PROPHETIC CONTROVERSY No. 6
-- OR --
"Facts" for the Anti-Mormons
Located at Grayson, Kentucky.
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PROPHETIC CONTROVERSY No. 6
-- OR --
"Facts" for the Anti-Mormons Located at Grayson, Kentucky,
Being an Answer to the Following Letter of Inquiry.
GRAYSON, KY., June 3, 1905.
WINGFIELD WATSON, Lyons, Wis.
DEAR SIR: I note with great interest your article in the Evening and Morning Star, Independence, Mo., for May. I also note what you say as to J. J. Strang being "legally and duly appointed to succeed Joseph Smith, Jr.,"
I am a student of Mormon problems. I certainly want to get at the truth, about all he is said to claim. I have before me "Oliver Cowdery's Defence;" just got it yesterday. I also have Whitmer's Address. I want to learn more of James J. Strang. Can you post me -- rather will you? for I am satisfied that you can. Was his life ever written? Did he not also find plates? Were they ever translated?
Will certainly appreciate any aid you can and will give me in this hunt for facts. Yours for Truth,
R. B. NEAL.
LYONS, WIS., June 9, 1905.
MR. R. B. NEAL, Grayson, Ky.
DEAR SIR: Your letter of inquiry "for facts" touching the claims of Mr. James J. Strang, of June 3rd, is at hand and having already sent you the claims of Mr. Strang and some other kindred works, I now proceed to answer said letter, in as brief and pointed a manner as I reasonably can.
Question 1. No, sir. Mr. Strang's life has not been written any further than it is found in the works of his ministry, and in the controversies growing out of his claims. To mention a few of his works: He has first of all put his claims beyond a reasonable doubt.
Second, he has made a full end of Brigham Young's claims to lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as successor to Joseph Smith, the Seer, as we call the present Joseph Smith's father, and not only a full end to Brigham Young's claims, but also the claims of any and all others to any such leading or successorship.
Third, he has made a full end of the old "Spaulding Story" -- the old Howe and Hulbert story hatched up by them in order to destroy Mormonism.
Fourth, he has made a full end of the claims of the Old Catholic church to have a lawful priesthood derived in regular succession, as that body claims, from St. Peter.
Fifth, he has made a full end of the old fable that Jesus had no human father. In other words, he has put it beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jesus had, like all other men, a human father, and that that father was Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus Christ.
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send you enclosed in this. They were translated as you will see on pages 35, 36 of Mr. Strang's "Prophetic Controversy." Their contents related to an ancient people who once inhabited the land called Voree, near Burlington, Wis. A part of that translation reads as follows: "My people are no more. The mighty are fallen and the young slain in battle. Their bones bleached on the plains by the noonday shadow. The houses are leveled to the dust, and in the moat are the walls. They shall be inhabited. I have in the burial served them, and their bones in the death shade towards the sun's rising are covered. They sleep with the mighty dead, and they rest with their fathers. They have fallen in transgression and are not, but the elect and faithful there shall dwell."
"The word hath revealed it. God hath sworn to give an inheritance to his people where transgressors perished. The word of God came to me while I mourned in the death shade, saying: I will avenge me on the destroyer. He shall be driven out. Other strangers shall inhabit thy land. I an ensign will there set up. The escaped of my people there shall dwell, when the flock disown the shepherd, and build not on the rock.
"The forerunner, men shall kill, but a mighty prophet there shall dwell. I will be his strength, and he shall bring forth my record. Record my words and bury it in the Hill of Promise.
"THE RECORD OF RAJAH MANCHON OF VORITO."
The discovery and bringing into light of this record, considering all the grand facts and circumstances which surround its coming forth, and translation, make it the best proved miracle that has taken place in two thousand years. We care but a mighty little what the enemy may say to the contrary, as to this.
I see very plainly, Mr. Neal and Co., that you are all bent on crushing Mormonism. And we most earnestly hope that you will go on exposing Mormonism. You may remember that it was said at a very early day in Mormon history that "the more it was persecuted, or rather opposed, the more it would prosper and prevail." And I believe that that saying is true. So gentlemen we are satisfied that you "can do nothing against the truth, but for it."
