this order, and that Mrs. Davison could never afterwards obtain any information from him concerning it.

The interest created by Mrs. Dickenson's article in Scribner's, lead to her making a more ambitious effort, and in 1885 she published a book of some 275 pages under the title, "New Light on Mormonism," (which by the way, is a sad misnomer, since it is but a rehash of all the stale, Anti-Mormon stories in existence) which failed of making any great stir in the world, just as all Anti-Mormon books up to date, by the way, have failed.

The last phase in the development of the Spaulding theory is a denouement; namely, the discovery and publication of Spaulding's "Manucript Found," which determines forever the fact that it was not the source whence the Book of Mormon was derived.

In 1839 or 1840, a Mr. L. L. Rice purchased the "Painesville Telegraph," a newspaper, of Mr. E. D. Howe, the publisher of "Mormonism Unveiled." The transfer of the printing department, types, press, etc., was accompanied with a large collection of books and manuscripts, and undoubtedly the Spaulding manuscript, which Hurlburt had delivered to Howe, was with the rest. Some years afterwards, Mr. Rice closed up his business affairs in Painesville and finally made his home in Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, taking with him his books, papers, etc. In 1884 Mr. James H. Fairchild, President of Oberlin College, Ohio, visited Mr. Rice, and suggested that the latter look through his numerous papers for the purpose of finding among them anti-slavery documents (slavery being a subject in which Mr. Rice had been much interested when living in Ohio) that might be of value. Mr. Rice accepted the suggestions and, in his search discovered a package marked in pencil on the outside "Manuscript Story, Conneaut Creek;" and on the last page of the manuscript the following inscription:

The Writings of Solomon Spaulding Proved by Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, John Miller and Others, the Testimonies of the Above Gentlemen are Now in My Possession.


This document proved to be the long lost romance of Solomon Spaulding. President Fairchild gave the following account of the document and its discovery in the January number, 1885, of the "Bibliotheca Sacra," published at Oberlin, Ohio:

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, formerly an anti-slavery editor in Ohio, and for many years state printer at 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 one hundred and seventy-five pages, small quarto, purporting to be a history of the migrations 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."

There seems to be no reason to doubt that this is the long-lost story. Mr. Rice himself and others compared it with the Book of Mormon and could detect no resemblance between the two, in general or in detail. There seems to be no name or incident common to the two. The solemn style of the Book of Mormon, in imitation of the English scriptures, does not appear in the manuscript. The only resemblance is the fact that both profess to set forth the history of lost tribes. Some other explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon must be found if any explanation is required.


The means now of ascertaining whether the Book of Mormon came from Spaulding's manuscript was completed. A verbatim et literatim transcript was obtained from Mr. L. L. Rice by President Joseph F. Smith, who in 1884 and 1885 was residing in the Sandwich Islands. This, in 1886, was published by the "Deseret News" exactly according to the transcript, with all its errors of grammar and orthography, as also with all the alterations, erasures, etc., made by its author, indicated. After a careful examination of it, I think everybody will come to the same conclusion that President Fairchild did: namely, that there is "no resemblance between the two, in general or in detail. There seems to be no name or incident common to the two—a fact that completely explodes the theory that Spaulding's manuscript was the origin of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Rice is of the same opinion as President Fairchild, though more emphatic in the expression of it. He says:

I should as soon think the Book of Revelation was written by the author of "Don Quixote," as that the writer of this manuscript was the author of the Book of Mormon.

Then in a postscript to the letter from which the above is a quotation, he says:

Upon reflection, since writing the foregoing, I am of the opinion that no one who reads this manuscript will give credit to the story that Solomon Spaulding was in any wise the author of the Book of Mormon. It is unlikely that any one who wrote so elaborate a work as the Mormon Bible would spend his time in getting up so shallow a story as this, which at best is but a feeble imitation of the other. Finally I am more than half convinced that this is his only writing of the sort, and that any pretense that Spaulding was in any sense the author of the other is a sheer fabrication. It was easy for anybody who may have seen this, or heard anything of its contents, to get up the story that they were identical.

Subsequently and in another letter he said:

My opinion is, from all I have seen and learned, that this is the only writing of Spaulding, and there is no foundation for the statement of Deming and others that Spaulding made another story, more elaborate, of which several copies were written, one of which Rigdon stole from a printing office in Pittsburg, etc.[19]

Mr. Rice finally deposited the original Spaulding manuscript with the Oberlin College, where it now lies secure for the inspection of the curious, and a standing refutation to the extravagant claims that have been made respecting the part it played in the origin of the Book of Mormon.

Let us now review the course of those who originated this Spaulding theory, and foister it upon the world. It was evidently conceived by "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt, the enemy of the Prophet Joseph and of Mormonism. He had heard of Spaulding's writings in Pennsylvania, also at Conneaut, Ohio, and in his hatred of Mormonism determined to show some connection between the writings of Spaulding and the Book of Mormon, in the hope of destroying faith in the divine origin of the latter. He appealed to other enemies of the Prophet, and with their financial assistance started out to collect affidavits and statements that would prove his theory. Hurlburt, under Mrs. Davison's order, as already seen, obtained Spaulding's story "The Manuscript Found," undoubtedly the identical story which Spaulding had read to his neighbors on Conneaut Creek. This is proved by the fact that the document which Hurlburt turned over to Howe[20] corresponds with every description that is given concerning the size and character of the manuscript.

Mrs. Davison, in her conversation with Jesse Haven, declares that the manuscript would be "about one-third as large as the Book of Mormon"[21] (that is, would produce about one-third of the printed matter in that book.)

Mrs. McKinstry, in describing "Manuscript Found" which she had in her hands many times, says that the manuscript was "about one inch thick, and closely written." This agrees closely with the statement of Mrs. Davison on the subject. Mr. Howe, in his book, declares that the "Manuscript Found" in Mrs. Spaulding Davison's trunk was "in Spaulding's hand writing, containing about one quire of paper."[22]

All witnesses who came in contact with this manuscript story declare that the title of it was "The Manuscript Found;" or "Manuscript Found." This is the statement of nearly all the witnesses on Conneaut Creek, whose testimony appears in Howe's "Mormonism," and that it contained the names of "Nephi," "Lehi," "Mormon," "Lamanites," etc., and was based on the theory that the American Indians were the "Lost tribes of Israel." But when Hurlburt returned to Conneaut with this precious "Manuscript Found," according to Howe's own statement, it was not at all what it had been represented to be. Howe says of the manuscript:

This is a romance purporting to have been translated from the Latin found on 24 rolls of parchment in a cave on the banks of Conneaut Creek, but written in modern style, and giving a fabulous account of a ship's being driven upon the American coast while proceeding from Rome to Britain a short time previous to the Christian era; this country then being inhabited by the Indians. This old manuscript has been shown to several of the foregoing witnesses,[23] who recognize it as Spaulding's.

The foregoing accurately describes the "Manuscript Found," since obtained of Mr. L. L. Rice and published; and by both its title and its size is identified to be the manuscript read by Spaulding to his neighbors.

This manuscript must have been a very great disappointment to the conspirators against the Book of Mormon. They had staked their all on the fact of Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" being the foundation matter of the Book of Mormon, but when found it proved to be so dissimilar that they could not, with any face, undertake to maintain that this manuscript was the source whence the Book of Mormon was derived. What must be done to meet this dilemma? That those who had gone this far in opposing the work of God would repent of their folly, and admit their defeat would be too much to expect. No; instead of doing that they resorted to the following subterfuge. I quote Howe:

This manuscript has been shown to several of the foregoing witnesses who recognize it as Spaulding's, he having told them that he had altered his first plan of writing, by going farther back with dates, and writing in the old scripture style, in order that it might appear more ancient. They say that it bears no resemblance to the "Manuscript Found."[24]

Two things, in this statement, are extremely unfortunate for the reputation of Mr. Howe, and those who have been beguiled into accepting the theory of his book respecting the origin of the Book of Mormon:

First: The fact that in none of the statements of the witnesses who heard Mr. Spaulding read his manuscript is there any account of his having made two drafts of his story, one which he found too modern to suit the antiquities of America, and written in modern style; and the other going farther back in time and written in the old scripture style, in order to make it appear more ancient. All this seems to have been an after thought, a subterfuge, when it was learned that "The Manuscript Found" did not warrant the theory that it was the foundation of the Book of Mormon. The things it is here claimed were said by these Conneaut witnesses concerning a second Spaulding Manuscript on American antiquities, are not said by them, but for them by Mr. Howe.

Second: That Mr. Howe himself wickedly conceals the fact that this old Roman story of Spaulding's was labeled "Manuscript Found;" and in addition to concealing that fact declares that the witnesses say "that it bears no resemblance to the "Manuscript Found," when, as a matter of fact, this Roman story itself was the "Manuscript Found." Comment is unnecessary; a bare statement of the facts expose the villainy of these conspirators.[25]

Relative to the manner in which it is supposed the Spaulding manuscript came into the hands of Joseph Smith, the theories differ. Howe supposes that Lambdin, alleged partner of Patterson in the printing business at Pittsburg, placed in the hands of Sidney Rigdon the "Manuscript Found," to be "embellished, altered, and added to as he might think expedient" to transform it into what is now the Book of Mormon.[26] When Howe put forth this theory, Lambdin had been dead some eight years.[27]

Query: Did Howe select this dead man as the medium through which the Spaulding manuscript reached the hands of Sidney Rigdon, and thence to Joseph Smith, for the reason that the dead man could not arise to contradict it? We shall see that Patterson contradicted it when that gentleman was appealed to in order to confirm his connection with Sidney Rigdon.

The Rev. John Storrs, in the bogus signed statement he put forth as coming from Mrs. Davison, represents her as saying that Rigdon became acquainted with Spaulding's manuscript "and copied it," and that this was a "matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment." According to this "Davison Statement," the manuscript was returned to Mr. Spaulding before he left Pittsburg for Amity (where he died), and that the manuscript after this was "carefully preserved" by Mrs. Spaulding, until delivered to Hurlburt, in 1834.

Rev. Clark Braden, a Campbellite minister, in a protracted debate on the Book of Mormon in Kirtland, 1884, declares that Sidney Rigdon stole the Spaulding manuscript and that Mrs. (Spaulding) Davison—he should have said rather the Rev. John Storrs, the real author of the "Davison Statement"—was mistaken in saying that Rigdon "copied it" and returned the original to Mr. Spaulding.[28]

Mrs. McKenstry's affidavit on the subject, published in Scribner's for August, 1880, says he (Solomon Spaulding) loaned the manuscript to Mr. Patterson; that he read it and returned it to its author, with the suggestion that he "polish it up and finish it," and that he might make money out of it; but when Mr. Patterson was appealed to for information on the subject he said he had "no recollection of any such manuscript being brought there (i. e., to his establishment in Pittsburg) for publication."[29]

Mrs. Ellen E. Dickinson, grand-niece of Solomon Spaulding and the author of "New Light on Mormonism," holds that the Spaulding manuscript remained safely in the hands of the family until turned over to Hurlburt. At this point she thinks several things may have befallen the manuscript. One, that Hurlburt "sold the manuscript to the Mormons for a sum of money which he used in purchasing a farm near Gibonsburg, Ohio, where he now [1880] resides; and that the Mormons burned the manuscript at Conneaut." Another, that "Hurlburt sold it with a sworn agreement that it should not be given to the world until after his death." Then she concludes:

There are circumstances which support both theories; but the author's opinion, after a careful study of the matter, is, that Hurlburt made a copy of the original manuscript, which he sold to E. D. Howe, of Painsville, to use in writing the book "Mormonism Unveiled," and sold the original to the Mormons, who destroyed it. The life of Hurlburt since his return from his errand of duplicity to Munson shows conclusively that he wishes to hide himself from the world, and that he is burdened with a secret which he does not intend shall come to light through any act or revelation of his own.[30] * * * Beyond a shadow of doubt Hurlburt, after getting the genuine Spaulding romance at Munson, destroyed it or saw it destroyed by the Mormons at Conneaut, in 1834, after his being paid for his share of this transaction.[31]

This theory Mrs. Davison maintains throughout her book with something more than a half hysterical style meant to be very sensational.

Thus these originators and promulgators of the Spaulding theory, having started with conjecture and falsehood, go on varying, changing, and patching up their story until they are involved in innumerable inconsistencies and contradictions, which constantly makes more apparent the absurdity of this attempt to construct a counter theory for the origin of the Book of Mormon to that given by Joseph Smith. The theory, however, fails by dint of its own inconsistencies, and by the discovery and publication of the manuscript with which the theory started; and that in another way, and in addition to the fact that there is no incident, or name, or set of ideas, common to the two productions. The publication of the "Manuscript Found" not only demonstrates that this particular manuscript was not the foundation of the Book of Mormon, but it demonstrates, also, that no other writings of Solomon Spaulding's could possibly be the Book of Mormon. Spaulding's manuscript, as published, makes a pamphlet of some 112 pages, of about 350 words to the page, enough matter to give a clear idea of his literary style. I am sure that no person, having any literary judgment will think it possible for the author of "Manuscript Found" to be the author of the Book of Mormon. Composition in writers becomes individualized as distinctly as the looks, or appearance, or character, of separate individuals; and they can no more write in several styles than individuals can impersonate different characters. True, by special efforts this latter may be done to a limited extent by a change of tone, costume and the like, but underneath these impersonations is to be seen the real individual; and so with authors. One may sometimes affect a light, and sometimes a serious vein, in prose and poetry. He may imitate a solemn scriptural style or the diction of some Greek or Roman author, but underneath it all will be seen the individuality of the writer from which he cannot separate himself any more than he can separate himself from his true form, features, or character. Since we have in this "Manuscript Found" enough of Mr. Spaulding's style to determine its nature, if this manuscript of his was used either as the foundation or the complete work of the Book of Mormon, we should be able to detect Spauldingisms in it; identity of style would be apparent; but these things are entirely absent from every page of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Rice does not overstate the matter when he says: "I should as soon think the Book of Revelation was written by the author of "Don Quixote," as that the writer of this manuscript was the author of the Book of Mormon." And again, he is right when he says: "It is unlikely that any one who wrote so elaborate a work as the Mormon Bible would spend his time in getting up so shallow a story as this"—the Spaulding Story.

Another point at which the Spaulding theory goes to pieces is in the utter inability of its advocates to bring together the parties to the conspiracy in which the Book of Mormon is supposed to have had its origin. They fail even to bring Joseph Smith in contact with the Spaulding manuscript; they also fail to connect Sidney Rigdon with the manuscript; they fail to bring together Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon. In all these things, vital to the maintenance of their theory, they fail. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, until after the publication of the Book of Mormon, are from 200 to 300 miles apart, with no means of communication or of collaboration, which would be necessary if the Spaulding theory were correct. Of the necessary extent and greatness of this conspiracy, Elder George Reynolds justly remarks:

Whole families must have been engaged in it. Men of all ages and various conditions in life, and living in widely separate portions of the country must have been connected with it. First, we must include in the catalogue of conspirators the whole of the Smith family, then the Whitmers, Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery; further, to carry out this absurd idea, Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt must have been their active fellow-conspirators in arranging, carrying out and consummating their iniquitous fraud. To do this they must have traveled thousands of miles and spent months, perhaps years, to accomplish—what? That is the unsolved problem. Was it for the purpose of duping the world? They, at any rate the great majority of them, were of all men most unlikely to be engaged in such a folly. Their habits, surroundings, station in life, youth and inexperience all forbid such a thought. What could they gain, in any light that could be then presented to their minds, by palming such a deception upon the world? This is another unanswerable question. Then comes the staggering fact, if the book be a falsity, that all these families, all these diverse characters, in all the trouble, perplexity, persecution and suffering through which they passed, never wavered in their testimony, never changed their statements, never "went back" on their original declarations, but continued unto death, and they have all passed away (save a very few), proclaiming that the Book of Mormon was a divine revelation, and that its record was true. Was there ever such an exhibition in the history of the world of such continued, such unabating, such undeviating falsehood if falsehood it was? We cannot find a place in the annals of their lives where they wavered, and what makes the matter more remarkable is that it can be said of most of them, as is elsewhere said of the three witnesses, they became offended with the Prophet Joseph, and a number of them openly rebelled against him; but they never retracted one word with regard to the genuineness of Mormon's inspired record. Whether they were friends or foes to Joseph, whether they regarded him as God's continued mouthpiece or as a fallen Prophet, they still persisted in their statements with regard to the book and the veracity of their earlier testimonies. How can we possibly, with our knowledge of human nature, make this undeviating, unchanging, unwavering course, continuing over fifty years consistent with a deliberate, premeditated and cunningly-devised and executed fraud![32]


The Sidney Rigdon Theory.

It will be seen, by those who have followed us through the treatise on the Spaulding Theory, that Sidney Rigdon is considered a factor in that supposed scheme. It is generally thought that it was he who supplied the religious matter of the book, and who determined the parts of the Hebrew scripture that should be interwoven in its alleged historical parts. Such prominence, in fact, is given to Sidney Rigdon in bringing forth the Book of Mormon that I decided to consider his connection with it under this separate heading.

