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Title: Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Volume 2 of 2)

Author: B. H. Roberts

Release Date: August 16, 2016 [EBook #52819]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by the Mormon Texts Project
(, with thanks to Trevor
Nysetvold for proofreading.





"The Gospel"

"Outlines of Ecclesiastical History"

"New Witness for God"

"Mormon Doctrine of Deity"

Etc., Etc.


Salt Lake City


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

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


Salt Lake City, January, 1912.



Part I.

Schroeder-Roberts' Debate.


The Appearing of Moroni.

The Book of Mormon.

Description of the Nephite Record.


By Theodore Schroeder.


Solomon Spaulding and his first manuscript.

Spaulding's rewritten manuscript.

Erroneous theories examined.


How about Sidney Rigdon?

Rigdon's prior religious dishonesty.

Rigdon had opportunity to steal the manuscript.

Rigdon's only denial analyzed.

Rigdon and Lambdin in 1815.

Rigdon exhibits Spaulding's manuscript.

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


From Rigdon to Smith via P. P. Pratt.

Rigdon visits Smith before Mormonism.

The conversion of Parley P. Pratt.

Rigdon's miraculous conversion.

The plagiarism clinched.


For the love of gold, not God.

Concluding comment.


By Brigham H. Roberts.


Justifications for replying to Mr. Schroeder.

Preliminary considerations.

Various classes of witnesses.

Conflicting theories of origin.

Mr. Schroeder's statement of his case.

The facts of the Spaulding manuscript.

The task of the present writer.

The enemies of the Prophet.

"Dr." Philastus Hurlburt.

Rev. Adamson Bently, et al.


The "second" Spaulding manuscript.

The failure of Howe's book.

The Conneaut witnesses.

E. D. Howe discredited as a witness.

The Davidson statement.

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

The Haven-Davidson interview.

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

Reverend John A. Clark and the Davidson statement.

Mutilation of the Haven-Davidson interview.

Mr. Schroeder and the Davidson statement.

Why Mr. Schroeder discredits the Spaulding witnesses.


The connection of Sidney Rigdon with the Spaulding manuscript.

Of Rigdon's alleged "religious dishonesty."

Rigdon's opportunity to steal Spaulding's manuscript.

Did Rigdon exhibit the Spaulding manuscript.

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

Alexander Campbell and the Book of Mormon in 1831.


"The Angel of the Prairies."

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

Of the conversion of Pratt and Rigdon.

The denials of Rigdon.

The real origin of the Spaulding theory.

The motive for publishing the Book of Mormon.

Concluding remarks.

Part II.


By the Presidency of the Church.

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


By the Ministerial Association.




By B. H. Roberts.



Part III.



Joseph Smith's first vision.

"Creeds are an abomination."

God's first message confirmed.

Reform in Protestantism.

What Mormonism affirms.

Immortality of man.


I. Men the Avatars of God.

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

Part IV.



People judged by their laws.

The calling of Sidney Rigdon.

A few days with the Prophet—Prayerfulness.

Woman's place in Mormonism.

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

Unjust criticism answered.

By their works they shall be judged.


Catholic belief.

Faith in the Godhead.

Erroneous reports.

Revelation quoted.

Belief in revelation.

Inspired utterances.

Revealed word.

God's word is Truth.

Testimony borne.


Divine things misjudged.

Marvelous work and a wonder.

The New Jerusalem.

Restoration of Israel.

Lost tribes in the north.

Israel now gathering.

Purposes of God will not fail.



Mormon view of the universe.

Philosophy of Mormonism.

Source of moral evil.

The place and mission of Christ in Mormon doctrine.


The blessedness of peace.

The God of Battles.

Justice the basis of peace.



The miracle of American achievements.

The inspiration of the founders of the American Constitution.

The unique things in American government.

Part I.

Origin of the Book of Mormon.


Published with the consent and by courtesy of the
David I. Nelke, President.


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

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

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

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

* * * * * *

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote B: Both the Dougall and Riley theories are considered in Vol. I. of Defense of the Faith and the Saints, pp. 42-62; and the older theories of the origin in New Witness for God, Vol. III, chas. xliv, xlv.]

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


Salt Lake City, October, 1911.




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

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

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

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

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

Ten years later Mr. Fairchild is not so brash in assuming the Oberlin Manuscript to be the only Spaulding Manuscript, and he certifies only that the Oberlin Manuscript "is not the original of the Book of Mormon." (Letter dated Oct. 17, 1895, published in vol. lx., Millennial Star, p. 697, Nov. 3, 1898. Talmage's "Articles of Faith," 279.)

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

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


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

And this on May 14, 1901:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 10: xxxv. Saints' Herald, 820.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[Footnote 37: "Hand Book on Mormonism," 3; "Braden-Kelly Debate," 47 and 118.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 40: ii Journal of Discourses, 197.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 43: Boston Daily Advertiser, copied in iii. Millennial Harbinger, May, 1839; "Mormons' Own Book," 28; Boston Recorder, May, 1839; "Prophet of Palmyra," 417.]

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

[Footnote 48: Supplement 14, Millennial Star. 42.]

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

[Footnote 49: 35 Saints' Herald, 130.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 54: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 42 and 53.]

[Footnote 55: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 43.]

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

[Footnote 57: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 43.]

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

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

[Footnote 60: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 43.]

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

[Footnote 62: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 45.]

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

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

[Footnote 65: Supplement 14, Millenial Star, 44. Times and Seasons 418.]

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

[Footnote 67: Historical Record, 992. Bancroft's "History of Utah," 202]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Rigdon, it will be remembered, lived within from six to ten miles of Pittsburg during the years in question. Pittsburg was the only town of consequence, and the family's place of buying and selling. Rigdon would of necessity make many friends in the city, and it would not be strange if almost everybody knew him and he knew all of the prominent citizens. In 1810 Pittsburg had only about 4,000 inhabitants, and in 1820 had but 7,248.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 74: p. 289]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 78: Evening and Morning Star, 301.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of this statement Rigdon never made a denial.

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 82: Gospel Reflector, 19.]

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

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

"Behold thou was sent forth, even as John, To prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not."[84]

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

[Footnote 87: "Supplement 14, Millennial Star," 1.]

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 91: Compendium, 11th Census.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 98: "4 Times and Seasons," 209. Supplement 14, Millennial Star, 45.]

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

[Footnote 101: 20 Millennial Star, 33-36. 7 Deseret News, 288-9. 7 Journal of Discourses, 53. 1 Journal of Discourses, 230, and Sermons generally of this period. See also Am. Hist. Mag., July, 1906.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 103: Pages 29 and 30.]

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

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

[Footnote 106: Supplement 14, Millennial Star, 6.]

[Footnote 107: 5 Journal of Discourses, 141.]

[Footnote 108: Key to Theology, 41, 5 Millennial Star, 20.]

[Footnote 109: 5 Times and Seasons, 613. God an Exalted Man, 6 Journal of Discourses, 3.]

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 116: "Myth of the Manuscript Found," 34. Braden-Kelly Debate, 100.]

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

[Footnote 117: Supplement 14 Millennial Star, 49.]

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 125: Supplement 14 Millennial Star, 47.]

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

[Footnote 126: Pratt's Sermon, 5 Journal of Discourses, 194.]

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

[Footnote 128: Millennial Star, 169, 682.]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 146: Supplement 14 Millennial Star, 47.]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Footnote 149: "Gleanings by the Way," 252-3. "Mormons' Own Book," 29-30. "Prophet of Palmyra," 417. et. seq. Boston Recorder, May, 1839.]

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Our fifth witness is Aaron Wright, who says:

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


Our sixth witness is Oliver Smith, who testifies:

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


Our seventh witness, Nahum Howard, avers this:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

"Whoso receiveth you receiveth me, and the same will feed you and clothe you and give you money-and he who doeth not these things is not my disciple,"[157]

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

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

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

"And let all the monies which can be spared, it mattereth not unto me whether it be little or much, be sent up unto the land of Zion unto those I have appointed to receive it."[159]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"If ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for Him [Smith] food and raiment and whatsoever he needeth to accomplish the work."[166]

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

"He who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money shall in no wise lose his reward."[167]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 171: 15 Millennial Star, 308.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 174: 15 Millennial Star, 520.]

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

[Footnote 175: 16 Millennial Star, 151.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 179: 2 Journal of Discourses, 128. 7 Deseret News, 115.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 188: Doctrine and Covenants 124:94. 18 Millennial Star, 360.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 194: Smith designates himself as the "Author and Proprietor" of God's word, in the Title Page of the Book of Mormon, also in the testimony of the witnesses as it appears in the first edition, since which time both have been altered. See also Evening and Morning Star, 117.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



(A Reply to Mr. Theodore Schroeder)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Footnote 6: The Nineteenth Century Review, March, 1889.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 16: "The Founder of Mormonism," 1902. This is a psychological study of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. "The aim of this work is to examine Joseph Smith's character and achievements from the standpoint of recent psychology. Sectarians and phrenologists, spiritualists and mesmerists have variously interpreted his more or less abnormal performance—it remains for the psychologist to have a try at them." The quotation of the text is from the Preface. A review of Mr. Riley's book by the present writer is found in "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 41-55.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

"That through Parley P. Pratt, later one of the first Mormon apostles, a plain and certain connection is traced between Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith and that they were friends between 1827 and 1830.

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

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

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


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

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

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

[Footnote 19: Ibid.]

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

[Footnote 21: Ibid.]

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

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

[Footnote 23: Ibid.]

[Footnote 24: Ibid.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 28: See "The Manuscript Found," Rice's verbatim et literatim copy, printed by the Deseret News, 1886, preface.]

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

[Footnote 29: Ibid.]

The Writings of Solomon Spaulding Proved by Aaron Wright Oliver Smith John Miller and others

The testimonies of the above gentlemen are now in my possession

D. P. Hurlburt[30]

[Footnote 30: For the above Bibliotheca Sacra, published in Oberlin, Ohio, January Number. 1885. Also "The Manuscript Found," Deseret News print, p. 113.]

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

[Footnote 31: "The Manuscript Found," Deseret News print, Preface.]

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 44: American Historical Magazine, Vol. I, No. 5, p. 385—ante p. 18.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 49: Mrs. McKinstry's statement Scribner's Magazine, August, 1880.]

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

[Footnote 51: "Braden-Kelly Debate." p. 96. Braden relies upon the statement of Rev. John A. Clark, D. D., in "Gleanings by the Way," p. 265.]

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

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


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

[Footnote 53: Messenger and Advocate, p. 334-5. Also Evening and Morning Star, p. 301.]

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

[Footnote 57: Ibid. p. 284.]

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

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

[Footnote 59: Ibid. p. 288.]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

[Footnote 64: Messenger and Advocate, p. 296.]

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Footnote 71: The Davidson statement is published in the Boston Recorder April, 1839; Smucker's "Mormonism," p. 41 et seq. "Gleanings by the Way," p. 250, et seq.; and many other anti-Mormon books.]


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 78: American Historical Magazine, January, 1907, pp. 71, 72, ante p. 67.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 82: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, pp. 393-4. Ante pp. 28, 29.]

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


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

[Footnote 82: This in November, 1908. Mr. Reynolds died in August, 1909.]

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

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

Quincy Whig.

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

Taylor's version.

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

Quincy Whig.

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

Taylor's version.

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

Quincy Whig.

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

Taylor's version.

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

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

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


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

[Footnote 84: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, p. 394, ante p. 29.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 87: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, p. 394 Ante p. 29. (Sic!)]

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 90: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, p. 390, ante pp. 24, 25.]

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

[Footnote 91: See the McKinstry affidavit.]

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

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


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

[Footnote 93: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, pp. 392-4. Ante. p. 29.]

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

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

[Footnote 95: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, p. 392, ante p. 26.]

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

[Footnote 96: Ibid. 391.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 106: American Historical Magazine, November, 1906, p. 519, ante pp. 31-32.]

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 112: American Historical Magazine, November, 1906, p. 524, ante, p. 39.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Mrs. R. W. Lambdin, of Irvington, N.Y., widow of the late J. Harrison Lambdin, in response to some inquiries as to her recollections of Rigdon and others, writes under date of Jan. 15, 1882:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 116: American Historical Magazine, November, 1906, p. 526, ante p. 39.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 119: American Historical Magazine, September, 1906, p. 528, ante p. 41.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 126: Millenial Star, Vol. XIV, supplement, p. 48.]


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

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

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

[Footnote 127: See note 52, etc., and Evening and Morning Star, p. 301, ante p. 127.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 128: American Historical Magazine, November, 1906, p. 532, ante p. 46.]


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

[Footnote 129: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 58. Ante p. 49.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 132: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 59. Ante pp. 49-50.]

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

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

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

[Footnote 133: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 59. Ante p. 51.]


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

[Footnote 134: "Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt," edition of 1874, p. 367.]

[Footnote 135: Note 101 American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 74. Ante 51.]

[Footnote 136: Same as note 134.]

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

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

[Footnote 137: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, pp. 60, 61. Ante p. 53.]

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

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

[Footnote 138: Hebrews, 1, 3.]

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

[Footnote 140: Ibid.]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 146: Millenial Star, Vol. 22, pp. 215-16.]

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 149: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 75 and note 115. Ante p. 55 and Note.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 150: For an exposition and defense of this theory of the translation of the Book of Mormon, see the author's treatise of the subject, in "Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, (1907) pp. 249-311.]

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


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

[Footnote 151: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 67. Ante p. 61.]

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"After my father's death, my mother, who survived him several years, was in the enjoyment of good health up to the time of her last sickness, she being eighty-six years old. A short time before her death I had a conversation with her about the origin of the Book of Mormon, and wanted to know what she remembered about its being presented to my father. She said to me in that conversation that what my father had told me about the book being presented to him was true, for she was present at the time and knew that was the first time he ever saw it, and that the stories told about my father writing the Book of Mormon were not true. This she said to me in her old age, and when the shadows of the grave were gathering around her; and I believe her."[157]

[Footnote 157: "History of the Church," Vol. I, p. 123, note.]


A word upon the real origin of the Spaulding theory. It did not originate by a "woman preacher,"[158] reading extracts from the Book of Mormon whereupon there was a "spontaneous" recognition of Solomon Spaulding's story "Manuscript Found," and an outburst of popular indignation against this deception, as is usually represented to be the case by those who advocate the Spaulding theory, and by Mr. Schroeder in particular.[159] Especially is Mr. Schroeder insistent upon the "spontaneity" with which the Spaulding work was recognized when the Book of Mormon was publicly read at Conneaut; though to get this "spontaneity" Mr. Schroeder must needs rely upon the Davidson statement which he acknowledges. Mrs. Davidson never wrote, and which he says can have no "evidentiary weight except in those matters where it is plain from the nature of things that she must have been speaking from her own personal knowledge"[160] and in the matter here to be mentioned Mrs. Davidson could have had no personal knowledge at all. So that Mr. Schroeder throws aside his own limitations within which Mrs. Davidson's statement is to be given evidentiary weight, in the interest of his desire for the force of "spontaneity" in the recognition of the Book of Mormon as Spaulding's work. According to the Davidson statement, then, when the "woman preacher" in a public meeting read extracts from the Book of Mormon, John Spaulding, residing at Conneaut at the time, and present at the meeting—

[Footnote 158: It is claimed that the words "woman preacher" found in the Davidson statement was a typographical error, (see Clark's "Gleanings by the Way,") and should read "Mormon preacher;" bu the typographical error being claimed after it was learned that the mormon Church at that time had no women preachers, gives it the color of one of those "afterthoughts" which are so frequently seen in this Spaulding theory, that one in spite of himself remains doubtful.]

[Footnote 159: American Historical Magazine, Jan., 1907, p. 71. Ante p. 67.]

[Footnote 160: American Historical Magazine, Sept., 1906, p. 394. Ante p. 29.]

"Recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he rose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his sorrow and regret that the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem (Conneaut) became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlburt one of their number to repair to this place (Monson) and to obtain from me (Mrs. [Spaulding] Davidson) the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding."

One marvels that all this was missed by the authors of "Mormonism Unveiled." Dr. Hurlburt was present, too, in that meeting, and was the chief agent and factor in compiling Howe's book. Yet in the statement published in that book, and credited to John Spaulding, there is not a word of this dramatic circumstance—this splendid "spontaneity," so much the joy of Mr. Schroeder. There is no "agony of grief;" no "flood of tears;" no "denunciation on the spot;" no reference to a purpose "vile and shocking;" just a plain statement that he had "recently read the Book of Mormon;" and the claim that he found nearly the same historical matter in it as in his brother's writings; some names that were alike; and that the "Manuscript Found" held to the theory that the American Indians were descendants of the "lost tribes;" evidently supposing that the Book of Mormon held the same theory. Had any such circumstance as described in the Davidson statement occurred, it would undoubtedly have appeared in John Spaulding's statement published by Howe five years before this second version was put forth.

But notwithstanding the bad odor of the whole Davidson statement, and the violation of his own principle, under which only it is to be considered possessed of evidentiary weight, Mr. Schroeder uses this highly dramatic fiction to introduce his "clinching" evidence of the plagiarism charged against those responsible for the publication of the Book of Mormon.

The true story of the origin of this Spaulding theory is as follows: When Dr. Hurlburt was finally excommunicated from the Church he took to lecturing against the Mormons, holding forth first at Springfield, Erie County, Penn., some distance east of Conneaut. Finally visiting the Jackson settlement (presumably in the same county) he learned, from one of the Jacksons, of Solomon Spaulding, and that he had written a story called "Manuscript Found." "Not that any of these persons," says my authority, who was well acquainted in the Jackson Settlement, also with Dr. Hurlburt, and attended his anti-Mormon meetings in the neighborhood—"not that any of these persons had the most distant idea that his [Spaulding's] novel had ever been converted into the Book of Mormon; or that there was any connection between them."[161]

[Footnote 161: "Origin of the Spaulding Story" (1840), B. Winchester, p. 8.]

It was the conception of Dr. Hurlburt that this Spaulding manuscript could be used in concocting a counter theory for the origin of the Book of Mormon—"a long felt want," by the way, among those who opposed the book and the work growing out of it. With the information he had obtained in the Jackson Settlement, Hurlburt repairs to Kirtland, holds a public meeting, at which there is great joy, and enthusiasm among the anti-Mormons in that vicinity, because of Hurlburt's theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon. One Mr. Newel, a bitter anti-Mormon, promised to advance $300 for prosecuting the work of identification, and others contributed liberally for the same purpose. Out of this meeting grew the public meeting held later at Conneaut;[162] and which sent Hurlburt upon his journey to Monson, Mass., for Spaulding's manuscript which ultimately he obtained of Mr. Jerome Clark at Hartwicks, New York, on the order of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson. This manuscript Hurlburt brought to E. D. Howe of Plainsville, Ohio, for the forth-coming book, "Mormonism Unveiled." It was a disappointment to these conspirators, as already detailed; and as explained by Hurlburt in a letter to Mrs. Davidson, "It did not read as expected, and he should not print it."[163]

[Footnote 162: Ibid. pp. 6-14.]

[Footnote 163: See Haven-Davidson Interview. Ante p. 147.]

In passing, it should be said that Hurlburt never received but the one manuscript. The theory put forth that he obtained two, one the true "Manuscript Found," which it is alleged, he sold to the Mormons,—as is the suspicion of the Spauldings—and a worthless one, the Roman manuscript, now at Oberlin, which he gave to Howe, is one of the many fictions that have grown out of the innumerable surmisings and conjectures associated with the Spaulding theory. Hurlburt himself says on this point, in a signed statement under date of August 19, 1879:

"I do not know whether or not the document I received from Mrs. Davidson was Spaulding's Manuscript Found, as I never read it entire, and it convinced me that it was not the Spaulding Manuscript; but whatever it was, Mr. Howe received it under the condition on which I took it from Mrs. Davidson—to compare it with the Book of Mormon, and then return it to her. I never received any other manuscript of Spaulding's from Mrs. Davidson, or any one else. Of that manuscript I made no other use than to give it, with all my other documents connected with Mormonism, to Mr. Howe. I did not destroy the manuscript nor dispose or it to Joe Smith, or to any other person."[164]

[Footnote 164: "New Light on Mormonism," appendix, p. 260, No. 17. Letter from Hurlburt; also no. 8, another letter from Hurlburt, and No. 16 a letter from Howe.]

This manuscript received by Hurlburt and given to Howe is the only Spaulding manuscript written by Spaulding, making any reference to the antiquities of America. It is the simon-pure and only "Manuscript Found." Against this it is urged by Mr. Schroeder that "no such title is discoverable anywhere upon or in the body of the manuscript in the Oberlin library."[165] And yet with strange inconsistency he himself a few pages further on admits—"It is even possible that this first manuscript (meaning the one now at Oberlin), may at sometime have been labeled "Manuscript Found."[166] But what is better than any "label" on the manuscript inside or outside; better than any admission of Mr. Schroeder's, is the fact that this manuscript is the one Mr. Spaulding feigned to have found, and that he pretended to translate into English. It is the "found" manuscript, and the only one that Spaulding pretended or feigned to have found. It is the one that Mrs. McKinstry says she had in her hands "many times" at Sabine's after 1816; and that "on the outside of this manuscript were written the words, 'Manuscript Found.'"

[Footnote 165: American Historical Magazine, Sept., 1906, p. 386. Ante p. 20.]

[Footnote 166: Ibid. p. 390.]

Perhaps it was this positive statement that drove Mr. Schroeder to the admission that it is possible that this manuscript at Oberlin may have been so labeled. The descriptions of the Spaulding manuscript called "Manuscript Found," by others, who had knowledge of it, agree very nearly as to its size, and their descriptions fit the manuscript at Oberlin and not at all such manuscript as would be required to make the Book of Mormon. Thus, Mrs. McKinstry says that the manuscript she had in her hands many times at Sabine's, and that was tied up with some other stories, and had written on the outside of it, "Manuscript Found," made the manuscript about "one inch thick." Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson in the Haven interview says her husband's manuscript was "about one third as large as the Book of Mormon." (i.e., about one third as much, Ms. as would be required to make the Book of Mormon). The Davidson statement represents that John Spaulding was perfectly familiar with the work of his brother, "Manuscript Found," "and repeatedly heard the whole of it read," which might be possible with the Spaulding manuscript, which, now that it is printed, makes 112 pages, but scarcely possible respecting a manuscript making a book of about 600 such pages.

This manuscript of Spaulding's has finally been really "found" and published as already detailed; and its publication has resulted in the overthrow of the Spaulding theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon; and that quite in another way than from disclosing the fact that there is no incident, or name, or set of ideas common to the two productions. The publication of the "Manuscript Found" not only demonstrates that this particular manuscript was not the foundation of the Book of Mormon, but it demonstrates, also, that no other writings of Solomon Spaulding's could possibly be the Book of Mormon. Spaulding's manuscript, as published, makes a pamphlet of some 112 pages, of about 350 words to the page, enough matter to give a clear idea of his literary style. I am sure that no person, having any literary judgment will think it possible for the author of "Manuscript Found" to be the author of the Book of Mormon.

Composition in writers becomes individualized as distinctly as the looks, or appearance, or character, of separate individuals; and they no more write in several styles than individuals impersonate different characters. True, by special efforts this latter may be done to a limited extent by a change of tone, costume and the like, but underneath these impersonations is to be seen the real individual; and so with authors. One may sometimes affect a light, and sometimes a serious vein, in prose and poetry. He may imitate a solemn scriptural style even, or the diction of some Greek or Roman author, but underneath it all will be seen the individuality of the writer from which he cannot separate himself any more than he can separate himself from his true form, features, or character. Since we have in this "Manuscript Found" enough of Mr. Spaulding's style to determine its nature, if this manuscript of his was used either as the foundation or the complete work of the Book of Mormon, we would be able to detect Spauldingisms in it; identity of style would be apparent; but these things are entirely absent from every page of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Rice, in whose possession the Spaulding manuscript was found in 1884, does not over-state the matter when he says: "I should as soon think that the Book of Revelation was written by the author of Don Quixote, as that the writer of this manuscript was the author of the Book of Mormon." And again, he is right when he says: "It is unlikely that any one who wrote so elaborate a work as the Mormon Bible, would spend his time in getting up so shallow a story as this"—i. e., the Spaulding Story.


It must be said for Mr. Schroeder that his theory of the motive prompting the publication of the Book of Mormon is quite in harmony with his theory of its origin. For it is fitting that a thing founded in fraud should—and it very likely would—have the "greed of gain" as the "dynamics of the scheme;" and that "love of gold, not God," would be the moving cause of action. The only point at which Mr. Schroeder breaks down in his theory of the motive, is just where he breaks down in his theory of origin—namely, in the proof.

The excerpts from the revelations quoted by Mr. Schroeder fail as proofs for his assumption. He ranges all through the numerous revelations given to the Church from 1830 to 1841. Of the thirteen excerpts quoted by him two only have any bearing upon the Book of Mormon; and these two are from a revelation to Martin Harris, who had covenanted with Joseph Smith and with the publisher of the book, Mr. Grandin, that he would pay for printing it. Yet when the time came to make good his plighted word, he hesitated; whereupon the word of the Lord came, as quoted by Mr. Schroeder: "Impart a portion of thy property; yea, even part of thy lands, and all save the support of thy family." So far Mr. Schroeder quotes. The very next paragraph (35) of the revelation goes on—"Pay the debt thou has contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage"—(i. e. the bondage of debt). Again Mr. Schroeder quotes (verse 26) "I command that thou shalt not covet thine own property." The full paragraph is: "And again I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God."[167] Just where in these passages, which are the only ones out of those quoted from the "Doctrine and Covenants" that bear at all on the Book of Mormon—just wherein they bear witness to the "greed of gain" being the motive that prompted the publication of the book; or how they sustain the idea that "love of gold, not God" was the "dynamics of the scheme," I fail to see.

[Footnote 167: "Doctrine and Covenants," Sec. 19:34, 35, 36.]

As for the rest of the passages quoted by Mr. Schroeder, they fall into two classes: first, those that relate to the consecration of properties to the Church; and second, those that command that provisions be made for the sustenance of Joseph Smith and others who were devoting their energies to the work of the Lord. In relation to the first class it will make matters clear for the reader to know that the Saints were called upon to recognize this principle: The earth is the Lord's. He created it. It is his, by virtue of proprietorship; consequently all that man holds, of the world's wealth is held as a stewardship under God. To give visible recognition to this truth, the Saints were commanded in Missouri to consecrate their property to the Lord through his servants, and receive back a stewardship as from the Lord; and this in order that the great truth of man's mere stewardship over that which he is said to possess—coming now to be recognized by the best Christian thought of the age as the proper attitude of mind for the believer in God, in respect of his material possessions—might once for all be established as a doctrine of the Church, emphasized by this visible act of consecration.

As to the second class of quotations directing that provisions shall be made for the material needs of Joseph Smith and his family—is it necessary to argue at this late day what Paul seems to have settled long ago, viz: "They which minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple. * * * * Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel."[168] Is not the justice of this principle universally recognized? I say Mr. Schroeder breaks down at the production of proof for his theory as to motive. And his ringing the changes upon this subject has but the sound of brass when applied to Joseph Smith personally or to all the leaders of the Mormon Church from its inception. Never have a people been more blessed with unselfish leaders than the Latter-day Saints. Men blessed with divine insight and power have given their services, practically without renumeration, for the welfare of their people. They have labored in season and out of season for them. They have given not only a teaching service, tending to make the truth clear, but they have given freely of their business ability, executive and judicial abilities. Men of statesman-like quality of mind have devoted their lives to their people, and practically without earthly reward, and many of them, the most of them, in fact, have died poor in this world's goods, but rich in the consciousness of service for fellow-men well performed.

[Footnote 168: I Corinthians 9:13, 14.]

I write these words from the midst of a people, who, when they read them, will think of hundreds of men who have lived and wrought out life's service among them, in the very spirit here described. "Greed of gain" furnish "the dynamics" of the Mormon scheme! "Love of gold, not of God," the motive force in Mormonism! "A desire for money" "the inspiring cause of every act of the Mormon Prophet, the very divinity that moulded his thoughts and revelations, and brought into being Mormon's books!"[169] Nonsense, Mr. Schroeder; you have studied human nature as well as Mormonism to little purpose if you really think so. Joseph Smith was loved by his people to the verge of idolization. He won and kept that love of theirs to the day of his death. He had the satisfaction of seeing one of his great prophecies fulfilled—a prophecy given out from a prison cell, in 1839, and when his fortunes were fallen to their lowest point—when his enemies seemed to triumph, and traitors were arrayed against him-then came the assurance from God—"Thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors."[170] And they never were, either before his death or since. "Greed of gold," selfishness; "Love of gold, not God," does not produce these results. Selfishness never wins or holds hearts. Only a life that pours out itself in floods of unselfish service for others wins and holds affections. Such was the life of Joseph Smith, such the lives of Mormon leaders.

[Footnote 169: American Historical Magazine, May, 1907, p. 221. Ante pp. 80-81.]

[Footnote 170: "Doctrine and Covenants," Sec. 122.]


And now my task draws towards its close. My purpose in this paper, in the main, has been merely to refute the theory, together with the alleged evidences and arguments of Mr. Schroeder. My method has been to refute him largely out of the material and authorities which he himself has introduced. And of course this has kept the discussion of the origin of the Book of Mormon within narrow limits. This paper has been more in the nature of a rejoinder than anything else to Mr. Schroeder's reply to the theory set forth by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the origin of the Book of Mormon.

By this undesigned order of the discussion and by its necessary limitations, the reader is at the disadvantage of not having immediately before him the theory of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon, sustained by the strong array of evidences and arguments, that may be marshalled in its support.[171] But it will help in forming a right conclusion as to the merits of this discussion if what is here suggested be held in mind, namely: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sets forth the claim of a divine origin for the Book of Mormon, sustained by special witnesses, whom God raised up to testify of that origin; sustained also, as that Church believes, by a world of evidences, both external and internal. To this Mr. Schroeder has offered a counter-theory of origin, the "Spaulding Theory," to which I have made this rejoinder. My effort has had no higher aim than this, believing that nothing more was required of me under the circumstances. If my paper shall prove to be, as I think it must, a successful rejoinder; if it exhibits how inherently weak, and foolish this Spaulding theory is, even when most skillfully set forth; if it exhibits the tissue of falsehood and of malice, of which that theory is made up; and the bitterness and hatred in which it had its inception; and exposes the dishonest sophistry by which that theory has been supported,—I shall be content.


Salt Lake City, Jan., 1909.

[Footnote 171: For an extended treatise on this subject see the writer's "New Witness for God," published as Young Men's Manuals, Nos. 7, 8 and 9, 1903-1906. Now published in a series of three volumes under the title "New Witnesses for God," Vol. I treats of Joseph Smith as a New Witness; Vols. II and III is the treatise on the Book of Mormon as A New Witness for God.]




The justification for publishing the three following papers consists in the importance of the subjects which they treat. The first paper, "An Address to the World," was presented to the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by the First Presidency of the Church, and by that conference unanimously adopted on the 5th of April, 1907, and sent forth to the world. It was conceived and written in a conciliatory spirit, and was intended to form the basis of a right understanding of the attitude of the Church of the Latter-day Saints with reference to a number of subjects concerning which there had been bitter controversy. The "Address" explained the past. It expressed the intention of the Church to give strict adherence to its obligations to discontinue plural marriages, and with that, in time, would pass away polygamous living. It also declared the intention of the Church to abstain from interference in politics. That this was the spirit and intent of the "Address" cannot be questioned by those who read it. It presented, as the writer then believed, and as he now believes, a fair basis of understanding and settlement of our local difficulties. The manner in which it was met by the Ministerial Association, with distrust, misrepresentation, unfair criticism and sly innuendo of evil intentions, went far towards defeating its purpose, and gave occasion for the Answer to the Ministerial Association's Review of the Address to the world. The papers themselves tell the rest.



"Let facts be submitted to a candid world."


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

GREETING: In the hope of correcting misrepresentation, and of establishing a more perfect understanding respecting ourselves and our religion, we, the officers and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in General Conference assembled, issue this Declaration.

Such an action seems imperative. Never were our principles or our purposes more widely misrepresented, more seriously misunderstood. Our doctrines are distorted, the sacred ordinances of our religion ridiculed, our Christianity questioned, our history falsified, our character traduced, and our course of conduct as a people reprobated and condemned.

In answer to the charges made against us, for ourselves and for those who, under divine direction, founded our religion and our Church; for our posterity, to whom we shall transmit the faith, and into whose keeping we shall give the Church of Christ; and before mankind, whose opinions we respect, we solemnly declare the truth to be:

Our religion is founded on the revelations of God. The Gospel we proclaim is the Gospel of Christ, restored to earth in this the dispensation of the fulness of times. The high claim of the Church is declared in its title—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Established by divine direction, its name was prescribed by him whose Church it is—Jesus the Christ.

The religion of this people is pure Christianity. Its creed is expressive of the duties of practical life. Its theology is based on the doctrines of the Redeemer.

If it be true Christianity to accept Jesus Christ in person and in mission as divine; to revere him as the Son of God, the crucified and risen Lord, through whom alone can mankind attain salvation; to accept his teachings as a guide, to adopt as a standard and observe as a law the ethical code he promulgated; to comply with the requirements prescribed by him as essential to membership in his Church, namely, faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost,—if this be Christianity, then are we Christians, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church.

The theology of our Church is the theology taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, the theology of scripture and reason. It not only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient scripture, and the binding force of divinely-inspired acts and utterances in ages past; but also declares that God now speaks to man in this final Gospel dispensation.

We believe in the Godhead, comprising the three individual personages, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

We hold that man is verily the child of God, formed in his image, endowed with divine attributes, and possessing power to rise from the gross desires of earth to the ennobling aspirations of heaven.

We believe in the pre-existence of man as a spirit, and in a future state of individual existence, in which every soul shall find its place, as determined by justice and mercy, with opportunities of endless progression, in the varied conditions of eternity.

We believe in the free agency of man, and therefore in his individual responsibility.

We believe that salvation is for no select few, but that all men may be saved through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We affirm that to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel authority must be given of God; and that this authority is the power of the Holy Priesthood.

We affirm that through the ministration of immortal personages; the Holy Priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age, and that under this divine authority the Church of Christ has been organized.

We proclaim the objects of this organization to be, the preaching of the Gospel in all the world, the gathering of scattered-Israel, and the preparation of a people for the coming of the Lord.

"Mormonism" seeks its converts among all classes and conditions of society, and those who accept it are among the best men and women of the nations from which they come—honest, industrious, virtuous, and reverent. In their community life they are peaceable, law-abiding and exemplary. Their instincts, traditions and training are opposed to vice and crime. The religion they have embraced, the Church of which they are members, condemns every form of evil, and their lives, with few exceptions, are exponents of righteousness. Many of the early proselytes to our faith were descendants of the Pilgrims and Puritans. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other leaders among the Latter-day Saints, traced their lineage to the founders and first defenders of the nation. Joseph Smith was a native of Vermont, and by vocation a farmer. All trades and professions were drawn upon for the membership of the Church. In England, its first foreign mission field, it was mainly the middle and working classes that responded to the Gospel message. All over the world it has been the same,—our converts have been men and women of character, intelligence, and integrity. There is nothing in "Mormonism" to attract the selfish or the vile.

The effort to differentiate the "Mormon" priesthood and the "Mormon" people, by allowing that the latter are a good, honest, though misguided folk, while alleging that their leaders are the personification of all that is bad, is a most futile one. The great majority of the male members of the Church hold the priesthood, and though constituting the official body of the Church, they are a portion of the people. Priesthood and people are inseparable, and, vindicated or condemned, stand together.

The charge that the Church relies upon duplicity in the propagation of her doctrines, and shuns enlightened investigation, is contrary to reason and fact. Deceit and fraud in the perpetuation of any religion must end in failure. A system of religion, ethics, or philosophy, to attract and hold the attention of men, must be sincere in doctrine and honest in propaganda. That the Church employs deceptive methods; that she has one doctrine for the priesthood and another for the people; that she teaches one set of principles to her members in Zion, and another to the world, is not true. Enlightened investigation is the very means through which the Church hopes to promote belief in her principles, and extend the beneficent influence of her institutions. From the beginning, enlightened investigation has been the one thing she has sought. To secure this she has sent her missionaries into all parts of the world, especially to the centres of civilization and enlightenment, where her literature has been freely distributed; yet too frequently her claims have been disallowed without investigation, and judgment has been pronounced without a hearing. At the Columbian Exposition, which celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, the religions of the world were represented in a great parliament, for the purpose of showing "in the most impressive way, what and how many important truths the various religions hold and teach in common; * * * to set forth by those most competent to speak, what are deemed the important distinctive truths held and taught by each religion; * * * to inquire what light each religion has afforded or may afford to the other religions of the world." To this gathering the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though the most distinctively American church, was not invited; nevertheless she sought opportunity to place side by side with the creeds of all the great historic faiths, a presentation of her principles, and to voice to mankind the truths she deemed most important and most helpful. This opportunity was denied the Church, except upon such terms as were humiliating and subversive of the end sought—a wider publication and a more just consideration of her faith. After such an experience, and others of like kind, though of varying degree, we submit that it ill becomes our accusers to charge us with shunning enlightened investigation.

It has been charged that "Mormonism" is opposed to education. The history of the Church and the precepts of its leaders are a sufficient answer to that accusation. Joseph Smith, the first President of the Church, founded schools, and attended them as a student, as did many of his followers under his advice and influence. Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith, emulated him as a founder and patron of schools; and every subsequent President of the Church, his associates, and the people generally, have been equally zealous in that cause. In the course of their exodus from Illinois, our people built log school houses while halting on the Missouri river, then the frontier of the nation; and after they had traversed a thousand miles of wilderness, and planted their infant colony in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, school houses were among the first buildings they erected. Such has been the course pursued in every "Mormon" colony. The State of Utah, now dotted with free schools, academies, colleges, and universities, institutions which have given her marked educational prominence, furnishes indisputable evidence that her people—mostly "Mormons"—are friends and promoters of education. To the Latter-day Saints, salvation itself, under the atonement of Christ, is a process of education. That knowledge is a means of eternal progress, was taught by Joseph Smith—It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.—A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.—The Glory of God is intelligence.—Whatever principles of intelligence we attain to in this life, will rise with us in the resurrection.—He who gains in this life more knowledge than another, will have so much the advantage in the world to come. These were aphorisms with the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Neither is it true, as alleged, that "Mormonism" is destructive of the sanctity of the marriage relation; on the contrary it regards the lawful union of man and woman as the means through which they may realize their highest and holiest aspirations. To the Latter-day Saints, marriage is not designed by our Heavenly Father to be merely an earthly union, but one that shall survive the vicissitudes of time, and endure for eternity, bestowing honor and joy in this world, glory and eternal lives in the worlds to come.

The typical "Mormon" home is the temple of the family, in which the members of the household gather morning and evening, for prayer and praise to God, offered in the name of Jesus Christ, and often accompanied by the reading of scripture and the singing of spiritual songs. Here are taught and gently enforced, the moral precepts and religious truths, which, taken together, make up that righteousness which exalteth a nation, and ward off that sin which is a reproach to any people. If such conditions are not a sufficient answer to the charge that our homes are un-Christian, subversive of moral influence, and destructive of the state's stability, then we turn to the present generations, "Mormon" American citizens products of our religion and our homes, for our vindication:—Here are our sons and daughters, submit them to any test of comparison you will; regard for truth, veneration for age, reverence for God, love of man, loyalty to country, respect for law, refinement of manners, and, lastly, in this issue between us and our accusers the crowning test of all, purity of mind and chastity of conduct. It is not inordinate self praise to say of the generations of our people, born and reared in "Mormon" homes, that they will compare favorably, in the Christian virtues, and in all that makes for good citizenship, with any community in this or any other country.

The charge that the Church is a commercial rather than a religious institution; that its aims are temporal rather than spiritual; that it dictates its members in their industrial activities and relations, and aims at absolute domination in temporal affairs,—all this we emphatically deny. That the Church claims the right to counsel and advise her members in temporal as well as in spiritual affairs is admitted. Leading Church officials, men of practical experience in pioneer life, have aided the people in establishing settlements throughout the inter-mountain west, and have given them, gratuitously, the benefit of their broader knowledge of things, through counsel and direction, which the people have followed to their advantage; and both the wisdom of the leaders and the good sense of the people are vindicated in the results achieved. All this has been done without the exercise of arbitrary power. It has resulted from wise counsels, persuasively given and willingly followed.

It has also been the policy of the Church to foster home industries. Where there has been a lack of confidence in some of these enterprises, and private capital has been afraid to invest, the Church has furnished funds that the practicability of the undertaking might be demonstrated; and repeatedly the wisdom of this policy has been made manifest. Thereby the resources of various localities have been developed, community industries diversified, and the people, especially the poor, given increased opportunity of employment and a better chance to become self-sustaining.

We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church; and this because its government is moral government purely, and its forces are applied through kindness, reason, and persuasion. Government by consent of the governed is the rule of the Church. Following is a summary of the word of the Lord, setting forth the principles on which the Church government is to be administered:

The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon men, is true; but when they undertake to cover their sins, or gratify their pride, their vain ambition, or exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the priesthood, or the authority of that man. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile.

Nominations to Chuch office may be made by revelation; and the right of nomination is usually exercised by those holding high authority, but it is a law that no person is to be ordained to any office in the Church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of its members. This law is operative as to all the officers of the Church, from the president down to the deacon. The ecclesiastical government itself exists by the will of the people; elections are frequent, and the members are at liberty to vote as they choose. True, the elective principle here operates by popular acceptance, rather than through popular selection, but it is none the less real. Where the foregoing facts exist as to any system, it is not and cannot be arbitrary.

The Church officers, in the exercise of their functions, are answerable to the Church. No officer, however exalted his position, is exempt from this law. All decisions, rulings and conduct of officials are subject to investigation, correction, revision and final rejection by the general assembly of the priesthood of the Church, its final court of appeal. Even the President, its highest officer, is subject to these laws, and special provision is made for his trial, and, if necessary, his deposition. Where these facts exist in any administration of government, it cannot be justly classed as a tyranny, nor considered a menace to free institutions.

The tithing system of the Church, so often denounced as oppressive, and as imposing an arbitrary ecclesiastical tax, is in reality a system of free-will offerings. True, the members, by the law of the Church, are under moral obligation to pay one-tenth of their interest annually. But from the very nature of the principles on which churches exist, they being voluntary associations for the fostering of spiritual life, and the achievement of moral and charitable ends—in which associations membership cannot be compelled—there is no compulsory means of collecting this or any other church revenue. Tithing is a voluntary offering for religious and charitable purposes, and not a scheme of extortion for the enrichment of the higher officials. Service in the interest of the Church is given, for the most part, without monetary compensation; where compensation is allowed it is moderate; the high Church officials are not rich, but in the majority of cases are men of limited means, and where it is otherwise their wealth did not come from the tithes of the people; these facts are a complete refutation of the slander that our tithing is a system of extortion practiced upon the people for the enrichment of the priesthood. Like the Church government throughout, the tithing system operates upon the principle of free will and the consent of those who hold the faith to be divine.

Neither in mental attitude nor in conduct have we been disloyal to the government under whose guarantee of religious freedom our Church was founded. The Book of Mormon proclaims America to be the land of Zion; a land dedicated to righteousness and liberty; a land of promise to certain branches of the house of Israel, and also to the Gentiles. It declares that God will fortify this land against all other nations; and "he that fighteth against Zion shall perish." By revelation to Joseph Smith the Prophet, the Lord declared that he had established the Constitution of the United States through "wise men raised up unto this very purpose." It is also our belief that God has blessed and prospered this nation, and given unto it power to enforce the divine decrees concerning the land of Zion, that free institutions might not perish from the earth. Cherishing such convictions, we have no place in our hearts for disloyal sentiments, nor is there likelihood of treason in our conduct. Were we evil-disposed toward American institutions, or disloyal to the United States, we would be recreant to those principles to which by interest and education we are attached, and would repudiate the revelations of God concerning this land.

In reaffirming our belief in the high destiny of America, our attachment to American institutions, and our loyalty to the United States, we declare that these sentiments, this loyalty, have outlived the memory of all the wrongs inflicted upon our fathers and ourselves.

If patriotism and loyalty are qualities manifested in times of peace, by just, temperate, benevolent, industrious, and virtuous living; in times of trial, by patience, resistance only by lawful means to real or fancied wrongs, and by final submission to the laws of the land, though involving distress and sorrow; and in time of war, by willingness to fight the battles of the nation,—then, unquestionably, are the "Mormon" people patriotic and loyal.

The only conduct seemingly inconsistent with our professions as loyal citizens, is that involved in our attitude during the controversies that have arisen respecting plural marriage. This principle was introduced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, at Nauvoo, Illinois. The practice was continued in Utah, and published to the world, as a doctrine of the Church, in 1852. In the face of these facts, Brigham Young, whose position in the matter was well known, was twice appointed, with the consent of the Senate, first by president Fillmore, and afterwards by President Pierce, to be the Governor of the Territory. It was not until 1862 that Congress enacted a law forbidding plural marriage. This law the Latter-day Saints conscientiously disregarded, in their observance of a principle sanctioned by their religion. Moreover they believed the enactment to be violative of the Constitution, which provides that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Notwithstanding this attitude and conduct on the part of our people, no decision of the Supreme Court upon this question was secured until 1878, more than thirty years after the settlement of Utah; nor were determined efforts made to enforce the law until a further period of five or six years had elapsed. Surely this toleration, under which the practice of plural marriage became firmly established, binds the United States and its people, if indeed they are not bound by considerations of mercy and wisdom, to the exercise of patience and charity in dealing with this question.

If it be charged by those who find extenuation for offenses committed prior to the decision of 1878, that our subsequent duty as good citizens was clear and unmistakable, we reply that the situation, as viewed by some of our members, developed a conflict between duty to God and duty to the government. Moreover, it was thought possible that the decision of the Supreme Court might be reversed, if what was regarded as a constitutional right were not too easily surrendered. What our people did in disregard of the law and of the decisions of the Supreme Court affecting plural marriages, was in the spirit of maintaining religious rights under constitutional guaranties, and not in any spirit of defiance or disloyalty to the government.

The "Mormon" people have bowed in respectful submission to the laws enacted against plural marriage. While it is true that for many years they contested the constitutionality of the law of Congress, and during that time acted in harmony with their religious convictions in upholding by practice, as well as by spoken and written word, a principle committed to them from God, still, when every means of constitutional defense had been exhausted, the Church abandoned the controversy and announced its intention to be obedient to the laws of the land. Subsequently, when statehood for Utah became a possibility, on the condition that her constitution provide by ordinance, irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that plural marriages should be forever prohibited, the "Mormon" people accepted the condition by voting for the adoption of the constitution. From that time until now, the Church has been true to its pledge respecting the abandonment of the practice of plural marriage. If it be urged that there have been instances of the violation of the anti-polygamy laws, and that some persons within the Church have sought to evade the rule adopted by her, prohibiting plural marriages, the plain answer is that in every state and nation there are individuals who violate law in spite of all the vigilance that can be exercised; but it does not follow that the integrity of a community or of a state is destroyed, because of such individual transgressions. All we ask is that the same common-sense judgment be exercised in relation to our community that is accorded to other communities. When all the circumstances are weighed, the wonder is, not that there have been sporadic cases of plural marriage, but that such cases have been so few. It should be remembered that a religious conviction existed among the people, holding this order of marriage to be divinely sanctioned. Little wonder then that there should appear, in a community as large as ours, and as sincere, a few over-zealous individuals who refused to submit even to the action of the Church in such a matter, or that these few should find others who sympathized with their views; the number, however, is small.

