Feb. 2d 1842.
Mr. Joseph Smith,
Sir,—Though a stranger to you personally, yet the knowl edge of your character (given me by oth ers) makes it unnecessary for me to of fer any apology for thus troubling you. And I entreat you to believe me, when I say, that it is with a sincere desire to ar rive at the truth of things that to me and all others are of the most vital impor tance.
I am pleased to inform you that Elder , has convinced me of my errors, relative to the divinity of the Bi ble; not in appealing to my passions or a mere flare up of the imagination, which constitutes the religion of three fourths of its votaries, but my judgment, and un derstanding, were alone consulted, and the result is, I am almost persuaded to be a Christian, on the principles contained in the Book.
I now concede, God to be a God, of mercy, justice, and truth, instead of a tyranical, lying and treacherous being, that I was forced to consider him, by the character he got by the various sects and theologians of the day, and their inter pretations of his word.
I have wished to know the truth and considered myself bound to receive it, come from whence it may, and inasmuch as your explanation of the Bible appears reasonable to me, and showing me at the same time, the science thereof, makes it I might say obligatory in me to know all things (so far as I can appreciate them,) that has any connection therewith.
I feel to thank God (though I am yet a sinner,) that crossed my path. He is giving the sectarian world the heart-burn in this city and the more they cry delusion, humbug and fanatacism the more the people wont believe it, but go and hear for themselves, and the result is that rational men consider him a ra tional man and the success of his mission in this city is indeed flattering.
I now wish to know through you the laws and regulations of your church— what is required of its members—how much (if a man of property,) must he [p. 731]