Mr. Sidney Rigdon always, and most emphatically, denied the story of his connection with Patterson and his printing establishment. In the January number (1836) of the "Latter-day Saints Messenger and Advocate" he denounces Howe's book and those who advocated it. Referring to Mr. Scott, Mr. Campbell and other professed ministers of the gospel, he said:

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

Later, in a letter to Messrs. Bartlett and Sullivan, written from Commerce (afterwards Nauvoo), May 27, 1839, in a communication called forth by the publication of the bogus statement purporting to come from Mrs. Davison and published by the Rev. John Storrs, Elder Rigdon said:

Commerce, May 27, 1839. Messrs. Bartlett and Sullivan:—In your paper of the 18th instant, I see a letter signed my somebody calling herself Matilda Davison, pretending to give the origin of Mormonism, as she is pleased to call it, by relating a moonshine story about a certain Solomon Spaulding, a creature with the knowledge of whose earthly existence I am entirely indebted to this production; for, surely, until Dr. Philastus Hurlburt informed me that such a being lived, at some former period, I had not the most distant knowledge of his existence; and all I know about his character is the opinion I form from what is attributed to his wife in obtruding my name upon the public in the manner in which she is said to have done, by trying to make the public believe that I had knowledge of the ignorant, and, according to her own testimony, the lying scribblings of her deceased husband; for if her testimony is to be credited, her pious husband, in his lifetime, wrote a bundle of lies for the righteous purpose of getting money. How many lies he had told for the same purpose, while he was preaching, she has not so kindly informed us; but we are at liberty to draw our own conclusions, for he that would write lies to get money, would also preach lies for the same object. This being the only information which I have, or ever had, of the said Rev. Solomon Spaulding, I, of necessity, have but a very light opinion of him as a gentleman, a scholar, or a man of piety, for had he been either, he certainly would have taught his pious wife not to lie, nor unite herself with adulterers, liars, and the basest of mankind.

It is only necessary to say, in relation to the whole story about Spaulding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson, who was in Pittsburg, and who is said to have kept a printing office, and my saying that I was concerned in the said office, etc., is the most base of lies, without even a shadow of truth. There was no man by the name of Patterson, during my residence at Pittsburg, who had a printing office; what might have been before I lived there I know not. Mr. Robert Patterson, I was told, had owned a printing office before I lived in that city, but had been unfortunate in business, and failed before my residence there. This Mr. Patterson, who was a Presbyterian preacher, I had a very slight acquaintance with during my residence in Pittsburg. He was then acting under an agency, in the book and stationery business, and was the owner of no property of any kind, printing office or anything else, during the time I resided in the city.[33]

One can but regret the tone and coarseness of this letter of Sidney Rigdon's, but it cannot be denied but that it is a very emphatic contradiction of the charge that he was connected with the Spaulding manuscript theory of the Book of Mormon's origin, and it is very natural that a man of the nervous, irritable temperament of Sidney Rigdon would be very much vexed at connecting him with such a theory.

On the matter of Sidney Rigdon not being connected with the origin of the Book of Mormon we have also the statement of Oliver Cowdery, made on his return to the Church at Kanesville (now Council Bluffs), in October, 1848, a statement that was made in the presence of 2,000 Saints. In the course of his remarks, Oliver Cowdery then said:

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 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.[34]

Parley P. Pratt, who, with Oliver Cowdery, was the first to present the Book of Mormon to Sidney Rigdon some six months after its publication, is also on record as denying the story of Sidney Rigdon's connection with the origin of the Book of Mormon. When the "Davison Statement" was copied from the "Boston Recorder" into the "New York Era," Elder Pratt promptly denied the falsehood. The "Era" published the "Davison Statement" on the 20th, and in its issue of the 27th Elder Pratt published a somewhat exhaustive treatise in which the following occurs:

The piece in your paper states that "Sidney Rigdon was connected in the printing office of Mr. Patterson" (in Pittsburg), and that this is a fact well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript (romance) and to copy it if he chose. This statement is utterly and entirely false. Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection. * * The statement that Sidney Rigdon is one of the founders of the said religious sect is also incorrect.

The sect was founded in the state of New York, while Mr. Rigdon resided in Ohio, several hundred miles distant. Mr. Rigdon embraced the doctrine through my instrumentality. I first presented the Book of Mormon to him. I stood upon the bank of the stream while he was baptized, and assisted to officiate in his ordination, and I myself was unacquainted with the system until some months after its organization, which was on the 6th of April, 1830, and I embraced it in September following.

Again, in 1840, in a work entitled "Late Persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints," referring to the persecutions in Missouri, in the course of which he also gave an account of the rise and progress of the doctrine of the Church, Elder Pratt says, relative to this Spaulding story:

There is one story, however, which I will notice, because some religious journals have given some credit to it. It is the story of Solomon Spaulding writing a romance of the ancient inhabitants of America which is said to be converted by Mr. Sidney Rigdon into the Book of Mormon. This is another base fabrication got up by the devil and his servants to deceive the world. Mr. Sidney Rigdon never saw the Book of Mormon until it had been published more than six months; it was then presented to him by the author of this history.[35]

From another source there is also an emphatic denial of Sidney Rigdon's connection with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. This is the statement of Mr. Rigdon's son, John W. Rigdon. This gentleman wrote a somewhat extended biography of his father, Sidney Rigdon, which he placed in its manuscript form in the Church Historian's office, at Salt Lake City, where it is now on file. Mr. John W. Rigdon's account of his father's connection with the Book of Mormon agrees with the statement of Elder Pratt; and then, near the close of his narrative, he relates his own experience in connection with Mormonism, and his attempt to learn the truth from his father respecting the latter's early connection with the Book of Mormon. John W. Rigdon tells of his own visit to Utah, in 1863, where he spent the winter among the Mormon people. He was not favorably impressed with their religious life, and came to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon itself was a fraud. He determined in his own heart that if ever he returned home and found his father, Sidney Rigdon, alive, he would try and find out what he knew of the origin of the Book of Mormon. "Although," he adds, "he had never told but one story about it, and that was that Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery presented him with a bound volume of that book in the year 1830, while he (Sidney Rigdon) was preaching Campbellism at Mentor, Ohio." What John W. Rigdon claims to have seen in Utah, however, together with the fact that Sidney Rigdon had been charged with writing the Book of Mormon, made him suspicious; and he remarks:

I concluded I would make an investigation for my own satisfaction and find out, if I could, if he had all these years been deceiving his family and the world, by telling that which was not true, and I was in earnest about it. If Sidney Rigdon, my father, had thrown his life away by telling a falsehood and bringing sorrow and disgrace upon his family, I wanted to know it and was determined to find out the facts, no matter what the consequences might be. I reached home in the fall of 1865, found my father in good health and (he) was very much pleased to see me. As he had not heard anything from me for some time, he was afraid that I had been killed by the Indians. Shortly after I had arrived home, I went to my father's room; he was there and alone, and now was the time for me to commence my inquiries in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon, and as to the truth of the Mormon religion. I told him what I had seen at Salt Lake City, and I said to him that what I had seen at Salt Lake had not impressed me very favorably toward the Mormon Church, "and as to the origin of the Book of Mormon I had some doubts." "You have been charged with writing that book and giving it to Joseph Smith to introduce to the world. You have always told me one story; that you never saw the book until it was presented to you by Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery; and all you ever knew of the origin of that book was what they told you and what Joseph Smith and the witnesses who claimed to have seen the plates had told you. Is this true? If so, all right; if it is not, you owe it to me and to your family to tell it. You are an old man and you will soon pass away, and I wish to know if Joseph Smith, in your intimacy with him for fourteen years, has not said something to you that led you to believe he obtained that book in some other way than what he had told you. Give me all you know about it, that I may know the truth." My father, after I had finished saying what I have repeated above, looked at me a moment, raised his hand above his head and slowly said, with tears glistening in his eyes: "My son, I can swear before high heaven that what I have told you about the origin of that book is true. Your mother and sister, Mrs. Athalia Robinson, were present when that book was handed to me in Mentor, Ohio, and all I ever knew about the origin of that book was what Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith and the witnesses who claimed they saw the plates have told me, and in all of my intimacy with Joseph Smith he never told me but the one story, and that was that he found it engraved upon gold plates in a hill near Palmyra, New York, and that an angel had appeared to him and directed him where to find it; and I have never, to you or to any one else, told but the one story, and that I now repeat to you." I believed him, and now believe he told me the truth. He also said to me after that that Mormonism was true; that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and this world would find it out some day.[36]

In addition to these solemn denials of Sidney Rigdon's connection with this Spaulding theory, we have another means of testing whether or not Sidney Rigdon was the author of the Book of Mormon. That test is the one already referred to when considering the difference of style between Spaulding's manuscript story, and the Book of Mormon. We have enough of Sidney Rigdon's writings before us to determine his literary style; namely, in the Historian's office we have in manuscript his description of the land of Zion, Jackson County, which he was commanded of the Lord to write. We have a number of his communications published in the "Evening and Morning Star," and also the "Messenger and Advocate." In these two publications also there are thirteen articles on the subject of the "Millennium" from his pen, and after careful comparison of his style with that of the Book of Mormon, I do not hesitate to say that Sidney Rigdon, not only never did, but never could have written the Book of Mormon. There are no phrases or conceptions in the Book of Mormon that are Sidney Rigdon's. There is nothing in common between his style and that of the Book of Mormon. There can be no doubt about it; Sidney Rigdon as the author of the Book of Mormon is impossible.


The "Joachim" fragment of the Spaulding-Rigdon Theory.

It was reserved for William Linn, author of the "Story of the Mormons,"[37] a pretentious work of nearly 650 pages, to go "a far way" for an additional item which, in the full pride of an author who has made a new discovery, he adds to the Spaulding-Rigdon theory of the Book of Mormon's origin. This new item I have called the "Joachim Fragment of the Spaulding-Rigdon Theory." Mr. Linn, with evident pride, makes this mention of it in the preface of his book: "The probable service of Joachim's 'Everlasting Gospel,' as suggesting the story of the revelation of the plates, has been hitherto overlooked."[38] In the body of his work he thus sets forth his idea of the part played by the "Everlasting Gospel," sometimes called by other writers, "The Eternal Gospel," and in the thirteenth century, when it was supposed to be in circulation among the Franciscan order of monks, it is spoken of as "The Book of Joachim."

That the idea of the revelation (i. e., of the existence of the Book of Mormon) as described by Smith in his autobiography was not original is shown by the fact that a similar divine message, engraved on plates, was announced to have been received from an angel nearly six hundred years before the alleged visit of an angel to Smith. These original plates were described as a copper, and the recipient was a monk named Cyril, from whom their contents passed into the possession of the Abbot Joachim, whose "Everlasting Gospel," founded thereon, was offered to the church as supplanting the New Testament, just as the New Testament had supplanted the Old, and caused so serious a schism that Pope Alexander IV took the severest measures against it.[39]

This description of the origin of Joachim's "Everlasting Gospel" rests upon the respectable authority of Draper, in his "Intellectual Development of Europe."[40]

Linn's argument is to the effect that this origin of the "Everlasting Gospel" suggested the origin of the Book of Mormon because of the resemblance between the celestial announcement of both, and also because that both, according to his idea of them, were declared to have the same purport—each was to be "a forerunner of the end of the world." He also urges the frequent use of the phrase, "Everlasting Gospel," in the discourses of the early Elders of the Church as evidence that there was some connection between these two things, the Book of Mormon and "The Book of Joachim." He further holds that Sidney Rigdon, in the course of his ecclesiastical reading would come in contact with the story of Joachim's "Everlasting Gospel;" that it would be just such a story as would be attractive to one of Sidney Rigdon's temperament. Linn throughout his work assumes a connection and collaboration between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and claims that the latter suggested the story of the "Book of Joachim," as the ground-work of Joseph Smith's account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. Our author thinks that Rigdon may even have found sufficient matter in relation to Joachim's "Everlasting Gospel," in Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History," to suggest the account he induced Joseph Smith to give of the origin of the Book of Mormon, and makes the following quotation from Mosheim in proof of his contention:

About the commencement of this [the thirteenth] century there were handed about in Italy several pretended prophecies of the famous Joachim, Abbot of Sora, in Calabria, whom the multitude revered as a person divinely inspired, and equal to the most illustrious prophets of ancient times. The greatest part of these predictions were contained in a certain book entitled, "The Everlasting Gospel," and which was also commonly called the Book of Joachim. This Joachim, whether a real or fictitious person we shall not pretend to determine, among many other future events, foretold the destruction of the Church of Rome, whose corruptions he censured with the greatest severity, and the promulgation of a new and more perfect gospel in the age of the Holy Ghost, by the set of poor and austere ministers, whom God was to raise up and employ for that purpose

It is to be observed of this passage, as indeed of all that is said by Mosheim upon the subject, that there is no account here of an angel revealing the existence of the Book of Joachim to Cyril, or to any one else, which is the chief item of resemblance between Joseph Smith's story of the origin of the Book of Mormon and the alleged origin of "The Everlasting Gospel," as related by Draper and Linn. Indeed, in the closing lines of the very paragraph from Mosheim which Linn quotes as being the possible source of Sidney Rigdon's knowledge of the "Book of Joachim," it is stated that the Franciscans who accepted Joachim's book maintained that Saint Francis, the founder of their Order, had "spoken to mankind the true gospel, and that he was the angel whom Saint John saw flying in the midst of heaven;" which is quite a different account of this matter than that given by Draper. Whether or not Sidney Rigdon had access to the same source of information as Draper had, is, of course, not known; but certainly Draper did not obtain the account of the angel appearing to Cyril from Mosheim. As a matter of fact, there is much confusion and uncertainty among authorities respecting the origin of this "Everlasting Gospel," and some question whether such a book was ever put forth by Joachim. The work used at the time it was current in the thirteenth century was very often confounded with an introduction to the so-called "Everlasting Gospel," written, as Draper says, by John of Parma; and as others say by Gerhard, a Franciscan friar. The celebrated Dr. Augustus Neander, in his "General History of the Christian Religion and Church," holds to this same theory. He says:

A great sensation was now created by a commentary on the "eternal gospel," which after the middle of the thirteenth century the Franciscan Gerhard, who, by his zeal for Joachim's doctrines, involved himself in many persecutions and incurred an eighteen years' imprisonment, published under the title of "Introduction to the Eternal Gospel." Many vague notions were entertained about the "eternal gospel" of the Franciscans, arising from superficial views, or a superficial understanding of Joachim's writings, and the offspring of mere rumor of the heresy-hunting spirit. Men spoke of the "eternal gospel" as of a book composed under this title, and circulated among the Franciscans. Occasionally, also, this "eternal gospel" was confounded perhaps with the above-mentioned "Introduction." In reality, there was no book existing under this title of the "Eternal Gospel;" but all that is said about it relates simply to the writings of Joachim. * * * The whole matter of this work also seems to have consisted in an explanation of the fundamental ideas of the Abbot Joachim, and in the application of them to the genuine Franciscan order.[41]

This exhibits much confusion and uncertainty concerning the story of Joachim and his book. Of course, it may be argued that this story of the Book of Joachim, as told by Draper and repeated by Linn, would furnish equally well the suggestion of the origin of the Book of Mormon, whether it was the statement of an historical fact or only the wild invention of a fanatical Franciscan, but it would be incumbent upon those who make such an argument to prove that Sidney Rigdon had knowledge of such a story.

Another suggestion may be argued that would tend to break down the probability of the origin of the "Everlasting Gospel" suggesting the origin of the Book of Mormon; and that is: Had Sidney Rigdon or any one else taken the story of the revelation of the Book of Joachim to Cyril and from it invented the account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he would very likely have taken other ideas attributed to this very worthy but over-zealous and weak-minded man of the thirteenth century. As, for example, Linn himself declares that the "Everlasting Gospel was offered to the Church as supplanting the New Testament, just as the New Testament had supplanted the Old," etc., a theory that would very likely have caught the fancy of such a man as Linn conceives Rigdon to have been. Yet Mormonism is as far removed from any such conception as this, as the east is from the west; for Mormonism gives full force to the present authority of both the Old and New Testaments as containing the word of God, and the Book of Mormon nowhere supplants these existing scriptures. Neander presents a more elaborate view of some of the theories of this same Joachim, and represents him as teaching the following:

The times of the Old Testament belong especially to God the Father; in it, God revealed himself as the Almighty, by signs and wonders; next, followed the times of the New Testament, in which God, as the Word, revealed himself in his wisdom, where the striving after a comprehensible knowledge of mysteries predominates; the last times belong to the Holy Spirit, when the first of love in contemplation will predominate. As the letter of the Old Testament answers to God the Father, the letter of the New Testament more especially to the Son, so the spiritual understanding, which proceeds from both, answers to the Holy Spirit. As all things were created by the Father through the Son; so in the Holy Spirit, as love, all were to find their completion. To the working of the Father—power, fear, faith, more especially correspond; to the working of the Son—humility, truth, and wisdom; to the working of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, and freedom.[42]

In like manner he takes up the Apostles Peter, James, and John as in a way representing in the earth, respectively, the three periods in the process of the development of the Church. I insist that if Sidney Rigdon had become acquainted with that story of the "Everlasting Gospel," as it is told by Draper, he would unquestionably also have come to the knowledge of these theories of Joachim's; and if Sidney Rigdon was the kind of character that Linn represents him to be, he would unquestionably have taken up some of these vagaries and exploited them, either in the Book of Mormon or in the subsequent development of the Church and its system of doctrine. It is scarcely necessary to say that none of these ideas of the thirteenth century man is to be found in Mormonism, nor are any other of Joachim's ideas found in the Latter-day dispensation of the Gospel. The mere matter of using the phrase, "Everlasting Gospel," by the early Elders of the Church—and for matter of that by the present ministry of the Church—in their discourses and books, scarcely rises to dignity of a coincidence, since we have the phrase suggested in the remarkable prophecy on the restoration of the Gospel in the Revelations of St. John,[43] without referring to any circumstance of the thirteenth century and the obscure literature concerning the Book of Joachim.

