« AnteriorContinuar »
those writing might contain, of their deep-laid schemes to deceive the world and escape exposure.
But Cowper is right. "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform," and so "Spaulding's writings" escaped the destruction intended for them by Hurlburt, Howe & Co., and by all other schemers, in this cunningly-devised plot to defeat the divine purpose, and in due time they were again brought forth to show how crafty, how vile, how unscrupulous, desperate and damnable are the ways of those who oppose the truth.
Let us review the statement of one of these pretended witnesses. We will take the testimony of John Spaulding, brother of Solomon. He says:
It was a historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeaving to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews or the lost tribes.
The fact is, there is not one word in the "Manuscript Story" about the Indians having descended from the Jews. Indeed, after having read it, and copied a large part of it with my own hand, I cannot recall a single reference to the Jews in the whole story. Again:
It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi.
This is made out of whole cloth. "Spaulding's Story" begins at Rome, not at Jerusalem. The words Nephi, Lehi, Nephites and Lamanites do not occur at all in "Spaulding's Story," nor are there any names remotely resembling them, as the “Manuscript" itself attests. Then Mr. John Spaulding is made to say:
I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my surprise, I find nearly the same historical matter, names, etc., as they were in my brother's writings.
How very differently Messrs. Fairchild and Rice viewed this same matter when they compared his “brother's writings" with the Book of Mormon! They saw "no resemblance between the two, in general or detail.” Again, Mr. J. Spaulding is made to say:
I well remember that he (Solomon) wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with, “And it came to pass,” or, "Now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon, etc.”
How very unfortunate it is for the author of the foregoing, whether he was John Spaulding or Robert Patterson, or some other person who may have put such cunning words into his mouth, that the phrases, “And it came to pass," or, “Now it came to pass” do not occur anywhere in the “Manuscript Found,” much less "commencing about every sentence."
And thus every testimony of these alleged credible witnesses might be controverted, but this one is enough to show the falsity of all, owing to their similarity. The example suffices to disprove the great point which Mr. Patterson desired to establish; namely, that the historical portions of the Book of Mormon were certainly derived from the Spaulding manuscript. The foregoing clearly and forever proves that his point is not sustained, and that the historical portions of the Book of Mormon are not derived from Spaulding's writings.
I have proved that the story in possession of Mr. Rice was the self-same document that Mr. Spaulding wrote; that this story is now in print and may be read by all; that it contains neither names nor subject matter that resemble anything within the pagės of the Book of Mormon; that the testimonies given in the book of Mr. Patterson are self-evidently false and contradictory, being based not upon what the witnesses themselves knew, but rather upon the cunningly devised conspiracy and lies of men who combined to destroy the value of the Book of Mormon, but who were thwarted in their designs by the mysterious providences of God.
There remains nothing further to do than to add my testimony, which I do, that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin; that it was revealed to Joseph the Prophet by an angel of God; and translated from the plates by the power of God, and is given to the world for the benefit and salvation of mankind.
THE LIFE AND LABORS OF SIDNEY
BY JOHN JAQUES, ASSISTANT CHURCH HISTORIAN.
At a meeting in Nauvoo, on Sunday, October 22, 1843, Elder Rigdon preached half an hour on "Poor Rich Folks." He also preached there November 5. On the 29th, he spoke at a meeting of citizens of Nauvoo, to adopt a memorial to Congress in regard to the Missouri troubles.
January 30, 1844, a Millerite preached in the Assembly Room to a full house, and Elder Rigdon replied to him.
Sidney Rigdon, postmaster, published a lengthy appeal to the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania, setting forth the grievances he had suffered through the persecution against The Church by the State of Missouri, concluding as follows:
“Under all these circumstances, your memorialist prays to be heard by your honorable body touching all the matters of his memorial. And as a memorial will be presented to Congress this session for redress of our grievances, he prays your honorable body will instruct the whole delegation of Pennsylvania, in both houses, to use all their influence in the national councils to have redress granted.”
On February 6, Joseph, Hyrum, Sidney and the twelve apostles, and their wives, had supper and a pleasant time at Elder John Taylor's.
