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Times and Seasons: Volume 3
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Times and Seasons: Volume 3
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3, Number 15
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 3|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume III. No. 15.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JUNE 1, 1842.||[Whole No. 51.|
THE WORD OF WISDOM
We had a very instructive, impressive, and salutary discourse delivered us in the City of Nauvoo, last Sabbath on the above subject, to a large and attentive congregation, by Pres't. Hyrum Smith.
He stated "that there were many of the commands of God that seemed to be overlooked by this generation, and he was fearful that many of the Latter Day Saints in this respect were following their old tradition, and former practices of spiritualizing the word of God, and through a vain philosophy departing from the pure principles of eternal truth which God had given by revelation for the salvation of the human family; but, that every word of God is of importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.' The principles that are taught in the Bible are pure, and ought to be adhered too; and if people adhere to that teaching it will prove their salvation. The principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are also pure, and holy and righteous, and will if followed lead men to God. And the principles that are taught in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, are from God, they are principles of righteousness;-they are given for a blessing to the human family, and the salvation, temporal and spiritual, of his saints; and that man who wantonly departs from any of the revelations of Jehovah, and treats lightly the word of God, whether contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, is void of understanding: he is not wise concerning the doings of the Lord, the plan of salvation, the past dealings, present designs, or future purposes of the Amighty [Almighty]. The God of the armies of Israel is a wise God, he comprehended the end from the beginning, and adapted his plans, his designs and teaching, to the peculiar wants, the local situation, the exigences [exigencies] of mankind; and the present and future good of the human family; and every thing that he has deigned to notice by way of instruction to the children of men, is given by infinite wisdom; by the intelligence of Jehovah; and if obeyed, when his designs shall be fully unravelled [unraveled], it will be seen that there was wisdom in it beyond the comprehension of man in his present state.
When God first made man upon the earth, he was a different being entirely to what he now is; his body was strong; athletic, robust, and healthy; his days were prolonged upon the earth; he lived nearly one thousand years, his mind was vigorous and active, and his intellectual faculties clear and comprehensive, but he has become degenerated; his life has dwindled to a span; disease preys upon his system; his body is enervated and feeble; and his mentle [mental] and intellectual faculties are impaired, and weakened; and man is not now that dignified, noble, majestic, honorable, and mighty being that he was when he first proceeded from the hands of his maker.
The Lord has in his wise designs revealed unto us his will; he has told us as he did his ancient prophets that the 'earth shall be redeemed-that the curse shall be removed from it-that the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together-that the lion shall eat straw like the ox;-and that they shall not hurt nor destroy-that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters covers the sea'-that man's days shall be as the 'days of a tree,' that he shall again live one thousand years on the earth-this is the 'time of the restoration of all things,' and this has got to be brought about by the wisdom and power of God, and the wisdom, obedience and faith of man combined.
Every thing has become degenerated from what it was in its primitive state; 'God made man pure, but he has found out many inventions:' his vices have become innumerable, and his diseases multiplied; his taste had become vitiated, and his judgment impaired; he has fallen-fallen-fallen, from that dignified state that he once occupied on the earth; and it needs a restorative that man has not in his possession-wisdom which is beyond the reach of human intellect;-and power which human philosophy, talent and ingenuity cannot control. God only is acquainted with the fountain of action, and the main springs of human events; he knows where disease is seated, and what is the cause of it;-he is also acquainted with the spring of health; the balm of Gilead-of life; he knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigour [vigor], and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the
beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour [vigor], promote peace between him and the brute creation, and as one of the little wheels in God's designs, to help to regulate the great machinery, which shall eventually revolutionize the earth, and bring about the restoration of all things, and when they are restored he will plant 'the tree of life, whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.'
The Lord has told us what is good for us to eat, and to drink, and what is pernicious; but some of our wise philosophers, and some of our elders too, pay no regard to it; they think it too little, too foolish, for wise men to regard fools! where is their wisdom, philosophy and intelligence? from whence did they obtain their superior light? Their capacity, and their power of reasoning was given them by the great Jehovah: if they have any wisdom they obtained it from his: and have they grown so much wiser than God that they are going to instruct him in the path of duty, and to tell him what is wise, and what is foolish. They think it too small for him to condesend [condescend] to tell men what will be nutritious or what will be unhealthy. Who made the corn, the wheat, the rye, and all the vegetable substances? and who was it that organized man, and constituted him as he is found? who made his stomach, and his digestive organs, and prepared proper nutriment for his system, that the juices of his body might be supplied; and his form be invigorated by that kind of food which the laws of nature, and the laws of God has said would be good for man? And has God made his food, and provided it for the use of man; and shall he be ashamed to speak of the work of his hands: has he become so fantastical, so foolish, so weak and effeminate, that it has become impolitic for him to tell what is the best distribution to make of the work of his hands? Oh shame! let it not be heard among the saints; let that man who inculcates such principles hide his face. We are told by some that circumstances alter the revelations of God-tell me what circumstances would alter the ten commandments? they were given by revelation-given as a law to the children of Israel;-who has a right to alter that law? Some think that they are too small for us to notice, they are not too small for God to notice, and have we got so high, so bloated out, that we cannot condescend to notice things that God has ordained for our benefit? or have we got so weak that we are not fit to be called saints? for the word of wisdom is adapted to the capacity of all that 'are or can be called saints.' Listen not to the teaching of any man, or any elder who says the word of wisdom is of no moment; for such a man will eventually be overthrown. These are principles that I have always acted upon; that I have always practiced; and they are what my family practices; they are what Brother Hyrum has always contended for, and what I now contend for; and I know that nothing but an unwavering, undeviating course can save a man in the kingdom of God.
The Lord has told us that 'Strong drinks are not good,' who is it that will say they are? when the Lord says they are not. That man who says 'I can drink wine or strong drink, and it will not hurt me,' is not wise. But some will say, 'I know it did me good, for I was fatigued, and feeble, on a certain occasion, and it revived me, and I was invigorated thereby, and that is sufficient proof for me:' It may be for you, but it would not be for a wise man, for every spirit of this kind will only produce a greater langor [languor] when its effects cease to operate upon the human body. But you know that you are benefited, yes, so does the man who has mortgaged his property, know that he is relieved from his present embarassments [embarrassments]; but his temporary relief only binds the chords of bondage more severely around him. The Lord has not ordained strong drink for the belly; 'but for the washing of your bodies.' And again 'tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly; and it is not good for man; but as an herb for bruises, and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.' Tobacco is a nauseous, stinking abominable thing, and I am surprised that any human being should think of using it-for an elder especially to eat, or smoke it, is a disgrace to him;-he is not fit for the office, he ought first to learn to keep the word of wisdom, and then to teach others. God will not prosper the man who uses it. And again 'hot drinks are not for the body, or belly;' there are many who wonder what this can mean; whether it refers to tea, or coffee, or not. I say it does refer to tea, and coffee. Why is it that we are frequently so dull and languid? it is because we break the word of wisdom, disease preys upon our system, our understandings are darkened, and we do not comprehend the things of God; the devil takes advantage of us, and we fall into temptation. Not only are they injurious in their tendency, and baneful in their effects, but the importation of foreign products might be the means of thousands of our people being poisened [poisoned] at a future time, through the advantage that an enemy might take of us, if we made
use of these things that are thus spoken of as being evil; and be it remembered-that this instruction is given 'in consequence of evils that do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men.'
'And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof. All these to be used with prudence and thank giving [thanksgiving]. Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I the Lord hath ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving. Nevertheless, they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me, that they should not be used only in times of winter or of cold, or famine. All grain is ordained for the use of man, and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man, but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; and these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine, and excess of hunger.'
Let men attend to these instructions, let them use the things ordained of God; let them be sparing of the life of animals; 'it is pleasing saith the Lord that flesh be used only in times of winter, or of famine'-and why to be used in famine? because all domesticated animals would naturally die, and may as well be made use of by man, as not,
"All grain is good for the food of man, as also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground Nevertheless wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks; as also other grain. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their naval, and marrow in their bones and shall find wisdom, and great treasures of knowledge even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint: and I the Lord give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.'
Let these things be adhered to; let the saints be wise; let us lay aside our folly and abide by the commandments of God; so shall we be blessed of the great Jehovah in time and in eternity: we shall be healthy, strong and vigorous: we shall be enabled to resist disease; and wisdom will crown our councils, and our bodies will become strong and powerful, our progeny will become mighty, and will rise up and call us blessed; the daughters of Jesus will be beautiful, and her sons the joy of the whole earth; we shall prepare ourselves for the purposes of Jehovah for the kingdom of God for the appearance of Jesus in his glory; "out of Zion the perfection of beauty," God will shine; Zion will be exalted, and become the praise of the whole earth."
Thus spake the man of God, fired with heavenly holy zeal, for the welfare of the saints of the most high, who were assembled around him, in breathless silence, listening to the gracious words that fell from his lips, which we feel ourselves utterly incapable of doing justice to, in this brief sketch; and can only say that with boldness and firmness he expatiated freely and fully upon those principles opposing vice and error in its various forms; we are pursuaded [persuaded] that his instructions will be indelibly engraven on the memories of thousands who listened to his discourse. Firm and unwavering in his principles, he has ever been the advocate of sterling integrity, righteousness and truth, and when we saw him exerting all his energies to impress upon the minds of the audience the importance of the thing that he advocated, it reminded us of the sayings of one of the ancient servants of God. "I will declare thy righteousness in the great congregation.'
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
(Continued) After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me, when I enquired [inquired] of the Lord, and the Lord said thus unto me.
Revelation given to Joseph Smith, jr. May 1829, informing him of the alteration of the Manuscript of the fore part of the Book of Mormon.
1. Now behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them: and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened; nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again, therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun: do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate: but be diligent unto the end: pray always that you may come off conqueror; yea that you may conquer satan and that you may escape the hands of the
servants of satan, that do uphold his work. Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you. And for this cause I said that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold wicked men have taken them from you; therefore you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated and caused to be written, and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
2. Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again: and then behold they say and think in their hearts, we will see if God has given him power to translate, if so he will also give him power again: and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate again, or in other words, behold we have the same with us and we have altered them; therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power: therefore, we will destroy him; and also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
3. Verily, verily I say unto you, that satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good, and their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations, and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil: therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God, but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment, yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work; yea, he saith unto them deceive, and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them, and leading them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive, because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
5. Now, behold they altered those words, because satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you: and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
6. Behold I say unto you that you shall not translate again these words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself: and behold they will publish this, and satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. Thus satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I shew [show] unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, shew [show] it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
7. Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the
righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
8. And now, verily I say unto you, that on account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi; yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
9. And now, because of the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things, which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account; therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
10. Behold they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples desired in their prayers, should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them, that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also, all had become Lamanites, because of their dissentions.
11. Now this is not all, their faith in their prayers were, that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land: and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life, yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue or people, they may be.
12. And now, behold according to their faith in their prayers, will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
13. And for this cause have I said, if this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them. Now I do not say this to destroy my church; but I say this to build up my church: therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, but it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments, but buildeth up churches unto themselves, to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly, and buildeth up the kingdom of the devil; yea, verily, verily I say unto you that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the centre [center].
14. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I came unto my own, and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I am he who said other sheep have I which are not of this fold, unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
15. And I will show unto this people, that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob: and I will bring to light their marvellous [marvelous] works, which they did in my name: yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel, which was ministered unto them, and behold they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me; and this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention: yea, satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention, concerning the points of my doctrine: and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures, and do not understand them: therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery, for behold I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts: yea, if
they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
16. Behold this is my doctrine: whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church, whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me: therefore he is not of my church.
