Jonathan B. Turner
Mormonism in all Ages
(NYC: Platt & Peters, 1842)
Part 1: ch. 1-3 | Part 2: ch 4-6 | Part 3: ch. 7-8
THE TWO PRIESTHOODS.
The "Latter Day Saints" have to distinct classes of arguments...
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The same general causes which have produced similar fanaticisms in all ages, have undoubtedly operated in the production and rapid progress of the Mormon delusion. The combined action of the love of power in the few. and the love of licentious freedom in the many, upon the instinct of faith, has been exhibited, in brief, both in their philosophy and their results, in the chapter on Fanaticisms.
The immediate processes by which the instinct of faith is corrupted and perverted in the human soul, are various. The most common method, in all ages and climes, has been to debase and silence reason, by the
250 MORBID IMAGINATION.
MORBID EMOTIONS. 251
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272 KENTUCKY REVIVAL.
(under construction)... In the year 1800, the great revival in Kentucky, as it is called, commenced. The people were accustomed to assemble, sometimes to the number of ten or twelve thousand, and they often continued together, in devotional exercises, for several days and nights. Here the people were sometimes seized with general tremor, the pulse grew weaker, their breathing difficult, and, at long intervals, their hands and feet became cold, and finally they fell, and both pulse and breath, and all symptoms of life forsook them for nearly an hour, during which time they suffered no pain, and were perfectly
KENTUCKY REVIVAL. 273
conscious of their condition, and knew what was passing around them.
At one time, during service, several shrieks were uttered, and people fell in all directions. Not less than one thousand fell at one meeting. Their outward expressions of devotion consisted in alternate singing, crying, laughing, shouting, and every variety of violent motion, of which the muscular system is capable. These violent motions they soon became unable to resist. They were violently thrown upon the ground by the convulsions, where their "motions resembled those of a fish upon land." This disease lasted through several years, in some cases, and propagated itself by sympathetic imitation, from one to another, with astonishing rapidity, in crowds, and often in small assemblies. Their convulsions were ultimately distinguished by the several names of "the rolling exercise," "the jerks," and "the barks."
The rolling exercise, consisted in doubling the head and feet together, and rolling over and over like a trundling hoop or wheel, or in stretching themselves horizontally and rolling swiftly over and over, like a dog, sopping through the mud and mire as they went.
The jerks, consisted in violent twitches and contortions of the body in all its parts, as if goaded on all sides by a red-hot iron. Sometimes the head would fly round half way, and back and forth, until not a feature could be recognized, and the hair of the females would snap like a horsewhip; and some were ultimately obliged to shave their heads. When attacked by the jerks, they sometimes ran and leaped about, bolting like frogs, and exhibiting all manner of grotesque and hideous contortions and twitches of the face and limbs.
274 MORMON CONVULSIONS.
The barks, consisted in getting down on all-fours, growling, snapping the teeth, and barking like dogs. Sometimes they squatted upon their hams, like a dog, and looked up at the face of the minister, and continued demurely and quietly barking at him while he preached to them. These last were particularly gifted in prophecies, trances, dreams, visions, rhapsodies, sights and spirits, of angels, of heaven, the holy city, angelic hosts, &c.
It was remarked that these affections would seize upon both sexes and all consitutions alike; but it most readily attacked the young enthusiasts upon the subject of religion. It rarely seized upon those of the most consistent and exemplary piety, but upon almost all luke-warm and lazy professors. The wicked also feared it, and were subject to ot. Those, especially, who came to persecute, or mock, would even curse, and swear, and damn the exercises, while jerking. But naturalists, who desired to get the disease for the sake of philosophizing upon it, were never convulsed.
An account of a similar wonderful phenomenon among the Mormons, at Kirtland, Ohio, has already been given in the chapter on the history of Mormonism, which the reader is requested to refer to, that he may give the Mormons their due share of glory in these wonderful manifestations of Divine favor. *
These are among the most important authenticated facts pertaining to the history of these sympathetic convulsions, and their attendant trances and visions. We perceive that the same nervous phenomena are attributed, at one time in Germany, to the devil; in France, to the sainted spirit of Deacon Paris, and then again to Animal Magnetism...
(pages 275-299 under construction)
A WORD TO JOSEPH SMITH, JUNIOR.
It is my right, it is the right of every American citizen, of every Christian, of every honest man, to arraign and resent the perfidity of your career...
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