TABLE OF CONTENTS
MORMONISM: ITS ORIGIN, CHARACTERISTICS, AND
BY REV. R. G. MCNIECE, D.D.,
FOR TWENTY YEARS PRIOR TO 1897, PASTOR OF FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, SALT LAKE
The writer has lived in Salt Lake City, the official
headquarters of Mormonism, for over thirty years, and he has improved the
opportunity to secure a complete understanding of the system. In the great
Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, during a whole generation, he has heard Mormonism
expounded and defended, again and again, by its chief officials — by President
Brigham Young, and President John Taylor, and their successors, Wilford
Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith. In various Mormon meeting-houses,
also, from Idaho to Arizona, he has heard the system set forth by many of its
chief apostles, bishops, and elders.
Furthermore, the writer has diligently studied the chief
official books of Mormonism, especially the "Book of Mormon", the "Doctrine and
Covenants", the "Pearl of Great Price", and, supplementing these, the Mormon
Catechism, Elder Robert’s "New Witness for God", Professor Talmage’s "Lectures
on the Articles of Faith", the works of Apostle Orson Pratt, Lucy Smith’s
"History of the Prophet Joseph", and the Autobiography of Joseph Smith. And
besides he has read a great mass of pamphlets and articles by Mormon officials.
The standpoint of the writer is that of friendly sympathy and good-will toward
the men and women among the common people in the Mormon ranks, whose sincerity
he has no desire to call in question. But since Mormonism keeps from 1,500 to
2,000 missionaries scattered up and down the country, propagating this most
erroneous and harmful system, organizing Mormon meetings, and separating
families, in the Eastern, Middle, Southern and Northwestern States, patriotic
and Christian people everywhere need to have a clear idea of what Mormonism
really is, and the shameful way in which it dishonors the Bible and the
Christian religion, so that they can help to protect their own communities from
the curse. And it is impossible to understand its character, without
understanding its origin, so let us consider that first.
THE ORIGIN OF THE MORMON SYSTEM
As an organization, it is only eighty-two years old, going back to
April, 1830. About this time, or a few months before, the Book of Mormon was
published; and on April 6th, 1830, the Mormon Church was organized with six
members, in Fayette, Seneca County, New York. Notwithstanding the
long-continued effort to surround this origin with great mystery, and various
spectacular fireworks from heaven, as manipulated by Joseph Smith, there is no
mystery about it. The period of eighty-two years is not long enough to take us
back to the region of mystery.
The two main sources of its origin: The first
source is a group of three designing men, who put their profane wits together
to palm off on various communities in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, this
crude, bogus, manmade system under the garb of Christian phraseology, in order
to deceive the unthinking.
People in general think of Joseph Smith as the one man
above all others who originated the Mormon System. But the facts are solid
against such a proposition. Smith was ignorant and illiterate, hardly able to
read until after he was a grown man. He knew practically nothing about the
Bible, according to his mother’s statement, and there is no substantial
evidence in his life and conduct that he ever had any religion in his heart.
A religious man, however erratic he might be, who had
been trained in the Bible and in theology, was needed to give the bogus system
some kind of religious setting. The only man connected with the scheme from
its very beginning, long before the public organization, who had any such
qualifications, was the Revelation Sidney Rigdon. About 1819, when 26 years of
age, he was licensed to preach as a Baptist minister, and in 1821 became
pastor of a small Baptist church in Pittsburg.
He was an interesting speaker, but very erratic, and
constantly presenting all sorts of wild and startling theories which unsettled
the people. In 1824 he was deposed from the Baptist denomination because he
was unwilling to work in harmony with its leaders. About two years later, he
became a minister of the Campbellite denomination, and came under the powerful
influence of that strong man, Alexander Campbell, who thoroughly indoctrinated
him in all the doctrines and views peculiar at that time to the denomination.
But Rigdon quarreled with Campbell, and argued if the latter could secure fame
and authority for himself by organizing a new church, then he, Rigdon, could
secure still greater fame and authority by giving to the world both a new
revelation and a new religion, through the Book of Mormon.
