Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter<!>
Vol. III. No. 16.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JUNE 15, 1842. [Whole No. 52
From the Millennial Star.
Grapes From Thorns
and Figs from Thistles.
"Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt A tree is known by its fruit."-[Jesus Christ.
This rule has often been applied to the moral conduct of individual professors, but we now propose to apply it to religious systems, and churches; for if a tree is known by its fruit, churches and systems may also be known by their fruits.
On all sides we turn our eyes we behold the Christian world divided into sects and parties-all differing from each other and all professing to be the church of Christ. Hence the inquiring mind often meets with extreme difficulty in endeavoring to ascertain the right, from the wrong. All the Protestant world agree that the Roman Catholic, or mother church, is so corrupt, and so far apostatised [apostatized] from the truth, that a reformation was not only needed but absolutely necessary. Many of them even go so far as to say, that she is the "mother of harlots"-the woman upon the "scarlet colored beast"-"anti-Christ"-"the man of sin," &c. Indeed, her principles are so abominably wicked, and so manifestly corrupt, that the thinking mind is almost forced to the above conclusions.
But still the Roman Catholic religion was the national religion of England for many hundred years. She built the ancient chapels where the Protestants now worship. Under her authority the country was divided into parishes,. bishopricks [bishoprics] , &c. All the offices and ordinances were administered by her. She ordained the bishops and clergy, and she christened the entire population, from generation to generation. At length, in the reign of Henry the VIII, the authorities of England and most of her population became Protestants, they were excommunicated from the communion of the mother church, and withdrew from her fellowship.
At length, after many bloody struggles the Church of England was established in her present from. But still she professed to retain the priesthood and ordinances which she had received from the Catholic or mother church-that is, her bishops and clergy claimed no new commission from Heaven, and her members were not christened anew.
Now comes the application of our text. If the mother church was a good tree, why should Protestant England leave her communion? If, on the other hand, she was a bad tree, how could her priesthood and ordinances be good?
Question. From whence did the Protestant church derive her authority as to offices, ordinances, and christenings?
Answer. From the Catholics.
Quest. Was the Catholic church a good tree or a bad one?
Ans. She was a BAD one-so says protestantism.
Quest. "Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles"-can a bad tree produce a good stock or branch?
Ans. "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; a tree is known by its fruits."
Now according to the plainest rules of logic, if the Catholic church was Anti-Christian, then her christening, or baptism, and her priesthood, was not of heaven but of men. God neither recognized the Catholic church as his church-her ministers as his ministers, or her ordinances as his ordinances. Then as a matter of course, the Protestants were without a Christian ministry, and without a Christian baptism, when they first dissented from the Catholics. Therefore their only alternative would have been to have received a new commission by revelation from Heaven; and, consequently, a new baptism. That is, all the Protestant people, both clergy and laymen, should have been considered as unbaptized, until they were administered to by Protestants, who had been commissioned by new revelation.
The fact of her having retained her baptism and her priesthood, which she received. while Catholic, establishes the point beyond controversy, that she is a stock or branch of the old tree. And by so doing she virtually acknowledges the tree from which she grew to be a good tree, or herself a bad one.
If then, the Catholic church is considered
a "thorn" or "thistle," the Protestant church cannot be considered a fig or grape.
The same remarks will, in all their force apply to Methodism in all its branches and to all other systems which have derived their priesthood and ordinances from the mother church. If the Catholics are false, then Protestantism has no foundation. Luther derived his authority from the Catholics. Wesley derived his authority and baptism from the established church, and so did his followers.
We might trace this matter from one branch of reformers or dissenters to another, in all their various sects, from the early dawn of the pretended reformation down to the smallest sprig or branch, of which the great tree of corrupt Christianity, or anti-christianity, is composed; but we forbear. Suffice it to say, that the same rule will apply to all, except such as can absolutely claim authority be revelation from God.
But churchmen, Methodist, and Protestants in general, deny in the plainest terms, the possibility of any revelation later than the Bible.
Hence if you enquire [inquire] of them what they have against the principles of the Latter Day Saints, the answer is, "They are deluded because they admit of new revelation."
Now the very moment they (the Protestants) take this stand, they deprive themselves of every claim to authority from God, in ministering holy things, unless it is derived from the mother of abominations.
No man taketh this ministry upon himself (says Paul) but him who is called of God, as was Aaron." It is plain that Aaron was called by revelation. One of the prophets in reproving the corruptions of the priesthood, says as follows: "The priests' lips should keep knowledge and receive the LAW at his (God's) MOUTH." Revelation is inseparably connected with the priesthood, as an unchanging principle from all eternity to all eternity. Where there is no gift of revelation there can be no priesthood, and where there is no priesthood there can be no ordinances of God, and where there are no ordinances of God there can be no church of God.-All doctrine, ordinances, gifts, and blessings pertaining to the church of God, spring from an inspired priesthood as directly as a stream flows from a fountain, or as fruit is produced from a tree. As well might man attempt to produce apples or figs independent of a tree, as to expect a church of Christ to be in existence without apostles, prophets, &c., to administer the ordinances and blessings thereof.
Since the great apostacy [apostasy] from primitive Christianity, all the reformers of which we have any knowledge have fallen into this one inconsistency, viz: of patching new cloth on to old garments; and thus the rent has been made worse. For instance, the Protestants have sought a reformation in doctrine without a recommission and a new administration of ordinances. The Wesleyans sought a reformation in practice, without a reformation of doctrine. The Irvingites sought to graft the gifts of the spirit on to a corrupt church, without a change of ordinances or priesthood. The Rev. Alexander Campbell has attempted to restore the ordinances without the priesthood, or gifts of the spirit. The friends or Quakers have considered both priesthood and ordinances of no use, and that the spirit itself is sufficient, &c., &c. Thus all the attempts at reformation have failed to produce the desired effect; ages have rolled away, and the rent is still made worse, or the new wine has burst the old bottles; and thus bottles and wine have been lost or destroyed.
At length the full time had arrived for the great restoration of all things to commence, for the great and last dispensation to be ushered into the world. The Lord uttered his voice from the heavens, an holy angel came forth and restored the priesthood and apostleship, and hence has arisen the church of the saints;* new in priesthood, new in ordinances, new in spirit gifts, ands blessings. It claims no affinity with the "mother of harlots or any of her daughters." It denies the ordinances and priesthood which have grown out of her roots. In short it is a NEW TREE-NEW FRUIT-NEW WINE AND NEW* BOTTLES, NEW CLOTH and NEW GARMENTS-NEW LEVEN [leaven] and NEW LUMP-a new covenant and spirit; and may it roll on till we have a new heaven and a new earth, that we may dwell forever in the new Jerusalem, while old things pass away, and all things are made new, even so, Amen.
* New to this generation.
Train up a child in the was [ways] he should go, a [and] when he is old he will not depart from it.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
I did not however go immediately to translating, but went to laboring with my hands upon a small farm which I had purchased of my wife's father, in order to provide for my family. In the month of February eighteen hundred and twenty nine may father came to visit us at which time I received the following revelation for him.
