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IN this chapter we give quite fully the account written by Joseph Smith of some of his early persecutions, including the first two efforts made by his enemies to convict him of crime before the courts. We present this in detail because so much has been said about fraud and immorality that we wish the reader to know, so far as possible, the facts concerning him, as brought out on trial. He writes:-
"Amongst the many present at this meeting was one Emily Coburn, sister to the wife of Newel Knight. The Rev. Mr. Shearer, a divine of the Presbyterian faith, who had considered himself her pastor, came to understand that she was likely to believe our doctrine, and had, a short time previous to this our meeting, come to labor with her; but having spent some time with her without being able to persuade her against us, he endeavored to have her leave her sister's house, and go with him to her father's, who lived at a distance of at least ten miles off. For this purpose he had recourse to stratagem: he told her that one of her brothers
was waiting at a certain place, wishful to have her go home from the house, when, seeing that her brother was not in waiting for her, she refused to go any further with him, upon which he got hold of her by the arm to force her along; but her sister was soon with them; the two women were too many for him, and he was forced to sneak off without his errand, after all his labor and ingenuity. Nothing daunted, however, he went to her father, represented to him something or other, which induced the old gentleman to give him a power of attorney, which, as soon as our meeting was over, on the above named Sunday evening, he immediately served upon her and carried her off to her father's residence, by open violence, against her will. All his labor was in vain, however, for the said Emily Coburn, in a short time afterwards, was baptized and confirmed a member of the 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.'
"However, early on Monday morning we were on the alert, and before our enemies were aware we had repaired the dam, and proceeded to baptize, when the following thirteen persons were baptized under the hands of Oliver Cowdery; viz.: Emma Smith, Hezekiah Peck and wife, Joseph Knight and wife, William Stringham and wife, Joseph Knight, Jr., Aaron Culver and wife, Levi Hall, Polly Knight, and Julia Stringham. Before the baptism was entirely finished, the mob began again to collect, and shortly after we had retired, they amounted to about fifty men. They surrounded the house of Mr. Knight (where we had retired to), raging with anger and apparently wishful to commit violence upon us. Some asked us questions, others threatened us, so that we thought it wisdom to leave and go to the house of Newel Knight.
"There also they followed us, and it was only by the exercise of great prudence on our part, and reliance on our heavenly Father that they were kept from laying violent hands upon us, and so long as they chose to stay we were obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with insults and threatenings without number.
"We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for the
purpose of attending to the confirmation of those who had been the same morning baptized. The time appointed had arrived, and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise I was visited by a constable, and arrested by him on a warrant, on charge of being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, etc., etc. The constable informed me (soon after I had been arrested) that the plan of those who had got out the warrant was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him. I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from Mr. Knight's house the wagon in which we had set out was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the constable; but to their great disappointment he gave the horse the whip and drove me out of their reach. Whilst driving along pretty quickly one of the wagon wheels came off, which left us, once more, very nearly surrounded by them, as they had come on, in close pursuit. However, we managed to get the wheel on again and again left them behind us. He drove on to the town of South Bainbridge, Chenango County, where he lodged me for the time being, in an upper room of a tavern, and in order that all might be right with himself and with me also, he slept during the night with his feet against the door and a loaded musket by his side, whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room, he having declared that if we were interrupted unlawfully, that he would fight for me and defend me as far as in his power.
"On the day following a court was convened for the purpose of investigating those charges which had been preferred against me. A great excitement prevailed on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of which will come out in the sequel.
"In the meantime my friend, Joseph Knight, had repaired to two of his neighbors, viz.: James Davidson and John Reed, Esqrs., (respectable farmers, men renowned for their integrity, and well versed in the laws of their country,) and
retained them on my behalf during my trial. At length the trial commenced amidst a multitude of spectators, who in general evinced a belief that I was guilty of all that had been reported concerning me, and of course were very zealous that I should be punished according to my crimes. Among many witnesses called up against me was Mr. Josiah Stoal (of whom I have made mention, as having worked for him some time) and examined to the following effect. Q. Did not the prisoner, Joseph Smith, have a horse of you? Ans. Yes. Q. Did not he go to you and tell you that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorized him to get the horse from you? Ans. No, he told me no such story. Q. Well; how had he the horse of you? Ans. He bought him of me, as another man would do. Q. Have you had your pay? Ans. That is not your business.-The question being again put, the witness replied, 'I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay; for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr., and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms.'
"Mr. Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined. Q. Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr., had a yoke of oxen of you? Ans. Yes. Q. Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them? Ans. No, he did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen, he purchased them the same as another man would.
"After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that two young women, (daughters to Mr. Stoal,) with whom I had at times kept company, might be sent for, in order, if possible, to elicit something from them which might be made a pretext against me. The young ladies arrived and were severally examined touching my character and conduct in general, but particularly as to my behavior towards them both in public and private, when they both bore such testimony in my favor as left my enemies without a pretext on their account. Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in
Broome County were brought forward; but these my lawyers would not here admit of against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors managed to detain the court, until they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broome County, and which warrant they served upon me, at the very moment in which I had been acquitted by this court.
"The constable who served this second warrant upon me had no sooner arrested me than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without anything to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broome County, a distance of about fifteen miles, before he allowed me any kind of food whatever. He took me to a tavern and gathered in a number of men, who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spat upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying Prophesy, prophesy; and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Savior of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time not far distant from my own house. I wished to be allowed the privilege of spending the night with my wife, at home, offering any wished-for security for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. The constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only fare I that night received. At length we retired to bed; the constable made me lie next the wall. He then laid himself down by me, and put his arm around me; and upon my moving in the least would clench me fast, fearing that I intended to escape from him; and in this not very agreeable manner did we pass the night. Next day I was brought before the Magistrates' court, of Colesville, Broome County, and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends and lawyers were again at my side; my former persecutors were arrayed against me. Many witnesses were again called forward and examined, some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had appeared against me the day previous, they contradicted themselves so plainly that the court would not admit their testimony. Others were called, who showed by their zeal that they were willing enough to prove something against me; but all they
could do was to tell some things which somebody else had told them. In this 'frivolous and vexatious' manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when finally, Newel Knight was called up and examined, by lawyer Seymour, who had been especially sent for on this occasion. One, lawyer Burch, also was on the side of the prosecution; but Mr. Seymour seemed to be a more zealous Presbyterian, and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by anyone professing the power of Godliness; and not 'denying the power thereof.'