The two unprincipled men who assisted Rigdon in working
out this scheme were Parley P. Pratt, who afterwards became one of the twelve
apostles, and Joseph Smith. Pratt furnished the mental and moral audacity
necessary to propagate such a dishonest scheme, and Joseph Smith furnished the
avaricious cunning, which enabled him to so commercialize the whole affair
that the great bulk of the financial profit and of the ecclesiastical power
fell into his hands. He occupied a subordinate place only until Rigdon could
put the spurious Book of Mormon into its present shape. But just as soon as
the church was organized, Joseph Smith seized the reins of power, rode
rough-shod over everything and everybody that stood in his way, and did not
lay down the power until his death in June, 1844.
The kind of man Pratt was is illustrated by the fact
that he lost his life in 1857 near Fort Gibson, Arkansas, at the muzzle of a
shot-gun in the hands of an enraged husband, whose wife Pratt had induced to
desert her home and her children, and go with him to Utah as one of his plural
wives. These three unprincipled men were the fabricators of the Mormon system.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF
MORMONISM, WHICH MAKE IT WHAT IT IS
It is a strongly anti-American system. By that
is meant that it flatly contradicts the fundamental principles of our free,
representative government, by insisting that priesthood government in civil
affairs is the only rightful government in this country, or any country.
Apostle Orson Pratt, speaking for the Mormon Church, thus lays down the law:
"The kingdom of God (by which he means the Mormon priesthood) is an order
of government established by Divine authority .... All other governments are
illegal and unauthorized .... Any people attempting to govern themselves by
laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in
direct rebellion against the kingdom of God". (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 41).
Nothing is left undone to magnify the power and
authority of the priesthood, and the people are instructed that to disobey the
priesthood is the same as disobeying God. One of the official books of the
church thus sets forth this extravagant and blasphemous claim: "Men who hold
the priesthood possess Divine authority thus to act for God; and by possessing
part of God’s power, they are in reality part of God; … and those who reject
it, reject God. even the power of God". ("New Witness for God," p. 187).
This tyrannical priesthood dictates and controls all the
affairs of the people in the average Mormon community.
The Mormon System is thoroughly anti-Christian.
While appropriating to itself Christian phraseology, and New Testament names
and forms, it perverts or denies every fundamental doctrine of the Christian
religion. It not only denies but ridicules the Christian doctrine of the
spirituality of God, and teaches the people that He is a big man like Brigham
Young. For Mormonism teaches that Adam is the god of this world. It denies
that Christ’s atonement has anything to do with our sins, but only with the
sins of Adam. To get rid of our sins, we must work out our salvation through
the teachings, and forms, and ordinances of the Mormon Church, with its
multiplied baptisms for the dead.
Mormonism is a deliberate counterfeit of the
Christian religion, intended to deceive the ignorant. It calls itself,
"The Church of Jesus Christ", a name to which it can lay no claim. The term
"Church" is a Christian name and belongs alone to Christians — to those who
are loyal to the Christian Church, to Jesus Christ as the Divine and only head
of the Church, and to the Bible as the supreme and only revelation from God.
Mormonism tries to palm off on the world a
counterfeit prophet in the person of Joseph Smith. He had all the marks
of a counterfeit or false prophet, and not one of the marks of a true
prophet. In prophetic times, what were the marks of a true prophet? In the
first place, he was a man of pure and upright life; he was noted for
spirituality of mind, so that he could discern spiritual truth and teach it
to others. He was loyal to God, everywhere and always, and he never made
merchandise of his prophetic office. Joseph Smith was just the very opposite
of this. Instead of living a pure and upright life, he was immoral and
wicked, as we shall presently see. He had no spirituality whatever, and he
constantly made merchandise of his pretended prophetic position, so that it
secured for him houses and lands, and valuable corner lots and lucrative
offices, such as the office of mayor, municipal magistrate, municipal judge,
Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion, and the nomination to be president.
The Mormon people have allowed themselves to be grievously deceived by his
Autobiography, written in 1838. He tries to make out that when he was
fifteen, he was a pious, praying youth, greatly concerned about religion,
and especially troubled because there were so many religious sects, he could
not tell which one to join.
