Samuel macauley jackson, D. D., LL. D




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Mormons

destructible property and lay the country waste, should the army enter the valley with hostile in­tentions. By the interference of friends, however, the difficulties were adjusted. Governor Cum­mings entered the valley in advance of the army and was received with due respect and considera­tion. A few days later, after investigating matters, he sent a truthful report to the president in relation to affairs in Utah. A peace commission was sent and met with President Young and others in June, 1858, and peacefully concluded the unfortunate and unhappy difficulties. The army, under com­mand of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, entered Salt Lake Valley June 26, 1858, and camped on the west side of the Jordan River; subsequently it marched to Cedar Valley, about forty miles south of Salt Lake City, and there located Camp Floyd. It remained in Utah until the breaking out of the Civil War.

In 1877 Brigham Young died and was succeeded in the presidency of the church by John Taylor, who was severely wounded at Carthage when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. President Taylor died in 1887 and was succeeded by Wilford Wood­ruff, who, in 1890, issued the manifesto prohibiting plural marriages in the church. He died in 1898 and was succeeded by Lorenzo Snow, who died Oct. 10, 1901. Joseph F. Smith, nephew of the prophet Joseph Smith, is the present presiding offi­cer. The membership of the church is about 400; 000 and the headquarters are in Salt Lake City.

The " Mormons " believe in the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as three separate personages, infinite and eternal; that men will be punished for their own sins and not suffer the penalty of Adam's

transgression; that Christ atoned for

g. Doc  original sin and that all mankind,

trines and through the atonement of Christ, may

Orgaaiza  be saved by obedience to the princi­tion. ples of his Gospel, of which faith in

God, repentance from sin, baptism by immersion for the remission of sin, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, are essential. They believe that little children who die are redeemed without baptism through the blood of Christ which was shed for them, and that men must be called of God and ordained by those who hold authority to officiate in order to preach the Gospel and administer acceptably in its ordinances. The church organization comprises the officers found in the primitive Church, and they believe in the gifts of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, the divine power of healing, and all the gifts and bless­ings exercised by the Svior and his apostles. They accept the Bible as the word of God, and the Book of Mormon also as the word of God given to the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. They believe that God does now reveal to his peo­plc many things as in days of old; that the heavens are not sealed, but that many important things are yet to be revealed pertaining to the kingdom of God; in the literal gathering of Israel; in the res­toration of the ten tribes; that Jerusalem will be rebuilt; that Zion shall be established on the Amer­ican continent, and that the Savior, in the millen­nium, will reign personally on the earth, which

shall eventually become a celestial sphere and the eternal abode of the righteous. The president of the church is the supreme authority in all church matters and acts in concert with two counselors, or advisors, forming the presiding quorum of the church. Next to them stand the twelve apostles, then patriarchs, high priests, seventies, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons, all of whom have specific duties to perform and work in har­mony with the whole.

At one time the " Mormons " taught and prao­tised the doctrine of plural marriage, holding the doctrine to be entirely Biblical and that the revela­tion concerning the same was received

6. Polyg  by Joseph Smith, but was withheld amy; Con  from the body of the church in general

flicts with and from the world till they were settled

the Gov  in Utah. After 1852 plural marriage

arnment. was preached and practised openly

and most of the leading men were

polygamists. In 1862. a law was enacted by Con­

gress against the practise, but little attention was

paid to it for many years. In 1884 the supreme

court of the United States declared the law against

plural marriage constitutional, and more than 1,000

" Mormon " men were convicted and sent to the

penitentiary, while others fled or went into hiding.

In 1887 Congress disincorporated the church, con­

fiscated its property, with the exception of $50,000,

and, finally, in Sept., 1890, after the vast property

holdings of the church had been lost, Pres. Wilford

Woodruff issued his manifesto against plural mar­

riages and since that time they have not been per­

mitted by the church, though many of the men who

entered into these relations before that time have

continued to support and care for their families,

feeling that these obligations could not be dis­

carded. Statehood was granted to Utah in 1896

and plural marriage was prohibited forever by law

in the state. The " Mormons " have four temples

erected at a cost of over six millions of dollars. The

Salt Lake Tabernacle is 250 feet long, 150 feet wide,

80 feet high, with a wooden roof without any sup­

porting pillars. Its great organ and choral services

are among the remarkable features; services are

held each sabbath day, and the building will seat

comfortably 7,000 souls. JosEPH F. SMITH, JR.