"So soon as Mr. Knight had been sworn, Mr. Seymour proceeded to interrogate him as follows: Q. Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr., cast the devil out of you? A. No sir. Q. Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you? A. Yes sir. Q. And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? A. Yes sir. Q. And did not he cast him out of you? A. No sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ. Q. And are you sure that it was the devil? A. Yes sir. Q. Did you see him, after he was cast out of you? A. Yes sir, I saw him. Q. Pray, what did he look like? (Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer the question.) The witness replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it provided I be allowed to ask you one question, first, and you answer me; viz.: Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things of the spirit? No, answered Mr. Seymour, I do not pretend to such big things. Well then, replied Knight, it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it, were I to tell you of it. The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture. Mr. Seymour now addressed the court and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character and bring me in guilty of the charges which had been brought against me. Among other things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger; and in this manner proceeded,
in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. Mr. Davidson and Mr. Reed followed on my behalf. They held forth in true colors the nature of the prosecution, the malignancy of intention, and the apparent disposition to persecute their client, rather than to afford him justice. They took up the different arguments which had been brought by the lawyers for the prosecution, and having shown their utter futility and misapplication, then proceeded to scrutinize the evidence which had been adduced, and each in his turn thanked God that he had been engaged in so good a cause as that of defending a man whose character stood so well the test of such a strict investigation. In fact, these men, although not regular lawyers, were upon this occasion able to put to silence their opponents, and convince the court that I was innocent. They spoke like men inspired of God, whilst those who were arrayed against me trembled under the sound of their voices, and quailed before them like criminals before a bar of justice.
"The majority of the assembled multitude had now began to find that nothing could be sustained against me: even the constable who arrested me, and treated me so badly, now came and apologized to me, and asked my forgiveness of his behavior towards me; and so far was he changed that he informed me that the mob were determined that if the court acquitted me that they would have me, and rail ride me, and tar and feather me; and further, that he was willing to favor me, and lead me out in safety by a private way.
"The court finding the charges against me not sustained, I was accordingly acquitted, to the great satisfaction of my friends, and vexation of my enemies, who were still determined upon molesting me; but through the instrumentality of my new friend, the constable, I was enabled to escape them and make my way in safety to my wife's sister's house, where I found my wife awaiting with much anxiety the issue of those ungodly proceedings; and with her in company next day, arrived in safety at my own house.
"After a few days, however, I again returned to Colesville, in company with Oliver Cowdery, for the purpose of confirming those whom we had thus been forced to abandon
for a time. We had scarcely arrived at Mr. Knight's, when the mob was seen collecting together to oppose us, and we considered it wisdom to leave for home, which we did, without even waiting for any refreshment. Our enemies pursued us, and it was oftentimes as much as we could do to elude them; however, we managed to get home, after having traveled all night, except a short time, during which we were forced to rest ourselves under a large tree by the wayside, sleeping and watching alternately. And thus were we persecuted on account of our religious faith, in a country the constitution of which guarantees to every man the indefeasible right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and by men too who were professors of religion, and who were not backward to maintain this privilege for themselves, though they thus wantonly could deny it to us. For instance; Cyrus M'Master, a Presbyterian of high standing in his church, was one of the chief instigators of these persecutions; and he at one time told me personally that he considered me guilty, without judge or jury. The celebrated Doctor Boyington, also a Presbyterian, was another instigator to these deeds of outrage; whilst a young man named Benton, of the same religious faith, swore out the first warrant against me. I could mention many others also, but for brevity's sake will make these suffice for the present."-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 39-41, 61, 62.
This account is verified by the testimony of Mr. Reed, one of his counsel in the trials referred to. Mr. Reed was never a member of the church, but was ever after a friend of Joseph Smith. At a State convention held in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, he said:-
"Those bigots soon made up a false accusation against him and had him arraigned before Joseph Chamberlain, a justice of the peace, a man that was always ready to deal out justice to all, and a man of great discernment of mind. The case came on about ten o'clock a. m. I was called upon to defend the prisoner. The prosecutors employed the best counsel they could get, and ransacked the town of Bainbridge and county of Chenango for witnesses that would swear hard enough to convict the prisoner; but they entirely failed.
Yes sir, let me say to you that not one blemish nor spot was found against his character. He came from that trial, notwithstanding the mighty efforts that were made to convict him of crime by his vigilant persecutors, with his character unstained by even the appearance of guilt. The trial closed about twelve o'clock at night. After a few moments deliberation, the court pronounced the words 'not guilty,' and the prisoner was discharged. But alas! the Devil not satisfied with his defeat, stirred up a man not unlike himself, who was more fit to dwell among the fiends of hell than to belong to the human family, to go to Colesville and get another writ, and take him to Broome county for another trial. They were sure they could send that boy to hell, or to Texas, they did not care which; and in half an hour after he was discharged by the court he was arrested again and on the way to Colesville for another trial. I was again called upon by his friends to defend him against his malignant persecutors, and clear him from the false charges they had preferred against him. I made every reasonable excuse I could, as I was nearly worn down through fatigue and want of sleep, as I had been engaged in lawsuits for two days and nearly the whole of two nights. But I saw the persecution was great against him. And here let me say, Mr. Chairman, singular as it may seem, while Mr. Knight was pleading with me to go, a peculiar impression or thought struck my mind, that I must go and defend him, for he was the Lord's anointed. I said I would go; and started with as much faith as the apostles had when they could remove mountains, accompanied by Father Knight, who was like the old patriarchs that followed the ark of God to the city of David. We rode on until we came to the house of Hezekiah Peck, where a number of Mormon women had assembled, as I was informed, for the purpose of praying for the deliverance of the prophet of the Lord. The women came out to our wagon, and Mrs. Smith among the rest. O my God, sir; what were my feelings when I saw that woman who had but a few days before given herself, heart and hand, to be a consort for life, and that so soon her crimson cheeks
must be wet with tears that came streaming from her eyes. Yes sir, it seemed that her very heartstrings would be broken with grief. My feelings, sir, were moved with pity and sorrow for the afflicted; and on the other hand they were wrought up to the highest pitch of indignation against those fiends of hell who had thus caused the innocent to suffer.