17. And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my Rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
18. And now, remember the words of him who is the life and the light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God. Amen.
From the Millenial [Millennial] Star.
HIGHLY INTERESTING FROM JERUSALEM.
We have lately received two lengthy and highly interesting communications from Elder Orson Hyde, dated at Trieste, Jan. 1st. and 18th, containing a sketch of his voyages and Travels in the East, his visit to Jerusalem, a description of ancient Zion, the pool of Siloam, and many other places famous in holy writ, with several illustrations of the manners and customs of the East, as applicable to Scripture texts, and several conversations held between himself and some of the Jews, Missionaries, &c. in Jerusalem, together with a masterly description of a terrible tempest and thunder storms at sea, with a variety of miscellaneous reflections and remarks, all written in an easy, elegant and masterly style, partaking of the eloquent and sublime, and breathing a tone of that deep feeling, tenderness, and affection so characteristic of his mission and the spirit of his holy sacred office.
Elder Hyde has by the grace of God been the first proclaimer of the fulness [fullness] of the Gospel both on the continent of Europe and in far off Asia, among the nations of the East. In Germany, Turkey and (Constantinople), Egypt and Jerusalem, he has reared as it were the ensign of the latter-day glory and sounded the trump of truth, calling upon the people of those regions to awake from their thousand years' slumber, and to make ready for their returning Lord.
In his travels he has suffered much, and has been exposed to toils and dangers, to hunger, pestilence and war. He has been in perils by land and sea, in perils among robbers, in perils among Heathens, Turks, Arabs and Egyptians; but out of all these things the Lord hath delived [delivered] him, and hath restored him in safety to the shores of Europe; where he is tarrying for a little season, for the purpose of publishing the Truth in the German language, having already published it in French and English in the various countries of the East, and we humbly trust that his labors will be a lasting blessing to Jew and Gentile.
We publish the following extract of his communication, and we shall soon issue the whole from the press in pamphlet form. It will not doubt meet with a ready sale; and we purpose devoting the profits to his benefit, to assist him in his mission.
"Summoning up, therefore, what little address I had, I procured a valet d'place, or lackey, and proceeded to the house of Mr. Simmons, a very respectable Jew, who with some of his family had lately been converted and joined the English Church. I entered their dwelling. They had just sat down to enjoy a dish of coffee, but immediately arose from the table to meet me. I spoke to them in German and asked them if they spoke in English: they immediately replied "Yes," which was a very agreeable sound to my ear. They asked me in German if I spoke English; I replied, 'Ya mein Herr.' I then introduced myself to them, and with a little apology it passed off as well as though I had been introduced by the Pacha. With that glow of warmth and familiarity which is a peculiar trait in the German Character, they would have me set down and take a dish with them; and as I began to relate some things relative to my mission, the smiles of joy which sat upon their countenance bespoke hearts not altogether indifferent. There were two ministers of the Church of England there. One was confined to his bed by sickness the other a German, and a Jew by birth, soon came in. After an introduction, I took the liberty to lay open to him some of our principles and gave him a copy of the communication to the Jews of Constantinople to read. After he had read it, he said that my motives were undoubtedly very good, but questioned the propriety of my undertaking from the fact that I claimed God had sent me. If indeed I had gone to Jerusalem under the direction of some missionary board or society, and left God out of the question altogether, I should have been received as a celestial messenger. How truly did our Saviour [Savior] [Savior] speak, when he said, 'I am come in my father's name, and yet receive me not; but if another were to come in his own name, him ye would receive.' I replied, however, that so far as I could know my own heart, my motives were most certainly good; yet, said I no better than the cause which has brought me here. But he like all others who worship a God 'without body or parts,' said that miracles, visions, and prophecy has ceased.
"The course which the popular clergy pursue at this time in relation to the Divine economy looks to me as though they would say, 'O Lord, we will worship thee with all our hearts serve thee with all our souls and be very pious and holy, we will even gather Israel, convert the heathen, and bring in the millenium [millennium], if you will only let us alone that we may do it in our own way, and according to our own will, but if you speak from Heaven to interfere with our plan, or cause any to see visions or dreams, or prophesy, whereby we are disturbed or interrupted in our worship, we will exert all our strength and skill to deny what you say, and charge it home upon the devil or some wild fanatic spirit as being its author."
"That which was looked upon by the ancient Saints as among the greatest favours [favors] and blessings, viz. revelation from God and communion with him by dreams and visions, is now looked upon by the religious world as the height of presumption and folly. The ancient saints considered their condition most deplorable
when Jehovah would not speak to them; but the most orthodox religionists of this age deem it quite heterodox to even admit the probability that he ever will speak again. O my soul! language fails to paint the absurdity and abomination of such heaven-opposing and truth excluding dogmas; and were it possible for those bright seraphs that surround the throne above, and bask in the sun beams of immortality, to weep over the inconsistency and irrationality of mortals, the earth must be bedewed with celestial tears. My humble advice to all such is, that they repent and cast far from them these wicked traditions, and be baptized into the new and everlasting covenant, lest the Lord speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his own sore displeasure.
"After some considerable conversation upon the priesthood and the renewal of the covenant, I called upon him to be baptized for the remission of his sins, that he might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What, said he, I be baptized? Yes, said I, you be baptized. Why, saith he, I have been baptized already. I replied something after the following:-'You have probably been sprinkled, but that has no more to do with baptism than any other ordinance of man's device; and even if you had been immersed, you would not have bettered your condition, for your priesthood is without power. If, indeed, the Catholic Church has power to give you an ordination, and by that ordination confer the priesthood upon you, they certainly had power to nullify that act, and take the priesthood from you; and this power they exercised when you dissented from their communion, by excluding you from their church. But if the Catholic church possessed not the priesthood, of course your claims to it are as groundless as the airy phantoms of heathen mythology. So, view the question on which side you may, there is no possible chance of admitting the validity of your claims to it. Be it known, therefore, that ordinances performed under the administration of such a priesthood, though they may even be correct in form, will be found destitute of the seal of that authority by which heaven will recognise [recognize] his in the day when every man's work shall be tried. Though a priesthood may be clothed with the wealth and honors of a great and powerful nation, and command the respect and veneration of multitudes, whose eyes are blinded by the thick veil of popular opinion, and whose powers of reflection and deep thought are confused and lost in the general cry of 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians,' yet all this does not impart to it the Divine sanction, or animate it with the spirit of life and power from the bosom of the living God; and there is a period in future time when in the smoking ruins of Babel's pride and glory, it must fall and retire to the shades of forgetfulness, to the grief and mortification of its unfortunate votaries.
"In consequence of his great volubility, I was under the disagreeable necessity of turning my voice to a pretty high key, and of spacing short between words, determining that neither his greatness nor learning should shield him from the shafts of a faithful testimony. But there is more hope of those Jews receiving the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, whose mind have never been poisoned by the bane of modern sectarianism, which closes the mouth of Deity and shuts up in heaven all the angels, visions and prophesyings. Mrs. Whiting told me that there had been four Jewish people in Jerusalem converted and baptized by the English minister, and four only; and that a part of the ground for an English church had been purchased there. It was by political power and influence that the Jewish nation was broken down, and her subjects dispersed abroad; and I will here hazard the opinion, that by political power and influence they will be gathered and built up; and further, that England is destined in the wisdom and economy of heaven to stretch forth the arm of political power, and advance in the front ranks of this glorious enterprize [enterprise]. The Lord once raised up a Cyrus to restore the Jews, but that was not evidence that he owned the religion of the Persians. This opinion I submit, however, to your superior wisdom to correct if you shall find it wrong.
"There is an increasing anxiety in Europe for the restoration of that people; and this anxiety is not confined to the pale of any religious community, but it has found its way to the courts of kings. Special ambassadors have been sent, and consuls and consular agents have been appointed. The rigorous policy which has hitherto characterized the course of other nations towards them now begins to be softened by the oil of friendship, and modified by the balm of humanity The sufferings and privations under which they have groaned for so many centuries have at length touched the main springs of Gentile power and sympathy; and may the God of their father's Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, fan the flame by celestial breezes, until Israel's banner, sanctified by the Saviour's [Savior's] blood, shall float on the walls of old Jerusalem, and the mountains and valleys of Judea reverberate with their songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain.
"The imperial consul of Austria, at Galatz, near the mouth of the Danube, to whom I had a letter of introduction from his cousin at Vienna, told me that in consequence of so many of their Jewish subjects been inclined, of late, to remove to Syria and Palestine, his government had established a general consul at Beyroote [Beirut] for their protection. There are many Jews who care nothing about Jerusalem, and have no regard for God. Their money is the God they worship; yet there are many of the most pious and devout among them who look towards Jerusalem as the tender an affectionate mother looks upon the home where she left her lovely little babe"
The Times and Seasons, the Mormon newspaper, published at Nauvoo by Joseph Smith, has commenced the translation of a book written by Abraham, and discovered in the catecombs [catacombs] of Egypt! This people, from a handful of persecuted outcasts, have become a numerous sect, and are able to protect themselves against insult and oppression; in fact, it is said that they have revolutionized the state of Illinois. [New York State Mechanic.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 1842.
It is asserted by several newspapers that Gov. Boggs of the State of Mo. is dead, and that he has been murdered by the hand of an assassin; some would insinuate that it has been done by a Mormon; to such we would say, BAH!!!! we shall not believe that he is dead until we have further testimony; we have seen too many of the intrigues of Mo., to "believe all things."
We suppose that some of the Anti-Mormons belonging to the "Great Mass," (alias small potatoe [potato]) "convention," could assist very well in proposing, if not of being the authors of, a story of that kind, for political effect in the coming contest.
From the Alton Telegraph and Review.
"Addressed the people of this county on the 4th inst. at Edwardsville. He was listened to by one of the largest audiences we have ever seen assembled on a similar occasion, since our residence in the State; and the attention and manifest gratification with which he was listened to, furnished the strongest evidence that the various positions he assumed met with the cordial co-operation of his hearers.
"Much of his time was taken up in refuting the base and grovling [groveling] charges preferred against him by the State Register, of being the founder of both the Internal Improvement and State Bank Systems. And the evidence he furnished, forced from the most prejudiced of his political opponents the reluctant confession, that he had triumphantly vindicated himself, and shown the falsity of the charges.
"His views in regard to the dangerous and alarming powers which were granted to the Mormons, in various charters passed at the last session of our Legislature, and the firm and decided stand he assumed against making them a PRIVILEGED SECT over all other religious denominations and classes of our citizens, met with universal approbation by all who listened to him. Gov. Duncan declared he was for extending to them the same privileges, and none other, that our citizens in common enjoyed under the provisions of the constitution and laws. [This is all the Mormons ask] But all extraordinary anti republican and arbitrary powers, which the corruption of a Legislature granted them solely for the purpose of obtaining their political support, [let the Legislature thank Gov. Duncan for that compliment.] he unhesitatingly proclaimed he was for taking from them, [when he gets the power.] The Governor referred to one of the ordinances of their city, which provided that if any person spoke lightly of, or doubted, their religion, upon conviction thereof the offender was liable to a fine of five hundred dollars and six months imprisonment.
