TRUTH AND ERROR
THE PATH OF RIGHT
AND WHERE FOUND
CAREFULLY EXAMINED and COMPILED
W. C. CATHER, Publisher
In the following pages we wish to show further evidence in favor of the fact, that what wrong and evil doers have practiced or may continue to practice, has no claim on righteousness, Godly teaching and positions.
The object of the following pages is to show the difference between truth and error. I am perfectly well aware that the name Joseph Smith is repulsive to the minds of thousands of people. And again, thousands of others can say they feel the same toward Jesus Christ, But, never-the-less, the teaching of Christ is pure, and of God—the main evidence used against Joseph Smith is slanderous statements and misrepresentations by the press and from the pulpit, his belief and true position often misstated and misconstrued, his sentiment and doctrine perverted and maliciously changed by those who should have been his truest friends. But this is no surprise to us, for it is true that the same was done in the time of Paul. They had to be on the watch continually in their defense of the gospel, to keep men of different sects and parties and even from among their own ranks, from perverting the truth and veracity of Christ’s teaching.
Calling Joseph Smith fanatic, thief, impostor and pelting him and like believers with unsavory epithets does not solve the problem we present to the world as we defend the restoration of the gospel after the great apostasy. The candid mind wants facts. Joseph, the prophet, has proven to the world that he was honest in his religious understanding and true to his belief and testimony, for he sealed it with his own blood. The writer firmly believes that a careful reading of the following pages will be good for all who honestly and candidly do so. It can plainly be seen that the faults, failings and wickedness of men does not change the facts of God. The main object of this work is to point out the path of right, show the true principle and teaching of Christ. In the defense of Joseph Smith we show his doctrinal teaching from a bible standpoint. We also show him as a moral and law-abiding teacher and citizen. This we are proud to do. His ethics are beautiful and grand, deep and divine and sincerely founded upon Godly truth. We also show you, in the examination, the position of a sect of people called latter day saint, or sometimes called “Mormons” these people are followers of Brigham Young and are degraded with perversion and grounded in untruth. In this can be seen the murderous, fiendish and diabolical position of Brigham Young. And in fact the work will show that a great mistake has been made in the past against the innocent as well as the truth of God. This book will serve to explain the great mystery, “Mormonism,” about which a great variety of novels have been written—pandering as they do, to vacillating minds.
Historians and a great number of writers have gone head-long with their misstatements, perversions, ignorance and malicious lies, until the people by thousands suppose Joseph Smith to be the very father of the blackest crimes of the Nineteenth century. In making his defense as we do in the following pages, we aim as an object, to not merely defend an individual, but to roll back if possible the dark curtains of superstition and false statements, and stop the clannish thunder of modern Babylon long enough for a servant of God to be heard. And thereby, let the innocent shine with their deserved glory and with authority from God; teach us in the light of heavenly truth. And while we are in the harbor of understanding and knowledge, safe from the desperate jangle of a confused world with the dark clouds of despair broken and rolled away, and prejudice laid aside; here in this place of safety, let us consider together, and as we do, “prove all things hold fast that which is good.” We expect to meet unbelief and those who malign and despise us, but with malice for none and kindness to all we hope with God’s help to hold the kingdom of Christ before the people so that the honest in heart may see it’s light and benefit, and be delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the true church of Jesus Christ.
And with this view in mind we invite you to make the following investigation.
LATTER DAY SAINTS.
TRUE AND FALSE
“Mormonism” Fully Explained. Brigham Young
and the Heresies of the Salt Land Carefully Explained.
“Truth crushed to the earth
shall rise again,
The eternal years of God are hers,
But error wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshipers.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” as the same has been reorganized in these last days by the command of God. I expect you to have heard a great deal about this church. Why? Because it is everywhere spoken against. In Acts 28:22 we see that Paul talking with the chief of the Jews, they say: “…as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” Certainly it was. Christ was hated. John 15:25, says: He was “hated … without a cause.” And, judging from the doctrine He taught they surely did not have a cause. The hatred against Christ was so strong, that even the Christian name was despised. Tertullian says: “What are we to think of it, that most people so blindly knock their heads against the hatred of the Christian name, that when they hear favorable testimony to any one, they mingle with it abuse of the name be bears? ‘A good man,’ says one, ‘is Caius Seius, only that he is a Christian.’ So another, ‘I am astonished that a wise man like Lucuis should have become a Christian’ ” Apology, chap. 3., vol. 3, Anti-Nicene Fathers. And so it is in our own day. Let a person become a Latter Day Saint, and there is plenty who are willing to howl: “delusion!” “Mormonism!” “Joe Smith,” etc. Grinning, slurring and ridicule, is not argument.
I suppose there is not a religious people in the world to-day but what have been slandered, mocked at, and hundreds of the reformers have been killed because of their religion. Take the enemies of religion and with their evidence alone it is no trouble to prove that there is no truth in it. But, what we want is fair dealing. And now take 1 Peter 2:1 for advice: “Wherefore laying aside ALL malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and ENVIES, and ALL EVIL speakings.” Of course if you yourself have laid these things aside, will you tolerate the same in some one else as they try to persuade you? Now my dear reader I am going to prove to you that the church I have mentioned, speaks “according to the law and the testimony.” But as I do, I shall be brief, and not take the space to bring up all the argument in favor of the restoration of the gospel by an angel. My main aim now is to show you that we speak according to the Bible. Isaiah 8:20, says: “To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Also, John, 3:34 “For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God; …”
So now, if our church is in harmony with the “Law” and the “testimony” its law, and teachings will be the same as that of 1800 years ago. And, as a church, it bears its testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will testify to the same fulness of doctrine, together with the gifts, blessings, etc., as received in the days of Christ and his Apostles.
We believe that there has been a dark day of apostasy since the day of Christ, and hence, the need of whatever was lost, being restored. And while some religious thinkers may not believe there has been an apostasy, it still remains for the investigator to try every church by the written word in the scriptures. 2 John 2:9, says that if we do not abide in the doctrine of Christ we can not have God. Paul (1 Timothy 1:3), Charged “some, that they teach no other doctrine.” And Romans 16:17, “Avoid them” that cause a division of “the doctrine,” etc. And Galatians 1:8–9, To preach “any other gospel” would cause us to be “accursed,” even though it was “an angel from heaven.” So you can plainly see it does not matter what college might have furnished us a diploma, or what organization gave us a right to preach, it does not make us right unless we are doing our work with the proper connection with the powers of God. Acts10:34, says: “…God is no respecter of persons.” We can all have salvation, but, just as certain as God requires, “without respect of persons,” that all obey, he is likewise no respecter when it comes to preachers and churches. And the great reason for so many different doctrines, different church orders, and teachers of different doctrines, is: they are all wrong but the one church, doctrine, organization, teaching and practice, no matter who they may pretend to be nor how good they may in appearance seem to be. Act 23:1, Paul had “lived in all good conscience before God …” and yet was wrong. Jude 3, we are told, “…contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” If what we believe is in any way different from what the Apostles believed, we are simply, wrong. Let us see in a brief way: “God hath set” in the (early) church (1 Corinthians 12:28) “first Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing,” etc. Ephesians 4:11, “and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (v. 13, to stay) till we all come to “the unity of the faith,” for the reason, notice (v. 14): “that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Now if this is all true, we, in order to be the true church of the of the Lord God and Christ must have the same marks of identification. The ancients believed that all these things were “now” right in their own time. So for us to be the same church, we too, and right now must not only believe that the apostles believed so and so, but we must believe, in fact, that our church, or faith, is just the same now. For instance, the church of Christ had live apostles; live prophets; and genuine faith wrought miracles; prophesy, healings, etc. Now, after the great apostasy when the Restoration takes place, and also for it to take place we can rightfully expect prophets, in the latter days. Isaiah 42:9 “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; (but notice) before they spring forth I tell you of them.” So to a benighted world without the church and gospel, a prophet is needed if God is going to restore the gospel. He says, again, Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, until he revealeth the secret unto His servants, the prophets.” And Christ in Matthew 5:19 says: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; …” But rather, he warned us to look out for “…false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing; …” (Matthew 7:24). But not once does he warn us to beware of true prophets. At the first organization of this Church Joseph Smith was chosen of God as a first Elder, and to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. And as he makes the claim it is perfectly scriptural for him to make it. We will not here take the time, because of limited space, to bring further proof on the Restoration of the church. But, suffice it to say, the church was organized in this dispensation, at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York, April 6th 1830. Joseph, the Seer, was martyred June 27th 1844, in Carthage jail, Carthage, Illinois, falsely accused, and basely killed by a howling mob painted black and headed by three preachers. While Joseph Smith was arrested a number of times, he was never found guilty, and no court record to-day in the world can show his guilt. He was hated without a cause, and like God’s Prophets before him, has been vilely slandered, and murdered against the law. But while lies may be told about the church I represent, and Joseph Smith, it is yet an evidence brought against the prophets 1800 years ago. See Matthew 5:13–14, “…Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. For ye shall have great joy, and be exceeding glad; for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, confusion arose. Pride, vain ambition, and, like in the days of Paul, Acts 20:29–30, Men of their own selves arise trying “to draw away disciples after them.” And there was several of that kind.
And while the doctrine of the church was not corrupt, the saints, many of them, not being well posted, and worse still, more or less in transgression soon became easy victims for deceivers, among whom, the lowest most vile and wicked, was Brigham Young.
It is through the wicked practices of Brigham Young, John C. Bennett and other apostates that the doctrine of polygamy was introduced, and it was not the teachings of Joseph Smith. I am truly aware that as a church we are accused of polygamy and many other abominable doctrines, these things we firmly deny, and defy the world to substantially prove them against us. As to what Brigham Young done that was wrong, we are not responsible for, any more than was Paul to blame because Judas betrayed Christ. The prophets unerringly foretold the wickedness of Judas. And so they did the work of Mr. Young. See Jeremiah 17:5, 6, “Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm; and the man whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” This was surely done by Brigham Young—his heart departed from the Lord, he trusted in man, and made flesh his arm, and inhabited a salt land, etc.
By reading 2 Peter 2:1–3 we see in the future there was to be: “false prophets” among the people and “false teachings” among the saints, and should follow their pernicious ways; and thereby cause the way of the truth to be evil spoken of. Would that change the “truth” for some false teachers to draw away disciples in pernicious ways? You answer no. As to what Mr. Young done in Utah has nothing to do with the true church, he was an apostate; rebaptized all of his followers, introduced damnable heresies, polygamy, murder and hellish crimes, and caused the way of truth to be evil spoken of. We will now examine some of his teachings while he posed as a prophet—but in reality he was not a true prophet but a “false prophet in sheep's clothing.” There has been, it is true, a great number of books written against the “Mormons” and in most of them no distinction whatever has been made, but any person believing that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, or in the diving authorship of the Book of Mormon, has been classed as a Mormon. And as such, a believer in polygamy and other abominations.
The true “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” does not call its members “Mormons” this is a name assigned them by their enemies, and if perchance the word Mormon is used in reference to the true Latter Day Saints, by they themselves, it does not imply that they are in sympathy with, or partakers of, the evil deeds, beliefs and practices of Brigham Young and followers. The Church in Utah was not in existence in the days of Joseph Smith, but Brigham Young organized it after his apostasy, and after Joseph Smith’s martyrdom in 1844. And the true church as established by the Prophet Smith, and the members of it are no more responsible for the inebriate-like teachings and practices of Brigham Young and followers than is the good noble, kind, lovable and virtuous woman to blame because of the depraved, debauched condition of many of her fair sister-kind. And now, by taking a glance at the difference between the teachings of Young and the Prophet Smith you can easily see that Mr. Young was indeed an apostate. The evidence we give you is strictly reliable, and it is the only fair and intelligent way to examine a case, that is: hear both sides of the evidence.
