Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 March 1839

  • Source Note
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that Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the , is truth; for the name Mormon, and Mormonism, was given to us by our enemies, but Latter Day Saints was the real name by which the church was organized. Now sir, you may think that it is a broad assertion that it is truth; but sir, the first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same; we feel ourselves bound by the laws of God, to observe and do strictly, with all our hearts, all things whatsoever is manifest unto us by the highest degree of testimony that God has committed us, as written in the old and new Testament, or any where else, by any manifestation, whereof we know that it has come from God: and has application to us, being adapted to our situation and circumstances; age, and generation of life; and that we have a perfect, and indefeasible right, to embrace all such , and do them; knowing, that God will not command any thing, but what is peculiarly adapted in itself, to ameliorate the condition of every man under whatever circumstances it may find him, it matters not what kingdom or country he may be in. And again, we believe that it is our privilege to reject all things, whatsoever is clearly manifested to us that they do not have a bearing upon us. Such as, for instance, it is not binding on us to build an Ark, because God commanded Noah to build one.— It would not be applicable to our case; we are not looking for a flood. It is not binding on us to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, because God commanded Moses. The children of Israel are not in bondage to the Egyptians, as they were then; our circumstances are very different. I have introduced these for examples: and on the other hand, “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor any thing that is thy neighbors.”
These sentiments we most cordially embrace, and consider them binding on us because they are adapted to our circumstances. We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight. We believe that no man can administer salvation through the gospel, to the souls of men, in the name of Jesus Christ, except he is authorized from God, by revelation, or by being by some one whom God hath sent by revelation, as It is written by Paul, Romans 10:14, “and 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?” and I will ask, how can they be sent without a revelation, or some other visible display of the manifestation of God. And again, Hebrews, 5:4, “And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”— And I would ask, how was Aaron called, but by revelation?
And again we believe in the doctrine of faith, and of repentance, and of for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the , and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. We believe in the doctrine of repentance, as well as of faith; and in the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins as well as in the doctrine of repentance; and in the doctrine of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, as well as baptism for the remission of sins; and also, in like manner, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Now all these are the doctrines set forth by the appostles, and if we have any thing to do with one of them, they are all alike precious, and binding on us. And as proof, mark the following quotations. Mark 16 chap., 15–16 verses, “and he said [p. 54]
that Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the , is truth; for the name Mormon, and Mormonism, was given to us by our enemies, but Latter Day Saints was the real name by which the church was organized. Now sir, you may think that it is a broad assertion that it is truth; but sir, the first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same; we feel ourselves bound by the laws of God, to observe and do strictly, with all our hearts, all things whatsoever is manifest unto us by the highest degree of testimony that God has committed us, as written in the old and new Testament, or any where else, by any manifestation, whereof we know that it has come from God: and has application to us, being adapted to our situation and circumstances; age, and generation of life; and that we have a perfect, and indefeasible right, to embrace all such , and do them; knowing, that God will not command any thing, but what is peculiarly adapted in itself, to ameliorate the condition of every man under whatever circumstances it may find him, it matters not what kingdom or country he may be in. And again, we believe that it is our privilege to reject all things, whatsoever is clearly manifested to us that they do not have a bearing upon us. Such as, for instance, it is not binding on us to build an Ark, because God commanded Noah to build one.— It would not be applicable to our case; we are not looking for a flood. It is not binding on us to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, because God commanded Moses. The children of Israel are not in bondage to the Egyptians, as they were then; our circumstances are very different. I have introduced these for examples: and on the other hand, “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor any thing that is thy neighbors.”
These sentiments we most cordially embrace, and consider them binding on us because they are adapted to our circumstances. We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight. We believe that no man can administer salvation through the gospel, to the souls of men, in the name of Jesus Christ, except he is authorized from God, by revelation, or by being by some one whom God hath sent by revelation, as It is written by Paul, Romans 10:14, “and 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?” and I will ask, how can they be sent without a revelation, or some other visible display of the manifestation of God. And again, Hebrews, 5:4, “And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”— And I would ask, how was Aaron called, but by revelation?
And again we believe in the doctrine of faith, and of repentance, and of for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the , and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. We believe in the doctrine of repentance, as well as of faith; and in the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins as well as in the doctrine of repentance; and in the doctrine of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, as well as baptism for the remission of sins; and also, in like manner, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Now all these are the doctrines set forth by the appostles, and if we have any thing to do with one of them, they are all alike precious, and binding on us. And as proof, mark the following quotations. Mark 16 chap., 15–16 verses, “and he said [p. 54]
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