History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1407
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<​October 16​> to convince then that they are wrong, and that Smith is an Imposter, and the answer is, laying the hand on the heart “I know in my own soul that it is true, and want no better evidence. I feel happy in my faith, and why should I be disturbed?” Now I cannot see but what this is the sentiment that governs all religiously disposed persons, their object being heaven and happiness, no matter what their church or their creed. They therefore cannot be put down while the Constitution of the—— offers them protection, in common with all other sects, and while they believe that their eternal salvation is at stake. From what I know of the people, I fully believe that all the really sincere Mormons would die sooner than abandon their faith and their religion. Gen. has stated, that to conquer the Mormon Legion it would require five to one against them, all things taken into consideration, and that they will die to a man sooner than give up their Prophet. Now is the arrest of this man worth such a sacrifice of life as must necessarily follow an open war with his people? The loss of from one to three thousand lives will no doubt follow in an attempt to accomplish an object not in the end worth a button. Persecute them and you are sure to multiply them. This is fully proved since the persecution, as, since that affair, they have increased one hundred fold. It is the best policy, both of and , to let them alone; for if they are drove—— farther west they may set up an independent government, under which they can worship the Almighty as may suit their taste. Indeed I would recommend to the Prophet to pull up stakes and take possession of the Oregon territory in his own right, and establish an independant empire. In one hundred years from this time, no nation on earth could conquer such a people. Let not the History of David be forgotten. If the prophet Joseph would do this, millions would flock to his standard and join his cause. He could then make his own laws by the voice of revelation, and have them executed like the act of one man.
With respect to myself, I would just repeat that I am the Prophet’s friend, and the friend of his people, merely from sympathy, as my arm has ever been lifted on the side of the persecuted and oppressed. I have never in my life followed the fat ox, nor bowed for a favor on my [HC 5:171] own account to mortal man. While I despise the purse proud man, I am proud to the proud man, and humble to the humble, and where men were contending, have ever thrown myself on the weakest side. By inserting this communication it is presumed that no one will hold the Herald responsible for the sentiments it contains; yet I have no doubt that there are thousands of independent, liberal minded men in this Country who think as I do. Neither the Mormon Prophet nor his people can add any thing to my fortune or reputation. I expect nothing from them— they are a poor and industrious people, and have nothing to give. I am influenced in my conduct towards them by spirit of benevolence, and mercy, and hope the and State of will act in like manner. It is true I was commissioned in their legion, through the instrumentality of their enemy, General , an act entirely of their own, without my agency; but I was as much their friend before as since. The persecution fixed my attention and commiseration on the people. It must [p. 1407]
October 16 to convince then that they are wrong, and that Smith is an Imposter, and the answer is, laying the hand on the heart “I know in my own soul that it is true, and want no better evidence. I feel happy in my faith, and why should I be disturbed?” Now I cannot see but what this is the sentiment that governs all religiously disposed persons, their object being heaven and happiness, no matter what their church or their creed. They therefore cannot be put down while the Constitution of the—— offers them protection, in common with all other sects, and while they believe that their eternal salvation is at stake. From what I know of the people, I fully believe that all the really sincere Mormons would die sooner than abandon their faith and their religion. Gen. has stated, that to conquer the Mormon Legion it would require five to one against them, all things taken into consideration, and that they will die to a man sooner than give up their Prophet. Now is the arrest of this man worth such a sacrifice of life as must necessarily follow an open war with his people? The loss of from one to three thousand lives will no doubt follow in an attempt to accomplish an object not in the end worth a button. Persecute them and you are sure to multiply them. This is fully proved since the persecution, as, since that affair, they have increased one hundred fold. It is the best policy, both of and , to let them alone; for if they are drove—— farther west they may set up an independent government, under which they can worship the Almighty as may suit their taste. Indeed I would recommend to the Prophet to pull up stakes and take possession of the Oregon territory in his own right, and establish an independant empire. In one hundred years from this time, no nation on earth could conquer such a people. Let not the History of David be forgotten. If the prophet Joseph would do this, millions would flock to his standard and join his cause. He could then make his own laws by the voice of revelation, and have them executed like the act of one man.
With respect to myself, I would just repeat that I am the Prophet’s friend, and the friend of his people, merely from sympathy, as my arm has ever been lifted on the side of the persecuted and oppressed. I have never in my life followed the fat ox, nor bowed for a favor on my [HC 5:171] own account to mortal man. While I despise the purse proud man, I am proud to the proud man, and humble to the humble, and where men were contending, have ever thrown myself on the weakest side. By inserting this communication it is presumed that no one will hold the Herald responsible for the sentiments it contains; yet I have no doubt that there are thousands of independent, liberal minded men in this Country who think as I do. Neither the Mormon Prophet nor his people can add any thing to my fortune or reputation. I expect nothing from them— they are a poor and industrious people, and have nothing to give. I am influenced in my conduct towards them by spirit of benevolence, and mercy, and hope the and State of will act in like manner. It is true I was commissioned in their legion, through the instrumentality of their enemy, General , an act entirely of their own, without my agency; but I was as much their friend before as since. The persecution fixed my attention and commiseration on the people. It must [p. 1407]
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