"This disgraceful attempt to form, in a republican government, an established religion by legal enactment, created throughout the audience a great sensation, and opened their eyes to the rapid strides that were being made in their very midst towards an arbitrary and monarchial [monarchical] form of government" [If Gov. Duncan had said that his disgraceful attempt to palm upon his political party, and the good people of the Illinois generally, a list of lies of the blackest kind would certainly fail until the faithful, righteous, and eternal prediction had been fulfilled upon his head, that all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; and he utterly fail of the charge of state, there might have been some good reason to believe that a "sensation" of joy was produced in the audience and that their eyes and ears were open to the voice of truth, and that they were ready to hail the downfall of an aspiring demagogue, with those demonstrations of hallelujah which became a noble and insulted people.]
"He next referred to a correspondence in the Times and Seasons, published at Nauvoo, between Dr. C. V. Dyer, of Chicago, a distinguished Loco Foco, and Joe Smith and Gen. Bennett, the prophet and the military leader of the Mormons. That correspondence divulges the fact, that the Mormons under the solicitation of Dr. Dyer. [who is an Abolitionist] are prepared to act with them. And Gen. Bennett evinces his willingness at any moment to march against the Penitentiary in Missouri with his armed force, established under the auspices, [as Joe Smith says,] of Mr Snyder and Judge Douglass and release the three Quincy Abolitionists now in confinement there. This correspondence we shall publish at length in a few days, that every man may judge of its alarming tendencies for himself"
"It struck us with a good deal of astonishment that Joe Smith and Gen. Bennett should thus publicly avow their abolition principles in the very face of the proclamation of the prophet, as the military leader of the mormons, to all his followers to vote for Mr. Snyder for Governor. WHO IS HIMSELF ONE OF THE LARGEST SLAVE HOLDERS IN THE STATE. To us it displayed an inconsistency irreconcileable [irreconcilable] with common honesty."
The above is from the speech political of Ex-Gov. Duncan, and in perusing it we find that a privileged sect," "charters passed in' the last session of the Legislature"-"anti-republican and arbitrary powers:"-"Joe Smith," and "a corrupt Legislature" trouble the chaste mind of this pure man:-this noble champion of truth; this philanthropist, and friend of equal rights; so intently was his mind bent upon this all-absorbing subject, that he had scarce time to speak upon any other.-It is true that he made a bold stand against "gross and grovelling [groveling] charges made against him by the editor of the State Register," (so says the Telegraph and Review,") but then so small was this in his estimation, (if you may judge of the
conduct of the editors of the Telegraph,) that nine-tenths of his time was taken up in a tirade against Mormonism, as nine-tenths of their remarks on that subject are-it would seem that so conclusive were his arguments in refuting the charges preferred by the editor of that States Register, that it was not necessary for the editor to mention them; while Mormonism, that awful delusion: that growing evil; that monstrous iniquity, must be put down;-leaving then the above named papers to settle their difficulty: we shall notice his remarks on the Mormons.
What does Mr. Duncan mean when speaking of the Mormons, that they are different from other people, and that they have some special law given them to be governed by; or has he made use of those expressions to decoy the unwary and gull the ignorant for political effect? There is no excuse for what he has done, he has done it knowingly, wantonly, wilfully [willfully], and wickedly.
Gov. Duncan knows that the law knows no difference between Mormon citizens and other citizens, and that there is no law in the United States, or in this state to prevent people from worshiping [worshipping] the Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience;" that under the broad flag of American liberty the Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Universalists, Friends, or Latter Day Saints, are all one; their religion is unknown they are all citizens of this great republic, and are governed by the same law; and that they all possess equal privileges without distinction: then why should he try to make that appear to exist which never was in being?
As citizens of Nauvoo we would ask, what greater privileges do we possess than the inhabitants of other cities? we have a city charter, so have other cities; such as Springfield, Alton, Chicago, Galena, and Quincey; we have a charter for a Legion; this may differ some little in form from some of the proceedings of other cities, but certainly is not unconstitutional, it is in strict conformity with the laws of this State, and of the U. States. The Nauvoo Legion is decidedly the best organised [organized], and most efficient military force in the State of Ill., or in the western country; it is well disciplined and officered with the best talent the country affords. If this is a sin we plead guilty, but we could heartily wish that our neighbors would imitate our example, then should we have a more efficient force to defend our country. Are these privileges that are denied other citizens? this "privileged sect"-(don't name it Gov. call them citizens sir,) have no other privileges than the citizens of other cities.
Will Mr. Duncan, or the "editor of the "Telegraph and Review, show us what privileges we enjoy over other citizens, or other denominations? will he be so kind as to point out some of those "anti-republican extraordinary" and "arbitrary powers." that the Mormons possess.
Will the Governor please to tell us where that ordinance can be found referred to by him: when it passed, &c.? The palpable falsehoods that he has uttered; and the gross misrepresentations that he has made use of, remind us of the words of one of the ancients, "their heart is full of cursing and bitterness, the poison of asps is under their tongues, and the way of peace they have not known." We have no such exclusive ordinance as the one referred to by Mr. Duncan; his statements are palpably false; we have no less than three gentlemen in our city council who are not members of our church at all. But we have laws for the suppression of vice: for taking up vagrants or disorderly persons; for defamation of character, &c; and if in our city a Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Latter Day Saint, or Gov. Duncan was found transgressing these laws, they would be judged by the laws, and not by their religion.
This blending of religious with civil affairs, is merely to deceive mankind; as citizens of this republic we have the privilege of using such privileges as other men, and of voting for whom we please. If it is our religion that he wishes to contend with, let him bring his bible, and we will meet him on that ground; but we think that our city charter, political intrigue, and city ordinances, make a curious compound when mixed up with religion.
We suppose that the following is the ordinance referred to by the Governor, let him read it and blush, (vol. 2, page 326, Times and Seasons.
An Ordinance in relation to religious societies.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo. That the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-Day-Saints, Quakers, Episcopalians, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohamedans, and all other religious sects, and denominations, whatever, shall have toleration, and equal privileges in this city, and should any person be guilty of ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise depreciating another, in consequence of his religion, or of disturbing, or interrupting, any religious meeting, within the limits
of this city, he shall, on conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor, or Court.
Sec. 2. It is hereby made the duty of all municipal officers to notice, and report to the Mayor, any breach or violation of this or any other ordinance of this City that may come within their knowledge, or of which they many be advised; and any officer aforesaid is hereby fully authorized to arrest all such violators of rule, law, and order, either with, or without, process.
Sec. 3. This ordinance to take effect and be in force, from and after its passage, Passed. March. 1st. A. D. 1841
JOHN C. BENNETT, Mayor.
JAMES SLOAN, Recorder.
So much for the veracity of this honorable gentleman, this would be Governor.
In regard to the correspondence between Dr. V. Dyer and Gen. Bennett, referred to by Mr. Duncan, his statements are foul perversions of truth; the correspondence does not shew [show] [show] either myself or Gen. Bennett to be abolitionists, but the friends of equal rights and privileges to all men.
If the Gov. had let us alone we might have let him enjoy his notions, but as he has spoken some falsehoods about us, we shall tell a little truth about him; and thus fulfil [fulfill] the scripture in doing "good for evil." As we happened to have the following letter in our possession, we thought that we would publish it for his edification, and thus reminded him of the old adage "those that dwell in glass houses, ought to be careful how they throw stones."
LETTER TO MRS. EMMA SMITH.
EDWARDSVILLE, Madison Co.,
Feb. 14, 1842.
Ever dear friend: I seat myself at this time to address a few lines to you, as it is a long time since I have seen you, or one of the saints; I always loved your company, and I have often thought of you when your affectionate husband was in jail. I wish you to inform me how much he suffered? and how you fared when he was absent, and whether any one administered to your wants or not? Do not be offended at me for intruding on your patience, for I feel as though you were my sister, and I have been in this State four years without friends and brethren until last October.
Now sister Emma, I would tell you some of my trials and difficulties but what are mine to yours? nothing, no nothing! but great will be your reward and eternal your glory." "If light afflictions work out a great and eternal weight of glory?" what will great ones do! I know your mild temper and calm and peaceable disposition: I well recollect your bright eyes, and pleasant countenance. I remember the first visit I ever had with you, but I fear it will be long before I shall have the pleasure of beholding your face again, and of listening to the instructions of your dear husband, the prophet, and of hearing the gracious words of truth and intelligence that flow from his lips; we have nothing to come or gather with the saints with. . . .
They say that Jo Duncan is up for Governor, if he is elected, I say that mobs and destruction await the saints if in his power to accomplish it, unless he is a better man than when I worked for him: I washed and ironed for his family, to the amount of six dollars and seventy five cents, and because we lived in a wretched old house not one cent would he pay me; he gave me the most abusive language that I ever heard a man utter, without the least provocation, I cannot tell you one tenth part; but I will tell you a little of the commencement; "did you see Joe when he dug out his gold bible out of the old hollow stump? I should like to have seen him peeping in, pity the devil had not kicked him so far in, that he could not get out again: but they have got him fast up in Jackson, and I am glad of it for he has deluded and robbed plenty of innocent men, and that's what makes you so poor: I suppose you have given him up all you had. Did he ever give you any thing," he said with a look of contempt. I could bear no longer, I said yes, he gave us a barrel of beef, barrel and all; this so astonished him that he stopped, and I proceeded, but cannot write half of what I said to him in this letter; suffice it to say that I was not at a loss for words; and although they called him governor, governor, he did not appear to me bigger than a skunk, nor of any more importance.
The feelings of my heart I cannot describe when I hear such language about a man that I have never heard teach anything but truth and righteousness, for
seven long years; but I cannot hear him now, this is not my happy lot.
I must now close my letter, give my kind love to mother Smith, tell her I have not forgotten her, and that I sympathise [sympathize] with her in her great loss.
Peace be with you and all that are saints, and preserve you from all your enemies; when you hear of a good sermon, think of a sincere friend and sister, in the new and everlasting covenant.
MATILDA R. BAILEY.
Mrs. Emma Smith.
Such then is the conduct of this great man; we wish that we could say otherwise of him, but we feel convinced that the high minded and patriotic citizens of the State of Illinois will make choice of another man as their head, legal representative, then the one who will cheat his laundress out of her hard earnings merely because she is poor, and then taunt her with her poverty "Oh! shame where is thy blush!!!"
Of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Nauvoo, to the saints scattered abroad, greeting:
Dear Brethren: inasmuch as the Lord hath spoken; and the commandment hath gone forth for the gathering together of his people from Babylon, that they partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues" it seemeth "good unto us, and also to the Holy Ghost" to write somewhat for your instruction, in obeying that commandment. That you have no need that we exhort you to the observance of this commandment, is evident; for yourselves know that this is that which was spoken by the Lord in the parable of the Tares of the field, who promised that in the harvest he would say to the servant, "gather the wheat into my barn" the signs of the times proclaim this; the end of the world; and thus admonish us to the performance of this duty. "Yet notwithstanding the spirit testifieth of these things, and you desire with great anxiety to gather with the saints; yet are many of you hindered even to this day:" so that to will to obey the commandment is present; but how to perform, you find not." Feeling therefore, the responsibility binding on you to observe the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and living in the midst of a generation that are ignorant what the mind of the Lord is concerning his people, and of the things that belong to their peace: we are well aware of the embarrassments under which many of you labor in endeavoring to obey the laws pertaining to your salvation. It is then no marvel that in this day when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness of the times in which they live, should mock at the gathering together of the saints for salvation, as did the anti-diluvian at the mighty work of righteous Noah in building an ark in the midst of the land, for the salvation of his cause by water, seeing then that such blindness hath happened to the gentile world which to them is an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation," and that of God, think it not strange that you should have to pass through the like afflictions which all your brethren then saints in all ages have done before you; to be reviled, persecuted, and hated of all men, for the name of Christ and the gospel's sake, is the portion of which all saints have had to partake who have gone before you. You then can expect no better things than that there be men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth, who will evil entreat you, and unjustly despoil you of your property and embarrass you in pecuniary matters, and render it the more difficult to obey the command to gather with the saints pretending to do God service, "whose judgment now lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
But brethren with all these considerations before you in relation to your afflictions, we think it expedient to admonish you, that you bear and forbear, as becometh saints, and having done all that is lawful and right to obtain you come short of obtaining it, commit the residue to the just judgment of God, and shake off the dust off your feet as a testimony of having so done.
