Previous chapter Previous chapter Table of Contents Table of Contents Next chapter Next chapter



ON July 19, 1867, W. J. Boleyne wrote from Birmingham, England, to President Smith as follows:-

"The gospel here is onward. There is a great work being done around Birmingham. We are baptizing almost every week, and the saints are rejoicing in the glorious gifts of the gospel. Truly do they thank God that he has enabled you to withstand the temptations of the Brighamite Church; and that you have come forth to offer them again the pure law given to your father. The Brighamites are losing ground here. They are fast turning to the side of truth. But they say they have been told by their elders that you will desert your post, and follow Brigham. We ever pray that you may stand faithful to God and his people.

"Bro. George Hatt has done a good work here. He has been untiring in his labors for the good of the saints and the work of God. He has proven by his walk that he is a man of God. The saints are anxiously looking for Bro. J. W. Briggs. For there are some large branches, and they are longing for the time to come when they will be organized in conference, and be able to meet together in that capacity.

"In a place called Chasetown, in Staffordshire, the meetings are largely attended by strangers, in numbers varying from one thousand to fifteen hundred people. There are few preachers here. I now conclude, praying God to bless the saints everywhere."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, pp. 92, 93.

(page 478)


Elder W. W. Blair wrote from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, giving an account of labor done by himself and Elder Ebenezer Robinson among the Rigdonites, which resulted in the baptism of ten, including their presiding elder, N. H. Ditterline, and the organization of a branch of the Reorganization, over which Elder Ditterline, the former president of the Rigdonite branch, presided.

Elders Blair and Robinson were also looking after the stereotyping of the Inspired Translation, on which they reported satisfactory progress.

Of the work in New Brunswick, James Griffin wrote to Elder John Landers as follows:-

"We have had some happy times together since you left us, but we have had many temptations and trials, and persecutions too, but thank God for that faith that will not shrink. I feel if we are faithful we will receive greater blessings than we have ever yet received. We had Bro. George Parker and his wife to see us last Sunday, and we had a glorious meeting; Sister Parker both spoke and sung in tongues; the Spirit was with us in great power. Thank the Lord for his goodness. Bros. Sandy and Flagg are still strong in the faith."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, p. 110.

Elder O. B. Thomas wrote from Hopkins, Michigan, announcing that a branch had been organized at that place by Elder E. C. Briggs, and reporting excellent work done by Elders Briggs and T. W. Smith.

The following address from Elder A. H. Smith, in taking leave of the Pacific slope, breathes a good spirit, and is worth a careful reading:-

"Beloved Saints, Greeting:-Whereas, I being called on a mission to California by a conference held at Plano, Illinois, April 6, 1866, did, on the 20th day of May, 1866, in company with Bro. William Anderson, take leave of my family and all home endearments, to cross the dreary plains, mountains, and deserts, in full faith believing God had called me, and in this faith I left all I held most dear on earth, in the hand of him who doeth all things well, and took my chance in the dangers incident to a land journey across

(page 479)


this vast continent. My companion, Bro. William Anderson, and I have endured many hardships, but we count them as jewels of worth, as every trial of our faith that we overcome, every temptation we resisted, every hardship we bore, will be as faithful witnesses in our behalf in that day when we are called to render an account of our stewardship.

"We now have been laboring over twelve months in California, and you know with what spirit we have labored, and I believe none can say we have been slothful or negligent in our duties as missionaries. I have met the saints in every phase of life, I have endeavored to teach the principles of love, charity, forbearance, hope, faith, and loyalty to God and his Son Jesus Christ. I have endeavored to share your sorrows, bear your burdens, and lighten your trials; your griefs have been mine as well as your joys; I have prayed for you, have been sustained by your prayers, as well as the bounteous provisions for my own personal comfort. I have met you in joy, I have met you in trouble and shared the same. I have wept at parting, and rejoiced to meet you, and in all these scenes I have seen the workings of God's Holy Spirit, and I thank him for all his mercies to his choice people. I have tried to unite you in one in love and faith; how successful I have been you best know. You also know what Spirit I have brought into your midst, and that Spirit I endeavor to leave with you in our temporal separation, and I pray to God to continue that same Spirit with you, as I do know it brings 'peace,' 'love,' 'joy,' and confidence. But now the time draws nigh for my return to the bosom of my family, and I grieve to leave you, yet rejoice because of the anticipated joy of meeting mother, wife, children, and brothers, after so long a separation. It will be joy indeed to meet them once more, and now as I contemplate leaving your midst, I wish to leave with you some few words of exhortation. In view of the past troubles in which you have been mixed, let me say, the same cause will produce the same effects, and now I warn all saints to beware of self exaltation, and avoid being lifted up in your own estimation. If you are wise give God the honor, nor boast of your wisdom and power, as God is the giver of all

