William B. Smith
Wm. Smith on Mormonism
(Lamoni, Iowa: RLDS, 1883)

  • Title Page   Wm. Smith pic   Lucy Smith pic
  • p. 06  Revivals   p. 08  First vision
  • p. 14  Manchester: Ap. 6, 1830
  • p. 17  Sidney Rigdon: 1830
  • p. 22  Caroline Grant: 1833
  • p. 28  Spalding story   p. 36  NY Nephites

  •   Transcriber's comments

    William Smith Home Page   |   The Wasp   |   "Old Soldier's Testimony"



    This book contains a true account of the




    O F  E L D E R   W I L L I A M   S M I T H.


    An Account of the Angel's Visit to Joseph Smith,




    P R I N C I P L E S   A N D   D O C T R I N E S,






    [ 3 ]

    =}  P R E F A C E  {=


    MY excuse for writing this preface is a wish to correct errors instilled into the minds of the people -- by many falsehoods and misrepresentations that book writers have set afloat concerning the character of Joseph Smith, and the origin of the Book of Mormon, regardless of the facts. There is not one writer, man or woman, of all the books and expositions of Mormonism that I have read professing to give the history of Joseph Smith, or the origin of Mormonism, but what has penned infamous and glaring falsehoods as by personal knowledge I know. For this reason I ask the reader to divest himself of prejudice and to read with prayerful and honest heart, and investigate the evidences and facts set forth in this work. If he will do this he may be assured that he will become satisfied respecting the calumnies and false charges brought against the divine mission of Joseph Smith. In nine cases


    4                             P R E F A C E.                            

    out of ten, persons who have given the Mormon question an impartial investigation, it has caused them to be friends instead of enemies to the cause. If the story of the angel's visit to Joseph Smith, was so enormously strange as to excite the priesthood of the age to all this calumny upon the character of the prophet, why should we believe in the angel stories that are told us in the Bible. Bible believers should know that the whole Scripture Revelation is founded upon visions and dreams, and angel visits to man. And why should not God send angels to deliver messages to his servants in these latter days, as well as in olden times. Readers, read and ponder these questions and answer them for yourselves, God helping you to choose the right and to give a righteous judgment, as honest men and women should do. The strange inconsistency of persons professing to believe the Bible and still denying what they profess to believe, is plainly seen; for angels, saith the Scriptures, are ministering spirits to those that are heirs of salvation. Heb. 1:14.

    In conclusion, the Church now presided over by Joseph Smith, the son of the martyred prophet, has no sympathy nor connection whatever with the Church of Polygamous Mormons in Utah.


    [ facing p. 4 ]



    [ 5 ]



    INASMUCH as all men are to be judged out of the books which are written, according to their deeds, I deem it of importance to the Saints of the last days, and to mankind in general, to keep a true record of their proceedings and transactions in this life; therefore I propose to record a concise history of my early life and proceedings; especially since the time I was baptized into the church of God, and numbered with the Saints of the last days.

    I was born in Royalton, Vermont, on the 13th day of March, 1811. At the age of five, my father moved his family into the town of Palmyra, Ontario county, New York. We moved into Manchester, in the same county in 1821, where we were engaged in agricultural pursuits, as we had been since my birth. While there we cleared a large farm, built a house, planted an orchard, and had commenced living in more comfortable circumstances.


    6                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    During this period, I enjoyed in common with other boys of my age and circumstances, but limited opportunities for acquiring an education; and being like most youths, more fond of play than study, I made but little use of the opportunities I did have. In 1822 and 1823, the people in our neighborhood were very much stirred up with regard to religious matters by the preaching of a Mr. Lane, an Elder of the Methodist Church, and celebrated throughout the country as a "great revival preacher."

    My mother, who was a very pious woman and much interested in the welfare of her children, both here and hereafter, made use of every means which her parental love could suggest, to get us engaged in seeking for our souls' salvation, or (as the term then was) "in getting religion." She prevailed on us to attend the meetings, and almost the whole family became interested in the matter, and seekers after truth. I attended the meetings with the rest, but being quite young and inconsiderate, did not take so much interest in the matter as the older ones did. This extraordinary excitement prevailed not only in our neighborhood but throughout the whole country. Great numbers were converted. It extended from the Methodists


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    to the Baptists, from them to the Presbyterians; and so on until finally, almost all the sects became engaged in it; and it became quite a fashion to "get religion." My mother continued her importunities and exertions to interest us in the importance of seeking for the salvation of our immortal souls, until almost all of the family became either converted or seriously inclined.