The more you expose Brigham Youngism and the ism upon which the Reorganization is founded, the better you will help true Mormonism. At the same time we don't wish to bar you from opposing or exposing any part of the Mormonism of Joseph Smith or James J. Strang. For we know, and the history of the church verifies it, that "the more it is opposed," the more you will add to our numbers. At the same time we cannot hide it from ourselves, if we would, that in opposing our faith so determinedly, you are simply knocking the underpinning from under your own faith in the teachings and testimonies of the New Testament. For as our faith is identical in every point with the primitive Christian, or Apostolic faith, what is to hinder your abuse, ridicule and derision, when aimed at any one principle of our faith, of having the same effect upon any faith that you may have in the same principles taught in the New Testament? For instance, you ridicule the ministry of angels, the obtaining of revelation from God, the exercise of the gifts of the gospel, the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and many other gospel
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principles, and as these were all principles of the primitive Christian faith, you are simply directly and indirectly opposing the faith of Jesus Christ; for his gospel does not change; his promises in the gospel to all who believe in it, vary not from age to age, and there is no respect of persons with him.
If some clashings on the part of Brigham Young, and Young Joseph Smith and other Mormons squelch Mormonism, why will not a hundred and twenty different clashing creeds in Christendom squelch or collapse christianity? If a few seeming inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon explodes Mormonism, why will not some thirty thousand variations found in the various manuscripts from which the New Testament has been translated, collapse and annihilate Christianity? If we are really bad off, because Young Joseph (as we call him in order to distinguish him from Joseph the Seer) and Wilford Woodruff disagree on some matters, we cannot but think that our opposers are at least fifty times worse off than the most benighted Mormons.
Why my dear sir, when we think of all the clashing manuscripts out of which the New Testament and the Old have been derived, and all the criticisms of the learned, and the "higher criticisms," by which the Holy Scriptures are criticised out of the faith of millions, and the thousand and one clashing creeds that have been brought into being, and are in existence to-day, all being the work of the most learned in christendom, is it any wonder that our "heads swim" at the bare thought of trying to bring order out of any such chaos? And it is the men who have been educated under this chaotic influence, who propose to enlighten the Mormons!!
"Can ye, my friends, forbear to laugh?" Yes, and the Mormons do laugh heartily sometimes, for you see that as often as a book has been written against the Mormons in the past, its author somehow has dreamt I that that book was just the thing to crush Mormonism! And dear me, what a vast number of books, magazines, and magazines articles, and tracts, and newspaper articles, and speeches, and squibs, and pious lies and stories there have been written against us and our faith in the past. Would the biggest ship that was ever built hold them all? All this has been brought into play because the Almighty has undertaken in this generation to do what he has always done in every other generation in which he gave a dispensation; that is, because he has chosen "the foolish things of the world; to confound the wise and the things thereof to bring to naught things that are mighty." O yes, "and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised by the world, and things which are not, to confound the wise, and bring to naught things that are." Is not that, at least, a little strange; that God should choose that which is esteemed by the world the "foolish," the "weak," the "base," and the despicable things thereof to confound the great, the wise, the professors, the philosophers, the statesmen, and all the great doctors of divinity? Oh, why did not; God send his angels into the universities, the colleges and other great seminaries and schools of learning, to choose his ministers from them, instead of taking a Moses from among the bulrushes, and a Gideon from the thrashing floor, and a David from feeding the sheep, and a John from the wilderness, and a Jesus from the ox-crib, and a Peter from his fish
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nets, and a Paul from his tent making, and many others from their lowly pursuits in life, and a Joseph Smith from the backwoods, and his witnesses from their farming pursuits, etc.?
And now if God wished the nations to know that he had several nations on this land of America in the past, and that he had many great prophets among them, and that he revealed many great things unto them, and promised them at their request that he would bring all their works to light in the latter days, why should he choose to reveal it in such a plain, simple and unlearned style as that found in the Book of Mormon? Why not leave the discovery of their history to the learned to guess out and give it to us in their very learned and classic and clashing opinions and conjectures, rather than give it to us in such a plain and simple way that even little children can understand it. God, it seems, always chooses plain speech, and plain men to accomplish his designs; and though they may seem to the world to be the foolish, weak, base and despicable things thereof, it does not follow that God looks upon them as such, or that wise men look upon them as such either. Mormons and Mormonism are very easily understood, and that is why they have always had such success in winning the common people.
