A Second Warning from a Minister to his Flock

1840

Morrish, W. J., b. 1808 Morrish, W. J., b. 1808

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Morrish, W. J. The Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon. A Second Warning from a Minister to his Flock, 1–4. Ledbury: J. Gibbs, 1840.

THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND THE BOOK OF MORMON.

A Second Warning from a Minister to his Flock.

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PRINTED BY J. GIBBS, JUN., HOMEND-STREET, LEDBURY

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My dear Friends,

I addressed a letter to you, some time ago, warning you of the deception practised upon you by a set of men calling themselves “Latter-day Saints or Mormonites,” and, since the publication of that letter, the Rev. J. Simons has given you, in a tract written by him, plain and undeniable proof of the infamous character and real designs of the founders of this new sect. It is with much pain, therefore, that I see many of you still led away by these false teachers; and the only reason I can assign for it is that you do not really know the doctrines they teach.

I am well aware of the manner in which you are led astray. Many of you, I believe, are simple-minded Christians, really anxious about the salvation of your souls, but at the same time you are not sufficiently “grounded in the faith;”—you are unstable and wavering, and therefore you run after these men, desiring “to hear some new thing.” Well—you attend one of their meetings, and some one of their preachers gets up—takes a text from your own Bible to cover his designs, and pours forth for half an hour a torrent of words,—text after text,—passage after passage,—talks a little about baptism,—a little about Christ’s second coming,—and (if there is no one present likely to contradict his statements) a little about New Jerusalem and America: he utters all this so rapidly that you are not able to hear, much less to understand, one half; but you do know that a great deal of it is taken out of the Bible, and therefore you go away quite satisfied that all must be true because it is Scripture.

Now I say you do not know the doctrines these people really teach, because they are too cunning to let you know the whole depth of the wickedness at once, lest you should be afraid to join them; but as I before told you how the Book of Mormon was forged, I intend now to shew you what it contains, that you may judge for yourselves whether it is as they pretend, a revelation from God, or, as I have shewn you, a vile forgery.

You must not expect to learn the real doctrines of these people from their preachers; because they can teach one thing to-day and another to-morrow, to suit circumstances. Their real doctrines are to be found in two books, one called “The Book of Mormon” and the other “The Book of Doctrines and Covenants,” containing directions for their preachers. From both of these books I shall now give you some extracts.

First let us examine the Book of Mormon. This professes to be,

“An account written by the hand of Mormon, taken from the plates of Nephi….written by way of commandment and also by spirit of prophecy and revelation….to come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof:”

And we have the following account of the translator:

“Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this book shall come, that we through the grace of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record…and also know that they have been translated by the power and gift of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us….and we also declare with words of soberness that an angel of God came down from heaven and he brought and laid before our eyes the plates and engravings thereon.”

This is the testimony of the Book of Mormon to its own truth, and in the “Book of Doctrines and Covenants” we are told,

Sec. 2, page 2, “The Book of Mormon contains the record of a fallen people and the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.... contained by ministration of angels.” [1]

Again it is called Sec. 4, p. 8, “God’s new covenant with the children of Zion.”

And the elders are commanded Sec. 13, p. 5, “To teach the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ which are in the Bible, and is the Book of Mormon in the which is the fulness of the gospel.”

Again I find these words—

Sec. 1, p 5 and 8, “Behold I am God….and….these my commandments were given unto my servants that….they might have power to lay the foundation of this church….the only true and living church upon the face of the earth.”

Again Book of Mormon, page 123, “Many of the gentiles shall say, a bible, a bible, we have got a bible—O fools! because I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another. Ye need not suppose that it contains all my words.”

