THERE is a class of people in the United States, to which the following pages refer, who style themselves "MORMONS." This is a word which belongs to no language living or dead, save that called "gibberish;" it was coined by a Presbyterian preacher, and bestowed upon one of his fictitious characters in a novel he wrote for his own amusement, during a chronic malady with which he was for some time affected. This fiction he termed the Book of Mormon. It is said, he never intended to publish it; but lent the manuscript to a friend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, through whom it fell into the hands of a bookseller there, who either had a copy of it written, or retained the original manuscript. The preacher died. In process of time afterwards, the manuscript appeared in print, professing to be the translation of certain Golden Plates, exhumed from the earth in the State of New York. These plates were stated to have been revealed to one "Joe," of the universal family of Smiths; a fellow of no parts, but of that soft, or semi-daft, and impressible, nature, by which he was admirably fitted for the tool of abler, and more ingenious, knaves. He was made to pretend, that an angel had appeared to him, and revealed the existence, and whereabouts of the plates; which were alleged to be engraved in a very ancient character. When urged to produce these valuable gold plates, a fiction was invented to the effect, that the angel had only promised Joe (who never knew any other than his own vernacular, and that very imperfectly,) to make a translation, which, he pretended, he was enabled to do by inspiration. This was published as the Book of Mormon, and offered to the people of the United States as a Revelation from the author of the Holy Scriptures.
At first, like the fictions of Mohammed, the contemptible absurdities of Joe Smith's book found but few gullible, or knaves enough in his particular craft, to pretend to believe them. They made but little noise at first; but in process of time a man went over to them, named Sydney [sic] Rigdon. This person was once a Baptist preacher, but leaving this denomination, he connected himself very intimately with Mr. Alexander Campbell of Bethany, Brooke Co., Virginia. While associated with him, he made himself perfectly acquainted with his views; and was quite a popular advocate of them. For some reason he separated from Mr. Campbell, and joined Joe Smith and his company. Joe's Book was their confession of faith, which, however was but charily used in the beginning. Like others of this class, he professed to respect the Bible and to preach it; but the new creed, with the collateral revelations invented to suit the occasion, were the real "rule of faith and practice" in the case. I have seen a hand-book of Joe's revelations, which is found
[ENTERED AT THE STATIONERS HALL]
chiefly in the possession of the initiated. It was in the hands of a Mormon elder, fresh from Nauvoo, that I saw it, while I was residing in Illinois. Joe Smith came out publicly as a prophet, and Sydney Rigdon the advocate of the Imposture. They did not preach from Joe's book, but read a chapter in the Bible, and then discoursed in the words and sentiments of Mr. Campbell. In those days, he advocated the pre-millennial advent of Jesus in power and great glory in 1847; and proclaimed baptism for the remission of sins. Accordingly, Sidney Rigdon and his coadjutors made these things conspicuous in their preachings. But, the Advent, and Baptism for Remission, are no part of the original traditions of Joe Smith's book; they were merely grafted upon them, and presented in the foreground as bait to catch the unwary. When they had made Campbellites of them in effect, they were then introduced to "the Mysteries" which were reserved for the initiated, and they were converted into Mormons. They obtain the name from this cause. They received the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God and Joe Smith as his prophet, and therefore received the name of Mormons.
I have heard a very fair discourse from one of their Nauvoo elders, on Eph. iv.7—12, in which no Mormonism could be detected until near the end. "You must be," said he, “baptized for the remission of your sins; but your immersion will do you no good unless it is administered by an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher. No church is a true church unless it have these inspired officers; and no church but ours (the Mormon, without mentioning the name) is in possession of them. Much is said against the Mormons, because of the bad characters they have among them, but you do not condemn other sects on this ground, neither ought you to condemn the Mormons on this account, for they are not fellowshipped by us." Now in the United States, Joe Smith, the ostensible leader of the sect, was a proverbial scoundrel; therefore, I inquired, rising in the midst of an audience of about 200, "Do you fellowship Joe Smith?" He said he did "not stand there to answer questions; but if I would call upon him at his lodgings on the morrow he would talk to me." I replied, that I did not ask for my own information, but for that of the audience. I knew what kind their morality was of, but I wanted it demonstrated from his own lips, by the only answer he dared give to my question, if he said anything, namely, that they did fellowship and glory in Joe Smith as their prophet, who was known to be one of the worst of characters in the "United States." This Mormon elder, formerly a Baptist preacher, was brought to my house next day by the Universalist preacher, who said it was the earnest desire of the people that I should debate the subject of Mormonism with this advocate of it. After trying for sometime to persuade him to dispute with him, as he seemed so desirous for a debate, I very reluctantly consented. I happened to have in possession the Book of Mormon. I criticized its wretched English, and comparing its assertions with the Bible, pointed out its flat contradictions of its truths. He heaped upon me the most opprobrious epithets, calling me atheist, devil, mad, &c. &c.: and withal fought shy of Joe's Book as dangerous ground to tread on. At last, after a day's exhibition of Mormon depravity, he fell subdued before the rod that smote him. He begged pardon for his abuse; and humbly prayed that I would make a collection for him to enable him to return to Nauvoo. It being a principle with me to return good for evil, I consented to see what the people would give him. Out of 500 persons, I collected for him 75 cents and an old button, so highly did the citizens of St. Charles, about 100 miles from Nauvoo, estimate the traditions of the Mormon sect.
When Rigdon and his prophet began to make proselytes, Mr. Alexander Campbell gave a thorough exposure of the imposture in his Millennial Harbinger (1), about the year 1833; information also appeared in the papers on the alleged authority of the Presbyterian preacher’s widow as to her husband being the real author of the Book of Mormon under the circumstances stated.(2)
The author’s scheme is elaborated from the most gratuitous fiction. He supposes a family to emigrate from Jerusalem in the time of the Babylonish Captivity, taking their direction through Arabia towards the Indian Ocean. On the route, they dwell in tents, and are commanded to offer sacrifice, though such a thing in any other place than the temple, was contrary to the law. Many absurd things are alleged to be done for them in the way of miracle; and among the rest, a sort of wheel is made to roll on before them of itself as their guide in the way they were to go. When they arrived at the sea, they built a ship, and with a miraculous compass put out they know not where. At length they arrive in South America. They settle there, and about the time of Christ have peopled the continent. This conceit is introduced in order to make out the theory of the American Indians being the “Ten Lost Tribes.” When Jesus ascended he is supposed to have descended afterwards in America; and to have made known to Mormon descendants what happened to him among their countrymen in Judea. That he then selected Twelve Indian Apostles to go and preach the gospel to them, and told one of them that “he should not die.” This one, the Mormons in America say, is still alive. He, wherever he may be, is the reviver of the Indian-apostolic doctrine preached by Joe and his fraternity! Having instructed the Mormon Indians, Jesus ascended again, but with the assurance that he will visit that country again, because it is the true Land of Promise, where the New Jerusalem is to be built, and he is to reign over the world. Hence, the foundation of the City of Nauvoo and its Temple as the seat of the government of the Indo-Judean Empire under the Messiah.