"The next morning about ten o'clock the court was organized. The prisoner was to be tried by three justices of the peace, that his departure out of the county might be made sure. Neither talents nor money were wanting to insure them success. They employed the ablest lawyer in that county, and introduced twenty or thirty witnesses before dark, but proved nothing. They then sent out runners and ransacked the hills and vales, grog shops and ditches, and gathered together a company that looked as if they had come from hell and had been whipped by the soot boy thereof, which they brought forward to testify one after another, but with no better success than before, although they wrung and twisted into every shape, in trying to tell something that would criminate the prisoner. Nothing was proven against him whatever. Having got through with the examination of their witnesses about two o'clock, in the morning, the case was argued about two hours. There was not one particle of testimony against the prisoner. No sir, he came out like the three children from the fiery furnace, without the smell of fire upon his garments. The court deliberated upon the case for half an hour with closed doors, and then we were called in. The court arraigned the prisoner and said: 'Mr. Smith, we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged."'-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, pp. 650, 551.
Shortly after this a revelation was received. 1
1 1. The words of God which he spake unto Moses, at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.
2. And God spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and endless is my name, for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?
3. And, behold, thou art my son, wherefore look, and I will show thee
Persecution is no new thing, especially religious persecution. Bad men and impostors have been persecuted, but not more so than worthy reformers, honest men-men of God. Then while vile reports and unrelenting persecution are not conclusive evidence of the truth of Joseph
the workmanship of mine hands, but not all; for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease; wherefore, no man can behold all my works except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh, on the earth.
4. And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and my Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me; and all things are present with me, for I know them all.
5. And now, behold, this one thing I show unto thee, Moses, my son; for thou art in the world, and now I show it unto thee.
6. And it came to pass, that Moses looked and beheld the world upon which he was created. And as Moses beheld the world, and the ends thereof, and all the children of men, which are and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled, and wondered. And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself; and as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.
7. And it came to pass, that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself, Now, for this cause, I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed; but now mine eyes have beheld God; but not mine natural but my spiritual eyes, for mine natural eyes could not have beheld, for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me, and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.
8. And now it came to pass, that when Moses had said these words behold, Satan came tempting him, saying, Moses, son of man, worship me. And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan, and said, Who art thou, for, behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee? For, behold, I could not look upon God except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so surely?
9. Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me; or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me, and I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me, Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. Get thee hence, Satan, deceive me not; for God said unto me, Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
10. And he also gave unto me commandment, when he called unto me out of the burning bush, saying, Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten and worship me.
11. And again, Moses said, I will not cease to call upon God. I have other things to inquire of him; for his glory has been upon me, and it is glory unto me; wherefore, I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
12. And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and went upon the earth, and commanded, saying, I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
13. And it came to pass, that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as
Smith's claims, they should not be received as sufficient evidence of his guilt.
We need not remind you that Jesus Christ and the prophets and apostles were bitterly maligned; that they suffered violence, abuse, and sometimes death, by legal decree or otherwise, at the hands of their relentless enemies; evidence of which is found in the Sacred Volume, and elsewhere. Never has there been such shocking stories told of Joseph Smith or the Latter Day Saints as were told (falsely no doubt) of the early Christians.
he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell; nevertheless, calling upon God he received strength and he commanded, saying, Depart hence, Satan; for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
14. And now, Satan began to tremble and the earth shook, and Moses received strength and called upon God in the name of the Only Begotten, saying to Satan, Depart hence.
15. And it came to pass, that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and departed hence; yea, from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not.
16. And now, of this thing Moses bore record; but because of wickedness, it is not had among the children of men.
17. And it came to pass, that when Satan had departed from the presence of Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son; and calling upon the name of God, he beheld again his glory; for it rested upon him, and he heard a voice, saying, Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command even as if thou wert God.
18. And lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days, for thou shalt deliver my people from bondage; even Israel my chosen.
19. And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, he cast his eyes and beheld the earth; yea, even all the face of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the Spirit of God. And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not, and he discerned them by the Spirit of God, and their numbers were great, even as numberless as the sand upon the sea shore. And he beheld many lands, and each land was called earth; and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.
20. And it came to pass, that Moses called upon God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them? And, behold, the glory of God was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and he talked with him face to face.
21. And the Lord God said unto Moses, For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom, and it remaineth in me. And by the word of my power have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created, and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many. But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you; for, behold, there are many worlds which have passed away by the word of my power; and there are many also which now stand, and numberless are they unto man:
Gibbon in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" relates the following:-
"These obscure teachers (such was the charge of malice and infidelity) are as mute in public as they are loquacious and dogmatical in private. Whilst they cautiously avoid the dangerous encounter of philosophers, they mingle with the rude and illiterate crowd, and insinuate themselves into those minds, whom their age, their sex, or their education, has the best disposed to receive the impression of superstitious terrors."-Vol. 1, p. 584, six vol. edition of 1850.
"Those among them who condescended to mention the Christians, consider them only as obstinate and perverse enthusiasts, who exacted an implicit submission to their mysterious doctrines, without being able to produce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of sense and learning."-Ibid., p. 587.
"By embracing the faith of the gospel, the Christians incurred the supposed guilt of an unnatural and unpardonable offense. They dissolved the sacred ties of custom and education, violated the religious institutions of their country, and presumptuously despised whatever their fathers had
but all things are numbered unto me; for they are mine and I know them.
22. And it came to pass, that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof; and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
23. And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying, The heavens, they are many and they cannot be numbered unto man, but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine; and as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words; for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man.
24. And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto you concerning this earth upon which you stand; and you shall write the 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 you shall write behold, I will raise up another like unto you, and they shall be had again among the children of men, among even as many as shall believe.
25. These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount, the name of which shall not be known among the children of men. And now they are spoken unto you. Amen. "Preface" to "The Holy Scriptures, Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation, by Joseph Smith Jr., the Seer," pp. 7-9.
believed as true, or had reverenced as sacred."-Ibid., vol. 2, p. 6.