Now let us see what Joseph Smith’s immediate neighbors have to say about his
character. There is no lack of evidence. Joseph Smith’s father and mother,
with the other children, removed from Vermont to Palmyra, Ontario County,
New York, in the summer of 1815. They were fortunetellers, dreamers,
vision-seers. The father was a money-digger, and the son Joseph became
famous all through that region as a money-digger. Young Joseph was about
eleven years old at this time, having been born in Sharon, Vermont, Dec. 23,
1805. After two or three years they moved about three miles south to
Manchester, where they lived up to 1830. Take first the testimony of Pomeroy
Tucker, editor of the "Wayne Sentinel," at Palmyra, on whose press the first
edition of the Book of Mormon was printed. Says Mr. Tucker: "At this period
(from 1820 to 1830) in the life and career of Joseph Smith, Jr., or ‘Joe
Smith’, as he was universally named, and the Smith family, they were
popularly regarded as an illiterate, whisky drinking, irreligious race of
people; the first named, the chief subject of this biography, being
unanimously voted the laziest and most worthless of the generation… He could
utter the most palpable exaggeration, or marvelous absurdity, with the
utmost apparent gravity". ("Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism", p.16).
In 1833 sixty-two residents of Palmyra made affidavit,
over their own signatures, to the following statements: "We, the
undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family for a number of
years while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation in
saying that we consider them destitute of Shat moral character which ought
to entitle them to the confidence of any community .... Joseph Smith, Sr.,
and his son Joseph, were, in particular, considered entirely destitute of
moral character and addicted to vicious habits".
There is much more evidence of a similar character.
Mormonism tries to palm off on the world a
counterfeit Bible, which it calls the "Book of Mormon" and sets forth as
a revelation from God, putting it on the same level with our own Christian
Bible, placing the two side by side in the Mormon pulpit. Now the Book of
Mormon is simply a poor and weak imitation of our English Bible a lifeless
counterfeit. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?
Let all that absurd, fictitious yarn of Joseph Smith, about an angel
disclosing to him the box hidden in the hill of Cumorah, New York, on whose
golden plates, in the reformed Egyptian language, was contained the material
out of which he translated the Book of Mormon — let all that be cut out as
having not a particle of foundation. There was no angel. The only plates
Joseph Smith ever dug out of the hill of Cumorah, or any other hill, were
put there by himself or by one of his agents. While the literature in
regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon is quite voluminous, the real
facts about its origin can be stated in small compass: In 1808-09 the
Revelation Solomon Spaulding settled down as a citizen in the town of
Conneaut, in northeastern Ohio. He was a man of education, having graduated
from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1785. He studied theology, and
for a number of years was a minister of one of the Christian denominations
in western New York. He had given up preaching, and had settled down in
Conneaut as a business man, seeking to establish an iron foundry.
Being fond of Bible literature and religious romance and archaeology, he
became interested in the many Indian mounds in that region, and especially
in their builders. This led him to plan a religious romance, in which he
brought a colony of the Lost Tribes from Jerusalem into this country, where
they developed into two nations, the Nephites and the Lamanites, a purely
imaginary people. The Book of Mormon, composed of fifteen different books,
gives an account of their wanderings, hardships and battles. The records are
alleged to have been written on plates of brass. These plates begin to
jingle on the second page of the Book of Mormon, and they continue to jingle
until they are finally sealed up and hidden away in the hill of Cumorah,
near Palmyra, in 420 A.D.
Now there are ten intelligent witnesses, who stated over their affidavit in
1833, when the subject was fresh in mind, that about 1811-12, they heard
Solomon Spaulding reading a religious story from the "Manuscript Found",
trying to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Lost
Tribes. They remembered the quaint phraseology, and the queer names, Lehi,
Nephi, Jarom, Moroni, and the rest. The expression, "and it came to pass",
occurred so often, the boys nick-named Spaulding, "Old Come-to- Pass". When
the Book of Mormon was published these witnesses identified at once the
queer names and phraseology. When Esquire Wright heard the Book of Mormon
read in Conneaut he exclaimed, "‘Old Come-to-Pass’ has come to life again".