Such is an outline from memory of the Author’s absurd and impious fiction. It is probable that the filling in has been modified to suit the imposture; for the Indians are ordered to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins,” which a Presbyterian preacher would be the last to recommend. Sidney Rigdon’s hand appears in this. I do not know what may be in the English edition of the book, I only speak of what I read in an early American one.
Those who regard the Bible as testifying the truth can have no faith in the Book of Mormon. It says, that Jesus was born in Jerusalem; whereas the Bible testifies that he was to be born in Bethlehem Ephrath, and that he was accordingly born in Bethlehem of Judea. That the Mormon Bible and Joe’s convenient revelations where their rule of faith and practice the following facts will show.
The Mormons say they are the saints of the Latter Day. Hence they are called “Latter-Day Saints” as well as Mormons. Truly, “Latter-Day” they are; for with the Early-Day Saints they have not the least affinity. In their character then of Latter-Day Saints, who are to “inherit the earth,” they set out for the confines of Missouri, to convert the Indians to their schemes. If they could have succeeded in this they would have put arms in their hands, and by their aid have tried to, subdue as much of the earth for their inheritance as they could in anticipation of the “good times coming” when they would get it all! But, on the Missouri frontier they found a squad of stiff-necked unbelievers in the pay of the United States, who were stationed there by government to
(1) "Sidney Rigdon" Millennial Harbinger, Alexander Campbell, 2 (February 1831): 100-101 [ed]
(2) For particulars see the Gospel Banner for April, for 1849.
keep the Indians at peace among themselves, and to protect the settlers against their incursions. When the commander of these troops came to comprehend the object of their visitation, he very promptly ordered them off to the interior. They found no scope for disputation with the men of the sword upon the merits of Joe Smith and his Indian schemes. The commander had trouble enough to keep the Indians in order, which would be rendered impossible, if he permitted a band of unprincipled fanatics to get in among them; whose object it was to persuade them, that they were the Ten Lost Tribes of the Great Spirit’s peculiar people, and that they were destined under the conduct of Joe Smith and his Mormons, aided by the still living, but invisible, Indian apostle John, to recover their country, the true Promised Land, from the pale faces who had robbed them of it. Without any more ado, then, they had to move to the right about, and seek a settlement at a distance from the frontier.
Having effected this in the interior of Missouri, they began to multiply. They proclaimed themselves to be the Saints; that the earth was the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and that all things ‘were the Saints.’ Being grouped together in one locality, they became formidable to the surrounding farmers. Their saintship was not to be disputed. They declared it upon the word of their prophet Joe, and awaited only his authorization to usher in the Millennium, when the saints might take what they pleased to lay their hands on “with French leave.” This time was not long in coming. The good times actually arrived, and they helped themselves to their neighbors’ hogs, and to whatever else they coveted; and woe be to the unhappy owner who ventured in among them to identify and claim his own. But, such a state of things as this could not last long in the heart of a population that were neither Communists nor Socialists; for Mormonism is after all but a modification of these. The day of reckoning arrived, and the Missourians rose upon the robbers, and expelled them from the State.
Not knowing, or not believing, that they were thieves, but supposing that the Mormons were a persecuted set, which, in the United States, is quite enough to create a sympathy, no matter how impious or demoniac their opinions may be, looking at them simply as men, and not as religionists—the people of Illinois permitted them to buy land and settle among them. They selected a section, or so, which was bounded on the west by Mississippi, which divided them from Missouri. They commenced a town, which was afterwards incorporated by the Illinois Legislature as a City, to which they gave the gibberish name of NAUVOO. The lesson they had received in Missouri taught them the necessity of proceeding more cautiously. By preaching the Indo-American Advent in Bible language; baptism for the remission of sins; and community of goods at Nauvoo, in England and the United States, they made many proselytes; so that the population of their city in its most prosperous time, is said to have amounted to 15,000. They erected the Temple referred to in the following pages, and organized a government of their own; and even succeeded in getting Nauvoo appointed as a depot for a portion of the State’s military materiel, which was entrusted to a quack doctor of their “church,” whom I have often seen in Louisville, Ky., since their break up, with the commission of “General,” but whether the patent was from the Governor, or Joe Smith, I am not able to say.
The people of this country may be surprized at the circumstances of a band of fanatic thieves, with a drivelling fellow at their head, calling himself a prophet, and pretending to revelations from heaven, coming to be regarded as respectable, and even influencing the policy of an inde-
pendent state, constituted of Governor, vice Governor, Council, and Assembly, with a population of all kinds of rival religionists! But the astonishment will subside when the nature of things in the popular sovereignties of the Far West is understood. Illinois, during the four years I resided there, did not contain more than 400,000, which was scattered over a range of country extending from the Mississippi to the Wabash, and from the Ohio to Lake Michigan and Wisconsin. The population was made up of people from the free states, the greater proportion of whom, were rude and uncultivated; the “bone and sinew,” but not the intelligence of the States. If you were to inquire, “What sort of man is so and so?” . . . you might be told, “Oh, he is a proper Illinois man!” which is equivalent to his being but little more refined than the oxen he drives. Things, however, have greatly improved within a few years; but, when the Mormons gained a temporary ascendancy they were as described.