"The new converts seemed to renounce their family and country, that they might connect themselves in an indissoluble band of union with a peculiar society, which everywhere assumed a different character from the rest of mankind. Their gloomy and austere aspect, their abhorrence of the common business and pleasures of life, and their frequent predictions of impending calamities, inspired the Pagans with the apprehension of some danger, which would arise from the new sect, the more alarming as it was the more obscure. 'Whatever,' says Pliny, 'may be the principle of their conduct, their inflexible obstinacy appeared deserving of punishment.'
"The precautions with which the disciples of Christ performed the offices of religion were at first dictated by fear and necessity; but they were continued from choice. By imitating the awful secrecy which reigned in the Eleusinian mysteries, the Christians had flattered themselves that they should render their sacred institutions more respectable in the eyes of the Pagan world. But the event, as it often happens to the operations of subtle policy, deceived their wishes and their expectations. It was concluded, that they only concealed what they would have blushed to disclose. Their mistaken prudence afforded an opportunity for malice to invent, and for suspicious credulity to believe, the horrid tales which described the Christians as the most wicked of human kind, who practiced in their dark recesses every abomination that a depraved fancy could suggest, and who solicited the favor of their unknown God by the sacrifice of every moral virtue. There were many who pretended to confess or to relate the ceremonies of this abhorred society. It was asserted, 'that a newborn infant, entirely covered over with flour, was presented, like some mystic symbol of initiation, to the knife of the proselyte, who unknowingly inflicted many a secret and mortal wound on the innocent victim of his error; that as soon as the cruel deed was perpetrated, the sectaries drank up the blood, greedily tore asunder the quivering members pledged themselves to eternal
secrecy, by a mutual consciousness of guilt. It was as confidently affirmed, that this inhuman sacrifice was succeeded by a suitable entertainment, in which intemperance served as a provocative to brutal lust; till, at the appointed moment, the lights were suddenly extinguished, shame was banished, nature was forgotten; and, as accident might direct, the darkness of the night was polluted by the incestuous commerce of sisters and brothers, of sons and of mothers."'-Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 10, 11.
These things are almost too shocking to relate, yet such were the stories related of the early Christians by their persecutors. Satisfied as we are that these things are untrue, and slanders upon an innocent and virtuous people, we should not be deterred from an honest and thorough investigation by reports of similar nature told against other professed followers of the meek and lowly One.
Nor is this disposition to abuse, slander, and violently maltreat, confined to past ages. We are all historically acquainted with cruelties practiced under Puritan rules in our own boasted land of freedom. And subsequently men have maliciously misrepresented their coreligionists. As late as 1837 the Baptist Banner had this to say of Alexander Campbell:-
"But to be serious, we cannot believe that any good will follow this debate. But too much excitement is attempted to be gotten up against the Roman Catholics-an excitement bordering on intolerance. Could we feel assured, either from his course in this instance or from a retrospect of his past life, that Mr. Campbell sought this discussion solely to vindicate truth and expose error, and not ostentatiously to exhibit his tact in debate and to reap a pecuniary harvest by a new publication, we might feel less distrust of consequences, and should have some faint hope that probably good would ensue; but credulous, nay, stupid must be the man, who in looking over the circumstances which have concurred in originating this debate, can suppose that any religious or commendable motive prompted him to throw the gauntlet and provoke the controversy. In looking over his past career, a love of truth and a desire to promote the
peace and prosperity of Zion, have not been the prominent traits which have marked his character and rendered conspicuous his course. We do not speak for other places, but in Kentucky he has caused more serious injury to the cause of religion, more disturbance, more wrangling, collision, and division in society, in a few years, than in our humble judgment, the Catholics can ever do. But we forbear. The debate will take place. The Campbellites will sip delicious wisdom from the lips of their leader. A new impulse will be given to their now drooping state. They will again wage his high claims to competency to reform religion and introduce the Millennium. And Mr. Campbell will have the proud satisfaction of rendering great good-to himself by the sale of another book! This will be about all that will result from this discussion."-P. 59 of Campbell and Purcell Debate, published by J. A. James & Co., Cincinnati, 1837.
John Wesley suffered relentless and bitter persecution in his work of reformation. Canon Farrar says:-
"We might think it strange that the desire to preach the gospel of Christ should invoke such deadly opposition, alike of the so-called respectable and religious classes, and of the rude and ignorant multitude. Yet so it was. . . . Every form of opposition, we are told, was tried against him. 'Milldams were let out; church bells were jangled; drunken fiddlers and ballad singers were hired; organs pealed forth; drums were beaten;' street-venders, clowns, drunken fops, and Papists were hired, and incited to brawl or blow horns, so as to drown his voice. He was struck in the face with sticks, he was cursed and groaned at, pelted with stones, beaten to the ground, threatened with murder, dragged and hustled hither and thither by drinking, cursing, swearing, riotous mobs, who acted the part of judge, jury, and executioner. ''Knock him down and kill him at once,' was the shout of the brutal roughs who assaulted him at Wednesbury. On more than one occasion, a mad or a baited bull was driven into the midst of his assemblies; the windows of the houses in which he stayed were broken, and rioters burst their way even into his private rooms 'The men.' says Dr. Taylor, 'who commenced and
continued this arduous service-and they were scholars and gentleman-displayed a courage far surpassing that which carries the soldier through the hailstorm of the battlefield. Ten thousand might more easily be found who would confront a battery than two, who, with the sensitiveness of education about them, could (in that day) mount a table by the roadside, give out a Psalm, and gather a mob.'