About the time of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and for a long period before, there was scarcely any writer upon religious matters of any note who did not endeavor to make a display of his ability to intersperse his writings with quotations from Greek and Latin and other foreign languages without giving us their meaning. And there are aside from these many of the great men so lofty and exalted in their style of writing and conveying their thoughts, that a very large share of their readers could about as soon acquire the knowledge of a foreign tongue as to arrive at the knowledge of their meaning. Oh yes, I have said to myself more than once in reading such men, when will the great mass of men become enlightened by reading such things as these?
Belittle the Inspired Translation of the Scriptures by Joseph Smith if you will, but I tell you men of thought and reflection will never find fault with that translation. Long before I ever saw that great and good work I have often thought that many things in the King James needed being corrected, some how, by a master hand.
In the Old Testament we may read of a dozen places at least where we are told of men seeing, walking and speaking with God face to face and as with a familiar friend. Yet in the New Testament, John 1:18 for instance, we are told very pointedly that: "no man hath seen God at any time." The Inspired has it this: "No man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the son; for except it is through him, no man can be saved "
In Gen. 18:21, (God is made to say to Abraham, that he was going down to Sodom and Gomorah to see if their wickedness was altogether according to the cry that had come up to him, and if not, says the account, "I will know."
How does this square with the saying: "the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good." (Prov. 15:3.) "Whose eyes are upon the ways of man, and he knoweth all his goings. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." (Job 34:21,22.) "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?" (.Jer. 23:23,24.)
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Some ten different places in the King James version we are told that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let Israel go. (Exod. chapters 7, 9, 10 and 11.) But again it is said, that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, "this time also" implying, clearly that it was Pharaoh that hardened his own heart all the time. (Exod. 8:32. Id. 8:15. First Sam. 6:6.) The Inspired Translation says that it was Pharaoh that hardened his own heart in all these texts, which of course is only just and right; for why should God, being perfectly just, harden any man's heart to give him a chance to destroy him? Again:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged," (King James, Math. 7:1.) Inspired: "Judge not unrighteously,, that ye be not judged." The former forbids a man to exercise his judgment on any case of wrong doing arising among men; the latter forbids men to judge unjustly, and requires him to judge righteously. Anything wrong about this?
"Whosoever hath, to him shall more be given; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away, even that which he hath. (King James, Math. 13:l2.) Inspired: "For whosoever receiveth, to him shall more be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken away, even that which he hath."
The first of these texts is not only grossly unjust, but a gross blunder as well. For why take from a man that has but a little; and if he has nothing, nothing only can be taken away from him.
"Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me ye workers of iniquity." (King James, Math. 7:22,23.) Inspired: "And then will I say unto them, ye never knew me: depart from me, ye workers of iniquity." The question naturally arises here: if Jesus never knew these workers of iniquity, how could he designate them as such? And it is quite possible to do these works in his name, and yet be great enemies to him; for false prophets and false teachers often do wonders in the assumed name of Christ. and thereby deceive many intelligent people. Such are often found to be the greatest opposers of different principles of righteousness which God's true ministers are sent to teach; and in doing so they prove that they know not God, and are not sent by him. So I might go on and bring forward one hundred other blinding and blundering translations, with their self-evident corrections by the inspiration of the spirit, of God, through Joseph Smith, but I will let these suffice as an example. And no man who has the Spirit of God with him even in a limited degree, can logically condemn them.
A word now upon David [sic] H. Bays's Book entitled "Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism." I have read Mr. Bays' book and find it like all other anti-Mormon works, abounding in error, while sometimes telling the truth. He ridicules the idea of Joseph Smith being ordained under the hands of angels to the Melchizedec Priesthood, and in a sweep of very fine eloquence demands: "What messenger left the courts of eternal glory, and wending his way to earth, laid his hands upon Moses, the great law-giver of Israel, and ordained him to the priesthood of Melchizedec?