II. Critical (Non Mormon) Statement: The early history of Mormonism has its center in the person of its founder. Joseph Smith was the fourth among ten children. His father was a man

i. The of unstable, restless disposition. He

Founder's had no settled occupation, but tried Family; his fortune always without success­Environ  at various pursuits, and was a believer ment in in witchcraft. Occasionally he gained Youth. money by fortune telling and selling, blessings. The prophet's mother was superior to the father in intelligence and force of will, but not less ignorant, and a firm believer in supernatural visions, apparitions, and dreams, also in cures by faith. Moreover, both the grandfathers of the prophet were much given to religious super­stition. These facts are not without significance for the understanding of Smith's personality and activity. After many changes of residence in Ver 





THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG

mont and New Hampshire his father removed with the family in 1815 to Palmyra, in Wayne (then a part of Ontario) County, N. Y., and after about four years to a farm near Manchester. Here their reputation was no better. They were considered deficient in honor and veracity, though not as posi­tively malicious. The boys were lazy and roving, several of them could not read. Joseph was un­kempt and immoderately lazy. He could read, though not without difficulty, wrote a very imper­fect hand, and had a limited understanding of ele­mentary arithmetic. The evolution of such a boy into the prophet and founder of a new religion is a highly interesting psychological problem, which can not be solved without a knowledge of his an­cestry, of his mental peculiarities, and of his early environment. Four years after the vision of the plates (see L, § 1 above) he claimed to have been led to the spot and to have received from the angel the golden plates. They were covered with small and beautifully engraved characters in " reformed Egyptian." Joseph received besides a pair of crys­tals set in silver rings, a sort of supernatural spec­tacles, the veritable Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament, without which the mysterious writing could not be translated.

The first person to take an active interest in the Golden Bible was a farmer, Martin Harris, who had been in turn Quaker, Universalist, Baptist, and

Presbyterian, but always a dreamer 2. Transla  and fanatic, and affirmed that he had tion of the visited the moon. Smith needed finan 

Book of cial help in order to publish his book,

Mormon.
which Harris was ready to grant, if

only he could be fully convinced that the book was from God. He wished to see the golden plates; but Smith, with the help of a special revelation, was able to make him content to believe without seeing. The prophet, however, made a copy of some of the letters found on the plates. These "caractors"Harris showed to Prof. Charles Anthon in New York, whose warnings were unable to shake the new disciple's confidence. Harris now became Smith's first amanuensis in the translation of the Golden Bible. When he had written 116 pages, Harris' unbelieving wife destroyed them. Smith doubted whether the sheets had been actu­ally destroyed, and was therefore for some time in embarrassment, until he was instructed by revela­tion that the translation had fallen into the hands of godless persons, whom Satan had inspired to alter the words. He was therefore directed not to translate again what was lost; he should instead translate from the plates of Nephi, which con­tained a more detailed account than the book of Lehi, the source of the first translation. Smith now made his wife his amanuensis until the appearance of Oliver Cowdery, who became his first secretary. Cowdery had been a blacksmith, but had acquired a measure of knowledge sufficient to enable him to become a schoolmaster. The work of translating proceeded in the following manner: A curtain was drawn across the room in order to shield the holy document from profane eyes; seated behind the curtain, Smith, with the help of the Urim and Thum­mim, read from the golden plates to Cowdery, who

wrote down the translation sentence for sentence. The translation of this, the " Book of Mormon," was begun at Manchester soon after the alleged dis­covery of the golden plates, continued at Har­mony, Pa., and finished at Fayette, N. Y., June, 1829. Before the work was finished, Smith and Cowdery were ordained by heavenly messengers to the Aaronic and Melclusedec priesthood; to the first by John the Baptist, to the latter by the apos­tles Peter, James, and John. The Aaronic priest­hood gave them the authority to preach repentance and faith and to baptize by immersion for the re­mission of sins. The Melchisedec priesthood gave them the power to impart the Holy Ghost to the baptized through the laying on of hands. This power, the Mormon§ say, could at that time be im­parted only by heavenly messengers; the true Church had utterly ceased to exist upon earth; there was no one who had the Holy Spirit. With Harris' help Smith had the book printed in the year 1830 in an edition of 5,000 copies. As the sale was slow at first, Harris forfeited his property; though within ten years two more editions were published. Prefixed to the book is the sworn statement of Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris that they had seen the plates; moreover, the testimony of eight other men that they had both seen and handled them. The Rev. John Alonzo Clark once put the question to Harris: "Did you see the plates with your nat­ural eyes just as you see the penholder in my hand? " Harris replied: " Well, I did not see them just as I see the penholder, but I saw them with the eye of faith. I saw them as plainly as I see anything whatever about me, although at the time it was covered with a cloth " (Gleanings by the Way, Phila­delphia, 1842). A few years later all of the " three " witnesses fell away from Mormonism and declared their previous testimony to be false.

The book of Mormon contains about one half as much matter as the Old Testament, and in respect of style is a crude imitation of the his 

3. Sum  torical and prophetic books. About mary of the one eighteenth of the book is taken

Book of
directly from the Bible, about 300

Mormon. passages, namely, large portions of

Isaiah, the entire Sermon on the Mount

(according to Matthew), and a few verses from Paul.

There are passages also which betray a dependence

upon other books, such as the Westminster Confes­

sion of Faith and the Methodist Discipline. The

work is divided into fifteen books, which purport to

have been written by as many different hands, con­

taining a " Sacred History of Ancient America

from the Earliest Ages after the Flood to the Be­

ginning of the Fifth Century of the Christian Era."