(page 480)


we have and are; and again, never let minor differences in opinion on doctrine separate brethren, nor set up your own construction of the law of God as supreme, for there is a possibility of your being mistaken, or deceived by a wrong spirit; and again, be diligent in watching, not your brother and neighbor, but yourselves, and see that you study to make yourselves approved workmen, minding your own business and letting others do the same. If you will do this, you will in the future avoid much trouble and vexation of spirit; and one more point I wish you to notice, and that is, do not look for perfection in man till he who is perfect is come, even Jesus our Lord; never pin your faith to the sleeve of any man, nor make the arm of flesh your trust, for as sure as you do, you will meet with disappointment, and a severe fall. Worship God, and have your faith firmly fixed in Jesus Christ, and you never will be shaken in time nor in eternity.

"I desire in this brief letter to the saints, to express my gratitude for the love they have shown to me; I fear I can never repay them for all their kindness, I can only say I pray God to reward them fourfold, nay, ten fold, both spiritually and temporally, and in the future I ask you still to pray for me that I may prove faithful to the end of my days, and be saved in God's kingdom.

"In the future, should God call me to return to your midst, I shall feel sure of a welcome, for I know the faithful hearts that beat in the bosoms of the saints of the Pacific slope; I know the fountains of love that abound in those true and faithful souls obtain their supply at the fountain head, even God our Father, who art in heaven. Now you have the assurance that my prayers shall ascend in your behalf, and may peace, joy, love, and union be and abide with you, both now and forever, in time and in eternity, is the constant prayer of your servant in the gospel of Christ our Lord.


"WATSONVILLE, California, September 22, 1867."

-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, pp. 151, 152.

In the Herald for October 1, 1867, the editor reports progress and sounds a warning, as follows:-

(page 481)


"The work is progressing rapidly in various localities.

A renewed energy is discoverable in Northern Illinois, also in Missouri. Bro. Blair writes encouragingly from Philadelphia. . . .

"A two-days' meeting at Plano, and a quarterly conference at Fox River have shown us, by their beneficial results, that there is much of good in store for us yet.

"Anyone teaching polygamy, in the name of the church, is guilty of betraying the trust reposed in them; thereby bringing disgrace upon the church, and merited punishment upon themselves.

"The saints are hereby requested to notify the First Presidency, or the President of the Twelve, of any who shall, in the name of the church, publicly or privately teach polygamy, or its cousins germane. We do not intend to be compromised by the action of persons who may hold connection with the church, who teach contrary to the well-defined position of the authorities of the church, upon the doctrine referred to.

"Those who are trusted by the church to be its representatives abroad must pay heed to this warning; for if found disregarding it, they must suffer the consequences. The church will lift the hand against them."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, p. 109.

The Semiannual Conference convened October 6, 1867, at Union Grove, Iowa, and continued three days. President Joseph Smith presided, and Elders M. H. Forscutt and William H. Kelley were clerks.

The first day was occupied by addresses from President Smith and Elders W. H. Kelley, Wheeler Baldwin, and Charles Derry.

On the second day districts reported, after which the following elders reported: James Caffall, James Kemp, C. W. Lange, M. H. Forscutt, W. A. Litz, Thomas H. Waddel.

The following releases were ordered during the conference: Charles W. Lange from his mission to the Germans; D. P. Hartwell and J. Craven from their mission to the Southern States; R. C. B. Elvin from the presidency of the Southern Nebraska district; Z. S. Martin from the presidency

(page 482)


of Central Nebraska district; E. Cannon from his mission in Fremont County, Iowa; James Kemp from his mission in Southern Nebraska; Lehi Ellison from his mission to Indiana.