''What, angel left the shining, courts
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of the eternal, and descending to earth on lightning wing, laid his hands upon the Lord, "the King of Glory," to ordain him a priest after the order of Melchizedec." No Patriarch, no prophet or sage, not even the Lord himself, ever felt the touch of angelic hands in ordination, and yet this daring pretender (meaning Joseph Smith), this unblushing impostor, comes to an intelligent public, with the incredible and unsupported story, that God sent an angel to earth, and ordained him and his accomplice, Oliver Cowdery, to be priests of the most High God!" (see Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism, page 139.)
Mr. Bays would do well to heed Paul's advice a little: -- "foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do engender strife."
That the two questions above put forth by Mr. Bays are both foolish and unlearned, I propose now to prove. "This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge, the same did God send to be a ruler, and a deliverer, by THE HAND of the angel that appeared to him in the bush." (Acts 7:35.)
At the rebellion of Corah, Dathan and Abiram, Moses remonstrated with them, saying, "And he (God) hath brought thee near unto him (as lesser priests) and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee, and seek ye the Priesthood also?" That is, seek ye the greater priesthood also?
This priesthood held by Moses was the most superior office in the whole order of God, and it seems that to usurp this office was the aim of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. (See Num., chap. 16:8,10; And now as Jesus was like unto Moses and Melchizedec, all three of these held the same office of the holy priesthood, and it follows that if we make it overwhelming that Jesus was consecrated, anointed and ordained to this priesthood, equally so were Moses and Melchizedec. And if these three were so consecrated, anointed and ordained it follows that ALL others who held, or are to hold this holy office, must in like manner be ordained to it -- not by man, but by some holy person from the heavens, for no others can, or ever did hold it.
First then: "EVERY HIGH PRIEST taken from among men, IS ORDAINED for. men, in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins," etc. (Heb. 5:1.) Well, Jesus in the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews is spoken of as a High Priest, as a "great High Priest," and a "Priest after the order of Melchizedec," some eleven or twelve different times; and therefore, if "every High Priest taken from among men is ordained for men," etc., as a matter of course Jesus was ordained, for all priests, high and of lesser grade, according to the Bible were made such by ordination, and in no other way: and further, the terms anoint, consecrate and ordain, all mean the same thing when applied to persons chosen of God, and designed for the Holy Priesthood.
Accordingly Jesus at the very commencement of his ministry, made use of the following language: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach glad tidings unto the poor, and the meek and to bind up the broken hearted, to preach liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound," etc. (See St. Luke 4:16 to 21, and Isaiah 61:1.)
The above is a quotation from Isaiah 61st and Jesus adds to this reading: "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."
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"For of a truth; against thy holy child Jesus whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles were gathered together," etc. (Acts 4:26:28.) Now hear Peter to Cornelius and his company. And he commanded us (the Apostles) to preach unto the people, and to testify unto them; that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick (the living) and dead." Acts 10:42.)
"But unto the son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; THEREFORE GOD, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Heb. l:8,9.) Now it seems that the glad news of Jesus ordination under the hand of God, first began to be spread from Galilee after the baptism of John, or after John had baptized all the people, and testified to them that one mightier was coming after him, etc. So says Peter to Cornelius and his company.
"The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all.) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and begun from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him." (Acts 10:37,38.)
Here follows another testimony that the ordination of Jesus Christ took place after John had preached to an baptized all the people:
"Of this man (David's) seed hath God according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus, when John had first preached before his coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel." (Acts 13:23, 24.)
Above are five very pointed testimonies that the Lord Jesus was anointed and ordained, to be the Prince and Saviour of mankind; and that God himself was his anointer and ordainer, and two of these testimonies show very plainly that this anointing took place when John had first preached the gospel of repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, "to all the people of Israel." The angel who visited Mary and promised her that she should be the mother of the Lord Jesus, promised her also that the Lord God should give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the House of Israel forever and ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:33,34.)
