Anti-Mormon Tracts No. 3
The Stick of Ephraim
... VS ...
The Bible of the Western Continent;
... OR ...
The Manuscript Found
... VS ...
The Book of Mormon.
By R. B. NEAL, Grayson, Ky.
PRICE, 10 CENTS PER COPY.
Write for large discount on 100 copies.
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THE STICK OF EPHRAIM,
... VS ...
THE BIBLE OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT.
I N T R O D U C T I O N.
This is what may be called "mighty interesting reading." The writer, like Dewey at Manila, "smothers the guns" of the enemy. Lovers of truth everywhere owe Mr. Neal a debt for his patient investigation and merciless exposure of the false teachings of this false system. The most unlearned reader must see at once how preposterous are the claims of Mormonism.
The propagandists of this fraud are active. They deceive the very elect. They enter the homes of unsuspecting people, impose upon their hospitality and introduce in the most insidious and jesuitical fashion their doctrines.
Such plain statements of the truth as the tract bears about Mormonism should be circulated everywhere. The people should have light. A diligent use of such rapid-fire guns as this tract will accomplish what all the great twelve and thirteen-inch breech-loading rifles have failed to do.
The author will soon be able to say to civilization, in the immortal words of Bill Anthony: 'I have to report that the ship is blown up and is sinking.' F. D. Power.
Washington, D. C.
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"The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover thou Son of man, take the one stick and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions, then take another stick and write upon it: For Joseph, The Stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions, and join them one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand." -- Ezek. xxxvii. 15-16.
Reader, I am about a most important work. Bear with me patiently, and in the onset read carefully and ponder prayerfully the quotations I hand out from the highest authorities, both dead and living, in Mormondom. I shall continue the plan pursued in my preceding tracts of having Mormon writers present their own doctrine or faith. In this way it will be impossible to misrepresent their teachings. They will and must accept the quotations from their standard books and the utterances of their living exponents. I promise you in advance, if you have not investigated Smithianity, commonly called Mormonism, a series of surprises. You will find exemplified, as never before perhaps, that "truth is stranger than fiction."
"WHAT THE BOOK OF MORMON REALLY IS."
"The Book of Mormon is the record of God's dealings with the people of Ancient America, from the building of the Tower of Babel to 421 years after the birth of Christ."
"It is the Stick of Ephraim spoken of by Ezekiel. -- THE BIBLE OF THE WESTERN CONTINENT."
The above is Chap. V., page 43, of "The Myth of the Manuscript Found." I quote "heading" to impress the fact that we have an authoritative pen to tell us what the "Book of Mormon" "really is."
This work, "The Myth of the Manuscript Found; or, The Absurdities of the 'Spaulding Story,'" was written by Elder George Reynolds, and is the eleventh book of "The Faith Promoting Series," designed "for the instruction and encouragement of young Latter Day Saints."
I am thus careful to have the book describe itself, as it will prove serviceable in reaching the truth, and its authority will
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not be, can not be, questioned by Mormondom.
The highest authority that Mormondom has, or ever had, is Joseph Smith, Jr., so-called Prophet and Seer. In a recent sermon delivered in the Tabernacle at Logan, Utah, Elder L. F. Martineau said:
"We are not Mormons because of what the Bible teaches but because Joseph Smith received the authority to teach and baptize, and organize this church."
This elder is to be commended for his candor. I will have Joseph relate just how he got the authority to teach, baptize and organize the Mormon Church at the proper time.
We will now hand out Joseph's testimony as to the Book of Mormon. In council with his apostles, he said:
"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts than by any other book." -- Comp. p. 273.
"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and [reject] it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it." -- Orson Pratt, p, 125, Authority of Book of Mormon.
"The Book of Mormon, being true, then Joseph Smith, Jr., is a Prophet of God, and 'Mormonism' is the everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, but if it were a forgery, as our enemies assert, then would all our hopes be vain and our faith worthless." -- Preface, "Myth of the Manuscript Found.
I have taken the liberty to italicize some of the clauses in the above quotations, to impress the thought.
"The Book of Mormon being true," it follows "that Joseph Smith, Jr., is (or was) a prophet of God." Agreed, Mr. Mormon.
The Book of Mormon being false, then Joseph Smith is (or was) a fraud, a base impostor. This can not be denied.
Again, reverse it, and the logic will be good: "If Joseph Smith, Jr., was not a prophet, the 'Book of Mormon' is a forgery, and all hopes and faith built upon it arc vain and worthless"
There is a "Siamese twin" connection between Joseph as a prophet and the "Book of Mormon." Kill either one and the other dies.
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In Tract No. 1, "Was Joe Smith, Jr., a prophet?" I think it is clearly shown that he was not. I have in hand, to complete the work along that line of attack, a tract in which I will examine the so-claimed prophecies about him, in our Bible, in Smith's so-called "Translation and Correction of the Holy Scriptures" and in the "Book of Mormon," and then I will step out on the so-called prophecies made by him in the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants."
If those "about him" were not fulfilled in his life, and those made "by him" come to nought, surely every "prophet's feather" will be plucked from his hat-band and the Book of Mormon proven a fraud or forgery.