"To face all this, and to face it day after day, and year by year, in England, in Scotland, in Wales, in Cornwall, in Ireland, required a supreme bravery, and persistence. Yet it needed even greater courage to meet hurricanes of abuse, and tornadoes of slander. Wesley had to face this also on all sides. The most popular actors of the day held him up to odium and ridicule in lewd comedies. Reams of calumny were written against him; shoals of pamphlets, full of virulence and falsehood, were poured forth from the press. The most simple, the most innocent, the most generous of men, he was called a smuggler, a liar, an immoral and designing intriguer, a Pope, a Jesuit, a swindler, the most notorious hypocrite living. The clergy, I grieve to say, led the way. Rowland Hill called Wesley 'a lying apostle, a designing wolf, a dealer in stolen wares,' and said that he was 'as unprincipled as a rook, and as silly as a jackdaw, first pilfering his neighbor's plumage, and then going proudly forth to display it to a laughing world.' Augustus Toplady said, among floods of other and worse abuse, that 'for thirty years he had been endeavoring to palm on his credulous followers his pernicious doctrines, with all the sophistry of a Jesuit, and the dictatorial authority of a Pope;' and described him as 'the most rancorous hater of the gospel system that ever appeared in England.' Bishop Lavington, of Exeter, denounced the Methodists as a dangerous and presumptuous sect, animated with an enthusiastical and fanatical spirit, and said that they were 'either innocent madmen or infamous cheats.'"-Archdeacon Farrar, D. D., in The Contemporary Review.-"From Palmyra to Independence," pp. 302-304.
Thus we see that to judge of a man, a people, or a cause, by reports, is unreliable, and should be unsatisfactory to all right-minded people. We only call attention to these things
historically to show the unreliability of this mode of judging, and not to reflect upon the parties referred to. The reader will agree with us that in each case referred to injustice was done by resorting to foul slander and unhallowed persecution to accomplish what fair means and honorable controversy could not accomplish. Such a course, to put it mildly, is a mistaken one. Allow us to suggest that the opposition met by Joseph Smith and his associates may have been caused by a like mistake.
Joseph continues as follows:-
"Meantime, notwithstanding all the rage of our enemies, still we had much consolation, and many things occurred to strengthen our faith and cheer our hearts. After our return from Colesville, the church there were, as might be expected, very anxious concerning our again visiting them, during which time Sister Knight (wife of Newel Knight) had a dream, which enabled her to say that we would visit them that day, which really came to pass, for a few hours afterwards we arrived; and thus was our faith much strengthened, concerning dreams and visions in the last days, foretold by the ancient prophet, Joel; and although we this time were forced to seek safety from our enemies by flight, yet did we feel confident that eventually we should come off victorious, if we only continued faithful to him who had called us forth from darkness into the marvelous light of the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 92.
After returning home a revelation was given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery; 2 one to Emma Smith setting forth
21. Behold, thou wast called and chosen to write the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry; and I have lifted thee up out of thy afflictions, and have counseled thee, that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies, and thou hast been delivered from the powers of Satan, and from darkness! Nevertheless, thou art not excusable in thy transgressions; nevertheless go thy way and sin no more.
2. Magnify thine office; and after thou hast sowed thy fields and secured them, go speedily unto the church which is in Colesville, Fayette, and Manchester, and they shall support thee; and I will bless them both spiritually and temporally; but if they receive thee not, I will send upon them a cursing instead of a blessing.
3. And thou shalt continue in calling upon God in my name, and writing the things which shall be given thee by the Comforter, and expounding
her office and calling and directing her to make a selection of sacred hymns for use in the church; 3 also a revelation
all scriptures unto the church, and it shall be given thee, in the very moment, what thou shalt speak and write; and they shall hear it, or I will send unto them a cursing instead of a blessing.
4. For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion. And in this thou shalt have strength. Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for lo, I am with you, even unto the end of thy days. And in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling. Attend to thy calling and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office, and to expound all scriptures. And continue in laying on of the hands, and confirming the churches.
5. And thy brother Oliver shall continue in bearing my name before the world, and also to the church. And he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause; and lo, I am with him to the end. In me he shall have glory, and not of himself, whether in weakness or in strength whether in bonds or free. And at all times and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.
6. Require not miracles, except I shall command you; except casting out devils; healing the sick; and against poisonous serpents; and against deadly poisons; and these things ye shall not do, except it be required of you by them who desire it, that the scriptures might be fulfilled, for ye shall do according to that which is written. And in whatsoever place ye shall enter, and they receive you not, in my name, ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing, by casting off the dust of your feet against them as a testimony, and cleansing your feet by the wayside.
7. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall lay their hands upon you by violence, ye shall command to be smitten in my name and behold I will smite them according to your words, in mine own due time. And whosoever shall go to law with thee shall be cursed by the law. And thou shalt take no purse, nor scrip, neither staves, neither two coats for the church shall give unto thee in the very hour what thou needest for food, and for raiment, and for shoes, and for money, and for scrip; for thou art called to prune my vineyard with a mighty pruning, yea even for the last time. Yea, and also, all those whom thou hast ordained. And they shall do even according to this pattern. Amen.
31. Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter, for verily I say unto you, All those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom. A revelation I give unto you concerning my will, and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee, and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come.
2. And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness. And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, while there is no one to be a scribe for him, that I may send my servant Oliver Cowdery whithersoever I will. And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit; for he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt
to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer. 4
Joseph further writes:-
"Shortly after . . . Oliver Cowdery returned to Mr. Whitmer's, and I began to arrange and copy the revelations which we had received from time to time; in which I was assisted by John Whitmer, who now resided with me. Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me, by my heavenly Father, I received a letter from Oliver Cowdery, the contents of which gave me both sorrow and uneasiness. Not having that letter now in my possession, I cannot, of course, give it here in full, but merely an extract of the most prominent parts, which I can yet, and expect long to remember. He wrote to inform me that he had discovered an error in one of the commandments: . . . 'And truly manifested by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins.' The above quotation, he said, was erroneous, and added, I command you in the name of God to erase these words, that no priestcraft be amongst us!! I immediately wrote to him in reply, in which I asked him by
receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much. And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee in the church; for unto them is his calling, that all things might be revealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith.
3. And verily I say unto thee, that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better. And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church; for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me. And it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.
4. Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride. Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him. Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come. And verily, verily I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.