Now the whole idea of Jesus being raised up to be "the Prince of the Kings of the Earth," to be a "King of Kings," and to reign over the house of Israel on the throne of David for ever and ever without an ordination, and all anointing to that greatest and most glorious of all offices in the Kingdom of God is merely foolish -- childish. Some one may ask how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth to be a prince and a saviour to mankind. He did it precisely as Samuel the Prophet anointed Saul and David to be kings and as Moses anointed and consecrated Aaron to be next to him in the priesthood, and anointed and consecrated Joshua also to lead the hosts of Israel as king after he was taken from them. This is God's order of inducting and setting apart all those whom he has called to the greater offices of the Holy Priesthood, and Jesus of Nazareth could come into that most holy office in no other way. None are exempt from this ordinance, and whether it surprises Mr. Bays and his company or not, if
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Jesus had entered upon the duties of a prophet like unto Moses, without receiving this ordinance, the house of Israel would have been justified in stoning him to death. He would then be a false prophet simply, as well as a usurper of the authority of God -- a taker of the name of God in vain; for all such men's works are in vain; and God's everlasting degree is, that he will not hold them guiltless. Korah, Datham and Abiram, Absolem and Adonijah and Abimelech, were all of this class, and all came to inglorious grief. But that Jesus of Nazareth was anointed, consecrated and ordained under the hand of God is made doubly clear from the following:
"Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31.)
"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2:33.)
To those who regard the God of Israel as "without body parts or passions," as set forth in the thirty-nine articles of the good old orthodox creed of the Catholics and Protestants, it would be difficult for them to conceive of the Almighty anointing and consecrating his only son to the most holy order of the everlasting Priesthood by the laying on of his hands: for it he has no "parts" he has no hands, nor voice, nor mouth to speak, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear, etc. But if Jesus as he walked and talked and preached to men here on earth, was as the Scriptures say he was that is, "the brightness of his (God's) glory and the EXPRESS image of his person, then the difficulty vanishes, and his ordination under the hands and voice of his heavenly Father will be perfectly natural and reasonable, and plain even to children.
But, says one, "Why could he not be ordained by some one else than his Father in heaven?" Simply because he was placed not only above all men, but above all the angels, and therefore none of these could lawfully ordain him. For according to God's order no one can ordain any one above themselves. (See Heb. l:3,4,5.) Verse 6 says: "And when he bringeth in the first born into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." So then his anointing under the right hand of God sets him above all his fellows both in heaven and on earth.
"The Law maketh men high priests which 'have infirmity: but the word of the oath which was since the Law maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore." (Heb. 7:28.)
In the New Testament the word Christ occurs some hundreds of times, and as often as it occurs it simply signifies "the anointed!" The word Messiah is the Hebrew for the anointed, and Christ is the Greek for the anointed. So now, as all the above scriptures make it overwhelming that Jesus was So now, as all the above scriptures make it overwhelming that Jesus was "anointed," "ordained" and "consecrated" to be God's great High Priest, or his great Prime Minister to all mankind; and as Moses and Melchizedec were like him in the order of their priesthood, it follows that they were also ordained, anointed and consecrated in like manner by and under the hands and voice of some one from the heavens or from the presence of God.
I have shown from the testimony of Stephen (Acts 7:35) that Moses was made "a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush." Galatians 3:19, as now written in the King James, is nonsense.
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No one can make sense out of it. But as in the Inspired by Joseph Smith it is made to harmonize with a great deal of very important scripture, and therefore is much more likely to be true. It reads as follows: "Wherefore then, the law was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come; to whom the promise was made in the law given to Moses, who was ordained by the hand of angels to be the mediator of this first covenant, the Law."
Now if Jesus was a prophet like unto Moses (Acts 7:37 and Acts 3:22) it follows therefore that Moses was also like Jesus in point of priesthood: and Jesus being a Great High after the order of Melchizedec, it follows again that all three of these great High Priests were anointed and ordained under the hands of the holy ones from the heavens; for they all three held the same order of the holy priesthood, the only difference being that Jesus on account of his perfections was set above all. And now if these three greatest prophets were anointed and ordained to the Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, it follows that all the Holy Prophets since the world began, were similarly ordained and anointed under the hands and voice of the angels of God; and rest assured, that if these holiest of men could not lawfully enter upon the duties of their office, and to administer in the ordinances of the house of God, without being thus called and ordained, that no one else can lawfully do so.