In this tract (No. 3) I battle the Book of Mormon; battle it along the line of battle that its friends have marked out and intrenched.
If victory I win, it will be complete, final. To sum up what we have learned from Mormon authorities about the
BOOK OF MORMON.
1. "It is the stick of Ephraim."
2. It is the Bible of the Western continent.
3. It is the most correct book on earth.
4. It is the keystone of the Mormon religion.
5. No one can be saved and reject it.
6. If true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
7. It true, "Mormonism" is the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I now propose to have a Mormon pen state the "other side." Reynolds says:
"All other theories advanced to prove the record (Book of Mormon) false having long since failed, the 'Spaulding story' is the last and only resort of those who oppose the divine mission of Joseph Smith, and though many a time refuted and proved an impossibility, yet it is that or nothing, and the malignant hatred of the wicked, not admitting the Book of Mormon to stand on ITS OWN INTRINSIC MERITS, or to be judged by ITS OWN INTERNAL EVIDENCES, this 'Spaulding Story' has to be again and again revamped
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as the last hope of a hopeless cause, which perceived in the triumph of 'Mormonism' the seal of its own destruction." -- Myth of Manuscript Found, p. 10.
Let us get that jumble into shipshape. He is talking about those who "oppose the divine mission of Joseph Smith," one of whom I have the honor of being. He says:
1. All other theories, to prove the "Book of Mormon" false, having failed, the "Spaulding Story" is their "last and only resort;" it is "that or nothing."
2. That the book will not be permitted to stand on "its own intrinsic merits."
3. "Or to be judged by its own internal evidences. "
If the above is not a clear, clean, full and fair statement of the issues from the Mormon side, it is the fault of Mormon scribes, for I have simply let them present the matter in revised-proof words of their own.
I simply and emphatically deny, "in every form a negative can assume," all they claim for it as being "the stick of Ephraim," "the Bible of the Western continent," etc.
1. I propose to test the "Book of Mormon" on "its own intrinsic merits," and to show that it merits nothing but vigorous denunciations, in view of its pretentious claims.
2. I propose to judge it by "its own internal evidences," and to show that a just judgment will write all over it and all through it, "impostor -- fraud."
3. I propose to show that the so-called "Spaulding Story" was the "first," not the "last," and by no means the only, "resort" or method of ventilating the pretentious claims of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
Reynolds is as poor a prophet as he has proven himself to be a historian.
Lamb's "Golden Bible" was written in 1885, published in 1886. In that thorough and critical work he judges the Book of
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Mormon on "its own merits and internal evidences."
D. H. Bays, an ex-Mormon, in his magnificent work, judges it in the same way, and actually surrenders the so-called "Spaulding Story," in view of the finding of the Honolulu manuscript.
This is enough to impeach Elder Reynolds as a historian and a prophet and to show his unfitness for his responsible position as a teacher of young Latter Day Saints.
The issues, as stated, indicate a "fight to the finish." Mormonism has always battled under a black flag, and it nailed, and the nail clinched, to the staff. Mormonism neither asks nor grants quarter. Its origin forbids this.
ORIGIN OF MORMONISM,
Bear in mind that I am not in this an investigator of Mormonism. I have investigated; have come out of that investigation a determined foe to the "ism." I am before you as an opponent of the system. This tract is written to aid in crushing it. In opposing I propose to force even my opponents to the admission that I deal fairly with them and their authorities.
Hence I propose, here and now, to have Joseph Smith, Jr., father and founder of Mormonism to give us its origin. I have before me 'The Pearl of Great Price," a book that Mormons hold as divine. It was printed in Salt Lake City, and bought by me direct from the publishers. On pages 50-72 we have in full what I, for lack of space, will give a summary, quoting the exact language of Smith, on the most important points. His object is to correct "many reports in circulation in relation to the rise and progress" of the Mormon Church. This insures the genuine facts, if Smith is competent to give them. This is a calm look back and deliberate statement, made in mature manhood by him.
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There was a great religious excitement in his neighborhood. He inclined toward the Methodists. Most of his family had joined the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, by their diverse claims, filled his mind with confusion. He says: "In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions I often said to myself, What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right? Or are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it and how shall I know it?"
Italics mine, for a purpose soon to be developed. While Joseph was laboring under the doubt and confusion he happened to read James i. 5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God," etc. At last he went to the woods to pray for "wisdom." It was early in the spring of 1820. He says: "It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amid all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally." His first attempt, if we believe him, was most wonderful in its results. While praying, he says: "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. * * * When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spoke unto me, calling me by name, and said (pointing to the other), 'This is my beloved son, hear him.'"
"My object in going to inquire of the Lord w as to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which one to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered my head that all were wrong), and which I should join?"
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Reader, he said just above "I often said to myself, Are they (the sects) all wrong together?" Now he says: "It had never entered my heart that all were wrong." Well enough for his friends to fix up the contradiction. It is an old saying that a certain class of people ought to have good memories.
Here is the marvelous answer he got. What a grand science! God the Father stepped from his throne, beckoned to Jesus, the Savior of men; together they came in person to earth to tell Joseph Smith, Jr., that he "must not join any church;" that "all churches were wrong;" "all creeds an abomination in his sight;" that "all professors were corrupt."
