Letter from Lorenzo D. Wasson, 30 July 1842

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, July 30, 1842.
Dear Uncle and :—
With feelings of no ordinary character, and under peculiar circumstances, I now attempt to break the seeming long silence that has not been interrupted since I left your hospitable cottage, and the society of those rendered dear to me by their virtues, their benevolence and their glorious institutions. That, with the assistance of my heavenly Father, has formed my character and habits for the society of saints and angels.
I am in the enjoyment of good health, and I believe entirely free from that miserable, contemptible disease that destroys the constitution of man, (namely ague and fever,) and what causes me greater rejoicing, I have, by the grace of God, abolished the more dangerous malady—one that binds the mind of man in midnight darkness, and obscures their future destiny and eternal happiness in mistic clouds of uncertainty and doubt, namely, sectarian cupidity. I have just returned to this from a short excursion of four weeks through the south part of . Brother I. Ivins and myself were the first that ever proclaimed the everlasting gospel in that region of country; and to the disappointment of the people, and consternation of hireling priests, we preached Christ, and him crucified, and presented new and important truths from their own bibles that they never saw or heard of before. The people of this section are principally Methodists and Presbyterians, but they were inclined to believe the truth as it was presented, until the decrees of their long robed gods went forth commanding them not to hear or entertain these impostors, as we were called—O delusion! O blind philosophy! how long will thy unfortunate dupes be gulled by the ipse dixit of learned fools and holy knaves?
We were frequently obliged to leave the scriptures, or subject under consideration and give lessons on good manners, and advise disorderly priests not to disgrace their parents by showing their bad breeding. We held a discussion with a college bred advocate of Calvinism on the 23d; he would not show that Mormonism was false, as he had stated, so we took him up on Calvinism, and I assure you he found himself in poor picking before we got through. We left many believing [p. 891] our testimony, and intend to return next week and give them the second edition of the same important subject. When I arrived in the saints were in a tremendous flustration for the welfare of brother Joseph, and their friends at . The disclosures of and his sattelites had just arrived, and the faith of some was failing—others doubting, and those founded on the rock were contending against such unheard of falsehoods and slanders, and turning the reproach where it belongs—upon the heads of those black and midnight fiends who have made this bold attempt to destroy a virtuous people.
Great excitement in this at this time—there is a discussion in progression between our beloved and Dr. [George Montgomery] West, the celebrated lion (liar) of sectarianism. It is really amusing to see these two champions contend with stentorian voice, eloquence, and language; and all the tact of argument that God lavishes upon the defenders of truth, and the devil upon his lawyers, is arrayed in this debate. It is appalling to hear the groans of priests—the clamors of infidels, and apparently the last dying struggles of modern Babylon, beneath the ponderous weight of truth. May the time speedily arrive when she shall have kicked her last, and liberty, truth and happiness be the principles that stand as a watch word for the faithful, who by their virtues make glad the city of God.
Although I have left the society of tried friends—the joyous circles of the young and gifted—the endearments of domestic happiness, surrounded with brothers and sisters—an affectionate mother in tears—and the society of those that would deem it a pleasure to administer to my necessities when sickness or adverse fortune had laid upon me her withering hand—I have done it for the cause of truth, and not for worldly gain, applause, or pleasure—but it is my greatest delight to defend the truth against the attacks of holy hypocrites and bible infidels—and by the assistance of God I intend to bring our relatives into the good work unless they persist in believing a lie that they may be damned. I intend going to and this fall, unless I am advised to the reverse. Uncle, if you want any thing of me write to Toms River, N. J. I should be pleased to hear from you all. If I can be of any service in this affair I am ready. I was reading in your chamber last summer—yourself and came into the lower room, and I heard you give a tremendous flagellation for practicing iniquity under the base pretence of authority from the heads of the church—if you recollect I came down just before you were through talking. There are many things I can inform you of, if necessary, in relation to and his prostitutes. I am satisfied of your virtue and integrity. I have been with you to visit the sick, and time and again to houses where you had business of importance, you requested me to do so—many times I knew not why, but I am satisfied it was that you might not be censured by those that were watching you with a jealous eye, and I now solemnly protest before God and man, I never saw a thing unvirtuous in your conduct. With sentiments of high esteem to the children and family, I am your most obedient nephew.
Mr. Joseph Smith.
Mrs. . [p. 892]