Those who refer to "Mormon polygamy" as a menace to the American home, or as a serious factor in American problems, make themselves ridiculous. So far as plural marriage is concerned, the question is settled. The problem of polygamous living among our people is rapidly solving itself. It is a matter of record that in 1890, when the manifesto was issued, there were 2,451 plural families; in nine years this number had been reduced to 1,543. Four years later the number was 897; and many of these have since passed away.

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

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

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

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

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

"We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied." (Doc. & Cov. Sec. 134.)

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

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

"Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the Church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth." (Doc. & Cov. Sec. 58.)

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

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

We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:

The absolute separation of church and state;

No domination of the state by the church;

No church interference with the functions of the State;

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

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

The equality of all churches before the law.

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

It is sometimes urged that the permanent realization of such a desire is impossible, since the Latter-day Saints hold as a principle of their faith that God now reveals himself to man, as in ancient times; that the priesthood of the Church constitute a body of men who have, each for himself, in the sphere in which he moves, special right to such revelation; that the President of the Church is recognized as the only person through whom divine communication will come as law and doctrine to the religious body; that such revelation may come at any time, upon any subject, spiritual or temporal, as God wills; and finally that, in the mind of every faithful Latter-day Saint, such revelation, in whatsoever it counsels, advises or commands, is paramount. Furthermore it is sometimes pointed out that the members of the Church are looking for the actual coming of a Kingdom of God on earth, that shall gather all the kingdoms of the world into one visible, divine empire, over which the risen Messiah shall reign.

All this, it is held, renders it impossible for a "Mormon" to give true allegiance to his country, or to any earthly government.

We refuse to be bound by the interpretations which others place upon our beliefs; or by what they allege must be the practical consequences of our doctrines. Men have no right to impute to us what they think may be the logical deduction from our beliefs, but which we ourselves do not accept. We are to be judged by our own interpretations, and by our actions, not by the logic of others, as to what is, or may be, the result of our faith. We deny that either our belief in divine revelation, or our anticipation of the coming kingdom of God, weakens in any degree the genuineness of our allegiance to our country. When the divine empire will be established, we may not know any more than other Christians who pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven;" but we do know that our allegiance and loyalty to country are strengthened by the fact that while awaiting the advent of the Messiah's kingdom, we are under a commandment from God to be subject to the powers that be, until He comes "whose right it is to reign."

"Mormonism" is in the world for the world's good. Teaching truth, inculcating morality, guarding the purity of the home, honoring authority and government, fostering education, and exalting man and woman, our religion denounces crime, and is a foe to tyranny in every form. "Mormonism" seeks to uplift, not to destroy society. She joins hands with the civilization of the age. Proclaiming herself a special harbinger of the Savior's second coming, she recognizes in all the great epochs and movements of the past, steps in the march of progress leading up to the looked for millennial reign. "Mormonism" lifts an ensign of peace to all people. The predestined fruits of her proposed system are the sanctification of the earth and the salvation of the human family.

And now, to all the world: Having been commanded of God, as much as lieth in us, to live peaceably with all men—we, in order to be obedient to the heavenly commandment, send forth this Declaration, that our position upon the various questions agitating the public mind concerning us may be known. We desire peace, and will do all in our power on fair and honorable principles to promote it. Our religion is interwoven with our lives, it has formed our character, and the truth of its principles is impressed upon our souls. We submit to you, our fellow-men, that there is nothing in those principles that calls for execration, no matter how widely in some respects they may differ from your conceptions of religious truth. Certainly there is nothing in them that may not stand within the wide circle of modern toleration of religious thought and practice. To us these principles are crystallizations of truth. They are as dear to us as your religious conceptions are to you. In their application to human conduct, we see the world's hope of redemption from sin and strife, from ignorance and unbelief. Our motives are not selfish; our purposes not petty and earth-bound; we contemplate the human race, past, present and yet to come, as immortal beings, for whose salvation it is our mission to labor; and to this work, broad as eternity and deep as the love of God, we devote ourselves, now, and forever. Amen.




In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, March 26, 1907.

Adopted by vote of the Church, in General Conference, April 5, 1907.





The following announcement accompanying the publication of the Ministerial Association's Review of the Mormon Address to the World appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune, impression of June 4, 1907:


The Ministerial association of Salt Lake City has issued a review, in the nature of a reply, to the "Address to the World," put out by the Mormon church at the recent conference held in this city, in defense of Mormonism. The review represents the combined labor of nearly every member of the Ministerial association of Salt Lake, of which there are thirty-three members, and by which it was adopted as a unit.

The review, which is presented elsewhere in this issue of The Tribune, is lengthy, comprehensive and unanswerable, well worthy any and every one's time in reading, studying and digesting. It was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the Ministerial association in its headquarters in the club room of the Y. M. C. A. Monday afternoon. Almost the entire membership of the association was represented at the final meeting and there was not a dissenting voice or vote against the adopting of the review, or reply, as it may aptly be termed.

Within a few days after the publishing of the Mormon Address to the World a movement was started in the association looking to a reply to the so-called Address. Among the ministers the document put forth by the Mormon church was considered in the light of a suppression rather than a confession of Mormon faith, and so most misleading. With the end in view of a reply to the falsified, juggled and deceiving Address, a number of papers were prepared and submitted to the association by several different members. These papers were placed into the hands of the committee, selected by the association for that purpose, which threw them into the form of a report. The report was discussed thoroughly at several different meetings of the association and every member was given an opportunity of suggesting changes, presenting his ideas on the subject for incorporation in the reply, or registering an objection to it. As before stated, there was not a dissenting voice or vote against the reply, the adoption being unanimous.


One of the striking things in the reply, which covers every point in the Address with convincing thoroughness, is that it sets the teachings of the Mormon leaders, as published in their own works and used in their Improvement Associations, Sunday-schools and the like, alongside of and in direct contrast to the diluted statement of doctrines found in the "Address to the World." It is confidently asserted that there has never been such a published statement by the Mormons, based upon their own publications of the fact that they teach that there are many gods and goddesses, that God, the Father, is married and that the gift of eternal procreation is one of the felicities of paradise, promised, however, only to those who are joined by the priesthood in marriage for eternity.

In the discussion of the several papers that were worked into the reply to the "Address to the World" all the active members of the Ministerial association have been present and have taken an active part in the work that led to its promulgation. The reply represents the combined labors of the members of the Ministerial association. In its drafting the churches of the Presbyterian, Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, Christian and Episcopal denominations, through their pastors, are represented. The officers of the Ministerial association are: President, the Rev. S. A. Hayworth, pastor of the East Side Baptist church; vice-president, the Rev. Benjamin Young, of the First M. E. church; secretary and treasurer, the Rev. E. C. Parker, of the Liberty Park M. E. church. The members and their denominations are:


The Rev. J. C. Andrews, Baptist; the Rev. A. A. Anderson, Swedish Evangelist; the Rev. J. H. Allen, Calvary Baptist; the Rev. J. Armstrong, Baptist; the Rev. D. A. Brown, First Baptist; the Rev. Benjamin Brewster, St. Mark's Episcopal; the Rev. F. W. Bussard, English Lutheran; the Rev. J. C. Bell, A. M. E.; the Rev. J. G. Cairns, Second M. E.; the Rev. J. F. Baker, Garfield, Baptist; the Rev. D. M. Helmick, Iliff M. E.; the Rev. H. I. Hansen, Norwegian and Danish M. E.; the Rev. H. E. Hays, Third Presbyterian; the Rev. J. S. Hurlburt, Murray, M. E.; the Rev. Jesse Hyde, Murray, Baptist; the Rev. Harold Jensen, Norwegian and Danish Evangelical Lutheran; the Rev. Bruce Kinney, superintendent Baptist work; the Rev. R. G. McNiece, Presbyterian; the Rev. Josiah McClain, superintendent Presbyterian work; the Rev. J. K. McGillivray, Presbyterian: the Rev. C. C. Mclntire, Westminster Presbyterian; the Rev. R. S. Nickerson, Sandy, First Congregational; the Rev. W. M. Paden, First Presbyterian; the Rev. E. C. Parker, Liberty Park M. E.; the Rev. Emanuel Rydberg, Swedish Lutheran; the Rev. P. A. Simpkin, Phillips Congregational; the Rev. R. M. Stevenson, Presbyterian; the Rev. D. B. Scott, M. E.; the Rev. F. S. Spalding, Episcopal Bishop; the Rev. H. J. Talbott, superintendent M. E. work; the Rev. Benjamin Young, First M. E.; the Rev. J. H. Worrall, M. E.

Not only was the "Review" thus heralded in the local columns of the Tribune, but that paper also made the following editorial comment:


"We print in other columns this morning, in full, the review by the Salt Lake Ministerial association of the declaration made by the first presidency of the Mormon church and sustained by the general conference in April last. This review is calm, deliberate, and temperate in tone; but it is irresistible in force, in logic, and in conclusion. It will, of course, be warmly welcomed and approved by the loyal citizenship of Utah, while to the country at large it will be a good deal in the nature of a revelation.

"It is shown that the Mormon declaration is uncandid in that it suppresses so much of the real beliefs and sentiments of the church; and citations are given from authoritative writers of the church, and from its standard works, showing how serious these omissions are, and how completely their suppression gives a false impression of the whole system. The evidence presented on this point by the Christian ministers of this city is absolutely irresistible.

"The evasions, the duplicity, the hypocrisy, the dishonesty, of the conference declaration are completely shown, in masterly style. The repeated but half-hearted efforts of the church leaders to make the world believe in their patriotism, their piety, their unselfishness, their benevolence, their purity, when they do not believe these things of themselves, knowing their own corruption, treason, blasphemy and corroding selfishness, avarice, lusts of power and of the flesh, are fitly dealt with in this admirable review, which we cannot too highly commend for its spirit and its substance.

"It is shown in it that the hypocritical position of the conference declaration is condemned by the Mormon church's own publications; that the righteousness of polygamy is still upheld by the Mormon leaders and speakers; and the hollowness of the entire pretense through which it is sought to make it appear that the Mormon leaders occupy a position which they do not occupy, is made clear. Not any longer will the hierarchic pretense of being what it is not, serve."

Thus heralded, the "Review" follows.


An "Address to the World" was issued by the president of the Mormon Church and his counselors, and was adopted by the general conference of that church April 5, 1907. This "Address," evidently prepared for the residents of non-Mormon communities, is being widely circulated. Ostensibly it makes a declaration of the doctrines, asserts the principles and defends the practices of the Mormon Church. It claims supremacy for that body as the only divinely authorized church of Jesus Christ in the earth. It sets forth grievances. It appeals to the candid judgment of mankind for toleration.

For more than a half-century the Mormon Church has been teaching its doctrines. Wherever it has had an organization its practices have been more or less subject to observation. It would seem, therefore, that there should be little doubt as to the nature of the one, or the effect and tendency of the other. Nor would there be much question as to either were the doctrines of that church as fully proclaimed elsewhere as they are in Utah; and were its practices everywhere as transparent as they are in its strongholds. The publication and wide circulation of the aforementioned defense of the Mormon Church is the ground of our communication, in which we join hands with the authors of the defense in "establishing a more perfect understanding respecting" themselves and their religion. We could wish that some of the points touched upon in their paper might have had more ample elucidation, both as ministering to a better understanding on the part of residents of non-Mormon communities, and as forestalling the necessity for this review upon our part. But, since this defense obscures so much that it is necessary for people to know, who would desire to form an intelligent judgment concerning the Mormon Church, we discuss those things alluded to in the "address" that seem to us of the gravest importance.

It will be noted at the very outset that a supreme claim is made for the Mormon Church. Adding no spiritual truth to the aggregate of things already revealed, fostering no virtues not already taught by Christian churches, and exemplified in Christian lives, showing no superiority of Christian ideals or of Christian character, contributing nothing original to civic righteousness, to commercial integrity, to domestic virtue, to reverence for God or to justice and mercy toward men—this sect, whose activities are chiefly confined to a few countries already Christianized, claims to be the only divinely authorized church of Jesus Christ on the earth; its very name, so it is affirmed, being given by divine revelation. In harmony with this claim it sets up a wholly unbiblical test of salvation.

"Joseph Smith is a new witness for God; a prophet divinely authorized to teach the Gospel and re-establish the church of Jesus Christ on earth."—"New Witness for God." by B. H. Roberts.

"Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that he lived and died a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of anti-Christ."—Brigham Young, Millennial Star, volume 5, page 118.

"If plural marriage be unlawful, then is the whole plan of salvation through the house of Israel a failure, and the entire fabric of Christianity without foundation."—A compendium of the doctrine of the Gospel published for missionaries. 1898.

"Q. What doth the Lord require of the people of the United States?

"A. He requires them to repent of all their sins and embrace the message of salvation contained in the Book of Mormon, and be baptized into this church, and prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.

"Q. What will be the consequence if they do not embrace the Book of Mormon as a divine revelation?

"A. They will be destroyed from the land and sent down to hell, like all other generations who have rejected a divine message."—Orson Pratt in the Seer, page 215.

This claim naturally provokes a most searching investigation of the grounds upon which it rests. When it appears that it involves the eternal reprobation of those who finally reject it, there can be no surprise that the claim is very sharply challenged. It is asserted that "the high claim of the church—is declared in its title—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;" that "its name was prescribed by Him whose church it is—Jesus, the Christ;" and that, "we affirm that, through the ministration of immortal personages, the holy priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age, and that under this divine authority the Church of Jesus Christ has been organized." It will be seen that the claim to exclusiveness involves the invalidity of all the church ordinances, and of all ministerial functions, including the right to solemnize marriages, as administered by the Christian church from the second to the nineteenth century.

"It (Mormonism) is entirely unlike all plans and systems ever invented by human authority; it has no likeness, connection or fellowship with any of them; it speaks with divine authority, and all nations, without an exception, are required to obey. He that receives the message and endures to the end will be saved; he that rejects it will be damned."—Pratt's Works, paper 1.

"These claims in behalf of Mormonism presuppose the destruction of the primitive Christian church, a complete apostasy from the Christian religion."—New Witness for God, preface, page 1.

"The very religion of modern Christianity is now about as great a curse as can be inflicted upon its successors without doing violence to their power of free agency. * * *"

"The modern Christians with the Bible in their hands are in as gross darkness as the worshipers of Baal. The god they worship is no more like the person of Christ or the person of man than Baal was. Their order of church authorities and church gifts and ordinances of healing and anointing are probably about as remote from the apostolic pattern as the worship of Mohamet or Vishnu is."—Spencer's letters, pages 119 and 120.

"The power to officiate in the ordinances of God has not been upon the earth since the great apostasy until the present century. Something like seventeen centuries have passed away since the authority was last on the eastern hemisphere to administer in any of the ordinances of God. During that long period marriages have been celebrated according to the customs of human government by uninspired men, holding no authority from God, consequently all their marriages, like their baptisms, are illegal before the Lord. Point out to us a husband and wife that God has joined together from the second century of the Christian era until the nineteenth, if you can. Such a phenomenon cannot be found among Christians or Jews, Mohammedans or Pagans."—Orson Pratt in the Star, page 48.

The further significance of this claim is seen when one considers that it denies that the Christian church has represented Christ in the last seventeen centuries. And this denial stands in face of the testimony that Christian people have borne to Him, the martyrdoms they have suffered to carry His message to benighted peoples, the charities they have organized, the great reforms they have fostered, the general progress of mankind which they, chiefly, have promoted, and the saintly lives nurtured under the teaching of the Christian church. Surely the claim to exclusive divine authorization must rest upon proofs so clear and convincing that no sincere seeker after truth would question their conclusiveness. But no such proofs are presented. Here is the fundamental weakness of the whole system for which this astonishing claim is made—it presents no credentials that would make good a claim to even be numbered among the churches which represent Christ; much less to the only church of Christ on the earth.

It would naturally be expected that, in a communication intended to really enlighten mankind concerning the Mormon faith as the only true religion—the statement of doctrine would be both full and luminous. But in the "Address" it is exceedingly brief—so brief, in fact, that one is driven to the conclusion that, as a basis upon which a candid judgment might be framed, it not only leaves much to be desired, but is positively misleading.

As to divine revelation, it declares "The theology of our church is the theology taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, the theology of Scripture and reason. It not only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient Scripture, and the binding force of divinely-inspired acts and utterances in ages past, but also declares that God now speaks to man in this final Gospel dispensation." Under this declaration lies the claim of the Mormon Church—constantly insisted upon in its congregations here and in surrounding regions—that the "Book of Mormon," "The Doctrine and Covenants," the "Pearl of Great Price," together with the "Living oracles,"—i.e., certain members of the priesthood—are divinely inspired, and are, therefore, of equal authority with the Bible. This claim, a knowledge of which is so necessary to even a tolerable understanding of their system of belief, is not plainly and explicitly set forth in the declaration of doctrine contained in the "Address," but it has repeated and urgent emphasis in their teachings in Mormon communities.

"The commissioned officers of the church form one part of its motive force. The other is the continual revelation of the will of God to his people. Without the first, disorder and confusion would prevail; without the second, stagnation and death."

"Written revelation is comprised in the four books of Scripture accepted by the church in this dispensation—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. * * * As far as these revelations are adapted to present conditions, they are binding on the church today."—Young Men's Improvement Association Manual, 1901-2.

"The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record, written by a succession of prophets who inhabited ancient America. It professes to be revealed to the present generation for the salvation of all who will receive it and for the overthrow and damnation of all nations who reject it. * * The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that if true no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can be saved and receive it. Therefore, every soul in all the world is equally interested in ascertaining its truth or falsity."—Orson Pratt—Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, page 1.

"Q. Has God given many revelations to men?

"A. Yes, a great number.

"Q. Where have we any account of his doing so?

"A. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and other publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."—Children's Catechism, chapter 3.

"Many hundreds of the servants of God among the Latter-Day Saints keep journals of their travels, and of the miracles which pass under their observation. Hence the Acts of the Apostles of the nineteenth century are recorded as well as the Acts of those in the first century; and the miracles recorded in the latter-day Acts are just as worthy of being believed as the miracles recorded in the former-day Acts."—Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, page 80.

"The word 'oracle' is instructive. It is derived from the Latin 'Ora,' meaning the mouth. It means, therefore, those whose authoritative teachings are by spoken word as well as by pen and their word takes precedence with their own generation over that which has been written by any previous authority. * * * Their authority also includes the right to interpret the Scriptural writings of previous dispensations. For in case of doubt as to what the law of God is, final appeal is made to the living oracles, who interpret through the authority of the priesthood and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost."—Manual, 1901-2, part I, page 81.

"The standard works of the church form our written authority and doctrine, but they are by no means our only sources of information and instruction on the theology of the church. We believe that God is as willing today as he ever has been to reveal his mind and will to men, and that he does so though chosen and appointed channels. We rely, therefore, on the teachings of the living oracles of God as of equal validity with the doctrines of the living word, and the men in chief authority being acknowledged and accepted by the church as prophets and revelators, and as being in possession of the power of the holy priesthood," etc.—The Articles of Faith, by Talmage, page 5.

"The living oracles that exist in the true church possess and exercise the power of discrimination between obsolete and active commandments. Whenever it is necessary that a decision be made as to the present application of a commandment, or the interpretation of Scripture, the matter is referred to the living oracles and their decision is final. There is no dissipation of energy; no doubt or indecision. * * * The living oracles are a motive force to the church in the fact that they are, as the name implies, mouthpieces of God to his people."—Manual, 1901-2, pages 64-65.

As to the doctrine of Deity, the "Address" declares: "We believe in the God-head, comprising the three individual personages, Father, Son and Holy Ghost." As this declaration stands here, it will not perhaps suggest Tritheism or Materialism to Christians unfamiliar with Mormon theological terms. But when the full doctrine of the Deity, as taught in Mormon congregations, is known, it will at once be seen that no Christian can accept it. In fact, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father has a material body of flesh and bones; that Adam is the God of the human race; that this Adam-God was physically begotten by another God; that the Gods were once as we are now; that there is a great multiplicity of Gods; that Jesus Christ was physically begotten by the Heavenly Father of Mary, His wife; that, as we have a Heavenly Father, so also we have a Heavenly Mother; that Jesus Himself was married, and was probably a polygamist—at least so it has been printed in their publications and taught among their people; and that the Holy Spirit is of material substance, capable of actual transmission from one person to another.

"We know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a material body, infinitely pure and perfect, and attended by a transcendant glory, yet a body of flesh and bones."—Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 41. See also Doctrine and Covenants, chapter cxxx, 22d verse.

"Admitting the personality of God, we are compelled to accept the fact of his materiality; indeed, an immaterial being, under which meaningless name some have sought to designate the condition of God, cannot exist, for the very expression is a contradiction of terms."—Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 42.

"Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, saint and sinner: When our Father Adam came into the garden he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days, about whom holy men have written and spoken. He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christian or non-professing Christian, must hear it, and will hear it, sooner or later. * * *

"When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness; he was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle it was begotten by his father in heaven after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel and the rest of the sons and daughters of Eve. I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden. And who is our Father in Heaven."—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, volume 1, pages 50-1.

"Some of the sectarian ministers are saying that we Mormons are ashamed of the doctrine announced by President Brigham Young, to the effect that Adam will thus be the God of this world. No, friends, it is not that we are ashamed of that doctrine. If you see any change coming over our countenance when this doctrine is named, it is surprise, astonishment, that any one at all capable of grasping the largeness and extent of the universe, the grandeur of existence and the possibilities in man for growth, for progress, should be so lean of intellect, should have such a paucity of understanding as to call it in question at all."—Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, pages 42-3.

"Q. Are there more Gods than one?

"A. Yes, many."—Catechism for Children, page 13.

"We believe in the plurality of Gods."—Roberts, Mormon Doctrines of Deity, page 11.

"In the beginning the head of the Gods called a council of Gods, and they came together to concoct a plan to create the world and the people in it."—Joseph Smith, quoted by Roberts in Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 229.

"Without going into the full investigation of the history and excellency of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in this article, let us reflect that Jesus Christ as lord of lords and king of kings must have a noble race in the heavens or upon the earth, or else he can never be as great in power, dominion, might and authority as the Scriptures declare. But hear: The mystery is solved. John says: 'And I looked and lo, a lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his father's name written on their foreheads.' Their father's name; bless me. That is God. Well done for Mormonism—144,000 Gods among the tribes of Israel and two living Gods and the Holy Ghost for this world. Such knowledge is too wonderful for men, unless they possess the spirit of Gods."—President Taylor, quoted by Roberts in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 253.

"If none but Gods will be permitted to multiply immortal children, it follows that each God must have one or more wives. God, the father of our spirits, became the father of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. The fleshy body of Jesus required a mother as well as a father. Therefore, the father and mother of Jesus according to the flesh must have been associated together in the capacity of husband and wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father.

"As God the Father begat the fleshly body of Jesus, so he, before the world began, begat his spirit; as the body required an earthly mother, so his spirit required a heavenly mother. As God associated in the capacity of a husband with the earthly mother, so likewise he associated in the same capacity with the heavenly one; earthly things being in the likeness of heavenly things, and that which is temporal being the likeness of that which is eternal. Or, in other words, the laws of generation upon the earth are after the order of the laws of generation in heaven."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 159.

Eliza R. Snow, the Mormon high priestess and poetess, gives voice to these doctrines in her famous "Invocation; or, the Eternal Mother and Father."

Most of us have heard it in the Tabernacle; many, however, have not understood its teachings. We quote two stanzas:

  "In the Heavens are parents single?
    No; the thought makes reason stare;
  Truth is reason; truth eternal
    Tells me I've a mother there."

  "When I leave this frail existence—
    When I lay this mortal by;
  Father, mother, may I meet you
    In your royal court on high."

  —Latter-day Saints Hymnal.

  "Obedience will the same bright garland weave
  As it has done for your great mother Eve,
  For all her daughters on the earth, who will
  All my requirements sacredly fulfill.
  And what to Eve, though in her mortal life
  She'd been the first, or tenth, or fifteenth wife?
  What did she care, when in her lowest state
  Whether by fools considered small, or great?
  'Twas all the same to her—she proved her worth;
  She's now the Goddess and the Queen of the earth."

  —Eliza R. Snow's Poems.

"If the men and women are the children of God, sons and daughters of heavenly parents, fashioned in their image, endowed with their attributes and destined to become like them in perfection, why should it startle the world to be told that there is a mother as well as a father in heaven. It is reasonable, philosophical and, like all truth, invulnerable."—Address in Tabernacle, summer of 1906, Apostle Whitney

"The father of our spirits has only been doing that which his progenitors did before him. Each succeeding generation of Gods follow the example of the preceding one; each generation have their wives, who raise up from the fruit of their loins immortal spirits; when their families become numerous, they organize new worlds for them, after the pattern set before them. They place their families upon the same, who fall as the inhabitants of previous worlds have fallen. They are re-redeemed. The inhabitants of each world have their own personal father, whose attributes they worship, and in so doing all the worlds worship the same God, dwelling in all of his fullness in the personages who are the fathers of each." Seer, 135.

"Did the Savior of the world consider it his duty to fulfill all righteousness? And if the Savior of the world found it his duty to fulfill all righteousness to obey a command of far less importance than that of multiplying his race, would he not find it his duty to join with the race of the faithful ones in replenishing the earth?"—Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II, page 79.

"'He shall see his seed.' If he has no seed how could he see it? 'And who shall declare his generation?' If he had no generation who could declare it?"—Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II, page 80.

"We say it was Jesus Christ who was married (at Cana) to the Marys and Martha, whereby he could see his seed before he was crucified."—Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, volume II.

"Next let us inquire whether there are any intimations in the Scriptures concerning the wives of Jesus. One thing is certain: that there were several holy women who greatly loved Jesus, such as Mary and Martha, her sister, and Mary Magdalene; Jesus greatly loved them and associated with them much; and when he arose from the dead, instead of first showing himself to his chosen witnesses, the apostles, he appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them, namely, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be very natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were his wives. Indeed, the Psalmist David prophesies in particular concerning the wives of the Son of God. 'Kings' daughters were among thine honorable wives; upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in a vesture of gold of Ophir."—Apostle Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 159.

Concerning the doctrine of man it is declared: "We hold that man is verily the child of God, formed in His image, endowed with divine attributes. * * * We believe in the pre-existence of man as a spirit, and in a future state of individual existence, in which every soul shall find its place, as determined by justice and mercy, with opportunities of endless progression in the varied conditions of eternity." This statement cannot be said to fairly represent the precepts of the Mormon Church at this point. For, in addition to the above, they believe and teach in their own congregations: That, "As man is, God once was: As God is, man may be;" that man's disobedience of the first commandment given was commendable, and was the source out of which his chief glory shall arise; that the image of God in which he was made is the material one; that the brightest glory possible to him can be reached only through polygamous living here or hereafter; and that the eternally continued power of procreation forms the basis of this glory.

"The belief of the Latter-day Saints regarding the personality of God and our relationship to him has been crystallized by President Lorenzo Snow into the aphorism, one of the most expressive in the language: 'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.' No statement could set forth more clearly the nature of God's exaltation and man's destiny."—Manual, 1901-2, part I, page 17.

"We shall now proceed to show from new revelations that the saints are to have equal knowledge with the Father and the Son * * * The fullness of all truth in us will make us Gods, equal in all things with the personages of the Father and the Son; and we could not be otherwise than equal, for he is the same God who dwells in us that dwells in them. Instead of dwelling in two tabernacles under the names of Father and Son, he will then dwell in the additional tabernacles of the saints. And wherever he dwells in fulness, there would necessarily be equality in wisdom, power, glory and dominion."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 121.

"Thus perfected, the whole family will possess the material universe—that is, the earth and all the other planets and worlds, as an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. They will also continue to organize people and redeem and perfect other systems which are now in the womb of chaos, and thus go on increasing their several dominions, till the weakest child of God which now exists upon earth will possess more dominions, more property, more subjects and more power and glory than is possessed by Jesus Christ or by his Father; while at the same time Jesus Christ and his Father will have their dominions, kingdoms and subjects increased in proportion."—Parley P. Pratt, quoted by Roberts in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 257.

"They are capable of receiving intelligence and exaltation to such a degree as to be raised from the dead with a body like that of Jesus Christ, and to possess immortal flesh and bones, in which they will still eat, drink, converse, reason, love, walk, sing, play on musical instruments, go on missions from planet to planet, or from system to system; being Gods or saints of God, endowed with the same powers, attributes and capacities that their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ possess."—Parley P. Pratt, quoted by Roberts in The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, page 257.

"They who have obeyed the laws of the Gospel received the Holy Ghost, obtained and honored the priesthood and lived lives of righteousness, remaining faithful in spite of persecution and earthly tribulation, shall be admitted to the celestial glory. Here they will enjoy the personal presence and gory of the Father and the Son; they will be kings and priests of the most high, those in the highest degree of this glory shall have thrones, dominion and endless increase; they shall be Gods creating and governing worlds and peopling them with their offspring."—Manual, 1901-2, part I, page 52.

"God always attached a special and honorable distinction to males and females engaged in the sacred system of plurality according to the conditions he laid down for them to observe."—Spencer's Letters, page 195.

"Their great duty was to become the progenitors of the human family—to prepare mortal tabernacles for God's immortal children. It was Adam's privilege and duty to become the patriarch of this earth—the parent of all its inhabitants. In this great labor and destiny his wife, Eve, was to be associated with him. Before them was a future of endless glory, happiness and power, to be gained through the great principle of parentage. To attain this glory, present sorrow, pain and difficulty would have to be experienced and overcome. The other law was negative and prohibitive: 'Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat.' If the fall was essential and it was a part of God's design that a law be broken in order that man might be subject to sin and death, this latter law was well adapted for the purpose. For the consequences of the breaking of this law were such as to fit in with the designs of God, and the breach of the law would not apparently interfere with the accomplishment of any high destiny. If either law was to be broken, it was far better that this negative one be broken than the other.

"Eve was deceived and tempted. * * * She told Adam what she had done and he fully realized the consequences of her act. It meant that he and she could no longer remain together; that they must move in different spheres—he in the higher, she in the lower—she should be cast out of the garden and he should remain. * * * But he remembered that Eve had been given him as an eternal companion. He remembered the great commandment: Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. This he could not obey, for Eve, his wife, was to be separated from him forever. He was therefore under the necessity of deciding which was the greater and more important commandment of the two—the negative one: Thou shalt not eat of the tree; or the positive one: Thou shalt multiply and replenish the earth. And he decided wisely—he would break the negative commandment and keep the positive one."—Manual, 1901-2, Part 1, pages 39-41.

"Marriage thus becomes one of the chief means of man's exaltation and glory in the world to come, whereby he may have endless increase of eternal lives and attain at length to the power of the God-head. It was this glorious doctrine in connection with the baptism, redemption and sealing for the dead, that was the uppermost theme of the Prophet Joseph during the last two years or more of his life."—A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Apostle George Q. Cannon, page 138, published 1893.

"I would here say that the promise made to Abraham and to all who are heirs of the same promise through faith extends to all generations in this life and to all generations to come forever and ever. That is, Abraham and Sarah will continue to multiply not only in this world, but in all the worlds to come. And the same is true of all the sons and daughters that obtain the fulness of the promise made to Abraham. * * * Will the resurrection return you a mere female acquaintance that is not to be the wife of your bosom in eternity? No; God forbid; but it will restore you the wife of your bosom, immortalized, who shall bear children from your own loins in all the worlds to come, and that without pain or sorrow in travail. This, sir, was couched in the promise of Abraham; this makes the promise great."—Spencer's Letters, pages 204-5.

"Each pair the Eve and Adam of some world, Perchance unborn, un orbited and unwhirled." (Where they shall) "reign as queens and kings, Where endless union endless increase brings."

—Apostle Whitney, Elijah, pp. 103-4.

"Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity while in this probation, by the power and authority of the holy priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory. * * * In the celestial glory there are three degrees or heavens, and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood, and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."—Quoted in Young Men's Improvement Manual from Joseph Smith, Mill. Star, page 108.

"I wish to be perfectly understood here. Let it be remembered that the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that man, that is his spirit, is the offspring of Deity; not in any mythical sense, but actually. * * * Instead of the God-given power of procreation being one of the chief things that is to pass away, it is one of the chief means of man's exaltation and glory in that great eternity which like an endless vista stretches out before him. * * * Through that law, in connection with an observance of all the other laws of the Gospel, man will yet attain unto the power of the God-head, and like his Father—God—his chief glory will be to bring to pass the eternal life and happiness of his posterity."—Roberts, New Witness for God, page 461.

"The devil and his angels having forfeited in their first estate all right to enter a second with bodies of flesh and bones, and having lost the privilege of marrying and propagating their species, feel maliciously wicked and envious against the sons of men who kept their first estate and now are in the enjoyment of the second, marrying and increasing their families or kingdoms."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 79.

"Parents for the want of that holy and pure affection which exists in the bosom of the righteous, not only destroy their own happiness, but impress their own degraded and unlawful passions upon the constitution of their offspring. It is for this reason that God will not permit the fallen angels to multiply. It is for this reason that God has ordained marriage for the righteous only. It is for this reason that God will put a final stop to the multiplication of the wicked after this life. It is for this reason that none but those who have kept the celestial law will be permitted to multiply after the resurrection. It is for this reason that God has so ordained that the righteous shall have a plurality of wives; for they alone are prepared to beget and bring forth offspring whose bodies and spirits, partaking of the nature of the parents, are pure and lovely, and will manifest, as they increase in years, those heaven-born excellencies so necessary to lead them to happiness and eternal life."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, pages 157-8.

The "Address" has somewhat to say regarding the holy priesthood, but what is said affords one unacquainted with the church but little idea of the relation which this order sustains to the whole ecclesiastical system. In reality everything centers here. Admit the church's contention for its priesthood and you have yielded the most essential things which it claims. "We affirm that, to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel, authority must be given of God; and that this authority is the power of the holy priesthood. We affirm that, through the ministration of immortal personages, the holy priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age, and that, under this divine authority, the Church of Christ has been organized." So it is declared, but the teaching of the church on this most important doctrine is not herein candidly set forth. The appended extracts will show that the basis for the exercise of arbitrary power of its membership lies in the church's claim for the "holy priesthood," and that their power extends not only to things spiritual, but to secular matters as well. Furthermore, it will be seen that when once the church's claim for its priesthood is allowed, the claim of jurisdiction in civil matters logically follows. The members of the priesthood claim the special power to interpret scriptures, and the president of the church, who is also chief of the high priesthood, is the prophet, seer and revelator of God to the church and to the world.

If it was the purpose of the leaders to keep the mass of the membership under such control as would effectually destroy all liberty of action, and would curb that freedom of thought to which all responsible people are entitled, then it is difficult to see how any better scheme for achieving that purpose could have been devised than the Mormon doctrine of the "holy priesthood." Given a people who endorse its high claims and submit to them, and you have a community which is under the tyranny of arbitrary rulership. That such power should be provided for in any system, civil or ecclesiastical, and should not be used, is incompatible with the known facts in human nature. That the full power of the Mormon priesthood is exercised is not a matter of doubt among well-informed people.

"I shall then define priesthood to be that order of authoritative intelligences by which God regulates, controls, enlightens, blesses or curses, saves or condemns all beings. To it under God all things are subservient in righteousness, whether in heaven or hell."—Spencer's Letters, page 94.

"Men who hold the priesthood possess divine authority thus to act for God; and by possessing part of God's power they are in reality part of God. * * * Men who honor the priesthood in them, honor God, and those who reject it, reject God."—New Witness for God, page 187.

"The priesthood is the authority delegated to men to act in the name of God, and to have those acts approved of him. Whatever is done by this authority is as if God himself had done it. The one holding the priesthood becomes an agent of the Lord. * * * The curse of God on Cain, the flood, the rejection and dispersion of Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem—these are all typical instances of the judgments of God following the lack of reverence for his priesthood. * * * Faith in the priesthood in general must be supplemented by a specific faith in those who hold the keys of the priesthood and preside in its various organizations, Priesthood without presidency would be unorganized and lacking in efficiency. * * * We cannot honor the priesthood if we do not honor those who hold its keys. They are indeed the living oracles of our time, and the voice of inspiration from them is as the voice of God to us."—Manual, 1901-2, part I, pages 81, 82.

"There is also a tendency among the youth, and I am sorry to say among some of the older ones, to show but little regard for the sacredness of the holy priesthood. What I mean by the holy priesthood is that authority which God has delegated to man by which he may speak the will of God as though the angels were here to speak it themselves; by which men are empowered to bind on earth and it shall be bound in heaven, and to loose on earth and it shall be loosed in heaven; by which the words of men spoken in the exercise of that power become the word of the Lord, the law of God, unto the people scripture and divine commands. It is therefore not good that the Latter-day Saints and the children of Latter-day Saints should treat lightly this sacred principle of authority which has been revealed from the heavens in the dispensation in which we live. It is the authority by which the Lord Almighty governs his people, and by it in time to come he will govern the nations of the world."—Report of seventy-second conference, page 2, October 4-6, 1901.

  "Before all lands in east or west
  We love the land of Zion best;
     With God's choice gifts 'tis teeming.
  There, prophets, seers, as of old
  The mysteries of heaven unfold.
     Through holy priesthood streaming."
                —Sunday School Hymnal, No. 61.

One other observation must be made before leave is taken of this part of the defense before the world. It touches a matter which in importance dwarfs everything mentioned in the "Address." Apparently the foundation of the Mormon Church is in the "Book of Mormon," the "Doctrine and Covenants," the "Pearl of Great Price," and the testimony of the "Living Oracles," delivered from time to time. But whoever digs down to the lowermost foundation will find that, at last, everything rests upon the reported visions of Joseph Smith. When any matter of vital importance is presented for the belief of mankind, if that matter, either in its nature or the circumstances attending it, lies very much outside the ordinary, a due regard for human intelligence demands that whatever testimony is produced in support of it shall be buttressed by corroborative evidence. But here we have a system of religion which claims sole authority as being alone divinely accredited. It asks for the acceptance of mankind on the ground of being so accredited. It anathematizes all who finally reject it. Yet this religion, making such an astonishing claim, is founded upon the unsupported assertion of a young person whose probity was not yet so well established that his naked word would be taken concerning any matter transcending ordinary observation and experience; and that assertion touches supernatural appearances, and messages which, if true, are of the most profound importance to mankind, and yet that assertion is wholly without corroborating evidence. We are asked to believe that, after seventeen centuries of apostasy on the part of his church, and 1700 years of silence on his own part, God broke this long silence at last with a message to a hitherto unbelieving world, which would determine the destiny of mankind, but that he so discredited human intelligence as to send that all-important message by an ambassador without credentials.

In short, the Mormon Church has not yet given the world any satisfactory evidence that the foundation upon which it rests its enormous claim entitles that claim to any serious consideration. Here is the fatal destitution of the whole system. And no defense that can be set up for the doctrines or practices of the church, or for its history, or for the character of its people, however strong or adroit that defense may be, can veil their mortal weakness.

Attention is called in the "Address" to plural marriages and polygamous living. We have no means of knowing to what extent the practice of plural marriage has been discontinued in the Mormon Church, since no records of such marriages are kept by the church that are accessible to the public. That there have been instances of such marriages, even since the agreement of the church to discontinue them, we know; that they cannot be celebrated without the sanction of the church, through accredited officials, is unquestioned; that, so far as the public knowledge goes, no officials who may have celebrated such marriages have been disciplined therefor, is certain. The doctrine of plural marriage yet appears in the accepted standards of the church unchanged, in face of the promise made by the president of the church that the Woodruff manifesto should be printed, in the later editions of such standards. That the practice is not now as open or as common as in the days of Brigham Young may be conceded. But that it is, at most, suspended by church decree, and not abrogated, is well understood here.

No denial was made of the practice of polygamous living. The "Address" admits that authoritative figures officially collected show 897 such male polygamists in the year 1902. The fact that later reports are not quoted leads to the reasonable belief that since that date the number of male polygamists has not diminished, but rather has increased. But even if this conclusion is not valid, these figures given have a very grave significance. We have this condition before us: In a sect, numbering at the outside some 400,000 souls, many of whom—half or more—are children or mere adherents, at the very least 2,691 persons are living in polygamy. This would be true if each of the 897 male polygamists had only two consorts; but, since in many cases there are more than two, the whole number of persons living in polygamy is considerably larger than the figures just named would indicate. It seems quite probable that far more than 1,800 families in this sect are polygamous families. All of these people are living in violation of the law. Each one of them has a circle of relatives and friends, most of whom will not only condone, but will sympathize with the criminal. These people are rearing children, a majority of whom have been born under ban of the law. Moreover, they are now maintaining their relations against the decree of the church, as interpreted under oath by the church leaders, and yet none of them have been subjected to church discipline for polygamous living. What must reasonable people think of it when such a condition is approved and sustained by a church claiming to be the only church of Christ in the earth—a church strong enough to control all conditions in the state, political, social and civil?

Toleration of these criminals, mercy and charity toward them, is claimed on the ground: First, that toleration has been shown them in the past. It is even said that the "toleration under which the practice of plural marriage became firmly established binds the United States and its people, if indeed they are not bound by considerations of mercy and wisdom, to the exercise and patience and charity in dealing with this question." Second, that wisdom in dealing with the matter in the future prescribes it. But to this it must be replied that the "toleration" of former years was not the toleration of choice, but the endurance of a reprobated condition while there were no adequate means at hand to correct it. And, in the next place, when the church insists upon the doctrine of polygamy as divinely revealed and enjoined; when the governing body of the church publicly honors those who practice it; when its chief officials openly, and with mutual approbation therefor, live in it; when the officials studiously refrain from any public act in restraint of it—when all this is true, we must hold it to be doubtful whether the practice of polygamous living ever will die out under any system of toleration. And thoughtful people will conclude, in the light of these facts, that the only mercy and charity which is logical is that which will, with a strong hand, defend society at large from the taint of such flagitious precepts, examples and practices. Wisdom does not prescribe toleration toward other unlawful conduct; nor does experience show that such a method of dealing with offenders is so conspicuously successful in restraining crime as to encourage that policy. In addition to this, when we consider the fact that men have lived in polygamous relations here for years without the fact being generally acknowledged, or even known; when the church teaches the doctrine of polygamy as a divinely-revealed "principle," such precept being supplemented by the powerful example of its highest officials; and when the president of the church makes a virtue of his contumacy in this regard, we must be pardoned if we declare that no sufficient evidence that polygamous living is dying out, or is likely to die out, has yet been produced.

"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me. I will command my people; otherwise they shall harken unto these things"—(that is, revelations forbidding polygamy). "Thus we see that a man among the Nephites, by the law of God had no right to take more than one wife, unless the Lord should command, for the purpose of raising up seed unto himself. Without such a command they were strictly limited to the one-wife doctrine. * * * So it is in this Church of Latter-day Saints; every man is strictly limited to one wife, unless the Lord, through the president and prophet of the church, gives a revelation permitting him to take more."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, page 30.

"For, behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if you abide not that covenant then are you damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. * * * And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood, if any man espouse a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second and they are virgins and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to none else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong unto him; and they are given unto him—therefore, he is justified."—Doctrine and Covenants, chapter 132.

"From the foregoing revelation given through Joseph the Seer, it will be seen that God has actually commanded some of his servants to take more wives. * * Showing still further that, if they refuse to obey this command after having the law revealed to them, they should be damned. This revelation, then, makes it a matter of conscience among all the Latter-day Saints; and they embrace it as a part and portion of their religion, and verily believe that they cannot be saved and reject it."—Orson Pratt in The Seer, January, 1853, page 14.

"Who would suppose that any man in this land of religious liberty would presume to say to his fellowman that he had no right to take such steps as he thought necessary to escape damnation. Or that congress would enact a law that would present the alternative to religious believers of being consigned to a penitentiary if they should attempt to obey a law of God which would deliver them from damnation."—Epistle of the first presidency, October 6, 1885.

In a signed article written by Brigham H. Roberts, one of the first seven presidents of the seventies of the Mormon Church, for the Improvement Era of May, 1898, are found the following statements as the conclusion of an argument on the righteousness of polygamy:

"Therefore, I conclude that since God did approve of the plural marriage custom of the ancient patriarchs, prophets and kings of Israel, it is not at all to be wondered at that, in the dispensation of the fulness of time, in which he has promised restitution of all things, God should again establish that system of marriage. And the fact of God's approval of plural marriage in ancient times is a complete defense of the righteousness of the marriage system introduced by revelation through the prophet, Joseph Smith.

"Polygamy is not adultery, for were it so considered, then Abraham, Jacob, and the prophets who practiced it would not be allowed an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and if polygamy is not adultery, then it cannot be classed as a sin at all.

"It appears to the writer that modern Christians must either learn to tolerate polygamy or give up forever the glorious hope of resting in Abraham's bosom. That which he approves, and so strikingly approves, must be not only not bad, but positively good, pure and holy."—Improvement Era, May, 1898, pages 472, 475, 478, 482.

We quote from the poem written by Apostle Orson Whitney to the Women of the Everlasting Covenant:

  "Up with the guardian of social purity,
  The marriage system of futurity—
  Asylum of reform and penitence;—
  God-given home to homeless innocence;
  And down with wayward Rome's economy,
  Parent of nameless ills, monogamy;
  Concomitant of empire crushing vice,
  Immolating virtue at the shrine of price,
  Let innocence no more be child of shame;
  Let nature's needs the laws of nature frame;
  Let marriage vows be honorable in all,
  Untrammelled by a monogamic wall
  Of selfishness and rank hypocrisy,
  The gift of Pagan aristocracy."
  —Apostle Whitney's Poems.

The declaration made by B. H. Roberts concerning his determination to continue his polygamous living is of a piece with that made under oath by President Joseph Smith and Apostle F. M. Lyman. Mr. Roberts said:

"These women have stood by me. They are good and true women. The law has said that I shall part from them. * * * But the law cannot free me from the obligations assumed before it spoke." (It spoke before he was born.) "No power can do that; even were the church that sanctioned these marriages and performed the ceremonies to turn its back upon us and say that the marriage is not valid now and that I must give these good and loyal women up—I will be damned if I would."—Case of B. H. Roberts of Utah, page 13.

Considerable space has been devoted in the "Address" to a defense of the loyalty of the Mormon Church to civil government. It is not recalled that any Christian church in this country has found itself under a like necessity, for the teachings and practices of the Christian churches have never been such as to raise an issue between church authority and allegiance to civil statutes. "Gentiles" will bear willing testimony to the fact that the Mormon people, as a body, are by no means naturally disposed to contest civil ordinances.

But it must be clear to all that there is much in their surroundings to contravene their obedience to civil government. We may pass by the history of the church's conflict with the federal government, which is yet well remembered, and may mention these facts as bearing upon the point now under consideration: That the most honored leaders of the church in the past have made an issue between the civil power on the one hand the church authority on the other; that the president of the church today, reverenced by his people as God's deputy on the earth, is living in outlawry; that a number of his chosen associates in the governing body of the church are lawbreakers; that many of the most responsible officers of the church, next to those just referred to, are proscribed by the law; that honors are conspicuously accorded by the highest authority in the church to persons who have the taint of this lawlessness upon them; that these offenders against civil government are not called to account by any church authority for their offenses. Such conduct on the part of the leaders cannot be said to stimulate respect for civil authority, but it must be held to be a stronger deterrent to obedience to the laws of society. So that whatever credit the Mormon people may have as a law-abiding people can scarcely be shared by the governing body of the church, since the weight of their precepts and example is wholly against the validity of any claim to such credit.

This review is issued that the real doctrines, practices and general spirit of the Mormon Church may be known. Whatever the intent of the "Address" may have been, the effect of it will certainly be to deceive all readers who are not intimately acquainted with the teachings and practices of the Mormon Church. We are not unmindful of the fact that we shall be charged with persecution and misrepresentation in issuing this review. But the publication of the truth can hardly be called persecution, and if there be any charge of misrepresentation it must lie against the leaders of the Mormon Church, whose own utterances we have quoted as sustaining what has herein been said about their teachings.