This whole theory of the suggested origin of the Book of Mormon from the story of the Book of Joachim, however ingenious it may be regarded, breaks down as the Spaulding-Rigdon theory does, under the absolute inability of all these speculators to show any connection, or collaboration, between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon. Their inventions fail; their speculations amount to nothing. It is impossible to show any contact between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon before the Book of Mormon was published, therefore, whatever opportunity Sidney Rigdon may have had to become acquainted with the story of Joachim's "Everlasting Gospel," that knowledge could play no part whatever in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.


Woodbridge Riley's Theory of the Origin of the Book of Mormon.

This theory may be said, in a way, to be a reversion to that of Alexander Campbell's; that is, a return to the theory that Joseph Smith was the "author" of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Riley's book, of 446 pages, is a well written thesis on the "Founder of Mormonism." It was published by Dodd, Mead & Company, 1902. It is a psychological study of Joseph Smith the Prophet. The purpose of the work is set forth in the author's preface, as follows:

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

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

To the Latter-day Saints it will be interesting, and of value at least in this, that they may accept it as one of many manifestations that the other theories accounting for the origin of the Book of Mormon are regarded as inadequate, if not exploded, since the learned find it necessary to set forth now a new theory, both for the origin of the Book of Mormon, and the life work of the Prophet Joseph.

Mr. Riley's conclusions, after patient consideration of what he regards as the elements entering into the composition of the Book of Mormon, are thus stated:

In spite of a continuous stream of conjectural literature, it is as yet impossible to pick out any special document as an original source of the Book of Mormon. In particular the commonly-accepted Spaulding theory is insoluble from external evidence and disproved by internal evidence. Joseph Smith's "Record of the Indians" is a product indigenous to the New York "Wilderness," and the authentic work of its "author and proprietor." Outwardly, it reflects the local color of Palmyra and Manchester, inwardly, its complexity of thought is a replica of Smith's muddled brain. This monument of misplaced energy was possible to the impressionable youth constituted and circumstanced as he was.[44]

As for the process by which the book was produced, our author conceives it thus:

It was in western New York that the son of an obscure farmer gazed in his magic crystal, automatically wrote "a transcription of gold plates," dictated the Book of Mormon, and after strange signs and wonders, started his communistic sect.[45]

Our author makes an extended pathological study of the prophet's ancestry, and arrives at the conclusion that their mental peculiarities and defects, culminate in epilepsy in Joseph Smith the Prophet. So that we may say, roughly speaking, that Mr. Riley's explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon, and Mormonism, is that it has its source in an epileptic, whose-hallucinations are honestly mistaken for inspired visions, and who possesses partly conscious and partly unconscious hypnotic power over others. And this theory is presented seriously to one of the first institutions of learning in America as a rational explanation of "Mormonism!"

Unfortunately for Mr. Riley's theory, however, another writer, an authority in his chosen field of investigation, a writer of text books for higher institutions of learning on this very subject, has spoken with marked emphasis not only with reference to epilepsy in general and the milder forms of its manifestation under the head of Paranoia, but has spoken of it with special reference to Joseph Smith, and distinctly separates him from such class of persons. Following are passages from Mr. Dana's works upon the subject:

A certain rather small per centage of epileptics become either demented or insane. True epilepsy is not compatible with extraordinary intellectual endowments. Caesar, Napoleon, Peter the Great and other geniuses may have had some symptomatic fits, but not idispathic [primary] epilepsy.[46]


Paranoia is a chronic psychosis characterized by the development gradually and soon after maturity of systematized delusion, without other serious disturbances of the mind and without much tendency to dementia. * * * With some the systematized idea takes a religious turn, and the patient thinks he has some divine mission, or has received some inspiration from God; or the idea may take a devotional turn and the patient become an acetic. It is not, however, to be assumed that all promoters of new religious and novel social ideas are paranoics. Many of these are simply the natural developments of ignorance and a somewhat emotional and unbalanced temperament. The characteristics of the paranoic is that his work is ineffective, his influence brief and trivial, his ideas really too absurd and impractical for even ignorant men to receive. I do not class successful prophets and organizers like Joseph Smith, or great apostles of social reforms like Rousseau as paranoics. Insane minds are not creative, but are weak and lack persistence in purpose or power of execution.[47]

It is not possible in this writing to enter into an extended consideration of this theory. Neither indeed is it necessary. One consideration alone is sufficient to overthrow these fanciful speculations of Mr. Riley. "Hitherto," says Renan in his Life of Christ, "it has never been given to aberration of mind to produce a serious effect upon the progress of humanity."[48] As stated by Dana, the work of the paranoic is ineffective, his influence brief and trivial, his ideas impractical and absurd. I believe that doctrine. The dreams and hallucinations of the epileptic end in mere dreams and hallucinations; they never crystallize into great systems of philosophy or into rational religious institutions. They never result in great organizations capable of perpetuating that philosophy and that religion in the world. No matter how nearly genius may be allied to madness, it must remain genius and not degenerate to madness if it exercises any permanent influence over the minds of men, such as Mormonism has done over a large body of people, and resulted in permanent institutions. There is much glamor of sophistry, which may be taken by some for profound reason and argument, in Mr. Riley's book, but one word answers this so called philosophical accounting for our Prophet: The work accomplished by him, the institutions he founded, destroy the whole fabric of premises and argument on which this theory is based. Great as was the Prophet Joseph Smith—and he was great; to him more than to any other man of modern times was it given to look deep into the things that are; to comprehend the heavens, and the laws that obtain there; to understand the earth, its history, and its mission. He looked into the deep things of God, and out of the rich treasure of divine knowledge there, he brought forth things both new and old for the instruction of our race, the like of which, in some respects, had not been known in previous dispensations. But great as Joseph Smith was, rising up and towering far above him is the work that he accomplished through divine guidance; that work is infinitely greater than the Prophet, greater than all the prophets connected with it. Its consistency, its permanency, its institutions, contradict the hallucination theory advanced to account for its origin.[49]

This theory of Mr. Riley's may be said to now occupy the attention of men, but as the theories of Campbell, the Spaulding theory, and the Rigdon theory of origin have one by one been discarded as untenable, and inadequate for the purposes for which they were invoked, so, too, will this epilepsy and hallucination theory of Mr. Riley's be discarded, since it will fail to give an adequate accounting for the Book of Mormon, which, so long as the truth respecting it is unbelieved, will remain to the world an enigma, a veritable literary Sphinx, challenging the inquiry and speculations of the learned. But to those who in simple faith will accept it for what it is, a revelation from God, it will minister spiritual consolation, and by its plainness and truth draw men into closer communion with God.


1. "Limits of Religious Thought," Mansel, Preface.

2. Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 35.

3. Mr. Campbell's criticism of the Book of Mormon was published in the "Millennial Harbinger," Vol. II, pp. 86-96, February, 1831.

4. The same phrase appears in the testimony of the Eight Witnesses, as published in the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and the preface published in the first edition, but omitted in all other editions, is signed "The Author."

5. See announcement of copyright privileges in first edition of the Book of Mormon 1830. It is also copied into the History of the Church, Vol. I, pp. 58, 59.

6. Yet, in a work as late as 1902, on the subject of Mormonism, published by Dodd, Mead & Co., great importance is attached to this "author and proprietor" phrase, and indeed much of the force of the author's argument is based upon it. See "Founder of Mormonism" I, Woodbridge Riley, chapter iv.

7. See Vol. II., chapter ix.

8. See Vol. II., chapter vii.

9. See "Latter-day Saints Messenger and Advocate," Vol. II, p. 242, where Mr. Campbell is represented as recommending Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," which first set forth and was mainly devoted to the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon.

10. Mormonism Unveiled, (Howe), pp. 278-287.

11. See Church History, Vol. I., chapter xxv; Vol. II., chapter iv.

12. By some, it is claimed that Mrs. Davison's statement was put forth in the "Boston Recorder" as an affidavit, but I have never seen it in the form of an affidavit. All versions of it that have fallen into my hands are merely in the form of a signed statement.

13. See Thompson's "Evidences," pp. 176-7.

14. Times and Seasons, Vol. I., p. 47.

15. See Preface to "New Light on Mormonism."

16. See "Mormonism Unveiled," pp. 278-280.

17. When this fact was brought to light in the early controversy over the subject, it was claimed by Messrs. Austin—Storrs—Clark, who were responsible for this forgery, that "Woman" in the text was a typographical error and should be "Mormon." See Clark's Gleanings "By the Way."

18. The orthography is the affidavit's.

19. See letters of Mr. Rice to Mr. Joseph Smith, President of the "Reorganized Church," "History of the Church of Jesus Christ," [Reorganized] Vol. IV., pp. 471-473.

20. This is confirmed by a letter written by Hurlburt himself, in 1881, at the request of Mrs. Ellen E. Dickenson, as follows:

Gibsonburg, Ohio, January 10, 1881.

To all whom it may concern:

In the year eighteen hundred and thirty-four (1834) I went from Geauga Co., Ohio, to Munson, Hampden Co., Mass., where I found Mrs. Davison, late widow of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding, late of Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. Of her I obtained a manuscript, supposing it to be the manuscript of the romance written by the said Solomon Spaulding, called "The Manuscript Found," which was reported to be the foundation of the "Book of Mormon." I did not examine the manuscript until I got home, when, upon examination, I found it to contain nothing of the kind, but being a manuscript upon an entirely different subject. This manuscript I left with E. D. Howe, of Painsville, Geauga Co., Ohio, now Lake Co., Ohio., with the understanding that when he had examined it he should return it to the widow. Said Howe says the manuscript was destroyed by fire, and further the deponent saith not.

(Signed) D. P. HURLBURT.

21. "New Light on Mormonism," p. 245.

22. Howe's "Mormonism," p. 288.

23. He refers to the witnesses living at Conneaut Creek, the substance of whose testimony is previously quoted in his book, pp. 357-8.

24. Howe's "Mormonism," p. 288, (first edition, 1834).

25. Howe's "Mormonism," pp. 289, 290. "This manuscript received by Hurlburt and by him given to Howe is the only Spaulding manuscript written by Spaulding, making any reference to the antiquities of America. It is the simon-pure and only "Manuscript Found." Against this it is urged by our opponents that "no such title is discoverable anywhere upon or in the body of the manuscript in the Oberlin library. (American Historical Magazine, Sept. 1906, p. 386). And yet with strange inconsistency the writer himself a few pages further on admits—"It is even possible that this first manuscript [meaning the one now at Oberlin], may at sometime have been labeled "Manuscript Found." But what is better than any "label" on the manuscript inside or outside; better than any admission of our opponent, is the fact that this manuscript is the one Mr. Spaulding feigned to have found, and that he pretended to translate into English. It is the "found" manuscript, and the only one that Spaulding pretended or feigned to have found. It is the one that Mrs. McKenstry says she had in her hands "many times" at Sabine's after 1816; and that "on the outside of this manuscript were written the words, "Manuscript Found." (American Historical Magazine, March, 1909, pp. 190, 191.)

26. Howe's "Mormonism," pp. 289-290.

27. Ibid p. 289. Lambdin died 1826.

28. "Braden and Kelly Debate," p. 44.

29. Howe's "Mormonism," p. 289.

30. "New Light on Mormonism," p. 62.

31. Ibid p. 71.

32. Myth of the "Manuscript Found" (1883), pp. 35, 36. See also an exhaustive treatise on the "Origin of the Book of Mormon", in the "American Historical Magazine," published in New York by the American Historical Society, during the years 1906-7; 1908-9. The articles in support of the Spaulding theory are by Mr. Theodore Schroeder; and the answer to these papers are by the author of this work, who hopes to publish the discussion in his second volume on the "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," now in course of preparation.

33. "Boston Journal." See also Smucker's "History of the Mormons," where the letter is given in full, pp. 45-8.

34. New Witnesses, Vol. II., pp. 250, 251.

35. "Late Persecutions," etc., Introduction, p. xi, xii.

36. "Church History," Vol. I., p. 122, 123.

37. Published by McMillan Co., 1902.

38. "The Story of the Mormons," Preface, p. vi.

39. "Story of the Mormons," Chapter ix, p. 74.

40. Vol. II, chapter iii.

41. Neander's "General History of the Christian Religion and Church," Vol. IV, pp. 618-20.

42. Neander's "General History of the Christian Religion and Church," Vol. IV, p. 227.

43. Revelations xiv: 6,7.

44. "The Founder of Mormonism," p. 172.

45. Ibid, p. 11.

46. "Nervous Diseases, Text Book on" (third edition), p. 408.

47. "Text Book of Nervous Diseases and Psychiatry" (sixth edition), pp. 649-50.

48. "Life of Christ," p. 105.

49. During the October conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Salt Lake City, October, 1903, this writer then made some remarks in criticism of Mr. Riley's book, at the close of which remarks President Joseph F. Smith said:

"I have been delighted with the most excellent discourse that we have listened to; but I desire to say that it is a wonderful revelation to the Latter-day Saints, and especially to those who were familiar with the Prophet Joseph Smith, to learn in these latter days that he was an epileptic! I will simply remark, God be praised, that there are so many still living who knew the Prophet Joseph well, and who are in a position to bear testimony to the truth that no such condition ever existed in the man."

See also "Defense of the Faith and the Saints." pp. 42-61.




Errors of Style and Grammar.

One of the chief objections to the Book of Mormon from the first has been the uniformity of its literary style, and the defects in its language—errors in grammar, New York Yankee localisms, and the use of modern words—unwarranted, it is claimed, in the translation of an ancient record. Alexander Campbell, in his attack upon the Book of Mormon, 1831, on this subject, said:

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

He then proceeds to point out the same idioms of speech in the preface to the first edition—the Prophet's own composition, of course—in the testimony of the witnesses, and in various parts of the Book of Mormon proving, as he claims, unity of style and identity of authorship for the various books that make up the volume. He points out a large number of errors in grammar, also, a number of supposed anachronisms, modernism, etc., giving the pages where the defects occur. Indeed, so ample was Mr. Campbell's criticism on this point, that he has furnished the materials for this argument against the Book of Mormon which has been repeated by nearly all subsequent writers. Howe, for instance, takes up the refrain in this manner:

The style of the Book of Mormon is sui generis, and whoever peruses it will not have doubt but that the whole was framed and written by the same individual hand.[1]

Then follows quotations which he regards as justifying the conclusion.

Professor J. B. Turner of Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, in his "Mormonism in All Ages" follows in the same strain and uses like illustrations.[2]

So also John Hyde in his "Mormonism." He perhaps is more elaborate in his criticism on this point than any other Anti-Mormon writer excepting Campbell.[3]

Samuel M. Smucker, also criticises in the same kind.[4]

So also Rev. M. T. Lamb devotes a chapter to the same kind of criticism.[5]

Linn, adopts the same argument, and with some manifestations of glee, quite unbecoming in a sober historian who professes to write at least a serious history of Mormonism; but who, while he points to these defects in grammatical construction, etc., he nowhere considers in any spirit of fairness the evidences that tend to support the truth of the Book of Mormon.[6]

The things to be considered in these objections, are:

First: does the uniformity of style exist: do the errors in grammar exist; are there modernisms and localisms in the book, and more especially in the first edition, since it was with this edition that this criticism began? These questions must be answered in the affirmative. The existence of uniformity of style, errors in grammar, modernisms and localisms cannot be denied, as all know who have investigated the matter. A comparison of current editions with the first edition will disclose the fact that many of the most flagrant verbal and grammatical errors have been corrected, besides many unimportant changes, such as "which" and "that," to "who" and "whom," and vice verse, to conform to modern usage;[7] and many more such corrections, without changing the slightest shade of statement or thought, could still be made to advantage.

Many of these changes, perhaps most of them, were effected under the supervision of the Prophet Joseph himself. In the preface to the second edition published in Kirtland, 1837, the following occurs:

Individuals acquainted with book printing are aware of the numerous typographical errors which always occur in manuscript editions. It is only necessary to say, that the whole has been carefully re-examined and compared with the original manuscript by Elder Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of the Book of Mormon, assisted by the present printer, Brother Cowdery, who formerly wrote the greatest portion of the same as dictated by Brother Smith.

In the third edition published at Nauvoo, 1840, this occurs on the title page:

"Carefully Revised by the Translator."

Of course the fact that the Book of Mormon was published in a country town, on a hand press, and by persons unfamiliar with book making, and the proofs read by Oliver Cowdery, who was entirely without experience in such work, will account for many errors verbal and grammatical. The further fact that the employees at the printing establishment where the book was published, where unfriendly to it, and were more anxious to make it appear ridiculous than to turn out a good job, may account for other errors that appear in the first edition. But after due allowance is made for all these conditions, the errors are too numerous, and of such a constitutional nature, that they cannot be explained away by these unfavorable conditions under which the work was published. Besides, examination of the fragment of the original manuscript, now (1909) in possession of President Joseph F. Smith, discloses the fact that many of the verbal errors in grammar are in the manuscript, written as the Prophet dictated it.