41. Behold, I say unto you, that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the church at Colesville; and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required, until after you shall go to the west, to hold the next conference; and then it shall be made known what you shall do. And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.
what authority he took upon him to command me to alter or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from Almighty God. In a few days afterwards I visited him and Mr. Whitmer's family, where I found the family, in general, of his opinion concerning the words above quoted; and it was not without both labor and perseverance that I could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject. However Christian Whitmer at length got convinced that it was reasonable, and according to scripture, and, finally, with his assistance, I succeeded in bringing, not only the Whitmer family, but also Oliver Cowdery, to acknowledge they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance with the rest of the commandments. And thus was their error rooted out, which having its rise in presumption and rash judgment, was the more particularly calculated (when once fairly understood) to teach each and all of us the necessity of humility and meekness before the Lord, that he might teach us of his ways, that we might walk in his paths, and live by every word that proceedeth forth from his mouth"-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 108.
This little sketch of history is important as showing that at this early time they not only had their external, but also internal trials. It is valuable also as evidence that the men associated with Joseph Smith in that early time were not man worshipers under the absolute control of Joseph Smith, as has so often been asserted. They thought for themselves and dared express their thoughts. Though in this instance Oliver Cowdery's manner of expressing his convictions was rash, and calculated to wound, it does not appear that Joseph exhibited anything but a kindly spirit towards him; and when an understanding finally was reached, with commendable humility he confessed that the trial could be made useful to all in teaching a lesson of meekness and humility. There was no exhibition of that threatening, domineering spirit to be found in tyrants and oppressors. Neither was there that disposition to yield, for policy's sake, which sometimes characterizes the diplomat. It is a time to try his integrity and
courage. Through many severe trials and danger, friends tried and true have stood by him, and showed by their unselfish sacrifices that they loved both himself and the cause in which he was engaged. Now some among the most faithful and devoted of these friends demand a concession. Shall it be granted? If not, will not his friends desert him? Will he not need henceforth to stand alone and alone meet the bitter and cruel denunciations of relentless persecutors? Not much is demanded-only erase one sentence and peace will be restored. If it is all a fraud this will not detract much from it. Why not erase it? Surely its loss will not be so much to his scheme as the loss of Cowdery and the Whitmers. But if he ever faltered he never betrayed it. He was sorrowful and uneasy, but if he was angry he did not express it. Kindly, bravely, resolutely, he faced the situation. Foes were on the alert seeking to destroy his prospects, his character, aye, his life; and in addition to this there was a prospect of losing his friends-he can retain them by a concession. Realizing this situation more keenly than anyone without his experience can, he never faltered, but with a courage born of conviction and devotion to principle he declared this to be a part of a revelation from God. If friends should desert him and he be required to stand alone, still he would avow it. Friends, we submit for your consideration, Was his the act of an impostor, a coward, a sycophant, a hypocrite? or was it the act of a brave and true man, conscious of the truth of his position, and aware that the God whom he served would be with him, and stand for his defense?
The account given by Joseph continues:-
"Early in the month of August, Newel Knight and his wife paid us a visit, at my place, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, and as neither his wife nor himself had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before he and his wife should leave us. In order to prepare for this, I set out to go to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone only a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation;
the first paragraph of which was written at this time. 5
"In obedience to the above commandment we prepared some wine of our own make, and held our meeting, consisting only of five; viz., Newel Knight and his wife, myself and my wife, and John Whitmer. We partook together of the sacrament,
5l. Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins; wherefore a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies; wherefore you shall partake of none, except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father's kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.
2. Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fullness of my everlasting gospel; to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim; and also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things, or the restorer of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days and also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias; which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto this first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron; and also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse; and also, with Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers; by whom the promises remain; and also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days.
3. And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I revealed unto them; unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times and for the fullness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; and also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world; wherefore lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.
after which we confirmed these two sisters [persons] into the church, and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us; we praised the Lord God, and rejoiced exceedingly. About this time a spirit of persecution began again to manifest itself against us in the neighborhood where I now resided, which was commenced by a man of the Methodist persuasion, who professed to be a minister of God, and whose name was--. This man came to understand that my father-in-law and his family had promised us protection, and were friendly; and inquiring into the work, and knowing that if he could get him turned against me, my friends in that place would be but few, he accordingly went to visit my father-in-law, and told him falsehoods concerning me, of the most shameful nature, which turned the old gentleman and this family so much against us that they would no longer promise us protection nor believe our doctrines. Towards the latter end of August I (in company with John and David Whitmer, and my brother Hyrum Smith) visited the church at Colesville, New York. Well knowing the determined hostilities of our enemies in that quarter, and also knowing that it was our duty to visit the church, we had called upon our heavenly Father, in mighty prayer, that he would grant us an opportunity of meeting with them; that he would blind the eyes of our enemies, so that they would not know us, and that we might, on this occasion, return unmolested.
"Our prayers were not in vain, for when within a little distance of Mr. Knight's place we encountered a large company at work upon the public road, amongst whom were several of our most bitter enemies. They looked earnestly at us, but not knowing us, we passed on without interruption. We that evening assembled the church, and confirmed them, partook of the sacrament, and held a happy meeting, having much reason to rejoice in the God of our salvation and sing hosannas to his holy name. Next morning we set out on our return home, and although our enemies had offered a reward of five dollars to anyone who would give them information of our arrival, yet
did we get clear out of the neighborhood, without the least annoyance, and arrived at home in safety. Some few days afterwards, however, Newel Knight came to my place, and from him we learned that very shortly after our departure the mob had come to know of our having been there, when they immediately collected together and had threatened the brethren and very much annoyed them during all that day. Meantime Brother Knight had come with his wagon, prepared to move my family, etc., etc., to Fayette, New York. Mr. Whitmer having heard of the persecutions which had been gotten up against us at Harmony, Pennsylvania, had invited us to go and live with him; and during the last week of August we arrived at Fayette, amidst the congratulations of our brethren and friends. To our great grief, however, we soon found that Satan had been lying in wait to deceive, and seeking whom he might devour. Brother Hiram Page had got in his possession a certain stone, by which he had obtained to certain revelations, concerning the up building of Zion, the order of the church, etc., etc., all of which were entirely at variance with the order of God's house, as laid down in the New Testament, as well as in our late revelations. As a conference meeting had been appointed for the first day of September, I thought it wisdom not to do much more than to converse with the brethren on the subject, until the conference should meet. Finding, however, that many, (especially the Whitmer family and Oliver Cowdery,) were believing much in the thing set forth by this stone, we thought best to inquire of the Lord, concerning so important a matter."-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 117-119.