Finally, brethren, as it is reported unto us that there be some who have not done that which is lawful and right, but have designedly done injury to their neighbor, or creditor by fraud, or otherwise thinking to find protection with us in such iniquity: let all such be warned, and certified, that with them we have no fellowship when known to be such, until all
reasonable measures are taken to make just restitution to those unjustly injured.
Now therefore let this epistle be read in all the branches of the church, as testimony, that as representatives thereof, we have taken righteousness for the girdle of our loins, and faithfulness for the girdle of our reins," and that for Zion's sake we will not rest; and for Jerusalem's sake we will not hold our peace, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."
Your brethren and servants in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.
AUSTIN COWLES,} Presidents
CHARLES C. RICH.}
GEORGE W. HARRIS,
WM. HUNTINGDON, SEN.
HENRY G. SHERWOOD,
LEWIS D. WILSON,
Attest, HOSEA STOUT, Clerk.
May 22, 1842.
It will be seen by the following that the Jews are as zealous in the propagation of what they consider to be true principles as any of the sects of modern date; that they try to inculcate attendance on divine worship, and "true piety, real religion, and acts of devotion to God," just as much as any other religionist's of our day.
Dr. Criezenach in the third part of his "Schulchan Aruch," says, that a few things are necessary, in order to maintain and promote the fear of God, in a congregation in Israel.
1. Books, in which all the duties of men, citizens and Israelites are distinctly taught in a language intelligible to all."
2. The congregation in Israel are further in need of spiritual guides, whose endeavours [endeavors] it should be to inculcate a life in unison with the doctrine taught in the books."
3. The Jewish congregations need properly conducted places of worship, for the instruction and edification of the people: and to enkindle the love of the young for the Jewish religion, and nation. Every one knows who is acquainted with the history of the synagogue, that these were the purposes for which it was instituted, and that the next to the divine help we are indebted to the synagogue alone, for the miracle, that the Jewish religion has weathered the fearful storms which it has encountered for 2000 years. In the synagogue the Jews obtained strength to suffer and to withstand the numerous temptations to apostacy [apostasy], through the exhortations and instructions, imparted by the more learned through the prayers which he offered alone or in common with the pious congregation, and through intercourse occasioned by diligent attendance at the place of worship." * * * "and thus the dearest recollections of youth are associated with religion which penetrated the soul and filled it with the utmost abhorrence of falsehood and sin."
"Unhappily in our days the synagogue has ceased to be of this use to Judaism; a great part of most congregations never visit it at all; and another part equally numerous go unwillingly by."
4. It is necessary that the doctrines, and forms of the Jewish religion should extend their sanctifying influence to domestic life. Neither the school, nor the synagogue can give true piety if religion be wanting in domestic life; if the business of every day be not begun and ended by acts of devotion to God:" in speaking of children reading the prayer book (Jewish) in a careless way, he says that children will obey with unwilling hearts if they can spell well enough to do it their thoughts will in the mean time be occupied on some other subject while they are reading, and they will lay it aside without having gained a spark of real religion, like a burden which they are glad to get rid of."
Dr. Criezenach has published the following thesis.
1. The Talmud cannot be reduced to practice without ordained teachers.
2. No authenticated code of the Talmud has ever yet existed.
3. The Talmud has never been completed.
4. The Mishna is an incomplete work.
5. The Gemara is now an incomplete work.
6. The Academy of Jerusalem consisted of opponents of the Talmud.
7. The Talmudists have never agreed in interpreting the Bible.
8. The Talmud contains only a small number of the traditional ordinances:
9. The authors of that part of the Talmud
which is not traditional, do not pretend that their work is anything more than the ordinances of men.
10. There is no ordination of priests among the Israelites.
11. Such an ordination cannot and dare not be introduced.
12. As there is no ordained clergy every one is at liberty to interpret the scriptures.
13. The decrees of the synod were only in force for a time.
14. All these decrees lost their force when ordination ceased.
15. The traditional ordinances have no higher authority than the decrees of the synod.
16. The Talmudists have introduced and abrogated laws.
17. The Talmud does not admit of any exclusion of the Agada.
18. The histories, and interpretation of the Talmud have no mystical sense, and very seldom an allegorical one.
19. The articles of faith of Marmonides are not founded in the Talmud.
20. The Talmud has never been followed in the spirit of it.
21. Moses has not introduced any ordination according to the sense in which that word is usually taken.
22. The laws of Moses are sufficiently intelligible. (Jewish Intelligencer).
From the Millenial Star.
CAN I NOT BE SAVED WITHOUT BAPTISM?
Question.-Can you be saved with baptism?
Answer.-Yes I may be saved if I am baptized; for Jesus Christ has said, that he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
Question.-But can you not be saved without believing?
Answer.-"Without faith it is impossible to please him;" therefore, if I do not please him, how can I expect to be saved by him?
Question.-True, but suppose it were possible for you to exercise faith in Jesus, and yet neglect to do the things which he and his apostles commanded, would he be pleased with that neglect any more than with a want of faith?
Answer.-the commandments of Christ are a law to his children; and if I break his commandments, I break the law of God, and that would sin, for "sin is the transgression of the law" and sin is the thing which God hates.
Question.-And is it reasonable to expect that you can be saved by displeasing God?
Answer.-I discover the force of your question, but I am determined to have the truth; and I know that Jesus says, "he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" but does the scripture any where say, that he that is not baptized shall be lost?
Question.-Has God more than one method of saving sinners?
Answer.-I think not, for that would imply that he was changeable, and had respect to persons if he would save one on one condition, and another on other terms.
Question.-And did not Christ say to Nicodemus, that except a man be born of water, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?
Answer.-Yes, but did he not mean spirit, when he said water?
Question.-Do you believe that the Bible is true?
Answer.-Most assuredly I do.
Question.-Then how can you suppose he meant spirit when he said water,-for he said "of water and of the spirit" putting the water first, and the spirit after; for if he meant spirit when he said water, he should have said of water and of water, which would make the Bible to tell a falsehood as it now stands, and you say you believe the Bible is true?
Answer.-Yes, I do,-and I perceive that there would be an inconsistency in the phrase spirit and spirit, although I had always supposed that the water meant spirit in this place.
Question.-Do you not remember that Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan in a river of water, and that to fulfil [fulfill] all righteousness as Christ himself said.
Question.-And that Peter who hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven, commanded those who enquired [inquired] on the day of Pentecost, what they should do to be saved, to be baptized every one of them for the remission of their sins?
Question.-And that Paul who had a share in the same ministry, required the people to be buried with him (Christ) by baptism for the answer of a good contience [conscience?], as Peter says; and what would
be more likely to produce a good or peaceful conscience than obedience to the requirements of the Saviour [Savior]?
Answer.-True, we read thus, but I had supposed that baptism was done away now, and that sprinkling answered the same purpose.
Question.-If in the days of the Apostles, God required men to be buried in, or born of the water; and now will save them without that inconvenience, or by sprinkling simply, must he not have changed; and is he not a respector of persons?
Answer.-To be honest it does appear so; and I never can believe that God will change the plan of salvation, or respect any man's person, but how is it that Jesus said "these signs shall follow them that believe,-they shall speak with new tongues, cast out devils; heal the sick; take up serpents, &c." and we see none of these things in these days?
Question.-I hope you do not doubt the declaration of Christ, do you?
Answer.-Certainly not, I believe those signs did follow the apostles just as the scriptures state, but we see none of these things now.
Question.-Can it be possible that Christ designated the promise of these signs for his apostles, when he said "them that believe" addresing [addressing] himself self to his disciples, concerning those who should believe on their testimony, and be baptized by them? Or was the promise to be confined to that people only or that age, when Peter said concerning this matter, "this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call?
Answer.-No it cannot.
Question.-Then if you do not doubt the testimony of Jesus and his apostles, must you not conclude that these signs have ceased to follow the children of men? because faith has ceased from among men.
Answer.-These are new ideas to me, I will think of them more; but am I to believe that if men would exercise faith, and attend unto the ordinances of the gospel as in the days of old, these signs would be made visible again on the earth, or would follow the believer as in the days of old?
Question.-Will not the same cause produce the same effects in all ages?
Answer.-Without doubt it will.
Question.-Why then should not these signs follow those who believe, have faith in God, and keep his commandments, just as they did in the days of Christ?
Answer.-What! and receive the Holy Ghost too, by the laying on of hands?
Question.-If God is not changed, nor the ordinances of his house, nor the plan of salvation, how can you hope to receive the Holy Ghost in any other way then they did in those days, when "on whomsoever they laid their hands they received the Holy Ghost?"
Answer.-But why have I not seen and believed these things before!
Question.-How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher; and how shall they preach except they be sent?
Answer.-I have heard a great many preachers before, but they never taught me such doctrine.
Question.-Do you not remember that Paul said that "the day of Christ should not come except there came a falling away first," a falling from the truth, and men should be given unto fables?"
Answer.-Yes, and I begin to suspect it has been so, but do you really think that sins are forgiven when men are baptized?
Question.-Does not the scriptures say so? Did not Peter say, be baptized every one of you for the remission of your sins; and did not Ananias say to Saul, arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins?
Answer.-Yes, the bible says so; but it says also calling upon the name of the Lord: now I have been upon the penitent form, and called upon the name of the Lord, as Ananias commanded, and my sins are forgiven.
Question.-Can there be a transgression where there is no law? and you say you never had this law before, therefore, you could not sin against it; but should you now reject it, how could you get clear of that sin? and where can you find any direction from scripture to erect penitent forms, or to make use of them?
Answer.-I see your propositions appear quite scriptural.
Question.-Inasmuch as you say you see, does not your sin remain?
Answer.-And may I be baptized for the remission of my sins?
Question.-Do you believe with all your heart, and are you willing to repent of all your sins and forsake them;
determined in the strength of the Lord, to keep his commandment to the end? thou mayest.
From the Boston Investigator.
OR LATTER DAY SAINTS.
This increasing but persecuted sect, it seems to us, are the only consistent sect now extant. They are the only sect who act up on strict accordance to the Scripture. They are in fact, the only sect who act as if they believed what they profess. In the last chapter of the Epistle of St. James, it is written: "If there be any illness among you, ye shall call for the elders of the Church, and anoint yourselves with oil in the name of the Lord." Here is a plain prescription for the cure of disease, coming directly from God, according to the professed belief of Christians; coming certainly from God, if the New Testament be a divinely inspired volume, Yet how few Christians there are who would not laugh to scorn the very suggestion to treat their sick in this manner! Instead of the elders of the Church, modern Christians send for a physician, and instead of anointing with oil, they dose the patient with drugs which were unknown to St. James or any of the apostles. Does not this neglect of the plain advice of scripture prove that modern Christians believe themselves wise above what is written, and that they are willing to set at nought [naught] one of the commands of an inspired Apostle, because they believe themselves wiser than he?
