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JUNE 1 the spirit of opposition against Utah elders culminated in the forcible banishment from Jutland, Denmark, of Elders Ferdinand F. Hintze, Christian N. Lundsten, Jens Nielson, and Neils Hansen, for preaching their doctrines; and on June 4 Elder John P. Ihsen was brought on board the steamer Milo, at Copenhagen, Denmark, by the police officers, having been banished from the country for preaching the doctrines of the Utah Mormons.
The Vindicator of Truth, the official publication of the Reorganization in England, in its issue for June, thus speaks of two important items of business transacted at their recent annual conference:
First. The question of making the church in this country self-supporting was presented, resulting in the appointment of a committee to ascertain the general feeling of the branches in this country, and to formulate a scheme whereby self-support may be had. The committee consists of Brn. T. Taylor, C. H. Caton, J. Dewsnup, and Henry Greenwood.
We are of opinion that this is a step in the right direction, and one that ought to have been taken long ago. For our part we are very thankful to the "church" in America for the valuable help it has so long given to this mission, but think we ought to have taken steps before now to have helped ourselves more than we have. Be this as it may, we are glad that the move is being made.
Another item of business which was considered (at least by the majority of those present) as of some importance, was the taking of first steps to invite Bro. Joseph Smith, the President of the church, to pay a visit to this country.
Under date of June 4, Elder Jason W. Briggs published the following notice in the Saints' Herald, see volume 32, page 409.
That part of the "report" of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve present, to the late General Conference respecting Brn. Z. H. Gurley, E. C. Briggs, and myself, for non-attendance, requires a notice from us. For myself I do not understand, nor never did, that it is a necessary duty for members of this quorum to attend all conferences, nor has it ever been so regarded or been the practice. And in the absence of a call to convene, by their own act, or by other authorized methods of convening them, they are entitled to the same option as all, or any elder. Further than this, in February last I wrote to each member of the quorum, asking their views upon certain questions in controversy involving some of the quorum, looking to a convening of the quorum. To this replies were received from each, but no one of them advised the convening of the quorum, nor suggested a thought to guide us in the contemplated convening of the quorum, while some expressed the idea of its uselessness. Under these circumstances no call for the quorum to meet was made,-its members having the same right to attend conference or not, as other elders; consequently those who did attend, (or "eat flesh,") ought not to censure those who did not. The letters of those six brethren, to me, in answer to mine touching the necessity of the meeting of the quorum, certainly do not harmonize either in letter or spirit with the resolution adjudging penance for non-attendance. The foregoing is the only "apology" due-adding that penance can only lie against violators of specific law.
As ever in hope,
WHEELER, Iowa, June 4, 1885. J. W. BRIGGS.
The following extract from a letter from Elder A. H. Smith, published in the Expositor, volume 1, pages 54, 55, under date of Salt Lake City, June 23, reflects quite clearly the situation in Utah:
To say that a queer state of affairs exists in Utah does not fully express the fact. On our arrival here the church organ was very much exercised
and began the attack, as usual, by throwing mud and warning the flock to "beware of wolves," and "not to listen to the voice of the stranger but to hear the voice of the good shepherd," evidently forgetting that the shepherds had fled, and were in hiding. We found the sheep in sad perplexity. Their shepherds had been very bold, and advised them not to fear, but to stand firm in the declaration and practice of their religion, and the God of Israel would come out of his hiding-place and preserve them from their enemies, and no harm should befall them. But behold, presto, change! Those who were so bold, so defiant and loudest in saying "stand fast," were the first to buy tickets on the underground railway to pastures new and obscure, unattainable by the sheep, but places of safety for the shepherds. . . .
Taking in the situation, it was by us thought wise to move slow but sure in our advance. The opera-house was secured for Sunday evening services, and the afternoon service held in our chapel, Bro. Joseph Smith speaking at both services. The chapel could not hold all who came to hear. The Spirit of God was there, and many a veteran who in years past held high the banner of Prince Emanuel was seen to brush the silent tear from faces shining anew under the influence of the old fire. It was good to be there; and when evening came and we repaired to the opera-house, and beheld the sea of eager faces, as they rose tier on tier to the very dome of the amphitheater, we were made to feel the great importance of the occasion and the vital questions at issue. And again the voice of God's servant was heard pleading with the people, not in railing accusation, not in condemnation, but in pleadings, mild yet firm, to stop and think and return to the old paths, and walk in the light of God's holy law, given to the church through Joseph, the Seer. . . .
Truly it was a season of rejoicing to us, clouded only by the thought that the people, whom we had come so far to serve, looked upon us as enemies. Surely "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform."
Some were made glad, some were made mad; but so we expect it will be, and are not discouraged.
As Joseph does not fear the deputies, and has come to stay till the Spirit shall say, "It is enough, the call is made," we will await the result and trust in God, not anticipating but patiently working till the result appears.
July Fourth in Salt Lake City, Utah, was, to some extent at least, devoted to a purpose far removed from that to which the day is generally consecrated. The people of this city and Utah Territory were smarting under the vigorous efforts of the government officials to apprehend, and punish according to the terms of the Edmunds law, all who were practicing polygamy. Bitter feeling against the Government was rampant. It was claimed that the law was unconstitutional,
hence those apprehended and imprisoned or fined for its violation, were deprived of their constitutional rights. Some of the Utah church dignitaries were in hiding; others were in prison; and still others had but recently obtained their freedom, having paid the penalties of the law. With such environments the people of Utah saw the light of Independence Day, 1885.
Visitors to Salt Lake City upon this day were surprised to see the flag flying in front of the city hall at half-mast. President Joseph Smith gives his experience in connection with this matter as follows:
The Fourth in Salt Lake City was an eventful day. The City Hall is directly across the street from Bro. Warnock's, and when I reached the sidewalk, I saw the "Stars and Stripes" at half-mast on the pole in front of the Hall. No one seemed to know why it was so displayed. But it was similarly displayed from the flagstaffs on the News Office, the Tithing Office, Tabernacle or Assembly Room, the Coöperative Store, the County Court-house, and all the public buildings controlled by the Utah church.
Through the efforts of Marshal Ireland, and some others, the flag was raised on the Court-house, and though first pulled down at the City Hall, then raised to full height of the staff, where it was flying at sundown.
This act of flying the flag of the United States at half-mast on the national holiday, was taken by many as a direct and premeditated insult to the flag and the Government it has so long represented. When asked by a committee of citizens why it was so displayed, Marshal Phillips replied that it was a whim of his. We happened to be at the hall, when a part of the quarrel was going on, as Brn. Anthony, Luff, and myself were hunting Marshal Ireland, on business for Bro. Anthony, and not finding him at his office, nor at one or two other places, to which we were directed, we were at last told that he had gone to the city hall. . . . We were a little sorry that we were at the hall during the altercation, as it was likely to be misinterpreted. We were sorry to see the flag at half-mast, for we thought that the circumstances did not warrant such an ill-advised action. We kept away from the business part of the city all the afternoon, and went to a meeting advertised as a patriotic meeting, held in the Methodist church, Governor E. R. Murray presiding. We were invited upon the platform. Judge Zane, of the Supreme Court; Bishops Warren and Walton, and Reverend Iliff, of the M. E. Church, and Reverend R. G. McNiece, of the Presbyterian, were already there. We complied with the invitation, and at the close of the meeting, by request of Governor Murray, we spoke a few words, evincing our loyalty to the Government and devotion to the flag.