A Revelation to Joseph Smith, Sen., given February, 1829.
Now 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 desire to serve God, ye are called to the work, for behold the field is white already to harvest, and lo, he that thursteth [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, qualifies 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. Amen.
The following I applied for at the request of the aforementioned Martin Harris, and obtained.
Revelation given March 1829.
Behold I say unto you, that as my servant Martin Harris has desired a witness at my hand, that you, my servant Joseph Smith, jr. have got the plates of which you have testified and borne record that you have received of me: and now behold, this shall you say unto him, He who spake unto you said unto you, I the Lord am God, and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, jr. and have commanded you that you shall stand as a witness of these things, and I have caused you that you should enter into a covenant with me that you should not show them except to those persons to whom I command you; and you have no power over them except I grant it unto you. And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you, and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.
Verily I say unto you, that wo shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth if they will not hearken unto my words: for hereafter you shall be ordained and go forth and deliver my words unto the children of men. Behold if they will not believe my words, they would not believe you, my servant Joseph, if it were possible that you could show them all these things which I have committed unto you. O this unbelieving and stiffnecked generation, mine anger is kindled against them.
Behold verily, I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; but this generation shall have my word through you; and in addition to your testimony the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain, unto whom I will show these things: and they shall go forth with my words that are given through you, yea, they shall know of a surety that these things are true: for from heaven will I declare it unto them: I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are; and to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony, among this generation, in this, the beginning of the rising up, and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness-clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. And the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word; and behold whosoever believeth on my words them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit, and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit. And you must wait yet a little while; for ye are not yet ordained-and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against them: for a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out, from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away, and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming, Behold, I tell you these things even as I also told the
people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time, as it hath hitherto been verified.
And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and yield to the persuasions of men no more;. and that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith I have commanded you, and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain.
And now again I speak unto you, my servant Joseph, concerning the man that desires the witness: behold I say unto him he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me: but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see. And then he shall say unto the people of this generation, behold I have seen the things which the Lord has shown unto Joseph Smith, jr. and I know of a surety that they are true, for I have seen them: for they have been shown unto me by the power of God and not of man. And I the Lord command him, my servant Martin Harris, that he shall say no more unto them concerning these things, except he shall say I have seen them, and they have been shown unto me by the power of God: and these are the words which he shall say. But if he deny this he will break the covenant which he has before covenanted with me, and behold he is condemned. And now except he humble himself and acknowledge unto me the things that he has done which are wrong, and covenant with me that he will keep my commandments, and exercise faith in me, behold, I say unto him, he shall have no such views; for I will grant unto him no views of the things of which I have spoken. And if this be the case I command you, my servant Joseph, that you shall say unto him, that he shall do no more, nor trouble me any more concerning this matter.
And if this be the case, behold I say unto thee Joseph, when thou hast translated a few more pages thou shalt stop for a season, even until I command thee again: then thou mayest translate again. And except thou do this, behold thou shalt have no more gift, and I will take away the thing which I have entrusted with thee. And now because I foresee the lying in wait to destroy thee: yea, I foresee that if my servant Martin Harris humbleth not himself, and receive a witness from my hand, that he will fall into transgression; and there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee from off the face of the earth: and for this cause, that thy days may be prolonged, I have given unto thee these commandments; yea for this cause I have said, stop and stand still untill [until] I command thee, and I will provide means wherby [whereby] thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee; and if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
Traits of the Mosaic History,
Found Among the Aztaeca Nations.
The tradition commences with an account of the deluge, as they had preserved it in books made from the buffalo and deer skin, in which account there is more certainty than if it had been preserved by mere oral tradition, handed down from father to son.
They begin by painting, or as we would say by telling us that Noah, whom they call Tezpi, saved himself with his wife, whom they call Xochiquetzal, on a raft or canoe. Is not this the ark? The raft or canoe rested on or at the foot of a mountain, which they call Colhuacan. Is not this Ararat? The men born after this deluge were born dumb. Is not this the confusion of language at Babel? A dove from the top of a tree destributes [distributes] languages to them in the form of an olive leaf. Is not this the dove of Noah, which returned with that leaf in her mouth, as related in Genisis [Genesis]? They say that on this raft, besides Tezpi and his wife, were several children, and animals, with grain, the preservation of which was of importance to mankind. Is not this in almost exact accordance with what was saved in the ark with Noah, as stated in Genisis [Genesis]?
When the Great Spirit, Tezcatlipoca, ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi sent out from his raft a vulture, which never returned, on account of the great quantities of dead carcases [carcasses] which it found to feed upon.. Is not this the raven of Noah, which did not return when it was sent out the second time, for the very reason here assigned by the Mexicans? Tezpi sent other birds one of which was the humming bird; this bird alone returned, holding in its beak a branch covered with leaves. Is not this the dove?-Tezpi, seeing that fresh verdure now clothed the earth, quitted his raft near the mountain of Colhuacan. Is not this an allusion to Ararat of Asia? They say the tongues which the dove gave to mankind, were infinitely varied; which when received, they immediately dispersed.-But among them were 15 heads or chiefs of families, which were permitted to speak the same language, and these were the Taltecs, the Aculhucans and Azteca nations who embodied themselves together, which was very natural, and traveled they knew not where, but at length arrived in the country of Aztalan, of the lake country of America.
The plates or engraving presented here is a surprising representation of the deluge of Noah; and of the confusion of the ancient language at the building of the tower of Babel, as related in the Book of Genisis [Genesis]. (see chap. vii and xi.
We have derived the subject of this plate from Baron Humbolt's volume of Researches in Mexico, who found it painted on a manuscript book, made of the leaves of some kind of tree, suitable for the purpose, after the manner of ancient nations of the sultry parts of Asia around the Mediterranean.
The plate, however here presented shows no more than a picture of the flood, with Noah afloat on a raft, or as the traditions of some of the nations say on a tree, a canoe, and some say in a vessel of huge dimensions. Italso [It also] shows by the group of men approaching the bird, a somewhat obscure history of the confusion of the ancient language at the building of Babel, by representing them as being born dumb, who receive the gift of speech from a dove, which flutters in the branches of the tree, while she presents the languages to the mute throng, by bestowing upon each individual a leaf of the tree, which is shown in the form of small commas suspended from its beak.
Among the different nations, according to Humboldt, who inhabited Mexico, were found paintings which represented the deluge, orflood [or flood] of Tezpi.
The painting of which the plate is the representation, shows Tezpi, of Noah, in the midst of the waters laying on his back. The mountain, the summit of which is crowned by a tree and rises above the wasters is the peak of Colhucan, the Ararat of the Mexicans. At the foot of the mountain on each side appear the heads of Noah and his wife. The woman is known by the two points extending up from her forehead, which is the universal designation of the female sex among the Mexicans.; The horn at the left hand of the tree with a human hand pointing to it, is the character representing a mountain and the head of a bird placed above the head of Tezpi or Noah, shows the vulture which the Mexicans say Tezpi sent out of his acalli or boat to see if the waters had subsided.