Not so with the Latter Day Saints. They act up to their professed faith.-Believing the Bible to be truly the word of God, and not a mere make believe system of religion, they abide by the commands of scripture in relation to their sick, as well as in relation to matters of mere theological faith. They believe that the Bible is just as good authority for one thing as another; that the command of God with respect to the treatment of invalids, is as worthy of obedience as his command with respect to the treatment of sinners; that God's work is as good authority in law and medicine as in theology. Orthodox Christians, on the contrary, despite the authority of the Bible with regard to all matters of science. They seem to consider the omniscent [omniscient] God as ignorant of every thing in the world except morals and theology. Hence, if his word says that all unbelievers are damned, they believe his word on that point, though our own reason declares that we are not accountable for mistakes of opinion. If, on the other hand, God's word declares, that the earth was created in six days, and that the sun and stars are mere lights in the firmament, set there to give light to mankind, Christians reject the idea, because it is contrary to science. They reject also the commands of God in relation to the treatment of the sick, because they are proved to be absurd by medical science and experience.
Not long since, a coroner's inquest was held in London over the body of Elizabeth Morgan, aged 55 years, whose death was alleged to have been caused through improper treatment by unqualified persons. She belonged to the sect of Latter Day Saints, and was treated during her illness, according to the usual custom of her sect, who agreeably to the commands of St. James, "pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord." What was the consequence of this literal obedience to the command of Scripture, in this Christian Land? After Elizabeth Morgan died, her body was taken by the Christian authorities, and inspected, in order to find cause for punishing her friends and attendants for their abiding by the directions of the Apostle, instead of sending for proper medical aid! The jury returned a verdict of "natural death," but took occasion to caution the sect how they acted in such cases for the future.
Now is it not evident from the proceedings in this case and other similar cases, that Christians, who call the Latter Day Saints a foolish sect on account of their literal obedience to the commands of Scripture, believe the commands of Scripture foolish in regard to almost all matters except those which merely concern one's theological faith? Is it not evident that they believe the omniscent [omniscient] God to be perfect ignoramus in all matters of science? O, ye generation of hypocrites! why do ye not throw away your Bible altogether, which commands men to do the very things which ye condemn as foolish and absurd?
From Priest's American Antiquities
If such may have been the fact, that a part of the Ten Tribes came over to America, in the way we have supposed, leaving the cold regions of Assareth behind them
in quest of a milder climate, it would be natural to look for tokens of the presence of Jews of some sort, along countries adjacent to the Atlantic. In order to this, we shall here make an extract from an able work: written exclusively on the subject of the Ten Tribes having come from Asia by the way of Bherings Strait, by the Rev. Ethan Smith, Pultney, Vt., who relates as follows: "Joseph Merrick, Esq., a highly respectable character in the church at Pittsfield, gave the following account: That in 1815, he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood shed, standing on a place of his, situated on Indian Hill.
He ploughed [plowed] and conveyed away old chips and earth to some depth. After the work was done, walking over the place, he discovered, near where the earth had been dug the deepest, a black strap as it appeared, about six inches in length, and one and a half in breadth, and about the thickness of a leather trace to a harness.
He perceived it had at each end a loop of some hard substance, probably for the purpose of carrying it. He conveyed it to his house, and threw it into an old tool box. He afterwards found it thrown out of doors, and he again conveyed it to the box. After some time he thought he would examine it; but in attempting to cut it found it as hard as a bone, he succeeded, however in getting it open, and found it was formed of two pieces of thick raw hide, sewed and made water tight with the sinews of some animal; and in the fold was contained four folded pieces of parchment. They were of a dark yellow hue, and contained some kind of writing. The neighbors coming in to see the strange discovery, tore one of the pieces to atoms, in the true Hun and Vandal style. The other three pieces Mr. Merrick saved, and sent them to Cambridge,-where they where examined, and discovered to have been written with a pen in Hebrew, plain and legible.
The writing on the three remaining pieces of parchment, was quotation from the Old Testament. See Deut. vi. chap. from the 4th to the 9th verse, inclusive-also, xi. chap. 13-21, and Exodus, chap. 13-13-11,-16 inclusive, to which the reader can refer, if he has the curiosity to read this most interesting discovery. These passages as quoted above, were found in the strap of raw hide; which unquestionably had been written on the very pieces of parchment now in the possession of the Antiquarian Society, before Israel left the land of Syria, more than 2,500 years ago.
Dr. West of Stockbridge, relates that an old Indian informed him, that his fathers in this country had not long since, been in the possession of a book, which they had for a long time, carried with them, but having lost the knowledge of reading it, they buried it with an Indian chief-View of the Hebrews, Pg. 223.
It had been handed down from family to family, or from chief to chief as a most precious relic, if not as an amulet, charm, or talisman, for it is not to be supposed, that a distinct knowledge of what was contained in the strap could have long continued among them, in their wandering condition, amid woods and forests.
"It is said by Calmet, that the above texts are the very passages of Scripture, which the Jews used to write on the leaves of their phylacteries. These phylacteries were little rolls of parchment whereon were written certain words of the law. These they wore upon their forehead, and upon the wrist of the left arm."-Smith's view of the Hebrews). Pg. 220.
TO THE EASTERN CHURCHES
Elder Willard Richards, Recorder for the Temple and my private Secretary, (accompanied, perhaps, by some others of the Twelve) will soon leave Nauvoo, for New York and the Eastern States, for the purpose of receiving funds, for the building of the Temple, which are now much needed; and for the transaction of business in general for the church. I hope the brethren will be diligent in preparing their tithings, for remittance by Br. Richards, and speed him on his journey that he may quickly return to his labors in this place. J. SMITH.
Any of the churches in New England that are desirous of being visited by, or transacting business with myself, or brethren, can manifest the same by letter. Post Paid. Directed to Richmond, Birkshire co. Mass. as we may not be conversant with the location of all the branches in that region. W. RICHARDS.
The Times and Seasons, IS EDITED BY Joseph Smith. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOSEPH SMITH.
TERMS.-TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to Joseph Smith, publisher, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
|←Number 22|| [[../../]]
3, Number 23
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 3|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume III. No. 23.]||NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, OCT. 1, 1842.||[Whole No. 59.|
Since our 'Extract' was published from Mr. Stephens' 'Incidents of Travel,' &c., we have found another important fact relating to the truth of the Book of Mormon. Central America, or Guatimala [Guatemala], is situated north of the Isthmus of Darien and once embraced several hundred miles of territory from north to south.-The city of Zarahemla, burnt at the crucifixion of the Savior, and rebuilt afterwards, stood upon this land as will be seen from the following words in the book of Alma:-'And now it was only the distance of a day and half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful, and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi, and the land of Zarahemla was nearly surrounded by water: there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.' [See Book of Mormon 3d edition, page 280-81.]
It is certainly a good thing for the excellency and veracity, of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, that the ruins of Zarahemla have been found where the Nephites left them: and that a large stone with engravings upon it as Mosiah said; and a 'large round stone, with the sides sculptured in hieroglyphics,' as Mr. Stephens has published, is also among the left remembrances of the, (to him,) lost and unknown. We are not going to declare positively that the ruins of Quirigua are those of Zarahemla, but when the land and the stones, and the books tell the story so plain, we are of opinion, that it would require more proof than the Jews could bring to prove the disciples stole the body of Jesus from the tomb, to prove that the ruins of the city in question, are not one of those referred to in the Book of Mormon.
It may seem hard for unbelievers in the mighty works of God, to give credit to such a miraculous preservation of the remains, ruins, records and reminiscences of a branch of the house of Israel: but the elements are eternal, and intelligence is eternal, and God is eternal, so that the very hairs of our heads are all numbered. It may be said of man he was and is, and is not; and of his works the same, but the Lord was and is, and is to come and his works never end; and he will bring every thing into judgment whether it be good, or whether it be evil; yea, every secret thing, and they shall be revealed upon the house tops. It will not be a bad plan to compare Mr. Stephens' ruined cities with those in the Book of Mormon: light cleaves to light, and facts are supported by facts. The truth injures no one, and so we make another
From Stephens' "Incidents of Travel in Central America."
"On a fine morning, after a heavy rain, they set off for the ruins. After a ride of about half an hour, over an execrable road, they again reached the Amates. The village was pleasantly situated on the bank of the river, and elevated about thirty feet. The river was here about two hundred feet wide, and fordable in every part except a few deep holes. Generally it did not exceed three feet in depth, and in many places was not so deep; but below it was said to be navigable to the sea for boats not drawing more than three feet water. They embarked in two canoes dug out of cedar-trees, and proceeded down the river for a couple of miles, where they took on board a negro man named Juan Lima, and his two wives. This black scoundrel, as Mr. C. marks him down in his notebook, was to be their guide. They then proceeded two or three miles farther, and stopped at a ranch on the left side of the river, and passing through two cornfields, entered a forest of large cedar and mahogany trees. The path was exceedingly soft and wet, and covered with decayed leaves, and the heat very great. Continuing through the forest toward the northeast, in three quarters of an hour they reached the foot of a pyramidal structure like those at Copan, with the steps in some places perfect. They ascended to the top, about twenty-five feet, and descending by steps on the other side, at a short distance beyond came to a colossal head two yards in diameter, almost buried by an enormous tree, and covered with moss. Near it was a large altar, so covered with moss that it was impossible to make anything out of it. The two are within an enclosure.
Retracing their steps across the pyramidal structure, and proceeding to the north about three or four hundred yards, they reached a collection of monuments of the same general character with those
at Copan, but twice or three times as high.
The first is about twenty feet high, five feet six inches on two sides, and two feet eight on the other two. The front represents the figure of a man, well preserved; the back that of a woman, much defaced. The sides are covered with hieroglyphics in good preservation, but in low relief, and of exactly the same style as those at Copan.
Another, represented in the engraving, is twenty-three feet out of the ground, with figures of men on the front and back, and hieroglyphics in low relief on the sides, and surrounded by a base projecting fifteen or sixteen feet from it.
At a short distance, standing in the same position as regards the points of the compass, is an obelisk or carved stone, twenty-six feet out of the ground, and probably six or eight feet under, which is represented in the engraving opposite. It is leaning twelve feet two inches out of the perpendicular, and seems ready to fall, which is probably prevented only by a tree that has grown up against it and the large stones around the base. The side toward the ground represents the figure of man, very perfect and finely sculptured. The upper side seemed the same, but was so hidden by vegetation as to make it somewhat uncertain. The other two contain hieroglyphics in low relief. In size and sculpture this is the finest of the whole.
A statue ten feet high is lying on the ground, covered with moss and herbage, and another about the same size lies with its face upward.
There are four others erect, about twelve feet high, but not in a very good state of preservation, and several altars so covered with herbage that it was difficult to ascertain their exact form. One of them is round, and situated on a small elevation within a circle formed by a wall of stones. In the centre [center] of a circle, reached by descending very narrow steps, is a large round stone, with the sides sculptured in hieroglyphics, covered with vegetation, and supported on what seemed to be two colossal heads.
These are all at the foot of a pyramidal wall, near each other, and in the vicinity of a creek which empties into the Motagua. Besides these they counted thirteen fragments, and doubtless many others may yet be discovered.
At some distance from them is another monument, nine feet out of ground, and probably two or three under, with the figure of a woman on the front and back, and the two sides richly ornamented, but without hieroglyphics.