    After the excitement had subsided, in a measure, each sect began to beat up for volunteers; each one saying, "We are right," "Come and join us," "Walk with us and we will do you good," etc. The consequence was that my mother, my brothers Hyrum and Samuel, older than I, joined the Presbyterian Church. Joseph, then about seventeen years of age, had become seriously inclined, though not "brought out," as the phrase was, began to reflect and inquire, which of all these sects was right. Each one said that it was right; which he knew could not be the case; and the question then was which one of the whole taught the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and made known the plan of salvation. If he went to one he was told they were right, and all others were wrong. If to another, the same was heard from them. Each


    8                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    professed to be the true church. This did not satisfy him, as he was aware that there could be but one way of entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that there was but one "straight and narrow path," etc. All this however was beneficial to him, as it urged him forward, and strengthened him in the determination to know for himself of the certainty and reality of pure and holy religion. He continued in secret to call upon the Lord for a full manifestation of his will, the assurance that he was accepted of him, and that he might have an understanding of the path of obedience.

    At length he determined to call upon the Lord until he should get a manifestation from him. He accordingly went out into the woods and falling upon his knees called for a long time upon the Lord for wisdom and knowledge. While engaged in prayer a light appeared in the heavens, and descended until it rested upon the trees where he was. It appeared like fire. But to his great astonishment, did not burn the trees. An angel then appeared to him and conversed with him upon many things. He told him that none of the sects were right; but that if he was faithful in keeping the commandments he should receive, the


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             9

    true way should be made known to him; that his sins were forgiven, etc. A more elaborate and accurate description of his vision, however, will be found in his own history.

    The next day I was at work in the field together with Joseph and my eldest brother Alvin. Joseph looked pale and unwell, so that Alvin told him if he was sick he need not work; he then went and sat down by the fence, when the angel again appeared to him, and told him to call his father's house together and communicate to them the visions he had received, which he had not yet told to any one; and promised him that if he would do so, they would believe it. He accordingly asked us to come to the house, as he had something to tell us. After we were all gathered, he arose and told us how the angel appeared to him; what he had told them as written above; and that the angel had also given him a short account of the inhabitants who formerly resided upon this continent, a full history of whom he said was engraved on some plates which were hidden, and which the angel promised to show him. He continued talking to us sometime. The whole family were melted to tears, and believed all he said. Knowing that he was very young, that he


    10                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    had not enjoyed the advantages of a common education; and knowing too, his whole character and disposition, they were convinced that he was totally incapable of arising before his aged parents, his brothers and sisters, and so solemnly giving utterance to anything but the truth. All of us, therefore, believed him, and anxiously awaited the result of his visit to the hill Cumorah, in search of the plates containing the record of which the angel told him. He went, and upon his return told us that in consequence of his not obeying strictly the commandments which the angel had given him, he could not obtain the record until four years from that time.

    During this four years, I spent my time working on the farm, and in the different amusements of the young men of my age in the vicinity. I was quite wild and inconsiderate, paying no attention to religion of any kind, for which I received frequent lectures from my mother and my brother Joseph. He occupied himself part of the time working on the farm, and part of the time in Pennsylvania where he courted a young lady by the name of Emma Hale, whom he afterwards married. At the end of the appointed time he went and obtained the plates which were pointed


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             11

    out to him by the angel. The story being noised abroad, he was pursued while on his way home with the plates, by two persons who desired to obtain the possession of the plates to convert them into money. However, he escaped to the house and brought the plates with him, wrapped up in a tow frock. He could not permit us to see them, because he said the angel told him not to do so, and he was determined to obey strictly this time; for he had disobeyed before and was compelled to wait four years before he could come into possession of the plates.

    In consequence of his vision, and his having golden plates and refusing to show them, a great persecution arose against the whole family, and he was compelled to remove into Pennsylvania with the plates, where he translated them by means of the Urim and Thummim, (which he obtained with the plates), and the power of God. The manner in which this was done was by looking into the Urim and Thummim, which was placed in a hat to exclude the light, (the plates lying near by covered up), and reading off the translation, which appeared in the stone by the power of God. He was engaged in this business


    12                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    as he had opportunity for about two years and a half. In the winter of 1829 and thirty, the Book of Mormon, which is the translation of part of the plates he obtained, was published. He then showed the plates to my father and my brothers Hyrum and Samuel, who were witnesses to the truth of the book which was translated from them. I was permitted to lift them as they laid in a pillow-case; but not to see them, as it was contrary to the commands he had received. They weighed about sixty pounds according to the best of my judgment.