Joseph, Hyrum and Sidney met with the twelve apostles in the Assembly Room on the 23rd, concerning the contemplated Oregon and California Exploring Expedition. Joseph said: “I
told them I wanted an exploration of all that mountain country. Perhaps it would be best to go direct to Santa Fe. Send twentyfive men: let them preach the Gospel wherever they go. Let that man go that can raise $500, a good horse and mule, a double-barrel gun, one barrel rifle, and the other smooth bore, a saddle and bridle, a pair of revolving pistols, bowie knife and a good sabre. Appoint a leader, and let him beat up for volunteers. I want every man that goes to be a king and a priest. When he gets on the mountains, he may want to talk with his God; when with the savage nations, have power to govern, etc. If we don't get volunteers, wait till after the election." A number of brethren volunteered to go.
On the evening of Sunday, 25th, at a prayer meeting in the Assembly Room, Joseph said, evidently in reference to the same subject, "I gave some important instructions, and prophesied that within five years we should be out of the power of our old enemies, whether they were apostates or of the world, and told the brethren to record it, that when it comes to pass they need not say they had forgotten the saying."
Sidney Rigdon met Joseph and several other brethren in council in the Assembly Room, March 19. On Sunday, 24th, Sidney addressed the meeting at the stand.
Elder Rigdon attended conference, April 6, and addressed the audience, morning and afternoon. In commencing, he said:
"It is with no ordinary degree of satisfaction. I enjoy this privilege this morning. Want of health and other circumstances have kept me in silence for nearly the last five years. It can hardly be expected that when the violence of sickness has used its influence, and the seeds of disease have so long preyed upon me, that I can rise before this congregation, only in weakness. I am now come forth from a bed of sickness, and have enough of strength left to appear here for the first time in my true character. I have not come before a conference for the last five years in my true character. I shall consider this important privilege sacred in my family history during life.”
He continued relating incidents connected with the history of The Church, testifying to its being the work of God, and he (Sidney) had gazed in visions on the glory of God in days gone by.
He also addressed the conference on Sunday, 7th, and on the 8th.
A meeting was held at the stand, on the 27th, to give instructions to the elders going out electioneering. President Rigdon and William Smith addressed the meeting.
On the 8th of May, in the case of Francis M. Higbee vs. Joseph Smith, before the municipal court of Nauvoo, on writ of habeas corpus, Sidney Rigdon was one of the counsel for Smith and was also one of the witnesses.
Joseph and Sidney attended a prayer meeting on the 11th.
At a state convention in the Assembly Hall, on the 17th, Sidney Rigdon addressed the meeting. It was voted that General Joseph Smith be the choice of the convention for President of the United States, and Sidney Rigdon, Esg., for Vice-President.
Writs were expected from Carthage, on the 25th, for the arrest of Joseph Smith, on two indictments, one charging false swearing, on the testimony of Joseph H. Jackson and Robert D. Foster, and the other charging "polygamy or something else,” on the testimony of William Law. Francis M. Higbee had sworn so hard that Joseph had received stolen property, that Higbee's testimony was rejected. After a long talk with Edward Hunter, Hyrum Smith, Dr. W. Richards, William Marks, Almon W. Babbitt, Shadrach Roundy, Edward Bonney and others, Joseph concluded not to keep out of the way of the officers any longer.
The same day, Sidney Rigdon resigned the office of Postmaster of Nauvoo, and recommended Joseph Smith as his successor.
On the 14th of June, Sidney Rigdon wrote to Governor Ford on the situation in Nauvoo and adjacent places, relating the Nauvoo Expositor matters and suggesting the dispersing of all uncalled for assemblies, and letting the laws have their regular course. Sidney concluded thus: “I send this to your excellency as confidential, as I wish not to take any part in the affair, or be known in it."
Joseph Smith was arrested, June 25, by Constable David Bettisworth, on a charge of treason against the State of Illinois, on a writ granted the day before, upon the oath of Augustine Spencer. Hyrum was arrested the same day, on a similar charge, on a writ granted on the 24th, on the affidavit of Henry 0. Norton. The two prisoners were taken to Carthage jail.