That there may be no misunderstanding of our contention in this paper, we, in conclusion, very frankly declare that not only is the "Address to the World" misleading to the general public, but also that the teachings of the Mormon Church in Gentile communities and through its missionaries are deceptive; that the policy of the Mormon leaders is to keep the people in entire subjection to the priesthood, and that so these leaders seek to control political, commercial and educational conditions in Utah; that their moral influence where such control is maintained is neither complimentary to or commensurate with their power; that their influence is not only subversive of civil authority, but also of reverence for God; that these leaders associate Joseph Smith in dignity and honor with the most eminent of mortals, if not indeed with Christ Himself; that they claim for Brigham Young and Joseph Smith and other "living oracles" the same obedience that is claimed for the very word of God; that whatever spirituality is found in the lives of individual members of the Mormon Church exists in spite of the examples and precepts of their leaders; that the difficulty in the enforcement of the civil law, wherever it affects the practice of polygamous living, is well nigh unsurmountable; that the practice of polygamous living was never held in higher esteem by the governing body of the church than now; that until the practices of the present leaders of the Mormon Church are radically changed there can be no peace between them and pure Christianity; and that until the doctrines of the church are radically modified it can never establish a claim to be even a part of the church of Jesus Christ.




The following Answer to the Ministerial Association's Review of the Address of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the World, was delivered in a speech at two meetings of the Mutual Improvement Association conference, Sunday afternoon and evening, June 9, 1907, in the "Mormon Tabernacle," Salt Lake City, Utah, before an audience of between four and five thousand people. The speaker expected to close his remarks with the afternoon meeting, and therefore omitted certain matters that were intended to be discussed at the time the subject to which they were related was presented in the afternoon, but which, for lack of time, as he then supposed, went over to the evening session. He was urged by those in charge of the Conference to continue his remarks in the evening session, which he did. In this printed copy of the speech, some of the remarks in the evening are brought over into their proper place, and connected with the subjects to which they most properly belong, and that were treated in the afternoon. Also the speaker has added some items that were outlined in his notes prepared for the occasion, but not used either in the afternoon or evening. In order that such new matter might be designated it is placed in brackets.


Today, my brethren and sisters, we convert this pulpit into a forum, from which we propose a defense both of our faith and the Church. Nor do we violate any of the proprieties in this change, because when truth is to be defended and injustice resented, then "all place a temple, and all seasons summer."

The occasion to which we address ourselves this afternoon arises out of these circumstances: At the late general conference of the Church, the First Presidency issued to the world an address. Submitting it to the general conference, it was approved and endorsed by the Saints assembled, so that it became an address of the Church of Christ to the world. Of course, as we might have anticipated, this address met with adverse criticism, and finally there was formulated against it an alleged review by the Ministerial Association of evangelical ministers in the state of Utah. Represented in that association are the Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Christian (Campbellite) and regular Episcopal churches—so that practically the whole of Protestant Christendom is represented by these ministers who challenge the correctness and the candor of the address issued by the Church to the world.

In our consideration of their review we will suppose the representatives of these churches present, sitting right here [indicating a place close by the stand] in a body. And I wish they were so present, because there is nothing like talking it out face to face with these gentlemen; and I doubt not but their presence in a body would be quite an inspiration to one in discussing the document they have submitted to us. Having, then, before us the circumstances out of which this occasion arises, let us proceed to our task.

The first charge or criticism of the address of the Church made by these gentlemen is to the effect that the doctrines of the Church are not as fully proclaimed elsewhere as in Utah; all through the review, in fact, runs the innuendo that the Church deceitfully teaches one doctrine at home and another abroad, and that the address obscures much that is necessary to an intelligent judgment of "Mormonism." Hence these gentlemen propose to help the world to a fuller presentation of "Mormon" doctrine and practice, as set forth in their review of our address.

Right here, I wish to propose this question to these gentlemen: The document they have issued quotes very copiously from our published Church works. I want to ask them, on what books and utterances do they rely for this larger, fuller proclamation of "Mormonism?" I find quoted the Millennial Star, the Journal of Discourses, the Seer (by Orson Pratt), the Improvement Era, the Manuals of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations, Orson Spencer's Letters, Epistles of the First Presidency of the Church, Talmage's Articles of Faith, and last, and of course least, some of my own works. Now where is the Millennial Star published? In Liverpool, England. Where were the Journals of Discourses published? In Liverpool, England. Where was the Seer published? In Washington, D.C. Does it not occur to you, gentlemen, since these are the works on which you chiefly rely for your larger view of "Mormon" doctrine, that we have published them elsewhere quite as fully as we have in Utah. The Improvement Era, of course, is published in Salt Lake City; but two thousand copies of it are sent free to our missionaries abroad to use as tracts and to scatter everywhere in the world. So with Orson Spencer's Letters: so with all our publications quoted by you, except the Seer, of which more presently. They are all sent broadcast, and our elders use them very freely, and you will find them in the hands of our friends abroad, and from them they learn the doctrines of "Mormonism." So that your practical charge that we preach one set of doctrines and principles in Utah, and quite another in the world, and that we are trying to play the double game of having one doctrine for home consumption and another for proclamation abroad, is as shallow as it is untrue.

One other thing. I find in this review ten lengthy quotations from the Seer which was published by Orson Pratt, yet the Seer by formal action of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of the Church was repudiated, and Elder Orson Pratt himself sanctioned the repudiation. There was a long article published in the Deseret News on the 23rd of August, 1865, over the signatures of the First Presidency and Twelve setting forth that this work—the Seer—together with some other writings of Elder Pratt, were inaccurate. In the course of that document, after praising, as well they might, the great bulk of the work of this noted apostle, they say:

"But the Seer, the Great First Cause, the article in the Millennial Star, of Oct. 15, and Nov. 1, 1850 * * * * contain doctrine which we cannot sanction and which we have felt to disown, so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where these objectionable works or parts of works are bound in volumes, or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed."

And yet these gentlemen, our reviewers, who, of course, we must believe, since they are ministers of the gospel, and hence they are ministers of the truth and believe in fair dealing, make ten long quotations from a repudiated work, and one quotation only from a work that is accepted as standard in the Church, viz., the Doctrine and Covenants! For a long time the Church has announced over and over again that her standard works in which the word of God is to be found, and for which alone she stands, are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. All else is commentary, and of a secondary character as to its authority, containing much that is good, much that illustrates the doctrines of the Church, and yet liable to have error in it for which the Church does not stand.

"Well," says one, "do you propose to repudiate the works of men holding your priesthood, and who are supposed to speak and act under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Do you not destroy the effectiveness of your Church ministry when you take this attitude?" Not at all. We merely make what is a proper distinction. It would be a glorious thing for a man to so live that his life would touch the very life and Spirit of God, so that his spirit would blend with God's Spirit, under which circumstances there would be no error in his life or in his utterances at all. That is a splendid thing to contemplate, but when you take into account human weaknesses, imperfection, prejudice, passion, bias, it is too much to hope for human nature that man will constantly thus walk linked with God. And so we make this distinction between a man speaking sometimes under the influence of prejudice and pre-conceived notions, and the utterances of a man who, in behalf of the Church of God, and having the requisite authority, and holding the requisite position, may, upon occasion, lay aside all prejudice, all pre-conception, and stand ready and anxious to receive the divine impression of God's Spirit that shall plead, "Father, thy will and thy word be made known now to thy people through the channel thou hast appointed." There is a wide difference between men coming with the word of God thus obtained, and their ordinary speech every day and on all kinds of occasions.

In thus insisting that only the word of God, spoken by inspiration, shall live and be binding upon the Church, we are but following the illustrious example of the ancient Church of Christ. You do not have today all the Christian documents of the first Christian centuries. These books that you have bound up, and that you call the word of God, Holy Bible, were sifted out by a consensus of opinion in the churches running through several hundred years. They endured the test of time. But the great bulk of that which was uttered and written, even by apostles and prominent servants of God in the primitive Christian Church, the Church rejected, and out of the mass of chaff preserved these Scriptures—the New Testament. The Christian world up to this time is not quite decided as to all that should be accepted and all that should be rejected. You Protestant gentlemen repudiate several books called Apocrypha which the Catholic church accepts as of equal authority with the rest of the books of the Old and New Testament. And so I say in this procedure of ours, in refusing to accept only that which time and the inspiration of God shall demonstrate to be absolutely true, we are but following the example of the ancient Church of Christ.

We move forward now in our investigation of this charge of yours. You say of us, that "Adding no spiritual truth to the aggregate of things already revealed * * * contributing nothing to reverence for God or to justice and mercy towards men, 'Mormonism' claims to be the only authorized church of Christ on earth, and sets up a wholly unbiblical test of salvation."

Gentlemen, you may not believe, of course, the claims of the "Mormon" Church, but you cannot in truth say that we apply an "unbiblical test of salvation." I pray you think of it for a moment. What is the claim made for Joseph Smith? That he was a prophet sent of God with a divine message, with a dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, just for a moment, just for the sake of the argument, suppose that claim to be true, is the test we apply, at all, much less "wholly," unbiblical? May one reject God's message and stand uncondemned before God? Assuredly not. What was the example Jesus set? This: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." He was but proclaiming the message that God had given to him, and he laid down this principle as connected with the authority and commission he had bestowed upon the apostles when sending them into the world: "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." What do we do, when we proclaim the divine message with which the Prophet Joseph Smith was commissioned to the world but just apply this same principle? Nothing more than this, and of course we could do nothing less. As I remarked a moment ago, you may refuse, as you do, to believe this message and testimony, but you cannot say in truth that there is anything unbiblical in the principles on which we proceed to make this declaration to the world: and, by the way, don't you claim the same thing for your message? If you don't, what does your message amount to? Are you not ministers of Jesus Christ? Have you not come with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Can men reject you and your doctrine and your message and still be secure in the favor of God? Gentlemen, if you take that position, I brand you as false teachers, untrue servants—not representatives of the Master. You are weaker than water spilled upon the ground which one may not gather again, if you come with a message one may reject with impunity. You are talking an infinite deal of nonsense when you undertake criticism of this kind.

Now we are told that because of the claims of "Mormonism" it provokes searching investigation, for the reason that "it involves eternal reprobation of those who finally reject it." Gentlemen, have you not juggled here a little with words? And is it not just possible that a wrong impression may go out from your view of our Address, rather than from the Address itself? Is there such a thing in "Mormonism" as eternal reprobation as generally understood in the theological terminology of the world? With the single exception of those who come to know the truth and then so far sin against it that they have no power of repentance nor desire for forgiveness—the sons of perdition, which all our works teach will be comparatively few in number—does not "Mormonism," aside from these few, hold out a hope of salvation to all the children of men? But of this we shall have more to say presently; but the above in passing. Again, this searching investigation is "provoked" because the claim of the "Mormon" Church to being the only authorized Church of Christ, "involves the validity of all the Church ordinances and of all ministerial functions, including the right to solemnize marriages as administered by the Christian Church from the second to the nineteenth century." Here we are approaching solid ground of controversy. "Mormonism" does deny that divine authority exists in the churches of the world, the churches of men, miscalled Christian churches. We do not blanch from the position. We proclaim it; although we do not wish to do so in any offensive way, but we have to be witnesses for the truth. And God has revealed that to be the truth. "Mormonism" is in the world because their was a real necessity for its coming into the world. It did not come into existence through theological disputations, because of differences of views about baptism, or church government, or the nature of Deity, or any of these things; but there had been, and mark it, gentlemen, a complete apostasy from God's truth by the world. The Church of Christ as an organization, and the gospel as a system of truth had been displaced by the institutions and systems of men, consequently there was need of divine authority being again conferred upon man and a new dispensation of the gospel of Christ given to the world. It is our pride that "Mormonism" is this restored gospel and Church of Christ.

I notice among this body of men I am addressing, the members of this Ministerial association, the representative of the Episcopal church, a branch of the great English church. He ought not to complain of this attitude of the "Mormon" Church, for the reason that in one of the Homilies of his church; in the Homily on the Perils of Idolatry, it is expressly stated that "Laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and degrees have been drowned in abominable idolatry, most detested by God, and damnable to man, for 800 years and more." (Perils of Idolatry, p. 3). Certainly "Mormonism" does not proclaim the apostasy more harshly than that, nor do we declare its universality more emphatically, but I presume we are offensive to the representatives of this particular church, the Episcopal, because we include him and his organization as among those who are in the apostasy and who have not the gospel of Christ. Yet we are not harder on him or his church than he is upon the Catholic and all the rest of the Christian world previous to the establishment of the Church of England under the patronage of King Henry VIII of England, of unsavory memory, and we do have this advantage, viz.:

That if we proclaim a universal apostasy, we also proclaim the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the renewal of divine authority, the resumption of present-day and continuous revelation from God. So we are in an infinitely better position, as to the reasonableness of our attitude, than are those who proclaim this apostasy and yet are without a renewal of a dispensation of the gospel to the world.

There is one thing particularly offensive, in this ministerial review, a misrepresentation put in the most offensive form. Not only do the reviewers set forth that we deny the existence of divine authority in their churches, and the nonexistence of the church of Christ for centuries in the earth, but they say that our attitude involves the validity of all ministerial functions, including the right to solemnize marriages. They are not, I take it, responsible for the headlines of their review as they appeared in the public press, but in order to make the attitude of the "Mormon" Church as offensive as it could be made, the headline said, "Gentile Marriage Ordinances Illegal Before God." Now in justice to us I think this matter should have been put fairly, and the exact status of the matter given. It should have appeared that we regard marriage as a civil as well as a religious contract, and our attitude with reference to divine things nowhere involves us in a contradiction as to the validity of marriage as a civil contract, nor as a relationship wholly sanctioned and approved by the divine favor and blessing of God in this world. The extent to which we, in any way, in thought or word, invalidate marriage ordinances is in saying that marriage contracts formed in this world, either by civil authority or by the authority of sectarian churches, do not extend the marriage covenant beyond the period of this life. These gentlemen ought to have been a little more careful, if not a little more honest in stating our position upon this question. Allow me to do it for them.

Turning to the revelation on the subject of marriage, this is to be found:

"Verily I say unto you that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into, and sealed, by the holy spirit of promise of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power * * * are of no efficacy, virtue, or force, in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are dead."


"And every thing that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

"For whatsoever things remain, are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me, shall be shaken and destroyed. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word; and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world."

So far as any denial of the validity of marriages is concerned, it relates only to denying their validity after the resurrection—not this side of it; and, gentlemen, you ought not to complain of this, because you yourselves, in performing the marriage ceremony, say, "I pronounce you man and wife until death does you part." I think you ought not to take offense at what we say on this subject—we say your marriage ceremonies are of no binding effect in and after the resurrection, you make no pretensions of marrying for eternity. The fact is, you scorn and ridicule it. Before leaving this group of propositions with which I am dealing, I desire to say respecting this question of universal apostasy from the Christian faith—we can sustain the truth of that declaration from Scripture, from history, from the condition of the religious world at the opening of the nineteenth century. We have no anxiety about it, but we have not time on this occasion to enter into an argument on the justification of our attitude.

But, gentlemen, Christian gentlemen, what in reality is the difference between your attitude and ours in respect of the world at large, and the existence of the gospel in the earth, and consequences growing out of those respective attitudes? You proclaim, do you not, that there is no other name given under heaven whereby men can be saved except the name of Jesus Christ? You insist, do you not, that there must be acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do you not hold that those who do not accept this gospel cannot receive the benefits of its salvation? Now then, after two thousand years of proselyting in the world, under the most favorable circumstances, what is the sum total of your achievements? Why, less than one-third of the inhabitants of the earth are even nominally Christians! and what is your attitude toward God's children whom you have not converted. Why, that they are lost. That is the inevitable result of your attitude and doctrine. Or else you must say that men can be saved without the gospel of Christ. Now the difference between your position and ours is simply this:

The proposition that you present to the world at large, we present to you as well as to the rest of mankind—and you don't like your own medicine—with this exception, and it is a grand exception, one that goes far towards establishing the divine origin of this great latter-day work; the exception is this: that whereas, your attitude and principles condemn the great bulk of the human family to everlasting perdition—and I am going to talk to you about perdition in a little while, and point out what you mean by it—while you consign to eternal perdition, I say, the great bulk of our Father's children, we proclaim an "everlasting gospel," one that shall not only walk beside men through this life but through all the ages that are to come. You say in your review that we "contribute nothing to reverence for God, or to justice or mercy toward men." Well, here is one little item that "Mormonism" adds to the idea of justice and mercy, that is, we hold that in any age, now or a thousand years hence, or five thousand or ten thousand years hence, or ten million years hence—we hold that when an intelligence, a man, shall learn that it profiteth nothing to violate the law of God, but that it profiteth everything to yield obedience to that law, and repentance takes hold of him, and he stretches out his hands toward God—through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the hand of God will find the man's hand and bring him unto salvation. That is the difference between us, and I leave you to judge which smacks most of the inspiration and truth of heaven.

We take up now another group of propositions: It is complained by you, gentlemen, that the "Mormon" Church denies that the Christian churches have been representing Christ for 1,700 years, notwithstanding Christian martyrdoms, organized charities, the reforms the churches have fostered, the progress of mankind which Christians have chiefly promoted. I wish to explain briefly the attitude of the Church, with reference to this interregnum between the apostasy and the restoration of that gospel in the nineteenth century, through our prophet.

Our position is this: While there was this universal apostasy, while the Church of Christ as an organization was destroyed, and replaced by the churches of men, yet just as when the sun goes down, there still remains light in the sky—so, too, notwithstanding this apostasy from the Church, there still were left fragments of truth among the children of men, and some measure of truth thank God, through his mercy, has always remained with man, not only with Christians but with all God's children. He has not left himself in any of the ages of the world without his witnesses, and he has sanctified all generations of men with some measure of the truth; therefore, when we proclaim this apostasy from the Christian religion and the destruction of the Church of Christ, it does not follow that we hold that all truth, that all virtue, had departed from the world, or that God had absolutely withdrawn from his creation. Not so. The light of truth burned in the bosom of good men; but it does not follow that because these fragments of truth remained there was necessarily the organized Church of Christ and divine authority in the world. These fragments of the truth could remain in the so-called Christian parts of the world, as we now know them to exist in what is called the heathen world. Relative to the reforms you claim that your churches have fostered and the progress of mankind which Christians have chiefly promoted, you are aware, gentlemen, that there is a certain class of thinkers among you—I mean in the Christian world, not among "Mormons"—you are aware that there is a school of thinkers among men who will tell you to your teeth, and they will come very nearly proving the truth of it, that such progress in civilization, in science, in arts, as the world has made in past ages, has not been made because of your churches, but in spite of them. They hold that your organizations have been found quite as often against the progress of truth as standing in support of it. Taking the whole time range into account, from the close of the second to the opening of the nineteenth century, it would puzzle you to meet their evidence and argument.

It is claimed that the brevity of our Address not only leaves much to be desired, but that it is "positively misleading."

First, our reviewers claim that the address is misleading on the subject of revelation. Still these reviewers are able to quote from the Address as follows: "The theology of our Church is the theology taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, the theology of Scripture and reason. It not only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient Scripture, and the binding force of divinely inspired acts and utterances in ages past; but also declares that God now speaks to man in this final gospel dispensation." That seems quite explicit to me. But, commenting upon the passage, the reviewers say:

"Under this declaration lies the claim of the 'Mormon' Church—constantly insisted upon in its congregation here and in surrounding regions—that the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, together with the living oracles—i.e., certain members of the priesthood—are divinely inspired and are, therefore, of equal authority with the Bible. This claim, a knowledge of which is so necessary to even a tolerable understanding of their system of belief, is not plainly and explicitly set forth in the declaration of doctrine contained in the Address, but it has repeated and urgent emphasis in their teachings in 'Mormon' communities."

Now, be honest, gentlemen, is it not repeated everywhere with just as much emphasis as in "Mormon" communities in Utah? Isn't it a universal proclamation that we make to the world? You know it is, and you prove that it is from the very works you quote to establish the fact that we believe in that doctrine, and which are of world-wide circulation. It was a vile effort at misrepresentation on your part to make it appear otherwise. But on the subject of revelation, let us go to the Address itself. What is said upon the subject of revelation is found on pages three and four, and fourteen and fifteen: "Our religion is founded on the revelations of God," * * * "It," [the Church of Christ] "not only acknowledges the sacredness of ancient Scripture, and the binding force of divinely-inspired acts and utterances in ages past; but also declares that God now speaks to man in this final gospel dispensation." At page 14 of the Address this is said:

"It is sometimes urged that the permanent realization of such a desire [i.e., to live in peace with our fellow citizens] is impossible, since the Latter-day Saints hold as a principle of their faith that God now reveals himself to man, as in ancient times; that the priesthood of the Church constitute a body of men who have each for himself, in the sphere in which he moves, special right to such revelation; that the president of the Church is recognized as the only person through whom divine communication will come as law and doctrine to the religious body; that such revelation may come at any time, upon any subject, spiritual or temporal, as God wills; and finally that, in the mind of every faithful Latter-day Saint, such revelation, in whatsoever it counsels, advises, or commands, is paramount."

Now, gentlemen, will you tell me how we could be more frank or explicit on the subject of revelation? And when you charge that in this document we have not dealt candidly with the subject of revelation, why did you not quote this passage I have just read, with the other passages that you have quoted? Were you not trying to do a little misleading on your own account? Did you deal quite fairly with the Address when you failed to quote this very explicit passage just read?

Complaint is made about our belief in "Living Oracles" in the Church, i.e., certain members of the priesthood who are divinely inspired, and who may interpret the revelations and the laws of the Church.

Well, gentlemen, why do you complain of that? Books do not make churches. How came we by the ancient scriptures? The Old and the New Testament, I mean. We are instructed in the Scriptures that no scripture is of private interpretation, but that "holy men of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost," hence your Old Testament and your New Testament. They came into existence exactly in the same way that our scripture is coming into existence. The living oracles make scripture; scriptures do not make living oracles. And that is what is the matter with you, gentlemen; you have been relying upon books instead of relying upon the fountain source of all wisdom, truth and knowledge, the inspiration and revelation of God to the human soul. You are book-made teachers, rather than God-made teachers. That is the difference between the living oracles in the Church of Christ and those who speak as the Scribes and Pharisees were wont to speak. The people in ancient times were able to discern the difference; for they said of Jesus that he spoke as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and the Pharisees. We are in harmony with the whole course of God's dealings with his children in this matter of developing his word in his Church. Yes, we have living oracles in the Church, thank God; and when they speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost their utterances are the very word of God; and when the teachings and discourses of the elders of the Church shall have been sifted and tried in the fire of time, much that they have said will prove to be scripture, and thus the Church of Christ of this dispensation shall make scriptures, just as the Church of Christ of former dispensations has done.

Now I read to you another passage from this review. Complaint is made against our address upon the ground that it treats very briefly—all too briefly, the doctrines of the Church. I do not know but what it is open to just criticism on that ground; for our doctrines are but stated, as you may say, in headlines. I presume the Presidency of the Church did not think the occasion called for an elaborate exposition of the principles of our faith, with chapter and verse given for warrant of the authority on which they rested. But the Church had been under the fire of severe criticism for a period of four years or more. Its doctrines had been assailed, the practices of its people had been misrepresented, their character traduced, and their "whole course of conduct reprobated and condemned." Taking these circumstances under advisement, the Presidency of the Church thought, I presume, the time propitious for an utterance which would in outline tell the world what we believed, and correct the misunderstanding that obtained respecting our past history and present position. The address was not designed, as I understand it, to be a complete exposition of our faith, but a declaration of our present attitude.

On the doctrine of the Godhead these Christian gentlemen, our reviewers, think that the statement of the Address to the effect that we believe in the Godhead, comprising the three individual personages—Father, Son and Holy Ghost—is a declaration that will not perhaps suggest Tritheism or materialism to Christians unfamiliar with "Mormon" "theological terms." "But," they continue, "when the full doctrine of the Deity, as taught in 'Mormon' congregations, is known, it will at once be seen that no Christian can accept it. In fact," they say, "the 'Mormon' Church teaches that God the Father has a material body of flesh and bone; that Adam is the God of the human race; that this Adam-God was physically begotten by another God; that the Gods were once as we are now; that there is a great multiplicity of Gods; that Jesus Christ was physically begotten by the heavenly Father of Mary, his wife; that as we have a heavenly Father, so also we have a heavenly mother; that Jesus himself was married, and was probably a polygamist."

Let me say, in treating this group of statements, that these gentlemen nowhere support these allegations by citations from our authoritative works that the Church accepts as binding in doctrine; but they do quote the commentaries of men, which often express only individual opinions. I might dismiss this group of charges against the "Mormon" Church, therefore, by this statement of the case: the Church is not bound to defend any doctrine that is not explicitly found in the works of the Church setting forth authoritatively her doctrines. But I do not propose to dismiss the charges in any such fashion. I propose to grapple with them, and meet them, I trust to your satisfaction and to the satisfaction of these gentlemen.

First, as to God having a body of flesh and bone—being a material personage. I want to find out what there is wrong, unscriptural, unphilosophical or immoral about that doctrine. And for the purpose of this discussion, I am going to put in contrast to our belief, that God is a spirit inhabiting a body of flesh and bone—an exalted, a perfected man, if you will—the statement of the belief of these reviewers as to the nature of God. And, by the way, they are so nearly at one upon this doctrine, that the Church of England's creed, the statement of the Episcopal church on the doctrine, will be acceptable, I doubt not, to them all. On this subject these gentlemen hold: "There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body"—and that term "body," by the way, does not mean to deny that God has a body in fashion like man's; but it means that he is not matter, not material. Continuing then—"without body, parts or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power and eternity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

Of Jesus the creed says:

"The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ very God and very Man."


"Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the last day."

Mark what is said here of Jesus. You say that "the Godhead and manhood" in Jesus "were joined together in one person," that is, his spirit and his body are united, never to be severed or disunited. Now I put to you this question: Is the Lord Jesus Christ God? Yes, you must answer. Then is not God an exalted man according to your creed? Listen—and this is your belief as expressed in your creed—"Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the last day."

According to this statement of the matter, Jesus has not been dissolved into some spiritual, immaterial essence, and widely diffused throughout the universe as some spiritual presence. No; he is a substantial, resurrected personage, a united spirit and body; and "The Godhead, and Manhood" that are united in the Christ—the humanity and the divinity—are "never to be divided." He is recognized and worshiped by you, gentlemen, as "very God and very man." This, of course, scarcely meets the description of the first paragraph of the creed used here, where God is declared to be not matter, that is "without body, parts or passions." But then that contradiction is your affair, your trouble, not ours. It is enough that I call your attention to the fact that the second part of your creed leads you closely to the "Mormon" doctrine that God is an exalted, perfected man, since Jesus, according to your creed, is God, and yet a resurrected man sitting in heaven until his return to judge all men at the last day.

And now as to there being more Gods than one. We believe the Scripture which says that Jesus was the brightness of God's glory, "and the express image of his person" (Heb. 1:3). And as we know what kind of a person the Christ is, who "possessed all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" and who, when he declared that all power in heaven and in earth had been given unto him, and he was in the act of sending his disciples into all the world to teach and baptize in the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—was a resurrected, immortal man, of spirit, flesh and bone. And since, I say, the scripture teaches that the Son was the express image of the Father's person, we conclude that the Father must be a personage of spirit, flesh and bone, just as the Son, Jesus, is. Indeed your Athanasian creed says that "such as the Father is, such is the Son;" and of course, it follows that, such as the Son is, such is the Father; that is, the Father is a personage of spirit, flesh and bone, united in one person, "very God and very man," just as Jesus is. And there are two separate personages, each distinct from the other in person, two individuals, but both of the same divine nature; and if two separate personages, individuals, may participate in the one divine nature, it logically follows that a larger number than two or three may participate in that nature. And hence the Scriptures represent in many places the existence of a plurality of divine personages, how many we do not know, and it does not matter. But we hear of God saying, "Let us make man in our image; the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil;" "God standeth in the congregation of the Mighty, he judgeth among the Gods. * * * I have said Ye are Gods, and all of you are children of the most High." The last a passage of the Psalms, quoted and defended by the Savior as a justification of his own claim to sonship with God. And now, if the great archangel, Michael, or Adam, is among that number of exalted, divine souls, what more fitting than that the father of the human race shall become the great, presiding patriarch of our earth and its redeemed inhabitants; and the one with whom our race would most immediately have to do? What sacrilege is there in this thought? Is it not reasonable that it should be so?

Of your nonsense of one being three, and three being but one, we will say nothing, except to remark that you must reform your arithmetic, if you expect sensible people to pay attention to your doctrines.

One other item in which we offend these reverend gentlemen is that we believe Jesus had a Father as well as a mother. Now, gentlemen, honestly, is it any worse for him to have had a Father than it is for him to have had a mother? You concede that he had a mother; that his body grew as yours did, in the womb of his mother; that he came forth of the womb by birth pains; that he suckled at the breast of woman; that through the months and years of infant weakness he was watched and guided by the hand of a loving mother. Tell me, is it true, that in your philosophy of things it is all right for Jesus to have a mother, but a terrible sin and blasphemy to think of him as having a father? Is not fatherhood as sacred and holy as motherhood? Listen, people, there is something else. Having objected to our idea of Jesus having a father, these peculiarly pious gentlemen turn now and object to our faith because we believe that we have for our spirits a heavenly mother as well as a heavenly father! They quote, in part, that splendid hymn of ours on heavenly motherhood, the great throbbing hunger of woman's soul, and which was given to this world through the inspired mind of Eliza R. Snow; the hymn is known to us as "O My Father."

In the Scripture we read: "We have had fathers of the flesh, and we did give them reverence, shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" So that we know we have had a father to our spirits; but because we hold that the spirits of men have also a mother in heaven, as well as a father, behold these reviewers complain against us. Now, observe the peculiar position of these critics: It is all right for Jesus to have a mother; but it is all wrong for him to have a father. On the other hand, it is all right for men's spirits to have a Father in heaven, but our reviewers object to our doctrine of their also having a mother there. I sometimes wonder what in the world is the matter with you, gentlemen. I am puzzled to classify your views, or the kind of beings with which you people heaven. One of your own number, however, has thrown some light upon that subject, and has so classified you—saving me the trouble—as to enable us to understand to some extent your peculiar views. I have a book here that I am going to use in this controversy. It is a new one. I got it three days ago, and have read it nearly through in order to be prepared for this occasion. It is the work of Rev. R. J. Campbell, of City Temple, London, and it is a treatise on the New Theology, just now much talked of in Europe. He describes ministers of the gospel and gives them the classification referred to a moment since, and which I think must needs be all right, since it comes from a minister. He takes the average business man of England, naming him "John Smith," for convenience, and he says this about John:

"John Smith, with whom we used to go to school, and who has since developed into a stolid British man of business, with few ideas and a tendency toward conservatism—John is a stalwart, honest, commonplace kind of person, of whom brilliant things were never prophesied and who has never been guilty of any. His wife and children go to church on Sundays. John seldom goes himself, because it bores him, but he likes to know that religion is being attended to, and he does not want to hear that his clergyman is attempting any daring flights. He has a good-natured contempt for clergymen in general, because he feels somewhat that, like women, they have to be treated with half-fictitious reverence, but that they do not count for much in the ordinary affairs of life, they are a sort of a third sex."

Now, ladies, I ask you to remember, in passing, that I am reading the words of somebody else; their are not my words. The phrase "half-fictitious reverence" is not mine. I think we ought to have real reverence for women; no fictitious reverence at all.

The ministers are here in this passage described as "a sort of third sex," and I am inclined to think that is right; for when a man in one case objects to a person having a father, and in another case considers it altogether unholy for persons to have a mother, I do not know how else to classify him but as "a sort of third sex"-kind of a man.

There seems to be objection in the review to the idea of the marriage relation existing in heaven and subsisting between divine beings. Loud complaint is made, if you hold that the intelligences of heaven obey the law of marriage. Let me ask you, Christian gentlemen, Who instituted marriage? You will answer, God. Is it holy or unholy? Did God institute an unholy thing and command men to engage in it? You will have to say that marriage is holy, since God instituted it. Very good. Then if it is holy, how do you make it out that it will be unholy for divine personages to practice it? Is it not just as good for divine personages as for you imperfect men? Can it be that your ideas of the relationship of the sexes are so impure that you must needs regard that association as so unholy as to be unworthy of divine beings? Let me read to you what a great English author—Jeremy Taylor—says on this subject of, marriage:

"Marriage is the mother of the world and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities and churches, and heaven itself. Like the useful bee, it builds a house and gathers sweetness from every flower, and labors and unites into societies and republics, and sends out colonies, and feeds the world with delicacies, and obeys and keeps order, and exercises many virtues and promotes the interest of mankind, and is that state of good to which God hath designed the present constitution of the world."

Now, you prate to us about our belief, or the belief of some of us at least, that divine personages are in this holy relationship. But tell me what it is that has been the great civilizing force of this and all other ages? What is it that best tempers man, and fits him for the society of his fellows and for holy communion with God? There is no force within the experience of man, that is so beneficial or ennobling to him as the love and devotion of a pure, good woman; and for woman there is nothing that is so sanctifying as the love of an upright, honorable man, whose arm protects her and whose love shields her from the evils of the world. These relations, blessed with the pledges of their affection in off-spring, complete the circle of man's happiness, and greatness, and exaltation of spirit in this world. It is the civilizing force that stands pre-eminent above all others. And that which sanctifies man here in this world may be trusted not to degrade him in the eternities that are to come, but, on the contrary, will contribute to his exaltation and his eternal glory. That is our faith, at least, and we would not change it for all the sexless, hermaphrodite existences that your warped minds paint in such glowing colors.

We offend again in our doctrine that men are of the same race with the divine personages we call Gods. Great stress is laid upon the idea that we believe that "as man is, God once was, and as God now is, man may become." The world usually shouts "blasphemy" and "sacrilege" at one when he talks of such a possibility. But the world moves, I am happy to say. Just now, in England, especially, there is a thought-revolution under way. Some have declared that in importance and extent it is as great as was the revolution of the sixteenth century, led by Martin Luther. The present recognized leader of this movement is the Rev. R. J. Campbell, of the City Temple, London, whose book I referred to a moment ago. This "New Theology," so-called, has the outspoken support of the Christian Commonwealth, of London, a publication of wide influence. A "Society for the Encouragement of Progressive Religious Thought" has been organized to champion the ideas of the "New Theology." Mr. Campbell numbers among his champions Dr. John Clifford, the leading figure in the English Baptist church, also Dr. R. F. Horton, chairman of the London Congregational Union. In America, his sympathizers and opponents seem to be equally numerous. Mr. W. T. Stead, of the Review of Reviews, compares the present theological ardor in London with that which marked Alexandria in the days of Athanasius, "when fishmongers at their stalls discussed the doctrine of the trinity." The strife of tongues has reached even to Germany, where Prof. Harnack, the eminent theologian, interprets it as a proof that the "formal theology of the creeds [your creeds, gentlemen,] is being gradually displaced by the vital theology of experience."

I want to read to you some key-words of this new theology which is making its way among all churches. It is' not an organized movement. No one appears to know whence it springs. Indeed, it is spoken of as being one of those pulsations of the "cosmic mind" which moves over the people at intervals and proclaims some great truth. Now, you will be astonished at the fundamental truth of this new movement, and the great number of people who are accepting it as the "theology of experience." Its fundamental principle is the recognition of the identity between human nature and the divine nature.

In proof of it, I submit the following passages:

"Whence springs the deep-seated hostility of so man, of the representatives of labor to the churches? It can only be from the fact that organized religion has, in the immediate past, lost sight of its own fundamental, the divineness of man." (Rev. R. J. Campbell, in Hibbert Journal, April, 1907, p. 487.)

"When the man with a burdened conscience comes to us for relief, let us tell him that we all bear the burden together, and that until he becomes a Christ all the love in the universe will come to his help and share his struggle. His burden is ours, the burden of the Christ incarnate for the redemption of the world." (Ibid, p. 493.)

"The starting point in the New Theology is belief in the immanence of God, and the essential oneness of God and man. * * * We believe man to be a revelation of God, and the universe one means to the self-manifestation of God. * * * * We believe that there is no real distinction between humanity and the Deity.

"Our being is the same as God's, although our consciousness of it is limited. * * * The new theology holds that human nature should be interpreted in terms of its own highest nature, therefore it reverences Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was divine, 'but so are we.' * * * Every man is a potential Christ, or rather a manifestation of the eternal Christ. * * * The new theology * * * is the gospel of the humanity of God and the divinity of man." (Campbell, London Daily Mail, quoted in Current Literature, April, 1907.)

"I shall continue to feel compelled to believe that the power which produced Jesus must be at least equal to Jesus, so Jesus becomes my gateway to the innermost of God. When I look at him I say to myself, God is that, and if I can only get down to the truth about myself I shall find that I am too. * * * In him (Jesus) the humanity was divinity and divinity humanity. * * * But you make him only a man! No, reader, I do not. I make him the only man, and there is a difference. We have only seen perfect manhood once, and that was the manhood of Jesus. The rest of us have got to get there. * * * We have to get rid of the dualism which will insist on putting humanity and Deity into two separate categories.

"Unitarians used to declare that Jesus was man, not God." Trinitarianism maintained that he was God and man; the older Christian thought as well as the youngest regards him as God in man—God manifest in the flesh. But here emerges a great point of difference between the new theology on the one hand and traditional orthodoxy on the other. The latter would restrict the description 'God manifest in the flesh' to Jesus alone; the new theology would extend it in a lesser degree to all humanity, and would maintain that in the end it will be as true of every individual soul as it ever was of Jesus. Indeed, it is this belief that gives value and significance to the earthly mission of Jesus—he came to show us what we potentially are." (The New Theology, Campbell, pp. 82, 83.)

There is much more to the same effect, which I now pass.

I am now going to read to you from a higher authority than Mr. Campbell—from a man of science, a man whose intellectual powers sway the religious thought of many thousands in Great Britain, the thoughts of many more people than Mr. Campbell sways. I refer to Sir Oliver Lodge, who says in the Hibbert Journal, one of the foremost publications in the world on the subject of theology and philosophy, with reference to the divinity of Jesus, and the identity of the divine and human nature:

"The conception of the Godhead formed by some divine philosophers and mystics has quite rightly been so immeasurably vast, though still assuredly utterly inadequate and necessarily beneath reality, that the notion of a God revealed in human form—born, suffering, tormented, killed—has been utterly incredible. 'A crucified prophet, yes; but a crucified God! I shudder at the blasphemy,' is a known quotation which I cannot now verify; yet that apparent blasphemy is the soul of Christianity. It calls upon us to recognize and worship a crucified, an executed God. * * * The world is full of men. What the world wants is a God. Behold the God! (referring of course, to Jesus,) 'The divinity of Jesus' is the truth which now requires to be re-perceived, to be illuminated afresh by new knowledge, to be cleansed and revivified by the wholesome flood of skepticism which has poured over it; it can be freed now from all trace of groveling superstition, and can be recognized freely and enthusiastically; the divinity of Jesus, (Mark you—'the divinity of Jesus') and of all other noble and saintly souls, in so far as they too have been inflamed by a spark of Divinity—in so far as they too can be recognized as manifestations of the Divine." (Hibbert Journal for April, 1906, pp. 654-5.)

That is the doctrine, gentlemen, that is sweeping the earth, "the divinity of Jesus," and the divinity of "all other noble and saintly souls"—the kinship of men and God. That is "Mormonism," and it was proclaimed by the great prophet of the nineteenth century, half a century before these modern minds were awakened to its grandeur and to its uplifting power. I rejoice to see it running in the earth to be glorified, for in it I recognize the very root principle of all religion and out of it grow all the relations that link us with all that is pure, uplifting and divine.

Now, do not misunderstand me. There is much nonsense in this "New Theology;" but this root principle of it is true, and it is in accord with the principles that Joseph Smith proclaimed years ago. The doctrine of the immanence of God in the world, by which we mean the universe and the divinity of man, instead of its having its origin some fifteen or twenty years ago, and now finding expression in the beautiful diction of Mr. Campbell and Sir Oliver Lodge and others, it was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, at least over seventy years ago. Concerning the immanence of God, he taught the following in 1832: He first represents that the spirit of Christ is "in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth." Then he adds:

"This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all things; which giveth life to all things; which is the law by which all things are governed; even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things."

The prophet further declared, in 1833, that "the elements are eternal, and spirit and element inseparably connected receive a fullness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples."

Again, I say, there is much in the so-called "New Theology" which we cannot accept, such as the denial of the atonement, its treatment of the Scriptures and the like, but in so far as these fundamental principles of it are concerned—the immanence of God in the world, and the identity of the race of man and divine beings—there can be no question as to their accuracy. And those Christian people who are not accepting these ideas are not moving forward with the far-flung thought-line of God's revelations on these matters.

We next come to the subject of priesthood. It is declared by the reviewers that the teaching of the Church upon this important doctrine is not candidly set forth in our Address. Then they give us a long line of quotations, most of them from the Seer, upon the subject of priesthood; and insist that the priesthood involves the possession and exercise of arbitrary power in all things, in things both spiritual and temporal. I read to you a passage or two from the Address on the subject of priesthood that you may see the injustice of this charge:

"We affirm that to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, the authority must be given of God; and that this authority is the power of the holy priesthood.

"We affirm that through the ministration of immortal personages, the holy priesthood has been conferred upon men in the present age, and that under this divine authority the Church of Christ has been organized."

The reviewers quote this far, and then stop to remark—but without returning to quote again from the Address—"so it is declared; but the teaching of the Church on this important doctrine is not herein candidly set forth." Then why did not you reviewers go to another part of the document where the matter is more explicitly set forth and quote that? Following the fragment you do quote occurs this passage which declares the express purposes for which the priesthood was given:

"We proclaim the objects of this organization to be, the preaching of the gospel in all the world, the gathering of scattered Israel, and the preparation of a people for the coming of the Lord."

But you reviewers say this "power extends not only to things spiritual, but to secular matters as well." Within certain limitations, granted; and the acknowledgment of the fact is found in the Address itself which you charge with being uncandid. Here is the passage:

"That the Church claims the right to counsel and advise her members in temporal as well as in spiritual affairs is admitted. Leading Church officials, men of practical experience in pioneer life, have aided the people in establishing settlements throughout the inter-mountain west, and have given them, gratuitously, the benefit of their broader knowledge of things, through counsel and direction, which the people have followed to their advantage; and both the wisdom of the leaders and the good sense of the people are vindicated in the results achieved. All this has been done without the exercise of arbitrary power. It has resulted from wise counsels, persuasively given and willingly followed."

But you insist that there is "tyranny and arbitrary ruler-ship" over a community which indorses the priesthood's high claims. I deny the existence of such tyranny as a fact among the "Mormon" people who indorse the priesthood's high claims; and I deny the existence of arbitrary power as a doctrine of the Church, and so does the Address which you pretend to review. Here is the passage:

"We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church" [why didn't you gentlemen quote that]; "and this because its government is moral government purely, and its forces are applied through kindness, reason, and persuasion. Government by consent of the governed is the rule of the Church."

Following is a summary of the word of the Lord, setting forth the principles on which the Church government is to be administered:

"The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon men, it is true; but when they undertake to cover their sins, or gratify their pride, their vain ambition, or exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile."

Gentlemen, those are our principles. Why didn't you quote them fairly and fully, instead of charging arbitrary power, when it is expressly denied by what we regard as the very word of God? Honestly, now, did you deal fairly with us when you came to this part of your review? But, you say, "given the power of the 'Mormon' priesthood, that it should not be used is incompatible with the known facts of human nature." Well, if it does attempt arbitrary power, it will be in violation of our principles, and not in harmony with them; and that fact furnishes a basis for the correction of any abuses that may arise. And while it is true that here and there, throughout a long experience, there may have been individual instances of the exercise of arbitrary rule in the Church, yet speaking for the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a whole, I challenge you to duplicate the same honorable conduct anywhere within the experience of men, where those entrusted with power have so uniformly abstained from abusing it while exercising the functions of government. The Latter-day Saints love their leaders, living and dead, and not without cause, I assure you; for these men have labored in season and out of season, persuading, counseling, advising, and guarding the interests of their people with an unselfishness that tells us something of the love of God, and that without effort at personal aggrandizement or enrichment. The lives and labors of the priesthood are a vindication of its divine origin and spirit.

The review further says that when once "the Church's claim for its priesthood is allowed, the claim of jurisdiction in civil matters logically follows." But, gentlemen, why did you not point out the fact, or at least admit it in some form, that the address you were reviewing emphatically excepted out of its jurisdiction the sphere of civil government? You could have edified those whom you are so anxious to enlighten with such passages as these:

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

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

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

"We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:

"The absolute separation of church and state;

"No domination of the state by the Church;

"No church interference with the functions of the state;

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

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

"The equality of all churches before the law."

Again I read from the review, and this time I deal with a passage which the reviewers themselves say "dwarfs everything mentioned in the Address." We shall see what comes of it:

"Apparently the foundation of the 'Mormon' Church is in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the testimony of the living oracles delivered from time to time. But whoever digs down to the lowermost foundation will find that, at last, everything rests upon the reported visions of Joseph Smith. When any matter of vital importance is presented for the belief of mankind, if that matter, either in its nature or the circumstances attending it, lies very much outside the ordinary, a due regard for human intelligence demands that, whatever testimony is produced in support of it shall be buttressed by corroborative evidence. But here we have a system of religion which claims sole authority as being alone divinely accredited. It asks for the acceptance of mankind on the ground of being so accredited. It anathematizes all who finally reject it. Yet this religion, making such an astonishing claim, is founded upon the unsupported assertion of a young person whose probity was never so well established that his naked word would be taken concerning any matter transcending ordinary observation and experience; and that assertion touches supernatural appearances, and messages which, if true, are of the most profound importance to mankind; and yet that assertion is wholly without corroborative evidence."

Gentlemen—Christian gentlemen—you who are such sticklers for candor—have you spoken truly here, and in a matter which you say dwarfs everything else mentioned in the Address? What of the testimony of three certain witnesses, who claim that they stood with Joseph Smith wrapt in open vision, in the light of day; who give their most solemn asseveration that a holy angel came into their presence on that occasion, laid before them certain ancient documents, turned over the leaves, conversed with them, and at the same time they heard the voice of God saying that the translation of the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith was true, and commanded them to bear witness of it to all the world—which they did, over their own signatures, and that testimony is printed in every edition of the Book of Mormon? What of the testimony of eight other witnesses, to whom Joseph Smith handed the book of plates, and they handled and hefted them, and passed them one to the other, and examined the engravings thereon; and they gave their testimony to the world to this effect, which testimony has been published with every edition of the Book of Mormon given to the world. Did you overlook this corroborative testimony? Is it true that you gave so slight attention to the subject you were reviewing that you could make a misstatement of the kind just mentioned? Were you so unacquainted with it? Must we think you so dull? If we acquit you of stupidity, what then? Must we not think of you as uttering falsehood? What of the testimony of Oliver Cowdery, who stood wrapt in vision in the Kirtland temple with Joseph Smith? And of Sidney Rigdon, wrapt in vision with Joseph Smith, from which resulted their conjoint testimony concerning that grandest of revelations ever given to man on the doctrine of the future degrees of glory in which men will live in the eternities? I do not desire to use harsh language; I will not say that you wilfully, maliciously, ponderously and atrociously lied; because while all that might be true, one would be accused of harshness if he said it; but I will say that you have economized the truth, and you may settle it with your own consciences.