In the figure of the bid with the leaves of a tree in his beak, is shown the circumstance of the dove's return to the ark, when it had been sent out the second time bringing a branch of the olive in its mouth; but in their tradition it had become misplaced, and is made the author of the languages. That birds have a language was believed by the nations of the old world. Some of those nations retain a surprising traditional account of the deluge; who say that Noah embarked in a spacious acalli or boat, with his wife, his children, several animals, and grain, the preservation of which was of g eat importance to mankind. When the Great Spirit, Tezcatlipoca, ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi or Noah sent out from his boat a vulture. But the bird's natural food was that of dead carcases [carcasses], it did not return on account of the great number of dead carcasses with which the earth now dried in some places abounded.
Tezpi sent out other birds one of which was humming bird; this bird alone returned again to the boat, holding in his beak a branch covered with leaves. Tezpi now knowing that the earth was dry, being clothed with fresh verdure, quitted his bark near the mountain Colhucan or Ararat. A tradition of the same fact, the deluge, is also found among the Indians of the Northwest. I received, says a late traveller [traveler], the following account from a Chief of one of the tribes in his own words, in the English. "An old man live great while ago, he wery [very] good man, he have three sons. The great spirit tell him go make a raft-build wigwam on top; for he make it rain wery [very] much.-When this done, Great spirit say, put into of all the creatures, then take sun moon-all the stars, put them in-get in himself with his Equa (wife) children, shut door, all dark outside.-Then it rain much, hard many days. When they stay there long time-Great Spirit say, old man go out. So he take, diving [living] animal. sao [say] gy [go] see if find the earth; so he went, come back, not find any thing. Then he wait few days-send out mushquash see what he find. When he come back, brought some mud in he paw; old man wery [very] glad; he tell mushquash he wery [very] good, long this world stand be plenty mush-quash, no man ever kill you all. Then few days more he take wary [very] pretty bird send him out see what it find; that bird no come back; so he sent out one white bird that come back, have grass in he mouth. So old know water going down. The great Spirit say, old man, let sun, moon, stars go out, old man too. He go out, raft on much big mountain when he see pretty bird he sent out first, eating dead things-he say, bird you do no right, when me send you out no come back, you must be black, you no prety [pretty] bird any more-you always eat bad things. So it was black."
There are many things contained in the above that go to support the testimony of the Book of Mormon, as well as that of the Mosaic history. The Mexican records agree so well with the word of the book of Ether (found by the people of Limhi, which is contained in the Book of Mormon) in relation to the confounding of languages, that we insert the following:
BOOK OF ETHER-CHAP. I.
* * * Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swear in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of this earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered. And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and being a man highly favored of the Lord; for Jared his brother said unto him, cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded. Then Jared said unto his brother, cry again unto the Lord, and it maybe that he will turn away his anger
from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language. And it came pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded. And it came to pass that Jared spoke again unto his brother, saying, go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go.-And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth. And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.
And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared. And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him and said unto him, go to and gather together thy flocks, both make and female of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind, and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families. And when thou hast done this, thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley that is northward. And there will ;I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the land of the earth. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the earth. And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation.-And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed; upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.
Here, then, we have two records found upon this continent, that go to support the words of eternal truth-the Bible; and whilst these records, both of them, sanction the testimony of the scriptures in regard to the flood, the tower of Babel, ands the confusion of languages; the tradition and hyeroglyphics [hieroglyphics] of the Zaltees, the Colhuacans, and the Azteca nations, in regard to the confusion of languages and their travels to this land, is so like that contained in the Book of Mormon, that the striking analogy must be seen by every superficial observer.
In regard to the confusion of languages it is said of the above nations, that there were "fifteen heads, or chiefs of families, that were permitted to speak the same language." The Book of Mormon, concerning the same event, says: "And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord; and the Lord had compassion on Jared, therefore he did not confound the language of Jared"-and it further states that Jared's brother's language was not confounded; and they then prayed for their families and friends also, and the Lord heard them in their behalf; and their language was not confounded. These accounts, then, precisely agree, one of which was found in Ontario county, N. Y., and the other in Mexico.
Again, those nations, of families, embodied themselves together and traveled they know not where, but at length arrived in the country of Aztalan, of the lake country of America. The Book of Mormon says, that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, that he would give them another land; the Lord heard him, and told him to go to a certain place, "and there I will meet thee and go before thee into a land which is choice above all the land of the earth." This it further speaks is the land of America. The coincidence is so striking that further comment is unnecessary.-ED.
For the Times and Seasons
Letter From Tennessee.
Putnam County, Tenn., May 18, 1842
Mr. Editor:-Dear Sir-It devolves upon me, although a painful duty, to announce to you the present state and condition of affairs as we have found them in this place. On the 18th of March I arrived at the city of Nashville, and after visiting several branches of the church, and setting them in order according to my appointment, I was informed by Dr. Alfonzo Young, that recently, a branch of the church had been organized in Putnam county, by William and Alford Young, who professed to teach our principles, viz: The faith of the Latter Day Saints. In order to give you the opportunity of suppressing the progress of difficulties arising from false teachers, we address this line to you for your information; being thoroughly acquainted with many of the principle taught by them, and also of the evils resulting from their teachings and conduct. They profess to be empowered with ten supernatural gifts, nine of them are contained in the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians-raising the dead they claim as the 10th. Mr. Daniel Hunt, one of their coadjutors, in addition to the gifts above mentioned, claims to be the personage spoken of in the 20th chapter of Revelations who is to bind the dragon on a thousand years; he also professes to have the power to seal up unto eternal life. They have made six proselytes near the town of Alexandria, De Kalb county. The authenticity of the Book of Mormon was by them held in obscurity, and when interrogated on the subject they would reply, that the time would come when they should arrive at its contents; that the book was not designed to be taught to the Gentiles at present, and that it was only to be taught to the Jews in order to effect their restoration. They pretended to raise the dead while in Smith county, twenty miles distant from this place on two different occasions; one of these miraculous