You see, then, that these people pretend to be apostles and prophets of the Church of the Latter-day Saints. the only true and living Church on the face of the earth; and, as such, they tell you that God has not revealed in the Bible all that is sufficient to salvation, but that they are commissioned to declare to you a new revelation wherein is the fulness of the Gospel. Now the simple question is, Is this according to Scripture or is it not? You are told (Romans xvi. 25 v.) that “the gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ is according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but NOW is made manifest and by the scriptures of the prophets made known TO ALL NATIONS for the obedience of faith.” You read (Colossians i. 25 v.) that “the dispensation” to the apostle Paul was to be made “a minister to fulfil (or fully to preach) the word of God, even the mystery which had been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest.” And the same apostle could say of his ministry that he had kept back nothing that was profitable unto his hearers, that he had “not shunned to declare unto them ALL the counsel of God.” More than this Jesus Christ himself declares (John xv. 15 v.) “all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you,” and he promises (ch. xvi.) to send the Holy Spirit to “Guide them into all truth, to bring all things to remembrance; and according to this promise, you will find St. John (i. ch. ii. 21 v.) writing to “babes in Christ” in these words, “ye have an unction from the Holy One and ye know all things.—I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it.”

Now, my dear friends, here is a very plain case.—Inspired apostles tell you,—nay, Jesus Christ himself tells you—that the whole counsel of God has been revealed to you in your Bible, and that the way of salvation is so plain that even “a babe in Christ” may know the truth.—These men tell you NO—a new revelation is necessary, it has been made—we are the people appointed to bring it, and unless you believe it, you must be damned. Now the simple question is, Which will you believe, St. Paul and St. John or Joseph Smith,—Jesus Christ or these mad deceivers?

These things, you see, are contrary to God’s word; and, had I room, I could give you numberless other instances in which these men contradict the Bible; but what will you think of the matter when I tell you that they not only contradict the Bible but deny that it is the pure word of God, and do away with it altogether? Read their own words—

Sec 47, p. 1. “Behold I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing, and this is a new and everlasting covenant.”

Now, my dear Friends, you read, Heb. xiii. 20 v., that the new covenant, which Jesus Christ sealed with his blood, was an “everlasting covenant;”—his priesthood is said to be “for ever,” and “after the power of an endless life.” The Spirit through whom he offered himself is said (vii. 16 v.) to be eternal; the redemption he secured is called “everlasting;” the perfectness of the worshipper, as to conscience, was “continual;” the cleansing was “once for all.” Then what is this new and ever- [2] lasting covenant that is now brought in by the setting up of this thing— this New Church? The truth is, the Bible stood in the way of these deceivers, and therefore they were obliged to deny it at any hazard, or they could not have taught the falsehoods they now teach you. I bring no charge against these men which I am not able to prove from their own writings. Read the following passage, and judge for yourselves.

Page 83. “And the angel of the Lord said unto me it (that is the Bible) contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lord…..wherefore these things go forth from the Jews in purity, but after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, thou seest the foundation of an abominable church, more abominable than other churches, for behold they have taken away from the gospel many parts which are plain and most precious; nevertheless….I will manifest myself unto thy seed that they shall write many things that I shall minister unto them..and in them shall be written my Gospel,” that is the Book of Mormon.

Now, my Friends, after these men have taken away your Bible and told you that it is so corrupt that it is no longer God’s word, perhaps you would like to know what doctrines they teach you in place of these corrupt doctrines of the Bible. It would be a hateful and a useless task to go through all the folly and blasphemy that is put forth in their books in the shape of doctrine, but I will give you a few specimens. Of faith they say,—

Sect. 2, p. 16—“Faith is the principle by which Jehovah works. Take away this principle and he would cease to exist. God spake, and worlds came into order by reason of faith that was in him.”

So God could not have created the world if he had not had faith. Faith in whom? St. Paul, if you recollect, says, “faith cometh by hearing,” and that it is “the gift of God;” but the Latter-day Saints tell you Faith is to be acquired “by the sacrifice of all things,” and by “the knowledge of doing what is well-pleasing to God.”—So the Bible tells you “good works are the fruits of faith;”—the Latter-day Saint says, No, faith is the fruit of good works and mortification! Again, The apostle’s answer to the question “What must I do to be saved?” was “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved;” but these lying records teach very different doctrine;— they say Sec. 7, p. 9.—“If we can find a saved being, we shall understand what all others must be to be saved. Now Christ is a saved being. How is he saved? Because he is just and holy.”