These witnesses were John Spaulding, brother of Solomon, his wife Martha
Spaulding, Henry Lake, business partner of Solomon Spaulding, John N.
Miller, who worked for Spaulding, Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, and Naham
Howard, three of Spaulding’s neighbors, and Artemas Cunningham, of Geauga
County, who visited Spaulding in October, 1811, to collect a debt. Spaulding
showed him a story he was writing about the lost tribes. Mr. Cunningham
spent half the night listening to the story. When the Book of Mormon
appeared he recognized that in outline it was the same thing that Spaulding
had read to him. The two other witnesses are the widow of Solomon Spaulding,
and Mr. Joseph Miller, of Amity, Pennsylvania, where Spaulding died.
The evidence clearly shows that the Book of Mormon grew out of
Spaulding’s story, but the defenders of Mormonism lose their mental
balance whenever this subject is mentioned, and they treat it dishonestly.
They say: "we have the Spaulding manuscript in the Oberlin College
Library, brought back from Honolulu in 1884 by President Fairchild, and
there is no connection between it and the Book of Mormon". Certainly not. No
person well informed about the history of Mormonism ever claimed that there
is any connection. But why say, "We have the Spaulding Manuscript"? All that
the facts warrant is, "There is a Spaulding manuscript in Oberlin", and the
possession of that manuscript will afford no help to the defenders of
Mormonism against the plagiarism of the book until they do one thing which
they are unable to do; namely, establish a general negative, and show that
this manuscript in Oberlin College Library is the only manuscript which
Solomon Spaulding ever wrote. This can not be done, for there is conclusive
evidence that he wrote three or four manuscripts, and one of them was the
"Manuscript Found", which he read to his neighbors, and which formed the
basis of the Book of Mormon. So when the champions of Mormonism say: "The
Book of Mormon could not have grown out of the Spaulding manuscript, for
that manuscript is in Oberlin, and there is no connection between it and the
Book of Mormon", they take a dishonest position by falsely assuming that
this is the only manuscript Spaulding wrote, whereas there is positive
evidence that he wrote several manuscripts. The fact, therefore, is
established by abundant evidence that the Book of Mormon is a
plagiarism from Spaulding’s religious romance.
Just when Rigdon, Pratt, and Smith first met and concocted the dishonest
scheme of the buried plates is not altogether clear, probably about 1827. A
strenuous attempt has been made to show that Rigdon and Pratt had no
knowledge of the Book of Mormon until its publication, and they go through
the wretched farce of pretending to be converted to Mormonism after the Book
of Mormon had been published, which they say they knew nothing about before,
although evidence shows that they both had been in the scheme to publish it
since 1827. What a set of deceivers!
The one important fact is the plagiarism of the Book of Mormon from the
Spaulding romance, entitled "Manuscript Found". It is not specially
important to know who edited the Spaulding story, and developed it into the
present Book of Mormon. But all the evidence points to Sidney Rigdon, and
it points to no one else. The evidence shows the following things: That
a copy of the Spaulding manuscript was in the printing office of Patterson
and Lambdin, in Pittsburg, for a good while after 1814; that Rigdon and
Lambdin were on intimate terms from 1818 to the death of Lambdin in August,
1825; that more than two years before the publication of the Book of Mormon,
Rigdon had spoken to several of his friends about the coming publication of
a book from golden plates, which would produce a great religious revolution.
During these two years Rigdon was preaching wild and startling doctrines,
afterwards found in the Book of Mormon.
Any one familiar with the peculiar Campbellite doctrines of that time can
not read far into the Book of Mormon without discovering that the author had
been a Campbellite. His "speech betrayeth" him in the employment of
phraseology to which he had become accustomed while associated with the
brethren of that denomination. Furthermore, the book is full of Rigdon’s own
peculiar views. He deserves credit, however, for making the Book of Mormon
condemn polygamy, and for condemning it himself, which brought him into
sharp conflict with both Joseph Smith and his successor, Brigham Young.