From this most holy office of the priesthood comes all other ordinations or offices in the church of God in every age. Jesus says to his apostles: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you." (John 15:16.) And again he says: "As my Father hath sent me even so send I you." (John 20:21.) Hence, knowing that God first called Jesus of Nazareth, and the anointed and ordained him, just so did Jesus call and anoint and ordain his apostles. And again it is written that he called. "and ordained twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils." (Mark 3:14,15.) It was not lawful then for the Saviour to send men to preach, etc., any more than it would be lawful and right for God to send the Lord Jesus to preach the gospel, unless he had first called and ordained him to that calling. You perceive that there are no Alexander Campbellisms about all this; no presuming that: "if we have power and authority to preach the gospel" (without either call or ordination) "we have also authority to baptize," as said by Mr. Campbell at the founding of his church. Thus we have made it overwhelming that both Jesus and his Apostles, and all God's prophets and high priests since the world began, were all called by the word of God and anointed and ordained before they could lawfully enter upon their duties as ministers of God, and again demonstrated, as in a thousand other instances before, that "in those things which seem most against Joseph Smith, on examination turn out to be most in his favor." And herein is the secret of Mormonism prevailing "the more it is opposed." "I challenge," says Mr. D. H. Bays, "the scholarship of the entire Mormon church, to give an instance of ;conferring' the Melchizedec priesthood upon either Christ or his Apostles by the laying on of hands, or by any other means" (Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism, page 139.)
Well, certainly we have proved here
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that he was a "great High Priest after the order of Melchizedec," (Heb. 5:6) and we read that Melchizedec was made (a priest) like unto the son of God, abiding a priest continually."
So you see that in point of priesthood, Jesus was "like unto Moses, and also like unto Melchizedec, and they on the other hand were both like him in priesthood also." And if "every high priest is ordained, etc.," (Heb. 5:1 and 8:3) what further proof is needed to show that not only was Melchizedec ordained, but that all the holy prophets and high priests and patriarchs and kings from the days of Adam were all ordained to minister in the church and kingdom of God; for they all offered sacrifice, as well as preached and expounded the word of life to the children of men, and the following are some of the blessings and inspirations which follow true and lawfully authorized ordinations. "Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses laid his hands upon him." (Deut. 34:9,10). The spirit of the Lord came upon both Saul and David the same day of their anointing to be Kings under the hands of Samuel the Prophet, who was sent by the Almighty to anoint them. (lst Sam. 10:9 to 11, chap. 16:13, 14). The spirit of the Lord God came upon Jesus of Nazareth because He (God) had anointed him to preach the gospel to the poor, &c., &c. (Luke 4:16-18). "God gives not the spirit by measure to the prophets whom he has sent." (John 3:34). Paul admonishes Timothy not to neglect the gift which was given him by prophecy, and the laying on of the hands of the presbytery -- that is, the putting on of the hands of the priesthood. (lst Tim. 4:14, 2d. Tim. 1:6). "With the putting on of my hands," he says in one of those texts. Some people dislike the word priesthood. Call it the ministry, or the clergy if you like; for all three terms mean one and the same thing, that is, the body of the officers in the church of God. However, the word clergy does not occur once in the whole Bible. It is very modern in its application to the ministers of religion. Priesthood means the whole body of God's ministers from the earliest ages. "The priesthood being changed (not abolished) there is of necessity also a change in the Law." (Heb. 7:12). Now there are only two divisions of the Priesthood spoken of in the Bible; that is, the Aaronic and the Melchizedec. So, if the apostles, evangelists, bishops and elders of the New Testament were not of the Aaronic priesthood, they must of necessity belong to the superior or Melchizedec priesthood. The saying of Paul: "Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus," (Heb. 3:1) implies that those officers were of the Melchizedec priesthood, for was not the calling of Jesus "heavenly" or Melchizedec, And as the Twelve Apostles were ordained under his hands, they were made partakers of that calling or office; not in like degree with himself, but in measure just as Joshua took part of Moses' honor or priesthood in the wilderness. "And thou (Moses) shalt put some of thine honor upon him (Joshua) that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient." (See appointment of Joshua to the kingly office, Numbers 27:12 to 23; Deut. 34:9.)