displays of the spirit, was exhibited in raising one of the above named ministers who died while on his mission to this place, and in performing this operation as well as many others [other] trange [strange] manúuvers [maneuvers], they would act as the spirit dictated, and when satan would approach them they would wind up his bands [bind up his hands?]-this they did to prevent his influence over them-by a motion of the hands and accompanied with words uttered in a harsh heavy tone, this was the second revolution performed. They have some tremendous combats with the devil in order to prepare for the contest, they would take off their coats and hats and roll up their sleeves, as though they had a Goliah [Goliath] to encounter, and after an engagement of several hours, they would finally succeed in divesting the room of these demons; but frequently after the doors were closed great exertion was made to prevent their returning again. These were some of the effects of that spirit which animated the bosom of these counterfeit Mormons. They taught their converts to contend for the same spirit which they possessed, and when they obtained it and were impelled by it, it produced a change of countenance depicted with horror; a trembling, twitching, falling down and wallowing in the mud; others would snort like wild beasts, bark as dogs, run through the creek, pretending to sing and speak in tongues, crying prophecy, prophecy; others would lie in a swoon for several hours, and springing to their feet again, state that the spirit had commanded them to chastise certain characters who were present, and would then fall upon them with all their strength as though they were to be exterminated in reality; one of these young ladies fell on her knees before me, and said, although I was a stranger yet she loved me because I was a preacher, and attempted to put her arms around my neck; I put forth my hand and rebuked the evil spirit by which she was actuated, and she immediately fell to the earth and wept with shame. Those gentlemen I have not seen who introduced these principles into this neighborhood, they left here some time in the month of March, and directed their course for the western district of Tennessee. But this was the deplorable situation of these miserable and unfortunate proselytes when Dr. Young and myself came to their relief. This course of conduct, you are well aware, produced great opposition to the faith of the Latter Day Saints, particularly by those who were watching for iniquity, in so much that we were threatened with mobs if we did not leave the neighborhood immediately, stating that Mormonism had already destroyed the peace of some of their citizens; however, we did not regard threats, and knowing most asuredly [assuredly] if we should shrink from our duty and not proclaim against such proceedings, and discard all such conduct and folly as was exhibited in this place by these impostors, that we would not stand acquitted before that God to whom we must, as well as all men, render an impartial account of our stewardship.-Under these considerations I determined to try to remove the veil of obscurity, that sin should be reproved, and truth vindicated; so I frankly told them that the spirit by which they were actuated, emenated [emanated] from Lucifer, the prince of darkness, and that its delusive influence would ultimately prove destructive to all the souls that were influenced by it if they did not resist it immediately. Elder Samuel Frost came to my assistance a few days after I arrived here, and has been laboring diligently with me ever since to remove the prejudice and erroneous notions that were imbibed by many in consequence of false teachings; and truly the Lord has blessed us, and confirmed the word by signs following; for the sick have been restored immediately by the prayer of faith through the atoning blood of the covenant, in the name of Jesus. Unclean spirits, also, have been subject to the priesthood through our administration in a number of instances, the most of those that were possessed of the evil spirit have been restored to their proper mind, indeed I never realized so sensibly the worth of the power of the priesthood since I have been called to the mintstry [ministry], as I did on this occasion. I have baptized 28 persons in Rutherford, Smith, and Putnam counties. Brothers Frost and Linzey have baptized 22 in Knox county. We have many calls to preach, as prejudice has given way to a great extent, and I think there is not only a possibility, but a probability, of effecting a considerable work in this place.
We remain, as ever yours,
In everlasting gospel of peace,
John D. Lee,
Samuel B. Frost.
We publish the foregoing letter entire; and for the information of the citizens of the neighborhood where the circumstances transpired, take this opportunity of expressing our decided, unqualified disapprobation of the proceedings of William and Alford Young. If they have ever been united with this church and are not cut off, we withdraw fellowship from them until they make satisfaction for what they have done; we commend Elders Lee, Young , and Frost for the course they have taken in this affair, and would recommend that all those who have entertained this spirit and will not repent and reform, be cut off from the Church; such spirits ought at all times to be opposed and put down, for they are of the devil; and the spirit of God never was, is not now, nor never will be manifested in the indecorous manner, that the spirit above referred to maifested [manifested] itself in.
It is a shame for any man, much more a woman, to participate in such outrageous, inhuman, abominable and devilish transactions; and we frequently wonder where men put the little common sense that they possess, when they suffer themselves to be influenced by such unreasonable, ungodly spirits. David once feigned himself mad, in order that he might escape from the hands of a king who held him in bondage, but these men voluntarily and unblushingly act the madman, and would fain palm their wild rantings, their braying and beastly propensities, which is the product of a frantic brain and bewildered imagination, and the offspring of satan upon God and the Mormons; by calling it the spirit of God and themselves Mormons. If this be the spirit of God we are ignorant of it, and if this be Mormonism we have it yet to learn. The plain principles of truth, the gift and blessings of the gospel as they existed in the primitive days; the pure principles of truth as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, and taught and administered in by the Apostles, subject us to sufficient approbrium [opprobrium], without having fathered upon us the offspring of satan, and the ebulitions of a frantic mind and disordered brain.
We would refer our readers to an article written upon this subject in the 11th No. of this vol. headed "Try the Spirits." As we have so lately written upon this subject, it will be unnecessary for us to enter into particulars at the present; but we would say, "try the spirits," "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good." Paul has said "God is not the author of confusion, but of order as in all the churches of the Saints."-ED.
[Hand] A new edition of the BOOK OF MORMON has just come out of press, and will be bound in a few days and ready for sale.
[Hand] The Editor of the "Signs of the Times"-the paper that advocates the coming of Christ next year, proposes to publish "a pamplet [pamphlet] in a few weeks, which will fully expose the iniquity of the Mormon delusion." Such an announcement is amusing enough; while, at the same time, it shows most conclusively the blindness and folly of religious fanaticism. The doctrines of the Mormons are, to be sure, somewhat inconsistent and absurd, when viewed by the light of reason and common sense; but when viewed by the Bible, which is a very different sort of light and a very dubious one they appear on the whole, quite as authentic as Christian doctrines generally. Whatever may be the absurdities of the Mormons, (we mean their doctrines, not themselves, for personally we believe they are quite as correct a people as can be found in any Christian sect in existence,)-whatever, we repeat, may be the absurdities of their doctrines, they have none so supremely ridiculous as that advocated by the signs of the Times;" and if the Editor was not clean gone in religious monomania he must certainly see it himself. What can be more foolish, if we think of it for a moment, than the doctrines of Christ's bodily appearance in the clouds with a retinue of angels, &c., all of them sailing through the air and blowing trumpets as they pass? The idea even on Bible authority, is nonsensical in the extreme, since all these pretended personages being spiritual, it is impossible they can be seen by material beings, or perform material works. Nor does the Bible afford any more conclusive authority for the doctrine that Christ is to come next year or at any particular time, since Christ himself expressly declares in the 24th Chapter of Matthew and 36 verse, that "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only." But in the face of this high authority, which all Christians if consistent, ought to be governed by, the Rev. Editor of the :Signs of the Times," does not hesitate to speak confidently of the time of Christ's coming-thus presuming in fact, to possess the knowledge of God himself! And yet he deliberately reproaches the Mormons for being deluded! How very applicable in this case, are the words of one of his own standards,-"Physician heal thyself!"-Boston Inv.
Times and Seasons.
City of Nauvoo,
Wednesday, June 15, 1842.
Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Various and conflicting are the opinions of men in regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some people have been in the habit of calling every supernatural manifestation, the effects of the spirit of God, whilst there are others that think their is no manifestation connected with it at all; and that it is nothing but a mere impulse of the mind, or an inward feeling, impression, or secret testimony or evidence which men possess, and that there is no such thing as an outward manifestation. It is not to be wondered at that men should be ignorant, in a great measure, of the principles of salvation, and more especially of the nature, office, power, influence, gifts and blessings of the Gift of the Holy Ghost; when we consider that the human family have been enveloped in gross darkness and ignorance for many centuries past without revelation, or any just criterion to arrive at a knowledge of the things of God, which can only be known by the spirit of God. Hence it not unfrequently [infrequently] occurs, that when the elders of this church preach to the inhabitants of the world, that if they obey the gospel they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, that the people expect to see some wonderful manifestation; some great display of power, or some extraordinary miracle performed; and it is often the case that young members in this church, for want of better information, carry along with them their old notions of things and sometimes fall into eggregious [egregious] errors. We have lately had some information concerning a few members that are in this dilema [dilemma] , and for their information make a few remarks upon the subject.
We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the apostles days;-we believe that it is necessary to make and to organize the priesthood; that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it; we also believe in prophecy, in tongues, in visions, and in revelation, in gifts and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gift of the Holy Ghost; we believe that holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and that holy men in these days speak by the same principle; we believe in its being a comforter and a witness bearer, "that it brings things past to our remembrance, leads us into all truth, and shews [shows] us of things to come:" we believe that "no man can know that Jesus is the Christ; but by the Holy Ghost." We believe in it in all its fullness, and power, and greatness, and glory: but whilst we do this we believe in it rationally, reasonably, consistently, and scripturally, and not according to the wild vagaries, foolish, notions and traditions of men. The human family are very apt to run to extremes, especially in religieus [religious] matters, and hence people in general, either want some miraculous display, or they will not believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost at all. If an elder lays his hands upon a person, it is thought by many that the person must immediately rise and speak in tongues, and prophesy; this idea is gathered from the circumstance of Paul laying his hands upon certain individuals who had been previously (as they stated) baptized unto John's baptism; which when he had done, they "spake with tongues and prophesied." Philip also, when he had preached the gospel to the inhabitants of the city of Samaria, sent for Peter and John, who when they came laid their hands upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, for as yet he was fallen upon none of them; and when Simon Magus saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money that he might possess the same power. Acts viii. These passages are considered by many as affording sufficient evidence for some miraculous, visible, manifestation, whenever hands are laid on for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that the Holy Ghost is imparted by the laying on of hands of those in authority, and that the gift of tongues, and also the gift of prophecy, are gifts of the spirit, and are obtained through that medium; but then to say that men always prophesied and spoke in tongues when they had the imposition of hands, would be to state that which is untrue, contrary to the practice of the apostles, and at variance with holy writ; for Paul says, "to one is given the gift of tongues, to another the gift of prophecy, and to another the gift of healing"-and again, "do all prophecy? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" evidently shewing [showing] that all did not possess these several gifts; but that one received one gift and another received another gift-all did not prophecy; all did not speak in tongues; all did not work miracles; but all did receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; sometimes they spake in tongues and prophesied in the Apostles' days, and sometimes they did not.- The same in [is] the case with us also in our administration,
while more frequently there is no manifestation at all that is visible to the surrounding multitude; this will appear plain when we consult the writings of the apostles and notice their proceedings in relation to this matter. Paul, in 1 Cor. xii. says, "now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant;" it is evident from this that some of them were ignorant in relation to these matters, or they would not need instruction. Again, in the xiv. chapter, he says "Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy." It is very evident from these scriptures that many of them had not spiritual gifts, for if they had spiritual gifts where was the necessity of Paul telling them to follow after them! and it is as evident that they did not all receive those gifts by the imposition of hands, for they as a church had been baptized and confirmed by the laying on of hands-and yet to a church of this kind, under the immediate inspection and seperintendance [supervision] of the apostles, it was necessary for Paul to say "follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy," evidently showing that those gifts were in the church but not enjoyed by all in their outward manifestations.
But supposing the gifts of the spirit were immediately, upon the imposition of hands, enjoyed by all, in all their fullness and power; the skeptic would still be as far from receiving any testimony except upon a mere casualty as before, for all the gifts of the spirit are not visible to the natural vision, or understanding of man; indeed very few of them are. We read that "Christ ascended into heaven and gave gifts unto men; and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers;" Eph. iv. The church is a compact body composed of different members and is strictly analagous [analogous] to the human system, and Paul after speaking of the different gifts says, "Now ye are the body of Christ and each one members in particular; and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" It is evident that they do not; yet are they all members of the one body; all members of the natural body, are not the eye, the ear, the head or the hand-yet the eye cannot say to the ear, I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee; they are all so many component parts in the perfect machine-the one body;-and if one member suffer, the whole of the members suffer with it; and if one member rejoice all the rest are honored with it.
These then are all gifts; they come from God; they are of God; they are all the gifts of the Holy Chost [Ghost]; they are what Christ ascended into heaven to impart; and yet how few of them could be known by the generality of men. Peter and John were apostles, yet the Jewish court scourged them as impostors. Paul was both an Apostle and prophet, yet they stoned him and put him into prison. The people knew nothing about it, although he had in possession the gift of the Holy Ghost. Our Savior was "anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows," yet so far from the people knowing him, they said he was Beeizebub [Beelzebub], and crucified him as an imposter [impostor]. Who could point out a pastor, a teacher or an evangelist, by their appearance; yet had they the gift of the Holy Ghost. But to come to the other members of the church and examine the gifts as spoken of by Paul, and we shall find that the world can in general know nothing about them, and that there is but one or two that could be immediately known, if they were all poured out immediately upon the imposition of hands. 1 Cor. xii Paul says, "There are diversities of gifts yet the same spirit; and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the spirit is given unto every man to profit withall [withal]. For to none is given, by the spirit, the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge, by the same spirit; to another faith by the same spirit, to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. Bull all these worketh that one and the self same spirit, dividing to each man severally as he will." There are several gifts mentioned here, yet which of them all could be known, by an observer, at the imposition of hands? The word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge, are as much gifts as any other, yet if a person possessed both of these gifts, or received them by the imposition of hands, who would know it? Another might receive the gift of faith, and they would be as ignorant of it. Or suppose a man had the gift of healing, or power to work miracles, that would not then be known; it would require time and circumstances to call these gifts into operation. Suppose a man had the discerning of spirits, who would be the wiser for it? Or if he had the interpretation of tongues, unless some one spoke
in an unknown tongue, he of course would have to be silent; there are only two gifts that could be made visible-the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy. These are things that are the most talked about, and yet if a person spoke in an unknown tongue, according to Paul's testimony, he would be a "barbarian to those present." They would say that it was gibberish; and if he prophesied they would call it nonsense. The gift of tongues is the smallest gift perhaps of the whole, and yet it is one that is the most sought after. So that according to the testimony of scripture and the manifestations of the spirit in ancient days, very little could be known about it by the surrounding multitude; except on some extraordinary occasion as on the day of Pentecost. The greatest, the best, and the most useful gifts would be known nothing about by an observer. It is true that a man might prophecy [prophesy], which is a great gift; and one that Paul told the people-the church-to seek after and to covet, rather than to speak in tongues; but what does the world know about prophesying? Paul says that it "serveth only to those that believe."-But does not the scriptures say that they spake in tongues and prophesied? Yes; but who is it that writes these scriptures? Not the men of the world or mere casual observers, but the Apostles-men who knew one gift from another, and of course were capable of writing about it; if we had the testimony of the scribes and pharisees concerning the out-pouring of the spirit on the day of Pentacost [Pentecost], they would have told us that it was no gift, but that the people "were drunken with new wine," and we shall finally have to come to the same conclusion that Paul did, that "no man knows the things of God but by the spirit of God," for with the great revelations of Paul, when he was caught up into the third heaven and saw things that were not lawful to utter, no man was apprised of it until he mentioned it himself fourteen years after; and when John had the curtains of heaven withdrawn, and by vision looked through the dark vista of future ages, and contemplated events that should transpire throughout every subsequent period of time until the final winding up scene-while he gazed upon the glories of the eternal world, saw an innumerable company of angels and heard the voice of God-it was in the spirit on the Lord's day; unnoticed and unobserved by the world.