The next day the negro promised to show Mr. C. eleven square columns higher than any he had seen, standing in a row at the foot of a mountain; but after dragging him three hours through the mud, Mr. C. found by the compass that he was constantly changing his direction; and as the man was armed with pistols, notoriously a bad fellow, and indignant at the owners of the land for coming down to look after their squatters, Mr. C. became suspicious of him, and insisted upon returning. The Payes were engaged with their own affairs, and having no one to assist him, Mr. Catherwood was unable to make any thorough exploration or any complete drawings.
The general character of these ruins is the same as at Copan. The monuments are much larger, but they are sculptured in lower relief, less rich in design, and more faded and worn, probably being of a much older date.
Of one thing there is no doubt: a large city once stood there: its name is lost, its history unknown; and, except for a notice taken from Mr. C.'s notes, and inserted by the Senores Payes in a Guatimala [Guatemala] paper after the visit, which found its way to this country and Europe, no account of its existence has ever before been published. For centuries it has lain as completely buried as if covered with the lava of Vesuvius. Every traveller [traveler] from Yzabal to Guatimala [Guatemala] has passed within three hours of it; we ourselves had done the same; and yet there it lay, like the rock built-city of Edom, unvisited, unsought, and utterly unknown."
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
In this manner did the Lord continue to give us instructions from time to time, concerning the duties which now devolved upon us, and among many other things of the kind, we obtained of him the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to his will and commandment, we should proceed
to organize his church once again here upon the earth.
The rise of the church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April: which commandments were given to Joseph Smith jr. who was called of God and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church; and to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand: and this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever. Amen.
After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins he was entangled again in the vanities of the world; but after repenting, and humbling himself, sincerely, through faith God ministered unto him by an holy angel whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness, and gave unto him commandments which inspired him, and gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and to the Jews also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them, proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, to day, and forever.-Amen.
Therefore, having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work; and those who receive it in faith and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation, for the Lord God has spoken it; and we, the elders of the church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
By these things we know that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth and all things which are in them, and that he created man male and female: after his own image and in his own likeness created he them, and gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. But by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.
Wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him; he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them; he was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; and ascended into heaven to sit down on the right had of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father, that as many as would believe and be baptized, in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end should be saved: not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life, as well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father, and of the Son, which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.
And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is just and true: and we know, also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength; but there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and
depart from the living God. Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptations; yea, and even let those who are sanctified, take heed also. And we know that these things are true and according to the revelations of John, neither adding to, nor diminishing from the prophecy of his book, the holy scriptures, or the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, the voice of God, or the ministering of angels: and the Lord God has spoken it; and honor, power, and glory, be rendered to his holy name, both now and ever.-Amen.
And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism.
All those who humble themselves before God and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
The duty of the elders, priest, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ.
An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize, and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and to administer bread and wine-the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ-and to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures; and to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; and to confirm the church by the laying on of hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost-and to take the lead of all meetings.
The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.
The priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties: and he may also ordain other priests, teachers and deacons-and he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present, but when there is an elder present he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties. In all these duties the priest is to assist the elder if occasion requires.
The teacher's duty is to watch over the church always, and be with, and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other; neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking: and see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty-and he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest-and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires; but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands; they are however to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.
Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him: and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains him.
The several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time, as said conferences shall direct or appoint: and said conferences are to do whatever church business is necessary to be done at the time.
The elders are to receive their licenses from other elders by vote of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.
Each priest, teacher, or deacon, who is ordained by a priest, may take a certificate from him at the time, which certificate when presented to an elder, shall entitle him to a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duties of his calling-or he may receive it from a conference.
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 the church; but the presiding elders, travelling [traveling] bishops, high counsellors [counselors], high priest, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where
there is no branch of the church, that a vote may be called.
Every president of the high priesthood, (or presiding elder,) bishop, high counsellor [counselor], and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high counsel, or general conference.
The duty of the members after they are received by baptism.
The elders or priests are to have sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders; so that all things may be done in order. And the members shall manifest before the church and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conversation, that they are worthy of it; that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures --walking in holiness before the Lord.
Every member of the church of Christ having children, is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.
No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God, and is capable of repentance.
Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent: The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus: and the elder or priest shall administer it: and after this manner shall he administer it: he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer, saying, O God, the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of they Son, and witness unto thee O God, the eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
The manner administering the wine: He shall take the cup also, and say, O God the eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God, the eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.
It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences, held by the elders of the church, with a list of the names of the several members uniting themselves with the church since the last conference, or send by the hand of some priest, so that a regular list of all the names of the whole church may be kept in a book, by one of the elders, whoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time,-and also, if any have been expelled from the church; so that their names may be blotted out of the general church record of names.
All members removing from the church where they reside, if going to a church where they are not known, may take a letter certifying that they are regular members and in good standing: which certificate may be signed by any elder or priest, if the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the elder or priest, or it may be signed by the teachers, or deacons of the church.
From the "North Staffordshire Mercury."
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BAPTISTS & LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
SIR,-In a late publication, you reported the case of some persons who were taken before T. B. Rose, Esq. for disturbing a congregation of "Latter-Day Saints," or believers in the "Book of Mormon." A teacher of that sect, on being asked by the magistrate wherein they differed from the Baptists, replied, "In the laying on of hands" but declined
making an honest confession of those peculiarities which separate them as widely from the Baptists, as from every other denomination of the christian church.-This was certainly prudent; but as the Baptists feel themselves dishonoured [dishonored] by such an alliance, they would be unjust to themselves were they to leave unanswered such a libel upon their denomination. The following very prominent marks of difference will enable your readers to judge for themselves.
I.-The Saints admit all persons indiscriminately to baptism, encouraging them to pass through that rite, with the promise that great spiritual improvement will follow. They baptize for remission of sins, without waiting for credible evidence of repentance for sin. But the Baptists admit none to that ordinance who do not exhibit this qualification in the most satisfactory manner; and if they found a candidate looking to the water of baptism as having virtue to cleanse him from sin, he would be put back until better instructed.
II.-After baptism the Saints kneel down, and their priest laying on his hands, professes to give them the Holy Ghost. If effects similar to those produced by the laying on of the Apostles' hands were seen to follow, skepticism must yield to the force of such evidence; but in their case no such effects are produced; the baptized sinner is a sinner still, though flattered and deluded with the epithet "Latter-day Saint." The Baptists regard such mummery with as much disgust as all Christians do.
III.-Having, as they suppose, the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, the Saints consistently pretend to have the power of working wonders, and profess to heal the sick with Holy Oil; also to the power of prophecy. As most moral evils bring with them their own remedy, these lofty pretensions will ruin them in due time, by opening the eyes of the most deluded, as in the case of the countless sects of imposters [impostors] who have appeared upon the stage before them. It need not be added, that the Baptists stand far removed from such conceits, and have no part in them.
IV.-Not satisfied with the Bible, as complete revelation from God, the "Latter-day Saints" have adopted a romance written in America, as a fresh revelation, and have added a trashy volume of 600 pages to the Book, which we are forbidden to add to, or take from, under the most awful penalties! But even this is not enough for their impious presumption. They have published a monthly magazine, in which "new revelations" are served up fresh as they arrive, for the use of all who can swallow them.-The disgust with which the Baptists regard such a melancholy exhibition of human folly and wickedness, separates them to an impassable distance from such people.
V-In order to carry on this order of things, the Latter-day Saints have appointed two Priesthoods. "The lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the Ministering of Angels, and to administer in outward ordinances." "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchisedeck Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the Spiritual Blessings of the Church-to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven-to have the Heavens opened to them-to commune with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn; and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and of Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant." (See page 13.) So that in this wonderful priesthood, they have provided for an ample supply of new things in endless variety, and without end, from the hands of wretched men, who blasphemously aspire to a dignity which belongs alone to Him who is the only "Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck."
The fear of trespassing upon your valuable columns, Mr. Editor, prevents my enlarging upon these and very many other points of difference; but enough has been done to shew [show] your readers, that no two sects can differ more widely from each other, than the Baptists and Latter-day Saints; and that to confound them in any way together is not only unjust to the former, but involves them in the disgrace of being partakers in a bold imposition, or a pitiable delusion, which they regard with equal abhorrence and disgust.
Hanley, Feb. 16, 1841.
The foregoing article attempts to show the difference between the Baptists and Latter-Day Saints. We will now attempt
to show the difference between the Baptists and Former-Day Saints.
1st.-The Former-Day Saints baptized for remission of sins, Acts ii. 38. The Baptists baptize those only who are supposed to have their sins forgiven before they are baptized.
2nd.-The Former-Day Saints admitted all persons indiscriminately to baptism, as soon as they professed faith and repentance, encouraging them to pass through that rite with the promise that great spiritual improvement would follow, Acts ii. 38-41 inclusive. But if the Baptists found the penitent believer looking for remission of sins through that rite, they would be put back to "get religion" where they could find it.
3rd.-After baptism, the Former-Day Saints prayed for and laid hands on the disciples in the name of Jesus, and professed to give them the Holy Ghost, Acts viii. 17, also Acts xviv. 6. The Baptists say, "they regard such mummery with as much disgust as all Christians do."
4th.-Having, as they supposed the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, the Former-day Saints consistently pretended to have the power of working wonders, and professed to heal the sick with Holy Oil. Jas. v. 14, 15. Also to the power of prophecy. First, Corinthians from 12th to 14th chapter. It need not be added that, the Baptists stand far removed from "such conceits," and have no part in them; nor in any thing pertaining to the gifts and power of God: or to use the Apostle's own words, they have a form of Godliness, denying the power.
5th.-Not satisfied with the Bible as a complete revelation from God, the Former-day Saints have added a volume of several hundred pages (the New Testament,) to that book, which (according to Baptist logic) Moses forbid them to add to, or take from. Deut, iv. 2. But even this was not enough; but new revelations were served up almost daily, fresh as they arrived, for all those who could swallow them. "The disgust with which the Baptists regard such things, considering them but a melancholy exhibition of human folly and wickedness" separates them to an impassable distance from the Former-day Saints: and how with all these differences the Baptists should ever have been thought by themselves, or any body else, to be the church of Christ, is difficult to imagine!
6th. -In order to carry on their strange work, or order of things, the Former-day Saints had two priesthoods. The Aaronic Priesthood administered in outward ordinances, as in the case of John the Baptist. The power and authority of the Higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood was to hold the (keys) of all the spiritual blessings of the Church, as Jesus said, "I give unto thee the (keys) of the kingdom of heaven-whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," &c. They were to have the privilege of knowing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom,"-to have the heavens opened unto them-to commune with the general assembly and church of the firstborn; and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and of Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24. So that in this wonderful Priesthood, they have provided for an ample supply of new things in endless variety, and without end, from those who are and were counted the off-scouring of all things; and who, as the baptist would insinuate, "did aspire to a dignity which they say, "belongs only to him who is the only Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck [Melchizedek]."
The fear of trespassing upon the time and patience of our readers, prevents our enlarging upon these and many other points of difference; but enough has been said to shew [show] that no two sects can possibly differ more widely from each other than do the Baptists and Former day-Saints,-and to amalgamate the two systems in any way is not only an act of injustice-but would involve the Baptists, who by the by are an honourable [honorable] body, in the disgrace of that sect which was "every where spoken against," See Acts.
The Boston Olive Branch says:
-> Laroy Sunderland's paper has gone out of his hands. Where are the thousands of dollars he begged for the poor slave gone?-A mystery we wish it solved.