Smith himself has summarized its contents as fol­

lows:

" The history of America is unfolded from its first settle­ment by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America, in ancient times, has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about 600 before Christ. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jeru­salem. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle toward the close of the fourth century. The remnant are





13 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Xormone

the Indians. This book also tells us that our Savior made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection; that he planted the Gospel here in all its fulness and rich­ness and power and blessing, that the inhabitants had apos­tles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing as was enjoyed on the Eastern conti­nent; that the people were cut off in conaequeqoe of their transgressions; that the last of their prophets [Mormon] who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, etc., and to hide it in the earth."


In the last days the Book of Mormon was to come to light, and, being joined with the Bible, was to serve the fulfilment of the thoughts of God. Mormon was accordingly the collector and reviser of the books; his son, Moroni, brought the work to its completion and about the year 420 A.D. hid the plates under the stone on the hill Cumorah.

Judged as a literary work the Book of Mormon is tedious, utterly devoid of taste, poetic grace, and

depth of thought, exhibiting no re­d. Its ligious inspiration or moral earnest 

Literary ness. It is full of grammatical bhn 

Character. ders and teems with anachronisms.

In the matter of doctrine the book­

compared with the later revelations called forth by

the exigencies that arose in the course of the sys­

tem's development contains little that is markedly

characteristic. It foretells the call of Joseph Smith

to be the prophet of the latter day; it is strictly

chiliastic, and declares that all gifts, powers, and

offices of the apostolic Church are to be found in

the true church; it acknowledges the doctrine of

the Trinity, rejects infant baptism, and commands

baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; it

asserts that the Bible is from God, but also that this

fact does not exclude further revelations; finally, it

contains three passages which, naturally interpreted,

must be understood as condemning polygamy.

The question of the source of the Book of Mor­mon is important. For Mormon believers there is,

of course, no problem here. The ma 

y. Theories jority of anti Mormon critics have ac­of Its cepted the so called Spaulding Rigdon

Source. theory of the origin. Much of the

more recent criticism, however, tends to establish the theory of Smith's authorship. The Spaulding Rigdon theory is, in brief, as follows: About the year 1809 there lived in Conneaut, O., a man named Solomon Spaulding. He had studied at Dartmouth College and had served some years as a Presbyterian minister. Later be took up a secular calling and devoted a part of his time to literary pursuits. Becoming interested in the In­dian antiquities in the neighborhood of Conneaut he conceived the idea of a romance about the In­dians before the discovery of America, by Columbus. The work which he composed was finished about 1812, and bore the title; " The Manuscript Found." Spaulding availed himself of the well known fable that the American Indians are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. To make his narrative more piquant he gave it the form of a translation of a manuscript composed by a member of an an­cient tribe and recently discovered in an Indian mound. Spaulding took his manuscript to Pitts­burg, intending to have it printed there. It lay a

considerable time in a printing office, but was never printed. At last it was returned to the author, who at the time was living at Amity, Pa., where in 1816 he died. When the Book of Mormon appeared, Spaulding's widow and others, who had heard him read from his manuscript, declared that the book must have been taken in large part from the unpub­lished romance, with many theological interpola­tions. As, however, Spaulding's manuscript could never be found, a direct comparison with the Book of Mormon was impossible. (A manuscript dis­covered in Honolulu in 1885, which purported to be Spaulding's Indian romance and bears no resem­blance to the Book of Mormon, is generally be­lieved to be a forgery.) Beyond these well estab­lished facts the claim is that Sidney Rigdon, who from 1829 on stood in close relation to Smith, may have had access to the Spaulding manuscript when he was employed as a printer in Pittsburg about 1812 and later, and may have made a copy of it and have placed the copy at Smith's disposal. This theory has been rendered fairly plausible by vari­ous external and internal evidences; yet the evi­dences fall far short of proof. Against the theory of Smith's authorship it has been urged that so ig­norant a man could not have produced the work. But it may be replied that only an ignorant man could have produced it. In intellectual grasp and force Smith's later (well authenticated) utterances surpass it, but they resemble it in style. The style and contents of the Book of Mormon are such as one might expect from a man of Smith's peculiar nature and surroundings. He possessed a power­ful, though prosaic, imagination, and a retentive memory; but his knowledge was slight and his judgment weak. From beginning to end the book exhibits these traits. The author perhaps un­consciously derived what he said from various and in part mutually opposed sources. Hence the confusion in his theology, which is wanting in con­sistency. Doctrines of the most various origin are illogically thrown together. Calvinism, Universal­ism, Methodism, chiliasm, Catholicism, deism, and freemasonry are discussed though not by name­and this in a manner that strikingly corresponds to Smith's relations to these systems. The book is in a measure a mirror of the time, but in a still greater measure a sort of (unconscious) autobiog­raphy. At the same time there is no necessity to disallow evidence that the general idea  and even the framework of the book was derived from an ex­ternal source. The main contention is that what is really characteristic and personal in the book is from Smith himself.

Was Joseph Smith a deliberate falsifier and con­
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