We were in hopes that the authorities of the city, and the church of Utah, would have disavowed the putting the flags at half-mast on the public buildings; but the city council indorsed [endorsed] the action of Marshal Phillips in the case of the city hall; the Deseret News, the church organ, also indorses [endorses] it. In the case of the court-house, Sheriff Groesbeck at once ordered the flag put at full height, as soon as he discovered that it had been so displayed. Ex-mayor Jennings has had the courage to disapprove the action at the city hall, and asked that his disapproval be placed on the council record.
To us it seems that if the action of a few city officials resulted in such an act of useless bravado as putting the flag of the Government at half mast on the public buildings of the city and county in the central city of a territory belonging to the United States, (on such a holiday as the Fourth,) will be construed to be; that action should be at once promptly disavowed by both city and the church officials. If it was the result of a few church officials consulting together and influencing the city officials, it should also be disavowed by the church. If, however, it was the result of an order direct from controlling church authorities, it must add greatly to the gravity of the crisis already pending, and makes it difficult to say what complications may arise because of it.
The attitude of the church in Utah, if the Deseret News properly represents it, is one of distress and indignant protest against the action of Congress, and the prosecution of polygamists under it; claiming that the law is unconstitutional, and the prosecution and findings of the courts are acts of oppression and persecution; and that victims convicted under the law are martyrs.
Andrew Jenson, assistant church historian of the Utah people, thus speaks of this event under date of July 24, see "Church Chronology," page 123:
Although the rabid anti-Mormons were so enraged because the Mormons of Salt Lake City raised the flag on half-mast on July 4th, and threatened direful consequences, if the act was repeated on the 24th, yet on this eventful day, all the citizens, anti-Mormons as well as Mormons, put the flag at half-mast in token of mourning over the demise of Ex-president U. S. Grant, who died at Mt. McGregor, New York, the day before (July 23).
Without departing from the proper path of historians to pass judgment upon those who must bear the responsibility for disrespect to the flag, it may with propriety be noted as a part of the historical narrative, that well-known subsequent events have proved the act to have been unwise; and the public abandonment of polygamy, evidently compelled by the enforcement of the law against which such indignation was manifested, is not one of the least of those facts.
The following article appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune in the latter part of June, and was reproduced in the Advocate for July, which assists so materially in correctly reflecting the then doubly interesting Utah situation, that we insert it:
JOSEPH SMITH EXPRESSES HIMSELF ON THE UTAH CHURCH.
Joseph Smith, oldest son of the founder of the Mormon church, and President of what is known as the Josephite branch, arrived in the city Wednesday night. A Tribune representative called on him last evening at the residence of Mr. Warnock, for the purpose of ascertaining the objects of his trip to Utah, his opinion of the Utah branch, etc.
Mr. Smith is a pleasant gentleman, about fifty years of age, gray haired, with full, flowing beard and rather venerable looking. He received the Tribune man courteously and declared his willingness to impart any desired information.
"What object have you in visiting Utah?" asked the reporter.
"I have two objects. One is to become acquainted by observation with the Territory, its resources and its people; the other is to present the views of the church with which I am identified."
"Your church is not in harmony with the Utah church?"
"No, sir; in many respects it is not. In much that appertains to the origin and rise of the church, there is not a great difference. Antagonism, if it exists, occurs from different views touching polygamy and the union of church and state, in a political sense. It is possible that some part of it results from mutual misunderstanding, and consequently misrepresentation."
"Are you a believer in the mission and calling of your father?"
"I am; most decidedly so."
"Does that not make the perpetuity of plural marriage a necessity?"
"We do not so believe. The church flourished from 1830 to 1844 without polygamy, and we see no vital reason why it may not so exist and prosper again. With others, I have made this the basis of thought and labor for a number of years. At first the ground seemed untenable to many, but we have verified the stability of the position in a good many places from which the Saints were driven, both before and after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith."
"What are your feelings toward the people of Utah?"
"I have no feeling other than that of good-will toward the people. I knew many of them when I was a boy, and my remembrances of them are still clear. The introduction of polygamy was a serious mistake, and the consequences of it have created a crisis in the history of the people of Utah that is very grave. It seems that there is nothing in the principles of the church at its organization that would have produced such a crisis. Myself and cobelievers have foreseen that such crisis must occur, sooner or later, if polygamy was perpetuated, and not finding warrant for that contingency, we have felt that innocent persons would suffer. This we
have tried to show the people, telling them how the blow would fall when it came, because one foundation principle on which the church was originally built was, 'He that keepeth the law of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.'"
"What do you think of the Edmunds law and its enforcement, for that is really the question of the hour?"
"The law has been sustained by the courts; for that reason I have no opinion as to its constitutionality. It should either be enforced or promptly abandoned. All law is arbitrary, and its operation sometimes harsh. This law may be so enforced as to wound and bruise those whom it was intended to reach as a curative agent. And here is where I think the crisis is. The province of government should be to so treat all subjects that the citizen is saved to the state, while the integrity and dignity of the government are preserved. It is too early to determine whether this will be done, or the law be made odious by an overstraining of its provisions. Thoughtful men everywhere are anxious that the right should prevail. If the government proposes to stand by the law, it should be uniformly, equally, and justly enforced."
"What is the membership of your church?"
"Between eighteen and twenty thousand. We have branches all over the Union and members in nearly every State."
"Do you meet with the same opposition from Gentiles that the Utah Mormons do?"
"No; not when it is understood that we do not teach or practice polygamy. Of course, we meet with more or leas opposition from other denominations, but our missionaries are always given a hearing. We held our last General Conference at Independence, Missouri, at the same time the Utah conference was being held at Logan. We had an immense attendance, the opera-house and court-house being crowded. It was the largest religious gathering ever held in that part of the country."
On page 562 of the Advocate for July, is found the following from the pen of President Joseph Smith, which was called forth by the Deseret News branding President Smith's reported statement in Chicago as an atrocious lie.
SALT LAKE CITY, July 2, 1885.
Editor Deseret News: Please do me the justice of the following correction:
The statement complained of by you in your to-day's issue, as given in the Chicago Tribune's report of my Chicago speech, February 22, 1882, was not made by me in the form stated. The statement made by me was, "That while in Salt Lake City, in 1876, I became acquainted with an unmarried man, then 39 years old, whose youth and early manhood had been spent in Utah. I asked him the question why he had not married, and he gave in reply, substantially, that he did not know where to go in the Territory to get a wife; that it was not easy to find young marriageable
women who were not already married into polygamous families, or were bespoken for some bishop. This man further stated that he was not alone in being unmarried for the same cause, the contamination of polygamy."