Our subject increases in interest as you get into it, and perhaps it is well it is so, else your interest might falter. We come now to a very interesting topic—that of polygamy. This is the darling theme of the reviewers, and so we will not slight it by saying nothing about it. I had best read what they say on this point:

"We have no means of knowing to what extent the practice of plural marriage has been discontinued in the 'Mormon' Church, since no records of such marriages are kept by the Church that are accessible to the public. That there have been instances of such marriages ever since the agreement of the Church to discontinue them, we know; that they cannot be celebrated without the sanction of the Church accredited officials, is unquestioned; that, so far as the public knowledge goes, no officials who may have celebrated such marriages have been disciplined therefor is certain."

Throughout one cannot help believing that these gentlemen are not quite candid with reference to this subject. I do not believe that in the State of Utah there is any one, in the Church or out of it, who does not believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stopped the practice of, or sanctioning and performing plural marriages. I am of the opinion that everybody is settled in his conviction in relation to that matter.

It requires time for the settlement of such questions as those involved in the system of plural marriage, as once practiced in the Church. No proclamation is at first understood. Differences of opinion and variety of interpretation are bound to exist concerning matters of this description. And when the announcement was made in President Woodruff's manifesto of the discontinuance of plural marriage, and the advice was given that our people should contract no marriages contrary to the law, the question arose in the minds of some whether that prohibition was not limited to marriages within the United States, and whether by refraining from contracting such marriages within the United States would not fulfill the covenant and agreement implied in the manifesto. The matter was discussed pro and con. Ultimately, however, the conclusion was inevitable that the manifesto forbade plural marriages in all the world; because the Church is not a local Church: it is not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the United States alone; but it is a world-wide Church; and when its general conference speaks, it speaks for the entire Church in all the world. Hence, I say, the conclusion was inevitable that plural marriages were everywhere forbidden; and when some men held tenaciously to the view that that was not the case, but that the Church fulfilled her agreement to discontinue plural marriage by abstaining from performing plural marriages within the United States—when that view was persisted in, I say, there was but one thing left, and that was to conclude that such persons were out of harmony with the Church. Two of the twelve apostles held that view; they were declared by their associates to be out of harmony with their brethren in these matters, they tendered their resignations which were accepted; and since that time there has been no question in the Church, or out of it, as to where the Church stands on the subject of discontinuing plural marriages, and I do not believe that there is any doubt on that subject existing in the minds of the gentlemen who formulated this review.

In confirmation of this I submit the letter of resignation of John W. Taylor:


"To the Council of the Twelve Apostles:

"DEAR BRETHREN:—I hereby tender to you my resignation as a member of the council of the twelve apostles, as it is clear to me that I have been out of harmony with you on some very important matters which have apparently brought reproach upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"I wish to state in the first place that I have not violated the laws of the United States, nor of the State of Utah, in relation to polygamous or plural marriages; also that the authorities of the Church have not directed or authorized me to do so, or to do anything contrary to the rules of the Church as adopted by that body.

"But I find that I have been out of harmony with the said authorities as to the scope and meaning of the manifesto issued by President Woodruff and adopted by the general conference, on October 6, 1890, and also as to the meaning of the last clause of the petition for amnesty to President Benjamin Harrison in December, 1891. I have always believed that the government of the United States had jurisdiction only with its own boundaries, and that the term 'laws of the land' in the manifesto meant merely the laws of the United States. I find now that this opinion is different to that expressed by the Church authorities, who have declared that the prohibition against plural marriages extended to every place and to every part of the Church. It is doubtless true that this view of the matter has been given by President Woodruff and others, but I have never taken that as binding upon me or the Church, because it [such interpretation] was never presented for adoption by 'common consent,' as was the manifesto itself, and I have disputed its authority as a law or a rule of the Church.

"I acknowledge that I received a request from President Joseph F. Smith, by letter, to appear as a witness in the Reed Smoot case before the Senate committee on Privileges and Elections, but I declined to do so because, while I recognized his right to direct me in Church affairs, I did not think his authority extended to civil affairs to the extent that I should expose my family concerns and be questioned and be held up to public ignominy as some of my brethren were before that body, and I still hold the same views upon that matter.

"Inasmuch as I have not been in harmony with my brethren on these subjects, and I have been called in question concerning them, I now submit to their discipline, and, to save further controversy, tender this my resignation, and hope for such clemency in my case as they may deem right and just and merciful.

"Your brother,

(Signed) "JOHN W. TAYLOR."

The explanation accompanying the resignation of Elder Cowley was of similar import.

Another complaint of our reviewers is that polygamy is only abrogated as to practice, and that belief in the divinity of the principle is still held by the Latter-day Saints.

Well, gentlemen, what of it? Whose business is it? Do you hold that you may enter the sacred precincts of the mind and uproot our opinions? Your law gives you the right to punish overt acts; but you have no law and no right to enter the domain of conscience and interfere with what is held there as the truth. Hands off here! Our belief is our own. We have a right to our opinions. If you don't believe them, that is nothing to us, we do. And if you have not succeeded in converting us, we can't help that. You have got all you deserve out of this controversy on our marriage system. Properly this was a question which belonged to the dominion of reason, scripture and polemics. You should have convinced us, as ministers of Christ, from the word of God and from the nature of the things involved, that the principle itself was untrue. But you were not content to leave it to the arbitrament of discussion and reason; you must needs play upon the prejudices of the masses and induce them to belabor Congress with their petitions until your inimical legislation was put upon the statute books; and the crusade against the practice of our marriage system was declared, and those who practiced it were raided with unabated vigor for years. We yielded at last to superior force, not to your arguments, because we successfully met them. You remember the occasion, do you not, of the chaplain of the Senate of the United States coming to this very forum, and here discussing the question, "Does the Bible Sanction Polygamy?" That your champion was vanquished in the contest is evidenced from the fact that we publish as a campaign document both sides of the Pratt-Newman discussion. If you have not convinced us of the incorrectness of our principles, it must be because of the lameness of your reasoning, the weakness of your argument, and you must be content with the result so long as we do not carry into practice that principle which we believe. We have a right to our belief in that or any other doctrine as abstract principles, whether our belief suits you or not, and we have the right to freely express that belief, and if you don't like it, you may go hang.

Again the review says: "No denial is made of the practice of polygamous living. The 'Address' admits that authoritative figures officially collected show 897 male polygamists in the year 1902. The fact that later reports are not quoted leads to the reasonable belief that since that date the number of male polygamists has not diminished but rather increased."

It is true the address brings down the figures no further than 897 in 1902; but the address does say "and many of these have since passed away." Besides, there was a statement made upon the floor of the Senate of the United States, based upon official figures, to the effect that the number had been reduced to at least 500. Here is the passage:

"Careful statistics have been taken and preserved, and will be found in the testimony, which show that this number has gradually decreased until there was at the time the testimony closed [before the Senate committee on Privileges and Elections having in charge the Smoot case] not to exceed five hundred such households in existence."—(Congressional Record, p. 3269.)

Now, gentlemen, here was an opportunity for you to exercise a little generosity instead of juggling with alleged conditions in Utah, so as to express your belief that these cases of polygamous living have increased rather than diminished, you could have called attention to what were the facts in the case—that it was said upon the floor of the Senate of the United States that the reduction had been to 500, and that time would soon obliterate this question from among our problems.

Let us discuss for a moment this subject of polygamous living. It is doubtless a difficult problem. It has been difficult for some few men to discern the line of duty in the matter; but, thank God, the most of our brethren have not found it difficult to determine what their duty was in the premises. Notwithstanding that through interpretations the meaning of the Manifesto has been made to cover polygamous living as well as new marriages; and logically, however much it may have been misunderstood, that conclusion was inevitable; and it is conceded that the law of the land forbids the continuance of these relations—yet, in the face of these conditions, men have concluded that their moral obligations to; their families demanded that they should be true to the relationships into which they had entered in good faith, and under what they regarded as the sanctions of the law of God. You, gentlemen of the Ministerial Association do me the honor to quote some words of mine uttered seven years ago, while in attendance upon Congress, and trying to maintain the seat that had been given me by the suffrages of the people of my state. I wish now to repeat what I said then, though in better form, because the words I uttered at that time were somewhat garbled, by the report made of them—not intentionally garbled, by Mr. Arthur McEwen, who reported them. I will say that for him, because I believe it, and he is since and recently dead. But so far as I am concerned, I stand exactly where I did seven years ago, namely, that though the Church proclaimed against the continuance of that relationship contracted under her sanctions, though the state by statute proclaimed against it, neither Church nor state can dissolve the moral obligations I feel I am under to discharge what I regard as a moral duty. I ask you, gentlemen, to consider this proposition. What prompts this adherence to these relationships by myself and other men in our Church? You must concede that the most of those involved in these relations have passed middle life. They have entered upon the period of the "sere and yellow leaf." You cannot say their conduct is prompted by passion or lust; "for the heyday in the blood is cooled and waits upon the judgment." What is it then that prompts so many men and women in the "Mormon" Church to remain true to those relations entered upon in plural marriage? They look into each other's faces—the bloom of youth has passed, the brightness of the eye is somewhat dimmed, the suppleness of the form has passed away. But these men and women have lived their lives under circumstances that tend to endear men and women to each other. The trials of life, even under ordinary circumstances, result in that; but when what they regard as oppression and danger surround them, it is calculated all the more to draw them more closely to each other in their affections. These men and women have endured all sorts of trials for each other in addition to the ordinary trials of life. They, as well as monogamists, have stood hands clasped by open graves, and have known the purifying effects of great sorrows. In addition to such experiences, many of the men have endured exile and imprisonment, and wives have been exiled from their homes, their kindred and their friends, and have cast their lot among strangers, rather than to sever the ties by which they were bound to their husbands; and back of it all stood the conviction that they were doing God's service—upholding a principle that he had revealed, and entrusted to them for vindication and making it honorable among men. These are facts well known in this community. These men and women were not of the criminal element: their conduct was not prompted by a desire to defy law; they were acting and are acting now from the highest and noblest motives—religious conviction of duty. And so I say, for one of this number—for myself—I stand exactly as I have always stood upon this question of fulfilling the obligation these relationships have imposed; and I shall, so far as possible, still respond to the dictates of honor. I shall read my duty by the light of that conscience God gives me—I shall respond to the voice of love and honor, and you reviewers may make the most of it.

[You will say, such an attitude is inconsistent with the utterances of the Church leaders before the courts, and especially before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections. So be it then. It is an inconsistency that has the promptings of honor back of it, and under such circumstances, for one, I shall trust God to forgive such inconsistency.]

It is said by you gentlemen that no apology can white-wash the outlawry of Joseph F. Smith. Gentlemen, his conduct needs no apology, his honor needs no vindication, his position needs no defense; it needs only to be stated. And as you have not stated it, I will; or, what is better, I will let him state it for himself. On a recent occasion, before the court in this city, President Smith said these noble words:

"In the tacit, general understanding that was had in 1890, and the years subsequent thereto, regarding what were classed as the old cases of cohabitation, I have appreciated the magnanimity of the American people in not enforcing a policy that in their minds was unnecessarily harsh, but which assigned the settlement of this difficult problem to the onward progress of time.

"Since the years 1890 a large percentage of the polygamous families have ceased to exist, until now the number within the jurisdiction of this court is small, and marriages in violation of the law have been and now are prohibited. In view of this situation, which has fixed with certainty a result that can easily be measured up, the family relations in the old cases of that time have been generally left undisturbed.

"So far as my own case is concerned, I, like others who had entered into solemn religious obligations, sought to the best of my ability to comply with all requirements pertaining to the trying position in which we were placed. I have felt secure in the protection of that magnanimous sentiment which was extended as an olive branch in 1890 and subsequent years to those old cases of plural family relationships which came within its purview, as did mine.

"When I accepted the manifesto issued by President Woodruff I did not understand that I would be expected to abandon and discard my wives. Knowing the sacred covenants and obligations which I had assumed by reason of these marriages, I have conscientiously tried to discharge the responsibilities attending them without being offensive to anyone. I have never flaunted my family relations before the public, nor have I felt a spirit of defiance against the law; but, on the contrary, I have always desired to be a law-abiding citizen.

"In considering the trying position in which I have been placed, I trust that your honor will exercise such leniency in your sentence as law and justice will permit."

I say that Joseph F. Smith's position needs only to be stated to the world, and the manhood of America will applaud his attitude, long-haired ministerial associations and short-haired women's organizations to the contrary notwithstanding.

But what is the use of talking in this strain to you gentlemen? This is a question for statesmen, and you cannot be accused of possessing any of those qualities. That, however, is perhaps your misfortune, not your fault. When I take into account the intellectual and physical capital with which you start in life, I sometimes marvel that you have done so well. Your vocation is not always left to your own choice. The position is frequently chosen for you by your parents, having in view your physical and intellectual endowments. The ministry is generally recognized as a genteel sort of profession. It promises a certain social standing. It secures you from the dust and sweat and physical toil of a mechanic's life, and from the brain-sweat of secular professional life and struggle. It takes you out of the turmoil of trade and commerce, and out of the fierce contests of political life, and from the dangers of a career in army and in navy. Then, you know, as a class you were not physically strong; a larger proportion of your number are consumptives, neurotics, anemics, paranoiacs, and the like, than in any other of the professions; and so this genteel profession is quite frequently selected for you by your parents, and for the reasons here set forth. There are individual exceptions, of course, but I am dealing with you as a class. After your calling is selected for you, you pass into the schools, colleges and universities, and there you follow a rather kid-glove course of study. You will not need much of mathematics, so you pay little attention to that subject; you will need more of belles lettres, of moral and metaphysical philosophy, of languages and rhetoric, and eloquence. So your studies run along those lines, and after completing this course you step from your colleges into pulpits to instruct the world, at the same time knowing less about that world than any other class of men whatsoever. Then, going into that world, you are soon sequestrated into a very narrow portion of it. As a rule, you have to deal most with christenings, with weddings, with funerals; but you shine most at social functions, more especially at pink teas. So that, all things considered, neither by your original endowments nor by your environments nor by your training are you prepared to meet the broad questions that concern humanity.

As was stated in the passage I read from Mr. Campbell's book a while ago, your class "do not count for much in the ordinary affairs of life." On practical questions you are relegated to the rear, and your influence in community life grows less and ever less with the passing years. Do you think I overstate the case? Then let me quote to you what one of your own number says of you—again Mr. Campbell in his up-to-date book before quoted. Before giving the quotation, however, let me disclaim the existence of any personal animosity towards you. All that I say is meant in the very best of feeling. I speak not from malice concerning you, but from experience. I have been meeting your class, gentlemen, for now thirty years; and have had controversies of various kinds with it during that time, and I know you as a class quite thoroughly. I speak from experience, not malice, and comparing you as a class with other classes of men whom I have known, it is just a plain, solemn truth that you are, as a class, narrow, bigoted, intolerant, petty; and I say that in the very best of feeling. And now the passage of Mr. Campbell's book. Speaking of the decline of organized Christianity and its ministry, he says:

"For a generation or more in every part of Christendom there has been a steady drift away from organized religion as represented by the churches, and the question is being seriously asked whether Christianity can much longer hold its own. Protestant controversialists frequently draw attention to the decline of church-going in Latin countries as evidence of the decay of sacerdotalism, particularly in the church of Rome. But outside Latin countries it is not one whit more noticeable in the church of Rome than in any other church. The masses of the people on the one hand and the cultured classes on the other are becoming increasingly alienated from the religion of the churches. A London daily paper made a religious census some years ago and demonstrated that about one-fifth of the population of the metropolis attended public worship, and this was a generous estimate. Women, who are more emotional, more reverent, and more amenable to external authority than men, usually form the majority of the worshipers at an ordinary service. Mr. Charles Booth in his great work on the Life and Labor of the People in London asserts that the churches are practically without influence of any kind on the communal life. This I believe to be an exaggeration, but it will hardly be denied that the average working, business, or professional man looks upon the churches almost with indifference. In many cases this indifference passes into hostility or contempt. Intelligent men take little notice of preacher and sermons, and the theologically-minded layman is such a rarity as to be note-worthy. Most significant of all, perhaps, is the fact that much of the moral earnestness of the nation and of social redemptive effort exists outside the churches altogether. * * * The plain, bald fact remains that the churches as such are counting for less and less in civilization in general and our own nation in particular. One of the ablest of our rising young members of parliament, a man of strong religious convictions and social sympathies, recently declared that we were witnessing the melancholy spectacle of a whole civilization breaking away from the faith out of which it grew."

As I remarked, I desired to read that passage to you, that you may know that my charge that the people are slipping away from the influences of the churches and the ministry was not inconsiderately made. Of course, the decline in the influence of the churches marks also the decline in the influence of the ministry, hence the pertinency of this quotation. What is said by this authority concerning conditions in England is equally and more emphatically true of our own country than it is of England. That is, the decline of the influence of the ministry and churches in the United States is more marked than in England. Ministers, then, don't count for much when it comes to dealing with practical questions. And the conditions that have and do exist in Utah, and that come down to us out of a remarkable past connected with our former plural marriages are practical questions. Questions for statesmen, not for sectarian priests and their trundle-bed notion of things. It is a question for men of blood and brains, and when it was referred to such a body of men not long since—the Senate of the United States—they at least refused to take the radical steps you suggested. Through four long years you raked the country as with a fine-toothed comb to gather up your evidence and to convince the United States Senate that they ought to follow your dictation, to assail the Latter-day Saints, and to break up and terrify, as a few years ago our community was broken up and terrified by a severe, rigid and, I may say, cruel administration of this law against polygamous living; and after you have done your best, submitted your evidence—employed the best counsel you could find, and after you have awakened all the prejudices to which you could appeal, the court has turned you down, gentlemen! You could not move that body to adopt your view of the case.

I made some remarks this afternoon upon the subject of the toleration for those conditions respecting polygamous living that have come to us out of the past. I do not desire to be understood as standing in any defiant attitude against the public sentiment of our state or of our nation. The fact of the matter is, these ministerial friends of ours are disposed to make mountains out of mole-hills, and are representing to the world as conditions existing here things that do not exist. The Latter-day Saints are not a law-defying body of people, but on the contrary they have manifested an obedience and respect for law, and you shall find no better order or a more universal acquiescence in and obedience to law than you find here in the settlements of the Latter-day Saints. We believe in law and in order and in being subject to kings and presidents, in honoring and magnifying the law; but the conditions here in Utah are unusual in respect of this one matter of polygamous living. The conditions, however, are well understood by our non-"Mormon" friends; and but for the agitation of these ministerial meddlers and a few disreputable and disgruntled politicians, the peculiar conditions which confront the community, and in which some of the best men of the community are involved, would go to their settlement along the lines in which they are being settled, namely: by the termination of these relations in death as, one by one, the parties pass out of existence to the grave. Now, in order to convince you that I am right in this view of the case I shall read an extract from the testimony of a prominent citizen of our state, a non-"Mormon," who I believe, better than anyone else, in the testimony he gave before the committee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate, in the Smoot case, described conditions in Utah as they are. He analyzed the situation here and told the truth in respect of it. I shall read his testimony—never mind who he is just for the present, but let me read to you what he said before the committee. Keep in mind that he is a non-"Mormon" and one not at all prejudiced in favor of the Latter-day Saints:

"The Chairman said: Will you state why it is that those who live in polygamous cohabitation today are not prosecuted?

"The witness: I will do so as well as I can, and I simply state here the views, as I know them, of what are termed the 'old guard' of the Liberal party, Republicans and Democrats, who fought the Church party in the days when it was a power. Those men have felt, and still feel, that if the Church will only stop new plural marriages and will allow this matter to die out and pass away, they will not interfere with them. First of all, of course we want peace in Utah. We would like to be like the rest of the country. We want to make of it a state like the states of the rest of the Union. We want the 'Mormon' people to be like the rest of the American people; but we realize that there is a condition there which the people of the east do not—and, I presume, cannot—understand. You cannot make people who have been brought up under our system of government and our system of marriage believe that folks can sincerely and honestly believe that it is right to have more than one wife, and yet those people believe it. They are a God-fearing people, and it has been a part of their faith and their life.

"Now, to the eastern people their manner of living is looked upon as immoral. Of course it is, viewed from their standpoint. Viewed from the standpoint of a 'Mormon' it is not. The 'Mormon' wives are as sincere in polygamy as the 'Mormon' men, and they have no more hesitation in declaring that they are one of several wives of a man than a good woman in the east has in declaring that she is the single wife of a man. There is that condition. There are those people—

"Senator Hopkins interrupted to say: Do you mean to say that a 'Mormon' woman will as readily become a plural wife as she would a first wife?

"The witness: Those who are sincere in the 'Mormon' faith—who are good "Mormons," so called—I think would just as readily become plural wives (that has been my experience) as they would become the first wife. That condition exists. There is a question for statesmen to solve."

You will remember that is what I said to these ministerial gentlemen this afternoon. The witness continued:

"We have not known what was best to do. It has been discussed, and people would say that such and such a man ought to be prosecuted. Then they would consider whether anything would be gained; whether we would not delay instead of hastening the time that we hope to live to see; whether the institution would not flourish by reason of what they would term persecution. And so, notwithstanding a protest has been sent down here to you, I will say to you the people have acquiesced in the condition that exists.

"Mr. Van Colt, an Attorney: You mean the Gentiles?

"The witness: Yes, the Gentiles."

The witness who gave that testimony was Judge O. W. Powers, and you know, and all Utah knows, that he spoke the truth.

Mr. J. Martin Miller writing to the Newark (New Jersey) News, represents Rabbi Louis G. Reynolds as holding the views expressed in the accompanying quotation on conditions in Utah:

"I found a very prominent former Newarker, in the person of Rabbi Louis G. Reynolds, of the Synagogue B'nai Israel here. He was rabbi of the Oheb Shalem Synagogue, Newark, from 1892 to '96.

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

These statements are thoughtful and fair; and no one acquainted with existing conditions can doubt their truthfulness.

And why have they, and why do they, the non-"Mormons," acquiesce in these conditions, and tacitly consent that this question should be settled by the grave. First, because they recognize the honesty and the purity of the lives of the people who are involved in the "Mormon" system of marriage; and they know that it was the promptings of a religious duty that involved them in that system, and not criminal instincts nor worldly or ungodly lust.

That is what they know to begin with—and that the people in these mountains were contending for the persistence—and they hoped the triumph—of what to them was a religious principle. That is why honorable non-"Mormons" respect honorable and upright "Mormons" who are doing their duty as God gives them the light to see that duty. And, moreover, their minds doubtless go back to the settlement of this question by the Constitutional convention of this state of which, perhaps some of you will remember, I was a member. The people of the United States, speaking through the Congress of the United States, demanded of the people of Utah, as a condition precedent to statehood, that their Constitution should provide "That polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited." When the Constitutional convention met that proposition—desiring to meet it in good faith, they not only made the constitutional declaration that polygamous or plural marriages should forever be prohibited, but they also in order to make that effective, took the territorial law—which was but a copy of the Congressional law, which defined "polygamous or plural marriages" and prescribed for that offense the penalties, the fines and imprisonments, and which also defined polygamous living and prescribed its penalties.

The constitutional convention, I say, took that enactment and cut it square in two, adopting the part that defined the offense of polygamous or plural marriages, and prescribed its punishments, and made it, with its penalties, part of the Constitution; but the part of the law relating to polygamous living or unlawful cohabitation, they left out entirely. The question was brought up on the floor of the convention, and debated in open session. The leader of this movement, who advocated the adoption of this part of the law for the Constitution—for it was rather an unusual proceeding in constitution making, intended, however, in good part, to meet a very unusual condition; the question was put to him in substance: If you thus cut the law in two, and prohibit polygamous or plural marriages but say nothing about unlawful cohabitation or polygamous living, will not the inference be—will not the conclusion be, that you do not intend to include unlawful cohabitation in the offenses defined and made punishable under this constitutional provision? The answer was that such would be the implication—that the intent was to leave the offense out. That was not only the inference, but it was the understanding—say what men will—in that convention. The record bears out the statement I make of it, because it was not done in a corner, or in the dark, it was out in the open, and some of those who now join you reverend gentlemen in this agitation against men who are seeking, under hard conditions, to respond to the promptings of duty and conscience—some of those who now join you in your clamor, were parties to and sanctioned that settlement in the constitutional convention.[1]

[Footnote 1: This subject is discussed circumstantially and at length in my reply to Senator Kearns' U.S. senate speech,—"Defense of the Faith and the Saints," Vol. I, pp. 209-218.]

The subject of "Mormon" loyalty is briefly discussed in this review, and apparently the only way you reviewers could meet the treatment of the subject was by a sneer. You say, "It is not recalled that any Christian Church in this country has found itself under a like necessity." That is, to avow and defend its loyalty to the government. Very true, gentlemen, but do you recall that any other church that has been assailed with misrepresentation and charges of disloyalty as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been? And so, being assailed, we necessarily make defense. I pass the rest that could be said on that subject, excepting this, that when you refer to the conflict we had with the general government during territorial days, I take you to witness that the controversy was not of our making, but it was the result in part of your sectarian agitation, your arousing a popular sentiment, exercising church influence upon Congress which led that body to enact laws against a principle of our religion. We contested those laws for every inch of the ground, until the court of final appeal pronounced judgment on the controversy. Was not that our right? And does it necessarily involve us in or leave us open to the charge of disloyalty, because we thus contended for religious freedom—the right to practice what to us was part of our religion? Let us remind you, gentlemen, that had the people of the first Christian age, and the people of the sixteenth century followed your idea of immediately surrendering when religious principle was attacked, there would have been no Christian religion at all, there would have been no such thing as Protestant sects. We contested the grounds legally, and fought as hard as we could for a religious principle; that is the head and front of our offending.

These gentlemen Reviewers express two fears. One is that they will be charged, because of issuing this review, with misrepresentation. Well, I don't wonder at that, and I think we have proven that you have misrepresented. But they also fear that we will charge them with persecution. Gentlemen, we acquit you of the intention of persecution. When the Revs. Phineas Ewing, Dixon, Cavanaugh, Hunter, Bogart, Isaac McCoy, Riley, Pixley, Woods and others carried on an agitation in Missouri against "Mormonism" and the "Mormons" that resulted in burning hundreds of our homes and driving our people—including women and children, remember—to bivouac out in the wilderness at an inclement season of the year; when the mob incited by these reverends, your prototypes, gentlemen, laid waste our fields and gardens, stripped our people of their earthly possessions, keeping up that agitation until twelve thousand or fifteen thousand people were driven from the state of Missouri, dispossessed of several hundred thousand acres of land—two hundred and fifty thousand acres, to be exact—which they had entered, and rendered them homeless—we might call, we do call, that persecution. When the Rev. Mr. Levi Williams led the mob that shot to death Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith in Carthage prison, and when the Rev. Mr. Thomas S. Brockman led the forces against Nauvoo, after the great body of the people had withdrawn from that city, and expelled the aged, the widow and the fatherless, and laid waste the property of the people—we think we are justified in calling that persecution, of which right reverend gentlemen were the chief instigators. And when in this territory some years ago one wave of agitation followed another, of which your class, and some of you, were chief movers, until a reign of terror was produced, and a regime was established under which men guilty at most of a misdemeanor, could nevertheless be imprisoned for a term of years covering a lifetime, and fined to the exhaustion of all they possessed, under the beautiful scheme of segregating the offense into numerous counts in each indictment; and when in that reign of terror women were compelled to clasp their little ones to their breasts and go out among strangers, exiled from their homes—we might be inclined to call that persecution. But our experience has been such that we scorn to call such attacks as this review of yours persecution. It does not rise, gentlemen, I assure you, to that bad eminence. So we acquit you of any intent in your review to persecute us. You need not fear that such a charge will be made, we are not so thin-skinned as all that. Besides, gentlemen, your power is no longer equal to your malice, and so we do not believe you will ever be able to persecute us again.

And now I want to turn "reviewer" myself a while. I want to review some things which the ministers of the association before us stand for, at least some of them stand for what I shall refer to; and I only regret that we can't take up each one in turn and examine his doctrines. But we all proceed, as far as we can, on this occasion. I turn "reviewer" because I want to show our young people who are represented here, that these gentlemen, standing for such principles as their church creeds represent are scarcely in a position to make an assault upon our doctrines on any score of inconsistency or repulsiveness; and second, by placing our doctrine in contrast with theirs, I desire to show the youth of Israel, whose representatives are here, the greatness and grandeur and the divinity of those principles for which their fathers have stood, and for which we stand, for the ensign given into the hands of our fathers we will sustain and carry to still greater heights of success.

Of the doctrine of the Godhead, taught and advocated by the sectarian world, I have already said something and pointed out the inconsistency of these ministers, holding Jesus to be divine—nay more, to be Deity, and yet proclaiming against our views of God being a personage of tabernacle, a personage of flesh and bone as well as of spirit—in a word, an exalted, a perfected man—Christ Jesus resurrected from the dead and possessing all power in heaven and in earth. I shall leave them, of course, to patch up the contradictions of their creeds on that subject, I am not concerned about them.

And now, to turn to another portion of the creed, held at least by the Presbyterian ministers before us, and by some other members of the Ministerial Association—our reviewers. I read from the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter iii, section 3.

"By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.

"Sec. 4.—These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

"Sec. 5.—Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace."

Now listen to this:

"Sec. 7.—The rest of mankind, God was pleased according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice."

That is to say, that though all mankind be sinners, and it must be conceded that all men sin, yet out of this mass of sinners some are rescued from the consequences of that sin by the pure grace of God, and without any co-operating act of theirs, they are rescued from the consequence of that sin by the decree of God. Whereas, others of that mass of sinners, by the decree of God, are relegated eternally to condemnation, to reprobation, and what that means we shall see presently—but in the face of this doctrine, where appears the justice of God, or mercy of God either? But the end is not yet.

"Sec. 4 (chapter x.) Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved; much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested."

Now, on these sections from the Presbyterian creed, I read to you the comment of a very high authority in that church who deals with this creed, the Rev. A. A. Hodge. This work is designed for the schools and colleges of the Presbyterian church. This is his comment on the articles of the creed:

"This section * * * teaches the following propositions: That the non-elect will certainly fail of salvation. * * * That the diligent profession and honest practice of neither natural religion, nor of any other religion than pure Christianity, can in the least avail or promote the salvation of the soul, is evident from the essential principles of the gospel. * * * That in the case of sane adult persons a knowledge of Christ and a voluntary acceptance of him is essential in order to a personal interest in his salvation. * * * * God has certainly revealed no purpose to save any except those who hearing the gospel, obey. * * * Whatever lies beyond this circle of sanctified means is unrevealed, unpromised, uncovenanted. The heathen in mass, with no single definite and unquestionable exception on record, are evidently strangers to God, and going down to death in an unsaved condition. The presumed possibility of being saved without a knowledge of Christ remains, after 1,800 years, a possibility illustrated by no example."

That means, then, that the great bulk of God's children have been created only that they may be food for the flames of the sectarian hell, because orthodox Christian sects allow of no means of salvation beyond the proclamation and acceptance of the gospel in this world. But we shall not arrive at an understanding and the enormity of these creeds—we shall have no conception of their abomination until we learn something about the sectarian idea of hell and the continuation of the punishment of those who do not accept Christ. Those who have not heard of Christ are, by these creeds, placed in the same category as those who have heard of him, who have heard his gospel and rejected it; for they neither are nor can be, according to the teachings of orthodox Christianity, subjects of salvation.

But before taking that matter up, let me read to you another section from the creed:

Sec. 111, (chapter 10.) "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."

This has been a very troublesome part of the creed to our Presbyterian friends. It has been understood to at least imply the possibility of some infants not being among the elect and therefore subject to damnation, just like the non-elect who grow up to maturity, a view most shocking to most people including—to their honor be it said—most Presbyterians. The interpretation of this section of the creed by the Presbyterian church is, that "all infants are among the elect!" If this was the thought in the minds who wrote the creed, what a pity they did not say, "All infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ," instead of saying "elect infants," etc. What a world of controversy it would have saved!

However, gentlemen, your interpretation is that all infants are of the elect, and therefore saved, and I will accept your interpretation because I believe you have a right to your own interpretation. But say, by the way of whisper, and in confidence, I can make it extremely interesting, if not difficult for you to make good your interpretation both by reason of the implication that must fairly be conceded exists in the language of the section against your contention, as also from very respectable authorities I can quote, on the history of the controversy. But we let that pass, and will concede your right to say what your creed means. Especially so since, the abomination of your creed may be established without pressing this point. Why should you Presbyterians be so particular to declare against the damnation of infants, when the promulgation of the doctrine of the damnation of a good man, because he is not of the elect, is just as outrageous as the damnation of an innocent babe?

In some respects of the case it is even worse. Here we will say, is a man who throughout his life has made every effort to realize in his living the lofty ideal of possessing "clean hands and a pure heart;" who entertains only aspirations that are noble, and performs deeds only that are honorable; who in the relationships of life, as son, brother, husband, father and citizen, discharges with reasonable fidelity, all his duties in these relations, and, as nearly as a man can while under the effects of the fall, and pestered with human inclinations to perversity, leads what is recognized as a virtuous life. Yet, if not of the elect, this man is doomed eternally, and his struggling for the attainment of his lofty ideals and his noble life, avail him nothing in the way of warding off damnation; because, forsooth, he is not of the elect, and hence must perish everlastingly.

The questions here being considered were once presented to Dr. Francis L. Patten, president of Princeton university, and a stalwart Presbyterian defender of the creed, in a rather unique, not to say personal manner, by a correspondent of one of our great eastern journals, and as it helps one to get a view of the doctrines here considered from close range, I quote it:

Interviewer: "But if it would be unjust to take an infant from the world and resign it to everlasting torture, is it not equally unjust that those of us who have lived and suffered and struggled with life's battles should be eternally doomed because we happen not to be among the elect? Is it fair or just, or consistent, with the workings of a religion built upon a foundation of eternal love, that some of us shall be born into the world under a spiritual ban, compelled to go through the battle, with the certainty of no reward for honors or efforts, predestined for hell, as the elect, for no effort or worth of their own, are predestined for heaven? That is the doctrine of election, is it not?"

"That is the doctrine of election," repeated Dr. Patten. "And you believe it?"

"I do," was the prompt response, "wholly and unreservedly."

"And you think it just?"

"I think it is not for me to pass judgment upon the working of God."

Is that a fair answer, or artful dodging?

Again the interviewer asked:

"Do you believe there may be near and dear ones of yours, reaching out, perhaps, for all that is noblest and best in life, struggling each day to gain the mastery over self, striving to attain purity of purpose to conquer weakness and inferior motives, who, when it is all over and the battle has been won, and won hard, will be cast into everlasting torment because they weren't lucky enough to be elected before they were born?"

"I have never had the question brought before me in that way," Dr. Patten replied evasively. "But it is before you now," I persisted. "Well," replied the doctor, slowly, "I should say that any one who could strive so hard after the good must be one of the elect." "The extracts from the Confession of Faith dispose of that theory," I said. 'Good works do not avail unless one has been chosen.'"

That sounds very like the reasoning of Jonathan Edwards on the subject of infant damnation and baptism, when he said that an infant, if one of the elect, would have the opportunity for baptism; and that while all infants who were baptized would not be saved, all who were not baptized were damned, as they could not have been of the elect!

But, as I remarked awhile ago, no one can begin to appreciate the abomination of these creeds, these doctrines, until he has some conception of what is meant by orthodox damnation. Now here is a picture of God's wrath and vengeance upon men. It is a passage,—a noted one—taken from the works of the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, and he is addressing himself to sinners. Now, I cannot help but believe that though men are sinners—notwithstanding that fact—I cannot help but believe that God still has some compassion in his heart for his children, sinners though they be. Indeed, if that be not true, then it seems to me despair must settle down like a black pall upon humanity; for if God loves only those who have remained without sin, how very few of his children he loves! While God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, I believe that he can have and does have infinite compassion for the sinner. He will never call your sin "righteousness." He will never compound a sin and say that it is less than it is. Always and everywhere God's law will stand pronounced against sin; but while he stands thus committed irrevocably against sin in all its forms, I believe that his heart goes out in compassion to men who sin, and he will save them from their sins as soon as they repent. When they repent he will forgive, and you will find, my friends, that the forgiveness of God is effective; it is worth something. It will blot out the sin, and cause it to be no more held against one who has repented. But now to this description of damnation by Edwards, who as I think gives quite a contrary view of God from that I have been presenting:

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. * * * You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful, venomous serpent is in ours. * * * You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it. * * * If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case that he will only tread you under foot. * * * He will crush out your blood and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments so as to stain all his raiment."

What think you of this picture of God, who is supposed to be a God of infinite compassion, youth of Israel? Was it not about time, since these conceptions here set forth by Edwards sprang from the creeds of men—was it not about time when such beliefs prevailed, that some messenger should come from heaven declaring that such creeds are an abomination in the sight of God?

Let us go on:

"Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen!"

I believe that is cruel. I think they ought to show us such places at least; so that if we had the disposition we could possibly avoid them. Of all the mean things on earth, that can be done, it seems to me, would be to lead one along the path where the pitfalls are covered. I would not like to believe that such a thing as that could exist in the moral economy of God.


"Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead and to tend downward with great weight and pressure toward hell; and, if God should let you go, you would immediately sink, and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you, and keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock. * * * The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped the more rapid and mighty is its course when once it is let loose. Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might and majesty and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you in the ineffable strength of your torments; you shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb; and, when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty."

Elsewhere it is said in effect that the saintly souls in heaven will not be troubled over the misfortunes and sufferings of the damned, but their very sufferings will increase the happiness of the glorified saints. The Lord deliver us from all such conceptions of either God or the saints.

Again I quote:

"It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity; there will be no end to this exquisite, horrible misery; when you look forward you shall see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts and amaze your soul!"

Well, we stand amazed now, that anyone could have such conceptions of God and such treatment of his children as this. But to continue the quotation:

"You will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, and end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this Almighty, merciless vengeance; and then, when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite."

That is what awaits those who are not of the elect; that is the fate that awaits the heathen, and without hope of redemption. Again I say, young people, youth of Israel, if God should ever speak to man at a time when such ideas obtained, when such creeds and teachings were in existence, would not the first word uttered be one repudiating these creeds and the institutions, the organizations, built upon these foundations, these creeds of men? Would not God's first word denounce these creeds as an abomination? Of course, it would. Humanity in its sober senses would be disappointed else. Joseph Smith was entirely right—or rather God was. The first thing needful was to brush aside the rubbish of the creeds that traduce the character of God and banish all the qualities of mercy and justice from the attributes of God, and his moral government of the world. Hence this message called "Mormonism"—this message from God—began with a denunciation of these creeds. God said they were an abomination in his sight, and I do not doubt it one moment. How could they be otherwise?

One of the best things that can be said about our "reviewers" here before us, is that they are better than their creeds. They do not say much about them. They know the people don't believe them; and a preacher's influence among men is in exact proportion to the distance he leaves these creeds behind him—to the depth of oblivion in which he buries them. I am tempted to believe some times that our reviewers, bad as they are—I mean that as a pleasantry—they are still too good to believe these creeds. What if they do, at their ordination, have to declare that they adopt the creed as their faith! I still believe that down in their hearts they do not believe them! "Well," one may say, "this may be a tribute to their goodness of heart, but what of their sincerity, what of their honesty?" I hope the inquirer will not press that point, I refer it to the gentlemen most immediately concerned—to our reviewers. The fact is, speaking of these matters in a general way—light, thank God! has come into the world and dispelled the gloomy prospects of the future as pictured by these creeds of men. It is a great relief to the world, brought about, to a large extent, by the revelations of God to Joseph Smith.

Part of the complaint of our Reviewers is to the effect that "Mormonism" adds no "spiritual truth to the aggregate of things already revealed;" that "Mormonism" contributes nothing "to reverence for God, or to justice and mercy toward men." The complete answer to all this is the fact that "Mormonism" enthrones again in the conceptions of men the true doctrine in respect of God. It enthrones in the conceptions of men the God of the Bible. It proclaims once more the high station of man; in that it recognizes and proclaims him the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ; as being of the same nature as Jesus and his Father; it opens up the pathway of progress, and points to the possibility of man rising to the same exaltation, and participating in the same glory as Jesus Christ and the Father. It banishes the injustice which the creeds of men would fix in the moral and spiritual economy of God, and unfolds anew to the conceptions of men the fact that, while God stands forever committed against sin, his love and compassion for his children endure forever, that his gospel is an everlasting gospel. "Mormonism" teaches to the world a larger hope than it before knew. It proclaims the possibility of salvation for all the children of men, and that so long as time endures the gospel will endure; that so long as men can be brought to repentance, the means of their salvation shall be at hand in the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are some things that "Mormonism" does for the world. These are some of the doctrines which it has proclaimed and emphasized, and which are finding their way among and are being accepted by the children of men. Moreover, the elements are so forming that it will yet be possible for a nation to be born to the knowledge of the gospel in a day. "Mormonism" is not going to fail. This work has taken such root and hold in the world that it cannot be moved. We have passed the day when we stand in any danger from persecution by violent means. We stand today largely secure from the natural effects of the misrepresentations that you gentlemen of the Ministerial association fulminate against us. This Church of Christ is beginning to come unto its own. I hear in fancy the tramping of thousands upon thousands of the servants of God among the nations of the earth, making proclamation of these grand truths of the gospel. I hear men casting up accounts, and searching out the "where" and the "whence" of the truths they have learned in this generation; and as they go on with the reckoning, they will find that these truths were revealed from God, of which his Church, and also we ourselves have the high honor of being witnesses.

Youth of Israel, be proud of the station which God has given you. Be fervent in faith; be high-minded in your aspirations, for there remaineth for Zion a glory, a development, a recognition in this world that shall more than repay our fathers for all the scenes of turmoil, strife and labor through which they passed in establishing and maintaining this great work. They shall have joy in their posterity, too; for we, their sons, will carry the burdens laid upon them; and Zion shall triumph; and the gospel shall be proclaimed and accepted; and the children of men shall be saved; and God shall be glorified.

[And now a parting word respecting our conference "Address" and this ministerial review of it. The "Address" was conservative in tone, truthful in statement, conciliatory in spirit, and intended to form a basis of a right understanding of the attitude of the Church. It explained the past; it expressed the intention of strict adherence to its obligation to discontinue plural marriages—and with that, in time, would pass away polygamous living—and declared its intention to abstain from interference in politics. That this was the spirit and intent of the "Address" cannot be questioned by those who have read it. It was a fair basis of understanding and settlement of our local difficulties. And in what spirit was it met, at least by this Ministerial association? By pretended distrust of its most solemn asseverations; by misrepresentation and unfair criticism; by sly innuendo of evil intentions on our part; by a hunting for a basis, not of justice, reconciliation and friendship, but the hunting of a basis for future agitation, turmoil and strife; and for what? Sectarian and political advantage, is the only answer; unless you add sectarian hate of a rival institution. What can "Mormons" do in the presence of such conditions? I can tell you what one "Mormon" will do. He will teach these reviewing gentlemen that the reviews will not be all on one side. That he himself will turn reviewer. And so far as the theological part of the controversy is concerned, these gentlemen shall have war if they want it—war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt, and that on every platform in the state. "Mormonism" here can hold its own. It does not have to apologize for its doctrines nor repudiate its principles. Its representatives stand ready, willing and able to vindicate its doctrines; and they have some knowledge of the nonsense and weakness of the reviewers' creeds. Pardon our seeming boastings, gentlemen, but in the language of Paul, "ye have compelled us."

Turning from you reviewers to all the people of the state of Utah, I can say to them irrespective of their creeds or political faith, that I have the utmost confidence in their fairness, in their native sense of justice, and love of square dealing; in their manhood and love of honor. And I know that they know that this local agitation by the Ministerial association, and disgruntled politicians, who cannot ride into seats of political preferment by virtue of the exercise of Church influence in politics, which they feign to denounce, but which they would gladly use to their own advantage, could they but fawn or frighten it into supporting them—I say I know that the people of Utah know that this agitation is unjust; conceived in spite and vengeance; brought forth of malice; and nurtured by hate. No conditions existing in Utah justify it. The spectres that are conjured up from the vasty deep to give warrant to this unseeming agitation are but foul creations of diseased animals, phantoms of disordered imaginations.

Fellow citizens of Utah, in my humble judgment, if we have regard to those things which concern our welfare, our well-being at home, our standing abroad, our interests in all that concerns us, we will discourage these agitators, and say, as we can say, to the troubled waves of our social and civil strife, "peace, be still."]


Joseph Smith's Doctrines Vindicated.


The discourses which make up Part III, deal with some of the doctrines advanced in the revelations received by Joseph Smith, and in his discourses, which at the time they were brought forth subjected him to the cry of "false prophet," and even of "fallen prophet" on the part of some of his former disciples, "pagan" and "blasphemy." Slowly, however, with the passing of successive decades, and building up a new and a less offensive terminology than the Prophet knew, a change has come over the religious and philosophical thought of the world, until today many of those doctrines advanced by Joseph Smith, the "Mormon" Prophet—without any intention of doing so, and indeed without any knowledge that they were doing so—are now being taught by leading minds and in some of our very highest institutions of learning. It is to point out this startling fact that the following three discourses are presented.


A discourse in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday afternoon, August 8, 1909. Reported by F. W. Otterstrom. The National Annual Encampment Of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Salt Lake City in August, 1909, and many of the veterans of that organization were present at the Tabernacle services on the occasion of this discourse being delivered and hence the reference to them in the closing paragraphs.


I presume, my brethren and sisters, that a very large portion of this magnificent audience is made up of those who are strangers within the gates of our city; and I doubt not but what, prompted by curiosity and interest, our friends are here in the hope of learning something about the faith of the Latter-day Saints whom, perhaps, many of them regard as a strange people. For my own part, if I could, I would like to respond to this curiosity or interest of our friends, by setting forth what message Mormonism has for them and for the world. I would like to speak, if I could, the choicest word that we have for them and mankind; but I stand appalled at the task that such a proposition presents to me, and I frankly confess my own inability to meet such an issue unless there shall be divine assistance rendered and God shall help by the inspiration of his Spirit. If he help, then of course we shall not fail; and if we do not fail, then to him let us accord praise and honor and glory, since success will be through his help.

In order to get this message of ours before you, my friends, it is necessary to refer to a little history connected with this movement called Mormonism. Perhaps many of you are aware of the fact—since many of you are well advanced in years—many of you are acquainted with the fact that in the early decades of the nineteenth century there was great agitation in respect of religion throughout the United States and parts of Europe; but more especially in that part of our own country known as the Western Reserve—northern Ohio; also in western New York; and the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In these sections of our country there seemed to be a great spiritual awakening—or, at least, so it was regarded at that time—and religious excitement existed everywhere. It existed to such an extent in some localities that even the ordinary pursuits of industry were interrupted while people assembled in great camp meetings to hear noted ministers exhort and expound in respect of religion. This great religious revival extended into western New York where the family of Joseph Smith lived, near Palmyra, in that state. His family had been religiously inclined for generations before his birth; and when this religious agitation of which I am speaking reached Palmyra, the family of Joseph Smith was affected by it. This young man, then about fifteen years of age, was also influenced by it; but his mind was sore troubled because of the divisions and contentions existing among the various sects of religion. There were cries of "Lo here" and "Lo there," as to Christ and religion; and even when union revival meetings were held, and the time came for the converts made by united effort to divide off into the various sects, then much of the good feeling that had prevailed seemed to be dissipated, and contentions and jealousies predominated. This young man, Joseph Smith, observed these divisions, and it seems as if the question of Paul to the schismatically inclined Corinthians reached him, asking this stern question: "Is Christ divided?" Will God teach one group of men one set of principles and order of church government and ordinances, and then teach another principles diametrically opposed? Is God the author of confusion?" And there was borne in upon his soul the thought that all was not well with the religions world. In the midst of these reflections he came upon the Scripture which after a fashion may be regarded as one of the historical corner stones of Mormonism, namely: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth liberally to all men and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."


