History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 72
image
<​June 8​> in my former letter. I have seen with my eyes, and heard with my ears, and I am satisfied with the result. I have seen the prophet and heard him speak. His actions have rendered him famous, his claims have made him known, his persecutions have made him an object of interest, but his own intrinsic merits have made him beloved by all who know him.
“I was astonished that men would be so blind as to follow after such a man; but that feeling is gone, and I now only wonder why he has not more followers; the only reason can be they hate the truth.
“Notwithstanding all the efforts of his adversaries, he has pursued the even tenor of his way, and steadily advanced to his present position. Unintimidated by their threats, unmindful of their numbers, unawed by their power, he has always come off victorious, and thwarted all the plans of his opponents. Although priest and people, rich and poor, professor and non-professor, learned and unlearned, christian and infidel, have united their forces to belie, slander, and persecute him, yet has the work in which he is engaged rolled steadily onward, impelled by the hand of a God.
“That an illiterate youth of twenty-one, with none of the advantages of our learned divines, with scarce a common school education, poor and despised, alone and unassisted, should have conceived a system of theology, which all the wisdom and learning of the age have not been able to confute, and the progress of which the combined efforts of earth and hell have not been able to resist, exceeds even my powers of belief. When we review his career, and behold him, from the poor despised visionary of , rising in the short space of fifteen years, to the Presidency of a church numbering not less than 200,000 souls, spread throughout the and the , Europe, and the islands of the sea, we are led to exclaim, ‘a greater than Jonah is here.’ Indeed had he no other claims to inspiration than his actions, and the works he has performed, they would be abundant to stamp him indellibly a Prophet of God.
“He has only to be known to be admired; his doctrine has only to be investigated to be believed; his claims cannot be confuted. What then obstructs his progress? Surely nothing; unless it be the bigotry, superstition, and prejudice of a priest-ridden community. But the time will come, perhaps too late, when their eyes will be opened to a sense of their folly. They can then see, that, led on by their priests, they have opposed themselves to inspiration, and rejected the truth. Be not astonished at the warmth of my expression, for I have but just emerged from my thraldom, like a Chrysalis breaking its shell, and look back with affright at the bondage to which I was subjected. Would to God that the whole world would throw away their prejudice, and investigate for themselves; or come here and get their eyes opened as I have done.
“Would they but examine the matter they would find that the so-called “Mormon delusion” beautifully harmonizes with the scriptures, reconciles many seeming contradictions, explains many difficult passages, restores the primitive order and simplicity of the Church, fulfills many of the prophecies, and gives us just conceptions of the character, attributes, and perfections of the Deity. It contains some of the most glorious, grand, and sublime principles ever imagined by the mind of man; it reveals a plan of life in a future state of existence worthy the conception of a God; it elevates our ideas of Jehovah and of his creation; it plainly shows the whole duty of a saint, the plan of salvation, the straight and narrow path; and, in short, it is a perfect system of theology, as far before the clanging, jarring systems of Modern divinity as the gospel of Jesus Christ was before the system of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and as the plan of salvation devised by Jehovah before the worlds began is before any of the systems of sectarianism. [p. 72]
June 8 in my former letter. I have seen with my eyes, and heard with my ears, and I am satisfied with the result. I have seen the prophet and heard him speak. His actions have rendered him famous, his claims have made him known, his persecutions have made him an object of interest, but his own intrinsic merits have made him beloved by all who know him.
“I was astonished that men would be so blind as to follow after such a man; but that feeling is gone, and I now only wonder why he has not more followers; the only reason can be they hate the truth.
“Notwithstanding all the efforts of his adversaries, he has pursued the even tenor of his way, and steadily advanced to his present position. Unintimidated by their threats, unmindful of their numbers, unawed by their power, he has always come off victorious, and thwarted all the plans of his opponents. Although priest and people, rich and poor, professor and non-professor, learned and unlearned, christian and infidel, have united their forces to belie, slander, and persecute him, yet has the work in which he is engaged rolled steadily onward, impelled by the hand of a God.
“That an illiterate youth of twenty-one, with none of the advantages of our learned divines, with scarce a common school education, poor and despised, alone and unassisted, should have conceived a system of theology, which all the wisdom and learning of the age have not been able to confute, and the progress of which the combined efforts of earth and hell have not been able to resist, exceeds even my powers of belief. When we review his career, and behold him, from the poor despised visionary of , rising in the short space of fifteen years, to the Presidency of a church numbering not less than 200,000 souls, spread throughout the and the , Europe, and the islands of the sea, we are led to exclaim, ‘a greater than Jonah is here.’ Indeed had he no other claims to inspiration than his actions, and the works he has performed, they would be abundant to stamp him indellibly a Prophet of God.
“He has only to be known to be admired; his doctrine has only to be investigated to be believed; his claims cannot be confuted. What then obstructs his progress? Surely nothing; unless it be the bigotry, superstition, and prejudice of a priest-ridden community. But the time will come, perhaps too late, when their eyes will be opened to a sense of their folly. They can then see, that, led on by their priests, they have opposed themselves to inspiration, and rejected the truth. Be not astonished at the warmth of my expression, for I have but just emerged from my thraldom, like a Chrysalis breaking its shell, and look back with affright at the bondage to which I was subjected. Would to God that the whole world would throw away their prejudice, and investigate for themselves; or come here and get their eyes opened as I have done.
“Would they but examine the matter they would find that the so-called “Mormon delusion” beautifully harmonizes with the scriptures, reconciles many seeming contradictions, explains many difficult passages, restores the primitive order and simplicity of the Church, fulfills many of the prophecies, and gives us just conceptions of the character, attributes, and perfections of the Deity. It contains some of the most glorious, grand, and sublime principles ever imagined by the mind of man; it reveals a plan of life in a future state of existence worthy the conception of a God; it elevates our ideas of Jehovah and of his creation; it plainly shows the whole duty of a saint, the plan of salvation, the straight and narrow path; and, in short, it is a perfect system of theology, as far before the clanging, jarring systems of Modern divinity as the gospel of Jesus Christ was before the system of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and as the plan of salvation devised by Jehovah before the worlds began is before any of the systems of sectarianism. [p. 72]
Page 72