Neither the Times nor Herald gave the sentence in the obnoxious form used by the Tribune. I had twice before been misrepresented by the same paper, and tried to have them set me right, and failed; and so did not try in this instance; but in the issue of our own paper, the Saints' Herald, for June 1, 1882, as soon after the presentation of the matter in your issue for May 13, 1882, as it was possible, I published this correction, of which a copy of the paper containing it was sent you, with the denial of having made the statement; using the following language concerning it: "The statement as given in the Tribune report, and which the News denounces as an 'atrocious lie,' was not made as stated. The Times and Herald each published a report, and neither of them got the remark in the form given by the Tribune. As given it is a harsh remark, of which we do not object to the News finding fault."
The virtue and purity of the women of Utah, aside from plural marriage, were not questioned by me and never have been.
I hand you herewith a copy of the Saints' Herald for June 1, 1882, that you may see that I made the correction of the improper statement as soon as I could after my attention was called to it. Had I made the remark I should justly deserve censure; but not having made it, you should in honor to yourself and justice to me permit this to go before your readers.
This was presented to the Deseret News by President Smith in person, but it did not appear.
July 15 Elder E. L. Kelley wrote to the Saints' Herald from Obarlin, Ohio, with reference to the celebrated Spalding Manuscript, as follows:
In response to your letter forwarded to me by Bro. Blakeslee, I came here yesterday to arrange for a copy of the long-lost and hidden story of Solomon Spalding. The Manuscript is old and getting much worn; the outside leaves being in places thumbed and pinched to such an extent as to make it necessary, in a few instances, to supply words from the evident connections. There are sufficient marks and dates connected with its pages to show beyond any question that the writing is that obtained by Hurlbut from Mrs. Davison, as the one claimed by the enemies of the Book of Mormon to be the story forming the basis of the same, and delivered by the said Hurlbut to E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio. After examining (in connection with the reading of President J. R. Fairchild) the Manuscript and story as related therein, I am fully satisfied as to the object Howe had in suppressing it when he published his "Mormonism Unveiled."
There is sufficient in the Manuscript to base the stories upon made by Howe's witnesses who claimed they had heard it read twenty-two years prior to giving their statements, except as to a few of the technical expressions and names that Hurlbut and Howe run in when they wrote up the "statements" for their "witnesses;" but nothing whatever to show that it was the foundation of the Book of Mormon. . . .
The copy will be ready and placed in your hands next week. The copying will be done by a typewriter copyist, verbatim et literatim, and will contain the certificate of President Fairchild, that it is correct.
The copy that Mr. Rice took will also be published, thus furnishing two independent copies to the public, making any suppressions or erasures impossible without detection.
President Fairchild charges nothing for his time in the examination of the matter and giving certificate; and finding that he desired a copy of the Book of Mormon for the Oberlin Library, I told him I would ask our publishing house to furnish him a copy free.
The Manuscript contains one hundred sixty-five pages, and between forty-five thousand and fifty thousand words. I expect to leave Kirtland for the West on Tuesday or Wednesday next, and hope to hear from you at once at Kirtland, if there are any other points worth looking after. There will be no necessity of getting in further evidences as to the genuineness of the manuscript, as there is proof sufficient. The first pages and indorsement [endorsement] on the last will be photographed so that should you wish to have it stereotyped and presented in this form for evidence, you can do so. There will be three pages of this in photograph form.
July 23 Elder W. H. Kelley contributed a letter to the Saints' Herald touching the same subject. 1
The field of Elder Peter Anderson was changed by order of the First Presidency from Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, to the Rocky Mountain Mission, and to the latter field he repaired about the last of July.
Under date of August 1, Elder Joseph Luff wrote of a debate between Elder Jensen of the Utah church, and Elder R. J. Anthony, at Pleasant Grove, Utah.
1Yesterday, In company with E. L., I dropped into the office of Professor Fairchild, at Oberlin, and had the pleasure of examining the famed old Spalding Manuscript, which has been posed against the faith so long by self-willed and unscrupulous opposers, as constituting the ground-plot for the origin of the Book of Mormon. Beyond question it is the identical Spalding Romance. There are so many things which identifies it, that the mind is set at rest that it is the thing "de facto." It has an antiquated appearance; leaves soiled by use and torn in places, and has a smoked, rusty appearance. The paper is thicker than ordinary writing paper now in use, and is not ruled. Water marks are easily traced upon it. The leaves are six and one half inches wide and eight inches long, and are closely written on both sides in an old fashioned cramped hand. The Manuscript when lying
The writer agreed to act as moderator for Bro. R. J. Anthony in a debate to be held with Elder Andrew Jensen, on the evening of July 20, on the following proposition: "Do the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants (old edition) and the history of the church up to the death of Joseph Smith, as published in the Times and Seasons and Millennial Star, warrant the Saints in locating in the Rocky Mountains. Jensen affirming; Anthony denying.
This same gentleman, (?) after agreeing to affirm the above, went to the lady from whom we had rented a hall for the purpose, (according to agreement), and insisted that she should refuse the building, and demand a return of the key. The lady came, and when a return of the key was refused, wept and stated that this very gentleman (?) had directed her to demand it. Notwithstanding the contract for the house had been fully made, the brother holding the key gave it up rather than permit the lady to suffer at the hands of men whose duplicity places them beneath contempt. Another hall was secured in the little town, (Pleasant Grove,) and the debate advertised. The time arrived, and forth we went; but just imagine, if you can, how we felt when this "defender of the faith," this assistant editor of the Danish paper here, the Bikuben, positively refused to affirm his own proposition; in fact would not lead off in the debate at all. After considerable parley Bro. Anthony agreed, rather than lose the chance for being heard, to affirm the negative of the above proposition. It was the only show, and, at the last minute, without special preparation for such an emergency, he sailed in, and piled up the Doctrine and Covenants' arguments admirably. When the learned editor undertook a reply, he characteristically passed by all the pointers offered, and read from the Juvenile Instructor an item copied from the nineteenth volume of the Millennial Star, which was said to have been copied from Willard Richards' Journal. The reader will please observe that the nineteenth volume of the Millennial Star was not printed until thirteen years after the Martyr's death. . . .
loose on the table, measures three fourths of an inch in thickness. A few leaves were stitched together with linen thread, thus forming them into little sections, or books, easy to handle. Take a sheet of paper thirteen inches wide and sixteen inches long, double twice, so as to leave it six and a half by eight inches, and you have the precise manner of the arrangement of the paper for use. I counted eighty-seven sheets in all. Some are missing. On the large wrapper enveloping the Manuscript, the following is found written with lead pencil, "Manuscript Story-Conneaut Creek." It is known that writing done with lead pencil will remain legible for years. This wrapping-paper, however, looks to be a little more modern in its make-up than the Manuscript paper, but shows age. It is of good consistency, and is a good, durable, buff-colored wrapping-paper. The most probable thing is, that this wrapper was put around the "Manuscript Story" by D. P. Hurlbut when he procured it from Mrs. Davison; and that the pencil writing was done at Conneaut, Ohio, when he, Aaron Wright, John Miller, Henry Lake, et al., were closeted with the manuscript before them, endeavoring to invent a theory that would account for the origin of the Book of Mormon, other than the truthful narrative given of it, and in a way that would tickle the fancy and please the ear of the fable-loving, give to themselves some note, a lucrative business, and to the Devil one more chance to close the eyes of the willingly blind.