Joseph Smith informs us that this Scripture became, to his soul, the very voice of God. In the light of it he reviewed the situation, and finally came to this conclusion, that if ever man was perplexed he was; if ever man lacked wisdom, he lacked it; if any man knew not what to do, he was that person. He had confidence in the Scriptures. The teachings of a sainted mother and of a Christian father had instilled that faith into his heart; and hence he decided, in child-like confidence, to go to God with this query: "Which out of all these sects is right? Which the true Church of Christ? Which shall I join?" Having concluded to put these questions to the Infinite Mind—to God—he retired to a grove not far removed from his father's house—still standing, by the way, unmarred by the hand of man. On attempting to engage in prayer, however, he found himself overcome by a spirit of darkness, and his tongue bound that he could not utter his thought. As he was about to abandon himself to seeming destruction, he beheld descending towards him a great, white pillar of light, and as it rested upon him the darkness was dispelled, and lo! in the midst of the light, which exceeded the brightness of the sun at noon-day, he beheld two personages, resembling each other; and one calling him by name, and pointing to the other, said:

"Joseph, this is my beloved Son; hear Him."

It speaks well for the intellectual texture of this boy's mind, that in the midst of these unusual circumstances he could still hold to the great thought that had brought him to this issue; and to the presence in which he stood. To the person to whom he was directed Joseph Smith put the question: "Which of these sects is thy church, and which shall I join?"

Now, my friends, bear, I pray you, for a moment, with the seeming harshness of the reply that was made to that great inquiry. The personage whom he addressed said to him in reply, that all the churches were wrong; that he must join none of them; that their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that they drew near to him with their lips but their hearts were far from him; that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men, "having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof." He was again expressly commanded to go not after them, at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto him.

That was a tremendous message to deliver to a world that supposed itself to be living in the full blaze of Christian glory! It was enough to appall the stoutest heart to be called upon to deliver it! But, my friends, Mormonism would have no right to existence unless such was the condition of the world. Of churches and creeds there were already enough; and unless there was some great, fundamental reason why a new message should be sent to the world, then Mormonism has no right to exist at all.

The vision closed, and the boy went with it to his friends, and out of it has grown what the world calls Mormonism. Now, let us talk about the substance of this vision a little while and see if we can not soften the seeming harshness with which this message of Mormonism begins: "The churches are wrong." But, my friends, the people then living were not responsible for those conditions. They had inherited them. Generations ago men had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant of the gospel, and formulated creeds which failed to grasp or record truly the central truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the nature of God, the relationship of man to Deity, or the purpose of man's earth existence. The false notions and doctrines that obtained respecting these matters our generation inherited from preceding generations. It was a case of the fathers "eating sour grapes, and the children's teeth being set on edge."


"The creeds are an abomination, and the professors are all corrupt!" That is a severe arraignment of Christendom. Do we mean by it that the whole of Christendom is corrupt? That virtue was fled? Of course, in a certain sense, all men have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. There is none that doeth wholly good, no, not one. All flesh is corrupt before God, in that it has in it an inclination to evil—a concupiscence to sinful ways. But that is not the matter in question here. No, my friends, we do not mean to say that all Christendom is corrupt, or that virtue has fled from the earth. I pray you regard the language more closely: "The creeds are an abomination;" the "professors are corrupt;" they "teach for doctrine the commandments of men." It is the professors that are alluded to here as being "corrupt," not necessarily the confessors, of the creeds; the "professors" the "teachers" of the creeds are corrupt. What, then, do you arraign the whole Christian ministry as being corrupt? By no means. We are ready to believe that many of them like their followers are men who strive earnestly for the truth, and desire the uplifting of humanity; but those who, in the ages gone by, could formulate such creeds as exist in Christendom, expressing such beliefs about God and about man, and the relationship of God to man; those who could formulate creeds that would eternally damn innocent infants; or that could forever close the doors of mercy against the vast majority of the children of God—as well those who have died in ignorance of revealed truth, as those who died in the knowledge of it but rejected it—in the awful dogmas of eternal punishment—men who could formulate such creeds as these certainly had minds that had gone awry, that were "corrupted," so they would not or could not see the truth. So you see the harshness of this message of ours narrows down considerably when you get to analyzing it. These creed-formulators were teaching for doctrine the commandments of men; they drew near to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts were far removed from him, they had reduced religion to forms of godliness merely. The ground had to be cleared of the theological rubbish that had accumulated through the ages, that the living rocks might appear, on which God should found his Church in very deed; and thus our message had to begin with this declaration concerning the status of Christendom.


Now something singular has happened in our time, in our day, within the past few years, and more especially within the past year. Ninety years have passed away since this first message of God though Joseph Smith was given to the world declaring the churches wrong; but, mark you, we did not sit in judgment upon the world's creeds and religions and religious teachers. We have not assumed to do that. Neither did Joseph Smith, he confessed his own inability to judge the matter, hence he went to God for wisdom. We think it would have been beyond the capacity of human wisdom to determine which of the sects or churches were acceptable to God; Or say which was his Church; but God was competent to sit in judgment, and he sat in judgment, and announced the conclusion, and made Joseph Smith and the Church of Christ, that grew out of his message—God made them the heralds of this judgment of his to the inhabitants of the earth. But, to return to what I was about to remark,—after ninety years have elapsed, something remarkable occurs, and that is a wonderful confirmation of this seemingly harsh message with which our prophet began his life's work. There is at present going on in the great Catholic church—that church which holds within her communion more than one half of all the Christians of the world—within her great organization is going on what is called the "Modernist" movement. That movement, briefly told is this: a demand is made on the part of many of her scholars and theologians for wider intellectual liberty, and that the church shall come out of the darkness of the creeds and symbols of the dark ages and live in harmony with the new truths that have been developed through the inspiration of God operating upon the minds of modern men, of our present-day scientists and philosophers. In order to be exact in the statement of the matter, permit me to read to you something of the program that is suggested by this modernist movement within the Catholic church; and let no one esteem it as a light thing, as a mere "crackling of thorns beneath the pot." Rome does not so regard it, I can tell you. We are assured by a writer in the North American Review for June of this year that this revolution within the Church of Rome is one of the mightiest revolutions since that one led by Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. The Catholic church has already noted the importance that she attaches to it by issuing what is known as the "Encyclical Letter on Modernism" by the present pope of the Roman church, a document filling about one hundred printed pages, in which the errors, or supposed errors, of the modernists are detailed and reviewed from the standpoint of the orthodox within the Catholic church. In each diocese a "committee of vigilance" is appointed to keep watch that whether in pamphlet, or book, or speech, any prelate or curate of the church should presume to be in sympathy with this movement, he might be instantly reported and silenced. Some of the most gifted men within the church have been driven into retirement from official life; others have been silenced; some have been dismissed from chairs of instruction in Catholic institutions of learning; and everywhere the bishops are called upon to exercise the utmost vigilance to keep down the throbbing, intellectual life of this movement.

Newman Smyth in Scribners for February of the present year gives the following account of the vatican's efforts at suppression of modernism:

"The vatican has succeeded in putting out a few scholarly periodicals; in their places others more popular have appeared. It has persuaded some enlightened teachers to relapse into the obedience of silence for a season, yet without actual recantation of their opinions; others it has forced to stand by their own conscientious intelligence before the whole world. It has prohibited the publication of some Italian magazines, only to increase their circulation. It forbade the faithful to read the 'Program of the Modernists,' and a new and enlarged edition was called for by the public. It enjoined the Bavarian bishops to see to it that the people read the 'catechism and good books,' and it obtained from the civil authority of Innsbruck the confiscation of a lecture by a modernist professor of canonical law, only to cause forty-three editions of it to be issued within a short time, and to lead many thousand liberal German students to organize a strike in behalf of the freedom of academic teaching. The index of prohibited writings increases; but it cannot keep up with the modernist press. In short, the Encyclical Pascendi, which aimed to destroy by a blow a heresy of the schools, has succeeded in creating a literature of it for the people. It commands the utmost vigilance in every diocese in searching out modernist ideas; and in Rome itself, under the very shadow of the vatican, a scientific-religious publishing society has been established, and its issues, increasing in power as well as in number, are now to be found scattered through many lands.

"Besides all this, account should be taken of the number of secular journals which are in sympathy, more or less avowed, with the modernists. An ecclesiastical authority which in former times could bind peoples and humble kings, has yet to show whether it is mightier than the power of a free press in a free state."

To the Encyclical letter that was issued by Pope Pius, the modernists themselves have made a most bold and fearless answer, and have published it, in connection with the Pope's Encyclical to the world. (See "Program of Modernism," Putman's Sons, 1908.) This movement, by the way, is described as "a clear call for the rejuvenation of Roman Catholicism." The modernists believe that the church, the Roman Catholic church, can harmonize its teachings with the thought of this present age, that the most ancient church can survive by becoming the most modern. The ambitious designs of the modernists may further be learned by the following questions they propound, and answers they make to them:

"At this moment (1908) pregnant with all sorts of moral revolution, when the intellectual world, still alienated from Christ and his Church, progresses in a hundred ways towards some undefinable renewal of spirit, we ask ourselves frankly, Is there in the Catholic church, in that great organism in which the religious spirit of the gospel has come to embody itself—is there a power of conquest or simply a conservative instinct? Does she still hide in the secret complexities of her wonderful organization, capacities for winning adherents, or is her vitality threatened by the germs of a speedy decay? Is her mission henceforth to be limited to a suspicious vigilance over the rude and simple faith of her rapidly-dwindling followers, or will she rouse herself to the reacquisition of that social influence which she has lost through long years of listless self-isolation? For ourselves we have long since answered this critical question. We have ever watched the aspirations of the contemporary mind with sympathetic interest; our hearts have beaten in unison with its glowing enthusiasm for the new ideals of universal brotherhood; and we have seen in all its movements the symptoms of a glorious revival of religion. * * * Speaking the language of our age and thinking its thought we have tried to bring it into touch with the teachings of Catholicism, that through such contact their profound mutual affinities might be made evident. We cannot believe that the church will ultimately reject our program as mischievous."

I only want to present these statements to you and ask this question: Why is this rejuvenation of the Catholic church demanded? Why this demand to forsake symbol and creed of the middle ages in order to come into harmony with modern truth as it has been developed by modern thought and science? Do not the questions pre-suppose that the church complained against is wrong in creed and doctrine and attitude towards progress? I may not go further into a discussion of this Catholic situation, because I want to call your attention to still more startling things in the Protestant world, especially in our own country.


There has been running through the current numbers of the Cosmopolitan magazine a series of articles by Harold Bolce on the trend of university teaching in America. Some two years ago, Mr. Bolce blocked out an itinerary for himself, having no less an object than a visit to leading universities throughout the United States, with a view to becoming acquainted with the trend of university teaching, and more especially with reference to economic, social, philosophical and religious subjects. As a result of that investigation he reports his visit through four articles of this magazine. I shall call your attention to what is said simply upon the trend of religious teaching within the universities. I read the following extracts from the August number of the Cosmopolitan. The article is prefaced with a note from the editor in which he says:

"It has been shown in the series of articles beginning with 'Blasting at the Rock of Ages' that our great universities repudiate the dogma and orthodox of the established church and proclaim a new religion divested of Biblical and church creed. Why do the most profound scholars in our institutions of learning undertake this revolutionary work? What do they hope to accomplish? * * * The answer is here. The schoolmen have placed Christianity in a scholars' crucible. They are determined upon reducing sacred institutions to scientific tests. The college men approach the subject with the greatest reverence. It is false to characterize them as atheists or iconoclasts. They assert that what we need is not less of God but more of God. They prophesy the introduction into the world of a system of belief superior to the Christianity of the ages."

Such is the editorial conception of the trend of teaching in our universities, on this subject, with Mr. Bolce's articles before them. And now from the article itself. I read the following:

"Instead of living in harmony with God, the church, the colleges say, has set up a celestial czar, a conception which has been an injury to man, because it has given him a sense of weakness, inferiority and fear."

That is the arraignment of the colleges against the teachings of the churches as to their conceptions of God. Now mark you, "The colleges say that the church, through its fear of new truth, has at all times been an obstacle to progress." Is not that a remarkable thing to say of the church of Jesus Christ that in reality ought to be in the very vanguard in the pursuit of truth and in the conservation of it?

"Dr. Andrew D. White, formerly President of Cornell university, says that the church in its apprehension of the progress of learning persecuted Roger Bacon, and by so doing did more harm to Christianity and the world than has been done as a result of all the efforts of all the atheists who have ever lived."

"Professor Borden P. Bowne, of Boston university, Professor Frank Sargent Hoffman of Union College, and scores of others, say that the church is the last to come into the possession of truth; that it often lags behind, even in the matter of the progressive conscience of the time; that it has had to recede from its position in every field of science; and that it is still receding and must continue to make way for the progress of truth in spiritual matters. For many professors assert that the church, as revealed by the outcry over the disclosures of what the universities teach, is still engaged in the effort to strangle thought.

"And as the opposition to truth, as it is claimed, is still the role of religious bodies, the inescapable duty of unfettered institutions of learning is to give the world a new revelation."

Joseph Smith proclaimed that need ninety years before these professors awoke to the realization of the need of a new revelation.

But to continue:

"The professors believe that civilization is under the domination of many false doctrines, and that the fact that these are held sacred is no reason why they should be preserved."

Not only do these professors—scores of them, remember—hold that the church is wrong now, but they hold that it has been wrong for ages. Listen to this:

"The present crusade of the colleges is surcharged with the conviction that the churches and church thought are not only behind the times but that they have, throughout the centuries, been an obstacle to human advance, and are even now the last barrier keeping man out of his true spiritual kingdom. They say that man has earned the right to know the truth, the truth that it will make him free; and that man's ignorance of his power in a world of spirit, where he could, if he would, be master, with all the harmony, health, happiness and abundance that that mastery implies, is the secret of the centuries of travail, hatred, wars and crimes that have cursed the world."

I shall trouble you to read but one more extract:

"This, then, is the announced justification of the college arraignment of many cherished institutions. The old indictment drawn up by irreverent critics against the church, is repeated with a new force and a new meaning. It is pointed out that it was religious Jerusalem, not pagan Rome, that clamored for the crucifixion. Motley and Draper and other historians have been cited in support of the teaching that the church in many ages murdered more people than it saved: And these victims were burned alive, strangled or beheaded, not for crimes committed, but in some cases for reading the Scriptures, or looking askance at a graven image, or smiling at an idolatrous procession as it passed. * * *

"But the college men are not blind to what the church has accomplished. In this phase of the subject they are peculiarly catholic. But it is taught now in practically all the departments of philosophy in the great universities that a new revelation is quickening this age, and that it is not only the right but the duty of the colleges to stand, if they can, as interpreters of the acceptable year of the Lord. Prof. R. M. Wenley of the University of Michigan teaches that we have every reason to anticipate great changes in Christianity. The world of thought is in progress of such profound alteration that orthodox belief can scarcely escape the transforming effects of the new idea of God. Hundreds of thousands of young men and young women in America are coming under the influence of the new university philosophy, and instead of being apologetic for the teaching that the God of the colleges is greater than the God of the church, the university philosophers look forward with composure and even elation to the ultimate surrender of what they regard as discredited beliefs."

In relation to the methods adopted by the churches for imparting religious truths, and enforcing religious living—the revival method more especially; and be it remembered that of late years many of the extravagances of this method have been eliminated since the boyhood days of Joseph Smith. Of this method of the churches, Mr. Bolce represents the universities as holding the following view:

"Professor Boris Sidis of the Pathological Institute of New York, who recently concluded a series of psychological experiments at Harvard, is ruthlessly arrayed against popular religion as expressed in revivals, and his findings have been endorsed by Prof. William James in an introduction to the former's published report. If there is in American university teaching a more fearless doctrine than the following as put forth by Prof. Sidis and countenanced by Harvard's leading philosopher, I have not yet encountered it: 'Well may President Jordan of Stanford university exclaim: 'Whisky, cocaine and alcohol bring temporary insanity, and so does a revival of religion—one of those religious revivals in which men lose their reason and self-control. This is simply a form of drunkenness no more worthy Of respect than the drunkenness that lies in the gutter!'"

"Professor Jordan," comments the Harvard psychologist as a result of his investigations, "was too mild in his expression. Religious revivalism is a social blame; it is more dangerous to the life of society than drunkenness. As a sot, man falls below the brute; as a revivalist he sinks lower than the sot."—(Cosmopolitan for July, 1909.)

Now, my friends, after that, do not complain of harshness in the message that Joseph Smith was commissioned to give to the world ninety years ago? He never said anything nearly so harsh as the American universities are now saying about the churches. It seems to me as if God had called from the high seats of learning throughout our land the most intellectual class in the world to confirm the truth of the message of His prophet.

The world despised the word of an unlearned youth upon this subject, albeit coming with a message from God—from the Highest Intelligence. What will they say now to the testimony of the learned—which confirms the message of Joseph Smith?


I do not want to take all the time, however, in discussing this negative part of our message. I desire to say something affirmatively, something that will dispel the gloom that this first part of our message is likely to impress upon the minds of those who contemplate it. In the affirmative part of our message we come to you with these glad tidings: God has again spoken. He has renewed, so to speak, official relationships with the world. At that time when men supposed that God had spoken His last word in revelation; at that time, when it was supposed angels would no more visit the earth; at that time when men concluded that the volume of revelation was completed and forever closed—in the very darkest hour of these great errors, lo, the heavens open! angels visit the earth; the American volume of Scripture, the Book of Mormon, the Scripture, of the old inhabitants of America, before they fell into anarchy and barbarism, when they were learned and enlightened, when they had communion with God and Christ, and received the gospel—their record is brought forth to be a witness for God; a witness to His justice, to His mercy; it came as a protest against the dark and awful thought that God could possibly leave a hemisphere to perish in ignorance of his mind and of his will, and of the gospel of Jesus Christ! In the moment when these thoughts had crystallized into dogma, God brushed them aside, renewed revelation, gave a new dispensation of the gospel to the children of men, restored divine authority, re-established the Church of Christ, deposited with her his revealed truth, and gave her commission to make proclamation of it to all the inhabitants of the earth—"to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people;" giving warning that the kingdom of God was at hand. Our message comes then with the announcement of these great truths; and Mormonism is this restored gospel of the Christ, this re-established Church of Christ, or nothing. It is not a new gospel, my friends, not a new religion. But the old gospel, the old religion and the Church of Christ coming forth under a new dispensation. We, equally with you of other Christian persuasions, believe there is no other name given under heaven whereby men may be saved except the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Christ. Therefore to us there can be but the one true gospel and one true Church. Not only this, but our message goes further. It comes to you with the glad tidings that God is still in the world, not apart from it, not standing aloof in unsympathetic observation of the creation of his hands—but he is in it. What men name divine immanence. His spirit permeates all the elements. "He is in the sun, the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was created. He is in the moon, and the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made." Also he is in the many blazing suns that we call fixed stars, and the power by which they were created. He is "the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things;" which is the law by which all things are governed—even the power of God." That is, to say, God through and by his Spirit is immanent in the world—in his world—the universe. The elements—the stuffs we call matter are eternal: and element united with spirit may attain to a fulness of joy; when separated they can not attain to a fulness of glory, nor answer the end of their existence. In this view "the elements are the very tabernacle of God;" or, as some of your scientists put it, "the material universe is but the garment of God." Under that garment is the living, throbbing, sympathetic God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being.

God is in his world reconciling it unto himself, and working out his sovereign will. But chiefly God by his Spirit may be in man, if man will but have it so. Yea, man may be, and often is "the tabernacle of God, even temples." There may be such an indwelling of God in man that God is very near to him and not afar off. Your life, my friends, and mine, may touch the life of God; his rich spiritual grace and life may pour into our poor lives, making them rich in deed—who, then, shall talk of failure! But let us see clearly here.

While our message proclaims God to be immanent in the world by his Spirit, and pre-eminently so in man—yet also does our message proclaim God to be a person. God, my friends, with the Latter-day Saints, is not a mere abstraction, an empty word without objective reality; a merely spiritual essence or influence; but, on the contrary, God is a person in the sense that he is an individual. He is revealed to us through Jesus Christ. We believe in that revelation of God that is to be read in the life and character of the Nazarene—the Lord Jesus Christ. To us he is the very image and likeness of God; nay, as the Christ was and now is, so God is! The Christ you remember stood in his resurrected immortal body before his disciples, out on the Mount in Galilee, where he had appointed a meeting with them. As he stood there, in all the glory of a resurrected, immortal personage, no more subject to death, he said to them: "All power is given unto me, in earth and in heaven. Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo! I am with you always to the end of the world." As the Christ thus stood before his disciples he was God manifested in the flesh. And as the Son is, so we are assured, is the Father—a glorious mighty intelligence of tangible reality, as much so as the Christ was there on the mount in all his resurrected glory—a being whose heart throbs in sympathy with his children. For his children! Yes, friends; this Mormon message bids us proclaim that the children of men are also the children of God, essence of his essence, and nature of his nature. Our message proclaims man divine, as also it proclaims God human—God and man of one and the same race! But God relatively to man, perfect; man, fallen and imperfect in his present estate, yet an heir of salvation and a child of God destined to become like his Father and Elder Brother, the Christ. You see I was right in saying that God is no mere abstraction with us, but a real personal being with whom we sustain very definite relations—the relation of child to father, with all the sympathies that grow out of the conception of that relationship.


One other thing that our message is burdened with is the immortality of man—a proper immortality, not merely and alone a continuation of conscious being after death, not merely a prolongation of life, but a pre-existence of life and intelligence before we tabernacled in the flesh. Our habitation was with God before we came to this earth. In our first, primeval childhood we lived in his presence, and have come forth from his presence merely to gain an experience in the midst of the conditions that prevail in this world of ours. We believe in and teach the immortality of man; an immortality that stretches backward before birth as well as forward after death.

Our message also proclaims the persistence of the individual. There is something in you, my friends, according to this Mormon message to the world—there is something in all of us, that was not created: and that will not die. Something that is indestructible and uncreatable; a something that must live, because it can not be destroyed—the soul, the intelligence of man. That entity, that intelligence—you—will not be absorbed, and lose its identity. You, friend, as an intelligence, and as a man shall live through all eternities. You, friend, shall accumulate experiences and grow in grace and knowledge, and power, and might and dominion, until you attain unto something that is worthy to be called divine—a son of God indeed!

On the day that you, our visitors, members of the Grand Army of the Republic—on the day that you parade the streets of our city, our Zion, and we shall note you as you go by—perhaps, with feeble footsteps and bowed forms, not with the elastic step of youth as when you responded to your country's call when the great Republic was in danger!—We shall look upon you on that day and note, perhaps, in our thought, the contrast. We shall think of you, my friends, in sympathetic mood; and we shall contemplate the time when these aged forms of yours shall put on immortality—when even these bodies shall give forth in the resurrection the vital elements essential to the manifestation of your spirits, in all the eternities to come. Our message, friends, reaffirms the reality of the resurrection from the dead. We are commissioned to say that though a man die, yet shall he live, and that eternally. Christ is our warrant for the reality of the resurrection of all men. You, then shall live again—aye and in immortal youth, and possessed of all the high powers of a glorious manhood. You will meet again the comrades and the old commanders beyond the heights, to hold your camp-fires and recount the glories of your victories for the preservation of our great nation. We shall think of you in this spirit as you march by, and our sympathies will go out to you, but we shall regard you as the children of God—immortal men! not only in history, but in reality. And what may not be accomplished in eternity, friends, under these circumstances? What may we not all accomplish in such a state as our gospel gives hope to believe in, through Jesus Christ our Lord? Think of eternity in which to live, with God for your friend, with good men for your associates, and eternity in which to work out the problems of existence—eternity!—its shining plane stretching out illimitably before you—I say, what may you not hope to achieve? At least development, intellectual, spiritual; at least growth, moral growth—soul growth, until at last, citizenship in the kingdom of God, sonship to God, and brotherhood with all divine Intelligences.

You see, then, my friends, this message of Mormonism, beginning so harshly, to what music it leads us! to what harmonies! We stand here, with you, panoplied in this faith, in these hopes, in this spirit of charity for the world. Our message is optimistic; we have glad tidings for the world, not a message of dole and damnation, but of assurance, of hope, and encouragement, an uplifting message. Mormonism proclaims the coming of a brighter day for the world—the long-promised millennium with the reign of the Christ—

  "The morning breaks, the shadows flee!
    Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled!
  The dawning of a brighter day
    Majestic rises on the world.

  "The clouds of error disappear
    Before the rays of truth divine;
  The glory, bursting from afar,
    Wide o'er the nations soon will shine."

God grant it, for Christ's sake. Amen.


Men the Avatars of God.[1]

[Footnote 1: The word avatar comes from the Sanskrit word avatara, and in Hindu mythology meant an incarnation; a manifestation of Deity. This discourse was delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Nov. 21, 1909.]

Early in the month of August, of the year 1909, I had the pleasure of addressing a congregation from this stand; and when the remarks I made on that occasion were published, those who had the publication in charge entitled them, "The Message of 'Mormonism.'" In part the remarks covered a review of a series of articles published in the Cosmopolitan Magazine during the early summer months, in which Mr. Harold Bolce gave the result of a two years' itinerary through the universities of the United States, pointing out the trend of religious and philosophical thought among the professors of these universities. On that occasion I called attention to the fact that the first great message that Joseph Smith delivered to the world: namely, that all the churches were wrong, and their creeds an abomination unto the Lord, received wonderful confirmation from the utterances of these professors quoted in the articles I name. That occasion in August did not warrant a complete or exhaustive review of these articles, nor did it afford the opportunity, for sheer lack of time, to indicate all or even the chief points at which modern educated thought sustained utterances of the great modern prophet. It is this theme which I desire to renew and discuss on the present occasion.

The question which I now propose to take up will prove to you, I think, that it is useless for the world to decry some of the fundamental doctrines announced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, on the ground that they were the utterances of an uneducated, obscure and ignorant youth—since, I believe, I shall be able to show you that from some of the highest seats of learning in the land there comes pronounced confirmation of many things our prophet taught; and hence that his utterances on the doctrine to be considered were not born of ignorance, but of inspiration from God.

In the Cosmopolitan for July, 1909, in the editorial review of Mr. Bolce's article, is this utterance:

"Many university teachers, while subscribing to doctrines akin to those of Christian Science, New Thought, and the Emanuel movement, are in favor of studying the forces of the spiritual world in a cold, scientific manner. Orthodox Christian dogma is regarded as at variance with its own principles and is interpreted in a new and revolutionary light. The professors' philosophy is purged of mysticism and blind faith. By moving their young students, they believe they will move the world, and so they are directing their energies to the scientific interpretation of those forces which are marvelously transforming our contemporary age."

Mr. Bolce himself, in further explanation of the attitude of many of the educators in the universities, represents Professor James C. Monaghan, recently of Notre Dame University, and formerly of the University of Wisconsin, as telling his classes, in regard to the adage "there is room at the top," that there is no top, "that progress—particularly spiritual progress—is eternal." The Latter-day Saints will readily recognize that statement as in harmony with "Mormon" doctrine. Continuing, Mr. Bolce says:

"Friends of the college philosophers insist that if there is a gulf between them and the people, it is because the masses have not yet crossed over into the life of progress and spiritual liberty. It is simply that the professors from the standpoint of their followers, are inviting mankind again into the fields to which the prophets beckoned the world centuries ago. The choice, it is declared, is either backward to the brute, or forward to the superman."

I think that the Latter-day Saints will also recognize in that a note of "Mormonism"—because they believe that whatever man may be today, whatever his excellence may be—even the excellence of the most highly developed men—we believe that there are heights beyond those which he has now attained, to which it is possible for him to mount.

I merely wanted to read those two paragraphs for the purpose of presenting the attitude of the professors, in a general way, in regard to the creeds of men and the existing Christian Churches. I now call your attention to some few doctrines that our prophet taught in respect of man. Of course, you who are familiar with Christian teaching of three-quarters of a century ago, will recall the fact that it was quite customary to represent man as a quite inferior, insignificant, poor worm of the dust; and the phraseology applied to him was that he was a creature "conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity." Referring to these ideas as something engrafted upon Christianity, yet foreign to its genius, Professor G. H. Howison of the University of California, in his contribution to the book Conceptions of God (1902) and speaking of those who hold and taught such views, says:

"Their monotonous theme was the inevitable greatness of the Supreme Being and the utter littleness of man. Their tradition lay like a pall upon the human spirit—nay, it lies upon it to this day, and it smothers now, as it smothered then, the voice that answers there to the call of Jesus." (p. 96.)

When the prophet proceeded with the deliverance of his message to the world, he departed from this view as to the essential baseness of the nature of man, and proceeded to proclaim him to be a son of God, not only through some means of adoption, but by the very nature of him. He proclaimed him to be an eternal intelligence as to his spirit, and that after the experience of the resurrection from the dead, he would be an immortal personage, a prince of heaven, an heir to all that God possesses, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ, capable of infinite progress and of amazing possibilities. On one occasion—to be more specific, in 1844—while discoursing upon the subject of man and his spirit, he propounded this question:

"The mind of man, the immortal spirit—where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning, but it is not so. The very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world! for God has told me so. If you don't believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. * * * We say that God himself is a self-existent being. Who told you so? It is correct enough, but who told you that man did not exist in like manner, upon the same principle? God made a tabernacle and put man's spirit in it, and it became a living soul. * * * * It does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man; it says God made man out of the earth and put in him Adam's spirit, and so became a living soul. The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-eternal with God himself. * * * God himself does not create himself. Intelligence is eternal, and exists upon a self-existent principle; it is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it. The spirit of man is not a created being, it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity."

Such was the prophet's teaching upon this subject. I might, however, supplement the above statement by quoting one of the revelations that also bears upon this theme. The Christian world are ready to accord to the Christ, the Son of God, an existence co-eternal with God; and indeed would consider it unorthodox to hold any other view than the co-eternity of the Son with the Father; and they quote in support of this view the very beautiful preface to John's gospel; namely, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. The same was in the beginning with God. * * * * In him was life, and the life was the light of men." And then later it is explained that this "Word" "became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth."

All orthodox Christians believe that this passage establishes the co-eternity of the Christ with the Father. Now, that is a very great doctrine; but I desire to show you that, excellent as it is, the Lord in our dispensation has added another truth to that one by what is said in the revelation from which I now read. Jesus Christ is represented as speaking:

"Verily, I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the first-born. [Now, mark you—addressing the several brethren who were present when this revelation was received]—Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is spirit, even the spirit of truth."

Meaning that part of man that is spirit, that intelligence, that thing within man that is conscious of its own existence, and of other existences; that has power to will and to direct and to do things; that thing within man that reasons and reflects and has memory; that being who, most emphatically, is you, yourself, and not the house, merely, in which you live; that, too, was in the beginning with the Father. And now the revelation broadens the truth beyond those to whom the Christ directly spoke at the time the revelation was given; for in a subsequent verse it says: "Man," undoubtedly meaning the race—

"Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

"All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is no existence.

"Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man, because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.

"And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation,

"For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receiveth a fulness of joy;

"And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

"The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples."

That is bold doctrine. When our prophet came with this splendid message to the world, he was met with the cry of "Blasphemy, blasphemy!" Three-quarters of a century have now passed away since these utterances were first given to the world; and I want to show you what men in the highest seats of learning have to say with respect to principles that are either identical with these, or closely analogous to them, though, of course, the learned men whom I quote may not be aware even of the existence of these revealed truths given to the world by Joseph Smith. They are not, of course, consciously bearing any testimony to the doctrines announced by our prophet; but they are bearing unconscious testimony to the truth; and I am glad to see the truth grow, whether by direct or indirect means. Sometimes I think that the indirect means that God is using for disseminating his truths are more potent and far-reaching, perhaps, than the direct means which we are seeking to use, and that God is using through his Church. But now to this record and what our learned men are saying on principles identical with or analogous to these. Professor Howison, whom I before quoted, says:

"Son of man, thou art the son of God. Rouse heart! put on the garments of thy majesty, and realize thy equal, thy free, thy immortal membership in the Eternal Order!" (Conceptions of God, p. 96.)

Professor Robert Kennedy Duncan, in the concluding pages of his The New Knowledge, (1905) says:

"Still another conception of the new knowledge is that of the vast stores of inter-elemental energy of which we live but on the fringe—a store of energy so great that every breath we draw has within it sufficient power to drive the workshops of the world. Man will tap this energy some day, somehow. * * * But now that we know, or think we know, of this infinite treasure-house of inter-elemental energy lying latent for the hand of the future man to use, it is neither difficult nor fanatical to believe that beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars. * * * 'In the beginning God created,' and in the midst of his creation he set down man with a little spark of the Godhead in him to make him to strive to know—and in the striving to grow and to progress to some great, worthy, unknown end in this world. He gave him hands to do, a will to drive, and senses to apprehend—just a working equipment: and so he has won his way, so far, out of the horrible conditions of pre-history."

I have been presenting to you in my discourse the words of our prophet. Mr. Bolce represents the professors of our American universities as saying:

"The professors see in man, and in man alone, the consciousness and power destined to sway the affairs of the world. Professor Munsterberg insists that the world we will is the reality, and that the least creature of all mortals 'has more dignity and value than even an Almighty God,' as that being is popularly conceived. * * * It is declared by the professors that if divine energy is divisible and man's spirit inferior to God's, the eternal future of the soul is unalluring. Christianity so teaches, they say, and is of all philosophies the most pessimistic. Forever in its scheme man is to be an underling. Not only that, but uncountable billions of souls—worms of the dust—are created doomed to perpetual despair; while a fortunate remnant's highest felicity is to gather around the throne of a superior and august God and chant his praises."

Then follows this contrast with the above view:

"Opposed to this conception is the new psychology that teaches that the spirit of man is the highest conscious expression of the infinite, and that by invoking the powers—the divine forces—resident in the human, all that humanity desires may be accomplished."

Thus complete does the divinity of man's spirit appear to these philosophers. Continuing, these views are expressed:

"The colleges in teaching this faith take ground with those who believe that in the emancipation and fruition of modern thought greater works than Christ did will be performed. It is, therefore, to rid the modern mind of this deadening effect of what they deem to be paralyzing superstitions that the professors attack orthodox dogmas."

"Far from deriding the forces of the spirit, the colleges proclaim that the laws of divine energy are the most important study confronting modern man. The professors take their stand with Professor Slater of Chicago University whom I heard emphasize with marked sincerity that the 'name of Jesus is not written but plowed into the history of the world.' Yet in their determination to approach the God-idea as scientists, they consider themselves more reverent than the great body of church people who, they believe, are indulging in idolatrous prostration and ritual."

In still stronger confirmation of Joseph Smith's doctrine, in language more direct, is the following utterance from Professor Herrick, of Dennison University, who says:

"Focused in the mind of man, therefore, are the dynamic forces of the universe. Beyond and above our most daring calculation is the potency of thought! And in the following allegorical words, the Scientist explained how the mind of man, assuming and asserting its power may absorb the fire of creative energy. 'The wood disappears in the grate, but the genial warmth pervades the room, invades our blood, quickens our pulse, wakens vital action, and finally is wrought into the history of our life.' If we keep in mind this picture of an element becoming transfused by natural processes into human life and happiness, it is not difficult to understand the scientific interpretation of prayer, of New Thought, of Christian Science, of the Emmanuel Movement, and similar forces marvelously transforming our contemporary age. As scientists, not as communicants at old altars, many scholars have allied themselves with the forces of spiritual health and healing."

And yet when the Prophet Joseph and the first elders of the Church taught that the world today was entitled to the enjoyment of the same "spiritual gifts," of forces that characterized the Church of Christ in the early Christian centuries, by which the sick were healed, the lame made to walk, and the power of prophecy and revelation enjoyed,—they were classed as presumptuous persons, and generally discredited; indeed one of the complaints against the Saints when settling in Jackson county, Missouri—1831-1833—was that

"These pretended to communications and revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by the laying on of hands, and, in short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the inspired apostles and prophets of old. * * * They openly blaspheme the most high God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by pretending to speak in unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and by diverse pretenses derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason."

This is from a document put into circulation by the Jackson county anti-"Mormon" mob, in the summer of 1833 (Evening and Morning Star for December, 1833). But now we find, according to Mr. Bolce's representation, professors in universities asserting their faith in the possibility of this spiritual force operating at present among the children of men, and incidentally, our author remarks, "These men are not dreamers; they are of solid mental mould."

As a result of man awakening to the consciousness of these indwelling forces, our author says:

"'Human society, for the first time in history, is coming to itself,' says Professor Edmund J. James, 'and is becoming conscious of definite ends and purposes toward which it is striving; of the possibility of setting up certain ideals toward which it can ever struggle.' And now that man has discovered that there resides in his nature a spirit of energy that is divine, the colleges say, and that he can summon it to work his will, the potency and future operation of this psychic force no man can compute. Science having found a way through psychology to God, the opportunities for the race, through invoking in the human consciousness the brooding spirit that fills all space, are absolutely infinite. Science, therefore, is demonstrating along new lines, or at least is claiming to demonstrate, that man is God made manifest!"

More than seventy-five years before this utterance of the scientist, however, there went ringing down the corridors of time these words of our prophet:

"The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples!"

Continuing, Mr. Bolce concludes his article on this theme in the following terms:

"And modern philosophy, as set forth in American universities, holds this incarnation not as a fanciful and merely beautiful ideal, but as a working and understandable principle in the soul of humanity. The professors, therefore, who are digging what they believe to be graves for dead dogmas, stand as exponents of the teaching that man is the embodiment and conscious expression of the force that guides all life and holds all matter in its course. Man has begun the cycle of that triumphal daring prophesied by ancient seers, and which appealed so potently to the imagination of Poe. Not merely in religious rhetoric but in reality the schoolmen say, is man the avatar of God."

That is to say, man is the incarnation of God, the incarnation of a divine spirit; his spirit is one with the Infinite Spirit, even the spirit and essence of God. Let no one hereafter say, when viewing the teachings of Joseph Smith in reference to the divinity of man's spirit, that his doctrines are merely the utterance of an ignorant, unlettered man, since the doctrines he taught three-quarters of a century ago, now receive this splendid, though unconscious vindication, through the utterances of the most learned men of our country and age.

The Existence of a Plurality of Divine Intelligences—Gods.

The trend of teaching by professors in universities of America is supporting the ideas expressed by Joseph Smith in relation to Deity; not by direct affirmation, of course, but by natural implication, they sustain his doctrines in relation to Deity. Let me call your attention to what the prophet taught on the subject of Deity, by quoting one paragraph from a discourse delivered by him in 1844. I think this one paragraph presents in one view the essential things the prophet had to say about God:

"What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth. * * * God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret. If the veil was rent today, and the great God who upholds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and things by his power, was to make himself visible—I say if we were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form, like yourself in all the present image and very form as a man: for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness of God, and received instructions from and walked and talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another."

This doctrine met with the cry of "Blasphemy!" even more pronouncedly than the Prophet's doctrine respecting the divinity of man. The general conception of orthodox Christendom in relation to God was that he was an incorporeal being, that he was without body; by which they meant that he was not matter; that he was immaterial and without form. They adopted the old pagan idea that God was without parts, without passions; that he was without quality, as a matter of fact, if these other descriptions of him were true.

What is the inevitable outgrowth of the doctrines of these professors in our universities, from what was said in part II, of this treatise? It is that there is in man a divine spirit: that man is "God manifested in the flesh." From this, the question very naturally arises: Do men as such become immortal? Are there any means by which men may become eternal entities—as spirits and bodies inseparably connected—immortal individuals? If so, would they be any less incarnations of a divine spirit in their immortal state than they are now as mortals? The answer is obvious; and if only it be admitted that man, as man, may become immortal, then the doctrine of Joseph Smith respecting God receives strong support by necessary implication from the aforesaid teachers of the universities; for if it be true, as we now are assured it is by these teachers, that "man is God made manifest;" that "focused in the mind of man are all the dynamic forces of the universe"—then truly it is that such doctrines cannot be far removed from the bold announcement of Joseph Smith, that "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens." To make complete the support of Joseph Smith's doctrines from the teachings of the universities, it only becomes necessary to say that the individual man persists; that he becomes as man, body and spirit, immortal. Let these declarations be made: The spirit in man is divine—he is an incarnation of God; man will become immortal. Say this and then the whole doctrine of Joseph Smith, both as to man and as to God, receives perfect support from the trend of university teachings, as represented by Mr. Bolce's papers here being discussed; and there is no escaping that conclusion. Hold to the first proposition, namely, that the spirit of man is divine, then the question resolves itself merely into this: Is there such a thing as resurrection from the dead for man? The Christ answers, Yes; and proclaims himself to be the "resurrection and the life;" and the "first fruits of the resurrection."

Paul most eloquently argues for the reality of the resurrection from the dead; indeed, his whole ministry had this as its foundation. You will remember how he argues the question in the 15th chapter of First Corinthians; wherein he masses the Christian testimony for the resurrection of the Christ; and after massing it he then declares that if Christ was not raised from the dead then the faith of the Saints was vain, and men were still in their sins, and were without hope in the world; for it is 'only through Christ that men might hope for the resurrection from the dead. Not only does the Christ and Paul argue for this great fact yet to be realized in man's experience, but you will find very many Christian philosophers who are contending today for the same truth. Among these is one who is among the first scientists of the English speaking people of today, Sir Oliver Lodge who, in speaking upon the subject of the resurrection, in his recent work, Science and Immortality, says:

"It is clear that Christianity, both by its doctrines and its ceremonies, rightly emphasizes the material aspect of existence. For it is founded upon the idea of incarnation; and its belief in some sort of bodily resurrection is based on the idea that every real personal existence must have a double aspect, not spiritual alone, nor physical alone, but in some way both. Such an opinion, in a refined form, is common to many systems of philosophy, and is by no means out of harmony with science."

That is the declaration of one of the foremost scientists of our day. Continuing he says:

"Christianity, therefore, reasonably supplements the mere survival of a discarnate spirit, a homeless wanderer or melancholy ghost, with the warm and comfortable clothing of something that may legitimately be spoken of as a "body;" that is to say, it postulates a supersensually appreciable vehicle or mode of manifestation, fitted to subserve the needs of terrestrial life; an ethereal or other entity constituting the persistent 'other aspect,' and fulfilling some of the functions which the atoms of terrestrial matter are constrained to fulfill now. And we may assume, as consonant with or even as part of Christianity, the doctrine of the dignity and sacramental character of some physical or quasi-material counterpart of every spiritual essence."

In other words, Sir Oliver evidently believes in something equivalent to the resurrection of man; that there will be some sort of quasi-material substance that shall form the future clothing of man's spirit, suitable to the future states of its existence and experiences.

Now, my friends, the point is this: If our professors, as we see they do, insist that there is incarnate in man a divine spirit, and we get men through the veil of death, and they become immortal men, possessing immortal tabernacles, what have you here but the "superman" of the professors, or the "exalted man" of Joseph Smith's doctrine? And if we postulate for these immortals, as both Joseph Smith and the professors do, a limitless opportunity for progress and development, then indeed it is not impossible that man may approach, somewhat even to the excellence of his Father, and of his elder brother, Jesus Christ.

This brings me to the consideration of another thought in connection with Joseph Smith's doctrine, namely, the doctrine that there is a plurality of divine intelligences in the universe—"Lords many and Gods many," as Paul would say.

It was supposed that Joseph Smith was guilty of great blasphemy when he announced to the world that in the great vision of God, given to him, he beheld two personages, each resembling the other, and that they spake to him; and one said to the other, calling the prophet by name, "This is my beloved Son; hear him." Since Joseph represented that there were two divine personages—Father and Son—separate and distinct, one from the other, he was charged with having uttered a great blasphemy. Such a statement was at variance with the orthodox conception of Deity. It had been held in the creeds of men—notwithstanding they professed belief in God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—that somehow or other the three persons of the Godhead were but one essence or substance; were but one entity, and not three separate and distinct personages or individuals. But if the doctrine considered in part II of this treatise be true as to the spirit in man being divine; and if that spirit goes through the resurrection and becomes an immortal personage—still divine—what is the result? The result must be that there are a multitude of divine intelligences; which is only another way of saying with Paul, and Joseph Smith, that there are "Lords many and Gods many." And so the inevitable result of the teachings in our universities leads to the support of this doctrine that was announced to the world by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that there are a multitude of divine intelligences in the heavens—spirits and angels and arch-angels; and Gods who meet in solemn councils—David's "congregation of the mighty," where God "judgeth among the Gods" to generate the wisdom that is present through the universe that has been brought from chaos into cosmos by the wisdom and power of these divine intelligences. But as "pertaining to us," there is one Godhead appointed to preside from among these intelligences—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And this Godhead, or grand presidency, does preside over our world and the spheres that are associated with it: with our earth and its heavens.

This doctrine of the existence of a plurality of divine intelligences has further support by a very eminent professor—no less a personage than Professor James, late of Harvard university. Within the year, his lectures before Oxford university, England, have been published, and this work bears the title A Pluralistic Universe. The outcome of Professor James' learned discussion of all the questions involved in this subject is to the effect that instead of the universe being, as he satirically speaks of it, when referring to the monistic view of it—"a solid block," it is a pluralistic universe. One of his passages runs as follows:

"I propose to you that we should discuss the question of God, without entangling ourselves in advance in the monistic assumption. Is it probable that there is a superhuman consciousness at all, in the first place? When that is settled, the further question whether its form be monistic or pluralistic is in order." (page 295).

This question as to their being a "superhuman consciousness" the professor decides in the affirmative as at least probable; and then he announces that the only way to escape from the inconsistencies of other theories "is to be frankly pluralistic and assume that the superhuman consciousness, however vast it may be, has itself an external envelopment, and consequently is finite" (page 311 ).

"The line of least resistance, then, as it seems to me," he adds, "both in theology and philosophy, is to accept, along with the superhuman consciousness, the notion that it is not all-embracing, the notion, in other words, that there is a God, but that he is finite, either in power or in knowledge, or in both at once. These, I need hardly tell you, are the terms in which common men have usually carried on their active commerce with God; and the monistic perfections that make the notion of him so paradoxical practically and morally are the colder addition of remote professorial minds, operating in distans upon conceptual substitutes for him alone" (page 311). Professor James also explains that present day Monism carefully repudiates complicity with Spinozistic Monism, "in that, it explains, the many get dissolved in the one and lost, whereas in the improved, idealistic form they get preserved in all their manyness as the one's eternal object. The absolute itself is thus represented by absolutists as having a pluralistic object. But if even the absolute has to have a pluralistic vision, why should we ourselves hesitate to be pluralists on our own sole account? Why should we envolve our 'many' with the 'one' that brings so much poison in its train?" (Page 311.)

Addressing himself directly to Oxford men on the movement of late towards pluralistic conceptions of the universe, professor James says: "If Oxford men could be ignorant of anything, it might almost seem that they had remained ignorant of the great empirical movement towards a pluralistic panpsychic view of the universe, into which our own generation has been drawn, and which threatens to short-circuit their methods entirely and become their religious rival unless they are willing to make themselves its' allies" (page 313).

The professor also insists that by taking the system of the world pluralistically we banish what he calls our "foreignness"—by which I understand him to mean our apartness from the world (i.e., universe).

"We are indeed internal parts of God, and not external creations, on any possible reading of the panpsychic system. Yet because God is not the absolute, but is himself a part when the system is conceived pluralistically, his functions can be taken as not wholly dissimilar to those of the other smaller parts,—as similar to our functions, consequently. 'Having an environment, being in time, and working out a history just like ourselves, he escapes from the foreignness from all that is human, of the static, timeless, perfect absolute. * * * * No matter what the content of the universe may be, if you only allow that it is many everywhere and always, that nothing real escapes from having an environment, so far from defeating its rationality, as the absolutists so unanimously pretend, you leave it in possession of the maximum amount of rationality practically obtainable by our minds. Your relations with it, intellectual, emotional and active, remain fluent and congruous with your own nature's chief demands." (pages 318, 319.)