    We were all very much scoffed at and persecuted during all this time, while Joseph was receiving his visions and translating the plates. A particular account of his visions and life during this period will be found in his biography, and therefore I omit it here. From the time that Joseph received his first vision until the completion of the translation of the Book of Mormon, I was engaged as a farmer boy in working on the farm of my father.

    This farm had been articled for, to be paid in yearly installments of $100 each. We had cleared up sixty acres of it and got it under a good fence and cultivation; besides building a good frame


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             13

    house, out-buildings, etc. But owing to the persecution of the religious world in consequence of Joseph's visions, his obtaining the plates and translating them, our neighbors conceived an antipathy against us, calling us all manner of names, such as "money-diggers," "angel-believers," "gold Bible company," "visionary men," etc. Besides, whenever we had meetings at our house they would surround the house, throw stones, sticks and dirt against it, and insult us in all manner of ways. I got into a great many quarrels and contentions with the young men of the neighborhood on the same account, but invariably came off victorious.

    Owing to many improvements we had made and the hard times, we had missed making the last payment on our land, and father had gone to Pennsylvania to borrow money to pay up, and to liquidate some other claims against us. But while he was gone, the agent with whom we had agreed for the land being removed from office, and a new one coming in who was unacquainted with our circumstances, our neighbors contrived to undermine us by furnishing a man with money, and sending him to the new agent; who, seeing the


    14                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    last payment not settled and the bond thereby forfeited, sold it immediately to this man right from under us. He came with a "writ of ejectment" and turned us all out of doors. Our other creditors then came upon us also, and stripped us of every cent and left us houseless and homeless, and almost friendless, to wander into the wide world and again seek a livelihood. Father was gone, our farm was gone, our home was gone. The weather was cold, and the hearts as well as the doors of the people seemed to be closed against us, and our situation was truly deplorable. But we thanked the Lord in all our affliction that we were counted worthy to suffer in his cause, and realize that our light affliction here would work for us "a much more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" in the eternal world. Having been ejected from our home thus unceremoniously, we went to my brother Hyrum's house; a small log-house on a farm of eighty acres which he had purchased, adjoining our old farm. It was in this house that the first conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was held, on the 6th day of April, 1830, at which I was present. The Church then consisted of but six members. My father and brothers were baptized at


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             15

    this time and commenced preaching in the vicinity.

    I fully believed all the circumstances as I have related them, with regard to the visions and revelations which my brother Joseph said he had received and seen; but being young and naturally high-spirited, I did not realize the importance of such things as I should have done, and did not see the necessity of yielding obedience to the requirements of the gospel. For in fact, I knew nothing about it, although I had believed everything with regard to the work previously, until after the organization of the Church, when I was exhorted continually by my parents and brethren; especially by Joseph. I became awakened to the necessity of embracing the plan of salvation, and of the necessity of publishing a knowledge of Jesus Christ and his gospel among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people; that the nations afar off might hear of his glory and learn of his fame, and that the sayings of the prophet relative to the gathering of Israel and the glory of Zion in the last days might be fulfilled. I determined to enlist in the glorious cause, and endeavor to bear some humble part in rolling on the great work of the Lord. I felt willing to forsake the world, the


    16                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    flesh, and the devil, and go down into the waters of baptism and take upon me the name of Jesus Christ, according to the requirements of the gospel. was accordingly baptized by Elder David Whitmer, on the 9th day of June, 1830, at the same time with nine others; viz, Don Carlos Smith, John Jolly, John Poorman, Porter Rockwell, Jerusha Smith, Caroline Rockwell, Electa Rockwell, Julia Ann Jolly, and Harriet Jolly. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us and our hearts made to rejoice in the truth. The next evening we had a prayer meeting, during which we were confirmed under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, (one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon), according to the order of the ancient church and the teachings of the apostles of our Lord and Savior. Some of the brethren received marvelous manifestations during the evening. Bro. Newell Knight saw the heavens opened and he heard things which he was unable to utter: his strength was taken from him twice, and he was obliged to be lifted up nd placed upon a bed. I did not, myself, receive any such manifestations, but felt the Spirit of God like a burning fire shut up in my bones.

    From this time I could behold the situation of


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    the world; and the Spirit taught me that the harvest was great and the laborers few. I began to think it was my duty to preach the gospel and warn the nations of the earth of the great things about to take place.

    I was baptized in Seneca Lake during the time of a conference held there, being the second one held by the Church. Afterwards I returned to Manchester, about thirty miles distant. During the journey many solemn thoughts, and serious contemplations passed through my mind, concerning the work of the last days, and the great responsibility under which I had just been laid, to live soberly, righteously, and godly before the world, in order that the Lord might be glorified and honored through me.