In such a population, politics are more controlling than religious principles; indeed, the latter is mere matter of worldly calculation, and he is the “smartest” man who can “shave” the keenest, short of falling into the clutches of the law. Politics, and the “Almighty Dollar,” as it is styled in the States, are the ruling passions of the Far West. The contest between the political factions is for these dollars upon the principle that “to the victors belong the spoils” of office; and, if it be only a question of doctrinal truth that demands a pause in this unhallowed race, it is scoffed on one side, (yes, and in Britain too,) as mere vaporous speculation, unworthy of a sober thought. In one of the contests between Whig and Locofoco, the factions were thought to be pretty near equal; at all events, the man, or set of men, who could help either party to the smallest favours in the matter of votes, was courted and puffed in the most approved newspaper fashion. The election of Governor Ford, the Locofoco candidate, is a case in point. It occurred I think, in 1842, or thereabout. At that time, it was thought, that the Nauvoo Mormons could give about 2000 votes, which might have decided the fate of the candidate; so that the election of the Governor might be regarded as in their hands. The Mormon policy was, to declare for neither party, but to observe events, and to vote for the party that would do their behests when in power. The consequence was that the Chicago Democrat, whose editor is known by the soubriquet of “Long John,” being much over six feet, and a representative in Congress; a man whose want of principle admirably adapted him to the constituency he illustrated—the journal he conducted became the special flatterer of the Nauvoo Prophet; indeed, it was jocosely remarked that “Long John was about to become a deacon in the Mormon church!” But, John Wentworth had no such idea. He was only coquetting with Mormon knavery and impiety for the sake of the 2000 Mormon votes. The Mormon elder, taken under Universalist patronage to bother me, because, having converted two out of three of their trustees into friends, I was enabled to use their meeting house sorely against the preacher’s will, as long as I pleased, to lecture in; this elder who made such a disgraceful retreat, was a special hero of the Chicago Democrat. He was dubbed “Reverend,” and puffed off to admiration. The result of the matter was that the Mormon votes contributed to the election of the Locofoco candidate, an Illinois lawyer, who afterwards became the agent of their discomfiture. In this way any religious sect may become “respectable” and powerful in the United States. The politicians, (and the vast majority are politicians,) care nothing about Bible principles; but if a number of people rally round those principles, and become numerous, and therefore influential, they
will bow down and even profess to worship them for the sake of their votes. It would be the same with the absurdities of the Koran. They would proclaim Mohammed to be as good a prophet as Jesus, and certainly much more suited to their taste, if they thought it would give them a victory over their rivals, it being a political maxim, that “all things are fair in politics,” (but truth,) because, I presume, the Devil reigns political Chief of their domain. Upon the same principle, the Irish and the adherents of “the False Prophet,” now at Gaeta, are courted by Whig and Locofocos; and nothing is allowed to appear in the leading papers, about the time of election especially, which would tend to bring their principles into disrepute. I know this by experience. I sent a communication to the New York Tribune, but Horace Greely, the editor, would not insert it, because it might offend the Papists, and prejudice the Whig prospects, as the election was at hand. But, with politicians the world over, it is self and faction, lucre and power; and, by what means attained imports not, though truth and righteousness be rooted out of the earth.
Can the reader marvel any more that the Mormon imposture should grow so rapidly in such a soil as this? Joe Smithism was to the Illinois men what Popery was to the Goths, and is now to the poor deluded creatures, who sprinkle themselves with “Holy Water,” and count their beads. Joe announced himself as a Prophet of God; the Gaeta Exile also affirms that he is God’s Prophet; for he claims to be the Vicar of Jesus and Vicegerent [sic] of God upon earth. The Mormon is not one whit more deluded than the Papist; the essential difference between is, that Popery is the more ancient imposture, and its adherents more numerous, but not one whit more enlightened. I make this remark that Englishmen may not puff themselves up against Illinoisans; for if we come to the question of relative scriptural intelligence, it is extremely probable, that neither would have any just ground to boast of their illumination over the other. Any community where Popery is deemed respectable, is reprobate to the “wisdom which is from above, which is first pure and then peaceable * * full of mercy and of good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy;” and shaded by the wisdom from beneath, which is “earthly, sensual, and devilish.” Let my remarks then be perceived as impartial; for, as far as Protestant nationalities are concerned, I have as much faith in one as in the other; they are certainly more moral and orderly than purely Romish communities; but viewed in the light of God’s word, they are one and all blind, ill-favoured, and lighter than vanity itself.
Favoured by the ignorance and perverseness of mankind, the Mormon speculation prospered at Nauvoo. Joe Smith, through his “peep-stone” in the bottom of his hat, obtained revelations as occasion seemed to require. At length the good time came again, when the Saints were to help themselves to their neighbours’ property according to their need. Men that will tell lies in God’s name will steal, murder, or any thing else, where they think it can be done without hazard, or with impunity. The thievish propensities of the Mormons, however, became at length so practical, that the indignation of the “Illinois men,” whose sensibilities were untouched by the Mormon depredations upon their Missouri neighbours, was roused to a high pitch. When “the poor persecuted Mormons” proceeded to carry out their principles in stealing Illinois hogs, calves, &c., a marvellous change came over the dream of the Illinoian, and he saw nothing but thieves and scoundrels in the Nauvooans. So it is. Put your hand into a man’s pocket, or invade the rights of meum et tuum, and it is astonishing, how readily some can
discern that the religious thieves are nothing but disorganizers, and social pests; but, if it be merely a question of truth and righteousness, or of the dishonour done to the Word and Name of God and his institutions, by impious impostors, and the sufferers be remote in time or distance, all sympathy is with the transgressors. “I do not condemn you for making Bogus,” said an Illinois justice to a counterfeiter, “but for making it badly.” Such is an illustration of Far West morality. You cannot create public opinion in a popular sovereignty like this, or, among the “bone and sinew” of the Near East, in favour of divine principles; but, if they are to be moved to co-operate in checking a moral pestilence, the appeal must be to the pockets, or stomachs, and not to the conscience of the mass. The Mormons were the agents of their own deserved punishment in this respect. By committing depredations on the people, and protecting their thievish brethren in the den at Nauvoo with the State arms, they brought such a storm upon them that again dispersed them to the four winds. Their friend, Governor Ford, was compelled to call out the militia, or volunteers, to put them down. The arms, intrusted [sic] to them by the State, supplied them with weapons to carry on the war. Joe Smith, Lieutenant General and Mormon Prophet of Nauvoo, was by no means a contemptible imitation of Mohammed, camel driver to Cadijah, Prophet of Mecca, and Star of the Bottomless Pit. Joe’s generalship, whatever his prophetship might be, was far from rivalling that of his more successful prototype. Joe was certainly “born out of due time.” He doubtless belonged to the seventh century, and should have flourished in the desert. He might then have astonished the world, and lived in the remembrance of all future time as Lieutenant Commander of all faithful Moslems. But, unhappy Joe! No victorious laurel wreathed his brow. He fell into the hands of the “infidels;” and was carried with other chief robbers to the town of Alton on the left bank of the Mississippi, there to be kept in “durance vile” until further orders. But Joe by no means relished this disposition of his person. He determined therefore to escape. Had he been a real prophet he would not have tried it; for he would have known that the attempt would fail. But, judicially deluded, he undertook it, and in the trial was shot by the sentinel, and “died as a fool dieth.”