The following resolutions regarding the Twelve and Seventy were adopted:-

"Whereas, in the opinion of this conference, it is inexpedient that an Apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve should have special local jurisdiction, except as the exigencies of foreign missions may require, be it

"Resolved that each member of that quorum now holding presidency involving such jurisdiction be and is hereby released; that the same rule be applied to the Quorum of the Seventies."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, p. 141.

By direction of the conference Elder Thomas Dobson was ordained a high priest, and Isaac Beebe an elder; the first by Charles Derry and I. L. Rogers, the second by Charles Derry and Z. S. Martin.

The following appointments were made: Samuel Longbottom and Frederick Hansen, England; William H. Kelley, Minnesota; Eli Clothier, Michigan; T. J. Smith and J. Jamieson, Missouri; Thomas E. Waddel, Calvin A. Beebe, Wilson Sellers, and Isaac Beebe, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida; Alexander McCord and C. W. Lange, Canada; Thomas Dobson, to presidency of Galland's Grove district; Silas W. Condit, to presidency of Harrison County district; Wheeler Baldwin, to presidency of Fremont County district; M. H. Forscutt, under special direction of President Joseph Smith; Walter Kinney, to presidency of String Prairie district; E. J. Hudson, to the presidency of Central Nebraska district; J. W. Waldsmith, to the presidency of Southern Nebraska district; James Caffall, Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska; Z. S. Martin, Ohio; B. H. Ballowe, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The published minutes close as follows:-

"The conference was well attended by the saints, and everything passed off without a single jar. Greater unanimity of feeling and concert of action has never probably

(page 483)


obtained than from its opening to its close. The words of inspiration flowed; the Spirit of God was manifested; and the heart of every saint present made to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings, prayer meetings were held, and on the two latter nights the gifts of the gospel manifested in tongues, interpretations, prophecies, etc. On Monday night the president of the meeting called for the sick to come forth, and having appointed Elders Forscutt, Elvin, Putney, Craven, and Kelley to administer, some twenty-eight were administered to, and many blessings conferred. The hearts of the saints leaped within them for joy, and God verified his word, proving himself to be the God of the saints by his power, as he proved himself the God of Israel of old. To him the glory, now, henceforth and forever, through Jesus his beloved Son, our adorable Master. Amen.

"JOSEPH SMITH, President.


"WILLIAM H. KELLEY, } Clerks."

-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, p. 143.

On September 26, 1867, President Joseph Smith left Plano, Illinois, for an extended trip west. He visited the following places, a part of the time accompanied by Bishop I. L. Rogers, then by Elder M. H. Forscutt, and later by Elder S. W. Condit: Galland's Grove, Little Sioux, Union Grove (where he attended the Semiannual Conference of that year), Raglan, North Pigeon, Crescent City, North Star, Union Branch, Plum Hollow, Manti, Nephi, Council Bluffs, Preparation, Twelve Mile Grove, and Deloit, Iowa; and Camp Creek, Nebraska City, Omaha, Florence, and De Soto, Nebraska. This trip was written up in detail and published in the closing numbers of the Herald for 1867. His report indicated favorable conditions and encouraging prospects.

On November 25, 1867, Elder M. H. Forscutt wrote from Council Bluffs, Iowa, as follows:-

"Calvin and Isaac Beebe left Nebraska City on Wednesday last, enroute south. I attended Union conference. Bro. McCord informs me he will start about New Year. . . .

(page 484)


William H. Kelley has gone on his mission. B. H. Ballowe talks of starting this week."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 12, pp. 182, 183.

On December 26 Elder J. C. Clapp wrote from Brownsville, Oregon, of an excellent interest there, saying "I never have seen so much inquiry in my life."