    After this conference O. Cowdery, P. P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson with some others, took a mission to the Western States, where they baptized a great number, and established a branch of the Church in Kirtland, Ohio. Among those who were baptized was Sidney Rigdon, who came soon after and made brother Joseph a visit, being the first time they had ever met. They returned together to Ohio in the fall. I was subsequently ordained a Teacher under the hands of my brother


    18                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    Joseph, and John Whitmer; according to the following certificate, which is a correct transcript from the original given me by them:

    "This is to certify that William Smith has been received in the Church of Christ, according to the articles and covenants of this Church, and ordained a Teacher, under the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr. This therefore, authorizes him to act as Teacher in this Church according to the articles and covenants.

               {JOHN WHITMER,
               {JOSEPH SMITH.
    Given at Hyrum's, Oct. 5th, 1830.
    I then began to labor a little in the ministry according to the ability which the Lord had given me. Many Elders were ordained and sent out to preach the gospel. Many were added to the Church, and the work rolled on with unparalelled rapidity.

    About this time a revelation was given for the Church to move to the state of Ohio. Therefore, all preparations were made for emigrating to the West. Several of the brethren went in the fall before and during the winter; but in the Spring, myself, my mother, and some of the family went on board of a canal-boat to Buffalo. We then


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    shipped aboard of a steam-boat, and after a long and tedious passage, facing many storms, cold winds and rains, we at length arrived at Fairport, about eleven miles distant from the settlement of the brethren. I started on foot with Bro. J. Salisbury, to find them. We soon discovered their place of residence, and with great joy in our hearts we again conversed with them face to face; while they on their part very gladly received us and bade us welcome.

    Here I found brother Joseph, father and Samuel, who had removed during the previous winter. Soon after our arrival a conference was held in which the elders expected to receive additional powers to go forth and preach the gospel; and of a truth they did receive more strength and were encouraged through the promises given to them by the prophet. That God would begin from that very hour to bless them if faithful, with glory, wisdom, dominion and power.

    The Church was now being established according to the pattern as taught by Christ and his apostles in the New Testament Scriptures, the same blessings promised by the Savior to his apostles of old, to heal the sick; cast out devils; to speak in new tongues, and to lay on hands for the reception of


    20                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    the Holy Spirit, were vouchsafed to all who became the true and faithful followers of Christ.

    The Elders were then scattered and labored in the different parts of the Lord's vineyard, and the Saints rejoiced much concerning the great work of God in the last days. Sometime after this, another conference was held in Orange, where the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons received some general instructions from the leaders of the Church concerning the priesthood of Melchisedec, to which they had not as yet been ordained; for they had not attained to all the power of their mission, or ministry. At this conference I was ordained a Priest. I had been exclusively engaged in the business of my office, attending the numerous conferences and visiting the branches to see that the members were all faithful and that there was no quarreling, or backbiting among the brethren. During this time my faith was increased and my resolution to serve the Lord and assist in rolling on his work strengthened, and I felt determined to devote my time, talents, and energies in furthering the purposes of God, and spreading his gospel throughout all nations. My license was as follows:--

    "This certifies that William Smith, a member


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    of the Church of Christ, organized on the 6th of April, 1830, has been ordained a Priest of said Church, by authority of a conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, on the 25th day of October, A. D., 1831. This is therefore to give him authority to act in the office of his calling, according to the articles and covenants of said Church.

    F. G. WILLIAMS, Clerk."     

    This made me feel more and more importance of my mission and the necessity of being up and doing while the day lasts, and of magnifying my office. I felt deeply the responsibility which rested upon me of being a faithful watchman upon the walls of Zion, and of warning all men of the approach of the Savior. I accordingly made several circuits into the country round about, in order to declare unto them the truths of the gospel. I took one mission with my brother Samuel, into an adjoining county. Also, another one with Don Carlos, my brother, among some of my friends from York State; besides several other missions into different parts of the country. Some were aroused to the necessity of preparing for another world, and repenting of their sins, were baptized into the Church. I labored in the state of Ohio


    22                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    as the Spirit directed me, until the fall of 1832, when I took a mission with my brother Hyrum, into the western part of Pennsylvania, in Elk Creek township, where I became acquainted with a young lady by the name of Caroline Grant, and after a short acquaintance married her on the 14th of February, 1833. I then returned to Kirtland and attended the School of the Prophets during the remainder of the winter.

    In the course of the next summer a revelation was given by the Lord through the prophet, my brother Joseph, that a house must be built unto the Lord in which the Elders might receive their endowments, as they had begun anxiously to look for the time when they were to receive power from on high. I used my utmost endeavors to accomplish this work, and obtain means for building the temple. In the following winter I was ordained an Elder, under the hands of Lyman Johnson, for which I received the following license:--

    KIRTLAND, Ohio, Dec. 19th, 1833.     