The result of "the Mormon War" was the capitulation of the Nauvooans. They were disarmed, and spared from further punishment, on condition of moving off from Illinois. Time was granted them to sell their property in Church and State; but on no account would the citizens permit such militant and thievish saints to reign in the Nauvoo Jerusalem, under pain of a prompt visitation from the myrmidons of Judge Lynch.
This vial of popular indignation having been poured out on Nauvoo, these Latter-Day Saints commenced their progress towards Oregon. Numbers died before they reached their destination, and rest from their iniquity under the prairie sod. The Mexican war breaking out, opened a new field of enterprize to the survivors, better suited to their principles and propensities. A Mormon band was raised, and marched into California. The rest is known. The war being ended, they "stuck their stakes" in the aureous sand of the Sacramento. They are now better employed in washing for gold than in stealing their neighbour's hogs and cattle; though, if all be true which is narrated of the people there, there is still congenial scope for the practice of their profession. Take and keep who can, is the orthodox Californian creed; which, from past experience, we may truly say, is highly palatable to the Saints of the Latter-Day.
We have published this narrative at the particular instance of several in this country, where, we are sorry to hear, this imposture is making considerable progress. This brief history of Joe Smithism will do more, probably, to open the eyes of the public than a grave, or formal, refutation of its principles. No good thing can come out of such a system; and, I can only account for people turning Mormons in England, on the ground of their ignorance of its nature and history. Honestly disposed people can only become Mormons from not knowing the Scriptures. This is the remedy for all similar cases—an understanding of the Word of the Kingdom of God. Let this be understood, and there need be no fear of man stultifying their intellects by turning Papists, Sectarians, Socialists, or Mormons. They will be proof against "the cunning craftiness of men whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" the "winds of doctrine," which blow from Wittenberg, Geneva, Oxford, Westminster, Canterbury, or Rome, will pass by them as "the idle wind which they respect not;” to the "doctrines concerning demons" they will give no heed; but, " built upon the foundation of Apostles and Prophets" they will "grow into a Holy Temple In the Lord; builded together in Him for a Habitation of God through the Spirit."
In conclusion, I would add, that the Mormons In the United States have a practice, which ought to be sufficient to open the eyes of every person to their profound ignorance of the first principles of Christianity, which they so impiously and absurdly mix up with the "revelations" of the late Mormon Joe. The custom to which I refer is this. On the principle that, if a man dies in his sins he is lost; and, that an immersion by an inspired administrator is indispensable to the remission of sins; and, because they find in 1 Cor. xv. 29 the phrase, " baptized for the dead;" therefore they hold, that a man who has died without immersion a short, or long, time ago, may be saved by immersing a living Mormon as his substitute. The immersed Mormon is then said to be "baptized for the dead." Now, they took it into their heads, that General Washington and Dr. Benjamin Franklin, were such choice spirits that they ought to have a place in heaven, which they could not unless Mormon philanthropy stepped in to deliver them. Accordingly, a Mormon disciple came forward to be baptized as the General's substitute, and another as Benjamin Franklin's, and these two respectable characters were inducted by proxy into heaven and the Mormon church! Would it not have been an improvement for Lieutenant General Joe, the Prophet, to have obtained from the National Institute at Washington, George Washington's old fashioned regimentals, that the substitute might have presented some apparent connexion with "the Father of his Country?" Immersing the regimentals, we conceive, would have been as rational and efficacious for the remission of the General's sins, as dipping the Mormon substitute, and quite as scriptural; for, it says, "What shall they do which are baptized for the dead?" and this, if we read Scripture like Mormons, may mean, "What shall they, the regimentals, do," as well, as "What shall they, the Mormons, do," for it says as much about regimentals as about Mormons, who pretend to be "baptized for the dead!"
But "they err" egregiously "not knowing the Scriptures." The Apostle is not writing about the baptism of substitutes, but the baptism of the living then dead for a certain end; for the text is, ?? ?????????? ?? ??????????? ??? ??? ??????, ?? ???? ?????? ??? ?????????? ; ti poiesousin hoi baptizomenoi huper toon nekroon, ei holous nekroi ouk egeirontai. This is literally "the baptized on account of the dead (plural, dead persons) what shall they (the baptized) do, if the dead are
not awaked at all? “ The "they" refers to the persons actually immersed huper toon nekroon on account of the dead persons, and not to substitutes; for he says, "What shall they do who are baptized," &c; we put the same question to show the absurdity, "What will they, the two Mormon substitutes, do, if George Washington and Benjamin Franklin do not rise at all?" But enough of this nonsense. The Apostle is defending the doctrine of a resurrection of righteous dead persons, against the denial of a future resurrection by some in the church at Corinth, who had embraced the dogma of Plato newly vamped by Hymeneus and Philetus. He argues, that Christians die in hope of the resurrection of the righteous to endless life. That this doctrine is peculiar to the gospel; that he preached it; that they believed it, and were baptized for it. But, if there was no resurrection, as they said, those believers, who were then dead, who had been baptized into the hope of it, and who had died in the faith of it, were all irredeemably lost—had "perished." "Baptized for the dead" is an eliptical phrase, and the chasm in it must be supplied by the argument, which resolves it into this, "Else, the baptized (huper for) in hope of the resurrection (toon nekroon) of the dead (believers) what shall they do (what will become of them) if the dead are not awaked at all?" This is the unvarnished grammatical construction, and none but a Joe Smithite, or a person unskilled in the Word, would put any other construction upon it.
Having presented the public with this brief sketch, they will be enabled the better to comprehend the following account of Van Dusen. We trust the narrative will answer the end proposed, that is, to save them from disappointment and ruin by one of the most humiliating impostures that has illustrated the folly and wickedness of the human mind in any age. If this be accomplished I shall not regret the performance of the task imposed upon me by the wishes of many who have witnessed the unhallowed influence of Joe Smith's impieties, in this island. At all events, I shall have discharged a duty incumbent on every man, and that is, to combat all "imaginations and every thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God," as well as to "contend earnestly for the faith originally delivered to the saints," by the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3, Brudenell Place,
New North Road,
London; March, 1849.
Those readers who desire to be conversant with original Christianity as taught by the Apostles of Jesus Christ, should read the Gospel Banner, a monthly periodical, price twopence, devoted especially to the advocacy of primitive truth. London, Hall & Co., 25, Paternoster Row, and, by order, of all Booksellers. [ we do not belive that this publication is still available, ed]
THE HIDDEN ORGIES OF MORMONISM: PRACTISED IN NAUVOO AND ITS TEMPLE.
