Letterbook 2

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 64
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Letter, Stephen Burnett to Lyman Johnson • 15 April 1838
, Geauga Co  Ohio 15th. April 1838
— Dear Sir I have with pleasure just received your  favor post marked 26th Ult and now you see I take a large sheet that  I may have ample room to write— my heart is sickened within me when I  reflect upon the manner in which we with many of this Church have been  led & the losses which we have sustained all by means of two men in whom  we placed implicit confidence, that Joseph Smith & are  notorious liars I do not hesitate to affirm, & can prove by a cloud of witnesses  & this is not all, Joseph has prophecied in a public congregation lies in the name  of the Lord & by undue religious influence he has filched the monies of the  Church from their pockets and brought them nigh unto destruction, leaving  helpless innocence destitute of a comfortable support while he has squandered  the hard earnings of those to whom it justly belonged. I have reflected long  and deliberately upon the history of this church & weighed the evidence for &  against it— loth to give it up— but when I came to hear  state in a public congregation that he never saw the plates with his natural  eyes only in vision or imagination, neither nor & also that  the eight witnesses never saw them & hesitated to sign that instrument for  that reason, but were persuaded to do it, the last pedestal gave way, in my  view our foundations was sapped & the entire superstructure fell a heap of  ruins, I therefore three weeks since in the Stone Chapel gave a full history  of the church since I became acquainted with it, the false preaching &  prophecying etc of Joseph together with the reasons why I took the course  which I was resolved to do, and renounced the Book of Mormon with the whole  scene of lying and deception practiced by J. S & in this church, believ ing as I verily do, that it is all a wicked deception palmed upon us unawares
I was followed by & all of who  concurred with me, after we were done speaking arose & said  he was sorry for any man who rejected the Book of Mormon for he knew it  was true, he said he had hefted the plates repeatedly in a box with only a  tablecloth or a handkerchief over them, but he never saw them only as he  saw a city through a mountain. And said that he never should have told  that the testimony of the eight was false, if it had not been picked out of air  but should have let it passed as it was— Now if you have any  thing to say in favour of the Book of Mormon I should be glad to hear it.—
About six hundred souls are making preparations to leave  for the first of May to be called the Camp.
Property is worth nothing in , I was told offered his house [p. 64]
Letter, Stephen Burnett to Lyman Johnson • 15 April 1838
, Geauga Co Ohio 15th. April 1838
— Dear Sir I have with pleasure just received your favor post marked 26th Ult and now you see I take a large sheet that I may have ample room to write— my heart is sickened within me when I reflect upon the manner in which we with many of this Church have been led & the losses which we have sustained all by means of two men in whom we placed implicit confidence, that Joseph Smith & are notorious liars I do not hesitate to affirm, & can prove by a cloud of witnesses & this is not all, Joseph has prophecied in a public congregation lies in the name of the Lord & by undue religious influence he has filched the monies of the Church from their pockets and brought them nigh unto destruction, leaving helpless innocence destitute of a comfortable support while he has squandered the hard earnings of those to whom it justly belonged. I have reflected long and deliberately upon the history of this church & weighed the evidence for & against it— loth to give it up— but when I came to hear state in public that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither nor & also that the eight witnesses never saw them & hesitated to sign that instrument for that reason, but were persuaded to do it, the last pedestal gave way, in my view our foundations was sapped & the entire superstructure fell a heap of ruins, I therefore three weeks since in the Stone Chapel gave a full history of the church since I became acquainted with it, the false preaching & prophecying etc of Joseph together with the reasons why I took the course which I was resolved to do, and renounced the Book of Mormon with the whole scene of lying and deception practiced by J. S & in this church, believing as I verily do, that it is all a wicked deception palmed upon us unawares
I was followed by & all of who concurred with me, after we were done speaking arose & said he was sorry for any man who rejected the Book of Mormon for he knew it was true, he said he had hefted the plates repeatedly in a box with only a tablecloth or a handkerchief over them, but he never saw them only as he saw a city through a mountain. And said that he never should have told that the testimony of the eight was false, if it had not been picked out of air but should have let it passed as it was— Now if you have any thing to say in favour of the Book of Mormon I should be glad to hear it.—
About six hundred souls are making preparations to leave for the first of May to be called the Camp.
Property is worth nothing in , I was told offered his house [p. 64]
Page 64