History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​April 1​> the devil can tempt: the Hottentot, the Turk, the Jew, or any other nation; and if these men were under the influence of his spirit, they of course could speak Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, Dutch or any other Language that the devil knew.
Some will say “try the spirits” by the word. “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” John iv, 2, 3. One of the Irvingites once quoted this passage whilst under the influence of a spirit, and then said, “I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” and yet these prophecies failed, [HC 4:579] their Messiah did not come; and the great things spoken of by them have fallen to the ground. What is the matter here? did not the apostle speak the truth? certainly he did— but he spoke to a people who were under the penalty of death,— the moment they embraced Christianity; and no one without a knowledge of the fact would confess it and expose themselves to death: and this was consequently given as a criterion to the church or churches to which John wrote. But the devil on a certain occasion cried out, “I know thee who thou art the Holy one of God”. Here was a frank acknowledgement under other circumstances— that “Jesus had come in the flesh”— <​On another occasion the devil said ‘Paul we know, and Jesus we know;’ of course come in the flesh​> No man nor set of men without the regular constituted authorities, the priesthood and discerning of Spirits, can tell true from false Spirits. This power they possessed in the Apostles day, but it has departed from the world for ages. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have also had their false spirits; and as it is made up of all those different sects professing every variety of opinion, and having been under the influence of so many kinds of spirits, it is not to be wondered at, if there should be found amongst us false spirits. Soon after the Gospel was established in , and during the absence of the authorities of the Church, many false spirits were introduced, many strange visions were seen, and wild enthusiastic notions were entertained; men run out of doors under the influence of this Spirit, and some of them got upon the stumps of trees and shouted, and all kinds of extravagancies were entered into by them: one man pursued a ball that he said he saw flying in the air, until he came to a precipice when he jumped into the top of a tree which saved his life, and many ridiculous things were entered into, calculated to bring disgrace upon the church of God; to cause the spirit of God to be withdrawn; and to uproot and destroy those glorious principles which had been developed for the salvation of the human family. But when the authorities returned the spirit was made manifest, those members that were exercised with it were tried for their fellowship; and those that would not repent and forsake it, <​X​> were cut off. At a subsequent period a Shaker spirit was on the point of being introduced, and at another, time the Methodist and Presbyterian falling down power; but the Spirit was rebuked, and put down, and those who would not submit to rule and good order, were disfellowshipped. We have also had brethren and Sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely: they would speak in a muttering, unnatural voice, and their bodies be [p. 1311]
April 1 the devil can tempt: the Hottentot, the Turk, the Jew, or any other nation; and if these men were under the influence of his spirit, they of course could speak Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, Dutch or any other Language that the devil knew.
Some will say “try the spirits” by the word. “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” John iv, 2, 3. One of the Irvingites once quoted this passage whilst under the influence of a spirit, and then said, “I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” and yet these prophecies failed, [HC 4:579] their Messiah did not come; and the great things spoken of by them have fallen to the ground. What is the matter here? did not the apostle speak the truth? certainly he did— but he spoke to a people who were under the penalty of death,— the moment they embraced Christianity; and no one without a knowledge of the fact would confess it and expose themselves to death: and this was consequently given as a criterion to the church or churches to which John wrote. But the devil on a certain occasion cried out, “I know thee who thou art the Holy one of God”. Here was a frank acknowledgement under other circumstances— that “Jesus had come in the flesh”— On another occasion the devil said ‘Paul we know, and Jesus we know;’ of course come in the flesh No man nor set of men without the regular constituted authorities, the priesthood and discerning of Spirits, can tell true from false Spirits. This power they possessed in the Apostles day, but it has departed from the world for ages. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have also had their false spirits; and as it is made up of all those different sects professing every variety of opinion, and having been under the influence of so many kinds of spirits, it is not to be wondered at, if there should be found amongst us false spirits. Soon after the Gospel was established in , and during the absence of the authorities of the Church, many false spirits were introduced, many strange visions were seen, and wild enthusiastic notions were entertained; men run out of doors under the influence of this Spirit, and some of them got upon the stumps of trees and shouted, and all kinds of extravagancies were entered into by them: one man pursued a ball that he said he saw flying in the air, until he came to a precipice when he jumped into the top of a tree which saved his life, and many ridiculous things were entered into, calculated to bring disgrace upon the church of God; to cause the spirit of God to be withdrawn; and to uproot and destroy those glorious principles which had been developed for the salvation of the human family. But when the authorities returned the spirit was made manifest, those members that were exercised with it were tried for their fellowship; and those that would not repent and forsake it, X were cut off. At a subsequent period a Shaker spirit was on the point of being introduced, and at another, time the Methodist and Presbyterian falling down power; but the Spirit was rebuked, and put down, and those who would not submit to rule and good order, were disfellowshipped. We have also had brethren and Sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely: they would speak in a muttering, unnatural voice, and their bodies be [p. 1311]
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