The last Herald of the year brought to the waiting saints the tidings that the Inspired Translation of the Holy Scriptures was at last ready for mailing, five hundred out of the first edition of five thousand having just been received at the Herald Office. We have frequently made reference in this History to the translation, preservation, and preparation of this work It was introduced to the public by an extensive and explanatory preface. 1

1 This work is given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to the public in pursuance of the commandment of God.
As concerning the manner of translation and correction, it is evident from the manuscripts and the testimony of those who were conversant with the facts, that it was done by direct revelation from God.
It was begun in June, 1830, and was finished July 2, 1833.
Joseph Smith was born in December, 1805, and was, at the finishing of the manuscripts of this work, in the twenty-eighth year of his age.
The manuscripts, at his death, in 1844, were left in the hands of his widow, where they remained until the spring of 1866, when they were delivered to William Marks, I. L. Rogers, and William W. Blair, a committee appointed by the Annual Conference of April, 1866, to procure them for publication; and were by them delivered to the Committee of Publication, consisting of Joseph Smith, Israel L. Rogers, and Ebenezer Robinson, and are now presented as they came into our hands.
It is declared in the Book of Mormon that "many plain and precious parts" have been taken away from the Bible:-
"For behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb, many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have been taken away; and all this have they done, that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God, and after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles."-1 Book of Nephi 3:40-Book of Mormon.
This declaration is fully sustained by the following quotations from history, relative to the transmission of the Bible.
Professor William Whiston, in his translation of the works of Flavius Josephus, in a note to chapter 11 of book 9, Ant. Jews, in reference to a quotation, professedly from Nahum, says:-
"By which quotation we learn what he himself always asserts, viz.: that he made use of the Hebrew original, (and not of the Greek version;)

(page 485)


The church has ever been willing and anxious that this translation should be critically compared with other translations

as also we learn, that his Hebrew copy considerably differed from ours."
Dupin says in his "Complete History of the Canon and writers of the Books of the Old and New Testament:"-
"St. Jerome, in his commentary upon the fortieth chapter of Ezekiel says: 'When we translate the Hebrew words into Latin, we are sometimes guided by conjecture.'"
Again he says: "When Origen observed that there was less in the Greek than in the Hebrew, he did supply it from the version of Theodotion, and put an asterisk or star to it, to signify that this was to illustrate what was obscure. St. Jerome makes frequent mention of the additions, corrections, and SUBSTRACTIONS made in the versions of the Septuagint, by Origen. . . . St. Jerome says in the preface to his commentary on Daniel, that in all both the Greek and Latin churches, both in those in Syria and in Egypt, the edition of Origen is made use of."
Again, Dupin says: "By the carelessness of the transcribers, and sometimes of those who set them at work, the asterisks being either misunderstood, or entirely left out in some places, the addition of Theodotion were CONFOUNDED with the version of the Septuagint, which perhaps moved St. Jerome to say that Origen had corrupted and confounded the version of the Septuagint."
Dupin continues: "In short we must confess that there are many differences betwixt the Hebrew test and the version of the Septuagint, which arise from the corruption and confusion that are in the Greek version we now have. It is certain that it hath been revised divers times, and that several authors have taken liberty to add thereunto, to RETRENCH and correct divers things. That in the first centuries there were different editions, and that corrections have been inserted from the versions of Theodotion and others, which made St. Jerome say with reason, that in his time the version of the Septuagint was nowhere to be found in its purity. . . . It is mere superstition to assert, as some authors do, that the Hebrew text which we have at present is not corrupted in any place, and that there is no fault, nor any thing left out, and that we must indisputably follow it at all times. This is not only to speak without all evidence, and contrary to all probability, but we have very good proof to the contrary, for in the first place there are differences betwixt the oldest of the Hebrew copies which the Massorites have observed, by that which they called Keri and Ketib, and putting one of the readings in the text and the other in the margin, we have the different readings of the Jews of the East and the Jews of the West, of the Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali, and the manuscript copies of the Bible are not always alike."
This "Complete History of the Canon," etc., says: "The Council of Trent, (held in 1540,) when it declared the vulgar version authentic, did not thereby declare it as done by divine inspiration, neither as a piece conformable in all respects to the original texts, or free from all errors. . . . Notwithstanding the care and precaution of the Massorites and Jews who have wrote or printed the Hebrew Bibles, there are still a great many differences between the manuscripts and printed Bibles, as Buxtorfe has observed in his Rabbinical Library, and Capelle after him. There are differences in the punctuation about the consonants, and whole words and verses which shows that let them be never so diligent, it is impossible but some faults will slip in, either in the copying or printing of a work. . . . Nor can it be said for certain that all those books which are cited in the Holy Scriptures were of divine inspiration.