The manifestations of the gift of the Holy Ghost; the ministering of angels; or the development of the power, majesty or glory of God were very seldom manifested publicly, and that generally to the people of God; as to the Israelites; but most generally when angels have come, or God has revealed himself, it has been to individuals in private-in their chamber-in the wilderness or fields; and that generally without noire or tumult. The angel delivered Peter out of prison in the dead of night-came to Paul unobserved by the rest of the crew-appeared to Mary and Elizabeth without the knowledge of others-spoke to John the Baptist whilst the people around were ignorant of it. When Elisha saw the chariots of Israel and the horseman thereof, it was unknown to others. When the Lord appeared to Abraham it was at his tent door, when the angels went to Lot no person knew them but himself, which was the case probably with Abraham and his wife; when the Lord appeared to Moses it was in the burning bush, in the tabernacle, or on the mountain top; when Elijah was taken in a chariot of fire, it was unobserved by the world; and when he was in the cleft of a rock, there was loud thunder, but the Lord was not in the thunder; there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and then there was a still small voice, which was the voice of the Lord, saying what dost thou here, Elijah?
The Lord cannot always be known by the thunder of his voice; by the display of his glory, or by the manifestation of his power; and those that are the most anxious to see these things, are the least prepared to meet them; and were the Lord to manifest his power as he did to the children of Israel, such characters would be the first to say "let not the Lord speak any more, lest we his people die."
We would say to the brethren seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields; follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for, your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all; your labors, and everything that you engage in; be virtuous, and pure, be men of integrity and truth, keep the commandments of God, and then you will be able more perfectly to understand the difference between right and wrong, between the things of God, and the things of men; and your path will be like that of the just, "which shineth brighter, and brighter, unto the perfect day." Be not so curious about tongues, do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners, and if persons are very anxious to display their intelligence, let them speak to such in their own tongues. The gifts of God are all useful in their place, but when they are applied to that which God
does not intend, they prove an injury, a snare, and a curse instead of a blessing. We may at some future time, enter more fully into this subject; but shall let this suffice for the present.-ED.
FROM ELDER GEORGE J. ADAMS.
New York, April 21, 1842.
Beloved Brother in Christ-As I have just arrived from England, and have a few hours of leisure time, I thought a short history of my labors during the past season would not be altogether uninteresting to the readers of your valuable periodical.
By the advice and counsel of our highly esteemed brother, Elder O. Hyde, on the first of January, 1841, I commenced to set my house in order, to leave my native land and go to the nations of the earth to assist in declaring the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dark and benighted world. According to arrangements previously made, on the 13th of February, 1841, I left my friends and the companion of my early days, to assist in carrying to a land of strangers "glad tidings of great joy." I left in company with, and under the direction of the above named brother; we left in the packet ship United States, bound for Liverpool, where we arrived after a short passage of eighteen days; we were kindly received by Elder Taylor and the brethren in Liverpool; we stayed with them two days, and then, in company with brother Joseph Fielding, we proceeded on to Preston, the principal place of Elder Hyde's former labors. Nothing could exceed the joy that was manifested by the saints in once more beholding this our brother. Here we were soon joined by our beloved brother, H. C. Kimball; this made my joy complete for the then present time, as it was from this brother that I first heard the fullness of the gospel. By the counsel of these two brethren I stopped and labored a few weeks in Preston, Farington, Southport, and the adjacent country, during which time a number were baptized. Early in April I went to Manchester to attend the Conference, and there it was counseled by Elder Kimball and others, and agreed by the quorum of the Twelve, that I should go and labor in Bedford and the vicinity thereof. Accordingly, on the 9th of April, I left Manchester in company with my highly esteemed brother Lorenzo Snow, the President of the London Conference; after traveling together about one hundred miles we arrived in Birmingham, and there I was counseled by Elder Snow to remain and labor a few days. I accordingly remained eight days, preached eleven times, baptized a number and then proceeded on my way to Bedford, in order to enter more fully upon the mission assigned me. I arrived in Bedford on the 20th day of April, and soon found the brethren, who received me with great kindness. In the evening I attended a meeting of the saints at their chapel in Hassett street, and spoke a few minutes to a very small congregation, chiefly saints; at the close of the meeting I gave out preaching for Thursday evening, at which time a few strangers attended to hear the preacher from America. At the close I gave out preaching three times for the following Sabbath; at which tine we had a large and respectable congregation, who listened with attention to the glorious truths of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel. The following week a number came forward and were baptized. The next Sabbath I gave notice to the branch at Honneydon to meet with the saints in Bedford, accordingly, on the following Sabbath a large concourse of people assembled, and we found it wisdom to ordain six to the office of Priest, to assist in preaching the gospel to the surrounding country; this proved to be too strong meat for the people of Bedford, and some of their great men challenged me to discuss our principles. I of course accepted their challenge, and in the discussion I had to contend against all the lying statements that had been published in America or Europe; in the midst of the opposition made by our enemies to the truth, and when I was nearly borne down by sectarian lies, filth, and bigotry, Elder O. Hyde came to my rescue; after which our enemies soon retired from the field in confusion and disgrace, without having left a stone to tell where slumbers the ashes of these fallen Heroes. From that time to the present the truth has stood triumphant in Bedford, no man daring to come forth in public to oppose it. Elder O. Hyde remained with us a few days, during which time he gave us much good instruction, and taught us many glorious truths. He then gave us the parting hand to hasten and fill his mission