In answer to this inquiry a revelation was received. 6 It will be seen that in the above revelation provision is made for extending the borders of the church into the western country, the presenting of the record of their fathers to the Lamanites (Indians), and the building of
61. Behold, I say unto thee, Oliver, that it shall be given unto thee that thou shalt be heard by the church in all things whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the Comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given.
the city of Zion somewhere in the West. Each of these is an event of great importance and will receive attention in appropriate time and place.
Joseph's wife's family had now been turned against them, and she was henceforth to be a stranger in her father's house, and to follow the fortunes of her husband through dangers sufficient to appall the stoutest heart. How opportune was the revelation given a short time before to fortify her for this, to her, unforeseen event! When we consider that this revelation was given to a young woman so soon to be banished from the home of her youth, whose tender heart was to be almost broken by being ruthlessly banished from the arms and the love of parents, brothers, and sisters, how appropriate are
2. But, behold, verily, verily I say unto thee, No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., for he receiveth them even as Moses, and thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and revelations, with power and authority unto the church. And if thou art led at any time by the Comforter to speak or teach, or at all times by the way of commandment unto the church, thou mayest do it. But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; and thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church for I have given him the keys of the mysteries and the revelations, which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.
3. And now, behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites, and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings, thou shalt cause my church to be established among them and thou shalt have revelations, but write them not by way of commandment. And now, behold, I say unto you, that it is not revealed and no man knoweth where the city shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites
4. Thou shalt not leave this place until after the conference, and my servant Joseph shall be appointed to preside over the conference by the voice of it, and what he saith to thee thou shalt tell. And again, thou shalt take thy brother Hiram Page between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me, and Satan deceiveth him; for behold, these things have not been appointed unto him; neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants, for all things must be done in order and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith .
5. And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church, before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites. And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do. And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.
the words, "And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee in the church;" "Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him"!
The event of his going and her duty in the emergency are clearly pointed out in the following: "And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going," etc.
That this noble woman faithfully fulfilled her obligations and duties towards her husband is attested by John Taylor, who knew her long and well. In an editorial, in the Times and Seasons, January 15, 1845, he wrote:-
"Suppose we say a word concerning the 'prophet's wife,' Mrs. Emma Smith; she honored her husband while living, and she will never knowingly dishonor his good name while his martyred blood mingles with mother earth!"
This also from History of Joseph Smith, in Millenial Star, volume 19, pages 695, 696, language used by him during his forced absence from home during the trouble of 1842, pays a touching and fitting tribute to the faithfulness of this noble woman and affectionate wife:-
"How glorious were my feelings when I met that faithful and friendly band, on the night of the eleventh, on Thursday, on the island at the mouth of the slough, between Zarahemla and Nauvoo: with what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emma-she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the revibrations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble-undaunted, firm, and unwavering-unchangeable, affectionate Emma." We record these tributes of praise to the honored memory of Emma Smith here in connection with the event that exiled her from her father's house because we believe her
to have been worthy of all commendation and praise, and because her name has been traduced by those who should have been her friends, but against whose dishonorable acts her very existence was a living protest.
In her youth she gave her heart and hand to a poor, illiterate young man. By this act she invited the displeasure of her family. For a brief season they received her back, then turned from her again, and she accompanied her husband to the western wilds. They resided for a season in Ohio, then farther west we see her standing side by side with her companion while surrounded by a hostile foe. Again we behold her, as in tears and bitter anguish she sees her husband torn from her by a ruthless mob and dragged away to prison and prospective death. She is left in poverty and distress, and being no longer able to remain near her husband because of the cruel edict of an inhuman executive, she turns her face eastward and with her little children faces the pitiless winter storm. On foot she crosses the ice of the Father of Waters, her two youngest children in her arms, the other two clinging to her dress. Then in anguish and suspense she awaits tidings from her husband, whom she has left in a dungeon surrounded by cruel foes. If in all this she ever murmured or faltered in her devotion we know it not. At length he joins her and a brief season of repose is granted them, during which she sees her husband rise to eminence and distinction, and she, as she was commanded, delights in the glory that came upon him. But alas! this is only the calm before the storm. Again the heavy, cruel hand of persecution is upon them, and upon a calm summer day they bear to her home the mutilated body of her murdered husband. Thousands pass the bier, and look for the last time on the face of the honored dead. Then she gathers her children around that silent form, and looks upon those calm lips which had in time of trouble pronounced those words so full of pathos and love, "My beloved Emma-she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. . . . Again she is here, even in the seventh trouble-undaunted, firm, and unwavering-unchangeable, affectionate Emma;" and from her full heart cries, "My
husband, Oh! my husband; have they taken you from me, at last!" Shall this noble woman, this faithful wife, this loving mother, this devoted and humble saint, be denied an honorable mention in history, especially since an effort has been made by the vile traducer of the pure and the good to tarnish her fair name? Not while a sense of justice wields the pen, or there remains in the human breast a love for the good and the brave. Was it not her loving hand, her consoling and comforting words, her unswerving integrity, fidelity, and devotion, her wise counsel, that assisted to make this latter-day work a success? If God raised up a Joseph as a prophet and a restorer of gospel truth, then did he also raise up an Emma as an help meet for him.
Noble woman ! rest in peace ! When you meet your traducers at the bar of God, justice will be triumphant. Then, if not till then, will your virtuous name be honored, and proper credit be given for your unselfish sacrifice and your labor of love!
During the month of August there was another revelation given. 7
7 l. Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the great I AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins, who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice, and humble themselves before me and call upon me in mighty prayer. Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things; but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you.
2. Verily I say unto you, that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump; lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; and ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things, against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked; for the hour is nigh, and the day soon at hand, when the earth is ripe; and all the proud, and they that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth; for the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke, so shall it come to pass for I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.
On September 1 the conference before referred to met and the difficulty occasioned by Hiram Page being deceived by a seer stone was adjusted to the satisfaction of all. Of this Joseph writes:-
"At length our conference assembled; the subject of the
3. And again, verily, verily I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand, at the day of my coming, in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else; for a trump shall sound, both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth, yea, even the dead which died in me to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.