Now if this blasphemy means anything it must mean that Jesus Christ was saved by his good works, and that every man must be saved by “works of righteousness which he has done:” and in fact the whole doctrine of the Book of Mormon virtually does away with the Atonement made by the blood of Christ, and sets up sundry dippings and declarations, and our own good deeds, as our Saviours. Take but a few examples:

Book of Mormon, page 619.—“Be perfected in Christ and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if you do this and love God with all your hearts, &c., THEN is his grace sufficient for you.”

That is, unless you first save yourselves, God is not able to save you. Again, Page 614.—“The fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.”—Page 160,—

“Continue in fasting and prayer, and endure unto the end, and ye shall be saved.”

It would be idle to place before you more of the folly which these deceivers teach in the shape of doctrine; but, after what you have seen, you will not be surprised to find both disloyalty and inhumanity in their books. You, my friends, have been taught to think “Fear God, honour the king.” “Let every one be subject unto the higher powers,” part of the revealed will of God; but if you follow this new delusion, you must learn a very different doctrine. The Book of Mormon tells you Ch. 13, p. 230, “Because all men are not just; it is not expedient that ye should have kings to rule over you.

“Ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king, save through much contention and bloodshed.” “I desire that this irregularity (between kings and subjects) should be no more in the land, and this land be a land of liberty.”

Now would you believe that these men who thus preach Treason under the cloak of religion, can uphold Slavery too, when it suits their purpose? [3]

Book of Revelations, s. 102. 12, “We do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them, contrary to the will and wish of their masters….Such interference, we believe unlawful, and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government, allowing human beings to be held in servitude.”

So, here are these heaven-sent prophets, whom you have just seen preaching opposition to all lawful authority, and denying the right of kings to govern,….with the next breath, stating that Jesus Christ will not have the way of salvation declared to a poor black man, unless his master wishes it—in fact upholding slavery in all its abominations!

Dear Friends, WHEN WILL YOUR EYES BE OPENED?

I have now discharged what I conceived to be my duty towards you, and I pray God that what I have said may have its due effect. You see what these men really teach you in their books.

They contradict your Bible, they reject it altogether, they consign to eternal damnation all other sects or denominations, they teach false doctrines, they preach disloyalty, they uphold slavery.

Can such men be prophets of God? Can such things be written by the spirit of God?

There is no doubt the deception will soon work its own cure; and your eyes will be opened to see the infamous cheat that is being practised upon you. But at the same time life is uncertain: and many of you may be called into eternity depending for salvation upon this awful delusion, and then, Oh! what will become of your souls!—It is this thought that has induced me to address these plain words of warning to you, and not to wait till the error discovers itself.

The whole is doubtless a delusion of the Great Enemy to draw you off from the exercise of repentance, faith, and holiness, to dependance upon outward forms. The Evil One knows that to inquire what shall be hereafter;—to speculate on the second coming of Christ;—to talk of the New Jerusalem and the latter-day glory; and to assume a position in which we can say to our neighbour “Stand off, I am holier than thou,”—is much more agreeable to the natural man, much more flattering to our pride, than the diligent examination of our lives and hearts by the law of God; daily communing with God in fervent prayer; and a constant endeavour after increased conformity to his will. But, my dear friends, your duty may be summed up in a few words:— pray to God to enable you to know the truth and to experience the truth; keep close to the word of God; try all by that standard; seek earnestly for divine grace; avoid those who are given to change; and, holding fast “the faith once delivered to the saints,” seek that pardoning mercy which is freely offered to all who ask it by fervent prayer through the merits and the intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do this,—and you need no new Revelation,—no new Covenant;—“the kingdom of God is within you,”— Verily “YE SHALL BE SAVED.”

Your affectionate Pastor and Friend,

W. J. MORRISH.

LEDBURY; Oct. 15, 1840.

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