THE Mormon city, is in a bend on the banks of the Mississippi, United States, and occupies an elevated position and space of about three miles one way and four the other. The ground is promiscuously built up, with a variety of houses, sufficient in number to contain about fifteen thousand inhabitants. The buildings vary from a small log and mud hut, from ten to fourteen feet square, one story [sic], to between one and two hundred feet square, four stories [sic] including basement, of brick and stone. The occupants are about one half Americans, perhaps one-third English, and the remainder from different nations. There are no blacks. The Public Buildings—a Seventies' Hall, of brick, two stories; a Masonic Hall. of brick, four stories, including basement; a Music Hall, of brick, one story, about forty or sixty feet; an Arsenal, three stories, of stone. Then the Great Temple, which is unquestionably one of the finest buildings in the country. Its location is about in the centre of the city, on a hill that rises gradually from the river; it is built of white limestone quarried from the banks of the Mississippi. The architect's name is WEEKS, under the superintendence of Joseph Smith. Hundreds of Mormons were employed on it, directly or indirectly, from its commencement. It is eighty feet wide, one hundred and twenty-eight feet in length, and from the ground to the extreme summit, it measures two hundred and ninety-two feet. It is after no particular style of architecture. It has a portico of three archways; is surrounded with thirty polished stone pilasters, at the base of which is carved a new moon inverted, while the capital of each is formed of a full head the whole breadth of the pilaster, projecting out from the building, representing the rising Sun coming out from a cloud, supported by two hands holding a trumpet. Directly under the tower, in front, is the following inscription in golden letters:—
"The House of the Lord, built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints. Commenced April 6th, 1841. Holiness to the Lord."
In the centre of the basement, which is the full size of the Temple, converging to the centre, is a baptismal font, (the object of which I will briefly describe below,) supported by twelve oxen as large as life, heads fronting out each way from the centre, executed in solid stone. Two stairways lead into the
font from opposite directions. All around the outside of this main floor are small rooms, designed for a purpose I cannot here describe for want of room. On the first floor are three pulpits, and a place for a large choir; and on either side eight arched windows. Around the hall of the spacious attic, are twelve small rooms, each lighted with a beautiful circular window, and a massive lock on the door. The walls of the building are about six feet thick. The summit of this splendid edifice is gained by two winding stairways from the base. The probable cost is about One Million Dollars.
This grand structure was commenced in 1841, under the following circumstances:
Joseph Smith issued a Proclamation to all his followers in Nauvoo, and in all parts of the earth where they were, that God commanded them, through him, to build him a house, wherein he, the Lord, might reveal through his prophet Joseph, ordinances essential to their salvation, which had been hidden from the Church from the foundation of the world; and the conditions of his followers receiving those ordinances and blessings were, that they were to appropriate one-tenth of their time and property in building the same. The building of the house continued three years; at which time, Smith was killed under circumstances already known to the public; by which unexpected circumstance, the whole body of Mormons were thrown into confusion, supposing the object for which the house was built, had vanished with Smith, their prophet. Consequently it was not long before there arose a hot contest between Sidney Rigdon and some more of the ambitious ones, which should be great as was the prophet Joseph. Finally, a man by the name of Brigam [sic] Young (now heading thousands off to the remote part of the earth, to their literal ruin in many instances,)—he being more crafty than the rest—succeeded in getting Smith's place. After which he commenced his stratagem to carry out and prosecute (as he says) Smith's measure in secret. Accordingly, after a secret preparation in the temple, of a few individuals selected for that purpose, with closed doors, unknown to the main body of the people, we are called in, by two at a time, male and female, and are initiated into the following mysteries—and bound, at the expense of life, not to tell another—not even a Mormon.
FIRST DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
The following process is what myself and wife were personally take
through, in turn with upwards of twelve thousand
others, in the temple, in the winter of 1846, said to be our reward, as revealed from God to Joseph Smith, for erecting that splendid edifice, and the express object for which it was built.
The drama (as I call it) runs thus:—
We have a notice to appear at the temple at five in the morning. I am instructed to wear white drawers. My wife is to bring her night clothes with her. What these are ordered for, we have no idea in the least. We are met at the outside porch of the temple, and ordered to pass up the main winding stairway, from the base to the attic story; we are ordered to be seated, where we lay off the hat, cloak, bonnet, &c.; our anxiety now begins moderately to increase by some curious and strange movements we see here, such as carrying water to and from a certain direction, &c. A few of such and other similar strange movements are accidentally crossing our observation, as we sit here on this singular occasion, conducted, to begin with, where we did not expect to go—that is, to the attic story of the temple. We are now called out and placed in front of a closed door that opens on a floor the whole size of the temple. I am ordered now to take my wife and pass through this door, which opens as we approach it. We are brought immediately into a narrow hall; at the further end of the hall stands a man; as we approach him he says, you must here separate; directs me through a door to the right, my wife through one at the left, in an opposite direction. I am now ordered to be seated; I next pass through an examination to the effect, whether I am sufficiently responsible to receive what they are about to commit to me, &c. If I am known to be so, I am initiated through; if not, I go no further. After undergoing an examination of this kind, I am ordered by the conductor to lay off my outside clothes, such as coat, vest, pants, boots, &c., and lay them on a pile in the centre of the floor.
SECOND DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
I AM next conducted through a door into another room, which is considerably shaded, nearly to twilight. There is a variety of ceremony going on in this room, some of rather too delicate a nature to speak of, as this work is designed to be read by all classes of both sexes. I am, however, divested of the remainder of my clothing, which leaves me in a state of perfect nakedness, and placed in a horizontal position in a bath of water that has been prepared for that purpose, and am washed from head to foot, with the following ceremony:—
"I wash you that you may be clean to perform the work assigned to you;—your eyes, that you may see the glory of God;—your ears, that you may hear his voice;—your mouth, that you may speak forth his praise;—your arms and breast, that you may be strong to perform his work;—your ——, thus and so;—your [I dare not explain]; and so down to your feet, that you may be swift to run the race," &c.
All this time I am rolled and tumbled about from one side of the bath to the other. Head a part of the time under the water, half strangled under a considerable excitement, not knowing what is coming next. At last the priest lays his hands on my head, and pronounces me clean in the name of the Lord, and prepared for the further ordinances of this house.