Joseph Smith taught that the ministry should be endowed with ‘faith’, ‘virtue’, ‘knowledge’, ‘temperance’, ‘patience’, ‘godliness’, ‘brotherly kindness and charity.’ Also as found in one of the early church papers, Times and Seasons, vol.1, page 132, “No power or influence can, or aught to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, by meekness and by love unfeigned; without hypocracy [hypocrisy], and without guile.” And they are required to pay their debts and to this day a minister who refuses to pay his debts is subject to lose his credentials, see, Doctrine & Covenants101:13, “And again verily I say unto you, concerning your debts, behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts.” Now listen to Brigham Young in his meekness? “I am controller and master of affairs here, under heaven’s direction.” Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p. 48. Again; “I will refer again to the brethren and sisters who have lately come over the plains. My counsel to them today is, as it has been on former occasions to all who have come into these valleys, Go and be baptized for the remission of your sins, repenting of all your wanderings from the path of righteousness, believing firmly, in the name of Jesus Christ, that all your sins will be washed away. If any of you inquire what is the necessity for your being baptized, as you have not committed any sins, I answer, it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 8. This you see would be instigating a new doctrine and church, and as a matter of course a different priest-hood authority. Now listen to him: “I wish to impress another thing upon your minds. An Elder, who is willing to preach the Gospel, borrows a hundred or a thousand dollars from you, and you never breathe the first complaint against him, until you came home to this valley, but after you have been here for a few days, you follow me around and fill my ears with complaints against this brother, and ask me what he has done with your money? I say, ‘I do not know.’ Thus you are distressed and in misery, all the day long, to get it back again. If an Elder has borrowed from you, and you find he is going to apostatize, then you may tighten the screws upon him; but if he is willing to preach the Gospel, without purse or scrip, it is none of your business what he does with the money he has borrowed from you.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 340. Brigham Young’s new church has quite a new way of preaching without purse or scrip. To borrow and not pay back intentionally, is worse and more treacherous than downright stealing.
Joseph Smith taught: “the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion to lead into all truth, and compulsory means are not to be used.” See Brigham’s teaching. He taught murder: “I say, rather than apostates should flourish here, I will unsheathe my bowie knife, and conquer or die. (Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.) Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put on the line, and righteousness to the plummet.’ (Voices, generally, ‘Go it! Go it!’) If you say it is right, raise your hands. (All hands up.) Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every other good work. … I want you to hear, Bishops, what I am about to tell you. Kick these men out of your wards.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 83, 84. Murderers of the blackest dyes! as foul and deep dyed in the meshes of sin as hell could make them. And even then, and to this day, brazen like, claim to be the legal successor to Joseph the martyr the true servant of God and Patriot to our nation. And through their false claims and evil teaching and practices have caused millions of people to think Joseph Smith the father of iniquity and the parent of crime. But fair investigation soon exonerates the innocent and truth.
Let us now see some more of Brigham’s teaching. His new priest-hood had authority to tolerate the smoothest liars in the world, most adroit thieves and gamblers, in fact “every other shade of character you can mention.” We use him or their own works as the witness and as you read you can plainly see the contrast from the teaching of Joseph Smith, Young says: “I have many a time, in this stand, dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can; we can beat them at anything. We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character you can mention. We can pick out Elders in Israel right here who can beat the world at gambling, who can handle the cards, cut and shuffle them with the smartest rogue on the face of God’s foot-stool. I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers, and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game.” —Deseret News, Vol. 6, p. 291 (their church paper) and also Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 77
Next we see why they are so smooth, etc.: “We can beat them, because we have men here that live in the light of the Lord, that have the Holy Priesthood, and hold the keys of the kingdom of God. But you may go through all the sectarian world, and you cannot find a man capable of opening the door of the kingdom of God to admit others in. We can do that. We can pray the best, preach the best, and sing the best. We are the best looking and finest set of people on the face of the earth, and they may begin any game they please, and we are on hand, and can beat them at anything they have a mind to begin. They may make sharp their two-edged swords, and I will turn out the Elders of Israel with greased feathers, and whip them to death. We are not to be beat. We expect to be a stumbling block to the whole world, and a rock of offense to them.” —Deseret News, Vol.6, p. 291. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 77. Again, he taught the murdering of apostates and opposers as we have already shown, and still give further evidence. See Blood Atonement. This means murder by their president’s orders.
President Brigham Young preached, February 8th, 1857, as follows:
“All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant. He never told a man or woman to love their enemies in their wickedness, never. He never intended any such thing; …
“I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up—conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle’s being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.
“This is loving our neighbours [neighbors] as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 220, or Deseret News, Vol. 6, p. 397.
President Jedediah M. Grant said, September 21st, 1856:
“I say, that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 49 or Deseret News, Vol.6, p. 235
President Heber C. Kimball said, July 19th, 1854:
“It is believed in the world that our females are all common women. Well, in one sense they are all common—that is, they are like all other women, I suppose, but they are not unclean, for we wipe all unclean ones from our midst; we not only wipe them from our streets, but we wipe them out of existence. And if the world want[s] to practice uncleanness, and bring their prostitutes here, if they do not repent, and forsake such sins, we will wipe the evil out. We will not have them in this valley, unless they repent; for so help me God, while I live I will lend my hand to wipe such persons out, and I know this people will.” —Deseret News, August 17th, 1854, and Millennial Star, Vol. 16, p. 739.
Again, Brigham Young said, October 9th, 1852:
“What shall be done with sheep that stink the flock so? We will take them, I was going to say, and cut off their tails two inches behind their ears; however, I will use a milder term, and say, cut off their ears.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 213.
Let us see why Brigham Young could have such power. Because their trust was in “man” and they were making “flesh their arm.” And so he gave them to understand that “he was master of affairs there,” and it seems from all appearances that he was more than a master, Listen:
“Who gives me power, that “at the pointing of my finger,” the hosts of Israel move, and at my request, the inhabitants of this great Territory are displaced; at my command they are here? Who gives me that power?” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 145.
“The priesthood is a power we should respect, reverence, and obey, no matter in whose hands it is.” —J. M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 15, February 19th, 1854.
“I will give you the pith of the last orders issued— ‘That man or family who will not do as they are told in the orders, are to be treated as strangers, yea, even as enemies, and not as friends.’ And if there should be a contest, if we should be called upon to defend our lives, our liberty, and our possessions, we would CUT SUCH OFF FIRST, and walk over their bodies to conquer the foe outside.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 167, July 31st, 1853.
"The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, ‘Are you for God?’ and if you are not heartily on the Lord’s side, you will be hewn down." —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 226, March 2, 1856.
“We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for letting the sword of the Almighty be unsheathed, not only in word, but in deed.” —J. M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 50, September 21, 1856; Deseret News, October 1st, 1856.
Heber C. Kimball, in a sermon in the Tabernacle, October 9th.,1852, says:
“If Brother Brigham tells me to do a thing, it is the same as though the Lord told me to do it. This is the course for you and every other Saint to take, and by your taking this course, I tell you, brethren, you are on the top of the heap.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol, 1, p. 161.
“If it is the course for me to take, it is the course for every other Elder … whether he be an American, an Englishman, Irishman, Frenchman or German, Jew or Gentile; to this you have got to bow, and you have got to bow down like the clay in the hands of the potter, that suffers the potter to mould [mold] it according to his own pleasure.” —H. C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 151, April 2nd, 1854.
Mr. Young says polygamy is constitutional:
“You heard brother Pratt state, this morning, that a revelation would be read this afternoon, which was given previous to Joseph’s death. It contains a doctrine, a small portion of the world is opposed to; but I can deliver a prophecy upon it. Though that doctrine has not been practised [practiced] by the Elders, this people have believed in it for years. The original copy of this Revelation was burnt up; William Clayton was the man who wrote it from the mouth of the Prophet. In the meantime, it was in Bishop Whitney’s possession. He wished the privilege to copy it, which brother Joseph granted. Sister Emma burnt the original. The reason I mention this, is, because that the people who did know of the Revelation, suppose it is not now in existence. The revelation will be read to you. The principle spoken upon [polygamy] by brother Pratt, this morning, we believe in. And I tell you—for I know it—it will sail over, and ride triumphantly above all prejudice and priestcraft of the day; it will be fostered and believed in by the more intelligent portions of the world, as one of the best doctrines ever proclaimed to any people. Your hearts need to beat; you need not think that a mob is coming here to tread upon the sacred liberty which the Constitution of our country guarantees unto us, for it will not be. … This revelation has been in my possession many years; and who has known it? None but those who should know it. I keep a patent lock on my desk, and there does not anything leak out that should not.” —Millennial Star Supplement, Vol. 15, p. 31.
“The idea of becoming a State in two or three years, when we have only got four or five thousand of an emigration! I do not wonder that the Latter-day Saints believe in the plurality of wives. Launch out your means to help us bring the poor; if you do not, we will raise up the mountain boys ourselves.” —Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 72, October 7, 1854.
“As brother Benson said this morning, even the mosquitos of Nebraska increase and multiply. If they do, why not high orders of the creation have a better right? These mosquitos and insects are the result of a FALLEN WORLD, but by and bye [by] there will be nothing to hurt or destroy in all God’s holy mountain.” —Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 85, October 7, 1854.
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
“I prefer to remark upon subjects as they present themselves to my mind; though I might prepare a course of lectures, and confine myself to given subjects, as I have often done; but when I am in this stand I hoist the gate and let the flood run, not caring which way it goes, or how. … Come on with your knives, your swords, and your faggots of fire, and destroy the whole of us, rather than we will forsake our religion. Whether it is true or false is none of your business; whether the doctrine of plurality of wives is true or false is none of your business.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 187, February 18, 1855.
Take my yoke upon you says Brigham Young, September 21st, 1856: A discourse titled “…A PRIVILEGE GIVEN TO ALL THE MARRIED SISTERS IN UTAH”
“Men will say, ‘My wife, though a most excellent woman, has not seen a happy day since I took my second wife;’ ‘No, not a happy day for a year,’ says one; and another has not seen a happy day for five years. … I am going to give you from this time to the 6th day of October next, for reflection, that you may determine whether you wish to stay with your husbands or not, and then I am going to set every woman at liberty and say to them, Now go your way, my women with the rest, go your way. And my wives have got to do one of two things; either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about me. I will go into heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around me. … Prepare yourselves for two weeks from tomorrow; and I will tell you now, that if you will tarry with your husbands, after I have set you free, you must bow down to it, and submit yourselves to the celestial law. You may go where you please, after two weeks from tomorrow; but, remember, that I will not hear any more of this whining.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol.4, pp. 55–57, September 21, 1856.
And now, added to this heinous way, when the men became tired of any one or more of his women he could be divorced by paying Brigham $10. See:
“The teasers who come all the time after women, and soon get tired of them and want to divorce them, I make pay ten dollars for each divorce, and that is my individual bank.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 202.
We have now shown you some of the corrupt teachings of Brigham Young. It is a plain fact that according to the teachings of Young and his followers, that he was not a prophet of God. This can be clearly conceded from his own inadvertent remarks. The quotations that I now give you prove that Mr. Young was no stranger to that fact:
“If I have any knowledge touching the condition of this people at the present time, and the way they are taught, led, counselled, and dictated by those who go before them to open up the way, it is directly opposite of that we saw in the days of Joseph the prophet.” —Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 78, Brigham Young, September 11, 1853.
“As to our institution, we know we are right, and polygamy, which you object to, was not originally a part of our system, but was adopted by us as a necessity, after we came here.” —Daily Alta California, Vol. 21, Number 7057, July 16, 1869, p. 2
“The Mormon church existed for many years without polygamy. Indeed, correctly speaking, polygamy is not now and never has been even a tenet of the Mormon faith.” —Deseret News, Dec. 11, 1881 or Dec. 7, 1882.