To the above was added several statements said to have been made by the Martyr, and several acts interpreted by the Brighamites to mean or point to a Utah Zion; but none of them were ever published until fifteen years after the Prophet's death, and that, too, by residents in the Utah Zion, in justification for their course in settling here. At the close the writer challenged the editor to discuss the original proposition, either there or in Salt Lake City, embodying in it, specifically, that the evidence shall be produced from the history published prior to the Martyr's death. This was refused on the ground that there was no history before the year 1844. We took up the Millennial Star and Times and Seasons, and showed that there was. But it was no use, the debate must end there and then. Yet a number of that "intelligent audience" failed to discover when he said there was no history before Joseph's death, that he virtually admitted that he had been discussing a proposition which he knew all the time to be false in the essential claim made for it.
On July 30 appeared an important communication in the Boston Congregationalist, entitled, "Who wrote the Book of Mormon? Solomon Spalding not its Author," by Reverend C. M. Hyde, D. D. The gentleman referred to by Mr. Rice (see page 473), shows the conclusions to which a judge certainly not prejudiced would naturally come in regard to the Spalding Manuscript. It is as follows:
Just now many inquiries have come to Honolulu in regard to a manuscript in the possession of Mr. L. L. Rice, who came from Ohio to this city in 1879, to reside with his daughter, Mrs. J. M. Whitney. Mr. Rice was at one time editor of the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, having, in connection with his partner, Mr. P. Winchester, in 1839, bought that newspaper, with all the appurtenances of the printing-office in connection with it, from Mr. Eber D. Howe, the former proprietor. In the mass of material turned over to Mr. Rice was a small parcel that was labeled in pencil, "Manuscript Story-Conneaut Creek." The parcel never had been opened till last summer, when Mr. Rice was looking over his papers, in search of memorabilia, in regard to the early anti-slavery movements in Ohio, in which he had actively engaged. He then found that it was the story written by Reverend Solomon Spalding, who, it has been claimed, wrote the "Book of Mormon," which Joseph Smith, Jr., published as an inspired translation of certain records, in regard to the American Indians and their connection with Christianity, engraved on golden plates, and found by him on the top of a hill in Palmyra, New York. In the rubbish of a printing-office that manuscript of Mr. Spalding's for which diligent search has hitherto been made in vain, has been as effectually lost as if it had been entombed in some forgotten Indian burial cave, to be strangely resurrected in these islands out in the Pacific Ocean.
When President Fairchild of Oberlin College visited Honolulu last summer, he had the opportunity of examining this manuscript. In the Bibliotheca Sacra for January, 1885, he inserted a brief paragraph, expressing the opinion that this was not the original of the Book of Mormon. The Mormons came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1846, seeking proselytes, and have now on Oahu quite a settlement, with fifteen "missionaries." They are anxious to secure and publish the manuscript, as the best refutation of the claim that has been made that Reverend Solomon Spalding was the real author of the Book of Mormon. The statement of a few facts, however, will be convincing proof enough to any unprejudiced mind, both that this manuscript can not be the original of the Mormon bible, and that Reverend Solomon Spalding has no valid claim to have written any such book. It was through an article by Reverend D. R. Austin in the Boston Recorder for 1839, that the claim was made for Mrs. Matilda Davison, of Monson, that the Book of Mormon was written by her former husband, Reverend Solomon Spalding.
The facts in regard to Mr. Spalding are briefly these: He was born in Ashford, Connecticut, in 1761; graduated at Dartmouth, 1785; was pastor of a church in Connecticut, 1787, but left the ministry and went into business with his brother Josiah, in Cherry Valley, New York. In 1809 he removed to Conneaut, Ohio, and thence, in 1812, to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania, where he resided two years. Thence he removed to Amity, Pennsylvania, where he died in 18l6.
Conneaut and Painesville are in the northeastern corner of Ohio, not far from Kirtland, where, in 1831, Joe Smith established the Mormon Zion. He professed to have been told of the existence of the plates in 1823, but did not obtain them till 1827, nor was the translation finished till 1830. Then the first Mormon church was organized April 6, 1830, of six members. In October four elders set out on a mission to the Indians in the far West, and on their way, at Kirtland, Ohio, made one hundred thirty converts to the Mormon faith, the number being increased the next spring to one thousand. This was largely through the influence of Sidney Rigdon, formerly a Campbellite preacher, then residing at Kirtland, and an acquaintance of Parley P. Pratt, one of the four Mormon elders, who gave him a copy of the Mormon bible that had then just been printed. Early in 1831 Rigdon visited Joe Smith, and, in consequence of his representations, Smith removed to Kirtland.
Mr. Howe published, in 1834, from the office of the Painesville Telegraph, a book called Mormonism Unveiled, in refutation of the pretensions of Joe Smith. This book was prepared by Doctor D. P. Hurlbut, now or lately residing in Sturgis, Michigan. He had been at one time connected with the Mormons, but had left them and wrote this expose of their foolish and absurd notions. It was in this book that it was first claimed that Reverend Solomon Spalding was the real author of the Book of Mormon. The claim seems to have originated in the statement of Henry Lake of Conneaut, at one time a partner of Mr. Spalding. Mr. Lake,
on hearing the Mormon bible read, exclaimed that it was the same story that Spalding had read to him twenty years before from his Manuscript Found. John Spalding testified that his brother Solomon, about the year 1812, was writing a book called the Manuscript Found, showing that the American Indians are descendants of the Jews. "Their arts, sciences and civilization were brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North and South America. [After their battles] they buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this [section of the] country." His wife corroborates this testimony and says: "The names of Nephi and Lehi are yet fresh in my memory as being the principal heroes of his tale." These testimonies are confirmed by Messrs. Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, Nahum Howard, Artemas Cunningham, John N. Miller and others, and also, as has been said above, by the widow of Reverend Solomon Spalding.