    License, liberty, power and authority are given to William Smith, the bearer of this, to preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior, by the endurance of faith on his name unto the end. Also certifying


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    that he has been received into the Church of Christ; which was organized on the 6th day of April, 1830, according to the articles and covenants of said Church. Furthermore, stating that he has been regularly ordained an Elder in the Church, under the hands of Lyman Johnson, who is also an Elder in the Church.

    F. G. WILLIAMS, Clerk of Conference."     

    This additional authority gave me additional zeal in the cause of Christ, and I continued to preach, and endeavored to the best of my power to magnify my office in the Church.

    I attended the school of the prophets this winter and studied Hebrew, under Mr. Sexius a celebrated teacher of that language. About eight hundred of the members of the Church were his students during the winter and a large number of them became Hebrew scholars; but owing to some trouble between me and the teacher, in consequence of his having talked against the Church, I did not attain as great proficiency as I otherwise would have done.

    In the Spring of 1834, hearing from the Saints in Missouri, who had been driven from Jackson county, that if they would procure force enough to keep themselves in possession, the Governor


    24                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    would reinstate them in their lands in Jackson county, a company was formed to go to their assistance. I was among the number, and with the rest walked one thousand miles, with my knapsack on my back and slept on the ground. A particular account of this journey however, will be found in Elder Kimball's Journal, but all who were engaged in it will agree with me, that it was a journey of great danger, difficulty and fatigue.

    After staying with the brethren three or four weeks, and finding that the Governor would not fulfill his promise, and several of our number being taken sick with the cholera and dying, and seeing that the brethren would be in no wise benefited by our presence, we disbanded and made preparations for returning home. I sold a horse which I had bought, and paid my passage back to Kirtland, where I at length arrived in July, after having gone through with a very fatiguing, dangerous and difficult journey, without having accomplished the object for which we undertook the task; except to visit the brethren in Missouri, suffer a great deal of trial and trouble, and come back penniless once more. When I returned home, I engaged in farming, and merchandizing some.


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    My brother Samuel and I cleared about fifteen acres of land, and I commenced a house, as I had means and opportunity, besides assisting all I could in building the Temple.

    About this time the work took a general spread throughout the whole country. The gospel spread like wild-fire. Every one was engaged in it. The Elders were gladly received by all denominations, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and Campbellites. Many of them received the truth and became Latter Day Saints; and daily there were added unto the Church such as would be saved. To such a degree did this excitement extend that many of the Methodists and Presbyterians were obliged to give up holding meetings, and vacate their meeting houses in and about Kirtland. It was about this period in the history of the Church a notable miracle had been wrought, which caused much talk and excitement through the country. A brother by the name of Newcomb moved into Kirtland, and brought with him a brother that was said to be crazy; a person bereft of his reason, a raving maniac; and from all appearance possessed of evil spirits. He had to be kept in chains, to prevent him from doing harm to any one. The Elders of the Church who


    26                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    took this case in hand, formed a circle around this man of evil spirits, prayed and laid hands upon him, and commanded in the name of Jesus Christ the evil spirits to come out of him; and in less than fifteen minutes afterwards, said crazy man was restored to his reason and released from his chains. To this there are many witnesses still living. Many other notable miracles were wrought, but my limits in this work will not permit me to mention all.

    This gave a spring to our cause that filled all hearts with joy and new courage; for the first of our settlement in Kirtland had been attended with much persecution and toil. The Twelve and Seventies were ordained and sent out to preach in all the world and magnify their office and calling. I was ordained to be one of the Twelve, under the hands of Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris. The following is a portion of my ordination blessing, as recorded in the record book of the proceedings of the Church in those days.

    "That he may be purified in heart; that he may have communion with God; that he may be equal with his brethren in holding the keys of this ministry; that he may be kept and be instrumental in leading Israel forth; that he may be delivered


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             27

    from the hands of those who seek to destroy; that he may be enabled to bear testimony to the nations that Jesus lives; that he may stand in the midst of pestilence and destruction. He shall be mighty in the hands of God in bringing about the restoration of Israel; many shall rejoice at the greatness of the gift which God has bestowed on him; that his tongue shall be loosed; that he shall have power to do great things in the name of Jesus."

    This ordination was given on the 15th day of February, 1835.