The Deseret News is their own church paper. Also the Salt Lake Herald, Feb. 9, 1882, speaking of the time they were driven from Nauvoo, Ills., by H. B. Clawson, says:
“Polygamy at that time was unknown among those of the ‘Mormon’ faith. … the doctrine of polygamy was not promulgated until they got to Salt Lake ; not, in fact, until some little time after they arrived there.”
The doctrine of polygamy was put in the Doctrine and Covenants by the Salt Lake Mormon church in 1876. And first publicly announced to the world before that in 1852, eight years after the death of Joseph, the seer, who publicly and privately proclaimed against it as an evil practice and strongly taught that man should have but “one wife, and cleave unto her and none else.” According to their own admission polygamy was not originally taught by the church nor introduced by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith, predicted time and again, what Brigham Young would do if he ever got in a position of the proper influence, which was certainly done in the very face of prophecy, and in direct opposition to the books and teachings of the church.
I now give you the predictions of Joseph Smith, concerning Brigham Young, certified to by sworn testimony:
February 14th, 1884
To Whom this May Concern: —This is to certify that I, S. L. Crain, was personally acquainted with Joseph Smith from about 1840 to 1841, and that I heard him say to and of Brigham Young, whom I also knew, that if he (Brigham Young) was left to lead the church, the pride of his heart would lead them to hell. This was said at a conference of the church, in Nauvoo, where there was a large assemblage of the people, and probably in the spring of 1843—possibly 1842.
Witness my hand, S. L. Crain.
Done in the presence of Wm. Pickering.
SAN BERNADINO, CALIFORNIA,
February 4th, 1884.
Joseph Thorn, a resident of San Bernardino, California, being duly sworn, deposes and says: I was personally acquainted with Brigham Young, late president of the Utah Mormon Church, and knew him when both he and I were living in Nauvoo, Illinois; and I heard Joseph Smith, Jr., at a public meeting in a grove east of the Temple in Nauvoo, when he had been reproving said Brigham Young for taking and using for his own private purposes church moneys without authority, says of him, “If Brigham Young ever leads this church he will lead it to hell.” This is said with great emphasis.
Sworn and subscribed to before me at San Bernardino County, California, this fourth day of February, 1884.
E. H. Morse, Notary Public.
To Whom it May Concern: —Know ye that I, David Dixon, now resident at Riverside, San Bernardino county, California, was personally present at a public meeting in Nauvoo, Illinois, before the building of the Temple; and there and then saw and heard the Prophet Joseph Smith, while preaching, raise his hand (pointing to Brigham Young who was in the stand with him) saying: “Talk about leading this church; here is Bro. Brigham, if he ever leads this church, he will lead it to hell.” There were more than a thousand people present at the time; several of whom, I, David Dickson, know are now living and heard him say it.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my official seal, at my office in the county of San Bernardino, California, on this 29th day of December, 1883.
W. W. Smith, Notary Public.
CITY OF ALTON, ILL., March 6th, 1884.
Bro. Joseph Smith: —In the summer of 1843, one day when your father and William Clayton went into the country to transact some church business, after their return Bro. Clayton came to the office [Brother Whitehead was then the Seer’s private secretary. Ed.] about one o’clock p. m. Father Cutler and I were in the office, and he said, “Well, brethren, I have heard something to-day a little strange.” Bro. Cutler asked him if he was going to tell us what it was; he said, “Yes, I am; and I hope that you will make a note of it.” He said, “After we had finished our business, we started for home, and had traveled but a very short distance when Joseph stopped talking and was very much absorbed in thought. He never spoke till we were going down the Temple hill. He then uttered this language aloud: ‘If Brigham Young ever leads this people he will lead them to the devil.’ He never spoke another word. When we got to my house I got out of the buggy and Joseph drove on.
SAN BERNARDINO, CAL., Dec. 31st, 1883
Mrs. Huntington says: “While living in Nauvoo, I lived three years in Joseph Smith’s family; was well acquainted with church affairs there; and several times heard the Prophet Joseph Smith say, ‘If Brigham Young leads this church he will lead it to hell.’ ”
SAN BERNARDINO, CAL., Dec. 31st, 1883
I lived in Nauvoo from the first of its settlement, and was well acquainted with Joseph Smith and family. I well remember the day Joseph prophesied, “If ever Brigham Young leads the church he will lead it to hell.” I believe Joseph was a true prophet of God.
Personally appeared before me, Charles W. Oden, a Notary Public in and for Harrison county, Iowa, this 8th day of March, 1884, John Conyers and Priscelia Conyers his wife, who on oath says: “On or about the year 1843, in Hancock county, Illinois, at a public meeting, Joseph Smith said in reference to Brigham Young leading the church, ‘If Brigham Young led the church, he would lead it to hell.’ ”
John X Conyers
Priscelia X Conyers
F. M. Terry} Witness
W. C. Atwell } Witness
Chas. W. Oden,
Notary Public in and for Harrison County, Iowa.
You can now see that the workings of Mr. Young was foretold, and he was warned to that effect. His vile doctrines were condemned before and after he had put them to practice. He is indeed a rock of offense and a stumbling block. These Brighamite Latter Day Saints claim to be loyal to the faith, as it was taught in the church books before the death of the Prophet Smith. They so announce themselves, Feb. 21st, 1881, in their own church paper, the Deseret News:
“The Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants are our written authority on doctrine, discipline and church government.*** The doctrine and covenants is our special authority on government. It is to us the word of the Lord. It contains our eclesiastical [ecclesiastical] code.”
But instead of following the teaching of these books they have ignored them very largely; left the original faith; in their delirious confusion took a man of their own choosing and told him he was their prophet, and to “go it! go it!” And as they turned away from the rightful heir, he turned them away from Christ, and introduced Adam, as the only God with whom they had to do. Polygamy, blood atonement and other abominations, they verily believed. Aug. 8th, 1844. Brigham Young, while the president of the Twelve Apostles, and before he had diabolically assumed the position of prophet, said:
“You can not fill the office of a Prophet, Seer and Revelator: God must do this. You are like children without a father and sheep without a shepherd.” (This, you see, was only a month or so after the death of Smith. At that time he knew perfectly well that he was not, and was not to be, the ‘father’ or ‘shepherd’ as he termed it.) In the same article he continues: “You must not appoint any man at your head; if you should, the Twelve must ordain him. You cannot appoint a man at our head; but if you do want any other man or men to lead you, take them and we will go our way to build up the kingdom in all the world.
“…You can not take any man and put him at the head; you would scatter the Saints to the four winds, you would sever the Priesthood. So long as we remain as we are, the heavenly Head is in constant co-operation with us; and if you go out of that course, God will have nothing to do with you. … I again repeat, no man can stand at our head, except God reveals it from the heavens.” —Millennial Star, Vol. 25, p. 231; History of Brigham Young, pp. 113–114.
Where the revelation is in which Brigham Young was ever indicated or pointed out as the successor of Joseph Smith, has never been produced. His position was obtained through low devising and mean trickery. And he was not the head of “the church,” the church of Christ, but head of “a” church which was his own, as he said “I am master of affairs here.” God had nothing to do with it. When a revelation is given to the general church to become an accepted law it comes through the prophet of that church, and not secretly, but publicly, and even that does not make it law but it is to be placed before the Quorum of Twelve, and before the seventy and so on, and accepted by the body before it becomes a law. To become a law it must not discord with any previous law that had been given. Young’s assumption of the presidency was a bold daring scheme. The revelation on polygamy was brought forth eight years after the martyr of the prophet, with no evidence whatever to show that it came through or by the true church. And was not even presented to the legal church for consideration, which was a positive law that it should be. But instead was brought up and presented in an entirely new and distinct organization. Although it’s members had been members of the first organization of 1830 they were then apostates and had been re-baptized. Speaking of that polygamous revelation Aug. 29, 1852, Brigham Young, says: “This revelation has been in my possession many years; and who has known it? None but those who should know it. I keep a patent lock on my desk, and there does not anything leak out that should not.” —Millennial Star Supplement Vol. 15, p. 31.
This was just the opposite way of doing to that of Joseph, the Seer. Speaking of new revelations, resolutions, laws, etc. in order for the saints to be protected from errors, misrule or deception, he taught as follows:
“…these resolutions must needs pass through each Quorum separately, beginning at the Presidency [of the quorum], and consequently it must first be thrown into the hands of the President of the Deacons and his Council, as equal rights and privileges is my motto; and one man is as good as another, if he behaves as well; and that all men should be esteemed alike, without regard to distinctions of an official nature. The resolutions [were] passed through the President of the Deacons and his Council by their unanimous voice. It was then thrown before the Presidents of the several Quorums, and their Council, in the following order, and in the same manner as before: viz., the Teachers, Priests, Bishop of Kirtland, Bishop of Zion, Elders, High Priests, Seventy, High Council of Zion, High Council of Kirtland, the Twelve, and lastly, into the hands of the Presidency of the church, and all the quorums, and received their unanimous sanction.” —Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 647; also, Messenger and Advocate, pp. 266–268.
This safe guide was completely ignored by Mr. Young and followers. And where his claim as prophet, and his bold polygamous revelation, was examined by the true and faithful they were stoutly condemned and refuted, as will be easily seen by the claims of the Reorganization.
It is an easy matter, we think, for all but the willfully blind to see that Young’s assumption, both of the revelation on polygamy, blood atonement and president of the church, was forced upon the people who accepted it. The very argument was forced. Joseph, the Seer of 1830, did not force himself upon the people, but was legally presented in an assembly of the body of those who had been baptized; chosen by their votes, and ordained according to the diving pattern laid down in the scriptures (Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 915).
Before a meeting of Elders and High Priests, Mr. Young speaks as follows:
“A person was mentioned to-day who did not believe that Brigham Young was a Prophet, Seer and Revelator. I wish to ask every member of this whole community, if they ever heard him profess to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, as Joseph Smith was? He professed to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ, called and sent of God to save Israel. If you know what the calling of an Apostle is, and if there were ten thousand of them on the earth at the same time, you must know that the words of an Apostle who magnifies his calling, are the words of the Almighty to the people all the time. He never need be called in question whether he revealed the mind of the Lord or not. … Who ordained me to be First President of this Church on earth? I answer, it is the choice of this people, and that is sufficient.” —Millennial Star, Vol. 16, p. 442.
“The text [scripture for a sermon] is the Right of Heirship. … The Right of Heirship in the Priesthood, … this heirship, this right, did belong, still belongs, and forever will belong, to the first born son in every family of Adam’s race.” —Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 493; Brigham Young, April 8, 1853.
Mr. Young was not a son of Joseph—hence out of order.
We see by his own careless admission that he is simply the choice of that (Salt Lake) people without revelation as a warrant from heaven. And again, he taught at one time as his admission shows that the rightful heir was the son of the Seer. This the doctrine and covenants of the church clearly taught. But the church covenants and books were largely laid aside by Brigham Young and his followers, as also their present successors. At Nauvoo, Ills., in the trial of Sydney Rigdon, the books were laid aside. Brigham says:
“I have known that Brother Marks ‘had no evidence but the written word;’ but if this people have no evidence but the written word, it is quite time to go to the river and be baptized for the remission of their sins. … Brother Marks says, if there are any ordained to offices equal with Elder Rigdon he don’t know it. He don’t know all the ordinations, nor he won’t till he knows something more than the written word. … As to a person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will.” —Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pp. 666–667.