After Mr. Spalding's death this widow removed to her brother's, Mr. Harvey, Sabine, Onondaga Hollow, New York. In 1820 she married Mr. Davison and removed to Harwick, New York, removing thence, 1832, to Monson, Massachusetts, to reside with her daughter, Mrs. Doctor McKinstry. She had up to this time in her possession a small trunk with some manuscripts of her husband, but left it, in 1832, with Mr. Jerome Clark, in Harwick. At Mr. Sabine's solicitation, she authorized Doctor Hurlbut to examine this trunk, and take the manuscripts he might find for comparison with the Book of Mormon. Only one manuscript was found, which purported to be a short unfinished romance, deriving the origin of the Indians from Rome, by a ship driven to the American coast while on a voyage to Britain, before the Christian era.
It is this manuscript which, through the purchase of the Painesville printing-office, fell into Mr. Rice's possession, has been kept by him all these years in ignorance of its character, and is now brought again into public notice. On the last leaf is written: "The Writings of Solomon Spalding. Proved by Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, John Miller and others. The testimonies of the above gentlemen are now in my possession. D. P. Hurlbut." The paper on which the manuscript was written is of poor quality, yellowed and softened by age, six and a half inches wide by eight inches long. One hundred and seventy-one pages are numbered and written out in full, but the threads which kept them together are broken, and pages 133 and 134 are missing. On the back of page 132 is the beginning of a letter in different handwriting. "Hond Parents I have received 2 letters this jan 1812."
The story has not the slightest resemblance in names, incidents or style to anything in the Book of Mormon. Its first nine chapters are headed: Introduction; An Epitome of the Author's Life, and of his Arrival in America; an account of the Settlement of the Ship's Company; Many Particulars respecting the Natives; A Journey to the Northwest; A Discription [Description] of the Ohons; Discription [Description] of the Learning; Religion; An
Account of Baska, Government and Money. The Introduction begins thus: "Near the west bank of the Coneaught River there are the remains of an ancient fort. As I was walking and forming various conjectures respecting the character, situation and numbers of those people who far exceeded the present race of Indians in works of art and ingenuity, I happened to tread on a flat stone." This is then described as being the cover of an artificial cave, eight feet deep. In the side of this cave a recess is seen, in which an earthen jar is found, containing twenty-eight parchment sheets, "written in an elegant hand, with Roman letters and in the Latin language." Then follows what purports to be a translation of one of these sheets, relating the adventures of Fabius, a young Roman sent by the Emperor Constantine from Rome to Britain, but driven by a storm to the coast of America. The wanderings of the shipwrecked party to the West are next described, and account given of the people, the Ohons, then living in the interior, with their manners and customs, and their wars with King Bombal and the Kentucks, Hadoram, king of Sciota, the Emperor Labmak and the allied nations under Habosan, king of Chianga, Ulipoon, king of Michegan, etc. Here is a specimen of the style: "While Labanco was engaged in conflict with another chief, Sambul thrust his sword into his side. Thus Labanco fell, lamented and beloved by all the subjects of Kentuck. His learning, wisdom and penetration of mind, his integrity and courage had gained him universal respect and given him a commanding influence over the emperor and his other counselors."
There is no attempt whatever to imitate Bible language, and to introduce quotations from the Bible, as in the Book of Mormon. On the contrary, Reverend Solomon Spalding seems to have been a man who had no very high regard for the Bible. There are two manuscript leaves in the parcel of the same size and handwriting as the other one hundred seventy-one pages of manuscript. A few sentences will show the views of the writer. "It is enough for me to know that propositions which are in contradiction to each other can not both be true, and that doctrines and facts which represent the Supreme Being as a barbarous and cruel tyrant can never be dictated by infinite wisdom. . . . But, notwithstanding I disavow my believe in the divinity of the Bible, and consider it as a mere human production, designed to enrich and aggrandize its authors, yet casting aside a considerable mass of rubbish and fanatical rant, I find that it contains a system of ethics, or morals, which can not be excelled on account of their tendency to ameliorate the condition of man." It would seem improbable from such avowed belief that Reverend Solomon Spalding was an orthodox minister, who wrote the Book of Mormon in biblical style, while in poor health, for his own amusement. The statement is more probable that he wrote this Manuscript Found, with the idea of making a little money, if he could find some one to print it for him.
It is evident from an inspection of this Manuscript, and from the above statements, that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon, Solomon Spalding
did not. The testimony of the Conneaut people after the lapse of twenty years, as to their knowledge of the contents of Spalding's story, the Manuscript Found, is not to be relied upon, imperfect and contradictory as it is. The supposition that Spalding wrote another story, which he carried with him to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], to the office of Patterson and Lambdin, to be printed; that he left it there, where it was found in 1822 by Rigdon when he worked in that office, and that Rigdon took this Manuscript with him and published it through Joe Smith in 1830 as the Book of Mormon, is a most violent supposition, unsupported by any evidence whatever; Rigdon, in fact, having never met Smith till after the publication of the Mormon bible. That Spalding ever wrote any other romance seems to be disproved by the date, 18l2, found in the latter part of this Manuscript, and by the correspondence of its contents with what it was found Spalding had actually written. While, on the contrary, all that is known of Joe Smith, his money-digging, his religious ranting, his schemes for getting a livelihood, corroborate the belief, in view of all the facts of the case, that he, and he alone, is the author of the Mormon bible and the founder of the Mormon church.
On August 26 Elder W. H. Kelley entered upon a discussion with Elder J. B. Taylor, of the Bible Christians or Newlights, at Limerick, Ohio, on the respective claims of the two churches represented. Elder Taylor acquitted himself as a gentleman throughout the debate, and Elder Kelley conducted his side of the battle in the same spirit. Some were baptized by Elder Kelley, or his associate ministers, nearly every day of the four days' debate, which indicates the conditions surrounding the controversy.
August 28 Elder T. W. Smith wrote from a point two hundred miles east of Tahiti, Society Islands, giving a very full report of the conditions surrounding the work in that far-off land. It follows:
I am now at Anaa, where there are five branches, of Benjamin Grouard's followers. Anaa is called the head of all the other branches of these people, and as it goes, so goes the others. There are branches at Fakarava, Faite, Makemo, Marikau, Takomi, Raroia, Takaroa, Hikuera, Niau, Ravahara, Nerigningo, Koatiu, Mitia, Tairaro, and perhaps others, with five here, Teimatahoa, Tekahora, Butuhara, Otepipi, Temaria, and Tuhora, makes at least twenty branches who claim to receive the old organization. These I think will, without doubt, accept the following propositions: 1. That you are the lawful successor to your father in his office and gifts; 2. That the proper name of the church is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; 3. To recognize my appointment, and
my office; 4. To accept the revelations given to us-or in other words the Doctrine and Covenants as containing the law of God to us. They claim to receive the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, of course. I am willing to receive into the church those baptized by Benjamin Grouard and by elders ordained by him, providing they are morally worthy. I shall give any the privilege of rebaptism if they desire it. I think if some of the leading men take that step, the rest will follow. While I do not think it essential to demand it, that is, that while I can not consider them outside the church, so as to require baptism, yet I believe it would be more satisfactory to themselves, and to others here; and for several reasons that I know of, and deem good ones, it would be better if they would do so. Yet, under the circumstances, I do not feel justified in insisting on it. Those who do not understand the case, or the peculiarities of these people, can not judge correctly on this point. I continually seek for wisdom from above, and I shall act as I consider to be the wisest and best way.