4. But, behold, I say unto you, that before this great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and there shall be greater signs in heaven above, and in the earth beneath;, and there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men; and there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth, and it shall come to pass because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent; for the cup of mine indignation is full; for, behold, my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not.
5. Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them, and their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me, and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets; and it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forests and the fowls of the air shall devour them up; and that great and abominable church which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, which spoke of these things, which have not come to pass, but surely must, as I live, for abomination shall not reign.
6. And again, verily, verily I say unto you, that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; and the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed, and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; for all old things shall pass away and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fullness thereof, both men and beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; and not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand.
7. But, behold, verily I say unto you, Before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth; yea, even all; and the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father; wherefore I will say unto them Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.
8. And now, behold, I say unto you, Never at any time, have I declared
stone mentioned in a previous number, was discussed, and after considerable investigation, Brother Page, as well as the whole church, who were present, renounced the said stone, and all things connected therewith, much to our mutual satisfaction and happiness.
"We now partook of the sacrament, confirmed and
from my own mouth that they should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power; but remember that all my judgments are not given unto men; and as the words have gone forth out of my mouth, even so shall they be fulfilled; that the first shall be last, and that the last shall be first in all things, whatsoever I have created by the word of my power, which is the power of my Spirit; for by the power of my Spirit, created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal: firstly spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, firstly temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work; speaking unto you that you may naturally understand, but unto myself my works have no end neither beginning; but it is given unto you that ye may understand, because ye have asked it of me and are agreed.
9. Wherefore, verily I say unto you, that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal, neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam your father, whom I created; behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him; for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural, nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.
10. And it came to pass, that Adam being tempted of the Devil, for, behold, the Devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency; and they were thrust down, and thus became the Devil and his angels; and, behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell; and it must needs be that the Devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.
11. Wherefore, it came to pass, that the Devil tempted Adam and he partook the forbidden fruit, and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the Devil, because he yielded unto temptation; wherefore, I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out from the garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression; wherein he became spiritually dead; which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say, Depart ye cursed.
12. But, behold, I say unto you, that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption through faith on the name of mine only begotten Son, and thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation; that by his natural death, he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe, and they that believe not, unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not, for they will love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil, and they receive their wages of whom they list to obey.
ordained many, and attended to a great variety of church business on that and the following day, during which time we had much of the power of God manifested amongst us; the Holy Ghost came upon us, and filled us with joy unspeakable; and peace, and faith, and hope, and charity abounded in our midst.
"During the conference, which continued three days, the utmost harmony prevailed, and all things were settled satisfactory to all present, and a desire was manifested by all the saints to go forward and labor with all their powers to spread the great and glorious principles of truth, which had been revealed by our heavenly Father. A number were baptized during the conference and the work of the Lord spread and prevailed. At this time a great desire was manifested by several of the elders respecting the remnants of the house of Joseph, the Lamanites, residing in the West; knowing that the purposes of God were great to that people, and hoping that the time had come when the promises of the Almighty in regard to that people were about to be accomplished, and that they would receive the gospel and enjoy its blessings."-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 146, 172.
Before separating another revelation was received, 8 and
13. But, behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world, through mine Only Begotten; wherefore they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me; for it is given unto them even as I will, according to mine own pleasure, that great things may be required at the hand of their fathers.
14. And again I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent and he that hath no understanding, it remaineth in me to do according as it is written. And now, I declare no more unto you at this time. Amen.
81. Behold, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength, as you ought; but your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded; wherefore, you are left to inquire for yourself, at my hand, and ponder upon the things which you have received. And your home shall be at your father's house, until I give unto you further commandments. And you shall attend to the ministry in the church, and before the world, and in the regions round about. Amen
2. Behold, I say unto you, Peter, that you shall take your journey with your brother Oliver, for the time has come, that it is expedient in me,
soon after a revelation was also received for Thomas B. Marsh 9
In October a revelation was given appointing P. P. Pratt and Z. Peterson to accompany O. Cowdery west. 10
that you shall open your mouth to declare my gospel; therefore, fear not but give heed unto the words and advice of your brother, which he shall give you. And be you afflicted in all his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer, and faith, for his and your deliverance; for I have given unto him power to build up my church among the Lamanites; and none have I appointed to be his counselor, over him, in the church, concerning church matters, except it is his brother Joseph Smith, Jr. Wherefore, give heed unto these things, and be diligent in keeping my commandments, and you shall be blessed unto eternal life. Amen.
3. Behold, I say unto you, my servant John, that thou shalt commence from this time forth to proclaim my gospel, as with the voice of a trump. And your labor shall be at your brother Philip Burrough's, and in that region round about; yea, wherever you can be heard, until I command you to go from hence. And your whole labor shall be in Zion, with all your soul, from henceforth; yea, you shall ever open your mouth in my cause, not fearing what man can do, for I am with you. Amen.
91. Thomas, my son, blessed are you because of your faith in my work. Behold, you have had many afflictions because of your family: nevertheless I will bless you, and your family; yea, your little ones, and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church.
2. Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation. You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant Joseph Smith, Jr. You shall begin to preach from this time forth; yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned; therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul; and your sins are forgiven you; and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore your family shall live.
3. Behold, verily I say unto you, Go from them only for a little time and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them; yea, I will open the hearts of the people and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand; and you shall strengthen them and prepare them against the time when they shall be gathered. Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.
4. Behold, I say unto you that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you. Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do, and whither you shall go. Pray always, lest you enter into temptation, and lose your reward. Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the will of the Father. Amen.
101. And now concerning my servant Parley P. Pratt, behold, I say unto him, that as I live I will that he shall declare my gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart; and that which I have appointed unto him, is that he shall go with my servants Oliver Cowdery and
Peter Whitmer, Jr., into the wilderness, among the Lamanites; and Ziba Peterson, also, shall go with them, and I myself will go with them and be in their midst; and I am their Advocate with the Father, and nothing shall prevail. And they shall give heed to that which is written and pretend to no other revelation, and they shall pray always that I may unfold them to their understanding; and they shall give heed unto these words and trifle not, and I will bless them. Amen
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