One of the “Keys” the written word had nothing to do with was the revelation on polygamy. This was one of the secrets kept in stock by Mr. Young. And one of the “Ordinations” independent of the “written word” was his own to that of President of the Church. But the reason they had so many secrets independent of the written word was because they had turned from God, and Christ, and in their stead, worshipped Adam, as the only god with whom they had to do. And of course as they never heard from Adam, they had to do something as a make-shift and so introduced most anything that came handy, or in their apostate minds. The written word and the church recognize Adam simply as a man among men. The Book of Mormon says:
“For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partook of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, …” —Alma 19:85. “And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.” —Doctrine and Covenants 22:21c.
But right in opposition to this, Brigham taught in the following manner:
“Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later. … When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first born of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession. I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it, in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. However, I have told you the truth as far as I have gone.” —Sermon by Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, April 9th, 1852; Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1. pp. 50–51.
The revelation by Mr. Young, on polygamy defends the man (Adam) God theory, which includes Brigham and all men who have accepted the everlasting covenant of “many wives and concubines.” This polygamous revelation of Brigham Young teaches that to reject this “everlasting covenant,” “the doctrine of many wives and concubines,” means in the world to come, “then are ye damned” (See Utah D&C 132:4, 6, 27)
Paragraph 17 of this “new covenant” contradicts those paragraphs, by saying such as refuse to accept the covenant are to suffer a loss (instead of damned) but are to be in their “saved condition” like the angels.
Christ taught that those who were “accounted worthy of that world,” that they were equal unto the angels: and these were “children of God, being children of the resurrection.” Brighamites teach, as can be seen in their revelation on polygamy or the “new and everlasting covenant,” that to be obedient to the theory of “many wives and concubines” means an exaltation to that of a god. They teach that unmarried people cannot enter the same glory with polygamous people.
Paragraph 18 says: “Because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; …” Angels are sometimes called God. Here we see the idea of obedience to polygamy and this “new covenant” to make them Gods—superior Gods, beyond the jurisdiction of angels, or God. More impudent than the son of the morning, he would ascend up and be like God (Isaiah 14:12–14). But these apostles very closely represent him who “exalteth himself above all that is called God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). I suppose with their “many wives and concubines,” that their exaltation will allow them to become a law unto themselves, create new worlds, and do as they please.
They really reserve that privilege now when the truth is known. Their own book says, paragraph 26: If “he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, … yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation.” “Any sin” or “transgression” “all manner of blasphemies” can be committed by them and it will not interfere with their salvation— “they shall enter into their exaltation.”
Paragraph 41 says: “If a man receive a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, [of paragraphs 4 and 6], and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her [this privilege] by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.” This we see is their definition of adultery. It is all right if Brigham, or their prophet, says so or grants them the privilege, otherwise it is very bad.
Brighamite latter day saints are not only enemies to the true Latter Day Saints, but to all Christendom. Jesus Christ, and God; not excepted.
Peter said these heresies would be “privily” brought in; that is to say, secretly, which was the case, and afterwards openly avowed. You remember Brigham said he had keys to secret revelations and ordinations the written word never spoke of nor never would.
Joseph the Seer, condemned all such secrecies. He also warned the church that when any came teaching different from the written word, it would prove they were not servants sent from God. Joseph, the Seer, taught in 1831: “And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel (that is, Christ’s gospel) which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel; and they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, …” “Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things, shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continues.” —D&C 42:5a–b, 16
The above is so pointed that it leaves no room for “heresies” or changed doctrine to be brought in. And the following clearly shows that there was no earthly room left for Brigham Young to act as President of the church, it reads: “But verily, verily I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead; and this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations, or commandments; and this I give unto you, that you may not be deceived, that ye may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me, shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received, and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” —D&C 43:2.
Instead of Brigham Young being appointed by the Lord through Joseph, the Seer, it was foretold as we have shown, the true character of Mr. Young.
The above revelation, we notice, does not give the Seer power to ordain to office, but to simply appoint, or designate as the proper one, etc. But in the same revelation, teaches he must come in at the “gate” and be ordained according to “law.” This “gate” and “law” referred to is found in section17:16a, 17 of the Doctrine & Covenants and reads: “No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church.” Verse 17 says: “Every president of the high priesthood (or presiding elder), bishop, high counselor, and high-priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council, or general conference.”
So you see if any person tries any other plan we can know they are not of God, but can be counted a thief and a robber. And further: Doctrine & Covenants section 42:4, “Again I say unto you that it shall not be given to anyone to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority, and he has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.”
Again, section 87:2, revelation to Joseph, the Seer, reads: “…Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another; yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them, lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby; and stumble and fall, …”
Now by reference to church covenants it can be seen that the one to be appointed by the Seer was to be of his own seed, or lineage, see sections 84:3; 104:18; 107:18. In the lineage right as well as the other requirements Mr. Young is not the legal successor. He was wrong in appointment, both as to lineage and designation. He did not, because he could not, come in at the gate according to law, be ordained by those who were in the “true” Faith, and held the legal right. He was an impostor for assuming rights that he did not have nor legally obtain. He was a bold usurper because he brazenly admitted that he was not chosen of God, but simply, was the choice of the (Salt Lake) people. His successors are the same because they defend him and stand by his fraudulent position. More reasons are: He taught a different doctrine, such as: Adam being the only God with whom we have to do, while the books teach that he was simply a man.
He taught blood atonement and murder. He taught polygamy and robbery, and for ten dollars allowed fornication. He was the father of licentiousness and a vicious tyrant, all of which we have clearly shown from their own evidence. When the matter is fairly investigated it is an easy thing to see that all these stories about Joseph, the Prophet, being such a bad character are not true. Joseph Smith, the true Prophet and Seer of the Lord, and for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, has been falsely accused, and the way of truth evilly spoken of, just as Peter said would be the case. The truth is just as pure as though it had never been spoken against. And the work of Joseph Smith, as a prophet of God, will bear a scrutinous investigation, and the more he is persecuted, vilely slandered and mocked at, unless there is positive evidence, the more apparent becomes the fact, that he was a prophet of God. There were several who claimed to be the true and legal successors to Joseph, the Seer. James J. Strang was also among the number. He claimed great revelations for his call to act as a prophet and translator. But to no avail. At the present time Strang’s organization is nearly, if not entirely, extinct.
The re-organization is not a new and distinct church from the church organized in 1830 by Joseph the Prophet. But it is distinct from all sects and parties, who sprung up anew after 1844 and erroneously claimed to be the church. The Reorganization is the original church with new growth. It is the works of men that get frustrated not the works of God. And while the world was supposing the claims of the early church to be a failure, and gone to corruption, and many of the saints supposing that all was lost, the Lord’s hand was over the faithful, to speak peace and freedom. And as the angel delivered Peter from his prison chains, so the saints were unloosed from the shackles that bound them after 1844. And those who did not step out of their shackles and chains of bondage are still in the darkness and their iniquity.
The Salt Lake contingent of believers in the divinity of the restored gospel, and who call themselves “Latter Day Saints,” as we have said, is a distinct and separate church and organization from the one known as the “Reorganization.” The Brighamites have their three Presidents, twelve Apostles and other officers with headquarters at Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Reorganized church has it’s offices and organization entirely separate from the Brighamites, with President and two counsellors, Quorum of twelve Apostles, Seventy, Elders, etc. with headquarters at Lamoni, Iowa. The official paper published by the True Latter Day Saints is called “The Saints’ Herald.” And as further proof that, as a church, we are not one and the same, the church through “The Herald,” has always taken an active part in showing the difference, and also showing to the world the adulterous and ungodly practices of the Brighamite believers. While in some places they claim to have dispensed with Polygamy, yet it is a positive fact they have not, and have no such intentions. The following is in point as proof (Saints’ Herald, Vol. 43, pp. 689–690, Oct. 21, 1896).
IS POLYGAMY SUPPRESSED IN UTAH?
We have been sharply criticized by the Utah contingent of Mormons for permitting suggestions and statements to appear in the HERALD from time to time to effect that plural or polygamous marriages were still maintained in Utah; thus by inference casting suspicion upon that people that they were not acting in good faith with the government of the United States and the world outside of Utah. We give place to the following taken from the Republic, newspaper, of St. Louis, for September 14, 1896.
Of course we do not vouch for the accuracy of the report of what Mr. Roberts said on the occasion referred to; but, if it is a correct statement it is strongly corroborative of the sentiment that plural marriage is still held to by the church in Utah, and taught by their elders when abroad, notwithstanding this has been denied so frequently by them.
Elder B. H. Roberts, of the Mormon church, preached last night at Chatsworth Hall, Seventeenth and Olive Streets, in justification of plural marriage, as formerly practiced and now maintained in ‘theory’ by the Latter Day Saints. A large audience accorded him close attention. Mr. Roberts is an eloquent, forcible speaker, and makes his remarks entertaining even to those who do not agree with his conclusions. The meeting followed the orthodox religious form generally adopted by Protestant Christian churches, and there was nothing but the sermon to indicate that the service was that of the Mormon Church.
The preacher took some little time in creating a philosophical foundation for his tenet, but he did it in a way that showed his eloquence and descriptive powers to great advantage. The fact that this earth is but an atom in the universe, and that human beings play an infinitesimally small part in the design of creation, having been vividly brought before the minds of the audience, he began his argument proper. He stated that in 1831, Joseph Smith, then engaged in a revision of the Bible, entered into communication with God for the purpose of promulgating a new and everlasting covenant of marriage. Smith was permitted to prophesy, and the Mormon Bible was the result. It regards marriages made upon this earth in that postmortem time. The speaker paid a high tribute to women, and her influence on men for the betterment of the world. Entering into a scriptural defense of polygamy, he said:
“The faith of the saints in the revelation commanding them to practice celestial marriage was strengthened by reading in the Scripture how the Lord blessed and approved the action of those who practiced plural marriage in past ages. They read of the faithful Abraham taking Hagar, to wife; and when trouble arose in the family and Hagar departed from her husband’s household, an angel of the lord met her and commanded her to return (Genesis 16:9–10), which, if plural marriage were sinful, the angel would not have done, but would rather have encouraged her in her flight from that which was evil. Nowhere do we find the Lord reproving Abraham for taking Hagar to wife; on the contrary, when the Lord appeared unto him some time after the birth of Ishmael, he promised him a son by his wife, Sarah, through whom all the seed of Abraham was to be blessed. In all this there appears no displeasure toward Abraham for marrying more wives than one.
“The history of Jacob affords still more striking proofs of God’s approval of polygamy. The story of his marrying the two daughters of Laban is too well known to need repeating here. But when Rachel realized her barrenness she gave her handmaid Bilhah, to be her husband’s wife, and she bore Jacob a son, and Rachel said: ‘…God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son; …’ (Genesis 30:6). Then, when Leah saw that she had left off bearing children, she took Zilpah, her maid, and gave her to Jacob to wife; and the sacred writer adds: ‘And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob a fifth son’ (Genesis 30:17).
“If plurality of wives were wrong in the sight of God, would he bless in so remarkable a manner those polygamous wives, and answer them with blessings—take away the reproach of the barren Rachel and make her fruitful, and give more children to Leah as her ‘hire’ for giving her husband another wife, when he already had three? I think not. If a plurality of wives, I mean as practiced by the prophets, is a sin at all it must be adultery. Yet we find adultery condemned and Abraham, Jacob, and the prophets exalted.
“David, the king of Israel, a man whose heart we are informed, was perfect before the Lord, had a plurality of wives. Yet notwithstanding David practiced a principle which the Christians of to-day denounce as evil, we are taught by the Scripture that David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah’s wife, he must have done what was right when he took Abigail and Ahinoam to be his wives [1 Samuel 27:40–43]; hence a plurality of wives as David practiced it must be right in the sight of God.