Beside these people, we have on Tahiti four branches; also one at Matea, one at Tikahau, two at Rairoa, two at Koukura, one each at Aputai, Manihi, Taroa, Tapoto, and Tubuai-or fifteen in all, fully identified with us. We have members at Tanga, at Hikuera, at Aputaki, and at Heu. Besides these, there are at Aputaki and at Hau, a people who indorse [endorse] us fully; but who I shall insist on being rebaptized, because they were baptized by some who mixed some strange notions with the gospel. They called themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of the faith of Israel, believing that Abraham was the future judge of all. They misinterpreted some certain scriptures. I do not blame them much under their circumstances. These people number about two hundred at Hau. About two hundred miles southeast of Tubuai, or probably about four hundred miles from Tahiti, I have lately heard that about two hundred people joined, through the labors of elders from Tubuai. These must be seen to.
Now counting all these places as belonging to us, which we may safely do, there are not less than thirty islands, and at least thirty-eight or forty branches to look after. Now, it is utterly impossible for a man to visit them all in less time than a year, for then one man could give but about nine days with each. But when we have to depend upon some vessel to come along, which often would be a month and more to wait, it would take one man a year and a half to get around; for in most cases at least two weeks ought to be spent in a place. The Catholics, with not one tenth the churches, maintain, outside of Tahiti, a bishop, and at least four priests; and they manage to be at each church once a month.
Now I ask that you will, with Bro. Blair, take this matter into prayerful consideration, and find not less than two young men, or middle-aged ones for that, who can learn the language readily. I think that I can safely guarantee at least one hundred dollars to be raised to help pay their expenses here, and perhaps more. I can not possibly do one fourth the work needed to be done here. I affirm that any man who can resist the
temptations thrown around him, while acting as a traveling elder in America, can stand what he may meet here. But, because a man may or ought to stay here two or three years, and because it would be unjust to separate man and wife that long, it would be best to send a man and his wife. If any can help pay his own way, so much the better; but I must have help, and that, too, at once. The conference has given that power to you and the Bishop, and the missionary in charge. Not any sort of a man will do. No fastidious, overdainty, self-important, rash, and overzealous man will do. He must be "apt to teach," of good memory, and capable of learning the language. It is not at all difficult for anyone with a good retentive memory. There are but few rules to learn. I can talk well enough to get along with them in conversation, but can not preach yet. But I have been compelled, because of the nature of the instructions to be imparted, to employ in every place an interpreter; and when I am not talking I am writing, either letters for the Herald, or on works to be translated, so that I have had no chance yet to take lessons from any one. Still I have grasped a great many words, and twice as many more that I do not. An elder coming here then who had nothing to do but to preach, could have learned to speak by this time. I am literally worn out with work. I do not weigh as much as when I left California by fifteen pounds. I must have help, and two elders at least. If the mission is not worth keeping up to that extent, it is not worth my efforts and time. The longer I stay, and the more branches I establish, the more is help necessary. Pray over this, I beseech you, and advise the church accordingly.
There are several native missionaries at work; but they are not where I want them, or where I would put them if I had the help of several white men. I would ask for four or five if I had any reason to even dream that they would be sent.
I am preparing a work in form of questions and answers, covering every subject connected with our faith. It will be of incalculable value to the natives. There are some of our tracts that ought to be translated, and a hymn-book should be made; and, O, dear, the work to be done in the translating line! I wish the Lord would put it into the hearts of several hundred Saints to send the Herald Office a dollar apiece, or that some two or three good souls would be prompted to give a hundred dollars apiece, to help us in that matter. This question-book I will sell, and send the money to the Herald Office, if the printing is done there. It costs so much here. We need a hymn-book badly. These people are musical, and many of them are splendid singers, and many of their tunes are delightful. They have a good variety. Their singing is harmonious, and in no sense discordant. To convey the idea more clearly, they sing the original tune of "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning;" they sing "Lenox," "Come, come away," and a number of others. They will sing for hours if I want them to. If some elder could come here who is a good teacher of music, and learn their language, he would do a vast amount of good here.
In regard to the field here, I would simply say, that with Tahiti in the southwest corner, there are some fifty or more islands stretching north and east, and all points between, and the farthest about four hundred miles from Tahiti. These are known as the Paumotus, Chain Islands, and Morea and Matea, these two are not Motus, but mountainous; that is, Tahiti and Morea are. Matea is neither one or the other. It is an island with bluffs all around, perpendicular, two hundred feet high, and the top is nearly level. In some places the bluff is close to the water, in others a hundred yards back from the sea, here is where settlements are. This island is distinct in its formation from the Paumotus, yet in many respects similar. We have been on the Paumotus and here since the 15th of March, except about three weeks on Matea. On the Paumotus only cocoanuts [coconuts] grow-no oranges, lemons, pineapples, viis, fees, and but very few bananas, and no vegetables, except taro in places; so we are not living on fruit and vegetables all the time. We get here fish, bread and potatoes, when a vessel brings some; but they will not keep but a few days in this climate. We will be glad to get back to Tahiti, that we may see a cabbage, and a beet, and a turnip, and other things of the kind. We can get canned fruit here for eighty cents for two-pound cans, and this is fruit that is left over from last year in San Francisco. The sisters of Oakland sent us last spring some fresh canned goods, and they were good. We bought a can of Australian beef, called "Irish stew," which we found was the meat from a beef's head. But we have enough to eat, and in usual health. I was very sick lately, but am about as usual now.
There are a number of islands west of Tahiti, not under the French Protectorate, but under native kings and queens, that I would like to get a foothold upon; but the Protestant missionaries would do everything in their power to hinder us. It would be a good thing if we could establish our cause there. But I can not leave the forty branches in these parts, all clamoring for my presence, and I know that some need vastly more instruction than I can give them. I am sick at heart with the idea of the vastness of the work, and my inability to attend to but a small part of it, and I fear that I will not be able to stand the strain a great while without my health giving way. Why can not some of our rich brethren give five hundred dollars and send a couple of elders with their wives out here? No one would be wise to bring children. I think Bro. Luther R. Devore and wife would do here, as they have no children. Bro. and Sr. Brand would do here first-rate. But there are others, whom you know better than I do. If Bro. Mahlon Smith and his wife will come, all right.