Reader, that is the origin of Mormonism and its attitude to-day toward Christendom. Cries as earnest as Smith's had often gone up from sin-sick souls. Multiplied thousands were rejoicing in life in the hopes and comforts of the gospel, and dying in the triumphs of a Christian's faith with living hopes in Christ. But never until Joseph Smith, Jr., bent the knee, for the first time, to learn what Church he ought to join, was it revealed to the world that "the gates of hell had prevailed against the Church;" that none of them were good enough "for Joseph Smith to join;" all Churches wrong, all professors corrupt. No one on earth had the right to baptize or held the "keys of the Gospel of repentance." The darkness of the blackest despair rested upon earth. What a condition for another deluge, with Joseph Smith, wifeless, childless, alone with the animals in an ark.
Joseph said: "He again forbade me to join any of the Churches. When I came to myself again I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven."
Many of us are forced to the conclusion that Joseph, after that, found himself lying, standing on his feet, as well as when on his back.
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He continues: "I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was concerned, that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but continue as I was until further directed. * * * I continued to pursue my common avocations in life until September 21, 1823."
He is unintentionally correct in the use of the word "avocations," for if "Joe," as he was generally called, had any "vocation" at all, his neighbors never knew it. Governor S. S. Harding, who knew him well, says: "Joe Smith would never work or labor like other boys. * * * He was hard on birds' nests, and in telling what had happened would exaggerate to such an extent that it was a common saying in the neighborhood, 'That is as big a lie as young Joe Smith ever told.'"
His own statement shows that he did not continue "as he was" in a very important sense. He had "the vision" in 1820. He says between that time and 1823, "I was left to all kinds of temptations, * * * which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, to the gratification of many appetites offensive in the sight of God."
He again prays, the second time, September 21, 1823 -- wanted to know his "state and standing before God." He had found out "the state and standing" of all the rest of the world in 1820. While he was calling upon God, he says, "I discovered a light in the room; the light continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor." This angel "called me by name and said unto me that he was sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni."
Moroni was a man when on earth, prominent in the history given in the Book of Mormon. He is now an "angel," it seems.
Moroni told Smith all about the "gold plates" that had been "hid up by him," and
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that this gold book, or "Book of Mormon," contained "the fullness of the everlasting gospel." Here is point No. 8 to place under our summary of the "Book of Mormon," "The fullness of the everlasting gospel." That implies that our Bible, "the stick of Judah" did not have the fullness of the gospel and also, as "the stick of Ephraim," the "Book of Mormon," has it, prohibits the appearance of any other book -- fullness implies completeness, perfection.
He also told Joseph Smith about "two stones in silver bows;" that the "use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book." I will show that Joseph translated (?) at times without them, yea, even without the "gold plates." God made a mistake, Moroni and Smith being witnesses, in thinking this "seer stone" spectacle was essential to translate the book.
Smith has now learned, as the result of his two efforts, "to pray vocally":
1. That no Church on earth was right. All were wrong; all creeds an abomination; all professors of religion corrupt; no Church fit for him, Joseph Smith, Jr., to join.
2. He now learns that he was to get a new Bible, "the Bible of the Western continent," that has the "fullness of the gospel," and that he has a work to do, viz. to start a brand new church, of which he, J. Smith, was to be "Seer, Translator, Prophet, Apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder." He got every head office in sight. He was "inspired by the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith, which church was organized and established in the year of our Lord 1830, April 6." (Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. xix.)
The same section says that "the church shalt give heed unto all his words, * * *
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for his (Smith's) words ye shall receive as if from mine (the Lord's) own mouth."
Reader, we are now gathering in full the origin of "Smithianity," or Mormonism from its head center.
We next go with Smith, get the gold plates and note some remarkable incidents that happened while he was translating(?) them, that read the doom of Mormonism with all people able to reason.
On the 29d day of September, 1827, he says the angel Moroni gave him "the gold plates." Seven years had rolled by since he saw and talked with God and Christ in the woods. Four years had gone since Moroni first met him and told him about the book that he was to translate and to publish to the world. The translation was not published until 1829.
.Joseph Smith, Jr., in his account in "The Pearl of Great Price," says: 'Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the l7th of April, 1829), I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon, and he (Cowdery) commenced to write for me."
Elder Reynolds, in his book, "Myth of the Manuscript Found," at length corrects a mistake of Joseph Smith as to date; Insists that it was the 7th, not the 17th, of April, 1829.
The biggest mistake (?) that Smith makes in that declaration, be it the 7th or 17th of April, is that he then "commenced to translate 'he Book of Mormon."
Two years is a long time to hold such an important message from the world -- to wait to commence to translate when he had the seer stone; and all he had to do was to have a scribe jot down what he saw and called out as he looked through the stone spectacles.
The fact is, and no one knew it better than Smith, he had commenced to translate before this time, and he was called to a halt in a very unexpected way. Can not blame Joseph for not referring to it in his
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carefully prepared statement in "The Pearl of Great Price."
