The Mormons

1842-01-18

M., R. T. M., R. T.

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M., R. T. “The Mormons.” Religious Monitor and Evangelical Repository (18 January 1842): 345–46.

The Mormons.

THE Mormons have twelve stakes—places where they are to build temples, &c.; corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel.

The person from whom I get the following information says, “On one side of his station, three miles distant, they have driven one of these stakes. They have been making great efforts the past spring and summer, and more than “twenty,” in this vicinity have joined them. In other parts of the country they have made many converts, and now hold the balance of political power, and can elect whom they please to office. Of course, office seekers are their humble servants. They are also making great efforts in other parts of the territory. They claim all the miraculous gifts and powers of the apostles; daily show signs and wonders which overpower the credulous, and manifest a zeal that I have never seen before in any class of Christians.

I will give you a summary of their pretensions.

1. Joseph Smith is a prophet—as really as Isaiah; and the “Book of Mormon,” with all the revelations of the prophet, which now make quite a volume, are of equal authority with the Old and New Testaments.

2. Theirs is the only true church; they know this with absolute certainty. Every other professed disciple of Christ holds the same relation to this true church, that the Jews did who in the time of the apostles rejected the Saviour.

3. No man can be a Christian, or be admitted into the kingdom of God, unless he is baptized by immersion by an authorized person.

4. None are authorized to preach, or administer the ordinances, but such as are called by direct revelation, and set apart by the au- [345] thority of Joseph Smith. All others are “false teachers,” and “false prophets,” “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” “thieves and robbers,” as they say in their preaching.

5. All who are baptized receive the Holy Ghost, and the forgiveness of sins.

Hence, they can work all the miracles promised by our Saviour in Mark xvi.

6. Zion, or the New Jerusalem, is in “Missouri,” where the Saviour is to appear, in a short time in person.

7. All that believe are called on by the Spirit of God, to assemble in the vicinity of the various stakes, and help to build temples. The Indians are the lost tribes of Israel, and during this generation, they are all to be gathered at these points; while all others are to be cut off; that is, all who do not receive Joseph Smith as a prophet of the Lord.

8. For such as will not believe in this life, a kind of purgatory is prepared in another world, where they will be brought to their senses, and made to receive the prophet; while those who have once joined the “Mormons,” and have apostatized, “have never forgiveness, neither in this life, nor in that which is to come.”

9. The prophet predicted eleven years ago, that “Zion is to be built in ‘Missouri,’ in this generation.” But they have been dispossessed, and the city of their hopes lies desolate; still they are not without hope.

Nauvoo, their principal city, in this vicinity, contains 3,000 inhabitants. Every one of a certain age is called on to bear arms; and the “legion of the Lord” is drilled twice a week, and it is the common belief, that they intend soon to attempt to retake their claim in “Missouri.”

10. Joseph Smith translated the Bible anew. In the first three chapters of Genesis he has added the amount of at least one entire chapter, for which there is not the least shadow of authority. So in other parts, he makes any alterations that he pleases: for example, In Genesis, vi. 6, where it is said, “It repented the Lord that he made man upon the earth,” the new translation reads, “It repented Noah that he made man,” &c.

Remarks.

Some individuals may smile at my apprehensions, but I do fear the influence of this people. If this delusion be not stayed, the minds of its subjects will resemble our prairies after the fire has burnt them naked. Infidelity or atheism will be the result. But when or where it will be stayed, I cannot see. Nothing is too foolish for men to believe; and unless it can be met by timely, well-directed, and energetic efforts, it will spread. I have had the audacity to call in question the authority of their prophets and apostles, to go in the midst of them, and try to teach them better things. I do not expect to raise a doubt in the mind of one who is already a “Mormon,” but I may prevent some from becoming such. It troubles them very much to be questioned on their doctrine before a public assembly.

R. T. M.

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