The way we are treated in going from island to island, and the way we manage, is this. In every place a comfortable house with two or three rooms is furnished us. Most generally a good bed of cotton, pillows, sheets, and covering. We carry, however, a couple of pillows, a blanket and quilt. We seldom use the blanket, except perhaps to put under us where no bed is furnished, and that was but once. These beds, pillows, etc., are very clean and comfortable. Chairs, tables, knives and forks,
are furnished us; but we carry our own knives; and forks and spoons and dishes; and we carry our own cooking-vessels, although they would furnish them in every place. All these could be bought quite reasonably in Papeete. But knives, etc., could be brought along. Bread can be had in every place at ten cents per loaf. Taro, which is a kind of potato, can be gotten everywhere. It is liked by most white people. Potatoes from New Zealand and San Francisco can be frequently got. Chickens and fish and pork can be had, one or the other, all the time; but the latter I do not eat, nor have I offended any one by refusing, notwithstanding the predictions of some in America. No one need fear in regard to eating, drinking, and a place to sleep. I have never yet had to say with the Master, I have "not where to lay my head." Cooking is done outdoors, or in a shed, in camp style. We have a cooking-stove at home, in Tiona; but the natives have none. Plenty in Papeete, as every other convenience. . . .
The people on the islands nearest Papeete are more careful in their personal appearance than those farthest off. Where the Protestants bear rule, very little exposure of person is allowed. Where the Catholics rule, laxity in morals, and want of modesty is very marked. The Protestants are very strict. Among our people, the women are quite modest, and are most always seen with their "Mother Hubbard" dresses on. They look fine in silk or satin dresses, lace shawls, and fine hats, (which they make themselves), and never with any shoes or stockings. Their dresses are long, with trails, and they cover up their feet. The men, or some of them, wear shoes and socks on Sundays, and when they go to meetings; but they get them off as soon as they can. That our sisters at home may judge whether love of fine clothes affects their olive-brown sisters here, I would say that a couple Sundays ago, one sister had on a satin dress that cost sixty-five dollars, with hat and jewelry to match. However, not one in fifty could dress like that; but lack of funds is the only reason. I wear shoes and socks, vest and coat all the time, and also a medium cotton undershirt. I have worn the past weeks woolen pants and vest. It is not cool, yet I do not feel at all uncomfortable.
I believe I have said all that need be, to give an idea of this mission. I thought first I would merely give a history of the mission thus far; but I afterwards thought to write as I have, and so I have not been as brief as I intended. I hope that the Saints will not forget us in their prayers, and above all provide the Bishop with means, so that if suitable elders can be found to come here, they may not be kept home because there are no means to send them with. There are men in the church who could give a hundred dollars apiece towards it without any trouble. I do not think the church at home would be called upon to help. While I have nothing now, I have received enough for all our wants hitherto. I have not asked for any help from America. I sometimes see books that I need very much, advertised by Harper Brothers, and Scribner & Company; but if I had the money I could not send it from here, for there is no bank to get an
exchange check with, no express-office, and no money order or registered letter system. I would advise any one who may come here to bring ten or twenty dollars in American paper. Our good brother, J. A. Robinson, sent me a dollar bill, which I found convenient to send to the Chicago Inter-Ocean. And now when I read it, I remember his kindness. I am grateful, as is Sr. Smith, to different friends for papers. We got all our mail for three months, two days ago. I say all, but I fear not; for I did not get any word from Bro. Joseph, and I do not wish to think that he neglects us that much, although I suppose he has had but little time to write.
I think that the forty branches here will average thirty members apiece. But I will, if possible, get all the names by next spring conference.
September 1 the Advocate changed editorial hands, Elder W. W. Blair retiring, and Elder Joseph Luff taking charge. This was rendered advisable by the location of Elder Blair in Lamoni, and the presence of Elder Luff in Utah.
September 14 to 16 a debate was held near Weatherford, Texas, between Elder Heman C. Smith and Elder C. M. Wilmoth of the Christian Church.
A Utah historian, Andrew Jensen, thus briefly records an important event occurring September 18: "Bishop John Sharp plead guilty to the charge of unlawful cohabitation, and promised to obey the law; he was fined five hundred dollars and costs." See Church Chronology, page 124.
The text of Bishop Sharp's plea in court is interesting; as he was a leading man among his people. We herein reproduce it:
I hold myself amenable to the laws of my country, and in whatever degree I may have infringed upon the provisions thereof, am ready to meet the penalty.
I am the husband of more than one living wife, and the father of a number of children by each of them. The most of my children have arrived at their majority.
I respectfully submit to this court that the marriage covenant that I entered into with each of my wives was made at a time when there existed no law upon the statute books which made an offense of the plural marriage relations as contemplated in our religion, and that we entered those marriage relations and made those marriage covenants with the most profound conviction that we were obeying the law of God. Furthermore, from the time we made those sacred covenants to the present, we have sustained the most devout reverence for the sanctity and divine origin of
that law, and we have not designedly placed ourselves in conflict with any of the laws of our adopted country in embracing this cardinal doctrine of our religion.
Your honor can readily conceive my discomfiture and that of my wives when we learned that Congress had enacted what is known as the "Edmunds law," which not only subjected us to political disabilities, but also forbade us the right to live together as we had done for so many years. By this new law we are made transgressors and deprived of many of the privileges of our citizenship; and, while I consider this a harsh law, yet it does not, as I understand it, nor as I understand it to be construed by the courts, require that I shall disown the mothers of my children as my wives or abandon them to the charity of an unsympathizing world.
I expect to remain under the political disabilities placed upon me, but I have so arranged my family relations as to conform to the requirements of the law, and I am now living in harmony with its provisions in relation to cohabitation, as construed by this court and the Supreme Court of the Territory, and it is my intention to do so in the future until an overruling Providence shall decree greater religious toleration in the land.
The action of the Bishop created a sensation, as it amounted to a renunciation of his polygamic practices, and a confession that the practice of polygamy now that there was a specific law against such practice, was wrong. The Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the official organ of the dominant church there, lamented the Bishop's attitude, and declared that the effect of Bishop Sharp's action "will not be of sufficient magnitude to interfere in the most remote degree with the main question, which is unalterably fixed as the everlasting hills, and will never be receded from, come what may."
A discussion occurred October 1, 2, 3, and 4, at Opolis, Kansas, between Elder Warren E. Peak, and Elder Lewelyn, of the First Day Adventists, or Restitutionists.
A reunion was held at Gallands Grove, Iowa, beginning October 4, and closing October 12. President W. W. Blair presided, assisted by J. W. Chatburn and Charles Derry. John Pett and Charles Butterworth acted as secretaries. The following elders ministered at the numerous preaching services held: E. C. Brand, Charles Derry, W. W. Blair, J. S. Roth, J. F. McDowell, J. C. Crabb,
M. T. Short, Phineas Cadwell, and R. Etzenhouser. Thirteen were added to the church by baptism.
About October 15 appeared a somewhat remarkable pamphlet, entitled, "Braden Unmasked," by L. L. Luse. These two reverend gentlemen had united their forces against "Mormonism" in two debates, one held at Wilber, Nebraska, and the other at Kirtland, Ohio, both between E. L. Kelley of the Latter Day Saints, and Elder Clark Braden of the Christian Church. But Luse and Braden disagreed, quarreled, became bitter enemies, and his pamphlet is a fragment of the result. It is a moist scathing arraignment of the reverend gentleman under consideration.