Second: How are these errors in language to be accounted for? How is it that errors in grammar are found in a work said to be translated by the "gift and power of God, through the medium of the Urim and Thummim?" Are these errors in language to be assigned to the Urim and Thummim, or to God? Is it true, as stated by Professor Turner, that such is the description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated, that all accounts "agree in making the Lord responsible not only for the thought, but also for the language of the book, from the necessity of the case, for they [those who have described the manner of translation] all claim that the words passed before Smith's eyes while looking through the pellucid stones?"[8] Must we remember, as the professor admonishes us to "remember," that according to Smith's story "the Lord is responsible not only for the thought, but also for the language of this new translation? The words of the translation being read off through the stone spectacles?"[9]

For one, I refuse to accept this statement of the case. I do not believe that the Lord is responsible for any defect of language that occurs in the Book of Mormon, or any other revelation. On the contrary, I stand with Moroni here: "And now, if there be faults [i.e. in the Nephite record], they are the mistakes of men."[10] Also with Mormon: "If there be faults, they be the faults of a man."[11]

If the Lord should speak directly to man without any intermediary whatsoever, it is reasonable to conclude that his language would be perfect in whatever tongue he spoke. If, however, he elected an intermediary through whom to communicate his message to the world, the language in which that message would be couched might, or might not, be perfect, according as the intermediary was learned or unlearned in the language through which the Lord communicated the revelation.

Third: Can these verbal errors, and errors in grammar, these modernisms and localisms arise from equivalent defects in the original Nephite records? That is to say, can these errors have been transferred from the ancient Nephite language into our English idioms? I know how unreasonable such a proposition as that will seem to readers in any way familiar with translations. I speak of it, however, because there are those friendly to the Book of Mormon who contend that such is the case. Those who take this view believe that because the Prophet used Urim and Thummim in the translation of the Nephite record, therefore, the process of translation was a word for word bringing over from the Nephite language into the English; that the instrument did the translating rather than the Prophet, the latter merely looking into Urim and Thummim as one may look into a mirror and tell what he sees there reflected; and that, therefore, the translation was really an absolutely "verbatim et literatim" translation of the record. They further believe that since the instrument was of divine appointing it could make no mistakes, and therefore if errors in the translation into English occur it is because these errors were in the Nephite language as recorded by Mormon.

As already remarked, to those at all acquainted with translation, this will be recognized as impossible. They know that such a thing as an absolute literal translation, or word for word bringing over from one language into another is out of the question; that for the most part such a literal translation would be meaningless, I give as examples the following from the Latin:

1. "Aversum hostem-videre"—original. "Turned away—foe—to see"—word for word. "To see a foe in flight"—translation. 2. "Non satis commode"—original. "Not—enough—conveniently"—word for word. "Not very conveniently"—translation. 3. "Ad eas se applicant"—original. "To—these—themselves—attach"—word for word. "They lean up against these"—translation. 4. "Impii est virtutem parvi estimare"—original. "Of an impious man—it is—virtue little—to value" word for word. "It is the mark of an impious man to think little of virtue"—translation. 5. "Christiani est quam plurimis prodesse"—original. "Of a Christian—it is—as very many—to do good" word for word. "It is the duty of a Christian to do good to as many as possible"—translation.

Fourth: Granting, as preforce we must, that there are verbal and grammatical errors, together with modernisms and localisms, in the English translation of the Nephite record; that the thought is expressed not only in English idioms, but also, at times, in Western New York localisms; that the whole body of phraseology is of the time and place where the work of translation was done; and all the errors are such as would be made by one circumstanced as Joseph Smith was as to knowledge of the English language; and that these local idioms and errors in grammar were not found in equivalent terms in the Nephite language and brought over into English by a process of word for word bring over—granting all these things, is there any way by which this criticism, based upon the faulty English of the translation, may be effectually met, and the truth still maintained that the translation of the Book of Mormon was made by a man inspired of God, and aided by an instrument of divine appointment?

I firmly believe that all these requirements can be met; that, as a matter of fact, the defects in English in the Book of Mormon constitute no real difficulty; that the difficulties, so far as they exist, are of our own creation (I speak of those who accept the Book of Mormon as a divine record); that our trouble arises through having accepted too literally the necessarily second-hand accounting, given by Martin Harris and David Whitmer, of the manner in which the translation was done. Because it has been said that the Prophet saw the Nephite characters in the Urim and Thummim; that the translation would appear in English under these characters; that the Prophet would read the translation to the scribe and that both characters and translation would remain in Urim and Thummim until written—because of this description of the manner of translation, our opponents have insisted—and we by our silence have conceded to some extent—that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the translation except to see what the instrument revealed and parrot-like repeat it; therefore it has been concluded by our opponents that the translation must be attributed entirely to the Urim and Thummim; and as it is unreasonable to think that God, or a divine instrument provided by him for the purpose of translating unknown languages—that is, that God directly or indirectly could be charged with these errors in English—they have argued that the translation was not inspired; that God had nothing to do with it; that Joseph Smith's pretentions were blasphemous, and the Book of Mormon untrue.

To this contention of our opponents we have either made no reply, being quite generally of the opinion that there was little or no force in the argument (a mistake in my judgment), or else have lamely and vainly argued that the errors were in the original Nephite records, and were brought over bodily into the translation, which is an absurdity.

The foundation for the answer to this objection and the argument by which it is sustained was laid in Vol. I, chapter VII of this work, where it is argued that the translation of the Book of Mormon was not merely a mechanical process in which the instrument Urim and Thummim did all and the Prophet nothing, except to give out to the scribe the translation said to have appeared in the divine instrument. The Lord's description of the manner of translating, by means of Urim and Thummim, is cited there in proof that the translation was not mechanical; that on the contrary it required deep thought, the employment, in fact, of all the mental and spiritual powers of the translator; that it was necessary for him to be in an exalted state of mind to get the meaning of the Nephite characters at all. The thought, however, and the ideas he obtained by concentrated mental effort, under the inspiration of God; but the language in which the translation was thought out was in such words and forms of expression as Joseph Smith could use; and this mental translation in language was doubtless reflected in the Urim and Thummim, where it remained until written by the scribe. And now, as the Prophet Joseph was uneducated at the time of translating the Nephite record, the language of his translation was in the faulty English of one circumstanced as he was, and was of the period and place when and where the translation took place. This I regard as a complete answer to all the objections that can be urged upon the score of the Book of Mormon's faulty English, and it is the only answer that can be successfully made to it. Such faults as exist are the faults of men, not of God. Such is the answer to this class of objections wherever made against the scriptures, for this sort of objection is not confined to the Book of Mormon. It has been urged with well nigh equal force against the Bible. In fact, there are not wanting those who claim that human speech, oral or written, is inadequate to convey a revelation from God.[12]

"The human language," says one of these, "whether in speech or in print, cannot be the vehicle of the word of God. The word of God exists in something else. Did the book called the Bible excel in purity of ideas and expression all the books now extant in the world, I would not take it for my rule of faith, as being the word of God, because the possibility would nevertheless exist of my being imposed upon."[13]

Again, the same author says:

Human language, more especially as there is not an universal language, is incapable of being used as an universal means of unchangeable and uniform information, and therefore it is not the means that God useth in manifesting himself universally to man. It is only in the Creation that all our ideas and conceptions of a word of God can unite. The creation speaketh an universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they be. It is an ever-existing original, which every man can read.[14]

This writer may be objected to on account of the ribald nature of his criticism of the Bible, but nevertheless, in the foregoing paragraph he represents the views of a very large class of people—a class that I fear is increasing rather than diminishing in numbers.

This author attacks the Book of Isaiah in the following fashion:

Whoever will take the trouble of reading the book ascribed to Isaiah will find it one of the most wild and disorderly compositions ever put together; it has neither beginning, middle, nor end; and, except a short historical part, and a few sketches of history in two or three of the first chapters, is one continued, incoherent, bombastical rant, full of extravagant metaphor without application, and destitute of meaning; a school-boy would scarcely have been excusable for writing such stuff; it is (at least in translation) that kind of composition and false taste that is properly called prose run mad.[15]

Referring to the entire volume of Hebrew scripture our author says:

For my own part, my belief in the perfection of the Deity will not permit me to believe that a book so manifestly obscure, disorderly, and contradictory can be his work. I can write a better book myself![16]

Other authors of the same school, and in like spirit attack the Hebrew scriptures. What is the reply to such attacks? Fortunately, on this point, I have at hand the views recently set forth of a very learned man, and one of high character, the Reverend Joseph Armitage Robinson, D. D., Dean of Westminister and Chaplain to King Edward VII of England. In a recent lecture delivered in Westminster Abby on the subject, "How the Bible Was Written," he says:

The message of the Old Testament was not written by the Divine hand, nor dictated by an outward compulsion; it was planted in the hearts of men, and made to grow in a fruitful soil. And then they were required to express it in their own language, after their natural methods, and in accordance with the stage of knowledge which their time had reached. Their human faculties were purified and quickened by the Divine Spirit; but they spoke to their time in the language of their time; they spoke a spiritual message, accommodated to the experience of their age, a message of faith in God, and of righteousness as demanded by a righteous God.[17]

So, also, Lyman Abbot, in a series of lectures on "The Bible as Literature:"

Neither in ancient nor in modern theology is there a simpler, a more comprehensive statement of the origin and character of the Bible than in the single sentence with which the Second Epistle of Peter describes it: "Holy men of God spake, moved by the Holy Ghost." * * * According to this definition the Bible is written by good men, and it is written by good men under the inspiration or on-breathing of the Spirit of God. * * * * These men are not amanuenses who write by dictation; they embody in their writings their own experience, their own thought, their own life. Thus, we should expect to find in the Bible the personal equation of the writers strongly marked. We should expect, as the sunshine developes each seed after its kind, so the shining of God on the human soul would develop each germinant soul after its kind * * * We see not men writing as clerks write, embodying only the work of a dictator; we find in each one the stream, the current, the color of his own personality. We shall expect, also, to find all these men writing as Paul says he wrote: "We know in part, and we prophesy in part," and "We see in a glass darkly."[18]

Views similar to those were entertained by the late Henry Drummond, the author of "Natural Law in the Spiritual World." Referring to the writers of the Hebrew scripture he said:

These men when they spoke were not typewriters. They were authors. They were not pens. They were men; and their individuality comes out in every page they wrote. Sometimes they write a better style than they do at other times. Sometimes their minds are clearer and their arguments more condensed and consecutive and logical.[19] Look at some of the envolved theological statements in the New Testament, and contrast them with the absolutely pellucid utterances of the same author written on a different occasion, when he was in a different mood. Those men were not mere pens, I repeat; they were authors, and it is not the book that is inspired, so much as the men. God inspired men to make an inspired book. * * * Just as a scientific man in communication with nature reads its secrets, drinks in its spirit, and writes it down, so a man who walks with God catches the mind of God and gets revelations from God and writes them down; religion is not the result of this, but the cause of it.[20]

Jenyns in his treatise on the "Internal Evidences of the Christian Religion" says:

Others there are who allow that a revelation from God may be both necessary and credible; but allege that the Scriptures, that is, the books of the Old and New Testament, cannot be that revelation—because in them are to be found errors and inconsistencies, fabulous stories, false facts, and false philosophy; which can never be derived from the fountain of all wisdom and truth. To this I reply that I readily acknowledge that the Scriptures are not revelations from God, but the history of them [i.e., the history of the revelations]. The revelation itself is derived from God; but the history of it is the production of men, and therefore the truth of it is not in the least affected by their fallibility, but depends on the internal evidence of its own supernatural excellence. If in these books such a religion as has been here described actually exists, no seeming or even real defects to be found in them can disprove the divine origin of this revelation, or invalidate my argument. * * * If any one could show that these books were never written by their pretended authors, but were posterior impositions on illiterate and credulous ages—all these wonderful discoveries would prove no more than this, that God, for reasons to us unknown, had thought proper to permit a revelation by him communicated to mankind, to be mixed with their ignorance, and corrupted by their frauds from its earliest infancy, in the same manner in which he has visibly permitted it to be mixed and corrupted from that period to the present hour. If in these books a religion superior to all human imagination actually exists, it is of no consequence to the proof of its divine origin, by what means it was there introduced, or with what human errors and imperfections it is blended. A diamond, though found in a bed of mud, is still a diamond, nor can the dirt which surrounds it depreciate its value or destroy its lustre.

The point of Jenyns' argument is, that both in doctrine and ethics the New Testament is so far superior, so far surpasses in sublimity of idea and beauty of moral precept, all that is known amongst men outside of the New Testament, and is so far removed from the uninspired utterances of men that he claims the conclusion to be irresistible that the Christian Scriptures derive their origin immediately from God; that the knowledge which they teach is divine, no matter what faults may be charged to the expression of this knowledge. From this view point he becomes almost reckless in the admission of errors and defects in the writers of the New Testament. He has been much criticized, in fact, by the professional Christian ministry—for he was a layman as to his relation with the church, a member of the British parliament—for the admission of errors in the New Testament in the passage I have quoted above, but I think unjustly so. What is needed, both as to the New Testament scriptures and the Nephite scriptures, is a thoroughgoing recognition of the fact that the truth is of more consequence than the form in which it is expressed. The wheat is of more importance than the chaff in which it grows, and which holds it until the thrashing and the winnowing. The question is not so much is all the mine-ledge gold, but is there gold in the ledge.[21]

The inspiration of God falls upon a prophet as a white ray of light may fall upon a prism, which separates the white ray of which it is composed—blue, orange, red, green, etc. The clearness of these several rays and the sharpness with which they are defined will depend upon the purity, and perhaps the position, of the prism through which the white ray passes. So with the white ray of God's inspiration falling upon men. It receives different colorings or expressions through them according to their personal characteristics. While it is true that the inspiration of God may be so overwhelming in its force at times that the prophet may well nigh lose his individuality, and become merely the mouth-piece of God, the organ through which the Divine speaks, yet the personality of the prophet is not usually so overwhelmed; hence each prophet preserves even under the inspiration of God his agency and his personal idiosyncrasies. Thus Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, all preserve their individuality in conception of ideas and in the expression of them, though inspired by the same spirit. So also Joseph Smith imparted certain characteristics to his translation of the Nephite record, notwithstanding the use of Urim and Thummim and the inspiration of the Lord that rested upon him. Just in what manner the Urim and Thummim was of assistance to him may be beyond human power to at present explain, but of this we may be certain, it was by no means the principal factor in the work; its place must forever be regarded as secondary; it was an aid to the Prophet, not he an aid to it; wonderful as it may be as a divine instrument it could not be so marvelous as the mind of man, especially as the mind of this man, Joseph Smith, this Seer, by way of pre-eminence; it is Joseph the "Seer" who translated the Book of Mormon aided by Urim and Thummim. This his statement: "Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God."[22] Mark these words—"I translated the record,"—not the Urim and Thummim. Of course the Prophet recognizes in this, as he did in all his prophetic work and his seership work, his obligation to the inspiration of God, and surely I do not wish to detract from the inspiration of God as a factor in his work. I merely desire to emphasize here that it was the Prophet under the inspiration of God that did the work, and that the divine instrument, Urim and Thummim, however wonderful, was merely an aid to the Prophet, as "glasses" may be an aid to the dim-sighted. But notwithstanding this aid provided by man's ingenuity, it is the eye after all that does the seeing, though this contrivance called "spectacles" helps the vision, and makes it more perfect. So, analogously, but in some way unknown to us, the Urim and Thummim aided the Prophet in his work of translation.

The defense of written revelation then against the existence of human elements in it—evident limitations in the knowledge of prophets concerning things other than the immediate matters on which they are inspired of God; unequal expression of ideas, falling sometimes from the sublime to the commonplace; lack of clearness and directness in expression, circumlocution;[23] grammatical blunders; tautology; sometimes long suspension of thought (a frequent fault of both Old and New Testament writers), and some thought never completed at all—all these and many other faults of mere construction,—disarrangement of the mere garments of thought—are to be attributed to the weaknesses of men and their limitations in knowledge, rather than to any fault in the inspiration supplied of God. It is the body that is defective, not the soul; the expression that is defective, not the inspired truth struggling for utterance through the faulty diction of prophets, ancient or modern—"If there be faults, they are the faults of men; therefore, condemn not the things of God because of the faults of men," will yet come to be regarded as a golden text in defense of written revelation.


Objections Based Upon the Existence of Passages in the Book of Mormon Which Follow King James' Translation of the Bible Verbatim.

It is objected to the Book of Mormon that there are found in it whole chapters, besides many minor quotations, from King James' English translation of the Bible. Since these chapters and passages in some cases follow the "authorized English version" verbatim, and closely resemble it in others; and as it is well known that in translating from one language into another almost infinite variety of expression is possible, the question arises, how is it that Joseph Smith in translating from the Nephite plates by divine assistance follows so closely an independent translation made in the ordinary way, by dint of scholarship and patient labor, and by diligent comparison of former translations.[24] This King James' translation was made by scholars of the sixteenth century. It is well known that no two translations of the same matter from one language to another, by different scholars, would ever be alike, hence these passages from the Hebrew scriptures found in the Book of Mormon, so closely resembling and in places following word for word the language of the King James' translation, constitute a difficulty, and what is regarded by some as an insurmountable objection to the claims of the Book of Mormon. Nearly all the Anti-Mormon writers raise this objection, though perhaps John Hyde,[25] 1857, makes the most of it. Following him the Rev. M. T. Lamb,[26] 1887, and last, but not least, Linn,[27] 1902.