Martin Harris, the only man in the gang worth a dollar, had written out 116 pages of manuscript. Martin was the man who had to foot the bill ($3,000) if the Book of Mormon ever saw daylight. His wife was much opposed to his doing it. Harris thought the book would be "a seller," and he got Joseph Smith to let him take the manuscript home to show his wife. That was the last of the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. It is supposed that Mrs. Harris burned them.
Anyway, it halted the work of translation till April, 1829. The first edition of the "Book of Mormon" has this "preface," which is omitted in subsequent issues:
"To Our Readers: As many false reports have been circulated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by evil-designing persons to destroy me, and also the work, I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi by the hand of Mormon; which said account some person or persons have stolen and kept from me. * * * and being commended of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again, for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God by altering the words; that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written; and if I should bring forth the same words again, or, in other words, if I should translate the same over again, they would publish that which they had stolen, and Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation, that they might not receive this work * * * ."
Smith wanted no rival book in the field. More, the stolen 116 pages from the Book of Lehi was made the subject of a long
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revelation. (Vide Sec. ix., Doctrine and Covenants. )
I take space to quote a few paragraphs, as right here the fraud of the whole concern is manifest.
Smith says the Lord said: "Behold, they have only gotten a part or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold, there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of Nephi, and send forth in this work."
In the preceding paragraph he had told Smith to "translate the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of King Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained. and behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus will I confound those who have altered my words."
The brazen assurance of all this ought to make intelligent leaders of Mormonism blush for shame for Smith, even if their cheeks were as hard as the shell on an old mud turtle's back.
Think! If Joe wrote by inspiration, as he claimed he did, how easily he could have reproduced, word for word, the 116 lost pages. If he were calling out from copy, and the only copy he had, furnished no doubt by Rigdon, neither he nor Rigdon could reproduce it exactly. To try it, if the thief held and brought forth unaltered the first copy, would endanger and destroy their claims of inspiration. Another copy, word for word, would have given conviction to the world. Erasures or additions to Martin Harris' handwriting could easily have been detected. It is a thin story. No one ever "altered the words" of the first manuscript. Harris' wife no doubt burned them. Had she not, Joe Smith, the angel Moroni, even God himself, from a Mormon point of view, would never have known that the wrong plates were being translated. Examine
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the Book of Mormon and note how this incident disarranged the whole thing. It commences with the Book of Nephi, instead of Lehi, according to first arrangement. On pages 158 and 159 we have only two pages of the Book or "Words of Mormon." He is the man who compiled the whole book. To the Mormon this matter is inexplicable. Acquaint him with the Harris incident, and it will all become as clear as noonday.
Think! The gold plates from which Harris got his manuscript were written out under the eye of the angel by aid of the seer stones. These plates had been saved 1,400 years for the world -- now lost to it because a woman who did not wish her husband to impoverish himself burned the copy. Then why, if they were "back-number plates," and did not have the "fullness of the gospel," chide Harris so? Why not rise up and bless him for being the cause of Smith, the angel and the Lord discovering their mistake?
Smith even drags old Mormon himself into the fraudulent transaction. Just at the place that Harris' 116 pages ceased he has old Mormon, who had worked on the plates from which Harris got his copy, say that he "found a new set of plates better than his." He takes them, saying, "And I do this for a wise purpose."
But from that point down there are no two sets of plates.
Then, too, though old Mormon tried to make his son Moroni understand this, two sets of plates up to the very point where Harris stole 116 pages, he failed, for Moroni tied up the discarded plates and handed them to Smith as Part First of the "Book of Mormon," and aided Smith to translate them.
And Joe Smith, who "was trained before he came to this planet in the priesthood," as Woodruff says, called off, by "the aid of
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the Lord," this discarded Part First of the "Book of Mormon."
There is a lack of cohesion here that gives a flimsiness to the whole "yarn" as spun by Joseph. No wonder, in the mature back look, he jumps from 1827, when he got the plates, to the 7th of April, 1829, and says on the last named date "I commenced to translate the plates." This was not the truth, for he "commenced" before this, and translated 116 pages. "The legs of the lame are not equal."
I now follow him and Cowdery in their work of translating (?), " beginning on April 7, 1829. Some time in April, Smith and Cowdery went to the Lord with a strange question, and in a wonderful way got a startling answer. I give the document verbatim as found in Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. vii., p. 93:
Section VIII. Revelation given to Joseph Smith, Jr., the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pa, April 1829, when they desired to know whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. Translated from parchment, written and hid up by himself.
"1. And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.
"2. And I said unto him, Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.
"3. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophecy before nations, kindred, tongues and people.
* * * * * * * * *
"7. And I will make thee (John) to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come."
From the above we learn that John, the beloved disciple,
1. Is on earth now.
2. That he has been ever since he was born.
3. That he will be on earth as long as there is an earth for any one to be on.
4. That he, with Peter and James, held the keys of the gospel ministry, and will hold them until the Savior comes.
5. That he wrote "a parchment letter" to, or for, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery, to reveal to them, and through them
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to the world, these startling facts. A "special delivery; letter," written, no doubt, over 1,800 years before these two young gents were born.
Translated from parchment, written and hid up by himself."