I am now ordered out of the bath in a standing position, and have perfumed oil poured from a cow's crooked horn on the top of my head, until it runs partly over my body. I am now said to be the Lord's anointed, as in the days of old, when they were anointed to the office of king, &c. After this I am seated, and the priest lays his hands on my head and ordains me to be king in time and eternity. After receiving this ordination, I am presented with, and have put on, what they call, an under garment. This is a tight fit, made of white cotton cloth, with two marks cut in it; a square in the breast, and a compass on the knee. I am told this garment represents the white stone in Scripture, in which was a new name given. I here have a new name given me. I am told also, that I am always to wear this garment under my clothes while I am in the world. God has ordered this; and I can receive no harm while I have it on. The name I received was Lehi, one of the names of the Book Mormon. This name I was forbidden to reveal to any one but at the door of the Celestial Kingdom. What this meant I found out afterwards. The compass on the knee signifies our willingness to bow always; the square, God's protection, &c. I have now put on me, over this under garment, a common shirt, open at the collar. In this dress, after so much ceremony, I am conducted into a third room.
THIRD DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
I AM next placed in a certain position on the floor, supposed to be Adam in embryo. All is now silent for a while, the silence is at length broken by a rumbling noise from a distance; the noise terminates in a voice—" Let there be light, let the light be divided from the darkness; let the light be called day
and the darkness night: let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters: let the firmament be called heaven; let the waters under the firmament be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear; let the dry land be called earth, and the gathering together of waters, seas; let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth, after their kind."
[The reader will perceive that this conversation differs from Moses' history of the creation. Moses says, “And the Lord said, Let there be light," &c, “and there was light," speaking of the Deity in the third person. It is here as if the Almighty himself is first in the act of creation: and this is the idea intended in the farce.]
After the individual thus representing the Lord behind the curtain (as in the act of creation,) is supposed to have created the heavens and the earth, cattle, beasts, creeping things, fowls of the air, fish of the sea, &c., he continues his work farther [sic] and says, "Now let us go down and make man in our image, after our likeness." All this time I am in silence, hearing, but not seeing anything, and knowing not what is to take place the next moment; for all is new and unexpected from first to last, of this whole drama. When he says, "Let us go down and make man," I hear his footsteps approaching the room where I am; he comes in—comes to where I am—puts his hands to the floor, and then on me, as if fulfilling this Scripture, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." After going on as if forming me newly of the dust of the ground, he stoops down and breathes on me, and now I am supposed to spring into life. I am next ordered to change my position to a sleeping one, as if fulfilling, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept." I am now ordered to put my head down low, and feign myself in a deep sleep. The individual representing the Almighty, continues his work, as if fulfilling, "And he took a rib, and the rib which the Lord God had taken from man made be a woman, and brought her unto the man." After he has taken the rib, he passes out of the room, and is supposed to have formed the woman of the rib; he soon returns with a woman, and places her directly before me, as I am sitting, head down, as if in a deep sleep. I am now saluted by a loud voice,
"Adam! here is thy companion. I give her to be with thee
—what wilt thou call her?"
I now raise my head and awake out of my feigned sleep, and to my surprise, a female stands directly in front of me, about three feet from my knees, as I am seated; her dress consists of an under piece of linen, white stockings, long nightgown all tied down before, and a white head dress of book-muslin, looking me directly in the face with a smile. As I raise up my head from the voice, "Adam, here is thy companion—what wilt thou call her?" I now answer, "This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man." After a second squint at this new made Eve, I found her to be my wife, that I had separated from me on entering the temple. This was the first time I had seen her, or even thought of her, from the commencement of this very queer and excitable farce, my mind being altogether taken up with the novelty of this unexpected ceremony. She tells me after leaving me where we were ordered to part, on first entering, she has gone through two rooms, and the same ceremony precisely, only conducted by females exclusively. We are now supposed to be Adam and Eve, and the reason of my shirt being outside, and she having on night clothes, is to represent nature. I am next ordered to take Eve and follow our conductor through a partition door into another apartment.
FOURTH DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
THIS is a much larger room than the others through which we have passed, the floor all nicely covered with green trees, shrubbery plants, flowers, &c., one varying from the other in height as they stand on the floor, forming alleys, walks, &c. representing the garden of Eden. This place being a little shaded, at least as dark as twilight, and the shrubbery interspersed with human beings, dressed in this peculiar way, acting out so sublime a piece, formed a sight both novel and "sublime” in the extreme.
We follow a man here through the alleys and walks of the garden representing the Almighty, beholding the strange and unexpected scenery that has just presented itself to our view, says "This is a beautiful place, everything delightful for the eye and taste—of all these things you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (pointing to a certain tree,) thou shalt not eat; neither shalt thou touch it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." He leaves the garden, and in a few moments another individual comes in representing the Devil. He walks
the trees, and peaks and skulks as if intent on some mischief, and coming to the tree which we have been forbidden to partake of, he says to my wife: "This is the best of all the fruit of the garden," and solicits her to partake. She takes, eats, and gives to me. While we are amusing ourselves with the delicious taste of the fruit, (which is raisins tied to a small tree on the floor,) the conductor starts up suddenly, stamps on the floor, and says, "Hark! the Lord is coming; let us hide!" We are ordered to squat down behind the shrubbery on the floor. The feigned Lord's footsteps are now heard. Coming in, he walks on the floor; at last he calls out, "Adam, where art thou?" We answer, "We heard thy voice and footsteps in the garden, and were afraid, and hid ourselves." And he says, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee not to eat?" I answer, "The women whom thou gavest to be with me, gave me of the tree and I did eat." He then turns to my wife, and says, "What is this thou hast done?” She answers, "The Serpent beguiled me and I did eat." He now turns to the individual representing the Devil, and says, "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust thou shalt eat all the days of thy life."
After the man representing the Devil receives the curse from the one acting the part of the Lord, he gets down and crawls out of the room on his belly, dragging himself slowly along, as if cursed indeed. To my wife the Lord adds, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children," &c. And to me he says, "Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for dust thou art, and unto the dust thou shalt return.”
We next have aprons put on of white cloth, about eighteen inches square, with green silk leaves pasted on. We are ordered to kneel down to an altar that stands on the centre of the floor, where we are instructed in a variety of things, such as the folly and impropriety of being deceived by the Devil, and our not obeying the command of God, &c. We are also strictly cautioned not to be led astray again by the Devil's influence in any shape that it may come hereafter. We now say on our knees, we renounce the Devil for ever, and promise also to keep
the commandments of God.
We have now certain signs, grips, key-words, &c., given, and all the whys and wherefores explained. One of the grips is, the two right hands clasped, with the end of the thumbs on the upper joint of the forefingers: second, the end of the thumbs directly between the upper two joints of the first and second fingers. One of the key-words, is the Sun. We are particularly instructed in these signs, key-words, grips, &c., three of each.
FIFTH DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
A BURLESQUE ON ALL THE SECTS.