    From this time of the choosing and ordaining of the Twelve Apostles, the work increased in interest and took a wide spread throughout the whole country; east, west, north, and south. Calls came in from every direction for the preaching of the word. Many converts were being made to the faith, and additions to the Church were daily increased. The little Chagrin river passing through Kirtland, will be a witness in the great day of eternity of the many baptisms performed in that stream; in which administration I was not only a ministerial but a personal participant. Missions for the Twelve and others were appointed for the Canadas, New York State,


    28                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and all of the principle cities in the east. In all of these appointments I was personally interested. The results of these missions and by whom they were filled I omit, and wait for the remainder of this history until a more convenient season. Enough has been said in the personal experience of my early history to show not only sincerity of my faith in the latter day work; but also the fact of my unshaken confidence in my brother Joseph Smith as a true Prophet of God. And that the statements given in the preceding lines concerning the strange visions shown to Joseph Smith, are true; and the translation of the record as found by the brother as stated, is also true, and in no other way did Joseph Smith compile, or compose the Book of Mormon only as stated by the gift and power of God. The story that Joseph Smith made up his revelation of the Book of Mormon out of a romance written by one Solomon Spaulding, like many other falsehoods told on the character of the Prophet, by the deceitful and lying stupidity of the age in which we live, must fall to the ground with the rest of their refuge of lies.

    To undeceive the honest in heart who would


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    know the truth of the principles of doctrine as believed and taught by this Church of Latter Day Saints, I submit a transcript of their faith and doctrine.

    We believe it is the duty of all persons professing christianity to obey the laws of the land and to be loyal citizens to the government in which they live.

    We believe also that all Civil Governments are instituted of God for the good and benefit of all mankind wherever such governments exist, and should be respected by all lovers of good morals and good order. We believe that it is out duty to love God and to love all that is good, and to love them that do good, and to deal justly with all men, loving mercy and forsaking all evil that enticeth to sin; and if possible to live in peace with all men.



    We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. Matt. 23:19. I John 1;3. St. John 11:26.

    We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. Ecc. 12:14. Matt. 16:27. I Cor. 3:13. Rev. 20:12-15.

    We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances


    30                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    of the gospel. I Cor. 15:3. 2 Tim. 1:10. Rom. 8:1-6.

    We believe that these ordinances are:--

    (1st). Faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Heb. 11:6. I Pet. 1:21. I Tim. 4:10. John 3:16, 18, 36. Mark 11:22. John 14:1.

    (2d). Repentance. Matt. 3:2,8,11. Luke 13:3; 24:47. Ezek. 18:30. Mark 1:5, 15. Acts 2:38. Rom. 2:4. 2 Cor. 7:10.

    (3d). Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Matt. 3:13-15. Mark 1:4, 5. Luke 3:3. John 3:5. Acts 2:38: 22:16; 2:41; 8:12, 37, 38. Mark 16:16. Col. 2:12. Rom. 6:4, 5. John 3:23. Acts 8:38, 39.

    (4th). Laying on of Hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Deut. 34:9. John 20;21, 22. Acts 8:17; 19:6. I Tim. 4:14. Acts 9:17. I Cor. 12:3. Acts 19:1-6.

    (5th). We believe in the Resurrection of the Body; that the dead in Christ will rise first, and the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are expired. Job 19:25, 26. Dan. 12:2. I Cor. 15:42. I Thes. 4:16. Rev. 20:6. Acts 17:31. Phil. 3:21. John 11:24. Isa. 26:19. Ps. 17:15.

    (6th). We believe in the doctrine of the Eternal Judgment, which provides that men shall be judged, rewarded, or punished, according to the degree of good, or evil, they shall have done. Rev. 20:12. Ecc. 3:17. Matt. 16:27. 2 Cor. 5:10. 2 Pet. 2:4, 13, 17.

    We believe that a man must be called of God, and ordained by the laying on of hands of those who are in authority, to entitle him to preach the gospel, and administer in the ordinances thereof. Heb. 5:1, 5, 6, 8. Acts 1:24, 25; 14:23. Eph. 4:11. John 15:16.

    We believe in the same kind of organization that existed in the primitive church, viz: Apostles, Prophets,


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             31

    Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, &c. I Cor. 12:28. Matt 10:1. Acts 6:4. Eph. 4:11; 2:20. Titus 1:5.

    We believe that in the Bible is contained the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. We believe that the canon of scripture is not full, but that God, by His Spirit, will continue to reveal His word to man until the end of time. Job 32:8. Heb. 13:8. Prov. 29:18. Amos 3:7. Jer. 23:4; 31:31, 34; 33:6. Ps. 85:10, 11. Luke 17:26. Rev. 14:6, 7; 19:10.