“David’s sin with Uriah’s wife also throws some light on the subject in hand. The circumstance is well known—David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband placed in the front of the battle where he was murdered. For this crime the lord reproved David, but gave him Saul’s widows. If polygamy were sinful, was it not wrong for the Lord to give unto David the widows of Saul, when he already had several wives? If for a man to have a plurality of wives be sinful, then in this instance at least the Lord was a party to the wrong. And the Christians of to-day, who in the face of the truth just pointed out still insist on the sinfulness of polygamy, virtually accuse God of being a party to the evil.
“We learn from the description given of the New Jerusalem that there will be twelve gates in the wall surrounding the city, and on these gates will be written the names of twelve sons of Jacob, born of his four wives. We have already quoted the words of Jesus, showing that polygamous Abraham, Jacob, and the prophets will be in the kingdom of God, and will doubtless have their abode in this New Jeresalem [Jerusalem], so that it appears that if our modern friends, who so bitterly oppose the practice of saints in having a plurality of wives, ever go to heaven, gain an admittance to the heavenly city, it will be by passing through a gate upon which is written the name of a polygamous child, only to be ushered into the presence of such notorious polygamous as Abraham and Jacob. It appears that modern Christians must either learn to tolerate polygamy or give up the glorious hope of resting in Abraham’s bosom—a hope which has ever given a silvery lining to the clouds which hang about the deathbed of the dying Christian.
“The following is a summary of reasons we have for believing that God approves polygamy:
“First. When a polygamous wife deserted the family of which she was a member, the Lord sent an angel to bid her return to that family and promised to make her seed a great nation.
“Second. The Lord heard and answered the prayers of polygamous wives by granting them children.
“Third. The men who practiced plural marriage by no means forfeited the peculiar blessings promised to them before they were polygamists; on the contrary promises were renewed and greater blessings added.
“Fourth. God himself gave unto David a plurality of wives.
“Fifth. God owned and blessed the issue of polygamous marriages, making a marked contrast between them and illegitimate children.
“Sixth. So far as the earthly parentage of Jesus is concerned, he came of polygamous lineage.
“Seventh. The Lord gave unto Israel a number of laws, under which polygamy was not permitted, but in some instances made obligatory.”
Elder Roberts reviewed the suppression of polygamy in Utah by law, and said that the Mormons would have suffered any martyrdom for their principles had they not been released by revelation to their President. Polygamy, however, he said, is only incidental to the Mormon theory of marriage. He defended the practice from the assertion that it was but a foil for the gratification of lust. He declared that it was not necessary for a family to gratify lust, and cited social conditions in St. Louis. His eloquent peroration terminated with the declaration that the “Mormon marriage covenant is a system that rises to meet the grandeur of God’s universe.”
After the sermon was concluded a man in the audience rose and attempted to engage the elder in a colloquial controversy, but the saint declined to answer any questions except in private. His questioner stated that he wanted to straighten out an apparent contradiction, but the elder remained obdurate and the man’s curiosity was not satisfied.
Whether Elder B. H. Roberts has more ability and is more eloquent than other defenders of the Utah philosophy, or if he has been started on a new crusade by the leaders of the church, in behalf of plural marriage, because of the fact of statehood for Utah, we can only conjecture; but it is very peculiarly striking that in the effort at Chatsworth Hall, St. Louis, he persues [peruses] the very course which the Lord commanded Jacob to tell the people of his time was not pleasing to him:
“For behold, thus saith the Lord, This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures; for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives, and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.” —Jacob, 2:32–33.
We have not space to review this effort at any length, but it is surely just to conclude that what the people whom the Lord rebuked through the Prophet Jacob were doing by citing the example of David and Solomon, Mr. Roberts did at St. Louis; and if he fairly represents the people for whom he is preaching, then, if the course taken by that people rebuked by Jacob was condemnable, so is the one adopted by Mr. Roberts and his people.
The following from “Zions Ensign” published at Independence, Mo, Nov. 18, 1897 shows who Mr. Roberts is, and that he not only believes, but practices polygamy:
NOT A DEAD ISSUE YET.
That the Utah Eldership are insincere in their profession of the abandonment of polygamy, and in the statement, that it is not now practiced in that church, is beyond dispute. Visitors to the territory in which the Utah Church flourishes, who get into close contact with resident members there, say that they simply laugh when asked in regard to the matter and admit that there is really no change from the old order of things.
At the little town of Centreville, between Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah, lives Elder B. H. Roberts, one of the quorum of Twelve in the Utah organization, and in the early part of August of the present year there were born to him from what is known as his second wife, twins, evidencing that Elder Roberts not only believes the doctrine of polygamy to be right as advocated in a public sermon in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, at Chatsworth Hall, October 13, 1896, as noted in the ENSIGN of October 17th, but he actually puts it into practice, notwithstanding the assertions of the elders of that organization that they observe the law forbidding the practice of that condition. Elder Roberts thus proves that polygamy is not only not a dead issue, but as a speaker said recently, it is with the elder very much a live issue, and there are two of them.
We have the information of this occurrence through a resident of Centreville. There is no evidence that any new contracts for polygamous unions are now entered into, but the old relations of those who formerly contracted them, are still continued, which shows their estimate of President Woodruff’s manifesto on the subject, abrogating that relation; and what kind of obedience is given to the law of the land by that people.
You have now read the views of Brighamite Latter Day Saints on the polygamous question and concubinage. By reading Ester 2:9, 12, 13–14, it can be seen that these concubines are simply prostitute women—bad characters. And the doctrine of polygamy is the companion to concubinage. And the practice of one is just as legal as the other with Brighamites. In Galatians 4:22–24 we see the seed of the bond woman was not righteous in the sight of God, but was after “the flesh” and its conception the command of Abraham’s wife not God. And such unfaithfulness “gendereth to bondage.” In a tract published by Elder, David H. Smith, entitled, “The Bible Versus Polygamy” is an argument that I now call your attention to. This tract is published by the Reorganized Church, and as they have accepted and published this you get their exact position on the polygamous and concubinage question.
Before advancing any further in our examination of the scripture, we will see some of the requirements necessary for the entering into and living up to this doctrine; requirements, by the way, pointed out and claimed as requisite by those who advocate this principle in the Valley. 1st, This state of holy plural wedlock must be entered into by the direct “revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed”(Utah D&C 132:7) prophet, seer, and revelator, holding this power: 2nd, “And there is never but one on the earth at a time … [holding] this power” (verse 7). These conditions we call from the revelation claimed by this people to be their authority for entering into the practice of these doctrines in the latter days, found in the Seer, a periodical published by the church of the Valley, January 1853 [The Seer Vol. 1, pp. 7–11].
Now understanding the conditions of this power and covenant, or doctrine let us examine the example of Abraham or Abram.
Abram having a wife called Sarai obtained promise of God that he should have a son in whom his seed should be called and blessed of God. Sarai was barren and unbelieving, and even laughed at the promise, and was guilty of untruth in regard to laughing when reproved for so doing. Sarai took it into her head to bring about the plan of God; so she took her handmaid and gave her to Abram. Afterward, when despised by this handmaid, she proposed dealing hardly with her, and did finally succeed in driving her away. When the lord says anything about the matter He commands Abram to put the bondswoman away with her son, and this is the only command the Lord gave in regard to it.
Sarai meanwhile had borne the promised son on whom the blessing rested. This is our statement. That of the polygamist is as follows. Abram had two wives, one Sarai, and the other Hager, and God blessed him in his plural marriage and approbated it. According to the polygamic revelation he must have gone into this plural marriage by revelation and commandment and been sealed to all eternity. And if we wish to go to Abram’s bosom, and sit down with him in the kingdom, we must do the works of Abram.
Let us examine the scripture in regard to the matter. We quote:
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bare him no children. And she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hager. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold, now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened unto the VOICE OF SARAI.” —Genesis 16:1, 2.
Where was the revelation through a prophet of God, the only one having this power? Where is the approbation of God in this thing? We find in the chapter 21, an account of Isaac’s birth, and of events that followed.
“And the child grew, and was weaned. And the day that Isaac was weaned, Abraham made a great feast, and Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which Hagar had borne unto Abraham, mocking; and she was troubled. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bond-woman and her son; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son, Isaac.” —Genesis 21:7, 8.
Now let us hear how God looked upon this transaction.
“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight, because of the lad, and because of thy bond-woman; in all that Sarah has said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” —Genesis 21:10.
What was Sarah’s voice? “Cast out this bond-woman,” and God commands him to do so. Comment is needless.
In Galatians we read that Ishmael was born after the flesh, but Isaac by the will of the spirit. Also some statements in regard to the evil works of the flesh.
“Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” —Galatians 4:30.
In the first place, Hagar was given unto Abram by Sarai; not by the Lord.
2ndly, There is no account of any revelation or command from God, by which Abram was actuated, neither any prophet holding power to seal to all eternity.
3rdly, The fact that an angel spoke to Hagar after she was cast out, argues nothing in favor of God’s approbating her relationship to Abram, or it would argue too much, for God himself spoke to Cain, after he had become a murderer.
4thly, God himself commanded Abraham to hearken to the voice of Sarah, which said, “Cast out this bondwoman.” Also, Isaac received the blessing, although Ishmael was the first-born.
From these statements we conclude, that God did not sanction Abram’s relationship with Hagar. This case is therefore no argument in favor of polygamy; but rather against it.
The promised seed in whom the blessing came. The Bible reader will wonder why we mention him, seeing that he had but one wife; but for all that, polygamists are fond of quoting him, ringing him in as graciously and boldly as if he had had a dozen. He had but one, however, the fair and favored Rebekah, who came to him from the homes of his kindred people, to comfort his heart for the loss of a mother. It will be remembered that Abraham was instructed to teach his household the commandments of God, so that if this were one of them, no doubt Isaac would have entered into it; but like many of the rising generation of Utah, he had seen enough of the evil in his father’s time. He had one son, however, who went into this practice; Esau, the hairy man, who sold his birthright, and who, the New Testament informs us, was a profane person.
“And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite; which was a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.” —Genesis 26:34, 35.
The argument used by polygamists in this case is as follows: Jacob had four wives, and the approval of God rested upon this fact. He was blessed in so having them. God approved of it as is shown by the blessing of Joseph the son of the second wife, Rachel by name. Leah was the first wife, Rachel the second, and her son Joseph being sold into Egypt, was the savior of his family, and became a blessing to them. Through him the Lord raised up a righteous branch for the redemption of all Israel. Jacob also had two wives besides, making four in all. Now behold the son of a polygamist by his second wife, preserved of God, blessed and called of Him. Does not this show that God approved and sanctioned this holy principle?
It might have a bearing that way, if this were the fair and true statement of the case. We will examine the history on this matter. Jacob came to the house of Laban and saw there the fair, clear-eyed Rachel, and so great was the love he bore her that he covenanted to serve seven years for her; and they seemed but a short time. Laban covenanted to give her to him at the end of his term of service. At its close, whose right was valid to the fair Rachel? Evidently that of Jacob, for we hear him speaking of her in the following language:
“And Jacob said unto Laban, Give unto me My WIFE, that I may go and take her, for my days of serving thee are fulfilled.” —Genesis 29:21.
Reader, was she not his, and the first wife also, for there is no account preceding this of his having a wife. Sanctioned by love, made holy by covenant, it was a right and proper union, and no wonder that God blessed Rachel and called her son Joseph to receive His blessing and approval. This verse is not all, the next one closes the covenant, and put the fact that Rachel was the first wife beyond all doubt, “and LABAN GAVE HER TO JACOB, and gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.” Nothing but the most designing and shallow sophistry could have the face to endeavor to evade this.
