John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 45
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Chapter 26
CHAPTER XXVI.
 
Bible translated—Egyptian Mummies—Increase and numbers of the Church—Opposition—Laws of Consecration—Terms Established—Their Effect.
 
I will now state some things which have taken place in the Church, but not mentioned before. Shortly after the Church was first established, Smith translated the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, which differs a little in some places from the old translation. This has not been published, though they contemplated doing it. In the summer of 1835, they purchased three or four Egyptian Mummies, with an ancient Egyptian record, written on papyrus, a part of which Smith professed to translate, making it out to be the writing of Abraham.
The high priests, elders and priests, have from the commencement of the Church, labored indefatigably to proclaim the Gospel and gain disciples, and they have generally been successful, though strongly opposed. On the sixth day of April, 1830, there were but six members in the Church, but now their members are differently estimated from ten to forty thousand, though, in my opinion, there are from twelve to twenty thousand. Much exertion has been used to confute and put down their doctrine and belief, but as foolish as it is, their elders have generally been able to compete with and baffle their opponents. Several publications have appeared against them, as well as newspaper prints, but the misfortune generally has been, that they contained so much misrepresentation, that it has destroyed the confidence of the public in the truth they did contain. Men of influence in the Church have, at different times, turned against it, become its violent enemies, and tried to destroy it, but generally without success. If Smith, and others, of the leaders, had managed wisely and prudently, in all things, and manifested truly a Christian spirit, it would have been very difficult to put them down. But their imprudence and miscalculations, and manifest desire for power and property, have opened the eyes of many, and did more to destroy them than could possibly have been done otherwise. My opinion is, that if the Church had been let alone by the citizens, they would have divided and subdivided so as to have completely destroyed themselves and their power, as a people, in a short time.
I will now proceed to mention some points of doctrine and faith peculiar to the Church, which I have not before mentioned.
It is believed by them that the Church ought to act in concert, and feel one general interest in building up the “great cause;” and that every man ought to consider his property as consecrated to the Lord for that purpose; yet their law gives every man the privilege of managing his own concerns, and provides against taking each others property without paying for it; and if a man gives for the benefit of the Church, it is considered a voluntary offering. Yet the law requires or enjoins a consecration of the overplus, after reserving for himself and family, and to carry on his business.
Much has been said, and great exertions used, at times, to inspire [p. 45]
Chapter 26
CHAPTER XXVI.
 
Bible translated—Egyptian Mummies—Increase and numbers of the Church—Opposition—Laws of Consecration—Terms Established—Their Effect.
 
I will now state some things which have taken place in the Church, but not mentioned before. Shortly after the Church was first established, Smith translated the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, which differs a little in some places from the old translation. This has not been published, though they contemplated doing it. In the summer of 1835, they purchased three or four Egyptian Mummies, with an ancient Egyptian record, written on papyrus, a part of which Smith professed to translate, making it out to be the writing of Abraham.
The high priests, elders and priests, have from the commencement of the Church, labored indefatigably to proclaim the Gospel and gain disciples, and they have generally been successful, though strongly opposed. On the sixth day of April, 1830, there were but six members in the Church, but now their members are differently estimated from ten to forty thousand, though, in my opinion, there are from twelve to twenty thousand. Much exertion has been used to confute and put down their doctrine and belief, but as foolish as it is, their elders have generally been able to compete with and baffle their opponents. Several publications have appeared against them, as well as newspaper prints, but the misfortune generally has been, that they contained so much misrepresentation, that it has destroyed the confidence of the public in the truth they did contain. Men of influence in the Church have, at different times, turned against it, become its violent enemies, and tried to destroy it, but generally without success. If Smith, and others, of the leaders, had managed wisely and prudently, in all things, and manifested truly a Christian spirit, it would have been very difficult to put them down. But their imprudence and miscalculations, and manifest desire for power and property, have opened the eyes of many, and did more to destroy them than could possibly have been done otherwise. My opinion is, that if the Church had been let alone by the citizens, they would have divided and subdivided so as to have completely destroyed themselves and their power, as a people, in a short time.
I will now proceed to mention some points of doctrine and faith peculiar to the Church, which I have not before mentioned.
It is believed by them that the Church ought to act in concert, and feel one general interest in building up the “great cause;” and that every man ought to consider his property as consecrated to the Lord for that purpose; yet their law gives every man the privilege of managing his own concerns, and provides against taking each others property without paying for it; and if a man gives for the benefit of the Church, it is considered a voluntary offering. Yet the law requires or enjoins a consecration of the overplus, after reserving for himself and family, and to carry on his business.
Much has been said, and great exertions used, at times, to inspire [p. 45]
Page 45