in the east. His memory will long be cherished by the saints in Bedford and its vicinity; in fact I shall never forget this brother's kindness to me; no, never, while memory holds her seat; and I trust the counsel and good advice that I have received from this brother from time to time in traveling with him, will never be forgotten. After the above I continued laboring in Bedford, Maldon, Honneydon, Northampton, Thorncut, and the adjacent country until the 19th of July, during which time many were baptized and are now rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God that is to be revealed in the latter times. At the time above stated, at the request of brother Snow, I visited London to preach in his place while he visited Bedford. During my stay in London, (about seven weeks,) I visited Ramsgate and Woolwich, in Ramsgate I baptized Capt. Harris, an old Methodist, and ordained him to preach the gospel. I also baptized a number at Woolwich, and then returned to London. During my stay in London I held two public discussions with the great men of this generation, in both of which the truth came off triumphant. During my stay in London forty were baptized, and full as many in Bedford, and its vicinity by Elder Snow. About this time I received such counsel from Elder Kimball and other brethren in America as warranted me in making arrangements to return home in the fall, I also counselled [counseled] with Elders Pratt and Snow, and they gave their consent to my return; and on Sabbath, the 12th of September, I gave my farewell address to the people of London, we had a large and attentive congregation, the people were very kind to me, especially our beloved brother Elder Snow. This our brother has had much to contend with in proclaiming the truth in London and Woolwich, the foundation of which was laid by Elders Kimball, Smith and Woodruff. But the Almighty has abundantly blessed his labors, and he is accomplishing a great and mighty work in these places in the name of the Lord. On Saturday, the 18th day of September, I left London for Bedford to finish my labors in that region previous to my return home. I arrived in Bedford late in the evening, and on the following day preached three times to a crowded chapel; after the above I continued preaching in Bedford and the surrounding country, assisted by Elder Joseph Brotherton and others; until October 3d, during which time many were baptized from week to week. On the day above named, it being the last that I should remain among them previous to my departure, I preached three times, confirmed 19, and a number were ordained to the different offices. On Wednesday Oct., 6th, I bade them a final farewell in Bedford amidst the prayers and blessings of the saints and friends. I then, agreeable to previous appointment, proceeded on my way to Birmingham and West Broomwich, where I remained and labored about three weeks, during my stay a number were baptized and many believed. I continued my journey from Birmingham to Liverpool (where there was a large church raised by Elder John Taylor) to fill appointments I had made more than three months previous. I arrived in Liverpool the 30th of October, and the next day being Sabbath I preached twice, and in the evening I gave my reasons for renouncing Methodism. The Music Hall was crowded to overflowing, there were over two thousand persons present; I continued laboring in Liverpool a number of weeks, during which time I held five public discussions, in every one of which the truth triumphed; to God be all the praise. During my stay in Liverpool many were baptized and hundreds were enquiring [inquiring] after the truth. At the time I delivered my farewell lecture the Hall was completely full, at the close the entire congregation gave me their good will and blessing.
Early in November my passage was engaged in the ship Mersey, Capt. Rae, to sail for New York by the 25th of Nov. but owing to contrary winds and stormy weather we did not sail until the 31st of December. We had 200 souls on board, and among them a clergyman of the Church of England; the first eight days we had fair wind and good weather, but after that time we had gale after gale for five weeks with head winds, which finally ended in a tempest that commenced on Sunday the 6th of February, 1842, and lasted with unabated fury for seven days, during which time we were driven back towards England seven hundred miles; our helm broken, our round house washed away, our main-mast sprung, our bulwarks stove in, and our provisions almost exhausted: so much that it was deemed advisable to return to England, I would be glad to give a full account of the circumstances
that took place while we were at sea but that would occupy too large a space; suffice it to say that the Lord so ordered it, that I had a full opportunity to teach the fullness of the gospel to Captain, Clergyman, and all the passengers, and in the end they all looked to me for counsel and advice. It was made known to me in a night vision long before we returned that we could not reach New York at that time but would be compelled to return to Liverpool for some wise end and purpose, and although many expected to meet a watery grave, I told them if they returned to Liverpool; not one of them should perish; but if they persisted in going to New York they would be wrecked and many lives would be lost. Finally, after the vessel had become almost disabled and the tempest still raging with unabated fury, the Captain concluded to take my counsel and turn the ship towards England. At this time we had only about ten day's provisions, allowing about one meal per day, and that chiefly oatmeal and water; some of the water that we were compelled to drink had dead putrid rats in it which gave some of the passengers pains in their bowels; but I can praise the Lord that from the time I left Liverpool until my return, which was nearly ten weeks, I had not one hour's pain or sickness. In just eleven days after we put the ship about we landed safe in Liverpool precisely as I had told them we should; we landed on the 25th of February, and on the 27th I preached three times in Liverpool to overflowing congregations, and among others we had Capt. Rae, the Clergyman and many of their friends; our return created a great excitement in Liverpool, and will cause hundreds to hear the truth. I remained in Liverpool about three weeks, and then by the counsel of elder P. P. Pratt, my passage was engaged for me on the packet ship Sheridan, to sail for New York the 16th of March. Previous to the sailing of the Sheridan I had the happiness to see some of the passengers of the Mersey embrace the truth by repenting and being baptized, and some of them are now on their way to Nauvoo, by the ships Hanover and Dunbarton, under the direction of the saints; one of them the Hanover, sailed on the 15th of March, and the other was to sail on the 17th. Elder Amos Fielding was on board the Hanover; the Sheridan sailed on the 16th with 400 souls on board, we had a passage of 31 days, landing in New York the 16th of April, I preached every Sabbath during our passage, and sometimes during the week, they treated me with kindness, and hundreds on board of the Sheridan listened with profound attention to the fulness [fullness] of the gospel; many of them are believing and no doubt but they will embrace the work soon.
I need not tell you how I was received by my family and friends in New York, language cannot describe it; but suffice it to say they received me as one from the dead. A few words of reflection upon the whole and I must close. In looking back upon the past, when I behold the goodness and mercy of the Lord, I am lost in wonder and amazement; I have beheld the rolling forth of the great work that God hath set his hand to perform, not only in this land but throughout the vast empire of Great Britain.. In Bedford and its vicinity, the particular field of my labors, what a work has the Lord our God performed. When, by the council of H. C. Kimball, and sanction of the whole Conference, I took charge of that branch (under the Presidency of Elder Snow) we had but two preaching places, two priests and between fifty and sixty members; now there is about fifteen preaching places seven elders, fourteen priests, and over two hundred and fifty members; and still the work is spreading far and wide. I also would bear testimony to the untiring zeal and perseverance of my brethren throughout that land, especially our beloved brethren, Elders P. P. Pratt, Levi Richards, Lorenzo Snow, brother Curtis, and many others. I was absent from N. York fourteen months and three days, during which time I have preached, or bore testimony in public, by sea and land, over 500 times, traveled over fifteen thousand miles, held fifteen public discussions, baptized and confirmed some hundreds; and I have seen error, superstition, bigotry and priestcraft giving way on every side before the power of eternal truth. Thus you see the work of the Lord is rolling on both by sea and land, and my sincere prayer is, that it may continue to roll on until it becomes the glory of the nations; even so, Amen.