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

I find that Christ in quoting to the people on this side of the water, the third and fourth chapters of Malachi, quotes, according to the Book of Mormon, in the identical text of King James' version, not missing a word. I find chapters of Isaiah quoted practically in the same way. I find that in many instances, in his talks with the people, and to his disciples here, he used the identical language of King James' version, not omitting the words supplied by the translators. Now, I know that no two parties will take the same manuscript and make translations of a matter contained therein, and the language of the two translators be alike; indeed, the language employed by the two parties will widely differ. These translations are from different manuscripts, and from different languages, and still it appears in the Book of Mormon as King James' translation. I can conceive of no other way in which such a coincidence could have occurred, within the range of human experience, except where one writing is copied from another, and then it takes the utmost care to get them exactly alike, word for word, and letter for letter as this is. * * * Now, what I want to know is, how do you as a Church account for these things appearing in the Book of Mormon in the identical language of King James' version, when we know his version is faulty, and the same translators could not have made it twice alike themselves? Did Joseph copy it from the Bible, or did the Lord adopt this identical language in revealing it to Joseph?[28]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"There exists, however, another difficulty; and that is, while the foreging explanation may account for the sameness in phraseology between these Book of Mormon passages and King James' translation, there remains to be accounted for the differences that exist between these Book of Mormon passages and those which parallel them in King James' translation. I am led to believe that you have been so absorbed, perhaps, in tracing out the sameness in the expression that you have failed to note the differences to which I allude, for you make the claim of strict identity between the Book of Mormon and King James' translation too strong when you say that there is used the "identical language of King James'[29] version, not even omitting the words supplied by the translators." Throughout the parallel passages, there are here and there differences (with the single exception, perhaps, in the chapters from Malachi, and even in these is a slight difference), and a close comparison of these differences will show that in the matter of supplied words by King James' translators, there are very frequent changes, and in all the changes that appear, the Book of Mormon passages are far superior in sense and clearness. I quote you a few passages in illustration:

Thou hast multiplied the nation and increased the joy; they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoils!--II. Nephi xxix: 3.Thou hast multiplied the nation _and not_ increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil!--Isaiah ix: 3.

Here you will find the Book of Mormon passage more in harmony with the facts in the case. How inconsistent the passage is in Isaiah, "Thou has multiplied the nation and not increased the joy!" And yet that statement is followed by this one—"they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil!" But in the Book of Mormon it is perfectly consistent, for there it says "Thou hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy." The following passages also indicate the superiority of the Book of Mormon version:

And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter; should not a people seek unto their God, for the living to hear from the dead?--II.Nephi xvii: 19.And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have faniliar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead.--Isaiah viii: 19.

If you will carefully compare the passages in the Book of Mormon, and some of the chapters in Matthew, say the 12th chapter of III. Nephi, with Matthew v; the 13th chapter of III. Nephi with Matthew 6th chapter; the 14th chapter of III. Nephi, with Matthew 7th chapter, you will also find throughout that there are differences between the two, as much so as between the Catholic Bible (generally called the Douay Bible) and King James' translation, which, of course, are independent translations by different scholars. I give the following passages by way of illustration:

Matt. ch. v: verse 3. verse 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.III. Nephi ch. xii: Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me[30] for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matt. ch. v: verse 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.Verse 4. And again, blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.Verse 5.[31] Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Verse 6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.Verse 6. And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.[32]Verse 6. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Verse 7. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.Verse 7. And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.Verse 7. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
Verse 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Verse 10. And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Verse 10. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice's sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.Verse 12. For ye shall have great joy and be exceeding glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.Verse 12. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven; for so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
Chapter vi: verse 25. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?Chapter xiii: verse 25. And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them,[33] Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?Chapter vi: verse 25. Therefore I say unto you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than raiment?
Verse 26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather in barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? than they?Verse 26. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?Verse 26. Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value
Verse 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?Verse 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?Verse 27. Which of you by taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
Verses 28, 29. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Verses 28, 29. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Verses 28, 29. And for raiment why are you solicitous Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labor not, neither do they spin. But I say unto you, that not even Solomon, in all his glory, was arrayed as one of these.
Verse 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, _shall he_ not much more _clothe_ you, O ye of little faith?Verse 30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if you are not of little faith?Verse 30. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?
Verses 31, 32, 33. Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or Wherewith shall we be clothed? for after all these things do the Gentiles seek: For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.Verses 31, 32, 33. Therefore, take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.Verses 31, 32, 33. Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you.
Verse 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: For the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.Verse 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.[34]Verse 34. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow. For the morrow will be solicitous for itself; sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

But how are these differences to be accounted for? They unquestionably arise from the fact that the Prophet compared the King James' translation with the parallel passages in the Nephite records, and when he found the sense of the passage of the Nephite plates[35] superior to that in the English version he made such changes as would give the superior sense and clearness. This view is sustained by the fact of uniform superiority of the Book of Mormon version wherever such differences occur. It is also a significant fact that these changes occur quite generally in the case of supplied words of the English translators, and which in order to indicate that they are supplied words, are printed in Italics. * * * * * I fancy to all this, however, another inquiry will arise in your mind and that is since Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the Urim and Thummim, why is it that he did not give throughout a translation direct from the Nephite plates, instead of following our English Bible, where it paralleled passages on the plates, since translation by means of the Urim and Thummim must have been so simple and so easy? It is at this particular point where, in my opinion, a very great mistake is made, both by our own people, and our friends in the world. That is, translation by the Urim and Thummim is not so simple and easy a thing as it might at first glance appear. Many have supposed that the Prophet Joseph had merely to look into the Urim and Thummim, and there see, without any thought or effort on his part, both the Nephite characters and the translation in English. In other words, the instrument did everything and the Prophet nothing, except merely to look in the Urim and Thummim as one might look into a mirror, and then give out what he saw there. Such a view of the work of the Urim and Thummim I believe to be altogether incorrect. I think it caused the Prophet the exercise of all his intellectual and spiritual forces to obtain the translation; that it was an exhausting work, one that taxed even his great powers to their uttermost limit; and hence, when he could ease himself of those labors by adopting a reasonably good translation already existing, I think he was justified in doing so."

Such was the answer made to Mr. Chamberlain's inquiries, and as the reader will doubtless be interested to know how this answer was received by this unprejudiced gentleman, I quote the following from his letter in response to the explanation.[36]

Of course, I realize that if the Book of Mormon was not just what it purported to be, the whole fabric [of Mormonism] must fall to the ground, so far as being an inspired religion, and would then only be worth what good one could get out of it as the best organization or controlled religion on earth. * * * Upon studying the Book of Mormon, I, of course, found these portions of King James' version of our Bible, and judging it by the applied law of human experience, as we lawyers learn to judge everything, I could account for it in on other way, than that Joseph Smith copied it therefrom, and I am free to say that your reasons for his so doing are not only probable, but the only solution that can be given. * * * I believe and think that your suggestion is the only theory upon which it is possible to advocate its divine character. It seems to me that God, so far as I know, has never supplied man with what he already possessed, and Joseph Smith already had language with which to express his ideas, and all that was required in addition from God was, that he furnish him with the thought, and then let him express it in his own language. I never could for a moment believe that God is interested in placing his approval on King James' translators' style of translating, nor upon the composition of the English language therein adopted. I do not see wherein your theory detracts in any manner from the value of the Book of Mormon, as an inspired work acknowledged by God as authentic, nor makes more impracticable the manner of its introduction.


Miscellaneous Objections Based on Literary Style and Language.

The theory established that the language of the translation of the Book of Mormon is Joseph Smith's, and that at least for extended quotations from Isaiah and the New Testament writers he turned to the common English version of the Bible and adopted it, the answer to all objections based upon errors in literary style and grammar, and the finding of many passages from the Hebrew prophets and New Testament writers transcribed from King James' translation—is obvious:

(1) The language is Joseph Smith's; the errors in style and grammar are due to his very limited education, for which the lack of educational opportunities alone is responsible.

(2) To relieve himself somewhat of the mental strain in the work of translation when he came to matter transcribed from the Hebrew prophets into the Nephite record, or to instructions of the Messiah that paralled his teachings to the people of Judea—of which there already existed a reasonably good English translation—the Prophet adopted that translation.[37]

The ideas underlying this explanation once adopted, it is equally easy to meet the objections to the Book of Mormon based on the existence of modern words and phraseology found in it; of provincialisms of the time and place in which the translation was wrought; of phrases and words from modern poets and religious exhorters. These words and phrases made up the vocabulary of Joseph Smith; and his mode of expressing his thought is that of the period and place in which he lived; and hence the ideas obtained from the Nephite plates he couched in those modern words, phrases and modes of expression familiar to him.

Sometimes, however, more is claimed for the existence of these modern words, phrases and alleged quotations from modern poets than is warranted.[38] For example: Campbell, Hyde, Lamb, Linn, and many others, sarcastically remark that the words of Shakespeare are quoted in a passage in the Book of Mormon accredited to Lehi, 2200 years before Shakespeare was born! Linn puts it in this form:

Shakespeare is proved a plagiarist by comparing his words with those of the second Nephi, who, speaking twenty-two hundred years before Shakespeare was born, said, "Hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs you must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return."[39]

The theory already advanced as an explanation of the existence of modern words and phraseology in Joseph Smith's translation of the Nephite record is adequate as an explanation of such instances of modernisms as this.[40] Through school books extant, or through listening to itinerant preachers, the Prophet might have become acquainted with such phraseology as this alleged quotation from Shakespeare, and employed it where it would express some Nephite idea or thought found in the Nephite record. Still, this alleged quotation from the British poet, at least, is susceptible of another explanation.

In the book of Job I find two passages either of which, and surely both of them combined, would furnish the complete thought, and for that matter largely, the phraseology to both Lehi and Shakespeare. I quote Job's language, and afterwards that of Lehi's and Shakespeare's, that the reader may compare them:

1. Job, "Let me alone that I may take comfort a little before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death."[41]

"When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return."[42]

2. Lehi, "Hear the words of a parent whose limbs you must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return."

3. Shakespeare, "That undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns."

It will be observed that the passage from the Book of Mormon follows Job more closely than it does Shakespeare, both in thought and diction; and this for the reason, doubtless, that Lehi had been impressed with Job's idea[43] of going to a land whence he would not return; and Joseph Smith being familiar with Job, and very likely not familiar with Shakespeare, when he came to Lehi's thought he expressed it nearly in Job's phraseology; and undoubtedly Shakespeare paraphrased his now celebrated passage from Job.

It is also objected that many of the prophecies of the Book of Mormon respecting the earth-career of Messiah, especially the prophecies found in first Nephi, are given sometimes in the language of accomplished fact.[44] "Lehi," says Campbell, "was a greater Prophet than any of the Jewish prophets, and uttered all the events of the Christian Era and developed the records of Matthew, Luke, and John 600 years before John the Baptist was born." He follows the general statement with a number of passages illustrative of it.

This circumstance of writing prophecy in the language of accomplished fact, however, ought not to appeal to orthodox Christians as a very serious objection to the prophecies in the Book of Mormon, since they have on their hands the fifty third chapter of Isaiah to account for. This chapter by a consensus of opinion of orthodox Christian scholarship is regarded as a wonderful prophecy, outlining the earth life, character and redemptive mission of the Christ; and for the most part this prophecy is given in the language of accomplished fact. I quote part of the chapter conceded to refer to the Christ:

He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah, LIII: 2-10.)

Surely after this it is not worth while for orthodox Christians to be objecting to prophecies in the Book of Mormon on the ground that they are written in the language of accomplished fact. So far from this peculiarity of Isaiah's having brought him into disrepute as a prophet, it seems to have added to his glory, because so writing his prophecy, it is claimed, has given a vividness to his predictions, an exactness that made the messianic prophecies all the more valuable. "The prophecies regarding the Messiah's birth, passion, glory, rejection by the Jews, and acceptance by the Gentiles are so exact as to have earned him the name of the 'Gospel Prophet.' "—(Oxford Bible Helps—Isaiah). It should be remembered, too, in this connection, that the Book of Isaiah's prophecies carried by the colony of Lehi into the Western hemisphere with them became a powerful influence among the Nephite writers. His book is quoted from more extensively than any other book of the Jewish scriptures possessed by the Nephites; and that because of the plainness with which Isaiah spoke of the coming and mission of Messiah. The first Nephi, commenting upon Isaiah and the esteem in which he held his writing, said:

And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken [apply] his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. And my brother Jacob also has seen him as I have seen him, wherefore I will send their words forth unto my children, to prove unto them that my words are true.

Small wonder then if a prophet held in such large esteem, as was Isaiah, and so extensively quoted, influenced prophetic Nephite literature, and led to the habit of writing prophecies referring to the Christ in the language of accomplished fact.

The Rev. M. T. Lamb, in his "Golden Bible" makes practically the same charges as Mr. Campbell, saying, in addition that many of the quotations from the Jewish scriptures found in the Book of Mormon, are written "in the exact language of the New Testament."

It is sufficient to say to this objection that Joseph Smith having a full knowledge of the facts of the Christian story, as related in the New Testament, clothed the ideas caught from the Nephite record in New Testament phraseology; and it has been suggested that he may have done so in places in stronger terms than a rigidly strict translation might have warranted.[45]

It is not necessary to go into detail in considering this objection,[46] or of objections of similar nature, for the reason that this whole class of objections is met completely by the theory suggested in these pages concerning the translation of the Book of Mormon.


The Difficulty of Passages from Isaiah Being Quoted by Nephite Writers, that Modern Bible Criticism (Higher Criticism) Holds Were Not Written Until the Time of the Babylonian Captivity—586-538 B. C., and not Written by Isaiah at all.

It is held that Isaiah's historical period—the period of his ministry—runs through the reign of four kings of Judah—Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Some extend his ministry over into the reign of Manasseh, by whose edict, it is said, he was sawn asunder. In any event Isaiah would be a very aged man at the close of the reign of Hezekiah, 698 B. C.; and he would have been between eighty and ninety at the accession of Manesseh. So that it is safe to say that life ended soon after the close of Hezekiah's reign. Now if it be true that the latter part of the Book of Isaiah, from chapter forty to chapter sixty-six, inclusive, was not written until and during the Babylonian Captivity, 586-538 B. C.—as assumed by modern criticism—then of course the prophet Isaiah did not write that part of the book which bears his name as author.

Again: If it be true that these chapters 40-66 were not written until and during the Babylonian captivity, then Lehi could not have taken that part of the book of Isaiah with him into the wilderness and subsequently brought it with him to America, where his son Nephi copied passages and whole chapters into the record he engraved upon plates called the plates of Nephi,[47] since Lehi left Jerusalem 600 years B. C.

The difficulty presented by the Higher Criticism is obvious, viz: If Joseph Smith is representing the first Nephi as transcribing into his Nephite records passages and whole chapters purporting to have been written by Isaiah, when as a matter of fact those chapters were not written until a hundred and twenty-five or a hundred and fifty years after Isaiah's death; and not until fifty years after Lehi's colony had departed from Jerusalem, then Joseph Smith is representing Nephi as doing that which is impossible, and throws the whole Book of Mormon under suspicion of being fraudulent. This, therefore, becomes a very interesting as well as a very important objection; and many among the Higher Critics will say a fatal one. Here it can only be treated in outline; it is undoubtedly worthy of exhaustive analysis.

The Book of Isaiah divides into two parts: first, chapters 1-39, universally allowed to be the work of the prophet Isaiah, whose ministry extended through the reigns of the four kings mentioned in Isaiah i:1; second, chapters 40-66, written by an unknown author, nearly one hundred and fifty years after Isaiah, sometimes called Isaiah II. It is claimed that these chapters 40-66; "form a continuous prophecy, dealing throughout with a common theme, viz, Israel's restoration from exile in Babylon. * * Jerusalem and the temple have been for long in ruins—the 'old waste places;' Israel is in exile."[48] It is to these conditions that the unknown prophet addresses himself. His object is to awaken faith in the certainty of an approaching restoration.

Three independent lines of argument are said to establish this theory of the authorship of chapters 40-66 in the Book of Isaiah:

(1) The internal evidence supplied by the prophecy itself points to this period [time of the captivity] as that at which it was written. It alludes repeatedly to Jerusalem as ruined and deserted; to the sufferings which the Jews have experienced, or are experiencing, at the hands of the Chaldaeans; to the prospect of return, which, as the prophet speaks, is imminent. Those whom the prophet addresses, and, moreover, addresses in person—arguing with them, appealing to them, striving to win their assent by his warm and impassioned rhetoric—are not the men of Jerusalem, contemporaries of Ahaz and Hezekiah, or even of Manasseh, they are the exiles in Babylonia. Judged by the analogy of prophecy, this constitutes the strongest possible presumption that the author actually lived in the period which he thus describes, and is not merely (as has been supposed) Isaiah immersed in spirit in the future, and holding converse, as it were, with the generations yet unborn. Such an immersion, in the future would be not only with parallel in the O. T., it would be contrary to the nature of prophecy. The prophet speaks always, in the first instance, to his own contemporaries: the message which he brings intimately related with the circumstances of his time; his promises and predictions, however far they reach into the future, nevertheless rest upon the basis of the history of his own age, and correspond to the needs which are then felt. The prophet never abandons his own historical position, but speaks from it.[49]

(2) The argument derived from the historic function of prophecy is confirmed by the literary style of c. 40-66, which is very different from that of Isaiah 1-39. Isaiah 1-39 shows strongly marked individualities of style; he is fond of particular images and phrases, many of which are used by no other writer of the O. T. Now, in the chapters which contain evident allusions to the age of Isaiah himself, these expressions occur repeatedly; in the chapters which are without such allusions, and which thus authorize prima facie the inference that they belong to a different, age, they are absent, and new images and phrases appear instead. This coincidence cannot be accidental. The subject of c. 40-66 is not so different from that of Isaiah's prophecies (e.g.) against the Assyrians, as to necessitate a new phraseology and rhetorical form. The differences can only be reasonably explained by the supposition of a change of author.[50]

(3) The theological ideas of c. 40-66 (in so far as they are not of that fundamental kind common to the prophets generally) differ remarkably from those which appear, from c. 1-39, to be distinctive of Isaiah. Thus, on the nature of God generally, the ideas expressed are much larger and fuller. Isaiah, for instance, depicts the majesty of Jehovah: in c. 40-66 the prophet emphasizes his infinitude; He is the Creator, the Sustainer of the universe, the Life-Giver, the Author of history, the First and the Last, the Incomparable One. This is a real difference. And yet it cannot be argued that opportunities for such assertions of Jehovah's power and Godhead would not have presented themselves naturally to Isaiah whilst he was engaged in defying the armies of Assyria. But, in truth, c. 40-66 show an advance upon Isaiah, not only in the substance of their theology, but also in the form in which it is presented; truths which are merely affirmed in Isaiah being here made the subject of reflection and argument.[51]

These arguments when expressed in these general terms seem quite formidable; but they are much stronger in general statement than when one follows the advocates of them through all the references cited by them in support of the theory; for then one is impressed with the very heavy weights which the Higher Criticism hangs on very slender threads. As before remarked, however, I may not go beyond outline treatment of the matter here.

The first thing those of us who believe Isaiah to be the author of the whole book through so many ages accredited to him, both by Jews and Christians—the first thing we have a right to demand of these innovators is: If Isaiah the prophet is not the author of the last twenty-seven chapters of the book that bears his name, who is the author? Confessedly chapters 40-66 of Isaiah are the most important part of the book. How is it that chapters 1-39 can be assigned an author, but the more important chapters 40-66 have to be assigned to an "unknown" author? Was knowledge in those antique times so imperfect that the author of such a remarkable production as Isaiah 40-66 could not be ascertained?

Second, there is no heading to this second division of Isaiah 40-66; and it is not true that this second part is unconnected with the first part. Allowing something to the spirit of prophecy in Isaiah, by which I mean a power to foresee events, which carries with it a power in the prophet to project himself into the midst of those things foreseen, and to speak from the midst of them as if they were present—as indeed they were to his consciousness—and there is an immediate connection between the two parts. Chapter 39 predicts the Babylonian captivity. Hezekiah has just been made to hear the word of the Lord—

Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.

And thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. (Isaiah 39:6-7.)

In the opening chapter of the supposed second division of Isaiah, chapter 40, the prophet launches out upon that series of prophecies that treat, first, of the deliverance of Israel from this captivity just spoken of through Cyrus, king of Persia; and, second, a larger deliverance of Israel through the redemption brought to pass by the Christ. Because of this close and logical connection between the supposed divisions of the book, one is justified in holding that the inscription of chapter i:1, applies to the whole book, and implies that Isaiah is the author of the second part, 40-66, as well as of the first part, 1-39. "Nor do the words concerning Judah and Jerusalem," says an eminent authority, "oppose the idea that the inscription applied to the whole; for whatever he [Isaiah] says against other nations, he says on account of their relation to Judah."[52]

Second, the Higher Critics must deal with some facts of history before their claims can be allowed. According to Josephus, the Jews showed the prophecies of Isaiah (chapter 44:28; 45:1-13)to Cyrus the king, to induce him to return the Jews to Jerusalem and order the building of the temple, upon which Cyrus issued the following decree:

Thus saith Cyrus the king, Since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship, for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.

This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies; for this prophet said, that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision; "My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple." This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished. Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him, to fulfill what was so written.[53]

The above is confirmed also by Ezra i:2. Now the value of this exhibition of the word of the Lord to Cyrus grew out of the circumstance that it was a prophecy uttered by Isaiah one hundred and fifty years before it came to the knowledge of Cyrus. It was the fact that it was "foreknowledge" that caused Cyrus to admire the divine power thus displayed; it was this that stirred him with the ambition to fulfill what was so written. Now either we must believe that the pious Jews, anxious to return to the land of their fathers, rebuild their temple and resume the thread of their national existence, deceived by a wretched subterfuge the king of Persia, and induced him to make this proclamation by such means; or else they really exhibited to him the writings of Isaiah, and this real prophecy respecting himself, fraught with such mighty consequences to a people chosen of God to stand as his witness among the nations of the earth. I cannot think that this action so important in the development of God's purposes respecting his people was founded in fraud; nor do I believe such mighty results were brought about by disclosing the prognostications of some "unknown" contemporary whose "eye had marked Cyrus in the distance as the coming deliverer of his nation;" such cause would be inadequate to the results.

Again, Luke represents the Christ as reading a passage from this second division of Isaiah (chapter 61:1, 2), and reading it as coming from Isaiah; and also as being fulfilled in his own person:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. (Luke iv: 16-22).

One can scarcely think of Jesus being mistaken in respect of the authorship of the scripture from which he read, especially respecting a prophecy relating to himself. Furthermore, whoever wrote Isaiah 61: 1, 2, whether Isaiah, the admitted author of Isaiah chapters 1-39, or some other author a hundred and fifty or two hundred years later, and in the midst of the scenes of the Babylonian captivity, this much is true: he projected himself forward some several hundreds of years into the times of the beginning of the Christ's mission, (if we may believe the Christ when he applies the prophecy to himself and proclaims the fulfillment of it in the happenings of that day), speaks in the present tense, as if pleading with the men of his own day. So that if this power is admitted as being possessed by the supposed "unknown" author of chapters 40-66, it might as well be accorded to Isaiah as to him; and if that power be accorded to a prophetic writer, then all the difficulties conjured up by our modern critics, and to overcome which their theories were invoked, meet with easy solution.

As to the difference of literary style between the first and second division of Isaiah's book, urging as necessary the belief in different authors for the two parts. I am disposed to give considerable weight to such evidence, since I know how strong the tendency in expression towards individuation is, but those more competent to judge of that subject than I am, hold that of all the prophetic writers, Isaiah possesses the widest range of literary style, the largest richness in coloring and forms of expression. And this when the view of his style is confined to that part of his book of which all allow he is the author. As for example, the one author most assured that Isaiah did not write chapters 40-66 of the book that bears his name, the author of "An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament," speaking of Isaiah, and of course limiting his comment to the author of chapters 1-39, says:

Isaiah's poetical genius is superb. His characteristics are grandeur and beauty of conception, wealth of imagination, vividness of illustration, compressed energy and splendor of diction. * * * * * * Examples of picturesque and impressive imagery are indeed so abundant that selection is difficult. These may be instanced, however: the banner raised aloft upon the mountains; the restless roar of the sea; the waters rising with irresistible might; the forest consumed rapidly in the circling flames, or stripped of its foliage by an unseen hand; the raised way; the rushing of many waters; the storm driving or beating down all before it; the monster funeral pyre; Jehovah's hand "stretched out," or "swung," over the earth, and bearing consternation with it. Especially grand are the figures under which he conceives Jehovah as "rising up," being "exalted," or otherwise asserting His majesty against those who would treat it with disregard or disdain. * * * * * The brilliancy and power of Isaiah's genius appear further in the sudden contrasts, and pointed antitheses and retorts, in which he delights.

Isaiah's literary style shows similar characteristics. It is chaste and dignified: the language is choice, but devoid of all artificiality or stiffness, every sentence is compact and forcible; the rhythm is stately; the periods are finely rounded; Isaiah indulges occasionally—in the manner of his people—in tone-painting, and sometimes enforces his meaning by an effective assonance, but never to excess, or as a meretricious ornament. His style is never diffuse: even his longest discourses are not monotonous or prolix; he knows how to treat his subject fruitfully, and, as he moves along, to bring before his reader new and varied aspects of it; thus he seizes a number of salient points, and presents each singly in a vivid picture. * * * * No prophet has Isaiah's power either of conception or of expression; none has the same command of noble thoughts, or can present them in the same noble and attractive language.

Immerse such a writer as this into the spirit of the future, give him the theme of Israel's deliverance from Babylonian captivity, or the larger deliverance of Israel and the world from sin and death through the mission of the Christ; and what new coloring may he not give to his style? What greater depths of truth respecting God and man may he not sound, calling for new phraseology, new words and combinations to express the deeper knowledge of the enlarged "vision?" This I believe is what happened to the prophet. He was so immersed; and his style under the inspiration of God rose to meet the new environment and the enlarged views given by the wider vision.

One of the most forceful passages on this subject that I have yet found is one written by Professor Daniel Smith Talcott, D. D., of the Theological Seminary, Bangor, Maine. He contributes the Article on "Isaiah" to Hackett's edition of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, and in the course of his treatise, referring to the diversity of style between the two alleged parts of Isaiah, says:

The array of linguistic evidence in proof of a diversity of authorship, which has gradually grown within the last century into the formidable proportions in which it meets us in the pages of Knobel and others, rests very largely upon an assumption which none of these critics have the hardihood distinctly to vindicate, namely, that within the narrow compass of the Hebrew literature that has come down to us from any given period, we have the means for arriving at an accurate estimate of all the resources which the language at that time possessed. When we have eliminated from the list of words and phrases relied upon to prove a later date than the time of Isaiah, everything the value of which to the argument must stand or fall with this assumption, there remains absolutely nothing which may not be reasonably referred to the reign of Hezekiah. Indeed, considering all the circumstances of the times, it might justly have been expected that the traces of foreign influence upon the language would be far more conspicuous in a writing of this date than they actually are in the controverted portions.

It is to be remembered that the ministry of the prophet must have extended through a period, at the lowest calculation, of nearly fifty years; a period signalized, especially during the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah, by constant and growing intercourse with foreign nations, thus involving continually new influences for the corruption of public morals and new dangers to the state, and making it incumbent upon him who had been divinely constituted at once the political adviser of the nation and its religious guide, to be habitually and intimately conversant among the people, so as to descry upon the instant every additional step taken in their downward course and the first approach of each new peril from abroad, and to be able to meet each successive phase of their necessities with forms of instruction, admonition, and warning, not only in their general purport, but in their very style and diction, accommodated to conditions hitherto unknown, and that were still perpetually changing.

Now when we take all this into the account, and then imagine to ourselves the prophet, toward the close of this long period, entering upon what was in some respects a novel kind of labor, and writing out, with a special view to the benefit of a remote posterity, the suggestions of that mysterious Theopneustia to which his lips had been for so many years the channel of communication with his contemporaries, far from finding any difficulty in the diversities of style perceptible to the different portions of his prophecy, we shall only see fresh occasion to admire that native strength and grandeur of intellect, which have still left upon productions so widely remote from each other, in the time and circumstances of their composition, so plain an impress of one and the same overmastering individuality.—Smith's Bible Dictionary, Vol. II., p. 1165.

Believers in the Book of Mormon have no occasion of uneasiness because passages from the latter part of Isaiah's book are found transcribed into the Nephite record. The theories of modern critics have not destroyed the integrity and unity of the Book of Isaiah. And after the overwhelming evidences for the truth of the Book of Mormon are taken into account; and it is found that on the plates of Nephi there were transcripts from the latter part of Isaiah's writings, taken from a copy of his prophecies carried by a colony of Jews from Jerusalem to the western hemisphere, six hundred years before Christ—men will discern in this discovery new evidence for the Isaiah authorship of the whole book of Isaiah.


1. Howe's "Mormonism," p. 56.

2. "Mormonism in All Ages" (1842), p. 200.

3. See Hyde's "Mormonism" (1857), chapters 9, 10.

4. Smucker's "History of the Mormons" (1881 edition), p. 49.

5. "The Golden Bible" (1887), chapter 7.

6. "The Story of the Mormons" (1902), chapter 11.

7. Linn says that there are more than 3,000 such changes.

This, I think, is an exaggeration. "Story of the Mormons," p. 89. In 1889, Lamoni Call, formerly a Mormon, published a treatise on the subject which he entitled "Two Thousand Changes in the Book of Mormon," even this I think is an exaggeration; but there have been many changes as conceded in the text.

8. "Mormonism in All Ages," p. 19.

9. Ibid, p. 200.

10. Moroni's Preface, title page Book of Mormon.

11. Mormon viii: 17.

12. There is some justification for such a view as this, if we have in mind the idea of God making a full and perfect revelation to man. When God gives a revelation it necessarily has to be such an one as man can comprehend, and in terms with which he is familiar—in man's language; and as man's language is inadequate to express truth in its perfection, it follows that any revelation which God deigns to give to the children of men will fall somewhat below the perfect truth, hence the Apostle of the Gentiles declared, notwithstanding the existence of revelations in the scriptures which were extant in Paul's time, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part; we see [as] through a glass, darkly." This condition arises not out of any lack of power on the part of God to make a perfect revelation of truth, but out of man's inability to comprehend such a revelation; and hence God graciously condescends to meet man's somewhat narrow limitations by giving such a revelation of truth in the scriptures, as man by faith and diligence may comprehend.

13. "The Age of Reason," Paine, p. 19.

14. Ibid, p. 25.

15. "The Age of Reason," Part II, p. 98.

That Joseph Smith appreciated how inadequate human language is to express divine thought is evident from the following prayer of his, uttered when writing to his friend, W. W. Phelps: "Oh Lord God, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost, as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink—and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language."—History of the Church, Vol. I, pp. 227-8.

16. Ibid p. 252.

17. The lecture was published in the "St. Louis Globe-Democrat," of Sunday, March 19, 1905.

18. Dr. Abbott delivered these lectures in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, during the winter of 1896.

19. This is also true of the translation of the Book of Mormon. Some of its passages rise to heights of sublimity, and then again descending to levels that are commonplace and labored.

20. "The Evolution of Bible Study" (Henry Drummond, 1901).

21. Replying to this criticism of the Book of Mormon some time ago (June, 1904), wherein the critic insisted that the question concerning the Book of Mormon was not where men say they got it, but "is it gold"—he insisted that the "assay test" must be applied—to which the writer made the following reply:

"I declare my willingness, as one of the believers in the Book of Mormon to see it submitted, as perforce it must be, to the 'assay test.' Is it gold? Are these important truths we have been considering this evening, wherein the welfare of half the world is concerned, gold or dross? Is the light which the Book of Mormon throws upon the word of God contained in the four (New Testament) Gospels of importance? (See this Vol. ch. 42: vi for the items here referred to). Is the fact that Jesus visited this western world and announced the saving power of his Gospel in such a manner that millions finally came to the knowledge of salvation a golden truth? Is the solemn warning to the Gentile nations inhabiting the western world (See chapter 42.) Worth while considering? May not these prophecies be golden, especially if needed? I shall leave you to answer that. But I want to suggest an improvement on the gentleman's simile—to this 'assay test.' I think it could be improved. The question is not so much as to whether in the four (New Testament) Gospels or in the fifth (i.e., the Book of III Nephi in the Book of Mormon) all is gold, but is there gold in them. I do not think the four Gospels are without alloy. In other words I do not think the four Gospels are perfect. I believe there are imperfections in them in forms of expressions and in the fact that they do not convey all that Jesus both taught and did; at best they are but fragmentary. St. John informs us in his Gospel that if all the things that Jesus had done were written, the world itself would hardly contain the books. We have not the full reports of Messiah's discourses. The full and absolutely pure world of God just as it fell from the lips of the Savior, is not in the four Gospels. For the most part we have but the recollections of the evangelists of what Jesus said and did. Only those who read the Greek, and unfortunately they are very few, may read even the four Gospels in the language in which the Apostles wrote them. We have translations of these records, and each time they are translated dilution takes place. The force of what is said becomes in the translation somewhat abated. * * * So with the book of III Nephi, that comes to us in abridged form. It is not the original book of Nephi; it is Mormon's abridgment of that book. He has condensed it, and in doing so has doubtless given us less perfect accounts of Christ's mission to the Nephites [than would have been found in the unabridged book of III Nephi]. That is to say, we have not all the surrounding circumstances or all the utterances of the Savior, or of the men the book represents as speaking. Then we have not even Mormon's original abridgment of Nephi's book—the real fifth Gospel—but only the Prophet Joseph's translation of Mormon's abridgment, and that it is admitted in his imperfect English. So that the whole five Gospels are fragmentary and tainted with imperfections and limitations, as all things are that pass through human hands; but they contain nevertheless, God's precious truths [the gold of the mine]; and some of these are found in the fifth Gospel as well as in the four Hebrew Gospels; and to me the truths of the fifth or Nephite Gospel are as precious and important as are those of the other four Gospels." (Discourse by the writer, "The Fifth Gospel," "Deseret Evening News," June 11, 1904). The whole discourse will be found in "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 373-399.

22. "Millennial Star," Vol. XIX, p. 118.

23. One Anti-Mormon writer—the Rev. M. T. Lamb—devotes two chapters to this subject of circumlocution alone—"The Golden Bible," chapters i and ii. He brings into contrast passages from the Book of Mormon, lacking in directness of expression, with passages from the Bible celebrated for their directness, and thereby is most unfair in his argument; because he compares the best of the Bible with the worst of the Book of Mormon, a proceeding which might be reversed with disastrous results to the Bible, if the comparison were to end with this comparison of the worst in the one with the best in the other. Now let it be understood that I am not contending that the English translation of the Book of Mormon compares as literature with the English translation of the Hebrew scriptures. The latter is a translation by the most finished scholarship of the time in which it was accomplished—I refer to the authorized version, the translation completed 1611 A. D.—while the Book of Mormon is translated by an unlearned youth limited in educational opportunities, without even the advantage of a common school education. True, it is claimed for him that he was assisted by a divine inspiration. That, however, insures only the accuracy of the facts, the statement of the truth as contained in the Nephite record, not directness, accuracy, or charm of literary style. As for circumlocution in the expression of thought, that is but natural to one possessed of only a limited vocabulary. The existence of circumlocution, therefore, in the Book of Mormon is in harmony with and helps to illustrate what in these pages has been contended for, as to the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated, and the fact that the Prophet Joseph was left to express the thought he received from the Nephite record in such language as he could command; which theory of translation once accepted, I here repeat, makes easy an answer to all the objections urged upon the ground of literary defects in the Book of Mormon.

24. See translator's preface and title page of the "Authorized English Version."

25. Hyde's "Mormonism," chapters ix, x, xi.

26. "Golden Bible," chapter vii.

27. Linn's "Story of the Mormons," chapter xi.

28. "Improvement Era," Vol. VIII (1904), pp. 180, 181.

29. When the translators of our English Bible found it necessary to supply words to make clear the meaning in English, they printed those words in italics, and it is to these words that reference is made in the above.

30. The addition of the words in this verse, "who come unto me," are important. Surely, it is not enough for man to be merely poor in spirit. Not on that hinges salvation. A man can be poor in spirit and still fail of salvation; but "blessed are the poor in spirit 'who come unto me,' for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," is a reasonable doctrine.

31. Verses four and five in the "Douay" version are transposed, hence verse 5 here.

32. The addition of the words, "with the Holy Ghost" are important to this passage, for they make the statement of Messiah more definite, and take the passage out of all controversy as to what those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled with. They shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, the spiritual power that makes for righteousness.

33. Observe that this and the remaining passages quoted from the Book of Mormon are addressed directly to the Twelve Apostles, to whom especially they apply, not to the multitude. May it not be that when Jesus gave the same instructions in Judea he made a like distinction? If so, it was to the Twelve that he said: "Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof." That is a passage of scripture against which infidels have leveled their sarcasms ever since it was written. They have denounced it as instruction utterly impractical; as false in theory, as it would be impossible to practice; and as giving the evidence that Jesus was a mere idle dreamer, not a practical reformer. For, say they, this doctrine of taking no thought of the morrow, and taking no thought respecting food and raiment, if applied to the world's affairs, would turn the wheels of progress backward, and plunge the world into a state of barbarism. There could be no civilization under such conditions, they argue; and man would go back to the condition of the savage. I have never heard a Christian argument against that assault that has been an answer to it. But I find the key to the situation in this Book of Mormon version of the passage. It throws a flood of light upon this matter that makes the defense of the doctrine of Christ not only possible but easy against the assaults of the infidel world. This instruction about taking no thought for the morrow was not addressed to the multitude, nor is it to be followed generally by the members of the Church, nor by the people of the world at large. Jesus confines his instructions on this head, according to this Book of Mormon version, to the twelve men whom he chose among his disciples, and especially commissioned to go and preach the gospel; he admonishes them to so completely dedicate themselves unto the Lord that they would give no thought to these temporal things, but put heart, and soul into the work of their ministry; and promises that their Father in heaven, who knew they had need of food and raiment, would open the way for them; and by his bounty and grace would clothe them even as he clothed the lilies of the field; and care for them as he cared for the birds of the air. Thus limited to the twelve men especially dedicated to God's service, the doctrine is reasonable and practical, and subject to no objection that may not be successfully answered.

34. "Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof." I suggest a comparison here to that found in the other two versions, the Protestant, the Catholic. The Protestant: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof;" the Catholic: "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." In the Protestant and Catholic versions you will observe that the evil is made sufficient for the day; in the Book of Mormon version the day is made sufficient for the evil. Three learned commentators in collaboration—Jamieson, Fausett, Brown—say of that sentence as it stands in the Protestant version: "An admirable, practical maxim, better rendered in our version than in any other, not excepting the preceding English ones. Every day brings its own cares, and to anticipate is only to doubt them." If these learned commentators can thus speak in high praise of the saying of the Savior as it stands in Matthew, how much more reason they would have for praising it as it is found in the Book of Mormon!

35. Or it may be that the changes occurred to the inspired mind of the Prophet when reading the English version, without referring to the Nephite plates. In this connection it is to be remembered that the Prophet, 1831-1833, was engaged in such an inspired "revision" of the Old and New Testament, sometimes miscalled a "New Translation" of the Bible. It is more proper, however, to speak of it as a "revision," as the Prophet did not at any time pretend to the knowledge of the ancient languages that would enable him to translate from the Hebrew or Greek, as translation is commonly understood. What he did was to revise the English text of the Bible under the inspiration of God, and that led him not only to give different renderings of various passages, but also to supply missing parts made known to him by the inspiration of God. The fact that he thus made a "revision" of the scriptures rather inclines one to the belief that when he turned from the Nephite records, to what must have been substantially parallel passages in the English version, the changes were suggested to him in this manner; that is, by the inspiration of the Lord operating in his mind when reading the English text. And indeed, may it not be possible that these changes suggested by the Spirit when reading the English text, during the translation of the Book of Mormon, led him finally to attempt the revision of the whole body of the Hebrew scriptures from the English text? It is interesting to note that it was by such an inspiration in relation to the 29th verse of the 5th chapter of John's Gospel, that led not only to a different reading of the text, but also to that marvelous vision of the future state of man, and the different degrees of glory that he will inherit. The text in the English version stands, "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." To the Prophet it was given, "and shall come forth, they who have done good in the resurrection of the just; and they who have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust;" then followed the vision.

36. The correspondence in full is to be found in the "Improvement Era" for January, 1904, pp. 179-196.

37. For confirmation of the likelihood of his taking such a course, see his letter to the saints in Nauvoo on the subject of baptism for the dead (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 128: 17, 18). He quotes the 5th and 6th verses of the last chapter of Malachi, precisely as it reads in the authorized English version, and then adds: "I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands." Long before Moroni had given him a different rendition as follows:

           BIBLE.                              MORONI.

  "Behold I will send you Elijah,      "Behold, I will reveal unto
  the prophet, before the              you the Priesthood by the hand
  coming of the great and terrible     of Elijah, the prophet, before
  day of the Lord;                     the coming of the great and
                                       dreadful day of the Lord.

  "And he shall turn the heart         "And he shall plant in the
  of the fathers to the children,      hearts of the children the
  and the heart of the children        promises made to the fathers,
  to their fathers, lest I come and    and the hearts of the children
  smite the earth with a curse.        shall turn to their fathers; if
                                       it were not so, the whole earth
                                       would be utterly wasted at his

And yet the prophet used the passage as it is found in Malachi, since it suited the prophet's purpose as it stood.

38. The Rev. M. T. Lamb, author of the "Golden Bible, or the Book of Mormon. Is it from God," delivering a lecture in the town of Coalville, Utah, had the following experience: In the course of his remarks the reverend gentleman related how he had sat down to read the Book of Mormon for the purpose of really ascertaining for himself if it were true or false. He related how he found on the very first page of the book the statement that Lehi's family consisted of his wife Sariah, and his four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi. "Sam, Sam," said he, "that sounds familiar! Sam, it occurs to me that I have heard that name somewhere before! Sam! Oh, yes, I remember, 'Sam' is the Yankee nickname for Samuel! Right then and there," said the speaker, "I had my doubts as to this book being a genuine, ancient record, since I found a modern Yankee contraction of a proper name given as the name of an ancient personage!" At the conclusion of his remarks the reverend gentleman gave opportunity for questions on the subject of his lecture. Whereupon, Elder W. W. Cluff of the "Mormon" faith, arose, and in the course of a good-natured and informal discussion he asked the Rev. Mr. Lamb what he would think of a person who would sit down and begin an examination of the pentateuch—the books accredited to Moses, and the most ancient of the Hebrew scriptures (except, perhaps, the book of Job), to ascertain its truth, and coming to the enumeration of the names of the sons of Jacob finds one of them named "Dan." "Dan, Dan," says this supposed investigator, "Dan, why it seems to me that I have heard that name before! sounds familiar! Oh, I remember now, 'Dan' is the Yankee nickname for 'Daniel.' Therefore the writings of Moses cannot be genuine, because here is a Yankee nickname given as the name of a very ancient personage, therefore these alleged writings of Moses must be modern; hence, not what they have claimed to be, ancient inspired scriptures!" It is needless to say that the Rev. M. T. Lamb had nothing further to say on this point. The simple parallel was too much for him.

39. Linn's "Story of the Mormons," p. 96.

40. "Through nature to nature's God" is another instance referred to by many anti-Mormon writers as being in the Book of Mormon (although this writer has failed to find it), and is also in Pope's Essay on man. "The God of nature suffers" (First Nephi 19: 11-12), an expression used by the first Nephi, quoting the words of the prophet Zenos; this, be it remembered, several hundred years before Christ. This expression is accredited to Dionysius, the areopagite, supposed to be living at the time of the Savior's death on the cross, and who, as he beheld the sun hide its face, and witnessed the bursting of the rocks and felt the earth tremble, exclaimed: "Either the God of Nature suffers or the universe is falling apart." And it is sneeringly urged that "Nephi, 2400 years ago, hears the saying of a pagan who lives 634 years after him!" (Campbell.)

41. Job x: 20-21.

42. Job xvi: 22.

43. It must be remembered that Lehi's colony carried with them, in their journey to the western hemisphere, the Jewish scriptures extant up to 600 B. C., which scriptures doubtless included the book of Job; hence my remark that Lehi was doubtless familiar with Job's reflection concerning death—of his going whence he would not return.

44. I Nephi 22: 21. II Nephi 31: 5-10.

45. Such, substantially, is a suggestion made by Mr. H. Chamberlain, Esq., whom I have quoted before in this chapter.

46. In the course of a brief discussion of the Book of Mormon, carried on through one of the leading journals of Salt Lake City, with an "Unknown" writer, the following rule of criticism, on the objection discussed in the text, was laid down:

"Any book which professes to have been written in ancient times and yet quotes from authors not born until centuries afterwards, is a spurious book."

To which the writer made the following reply:

"This canon of criticism, however serviceable when applied to books in general, can in no sense be made to do service against the Book of Mormon. When he formulated his canon of criticism, as throughout the discussion, the 'Unknown' failed to recognize the fact that, while the Book of Mormon is an ancient book, it is largely a prophetic book; and the strongest complaint that can be made against it along the line of the 'Unknown's' criticism is that some of its prophecies are here and there translated in phraseology somewhat similar to that of writers living subsequent to the period in which it was written. In explanation of this fact I have urged that the translator, Joseph Smith, being acquainted with the New Testament [and to a limited extent with the popular phrases of some modern writers] and his diction being influenced by the phraseology of those writers, sometimes expressed the thoughts and predictions of the ancient writers in the New Testament phrases. So that the question at issue at this point of the discussion is, first, whether the ancient writers in the Book of Mormon could have been acquainted with the events, to them then future, found recorded in the Book of Mormon, and is the theory reasonable that in translating their statement of these events Joseph Smith's diction would be influenced by the phraseology of the New Testament? In dealing with the question of the New Testament phraseology in the Book of Mormon it is Joseph Smith that has to be dealt with, not Nephi [or other Book of Mormon writers], the translator, not the original writers."

The whole controversy, consisting of four papers, will be found in the writer's "Defense of the Faith and the Saints." Vol. I. pp. 313-354.

47. Isaiah chapter 48 is found in I. Nephi, chapter 20; Isaiah 49 in I. Nephi 21; Isaiah 50 in II. Nephi, 7; Isaiah 51 in II. Nephi, 8; Isaiah 53 in Mosiah 14; Isaiah 52:9, 10; in III. Nephi 18-20; Isaiah 54 in III. Nephi 22.

48. Driver's Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament—Isaiah, p. 230.

49. Driver's Introduction, pp. 336, 337.

50. Ibid. p. 238.

51. Ibid., p. 242.

52. Jamieson-Faussett-Brown Commentary, Introduction to Isaiah.

53. Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI., chapter I.




Pre-Christian Era Knowledge of the Gospel.

Among the early objections to the Book of Mormon, supposed to be unanswerable, was that based upon the fact that the Nephites hundreds of years before the birth of Christ had knowledge of him and the redemption he would bring to pass for man, and the means of grace through which salvation would be accomplished. In fact, that they had knowledge of the Christian institution. "He," (Joseph Smith) "represents the Christian institution," says Alexander Campbell, "as practiced among his Israelites before Christ was born! And his Jews are called 'Christians' while keeping the law of Moses, the Holy Sabbath, and worship in their temple, at their altars, and by their High Priest!"

Of late, however, not so much importance has been attached to this objection. It is becoming more and more recognized as a truth that the gospel of Christ was known from very ancient times, from before the foundations of the world in fact. Jesus, in scripture, is known as the "Lamb slain from before the foundations of the world," and certain ones are spoken of as having their names written in the "Book of Life" from the foundation of the world.[1]

Paul speaks of the hope of "eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began."[2] Men were not left in ignorance of the plan of their redemption until the coming of the Messiah in the flesh, even in the old world. Our annals are imperfect on that head, doubtless, but enough evidence exists even in the Jewish scriptures to indicate the existence of the knowledge of the fact of the Atonement and of the redemption of man through that means. Abel, the son of Adam, offered the firstlings of his flock as a sacrifice unto God. How came he to make such an offering, except that behind the sacrifice, as behind similar offerings in subsequent ages, stood the fact of the Christ's Atonement? In such sacrifice, was figured forth the means of man's redemption—through a sacrifice, and that the sacrifice of the first-born. Paul also refers to the sacrifices and other things of the law of Moses as "having a shadow of good things to come."[3] But where learned Abel to offer sacrifices if not from his father, Adam? It is reasonably certain that Adam as well as Abel offered sacrifices, in like manner and for the same intent. Paul bears unmistakable testimony to the fact that the gospel was preached unto Abraham; and also that it was offered to Israel under Moses before "the law of carnal commandments" was given. "I would not that ye should be ignorant," he says, "how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."[4]

Paul's great controversy with the Christian Jews was in relation to the superiority of the gospel to the law of Moses. Many of the Christian Jews, while accepting Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, still held to the law with something like superstitious reverence, and could not be persuaded that the gospel superseded the law, and was, in fact, a fulfillment of all its types and symbols. This controversy culminated in Paul's now celebrated letter to the Galatians, wherein he says:

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He sayeth not And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Wherefore the law was our school-master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

After this testimony to the knowledge of the gospel existing among the ancients, it is useless for modern critics of the Book of Mormon to complain of the knowledge of the Christian institution possessed by the Nephites, and the fact that the Book of Mormon proclaims the existence of that knowledge. If it shall be said that the Nephites had clearer conceptions of it than the people inhabiting the old world, that fact would arise not out of God's unwillingness to make known the great truth, but to the fact that the Nephites succeeded in living more nearly within his favor; and hence their clearer knowledge of the truth.

It should be remembered that prophecy is but history reversed. Known unto God are all his works and words from the beginning to the end; and at various times he has made known future events in the clearest manner to his prophets who, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, have recorded them. The Prophet Isaiah, 150 years before the birth of Cyrus, foretold his name; declared that he should subdue kingdoms, including Babylon, set free the people of God held in bondage there, and rebuild the House of the Lord at Jerusalem. And all this as clearly as the historians could write it after the events themselves took place. To Daniel he revealed the rise, fall and succession of the leading empires and nations of the world, even to the time of the establishment of God's Kingdom in power to hold universal sway in the latter days, an event not yet fulfilled.

It is clearer even from the Hebrew scriptures that the Lord has been willing, and even anxious, that a knowledge of the Christian institution should be had among men from the beginning. To the prophets of Israel, in fact, nearly every important event in the life of the Savior was made known. They foretold that he would be born of a virgin; that his name would signify "God with us;" that Bethlehem would be the place of his birth; that he would sojourn in Egypt with his parents; that he would reside in Nazareth, for "He shall be called a Nazarene;" that a messenger would prepare the way before him; that he should ride in triumph into Jerusalem upon a colt, the foal of an ass; that he would be afflicted and despised; that he would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that he would be despised and rejected of men; that men would turn their faces from him in his affliction; that he would be esteemed as stricken and smitten of God; that he would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of us men would be laid upon him, and by his stripes would be healed; that upon him would God lay the iniquity of us all; that for the transgressions of God's peoples would he be stricken; that he would be oppressed and afflicted, yet open not his mouth; that as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so would he be silent before his judges; that he would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver; that men would divide his raiment and cast lots for his vesture; that they would give to him gall and vinegar to drink; that not a bone of him should be broken; that he should be taken from prison and from judgment, and be cut out of the land of the living; that he would make his grave with the wicked and the rich in his death; but notwithstanding this he should not see corruption (i. e., his body decay), and that on the third day following his death he should rise triumphant from the grave. All this and much more was foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets concerning the Messiah. This is prophetic history.

In like manner to the Nephites his prophetic history was made known, and is found in the Book of Mormon in some instances in greater plainness than in the Old Testament, because, for one thing—in addition to the suggestion made that the Nephites may have lived nearer to the Lord than other branches of the house of Israel—the Nephite scriptures have not passed through the hands of an Aristobulus, a Philo and other rabbis, who by interpretation or elimination have taken away some of the plain and precious parts of the Jewish scriptures. Surely if the Lord revealed to the Jewish prophets these leading events in the history of the Savior ages before the Messiah's birth, it ought not to be thought a strange thing if God imparted the same knowledge to the Nephite prophets. Nor can the fact that he did so, and that in plainer terms than in the revelations to the Jews, be held as valid objections to the Book of Mormon.


The Unlawfulness of Establishing the Priesthood With Other Than the Tribe of Levi.

Somewhat akin to the objections last considered is one based upon the claim that it would be unlawful to establish a Priesthood other than that founded by Moses, when he chose the tribe of Levi to officiate in holy ordinances. In order that this objection, however, may be stated in its full force I quote it as set forth by Alexander Campbell, not even omitting the unfortunate coarseness of his language which was so unworthy of his character, and which I assign to the spirit of those times when coarseness was so often mistaken for forcefulness.

Smith, its real author [i. e., of the Book of Mormon], as ignorant and as impudent a knave as ever wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book upon a false fact, or a pretended fact, which makes God a liar. It is this: with the Jews God made a covenant at Mount Sinai, and instituted a priesthood, he separated Levi, and covenanted to give him this office irrevocably while ever the temple stood, or till the Messiah came. "Then," says God, "Moses shall appoint Aaron and his sons and they shall wait on the priest's office, and the stranger (the person of another family) who cometh nigh shall be put to death." (Numbers iii: 10.) "And the priests and sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried." (Deut. xxi: 5). Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with 250 men of renown, rebelled against a part of the institution of the Priesthood, and the Lord destroyed them in the presence of the whole congregation. This was to be a memorial that no stranger invade any part of the office of the Priesthood. (Numbers xvi: 40). Fourteen thousand and seven hundred of the people were destroyed by a plague for murmuring against the memorial.

In the 18th chapter of Numbers the Levites are again given to Aaron and his sons, and of the priesthood confirmed to them with this threat—"The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." "Even Jesus," says Paul, "were he on earth, could not be a priest; for he was of a tribe concerning which Moses spake nothing of priesthood." (Heb. vii: 13). So irrevocable was the grant of the priesthood to Levi, and of the high priesthood to Aaron, that no stranger dare approach the altar of God which Moses established. Hence Jesus himself was excluded from officiating as priest on earth according to the law.

This Joseph Smith overlooked in his impious fraud, and makes his hero, Lehi, spring from Joseph. And just as soon as his sons return from the roll of his lineage, ascertaining that he was of the tribe of Joseph, he and his sons acceptably "offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord." (p. 15, first edition.)[5] Also it is repeated (p. 18)—Nephi became chief artificer, shipbuilder, and mariner; was scribe, prophet, priest, and king unto his own people, and "consecrated Jacob and Joseph, the sons of his father, priests to God and teachers—almost 600 years before the fulness of the times of the Jewish economy was completed. (p. 72.) Nephi represents himself withal "as under the law of Moses" (p. 105). They built a new temple in the new world, and in 55 years after they leave Jerusalem, make a new priesthood which God approbates. A high priest is also consecrated and yet they are all the while "teaching the law of Moses, and exhorting the people to keep it!" (pp. 146, 209.) Thus God is represented as instituting, approbating and blessing a new priesthood from the tribe of Joseph, concerning which Moses gave no commandment concerning priesthood. Although God had promised in the law of Moses that if any man, not of the tribe and family of Levi and Aaron should approach the office of priest, he would surely die; he is represented by Smith as blessing, approbating, and sustaining another family in this appropriated office. The God of Abraham or Joseph Smith must, then, be a liar! And who will hesitate to pronounce him an imposter? This lie runs through his record for the first 600 years of his history.

I have stated this objection, at length, because much importance has been attached to it and many have regarded it as unanswerable. I consider its importance has been exaggerated, and the whole objection based upon conceptions of the right and power of God and his freedom of action, as altogether too narrow and dogmatic.

It is to be observed, first of all, that the inhibitions against others being appointed to the priesthood that was given to Aaron and the Levites, are inhibitions against "men" assuming the right to institute any other order of priesthood in Israel, or to grant the rights of this priesthood to any other tribe than that appointed by the Lord. Because of these inhibitions against "men" presuming to change the order which God has established, to therefore assume that God, to meet other conditions—such as these, for instance in the establishment of a branch of the house of Israel in the new world—the case of Lehi and his colony—that God cannot make such changes in the matter of establishing a priesthood as seemeth him good, is preposterous.

I think the argument of this point might be closed here, for surely no one would be so unreasonable as to contend that the inhibitions which God imposes upon men are to be made operative upon himself.

In the treatment of the objection preceding the one now under consideration I pointed out the fact of the antiquity of the gospel, showing that even unto Abraham the gospel had been preached, and that the law of Moses, usually called the law of carnal commandments, had been "added" to the gospel because of the transgressions of Israel, from which fact it is evident that the gospel was administered in those ancient, patriarchial times. It was a higher law than the law of Moses. It was the everlasting covenant of God with man and the blood of Christ is spoken of as being the blood of that everlasting covenant.[6] There was a priesthood that administered the ordinances of that gospel, and as the gospel was a higher law than the law of Moses, it is reasonable to conclude that the priesthood which administered in those ordinances was a higher order of priesthood than that conferred upon Aaron and the tribe of Levi, and undoubtedly the higher priesthood could, on occasion, administer in the ordinances of the inferior law. It was, doubtless, this higher order of Priesthood that such characters as Abraham, Melchizedek, and other prophets in Israel held, and by which they administered in sacred things. It was this order of priesthood that was held by Lehi and Nephi, and which the latter conferred upon his brothers, Jacob, and Joseph.[7] The former referring to his priesthood says, that he had been "ordained after the manner of this (the Lord's) holy order," that being the way in which this higher priesthood, of which I am speaking, is designated throughout the Book of Mormon.[8] Called also a priesthood "after the order of the Son of God." It was this priesthood, therefore, that was conferred upon the Nephites—not the Aaronic priesthood—and by which they officiated in sacred things; of things pertaining to the gospel as well as to the law given of Moses. The justification for administering in the things of the law by this priesthood consist in the fact that the superior authority includes all the rights and powers of the inferior authority, and certainly possesses the power to do what the inferior authority could do.

It may be claimed that the inconsistency of the Book of Mormon, relative to this matter, consists in this: It claims that the Nephites were living according to the law of Moses, and the law of Moses provided that the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi alone should exercise the priesthood; whereas, among the Nephites others than the Levites held and exercised the priesthood; technically, that inconsistency exists, but it is a technicality and is capable of bearing no such weight of argument as Mr. Campbell puts upon it. In Lehi's colony there was no representative of the tribe of Levi so far as known, and hence others had to be chosen to officiate before the Lord in the priest's office.

That the Lord in making his covenant with the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi concerning the priesthood reserved to himself the right on occasion to appoint others to perform priestly functions, even in Israel, in Palestine, is evident from the case of Gideon, the fifth judge in Israel after Moses. Gideon was of the tribe of Manasseh,[9] and when the Lord would deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites he sent his angel to this man, and though he was not of the tribe to whom the priesthood had been given by covenant, nevertheless, the Lord commanded him to build an altar, and he did so, and called it Jehovah-shalom. He also threw down the altar of Baal and built an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings, all of which were priestly functions.[10] Shall these acts be denounced as a violation of the covenant of the Lord with Aaron and the tribe of Levi? Shall the angel of the Lord, who commanded Gideon in these priestly things, be declared a spirit of evil, a violator of God's covenant? Shall the book of Judges be rejected as a spurious book, and unworthy of being accepted as part of the scriptures because it relates these circumstances? In a word, shall we employ against it all the thunder of Mr. Campbell's criticism of the Book of Mormon? His criticism would be just as effective against the book of Judges as it is against the Book of Mormon, but as a matter of fact it would amount to nothing in either case, since the action of Gideon, and also of Lehi and Nephi, were of the Lord's appointing, and the Lord had certainly reserved to himself the right to appoint men other than members of the tribe of Levi when occasion should require, though he had forbidden "men" to appoint priests other than from that tribe. This was to avoid confusion and the bringing into existence rival priesthoods among God's people, but certainly when the Lord conferred a higher order of priesthood upon the Nephites, under which they were to operate in the New World, there was no infringement of the rights of the tribe of Levi. It was no more a violation of the covenant the Lord made with the tribe of Levi, than it would be for the Lord to appoint an inhabitant of Mars to that order of priesthood and give him the right of administration in that distant world.

The whole objection is captious, and manifests the weakness of the objections urged against the Book of Mormon, since so great stress must needs be laid upon this supposed contradiction of the Bible covenant.

In his objections to the Book of Mormon, in addition to those already noted, Mr. Campbell also lays stress upon the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem, and also the establishment of a temple and its service in the New World, as a great violation of God's covenant with Israel. "To represent God," he says, "as inspiring a devout Jew [Lehi was not a Jew, by the way, but of the tribe of Manasseh] and a prophet, such as Lehi and Nephi are represented by Smith, with resolution to forsake Jerusalem and God's own house, and to depart from the land which God gave to their fathers so long as they were obedient; and to guide by miracle and bless by prodigies a good man in forsaking God's covenant and worship, is so monstrous an error that language fails to afford a name for it."

One can scarce refrain from characterizing this sort of criticism as nonsense. Nor does it represent the facts in the case. Lehi was not forsaking God's covenant nor worship; he was leaving Jerusalem by the Lord's own commandment at a time when God's judgment was about to fall and shortly afterwards did fall upon the place, so that it was no great calamity that was happening to Lehi's righteous colony to be taken from such a place and brought to the great American continents, agreeable to the covenants of the Lord with the house of Joseph, Lehi's ancestor.[11] The establishment of a temple in the New World was a necessity to this colony, but Mr. Campbell, together with all who have followed him in this and similar objections, seem determined to so limit the power of God that they will not allow of him making provisions to meet such occasions.


Nephite Knowledge of the "Call of the Gentiles."

Much stress is laid by Mr Campbell and others upon what Paul says respecting the "call" of the Gentiles to the grace of the gospel of Christ, "which in other ages," says Paul, "was not made know unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel."[12]

The making this truth known to the world, according to Mr. Campbell's views of Paul's declaration was reserved to Paul and his fellow apostles of that dispensation. "But Smith," remarks Mr. Campbell, "makes his pious hero Nephi 600 years before the Messiah began to preach, disclose these secrets concerning the calling of the Gentiles, and blessings flowing through the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles, which Paul says was hid from ages and generations."[13]

This objection could be disposed of in several ways. First, it could be held that when Paul, and the other apostles of the old world, spoke concerning the development of the work of the Lord in that land, they were limited by their knowledge of the world. They did not speak with reference to the people inhabiting the American continents who were unknown to them. For example, when Paul said:

Be not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.[14]

No one for a moment thinks Paul had in mind the inhabitants of the western hemisphere when he said, "the Gospel was preached to every creature which is under heaven." He had reference to the world with which he was acquainted, as he knew the world.

Second, it could be held that the knowledge of this mystery revealed to the Nephites by no means interfered with the purposes of God in keeping that matter hidden from the Gentiles and the world. The fact made known to the Nephites never reached the Gentiles until after the publication of the Book of Mormon, in 1830, long ages after Paul had published the fact to the Gentile world. What was revealed to the Nephites in no way detracted from the glory of Paul and the other apostles, making known the mystery of God's grace to the Gentiles.

Third. It could be held that Paul meant that himself and fellow apostles knew in a different way that the Gentiles were to be fellow heirs with the house of Israel in the privileges of the gospel. Indeed, I think this must be the solution of the matter, for Mr. Campbell's version of it would bring Paul and Isaiah into pronounced conflict with each other, and prove that one or the other of them did not speak by the inspiration of God. That it was revealed to the ancients that the Gentiles were to partake of the advantages of Christ's atonement, and have part in the salvation that is possible though it is evident from the following passages, which all allow makes direct reference to Christ and his mission.

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.[15]


And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.[16]

In the light of these revelations, concerning the part the Gentiles were to have in the salvation that comes through Christ, it can scarcely be said that this "mystery," was not revealed in ages previous to the days of Paul; but it could be said, and this I contend is what Paul meant, that it was not as fully known in former ages that the Gentiles were "to be fellow heirs and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." Before Paul's time it was only in prophecy that this was known; but after his day it was known both in prophecy and as accomplished fact.


The Difficulty of the Three Days Darkness.

An effort is sometimes made to bring the Book of Mormon into contradiction with the New Testament in the matter of "three days darkness," connected with the death of Jesus. The objection was recently stated in these terms:

In Helaman xiv: 20-27, and in I. Nephi xix: 10, we read about three days of darkness which should cover "all the earth," and the isles of the sea at the crucifixion of the Savior. Neither the Bible nor history speaks of three days of darkness on the eastern hemisphere, hence it did not cover "all the earth" as we understand it.

The objection as here stated, and the argument to be inferred from it, is: the Book of Mormon says that at the crucifixion of Messiah there will be three days of darkness that will cover all the face of the earth and the isles of the sea. History and the Bible are silent about such an event; therefore, the Book of Mormon makes a false statement and must itself be untrue, and consequently uninspired, and is not at all what it claims to be, viz., a record of the ancient inhabitants of America, and brought forth by the power of God for the enlightenment and instruction of the world.

This statement of the objection differs a little from the ordinary manner in which the objection is made. Objectors usually try to make it appear that the Book of Mormon's statement that there were three days darkness in the Western World during the time Messiah was in the tomb is in conflict with the New Testament's statement that there were three hours darkness during the crucifixion; but the fact that the New Testament refers to an event that took place while Jesus hung upon the cross in Judea, and the Book of Mormon statement refers to an event that took place after his crucifixion, while he was lying in the tomb, and in the western hemisphere, instead of at Jerusalem, it must be apparent that there is no conflict between the two accounts.

But now to meet the objection as here presented. All that is necessary will be to present just exactly what the Book of Mormon does say with reference to the three days of darkness:

The God of our fathers * * * * yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man into the hands of wicked men to be lifted up according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake, concerning the three days of darkness which should be a sign given of his death, unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the House of Israel.[17]

This is one of the passages referred to in the objection, but there is nothing here about the three days of darkness extending over "the whole face of the earth." It speaks of it as extending to the isles of the sea; i. e. to lands distant from Jerusalem beyond the seas—to those more especially inhabited by the house of Israel. In passing, and merely by the way, it may be interesting to call attention to the fact that here are three Hebrew prophets referred to by Nephi—Zenock, Neum, and Zenos—each of whom had recorded an important prophecy respecting the coming and mission of Christ; and had not the Jews eliminated the books of these prophets from their collection of scriptures, it could not have then been said, as it is now said, that the Bible is silent respecting these three days of darkness, which were to be a sign of the Messiah's death; for then they would have had the words of Zenos that there was to be such a sign given in the isles of the sea, inhabited by the house of Israel.

Behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold in that day that he shall suffer death, the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you, and also the moon, and the stars also; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead. * * * And behold thus hath the angel * * said unto me, that these things should be, and that darkness shall cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days. And the angel said unto me, that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders come to pass upon all the face of this land. (Helaman, 20:28.)

This is the other passage quoted, and in it is found the phrase, "that darkness shall cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days." But it should be remembered that this is preceded by a statement concerning the three days darkness that limits this otherwise general statement, namely, "and there shall be no light upon the face of this land"—meaning America—"for the space of three days." This clearly limits the particular sign under consideration to America and the adjacent islands of the sea, in other words, to the western hemisphere. Moreover, the phrase, "that darkness shall cover the face of the whole earth," is followed as well as preceded by the limiting clause—"these signs and these wonders"—namely, the three hours of tempest and of earthquake followed by the three days of darkness—"shall come to pass upon all the face of this land"—meaning of course, America.

Then again, when the prophecy is left and you turn to the history of its fulfillment, the whole of the thrilling narrative is clearly confined to the statement of events that occurred in the lands occupied by the Nephites—that is, to the western hemisphere. Yet in that narrative is found the same form of expression as in the prophecy of Samuel, the Lamanite. While describing events that are clearly confined to Nephite lands, Mormon says: "and thus the face of the whole earth became deformed because of the tempests and the thunderings and the lightnings. * * * And behold the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon all the face of the whole earth."—(III. Nephi, 8: 17, 18). Now did the prophet really mean that the convulsions he was describing extended to Europe and Asia and Africa because he said "the rocks were broken upon the face of the whole earth?" No; you limit the general expression here by the facts of the whole circumstance under consideration, so that "broken up upon the face of the whole earth," means upon the face of the whole earth so far as the Nephite lands are concerned—that is the limitation of the general phrase.

As an example of this kind of interpretation, I introduce a passage or two from the Bible. Daniel, in giving the interpretation of the king of Babylon's dream, says:

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

Does this prophecy really mean "wheresoever the children of men dwell," there, too, was the rule and dominion of Nebuchadnezzar? Did he rule all of Europe and Africa? Did his dominion extend to the western hemisphere, for there the children of men dwelt as well as in Asia? It is a matter of common information that Nebuchadnezzar's dominion was not thus extended, but really was quite limited. What, then? Shall we reject the prophecies of Daniel because a strict and technical construction of his language does not meet the facts?

Again he says, speaking of the political powers that would succeed Babylon:

And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

This third kingdom is generally agreed to have reference to the kingdom of Alexander; but did Alexander "bear rule over all the earth?" Did he bear rule over the western hemisphere? No; nor did he know of its existence. What, then, shall we do with this inspired prophet who says he "shall bear rule over all the earth?" Sh