We may not here and now, of course, enter into all the explanations and arguments that Professor James enters upon in treating this subject, but the purpose of his whole work is to establish the idea that the unity one discovers in the laws and forces of our universe, grows out of a "free harmony of individual entities;" that the absolute reality is a system of self-active beings forming a unity; and hence, he concludes the world to be "a pluralistic universe." With this view Professor Howison, of the University of California, if I understand him aright, in his contribution to a volume on the Conception of God, largely agrees.

To this may be added also the views of Arthur Kenyon Rogers Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in Buttler College recently expressed in a book entitled "The Religious Conception of the World," "An Essay in Constructive Philosophy," 1907. On the particular point in question, "the nature of the unity of God and of lesser conscious beings," he says:

"The modern world is coming more and more to feel that if there is to be any real body and permanent satisfaction to the spiritual life, it will have to be carried back in large part to the sort of experience that we get concretely and verifiably in our every-day human and social relationships. * * * * Now here also in the social realm there is a verifiable and significant sense in which we may talk of identifying ourselves with others. But it distinctly is not to merge our conscious lives into a single and inseparable whole of conscious content. Rather it is to work for common interests and care for the same things, to feel a concern each for the other's welfare, a respect for his character, a regard for the essential individuality of the other. Two things in this situation—and these two the most fundamental—are wholly foreign to an absolute merging and absorption. Love, as human love, presupposes necessarily the self-identical and independent consciousness of the one toward whom it is directed. And the moral life, about which some of the deepest values cling, in its turn involves alike a personal autonomy which absorption would destroy, and an extra-personal, an outgoing and unselfish concern for others, for which no converging of all reality to a single self-conscious centre could find a place. * * * *

"We have only, then, to extend this conception a step farther, in order to pass from what is merely an account of the social order to a philosophy of the universe. The ultimate way for understanding the universe is not self-consciousness, but a society of selves. But in this community there is one member who occupies a quite exceptional position. For God, as the inner reality of what we call the world of nature, stands clearly somehow in a special way at the centre of things, as human selves do not. In him there are summed up the conditions which are needed to account fully for the lesser world of our own more immediate social experience, since the lives of men confessedly have their roots in nature. In him therefore we may suppose the unity of the whole is directly reflected, and there are gathered the broken threads of the universal purpose as it appears in our partial and limited human experiences. But none the less, if we are to follow the conception, is he still only one member of the community, and not the whole sum of existing things. He exists as one whose nature needs the positing of other lives which do not come within the same immediate conscious unity as his own. He also is a social being as men are, and finds his life in social co-operation, though the complete conditions of his life may be eternally present to his consciousness as they are not to ours. But while his knowledge thus may cover all existence, the inclusion will be one of knowledge simply. My conscious life will still be mine alone, which no one else in the universe can directly share, not even God himself. No one else feels my feelings or has my sensations. * * * *

"And this is the position which has already been argued for in a preceding chapter. In other words, God does not create us by an arbitrary choice of his, so that our nature as human selves is merely secondary and derivative. This nature of ours is an ultimate fact of reality. It is implicated in the deepest constitution of the universe, in the nature of God himself. Reality is a confederacy of free beings; and no one of these is ultimately responsible for the others, since each alike is essential to the whole with which reality is identified."

From all this, then, it appears that the doctrine of a plurality of divine intelligences existing in the universe, as taught by our prophet, is receiving confirmation by the works and the philosophizing of some of the foremost learned men of our country, and, for that matter, of the world.

Perhaps you will be putting to me the question: What of all this? Why discuss questions of this character? What spiritual or moral force may one gather from a contemplation of such themes? Well, in the first place, to Latter-day Saints, those who have faith in the dispensation of the fulness of times and in the Prophet Joseph Smith—does it mean nothing to you to find the inspirations of God in this man confirmed by the conclusions of plodding philosophers who come trailing in seventy-five years after the words of the prophet have gone forth to the world? After he has been denounced as charlatan, as false prophet and deceiver, for advancing the truths we have been considering—does it mean nothing to you to find that the truths which he stood for are permeating the philosophies of men and are receiving the sanction and approval of the learned? It means much to me; it gives confirmation to my faith; and I rejoice in the triumph that the truth is achieving. Then to all, whether Latter-day Saints or not, it seems to me that to have fixed in the mind, in the consciousness, the thought of the reality of things—the reality of God, the reality of the divine in man, the consciousness that this spirit within us is of a divine nature, and that it is capable of attaining to something really good and great—to something really worth while—to goodness, power and glory, to have that thought present to consciousness, as we go about the duties of life—to feel that "for a wise and glorious purpose God has placed us here on earth," and has merely "withheld the recollection of our former friends and birth"—to be conscious of all this, I say, is to gather strength for the battle of life. To feel that we, in the essence of us, are one with God, and that he envelopes us closely about by spiritual influences that we can call to our assistances—to be conscious of the fact that our life is part of God's life—to be conscious of this is to banish from us the thought of failing in life. We gather spiritual strength, and force and power to meet the responsibilities and duties of life, by contemplation of these high themes. This is the practical effect of these doctrines—we know that our life touches the life of God; that our life is one with God's life, and this inspires to noble efforts, out of which may grow the highest and most glorious results possible in human existence.

Part IV.

Miscellaneous Discourses.


A discourse in the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle, January 16, 1910. (Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

"Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."

Such is the language of James, whose epistle appears in the New Testament Scripture; and the passage condensed simply means, of course, that an impure fountain sends forth not pure streams, neither does a good fountain send forth impure streams; such as the fountain is, such also is the stream.

I have been somewhat surprised, if not amazed of late at the bitterness that has been manifested in the discussion in our local prints, of some doctrines and some of the history of this great movement known as Mormonism. There has been lately a raking up of old past controversies, until one would think that we would be under the necessity of fighting again the old battles of 60 and 70 years ago; for this raking up of old controversies extends that far back with reference to this great latter-day movement. I have it in mind to make a little contribution to this discussion, from the standpoint of this text. Of course, it is said that the tree must be judged by its fruit; and that must be admitted to be a righteous judgment, because in all moral machinery, the effectiveness of it must finally be judged by moral results, and we could not, if we would, escape the judgment of the world, which will be pronounced upon the results of our religious and ethical system. But, while that is a most excellent method of estimating the value of any religious or philosophical or ethical system, it does not exclude the justice and righteousness of judging it from this standpoint of James, namely: Is the fountain, whence it springs, pure? If so, it were an anomaly, indeed, if the streams flowing out of it were not like the fountain—pure. So, for a little while, I am going to invite your attention to the spirit in which this thing the world calls Mormonism had its inception. This gives us the opportunity of briefly reviewing some things that are very commonplace with you, but important, nevertheless; and we may begin with that very wonderful incident of the Prophet Joseph Smith's boyhood when but fourteen years of age. He went as you know to the Lord in prayer, in response to the Scripture which said: "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." He became familiar with that Scripture, for it constituted, at least on one occasion, a text to a discourse to which he listened, and it became the voice of God to his soul. At last he put this Scripture to the test and inquired of God, with the result familiar to you all that he received a splendid vision of God the Father and of the Son, and received knowledge of the purpose of the Father to give a new dispensation of the gospel to the world through him, provided he should be faithful. Three years passed, and when reviewing the experiences of those three years, and calling to mind, as any lad could, the follies of youth, the light-mindedness and the foolishness of boyhood, a sorrow took hold of him as he made this review; and he wondered to what extent he had given offense to God. He besought the Lord in prayer again, in order to know his standing, with the result that a holy messenger from the presence of God visited him and made known his acceptance to the Lord, notwithstanding his boyhood follies, and assured him that he was still the chosen instrument in the hands of God for the accomplishment of his purposes, and revealed to him the existence of a whole volume of Scripture, being the word of the Lord as delivered unto the prophets living upon these western American continents in ancient times. Of course, I am not relating these familiar incidents in the history of the Prophet, with a view of imparting information as to these facts to you, but I simply want to call your attention to the course pursued by the Prophet, to ask you if this course is not altogether commendable in him; and so far as we have pursued the course followed, is it not altogether praiseworthy—this seeking the Lord and finding him? This guidance by the spirit of prayer? This was the spirit in which Mormonism, so-called, had its inception, so far as the Prophet was concerned; and now I want to follow its development a little further.

By and by, others began to participate in the development of this work. Among those who sought to be useful in bringing it into existence was the Prophet's own father. He desired that his son inquire of the Lord to learn what course he should take, and what was to be his lot and part in this work. The Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the following message, contained in your Doctrine and Covenants:

"Behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men;

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day;

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.

"For behold the field is white already to harvest, and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perish not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

"And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

"Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."

What virtue exists outside of those here enumerated and enjoined? What say you of this fountain—good, or corrupt?

By and by, but a few months after this, in fact, Oliver Cowdery came to the Prophet, he who was to be the Second Elder in the Church of Christ about to be established—a young man, a schoolteacher, a blacksmith, formerly a store-keeper—a variety of occupations of course impossible outside of frontier life in America, in the early decades of the nineteenth century. He had heard of God's dealings with this prophet who was being qualified for his great mission; and so came to him. He, too, like the Prophet's father, was willing to throw his lot in with the Prophet and the work that was developing. He, too, would know the will of the Lord concerning him, in his relationship to this work; and, now, what said the Lord to him? It is told in section six of your Doctrine and Covenants. It was given April, 1829, a year before the Church was organized; to Oliver the Lord said:

"A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men."

Observe how that prediction is constantly repeated in these revelations. One need only call your attention to the great latter-day work and its wonderful history, to prove the prophetic character of this repeated utterance in these early revelations. Continuing:

"Behold, I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.

"Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God:

"Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God;

"Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

"Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion."

"Seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

"Say nothing but repentance unto this generation: keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments and you shall be blessed.

"Therefore be diligent, stand by my servant Joseph, faithfully, in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be [in] for the word's sake."

Let us pause here and a little contemplate the striking sentences of this revelation: "Seek not for riches"—Why, we were told here but a few days ago, in our local prints, as about a year ago in one of the great magazines of our country, we were told that "lust of gold, not love of God," was the motive power of Mormonism.

"Admonish him [the Prophet] in his faults."—What! a prophet with faults? O yes; and to be admonished by his brethren? Yes. What humility is here required of the prophet; what frankness, what godlike quality!—"Admonish him in his faults, and also receive admonition of him. Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope and charity."

We are told, and it is charged in the old anti-Mormon books of fifty, sixty and seventy years ago, that these men were liars, intemperate, idlers, money diggers; that they were utterly untrustworthy; and, yet, get behind the scenes where the word of God comes to them, and, lo! the purity of the fountain whence Mormonism comes! And this was no playing to the galleries of the world, either. These revelations were not published to the world at that time, indeed there was no idea that they would ever be published. As the secret thoughts of a man is to his actions, so were these revelations to the Church.


With historians it is common to regard the laws that are enacted as being among the truest means of insight to conditions prevailing among a people; because the things that the laws forbid, or the things that the law commands are truly a revelation of the inclinations of the people. And so, too, the legislation of a people will reveal their aspirations, their strivings after justice and righteousness; and likewise the revelations which God gave through Joseph Smith, out of which the Church of Latter-day Saints has been developed, reveal the spirit of this great Latter-day Work, the aims and aspirations of the Church.

Again, the Prophet's brother, Hyrum, his lifelong companion, and fellow martyr at the last, in the spring of 1829 came from Manchester down to Harmony, upwards of a hundred miles, to inquire of the Lord. His brother Samuel had recently been in touch with Joseph and Oliver, and had received the testimony of the Lord that the work these young men were engaged in was true; and he had received baptism at their hands. It was he who carried the word up to the Prophet's father's home, that the brethren had received the ministration of John the Baptist, and had received divine authority to teach the gospel of repentance—the preparatory gospel—and to baptize for the remission of sins. And this occasioned Hyrum to immediately repair to Harmony to find out if there was a word from the Lord for him; and this word came:

"A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men."

"Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my word.

"Behold, the field is white already to harvest, therefore: whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.

"Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God;

"Therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive, if you will knock, it shall be opened unto you.

"Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.

"Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and, behold, the mysteries of God, shall be unfolded unto you, and then you shall be made rich, behold, he that hath eternal life is rich."

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so it shall be done unto you: and if you desire you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

"Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed."

The spirit of this is splendid, it is good, not evil. Contemplate these words to Hyrum Smith and you get better than any where else, perhaps, the spirit of Mormonism—"Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so it shall be done unto you: and, if you desire, you shall be the means"—of doing what? Revelling in luxury, living without the labor of his hands—be deprived of the blessing of earning his bread in the sweat of his brow—and participate in the pride and glory and honor and applause of the world? No; not so; but: "you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation."


The same holds good as to other characters who came dropping into the work. When Sidney Rigdon came with Edward Partridge—the latter the Prophet described as a pattern of piety and one of the Lord's great men, and of whom the Lord spoke afterwards as being like unto Nathaniel of old, because there was no guile in his heart. When Sidney Rigdon, in December, 1830, came to the Prophet to inquire of him, the Lord commended him for his past work in the Disciple's ministry, where he had been teaching repentance and faith and baptism in water for the remission of sins; and, now, the burden of the Lord's word in this man, Sidney Rigdon, was simply that hereafter his mission should be enlarged, and he should not only baptize with water but he should baptize now, also, with water and with fire and with the Holy Ghost. No promise of wealth and position; no worldly exaltation was promised to him, but warnings of toil and labor in the ministry and the opposition of the world. And, by the way, there is something a little interesting in this incident of Sidney Rigdon coming into the work. It is generally held forth, in the anti-Mormon publications, that Joseph Smith neither in his general information, nor in trained faculties, was equal to the task of bringing forth the Book of Mormon. They assumed that some more skilful man, some man better versed in the Scriptures and in history, and having more literary ability withal, was somewhere behind the scenes manipulating affairs to bring forth the Book of Mormon and the Mormon Church. But Sidney Rigdon did not come to the Prophet until December, 1830. When he came—in addition to what I have reported of what was promised to him—he was appointed to be scribe to the Prophet; and afterwards in all their labors and associations he held a subordinate position to the Prophet. At this time Sidney Rigdon was a man thirty-seven years of age; the Prophet but about twenty-five. We might ask our anti-Mormon friends how it came about that if Sidney Rigdon was the master spirit in bringing forth the Book of Mormon and the Mormon Church—"the real Mephistopheles of the blasphemous drama that was being enacted"—how comes it that after playing this part for a number of years, in secret when he comes out into the public light, with all his advantage of age, of education and experience and power as a public speaker, he consents to take second place in the great drama to be enacted—no, not even second place for that had been conferred upon Oliver Cowdery who had been ordained and sustained by the Church as the Second Elder of the Church, while Sidney Rigdon at his advent must be content with being the Prophet's scribe! Is there any consistency in claims of this anti-Mormon sort?

I come now to another matter. You have seen how our Prophet began his work—in prayerfully seeking unto the Lord for his own guidance, and ever, as men who became leaders in the movement, one after another, come dropping into the work, from his father and brother, and Oliver Cowdery to Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, and afterwards the same as to Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and all the rest—ever as they came into the work, it was always the same thing; he inquired of the Lord for these men, and received answers; he was prayerful throughout—this Prophet. In 1833 the Prophet himself went on a mission to Canada to visit some branches of the Church that had been raised up by the labors of Parley P. Pratt; and among the treasures of our Historian's office is the daily journal of the Prophet while on that mission—a little book—not so large, in thickness, at least, but a little larger in length and breadth than this small hymn book that I now hold in my hand; a journal kept in his own hand writing, that recorded the events of each day, the thoughts that were in his heart, and his method of procedure. I want to read a few entries from that journal to you; because our Church history, that is, as originally published in the Times and Seasons, and as published in The Millennial Star, does not contain all the entries of the Prophet in that journal; but in the recently published history of the Church, in the first volume of the six now published, these entries are to be found in the Footnotes. I want to have you follow the Prophet for a few days in his ministry, that you may know the spirit of this man.


"Oct. 5—I started on a journey to the east, and to Canada in company with Elders Rigdon and Freeman Nickerson. We arrived in Springfield whilst the brethren were in meeting, and Elder Rigdon spoke to the congregation. A large and attentive congregation assembled at Brother Rudd's in the evening, to whom we bore our testimony. Had a great congregation—paid good attention. O God, seal our testimony to their hearts." That is from page 6 of the manuscript book I speak of.

"Oct. 11—We left Westfield, and continuing our journey, stayed that night with a man named Nash, an infidel, with whom we reasoned, but to no purpose. I feel very well in my mind. The Lord is with us, but have much anxiety about my family." (Page 7.)

"Thursday, 24th—At the house of Mr. Beman, in Colburn, whence we left for Waterford, where we spoke to a small congregation; thence to Mount Pleasant, and preached to a large congregation the same evening, when Freeman A. Nickerson and his wife declared their belief in the work, and offered themselves for baptism. Great excitement prevailed in every place we visited. The result is in the hands of God."

"Friday, 25th—This afternoon, at a Mr. Patrick's; expect to hold a meeting this evening. People very superstitious. O God, establish thy word among this people. Held a meeting this evening; had an attentive congregation; the Spirit gave utterance."

"28th—In the evening we broke bread and laid on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and for confirmation, having baptized two more. The Spirit was given in great power to some, and peace to others. May God carry on his work in this place till all shall know him. Amen." (Page 16.)

"Tuesday, 29th—After preaching at 10 o'clock a. m. I baptized two, and confirmed them at the water's side. Last evening we ordained F. A. Nickerson an elder; and one of the sisters received the girt of tongues, which made the saints rejoice exceedingly. May God increase the gifts among them for his Son's sake."

On the 29th the Prophet's party started for home. "May the Lord prosper our journey. Amen." (Page 17.)

"Friday, Nov. 1—I left Buffalo. New York, at 8 o'clock a. m. and arrived at my house in Kirtland on Monday, the 4th, 10 a. m., and found my family well, according to the promise of the Lord in the revelation of October 12, for which I felt to thank my heavenly Father."

Now, my friends, this is but a few days with the Prophet. You may follow him throughout his career—in freedom and in bonds, in the midst of his joys and in the darkness of his sorrows; you shall find this same prayerful attitude towards God—always thanksgiving for blessings, cries for help in his hour of need, and always prayers for divine guidance when unfolding the great organization of the Church of Christ. Tell me—is the spirit in which this man labored, evil or good? Is this the course of a libertine and a liar? Or, is it the course of a righteous man? To me there draw tremendous consequences in connection with this course of our Prophet; and the importance of these consequences will appeal to you, I think, when I call your attention to them. When you see this man so constantly seeking communion with God, seeking for guidance and help—if God came not to his help, and did not guide him, then what hope may men entertain that God will hear prayer at all? Or give divine guidance to those who seek it? If I could be persuaded that God did not hear and answer the prayers of this man—beginning in his innocent boyhood, and continuing to his martyr, cry "O Lord, my God!"—if God, I say, did not hear him, and did not walk beside him and guide his footsteps, I would say to all the world: Your prayers are but mockeries; your heaven above you is brass; the earth under your feet is iron. Cease from prayer; become self reliant, and do the best you can by your own inherent strength; develop such human wisdom as you may, and walk in its light, for it is all there is—your cries for help and guidance cannot penetrate the heavens, and there is no God to hear or help you!

But, of course, believing, as I do, that God responded to the heart-cries of the Prophet, to his prayers, I say to all men—Behold the result of Joseph Smith's praying in the achievements of his life's work! In this circumstance we may find encouragement to believe that God will both hear and answer prayers, and help all to know the truth and walk in its light, who seek for it.

But notwithstanding the fact that this great latter-day work called Mormonism had its inception in this prayerful spirit—this manifest hungering and thirsting after righteousness; notwithstanding all who sought to be helpful in it, and to be identified with its development were sternly bidden to keep the commandments of God; that faith, hope, charity, temperance, chastity and patience were required qualities; that they must seek for wisdom, not for riches—"the laborers in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish" (II Nephi 26:51); notwithstanding the stream called Mormonism arises from so noble and pure a fountain, how greatly has it been defamed either through misconception of it, or through malice, and the motives of its founders misrepresented!

Only a short time ago, no later in fact than last Thanksgiving day, a minister in preaching what I think, in the main, must have been a very excellent discourse, took occasion to glance in our direction, and say what I think was one of the unkindest things that could be said of the Latter-day Saints. I will read to you what the press reported the gentleman as saying. You know the local press of our city, now and then, becomes wonderfully agitated about our paying tithes and offerings to the Church; and, really, if you read those reports and did not know better you would think the Latter-day Saints were a community that were impoverishing themselves by carrying on the work of the Lord. This minister referred to that, and what he says on that particular point is rather refreshing, and I commend it to the attention of the local paper in question:

"One of our local papers has assigned, as one of the reasons of the so-called poverty and handicap of the Mormon people, the collection of tithes. We think the paper in error in this, for we ourselves are in favor of the tithes and have practiced it for the past twenty years. The children of Israel were never so prosperous as when they brought the tithes and offerings to the treasury of the Lord;"—and everybody that is acquainted with the history of Israel knows that to be true. "The true cause of this so-called poverty and handicap, of course, is not in reference to the tithes, but the low ideals in the homes and the lack of respect for woman. As the earthly, home is lifted it becomes nearest like the home beyond the skies, the final home of the soul."


I say that the charge made as to "low ideals in the homes, and the lack of respect for woman," is the unkindest thing that could be said of the Latter-day Saints, or, really, of any people. It would be the saddest commentary that could be made on any system if it were true; but I resent it as a charge against my people, and say that it is untrue; and on the contrary affirm that the gospel of Jesus Christ, the new dispensation of it committed to this world through the ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith, teaches the highest respect for woman that may be described by human speech or wrought into practice. There is no people in the world that so religiously and absolutely believe that doctrine of Paul's that in God's economy of things "the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord." Some, through misrepresentation, have charged that we believe this doctrine so absolutely as to hold that there is no salvation for man or woman outside of the marriage relation. Of course, that is an extreme to which we do not go. We believe—at least, permit me to say that I believe, and I think I have warrant for such belief in the principles of our faith, that it is possible for either man or woman to be saved without marriage at all. It is possible for a man to be saved with one wife, and, if you will just be patient enough to let me say it, if we may here regard the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures, which speak of Abraham as having a place in the kingdom of God—nay, his very bosom is the goal to which all Christian eyes turn, where they hope to find peace and heavenly rest—and if we believe this of Abraham, we may be justified in believing it possible for a man to be saved though he should happen to have more than one wife. But instructed by our faith, we so honor woman that we hold that man cannot attain to the heights of exaltation and glory possible to the intelligences we call men only as he shall be holily joined with woman in divinely appointed wedlock, for in that state, and that state only, is the power of eternal lives, and increasing glory, and dominion, and exaltation. No man may attain unto these high things only as he is united with woman in holy marriage.

I accept all that the reverend gentleman says of the beauty and blessedness of the home. It is indeed, from the Mormon viewpoint, the principal factor of civilization; the spring and source of national life and greatness and stability. And, as our reverend friend remarks, "as the earthly home is lifted it becomes nearest like the home beyond the skies, the final home of the soul." A very pretty sentiment, truly, and Mormons believe in it so absolutely that they look forward to the actual existence of the family "beyond the skies," or at least in heaven—through all eternity—that they even now make their marriage vows and covenants with reference to that status—the eternal perpetuation of the family. They are not content to have the marriage ceremony end with that doleful note from the tombs—"until death does you part!" but rejoice rather in the blessed words of their God-given ceremony—the inspiring words of life and joy and hope—"I pronounce you man and wife through time and all eternity!" To those who express the fear that all this is too concrete, to matter-of-fact, too sensual, we answer that such has been the refining influence of woman upon man, developing the purest and best part of his nature; such has been the influence of the home upon civilization in this world, that we cannot believe but what the joys of heaven will be heightened and rendered purer by it, and even conception of its community life must be made grander by thinking of it as made up of indestructible families. Hence our hopes and holiest aspirations are associated with the family—in which woman is necessarily a chief and honored factor in this world and in that which is to come. And not only is this our hope for the future, but we believe it is a condition prevailing in all past eternities, as note one of our hymns:

  "In the heavens are parents single?
    No, the thought makes reason stare;
  Truth is reason, truth eternal
    Tells me I've a mother there.

  "When I leave this frail existence,
    When I lay this mortal by,
  Father, Mother, may I meet you
    In your royal courts on high?

  "Then at length when I've completed
    All you sent me forth to do,
  With your mutual approbation,
    Let me come and dwell with you?"

I challenge the Christian world to equal—to say nothing of surpassing—this conception of the nobility of woman and of motherhood and of wifehood—placing her side by side with the Divine Father—consort and Mother of divine intelligences—the spirits of men. Some object to that conception, and undertake to detract from its beauty and glory by saying that it presents to the thought a pluralistic Deity, consisting of divine Father and divine Mother. That, however, is a consequence they attach to our faith, not a principle that we accept; because the Godhead, for us, as all those who are acquainted with our doctrines know, consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, the grand creating and presiding, divine Council that upholds and sustains and guides the destiny of our earth and its associated spheres. These gentlemen who are so fearful of a pluralistic deity and universe being thought of, would do well to stand out a little upon the frontier of the highest Christian thought of our age, and they will discover that many of our first and greatest philosophers are beginning to teach the doctrine that so far as the infinite or the absolute exists, it exists in a plurality of divine intelligences; and that the oneness of God is but the free harmony of divine intelligences. And, then, for matter of that, so long as the Christian world teaches that in the Godhead are three personalities—the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit—they will try in vain to get away from the conception of a pluralistic deity.

And now, I am about to violate what some regard as the canons of good taste in public speaking, by making reference to a matter quite personal. But what I am about to present meets this charge of "low ideals in the home—and the lack of respect for woman"—I say the thing I have in mind so completely meets this issue that I am even going to venture upon something some what personal.

It has been my custom, now, for quite a number of years, on the anniversary of my mother's birth, and on the anniversary of my own birth, to either visit her in person and chat with her, or else, if away from her home, to write her a communication. Four years ago, not being able to reach her, on the anniversary of my own birth, I sent her the following communication, written in honor of women—in honor of her—my mother. I now read it to you. I gave it a title, calling it


"Next to her holy office of wifehood and motherhood, the most exalted honor Deity ever conferred on woman was that of making her his first messenger of the resurrection; and, in its most emphatic form at least, the messenger also of the beautiful doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. The manner of conferring this high and sacred commission upon woman was as follows—the account is John's:

"The Christ had been crucified and laid in the new sepulcher provided by Joseph of Arimathea. Then early in the morning of the third day after the crucifixion, came Mary of Magdala to the sepulcher and found it empty; whereupon she ran and, informed Peter and John that the body of Jesus had been taken away. There was a hasty and excited visit to the sepulcher, and, on the part of Peter and John, a hasty departure. But Mary lingered near the vacant tomb. This was where she had last seen him whom she loved—here she must begin her search for him—and she will search for him, for it is woman's nature to hope—O glorious inconsistency!—against hope itself. And she was rewarded for her love that made her linger, though it was by an empty sepulcher; for soon angels said to her, 'Why weepest thou?' and Mary said, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.' And then one greater than the angels stood by her, and said, 'Why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?' Then she:

"'Sir, if thou have born him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.'


"'Rabboni,' with arms extended—

"'Touch me not,' gently, lovingly, not harshly said—'Touch me not; for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascended unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and to your God.'

"Commissioned so, Mary told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, 'and that he had spoken these things unto her.'

"And thus to a woman was it first given to carry the glad message fashioned first by angel's tongues—'He is risen!' As also the message that the Christ's Father is man's Father; that the Christ's God is man's God; and that in consequence of this, all men are brethren.'

"Many eulogies have been written in thy praise, O woman! Much honor accorded thee in God's economy of the world. But here thy glory—under the limits of our opening sentence—attained its flood tide. Never wast thou so honored before; never, so far as human ken may see, wilt thou be more honored. Indeed, how couldst thou be? What concerns the world more to know than what is comprised in thy message—Christ is risen; his Father is man's Father; his God, man's God—all men are brethren! This the sum of the law and the gospel—all else commentary. And thou, O woman! the messenger of these glad tidings! How honored wast thou! Even the glory of being 'last at the cross, and earliest at the tomb,' is eclipsed by the honor of being herald of this. Cherish thou this honor. Claim it in all its Christ-given splendor; for it is fitting that thou unto whom it is first given to know human earth-life perennial, should be made herald of life immortal, and declare also its great source, and its relations. And thus wast thou honored of Deity, O Mother of human life—herald of life immortal! and of common fatherhood and brotherhood for human race. I am taught by these high things to honor thee, and here uncovered and holily I reverence pay thee."

That was sent, on the 13th of March, 1906, to my mother. It was not written with any intent, the remotest, for publication; and while it may lack very much of excellence and come far short in worthiness of the high theme with which it deals; yet whatever its defects may be, it is not lacking in appreciation and honor of woman. It is the result of much thought and reflection, of one born and reared in the Mormon system; such sentiment of respect and honor as it breathes for woman in her high offices is taught to me by my Mormon faith, letter and spirit. If anyone shall say in controversion of this that my brief treatise deals with New Testament facts, such an objector must be reminded that my Mormon faith teaches me the acceptance of both Old and New Testaments as "the word of God," a fact too frequently overlooked by our critics; and from them, as other books containing revelations from God, I learn my Mormonism.

A few days ago, she to whom the above words were written, breathed out her life in my arms; and yesterday we stood by the open grave while friends and kindred laid this honored woman to rest. I am still in the atmosphere of these things; and from the midst of these holy associations, I denounce as false—I hope it was not maliciously made—the charge that the Mormon faith gives out "low ideals in the home and lacks in its respect and honor for woman." The charge is not true.


A word, in conclusion, on the proper limits of religious controversy. In 1824 Robert Southey, Esquire, poet laureate of England at the time, wrote a book under the title "The Book of the Church." It was a defense of the Protestant position with reference to the holy Scriptures, and a comparison of the respective attitudes of Catholics and Protestants in relation to them. The book was replied to by Charles Butler, Esquire, a Roman Catholic; and in the preface of his book, which he dedicated to Charles Blundell, Esq., he says:

"I willingly admit that to produce against our creed or conduct all that research and fair argument can supply, is legitimate controversy; but surely to conceal our merits or to represent them very briefly and imperfectly, and to display our defects at length and with the highest coloring; to impute to our general body what in justice is only chargeable on individuals; or to estimate the writings or actions of our ancestors in the dark ages by the notions and manners of the present age, is a crying injustice."

That states a true principle, and registers a just complaint. It voices a protest that precisely fits our case. In the controversy waged against us our merits, both as to doctrine and as to practice, are either concealed or represented very briefly and imperfectly, while our defects are displayed at length and with the highest coloring; to the general body of the Church is imputed what, in justice, is only chargeable on individuals; and I may add to this enumeration that we are judged as to our settled convictions and established sentiments respecting our relation to our fellow citizens, not of our religious faith, and our attitude as citizens of the great republic, our country, by the ill-advised and sometimes harsh expressions of some leading men when in a state of irritation and disturbance; thus contravening the principle long since laid down by Edmund Burke and quite generally accepted that—

"It is not fair to judge of the temper or the disposition of any man or set of men when they are composed and at rest from their conduct and expressions in a state of disturbance and of irritation."


Now, of course, as I stated in the commencement of my remarks, the moral machinery of any system will be judged by the moral results of it. We recognize the fact that a beautiful and perfect life is unanswerable in support of a system that produces it; and yet while exalting this species of evidence in vindication of a system, human nature ought to be taken into account, for a perfect and beautiful life in any system is rather a rarity, even among the early Christians who were called saints it was so. They were not called saints because, good souls, they were such; that is, in the sense of being perfect; but they were called saints because they aspired to be such; because of their struggles after righteousness. A close inquiry into their lives, however, will demonstrate the fact that they were made of much the same stuff that enters into our composition—that they were men of like passions and weaknesses with ourselves, and fell far below the great ideals set up by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am not putting this forth as a plea of justification for any failures on our part. I am willing that this tree of Mormonism should be judged by its fruits absolutely, and let it stand or fall by that test. But, what I do object to is the course so often pursued by our critics. That course is as if one should go into an orchard of twenty or fifty acres of fruit-bearing trees, and should seek out and find here and there—as one may, even in the best of orchards—the wind-beaten, blasted, mildewed, dwarfed, or shrunken fruit, and carefully raking this together, represent that as the fruit of the orchard! Whereas the facts are that there are scores of tons of beautiful, ripe and perfect fruit that is a credit to the orchard and to the husbandman of it. Yet all that is passed by, and you are asked to judge the orchard by the blasted specimens that have been raked together.

So in this work called Mormonism. Let our critics take into account the rich harvest of righteous souls that this system has produced; and the present upright and honorable men and women of our system, and judge not the people by those who have failed to reach the high ideals that Mormonism holds up as the goal of moral and spiritual achievement, and who fail because they depart from our principles and the practices they enjoin.

My brethren and sisters, I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. So far as it is possible for the soul of man to be conscious of the truth, I am conscious of the truth of this great latter-day system. I love it with all my heart. There is no heart-throb of mine, no matter how far short I may come in meeting the high requirements of the gospel—there is no heart throb of mine that does not pulsate with love for this work. I believe it true—nay, I know it to be of God. The fountain whence it springs is pure. The water flowing from that fountain, the streams, are also pure, in the name of God, Amen.


An address delivered at Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, March 19, 1911, following a discourse delivered by Elder Charles W. Penrose, of the Council of the Twelve. (Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


My brethren and sisters, I greatly rejoice in these sublime principles expounded by our beloved brother and, now these many years, prominent elder in the Church, Charles W. Penrose. While listening to him on this occasion, I thought of the very many times I have had the opportunity of so listening to him and being instructed in these principles which concern the salvation of men. I remarked to Elder George Albert Smith, by whom I sat during the discourse, how much the youth of Israel, how much the present living membership of the Church of Latter-day Saints, and the many thousands that have passed away—how much we all owe to the faithful service of this witness for God! I felt that I wanted to acknowledge my own indebtedness to him for the service that he has rendered to the Church and to the world. I feel in my heart to thank God for his ministry, for the gifts of his mind. I thank the Lord that the Spirit of God has touched his understanding with inspiration to our edification for, lo, these many years. Those are my sentiments towards Brother Charles W. Penrose. The Lord bless him.

While contemplating the duty of speaking to this congregation, a duty that arises out of the appointment I received to be in attendance upon this conference, and while listening to the discourse just closed, I came to the conclusion that it is almost as important to tell the world what we do not believe as it is to tell them what we do believe. Really, there is great strength at times in a negative statement, a disclaiming of certain doctrines which we are slanderously reported to believe, but in which we do not believe. The force of this negative statement has been recognized by all the great councils of the Catholic church at least, from the first unto the last. Upon every formal announcement of dogma, by the councils of that church, there has been attached an anathematizing clause. For illustration, in the great council of Nicea, held early in the fourth century of the Christian era, after defining the doctrine concerning the nature of God and the relationship of the persons of the holy trinity, the Catholic church added this clause:

"But those who say that there was a time when he [the Son] was not, and that he was not before he was begotten, and that he was made of nothing, or affirm that he is of any other substance or essence, or that the Son of God is created and mutable or changeable, the Catholic church doth pronounce accursed."


And again, in the council of Trent, held in the sixteenth century, in defining the doctrine of justification, which was then in debate, and was one of the points of difference between the Protestants and the Catholic church, after defining the doctrine of justification, the Church said:

"If any one shall say that the sinner is justified by faith alone in the sense that nothing else is required, which may cooperate towards the attainment of the grace of justification, and that the sinner does not need to be prepared and disposed by the motion of his own will, let him be accursed."

And so the last council held by that church, known as the Vatican council, held in the closing months of 1869, and in the first months of 1870, defining the infallibility of the bishop of Rome, the pope of the Catholic world, the anathematizing clause stands as follows:

"But if any one, which may God avert, presume to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema."


I read these statements to show you that the negative statement is recognized as possessing great force; for these anathematizing clauses in the announcement of the councils are inserted to guard the Roman Catholic faith from error. I am of the opinion, let me repeat, that a negative statement by us, concerning some things that we do not believe, would have a certain force, and I am going to try to make an application of this principle just a little this afternoon, though in a somewhat informal way.

To begin with, take this doctrine so ably expounded by Elder Penrose in relation to our belief in God and in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost, the trinity of the Holy Scriptures and of our faith. We profess faith in that Godhead, and to that Godhead alone do we pay divine honors in holy worship; but it is extremely difficult to get the people of the world to believe that we are thus far Christians. We are accused, in some cases, of man-worship; we are sometimes accused of worshiping Joseph Smith. Because we proclaim his mission and the divinity of it, and say that through him there has been restored to the earth divine authority to speak and act in the name of this Godhead whom we worship—because we have emphasized his mission and have insisted upon its divinity—because we speak much about it and write much about it—the world has accused us of worshiping Joseph Smith; but that is not true. We worship this Godhead of the Christian scriptures alone; and if we may not say because of Christian charity, let him who accuses us of worshiping other God than this be anathema, let us at least say to those who assert that we worship other Godhead than the Godhead of Holy Scripture, that they misrepresent and slander their "Mormon" brethren.

So also in relation to our belief in the Savior of men. It has been explained here by Elder Penrose that we believe and accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Savior of men; that he was and is the Son of God, whom God gave to the world, that through faith in him, and obedience to his gospel, the world might be saved; and let those who say that we look to other source and have other expectations of salvation, than through him and his power, let them also know that they, at least, misrepresent the Latter-day Saints.


Another matter, in connection with this, might be dwelt upon at greater length, and that is an accusation to the effect that we believe in what is called "blood atonement." So, indeed, we do; and so also do the Christian world. Is it not the belief of the Christian world that they will be saved through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Most assuredly; and so, too, do we believe in the atonement of the Christ—aye, and in the manner of the atonement of the Christ—that the very form of it was necessary to the salvation of men. We believe that there is no other means that could be devised to make adequate satisfaction to justice and preserve in its integrity the moral law of the universe. Just what was done in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, his death, and the manner of his death, the shedding of his blood was necessary to the salvation of the world, for in the gospel, as in the law, "without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins." (Heb. ix:21). Yet it would appear that there are some things for which not even this atonement can bring forgiveness. For example, it is said by the Master himself, that "every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. If men speak a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven them, but if they speak a word against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven them, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Matt. xii:31-32); and that notwithstanding the atonement of the Christ. Again it is written, "The murderer hath not eternal life abiding in him." (I John iii:15). Again it is written, "He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." (Gen. ix:6). Blood for blood was the doctrine of that Scripture. Now we believe in that doctrine; that is, we believe that those who so far transgress that they imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow men, that their lives are necessary to the complete atonement; and that their execution should be such that it admits of the shedding of their blood. And it is because of this belief that the laws of Utah permit such method of execution for capital offenses as sheds the blood of the murderer. But the reputation has gone out, the slander has passed from lip to lip, it has been printed from one book into another, until the report has gone out into all the world, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the "Mormon" Church, arrogates to itself the right to take human life for apostasy from the Church, and for certain other sins. That is a slander; it is not true. We do not believe the doctrine; we do not claim for the Church that it has the right of capital punishment, or the right of executing vengeance. We do not teach nor claim that the Church has the right to assassinate men for apostasy, even though they be murderers. However much we might believe them worthy of death, the Church claims no right to execute them. The doctrine of the Church in relation to that matter is found here in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is in a revelation given before the Church was a year old, and is found in section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants.


"And now, behold, I speak unto the Church, Thou shalt not kill, and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come;

"And again, I say, thou shalt not kill, but he that killeth shall die."

Yes, but how? By whose hand? Read it in a subsequent verse, in the same revelation:

"And it shall come to pass that if any persons among you shall kill, they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness, and it shall be proven according to the laws of the land."

And of course those who administer the laws of the land must become the executors of that law; the Church claims no right of executing such a law. That is our belief in relation to this subject. "Yes, but," some one will be ready to say, "is it not matter of record that some very emphatic and even vehement declarations have been made in relation to this matter by very prominent men in the Mormon Church, in years that are gone?" Yes, some very extravagant utterances, some very ill-advised expressions were used; but those exaggerated, those embittered and over-zealous words on the part of very well-meaning men, doubtless, did not announce in those instances the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The question will be asked, How are you going to account for these expressions which you declare are unwarranted by the law of the Church? How are you going to justify them? Well, I am not going to justify them at all, but I can account for them.

It cannot be that the world is so ignorant in this enlightened age as not to know that churches cannot be held responsible for every utterance that is made in their name and from their pulpits. Listen to this passage from the writings of the learned Edersheim, in his History of the Life and Times of the Christ; he says:

"No one would measure the belief of Christians by certain statements in the Fathers; nor judge the moral principles of Roman Catholics, by prurient quotations from the casuists; nor yet estimate Lutherans by the utterances and deeds of the early successors of Luther; nor Calvinists by the burning of Servitus. In all such cases the general standpoint of the times has to be first taken into account."

So it is in our history, not every word that has been spoken, even by men high in authority in the Church, has always been the exact and perfect word of God.


That thought brings me to another subject; our belief in continuous revelation, and an inspired priesthood in the Church. We have heard, by our brother who preceded me, that we believe in the revelations of God. One of our articles of faith puts it in this form: "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God." We believe that the Church of Christ is within the hearing of God, that is, not only that he hears the prayers of his Saints, but also that he answers those prayers. We feel that this Church of Christ—this Church of ours—is in touch with the Infinite and in tune with the Infinite, that the intelligence and power of God are among its resources; that where human wisdom comes short, God may be reached through the channels appointed and God's intelligence, and wisdom, and power brought into the service of the Church of Christ. It is possible for his prophet to divest himself of personal desires and interests; to put away from himself preconceived thought and notion, and seek to know the mind and will of God; by going into the holy of holies, thus prepared, it is possible, if God will, for him to return with the law of God unto his people, unto his Church, thus making the wisdom and strength of God the wisdom and strength of his Church. We believe that; but there is for the Church but one man in the Church at a time who has the right to thus come with the law of God unto his people. Though every individual, in his individual capacity, and for guidance in the position he occupies in the Church—it is possible for each person to have access, through the inspirations of the Spirit of God, to the same source of knowledge and strength and power. We believe in an inspired priesthood for the Church; we believe in inspired teachers; but that does not require us to believe that every word that is spoken from the pulpit is the very word of God. Perhaps some of you will think that there is a passage in one of our revelations somewhat against this conception of things, as for instance here in section 68 of the Doctrine and Covenants, is a revelation that was given to Elder Orson Hyde and the Church. It is written here that Elder Hyde was called upon to go from land to land as a teacher of the gospel—

"And behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth;

"And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."


But mark you this, the fact that shall give unto their utterances the value of Scripture, making their words as the word of God, and the power of God unto salvation—the condition precedent to this is that they "speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost." "Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture," etc. But it is not given to mortal man always to walk upon that plane where the sunlight of God's inspiration is playing upon him. Men may, by care and devotion and spiritual strength, rise sometimes to that high plane; may stand at times as on mountain tops, uncovered, in the presence of God, their spirit united with his Spirit, until the mind of God shall flow through them to bless those who hearken to their words: and there is no need that one shall rise up and say, "This man was inspired of God," for all the people who receive of his ministrations know that by the effect of his spirit upon their spirits. But, sometimes, the servants of God stand on planes infinitely lower than the one here described. Sometimes they speak merely from their human knowledge, influenced by passions; influenced by the interests of men, and by anger, and vexation, and all those things that surge in upon the minds of even servants of God. When they so speak, then that is not Scripture, that is not the word of God, nor the power of God unto salvation; but when they speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, their voice then becomes the voice of God. So that men, even some of high station in the Church, sometimes speak from merely human wisdom; or from prejudice or passion; and when they do so, that is not likely to be the word of God. I do not think the world should require such perfection of us as to insist that our religious teachers always deliver the inerrant word of God! In any event it must be allowed by us that many unwise things were said in times past, even by prominent elders of the Church; things that were not in harmony with the doctrines of the Church; and that did not possess the value of Scripture, or anything like it; and it was not revelation. Moreover, no revelation even becomes the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until it is accepted by that Church by formal action; it must be accepted by official vote of the Church before it becomes the law of the Church.


There is one thing which always gives me great and abounding joy, and that is this: Here in the Doctrine and Covenants we have a volume of revelation that has been given to the Church as the word of God, and accepted as such by the Church. We accept four great books as the authoritative Scriptures of the Church, wherein the doctrines of the Church are couched, viz. the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the collection of writings called the Pearl of Great Price, containing the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and some of the writings of the Prophet Joseph. I have been engaged for some years in advocacy of our faith, and in defending it, and in these Scriptures that have been given under the inspiration of God, and accepted by the Church of Christ as containing the doctrine of the Church, I find no doctrine, that may not be successfully defended before any body of men in the world, I care not how learned or intelligent they may be—nay, the more learned and intelligent the easier is the defense. The books I have named constitute our Scripture, not the haphazard sayings of men from the pulpit; and as in the future we receive line upon line, and precept upon precept—as the volume of written revelation shall grow, it will possess the same characteristics of truth that our present volumes of Scripture possess.

There is one other item I would like to speak upon, viz., that article of our faith which declares that "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men." Now, of course, that article covers the whole moral law of the gospel as pertaining to personal conduct, and as pertaining to conduct in relationship to others. It introduces a theme altogether too large for exposition here; and I shall confine my remarks just to the two first things—which, really are but one thing, namely, that we believe in being "honest, true." If you were to judge of the character of the Latter-day Saints by what is being said of them in the current magazines and the daily press, one would really think that they possessed no quality of honesty or of truthfulness; but that in both civic and religious life their whole course of conduct was based upon chicanery, and fraud, and untruth. Yet, here is our article of faith, that we believe in being honest, in being true. That means that we believe in speaking the truth and acting the truth; it goes both to belief and to action; to mental attitude and actual practice:


Let me call attention to another fact—and Brother Penrose mentioned it, also—namely, that we believe in certain attributes that God possesses. Among these attributes, as well as eternity, and omnipotence, and omnipresence, and omniscience, and holiness, and wisdom, and knowledge, and power, and love, and justice, and mercy—there is also the attribute of truth; and this attribute of truth is absolute in God. The scriptures say, with verity, that he is "a God of truth, without iniquity; just and right is he." "Mercy and truth," said another prophet, "go before thy face." Another one has said, "God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent." Along this line we ourselves have a very grand saying, given to the Prophet Joseph before the organization of the Church, but it will endure through all time, and in all ages, and in all experiences, namely:

"God doth not walk in crooked paths; neither doth he turn to the right hand, nor to the left; neither doth he vary from that which he has said; therefore, his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round." (Doc.& Cov., sec. 3:2).

Because of this attribute of truth in God, he must be thought of as imparting to the institutions which he founds his own nature; they must be in harmony with his attributes. Consequently, when he establishes his Church, it will be a church of truth; it will stand for the truth like its founder; it will speak the truth without variation, without turning to the right hand, or turning to the left hand. God must be true—an untruthful God? The very thought, but that I am refuting it, would be blasphemy. It would wreck the moral universe for God to speak untruth. It is unthinkable; it cannot be entertained. That also which God founds, an institution such as his Church, must also, I repeat, stand for the truth. But those, I say, who judge our reputation from what is said of us in the current magazines—a person forming his judgment upon those slanders, would believe there was no truth in us, nor in the Church. But we, nevertheless, believe in truth; we believe in being honest, true, virtuous; and let those who charge us with believing otherwise than this; or who say that we trust in falsehood; and believe in practicing it, wherein they do not speak ignorantly—"let them be anathema!" And those among us—those of our faith—and I fear that there may be one in ten thousand, I do not know, but I have found some who will advance the idea that even the kingdom of God has to resort to deception and untruth, at times, in order to meet some emergency or other—to all such without qualification, I say anathema! Be ye accursed! They do the Church to which they belong a great injustice. The Church cannot stand on untruth. The truth, the whole of it, and constantly the truth, must be the creed of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or else it proves itself not the product of the God of truth, for he is true. To doubt it would be disloyalty, to think of it, otherwise than to refute it, would be blasphemy.