We are now conducted into another, a fifth room, which is a representation of the present Religious world. This room is darker than any of the others through which we have passed, expressive of what the Mormons say of the sects, that they are all wrong and in gross darkness. The idea conveyed of what is in this room is, that we, Adam and Eve, have strolled away from the true ways of the Lord, and have become contaminated by some or all of the sectarian religions of the day; or, in other words, a lapse of six thousand years is supposed to have intervened between what is here acted and that in the room we were in previously.
Our attention is now attracted by an individual coming in from an adjoining room, representing the Devil. He comes in great glee, hopping and skipping about the floor, holding in his hand a long-handled wooden noggin, which holds about a pint, when, stopping suddenly, he looks us in the eyes and says, "Good morning, brother Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Baptist. Universalist, Shaking Quaker, Millerite, Campbellite," &c., enumerating all the sects of the day, except the Mormon; "Come, let us drink the cup of fellowship this morning." He now drinks, and hands the noggin to us; we drink, and hand it back. He then goes on as follows: "Well, brethren, you have done well—had a great many revivals—gained numerous hosts of converts, and would have succeeded in getting the world into some of our churches, had it not been for that Joe Smith and the Mormons. They are round everywhere, preaching that we are all wrong—not organized according to Scripture, and say we (Protestants,) have no authority to preach, except what we have got from the Catholics, and all the world agrees that that is good for nothing. And now, brethren of the sects, I tell you, that Mormon plan is an almighty one, and much to be dreaded—it strikes at the very root and foundation of all our holy religion, and will eventually become the pre-
valing religion, unless something can be done to stop it. It has been supposed a humbug, and would soon come to naught. But this supposition is founded altogether in ignorance."
After a long ceremony of this kind, in favour of the Mormon Fraternity, we are interrupted by another individual coming in, representing the Almighty. He commands the Devil to depart and let these deceived people (the sects) alone, and trouble them no longer; for the time has come when they shall be delivered from his Satanic influence and power, by which they have been bound since the Apostolic age of the world.
The Devil now reluctantly withdraws, and makes towards the door looking back at the heavenly messenger, and halts, as if at a loss to leave or stay. He is now commanded again, to leave and let the sects alone. He now drops his noggin and flees out of the room with great haste and fury. The supposed Lord that has acted the last part and conquered the Devil, takes us now and teaches us the folly of every other way, that is, all the sectarian ways, and recommends the only true way to us, i.e., the Apostolic way, which he tells us is Joseph Smith's doctrine in every particular. We are now supposed to be converted to the Mormon faith exclusively, in token whereof, we have our clothing changed, and are dressed in white linen, exactly alike.
SIXTH DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
We are next conducted through a partition door into a room that represents the Millennial Morning, or the holy, (not the most holy,) place; on the centre of this floor stands another altar erected, with three Books on it—the Bible, Book of Mormons, and Doctrine and Covenants, (the revelations of Joseph.) We are required to kneel at this altar, where we have an oath administered to the effect, that we will henceforth and for ever use all our influence to destroy this nation, and teach it to our posterity and all that we have influence over, in return for their killing the Prophet Joseph. They say the murdering of Smith is a national offence. It is true that all were not personally engaged in the act, but the nation has long winked at the abuse of the Mormons, and in this way they have encouraged mobs from time to time, until they have finally taken the life of the Lord's Prophet, and now it is the will of the Lord, that the nation should be destroyed; and this is his will, that we shall enter into this secret conspiracy against the Government, &c., for the above reasons and many more given. We are also all sworn at this altar, by a solemn oath, that we will never reveal
to any person what we here do and see in the Temple, during the whole farce, from first to last. If we give the least idea, or intimation of it, our lives are to be taken: and the way of taking it is described; our bowels are to be taken out, tongue taken out by the roots, throats cut across, &c. The Lord, his holy angels, and all that are in the room, are called upon to witness the solemn covenant we here make.
You do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God, his angels and these witnesses, (pointing to individuals in the room that have secret instructions to take life,) that you will from this time henceforth and for ever begin and carry out hostilities against this nation, and teach it to your children; and to keep the same intent a profound secret now and for ever, so help you God.
The individual that administers this oath, next takes hold of the hand, and gives other grips, signs, words, &c., of a higher order than those given in the garden of Eden.
After being instructed in many other things in this room of less consequence, I am taken by a female conductor and led to another partition which they call the Veil that separates the Holy from the Most Holy place.
This thin cloth, called the Veil, is something like book-muslin, covers a vacancy left in the partition for this purpose, behind which stands a man in the Most Holy place. With him I converse, through this thin cloth. I here give him the new name I confidentially received, signs, motions, grips. &c., given to me at the different altars, which is a condition of my entrance through a door about three or four feet to the left, called the Door of the Celestial Kingdom of God. My conductor knocks at this door—it is opened by one from within, who asks, "Who is there?" My conductor replies, "One having kept all the commandments of God, (referring to the carrying out of principles represented and acted in this farce,) desires to enter the kingdom
and be for ever with the Lord."
SEVENTH DEGREE IN THE TEMPLE.
I now pass through this door, which brings me into a very large and spacious room, perfectly light, all nicely furnished, representing the Celestial Kingdom of God, or the highest degree of glory that man is to arrive at in the eternal world. This being the last room, representing the final rest of man, we are now all clothed in the apparel of kings and queens, with
crowns upon our heads, representing what we are finally to come in possession of—that is what we were ordained to in the second room, king and queen, for that is the object of this whole drama to represent what has been and will be through time and eternity. This being the last room, we come in turn, two at a time, through all the others; here we remain as long as we please, kings and queens, sometimes numbering hundreds, all conversing of course on the singular and unexpected blessing just received, as pretented, from the hand of the Lord, for which we have laboured so hard, presenting a most curious and novel sight. There is another door that enters this room. Many come in from that direction, that have gone through the initiation previously. This is the reason of so many being in that room:—The law is, that all who have thus been initiated have the privilege of coming in this last room when they please, by going first to a certain place in the Temple and preparing themselves with the kingly apparel before described, for none are permitted to enter this holy place on any other condition than giving the signs, &c., that he receives while going through this ordeal. In this room, when thus assembled, are all the Mysteries of the Kingdom taught, such as what is called the Spiritual-Wife Doctrine. The women are here instructed by this Leader, through his round-about stratagem, that they are no more under obligations to their husband, if they have one, (if he or his associates take a notion to her,) and it is their privilege to leave their lawful husband, and take another; and it is the privilege of some kings to have scores, yes, hundreds of queens, especially the King of kings, Brigham Young, the present Mormon God in California—(or devil, I should say, for I have reason to believe he is the wickedest man now on the face of the earth;) and, farther, as we are all made kings and queens by this secret farce, the foundation for a kingdom is laid, also. And here is the secret of the Spiritual-Wife Doctrine:—Their kingdom is to consist in their own posterity, and the more wives the greater his opportunity of getting a large kingdom, of course; so it is an object to one that holds this doctrine sacred, as thousands do, to get all the women he can, consequently, it subjects that portion of the female sect which he has influence over, eventually to literal ruin.