John "wrote the letter himself," and "hid it up by himself;" no one helped him to hide it up;" hence he had to show these gents where it was. No other conclusion, can be reached. Again, we must conclude that John "translated" it from the "parchment" of these young men. Neither of them knew a Hebrew character, at that time, from a hog track. Here we have John the Apostle writing a letter on parchment, telling that he was on earth, and had been, and would he as long as time, then "hiding it up by himself" for no telling how many centuries, then showing Smith and Cowdery where it was hid, and then translating it for them!
If Mormons don't like this theory, let some one of them tell us all about the letter, how they found out where it was, who translated it, what language it was written in, and what became of the "parchment." Also, why is it that since the first century, up to April, l829, though John was left on earth to win souls, and that he was "to prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people" for 1,800 years, he never did anything but write a short letter for or to Smith and Cowdery, a letter that contradicts the one we have from him embalmed in the gospels, and that from 1829 he has not been heard from since by Mormondom or the world? A great mission indeed to 'tarry on earth" to write a short "parchment letter," "hide it up himself," then deliver and translate it to two young men, and, so far as the record goes, put the letter back in his pocket and retire to obscurity again until Joe and Oliver get ready to take the keys of his ministry from him;
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and the account of that appearance is meager and conflicting.
The fact is that Joe and Oliver must have revelation (?) to bolster up the Book of Mormon. They had read 3 Nephi v. 6:
"And he (the Savior) said unto them (three Nephite apostles), I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing. which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry before I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me."
The context teaches that he granted John the same privilege that he granted the "three Nephites," viz.: to tarry on earth till time ended and eternity began. But Joseph and Oliver must have proof of it from John himself; hence the Epistle of John to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
John the beloved brands these young men as liars. We have an epistle of John written for the world, for all time. In that he tells us that it was rumored among the brethren that the Savior had said to him "that he (John) should not die," and he flat-footedly contradicts the rumor by saying: "Jesus said not unto me that I should not die." The very thing the Oliver Cowdery and Joe Smith letter says that Jesus did say to him.
"This saying, therefore, went forth among the brethren, that that disciple (John) should not die; yet Jesus said not unto him that he should not die, but, If; will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
"This is the disciple (John himself) which beareth witness of these things and wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true" (John xx. 23, 24).
That brands these young men as base deceivers and the Book of Mormon as a fraud. Either that, or John the beloved deliberately tried to deceive his fellow-apostles and brethren in regard to that very point, viz.: his never-to-die. The logic is remorseless.
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THE THREE NEPHITE APOSTLES.
The Book of Mormon is our only source of information about these apostles. Here again, as I will make evident, "Smithianlty," or "Mormonism," receives a solar plexus blow.
Soon after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead he appeared in America, right here at Grayson, Ky., for aught we know. preached, taught, worked miracles, after the manner he did in Palestine, only more fully. He selected twelve apostles for the Church in America. Here are their names: "Nephi, Timothy, Jonas, Muthoni, Muthoniah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Jeremiah, Shemnon, Jonas, Zedekiah, Isaiah" (B. of M., p. 520).
These rank in Mormon minds with "Peter, James and John," etc., as apostles of Jesus. After selecting this band of twelve, the Savior made long addresses to them.
"And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, were twelve, and behold he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen. * * * And unto them (the twelve) I (Jesus) have given power that they may baptize you with water" (B. of M., p. 504).
This fact is settled, that this twelve had what Mormonism would call "the keys of the Aaronic priesthood on earth," viz.: the right to preach the gospel of repentance and to baptize with, or in, water. Stick a pin here.
We are told that just before his ascension to heaven he gave this twelve the power "to impart the Holy Ghost," or, as Mormondom would phrase it, "the keys ot the Melchizedek priesthood."
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"But the disciples (the twelve) bear record that he (Jesus) gave them power to, give the Holy Ghost. And I will show you hereafter that this record is true" (3 Nephi cviii. 37).
Nephi proposes to prove that the twelve had given to them the power "to give the Holy Ghost."
He proves it by Moroni. Good proof to Mormons.
"The words of Christ, which he spake unto his disciples, the twelve, whom he had chosen, as he laid his hands upon them.
"And he called them by name, saying, Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer, and after ye have done this ye shall have power that on him whom ye shall lay your hands ye shall give the Holy Ghost, and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles' (Book of Mormon, p. 609).
No doubt can hover over the statements that the twelve Nephite apostles had the right to "baptize and to impart the Holy Ghost." They held the keys of both Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. Stick a pin here.
That John the beloved had the keys to both priesthoods even a Mormon can not deny. For "thus do mine apostles," and John was an apostle.
Jesus just before ascending to the Father said to the twelve Nephite apostles:
"What is it that ye desire of me after that I am gone to the Father?"
All except three desired the usual length of days, a happy death and a glorious eternity.
The Savior then said to nine of them: "Each should live to be seventy and two years old," and then "ye shall come unto me in my kingdom, and with me ye shall find rest."
Here were nine men that knew they could not die before they reached three score ten and two years; knew that they could not
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live a minute after that time. This is a legitimate inference.
The Savior then turned to the three silent ones and asked
"What will ye that I shall do unto you when I am gone unto the Father?"