The calling of Aaron in degree of priesthood was next below Moses, and from Aaron proceeds a line of High Priests which extends down "throughout their generations." So that as long as one generation springs from another, in Aaron's lineage, just so long the right to that priesthood will continue
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therein. (See Exod. chap. 28 from verse 1 to 43). Now it is said by Paul that "no man takes this office or honor upon himself but he that is called of God AS WAS AARON." In this calling there was provision made for himself and his sons as long as a generation arose, that Aaron's successor is to he anointed and consecrated as their father was, "that he may minister unto God in this priest's office." And yet we are told by some wise men that Christ was the last and only priest that was ever to be sent of God! In the latter days a mighty prophet is to arise and suddenly come to his temple, which shall be built for him, and he is to "purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord as in the days of old, and as in former years." (Mal. 3:1 to 6). And again we are told by Isaiah that God will restore lsrael's judges as at the first (of course as under Moses) and thine officers as at the beginning, and after these judges and officers are restored that Jerusalem shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. (Is. 1:26 to 27). Now this being a fixed truth, then the office of the High Priest in the lineage of Aaron will be restored, and no mistake! If we should take all that God has said in regard to the final restoration of Israel to their own lands and to the everlasting favor of God out of the Bible, we would greatly lessen its size; and just so sure as they will be restored no more to be scattered, just so surely will the priesthood in all its grades and completeness be restored. O yes, and all the dispensations given in the past to any people, whether in Adam's day, or Enoch's day, or Noah's day, or Abraham's day, or in the days of Moses, or any other prophet, will all be brought to light in all their original purity and excellence; yea and much that has never yet been revealed to any people will also be revealed, and brought to light in this generation. But woe be unto the wicked; for although all these things will be revealed to his chosen prophets and people, yet none of the wicked shall understand the workings of the Almighty in behalf of his chosen, and to fulfill his promises to his people.
In this restoration of the priesthood and of all the lost dispensations, God will fulfill the promise to Israel, by the prophet Joel, saying: "And it shall come to pass in the last days saith God that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my hand-maidens, I will pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapors of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Joel 2:28 to 32).
One is a little curious to know what this anti-Mormon combination will then be doing; whether they will have the good grace to repent of their wickedness, or will still oppose the Almighty with their mere human wisdom; such as: "We don't want any revelations now;" "We don't heed any manifestations of any of the promised gifts, or signs in this enlightened age," it is so much better and easier for poor people to pay hundreds of dollars for
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the enlightened result of mere human folly, and wisdom, and traditions! rather than seek the word of the Lord, that never errs and always blesses.
Now let us see what human wisdom is, aside from the word and the Law of God. "Men of low degree are vanity; and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance they are altogether lighter than vanity." (Ps. 62:9.) "Where is the wise, Where is the scribe, Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God. made foolish the wisdom of this world, * * * Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (lst Cor. 1:20, 26.) Again it is written: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man or maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh." (Jer. 17:5 to 8; Is. 30:1 to 5, and 31:1 to 3.) "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." (Math. 15:9.) "Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ, from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men?" (Col. 2:20.)
"Wherefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith -- not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn from the truth." (Titus 1:13,14.)
"But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any another gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8 to 12.) "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds and to four footed beasts, and creeping things." (Rom. 1:22.)
The above texts and testimonies speak very loud and plainly against substituting the traditions, precepts, interpretations or commandments of men, for the plain teachings, precepts and commandments of God. So because "their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men, therefore I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people -- even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Is. 29:13,14.)