Mormonism imposes upon the people a counterfeit
priesthood, which it calls the "Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthood",
although there never was any Melchizedek order of priesthood. There was one
man by that name, both a king and a priest, without predecessor or
successor, and so chosen as a type of the priesthood of the Son of God. The
Aaronic priesthood descended from father to son, in a marvelous way, for
forty-five generations, until all priesthood was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Since the one perfect sacrifice of Himself made by our great High Priest,
Jesus Christ, any person who pretends to be a priest and claims the right to
stand between us and God, is what our Saviour calls "a thief and a robber".
What a bogus priesthood this pretended Mormon priesthood is! It has no more
right to administer the Christian ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s
Supper, than any other group of unprincipled men who repudiate Jesus Christ
as the Divine Head of the Church, and go through, the blasphemous farce of
electing themselves members of "the holy priesthood". And yet Mormons
tremble at the dictates of this bogus priesthood, and fear to exercise the
freedom of opinion which is their right. The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th
Chapters of Hebrews give us Divine instruction as to the fact that all
priesthood was forever fulfilled, and came to an end in Jesus Christ.
Mormonism imposes upon the people a counterfeit
group of apostles.
It requires four things to make a true apostle:
First, He must have been acquainted with Jesus Christ before His
Second, He must have seen Christ after His resurrection from the
Third, He must have received his commission as an apostle directly
from Christ, as Divine Head of the Church.
Fourth, He must be able to work miracles to show that God sent him.
So that any group of men now who say they are apostles, are simply willful
deceivers, and the truth is not in them.
THE DOCTRINES OF THE MORMON
All that has been said under the preceding division about
the characteristics of Mormonism, has been a setting forth of its false and
anti-Scriptural teachings on the four important subjects of prophecy,
revelation, Divine authority of the bogus priesthood, and the bogus apostles.
The Mormon Church does not publish its peculiar teachings and beliefs. If it
did, it would gain no more converts; it waits until its converts are thoroughly
entrapped before its peculiar doctrines are disclosed. Its whole system is
carried on, so far as new converts are concerned, by means of the most
systematic deception. Its missionaries wear black frock coats and white cravats
so that the people are deceived into supposing that they are Christian
In the Spring of 1844, when the Mormon Church was being severely condemned all
over the country, John Wentworth, who was publishing a paper in Chicago, asked
Joseph Smith to state what the Mormons believe. Smith and some of his associates
put their heads together, and sent out thirteen articles as a summary of Mormon
belief. It is simply another piece of deception, for these articles do not
contain one doctrine peculiar’ to Mormonism, but are rather a summary of
doctrines held by the Christian denominations. And yet they stand today as
representing Mormon belief. When we come to test these articles by the official
books of Mormonism, we find they are thoroughly deceiving. Let us take up the
first six or seven of these pretended articles of belief, and see how misleading
"Article 1. We Believe In God
The Eternal Father, And In His Son Jesus Christ, And In The Holy Ghost."
By God the eternal Father, the Mormon officials mean
Adam. (For convenience we will use the following abbreviations: B. of M. for
Book of Mormon; D. & C. for Doctrine and Covenants; P. G. P. for Pearl of
Great Price; Comp. for Compendium of Mormon Doctrine; Key, for Pratt’s Key to
Theol.; J. of D. for Journal of Discourses — volumes of Mormon Sermons; and M.
C. for Mormon Catechism). Brigham Young taught that Adam was promoted to be
the god of this world: "He (Adam) is our Father and our God, and the only God
with whom we have to do". (J. of D., Vol. I, p. 50).
This Adam-god is a polygamist. "When our Father Adam
came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and
brought Eve, one of his wives, with him". (Brigham Young, J. of D., I, 50).
The Mormon officials teach that those who build up
large polygamous establishments on earth, will be promoted to be gods in the
heavenly world, and will rule over kingdoms. Take this heathen teaching of
Joseph Smith: "God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man (in
other words, simply a big Mormon) .... And you have got to learn how to be
gods yourselves, the same as all gods have done before you". (J. of D., VI, 4;
It will be seen that Mormonism believes in many gods.