With sentiments of high esteem, I subscribe myself your friend and brother in the new and everlasting covenant ,
George J. Adams
The Pittsburgh American says, that Jos. Smith, cannot be denied the attribute of greatness. We have considered the said Jo Smith, High Priest of Mormonism; and self-styled Prophet, as the prince of Loafers. He is a man without education or genius. He has a little low cunning. His only greatness must consist in rascallity [rascality]. He used to live near "these diggings," and some of his "revelations" were very financierish.-Clev. Herald.
No man was ever a Prophet near the edge of his own diggins. Nevertheless friend Harris, you will not deny but that Jo Smith loafer, financier, or rascal, if you choose, has built up a new sect, unaided and alone, and that too in the very heart of New-England, walled in as it is with school houses, colleges, and churches. We know nothing personally of Jo Smith, and very little of his doctrine It may be a humbug or fraud, or like some of the dogma's of the schools, too profound for our comprehension.. We know that principally from a country which boasts its superior intelligence; where ignorance is supposed to be banished, and every man and womon [woman] taught to read and write, he has built up a name, a temple and a city, conquering all opposition, and this both vindictive and powerful, and so entirely unaided that he can exclaim like the proud and haughty Roman "alone I did it."
If he is advancing the cause of truth, he certainly has claim to our sympathies and respect, as well for its discovery as the bold and determined manner in which he has maintained it. if it is a gross imposture as you assert, he must be both ingenious and cunning to gloss over its deformities, and make them so attractive. We have nothing to do with its doctrines-we only consider him the most remarkable man among the "diggins."-Pittsburgh Sat. Eve. Visiter [Visitor].
Grafton Ohio, May 14th, 1842.
Conference met according to appointment, and organized by voting John Hughes president, and W. V. Hakes clerk. After singing a hymn, Bro. Hughes addressed the throne of grace; after which he proceeded to read the duty of the official characters, and members, from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The different branches composing this conference were then represented.
Br. Hakes represented the branch at Grafton, 33 members, 1 high priest, 3 elders, 1 priest, 2 teachers, and 1 deacon; all in good standing.
Bro. Welden represented the branch at Brownhelen, consisting of 10 members, 1 priest and one deacon.
The branch at Brooklin and Parma, represented by Bro. Beal, 9 members, 1 priest and one deacon.
The branch at Littlefield, recently raised up by Bro's. Gaylord and Hughes, represented by Bro. Morrison; 10 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher, and one deacon.
The branch at Homer, represented by Bro. Campbell; 10 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher and one deacon.
Conference then adjourned for one hour.
Conference met according to adjournment, and was opened by prayer by Br. Weeden. The following persons were then recommended to the conference, from the different branches, as proper persons to receive ordinations; Bro's. Teffany, Humphrey, and Beals to receive the office of elders; and Bro's. Grennell, and Morrison, that of priests; they were then unanimously elected to those offices, and received their ordination.
Elijah Persons, priest of Brownhelm branch, had charges perfered [preferred] against him, which were sustained, and he was cut off from the church, and his license ordered to be taken from him.
Conference voted, that all elders going out to promulgate the gospel, within the bounds of this conference shall take a letter of commendation; it was also voted, that this conference shall hereafter be known, as the Lorain Conference.
Bro. Hughes resigned the office of President of the branch at Grafton, that he might go into the vineyard and fulfill some of the many calls that they had to preach in the surrounding towns.
Bro. Wetherby was unanimously chosen and ordained President of the Grafton branch.
Several discourses were delivered by the elders present, which were very interesting. Elder Hughes made some very appropriate remarks on the gifts of the gospel, followed by Weeden, Wetherby, Gaylord and others, to a very large congregation.
Conference then adjourned until the first Saturday in September next.
John Hughes, Prest.
W. V Hakes, Clerk.
The Temple of God at Nauvoo.
By W. W. Phelps.
Ye servants that so many prophets foretold, Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
Should labor for Zion and not for the gold, For now we have prophets to bring forth his word,
Go into the field ere the sun dries the few, And reveal to the church what the world never knew,
And reap for the kingdom of God at Nauvoo. By faith in the Temple of God at Nauvoo.
Go carry glad tidings, that all may attend, To spirits in prison the gospel is sent,
While God is unfolding :the time of the end;" For on such a mission the Savior once went;
And say to all nations, whatever you do, And we are baptiz'd for the dead-surely, too,
Come build up the Temple of God at Nauvoo. In the font at the Temple of God at Nauvoo.
Go say to the Islands that wait for his law, Up; watch! for the strange work of God has begun,
Prepare for that glory the prophets once saw, And now things are opening, now, under the sun;
And bring on your gold and your precious things, too, And knowledge on knowledge will burst to our view.
As tithes for the Temple of God at Nauvoo. From Seers in the Temple of God at Nauvoo.
Go say to the great men, who boast of a name;
To kings and their nobles, all born unto fame,
Come, bring on your treasures, antiquities, too,
And honor the Temple of God at Nauvoo.
The subscribers, members of the First Presidency of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, withdraw the hand of fellowship from General John C. Bennett, as a christian, be having been labored with from time to time, to persuade him to amend his conduct, apparently to no good effect.
The following members of the Quorum of the Twelve concur in the above sentiments.
Brigham Young, William Smith, Wilford Woodruff,
Heber C. Kimball, John E. Page, George A. Smith,
Lyman Wight, John Taylor. Willard Richards.
We concur in the above sentiment.
N. K. Whitney. V. Knight,
Bishops of the above mentioned Church.
Nauvoo, May 11th, 1842
Judge Adams, City of Springfield Massachusetts.
John Gaylord, Victoria, Knox co. Erastus Snow, City of Salem,
Harlow Redfield, Pittsfield, Pike co. Freeman Nickerson, City of Boston,
Iowa. Phinehas Richards, Richmond.
John Groosbeck, North Agusta. Connecticut.
John Pincock, South Augusta. Dwight Webster, Farmington,
New York. Horace R. Hotchkiss, Fair Haven.
L. R. Foster, City of New York. New Hampshire.
James Blakesley, City of Utica. Zadoc Parker, Lisbon Village,
Charles Thompson, Batavia, Genesee co. Jeremiah Willey.
Benjamin Winchester, City of Philadelphia. Amasa Lyman. Randolph Alexander.
Joseph H. Newton, " "Tardy R. Whitcher, Green Y. Lee.
John E. Page, Pittsburgh. Ohio.
Delaware Reuben McBride, Kirtland.
Robert P. Crawford, Christiana. Louisiana.
North Carolina. E. G. Terrell City of New Orleans.
Jedadiah Grant, Joshua M. Grant. Michigan.
South Carolina. Moses Johnson, P. M. Royal Oak, Oakland co.
A. O. Smoot, City of Charleston. Indiana.
District of Columbia. J. J. Guinand, Mount Sterling, Switzerland co.
Samuel James, City of Washington.
Lorenzo D. Wasson, Jonathan Hampton, E. P. Maginn, Thomas Grover,
Moses Martin, George J. Adams. Lyman Wight, Isaac Haight.
The Times and Seasons, is Edited by Joseph Smith. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by Joseph Smith.
Terms.-Two dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to Joseph Smith, publisher, post paid, or they will not receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter