Mormonism Exposed


Mormonism Exposed Williams, S. [Samuel]

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Williams, S. Mormonism Exposed. 1838.

THE truth of the common saying, in view of the folly, superstition and fanaticism of men, “that no system can be too absurd to obtain adherents,” is abundantly verified in the progress of Mormonism. This system, with its falsehoods, blasphemies, gross ignorance, and bloody decrees, now numbers not only its hundreds, but its thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. That we may expect imposters and lying wonders in these latter days, the pure word of prophecy clearly declares: and that we should “try the spirits” and prove the doctrines of such, by the immutable testimony of eternal truth, is equally plain. The injunction to “live peaceably with all men as much as in us lies,” does not absolve us from the obligation of “contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints,” and of “rebuking our brother,” lest we should suffer sin upon him: but on the contrary, the latter is perfectly compatible with the former. For fidelity to our Master, and to the souls of the deceived and the deceivers in timely administering the rebukes of truth, we may now incur their frown; but when the spell of the delusion is broken, we shall have their lasting gratitude, as well as the approbation of our own consciences in the sight of God.

Mistakes, have been made by writers upon this subject in regard to the leaders of this delusion, for want of more particular acquaintance with the prime mover and leading spirit of this “New Jerusalem” enterprise. It has been the prevailing opinion, that Joseph Smith, Jr., was the principal man in the scene; but while it is admitted, that he stands very prominent in heaven-daring presumption upon the stage, pretending to receive and convey to the world, special revelations, from the Great Jehovah; he is little more than a juggling automaton, moved by a more crafty and capable agent behind the screen, who knows how and when to pull the wires.

Mr. R. D. Howe, at the close of his history of Mormonism, after tracing a number of circumstances, connected with the origin of the Golden Bible, concludes that Sidney Rigdon, must be its “author and proprietor.” This conclusion, already strong, from coinciding circumstances arrayed in his work, will be greatly strengthened by giving due attention and importance to the following facts:

Sidney Rigdon was reared on a farm about twelve miles from the city of Pittsburgh, situated near to the Peter’s Creek Baptist House of worship. He professed to experience a change of heart when a [1] young man, and proposed to join the church under the care of Elder David Philips. But there was so much miracle about his conversion, and so much parade about his profession, that the pious and discerning Pastor, entertained serious doubts at the time in regard to the genuiness of the work. He was received, however, by the church, and baptised by the Pastor, with some fears and doubts upon his mind. Very soon, Diotrephes like, he began to put himself forward and seek the pre-eminence, and was well nigh supplanting the tried and faithful minister who had reared, and nursed, and fed the church, for a long series of years. So thoroughly convinced was father Philips, by this time, that he was not possessed of the spirit of Christ, notwithstanding his miraculous conversion, and flippant speech, that he declared his belief, “that as long as he (Sidney) should live, he would be a curse to the church of Christ.”

Some time after this, he moved to Warren, Ohio, from which he came to this city, and connected himself with the 1st Regular Baptists Church, then in its infancy, on the 28th day of January 1822. Having been ordained previously, he took the pastoral charge of the church; but before the close of one short year he began to advance sentiments not in accordance with divine truth. The dissatisfaction increased with many of the members, and on the 11th of July, 1823, at a church meeting, a portion of the church presented a protest against his heretical sentiments. Among the errors specified in the protest, the following are on record. 1. That Christians are not under obligation to keep the moral law, it having been abolished by the Saviour. 2. That the Jewish dispensation was not the best that God might have given to them, for it had made them three-fold more the children of hell, than they were before. 3. That a change of heart consists merely in a change of views and baptism. 4. That there is no such thing as religious experience. 5. That saving faith is a mere crediting of the testimony given by the evangelists, such as all have, in the truth of any other history. 6. That it is wrong to use the Lord’s prayer, inasmuch as the reign of Christ had already commenced.

While expatiating upon the above doctrines, in public discourses, he frequently spoke of restoring the “ancient order of things,” among which he declared was the duty of bringing all that they possessed, and “laying them down at the Apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:32,35. At the fireside, he frequently introduced his “common stock system,” as he then called it, and urged with importunity, many of the members to embrace the system; but it seems they comprehended the man so far as to see, that all he desired was to enrich himself at their expense, and luxuriate in the proceeds of their toil.

Among other extravagant expressions against the support of the regular ministry of the gospel, he used to say, “they milched the goats,” meaning that the hearers and supporters of the gospel, were not the sheep of Christ’s flock, and that the ministers received money for preaching.

But, while he thus denounced others for milching them, he could, without difficulty, take down the goats, hide, horns [2] and all. For his system at that time, as it now does, required all to be “laid at the Apostles’ feet. See Acts 4:35; Book of Cov. sec. 13, page 122; also Howe page 129.

For these, and many other abominable errors, he was condemned by a council of Ministers and Messengers, from neighboring churches; which convened in Pittsburgh, on the 11th of October, 1823; while that part of the church protesting against his errors, were recognised as the regular church. By this decision, he was excluded from the Baptist denomination.

From this time forward, like other evil men and seducers, he waxed worse and worse.

After proclaiming his false doctrines for some time in the Court House, he left this city, and moved to the Western Reserve in 1824. In the course of his peregrinations, he did all the mischief he could to the churches which gave him permission to preach in their houses: and in a number of cases succeeded in forming a party, and securing to them the property of those churches; not by legal right, but by stratagem or force.

During the interim, between his exclusion from the Regular Baptist Denomination and the time of his avowal of Mormonism, he propogated the doctrines of Alexander Campbell, and circulated his books and periodicals. In fact, he was the first leading man, converted, from Baptist doctrines, to those of Mr. Campbell. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration, or baptism for (to procure) the remission of sins, was the leading error of Mr. Rigdon. The others all followed in train. This being the premise, taken for granted, Arianism was adopted at once; for if by baptism we obtain remission, then blood divine was not indispensable to wash away sin; and hence, they and the Arians of the West, in a short time, coalesced. Nor had they any service for the Holy Spirit to perform in this scheme, except for necromantic purposes, inasmuch as baptism was the “regenerating act,” or as a kind of reward held out to tempt men to crucify the Son of God afresh, by relying upon baptism for pardon, instead of trusting in His blood. The temerity and presumption of the man, to promise the gift of the Spirit, upon the conditon of an act performed, is chilling to the heart of a Christian; as though the Almighty and Everlasting Spirit, were under the entire control of these water regenerators of the human soul! Even this did not satisfy the presumption, and ambition of Sidney Rigdon, for he found that more money could be made, by taking the other branch of this heaven-daring business, than preaching this doctrine.

Remembering, however, the failure of Simon Magus to purchase the power to work miracles, he procured the services of Joseph Smith, Jr., who soon came into a partnership with him, in the concern; having received his lessons in witchcraft, &c., in New York, from Belzebub, while Sidney Rigdon was preparing the “Manuscript Found,” under the tuition of Lucifer, for the grand imposition to be practiced upon the unwary and ignorant. All this, too, to be done, under the pretended sanction of the Holy Spirit! What unparalleled blasphemy!!

Another consequence, resulting from the first named error, is that [3] of separating all spirituality from religion; hence, Mormonism supplies its converts with faith, (presumption,) with regeneration, (baptism,) with power to work miracles, (juggling,) with prophets, (Jo Smith, &c.,) with priests, (Sidney Rigdon, &c,,) and with a Paradise (Nauvoo.) It is all secular, and to the earthly character of this delusion, we may add, sensual and devlish.

The condition of man’s salvation is the atoning death of Christ: when this truth is acquiesced and confided in, then such believer is in a saved state, and is a proper subject of Christian ordinances. But Mormonism sets aside the necessity of the death of Christ, and the agency of the Spirit of God, by the old anti-Christian doctrines which we have named. As their doctrines are diverse from those of the Holy Scriptures, it behoved them therefore, to patch up a new revelation, which should give some countenance to their whims, oddities, and impostures.

It has already been said, that S. R. avowed his “common stock system” while yet in this city, and urged its adoption upon all with whom he had influence. But as yet, he had not matured his plan of making a new revelation of an old novel. Seeing such small success however, from his quotations of the Acts of the Apostles, he hit upon the trick of turning to good account a manscript novel, written by Solomon Spaulding, in Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio, in the years 1808—9—10 and 11, entitled the “Manuscript Found.” Mr. Spaulding failing in business, resolved to move to Pittsburgh, which he did, in 1812, and after residing here two years, moved to Amity, Washington county, Pa., and died in 1816. He came to this city for the sole purpose of publishing this novel, that he might by the sale of it, retrieve in some measure his past losses. In 1818, and for some years afterwards, “Patterson & Lambdin” were the principal firm engaged in printing and publishing books. The widow of Mr. Spaulding states that it was taken to that printing office; and Mr. Patterson, and many others of this city, know that Mr. Rigdon and Mr. Lambdin, who superintended the printing office, were very intimate during Rigdon’s residence here. Moreover, there are numerous acquaintances of Mr. Spaulding, to whom he read portions of his historic novel, who identify very many names, repetitions, and whole phrases in the Book of Mormon, with those in the manuscript. Many of these testimonies have been collected by Mr. R. D. Howe, and may be seen in his history of Mormonism, page 278—90. Stronger proof could not be asked, than the corroborating circumstances as it regards dates, and the determination repeatedly expressed by Mr. Spaulding to his friends, of coming to this city to publish his novel, and of his taking it to Patterson’s printing office, of the intimacy between Rigdon and Lambdin, &c. But in addition to this circumstantial evidence, we have the positive proof, by a number of persons, that the historical parts of the Morman Bible and Mr. Spaulding’s novel, are precisely the same. Add to this, that Smith was yet a minor and at home, while Rigdon was here, patching his old novel with scripture phrases, and tacking on his system of “money [4] getting,” and “land getting” by “deed and covenant,” from the dupes of his wretched imposture. At this time Smith is about 36 years of age, and Rigdon 50, so that the time is rapidly approaching when he must give an account of his vile deeds, to that God who cannot be deceived and will not be mocked.

Two witnesses are here given, from among a number, establishing the identity of S. Spaulding’s historical novel and the Mormon Bible. . . .

In the year 1827 Joseph Smith, began to talk of the Golden Bible, while Mr. Rigdon was at Kirtland, Ohio. But not long after this it appeared, that a certain Parley P. Pratt, an intimate friend of Rigdon’s, in the secret of the Golden Bible, was acquainted with Martin Harris, who furnished the money for its publication, (who said to his wife in regard to it, “what if it is a lie, if you will let me alone, I will [5] make money out of it,”) and also in the habit of traveling from Ohio to New York, and thus communicated between Rigdon, Smith, Harris, Cowdery, &c. His conversion was so easy, as well as that of S. Rigdon, to Mormonism, that the whole affair plainly showed, that Rigdon ascertained through Pratt, Harris, & Co., that Joseph Smith was bold enough in sin, and cunning enough in the arts of deception to answer his purpose; and that the whole matter was arranged before the Golden Bible ever made its appearance at Kirtland, Ohio.

Prior to 1827, Smith was pretending to find silver and gold, money and jewelry, about Palmyra, by looking into his peep-stone, but never dreamed of the book of Mormon, until brought to him from Sidney Rigdon, by Pratt, Harris, or Cowdery. Add to this, Ridgdon’s pretended investigation of the system, before his professed conversion; the fact of his going to Palmyra, and at once preaching Mormonism there; then, all at once, a new revelation, that the Smith’s, Whitmer’s and the rest of the Mormons, were to remove to Kirtland, the promised land; and then the fact, that Rigdon had a community formed at Kirtland already, upon the “common stock system,” ready for the reception of the others, and as a nucleus around which the church was to be gathered. Smith never imagined that Kirtland was to be the “eastern border of the promised land,” and the site of the Temple of the New Jerusalem, until Rigdon revealed it to him. Though he could penetrate through rocks, and see plenty of gold, and find golden plates, all that sort of thing, he knew nothing about the pivotal? Part of the scheme, until the MASTER SPIRIT visited him then at once; he received revelations concerning the details of the plan. And then how conveniently did Rigdon transform Joseph’s wonderful stone into the “Urim and Thumim,” for nothing is too sacred for them to touch and tarnish with their polluted hands!

In regard to the character of Smith, look at the array of witnesses collected by Mr. Howe, besides the testimony of others, whose statements are too lengthy to be introduced. . . . [6]

Now let the reader examine some of the patching of Mr. Spalding’s novel by S. Rigdon, in order to assimilate it a little more to the Sacred Scriptures:

“The cold and silent grave from which no traveler can return,” p. 61.

“O, wretched man that I am, p. 500. Sins which doth so easily beset me, p. 70. I know in whom I have believed, p. 70. Days of probation, p. 81. To be carnally minded is death, p. 82. Wars and rumors of wars, p. 104. Carnal, sensual, devlish, p. 189. Resurrection of endless damnation, p. 189. One faith and one baptism, p. 193. Born of the spirit, p. 214. Must be born again, p. 214. Gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity, p. 214, The driven snow, p. 24. O, Jesus, thou son of God have mercy on me, p 325.

Whosoever will come may come, and partake of the waters of life freely, p. 339. For behold, to one is given, by the Spirit, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another that he may teach the word of knowledge, &c., p. 585. [Compare 1 Cor. xii. 7, 13.] Stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free, p. 303. Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, p. 17. By faith on the Son of God, p. 23.

He is the same yesterday to-day, and forever, p. 23. They are they which shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, p. 27. Pervert the right ways of the Lord, p. 31. Did breathe out much threatenings, p. 49. Their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone,” p. 256.

The blunders in orthography and grammar, are almost innumerable, The following is a small specimen. One is impelled to the conviction, that the spirit by which they were inspired, was in want of common sense, as well as a long training in Walker’s Dictionary and Murray’s Grammar, and the spelling book.