-> Now, if the public are not acquainted with Mr. Pratt's exposition of Mr. Sunderland we refer all inquirers to that document, and we think they will be satisfied. We will, should they wish it, give the "thousands" a touch hereafter.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1842.
LETTER FROM JOSEPH SMITH.
Nauvoo, September 6, 1842.
TO THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS, SENDETH GREETING:-
As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time, and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead; as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.
I wrote a few words of Revelation to you concerning a Recorder. I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify. That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a Recorder, who should be eye-witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of the truth before the Lord. Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city, who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes: and let him be very particular and precise in making his record, in taking the whole proceedings; certifying in hi, [his] record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears; giving the date, and names, &c., and the history of the whole transaction; naming also, some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon, certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Then let there be a general Recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures; certifying that the record which they have made is true. Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general church book.
You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.
And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared as you will find recorded in Revelations, xx: 12. "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life. But the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refers to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote you previous to my leaving my place, "that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven." Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven; and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world; according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.
It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of: a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the Priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly
and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah.-This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it?
And again for a precedent, Matthew, xvi: 18,19. "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the sum and bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given, there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living. Herein is glory and honor, and immortality, and eternal life. The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other. To be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of the graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead. Consequently the Baptismal Font was instituted as a simile of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to shew [show] forth the living and the dead: and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another; that which is earthly, conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared, 1 Corinthians, xv: 46, 47, and 48. "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord, from heaven. As is the earthy such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This therefore is the sealing and binding power, and in one sense of the word the keys of the kingdom, which consists in the key of knowledge. And now my dearly and beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles, in relation to the dead and the living, that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers, 'that they without us can not be made perfect;' neither can we without our dead, be made perfect. And now in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians, xv: 29. Else what shall they do which are baptised [baptized] for the dead if the dead rise not at all; why are they then baptized for the dead. And again, in connexion [connection] with this quotation, I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, viz: the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th, Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other, and behold, what is that subject. It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they or us, be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times; which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fulness [fullness]of times.-Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? "A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from Heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy; how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and that say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth. As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them. And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni,
an Angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment [fulfillment] of the prophets-the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light. The voice of Peter, James and John, in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broom county, on the Susquehanna River, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times. And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little-giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope.
Brethren shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad.-Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free.
Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King. And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods, and all the trees of the field praise the Lord: and ye solid rocks weep for joy. And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy. And let the eternal creations declare his name for ever and ever. And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven proclaiming in our cars, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life: kingdoms, principalities, and powers. Behold the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy Temple when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.
Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time.
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend.
As good news from a far country, like pure water to a thirsty traveller [traveler], is very refreshing, so we have thought that a little space devoted to Nauvoo, might afford some consolation to those that wish well to the cause of Zion. It is one of the few comforts of the saints in this world, to be settled in peace, and witness the raped [rapid] growth of their infant city, as a place of safety and gathering for the last days. For three or four miles upon the river and about the same distance back in the country, Nauvoo presents a city of gardens, ornamented with the dwellings of those who have made a covenant by sacrifice, and are guided by revelation, an exception to all other societies upon the earth. There is a beautiful commandment and call upon this subject in the fiftieth Psalm, as well as a prophecy of what the Lord will do when he shines, the perfection of beauty out of Zion.
The city of Nauvoo is regularly laid off into blocks, containing four lots of eleven by twelve rods each-making all corner lots. It will be no more than probably correct, if we allow the city to contain between seven and eight hundred houses, with a population of 14 or 15,000. Many of the recent built houses are brick, some one story, and some two stories high, displaying that skill, economy and industry which have always characterized intelligent minds and laudable intentions. The first habitations, as well as many now reared for the time being, in comparison with the expensive mansions of voluptuousness and grandeur in old cities, may be termed "small" but when it is recollected that a large portion of the saints have been "scattered and peeled" some two or three times: and that, also, it is the 'fashion' of the world, to 'shave' them close before they let them 'go to the land of promise,' (as hypocrites not unfrequently [infrequently] name the place of gathering) no apology will be needed. We can, therefore, of a truth declare, that within the same length of time, and with the same amount of means, no society on the face of the globe, has a better
right to the claim of improvement by their own industry; or have offered to their surrounding neighbors, a plainer pattern of mechanical skill, domestic economy, practical temperance, common intelligence, every day virtue, and eternal religion, than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Such a statement of facts will be considered the simple truth, when it is remembered that we are the only people upon the earth who profess to be governed and guided by direct revelation from the Lord: And in this place let us not forget to mention that important commandment which said: "And again, inasmuch as there is land obtained, let there be workmen sent forth, of all kinds, unto this land, to labor for the saints of God." Now who that has witnessed the driving of the saints from place to place, and seen them in the short space of two or three years, raise a town or a city, glowing with all the arts, improvements, and curious workmen found any where upon the earth, can doubt this revelation? One thing is certain, the elders must possess more plausibility, discernment and ingenuity, to find out wise and skilful [skillful] workmen, than has ever been the lot of the world, or else the revelation is true,-and these elders are blessed with the spirit of God, to assist in bringing to pass his act, his strange act. This light is not under a bushel.
Two steam mills have been put into operation this season, and many other buildings for mechanical labor in the various branches of manufacture, are either under way or in contemplation,-while the Temple of God, a work of great magnitude, and the Nauvoo House, which when finished will hardly be surpassed in the western world, are rising up as monuments of the enterprise, industry and reverence of the commandments of God, of the saints in their banishment from Missouri.
As to mercantile business we have but little to say:-The fewer foreign goods that are consumed among the saints, the better it will be for home manufactories,-and the nearer we shall come to the word of the Lord, which says: "Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands."
We have two presses doing as much as can be expected from the limited resources of a people twice plucked up by the roots, and plundered, even to their clothes, besides the loss of a good printing establishment. As far as truth can be spread and lies contradicted by two presses, against several thousand, it is done! and we have the gratification of saying that things seem to work together for good to them that look for the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, brethren, as this world is not the place of much happiness to the saints, on account of the great prevalence of the powers of darkness upon the earth, and the wickedness and corruption of men's hearts, we think we can not do better than say, that while other cities are secretly practicing vice in its most horrid form, Nauvoo, like an infant at the breast of its mother, is deriving its nourishment from that fountain of life which invigorates youth without endangering the health; and we do sincerely hope, that we as children of the kingdom, may keep the law of God, and the law of the land, continuing steadfast in the liberty of the gospel, and ever abounding in the knowledge of the Lord, knowing this, for grace and salvation, that in the world there is no deliverance; no; nowhere but in Jerusalem, and in Mount Zion, and in the remnant whom the Lord our God shall call.
Nauvoo, at present is, figuratively, the great fish market of the earth, where all kinds, both good and bad, are gathered-where the good are preserved, and the bad cast away-for until the savior comes, there will be wise virgins and foolish;-blessed are they that continue to the end faithful, for whether they have builded a city in Ohio, or Missouri, or Illinois, they shall enter into the joys of their Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world.
If there is any subject in which the saints of the Most High are interested more than another, it is in the completion of the edifice; destitute of a place of worship, and so many thousands subject to the inconvenience of worshipping out of doors where the cold, heat, and damp alternately prey upon the systems of the weak and delicate, and subject them to colds, fevers, and a variety of diseases, renders it imperative upon us to use our energies in building that house. This however is tolerable, when we consider the inconveniences that we have to labor under in the winter season; when instead of having a commodious building to worship in, we are subjected to the inconvenience of worshipping in private houses, or in the best manner that we can, and no matter how important a subject has to be laid before the saints, it is imposible [impossible] for them to hear it, as there is no place for them to congregate in.
These, as natural reasons, might be considered sufficient to induce any religious community to use their utmost exertions in the accomplishment of so desirable object. But when
we consider the great work in which we are engaged, a work that has been looked forward to with delight by the ancient servants of God; a theme about which all the inspired poets have sung, and all the prophets, from the foundation of the world, have wrote-even the "dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, which has been spoken of by ALL the prophets since the world began." God has reserved us as the honored instruments to participate in the blessings glories, and privileges, that "prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight.
Under these circumstances, blessed with the light and intelligence of heaven, and with direct revelation from the Most High, it behooves us as his people to use the most untiring diligence, and to exert all our energies in the accomplishment of an object so desirable for us to attend to; and so pregnant with importance to the inhabitants of this city. The Lord has given us directions in regard to this affair, and has said, "let the House be built by the tithing of my people." This is a commandment which is binding, which is imperative upon all God's people, and if we consider ourselves his people, we shall feel ourselves bound under the strongest obligations, even that of duty, to our God to fulfil [fulfill] this requisition. We take pleasure in stating that many of the saints have come forward with willingness and cheerfulness, and have tithed and consecrated all, yea more than could have been required of them; whilst others have relaxed in their duty and have been slow to perform their covenants. We know that of late we have had gloomy times; clouds have been gathering around our horizon, and our atmosphere has been impregnated with the foul effluvia of wanton and unmerited persecution; the life of our prophet has been sought after, and many unpleasant circumstances have transpired which in their nature have had a tendency to damp the energies, and slacken the exertions of the saints in the accomplishment of this great work; and as the building of the Temple is principally depending upon the tenth day's labor of the inhabitants of this place, when many are slack, as has been the ease of late, it has a great tendency to retard the work-to dispirit those who are actively engaged, and who feel zealous in the work, and to derange very materially the plans and designs of the committee. There are some few things that devolve upon us to mention, which, though an unpleasant work, we feel the importance of the cause requires at our hands.
The committee find themselves very much perplexed in consequence of the brethren not coming forward as usual from their different wards, to perform their tenth of labor. They state that they cannot get sufficient stone quarried to supply the stone cutters at the Temple, and that some of them have been obliged to quit work in consequence, and that unless strenuous exertions are immediately made, and the brethren come up promptly to their duty, the work will be greatly retarded, and perhaps have to stop; at all events the stone cutters will have to stop unless they get an immediate supply of stone. Brethren, such things ought not to be: "let us not be weary in well doing, for we shall reap in due time, if we faint not." We have commenced a good work we have been zealously engaged in it-we have spent a great deal of labor, and toil, and our expectations have been great when we have reflected upon the blessings that would flow to us through that medium. Let us begin this next week and continue our labors "until the topstone shall be raised with shoutings of grace! grace unto it!" The committee state that if they have a sufficiency of stone quarried, they can not only be progressing with the work this fall, but the stone cutters can be employed all the winter, and thus have a great quantity of hewn stone ready to commence with as soon as the spring opens which will greatly facilitate the progress of the work.
It may here be necessary to give a word or two of instruction: many of the brethren no doubt out of the best of motives bring guns and watches, and other kinds of property that is not saleable, or easy to dispose of; they give them in at what is considered a fair valuation, yet they are not saleable-they will not purchase either provisions or clothing for those that need, neither will they purchase labor, and they lay as useless lumber the hands of the committee. It is the especial desire of the committee, and absolutely necessary for the prosperity of the work that the brethren in town pay their tenth in labor, and not in property.
In regard to the brethren in the country, we would also say a word. Cattle which are neither fit for milking or killing are frequently brought in for tithing, and they lay as dead property on the hands of the committee-as they have no way of feeding them they are put into the drove, from which several have wandered off and been lost; we would therefore advise the brethren to bring in fat cattle which would immediately supply the hands with beef; or otherwise milch [milk] cows that might be disposed of to advantage. Another word on this subject and we have done. Many of the brethren, in their liberality bring in pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, and other vegetables, if, when they were doing this they could bring a little corn meal,
flour, butter, pork, or other articles of that kind they would be very acceptable.