"Are there more gods than one? Yes, many". (Catechism).
These gods continue to have. children forever. "Each
god, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and
daughters, … for each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply
forever and ever". (The Seer, 1, 37). This is directly contrary to our
Saviour’s teaching in Mark 12:25: "For when they shall rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are
It seems incredible that such dishonoring heathenish views of God, the
Almighty Creator and Governor of the world, should be held and propagated in
Christian America, by an organization calling itself "The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints". Paul’s statement in Romans 1:21-24 seems
verified in them.
They teach that the Holy Spirit is a kind of ethereal
substance diffused through space. "The purest, most refined and subtle of all
these substances (such as electricity, galvanism, magnetism) ... is that
substance called the Holy Spirit". (Key, p. 39).
How refreshing to turn to the Divine Word and read its convincing and
authoritative teachings about God. We read in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning
God created the heaven and the earth"; in Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God is one Lord"; in Psalm 104:1: "O Lord my God, Thou art very
great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty"; in Isaiah 45:5: "I am the
Lord, and there is none else"; in John 4:24: "God is a Spirit, and they that
worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth"; in John 14:26: "But the
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He
shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance
whatsoever I have said unto you". The Holy Spirit, then, is a Divine Person,
and not an "ethereal substance".
"Article 2. We Believe That Men
Will Be Punished For Their Own Sins, And Not For Adam’s Transgressions."
But that is very different from holding that Adam did not
transgress the law of God. Here is the teaching of the Mormon Catechism: "Was it
necessary that Adam should partake of the forbidden fruit? Yes, unless he had
done so, he would not have known good and evil here, neither could he have had
"Is it proper for us to consider the transgression of Adam and Eve as a grievous
calamity, and that all mankind would have been infinitely more happy if the Fall
had not occurred? No, but we ought to consider the Fall of our first parents as
one of the great steps to eternal exaltation and happiness". (Catechism, Chapter
8). What saith the Scriptures?: "If we say that we. have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us" 1 John 1:8. "Wherefore as by one man
[Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon
all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12. "For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord".
"Article 3, We Believe That
Through The Atonement Of Jesus Christ All Mankind May Be Saved, By Obedience To
The Laws And Ordinances Of The Gospel".
That is, the bogus Mormon Gospel. According to the
official teachings of Mormonism, who was Jesus Christ? The son of Adam-god and
Mary. "The Father has begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten of
the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family".
(Brigham Young, J. of D., I, 50).
Christ is represented as having plural wives. "We say
it was Jesus Christ who was married (at Cana to the Marys and Martha), whereby
He could see His seed before He was crucified" (Apostle O. Hyde, Sermon).
"The atonement made by Jesus Christ brought about the resurrection from the
dead, and restored life". (B. of M. Alma, 42:23). "Redemption from personal
sins can only be obtained through obedience to the requirements of the Gospel
[Mormon ceremonies] and a life of good works".
"Will all the people be damned who are not Latter-Day Saints? Yes, and a great
many of them except they repent speedily". (Brigham Young, J. of D., I, 339).
Our Saviour said: "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that through Him the world might be saved".
"Article 4. We Believe That The
First Principles And Ordinances Of The Bible Are:
First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Second Repentance;
Third, Baptism by Immersion for the Remission of Sins; Fourth, Laying on of
Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost."
"The sectarian doctrine of justification by faith alone
has exercised an influence for evil since the early days of Christianity". (Talmage’s
Articlesof Faith, p. 120) Paul says: "For ye are all the children of God by
faith in Jesus Christ" Galatians 3:26.
How to obtain the Holy Spirit: "There is a set mode by
which this great gift (the Holy Spirit) is conferred upon mankind ... the
laying on of hands by men who have themselves received it, and have been
called of God and ordained to administer it". (That means the Mormon
priesthood). Our Saviour said: "How much more shall your Heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him". The Holy Spirit, our Say tour
teaches, is given in answer to prayer, and is not dependent on the priesthood
of the Mormon Church, or any other church.