It was not until after this giving, receiving, and feasting, at the marriage of Jacob to Rachel, that Leah is mentioned as an actor in the scene. Then in the hour of darkness, with an unpardonable lack of modesty and feminine pride or rectitude, she suffered herself to be imposed upon the upright, confiding Jacob, by being smuggled into his bed in the stead of his lawful wife, —a contraband article in every sense of the word, —by a treacherous and idolatrous father. And this is the revelation from God commanding Jacob to enter into this holy order(!) This the holy prophet clothed with authority from God to sanctify this plural marriage; —an idolator and an observer of laws extant in a heathen nation! Shame upon such doings! Shame upon the principle that needs such examples to bolster it upon its tottering foundation! Alas! alas! that the saints of God should so lose their inherent sense of right, as to suffer themselves to be so led and blinded that they cannot discern the baseness of this designing sophistry.
“And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to Jacob, and she went in and slept with him” (verse 23).
Afterward, Jacob obtained possession of his lawful wife; and the only excuse Laban could find to cover his treachery with was, that “It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born” (verse 26).
However, as he had already given her first, this last act but convicts him of haste to get rid of both.
As for the other two women, they were given him by Rachel and Leah in jealous controversy, each striving to out-do the other in bringing children to Jacob, hoping thereby to gain his favor.
Twelve patriarchs or fathers of tribes were borne to Jacob by these women, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah. Because they were the mothers of these twelve sons, from whom sprang the twelve tribes of Israel, and because their names, Joseph, Benjamin, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, are said by John the Revelator to be upon the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, the advocates of polygamy say that plural marriage must be a true and faithful doctrine, and that if we are opposed to it, we shall never inherit a portion in that celestial city. We confess our inability to perceive the correctness of this reasoning. The fact that they were the fathers of these twelve tribes, does not prove that Reuben did right when he transgressed with his father’s concubine. The truth of the matter is that God promised; nay, swore even by Himself that he would make Abraham’s seed as numerous as the sands of the seashore. So, whether he or his posterity did right or not, they would have been the fathers of an innumerable posterity. God promised this unconditionally, and it would have transpired whether by one wife or a dozen; whether they were sinful or perfect. God would fulfill his word.
On going to the records we discover that the fact of their names being placed upon the twelve gates of the new Jerusalem, happens in this wise. These names were those of the twelve tribes of Israel, and not merely of these twelve men as individuals.
As for entering into this holy city, and going to Abraham’s bosom, etc., we are informed by our Savior, that many shall come from the east, and from the west, and shall sit down with him in the kingdom. We are not to suppose that the “many” have all passed a life without sin; nor that any one, however sinful, may not by repentance and faithful works enter into this exaltation. Nor would their having been forgiven and redeemed from sin, nor their having been received into happiness, be any argument that those sins were justified, nor that they were ever after to become examples worthy of our imitation.
According to Bible history, God has ever conferred His most choice blessing upon the son of the legal, first wife, the only wife we may say, for the Bible itself styles Bilhah a concubine. Are we to say that an illegal child can never receive a blessing from God? By no means. A child is not responsible for its parentage. If such a person turn to God and does His works, obeying the gospel of Christ, who shall say that God will not bestow upon him all the blessings poor humanity is heir to at best; so that forty sons of ancient polygamists might have received blessings from God, without compromising God as justifying the sin of their parents. Does not God send the rain upon the unjust? Yet who shall say that this justifies them in their injustice. Are not the homes of the wicked oft filled with children? Are not their houses grand, their equipage splendid, their feet in high places, their coffers filled with the earnings of the poor? Yet for all this God shall bring them to judgment, and these things are the arguments with which Satan seeks to allure the shallow-minded to their destruction. Behold, they say, the wicked prosper, let us do likewise; —it is policy, and we shall flourish; —but they know not the end.
Joseph, the son of Jacob, recognized of God, who was sold into Egypt, was an example of chastity and uprightness. We have an account of only one wife for him. He was the promised, blessed son. This ends our examination of biblical examples of marriage as found in Genesis.
The law for kings was,
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” —Deuteronomy 17:17.
Gold and silver he may multiply unto himself, but not greatly multiply; but wives he is not to multiply at all. Reader, twice one are two, and this is multiplication. Here is a positively expressed law and commandment, signifying God’s pleasure in regard to the marriage of the Priest and the King, and it denies to them the practice of polygamy.
If polygamy be salvation and exaltation, as is claimed by Utonians [Utahns], would God withhold it from the Priest and King of Israel, and permit it to the common people? Not at all. It is evident that the law from the beginning was:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his WIFE; and they shall be one flesh.” —Genesis 2:30
Royal Bible! men, priests and kings disobey thy commands and misrepresent thee, but thou are holy still; and verily thou shalt judge them in the last day!
We have seen the law governing the Kings of Israel. Nevertheless David, the famous King of Israel, as well as others of the Kings of Israel, disobeyed this law. And to show the lightness with which they regarded the law of God, we read that Saul took one of David’s wives and gave her to another. See 1 Samuel 25:44. Now because they did these things, have we any reason to say that God loved such doings? Certainly not. On the contrary, we learn that in the case of David that he incurred the displeasure of God, for he was not allowed to build the temple of God; and in the New Testament we are told, that “David is not ascended into the heavens" (Acts 2:34). Whereas the promise is that they who please God shall rest in Paradise, which Paul says is “up.” David, no doubt, while humble and just, was a man after God’s own heart; but his subsequent acts, like those of Gideon, were anything but right.
We now quote a text that is a strong fort with the advocates of polygamy.
“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee King over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom …” —2 Samuel 12:7, 8.
There, exclaims the polygamist, does not God say that He gave them to David? Then certainly it was right. Not so fast. God gives the lives of the innocent into the hands of the wicked, that is, He permits the wicked to slay the innocent, (for He could prevent it if he would), and when men desire evil he frequently allows them to accomplish it; but does He justify it?
To illustrate this style of giving, and to show that it was for evil and not for good, for cursing and not for blessing, we quote the 11th verse of the same chapter.
“Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up EVIL against THEE out of thine own house, and I will take THY WIVES before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.”
Now, if it were for evil that God gave David’s many wives to another, was it not for evil that another’s wives had been given to him? Yes, of a surety.
Why did God permit this? Because these men were voluptuous and sensual, willingly evil, and would have it so. God will as surely judge them for it as He will the thief and murderer. I grant that to slay Uriah and to take his wife, was more cruelly wicked than it would have been to take her among many, had she been a virgin; but this latter would still have been abominable, being against the law declaring that kings shall not multiply wives. As it was it was murder and polygamy combined.
Hear the voice of penitence, 13th verse:
“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.”
Hear that of judgment:
“And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath not put away thy sin that thou shalt not die.” — [verse 13]
Were these women sealed to David by prophets for eternity? We have no account of it. They were only the fair ministers of voluptuousness that ever attend upon kings, and ever will, until the King of righteousness shall reign. What became of them? Like Hagar of old they were put away.
“And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.” —2 Samuel 20:3.
Now ye sticklers for Abraham’s and King David’s examples, do the works of these men that were worthy of imitation. Put away the bond-woman, the many wives and concubines. David’s experience with his “righteous” seed was anything but pleasant. One died stricken by the hand of God. Another, of great beauty, was very wicked and brought about the confusion prophesied of in the above quotation. Another, though gifted with wisdom, failed to apply it to his own life, for he exceeded his father in polygamy, and allowed the admission of its boon companion, idolatry.
His name was Solomon.
“And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. … And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, as David his father, and went not fully after the Lord. … Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee …” —1 Kings 11:3–11.
There was another of the Israelitish kings who “desired many wives,” and the following verse states that he did evil in the sight of God. On reading the tenth chapter of Ezra, we learn that Israel had a great time of repentance and putting away of their strange wives at the voice of God. It could not have been alone because of belonging to other nations, for in the law we find they were allowed to marry captives taken in war.
We have referred already to Malachi, who upbraided Israel for sinning against the wife of their youth, and we find a similar passage in Proverbs 5:18.
“Let thy fountain be blessed; and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
What sweet and delicate language! How does it bring to the mind thoughts of life-long faithfulness; of a sacred and love sanctified home; of the assimilation and drawing together, through grief and joy, of two hearts, each willing to sacrifice for the other all the world beside, and each requiring no sacrifice from the other save that which they are willing to abide by themselves; of honored children whose birth is crowned with joy and virtue, who are kindred and not strangers; of love, enduring, concentrate, faithful, pure, and blessed of God.
There are other instances of transgressions mentioned, with many examples of faithfulness worthy of record, but this much will suffice, so conclude we our examination of the Old Testament scriptures.
THE NEW TESTIMENT.
It is with surer feelings of mind in regard to our subject that we enter upon this new ground, for the ushering in of the gospel in purity, the fulfillment of the law of carnal commandment brings in more decided lines of right, with deeper, clearer insight into the eternal nature of truth.
The order of marriage as taught by our Divine Savior is plain, unequivocal and clearly expressed.
“…Have ye not read, that he who made man at the beginning, made him, male and female, … For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. …” —Matthew 19:4–6.
If Salvation, glory and exaltation, depend upon the possession of more than one wife, would not our Savior have made plain the commandment, “Seek ye wives, for therein is found salvation.” Nay! but his holy words specify one wife.
We realize that marriage is the natural condition of the fully developed man and woman, and God enjoins it upon all who are suitable for it; but He does not say that we must marry and be saved, or that we shall be damned if we do not. Marriage is not said by our Savior to affect our future condition. Of course we are responsible to God for the use as well as the abuse of this talent; but it is not, like the ordinances and requirements of the gospel, essential to our salvation and exaltation. It is a sacred privilege attending this life, for the perfect development of our own souls, and the continuance of our noble race upon the face of the earth. That these statements are valid and proper we feel assured from our Savior’s language.
“…The children of this world marry and are given in marriage; But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, through resurrection of the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God ...” —Luke 20:34–36.
This explodes that wickedly blasphemous idea, that an angel is something degraded in God’s kingdom, merely barren slaves and servants to wait upon those who by having many wives have got above them. If they are the children of God, and we are only worthy to obtain that world and become equal with them, —those great, strong, pure, splendid beings, clothed in power and light, we shall be unspeakably happy. As for getting above them by marrying, the idea is imbecile and ridiculous.
The doctrine of inequality in the celestial kingdom, one sitting in the great glory with many wives, another with less glory because of few wives, and another with none because of no wife, is pernicious in the extreme. We are repeatedly informed that all are equal in that home of peace. “There is one glory of the sun” (1 Corinthians 15:41).
Our quotation above says, “equal unto the angels” and “children of god.”
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” —Romans 8:17.
With those who say Abba Father, the children of God, there is no room for inequality.
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” —Ephesians 3:19.
If these children of God receive of all the fulness of God, there is no possibility of getting ahead of them. The thing is simply nonsensical. Paul in speaking of the disciples, says, “All things are yours.” “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23).
They that seek a place wherein difference of caste or of glory is to be had, must remain here, or put up with the “glory of the stars,” wherein “one star differeth from another star in glory.” —1 Corinthians 15:41. And we doubt, if they seek to allure “through the lusts of the flesh” (2 Peter 2:18), their getting even there. Christ prayed that God would make his disciples one in him, as he was one with God, and in the celestial glory they will be so. There are numerous quotations which might be made to overturn this absurd theory of polygamic exaltation; but to use them for this doctrine would be like firing off a cannon to kill a mouse.
But, says the polygamist, they all receive a fullness, but one holds more than another, consequently like a “quart,” a “gallon” measure, and a “bucket,” each full and therefore equal. Shade of reason! Do they really think there will be any undevelopment or incapacity in the celestial kingdom! Why, we “shall see as we are seen,” “and know as we are known.” God will develop every capacity to its fulness, and every power unmeasurably. There will be no more difference in capacity than there will be in glory, for a difference in one ensures a like variation in the other; —all will be raised to a like standard of eternal perfection, or put down, if unworthy to become so, to a kingdom where they belong. The argument is lacking in truth, even as the types are in delicacy and refinement.