October 17 the conference of the western division of the Society Islands was held in the Tiona Branch, Tahiti. The minutes show the condition of the work in that far-off land to be good, showing about 1300 members in the mission. Elders reports show 581 baptisms since April conference.
About October 15 a debate was held between Elder D. S. Crawley and an Elder Cairns, of the Adventists, at Stewartsville, Missouri.
On October 15 occurred at Wheeling, West Virginia, the death of Apostle Josiah Ells, after a protracted illness. (See his biography in volume 3 of this work, pages 764 to 768.)
October 29 General John B. Clark, notorious on account of the part he performed in connection with the driving of the Saints from Missouri, died at Fayette, Howard County, Missouri.
November 1 Apostle Albert Carrington was excommunicated from the Utah church for "lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery."
Apostle Lorenzo Snow, of the Utah church, was arrested November 20, at his residence in Brigham City, Utah, on a charge of unlawful cohabitation under the Edmunds Bill.
November 21 President Joseph Smith wrote from Nephi, Utah, as follows:
Bro. Luff and myself reached Milford the evening of November 6, where we found Bro. W. W. Hutchings from Beaver, and Bro. W. H. McGary of Milford, waiting for us. We stayed at Bro. McGary's that night, and the next day traversed the desert and canyon roads under the comfortable guidance and care of Bro. Hutchings. The road from Milford to Beaver is a pleasant and picturesque one; partly over the level plain, partly along the Beaver River through Minersville Canyon, and partly through Beaver Valley. The way through the canyon is especially attractive, the mountain sides being colored and tinted with the brown and green of summer's foliage, and the rooks painted in Nature's own wonder workshop.
At Beaver we found Bro. W. Thompson, Sr., who had arranged for the use of the Methodist church for services on Sunday the 8th, morning and evening. We therefore began our efforts in the city at ten o'clock, on the 8th, with a fair attendance. In the afternoon, at two o'clock, Bro. Hutchings and myself attended the regular service of the Utah people in their meeting-house. We were shown a good seat to hear from, and after their sacramental service was over, we listened to a sermon by Counselor Fotheringham,-he who has served a term in the Utah prison for his religion he says, but for breaking the laws of the land the court says. His sermon was not particularly objectionable, except that he drew comparisons between the United States and the people of Utah that were not warrantable from the facts, and rather severely denounced the Government, predicting woe upon the inhabitants thereof. His text was from the Book of Mormon: "That nation on this land that will not serve God shall be destroyed," etc. Bishop J. R. Murdock presided.
In the evening the M. E. church was crowded with curious and apparently interested hearers.
Bishop Murdock called on us at Bro. Hutchings' house after the afternoon service, and was very kind and pleasant, inviting Bro. Luff and myself to call on him at his home.
We held eleven meetings at Beaver, omitting Monday and Saturday evenings, from the 8th to the 18th inclusive. The attendance was good and the interest maintained to the close of the meetings. The attention was most excellent and respectful. The pastor of the M. E. church, Reverend Copeland, gave us the use of the church building cheerfully, and was present at several services-illness prevented his attending the others. . . .
Elder John R. Murdock was liberal and kind. We visited him at his home, chatted with him and his wife, and ate at his table,-being treated kindly and courteously. We were respectfully met and treated by all, and neither saw a disrespectful act, nor personally heard a disrespectful word during our stay.
December 2, the condition of the work in Wales was reported by George Cope, as follows:
And I feel sure there are many dear ones in the land of the far West who will rejoice to hear of a little band of Saints working in the cause of truth in this immediate neighborhood. The branch here was only organized on the 15th of November. last, and we do not number more than seven at present; but there are several hovering near to the waters, so we hope before long to have an increase. . . . There seems to be a good spirit of inquiry prevailing around, and everything seems to indicate a good future.
December 8 Elder Joseph Luff, missionary in Utah, thus presented the work of President Smith in Utah:
Our work is going to tell after a little. Many are thinking who never thought before. By Bro. Joseph's coming, the ears of many have been reached that were closed to every appeal before. I believe his mission has been a grand success, and I hope he will see his way clear to come out again after next spring conference. He is the best missionary we could have here, for the people will not throng to hear any other in such numbers, and none are better capable of informing them regarding the Reorganization. Truly, God has been with him in power and the demonstration of the Spirit.
A debate occurred about this time between Elder George H. Hilliard and Reverend Mannon, on the divinity of the Book of Mormon, and the prophetic character of Joseph Smith, at Parrish, Illinois. It was reported as an unusual victory for the truth.
In the Saints' Herald for December 19, Elder Joseph Clapp wrote of experiences among the "Doveites," one of whom claimed to be the successor of Joseph Morris. His experience with these gentlemen illustrates one of the phases of the numerous errors to be met by the elders. 2
2While in Deer Lodge Valley I came in contact with two gentlemen (father and son), by the name of Dove. Mr. George S. Dove, the son of James Dove, claims to be a prophet, and the successor of Joseph Morris. I had quite a long talk with them, and I confess I was much astonished at their strange philosophy, and marveled at the "cheek" of this would be prophet. He was trying to carry Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Morris, and George Dove; but we crowded him in argument so hard that he had to unload some part of his burden; so as you might suppose, he dropped everything but Joseph Morris and George S. Dove, and he there exhibited his true colors. . . .
They had succeeded in baptizing two persons before I got to Deer Lodge, but for some cause they did not baptize any after I got there. I attended one of their meetings and heard the old gentleman talk an hour and a half. I suppose he was trying to make a point in favor of his son's apostleship; but I hardly think any one knew just what he was trying to do, for it was so badly jumbled up. The young man took the stand and delivered himself of a harangue that sounded more like the ravings of a maniac than a gospel sermon. . . . From what I could learn, the Doves are communists. .
Reincarnation is one of their most essential doctrines.
After two days trial in the First District Court of Ogden, Utah, the jury returned a verdict of guilty against Lorenzo Snow, for unlawful cohabitation in 1885, to which charge he had plead not guilty November 21.
The year 1885 was in several respects a year of unusual interest and importance to the church.
The work of President Joseph Smith in Utah, to which he had been especially moved by the Spirit, was performed in the direct line of the special duty imposed upon him to oppose the "sin in the West," and was attended with unusual excitement, as the officers of the law sought to punish the transgressors, and the prophet of God simultaneously raised his voice to remind them that those who obey the law of God are placed under obligations not to transgress the laws of our land. Altogether, the situation in Utah was one of intense interest; and the subsequent abandonment of polygamy justifies the high expectations which were had in regard to the work to be accomplished by the double instrumentality employed of God to call back to paths of duty, purity, and peace, a long-erring and wandering people.
Open doors for the preaching of the word, largely characterized the year in many localities. A desire to hear the word was manifest, and good results followed the proclamation of the elders.
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