There is much more that might be dealt with negatively, and anathematized, perhaps, but this satisfies me upon this occasion, and the time for closing this meeting has arrived. I join here, this afternoon, with my brother, Elder Penrose, in bearing witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ; to the existence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. With him, I bear witness to you of the virtue and power and saving grace in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ; and bear witness to you that there is no other name given among men whereby we may be saved, only the name of Jesus of Nazareth. With him, I bear witness to you, out of my experience, that men may have communion with God, that his Spirit does give inspiration to the spirit of man, and through that means there may be both union and communion now between men and God, through obedience to the gospel. I know and I bear witness, with Elder Penrose, that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, founded in these latter-days; that there was virtue and power, and divinity in the mission of Joseph Smith, the instrument in God's hands of bringing in this new dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that those who believe the gospel and obey it; that those who with real, earnest effort—even though stumblingly—seek to obey it, to them will be extended the divine grace and power of God, and helpfulness; that out of the abundance of his mercy and grace will God help those who are weak, if only they keep their faces constantly directed towards him, and back of all their mistakes and failures they maintain an earnest determination to overcome the things of this world and the weaknesses of human nature. God will remember that they are but men in the making, and he will be merciful and ultimately will give them the victory, if only they will strive and pray and not faint. That I know, for God has taught me that in my own experiences, and I bear witness of it to you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Discourse in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, September 12, 1909. (Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


I never face this tabernacle congregation without a very great amount of misgiving on my part, which amounts to an inward fear and trembling. I presume it arises from the fact that such a position brings home to one the weight of responsibility that rests upon him who undertakes to be a public teacher; and, sometimes, I have felt for my own part, that I would be happier if these occasional duties did not devolve upon me. However, we can't help but remember that in discharging this duty the Lord has sometimes been good to us and blest us with a measure of success, and some truth, or portion of truth, has been presented in a manner to be understood by the saints. This gives one encouragement and faith to try again, and perhaps, my friends, on this occasion, if we can acceptably approach the Lord, our meeting together may result in blessing. I most fervently pray that such may be the outcome of our meeting this afternoon.

I have not been able to fix upon any text which would foreshadow the truth that I would like to present on this occasion. I have no text, but I have a theme in mind, that has taken more or less of definite form—a theme which may be illustrated by many texts; and certainly by many historical experiences of the people of God in various ages of the world. My thought may be stated in these terms: No matter what your conception of divine things may be—however wide or high—the divine things themselves, be assured, are much greater than your conceptions of them. I pray you, think about that a while, and get it well in mind: No matter how great or comprehensive your conceptions may be of divine things, the divine things themselves are always greater than your conceptions of them. It must have been some such thought as this which led our Prophet Joseph Smith to make the following remark: "The things of God are of deep import, and time and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man, if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss and the broad expanse of eternity—Thou must commune with God!"


Associated with this theme that we have here announced is another, namely, that in consequence of man's failure to comprehend fully the things of God, there is great danger that he may misapprehend divine things—God's messages and God's purposes. The experience of God's people abundantly demonstrate this second truth. For example: suppose you think upon the misapprehension that the Jews had concerning the promised Messiah. Their prophets and even their patriarchs, in their writings and prophecies, had foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah the Redeemer not only of Israel but of the world. Yet, when he came, the Jews altogether misapprehended him, and so far misunderstood him and his mission that they rejected him. Israel's national existence had been a very precarious and trying one. They had been subdued again and again by nations surrounding them. For many generations their petty kingdom had been but a shuttle-cock between the battle-doors of Assyrian and Persian, of Persian and Egyptian; and at the time of the advent of the Messiah, Palestine had been reduced to the condition of a Roman province, and was under the iron hand of Roman rule. The Jews looked back, frequently, to the glorious days of David and Solomon, when Israel could well be proud of her national existence. They longed, again, for a king, and national independence; and hence they regarded the promise of the Messiah as the coming of a king to bring redemption to Israel and to establish them as a nation in the earth. But instead of a king, there came a peasant; instead of a conqueror, there came a teacher; and they did not recognize, in his character, and mission the elements that would exalt him far above all earthly kings and give to him an empire over the children of men that should far exceed in glory anything that could come to earthly potentate or monarch. They wholly misapprehended the mission of the Messiah; and yet, when you take into account the position of the Christ today in the world, although we have had but a partial development of his truths, although the glory of his kingdom has been somewhat arrested by reason of the departure of men from that divine system of truth which he established, notwithstanding we have had but a lame and halting Christianity—yet, to what heights has it lifted the Messiah of the Jews in mighty influence among the nations of the earth! We get the principle with which we started our discourse illustrated most beautifully in these circumstances: First the misapprehension of men of the things of God; and yet the truth that however great the conceptions of men may be of divine things, the divine things themselves far outrun in glory, and largeness, and power, men's conceptions of them; for the Jews never attributed even to the Messiah of their prophecies the glory that has already come to the Christ. He reigns, with more or less supremacy in the hearts of at least more than one-third of the inhabitants of the earth, and is accepted as prophet, as priest, and, in some sense or other, as the Redeemer of all men. And that, I believe, far outstrips the conceptions that the Jews had of the glory of their Messiah.

Take another illustration of our theme. The early Christians, as well as the Jews, failed to apprehend the mission of the Christ. There was fixed in the minds of those early converts to the Christian faith the thought that salvation was of the Jews; (John 4:22); and it seems to me they added to the words of Christ the idea that not only was salvation of Israel, but salvation, in their minds, was merely for Israel. Those early Christian converts had no idea that their Messiah was to become the Messiah and Savior of all men; and it required special revelation to the chief apostle, Peter, to get even him to understand that the message of the Christ was for the gentile as well as for the Jew. You will remember, when the Lord had inspired a certain gentile, of the name of Cornelius, to inquire of the Lord what he ought to do in order to be accepted of God, how by special revelation unto Peter, as the messengers from this devout gentile approached his dwelling place, he was given a vision, the import of which was that whosoever God should recognize as clean, Peter must not call filthy or unclean. Three times was this lesson taught to the chief apostle, when, lo, the messengers from Cornelius were knocking at his doors. He met the messengers from Cornelius, who brought word that God had visited this devout gentile, and bid him send for the chief apostle of the Christ. Peter went down to the house of Cornelius and taught him the truths of the gospel; and as he spake the Holy Ghost rested upon the gentiles present as it had upon the Jews on the day of Pentecost. Then Peter saw the interpretation of his vision; and he said: "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we."

By this means the Lord led this man, Peter, to have a wider view of the mission of the Christ, but it was extremely difficult to get the rest of the Christians, in that day to accept this thought. Hence when Paul came forward, being raised up of the Lord to carry his message to the gentiles, it was his chief offense, so thought the Christian Jews, that he taught this broader application of the Gospel of the Christ to the children of God; and those early, fanatical Christians stoutly accused him of blasphemy and of bringing those who were unclean into the temple of God. It required all the revelations that God gave to Peter; it required all the inspiration that God gave to Paul—all his energy, all his learning, all his inspired eloquence—to make it known to the world that salvation was not only for the Jew but for the gentile also; and the first congregations of the Christians in Judea seem, in sullen mood, to have rejected the greater revelations accepted by the apostles, and the great tide of the gospel swept by them and left them in their obscurity; while Paul and his associates ran to and fro, through the mighty Roman empire, and planted the standard of the gospel in many gentile cities, and made the world ring with the message of the Messiah. These people, the first Christians, many of them good and pure minded people, no doubt, failed to rightly apprehend the great mission of the Messiah, and so that mission swept on by them and left them in their obscurity. We may say in closing this branch of our reflections that the prophecy of the Messiah respecting the Jews who rejected him; and in a manner also the Jews who accepted him, but failed to apprehend the largeness of his mission, the universality of the salvation he brought into the world—the prophecy of the Messiah, I say, was fulfilled—"The Kingdom of God shall be taken from among you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." And Paul: "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo! we turn to the gentiles."

Now I am wondering if you will bear with me while I point out the fact that we too, in this dispensation of the fulness of times, are in the same danger of failing to apprehend the greatness of the things of God restored to us. We, too, are human; we, too, fail to grasp the full import of the truth which is the center around which our thoughts are moving. We fail to realize that great as our conceptions may be of divine things, yet, those divine things are infinitely greater than our conceptions of them.


Take here this book of Doctrine and Covenants. In some half score of the early revelations, you find this statement made, "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men." How many of the early converts of the Church appreciated the meaning of that solemn announcement? They stood in the presence of certain facts then developing, that were truly marvelous and great in their eyes. In an age when the orthodox churches were teaching that God would no more speak from heaven to give further revelation; in an age when all Christendom taught that the visitation of angels had ceased; in an age when it was orthodox to regard the volume of Scripture as completed and forever closed—these early converts had heard the wonderful announcement of God's witness, that the heavens had been reopened; that God had once more revealed himself to man upon the earth; that angels had come with messages from God; that there had been brought forth a whole volume of Scripture that was a witness for God, the Book of Mormon, that spoke of the ancient inhabitants of this western world, giving an account of the migration of their fathers to this land from the old world; that gave an account of the rise and fall of nations and empires in this western hemisphere; that testified of the goodness of God to them, and revealing himself to them, and sending the risen Messiah to them to make known the gospel of the Son of God, and proclaim the means of their salvation. The early converts to the Church had witnessed that volume of Scripture brought forth. They had seen a church organized under the direction and inspiration of God. They had seen a renewal of those spiritual powers and graces that characterized the primitive church of the Christ. Contrary to the expectations and teaching of modern Christendom, the sick were healed; the lame were made to walk; in some cases the eyes of the blind were opened. Men felt once more that they stood in the immediate presence of the living, throbbing power of God in the world, and especially in the Church of Christ. These things were indeed "great and marvelous" to them; but how very far short of the full glory of the latter-day work do these few first steps now seem to us! The saints in those early days did not dream that there was to be an unfolding of doctrine and Church organization such as we now behold. They did not understand in those early days that there would again be a quorum of apostles, endowed with the same powers and gifts and authority that characterized the first apostolate of the Church of Christ. They did not know then that there were to be called into existence thousands and tens of thousands of assistant apostles, the seventies, who would be commissioned to go into all the world under the direction of the twelve, to preach the gospel to all nations and gather Israel. They had no idea that scores and even hundreds of bishops would be called into official existence to preside in the midst of the people of God. They did not understand that the keys for the redemption of the dead would be restored, so that the gospel could be proclaimed in the spirit World and men brought to a knowledge of the truth, that they might "live according to God in the spirit," and, ultimately, be judged as men are judged in the flesh. They did not know that temples were to be erected, in which this work for both living and dead could be performed. They could not then understand that in this dispensation of the fulness of times all the ends of the earth were to meet; and "all things in Christ be gathered together in one, even in him," until all the families of the earth that would receive the truth might in every way be bound in chains of love at the feet of the living Christ. The early converts to the Church had no such vision of the work of God, as this. It is not a reproach to them that they did not fully comprehend these things, or anticipate the marvelous history that the people of God would make. They were just like the children of men in all generations, and like ourselves. No matter how wonderful to them divine things were, no matter how great their conceptions of them, the divine things themselves were infinitely greater than they conceived them to be.


Take another illustration of my theme. In the Book of Mormon this truth was revealed, that in this western world a holy city would finally be builded by the people of God. A city called "Zion," the "New Jerusalem." When the saints saw that fact revealed in the Book of Mormon, they, very naturally, desired to know the place where the city would stand; and the Lord finally revealed the place where the City of Zion will be located. The place of that city is in the central portion of the land of Zion. Independence, Jackson county, Missouri, was designated as the place where the holy city is to be founded. No sooner was this known than straightway the gathering of the people to that point commenced. Some few hundreds of the saints gathered to that land and essayed to lay the foundations of the city, the glory of which was described in the Nephite Scriptures. In the course of time, however, the saints were expelled from Jackson county by the cruelty of their neighbors, who rejected their religion and rose up against the people of God. When the saints were compelled to leave Jackson county, they looked upon themselves as exiles from Zion, and it was rather with heavy hearts and with sinking hopes that they went to building other cities elsewhere in Missouri. Finally the entire state of Missouri rose against the people of God—and unjustly and by the violation of every principle of constitutional government, expelled some twelve thousand of the saints from that state. As you know, the saints located themselves on the Illinois side of the Mississippi river and founded the city of Nauvoo. They still counted themselves as exiles from Zion, and they thought that the cause of God—that is, many of them—thought that the cause of God was losing, that his purposes were being thwarted; they were exiles from the land of promise; the City of Zion was as a dream that was fast fading from their consciousness. Then the Prophet began to instruct them more fully concerning this matter of Zion. He called their attention to the fact that the whole of America, both north continent and south continent—was the land of Zion; that the promise of God concerning Zion related to this western hemisphere; that these great continents were consecrated chiefly unto the seed of Joseph, the patriarch in Israel, son of Jacob, and that this whole land was given to him as his inheritance. That is how it is that both Moses and also Jacob, in their blessings upon the head of Joseph declare that his blessings had prevailed above the blessings of his progenitors; and that his lands extended to the "utmost bounds of the everlasting hills." He was given the birthright in Israel, to stand at the head of Israel. (I Chron. 5:1-2.) Reuben "was the first born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright"—i.e., of Reuben. "For Judah prevailed above his brethren and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's;" and hence the Scriptures frequently declare that God is a Father unto Israel, and Ephraim is his first born. (Jeremiah 31:9). This was a larger view of the subject of Zion than the saints had entertained. Can you see in this illustration, confirmation of our theme, viz., that no matter how great your conceptions may be of divine things, the divine things themselves are infinitely greater than you conceive them to be?


Still another illustration. It is a prominent principle of the faith of the Latter-day Saints that the great promises which God has made unto Israel, to the effect that they shall be gathered in from their dispersion, shall be fulfilled in this dispensation of the fulness of times. Of course you know, being familiar with the history of Israel, that they have been scattered among all the nations of the earth. This is true with reference to all the tribes of Israel. "I will sift the house of Israel among all nations" is what Amos represents the Lord as saying (Amos 9:8, 9). Of course you are aware of the fact that after the reign of Solomon, Israel divided into two kingdoms—the northern kingdom composed of the ten tribes, the southern kingdom, Judah, composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. After a national existence of some two hundred years, the Assyrians overcame the northern kingdom and took the people captive into Assyria; but while in captivity there, we are informed by tradition, that the people resolved to leave the heathen nation by whom they had been led into captivity, and go into a land never before inhabited by man, and there they resolved that they would keep the statutes and the judgments of God even better than they had done in the land of their fathers. The historian who tells us of these circumstances (Esdras) also says that they performed something like a year and a half's journey to the northward, up through the narrow pass of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and thence northward, and inhabited the land; and since those days they have been known as "the lost tribes of Israel." The kingdom of Judah maintained but a precarious existence; it was first subject to one nation and then to another, until finally, toward the close of the first century of the Christian era, the nation was completely subjugated by the Roman power; her people were taken captive and sold into slavery, or scattered as exiles among the nations of the gentiles. Ever since then, until now, Judah has been a hiss and byword, a broken, scattered people. But over and above all these historical events rings out clear and strong the promise of God, as spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, Saying:

"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off and say, he that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he (ch. xxxi:10, 11). Behold I will bring them [the children of Israel] from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born." (Ch. xxxi: verses, 8, 9).

The Jewish Scriptures are full of this promise. It is iterated and reiterated; and it is well known that the tradition lives in Israel, that though now scattered abroad, yet will they at some time be called to resume the thread of their national existence, and Israel shall yet be known among the nations of the earth. As broad as the scattering has been, so broad also shall be the gathering. This message of ours, the gospel of Jesus Christ, has always been accompanied by proclamation of this doctrine of the gathering of Israel. The prophet Amos tells us that God had "sifted" Israel among the nations, and now unto the servants of God in this dispensation is given the commission to cry aloud unto Israel, "Come out of her, my people: that ye partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues," speaking of Babylon. God, I say, has repeatedly promised that there shall be a gathering together of Israel, and those who were led away into the "north countries," we are told shall be brought again to the land of their fathers; their prophets shall hear the voice of God, and shall not stay themselves, but they shall come forth in the power of God and bring their people unto Zion, where they shall receive blessings at the hands of the children of Ephraim, the first born, who holds the patriarchal right to bless and seal in the house of Israel. This is the faith of the Latter-day Saints respecting Israel.


Permit me to make a little divergence at this point. I have observed some criticisms in our local press in relation to the views entertained by the Latter-day Saints about the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the land of the north. We have recently had the north pole discovered—well, discovered twice, if reports be true.[1] And it is claimed by the aforesaid local press that the Church entertains the view that somewhere, in this frozen region of the pole these lost tribes have lived, and that it has been the hope of the Latter-day Saints that from the north pole regions these lost tribes would return to supplement them in numbers and power and influence here in this land of our Zion. There is more or less of merriment indulged in because, now that the north pole has been discovered, lo, there is no people there and no place for a people. Ice fields, ice mountains, ice floes, with accompanying desolation—an absolute loneliness out there at the poles! Well, I think men for some time have been sufficiently close to the pole to lead any thoughtful person to the conclusion that such conditions of lonely desolation must have existed there, rather than any continent of salubrious climate and fertile soils, where a great people could be located. Let me offer this suggestion: If those of us who believe in the messages from God given in these last days are likely, because of inability to asses these messages at their full value—if we are likely to have misapprehensions of the messages and the purposes of God, certainly those who have no sympathy with them, and who do not believe in them are apt to have still wider misapprehensions of the messages and purposes of God. That being true, it is possible also that our local newspaper critics have formed misconceptions concerning an alleged belief of ours about the existence of the ten tribes somewhere in polar regions. I do not know how many Latter-day Saints may have entertained the view that about the polar regions were located the lost tribes of Israel. I do not know how many even of our students—the students of the gospel of this dispensation of the fulness of times—may have entertained the same view. There is the statement of Esdras that there was a year and a half's journey northward from Assyria, by the ten tribes; and there is the promise repeated frequently in Jewish Scriptures, that the Lord would lead back from the north the tribes of Israel. From these statements, some of our people may have concluded that necessarily these lost tribes must be established in the extreme northern portions of the earth, hence the region of the north pole. There may be something in our literature to that effect—I cannot say positively, because I have not had the opportunity, recently, to examine our literature with reference to that particular view. But of this I am positive; that in none of the revelations of God is there any expression that would lead one to believe that God had located the ten tribes about the north pole. The revelations of the Lord do not necessarily lead us to any such conclusion. When the Savior was in the western hemisphere, ministering among the Nephites, he called their attention to the announcement that he had made to his disciples in Judea, when he said, "Other sheep have I which are not of this fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." (John 10:16.) When ministering to the Nephites, I say, the Messiah explained to them that they were the "other sheep" he had in mind in this passage. Some of the disciples, he explained, believed that he had in mind the gentiles, not appreciating the fact that his manifestation of himself and of his truth to the gentiles should be through the manifestations of the Holy Ghost, rather than by ministration of himself personally to them. The disciples in Judea then had a misapprehension of this matter, though Jesus himself had said that he was not sent (personally) but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt. 15:24.) Here, then, in this western world, were the "other sheep," that the Christ had in mind in this remarkable statement that he made to his disciples in Judea. The Messiah also informed the Nephites that he had not only fulfilled this Scripture but now there was still another mission that had been given him, namely to visit the lost tribes of the house of Israel, and manifest himself to them, for though these tribes were lost unto the children of men they were not lost unto the Father. He knew their location, and had given commission to his Son to minister unto them. (See III Nephi, chaps. 15, 16, 17.) But there is nothing in the statement of the Messiah to the Nephites that would compel us to believe that these lost tribes were located about the north pole; but merely expressions in the Scriptures that would lead one to conclude that they were located in northern lands. Then again, in the matter of this return of the "lost tribes of Israel," there are those I believe, who, seeing that there was small hope of a location for them about the north pole, have held that perhaps the said lost tribes were located upon some detached portion of the earth. As to that, I have no opinion to express; but this I believe, for myself, that within the known regions of the earth, where the children of men are located, it is quite possible for God to fulfill all his predictions in relation to the return of Israel. It would have been quite possible for God to scatter, or to use the language of the prophet Amos—"Sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve," and "yet not the least grain fall upon the earth"—i.e., be lost to the knowledge of God, though now lost to men. And as it was possible to lose these tribes of Israel among the nations of the earth, so is it possible for God to recover them from their scattered condition from among these nations, with a display of the divine power. And with reference to this display of divine power, let me say that something must always be allowed to the character of prophetic language. You must remember that seers and prophets do not speak the cold, calculating language of philosophy, where every word is weighed in the exact scales of thought. Prophets do not follow the precision in their language that is required of the scientists. These men, prophets and seers, commune with God. Their finite life touches, for a moment, the infinite life of God. Their limited wisdom touches for a moment the supreme wisdom of the infinite. For an instant they see things large; and infused and inspired with the fire they have received from this contact with the divine, lo! they come with their message and speak it in the words of spiritual passion. Of course, to them, in this mood, the mountains will sink; the valleys will rise. Of course, the prophets, if in the north, will hear the voice of God, and the mountains of ice will flow down at their presence; the hills will rejoice and the mountains shout for joy! When men come with this inspiration upon them they see and feel things large, and they speak of them in that spirit; and when we come to reduce what they thus bring to us, from the heart of God, to our petty conceptions, we of course must be prepared to take into account the figurative language they speak. It is possible that if we fail to do this, we shall misapprehend, in part, some material fact of their message. Especially should one be on his guard in such highly picturesque matters as the return of the lost tribes from their long dispersion—from the lands of the north. In such an event not only will "mountains of ice flow down" at the presence of their prophets, but highways will be cast up in the midst of the great deep—their enemies will become a prey unto them—in barren deserts shall come forth pools of living water—the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land—the "boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence!" (Doc. and Cov., sec. 133.)

[Footnote 1: Having reference to Cook's claims of "discovering the pole" as well as Peary's discovery.]

We must make some allowance, I repeat, for the hyperbole of that language in which the message of these prophets is delivered—remember, it is vibrant with the great things of God; and it makes some effort to encompass these great things.


But, coming to a closer consideration of this "gathering of Israel"—Israel is gathering all right; perhaps not after our conception of it, not after our ideas as to how Israel should or would be gathered. Nevertheless, Israel, I say, is gathering to the land of Zion. You Latter-day Saints—whence came you? From the British isles, from Germany, from the Scandinavian countries, from the islands of the sea. Who are you? Israelites, gathered by the gospel message, which includes the word of God to you to gather together on this land of Zion. You are chiefly of the tribe of Ephraim, according to the inspired utterances of the patriarchs who pronounce blessings upon your heads. Well, if you—gathered from a multitude of nations—are of Israel, may not Israel, by hundreds of thousands and millions, be in the lands whence you came, which was chiefly from the northern lands of Europe? for our mission has had little success among the Latin races of southern Europe. You have been gathered by the proclamation of the gospel and are of Israel; and not only are you who have received the gospel gathered, but your kindred Germans, your kindred Scandinavians, your kindred Britishers, have also been coming to the land of Zion. Indeed, it seems that America is an asylum for all people; and even races that we fain would close our gates against, in spite of all the wisdom and caution and legislation of our national legislators and the administrative officers of our government, they, too, come to the land of Zion; and who shall say that these races have not inheritance in Zion? This western hemisphere is not only granted to the descendants of Joseph in Israel, not only to it will come those of the lost tribes of Israel, but the gentile races also have promise of an inheritance in this land; and here shall they receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ; receiving it at the hands of the children of Ephraim, upon whom commission has been bestowed and divine authority given to preach the gospel and administer in its ordinances. So Israel is being gathered in these last days to the land of Zion, and here gentile races are also assembling. Here in the United States alone we can reach more Germans than we can preach to in Germany, because of the limitations of religious liberty in Germany. Here we may preach to more English people than in England. Here we may preach to more Scandinavians than we can preach to in Scandinavia. Here we have opportunity to teach the truth unto gathered Israel in this blest land of Zion, and here and among the other known nations of the earth is full scope and opportunity for the accomplishment of all those things that have been predicted by the servants of God in all ages of the world respecting Israel, without assuming that it is necessary to go into the north polar regions or to detached portions of the earth somewhere in illimitable space.


The purposes of God are not failing. God is imminent in this world, and is fashioning it according to his own divine purposes. There will be no failure in Jehovah's plans. The only thing is, Can we so enlarge our thought, can we lift ourselves from the narrow limits of our thinking in which we are so contented to walk—can we take broader views in relation to God's purposes and messages to the children of men? That is the only question. The Lord Almighty, I repeat, is accomplishing his designs in relation to the land of Zion; in relation to the gathering of Israel and the return of the ten tribes; just as he will accomplish his purposes with reference to the re-establishment of Judah upon the promised land of Canaan, and the redemption of Jerusalem. All this will come about in its times and seasons. The word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem, and the law will go forth from Zion—nay, in my view, it is now going forth in large measure from Zion—in a manner to reach the inhabitants of the earth, and bring to them the blessings that God has decreed for the children of men.

My brethren and sisters, I rejoice in the largeness of this work of God—this dispensation of the fulness of times. I love it, in part, because of its greatness—in its very bigness there is inspiration. I love to contemplate the purposes of God in their far-reaching possibilities. I rejoice to feel that today the children of men are moving up to a higher and truer conception of the things of God. We talk about, and we sometimes even dare to hope for, the coming of the millennium! I wonder what our sensations will be if some morning we wake up to a realization that the millennium is already on its way, and has been on its way for some time? When I think of the mighty progress that has been made in these modern days, and especially since God opened the heavens and revealed himself unto his servant Joseph Smith; when I take that circumstance as a starting point and contrast conditions as they are today with conditions as they were when that first revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, it seems to me that the prediction that old things shall pass away and all things shall become new is on the way to a very rapid fulfillment. At that time—early in the third decade of the nineteenth century—not a single foot of railroad existed anywhere in the world; today, all civilized nations are a network of railroads and railroad systems. We have moved all the way from the ox-cart and stage-coach to the mighty express train that thunders with lightning speed throughout the land. Distance is discounted—well nigh annihilated, in comparison with former times. In ocean navigation we have come from the rude vessel that could only be driven by the wind, to the mighty ocean greyhounds that speed across the oceans like express trains; and the oceans, once a dreaded mystery, are now but the convenient highways between the continents, the highways of commerce! Man, within the period we are considering, has not only mastered transportation upon the earth and upon the ocean; but we have recent demonstrations that man has mastered also the element of air; and may navigate the air with as great speed and ease as the land or the water. Within the period named—1820-1909—we have come all the way from the tallow dip to the electric light. In communication we have come from the pony express to the telegraph, and to the wireless telegraph, and the telephone; so that now we are in instant communication with all portions of the earth. No event of any moment may happen tonight that will not be spread upon the pages of tomorrow morning's press, which will await us upon our breakfast tables! Then in the way of advancements that give promise of peace—so mighty have become the engines of destruction; so revolutionary the promises of this recent mastery of the air, that it would seem that war must be an impossibility in the near future; and it becomes imperative that men devise—statesmen must devise, philanthropists must devise, patriots must devise—some means by which the international questions that arise may be settled without allowing nations to go to the dreadful arbitrament of war for a settlement. The time when swords shall be beaten into plow-shares, and spears into pruning hooks seems not far distant, even the time when nations shall learn war no more—the vision of the prophets! These are the conditions in the midst of which we live: A time when property is more secure than it ever was before in the world; a time when personal liberty is more secure than ever it was before in the world; a time when the comforts of life among the masses of mankind well nigh equal conditions that only kings could enjoy in ages that are past! When I see all these blessings, and realize that year by year they are increasing with accelerated speed—when I see the sentiment of universal brotherhood enlarging—when I see great and mighty intellects pushing far out upon the frontier of Christian thought, grasping the truths of God and weaving them into systems of practical philosophy, tending to make ready the inhabitants of the earth for that fulness of truth that God, through his prophets, has decreed should be poured out upon the nations of the earth in the last days,—when I see these evidences of man's progress within the last three-quarters of a century, since God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, I can not help but believe that there is some connection between the re-opening of the heavens to restore the gospel, and this wider diffusion of knowledge by which the comfort and enlightenment of men as to material things has been brought to pass—the golden age that prophets dreamed of, that prophets sang about—the golden age—the millennium—has at last dawned upon the earth! And right here, in the midst of it, God has established his Church. He has given to it the knowledge of the means of salvation. He has given to the Church divine authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, and the coming forth of this work is the herald of the modern world's awakening! For when the Book of Mormon came forth, by that token Israel might know, and the world might know, that God had set his hand to fulfil and accomplish the things that he had decreed concerning the gathering of Israel, and concerning all the inhabitants of the earth—their happiness and peace and glory and security. (II Nephi 30, and III Nephi 21.) This is our part of the work; to make proclamation of these things; to exemplify the law of God and the excellence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to proclaim to the children of men that God is not a God afar off—One who transcends the world; but God imminent in the world, and that men may connect their lives with the life of God; and feel the inspiration of his life vibrating in their lives, uplifting, purifying, exalting—until man, the individual, and communities of men, nations—may walk with God in this great age now dawning on the world! And yet, great as our conceptions may be of the things of God—divine things—be assured that the divine things themselves are infinitely greater than our conceptions of them can be—then how great indeed they must be! The prophet spoke truly when he said of God: "His thoughts are not as your thoughts; his ways are not as your ways; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his thoughts above your thoughts, and his ways above your ways." But while we are under the necessity of conceding the truth of that, may we not share in and enjoy in some measure a knowledge of divine things and therein rejoice, as I feel we do this day by this brief glimpse of some of the things of God?


A discourse at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday, March 13, 1910. (Reported by F. W. Otterstrom.)


Some time ago, within a year at least, a gentleman of some prominence in the public life of our state felt that he had occasion in a public address to allude to our religious faith as a "body of doctrine," and in doing so I think he exhausted his skill in framing an expression of contempt for it. He said:

"I will venture it as my individual opinion, that considered as a body of doctrine, no well instructed person would give this priesthood creed, the cold respect of a passing glance."

It is not worth while getting vexed over such expressions as that. They do no harm to our faith, nor to our society—the Church. Such a remark may lead one to wonder if the gentleman, who has some reputation for intelligence, and especially for his ability in following to logical conclusions any investigation he may undertake—I say such a remark may lead one to wonder if the gentleman himself has paid our faith the "cold respect of the passing glance" to which he refers; or has he presumed to pass judgment upon it without even such "a passing glance"—since he assumes with such air-sniffing loftiness and pride of intellect that "no well instructed person"—of which he is one, of course—would give it? For my own part, the only effect that this remark had upon me was to send me back in a half amused frame of mind to see if things pertaining to our creed were really as bad as that; and once more, I examined the foundations of our faith. I returned from that examination with my convictions deepened, with my respect and admiration very much increased for this body of doctrine so contemptuously characterized by this gentleman, and my faith in it strengthened. When called upon, this afternoon, to address you, it seemed to me that I could do you no better service than to give you the benefit of an examination of our faith as a body of doctrine—so far as possible in one sitting; and this holds good whether you be strangers within our gates, or members of the Church.

It is a good thing, occasionally, to recur to first principles, as a means of keeping in view the whole system for which we stand. Every religion must have some sort of philosophy; it must give some accounting for things; some explanation of life and its meaning; some explanation of the universe and whither things trend. Religion must address itself to the understanding as well as to the heart; to the reason as well as to the emotions. Religion has been described by one as "morality touched with emotion" and, in some of its aspects, I think that is a very happy description of religion. But we are living in an age that asks adult questions, and religion must give adult replies. I think our faith is capable of doing that. I love it because it appeals to my understanding as well as to the emotions of my heart; and consequently, when I heard this contemptuous reference to it, I resolved to do what I could by exposition of that faith, to show this gentleman, and those who think with him, how mistaken they were. So now to our task:

Mormon View of the Universe.

First, concerning the world itself—I mean by that expression the sum total of things, the universe. In 1832 the Prophet Joseph Smith came with this message, in one of the revelations contained in the Book of Covenants:

"All kingdoms have a law given: and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom."

By this term "kingdom" our Prophet does not have in contemplation a number of people ruled by a king; the context reveals the fact that the prophet had in mind those great planetary systems which make up the universe. These are the "kingdoms" he had in mind; and he announces here a very wonderful doctrine, when he declares that there is no space but what has in it some one or other of these kingdoms—worlds and world-systems; and that there is no kingdom in the which there is not also extension, or space. A great scientist and scholar expresses the same truth in the following language:

"Through all eternity the infinite universe has been, and is, subject to the law of substance: The extent of the universe is infinite and unbounded. It is empty in no part, but everywhere filled with substance. The duration of the world is equally infinite and unbounded. It has no end; it is eternity."

Such is the summing up of what he calls the "law of substance," by one of the profoundest minds of Germany, Ernest Haeckel. Analyze it, and you will find it precisely the same conception as that announced by our Prophet in 1832, when he said: "There is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space." I think, perhaps, it will be necessary to dwell upon that idea for a few minutes in order that we may grasp the thought in something of its immensity. I had a teacher, once, who was very skilful in imparting knowledge to his pupils in the matter of solving mathematical problems. The lines on which he proceeded were these: He would take a very simple example that involved the same principles that were to be applied in the more difficult problem; then he would work out the simple problem and tell us to work out the more difficult one in the same manner. So I am of opinion that if we spend a short time in considering our own little solar system, perhaps it will help us form some idea of the immensity of the universe of which we speak.

It is well known to you all that our solar system is made up of what the astronomers call eight major planets and a great number of minor planets, lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter; that our planets in the order of their relationship of nearness to the sun, consist of Mercury, Venus, the earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, these are the eight major planets. In diameter, we are told that Mercury measures 3,200 miles; that the diameter of Venus is 7,760 miles; that the earth is 7,918 miles in diameter; that Mars is 4,200 miles in diameter; that Jupiter is 85,000 miles in diameter (while our earth is less than 8,000 miles in diameter, be it remembered!); that the diameter of Saturn is 73,000 miles. Yet, take all these planets and all their satellites, wonderful and great as they are, and consider them melted down into one great sphere, and still our sun alone, the center of this planetary system, is upwards of 750 times as large as all these planets combined would be!

Let us now consider these several planets with reference to the distance at which they revolve about their primary—the sun. Mercury makes the circuit in 116 days; Venus makes the circuit around the sun in 224 days; the earth of course, as you remember, makes the circuit in 365 days; but Mars requires 687 days in which to make the journey; while Jupiter requires 4,330 days (more than 11 years); Saturn 10,767 days (more than 29 years); Uranus, 20,660 days, or 56 years; and Neptune, 60,127 days, or about 165 years.

The distances of these planets from the sun, in millions of miles, are as follows: Mercury is 36 millions of miles; Venus 67 millions; the earth 92 millions; Mars 141 millions; Jupiter 483 millions; Saturn 875 millions; Uranus 1,770 millions; Neptune 2,746 millions of miles.

These figures and the facts they represent are given that some little idea may be conceived as to the extent of our own solar system, that after contemplating its immensity and discovering that, inconceivably great as it is, it is still no very considerable part of the universe, we may arise to a brief contemplation of still greater spaces—depths of the universe, and their contents. You see, I am using our solar system, as the teacher referred to a moment ago used the simple problem in arithmetic, to help solve the more intricate problem of comprehending a little more clearly the immensity of the universe. Let us resume our work. Professor Newcomb in his "Popular Astronomy" makes use of the following illustration to help the popular mind grasp the immensity of the sidereal system:

"Turning our attention from this system to the thousands of fixed stars which stud the heavens, the first thing to be considered is their enormous distance asunder, compared with the dimensions of the solar system, though the latter are themselves inconceivably great. To give an idea of the relative distances, suppose a voyager through the celestial spaces could travel from the sun to the outermost planet of our system in 24 hours. So enormous would be his velocity, that it would carry him across the Atlantic ocean, from New York to Liverpool, in less than a tenth of a second of the clock. Starting from the sun with this velocity, he would cross the orbits of the inner planets in rapid succession, and the outer ones more slowly, until, at the end of a single day, he would reach the confines of our system, crossing the orbit of Neptune. But, though he passed eight planets the first day, he would pass none the next, for he would have to journey 18 or 20 years, without diminution of speed, before he would reach the nearest star, and would then have to continue his journey as far again before he could reach another. All the planets of our system would have vanished in the distance, in the course of the first three days, and the sun would be but an insignificant star in the firmament. The conclusion is, that our sun is one of an enormous number of self-luminous bodies scattered at such distances that years would be required to traverse the space between them, even when the voyager went at the rate we have supposed." (Newcomb's Astronomy, p. 104.)

Just now the great winter constellations are leaving our skies; still, in the evening, you may yet see Orion, in the western sky; and following, and shining most brightly of all the stars in the firmament, the Dog star. It is estimated by our astronomers that light travels through space at the enormous speed of 198,000 miles per second; that in about eight minutes a ray of light reaches our earth from the sun.

Yet, this Dog star, to which I call your attention, is so distant from us that it requires something like 16 years for a ray of light to reach us from that distant and splendid sun; and from the familiar Pole star, it requires 40 years for a ray of light to reach our earth. Mr. Samuel Kinns, well known in England, as one of the foremost thinkers in that land, tells us that this Dog star, judging from the amount of light emitted from him, is 3,000 times larger than our own sun; and he argues, that if this great primary, is so many times larger than our sun, may it not be possible that the retinue of planets of which he is doubtless the center, is correspondingly greater than our planetary system.

Nobody knows, of course, how many fixed stars there are. Our astronomers tell us they number all the way from 30 to 50, 60, or even hundreds of millions; and that it is not unreasonable to suppose, they argue, that since we find this little planet of ours inhabited by sentient beings, by intelligences, by men and women capable of establishing national governments, and high grades of civilization, it is not unreasonable to suppose that in some of these more magnificent world-systems there may be beings more intelligent, more powerful than we are, and further advanced in arts and Sciences and all that goes to make up superior methods of life and civilization. And if our astronomers are anywhere nearly right in relation to the scores of millions of suns, they report, and it is true, that they are the centers of planetary systems, then of course of worlds such as ours, and more magnificent than ours; there are hundreds of millions. Upon this head Professor John W. Draper says:

"Man when he looks upon the countless multitudes of stars—when he reflects that all he sees is only a small portion of those which exist, yet that each is a light and life-giving sun to multitudes of opaque, and therefore invisible worlds—when he considers the enormous size of these various bodies and their immeasurable distance from one another, may form an estimate of the scale on which the world (universe) is constructed."

These reflections I trust will help to impress upon our minds the immensity of the universe, until we can in some measure understand the greatness of that truth announced by the Prophet Joseph, when he said: "There are many kingdoms; and there is no space in which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser space;" and the deductions of Ernest Haeckel, when he said: "The extent of the universe is infinite and unbounded. It is empty in no part, but every where filled with substance. The duration of the world is equally infinite and unbounded. It has no end; it is eternity."

Mormonism recognizes certain eternal truths, necessary truths, because the opposite of them cannot be conceived of—as, for example, that space or extension is boundless, as one of our hymns puts it:

  "If you could hie to Kolob,
    In the twinkling of an eye,
  And then continue onward,
    With that same speed to fly—

  "Do you think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
  Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?

  "Or see the grand beginning,
    Where space did not extend?
  Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?"

You cannot limit space in any conception of it you may form—try how you will; for as soon as you fix the limitation, your mind conceives extension beyond the point you fix upon, and you may fix it as distant as you please. So, also, in relation to duration. Mormonism recognizes no limit to duration. Time is endless; there is no absolute beginning or end of time. All beginnings and endings spoken of are but relative, and concern not duration absolutely, but "time" within eternity, when a certain order of things begins or when it reaches an end. We measure duration so, and call it time. So in relation to matter. Mormonism recognizes the eternity of matter and also eternity of spirit; that matter is uncreated; spirit is also uncreated. These, spirit and matter, are eternal existences, constituting what our Book of Mormon speaks of as "things to act and things to be acted upon." (II Nephi ii:14.)

Referring back now to the immensity of the universe—to this limitless, heaving, restless ocean of worlds and world-systems—is it inhabited by sentient beings? Or stands it tenantless save only for our own little earth—less than the single grain of sand on limitless sea shores? On this head Sir Robert Ball, one of the leading men of science in England has a most thoughtful passage; and though it would seem to open again the subject of the immensity of the universe on which we have already dwelt over long, still I cannot consent to omit any part of what follows:

"We know of the existence of 30,000,000 of stars or suns, many of them much more magnificent than the one which gives light to our system. The majority of them are not visible to the eye, or even recognizable by the telescope, but sensitized photographic plates—which are for this purpose eyes that can stare unwinking for hours at a time—have revealed their existence beyond all doubt or question, though most of them are almost inconceivably distant, thousands of tens of thousands of times as far off as our sun. A telegraphic message, for example, which would reach the sun in eight minutes, would not reach some of these stars in 1,800 years. The human mind, of course, does not really conceive such distances, though they can be expressed in formula which the human mind has devised, and the bewildering statement is from one point of view singularly depressing, it reduces so greatly the probable importance of man in the universe. It is most improbable, almost impossible, that these great centers of light should have been created to light up nothing, and as they are far too distant to be of use to us, we may fairly accept the hypothesis that each one has a system of planets around it like our own. Taking an average of only 10 planets to each sun, that hypothesis indicates the existence, within the narrow range to which human observation is still confined, of at least 300,000,000 of separate worlds, many of them doubtless of gigantic size, and it is nearly inconceivable that those worlds can be wholly devoid of living and sentient beings upon them. Granting the, to us, impossible hypothesis that the final cause of the universe is accident, a fortuitous concourse of self-existent atoms, still the accident which produced thinking beings upon this little and inferior world must have frequently repeated itself; while if, as we hold, there is a sentient Creator, it is difficult to believe, without a revelation to that effect, that he has wasted such glorious creative power upon mere masses of insensible matter. God cannot love gases. The probability, at least, is that there are millions of worlds—for after all, what the sensitized paper sees must be but an infinitesimal fraction of the whole occupied by sentient beings."

This is as far as scientific men may go. Our astronomers stand upon our earth with their telescopes directed to the planet Mars, which most nearly resembles the physical conditions of our own earth, so far as may be judged, and they speculate as to whether or not Mars is inhabited. And while they thus stand halting, our Prophet, through the revelations of God and the inspiration of the Almighty that was in him, proclaimed these worlds and world-systems to be inhabited by the sons and daughters of God. Let me read a passage of Mormon scripture to you:

"There are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom;

"And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. * *

"Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?

"Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these, hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.

"Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field and he sent forth his servants into the field to labor in the field;

"And he said unto the first, go ye, and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance;

"And he said unto the second, go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance"—and so he said unto all.

"And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord; every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season;

"Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last.

* * * *

"Therefore, unto this parable will I liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof; every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season; even according to the decree which God hath made."

The late Elder Orson Pratt, in a Footnote, commenting upon the above passages says:

"The inhabitants of each planet blessed with the presence and visits of their Creator."

That which scientific men may only properly say is a probability, the Prophet Joseph boldly proclaims as revealed truth—the universe is not tenantless, but is inhabited by sentient beings—the offspring of Divine Beings.


I think now we have sufficient data before us on which we may proceed to the consideration of the philosophy of Mormonism.

With your permission, then, and asking you to bear with me and follow me as closely as you can in what I now have to offer, I will read—because one ought to be careful in stating conceptions of important things—I will read to you a few paragraphs touching these great and, I think, essential principles of so-called Mormonism that ought to be considered when we are discussing Mormonism as a body of doctrine. I trust we shall arrive at the conclusion, finally, that it is worth more than the "respect of a passing glance." It would be difficult to characterize Mormon philosophy under any of the schools extant. "Eternalism" I should select as the word best suited for its philosophic conceptions. It is dualistic, but not in the sense that it breaks up the universe into two entirely distinct substances—the material world and an "immaterial God,"—as the Christian philosophy, in the main does. It is also monistic, but not in the sense that in the last analysis of things it recognizes no distinctions in matter, or that matter—gross material—and spirit, or mind, a finer and thinking kind of material, are fused into one inseparable sole substance which is at once "God and nature," as the monists claim. Its dualism is that which, while recognizing an infinitely extended substance, the universe, unbounded and empty in no part, but everywhere filled with substance—it holds, nevertheless, that such substance exists in two principle modes, having some qualities in common, and in others being distinct; first, gross material, usually recognized as matter, pure and simple; and, second, a finer, thinking substance, usually regarded by other systems of thought as "spirit," i.e., "immaterial substance"—if one may use terms so contradictory. These two kinds of matter have existed from all eternity and will exist to eternity, in intimate relations. Neither produces the other, they are eternal existences—"things to act and things to be acted upon." The monism of Mormonism, alluded to a moment since, while recognizing the universe as infinitely extended substance and all substance as material—and hence, in this respect, monistic; yet it also recognizes the world substance as being of two kinds: one gross material; the other a finer, or thinking material; having some qualities in common with gross matter, and in others being distinct. "All spirit is matter," said our Prophet, "but it is more fine or pure [i.e., than gross matter tangible to our ordinary senses] and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."

After these distinctions are made and all the while held in consciousness, so that there shall not be a loss of distinction in things, nor a confounding of things, we may hereafter use the terms "intelligence" and "matter"—equivalent of mind and matter—as naming the two modes in which, for Mormonism, the eternal and infinitely extended substance, the universe, exists. To say that intelligence dominates matter and produces all the ceaseless changes going on in the universe, both of creation and demolition, for both forces are operating—as our Pearl of Great Price says: "There are many worlds that have passed away, by the world of my [God's] power; and there are many that now stand; and as one earth shall pass away and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works;" and hence the creation and demolition to which reference is here made. To say that mind dominates matter, I repeat, is merely to say that the superior dominates the inferior; that which acts is greater than that which is acted upon; that mind is the eternal cause of the "ever becoming" in the universe, the cause and sustainer of the cosmic world. It is also to say that mind is power; that mind possesses as qualities the power of thought, and will, and life, and love.

As the grosser material exists ultimately in elements that are themselves eternal—uncreated and uncreatable, so the finer or thinking substance, intelligence is eternal—uncreated and uncreatable. That is the doctrine of the revelation, which says: "Man was in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created, or made—neither, indeed, can be;" and as the gross material, atoms, exist, some in organized worlds and world-systems, the cosmos; and also others in chaotic mass, so the intelligences, intelligent entities, exist in somewhat analogous states, some in the form of perfected exalted men clothed upon with immortal bodies, as the Christ was—nay, rather is now, today, and participating in a nature that is divine—having won their exaltation through stress and trial in the various estates or changes through which they have passed; other intelligences exist in spirit bodies, less tangible than the first class, possessed of less experience, less of power and dignity, but still they are in the way of progress through other estates yet to be experienced by them; also intelligences not yet begotten spirits, not yet united with elements of the grosser substance, union with which is essential to the highest development of intelligences. You find this last doctrine mainly-recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as follows:

"The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected" [as in the case of resurrected, glorified personages] "inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy." "The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled God shall destroy that temple."