Can an unmarried person be saved? Reader, please do not laugh; for although this question would be preposterous in and of itself elsewhere, in Utah it is made of vital import. A woman must be sealed or married, for sealing is by polygamists called plural marriage, or she can not come up in the resurrection of celestial glory.
A man is a servant in the future, if unmarried, without glory or salvation, in fact is “damned.” A few wholesome quotations are all that is necessary to rebut such a doctrine.
“For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” —Isaiah 56:4–5.
“… he that giveth himself in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth himself not in marriage doeth better.” 1 Corinthians 7:38.
Why this language, if marriage constitutes salvation?
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. … And they sung as it were a new song … These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. …” —Revelation 14:1–4.
Surely they would be in some exalted place then.
Oh! Polygamist! Our Savior Himself, unmarried, was more charitable than you are toward the virgins, the old maids and bachelors, who so freely receive your condemnatory disparagement, together with the miserable men of one wife.
We do not forbid to marry, but we most decidedly say that the salvation and exaltation of every man or woman, depends upon himself or herself, and with God; that we all stand upon our agency, not depending one upon another for salvation. Moreover, salvation is more likely to be endangered by a disregard and light treatment of the rights of marriage, than by chaste virginity. To such as believed gave he power to become the sons and daughters of God, not alone to such as married; for this they perhaps possessed the power to do before. Paul, also says, that the unmarried are apt to care for God; while the responsibilities of the married with their cares are increased, so being hindered they are less likely, if marriage make any difference, to gain the crown. Eunuchs, children, virgins, being saved marriage is not absolutely necessary, either to salvation or exaltation. What remaineth then to ask is,
Is polygamy admissible judging from the New Testament scriptures?
Both Matthew and Mark have recorded our Savior’s command, as limiting it to one wife. “A man … shall cleave to his wife” [Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7]. And Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2, makes it still more imperative.
“Nevertheless, I say, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
If that is not plain, it were vain to endeavor to make it so. Comment is needless. Ephesians 5th chapter is full of exhortation to the husband and wife, as such a thing as polygamy was unknown to them. If a man marry, the woman is his wife, and he is her husband, and another can not have him without having another’s husband, and that is fornication or adultery, according to the above command. In reproving the churches through John the Revelator, Christ says,
“So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” —Revelation 2:15.
The scriptures do not tell us what that doctrine was, but on consulting Buck’s Theological Dictionary, we discover it to be they allowed “a community of wives.” His references are taken from Eusebius. [Also: “The community of women was another doctrine which they are said to have adopted, …” —The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, quoting Imperial Bible Dictionary.]
A few words as to its general working, and we shall bid this disagreeable subject adieu. The universal comment given in Utah is, that the first wife is unhappy, and the others are almost invariably so. While they are the favorite, they may triumph for a season, but when another who bids fair to become the favorite is taken, adieu to happiness.
How fair the contrast makes the one wife’s home, where order reigns, where each is an help meet, and where the husband is not a petty tyrant, putting one aside and taking another in the stead thereof, as his mind inclines.
Many are the first wives that say that it was not until their husbands became totally indifferent to them that they could endure the order at all. Many are the second wives that testify that they were unhappy in it. Many entering it from conscientious motives, most bitterly repent it. It tends to anything but a righteous seed, as exemplified in the families of those practicing it, as many can testify.
It does not tend to prostitution for it is wholesale liberty itself, tending to a lightness in regard to the married state that is fearful, as exemplified by the frequent divorces and marriages in Utah, many marrying and divorcing and remarrying until they scarcely know themselves by name.
While in Salt Lake City, and conversing with an eminent doctor there, who had gathered many facts in regard to this system, he stated that nature strives to correct it, for the male children born in it are in the majority, and degenerate also, extremely liable to precocity in the direction of the social evil. We have been considering this doctrine from the Bible, which favors this statement, as the numerous sons and few daughters of Jacob, Gideon, David, Solomon, and other ancient polygamists most clearly show.
It is the habit of the Utah elders to cast severe reflections upon the habits of the outside world around them, as if prostitution and infidelity to the marriage covenant were the universal order of the day, hoping thereby to make their rotten order look a trifle clean by blackening everything around them. To be sure the world is impure, and there is a floating populace, in our great cities and upon our thoroughfares, that is fearfully corrupt; but in the minor cities and villages, and especially in the country places, sexual depravity of the kind so much written of here, is as cordially despised and as little known as in Utah. But even if it were not so, would this evil be any excuse for their evil?
Polygamists are addicted to the habit of quoting the half-barbarous nations of Asia and the far east, where women are bought and sold in open market, exposed naked, their teeth examined, and the price paid down for them, as if this was any criterion for Christians to go by. They are fond also of misrepresenting the census, stating that an overplus of women made this order necessary, although frequently shown that it is just the contrary in the United States, and in Utah too.
If any one says a word in regard to the evil tendencies of the practice, they cry out that we are perfectly ignorant of their city and habits, as if it were impossible, being among them however long a time, to discover anything in regard to them. It is universally conceded that their children are much more liable to die than others, and if they live they are remarkable examples of natural depravity.
The marriage state is like a spring once given to a people who were told that so long as they considered sacred, and kept it pure, it would be the source of life and health to them, giving ceaseless and unalloyed joy; but if they should pollute it, and disesteem it, it would be a pestilent source of most loathsome corruption and unhappiness.
In view of our researches in the Old and the New Testaments, we, without hesitation pronounce the Bible clear and free from the charge of teaching polygamy, concluding with a repetition of Paul’s exhortation, “LET EVERY MAN HAVE HIS OWN WIFE, AND LET EVERY WOMAN HAVE HER OWN HUSBAND” (1 Corinthians 7:2).
We have given you this lengthy argument, showing how decidedly the Bible, the holy prophets, God and the Christ stand against the practice of polygamy, and also the other heresies of the salt land of Utah. It will be noticed, that this argument against polygamy is the position of belief held by true Latter Day Saints. Nevertheless they are despised by thousands. What are they hated for? We defy the world to show where, as a church, we teach a single heresy. Those who hate the doctrine of this “church” do so “without a cause.” Cicero has well said:
“It is the peculiar quality of the fool, to perceive the faults of others, and to forget his own.”
The writer has no desire to defend any wickedness of members in this organization. We are not fighting the individuality or personal weakness of Brighamites or any other people. It is a doctrinal principle of belief practiced by a body of organized believers. It is, on the other hand, the principles of the doctrine of Christ that this argument is intended to defend. We invite investigators to look into the perfect law, and not merely into the faults of individuals. We have enemies, so had Christ. With wicked hands they killed him.
With wicked hands they killed Joseph Smith.
“Do not be afraid of making enemies, woe be to him who has none.”
The very best men in the world have enemies. Always when men have bravely tried to better the way for good, enemies have been thick on every hand.
There are men, scores of them, who travel now from town to town lecturing against Joseph Smith and any shade of Latter Day Saints. These parties are full of lies, slander and misrepresentations.
We have a right to represent our own “faith” and are the only responsible parties for its true presentment.
We have given you some of the teachings of Joseph Smith, as we have shown you the false claims of Brighamites.
We aim in a fair way to show the difference between truth and error, and prove to you that Latter Day Saints of the true faith and Joseph Smith, as a servant of God, are worthy of consideration.
And as further proof, I cite you to more of the direct teaching of the prophet, and Latter Day Saints.
We hope this will fairly explain “Mormonism” and allay prejudice against the innocent and truth.
We will now turn to the Prophet Smith’s own teaching. Tract 42, p. 6., [Times and Seasons, Vol. 1, July 1840, pp.131–132; An extract of a letter written while Joseph Smith, Jr., was in Liberty jail] reads as follows:
“There are many called, but few are chosen; and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set upon the things of the world, and are aspiring to the honors of men; they do not learn the lesson that the rights of the priesthood, are inseperably [inseparably] connected with the powers of heaven; and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness; that they may be confered [conferred] upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, to gratify our pride, vain ambition, or to exercise dominion or compulsion over the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness; behold the heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, then amen to the priesthood, or to the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left to kick against the pricks; to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.”
You see, he teaches that the principle of righteousness must be adhered to, no using dominion or compulsion over the saints. He gives here to understand, we can not use a priestly cloak to cover our sins, nor to gratify our pride.
Joseph Smith condemned secret oaths and special covenants in the church. Hear him:
“We further caution our brethren, against the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenants, oaths, penalties, or secresies [secrecies], … and let our covenants, be that of ‘the everlasting covenant,’ as it is contained in the holy writ, and the things which God has revealed unto us; pure friendship, always becomes weakened, the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secrecy.” — [Ibid., p. 133]
So you see, gentle reader, we make a clean start; no “secrecies,” “special oaths,” etc. And no chance to cover your sins and vain ambition. This is the reason Brigham Young, and others, had to start up a church of their own, and get some new doctrine. And if you will notice closely there are a great many people who do not like the doctrine we preach because their deeds are evil, and they prefer not a have so much light on them. Whatever doctrines Joseph Smith, laid out in the early church, he claimed were revelations from God, and could not be changed. He taught: (D&C, section 2:1):
“…God doth not walk in crooked paths; neither doth He turn to the right hand nor to the left; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; therefore his paths are straight and his course is one eternal round.”
Book of Mormon, Alma, 5:34–35, we have similar language:
“…He can not walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right or the left, nor from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.”
It is positive that whatever was wrong at the beginning is wrong now. Let us notice the marriage question. First, see Book of Mormon, Jacob, 2:33–36
“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives, and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord, … Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.”
This was given at first, and, as a revelation from God, it can not be changed. Now notice in the Doctrine & Covenants, sec. 42:7d: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; …”
Do you comprehend this language? You are not only to have none else, but you are to LOVE the one you DO have! Why so particular? Because, Malachi says that:
God witnesses the covenant made between man and wife, and does not allow treacherous dealing, and for a man to marry a woman to gratify his baser passion, or, to get a house keeper, and not have the proper love for her, to say the least, he is trifling with something sacred and dealing treacherously. The true teaching of this church on the marriage question is divine (See Malachi 2:14–15).
The above revelation (Section 42) was given in 1831. Again, the same year, Doctrine & Covenants, 49:3a–b:
“…Marriage is ordained of God unto man; wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation.”
Polygamy was condemned by the Presidents of the Church in 1844, Feb. 1st. See Times and Seasons, Vol. 5., p. 423:
As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan. This is to notify him and the church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.
Presidents of said Church.”
Again, Times and Seasons, vol. v., p. 474:
"Nauvoo, March 15, 1844.
To the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, living on China creek, in Hancock County, greeting:
WHEREAS, brother Richard Hewett has called on me to-day, to know my views concerning some doctrines that are preached in your place, and states to me that some of your elders say, ‘that a man having a certain priesthood may have as many wives as he pleases, and that doctrine is taught here.’ I say unto you that that man teaches false doctrine, for there is no such doctrine taught here; neither is there any such thing practiced here. And any man that is found teaching, privately or publicly, any such doctrine, is culpable, and will stand a chance to be brought before the High Council, and lose his license and membership also; therefore, he had better beware what he is about. …
Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 939, October 1st., 1842, Joseph Smith wrote:
“We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett’s ‘secret wife system’ is a matter of his own manufacture; and further, to disabuse the public ear, and show that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people, and need but be known to be hated and despised.”
The above is so pointed that it surely needs no comment. That polygamy was introduced by men who were holding a sacred trust I do not deny. But such men were invariably denounced and cut off from the church. And Joseph Smith is no more responsible for the work of apostates, than is the fond, good parent to blame for the rude acts of a prostitute child when they rob the pure and innocent of their virtue, and bring reproach upon the family.