Perhaps we have said enough on this subject, but we feel the importance of it and therefore speak plainly. It is for you, brethren, to say whether the work shall stand or progress; one thing is certain, that unless that is done all our efforts to aggrandize or enrich ourselves will be vain and futile. We may build splendid houses but we shall not inhabit them; we may cultivate farms but we shall not enjoy them; we may plant orchards, or vineyards, but we shall not eat the fruit of them. The word of the Lord is build my house, and until that command is fulfilled we stand responsible to the great Jehovah for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of it, and if not done in due time we may have to share the same fate that we have heretofore done in Missouri.
But leaving duty and interest out of the question, if we wish to receive great blessings from the hands of Jehovah, if we wish to receive our anointing, if we wish the glory of the priesthood to be more fully developed, if we wish to do the will of God and to secure the blessings of the most high God, in fact if we wish to secure our present, our temporal and eternal salvation, we shall build that house.
From the Book of Doctrine & Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies: therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority.-We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving; and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, shall be addressed, by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names: "You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives." And when they have answered "Yes," he shall pronounce them "husband and wife" in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him: "may God add his blessings and keep you to fulfil [fulfill] your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen."
The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages, solemnized in his branch.
All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents and masters who exercise control over their wives, children, and servants and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.
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 shew [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 despise. In support of this position, we present the following certificates:-
We the undersigned members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and residents of the city of Nauvoo, persons of families do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system"
is a creature of his own make as we know of no such society in this place nor never did.
S. Bennett, N. K. Whitney,
George Miller, Albert Pettey,
Alpheus Cutler, Elias Higbee,
Reynolds Cahoon, John Taylor,
Wilson Law, E. Robinson,
W. Woodruff, Aaron Johnson.
We the undersigned members of the ladies' relief society, and married females do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practised [practiced] in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a disclosure of his own make.
Emma Smith, President,
Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Counsellor [Counselor],
Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor [Counselor],
Eliza R. Snow, Secretary,
Mary C. Miller, Catharine Pettey,
Lois Cutler, Sarah Higbee,
Thirza Cahoon, Phebe Woodruff
Ann Hunter, Leonora Taylor,
Jane Law, Sarah Hillman,
Sophia R. Marks, Rosannah Marks,
Polly Z. Johnson, Angeline Robinson,
Missouri Law.-The Executive committee of the Am. A. S. Society have taken legal advice in regard to what can de [be] done for Thompson, Work, and Burr, confined for twelve years in the penitentiary of Missouri. The result is, that nothing can be done for their relief-the case being quite out of the jurisdiction of the other courts. The only thing which can possibly avail them is, for the governors of those States of which they were citizens, to expostulate with the governor of Missouri, and obtain some abridgement [abridgment] of the time. Whether they will do this is very doubtful. This is a hard case; for it is admitted, even in Missouri, that they broke no law except by a forced construction. Indeed, when the young men were arrested, it was a long time before they could find any law under which to try them, and the law they applied did not, and never was intended to have any relation to the case.
We have copied the foregoing article for the purpose of showing that the State of Missouri, is not governed by law in her disposition of those that are considered offensive. If "the young men broke no law," and the law by which they were tried had no relevancy to the case, how could they be sent to the penitentiary for twelve years, except upon mob law, or despotic assumption? It is well such cruel cases, as too often occur in Missouri, begin to attract the attention of some more sensible portions of the American public. The church of Latter-Day Saints will not be the only people, who complain of injustice and oppression from the people and government of Missouri. We care nothing about abolitionism, and have nothing to do with it, but we do care about the honor and virtue of our country, and want an equal enjoyment of rights and privileges from the banker to the beggar; from the president to the peasant:-but when wicked men bear rule the people mourn.
We certainly take pleasure in presenting to our readers, the following well directed hit on Miller's Sectarian Millennium. It appears in the Olive Branch of Boston, and if the editors had been as wise in their calculations from a plentiful harvest for the people's salvation, as in their exposition of the Millennium's commencing in April, 1843, they would have given one hint upon the voice of famine: but to the article; viz:-
GOD'S WAYS ARE EQUAL. In his controversy with the ancient Jews God said, "My ways are equal, your ways are unequal." On this declaration we have been led lately to reflect, when looking over the country and seeing the immense harvest about to be gathered in. Nature is yielding in an unusual manner, and the strong probability is that two years' provisions are soon to be reaped from the earth. Why is this? We know that the All-wise Giver of good things has in time past sent plentiful years, but they were to supply the necessities of his creatures in years of scarcity which were to follow. In this he showed his ways to be equal. It was so with the seven years of plenty in Egypt, which were followed by seven years of famine. This was an equal balance of year for year; and no doubt this balance has always been kept up, the surplus of one year supplying the deficiency of another. Here all is equal. Now our reflections on this subject led us to propose the following question for the consideration and answer of those who believe that this is the last year of the world's existence. If the present is
to be the last year of the world, and God should supply the inhabitants thereof with a large amount of food beyond the power of consumption, the present year, where is the evidence of his wisdom, or of the truth of that declaration-"My ways are equal?"
Joe Smith was seen on the 3d inst., on his way to Galena, and it was thought he would push for Canada. His influence is on the wane most evidently.-St. Louis Picket Guard.
It is a great pity that humbuggery was not on the wane too. Joe Smith is at his residence in Nauvoo, attending to and administering the droppings of Mormon beneficence. Apropos-would it not be a more wise course for the press abroad to drop this nonsensical jargon about the Mormons-let them pursue their vocations after their own modes, customs and consciences, than to be eternally poking sharp sticks at a harmless inoffensive sect? Surely we should think so. What say you, friend Whitney?
Minutes of a conference of the elders of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at Alexander, Genesee co. N. Y., on the 27-8 of August A. D. 1842.
The conference met according to previous adjournment and organized by calling Elder R. L. Young to the chair and C. R. Clark clerk; after which a hymn was then sung and the throne of Grace addressed by Elder Pelatiah Brown.
On motion said conference was adjourned to 1 o'clock P. M. Conference met according to adjournment, a hymn being sung and prayer by the president, conference proceeded to business.
Motioned and carried that the clerk take the names of all the official members present, which are as follows: high priest, Ezra Thayer: of the Seventy, Charles Thompson, Harmon H. Hill, Joel McWhithey: Elders, Geo. Thompson, Hiram Thompson, C. R. Clark, S. W. Disbrow, Nathan Hatch, - Taylor, Benjamin Waldron, Thomas Pearson, Pelatiah Brown, Geo. Brown, Rowland Cobb, Nathan Bradley, R. L. Young, R. D. Sprague: Priests, Miron Alger, John L. Bartholf, Alviras Webster, Daniel Adams: Teachers, Silas Alger, Joseph Shamp, Joseph Shadbolt, Linus Whiting, James E. Herrington: Deacons Sameul Mott, Isaiah Call.
Representation of the several branches belonging to said conference.
Alexander branch represented by Samuel Mott, consists of 24 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon.
Batavia branch represented by S. W. Disbrow, consists of 22 members, 2 elders, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
Acron branch represented by James E. Herrington, consists of 9 members, 1 elder, 1 priest.
Charlotte Centre branch represented by Thomas Pearson, consists of 16 members, 3 elders.
Attica branch represented by Alviras Webster, consists of 13 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
Castile branch represented by Benjamin Waldron, consists of 5 members, 2 elders, 1 teacher. Also 4 members, living near by.
Bennington branch represented by Joel McWhithey, consists of 24 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon.
Sparta branch represented by R. L. Young, consists of 13 members, 2 elders, 1 deacon; 2 moved away since last conference.
Loon Lake branch represented by R. L. Young, consists of 6 members, 2 elders.
Howard and Bath branches represented by R. L. Young, consist of 25 members, 1 priest, 1 teacher.
In Burns are 2 members and 1 elder.
In Grove are 5 members and 1 teacher.
In Granger are 2 members and 1 elder.
Conference then adjourned to Br. Geo. Thompson's at early candle light.
Opened agreeable to adjournment: after singing and prayer, conference proceeded to business.
Moved and carried that no elder or priest belonging to any of the branches under the jurisdiction of this conference, go beyond the jurisdiction of his branch to preach and build up the church without a recommend from said conference; and that no officer shall hereafter be ordained to any of the above branches except for the express purpose of presiding over or in said branch without the voice of the conference.
Motioned and carried that Richard D. Sprague and Rowland Cobb have a recommend to build up the church in the regions round about.
Motioned and carried that Hiram Thompson, Silas S. Davis and R. L. Young retain their recommends received last conference.
Moved and carried that we acknowledge Elder Charles Thompson in authority to travel in all the branches in this conference, teaching them the order of the kingdom, organizing and regulating the officers of the same, and to preside over them while with them, and to gather up the scattered members and officers and attach them to some branch or organize them by themselves.
Moved and carried that S. W. Disbrow retain his former appointment as to receiving donations for the building of the Temple at Nauvoo, and that he forward the said donations to the Trustee in Trust, when he shall have convenient opportunity and receive receipts which he shall present at the next conference.
Conference then adjourned to meet on the 28th at the meeting house at Alexander Centre at 9 o'clock A. M.
Met agreeable to adjournment. A hymn sung and prayer made by Elder Charles Thompson, followed by a discourse delivered by Elder Pelatiah Brown on the resurrection. A discourse was delivered in the afternoon by Elder Charles Thompson on the subject of faith.
Conference adjourned to meet Elder Geo. Thompson's at early candle light.
Met according to adjournment, a hymn sung and the throne of Grace addressed by the president.
Motioned and carried that we give our vote of thanks by letter to the Rev. Mr. Bunker, minister of the Universalist church of Alexander, and the members of the same for their kindness in granting to this conference the use of their house of worship and candid attention during the conference: also his kind invitation in inviting us to attend his meetings, which will be accepted when convenient.
Moved and carried that Miron Alger, priest, have a recommend to go forth to preach and to build up according to his office.
Moved and carried that Hiram Thompson be the clerk in this conference until otherwise directed by the same, to receive, record and keep a memorandum of all the essential business done in said conference.
Motioned and carried that the president and clerk transcribe these minutes after their true meaning, and forward them to the editor of the "Times and Seasons" requesting them to be printed.
R. L. YOUNG, Pres.
CALVIN R. CLARK, Clerk.
Elder Martin Titus is requested to return to Nauvoo immediately, to answer to certain charges that are preferred against him.
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
(From the Warder.=====
The days of old were days of might, A blight hath pass'd upon the church,
In forms of greatness moulded [molded]; Her summer hath departed;
And flowers of heaven grew on the earth, The chill of age is on her sons,
Within the church unfolded. The cold and fearful-hearted.
For grace fell fast as summer's dew, And sad amid neglect and scorn,
And Saints to giant's stature grew. Our mother sits and weeps forlorn.
But one by one the gifts are gone, Narrow and narrower still, each year
That in the church resided; The holy circles groweth;
And gone the spirits living light, And what the end of all shall be,
That on her walls abided: Nor man nor angel knoweth.
When by our shrines he came to dwell And so we wait and watch in fear.
In power and presence visible. It may be that the Lord is near.
BOOKS OF MORMON, &C.
Just published and for sale, Books of Mormon, and Hymn Books, together with some other publications in defence [defense] of the faith of the saints.
Nauvoo. Aug. 20, 1842.
The Times and Seasons, Is edited, printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOSEPH SMITH
TERMS-Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to Joseph Smith, publisher, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.