    We believe in the powers and gifts of the everlasting gospel, viz: the gift of faith, discerning of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing, visions, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love, &c. I Cor. 12:1-11; 14:26. John 14:24. Acts 2:3. Matt 28:19, 20. Mark 16:16.

    We believe that Marriage is ordained of God; and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman, except in cases where the contract of marriage is broken by death or transgression. Gen. 2:18, 21-24; 7:1, 7, 13. Prov. 5:15-21. Mal. 2:14, 15. Matt. 19:4-6. I Cor. 7:2. Heb. 13:4. D & C. 42:7; 49:3.

    We believe that the doctrines of a plurality and a community of wives are heresies, and are opposed to the law of God. Gen. 4:19, 23, 24; 7:9; 22:2, in connection Gal. 4th and 5th c. Gen. 21:8-10. Mal. 2:14, 15. Matt. 19:3-9. The BOOK OF MORMON says, "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, for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me, saith the Lord of hosts." -- Jacob 2:6-9.

    We believe that in all matters of controversy upon the duty of man toward God, and in reference to preparation


    32                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    and fitness for the world to come, the word of God should be decisive and the end of dispute; and that when God directs, man should obey.

    We believe that the religion of Jesus Christ, as taught in the New Testament Scriptures, will, if its precepts are accepted and obeyed, make men and women better in the domestic circle, and better citizens of town, county and state, and consequently better fitted for the change which cometh at death.

    We believe that men should worship God in "Spirit and in truth;" and that such worship does not require a violation of the constitutional law of the land. John 4:21-24. Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 58, par. 5.

    We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.

    { ===---.---=== }


    [ facing p. 32 ]

                            Mother of the Prophet.


    [ 33 ]

    The following Hymn was sung in tongues by Mother Lucy Smith, and interpreted by Elder Levi Hancock.



    I have no home, where shall I go?
    While here I'm left to weep below
    My heart is pained, my friends are gone,
    And here I'm left on earth to mourn.

    I see my people lying round,
    All lifeless here upon the ground;
    Young men and maidens in their gore,
    Which does increase my sorrows more.

    My father looked upon this scene
    And in his writings made it plain,
    How every Nephite's heart did fear,
    When he beheld his foes draw near.

    With ax and bow they fell upon
    Our men and women, sparing none;
    And left them prostrate on the ground, --
    Lo here they now are bleeding round.

    Ten thousand that were led by me
    Lie round this hill called Cumorah;
    Their spirits from their bodies fled,
    And they are numbered with the dead.


    34                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    Well might my father in despair
    Cry, "O, ye fair ones, once how fair,
    How is it that you have fallen? O,
    My soul is filled with pain for you.

    My life is sought, where shall I flee?
    Lord, take me home to dwell with thee;
    Where all my sorrow will be o'er,
    And I shall sigh and weep no more."

    Thus sung the son of Mormon, when
    He gazed upon his Nephite men;
    And women, too, which had been slain,
    And left to moulder on the plain.

    { ===---.---=== }


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             35

    Among the spiritual gifts named by Paul in Cor. 12:10, is the gift of tongues. This gift as generally believed by the Church of Latter Day Saints, not only occupies an important position in the Church, but forms one of the grand auxiliaries of the spiritual enjoyments of the Saints; as thereby by the Spirit's revelation, and by the means of the gift of the inter-pretation of tongues, many important and interesting things are brought to light. It is in this marvelous way that the song at the head of this chapter entitled "Moroni's Lamentation," was given to Mother Lucy Smith, sung in spirit and interpreted, as stated. The mother of the prophet having a firm belief in the Book of Mormon, while pondering over the account in that book of the entire overthrow and destruction of the Nephite race, by their enemies, at the time the golden plates were hid up in the hill Cumorah, received of the spirit, and the tongue was given, the words of the song being translated by the same spirit.

    That a better understanding may be had of the overthrow and final destruction of the Nephite race, and the time of the depositing of the golden plates by one of the prophets of the ancient aborigines of this American Continent,


    36                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    we give the following account. It would seem from the history of these aborigines, that they were a warlike people, and becoming divided into two nations had become spread over both North and South America, one of these divisions was called Lamanites and dwelt in the country of South America; and the other division called Nephites, in North America. Each derived its name and title from individuals of the race, and who at an early time had become leaders of the respective divisions that had sprung up among them. The history further relates, that a terrible war commenced between these two nations, which lasted for many years, and resulted in the complete overthrow of the Nephites. This war commenced at the Isthmus of Darien, and was more or less destructive to both nations, until at length the Nephites were driven before their enemies north and north-east to a great distance; when gathering their whole nation together both men, women and children, they encamped on and round about the hill Cumorah near where Palmyra, N. Y., now stands; where the golden records were found, in the town of Manchester, about four miles on the road leading from Palmyra to the city of Canandagua. Here the Nephites were