I might write a volume on this principle, of facts, as taught by this leader, but I forbear, fearing it will be considered as persecution, and the object that I intended will not be accomplished; that is, giving to the world this bare Temple Ceremony, from the fact, that it is kept a secret from most of their
own people, and that it tends to evil.
The question has been frequently asked me, by those who have not read this work, if you have bound yourself by an oath to keep this a secret, where is the propriety of your revealing it? My answer to such questions is, the man that conducted us through this farce, did it by cunning intrigue and usurped authority, and is himself, with the farce, an imposition on the Mormon Church, and their original principles, let them be what they may. For instance, they have it recorded on their Church Record, that a man shall have but one wife, &c.; here he says we may have more, but makes us swear not to tell it at the expense of life. Again: previous to my going through this farce, I knew not what they would require of me. All this came on unexpected and new, from the beginning; consequently, for the reasons above, and many more that might be given, I feel under no obligation to keep it; but a duty to publish it, that all who are or may come under this leader’s influence, may be warned against what will prove their ruin, if his principles are carried out.
Now the man that led twelve or fifteen thousand through this farce, has gone with the main body of the Mormons, to California, with the express understanding, to my certain knowledge, of carrying out these principles among the Western Indians, and all whom he has influence over. He told others that were at Nauvoo, those who where [sic] not let into these Temple Mysteries, (for all did not go in for want of time and opportunity,) that when they got to California, there would be a tent pitched in the wilderness for the Indians' benefit and all others that had not an opportunity at the Temple at Nauvoo. The idea is, if they had not been driven from Nauvoo, all the Mormons in all the world would have gone there in their turn, and received their great anticipated blessing, which I have described in these few pages to the very letter, in substance particularly, for the benefit of those who are under this wicked leader’s influence.
After Smith’s death, he issued his proclamation to the Mormons in the United States, that they must come forthwith to Nauvoo, and the Lord would tell them what to do after obeying those orders. He takes us in the Temple in secret, and says, this is the Lord's will, that you are to cease preaching to these United States, and go to other nations. This is the reason why none are preaching here. (Hence the remark—”I think they are about broken up."). I know of thousands of young
and able bodied men, who had all this secret instruction with me in Nauvoo the winter before they left, and are now actively engaged in making converts in foreign nations and the islands of the sea, and are instructed to go west after this Brigham Young, the wickedest man probably now on the earth. While I am writing this, let no one say it is persecution or fiction. I would not say one word on the subject, if I did not know the awful consequences of carrying out that aspiring man's principles. Look for one moment at its awful effects. He has issued his proclamation to all the Mormons in all the world where they are, to now centre at California, and build another city. There are some of them already there with access to some of the most secluded and powerful tribes of Indians in the world. Now suppose his principles are carried out, (as I am certain they will be,) who cannot see but there will be great trouble and loss of thousands of the lives of innocent men, women, and children? Now if there was no deception in this Almighty Machine and Engine of Death, (this secret farce,) I would say nothing. But how can I hold my peace, when I know the foundation of a scheme that cannot fail of the literal ruin of my fellow men? Oh, if I was in possession of sufficient eloquence, I could here write a true picture of consequences, that would make the hair raise on the readers' head.
Only contemplate for one moment:—A few thousands are already at their destined home, between the Rocky Mountains and the west sea, with good reasons, as they suppose, for forming this conspiracy against the government. Thousands already under their influence, all calculating to go to that place, with an inducement that the Lord has, in the Nauvoo Temple, and will reveal great secrets, essential to their salvation. Now this is all brought on by degrees, and stratagem covered over with sanctimony and religious costume, &c., giving powerful impressions on the mind which cannot be realized by the reader in these limited remarks.
Now, if Black Hawk and others could make so much trouble with the western whites without any particular premeditation or secret organization, or plan, what can the Indians do headed by a cunning, designing white man, such as the one I have named? The Mormon Bible claims to be the Indian's record; and they are told this American land is legally theirs; that the whites have an unlawful possession, and the Indians are finally to drive off the whites and possess their father's land. We are here told that this ceremony is the commencement of the Law of God and the laws of the land are no more binding on us, but we must at present submit for want of strength and power; but after strengthening ourselves and getting [sic] our own
people, the American Indians, with us, by the same initiation we shall have power eventually to enact the final overthrow of this whole nation by this secret stratagem.
But I must close this subject for my mind is weary with contemplating the awful consequences of this Temple [word following is illegible, however, is in all probability the word “secret” – i.e., “Temple secret”] which I believe, at least as far as a part of it is concerned, is a cunningly devised fable of a few designing wicked men and is in magnitude in keeping only with other enterprises of this advanced age of the world. If any think the Mormons are dying away, they can, with the same propriety say, it will never rain any more, because a great shower has just passed and there are no clouds to be seen now. But oh readers, can you reason on this subject with half the propriety? Is there not a cloud in the west already as big as a man’s hand to be seen? I think there is.
I am frequently asked, what do you believe? In answer, I would say, for the benefit of such, that I believe what I please. There are many things concerning this Fraternity that I as fully believe in as I did when I first went with them, and always shall, from the fact that they are true; but at the same time I have seceded, and I am free to say, that I am set against the proceedings of the Mormons at Nauvoo, and am in the full belief that as that body existed there, they were abominably corrupt, and are now cursed of God; and according to Smith's last letter, (that is said to be written by him,) it shows that if he ever was a good man, he died in consequence of sin. My apology for writing this Temple Secret, is, that it tends to evil in the highest degree; and as I know many consequences of enormous magnitude, I have, after much reflection, written it out and published it, to prevent others going after it
Declaration on Oath of the truth of the foregoing account :—UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; Southern [sic] District of N. Y.
I, Mc. Gee Van Dusen and Maria Van Dusen his wife, being duly sworn do depose and say that the matters set forth in the pamphlet entitled the "Sublime and Ridiculous Blended," by them published are true; and that they themselves have passed through the initiatory ceremony by which thousands have been and are now being formed into a secret conspiracy against this nation.
J. Mc GEE VAN DUSEN
MARIA VAN DUSEN
Sworn this 18th day of December 1817, before me,
DAVID L GARDINER, U. S. Commissioner
H. HUDSTON, PRINTER;