If there is anything under heaven any more criminal in the sight of God than changing, altering or perverting the sense or meaning of his words, laws, or commandments, it is not an easy matter to tell just what it is, for in the long run it causes darkness, confusion, idolatry and wholesale murder. It is no wonder that God, and all his holy angels, prophets and apostles cry out against it, and pronounce terrible judgment against those who do such things. Because God's word is life and light and salvation, temporal and spiritual, to all those who obey it. But when it is changed, altered or perverted, its glorious blessings and effects cannot be enjoyed. To save mankind, the word of God must be interpreted in its purity, according as men are capable of receiving it; and no man can minister the word of God in its purity to mankind unless he is called of God, and ordained by lawful authority to that ministry. And that authority must come from the head of God's church directly or indirectly. And the head of God's church is made by the
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voice of God, and ordained by the hands of angels. Here is the dividing rule between false and true prophets Here is the dividing rule by which false and true prophets are tested are known. Here is the touchstone by which those who claim to be apostles and prophets, but are not, are tried "and found liars." (Rev. 2:2.) The salvation of man therefore demands that the true priesthood of God be kept up from generation to generation, for without it there is no salvation. For without the true priesthood there is no authority or inspiration to administer the ordinances of God, or to guide men aright in his counsels, or to detect false teachers, false prophets, and false leaders; for no man can obtain salvation through the administration of any such men; and that is why God, and the Lord Jesus, and his apostles have so often and so solemnly warned his people to beware of them; and to take heed that they be not deceived by them. You would reduce the size of the Bible quite a little if all these warnings were taken from them.
As the officers of any organized body of men on earth must be constantly kept up, in order to prevent anarchy and ruin, so with the church of God. Any ordinary man can see the force of this plain truth. Let the officers of the Catholic church for instance, cease to be kept up, ruin and anarchy would set in from that moment. Just so with any other church or corporate body or nation of men on earth. And what is most remarkable about it is, that the same law and power which put the predecessor in office, must put his successor in office also. This is a universal law, a departure from which amounts to, or constitutes treason in every land. It appears very necessary that as often as the pope's office becomes vacant, that the same power, guided by the same law, proceed to make his successor, and that the royal Archbishop of London be replaced by the same power and law that created his predecessor; so also with this, that, and the other heads of the sectarian churches. But it would not do for the Almighty to place a head upon his church in like manner by the same power and law by which he created and made all the predecessors in that office in all the past. It would not do, for the clergy of a thousand conflicting creeds would be very soon arrayed against any such proceeding. They are all exceeding anxious to keep up the order of their different priesthoods, or officers in their own churches, but won't allow the God of Israel to keep up his order of priesthood or body of officers necessary always in his church.
But my anti-Mormon friends, there is one thing you may rest assured of. That is, that God in this very generation in which we live, will call and send more prophets by the same power and law by which he sent them in former ages -- that is by calling men by his own voice, and ordaining and anointing them by the hands and voice of angels, in spite of all that man can do to prevent it. For it is one of the great decrees of God that whatever is not founded and based upon the word of God must perish from under the whole heaven. The Almighty has already called, anointed and sent two such prophets in this generation, and according to his promises we look for one other yet to come, by whom a much greater work will be accomplished. When I say so much, I do not mean to include Brigham Young nor any of his successors as prophets of God; neither do I include Joseph Smith of Lamoni, Iowa, among that number -- very far from
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to the prophet and seer, Joseph Smith, as a mere burlesque of the claims of a true prophet -- the merest profanation of the character of the God of Israel: for God never did make such prophets. They give the lie to all that Joseph the Seer and other prophets have said and left on record touching the appointment and the making of true prophets. They have neither the ordination promised. nor the appointing revelation which was to be given of God to the Prophet Joseph. Neither have either of them ever been in possession of the sealed records promised in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the Book of Mormon to the true Successor in the prophetic office; never had, and never will have them. Utah D. & C. 102:9,11. 84:18,22. 81:1,2. Book of Mormon 1st Book of Nephi, Chap. 5:47. Book of Mosiah, Chap. 13:3, Id. Chap. 5:10).
Now these men not only have failed to produce a lawful appointment by revelation through Joseph the Seer, and a lawful ordination such -as the Seer had, but they fail to show themselves in possession of the prophetic keys, gifts and endowments such as he had. Yes, utterly failed! They would seem to be taking especial pains to prove that the dispensation brought to light by Joseph the Seer, is a fraud and a lie.
In fine, false prophets are a good deal like other things false; no one can detect them, only those who understand what constitutes the genuine, or the law and power by which the genuine is made.
The above article was commenced soon after the reception of your letter, but through the pressing demands of a northern dairy farm, it could not easily be written and printed sooner.
Truly and Sincerely,