"Article 5. We Believe That A
Man Must Be Called Of God By Prophecy, And By The Laying On Of Hands, By Those
Who Are In Authority, To Preach The Gospel And Administer In The Ordinances
According to Mormonism, the only persons who have any
right to administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the
representatives of the Mormon priesthood. It unchurches all the Christian
denominations, and impudently claims that the Mormon Church is the only true
church; whereas it is not a church at all in the New Testament sense, and has no
more authority than Dowie had, or Mrs. Eddy. Its priesthood is bogus in its
origin and its authority. They are what our Saviour calls "thieves and robbers".
Paul says in Ephesians 4:11,12: "And He [Christ] gave some apostles; and some
prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ."
"Article 6. We Believe In The
Same Organization That Existed In The Primitive Church; Namely, Apostles,
Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Etc."
We have shown that it is impossible for men to be true
apostles now. Nor is there any warrant in the New Testament for such bogus
officials as the "First Presidency of the Church", with its two Counsellors, or
for the "High Council", with its despotic methods.
The Mormon Church pronounces damnation upon Christian believers who receive
baptism from the hands of Christian ministers. "Any person who shall be so
wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of these
apostate (Christian) churches, will be sent down to hell with them unless he
repents of the unholy and impious act". (The Seer, Vols. 1 and 2, p. 255). Our
Saviour said to His disciples, and to all who should become His disciples to the
end of time, in Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost".
"Article 7. We Believe In The
Gift Of Tongues, Prophecy, Visions, Healing, Interpretation Of Tongues."
"Article 8. We Believe The
Bible To Be The Word Of God, So Far As It Is Correctly Translated; We Also
Believe The Book Of Mormon To Be The Word Of God."
The priesthood can make additional Scriptures: "Wilford
Woodruff is a prophet, ... and he can make Scriptures as good as those in the
Bible". (Apostle J. W. Taylor, Conference, Salt Lake, April 5, 1897). "The
living oracles [pretended priestly revelations] are worth more to the
Latter-Day Saints than all the Bibles" .... (Apostle M. W. Merrill,
Conference, Salt Lake, Oct., ‘1897).
Paul tells us, on the other hand, in 2 Timothy 3:16,
that all genuine Scripture "is given by inspiration of God".
The disgusting doctrine of plural marriage is omitted from these Articles of
Faith. But it still Stands in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants as a
revelation from God to be observed under pain of eternal damnation. Yet as
Mrs. Orson Pratt said: "This pretended revelation was simply a dishonest trick
on the part of Joseph Smith to cloak over his own wicked and immoral life, and
to keep the peace in his household". It will be seen that the Mormon people
are required to accept the pretended revelation sanctioning plural marriage,
on pain of eternal damnation, from the following quotation from this bogus
revelation which still stands in their official book: "For behold I reveal
unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if you abide not that covenant
then are you damned: for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to
enter into My glory… And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood, if
any man espouse a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first give her
consent; and if he espouse the second and they are virgins and have vowed to
no other man, then he is justified; for he cannot commit adultery with that
that belongeth unto him and to none else; and if he have ten virgins given
unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong unto him; and
they are given unto him; therefore is he justified." ("Doctrine and
Covenants," chap. 132).
Now, what is this but a depraved and cunning bribe to every kind of social
immorality? And that has been its direct result for two generations, with the
iniquity still going on.
It is difficult for any one to study this Mormon system as a whole, without
coming to the conclusion that there is something in it beyond the power of
man, something positively Satanic. And does it not seem to be a reproach on
the Christian churches of this country that, after eighty years, such a system
of downright heathenism should still hold the people of one of the great
states of the West in absolute bondage, and through its hierarchical power, by
means of colonization, be able to influence the election of senators and
representatives in Congress from five other states? This latter fact makes it
a national and not a local problem. The one important thing to be done is to
double the Christian missionary forces in Utah, in order to bring deliverance
to those who are in bondage.
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