The three "dared not speak unto him the thing they desired.
He said: "Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved who was with me in my ministry before I was lifted up by the Jews desired of me; therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye (the three) shall never taste of death, but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled, according to the will of my Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven," etc.
"Ye (the three) shall not have pain, while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow, save it be for the sins of the world."
Mormon says .'Behold, I was about to write the names of those (the three) who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade, therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world." That is their names were hid. True, Mormon and all of that generation knew their names, of course. Why hide "names" and reveal the "men" is an enigma that Mormons must solve
We are told further that when the Savior went to heaven he took the three who were to tarry on earth with him. He sent them back, of course. Mormon tells us why he took them: the three had to have "a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain, nor sorrow, save it were for the sins of the world."
He assures us "this change was not equal to that which should take place at the last day, but there was a change wrought on them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt
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them, and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them; and in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ" (B. of M., p. 542).
That certainly was a "change." A new and a good "state" for one in the flesh to be in. The Savior himself was tempted. Here were three men who were to live in the flesh on earth from the time of Christ till the knell of time without the pain of hunger or thirst; could eat what they pleased, and never an ache of any kind. No temptation to appetite or ambition made any impression upon them. Satan was no more feared by them than a tree-toad is by an African warrior. Disease could never touch them with a pain or an ache. The fears of injury or death never got hold of them. Jails could not hold them. Wild beasts could not rend them. The powers of earth combined could not "hold them" in durance vile. They could laugh in the mouth of a cannon and play with Mauser bullets as with snowflakes. They "were sanctified in the flesh." This the reason given. Modern "sanctificationists" would do well to make a note here of how far short they are from a real "Book of Mormon" sanctification.
From the above we have the following array of facts, if we admit the testimony. A Mormon must admit it.
1. That there are four apostles now on earth viz.: John the beloved and three nameless Nephites.
2. That they have been on earth ever since before Christ ascended on high.
3. That they will be on earth till the death of time and the dawn of eternity.
4. That they have "the keys of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods," or the right to baptize and the power to impart, by impact of hands, the Holy Ghost.
5. Their mission was, and is, and ever will be, to preach, teach, baptize and give
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the Holy Spirit to heirs of salvation on earth.
To add weight to the blow I intend shortly to give Smith and Cowdery, I trace the history of these Nephite apostles and give the testimony of two living seers of Mormonism.
"Seventy-two years since the twelve apostles (Nephites) were called -- yea, even a hundred years," and the disciples (apostles) of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry; and there were other disciples (apostles) ordained in their stead" (B. of M., p. 545).
Though the statement is plain, Orson Pratt adds a foot note to prevent mistake -- "nine others as successors." Of course, the "three who were to tarry" could not have, can never have, "successors." Who ordained the nine new ones? Who as fitting as the three who were ordained by Christ himself, who had been to heaven, and who came back to earth to stay as long as old earth stays, to work in the interests of the Church? It would have been heresy of the rankest sort to have repudiated them for this work of ordination.
Two hundred and thirty-one years pass by and the "three disciples of Jesus who should tarry" are at work building up the Church (B. of M., p. 547).
Pretty old by this time. Other "nines" had to be appointed -- never "twelve," for the "three" could have no "successors," were ever to remain in the apostolic office. Stick a pin here.
I wrote to the two seers of the present divided kingdom of Mormondom about the Apostle John and the three Nephite apostles. Here is what Woodruff, of Salt Lake City, wrote back:
"Regarding the appearance of the three Nephites, or the Apostle John, of which you ask, numerous members of the Church, both brethren and sisters, testify that they
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have seen one or more of them; that they have ministered to them, and sometimes, in a miraculous way, provided for their necessities. Some of these testimonies have been published in various works of the Church, while others have been kept from the public eye, those who had this favor conferred upon them deeming them too sacred to be published for all the world to criticise.
Strange idea, in view of the fact that the Book of Mormon, for hundreds of years, records their doings, and their mission is to teach, preach, baptize and perfect the saints -- to do this as apostles of Christ, ordained in the Church by Christ himself.
One word from either of these apostles would have prevented and would decide between true and false Mormonism -- would heal the many divisions of that Church and draw the world to it. These men could easily prove their identity, as neither Satan nor earth has any power over them. One word from either of these men who helped write the Book of Mormon, and who could have translated the gold plates without aid of seer stone, would verify the book to the world. And Seer Woodruff says one or more of them have been seen. Seer Joseph Smith, son of the Prophet and Seer, of Lamoni, Ia., says practically, that Seer Woodruff of Salt Lake City, can't authenticate his statements. Hear him:
I know of no authentic claims by any order of Latter Day Saints that any of the three Nephite brethren have appeared and wrought with them. Although there has been individuals who have claimed to have seen one or more of them; however, these claims have never been authenticated."