In 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 6, we see that angels have sinned and fallen from “their first estate.” Acts 20:30, Paul had seen that men from among the brethren would “arise, speaking perverse things.” 1 Timothy 5:15, we see: “Some … turned aside after Satan.”
Is Christ to blame because the Angels sinned? Is Paul to blame because some taught perverse doctrine, turned aside after Satan, and introduced damnable heresies and doctrines of devils? No! To say YES, would be to blaspheme. If you will read section 42 of Doctrine & Covenants, you will see it was given to the church in 1831, that the members are taught to obey the law of the land in which they live.
Murder, fornication, robbing, stealing and lying, or any manner of iniquity is condemned. And if they persist in doing wrong they are to be dealt with by the law of the land, also the law of the church; and then, if they do not repent and turn from their iniquity they are to be disfellowshipped as a member of the church.
Ungodly men crept into the ancient church unawares. This has been done with every church in Christendom. But it does not make the doctrine bad because some do not obey in righteousness.
Serve God and Him only. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” —Paul. Christ is the head, and the only name given under heaven whereby men can be saved.
True Latter Day Saints, and the faith of God as taught by the Prophet Smith condemns evil of every kind, and recognize Jesus Christ as the savior of the world and that no person, present nor to come, can take his place. Joseph Smith has never claimed to be more than an authorized servant of Christ. We can easily see his teaching is moral and divine. And because “some have turned aside after Satan” a great many people try to argue that Smith and all of his teaching is bad. This would prove too much. Christ, and the Apostles, had this same experience, for after the days of Christ his name and doctrine was blasphemed, and a great many sects and parties teaching many different doctrines have each claimed to be “the Church of Christ” in fact.
After the days of Smith, a great many sects and parties have sprung up, each claiming to be the true and legal successors to the early faith.
We believe that a fair hearing of the position of the Reorganization thus far explained, will prove we are that legal successor so far as identical teaching is concerned. Also, in identical teaching with that of Christ as described in the Bible, we are true representatives. It will require a special investigation to show the rise of the church after the apostasy in the first centuries. It will also require a continued investigation to explain the rise of the Reorganization. One great objection again, as used against Smith and Latter Day Saints is, they believe in the spiritual gifts and miraculous manifestations of God as the Bible describes. In this it can be seen that Latter Day Saints are in harmony with Christ and His apostles. We are glad to have our faith carefully examined and fairly criticized.
We will next examine the Bible and see its teaching, and learn the experience of the ancient church. The Bible (Matthew4:4.) says:
We are to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Christ told them that the word He spoke was the word of the Lord. (John 14:24):
“The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
And again, speaking of his second coming, he says, (Matthew 24:36):
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, yet my word shall not pass away.”
Let me bring a witness to prove that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). God says:
“I am the Lord, I change not.”
Christ has already said that God’s word should not pass away (James, 1:16, 17). What do you say, James? Listen, dear reader, how nice he speaks of God. To his brethren, he speaks like this:
“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Here we see, God does not turn from what he has said, and does not turn from any promise. 1 Peter 1:25, says:
“The word of the Lord endureth for ever.”
Paul says of Christ, Hebrews 13:8:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.”
And in the very next verse he warns them in these words:
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines” [verse 9].
Why should he talk this way? Simply because the doctrine of Christ is like unto Christ, “the same yesterday, to-day and forever,” and the word of the Lord “endureth forever.” Let us ask one of Christ’s disciples what the word of the Lord is—we might not agree exactly. Peter, you tell us, 1 Peter 1:25, “and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” And Christ says, you remember, (Matthew 24:36), “my word (or my gospel) shall not pass away,” but every jot and tittle will be in existence at his second coming, when he comes with his mighty angels, in the clouds and great glory.
So you see, we can go back now to the commission Christ gave to his disciples. Matthew 28:18–19:
“Go … teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
So, you see, dear reader, we are doing a religious business with the Father; second, the Son; third, the Holy Ghost, and if we have a right to expect the Father, and Son, we have the very same right to expect the Holy Ghost.
The next verse  he says how long He will be with them: Even “unto the end of the world.” Mark 16:14, speaking on the same subject in telling them to teach all nations, says: “Go … preach the gospel (which is the word of the Lord) to every creature,” and tells them about miraculous signs that will follow them, on condition that that they have the proper kind of Faith.
In Acts 2:38, we see Peter preaching, and after telling the people what to do; if they are obedient he promises them the “gift of the Holy Ghost.” John, 14:16–26, speaking of this gift of the Holy Ghost Christ says it is another comforter, of course you see, they already had God and Christ as comforters, but they were baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost just as well as the Father and Son, and Christ tells them: it should abide with them forever.
Paul speaks very highly of this Holy Ghost. Hear him, 1 Corinthians 12:3, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Jesus says, John 7:17: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,” and Paul has just told you the only way a man can know this fact.
Speaking of the Holy Ghost, (2 Peter 1:21), says: “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” and as they did speak intelligently it was not guess work or some delirious imagination. No, indeed; but a direct gift from God. “Prophecy” is a gift of the Holy Ghost, and when we can testify that Jesus is the Christ we are bound to have the spirit of prophecy.
Revelation, 19:10, says: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy.” Now, to be just with the Bible, what is your honest opinion of a person’s belief who says: they know they are saved, they know that Jesus is the Christ, and then denounce prophecy. And yet say they believe the Bible? In 1 Corinthians 12:1, Paul wants his brethren learned in spiritual gifts, and in chapter 14:1, “desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.”
You see Paul seems to rather have the prophecy. Why: Because by its power we testify that Jesus is the Christ. Verse 39 says: “covet to prophesy and forbid not to speak with tongues.”
Now, let us reason together. When you see a person who claims to be religious from a Bible standpoint, and yet denounces the principles of the gospel together with its precious gifts, are you going to test the Bible by their standard; or, will you test them by the Bible’s standard doctrine and evidence? Paul, writing to the Colossians, warns them against “philosophy and vain deceit,” [Colossians 2:8] after the tradition of men. He warns them not to preach any other gospel. Galatians 1:8— “… [T]hough we, or an angel … preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” 1 Timothy 1:3 —Paul warns Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine.” Why is he so particular about this doctrine?
Listen, dear reader, 2 John, 9, says: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Why the need of being so particular about this doctrine? It is God’s doctrine. Is that a good reason? If you are going to take a part of the doctrine take it all. Christ was found fault with because he was not a man of letters. Paul was learned, but he gives us to understand the necessity of God’s way of teaching by means of the gospel, and tells us the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (See 1 Corinthians 3:19).
Paul also says (1 Corinthians 1:21): “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
Now my friends can you not see that when men preach they must preach the word of the Lord, and, as Peter says: “that word is the gospel,” and then after obedience they were to receive the Holy Ghost, and, if in this age of the world, we have obeyed the gospel, we could as truly say with Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:12, 13:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; …”
And we can plainly see, there are conditions, positively laid down, that must be complied with in order for us to get in possession of the Holy Ghost. One “part” of the gospel is just as much the law as any other “part.” It is certainly a command of the Lord for us to “obey the gospel.” Hebrews 5:9 says: “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.”
The gospel was preached, and men were commanded to obey it, “Go preach the gospel, he that believeth and is baptized,” etc. Listen to Paul, 2 Timothy 2:5: “If a man also strive for masteries, he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” If we fail to keep his commandment we are not striving lawfully.
Jesus said, John, 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Verse 23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” Again, 1 John, 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”
Let us now see what is expected of them after they have obeyed the gospel. Notice Paul’s teaching to the Romans, chapter 12:9–21: “Abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; … patient in tribulation; … Bless them which persecute you; bless, and curse not. … If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceable with all men. … avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, sayeth the Lord.”
See Romans 13:8–10: “…owe no man anything, … Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; …”
After the days of Christ, wickedness took the place of righteousness. Doctrines of men and devils were introduced in the place of the doctrine of Christ. Tyranny in the place of love. Abominations were practiced instead of God’s holy law. Darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. They worshiped, they knew not what. And as these conditions developed, the world was filled will confusion and superstition. Murder and crimes of every description were perpetrated, and the devil took full rule with “all power,” and gave the world his own signs and lying wonders, with great pretentions to divinity. Wickedness was before the apostasy, however. Herod tried to kill Christ in his infancy when he had all the male children killed that were under two years of age. Christ’s doctrine was opposed by counterfeit, by slander and ridicule, and by force.
Matthew 11:11, 12, Christ says: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent TAKE IT by force.”
And it certainly did, and caused the world to be wrapped in miserable darkness, and, to hold the reign of power, killed millions of people who tried to break loose from her benighted chains.
Do you think all is lost, dear reader?
Do you think the mission of Jesus Christ is a failure because of the wickedness of men?
If you do you are mistaken.
Remember, if people do not do as Jesus directs, He has no part in their wickedness.
Speaking of Israel, the Psalmist says, chapter 81:11, 12: “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust; and they walked in their own counsels.”
This is just what the world did after the great apostasy, and if we are not careful it will be after, our “own counsels,” that we will “walk” if we do not obey His commandments.
Listen to Isaiah, 66:4: “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; …”
Why do you do this Lord? Reader, hear His own reply in the same verse. “Because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they DID EVIL before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
Now you can begin to see what has been and is still, the matter with the world. Walking too much “after their own counsels” [See Psalms 81:2], “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men” [See Mathew 15:8]. In 2 Thessalonians 2:9, Paul gives to understand that Satan is going to work “with ALL POWER, and signs and lying wonders” before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
So, dear reader, the reason, these strong delusions have been in the world, is because they “believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” [2 Thessalonians 2:12]. And in all ages of the world when men have turned from the “way of life” they have believed some delusion [verse 11], and often introduced abominable doctrines, as Paul says, 1 Timothy 4:1: “Giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
Read Isaiah, 24:1–6, and you will there see why the world is in such an awful state of confusion. It is “because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance.” This certainly has reference to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the gospel we are to be judged by.
See Romans, 2:16: “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
We have already seen the character of the teachings of Christ according to the gospel. The gospel is to be “preached (it says) to every creature.” So, if you think of the millions who have lived and died before we claim it was restored, you have got a good, generous thought, but do not be too hasty in your conclusions as to our position.
Romans 2:6, Paul says: God “will render to every man according to his deeds.” Revelations 20:13 “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged EVERY MAN according to their works.”
So it is plainly seen that there is nothing selfish about the Gospel of Christ. And instead of everything being lost after the Apostasy, when the 1260 years are up, the church will be restored. And that is the time the angel of Revelation 14:6 is to do his work after the great Apostasy. Listen to what John saw: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach (who to John?) unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”
You see, God’s word endureth forever. And Peter says: “This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” [1 Peter 1:25].
Now, let us notice, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, says of Christ: “Whose coming is not until after … the working of Satan with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8 gives us to understand that, when he does come again it will be from heaven with his mighty angels. Now this kind of a coming has certainly never taken place since the apostasy. If so, who makes the claim? And the 8th verse says, when he does come, he will take “vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This means the same old apostolic gospel and not some counterfeit. So when this coming takes place, we can certainly expect the gospel to be here. If it is here now, the question naturally arises, in the mind of the investigator, who preaches it?
It can be easily seen by this brief examination of the Scriptures that confusion and division among the people of God by some departing from the “faith” and introducing damnable heresies and doctrines of devils did not first begin with the advent of Brigham Young and the Salt Land heresies. Neither did persecution against prophets begin with Joseph Smith’s claims from 1830 to 1844. The same kind of persecutions have always waged against the true Church, and work of God.
“Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; … that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” [—Ephesians 5:25–27]
“Yet I will not thus repine:
Every foe to the shall bend,
Triumph glorious shall be thine,
All thy woes shall have an end,
God himself will be thy friend,”