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             37

    met by the numerous hosts of the Lamanites and were hewn down and slaughtered, both male and female, aged, middle aged and children. Hundreds of thousands were slain on both sides, and the nation of the Nephites was destroyed, except a few who escaped into the south country, and a few others who fell wounded and were left by the Lamanites on the field of battle for dead; among these were Mormon and his son Moroni. It was this Mormon, as the history states, who made an abridgement from the records of his forefathers, upon plates of gold, to which abridgement he gave the title, The Book of Mormon, and being commanded of God he hid in the hill Cumorah, all the sacred records of his forefathers in his possession, except the abridgement, called the Book of Mormon, which he gave to his son Moroni to finish. Moroni survived his nation a few years and continued the writings, in which he informs us that the Lamanites hunted the few Nephites who escaped the great battle of Cumorah, until they were all destroyed, excepting those whose were mingled with the Lamanites. Moroni was left alone, and kept himself hid for fear of the Lamanites, but continued the history, until the four hundred and twentieth year of the Christian era,


    38                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          

    when he hid up the records in the hill Cumorah, until by the ministry of an angel they were discovered by Joseph Smith, and by the gift of inspiration were translated into the English language. The names of the witnesses who were permitted to see and handle these plates after they had been translated, may be seen by reference to the Book of Mormon, kept for sale at the Publishing Office at Lamoni, Decatur County, Iowa. Here we leave the subject of Moroni as the story of the song finds and leaves him.

    There is no period, or condition in human life with those that are the followers of Christ, that the enjoyment in the spiritual life is greater than when the heart and soul reach far out for the salvation of all mankind, for such is the spirit of the gospel that Christ came to establish on earth. There is a beauty and an excellence in the thought that carries the mind to the far off distant land of India's Coral strand, where the messengers of peace preach the gospel to unregenerate man, telling him of a Christ and a crucified Savior, who died to save a world from ruin and sin. The gospel is a message of Peace unto all nations, kindred, tongues and people. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that publish


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             39

    peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, and that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth." The heathens bow down to wood or stone, and Christ has said that this gospel of the kingdom should be preached in all the world for a witness, and then should the end come. God is now marshaling his army for the last time, preparatory to the second advent of Christ, to dwell with his saints upon the earth; and every Latter Day Saint that has the interest of the Master's cause at heart, should do all in his power to hold up the hands of those gospel banner bearing messengers of peace, who are at work spreading gospel light for good throughout the land. It is this missionary spirit so congenial to the spirit of the gospel, and to the conquest for truth in all nations and among all people, that attracts my attention to the following hymn that I have selected for the close of this work. The harvest is ripe. Thrust in your sickle who may, and reap.


    40                           WILLIAM  SMITH.                          


    Tune.--"Your Mission."

    Hark! the voice of Jesus crying --
      "Who will go and work to-day?
    Fields are white and harvest waiting;
      Who will bear the sheaves away?"
    Loud and strong the Master calleth,
      Rich reward He offers thee;
    Who will answer, gladly saying,
      "Here am I; send me, send me!"

    If you can not cross the ocean,
      And the heathen lands explore,
    You can find the heathen nearer,
      You can help them at your door.
    If you can not give your thousands,
      You can give the widow's mite;
    And the least you do for Jesus,
      Will be precious in His sight.

    If you can not speak like angels,
      If you can not preach like Paul,
    You can tell the love of Jesus,
      You can say He died for all.
    If you can not rouse the wicked
      With the judgment's dread alarms,
    You can lead the little children
      To the Savior's waiting arms.

    If you can not be the watchman,
      Standing high on Zion's wall,
    Pointing out the path to heaven,
      Offering life and peace to all; --


                                ON  MORMONISM.                             41

    With your prayers and with your bounties
      You can do what heaven demands;
    You can be like faithful Aaron,
      Holding up the prophets hands.

    If among the older people,
      You may not be apt to teach,
    "Feed my lambs," said Christ, our Shepherd,
      "Place the food within their reach."
    And it may be that the children
      You have led with trembling hand,
    Will be found among your jewels
      When you reach the better land.

    Let none hear you idly saying,
      "There is nothing I can do,"
    While the souls of men are dying,
      And the Master calls for you.
    Take the task He gives you gladly,
      Let His work your pleasure be;
    Answer quickly when He calleth,
      "Here am I; send me, send me!"

    An Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ
        of Latter Day Saints.

    THE  END.

    Printed at Herald Office, Lamoni, Decatur Co., Iowa.


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