Seer vs. Seer again. Both agree, and all Mormondom believes that these four apostles are on earth in the interests of the Church and the salvation of souls; that that is their mission; that they were to tarry on earth for that purpose. How neglectful
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they have been and are of their work! Even Mormondom can show no authenticated case of their appearance. All that John has done was to write a letter to Cowdery and Smith, hide it up, perhaps 1,800 years before they were born, to tell them, in some mysterious way, that he was on earth. Joe and Oliver failed to authenticate this. But, admitting Mormon claims here for the sake of argument, we must revise the stereotyped answer given by the child to the question of who was the oldest man. Methusaleh is nowhere. John and the three nameless Nephltes are over 1,800 years old. Four "wandering Jews!"
These apostles have the keys to both "Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods" -- the "right to baptize" and "to impart the Holy Ghost."
The Church in America, before Joseph Smith's day, the Book of Mormon being true -- and Joe says it is the "most correct book on earth" -- recognized the three Nephites as permanent apostles in the Church. electing "successors" only of "nine," never of "the three." These "Latter Day Saints," from the organization of their Church. April 6, 1830, under Joseph Smith, Jr., Seer and Prophet, never recognized these three apostles, or even John, whom he (Smith) and Cowdery, too, had met on earth, as factors in the Church.
Brigham Young never recognized them. Young Joseph Smith has never recognized them. Both Utah and Iowa have always elected a full college of twelve apostles, when three (or four) are here and can have no "successors." I have before me the list of apostles of both (Utah and Iowa) Mormon Churches. Both lists are full. Neither recognizes even the three old Nephites, as the Book of Mormon gives example. No wonder they do not appear to these churches who practically depose them from the high office as apostles ordained by Christ himself.
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Another step with Smith and Cowdery. In April they had received a letter from John the beloved, had read about the three Nephite apostles in the Book of Mormon, had learned that all four of them were on earth, their mission to teach, preach, baptize and impart the Holy Ghost. In view of all these facts, they went to the Lord in prayer, on May of the same year, to "inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, as we found mentioned in the translation of the plates."
I quote the words of Smith. He had what he calls "the stick of Judah," or our Bible, and modern Mormon missionaries seem to be able to teach all about it from that book. The sequel will show that Joe and Oliver were seeking to depose John and the three Nephites, to take the keys from them and to hold all power on earth over the keys of the kingdom in their own hands.
This time another angel came in a cloud of light, and, "having laid his hands on us, he ordained us, saying unto us, Upon you, my fellow servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels and of the gospel of repentance, and of the baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering to the Lord in righteousness."
These are the words of Smith in "The Pearl of Great Price," p. 70.
Cowdery also gives an account of it. He says:
"I was present with Joseph, when a holy angel from God came down from heaven and conferred on us or restored the lesser or Aaronic priesthood, and said to us at the same time that it should remain on earth while the earth stands" Myth of the Manuscript Found, p. 80).
He also says: "On reflecting further it
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was easily to be seen that amid the great strife and noise concerning religion none had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the gospel. * * * On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spoke peace to us, while the veil was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with [?] and delivered the anxiously looked for message and the keys of the gospel of repentance."
"Upon my fellow servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priesthood, and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness" (Pearl of Great Price, p. 71).
Smith says that the angel said: "His name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys. of the Melchizedek priesthood, which priesthood, he said, should in due time be conferred on us, that I (J. Smith) should be called the first elder and he (O. Cowdery) should be called the second elder."
John the Baptist also told them that Aaronic priesthood, which he conferred upon them, had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that it would be conferred upon them here after.
John directed Joseph to baptize Oliver, and then Oliver to baptize Joseph. Joseph says: "No sooner had I baptized Oliver than the Holy Ghost fell on him, and he prophesied many things which would shortly come to pass. Soon as I had been baptized by Oliver I also had the spirit of prophecy. * * * We were filled with the Holy Spirit."
Now, to sum up, with comments, the leading points in this tremendous transaction:
1. Two young men, neither one a Christian, neither one baptized, both without the
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Holy Spirit, go to the Lord in prayer to learn about baptism.
2. John the Baptist is sent down from heaven to ordain them, does this before they are baptized, giving to them "the keys of the Aaronic priesthood," which had been taken from earth. That is, the power to call the ministry of angels, to baptize, to preach the gospel, to administer the Lord's Supper, was not on earth.
Joseph! Oliver! what do you mean? Where, oh, where were the four apostles who held these keys, the keys to both priesthoods? They were on earth, if Joseph and Oliver and the Book of Mormon are not monumental liars. Who took them from earth? Or, who took the right to baptize and to impart the Holy Ghost from them?
3. John said he conferred the keys of this lesser priesthood upon them "in the name of the Messiah," also said that he "acted under the direction of Peter, James and .John." More light is needed here.
4. We learn that none on earth "had authority from God to administer the ordinances of the gospel." I am quoting Oliver now. This confirms Joseph. John the beloved was on earth, and he directed John the Baptist to come down from heaven and do this work. Strange that the right was not in his hands, when John the Baptist acted under his directions.
5. It would seem that John the Baptist made a mistake about the Aaronic priesthood not having the power to give the Holy Ghost, for both Joe and Oliver got it, "were filled with it," immediately upon their baptism.
6. This power, or these keys, "shall never he taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering to the Lord in righteousness."
(1) This power had been taken from the earth.
(2) It will be again taken from the earth.
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(3) The sons of Levi had, at one time, offered an offering in righteousness.