(page 486)


of the Holy Scriptures, and then judged upon its comparative merit. The year 1867 Will be remembered in

"Tis a medium and middle way that ought to be followed, according to the opinion of the fathers, who have acknowledged that there may be some books divinely inspired, and others of human composition among those that are cited in the canonical books. . . . It cannot be said that no fault has crept into the scriptures by the negligence or inadvertency of the transcribers, or even by the BOLDNESS of those who have ventured to strike out, ADD, or change some words which they thought necessary to be omitted, added, or changed. This is the common fate of all books, from which God has not thought fit to exempt even the sacred writings. From hence have proceeded those various and different lections between the Greek copies of the books of the New Testament, which began to appear in the first ages of the church, and are still continued."
Says Dupin: "We do not find that the two greatest men of the church, I mean Origen and St. Hierom, who had searched the ancient copies of the scriptures with so much care and diligence, and have visited so many churches in the East, have ever spoken of the originals of the New Testament, written with the hands of the apostles, which they would not have failed to do if there had been any in their time." To account for this, Dupin continues, "But it hath been already made to appear, elsewhere, that it is no wonder that the primitive Christians, who had not a regular body of a state in which they lived, and whose assemblies, on the contrary, were furiously disturbed by the Jews and pagans, had lost the originals of their books." From the same work we take the following: "In the primitive ages there was no talk of reading the Holy Scriptures in the originals; any copy whatever, provided it was used in the orthodox churches, might be relied upon as if it had been the first original, written with the hands of the apostles."
Dupin continues: "The critics have sometimes reformed the text, because they looked upon it as faulty; they have met with a sense that shocked them in the text, and which might be reformed by taking away one single word; they have determined that the text ought to read so and so, and have boldly corrected the text upon a mere conjecture. The copiers or the regulators of the copies have taken a great deal of liberty upon this respect being pursued-that they should do some service in explaining it more clearly, but sometimes have determined the text by such words as give it quite another sense."
"St. Chrysostom observes: The Jews having been at some times careless and negligent, and at other times profane, they suffered some of the sacred books to be lost through their carelessness, and have burnt and destroyed others."-Simons' Crit. Hist. N. Text.
"The common version of the Bible was printed in A. D. 1611. The only printed editions of the Greek Testament at that time were Cardinal Ximenes', printed A. D., 1514; Erasmus', in 1516; Stephens', 1546, and Beza's, in 1562, with some editions taken from these, substantially the same may be said of the Old Testament. King James' Translation was made from no uniform edition whatever. Although there is, by authority, a standard English edition of the Bible, there is no standard Hebrew or Greek text for the original of that version. That called the 'received text,' is the text of Erasmus, which is a version of the Latin Vulgate compared with the Greek text. This edition was corrected severally, by Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir, and published by the latter, at Leyden, in Holland, in 1624, thirteen years after King James' translation was published. In the compilation of this 'received text,' Erasmus consulted but eight manuscripts, only one of Revelation; all

(page 487)


the annals of church history as an important one because of the publication of this Sacred Record.

of which copies were later than the tenth century. The manuscript of Revelation was but a partial one. To supply what was wanting, he translated the Latin of the Vulgate into Greek, to supply the deficiencies, to make up the 'received text.'"-March's Introduction, vol. 2, p. 846, and Penn's Annotations.
It is also declared in the Book of Mormon, touching the restoration of the Scriptures: "Wherefore the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord."-2 Nephi 2:1.
And again: "And the angel spake unto me, saying, these last records which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him or they cannot be saved; and they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb."-1 Nephi 3: 43.
In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 22, paragraph 9, we read as follows: "And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto you concerning this earth upon which thou standest and thou shalt write these things which I shall speak, and in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught, and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold I will raise up another like unto thee, and they shall be had again among the children of men; among as many as shall believe."
Again in section 42, paragraph 15: "Thou shalt ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety; and it is expedient that thou shouldst hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until ye have received them in full. And I give unto you a commandment, that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people."-Preface to the Holy Scriptures, pp. 3-6.

(page 488)

Previous chapter Previous chapter Table of Contents Table of Contents Next chapter Next chapter