Such is the Mormon view of the universe and the modes of existence in it, briefly outlined. These existences, both of the thinking substance and the grosser materials, are subject to infinite changes and development in which there are no ultimates. Each succeeding wave of progress may attain higher and ever higher degrees of excellence, but never attain perfection: The ideal recedes ever as it is approached; and, hence, progress is eternal, even for the highest of existences.

One other thought in connection with all these matters. I read to you a few moments ago a passage to the effect that "to all these kingdoms of the infinite universe is given a law, and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions." Later in the same revelation this is added: "Verily I say unto you he, [God] hath given a law unto all things by which they move in their times and in their seasons. And their courses are fixed; even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets; and they give light to each other in their times and in their season, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years; all these are one year with God, but not with man."

In passing it may be interesting to note respecting the idea expressed above, viz., that "to every law there are certain bounds also and conditions,"—that a remarkable statement was made by a learned man of our own country touching this same principle. The passage quoted from Joseph Smith bears the date of December, 1832. Sixty-three years afterwards, Henry Drummond, speaking upon this principle of law being limited by law—or law itself being under the dominion of law—said:

"One of the most striking generalizations of recent science is that even laws have their law."

That is to say, even unto laws there are certain bounds and conditions that limit them. Let me illustrate it, if I can. The old-time mariner, say of a hundred years ago, knew nothing of nature's forces applied to navigation except the tides, the ocean currents, and the winds. He believed these were all the propelling forces that entered into ocean navigation. If he were alive today, and could see one of our great ocean greyhounds, the modern passenger ocean steamship, dashing through the waves dead against both ocean currents and the wind, and yet making greater speed than he could ever attain in his sailing vessel with both wind and the tide in his favor, he would declare that he beheld a miracle. But that would not be true. We of today, with our knowledge of other forces than those of wind and ocean currents operating in ocean navigation, look upon the steamship's speed as perfectly natural. The natural forces with which the mariner of a hundred years ago was acquainted are simply overcome by other forces in nature; not in violation of any natural law, but through the application of forces unknown to the sailor of a hundred years ago. So, doubtless we shall find it true in relation to nearly all laws or forces that exist. We shall find still other laws, still other forces, that limit or supercede, when applied, the forces now known to us.

But what I wanted to do is merely to call your attention to the fact that Mormonism teaches this very great doctrine, viz., that the whole universe—unlimited and unbounded as it is, and having within it and now operating processes both of evolution and devolution—as it is written in the Book of Moses (Pearl of Great Price): "Behold there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they to man. * * * And as one earth shall pass away and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works"—notwithstanding all this is going on in the universe, the operation of both creative and destructive forces, yet we are assured by the word of God as well as by the deductions of scientists and philosophers that all the mighty change going on in the universe, as well as the universe itself, are under the dominion of law; and in the consciousness of the reign of law, our faith teaches us to repose sublime and perfect confidence in the fact that

  "God is in his world:
  "All is well with the world."

Such I conceive to be the effect of this conception that we live under the reign of law; and that constructive forces predominate in the economy of things, else things that are would not be nor persist.


Now we come to an element in our faith, extremely interesting and that is the transgression of law, which the Apostle John declares to be sin: "for sin," said he, "is the transgression of the law." This transgression of law is a fact that has to be taken into account in the sum of things. The existence of moral evil in the world is one of the problems that has vexed Christian theologians from the earliest of times until now. They have had extreme difficulty in reconciling their conception of God as an absolute being, infinitely wise, all-powerful, all-good, and that he created everything out of nothing, and yet not assign to him the creation of evil. If all things have been produced by an infinitely righteous, perfect, all-powerful, and good Creator, how can moral evil exist in his economy? That is a question to which no satisfactory explanation has yet been found. Mormonism teaches that God does not create moral evil; but that moral evil arises out of the agency of intelligences, and that so long as there are intelligences, possessed of free agency, it means that they can violate law, if they insist upon doing it. To conceive this as impossible would be to deny the free agency of intelligences.

I know there is one passage that, perhaps, might be quoted against my contention, that God does not create evil. It occurs in the writings of Isaiah, it is said—and it is the only place in Scripture where it is said, so far as I have been able to learn—"I [God] make peace," and "I create evil." "I create"—what? "Evil," such as the opposite of peace, such as war, famine, and the like. But to what end does God cause war, or famine? For corrective purposes only, to chastize men, to bring them to a realization of wrong-doing, or national transgression. For these ends God has, sometimes, brought to pass these conditions that we recognize as evil. But that class of evils is quite a distinct thing from moral evil. Though God may bring on a famine, storm, tempest, or war for corrective purposes, yet God is not the creator of falsehood; he is not the creator of slander; nor of drunkenness; nor of avarice, nor malice, nor of robbery, nor unkindness, nor of adulteries. These moral evils are not of his creating. Jesus Christ did not say, "Lead us not into temptation," for, as the Apostle James instructs us, God cannot be tempted of evil. "Let no man," says he, "when he is tempted, say, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed. Then lust when it hath conceived bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." The prayer of the Christ, as taught to his apostles, and as restored through the word of the Lord to our Prophet, is not, "And lead us not into temptation," but "Suffer us not to be led into temptation, deliver us from evil."

So far as moral evil is concerned, then, I say it is not of God's creation. It is one of those possibilities that are eternal. It did not begin with the transgression of Adam upon this earth. It existed before that; even in the heavens, when Lucifer rebelled against the King and majesty of heaven—God. Lucifer had power even there to sin; and so far back as the agency of intelligences extends, there has existed always the possibility of sin; and so far forward as the agency of intelligences shall extend, there will always be the possibility, of the transgression of law, of sin; for sin potentially, is an eternal reality. It is concurrent with the free agency of intelligences.

But God, according to Mormon doctrine, does not create evil, tempt men with it, and then when not sufficiently strong to withstand the temptation, damn them everlastingly for falling. The only way in which God affects men is favorably, that is, he helps them in their apprehension of and their adoption of the good. He does not, according to Mormon doctrine, create intelligence, for that is an independent, self-existing thing; therefore not even God creates man's intelligence, that is uncreated and uncreatable—an eternal thing. As I have said elsewhere, God is not responsible for the use they make of their freedom; nor is he the author of their sufferings when they fall into sin; suffering arises out of the violations of law to which the "intelligence" subscribed, and must be endured until the lessons of obedience to law are learned.

Man has his choice of moving upward or downward in every estate he occupies; often defeating even the benevolent purposes of God respecting him, through his own perverseness; he passes through dire experiences, suffers terribly, yet learns by what he suffers, so that his very suffering becomes a means to his improvement; he learns swiftly or slowly, according to the inherent nature of him, obedience to law; he learns that "that which is governed by law is also preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same; and that which breaketh the law and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice nor judgment. Therefore they must remain filthy still." This conception of things relieves God of the responsibility for the nature and status of intelligences in all stages of their development; their inherent nature and their volition makes them primarily what they are, and this nature they may change, slowly, perhaps, yet change it they may. God has put them in the way of changing it, by enlarging their intelligence through change of environment, and through experiences.


There is a singular fact connected with this subject of moral evil—of sin. And that is that the transgression of the moral law entails suffering, even as violation of physical law may result in pain, or sickness or death. The way of the transgressor is hard. "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap." "The wages of sin is death." Not only are these truisms, but it is also true that often the righteous are made to suffer because of the transgressions of the wicked. The innocent are involved in the misery of the guilty. No man lives unto himself alone, and he may, and often does involve others in his transgressions. It is possible for the fathers to suffer because of the sins of the children. It is possible for the children to suffer because of the sins of the fathers. Many a father can still exclaim as David did over his wayward son Absalom, "O! my son! Would to God that I had died for thee!" This is one of the difficulties that confront religious thought—the innocent being involved in the sufferings of the guilty. Yet, from the midst of our perplexity over such a seeming injustice as this, there comes to us the mighty testimony that it is not only possible but it is a fact, that the innocent can and do suffer with and because of the transgression of the guilty; may they not also suffer for them, since vicarious suffering is a possibility? On that possibility hinges the whole gospel of the Christ, and the saving power of the atonement. It is deeply written in the experiences of men that the innocent can suffer with and because of the guilty; and it is the doctrine of the Christian revelation that the innocent can suffer for the guilty, as witness the following testimonies: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for us." "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." "He [the Christ] appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. * * * So Christ once suffered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." "Christ also suffered for us. * * Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we were healed." It is very clear, then, that it is the doctrine of the Christian revelation, which doctrine of course, Mormonism accepts, that Christ suffered for man's transgressions. There is Scripture evidence also, could we but take the time to point it out, to prove that the whole scheme of man's earth-life and his redemption was considered even before the foundations of the earth itself were laid. And the Redeemer chosen and agreed upon and hence was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Paul announces himself as living, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." The facts in brief are that the time came when for the progress of spirit intelligences an earth-life, under conditions such as exist in this world, became necessary to them. To bring to pass that earth-life the union of spirit with earth element and attended by the experiences which such a life would bring, involved transgression of law, involving the race in sin and death from which it was only possible to extricate it by adequate atonement being made to satisfy the claims of inexorable law. In this crisis there arose in the councils in heaven one great, sympathetic Soul who recognized not only the fact that the innocent can suffer with the guilty, or because of the guilty, but for the guilty, and offered himself a sacrifice for the sin that should be committed in breaking the harmony of things in order to give intelligences the advantages of earth-life and its lessons. The Christ would make atonement for Adam's transgression, so that as in Adam all should die, as saith the Scriptures, so in Christ should all be made alive; that "since by man came death, by man should come also the resurrection of the dead." And not only was this vicarious atonement made to cover the transgression of Adam, but it was made to reach also to the individual sins of men, that they might not suffer if they would accept the gospel. The doctrine is better stated in a revelation given to our Prophet than anywhere else in sacred literature, hence I quote that revelation. Let it be borne in mind that transgression of the moral law—sin—is attended upon by suffering, and now this revelation. It was given through the Prophet to Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, reproving him for some of his delinquencies:

"And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless,

"Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand;

* * * * *

"Therefore I command you to repent, repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not! how exquisite you know not! yea, how hard to bear you know not!

"For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent,

"But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I,

"Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit; and would that I might not drink that bitter cup and shrink—

"Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men;

"Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power, and that you confess your sins, test you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my spirit."

I presume that the experience of Martin Harris, here described, has at least been sufficiently the experience of every matured man and woman—that they know this testimony to be true, that is, that sin produces suffering—sorrow, anguish of heart; and when the Spirit of the Lord is withdrawn and darkness, like the blackness of night surges through the soul of man, and the sun of righteousness seems set for him, he is then made to feel what it means to sin against the law of God as it has been revealed unto his soul. When you think of the bitterness of that personal suffering, you will not marvel that when the heavy burden of a world's sin rested down upon the Son of God in Gethsemane—you certainly will not marvel that he sweat great drops of blood in his agony; nor wonder at his suffering on the cross.

Now, the transgression of the moral law we say results in suffering. It is possible for the innocent to suffer for the guilty, and through the voluntary act of the Christ, he took upon him your sins and mine, if we will but be bought by the price which he paid for us. He has suffered that we might not suffer, if we would but obey his law henceforth.

The atonement of the Christ both for Adam's transgression and for the individual sins of men, brings into the moral economy of God the element of mercy, and of love from which mercy springs. To make room for mercy, however, justice had to be satisfied, hence the atonement. "And God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." This sacrifice of the Christ is the manifestation of that love of God that binds in sympathetic relations all the intelligences of the universe together; by which they suffer not only with each other and because of each other, but at need for each other. This is the doctrine of the atonement of the Christ; this the good news of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may be rescued, I may be rescued, from the suffering that comes of sin, through the vicarious atonement of the Christ. And that the forces of that atonement may be applied to us, we manifest our acceptance of this means of salvation by our repentance of sin, and by going into the waters of baptism, into the great cleansing element of the world, and there are buried with the Christ in likeness of his own burial; and then we are brought forth from the watery tomb in the likeness of his glorious resurrection; and as he awoke to a newness of physical life, by the resurrection, so, too, may we come forth from baptism to a newness of spiritual life. We also complete the baptism by the application of the purifying element, the baptism of the Holy Ghost—likened unto a baptism of fire. The Spirit of God is thus imparted to our spirit, which means that our lives are united with the life of God; by which his wisdom may be at our service; by which his strength may be our strength; his glory, may be our glory. Thus may men be united to God by these most beautiful and holy symbols of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, to keep the object lessons constantly before us, and to be reminded of the price that was paid for the possibility of our redemption from sin, we often partake of the emblems of the body and of the blood of the Christ, by which we renew covenant, by which we renew spiritual life, and thus keep our fellowship with God, that the blood of Christ may cleanse us from all sin.

This, in part, is the body of our doctrine. This is the grand scheme of man's salvation, and the philosophy that underlies it. This is our doctrine concerning the universe, concerning the existence of intelligences within it, the purpose of earth-life of man, and the means provided for man's redemption from the consequences of the transgression of law involved in that earth-life. Judge ye, this day, whether such a body of doctrine as this is not worthy of something more than "the cold respect of a passing glance."


Remarks at the "Peace Meeting," held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Sunday afternoon, May 16th, 1909, following a Discourse by Elder W. W. Riter on the subject of "Universal Peace."


"And he [Jehovah] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plow shares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

This is the passage of Scripture which Elder Riter referred to as being the one which, perhaps, will be more frequently repeated today than any other passage of Scripture; for in our own land, and other Christian lands, this day is dedicated to the promotion of peace; to the suggesting of ways and means by which peaceful arbitration may be substituted for the dreadful arbitrament of war, in the settlement of international difficulties.

I presume there is no one but what loves peace. We remember, of course, the injunction of the Psalmist, "to seek peace and pursue it." We recall, on this occasion, the song of the angels at the birth of the Christ, when the hope of Isaiah in a new form was expressed in the song of the angels, in the Judean hills—"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." I think of all the salutations that were ever spoken to man, the most beautiful is that salutation of the Christ after his resurrection upon meeting his disciples—"Peace be unto you!" This afterwards became the universal Christian salutation—"Peace be unto you!" "He [the Christ] hath called us to peace," is Paul's declaration. Again: "if it be possible—as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Of wisdom it is said:

"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are paths of peace."

From all these expressions we learn, of course, the desirability and the beauty and grace of peace—"peace on earth, and toward men good will." Strange indeed would be the spectacle of a man who would express himself in favor of war instead of peace. Peace is the mother of abundance; the nurse of sciences and of arts; for without peace these things may not abound. Peace is essential to the progress of nations; some one has called it the "calm health of nations." Every prompting of the heart and every deduction of the reasonable mind would array all men upon the side of peace. Good sense demands it; prosperity and progress of nations demand it. I give my voice for peace. But in our contemplation of this subject, there are some other things that, I think, ought to be considered. We must not forget that there is such a thing as "ignoble peace," There has been in the past, and there may be in the future, such things as "honorable wars." There are some things in this world that can not be arbitrated. A burglar, for instance, enters your home, and he loads up his bag with your valuables—your jewelry, your money, the product of your frugality and industry—and when you catch him red-handed in the act, he may not drop his bag and propose arbitration. You can't arbitrate the case; he must be seized and brought before the courts, and receive the punishment due to his crime. The community must be protected against such characters. It is equally true that there are international affairs that may not be arbitrated. A host may not invade our territory, and while still occupying it propose arbitration of differences between us. We will not endure the presence of the invader. He must be driven from the fatherland. Until we reach the basis of assured justice in personal affairs and in national affairs, the world may not hope to dispense with the force that can demand and assure justice. The very existence of law implies force. The great Napoleon, who will yet be recognized as a greater statesman than he was warrior, once said, "Your laws are mere nullities without the force necessary to make them respected." Law implies penalty; penalty implies force; force, in the last analysis of it, means armies and navies, and there is no escaping the conclusion. While God is spoken of as a God of justice, he is also spoken of as a God of battles: and we have a number of instances named in holy writ, where God justified war—notwithstanding all the horrors attendant upon it. There are some things worse than war, and there are some things even better than peace. Justice is better than peace; and without justice, be assured you can have no enduring peace. War is horrible, but slavery is worse. Deprivation of your rights, the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness—to be deprived of these is worse than war; and these are worth all that it costs to maintain them, worthy of all that even a war would cost us to maintain them.


I was much impressed, many years ago, in reading the account of Joshua, when he was taking possession of the land which God had given to the Hebrew race. As he was nearing Jericho, in the early days of his conquests, on one occasion he observed a stranger approaching, with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him and said, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" "Nay," said this glorious personage, "but as captain of the host of the Lord, am I now come;" and Joshua fell at his feet and worshiped him without reproach, acknowledging him as lord, and inquired what he would have him to do; and the divine personage—for he was no less—required the warrior, Joshua, to remove the very shoes from his feet, for he was standing on holy ground! How different this incident from that where an angel appeared unto John, the beloved disciple, and John, overwhelmed with the glamor of the angel's brightness, fell down and worshiped him, or would have done so, but the angel quickly raised him up and said, "See thou do it not, for I am of thy fellow servants and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus, worship God." But in the case of Joshua bowing down to this personage, with drawn sword in hand, "Captain of the Lord's hosts," he was not stopped in his worship of him; proving to us that this personage was more than an angel—that he was divine. What, Deity? Yes, or why was he worshiped by Joshua? Again, it is written in the Scriptures:

"The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh—made war with the Hagarites—and they were helped against them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him.—Then fell down many slain, because the war was of God."

These incidents represent God indeed as a God of battles. I know it is said that "War is hell," and therefore, from that standpoint, some people may think that God has little or nothing to do with war; but at this point I may say that I share the views of his Grace the Archbishop of Armagh, who, in a poem published a few years ago, said:

  "They say that 'war is hell,' the 'great accursed,
    'The sin impossible to be forgiven—
  Yet I can look beyond it at its worst,
    And still find blue in Heaven.
  "And when I note how nobly natures form
    Under the war's red rain, I deem it true,
  That he who made the earthquake and the storm,
    Perchance made battles too!

  * * * * *

  "As the heaven's many colored flames
    At sunset are but dust in rich disguise—
  The ascending earthquake dust of battle frames
    God's pictures in the skies."


You will see, from what I have here said, that while I am interested in this question of peace, and believe in it, I have little sympathy with the hysteria that sometimes goes with those who advocate it. If the world wants peace—very good; the world may have it; but that world-peace which has been the dream of prophets and sages must have for its basis justice. No more beautiful expression than this: "Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other;" and peace is of little worth till kissed by righteousness. Make your basis of universal peace universal justice, and peace is assured. And may we hope for it, this universal peace? Most assuredly. It has been promised the world by divine wisdom, and his word will not fail; but when we get universal peace, it will be because righteousness has been established, and because justice is assured. Those of us, then, who are interested in establishing international peace—universal peace—let us proceed by seeking to establish righteousness—personal and national—and by establishing justice. Already there has been wonderful progress made by the world in this direction. Already we may see the twilight breaking over the eastern hills that gives assurance of the coming day of peace spoken of by the prophets. Elder Riter has traced for us some of the developments in this progress. I think, in modern days our movements towards it have been almost by leaps and bounds. It was in 1815 that the first peace society in the world, was organized. That organization was effected in the United States. It took place immediately after the close of the unfortunate war of 1812, our last war, with Great Britain—pray God it may be, indeed, the very last! The circumstances attendant upon that war, the pity of seeing people of the same race and of the same religion, locked in deadly conflict; and then, too, the unhappy circumstances of having the chief great land battle fought some fifteen or twenty days after the peace between the two nations had really been signed—these circumstances created a sentiment against such wars as this, wars between people so closely allied in interest and sentiment, and religion—it was like brother fighting brother! And the great internecine war between the American states presented to the world even a sadder picture, and created a still stronger sentiment for peace. So the peace movement began from these circumstances, and from these beginnings grew until from a purely local movement it became a national one; and today is an international one. In 1899 we had the happiness of seeing the world's first great, permanent international court of arbitration established, the beginning of the fulfilment of that dream of the prophets, the establishment of the universal parliament of the world, the federation of nations. The leading nations of Europe and America sent delegations to the Hague that year, and there was established this permanent court of arbitration, which has already passed upon some twelve international cases, and that has quite a number of cases still pending before it. This is progress beyond the dreams of men a quarter of a century ago. But these things grow slowly. We need not marvel if the movement that finally established this permanent international court of arbitration grew slowly. "Constitutions," says an authority on civil law, "are not made—they grow." They come up out of the long experience of races of men. They are beaten out upon the anvil of human experience. Take a single nation, a homogenous people—how slow they have been, in the centuries of the past, to come to a settlement of the questions pertaining to the civil rights of persons, to their political rights under the law. How slow individuals have been to learn that liberty is liberty under the law; and not the license to do as one pleases, irrespective of the rights of others! You may be assured that if a race or a nation has made slow progress along these lines, when the people were homogenous, when their civilization was identical, when their aspirations were of one character—then you may be assured that nations of different races, civilizations, traditions and temperaments will still make slower progress and require a longer time to conform their conduct to international law, the object of which shall be to dispense justice among the nations. Still we may hope that this movement towards a recognition of international justice and universal peace will be more rapid than in past ages as to national reforms and progress, since we live in an age noted for the diffusion of knowledge, and a constantly widening circle of intelligence.

In this text I have read to you, there is one thing that I want to call your attention to, that we are apt to overlook, and that is this: "And He [Jehovah] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people," etc. Mark you that! Jehovah "shall judge among the nations;" then comes your promise of the beating of swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks. When? When Jehovah judges among the nations—when his law, the very essence of which is justice, is observed and honored by the nations; then we may hope to find the fulfillment of the dream of the prophet,—and not until then. And when the dream of the poets and sages shall come to pass, and the federation of nations shall be a reality, and there shall be the world's parliament—what then? Why, even then you will find that law implies force to compel obedience, and that force in the last analysis of things means armies, navies—war! So that when the world shall be removed from the possibilities of war, I do not know. My judgment is that we shall need courts, police, armies, navies—the embodiment of force, just so long as on the part of individuals and groups of individuals and communities and nations there is a disposition to resort to acts of injustice, to violate law, to gratify the disposition in man to make aggression upon his fellow-men. These things must be restrained; and, in some cases force only is the means by which they may be restrained; so that the means of the enforcement of law, so far as I can see, must live as long as there is law.

Well, this view is not so very hopeful for international—for universal peace, is it? I read, in my Scriptures, about their having been war even in heaven; and I do not know but what there may be future wars in other heavens—I am sure there will be if there is rebellion against law, and justice, and good order; and it will extend into the future, as well as being a reality of the past. Now, do you not see that the end of all our reflections upon the subject simply means that you must have righteousness or you can have no peace? You must have justice or you can never have peace. Neither Gods nor men have been able to have peace in the past, not even in heaven, apart from these principles; and what holds as to the past, I think is very likely to hold for the future.

As to the sorrow that wars bring to us—I scarcely know what to say of that. But even sorrows have their mission in this world; and suffering has its mission. I think that any Christian who rightly understands the gospel of Jesus Christ will value all the more the salvation that comes to him, by reason of what it cost—the blood-sweat of the Christ in Gethsemane, as well as his sufferings on Calvary. I think a man should value the liberties that he enjoys all the more because of the awful price that has been paid for them. I read here in our Book of Doctrine and Covenants that God inspired the fathers of our republic to establish the Constitution of our country—the United States; and he tells us that he "redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." Are these battles of the past, these sufferings and sacrifices of past generations, of no value? I prize the liberties of our age and the civilization of our times, not only because of the value of the things in themselves, but also because of the price that the generations in the past have paid for them. They become sanctified through the suffering and the sacrifice that it has been necessary to make fo them. Father Ryan has voiced some sentiments, in which I share, and I am going to read them to you. It is said by some one, whom I do not now remember, that "Calvaries and crucifixes take deepest hold of humanity—the triumphs of might are transient, they pass away and are forgotten—the sufferings of Right are graven deepest on the chronicles of nations." I do not believe that all the suffering of the past is wasted, by any manner of means, "Crowns of roses fade; crowns of thorns endure!" And now for this poem:


  "Yes! give me a land where the ruins are spread,
  And the living tread light on the hearts of the dead;
  Yes, give me a land that is blest by the dust,
  And bright with the deeds of the downtrodden just!
  Yes, give me the land that hath legend and lays
  Enshrining the memories of long-vanished days;
  Yes, give me a land that hath story and song,
  To tell of the strife of the Right with the Wrong;
  Yes, give me the land with a grave in each spot,
  And names in the graves that shall not be forgot!
  Yes, give me the land of the wreck and the tomb,
  There's a grandeur in graves—there's a glory in gloom!
  For out of the gloom future brightness is born,
  And the graves of the dead, with the grass overgrown,
  May yet form the footstool of Liberty's throne,
  And each single wreck in the war-path of Might,
  Shall yet be a rock in the Temple of Right!"[1]

[Footnote 1: This poem was often quoted by Mr. Alexander Stephens, of Georgia, than whom America has produced few greater statesmen, and this poem for him seemed to voice the sorrows of the South after the close of the war between the States.]

Now, let us have peace, even if we have to fight for it—and in my judgment, for some time to come, if you have peace, it will be because you are prepared to fight for it; and when the great central government shall be established—the world's federation of nations—it will need the force, the power to compel men to submit to its just decrees. This dream of the poet, here in Isaiah, shall be fulfilled in very deed, when God shall judge among the nations; because when he judges among the nations, he will judge in righteousness, and he will judge in justice; that will insure the world's peace; and our national armaments then will not be necessary. But what experiences, national and international, lie between where we now stand and the attainment of that end—who may tell? Another prophet caught a glimpse of that side of the question, when he declared that the nations would beat their plows into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears (Joel 3:10); and there is something in the way of experience in that kind for modern nations, in all probability. Yet, I am a man of peace, I believe in peace. I intend to work for peace, but I cannot close my eyes to some of these things that are born out of the experiences of races and nations of men; but may God grant that the spirit of peace may increase in the world—there is much need of it, but when peace becomes universal and permanent, be assured it will be so, because righteousness and justice shall have been established in the world.


Being a development of the thought that God had part in founding the government of the United States and is directing its destinies. (Fourth of July speech at Spanish Fork, 1908.)


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I appreciate the honor you have done me in asking me to come to your beautiful and thriving town to speak such things to you as this occasion may suggest. I think it is quite generally conceded that the old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration, like many other old-fashioned things, is growing out of date. The thirteen guns at sunrise, the hoisting of the flag, the early assembling of the people, the parade, in spite of heat and dust, rain or mud, representation of the thirteen states by thirteen young ladies—beautiful all; the assembling of the people in the grove, the prayer of the chaplain, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, with all its serious charges against King George III intact; and, above all, the long and serious and wearying speech of the "orator of the day"—all this is passing away, and we celebrate our nation's birthday usually under less imposing ceremonies; and to this change, for one, I have been entirely reconciled. So far reconciled, in fact, that I had made something like a resolution that never again would I participate in the old-fashioned methods of celebration; that I would no more inflict on my fellow-citizens a Fourth of July speech so often misnamed "oration."

But receiving your committee's very flattering invitation to address the good people of Spanish Fork, a change came over the spirit of my thought, and it occurred to me that at this particular time the occasion might afford an opportunity for the expression of thoughts which I am quite sure the people of your town, and the people of our entire state, would do well to consider at this time, and hence I am here to venture a few remarks which I hope will be of some interest to those here assembled, and without offense to any.


I think no man of intelligence can contemplate the achievements by the United States of America through the last one hundred thirty six years without being over-powered by the sense that what has been wrought is the result of something more than merely unaided, human achievement. The establishment, maintenance and extension of free institutions until they reach triumphant success in permanent, peaceful self-government by the people; the enlargement of our borders from the great lakes to the gulf; from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific; the triumphs obtained over the wilderness; the marvelous extension of civilization; the contributions we have made to civilization itself; the triumphs of intellect over material things; the practical annihilation of distances; the network of railroads, trans-continental and local, with accompanying network of telegraph lines bringing all parts of our land into immediate communication with each other, and with all the world; the multiplication of mechanical contrivances, which removes man from much of the drudgery of life; the marvelous increase in conveniences and comforts of human life, country life, town life, city life and national life; the general uplift that has taken place in intellectual, moral and spiritual life; our expanding educational facilities and the wide dissemination of knowledge among the people; the increase among the people, if not of patriotism, at least of confidence in the permanency and success of our system of government—all these triumphs, I repeat, proclaim a higher power than that which is resident in human wisdom as being the force that founded and that has guided the destinies of our country to the achievement of all this. For some wise purpose, yet to be more perfectly unfolded, through plot and counterplot of men, I feel that God is developing the mysterious harmonies that shall make up the history of our great republic. It is upon this idea that I shall dwell today, the idea that God has had a part in founding our nation and directing thus far its course. I am the more free to take in hand this subject today, because I believe that I am speaking to those who quite generally accept this view.


The following passage is to be found in a book which many of our citizens accept as scripture, and which represents Deity saying:

"It is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the constitution of this land [the United States] by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 101.)

I think this doctrine may be maintained in two ways: First, by reference to the historical incidents of the American revolution, in the throes of which our nation had its birth. And, second, by an appeal to the principles of the constitution on which our nation is founded. Necessarily, of course the consideration of these two branches of the subject must be very limited. Let us consider the first proposition. One hundred and thirty-six years ago today, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the American patriots assembled in Philadelphia, there were in existence, and in rebellion against Great Britain, thirteen colonies extending along the Atlantic seaboard from Massachusetts to Georgia. In round numbers, the population did not reach 3,000,000. They were not a military people. They were a farming and frontier population. The task immediately before them, in an economic way, was the subjugation of the wilderness. They had no great stores of munitions of war, nor were they well supplied with arms. Their commerce was primitive and depended upon the favor and shipping of the nation with which they were at war. They had no great military geniuses among them, and, from the standpoint of those who believe that God fights on the side of those who have the largest and most perfect armies and the heaviest ordinance, the struggle for independent national existence would look hopeless. In the eyes of many of the colonists themselves it was a forlorn hope, this dream of independence. They were about to measure arms with one of the most formidable empires of the world. A nation ready and armed at all points, "her navies," as some of the leading men of Virginia said—"her navies were riding triumphantly in every sea; her armies never marched but to certain victory." What could be the issue of such a conflict except that the colonies would become an easy prey to Great Britain, and the rebellion would end in converting "the right" which the British parliament then claimed to tax America without representation, into a firm and indubitable right by conquest?

The fact alone that the colonies succeeded in the face of such overwhelming odds in winning their independence must necessarily argue the support of some superhuman power which intervenes in the affairs of nations. And when the secondary means through which victory was finally secured for the colonies is considered, the more apparent becomes the fact of divine interposition. The mind skeptical to such faith as this, would naturally say that the victory of the colonies was achieved because France and Spain, old enemies of Great Britain, and Holland, her jealous rival for the world's commerce, joined with the American colonies in the war against Great Britain, and that those nations, rather than the colonial armies, won for the American colonies their independence. To my mind, however, it is just here that the interposition of divine providence becomes most apparent; and I find my belief most aptly expressed by one of the most accomplished of American historians (Marcus Wilson), who, in commenting upon the treaty of peace signed by Great Britain, France, Spain, Holland and the United States, said:

"This closed the most important war in which England had ever been engaged—a war which rose wholly out of her ungenerous treatment of her American colonies. The expense of blood and treasure which this war cost England was enormous; nor, indeed, did her European antagonists suffer much less severely. The United States was the only country that could look to any beneficial results from the war, and these were ordained by a strange union of opposing motives and principles, unequaled in the annals of history. France and Spain, the arbitrary despots of the old world, had stood forth as the protectors of an infant republic, and had combined, contrary to all the principles of their political faith, to establish the rising liberties of America. They appeared but as blind instruments in the hands of providence, employed to aid in the rounding of a nation which should cultivate those republican virtues that were destined yet to regenerate the world upon the principles of universal intelligence, and eventually to overthrow the timeworn system of tyrannical usurpation of the few over the many."

To this expression of my belief I may hope to add nothing. I do, however, desire, in addition to the evidence thus presented for the idea of the interposition of providence in the affairs which led to the establishment of our nation, I do desire to call your attention to the fact that some of the great American leaders in the Revolutionary period had a most perfect pre-vision of all these events which history records as having taken place. Among these inspired men, which many of you believe God raised up to found the constitution of our country, there certainly was none more inspired than the great Virginia orator, Patrick Henry. Mr. Wirt, his biographer, calls attention to an item of his history which seems to have been strangely overlooked by those who speak of this great man and the contributions he made to the general cause of freedom in our land. Mr. Wirt tells us of a conversation that took place at the residence of Colonel Samuel Overton, in Virginia, in the presence of a number of prominent gentlemen that is so clearly prophetic that you shall not find in Isaiah or Micah or Amos or any of the Jewish prophets a passage that surpasses it for prophetic clearness. I shall quote the incident as related by Mr. Wirt, who received the story of Mr. Pope, and records it in his excellent biography of Patrick Henry:

"I was informed by Colonel John Overton, that before one drop of blood was shed in our contest with Great Britain, he was at Colonel Samuel Overton's in company with Mr. Henry, Colonel Morris, John Hawkins and Colonel Samuel Overton, when the last mentioned gentleman asked Mr. Henry, 'whether he supposed Great Britain would drive her colonies to extremities, and if she should, what he thought would be the issue of the war.' When Mr. Henry, after looking round to see who were present, expressed himself confidentially to the company in the following manner:

"'She will drive us to extremities; no accommodation will take place; hostilities will soon commence, and a desperate and bloody touch it will be.' 'But,' said Colonel Samuel Overton, 'do you think, Mr. Henry, that an infant nation as we are, without discipline, arms, ammunition, ships of war, or money to procure them do you think it possible, thus circumstanced, to oppose successfully the fleets and armies of Great Britain?' 'I will be candid with you,' replied Mr. Henry. 'I doubt whether we shall be able, alone, to cope with so powerful a nation. But,' continued he (rising from his chair, with great animation), 'where is France? Where is Spain? Where is Holland?—the natural enemies of Great Britain. Where will they be all this while? Do you suppose they will stand by, idle and indifferent spectators to the contest? Will Louis XVI be asleep all this time? Believe me, no! When Louis XVI shall be satisfied by our serious opposition, and our Declaration of Independence, that all prospect of a reconciliation is gone, then, and not until then, will he furnish us with arms, ammunition, and clothing; and not with these only, but he will send his fleets and armies to fight our battles for us; he will form with us a treaty offensive and defensive, against our unnatural mother. Spain and Holland will join the confederation! Our independence will be established! and we shall take our stand among the nations of the earth!' Here he ceased; and Colonel John Overton says, he shall never forget the voice and prophetic manner with which these predictions were uttered, and which have been since so literally verified. Colonel Overton says, at the word independence, the company appeared to be startled; for they had never heard anything of the kind before even suggested."

I think this passage alone, when the roster of "American prophets" shall be made up, will place this first man of our Revolutionary period high on the list of such prophets, and we shall yet have occasion to be as proud of our American prophets as the Jews are of their prophets. Of other manifestations of inspiration in the men who guided the councils of our nation in this Revolutionary period, I may not here speak at length. It is matter of pride, however, that their wisdom was recognized by friends over the sea. Of the first continental congress, the Earl of Chatham, in the British house of lords, said:

"I must declare and avow, that in all my reading and study of history (and it has been my favorite study—I have read Thucydides, and have studied and admired the master states of the world), that for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity and wisdom of conclusion, under such a complication of circumstances, no nation or body of men can stand in preference to the general congress of Philadelphia."

Whence obtained these men the wisdom that thus challenged the admiration of the first statesman of Great Britain, and of his age, a man of gigantic intellectual powers, of incorruptible integrity, and who devoted the great powers of his mind to the service of his country? Could the wilderness impart much knowledge of principles of government and statesmanship as was manifested in the councils of those American planters, manufacturers and trades people? What books were extant from which they could learn it? Was it the genius of the land they inhabited that taught them statecraft? Was it the spirit of freedom that brooded over the country, over lake and stream and forest that sought self-expression through them? Did the wild waves of the Atlantic, as they broke upon the shingle of New England's rugged coast, hymn civic wisdom into their souls? Let poets and romancers attribute it to what source they will, to me it was the inspiration of God which touched their spirits and gave them understanding.

And not only was that inspiration wisdom to the American councils, but it inspired courage in the presence of defeat and patience that taught their armies to wait for their victory. It gave hope and calm to the turbulent spirit of Washington, and faith and confidence to his companions in arms. It kept alive the fires and patriotism in the breast of the common soldier and quieted the fears of the loved ones left to watch over the homes during the absence of husbands and fathers and sons. It affected all the departments of the great struggle until "Yorktown's sun rose on a nation's banner spread, a nation's freedom won." And the nation of the United States began that career whose achievements are the admiration and marvel of the world.


Let us now consider the second proposition; namely, that the inspiration of those who founded our constitution may be sustained by a consideration of the principles on which our government is founded. That there were republics and federated republics, too, before our own, goes without saying; that the justice of the principle of government by the people had been recognized by masters of the science of civil government is equally true; but never before in the history of the world has there been developed such a highly complex system of government, none in which there has been such a balancing and fair adjustment of powers, will be conceded by every student of history and of civil government. In the first place, the division of the sovereign power of government into three co-ordinate and independent departments, both in the states and in the nation—the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments—is more insisted upon than in any other government that has ever been established. Then, again, in the division of the sovereign power as between the states and the general government it is unique. On the one side the general government is more limited and on the other more extended than in any other republic ever founded. Limited in that the general government is confined to powers expressly conferred upon it by the constitution, while all other powers of government are reserved to the states or to the people, respectively. The side on which its powers are more extended than in any previous confederation is in this, that power is conferred upon the general government to execute its own laws, with its own machinery, and upon all citizens within any one and in all the states. The French philosopher, De Tocqueville, declares that the principle of our republic rested upon "a wholly novel theory, which may be considered as a great discovery in modern political science, and for which there is as yet no specific name." Enlarging upon the subject, he said:

"This constitution, which may at first be confounded with the federal constitutions which have preceded it, rests, in truth, upon a wholly novel theory, which may be considered as a great discovery in modern political science. In all the confederations which preceded the American constitution in 1789, the allied states for a common object agreed to obey the injunctions of a federal government; but they reserved to themselves the right of ordaining and embracing the execution of the laws of the Union. The American states which combined in 1789 agreed that the federal government should not only dictate, but should execute its own enactments. In both cases the right is the same, but the exercise of the right is different, and this difference produced the most momentous consequences. The new word, which ought to express this novel thing, does not yet exist. The human understanding more easily invents new things than new words, and we are hence constrained to employ many improper and inadequate expressions."

Our own national experience proves that it is the adoption of this principle in our system of government which supplies the element of strength that is usually supposed to be lacking in republican forms of government, and makes it possible for a republic to persist, to be strong, and at the same time conserve the freedom of the people.

The principle, however, which most concerns us here today in our deliberations is the great and fundamental principle of our system of government—"the law of laws," as De Tocqueville calls it, the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people—"government of the people, by the people and for the people." This principle is, of course, the foundation not only of our republic but of all republics. It has, however, in our American system received increased emphasis; it has taken on new life; it has become a reality. There are not wanting writers on civil government who say this principle is active in all governments, and, indeed, to some extent, that is true; but for the most part, in modern times, until the establishment of our own government, this principle found expression only "in the purchased suffrages of a few of the satellites of power." At other times "in the votes of the timid or interested minority." Or else it was "discovered in the silence of the people and based on the supposition that the fact of submission establishes the right to govern." But in our system this principle is not barren or concealed; it is recognized by the customs of the people, as well as proclaimed by the laws. "It spreads freely and arrives without impediment at its most remote consequences," as De Tocqueville urges, and it has direct application to the affairs of government. It is a principle that takes government out of the hands of a favored few, and recognizes civil power as resident in the people. It upsets the doctrine of the divine right of kings to rule, and of priests to interfere, only as they may exercise their rights of citizenship in common with their fellow-citizens. That utterance of our Declaration of Independence, which says "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," may seem at first glance to be an unimportant statement, but tremendous consequences draw it, and it was truly revolutionary in its character, as matters stood in the political affairs of the British Empire at the time it was proclaimed. And when we say that we believe that the constitution of our country was established by a divine inspiration, working through the men who formulated it, we should remember that we stand committed to this doctrine of government by the people; and to such of us who hold to a divine inspiration in our constitution, that principle of our government is God-ordained.

Referring to this idea that the constitution of our country is an inspired instrument, I am tempted to believe sometimes that we fail to appreciate the seriousness of that doctrine. We are apt to speak of it too glibly, and as applying to a mass of things that we have never taken the time to analyze and consider in detail. But if we really mean what we say when holding to this view of the constitution being an inspired instrument, then let us remember that we believe that the constitution, not only as a whole, but in its parts, is inspired of God. That is, it was a divine wisdom that recognized the power of civil government as resident in the people. In other words, God ordains, for our country at least, that government shall be by the people; that the sovereign power of government which they ordain and establish shall be divided into its three co-ordinate and independent branches, executive, legislative and judicial; that there shall be a further division of the sovereign powers of government between the states and the general government; that the general government is authorized to exercise only such powers as are expressly conferred upon it by the constitution; that the rest of the sovereign powers of government are reserved to the states and to the people respectively. The theory that the constitution of our country is inspired commits us to the doctrine that there shall be freedom of the press, freedom of speech, separation of church and state, and the freedom, equality and independence of the individual citizen—all these things together and severally are ordained of God; and he who infringes upon any one of these things ordained by our inspired constitution is untrue to that order of things that God has ordained for our government through an inspired constitution.

There is even more than all this to those of us who believe the constitution to be an inspired instrument; for the most of us who believe that believe also that the Book of Mormon is a true history of ancient America; and in that book is recorded an historical incident which has a direct bearing upon the subject we are here considering. It refers to a new element in government by the people; one that we will do well to properly regard. And that is, the direct personal responsibility that the individual carries under a system of government where the people rule. The incident occurs in the alleged reign of Mosiah I at a period that corresponds with the latter half of the second century before Christ. The old king proposed to his people a revolution in the form of government by which monarchy should be abandoned and the republican form of government be established in its place. In urging this revolutionary measure the good king said:

"It is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you, yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. * * * * And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if this people commit sins and iniquities, they shall be answered upon their own heads. For behold, I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings. And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this be a land of liberty, that every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land; yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land."

The old king in his passage points to the existence of an important element in government by the people, the moral element; the direct, personal responsibility of the individual for such evils as obtain under government where the people rule. But in order that this element of moral responsibility may be brought into government, it stands to reason that every individual must be free and untrammeled in the exercise of his political duties, in the casting of his vote. Each individual musts have an equal voice in the government. Every man must be a sovereign in the civil institution, and his vote must represent the voice and judgment of a free man. A vote unawed by influence, and uncoerced by any power whatsoever. Less than this would bring the whole scheme of government by the voice of the people into contempt and failure. Under the system of government by the people, in order to retain the moral responsibility of the people in civil affairs, there must be no appeal but to the intelligent judgment of the individual. Each man's act must be the act of a free man; and those who would corrupt the electorate of a government where the people rule, or sway it by any other force than by an appeal to reason, would destroy this element of personal, moral responsibility in civil government, and in the case of those of us who accept this book from which I am quoting—if we would appeal to any other force than to that of reason, we would be setting ourselves against an order of things that God has ordained.

This old king of whom I am speaking manifested wisdom in another respect. His suggestion of this change from a monarchy to a republic carried with it the provision that the change should not go into effect until the time of his death. He would remain king so long as he lived; then the rule by the voice of the people should begin. Was the old monarch conscious that it would be difficult to inaugurate this rule of the people while he yet lived? That there would be those who would seek to know his desires, then proclaim them, influence the minds of the electorate, and thus still have Mosiah's rule instead of government by the people? I do not know how far these thoughts may have been the thoughts of the king; but surely he removed grave difficulties from the institution of his newly conceived form of government for his people by putting off its inauguration until after his death. For sure it is that the desires of one so esteemed, so wise and unselfish, would have had such influence that his wishes, howsoever expressed, would have been followed by the people, and in a measure the end of his proposed revolution would have been thwarted.

These reflections bring to my recollection the words of an American writer (Orville Dewey) whose works I learned to esteem in the early days of my reading. Especially did I admire the following passage on what the character of a free people should be, from his essay on "Human Life:"

"Liberty gentlemen, is a solemn thing—a welcome, a joyous, a glorious thing, if you please; but it is a solemn thing. A free people must be a thoughtful people. The subjects of a despot may be reckless and gay if they can. A free people must be serious; for it has to do the greatest things that ever was done in the world—to govern itself. That hour in human life is most serious when it passes from parental control into free manhood; then must the man bind the righteous law upon himself, more strongly than father or mother ever bound it upon him. And when a people leaves the leading-strings of prescriptive authority, and enters upon the ground of freedom, that ground must be fenced with law; it must be tilled with wisdom; it must be hallowed with prayer. The tribunal of justice, the free school, the holy church must be built there, to entrench, to defend and to keep the sacred heritage. * * * In the universe there is no trust so awful as moral freedom; and all good civil freedom depends upon the use of that. But look at it. Around every human, every rational being, is drawn a circle; the space within is cleared from obstruction, or, at least, from all coercion; it is sacred to the being himself who stands there; it is secured and consecrated to his own responsibility. May I say it?—God himself does not penetrate there with any absolute, any coercive power! He compels the winds and waves to obey him; he compels animal instincts to obey him; but he does not compel men to obey. That sphere he leaves free; he brings influences to bear upon it; but the last, final, solemn, infinite question between right and wrong, he leaves to man himself. Ah! instead of madly delighting in his freedom, I could imagine a man to protest, to complain, to tremble that such a tremendous prerogative is accorded to him. But it is accorded to him, and nothing but willing obedience can discharge that solemn trust; nothing but a heroism greater than that which fights battles, and pours out its blood on its country's altar—the heroism of self-renunciation and self-control. Come that liberty! I invoke it with all the ardor of the poets and orators of freedom; with Spenser and Milton, with Hampden and Sydney, with Rienzi and Dante, with Hamilton and Washington, I invoke it. Come that liberty! Come none that does not lead to that! Come the liberty that shall strike off every chain, not only of iron, and iron-law, but of painful constriction, of fear, of enslaving passion, of mad self-will; the liberty of perfect truth and love, of holy faith and glad obedience!"

I trust this consideration of some of the details that enter into the idea that our constitution is a divinely inspired instrument, will bring home to us more emphatically the seriousness of that declaration, as also that it will bring to us the realization of our responsibilities that we sustain as free men, as sovereigns in a free government. I trust, however, that you will not think I am calling attention to these matters because I believe there will be any failure on the part of the people of our great republic to perpetuate these institutions so vital to our system of government. I cannot believe that our nation was brought into existence under the circumstances that attended upon its birth to end at last in failure. On the contrary, I am persuaded that the time has fully come for the establishment in this world, in some permanent way, government by the people. That the reign of tyrants is ended and that the rule of the people has begun, and will remain. The people of our country, especially the people of our state, I trust, and believe, will stand for the great principles that will perpetuate free institutions; that there shall be in our country "equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political;" that our nation shall continue as an indissoluble union of indestructible states; that "the state governments shall be supported in all their rights as the most competent administration for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwark against anti-republican tendencies;" that the general government "shall be preserved in its whole constitutional vigor as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;" that a "jealous care shall be exercised of the right of election by the people"—unawed by influence, uncoerced by any power other than an appeal to reason; that "absolute acquiescence shall be maintained in the decision of the majority, the vital principle of republics;" also "the supremacy of the civil over military authority;" the "diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses at the board of public reason; freedom of the press and freedom of person"[1]—all these shall be maintained, and with these principles maintained we may be assured that free government will not perish from among men.

[Footnote 1: The reader will, of course, recognize these quoted members of the concluding sentence as excerpts from Jefferson's First Inaugural Address.]

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