(4) The sons of Levi shall again offer an offering to the Lord in righteousness.
(5) Then the keys of the Aaronic priesthood will be again taken from the earth.
(6) Cowdery confirms this. He says the angel said this power or authority "shall remain on earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness."
Reader, do not weary; we are now at the tap root of Mormonism. Remember what Elder L. R. Martineau said:
"We are not Mormons because of what the Bible teaches, but because Joseph Smith received the authority to teach and baptize and organize this Church."
You now understand why I commended his candor at the outset. The teachings of the Bible would never make a Mormon. The teachings of Joseph Smith will. You now have before you where, when and how he got "authority(?)" to teach, baptize and organize the Mormon Church."
Note. -- Ask a Mormon how John the Baptist got hold of the "keys of the Aaronic priesthood." He will admit that it was "with the house of Aaron until John the Baptist was born." That it was then taken away from the house of Aaron. That John was baptized "while he was yet a child," and was "ordained by the angel of the Lord when he was eight days old."
Ask him where he learned all that, and he will tell you that Joseph Smith, Jr., had a revelation, at Kirtland, O., September 22-23, 1832, that posted him as to above facts (?). (Vide Book of Doctrine and Covenants.)
In view of the fact that we are taught that "the law had only a shadow of good things to come" -- that it "could not make the comers thereunto perfect" -- that it was "not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins," it is a very
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strange doctrine that the Levites are to offer again, sacrifices and offerings.
Jesus contradicts that statement. He says: "I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now, where remission of these is there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. x. 16-18).
That settles that point and brands the revelation, if it was a revelation, as false.
Cowdery says: "I was also present with Joseph when the higher, or Melchizedek, priesthood was conferred by the holy angel from on high. This priesthood was then conferred on each other by the will and commandment of God. This priesthood, as was then declared, is also to remain upon the earth until the last remnant of time. This holy priesthood, or authority, we then conferred upon many, and it is just as good and valid as though God had done it in person. I laid my hands upon that man -- yes. I laid my right hand upon his head (pointing to Bro. Hyde), and I conferred upon him this priesthood, and he holds that priesthood now. He was also called through me, by the prayer of faith, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Myth of Manuscript Found, p. 80).
The fact is that Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, chose or selected the twelve apostles of the Mormon Church at Kirtland, O., February 14, 1835.
An apostle must be a witness of Christ as to his resurrection from the dead (Acts i. 22). His being "a witness of the fact" was not sufficient alone to make him an apostle. At least two, Barsabas and Matthias, were qualified, but only one was selected (Acts i. 26). But here we have a Church from 1830 to 1835 without an apostle.
One other point, and I draw Part First of this tract to a close.
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Some who had been baptized desired to join the Mormon Church without being rebaptized. Smith had a revelation that it would be no go. Even if a man had beea "baptized a hundred times" by some other than Cowdery or Smith, or some one on whom they had laid their hands, "it availeth him nothing" (Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 20). '
Reader, I have placed before you fully, from the pens of its founders, the orig}n and attitude of Mormonism -- the origin and claim; of the Book of Mormon.
In Part 2 of this tract I will enter upon the origin of the word or term Mormon, as given by Joseph Smith, Jr.; further, judge the Book of Mormon upon "its own intrinsic merits and internal evidences," and show that its fundamental claims are false. In Part 3 I will handle the "Honolulu manuscript," show the fraudulent use of it and prove that Solomon Spaulding's Romance was the basis of the Book of Mormon.
In this, Part 1, I think it has been made evident that, if the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were liars and usurpers of the rights of four apostles on earth, especially the three Nephite apostles.
It is also evident that, if Joseph's and Oliver's revelations (?) were true about "the keys of the two priesthoods being taken from earth," the Book of Mormon is false. Either horn of the dilemma brands both Joseph and the book as first-class frauds. To kill one is to destroy the other. Selah.
(Copyright, 1899, by R. B. Neal.)
CHRISTIAN LEADER PRINT,
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No. 1. Was Joe Smith a Prophet?
Price, 5 cents per copy.
A 16-page tract that handles without gloves the claims of the founder of Mormonism. Commended by editors of all orthodox papers as the most incisive. and conclusive tract against Mormonism now in the field.
No. 2. Smithianity; or, Mormonism Refuted by Mormons.
Price, 10 cents per copy.
A tract of 32 pages, discussing especially Joseph Smith's translation and correction of the Holy Scriptures. Regarded by thinkers as a deadly blow to this defiant and aggressive "ism" called Mormonism.
No. 3. The Mormon Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
Price, 10 cents per copy.
No. 4. The Book of Mormon.
Fifteen hundred Mormon evangelists are in the field advocating and defending their "ism." TRACTS should follow in their wake and cover all their tracks. I have in preparation tracts on Joe Smith as a Seer, as a Translator, and an additional one on him as a Prophet. Also, one on The Book of Mormon, one on the Inspired Translation (?) of the Bible, by Joe Smith, and one on the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. These cover the ground of Mormons, and the readers can judge, each for himself or herself, of the truth and falsity of their claims.
R. B. NEAL.
Grayson, Carter Co., Ky.