“Bearing down against the church, p. 221. All manner of good homely cloth, . 224. Were placed in most dangerous circumstances, p. 375. Sent forth to preach among the people, &c., p. 362. [This is the first time we ever knew that God revealed his will by a ‘&c.’] Somewhat, p. 375. It supposeth me, p. 378. Rations, p. 380. Because of the numeroirty of their forces, p. 382. The enormity of our numbers, p. 387. Are a marching p. 380. I mattereth not, p. 399. The Lord spake and sayeth, p. 7. Dwindle in unbelief, p. 22. On eternal round, p. 23. I saw rumors of wars, ??? Make bellowses, p. 43. Having been waxed stronger in battle, p. 247. I am a man of no small reputation among all those who know me, p. 248. As I was a journeying, p. 249. The foundation is beginning to be late, p. 241. The scripteres are before you: if ye will arrest them, it shall be to your own destruction, p. 260. The walls were rent in twain, p. 264. As he was a going forth, p. 270. He found Mulaki a preaching, p. 254. Becometh worse than as though they had never known these things, p. 293. My heart is brim with joy, p. 296. A tremendous battle, p. 321. Neither Lamanites, nor no manner of ites, p. 515. One continual sound of murder, p. 532. He that eatheth this bread, eatheth of my body to their soul, p. 496. I will make thy hoops brass, p. 497. And he was in a clowd, p. 541. Never has man come before me, with such exceeding faith as thou hast, for were it so, ye could not have seen my finger, p. 544. Did moulten out of a rock, [!!!] p. 543.”

The Book of Mormon, according to Rigdon’s sentiment in 1823, for which he was expelled from the Baptist denomination, suspends the salvation of the soul on baptism. “And whoso believeth not in me and is not baptized, shall be damned,” p. 478. Thus flatly contradicting the gospel of Christ, which suspends salvation upon faith alone, “he that believeth not, shall be damned.” Mark 16:16.

A curse is pronounced upon all who reject this stuff, and the saints commanded to resist all aggressions with the sword.

“And he that shall deny these things let him be accursed.”— Doc. and Cov. p. 546.

“He that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.”— Ib. p. 121.

“If then enemy trespass against thee the fourth time, thou shalt NOT forgive him.”— Ib. p. 219.

“Confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you, both in public and in private.”— Ib. p. 225.

“Let us resist evil; and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let US RESIST THEM WITH OUR SWORDS.”— Ib. p. 399.

In order to carry out their system, they have attempted the conversion of the Lamanites, as Spaulding called the Indians, to some small extent; but soon gave it up as a hopeless case.

The shrewd Indian is not so easily gulled with tricks and mere pretensions. He must see piety, as well as hear profession, in order to his conviction of the truth of a proposition, purporting to be for his benefit [7] He was not prepared for the horrible business of making war upon the Gentiles at that date. That such a measure was contemplated, see the following remarks of a Mr. Harris, with his quotations from Mormon books: . . .

With a view to assist the affair of the return of the ten tribes to the New Jerusalem of the West, the 50th and 51st chapters of Isaiah are inserted entire, on the 76th and 77th pages of the Mormon Bible. A perfect contrast is exhibited between the genuine and the apocryphal scriptures. Frequent quotations are made of small portions of both the Old Testament and the New, although the writers pretend to have lived above 500 years before the Christian era! Who can believe them? [8] . . .

The following certificate from Mr. Patterson in regard to the “Manuscript Found,” now the “Mormon Bible,” will complete the chain of circumstantial evidence, proving that the Manuscript remained in the Office with others, from 1814, until S. Rigdon came to this place, and obtained it from Lambdin. Mr. Patterson firmly believes also, from what he has heard of the Mormon Bible, that it is the same thing he examined at that time. The testimony of a number of persons, two of whom I have introduced, identifying the Manuscript and the Bible, is of a positive character, which, being confirmed by the corroborating circumstances, present an array of evidence overwhelming and irresistible:—

R. Patterson had in his employment Silas Engles at the time, foreman printer, and general superintendent of the printing business. As he [S.E.] was an excellent scholar, as well as a good printer, to him was entrusted the entire concerns of the office. He even decided on the propriety or otherwise of publishing manuscripts when offered—as to their morality, scholarship, &c., &c.

In this character he informed R.P. that a gentleman, from the East originally, had put into his hands a manuscript of a singular work, chiefly in the style of our English translation of the Bible, and handed the copy to R.P., who read only a few pages, and finding nothing apparently exceptionable, he [R.P.] said to Engles, he might publish it, if the author furnished the funds or good security He [the author] failing to comply with the terms, Mr. Engles returned the manuscript, as supposed at that time, after it had been some weeks in his possession with other manuscripts in the office.

“This communication, written and signed 2d April, 1842,


Of such men and systems, the sacred Scriptures forewarn us:—2 Tim. 3:1-9.

“This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God: having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this so are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. [16]

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